For Foreign Policy, Elias Groll reports: Three weeks into deadly fighting in Gaza and along its border, Israeli forces have been surprised to encounter an extensive, sophisticated tunnel system that has been used by Hamas to infiltrate Israeli territory and carry out raids. The destruction of that tunnel system has become a focal point of Israeli military operations, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has emphasized that any cease-fire must allow his forces to continue identifying and sealing those tunnels.
To understand why these tunnels have become such a hot-button issue, one need look no further than a video released by Hamas by Tuesday, July 29. That video shows a group of fighters exiting such a tunnel and attacking an Israeli military installation. Read the rest of this entry »
TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Israel says its punishing air assault on Hamas militants, their property and their weaponry has delivered a devastating blow to the Islamic militant group. Yet rocket fire at Israel has continued almost unabated.
The military says that due to years of generous Iranian shipments, thousands of rockets remain in Gaza, and there is no quick way to eliminate the threat.
“There is no attempt here to solve the conflict. We are talking about managing the conflict and as long as it goes on, quiet will only be temporary.”
It says its goal is to inflict so much pain on Hamas that it will be deterred from attacking Israel again — just like Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon have largely remained on the sidelines for the past eight years.
The military also says it wants to punish Hamas for the violence. But both goals are hard to quantify in the short term. A similar offensive in November 2012 was also deemed a military success, though it left Israel vulnerable to rocket fire. Israel also launched a large offensive in late 2008 that delivered a tenuous cease-fire.
“It’s a mistake to think that if you have established deterrence it will stay that way. Deterrence must be maintained.”
— Shlomo Brom, a retired Israeli general, analyst at the Institute for National Security Studies
“There is no knockout, it is more complicated,” said a senior military official involved in the fighting, who spoke on condition of anonymity under military guidelines. But, he added, “if there is a map of pain that the enemy sees, it will have to think about things.” Read the rest of this entry »
Zoe Liebmann reports: Since Operation Protective Edge began on Monday evening the death toll is up to 41 in Gaza and 0 in Israel. By looking blankly at these numbers one could assume that Hamas is the victim, however this assumption is proven invalid.
Bibi Netanyahu stated on July 8, “the security of our citizens is our primary consideration…we are determined to give our citizens the safety and security they deserve.” The objective of the IDF is to protect its people, not to kill. In the past two days, Gaza has fired over 300 rockets towards Israel. According to Haaretz Israeli News, the Iron Dome has shot down 90 percent of the rockets targeted at Israel. The IDF uses the Iron Dome to protect the people of Israel from terror.
Hamas on the other hand has a different objective. Hamas teaches their children to want to kill Jews. Hamas lives to kill, while Israel lives to protect. Hamas focuses on destroying Israel and using their own as human shields. Aside from Hamas promoting their own to be martyrs, they also use minors as human shields. This terrorist organization also purposely fires rockets from highly populated locations where civilians live.
Past NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in an interview with CNN news, in regards to Hamas’s tactics: “It’s the ultimate cowardness to launch your attack with human shields around you, it’s one of the oldest sick things that terrorists do. They surround themselves with civilians and they reach over their heads to attack you and if you defend yourself by attacking back the civilians get in the way and they say oh look you’re killing civilians.”
Video evidence shows Hamas launching rockets from civilian buildings, hospitals, and kindergartens. These are not new tactics for Hamas.
Hamas sends rockets nearly every day towards Israel to kill anyone it will hit. Unlike Hamas, the IDF protects its people and even tries to protect innocent civilians in Gaza. The Israeli army broadcast a radio message in Arabic, warning residents that: “For your safety, get away from Hamas and their hiding places. Don’t go near them. They’re endangering your lives. For your safety, don’t let them near your homes, don’t let them hide in your homes.”
The IDF also sends warning shots to alert civilians to evacuate the area. Read the rest of this entry »
BREAKING PHOTOS: Rocket fired from Gaza moments ago hits a gas station in Ashdod, causing fire, 3 injured 1 seriously pic.twitter.com/PkfhQc73RG
— Israel News Feed (@IsraelHatzolah) July 11, 2014
For second time on Tuesday evening, Gaza terrorists launch rocket at central Israel; air raid sirens sounds in central Israel, blasts heard in Tel Aviv; Tel Aviv opens public bomb shelters; no injuries reported.
For the second time on Tuesday evening, a rocket was launched at central Israel from the Gaza Strip. An Iron Dome battery intercepted a projectile over the greater Tel Aviv area. Sirens sounded in various cities in central Israel on Tuesday night and blasts were heard in Tel Aviv. The air raid siren was activated in cities including Rishon Lezion, Bat Yam, Holon and Bnei Barak, but not in Tel Aviv.
Earlier on Tuesday evening, the Iron Dome rocket defense system intercepted a projectile near Tel Aviv over the city of Rishon Lezion, as air raid sirens sounded in central Israeli cities for the first time amid recent escalations. Read the rest of this entry »