[IMPORTANT] Hamas launches foot assault against settlements.

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funeralxempire
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23 Feb 2024, 1:44 pm


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23 Feb 2024, 2:41 pm

funeralxempire wrote:

I don’t buy that all Palestinians being killed is a great thing is the mainstream of Zionist opinion. I would say if there is such a thing as Zionist conventional wisdom post second intifada it is what I started to get at in my last post. The short version is the mass destruction of Gaza sucks, but since is a fight the death over the same land it is the lesser evil for us.

The podcasters erred in saying Smotrich and Gvir are members of the war cabinet. They and their wing do want a Jewish version of Iran. That is why unlike the podcasters I think that speech is not something she was hired to give but what she believes. Bibi is a purely selfish politician in the Trump vain. He needs that wing stay in power, simple as that.

What the podcasters got right is that speeches like that are not meant for them. But people like see the propaganda gift handed to them use it. Israel used to have a reputation as psy war master. Now they appear completely clueless on how deal with social media because they are really that clueless or really that cocky. IMHO eventually in the long run these gifts to will lead to something resembling the second holocaust they fear. But that is a topic for a prediction thread I intend to start at some point.


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24 Feb 2024, 6:08 am

Netanyahu presents post-war plan to cabinet, aims for ‘local officials’ to govern Gaza

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented the security cabinet with a document of principles regarding the management of Gaza after the war on Thursday night, aiming to install “local officials” unaffiliated with terrorism to administer services in the Strip instead of Hamas.

The subsequently publicized document, a one-pager entitled “The Day After Hamas” released overnight in Israel, is largely a collection of principles the premier has been vocalizing since the beginning of the war, but it is the first time they have formally been presented to the cabinet for approval.

For over four months, Netanyahu has held off holding security cabinet discussions regarding the so-called “day after” the war, fearing this could lead to fractures in his mainly right-wing coalition. Some of his far-right ministers aim to use such meetings to push for the re-establishment of Israeli settlements in Gaza and the permanent Israeli control of the Strip — policies the premier says he opposes and would surely lead to the dissipation of Israel’s remaining support in the West.

Notably, the document of principles Netanyahu presented to security cabinet ministers at Thursday night’s meeting does not specifically name the PA or rule out its participation in the post-war governance of Gaza.

Instead, it says that civil affairs in Gaza will be run by “local officials” who have “administrative experience” and who are not tied to “countries or entities that support terrorism.”

The language is vague, but it could rule out groups that receive funding from Qatar and Iran — as Hamas does — or possibly the PA, whose welfare program includes payments to convicted terrorists and their families.

A statement from Netanyahu’s office said the document is based on principles broadly accepted by the public and that it will serve as the basis for future discussions regarding the post-war management of Gaza.

The plan begins by stipulating a principle for the immediate term: The IDF will continue the war until achieving its goals, which are the destruction of the military capabilities and governmental infrastructure of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the return of the hostages abducted on October 7, and the removal of any security threat from Gaza Strip long-term.

The IDF will maintain an indefinite freedom to operate throughout the entire Strip to prevent the resurgence of terror activity, the document says, describing this as an intermediate-term principle.

The plan states that Israel will move forward with its already-in-motion project to establish a security buffer zone on the Palestinian side of the Strip’s border, adding that it will remain in place “as long as there is a security need for it.”

This plan is directly at odds with one of the Biden administration’s own principles for post-war Gaza, which states that there will be no reduction in the enclave’s territory.

he document presented by Netanyahu also offers the most concrete details to date regarding Israel’s plans for the Egyptian-Gaza border, which has been plagued by smuggling both above and below ground. It states that Israel will enforce a “southern closure” on the border to prevent the revival of terror activity.

The closure will be upheld with assistance from the US and in cooperation with Egypt “as much as possible,” the document states, in an apparent acknowledgment of Cairo’s disapproval of the plan due to the ostensible violation of its sovereignty.

Cairo has pushed back against Israeli calls to take over control over the Philadelphi corridor along the Egypt-Gaza border but privately has indicated more flexibility, US and Arab diplomats have told The Times of Israel. Both the US and Egypt, however, are less likely to cooperate with such plans that are not part of a broader initiative aimed at creating a pathway toward an eventual Palestinian state — something Netanyahu rejects.

The document added that the “southern closure will be made up of measures aimed at preventing smuggling from Egypt — both underground and above ground, including at the Rafah crossing.”

Also in the intermediate stage, Israel will maintain security control “over the entire area west of Jordan,” from the land, air and sea “to prevent the strengthening of terrorist elements in the [West Bank] and the Gaza Strip and to thwart threats from them towards Israel,” the document states.

Netanyahu’s plan envisions Gaza’s “complete demilitarization… beyond what is required for the needs of maintaining public order.” It adds that Israel will be responsible for realizing this goal for the foreseeable future, potentially leaving the door open for other forces to finish the job down the line.

In addition to the “local officials” whom Netanyahu envisions being responsible for public order and for providing civil services, the document adds that Israel will also promote a “de-radicalization plan… in all religious, educational and welfare institutions in Gaza.”

This too will be advanced “as much as possible with the involvement and assistance of Arab countries that have experience in promoting de-radicalization.”

This line appears to be a nod at Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, but both have repeatedly made clear that they will not play any role in the rehabilitation of Gaza unless it is part of a framework aimed at an eventual two-state solution.

Analysts have also expressed heavy skepticism of Netanyahu’s goal to anoint unaffiliated Palestinian clan leaders, noting the likelihood that any Palestinian community leaders seen openly and unilaterally cooperating with Israel will quickly be delegitimized and possibly find their lives at risk. They say a similar effort was advanced by the United States after it invaded Iraq two decades ago only to backfire.

Accordingly, the international community is pushing for the PA to eventually govern Gaza, given that it already has some of the infrastructure in place to do so. Its legitimacy among Palestinians is lacking, but the stakeholders are hoping that this will change after it institutes a series of reforms.

Another key aspect of Netanyahu’s document of principles is the shuttering of the UN relief agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA. The document notes the alleged involvement of 12 UNRWA staffers in the October 7 onslaught and says Israel will work to replace the agency with “responsible international aid organizations.

In the short term, however, a senior Israeli official briefing The Times of Israel last month said that Jerusalem opposes UNRWA’s immediate dissolution. The official explained that UNRWA currently is the main aid distribution organization on the ground and that its shuttering risks a humanitarian catastrophe that could force Israel to cease its fighting against Hamas.

Notably, the document clarified that Israel will only allow the reconstruction of Gaza to begin after the completion of the Strip’s de-militarization and the commencement of the “de-radicalization process.”

“The rehabilitation plan will be financed and led by countries acceptable to Israel,” the document states, again coming at odds with many of the countries seen as potential donors, who demand that Gaza’s reconstruction be in tandem to a political horizon for the Palestinians.


Netanyahu’s post-war plan for Gaza Strip draws cool US reception
Quote:
A plan put forward by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on post-war management for the Gaza Strip has been received coolly in Washington, with a White House spokesperson saying the Biden administration has been “consistently clear” with Israel about what it would like to see in the Palestinian enclave after the war.

Speaking at a press briefing Friday, US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said “the Palestinian people should have a voice and a vote… through a revitalized Palestinian Authority.”

Kirby said Washington has been “consistently clear with our Israeli counterparts” about what was needed. He said the US doesn’t “believe in a reduction of the size of Gaza… we don’t want to see any forcible displacement of Palestinians outside Gaza and, of course, we don’t want to see Gaza dominated or ruled or governed over by Hamas.”

An Israeli official revealed Thursday that one aspect of the plan is already being advanced, and argued that the PA should not be included in post-war governance, noting its failure to condemn the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel.

Asked about the plan during a visit to Argentina earlier Friday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he would “reserve judgment” until seeing all the details, but that Washington was against any “reoccupation” of Gaza after the war.

“Gaza… cannot be a platform for terrorism. There should be no Israeli reoccupation of Gaza. The size of Gaza territory should not be reduced,” Blinken said in Buenos Aires.


Scores killed overnight in Gaza, Israeli negotiators in Paris
Quote:
More than 100 people were reported killed early Saturday in overnight strikes across Gaza, as Israel's spy chief was in Paris for talks seeking to "unblock" progress towards a truce and the return of hostages held by Palestinian militants.

AFP footage showed distraught Gazans queuing for food in the territory's devastated north on Friday and staging a protest decrying their living conditions.

"Look, we are fighting each other over rice," said Jabalia resident Ahmad Atef Safi. "Where are we supposed to go?"

"We have no water, no flour and we are very tired because of hunger. Our backs and eyes hurt because of fire and smoke," fellow Jabalia resident Oum Wajdi Salha told AFP.

"We can't stand on our feet because of hunger and lack of food."

In a Friday night statement on social media platform X, the UN humanitarian agency OCHA said: "Without adequate food and water supplies, as well as health and nutrition services, the elevated risk of famine in #Gaza is projected to increase."

Paris delegation
Meanwhile, an Israeli delegation led by David Barnea, head of the Mossad intelligence agency, was in Paris on Saturday for a fresh push towards a deal to return the remaining hostages.

Barnea will be joined by his counterpart at the domestic Shin Bet security agency, Ronen Bar, Israeli media reported.

The United States, Egypt and Qatar have all been deeply involved in past negotiations aimed at securing a truce and prisoner-hostage exchanges.

Pressure has been mounting on Netanyahu's government to negotiate a ceasefire and secure the hostages' release after more than four months of war, with a group representing the captives' families planning what it billed as a "huge rally" to coincide with the Paris talks on Saturday night to demand swifter action.

A Hamas source said the new plan proposes a six-week pause in the conflict and the release of between 200 and 300 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for 35 to 40 hostages being held by Hamas.


US revives policy deeming settlements illegal, pans Israel’s plan for 3,000 new homes
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The United States on Friday restored its longstanding policy that settlements are inconsistent with international law, reversing a stance implemented by the former administration, hours after Israel announced a plan to advance the construction of thousands of new settlement homes in response to a terror shooting in the West Bank.

“We’ve seen the reports and I have to say we’re disappointed in the announcement,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in response to a question on the matter during a press conference in Argentina.

“It’s been long-standing US policy under Republican and Democratic administrations alike that new settlements are counterproductive to reaching an enduring peace.”

“They’re also inconsistent with international law,” he continued, effectively revoking what became known as the “Pompeo doctrine,” which deemed settlements “not per se inconsistent with international law.” The 2019 policy implemented by Trump’s secretary of state Mike Pompeo overturned a 1978 memo by State Department legal adviser Herbert Hansell, which characterized settlements as illegal.

“Our administration maintains firm opposition to settlement expansion and in our judgment, this only weakens — doesn’t strengthen — Israel’s security,” Blinken added.

Elaborating on the decision during his own press conference, White House National Security Adviser John Kirby said, “We are simply reaffirming the fundamental conclusion that these settlements are inconsistent with international law… this is a position that has been consistent over a range of Republican and Democratic administrations.”

“If there’s an administration that is being inconsistent, it was the previous one,” Kirby said of the Trump administration.

The criticism was echoed by the UK’s Ambassador to Israel Simon Walters, who tweeted, “Settlements are illegal under international law and make it harder still to progress towards a solution of this conflict.”

Despite pressure from progressive pro-Israel organizations, the Biden administration had held off for over three years in revoking the Pompeo doctrine, as it avoided moves seen as overly confrontational with Jerusalem.

But the swift nature in which the US moved with Friday’s announcement highlighted Washington’s ever-shrinking patience with Israel’s policy in the West Bank, as the administration continues to come under fire from progressives at home and many allies abroad over its broad support for Israel in the war against Hamas.

Last year’s approval of a record number of settlement homes and the expansion of Israel’s footprint in the West Bank led the US to summon Jerusalem’s ambassador in Washington for the first time in over a decade. Unchecked settler violence recently sparked first-of-their-kind sanctions against Israeli extremists, with additional such penalties slated to be announced in the coming weeks and months, US officials told The Times of Israel earlier this week.


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24 Feb 2024, 3:12 pm



Quote:
The UN have issued a statement on arms exports to Israel that neither they, nor their suppliers will like one tiny bit!
Right, so the United Nations have issued a press release which makes for rather interesting reading, on the matter of arms exports to Israel.

Of course we know from the International Court of Justice case that South Africa brought against Israel that there is now a plausible case for genocide having been demonstrated, still to be judged on the merits of their case, but given the interim orders handed down by the ICJ on Israel back on January 26th, and given that Israel have not followed any of them, indeed have arrogantly boasted that they will take no notice of them, it is pretty clear that they are violating international law and don’t care who calls it out, because they’ll just turn around to their accusers and infer they are terrorist sympathisers and antisemites, because it is what they always do. So the UN, which the ICJ is of course a branch of, have issued a statement that every country still supplying arms to Israel really ought to sit up and take notice of.

Right, so Israel and those provisional orders that the International Court of Justice laid down last month. Israel said they’d ignore them and it seems they very much have. Israel have until Monday to report to the ICJ on what they’ve done to meet the terms of this legal ruling and well, it doesn’t look like they are too bothered to send anything in.
But it isn’t so much what Israel are not doing right now that is at the crux of this new United Nations statement, but those aiding and abetting them, those providing Israel with weapons, because this statement is a none too subtle shot across their bows to reconsider what such nations are doing.

This statement has come from the OHCHR, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, which has basically demanded arms sales to Israel stop immediately. The UN telling all nations selling arms to Israel cease with immediate effect. Here’s part of what it says:

Any transfer of weapons or ammunition to Israel that would be used in Gaza is likely to violate international humanitarian law and must cease immediately, UN experts warned today.

“All States must ‘ensure respect’ for international humanitarian law by parties to an armed conflict, as required by 1949 Geneva Conventions and customary international law,” the experts said. “States must accordingly refrain from transferring any weapon or ammunition – or parts for them – if it is expected, given the facts or past patterns of behaviour, that they would be used to violate international law.”

“Such transfers are prohibited even if the exporting State does not intend the arms to be used in violation of the law – or does not know with certainty that they would be used in such a way – as long as there is a clear risk,” they said.
Over 29,313 Palestinians have been killed and 69,333 injured in Gaza since 7 October 2023, the majority being women and children. “Israel has repeatedly failed to comply with international law,” the experts said...


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25 Feb 2024, 11:07 am

As hope for deal fills Hostages Square, chaos erupts at nearby anti-Netanyahu rally

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Police used water cannons against anti-government protesters while clashing with them in Tel Aviv on Saturday night, as demonstrators at a nearby rally calling for the return of hostages held in Gaza expressed rare optimism following reported progress in talks on a hostage deal with Hamas.

The clashes, the most violent of their kind since the outbreak of war on October 7, resulted in 21 arrests and several injuries Saturday night on Kaplan Street, opposite the Kirya army base, which is the headquarters of Israel’s defense establishment.

Protesters at adjacent Democracy Square — the intersection of Kaplan Street and Begin Road — confronted officers who were tasked with preventing the demonstrators from blocking the Ayalon Highway, a police spokesperson said. Clashes and water cannon blasts also reached demonstrators gathered at the site of the anti-government rally approved by police.

At least two of arrested demonstrators were leaders of the protest movement against the government, according to spokespeople for a loose affiliation of groups on their WhatsApp channel titled “Israeli Pro-Democracy Protest Movement.” Several people required medical treatment after the clashes, in which mounted police knocked over some 10 individuals to push back the crowd.

Video showed one mounted officer using the reins of his horse to strike a protester across the head.

The demonstrator was then seen falling to the ground while clutching his head, as the officer rode on on.

The police violence this evening toward protesters, among them the families of hostages, is dangerous, antidemocratic and cannot continue,” Opposition leader Yair Lapid said. “The right to protest is a fundamental right, and it cannot be taken from protesters with batons and water cannons.”

A police statement on the arrests said protesters “gathered illegally” in the street and disturbed the peace.

Urging the PM to go
At the approved rally area, speakers called for the resignation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet, among other demands, including progress on negotiations for a hostage agreement with Hamas and a diplomatic solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Some of the demonstrators came to protest a bill that would extend the exemption of ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students from mandatory military and national service.

Smaller protest rallies in which thousands participated were also held nationwide on Saturday evening, including in Kfar Saba and Caesarea near Netanyahu’s private residence, where protesters briefly blocked a main traffic artery.

One speaker at the Tel Aviv protest, Lt. Or Scheinberg (res.) of the 7th Armored Brigade, who was seriously injured during the ongoing war sparked by the Hamas-led October 7 terror onslaught, called during his speech “on the most failed government in history: Leave.”

“While we the reservists are carrying this country on our shoulders, this criminal government is sitting behind us. I hereby call on all reservists who may feel uncomfortable protesting during a war to do so,” he added.

Addressing the anti-government rally, former defense minister Moshe Yaalon railed at Netanyahu for refusing to take responsibility for October 7.

“The responsibility of heads of the defense establishment is clear and they have taken responsibility, so we will now let them fight in good conscience. But you, Netanyahu, you are at the head, so you are guilty,” Yaalon added, using a slogan employed by the anti-Netanyahu protest movement since October 7, when some 3,000 Hamas terrorists murdered about 1,200 people in Israel and took 253 as hostages.

Freed hostage hit by spray from a water cannon
Einav Zangauker, whose son Matan is presumed to be held captive in Gaza, attended the anti-government rally in Tel Aviv, where she chanted into a megaphone about the need to retrieve the hostages. She and Matan’s girlfriend Ilana Gritzewsky, who was held hostage in Gaza for 55 days before her release in November, were hit by a police water cannon while protesting, the Ynet news site reported.

According to the report, the two got caught up in clashes between police forces and anti-government protesters, at which point the police deployed water cannons despite the pair being within the pre-approved boundaries of the protest route.

Speaking to the Hebrew outlet, Zangauker said the two were part of a crowd of protesters who “blocked the lanes on Begin Street and held a torchlit march as we surrounded the Kirya military base with the permission of the police.”

When the protest reached Kaplan Street, however, where a large anti-government protest was erupting into chaos as mounted police officers arrived to disperse crowds attempting to block traffic, the officer who was accompanying them left and they were hit with the water cannon, she said, adding that the police failed to coordinate with each other to prevent this from happening.

‘An optimistic moment’
About 500 yards away from the anti-government rally, at Hostages Square on Shaul Hamelech Boulevard, thousands of people attended the 20th consecutive weekly rally for the return of the hostages. The reported progress in Paris inspired rare hope at that rally, which is organized by the Hostages and Missing Families Forum.

Citing the progress, Eyal Eshel, whose daughter Roni was killed by Hamas terrorists on October 7 at the Nahal Oz army base, said that Saturday’s rally at Hostages Square was “an optimistic moment.”

The forum, which says it is nonpartisan, has at past rallies highlighted the plight of families of hostages and featured many speakers who criticized the government and called for the resignation of its members. Some speakers accused Netanyahu of sabotaging the hostages’ return to extend the war to avoid elections.

By contrast, Saturday’s rally included multiple expressions of hope and rare praise for Netanyahu.

We strengthen you, our prime minister, so you may continue on your courageous path,” Anat Angrest, whose son Matan is being held hostage in Gaza, said in her speech, adding this was to “give the people of Israel the image of victory they want: hostages returning home, soldiers returning to their mothers.”

Angrest did criticize “radicals,” as she described them, whom she suggested may oppose the deal.

“Stop issuing reckless calls,” Angrest said, echoing the term used by Ben Gvir for what he says would be an unacceptable deal. “Avoid presenting a hostage deal as a compromise on security. Stop making cynical use of grieving families. Stop doing elections and campaigns,” she said.

Earlier Saturday, the Tikvah Forum of hostages’ relatives, which opposes making the concessions to Hamas that many speakers at Hostages Square events have demanded, warned in a statement against going ahead with a “reckless deal” with the group. A good deal, the statement argued, “means increasing the military pressure and stopping humanitarian aid that strengthens Hamas.”

Jerusalem speaker pleads: Don’t blame the families of the hostages
The Hostages and Missing Families Forum also held a rally in Jerusalem on Saturday night that was attended by hundreds of people. One of the speakers was Yael Adar, whose son Tamir was taken hostage by Hamas and later announced to have been killed on October 7. She pleaded to receive his body for burial. “You must return my murdered son along with all who have been killed and allow us, the devastated families, to rebuild ourselves,” she urged the government.

She also accused the government of using residents of Gaza border communities as “human shields.”

“You started this war for the hostages, so why are you not willing to stop it to return them home?” she continued.

Mai Alvini, the grandson of 79-year-old Hamas hostage Chaim Peri, accused Smotrich of abandoning the hostages and “blaming the families of hostages.”

“I’m sorry they kidnapped my grandfather,” he said bitterly. “I didn’t mean it, it won’t happen again.”

He charged Smotrich with prioritizing the construction of “thousands of new housing units in Maale Adumim, Efrat and Kedar before reestablishing the kibbutzim of the Gaza envelope,” referring to plans referring to plans announced by the far-right minister after a deadly terror shooting on Thursday.

Back at Hostages Square in Tel Aviv, one of the final speakers was Michael Rapaport, the Jewish-American actor from New York, who has attended multiple rallies and vocally championed the cause of the hostages in the United States.

“It makes me sick that you have had to beg the people whose job it is to bring them home,” he told the crowd about the hostages. “It makes me sick that the UN, the Red Cross, the Hague, they have abandoned you. They should be ashamed of themselves. You all deserve better.”


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25 Feb 2024, 5:07 pm



Research Agency Debunks Israel's Lies About Infamous Hospital Bombing


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28 Feb 2024, 1:00 pm

'Lebanon will be next': Iran greenlights Hezbollah attack on Israel - report

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Iran has given Lebanese terror organization Hezbollah the green light to escalate its attacks along Israel's northern border, the Arabic Post reported on Wednesday, citing high-level Iranian and Lebanese sources.

The Islamic Republic has reportedly set conditions for Hezbollah, ordering it to launch a large-scale attack on Israel only after it "had become certain of Israel's intention" to carry out an invasion of the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

As per the report, Tehran gave the go-ahead amid fears that, after the IDF completes an invasion of Rafah, southern Lebanon "will be next."

Nasrallah calls emergency meeting with Quds Force chief over Israeli threats
A source from Iran's Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) told Arabic Post that Esmail Qaani, the IRGC's Quds Force commander, visited Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah on Monday to discuss "the latest developments" along Israel's northern border.

The meeting between the two was reportedly held at the request of Nasrallah, who called for the "necessity" of holding an emergency meeting after "information was obtained" indicating Israeli intention to launch a large-scale assault on Hezbollah in Lebanon.

"Hassan Nasrallah told Qaani that the attack is likely to be very imminent, most likely in the month of Ramadan, or with Israel’s invasion of the city of Rafah," an IRGC source told Arabic Post. "Nasrallah said that he is completely certain of [Israel's] intention to launch a large-scale attack on Lebanon, and he asked Qaani to give him complete freedom in how he intends to attack," another diplomatic source in Iran said.

Tehran disapproved of Hezbollah's 'uncoordinated' attack on Safed
According to the same sources, Qaani expressed Tehran's disapproval of a reportedly uncoordinated launch of rockets by Hezbollah on the northern Israeli city of Safed, with one hitting the entrance to the Ziv Medical Center.

Hezbollah's attack on Safed "angered Tehran to some extent" due to Iran's insistence that Hezbollah adopts a "policy of strategic patience in the face of Israeli and American provocations," the Arabic Post added, citing Iranian sources.


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28 Feb 2024, 4:32 pm

This is awkward News ? but I get that it appears Israel wants to make this obviously a international incident, by Attacking Lebanon...Notwithsatanding the above says Iran is controlling hezbollah through Lebanon connection .
But it is almost like baiting Israel into fighting a bttle on seperate fronts .... But the average Lebanese person
probably has no connection here .. So We may have much more innocent humans becoming collateral damage.
For Israel trying to spread it influence of countries illegally ??. imho. :(


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29 Feb 2024, 7:51 am

Strike on Palestinians waiting for aid kills 70, Gaza officials say, taking war's toll past 30,000

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A strike early Thursday on a crowd of Palestinians waiting for humanitarian aid in Gaza City killed at least 70 people, bringing the death toll since the start of the Israel-Hamas war to more than 30,000, health officials said.

Aid groups say it has become nearly impossible to deliver humanitarian assistance in most of Gaza because of the difficulty of coordinating with the Israeli military, ongoing hostilities and the breakdown of public order, with crowds of desperate people overwhelming aid convoys. The U.N. says a quarter of Gaza’s 2.3 million Palestinians face starvation; around 80% have fled their homes.

the wake of Thursday's strike, medics found “dozens or hundreds” lying on the ground, according to Fares Afana, the head of the ambulance service at Kamal Adwan Hospital. He said there were not enough ambulances to collect all the dead and wounded and that some were being brought to hospitals in donkey carts.

The Al Jazeera network showed footage of several dead and wounded people being brought to another nearby hospital, Shifa, after the strike on a main road running along the Mediterranean coast.

In addition to the dozens killed, another 280 people were wounded in Thursday’s strike, Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said.

The Israeli military said it was looking into the reports about the strike.

Separately, the Health Ministry said the Palestinian death toll from the war has climbed to 30,035, with another 70,457 wounded. It does not differentiate between civilians and combatants in its figures but says women and children make up around two-thirds of those killed.

The ministry, which is part of the Hamas-run government in Gaza, maintains detailed records of casualties. Its counts from previous wars have largely matched those of the U.N., independent experts and even Israel’s own tallies.

COGAT, the Israeli military body in charge of Palestinian civilian affairs, said around 50 aid trucks entered nothern Gaza this week. It was unclear who delivered the aid. Some countries have meanwhile resorted to airdrops in recent days.

COGAT said Wednesday that Israel does not impose limits on the amount of aid entering. Israel has blamed U.N. agencies for the bottleneck, saying hundreds of trucks are waiting on the Palestinian side of Kerem Shalom for aid workers to collect them.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric on Wednesday countered by saying large trucks entering Gaza have to be unloaded and reloaded onto smaller ones, but there aren’t enough of them and there’s a lack of security to distribute aid in Gaza.

Hamas-run police in Gaza stopped protecting convoys after Israeli strikes on them near the crossing.


IDF source says it fired on Gazans who endangered troops in stampede
Quote:
The IDF says that as humanitarian aid was being delivered to the northern Gaza Strip, a “violent gathering” erupted surrounding the trucks, during which Palestinians looted the equipment.

“During the incident, dozens of Gazans were injured as a result of pushing and trampling,” the IDF says, adding that the incident is under review.

A military source says that following the incident, some of the crowd began to move toward Israeli forces in the area — who were tasked with coordinating the entry of the aid trucks to northern Gaza — in a way that “endangered” the troops.

The source says troops opened fire at the crowd, and that the second incident is also being investigated.


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29 Feb 2024, 8:08 am

Report: War cabinet sidelines Ben Gvir, rejects Ramadan Al Aqsa limits on Arab Israelis

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National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir will not be permitted to bar Arab Israelis from worshiping at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount on Ramadan, Israel’s war cabinet has ruled, according to a Hebrew media report Wednesday.

The Channel 12 report, which did not cite any specific sources, said the war cabinet — made up of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Minister Benny Gantz, as well as several other ministers who serve as observers — also decided that it would be the sole body to make decisions regarding policy at the flashpoint site. This would effectively sideline the far-right national security minister, who said in mid-February that Palestinian residents of the West Bank should be barred from attending prayers at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem during Ramadan. Ben Gvir is also reported to have sought to limit Arab Israeli visits.

Also on Wednesday, Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh called on Palestinians in Jerusalem and the West Bank to march to Al-Aqsa Mosque to pray on the first day of Ramadan on March 10, during the war in Gaza, seemingly seeking to raise tensions in the area.


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29 Feb 2024, 8:29 am

So inspite of security concerns ??? :roll: from religious worshippers ? 8O ...
What part of the above posting ...( does not) sound like someone is picking a fight ? regarding Religious
( potentially fanatics ?. ) something like this most likely will not end well ?....imho .based on previous observations of this thread . :(


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29 Feb 2024, 2:17 pm

As Gaza death toll tops 30,000, is Israel on the path to victory or quagmire?

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As the death toll in Gaza tops 30,000 and international criticism mounts, Israeli forces believe they are on the path to victory in their offensive against Hamas. But the Palestinian militants are still fighting and could yet draw Israel into a long quagmire like past conflicts in Lebanon, former U.S. military officers and analysts say.

After four months of hammering, Israel says it has severely damaged the capacity of Hamas to fight, killing about 12,000 of its roughly 30,000-strong army and destroying much of its arsenal.

Israeli commanders and officials say Hamas is under growing pressure, with no way to replenish its weapons or ammunition and increasingly restricted in its movements.

Brig. Gen. Dan Goldfuss, commander of the Israel Defense Forces 98th Paratroopers Division, told NBC News that top Hamas leaders are now unable to direct their troops in real-time combat because they have no way to communicate securely.

“They’ve lost command and control,” said Goldfuss.

As for the massive network of tunnels under Gaza where Hamas moves its fighters, equipment and hostages, Goldfuss said Israeli forces have seized the main arteries. “We are in the most important tunnels,” he said. “We are maneuvering in the most important tunnels.”

A senior Biden administration official agreed that Hamas’ leadership, infrastructure and weapons storage sites have been hit hard. The Israeli operation “has absolutely had an effect on their morale and their ability to continue to function,” the official said.

But as Israel prepares for what it says is a final push against Hamas in the southern city of Rafah, one U.S. official said Hamas is “degraded but still capable.”

Hamas’ top leaders are still alive, the group still holds more than 100 Israeli hostages, it continues to battle Israeli troops on the ground and — even based on Israel’s aggressive casualty estimates — has 18,000 fighters left. And the massive civilian death toll in Gaza, like the dozens killed Thursday by Israeli forces as they rushed aid trucks in search of food, keeps stoking global criticism of Israel.

The chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, meanwhile, told NBC News he was surprised to learn that only a “miniscule” portion of the Hamas tunnel network, which may stretch for 300 miles, has been cleared. “The amount of the tunnels that they’ve been actually fully able to clear, fully secure is tiny,” said Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va. “It’s stunningly small.”

Israel’s estimate that it has killed roughly 40% of Hamas’ fighters is significant but suggests there is still a substantial armed force on the ground, said the former head of U.S. Central Command, retired Army Gen. Joseph Votel, who oversaw the U.S.-led war against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.

“That’s not nothing,” he said. “But what that does tell you is there are a lot of fighters left.”

Although Israel’s military is “making progress,” he said there are indications “they still have got an awful long way to go, and it’s going to continue to be a difficult campaign.”

Israeli leaders vowed to “destroy” Hamas to ensure it can never stage another similar attack, and to help create a new government for Gaza. But they never precisely defined the political and military goals for the campaign or the exact meaning of “destroy.”

It’s unclear exactly how much damage the Israel Defense Forces have inflicted on Hamas over the past four months, and NBC News could not independently verify the IDF’s claims about Hamas’ casualties. A Hamas official in Qatar recently told Reuters the group had lost 6,000 fighters, half the Israeli estimate.

Some security analysts say Hamas is now unable to access many of its tunnels and Israel will blow up the underground maze once the current military operation ends.

Whatever the military results of the campaign, Israel has suffered a blow to its international image over the steep civilian toll in Gaza.

With 31,000 air strikes, the offensive on the densely populated enclave has caused massive damage to infrastructure and killed more than 30,000 people, two-thirds of them women and children, say Palestinian health authorities. Amid the worldwide outcry over Israeli tactics, the Biden administration has repeatedly appealed to Israel to scale back military operations and allow more access for humanitarian aid.

Israel, however, has refused to pull back and been reluctant to agree to a long-term cease-fire, saying the systematic murder of civilians in the Oct. 7 attack has altered the country’s mindset about how to respond to Hamas.

Avi Melamed, a former Israeli intelligence official and negotiator, said eliminating Hamas entirely is “not a realistic objective” and that “Hamas is not going to disappear.”

But he said the key goal is to dismantle Hamas’ military reach and power, so that it can no longer operate as a small army.

Once the IDF advances into Rafah in the south, “we will be done with the phase of crushing the major spine of Hamas’ military capacities,” and the next step would be lower intensity warfare to sweep up the remaining elements of Hamas, Melamed said.

Some analysts and former U.S. officials say, however, that even a remnant of the group’s militants could remain armed and influential in the enclave. In that case, Hamas could potentially undermine more moderate political elements in Gaza and force Israel into an exhausting occupation.

“If Israel pulls out its troops and some other government comes in, that government could not survive in the face of Hamas opposition without significant outside help,” said Daniel Byman, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

In that scenario, with no reliable local security force to turn to, Israel could potentially be drawn into a fraught occupation with no clear way out, said Colin Clarke, a senior research fellow at the Soufan Group, a nonprofit focusing on global security issues.

“Hamas isn’t going to stop fighting, and also, they can’t go anywhere. They’re not leaving,” Clarke said. “So if the Israelis don’t leave, and Hamas doesn’t leave, what’s the endgame there?”

Clarke and other analysts say the situation in Gaza could end up resembling Israel’s troubled experience in southern Lebanon in the 1980s and ’90s. In 1982, Israel moved into southern Lebanon to evict the Palestinian Liberation Organization but stayed for nearly two decades, having failed to stamp out Lebanese and Palestinian militants.

“They withdrew from it (Lebanon) in 2000 unilaterally, and they never solved the problem. In fact, they left Hezbollah stronger than ever,” said Randa Slim, a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute think tank.

“I think they’re going to repeat the same failed experiment” in Gaza, she said.

Israel’s long-running military presence in southern Lebanon enabled the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militia to attract thousands of volunteers, Slim said, and the Israeli offensive in Gaza could have a similar effect.

Israel’s reliance on heavy aerial bombing in Gaza could also prove to be counterproductive, as it risks fueling resistance for years to come, according to Robert Pape, a military strategy and counterterrorism expert and political science professor at the University of Chicago.

“Israel’s military operations are producing more terrorists than they’re killing,” Pape said.


Hamas' Sinwar "pleased with Gaza conflict progress," Wall Street Journal reports
Quote:
Yahia Sinwar, the leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, is reportedly "very satisfied" with the ongoing conflict in the region, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

In a letter sent to Hamas leaders in Qatar and cited by the publication, Sinwar expressed contentment with the current state of affairs, indicating that the Israeli military was precisely "where he wants it to be."

"If Hamas ambushes have little chance of holding up against Israeli tanks, they are adapted to Sinwar's war objectives," the Wall Street Journal reported. Under the daily command of Mohammed Sinwar, Yahia Sinwar's brother, Hamas fighters have reportedly shifted tactics since the November ceasefire. They are now avoiding direct confrontations and instead resorting to tactics such as setting traps with rocket-propelled grenades or imitating hostage distress calls to lure IDF soldiers.

The ultimate aim of Hamas, as outlined in the report, is to force the Israeli army to withdraw prematurely from Gaza due to civilian losses, even before the group's hoped-for eradication. Hamas seeks to emerge from the conflict with what it views as a historic victory, leveraging civilian casualties to shape international opinion and pressure Israel into concessions.


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29 Feb 2024, 11:14 pm

US blocks UN Security Council statement blaming Israel for deadly Gaza aid stampede

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Arab nations have failed to get immediate support for a UN Security Council statement that would have blamed Israeli forces for opening fire at Palestinians waiting for the delivery of food and other humanitarian aid near Gaza City and killing dozens of people.

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian UN ambassador, tells reporters after an emergency closed council meeting on the deaths that 14 of the 15 council members supported the statement put forward by Algeria, the Arab representative on the body.

The United States didn’t support the statement and US deputy ambassador Robert Wood tells a reporter who questions why, “We don’t have all the facts on the ground – that’s the problem.”

He says there are contradictory reports and the US is trying to gather all the facts, including on the “circumstances around how people died” which is a key issue.


France’s Macron says Gazans swarming aid convoy were ‘targeted by Israeli soldiers’
Quote:
French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his “strongest condemnation” over the deaths of dozens of Palestinians during an aid delivery in the northern Gaza Strip.

“Deep indignation at the images coming from Gaza where civilians have been targeted by Israeli soldiers,” he says on social media platform X. “I express my strongest condemnation of these shootings and call for truth, justice, and respect for international law.”


Far-right activists break into Gaza, try to reestablish Israeli settlement
Quote:
Dozens of far-right activists broke through an Israeli military checkpoint and crossed into Gazan territory on Thursday afternoon, with some making it hundreds of meters into the Strip before being corralled by troops, the army said.

The activists had gathered at the Erez crossing between northern Gaza and Israel to rally for the rebuilding of Israeli settlements in Gaza, when they “violently broke through an IDF checkpoint,” an Israel Defense Forces spokesperson said.

Some made it around 500 meters into the Strip, while others managed to set up at least two buildings adjacent to the border fence, declaring it the rebirth of a settlement movement ended by Israel in 2005.

The IDF said those who made it inside Gaza were eventually turned back by soldiers and taken back to Israel.

Video footage published by Army Radio shows several activists seemingly well inside Gaza being rounded up by IDF soldiers.

Other settler activists set up makeshift buildings of wood and corrugated plastic beyond the walls of the Erez crossing itself, but still on Israeli territory, the IDF said.

Pictures and videos of the event show the activists putting up their structures within the Erez Crossing complex, as well as checking their cell phones and standing around.

IDF soldiers can be seen in the background, though they did not initially interfere with their activities.

The Nachala settlement organization, which held a major conference at the end of January to rally support and momentum for its plans to resettle Gaza, sent out images of the activists erecting two of the buildings and affixing a mezuzah to one of them in a short religious ceremony.

The activists at the site said the “settlement” was being called New Nisanit, after the former Nisanit settlement in the far northern Gaza Strip, one of 22 Israeli settlements inside Gaza evacuated in 2005 as part of Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from the Strip.

The construction of the structures appears to have been part of a coordinated effort by Nachala to try and build a new settlement outpost in Gaza.

The organization sent out a notice to its activists on Wednesday inviting them to join a march to the northern Gaza border to call for “renewed settlement,” and telling them to be prepared with “appropriate gear,” including “sleeping bags for those interested.”


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01 Mar 2024, 5:46 pm

Biden announces U.S. will airdrop food aid into Gaza as famine concerns grow

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President Joe Biden announced Friday that the U.S. will drop food aid into the Gaza Strip, noting that the humanitarian aid flowing into the region for Palestinians is insufficient.

“Aid flowing into Gaza is nowhere nearly enough… lives are on the line,” Biden said as he announced the decision about the airdrops during an Oval Office meeting he was holding with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

“We should be getting hundreds of trucks in, not just several,” he continued. “We’re going to pull out every stop we can.”

The president reiterated that the U.S. is trying to push for an immediate cease-fire between Hamas and Israel to allow more aid into Gaza, where he said “innocent people” have died.

Samantha Power, the administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, announced this week that the U.S. was sending $53 million in additional humanitarian assistance into Gaza.


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01 Mar 2024, 8:26 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
Biden announces U.S. will airdrop food aid into Gaza as famine concerns grow
Quote:
President Joe Biden announced Friday that the U.S. will drop food aid into the Gaza Strip, noting that the humanitarian aid flowing into the region for Palestinians is insufficient.

“Aid flowing into Gaza is nowhere nearly enough… lives are on the line,” Biden said as he announced the decision about the airdrops during an Oval Office meeting he was holding with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

“We should be getting hundreds of trucks in, not just several,” he continued. “We’re going to pull out every stop we can.”

The president reiterated that the U.S. is trying to push for an immediate cease-fire between Hamas and Israel to allow more aid into Gaza, where he said “innocent people” have died.

Samantha Power, the administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, announced this week that the U.S. was sending $53 million in additional humanitarian assistance into Gaza.



About time US at least offered humanitarian aide.... :|


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01 Mar 2024, 9:31 pm

Calls intensify for probe into Gaza aid stampede as global criticism of Israel mounts

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International calls intensified Friday for a probe into the deaths of dozens of Palestinians clamoring around an aid convoy in northern Gaza a day earlier, with many countries blaming Israel for the disaster and threatening diplomatic steps.

The calls came as officials involved in talks for a temporary ceasefire and prisoner swap expressed cautious optimism that such a deal could be struck before the start of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month, on March 10.

“We are hopeful that we can reach a cessation of hostilities and exchange of hostages. Everyone recognizes that we have a time limit to be successful before the start of Ramadan,” said Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry at the Antalya Diplomacy Forum in Turkey on Friday.

Family members of people held hostage in Gaza also expressed their hope a deal would be reached before Ramadan. Family members held a demonstration outside the US consulate in Tel Aviv on Friday demanding US President Joe Biden pressure the government to accept a deal.

“The [Biden] administration is more committed to the issue of the hostages than the Israeli government, therefore the families of the hostages, together with other activists, will call on the responsible adult to apply pressure and save the abductees from Hamas captivity and the extremist government,” Ynet quoted the organizers as saying. “These are critical days, a deal is on the table, Ramadan is approaching and every hour must be used to bring about an orderly solution.”

Negotiations could be complicated by Thursday’s mass-casualty incident, in which Hamas claimed over 100 people were killed.

Hamas warned in a statement that the incident could lead to the failure of talks aimed at a deal on a truce and hostage release.

French President Emmanuel Macron voiced “deep indignation” and the “strongest condemnation of these shootings.” His foreign minister, Stephane Sejourne, said Paris would back an independent investigation sought by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said that “the Israeli army must fully explain how the mass panic and shooting could have happened.”

The United States has also urged a thorough investigation, saying the incident shows the need for “expanded humanitarian aid to make its way into Gaza.” Nonetheless, the US blocked a UN Security Council resolution blaming Israel for the tragedy.

Meanwhile, South Africa said Friday that in the aid convoy incident, Israel had breached the World Court’s provisional orders in a legal case in which Pretoria has accused Israel of committing genocide in the coastal enclave.

“South Africa condemns the massacre of 112 Palestinians and the injury of hundreds more as they sought life-saving aid,” South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation said in a statement, relying on Hamas’s death count from the Gaza City incident.

This latest atrocity is another breach of international law and in breach of the binding provisional orders of the International Court of Justice.”

In response to the incident, Colombia’s leftist president, Gustavo Petro, announced that his country would cease all arms purchases from Israel, as he ramped up already-heated rhetoric employed by some Latin American leaders to describe Israel’s offensive in Gaza.

“Asking for food, more than 100 Palestinians were killed by (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu. This is called genocide and recalls the Holocaust,” Petro wrote on X. “The world must block Netanyahu. Colombia is suspending all arms purchases from Israel.”

President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, also took to X Friday to say that she was “deeply disturbed by images from Gaza,” adding that “[e]very effort must be made to investigate what happened and ensure transparency.”

Her colleague, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, had earlier expressed his dismay at the incident. “I am horrified by news of yet another carnage among civilians in Gaza desperate for humanitarian aid,” Borrell wrote on X. “These deaths are totally unacceptable.”


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