[IMPORTANT] Hamas launches foot assault against settlements.

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Jono
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21 Jun 2024, 12:26 pm

funeralxempire wrote:
Jono wrote:
funeralxempire wrote:


And yet, the UN report on the matter already concluded that mass sexual crimes probably were committed on 7 October by Hamas. I usually go with what's been established but sure.


I'm sure it's more politically convenient for you to continue to believe debunked claims but that doesn't mean those claims can actually hold water when scrutinized.

Reality isn't subservient to your feelings however and the reality appears to be that Israel has greatly overstated the extent to which SA occurred on October 7th. This doesn't mean literally zero instances occurred, only that it wasn't widespread or conducted in an organized manner to the extent that Israel has attempted to claim (without evidence).


So why did the UN report into the incident conclude that there probably was widespread SA? I judge official investigative reports to be more reliable than random news reports. There might of been some cases where there was fake news or false reporting but I'm not buying that the whole allegation of widespread SA was entirely debunked.



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21 Jun 2024, 1:03 pm

The recent UN report dismissed claims of rape as a weapon of war as unfounded Jono. You're going to have to try harder to deny reality.


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Last edited by funeralxempire on 21 Jun 2024, 1:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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21 Jun 2024, 1:06 pm


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Jono
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21 Jun 2024, 2:22 pm

funeralxempire wrote:
The recent UN report dismissed claims of rape as a weapon of war as unfounded Jono. You're going to have to try harder to deny reality.


Oh really?

Quote:
There are reasonable grounds to believe that conflict-related sexual violence — including rape and gang-rape — occurred across multiple locations of Israel and the Gaza periphery during the attacks on 7 October 2023, a senior United Nations official reported to the Security Council today, as she presented findings from her visit to Israel and the occupied West Bank.

Following allegations of brutal sexual violence committed during and in the aftermath of the Hamas-led terror attacks, Pramila Patten, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, led an official visit to Israel from 29 January to 14 February to gather, analyse and verify reports of sexual violence related to the 7 October attack. Due to ongoing hostilities, the Special Representative did not request to visit Gaza, where other UN entities that monitor sexual violence are operational.


https://press.un.org/en/2024/sc15621.doc.htm#:~:text=There%20are%20reasonable%20grounds%20to,as%20she%20presented%20findings%20from

That is not what this sounds like to me. There's also this:

Quote:
In the context of the coordinated attack by Hamas and other armed groups against civilian and military targets throughout the Gaza periphery, the mission team found that there are reasonable grounds to believe that conflict-related sexual violence occurred in multiple locations during the 7 October attacks, including rape and gang-rape in at least three locations, namely: the Nova music festival site and its surroundings, Road 232, and Kibbutz Re’im. In most of these incidents, victims first subjected to rape were then killed, and at least two incidents relate to the rape of women’s corpses.

The mission team also found a pattern of victims, mostly women, found fully or partially naked, bound, and shot across multiple locations. Although circumstantial, such a pattern may be indicative of some forms of sexual violence, including sexualized torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.


https://www.un.org/sexualviolenceinconflict/press-release/israel-west-bank-mission/

These are directly from the UN website. What am I missing?



funeralxempire
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21 Jun 2024, 10:28 pm

Jono wrote:
funeralxempire wrote:
The recent UN report dismissed claims of rape as a weapon of war as unfounded Jono. You're going to have to try harder to deny reality.


Oh really?

Quote:
There are reasonable grounds to believe that conflict-related sexual violence — including rape and gang-rape — occurred across multiple locations of Israel and the Gaza periphery during the attacks on 7 October 2023, a senior United Nations official reported to the Security Council today, as she presented findings from her visit to Israel and the occupied West Bank.

Following allegations of brutal sexual violence committed during and in the aftermath of the Hamas-led terror attacks, Pramila Patten, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, led an official visit to Israel from 29 January to 14 February to gather, analyse and verify reports of sexual violence related to the 7 October attack. Due to ongoing hostilities, the Special Representative did not request to visit Gaza, where other UN entities that monitor sexual violence are operational.


https://press.un.org/en/2024/sc15621.doc.htm#:~:text=There%20are%20reasonable%20grounds%20to,as%20she%20presented%20findings%20from

That is not what this sounds like to me. There's also this:

Quote:
In the context of the coordinated attack by Hamas and other armed groups against civilian and military targets throughout the Gaza periphery, the mission team found that there are reasonable grounds to believe that conflict-related sexual violence occurred in multiple locations during the 7 October attacks, including rape and gang-rape in at least three locations, namely: the Nova music festival site and its surroundings, Road 232, and Kibbutz Re’im. In most of these incidents, victims first subjected to rape were then killed, and at least two incidents relate to the rape of women’s corpses.

The mission team also found a pattern of victims, mostly women, found fully or partially naked, bound, and shot across multiple locations. Although circumstantial, such a pattern may be indicative of some forms of sexual violence, including sexualized torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.


https://www.un.org/sexualviolenceinconflict/press-release/israel-west-bank-mission/

These are directly from the UN website. What am I missing?


Recognizing that incidents of sexual assaults occurred is not the same as having enough evidence to make the case that there was a was coordinated campaign of sexual assaults as a weapon of war.

Meanwhile the UN has explicitly said that specific forms of sexual and gender-based violence constitute part of the Israeli security force's operating procedures.



That specific quote appears after 5:20.


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01 Jul 2024, 5:30 pm

https://x.com/ytirawi/status/1807489075340816530

This is a translation of Al Jazeera’s exclusive report on footage showing Palestinians being used as human shields

The footage reveals instances such as forcing men to search for explosives, tying them with ropes & throwing them into tunnels, and using injured to search for fighters.

This is obviously a war crime.


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03 Jul 2024, 1:37 am

No sure why it's hard to understand FE?
HAMAS used rape to terrorise,
https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-ea ... 024-03-04/

to quote"Often, the rape was conducted in front of an audience — partners, family, or friends — in a manner intended to increase the pain and humiliation of all present,” the study found."

I'm afraid this is clear form of systematic terror intended to humiliate and trigger the IDF to retaliate which is what HAMAS Iranian backers wanted.



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06 Jul 2024, 9:24 pm

cyberdad wrote:
No sure why it's hard to understand FE?
HAMAS used rape to terrorise,
https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-ea ... 024-03-04/

to quote"Often, the rape was conducted in front of an audience — partners, family, or friends — in a manner intended to increase the pain and humiliation of all present,” the study found."

I'm afraid this is clear form of systematic terror intended to humiliate and trigger the IDF to retaliate which is what HAMAS Iranian backers wanted.


You seem unable to distinguish between something happening because there was an opportunity vs. as part of a pre-planned strategy.

If you can prove the latter, please do because so far those claims have been debunked.

If you can't, stop pretending like there's no difference.


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06 Jul 2024, 10:17 pm

funeralxempire wrote:
You seem unable to distinguish between something happening because there was an opportunity vs. as part of a pre-planned strategy.
If you can prove the latter, please do because so far those claims have been debunked.


Debunked? why are you pretending to not be able to think critically about why Oct 7th happened?
https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/ha ... ce/3221931
https://www.iranintl.com/en/202407018033

As I said, HAMAS forced Israel to respond, they are reaping the benefits, Hezbollah have also reaped the benefits.
Who wins when HAMAS and Hezbollah are cleansed in the eyes of the Arab league?
https://www.iranintl.com/en/202404127530
https://www.iranintl.com/en/202402291130

the Palestinian cause has been long hijacked by terrorist states



funeralxempire
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06 Jul 2024, 10:38 pm

cyberdad wrote:
funeralxempire wrote:
You seem unable to distinguish between something happening because there was an opportunity vs. as part of a pre-planned strategy.
If you can prove the latter, please do because so far those claims have been debunked.


Debunked?


Yes, debunked as my previous posts on the matter have addressed.


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17 Jul 2024, 10:58 am

In the first few months of the war based on scouring Israeli media and pro Israeli podcasts and public opinion I attempted to correct misconceptions about Israeli public opinion I was observing here.

That while there is factions with very differing opinion belief in Zionism and how the war was being carried out was universally positive and the historical reasons why this was so. I also urged people to stop focusing on Netanyahu, replacing him was not going to make much of a difference. This is now pretty much accepted on Wrong Planet.

There has been a significant change in some areas. Public Opinion has moved decidedly in favor of prioritizing releasing hostages over the war effort. Netanyahu is perceived as prioritizing the opposite for personal and political reasons. This has led to numerous angry demonstrations. Part of this is Jewish Religious doctrine. I have not seen polls to support this but I have heard a number prominent Israeli journalists speculating that Israelis have lost faith in the ability of Israel to win the war, especially under Netanyahu. The idea is to salvage as many hostages as possible by ending the war and take whatever consequences losing the war will mean.

The above does not mean that Israeli Jews are any less Zionist or more in favor of any broader deal with the Palestinians. I do not know if this means they agree with signing a deal for a permanent ceasefire in return for hostages and breaking the deal at some later date.

What many do not realize is that Israel does not have a constitution making removing Netanyahu complicated.


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19 Jul 2024, 6:37 am

Clean water becomes an increasingly scarce resource in Gaza amid Israeli offensive

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Like clockwork each morning in Muwasi, a coastal town in southern Gaza designated a “safer” zone by the Israeli military, scores of children can be seen walking, almost as if they’re heading to school.

But instead of books, they're carrying jerrycans, waiting for hours in long lines at water stations. Under the blazing summer sun, they hope to secure clean drinking water for themselves and their families.

“It’s the morning routine,” Louise Wateridge, a spokesperson for UNRWA, the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, told NBC News in a phone interview Wednesday from nearby Khan Younis. “Children are carrying water the weight of themselves back to their shelters,” she said, adding that they can often spend as much as six to eight hours trying to collect both food and water.

Officials said in a statement Monday on Facebook that just 10 miles to the north of Muwasi, in the municipality of Deir Al-Balah, facilities serving “more than 700,000 people” with water were effectively “out of service.”

They added that 19 water wells and two water tanks had “completely stopped working” after they ran out of fuel. “We call on all citizens to keep what they have left in their private tanks,” the municipality said, urging a “spirit of cooperation and participation.”

Separately, Mahmoud Basal, a spokesman for Gaza’s Civil Defense, the government agency that manages emergency services and rescue in the Hamas-run enclave, took to Telegram on Tuesday to warn of a “complete stoppage of all water wells and tanks” in Deir Al-Balah “due to the exhaustion of fuel needed to operate them.”

He also warned that the situation was becoming increasingly dire in northern Gaza, saying desalination plants in and around Gaza City had been forced to halt operations “for the fifth day in a row.”

Two days later, the charity Oxfam International accused Israel of “systematically weaponizing water against Palestinians in Gaza” in a report. It said that Israeli forces had damaged or destroyed “five water and sanitation sites every three days since the start of this war.”

UNRWA also estimated last month that almost 70% of water and sanitation facilities and infrastructure had been destroyed or damaged in Israel’s bombardment, and Waterbridge said trucks like the one in Muwasi were few and far between.

As well as desalination points failing, she said, adding that at least five of the seven water wells that had been operating in Jabalia in northern Gaza were out of action.

Inside the large refugee camp in Jabalia, Amer Alian told NBC News’ crew on the ground Monday that he was struggling to find the most basic provisions.

“How can an ordinary citizen live? He can’t find food or water to drink like normal humans,” he said, before calling on the international community to “have some mercy.”

The crew filmed other Palestinians, including children, filling up jugs with water from a truck transporting potable water to the area. One boy could be seen carrying four empty jerrycans toward the truck, hoping to fill them with water as a little girl raced behind him carrying two containers.

Asked to comment on growing concerns around access to water in the enclave, the Israel Defense Forces referred NBC News to COGAT, the Israeli military body that oversees aid distribution in Gaza, which did not respond to a request for comment.

‘Risk of disease’
Humanitarian groups operating in the Gaza Strip have warned for months of the serious health threat posed by a lack of clean drinking water and by the buildup of untreated sewage in Gaza in the midst of the summer heat.

And an analysis conducted in May by the Global Nutrition Cluster of the World Health Organization found that almost 90% of children under the age of 5 in the enclave were affected by one or more diseases, and 52% had suffered with diarrhea in the past two weeks, as it warned that household access to safe water remained limited.



Houthi Tel Aviv drone attack near U.S. embassy
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A man has been killed and at least eight people injured in a drone attack in central Tel Aviv, Israel.

A block of flats was hit by what an Israeli military official said was an Iranian-made unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which had been modified to fly long distance.

The Houthi movement in Yemen - over 1,000 miles (1,600km) away - said it carried out the attack, and vowed to stage more. Israeli military spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said an initial investigation pointed to the attack having originated in Yemen.

If the Houthis are responsible, it would mark a significant escalation in their attacks on Israel which began in the wake of Israel's military campaign in Gaza, which was triggered by the Hamas attack on Israel on 7 October.

The Israeli military official said its defence forces had detected the incoming drone but had not tried to shoot it down because of "human error".

Dramatic video filmed from the beach, said to capture the moment of the attack, appears to show a drone flying in over the Mediterranean Sea and buzzing loudly. It flies over buildings before disappearing, followed by a huge explosion moments later.

Pictures from the scene of the blast, near a branch of the US embassy, show a building with its windows blown out, and damaged cars and debris on the street below.

The Times of Israel news site quoted the Israeli Air Force as saying the incident "shouldn't have happened", and that it took full responsibility for the failure to prevent it.

Senior military correspondent for the Jerusalem Post, Yonah Jeremy Bob, said "The Israeli defense establishment is in a state of complete shock" over the attack.

"Though the writing was on the wall, no one saw it coming from a couple thousand kilometers away," he wrote.

A military spokesman for the Houthis, Yahya Saree, said the strike had been conducted with a new drone capable of bypassing interception systems.

He declared Tel Aviv, Israel's commercial capital, "an unsafe area," and said it "will be a primary target within the range of our weapons".

The Israeli military said it was increasing air patrols, while Tel Aviv's mayor said the city was on high alert, local media reported.


Knesset votes overwhelmingly against Palestinian statehood, days before PM’s US trip
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The Knesset late Wednesday voted overwhelmingly to pass a resolution rejecting the establishment of a Palestinian state.

The resolution was co-sponsored by parties in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition together with right-wing parties from the opposition and even received support from Benny Gantz’s centrist National Unity party.

Lawmakers from Opposition Leader Yair Lapid’s center-left Yesh Atid party left the plenum to avoid backing the measure, even though he has spoken in favor of a two-state solution. The only ones to oppose the resolution were lawmakers from the Labor, Ra’am and Hadash-Ta’al parties.

The initiative was passed just days before Netanyahu’s visit to the US to address a joint session of Congress and meet with President Joe Biden at the White House. The move was likely to further irk Democrats uncomfortable with embracing an Israeli government that increasingly rejects a two-state solution.

Already in February, the Knesset passed a resolution sponsored by Netanyahu rejecting the establishment of a Palestinian state, but that motion specifically addressed the unilateral establishment of such a state amid reports that countries abroad were considering recognizing a Palestinian state absent a peace agreement with Israel

This resolution — passed 68-9 — altogether rejects the establishment of a Palestinian state, even as part of a negotiated settlement with Israel.

“The Knesset of Israel firmly opposes the establishment of a Palestinian state west of Jordan. The establishment of a Palestinian state in the heart of the Land of Israel will pose an existential danger to the State of Israel and its citizens, perpetuate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and destabilize the region,” the resolution stated.

“It will only be a matter of a short time until Hamas takes over the Palestinian state and turns it into a radical Islamic terror base, working in coordination with the Iranian-led axis to eliminate the State of Israel,” it continued. “Promoting the idea of ​​a Palestinian state at this time will be a reward for terrorism and will only encourage Hamas and its supporters to see this as a victory, thanks to the massacre of October 7, 2023, and a prelude to the takeover of jihadist Islam in the Middle East.”


Urging deal, Mossad chief said to warn time running out for young female hostages
Quote:
Mossad chief David Barnea told a security cabinet meeting Tuesday that young female hostages held by Hamas don’t have time to wait for a new hostage deal framework, according to unsourced leaks from the gathering that were widely reported by Hebrew media outlets Wednesday.

“It could take long weeks. The girls in captivity don’t have time to wait for changes in the proposal under discussion,” Barnea was quoted as saying in the closed-door meeting.

It was not clear why Barnea focused specifically on the women.

Other people at the meeting backed the need for a swift agreement, the reports said.

“It’s an open wound in society,” Transportation Minister Miri Regev was quoted as saying of the plight of hostages, now in their 10th month of captivity. “We are obligated to the public and to the citizens who were not protected by the IDF and Shin Bet on October 7.

“There is no perfect deal but there is an opportunity here that must not be missed,” Regev reportedly said.

“Women can give birth after nine months and that is a disaster that you cannot recover from,” Intelligence Minister Gila Gamliel was quoted as saying, in reference to concerns the female hostages may have been raped in captivity.

Gamliel reportedly pressed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to ignore threats from National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who both oppose any deal that ends the fighting before Hamas is destroyed and who have threatened to topple the government if necessary to prevent one.


Trump warns those holding US hostages will pay ‘a very big price’ if they’re not freed
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Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump warned that countries holding American hostages will pay “a very big price” if they are not released, as he accepted the GOP presidential nomination on Thursday at the Republican National Convention.

“To the entire world, I tell you this: We want our hostages back, and they better be back before I assume office, or you will be paying a very big price,” Trump warned in his speech.

Trump did not specify which hostages he was referring to.

There are more than 60 Americans being held hostage or wrongly detained around the world, including eight Americans being held by Hamas in Gaza, who were among the 251 taken during the terror group’s October 7 massacre, when 1,200 people were murdered in southern Israel.


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20 Jul 2024, 5:46 am

13 Palestinians killed in central Gaza strikes as cease-fire talks between Israel and Hamas grind on

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At least 13 people were killed in three Israeli airstrikes that hit refugee camps in central Gaza overnight into Saturday, according to Palestinians health officials, as cease-fire talks in Cairo appear to make progress.

Among the dead in Nuseirat Refugee Camp and Bureij Refugee Camp were three children and one woman, according to Palestinian ambulance teams that transported the bodies to the nearby Al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital. The 13 corpses were counted by AP journalists at the hospital.

The latest casualties follow a rare moment of hope in war ravaged Gaza, after a medical teams recovered a live baby from a heavily pregnant Palestinian mother killed in an airstrike that hit her home in Nuseirat late Thursday evening.

Heavily pregnant Ola al-Kurd, 25, was killed along with six others in the blast, but was quickly rushed by emergency workers to Al-Awda Hospital in northern Gaza in the hope of saving the unborn child. Hours later, doctors told The Associated Press that a baby boy had been delivered.

The still-unnamed newborn is stable but has suffered from a shortage of oxygen and has been placed in an incubator, said Dr. Khalil Dajran. The baby boy’s father was wounded in the same strike, but survived.

In Cairo, international mediators, including the United States, are continuing to push Israel and Hamas toward a phased deal that would halt the fighting and free about 120 hostages in Gaza.

On Friday, the U.S. Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, said a cease-fire deal between Hamas and Israel that will release Israeli hostages captive by the group in Gaza are “inside the 10-yard line,” but added “we know that anything in the last 10 yards are the hardest.”


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20 Jul 2024, 10:44 am

US revisiting idea of sanctioning Ben Gvir, Smotrich over West Bank policy – officials

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The White House revisited the idea of sanctioning far-right ministers Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben Gvir during a meeting this week regarding the deteriorating situation in the West Bank, according to two United States officials.

The idea of designating one or both of the ministers has been raised several times since US President Joe Biden signed an executive order in February, allowing the levying of sanctions to clamp down on those destabilizing the West Bank, the officials said.

Biden himself rejected the idea at that time, arguing that the US should not be sanctioning the elected officials in Democratic countries, one of the US officials said, confirming reporting in the Axios news site. One of Ben Gvir’s allies Benzi Gopstein has been designated, though, for his role as head of the extremist Lehava organization.

The possibility of sanctioning the far-right ministers has resurfaced, as Israeli settlers have continued attacks on Palestinians with overwhelming impunity and as Israeli authorities have continued taking steps to expand their footprint in the West Bank.

As national security minister, Ben Gvir has directed police he oversees to take a lax approach to cracking down on settler violence, one of the US officials said.

As finance minister and minister in charge of settlement affairs in the Defense Ministry, Smotrich advanced a quid pro quo arrangement last month that saw Israel advance plans for roughly 5,000 settlement homes, legalize five wildcat outposts and expropriate large amounts of land in the West Bank.

In exchange, Smotrich agreed to release hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues that he had been withholding from the Palestinian Authority, which brought it to the brink of financial collapse.

In the days and weeks before the finance minister agreed to release the funds, sanctioning him was again seriously considered by the Biden administration, a US official told The Times of Israel at the time.

The release of those funds along with the announcement Friday from the European Union that it will provide $435 million in emergency aid to the PA over the next two months, significantly help stabilize Ramallah’s financial situation.

But Biden officials are still looking to respond to the latest steps taken in the West Bank and discussed a range of possibilities during a National Security Council meeting this week, the two US officials said.

After the idea of sanctioning the far-right ministers was raised, US Ambassador to Israel Jack Lew offered a different approach: meeting with Smotrich. Influencing the finance minister through engagement has also been considered by some in the administration over the past year, but that idea has also been dismissed amid concerns that doing so could legitimize his views.


Air raids hit Yemen’s port city of Hodeidah
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Several air strikes have hit Yemen’s coastal city of Hodeidah, the Houthi-affiliated Al-Masirah TV has reported.

The air strikes on Saturday come a day after Yemen’s Houthi group claimed responsibility for a drone attack that killed one person in Tel Aviv.


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22 Jul 2024, 4:37 am

Sinwar personally sent clandestine message to Israel weeks before Oct. 7 – TV report

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Hamas’s Gaza chief Yahya Sinwar personally sent a clandestine message to Israel a few weeks before he launched the terror group’s October 7 slaughter in southern Israel, warning it ambiguously to expect a flare-up tied to Palestinians in Israeli prisons and on the issue of captives, according to an Israeli television report Sunday.

Stressing that it was not reporting the text word for word, Channel 12 news said that the message from Sinwar approximately stated: “A flare-up is expected in the prisons and on the issue of the captives.”

The network noted its report was approved for publication by the Israeli military censor.

It said the message was received by Israel, and that Sinwar knew it had been delivered. The unsourced report did not specify to whom Sinwar conveyed the message or how it was conveyed.

Channel 12 said the message did not constitute a specific warning regarding the then-imminent October 7 invasion and slaughter, but its report asserted nonetheless that the text “shines a dramatic light on the events of October 7” and contains details that “in our estimation are likely to prove nothing less than historic in hindsight.”

In Israel, the report said, Sinwar’s message was immediately understood by its recipients to be referring not to violence and disturbances among Palestinian security prisoners held by Israel, but to potential developments regarding Israelis held captive and/or missing. It was under that interpretation that the message was reportedly defined and cataloged.

Prior to October 7, when Hamas seized 251 hostages, 116 of whom are still held captive, the terror group was holding two Israeli civilians who entered the Strip in 2014 and 2015, as well as the bodies of two IDF soldiers who were killed in 2014. Furthermore, in March 2023, a Russian-Israeli researcher named Elizabeth Tsurkov was kidnapped in Baghdad and is being held by an Iranian-backed Iraqi militia.

Sinwar’s message was regarded as “highly sensitive” and was circulated in only a very limited way in the political and security echelons. It was given “the highest possible security classification… and very few people” were given access to it, the TV report said.

The Mossad, the Shin Bet, and the Israel Defense Forces all held several discussions regarding the message. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant “were updated about these discussions,” the report noted, and were likely involved in some of them.

The conclusion of these discussions was that Sinwar was indeed referring to Israeli captives and missing.

Israel “did not interpret the message as a warning ahead of an attack,” Channel 12 said, even though, as has been widely reported in the months since October 7, Israel intelligence had in its hands material relating to Hamas’s attack plans.

Rather, Israel understood from the message that Hamas intended to “take charge of matters” regarding kidnapped researcher Tsurkov, and to demand the release of a large number of Palestinian security prisoners in return for her freedom.

Sinwar’s message was not circulated even to all high-ranking IDF and military intelligence branch officials and was also not shown to lower ranks. Those left out of the loop, therefore, were not able to connect his message to other indications they might have raised.

The report said that “nobody” has been able to explain definitively why Sinwar would have wanted to convey the message. Intelligence materials accumulated since October 7 also provide no definite explanation. It made no sense, the report noted, for Sinwar to have contacted Israel and potentially turned a spotlight onto Gaza just weeks before the invasion.

However, there are some who speculate that Sinwar may have been dealing with two simultaneous issues, the report went on to say: planning October 7, while also attempting to maximize ongoing negotiations and contacts that it said were advancing at the time regarding the four Israelis in Gaza — the slain soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, and the living civilians Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed.

Others in the system speculate — and the TV report noted how “ridiculous” it may sound — that Sinwar conveyed his clandestine message “because of differences of opinion between him and [Hamas’s military chief] Muhammad Deif regarding the timing of the [October 7] attack.” According to that thesis, Sinwar may have wanted to prompt Israel into taking actions that would delay the attack that Hamas was planning to a later date — possibly to gain time and enable greater coordination with Hezbollah.” Sinwar “might have been interested” in that kind of delay, while Deif might have wanted the October 7 date.

Speculation aside, the bottom line, assessed by Channel 12, was that Sinwar’s message “was not correctly interpreted.” It should, the report concluded, have turned the spotlight onto Gaza.


Biden officials say Harris won’t shift course on supporting Israel
Quote:
US Vice President Kamala Harris has been periodically referred to as the bad cop foil to President Joe Biden when it comes to the administration’s Israel-Hamas war policy.

Those pushing this framing often point to how she became the most senior administration official to call for an “immediate ceasefire” in March. However, they seem to ignore how the instant cheers from progressive supporters listening to that speech in Selma, Alabama, drowned out the vice president clarifying that she was referring to the hostage deal that the administration has been trying to broker for months.

Harris – a former top prosecutor and US senator from California whose forceful questioning of witnesses and nominees helped to initially vault her into the national spotlight – has also spoken in detail about the Gaza humanitarian crisis, criticized Israel for exacerbating it and warned that the US wasn’t ruling out any options if Israel ignored its warning not to launch a mass offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah. But Biden had done all of those things too and even made good on that threat from Harris by withholding a shipment of high-payload bombs.

Two current and one former administration official speaking to The Times of Israel after Biden’s bombshell Sunday decision to drop out of the presidential race and endorse Harris dismissed the bad cop narrative as wishful thinking from those supportive of a tougher US line on Israel.

“There has been no division of labor or dispute on policy. Vice President Harris shares President Biden’s support for an ironclad US commitment to Israel’s security coupled with a commitment to advancing a two-state solution in order to bring an end to this cycle of violence”.

A current senior administration official went further. “Bibi and Biden have known each other for decades. You don’t just send in someone else to do your dirty work (of criticizing Israel). It wouldn’t be effective,” the senior official said.

The senior administration official suggested that those pushing the idea that the vice president has a more adversarial relationship with Israel than the president likely include “the people close to Biden” cited by The New York Times in a Friday report claiming that Biden would not bow out of the race before his meeting this week with Netanyahu in order to not give the Israeli premier “the satisfaction” amid the strain in their relationship.

“That was absurd because there are much bigger factors at play for Biden’s decision,” the senior administration official said.

“The side that leaks the most, and the side that has the most hyperbolic comments on background is the side that’s losing the policy debate,” they added, referring to the minority camp in the administration upset over Biden’s support for Israel. The senior administration official expressed his dismay that this group includes those willing to “risk prison time to leak classified information to win a messaging war.”

Moreover, the senior administration official argued that “those disappointed with President Joe Biden’s policies in the Middle East will be similarly disappointed with the policies of a President Kamala Harris.”

The former senior administration official acknowledged that Harris might not be openly identifying herself as a Zionist the way Biden did again last week. “But believing in a need for a Jewish state — that’s where she’s at,” the ex-official said, pointing out how Harris likes to fondly recall donating to the Jewish National Fund as a child in order to plant trees in Israel.

“For decades people have been decrying the end of the Democratic Party’s support for Israel. Yes, the party has moved — as has Israel — but this narrative has been way over-exaggerated,” the current senior administration official said, pointing to how the party just last week advanced a platform that expressed support for Israel in the war against Hamas, ignoring efforts by far-left activists who sought reject US aid to the Jewish state.

Business as usual
As for how Biden’s decision not to seek re-election will impact Netanyahu’s trip to Washington, the three sources speaking to The Times of Israel were in agreement that the practical implications would be minimal.

“The attention paid to the visit likely shrinks as the focus has clearly turned elsewhere, but not running doesn’t change the president’s approach as he seeks a ceasefire and hostage deal. He was always going to push the prime minister very hard on this,” the US official asserted.

“Of course, the meeting with the vice president will hold added importance, but she’ll be echoing the same messages as the president,” said the former senior administration official.


Israeli delegation to return to hostage-ceasefire talks on Thursday — PM’s office
Quote:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday decided to bring Israel back to the negotiating table this week for a hostages-for-ceasefire deal in Gaza, the premier’s office announced, ahead of his departure to the United States.

A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said Netanyahu held an “in-depth discussion” on the hostage talks before his flight to Washington, at which he was joined by his negotiating team and senior security officials.

The Walla news site cited an Israeli official as saying the location of the talks has not yet been set. According to the official, Netanyahu, who will return to Israel on Thursday, wants to first secure US President Joe Biden’s blessing for a “tough” Israeli position based on the premier’s four “nonnegotiables.”

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant welcomed Netanyahu’s decision to return to the talks after almost two weeks.

“There is a limited window of opportunity for a deal to release the hostages,” wrote Gallant on X, formerly Twitter. “Even if there are disagreements, the entire security establishment has your back in the mission to bring about an agreement.”

Talks to secure a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and the release of hostages held there by Hamas have elicited increasing optimism of late, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken saying Friday that “we’re in the 10-yard line” for a deal. Energy Minister Eli Cohen, a member of the security cabinet, assessed during an interview with Channel 12 news on Sunday that a deal could be signed within two weeks.

Netanyahu has been accused of impeding progress toward a deal with the four “nonnegotiable” terms he announced July 7, including a demand to retain Israeli control of the Philadelphi Route, which separates Gaza from Egypt.

The Israeli official who spoke to Walla said that during a four-hour meeting Sunday, Netanyahu instructed Israel’s delegation not to budge from his demands, but still stick to Israel’s May 27 proposal, outlined by Biden in a May 31 speech. However, the official said, Netanyahu appeared to be more realistic about whether Hamas would accept the nonnegotiables. At a press conference on July 13, Netanyahu said Hamas had sought to introduce “29 changes to the proposal” and that he had “not moved a millimeter from the proposal that President Biden praised.”

The Kan public broadcaster reported Sunday that Israel was scrambling to draft its latest response in the talks before Netanyahu took off for the US.

Netanyahu had been scheduled to leave Israel Sunday night and meet with Biden on Monday. But the prime minister on Sunday pushed off his flight by a day after Biden, who is recovering from COVID-19, delayed their meeting to Tuesday.


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“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman