Rosenfeld was stabbed to death by Mustafa and two other men who befriended him as he hiked near the West Bank settlement of Ariel, the Daily Beast reported.
© 2013 NewsmaxWorld. All rights reserved.
By Joel Himelfarb
Rosenfeld was stabbed to death by Mustafa and two other men who befriended him as he hiked near the West Bank settlement of Ariel, the Daily Beast reported.
© 2013 NewsmaxWorld. All rights reserved.
By Joel Himelfarb
GAZA CITY, Gaza — Hamas Islamists in the Gaza Strip claimed responsibility on Sunday for a tunnel that Israel said was found beneath the heavily fortified Israel-Gaza frontier.
A website for a Hamas radio station called al Aqsa said the group’s armed wing was responsible for what it called the “Khan Younis Tunnel,” named for a part of the coastal territory where the subterranean passage was found.
Abu Ubaida, spokesman for the Islamist group’s military wing, said in an interview broadcast by the station that the movement’s armed brigades “dug the tunnel, they were responsible for it.”
Ubaida said the tunnel had been dug in an effort to try and force Israel to release some of the thousands of prisoners it holds in its jails. In 2011, Israel freed 1,400 inmates for the return of soldier Gilad Shalit, who militants had captured and spirited across the Gaza border in 2006 through a tunnel.
Israel announced a week ago the discovery of the latest tunnel, which is 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) in length, along the Gaza frontier, and accused Hamas of being behind its construction.
The Israeli military said the tunnel, dug in sandy soil, had been reinforced with concrete supports. Israel responded by halting the transfer of building material to Gaza.
For years, Israel had refused to allow these goods into the territory because it said militants would use them to build fortifications and weapons.
In 2010, as part of its easing of its internationally-criticized Gaza blockade, Israel gave foreign aid organizations the green light to import construction material for public projects. Last month, Israel resumed the transfer of cement and steel to Gaza’s private sector.
Hamas seized the Gaza Strip in 2007, a year after winning a Palestinian election, from forces loyal to Western-backed President Mahmoud Abbas. The movement is shunned by the West over its refusal to renounce violence and recognize Israel.
© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.
Thursday, 17 Oct 2013 03:40 AM
By Joel Himelfarb
© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) – Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails declared a one-day fast on Tuesday in solidarity with four inmates whose hunger strike has fuelled anti-Israel protests in the occupied West Bank.
Samer al-Issawi, one of the four Palestinians who have been on hunger strike, has been refusing food, intermittently, for more than 200 days. His lawyer says his health has deteriorated.
Gaunt and using a wheelchair, Issawi appeared on Tuesday before a Jerusalem civil court, which deferred releasing him for at least another month.
The prisoners’ campaign for better conditions and against detention without trial has touched off violent protests over the past several weeks outside an Israeli military prison and in West Bank towns.
In the Gaza Strip, the Islamic Jihad group said a truce with Israel that ended eight days of fighting in November could unravel if any hunger striker died.
The Palestinian Prisoners Club, which looks after the welfare of inmates and their families, said 800 prisoners were taking part in the daylong fast.
Issawi was among 1,027 jailed Palestinians freed by Israel in 2011 in exchange for Gilad Shalit, a soldier who was abducted on the Gaza border by Hamas, the Islamist militant group that now rules the enclave.
Issawi and Ayman Sharawneh, who has also been on hunger strike, are among 14 Palestinians who have been re-arrested by Israel since being released in the Shalit trade.
Ofir Gendelman, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, wrote on Twitter that Issawi and Sharawneh were detained “because they violated the terms of the Shalit deal by returning to illegal activities which pose a threat.”
Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said he had been in contact with Israel and urged it to release the men. He said Egypt, which helped mediate the Shalit prisoner swap and also negotiated an end to a Palestinian mass hunger strike in Israeli jails last year, was trying to end the new protest.
Israel has defused previous long-term hunger strikes among the some 4,700 Palestinians in its jails by agreeing to release individuals or deporting them to Gaza – a prospect rejected by the four prisoners, who come from Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Ban said on Tuesday that he had raised his concerns in a recent phone call with Netanyahu and that “those detained should be charged and face trial with judicial guarantees in accordance with international standards, or be promptly released.”
In a statement on Monday, France’s Foreign Ministry urged Israel “to be sensitive to the risk of a tragic outcome and to take appropriate measures as a matter of urgency.”
The statement said “administrative detention must remain an exceptional measure of limited duration and be carried out with due regard for fundamental safeguards.”
Israel holds some Palestinians in “administrative detention” based on evidence presented in a closed military court. It says the practice pre-empts militant attacks against it while keeping its counter-intelligence sources and tactics secret.
There were 178 administrative detainees in Israeli jails in January, down from just over 300 around the time of another Palestinian hunger strike campaign last spring, according to Palestinian rights group Addameer.
“The battle waged by me and by my heroic colleagues … is everyone’s battle, the battle of the Palestinian people against the occupation and its prisons,” Issawi said in a message conveyed to the Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners last week.
(Additional reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi in Gaza, Ali Sawafta in Ramallah and Michelle Nichols at the United Nations; Editing by Alison Williams and Doina Chiacu)
Source: YAHOO NEWS.
By Noah Browning | Reuters
GAZA (Reuters) – Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, making his first ever visit to the Gaza Strip, vowed on Saturday never to recognize Israel and said his Islamist group would never abandon its claim to all Israeli territory.
“Palestine is ours from the river to the sea and from the south to the north. There will be no concession on an inch of the land,” he told a sea of supporters at an open-air rally, the highlight of his three-day stay in Gaza.
“We will never recognize the legitimacy of the Israeli occupation and therefore there is no legitimacy for Israel, no matter how long it will take.”
In an uncompromising speech, Meshaal also vowed to free Palestinian prisoners held in Israel, indicating Islamist militants would try to kidnap Israeli soldiers to use as a bargaining chip.
Israel last year released 1,027 Palestinians from its jails in return for the liberation of Gilad Shalit, a conscript soldier who was seized by Palestinian guerrillas in 2006 and hidden for more than five years in Gaza.
Thousands of Palestinian detainees remain in Israel. The Jewish state says many of them are terrorists. Hamas calls them freedom fighters.
“We will not rest until we liberate the prisoners. The way we freed some of the prisoners in the past is the way we will use to free the remaining prisoners,” Meshaal said to cheers from the huge crowd that had flocked to see him.
Meshaal was born in the nearby West Bank but has lived most of his life in exile. He entered Gaza 24 hours ago to attend Saturday’s rally which marks the 25th anniversary of the founding of Hamas.
(Writing by Crispian Balmer; reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi; editing by Jason Webb)
Source: YAHOO NEWS.
“It was like a dream when I reached the six mile limit,” says Mr. Zedan, a father of four who inherited his fishing job from his own father, of his first trip out past the three-nautical-mile limit set forGaza fishermen by Israel more than three years ago, which kept him in shallow, over-fished waters. “Fish are always in the deep water,” he says, explaining why his catch has been paltry in recent years. “But after the new procedures, we can catch more fish and life will get better again.”
Today’s catch included about 88 pounds of Black Seabream and other fish, far more than the usual haul in recent years. “I never had the chance to catch this much fish in the past three years. I think life will smile once again,” he says.
Zedan’s increased fishing territory is one of the first manifestations of the truce between Israel andHamas last week that ended the eight-day Gaza conflict, which killed six Israelis and 166 Palestinians. Gaza has been under an Israeli blockade since the Islamist group Hamas took control of the tiny territory in 2007. Though somewhat eased in recent years, it still limited the goods that come into the territory, prohibited most exports, and limited movement in border areas, including in the waters near Gaza’s shore and the farmland near the border fence with Israel.
According to Hamas, the terms of the ceasefire include Israel lifting the blockade on Gaza by opening the border crossings to movement of people and goods, both on land and at sea. In the first sign of this, in recent days fishermen and farmers have reported that they have ventured farther out to sea and closer to the border fence than previously allowed.
Hamas has claimed the terms of the Egypt-brokered ceasefire are a victory for the group, which maintains an armed wing that battled Israel in the recent conflict. And with restrictions already beginning to ease, most Gazans agree, and are keen to see the ceasefire hold.
Mukhaimar Abu Saada, professor of political science at Gaza’s al-Azhar University, says it is likely the ceasefire will hold for now because it benefits all parties. “Hamas needs stability in Gaza to start the reconstruction process that Qatar is going to finance,” he says. “Hamas also needs to use the Arab support it got during the Israeli offensive and translate this support on the ground” by turning from military actions to its political role, bringing stability to the people instead of war and destruction, he says.
BORDER STILL BLOCKED
Yet one key part of the ceasefire agreement has yet to be implemented: the easing of Israel’s blockade on imports and exports and the movement of people through border crossings, which Israel says is necessary for its own security. It is yet unclear how or whether Israel will follow through on what Hamas says was a term of the agreement. A Hamas delegation is in Cairo today to discuss the terms of the ceasefire, through Egyptian mediators, with the Israeli side. Opening the crossings to increased traffic is one of the items on the agenda, says Moussa Abu Marzouk, the deputy head of Hamas’s political leadership, who lives in Cairo.
He says discussions will have to take place about each specific crossing and what changes will be made, indicating that there may not be an across-the-board easing of restrictions. He indicated that he did not expect substantial changes to the restrictions on exports, which have virtually killed Gaza’s manufacturing sector, which had provided many jobs in the territory where unemployment is rampant. There may be an increase in the agricultural exports, which already take place, he said.
BRIGHTER FUTURE FOR FISHERMEN
Extending the distance Gaza’s fisherman can trawl off the shore of the coastal enclave makes a significant impact in their livelihood.
In the past decade, their territory has been steadily and drastically curtailed. After the Oslo Accords, signed between the PLO and Israel in 1993, Palestinian fishermen were able to fish up to 20 nautical miles offshore. That was reduced to 12 miles in 2002. In 2006, when Hamas captured Israeli soldierGilad Shalit, the fishing zone was reduced to six miles offshore. And after the war in Gaza in 2009, the fishing zone was reduced to three miles offshore. Thousands of fishermen have abandoned their trade as the shallow waters near shore were overfished.
In recent years, fishermen began buying fish from Egypt to sell in Gaza, a business Zedan calls “perilous and costly.” Though he’s thrilled about the new waters that are now open to his nets, he has to repair his fleet of fishing boats, which have been sitting idly in the harbor for years, before he can get back up to speed.
“Now I’m using my light boats. As you can see most of the big boats here need to repaired. This will cost me a lot of money, but I will be able to fix them if we catch more fish,” he says. Two of his boats need repairs after being shot by Israeli naval vessels three years ago when they sailed, under cover of night, into the no-go zone in search of fish.
And while he can go farther than he has in three years, he is still well within the limit set in the Oslo Accords. Abu Marzouk says that Hamas has insisted that fishermen be allowed to fish up to 20 nautical miles offshore, the Oslo limit, but that Israel has refused, agreeing only to six miles. That issue is also on the agenda for the Cairo discussions, he says, adding that Hamas insists on the Oslo limit.
FARMING THE FENCE
Farmers who are now able to visit their land near the border fence are equally happy. On the eastern edge of the Gaza Strip, Nabil Abu al-Qumboz managed Saturday for the first time in five years to reach his farm, which borders Israel.
“I felt both happy and sad. I felt happy because I finally managed to walk on my land, and felt sad when I found it totally destroyed,” he says. Mr. Abu al-Qumboz’s land is located in the buffer zone, a strip of land along the border that has swallowed about 30 percent of Gaza’s agricultural land. Until the ceasefire, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border often shot at anyone who entered the buffer zone.
“This land used to be like paradise. It used to be green and clean, now it is barren and deserted,” says Abu al-Qumboz. “But I will cultivate it and make it more beautiful than before.”
The farmland was his only source of income for his family, he says, and he is eager to regain it. “When Israel banned us from reaching [this land], we lost that source of income and life became very miserable. I hope this truce will continue because war only brings destruction and poverty.”
On Friday, Israeli soldiers fired at a crowd of protesters who neared the border fence, killing one man. And one man was reportedly wounded near the border yesterday by Israeli fire. But farmers have reported greater freedom of movement in several areas, and Hamas deployed police near the border Saturday to prevent clashes that would break the truce.
HELPING THE TRUCE HOLD
Abu al-Qumboz is hopeful that the ceasefire will hold, and says farmers will work to keep it from being violated, for their own good. “Now all farmers can work on their lands and I think they will not let anyone to ruin the truce because this is against our interests. We don’t want to get frustrated once again.”
Fortunately for Abu al-Qumboz, Hamas is not likely to break the ceasefire soon, according to Dr. Abu Saada. “Hamas also knows the eruption of a new round of violence with Israel may cost it a heavy price. The next confrontation will be on the ground, and Hamas realizes that Israel can reoccupy Gaza,” he says.
On the other side, Abu Saada says Israel will be reluctant to anger Egypt, which mediated the truce, by immediately breaking it.
In the wake of the Arab uprisings against autocrats and the Islamist governments that have come to power, some of Israel’s neighbors are now taking bolder stands against Israel’s actions in Gaza. Egypt is one of only two Arab nations with a peace treaty with Israel. Yet Israeli officials have not indicated they intend to allow normal trade through the border crossings. And Egypt is reluctant to open its pedestrian crossing at Rafah to goods unilaterally, for fear Israel could then close its crossings and shift the burden of Gaza’s humanitarian needs onto Egypt.
If Israel does not ease passage of goods and people at the crossings, it may be difficult for Hamas to keep support for maintaining its end of the bargain. Abu Marzouk warned that there would be no ceasefire if Israel did not live up to its side of the deal.
CEASEFIRE SEEN AS VICTORY
Though the status of border crossings has not yet changed, most Gazans view the ceasefire as a victory over Israel. Muhammed Dahman, a jobless engineer, believes that the truce is the best achievement in the history of the Palestinian struggle.
“The ceasefire is a great success. The bloodshed on both sides will stop at least for a long period of time. It’s a good chance for unemployed young people like me who will have job opportunities when the process of reconstruction starts. Finally Gaza will live in peace like the rest countries of the world,” he says.
Not everyone is thinking of peace, however. A Hamas fighter, who refused to give his name, says the truce is a chance to rest and prepare for the next battle.
“We need this truce to get well prepared for the next battle – the battle in which we will sweep Israel and restore our lands. Now Israel and the whole recognizes Hamas as a big power in the region,” he says. “Peace? Peace is a good thing, but not with an occupier. The truce is just a moment of rest for us to continue our fight against Israel.”
Source: YAHOO NEWS.
By Ahmed Aldabba, Kristen Chick | Christian Science Monitor
2 choices no options
Op-Ed article written by Daniel Greenfield
Seven years ago the Israeli government decided to forcibly evict the 8000 Jewish residents of Gaza and withdraw all bases and forces from the area. The experts, some with the government and some with the media, assured everyone that it would be for the best and that withdrawal would actually improve the security situation in the country.
Rocket fired from Palestine by Gaza terrorists towards Israel.
It was put about that resources and lives were being wasted protecting Israelis living in Gaza, while those Israelis insisted that their presence in Gaza was protecting Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The experts laughed at them. Now the experts are keeping an ear open for air raid sirens because as it turned out, those farmers and teachers, those men and women growing lettuce in greenhouses and building homes on hilltops, from which rockets are being launched, were the ones protecting Tel Aviv.
“They are now being asked to relinquish these accomplishments for the greater good,” the government press release said of their houses and farms, of their synagogues and greenhouses. And the greater good was served. The greenhouses were turned into Hamas training camps and the synagogues were burnt to the ground. Rockets fly into the air from the ruins of broken houses.
No longer will your sons have to die in Gaza, the experts said. A month later rockets were falling on Sderot. A year later Gilad Shalit had been kidnapped and Israeli soldiers were back again, dying in a Gaza that was now run by Hamas.
Among the bundle of promises from the Sharon government, was that the Gaza withdrawal was part of an oral agreement with the United States limiting further withdrawals and concessions. That agreement lasted for another few years until Obama took office and no one in his administration could ever remember such an agreement or accept its validity.
“The moment of truth has arrived,” Netanyahu said, on resigning from the Sharon government. “At the moment of truth, a man – especially a leader – must ask himself: ‘What are you doing, what do you stand for, what are you fighting for?’”
These moments of truth come fast and furious in Israel, but hardly anyone waits around for an answer. Not even Netanyahu, who knows better.
Hamas’ objectives have always been straightforward. Its commanders and suicide bombers, its militia members, bomb experts, smugglers, launchers and embezzlers know what they are fighting for.
“Our struggle against the Jews is extremely wide-ranging and grave,” the Hamas charter says. “Israel, by virtue of its being Jewish and of having a Jewish population, defies Islam and the Muslims.” It has the simplicity that you would expect from the Muslim Brotherhood, a fascist organization that drew equal inspiration from the Koran and Nazism.
What however is Israel fighting for? Since Oslo, the slogan of Israeli moderate conservatives has been “Peace with Security” even though it was quite clear that you could pursue peace and have neither peace nor security, or you could pursue security and have peace. Their slogan was muddled and their policies even more so.
Israel may have superior firepower, but like most Western countries, its policymakers are too muddled to be able to apply that firepower in a useful way. The limited scale warfare that has been adopted by America, including drone assassinations and extensive security measures, came out of Israel’s futile efforts to find a more humanitarian style of warfare that would limit civilian and military casualties. But all that these measures really did was make life with terror more manageable.
Withdrawals and a variety of defensive measures such as Iron Dome made it seem like Israel could maintain the status quo. Peace with Security meant no peace and no security, but enough of the illusion of both that it would seem as if the slogan had been fulfilled. Suicide bombings dropped and the terrorists were forced to resort to rocket attacks and drive-by shootings with much lower casualty rates. Rates so low that those who didn’t live in Sderot or Samaria could ignore them.
Instead of ending the threat, Israeli conservatives had found a way to live with the pain of terrorism while turning their focus to economic reforms. The left, with its emphasis on finding a permanent solution through appeasement and withdrawals, was discredited and collapsed. But the problem had not gone away.
While Israel slept, the makeup of the region changed. Hamas had formerly been strongly backed by Syria and Iran, with some support from more distant Islamist Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Egypt and Jordan were both wary of Hamas because their governments were concerned about being overthrown by the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Arab Spring put Islamists into power in Egypt. Suddenly the Muslim Brotherhood was running things on both sides of the Rafah Crossing. Hamas switched its allegiance from the shaky Shiite axis of Iran, Syria and Iraq over to the rising Sunni Islamist axis of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and Egypt. The Islamist terrorist group was no longer an isolated arm of Iranian foreign policy, it could count on the backing of Turkey, Qatar and Egypt.
Not long after Qatar’s leader paid a visit to Hamas, this latest war began. Like so many conflicts with terrorist groups, it isn’t about any specific domestic objective. The objectives are regional and now international. Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood regime is looking shaky and the Gaza lifeline has come at a perfect time, allowing Morsi to turn the attention of Egyptians away from the shaky economy and some dubious proposals, including early store closings, over to familiar territory denouncing Israel.
Under Iran or Egypt, Hamas is not fighting for Palestinian nationalism, which was already a fiction manufactured by Soviet propagandists looking up to prop up a Greater Syria, but to support the aims of Iranian and Egyptian domestic policy. And suddenly those aims were uncomfortably close.
Terrorist militias serve an ideology, but function as a business. Al Qaeda, Hamas, Fatah or any other of the many groups blanketing the region, need money and weapons to be viable. They need state sponsors and the states that sponsor them want something in return. Terrorist groups find sponsors the way that Renaissance artists found patrons, they show off their skills and wait for someone to come calling with money and guns. And then they perform for their patrons.
Israel’s terrorist problem is unsolvable through any form of peace negotiations because there will always be sponsors. A terrorist group may sign a peace agreement, but then it quickly gets on the phone to its sponsors to assure them that it will go on committing acts of terror. Its militias are spun off into “separatist” or “splinter” groups that go on doing what they did before. And the group then asks its new friend American and Israeli friends for guns and money to fight these extremists. That way the terrorist groups get twice the money for terrorism and a farce of counter-terrorism.
Even if a terrorist leader is sincere, his movement is nothing but an umbrella group for terrorist militias. If the umbrella group stops funneling money from state sponsors to local militias, the militias go into business for themselves. And there is such a demand by sponsors for more and more “extreme” militias, that even the existing terrorist groups find themselves having to compete with newer and more violently Islamist militias.
Peace is useless and hopeless under these conditions. Fatah claimed that it could not control Hamas. Hamas claims it cannot control the men shooting rockets out of Gaza. The people shooting rockets out of Gaza will claim that they cannot control their fingers on the trigger. It’s plausible deniability all the way down when it’s convenient, but the real control is in the hands of regional regimes who feed coins into the slot and get out terrorism.
So what then is Israel fighting for? Peace with security. Which means slapping down Hamas hard enough that it will have to wait another 3-4 years before trying the same thing again, this time with bigger and better rockets. That was the policy six years ago and it’s the policy today.
Israel will bomb Hamas targets, kill some of its senior leaders and destroy some of its weapons stockpiles. Its soldiers will enter Gaza, arrest some more senior leaders, walk into traps that will kill some of its best and brightest, and then withdraw again while Hamas celebrates its victory in the Battle of XX or YY where five or six Israeli soldiers were killed, along with ten or fifteen Hamas terrorists. And then the Battle of XX will become the Massacre of XX and lead to a documentary that will be doing an extended tour of American and Canadian campuses during the next Israeli Apartheid Week.
This is the status quo and it cannot be maintained indefinitely. The air raid sirens going off in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem warn that the war is heading into unsustainable territory. As Iran goes nuclear, Hizbullah is trying to become another Iran and Hamas is trying to become another Hizbullah. It is not a nuisance that can be ignored. Israel has no answer to the growing threat except to try and contain it through the same old methods that have now put Jerusalem and Tel Aviv into the line of fire.
Since 1992, Israel has been retreating and those retreats have replaced secure borders with borders of terror. Rather than reversing those withdrawals, the right has been satisfied with trying to stabilize them. But that has only created safe spaces for terror while setting the stage for the next round of retreats by the left which will create even broader territories of terror. These territories are staging areas for the next invasion, which will come not from Hamas, but a Muslim Brotherhood Egypt and an Islamist Turkey, once Israel has been sufficiently softened up.
The only way to end the threat of Hamas in Gaza is by retaking Gaza, but no such policy is on the table. Like America, Israel responds to terrorism not with the aim of achieving decisive victories, but with a policy of intimidating the terrorists into scaling down their attacks. This is a political policy of political generals and leads to terror becoming a permanent institution.
Israel has tried negotiating its way out of the terrorist trap. It has not tried fighting its way out. Israel has tried to escape the occupation, but in a region where you are either the occupier or the occupied, it may have no choice.
Any moment of truth must begin and end with a realistic assessment of the realities that you face. Israel faces a proxy war by its neighbors and like most proxy wars, it is the opening round to a true war ending in true occupation and genocide.
Its neighbors know what they are fighting for. They are fighting Israel for the same reason that Shiites fight Sunnis and that Sunnis persecute Christians. They are fighting Israel because “by virtue of its being Jewish and of having a Jewish population” it is different and must be crushed for the national and religious aims of any proper Islamist country.
But what is Israel fighting for? Like so many modern countries it is fighting so as not to fight. It is fighting for peace. It is fighting to escape from fighting. And so like many modern countries it cannot bring itself to fight hard enough to break the cycle. Instead it fights just hard enough to defer the fight by another few years and the cycle continues.
Israel can retake Gaza once. Or it can retake Gaza every few years. It can have soldiers patrol Gaza or it can have rockets falling on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The options are as unfortunate as they are clear. The only hope for peace lies in driving out the terrorist militias who have turned Gaza and the West Bank into their own Somalia and Afghanistan and reclaiming the territory. Because after this fight is through, the next generation of rockets will go on being built and smuggled. And they will not fall in empty fields.
There can be farms and greenhouses on the hilltops of Gaza. Or there can be rockets. source – Israeli National News.