Menu
ADL Welcomes Announcement That Israeli Judokas Can Participate in UAE Tournament Under Their Own Flag

ADL Welcomes Announcement That Isra…

ADL today welcomed the In...

Israel and Gaza: How did we get here?

Israel and Gaza: How did we get her…

For months, there has bee...

The IDF’s Humanitarian Aid Through the Years

The IDF’s Humanitarian Aid Through …

The IDF values human life...

PM Netanyahu and his wife Sara attend Ponary memorial ceremony

PM Netanyahu and his wife Sara atte…

Standing here today we re...

World Jewish Congress mourns death of Kofi Annan, a ‘tour de force’ within the United Nations

World Jewish Congress mourns death …

The World Jewish Congress...

PM Netanyahu meets with US National Security Adviser John Bolton

PM Netanyahu meets with US National…

I believe that President ...

World Jewish Congress condemns 'disgraceful' neo-Nazi march in Washington: 'Hatred and extremism cannot be allowed to tear the fabric of our society apart'

World Jewish Congress condemns 'dis…

NEW YORK – The World Jewi...

Israel Under Attack

Israel Under Attack

Hamas began shooting proj...

Sniper in Gaza Kills IDF Staff Sergeant Aviv Levi

Sniper in Gaza Kills IDF Staff Serg…

Once again, violent riots...

Tell United Nations To Condemn Hamas’ Environmental War Crimes!

Tell United Nations To Condemn Hama…

We call upon Mr. Erik Sol...

Prev Next
A+ A A-

Israel's UN envoy says Qatar is a 'Club Med for terrorists' destabilizing the Middle East

WJC, Israel's ambassador to the United Nations in New York, Ron Prosor, has lambasted the Persian Gulf emirate Qatar for bankrolling terrorist groups such as Hamas and called it a "Club Med for terrorists".

Qatar's then emir Hamad ben Khalifa Al Thani with Hamas leader Haniyeh in Gaza in 2012In an opinion piece for the 'New York Times', Prosor urged the world to work forcefully to halt Qatar’s ability to bankroll the terror groups, specifically Hamas. “Today, the petite petroleum kingdom is determined to buy its way to regional hegemony, and like other actors in the Middle East, it has used proxies to leverage influence and destabilize rivals,” the ambassador wrote. “Every one of Hamas’s tunnels and rockets might as well have had a sign that read ‘Made possible through a kind donation from the emir of Qatar,’” Prosor added.

He also accused the Qatar-based news network 'al-Jazeera', which is funded by the emirate’s ruling house, of spreading “radical messages that have inflamed sectarian divides” across the Middle East.

“In the early days of the Arab Spring, al-Jazeera’s coverage of popular uprisings earned the network millions of new followers and solidified its status as a mainstream global news network,” Prosor continued. “Qatar capitalized on this popularity by advancing its own agenda — namely, using the Arabic network to promote the views of extremists who were undermining the region’s more pragmatic elements,” he said, later singling out the Muslim Brotherhood as the main group enjoying Doha’s support.

Prosor said that Qatar was deliberately undermining Israel’s efforts to end Hamas’s ongoing rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip by “pulling the strings” of the Palestinian organization and forcing the group to reject cease-fire proposals.

It was “all because Doha wants a starring role in any cease-fire agreement between Hamas and Israel,” Prosor asserted.

According to Prosor, Qatar "harbors leading Islamist radicals like the spiritual leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who issued a religious fatwa endorsing suicide attacks, and the Doha-based history professor Abdul Rahman Omeir al-Naimi, whom the United States Department of Treasury has named as a 'terrorist financier' for Al Qaeda. Qatar also funds a life of luxury for Khaled Meshal, the fugitive leader of Hamas. Mr. Meshal’s uncompromising stance — he has vowed never to recognize Israel — has long been an obstacle to reaching a peace deal. But behind Hamas, Qatar is pulling the strings...It is time for the world to wake up and smell the gas fumes."

The Israeli diplomat suggested that “in light of the emirate’s unabashed support for terrorism,” FIFA should reevaluate its decision to name Qatar the host of soccer’s 2022 World Cup.

The international community had to realize that while “Qatar has spared no cost to dress up its country as a liberal, progressive society,” it was in actuality “aggressively financing radical Islamist movements” and destabilizing the region, Prosor wrote.

“Qatar’s continued sponsorship of Hamas all but guarantees that, whatever happens in this round of hostilities, the terrorist group will rearm and renew hostilities with Israel,” he said. “The only way forward is to isolate Hamas’s last major backer.”
Read more...

Statement by PM Netanyahu


Operation Protective Edge has not ended, because this is a continuing campaign. Our struggle against the terrorist organizations has continued for many years. Our policy toward Hamas is simple: If they fire, they will be hit very hard.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following statement at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv:

"First, I would like to personally turn to the IDF soldiers and commanders, to the bereaved families who lost their dear ones in Operation Protective Edge, to the wounded who are recovering in hospital, to the residents of communities close to the Gaza Strip, to the residents of the Negev, the greater Tel Aviv area, Jerusalem and the coastal plain, and to all citizens of the State of Israel.

I would like to commend you and to thank you for the steadfastness and extraordinary unity that the citizens and soldiers of Israel have shown during the past weeks. I want you to know that the ultimate responsibility for your security and peace is mine, as Prime Minister. I am concerned for the security and peace of all Israelis, both the sons that we have sent to the front and the families that are strong and determined in the home front.

Our goal is that the residents of Kerem Shalom, Sderot and the other communities in the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip, Ashkelon and Tel Aviv will be able to sleep quietly and that the children of Ofakim, Netivot, Ashdod and Be'er Sheva won’t have to run to the protected areas at school.

Along with my colleagues, especially Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon and IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz, who is currently attending a memorial ceremony for IDF soldiers, we are taking all measures to complete the campaign and achieve the goals that we set for ourselves: The restoration of quiet and security for you all. We are doing this in full cooperation, with sagacity, responsibility and determination, and thus shall we continue until the goal is achieved.

One consideration stands before me - the good of the State of Israel. And this consideration is the only one that guides my decision-making, as well as that of the Defense Minister and the Chief-of-Staff, no other object, no harsh words from either the Right or the Left, and I condemn all harsh words, and no other interests, only the responsibility for the security and peace of all Israelis. Accordingly, I will continue to act with determination, responsibility and sagacity.

Operation Protective Edge has not ended, not even for a moment, because this is a continuing campaign and I am not speaking only about recent weeks. Our struggle against the terrorist organizations is long and has continued for many years - against Hezbollah, Al-Qaida, Islamic Jihad and Hamas in Gaza, which is part of an Islamic terrorist network the newest member of which is a murderous gang, another terrorist organization, ISIS in Iraq and Syria, and it has also attacked Lebanon.

In recent weeks we have hit Hamas very hard on the battlefield. All of the networks that it built in order to attack us have been foiled.

First of all, we prevented - via Iron Dome - attacks by thousands of rockets against our communities. We have killed hundreds of terrorists. We have destroyed thousands of rockets and launchers. We broke up the network of assault tunnels that Hamas built over the years in order to launch simultaneous attacks against our communities and we foiled all of its attempts to attack us from land, sea and air.

This is the harshest blow that Hamas has taken since it was founded. And I remind you that we have already dismantled its capabilities in Judea and Samaria and blocked its attempts to carry out a coup. We did all this before and during the operation. We have hit Hamas very hard. We are determined to continue the campaign by all means for as long as it takes. We will not stop until we have assured full security and a quiet life for the residents of the south and for all Israelis.

Hamas thinks that it can wear us down. It is mistaken. The Israeli people are strong. Instead of attrition, Hamas will be crushed - its infrastructures, terrorists and commanders.

Our policy toward Hamas is simple: If they fire, they will be hit, and not just hit but hit very hard. And if Hamas does not understand this today, it will understand it tomorrow. And if not tomorrow then the day after tomorrow because in the Middle East, one needs not just military power but stamina and patience.

My grandfather came here in 1920, here to Jaffa. Several months after he came here, thugs burst into the Jewish immigration office in Jaffa and murdered Jews, in this area, including the well-known author Yosef Haim Brenner. This was almost 94 years ago.

Since then we have been fighting against terrorism - with considerable success. In this time we built our state, developed our cities, developed our economy and created a magnificent army.

Our spirit has not fallen, not even for a moment. On the contrary, it has grown, as has our unity, and we must continue to maintain our internal unity, as well as the courage and resilience of the nation and the home front.

All of these are vital components of our national strength. All of these are foundation stones as we fulfill the mission we have set for ourselves - restoring quiet and security, and I would like to add, in light of the very dramatic changes taking place in our region, not all of them negative, I also add achieving a new diplomatic horizon for the State of Israel."

Following are remarks in English by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the press conference:

I hope President Abbas plays a constructive role. He has an opportunity to do so. I think he has to understand obviously that no one, and least of all Israel can accept the kind of terror attacks that are coming from Hamas. I think that were acting well within our rights, probably more rigorously than any, I would say. No other country has acted more rigorously than Israel in defending itself within legitimate means. And I expect President Abbas to do that.

I will look forward to restarting peace negotiations with a Palestinian government committed to peace with Israel, to the end of terror, to fulfilling the previous obligations that we have. And I think this is part and parcel of the larger picture that I'm talking about. We have to think carefully how we tie in the new circumstances to the advantage of peace and against terror.

Hamas is like ISIS. ISIS is like Hamas. They're branches of the same tree. And I can say that the entire world has been shocked by the atrocities of Isis. You saw this, the beheading of an American journalist, Foley. It shows you the barbarism, the savagery of these people. Well, we face the same savagery. The people who wantonly rocket our cities and want to conduct mass killings, and when they can they murder children, teenagers; they shoot them in the head, throw people from the sixth floor - their own people; and use their people as human shields.

Hamas is ISIS; ISIS is Hamas. They're the enemies of peace; they're the enemies of Israel; they're the enemies of all civilized countries. I believe they're the enemies of the Palestinians. And I'm not the only one who believes it.
Read more...

Hamas admits to kidnapping Israeli teenagers

WJC, A senior Hamas official has acknowledged that the organization’s military wing was behind the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in June.

In a video posted by Israeli media, Hamas spokesman Salach Al-Aruri told a conference organized by the World Association of Muslim Scholars that the armed wing of Hamas, the al-Qassam Brigades, was behind the kidnapping of Israeli teenagers Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaar, and Eyal Yifrach. According to the 'Jerusalem Post', Al-Aruri praised the “heroic action of the Qassam Brigades who kidnapped the three settlers in Hebron.”

Hamas’s leadership had formerly denied any involvement with the kidnappings. Previous reporting in American and Israeli media had suggested that Hamas was either not involved or that the kidnapping was carried out by a rogue group within Hamas.

However, Israeli officials have long insisted that the Hamas organization in Gaza had ordered and financed the attack. Al-Aruri’s statement appears to validate that claim.


Read more...

Ceasefire once again violated by rocket fire


Since the start of Operation Protective Edge, over 3,500 rockets have been fired at Israel from Gaza. PM Netanyahu: "Israel will not negotiate under fire. We will achieve the goal of Operation Protective Edge either militarily or diplomatically, or by a combination of both.​​​​

August 19

At about 3:30 pm, three rockets fired from Gaza hit Beersheva and Netivot, violating the ceasefire.​
PM Spokesperson: This is a “grave and direct violation of the ceasefire to which Hamas committed itself.”
The IDF is targeting terror sites in the Gaza Strip in response to the rocket fire.​


August 18

PM Netanyahu: "The Israeli team in Cairo has been instructed to insist on Israel's security needs and the IDF is prepared for very strong action if fire is resumed."
DM Yaalon: "Operation Protective Edge is not over. As we promised, we will not stop until we bring quiet and security. We are prepared for the results of the discussions in Cairo whether it brings quiet or if someone tries to challenge us with escalation."


August 17

PM Netanyahu at Cabinet meeting: "From the first day, the Israeli delegation to Cairo has worked under clear instructions: Insist on the security needs of the State of Israel. Only if there is a clear response to our security needs will we agree to reach understandings... If Hamas thinks that it can cover up its military loss with a diplomatic achievement, it is mistaken. If Hamas thinks that continued sporadic firing will cause us to make concessions, it is mistaken."


August 14

Despite the firing of eight rockets towards the end of the 72-hour ceasefire at midnight on Wednesday, 13 August, the ceasefire has been extended for five days, until midnight on Monday, 18 August.


August 11

The Kerem Shalom Crossing, closed on Sunday due to rocket fire, was reopened.


August 10

Since the end of the ceasefire (8:01 on Friday, August 8), Hamas has fired over 130 rockets at Israel.

At 12:30pm a barrage of rockets struck inside the Kerem Shalom Crossing through which humanitarian supplies are transfered from Israel to Gaza, forcing its temporary closure until workers can safely operate in the area, and preventing 280 trucks of humanitarian aid, including food and medical supplies, from reaching the people of Gaza.

PM Netanyahu to Cabinet: "Operation Protective Edge is continuing. At no stage did we declare its conclusion. The operation will continue until its goal is met - the restoration of quiet for a long period... Israel will not negotiate under fire and Israel will continue to take all action in order to change the current reality and bring quiet to all of its citizens..."

PM Netanyahu to Pres Rivlin: "We said at the start of the operation that Israel would not negotiate under fire and we have proven that we stand behind these words. Since Hamas violated the ceasefire on Friday, the IDF has struck it very hard. We are determined to achieve the goal of Operation Protective Edge - the restoration of quiet for the residents of Israel for a lengthy period while striking significantly at the terrorist organizations. I said at the beginning of the operation: We will achieve this either militarily or diplomatically, or by a combination of both."

An Egyptian-brokered 72-hour ceasefire came into effect at midnight on Sunday, after Israel said it would not negotiate in Cairo unless the rockets stopped. Minutes before the declared ceasefire, rockets were fired at Beersheba and Tel Aviv, following a day of rocket fire directed at Israel's south.


August 8

Israel agreed to Egypt's call to extend the 72-hour ceasefire. Shortly after 4 am, with the ceasefire still in effect, two rockets struck in open areas near the Eshkol Regional Council.
At 8:01, two rockets were fired towards Ashkelon, marking the renewal of rocket fire from Gaza, as Hamas refused to extend the 72-hour ceasefire.

By 10 am, over 18 rockets were fired from Gaza at Israel: 2 were intercepted over Ashkelon, 14 hit open areas and 2 landed in Gaza.​ At 10:30 rockets were fired at Sderot.
After 2.5 hours of rocket fire from Gaza, PM Netanyahu and DM Yaalon ordered the IDF to respond with force.
Read more...

PM Netanyahu holds press conference

Hamas must be held accountable for the tragic loss of life. It must be ostracized from the family of nations for its callous abuse of civilians, and Hamas must be prevented from rearming as part of Gaza's general demilitarization. 

Following are Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's statement and answers to questions at his press conference for the foreign press on Wednesday evening, 6 August:

"The rectangle that you see in the center is the UNRWA's Shahada al-Manar elementary school for boys.

That's the thing that you see there in reddish color and you see right around that four mortars fires. Five mortars are fired. One mortar fired. One mortar fired. Right around that school. It’s very important to see that and to understand what kind of conditions our forces are facing from Gaza.

You see the big building to the right of the arrows? That's a school. You see civilian houses in a distance of a few meters, a mosque literally touching the school, civilian houses around it. This is where the terror tunnels are dug, and may I say that in many places the terror tunnels were dug from homes. From homes. From inside the homes. So, that is an example again of the use of civilian areas both to fire rockets at our civilians and to dig the terror tunnels for the death squads to reach our people, kidnap and kill them.

I expect, now that the members of the press are leaving Gaza, or some of them are leaving Gaza, and are no longer subjected to Hamas restrictions and intimidations, I expect we’ll see even more documentation of Hamas terrorists hiding behind the civilian population, exploiting civilian targets. I think it’s very important for the truth to come out.

The goal of Operation Protective Edge was and remains to protect Israeli civilians. That means to protect our people from roughly 3,500 rockets, three thousand five hundred rockets that Hamas and the other terrorist groups have fired on our cities, on our towns, on our civilians, on our children in the last month. The goal of this operation was to protect our people from the threat of terror tunnels built to send death squads into Israel, to commit terrorist atrocities against Israel’s civilians, to kidnap and to kill.

Israel deeply regrets every civilian casualty, every single one. We do not target them; we do not seek them. The people of Gaza are not our enemy. Our enemy is Hamas; our enemy are the other terrorist organizations trying to kill our people. And we've taken extraordinary circumstances and measures to avoid civilian casualties. The tragedy of Gaza is that it is ruled by Hamas – a tyrannical and fanatical terror group that relishes civilian casualties. They want civilian casualties. They use them as PR fodder. So it’s not that they don't want them; they want them. And they pretty much say so. Indeed Hamas has adopted a strategy that abuses and sacrifices Gaza’s civilians. They use them as human shields; they endanger them and deliberately increase the death toll. They fire their rockets at Israel from schools, from hospitals, from mosques. You've just seen that. From urban neighborhoods, and right next to schools where journalists are staying. You can discover that for yourself.

Of course nearly everyone says that they support Israel's right to defend itself, and we appreciate those who say this. But there are those who refuse to recognize or to let Israel exercise that right. They would allow Hamas to attack with impunity, because they say they're firing from schools or from mosques or from hospitals and Israel should not take action against them. That's obviously a mistake. It's a moral mistake. It's an operational mistake. Because that would validate and legitimize Hamas's use of human shields, and it would hand an enormous victory to terrorists everywhere and a devastating effect to the free societies that are fighting terrorism.

If this were to happen, more and more civilians will die around the world, because this is a testing period now. Can a terrorist organization fire thousands of rockets at cities of a democracy? Can a terrorist organization embed itself in civilian areas? Can it dig terror tunnels from civilian areas? Can it do so with impunity because it counts on the victimized country to respond as it must, as any country would, and then be blamed for it? Can we accept a situation in which the terrorists would be exonerated and the victims accused?

This is the issue that stands not only before the international community today regarding Israel; it stands before the international community with a wave of radical terrorists that are now seizing vast cities, civilian populations and doing exactly the tactic that Hamas is doing. That's exactly what ISIL is doing, what Hezbollah is doing, what Boko Haram is doing. What Hamas is doing is what is al-Qaeda is doing. And the test now is not merely the test for the international community's attitude towards Israel - an embattled democracy using legitimate means against these double war crimes of targeting civilians and hiding behind civilians. The test is for the civilized world itself, how it is able to defend itself.

Israel accepted and Hamas rejected the Egyptian ceasefire proposal of July 15th. Now I want you to know that at that time, the conflict had claimed some 185 lives. Only on Monday night did Hamas finally agree to that very same proposal, which went into effect yesterday morning. That means that 90%, a full 90% of the fatalities in this conflict could have been avoided had Hamas not rejected then the ceasefire that it accepts now.

Hamas must be held accountable for the tragic loss of life. It must be ostracized from the family of nations for its callous abuse of civilians, and Hamas must be prevented from rearming as part of Gaza's general demilitarization. That is the sure way to guarantee that this conflict will not repeat itself. And I'm very glad that Secretary Kerry and others have put forward the need to demilitarize Gaza. This is a long-standing Palestinian obligation yet to be fulfilled. Setting anew this long-term goal is important for Israel, it's important for the people of Gaza and for all of us who want to see an end to the violence and an end to the suffering.

Every civilian casualty is a tragedy. A tragedy of Hamas's own working. I think the Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel put it best when he said, "Hamas is engaging in child sacrifice. And this is something for which it must be held accountable. For the sake of all our children, it must not be allowed to get away with this."


Question: "[Inaudible] I wanted to ask: You mentioned the Israeli [inaudible]. That was before the ground operation, before the tunnels [inaudible] and I wanted to ask, will you therefore, if Hamas had accepted the ceasefire at that stage, the tunnels would not have been dealt with and I wanted to ask therefore, people are asking, was it a strategic goal, was it the goal of this operation, was Israel kind of improvising, was there a strategic plan here or were you [inaudible].

And a second question if I may, we've seen since the murder of Mohammed Abu Khdair, since the West Bank operations, since the Gaza operation, they are rioting, attacks [inaudible] violence in Jerusalem, riots in Jerusalem, the Temple Mount and I just wondered if there is concern at the spread of the violence [inaudible]."

PM Netanyahu: "Thank you. We started dealing with the tunnels - first of all, we were going to deal with the threats posed from Gaza either by military means or by diplomatic means - one of the two or both. We began dealing with the first tunnel before the Egyptian initiative. I don't know if you're aware of it, but we had information about an impending attack from one terror tunnel and we took action before we had the air attacks on our, before we had the air attacks on Gaza in response to their rocketing attacks. We actually dealt with one tunnel.

If we could have dealt with the rest of the tunnels through the Egyptian proposal, which had an immediate ceasefire as we have now, and both sides could raise the topics and specifically the issue of security would be released. That was mentioned there. When we said security, we meant obviously that we would bring up the question of the tunnels: could we deal with it through non-military means and the other threat against Israel - and that's preferable. As it turned out, Hamas rejected this and therefore we had to deal with them in military means. So we addressed the other tunnels, in addition to the one we had already addressed with military means by doing the, by actually going in.

That first tunnel was struck from the air. We didn't know that it achieved the result and it's very hard to achieve that result from the air. You either achieve it by agreement or you achieve it by actually going in to the other side, finding the points of origin of the tunnel or a point of origin, identify the trajectory of the tunnel and then dismantling it, destroying it through various means. And that's basically what we did. If we could have done it diplomatically, fine. If not, we did it militarily and the army just told us that they completed this activity and then we went out. We went in to deal with the tunnels; we went out after we finished dealing with the tunnels.

[Regarding the Jerusalem question] Well, obviously we're concerned. We hope that everyone, everyone will work now to calm the situation. That has been our goal from the very beginning in Jerusalem, everywhere, in the Palestinian areas. We don't need to see loss of life there anymore than we want to see it on the Gaza front. I want to make sure that - you mentioned the Temple Mount - so I want to make sure that everyone understands that Israel respects and will continue to respect the status quo on the Temple Mount. We know that there are arrangements there, including the traditional role of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and we are not about to change it."

CNN: "Prime Minister, [unclear] for CNN. First of all, the IDF has suffered the largest casualties yet in any Palestinian-Israeli conflict. We understand 61 soldiers killed, three civilians. We've seen more than 1,800 people killed in Gaza, 900 or almost 1,000 of which are civilians, estimated. Do you really feel that your actions, Israel's actions were proportionate? And were you using the appropriate precision weapons even if Hamas is using them as human shields?"

PM Netanyahu: "Why don't you ask the first question? Let me answer that, then you can ask the second question. Why don't we do that? So first of all, the answer to both your questions is yes, I think it was justified, I think it was proportional and that doesn't in any way take away from the deep regret for, we have for the loss of a single civilian. We've gone to extraordinary lengths to avoid civilian casualties. Hamas has gone to extraordinary lengths to ensure that they have civilian casualties, as you've just seen.

Now, let's imagine your country - it could be any country, could be the US, could be Britain, could be Germany, France, India, you name it. Let's imagine your country attacked by 3,500 rockets. Your territory is infiltrated by death squads. What would you do? What would you demand that your government do to protect you and your family? You'd demand that and you'd be right because security, protecting the people, is the first obligation of any government. But what if the rockets are fired from civilian areas? And the tunnels come from schools, from mosques, from private houses where civilians live? Should you then not take action?

Do the terrorists have immunity because of the fear that some civilians will unfortunately get hurt?

Let me tell you what I think disproportionality is: It's not acting to defend your people and giving the terrorists a license to kill. I think that's disproportionate and that's wrong.

Financial Times: "Thanks very much. Mr. Prime Minister, are you prepared to give Abu Mazen [PA President Mahmoud Abbas] and the Palestinian Authority a leading role in the post-war order in Gaza? And if so, can you talk about that, specifics, including policing the borders?"

PM Netanyahu: "We have cooperated and are cooperating with the Palestinian Authority on matters that you raised. There are other matters as well, and the answer is that we are cooperating with them and are prepared to see a role for them.

Q: [Inaudible]

PM Netanyahu: "We're dealing with that right now. I think it's important in the reconstruction of Gaza, in assuring the humanitarian aid and also the security questions that arise, that we have these discussions and the cooperation with them. And in fact, the ceasefire was coordinated, among other things, with them. It came from Egypt, but they were aware of it and they were speaking to, for the factions, as you know.

As far as the humanitarian aid, since I mentioned it: You know, we've given 2,000, we've passed roughly 2,000 trucks of humanitarian aid during the last month or so in which this conflict raged. We even gave humanitarian aid - most of these trucks came during the fire. A lot of them came during the ceasefire, the humanitarian ceasefire that Hamas refused to recognize for its own people. It's quite amazing. We have to do the ceasefire, the humanitarian ceasefire efforts when Hamas doesn't do it so we even sometimes, many times actually, unilaterally called ceasefire humanitarian pauses, which they didn't recognize, but we put in the trucks.

We opened a field hospital right on the Gaza passage, in the Erez Crossing on our side, and we called Palestinians who have a problem with hospitals that were being used by Hamas as terrorist sites, as command centers, as firing posts, and we said, okay, we'll open a field hospital and we did on our side. And you know what Hamas did? It prevented and warned Palestinians not to go there. Well some of them straggled through somehow and we dealt with them. And we are now dealing with our people to address the fuel, throughout the conflict, fuel, electricity stoppages and so on.

So Israel is going all out on humanitarian effort, and we're prepared to do more and we think more should be done. We just hope that Hamas will start caring for its people and stop preventing humanitarian aid for them, stop sacrificing them as human shields, stop shooting them when they protest because that's what happens when people protest and they say to Hamas, "What have you done to us?" Well, they just execute them. Just as they prevent journalists from putting out the full truth and journalists, justifiably are concerned. I can understand that.

And Hamas, Hamas does incredible things, just incredible things. There is a report - it's not my report, it's the Journal of Palestinian Studies in 2012. Note the year. It's a few years ago and they've since, they've done more things. Hamas officials, according to the Journal of Palestinian Studies, reported that at least 160 children had been killed digging the tunnels. There is something fundamentally wrong here. Hamas is sacrificing its people, sacrificing its children and it should not be allowed to get away with it. These are tragedies. The loss of a single child is a tragedy. The loss of mothers, women, families, is a tragedy. But this tragedy should be put squarely where the responsibility for it belongs. The responsibility for this tragedy belongs with Hamas. It's a deliberate strategy."

Washington Post: "Mr. Prime Minister, you mentioned Secretary Kerry's comments supporting demilitarization of Gaza. I'm wondering if you also support what he said about the need to think bigger now, to use the Cairo talks as an opportunity to think more broadly about a two-state solution and if so, what will Israel do to move in that direction?"

PM Netanyahu: "First of all, I had a very good conversation with John, with Secretary Kerry today. We work very closely with him and with the US Administration, with President Obama, throughout this operation and before. And there are reports of the substance and the tone of our relationship that are distorted. They don't capture the essence of the common values that bind our societies together and bind our governments together. And I appreciate the support that the United States has shown for Israel's right to self-defense and the appropriation that I asked for, for an additional 225 million dollars of support for Iron Dome. I think these are all very important things for which the people of Israel are deeply grateful and I want to express that.

I think the Secretary's statement on demilitarization as a strategic long-term goal is very important. I think he's right that there are opportunities now, perhaps opportunities that we have not seen before with a realignment of important parties in the Middle East to be able to fashion a new reality, one more conducive to the end of violence, to the establishment of calm, a sustainable peace or at least a sustainable quiet which can lead to other things. That is yet to be seen, but that is a goal I think worthy of exploration and pursuit. That's my goal."
Read more...

Israel agrees to Egyptian ceasefire proposal

Since the start of Operation Protective Edge, 3,360 rockets have been fired at Israel from Gaza.

The 72-hour ceasefire between Israel and Hamas is holding as it enters its second day, with no rockets being fired at Israel. All IDF forces have moved out of the Gaza Strip.

August 5

MFA Spokesperson: "Israel has notified Egypt that it has agreed to their ceasefire proposal." The 72-hour ceasefire went into effect at 8:00 AM.

IDF Spokesperson: All ground troops will have pulled out of the Gaza Strip by the start of the ceasefire. The IDF will maintain defensive positions near the Gaza border. Israel completed the destruction of 32 cross-border tunnels.

In the last hour before the ceasefire, rocket barrages are fired at Ashdod, Ashkelon, Beersheba, Rishon Lezion, Gush Etzion, Bethlehem and Maale Adumim, east of Jerusalem.
An M-75 rocket fired from Gaza in the minutes before the ceasefire took effect landed near a mosque, striking a home in Beit Sahour, located between Jerusalem and Bethlehem.


August 4

Israel authorized a humanitarian window to take place in the Gaza Strip from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The IDF will continue to neutralize the Hamas tunnel network and will respond to any attempt to harm Israeli civilians or IDF soldiers.


August 3

IDF Spokesperson: On the evening of Monday, July 28, IDF forces operating in the area of the Karni Crossing engaged terrorists emerging from a terror tunnel inside Israeli territory. Five soldiers were killed. During the operational activity to neutralize the tunnel, IDF forces found a wide array of weaponry, including rocket-propelled grenades, mortars, explosives, launchers, and AK-47 assault rifles. In addition, three motorcycles were found, ready for use, facing the opening of the tunnel into Israeli territory, intended for use in a complex terror attack on Israeli residential communities in close proximity to the Gaza border.


At 11:30 pm, a special committee led by the IDF Chief Rabbi announced the death of Lt. Hadar Goldin, 23, an infantry officer in the Givati Brigade who was killed in battle in the Gaza Strip on Friday.


Over the past 24 hours, the IDF struck 200 terror targets in the Gaza Strip, including tunnels, weapon manufacturing and storage facilities, and command and control centers. Among the targets was a Hamas military wing facility that was used for research and development of weapon manufacturing located within the Islamic University. In addition, weapon caches and Hamas command and training facilities concealed within five Gazan mosques were targeted. IAF aircraft targeted the launcher used to fire at the Tel Aviv area earlier this morning.


August 1

Hamas fired at IDF forces in southern Gaza at 9:30 this morning in violation of the humanitarian ceasefire. IDF soldier suspected kidnapped. Extensive search underway.

Two IDF soldiers were killed in the suspected kidnapping of 2nd-Lt. Hadar Goldin in Rafah.

PM Netanyahu speaks with US Secretary Kerry

Once again, Hamas and the terror organizations in Gaza have violated the ceasefire to which they committed themselves to the UN Secretary-General and US Secretary of State Kerry.

UN special envoy Robert Serry issues statement: He was informed by Israel of "a serious incident this morning" during the truce involving "a tunnel behind IDF lines in the Rafah area of the Gaza Strip." If confirmed, "this would constitute a serious violation of the humanitarian ceasefire in place since 8 am this morning by Gazan militant factions, which should be condemned in the strongest terms."

White House press calls the reported kidnapping of an IDF soldier by Hamas a "barbaric violation of ceasefire agreement" negotiated by the United States and United Nations.

US President Obama: "I have - unequivocally condemned Hamas and the Palestinian factions that were responsible for killing two Israeli soldiers and abducting a third almost minutes after a ceasefire had been announced...
I have been very clear throughout this crisis that Israel has a right to defend itself. No country can tolerate missiles raining down on its cities and people having to rush to bomb shelters every twenty minutes or half hour. No country can or would tolerate tunnels being dug under their land that can be used to launch terrorist attacks...
It's going to be very hard to put a ceasefire back together again if Israelis and the international community can't feel confident that Hamas can follow through on a ceasefire commitment. And it's not particularly relevant whether a particular leader in Hamas ordered this abduction, the point is that when they sign onto a ceasefire, they're claiming to speak for all the Palestinian factions. If they don't have control of them and just moments after a ceasefire's signed you have Israeli soldiers being killed and captured, then it's hard for the Israelis to feel confident that a ceasefire can actually be honored. "

US Secretary Kerry: "The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms today’s attack, which led to the killing of two Israeli soldiers and the apparent abduction of another. It was an outrageous violation of the cease-fire negotiated over the past several days, and of the assurances given to the United States and the United Nations. Hamas, which has security control over the Gaza Strip, must immediately and unconditionally release the missing Israeli soldier... The international community must now redouble its efforts to end the tunnel and rocket attacks by Hamas terrorists on Israel and the suffering and loss of civilian life."

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon: "The Secretary-General condemns in the strongest terms the reported violation by Hamas of the mutually agreed humanitarian ceasefire which commenced this morning. He is shocked and profoundly disappointed by these developments... Such moves call into question the credibility of Hamas' assurances to the United Nations. The Secretary-General demands the immediate and unconditional release of the captured soldier."

1:00am: Israel accepts humanitarian ceasefire

In accordance with the authority granted by the Security Cabinet to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defense, Israel has accepted the UN/US proposal for a 72-hour humanitarian cease-fire beginning 8:00 am Friday, 1 August 2014.
Read more...

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper: Hamas responsible for civilian deaths in Gaza

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper accused Hamas for the deaths of civilians in Gaza. In a television interview conducted last night Harper said: "Obviously, no one likes to see the suffering and loss of human life., But we see the Hamas terrorist organization responsible for it." Harper added that "Hamas is initiated to continue the conflict, and will continue to strive for the destruction of Israel."
Read more...

FM Liberman meets with German parliamentarians

What is important for the future is the creation of a control mechanism that will ensure that the funds and building materials that enter Gaza will be used solely for the building of civilian infrastructures - such as schools and health clinics - and not to produce rockets or to dig new tunnels.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman met at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem with a delegation of German parliamentarians who came to show solidarity and to express support for Israel. FM Liberman thanked them for their support and voiced his appreciation of the positions adopted by Germany in the European Union and other international forums with regard to Israel.

FM Liberman said that what is happening today in the Middle East is a colliding of civilizations between the free world and radical Islam, and what is happening in Gaza is only one manifestation of this - one of a long list of conflicts: in Libya, in Iraq, and elsewhere. This struggle is the greatest challenge facing the free world since World War II, and Europe must be committed to supporting Israel. Beyond the moral aspects of the issue, Israel is the vanguard on this front, because it represents Western values. This is why Islamic extremists are fighting Israel, said Liberman, and added that he is not sure that everyone in Europe understands this.

FM Liberman stressed that, with regard to Gaza, Israel has done what the international community and Europe advocated for years, dismantling all the Israeli communities there. In return, instead of peace and stability, we received radical Islam, which has been attacking Israel from Gaza with rockets and other terrorist activities, virtually since the day Israel disengaged from Gaza.

Hamas does not advocate the establishment of a Palestinian state or a two-state solution, but the establishment of a single, large Islamic state, said Liberman.

What is important for the future is the creation of a control mechanism that will ensure that the funds and building materials that enter Gaza will be used solely for the building of civilian infrastructures - such as schools and health clinics - and not to produce rockets or to dig new tunnels.
Read more...

Ambassador Eviatar Manor addresses the Human Rights Council

Hamas is committing war crimes when it fires rockets and missiles indiscriminately at Israeli towns and villages. In ten days, Hamas fired 2000 rockets - that's 2000 war crimes. And this Council sits in judgment of Israel?

Thank you, Mr. President.

The request to convene this Special Session, and at this particular juncture, is a return to the knee jerk reaction of this Council whenever Israel defends itself. Some members demanding this Special Session are themselves no paragons of human rights. Yet their Pavlovian instinct demands they react against Israel, in order to divert attention from their own human rights violations. So, we are back at our ritual of naming and shaming Israel.

With 2000 rockets raining on Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Beer Sheva from above and murderous terrorists squads tunneling into our villages from below, what can life-seeking Israelis do but go out and defend themselves?

Mr. President,

Hamas began firing rockets on our towns and villages immediately after it had abducted and killed three Israeli teenagers. In the weeks that followed, Israel restrained itself. But after 300 rockets a day were indiscriminately fired at Israeli civilians, Israel had no choice but to respond.

Israel’s Government would not be doing its duty to protect its citizens had it not done so. Every country has the duty to defend itself and this principle is enshrined in international law. Any other country in the world would have done the same.

Hamas is committing war crimes when it fires rockets and missiles indiscriminately at Israeli towns and villages. Hamas is protecting its launching sites with the civilian residents of Gaza. Another war crime; Hamas has built tunnels from Gaza into Israel, using them to try to attack villages like Kerem Shalom and Sufa. Another war crime; in ten days, Hamas fired 2000 rockets - that's 2000 war crimes. Hamas has cynically concealed munitions in UNRWA schools, as UNRWA itself admitted again yesterday. A war crime; Hamas used tons of concrete provided as humanitarian aid to build a web of tunnels under hospitals, mosques, schools, homes extending into Israel to be used to abduct and murder Israelis. This, instead of building shelters for the residents of Gaza.

And this Council sits in judgment of Israel? There can be no moral symmetry between a terrorist aggressor and a democracy defending itself. Mr. President, Madam High Commissioner, in the protection of the human rights of Israelis, this Council and you, Madam, have failed dismally.

Mr. President,

Israel’s restraint was met by Hamas aggression.

Israel agreed to an Egyptian brokered cease fire to begin July 15. Hamas rejected it outright. Israel agreed to a humanitarian cease fire July 17, but Hamas shot its way through it. It rejected Egyptian efforts on the 17th when Israel sent top negotiators to Cairo with a view yet again to conclude a cease fire. Hamas is determined to maximize murder and mayhem. In these conditions, Israel had no option but to start ground operations, confronting Hamas with a strong, unambiguous response.

Israel will destroy Hamas' military infrastructure. However, the Gaza residents are not our enemies. Israel is fully committed to international law. Israeli commanders and soldiers are guided by international law in their actions. In line with the requirements of international law, IDF actions in Gaza are targeted solely against military targets. The IDF makes great efforts to minimize any incidental harm that may be caused to civilians as a result of an attack on a military target. The IDF took all available precautionary measures and has warned residents to leave prospective combat areas but Hamas urged them to ignore Israeli warnings and remain in their homes, using civilians as human shields.

Hamas bears the responsibility for the injuries sustained by Gaza residents. Israel deeply regrets any civilian losses caused by its operation, and has already started investigating itself. We do not confront the Salvation Army but a brutal terrorist organization. And lest we forget; Hamas is part of the Palestinian unity government. Mr. Abbas should dissolve this government and choose peace.

Mr. President,

This Council has lost its bearings.

This Special Session is misguided, ill-conceived and counter-productive to efforts made as we speak to end hostilities.

The Resolution in front of you is totally unbalanced, asymmetric and destructive. It pours gasoline on the fire. It rewards the terrorist aggressors and punishes the side which acts in order to protect its citizens.

This Council should stop looking for the coin under the street lamp. It can regain its moral authority by unequivocally condemning Hamas. It cannot be supportive of an organization that is no different than al-Qa'ida, ISIS, Boko-Haram, Hezbollah, and other extreme radical Islamist organizations that negate the very essence of human rights as we know them and threaten democracy, the rule of law, security and stability of a country, an entire region, and the whole world.

What this Council can do is reject outright and vote no on this absolutely one-sided Resolution.
What this Council cannot do is stop Israel from exercising its right to self-defense.

Thank you, Mr. President.
Read more...

Press Conference: PM Netanyahu with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon


Prime Minister Netanyahu:

Mr. Secretary, I appreciate the fact that you came here and that you took time to see what we’ve just shown you. I think it’s clear that Israel is doing what any country would do if terrorists rained down rockets on its cities and towns – hundreds of rockets, day after day, week after week. In addition, as I’ve shown you, Hamas has dug terrorist tunnels under hospitals, mosques, schools, homes, to penetrate our territory, to kidnap and kill Israelis.

Now, in the face of such wanton terrorism, no country could sit idly by. It would exercise its right, inherent and legitimate right of self-defense as we are doing, and act decisively to end the threat to its citizens. This is what Israel is doing. We did not seek this escalation, Mr. Secretary. We accepted the Egyptian ceasefire proposal. I don’t need to remind you it was a proposal that was supported by the UN, by the Arab League, by the United States, by Europe. Hamas rejected it. We accepted the humanitarian ceasefire proposal that the UN proposed afterward. Hamas rejected that. We accepted the ceasefire proposal of the Red Cross in Shejaia. Hamas rejected that, twice. I think the international community must take a clear stand; it must hold Hamas accountable for consistently rejecting the ceasefire proposals and for starting and prolonging this conflict. The international community must hold Hamas accountable for its increasing and indiscriminate attacks on Israeli civilians. And the international community must hold Hamas accountable for using Palestinian civilians as human shields deliberately putting them in harm’s way, deliberately keeping them in harm’s way.

Mr. Secretary, we have made every effort and will continue to make every effort to avoid civilian casualties. We are targeting Hamas terrorist targets. We’ve just shown you these targets, embedded in civilian areas, embedded in mosques, embedded in hospitals, embedded in agricultural schools. Hamas is embedded in there in order to sustain civilian casualties, because they know that we will have to protect our citizens; that we have to act against their targets. So they are committing a double war crime: both targeting our civilians and hiding behind their civilians. And they want, I repeat: They want more civilian casualties, whereas we want no civilian casualties at all, and we’re taking the utmost pain to minimize that. I think the people of Gaza, and that’s become absolutely clear to the world, are the victims of the brutal Hamas regime. They are holding them hostage and they are hiding behind them.
You know, Mr. Secretary, the international community has pressed us to give cement to Gaza to build schools, hospitals, homes. And now we see what has happened to those deliveries of cement. They have been used to dig tunnels next to a kindergarten, not to build a kindergarten but to build a tunnel that penetrates our territory so that Hamas can blow up our kindergartens and murder our children. They’ve used for a long time our willingness to try to keep civilians at a minimum. They’ve been using them to keep on firing at us. We have even opened up a field hospital, Mr. Secretary, to help Hamas civilians, and Hamas is preventing civilians of Gaza from going to our hospital. I believe that you understand this. I believe that you understand that it is the right of every state to defend itself. And Israel will continue to do what it needs to do to defend its people.
Mr. Secretary, this is not only our right; this is our duty.

US Secretary General Ban:

Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister. Shalom, ladies and gentlemen.
Mr. Prime Minister, thank you again for your warm welcome. It’s always a pleasure to visit, for me, Israel. But this time I am standing with a very heavy, heavy heart. As we speak, rockets from Hamas and Islamic Jihad continue to be fired on Israel. I have just seen myself, with the Prime Minister, all kinds of rockets fired by Hamas onto the heads of these people and neighborhoods of where many people are living. This is quite shocking. And I have seen all these photos and videos and evidences myself. The United Nations’ position is clear: we condemn strongly the rocket attacks.
These must stop immediately. We condemn the use of civilian sites, schools, hospitals and other civilian facilities for military purposes. Your country won’t accept rockets raining down on its territory. And all countries and parties have an international obligation to protect civilians. I extend my deep condolences to the Prime Minister and to the people of Israel on the fatalities from the recent escalation. We’ll not forget the killing and abduction of Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaer and Naftaly Frankel. I was deeply moved by the words of Rachel Frankel as she buried her own son. I quote: “We will learn to sing without you,” she said. “We will always hear your voice in our hearts.” And she went on to reach out to the family of Muhammad abu Khdeir, the 16-year-old boy burned alive simply because of who he was. Mrs. Frankel said, I quote: “No mother or father should ever have to go through what we are going through, and we share the pain of Muhammad’s parents.” End quote. It is that spirit of shared anguish, humanity and hope that calls me here. Too many Palestinian and Israeli mothers are burying their children. We owe it to their sacrifice and to Israeli and Palestinian aspirations for peace, to intensify efforts to find a solution.

Over the last three days I have met with the leadership in Qatar, Kuwait, Egypt. I met President Abbas in Qatar and US Secretary of State, John Kerry, in Cairo yesterday. This is all part of a concerted international effort for urgent action. My message to Israelis and Palestinians is the same: Stop fighting! Start talking and take on the root causes of the conflict so we are not back to the same situation in another six months or a year. We must address these underline issues, including mutual recognition, occupation, despair and denial of dignity, so people do not feel they have to resort to violence as a means of expressing their grievances. Military actions will not increase Israel’s stability and security in the longer time. I fully share and appreciate the legitimacy, the security concerns and right to defend your country and citizens. Israel is a democratic strong country, and I urge you to demonstrate fortitude by exercising maximum restraint. Recovery and reconstruction work is more needed than ever. Governance issues must be addressed by one legitimate Palestinian government adhering to the PLO commitment – non-violence, recognition of Israel and respect for previous agreements. The United nations will continue to support these efforts.
Prime Minister Netanyahu, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am always energized to find my visit to Israel and the region. Even in the darkest hours, the people of this country have such a tremendous capacity for generosity and good. I understand that some may feel threatened by negative regional developments and disenchanted with the peace process, but there is no viable alternative to a two-state solution. No closure, no barrier can separate Israelis and Palestinians from a fundamental truth: you share a common future. You have my strongest possible commitment that I will to do all I can for lasting peace and security, freedom and justice for all Israelis and Palestinians.
Thank you, Toda.


Prime Minister Netanyahu:

Mr. Secretary, I’m going to say a few words in Hebrew to the people of Israel, but I do want to say that you spoke about the regional developments. What we’re seeing here with Hamas is another instance of Islamist extremism, violent extremism that has no resolvable grievance. Hamas is like ISIS; Hamas is like al-Qaeda; Hamas is like Hezbollah; Hamas is like Boko Haram. And there are so many other of these Islamist groups that defy modernity, that reject pluralism, that reject respect of human rights. That use their own people as human shields, that attack indiscriminately civilians. This is part of a larger pattern. What grievance can we solve for Hamas. Their grievance is that we exist. They don’t even want a two-state solution. They don’t want any state solution. Some of them say they should open a great movement and dissolve all the regimes around us. And therefore in the face of such extremism, in the face of such violence, in the face of such terror, Israel has no option but to defend itself. This is what we’re doing, as is our right. We have sought to end this from the start with ceasefires, and as I told you, they refused and they continue. So we will do what we need to do to defend ourselves.
[The following is translated from Hebrew]
Citizens of Israel, I have explained to the United Nations Secretary General, who came here in friendship, that we must defend ourselves. It is our right. The IDF will continue to hit Hamas terror targets hard, until we achieve the goal of the operation – restoring a long-term quiet for the citizens of Israel, while dealing the terror infrastructure a harsh blow.

I must tell you that your forbearance has allowed us to run this operation rationally, wisely and in the correct way. Your resilience is a strategic asset to the State of Israel; and Hamas, who thought it could break our home front easily, was taken by surprise.
On behalf of all Israel’s citizens, on your behalf, I send condolences to the families of the fallen, I wish a speedy recovery to those injured and I pray for our soldiers.
We are defending our home, we will protect our home.
Read more...
Subscribe to this RSS feed

Sections

Jewish Traditions

About Us

Community

Cooperations

Follow Us