Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
View this page at
Daily Alert Mobile
RSS Feed


July 14, 2014

In-Depth Issue:

Video: Interview with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Fox News)
  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday he will use “any means necessary” to stop Islamic militant group Hamas from bombing civilians, but declined to say when his military action will stop or whether he will continue using ground troops. "We're using missile defense to protect our civilians. [Our enemies] are using their civilians to protect their missiles," Netanyahu said.

Canadian Prime Minister Harper Urges World Leaders to Side with Israel (Macleans - Canada)
  Terrorists are deliberately placing people in the path of an Israeli offensive aimed at stopping rocket attacks from Gaza, says Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
  “The indiscriminate rocket attacks from Gaza on Israel are terrorist acts, for which there is no justification,” Harper said in a statement issued Sunday.
  “It is evident that Hamas is deliberately using human shields to further terror in the region.”
  "Failure by the international community to condemn these reprehensible actions would encourage these terrorists to continue their appalling actions,” Harper said.
  “Canada calls on its allies and partners to recognize that these terrorist acts are unacceptable and that solidarity with Israel is the best way of stopping the conflict.”

Video: Iran Foreign Minister Expresses Support for Hamas (NBC)

Video: Dutch Prime Minister - Hamas Is a Terrorist Organization (YouTube - Dutch)
  "Major differences between 2012 and situation now. Hamas uses population as human shields, launches rockets from population centers and hospitals. Hamas fights in a brutal and cruel way."
  "No room for comparison between Israel and Hamas. Hamas is a terrorist organization that targets the Israeli population centers; Israel is reacting with great restraint. Israel understands that Hamas wants civilians to be killed."

Video: IDF Pilot Calls off Strike in Gaza after Spotting Children Nearby (Ynet News)
  An IAF pilot sent on Thursday to attack a terrorist target in the Gaza Strip called off the operation after spotting children approaching the target. "There are people close to our target,” the pilot is heard saying on the radio. “It looks like there are people, possibly children, in our targeted area.”
  A military official is then heard responding: “We are not going to strike this target now, let’s move on.”

Leviathan Partners: Size of Israeli Gas Field 16% Bigger than Estimates - Eran Azran (Ha'aretz)
  The size of natural gas reserves in Israel’s Leviathan offshore natural-gas field is 16.4% bigger than previously estimated, partners in the field said on Sunday. Leviathan is the world’s largest offshore gas find in the past decade.

Key Links 
Media Contacts 
Back Issues 
Fair Use/Privacy 

News Resources - North America and Europe:

  • Kerry Tells Netanyahu U.S. Still Ready to Broker Gaza Truce
    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday phoned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to renew a U.S. offer to help mediate a truce as Israel stepped up its military campaign against the Gaza Strip. Kerry "highlighted the U.S. concern about escalating tensions on the ground," a senior State Department official said.
      The top US diplomat also told the Israeli leader that he was engaged with regional leaders "to help to stop the rocket fire so calm can be restored and civilian casualties prevented."
      Kerry had condemned the militant rocket attacks from Gaza into southern Israel, and "stressed Israel's right to defend itself." But he also "underscored the United States' readiness to facilitate a cessation of hostilities, including a return to the November 2012 ceasefire agreement." (Agence France Presse/Daily Star)
  • Anti-Israel Protesters Attack Paris Synagogue - Marcy Oster
    Dozens of young men protesting Israel’s actions in Gaza briefly besieged a Paris synagogue and clashed with security. At least three Jews were taken to hospital as a result of the clashes that erupted on Sunday between the protesters and young Jewish men who guarded the Synagogue de la Roquette in Paris.
      The police blocked the entrance to the synagogue while close to 200 congregants were inside and as the protesters chanted anti-Semitic slogans and hurled objects at the synagogue and its guards. Video
      The attack came on the heels of several anti-Semitic incidents that coincided with Israel’s offensive in Gaza, which began on July 8. In one attack in Belleville north of the French capital, a firebomb was hurled at a synagogue, causing minor damage. In another attack, a man sprayed pepper spray on the face of a 17-year-old Jewish girl. (JTA)
  • Iran's Aid to Hamas Has Bearing on Nuclear Talks, House Panel Chief Says - Howard LaFranchi
    The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), is citing what he says is Iran’s role in providing Hamas with the longer-range rockets it is firing into Israel as one more reason to proceed cautiously and set demands high before reaching a deal with Tehran on its nuclear program. Royce told reporters that the M-302 rockets “which Iran transferred to Hamas [serve as] a good reminder in terms of the nature of the regime.” (Christian Science Monitor)
  • Israel Readies First U.S. Co-Production Order for Iron Dome - Barbara Opall-Rome
    Israel fielded its seventh Iron Dome intercepting battery under fire last week in an operational debut that destroyed five Gaza-launched rockets headed for the nation’s economic and cultural heart of Tel Aviv. In its escalating campaign against Hamas and other Gaza-based groups, the Israeli-developed and U.S.-funded Iron Dome — with an estimated success rate of 90 percent — is demonstrating game-changing value against asymmetrical threats, Israeli officials say.
      As Rafael works on the eighth battery in parallel to fast-tracked production of intercepting missiles, it is preparing to receive the first Defense Ministry procurement contract for U.S.-based builds in support of Iron Dome. The firm recently finalized an agreement making Raytheon its U.S. partner in co-production of major components for the Iron Dome’s Tamir intercepting missile. (Defense News)
  • Christian Embassy Delivers Bomb Shelters to Embattled Kfar Aza
    On Thursday (10 July), the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem delivered two portable bomb shelters to the community of Kfar Aza along the Gaza border, which has been repeatedly targeted by Hamas rocket attacks over recent days. The delivery of the shelters came the day after an art school for the community’s children suffered a direct hit by a Kassam rocket from Gaza and was completely gutted. (Christian Embassy)
  • News Resources - Israel, the Mideast, and Asia:

  • Gazan Rocket Knocks Out Power for 70,000 Gazans - Sharon Udasin
    A rocket fired from Gaza knocked out a power line in Israel that supplied electricity to 70,000 Gazans, according to the IDF Spokesman's Office on Sunday night. The outage was caused by shrapnel from the rocket fire that hit the high voltage line that feeds electricity into Gaza, the Israel Electric Corporation said. Repair of the line will not be carried out as long as IEC workers lives would be in danger. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Hamas Launches UAV at Southern Israel; Rocket Fire Continues - Yoav Zitun
    Hamas launched a drone aircraft toward southern Israel on Monday morning from the Gaza Strip, as militants continued to fire rockets on Israeli cities and towns. The latest weapon in the arsenal of the Gaza-based terrorist organization was intercepted by a Patriot missile defense battery deployed in central Israel. (Ynet News)
        See also November 2012: IDF Attacks Disrupt Hamas' Iranian-Aided Drone Production - Gill Cohen
    Gaza's Hamas reached drone-production capabilities, military sources indicated, saying that the militant organization was in advanced development stages and was preparing to conduct flight tests. Intelligence officials estimate that Iran was the actual source of the advanced know-how. Iran is also the source of Hizbullah's drones. (Ha'aretz)
  • Egyptian Army Seizes Rockets, Launchers in Rafah
    Egyptian military sources in Cairo said that the army raided a rocket launching center south of Rafah near the Israeli border and seized two grad missiles and two rocket launchers. (Ma'an - Palestinian Authority)
  • Syrian Projectile Attack Prompts IDF Artillery Fire at Syrian Army Positions - Yaakov Lappin
    A projectile was fired from Syria into Israel's Golan Heights on Sunday evening. No injuries were reported. The IDF responded with precision artillery fire at Syrian army positions. Security officials say they believe the projectile was fired at Israel deliberately. "The IDF views the Syrian regime as responsible for what is done in its territory," the military said. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Lebanese Army Finds Rocket Launching Pad Targeting Israel
    The Lebanese Army on Sunday found a launchpad from which three rockets were fired overnight from the Tyre region toward northern Israel, Lebanon's News Agency reported.
      The launchpad was discovered in the Ras Al Ain plain, south of the Al Rashidiyeh Palestinian refugee camp. (Al Balwaba - Jordan)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Egyptians Hoping Israel Will Destroy Hamas - Khaled Abu Toameh
    Over the past week there are voices coming out of Egypt and some Arab countries -- voices that publicly support the Israeli military operation against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi's decision not to intervene in the current crisis did not come as a surprise. In fact, Sisi and many Egyptians seem to be delighted that Hamas is being badly hurt. They regard Hamas as the "armed branch of the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organization." Palestinian Authority officials in Ramallah are certainly not going to shed a tear if Hamas is crushed and removed from power in the Gaza Strip. (Gatestone Institute)
  • Is Hamas Trying to Get Gazans Killed? - Jeffrey Goldberg
    Compared with violent death rates in other parts of the Middle East, the number of dead in Gaza is small. (More than 170,000 people have been killed in the Syrian civil war to date.) But it is large enough to suggest Hamas is trying to get Israel to kill as many Palestinians as possible.
      Dead Palestinians represent a crucial propaganda victory for the nihilists of Hamas. It is perverse, but true. It is also the best possible explanation for Hamas’s behavior, because Hamas has no other plausible strategic goal here. There is no doubt that Hamas could protect Palestinian lives by ceasing its current campaign to end Israeli lives. The decision is Hamas'.
      What Hamas wants most is not a state in a part of Palestine. What it wants is the elimination of Israel. It will not achieve the latter, and it is actively thwarting the former. (Bloomberg)
  • Observations:

    Getting the Law Right on the Israel-Hamas Conflict - Laurie R. Blank (The Hill)

  • International law has quite a lot to say about the latest violence that has flared up between Israel and Hamas. So do the media. Unfortunately, they rarely match, leading to unfortunate — and sometimes egregious — misrepresentations.
  • Reports have described Israel's comprehensive system of warnings to civilians before launching strikes in Gaza as "contentious" and suggest that it is motivated solely by the desire to evade potential war crimes charges. Israel's use of individualized, specific warnings by phone and text goes far beyond what the law requires — it is hard to imagine how they could possibly be described as "contentious," instead of unprecedented or protective.
  • Hamas has announced that it is launching rockets at Israeli cities. Not at military bases, army units, communication networks or any other military target, but at cities populated by hundreds of thousands, even millions of civilians. The law of war requires that parties distinguish between military and civilian targets and only attack military personnel and targets. Deliberate attacks on civilians and indiscriminate attacks are prohibited and are war crimes.
  • Hamas's use of civilians and civilian buildings in Gaza as a shield is well known. Media reports tell of rockets being launched from residential buildings and schoolyards, munitions stored in houses, mosques and hospitals, Hamas leaders using civilian homes as command posts, and civilians being encouraged to go up on their roofs as human shields. These reports unfortunately rarely, if ever, mention that such conduct violates the law and, even more important, puts civilians at ever greater risk of death and injury.
  • Facilitating that conduct is an unfortunate and deadly consequence of media coverage that feeds misperceptions about how Israel and Hamas are fighting. Legitimizing lawful conduct would be far better, because law has an essential role to play in war; indeed, adherence to the law is a matter of life and death.
  • The author is clinical professor of law and director of the International Humanitarian Law Clinic at the Emory University School of Law.

  • Unsubscribe from Daily Alert