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  DAILY ALERT Thursday,
July 31, 2014

In-Depth Issues:

50 Palestinian Rockets Landed in Gaza on Wednesday (IDF Spokesperson-IMRA)
    On Wednesday over 140 rockets were fired at Israel. 50 rockets fell short and landed inside Gaza.
    See also 10 Percent of Hamas Rockets Misfired, Landed in Gaza (World Tribune)
    Since the fighting in Gaza began, approximately 280 rockets fired by Hamas and its allies landed within Gaza, the IDF said on July 30.
    In at least one case, a medium-range M-75 rocket with a 100 kg. warhead exploded during launch, killing at least seven Palestinians.
    IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner cited an accidental Palestinian missile strike this week on Shifa Hospital in Gaza City and the Shati refugee camp just outside the city.
    Palestinian sources said numerous rocket launches ended up falling in Gaza communities and that scores of people have been killed or injured.

Gaza Fatality Figures Provided by Hamas Should Be Viewed with Suspicion - Steven Stotsky (TIME)
    Fatality figures provided by Hamas and other Palestinian groups should be viewed with suspicion.
    Analyses of the casualties listed in the daily reports published by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) indicate that young males ages 17 to 30 make up a large portion of the fatalities, a pattern consistent with the age distribution typically found among combatants and military conscripts.
    PCHR data show that from July 8 through July 26, 404 out of 915 fatalities were young males.
    Hamas has instructed Gazans to describe anyone killed as a civilian.
    The writer is a senior analyst with the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA).

U.S. Resupplies Israel with Munitions for Gaza War (Reuters)
    The U.S. has allowed Israel to tap a local U.S. arms stockpile in the past week to resupply it with grenades and mortar rounds, a U.S. defense official said on Thursday.
    The munitions were located inside Israel as part of the War Reserves Stock Allies-Israel (WRSA-I) program, which stores munitions locally for U.S. use that Israel can also access in emergency situations.
    Additional Israeli requests for U.S.-manufactured ammunition were also being processed, a U.S. defense official said.

Israel Public Backs Gaza Assault Despite Death Toll - Jonah Mandel (AFP)
    The Israeli army's mounting death toll in Gaza has taken the Israeli public by surprise but without dampening its strong support for the military campaign against Hamas, analysts say.
    The soldiers' deaths bolstered support as they proved the necessity of the Gaza operation, according to political scientist Abraham Diskin.
    This week five IDF soldiers were killed in a firefight with Palestinians who infiltrated Israel by a tunnel from Gaza. "Every (soldier) killed increases the desire for revenge but on a rational level. People say - we see the danger of the tunnels," Diskin said.

For Israel, the Hamas Bogeyman Is Real - Robert Tracinski (The Federalist)
    The under-reported news of the Gaza war is the discovery of an extensive network of tunnels built by Hamas going into Israel, so that Hamas terrorists could commit mass killings and kidnappings.
    Hamas goons, carrying restraints and tranquilizers, were planning a massive operation for the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah, sending hundreds of terrorists to overrun Israeli villages.
    Any discussion about cease-fires or about the proportionality of the Israeli response should take into account the horror-movie monstrosity of this threat.
    Israelis now have to fear the prospect of humanoid creatures emerging from underground to drag them into the darkness.
    The Jews live in a live-action horror movie, and the Palestinian bogeyman really is out to get them.

Hamas Weapons Developer Killed by Israeli Airstrike (World Tribune)
    Israeli military sources said Hamas weapons developer Ismail Akluk was killed in an Israeli airstrike on July 25 in Gaza.
    Akluk, trained in Iran, has been involved for several years in the development of long-range rockets and unmanned aerial vehicles.

Hamas Terrorists Trained in Malaysia for Parachute Attack - Yaakov Lappin (Jerusalem Post)
    Members of a Hamas cell trained in Malaysia to carry out a cross-border attack using a powered parachute, Hamas suspects have revealed to Israel Security Agency interrogators.
    A Hamas cell commander in Khan Yunis also revealed that Hamas had designated the 10th floor of a Red Crescent building in Khan Yunis as a sniper position.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Netanyahu: Israel Will Destroy Hamas Tunnels "With or Without a Cease-Fire"
    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday he will not accept any truce that won't allow Israel to complete its mission of destroying the sophisticated Hamas tunnel network that has been used to carry out deadly attacks inside Israel. "We are determined to complete this mission with or without a cease-fire," Netanyahu said. "I won't agree to any proposal that will not enable the Israeli military to complete this important task for the sake of Israel's security."  (AP-CBS News)
  • Defense Secretary Hagel: Resolution of Gaza Crisis Must Include Disarmament of Hamas
    Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke on Wednesday with Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon. Hagel called for a humanitarian cease-fire that would lead to a permanent end to the fighting in Gaza. At the same time, Hagel reiterated U.S. support for Israel's security and its right to self-defense and said that any process to resolve the crisis in Gaza in a lasting and meaningful way must lead to the disarmament of Hamas and all terrorist groups. Ya'alon thanked Hagel for his support for the defense of Israel, in particular the Iron Dome anti-missile system. (U.S. Department of Defense)
  • Canada Blames Hamas for Gaza Dead
    Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Wednesday blamed Hamas for the heavy loss of civilian life in Gaza. "Obviously, no one likes to see the suffering and loss of life that has occurred," Harper said. "That said, we hold the terrorist organization Hamas responsible for this. They have initiated and continue this conflict, and continue to seek the destruction of the State of Israel."  (AFP)
  • Arab Leaders View Hamas as Worse than Israel - David D. Kirkpatrick
    Egypt has led a new coalition of Arab states - including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan - that has effectively lined up with Israel in its fight against Hamas. The government in Cairo this time surprised Hamas by publicly proposing a cease-fire agreement that met most of Israel's demands and none by the Palestinian group. Hamas was tarred as intransigent when it immediately rejected it.
        "The Arab states' loathing and fear of political Islam is so strong that it outweighs their allergy to Benjamin Netanyahu," said Aaron David Miller, a scholar at the Wilson Center in Washington and a former Middle East negotiator. (New York Times)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • 3 IDF Soldiers Killed in Booby-Trapped UNRWA Clinic - Mitch Ginsburg
    Three IDF soldiers were killed on Wednesday in Gaza in an explosion at a booby-trapped UNRWA health clinic in Khan Yunis that housed the opening of a tunnel, the IDF's Gaza Division commander, Brig. Gen. Micky Edelstein, said. The troops had sent in explosive-sniffer dogs and a small robot to minimize damage to the structure, but explosives rigged to the building detonated, toppling part of the building on top of the soldiers. 15 soldiers were injured.
        Edelstein said Hamas gunmen have used more than a thousand IEDs so far, destroying thousands of buildings in Gaza. In sweeps of a single street of 28 buildings Tuesday night, 19 were found to be booby-trapped. (Times of Israel)
  • Hamas Showing Signs of Weakness - Yaakov Lappin
    In recent days, Hamas members seized UN food coupons and prevented Gazan civilians from receiving the aid, in order to try and keep their own members fed. Moreover, Hamas refuses to publish most of the names of its members who were killed fighting the IDF, and disposes of their bodies quickly, to avoid harming morale. The IDF has seen Hamas tunnel fighters surrender because they have run out of food.
        The dominant view in Israel is that Hamas is managing the war from a position of weakness. Despite their rhetoric, some senior Hamas leaders are privately asking themselves whether the war they began is worth the price. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Video: Terror Tunnel Entrance Found Inside Gaza Mosque - Yoav Zitun (Ynet News)
  • Israel Refutes Claim that Iron Dome Makers Were Hacked
    Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) disproved reports by a U.S.-based computer forensics expert that said three Israeli defense contractors behind the Iron Dome rocket-defense system were robbed of hundreds of documents by hackers linked to the Chinese government starting in 2011.
        "The publications refer to an attempt to penetrate the company's civilian non-classified Internet network, which allegedly occurred several years ago. IAI's cyber security systems operate in accordance with the most rigorous requirements and also, in this case, they were proven to be effective," IAI said Tuesday. (Jerusalem Post)
  • 30,000 Meals a Day among Outpouring of Support for IDF - Melanie Lidman
    Doron Elbaz, who owns a farm near the Gaza border, told his kids: "Let's go buy some lemons and make lemonade for the soldiers driving by." Soon, his lemonade stand became the focal point for donations that began pouring in from across the country - food, clothing, toiletries, shampoo, baked goods.
        Joined by a few volunteers, he started making 1,000 meals a day for soldiers, then 2,000 meals, then 5,000 - as donations, and requests from IDF units, poured in. Now 250 volunteers are cooking 30,000 meals per day. A dozen masseurs have set up tables to offer free massages. A barber was offering free haircuts and free shaves. There are a number of similar "rest stops" for soldiers at many intersections along the Gaza border.  (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Israel's Right of Self-Defense Is Not Negotiable - Editorial
    No one could wish for the people of Gaza to endure prolonged misery. But it was Hamas that wished for the fighting, first, by attacking Israel, and then by rejecting an Egyptian cease-fire proposal because it wanted its own narrow demands addressed first. Israel must be allowed to crush the threat from Hamas, not just for a few months or a year, but for the foreseeable future. The right of self-defense is not negotiable. (Miami Herald)
  • How Europe's Good Intentions Harm Gaza - Gerald M. Steinberg
    The war between Hamas and Israel can in part be blamed on the massive and unaccountable aid Europeans have poured into the Palestinian territories. The EU and its member states continue to channel millions annually to both Hamas-controlled Gaza and the West Bank, without responsible supervision, transparency or oversight. The miles of concrete-lined strategic tunneling under houses, schools and hospitals are estimated to have cost €1 billion, which wouldn't have been available without European aid. Before European statements can be taken seriously, Brussels must become a more responsible player by keeping closer watch over whom and what it funds. The writer is president of NGO Monitor and a professor of political science at Bar-Ilan University. (Wall Street Journal Europe)
  • In Most Muslim Countries There Is Little Support for Hamas - Amir Taheri
    On Tuesday, leading Arab columnist Shamsan al-Na'ai wrote: "Hamas would have done better to tackle the task of improving the lives of the people. Instead it has spent resources on rockets and missiles that are like children's toys in the face of Israel, which is the region's major military power." He castigates Hamas' leaders for exposing "the ordinary people of Gaza" to the violence of war while they themselves are "hiding in the security in their secret bunkers."
        Abdul-Rahman al-Rashed, CEO of the Al-Arabiya satellite TV network, also hits Hamas for "deliberate provocations without regard to the human cost of its policies." He argues that if Palestinians want Israel to get out of their land, they can't, at the same time, dig tunnels to sneak into Israeli itself.
        Interestingly, the most violent anti-Israeli demonstrations have taken place in the West. Amazing though it might sound, hatred for Jews, thinly disguised as opposition to Israel, appeared to be more intense in Western capitals than anywhere in the Muslim world. (New York Post)
  • Number of Civilian Casualties Says Nothing about Proportionality - Laurie R. Blank
    Proportionality is one of a set of fundamental legal obligations that helps to minimize suffering during wartime. The principle of proportionality accepts that not all civilian deaths during war are unlawful, seeking to minimize civilian harm while accepting that such harm cannot be eliminated altogether.
        Attacks that are likely to cause excessive civilian casualties in light of the military gain from the attack are prohibited - not attacks that are likely to cause any civilian casualties, nor attacks that are likely to cause some civilian casualties, nor attacks that are likely to cause civilian casualties slightly greater than the military gain.
        An analysis that uses the numbers of casualties and extent of destruction to make legal claims is simply incorrect. Widely different numbers of civilian casualties between two sides in a conflict says nothing about the proportionality of particular attacks on specific targets. The writer is clinical professor of law and director of the International Humanitarian Law Clinic at Emory University School of Law. (The Hill)
  • How the UN Was Perverted into a Weapon Against Israel - Joshua Muravchik
    The UN General Assembly chastises Israel three times as often as all other countries combined; has declared Palestinian terrorism to be a "legitimate" means of " of the goals and purposes of the United Nations"; once classified Zionism as a form of racism; and has three special bodies devoted exclusively to agitating against Israel, although no other such body exists for any other country.
        After Europe adopted decolonization there were scores of new nations born in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. The UN grew from 51 to 193 members. Many formed the Non-Aligned Movement. Originally this meant non-aligned in the Cold War, but NAM did not disappear with that conflict. Today it has 120 members, thus controlling every UN body except the Security Council.
        57 of the NAM's 120 members are members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which dominates the NAM - and the core of the OIC is the 22-strong Arab League. Thus, through telescoping leverage, the Arab states have turned the UN into a crusade organization against Israel. Beset by guilt over their colonial pasts, Europeans rarely buck the NAM. The writer, a fellow at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies, is the author of Making David Into Goliath: How the World Turned Against Israel. (New York Post)
  • UNRWA: An Agenda for Conflict - Dr. Rephael Ben-Ari
    UNRWA, the only UN agency that deals with a single group of people, has become a powerful tool within the international anti-Israel propaganda campaign. The educational services provided by UNRWA, particularly in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, propagate a non-peaceful point of view, upholding a political vision of a continued struggle against a delegitimized Israel. The agency has become a fierce advocate for Palestinians in its dealings with Israel, although it remains nearly silent when Arab governments in host countries violate or restrict Palestinian civil rights.
        UNRWA has entrenched the idea of "return," undermining any possibility of resolving the refugee issue in future peace negotiations. In July 2014, rockets were found in three schools in Gaza operated by UNRWA. (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • Congress Must Counter Efforts to Delegitimize Israel - Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
    Every nation has the right and the obligation to defend itself and its citizens against unwarranted and unprovoked attacks. If the United States were being hit with rockets from our neighbors, we would expect the president to respond appropriately to defend us. Yet there is this double standard when it comes to Israel. When Israel is attacked, it's Israel that is met with international opprobrium.
        I was in Israel when Hamas began firing dozens of rockets indiscriminately at Israel on a daily basis. During this time I witnessed the nation's resolve and supported its response. However, it did not use its force unyieldingly. Israel was more measured than many other nations would be in its place. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) is former chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and current chairman of its Middle East and North Africa subcommittee. (Washington Times)
  • The IDF Doesn't Teach Its Soldiers to Hate - Dan Gordon
    I had the privilege of accompanying Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Avigdor Kahalani, one of Israel's greatest war heroes and now chairman of the Association for the Wellbeing of Israel's Soldiers (AWIS), as he went out to meet young soldiers serving near Gaza, under fire. Here is what Kahalani quietly told them:
        "You know why you're here. It's not to hate anybody. It's to defend your people, your homes and your families. Each of you has to feel as if the whole fate of the whole people of Israel is on your shoulders. Each of you holds that fate in your hands. But it's not about hatred." The writer is a captain (res.) in the IDF. (American Thinker)

The "Something Worse than Hamas" Myth - Amichai Magen (Jerusalem Post)

  • In seeking to dissuade Israel from putting an end to Hamas' reign of terror in Gaza, the head of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, Lt.-Gen. Michael Flynn, warned on Saturday that, "If Hamas were destroyed and gone, we would probably end up with something much worse."
  • Really? While Salafi jihadists like ISIS and militant offshoots of the Muslim Brotherhood like Hamas differ on the speed by which Islamic law (sharia) should be imposed on Muslims, there is absolutely no daylight between them about the treatment of Jews. In their eyes all are deserving of death and must be annihilated.
  • Hamas has proven itself to be as implacable as the most radical Salafist armed groups operating in Syria and Iraq, and far more capable than they are at mobilizing for war.
  • Every kindergarten, school, university and summer camp has been turned into a hub of hatred and radicalization of future generations. Every truckload of Israeli-supplied steel and cement has gone to construct missiles, rocket launchers, underground bunkers, and tunnels.

    The writer is a senior researcher at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism at IDC, Herzliya.

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