April 4, 2018

In-Depth Issues:

Israel Indicts 3 Palestinians from Gaza for Planning Attack on Navy Vessel - Amos Harel and Almog Ben Zikri (Ha'aretz)
    Israel has indicted three Palestinians from Gaza for plotting an attack on an Israeli Navy vessel, the Israel Security Agency said Wednesday.
    The group planned on abducting Israeli soldiers to use as bargaining chips after firing an anti-tank missile at the vessel.
    The ringleader was Amin Juma'a, 23, a member of Islamic Jihad. They were arrested on March 12 after their boats strayed from the permitted fishing zone off the Gaza coast.
    Their plan was to use one boat as a decoy to lure the Israeli vessel while a second boat would attack the ship with a missile and a third boat would abduct the soldiers on the damaged ship.

Palestinian Casualties Are No Accident for Hamas - Eli Lake (Bloomberg)
    Leave it to Hamas to make nonviolence violent.
    This is what happened over the weekend as thousands of Gazans swarmed the Israeli border crossing on what they called a "march of return."
    Hamas does not seek a two-state solution; it seeks to replace the world's only Jewish state with one ruled by fanatics.

Israeli NGO Save a Child's Heart Receives UN Award (UN Population Fund)
    Save a Child's Heart (Israel) on Thursday received the 2018 United Nations Population Award for outstanding achievements in health.
    Established in 1996, Save a Child's Heart at Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, Israel, has provided life-saving cardiac surgery for 4,400 children from 55 developing countries.

Video: "One Voice" - A Gift to Israel (Ramatayim Choir)
    15 choirs from Israel, Austria, England, Canada, Italy, Ukraine, U.S.A., Australia, France, Russia and South Africa sing "Oseh Shalom" - together - in honor of the State of Israel's 70th Anniversary.

Intel's Israeli Team Sires "Best Processor Ever" for Laptops - Shoshanna Solomon (Times of Israel)
    Intel Corp. unveiled on Tuesday what it called the "best processor" for laptops Intel "has ever built" - the 8th Gen Intel Core i9 - designed by its development team in Haifa, Israel.

China to See More of Israeli Glaucoma Treatment - Coco Feng (Caixin-China)
    Chinese drugmaker Kanghong has completed the first step of a $47-million deal to exclusively run the China operations of Israeli glaucoma-treatment-developer IOPtima Ltd.
    East Asians experience the highest rate of blindness in the world from one of the two most common types of glaucoma, and ethnic Chinese and South Asians are at significantly higher risk for angle-closure glaucoma.

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Billion-Dollar Sanctions-Busting Scheme Aided Iran - Souad Mekhennet and Joby Warrick
    Investigators have uncovered evidence of a multibillion-dollar corruption scheme by a Persian Gulf bank that secretly helped Iran evade sanctions for more than a decade. Records from a Bahraini government audit reveal that the now-closed Future Bank - a joint venture partly owned by two of Iran's largest lenders - routinely altered financial documents to mask at least $7 billion in illicit trade between Iran and dozens of foreign partners between 2004 and 2015. (Washington Post)
  • Houthi Rebels Hit Saudi Oil Tanker with Missile off Yemen - Saeed Al-Batati and Rick Gladstone
    Houthi rebels in Yemen hit a Saudi Arabian oil tanker with a missile on Tuesday in international waters west of Al Hudaydah. The Saudi-led military coalition spokesman, Col. Turki al-Malki, said a coalition warship had escorted the tanker from the area. The Houthis control nearly 200 miles of Yemen's Red Sea coastline. (New York Times)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • IDF Will Continue to Defend Israel's Border with Gaza - Judah Ari Gross
    Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman told leaders of Israeli communities near Gaza on Tuesday that Israel will not be changing its policies toward Palestinians rioting along the Gaza security fence. "We have set clear rules of the game and we do not intend to change them. Anyone who approaches the fence endangers his life, and I would recommend that Gaza residents put their efforts not into protesting against Israel, but into regime change within the Strip. I think the [Israel Defense Forces] operated exceptionally well, as expected, and I have no doubt that we will continue to act in the same way in the days to come."
        "It needs to be understood that the majority of the people killed were terrorists whom we know well, operatives in the military arm of Hamas, as well as in the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. These weren't innocent civilians who came as part of a civil protest." The IDF on Saturday named and detailed 10 of the dead as members of terror groups including Hamas. Islamic Jihad later claimed an 11th.
        "We are not looking for war, no one wants a war," he said. "I hope the other side understands that it's preferable to focus on tourism, the economy, and agriculture, and not on tunneling, rockets, and hating Israel. As soon as the leadership in Gaza and Gaza residents give up on the idea of destroying the State of Israel, the moment the leadership focuses on the economy, they will not find a better, more efficient partner than the State of Israel....Reconstruction in exchange for disarmament - that's the formula, it's on the table."  (Times of Israel)
  • Palestinian Terrorist Killed after Breaking Through Gaza Security Fence on Tuesday - Judah Ari Gross
    Ahmed Arafa, 25, a member of the military wing of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, was shot by Israeli forces as he broke through the Gaza security fence on Tuesday. (Times of Israel)
  • Hamas Issues "Security Recommendations" for Gaza Clashes - Khaled Abu Toameh
    Hamas on Tuesday published "security recommendations" on how to avoid being targeted by Israeli army snipers along the Gaza border. They advise Hamas members to conceal their identity by wearing masks, camouflaging their face, and covering their entire head with a keffiyeh. They are also advised not to carry cell phones and not to wear white clothes or clothes with standout colors.
        Israel's Hadashot TV news reported Tuesday that Gazans were piling up thousands of tires to burn on Friday to create black smoke to hinder snipers. Marchers were also told to carry mirrors to dazzle the snipers. (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
  • Gaza Reality Check: Terrorist-Run Territories Produce Terrorism - Charles Bybelezer
    Analysts are astonished by the widespread shock generated by the fully foreseeable outcome of an initiative spearheaded by the Hamas terror group which is dedicated to the destruction of the Jewish state. Hamas has reigned over Gaza with an iron fist, consistently using its "subjects" as a collective human shield. Yet, when another round of hostilities inevitably breaks out, so too does the same old international chorus of refrains ranging from "independent investigations" and "restraint by both sides" to accusations that Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinians.
        Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Israel Ziv, formerly head of the Israeli army's Gaza Division, said, "Hamas' purpose was to see much more bloodshed and to inflame the whole area....The question of whether Israel acted correctly must be viewed in this context. And in this case there were casualties but things could have been much worse. It is unfortunate that deaths occurred, but the incident was contained. Overall, it was the right deployment [of force by Israel]."
        The simple fact is that terrorist-run territories invariably produce terrorism. And, as a tragic corollary, people are going to die. But history shows that no matter the circumstances, the Israeli military's actions are more apt to garner international headlines than Hamas' instigation of crises. Israel comes under heavy criticism for tactics that it argues would be employed - without any afterthought - by every other country in the world under similar circumstances. (Media Line-Jerusalem Post)
  • Western Media Scrub Mention of Hamas from Headlines on Gaza Clash - Erielle Davidson
    Every once in a while, the Western media finds itself complacent in playing to the narrative of those opposed to liberal values. In Gaza on Friday, Hamas launched a series of protests near the Israeli border that turned violent, as Palestinian Arabs heaved rocks and firebombs towards the border fence and sent tires engulfed in flames towards Israeli soldiers. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) responded in kind by targeting those civilians instigating violence or attempting to breach the border.
        Friday's headlines in the New York Times, Reuters, and CNN failed to properly assign blame to the responsible parties as they whitewashed any mention of Hamas from their headlines, though Hamas is solely responsible for instigating the violence. With the Western media's willingness to portray Israel as the routine aggressor despite the Israeli military following highly specific and moral rules of engagement, the Hamas method of using civilians as bait will continue to be a successful tactic. The writer is an economic research assistant at the Hoover Institution. (The Federalist)
        See also Hamas Uses Human Shields and the Washington Post - Sean Durns
    The writer is a senior research analyst for CAMERA, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America. (Daily Caller)
        See also Media Coverage of Gaza Violence Falls Short (CAMERA)

Act 1 of an Unfolding Drama in Gaza - Ben Caspit (Al-Monitor)
  • The March 30 "March of Return" at the Gaza border was Act 1 of an unfolding drama orchestrated by Hamas in an attempt to change the rules of the game and create a new balance of power.
  • "Just imagine what could have happened," one senior Israeli defense official told Al-Monitor. "Picture the outcome if they would have burst through the fence, even at a single point, and begun marching into Israel."
  • "We don't have the privilege of allowing masses of Palestinians to march to Jerusalem, Ashkelon or any of the kibbutzim along the fence."
  • "The fact that the recent event ended with 16 casualties, 12 of whom have already been identified as Hamas terrorists, but without any casualties among the women and children, is a very significant achievement on our part."
  • "No country in the world would allow terrorists to break through its borders. All anyone has to do is to listen to the leaders of Hamas. They did not call this event a demonstration against the occupation but a March of Return."
  • "They announced that they would be marching to Jerusalem. They declare again and again that they do not recognize Israel's right to exist. That is why they leave us no choice but to block them by force."