November 12, 2018

In-Depth Issues:

IDF Officer Killed in Gaza Raid - Amos Harel (Ha'aretz)
    IDF special forces Lt. Col. M. was killed and another moderately wounded during an operation in Gaza, the IDF said Monday.
    At least seven Palestinians were killed in the exchange of fire, according to Palestinian sources, including a deputy commander in Hamas' Iz al-Din al-Qassam brigades.
    In the wake of the incident, the Palestinians launched 17 rockets at Israel.
    The IDF said the officer's "actions will not be published in the media but he deserves our salute. His actions led to Israel having superiority over its enemies."
    See also Israeli Forces Were on an Intelligence-Gathering Mission in Gaza (Times of Israel)
    IDF Spokesperson Brig.-Gen. Ronen Manelis said Monday that IDF special forces were on an intelligence-gathering mission inside Gaza.
    The soldiers "became trapped in a highly complex situation but they had responded heroically, hit those who threatened them and extracted themselves to Israeli territory."
    See also IDF Carries Out Long-Range Missions "All the Time on All Fronts" - David M. Halbfinger (New York Times)
    A former Israeli military commander in charge of long-range missions, Maj.-Gen. Tal Russo, said this was not an assassination or abduction mission.
    It was of the sort that "are carried out all the time, every night and on all fronts."

Netanyahu Meets with Putin in Paris (Reuters)
    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin at WWI commemorations on Sunday in Paris, their first meeting since the downing of a Russian plane in Syria in September.
    "The conversation with President Putin was good and businesslike. I would even describe it as very important," Netanyahu said.

Palestinians in Gaza Attack Qatari Envoy with Stones after $15 Million Payment - Tamar Beeri (Jerusalem Post)
    Palestinians pelted the convoy of Qatar's ambassador to the Palestinians, Mohammed al-Emadi, with stones Friday as he came to observe the weekly demonstrations along Gaza's border fence with Israel, Maariv reported.
    Gazan media reported that those leading the attack were from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Israeli Firm Wins UK Battlefield Management Application Contract - George Allison (UK Defense Journal)
    Elbit Systems UK Ltd. has been awarded a contract by the UK Ministry of Defence to provide the British Army with the MORPHEUS Battlefield Management Application, an operationally proven application for both headquarters and tactical units.
    Elbit's command and control platform has been delivered to many customers worldwide, including the Australian Defence Forces.

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • German Chancellor Merkel Condemns Resurgence of Anti-Semitism on Anniversary of Kristallnacht - Atika Shubert and Nadine Schmidt
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned a "worrying" resurgence of anti-Semitism in Germany, including a rise in violent attacks, in a speech marking 80 years since Kristallnacht or the "Night of Broken Glass," the 1938 rampage of state-sponsored violence by the Nazi regime against Jewish communities. Merkel spoke at Berlin's Rykestrasse Synagogue, one of 1,400 synagogues that were set ablaze that night.
        She said that Kristallnacht had "paved the way to the Holocaust," and added that "the terror of Nazism did not happen overnight but grew gradually," warning that the German public's general acceptance of anti-Semitism is what allowed the Nazi regime to carry out the Holocaust. Merkel said Germany must draw lessons from its history and must not tolerate anti-Semitism or racism in any form. (CNN)
  • Violent Islamic Terror Attack Strikes Melbourne - John Ferguson
    Hassan Khalif Shire Ali, the terrorist who drove a burning utility vehicle into the heart of Melbourne's Bourke Street Friday and stabbed three men, was known to Victoria Police and federal intelligence agencies. Shire Ali, 30, was shot in the chest at close range by police after his vehicle, full of gas cylinders, exploded near the mall. Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton confirmed the incident was terrorism. Shire Ali arrived in Australia from Somalia in the 1990s. (The Australian)
  • Qatar Funds Salaries, Electricity in Gaza - Felicia Schwartz and Abu Bakr Bashir
    Israel has allowed funds from Qatar to be used to pay Hamas government employees in Gaza and to provide $100 handouts to 50,000 families. In addition, Qatar has supplied enough fuel to Gaza to provide the residents with 16 hours a day of electricity for the first time in five years. The improving conditions coincide with stepped-up efforts by Egypt and the UN to broker a lasting cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Italian Police Make Major Heroin Haul on Ship from Iran
    Italian police discovered 270 kg. (600 lb.) of heroin hidden in a container on a ship from Iran, the biggest such haul for at least 20 years in Italy, police said on Thursday. (Reuters)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Netanyahu: European Nations Should Change "One-Sided and Hostile Approach" to Israel
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday in Paris, "Israel is Europe's shield in the Middle East [from the spread of Islamist terrorism] and without us it would spread....When we protect ourselves, we are also protecting Europe." Therefore, he suggested, European leaders should "change their approach to us. We certainly have criticism of the one-sided and hostile approach of the European Union to Israel."  (Times of Israel)
        See also below Observations - Video: Khan al-Ahmar and the EU's Violation of Signed Agreements - Dore Gold (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • Netanyahu: We're Doing Everything Possible to Restore Calm to Israel's Gaza-Vicinity Communities - Ariel Kahana
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday that his decision to allow Qatari funds into Gaza is intended to do "everything possible to ensure calm is restored to Israel's Gaza-vicinity communities, while preventing a humanitarian crisis [in Gaza]."
        Meanwhile, Hamas military leader Yahya Sinwar declared, "There is no agreement with Israel....The money to pay the salaries is a direct result of the uncompromising struggle of the Palestinian people in Gaza and the March of Return on the fence....Hamas is not negotiating with the Zionist enemy, nor will it do so in the future."  (Israel Hayom)
  • Palestinian Sets Greenhouse on Fire after Infiltrating into Israel - Anna Ahronheim
    A Palestinian infiltrated into Israel from Gaza and set alight a greenhouse in the Israeli community of Netiv Ha'asara on Friday before being arrested by IDF troops. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
  • New Iran Sanctions Leave Room for Additional Economic Pressure - Annie Fixler and Zachary Jutcovich
    With the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions on Iran last week, the Treasury Department designated 706 entities, individuals, aircraft, and vessels for their role in a "broad range of malign activities" - an important step in dialing up the pressure on the Iranian regime. Two-thirds of these designations represent a re-listing of targets removed from Treasury's sanctions lists as part of the 2015 nuclear deal. Many of the 219 first-time designees are components of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's business empire, subsidiaries of financial institutions that support the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and companies and individuals responsible for Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
        The U.S. has now re-imposed sanctions on nearly 60% of the entities and individuals that received sanctions relief under the Iran nuclear deal. The remaining 182 could potentially represent the core of the next set of sanctions targets. National Security Advisor John Bolton noted that this is just the beginning of the administration's economic pressure. There will be "sanctions that even go beyond" what had been introduced. Annie Fixler is a Policy Analyst and Zachary Jutcovich is Congressional Relations Manager at FDD. (Foundation for Defense of Democracies)
  • Gaza Is a Separate Palestinian State - Khaled Abu Toameh
    The Palestinian Authority and its president, Mahmoud Abbas, remain opposed to a truce accord between Israel and Hamas because such a deal will pave the way for the establishment of a separate Palestinian state in Gaza. But the reality is that a separate Palestinian state in Gaza has been there since 2007, when Hamas violently seized control of the area and toppled the PA's Western-funded security forces which surrendered without putting up a fight.
        To date, Hamas and Fatah have not been able to agree on the interpretation of the "reconciliation" agreements already signed. Hamas remains vehemently opposed to relinquishing security control over Gaza. While Abbas continues to present himself to the world as the "President of Palestine," he is living in an illusion. it is obvious that he does not represent the two million Palestinians living in Hamas-controlled Gaza. Abbas has not set foot in Gaza for the past 11 years.
        The power struggle between Hamas and Fatah is completely unrelated to Israel or the U.S. The dispute between the two Palestinian parties is the direct result of a power struggle over money and power. (Gatestone Institute)

Video: Khan al-Ahmar and the EU's Violation of Signed Agreements - Amb. Dore Gold (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • Khan al-Ahmar is a cluster of Bedouin structures located in the Judean Desert to the east of Jerusalem. It is located on public land next to the main route connecting Jerusalem to the Jordan Valley. Route 1 is the highway that will be employed by the Israeli Army to move forces to the front lines in the event of an assault from the east.
  • The Israel Supreme Court has ruled: "There is no dispute that the entire complex was put up in violation of the zoning laws." In the past, the Israel Supreme Court ruled that Jewish families living in illegally constructed dwellings needed to be removed, as was the case in Migron (2012), Amona (2017), and Netiv Ha-Avot (2018).
  • Israel's removal of Khan al-Ahmar is based on Israel's rights as guaranteed by the Oslo Accords. Khan al-Ahmar is located in Area C, where Israel retained both security and civilian authority, including the power to decide matters relating to zoning and planning. The Israeli Civil Administration has proposed moving the residents of Khan al-Ahmar to a site in West Jahlin, a mere 8 km. away from the current site.
  • One of the distressing aspects of the struggle over Khan al-Ahmar is the fact that the reservations about Israeli actions are coming from international organizations and countries who are supposed to know the legal background of this case. Moreover, the 1995 Oslo Accords were signed by the European Union as well as numerous countries that served as witnesses.
  • How can EU institutions condone illegal construction that violates an international agreement to which the EU is a signatory? These actions undermine the very credibility of the EU and its institutions, and their status as an honest broker in any future Middle-East peace process.

    Amb. Dore Gold, former director general of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Israeli ambassador to the UN, is president of the Jerusalem Center.