May 12, 2021
Special Edition

In-Depth Issues:

Israel under Attack - Anna Ahronheim (Jerusalem Post-Times of Israel)
    Since Monday, Palestinians in Gaza have fired over 1,050 rockets and mortar shells at Israel.
    Rockets were fired throughout the day on Tuesday. Thousands of Israelis are in bomb shelters.
    Schools have been closed, and businesses are only allowed to remain open if they have easily accessible shelters.
    See also Video: Palestinian Rockets Hit Homes, a School, and a Hospital in Israel (Israel Defense Forces)
    See also Video: Israel's Iron Dome Intercepts Rocket Barrage over Tel Aviv (Israel Defense Forces)
    See also Video: Israel's Iron Dome Shoots Down Rockets from Gaza (Sky News-UK)

Israeli President: Palestinian Extremists Turning Temple Mount into Weapons Cache - Lahav Harkov (Jerusalem Post)
    The Temple Mount must not be used for violence threatening Jewish and Muslim worshippers, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin told EU ambassadors on Tuesday.
    "Palestinian extremists have turned the Temple Mount into a cache for weapons, and a base for attacks."
    "No country in the world would accept a situation like this. We will never accept this reality. We will protect our citizens by all means necessary."

American-Israeli Family Speaks from Bomb Shelter as Hamas Launches Attack on Their Community - Yael Halon (Fox News)
    Avishai and Esther Schlesinger huddled together with their one-year-old son in a bomb shelter late Tuesday as Palestinian terrorist groups fired a barrage of rockets into their hometown in Givat Shmuel.
    Esther, who moved to Israel 16 years ago, told Fox News: "We were in the middle of making dinner, we had food on the stove, and we all of the sudden heard the siren."
    She immediately ran to her son's room. "I didn't have time to grab anything. I didn't have time to grab my phone. We just ran into the shelter and we kept hearing explosion after explosion."
    As the Iron Dome intercepted rockets overhead, Esther and her husband held their crying infant and waited for the worst to pass. "It was terrifying...it's just so crazy that this is happening, just the thought that any minute there could be an explosion on my entire house."
    "I literally was holding my son in the bomb shelter tonight thinking that I'm grateful that he isn't old enough to understand why I had to quickly grab him out of his crib and just run within 20 seconds into our bomb shelter."
    "There are so many stories I've heard from people tonight who were stuck, and the amount of people that were there for each other and said 'please take shelter with me,' complete strangers, pulling fellow Israelis into their homes to make sure that they're safe."

Hamas Tests Israel: Iran's Palestinian Ally Reignites Its Conflict with the Jewish State - Editorial (Wall Street Journal)
    The jihadists of Hamas on Tuesday launched the biggest single-day rocket attack on the Jewish state in memory, with hundreds flying toward Jerusalem and Tel Aviv as well as the usual civilian targets in southern Israel.
    Israel struck back at 500 targets in Gaza. Hamas is funded and supplied by Iran, whose Supreme Leader last week praised "the pure blood of Resistance martyrs" in Palestine.

IDF Thwarts West Bank Shooting, Palestinian Gunman Killed - Emanuel Fabian (Times of Israel)
    Two Palestinians were shot near the Tapuah Junction in the West Bank on Tuesday after they attempted to open fire at Israeli soldiers.
    The two arrived by car, opened the window, and one pulled out a handgun. The soldiers opened fire, killing one and wounding the other.

Israeli Baby Saved from Palestinian Stone-Throwers by Stuffed Bear (Algemeiner)
    A seven-month-old girl was saved by her stuffed bear during Monday's Jerusalem riots, Israeli outlet N12 reported.
    The girl was in a car that was attacked by Palestinian rioters, who shattered the rear window with stones, one of which was deflected by her toy bear.

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Israel Targets Gaza Police Headquarters, Hamas Intelligence Offices - Josef Federman
    Israeli airstrikes destroyed the central police headquarters in Gaza City early Wednesday. Israeli aircraft also heavily damaged a nine-story building that housed Hamas intelligence offices and the group's command responsible for planning attacks in the West Bank. A drone fired five warning rockets before the bombing.
        Also on Wednesday, Hamas aimed 100 rockets at the Israeli city of Beersheba and unleashed a barrage of 130 rockets toward Tel Aviv. One rocket killed a woman in Rishon LeZion, and another struck a bus in Holon, wounding three people. As the rockets rose into the skies, mosques across Gaza blared with chants of "God is great," "victory to Islam" and "resistance." (AP)
        See also Gaza Residential Tower Destroyed after Residents Warned to Evacuate
    A 13-story residential tower in Gaza housing an office used by the Hamas political leadership collapsed after being hit by an Israeli air strike on Tuesday night. Residents of the tower and people living nearby had been warned to evacuate the area an hour before the air strike. (Reuters)
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Condemns Hamas Rocket Attacks on Israel
    Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, said Tuesday: "I condemn the escalating and indiscriminate rocket attacks by Hamas against Israel. Israel has the right to defend herself against this assault, which is designed to sow terror and undermine prospects for peace. Every civilian death is a tragedy that we mourn. Hamas' accelerating violence only risks killing more civilians, including innocent Palestinians."  (Speaker of the House)
        See also House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy Says Israel Has Right to Defend Itself - Louis Casiano
    House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Tuesday: "These rocket attacks confirm once again that there is no moral equivalency between Israel and Hamas. Hamas seeks in no uncertain terms to destroy Israel and murder its people. They are a terrorist organization." He said that Hamas "will sink to the lowest levels of inhumanity to promote violence, including attacking Israeli civilians and civilian targets and using Palestinian women and children as human shields."
        McCarthy commended the Biden administration for condemning Hamas and affirming Israel's right to self-defense. (Fox News)
        See also U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan Condemns Ongoing Rocket Attacks on Israel
    National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke Tuesday with Israeli National Security Advisor Meir Ben Shabbat. He condemned the ongoing rocket attacks by Hamas and other terrorist groups, including against Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. He conveyed the President's unwavering support for Israel's security and for its legitimate right to defend itself and its people, while protecting civilians. (White House)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • IDF Kills 4 Islamic Jihad, Hamas Commanders in Targeted Strikes in Gaza - Aaron Boxerman
    Three Islamic Jihad commanders and one from Hamas were killed in targeted strikes by Israeli forces on Tuesday in retaliation for the firing of hundreds of rockets at Israeli cities from Gaza. Sameh Fahim Al-Mamlouk, 34, who directed Islamic Jihad's rocket brigades in northern Gaza, was killed along with two field commanders who oversaw rocket strikes on Israel. Iyad Fathi Faik Sharir, the Hamas commander who headed the group's anti-tank missile unit in Gaza City, was also killed. (Times of Israel)
        See also Israel Targets Palestinian Terror Chiefs - Tzvi Joffre
    On Wednesday, the Israeli Air Force eliminated two Hamas intelligence operatives responsible for rocket barrages into Israel: Hassan Kaogi, head of Hamas' military intelligence security wing, as well as his second-in-command, Wail Issa. Additionally, the IDF eliminated three additional senior Hamas officials: Bassam Issa, the Gaza Brigade commander; Rafa Salama, the Khan Yunis Brigade commander; and Mohammed Yazouri, the chief of Hamas intelligence. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Two Killed in Rocket Barrage on Ashkelon on Tuesday - Judah Ari Gross
    Hundreds of rockets and mortar shells fired from Gaza hit homes in Ashkelon on Tuesday, killing an Israeli woman and a caregiver from India - Soumya Santhosh, 32. Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon treated 95 casualties, including 2 seriously wounded, 2 in moderate condition, and 49 lightly injured, with the remainder suffering from anxiety. (Times of Israel-Ynet News)
        See also Caretaker from India Killed by Hamas Rocket during Video Call with Her Husband (Onmanoramal-India)
  • Gaza Rockets Kill Israeli Arab Father and Daughter in Lod - Judah Ari Gross
    Halil Awad, 52, and his daughter, Nadine, 16, were killed early Wednesday outside the Israeli city of Lod when their car was struck by a rocket fired from Gaza. The mother, who was also in the car, was seriously injured. Lod Mayor Yair Revivo said the dead were members of the Arab community. "Hamas missiles do not differentiate between Jews and Arabs," he said.
        Another missile hit a house in the town of Yehud, just north of Ben-Gurion Airport. Rescue workers said the family was saved by their bomb shelter, as the house was completely destroyed. (Times of Israel)
  • 1 Dead, 2 Hurt by Anti-Tank Missile from Gaza
    One person was killed and two others wounded Wednesday morning when an anti-tank missile fired from Gaza struck a vehicle in Israel, the IDF said Wednesday. (Ynet News)
  • Arab Rioting Erupts in Israel
    Intense Arab rioting broke out in the Jewish-Arab Israeli city of Lod late Tuesday, with three synagogues and numerous shops reportedly set on fire, along with dozens of cars. Lod resident Shiloh Fried told Channel 12: "Gangs of Arab youths are going street to street, burning stores, smashing windows....Jewish families are huddled at home, terrified of going out....Their cars are being set alight outside." The government dispatched several Border Police companies to restore order.
        Elsewhere in Israel, attacks were reported on Jewish homes in Ramle, where cars were also stoned. In Acre, a restaurant and a hotel were set ablaze. Confrontations were also reported in Jaffa. (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
  • What Is Hamas Trying to Achieve by Fighting Israel? - Khaled Abu Toameh
    Hamas believes it has already scored points with the Palestinian public. First, Hamas succeeded in hijacking the protests that erupted between Palestinians and the Israel Police in Jerusalem at the beginning of Ramadan. When Mohammed Deif, commander of Hamas' Izzadin al-Qassam Brigades, issued a threat against Israel over Jerusalem, many Palestinians there began chanting slogans praising him and Hamas.
        Second, Hamas' decision to fire rockets at Jerusalem on Monday has enabled it to present itself as a credible "resistance" group supporting the Palestinians in Jerusalem. Third, Hamas now appears in the eyes of many Palestinians as the only Palestinian faction willing to stand up against Israel, at a time when the Palestinian Authority and the Arab and Islamic countries are restricted to paying lip service. The writer is a fellow of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Hamas' Foolish Misadventure - Avi Issacharoff
    On Monday, Hamas shattered the status quo and elected to embark on a foolish, arrogant misadventure. It might score some points with the Arab public, but it will cost Gaza heavily and, as the Gaza death toll mounts, is unlikely to boost Hamas' standing there. Hamas reckons it will be portrayed as the defender of Jerusalem and of Al-Aqsa Mosque, the restorer of lost Palestinian honor. But it went one step too far.
        The West Bank Palestinian public has remained largely indifferent and a third intifada does not, at this stage, appear to be on the horizon. (Times of Israel)
  • Muslim Historians Confirm Jewish Ties to Jerusalem - Nadav Shragai
    Islam, Jews and the Temple Mount, by Prof. Yitzhak Reiter and Dvir Dimant, presents a comprehensive list of early Islamic sources that recognize the historical Jewish claim to Jerusalem. Canonical Muslim historical works that date back to the 7th century CE, a few decades after the death of the Prophet Muhammad, state that the very reason Islam came to regard the Foundation Stone situated in the center of the Dome of the Rock as holy is because of the knowledge that the Jewish Temple stood there. These early Muslim sources time and again describe history the same way that Jewish sources do.
        Islam's most respected historians emphasize that the reason Jerusalem and the Temple Mount came to be considered holy in Islam is that the sites were also regarded as sacred in Judaism and, in their view, Islam is a continuation of Judaism. The book shows that until the Balfour Declaration of 1917, not only did Muslim sources not deny the Jewish connection to Jerusalem, but they systematically pointed it out and confirmed it.
        The writer, a fellow of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, has documented Jerusalem for Ha'aretz and Israel Hayom for over 30 years. (Israel Hayom)
  • The Unwitting Western Supporters of Palestinian Jihad - Josh Hasten
    "Al-Aqsa is in danger" has served as a battle cry against the Jews for the past 100 years, says Dan Diker, director of the Political Warfare Project at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. "100 years ago, the first Palestinian spiritual leader Haj Amin a-Husseini, the head of the Muslim supreme council at the time, incited against the Jews by declaring 'Al-Aqsa is in danger.'"
        "How the West falls for this every time is curious. This has been an explicit strategy of PA leadership since 1993, in order to ignite the Middle East and to mobilize the West against Israel in recent decades. It is incumbent upon Western policymakers to understand this exploitation of sensitive religious sites that only Israel can protect for all religions. Those who ignite jihad throughout the Middle East and Muslim world make their Western partners unwitting supporters of Palestinian jihad under the banner of protecting Palestinians' religious and human rights."
        Lt.-Col. (res.) Maurice Hirsch, director of Legal Strategies for Palestinian Media Watch, said the current violence in Jerusalem has nothing to do with property issues in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. "This round of violence was premeditated and planned by both Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah and Hamas....On the backdrop of the now-canceled Palestinian elections, both Fatah and Hamas were trying to win the hearts of the Palestinian voters, each one showing their credentials as the self-declared defenders of Jerusalem. Each one had to outdo the other."  (JNS)

  • Rockets have been launched at Ashdod, Ashkelon, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. And I know my father - Elie Wiesel - would have flown to Israel, the way he did during every one of its wars from 1956 until 2014, two years before his death - the instinct of a survivor to stand with his people in moments of danger.
  • He felt it was for Israel's citizens to decide how best to achieve peace and security.
  • And he was deeply grateful that Israel existed. For him, the consequence of that gratitude was simple. He would stand with Israel.
  • Israel was a dream his grandmother had whispered to him as an infant. And it was the only reality that could guarantee to him that the Jewish people would never again be decimated.
  • I know we now have a country and an army devoted to making sure that no more Yartzeits need to be observed for murdered defenseless Jewish men, women and children.
  • And I know, as my father did, that Israel will survive because it will fight when it needs to fight, and it will make peace when peace is possible.

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