Iran Nuclear Centrifuge Facility Substantially Damaged in Attack
- Yonah Jeremy Bob (Jerusalem Post
A sabotage operation against a centrifuge manufacturing site of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) near the city of Karaj caused major damage - despite Iranian denials, the Jerusalem Post
learned on Wednesday.
A person familiar with the attack told the New York Times
that the attack was carried out by a quadcopter that took off from within Iran, not far from the targeted site.
U.S. Takes Down Iran-Linked News Sites Used for "Iranian Disinformation"
- Isabel Debre (AP-Washington Post
U.S. authorities seized a range of Iran's state-linked news website domains they accused of spreading disinformation, the U.S. Justice Department said Tuesday.
33 of the seized websites were used by the Iranian Islamic Radio and Television Union to spread disinformation and sow discord among American voters ahead of the 2020 presidential election.
The website domains are owned by U.S. companies.
The U.S. also took over the domain name of the news website Palestine Today,
which reflects the viewpoints of Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
Last October, the Department of Justice took down nearly 100 websites linked to Iran's Revolutionary Guards for waging a "global disinformation campaign."
See also U.S. Seizes Websites Used by Iran
(U.S. Justice Department
EU Commissioner Calls to Reconsider Aid after Anti-Semitism Found in PA Textbooks
- Lahav Harkov (Jerusalem Post
The EU must review the funding it gives to education in the Palestinian Authority after an EU-sponsored report found anti-Semitism and incitement in Palestinian textbooks, European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi said Monday.
Varhelyi seeks to immediately slash funding to the PA, but EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell objects, a source in Brussels said.
Brussels directly funds the salaries of teachers and the writers of textbooks which, the report indicates, encourage and glorify violence against Israelis and Jews.
Turkey's Education System Is Becoming Increasingly Islamist
- Pinar Tremblay (Al-Monitor
In March 2021, the research institute IMPACT-se published a study of 28 new Turkish textbooks that revealed anti-Americanism, anti-Semitism, Turkish ultra-nationalism as well as sympathy for jihadist
Non-Muslims are regularly referred to as "infidels" in textbooks.
In the new Turkish curriculum, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is described as religious war against Muslims.
war has been introduced into textbooks and turned into the 'new normal' with martyrdom in battle glorified," the report notes.
Anti-Americanism has also entered Turkish textbooks. America is blamed for the weak Turkish economy, the devaluation of the lira, and the military coups.
UK to Boycott Durban IV "Festival of Jew-Hate"
- Noa Hoffman (Jewish Chronicle-UK
The British government has confirmed it will boycott Durban IV, an international conference which purports to focus on racism but has become a "festival of Jew-hate."
On Sunday, a government spokesperson confirmed: "Following historic concerns regarding anti-Semitism, the UK has decided not to attend the UN's Durban Conference anniversary event later this year."
The event, which first took place in 2001 in South Africa, is also being boycotted by the U.S., Israel, Canada, and Australia.
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Video: Israel Cites Progress in Airborne Laser that Shoots Down Drones
The IDF said Monday it has successfully tested an airborne high-power laser that can shoot down drones. A prototype, developed with Elbit Systems, successfully shot down several drones in a recent test over the Mediterranean Sea.
"The ability to intercept and destroy threats from the air is groundbreaking. Israel is among the first countries to use such capabilities," said Brig.-Gen. Yaniv Rotem, head of military research and development at the Defense Ministry.
In the coming years, Israel hopes to also deploy a ground-based laser system with a range of 20 km. (12 miles) that can intercept rockets, mortars and drones.
The airborne high-power laser will be operational within three years and is much cheaper than the $50,000 that each Iron Dome interception missile costs.
The new system will be able to intercept long-range threats at high altitudes regardless of weather conditions and defend vast areas.
Hamas, Islamic Jihad Mobilize Gaza's Children for Summer Military Training
- Sharon Wrobel (Algemeiner
Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad are recruiting Palestinian children and teenagers for their upcoming annual summer camps. The summer camps are used for indoctrination into the group's ideology, to prepare these children to join the militant groups at age 16.
"There are many child militants out there," Joe Truzman, research analyst at FDD's Long War Journal
"For someone in Gaza it is normal....A lot of the children look up to these militants, they are their freedom fighters. There is nothing more honorable than to join one of their militant groups to become a shaheed
- a martyr."
17 Palestinian Militant Factions Identified in Recent Gaza Conflict
- Joe Truzman (Long War Journal-Foundation for Defense of Democracies
The recent conflict in Gaza was primarily fought between Hamas and the Israel Defense Forces. However, 17 Palestinian militant groups have been identified in media channels as active participants in the conflict.
They include Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Humat al-Aqsa, and Jihad Jibril Brigades, as well as Salifist-jihadist Jaysh al-Umma and Katibat al-Sheikh al-Emireen.
Other groups were the Mujahideen Brigades, Abdul al-Qadir al-Husseini Brigades, and two splinter groups from the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.
Boeing to Use Anti-Jamming System from Israel's Elbit in F-15s
Boeing said Sunday it will integrate an anti-jamming system developed by Israel's Elbit Systems into a fleet of F-15 fighter jets to be sold to an unnamed customer.
Elbit's Immune Satellite Navigation System ensures uninterrupted GPS operation, providing full jamming immunity for multiple satellite channels and can handle multiple interfering signals
Israeli Start-Up Beewise Is Saving Honey Bees from Extinction
- Diana Bletter (Jerusalem Post
As much as 35% of the world's honey bees are dying each year, and if they become extinct, the global food chain will collapse.
Israeli start-up Beewise has developed the world's first robotic beehive that will help avert the honey bee's fate, using artificial intelligence, robotics and software.
Standard beehives are white wooden boxes invented in the 1850s. The new solar-powered robotic beehive constantly monitors the bees and can respond immediately to adjust the hive's temperature and humidity, as well as treating the bees against infection, diseases and pests.
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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
- Iran's Incoming President: No Talks with U.S. on Missiles and Militias - Farnaz Fassihi
Iran's President-elect Ebrahim Raisi on Monday rejected the U.S. push for a broader deal that would restrict its ballistic missile program and curb its regional military policies in addition to containing its nuclear program.
Raisi said "regional issues and missiles are not negotiable."
The current president, Hassan Rouhani, has said broader negotiations with the U.S. could be possible under the umbrella of the nuclear deal. (New York Times)
- Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi Watched as Opponents Were Tortured - David Rose
In interviews with The Times, witnesses said that as a young prosecutor in the 1980s, Ebrahim Raisi, Iran's next president, presided over beatings, stonings and rape, as well as ordering the mass executions of prisoners by hanging or throwing them off cliffs. (The Times-UK)
- Abbas Critic Murdered by PA Security Officers during Raid on His Home - Shatha Hammad
Palestinian activist Nizar Banat died during a raid by Palestinian Authority security forces on his home in the Hebron area on Thursday. His family said he had been beaten. Banat had been arrested several times in the past for his criticism of the PA leadership. His lawyer, Muhannad Karajah, said, "What happened with Nizar Banat is an assassination." He added that torture against political opponents was continuing inside PA prisons. (Middle East Eye-UK)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
- U.S. Pushing PA to Reform Its Payments to Terrorists Policy - Jacob Magid
The Biden administration is committed to pushing the Palestinian Authority to reform its policy of payments to security prisoners and families of Palestinians killed while carrying out terror attacks on Israelis, a senior State Department official told the Times of Israel. The Taylor Force Act passed by Congress in 2018 suspended U.S. aid to the PA as long as it continued to award stipends to prisoners based on the length of their sentence. Secretary of State Blinken raised the issue during his meeting with PA President Abbas in Ramallah last month.
The U.S. official said Tuesday: "In administering assistance for the West Bank and Gaza, the Biden-Harris administration has made clear it will do so consistent with the Taylor Force Act and all applicable requirements under U.S. law." None of the $235 million in aid announced by the Biden administration is slated to go to the PA or Hamas and instead will be funneled to various USAID programs as well as UNRWA - the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.
(Times of Israel)
- At Least 48 Percent of Palestinians Killed during 2021 Gaza War Were Terror Operatives - Yonah Jeremy Bob
At least 112 (48%) of the 234 Palestinians killed during the Gaza conflict in May have been identified as being associated with terrorist groups, the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center reported Tuesday. 63 were associated with Hamas, 20 with Islamic Jihad, and 25 with Fatah. Another 11 men between the ages of 17 and 40 may also have been associated with terrorist groups.
An additional 21 Palestinians died from misfired Palestinian rockets intended to strike Israel, which landed in Gaza.
Without diminishing the tragedy of the deaths of women and children, many were family members of terrorists. Others lived in close proximity to terrorist locations. (Jerusalem Post)
- Israel Vote to Condemn China's Treatment of Uyghurs Marks Shift in Policy - Lahav Harkov
Israel signed a condemnation of China's treatment of its Uyghur minority at the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday, at Washington's behest. The condemnation, put forward by Canada, was signed by 41 countries.
Israel is also following China's lead in how it treats relations between the countries. While cultivating economic ties, China votes against Israel in international forums and pushed for strong condemnation of Israel's actions in Gaza in May. In addition, Chinese state-sponsored media have taken anti-Israel and even anti-Semitic positions.
Israeli diplomats have told their Chinese counterparts that they cannot have it both ways without there being any consequences. If China is separating diplomacy and economics in its treatment of Israel, then Jerusalem can do the same with Beijing. Israel will watch China's reaction to see if it is treated differently than the 40 other countries that signed the statement.
See also Anti-Israel Actions during Gaza War Undermined Israeli Trust in China - Tuvia Gering (Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
- Expert: U.S. Promise of a "Longer and Stronger" Iran Deal Will Not Happen - Lt.-Col. (ret.) Michael Segall interviewed by Israel Kasnett
Lt.-Col. (ret.) Michael Segall, former head of the Iran Desk of IDF Military Intelligence and currently a senior analyst at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, says that Iran "has the know-how" to go nuclear. "They have proven they are capable of reaching 60% [enrichment] and can get to weapons-grade levels." With the election of Ebrahim Raisi, Iran will have a president who's not pretending to be a moderate. "There is no mix of pragmatists, conservatives or moderates. There is only one face of Iran...radical conservatives."
According to Segall, Iran sees everything going its way - from wars against Israel waged by Hamas and Hizbullah to the replacement of Trump and Netanyahu. "Iran considers all these events as Divine intervention for it to fulfill its strategic goals, which is hegemony and dominance of the Middle East....The Iranians...are confident, blunt and defiant. And this is what we will see in the near future."
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken's promise for a "longer and stronger" Iran deal "will not happen." (JNS)
- If Iran's Ambitions Are Fundamentally Ideological, then Negotiations Are Pointless - Bret Stephens
Ebrahim Raisi was among the handful of Iranian leaders most involved in the "death commissions" involved in the secret executions of thousands of political prisoners in 1988. Last week he was elected president of Iran in a rigged process in which centrist candidates were disqualified before the vote took place. He is currently under U.S. Treasury Department sanctions for his human-rights abuses. It is possible, even likely, that he will succeed Ayatollah Khamenei as supreme leader.
The important question raised by Raisi's elevation is about the kind of regime we are dealing with, as negotiators in Vienna are completing the revised nuclear accord. Several years ago, Henry Kissinger asked whether Iran was "a nation or a cause." If Iran's ambitions are defined by normal considerations of national security, prosperity and self-respect, then the U.S. can negotiate with it on the basis of objective self-interest, its and ours.
Alternatively, if Iran's ambitions are fundamentally ideological - to spread the cause of its Islamic Revolution to every part of the Middle East and beyond - then negotiations are largely pointless. Iran will be bent on dominance and subversion, not stability. Those who thought that Iranian politics would ultimately move in a more moderate direction were wrong. The regime is doubling down on religion, repression and revolution. (New York Times)
- Documenting Iran's Unrelenting Intention to Preserve and Advance Its Nuclear Weapons Capabilities - John Bolton
David Albright is president of the Institute for Science and International Security. His new book, Iran's Perilous Pursuit of Nuclear Weapons, is the most comprehensive unclassified recounting of Iran's nuclear aspirations ever written, based on the nuclear archive collected by Israel's Mossad from Tehran in 2018. Albright and his team found that the nuclear archive fills many gaps in the West's knowledge and proves that Iran's nuclear-weapons program "can no longer be viewed as existing only in the past."
Albright concedes that many years ago he was "skeptical of the seemingly exaggerated claims by Western governments" about Iran's program. He now says that "the Iranian revolutionary regime is fundamentally a criminal operation." For decades, "Iran has systematically violated its commitments under the  Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty." Even nominal concessions from Tehran, including the JCPOA itself, occurred "under great pressure, with an underlying, unrelenting intention of preserving and advancing its nuclear weapons capabilities."
The book eviscerates the idea, central both to negotiating the JCPOA and rejoining it, that the IAEA can be relied upon for verification and compliance, seeking to endow it with capabilities it has never had and never will. Serious verification must rest with U.S. intelligence, not UN agencies.
The writer is a former U.S. ambassador to the UN and national security adviser.
(Wall Street Journal)
- Israel Endures - What We Witnessed after Hamas' Rocket Attacks - John Hagee and Amb. Nikki Haley
In Israel last week we saw the wreckage caused by the latest round of terrorist rockets. We were outside the home of a 90-year-old Holocaust survivor - at least, what was left of it. She lost her legs and nearly her life. Her caretaker died when the house was destroyed. The next-door neighbor invited us into her home. It was badly damaged, too. When the rocket hit, she was holding her grandchild. The blast threw them into the wall. We could see the outline of her body, and even her hair, which had stuck there.
We went to Israel in the wake of the war. Less than three weeks earlier, Israel's citizens endured 11 straight days of rocket attacks. Hamas launched more than 4,300 rockets at Israeli schools, homes and synagogues. Their goal was to kill as many innocents as possible. Israel came through the crisis thanks to the Iron Dome and the iron will of its people.
Israel was completely in the right to take the fight to Hamas. With the terrorist leaders operating from hospitals, apartment buildings and even a foreign media hub, Israel targeted them with the utmost precision and protection for innocent Palestinians. Israel's restraint is all the more remarkable given the threat it faces. Every Israeli citizen knows that Hamas would kill each and every one of them if given the chance.
Pastor John Hagee is the founder and chairman of Christians United for Israel.
Nikki Haley is a former U.S. ambassador to the UN.
- Prospects of a Long-Term Armistice with Hamas - Ehud Yaari
Hamas' agreement that economic aid for Gaza can be handled by others, such as the Palestinian Authority, mirrors its invitation to Abbas to take over the civilian management of Gaza. Hamas aims to copy the Hizbullah model in Lebanon - to be the strongest military player in the arena but to let others deal with the civilian population.
Within Hamas, there is a deepening divide between people like Yahya Sinwar, who believe that Hamas can no longer escape the reality of their responsibility for the civilian population in Gaza, and the military chiefs like Mohammed Deif and Marwan Issa, who believe that Hamas is not about serving the people but is about Jihad.
Israel and the U.S. have no solution to prevent dual-use items such as cement, iron, and other equipment from falling into Hamas' hands and helping it to rearm or rebuild its tunnel network. Even were the PA to supervise the effort, I believe they will eventually be frightened, bribed and coerced by Hamas and it wouldn't be effective.
The writer, a fellow with The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, is a veteran commentator for Israeli television.
- Hold Hamas Accountable for Human-Shields Use during the 2021 Gaza War - Orde Kittrie
During the May 2021 Gaza conflict, Hamas relied heavily on the use of civilians as human shields, which is a war crime.
The Sanctioning the Use of Civilians as Defenseless Shields Act, enacted unanimously by Congress in 2018, requires the president to impose sanctions on persons involved in the use of human shields by Hamas or Hizbullah.
The Biden administration should start implementing the Shields Act, including by imposing sanctions on Yahya Sinwar, the top Hamas political leader in Gaza, and other terrorist officials.
The Associated Press found that "Palestinian fighters are clearly operating in built-up residential areas and have positioned tunnels, rocket launchers, and command and control infrastructure in close proximity to schools, mosques and homes."
Moreover, Shields Act sanctions on Hamas would be an important step toward countering the extensive use of human shields against the U.S. and its allies. In 2019, NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe, Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, said that, considering the frequency and effectiveness of human-shields use against NATO forces, "it is essential that further measures be taken at the national level to maximize enforcement of the international legal prohibition of the use of human shields."
The writer, who served for ten years as a U.S. State Department attorney, is a law professor at Arizona State University and a senior fellow at FDD.
(Foundation for Defense of Democracies)
- Abbas Appears Emboldened by Resumption of U.S. Aid, Cracks Down on Rivals - Khaled Abu Toameh
Since U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken's visit in May to Ramallah, PA security forces have arrested or summoned dozens of Palestinians for interrogation. Many of them were accused of "insulting" Palestinian leaders on social media or expressing support for the PA's rivals in Hamas and other Palestinian factions.
The Palestinian human rights group Lawyers for Justice said on June 5: "The campaign of political arrests and summonses...affected many citizens of different backgrounds, including arrests based on political affiliation and arrests for exercising freedom of opinion and expression." Some of the detainees said they were beaten and tortured in the PA's Security Committee detention center in Jericho.
Western diplomats and journalists raise their voices loudly when they have something damning to say about Israel. The silence of the international community and its unqualified support for the PA encourages the Palestinian leadership to step up its repressive measures against Palestinians. When Palestinians despair of any improvement in the PA leadership, they move towards Hamas and other terrorist groups.
- Hamas Just Proved Gulf States Were Right to Normalize with Israel - Boris Zilberman
When the Israel-Hamas conflict began in May, Bahrain and the UAE, which have long feared the regional ambitions of Tehran and its destabilizing proxies, realized that what Israeli families experienced could easily be what Bahraini or Emirati families face in the future, if Iran decides to aim their rockets at moderate Arab regimes.
The Gulf rulers who opened their doors to the Jewish state understand just exactly who Hamas is, whom Hamas truly fights for, and that any solution to the conflict will have to come through the complete marginalization of its primary sponsors in Tehran.
The writer is director of public policy and strategy for the Christians United for Israel Action Fund.
- The Price of Being a Zionist Woman on Twitter - Emily Schrader
Last month, while 4,500 rockets from Gaza were flying at Israeli schools, homes, and businesses, anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S. rose sharply. As someone with over a decade of experience in the digital marketing side of Israel advocacy, I've never seen an outpouring of explicit anti-Semitic content across social media platforms as strong as what we witnessed in May. For years, Jews and pro-Israel activists warned that ignoring anti-Semitism couched as anti-Zionism would lead to violence against Jews. Recent weeks have proven that argument to be sadly true. There is a direct correlation between real-world violence and the level of hate we see online.
Yet, we must not back down in the face of cyberbullying. It's draining to be on the receiving end of such abuse, but it also reaffirms that what we are fighting for is worthwhile, and more important than ever before.
See also Former Soviet Jews Are Helping American Jews Fight Back Against a Wave of Hate - Izabella Tabarovsky (Tablet)
- What's Disproportional Is the Criticism of Israel - Dr. Alex Safian
While the fighting between Israel and Hamas has stopped for now, critics continue to condemn Israel for allegedly using "disproportional force" and for ethnically cleansing Palestinians from Jerusalem. Yet when the city was unified by Israel in 1967 it was 26% Arab. Now, after 54 years of "ethnic cleansing," Jerusalem is 38% Arab. The dispute in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem involves Palestinians who are tenants on land even Jordan agreed was Jewish-owned.
As for disproportionate force, is Israel guilty because far more Gazans than Israelis have died? In World War II, far more Japanese and Germans died than Americans. Does that mean Imperial Japan or Nazi Germany were in the right, and the U.S. was in the wrong? Moreover, in May, 680 Palestinian missiles misfired and came down in Gaza, killing Palestinian civilians whose deaths were blamed on Israel. It is the lies told about Israel that are disproportional.
The writer is the associate director and research director of CAMERA.
See also The Principle of Proportionality Is Often Misinterpreted - Ophir Falk
America was not limited to killing 2,403 enemy soldiers in response to Pearl Harbor. Its response, with the goal of bringing down fascism, was legitimate and proportional. The principle of proportionality is often misinterpreted. It means doing what it takes to achieve a legitimate military objective. Not more than what it takes but not less either. Doing less often invites more terrorism and unnecessarily prolongs combat.
The writer is a research fellow at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya.
See also Proportionality and Civilian Use of a Military Objective - Cpt. (res.) Ori Pomson
The writer served for six years in the IDF Military Advocate General's International Law Department.
- Toxic Ideologies Are Conquering American Newsrooms - Jonathan S. Tobin
For the last 40 years, activists have worked hard to monitor press coverage of the Middle East and to call out anti-Israel bias masquerading as objective news. With respect to coverage of the conflict with the Palestinians, accounts were frequently based on a false narrative in which the Jews were oppressors of downtrodden Arabs. Instead of presenting audiences with a coherent view of a century-long war against Zionism and an effort to destroy the one Jewish state on the planet, many served up stories about underdogs and bad guys.
Taken out of the context of history and the Palestinians' repeated rejections of peace and an independent state in 2000, 2001 and 2008 because it would have meant accepting Israel's permanence, what you get is a caricature of reality that ignores anything beyond images of Palestinian victims, robbing Palestinians of any agency about their fate.
As last month's act of front-page incitement against Israel on the part of the New York Times - which highlighted pictures of children allegedly killed by Israel - amply illustrated, anti-Israel bias has come out of the closet. A new mindset has discarded objectivity in favor of a belief that the duty of journalists is to advocate for a particular point of view. An open letter published this month and signed by 500 journalists called for a change in the way Israel is covered. The signers believe all stories should be told from the Palestinian point of view and, in their version of reality, everything Israel does is a "war crime." (JNS)
- Tips for Reading about Israel - Matti Friedman
Some Western observers have formed a picture of Israel only tenuously linked to reality. The shared narrative in Western Europe and North America is largely a negative one that grows increasingly negative as the ideological landscape of the West becomes more polarized and inflamed.
Too many mainstream journalists have abandoned old ideals such as objectivity for the idea that journalism is a tool to effect social change. Similar trends are afoot in the world of elite universities, where the goal of educating knowledgeable people is losing ground to the goal of training activists, and where Israel is presented as a potent symbol of what a right-thinking person is meant to be active against. Journalists who have become activists see their job not as helping you understand events, but as pushing you toward their conclusions. As soon as the press becomes activist, it becomes impossible to understand what's going on.
Israel must be compared with other countries in similar situations and not to abstract ideals like "democracy."
If someone is claiming that casualties in an Israeli operation in Gaza are "high," that needs to be compared with similar operations, like the U.S. Marines in Fallujah, or the British in Northern Ireland. If you're critical of open-fire orders on the Gaza fence, you should know how that works on the perimeters of U.S. military bases in Afghanistan. Most criticism of Israel doesn't compare it with anything.
The stories told about Israel often suggest that bringing peace is a problem Israel could solve if it wanted to, which sets up the Jews as villains, rather than as people caught up in a complex situation where no one really knows what to do.
The writer was an Associated Press reporter in Jerusalem between 2006 and 2011. (Sapir Journal)
- The Anti-Americanism of Anti-Israel Activists - Emily Schrader
Almost any place you see aggressive, over-the-top, anti-Israel activity, you see it coupled with radical anti-American ideas as well. Take, for example, Mohammed and Muna El-Kurd, the twins from Sheikh Jarrah who are on a constant international media tour. While the international press is normalizing these activists, a glance at their social media shows not only radical support for terrorism and violence, but also celebrating the burning of an American flag and whitewashing al-Qaeda.
The same phenomenon occurred at the International Criminal Court. At the same time Israel became a target, the U.S. in Afghanistan also became a target. Hizbullah, funded by Iran, pledges on a near daily basis to destroy Israel, but they also are responsible for the Marine barracks bombing in Beirut in 1983, which killed 220 U.S. servicemen. In nearly every place where you see Israeli flags being burned, those same people are burning American flags by its side. (Jerusalem Post)
- What motivated Hamas to attack Israel for the fourth time since 2008 after Israel had withdrawn from the entire Gaza Strip?
- The Hamas war against Israel has ideological roots. The 1988 Hamas Covenant stated that "Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam obliterates it." The Covenant adds, "There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad."
- Hamas claims the war was caused by Israeli actions in Jerusalem, including plans to evict Palestinians in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. But in truth, this was a legal dispute that had been under consideration by Israeli courts for many years. A deed from 1876 gave legal title to two Jewish organizations that purchased the property. Palestinian Arabs moved into the area after 1948 when it was conquered by the Arab Legion and the Jews residing there were evicted. Thus, this was not a dispute between indigenous Arab residents and new Israeli "settlers."
- Since the early 20th century, the Palestinian leadership in Jerusalem has sought to use the so-called threat to the Muslim religious shrines on the Temple Mount as an instrument to rally public opinion, and Hamas did so once again in 2021 when Israel sought to end rioting and stone throwing from inside the barricaded al-Aqsa Mosque.
- In this latest conflict, the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, affiliated with the Israeli Defense Ministry, examined the names of those killed on the Palestinian side and found that half were terrorist operatives. Hamas spokesmen had claimed that the overwhelming majority of Palestinians killed were civilians.
- Iran played a key role in support of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket fire at Israel from Gaza. Yahya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas in Gaza, declared that Iran was the "largest backer, financially, and militarily" of Hamas, while Ramez al-Halabi, a senior leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, explained that "every weapon" his organization uses was purchased with Iranian funding.
The writer, former director-general of the Israel Foreign Ministry and former ambassador to the UN, is president of the Jerusalem Center. This article is part of the forthcoming research report: The Gaza War 2021: The Iranian and Hamas Attack on Israel.
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