November 30, 2023
Special Report
A project of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Israel's Global Embassy for National Security and Applied Diplomacy

In-Depth Issues:

Three Israelis Killed, Six Wounded by Hamas Terrorists in Jerusalem Shooting Attack - Yael Freidson (Ha'aretz)
    Three Israelis - Liviya Dickman, 24; Hanna Ifergan, 67; and Rabbi Elimelech Wasserman, 73 - were killed in a shooting attack on Thursday at the entrance to Jerusalem. Six other people were injured.
    The assailants, two Palestinian brothers from eastern Jerusalem, Murad and Ibrahim Namer, aged 38 and 30, were shot dead. They were affiliated with Hamas and had served prison sentences for terrorist activities.
    The attackers arrived by car at the Givat Shaul junction and fired towards civilians waiting at a bus stop. Two soldiers and a civilian in the area fired back at them, killing the attackers.
    See also Video: Jerusalem Shooting Attack - Emanuel Fabian (X)

Thai Hostages: "Jewish Hostages Beaten with Electric Cables, Held in Worse Conditions than Us" (Jerusalem Post)
    Thai hostages released by Hamas told Israeli security personnel: "Occasionally, we were put in captivity with the Israelis. They were constantly guarded. [Hamas] had a tougher attitude towards the Jews, they were beaten with electric cables."
    One added, "We ate one pita a day, and a can of tuna was divided among four people."

Israel Slams UN Security Council for Failing to Condemn Hamas' Savage Crimes (All Israel News)
    At a meeting of the UN Security Council on Wednesday, Israeli Ambassador Gilad Erdan said, "Anyone who supports a ceasefire basically supports Hamas' continued reign of terror in Gaza. Hamas is a genocidal terror organization - they don't hide it - not a reliable partner for peace."
    Erdan lambasted Security Council members for failing to condemn Hamas' savage crimes on Oct. 7.
    "On November 29, 1947, the UN voted to adopt the Partition Plan and the establishment of the Jewish state. Yet while Israel joyfully accepted this resolution, the Arab states rejected it, and instead, tried to annihilate Israel."
    "Today, exactly 76 years later, history is somewhat repeating itself. Foreign ministers of some Arab countries have arrived here today in order to support a terror organization that aims to annihilate Israel."
    "Thankfully, the plan to eliminate Israel was unsuccessful then, just as it will be unsuccessful today." 

Experts Warn Hamas in Holy War Against Western Civilization - Abigail Klein Leichman (Israel21c)
    "The Israel-Hamas war is about defending the 'free world' and standing up for civilization and decency against barbarism and monstrous depravity," says Prof. Jonathan Rynhold, a senior research fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University.
    "Israel must win or else jihadis will be emboldened to use similar methods against other members of the free world."
    Lt.-Col. (res.) Shay Har-Zvi, senior fellow in the Institute for Policy and Strategy at Reichman University, says, "If we succeed to eliminate Hamas, we could revive normalization negotiations with Saudi Arabia. If we don't succeed, Hamas will try to take over Judea and Samaria, and that will endanger stability in Jordan and beyond."
    The moderate Arab countries "are under pressure from the public to support Hamas and criticize Israel but they understand we must win this war."

A New War Has Just Been Declared on Hamas' Overseas Business Network - David Rosenberg (Ha'aretz)
    A new front in the Gaza war opened on Monday against Hamas' financial arm by a new task force comprising the U.S., Israel and 11 other countries.
    Derailing the Hamas money train is important. Whether they are inspired by religion, nationalism, hatred or economic distress, terrorists have to eat and must be paid, and they need money for arms.
    Hamas' global business empire includes mining companies in Sudan and real estate developers in the Gulf, Africa and Turkey.
    Hamas companies built Sudan's first shopping mall and skyscrapers in the UAE.
    Israeli sources told The Economist that Hamas businesses bring in $500 million annually.
    However, Hamas constructed its business empire precisely in order to circumvent Western sanctions.
    The great majority of its assets are located in countries like Turkey, Qatar, the UAE, Sudan and Algeria that are unlikely to cooperate with any Western crackdown.

UK Sends Warship to Gulf over Fears of Iran-Backed Escalation - Gillian Duncan (The National-UAE)
    Britain is sending the destroyer HMS Diamond to the Gulf after the "unlawful and brazen" seizure by Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels of an Israeli ship in the Red Sea and the increase in activity by Somali pirates, UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said.
    The destroyer will join the UK's maritime presence in the Gulf and the Indian Ocean to help ensure freedom of navigation.
    The HMS Diamond, one of the most advanced warships in the world, is equipped with cutting-edge military sensors and a range of sophisticated weapons systems which can detect and destroy airborne, surface and sub-surface threats.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Biden Administration Presses Israel for Restraint in South Gaza - Karen DeYoung
    The Biden administration is increasingly concerned about an upcoming Israeli offensive in southern Gaza. "They can't do what they did in the north in the south," a senior administration official said. "A different kind of campaign has to be conducted in the south," said a second senior official.
        Israeli military officials say they take U.S. advice seriously, but they reject the idea that major operational changes are needed. "We're continuously talking with anyone who has lessons learned about this area, including our American counterparts," Israel Defense Forces spokesman Amnon Sheffler said Tuesday at the Israeli Embassy in Washington. "I don't think that so far, there's big lessons that we have been missing.... Hamas terrorists moved together with the civilians to the south. So in order to reach both our goals, to release the hostages and to dismantle Hamas, it's a necessity to act also in that area."  (Washington Post)
  • Senators Emerge Shaken from Screening of Hamas Attack Footage - Marc Rod
    Nearly 40 senators who viewed footage from Hamas' Oct. 7 attack on Israel on Tuesday emerged from the screening shaken, some of them in tears. "We must bear witness to what they did, to honor the memories of the thousands of families who lost loved ones, friends, beloved family members," said Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV), who co-organized the screening with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). "There are those who wish to deny what happened. We need to let the world know what happened here."
        "It's important that we see it now, in real time, because Hamas has vowed to repeat this day over and over, over and over....They have promised to export this terror. So we need to show people who they really are and what they plan to do and how they plan to do it."
        Sen. Rubio said, "The one thing that struck me is how proud and gleeful these people were [about] what they were doing to unarmed civilians, children, people sitting around at home having breakfast, kids out at a rave party. It gives you insight into what human beings are capable of."
        "It's the face of evil," said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). "There is a level of evil and hate and depravity that defies words. And it is astonishing that there are still some in America and across the globe who deny these atrocities occurred. This was not combat. This was the slaughter of innocent civilians. And the joy and celebration among those terrorists as they were murdering children - it simply defies words."
        "It shook all of us up in the room," said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). "I had to go sit in my office for a half hour alone after seeing it." Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), the Senate majority whip, said, "It's just graphic violence and death."
        Sen. Rosen added, "Israel has to protect themselves and the world from the brutal, brutal terror that Hamas waged in Israel and has promised to wage again."  (Jewish Insider)
  • Holding Hostages Is a War Crime
    Hamas and Islamic Jihad are committing war crimes by holding scores of Israelis and others as hostages in Gaza, Human Rights Watch said on Oct. 19, 2023. No grievance can justify holding anyone hostage. The groups should immediately and safely release all civilians detained.
        "Civilians, including children, people with disabilities, and older people should never be treated as bargaining chips. Governments that have influence with Hamas, including Qatar, Egypt, and Turkey, should use their leverage to press for hostages to be released as soon as possible and treated humanely until then."
        Taking hostages is prohibited under Common Article 3 to the 1949 Geneva Conventions. Article 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) similarly defines hostage-taking as a war crime. Those who ordered or carried out hostage-taking or the holding of hostages can be held criminally liable. Hamas and Islamic Jihad commanders may also be prosecuted if they knew of crime and failed to prevent the crimes. (Human Rights Watch)
  • U.S. Navy Ship Shoots Down Drone Launched by Houthis from Yemen - Lolita C. Baldor
    The USS Carney, a Navy destroyer sailing near the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, shot down an Iranian-made KAS-04 drone launched from a Houthi-controlled area of Yemen that was heading toward the ship on Wednesday, U.S. Central Command said.
        On Tuesday, an Iranian drone flew within 1,500 yards of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier as it was conducting flight operations in international waters. Navy Vice Adm. Brad Cooper said that drone "violated safety precautions" by not staying more than 10 nautical miles from the ship. (AP-Washington Post)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • 12 Hostages Released by Hamas on Wednesday - Ofer Aderet
    5 Israeli women, 5 teens, 2 women who are Israeli-Russian dual citizens, and 4 Thai hostages were released from Hamas captivity on Wednesday, 54 days after they were kidnapped to Gaza. (Ha'aretz)
  • Netanyahu: "Israel Will Return to Fighting in Gaza" - Itamar Eichner
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday in a video posted on social media: "There is no way we will not return to fighting until the end. This is my policy, the entire cabinet stands behind it, the entire government stands behind it, the soldiers stand behind it, the people stand behind it - this is exactly what we will do."  (Ynet News)
  • Gaza Truce with Hamas to Extend One More Day
    Israel confirmed Thursday morning that a temporary truce in Gaza would extend for at least one more day, with eight Israeli hostages set to be released Thursday evening. (Times of Israel)
  • IDF Kills 3 Gazan Gunmen Who Violated Ceasefire - Emanuel Fabian
    IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said troops killed three Palestinian gunmen in Gaza on Wednesday after they had "violated the ceasefire and were a threat to our forces."  (Times of Israel)
  • IDF Kills Senior Islamic Jihad Commander in Jenin - Jack Khoury
    The IDF killed Mohamed Zubeidi, a senior officer in Islamic Jihad who headed the Jenin Brigades, during an operation in the Jenin refugee camp in northern Samaria on Wednesday. Zubeidi was involved in the shooting attack which killed Meir Tamari near Hermesh in May. He also sent out terrorists to carry out attacks, the army said. In the course of the operation, 17 wanted persons were arrested and weapons, explosive charges and military equipment were confiscated.
        During an exchange of fire between Israeli forces and Palestinian terrorists, Basel Abu Alufa, 15, and Adam Al-Rol, 8, were killed by IDF fire, the Palestinian Health Ministry reported. An army source told Ha'aretz that the two had been throwing explosives at the troops. Army footage shows the body of one of the boys with a pipe bomb beside him and in another video he is seen holding the pipe bomb. (Ha'aretz)
  • Amid Gaza War, IDF Steps Up West Bank Raids to Quell Potential Front - Emanuel Fabian
    The IDF has arrested 2,000 wanted Palestinians across the West Bank, including more than 1,100 affiliated with Hamas, since Oct. 7. Military officials say the number of terror attacks carried out against Israelis in the West Bank has been noticeably low during the past month and a half, in comparison to terror in the region over the past two years. Some 200 West Bank Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since Oct. 7. 60% were armed with either a firearm or an explosive device.
        Maj. (res.) Arik Pupov, deputy commander of the Samaria Regional Brigade's 8109th Reserve Battalion, said, "since the beginning of the war, our operations have been more intensive," noting that reservist battalions are much larger than standing army battalions. "Because we have a lot of forces from the reservists, we have more freedom to arrest all those who have been wanted for years."
        The IDF says it has cases against all of those it detains, and would not expend effort on detaining and questioning people who are not suspected of anything. Most of those detained in recent weeks have been Hamas members, while the rest are members of other terror groups or "instigators" involved in rioting. "Because we are in a war, we especially want to keep [the West Bank] a quiet area, and not allow another front to open," Popov said. (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
  • Jewish Americans Fear Intensifying Virulent Antisemitism - Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
    53 days ago, citizens of Israel suffered a horrendous attack orchestrated and executed by Hamas. The solidarity that Jewish Americans initially received from our fellow citizens in the aftermath of Oct. 7 has since waned, drowned out by other, more disturbing voices, even from some we considered allies, while hate crimes against Jews have skyrocketed. Today, too many Americans are exploiting arguments against Israel and leaping toward a virulent antisemitism. The normalization and intensifying of this rise in hate is the danger many Jewish people fear most.
        Since Oct. 7, Jewish-owned businesses that have nothing to do with Israel have been boycotted and vandalized. Jewish students on college campuses have been harassed and assaulted with alarming frequency. For many Jewish people today, the rise of antisemitism is more than a crisis - it's a five-alarm fire.
        We see and hear things differently from others because we understand the horrors that can follow the targeting of Jewish people. We've learned the hard way to fear how such attacks can easily erupt into widespread antisemitism if they are not repudiated.
        When criticism against Israel is allowed to cross over into a denial of a Jewish state in any form, into open calls for the very destruction of Israel, while at the same time the self-determination of other peoples is exalted, that is an example of the discriminatory double standard Jewish people have always found so hurtful. To declare that only the Jewish people cannot have their own state, in any form, is a glaring example of what Jewish Americans so fiercely object to.
        I implore every person and every community and every institution to stand with Jewish Americans and to denounce antisemitism in all of its forms.
        The writer is the Senate majority leader. (New York Times)
  • Who the Israelis Are Releasing in Return for Hamas' Hostages - Editorial
    In return for the release of Israeli women and children abducted in illegal acts of war targeting civilians in their homes, Israel has freed more than 200 Palestinian prisoners, but nobody should think these prisoners are at all morally comparable.
        Of the 39 Palestinians released on Saturday night, eight were convicted of attempted murder. All were adults when they committed their attacks, and all were released well before the end of their sentences.
        The Times of Israel reports that "at least 55% of the 117 prisoners released during the first three days of the deal had been being held for violent crimes, including 10 for attempted murder, 13 for inflicting serious bodily harm, 19 for placing a bomb or throwing an incendiary device, seven for shooting at people, and five for assault." 21% were affiliated with a terrorist organization.
        Israel knows from prior swaps that freed Palestinian prisoners often return to the terrorist ranks, and no one should be surprised if those recently released take up arms again against Israelis or others. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Stop Psychoanalyzing Israel - Dr. Rafael Medoff
    Upon his arrival in Israel last month, President Biden advised, "While you feel that rage, don't be consumed by it." The notion that if Israel hits hard at terrorists, it must be acting out of some kind of irrational emotion is inaccurate and insulting.
        In the years before there was an Israel, there were those who dismissed Jewish concerns about Nazism as a kind of emotional rage from which Jews just needed to calm down. The false diagnoses of "Jewish rage" assumes that all Jews think alike and act alike. Therefore, since some Jews were persecuted in the past, their descendants today must be acting out some hidden psychological problem if they cry out or fight back.
        The absurdity of that argument is obvious from Israel's demographic makeup. Most Israelis today are not children or grandchildren of Holocaust survivors - because their parents and grandparents did not come from Europe. Certainly Israelis are deeply interested in the history of the Holocaust. And they may justifiably view the Nazi genocide, and the world's reaction to it, as a cautionary tale. But that is a far cry from being traumatized or mentally unbalanced as a result of what happened to previous generations.
        When Israelis look at Hamas, they don't see Nazis. They see Palestinian Arab terrorists who, just weeks ago, perpetrated mass murder, torture, rape, and beheadings of Jews. Israel's response to them is not rage against imaginary enemies. It's self-defense against real enemies.
        The writer is founding director of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies. (Los Angeles Jewish Journal)

Rejection of the UN Partition Plan of November 29, 1947, Was a Prequel to the October 7 Massacre - Lt.-Col. (res.) Maurice Hirsch (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • On November 29, 1947, the UN General Assembly voted to partition the 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine. While the representatives of the Jews expressed their support for the plan, the representatives of the Arabs rejected the decision, refusing to accept the creation of a Jewish state within any boundaries.
  • The events of October 7, in which all the Palestinian terror organizations participated, demonstrated that nothing has changed in 76 years. From November 1947 to May 1948, the Arab countries could have reconsidered their decision and given birth to an Arab state in "Palestine." They did not. Instead, they chose the path of war to annihilate Israel.
  • The Palestinian Authority messaging to the Palestinians for the last 30 years has been very clear: Israel, in all and any borders, is an illegitimate state; Israelis/Jews are responsible for all the ills of the world and Islamic imperative mandates their destruction; Palestinians are destined to annihilate Israel through the use of terror and violence in the end of days when "trees and stones will call to Muslim believers saying a Jew is hiding behind me" - to kill.
  • Hamas' messaging to the Gazans is precisely the same as the PA's messaging.
  • Palestinian leaders are not talking peace, nor are they talking about coexistence. What they are saying, in Arabic, to their own population has never changed: Israel has no right to exist, and we must do everything, including the genocide of Jews, to destroy it.
  • Being willfully blind and deaf to Palestinian incitement and denial of Israel's right to exist will not bring about peace. It will, however, guarantee that the October 7 massacre will happen over and over again.

    The writer, Director of the Palestinian Authority Accountability Initiative at the Jerusalem Center, served for 19 years in the IDF Military Advocate General Corps and was director of the Military Prosecution in Judea and Samaria.

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