March 10, 2024
Special Report
A project of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Israel's Global Embassy for National Security and Applied Diplomacy

In-Depth Issues:

Israel's Mossad: Hamas Not Interested in Reaching Gaza Ceasefire Deal - Tovah Lazaroff (Jerusalem Post)
    "At this stage, Hamas is holding to its position as if it was uninterested in a [ceasefire] deal and is striving to ignite the region during Ramadan at the expense of the Palestinian residents of Gaza," Israel's Mossad said on Saturday.

At Least 5 Gazans Killed after Airdropped Aid Falls on Them - Abeer Salman (CNN)
    At least five Gazans were killed and 10 others injured when airdropped aid packages fell on them in the Al Shati camp west of Gaza City on Friday.
    In a video obtained by CNN, during an airdrop the parachute on a pallet malfunctions and the pallet and its contents can be seen falling at a high speed.

Peru Arrests 2 in Foiled Iranian Plot to Kill Israeli Businessman (Times of Israel)
    Peruvian police on Friday said they had captured Majid Azizi, 56, an Iranian member of the Revolutionary Guards Quds Force, and a Peruvian national who were planning an attack on an Israeli national at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting later this year.

Germany Ends Funding for Six Terror-Linked NGOs - David Isaac (JNS)
    The German government will cease funding six Palestinian NGOs that were declared terrorist organizations in 2021 by Israel, Bild reported.
    Germany recognized that Israel's evidence was right concerning the groups, which had close ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
    The Oct. 7 massacre "changed everything," said Olga Deutsch, vice president of NGO Monitor, forcing Germany to take an "urgent, critical look" at what kinds of groups it was supporting.

Pro-Palestinian Activists Damage Portrait of Balfour at University of Cambridge - Marc Tracy (New York Times)
    A pro-Palestinian group slashed and spray-painted a century-old portrait of British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour at the University of Cambridge on Friday.
    The British official's Balfour Declaration pledged support in 1917 for "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people," which helped pave the way to Israel's founding three decades later.

Israel Ramps Up Domestic Manufacturing of Munitions, Easing Pressure on U.S. - Sean Durns (Washington Examiner)
    Wars in Europe and the Middle East have put pressure on America's defense industrial base, feeding growing concerns about a rapidly depleting stockpile.
    But Israel has pointed to a temporary solution that can help. The Israeli government intends to ramp up its domestic manufacturing of important armaments, including munitions.
    In so doing, Israel will gain greater self-reliance, and the U.S. will get some much-needed breathing room to focus on its own munitions needs.
    Artillery shells, sophisticated guided air-to-ground munitions, and interceptors for Israel's Iron Dome are all slated to be built domestically.
    At the same time, numerous weapons systems used by Israel, including aircraft, will continue to be manufactured in the U.S., giving Americans jobs.
    The writer is a senior research analyst for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA).

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • U.S. and Coalition Shoot Down 28 Houthi Attack Drones
    U.S. Navy vessels and aircraft along with multiple coalition navy ships and aircraft shot down at least 28 Houthi attack drones on Saturday in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. (CENTCOM)
  • Israel Says Its Forces "Fired Precisely" during Aid Convoy Chaos - Aaron Boxerman
    Israeli soldiers "fired precisely" at Gazans who approached them during the chaos near an aid convoy in northern Gaza on Feb. 29 that led to the deaths of dozens of Palestinians, but they did not fire on the convoy itself, the Israeli military said on Friday after an internal review. Thousands of Gazans had massed around an Israeli-organized aid convoy, and many civilians were harmed or killed in a stampede as they crowded around the aid trucks. (New York Times)
  • Sweden and Canada to Restart Payments to UN Agency for Palestinians - Victoria Kim
    Canada and Sweden are resuming funding for UNRWA, the UN agency supporting Palestinian refugees in Gaza. The countries were among more than a dozen that suspended payments to UNRWA after accusations in January by Israel that its employees in Gaza had been involved in the Oct. 7 Hamas-led attacks on Israel or their aftermath.
        Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it was "a serious mistake" for the two countries to restart financing the agency. "It constitutes tacit consent and encouragement on the part of the governments of Canada and Sweden to continue to ignore the involvement of UNRWA employees in terrorist activity." Israel has claimed that at least 10% of UNRWA's staff in Gaza is affiliated with Palestinian armed groups. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called for UNRWA to be closed and replaced "with responsible international aid agencies."  (New York Times)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Dozens of Hizbullah Rockets Pummel Northern Israel - Lior Ben Ari
    Heavy rocket barrages from southern Lebanon were fired toward a dozen communities in northern Israel Sunday morning. The IDF identified 35 rocket launches from Lebanon toward Israeli territory and several were intercepted by air defenses. In response, the IDF responded with artillery fire and airstrikes. (Ynet News)
  • Israel Cracks Down on Hamas-Linked Terrorist Cell in Northern Israel - Elisha Ben Kimon
    The Israel Police and Israel Security Agency reported on Sunday uncovering a terrorist cell in northern Israel planning to carry out attacks on behalf of Hamas. 13 Israeli Arabs, mostly from Sakhnin, were apprehended. Some suspects were involved in a firebombing attack on Kibbutz Eshbal during the May 2021 Gaza war. Firearms, ammunition and bulletproof vests were seized. One suspect was in contact with Hamas operatives in Gaza, who provided him with instructions for manufacturing explosives. (Ynet News)
  • Seven Israeli Soldiers Wounded by Bomb in Samaria - Hagar Shezaf
    After shots were fired toward an IDF guardpost near Homesh, as the soldiers pursued the shooters a bomb was detonated, wounding seven Israeli soldiers. (Ha'aretz)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
  • Can Bad Ideas Be Killed? - Ronald Tiersky
    Israel's attempt to "destroy" Hamas is often derided that "you can't kill an idea." But this proposition is false. In the abstract, no idea ever dies, but as a practical matter it can fall into the dustbin of history. The Hamas strategy was to "overthrow" the geopolitical tendency of Arab governments' growing acceptance of Israel. Many Arab governments no longer rejected Israel's existence as a state. In fact, they want Israel as an economic partner and as a geopolitical ally against Iran.
        What is the goal of the Palestinian "resistance"? To destroy the State of Israel and empty Israel of its Jews. To establish a new Palestinian state on territory "from the river to the sea." Even if Hamas is destroyed, new groups will arise to fight against accepting Israel. Fair enough, in the abstract.
        The reality is, on the other hand, that an idea can be killed as a practical matter if it is rendered irrelevant by reducing the number of people - leaders, fighters - who believe in it and act on it into a scattering of disconnected people, by killing some, changing the minds of others, and by destroying the organizational framework that holds the believers together.
        A recent, obvious comparison is the rise and fall of the Islamic State and its idea of recreating a universal Muslim caliphate. This idea still exists in the abstract but no longer has political relevance in the real world. Tiny militant groups exist calling themselves Islamic State, but the great Islamic State of the last decade is gone.
        The writer is Professor of Political Science emeritus at Amherst College. (Real Clear World)
  • Support for Hamas Must Be Utterly Eradicated in Britain - Arlene Foster
    Hamas is a proscribed terrorist organization in the UK. Yet many have no fear of expressing support for this murderous group as there have been few consequences for doing so.
        Lord Cameron, the Foreign Secretary, has said that if Hamas were to be left in control of even a part of Gaza, "there will never be a two-state solution because you cannot expect Israel to live next to a group of people that want to do Oct. 7 all over again." He was right. Hamas must be defeated, not just for safety of the Israeli people, but for a peaceful route map for the region.
        We must remind ourselves how heinous the events of Oct. 7 were, and how the pain continues for the families of those still held hostage. The sexual violence that was used by Hamas on that day was also unprecedented. Rape is not resistance. It is a war crime. And yet so many women's groups usually so vocal about such things have been strangely silent about what happened. Why is that the case? Is it, as one of my colleagues in the House of Lords said, "It's MeToo, unless you're a Jew."
        I, and many others, will continue to speak up for our friends and neighbors in the Jewish community. It's at times like this that you find out who your friends truly are.
        Baroness Foster is a former first minister of Northern Ireland. (Telegraph-UK)
  • IDF Reservists: Modern-Day Maccabees - Ariella Taragin Gold
    Five months ago, thousands upon thousands of Israelis, including several of my children, received IDF emergency call-up orders and without the slightest hesitation they threw on their uniforms, quickly grabbed whatever supplies they could, and drove away. These modern-day Maccabees had no idea where they were going, how long they would be gone, or what was waiting for them when they reached their destinations. But none of that stopped these Jewish heroes. The people and the Land of Israel needed them, and so, off they went.
        Since then, Israelis of all stripes, as well as untold numbers of Jews across the globe, have rallied around our shared support, prayers, and concern for the soldiers, the hostages, the wounded, and the bereaved families.
        That was the day our children headed off to war. That was the day we became parents of IDF combat soldiers risking their lives to defend and protect us. It means buying all sorts of random equipment and gear for your kids and their units. It's doing whatever you can - hosting, babysitting, shopping, chauffeuring, running errands - to try to ease at least some of the stress for your children and grandchildren while their husbands and fathers are away for weeks on end. (Jerusalem Post)

  • Sheri Mendez is part of a volunteer unit within the Military Rabbinate. "In 2010, the IDF decided, as more women joined combat units, to establish a small female unit for the eventuality, God forbid, that a female soldier is killed," she said. "They accompany the identification process and burial preparations."
  • She received an emergency call-up order on Oct. 7. Arriving at the Camp Shura base, she said, "The initial shock was from the quantity. Body bags lined both sides of the corridor, whole trucks arrived with more bodies. We couldn't believe the numbers. The second shock was from the level of brutality and horrors we saw."
  • "We were with those young women in the room preparing them for burial. Our goal was to give them their last respects. We opened the body bags....It was a special room for women by women....Some of the bodies arrived in very poor condition, but we took our time to handle them in a way that honored them. We knew we were likely the last people to be with these women. It was deeply sad; they could have been our daughters, brutally murdered."
  • "Many still had expressions of pain on their faces. Their fists were clenched, their mouths sometimes open, and some were missing body parts. We saw women shot in the head, shot in the torso. It was horrifying to witness. You could tell these women did not die an easy death."
  • Five months later, the horrors do not fade for Mendez. However, what pains her most is the world's denial of the massacre and the atrocities of Oct. 7. "I am a daughter of Holocaust survivors, raised on the testimonies of what happened to most of our family....The world doubts something we all saw with our own eyes....These women can't speak; only those of us who saw it can speak for them....That's why I continue to talk about what happened there, in those days, for them." 

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