July 2, 2024
In-Depth Issues:

No, Israel Is Not Starving the People of Gaza - Jake Wallis Simons (Telegraph-UK)
    According to the UN, only 3% of the residents of Rafah, in Gaza, were poorly fed in May. In Khan Yunis and Deir al Balah, that figure was 6%.
    In 2022, 14% of the population in Gaza faced hunger, according to the World Food Program.
    So it appears that provisions are better now than before the war. Not that you'd know it from the reporting.
    I recently spoke to a friend in Gaza living in a tent in Deir al-Balah.
    He told me, "Food is available, everything is available. Meat, chicken, vegetables. It is not aid."
    "It is coming from Israel, brought in by private people through the Kerem Shalom crossing and sold to us as a business. The prices are much better, just a little bit higher than before the war."
    The writer is the editor of the Jewish Chronicle-UK.

U.S. Withholding Seven Weapon Systems from Israel (JNS)
    Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told Fox News on Sunday that the Biden administration has held up transfers of seven weapon systems to Israel.
    "What is most disturbing to me is that we're withholding weapon systems that I have signed off on and Congress has appropriated with the intent of sending those weapons to Israel.... They were effectively withholding seven weapon systems."
    Robert Greenway, director of the Allison Center for National Security at the Heritage Foundation, wrote on X that while "Iran is rushing military gear to Hizbullah...Team Biden delays delivery of seven critical munitions appropriated by Congress to Israel."
    David Milstein, a former adviser to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis's presidential campaign, wrote on X that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was right to release a video stating that it was "inconceivable" that the Biden administration was withholding weapons from Israel. "Those who criticized him were wrong," Milstein wrote.

EU Imposes Sanctions on Hamas Financiers (AFP)
    The EU on Friday imposed asset freezes and visa bans on several firms and individuals accused of helping to finance the Palestinian militant Islamist group Hamas, Brussels said.
    The EU has so far blacklisted 12 individuals and three entities linked to Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad since Oct. 7.

Why Does the Media Ignore Hamas's Crimes Against Palestinians? - Hamza Howidy (Newsweek)
    Since the start of the current war between Israel and Hamas, Hamas has committed countless atrocities against its own people in Gaza. Yet, somehow, these crimes are never reported by Arabic media or Western media, nor by global human rights organizations.
    The sad truth is, when Israelis aren't involved, no one is interested in advocating for the Palestinian rights they claim to care about so deeply.
    Many Gazans have raised concerns about the brutality of the Hamas regime, which they have witnessed first-hand.
    In 2019 and in 2023, the people of Gaza held peaceful marches against Hamas; for this crime, we were brutally assaulted by Hamas militants. Hamas imprisoned over 1,300 protestors at each protest.
    I was one of them. I was imprisoned by Hamas and tortured twice, because I participated in these protests.
    Since Oct. 7, hundreds of Gazans have been killed by Hamas's failing rockets.
    Hamas has confiscated the food, fuel, and medicine sent to Gaza. Ahmad Breka, 13, was shot in the head by Hamas in Rafah while attempting to collect humanitarian aid. Others were merely shot in the legs by Hamas while attempting to grab humanitarian goods that Hamas stole.
    The writer is a Palestinian from Gaza City.

Americans Show Heightened Concern about Antisemitism - Jeffrey M. Jones (Gallup Poll)
    Nearly half (49%) of Americans surveyed in May rate antisemitism, or prejudice against Jewish people, as a "very serious" problem, sharply higher than the 9% when Gallup previously measured this in 2003.
    81% now see antisemitism as either a very or somewhat serious problem, while the percentage of Americans saying antisemitism is "not much of a problem" has shrunk from 30% to 10%.
    66% of Americans aged 65 and older and 55% of those aged 50 to 64 describe antisemitism as a very serious problem, compared with 36% of those younger than 50.
    46% of Jewish Americans say they have experienced more poor treatment or harassment in the past year than in prior years.
    60% of Jewish Americans say they have felt reluctant to share their religious affiliation with others because they feared being treated poorly or harassed.

Israeli Doctor Uses Metal Detector to Find Shrapnel in Wounded Soldiers - Diana Bletter (Times of Israel)
    With a metal detector bought online, Dr. Eyal Sela, director of the Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery Department of the Galilee Medical Center, is now able to locate bullets and metal fragments lodged inside patients' bodies within minutes, after using X-rays and CT scans that took more than an hour.
    Sela has so far used the metal detector to operate on nine wounded soldiers and some of his colleagues are now using metal detectors as well.

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Gaza Militants Regroup and Rearm - Jared Malsin
    Palestinian Islamic Jihad fired 20 rockets at Israel on Monday from the area of Khan Yunis, in one of the largest barrages in months, while Israeli forces reengaged with Hamas fighters in Gaza City. Gaza militants still retain rocket and mortar firing capabilities almost nine months into the Israeli campaign to destroy them.
        A senior Israeli military official said, "We will operate again and again wherever we see that there is an attempt to regroup or an attempt to try and regovern or an attempt to bring in all kinds of weapons."  (Wall Street Journal)
        See also IDF Targets Khan Yunis after Rocket Fire on Israel - Emanuel Fabian
    The IDF carried out a wave of airstrikes in Khan Yunis Monday night after ordering Gaza civilians to leave the area. The strikes targeted an area from which 20 rockets were fired at Israeli towns on Monday. (Times of Israel)
  • Palestinian Fighters in West Bank Seek to Emulate Hamas in Gaza - Steven Erlanger
    Green Hamas flags and banners commemorating "martyrs" hang from the buildings in the Tulkarm refugee camp in the West Bank, where Palestinian fighters are displaying a growing militancy, fueled by the war in Gaza. I recently met with a local commander, Muhammad Jaber, 25, who says he and other fighters have switched allegiances from Fatah to more radical groups like Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad since the Hamas attack on Israel on Oct. 7.
        More weapons and explosives are being manufactured in the West Bank, according to both the fighters themselves and Israeli military officials. They say the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority, which runs parts of the West Bank, is losing ground to the more radical Palestinian factions, which are gaining more support from Iran in the form of cash and weapons smuggled into the territory. The PA and police no longer control these refugee camps, where the militants threaten to shoot officers if they try to enter. (New York Times)
  • Wartime Breakdown in Public Order Sets Off Crime Wave in Gaza - Stephen Kalin
    When thieves in Deir al-Balah in central Gaza stole the battery out of Muhammed Abu Karsh's car in March, he chased them down a dark road and was shot dead in the head. The police who inspected the crime scene "said they don't have a prison anymore and that if they find the perpetrator, his family might attack them as well," said his cousin, Mahmoud Fuaad. "We see fights between families on a daily basis. People know that they won't be punished for anything they do."
        Nearly nine months into the war between Israel and Hamas, crime and violence among Gazans is on the rise, from robbery and killings to smuggling and protection rackets. On June 25, the children of two families sheltering in tents near the beach in Deir al-Balah began squabbling over who would be first to fetch water from a communal faucet. The dispute escalated and the children's parents exchanged gunfire for about 10 minutes, witnesses said. Suhail Badwan, a father in his 40s, was caught in the crossfire and died. (Wall Street Journal)
  • U.S. Amphibious Assault Ship with Marines Enters Mediterranean amid Israel-Hizbullah Tensions - Tara Copp
    The amphibious assault ship USS Wasp entered the eastern Mediterranean this week as the U.S. positions warships to try to keep fighting between Israel and Hizbullah in Lebanon from escalating. (Military Times)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israeli Defense Minister: "Hamas Is Being Worn Down" - Yoav Zitun
    Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Sunday, "We are effectively closing off Hamas's air supply, including the Rafah crossing and the tunnels. The result is clear: they have no way to arm themselves, no way to resupply, no way to bring in reinforcements, and no way to treat their casualties."
        "Their fighting spirit is breaking, and time is working against them, not for them. Contrary to the stories circulating from those in the tunnels or hotels in Qatar and the media noise they create, in practice, Hamas is being worn down by the actions we are taking here. We are destroying the tunnels, the weapons, and reaching places they never dreamed we would, deep underground and above ground. This is very important."  (Ynet News)
  • Dozens of Hamas Terrorists Killed in Gaza City - Yonah Jeremy Bob
    Dozens of Hamas terrorists have been killed since Friday when the IDF surprised Hamas forces as it reentered the Gaza City neighborhood of Shejaiya. In only 40 minutes, the IDF succeeded in penetrating a new makeshift headquarters established inside a school and a pharmacy, preventing most of the Hamas terrorists from escaping. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Hizbullah Drone Attack in Golan Heights Injures 18 Soldiers, One Seriously - Emanuel Fabian
    18 Israeli soldiers were wounded, including one seriously, in a Hizbullah drone attack in the northern Golan Heights on Sunday. (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:

    The Gaza War

  • The IDF's "Ghost" Unit Strikes Terrorists Deep Inside Gaza - Yaniv Kubovich
    The IDF's Multidimensional Unit, also known as the "Ghost" unit, was formed in 2019 to locate and strike terrorists deep inside combat zones using advanced technology tools. It includes troops from infantry, air force, intelligence, engineering, armored and canine units. The unit has been in combat in Gaza since Oct. 7, operating with robots, drones, advanced surveillance equipment and other, mostly classified, tools. Its detection capabilities are among the most advanced in the ground forces.
        "Our advantage is that we can create a very broad picture of the situation for ourselves and other forces in the area and strike the enemy far from where we are operating," said the unit's deputy commander, Maj. A. The unit's previous commander, Col. Roey Levy, was killed in a battle with terrorists in Re'im on Oct. 7. (Ha'aretz)

  • The Houthi Threat

  • U.S. Struggles to Deter Houthi Threat to Global Trade - Brad Dress
    After half a year of conflict, the U.S. has failed to deter the Houthi rebels from attacking merchant ships in the Red Sea as the Yemeni fighters continue to sink commercial boats and disrupt global trade. Repeated U.S. bombardments on Houthi positions have done little to stop the Iran-backed group that has made more than 190 drone and missile attacks since late October.
        The Yemeni fighters have sunk or heavily damaged at least four commercial vessels, along with hijacking one, and have killed four commercial sailors. The Houthis have also kidnapped dozens of UN relief workers in the past few months.
        White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said Wednesday that "We're doing everything we can to try to degrade their capabilities, but they're still getting supplied. They're still getting resourced by Iran."
        Bryan Clark, a senior fellow and director of the Center for Defense Concepts and Technology at Hudson Institute, said the U.S. could take out assembly and distribution centers rather than the main strategy of counterattacking at launch sites, but that raises the risk of hitting civilians. "What it means is the threat never really goes away, and you're just constantly in this game of defense." The Navy is also typically firing a $4 million surface-to-air missile to take down far cheaper Houthi drones. (The Hill)
  • Houthi Ship Attacks Pose a Longer-Term Challenge to Regional Security - Noam Raydan
    The Houthi threat to commercial shipping in the Red Sea is still escalating considerably in quantity and quality, and neither the U.S.-led coalition nor the recently launched EU Naval Force Aspides have been able to curtail Houthi attacks. Yet despite the focus on the immediate maritime and trade effects of these attacks, more attention needs to be paid to how well-entrenched the Houthi threat has become, and how it might use its newfound leverage to serve different political agendas in the future.
        Since May 16, the group has expanded its target list: if a company has ships that call on Israeli ports, all of its vessels may now be targeted, even those that are not sailing to Israel. The Houthis appear to feel empowered rather than weakened.
        The writer is a senior fellow at The Washington Institute.  (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)

  • Other Issues

  • Why Does the UN Coddle Iran? - Amb. Alan Baker
    Threats to annihilate Israel emanate daily from the Iranian political and military leadership. The Charter of the United Nations in its preambular paragraphs calls on all its members "to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbors." Above all, member states commit to "refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state."
        But UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres shamefully ignores Iran's blatant violations of the UN Charter. While Guterres and his staff regularly demonstrate alarming alacrity, enthusiasm, and efficiency in rushing to condemn Israel, even by relying on false, inaccurate, and questionable data provided by UN bodies openly hostile to Israel, as well as on slanted media reporting, they turn a blind eye to Iran's behavior in openly abusing the UN Charter.
        Is it not high time that serious world powers rethink the entire concept of a world organization, in light of the fact that the UN has been utterly hijacked and taken hostage by those bent on destroying the international community rather than enhancing its effectiveness? Is that what the founding fathers of the UN intended?
        The writer, Director of the Institute for Diplomatic Affairs at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, served as Legal Adviser and Deputy Director-General of Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  (Jerusalem Post)
  • Israel Under Fire - Israel's Legal Rights regarding Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria - Prof. Talia Einhorn
    This report analyzes the legality of Jewish settlements in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria from an international law perspective. Since the Six-Day War of 1967, Israel has extended its law, jurisdiction, and administration over eastern Jerusalem but not to Judea and Samaria.
        The legality of Jewish settlements in these areas derives from the Jewish people's historical, indigenous, and legal rights to settle in those areas, validated in international documents. Denying Jews their right to live in the Old City of Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria means denying their ties to their biblical and historical homeland, precisely those ties that have been recognized in these documents.
        The claim that the Palestinian Arabs are entitled to an independent state in all the territories, while Jewish settlement is forbidden, is unfounded in international law.
        Following Israel's War of Independence in 1948, there was an exchange of approximately 600,000 people from each side. Whereas Israel absorbed the Jewish refugees, the Arab states, rather than absorbing the Arab refugees, invented a new "Palestinian people" that had never before ruled the land; there is no "Palestinian" language and no specific "Palestinian" culture or history.
        The Oslo Agreements were drafted to enhance "a just, lasting, and comprehensive peace." Yet, since they came into effect, the Middle East has witnessed not peace but violence and terror. The establishment of the Palestinian Authority and the subsequent takeover of Gaza by Hamas, as well as the popular support Hamas enjoys in Judea and Samaria, should serve as a guide to the grave risks posed by such an Arab state, which may eventually lead to the destruction of the Jewish state.
        The writer is Professor of Law (emerita) at Ariel University and Director of the Israeli Institute for Legislative Research and Comparative Law.  (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • In Israel, Attending Funerals of Fallen Soldiers You Do Not Know - Susan Greene
    A good portion of the 2,000 mourners who crammed around the fresh grave of Sgt. Eliyahu Moshe Zimbalist, 21, on Mount Herzl's northern slope in Jerusalem one recent day and stood for nearly two hours in the 90-degree heat had no connection to Zimbalist, nor to the young man buried next to him right afterward, nor to the other two fallen soldiers whose funerals took place in the same row later that day and night, who had been killed the day before fighting in Gaza.
        Angela Stauber, 67, is one of scores or perhaps hundreds of Israelis who have made a practice of showing up to burials at military cemeteries throughout the country for the past nine months. She explained, "It is our country, our army, our soldiers, and this soldier died for me, which makes him anything but a stranger."
        Some see it as a civic duty, others catharsis, finding connection in a country wounded by months of war.
        David Shire, 64, a landscape gardener in Neve Daniel, started going to the funerals as a proxy for his youngest son, who lost friends on Oct. 7 and in the early weeks of the war, but could not attend himself because he was on active duty. "It's not like in Britain or America where I imagine most Jewish people wouldn't know a soldier - here, everybody has a kid, a cousin, a friend who's in the army," said Shire, who moved to Israel from Scotland in 1983. "They're all our kids."  (Forward)

  • If you think that the Palestinian Authority (PA) or any Arab state would agree to take control of Gaza as long as the Iran-backed terrorist group Hamas has not been totally destroyed and removed from power, you would be wrong. Removing the military and governing capabilities of Hamas, however, cannot be achieved as long as the Biden administration and Western countries keep exerting pressure on Israel to halt the war.
  • According to reports from Gaza, Hamas has murdered a number of Palestinians who it believed had indicated willingness to be part of a new government that would replace Hamas after the war.
  • Because Hamas has reportedly been stealing most of the food and medicine from humanitarian aid for its own members, it opposes other Palestinians engaging in aid distribution. Several Palestinians, as well as aid workers, who defied Hamas and took part in the distribution of food and medicine were murdered or wounded by the group.
  • Hamas seeks to prolong and aggravate the suffering of the Palestinians and create a "famine" so it can place the blame on Israel.
  • Until the international community - and particularly the Biden administration - fully support Israel's efforts to destroy Hamas, there can be no real discussion of "the day after" in Gaza.
  • A large number of Arabs and Muslims who oppose Hamas and other Iran-backed Islamist groups will also benefit from Hamas's demise.
  • In reality, those advocating for a "ceasefire" are asking for Hamas to be allowed to continue ruling Gaza, rearming, and gearing up to attack Israel - in their words - "again and again."

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