News Digest — 1/12/24

IDF Strikes At Hamas’ Nukhba Forces, Kills Leader Who Took Part In Oct.7

The IDF has struck again at Hamas infrastructure in Gaza over the past 24-hours eliminating dozens of terrorists, including leaders of Hamas’ Nukhba forces, the military stated on Friday morning (12th).

In Khan Yunis, an IDF fighter jet struck a Hamas military compound and killed seven terrorists. One of the dead terrorists was a Nukhba commander who took part in the Oct. 7 massacre.

The IDF troops in one area of the city located three armed terrorists who were exiting a Hamas compound and began to advance toward the soldiers, to which the IDF troops responded with live fire.

Additionally, in Khan Yunis, IDF troops located and dismantled a weapons storage unit over the past day, confiscating AK-47 rifles and RPG launchers.

The IDF also discovered a vast subterranean tunnel complex built by Hamas under Khan Yunis on Wednesday (10th).  The tunnel was connected to an extensive underground tunnel network beneath a civilian area in the city.

After investigating the tunnel, the IDF confirmed that Israeli hostages had been inside the tunnel which was equipped with air ventilation systems, electrical supply and plumbing.

The IDF’s 98th Division is simultaneously fighting underground and above ground in urban areas of the city, while engineering forces, including the Yahalom Unit, special forces units and additional troops are leading the effort to locate tunnels, investigate and dismantle them with advanced technology and operational means.



IDF: Hamas Terrorists Poured Thousands Of Tons Of Concrete And Metal Into Tunnels

The IDF has been working to expose and dismantle terror tunnels created by Hamas in Gaza, constructed with critical infrastructure confiscated by Hamas, the IDF revealed Thursday (11th).  The tunnels span hundreds of kilometers underneath the Gaza Strip.

Data collected by IDF ground troops, in addition to an in-depth analysis of tunnels exposed by security forces to date, has allowed the IDF to determine precisely how much of each material was needed to build such an extensive network.

Data revealed that over 6,000 tons of concrete and 1,800 tons of steel were used to build hundreds of kilometers of underground infrastructure, costing tens of millions of dollars.

The tunnels were built with Gaza aid money, so that meant that civilian infrastructure was in turn not built, using the critical funding and supplies to construct tunnels under the Strip.  This allowed Hamas to use massive amounts of resources to carry out continued terrorist activity.

The IDF’s Combat Engineering Corps and the Yahalom Combat Engineering Unit continue operations to dismantle Hamas’ massive underground terror infrastructure throughout the Gaza Strip.



Netanyahu: ‘Israel Accused Of Genocide While Fighting Genocide’

“Israel is the victim of genocide even as it battles false claims of genocide leveled against it by South Africa at the International Court of Justice,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday (11th).

“Again, we see an upside-down world, in whichthe State of Israel is accused of genocide at a time when it is fighting genocide,” Netanyahu said in a video message from Jerusalem.

He spoke as Israel prepared to present a defense against South Africa’s allegations that the Palestinian fatalities in the Gaza war were a part of a plan by Israel to eliminate the Palestinian people.

Israel is expected to explain how its military campaign is an act of self-defense to vanquish an enemy  that sought to destroy its country and its people.

South Africa was able to bring the claim against Israel because the two states were signatories to the 1948 Convention on the Prevention of Genocide.

“South Africa’s hypocrisy screams to the high heavens,” Netanyahu stated.

“Where was South Africa when millions of people were being murdered and uprooted from their homes in Syria and Yemen, by whom?  By Hamas’ partners.  The world is upside down.  Where were you?” he said.

“We are fighting terrorists, and we are fighting lies,” Netanyahu said.

He referenced the October 7 massacre that sparked the Hamas war, in which Hamas-led terrorists killed over 1,200 people and seized some 250 as hostages.  Some 110 of those captives have been freed and another 136 remain in Gaza.

“Israel is fighting against murderous terrorists who committed horrific crimes against humanity: They slaughtered, they raped, they burned, they dismembered, they beheaded – children, women, the elderly, young men and young women,” Netanyahu said.

“A terrorist organization carried out the worst crime against the Jewish People since the Holocaust, and now someone comes to defend it in the name of the Holocaust?  What brazen gall!  The world is upside down,” he said.

The Foreign Ministry, which has a team at the Hague, posted on X a political cartoon that showed four bloodied female hostages with their hands tied behind their backs, sitting on the ground in front of the judges, who say to them, “What do you have to say in your defense?”

Meanwhile, in Ramallah, Palestinians held a rally in support of South Africa’s case in front of a statue of former South African president Nelson Mandela, on Thursday (11th).



Israeli Ambassador Erdan: ‘Red Cross Complicit With Hamas’

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan slammed the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for being complicit with Hamas when he met with the humanitarian agency’s permanent observer to the international body on Wednesday (10th).

”Hamas commits a serious and abominable war crime and the Red Cross covers it up, refuses to publicly condemn it and never presents to the world the monstrous behavior of Hamas towards the abductees,” Erdan said at the meeting with Laetitia Courtois.

“Hamas violates every day, every hour, international law, by not even allowing access to see the conditions of the hostages.  It’s the most severe violation of international law,” he said.  “It’s not during a battle.  They could allow your people to secretly visit them or to transfer to the hostages the medical treatment that they need.”

“But you refuse to say it publicly, under this fake principle of ‘neutrality’ that does not exist when we’re talking about their leadership,” he continued.  “There can be no neutrality between Nazis and democracies, I’m sorry,”

Israelis and their supporters were shocked when representatives of the hostages’ families met with red Cross officials recently to beg them to get desperately needed medicines to their captured relatives, many of whom are elderly or wounded or both, and they were told that they should “care more about” the civilians in Gaza who are suffering due to the war..

On Sunday (7th), the largest Jewish women’s organization in the US, presented a petition to the ICRC demanding that it fulfill its humanitarian obligations and provide the approximately 132 hostages with essential food and medicines and ensure that they have “tolerable” living conditions which includes the cessation of physical and sexual abuse that freed abductees have testified to have seen their fellow captives suffer.

In mid-December, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried handing a box of medications to ICRC President Mirjana Spoljaric at a meeting, to be taken to the hostages.  “She said no,” he told a Knesset hearing.  “It was a difficult conversation.”

Spoljaric also defended her organization’s silence on the grounds that it would actually hurt the hostages chances of being released, saying, “The more public pressure we would seemingly exert, the more they would shut the door,” referring to Hamas.

Every week, the local Jewish community holds a rally of 100-200 people in front of the stately building that houses the ICRC’s Washington, D.C. offices, calling for the release of the hostages.  They have been joined by members of Congress and hostage families as they attempt to put moral pressure on the Red Cross organization.



Israel Barred From Competing In Hockey World Championship

Israel’s men’s and women’s hockey teams were barred from competing in the World Hockey Championship due to “security concerns.”

The International Hockey Federation (IIHF) issued a statement on Wednesday (10th) to “restrict the Israel national team from participating in IIHF championships until the safety and well-being of all participants (including Israeli participants) can be assured.

The organization added that it is obligated to “protect all participants at IIHF competitions” and arrived at the decision following discussions with participating countries, hosts of tournaments and after making a full risk assessment.

The IIHF didn’t indicate for how long Israel would be excluded and stated the decision is in effect “for the time being.”

No mention was made of the war in Gaza, nor was it implied that any other competing countries objected to Israel’s participation.

The IIHF barred Russia and Belarus from competing shortly after the beginning of the war between Russia and Ukraine using similar language and citing reasons of security and safety.

The men’s team playing for Israel is ranked 33rd globally and was slated to compete in the 2024 IIHF World Championship Div. 11-A from April 21 to 27 in Belgrade, Serbia.

The women’s hockey team playing for Israel is ranked 44th and was scheduled to participate in the Women’s World Championship Div. III-B in Kohtla-Jarve, Estonia, from March 24 to 29.

The Israeli Ice Hockey Association is filing a claim with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) over the IIHF’s decision and hopes to reverse it.

Although the IIHF cites security reasons, others are of the opinion that Israel should be banned from the 2024 games directly because of its war against Hamas.

An article published in The Nation was titled “Should Israel’s Flag be Raised at the Paris Olympics?”

The writers of the article, Jules Boykoff and Dave Zirin, pointed out that Israel should experience a similar situation at the Olympics that Russia faced after the invasion of Ukraine.

The proposal would ban Israelis from competing entirely or allowing them to participate but under a “neutral” flag and without their national anthem played if they should win a medal.



Going After Oct. 7 Terrorists- Editorial

For eight years, the US State Department has offered a reward of up to $5 million for information on the whereabouts of Saleh Arouri, a Hamas terrorist whose hands were dripping with blood.  Last week Israel found him in Beirut.  The New York Times reported that “Arouri worked with Yahya Sinwar, Hamas chief in Gaza, in recent years to link the group’s military wing more closely to Iran, which, regional security officials say, most likely helped the group develop some of the capabilities it used in the Oct.7 attack.”

In other words, he was knee deep in carrying out a barbaric military operation against Israeli civilians that left more than 1,200 innocents dead and led to the kidnapping of more than 200 men, women and children.  Critics of Israel maintain that the attack on Arouri will escalate the violence, but Hezbollah has been shelling northern Israel with missiles from Lebanon since the Oct. 7 massacre.  Who is escalating what?

It’s just as likely that Israel’s targeted operation sends a message of steely resolve to those who wish to destroy the Jewish state.  Israel has made clear that it won’t be cowed into a ceasefire that allows its enemies to rearm and recuperate in order to terrorize innocents once again.  Arouri ran but he couldn’t hide.  They that sow the wind shall reap the whirlwind.



Pro-Hamas Protesters Can’t Change Facts – Rick Berman

• The protesters who want to free “Palestine” are apparently unaware that there has never been a country called Palestine.  The Arabs claimed the term “Palestinians” for themselves in 1964 when Yasser Arafat established the Palestine Liberation Organization.  The Arabs rejected the 1948 international settlement of their claim and subsequent peace offerings.

• Reports often refer to “Palestinian refugees.”  But the children and grandchildren  of those who lost or left their homes in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War are not refugees.  There are no other examples where refugee status becomes an inherited birthright.  Children and grandchildren of Jews who lost their homes to the Nazis or descendants of American Indians forced off their land are not legally entitled refugees.

• Last year, the US gave $153 million to the UN agency UNRWA for “Palestinian Refugees.”  There is no special UN agency for families who have lost homes in Ukraine, Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya or other war-torn countries.

• Some reporters state that the people in Gaza have been living in cramped quarters.   Reality check: The population density of Gaza is equal to that of London and Tel Aviv.

• Before this war, most residents of Gaza were not living in so-called refugee camps.  News videos of the war show neighborhoods of multi-floor apartment buildings.  Before the Hamas attack, these neighborhoods had upscale shopping malls, a Mercedes-Benz dealership, entertainment venues, and a “world-class zoo.”

• Gaza has been described as an “open air prison.”  Israel allowed only selective crossings in response to Hamas’ proclaimed desire to destroy its people.  Egypt is also unwilling to provide open access given Hamas’ connection to the Muslim Brotherhood, another terrorist group.

• There is no possibility that Israel will make a deal with a terrorist group committed to its destruction.  And protesters with slogans on signs won’t change these facts.