News Digest — 10/27/23
IDF Says Apparent Drone Strike On Egyptian Town near Israel, Launched From ‘Red Sea Area’
IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said Friday (27th) that a strike in the Egyptian Red Sea town of Taba in the early hours of the morning originated from “the Red Sea area,” in an apparent reference to Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.
Taba sits on the border with Israel and is some six miles from the southern city of Eilat.
The Al Arabiya broadcaster quoted an Egyptian military spokesman who said the strike was caused by a drone.
“In the last few hours, an aerial threat was detected in the Red Sea area. Fighter jets were scrambled to the threat and the issue is under investigation,” Hagari said.
“To our understanding, the impact in Egypt originates from this threat. Israel will work together with Egypt and the US and tighten the defense against threats from the Red Sea area,” he added.
According to Egyptian media, six people were wounded in the Taba strike.
Al-Qahera news, which has close ties to Egypt’s intelligence service, said the strike hit a medical facility where ambulances were parked, and a hospital administration building.
An unnamed Egyptian security source said Egypt reserved the right to respond to the attack. “Once the origin of the launch is determined, all options are available,” he added.
Meanwhile, two Egyptian security sources told Reuters that a projectile also fell in the Red Sea town of Nuweiba
The Egyptian blasts came days after the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen attempted to fire missiles at Israel via the Red Sea.
IDF Conducts Targeted Raids Inside Gaza Strip
On Friday (27th), IDF ground forces, accompanied by IDF fighter jets and UAVs, conducted an additional targeted raid in the central Gaza Strip. As part of the activity, IDF aircraft and artillery struck terror targets belonging to the Hamas terror organization in the Shuja’iyya area and throughout the Gaza Strip.
During the activity, the IDF identified and struck numerous terror targets, including anti-tank missile launch sites, military command and control centers, as well as Hamas terrorists.
The troops exited the area at the end of the activity. No IDF injuries were reported.
On Thursday (26th), IDF fighter jets struck three senior Hamas operatives in its Daraj Tuffah Battalion. The terrorists had participated in previous attacks against Israel.
The three were identified as Battalion Commander, Rifaat Abbas, Battalion Deputy Commander, Ibrahim Jadba, and Combat Support Commander, Tarek Maarouf.
The Daraj Tuffah Battalion is part of Hamas’ Gaza City Brigade, which is considered the most significant brigade of the Hamas terrorist organization. The battalion’s operatives played a significant role in the invasion and murderous attacks against Israel on October 7.
Hamas Spokesman Storms Out Of Interview After being Asked About Massacre Of Civilians
Hamas spokesperson Ghazi Hamad stormed out of an interview with the BBC on Thursday (26th) after he was asked about the terrorist group’s massacre of civilians in Israel on October 7.
During the interview, Hamad reiterated claims made starting a few days after the massacre that Hamas did not intend to kill any civilians during its assault.
When the interviewer stressed that many civilians were killed and asked if Hamad believed that Hamas’ murder of civilians in their beds was justified, Hamad ripped off his microphone and responded, “I want to stop this interview,” before storming out.
Former Israeli Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked was interviewed right after the Hamas spokesman, telling the BBC “I almost threw up on him physically. There were cameras on the monsters’ helmets. All the horrors are documented.”
Footage published by both Israeli sources and Hamas-affiliated media outlets on the day of the attack and afterward showed Hamas terrorists entering homes and towns in southern Israel and shooting and kidnapping men, women and children.
Of the over 1,400 people killed by Hamas terrorists, at least 800 were civilians. Many of the bodies were burnt, decapitated, or otherwise disfigured by the terrorists during the assault. The terrorists also burned down houses in order to kill the families inside.
Despite the footage and testimony from both Israeli and Palestinian sources, Hamas has conducted a campaign on social media since a few days after the attack claiming that the footage and testimonies are fake. Hamas leaders have blamed Gazan civilians and even the IDF for any civilian deaths during the assault.
Amb. Erdan Shows Video Of Hamas Beheading Victim At UN
Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan spoke on Thursday (26th) at the emergency meeting of the UN’s General Assembly on the Israel-Hamas war. The meeting is a two-day event and on Friday (27th), there will be a vote on a proposed resolution submitted by Jordan that does not mention or condemn Hamas at all.
Ambassador Erdan showed a video of a terrorist trying to behead a victim. “I have seen much footage over the past two weeks that will be seared into my mind forever, but there is one sight that I keep on seeing when I try to sleep. In the video, one can see a terribly injured civilian – bloodied yet alive – laying on the ground as a Hamas savage screaming Allahu Allahu Akbar repeatedly pummels the man’s neck with a garden hoe in order to decapitate him. The man on the ground is an agricultural worker from Thailand . He is not Israeli. He is not Jewish. He was merely alive, trying to make a living for his family. But he was decapitated with a blunt garden tool. Horrifying! Israel is not at war with human beings, we are at war with monsters.”
The ambassador also presented a QR code distributed by members of the Permanent Mission of Israel to the UN with a link of the shocking photos of Israelis burned alive by Hamas terrorists. “What you see here are not pictures from Auschwitz, but Israelis, butchered and burned alive. This is not Auschwitz, this is Hamas.”
Ambassador Erdan described the horrific terror attack on October 7th. “Barbaric Hamas terrorists invaded Israel, from the sea, the land and the air. They came with one purpose – to savagely murder every living thing they encountered. Hamas’ Nazi murderers went from house to house with hit lists. A thoroughly planned, willful, premeditated attack. They brutally murdered civilians in their beds. They drove pickup trucks with machine guns – yes, just like ISIS – and fired blindly at hundreds of young people at a concert. 300 were burned alive or butchered. Much of what remained were clumps of flesh and bloody limbs. Parents had to bring their children’s toothbrushes for DNA so they could figure out whose limbs belonged to who. These Hamas monsters raped women and children, parading girls that they raped and bodies that they defiled, through the streets of Gaza, while thousands jeered and cheered. The savages tortured small babies. Just like the Nazis, Hamas terrorists removed infants from their cribs and swung them repeatedly against the ground until their skulls became pulp. Children were murdered in front of their parents. And parents in front of their children.”
“Ambulances were set on fire. Dozens of Magen David Adom medical teams were intentionally targeted on their way to tend to the wounded, and many other paramedics were murdered. Barzilai Hospital, in Israel suffered direct hits from Hamas rockets. Hamas has been deliberately firing rockets at it for years.. Yet not a single condemnation of this barbarity has been mentioned here. Not by the Security Council. Not by the Secretary-General. And not by this absurd resolution. It seems that hospitals and medical teams only need to be ‘protected,’ as long as they aren’t Israeli. The hypocrisy is beyond belief.”
Referring to the drafters of the resolution, Ambassador Erdan said, “The drafters of the Resolution claim to be concerned about ‘peace,’ yet the depraved murderers who initiated this war are not even mentioned in the resolution. They see each one of you as a puppet. They write a resolution completely devoid of any content related to the situation, they assume that you already have forgotten who it is that is responsible for the inhuman violence, and they just expect you to support it. This resolution is a disgrace to your intelligence, and is unfathomable that such a resolution – one that doesn’t even mention Hamas – could possibly be voted upon.”
Weapons Flood West Bank, Fueling Fears Of New War – Sune Engel Rasmussen
Iran and its allies have accelerated efforts to smuggle weapons into the West Bank. A senior Jordanian security official said networks of smugglers, assisted by the Syrian government and Iranian-backed militias like Hezbollah, were growing.
“The weapons flow has really increased, specifically over the past year. This is because Iran has been much more focused on the West Bank recently, and trying to arm some of the groups there, especially the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which is Iran’s more direct partner,” said Michael Horowitz, Israel-based head of intelligence at Le Beck International, a risk consulting firm. Through a network of loyal militias, Tehran has established a land corridor across Iraq and Syria into Lebanon and, via Jordan, into the West Bank, allowing it to transport troops, equipment and weapons to its allies.
Weapons smuggled into Jordan include Iranian replicas of US-made Claymore antipersonnel mines, M4-style assault rifles, TNT and other explosives, and hand guns, according to the senior Jordanian official. (Wall Street Journal)
Why Is Israel Being Blamed For The Hamas Massacre – Yossi Klein Halevi
How is it possible that, in much of the international community, there is “understanding” for the mass atrocities of Oct. 7? That in certain circles there is greater outrage against Israel’s response to the Hamas massacre than to the massacre itself? That those who feel most vulnerable on liberal American campuses are not Hamas supporters but Jews?
This moment fits the historical pattern of anti-Semitism in the ease with which much of the world has, over the last decades, erased the Israeli understanding of the conflict. A systematic and astonishingly successful campaign has negated the Israel historical and political narrative. The Jewish state has been transformed into an irredeemably evil society that has lost its right to exist, let alone defend itself.
Hamas is not working for the creation of a Palestinian mini-state on the West Bank and Gaza, but for the destruction of Israel. For Hamas, all of Israel is “occupied.” and no two-state solution would end its war against the Jewish state. In 1995, at the height of the Oslo peace process, Hamas launched its first wave of suicide bombings. The communities decimated on Oct.7 were, in Hamas terminology, “settlements” though they are within Israel’s internationally recognized borders.
The sadistic frenzy of Oct. 7 was not an expression of political frustration, but one of primal Jew-hatred. But the Jews today are no longer helpless. We can defend ourselves, and we can strike back against those whose vision of a better world depends on our disappearance. Oct. 7 was a reminder of the necessity of Jewish power. In a world in which genocidal enemies persist, powerlessness for the Jewish people is a sin.
The writer is a senior fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute (timesofisrael.com)
Iranians Desecrate Tombs Of Mordechai And Esther
The burial sites of Mordechai and Esther, central figures in the Jewish Purim story, have been desecrated by residents of Iran’s Hamad province.
Residents burned Israeli flags and vandalized the area, creating widespread concerns within the local and international Jewish community.
The incident comes in the wake of a recent Hamas attack on Israel (Oct.7). They not only defiled the holy sites but also sent a letter to the Ministry of Culture, requesting the conversion of the sites into a “Museum of the crimes of the Zionist Regime” and an office for “Palestinian Resistance Forces in Iran. The letter falsely claims to have the consent of the local Jewish population, a claim vehemently denied by the Jewish community.
This is not the first time these revered tombs have come under attack. In May 2020, the site was targeted by arsonists. Leading to a global condemnation by various Jewish organizations, however, Iran’s government did not respond to calls for arrests or investigations.
In response to the recent desecration and demonstrations, Dr. Homayoon Sameh, a Jewish member of the Iranian parliament, sent a letter to the Iranian government, urgently seeking protection for the Jewish community. The situation has left many Iranian Jews feeling the impact of the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.
An estimated 9,000 Jewish people reside in Iran, and to avoid drawing unnecessary attention, synagogues in Iran and around the world have been operating on a limited basis.
Hossein Amirabdollanian, Iran’s Foreign Minister, has made statements on state television indicating support for Palestinian resistance groups and opposition to Israel’s actions in Gaza. This adds to the concerns of the Jewish community in Iran.
The story of Esther, who became a queen in Persia and revealed her Jewish identity to the Persian King Ahasuerus to save her people from destruction, holds profound significance in Jewish tradition. The pilgrimage site in Hamadan is venerated not only by Jews but also by many Iranians who see Mordechai and Esther as heroes who saved the region from genocide.
The tombs of Mordechai and Esther are housed in a magnificent building inside the Hamadan city walls. The shrine underwent renovation in the 1970s and, for Iranian Jews who cannot make the journey to Jerusalem, it serves as a sacred place for prayer and reflection.
Adjacent to the shrine is an underground synagogue featuring a roof ornament in the shape of a massive Magen David (Star of David), believed to be the only Jewish star visible from space.