News Digest — 10/31/23

IDF Rescues Soldier Kidnapped By Hamas On Oct. 7

A female IDF soldier who was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists during the massacre of October 7 was rescued and returned to Israel during an IDF ground operation in Gaza, the IDF and the Shin Bet announced Monday evening (30th).  The rescue occurred overnight Sunday (29th).

The soldier who was identified as PVT. Ori Megidish, underwent a medical examination and was found to be in good condition.  She then met with her family.

The IDF and Shin Bet stated that they will continue to make every effort to bring about the release of the abductees.

This is the first time one of the approximately 240 people who were kidnapped by Hamas and other terrorists in the Gaza Strip has been rescued by the Israeli military.  Hamas has previously released four hostages.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in response to the rescue of PVT. Megidish: “Last night our forces freed Private Ori Megidish from Hamas captivity.  Ori was kidnapped on the black morning of October 7th.  Welcome home Ori.”

“I congratulate the Shin Bet and the IDF for this important and exciting achievement, an achievement that expresses our commitment to the release of all abductees.  The entire nation of Israel salutes the Shin Bet and salutes the IDF.”

“And to the terrorists of Hamas-ISIS, I say – you are monsters.  We will continue to pursue you, we will continue to hunt you down.  We will cripple you until you fall at our feet,” Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu said at Monday’s (30th ) Cabinet meeting that “we continue our efforts to free the abductees, even during the operation, and the operation even creates opportunities to achieve their liberation and we will not miss these opportunities.  This campaign will take time, there will be bumps, there will be difficulties, there will be losses, there will also be surprises, but in the end, I promise you one thing: Hamas will be crippled.  Hamas will be defeated.  Gaza will be different.”



‘Ayatollah Regime Is The Nazi Regime’ Erdan Says Wearing Yellow Star At UN

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan and his delegation wore yellow Stars of David at the UN Security Council meeting on Monday (30th) bearing the message,”Never Again.”

“When Jewish babies were burned in Auschwitz, the world was silent, and today Jewish babies were burned in Be’eri and the towns of the south by the Nazi Hamas – and the world is silent again.”

“I will make you remember the shame of your silence every time you look at me,” Erdan said.  “I will wear the yellow patch until the Nazi Hamas is eliminated and until the Security Council stops being silent and condemns the October 7 massacre.  Some of you have learned nothing in the last 80 years!  Some of you have forgotten why the United Nations was founded.  So I will remind you.  From today on, every time you look at me, you will remember.”

“When my grandfather and his children were sent to Auschwitz, the world was silent.  When his wife and seven children were sent to the gas chambers, the world was silent.  When their bodies were burned alongside millions of other Jewish children, the world was silent,” Erdan said, comparing the silence of the UN about the Hamas massacre on October 7 to the silence of the international community regarding the horrors of the Holocaust.

“If this session had convened in June 1944, it would have dealt with the amount of fuel the Nazis had and the high death toll Germany had compared to Britain.  You would have called for a ceasefire even before the Russians took over Stalingrad.”

“My grandfather’s story is a horror story of another time.  Of a distant time of unimaginable hatred.  A time about which until three weeks ago we said ‘never again.’  But ‘never again’ happened again.”

“Hamas, are modern Nazis – from their appalling inhumane violence to their ideology that calls for the extermination of the Jews.  Hamas is not looking for a ‘solution’ to the conflict.  They are not interested in dialogue.  The only solution that Hamas is interested in is the ‘Final Solution’ –  the extermination of the Jewish people.”

“However, Ismail Haniyeh – the leader of Hamas – is not Adolf Hitler.  He is not the Fuehrer.  He is not the leader of the death cult, which wants to rule the world.  This role is played by the supreme leader of Iran, the bloodthirsty Ayatollah Khamenei,” the Ambassador said.

“Hitler’s Third Reich wanted to create a thousand-year empire spanning continents, just as Khamenei envisions his radical Shiite hegemony spanning the region and beyond.  The Ayatollah regime is the Nazi regime of our time, and his army includes Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, the Houthis, the IRGC, and other jihadists.  Instead of shouting ‘Sieg Heil’ [Hail to victory!], these radical Nazi Islamists shout, “Death to Israel! Death to America! Death to England!”

During Erdan’s remarks he also called out UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for what the ambassador claims is his “biased attitude” of Israel during the war.

“The anti-Semites saw that the council did not condemn the murderers, and heard the UN Secretary-General express ‘understanding of the massacre,” Erdan claimed.

“They saw that this council did not even condemn the Nazi murderers.  They saw the UN General Assembly cheering efforts to prevent us from defending ourselves.  They heard the secretary-general express understanding for the Nazi massacre,” he continued.  “Now they know that slaughtering Jews in their beds is met with silence.  They were so passionate about the silence and inaction of this organization that they couldn’t wait to slaughter Jews themselves.”

Erdan also said that “If Hitler had a Twitter  [now X] account, it would look just like Khamenei’s, and that, despite Iran’s blatant Nazism and Islamic Reich ideology, the secretary-general and UN officials still meet with Iranian officials without saying a single word of condemnation for their support of genocide.”

At the end of his remarks, Erdan made it clear to the council members that despite their silence, Israel will continue to defend itself in the war against Hamas in Gaza.  “The people of Israel are strong, we cannot be broken, and we are not going anywhere.  Many have tried to destroy us, but we are here to stay.  Israel will win, crush Hamas, and bring back the hostages.”



Police Officer Seriously Injured In Jerusalem Stabbing; Assailant Shot Dead

A police officer was seriously injured in a stabbing attack in Jerusalem on Monday (30th), amid Israel’s offensive to root out Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The terrorist attacked the officer at a gas station close to the Shivtei Yisrael light rail station near the Old City, and attempted to snatch his weapon, before fleeing the scene, police said.

The stabber, identified by police as a 17-year-old Palestinian from East Jerusalem, was shot dead by another officer who had arrived at the area.  Videos shared on social media showed police chasing him through the streets of Jerusalem.

Magen David Adom treated the policeman at the scene.  It said the officer, in his 30s, was in serious but stable condition.  He was taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center for further treatment.

The stabbing attack came three weeks after war erupted following Hamas’ October 7 massacre, which saw some 2,500 terrorists burst across the border into Israel from the Gaza Strip by land, air, and sea.  Some 1,400 people in Israel were killed in the attack and some 240 were taken hostage, under the cover of a deluge of thousands of rockets fired at Israeli towns and cities.



European Israel Allies Caucuses Condemn Iran’s State-Sponsored Terrorism

Chairs of Israel Allies Caucuses in a dozen European countries released a resolution Monday (30th), condemning Iran’s state-sponsored terrorism and calling upon the European Union to take swift action on critical issues related to Iran.

The resolution notes the financial, logistical, and training support provided by the Iranian regime to Hamas and Hezbollah in carrying out attacks on Israel, and urges the government to hold Iran accountable for war crimes through its support for Hamas in the October 7th massacre of Israeli civilians.

Director of Israel Allies Foundation (IAF) Europe, Leo van Doesburg said, “It is crucial for Europe to acknowledge Iran’s significant involvement in supporting and equipping Hamas in their destabilization of the Middle East.”

Expressing grave concern over Iran’s role as a leading state sponsor of terrorism, Israel Allies Caucus chairs emphasized the need for the European Union to re-impose sanctions on Iran in response to its involvement in terrorist activities. The resolution also calls upon the European Union and its allies to immediately sanction and designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization.

“Iran’s support of terrorist activities must be stopped at all costs, or the safety and security of innocent civilians worldwide is at risk,” shared Israel Allies Foundation President Josh Reinstein.  “Iran’s terror proxies operate not only in Gaza, but across the Middle East, with a shocking show of support from radical Islamic groups in countries across the globe.”

European Israel Allies Caucuses operate under the Israel Allies Foundation (IAF), an umbrella organization that coordinates the work of 53 pro-Israel caucuses worldwide in order to mobilize political support for Israel based on shared Judeo-Christian values.

Signed by members of parliament from 19 European countries, the draft resolution reiterated the European Union’s strong stance against the development of nuclear weapons by the Islamic Republic of Iran, stressing that Iran must adhere to its international obligations and commitments regarding nuclear non-proliferation.



IDF: There Is No Food Shortage In Gaza –  Seth J. Frantzman

The IDF Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) on Sunday (29th) pushed back against claims of shortages in Gaza and stressed that Israel is “trying to act in accordance with international law to minimize harm to civilians.”  COGAT officer Elad Goren noted that on Oct. 7, Hamas attacked the Erez crossing where Gazans enter Israel for medical treatment.   He also said that three COGAT soldiers were murdered.

COGAT has “assembled a team of experts that assess the humanitarian situation on a daily basis – what is in stock and what is missing – and we interface with international organizations in Gaza.”  The IDF monitors the full scope of water, food and energy, and health needs.  “We check what is the situation in UN warehouses and shelters, the amount in hospitals and food warehouses, and the condition of water supply wells and desalination facilities.”

While Hamas wants to present the humanitarian situation as worse than it is, Israel says that there is no food shortage in Gaza and there won’t be for weeks to come.  COGAT stressed that “90% of drinking water is self-sourced from Gaza and 10% comes from three water lines from Israel.”  Hamas struck those lines on Oct. 7: Israel has now opened two of them.

“Hospital administrators in Gaza have been shouting since the beginning of the war that they have diesel fuel for only another 24-hours, but they are still operating.  Hamas is supplying them the fuel and has an interest in keeping them operational because hospitals above the ground have Hamas centers underground.”  (Jerusalem Post)



The Palestinians’ Western-Funded Education System Fuels Anti-Semitic Violence – Marcus Sheff

We are seeing with absolute clarity that in Gaza, education has been manipulated to teach a generation to hate with deadly and horrific consequences.  On Oct. 7, graduates of Gaza’s education system perpetrated the most unspeakable crimes against thousands of Israeli civilians.  The roots of the unprecedented assault are found in Palestinian textbooks replete with hatred towards Jews, incitement to violence, and the glorification of terror and martyrdom.  Fifth-graders are taught that it is a duty to commit jihad and become a martyr for the sake of the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

Moreover, the uncomfortable truth is that the international community, including policymakers in Washington, has unwittingly contributed to this state of affairs.  The Palestinian Authority (PA) receives hundreds of millions of euros in aid from European governments and the EU itself.  The PA’s hate-filled textbooks are taught throughout the Gaza school system, including schools run by the UN.

Since 1994, the US has funneled billions of dollars in aid to the Palestinians.  Among the biggest beneficiaries is UNRWA, which operates schools serving more than half of Gaza’s students.  The US is UNRWA’s largest donor, paying the salaries of teachers in UNRWA schools and peddling hatred of the PA curriculum and teaching materials.  In light of the atrocities of Oct. 7, Washington can no longer afford to write UNRWA a blank check.  The Human cost has become unbearable.

The writer is the CEO of the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se)