News Digest — 11/10/23

IDF Strikes In Syria In Response To UAV Launch Toward Eilat

The IDF early Friday morning (10th) struck the organization in Syria that carried out the launch of a UAV toward Eilat on Thursday (9th), which hit a school in the city.

“The IDF holds the Syrian regime fully responsible for every terror activity emanating from its territory,” the IDF’s Spokesperson’s Unit said in a statement.

An explosion was heard on Thursday afternoon (9th) in the yard of theTse’elim School in Eilat.  The IDF confirmed that the explosion was the result of a drone that hit a building.

The explosion damaged the school building, but the 37 students who were in the building at the time were not injured.

One man was evacuated for treatment after suffering from smoke inhalation and several other people were treated for anxiety.

On Thursday evening (9th), IDF fighter jets struck Hezbollah terror infrastructure in Lebanon, in response to the launches toward Israeli territory over the past day.

Additionally, the IDF struck terror targets using military and the “Iron Sting” mortar munition.

Among the targets were terror compounds and infrastructure, observation posts, and technological equipment used to direct terror against Israel.



Nukhba Force Leaders Who Took Part In Massacre Eliminated

On Friday morning (10th), IDF forces under the direction of military intelligence, eliminated a significant number of members of the Hamas’ ‘Nukhba force’ who took part in the massacre of October 7.

Among the eliminated terrorists were Ahmed Musa, commander of the Nukhba force and Amr Alhandi, the commander of a platoon in the force.  The two barricaded themselves in western Jalaliya.  Musa was one of the commanders of the raids on the Zikim military base and Kibbutz Zikim.  In recent days, he led offensive activity against IDF forces in Gaza.

In addition, the head of the Hamas Northern Brigade’s sniper unit, Muhammad  Kahlot, was eliminated.

Reserve fighters from the 252nd Division, directed by the Shin Bet, eliminated 19 Hamas terrorists overnight who were preparing to attack IDF forces.

Soldiers from the 401st Brigade located and destroyed a container located on a Gaza beach containing about 20 rocket launchers.  During combat operations in the neighborhood of Sheikh Ljlin in Gaza City, the soldiers found a rocket launcher near residential buildings.  All the weapons found were destroyed or confiscated by the IDF.



IDF Chief Of Staff And Shin Bet Director Visit Gaza Strip

IDF Chief Of Staff Lt. Gen, Herzi Halevi and Shin Bet Director Ronen Bar entered together with combat forces deep into the Gaza Strip and held a situational  assessment in the field on Thursday (9th).

The Chief of Staff stated that “the central point of strength for now in this war, which I feel constantly, is the partnerships, I go around and see the IDF, in every corner, everyone is doing everything so that you can be as strong as possible.” 

“There is nothing that isn’t done for you to work well.  Keep going forward strongly, thoroughly, pick up the pace,” he added.

The Shin Bet Director stated, “You have the public’s unprecedented appreciation and as far as the Shin Bet in war, we work for the IDF.”

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant held a situational assessment on Thursday (9th) with the 252nd Sinai Division, a reserve division operating in the northern Gaza Strip against the Hamas terrorist organization.  

“We must remember that in Beit Hanoun is the battalion from which the terrorists came to murder and kidnap in Kibbutz Erez, Netiv HaAsara, and Sderot.  This battle has meaning beyond the symbolic aspect,” Gallant told the soldiers of the division.

“We need to ensure that all terrorist infrastructure in Beit Hanoun is destroyed.  We will not stop, we will continue with all our might until we eradicate the Hamas organization – we will strike the entire chain of command, military depots, communications channels, tunnels, bunkers, and headquarters, everything,” he said.



War Cabinet Minister Gantz: Israel’s War Against Hamas Is Existential And Carries No Time Limit – Carrie Keller-Lynn

Former defense minister and IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. (res.) Benny Gantz said Wednesday: (8th) “The war here is for our existence and for Zionism, and so I can’t provide an estimate of the length of each stage in the war and the fighting that will continue after.  We can’t retreat from our strategic objective.”

Over 240,000 Israelis are internally displaced as a result of Hamas’ attack, with northern border communities joining Gaza border towns as closed military zones.  Gantz said that residents, especially from communities ravaged by Hamas invaders, will not return to revive their destroyed towns until the threat posed by Hamas is neutralized.  “Israel cannot accept such an active threat on its borders,” Gantz said.  “The whole idea of people living side-by-side in the Middle East was jeopardized by Hamas.”

“Once the Gaza area is safe, and the northern area will be safe, and the Judea and Samaria region will calm down, we will sit down and review an alternative mechanism for Gaza.  I do not know what it will be.  But I do know what cannot be there – an active presence of Hamas with governance and military capabilities.”



Czech Republic Stands By Israel During War With Hamas

Since the outbreak of the war, there is one country whose support for Israel is unwavering.  In the sea of animosity in the Western nations, where some demonstrate in support of Hamas, the Czech Republic stands as a moral beacon.

The Czech Republic’s support for Israel is genuine and deeply rooted.  “They truly hold Israel in high esteem,”explains Daniel Maron, Deputy Director General of the European Division at the Foreign Ministry.  These are the Czechs who sent weapons to Israel to assist during the War of Independence.

When the war began, Oct.7,  the Czech Republic dispatched all the supplies it had at its disposal and declared its commitment to provide any necessary aid to Israel.  Jan Lipavsky was the first foreign minister in the world to visit Israel in a show of solidarity back on October 10.

“The Czechs made an effort to show that they stand with Israel,” Maron added, “and their support for Israel has remained steadfast throughout this month of war.  Their public, their government, their parliament, everyone is with Israel.”

Another touching display of support came from the Czech Defense Minister, Jana Cernochova, in the heart of Prague, amid a protest by pro-Palestinian demonstrators.  Wrapped in the blue and white flag of the Jewish State, she sang the Israeli national anthem with some friends of Israel.

Following the UN call for a ceasefire, Cernochova demanded her country’s departure from the United Nations, stating, “Hamas has killed around 1,400 Israelis, and only 14 countries, including us, have taken a clear stand against this terrorist attack.  I am ashamed of the UN.  There is no place for the Czech Republic in an organization that appeases terrorists and does not respect the fundamental right to self-defense.  Let’s get out of there.”


Media Had Prior Knowledge Of Oct.7 Massacre: Israel Demands Answers From CNN, NYT, AP, And Reuters 

The Israeli government has demanded Western news outlets respond to an investigative report which found evidence photojournalists working for the news agencies had prior knowledge of the Oct. 7 invasion of southern Israel.

According to a report released by Honest Reporting on Wednesday (8th), many of the photographs taken of the invasion and subsequent massacres were taken by journalists who apparently crossed the Gaza border immediately following the invasion – all while working for leading news outlets.

The report raised questions about journalistic ethics and hints that certain players in the international press may have had prior knowledge of the invasion that left over 1,400 Israelis dead and over 240 abducted.

According to the investigation by Honest Reporting, four names appear on photo credits from the Israel-Gaza border on October 7 – Hassan Eslaiah, Yousef Masoud, Ali Mahmud, and Hatem Ali.

Hassan Eslaiah, who also reports for CNN, photographed Hamas setting fire to an Israeli tank and terrorists invading Kibbutz Kfar Aza.

Honest Reporting also posted on X a photo of Hassan Eslaiah being given a kiss on the cheek by the mastermind behind the Oct.7 massacre, Yahya Sinwar.  

In addition, Yousef Masoud, who reports for the New York Times, photographed burning Israeli tanks on the morning of the invasion.

Several journalists stood by and photographed Hamas taking prisoners.

The shocking photo of the murdered German-Israeli hostage Shani Louk was taken by Ali Mahmud, and Hatem Ali took additional photos of hostages being pushed into trucks on the way to Gaza.

Reuters “photo of the day” depicting a blurred-out image of an Israeli soldier being lynched by a crowd was taken by Mohammed Fayq Abu Mostafa.

In addition to the ethical concerns surrounding these photos, Honest Reporting raised the question of whether these news agencies were aware of the attack ahead of time.

On Thursday (9th), the Israeli government called out the four media outlets, demanding answers.

The Prime Minister’s Office National Public Diplomacy Directorate demanded that immediate action be taken against the “photographers in service of Hamas.”

In addition, Benny Gantz, a member of the unity government, said, “Journalists found to have known about the massacre, and still chose to stand as idle bystanders while children were slaughtered – are no  different than terrorists and should be treated as such.”



Jewish Schools In Montreal Struck By Gunfire

Montreal police announced they are investigating a disturbing incident where two Jewish schools were targeted by gunfire early Thursday morning (9th).  Staff arrived Thursday  to find bullet holes in the exteriors of the school buildings, though no injuries have been reported, as the buildings were empty at the time, according to reports by Canadian media.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, speaking from Longueuil, expressed his shock and firm stance against such acts of violence.  “It’s with horror that we learned this morning that gunshots hit several Jewish schools,” Trudeau stated.  “This hate has no place, not here in Montreal, not anywhere in Quebec, not anywhere in Canada.”

In response to the attacks on the two schools Yair Szlak, President and CEO, Federation of CJA said: “Thursday (9th) following attempted attacks at two Jewish schools, we said that words of anti-Semitic hate can lead to undesirable actions, and this must be prevented at all costs.  These anti-Semitic and violent actions are entirely unacceptable and must be condemned by all.  Schools are not battlefields.  There must be serious consequences for those involved.”

On Wednesday (8th), a group of Concordia University Jewish students raising awareness about the 242 hostages held by Hamas terrorists in Gaza were confronted by an angry crowd that verbally and physically accosted them.

The Jewish students had set up a table with posters of the hostages and other materials in a common area reserved for sanctioned student group activities, which this was.  Jewish students were shoved, harassed, and faced a barrage of hate speech including racial slurs.  Security and police intervened to protect the students and restore order. 

Quebec Premier Francois Legault, alongside Trudeau, also strongly  condemned the shootings and related violent events at Concordia University.  “What happened at the two Jewish schools cannot be tolerated,” Legault said.  “We don’t want hate and violence in Quebec, and we won’t tolerate this.”

On Wednesday (8th), NBC News reported that Montreal faced further threats as two significant  locations were targeted in attempted fire bombing attacks.  The Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs noted these attacks occurred amidst an unsettling rise in anti-Semitic incidents across North America, coinciding with the aftermath of the Israel-Hamas conflict.  Despite the tension and fear these events have sparked, the damage was reported to be minor, and thankfully no injuries were sustained during them.