News Digest — 11/14/23

Gallant: ‘The World Got To See What We Have Known For Years’

On Monday evening (13th), Defense Minister Yoav Gallant commented on the IDF’s revelation that Hamas held hostages under a childrens’ hospital in the Gaza Strip.

“Tonight – the world got to see what we have known for years.  The Hamas terror organization has cynically built a terror base under the Rantisi hospital in Gaza, just as it does in additional hospitals and civilian institutions,” Gallant said.

“IDF troops revealed a Hamas command center under the hospital.  Instead of finding medical equipment, they found ammunition, explosives, and clear signs that Israeli hostages had been held there, including babies,” he added.

“We will continue operating against Hamas – the ISIS of Gaza, and we will ensure that no terror base will be left untouched across Gaza.  Any civilians located near such terror hospitals may be in danger and we call on them to evacuate to the safe zone in the southern region of Gaza,” the defense minister stressed.

IDF Spokesperson Daniel Hagari on Monday (13th) joined an operation inside the Rantisi Children’s Hospital, where he personally documented concrete evidence that Hamas uses hospitals as an instrument of war.

Hagari said that the IDF found signs that Hamas held hostages at the hospital and that while the IDF is investigating the matter, “we also have intelligence that verifies it.”



IDF Soldiers Share Photo In Conquered Hamas Parliament

IDF soldiers of the Golani Brigade shared a historic photo on Monday (13th) showing the Israeli flag inside the Hamas parliament building in Gaza.

In the moving picture, the team of soldiers can be seen proudly waving Israeli flags in the terrorist organization’s legislative council building.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant completed a situational assessment in which he emphasized the progress of IDF soldiers in their fighting in Gaza.

“The IDF forces work according to a plan and carry out the missions with precision, lethality and in coordination between the land, sea, and air forces, using precise intelligence,” Gallant said.

“There is no power that Hamas has that is capable of stopping the IDF,” he said.  “The IDF is advancing to every point.  Hamas has lost control of Gaza, terrorists are fleeing south, civilians are looting Hamas bases, and they have no confidence in their government.”



Jewish French FM To Macron: ‘Israel Does Not Bomb Children, It Is Simply At War’

Jewish French MP Meyer Habib on Monday (13th) responded to the interview that French President Emmanuel; Macron gave to the BBC over the weekend, in which he claimed that Israel “should stop killing women and babies in Gaza.”

“No, Mr. President Emmanuel Macron.  Israel does not bomb children, women and the elderly.  Israel is simply at war,” Habib wrote.  “It is fighting the barbarism of Hamas, which committed crimes against humanity. Crimes that were screened in my presence and which you saw with your own eyes with your meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu in his office.”

He added, “Israel respects the laws of war.  Israel is defending itself after the most terrible pogrom in its history.  1,400 dead, 40 of them are French.  This is equivalent to 12,000 dead here in France!  241 hostages of which 8 are French, 8 citizens of whom you are the President.  At the moment of this writing, they are 30 meters underground – babies, Holocaust survivors and women.”

“How would France react if barbarians raped and killed pregnant women in front of their families, took out a fetus to cut off its head, put a baby in an oven in front of its parents, burned entire families alive, and beheaded children?” continued Habib.

“Yes it’s true that sometimes civilians are killed.  That is what happens in war, Mr. President!  But that is the sole responsibility of these barbarians.  They take shelter in civilian buildings and set up their headquarters under hospitals and schools!”

“On the contrary, Israel creates humanitarian corridors and accompanies, at risk to its soldiers, Palestinian citizens to southern Gaza to protect them from Hamas who wants to massacre them!  Would anyone have dared to ask France for a ceasefire after the November 13, 2015 attacks?” 

Habib also wondered: “Didn’t the Allies, including the Free French Forces, bomb Dresden and Berlin in order to eliminate Nazism and kill Hitler?  This caused almost a hundred thousand civilian casualties!  As we all remember, in 2015, in our war against ISIS, the international coalition led by France caused at least 15,000 civilian deaths in Raqqa and Mosul.  War is sometimes a necessary evil.”

“Mr. President, I was part of your delegation during your visit to Israel three weeks ago: You had very strong words to support Israeli democracy which is under attack.  You declared that Israel has the right to defend itself!  You even proposed an international coalition against Hamas based on the model of the 2015 coalition against ISIS!  Unfortunately, your most recent remarks are being exploited by Jean-Luc Melenchon and LFI, some of whose party members advocate terrorism and support Hamas through a scandalous denial of reality!” 

“Israel is a very small country in size.  The only Jewish country in the world.  It is the West’s first wall in the war against terrorism that scarred us in the not-to-distant past,” concluded Habib.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to the French President’s comments in a press conference with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Minister Benny Gantz on Saturday night (11th), saying that Macron “Made a grave error,” adding, “We don’t need these moral lectures.”



Significant Drop-Off In Rocket Attacks Since Start Of Gaza Ground War

Israel has seen a decrease in red alert sirens warning of incoming rockets, drones, and terrorist infiltrations in recent weeks, the Israel Defense Forces’ Home Front Command data shows.

“With the entry of forces on the ground, there has been a significant  drop-off in the number of launches,” the military said.

In the week of Nov. 5-11, there were 420 alerts in regions across the country.  From Oct. 29-Nov 4, there were 582.  From Oct. 22-28, there were 802 alerts.  From Oct. 15-21, there were 818.  From Oct. 8-14, there were 1,749 alerts.

In the first hours of the Oct.7 assault on Israeli communities near the Gaza border, Hamas fired more than 3,000 rockets at Israeli territory.

Nearly 10,000 missiles, rockets and drones have been fired at Israel since the start of the war from Gaza, and other fronts, i.e. Lebanon and Yemen, according to the IDF.

Around 2,000 of the missiles, rockets, and drones heading towards population centers and civilian areas were intercepted by Israel’s aerial defense array, with others striking open areas on land and at sea.

Around 12% of the rockets misfired from Gaza.  Instead of landing in Israeli territory, they landed in Gaza territory endangering civilians there.



Commander of Hamas’ Anti-Tank Force Killed In Gaza

On Monday (13th), the IDF and ISA (Shin Bet) killed Yaakub Aashur, Head of the Anti-tank missile Array of Hamas’ Khan Yunis Brigade.  Yaakub Aashur was a battalion commander and was later promoted to the Head of the Anti-Tank Missile Array of Hamas’ Khan Yunis Brigade, and took part in the planning and execution of attacks against IDF soldiers.

Additionally, Mohammed Khamis Dababash , a senior Hamas operative, was also killed.  In the past, he was Hamas’ Head of Military Intelligence.

Over the past two years, he was the secretary of Zakaria Abu Maamar, Hamas’ Head of International Relations in the Political Bureau, who was also Hamas’ representative at the Summit of the National and Islamic Factions in the Gaza Strip. Khamis was involved in the directing of the terror attack in the community of Atsmona in March 2002, during which five Israelis were murdered.  The terror attack was led by Mohammed Sinwar, Wael Nasser, and Taysir Mubasher.

Earlier on Monday (13th), it was reported that RPG fire and small arms fire were directed at the soldiers of the 188th Brigade from the direction of the Al Quds Hospital in Gaza City.  The shooting was carried out by a terrorist squad that had embedded itself within a group of civilians at the entrance of the hospital.  The soldiers identified the terrorist squad with RPG launchers among the civilians. As a result of shooting carried out by the terrorists, a tank was damaged.

The soldiers fired toward the terrorists.  During the exchange of fire, civilians were seen leaving the hospital building, and other terrorists who came out of adjacent buildings hid among them and joined the attempted attack.  After the terrorists fired RPGs, they returned to hide in the hospital.

The combat team of the 188th Brigade, which included armored, engineering, and infantry troops and with the assistance of the Air Force, responded and fired shells toward the sources of the fire.  During the incident, 21 terrorists were killed and there were no casualties to Israeli forces.



The Theology Of Hamas – Ed Husain

Hamas isn’t only a terrorist group, it is a religious organization, incubated by the Egypt-based Muslim Brotherhood.  The Brotherhood, founded in 1928, departed from Islamic tradition and created Islamism, a totalitarian ideology to resist the pluralist West.  The Brotherhood developed a new declaration of faith that included: “Jihad is our method.  Martyrdom is our aspiration.”

Their ‘theology’ is central to Hamas’ Charter, which declares that “Islam will destroy Israel” and that because “Palestine is an Islamic land,” it is the “individual duty of every Muslim” to liberate it.  Hamas envisages a future Palestine that is cleansed of Jews.  Hamas calls its terror faction the al-Qassam Brigades, after the Syrian cleric Izzaddin al-Qassam, who attacked Jews living in kibbutzim in the 1930s.

Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood aspire to create a region-wide Shariah state, an anti-Western confrontational caliphate in line with Iran’s political model.  That intention has led Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt to ban both the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas from organizing within their borders.  

The writer is a professor at Georgetown University;s School of Foreign Service. (Wall Street Journal)



For Israel A Ceasefire Means Death – Amb. Michael Oren

Pressure is mounting on Israel to agree to a ceasefire in Gaza.  Israel wants nothing more than to see an end to this war, but accepting a ceasefire means victory for Hamas.  For Israel a ceasefire means death.  A ceasefire would enable the terrorists to get away with mass murder.  It would empower them to replenish their rocket arsenal and repair the damage to their military infrastructure.  As in the past, much of the international aid channeled into Gaza would be siphoned off by Hamas to augment its ability to kill Jews.

A ceasefire would empower Hamas to declare a triumph for its jihadist aberration of Islam and to prepare for the next, even more barbarous, round.  A ceasefire would mortally tie Israel’s hands.  Israel would lose its regional deterrence.  Iran could strike us with impunity, confident that any attempt to defend ourselves would swiftly be curtailed by a ceasefire.

The US administration understands this and, together with Israel, has withstood the rising pressure for a ceasefire.  It knows that a ceasefire means not only defeat for Israel but also for a US facing many of the same Iranian and terrorist threats.  Neither country can allow Hamas to win nor to permit Israel’s security to be permanently and perhaps fatally impaired.

The writer was Israel’s ambassador to the US and a deputy minister of diplomacy in the prime minister’s office.  (The Hill)