News Digest — 11/6/23

IDF: Over A Quarter Of Hamas Officials Hiding Across Middle East

The top political and diplomatic brass of the terror organization Hamas all live and operate outside of the Gaza Strip, the Military Intelligence Directorate said on Monday (6th).

The IDF listed over a quarter of Hamas officials, including top official Ismail Haniyeh, as operating outside Gaza, including in Iran, Qatar, Lebanon and Turkey.

Haniyeh, who met with Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Sunday (5th), is head of Hamas’ political bureau which operates from the Qatari capital of Doha.

The Hamas leadership’s responsibilities abroad are divided into three sectors – the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and foreign affairs.  The Intelligence Directorate said that “it is working nonstop to understand, map and locate the leaders.

Some of Hamas’ foreign affairs chiefs operate outside in various countries that do not have an official Hamas presence, fundraising and directing terror, the IDF reported.

These officials also carry heavy influence over the terror organization’s Shura Council, which is made up of representatives from the three branches of operation, as well as representatives of Palestinian terrorists jailed in Israeli prisons.

This way, Hamas leaders such as Haniyeh, former head Khaled Mashaal, his deputy Moussa Abu Marzouk and former interior minister Fathi Hamad are all able to manipulate the daily happening on the ground in Gaza and redirect the most critical needs of Gazan civilians to the terror organization’s hands.

The Jerusalem Post also reported last month that Muhammad Qassem Sawalha, a Hamas terrorist who ran operations in the West Bank, has been enjoying life in a state-funded home in London.

Hamas deputy leader Saleh al-Arouri, who is also in charge of Hamas’ West Bank wing, currently operates in Lebanon.

According to the IDF, Arouri, along with other leaders abroad, spearheads activities against Israelis and other targets in Muslim countries as well as in Muslim Communities in the West.



IDF Arrests Ahed Tamimi Who Called For Jews To Be Slaughtered

Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi, 22, was arrested Monday morning (6th) by the IDF, according to Israeli media citing Palestinian reports.  Tamimi has gained prominence in her community for her violent actions against the IDF and has been deemed by many as a national hero for West Bank Palestinians.

Tamimi has become something of a symbol in the Palestinian struggle against Israeli policy in the Palestinian territories and became an honorary member of the Palestinian National Council in May 2018.

Last week, Tamimi called for the murder of Jews in the West Bank in an Instagram post.  “We are waiting for you all in the West Bank cities, from Hebron to Jenin – we will slaughter you and you will say what Hitler did to you was a joke,” she wrote on social media.

“We will drink your blood and eat your skull.  Come on, we are waiting for you,” she wrote on Instagram.

In March 2018, Tamimi was convicted on four counts of assaulting an IDF officer and soldier, incitement, and interference with IDF forces, and was sentenced to eight months in prison, and eight months of probation.  She was released on July 29, 2018 after serving her full prison term.

The then 21-year-old became famous following the distribution of videos and photographs in which she attacked IDF soldiers in several incidents in her home village, Nabi Saleh.

Following her arrest on Monday (6th), national Security Minister Itamar ben Gvir posted on Facebook congratulating the IDF for arresting Tamimi.  “Kudos to the IDF and the rest of the security forces who arrested the terrorist and “activist” Ahed Tamimi Manbi Saleh, who was previously convicted of attacking IDF soldiers, and since the outbreak of the war, has expressed sympathy and support for the Nazi human beings on social media.  “There will be zero tolerance for terrorists and supporters of terrorism! Just Like that!”



Two Police Officers Hurt, One Critically, In Terror Stabbing Near Jerusalem’s Old City

2 Police officers were hurt, one critically, in a terror stabbing near Jerusalem’s Old City on Monday morning (6th).  A 16-year-old Palestinian attacker was shot dead by other Border Police officers at the scene.  The second officer is in moderate condition.  

One officer was attacked near the Herod’s Gate entrance to the Old City while the second officer was stabbed outside the Shalem police station on Salah al-Din Street in eastern Jerusalem. The Magen David Adom service said it took the two wounded officers to Hadassah Mount Scopus Hospital.

Police said another suspect was detained nearby, and “his connection to the terrorist and the attack are being investigated,” as officers search the area for additional suspects.

The attacks came at a time of soaring tensions in eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank, as Israel fights a fierce war against the Hamas terror group in the Gaza Strip following its Oct.7 massacres in southern Israel.



Israeli Citizen Killed By Anti-tank Fire From Lebanon

The IDF’s Arabic language spokesperson, Lt. Col. Avichay Adraee, wrote on X (formerly twitter) on Sunday (5th) that as a result of a Hezbollah attack on northern Israel, an Israeli civilian was killed.

“Hezbollah continued today to attack Israeli outposts and Israeli villages without differentiating between civilians and soldiers.  One of the attacks brought the death of an Israeli civilian.”

He noted that “The Hezbollah terror organization continues to undermine security on the northern border and attacks without differentiation all the while endangering the stability in southern Lebanon.”

Yisrael Beiteinu Chairman Avigdor Liberman stated: “It should be clear, we can not end the war without pushing Hezbollah to the other side of the Litani River.  Any other option is not acceptable, and no one should expect the residents of the north to return home when, along the border, there are terrorists who sit, watch, and wait to attack.  The State of Israel must insist that United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 be enacted to its fullest extent regarding Hezbollah troops in southern Lebanon and on Israel’s northern border.



European Union: ‘In These Difficult Times, EU Stands With Its Jewish Communities’

The European Commission has released a statement condemning the recent rise in anti-Semitic incidents across the continent amid the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.

“The spike of anti-Semitic incidents across Europe has reached extraordinary levels in the last few days, reminiscent of some of the darkest times in history.  European Jews today are again living in fear,” the statement opens.

It adds: ”We have seen a resurgence of anti-Semitic incidents and rhetoric  in the European Union and worldwide: Molotov cocktails thrown on a synagogue in Germany, Stars of David sprayed on residential buildings in France, a Jewish cemetery desecrated in Austria, Jewish stores and synagogues attacked in Spain, and demonstrators chanting hate slogans against Jews.”

The statement goes on to declare: “In these difficult times, the EU stands by its Jewish communities.We condemn these despicable acts in the strongest possible terms.  They go against everything that Europe stands for.  Against our core values – our way of life.  Against the model of society, we represent, one based on equality, inclusiveness, and the full respect of human rights: Jewish, Muslim, Christian – no one should live in fear of discrimination or violence because of their religion or their identity.  The EU is determined to protest the wellbeing of all its communities, ethnic, religious or other.”

It continues, “We have to push back against this rise in anti-Semitism that we have been witnessing over the past weeks – which has no place in Europe.  We already have powerful tools at our disposal to address such incidents: EU law criminalizes public incitement to hatred and violence and sets out a common approach to tackling racist and Xenophobic hate speech and hate crimes.”

“Ensuring its rigorous enforcement is now more imperative than ever.  And since 2021, the European Union has in place its first-ever comprehensive strategy on combating anti-Semitism and fostering Jewish life, as well as in 2020, an EU anti-racism  action plan.”

“In cooperation with Member States, we will continue to step up security measures.  We have already increased EU funding to protect places of worship and other premises and are working to make more support available.  In parallel we are stepping up the enforcement of relevant legislation to ensure online platforms to react swiftly and effectively to anti-Semitic or anti-Muslim content online, be it terrorist content, hate speech or disinformation.”

The statement concludes: “It is our shared responsibility as Europeans to call out hate in all its forms and stand up against it.”



French Jewish Woman Stabbed At Her Home In Lyon, Swastika Daubed On Front Door

A Jewish woman was stabbed at her home in the French city of Lyon on Saturday afternoon (4th) by an assailant who also daubed a swastika on her front door.

The 30-year-old woman was stabbed twice in the abdomen and taken to the hospital.  Her condition is now said to be stable, and she is no longer in danger, the French newspaper Le progres  reported on Saturday (4th).

According to accounts of the attack in the French media, the attacker, described as a man dressed in dark clothing and wearing a mask, rang the victim’s doorbell “insistently.”  The woman, whose home is identified as Jewish by the mezuzah on display, answered the door.  The assailant stabbed her twice before fleeing the scene of the attack, an apartment building on rue Jeanne-Hachette in the Montluc district of the city.

A statement from the Lyon public prosecutor’s office confirmed that an investigation had been opened into an attempted murder with a possible anti-Semitic motive.

Government statistics, released earlier this week revealed that more than 800 anti-Semitic acts had been recorded in France since the Hamas massacre in southern Israel on Oct.7.

“France is putting very significant resources into protecting French people of the Jewish faith,” French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said in a television interview on Monday (10/30).  According to figures from the Interior Ministry, 819 anti-Semitic incidents have been registered since the Hamas assault – almost double the 436 acts recorded during the entirety of 2022.



Civilians Pay A Price When Their Country Attacks Another Country – Alan Dershowitz (The Hill)

• Hamas death tolls hide the relevant truth: How many of those killed by Israeli fire are really totally innocent civilians? How many were active Hamas terrorists? How many were vocal supporters of Hamas terrorism?

• How many 14, 15, 16 and 17-year-olds,who Hamas counts as “children,” were in fact combatants or accessories?  How many women were Hamas accessories?  How many were killed by misfiring rockets?

• A common mantra is that Israel is at war only with Hamas, not with the Palestinian people of Gaza.  That ignores the reality that many,  perhaps most, of the Palestinian people of Gaza support the brutal tactics of Hamas.

• Israel is at war with Hamas, which controls Gaza politically and militarily.  It is comparable to when America was at war with Germany and Japan in the 1940s.  Civilians pay a price when their country attacks another, as Hamas attacked Israel.

• Even when it is only a group within a country, such as al-Qaeda or ISIS, civilians die, as many did in Afghanistan and Iraq when the U.S. battled terrorists thousands of miles away from our homeland.  Israel is fighting mass murderers just across its borders.

• Every genuine civilian and young child that is killed is a tragedy, but these tragedies are entirely the fault and responsibility of Hamas.  When Hamas decided to invade Israel and murder and kidnap its civilians, it knew that Israel would have to respond militarily and that Palestinian civilians would inevitably become collateral victims.

The writer is professor emeritus at Harvard Law School.