News Digest — 12/20/23

Gaza Hospital Director Describes How Hamas Uses Hospitals For Military Purposes

Ahmed Kahlot, the director of the Kamal Adwan Hospital in Jabalya, Gaza, confessed to the Shin Bet that the Hamas terror organization used his hospital as a military facility.

During his interrogation, Kahlot describes how Hamas uses hospitals for military purposes, including hiding its operatives, carrying out military activity, moving around Hamas members, and even bringing a captured soldier to the hospital.

“They hide in hospitals because for them a hospital is a safe place.  They won’t be targeted when they are inside a hospital,” Kahlot said.

He said that he was recruited into the Hamas terror organization in 2010.  “I know 16 employees in the hospital – doctors, nurses, paramedics and clerks…. who also hold different positions in Al–Qassam.” 

“There are offices where Hamas leaders and two senior officials were.  There’s a place that held the kidnapped soldier.  There are rooms for the interrogators, internal security, and special security.  All of them have private telephone lines inside the hospital.”

He added: “They (Hamas) have private ambulances, even the color and the way they are painted are different, and they have no license plates.  They used them to transport the kidnapped Soldier and bodies.  It’s just for their use, not ours.”

“They don’t assist us with transporting our injured.  I begged them to take someone to the Indonesian Hospital, and the Shifa Hospital, but they refused  – their mission is more important.”

Kahlot criticized Hamas’ use of his and other hospitals for its own purposes.  “The leaders of Hamas are cowards.  They leave us in the field while they hide in secret places… They have destroyed us,” he said.



Video Shows Hamas Commander Alive And Well after Multiple Assassination Attempts

Mohammed Deif, the leader of Hamas’ al-Qassam Brigades, whom Israel has been hunting down for years, is alive and kicking,in all senses of the word, according to footage recently obtained by the IDF.

In one of the videos seized during intelligence-gathering operations inside the Gaza Strip, Deif is seen walking on his own two feet, albeit with a slight limp.

From these videos it now appears that Deif’s condition is significantly better than Israel had believed following a long series of attacks, some of which wounded him.  Deif is able to walk on his own and does not use a wheelchair.  He probably has use of both his hands.

Over the course of many years, Deif has survived a total of seven assassination attempts.  In four of these, including during Operation Protective Edge in 2014, he was injured, in some cases seriously, and he has recovered.

In recent years, Deif has threatened Israel, declaring that the State will pay a heavy price for events on the Temple Mount and in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of east Jerusalem.

Last week, the IDF dropped leaflets in Gaza offering rewards in excess of $100,000 to anyone who would provide reliable information of the whereabouts of senior Hamas officials, including Mohammed Deif.  The leaflets stated that the IDF would pay $400.000 for information leading to the location of Yahya Sinwar and $300,000 to help locate his brother Mahmoud.

The fact that Deif is alive and in relatively good condition fully contradicts the intelligence assessments of recent years.  Until the discovery of these videos, Israel was under the impression that Deif required full-time care, that he traveled in ambulances, used wheelchairs, and suffered from physical handicaps.



 Netanyahu Meets Wounded Soldiers And Civilians

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday (19th) visited the ‘Hozrim Lechayim Rehabilitation Center at Tel Hashomer Medical Center for victims of the Hamas massacre of October 7 and subsequent war.

During the visit, Netanyahu met with civilians who were injured on October 7 and IDF soldiers who were injured in combat in the Gaza Strip.

Netanyahu heard from the wounded soldiers about the fierce battles they waged against the Hamas terrorists, and they updated him on their medical condition and the recovery and rehabilitation process they are currently facing.

Netanyahu said at the end of the visit: “Thank you to the medical team that works miracles.  There is a combination of miracles and supreme heroism here, the likes of which I don’t think have been seen anywhere.  These are real heroes who are coming back to life.”

He added: “The lives of our soldiers is what is at the forefront of my mind.  These are the orders we give – to safeguard their lives and do everything so that they can fight and be protected.  This is what we did and this is what we will continue to do.  There are none more precious than them.  True Heroes.”

Sheba Medical Center Deputy Director-General Prof. Arnon Afek said: “At Sheba, most of the war wounded are currently treated in the inpatient wards and in the ‘Hozrim Lechayim Rehabilitation Center’ that was established at the beginning of the war.  We will continue to take them in and provide them with the best medical care until we bring them back to life.”



Kibbutz Be’eri Young Adults Return Home To Rebuild – Hillel Kuttler

On Kibbutz Be’eri, 100 homes were so burnt and ravaged that they’ll be razed and cleared.  But Be’eri is also showing signs of life and a future, much of it thanks to its young-adult cohort who have returned to lend a hand in its hour of greatest need.  Some 30 Be’eri natives in their 20s and 30s are back and are committed to remaining, at least for the short term.

“We’re not doing it for money, but out of love,” said Ella Dvori, 22, who canceled a visit to India.  “Now is the time to give back to the place we grew up in.”  The terrorists didn’t target the neighborhood where the teens and young adults lived, so their quarters are intact – while the rest of the kibbutz’s population remains at hotels to which they were evacuated.  The young adults took control over who entered the grounds, reopened the Kibbutz’s offices, and reopened the dining room.  They’re gardening, raking leaves and removing light debris.  Next they will be reopening the laundry and restoring the lighting along walkways.

“They’re running the kibbutz,” said Jelan, a Be’eri resident since 1976.  “They’re laying the groundwork for when the older adults decide to return.  I’m very impressed by them.  This is the next generation.  When you give them responsibility, they run with it.”

On Oct. 7, 93 residents were murdered and 30 were kidnapped – totaling about 10% of the kibbutz’s pre-war population of 1,250.  Residents said whether they return depends on  the IDF’s  success in destroying Hamas and returning security to the Israeli region known as the Gaza Envelope.   (Tablet)



IDF Says Key Financier of Hamas Terror Killed In Airstrike

The IDF and Shin Bet announced on Tuesday (19th) that Subhi Ferwana, a terror financier in Gaza who transferred tens of millions of dollars to fund Hamas terror, was killed in an airstrike.

Ferwana and his brother used a currency exchange store in Gaza to launder money received from Iran and other major funders of terrorism.

The death of Ferwana in an airstrike in Rafah on Gaza’s southern border is likely to dramatically hurt Hamas’ long-term operations, since his funding efforts were essential for fueling the terrorist group.

According to a joint statement by Shin Bet and the IDF, “Ferwana was one of the few and prominent money exchangers who was able to transfer to the military wing of Hamas the amount of money needed for the fighting.

The sheer amount and quality of Hamas’ military equipment was a key factor in making the October 7th massacre so destructive.

Outside funding was a key factor in arming Hamas terrorists, and economic warfare experts have stated that following the money is essential to stopping Hamas in the future.

Udi Levy, a former chief of Mossad’s economic warfare division said: “Everyone is talking about failures of intelligence on October 7, but no one is talking about the failure to stop the money.”

Israeli security officials recovered information from senior Hamas officials that proved the terrorist group had mining, chicken farming, and road-building operations in Sudan, two skyscrapers in the United Arab Emirates, a property development company in Algeria, and a Turkish real-estate firm, according to the report.

With the total value of the operations in the hundreds of millions of dollars, Israel’s security forces could have used these plans to find ways to block money to the terrorist group and sabotage its plans.



What The U.S. Doesn’t Get About Palestinian Hatred Toward Jews – Nadav Shragai

Most Israelis have a deep understanding – shaped by decades of terror, attacks, and bloodshed – that the hostility, hatred, and commitment to perpetuate the struggle against the Jews and Israel comes from the grassroots level, from the Palestinian public en masse.  The Palestinian leadership is a reflection of Palestinian society, which rejects our very existence here.  Hundreds of surveys and thousands of statements over many decades attest to this.

There are large swaths in Palestinian society who cling to the most extreme interpretation of islam, and find there an obligation, justification, and permission to murder Jews for being Jews and “infidels.”  According to Dr. Khalil Shikaki’s latest survey, 82% of Palestinians in the West Bank support the October 7 massacre, and most of them, despite everything they know today, still support Hamas.

The doctrine that prevails in the Palestinian education system, from kindergarten to universities, of a world without Israel, a doctrine that sanctifies “martyrs” and glorifies terror, is a reflection of what the Palestinian household espouses today.  Palestinians absorb hatred, distortion, lies, and incitement with their mother’s milk.

Therefore, changes in leadership in the Palestinian Authority are irrelevant if, with every slaughter and killing and shooting of Jews in our streets, Palestinians dance and celebrate on the roofs and hand out sweets.  The Palestinian public cannot be replaced, nor do we aim to do so.  It is what it is.  This is what we have to deal with.  (Israel Hayom)



NYC Police Tell Elisha Wiesel To Put Away Israeli Flag At Anti-Israel Protest

Police in New York City “insisted” that Elisha Wiesel put away an Israeli flag on Tuesday (19th), as Wiesel, son of the late writer and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, attempted to counterprotest a hundreds-strong pro-Palestinian demonstration in the city;s PennStation, Wiesel said on X.

The protest was organized by Within Our Lifetime, an activist group that has led near-daily protests since October 7, when Hamas attacked Israel’s south, initiating the ongoing war between Israel and the Hamas terror group that has controlled Gaza since 2006.

Within Our Lifetime expressed support for the attack, “defending it by whatever means necessary … with no exceptions and no fine print.” 

The group also organized a demonstration against the lighting of the Christmas tree in New York’s Rockefeller Center, calling the protest “Flood the tree lighting for Gaza,” evoking Hamas’ name for the October 7 attack, “Operation al-Aqsa Flood.”

“The NYPD insisted I remove the flag,” Wiesel wrote, “as the situation was getting dangerous.”  He included a video in which he is seen draped in an Israeli flag arguing with a masked demonstrator.

Police made several arrests at the protest, which began at Grand Central Station and continued on to Penn Station, stopping along the way at the Port Authority Bus Terminal.  Demonstrators marched behind a banner reading “From Gaza to Jenin: Revolution Until Victory.”  The demonstration was billed as part of a “global strike” on that day – December 18.