News Digest — 12/7/23

IDF Spokesman: ‘Sinwar Is Not Above Ground, Our Job Is To Kill Him’

IDF Spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said on Wednesday (6th) that the IDF is making significant progress in its war against Hamas in Gaza.

“Our forces are encircling the area, and the commando forces are currently conducting raids and battling Hamas terrorists.  Our forces are striking targets using precise real-time intelligence; the soldiers are battling valiantly, eliminating terrorists, identifying underground infrastructure, and destroying weaponry.  Simultaneously to the forces in the southern Gaza Strip our forces are also continuing to advance in the northern Gaza Strip .  The 36th Division and the 162nd Division are focused on the Jabalya Shuja’iyya areas.  It is important for the public to understand that in the past 48-hours, these three divisions, along with another division in the east, have been fighting intensely against terrorists.  In the Jabalya, Shuja’iyya and Khan Yunis areas, we have broken through their defensive line.  The terrorists are now emerging from the underground tunnels and engaging our forces in close combat.  Our forces are emerging with the upper hand.  Our forces will continue to further our achievements in these areas – the heart of Hamas’ terror,” Hagari stated.

Regarding Prime Minister Netanyahu’s remarks that the IDF had surrounded Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar’s house, the spokesman said, “Yahya Sinwar’s house is in the Khan Yunis. area.   Sinwar is not above ground; he’s underground.  Our job is to reach Sinwar and kill him.”



Israeli Forces Engage Terrorists, Destroy Tunnels In West Bank City Of Jenin

During operations in the West Bank Palestinian city of Jenin, the IDF, Shin Bet and Border Police demolished explosives manufacturing laboratories, destroyed underground shafts, located weapons and combat gear, and arrested terrorist suspects, the IDF said on Wednesday (6th).

Overnight on Tuesday (5th) under the command of the Menashe Brigade, reservists from the Duvdevan commando unit, LOTAR Special Forces, and Border Police concluded their operational activity in the restive Palestinian city

The operations, which began earlier on Tuesday afternoon (5th), successfully concluded with the arrest of ten suspects, the IDF stated.

Additionally, the Israeli forces destroyed two underground tunnels as well as three facilities dedicated to the production of explosives.  The facilities contained numerous explosives at the time IDF forces destroyed them.

The army added that it also confiscated weapons, disarmed explosive devices and found ammunition, military equipment, and thousands of shekels of funds for terrorist activities.

Over the course of the activities in the Palestinian cities, terrorists engaged the Israeli forces, with the two sides exchanging fire, the IDF said.  The Israeli troops reported that explosives were thrown at them, with one soldier lightly injured.  The soldier was evacuated for medical treatment.

In other places in the West Bank, security forces arrested sixteen wanted individuals, three of them affiliated with Hamas.

In Halhoul Israeli troops located a printing press used for printing promotional material for Hamas.



Eilat Bound Missile Fired From Yemen, Intercepted By Arrow Over Red Sea

Israel’s long-range Arrow air defense system on Wednesday (6th) shot down a ballistic missile, fired by Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen, over the Red Sea, the military said.

The incident set off sirens in the southernmost city of Eilat, though the Israel Defense Forces said the surface-to-surface missile did not enter Israeli airspace.

“The target did not cross into Israeli territory, and did not pose a threat to civilians.  The alert was activated according to protocol,” the IDF said in a statement.

The Iran-backed rebel group later claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it fired a number of missiles at “military targets” in the Eilat area.

The Houthis have fired several ballistic missiles and drones at Eilat since the beginning of the Hamas war in October, all of which were intercepted or missed their targets.

Wednesday’s Arrow interception was its fourth interception of a ballistic missile, all of which occurred amid the war in Gaza.  Cruise missiles and drones launched by the Houthis in recent weeks have been taken out by Israeli fighter jets.

The Iran-backed Houthis, who seized Yemen’s capital Sanaa in 2014 and control large swaths of the country, are “part of the axis of resistance” against Israel, along with Hamas – which is also sponsored by Tehran.

Houthi rebels have expressed support for the Palestinians and threatened Israel amid the Israeli-Hamas war.  The Iranian-backed group’s slogan is “Death to America, Death to Israel, Curse the Jews, Victory to Islam.”

Iran has warned repeatedly that Israel could face wider threats if it does not halt its war against Gaza terrorists, launched after Hamas’ October 7 terrorist rampage through southern Israel.

On Sunday (3rd), ballistic missiles fired by the Houthis struck three commercial ships in the Red Sea, while a US warship shot down three drones in self-defense during an hour-long assault, the US military said.

Israel launched its war on Hamas in Gaza after thousands of terrorists infiltrated into southern Israel on October 7, massacring some 1,200 people in Israel, mostly civilians, and taking some 240 hostages.  Daily exchanges of fire and attacks, with Hezbollah, Hamas and other terrorist groups have raised fears of a broader conflagration. 



IDF Officer In Gaza Saved By Battlefield Transfusion – Yoav Zitun

Maj. Or, an officer from the Givati Brigade, survived a life-threatening injury in Gaza.  He was serving as commander of an armored personnel carrier and was half exposed as he looked out for terrorists trying to attach IEDs to the vehicle.  When an anti-tank missile was launched at the APC, it was intercepted by the Trophy system.  However, the interception seriously wounded the officer as 60 pieces of shrapnel pierced his upper body and ruptured his arteries.

“The paramedic who received me in the field pressed on my central artery and then her friends added two more pressure points, also in the neck, to stop the bleeding,” he said.  “She gave me a morphine candy to relieve the pain and above all began a blood transfusion.”  Brought by helicopter to Sheba Hospital, he was put to sleep for three days.

Miraculously, there was no fatal damage.  “I came out relatively well thanks to the treatment in the field.  The doctors took out ten fragments, I will have to live with the majority.  I believe that I will still return to Givati, in uniform,” the soldier said.

Maj. Dr. Stas, the battalion medical officer who gave the blood transfusion to Maj. Or, explained: “Blood loss from an injury in battle is a major cause of death.  We improved the treatment and did not settle for a dried plasma transfusion.  We are the first army in the world to do this on the battlefield.  I saw with my own eyes how the officer came back to life, how his condition improved.”



‘From The River To The Sea’ – Students Chant, But Don’t Know Which River Or Sea

In a recent survey of 250 college students across the US, 86% supported the Palestinian chant “From the river to the sea,” however, only 47% of the students who embraced the slogan were able to name the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea that the chant is referencing.

Some of the alternative answers were the Nile and the Euphrates rivers, the Caribbean, the Dead Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.  Less than a quarter of these students knew who Yasser Arafat was or what the Oslo Accords were.

In total, after learning a handful of basic facts about the Middle East, two-thirds of the surveyed students went from supporting “from the river to the sea,’ to rejecting the slogan.

When students were shown on a map of the region that a Palestinian state would stretch from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, leaving no room for Israel, 75% of the 80 students shown the map changed their support to “probably not.”

An art student from a liberal arts college in New England “probably” supported the slogan believing that “Palestinians and Israelis should live together in one state.”

When informed of recent polls in which most Palestinians and Israelis rejected the one-state solution, this student lost his enthusiasm.  So did 41% of students in the group.

Another group of students claimed the chant calls for a Palestinian state to replace Israel.  Of these students, 60% reduced their support for the slogan when they learned it would entail the subjugation, expulsion, or annihilation of seven million Jewish and two million Arab Israelis.  Only 14% of the students reconsidered their stance when they read that many American Jews considered the chant to be racist and threatening.

These chants have run rampant on college campuses in protests that have left Jews feeling targeted by classmates and faculty, and abandoned by the universities’ administrators.

In a high-profile congressional hearing in Washington, DC on Dec 5, 2023, the presidents of three of the US’ top universities were asked directly if “calling for the genocide of Jews,” referring to the slogan “from the river to the sea,” and to chants calling to globalize the intifada, is against the universities’ respective codes of conduct – all three presidents said the answer depended on the context.

The presidents, however, unanimously agreed that anti-Semitism was a serious problem on their campuses and has grown more severe since Hamas’ October 7 attacks on Israel and the start of Israel’s war against Hamas.



How Oct. 7 Made Me A Zionist – Allan Stratton

Before Oct. 7, I was a typical ‘60s social democrat.  Born shortly after the Holocaust, I grew up with Israel as a fact, not a dream, and considered ongoing Zionism the chief obstacle to peace in the Middle East.  Oct. 7 changed that.  It is a day and demarcation as seismic as 9/11.  It wasn’t just the gleeful depravity of the Hamas murders, rapes and burnings that changed the world.  It was also the celebration of savagery by intersectional apologists.

Any one who doubts the Jewish need for Israel, and the elimination of the death cult on its doorstep, is delusional.  Look at the mobs attacking Canada’s Jews, along with their gathering places and businesses.  Listen to the words of union leaders, academics and politicians.  Imagine being a Jew in a Canadian university, union or NGO, much less one wearing a yarmulke or a Star of David.  These aren’t Israelis being targeted – they’re Canadians.  If Jews can’t feel safe in a country as diverse and progressive as Canada, where can they feel safe?  How can they not have a state devoted to their protection?

A Zionist believes in the necessity of a Jewish homeland.  That necessity became obvious after millennia of global pogroms and ethnic cleansings that climaxed with the Holocaust.  It is impossible to forget that history when we see Jew-hatred on our streets today.  Knowing what we know and seeing what we see, how can a decent person not be a Zionist.



Undeterred By Heavy Snow, Absent Buses, Thousands Rally For Israel In Ottawa, Canada

Montreal, Canada — Despite a foot of snow in Montreal and chartered buses  that never showed up in Toronto, thousands of Canadian Jews assembled on Parliament Hill in Ottawa Monday (4th) to voice solidarity and decry a rise in anti-Semitism.

The rally’s speakers included several prominent Canadian politicians, Jewish leaders, college students who feel unsafe on campus and family members of Israelis taken hostage or killed by Hamas on October 7.

Local Jewish leaders called the event, organized by Jewish federations across Canada and the Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs, a historic gathering.  But 17 of 70 chartered buses did not show up to pick up rally-goers in Toronto, just weeks after a similar incident in Detroit before a massive pro-Israel rally in Washington, DC.

“Despite charging in full in advance and confirming its participation, the company did not send a single bus and has declined all communications while refusing to provide any explanations,” said Adam Minsky, President and CEO of United Jewish Appeal Federations in Toronto.

“We are driven to the view that this shameful decision is intended to disrupt our peaceful rally out of hatred toward Jews,” he added.  “What happened today is sickening and outrageous.  We will respond aggressively with every legal and public affairs tool at our disposal.”

Israel’s ambassador to Canada Iddo Moed, Liberal Party member of parliament Anthony Housefather  and deputy Conservative Party leader Melissa Lantsman all spoke on Monday (4th).

“This is not 1943.  I’m grateful that Israel exists and has an army to fight back against those who launched this pogrom,” said Housefather, who is Jewish and represents Montreal’s heavily Jewish Mount Royal district.

Raquel Look, whose son Alexander was murdered at the music festival in southern Israel attacked by Hamas on October 7, called on Canadian politicians to take more action against anti-Semitism.  Hate crimes against Jews – including multiple incidents that have involved Molotov cocktails thrown at Montreal-area synagogues and Jewish centers – have spiked across Canada.

“Our sorrow is deep and immeasurable, but today we want to channel this immense pain into a call for action,” Look said.  “Please let us honor his memory by standing up against the forces that seek to destroy Jewish and Canadian values we hold so dear.”