News Digest — 4/10/24

Netanyahu: No Force On Earth Can Stop Us From Defeating Hamas

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Tuesday (9th) with new IDF recruits at the Tel Hashomer base.  During his visit the Prime Minister addressed the progress in the war against the Hamas terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip.

At the beginning of the visit, Netanyahu received an overview of the recruitment data in the shadow of the war, and was impressed by the great motivation of the recruits to serve in the IDF and to serve combat roles in particular.  Afterward, he had a conversation with the new recruits and answered their questions.

Later, Netanyahu joined the new recruits for lunch and heard from them about their recruitment process.

Netanyahu told the recruits: “This is a very fateful day in your life and in the life of the state.  The state exists because of our ability to defend ourselves.  These attacks have not stopped since we established the state, this was the fate of the Jewish people for hundreds and even thousands of years.  What changed with the establishment of the state is our ability to repel these attacks.  Sometimes at a very heavy price, but with a strength that the whole world understands, and does not always like, but we know that without it we cannot exist.”

He continued: “This is what you are doing here today, in the different units, in the different brigades,  in the different military forces.  We are actually protecting the existence of our country, which is also the personal existence of each and everyone of you, of your families, of your friends, and also of future generations.  This is not an exaggeration, these are not lofty words, these are very accurate words, this is what determines if our country will exist.”

He added that  “the most striking thing we have seen in the last six months, since the war broke out, is a huge success in the motivation of the youth.  And it’s huge!  The desire to mobilize, defend and fight, of both boys and girls.  It’s skyrocketing, and we have not seen anything like this before.  This is evidence of the strength of life that exists within our people.  I think you deserve every praise and also the understanding that you are truly doing something that has historical significance.”

Netanyahu said about the combat in the Gaza Strip: “We will complete the elimination of the Hamas brigades, including in Rafah.  There is no force in the world that will stop us.  There are many forces that are trying to do this, but it will not work, because this enemy, after what it has done, will not do it anymore.  It won’t continue to exist either.  We are committed to doing it, and each and every one of you now, in your recruitment, will continue in one way or another to the completion of the goal.  It has to be.  After they did something like this to our country – they won’t do it again.”

“We have three goals: one, to return the hostages,” he said,  “we will return them all.” 
“Second goal – to eliminate Hamas.  Third goal – to ensure that Gaza no longer poses a threat to Israel.”  

“There is a fourth goal, since Hamas is part of Iran’s axis of evil that aims to destroy us.  So, when we defeat Hamas, it is not just defeating Hamas – it is defeating the axis.  Everyone in the Middle East, and beyond, sits in the stands and watches to see who will win on this field – Israel or Iran and its affiliates.  You already know who will win.  Good luck to you,” Netanyahu concluded.



Israel Purchases 40,000 Tents For Rafah Evacuation, Invasion

The Israel Defense Ministry has purchased 40,000 tents to better enable evacuation and operation in Rafah in the near future.

Although the ministry acknowledged to the Jerusalem Post that 40,000 tents would not be enough for the full 1.4 million Palestinian civilians currently in Rafah, it is still considered a significant step forward.

Leaking, though there was no formal announcement, the purchase of the tents could also be a nod to the US by being transparent about the process to prepare for the evacuation in advance after months in which Washington complained that Israel’s preparations for evacuating civilians were both too secretive and insufficient.

In addition, leaking the purchase of the tents could be a serious attempt to signal to Hamas that Israel means business about invading Rafah if there is no hostage deal in the near future.

Israel and the US have been debating whether the evacuation of the Palestinian civilians from Rafah could take from one to four months.

The IDF is hoping that significant numbers of civilians self-evacuate and return to Khan Yunis following its withdrawal from that area on Sunday (7th), which also might decrease the number of tents needed.

To date, the IDF’s plan for evacuating civilians from Rafah included moving them back to Khan Yunis, to Muwasi on the coast near Rafah, and to central Gaza.

But an additional twist has been that Israel’s plans were focused on moving the civilians out of Rafah, whereas Washington wanted Israel to also ensure there would be tents, food, and medical field centers ready to absorb them in the areas to which they were moved. 



IDF Strikes Infrastructure Used By Hezbollah In Syria

The IDF on Tuesday evening (9th) struck military infrastructure that, based on precise intelligence, was used by  the Hezbollah terrorist organization on the Syrian front.

“The IDF holds the Syrian regime accountable for all activities which take place within its territory and will not allow for any attempted actions which could lead to the entrenchment of Hezbollah on the Syrian front,” said the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit in a statement.

In parallel, the statement added, “in the past hours, the IDF struck a number of Hezbollah observation posts and terrorist infrastructure in southern Lebanon.”

Throughout the day Tuesday (9th) IDF military struck to remove threats in the area of Dhayra and Tayr Harfa in south Lebanon.

On Sunday night (7th), IAF fighter jets struck and eliminated Ali Ahmed Hassin, the commander of the Hezbollah terrorist organization’s Radwan Forces in the Hajir region.  

Ali Ahmed Hassin was a senior operative in the terrorist organization, who was responsible for planning and carrying out terrorist attacks against civilians in northern Israel.

During the strike on Sunday night (7th), two additional Hezbollah terrorists under his command were also eliminated.



Report: PA Area Flooded With Guns, Weapons From Iran

Iran is operating a smuggling network spanning much of the region to get a deluge of weapons, including handguns, assault rifles, and other arms into Palestinian Authority-controlled areas in Judea and Samaria.

Tehran hopes that by flooding PA-administered territories with weapons, a new front will open in Israel’s ongoing war against Hamas, Hezbollah, and other terror groups.

According to a New York Times report, the two main smuggling routes stretch from Iran and snake through Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, finally ending in Israel.

Bedouins who clandestinely cross the border between Jordan and Israel, as well as from Jordan to PA-controlled areas and from those areas to Israel, are a key resource for Iran in the operation.

“The Iranians wanted to flood Judea and Samaria with weapons and they were using criminal networks in Jordan, in the West Bank and in Israel, primarily Bedouin, to move and sell the products,” Matthew Levitt, director of the counterterrorism program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told the Times.

While not directly acknowledging involvement in the weapons smuggling, a senior Iranian official speaking to the news outlet reiterated Tehran’s support for violent terror attacks against Israel.

“Iran’s assessment posits that the sole effective avenue for resisting the occupation of the Zionist regime is through armed resistance,” Amir Saeid Iravani, Iran’s ambassador to the UN, said to the Times.

Iravani then claimed that Palestinian terror groups have enough resources to obtain weapons, though he again did not state whether or not Iran has helped them gain access to arms. 

“Palestinian resistance forces possess the capability to manufacture and produce the necessary armaments for their cause,” he added.

In a recent statement, the Shin Bet Intelligence Agency said it had seized advanced military equipment that had been illicitly transferred into PA-administered areas.

The Shin Bet said it “takes very seriously involvement in activities directed by Iran and its affiliates and will continue to carry out active measures at all times to monitor and thwart any activity that endangers the security of the State of Israel,”



Germany At ICJ: Israel’s Security Is At The Core Of Our Foreign Policy

Germany on Tuesday (9th) hit back at accusations from Nicaragua at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) that it has been “facilitating genocide” in Gaza through its support for Israel, insisting that Israeli security is at the “core”of German foreign policy, CNN reported.

Preliminary hearings opened at the ICJ in a case brought by Nicaragua that seeks an end to German military and other aid to Israel, based on claims that Berlin is “facilitating” acts of genocide.

While the case brought by Nicaragua centers on Germany, it indirectly takes aim at Israel’s military campaign in Gaza following the deadly October 7 attacks.

Addressing the ICJ on Tuesday (9th) , Germany’s lawyer Tania von Uslar-Gleichen stressed Germany “firmly rejects Nicaragua’s accusation.”

“Germany has always been an advocate for the promotion and strengthening of international humanitarian law and humanitarian principles,” said von Uslar-Gleichen, who is the Legal Director for the German Foreign Office, as quoted by CNN.

Von Ulsar-Gleichen nodded to the Nazi Holocaust against Jews during World War II in explaining to the ICJ that Israeli security is at the “core” of German foreign policy, adding, “Our history is the reason why Israel’s security has been at the center of German foreign policy.”

A lawyer representing Germany, Samuel Wordsworth, argued Germany could not be found to be “facilitating genocide” because for that to be the case, the court would need to have already ruled that Israel has breached international law in Gaza.  The ICJ has not issued a ruling on whether Israel has committed any breaches of international law in Gaza.

Nicaragua has asked the court to hand down preliminary orders known as provisional measures, including that Germany “immediately suspend its aid to Israel, in particular its military assistance including military equipment in so far as this aid may be used in the violation of the Genocide Convention” and international law.

The court will likely take weeks to deliver its preliminary decision and Nicaragua’s case will likely drag on for years.

The Nicaraguan case follows South Africa’s case against Israel at the ICJ accusing the Jewish state of carrying out genocide in Gaza.

On January 26, the ICJ handed down a ruling in South Africa’s case, saying that Israel must do everything to prevent genocidal acts in Gaza and take “immediate” measures for aid provisions.  It did not, however, order Israel to stop the war in Gaza.

After South Africa filed the case against Israel, Germany announced that it would intervene as a third party in the case and present its own case to the court that Israel has not committed genocide.

Nicaragua had previously filed an application with the ICJ to join South Africa in its case against Israel, saying it considers that the conduct of Israel is in “violation of its obligations under the Genocide Convention.”



Iran Is At War With The West, But Only Israel Is Fighting Back – Col. Richard Kemp

Tehran claims that the airstrikes which killed Iranian military commanders in Damascus were “Israel’s latest war crimes against a foreign mission with diplomatic immunity.”  They were nothing of the sort.  The target was an Iranian command center coordinating military action against Israel, adjacent to the Iranian consulate.  Israel is perfectly entitled to hit military facilities in another country that is engaged in active hostilities against it.  It was merely the latest move in a war that Tehran itself has launched against Israel and the West. 

The flow of arms to Hezbollah could now be further impeded.  Since Oct. 7, that terror group has launched missile strikes against Israelis near the Lebanese border, leading to the evacuation of nearly 100,000 civilians.  Do Jerusalem’s critics really expect it to sit back and let those attacks continue?

But the real question is why it only seems to be the Israelis who are taking the Iranian threat seriously.  Iranian proxies have attacked international shipping in the Red Sea and Iranian-backed militias have launched more than 150 strikes against US forces in Syria, Iraq and Jordan since Oct. 7.

Tehran is a major weapons supplier to Russia in its war against Ukraine.  Since the Iranian Revolution in 1979, Tehran has ordered hundreds of terrorist attacks and assassinations in more than 40 countries.  Meanwhile, Tehran is on the verge of acquiring a nuclear capability.

The response by the US and its allies to all of this has been pitiful.  Indeed, they have actively encouraged Iranian aggression by failing to respond in kind.  Instead of appeasing Iran, our countries should stand by our Israeli ally in its vital defensive action, and maybe even consider taking a leaf out of its book.

The writer, a former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, was chairman of the UK’s national crisis management committee, COBRA.  (Telegraph-UK)  



Donations To Israel Since Oct. 7 Top $1.4 Billion – Asaf Elia-Shalev

Organizations and individuals around the world have donated at least $1.4 billion toward Israel’s recovery from the attack of Oct.7, according to a new report published by Israel’s Ministry of Diaspora Affairs.  The report includes fundraising by Jewish federations, crowdsourced campaigns, and “Friends of” charities benefiting the Israel Defense Forces and Magen David Adom, the national emergency service.

At least 350 Israeli nonprofits along with several government agencies have received donations from abroad to help with medical and emergency services, mental health support, aid for victims of terrorism, and economic needs.  Some 58,000 volunteers flew to Israel to volunteer for military service, agricultural work, and with organizations supporting Oct. 7 victims and evacuees.

Separately, the Israeli government borrowed $1.7 billion through the sale of Israel Bonds, with $300 million coming from American state and local governments.