November 14, 2018
Dead Officer Killed Identified As Lt. Col. M., 41, Father Of Two Children
The IDF officer killed during a battle with Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip Sunday night (11th) was laid to rest at a cemetery in his hometown Monday afternoon (12th).
On Sunday night, an IDF special forces unit operating in the southern Gaza Strip on a mission Israeli military officials said was “very meaningful” to Israeli security, encountered a force of Hamas terrorists, resulting in an “exchange of fire.”
Israeli air units were called in, resulting in dozens of missile strikes near Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, Arab media outlets reported.
Seven Hamas terrorists were killed, including Nur Barakeh, commander of the eastern battalion of Hamas’ Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades in Khan Yunis.
During the course of the battle, an IDF officer was killed and a second officer wounded.
Israeli military censors have barred publication of the slain officer’s name, who has only been identified as Lt. Col. M.
Lt. Col. M. was 41 years old, and leaves behind a wife and two children. No other details have been released regarding the fallen soldier.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “I bow my head in sadness at the loss of Lt. Col. M. a glorious fighter who fell during an IDF operation in the Gaza Strip. The day will come when we can tell of all his valor. The citizens of Israel owe him an enormous debt.
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said: “Israel lost an experienced fighter, whose contributions to the country will remain a secret for years to come.”
Education Minister Naftali Bennett commented, “Thanks to the heroes who work year-round in the shadows to ensure Israel’s security, we can all live here safely.”
IDF Chief-of-Staff Gen. Gadi Eisenkot said: “The IDF owes more to Lt. Col. M. than I can say.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cut short his state visit to Paris following the escalation on the southern border and in response to the identity of the fallen IDF officer.
16 Hurt As More Than 300 Rockets/Shells From Gaza Pummel South
Fresh fighting erupted on the Gaza border Monday afternoon (12th), with dozens of projectiles fired by terrorists in the Strip striking southern Israel, as well as an attack on an Israeli bus near the border that seriously injured one person.
According to the IDF, more than 300 projectiles were fired at Israel, triggering sirens in Israeli communities close to the Gaza Strip, in the city of Beersheba and even as far away as the Dead Sea and the Hebron Hills.
Some 60 incoming rockets and mortar shells from Gaza were intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system, the military said, while several others struck homes and buildings in Israeli communities near the border, causing light injuries and severe damage. The IDF said the majority of the projectiles not intercepted fell in open areas.
In response to the heavy barrage from the Gaza Strip – one of the largest attacks since the 2014 war – Israeli fighter jets launched a series of air and ground strikes.
The Israeli military said its helicopters, tanks and other aircraft bombed some 70 sites connected to the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror groups – the two largest organizations in the Gaza Strip.
At least 16 people were injured in Israel from the rocket attacks.
IDF Takes Out Hamas TV Station, 3 Terror Tunnels
An Israeli airstrike hit Hamas’ Gaza-based Al-Aqsa TV station, a media outlet used by the terror group to incite riots and anti-Israel violence.
The station went off the air after the airstrike. Minutes earlier, it halted its programming and was broadcasting a still image of its logo after the building was hit by a warning missile.
Shortly thereafter, three loud explosions were heard and the screen turned black. Witnesses say the blast destroyed the entire building, and explosions illuminated the night sky.
Workers evacuated the building after the warning shots. It was not clear whether there were any casualties.
The strike occurred after Israel’s military warned that it was prepared to step up its efforts against Palestinian terror groups in the Gaza Strip if rocket fire at Israel continued.
Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, a military spokesman, said Monday (12th) that Israel has boosted forces near the Gaza border with additional infantry troops, defensive systems and intelligence units.
Conricus told reporters that the army has so far struck dozens of targets belonging to Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
Among the sites Israel hit were three attack tunnels, according to media reports.
Conricus stated that 300 rockets struck Israel on Monday (12th). Israel retaliated with around 70 counterstrikes, targeting rocket-launching cells and other positions.
Gaza Is A separate Palestinian State – Khaled Abu Toameh
The Palestinian Authority and its Leader, Mahmoud Abbas, remains opposed to a truce accord between Israel and Hamas because such a deal will pave the way for the establishment of a separate Palestinian state in Gaza. But the reality is that a separate Palestinian state in Gaza has been there since 2007, when Hamas violently seized control of the area and toppled the PA’s Western-funded security forces which surrendered without putting up a fight.
To date, Hamas and Fatah have not been able to agree on the interpretation of the “reconciliation” agreements already signed. Hamas remains vehemently opposed to relinquishing security control over Gaza. While Abbas continues to present himself to the world as the “President of Palestine,” he is living in an illusion. It is obvious that he does not represent the two million Palestinians living in Hamas-controlled Gaza. Abbas has not set foot in Gaza for the last 11 years.
The power struggle between Hamas and Fatah is completely unrelated to Israel or the U.S. The dispute between the two Palestinian parties is the direct result of a power struggle over money and power.
Marking Arafat Death Anniversary, Abbas Rages Against US ‘Conspiracy’
Palestinians on Sunday (11th) marked 14 years since the death of iconic leader Yasser Arafat, with current leader Mahmoud Abbas denouncing a US-Israel “conspiracy” to implement a nascent peace plan in the West Bank and Gaza.
Abbas, Arafat’s successor as Palestinian Authority Leader, laid a wreath at the tomb in Ramallah in the West Bank, flanked by senior PA officials.
After paying tribute to Arafat as “the leader of the nation and the leader of the martyrs,” Abbas went on to accuse Israel and the United States of seeking to sabotage Palestinian statehood through a peace plan that President Donald Trump calls “the ultimate deal.”
“There is an American conspiracy through the ultimate agreement and the Israelis are conspiring to implement it,” he said.
Abbas suspended diplomatic contact with Washington following Trump’s 2017 recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel.
The Palestinians claim the eastern part of the city as the capital of their future state.
Abbas added that the Hamas terror group, his bitter rival which rules the Gaza Strip, was also hindering the cause.
“Another plot by Hamas, aims to disrupt the establishment of an independent Palestinian state,” he said.