JERUSALEM — The Israeli military says a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip struck southern Israel in the first such attack since September.
The military says air raid sirens were sounded Friday in the Eshkol region bordering the Palestinian territory. Security forces are searching the area to determine where the rocket landed.
In September, a rocket landed on the border fence.
Israel fought a 50-day war this summer with Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that controls Gaza. Hamas launched thousands of rockets and mortars toward Israel, which carried out an aerial campaign and a ground invasion.
The Gaza war left more than 2,100 Palestinians dead, according to Palestinian and U.N. officials. On the Israeli side, 66 soldiers and six civilians were killed.
Berkeley students had a wildly different reaction to a man waving an Islamic State flag and shouting pro-IS slogans than they did to the same man doing the same thing with an Israeli flag. While most ignored the IS cheerleading, and a few even encouraged it, there is a great deal of vitriol directed at the support for Israel.
“I have always thought that there was no connection between intellect and wisdom,” Ami Horowitz, who made the video, said of his experiment in a Fox News opinion piece. “To put this theory to the test, I headed out to the University of California, Berkeley.”
“The shocking video above unfortunately proves once and for all that there is in fact no connection between intellect and wisdom.”
The video shows that no one confronted Ami while he waved the IS flag, but multiple passersby yelled at him as he waved the Israeli flag. One man says “fuck Israel!” several times. One woman said “all of Israel are killers.” Another said he’s “killing kids.”
Yet another student said Ami was “sick” for waving the Israeli flag.
Sweden recognizes state of Palestine, A Terrorist Group
Palestine Controlled By Hamas, A Terrorist Organization Wanting To Kill All Israelis
STOCKHOLM — Sweden’s new government says it has recognized a Palestinian state, a move declared by the prime minister as a priority for the left-leaning minority coalition.
The EU member country on Thursday joined only two other Western European countries – Malta and Cyprus – that have officially recognized Palestine.
Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said Sweden had decided on the move because the “criteria of international law” had been fulfilled, saying there is “a territory, a people and government.”
The EU has said that it would recognize a Palestinian state “when appropriate” and has urged that negotiations be resumed as soon as possible to achieve a two-state solution.
Earlier this month, British lawmakers held a symbolic vote in favor of recognizing Palestine as a state.
Prime Minister Stefan Lofven told lawmakers in his inaugural address in October that his Social Democrat government would to recognize a Palestinian state, the Reuters news agency points out. That was criticized by Israel and the United States.
JERUSALEM—Two Hamas operatives who set off a cycle of violence three months ago that led to more than 2,000 dead Palestinians and the devastation of much of Gaza were cornered and shot dead early Tuesday by Israeli security forces in the West Bank city of Hebron.
The pair, Marwan Kawasmeh and Amar Abu-Eisha, had been in hiding since picking up three hitchhiking Israeli yeshiva students last June and shooting them to death in their car.
Israeli security forces staged a massive, month-long search at the time for the three—two aged 16 and one 19—before uncovering their bodies. During the course of the search, Israel rounded up scores of Hamas operatives in the West Bank after learning that the organization was responsible for the murders.
In response, militants in the Gaza Strip fired rockets into Israel. When the rocketing did not cease after several days, the Israeli Air Force attacked and the fighting escalated.
In the 50-day confrontation, part of which involved Israeli ground forces, more than 2,100 Palestinians were killed. Israel lost 73 soldiers and civilians.
Israeli officials said that the two wanted men had been moving from place to place in the Hebron area for the past three months, provided with food and shelter by the extensive Kawasmeh clan. At one point, they hid in an unused cesspool covered with sand and furnished with a small pipe for breathing. They also hid out in mosques, said officials. It is believed that they were planning to escape to Jordan when the search for them eased off.
After midnight last night, a police SWAT team surrounded the two-story carpentry workshop in which the wanted pair had taken shelter. When they responded to calls for surrender with shots, officials said, a bulldozer knocked down one side of the building and the two men were killed in a shootout. Three other members of the Kawasmeh clan living nearby were arrested.
The June kidnapping had apparently been staged in order to bargain for the release of Palestinian prisoners being held by Israel as was done with kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in Gaza three years ago. However, the grave for the victims had already been dug before the abduction. The kidnappers planned to kill them because it would have been too difficult to hide them on the West Bank. They planned to bargain for the release of prisoners in return for the bodies of the students.
Meanwhile, Hamas officials in Cairo today threatened not to take part in truce talks with Israel because of the killing of the two men in Hebron. The talks, scheduled to start in a few days under Egypt’s patronage, are aimed at achieving a long-term truce in Gaza. A senior Hamas official said that the matter had been reconsidered and that Hamas would participate in the talks.
Hussam Qawasme of Hebron was allegedly paid by terror group Hamas $61,500 dollars for masterminding the June 12 abduction and subsequent murder of Israeli teens Eyal Yifrah, Naftali Frenkel, and Gilad Sha’ar, according to a report that has been cleared for publication by Israel’s media censors.
The money made its way from Gaza to Hebron through Qawasame’s mother and another unidentified woman, according to the indictment. He then bought a vehicle and four weapons to carry out the attack.
Some point to the abduction and murder of the three Israeli teens as the ignition switch that sparked a 50-day war between Israel and Hamas. Israel lost 66 soldiers in battle, while Hamas’s casualties reached over 1,000 militants.
Qawasame, arrested on July 11 and charged with murdering the three teens, has a brother who is a well-known Hamas operative in the Gaza Strip, where the Muslim Brotherhood arm of the Palestinian movement rules with an iron fist. According to reports, Qawasame’s brother transferred the funds prior to executing the murderous plans.
Israel’s Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) said that Qawasme was responsible for hiding the bodies of the three teens, stashing them away at a field he had previously purchased in the town of Halhul. The Shin Bet said in a statement, “In an intelligence operation launched by the Shin Bet, Hussam Qawasme was tracked down and arrested in a hideout in the Shuafat refugee camp… He is the son of a family whose sons have been involved in severe terror attacks on behalf of Hamas.”
Qawasame’s brother was formerly a prisoner in Israel who was freed as part of the deal reached when captured soldier Gilad Shalit was in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian terrorists.
The two men who actually carried out the innocent teens’ executions, Marwan Qawasme and Amer Abu Aisha, are believed to have fled the country.
Former President of the United States and unapologetic friend of violent extremists around the globe Jimmy Carter spoke this past weekend at an Islamic conference and hailed the “principles of Allah” as the key to finally seeing peace in the Middle East.
The failed president who was too weak to retrieve our captured U.S. citizens from the hands of Iranian college students has been seen, until recent years, as the worst president with regards to foreign policy. With the numerous failures of President Obama having devastating consequences around the globe, it’s clear that Jimmy Carter has been downgraded to being the second most-cowardly president in history.
During his speech at the annual convention for the Islamic Society of North America on Saturday, Carter called for “justice for the Palestinians,” saying, “You can’t bring peace to the Middle East without justice and human rights for the Palestinians. When my prayers are answered and we have peace in that Holy Land then the Israelis and all their neighbors will be blessed to live in peace and prosperity.”
Of course, proposals of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been routinely rejected by Hamas and other Palestinian thugs.
During a luncheon earlier in the day, Carter hailed his own efforts to bring peace to the world and declared:
“We are all Americans in a system that allows basic human rights: peace, justice and the ability to treat each other as equals. I hope all of you will use the principles of Allah to bring peace and justice to all.”
Of course, these “principles of Allah” by which ISIS, Hamas and other terrorist organizations continue to commit horrific acts by citing Allah as the driving force.
Thereligionofpeace.com claims that in the last ten years, 18,000 terror attacks have been carried out by those looking to fulfill the “principles of Allah.”
Youngconservatives.com highlights the supposed “principles of Allah” to which Carter refers. These include a command from the messenger of Allah that Muslims must “fight against people so long as they do not declare that there is no god but Allah.”
While Carter has carved out a place in history as the coddler of despots, it’s curious that he has not approached the pursuit of peace by calling for the Muslim world to adhere to the principles of Christ. It’s equally odd that he has not appealed to the Muslim world to adhere to the principles of Judaism.
Israel Claims Nearly 1,000 Acres of West Bank Land Near Bethlehem
By ISABEL KERSHNER
JERUSALEM — Israel on Sunday laid claim to nearly 1,000 acres of West Bank land in a Jewish settlement bloc near Bethlehem — a step that could herald significant Israeli construction in the area — defying Palestinian demands for a halt in settlement expansion and challenging world opinion.
Peace Now, an Israeli group that opposes the construction of settlements in the West Bank, said that the action on Sunday might be the largest single appropriation of West Bank land in decades and that it could “dramatically change the reality” in the area.
Palestinians aspire to form a state in the lands that Israel conquered in 1967.
Israeli officials said the political directive to expedite a survey of the status of the land came after three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and killed in June while hitchhiking in that area. In July, the Israeli authorities arrested a Palestinian who was accused of being the prime mover in the kidnapping and killing of the teenagers. The timing of the land appropriation suggested that it was meant as a kind of compensation for the settlers and punishment for the Palestinians.
The land, which is near the small Jewish settlement of Gvaot in the Etzion bloc south of Jerusalem, has now officially been declared “state land,” as opposed to land privately owned by Palestinians, clearing the way for the potential approval of Israeli building plans there.
But the mayor of the nearby Palestinian town of Surif, Ahmad Lafi, said the land belonged to Palestinian families from the area. He told the official Palestinian news agency Wafa that Israeli Army forces and personnel arrived in the town early Sunday and posted orders announcing the seizure of land that was planted with olive and forest trees in Surif and the nearby villages of Al-Jaba’a and Wadi Fukin.
The kidnapping of the teenagers prompted an Israeli military clampdown in the West Bank against Hamas, the Islamic group that dominates Gaza and that Israel said was behind the abductions. The subsequent tensions along the Israel-Gaza border erupted into a 50-day war that ended last week with an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire.
The land appropriation has quickly turned attention back to the Israeli-occupied West Bank and exposed the contradictory visions in the Israeli government that hamper the prospects of any broader Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, condemned the announcement and called for a reversal of the land claim, saying that it would “further deteriorate the situation” and that all settlement was illegal.
Though Israel says that it intends to keep the Etzion settlement bloc under any permanent agreement with the Palestinians and that most recent peace plans have involved land swaps, most countries consider Israeli settlements to be a violation of international law. The continued construction has also been a constant source of tension between Israel and the Palestinians, as well as Israel and its most important Western allies.
The last round of American-brokered peace talks broke down in April. Israelsuspended the troubled talks after Mr. Abbas forged a reconciliation pact with the Palestinian Authority’s rival, Hamas, which rejects Israel’s right to exist. American officials also said that Israel’s repeated announcements of new settlement construction contributed to the collapse of the talks.
Yair Lapid, Israel’s finance minister, who has spoken out in favor of a new diplomatic process, told reporters on Sunday that he “was not aware of the decision” about the land around Gvaot and had instructed his team to look into it. “We are against any swift changes in the West Bank right now because we need to go back to some kind of process there,” he said. He added that the Israeli government was now talking to the Palestinian Authority about the situation in Gaza, “and this is a good thing.”
But Yariv Oppenheimer, general director of Peace Now, said that instead of strengthening the Palestinian moderates, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel “turns his back on the Palestinian Authority and sticks a political knife in the back” of Mr. Abbas, referring to the latest land appropriation. “Since the 1980s, we don’t remember a declaration of such dimensions,” Mr. Oppenheimer told Israel Radio.
Israeli officials said that the land declaration Sunday was open to judicial review and that interested parties had 45 days in which to register objections.
TEL AVIV – In the week leading up to Tuesday’s cease-fire announcement, Hamas deployed an alarming new weapon: Russian-manufactured mortars with accurate GPS capabilities.
Senior Egyptian security officials say Hamas purchased the precision mortars from rebels who looted Muammar Gadhafi’s reserves after the Libyan strongman was toppled by a U.S.-NATO campaign in 2011.
The rebels also reportedly acquired thousands of shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles, or MANPADS, said to be capable of downing passenger jets.
The security officials said the mortars, believed to number in the hundreds, were smuggled into Gaza during the administration of Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood leader who served as Egyptian president until being deposed in July 2013.
The GPS-driven mortars defy Israel’s Iron Dome and proved to be devastating in the last week, said the officials.
On Tuesday alone, 12 mortars were fired at the Eshkol region outside of Gaza, scoring direct hits and killing one civilian while injuring seven, two of whom were critically wounded. Two days earlier, mortars scores direct hits at the Erez Crossing area, injuring four civilians.
Tuesday, Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a broad longer-term cease-fire.
The truce calls for an end to Hamas attacks and Israel Defense Force strikes and the opening of Israel’s border with Gaza to more humanitarian goods. The Gaza-Egypt border is to be gradually reopened under the supervision of the Palestinian Authority, which will take responsibility for ensuring against weapons smuggling.
Also, Israel agreed to extend a so-called fishing zone off Gaza’s coast to six miles from three miles.
The truce calls for the discussion of broader issues in the near future, including the release in Israel of hundreds of Hamas prisoners and Hamas requests for an airport and seaport. Israel is demanding the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip, possibly under an international mechanism.