Israel at war: 22 people dead
Rockets slam Jerusalem, Tel Aviv as Netanyahu declares war
Hamas claims kidnapped Israelis
By Jerusalem Post Staff, 7-10-2023
A barrage of rockets slammed into southern and central Israel Saturday morning, as Hamas terrorists infiltrated the country and took over Southern Israeli towns and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel is at war.
"We are at war, not in an operation or in rounds, but at war," the prime minister said in a video statement.
"Hamas has made a grave mistake this morning and launched a war against the State of Israel. IDF troops are fighting against the enemy at every location," said Defense Minister Yoav Gallant following a situation assessment...”
The IDF was striking the southern region and communities near the Gaza Strip with multiple operational forces it said Saturday afternoon in an operation it is calling "Iron Swords."
"Operational commanders are arriving to manage the combat in all areas," explained IDF Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Hagari. "Concurrently, we have initiated the call-up of reservists for various units within the IDF."
Numerous IDF units, including special units, have been deployed to the Gaza periphery and are engaging in various combat zones to protect the residents of the southern region. Dozens of IDF warplanes attacked 17 military compounds and four operational headquarters belonging to Hamas throughout the Gaza Strip, an IDF spokesperson said.
Hamas Declares Start of Military Operation Against Israel
FARS News Agency [Iran], 7-10-2023
Mohammad Deif, a senior Hamas military commander, said on Saturday the group has launched a new operation against Israel. In a rare public statement, Deif stated that 5,000 rockets had been fired into Israel early Saturday to begin “Operation Al-Aqsa Storm”, Al-Jazeera reported.
“We’ve decided to say enough is enough,” Deif said as he urged all Palestinians to confront Israel. "We have already warned the enemy before. The occupation committed hundreds of massacres against civilians. Hundreds of martyrs and wounded died this year due to the crimes of the occupation," he added.
“We announce the start of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, and we announce that the first strike, which targeted enemy positions, airports, and miltary fortifications, exceeded 5,000 missiles and shells,” he continued.
Saleh Al-Arouri, deputy chief of Hamas in the occupied West Bank, has also issued a call to arms.
“We must all fight this battle, especially the resistance fighters in the West Bank,” he said in a statement.
“The West Bank is the final word in this battle, and it can open a clash with all the settlements in the West Bank. We call on our people to participate in the battle of Al-Aqsa Flood,” he added.
The Palestinian Islamic Jihad group has also announced it is “part of this battle”..
Meantime, the Israeli Army announced a number of Palestinian fighters “have infiltrated” Israel from the Gaza Strip, without providing further information: “Residents in the area surrounding the Gaza Strip have been asked to stay in their homes,” the army said in a statement.
Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant has declared an emergency situation within a range of 80km from the Gaza Strip, according to his office..
The Israeli Army announced it has started an operation aimed at Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.
Unprecedented attack & casualties
Mondoweiss Info, 7-10-2023
Saturday’s operation, which is being led by Hamas, but seemingly being joined by various militant factions across the Gaza Strip, was unprecedented on many fronts. It is already being considered one of the worst Israeli security and intelligence failures in recent history due to the fact that the operation largely caught Israel off guard.
Saturday morning marked the first time since Israel placed Gaza under blockade more than 16 years ago that Gaza resistance fighters were able to break through the Israeli barrier fence along the border and enter Israeli territory on foot in large numbers.
Videos surfaced on social media, posted by both Israeli and Palestinian accounts, showing masked and armed Palestinian fighters arriving in Sderot and other Israeli towns bordering Gaza in trucks equipped with large caliber guns.
Other videos showed Palestinians in large numbers, both in vehicles and on motorbikes, breaking through openings in the Gaza border fence. As the morning continued, footage showed Palestinian bulldozers breaking down parts of the fence as seemingly ordinary Palestinians crossed into the other side.
Professional video footage released by Hamas in Gaza showed its fighters taking off from Gaza using power-motorized paragliders and flying into Israeli territory.
Israeli news channels reported that Palestinian fighters reached 21 different sites inside Israel and reported several Israeli deaths and hundreds of injuries.
The Israeli military response came several hours after the surprise attack of the resistance, as Israeli air forces launched airstrikes in the Gaza Strip at approximately 10:57 a.m., targeting a hospital in the north of Gaza and killing one of its staff. Other airstrikes were reported in several locations across the strip.
20 people have been killed by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza so far, including a journalist, while over 105 were injured.
International community knows only double standards
when it comes to Palestine: Al-Azhar
Ahram Online , Sunday 8 Oct 2023
Egypt’s Al-Azhar demanded on Saturday the international community stop applying double standards to the Israel-Palestine conflict, mourning Palestinian “martyrs” and praising their resistance:
“Al-Azhar proudly salutes the efforts of the resistance of the Palestinian people and demands that the civilized world and the international community look with reason and wisdom at the longest occupation known in modern history, the occupation of Palestine by the Zionists,” the world’s leading Sunni Islamic institution said in its statement.
“This occupation is a stain on the forehead of humanity and the international community, which weighs things with two scales and knows only double standards when it comes to the Palestinian issue,” Al-Azhar added.
Al-Azhar praised the resistance of the Palestinian people and their “martyrs who have instilled in us the spirit of confidence and restored life to us after we thought it would never return,” praying to God to grant them patience, steadfastness, peace, and strength. “Every occupation will eventually end, regardless of how long or short it lasts,” it added.
On Saturday morning, Hamas launched an unprecedented attack on Israel that killed more than 350 Israelis and wounded 1864.
Fighters from the group broke out of the blockaded Gaza Strip and rampaged through nearby Israeli settlements, capturing prisoners, both soldiers and settlers.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin declared a state of war, launching retaliatory strikes in Gaza that have leveled buildings and killed over 300 Palestinians and wounded 1990.
In the West Bank, seven Palestinians have been killed since Saturday – two in Ramallah, two in Hebron, one in Jericho, one in Qalqilya, and one in Nablus, according to the Palestinian health ministry.
Lebanon's Hezbollah joined the fighting on Saturday by firing artillery shells and guided missiles at Israeli positions, with Israel bombing southern Lebanon in retaliation.
China ‘deeply concerned’ at violence,
calls for establishment of Palestinian state
Al-Monitor News, 8-10-2023
China’s foreign ministry has issued a statement on the conflict, saying it is “deeply concerned” over the “escalation of tensions and violence” between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
“The recurrence of the conflict shows once again that the protracted standstill of the peace process cannot go on,” the statement said.
“The fundamental way out of the conflict lies in implementing the two-state solution and establishing an independent State of Palestine.”
The ministry said China would continue to work with the international community to find a peaceful resolution and urged the other countries to act with greater urgency to facilitate peace talks between the two sides.
Qatar in contact with US and regional leaders
as Israel vows to turn Gaza to ‘rubble’
Asmahan Qarjouli, Doha News [Qatar], October 8, 2023
Qatar held a number of phone calls with top diplomats from the United States and a number of regional countries on Saturday as Israel declared war and launched a massive bombardment campaign targeting the besieged Gaza Strip.
Calls were made between Qatar’s Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani and foreign ministers from the US, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Turkiye, according to several statements from Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The US, which has long failed to condemn Israel’s attacks on Palestinians and annually pumps $3 billion into Israel’s economy, stressed Israel’s right to self defence during the latest escalations.
In a press conference late on Saturday, US President Joe Biden vowed to stand by Israel’s side, describing his support as “rock solid and unwavering.”
“I’ve also directed my team to remain in constant contact with leaders throughout the region, including Egypt, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Oman, the UAE, as well as with our European partners and the Palestinian Authority,” Biden added.
In a statement on Saturday, Qatar said it holds the Israeli occupation “solely” responsible for the ongoing flare ups while expressing its “deep concern” on the developments in Gaza.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs holds Israel alone responsible for the ongoing escalation due to its ongoing violations of the rights of the Palestinian people, the latest of which is the repeated raids on the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque under the protection of the Israeli police,” the statement said.
Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem in a bloody war in 1967, widely known as “the six-day war” or the Naksa, which translates to the “setback”.
Within six days, the Zionist state captured the majority of Palestine while forcibly displacing at least 300,000 Palestinians.
Saturday’s operation by Hamas, Gaza’s ruling party, is widely seen as a historic moment for Palestine, which has been living under Israeli occupation for 75 years.
Home two more than two million Palestinians, Gaza has faced an illegal Israeli air, land and sea blockade since 2007 and has been widely described as the world’s “largest open-air prison”.
Palestinians under siege live with limited electricity and water supplies while patients with severe illnesses struggle to exit the city for treatment as they require Israeli permits.
New Gaza Conflict shows that “Abraham Accords”
can’t bring Peace as Long as Israelis keep Palestinians Occupied and Stateless
Juan Cole (Informed Comment), 8-10-2023
The conflict that broke out on October 7, 2023, between Palestinian militants and Israel underlined once again that the status quo, with Israel occupying 5 million stateless Palestinians, is unsustainable.
In the midst of the 2012 presidential campaign, Republican standard-bearer Mitt Romney was recording giving a fundraising speech in which he admitted that it was impractical to give the Palestinians a state and that the only thing you could do with the Israel-Palestine issue was to “kick the can down the road.”
Periodic kinetic conflicts are the price of the American elite’s studied inaction and, worse, coddling of the ugliest political forces on the Israeli side, as well as failure to offer ordinary Palestinians a dignified life that could allow them to develop alternatives to the ambitious and bloodthirsty fundamentalists who run Gaza.
More recently, the standard line from both Israeli politicians such as Binyamin Netanyahu and from American politicians such as Jared Kushner (Trump’s special envoy to the Middle East) and Biden’s Secretary of State Antony Blinken, has been that Palestinian citizenship in a state is not essential to a peace settlement.
Rather, Israel can do diplomatic deals with Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Sudan, and now perhaps Saudi Arabia. The wealthier Middle East states could exchange technology with Israel, do joint start-ups, and engage in trade, giving a fillip to the Israeli economy that would trickle down to the Palestinians.
With rising incomes and economic well-being, the Palestinians would be content to forego rights to nationhood and would acquiesce in Israeli military rule (in the Palestinian West Bank) or Israeli siege (in the Gaza Strip).
As with all trickle-down theories, this one is a chimera, an illusion, in brief, a scam.....
While the so-called “Abraham Accords” may have allowed Arab oil billionaires and Israel tech billionaires to do some deals, those people were never at war in the first place, and their finances remained in the stratosphere out of sight of ordinary mortals.
We have seen the rise of a set of fascist parties among the Ultra-Orthodox Jews and especially those who had been encouraged or allowed by the Israeli government to squat on land owned by Palestinian families in the West Bank...
The Israeli extremists have openly been talking about illegally annexing the occupied Palestinian territories that Israel seized in 1967 and imposing full Israeli sovereignty, with the implication that the stateless Palestinians would somehow be expelled...
The rhetoric about making the Palestinians forget all about being Palestinians by luring them with a good economy always consisted of empty rhetoric. It was nothing more than a smokescreen for predatory projects of colonizing and appropriating Palestinian land or making Gaza into an open air penitentiary...
Hamas-Israel fighting continues for third day,
hundreds of Israelis and Palestinians killed
The Arab Weekly, Monday 09/10/2023
The Israeli military on Monday said it struck hundreds of Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets in the Gaza Strip overnight and had sent four combat divisions south where it continued to battle Islamist militants two days after a bloody incursion.
A military spokesman said fighting was ongoing at seven or eight locations near Gaza two days after gunmen from Islamist group Hamas killed 700 Israelis and abducted dozens more in the deadliest raid into Israeli territory since Egypt and Syria’s attacks in the Yom Kippur war 50 years ago. Hamas fighters also continued to cross into Israel from Gaza, the spokesman said.
Israeli air strikes on Sunday hit housing blocks, tunnels, a mosque and homes of Hamas officials in Gaza. The Palestinian health ministry said more than 400 people including scores of children had been killed.
“The price the Gaza Strip will pay will be a very heavy one that will change reality for generations,” said Defence Minister Yoav Gallant in the town of Ofakim, which suffered casualties and had hostages taken.
Israeli military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus said the country had called in around 100,000 soldiers. “Our job is to make sure that at the end of this war, Hamas will no longer have any military capabilities to threaten Israeli civilians with, and in addition to that we also need to make sure Hamas will not govern the Gaza Strip,” he said.
Palestinian fighters took dozens of hostages to Gaza, including soldiers and civilians, children and the elderly. A second Palestinian militant group, Islamic Jihad, said it was holding more than 30 of the captives.
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said the assault would spread to the West Bank and Jerusalem. Gazans have lived under an Israeli-led blockade for 16 years, since Hamas seized control of the territory in 2007.
“How many times have we warned you that the Palestinian people have been living in refugee camps for 75 years, and you refuse to recognise the rights of our people?” Haniyeh said.
Sisi says Palestinians must 'remain on their land'
Ahram Online , Thursday 12 Oct 2023
Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said Thursday that the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip must stay steadfast and "remain on their land," warning of "the liquidation" of the Palestinian cause...
The Palestinian cause is the issue of all Arabs, the president affirmed, adding that Egypt will exert "utmost" efforts to alleviate the burden endured by the Palestinians.
Egyptian security sources warned that some parties and forces plan to forcibly displace Palestinians from their land amid the Israeli retaliation for Hamas's Saturday surprise attack.
"Egypt is exerting great efforts to contain the escalation and ongoing fighting and alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people in the strip," El-Sisi asserted.
"Our contacts with the leaders and officials never cease," he said, stressing that Egypt spares no effort to coordinate with "its Arab brothers and friends" to resolve the current crisis.
"We are keen that humanitarian and medical aid arrives in the [Gaza] Strip," the president affirmed.
Egypt, El-Sisi asserted, is ready to "harness all its capabilities and efforts toward mediation in coordination with all international and regional partners without restrictions or conditions."
He warned against the "relentless efforts by multiple parties" to derail the Palestinian issue so that it strays off the path to achieving a just peace based on the principles of the Oslo Accords, the Arab Peace Initiative, and the resolutions of international legitimacy."
These parties want, instead, to escalate the situation, leading to "zero-sum conflicts where there is no winner or loser," added El-Sisi.
Peace is a strategic choice for Egypt, said the president, adding that such an approach "makes it incumbent upon Egypt not to abandon our brothers in beloved Palestine and to help them retain their capabilities and their legitimate rights."
The Egyptian foreign ministry stressed that contrary to inaccurate information, the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip has not been closed since the onset of the current crisis.
Egypt has designated North Sinai's El-Arish International Airport as a receiving point for international humanitarian assistance to be delivered to Gaza -- currently under a complete blockade by Israel.
Israel’s military orders civilians to evacuate Gaza City
ahead of possible ground invasion
Ahram onnline|AP, Friday 13 Oct 2023
Israel’s military delivered sweeping evacuation orders for almost half of Gaza’s 2.3 million people Friday ahead of a feared ground invasion, U.N. officials said.
The order sent panic through civilians and aid workers already struggling under Israeli airstrikes and a blockade.
The Israeli military sent one evacuation order directly Friday morning, warning the hundreds of thousands of civilians of Gaza City to flee deeper south into the Gaza Strip, a narrow coastal territory. Israel’s directive charged that Hamas militants were hiding in tunnels under the city.
“This evacuation is for your own safety,” the Israeli military said, in a warning it said was sent to Gaza City civilians.
The United Nations said it received a separate directive from the Israeli military shortly before midnight, giving all 1.1 million civilians of northern Gaza 24 hours to flee south.
“This is chaos, no one understands what to do,” said Inas Hamdan, an officer at the U.N. Palestinian refugee agency in Gaza City, while she grabbed whatever she could throw into her bags as the panicked shouts of her relatives could be heard around her. She said all the U.N. staff in Gaza City and northern Gaza had been told to evacuate south to Rafah.
Nebal Farsakh, a spokesperson for the Palestinian Red Crescent in Gaza City, said there was no way more than one million people could be safely moved that fast..
“The United Nations considers it impossible for such a movement to take place without devastating humanitarian consequences,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.
“The United Nations strongly appeals for any such order, if confirmed, to be rescinded avoiding what could transform what is already a tragedy into a calamitous situation,” Dujarric said.
Another U.N. official said that the United Nation is trying to get clarity from Israeli officials at the senior most political level.
“It’s completely unprecedent,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly.
The number of people forced from their homes by Israel’s airstrikes soared 25 percent in a day, reaching 423,000 out of a population of 2.3 million, the U.N. said Thursday.
A visit by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, along with shipments of U.S. weapons, offered a powerful green light to Israel to drive ahead with its grisly retaliation in Gaza, even as international aid groups warned of a worsening humanitarian crisis.
Israel has halted deliveries of basic necessities and electricity to Gaza’s 2.3 million people and prevented entry of supplies from Egypt.
“Not a single electricity switch will be flipped on, not a single faucet will be turned on and not a single fuel truck will enter," Israeli Energy Minister Israel Katz said on social media, demanding the release of captive Israelis.
Iran urges US to 'control' Israel to avert regional war
AFP, Friday 13 Oct 2023
"If the Americans want to prevent the war in the region from developing, they must control Israel," Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said, adding, "one of the goals of our trip is to stress on Lebanon's security".
Iran's foreign minister, whose government supports Hamas and other Middle East militant groups, said on Thursday opening a "new front" against Israel would depend on Israel's actions in Gaza.
Although Tehran has been a long-term backer of Hamas, Iranian officials have been adamant that the country had no involvement in the militants' attack against its arch enemy Israel on Saturday.
Nevertheless, the United States fears the opening of a second front on Israel's northern border with Lebanon if Hezbollah, another heavily armed militant group backed by Iran, were to intervene.
Speaking from Beirut's airport, the top diplomat said that Iran's regional allies, known as the "axis of resistance", could respond if Israel's Gaza offensive escalates. "The continuation of war crimes against Palestinians and Gaza will receive a response from the rest of the axes," he told reporters.
The West has been cautious about Iran since Saturday, but its leaders have warned Tehran in no uncertain terms against intervening in the war.
US President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that he had "made it clear to the Iranians: Be careful".
Blinken: ‘As long as America Exists,’ It Will Support Israel
by Dave DeCamp, antiwar.com, October 12, 2023
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken declared in Tel Aviv on Thursday that “as long as America exists,” it will support Israel, a pledge that came amid a relentless Israeli bombardment of Gaza.
“The message that I bring to Israel is this: You may be strong enough on your own to defend yourself – but as long as America exists, you will never, ever have to. We will always be there, by your side,” Blinken said alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Since Hamas launched an unprecedented attack on southern Israel on October 7, the US has shipped more military equipment to Israel, deployed an aircraft carrier strike group, and augmented its fighter jets in the region. Congress is poised to authorize more military aid on top of the $3.8 billion Israel receives each year.
“We’re delivering on our word — supplying ammunition, interceptors to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome, alongside other defense materiel. The first shipments of US military support have already arrived in Israel, and more is on the way,” Blinken said.
Türkiye slams Western complicity
in Israeli war crimes in Gaza
by Daily Sabah, ISTANBUL Oct 12, 2023
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan criticized Western countries for remaining silent and their complicity as Israel commits war crimes by blocking access to food, water and electricity in Gaza, in violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Speaking at the Türkiye Youth Foundation (TÜGVA) meeting in Ankara on Thursday, Erdoğan said the West, especially the U.S., has chosen to fan the flames rather than de-escalate tensions in Gaza.
"Is it befitting for a country like the U.S. to restore peace, or to add fuel to fire?" Erdoğan said.
He noted that it is inhumane of Israel to cut off access to water, electricity, fuel and food for 2 million Palestinians living in an area of 360 square kilometers and that it is in violation of the law of war.
"We do not want conflicts to spread to our region, instead of blindly supporting someone, we call on influential actors to reduce tension," Erdoğan said.
Qatar Foundation CEO leaves ‘no doubt’
with powerful solidarity statement for Palestine
Doha News [Qatar], october 13, 2023
Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani, who also serves as the Vice Chairperson of the Qatar Foundation (an educational organisation), sent out a heartfelt message of solidarity with Gaza on Thursday...
Sheikha Hind said she is “committed to extending our support to our community in any activities you may wish to initiate in solidarity with the Palestinian cause”.
“Like so many of you, I have been witnessing the news and events unfolding in Palestine and I am horrified at the scale of murder and destruction being carried out in Gaza, and the ensuing suffering and humanitarian crisis...
Sheikha Hind signed off with an unapologetic stance in support of Palestine and its people’s right to freedom and life, saying: “Finally, let there be no doubt about this – QF always has and always will stand with Palestine.”
Sheikha Hind made her stance clear while students at some universities in Qatar have rallied against statements sent by their institutions’ main campuses in the United States in recent days; statements that have turned a blind eye to Israeli atrocities against Palestinians and the continued war crimes being perpetrated by the zionist state...
In a detailed letter, Associate Professor of Arabic Literature at GUQ, Omar Khalifah, addressed what he described as a false narrative painted by Georgetown President John J. DeGioia’s recent email.
“President De Gioia’s message suggests that Israelis were targeted simply because they were Jews.
The reference to the Jewish Sabbath, along with the invocation of the Yom Kippur War, draws a false picture of a quasi-religious war,” Khalifah asserted, further clarifying that in neither historical cases were Israelis targeted because they were Jews. “Both are political acts of resistance against a colonising, political force.”
The professor was particularly disturbed by DeGioia’s dismissal of the critical situation in Gaza...
Israel’s Colonial Revenge Genocide in Gaza
Juan Cole, Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) 14-10-2023
I find peculiar the conviction of so many politicians in Europe and North America, not to mention Israel itself, that the Hamas attacks of October 7 and after justify the casual murder thousands of Palestinian noncombatants in Gaza by the Israeli armed forces, including through aerial bombardment on densely populated neighborhoods, displacement of the infirm, and denying civilians water, food and electricity....
Half of Gaza consists of children, most born after 2006 when Hamas came to power in the Strip through elections insisted upon by George W. Bush. Large numbers of these children are set to be killed, and several hundred already have been, by Israeli aerial, tank and artillery bombardment.
Although the stated military objective is to destroy the Hamas guerrillas, that objective is being pursued with obvious reckless disregard for the welfare of civilian noncombatants.
Hamas viciously attacked Israel and committed unspeakable war crimes, and it is legitimate for the Israeli armed forces to go after it in a determined way.
It is not legitimate to ethnically cleanse civilians in Gaza or to blow them to smithereens in pursuit of ethno-national revenge. Anyone who thinks the latter is not happening doesn’t have eyes in their head...
The US State Department has forbidden its diplomats from calling for deescalation in Gaza and the Biden administration has rebuked Democrats who want to forestall the massacre, showing that the power elite in the United States now is embroiled in white supremacist revenge fantasies.
This bloodthirstiness is not new — Washington sacrificed up hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives in revenge for 9/11.
It was no excuse that Iraqis had nothing to do with it, just as it is no excuse that most people in Gaza had nothing to do with October 7.
Biden, Sisi, Abdullah, Abbas to meet in Amman
Amr Kandil , Ahram online [Egypt] 17 Oct 2023
US President Joe Biden will hold talks with Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, Jordan's King Abdullah and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Amman after his Wednesday visit to Israel amid Israeli deadly strikes on Gaza.
According to a statement by the White House on Monday, Biden will discuss with the three Arab leaders the humanitarian needs of civilians in the Gaza Strip, where Israel has cut off food, fuel, electricity, and much of the water.
Biden will also reiterate during the meeting that "Hamas does not stand for the Palestinian people's right to dignity and self-determination."
On Tuesday, Jordan Royal Court announced that King Abdullah II will host a quadrilateral summit in Amman on Wednesday. "The primary agenda of the summit is to discuss the critical developments in Gaza and their impact on the wider region. A key objective is to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian and relief aid to the Gaza region," the court added in a statement.
Biden plans an extraordinary solidarity visit to Israel, during which he will "demonstrate his steadfast support" for the country. However, Biden said that the Israeli occupation of Gaza would be “a big mistake.
Biden's visit comes shortly after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US and Israel have agreed to develop a plan enabling humanitarian aid from donor states and organizations to reach Gazan civilians.
Over the past few days, Blinken has been on a Middle East tour, visiting Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia between two visits to Israel.
Egypt has been communicating with the Palestinian and Israeli sides in a bid to achieve calm in Hamas-run Gaza, which has seen worsening humanitarian conditions amid unrelenting Israeli strikes over the past 10 days.
Egypt has received tons of humanitarian aid from donor countries but they remain stranded in El-Arish, North Sinai, as Israel has launched repeated strikes on the neighbouring Rafah border crossing.
Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip have killed over 2,800 Palestinians and left nearly 11,000 injured, with the vast majority being women and children.
The ongoing missile strikes have left Gaza in ruins, with countless homes reduced to rubble, and its 2.3 million residents struggling with severe shortages of essentials like food, water, and electricity.
Al-Azhar urges Islamic Nations
to reconsider reliance on the West
And stand firmly behind Palestine
Ahram Online, Wednesday 18 Oct 2023
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Al-Azhar told the Palestinians that they should be confident that the West, despite all its military power and destructive machinery, is weak and apprehensive when confronting them because he is fighting on a land that is not his and defending outdated ideologies and doctrines.
“The Islamic nation should harness the power, wealth, resources, and assets that Almighty God has bestowed upon it to firmly stand behind Palestine and its oppressed people, who are facing an enemy that has lost its conscience, empathy, and feeling, turning its back on humanity, ethics, and the teachings of the prophets and messengers,” Al-Azhar concluded.
An Israeli airstrike on Al Ali Baptiste Hospital that killed over 600 Palestinians caused a global outcry and sparked protests across the Arab and Muslim world.
After 11 days Israel has killed over 3,000 Palestinians while at least 1,400 Israelis lost their lives since the fighting broke against Hamas on 7 October.
Biden in Israel, backs Netanyahu
no longer going to Jordan
Al-Monitor Staff, October 18, 2023
President Joe Biden arrived in Tel Aviv on Wednesday on a rare wartime visit, pledging US support for Israel and meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as well as members of the war cabinet.
"We will continue to have Israel's back as you work to defend your people,” he said.
Biden briefly addressed the Gaza hospital bombing, backing the Israeli government and telling Netanyahu it “appears as though it was done by the other team.”
The White House confirmed that Biden is no longer going to Jordan.
“After consulting with King Abdullah II of Jordan and in light of the days of mourning announced by President [Mahmoud] Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, President Biden will postpone his travel to Jordan and the planned meeting with these two leaders and President [Abdel Fattah] al-Sisi of Egypt,” the White House said.
A regional official told Al-Monitor’s Jared Szuba that the decision to cancel Biden’s summit in Amman was “collective” and not a unilateral one by Jordan...
Meanwhile, intense negotiations to open the Rafah crossing continued as a blast hit the area, adding to operational problems that could delay opening the only passage out of Gaza.
On Tuesday, Jordan’s King Abdullah said that neither his country nor Egypt will accept Palestinian refugees, declaring it a "red line."
Why do US Politicians target Gaza Civilians
with Bloodthirsty Rhetoric, Greenlighting Ethnic Cleansing?
Dan Dinello 10/18/2023
In retaliation for Hamas’ attack of October 7, Israel enforced a total siege on Gaza, denying its 2.3 million inhabitants access to electricity, food, water and fuel while bombarding its population with a massive aerial assault whose targets include mosques, schools, and hospitals. No humanitarian supplies, except for some fuel, have been allowed into Gaza for over a week.
The situation in Gaza has reached the “level of genocide,” said Shawan Jabarin, head of the al-Haq rights group. “You wanted hell — you will get hell,” declared Israeli general Ghassan Aliyan.
Israel ordered 1 million Gazans — mostly refugees descended from refugees — to evacuate the northern part of the strip, in advance of an inevitably bloody ground invasion. The only exit from Gaza — the Rafah border crossing into Egypt — was bombed by Israel and remains closed by Egypt as of Tuesday. The United Nations said that it considered the evacuation “logistically impossible.”
Trying to “justify” the evacuation of Palestinians and the incineration of Gaza’s remaining noncombatant population — a collective punishment which is a war crime, Israeli president Isaac Herzog said that there are no innocent civilians in Gaza, a morally indefensible position: “It is an entire nation that is responsible. They could have risen up, they could have fought against the evil regime.”
Likewise, Israeli defense minister Yoav Gallant defended Palestinian genocide on racist grounds when he said “We are fighting human animals, and we act accordingly.”
Inflaming already heated rhetoric, an enraged Israeli political class emphasized a dark vision of unrestrained retribution. “Israel needs to create a humanitarian crisis” to eradicate Hamas, wrote the former head of the Israeli National Security Council Giora Eiland. “Gaza will become a place where no human being can exist.”
Despite Israel’s flaunting of international humanitarian law, the U.S. government has done little publicly to discourage Israel from committing war crimes by its blocking of supplies essential to survival, its impossible evacuation order, its collective punishment, and its disproportionate killing of civilians, especially children.
A speech by President Biden last week suggested that the U.S. backed whatever Israel regarded as necessary to defend itself and defeat Hamas. But, the Palestinian people are not Hamas and defending against Hamas terrorism cannot be the mass death of Palestinians.
Israel-Palestine war: Sisi says Israel can transfer
Palestinians in Gaza to Negev desert
Middle East Eye, Cairo, 18 October 2023
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on Wednesday declared his government’s rejection of the forced transfer of Palestinian civilians from Gaza into Sinai, suggesting Israel could instead relocate them to the Negev desert.
The statements come as Israeli air strikes continue to bombard civilian buildings and infrastructure in the besieged Gaza Strip for the 12th day, with the latest attack targeting a hospital on Tuesday killing at least 471 civilians, both patients and displaced people.
Palestinians and Egyptian officials have rejected the prospect of relocating Gaza residents to Sinai, warning it would constitute a second Nakba, or another ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.
palestinians 1948 - 1949
During a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at Cairo’s Ittihadeya palace on Wednesday, Sisi responded to Israeli proposals for Palestinian civilians to relocate to Egypt’s Sinai peninsula, on the border with Gaza.
“If there is an idea for transfer, there is the Negev Desert in Israel. It is entirely possible to transfer Palestinians until Israel completes its declared mission of eliminating resistance or armed groups such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and others in the Gaza Strip. Then, they can be returned if [Israel] desires,” Sisi said in comments that were not in the official speech published by the presidency spokesman.
“But transferring them to Egypt? This military operation could take years and is a risky endeavour. I must emphasise that we have not yet eradicated terrorism; we have not completed our mission.
“Egypt will bear the consequences of this, and Sinai may turn into a base for terrorist operations against Israel.
'We, in Egypt, will be responsible for that, and all the peace we have worked for will fade away as part of an idea to resolve the Palestinian issue.”
The president also warned that "millions" of Egyptians will protest against any displacement of Palestinians to Sinai...
Meanwhile, Israel has amassed tanks near the boundary with Gaza ahead of an expected ground invasion of the enclave - the first such incursion in more than nine years.
The Israeli army on Friday said that civilians in the north of Gaza must leave southwards, and that they would not be allowed to return "until we say so"...
Since 1948, Israel has prevented Palestinian refugees, who were expelled by Zionist militias prior to the establishment of Israel, from returning to their native land. Currently, the estimated count of Palestinian refugees stands at more than 5.6 million.
When Civilians Become Cannon Fodder:
War And Peace In The Middle East
Arshad M. Khan, Modern Diplomacy, October 19, 2023
There was a time when attacking civilians was considered a war crime. It quickly disappeared from thought in WW2 when bombing began to flatten cities; the rationale being that civilians assisted in the war effort through working in manufacturing, or doing other men’s jobs, to free them to go and fight.
So here we are again with the Middle East in turmoil and Gaza being bombed at will.
The logic of it all might be understandable as revenge to satisfy voters but if Bibi Netanyahu focused on the future, he might realize that embittering the children of today will produce the fighters of tomorrow.
Will Israel and Palestine produce another Hundred Years War as in Europe from 1337 to 1453? One could ask a further question: Are we more civilized now than in the days when armies met on a plain somewhere to determine the winner of a dispute while civilians who were going to be taxed no matter who won (and whose prior taxes were paying for the show) stayed out of the way?
The fact is Israel had a hand in creating Hamas, an Islamist group, as a foil to Yasser Arafat’s secular PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization).
Brigadier General Yitzhak Segev, the Israeli military governor in Gaza in the early 1980s, confessed to financing the group, the object being to divide the Palestinians. Arafat himself referred to Hamas as a creature of Israel.
In short, the Israelis first forged political Islamists into Hamas and are now trying to blockade, besiege and bomb it out of existence.
Israeli soldiers are raiding Gaza and Netanyahu has been calling this bombing and attacks … just the beginning. Blowback is the term used to describe a situation that goes awry, and Hamas is an Israeli strategic blowback in spades.
Since the PLO now PA (Palestinian Authority) is relatively supine, Hamas has soared in popularity defeating the PA in Gaza elections.
The PA governs the portions of the West Bank that Israel allows it to. The 87-year-old Mahmoud Abbas is the president, continuing in office with his official elected term long expired. He has been referred to as Israel’s policeman and Hamas refuses to recognize him. Well educated, he earned a law degree from the University of Damascus and later a doctorate in Moscow.
President George W. Bush presented a ‘roadmap for peace’ in 2002 formally proposed by the Quartet on the Middle East which envisioned Israel and an independent Palestinian state existing side by side in peace.
Anathema to the religious right and extremists who desire a Greater Israel — the road map hit a roadblock when the right wing rose to power in Israel.
Israel was quite comfortable with the status quo — leaving Palestinians in a sort of limbo trapped in Gaza or the West Bank, surrounded by a myriad of checkpoints to keep Israelis safe. That is until the Palestinians used bulldozers to break through the fences and paragliders to fly over, in a carefully planned and well rehearsed attack.
One can only hope that the lessons learned in the latest bloodletting will lead to peace after the lust for revenge has been satisfied...
Israel-Palestine conflict - History Illustrated:
The war on Al-Aqsa redux
By Danylo Hawaleshka, Al-Jazeera, 16 Oct 2023
Hamas blames the current war with Israel, in part, on the recent “desecration” of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound by Israeli settlers.
These are provocations that have been going on for a long time.
Earlier this year, during Ramadan, Muslims in Al-Aqsa were observing a religious ritual called itikaf.
But Israeli police accused some worshippers of being “masked agitators”, so they stormed in with tear gas, viciously swinging batons. The assault resulted in international condemnation — and retaliatory rocket attacks on Israel from inside Gaza and southern Lebanon.
Israel responded with an aerial barrage on Lebanon and Gaza — but many at the time asked, why was this happening? Some said it would make it easier for hard-right Israeli settlers to enter Al-Aqsa compound, some of whom want the mosque torn down.
Then on October 1, thousands of settlers started to conduct provocative tours of the mosque compound.
On October 4, dozens of Israeli settlers stormed the compound, the third holiest site in Islam, while police prevented young Palestinians from entering the mosque.
In response to Hamas’s Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, Israel seems ready for a massive ground invasion of Gaza, while the US has sent a second aircraft carrier to the Mediterranean, leaving many people to wonder, when might all the death and destruction finally end?
Cairo Peace Summit: Arab leaders urge halting Gaza war
but European officials want Israel to 'defend' itself
Amr Kandil , Ahram online, Saturday 21 Oct 2023
While leaders of the Arab countries at the Cairo Summit for Peace have focused on the need to halt the war in Gaza and return to negotiations, most of the European officials in attendance were more keen on condemning Hamas for its 7th of October attack inside Israel and defending Israel's "right to self-defense."
These differences between the Arab and European delegations hindered the issuance of a final communique for the summit.
Sources told Ahram Online that a communique have not been issued as the European leaders have demanded a clear condemnation of Hamas and a recognition of Israel’s right to self-defense.
Leaders of the United Kingdom, France, Greece, Cyprus as well as the European Council have condemned Hamas’s attack as “terrorist” during their participation in the summit.
Meanwhile, they viewed the Israeli strikes that killed more than 4,000 civilians, more than half of whom are children, in the context of Israel’s right to defend itself as per international law.
During the summit, the leaders of Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Palestine rejected targeting civilians and called for the cessation of the military operations in the strip.
Jordan’s King Abdullah II denounced global silence amid the Israeli bombing of the strip and the policies of collective punishment practiced against Palestinian civilians.
In a statement after the summit, the Egyptian Presidency said the ongoing war has disclosed a “shortcoming” in the values of the international community in addressing crises. “While we see a rush and competition to promptly condemn the killing of innocent people in a place, we find incomprehensible hesitation in denouncing the same act in another place,” the Presidency said.
In a speech at the summit, France’s Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna described Hamas as terrorist, saying that the Islamist movement seeks to destroy the state of Israel and spread chaos rather than fulfill the aspirations of Palestinians.
Similarly, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock blamed Hamas for the attacks and stressed Israel’s right to defend itself and protect its people against terrorism. She noted, however, that the fight against Hamas need to be carried out with the “greatest possible” consideration for the humanitarian situation of the innocent men, women, and children in Gaza.
British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said he called for restraint from the Israeli military “despite the incredibly difficult circumstances.”
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni claimed that the Arab countries, Israel, and the West are all “targets” for Hamas.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis also defended Israel’s right to self-defense in accordance with international law, but affirmed that policies of collective punishment are also prohibited under the same law.
HRW calls on Israel to ‘immediately’
restore water and electricity in Gaza
Asmahan Qarjouli, Doha News [Qatar], 22-10-2023
The complete Israeli blockade on Gaza has been widely slammed as a form of “collective punishment”.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called on Israel to “immediately” restore electricity, water and fuel to Gaza on Saturday as millions of Palestinians continue to face a devastating blockade that has pushed the enclave to catastrophic conditions.
In a statement, the international rights organisation called on Israeli authorities to restore basic resources and allow “unhindered” aid into Gaza to meet a portion of its humanitarian needs.
“While aid agencies struggle to squeeze a few trucks of humanitarian aid into southern Gaza via Egypt, the Israeli authorities are keeping their crossings with Gaza closed and refusing to flick the switch for the water and electricity supply,” Tirana Hassan, executive director of HRW, said.
“There is no excuse for denying water, food, and medicine to Gaza’s civilian population. It is cruel and contrary to international law,” Hassan added.
Obama: Israeli actions in Gaza war may
harden Palestinian attitudes for generations
Ahram Online, Tuesday 24 Oct 2023
Israeli actions in its war against Gaza, like cutting off food and water, could “harden Palestinian attitudes for generations” and weaken international support for Israel, former US President Barack Obama warned.
Obama, in rare comments on the Israel-Gaza war, said any Israeli military strategy that ignores the human costs of the war “could ultimately backfire.”
The Israeli government’s decision could also "erode global support for Israel, play into the hands of Israel’s enemies, and undermine long-term efforts to achieve peace and stability in the region,” Obama added.
While condemning Hamas’ attack on Israel and reiterating his support for Israel’s right to defend itself, Obama said: “But even as we support Israel, we should also be clear that how Israel prosecutes this fight matters.”
As President Biden has repeatedly emphasized, Israel’s military strategy should abide by international law, including those laws that seek to avoid, to every extent, the death or suffering of civilian populations, Obama added in a statement on Monday.
He said upholding international law is “vital for building alliances and shaping international opinion.” Obama emphasized that doing so is an “enormously difficult task,” noting that Israeli occupation army operations “often put civilians at risk.”
The Obama administration sought, but ultimately failed to broker, a peace deal in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
Since taking office in early 2021, Biden has not tried to resume long-stalled talks, saying that leaders on both sides were too stubborn and the climate was not right.
Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had a testy relationship when Obama was in office, especially when Obama's administration was negotiating a nuclear deal with Iran.
Israel envoy calls for resignation of UN chief
who said Hamas attack ‘did not happen in a vacuum’
CNBC News, Oct 25 2023
Israel’s representative to the U.N. called for the resignation of the organization’s Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, following his remarks on the Israel-Hamas conflict and action in Gaza.
Speaking on Tuesday at a meeting of the U.N. Security Council, Guterres reiterated his call for a humanitarian pause of Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip, which has been sealed off from Israel’s supplies of fuel, food, water and electricity. Israel is carrying out a military campaign against Palestinian militant group Hamas, which launched a multi-pronged attack against Israel two weeks prior.
While stating he has “condemned unequivocally the horrifying and unprecedented 7 October acts of terror by Hamas in Israel,” Guterres said “it is important to also recognize the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum,” pointing to “56 years of suffocating occupation” suffered by the Palestinian people.
“The grievances of the Palestinian people cannot justify the appalling attacks by Hamas,” he added. “Nothing can justify the deliberate killing, injuring and kidnapping of civilians — or the launching of rockets against civilian targets.”
In a press briefing following the U.N. Security Council meeting, Gilad Erdan, Israel’s representative to the U.N., demanded Guterres’ resignation for his comments.
“The U.N. is failing, and you, Mr. Secretary-General, have lost all morality and impartiality. Because when you say those terrible words that these heinous attacks did not happen in a vacuum, you are tolerating terrorism, and I think that the Secretary-General must resign,” he said.
“Because from now on, every day that he is here in this building, unless he apologizes immediately, today, we called him to apologize, there’s no justification to the existence of this building. ”
The diplomatic conflict with Guterres coincides with nascent tensions between the Israeli military and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), which has repeatedly called for safe passage to distribute resources in the Gaza Strip and for additional supplies, critically fuel — without which, it says it will need to end operations on Wednesday night.
Israel has come under fire from human rights groups, which question whether the country’s military response in the Gaza Strip has been proportionate, and whether the displacement and harm suffered by Palestinian civilians risk bringing Israel in breach of international law.
Erdan: Saudi deal will isolate the Palestinians completely
Times of Israel, 22 September 2023
Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan is pressed during a Kan public broadcaster interview on how the current hardline government will be able to make the concessions to the Palestinians necessary to secure a normalization agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Erdan recalls that in 2020 Netanyahu agreed to delay plans to annex large parts of the West Bank until 2024 in exchange for normalization with the UAE.
“All the more so [is the same kind of concession] possible when talking about a peace deal that ends the Arab-Israeli conflict, except for the Palestinians.
[This] will isolate the Palestinians and leave them alone by themselves.
Under these circumstances, I’m confident that the ministers of the government will know how to make the right consideration,” Erdan says.
Wikipedia info: Gilad Erdan (born September 30, 1970 in Ashkelon) is an Israeli Likud politician. He has been Israel's ambassador to the United Nations since August 2020 and also Israel's ambassador to the United States since January 2021.
Erdan studied law at Bar-Ilan University, worked as a lawyer and was an advisor to Benjamin Netanyahu and Ariel Sharon.
At the beginning of February 2019, he was one of the signatories of a petition by the Nachala movement (a radical settler group) addressed to the (next) Israeli government, asking for the colonization of the entire Israeli-occupied West Bank with two million Jews. To this end, the Two-State Model must be abandoned and the applicable construction freeze outside the "official settlement blocs" (which the UN considers illegal).
It is a plan by Yitzchak Shamir from the 1990s. The Nachala petition talks about: The Land of Israel: One Land for One People....
In Moscow: Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzouk
demands ceasefire among other conditions for release of Israeli captives
Ahram Online, Friday 27 Oct 2023
Abu Marzouk, the deputy head of Hamas' political bureau, met on Friday with Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Ali Bagheri Kani, Russian state news agency Tass said. The Iranian diplomat told Abu Marzouk that Tehran’s “priority” in negotiations is “an immediate ceasefire, providing assistance to the people and lifting the repressive blockade of Gaza,” Tass reported.
The Israeli foreign ministry slammed Russia’s decision to invite Hamas representatives to Moscow as “an act of support for terrorism.”
“We welcome anyone who wants to fight alongside us," Abu Marzouk said, according to Al-Arabiya. "We are counting on our Arab brethren to reach a ceasefire," he said.
Abu Marzouk voiced his gratitude to Russia, saying they had protected Hamas twice at the UN Security Council with a veto. He added that “Russia and China represent a bloc that defends us.”
Earlier, on Thursday, the US military revealed in a statement that it had struck two facilities in eastern Syria used by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and affiliated groups.
"The precision self-defense strikes are a response to a series of ongoing and mostly unsuccessful attacks against US personnel in Iraq and Syria by Iranian-backed militia groups that began on 17 October," Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in the statement.
This comes as US President Joe Biden on Thursday sent a message to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warning against strikes on US troops amid the Israeli war on Gaza.
The day before, Biden told a press conference that he had warned Khamenei of a resp onse if the attacks continued.
"My warning to the Ayatollah was that if they continue to move against those troops, we will respond, and he should be prepared. It has nothing to do with Israel," he said.
Yair Lapid: 6 Hamas leaders must die
Israel National News, Arutz Sheva, Oct 30, 2023
Opposition leader Yair Lapid said during the weekly Yesh Atid faction meeting today (Monday) that he intends to support the government in any decision that will bring the hostages held by Hamas back home.
"I conveyed a message to the government, by virtue of my position as the head of the opposition, that we will fully support every decision and every step and every price that will lead to the return of the abductees home. At the same time, we need to take painful steps to make sure they return home," Lapid stated.
He also defined the goals of the war and stated that all of Hamas' top leaders - including those outside Gaza - must be eliminated.
"The political echelon defined the goal of the war as the elimination of Hamas' military infrastructure. I agree, of course, but to that must be added the elimination of the Hamas leadership.
The State of Israel must not stop and must not let go until we kill six people: Yahya Sinwar, Mohammed Deif, Ismail Haniyeh, Saleh al-Arouri, Khaled Mashal, and Marwan Issa. All six must die.
Until they die, Israel will not have avenged the murders of Be'eri and Sderot, Kafr Aza, and Ofakim. Until they die, the Middle East will not understand that we are not messing around."
"The State of Israel needs to get them, wherever they are. Whether it's in Gaza or in other countries, it doesn't matter. We need to get them and eliminate them. It's part of the campaign. It's part of restoring deterrence," Lapid said.
Netanyahu Citing the Bible:
"Go, attack the Amalekites..."
Faruk Imamovic, Financial World, 29-10-2023
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu drew on ancient scriptural references on Sunday, evoking the biblical nation of 'Amalek' to explain Israel's position in the ongoing conflict with Hamas, which has resulted in significant civilian casualties.
Amid the escalating conflict, Netanyahu turned to ancient scripture to elucidate Israel's stance. He quoted from First Samuel 15:3, saying, "You must remember what Amalek has done to you, says our Holy Bible. 'Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys'"
The invocation of this biblical passage serves not only as a historical reference but also as a genocidal lens through which the Prime Minister views the current conflict.
For those unfamiliar with the biblical narrative, the term 'Amalek' might be a mystery. But what is Amalek, and why has it been cited in the context of this modern conflict?
The Hebrew Bible paints a picture of the Amalekite nation as a fervent adversary of the Israelites.
The name "Amalek" can denote Esau's grandson who established the nation, his descendants - known as the Amalekites, or the territories they once occupied.
The historical enmity can be traced back to the book of Exodus, which recounts the Amalekites attacking the tribe of Israel as they made their exodus from Egypt. Even though the Israelites triumphed over the Amalekites, God cursed the descendants of Amalek.
Netanyahu's invocation of 'Amalek' is symbolic, drawing parallels between ancient foes and present-day adversaries. His reference to First Samuel 15:3, which calls for the complete annihilation of the Amalekites, underscores the depth of enmity and the historical weight of the ongoing conflict.
The strife between Israel and Hamas has escalated drastically, with the war claiming more than 1,400 Israeli lives and nearly 8,000 in Gaza.
As tensions rise, the Israeli army has moved into the second phase of its campaign against Hamas. Ground forces have been deployed in Gaza, complemented by intensified assaults from the land, sea, and air, as confirmed by Netanyahu.
"There are moments in which a nation faces two possibilities: to do or die," the Israeli Prime Minister remarked. “We now face that test, and I have no doubt how it will end: We will be the victors. We will do and we will be the victors”.
James J. Zogby: Debunking “all Palestinians are Hamas”
The Jordan Times, Oct 31,2023
Too many comments from Israeli political, military and religious leaders have suggested that all Palestinians are legitimate targets because they support Hamas or that they voted for them and are, therefore, guilty of that group’s many crimes. Here are a few:
The president of Israel said: “It is an entire nation out there that is responsible. It’s not true this rhetoric about civilians not aware, not involved. It's absolutely not true.”
An Israeli Knesset member said: “The children of Gaza brought it upon themselves.” The minister of defence described the current war this way: “We are fighting human animals.”
Statements of this kind, in which an entire group of people are demonised or seen as responsible for the actions of a few, are sheer bigotry. The very same racism when applied to other groups (like Jews, Blacks, or Native Americans) has led to pogroms, persecution, or genocide.
What about the claim that “all Palestinians support Hamas”?
Our frequent polling across Palestine and Israel provides data that easily debunks that characterisation. In our last poll in Gaza (July, 2023) only 11 per cent identified themselves as Hamas supporters, as opposed to 32 per cent identified with Fatah. Eleven per cent hardly constitutes “all Palestinians”.
As for the claim that Palestinians voted for Hamas and are therefore culpable for their behaviour, the same dangerous generalisation would hold all Americans responsible for the actions of the US government, or all Israelis, or Jews, responsible for the atrocities committed by the Israeli government...
The Palestinians are Amalek
by Michale Welton, CounterPunch, 30-1-2015
Both Christians and Jews share a common mythology: that Yahweh created the world, that the Jews are a chosen people, that they have been promised a land.
The Palestinians are Amalek. If they will not submit to Jewish rule they must, or will be, destroyed.
The basis for this is the Old Testament, the shared sacred text of Christians and Jews. One cannot argue with sacred texts! Indeed, in 1971, Golda Meir told Le Monde that Israel existed as “the fulfilment of promise made by God Himself.
"In one of the scariest and stupidest statements any Israeli official has ever made, an adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said of strategy regarding Iran, 'Think Amalek'." (Steven Weiss)
The Amalekite view of Jewish history
by David Myers, Jewish Journal, May 15, 2012
Netanyahu's father, Benzion Netanyahu, was a scholar of Jewish history who exerted an outsized influence on his tight-knit family.
The elder Netanyahu held to what the greatest of 20th century Jewish historians, Salo Baron, called the “lachrymose” — or tearful — conception of Jewish history.
This view can be readily summarized in a line uttered by Benzion Netanyahu to David Remnick for a 1998 profile of Bibi in The New Yorker: “Jewish history is in large measure a history of holocausts.”
We might call this the Amalekite view of Jewish history, referring to the hated biblical foes of the Israelites whose existence should be blotted out (Exodus 17:14).
The historian’s belief that the Jews have been subjected to constant genocidal threats did not lead him to a passive fatalism, as if there were nothing that the Jews could do in the face of Amalek. Rather, it inspired his own militant Zionism, which demanded a persistent willingness to wage war against one’s enemies.
Benzion Netanyahu’s methods and findings are inseparable from his deeply ingrained Amalekite worldview, according to which Jews face unrelenting hostility from the Gentile world — even when those Jews abandon their very adherence to Judaism.
Bibi Netanyahu dismisses talk of his father’s deep imprint on him as “psychobabble.”
But It is hard to disconnect Netanyahu's bellicose stance on Iran from his father’s Amalekite worldview.
Netanyahu the son does not merely see Iran as a grave threat; he regards it as comparable to the most terrifying of Jewish persecutors, the Nazis — a point he made explicitly at the March 2012 AIPAC convention and during his recent Yom HaShoah remarks.
Like his father, the prime minister sees the long history of the Jews as marked by “powerlessness,” “utter defenselessness” and “the atrophy of Jewish resistance,” the antidote to which is the unapologetic and ever-ready assertion of Jewish force.
To be sure, Bibi Netanyahu is more than a mere replica of his father. Indeed, there is another facet to his personality alongside the Amalekite — that of the political pragmatist educated at MIT and trained in the art of deal making at the Boston Consulting Group.
Still, it is worth reflecting on the father...
Iran’s FM heads to Turkey
as Erdogan slams 'Israel's barbarity'
Amberin Zaman, Al-Monitor, October 31, 2023
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian will pay an official visit to Turkey on Wednesday to discuss the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine, bilateral ties and other regional developments, the Turkish Foreign Ministry announced on Tuesday.
The announcement came as Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels fired drones toward Israel’s southern city of Eilat on Tuesday in retaliation for its war against the militant group Hamas. Israel intercepted the missiles fired from the Red Sea area.
The meeting shows that “states of the region prioritize speaking to each other as they carefully manage the escalations. Iran and Turkey have had continuously close state-to-state talks and ties, even when they’ve stood at polar opposites of regional conflicts as was the case in Syria,” observed Arash Azizi, a historian at New York University...
On Tuesday, Amir-Abdollahian met in Doha with his Qatari counterpart, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani. Qatar has played a central role in negotiating between Israel and Hamas over the release of hostages.
Iran denies any links to Hamas’ Oct. 7 bloody rampage in Israel...
Amir-Abdollahian said on Sunday in an interview with CNN that Iran does not want the war “to spread out." Both Turkey and Iran have called for an immediate cease-fire. Such calls have been squarely rejected by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“In general, Tehran has sought to use the ongoing conflict in Gaza, especially the opposition of public opinion in the Islamic world to Israeli military operations, as an opportunity for diplomatic engagement,” argued Hamidreza Azizi, a visiting fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs.
“Until now, the Islamic Republic has been primarily known as a military actor in the conflict, providing military support to Palestinian groups. Now, Iranian leaders are trying to play a new diplomatic role alongside their traditional military one, viewing Turkey and Qatar as potential partners,” he told Al-Monitor.
Turkey’s rhetoric against Israel has grown increasingly harsh in parallel with the rising death toll in Gaza..
Tensions continued to escalate as Turkey’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday condemned Israel’s bombing of the sole cancer hospital in Gaza that was built with Turkish funding, causing extensive damage...
“Israel, with the unconditional support of Europe and America, has for the past 25 days been committing crimes against humanity before the eyes of the entire world,” Erdogan told reporters on Tuesday. “Yesterday the Friendship Hospital was targeted by Israeli forces,” making it “the latest victim of Israel’s barbarity,” he added.
Israel has dropped 18,000 tons of bombs on Gaza
Ahmed Gouda and Hamdi Yildiz, Anadolu [Turkey] 01.11.2023
The Israeli army has dropped 18,000 tons of bombs on the Gaza Strip since Oct.7, or about 1.5 times the explosive force of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan in World War II, according to officials in the besieged enclave.
Speaking to the press, Salama Marouf, head of the government's media office, said Israeli forces have also destroyed 85 government buildings in Gaza, adding: "In Gaza, Israel has demolished 47 mosques and inflicted significant harm to three churches. The attacks have resulted in over 200,000 damaged buildings, with 32,500 of them rendered uninhabitable, 203 schools have sustained major damage, and 45 schools are now completely non-operational. Due to the intensity of the attacks, statistics are not yet complete."
Biden's support among Arab Americans
plummets amid Israel-Palestine conflict: Poll
Darren Lyn | Anadolu 01.11.2023
US President Joe Biden has lost an unprecedented amount of support from the Arab American community since the Palestinian group Hamas launched a surprise attack against Israel on Oct. 7 which triggered the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict, according to a new poll.
The latest numbers by the Arab American Institute show that Biden's support from Arab Americans for his 2024 reelection bid has plummeted from 59% to 17%. That is a 42% nosedive in the president's support since 2020.
The poll, which surveyed 500 Arab Americans between Oct. 23-27, also showed that Biden’s overall approval rating within the community has dropped precipitously from 74% in 2020 to 29% in 2023, "reflecting trends across the American public as a whole."
That could make a major difference in the coming presidential election, with nearly 3.7 million Arab Americans living in the US.
According to the poll, if the election were held today, 40% of Arab Americans would vote for former President Donald Trump versus just 17.4% for Biden. Another 25.1% said they were undecided...
The poll also indicated that 78% of Arab Americans are concerned about an increase in anti-Arab bigotry and 67% are concerned about an increase in anti-Semitism.
Iran: US Not Qualified to Preach Others
on Israel’s War on Gaza - FNA News [Iran], 1-11-2023
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said that the United States complicit in the crimes of Israel against the people of Palestine in the Gaza Strip, adding Washington is not in a position to lecture others on exercise self-restraint regarding the conflict between Palestinian resistance groups and the Zionist regime.
Amir Abdollahian made the remarks in a meeting with Head of the Political Bureau of Hamas Ismail Haniyeh in Qatar’s Doha on Tuesday.
“The region is at a critical juncture and the resistance groups in the region make decisions independently and they do not necessarily wait for political decisions,” the Iranian minister said.
“Therefore, if the war crimes of the Zionist regime continue and the scope of conflict and war widens, no party will remain unaffected by the consequences and repercussions,” he added.
He stressed that despite advising others to exercise self-restraint, the US government is actually a party to the war and is not in a position to invite others to do so.
Haniyeh, for his part, said the Palestinian resistance is at the peak of its strength and capabilities. Therefore, instead of engaging with the resistance forces, the occupying regime continues to target Palestinian civilians, he stated...
Flashback: Paradigm shift in Palestine
by Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network, 10-10-2023
The bloody conflict in geographic Palestine comes after 75 years of equally murderous injustice.
Under international law, Palestinians have the right and duty to resist Israeli occupation, just as Israelis have the right and duty to respond to the attack on them. It is everyone’s responsibility to help resolve the injustices suffered by both groups, which does not mean supporting the cruel vengeance of some of them.
The current situation is hopeless for both sides. After three-quarters of a century of crimes, Israel can no longer lay claim to much. Its population is now divided.
Over the last few months, the followers of the Ukrainian Vladimir Jabotinsky and supporters of Jewish supremacism have seized power in Tel Aviv, despite the opposition of a small majority of the population and huge demonstrations.
Its young people, who aspire to live in peace, refuse to serve in armies to brutalize Arabs, but have joined them anyway to defend their families whom they love and their country in which they do not believe.
Legally, the Palestinians formed a state, which was granted observer status at the United Nations. On the death of Yasser Arafat, Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas was elected president. However, following Hamas’s victory in the 2007 legislative elections, and the impossibility of getting the West to accept a Hamas government, the Palestinians fought a civil war.
In the end, the West Bank was governed by Fatah, the secular party created by Yasser Arafat. Mahmoud Abbas and his inner circle are financed by the United States, the European Union and Israel.
The Gaza Strip, on the other hand, is in the hands of Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. It is governed by individuals who see Islam not as a spirituality, but as a weapon of conquest. They are mainly paid by the UK, Qatar, Israel, Turkey, Iran and the European Union.
When it was created, Hamas was financed by the United Kingdom. It was supported by the Israeli secret services to weaken Yasser Arafat’s Fatah.
Israel then fought it and assassinated its religious leader, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. Then, once again, Israel used Hamas to eliminate the leaders of the Marxist Palestinian Resistance. Hamas fighters accompanied by Mossad agents and Al-Qaeda jihadists attacked the Palestinian Yarmouk camp at the start of the war against Syria. But today, once again, Hamas is fighting its erstwhile ally, Israel...
Erdogan says Netanyahu 'no longer someone we can talk to'
AFP|Ahram online, Saturday 4 Nov 2023
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday he was breaking off contact with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu due to Israel's actions in Gaza.
"Netanyahu is no longer someone we can talk to. We have written him off," Turkish media quoted Erdogan as saying.
Erdogan's remarks came a week after Israel said it was "re-evaluating" its relations with Ankara because of Turkey's increasingly heated rhetoric about Israel's war crimes in Gaza. Israel had earlier withdrawn all diplomats from Turkey and other regional countries as a security precaution.
Israeli forces have encircled Gaza's largest city, as more than 9,400 Palestinians, mostly women and children, have been killed in relentless Israeli strikes and an intensifying ground invasion.
Erdogan said Saturday that Turkey was not breaking off diplomatic relations with Israel. "Completely severing ties is not possible, especially in international diplomacy," Erdogan said.
He said MIT intelligence agency chief Ibrahim Kalin was spearheading Turkey's efforts to try and mediate an end to the Israeli war: "Ibrahim Kalin talking to the Israeli side. Of course, he is also negotiating with Palestine and Hamas," Erdogan said.
But he said Netanyahu bore the primary responsibility for the violence and had "lost the support of his own citizens". "What he needs to do is take a step back and stop this..."
Netanyahu clarifies: No ceasefire in Gaza
Arutz Sheva News, [Israel] 3-11-2023
[Israeli] Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made clear on Friday afternoon, in a statement to the press before the start of Shabbat, that Israel will not agree to a ceasefire in Gaza without the release of the hostages being held by Hamas.
“Our forces are operating in all sectors and with all their might. Our victory will be sharp and clear.It will deliver a message to our enemies, a message that will resonate for generations,” stated Netanyahu.
“I tell you, and I tell them - they will be defeated.We will not let up until victory, until the goals we set are achieved - the elimination of Hamas, the return of our hostages and the return of security to our citizens and our children,” he added....
“Regarding the north - I repeat and say to our enemies: Do not underestimate us. A mistake will cost you dearly.A mistake will cost you a price you can't even imagine,” warned Netanyahu in the remarks, which came as Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah gave a speech.
“At the same time, we continue to operate on the political front. I met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken this morning... “
“I made it clear that we continue with all our might, and that Israel refuses a temporary ceasefire that does not include the release of our hostages. Israel does not allow entry of fuel into the Gaza Strip and opposes the transfer of funds to the Gaza Strip.”
Blinken on surprise visit to Baghdad
AFP|Ahram online, Sunday 5 Nov 2023
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken made a surprise visit to Baghdad on Sunday following a trip to the occupied West Bank earlier in the day. Iraqi Prime Minister Mohamed Shia al-Sudani met Blinken, the premier's office said, with the two expected to discuss the risks of escalation in Israel's war with Hamas.
Since the start of the Israeli war on Gaza, a series of rocket and drone attacks have targeted military bases hosting US forces in Iraq.
"I made very clear that attacks or threats coming from militias that are aligned with Iran are totally unacceptable," Blinken said on Sunday. "We will take every necessary step to protect our people," he added during a meeting with Sudani.
Washington has accused Iran of having a hand in the attacks which have also targeted American troops in Syria.
Most of the attacks have been claimed by a group known as "Islamic Resistance in Iraq", according to Telegram channels affiliated with Iraqi factions close to Tehran.
Figures released by the Pentagon on Friday showed that between October 17 and November 3 there were 17 attacks in Iraq and 12 in Syria.
Some 2,500 American troops are deployed in Iraq, tasked with advising their Iraqi counterparts in the fight against the Islamic State group.
Iraq's prime minister has repeatedly called for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and has described Israel's military operation in the coastal territory as a "genocide" against the Palestinian people. Iraq does not recognise Israel as a state and its government is close to Iran, which in turn backs Hamas.
Palestine's Abbas decries 'genocide' as Blinken visits West Bank
by Daily Sabah with Agencies, Nov 05, 2023
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas decried Sunday Israel's "genocide" in the Gaza Strip, in remarks to visiting U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
"I have no words to describe the genocide and destruction suffered by our Palestinian people in Gaza at the hands of Israel's war machine, with no regard for the principles of international law," Abbas told Blinken in Ramallah, in remarks carried by official Palestinian news agency Wafa.
The comments came as Blinken made a surprise visit to the West Bank as part of his Middle East tour, the office of the Palestinian president said.
In his sit-down with Abbas, Blinken said Palestinians in Gaza “must not be forcibly displaced,” and the pair discussed “the need to stop extremist violence against Palestinians” in the West Bank, a U.S. State Department spokesman said...
Blinken last week told a Senate hearing Abbas’s Palestinian Authority should retake control of Gaza, even though it currently exercises only limited autonomy in parts of the West Bank and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has long sought to sideline it.
Ayatollah Khamenei: All-Out Support
Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei reaffirmed Iran’s all-out support for Palestine as the permanent principle of Tehran’s policy.
for Palestine, Iran’s Permanent Policy
Fars News Agency [Iran], 6-11-2023
Ayatollah Khamenei made the remarks in a meeting with the Head of Hamas political bureau Ismail Haniyeh, as Israel’s more than 12,000 strikes in Gaza since early October have killed nearly 10,000, mostly children and women, and damaged civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, United Nations shelters and refugee camps.
“Supporting the Palestinian resistance forces vis-à-vis the Zionist occupiers is the Islamic Republic of Iran’s permanent policy,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in a recent meeting with Haniyeh in Tehran.
Tehran has made no secret of its backing for Palestinian resistance movements, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad. Iranian officials have repeatedly stressed the necessity for arming the Palestinians with weapons and equipment to enable them to defend themselves.
But, Iranian officials have denied claims that Tehran helped Palestinian fighters to plan the multi-front attack on Israel...
Tehran stresses the resistance groups are currently considering various options in response to the Israeli regime act of aggression and relentless bombardment of the Gaza Strip. Iran warns the resistance movements would adopt appropriate measures if the Israeli regime continues its relentless bombardment of the besieged Gaza Strip, and Palestinian fighters do not face a shortage in weapons and munitions and are ready for a long battle with the Zionist regime...
Gaza is one of the most densely populated places on Earth, where some 2 million people live in an area of 140 square miles. It has been almost completely cut off from the rest of the world for nearly 17 years. More than half of its population lives in poverty and is food insecure, with nearly 80% of its population relying on humanitarian assistance.
Israel vows to take 'security responsibility' of Gaza after war
AP|Ahram online, Tuesday 7 Nov 2023
More than 1.5 million people in densely packed Gaza have fled their homes for other parts of the territory in a desperate search for cover, with critical aid only trickling in.
But Netanyahu told ABC News the war would continue until Israel had restored "overall security" control of Gaza.
"Israel will for an indefinite period have the overall security responsibility," he said.
Netanyahu's comments came after the White House said the Israeli leader had discussed potential "tactical pauses" in a phone call with US President Joe Biden on Monday. But no agreements were announced and the pair did not broach the possibility of a ceasefire.
While the United States is seeking a humanitarian "pause" in the fighting, several countries and UN agencies have repeatedly called for an immediate ceasefire.
Netanyahu said that there will be no ceasefire - general ceasefire -, without the release of the Israelis held in captivity by the Pastinians resistance groups.
"As far as tactical, little pauses -- an hour here, an hour there -- we've had them before. I suppose we'll check the circumstances in order to enable goods -- humanitarian goods -- to come in or individual hostages, to leave," he added.
The Israeli occupation army said it had pounded Gaza with "significant" strikes on 450 sites over 24 hours since Sunday morning. Israeli infantry and tanks have flooded the northern half of the Gaza Strip and tightened an encirclement of Gaza City, effectively splitting the territory in two.
Israel withdrew its troops from the Gaza Strip in 2005 but maintained a total blockage of the strip.
A year later, Hamas won elections in Gaza, and took control of the territory in 2007, while Israel controled all exists, see, air and water.
The Fatah party of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, which dominates the Palestinian Authority, only exercises limited autonomy in parts of the occupied West Bank.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken suggested last week that the Palestinian Authority should retake control of Gaza after the war, and visited the West Bank to meet Abbas on Sunday.
But senior Hamas official in Lebanon, Osama Hamdan, said they would never accept a puppet government in Gaza...".
Blinken says no reoccupation of Gaza,
but suggests an Israeli-run "transition period”
AFP|Ahram online, Ahram Online, 8 Nov 2023
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday called on Israel not to reoccupy Gaza once the war comes to an end but later modified his quotes by suggesting the possibility of an Israeli-run "transition period” in Gaza.
Speaking to reporters after G7 foreign ministers held talks in Japan, Blinken listed what he said were "key elements" in order to create "durable peace and security."
"The United States believes key elements should include: no forcible displacement of Palestinians from Gaza, not now, not after the war; no use of Gaza as a platform for terrorism or other violent attacks; no reoccupation of Gaza after the conflict ends," Blinken told reporters.
He added that other conditions included no "attempt to blockade or besiege Gaza" or any "reduction in the territory of Gaza."
However, Reuters carried an additional quote from Blinken, in which the US secretary of state modified earlier comments, by suggesting that Israel might run the Gaza Strip for a "transition period."
"Now, the reality is that there may be a need for some transition period at the end of the conflict... We do not see a reoccupation and what I have heard from Israeli leaders is that they have no intent to reoccupy Gaza," he said as reported by Reuters.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Monday that Israel will take control of "overall security" of besieged Gaza after the war. "Israel will, for an indefinite period, have the overall security responsibility," Netanyahu told ABC News. On the other hand, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said that Israel has no desire to impose a civilian administration on Gaza after the war is over.
Once Hamas is toppled, he said, Israel seeks to turn over responsibility for governing the Palestinian strip to "an international coalition, including the US, the European Union and Muslim majority countries, or to local political leaders in Gaza," Cohen told Wall Street Journal.
Egypt rejects managing security in post-war Gaza
Merna Hesham, Al Ahram, Thursday 9 Nov 2023
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi rejected a proposal for Egypt to manage security in Gaza until the Palestinian Authority (PA) can take over after the end of the war, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing senior Egyptian officials.
The proposal came from US Central Intelligence Agency Director William Burns during a meeting in Cairo on Tuesday with El-Sisi and Abbas Kamel, head of Egyptian intelligence, according to the New York-based newspaper.
El-Sisi asserted that the Egyptian government “wouldn’t play a role in eliminating Hamas as it needs the militant group to help maintain security at the country’s border with the Gaza Strip,” the officials added.
Furthermore, El-Sisi confirmed Egypt's rejection of an “Israeli presence” in the Gaza Strip, Egyptian sources said according to a Sky News Arabia correspondent on Thursday, adding that Cairo has also rejected any presence of NATO or any foreign forces inside the strip "under any guise."
El-Sisi also reiterated that Cairo sees no settlement for the Palestinian cause but the two-state solution, the sources added.
On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that Israel will manage security in Gaza for an "indefinite period," prompting concerns about an Israeli reoccupation.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged Israel not to occupy post-war Gaza but later modified his stance on Wednesday suggesting an Israeli-run "transition period."
Photographers captured scenes of thousands of Palestinians fleeing Israeli bombardment in northern Gaza on foot in an eerie scene parallel to the 1948 Nakba. More than 1.5 million people have been displaced in Gaza since the start of the Israeli war on Gaza.
The Palestinian Health Ministry also said that the death toll due to Israeli bombardment of the strip has reached 10,560 people, including 4,324 children and 2,823 women; over 25,000 have been wounded.
Netanyahu: The Gaza Strip will remain under the control of the IDF
Arutz Sheva [Israel], Nov 10, 2023
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met on Friday with local council leaders of Gaza adjacent communities, now called Tekuma.
“The residents of the region and the government are exhibiting determination to re-establish more than was ever before. To renovate, build and develop. First of all, restore security — ensure that there is no Hamas and that Hamas does not come back — but also ensure robust life," he added.
The local council leaders told Netanyahu that they were demanding a different security reality the day after the war and demanded "not to agree to a ceasefire, and to finish the work in Gaza until the last terrorist is eliminated".
Netanyahu assured them that "after the elimination of Hamas, there will be total Israeli security control over the Gaza Strip, including full demilitarization, to ensure that there is no longer a threat from Gaza to the citizens of Israel."
UN Security Council trying for fifth time to
adopt resolution on war on Gaza
AP|Ahram online, Wednesday 15 Nov 2023
After four failed attempts, the U.N. Security Council is trying for a fifth time to come up with a resolution on the war on Gaza but it remains to be seen whether serious divisions can be overcome to produce a consensus on the wording.
The current draft under negotiation would demand “immediate extended humanitarian pauses” throughout the Gaza Strip to provide civilians with desperately needed aid.
It also would demand that “all parties” comply with international humanitarian law that requires protection for civilians, calls for special protections for children, and bans captive-taking.
But the draft, proposed by council member Malta, makes no mention of a ceasefire. It also doesn’t refer to Hamas’ surprise attack on Israel on Oct. 7. Nor does it cite Israel’s airstrikes and ground offensive in Gaza that the Palestinian health ministry says has killed more than 11,000 Palestinians, two-thirds of them women and children.
The 15-member council, which has the responsibility for maintaining international peace and security, has been paralyzed since the war began by its internal divisions.
This is especially the case between China and Russia, which want an immediate ceasefire, and the United States, Israel’s closest ally has called for humanitarian pauses but objects to any mention of a ceasefire.
In the four previous tries, a Brazil-drafted resolution was vetoed by the United States, a U.S.-drafted resolution was vetoed by Russia and China, and two Russian-drafted resolutions failed to get the minimum nine “yes” votes needed for adoption.
After the failure of the fourth Security Council resolution, Arab nations turned to the 193-member General Assembly and succeeded in getting wide approval for a resolution calling for a “humanitarian truce” in Gaza meant to lead to a cessation of hostilities.
It was the first United Nations response to the war. But unlike Security Council resolutions, General Assembly resolutions are not legally binding, though they are a barometer of world opinion.
The vote was 120-14 with 45 abstentions. Of the five veto-holding Security Council members, Russia, China and France voted in favour, the United States voted against and the United Kingdom abstained.
Richard Gowan, U.N. director for the International Crisis Group, said “A U.N. ceasefire call would embarrass but not really constrain the Israelis... But the U.S. clearly feels that even such a symbolic move is too much of a political risk.”
400 US Officials Criticize Israel Policy
In a letter to Biden, the officials called for a ceasefire
Dave DeCamp, November 14, 2023
More than 400 US officials from 40 government agencies have sent a letter to President Biden criticizing his unconditional support for Israel’s war in Gaza in the latest example of dissent from within the US government.
“We call on President Biden to urgently demand a ceasefire; and to call for de-escalation of the current conflict by securing the immediate release of the Israeli hostages and arbitrarily detained Palestinians; the restoration of water, fuel, electricity and other basic services; and the passage of adequate humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip,” the letter reads.
According to The New York Times, the majority of the signatories to the letter are political appointees who work throughout the government, including in the Department of Justice, the FBI, and the National Security Council. Some signatories helped get Biden elected and said they were worried his support for the onslaught on Gaza was not opposed by many Democratic voters.
The letter says that the “overwhelming majority of Americans support a ceasefire,” citing a poll from Data For Progress that found 66% of voters believe the US should push for a ceasefire, including 80% of Democrats. BR> “Furthermore, Americans do not want the US military to be drawn into another costly and senseless war in the Middle East,” the letter says.
President Biden and his top aides havecalled for “pauses” in the fighting but refuse to use the term “ceasefire,” demonstrating that they are committed to continuing support for the Israeli war, which has killed at least 11,000 Palestinians, including over 4,500 children....
Since October 7, the US has shipped weapons to Israel on a near-daily basis and is providing special operations support, including surveillance drone flights over Gaza.
Eli Cohen: Israel to continue Gaza operation
until it eliminates Hamas, gets hostages back
TEL AVIV, November 15. The Israeli military will continue its operation in the Gaza Strip until it eliminates the Palestinian radical movement Hamas and frees all hostages from the enclave, sraeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said in an interview with Radio 103FM.
"There is no political clock. On our part, we will continue [the operation in the Gaza Strip] as long as it takes, weeks or months, until we achieve two goals - eliminate Hamas and get all our hostages back," Israel’s top diplomat said.
According to Cohen, the goal behind the actions by the Israeli military on the premises of Al-Shifa Hospital in the Gaza Strip is "to destroy Hamas terror tunnels and find hostages."
"We entered the hospital after we received reconnaissance data... Today, the IDF (the Israel Defense Forces - TASS) is in that area, as it controls it and will persevere with its operation across the entire Gaza Strip," he explained, adding that Israel "is working to get those who have been abducted back in any possible way."
Biden: Israel’s Gaza operation will end
when Hamas no longer able to murder Israelis
Times of Israel Staff, 15-11-2023
US President Joe Biden aligned himself late Wednesday with Jerusalem’s position on the duration of the war against Hamas, saying Israel can go on until it achieves its goal of eliminating the Gaza-ruling terror group’s ability to endanger Israelis.
In a televised press conference Biden said Israel’s operation in Gaza, following the shock Hamas massacres in southern Israeli communities last month, “will end when Hamas no longer maintains the capacity to murder, abuse, and do horrific things to the Israelis.”
Biden added that Israel’s military has “an obligation to use as much caution as they can in going after their targets. Hamas said they plan to attack Israelis again and this is a terrible dilemma.”
The Biden administration has continued to oppose international calls for Israel to cease fire, saying that Israel has a right to defend itself against Hamas after the October 7 onslaught, while pushing for more short-term humanitarian pauses and asserting that it expects Israel to abide by the rules of war while fighting in Gaza.
Biden said Israel was taking risks in operating around Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, but “one thing has been established: Hamas does have headquarters, weapons, materiel, below this hospital, and — I suspect — others.”
The IDF said Wednesday that its troops had found military equipment in an operation that began before dawn and continued for much of the day. Israeli forces entered part of Shifa Hospital, with a journalist at the site telling AFP that the IDF had carried out room-by-room searches of that area, after days of fighting on the outskirts of the facility with Hamas gunmen...
The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza denied the claims, saying Israeli forces “did not find any equipment or weapons in the hospital.”
“It is a civilian hospital. There is no member of Hamas in al-Shifa Hospital,” Mohammed Zaqout, the director-general of hospitals in the Gaza Strip, told Al Jazeera. “There is no military activity in al-Shifa. All that happened is around the hospital but inside the hospital, all of the people are civilians.”
Why Al-Shifa Hospital?
Al-Manar [Lebanon], 15-11-2023
In Arabic, it’s “House of Healing”. In English, it’s “Dar Al-Shifa”, known as Al-Shifa Hospital. Located in the neighborhood of northern Rimal in Gaza City, Al-Shifa Hospital has become in recent days the center of global attention.
Gaza’s largest medical facility has been the venue of fresh Israeli massacres, with Israeli ground troops on Tuesday staging brutal raid and tanks lying siege to the facility.
Why the hospital has been attacked by Israeli ground troops, and what role does the medical complex play in terms of Gaza’s health systems? What is the relation between Hamas and Al-Shifa and what about the alleged presence of tunnels beneath the hospital?
Al-Manar hosted Osama Hamadan, a senior Hamas official in Lebanon, on Tuesday. Hamadan emphasized that the Israeli occupation has failed to secure significant military achievements on the ground, noting that there have been concerted efforts to create a false image of victory in the eyes of the Israeli public.
“Al-Shifa is a large medical complex that houses several buildings which were built even before Hamas took power in Gaza in 2007,” Hamdan told Al-Manar, affirming: “Claims on tunnels that are under Al-Shifa Hospital are exposed lies.”
Dozens of journalists constantly appear in live messages from Al-Shifa Hospital as they have been covering the Israeli aggression on Gaza, the senior official added.
He noted that in addition to the Palestinian doctors, dozens of foreign medics and health workers served at the medical complex, and they have been on direct contact with International Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders.
“Both local and foreign health workers firmly deny any military presence in and around Al-Shifa Hospital.”
US and EU plan to deploy UN force in postwar Gaza
Ahram Online, Thursday 16 Nov 2023
The United States and European Union are advocating for plans to deploy international peacekeepers in the Gaza Strip following the end of Israel's war on Gaza, according to insiders.
The move would increase pressure on Israel to halt its air and ground invasion of the Palestinian territory that has so far killed more than 11,500 people, many of them women and children, according to Palestinian health ministry figures.
While acknowledging that significant uncertainties persist, US and European officials are actively considering this proposal, people familiar with the matter said, adding that even discussing the idea may push Israel to end its war on the strip.
According to Bloomberg, the discussions, taking place through the United Nations Security Council, are still in an early phase. They come amid mounting pressure from the international community for a cease-fire in Gaza.
One option under consideration involves granting an expanded role for the UN Truce Supervision Organization, first established in 1949 to help implement armistice agreements between Palestinian Arabs and the newly created State of Israel, reported Bloomberg.
Furthermore, similar UN structures could be used as a template, those familiar with the matter added, pointing to UN-backed troop deployment in other areas worldwide.
The plans come as Israeli forces dropped leaflets on Thursday, warning Palestinians to flee parts of southern Gaza, signalling a possible expansion of operations to areas where hundreds of thousands of people who heeded earlier evacuation orders are crowded into UN-run shelters and family homes.
Israel Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Wednesday the ground operation will eventually “include both the north and south. We will strike Hamas wherever it is."
Israeli army forces evacuation of Shifa hospital
Ahram Online , Saturday 18 Nov 2023
The Israeli army ordered patients, refugees, and medical staff to evacuate the Al-Shifa Medical Complex in Gaza City, forcing them to make the more than 20-kilometre-long trek south on foot.
Medical sources in Gaza reported about five doctors stayed with the 530 remaining critically ill and wounded patients who are unable to walk.
Palestine News Agency (WAFA) reported the evacuees were forced to flee in single file past Israeli tanks, raising their hands and carrying white flags.
The evacuees are headed south along Salah El-Din Street, the main north-south highway in the Gaza Strip, to Deir Al-Balah in central Gaza. The journey of over 20 kilometres is bound to be difficult, with many of the evacuees having to navigate the partially destroyed road while pushing wheelchairs and sickbeds.
The head of the bone surgery department, Adnan Al-Barsh, tearfully conveyed on a live broadcast on Al Jazeera: "I swear we did everything we could do until the very last moment."
Israeli forces besieged Al-Shifa Medical Complex for nine days, destroying its medical equipment and causing the death of wounded people and a number of premature babies.
The director-general of hospitals in Gaza said: "All of the 22 patients who were in the intensive care unit, in addition to six dialysis patients, who were in Al-Shifa have died."
Several buildings were bombed, including the cardiac building on the western side of the complex.
Al-Shifa Medical Complex is affiliated with the Palestinian Ministry of Health and is the largest medical centre in the Gaza Strip. It was established in 1946 during the British Mandate and started as small kiosks providing medical care to patients. It developed over time and became the largest medical complex in the Gaza Strip where 25 percent of the entire hospital workers in the Gaza Strip work
Netanyahu: "heavy international pressure
against Israel’s war on Hamas"
By Times of Israel Staff, 19-11-2023
[Israeli] Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday said there was heavy international pressure against Israel’s war on Hamas, as he pledged to continue pressing the military campaign in Gaza until the terror group is overthrown and the hostages it seized are returned.
While Israel has the support of the US and others for the ongoing war, “there is growing pressure against us, in the US and elsewhere,” he said. [...]
“They pressed us to agree to a full ceasefire. We refused. And I made clear that we would only agree to a temporary ceasefire and only for the return of our hostages.”
He added: “Together with my colleagues, I rebuff the pressure and make clear to the world: We will continue to fight until victory. Until we destroy Hamas. And until we bring our hostages home.”
He set out three war missions that will be fulfilled: “Complete victory, to destroy Hamas. To return the hostages. And to ensure that after victory, Gaza will never again constitute a threat to Israeli citizens. I will not allow into Gaza any party that supports terrorism...
An additional condition, he said: “The IDF will have complete freedom of action in Gaza against any threat. That is the only way to guarantee the demilitarization of Gaza.”
Netanyahu said he greatly “appreciates the support of the US” and that it is sending constant shipments of crucial weaponry and defense equipment, while noting bipartisan support for the Jewish state in Congress.
He said Israel’s leadership was in daily contact with the White House, and “I give US media interviews almost every day to persuade the American public of the rightness of our path.”
He said he speaks every day with other international leaders. All this and more, he said, ensures Israel continues to receive the military support it needs from the US, and thwarts international initiatives against Israel that would endanger its ability to keep fighting.
How Netanyahu falsifies the news
by Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network | 21 November 2023
Like all wars, the one pitting the State of Israel against the Palestinian population is the subject of a media battle.
The Palestinian Resistance doesn’t need to tell the story of the injustice it is fighting against: you only need to look to see. Rather, it aims to magnify one or other of its components.
Israel, on the other hand, has to convince people of its good faith, which after three quarters of a century of violating international law is no mean feat.
Since the attack of the Palestinian Resistance on October 7, 2023, Israel has been deploying all its resources to make us believe that the attack was carried out by Hamas jihadists and that it knew nothing about its preparation.
However, this attack was carried out by all Palestinian factions, with the exception of Fatah.
Until recently, Hamas defined itself as the "Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood", as stated on all its documents.
As such, it fought against the secularists of Yasser Arafat’s Fatah and George Habash’s PFLP, then against those of President Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian Arab Republic. In his eyes, they were all "enemies of God".
Hamas was financed by Israel and, in Syria, its fighters were supervised by Mossad and NATO officers.
However, after the Brotherhood’s failure in Egypt and their defeat in Syria, Hamas split between a section loyal to the Muslim Brotherhood, led by Khaled Mechaal (and still pursuing the establishment of a worldwide Caliphate), and another that refocused on the liberation of Palestine.
The latter, led by Iran, renewed its ties with Syria. Its leader, Khalil Hayya, was received in Damascus by President Bashar al-Assad. It also renewed its ties with the Lebanese Hezbollah, taking part in meetings in Beirut with the latter and other components of the Palestinian Resistance.
All the components of the Palestinian Resistance had agreed to carry out a "coup de poing" operation to kidnap Israeli civilians and soldiers and exchange them for Palestinian civilians and fighters detained in Israel.
The date of October 7 was chosen by Hamas alone, and the other Palestinian factions were informed only a few hours beforehand. Incidentally, Hamas fighters were in the majority compared with the Marxists of the PFLP and the members of the Axis of Resistance (united around Iran), the Islamic Jidad....
The operation had been planned at a coordination meeting in Beirut in May. It was reported in the Lebanese press. However, while the principle, targets and modus operandi had been set, no one knew when it would take place.
The Egyptian intelligence services were the first to sound the alarm. They support the Palestinian Resistance, but fight Hamas without being able to distinguish between its two tendencies. They were not worried about the possible success of the Palestinian Resistance, but of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Intelligence Minister Kamal Abbas personally warned his Israeli counterparts. According to Yigal Carmon, director of the Middle East Media Research Institute (Memri), Netanyahu did not listen...
Times of Israel, 9 oct 2023:
Abbas Kamel, the powerful head of Egyptian intelligence, warned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu 10 days before the attack, Ynet reports. Kamel warned Israel that “something unusual, a terrible operation” was about to take place around Gaza. Kamel was reportedly aghast at Netanyahu’s passivity upon hearing the report.
Egyptian sources tell Ynet that Netanyahu responded that IDF forces were focused on fighting terror in the West Bank, where deadly terror attacks against Israel were being carried out.
Netanyahu’s office calls the Ynet report “a lie.”
Israel-Palestine war: Israel and Hamas agree
to exchange prisoners as part of four-day 'truce'
By MEE staff, 22 November 2023
Israel and Hamas agreed to a four-day truce early on Wednesday, as part of an agreement that will see the Palestinian group release 50 Israeli women and child prisoners in exchange for 150 Palestinian women and children held in Israeli jailss...
Israel's cabinet backed the agreement after talks lasting several hours, which reportedly involved heated exchanges between ministers in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government. In the end, only three of the 38 members of the cabinet voted against the truce.
The prime minister's office said in a statement that for every additional 10 Israeli hostages released the pause would be extended by a day. The statement did not mention the release of Palestinian prisoners in exchange.
"The Israeli government is committed to bringing all the abductees home. Tonight, the government approved the outline for the first stage of achieving this goal, under which at least 50 abductees - women and children - will be released over a span of four days, during which there will be a lull in the fighting," the statement said.
Hamas, which controls Gaza, also released a statement, confirming that 50 women and children held in the territory would be freed in exchange for Israel releasing 150 Palestinian women and children from Israeli jails.
It said that during the temporary pause, Israel would stop all military actions in Gaza. Additionally, Israeli fighter jets and surveillance drones will not be allowed to fly over southern Gaza and only fly over northern Gaza between 4pm-10am.
The pause would also allow hundreds of trucks carrying humanitarian, medical and fuel aid into the territory, it said.
Qatar's lead negotiator, Mohammed Al-Khulaifi, said the release of prisoners should prompt the international community to “seize this brief window of opportunity to generate further momentum for the diplomatic track”.
"Qatar's priority now is to ensure that the terms of the agreement are respected while redoubling our efforts to secure a long-term ceasefire, end the war, and work towards lasting peace through a comprehensive political process," the statement said.
Israel news: Mossad chief Barnea in Qatar
for fresh talks, will meet CIA director
Times of Israel, 28-11-2023
Mossad spy agency chief David Barnea is in Doha for talks with CIA director William Burns and top Qatari officials, The Times of Israel was told Tuesday, amid efforts to release hostages held in the Gaza Strip by Hamas and other terror groups. Burns was said set to hold a meeting with Barnea and Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani.
Since the start of the war, Barnea has made three trips to Qatar, which has been mediating between Israel and Hamas. He has also reportedly hosted top Qatari officials in Israel.
The visit came after Israel and Hamas agreed on a two-day extension of the initial four-day truce in order to allow for the release of at least 20 more hostages. A total of some 240 hostages were abducted to Gaza on October 7...
The talks are focused on ensuring the smooth release of the additional 20 hostages and possibly expanding the temporary truce for more days in order to ensure the release of all the women and children held by terror groups in Gaza.
In the first four days of the truce, Hamas released a total of 30 Israeli children and 20 Israeli women, 10 of them mothers of freed kids, as well as an Israeli-Russian man set free as a gesture to Moscow, and 18 foreigners — 17 Thais and a Filipino — released as part of a separate, Iran-brokered deal.
Qatar is a crucial communications channel with Hamas, as it hosts the terror group’s political bureau and is the primary residence of its self-exiled leader Ismail Haniyeh, as well as its former leader Khaled Mashaal. The country is one of Hamas’s main backers, transferring hundreds of millions of dollars to the terror group annually.
Israel expands war on Gaza,
int’l concern mounts over civilians
Ahram Online, Monday 4 Dec 2023
Israel expanded its war on Gaza on Monday, as international concern deepened over the mounting civilian death toll.
The return to open warfare after a truce between Israel and Hamas broke down has had ripple effects around a region on the cusp of a wider conflagration. More than 15,500 people have been killed in the besieged Palestinian territory, according to the Gaza health ministry, in more than eight weeks of combat and heavy bombardment.
4 dec, 9:30: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas held talks over the phone with US Vice President Kamala Harris on her flight from Dubai back to Washington D.C. stressing that his authority rejects any plan to occupy or isolate any part of Gaza, Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.
The head of the Palestinian Authority also voiced his rejection of the forced displacement of the Palestinian people, whether in the Gaza Strip or the West Bank, including Jerusalem.
Harris on her part "reiterated U.S. support for the Palestinian people and their right to security, dignity and self-determination," according to a White House press statement based on the call.
She also discussed the situation in the West Bank voicing concerns over steps that could escalate tensions in the West Bank, including Israeli settler violence, according to the press statement.
Harris and Abbas also discussed US plans for a post-war Gaza once the war in the strip ends, in this regard, Harris "reiterated US support for a unified West Bank and Gaza under a revitalized Palestinian Authority," the statement added.
Above all, Harris underscored the US commitment to a two-state solution and said that "the Palestinian people must have a clear political horizon."
Israel has rejected U.S. suggestions that control over postwar Gaza be handed over to the internationally recognized Palestinian Authority, ahead of renewed efforts to resolve the conflict by establishing a Palestinian state...
Western countries shift tone toward Israel
as Palestinian casualties mount
Yasmine Farag , Monday 4 Dec 2023
Countries that provided unlimited support to Israel during the early days of its war on Gaza are now taking a firmer line amid daily massacres of Palestinian civilians.
On Monday, Germany urged Israel to guarantee "realistic" protection to civilians, as Israeli ground forces moved into the south of the strip.
"Something we expect from Israel is that they not only urge civilians to leave the danger zone but that they are in a realistic position to find safe shelter elsewhere," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Sebastian Fischer told a regular press briefing. "Too many civilians have already been killed in this war," he added.
Fischer’s statement marks a big shift in Berlin’s position, which has been among Europe’s most hawkish.
In November, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz opposed a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, claiming that the truce would leave Hamas the possibility of recovering and obtaining new missiles.
Last week, French President Emmanuel Macron warned that Israel's aim of eliminating Hamas risks unleashing a decade of war.
Achieving the "total destruction of Hamas" would mean "the war will last 10 years," Macron said at a press conference on the sidelines of the 28th UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai.
This change contrasts with the early days of the war, when French policy skewed toward Israel, even drawing criticism from inside the diplomatic establishment.
The most notable change has been in the US stance.
For weeks, the Biden administration strongly backed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s military offensive in Gaza, but a rising death count, enormous pro-Palestinian protests across the globe, and increasing discomfort inside the White House have put considerable strain on the US posture.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said Saturday Israel risked a “strategic defeat” if it failed to protect civilian lives in Gaza, adding he had personally appealed to Israeli leaders to do so.
“In this kind of a fight, the centre of gravity is the civilian population,” Austin said during the annual Reagan National Defence Forum in California. “And if you drive them into the arms of the enemy, you replace a tactical victory with a strategic defeat.”
“So I have repeatedly made clear to Israel’s leaders that protecting Palestinian civilians in Gaza is both a moral responsibility and a strategic imperative.”
The Biden administration has received stark warnings from American diplomats in the Arab world that its strong support for Israel’s military campaign “is losing us Arab publics for a generation,” according to a diplomatic cable obtained by CNN.