Saturday, March 9, 2024

What We’re Seeing Isn’t Protest Against Israel - Robert Spencer


by Robert Spencer

An ugly and ominous recrudescence of an extremely evil chapter in human history.


[Make sure to read Robert Spencer’s contributions in Jamie Glazov’s new book: Barack Obama’s True Legacy: How He Transformed America.]

In the months since Hamas murdered 1,200 Israelis on Oct. 7, 2023, the world has taken an ominous turn. First, anti-Israel demonstrators began openly avowing their support for Hamas. Then came the targeting of Jews who had nothing to do with Israel, amid claims that they were supporters of “genocide.” And now we see the targeting of Jews just because they are Jews: in one Brooklyn high school, it’s shouts of “Heil Hitler.” At UC Berkeley, a protester screamed “Jew, you Jew, you Jew” at a Jewish student and spat in his face. This is the America that the left has made.

The New York Post reported Saturday that students at Origins High School in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn have a new hero: Adolf Hitler. The school “has become a haven for Hitler-loving hooligans who terrorize Jewish teachers and classmates.” Remember, this is not Berlin in 1933, it’s New York City in 2024.

The Jew-hatred at Origins High has been out in the open since just a few weeks after Oct. 7. On Oct. 26, “40 to 50 teens marched through Origins HS in Sheepshead Bay waving a Palestinian flag and chanting ‘Death to Israel!’ and ‘Kill the Jews!,” according to Origins staffers. A teacher at this National Socialist high school, Danielle Kaminsky, said “I live in fear of going to work every day,” and it’s easy to see why.

One student “painted a mustache on his face to look like Hitler, and banged on classroom doors. When someone opened, he clicked his heels and raised his arm in the Nazi gesture.” This was, said the Post, shown in “security footage,” yet New York City’s Department of Education is in full denial mode, saying: “There is currently no evidence that these claims are true, but we are investigating the claims.”Meanwhile, “three swastikas in one week were drawn on teachers’ walls and other objects,” and one student told Kaminsky, who is known to be Jewish, “I wish you were killed.” Another called her “a dirty Jew” and said that he wished that Hitler had “hit more Jews.” Inevitably, the door of Kaminsky’s classroom was decorated with “drawings of the Palestinian flag and notes saying ‘Free Palestine.’” Another student wrote Kaminsky a note that was limpid in its simplicity, saying simply: “Die.” These students “have so far faced no serious discipline under interim acting principal Dara Kammerman, who has done little beyond contacting parents in an effort to practice ‘restorative justice.’” Yeah, that’ll fix everything.

Meanwhile, across the continent at the University of California, Berkeley, the situation is much the same. The Algemeiner reported last Tuesday that “a mob of hundreds pro-Palestinian students and non-students” forced the shutdown of an event featuring IDF soldier Ran Bar-Yoshafat, “forcing Jewish students to flee to a secret safe room as the protestors overwhelmed campus police.” The enraged mob “stormed the building — breaking glass windows in the process.”

One of the Jewish students recounted: “You know what I was screamed at? ‘Jew, you Jew, you Jew,’ literally right to my face. Some woman — then she spit at me. Another Jewish student, Shaya Keyvanfar, said: “Once the doors were closed, the protesters somehow found a side door and pushed it open, and a few of them managed to get in, and once they did, they tried to open the door for the rest of them. It was really scary. They were pounding on the windows outside — they broke one — they spit at my sister and others. They called someone a dirty Jew. It was eerie.”

The Israeli soldier added: “I just felt really bad for these kids because they were scared. Girls were crying from being attacked, and I think the kid that was spat on was just so shocked. I don’t think the students anticipated so many people being violent, they thought they would just chant outside.”

Berkeley’s Dan Mogulof vowed strong action, calling the whole thing a “black mark” on the far-left university’s already considerably tarnished reputation. He said that he “understands now that we are in new territory.” I wonder, however, if he really does. We aren’t in new territory. We are in territory that is quite familiar to anyone who knows the history of Europe, and of Germany in particular, from 1919 to 1945. We are witnessing an ugly and ominous recrudescence of an extremely evil chapter in human history. At this point, it can still be stopped. Before too long, if it isn’t stopped, it will play out to its horrific end, an end we have seen before.

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 27 books including many bestsellers, such as The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), The Truth About Muhammad and The History of Jihad. His latest books are The Critical Qur’an and Empire Of God. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.


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Blaming Israel For the Stampede Deaths in Gaza - Hugh Fitzgerald


by Hugh Fitzgerald

The uncritical acceptance of Hamas’ claims.


Rushing to judgment, many political leaders, and much of the world’s media, have uncritically accepted Hamas’ claim that the IDF is responsible for the deaths of 104 Gazans on February 29 at a site where a convoy of more on 30 aid trucks was trying to make its way to a distribution point, when thousands of Gazans swarmed over the trucks, trying to loot them and carry off their cargo of food aid. What is not in dispute is that a great many Gazans died, though the Hamas figure of 104 may be an exaggeration. What is also not in dispute is that the IDF fired some shots and that thousands of Gazans swarmed over the aid trucks, trying to loot them. The Israelis say they did not fire into the crowd. First they fired warning shots into the air, and then, when a group of Gazans failed to be dissuaded by those warning shots and continued to move menacingly toward them, the IDF shot “fewer than ten” Gazans. The IDF maintains that the vast majority of those who died did so when they were either trampled upon in the stampede to loot the trucks, or actually fell under the wheels of the trucks that continued to move, albeit slowly, forward. More on this incident can be found here: “US blocks Security Council motion blaming Israel for deadly Gaza aid convoy incident,” Times of Israel, March 1, 2024:

Amid American opposition, Arab nations failed Thursday overnight to get immediate support for a UN Security Council statement that would have blamed Israeli forces for the more than 100 reported deaths as Palestinians in northern Gaza swarmed an aid convoy.

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian UN ambassador, told reporters after an emergency closed council meeting on the deaths, that 14 of the 15 council members supported the statement put forward by Algeria, the Arab representative on the body.

Algeria’s draft declaration expressed “deep concern,” and stated that the situation was “due to opening fire by Israel forces.”

The shots fired by IDF soldiers had nothing to do with the stampede of thousands of Gazans besieging the aid trucks, and pushing aside those around them in a wild attempt to get to the aid and make off with whatever they could.

The United States did not support the statement and US deputy ambassador Robert Wood told reporters: “The parties are working on some language to see if we can get to a statement.

“The problem is that we don’t have all the facts here,” he said, adding that he wanted the wording to reflect “the necessary due diligence with regards to culpability.”

The Americans at least were not joining the rush to judgment. But what explains other members of the Security Council, such as the U.K. and France, supporting the Algerian resolution before all the facts on the stampede are in?

Hamas has blamed the Israel Defense Forces for a reported 104 deaths in the early morning hours. The military said it did not fire at the crowd rushing the main convoy of aid trucks that entered northern Gaza early Thursday morning. It acknowledged that troops opened fire on several Gazans who moved toward soldiers and a tank at an IDF checkpoint, endangering soldiers. It argued most people had been killed in a stampede and asserted that fewer than 10 of the casualties were a result of Israeli fire….

Does Israel have a record of lying, as Hamas does — or does it have, rather, a record of studiously telling the truth? Surely that matters, when we are trying to decide between two competing versions of events.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Thursday the deaths required an effective independent investigation.

The trouble with a so-called “independent investigation” presumably to be conducted by the UN, an organization that is suffused with anti-Israel animus, is that it is almost certain to reject Israel’s version of events – however much the evidence supports that version – in favor of that presented by Hamas.

Speaking in St. Vincent and the Grenadines ahead of a regional summit, Guterres said he was “shocked” by the latest episode in the Israel-Hamas war.

Guterres said worsening geopolitical divides have “transformed the veto power into an effective instrument of paralysis of the action of the Security Council.”…

What Guterres, the most anti-Israel Secretary-General of the U.N. since the Nazi war criminal Kurt Waldheim, means is that the American veto prevents the Security Council from becoming a kangaroo court where Israel is perennially declared to be guilty. He is infuriated that the Americans stand in the way of anti-Israel resolutions being adopted by the Security Council, which, unlike the General Assembly, does have an enforcement mechanism.

France also wanted an independent inquiry, Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne said Friday. “We will ask for explanations, and there will have to be an independent probe to determine what happened,” Sejourne told the France Inter broadcaster.

The French Foreign Minister’s demand for “an independent inquiry” is a signal of French mistrust of the IDF’s conducting the inquiry. Why? Has Israel given the “international community” reason to distrust its findings in the past? When has Israel ever lied about its role? Did it not investigate thoroughly the killing of the Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, and took responsibility for her death, though it also explained it had been an accident; she had not been the independent target. Doesn’t the IDF investigate the deaths of all those civilians whom the Palestinians claim were “murdered” — and in almost every case, has found either that the “innocent” civilian was a member of a terror group, or was linked in some way to terrorists and their hideouts?

Hugh Fitzgerald


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'Ramadan - Month of Jihad' : Ramadan Will Not Stop Hamas From Killing Jews - Bassam Tawil


by Bassam Tawil

Throughout history, Muslims have taken advantage of Ramadan to wage war against their enemies. Five historic Islamic battles were fought in the month of Ramadan: Battle of Badr, Conquest of Mecca, Battle of Tabuk, Battle of Amin Jalut, and Battle of Hattin.


  • On March 5, Biden warned of potential problems without a ceasefire deal by Ramadan. "There's got to be a ceasefire because Ramadan – if we get into circumstances where this continues to Ramadan, Israel and Jerusalem could be very, very dangerous," he told reporters in Washington.

  • Such statements are undoubtedly based on the extremely false assumption that Muslims do not engage in wars and armed conflicts during the month of fasting. In fact, the opposite is true. As the New York Times reported "It is widely believed that the rewards earned for noble acts are greater during Ramadan...."

  • Hamas... even published an article entitled, "Ramadan – The Month of Jihad, Fighting, and Victory over the Enemies."

  • Throughout history, Muslims have taken advantage of Ramadan to wage war against their enemies. Five historic Islamic battles were fought in the month of Ramadan: Battle of Badr, Conquest of Mecca, Battle of Tabuk, Battle of Amin Jalut, and Battle of Hattin.

  • Those who believe that Hamas seeks a ceasefire ahead of Ramadan are deluding themselves. Those who are concerned about the sanctity of the holy month ought to listen to what the terrorists themselves are saying: Ramadan actually increases their desire for Jewish blood.

Those who believe that Hamas seeks a ceasefire ahead of Ramadan are deluding themselves. Throughout history, Muslims have taken advantage of Ramadan to wage war against their enemies. For example, during Ramadan of 2016, two Palestinian cousins, Mohammed and Khalil Mukhamara, carried out a shooting attack in Tel Aviv's Sarona Market, murdering four Israelis and wounding 40 others. Pictured: Volunteers from the organization: "Zaka - Identification, Extraction and Rescue" remove spattered blood from the scene of the terrorist attack in Sarona Market on June 8, 2016. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

International mediators and world leaders, including US President Joe Biden, are hoping to secure a ceasefire deal between Israel and the Iran-backed Hamas terror group before the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which starts on March 10.

On March 5, Biden warned of potential problems without a ceasefire deal by Ramadan. "There's got to be a ceasefire because Ramadan – if we get into circumstances where this continues to Ramadan, Israel and Jerusalem could be very, very dangerous," he told reporters in Washington.

Such statements are undoubtedly based on the extremely false assumption that Muslims do not engage in wars and armed conflicts during the month of fasting. In fact, the opposite is true. As the New York Times reported "It is widely believed that the rewards earned for noble acts are greater during Ramadan...."

"In the holy month of Ramadan," according to fatwa 1566/10013/L=1431, "the reward of virtues is increased."

Uninformed Western statements also ignore that Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups have never hesitated to use Jewish holidays to wage war, carry out terrorist attacks and murder Jews, including October 7, 2023, which was the Jewish Sabbath and the Simchat Torah holiday -- not to mention the launch of the Yom Kippur War by Egypt and Syria.

Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups have long been using Ramadan to carry out terrorist attacks against Israel.

Hamas, through its military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, even published an article entitled, "Ramadan – The Month of Jihad, Fighting, and Victory over the Enemies."

During the fasting month of Ramadan, Hamas claimed, "the Jihad fighter dedicates himself to the study of Islam by day he sets forth to defend his homeland, Palestine, by night."

The article harked back to the 2014 Israel-Hamas war, part of which took place during Ramadan. "This month has seen the actualization of exceptional Islamic victories," the group said. During the war, the article claimed, "the Palestinian resistance, chiefly the al-Qassam Brigades, fought the most impressive battles of heroism and martyrdom."

In 2022, the Hamas website posted : "We welcome the blessed month of Ramadan, the month of jihad, martyrdom, and mighty victories."

In May 2021, the Qatar-owned Al-Jazeera TV station, which serves as a mouthpiece for the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, published on its website an article headlined, "Month of Jihad and Victories: How the Palestinian Resistance Turned Ramadan into the Season of Attacks and Victories." The author, Adnan Abu Amer, a Palestinian political science lecturer at Al-Ummah University in Gaza, listed a long line of deadly attacks by the Palestinian terror organizations – against both soldiers and civilians, including suicide bombings – that were deliberately carried out during Ramadan.

In Ramadan in 2017, for example, three terrorists – members of the Jabarin family of the Israeli Arab city of Umm al-Fahm, murdered two Israeli Border Police officers at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound (Temple Mount) in Jerusalem.

A year earlier, also during Ramadan, two Palestinian cousins, Mohammed and Khalil Mukhamara, carried out a shooting attack in Tel Aviv's Sarona Market, murdering four Israelis and wounding 40 others.

During Ramadan in 2015, a Palestinian terrorist carried out a stabbing attack against two Israeli police officers near the Damascus Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Abu Amer also pointed out that the 2014 Israel-Hamas war coincided with Ramadan and served as a model for resistance groups because it included "the most prominent acts of heroism by the resistance in the history of Palestine and the conflict with the occupation."

According to Amer:

"Every year, at the beginning of Ramadan, the military branches of the Palestinian resistance factions stress that this is a [special] month, in which the jihad fighters pray during the daytime and defend their Palestinian homeland during the night. It is a month marked by outstanding Muslim victories, and the month during which the resistance carried out [its] most impressive wars of heroism and sacrifice. It is the custom of the resistance to step up its activity during Ramadan. The Ramadan atmosphere increases the readiness for sacrifice, due to its religious and psychological effect, which is automatically felt by the resistance fighters."

In 2021, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, another Gaza-based Iran-backed terror proxy, fired rockets into Israel during Ramadan. During that Ramadan, Palestinians in the West Bank and east Jerusalem rioted, burned tires, threw rocks, shot fireworks and clashed with Israeli police officers and soldiers. The Palestinians also chanted slogans praising the terrorist leaders of Hamas.

Throughout history, Muslims have taken advantage of Ramadan to wage war against their enemies. Five historic Islamic battles were fought in the month of Ramadan: Battle of Badr, Conquest of Mecca, Battle of Tabuk, Battle of Amin Jalut, and Battle of Hattin.

So, while non-Muslims such as Biden appear to be worried about violence and bloodshed during Ramadan, the Palestinian terror groups have repeatedly shown quite an appetite for it during their own holy month by engaging in terrorism and murdering Jews.

During the Jewish holiday of Passover in 2002, while 250 guests of the Park Hotel in the Israeli coastal city of Netanya were celebrating the traditional Passover Seder in the hotel dining room, Abdel Basset Oder, a Palestinian suicide bomber disguised as a woman, entered the hotel with a suitcase containing powerful explosives. He detonated the bomb, killing 30 civilians and wounding 150 others. Some of the victims were Holocaust survivors; most were senior citizens (70 and over).

The Palestinian terror groups have long demonstrated that they do not care about any holiday – Muslim or Jewish – when it comes to advancing their goal of murdering Jews. Those who believe that Hamas seeks a ceasefire ahead of Ramadan are deluding themselves. Those who are concerned about the sanctity of the holy month ought to listen to what the terrorists themselves are saying: Ramadan actually increases their desire for Jewish blood.

Bassam Tawil is a Muslim Arab based in the Middle East.


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Gazan civilians unable to evacuate to Egypt, but families of Hamas officials can - Jerusalem Post Staff


by Jerusalem Post Staff

Escapees include nephews and nieces of Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, and according to the list obtained by N12, the children of Sinwar's sister were smuggled through the Rafah crossing only recently.


A border wall stands between Rafah and Egypt, amid fears of an exodus of Palestinians into Egypt, as the conflict between Israel and Hamas continues, in Rafah southern Gaza Strip February 16, 2024 (photo credit: IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA/REUTERS)
A border wall stands between Rafah and Egypt, amid fears of an exodus of Palestinians into Egypt, as the conflict between Israel and Hamas continues, in Rafah southern Gaza Strip February 16, 2024

Since the October 7 massacre perpetrated by Hamas, Palestinian civilians who wanted to escape Gaza to Egypt have encountered difficulties doing so, as the cost to do so is from 6,000-7,000 dollars per person, according to a Tuesday N12 report.

The report claims that getting past the Rafah crossing is a "desire shared by many Gazan families, but for most of them is an unattainable fantasy." However, some people who have managed to get to the other side have been Hamas terrorists and their families, N12 said, as the report claims that money is not an issue for the terrorist organization's relatives. 

Escapees include nephews and nieces of Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, and according to the list obtained by N12, the children of Sinwar's sister were smuggled through the Rafah crossing only recently.

Other escaped family members of Hamas' officials

Additionally, the two children of the Hamas police spokesman, Ayman al-Batanji, also managed to escape. Under their names in the list, there is a crossed-out line. The N12 report estimates that this could be al-Batanji himself, but at the moment, it cannot be proven that he did manage to escape to Egypt.

Enlrage image

The list also shows the four children of Sameh Elsraj, a member of Hamas's political bureau, who also managed to escape through the Rafah crossing, but he had reportedly been absent since the beginning of the war. There are speculations that he may have already been killed in a targeted counterattack by Israel. The names of senior Hamas official Akil Alhindi and the daughter of a Hamas health minister are also mentioned.

Every few days, more names of family members of Hamas who managed to escape from the Strip appear, according to the report.

Jerusalem Post Staff


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America's floating pier for Gaza brings new challenges off-shore - Seth J. Frantzman


by Seth J. Frantzman

Even though the US wanted to pivot away from the Middle East, the conflict in Gaza has now drawn the US back in.


Humanitarian aid for Gaza is loaded onto platform in Larnaca, March 9, 2024 (photo credit: REUTERS/YIANNIS KOURTOGLOU)
Humanitarian aid for Gaza is loaded onto platform in Larnaca, March 9, 2024

As plans take shape for the US to play a greater role in supporting humanitarian aid to Gaza, the idea of a floating pier to sit off the coast of Gaza to bring in the aid is the latest initiative.

The US is mobilizing to construct a kind of floating dock that would enable aid to be brought to Cyprus. This follows US airdrops that have also brought in food to Gaza. This is an unprecedented attempt by the US to aid locals on the ground and it brings together many unique capabilities that the US has.

On the one hand, it was unexpected this would happen in Gaza, but it is also a good chance for the US to conduct these operations and work out any problems that may occur.

On the other, this illustrates that even though the US wanted to pivot away from the Middle East, the conflict in Gaza has now drawn the US back in.
 A satellite image shows the Port of Gaza (credit: PlanetLabs PBC/Handout via REUTERS)Enlrage image
A satellite image shows the Port of Gaza (credit: PlanetLabs PBC/Handout via REUTERS)

The challenges faced by the United States

Now, some of the challenges will be working with different groups and NGOs to bring in the aid. According to VOA, “a US charity said it was loading aid for Gaza onto a boat in Cyprus, the first shipment to the war-ravaged territory along a maritime corridor the EU Commission hopes will open this weekend. The Spanish-flagged vessel Open Arms docked three weeks ago in the port of Larnaca in Cyprus, the closest European Union country to the Gaza Strip.”

The report notes that "World Central Kitchen teams are in Cyprus loading pallets of humanitarian aid onto a boat headed to northern Gaza," the charity said Friday in a statement. "We have been preparing for weeks alongside our trusted NGO partner Open Arms for the opening of a maritime aid corridor that would allow us to scale our efforts in the region," it said.

This is important because it’s essential that different charities, rather than the usual suspects, work in Gaza. It has been shown that aid entering southern Gaza is generally hijacked by Hamas gunmen. Many international organizations in the past partnered with Hamas. It is not known if Hamas keeps the aid or even purposely slows down delivery to create a crisis. An independent way to bring aid to Gaza is important.
According to a briefing from the White House, “we continue to work to increase the amount of aid flowing through existing border crossings at Rafah and Kerem Shalom. And over recent days, at our request, the government of Israel has prepared a new land crossing directly into northern Gaza.  This third crossing will allow for aid to flow directly to the population in northern Gaza that is in dire need of assistance.”

The US has already done three airdrops of 192 bundles of aid with 112,896 meals. The partners for this include Jordan, Egypt, France, the Netherlands and Belgium.

Cyprus's crucial role

Now, Cyprus is going to play a potentially critical role in helping facilitate the aid moving to Gaza. Cyprus and Israel have increasingly close ties. According to the White House, the current initiative is called the Amalthea initiative proposed by Cyprus provides for a platform at Larnaca to move the aid to Gaza. The maritime corridor is also backed by other key players such as the European Commission, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, the Republic of Cyprus, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

It will take weeks to build the floating pier. How the goods will get from the pier to the land is less clear. It appears Israel would still have to secure that corridor. This proved a challenge on land when a stampede of people trying to reach trucks providing aid in northern Gaza led to the latest decision of the US to airdrop food. Reports say the US 7th Transportation Brigade will build the pier as part of the US Army’s Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore capability, according to Politico’s Lara Seligman.

 The US has practiced this for years in other scenarios.

For instance, back in 2015 US Marines and elements of the 7th Transportation Brigade from Fort Eustis went to Korea where they built a large floating pier. This work also involved the “Combined Joint Logistics Over-The-Shore” capability. The temporary pier is connected to a barge and then connected to the shore. This happened at Amyeon breach. The pier was 560 meters long. It’s not clear how large the one slated for Gaza will be.

Clearly, the operation has risks. If it works, the US may end up having a longer-term role. If the aid can help feed a million or more Gazans, this could end the dependency on southern Gaza as a conduit for aid, making a Rafah operation possible and also making it so Hamas gunmen cannot control all the aid to Gaza.

This could weaken the grip of some NGOs and UN organizations that have historically worked with Hamas and appear to have a symbiotic relationship with the terrorist group. It would appear any effort to defeat Hamas in Gaza requires that it not be able to control the border and decide who gets aid and how much aid enters. Hamas has an incentive to create a humanitarian crisis in Gaza because it wants a ceasefire so that it can return to power in Gaza. 

Seth J. Frantzman


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Bruce Bechtol on North Korea and the Middle East - Marilyn Stern


by Marilyn Stern

North Korea gave Hamas the technical support and training for construction of its extensive tunnel system within which the terror group can hide.



Bruce Bechtol, professor of political science at Angelo State University, spoke to a February 26 Middle East Forum Podcast (video). The following summarizes his comments:

North Korea's significant role in the violence roiling the Middle East was most recently evident in Hamas's October 7 attack against. North Korean F-7 rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) sold to the terror group were fired at kibbutzim in southern Israel during Hamas's incursion. An Israel Defense Force's (IDF) investigation revealed Korean writing on the F-7s trigger mechanism, proving its origins – "it's not a smoking gun, it's a smoking Howitzer." As early as 2014, a deal with North Korea brokered through a Lebanese front company supplied Hamas with multiple rocket launchers (MRLs), rockets, and laser-guided (specifically produced by North Korea) anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) that Hamas has used against Israel.

Gaza's vast tunnel network "look[s] almost exactly" like the tunnels under the demilitarized zone [DMZ] in Korea for a reason. North Korea gave Hamas the technical support and training for construction of its extensive tunnel system within which the terror group can hide. The arms smuggled into the Gaza Strip go through Sudan and through tunnels under Egypt's border with Gaza. The huge cache of weapons in Hamas's possession points to the ineffectiveness of Egypt's interdiction.

North Korea has no compunction selling weapons to terrorist groups. Thus, countries such as Israel and the U.S. must consider North Korea's proliferation of weaponry "an existential national security threat" they have yet to address through "proactive means." Washington has been "slow" to focus on Pyongyang, ostensibly because the U.S. is in "sensitive talks" with the regime about its nuclear program. Yet, North Korea still has nuclear weapons, and it is destabilizing not only the Middle East, but also Sub-Saharan Africa.

In his 2018 book, North Korean Military Proliferation in the Middle East and Africa, Bechtol details North Korea's supply of weapons to Hamas, which is but one of the Iranian regime's many proxies receiving North Korean weaponry and destabilizing the region. Other Iranian proxies receiving North Korean weaponry include Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and the Houthis in Yemen. Therefore, "destroying North Korea's illicit arms networks in the Middle East runs through Iran."


Syria purchased Scud-C missiles from North Korea with the billions of Saudi dollars awarded to the Assad regime for fighting against Iraq in the Gulf War. Later, the North Koreans built a fabrication facility for the missiles with North Korean parts and technical assistance. Syria has been testing Scud-D missile systems purchased from Pyongyang for years, and with North Korea's assistance, Syria used them during the early stages of the Syrian Civil War.

Using military subsidies from Iran, Syria paid North Korea to upgrade its capabilities by resupplying Assad's military forces with chemical weapons. In 2007, Israel destroyed Syria's nuclear reactor that was built with North Korea's assistance. In 2016, North Korea supplied Syria with a variety of artillery systems, including ATGMs, man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS), and machine guns. Pyongyang also provided two battalions of special operations forces that fought for Syria in Aleppo. By 2018, North Korea "was proliferating hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of conventional and unconventional weapons a year" on behalf of Syria during the Civil War. In 2019, hundreds of North Korean workers arrived in Syria and have remained there until this day.

From the 1980s to 2000, North Korea provided Hezbollah with arms and training. However, in the 2000s, Pyongyang aided Iran's proxy by "building a large underground network in Southern Lebanon" with the capacity to contain extensive command and control, arms, and comprehensive support systems. Although "Hezbollah is way more developed militarily than Hamas," destruction of both movements' tunnels can be aided by human intelligence gained from captured fighters who provide information on tunnel layouts, and by "seismic equipment" Israel uses to detect underground activity in tunnel locations.

A 2022 report by Israel's Alma Research and Education Center stated that Hezbollah had reached a $13 million dollar deal with a North Korean front company to build a "45-kilometer tunnel system" that was completed in 2021. The Korean front companies launder Hezbollah's payments through Lebanese, Iranian, or Emirati banks, which in turn launder these funds through China. North Korea then obtains these funds through third-party intermediaries.

In the past, the U.S. Treasury Department could interrupt the laundering process by sanctioning banks. Post-COVID, however, the North Koreans deal in Bitcoin, which is much more difficult to trace. Bechtol's book, Rogue Allies: The Iran-North Korea Nexus, co-authored by Anthony Celso and due out this fall, details North Korean and Iranian money laundering using cryptocurrencies in cyberspace. It is on record that North Korea conducts more international crime using cyber theft "than any other entity on Earth."

The Alma report stated that Syrian forces, as noted earlier, "provided Hezbollah with Scud-D missiles" and described chemical weapons in the hundreds, equipped with North Korea's assistance and Iranian chemical weapons experts. These weapons are warehoused near the Syrian border with Israel. Increasingly, Hezbollah's huge number of weapons has been a financial boon for North Korea's "industrial military complex."

In Yemen, the previous government had Scud-Cs, which the Houthis captured when they gained the advantage in the Civil War. The Iranians provided its Houthi proxy with the technical training to deploy the Scuds against the Saudis and Qataris. Tehran has since provided the Houthis with an updated version of the Scud-C. In 2019, the Houthis reached a deal, either directly or through the Iranians, to purchase tanks, trucks, machine guns, artillery and "more than one type of ballistic missile" from the North Koreans.

The proliferation of North Korean weaponry contributes to violence and instability in the Middle East. It behooves the U.S. to address this North Korean proliferation of weaponry that has been ongoing in the region since 2011.


Marilyn Stern is communications coordinator at the Middle East Forum.


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ACLU withdraws subpoena for gender clinic whistleblower's messages with journalists after callout - Greg Piper


by Greg Piper

Organization celebrated House passage of protections for journalists in January. "I will wreck you," conservative journalist Chris Rufo warns ACLU if it tries to depose him in Florida Stop WOKE Act legal challenge.


The American Civil Liberties Union is known for its historic defense of freedom of the press — unless it's prying open the press.

The 104-year-old organization, which championed a House-passed bill in January to prevent "government from compelling journalists to reveal their sources and work product," is allegedly seeking a wide range of communications from a conservative journalist, some but not all related to its First Amendment lawsuit against Florida's Stop WOKE Act.

The ACLU's Missouri affiliate and Lambda Legal quickly dropped requests for communications with journalists related to their lawsuit against the Show-Me State's law against medicalized gender transitions for minors after a liberal journalist posted the subpoena Thursday night.

Gender clinic whistleblower Jamie Reed, a state witness in support of the law, and her lawyer Ernie Trakas separately confirmed to Just the News that counsel for each group notified Trakas on Thursday night and Friday morning that they were withdrawing the requests to Reed.

"The ACLU challenged the law and lost," Reed wrote in a direct message Friday. "They are appealing, and as part of their preparing for the next trial they send [sic] me this incredibly broad over reaching subpoena yesterday."

The Committee to Protect Journalists told Just the News on Friday it couldn't comment, "due to the tight turnaround," on whether and under what conditions it was appropriate to seek a journalist's communications with sources, even if indirectly.

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press didn't answer queries.

Chris Rufo, who wears hats as a journalist, author, documentary filmmaker and New College of Florida trustee, disclosed Wednesday on X that the ACLU subpoenaed him for "all of my sources and journalistic materials related to critical race theory" as part of a "heavily financed propaganda campaign against my work."


His lawyers told the ACLU to "pound sand," but the group has threatened to depose him for more than a year, according to Rufo. "Depose me anytime. But I won't let you hide behind a Zoom screen and the pronouns in your email signatures. You will have to face me in person – and I will wreck you," he wrote.

Rufo gave more details in his newsletter Thursday, saying the ACLU sent "an agent to my home while I was eating dinner with my wife and children" to serve the 18-page subpoena in 2022. It would expose his confidential sources on CRT, Black Lives Matter and "racial justice protests."

He's spilling the beans because of "another misleading attack on my character" by the ACLU, apparently referring to a Feb. 14 broadside targeting Rufo as a "far-right" enemy of "racial equity and free speech" for his activism against diversity, equity and inclusion programs.

"Anti-DEI rhetoric has been used to invalidate immunological research supporting the COVID-19 vaccine," senior staff attorney for racial justice Leah Watson wrote, linking a Jan. 4 X post by Sen. J.D. Vance, R-Ohio, that doesn't mention vaccines but mocks "public health experts who want you to mask toddlers in their schools to stop the spread of a respiratory virus."

Rufo "misrepresented the nature of federal trainings on oppression, white privilege, and intersectionality" and sought to "limit discourse, instruction, and research that refuted the false assertion that racism is not real in America – and he succeeded," she claimed.

Watson's essay notes the ACLU's court success in blocking the public university-specific provisions of the Stop WOKE Act without disclosing its alleged pursuit of Rufo's confidential sources and materials far flung from the Florida anti-DEI law.

Rufo hasn't made the subpoena public following requests from Just the News and Paul Thacker, who writes a newsletter on government suppression of purported disinformation. "Throw some sunlight on these people," the former Senate Finance Committee investigator wrote on X.

He also didn't mention the subpoena in his 140-minute Tuesday interview with podcaster Joe Rogan, but reiterated his claim that ACLU lawyer Jennifer Granick was behind the federal "disability discrimination" investigation of New College of Florida, Granick's alma mater.

The unnamed complainant faulted trustee Rufo for refusing to use preferred pronouns and mocking students and staff who use them, including fired Chief Diversity Officer Yoleidy Rosario-Hernandez, "a trans fluid person of color who uses ze/zir/zirs pronouns."

Rufo told Rogan the investigation is an "intimidation mechanism" that could involve depositions and subpoenas. It suggests the U.S. is "not far from" a "Soviet Union-style gulag situation in 2029."

He called it a "light beer form" of China's suppression of Uyghurs, a population he lived among for a year as a documentary filmmaker. "It gets to be a centralized control over your identity."

The ACLU didn't respond to queries for its explanation of how subpoenaing Rufo doesn't set a precedent that conservatives can use against similarly activist journalists on the left, such as Nikole Hannah-Jones, in challenges to blue states' laws, and whether Granick's complaint prompted the federal investigation.



The ACLU Missouri and Lambda Legal subpoena to Reed ordered her to turn over "[a]ll communications, including any documents exchanged," with journalist Jesse Singal "concerning Gender-Affirming Care provided at or through" the Washington University Pediatric Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, which has confirmed some of Reed's allegations.

Singal, whose first name is misspelled in the subpoena, is known for his reporting on gender medicine including transition regret. 

He called out the ACLU on Thursday night and said a lawyer called him to apologize, blaming "a big team" for including Singal's communications.

"Weird this was a mistake given that it's the second thing listed and tons of eyes must have been on this before it was filed," he wrote.

"The ACLU of Missouri has always been and remains committed to the freedom of press," Communications Tom Bastian wrote in an email to Just the News.

"While no subpoena was issued to Mr. Singal, the subpoena that was served to a former staffer at a Missouri clinic has since been revised to exempt information from Mr. Singal and other media," Bastian said.

Another demand was much broader: communications and documents exchanged "involving media or between you and any media outlet or any member of the media." Reed's lawyer Trasak told Just the News this demand came from Lambda Legal.

The subpoena still seeks Reed's communications with a nurse at the clinic who collaborated with her on a "red flag" list of patients who had detransitioned or those Reed said "we had significant concerns about," the office of the Missouri attorney general, state lawmakers, law enforcement and "communications concerning, referencing, or relating to your testimony to or before any body of the Missouri State Legislature."


Greg Piper


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Texas officials push back against Biden border claims - Bethany Blakely


by Bethany Blakely

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-Louisiana, said the president was “gaslighting” the American people.


(The Center Square) -

President Joe Biden told members of Congress he wanted to fix the border crisis in his state of the union address Thursday night after repeatedly claiming over the last three years there is no border crisis.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has also repeatedly testified to Congress that the border is secure, the federal government has operational control, and the reason that the administration has had difficulty is because it “inherited a broken immigration system.” Mayorkas’ claims, and evidence to the contrary, the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security majority argued, are one reason why the House impeached him.

“We have a simple choice," Biden said Thursday night. "We can fight about fixing the border or we can fix it. I’m ready to fix it. Send me the border bill now.”

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-Louisiana, said the president was “gaslighting” the American people. Johnson last month identified 64 policies Biden implemented that he argues created the border crisis.

The House already passed a border security bill, HR 2, filed by U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, which the Senate refused to consider. Instead, senators secretly negotiated a bill claiming it limited illegal entry contrary to the actual bill language.

Biden's speech was given nearly three years to the day that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott launched Texas’ border security mission, Operation Lone Star, to block illegal entry into Texas. The state legislature has allocated more than $11.6. billion to the effort. Texas is doing what the Biden administration should be doing, Abbott argues.

Over the past three years, Abbott’s sent Biden letters and sued his administration multiple times, arguing he can take executive action immediately to end the border crisis. Biden doesn’t need Congress to follow and implement the laws Congress already established, Abbott and his fellow Republican governors argue.

Biden’s speech, Abbott said, “was nothing short of a dog and pony show to convince the American people that his Administration is keeping America safe and secure.” He launched OLS on March 6, 2021, “to defend our state – and our nation – from the historic influx of illegal immigration, criminals, and deadly drugs like fentanyl pouring across our southern border,” he said. “Until President Biden steps up and does his job as Commander-in-Chief to secure the border, Texas will hold the line and use every tool and strategy to keep our country safe.”

The Border Patrol union also weighed in, saying Biden is “The most arrogant, self-absorbed, clueless and angry loser ever. Never held a real job. Lifetime political hack. Joe Biden is the epitome of what so many Americans despise about politicians.”

U.S. Rep. Wesley Hunt, a Republican from Houston, reiterated what House Republicans have been saying for months. They passed a border security bill the Senate won’t consider. Hunt said, “Biden says ‘send me the border bill now.’ Fine Mr. President, tell Chuck Schumer to take up H.R. 2 tonight. It can be on your desk before the weekend!”

He also published a video explaining how the president and Mayorkas deliberately created the border crisis.

“It was deliberate,” he said, “because under President Trump we weren't talking about” unprecedented millions of “illegal alien encounters at the southern border” and “we weren't talking about enough fentanyl smuggled in to kill every single American.”

Enough fentanyl has been seized under the Biden administration to kill nearly the entire world population, The Center Square has reported.

Hunt said the president and Mayorkas issued executive actions “that weaken our national security,” including ending Trump-era policies like Remain in Mexico, constructing the border wall, cracking down on fraudulent asylum claims, among others.

“The sad part is they pretend like their hands are tied,” Hunt said. “They act like it's an unfortunate circumstance that they are ‘working hard to fix.’ In my home state of Texas we know they're not doing the damn thing to stop this invasion. We have crops, fields and ranches damaged by illegal border crossers and communities ravaged by cartel violence.

“The irony is that when Gov. Abbott decided to take steps to secure our border and keep Texans safe, the White House said, ‘Gov. Abbott is getting in the way.’”

“Getting in the way of what?” Hunt asked. “Getting in the way of the worst border crisis in our nation’s history? Crime, fentanyl, and harm for our local communities?”

He points to the bill the House passed, the Secure the Border Act, which would expand on “successful policies” enacted under the Trump administration. He encouraged Schumer “to stop sitting on his hands and take up the strongest border bill in American history to end the border crisis once and for all. The president says Congress needs to act now. Sir, we have. Now is the time for the Senate to act and for Joe Biden to protect our country.”

Bethany Blakely


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Academic Malice: The Top Ten Campus Hate Groups in America - Frontpage Editors


by Frontpage Editors

A new Freedom Center digital pamphlet exposes the inner workings of radical, Jew-hating campus organizations.



For decades, the David Horowitz Freedom Center has been warning of the growing pro-Hamas, pro-Jihadist, Jew-hating sentiment on American college campuses and of the Left’s ideological capture of our universities. 

Student organizations and clubs on campus are the driving force behind much of this Jew hatred and radical activism. This new digital pamphlet by Sara Dogan, National Campus Director for the Freedom Center, exposes the inner workings of these malevolent racist and anti-Semitic organizations.

As Shillman Fellow Daniel Greenfield writes in the introduction,

Our college campuses are becoming miniature ‘Gazas,’ no-go-zones for conservatives and supporters of Israel, where terrorists rule and everyone else is terrified of them.

But the David Horowitz Freedom Center is not about to be intimidated and will not stop exposing these poisonous movements and standing up to them. We will not stop fighting the enemies of civilization because we know who they really are and what they stand for.

Read this report and discover who these enemies are and why we fight to expose and defund them.


Frontpage Editors


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While the Biden administration preserves federal ESG laws, many states are fighting back - Kevin Killough


by Kevin Killough

Riley said that in the first round of warnings, West Virginia was able to get U.S. Bank to reverse their anti-fossil fuel policies. With $657 billion in assets under management, it’s the fifth largest in the nation.


While efforts to push back against environment, social and governance (ESG) policies, on the federal level have run into barriers, many state legislatures are chipping away at it.

ESG rates companies on various markers of progressive-friendly policies related to protecting the environment, diversity in the workplace and community relations. This package of goals is held secondary to shareholder value. Any association with fossil fuel industries quickly gets a fund rated down, but timber industries and gun manufacturing have also faced pressure from the movement.

For state governments — especially those whose revenues and economies are heavily weighted toward fossil fuels — doing business with investment institutions holding anti-fossil fuel ESG policies is shooting themselves in the foot.

For “them to manage our tax dollars while at the same time, through ESG activity, they're trying to diminish those dollars because they don't want those companies to exist — that's a conflict of interest,” West Virginia Treasurer Riley Moore told Just The News. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in 2022, West Virginia was the second-largest coal producer in the nation, after Wyoming, and accounted for 14% of U.S. total coal production.

State legislatures

This week, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted rules regarding climate disclosures, which require publicly traded companies to disclose certain climate-related risk factors. While the final rule scaled back some of its more stringent reporting requirement, critics are skeptical.

“While AXPC [American Exploration & Production Council] is still reviewing the SEC’s rule and sees some improvements, we remain skeptical as to the benefit of its mandated disclosures, including concerns about its feasibility, reasonable comparability, appropriate timelines, as well as considerations regarding cost and impacts to the energy industry,” AXPC CEO Anne Bradbury said in a statement emailed to Just The News.

Last year, Congress passed a bill overturning Department of Labor rules allowing for the use of ESG in investment decisions, and President Joe Biden vetoed the measure, which was the first veto of his presidency.

States, meanwhile, are passing legislation to restrict the ability of ESG to hurt state energy industries.

As of July 2023, 16 states had passed various forms of anti-ESG legislation.

Texas passed two laws in 2021 — considered some of the earliest and most successful state-level anti-ESG legislation — banned government entities from dealing with banks that incorporate anti-fossil fuel or anti-firearms stances in their policy decisions.

The state barred some of its government entities from investing in the approximately 350 funds run by asset managers, such as BlackRock, Inc., which has $10 trillion in assets under management. BlackRock invests in as many as 1,032 "sustainable" funds.

In 2022, West Virginia’s Moore proposed a bill that authorizes the state treasurer to publish a list of financial institutions that have publicly stated they refuse, terminate or limit doing business with coal, oil or natural gas companies without a reasonable business reason.

After the bill’s passage, Moore added five financial institutions to the list of companies that are no longer eligible to enter into state banking contracts with his office.

Late last month, Moore sent letters to six more institutions, warning them of their potential inclusion on the ban list. The institutions have 45 days to demonstrate they are not engaged in a boycott of fossil fuel companies.

Moore said that in the first round of warnings, West Virginia was able to get U.S. Bank to reverse their anti-fossil fuel policies. With $657 billion in assets under management, it’s the fifth largest in the nation.

“I am hopeful that that is going to happen here as well. I don't want to put any banks on the list. It'd be great if they just all got letters and decided to act like a bank, which is really what we're trying to do here at the end of the day, is that banks act like banks and liberate the free market. Keep it free,” Riley said.

Other anti-ESG paths

Wyoming, like West Virginia, derives a large portion of its revenues from oil, gas, and coal.

Efforts to pass two pieces of anti-ESG legislation in 2023 ran into opposition over concerns about how to define what actions would run afoul of state and federal law, and if the law would restrict the state to too small a pool of institutions it could do business with that it would ultimately hurt itself financially.

Moore said concerns that anti-ESG legislation can hurt state finances are baseless.

“There’s a lot of banks out there that you can do business with,” Moore said, pointing to U.S. Bank. “They’re not on the list. They’re not on anybody’s list.”

Wyoming’s ESG opponents have had more luck with passing administrative rules.

In August, after a lengthy debate over definitions and policy language, state officials updated their investment policies to require companies doing business with the state to act in the best financial interest for the state of Wyoming, without political considerations.

More recently, Wyoming Secretary of State Chuck Gray was able to pass an administrative rule that requires investment brokers, broker dealers, and securities agents doing business with the state to disclose to their clients that they’re using ESG principles.

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon had vetoed sections of Gray’s rule. According to Cowboy State Daily, Gordon was concerned that some sections were outside the scope of regulatory authority guaranteed under Wyoming law and likely to go against federal laws.

“While I agree that ESG investment guidance is improper and misleading, the answer to too much government interference in our lives is not more government,” Gordon said in a statement explaining his decisions.

Gray told Just The News that he was “disappointed” in the governor’s decision.

“Our rules were simply a common sense measure to protect consumers from the radical left ESG agenda. Wyomingites deserve to know how their money is being invested. Talk is cheap. But in this unprecedented era of woke ESG investing, which targets both our state and our key industries, it is essential that our elected officials actually stand up and protect investors and the natural resource industries our state has been blessed with,” Gray said.

Gray said, despite the governor’s line-item vetoes, the rules were still a good “starting point” and he would continue to fight against the “radical left-wing clown-show that is ESG investing.”

Other state-level efforts have been pursued outside legislation. On Wednesday, a coalition of 16 state attorney generals led by Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, sent a letter to Wells Fargo, which has $603 billion in assets under management, threatening to investigate the bank for allegedly “debanking,” meaning it chooses not to do business with companies — namely gun manufacturers and fossil fuel industries — out of political considerations.

“Wells Fargo is pushing the Biden administration's anti-gun and anti-traditional energy policies and discriminating against customers who don't fall in line with their political beliefs. As attorney general, it's my job to protect Montanans from discriminatory business practices,” Knudsen said in a statement emailed to Just The News.

Pro-ESG efforts

While many states are fighting against ESG, several blue states have passed legislation to facilitate it. Illinois requires state retirement fund regulators to publish annual reports explaining how they’re meeting sustainability goals and how they factor into their decision making.

In May 2023, Minnesota passed legislation that requires banking institutions and credit unions with more than $1 billion in assets to complete climate risk disclosure surveys. Also in May 2023, Colorado passed a similar law for the state’s large insurers.

California passed two climate disclosure laws last year, but E&E News reported that Gov. Gavin Newsom didn’t allocate money for their enforcement, suggesting that implementation of the laws will be delayed.

These states, however, are exceptions. The bulk of state-level ESG legislation that has passed or been considered seeks to rein in the use of the measures in state business. It’s expected that coming legislative sessions will see more state laws pushing back against ESG measures.

“It’s really a team effort, a coalition effort,” Moore said.

Kevin Killough


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Thursday, March 7, 2024

Gallant: Hamas cannot continue to exist as terror army or regime - Yaakov Lappin


by Yaakov Lappin

Defense minister says Israel to pursue Hamas “across the Middle East” • In Gaza, elite Israeli commandos and Shin Bet intelligence coordinators clear “Hamad towers” of terrorists • Some 250 enemy combatants surrender.


Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant in Jerusalem on Dec. 26, 2023. Photo by Chaim Goldberg/Flash90.
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant in Jerusalem on Dec. 26, 2023. Photo by Chaim Goldberg/Flash90.

Hamas cannot be allowed to continue to exist as a political regime or terrorist-military entity, and Israel will pursue them “everywhere, across all of Judea and Samaria, in the Middle East—everywhere,” Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant vowed on Wednesday.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s terrorists walking with uniforms and weapons, or those who wear suits and pretend to be politicians—all of them,” he emphasized in an apparent reference to both Hamas’s terror operatives in the Gaza Strip and overseas leaders.

“This murderous entity called Hamas will be pursued by the State of Israel—its warriors, everywhere, in every way. We are at the end of a period and at the beginning of a period; the trajectory that we set in these days will be the one that leads us years forward and the way we live in the Middle East,” he said.

Speaking at the Bnei David pre-military academy in the community of Eli, in the Binyamin Regional Council of Judea and Samaria, Gallant spoke with the academy’s rabbis and heard about graduates killed in action in Gaza in the war against Hamas.

“I meet the academy’s students time and again in Gaza, in the north, and in Judea and Samaria, and also in other places in Israel’s most secret operations. I think there’s a special spirit here. But this spirit also involves a heavy price, which on one hand evokes pride, and on the other hand has an aspect of pain and suffering that are extraordinary for the families and also for the students, and certainly, for the rabbis, it’s not a trivial matter,” said Gallant.

“In this place, something else is happening—we are in the study hall, and I think that faith and Torah study are the most fundamental foundation of the people of Israel, and when I see that it is being maintained alongside a similar excellence in the battlefield, I want to tell you that as the Minister of Defense, I am proud that there are soldiers like you in the IDF who hold a weapon in one hand and study from the book in the other hand,” he continued.

“I think that this reflects something very deep of a connection of faith and capability,” the defense minister added. “The ability to continue to study, and on the other hand to be able to defend the State of Israel and what we have, is proof that without physical existence, there is no spiritual existence. This is true at the individual level and it is true at the national level.”

IDF, Hamad City, Gaza Strip
Israeli troops operating in the Gaza Strip on March 4, 2024. Credit: IDF.

‘Moving from building to building’

Meanwhile, in Gaza, the IDF’s 98th Division continued operations in the Hamad City area in western Khan Yunis, eliminating terrorists there.

Soldiers of the elite Maglan and Egoz units of the Commando Brigade, in cooperation with Shayetet 13 naval commandos, “arrived covertly in the area and began moving from building to building together with the ISA [the Israel Security Agency, or Shin Bet] coordinators through terrorist infrastructure in ‘Hamad Towers,’ which are significant multi-story buildings in the area used by the Hamas terrorist organization,” the IDF said in a statement.

The forces apprehended many terrorists who surrendered, including a Hamas sniper-cell commander and two Hamas squad commanders, the military said.

In addition, the soldiers located numerous weapons, including Kalashnikov rifles, grenades, vests, RPGs, explosives, ammunition, explosive kits and diving systems intended for military-terrorist use.

IDF combat teams from the 7th Armored Brigade and the Givati Brigade also sealed off terror installations in the area and began moving into new areas in Khan Yunis.

The 7th Brigade, in cooperation with Military Intelligence’s Unit 504—responsible for human intelligence—and the Shin Bet apprehended some 250 terrorists from Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad since beginning operations in the area, the military said.

 Some of the terrorists apprehended took part in the Oct. 7 massacre of 1,200 men, women and children in the western Negev, and some are members of Hamas’s elite Nukhba force, according to the IDF.

“The terrorists are being interrogated and are providing information that assists the continuation of the combat,” it stated.

Also on Wednesday, IDF troops, acting on Shin Bet intelligence, eliminated Omar Atiya Daruish Aladdiny, a Hamas terrorist responsible for rocket fire in the area of the central camps in the Gaza Strip. Aladdiny was a Hamas operative for several decades, responsible for embedding its rocket arsenal in Gaza and firing rockets at Israel since “Operation Cast Lead” (2008-09), up to and including the current war, the military stated.

Aladdiny also played a central role in the preparations for the mass-murder spree on Oct. 7, according to the IDF. During the war, he directed rocket launches towards Israeli civilian areas, including Tel Aviv and communities in the south, and was responsible for heavy fire directed at IDF ground troops in Gaza, the military said.

Furthermore, in response to recent rocket fire towards southern Israel, including the city of Sderot, ground and air units conducted joint strikes on Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad targets in the area of Jabalia in northern Gaza, the military said.

In the north, a Hezbollah suicide drone infiltrated Israeli airspace from Lebanon on Wednesday, flying over the Metula area before exploding. There were no injuries in the attack, the IDF stated.

Later on Wednesday, Israeli Air Force fighter jets struck a Hezbollah military structure in the area of Yaroun and an additional military structure in the area of Kafra, both in Southern Lebanon.

Separately, the IDF said it struck a target in Kfarhamam, also in Southern Lebanon, “to prevent an immediate threat.”

Yaakov Lappin


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