Israel Brief August 20, 2014: Hamas admits kidnapping Israeli teens

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Hamas admits kidnapping Israeli teens

 Source: JTA, 8-20-14

Hamas admits kidnapping Israeli teens

A senior Hamas official acknowledged that the Hamas military wing was behind the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in June…READ MORE

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Full Text Israel Political Brief June 29, 2014: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet Meeting on Radical Islamic Movements in Israel, Rocket Attacks from Gaza and Search for three Kidnapped Teens

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PM Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet Meeting

Source: PMO, 6-29-14
יום ראשון א’ תמוז תשע”ד

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, made the following remarks at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting:

“Over there weekend there was a demonstration in Umm Al-Fahm in which infuriating calls and support for abducting IDF soldiers were heard. Most Israeli Arabs do not take this view and I call on their leaders to be courageous and strongly condemn such calls. As Israelis we cannot countenance such outrageous remarks that call for abducting Israeli soldiers. IDF soldiers protect all of us. We cannot accept infuriating calls to abduct IDF soldiers.

In many cases, those behind such calls and demonstrations are from the northern branch of the Islamic Movement. It constantly preaches against the State of Israel and its people publicly identify with terrorist organizations such as Hamas. Therefore, I directed the relevant authorities to consider declaring the northern branch of the Islamic Movement an illegal organization. This would give the security authorities significant tools in the struggle against this movement.

Over the weekend, the IDF attacked multiple targets in response to firing at Israel from the Gaza Strip .
We are ready to expand this operation as per need. I would like to reiterate that from the moment the Palestinian unity government was established with the Hamas terrorist organization, the Palestinian Authority became responsible for preventing firing at our territory from the Gaza Strip.

Over the weekend, the ISA revealed the identities of those responsible for the abduction of our three youths – Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frankel and we are continuing to do our utmost to bring them home safely.

Immediately after the abduction, we said that Hamas was responsible. I think that it is now clear to everyone what we based ourselves. Abu Mazen says that he opposes abductions; he says that he wants to proceed on the path to peace. If he stands by what he says, there is only one way to advance peace – and that is to tear up his agreement with Hamas.”

 

Full Text Israel Political Brief March 9, 2014: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of Weekly Cabinet Meeting on Iranian Weapons Ship to Gaza

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PM Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of Weekly Cabinet Meeting

Source: PMO, 3-9-14
יום ראשון ז’ אדר ב תשע”ד

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting:

“The Iranian weapons ship reached Israel last night. The operation to seize the ship  had two goals: Preventing the delivery of deadly weapons to terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip, which would have directly endangered Israel’s citizens, and exposing the true face of Iran, which was behind this weapons shipment . Iran completely denies its involvement; it is lying in the most brazen manner. We will present evidence of this tomorrow and later.

I call this to the attention of Catherine Ashton, who is now visiting Tehran. I would like to ask her if she asked her Iranian hosts about this shipment of weapons for terrorist organizations, and if not, why not. Nobody has the right to ignore the true and murderous actions of the regime in Tehran. I think that it would be proper for the international community to give its opinion regarding Iran’s true policy, not its propaganda.”

Full Text Israel Political Brief March 5, 2014: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Statement on the IDF Seizure of an Iranian Arms Ship in the Red Sea to Gaza

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Statement by PM Benjamin Netanyahu on the IDF Seizure of an Iranian Arms Ship in the Red Sea

Source: PMO, 3-5-14

יום רביעי ג’ אדר ב תשע”ד

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a series of security consultations prior to approving the IDF action that began this morning.

After the seizure of the ship, the Prime Minister spoke with Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz and Mossad Director Tamir Pardo and praised them for the quality intelligence that led to the action and for the precision with the operation was carried out. Prime Minister Netanyahu said: “I would like to commend the IDF, the intelligence services of the State of Israel and – of course – the navy commanders and personnel who carried out a perfect operation to intercept a secret Iranian weapons ship. At a time when it is talking to the major powers, Iran smiles and says all sorts of nice things, the same Iran is sending deadly weapons to terrorist organizations and is doing so via a ramified network of secret operations in order to send rockets, missiles and other deadly weapons that will be used to harm innocent citizens. This is the true Iran and this state cannot possess nuclear weapons. We will continue to whatever is necessary in order to defend Israel’s citizens.”

Israel Brief February 26, 2013: Southern Israel hit by Gaza rocket for first time in 3 months

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Southern Israel hit by Gaza rocket for first time in 3 months

Source: JTA, 2-26-13

A rocket fired from Gaza hit southern Israel for the first time in three months….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief February 14, 2013: Gazans Attack Security Fence near Beit Hanoun

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Gazans Attack Security Fence near Beit Hanoun

Source: Arutz Sheva, 2-14-13

Rioting Gaza residents attacked the Gaza security fence near the northern town of Beit Hanoun, Thursday, according to a spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces who was quoted by Agence France Presse….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief February 12, 2013: Israel to allow Turkish construction material into Gaza

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Israel to allow Turkish construction material into Gaza

Source: JTA, 2-12-13

Israel has agreed to allow Turkish trucks carrying construction materials into the Gaza Strip for the construction of a hospital….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief November 28, 2012: Nobel winners call for military boycott of Israel

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Nobel winners call for military boycott of Israel

Source: JTA, 11-28-12

A group of Nobel Peace Prize laureates joined artists and activists in signing an open letter calling for an international military boycott of Israel following this month’s Gaza conflict….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief November 27, 2012: PMO Director-General Harel Locker Tours Communities in the Area Adjacent to the Gaza Strip and Ashdod

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PMO Dir.-Gen. Harel Locker Tours Communities in the Area Adjacent to the Gaza Strip and Ashdod

Photo by GPO

Prime Minister’s Office Director-General Harel Locker, who was appointed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to head the Government team on ensuring that the needs of the residents and communities that were affected by Operation Pillar of Defense are dealt with quickly, today toured communities adjacent to the Gaza Strip and Ashdod.

The team’s work in the days since the conclusion of the operation was presented at the discussion that PMO Dir.-Gen. Locker held today with the heads of the communities adjacent to the Gaza Strip (Sderot and the Eshkol, Sha’ar Hanegev, Sdot Negev and Ashkelon Coast regional councils) and senior officials from the relevant Government ministries, at the Eshkol Regional Council offices. He noted that in addition to the immediate response by the tax authorities regarding compensation for direct damages, the Knesset Finance Committee today approved directives on compensation for indirect damages (loss of work days and compensation for businesses). As per Prime Minister Netanyahu’s instructions, an outline for quicker-than-usual compensation was formulated and approved. Locker also said that a preliminary NIS 15 million aid package has been approved for local authorities in the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip. In education, a plan is currently being formulated on restoring lost classroom hours; the emotional needs of children and young people are also being met. The team also discussed ways to encourage commercial activity and tourism in the area.

Locker underscored the great importance of assisting area residents and local councils and asked all Government ministries to continue joining in the effort. “The fact that we are meeting for the second time within a few days expresses our commitment to the residents and communities of the south. We must work to quickly normal life,” he said.

In his meeting with Ashdod Mayor Dr. Yehiel Lasri and senior municipality officials, and after visiting a building that took a direct hit by a rocket, Locker said, “The directive from the Prime Minister, on whose behalf I have come here today, is to work for the welfare of the residents of the area and deal with the problems that have arisen since the operation in a generous, efficient and rapid manner and in a way that minimizes the bureaucratic process. There is no doubt that the strength of the city of Ashdod stems from the national resilience of its residents, as well as from the defense afforded by Iron Dome and other protective measures. Naturally, we will continue to assist in its development, economic prosperity and excellent functioning.”

The work of PMO Dir.-Gen. Locker’s team follows up on recent Government decisions such as those to approve full protection for all communities 4.5-7 kilometers from the Gaza Strip, to approve an allocation of NIS 7.6 million in order to complete the financing of building protected daycare centers in communities with 0-7 kilometers from the Gaza Strip and to approve economic benefits for Sderot and the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip for 2013. These decisions complete the strategy of national resilience in the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip: A combination of diplomatic, security and civilian components that strengthens the fortitude of the residents and councils in the area.

Israel Political Brief November 21, 2012: At least 116 rockets strike Israel on operation’s eighth day

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At least 116 rockets strike Israel on operation’s eighth day

Source: JTA, 11-21-12

At least 116 rockets struck southern Israel on the eighth day of the country’s Operation Pillar of Defense against terrorists in Gaza….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief November 21, 2012: 1,408 Missiles in 8 Days Fired by Gaza at Israel

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1,408 Missiles in 8 Days Fired by Gaza at Israel

As the 8-day holiday of Hanukkah approaches, Israel marks the eighth day of Operation Pillar of Defense by counting the missiles fired.

Source: INN, 11-21-12

Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorists and affiliated terrorist groups have fired 1,408 missiles and rockets at Israel since the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense, eight days ago.

Of those fired, 56 missiles have struck populated areas in Israel, and 412 have been intercepted and shot down by the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system.

They have varied in ranges from the short-range “homemade” Kassam rockets that reach close to 20-25 kilometers (12.5-15 miles), to medium-range Grad Katyusha missiles that reach up to 40 kilometers (25 miles), and now also include the Iranian Fajr-5 missiles, with a range of 75-80 kilometers (45-48 miles)….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief November 20, 2012: Poll shows gap between Republicans and Democrats in backing Israel in Gaza

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Poll shows gap between Republicans and Democrats in backing Israel in Gaza

Source: JTA, 11-20-12

A CNN poll showed a considerable gap between Republicans and Democrats when it comes to backing Israel in the current Gaza conflict.

In the CNN poll published Monday, respondents were asked whether “Israel was justified or unjustified in taking military action against Hamas and the Palestinians in the area known as Gaza.” Among Democrats, 40 percent said Israel was “justified,” compared to 74 percent of Republicans and 59 percent of independents.

In all, 57 percent of those polled said Israel was justified in launching the operation in the Gaza Strip.The poll, carried out by ORC International in 1,023 phone interviews from Nov. 16 to Nov. 18, has a margin of error of 3 percentage points….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief November 20, 2012: Israeli soldier & civilian killed as rockets pound Southern Israel & Jerusalem on seventh day

Israeli soldier, civilian killed as rockets pound Israel for seventh day

Source: JTA, 11-20-12

The Western Wall in Jerusalem is empty of worshipers during an air raid siren indicating a rocket attack from Gaza, Nov. 20, 2012.  (TheKotel.org)
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The Western Wall in Jerusalem is empty of worshipers during an air raid siren indicating a rocket attack from Gaza, Nov. 20, 2012. (TheKotel.org)

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Makoto Otsuka, director general of the Holocaust Education Center in Fukuyama, Japan, with visiting schoolchildren in front of a photo of Anne Frank.

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An Israeli soldier and an Israeli civilian were killed in separate rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip….

More than 140 rockets were fired at southern Israel in the seventh day since the beginning of the operation, including two aimed at Jerusalem. Some 56,000 military reservists have been called up since the beginning of the operation.

An air raid siren sounded in Jerusalem on Tuesday afternoon; two rockets fell in the Gush Etzion area south of the city. Hamas claimed responsibility for the rockets aimed at Jerusalem….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief November 20, 2012: Rockets pound Israel for seventh day

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Rockets pound Israel for seventh day

Source: JTA, 11-20-12

More than 80 rockets were fired at southern Israel in the seventh day since the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense, including two aimed at Jerusalem….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief November 19, 2012: Khaled Mashaal says Benjamin Netanyahu asked for lull; Israel: He’s lying

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Mashaal says Netanyahu asked for lull; Israel: He’s lying

Exiled Hamas leader claims Netanyahu requested truce, but top Israeli official says his comments ‘about as accurate as Hamas’ claims that it downed F-15 or attacked Knesset’

Source: YNet News, 11-19-12

 

שיגורים, נפילות ותקיפות. יום שישי למבצע "עמוד ענן" (צילום:AP)

Day 6 of Operation Pillar of Defense (Photo: AP)

Israel and Hamas agreed on a ceasefire but still disagree on the implementation phases, the Al-Arabiya network quoted unnamed sources as saying Sunday afternoon.

According to the report, Hamas conditioned the agreement on the immediate implementation of a ceasefire, while Israel wants to implement it in two separate phases – apparently a lull in the first stage and the lifting of the naval blockade of Gaza at a later stage.

However, both sides denied the report and accused one another of spreading disinformation. Exiled Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal claimed that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has requested a truce in the Gaza conflict, but a senior Israeli official said in response that “Hamas’s comments about a ceasefire, alleging that Israel is begging for one, are about as accurate as its claims to have shot down an F-15 (warplane) or attacked the Knesset.”….READ MORE

 

Israel Political Brief November 19, 2012: Israel says prefers diplomacy but ready to invade Gaza

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Israel says prefers diplomacy but ready to invade Gaza

Israel bombed dozens of targets in Gaza on Monday and said that while it was prepared to step up its offensive by sending in troops, it preferred a diplomatic solution that would end Palestinian rocket fire from the enclave….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief November 19, 2012: Ceasefire Seems Unlikely, After Khaled Mashaal Speech

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Ceasefire Seems Unlikely, After Mashaal Speech

Hamas claims that Israeli is ‘suing for peace,’ but it is Hamas that is the big loser in this war, says an official

Source: INN, 11-19-12

There may be talk going on about a ceasefire, but Hamas is not interested, said Hamas top terrorist Khaled Mashaal. Speaking in Gaza Monday afternoon, Mashal said that there would be no compromises with Israel. “There may be or may not be an agreement, but that is up to Israel,” he said. “There are efforts by Qatar and Egypt, we are meeting with them every day. But we will not accept any Israeli conditions. If they want a ceasefire, let them stop attacking us. The one who started the violence should end it.”

Instead, he said, Hamas expects Israel to surrender to its demands – specifically the ending of the land and sea blockade around Gaza. “We are not seeking to aggravate the conflict and give the Israelis a reason to invade Gaza,” he said. However, he said, Hamas was prepared for a land operation by the IDF….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief November 19, 2012: Southern Israel remains under steady rocket barrage

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Southern Israel remains under steady rocket barrage

Source: JTA, 11-19-12

Communities in southern Israel came under a steady barrage of rockets and the Israeli military said it inflicted “severe damage on the rocket launching capabilities of terror organizations” as its Operation Pillar of Defense neared the end of its first week……READ MORE

Israel Political Brief November 18, 2012: President Barack Obama: Missile fire from Gaza must stop first

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Obama: Missile fire from Gaza must stop first

Source: JTA, 11-18-12

President Obama told the Egyptian and Turkish leaders that a resolution to the Gaza-Israel violence must begin with an end to rocket fire into Israel….READ MORE

Israel Brief November 18, 2012: Fear, rage and resilience in Kiryat Malachi amid the rocket fire

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Fear, rage and resilience in Kiryat Malachi amid the rocket fire

Source: JTA, 11-18-12

The rocket fire didn’t stop while residents of Kiryat Malachi buried the victims of last week’s fatal rocket attack on the city….READ MORE

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