Gaza – War Crimes Against Humanity, Who are the True Culprits?

Editor’s Note – With all the hand wringing and accusations that Israel was committing war crimes in Gaza, who really is the war criminal? Palestinian supporters who act as if Hamas is a legitimate governmental entity need to learn a lot about the laws of war and what it means to provide support for a terrorist entity.

The only war crimes committed come from perpetrators in Gaza, not from beyond. Every argument the Palestinians/Hamas and their supporters use is actually proof of their own crimes. Collateral damage and death is solely the responsibility of Hamas because they caused the circumstances – with full knowledge and by design. Law is based in intent – Hamas intends to commit war crimes, Israelis intend the opposite, but cannot stand idly by just because they are far stronger.

Gaza and their supporters claim Israel is committing genocide!
Gaza and their supporters claim Israel is committing genocide!

Of course, according to Hamas/Palestinians and their supporters, the actions of Hamas are somehow justified, yet Israel’s responses with force are not. Why? Because Israel is blockading Gaza. Of course, even that accusation has little basis in reality, but since when did reality matter to the romanticism of all things Palestinian?

They forget that Egypt is also participating in the blockade, and aid has been provided by the Israelis and others since Hamas took over and it is the source of all the supplies to create the terror tunnels.

The other question to ask is why UNWRA has failed so miserably, despite billions in aid and 65 years of effort. The answer is that UNWRA is complicit and the UN itself is propagating the problems through dubious accusations to keep the money flowing. What has UNWRA really done since 1949?

UNRWA actually employs many from Hamas in its cottage industry, and it is in their best interests to keep the poor Palestinians stuck in a cycle of misery, much by their own hands. People have spent their entire professional careers working for UNRWA – quite a stable job isn’t it?

Irrational support for Hamas/Palestine (Including other terror organizations in Gaza) is as irrational as accusing Israel of war crimes when no nation on Earth has ever practiced such caution in war. In the article below, we see exactly how the laws of nations in war have been transgressed, repeatedly, for years and years, by the Palestinians and their enablers at UNWRA.

For 90 Minutes, Jewish Leaders Tell UN’s Ban Ki-moon About Hamas Abuses, List 19 War Crimes

By Joshua Levitt – The Algemeiner

For a full 90 minutes on Wednesday, Jewish leaders told United Nations Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon about the litany of abuses of international rules of warfare – 19 in total – by Hamas in Gaza.

HamasHidingPlacesThe group included Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, directors of The Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Anti-Defamation League’s Abraham Foxman, Malcolm Hoenlein of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and representatives from B’nai Brith and Hadassah.

Rabbi Cooper told The Algemeiner on Thursday, “Bottom line, the Jewish world will have to be more proactive on the international stage, not only to defend Israel, but ourselves as well. We will continue to interact with Ban Ki Moon to insure that this important leader will be more responsive.”

In a follow-up note to Ban after their meeting, the SWC rabbis summed up the argument they presented. They said that “we must frankly ask you how many times will the world allow itself to be held hostage by Hamas? This is the third time since 2005 when Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza that Hamas has brought death and destruction to the people of Gaza. Once again they are using the people of Gaza, the civilian infrastructure and UN facilities in its non-stop campaign to terrorize the Jewish state.”

During the 90 minute meeting, according to Rabbi Cooper, the SWC urged the UN to announce an official inquiry into the use of various UNRWA schools by Hamas to store and launch rockets for the benefit of the UN’s own reputation. They also called on the UN not to permit the UNRWA to supervise the billions in reconstruction funds expected for Gaza.

“The systematic hijacking of previous aid, cement, and building materials by Hamas to build an underground superhighway of terror is scandalous and a violation of the wishes of the donors who did not contribute funds for rockets or tunnels,” they said. “Those who failed to stop such theft and serial abuse of humanitarian aid, must be held accountable and should not have any involvement in supervising or dispersing of future funds.”

They also said that work shouldn’t begin until “the total disarming of Hamas and the destruction of all of the thousands of rockets and missiles Hamas still harbors.”

The Jewish human rights group that works to protect Jews against anti-Semitism also raised that core issue with Ban. “There has been an explosion of anti-Semitism and genocidal hatred against Israel from Europe to Australia,” they said. “Rather than denouncing this toxic situation Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, contributed to it by being so rabidly one-sided in her criticisms of Israel.”

“During her tenure there was no effort to investigate previous crimes against humanity by Hamas, including its own admission that 160 Palestinian children died building their terrorism tunnels. Her behavior demands a public censure from the Secretary General.”rocket-fired-by-gaza-terrorists-in-palestine-towards-israel

They asked that “with a human rights disaster of epic proportions in Syria, with ethnic cleansing in Iraq, with a difficult situation in Ukraine and with continuing human rights outrages in North Korea,” the upcoming UN General Assembly “not be allowed to degenerate into an anti-Israel hate fest,” and noted that the UNGA will coincide with the Jewish High Holy Days.

“Anymore demonization of Israel emanating from the halls of the United Nations will only contribute to anti-Semitism globally,” they said.

To hammer home their point about Hamas violating human rights, although Israel is accused of doing so by the UN Human Rights Commission, the SWC rabbis left Ban with a detailed list they compiled of the 19 violations made by Hamas, with full notes and citations for Ban to reflect upon.

In further comments to The Algemeiner, Rabbi Cooper said Ban “refused to get involved with the travesty at UN Human Rights Council.”

Read the SWC’s list of Hamas’s 19 violations of the rules of war:

1) Hamas’ rocket attacks directed at Israel’s civilian population centers deliberately violates the basic principles of distinction (Additional Protocol I, arts. 48, 51(2), 52(1).) Any doubt about this is resolved by the fact that Hamas itself has boasted of its intention to hit population centres. It is well accepted in customary international law that intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population as such or against individual civilians not taking part in hostilities constitutes a war crime. (Rome Statute, art. 8(2)(b)(i))

Shujaiya-32) Staging of Attacks From Residential Areas and Protected Sites: The Law of Armed Conflict not only prohibits targeting an enemy’s civilians; it also requires parties to an armed conflict to distinguish their combatant forces from their own civilians, and not to base operations in or near civilian structures, especially protected sites such as schools, medical facilities and places of worship. As the customary law principle is reflected in Article 51(7) of Additional Protocol I: The presence or movements of the civilian population or individual civilians shall not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations, in particular attempts to shield military objectives from attacks or shield, favor or impede military operations.

3) Use of Civilian Homes and Public Institutions as Bases of Operation – see (2) for citations.

4) Misuse of Medical Facilities and Ambulances – Any time Hamas uses an ambulance to transport its fighters it is violating the Law of Armed Conflict: Under Article 23(f) of the 1907 Regulations annexed to the Hague Convention IV Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, which reflects customary international law, it is especially forbidden … [t]o make improper use of a flag of truce, … as well as the distinctive badges of the Geneva Convention. Article 44 of the First Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field (1949)also provides that: … the emblem of the Red Cross on a white ground … may not be employed, either in time of peace or in time of war, except to indicate or to protect the medical units and establishments…

5) Booby-trapping of Civilian Areas – see (2) for citations.

6) Blending in with Civilians and Use of Human Shields – As the ICRC rule states, lilt can be concluded that the use of human shields requires an intentional co-location of military objectives and civilians or persons hors de combat with the specific intent of trying to prevent the targeting of those military objectives.

7) Exploitation of Children – Hamas has paramilitary summer camps for kids. There are reports, from this war and previous ones, of children fighting and being used for tunnel digging. violates the Law of Armed Conflict, including prohibitions against allowing children to take part in hostilities. As customary international law is reflected in this regard in Additional Protocol I, the parties to a conflict must take “all feasible measures” to ensure that children lido not take a direct part in hostilities and, in particular, they shall refrain from recruiting them into their armed forces. (Additional Protocol I, art. 77(2))UNWRA

8 ) Interference with Humanitarian Relief Efforts – While Israel kept its end of humanitarian truces. Hamas used them to shoot rockets into Israel, including the Kerem Shalom crossing where humanitarian goods are brought into Gaza. All of these actions violate the Law of Armed Conflict, which requires parties to allow the entry of humanitarian supplies and to guarantee their safety. Article 59 of the Fourth Geneva Convention requires parties in an armed conflict to permit the free passage of [humanitarian] consignments and shall guarantee their protection. Article 60 of the same Convention protects the shipments from being diverted from their intended purpose, something Hamas has certainly done in the past and is reported to have done in this conflict as well.

9) Hostage-taking – The Fourth Geneva Conventions, article 34, says flatly “The taking of hostages is prohibited.” This is not an “arrest” as Israel-haters claim, and this is not a prisoner of war situation as Hamas has made clear – the purpose of Hamas’ hostage-taking falls under the definition on the International Convention Against the Taking of Hostages: “Any person who seizes or detains and threatens to kill, to injure or to continue to detain another person (hereinafter referred to as the “hostage “) in order to compel a third party, namely, a State, an international intergovernmental organization, a natural or juridical person, or a group of persons, to do or abstain from doing any act as an explicit or implicit condition for the release of the hostage commits the offence of taking of hostages (“hostage-taking ‘) within the meaning of this Convention.

10) Using the uniform of the enemy – Additional Protocol I prohibits the use of enemy flags, military emblems, insignia or uniforms “while engaging in attacks or in order to shield, favour, protect or impede military operations”. [3] Under the Statute of the International Criminal Court, “making improper use … of the flag or of the military insignia and uniform of the enemy” constitutes a war crime in international armed conflicts when it results in death or serious personal injury. [4] According to some, this is considered perfidy, a war crime. (h/t Joshua)

11) Violence aimed at spreading terror among the civilian population – Rule 2 of ICRC’s Customary IHL is Acts or threats of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited. II It quotes Article 51(2) of Additional Protocol I prohibits “acts or threats of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population”. Hamas rockets are aimed not only at killing civilians, but also at spreading terror among Israelis.

12)Targeting civilian objects, such as airports or nuclear power plants – Rule 7 of the Customary IHL says “Attacks must not be directed against civilian objects, quoting Articles 48 and 52(2)of Additional Protocol I.

Who started the need for a blockade, and who wasted millions on tunnels?
Who started the need for a blockade, and who wasted millions on tunnels?

13. Indiscriminate attacks – Besides targeting civilians and civilian objects, Rule 11 of the ICRC CIHL states flatly that “Indiscriminate attacks are prohibited. II By definition, every Qassam rocket attack and most of the other rocket and mortar attacks are by their very nature indiscriminate. See also Rule 71, “The use of weapons which are by nature indiscriminate is prohibited.

14) Proportionality in attack – ICRC’s Rule 14 states “Launching an attack which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated, is prohibited. Rocket attacks against civilians have zero military advantage, so by definition they are disproportionate to their military advantage. See also Rule 18: “Each party to the conflict must do everything feasible to assess whether the attack may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated.

15)Advance Warning – Rule 20 of the ICRC CIHL states “Each party to the conflict must give effective advance warning of attacks which may affect the civilian population, unless circumstances do not permit. Given that Hamas has used the media and SMS calls to threaten Israelis, it is clear that they have the ability to warn before every rocket attack. Their failure to do so is a violation of IHL.

16) Protecting civilians – Rule 22 of the ICRC Customary IHL states, “The parties to the conflict must take all feasible precautions to protect the civilian population and civilian objects under their control against the effects of attacks. Hamas not only has failed to protect civilians in Gaza by building bomb shelters, they have deliberately put civilians in harm’s way.

17) Attacking medical units – Rule 28 states, Medical units exclusively assigned to medical purposes must be respected and protected in all circumstances. Hamas has shot mortars at the Israeli field hospital, set up for Gazans, near the Erez crossing.

18) Protection of Journalists – Hamas has threatened journalists, implicitly and explicitly, accusing some of being spies and sometimes not allowing them to leave Gaza, making them effectively hostages. Rule 34 states “Civilian journalists engaged in professional missions in areas of armed conflict must be respected and protected as long as they are not taking a direct part in hostilities.

19) Mistreating the dead. Rule 113 says, Each party to the conflict must take all possible measures to prevent the dead from being despoiled. Mutilation of dead bodies is prohibited. Hamas has shown off an alleged chip cut out from the (presumably) dead body of Shaul Orono.

Leaked Tape – Did Obama Get Dismissive and Back Hamas?

Editor’s Note – Earlier today, a breaking news story from Israel, reported by numerous sources, claimed an American leaked a transcript and/or tape of the actual conversation between Obama and Netanyahu on Sunday that caught everyone’s attention.

It also caused an almost immediate declaration from the White House and the Department of State, and then later from Netanyahu’s office that it was fabricated.

Tweets and ‘retweets’ from Ben Rhodes at the White House and Marie Harf at State read:rocket-fired-by-gaza-terrorists-in-palestine-towards-israel

The US v the Israeli media day 3 RT @marieharf: RT @rhodes44 This “transcript of POTUS-PM call” report is totally false

Marie Harf @marieharf RT @rhodes44 This “transcript of POTUS-PM call” report is totally false

The initial story from Arutz Sheva is posted below and it was showing how Obama had thrown Israel under the bus in favor of Hamas and the Gazan terrorists residing with them.

We ask you to judge, but lately, who is more believable, especially since Hamas declared they will not do a cease-fire or disarm anyway.

It appears, if true, that there is no longer a question – Obama has officially taken the side of Hamas over Israel. On that call, Obama was treating Netanyahu as if he were an underling of the US government by his tone and the way he was making demands.

We at SUA are leaning toward it being true, especially after Kerry’s debacle earlier .

The White House and the State Department are still saying this is completely false and never happened, but now we are learning that not only was it true, it was actually worse. In an email from IMRA, we read:

Truth is worse than the denied Oren Nahari reports on Obama Netanyahu conversation Dr. Aaron Lerner – IMRA 29 July 2014

American and Israeli officials charged that the transcript reported below is a fabrication.

In truth, the White House press release describing the conversation is far worse than the transcript presented by Oren Nahari.

According to the White House press release “The President stressed the U.S. view that, ultimately, any lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must ensure the disarmament of terrorist groups and the demilitarization of Gaza.”

US President Barack Obama and Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Washington. Photo: REUTERS
US President Barack Obama and Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Washington. Photo: REUTERS

While the EU declares that the terrorists in the Gaza Strip should be disarmed, Mr. Obama doesn’t see the demilitarization of Gaza before there is a “lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”.

Put bluntly: if we don’t agree to divide Jerusalem then Hamas can keep its rockets.

So while this transcript has Mr. Obama arguing with Netanyahu over the choice of mediators, the White House has Mr. Obama stating for the record that the demilitarization of Gaza is off the agenda until Israel can reach a “lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”.

In this case the truth is worse than what is now claimed to be fiction.”

So you can see, Obama wants Israel to fall on its sword before it will try to force Hamas and friends to disarm – again, its Israel’s fault this is not ending.

Obama and Kerry say there is no space between the US and Israel, and that they back Israel completely, but those words are countered by other words and actions.

They are also belied by tone and tenor of communication. Read more here at the Jerusalem Post, you decide.

In Leaked Tape, Hostile Obama Tries to Force PM to Accept Truce

US president markedly unfriendly, interrupted prime minister as he attempted to push unfavorable truce on Israel.

By Ari Soffer – Arutz Sheva

Damning evidence has emerged of US President Barack Obama’s dismissal of Israel’s position in favor of supporting the position of Hamas and its allies during ceasefire talks.

A “senior US official” leaked an audio recording of a telephone conversation between Obama and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to Channel One.

In it the 35-minute conversation, which took place on Sunday, the US President appears downright hostile at points, and even cuts off Netanyahu in the middle of his protestations over a one-sided truce proposal which would have seen Hamas receive all its key demands, but that Israel ultimately rejected.

The following is an excerpt of the conversation, published in Hebrew by Channel One:NetBHOKerry

Obama: I demand that Israel agrees to an immediate, unilateral ceasefire and halt all offensive activities – particularly airstrikes.

Netanyahu: What will Israel receive in return for a ceasefire?

Obama: I believe that Hamas will stop firing rockets – silence will be met with silence.

Netanyahu: Hamas violated all five previous ceasefires, it is a terrorist organization which is dedicated to the destruction of Israel.

Obama: I repeat and expect Israel to unilaterally stop all its military activity. The pictures of destruction from Gaza distance the world from Israel’s position.

Netanyahu: Kerry’s proposal was completely unrealistic and gives Hamas the military and diplomatic advantage.

Obama: Within a week of the end of Israel’s military activities, Qatar and Turkey will begin negotiations with Hamas on the basis of the 2012 understanding [following the end of Operation Pillar of Defense – ed.], including Israel’s commitment to removing the siege and restrictions on Gaza,

Netanyahu: Qatar and Turkey are the biggest supporters of Hamas. It is impossible to rely on them to be fair mediators.

Obama: I trust Qatar and Turkey, and Israel is in no position to choose its mediators.

Netanyahu: I object, because Hamas is able to continue and to fire rockets and to use tunnels for terror attacks…

Obama – interrupts Netanyahu mid-sentence: The ball is in Israel’s court – it is obligated to end all military activities.

The Channel One journalist who received the tape emphasized that at other points during the conversation there were more “positive” word exchanged between the two, such as Obama repeating America’s commitment to Israel’s security.

But those words will ring hollow to Israelis, considering that the proposal put together by John Kerry, Qatar and Turkey did not address a single one of Israel’s demands and – as alluded to by Obama himself – relied on little more than the goodwill of Hamas to stop firing rockets.

This, despite the group (which the US itself lists as a terrorist organization) being unabashedly committed to the destruction of the State of Israel and the genocide of all Israeli Jews.

For his part, earlier on Tuesday John Kerry claimed that Prime MinisterNetanyahu had in fact approached him to ask him to help hammer out a ceasefire deal, after previous truce proposals were rejected by Hamas.

If that was indeed the case what resulted could hardly have been whatNetanyahu had in mind: a joint initiative with two states overtly hostile towards Israel, concluding in a draft proposal which would have granted Hamas all of its key conditions – including the opening of air and sea ports and the total lifting on Israel’s security blockade – but which addressed Israel’s “security concerns” in only the vaguest possible terms.

US Judge Finds Iran/NK Liable in 2006 Missile Attacks on Israel

Editor’s Note – Who is responsible for the latest missile barrages from Gaza on the innocents in Israel? The same folks as in 2006, 2009, 2012… Iran, NK, but unnamed as yet, Qatar!

hamasrally2At least someone in government understands what is happening in the Middle East. A Federal Judge in the US finds for the plaintiffs over damages for the 2006 missile attacks on Israel then like now – North Korea and Iran LOSE! They will never collect likely, but the court did find out who was responsible.

Attention MSNBC – It is not about the “poor Palestinians” – or the civilians in Gaza, it is about state sponsored terrorism. By the way, those civilians in Gaza are either human shields, Hamas family members, sympathizers, and people of all ages indoctrinated into Hamas mentality and goals.

Yes there are some who were in the wrong place and wrong time, but most were every bit the soldier as if they wore a uniform, certainly not Israel’s fault. Collateral damage is always avoided to a fault with Israel, but are they really civilians?gaza-rocket

Also, remember this week, Iran is the country that John Kerry just released billions of frozen assets for a four month extension on nuclear talks. Also, the Obama administration just gave the Palestinians in Gaza $47 million in “relief” funds. Last we knew, Hamas is listed as a terror organization. Who again do you represent Mr. Kerry?

Judge finds North Korea, Iran liable for missile damages

A federal judge on Wednesday found North Korea and Iran liable for damages caused by a series of missile attacks on Israel in 2006.

The two countries are liable because they “provided material support and assistance to the Hezbollah terrorists who fired the rockets at Israel,” U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth concluded. A special master will now be assigned to determine the amount of damages that will be assessed; collecting the money owed, of course, will be a different matter.

john-kerry-chris-wallace

In his 18-page decision, Lamberth said “there can be no doubt that North Korea and Iran provided material support” to Hezbollah.

“North Korea provided Hezbollah with advanced weapons, expert advice and construction assistance in hiding these weapons in underground bunkers, and training in utilizing these weapons and bunkers to cause terrorist rocket attacks on Israel’s civilian population,” Lamberth wrote, “and Iran financed North Korea’s assistance and helped transport weapons to Hezbollah.”

Indeed, Lamberth’s decision in a case first filed on behalf of Chaim Kaplan and other survivors and family members in 2009 is a primer, of sorts, on the linkages between Iran, North Korea and Hezbollah.

“Hezbollah members began travelling to North Korea for specialist instruction as early as the late

1980s,” Lamberth noted. “Hezbollah General-Secretary Hassan Nasrallah himself visited North Korea for training purposes during this time.”

Lamberth added that Among other noted Hezbollah members who underwent training in North Korea was Mustafa Badreddine, who served as the movement’s counter-espionage chief in the 2006 war, as well as the head of Hezbollah’s security and intelligence service.

 

Israel, Gaza – Rockets Fly, We Must Not Lose Focus on Iran

Editor’s Note – It sure is a “noisy” world of late. Each week we see the overwhelming information fly by, and just when we think it got busy, events ramp up by an order of magnitude. The blur cannot be allowed to take focus off of important events that seem to have taken a back seat, especially in the American Media.

As the world searches for the missing Malaysian flight 370, the 777 missing for almost a week; as Vladimir Putin appears to have won Crimea without a single bullet drawing blood outside of Kiev; as the IRS/Lois Lerner Scandal blooms, as Benghazi remains unsolved, and the carnage in Syria continues unabated, another Obama/Kerry foreign policy fiasco unfolds. John Kerry, how is that “framework” working out for all parties now?

This week, the Israelis captured a Panamanian flagged vessel, the Klos-C was shipping tons of Iranian arms to Gaza. On Monday, Netayahu revealed:

Israel Navy ships brought a commercial vessel found carrying powerful Iranian rockets to Eilat Port on Saturday evening. The IDF is to carry out a close inspection of the ship and study the weapons on board, which were destined for the Gaza Strip.
Israel Navy ships brought a commercial vessel found carrying powerful Iranian rockets to Eilat Port on Saturday evening.

Netanyahu unveiled the massive arsenal of weapons that Israeli Navy commandos seized aboard the arms ship Klos-C, which was intercepted in the Red Sea last week. The Israeli military announced on Sunday that it offloaded 40 M-302 missiles, 181 122-mm mortars and 400,000 7.62 caliber bullets from the containers aboard the ship. (From Algemeiner.)

Netanyahu even pockets a bullet from the capture:

While presenting to worldwide media outlets on Monday the weapons seized from an Iranian arms ship last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was filmed pocketing one of the estimated 400,000 bullets found on board, Israel’s Channel 2 reported.

Netanyahu intends to show the projectile to world leaders as evidence of the Islamic Republic’s active involvement in the arming of terrorist organizations, Channel 2 said. (Read the rest at Algemeiner.)

Then Palestinian Hamas terrorists in Gaza launched on Israel and Netanyahu promised retaliation:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday evening at a press conference in Jerusalem that Israel will respond “forcefully” to the barrage of at least 60 rockets that were fired at southern Israel earlier in the day, Israel’s Walla reported.

“If there won’t be quiet in the south, there will be noise in Gaza, and this is an understatement,” the prime minister promised. “We will not be deterred from harming those who try to harm us, and we will continue to respond forcefully against terrorists in the Gaza Strip.” (Read the rest here at Algemeiner.)

Not only did Israel respond with its own rockets, by a factor of less than one-third, they also prepared for a possible incursion:

IDF tanks fired into Gaza over the past several minutes, and have already eliminated two terror targets, in response to the barrage of rocket fire on Israel.  At least 60 rockets slammed into southern Israel on Wednesday, hitting several Jewish communities. (Read more at Arutz-Sheva.)

Peace in “Palestine,” not as long as there are people calling themselves “Palestinians!” Mr. Kerry – Middle East lesson number [XXX, too many to count], it is not going to work as long as there are “Palestinians.”

If the “Palestinians” disarmed today, peace would break out, if Israel disarmed, there would be no more Israel – funny how that works Mr. Kerry, Mr. Obama!

Rockets launched from Gaza Strip answered with Israeli airstrikes

By Batsheva Sobelman and Rushdi Abu Alouf – LA Times

JERUSALEM–In the heaviest barrage in more than a year, dozens of rockets were launched at southern Israel from the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, drawing condemnation from Israel’s political leadership and swift retaliation by its military.

At least 60 rockets and mortar shells were fired in rapid succession over a two-hour period. At least eight hit urban or open areas, according to Israel’s army, while several others were intercepted by Israel’s mobile air-defense system, Iron Dome.

There were no immediate reports of casualties.

As the air raid sirens subsided, Israeli residents within about 25 miles of the border with Gaza were instructed to remain within running distance of bomb shelters and concrete-reinforced safe rooms.

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After launching aircraft to identify the source of fire, Israel’s military first responded with artillery and, according to an army statement, hit “two terrorist targets” in the southern and northern parts of the strip. Israeli airstrikes were also underway, targeting dozens of locations in the Gaza Strip, according to news media reports.

In Gaza, the military wing of Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the barrage. In a statement, the organization called it a response to the “crimes of the Zionist enemy in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip,” the latest of which, it said, was the killing of three of its operatives in an airstrike Tuesday.

Iranian Rockets found on board.
Iranian Rockets found on board.

According to Israel’s military, Tuesday’s airstrike targeted the militant squad after it fired a projectile at Israel.

Speaking in the Knesset on Wednesday evening, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would not be deterred and would continue defending itself “against the terrorist organizations in Gaza.”

In a meeting between President Shimon Peres and visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron, both leaders addressed the flare-up.

“It’s a very severe attack,” said Peres, who urged the people of Gaza to choose: “It’s either peace or violence.” He cautioned the Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip that they “can’t have it both ways.”

Cameron condemned the rocket attacks as targeting civilians indiscriminately, calling the strikes “barbaric.”

The attacks from Gaza illustrate Israel’s need for security and should make clear to Palestinians that “there is no violent route” to statehood, which can only be achieved by dialogue and “thorough agreement,” Cameron said.

During a special security consultation Wednesday evening, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said that if Israel had no calm, neither would Gaza “in such a way that will make Islamic Jihad terrorists regret their shooting.”

Yaalon said if Hamas couldn’t impose calm, Israel would do it.

Yaalon has ordered the crossings between Gaza and Israel closed pending further security assessments, with exceptions for humanitarian needs.

Wednesday’s rocket fire was the fiercest since Israel’s weeklong military campaign against Gaza in November 2012 that ended in an informal cease-fire.

A spokesman for Islamic Jihad in Gaza said the attack came in response to aggression “and does not mean the collapse of the cease-fire agreement.”

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the United States condemned the attacks from the Gaza Strip into Israel.

“We call for these terrorist attacks to cease immediately,” Psaki said. “Israel, like any nation, has a right to defend itself.”

Jerusalem – ‘Eternal Capital of Palestine’ says Abbas

Editor’s Note – In a continued ploy to find ways to exert force on Israel, the UN upgraded the Palestinian Authority over the West Bank and Gaza when the PA acted unilaterally. This likely sets any peace agreement back and elevates the PA to use international pressure as it gains standing with international agencies. Again, its not about land or peace but the goal of eliminating Israel altogether.

To understand more precisely, Mahmoud Abbas declared that Jerusalem is its “Eternal Capital” – how’s that for a peace overture?

PA's Mahmoud Abbas at the UN

The United Nations General Assembly on Thursday endorsed an upgraded U.N. status for the Palestinian Authority, despite intense opposition from the United States and Israel.

The resolution elevates their status from “non-member observer entity” to “non-member observer state,” the same category as the Vatican, which Palestinians hope will provide new leverage in their dealings with Israel.

Its leaders had been working with dozens of supporting nations to develop a formal draft, enlisting the backing of European countries such as France and Spain. The vote was 138 delegates in favor of the measure, nine against and 41 abstentions, including Germany. (Read the rest at CNN.)

From Aljazeera, the response by the people in Gaza and the West Bank:

Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip have celebrated the UN General Assembly vote accepting Palestine as a non-member observer state at the United Nations in New York. Nine countries voted against the Palestine upgrade, which was approved by the General Assembly with 138 votes on Thursday. Fourty-one countries abstained.

Voting “no” were Israel, the United States and Canada, joined by the Czech Republic, Panama and several Pacific island nations: Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru and Palau. The mood overnight on the streets of Ramallah was jubilant, but not all Palestinians believe that UN recognition will change anything on the ground.

Watch videos of the response in Ramallah and Gaza.

Meanwhile, Israel responds with sanctions:

Israel is retaliating for Thursday’s United Nations vote on Palestinian statehood, announcing it will withhold $120 million in taxes and customs collected for the Palestinian Authority to pay debts to Israeli companies.

In a unanimous resolution passed Sunday, Israel’s Cabinet said it would not negotiate on the basis of the General Assembly’s recognition of a state of Palestine in the occupied West Bank,  East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip.

“The unilateral step taken by the Palestinians at the United Nations violates peace agreements,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, justifying Israel’s rejection of the U.N. vote. The only way to Palestinian statehood and peace is through direct negotiations with Israel, he said.

Abbas ‘Victory Speech’: Jerusalem ‘Eternal Capital of Palestine’

PA Chairman promises that someday the PA flag will fly over “Jerusalem, eternal capital of the state of Palestine.”

By Chana Ya’ar – Arutz Sheva

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas Sunday promised someday the PAflag would fly over “Jerusalem, eternalcapital of the state of Palestine.”

Thousands of people greeted Abbas rapturously upon his return from the United Nations, where the GeneralAssembly granted the PLO, representing the PA, upgraded status as a nonmember observer state.

“Raise your heads high, because you are Palestinians!” Abbas told the joyous crowd, waving PA flags in the PA capital of Ramallah, located in Samaria.

“You have proof that you are stronger than the occupation, because you are Palestinians… stronger than the settlements, because you are Palestinians.

“We were threatened with punishment and sanctions from various sides,” Abbas continued, in a reference to attempts by the United States and Israel to dissuade him from proceeding with the application.

“And if we had listened to those threats we wouldn’t have gone to the U.N.

“One day, a young Palestinian will raise the Palestinian flag over Jerusalem,” he vowed, “the eternal capital of the state of Palestine!”