Posts Tagged ‘Arab Spring’

The Mega-Terror Attack on Egypt and Israel This Past Sunday

August 8, 2012

An Egyptian APC stolen from the Egyptian Army Burns after Infiltrating Israel

Last Sunday, terrorists attempted a mega-terror attack on Israel. To further their terrorist agenda, they even went as far as to attack Israel’s neighbor – Egypt.

While most of the attack was blocked and there were no casualties on the Israeli side, I kept the title with the saying that a terror attack (and even a mega-terror attack) took place, because what wasn’t foiled was still pretty big.

16 Egyptian Officers were killed, An Egyptian APC was stolen and dozens of terrorists with hundreds of kilograms in explosives inflitrated Israel, in hopes of committing a mass murder.

It has been nearly a year since the big [successful] terror attack through the Egyptian border on Israel last August, which claimed the lives of eight and caused tensions between Israel and Egypt, when during gunshot battles with terrorists, Egyptian security personnels were caught in the crossfire.

It has been nearly a year since I first wrote about Egypt’s declining grip of its’ own territory – the Sinai Peninsula – and how one result of the Arab Spring is the enormous growth of terror cells in Sinai. Only last month, terrorists attacked Israeli construction workers on the border, killing one man.

This past sunday afternoon, Israeli air force attacked and killed a terrorist in the Gaza Strip. Barrage of rockets were fired upon Israel’s citizens “in return”. Later that day, Israeli Prime Minister announced that intel from Israel’s security forces brought forth the attack in an attempt to prevent a major terror attack planned.

A few hours later, a major terror attack began. Estimations are that over 34 terrorists took part in it.

Terrorists in Sinai attacked an Egyptian post. Soldiers of that post were in the middle of having dinner – after a long day of fasting due to Ramadan. They were shot at, their throats slit, and weapons and explosives taken from the empty base, as well as an APC and a truck.

The terrorists then headed towards Israel.

The truck ran into the security fence between Israel and Egypt, towards an Israeli Army post and exploded upon impact. Thankfully, the post was vacant at the time.

The APC infiltrated Israel, south of the Israel-Gaza-Egypt zone. All terrorists inside were wearing explosive belts and held guns. Their objective was to reach the nearest Israeli population (probably Kerem-Shalom) and commit a mass murder, a slaughter. The APC was repeled by Israeli forces, including tank fire and shots from the air.


IDF’s footage of the aerial attack on the APC from a UAV

Who knows what would have happened if that APC wouldn’t have been repeled. The body count, the horror, and quiet possible (and mainly this was also an objective) completely destroy the diplomatic relationships between Israel and Egypt, forcing Israel to handle the rise of terror cells in the Peninsula.

Once the APC was taken down, terrorists ran towards the nearest field – an agriculatural field near Yuval. Israeli soldiers shot at them and tracked them. A shootout took place until all terrorists were subdued. Dead.

Remains of the APC stolen from the Egyptian Army and used to infiltrate Israel

The remains of the APC

Weapons carried by the terrorists who infiltrated Israel

Weapons carried by the terrorists

Israel has closed the land crossing Kerem-Shalom with Gaza as a response. Egypt closed Rafah – its’ land crossing with Gaza. Kerem Shalon has been repoened on Tuesday morning. Rafah is still closed.

It seems the gruesome death of 16 Egyptian soldiers finally shook something – Egypt’s newly elected president Mursi declared three days of morning and the country is in shock. Egyptian Army moved forces (in coordinance with Israel) and began trying to expose terror cells. After shots at Egyptian personnel at the city of Rafah last night, choppers entered Sinai and bombed terrorists from the air. They even bombed several smuggling tunnels between Egypt and Gaza.

Egypt’s military personnel have even been quoted in the media saying these terrorists emerged, whether physically or idelogically, from the neighboring Gaza Strip. Hamas – the de-facto governing power in Gaza – denies all connections. At the moment, since Egypt’s president – a member of the Muslim Brotherhood movement doesn’t seem interested in publicly accusing Hamas for involvement.

Whether or not Egypt is capable, both in military power and financial capacity, to handle the terror which has risen in Sinai and the weapons flowing freely from the remains of post-Arab-Spring Lybia remains to be seen.

However it is clear, though the cost to the Egyptian nation has been grave, something far worse and with far more catastrophical consequences has been prevented.

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The Realist In Me: Hamas Supposedly Abandoning The Way of Terror

December 29, 2011

I have written much in the past about the so-called (and as I refered to it “farcical”) unity between the two major Palestinian factions – Fatah (in control of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and the de-facto controller of the Palestinian Liberation Organization [PLO], representative to all Palestinian people) and Hamas (in control of the Gaza Strip).

At last, it seems that six months after its’ announcement, no unity will be held. In stand, a reconciliation agreement has been achieved. And shock of all shocks, the extreme terror group of Hamas (or its’ runaway leader in Syria, looking for a new home, Khaled Mashal) has announced that in order to enter the PLO, an entity enjoying international legitimacy and a seat in the UN (not to mention embassies in many European countries, as well as the United States) it will no longer act in violent terror against Israel.

Before I go on and explain why this isn’t the big news it could and might have been, I just want to ponder out loud (in writing) about something in open parenthesis – It took six months to achieve this agreement between two factions that only three summers ago were brutally killing each other. Yet, Mahmoud Abbas denies entering any kind of negotiations with Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, based on six hours of mostly photo-oped and filled-with-press meetings? Seriously?

The following post will consist of two main sections –

  1. Reasons for this sudden, supposed dramatic, announcement
  2. Why the realist (and not the skeptic) in me, refuses to beleive it

But before I dive into any of those, one things need to be cleared – Hamas supports an extreme Islamic ideology. To that extent, a Hudna (sometimes translated “truce” or “ceasefire”) in its’ eyes is a limited period of up to 10 years within a war, where the jihad fighters assess that the enemy has much more power or strength, and could win if the fighting continues. The period is used to strengthen one’s enemy and fighters. It is a unilateral decision, that does not follow any negotiations and is meant to serve for the benefit of the jihad alone. Should the enemy be detected as losing its’ power within the 10 years period, the hudna can be broken at once and war may resume, at the whims of the commandor.

Of course, I’ll address this more in the second section of this post…

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Explosion in South Lebanon is another evidence of Hezbollah’s breach of Resolution 1701

November 23, 2011

Late last night, around midnight, an explosion rocked the South Lebanon town of Siddiqin. Reports suggest that explosion took place in a weapons armory of terrorists group, Hezbollah. This is yet another evidence that Hezbollah is in constant violation of Security Council Resolution 1701.

At the end of the war between Israel and Hezbollah in Summer of 2006 (initiated by Hezbollah militants who crossed the international border, attacked an Israeli army patrol and abducted two resorved forces soldiers), the Security Council passed a resolution to enforce peace throughout the border – it stationed an international force UNIFIL to South Lebanon and have clearly stated that no arms are along south of the Litani River.

De-facto, said resolution has been breached from almost day one. Since the end of summer of 2006, Both Iran and Syria have been heavily arming Hezbollah who admits he has more weapons and militants today than in 2006, and most Western intellegint agencies (including Israel’s) say clearly that Hezbollah has over 40,000 rockets ready to be fired at Israel’s civilian population at any moment, especially in case of an international intervention in Syria (a la Libya).

Ever since summer of 2006 tensions have been rising high. A well-equipped Hezbollah is still deterred but as time fades it seems its’ next attack is not far. In the years that have passed, Hezbollah has estabilished itself stronger into government branches and is today almost the ruling party of the Labanese parliment. A terror group, no less, which has much more ammunition and soldiers than Labanon’s own official military. A terror group which single-handedly brought down the previous Labanese goverment after the International Court in Hague issued arrest warrants to five of its’ members with charges of murdering the former Labanese prime minister in 2005.

For over six years now, South of the Litani River has been flowing with weapons and militants. It’s almost a well-known fact. This explosion, which Hezbollah tonight denied was an armory (and has refused to give access to authorities), is another one in a string of evidence to show Hezbollah’s preparation for an attack on Israel. While its’ militants and high-ranks hide within civilian population, and while UNIFIL seems more decorative than actually doing everything it can to enforce Resolution 1701 and dismantle Hezbollah (at the very least in the south of Lebanon), the entire world knows (not an exaggeration). Knows but does nothing.

Yet when Hezbollah finally attacks (a matter of time, especially now with the situation in Syria), the world that kept quiet would be enraged by the conflict, the war and the civilian casaulties. The Security Council whose resolution are a mockery would assemble to condemn and bring forth another resolution that would in turn too have no effect in dismantling terror or the threats of terror against Israel. It’s exactly what happened after 2006. It’s exactly what happens right now.

Israeli Cabinet approves deal to free Israel-US Citizen Ilan Grapel

October 25, 2011

Israeli cabinet approved today unanimously a deal to release 27 year-old Ilan Grapel from Egyptian prison. In exchange, 25 Egyptian citizens will be released from Israeli prisons, including 3 minors. The prisoners released were not imprisoned for security reasons, but their offenses are of criminal nature – most have used the Israeli-Egyptian border to facilitate smuggling illegal drugs or trafficking – mainly “smuggling”, sometimes trading, women who are coerced to work as prostitutes, through the Sinai Peninsula.

Who is Ilan Grapel?

Ilan Grapel is a 27 year-old man from Queens, New York. Up until his arrest in Egypt, he was studying law in Atlanta, at Emroy University. He has a dual-citizenship, both American (US) and Israeli. In 2005, He enlisted into the Israeli army and served as a paratrooper. He was injured during the 2006 war against Hezbollah terror militia (known in Israel as  The Second Lebanese War). According to his parents, Grapel entered Egypt with a group called Africa and Middle East Refugee Assistance. The group was established by Barbara Harrell-Bond, who also founded the Refugee Studies Center at Oxford University. According to his parents, Grapel was working with the group to give legal aid and other kinds of help to refugees in there. According to his friends, he was intrigued by the uprising in Egypt last January and demonstrated with the Egyptians at Tahrir Square in an act of solidarity.

On June 12th, 2011, Grapel was arrested. Egyptian personnel claimed he was an Israeli spy, an agent of the Mossad, sent there to gather intelligence about the people, the revolution and the clashes with the military – THAT IS PREPOSTEROUS!

Is Ilan Grapel a Spy?

Today, four months after his arrest where he’s kept in solitude, Egyptian personnel, the same ones who shouted “dangerous spy” when arresting him, almost arbitrarily, admit he is not spy and have posed no danger to Egypt. That is why they are willing to free him for 25 Egyptian criminals.

But the fact that this was a ridiculous accusation was apparent from the start. The main evidence to that was his own Facebook page – Not only did this supposed “spy” had a Facebook page, he also kept updating it with information about his trip to Egypt. Pictures, posts, statuses… Moreover, this so-called spy had his Facebook page filled with pictures from his days in the service, mainly of him in uniform or from the war. In fact, all the picture I’ve posted in this post are from Grapel’s own Facebook profile. If he was really a spy, then he wasn’t a very clever spy. No Israeli agent would boast about his military past or flaunt his service in the Israeli Army, especially not in an Arab / Muslim country.

Egypt knew that very well. This is why he was kept for four months under these horrible accusations, but was never charged or indicted. I couldn’t even find a record of him being brought before a judge.

At the end, the bottom line is this was simply put an abduction. An extortion. For falsely incarcerating Ilan Grapel and denying his due process, Egypt managed to released 25 of their people who committed unspeakable crimes and were trialed properly for said crimes. To Egypt’s defense, I will say that Grapel was granted fair and somewhat humane conditions, including visits from the American consulate, his parents and at the end even Israeli personnel (Whether it was due to his US citizenship alone, I can’t say, but I personally believe it helped).

In the new Middle East around Israel, in an chaotic Egypt that knows more unrest as time grows, after the West was so quick to dispense with Hosni Mubarak and is today facing the possibility that not all could be for the best, Israel has its back to the wall. Because it is certain that the hatred towards Israel just for the purpose of hating with merely no logical or rational merits to it will only grow, that the Muslim Brothers movement will get a large (if not a majority) part of the power after the elections – Israel has very little to do. Absurdly enough, because it wishes to maintain good relations with Egypt, it can’t bluntly accuse it of such blackmail for ransom. It even went as far as to apologize to Egypt for the death of Egyptian personnel during a terror attack that originated from Egyptian soil, near an Egyptian post in broad daylight and killed 8 Israelis. This is seriously getting ridiculous. But in order to maintain peace, Israel allows itself to be taking blows, to not speak when blind hatred towards it is being spread by her allies in the region, because more than anything –

Israel is country and a society that cherishes life and peace. It does not seek the kind of hatred and rage displayed in the society and sometimes leadership of its’ neighbors in the middle east, it does not possess it.

Israeli government approves deal to swap over 1,000 prisoners for GILAD SHALIT

October 12, 2011

Last night, the Israeli government approved a deal to bring Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit back home after 1,935 days in captivity. Shalit was abducted in a cross-border attack by Gaza militants on June 25th, 2006. He has since been held incommunicado and his abductors – the terror militia Hamas – has been holding him for over Five years and Four months against all international humanitarian norms and laws. In fact, in 2009 Israel had to release a few dozens low-level terrorists just to receive confirmation for his well being. But tonight, after over 5 years in captivity, Israel and Hamas have agreed that for one Israeli soldier, Israeli will release 1,027 terrorists.

Click here to read more about Shalit’s abduction, the campaign for his release and more about Hamas’ treatment and complete disregard for all international humanitarian laws.

The details of the deal would be released shortly and will begin its’ execution in a matter of days. Israel is obligated to post the full list of prisoners who will be release for the public’s view beforehand. That is in order to inform families of terror victims that their loved ones’ heinous killers would be released. Some of them will attempt to appeal to Israel’s supreme court against the swap deal, however the Supreme court has a policy of not intervening in such decisions. The deal is expected to be executed in two parts – next week 450 terrorists will be release in the span of two months, another 550 terrorists.

Make no mistake – the first batch of terrorists are despicable murders responsible for the deaths of dozens of innocent Israelis (men, women and children alike). They attempt to disguise their acts of slaughter and murder as nothing short of fighting for freedom. That is an absurd and a vicious lie – when giving the choice to talk or dialogue, they’ve chosen (and some declare they still do) war and bloodshed. They’re problem is with the very existence of Israel and not with its’ borders and they perceive all Israeli people to be valid targets. The only thing they are fighting for is death, not freedom.

There are many downfalls that can be seen for this deal –

  • The statistics show that in every past prisoners swap Israel has made, over 60% of those released returned to the ways of terror.
  • This is a huge boost to Israel’s rival Hamas at the expanse of the more moderate fraction in the Palestinian leadership, Fatah and Mahmoud Abbas. The Palestinian unity agreement declared elections – this definitely strengths the extremists and weakens the moderates.
  • In accordance with the last point, this act sends a message to the Palestinians that strength and terror against Israel are helpful. As with the unilateral Israel withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 (that boosted Hamas who received most of the votes in the following years’ elections), this strengthen those opting for jihad and terror and oppose dialogue.
  • Another message this swap deal sends is that cross-border attacks, abductions and ignoring all International Laws help the fights “against Israel”. This is an incentive for repeated abductions of Israeli soldiers.
  • This can be perceived as somewhat of an injustice. Murders captured, trialed and sentenced to pay for their crime are sent home scot-free while the people who lost their loved ones get to see them return to their lives as if they did nothing.
  • Some of the prisoners would not be returned to Palestinian territories but instead would be exiled due to fear of their return to terror activities. They will be free to act in European countries against Israel, telling a complete distorted half-side and half-truth of the story. In a time where Israel is facing a disproportional campaign against its’ legitimacy to exist and protect its’ citizens from terror and death, it basically sends dozens and hundreds into the battle fields against it.

And the downfalls don’t stop here. Yet Israel’s public supports this deal in an overwhelming majority (close to 90% support according to most polls) and that Israeli government approved it. Why? Because unlike its’ enemies and those calling to destroy and kill its’ people blindly, unlike those who celebrate their child death by blowing himself up in a crowded place, Israel is a country that cherishes LIFE, even that of a single soldier, rather than cheering for his death!

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Turkey will counterterrorism?

September 22, 2011

Two days ago, On Tuesday September the 20th, a terror attack hit the Turkish capital of Ankara. Dozens were injured, at least three were killed. This is another attack in a long line of terror attacks against Turkey, supposedly (no real confirmation as of yet) by the PKK – a Kurdish terror organization, fighting violently for an independent state over territories belonging to Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran.

Later that same day, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan met with United States President Barrack Obama. In their joint press statements, they both addressed and condemned the attack. Obama went as far as talking about Turkey one of the main players in the fight against terrorism. “This reminds us that terrorism exists in many parts of the world, and Turkey and the United States are going to be strong partners in preventing terrorism.” Really? Turkey?

Don’t get me wrong – this attack, as does any terror and violent attack should be and is condemned on the strongest of terms. The loss of life, especially in such as cowardly despicable way, is always tragic. But when it comes to battling terrorism, Turkey has always been interested in battling those fighting her and her alone. The recent tensions between Israel and Turkey, brought forth by the publication of The Palmer Report and a desire to use the bashing of Israel as the common denominator in the middle east, are only the recent examples of how Turkey under Erdogan’s rule constantly supports not only terrorism aimed at Israel, but terror in general.

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1 week countdown to the Palestinian unilateral move: Violence is on the horizon

September 16, 2011

Earlier this week, the 66th General Assembly of the United Nations has been opened. In the following week leaders around the world would begin to take stage and give a speech. Some will talk about their own country, some will use the opportunity to incite against others rather than handle talking about themselves (anyone holding their breathes for Iran to mention anything about the protests it still violenty “shuts up”?). But one issue will hover over the entire assembly – The unilateral Palestinian move.

Now, I’ve already shared my views on why the Palestinians have been stalling on any effort for true peace before, and even expanded a bit on some key issues (such as the hoax of the settlement freeze or the farcical unity between the two biggest factions and enemies).

So what is expected to happen? Unless the Quartet manages (doubtfully) to get the Palestinians off their high tree and resume what they’ve been refusing to do with a bag full of excuses for almost two years now – enter negotiations and try to achieve peace – On Tuesday the show will begin. The Palestinians will try to get the Security Council to approve their request to be recognized as a state. This will not happen. It needs to majority of 9 “yes” out of 15 countries, with a declared United States veto on the horizion. But the point is pressure. Mostly on the European countries. Having Qatar and Lebanon as the presidents of this General Assembly and Security Council, accordingly, would help the Palestinians greatly with bureaucracy issues. It wouldn’t be long before the General Assembly and its’ automatic majority (as well as some other countries who are not part of that majority) will accept the Palestinians as a “none member state”.

This has a very declarative value, the kind that makes headlines. But it won’t change anything for real. At least, not towards anything good.

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Response to Jordan’s King Abdullah “If I were an Israeli, I would be afraid”

September 14, 2011

Earlier this week, King Abdullah of Jordan has spoken about recent events in the Middle East and has also talked about Israel. Jordan, it should be noted, reached a peace agreement and formed diplomatic relationships with Israel in 1994. These relationship endure to this day, even after a Jordanian soldier, Ahmed Daqamseh, opened fire at a field trip of an Israeli school in a joint Israeli-Jordanian tourism site, killing 7 girls aged 13 and 14.

What did King Abdullah say? He mainly referred to Israel as the outcast, talked about how its’ situation is worsening in the region and said that Jordan is stronger while Israel is weaker and that Israelis should be afraid. Without disputing or claiming that some of what he said has merits, once again it is proven that the easier defense in the Middle East is an offensive against Israel. Merits have nothing to do with that. Just two weeks ago, Abdullah urged Palestinian Authority President Abbas to rethink his unilateral move. A few months ago it was published that Jordan would not vote for the Palestinian state’s vote in the General Assembly.

The Truth is – Abdullah is the one most afraid. Though a moderate, Jordan is too an oppressing Arab regime. It too had some mild protests and is currently enjoying the luxury of helping deflect its’ public’s anger towards Israel. But the “Arab Spring”, the changes going through all those oppressing leaders in the Arab states around the Middle East does not pass by him. While Jordan is a monarchy (Abdullah got the leadership from his father, King Hussein) and relatively moderate dictatorship, it is also made up of different tribes. While the kingdom is considered a Hashemite kingdom, the majority of its’ population is Palestinian. Just like most Arab nations, Jordan too continues to view Palestinians as merely refugees from 1948 (after over 60 years of them residing in its’ territory and under its’ rule), which is yet another example of the ridiculous “Right of Return” – for over 60 years, Arab nations who are hosts to Palestinians consider them as nothing more than refugees and continues to encourage them to one day flood Israel back and annihilate it (the realistic outcome of receiving this so-called right, a right which no other refugee in the world received, including in post World War II and Yugoslavia).

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Turkey’s playing chicken

September 1, 2011

Unless there are (again) any last minute changes, Tomorrow (Friday, September 2nd) the Palmer Report will be submitted and handed to the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon. The Palmer Report is a summary of a UN inquiry into the flotilla incident at the end of May 2010 (where Israel’s Navy boarded a flotilla of ships sailing to break its’ naval blockade on Gaza and the erupted violence ended with the deaths of nine Turkish activists on board). After a long strain in relations, the flotilla incident marked the biggest rupture in Israeli-Turkish relations. The Palmer Report is an attempt by Secretary-General Moon in conducting an objective investigation of the incident (seeing as how the so-called “Human Rights Organization” in Geneva is controlled by a majority of anti-Israeli countries and holds a clear bias towards it). It is also an attempt to recover the relations between Israel and Turkey. That is one of the reason why the publishing of the report has been postponed time and time again since June 2011. It should be noted that this an agreed inquiry, the first of its’ kind, that had both an Israeli and a Turkish representative.

Turkey’s demands

Turkey claims that Israel has acted illegally. In its’ view, Israel assaulted civilians and peace activists sailing freely to Gaza in an attempt to break what they perceive as an illegal blockade. To Turkey’s narrative, Israel violated international law when it attacked the flotillas in international law and its’ soldiers boarded the ships with the intent of killings activists in order to deter future flotillas. It demands an Israeli apology to the incident and pay compensations to the families of the “victims”.

It should be noted that flotilla was not sailing under a Turkish flag, but rather the flag of the Comoros island. Nevertheless, its’ origin was well-known.

Israel’s narrative

Israel has a different view on things – first of all, this wasn’t the first and it wasn’t the last flotilla attempting to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza. It was, however, the biggest. In only one out of six ships, there were casualties. Israel views its’ blockade on Gaza legal and a legitimate method of war against Hamas who took over the Gaza Strip by violence in 2007 and has declared war and terror against Israel’s civilians. The blockade is a method to stop large shipments of weapons that can from reaching Hamas and the other militants in Gaza. Such flotillas who has humanitarian aid cover large quantities of weapons and ammunition have been found in the past on “Karin A”, “Francop”, and last March on “Victoria”.

Israel’s narrative is that it gave the ships sufficient and numerous warning that they were about to enter a blockaded area and have been responded that they ships do not intent to change their course and that they are headed the blockaded Gaza. That is when Israel sent its’ Navy to stop the ships by boarding and seizing control over it. To Israel’s narrative, while the flotilla had over 600 activists, a group of a few dozens, boarded separately when the flotilla was docked in Cyprus (at a Turkish port, it seems). These were not peace-activists but terrorists with the sole intention of inciting, creating violence and harming the soldiers that would board the ship (Israel has noted that it will do so to any ship attempting to break its’ blockade and has done so in the past). Due to lack of intelligence, the soldiers were prepared to only except mild resistance and not head-on violence. It was then that they opened fire and in resulting battles the none-peace activists were killed. Also, during the confrontation, 4 soldiers were abducted by the activists, one managed to break free and jumped ship.

Regarding the claims of international waters, Israel maintains that since the destination of the flotilla was known and since its’ blockade is legal, it had every right to intercept the ships in international waters, a few miles off the waters of Gaza. It did so because the flotillas were sailing slow (in order to have the confrontation be at broad daylight), and wanted to intercept the ships at night. Israel refuses to the apologies for what it perceives as no more than a provocation and an attempt to harm its’ soldiers, as well as de-legitimize it. Israel’s official stand is that it refuses to pay compensations (although there were reports of it willing to pay through a third-party fund).

The Palmer Report

The Palmer report’s main points have already been leaked to the media before its’ initial publication date – June 2011. The most recent leak was posted by The New York Times today. Turkey has called the commission’s’ first draft “a difficult” one. It is known to say:

  1. Israel’s blockade of Gaza is legal and adheres all international laws and principals regarding the imposing of a naval blockade.
  2. Israel’s interception of the flotilla in international waters was legal.
  3. However, there was a disproportionate response and soldiers took grave measures to protect themselves (The report finds that the Israeli soldiers were in danger and met great violence on board but their response was extremely harsh and disproportionate). The report is set to have eye-witnesses who claim to have seen soldiers firing live ammunition in many accounts. Israel has responded that it can give answer to any event. Its’ independent Turkel commission’s report have pointed out that it found 133 incidents of confrontation (among them three involving live ammunition being used and three others with physical force being used). It found 127 incidents, including those mentioned specifically (live ammunition and physical force) to be just and marked six others as not having enough evidence and material to determine either way.
  4. The report is highly critical of the organizers, the Turkish IHH organization, and has found that it made preparations for violence and has in fact organized a violent resistance.
  5. The report alludes to Turkey’s responsibility and spurring of the events, saying it did not make enough efforts to stop the activists.
  6. The report does suggest that Israel apologizes for the results of the interception and will find some way to compensate the families, but does not demand it or find it a necessity under international law.

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Palestinian Authority President Abbas’ response to Israel’s retaliation in Gaza is WRONG

August 24, 2011

Yesterday Al Jazeera news channel broadcasted a response by the Palestinian Authority’s President, Mahmoud Abbas, regarding the escalation between Israel and Hamas (or more generally, between Israel and the Gaza Strip). In a casual hallway response, Abbas made a connection between the protests in Israel and the escalation and claimed, while completely ignoring to mention rockets fired into Israel (Eighty-Four in just two days) and the initial terror attack against Israel (or at the very least giving them some weight in the decision making process in Israel). That connection is fundamentally wrong!

If you don’t know what the protest in Israelis than I shall make a quick overview – on Thursday, July the 14th, 2011, Tel-Aviv (Israel’s largest city)’s Rothschild Boulevard has began to be flooded with tents. In a protest, started by a Facebook post, middle-class citizens have set up tents and supposedly moved there with their children, protesting against the cost of living in Israel. Though it holds a strong economy, despite the global recession that was (and the one feared to come), prices in Israel have been skyrocketing, mainly prices for apartments and homes. Every Saturday since huge demonstration displays took place. On Saturday, 9th of August, there were (estimated at) 300,000 people on the streets. But while many governments and regimes around Israel send out tanks and bullets to quiet down the protestors, by any means necessary, Israel’s protest which only seems to grow (even with the escalation) has never had one bullet fired at it.

This of course can be a bit hard for Abbas, the leader of the more moderate and democratic dictatorship of the Palestinians, to comprehend. But the facts (something Abbas never seemed intrested in) show the complete opposite. Just as it does not shoot and kill its’ people just for having their own opinion and daring to challenge its’ elected government, Israel is most certainly not making a cynical use of its’ people horrifying deaths and harvesting political fortune of it. It most certainly did not retaliate a gruesome terror attack and the constant attack on its’ civilians to quiet down a protest!

Here are the facts:

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