Palestinian media praises terrorist leader Jabari as ‘martyr’


The day after the targeted killing of Hamas terrorist chief Ahmed Jabari, the Palestinian media lead with headlines praising his “martyrdom,” despite his long history of involvement in terrorism against Israeli civilians.

According to Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) official newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, referred to Jabari’s death as Shahada—martyrdom death for Allah—calling it “the crowning achievement of his life of struggle” and “his self-sacrificing actions (i.e., terror attacks) will be told for generations to come and will be eternalized in memory.”

PA President Mahmoud Abbas has demanded that, “Arab countries in the [UN] Security Council discuss courses of action to end the [Israeli] aggression.”

The PA’s support for Jabari comes despite his position as part of its rival, Hamas. The PA broke with Hamas in 2006 after Hamas forces ousted the PA from Gaza in a bloody coup d’état. Meanwhile, in Gaza, tens of thousands took to the streets for Jabari’s funeral procession from Gaza’s Omari Mosque, according to the Times of Israel.

Referred to by Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak as the “the military chief of staff of Hamas,” Jabari was born in 1960 in a village in Gaza. Jabari was arrested by Israeli forces in 1982 as a member of Fatah and spent 13 years in an Israeli prison where he switched allegiance to Hamas. After his release in 1995 Jabari quickly rose through the ranks of Hamas’s military wing—the Izz Adin al-Qassam Brigades—for his role in several terrorist attacks against Israel, such as a 1998 terror attack on a school bus that killed two Israeli children.

In 2002, Jabari took over as commander of Hamas’s military wing after the former commander was injured in an Israeli strike. In 2006, Jabari directed the capture of Israeli solider Gilad Shalit. 

In a 2006 interview with Al-Jazeera on the targeting of civilians, Jabari said “The Jew who comes to the soil of Palestine… is fighting us, and we will fight him and kill him,” according to PMW.

Later, Jabari received praise by Hamas’s hardline leadership for his role in securing the release of 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Shalit in 2011. 

Netanyahu on IDF operation: ‘No government would tolerate’ Hamas’s terror


In the wake of the Israel Defense Forces’ killing of Hamas military leader Ahmed al-Jabari, more than 250 rockets fired by Gaza terrorists into Israel, and three Israelis being killed, the IDF is now calling army reservists and preparing for a potential ground incursion into Gaza.

The IDF’s operation has become known as “Pillar of Defense.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a statement Thursday in the wake of these developments.  

“In recent days and weeks, Hamas and the other terrorist organizations in Gaza have made normal life impossible for over one million Israelis. No government would tolerate a situation where nearly a fifth of its people live under a constant barrage of rockets and missile fire, and Israel will not tolerate this situation. This is why my government has instructed the Israeli Defense Forces to conduct surgical strikes against the terrorist infrastructure in Gaza. And this is why Israel will continue to take whatever action is necessary to defend our people,” Netanyahu said.

The rest of the Netanyahu’s statement was as follows:

“I want to remind you that seven years ago, Israel withdrew from every square inch of Gaza. Now Hamas, they took over the areas we vacated. What did it do? Rather than build a better future for the residents of Gaza, the Hamas leadership, backed by Iran, turned Gaza into a terrorist stronghold. They fired thousand of rockets at our cities, at our towns, at our civilians, at our children. They’ve smuggled thousands of rockets and missiles into Gaza, and they deliberately place these rockets and missiles in civilian areas: in homes, in schools, near hospitals. This year alone, they fired over one thousand rockets and missiles at Israel, included close to 200 rockets in the last 24 hours. 

“I’m stressing this because it’s important to understand one simple point. There is no moral symmetry; there is no moral equivalence, between Israel and the terrorist organizations in Gaza. The terrorists are committing a double war crime. They fire at Israeli civilians, and they hide behind Palestinian civilians. And by contrast, Israel takes every measure to avoid civilian casualties. I saw today a picture of a bleeding Israeli baby. This picture says it all: Hamas deliberately targets our children, and they deliberately place their rockets next to their children. Despite this reality, and it’s a very difficult reality, Israel will continue to do everything in its power to avoid civilian casualties.

“Yesterday I spoke to President Obama and I briefed him on Israel’s operations. I want to express my appreciation once again to President Obama for his unequivocal clear sided support for Israel’s right to defend itself. I also want to express my appreciation to the other world leaders I’ve had a chance to speak to in the last 24 hours. I hope that Hamas and the other terror organizations in Gaza got the message. If not, Israel is prepared to take whatever action is necessary to defend our people.”

Jewish groups react swiftly to escalation of Gaza rocket attacks on Israel


Jewish organizations had an outpouring of reaction on Wednesday to the escalation of Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel that had started Saturday—conveying their prayers for the safety of southern Israelis, condemning the Hamas terrorism, and affirming the Jewish state’s right to respond.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) launched a broad Gaza operation targeting Hamas terrorists, called “Pillar of Defense,” which killed Hamas military chief Ahmed Jabari. After Jabari’s death, Hamas intensified its rocket fire.

In Kiryat Malakhi, where three Israelis were killed by a rocket that hit their home, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) said its Better Together program “is taking care of 30 displaced families whose building was bombed and deemed uninhabitable by providing basic needs and finding them temporary shelter.” JDC is also delivering food to the homes of the elderly.

“JDC’s Emergency Response Team is already helping the elderly, people with disabilities, and youth at risk, providing basic needs and emotional support during this distressing time,” JDC President Penny Blumenstein and Interim CEO Darrell Friedman said in a joint statement.

Roz Rothstein, CEO of the pro-Israel education group StandWithUs, expressed “hope for the day when Palestinian leaders lay aside their hatred and arms, and reach out for peace with Israel.” She also said Hamas’s onslaught “endangers the citizens of Gaza who are being used as human shields.”

The Conference of President of Major American Jewish Organizations noted that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas “remains silent” despite daily Palestinian terrorist attacks.

“He has yet to condemn or criticize these blatant violations across an international border that put one million innocent Israelis in jeopardy,” Conference of Presidents Chairman Richard Stone and Executive Vice Chairman Malcolm Hoenlein said in a joint statement. 

Jerry Silverman, president and CEO of the Jewish Federations of North America, said “These latest unprovoked attacks follow years of unrelenting terror that has forced so many Israelis to live in a constant state of fear— conditions which no country would tolerate.”

“We proudly stand shoulder to shoulder with the people and state of Israel during this difficult time and pray that such attacks will soon end,” Silverman said.

American Jewish Committee Executive Director David Harris on Thursday criticized the United Nations Security Council for not being able to agree on a statement of concern regarding Israel’s situation during a Wednesday night emergency session in New York.

“The inability of too many world leaders to distinguish between the arsonist, Hamas, and the firefighter, Israel, is gross negligence,” Harris said. “No UN member state can honestly say it would respond differently to a neighbor dedicated to its annihilation and launching rockets to provoke a larger confrontation.”

The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) said it “stands with Israel as it exercises its sovereign right to respond to the rocket attacks launched by Hamas terrorists from Gaza.” NJDC added that it is “relieved to see that the Iron Dome missile defense system has intercepted many incoming rockets, helping to save Israeli lives and property as well.”

Soccer matches in southern Israel cancelled due to Gaza fighting


The Israel Football Association have called off two Premier League matches set for Saturday due to current conflict between Israel and Gaza.

The matches between Hapoel Beersheba and Hapoel Ramat Gan, and Ashdod SC and Hapoel Acre were postponed after the police and the military barred large gatherings because of a fear of rocket strikes by Palestinian militants.

The latest phase of the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict sharpened on Wednesday when Israel killed Ahmed Jabari, the military mastermind of Islamist faction Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip.

Following Jabari's assassination in a precision air strike on his car, more than 270 rockets hit Israel and it shelled the Gaza Strip from land, air and sea. Three Israelis were killed by a rocket on Thursday and 19 Palestinians have died.

The Israeli FA said the rest of the weekend league program, thought to be largely out of range of the rockets, would go ahead as planned. Lower league and junior fixtures in the south of the country were also cancelled.

Editing by Greg Stutchbury

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