Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin’s latest analysis of the situation
IDF Summary of Activity in Gaza for Nov. 21
Follow the IDF on Twitter @IDFSpokesperson
3:00 PM: A short while ago in Gaza, the IDF targeted an underground rocket launcher as well as 5 terror operatives preparing to launch rockets.
12:20 PM: A city bus exploded in Tel Aviv. Ambulances were heard in the area. Reports out of Gaza indicated that Hamas was celebrating the fact that Israeli civilians were targeted. Stay tuned for updates.
9:00 AM: This morning, the IDF targeted Hamas operatives in their hiding place in Gaza where they were building rockets. A direct hit was confirmed.
7:10 AM: Overnight, the IDF targeted dozens of terror infrastructure sites throughout the Gaza Strip. The targets included the Ministry of Internal Security – which served as one of the main command and control centers for the Hamas terror organization – as well as an important police compound and a military hideout used as a meeting place for senior operatives and a communications center. Additionally, Israeli Navy targeted a rocket launching site, a Hamas post and a structure used for Hamas’ terror activity.
In a joint IDF-ISA activity, the IDF targeted, in a pinpoint strike, a Hamas intelligence operations center, which was deliberately located in a media building in the Gaza Strip. In addition, IAF aircraft targeted a senior Hamas operative in the aerial defense operations, several terrorist squads, and a terrorist who was identified at the launching site from which a rocket was fired yesterday towards Jerusalem. Furthermore, the IDF targeted approximately 50 underground rocket launchers, terror tunnels, three weapons storage facilities, and a weapons manufacturing site. The IDF also targeted a system of tunnels used to transport fuel to Hamas.
12:30 AM: Minutes ago, the IDF surgically targeted a Hamas intelligence operations center on the seventh floor of the “Neema” media building in the Gaza Strip. A direct hit was confirmed.
> Visit here for the IDF updated video gallery.
B’nai B’rith reached out to the Financial Times on the publication’s to cover both sides of the story while reporting on the Gaza situation. You can read the letter here.
NEWS REPORTS OF NOTE
The Washington Post: Gaza fighting rages as Clinton pursues durable cease-fire
TEL AVIV — A bus bombing Wednesday morning brought the Gaza conflict to central Tel Aviv, as intensified fighting between Hamas militants and the Israeli military raised doubts about the prospects of a durable cease-fire being sought by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and others in hectic rounds of shuttle diplomacy.
After flickers of hope on Tuesday that a cease-fire was imminent, the Israeli assault on Gaza early Wednesday instead appeared to have escalated. Israeli airstrikes targeted ministerial buildings of Hamas, the militant Islamist group that rules Gaza, as well as dozens of other sites. Ten rockets were fired into Israel, according to an Israeli Defense Forces spokesman.
In Tel Aviv, an explosion on a bus wounded 22 people, Israeli authorities said. At least three were immediately taken to a hospital with critical injuries, according to a medical official at the site of the blast across from an entrance to Israel’s military headquarters.
> Read the full story here.
Reuters: U.S. blocks U.N. Security Council action Israel, Gaza conflict
The United States blocked on Tuesday a U.N. Security Council statement condemning the escalating conflict between Israel and the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, setting the scene for a possible showdown between Washington and Russia on the issue.
The United States opposed the statement - which had to be approved by consensus - because it "failed to address the root cause" - missile attacks by Hamas - of the escalation in fighting between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza, said Erin Pelton, spokeswoman for the U.S. mission to the United Nations.
Israel said it was these Hamas rocket attacks that prompted its major offensive against the militants in Gaza on Wednesday.
"We made clear that we would measure any action by the Security Council based on whether it supported the ongoing diplomacy toward de-escalation of violence and a durable outcome that ends the rocket attacks on Israeli cities," Pelton said.
> Read the full story here.
The New York Times: Hamas Left Israel No Choice but to Strike
By Michael Oren, Israeli ambassador to the United States
CRITICS of Israel’s campaign to defend millions of its citizens from deadly Hamas rocket fire claim that it lacks a clear objective. Israel has bombed Gaza in the past, they argue, and received only rockets in return. Is there any logic, much less an end, to the cycle of violence? Can it lead to negotiations and peace?
Such questions can be answered only by going back to the origin of the campaign that we Israelis now call Operation Pillar of Defense. It did not begin last week, after Hamas fired more than 700 rockets at southern Israel this year; nor did it start four years ago, as Israel acted to stop thousands of terrorist rockets striking its south. It did not even begin in 2005, when Israel uprooted 21 of its Gaza settlements, together with their 9,000 Israeli residents, to advance peace, and received only Hamas terrorism in return. Rather, the operation began on May 14, 1948, the day Arab forces moved to destroy the newly declared state of Israel.
There were no settlements back then, and the West Bank and East Jerusalem were in Jordanian hands. Yet the very notion of a sovereign Jewish state in the Middle East was abhorrent to the Arabs, many of whom were inflamed by religious extremism. They rebuffed repeated Israeli offers of peace, and instead launched a war of national annihilation. Israel had no choice but to defend itself, losing 1 percent of its population — the equivalent of 3.1 million Americans today — before achieving an armistice.
> Read the full story here.
Melanie Phillips: More (real) news
Here’s some more information about the war between Hamas and Israel that unaccountably you may not have come across in today’s UK mainstream media.
In Afghanistan, the ratio of civilian to combatant deaths is 3:1 – three civilians killed for every one combatant. In Iraq and Kosovo, it was 4:1 – four civilians killed for every one combatant. In Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in 2006, despite the screams of ‘Israeli war crimes’ it was an astounding 1:1 – only one civilian killed for every one combatant. Current figures for Operation Pillar of Defence are obviously highly provisional; but according to Ha’aretz, of the earlier total of 95 Palestinians killed about half were civilians, and according to the Israel Defence Forces, about one third were civilians. So the civilian: combatant death ratio is currently either one civilian killed for every one combatant, or – even more astoundingly -- two combatants killed for every one civilian.
> Read the full post here.
B'nai B'rith Statement
B’nai B’rith International stands in solidarity with Israel and supports the country’s right to defend itself.
> Read the full release
Israel Emergency Fund Opened
B’nai B’rith International has launched an Israel Emergency Fund in response to events in Israel and the Gaza Strip. Its goal is to raise funds to assist Israeli residents who are dealing with a barrage of rocket attacks from Hamas. Funds could also be used to help with the personal needs of Israel Defense Forces soldiers.
> Make a donation today.
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