Another roundup of news, a disproportionate amount from the Middle East, disproportionately bad.
Posts Tagged ‘Israel’
A few notes on those Hamas tunnels, the destruction of which drove the latter half of Operation Protective Edge
Israeli military, intelligence, and political officials have known for years that Hamas fighters were burrowing into their country from Gaza through underground tunnels. An Israeli army spokesman said this month that the military had discovered four tunnels just in the past 18 months, well before Israel’s current ground offensive began. But in interviews, current and former Israeli officials said the military and intelligence services didn’t realize the extent of Hamas’s subterranean operations, nor did political leaders act to counter a threat that has become the central focus of Israel’s Gaza campaign and stands as potentially the biggest Israeli intelligence failure in years.
A senior Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the military has so far discovered far more tunnels — 40 and counting — than Israel had previously thought existed. The number came as a surprise, as did the sophistication of the tunnel network. Current and former officials said that Israeli intelligence and political leaders knew that the tunnels were fortified with concrete and had space to store weapons and food. But Israeli intelligence analysts and political leaders didn’t comprehend that the tunnels were wide enough to move several Hamas fighters into the country at a time, and they didn’t realize how many of the tunnels ended up in Israel, particularly near civilians. (A Hamas video that shows fighters emerging from a tunnel and attacking an Israeli military installation provides a vivid example of why Israelis have so come to fear the clandestine attacks.)
How big are these tunnels?
Israel understood that tunnels from Gaza posed a “huge risk” as early as October 2013, when the IDF discovered a long tunnel underneath the kibbutz Ein Hashlosha, just east of the border with Gaza, Col. Grisha Yakubovich, the head of the civil department in the IDF’s Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories, said in an interview.
The tunnel was enormous: It ran 1.5 miles, 66 feet below the ground. Authorities estimated that some 350 tons of concrete were used to build it, enough to build a small hospital three floors high, Yakubovich said. “We were amazed by the size of it.”
Which points out a tough dilemma for Hamas: Building hospitals to hide the rockets you attack Israel with, or build tunnels to conduct kidnapping of Israelis? Decisions, decisions…
Here’s Wolf Blitzer touring one of the tunnels:
Here’s Hamas’ own propaganda video on their tunnels:
And what were they planning to use them for?
“Hamas is said to have planned a huge terrorist attack that would taken place on September 24, 2014, which is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.”
My favorite British atheist comedian discuses why he supports Israel against the Islamic death cult of Hamas:
Another roundup of news on Operation Protective Edge:
Time for another random roundup of news and links:
As to Mr Earnest’s point on “what Congress intended”, who can say? No Congressman who voted for the bill read it. Presumably, some legislator’s staffer wrote that actual line about “established by the State”. If we could locate him among the vast entourages of the Emirs of Incumbistan, we could ask him what his “intention” was. Until then, calibrating the competing degrees of deference to a corrupt bureaucracy, a contemptuous executive, a politicized judiciary and a feckless hack legislature brings to mind Samuel Johnson’s line about arguing the precedence of a louse and a flea, with a tick and a cockroach thrown in.
— Maddy Perennity (@Madel_Schmadel) July 19, 2014
Twas once a Vancouver Philly Whose political race was a dilly After the shouts She had to drop out For shaking dew off the lily @rsmccain
— BattleSwarm (@BattleSwarmBlog) July 22, 2014
A whole bunch of news related to Israel’s incursion into Gaza:
The depravity of Hamas’s strategy seems lost on much of the outside world, which — following the terrorists’ script — blames Israel for the civilian casualties it inflicts while attempting to destroy the tunnels. While children die in strikes against the military infrastructure that Hamas’s leaders deliberately placed in and among homes, those leaders remain safe in their own tunnels. There they continue to reject cease-fire proposals, instead outlining a long list of unacceptable demands.
One of those demands is for a full reopening of Gaza’s land and sea borders. While this would allow relief and economic development for the territory’s population, it would also allow Hamas to import more missiles and concrete for new tunnels.
Here’s something from the “Blind Squirrel Find Acorn” department: Bill Maher actually making sense on Israel’s incursion into Gaza.
Some choice quotes:
“If Hamas had the opportunity, they would kill the maximum number of Israelis, which would be all. And Israel has the capability to kill a lot more and they do not. They seem victims of the soft bigotry of high expectations.”
“Can we ask why Israel wins all the time? Because they’ve won every war. They have to. You can’t go 8-1 and be Israel. You have to go 8-0 every year to still exist.”
“Jews have 155 Nobel Prizes and Muslims have two. Maybe it’s who you know, but that seems a big advantage for Team Hebrew.”
Israel has launched what it calls a limited ground offensive into Gaza, mainly to destroy terrorist infrastructure like tunnels.
If so, expect both parties to go through this same dance in, oh, about two years. Assuming there’s not a full-scale Shunni/Shia civil war raging across the region by then.
Here’s a live blog from the Times of Israel.
Just a quick note to compliment Israel on a perfect sense of timing in picking this week to kick Hamas’ incompetent ass (yet again) in Operation Protective Edge:
Hamas has done more harm to the Palestinian movement in the past two decades, than any opponent of the Palestinians could have done. It has sabotaged relations with a sympathetic media through muddled press conferences and moronic bombastic statements about “opening the gates of hell.” It has driven out international supporters, managed to decrease the support it did have among various “free Gaza” committees and “shot its bolt” in its various ill-conceived wars with Israel.
It gained a respite with the election of Mohammed Morsi in Egypt in 2012. But like Morsi, it over-reached and overestimated its military chances against Israel. It must have gained hope from Turkey’s Islamist government AK party and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s strong messages of support. But the Gaza flotilla incident of 2010 seems like a high point of Turkish resolve. Hamas’ other erstwhile friends in Iran and Hezbollah; although Shi’ite extremists, seemed like they might bolster the organization. The 2006 Lebanon War, which was roundly seen as a blunder for Israel, was a by-product of Hamas’ own kidnapping of Gilad Schalit that year. But Hezbollah and Iran were drawn into the Syrian quagmire and Hamas was left alone. The overthrow of Morsi by General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi in Egypt put another nail in the blockade around Gaza as Sisi sought to root out terror in Sinai. Pro-Gaza activists from the West were roughed up routinely in Egypt.
Whereas Hamas could once propagate stories about flour or electricity shortages in Gaza, the international media and activists began to shrug their shoulders. Another perennial sewage problem? In June of 2014 Reuters noted, “sewage at the beach, piles of garbage mar Gaza’s summer.” Various alarmist UN statements, such as a 2008 claim that the “blockage [by Israel and Egypt] is putting Gaza at risk of starvation” were met with a yawn. Hamas’ Gaza policy, with its need for international attention, has been marred particularly by the mass atrocities that have been taking place throughout the Middle East. Media outlets like the BBC caught on to the fact that images from Syria are routinely passed off as being from Gaza and there is less international outrage at Israel than in previous years as the European public is inured to suffering in the region.
This latest round of violence is indicative. Al-Jazeera cobbled together various world leaders’ reactions to the conflict. The usual suspects were there – but were markedly tepid in their criticism of Israel.
All that said, I bet we go through the whole thing again another two years from now…
More news from inside the handbasket, including the dust-up in Gaza and the illegal alien surge at the border:
— Dan McLaughlin (@baseballcrank) July 10, 2014
— YCT-UT (@YCT_UT) July 10, 2014