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Thread: Hamas in Gaza (merged thread)

  1. #241
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    Default Israeli diplomacy and the Gaza campaign

    An excellent account of the complex Israeli diplomacy surrounding the military campaign in Gaza:


    Haaretz - 15:00 23/01/2009

    Israel's multi-faceted Gaza cease-fire

    By Aluf Benn

    The political goals of Operation Cast Lead were not formulated until a few days after the fighting in Gaza began. Heading the list was a "stable cease-fire," centering around an effort to prevent arms smuggling into the Strip. The logic was that the Israel Defense Forces operation would damage Hamas' military capabilities, and that putting an end to the arms buildup would prevent renewed rocket fire into Israel. Senior policy-makers, whose decisions were instrumental in shaping the war in Gaza, say Israel succeeded in placing the smuggling issue on the international agenda after years in which it has been shunted to the sidelines. Now Israel has secured a commitment from the United States, Europe and Egypt to act against an arms buildup in Gaza.

    Defense Minister Ehud Barak sought an "arrangement" via Egyptian mediation, which would be more stable than the previous tahadiyeh (cease-fire) agreement with Hamas. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni opposed a deal that would legitimize Hamas and proposed ending the operation with an act of "deterrence": a unilateral cease-fire that would allow Israel to resort to force again if hostilities from Gaza were renewed. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was against a settlement with Hamas - even one achieved by indirect means - but strove to reach an understanding with the international community.

  2. #242
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    Default IDF provides Hamas with 7,000 kgs of explosives

    Explosives haul missing in Gaza

    BBC, 17 February 2009

    Israeli aircraft dropped hundreds of tons of explosives on Gaza, not all of which exploded

    A large stockpile of unexploded weapons has disappeared in Gaza, before United Nations experts were able to dispose of it safely, the BBC has learned.

    Israel has accused Hamas of taking the stockpile, which was under Hamas guard....

    Two weeks ago, on 2 February, the UN team was given access to a storage site in Gaza City where more than 7,000kg of explosives was being housed.
    UXO have long been an important source of explosives for groups in Gaza (usually landmines from 1948-67, although in some cases even WWII and WWI stock). I imagine the "7,000 kg" refers to the gross weight of the UXO, not the amount of usable/extractable explosives.
    They mostly come at night. Mostly.


  3. #243
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    Default Amnesty War Crimes report - Gaza 2009

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/h...09_amnesty.pdf

    BBC coverage


    Israel-Hamas arms embargo urged
    Palestinians run for cover during an Israeli strike over a UN school in Beit Lahia, 17/01
    Israel has denied allegations of illegal use of white phosphorus rounds

    Amnesty International has called for a freeze on arms sales to Israel and Palestinian groups such as Hamas following the recent Gaza conflict.

    The human rights group said it had evidence both Israel and Hamas had used weapons sourced from overseas to carry out attacks on civilians.

    full story http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7904929.stm

  4. #244
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    Default A disturbing T-shirt ...

    When I saw the photo on an "anti-war" blog, I immediately thought "it has to be Palestinian disinformation" - until I followed the link to Ha'aretz.

    I came from a household in which Bobby Briscoe - and Chaim Herzog (Dublin-born) - were positive figures. This T-shirt disturbed me, even though I realize that "Psychologically speaking, this is one of the ways in which soldiers project their anger, frustration and violence." (quote from Dr Levy in the article).

  5. #245
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    JMM,

    Just my opinion here, but it seems to me the Israeli-Arab conflict is descending into deeper levels of dehumanization on both sides. WILF may disagree with me here, but the conflict more resembles a perpetual tribal blood fued as much as anything else.

  6. #246
    Council Member Uboat509's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    When I saw the photo on an "anti-war" blog, I immediately thought "it has to be Palestinian disinformation" - until I followed the link to Ha'aretz.

    I came from a household in which Bobby Briscoe - and Chaim Herzog (Dublin-born) - were positive figures. This T-shirt disturbed me, even though I realize that "Psychologically speaking, this is one of the ways in which soldiers project their anger, frustration and violence." (quote from Dr Levy in the article).
    Joe is Joe, no matter what army he is in. This is par for the course. Joe always wants people to know what a bad-ass tough guy he is. If you look at the shirts you see Joe wearing here, you will see common themes. Skulls wearing berets is popular. So are bladed weapons for some reason. Often there are "cool" slogans like "mess with the best, die like the rest". There are also a lot of themes that might be considered inappropriate or even offensive. Commanders dont typicaly let Joe wear that kind ofnstuff on duty but Joe still loves to wear it when he's off. Other than raising the overall level of cheese I don't really think that it has any real effect nor is it a reliable indicator of Joe's capacity for violence.

    SFC W

  7. #247
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    Default This T-shirt goes over my line ...

    from Ub
    Joe is Joe, no matter what army he is in.
    Agreed - and I am not offended by such as "mess with the best, die like the rest". Nor, by folks chanting "I'm a natural-born killer", even though only true for a few.

    This one explicitly gets into intentional killing of innocents - no suicide vest in sight ("1 shot, 2 kills"). Admittedly, I was most disturbed by a probably Jewish soldier wearing it - who knows, maybe the guy is an atheist (denial on my part). I'm reminded of a long-ago CO militia cav colonel - "nits grow into lice." Some Joes go beyond the rest of the Joes.

    PS: Been slogging thru the many comments at Ha'aretz. One notes that she has a rifle (held in left hand, raised over left shoulder) - that is so; an armed combatant, albeit very pregnant - which may be a rationalization on my part for some justification. Need Dr Levy on that one.
    Last edited by jmm99; 03-22-2009 at 02:30 AM. Reason: add PS

  8. #248
    Council Member Uboat509's Avatar
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    Default

    Again, I maintain that this goes to the Joe mentality. It becomes a kind of competition to see who can say or do the most outrageous thing. You say that this short goes over the line. I would say that that was the explicit intention of the designer/wearer, to "go over the line", the further the better.


    SFC W

  9. #249
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Entropy View Post
    Just my opinion here, but it seems to me the Israeli-Arab conflict is descending into deeper levels of dehumanization on both sides. WILF may disagree with me here, but the conflict more resembles a perpetual tribal blood fued as much as anything else.
    I see no change. Not for the last 3,000 years. The T-shirt is really no big deal. Vietnam produced far worse, and I can show you some outright racist bumper stickers, in my neighbourhood.

    The only alarming thing about the IDF T-shirt is that traditionally they have always been humorous or nationalistic, not hate driven. It's a big thing here, "not to hate." You get taught it at school.

    ... but really. We're discussing what some troops wear on a T-shirt? ...and bear in mind, it's written in English.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

  10. #250
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    Default Just a brief thought on T-shirts ...

    The IDF issued a statement on the T-shirts.

    Last update - 15:00 23/03/2009
    IDF: Soldiers' anti-Palestinian T-Shirts are 'tasteless'
    By The Associated Press

    The Israel Defense Forces on Monday condemned T-shirts worn by soldiers that depict scenes of violence against Palestinians as the army faces increasing domestic criticism over its conduct during the recent offensive in the Gaza Strip.
    .....
    One depicts a child in the cross-hairs of a rifle with the slogan, "The smaller they are, the harder it is," said one of T-shirts. Another shows a pregnant woman in the cross-hairs and the words "1 Shot 2 Kills".
    ....
    "The shirts are not in accordance with IDF values and are simply tasteless," the army said in a statement. "This type of humor is unbecoming and should be condemned."
    When I first looked at the photo, I saw the caption and only a pregnant woman. I overlooked the rifle in her left hand - as did all but one of the 160+ who commented on Ha'aretz the day its story ran (as noted in my PS).

    It is possible that the T-shirts were an attempt at black humor or even hate. It is also possible (since I'm not in the mind of the cartoonist) that they were a statement about the nature of the war that confronted the sniper. A war where pregnant women are armed combatants - and children are armed with grenades.

    Putting oneself in the shoes of the sniper and his actual sight picture (an armed combatant) leads (possibly) to a different conclusion as to what was really meant by the cartoon. So, an over-reaction on my part due to overlooking a key fact.

    The story will go on - not as to T-shirts; but as to the UN report and the statements of some IDF soldiers.

  11. #251
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Default Breakdown of "Civilian" Casualties

    IDF report on Civilian Casualties here

    I fully realise it makes no difference as the anti-Israel players will dismiss it, as a fabrication.
    Welcome to the Middle East!
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

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    Default Two reports ....

    Breakfast reading in part was an article on the IDF report and its counter report by the Palestinians. The IDF report has roughly 1150 casualties; the Palestinian has roughly 1450. The only way to compare the reports would be to do a name by name (the Palestinians claim their report has the names and other relevant data). The bottom line is that the two reports are in the same ballpark - whether in the Middle East or elsewhere.

    The major issue will be one of classification - combatant vs. non-combatant. An example is Hamas police officers (something north of 100 were killed). I'd expect another issue to hinge on Hamas arm-bearers vs. Hamas infrastruture. There will be no resolution of these issues, since opinions will break along "party lines".

  13. #253
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    Default Hamas cgsc

    Apr 1, 2009 0:01 | Updated Apr 1, 2009 16:34
    Hamas reportedly planning military staff college
    By YAAKOV KATZ

    http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satelli...cle%2FShowFull

    To counter their poor performance in the recent Gaza operation, Hamas is considering a command and staff college for its leaders. Only future promotion and command boards will determine if non-resident Hamas CGSC officers will stay competetive with their peers.
    "What do you think this is, some kind of encounter group?"
    - Harry Callahan, The Enforcer.

  14. #254
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    HRW, 20 Apr 09: Under Cover of War: Hamas Political Violence in Gaza
    After Israel began its major military offensive in Gaza on December 27, 2008, Hamas authorities in the territory took extraordinary steps to control, intimidate, punish, and at times eliminate their internal political rivals and those suspected of collaboration with Israel. The attacks continued throughout Israel’s campaign, and have slowed but not stopped since major hostilities ceased on January 18, 2009.

    During the chaos of Israel’s offensive, which killed approximately 1,350 Palestinian civilians and combatants and wounded about 5,000, Hamas security forces or masked gunmen believed to be with Hamas extra-judicially executed 18 people, mainly those accused of collaborating with Israel. Masked gunmen also beat and maimed by shooting dozens of Hamas’s political opponents, especially members and supporters of its main political rival, Fatah.

    The internal violence in Gaza has continued since Israel withdrew its forces. Palestinian human rights groups in Gaza have reported 14 more killings between January 18 and March 31, 2009....

  15. #255
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    Default Gaza blockade

    Israel bans books, music and clothes from entering Gaza

    By Amira Hass

    Haaretz - 08:05 17/05/2009


    Israel allows only food, medicine and detergent into the Gaza Strip. Thousands of items, including vital products for everyday activity, are forbidden.

    Altogether only 30 to 40 select commercial items are now allowed into the Gaza Strip, compared to 4,000 that had been approved before the closure Israel imposed on Gaza following the abduction of Gilad Shalit, according to merchants and human rights activists.

    ...

    The few items merchants are allowed to trade in are divided into three categories: food, medicine and detergent. Everything else is forbidden - including building materials (which are necessary to rehabilitate Gaza's ruins and rebuild its infrastructure), electric appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines, spare machine and car parts, fabrics, threads, needles, light bulbs, candles, matches, books, musical instruments, crayons, clothing, shoes, mattresses, sheets, blankets, cutlery, crockery, cups, glasses and animals. Many of the banned products are imported through the tunnels and can be found in Gaza's markets.

    Pasta, which had been forbidden in the past, is now allowed, after U.S. Senator John Kerry expressed his astonishment at the ban during a visit to Gaza in February. But tea, coffee, sausages, semolina, milk products in large packages and most baking products are forbidden. So are industrial commodities for manufacturing food products, chocolate, sesame seeds and nuts. Israel does allow importing fruit, milk products in small packages and frozen food products as well as limited amounts of industrial fuel.
    The blockade is a punitive measure intended to pressure Hamas into releasing Shalit, refrain from armed attacks, etc. It is also intended to weaken Hamas, and prevent the import of "dual use" items (err, like pasta). However, most analysts I speak with argue, correctly I think, that it creates such massive economic incentives for commercial smuggling that it makes it much easier for Hamas to smuggle in weapons too. When well over a hundred tunnels are bringing in basic supplies for 1.5 million each day--including perhaps 170,000 litres of fuel—its not so hard to slip some Grads in too.
    They mostly come at night. Mostly.


  16. #256
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    Default Hamas crushes Jund Ansar Allah

    Ha'aretz - 23:04 15/08/2009

    Hamas: Head of Al-Qaida affiliate killed in Gaza

    By Avi Issacharoff, Haaretz Correspondent, and Agencies


    Hamas crushed an al-Qaida-inspired group in an hours-long standoff that came to a fiery end when a large explosion killed the radical Muslim group's leader inside his Gaza home on Saturday.

    The fighting was sparked by a rebellious sermon by the group's leader, and his dramatic death put an end to the greatest internal challenge to Hamas' rule since it took control of Gaza two years ago.

    In all, the fighting claimed 24 lives - including that of a senior Hamas official who Israel says masterminded the abduction of Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit. It was the highest death toll in the territory since the Israel-Hamas war earlier this year.

    The crackdown targeted Jund Ansar Allah, or the "Soldiers of the Companions of God," one of a number of small, shadowy groups that are even more radical than Hamas. The decisive confrontation, in which 95 group members were arrested, solidified Hamas' iron rule in Gaza.
    They mostly come at night. Mostly.


  17. #257
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    WINEP, Oct 09: Hamas in Combat: The Military Performance of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement
    In Hamas in Combat, Yoram Cohen, former deputy director of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), and Jeffrey White, a career Defense Intelligence Agency analyst, focus on the military features of Hamas that have traditionally received little attention analytically: the movement's plans, forces, weapons, doctrine, and combat qualities.

    The writers conclude that despite the violent threat it poses to regional stability, Hamas's fundamental military strength should not be overestimated.

  18. #258
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    Default New Yorker's article on Gaza

    There is an excellent article by famous terror expert Lawrence Wright this week in the New Yorker magazine about Gaza.

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2...urrentPage=all

  19. #259
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    Default A long, grim read

    Phoenix80,

    A good catch and a long, grim read. Hardly a glimmer of hope too, both sides are so far apart and the Israeli government formed since the Gaza crisis is even less inclined to negoitate. Only the extremists appear to be "winning".

    davidbfpo

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    Their military performance during Operation Cast Lead may have been rather unimpressive, but as I have my morning coffee and watch a contingent of Hamas security forces change guard at a nearby post, I have to say: they march more crisply than the Fateh guys ever did!
    They mostly come at night. Mostly.


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