Gadi Haggai, 73, a dual U.S.-Israeli citizen who was confirmed dead on Dec. 22, 2023, having been killed by Hamas terrorists. Source:  YouTube/CBS News.
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Gadi Haggai, 73, is first US citizen confirmed killed by Hamas as a hostage
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The terror organization continues to hold Haggai’s body, and his wife reportedly also remains a Hamas hostage.
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An Israeli-American is the first U.S. citizen taken hostage who has died in Hamas captivity in Gaza, a group representing the families of Hamas prisoners announced on Friday.

Gadi Haggai, 73, a U.S.-Israeli dual national, was on a walk with his wife Judi Weinstein, 70, near Kibbutz Nir Oz when Hamas began its attack on the morning of Oct. 7. Weinstein was able to call a member of the kibbutz to tell them that she and her husband had been shot, and the two were presumed to be held hostage in Gaza.

The Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum has now announced, however, that Haggai was killed on Oct. 7 and his body taken into Gaza. His wife, who is also a Canadian citizen, is thought to still be alive and a hostage of the terrorist group.

Haggai is the first American hostage to have been killed during the conflict.

“It remains unclear how officials were able to determine he had died in captivity, as Hamas officials do not comment on the death reports,” per the New York Post.

“Haggai, a retired chef and jazz musician, was a father of four and grandfather of seven,” wrote the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto. “His wife, Canadian citizen Judith Weinstein, remains in captivity.”

“Both Gadi and Judith considered themselves pacifists and were committed peace activists. Hamas of course couldn’t care less. Those animals are still holding the body of Gadi and Judith as hostage,” wrote Arsen Ostrovsky, CEO of the International Legal Forum.

“Instead of doing everything to demand Judith’s release, Canada is too busy lecturing Israel, while receiving thanks by Hamas for voting for U.N. ceasefire resolutions that don’t even mention the terror group,” Ostrovsky added.

Will Ripley, senior international correspondent at CNN, got emotional reporting the news: “73-years-old. That’s the same age as my parents,” he said. “Can’t imagine what the families have been going through.”

The White House and U.S. State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Neither put out a statement initially, nor did four accounts on X associated with U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, nor those of First Lady Jill Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the U.S. State Department and Matthew Miller, the department spokesman.

Some nine or 10 hours after the news was first reported, the White House released a statement from Biden.

"Jill and I are heartbroken by the news that American Gad Haggai is now believed to have been killed by Hamas on Oct. 7. We continue to pray for the well-being and safe return of his wife, Judy," the president said.

"Their daughter joined by phone my meeting with the families of hostages last week. Those families bravely shared with me the harrowing ordeal that they have endured over the past months as they await news of their loved ones. It’s intolerable," Biden added. "Today, we are praying for their four children, seven grandchildren and other loved ones and are grieving this tragic news with them." 

"I reaffirm the pledge we have made to all the families of those still held hostage: We will not stop working to bring them home," he added.

"It’s been 76 days since Iran-backed Hamas terrorists took hundreds hostage, including Americans. And today, we learned of the heartbreaking death of 73-year-old Israeli-American hostage Gadi Haggai," wrote Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.). "We can’t let this continue. We must bring them all home."

"Another American killed by the Hamas’s Oct. 7 terrorist attack," added Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.).

"Gadi Haggai, 73, was murdered by Hamas while being held hostage. Haggai was a retired chef and jazz musician, the father of four and the grandfather of seven. He and his wife were kidnapped by Hamas on Oct. 7 while on their morning walk," wrote Ted Deutch, CEO of the American Jewish Committee.

"Murdering and kidnapping innocent elderly civilians. Hamas is an enemy of humanity," he said. "May Gadi Haggai's memory be a blessing."

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At least a billion eyes watched the dramatic three minutes in which Republican New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik forced the presidents of America's leading universities to answer a rather simple question: "Does a call for the elimination of the Jewish people violate the rules of your academic institution?"

"It depends on the context," the presidents of Harvard, MIT, and the University of Pennsylvania told the lawmaker when she asked them that question at the House committee hearing in Washington five months ago. Stefanik rejected their responses. "No." she told the professors, “Calls for the murder of Jews are not context-dependent."

The clarity and determination displayed by Stefanik shook America's prestigious campuses and, among other things, forced two of the presidents to resign from their positions. The power Stefanik radiated, and the enormous snowball effect that began rolling due to her words, catapulted her as one of the most talked-about names as Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, searches for a running mate, or future cabinet members.

In a recent interview with Israel Hayom, Trump committed to having a pro-Israel running mate. Stefanik meets that definition.

On Sunday, Stefanik arrived in Israel for a solidarity trip and visited communities affected by the recent conflict. However, she did not need to witness the difficult sights to stand in support of the State of Israel and the Jewish people, while harshly criticizing U.S. President Joe Biden's attitude toward Israel.

She made it clear that one thing will not happen: If Trump is elected president, there will be no weapons embargo on Israel.

Q: Many Israelis are now disappointed with President Biden's line toward Israel, especially regarding the embargo he imposed two weeks ago. The question is, if Trump does win the elections in November and the war is still ongoing, what will his policy be regarding Israel, the war, Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran? What will he say to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or another Israeli prime minister if he becomes president?

Stefanik: Well, first of all, look at President Trump's record in terms of moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, the historic Abraham Accords, the biggest great breakthrough for peace normalization in 25 years, as well as moving Israel to U.S. Central Command, allowing the planning which was so critical to combating the Iranian strike against Israel with the hundreds of missiles that were sent. 

We know that President Trump makes a strong effort when it comes to U.S. support for Israel. And there is a stark difference. Look at Joe Biden's statement to withhold military aid that the U.S. Congress passed overwhelmingly. 

There was no excuse for any American president to withhold that aid to our most precious ally in the region. Under President Trump that would have never happened.

Q: What do you think about President Biden not allowing entry into Rafah and not wanting, for example, Israel to encourage emigration from the Gaza Strip to other places in the world? Is it okay with you to allow Gazans to immigrate to other places, and this situation where Biden does not want us to operate in places where we know Hamas is still present?

A: Israel needs all the operational flexibility to eradicate Hamas. This is a just war. It was Hamas that committed terrorist atrocities against the Israeli people. So, this moral equivocation, this equivocation on policy from the Biden administration, there is no room for it.

And I'm here in Israel to send a message that the American people stand strongly with Israel to eradicate Hamas to protect Israel's right to exist to protect the national security of Israel.

Originally published by Israel Hayom.

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The Hamas terrorist organization welcomed Wednesday's decision by Ireland, Norway and Spain to recognize a Palestinian state.

“We consider this an important step towards affirming our right to our land,” the group said in a statement, calling “on countries around the world to recognize our legitimate national rights.”

The Palestinian Authority also expressed support for the decision, which will be implemented on May 28.

Israel called the move a reward for terrorism and the atrocities Hamas committed on Oct. 7.

“Today’s decision sends a message to the Palestinians and the world: Terrorism pays. After the Hamas terror organization carried out the largest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust, after committing heinous sexual crimes witnessed by the world, these countries chose to reward Hamas and Iran by recognizing a Palestinian state,” tweeted Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz.

“This distorted step by these countries is an injustice to the memory of the victims of 7/10, a blow to efforts to return the 128 hostages, and a boost to Hamas and Iran’s jihadists, which undermines the chance for peace and questions Israel’s right to self-defense," he added.

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While some in Israel and the United States are fixated on the question of who will govern the Gaza Strip after the current war, many Palestinians, including the Palestinian Authority, seem less concerned about what will happen to the coastal enclave once Hamas is removed from power. 

Although the P.A. has publicly indicated its desire to return to the Gaza Strip, Palestinian officials in Ramallah say they know that this cannot happen as long as Hamas’s military capabilities have not been completely destroyed. 

P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas is not thinking about returning to the Gaza Strip, the officials say. His top concern right now is ensuring that Hamas does not win on the battlefield or in the arena of public opinion. 

All he can do on the battlefield front is silently hope that Israel vanquishes Hamas and puts an end to the terrorist organization’s rule over the Gaza Strip. 

The growing popularity of the Iran-backed Hamas among Palestinians and the terrorist organization’s prominence in international affairs following the Oct. 7 massacre of Israelis appear to be Abbas's primary concern. 

The P.A. president is apparently not happy with all the attention that Hamas has been getting since Oct. 7. He is also upset that since the attack, Hamas has become more popular among Palestinians as well as other Arabs and Muslims. Abbas, in addition, is worried about the fact that Hamas leaders continue to be accepted by many in the international community as legitimate actors in the Palestinian arena. 

At meetings of the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah, Abbas has avoided bringing up the issue of returning to the Gaza Strip. He is aware that this is a very delicate subject and that Hamas and his political enemies could use anything he says to label him as an Israeli collaborator. 

Since the Oct. 7 massacre, Abbas has been cautious not to challenge Hamas directly. However, he has sharply criticized Hamas—not for the heinous crimes it committed, but for providing Israel with a pretext to invade the Gaza Strip. Abbas knows quite well that if he criticizes Hamas, especially when it is at war with Israel, he will lose favor with many Palestinians.

At the May 16 Arab summit in Bahrain, Abbas accused Hamas of giving Israel pretexts and justifications for waging war against the Gaza Strip, but stopped short of denouncing the crimes committed by Hamas terrorists against Israelis. “The military action that Hamas carried out, at its own decision, on that day, Oct. 7, gave Israel even more excuses and reasons to attack in the Gaza Strip, an attack it has continued with full force, with murder, destruction and uprooting,” he said.  

The day after

According to the Palestinian officials, Abbas and the P.A. leadership do not have a plan for the day after the war.  

The new P.A. government led by Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa has still not come up with a strategy to expand its authority to include the Gaza Strip, primarily because Hamas objects to Abbas’s “unilateral” decision to name a prime minister without first consulting with the terrorist group.

It is, therefore, unlikely that Mustafa’s government will take up duties in the Gaza Strip anytime soon, given the fact that Hamas remains in control of many parts of the coastal enclave. In the past few weeks, Mustafa has been busy trying to find a solution to the P.A.’s financial crisis. His top priority is to pay full salaries to P.A. employees, not returning to the Gaza Strip.

As part of its effort to prevent the return of Abbas loyalists, Hamas militiamen have been keeping an eye on the whereabouts and behavior of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip who are recognized to be associated with the PA and its ruling Fatah faction.  

Hamas security personnel dressed in civilian clothes are patrolling the streets of several Gaza Strip communities, occasionally stopping individuals and requesting to verify their personal documentation. 

Last month, Hamas announced that its men had detained several P.A. intelligence officers who had “infiltrated” the Gaza Strip posing as humanitarian assistance workers. Hamas claimed that the officers were on a covert mission organized and supervised by Majed Faraj, commander of the Palestinian General Intelligence Service, in coordination with Israel and some Arab countries, presumably Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. 

In the past few months, Hamas has issued numerous warnings declaring that it will not allow any foreign party to be present in the Gaza Strip. The warning was issued in reaction to information circulating about the possible deployment of an Arab peacekeeping force in the Gaza Strip. The warning was also directed against Abbas and his close advisers, including Faraj and Hussein al-Sheikh, Secretary-General of the PLO Executive Committee, who is touted as a potential successor to the 88-year-old Palestinian rais (president).

There is hardly any meaningful debate among the Palestinians when it comes to who should lead the Gaza Strip if Hamas is overthrown.

But many Palestinians are attentively monitoring reports in the Israeli and foreign media concerning the controversy surrounding the P.A.’s return to the Gaza Strip. The majority of the information they receive on this matter is sourced from Israeli and foreign journalists, with Palestinian officials, political analysts and commentators rarely discussing the topic in public. 

In the Gaza Strip, many Palestinians are frequently unwilling and afraid to bring up the subject, at least in public. They are aware that despite the significant losses Hamas has sustained during the war, it still maintains many eyes and ears throughout the Gaza Strip. 

In the West Bank, many Palestinians do not seem to care about who will rule the Gaza Strip after the war. The two main concerns that the majority of the West Bank Palestinians have these days are whether the P.A. will pay its employees fully or partially and whether or not Israel will ever permit Palestinians (from the West Bank) to work in Israel again. More than 100,000 Palestinians from the West Bank had permits to enter Israel for commercial and work purposes prior to Oct. 7. 

The international Criminal Court

In the absence of a plan and a genuine intention to return to the Gaza Strip, Abbas and the P.A. leadership have intensified their diplomatic war against Israel in the international arena, exemplified by the International Criminal Court prosecutor Karim Khan requesting arrest warrants from the court’s judges for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

The offensive also involves renewing the Palestinians’ application for full United Nations membership, gaining recognition for a Palestinian state from more nations and convincing numerous governments and international organizations across the globe to boycott and punish Israel. 

Instead of preparing the P.A. for regaining control of the Gaza Strip, Abbas has opted to focus his efforts on delegitimizing and isolating Israel and achieving symbolic victories, including persuading more countries to recognize a Palestinian state. His main goal is to show the Palestinians that the P.A. remains as relevant as ever. His message to the Palestinians: “While Hamas is fighting Israel on the streets of the Gaza Strip, I’m waging another type of war against Israel in the international arena. My war is no less painful to Israel than the Hamas attacks against Israel.”

Abbas is hoping that his diplomatic offensive will help him regain legitimacy and the confidence of Palestinians, many of whom, according to public opinion polls, prefer Hamas to his corrupt and incompetent P.A. For now, he would rather remain in Ramallah, continuing his diplomatic warfare against Israel and efforts to win recognition of a Palestinian state, than return to the Gaza Strip and face a potential bloodbath—with some of the blood being his own—courtesy of Hamas.

Originally published by The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

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Israelis evacuated from their homes in communities opposite the Gaza Strip and the Upper Galilee, who live in temporary housing arrangements, have been provided specially designed areas called “Quiet Rooms” for them to retrieve some peace and privacy.

The “Quiet Rooms,” modeled after Beit Issie Shapiro’s Snoezelen rooms, are controlled spaces designed to reduce anxiety and mental stress while calming sensory overload.

Since 1993, when their first Snoezelen room opened, Ra’anana-based Beit Issie Shapiro, a leader in the field of treating people with disabilities, has helped create more than 500 rooms in therapeutic centers, hospitals, schools, and other institutions in Israel and abroad.

Each room is equipped with a tent, mattresses, a bean bag, weighted blankets, noise-reducing headphones, dimmed lighting and virtual reality (VR) glasses.

“Quiet Rooms” were installed at three hotels housing evacuees, including the Vert Lagoon in Netanya, the Leonardo Hotel in Tiberias, and the Jacob Resort Hotel in Hadera.

Individuals sign up for 20-minute slots. The room is operated by evacuees themselves, who are trained by Beit Issie Shapiro staff.

A “Quiet Room” with a tent, bean bag and sofa. Credit: Courtesy of Beit Issie Shapiro.

“We address every detail to create and set up a Quiet Room: the rationale for the room, how to install it, and links to purchase items such as mattresses and sensory equipment,” said occupational therapist and Beit Issie Shapiro project coordinator Oshrat Nahmias.

“We provide guidance on how to operate it, maintain safety, and create a professional and pleasant experience for users. The idea is that it can be installed easily inside any room,” she added.

More than 700 people have used the rooms since the beginning of the project; a third have returned to use them on a weekly basis.

“The room creates a sense of peace, from the accessories to the aroma and the lighting,” said Shani Peretz, a Sderot resident who stayed at the Vert Lagoon Hotel. 

“I choose to lie on the bean bag and cover myself with a weighted blanket, which gives a real feeling of security, of home. I swam with dolphins through virtual reality goggles. It’s an experience that disconnects you from all thoughts of the day,” she added.

The project is co-sponsored by Israel’s Ministry of Health and the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), a global Jewish humanitarian organization.

An evacuee with headphones relaxes inside a “Quiet Room.” Credit: Courtesy of Beit Issie Shapiro.

‘Project fills a need’

“The enthusiastic response and positive feedback from participants demonstrate that the project fills a real need,” said Josh Malada-Shahar, programs manager for Israel Unlimited, who led the project for JDC Israel.

As evacuees remain in limbo, unable to immediately return to their homes, JDC Israel has renewed the pilot, keeping the rooms running. They also expect to expand the project to include additional hotels around the country.

Evacuees will also have the opportunity to replicate the concept once they return home.

Snoezelen representative Yael Yoshei said she continues to receive requests to set up “Quiet Rooms” from municipalities around the country, including Ofakim, opposite the Gaza Strip, and most recently, at the rehabilitation department for recuperating soldiers at Sheba Medical Center at Tel HaShomer.

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Israel has eliminated only around a third of the Hamas terrorists and tunnels in Gaza since the start of the war on Oct. 7, Politico reported on Tuesday, citing U.S. intelligence estimates.

"Although Hamas’ communications and military abilities have been degraded, only 30 to 35 percent of its fighters—those who were a part of Hamas before the Oct. 7 attack—have been killed and about 65 percent of its tunnels are still intact, U.S. intelligence indicates," the Virginia-based news outlet stated.

According to Western officials, thousands of Hamas terrorists have been able to evade the Israel Defense Forces by hiding in Gaza's vast subterranean tunnel network, while others have mixed into the civilian population.

Gen. Joseph Votel (ret.), who headed U.S. Central Command during the peak of fighting with Islamic State, was one of several former top officials quoted by the publication who were critical of Jerusalem's war strategy. He urged the Israeli government to consider long-term plans for the Strip and its population.

“Everybody gets the fact that you have to destroy Hamas …, but then what?” asked Votel.

“What’s the plan to take care of the 2.5 million Palestinians that are left behind? What’s the plan to deal with the remainder of the Hamas fighters? It seems incomplete and I just don’t think that they have communicated or have thought through that as well as I would’ve hoped they would’ve.”

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Despite facing online antisemitism just last month, Israeli supermodel Sun Mizrahi starred on two striking covers for the summer issue of Vogue Greece, the world's most famous and prestigious fashion magazine.

The magazine created two different covers with a theme of "Mediterranean Touch."

"The diverse facets of the Mediterranean coast make up this unique mosaic, drawing influences from Greece and Italy to the more Middle Eastern roots of Lebanon and Morocco," described the fashion editorial.

https://twitter.com/HenMazzig/status/1792913863886704676

The covers faced online backlash.

"Posting an Israeli model on your cover in the midst of current world events is an extremely tone-deaf decision and it really does beg the question of whether you are able to read the room," one commentator said. "This is not what Israelis look like" another added.

Many took to X to defend the model, one saying, "They say that Israelis are white. Let me tell you a secret. Her name is Sun Mizrahi. Do you know what Mizrahi means in Hebrew? It means Eastern!"

https://twitter.com/HamasAtrocities/status/1792922055366660194

Just six weeks ago, Mizrahi faced online hate for being Israeli after the international retailer Zara promoted her campaign photos on social media. Landing a Vogue cover is a massive achievement for a model, making this a source of Israeli pride to see the homegrown beauty grace the cover of the iconic fashion bible.

https://twitter.com/trishaposner/status/1778044329539354826

Originally published by Israel Hayom.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin on Tuesday ruled out resettlement in the Gaza Strip after the war against Hamas.

“If you mean resettling Gaza...it was never in the cards, and I said so openly. And some of my constituents are not happy about it, but that's my position,” the premier said in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper.

Netanyahu reiterated his "day after" plan, whereby Israel will stay in charge of security in Gaza until insurgency and terrorism is completely rooted out, after which Gazans can take charge of the Strip.

“I think the only force that can prevent the resurgence of terrorism for the foreseeable future is Israel. At the same time, we want, I want a civilian administration that is run by Gazans who are neither Hamas nor committed to our destruction,” he said.

Netanyahu also said he wants to see a coalition of “moderate Arab states and the international community” that can assist in the reconstruction of Gaza.

The plan is not likely to be welcomed by some in his coalition.

The same day the interview aired, Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir reiterated his own plan for after the war.

“Complete occupation of Gaza, everything is ours. Full Israeli control including Jewish settlement and voluntary encouragement of immigration. Not only in settlements that have been evacuated,” he told the Kikar HaShabbat website. Ben-Gvir also said he would be willing to live in Gaza.

During the interview, Tapper asked about the recent announcement by the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor that he would be seeking arrest warrants for Israeli leaders, including Netanyahu.

The prime minister called the move “beyond outrageous," adding, "This is a rogue prosecutor that has put false charges and created false symmetries that are both dangerous and false. And the first false symmetry is, he equates the democratically elected leaders of Israel with the terrorist tyrants of Hamas.”

This, he said, was like “issuing the arrest warrants for FDR and Churchill, but also for Hitler, or I'm issuing arrest warrants for George Bush, George W. Bush, but also for [Osama] bin Laden. That's absurd.”

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  • Words count:
    485 words
  • Type of content:
    Update Desk
  • Publication Date:
    May 22, 2024
  • Media:
    1 file

The Israel Defense Forces did not redeploy troops from the Gaza border to Judea and Samaria in the days leading up to Hamas's Oct. 7 massacre, according to an internal military document published on Tuesday.

In December, Dan Harel, who headed the IDF's Southern Command during the 2005 Gaza disengagement and was later promoted to deputy chief of staff, cast blame on Religious Zionism Party Knesset member Zvi Sukkot for the army's lack of preparedness on Oct. 7. Harel claimed that forces were moved from the Gaza border to Huwara in Samaria to protect a protest tent set up by the lawmaker.

Sukkot had set up the Jewish sukkah in the flashpoint Arab town on Oct. 5 after a series of Palestinian attacks, including a terror shooting that targeted an Israeli man, his pregnant wife and their 18-month-old child.

Harel's remarks took a life on their own, with pro-Palestinian activists on social media spreading the claim that Hamas terrorists succeeded in murdering 1,200 people on Oct. 7 because the border was unprotected due to the need to protect Jewish "settlers" in Judea and Samaria.

To dispel the claim, Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan filed a request under Israel's Freedom of Information Law demanding the release of documents relating to the IDF's manpower considerations.

Israel Hayom on Tuesday published records indicating that no Israeli troops were transferred from the Gaza border area to Samaria on Oct. 6.

The document proves that the transfer of the forces to reinforcement positions in Samaria was part of a quarterly IDF schedule approved some two months before the Hamas massacre, and amid an uptick in deadly terror attacks in the areas surrounding Huwara, according to the daily.

Dagan decried what he called the "tarnishing of the communities and the false impression that there is some responsibility for the massacre, by claiming that the pioneering residents of Judea and Samaria are sinning by settling the Land of Israel and wanting to live in safety."

Dagan demanded that those responsible for spreading "immense hatred in a time of war" issue an apology to Judea and Samaria communities.

Sukkot told Israel Hayom, "It is unbelievable that during the difficult days of the most difficult war in our history, individuals were making false accusations against the residents of Judea and Samaria and myself personally. I am happy that the truth has come out."

In December, IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari stressed that there was no substantial change in the number of soldiers securing the Gaza frontier ahead of the Oct. 7 cross-border onslaught.

"The deployment of the forces that carry out regular operational activities [on the border of] the Gaza Strip did not change before Oct. 7," Hagari told reporters at a press conference.

Judea and Samaria saw a dramatic rise in Palestinian terrorist attacks in 2023 compared to the previous year, with shootings reaching their highest level since the Second Intifada of 2000-05, per IDF data.

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  • Words count:
    465 words
  • Type of content:
    Update Desk
  • Publication Date:
    May 22, 2024

Ireland, Norway and Spain said on Wednesday morning that they will recognize a Palestinian state, prompting Jerusalem to recall its envoys and summon the ambassadors of these countries.

Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris, Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced in their respective capitals that they will recognize a Palestinian state on May 28.

“There cannot be peace in the Middle East if there is no recognition," Støre opined at a press conference. “The terror has been committed by Hamas and militant groups who are not supporters of a two-state solution and the State of Israel."

https://twitter.com/Statsmin_kontor/status/1793169088916668510

Harris said that "permanent peace can only be secured upon the basis of the free will of a free people."

Israel's Foreign Minister Israel Katz recalled the Israeli ambassadors to the three countries for immediate consultations on the decisions to recognize a Palestinian state. He also summoned the Irish, Norwegian and Spanish ambassadors to Israel for a reprimand conversation in which they will be shown a video of Hamas terrorists abducting female IDF observers during the Oct. 7 invasion.

"I’m sending a clear and unequivocal message to Ireland and Norway: Israel will not remain silent in the face of those undermining its sovereignty and endangering its security," the minister tweeted shortly before the Spanish announcement.

He warned of "further severe consequences" that would follow against Spain if it followed suit.

https://twitter.com/Israel_katz/status/1793174400151249194

"Today’s decision sends a message to the Palestinians and the world: Terrorism pays. After the Hamas terror organization carried out the largest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust, after committing heinous sexual crimes witnessed by the world, these countries chose to reward Hamas and Iran by recognizing a Palestinian state," Katz continued.

"This distorted step by these countries is an injustice to the memory of the victims of 7/10, a blow to efforts to return the 128 hostages, and a boost to Hamas and Iran's jihadists, which undermines the chance for peace and questions Israel’s right to self-defense.

"Israel will not remain silent—there will be further severe consequences. If Spain follows through on its intention to recognize a Palestinian state, a similar step will be taken against it.

"The Irish-Norwegian folly does not deter us; we are determined to achieve our goals: restoring security to our citizens, dismantling Hamas, and bringing the hostages home. There are no more just causes than these," Katz wrote.

Hamas welcomed the decision by the trio to recognize a Palestinian state.

“We consider this an important step towards affirming our right to our land,” the terrorist group said in a statement, calling “on countries around the world to recognize our legitimate national rights."

The Palestinian Authority also expressed support for the decision.

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