This 2024 - Let's Win the Battle of Headlines
Palestinians shop for food in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, during a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, on Nov. 27, 2023. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90.
  • Words count:
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    November 28, 2023
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USAID sends 24.5 tons of supplies to Gaza
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The humanitarian aid included medicine, food and nutritional assistance.
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The Biden administration’s plan to supply aid to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip displaced by the war between Israel and Hamas has moved forward with a new shipment of medicine, food and nutrition assistance.

A  U.S. Air Force C-17 delivered 24.5 metric tons of U.N. humanitarian supplies to Egypt for ground transport into Gaza and distribution by the United Nations. Medical supplies will replenish Gaza’s health system. Further flights of supplies will continue.

So far, the United States has provided 500,000 pounds of food assistance and plans for $100 million in aid.

USAID also notes that “the United States is also by far the largest donor to the U.N.’s humanitarian efforts in Gaza, including the largest contributor to UNRWA, the primary implementer on the ground in Gaza.”

UNRWA, or the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East, has previously received its share of criticism, with Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) calling the organization on Nov. 8, “an incubator of hate for young people especially, who then become 14-, 15-year-old terrorists because they’ve been taught since they were four to hate Jews and to hate Israel.”

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  • Words count:
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Nearly five months have passed since Oct. 7, yet many of the bereaved families report ongoing bureaucratic difficulties in obtaining proper compensation and have petitioned the Knesset for assistance. Some of the family members went so far as to claim that if the process isn’t sped up, people will die.

During a recent hearing by the Special Committee for Public Petitions in the Knesset on the subject, several family members told the lawmakers about the problems they face.

Itzik Ben Lulu, whose son was murdered at the Supernova music festival near Kibbutz Re'im, told the committee, "My daughter found out that her brother was murdered on TikTok, and that will remain with her for the rest of her life. I pay 3,500 shekels [$979] a month for each child for psychologists and psychiatrists, while there are no available appointments for treatment via our health provider."

Another family member, Noa Prod, said, "My mother and sister were murdered inside their home while I didn't know their condition, and no one came to save them. I don't live in [Kibbutz] Kfar Aza and am [therefore] not entitled to anything despite having small children and being a single mother unable to work. I ask you to see that we are collapsing now and help us before we can't lift ourselves up at all."

Speed up the process

Knesset member Yitzhak Pindrus (United Torah Judaism), who chairs the committee, announced a pivotal move in favor of the families.

"Similar to the Meron disaster—we will introduce a bill to consider the events of Oct. 7 ‘irregular’ and therefore speed up the process of allowing family members of the victims to receive special compensation," he said.

"We need to study the existing legislative gaps and respond accordingly. There are many hardships among the families of the victims and those injured, and they need to be provided with the proper and correct response," he added.

"Israel is dealing with an event unlike any since the establishment of the state," Pindrus continued, and the establishment of a committee of the directors general of government ministries is critical for synchronizing between the various offices.

In a sign of political consensus on the matter, MKs Karin Elharar and Matti Sarfati Harkavi (Yesh Atid) echoed Pindrus's statements and called for the government to step in and pass legislative amendments allowing for a broader response to the victims' families. 

Attorney Shlomi Mor, who represented the National Insurance Institute at the committee meeting, explained the institute's stance by saying, "We work according to the law of compensations for victims of hostility. … There is a need for the establishment of a comprehensive forum of all relevant [government] offices on the subject and for passing legislative amendments."

Or Tzubari, director of the "Iron Swords" department at the Ministry of Welfare and Social Affairs, summed up the meeting by saying, "The government's decision regarding the treatment of the party survivors needs to be addressed, and in parallel, the process of accompanying the families should be improved and streamlined. In all matters of accompanying the families, the rehabilitation officer at the Ministry of Welfare is responsible, and we will assist both in terms of making the services more accessible and in terms of providing the services themselves."

In light of the serious and urgent need for assistance, both financial and professional, by the bereaved family members, the committee promised to do what it could to expedite matters.

However, weary family members expressed concern regarding how quickly any such assistance would be received and whether it would be enough to stem the tide of the damage being incurred by those who have lost loved ones.

“If someone doesn't wake up, we will lose many people; I personally know two brothers who tried to commit suicide. In the end, everything here boils down to money, and if we wait for another committee, people will die from sorrow and clinical depression,” Ben Lulu said.

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The Biden administration is increasingly concerned that Israel is planning a ground invasion in the coming months to remove Hezbollah from Southern Lebanon should diplomatic efforts fail, CNN reported overnight Wednesday.

Senior U.S. officials told the news outlet that the offensive could be launched in late spring or early summer. The potential invasion is being discussed in White House intelligence briefings.

Israeli security forces at the site where two drones entered Israel from Lebanon crashed in an open area near Kfar Blum, northern Israel, Jan. 25, 2024. Photo by Ayal Margolin/Flash90.

Jerusalem is determined to return the 80,00 residents forced to evacuate the Lebanese border area in October due to Hezbollah attacks.

Hezbollah joined the war in support of Hamas on Oct. 8 and has been launching daily cross-border attacks on northern Israel, while Israel has responded with aerial attacks and artillery fire.

The Israeli defense establishment has repeatedly stated that while a diplomatic solution is preferred, the military option remains on the table to restore security to the north.

Hezbollah's very presence in Southern Lebanon is in violation of United Nations Resolution 1701, which demands that the terror group disarm and pull its force north of the Litani River.

“We are operating on the assumption that an Israeli military operation is [likely] in the coming months,” a senior Biden administration official told CNN. “Not necessarily imminently in the next few weeks but perhaps later this spring. An Israeli military operation is a distinct possibility.”

Led by U.S. special envoy Amos Hochstein, a frequent visitor to Jerusalem and Beirut, the Biden administration has been attempting to broker a diplomatic resolution to the Israel-Hezbollah conflict to avoid further escalation, which could spark a regional war.

U.S. Envoy Amos Hochstein, Feb. 9, 2021. Credit: U.S. Embassy in Lebanon.

A French proposal would see the radical Shi'ite militia moved six miles from the border, putting northern Israeli residents out of the range of anti-tank missile fire. That distance still falls some 13 miles short of the Litani River.

“I think what Israel is doing is they are raising this threat in the hope that there will be a negotiated agreement,” the official said.

“Some Israeli officials suggest that it is more of an effort at creating a threat that they can utilize. Others speak of it more as a military necessity that’s going to happen,” the official continued.

“Israel has been willing to give diplomacy a chance and hope it will succeed,” an Israeli official said to CNN. “If the issue can not be resolved diplomatically, Israel will have to consider alternate means.”

In a phone call with his American counterpart overnight Wednesday, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told Lloyd Austin that Israel "will not tolerate threats against its citizens and violations of its sovereignty, and will take the measures required to ensure their security."

He also briefed the Pentagon chief on the continuous Hezbollah attacks on Israel's northern border region, according to the Defense Ministry's readout of the call.

Air-raid sirens sounded in the Western Galilee communities of Shomi and Adamit on Thursday morning. This followed Israeli strikes on Wednesday night on Hezbollah terror infrastructure in the areas of Kafra and Seddiqine in Southern Lebanon.

https://twitter.com/idfonline/status/1762945235787612396
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  • Words count:
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“Save the Al-Aqsa Mosque!” is the battle cry of radical Islam and is featured in all the war slogans of Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran. Even Muslim Brotherhood supporter Turkish President Erdogan wishes to wrest away Israel's control of the Temple Mount. As for Hezbollah and Iran, this passion for Jerusalem is puzzling because the Shi'ite religion does not attribute any significance to Jerusalem.

Anyone walking through the alleys of Jerusalem's Old City will not find a trace of Shi'ite history. According to the Shi’ite book of traditions "Bihar al-Anwar," “Seas of Lights,” the Prophet Muhammad forbade pilgrimages to Jerusalem, allowing them only to Kufah (in Iraq), which was to become a Shi'ite religious center. Even the Isra (night journey), according to the Shi'ite religion, did not involve Jerusalem but rather a “distant mosque” in Heaven. The Mi’raj is a ladder on which the Prophet climbed to the upper heavens. There is no mention of Buraq, the miraculous winged horse of the Sunna that brought the Prophet to the Temple Mount.

So why do Iran and Hezbollah put Al-Aqsa on the top of their agenda? After the bloody Sunni-Shi'ite war between Iraq and Iran, the ayatollahs decided to emphasize the liberation of Jerusalem so that the Sunnis would look west to Jerusalem and not east to Tehran. As far as the Shi’ites are concerned, “saving Al-Aqsa” is a political slogan, not a religious value.

In the growing tension within the Arab world between moderate Sunnis and Iran, Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood, a unity of interests is being created between Israel and the moderate Sunni world, i.e., Saudi Arabia, the Gulf, Egypt, and so on. It should be noted that Egypt and Morocco, which previously had ambitions about the Jerusalem mosques, withdrew from the Mount. Morocco, formally the head of the Arab League’s Committee for Jerusalem, has lost interest and is no longer involved in Jerusalem affairs as in the past.

What remains of the tensions in the moderate Sunni world is the struggle between Saudi Arabia and Jordan, since the two kingdoms bear the crown of “Guardian of the Holy Places”—Saudi Arabia in Mecca and Medina and the Hashemites in Jerusalem. The question of Jerusalem is, therefore, the question of the legitimacy of the House of Saud versus the House of Hashem, which was the guardian of the holy sites in Mecca before the Saudis expelled them at the beginning of the last century.

How does this relate to Israel? At this historic crossroads, moderate Sunni forces see Israel as the only force that can curb the extremists’ efforts to turn the “liberation of Al-Aqsa” into an engine for the Shi'ite takeover of the Arab and Muslim world.

Because of the struggle between Saudi Arabia and Jordan, it is impossible to agree on an inter-Arab force that can replace Israel as the force defending the mosques. Jordanian and the Waqf’s acquiescence to Israeli police presence on the Temple Mount is a cornerstone of the status quo on the Mount.

But, as Spiderman said in his famous films, with great power comes great responsibility. History has presented the Jewish state with an opportunity to protect major mosques of Islam, and this requires a degree of responsibility befitting this unprecedented role.

Originally published by The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

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  • Words count:
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According to the mantras of peace activists, the way to end wars—and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in particular—is by recognizing that the people on the other side are “just like us.” Students in university peace studies programs are taught that conflicts end by bringing individuals from opposing sides together, to discover shared values and overcome stereotypes about “the other.” Based on this seemingly indisputable truth, millions of dollars are provided every year for women’s reconciliation dialogues, summer peace camps and similar frameworks. 

The articles of faith are also passionately repeated by Western diplomats. Speaking to the Israeli public on Feb. 7, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken declared that most people in Gaza “are just like our families...The overwhelming majority of the people in Gaza had nothing to do with Oct. 7. Their mothers and fathers want to earn a decent living, send their kids to school and have a normal life...We cannot, we must not lose sight of our common humanity.”

But is this belief reflected in reality? Is Palestinian society “just like” Israeli society, or is this a comforting but very dangerous illusion?

When Israelis look at the evidence from Gaza, we see that many supported the horrendous brutality in the Hamas atrocities of Oct. 7. Large crowds in Gaza turned out to cheer the terrorists returning from their heinous spree of torture, murder, rape and kidnapping. When some Israeli hostages in Gaza were transferred to the International Red Cross after weeks of torture, mobs harassed and intimidated them. 

Long before Oct. 7, everyone living in Gaza (including United Nations Relief And Works Agency employees) knew that Hamas was stealing international aid to build a massive underground terror infrastructure that could be used to attack Israelis. Some of these “ordinary civilians” who saw the horrendous pogrom ran immediately to join in the looting. No Palestinian has expressed human empathy for the Israeli victims. But Secretary Blinken did not lecture Palestinians on the theme that Israelis are “just like” them. 

In the face of this overwhelming evidence, what leads Western liberals to cling to the myths of “common humanity” and a universal society?  One explanation is “mirror imaging,” which is a mindset that erases obvious and fundamental societal differences. This filter removes the disturbing fact that, in contrast to the majority of Israelis, many Palestinian mothers repeatedly encourage their children to become “martyrs” and express pride when they are killed while murdering and brutalizing Jews. No, they are not “just like us.”

Another major difference is cultural—particularly what professor Richard Landes calls “honor-shame cultures,” in which humiliation (such as defeat in an aggressive war) leads to unbounded determination to exact revenge. This is the essence of the Palestinian nakba—the ongoing humiliation of the Arab armies' loss of the 1948 war. If Palestinians were “just like us,” they would instead examine their own shortcomings. In contrast to the Palestinian textbooks and those in many Arab countries, in which Jews and Israelis are depicted as monsters, Israeli children are not systematically raised on hate and incitement. The fundamental differences in our identities are deeply embedded in cultural values, taught to children from generation to generation. 

Another key difference is that for some groups (Christians and Muslims, in particular), affirmation of their identity and beliefs requires the conversion of others, often through coercion and humiliation. The Islamic world relegates Christians and Jews to second-class status (dhimmis). In contrast, Jews have nothing comparable—we are content to be “a nation that dwells alone” and a “light unto the nations,” neither of which leads to mass murder. 

At the same time, those who believe that people on the other side are “just like us” need different explanations for wars and terror. These include conspiracy theories that blame a small group of evil manipulators, often painted with classical antisemitic symbols, who gain power illicitly and create conflict. For example, instead of blaming Hamas and its allies for the Oct. 7 slaughter and the war that followed, the myth spinners refer to “Netanyahu’s war” against the presumably innocent civilians in Gaza. 

These illusions carry a very high cost. The “Oslo disaster” was the product of good intentions and myths, but instead of expected cooperation toward shared goals, Arafat and the Palestinians interpreted Israel’s decision to give up territory as weakness. Similarly, the hopes and illusions accompanying Israeli withdrawals from southern Lebanon in 2000—and from Gaza in 2005—quickly turned to dust. Even after the Hamas takeover and escalating attacks that followed, Israel’s leaders continued to avoid a full-force response, and this mistake culminated in the Oct. 7 slaughter. 

To avoid more disasters, Israelis must firmly reject the temptations of mirror imaging, “common humanity” and other messianic illusions. Instead, we need to return to the unfiltered political realism of Ben-Gurion, Begin, Meir and others. As long as the goal of the Palestinians, Iran and their allies is the elimination of Israel, sufficient military power must be available and displayed so that they understand that attacks on Israel will result in their own destruction. A strong and what might be falsely denounced as “disproportionate” deterrent force is the best option for survival.

Hopefully in the future, Palestinians and their allies will begin to view Israelis as “like us” enough to end generations of hate and terror. But until that happens, we cannot afford to entrust our survival to illusions and myths.

Originally published by The Jewish Journal.

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Israel Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told his American counterpart in a call overnight Wednesday that the IDF will continue its mission in Gaza until Hamas is defeated and the hostages returned.

According to a Defense Ministry statement, Gallant briefed Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin on the military's achievement in destroying "dozens of kilometers" of Hamas tunnels across the coastal enclave.

Lloyd Austin Yoav Gallant
U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (left) meets with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant in Israel on Oct. 13, 2023. Photo by Ariel Hermoni (Israeli Ministry of Defense).

"During his briefing, the minister reiterated the defense establishment's determination to continue operating until the removal of this threat, the destruction of Hamas battalions, the elimination of Hamas leadership and return of hostages," according to the readout of the call.

Barring a deal to return the remaining 134 hostages still held by Hamas in Gaza, Israeli forces are preparing to enter the last Hamas stronghold of Rafah to destroy the terror group's final four battalions, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated is vital to Israel achieving its war goals.

"In discussing the hostage crisis, Minister Gallant emphasized the importance of U.S. leadership and international pressure to achieving a framework that will enable the return of hostages," the statement added.

Israeli ground troops continue to operate throughout the Gaza Strip, killing terrorists in Khan Yunis and the Gaza City neighborhood of Zeitoun, the IDF said on Thursday.

A major aerial and ground offensive in the district began early last week, where in the past 24 hours soldiers destroyed tunnel shafts, located many weapons and five rocket-launching pits.

https://twitter.com/idfonline/status/1763090690253222071

Zeitoun is being cleared of terrorists ahead of a pilot program for local authorities to replace the Hamas terrorist group in governing Gaza and to end incitement in the educational system.

https://twitter.com/idfonline/status/1763090753419424109

Overnight Tuesday, Israeli Air Force jets struck eight "significant" Hamas targets in the northern Gaza Strip in response to renewed rocket fire on the southern city of Ashkelon. In one of those rocket attacks, a parked car was hit, causing damage but no injuries, according to authorities.

IDF Paratroopers operating in western Khan Yunis continue to raid terrorist infrastructure, eliminating "many" Hamas operatives in face-to-face fighting.

At the same time, members of the 7th Brigade raided buildings in the area, locating weapons and other terror equipment.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BCcUpDHyT4&t=1s

IAF planes, operating under the guidance of the 98th Division's fire center, attacked a Hamas squad preparing to ambush Israeli forces in Khan Yunis. According to the IDF, a secondary explosion that followed "testified to the many weapons they possessed."

Meanwhile, troops of the IDF's 162nd Division and Nahal Brigade killed "a number of terrorists" in Gaza City's Zeitoun neighborhood over the past day.

Two more Israeli soldiers were killed in Gaza, bringing the total number of IDF casualties to 582, the military announced on Wednesday morning. Maj. Iftah Shahar, 25, from Moshav Paran in southern Israel, and Capt. Itai Seif, 26, from Yeruham, fell in battle in the northern Strip.

Additionally, seven soldiers of the 432nd Battalion were seriously wounded while fighting in northern Gaza. The IDF said they were evacuated for medical treatment and their families informed.

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The Biden administration appears to be acting with increased hostility toward Israel, having reversed the "Pompeo Doctrine," sanctioned settlers and a company that manufactures parts for Israel’s Iron Dome system, and switched to harsher language with regard to calling for a ceasefire.

“There is a fundamental disconnect between the policy fantasy land in Washington and the reality of life in Israel after Oct. 7, Richard Goldberg, a senior adviser at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told JNS.

Despite what the U.S. administration may believe, “There is no path to peace without Israel destroying all remaining Hamas command and control in Gaza, massive reforms to the Palestinian Authority, dismantling UNRWA [the United Nations Relief and Works Agency] and excluding Hamas patrons like Qatar from any involvement,” Goldberg said.

Complicating matters, U.S. presidential elections will take place in November, and the Biden administration is worried its support for Israel is causing it to lose crucial votes. Terrified of losing Michigan and other states with sizable numbers of Muslims, U.S. President Joe Biden appears to be willing to endanger Israel to gain the support of a voting bloc in which Jew hatred is prevalent.

“I think we're witnessing a moment of opportunism where left-wing ideologues inside the White House are using the pretext of a political problem in Michigan and the prospect of Saudi-Israel normalization to ram through all the bad policy ideas that have been rejected for years,” said Goldberg. “The polling in Michigan doesn't justify a need for Biden to attack Israel, and Riyadh cares a lot more about U.S. defense and nuclear energy commitments than a two-state solution.”

While it is true that the United States vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza, White House officials have expressed opposition to an Israeli ground attack in Rafah and the Biden administration is pressing a two-state solution, a notion most Israelis currently reject. Israel’s Knesset confirmed this when it opposed unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the time, "The Knesset united with a huge majority against the attempt to dictate to us the establishment of a Palestinian state. The vote sends a clear message to the international community—unilateral recognition will not bring peace closer but will push it further away.”

The citizens of Israel and their Knesset representatives are more united today than ever before, said Netanyahu.

"We voted with a huge majority against a move that will endanger Israel and the achievement of peace before we achieve a complete victory against Hamas," he added.

Israel’s opposition leader Benny Gantz emphasized that he, too, is firmly opposed to steps that would lead to unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state. "Today we passed a resolution in the Knesset with a large majority, opposing the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state. After 7/10, it would be a mistake to give such support to terrorism," he said.

The Biden administration is also ignoring important polls, for instance by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, which showed that most Palestinians support Hamas.

In addition to the growing international pressure for Israel to agree to a ceasefire and recognize a Palestinian state regardless of whether Hamas releases the 134 Israeli hostages it holds, numerous critics accuse Israel of creating a new generation of terrorists as it tries to destroy Hamas.

In a recent television segment, comedian Jon Stewart made this very claim. TV host Piers Morgan, as well as others, have also repeated this mantra.

But FDD President Clifford May pushed back against this claim, saying Palestinians are witnessing what is happening in Gaza and understand terrorism does not pay.

“Even with Hamas only weakened, we have seen some Gazans expressing this altered perspective,” he said.

“Given the educational system in the Hamas-run schools in Gaza, it’s unlikely that many people in that territory favored peaceful coexistence with Israel, but [many] will now change their minds because Israelis retaliated against Hamas for the invasion and atrocities of Oct. 7,” he said. 

“If Hamas prevails in the war it has launched, Palestinians are likely to draw the lesson that terrorism pays; that their sacrifices were necessary because that’s how progress toward Israel’s extermination can be achieved,” he added.

May noted that as Israel continues to decimate Hamas, Palestinians are arriving at a wholly different conclusion to the one people like Stewart and Morgan are suggesting. 

“If Hamas does not prevail,” said May, “Palestinians may conclude that terrorism is a dead end—figuratively and literally.

"They may ask themselves: To what good purpose did Hamas bring this destruction upon Gaza? Why did they build tunnels to protect them and use us—innocent civilians, men, women and children—as human shields?”

According to May, instead of joining the ranks of terrorists, Palestinians will perhaps “begin to consider alternatives.”

The idea that by combating Hamas Israel is creating more terrorists, coupled with Washington’s push for a unilateral Palestinian state and other seemingly hostile moves, “amounts to a BDS campaign to pressure Israel into concessions that jeopardize its security,” according to Goldberg.

U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) on Saturday slammed the White House for its hostility toward Israel. 

“The Biden administration must stop undermining Israel and facilitating efforts to delegitimize Israel. It is misguided and unconscionable,” he tweeted.

“That needs to be condemned from both sides of the aisle in Washington,” said Goldberg.

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The White House is considering airdropping humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip as ground-based deliveries have become increasingly difficult, Axios reported on Wednesday, citing four U.S. officials.

"The situation is really bad. We are unable to get enough aid [in] by truck so we need desperate measures like airdrops," a U.S. official told the American news site.

According to the United Nations, the amount of aid reaching the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave dropped by half this month.

Hamas is stealing upwards of 60% of the humanitarian aid entering the Strip, according to Israel.

Canada is working to airdrop humanitarian aid into Gaza as soon as possible, a Cabinet minister in Ottawa confirmed to the Associated Press on Wednesday.

A multinational operation involving Israel, Egypt, France, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and the United States saw 160 packages of food and medical equipment air-dopped into southern Gaza on Tuesday, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

The aid was intended for the residents sheltered there and also for the Jordanian field hospital in Khan Yunis, where Israeli forces have been working for more than a month to dismantle Hamas's terror battalions there before heading to the last Hamas bastion of Rafah on the Egyptian border, where the terror group's last remaining battalions are concentrated.

It was delivered at 17 points along the southern Gaza coastline using American, Egyptian, Emirati, French and Jordanian planes.

Humanitarian aid is dropped into the southern Gaza Strip as part of a multinational operation, Feb. 27, 2024. Credit: IDF.

The Royal Jordanian Air Force parachuted more supplies into the northern Strip on Thursday, with windy weather blowing some of the aid packages into Israeli territory. The IDF said that there was no fear of a security incident.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hosted the U.N. coordinator for humanitarian aid to Gaza, Sigrid Kaag, at his office in Jerusalem on Wednesday.

The Prime Minister's Office described the meeting with the former deputy prime minister of the Netherlands as "constructive." According to the statement, they discussed "some of the current challenges in the region and possible policies to confront them."

Netanyahu also met on Wednesday with USAID Administrator Samantha Power. The Biden administration official is in the region to discuss getting aid to Gaza. She also met with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and U.S. Ambassador to Israel Jack Lew.

https://twitter.com/0Informations/status/1763049362123264499

While in Jordan, Power announced that the Biden administration will provide an additional $53 million in humanitarian assistance for Palestinians in Gaza and Judea and Samaria.

Israel will start transferring humanitarian supplies directly to the northern Gaza Strip to bypass the Hamas terrorist group, the War Cabinet decided on Feb. 24.

In the coming days, trucks carrying supplies bound for the parts of Gaza already conquered by Israeli forces will enter near the Karni crossing at the northeastern end of the Strip, which was permanently closed in 2011.

On Dec. 15, Israel’s Security Cabinet approved the opening of the Kerem Shalom crossing for the transfer of aid to the Strip after intense U.S. and international pressure. All the Israeli crossings to Gaza had been shuttered after the Oct. 7 massacre, with only Egypt’s Rafah crossing from Sinai remaining open.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) is suspending aid deliveries to northern Gaza via Egypt’s Rafah crossing, the Guardian reported on Feb. 24.

“The desperate behavior of hungry and exhausted people is preventing the safe and regular passage of our trucks,” Tamara Alrifai, director of external relations for UNRWA, told the British newspaper.

Sporadic protests have taken place over the past two months at Kerem Shalom in an attempt to block the entry of aid into Gaza, with protesters arguing that most of the aid is being stolen by Hamas.

Activists have also attempted to block the aid trucks at the smaller Nitzana crossing to Sinai and at the Ashdod port.

Clashes broke out between Israeli security personnel and protesters at the Kerem Shalom crossing to Gaza on Feb. 22, with one of the demonstrators reportedly injured by security forces.

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Representatives of the Israel Defense Forces told members of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Wednesday that "there is no such concept as settler violence" in Judea and Samaria.

"There is nationalistic crime, but we are talking about a few incidents...We have great respect for the residents of Judea and Samaria. They are our brothers, and it is our job to ensure their safety," the senior IDF officials told lawmakers during a closed-door meeting.

The official emphasized however that while there have only been a handful of incidents, these attacks "must be denounced by everyone so that the few do not tarnish an entire population," according to Arutz 7.

According to IDF and Israel Police data, Jewish violence against Palestinians in Judea and Samaria has been steadily decreasing. Earlier this year, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen called reports of growing "settler violence" a "blood libel" and "a lie disconnected from reality."

On Feb. 1, U.S. President Joe Biden issued an executive order targeting "persons undermining peace, security and stability" in Judea and Samaria, citing "high levels of extremist settler violence, forced displacement of people and villages and property destruction."

The White House named four Israeli Jews as the targets of sanctions: Yinon Levi of Meitarim Farm; David Chai Chasdai of Givat Ronen; Einan Tanjil of Kiryat Ekron; and Shalom Zicherman of Mitzpe Yair. Of the four, only Chasdai has ever run afoul of Israeli authorities.

Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman has blasted the Biden administration's Judea sanctions as a "disgrace" that could potentially apply to anyone who opposes the creation of a Palestinian state.

"So anyone who the State Department feels is hostile to creating a Palestinian terror state could wake up one morning and find his funds frozen at his local bank!" Friedman tweeted on Feb. 13.

"Not only is this an unlawful interference in another nation's internal politics (and a key ally to boot!) but it illegally punishes Israelis for exercising their free speech," the ambassador noted.

Addressing the national Israel mission of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations on Feb. 18, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Jack Lew said that the sanctions issue had been "overstated."

“This executive order is not about all Israelis and not even about all settlers—just that small minority who pursue violent extremism, and we have consistently shared these concerns, along with the commitment to do what we can to stop it, along with importuning the government of Israel to take effective action,” he said.

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Iran's Press TV will not be allowed to operate out of Jerusalem, the Government Press Office said on Tuesday, responding to a job posting by the propaganda outlet for a "news reporter" based in Israel's capital.

There is "no way" that anyone working for Press TV will receive accreditation as a journalist, the GPO told HonestReporting, a Jerusalem-based media watchdog that discovered the job ad.

On Monday, HonestReporting revealed on X that "the Islamic Republic of Iran is hiring a news reporter for its English-language Press TV in 'Al Quds (Palestine).' Someone who can maintain their 'high level of journalistic' standards and 'editorial principles.'"

"Social media - do your thing," the NGO tweeted, sharing the link to Press TV's LinkedIn post.

According to HonestReporting, "Press TV's channel has over the years given a platform to a wide array of neo-Nazis, white supremacists and Holocaust deniers.

"Its website also published an article titled, 'Palestinian suffrage in Israel worse than WWII Jewish plight.' A leitmotif of Press TV's reporting is that 'Zionists' and the 'Jewish Banking Cartel' control U.S. politics. The outlet also ran a poll implying that the '9/11 incident' was staged by the U.S. to 'tarnish the image of Islam' and be used as a pretext to wage wars in the Middle East," the organization noted in 2021.

https://twitter.com/HonestReporting/status/1762397632117309871

In an article published on its website on Tuesday, Press TV accused HonestReporting of being "funded by the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad" and orchestrating a "smear campaign" against Tehran.

"Press TV...has been a fearless advocate of Palestinian rights and has played an instrumental role in exposing the Israeli atrocities in the occupied territories," the regime-run propaganda site claimed.

Late last year, the Israeli government approved emergency regulations allowing hostile foreign channels to be prevented from operating in the Jewish state during the ongoing war with Hamas in Gaza.

Israeli Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi subsequently signed an order banning the activities of Al-Mayadeen, a Hezbollah-affiliated television station based in Beirut.

Like Press TV and Qatar's Al Jazeera network, Al Mayadeen had been accused of serving as a propaganda channel for Hamas following its Oct. 7 mass slaughter of Israeli civilians in the northwestern Negev region.

"Broadcasts such as these identify with the enemy while harming state security and will be blocked. Al Mayadeen's channel's broadcasts and reports serve the despicable terrorist organizations, and the time has come for a reckoning with them," Karhi said in November.

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