BREAKING! FAA lifts ban on U.S. flights in and out of Israel

The Federal Aviation Administration lifted its ban on flights to Israel after reviewing Israeli measures to keep flights safe from Hamas rockets.

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JTA “Before making this decision, the FAA worked with its U.S. government counterparts to assess the security situation in Israel and carefully reviewed both significant new information and measures the Government of Israel is taking to mitigate potential risks to civil aviation,” the agency said in a statement just before midnight on Wednesday, saying the ban was lifted effective immediately.

The agency had come under fire from the Israeli government, pro-Israel groups and a leading Republican senator for the ban, instituted Tuesday at noon after a Hamas rocket landed in a town about a mile from Ben Gurion International Airport. Its statement appeared to allude to claims that the ban was a means of pressuring Israel into a ceasefire.

Calling the ban “harsh and excessive,” AIPAC said, “For the past two weeks, Israel has endured hundreds of rockets launched by Hamas terrorists from Gaza. Yet, air travel to Israel has been safe and unhindered.”

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Wednesday suggested the ban was politically motivated and a means to pressure Israel to accept the terms of a cease-fire being sought by Secretary of State John Kerry. Cruz pledged to block State Department nominees until the Obama administration answered his questions about the ban.

Marie Harf, a State Department spokeswoman, called Cruz’s allegation “offensive and ridiculous.” In response, Cruz said, “The only thing ‘offensive’ about this situation is how the Obama Administration is spurning our allies to embolden our enemies; the only thing ‘ridiculous’ is the administration’s response to basic questions.”

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The potentially catastrophic (to Israel) strategy of the Hamas Terror Tunnels

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The IDF has not yet located and destroyed all of Hamas’ terror tunnels, but the consensus about the intent behind them is quite clear. On Monday IDF forces thwarted another terror attack after two groups of Hamas operatives  infiltrated from Gaza to Israel through a tunnel, apparently on their way to carry out a mass casualty attack at Kibbutz Erez and/or Nir Am.

Israel Matzav  Since Operation Protective Edge began, IDF forces have foiled several other attempted attacks by Hamas near Kibbutz Sufa and Kibbutz Nirim that also made use of attack tunnels, while uncovering and blowing up dozens of tunnels in Gaza along its border with Israel. These tunnels penetrate deep into Israeli territory, sometimes reaching a length of 2.4 kilometers (1.5 miles).

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The attack tunnels create a new equation in the power balance between Israel and Hamas. They give Hamas an ability to infiltrate Israel and carry out strategic attacks involving mass killing, along with an ability to launch missiles from locations concealed within civilian population centers that serve, in effect, as human shields. Should Hamas retain in the future 20 tunnels, and dispatch 50 operatives in each, they could deploy 1,000 men behind Israeli lines. The tunnels would allow Hamas to wreak havoc if they are left in place.

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Hizbullah’s tactics, learned from Iran, have been replicated in Gaza, particularly the use of the tunnels to provide “breathing space” in waging the military campaign. The Hamas-Hizbullah-Iranian aim is to cause as much harm as possible to the civilian population and weaken Israel by damaging its economy. Like Hizbullah, Hamas in the current round has tried to strike strategic targets in Israel and inflict mass casualties, including the nuclear reactor in Dimona, the chemical plants in Haifa, and Ben-Gurion International Airport.

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Despite the reconciliation agreement with Fatah and the establishment of the unity government, one of Hamas’s objectives in the war is to ignite another intifada on the West Bank aimed ultimately at the toppling of Palestinian Authority rule and instituting a Hamas takeover of the Palestinian national movement. This current round of fighting highlights the importance of continued Israeli security control of key areas of the West Bank to prevent a Hamas takeover of the Palestinian Authority, and the maintenance of minimal defensible borders should a Palestinian state be established.

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Then there’s this assessment from Times of Israel’s David Horovitz

The prime danger, the second half of the terror strategy that has required us to send our troops into Gaza, has turned out to be Hamas’s cross-border tunneling, the scale of which was not publicly known until the last few days. Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog spoke Tuesday of the “unimaginable” mega-terror attack Hamas is believed to have been planning — sending hundreds of terrorists swarming through those tunnels to massacre Israelis in the Gaza-envelope kibbutzim and moshavim. Netanyahu said Sunday that the intended Hamas attacks on kibbutz kindergartens, homes and dining halls would have been “catastrophic.”

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The real battle is taking place in those Gaza border neighborhoods — Shejaiya, Beit Lahiya, Beit Hanoun and others — where thousands of Israeli solders are searching, house to house, for the tunnel entrances. Dozens of openings have been found — multiple entrances to the underground passages that also have multiple exits on the Israeli side. Time after time, Hamas gunmen have sought to surprise the Israeli soldiers by rising out of the earth from these openings, and firing. They’ve been largely unsuccessful.

But the most terrifying detail is being uncovered that Hamas had a plan to attack all the settlements and kibbutzim in the area this year on Rosh Hashanah with an invasion of over 200 terrorists into almost all the settlements in the area. The tunnels went under the kibbutzim under the kindergartens and dining rooms and other areas within the kibbutz perimeters. They planned to occupy the whole area and kill as many Israeli as possible.

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This could have been the worst terror attack in the history of terrorism. Thousands of people, including women and children would have been slaughtered in this planned attack.

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מנהרות-בעזה

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IDF OPERATION PROTECTIVE EDGE daily update from Israel – Tuesday, July 22nd

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Tuesday, July 22

10:50 AM: A vehicle carrying seven soldiers was attacked on July 20. Six of their bodies have been identified and efforts to identify the 7th soldier are ongoing.

10:02 AM: Rocket sirens in Tel Aviv.

9:25 AM: The Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted 7 rockets above Ashdod.

6:00 AM: The IDF confirms that yesterday, Sgt. First Class Oded Ben Sira was killed on the battlefield defending the citizens of Israel. May his memory be blessed.

3:28 AM: Four rockets were fired from Gaza towards Be’er Sheva. One was intercepted by Iron Dome and three hit open areas.

1:48 AM: A rocket fired from Gaza hit an open area near Kafr Qasim in central Israel, nearly 100 km from Gaza.

1:35 AM: A Palestinian terrorist shot and severely injured an Israeli civilian in Judea and Samaria. IDF Forces are searching the area.

Hamas has turned Wafa Hospital into a command center and a rocket-launching site. Hamas has fired at Israel and at IDF forces from the hospital. As a result, the IDF repeatedly conveyed warnings to the hospital staff and urged civilians to leave the area. Hamas continued firing from the hospital. In response, the IDF targeted specific sites and terrorists within the hospital grounds. Secondary explosions can be seen, confirming IDF intellgience about the site.

On July 21, Hamas terrorists infiltrated Israel via a tunnel from Gaza. The terrorists were wearing full IDF uniforms, including boots and vests, and had explosives strapped to their bodies. They were engaged and killed by IDF forces.

Despite ongoing terror attacks and constant rocket fire, the IDF goes beyond its legal obligation and supplies medical equipment, food, gas and hygiene products to Gaza.

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Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg takes El Al flight to Israel despite FAA ban on flights in and out of Tel Aviv

“This evening I will be flying on EL AL אל על to Tel Aviv, Israel to show solidarity with the Israeli people and to demonstrate that it is safe to fly in and out of Israel. To do otherwise is to give a victory to Hamas.”

Bloomberg usually travels by his own plane. “Ben Gurion is the best protected airport in the world and El Al flights have been regularly flying in and out of it safely. The flight restrictions are a mistake that hands Hamas an undeserved victory and should be lifted immediately.” “I strongly urge the Federal Aviation Administration to reverse course and permit US airlines to fly to Israel.”

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JIHAD IN MIAMI – a warning to America

allhamas_pppaMuslims in downtown Miami scream, “We are all Hamas” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” What is missing from the second statement is “Jew” as in “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be “Jew-free.”

Breitbart  Israel is in a battle for its very existence watch our special presentation and understand that the HAMAS members on the street corner in Miami are the same exact people that the IDF are fighting in the tunnels of Gaza. In a very real sense the disposition of the war in Gaza will have a profound effect on the wannabe jihadis in Miami. If HAMAS is victorious in Gaza, which means anything less than their total military destruction, then our home-grown Miami HAMAS will pen a new iteration of an this old jingle and it will go something like this: 

“From-the-Miami-River-to-the-Atlantic-Sea, Miami-will-finally-be-JEW-Free.”

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Christian pastor who was victim of vicious acid attack by Muslims warns the state of Israel never to trade land for peace with Muslims

Tom Trento interviewed Rev. Umar Mulinde (a former Muslim) who was nearly killed by Muslims in Uganda because of his religion, says that the hatred of Jews is not political, but purely religious, as demonstrated by the Muslim genocide of Christians in Africa and around the Muslim world.

Breitbart  This current battle that “the Jews are fighting over there,” is actually one small component of the fight that the West is engaged in against Islamic jihad. Therefore, it is intellectually and materially essential that all countries and people who hold to the Judeo-Christian values of Western Civilization stand with Israel in her critical defining moment in history.  

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IDF Operation Protective Edge Daily Update from Israel – Monday, July 21st

Hamas uses the residential neighborhood of Shuja’iya as a fortress for its weapons, rockets, tunnels and command centers. Hamas exploits the neighborhood’s residents as human shields for its terrorist activity. 

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IDF  This residential neighborhood in Gaza City lies just over the border fence from Israel. Since Hamas’ ruthless takeover of the Gaza Strip in 2007, the organization has developed extensive terrorist infrastructure throughout the neighborhood. In just 13 days, Hamas has fired over 140 rockets from Shuja’iya into Israel.

Since the beginning of the ground phase of Operation Protective Edge, IDF soldiers have found 10 openings to terror tunnels in Shuja’iya. These tunnels are used for infiltrating Israel, smuggling weapons, and launching rockets at Israeli civilians.

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The IDF warned civilians in Shuja’iya to evacuate the area many days before striking the terror infrastructure within it. Dropping leaflets, making phone calls and sending text messages are just some of the many actions the IDF has been taking to minimize civilian casualties in Gaza.

Hamas knows that Israel is reluctant to attack areas with many civilians. The terrorist organization fights from within the civilian population and uses them as human shields.

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Shuja’iya is a densely populated neighborhood, close to the Karni Crossing and just over the border fence from the Israeli community of Kibbutz Nahal Oz. Since Hamas’ takeover of the Gaza Strip in 2007, it has become a stronghold for Hamas terrorist activity. Shuja’iya is saturated with Hamas observations points and is home to a vast network of tunnels used for attacking Israel. Hamas exploits many of the neighborhood’s mosques as weapons caches as well as launching pits which are used to fire rockets at Israel.

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Monday, July 21

7:49 PM: In the past 24 hours, 7 IDF soldiers were killed while fighting Hamas terrorists in Gaza.

7:25 PM: IDF field hospital at Gaza border opened today. We are working with the Red Crescent to treat wounded Palestinians from Gaza.

3:41 PM: Hamas terrorists opened fire moments after IDF forces found the tunnel in Shuja’iya. Our soldiers killed 2 of the attackers.

3:40 PM: IDF forces exposed access points to a Hamas tunnel in Shuja’iya. Terrorists planned to use the tunnel to commit an attack in Israel.

1:58 PM: Iron Dome intercepted five rockets above Ashdod and three rockets above Ashkelon.

12:06 PM: A rocket fired from Gaza hit the Tel Aviv area.

11:41 AM: The Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted two rockets above the Tel Aviv metropolitan area.

11:40 AM: Hamas terrorists fired a barrage of rockets from Gaza into southern Israel.

8:55 AM: 2 terrorist squads infiltrated Israel through a tunnel from northern Gaza. An IDF aircraft struck 1 squad and other IDF forces killed 10 terrorists.

12:15 AM: Last night, 13 soldiers from the Golani Infantry Brigade fell protecting the people of Israel. Among them: Maj.Tzafrir Baror, 32, Cpt.Tsvi Kaplan, 28, Sgt.Gilad Rozenthal Yacoby, 21, Sgt.Oz Mendelovich, 21, Sgt.Nissim Sean Carmeli, 21.

Hamas terrorists infiltrate Israel from tunnel in Gaza, IDF blows them away

IDF Paratroopers discover tunnel under house in Gaza

IDF Paratroopers blow up tunnel in Gaza

Evidence of Hamas shooting out of homes

IDF Pinpoint strike on terrorists in a residential building in Gaza

 

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FACTS on the ground from al-Jazeera in Gaza dispute the claim that Israel is ‘targeting women and children’

Some of the claims online include how the vast majority of Gazans killed are civilians, and how Israel is deliberately targeting them.

Of course, it has been the publicly stated Hamas MO from the start to claim that anyone killed by Israel is an “innocent civilian:” hooray-for-pallywood-hamas-to-social-media-anyone-killedmartyred-must-be-called-an-innocent-civilian

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IsraellyCool  Regarding the latter, we all know this is nonsense – if Israel wanted to kill civilians it would carpet bomb Gaza. It is precisely because we want to avoid civilian casualties, that we opt for pinpoint strikes and ground operations, at risk to our soldiers’ lives.

But what about the first claim? Are the vast majority civilians? Without having all of the terrorist obituaries or intel to prove who was a terrorist, this is hard to analyze. But what we do have is a list of the names and ages of those killed so far, which does provide us with some insights.

An anonymous Israellycool reader and her family spent countless hours going over this list from Al Jazeera – a media outlet that can’t be accused of slanting things Israel’s way. The reader’s main findings regarding the casualties to date are as follows:

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As you can see, over 80% of Gazans killed so far have been male, with almost half of these males being in the 18-28 age group. One can imagine many of these being “combatants.” A further 20% of these males are between 29 and 48, an age group one could envisage may also contain many Hamas members.

In other words, these figures bring into question how many of those killed were really innocent civilians.

What these figures also indicate is if Israel was indiscriminately killing Gazans, the representation in terms of gender and age would be broader, with relatively more children killed than the approx 18%, considering nearly 50% of Gazans are under the age of 14).

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Palestinians dancing in the streets over “news” that Hamas has kidnapped an Israeli soldier

Uh…NOT SO FAST!  Israel is denying reports that the military wing of Hamas, Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, has captured the Israeli in Shejaiya.

Palestinians dance while flying a Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement flag reading in Arabic "there is only one God and Muhammad is his prophet," during celebrations in the West Bank city of Ramallah

Palestinians dance while flying a Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement flag reading in Arabic “there is only one God and Muhammad is his prophet,” during celebrations in the West Bank city of Ramallah

Times of Israel  During a press conference, the group gave a name for the ostensible prisoner and even presented a military ID number. The name given by Hamas was very similar to the name of one of the soldiers confirmed killed in the fighting in Shejaiya early Sunday morning.

Israel’s UN ambassador denied on Sunday that an Israeli soldier had been abducted by Hamas. “There is no kidnapped Israeli soldier and those rumors are untrue,” said Ron Prosor.

Regardless, the Hamas announcement led to elation across the West Bank, and fireworks and celebratory gunfire in the Gaza Strip.

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IDF releases names, photos of 5 of the 13 soldiers killed in Gaza yesterday

Officers, conscripts leave behind grieving wives, parents, brothers and sisters after bloody day of fighting in the Shejaiya neighborhood of Gaza City.

Times of Israel

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Maj. Tsafrir Baror, 32, of Holon had served in the Golani Brigade for the past 14 years and had fought in Gaza, Lebanon and the West Bank. He leaves behind a wife, 8 months pregnant, and a year-old daughter.

Maj. Tsafrir Baror, 32, of Holon had served in the Golani Brigade for the past 14 years and had fought in Gaza, Lebanon and the West Bank. He leaves behind a wife, 8 months pregnant, and a year-old daughter.

Capt. Tsvi Kaplan, 28. of Kibbutz Meirav grew up in Haifa. He served in various command positions in Golani and was set to become a company commander within the coming months. He leaves behind a wife and two children, aged 5 and 3.

Capt. Tsvi Kaplan, 28. of Kibbutz Meirav grew up in Haifa. He served in various command positions in Golani and was set to become a company commander within the coming months. He leaves behind a wife and two children, aged 5 and 3.

Sgt. Gilad Yacoby , 21, of Kiryat Ono was drafted into the service in March 2012. He was described by his family a sports and music lover who was highly motivated to serve in the IDF. He leaves behind his parents and two sisters.

Sgt. Gilad Yacoby , 21, of Kiryat Ono was drafted into the service in March 2012. He was described by his family a sports and music lover who was highly motivated to serve in the IDF. He leaves behind his parents and two sisters.

Sgt. Oz Mendelovich, 21, of Atzmon in the Galilee was visited by his father Ofer days before entering Gaza. Ofer said he had taken a train to the south to visit his son a week ago because he had had “a bad feeling.” He took a picture of his son with his friends, then thought of it as an ominous act. Oz laughed it off saying “But you’ve already taken my picture.” He leaves behind his parents, a sister and a brother.

Sgt. Oz Mendelovich, 21, of Atzmon in the Galilee was visited by his father Ofer days before entering Gaza. Ofer said he had taken a train to the south to visit his son a week ago because he had had “a bad feeling.” He took a picture of his son with his friends, then thought of it as an ominous act. Oz laughed it off saying “But you’ve already taken my picture.” He leaves behind his parents, a sister and a brother.

Sgt. Sean Carmeli, 21, of Ra’anana was born and raised in Texas. He immigrated to Israel in 2009, joining his two sisters here, and completed his High School studies. He was drafted to Golani in 2012. His parents are on their way to Israel after receiving word of their son’s death.

Sgt. Sean Carmeli, 21, of Ra’anana was born and raised in Texas. He immigrated to Israel in 2009, joining his two sisters here, and completed his High School studies. He was drafted to Golani in 2012. His parents are on their way to Israel after receiving word of their son’s death.

 

 

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GAZA: UN Agency finds 20 Hamas missiles in one of its schools. Hands them back to Hamas.

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UNRWA last week found 20 rockets in a Gaza school operating under its auspices has handed that weaponry over to Hamas, Israeli officials said Sunday, accusing the organization of actively helping the terrorist organization attack Israeli civilians.

Times of Israel (h/t Jim Y)  “The rockets were passed on to the government authorities in Gaza, which is Hamas. In other words, UNRWA handed to Hamas rockets that could well be shot at Israel,” a senior Israeli official told The Times of Israel.

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A different senior official said UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, charged with overseeing humanitarian efforts in Gaza, has been suffering from “battered-wife syndrome” for years and currently “attempts to ingratiate itself with Hamas.”

A spokesperson for UNRWA said the organization gave the rockets to “local authorities,” which answer to the Hamas-backed unity government led by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. UNRWA pledged to fully investigate the incident once the fighting stops and keep all relevant parties informed, but refused to release any photos of the weapons.

Gee, I wonder what other weapons Hamas is storing in Gaza schools?

Gee, I wonder what other weapons Hamas is storing in Gaza schools?

“According to longstanding UN practice in UN humanitarian operations worldwide, incidents involving unexploded ordnance that could endanger beneficiaries and staff are referred to the local authorities,” UNRWA’s director of advocacy and strategic communications, Christopher Gunness, told The Times of Israel Sunday.

“Immediately after the discovery of the rockets, UNRWA proactively informed the relevant parties and successfully took all necessary measures for the removal of the objects in order to preserve the safety and security of the school. Local authorities fall under the government of national consensus in Ramallah. They pledged to pass a message to all parties not to violate UNRWA neutrality.”

On Wednesday, UNRWA officials found some 20 missiles in a vacant school. A day later it released a statement strongly condemning “the group or groups responsible for placing the weapons in one of its installations. This is a flagrant violation of the inviolability of its premises under international law,” the statement read.

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