The Last Days of Israel: When the Israelis and Israel Created a United Front to Forge a Peace and Security – The Case of Al-Burrah
I left his funeral last week crushed, knowing we had lost such a righteous soul. To me it’s clear. During the last moments of his life my friend fought against Hamas and also against the occupation to protect his friends and family.
Our leaders didn’t work on creating a political reality in which violence wouldn’t be necessary since they didn’t want to cause more bloodshed in Gaza. While I believe in self-defense, fighting in Gaza taught me that if my government doesn’t change its approach from crushing Palestinian hope to committing to Palestinian independence, not only will this war kill an untold number of Israelis and Palestinians in addition to the thousands who already have died, but it also will not decisively end terror. A ground invasion is not a good idea.
For years, many of us on the left in Israel have been warning that we will never have peace and security until we find a political agreement in which Palestinians achieve freedom and independence. Human rights activists are not the only ones who argue that Palestinian terror can be defeated only by creating Palestinian hope. Ami Zohar, the former head of Shin Bet argued for years that Palestinian terror can be defeated only by creating Palestinian hope.
At one point, I scribbled some thoughts on a piece of paper. I stated that members of my team were discussing the amount of deaths and whether this was worth the losses. “I think it could be worth it,” I wrote, “as long as we decisively eliminate the threat.”
The roar of fighter jets overhead followed by loud explosions and huge amounts of smoke came from Al-Burrah as we left. I later learned that in those moments, the airstrikes killed eight members of the Wahdan family, mostly women and children, whose home soldiers from my unit had occupied for days while the family was there.
My unit, which was attached to the 993rd Nahal brigade, was the first one to enter the Gaza Strip after the Israeli army entered in a large scale way.
I was in the northern Gaza Strip for two weeks to clear and secure a perimeter so that combat engineers could see and destroy tunnels leading into Israel. We wanted to take up positions in a new place every night because we wanted to be easy targets. Each house had to be cleared; in one, I found a Kalashnikov rifle with a combat vest and an explosive device. At one point, I listened in terror to graphic reports from our radioman of soldiers from my unit searching for body parts after a missile struck a nearby house they had taken over, injuring and killing some of my comrades.
Even today, I remember how the ground shook from the constant explosions as we moved into Gaza at dusk at the start of the ground invasion on July 17. As we marched into the village of Umm al-Nasr, our Merkava tanks plowed through the fields next to us, and the aerial and artillery bombardments created relentless thunder and lightning — what we jokingly called the sound-and-light show.
As I stood over the corpse of an old Palestinian woman, I realized this wasn’t true. She was lying in a pool of blood on the floor of the shack.
The Israeli military said on Sunday that it had expanded its ground incursion overnight, and warned the civilians in the southern part of the coastal strip to flee, despite the airstrikes killing people there too.
In a statement, Hamas called the operation a “failure” and said Israel took heavy losses. There were no casualties in Friday night’s fighting. Neither claim could be confirmed by other means.
The Israeli navy carried out raids on the Gaza Strip. The Israeli Defense Forces said it had struck more than 450 terror targets in the past day. It said an IDF officer was severely injured by a mortar shell in the northern Gaza Strip.
Gazans: How badly are they? Israeli soldiers have no access to their medical staff. Israel declares a siege of southern Gaza
Hagari said that assassination and death helps the war advance and allows the forces on the ground to battle a weaker enemy.
Multiple aid groups, including the International Committee of the Red Cross and the World Health Organization, reported difficulty contacting local staff in Gaza.
We’re not in touch with our staff and health facilities. The head of the World Health Organization said he was worried about their safety in a Saturday post.
Local staff in Gaza could not be reached by NPR. The top UN humanitarian worker for the Palestinian territories said that they only could reach staff in Gaza via satellite phone.
Gazans say they’ve been living inside a nightmare since Hamas killed over 1,400 people and took more than 220 hostages in southern Israel. The Israeli military declared a siege of the densely populated territory, cutting off electricity, water and medical supplies, in response to the attacks.
“Even some of the doctors’ medical staffs, they are saying, what is the benefit of the help that we are doing now? Patients are not helped anymore by us. The doctor told NPR that they can’t do anything for them.
The Gaza Strip Operation, Hamas, and the Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum: Israel’s Nuclear Forces Attempted to End the War
The Israeli military also said that it was conducting airstrikes in Lebanon after at least 16 rockets were launched from there into Israeli territory. There were 47 aid trucks that crossed the border from Egypt into Gaza on the day that they were allowed in, but still insufficient compared to the amount of assistance that aid organizations say are needed.
“Whoever will be in this area, which is a protected area, will receive food, water and medicine,” Hagari said. Israel has repeatedly struck southern Gaza, including the densely populated areas of Khan Younis and Rafah, with airstrikes.
Nearly 230 hostages are still being held in Gaza by Hamas, according to Israeli officials. A group of families of hostages and other missing people demanded a meeting with Israel’s war cabinet for assurances that the operation would not endanger the lives of the hostages.
“This night was the most terrible of all nights. It was a long and sleepless night, against the backdrop of the major IDF operation in the Strip, and absolute uncertainty regarding the fate of the hostages held there, who were also subject to the heavy bombings,” said Liat Bell Sommer, a spokesperson for the group, which is called the Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum.
During the middle of the night, officials at Shin Bet spent a lot of time watching Hamas activity in the Gaza Strip. Israeli intelligence and national security officials thought it was a nighttime exercise because they thought Hamas had no interest in going to war.
Had they listened to the traffic on the hand-held radios of Hamas, their judgement that night might have been different. Israel’s signals intelligence agency Unit 8200 stopped eavesdropping on the networks because they felt it was a waste of time.
According to three Israeli defense officials, there was no one who believed the situation was serious enough to wake up Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The most powerful military force in the Middle East had not only completely underestimated the magnitude of the attack, it had totally failed in its intelligence-gathering efforts, mostly due to hubris and the mistaken assumption that Hamas was a threat contained.
The Gaza Strip is being bombarded by an Israeli ground invasion: journalist Fathi Sabbah and Palestinians protested against Israel’s embassy bombing
Fathi Sabbah, a journalist based in Gaza, wrote on his Facebook profile on Sunday that he felt like he had become blind due to the partial return of phone and internet service.
On Friday at sunset, three weeks into Israel’s bombing campaign in Gaza — and as Palestinians braced themselves for an impending Israeli ground invasion — the weak phone and internet service that had allowed some semblance of life to continue inside the blockaded enclave was suddenly severed. Two American officials said the United States believed Israel was responsible for the communications loss, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
They didn’t know if their loved ones were alive or dead. People stopped calling emergency phone lines. Desperate paramedics tried to save people by driving toward the sound of explosions. The wounded people were left on the street.
The fighting in the north of the Gaza Strip continues, as per Daniel Hagari, who spoke this morning.
As the barrage continues, the Palestinian Red Crescent said on Sunday it received warnings from Israeli authorities to immediately evacuate the al-Quds hospital in the Gaza Strip.
The statement said that there had been raids around 50 meters from the hospital. Israel refused to comment on the claims.
Colonel Elad Goren of the Israel Ministry of Defense agency that coordinates with the Palestinians said that they were going to increase their aid from Egypt in the coming week.
Two Days of War in Gaza: Israel’s Security Failures Embedded in the UN’s U.N. Refugee Agency and the Zikkim Beach
Netanyahu blamed Israel’s security failures on the heads of military intelligence in a deleted social media post.
After three weeks of war and a tight blockade on Gaza, this is a worrying sign that civil order is beginning to break down.
Thousands of Gaza residents broke into warehouses and distribution centers of the United Nations Palestinian refugee agency, grabbing flour and “basic survival items,” the organization said on Sunday.
When Hamas fires rockets, the people have nowhere to go, Ms. Ziadna said. The aluminum roofs of the Bedouin homes turn to deadly projectiles. Several people were killed by Hamas rockets in a Bedouin community.
Patients who had lost limbs and Bedouins who had been shot are some of the patients who Dr. Abu Fraiha raced to treat that day in Beer Sheva. They treated children, seniors and foreigners too.
The exact number of people who are still missing is not immediately clear, but a cousin of the family who were attacked says four of them are still missing.
The Zikkim Beach in the Gaza Strip was attacked by Hamas during their rampage in October.
Israel will attack the Gaza Strip from the air, land and sea, expanding its war against Hamas after it began a ground operation. The military again urged civilians to move south as troops have entered Gaza from the north (see where troops crossed the border).
Benjamin Netanyahu called the troops’ arrival the “second stage” of the war and warned Israelis to expect a long, difficult fight. But he did not say that Israel had launched a full ground invasion. While the number of soldiers in Gaza remains unclear, a more limited initial ground war would align with recent suggestions from the U.S. defense secretary, The Times’s Eric Schmitt reports.
The first stage of the war has been a bombing campaign that Palestinians say has killed thousands of people, many of them children. Israel said its airstrikes were intended to hit military targets, like Hamas’s fighters and weapons stores. It is difficult for Israel to hit the fighters from the air because they are underground in a large network of tunnels.
The evacuee efforts were complicated by the black out. For more than two weeks, Israel has been calling on Gazans to move south, closer to the border with Egypt, an order that has pushed hundreds of thousands to leave their homes.
The Israeli military said two of its soldiers were injured overnight in northern Gaza, its first reported casualties of the expanded ground incursion. Follow our updates.
A man who threatened to kill 18 people in Lewiston, Maine, pleaded guilty to a violation of the sharia law
Officials said that the man who killed 18 people in Lewiston, Maine had made threats against his base last month and that an alert was issued to state police.