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Israel At War: Week Seventeen Coverage



Day 119 — Friday, February 2

Former PM Slams Biden Administration For Targeting Israeli Citizens With Executive Order

Former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett slammed the Biden administration on Thursday after President Joe Biden signed an executive order targeting Israeli civilians settling in Judea and Samaria.

“Well, I think it’s unnecessary,” Bennett responded. “In Israel, we prosecute any violence, any criminal activity. We don’t need any external help on doing it. And I have to say that it’s marginal. What’s called violence of settlers is marginal. We’re talking about a 50 percent decrease year on year.”

“It’s not big numbers. We’re taking care of it,” he continued. “I think it’s inflated in order to create some false symmetry between the Palestinian violence and the settler violence. So, we’re on top of it. We don’t need any foreign assistance to prosecute that sort of thing.”

Bennett also pushed back on left-wing outrage over an Israeli operation this week where operatives disguised as civilians and medical staff raided a hospital to find several terrorists.

Bennett made the remarks during a segment with Erin Burnett on CNN’s “Out Front” when asked what his response was.

“When you see these images, are you comfortable with these sorts of tactics, with dressing up as civilians and going into a hospital to kill terrorists?” Burnett asked.

“Well, the real question is, am I comfortable with terrorists using hospitals as their safe haven?” Bennett fired back. “Because we’re fighting terrorists who have no red lines, do not abide to any law, and we’re held to a double standard, because Hamas does whatever it wants and uses children and families as human shields. And then, when we have to go target those very Hamasniks who are using the hospital as a refuge, then we’re being accused of–”

“But this is a little bit different, at least in this case, right?” Burnett suggested. “If that guy is actually lying in a hospital bed injured, he wasn’t using it as refuge. He was being treated for injuries.”

“To the best of my knowledge, we’re talking about terrorists who did use the hospital as refuge, not because they were being treated,” Bennett fired back, later adding: “I have to say, actually, it’s a pretty impressive, the operation, sending soldiers who have to disguise themselves within terrorists and abducting terrorists. That’s what we’re going to do. We have to defend ourselves.”

Day 118 — Thursday, February 1

‘Ready To Carry Out Suicide Attacks’ – Shocking Footage Uncovered From East Jerusalem UNRWA School

Amid the ongoing controversy surrounding the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) and its ties to Hamas terrorists, further evidence of the agency’s deep rot continues to come to light.

In yet another piece of evidence, shocking video footage filmed in 2022 was recently reported by Israel’s Ynet News showing Palestinian students from a UNRWA school in East Jerusalem expressing their eagerness to kill Jews.

“I am ready to carry out suicide attacks,” one student tells the camera, while a female student states, “We have to fight the Jews to prove that we are stronger than them.”

Other statements on the video include: “Stabbing and ramming Jews with cars brings honor to the Palestinians,” and “We are taught that the Jews are cheaters and are bad. I will stab and run over them.”

Another student said: “We are taught that Al-Aqsa and all of Palestine is ours,” while another claimed, “We are taught that the Jews are terrorists.”

The video was filmed by the Bedein Center for Near East Policy Research. Its founder, David Bedein, has researched and publicized the issue of UNRWA’s ties to terrorism and antisemitism for decades.

“The textbooks of UNRWA students in the Shuafat refugee camp feature pictures of murderers who committed terrorist acts and killed many Israelis, as a sign of praise and as a role model,” Bedein told Ynet.

Most of UNRWA’s major donor nations announced they would halt payments in the wake of revelations that hundreds of UNRWA employees had ties to terror groups, with at least 12 of them actively participating in the massacre on Oct. 7.

Day 118 — Thursday, February 1

Analysis — Prophetic Chess Pieces: Israel And Syria Go Toe To Toe; U.S. To Recognize A Palestinian State?

Syria is still formally in a state of war with Israel and has been for decades. It should come as no surprise that the Syrian military and Israel sometimes exchanged pretty heavy blows, and that has apparently happened again overnight.

Syria, or a terror group operating with the full cooperation of the Syrian Army, launched rockets from the Daraa region into the Israeli Golan Heights. While this has happened many times, since October 7, we’ve seen an uptick in escalation.

The Israel Defense Forces responded, striking targets around the Daraa region at Syrian Army positions.

I’ve been along the Israel-Syria border many times and can tell you it is (surprise, surprise) very tense. In particular, Daraa is very close to Israel’s Golan Heights. Over the years, Israel has had to neutralize terrorist forces on numerous occasions.

The Syrian army, most of the time over the past few years, have cried and gnashed their teeth when Israel has struck their positions, but they have not responded in any meaningful way.

But what does it mean prophetically, as Israel and Syria continue to go toe to toe?

Many times, people mention Isaiah 17 and Damascus, the Syrian capital. Isaiah 17 lays out that the day is coming when Damascus, which is arguably the world’s oldest continuously inhabited city, will one day become “a ruinous heap” and “cease to be a city” (Isaiah 17:1).

Folks, every time Israel and Syria go toe to toe, you have to consider the prophetic undertone, and the most recent strike is no different. Iran and Hezbollah continue to operate on Syrian soil in league with the Assad regime. You can expect the situation in Syria to remain very tense.

Oh, and by the way, Russia is there as well—talk about prophetic implications! Russia, I believe, is the major player in the Gog and Magog war of Ezekiel 38-39, and they already have a presence in Syria.

The prophetic chess pieces are moving on the board, and one of them may be the United States and the world—Western Europe, the UN, the EU—all banding together and unilaterally declaring a Palestinian state with no Israeli say in the matter.

Day 118 — Thursday, February 1

House Of Representatives Passes Bill To Ban Hamas, Other Perpetrators Of October 7 From United States

The US House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill banning Hamas members and other terrorist elements who perpetrated the October 7 attack.

The resolution, an amendment to the US immigration code, singles out Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Palestinian Liberation Organization. The move would bar any non-US citizen who participated in the October 7 massacres in Israel from “seeking any immigration-related relief or protections” in the US.

The bill passed by 422-2-1 vote. Representatives Rashida Tlaib (Michigan) and Cori Bush (Missouri) were the only opponents, while Delia Ramirez (Illinois) voted present.

The changes will now need to pass the US Senate to become law, in the likely case US President Joe Biden does not veto the measure.

Day 117 — Wednesday, January 31

Report — Biden Administration 'Is Considering Recognizing Palestinian Statehood'

Secretary of State Antony Blinken has reportedly tasked officials with developing proposals that would allow the U.S. to recognize Palestinian statehood after the war in Gaza ends.

It marks a profound shift in U.S. policy which has long been to oppose recognition of Palestine as a state until after a settlement is reached between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

But it comes as President Joe Biden faces intense pressure from within his own party to take a tougher line on Israel and offer more backing to Palestinians under siege in Gaza.

A senior U.S. official told Axios that recognition could be the first step to resolving the Israel-Palestinian conflict, rather than the last.

That will infuriate Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who insists Israel must retain security control over the entirety of Palestinian territory.

However, he may face a concerted push by the West.

Details of the U.S. plan emerged soon after the British foreign secretary said it was time for the U.K. to consider recognition of Palestine.

‘We should be starting to set out what a Palestinian state would look like – what it would comprise, how it would work,’ he said Monday.

Republican Sen. Tom Cotton immediately condemned any idea of Palestinian statehood.

‘After the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust, the Biden administration wants to reward Hamas and their allies? A Palestinian state would be a terrorist enclave dedicated to Israel’s destruction,’ he said on the social media platform X.

Day 117 — Wednesday, January 31

Netanyahu To UN Ambassadors: 'The World Must Understand That UNRWA's Mission Has To End'

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday met with the delegation of United Nations ambassadors visiting Israel led by Israeli Ambassador Gilad Erdan.

“The UN is not a stellar organization when it comes to dealing with Israel. It’s often unbelievably tilted. It has UN so-called human rights commissions that devote an enormous part of its resolutions against Israel, and nothing against Iran or Yemen or arenas of savagery,” the Prime Minister told the ambassadors.

Netanyahu told the ambassadors that they should care because “Israel is fighting the war of civilization against barbarism. Because Israel is responding to unbelievably brutal and unprovoked attacks. Because it’s doing so with the greatest effort by any army to minimize civilian casualties. Against an enemy that is committing a double war crime by both targeting our civilians, mutilating our civilians, raping our women and men, beheading them, after the rape, burning babies alive, and sundry other atrocities that the only time that we’ve seen anything like that directed against the Jewish people was in the Holocaust.”

He continued: “And in the face of this, South Africa had the temerity to bring us to the ICJ, charging us with genocide, really in the service of a genocidal organization. The worst thing I can say is this: many of the charges, false and unfounded that were leveled against us in the Hague, were brought by UNRWA officials. And we have discovered in the last few weeks, that UNRWA officials were complicit in the massacre. I think it’s time that the international community and the UN itself understand that UNRWA’s mission has to end.”

UNRWA is totally infiltrated with Hamas, it has been in the service of Hamas, in its schools, and in many other things. I say this with great regret because we hoped that there would be an objective and constructive body to offer aid. We need such a body today in Gaza, UNRWA is not that body,” Netanyahu concluded.

Day 117 — Wednesday, January 31

'Attempted Attack': Bomb Found Near Israeli Embassy In Sweden

An apparent explosive device was found on Wednesday near the Israeli embassy in Stockholm, local police said.

The object was found outside the embassy grounds and the national bomb squad was dispatched to investigate, Reuters reported, citing Swedish public broadcaster SVT.

Israeli Ambassador to Sweden Ziv Nevo Kulman confirmed reports of the “attempted attack against the Embassy of Israel in Stockholm and its employees.”

“We thank the Swedish authorities for their swift response. We will not be intimidated by terror,” the ambassador said in a tweet.

Day 117 — Wednesday, January 31

IDF Confirms Flooding Hamas Tunnels In Gaza With Seawater

The Israel Defense Forces said Tuesday that it had been flooding some tunnels in the Gaza Strip with seawater, confirming what had been an open secret for several weeks.

Several IDF units and officials at the Defense Ministry jointly developed “several tools for injecting high-flow water into Hamas tunnels in the Gaza Strip,” the military said in a statement, adding that it is “part of the variety of tools the IDF has for dealing with tunnels.”

The IDF clarified that not all tunnels were being flooded, as the process, which includes attaching pipes and pumps to the shafts, was not suited to all the tunnels and could severely damage some areas.

Before it floods tunnels, the IDF carries out “professional and comprehensive” preemptive checks, including an analysis of the soil and water system in the area, to ensure groundwater is not contaminated, the army added.

Other methods for destroying Hamas’s tunnels include aerial attacks, underground maneuvers and special operations.

trial run of the flooding method was successful in mid-December as the IDF warned of “new combat methods” to deal with terrorists hiding underground.

At the time, IDF Spokesman Real Adm. Daniel Hagari was asked about concerns that flooding tunnels may harm hostages being held by Hamas in the tunnels. He responded by saying that the army was operating based on intelligence on the location of hostages and would not take any deliberate steps that may harm them.

Earlier this month, senior Israeli defense officials estimated to The New York Times that Hamas’s tunnel network runs 350-400 miles long, much more than previously believed. The tunnels are believed to be accessed by some 5,700 shafts.

The IDF said Hamas had used more than 6,000 tons of concrete and 1,800 tons of steel and likely invested tens of millions of dollars into the project.

Since launching a ground offensive in the wake of the October 7 massacres, in which Hamas-led terrorists killed some 1,200 people and took 253 hostages, Israeli forces have worked to destroy the tunnels, uncovering more and more of the Gaza-ruling terror organization’s underground network.

Day 116 — Tuesday, January 30

Israeli Counterterrorism Forces, Dressed As Doctors, Foil 'October 7-Style' Attack In West Bank

Israeli counterterrorism forces foiled an October 7-inspired terror attack overnight on Tuesday, targeting a cell hiding and planning the attack from the Ibn Sina hospital in Jenin, the West Bank.

According to a joint statement by the IDF, Israel Police’s YAMAM counterterrorism forces, and the Shin Bet, Hamas terrorist Mohammad Jalamna was killed during the operation, along with two fellow terrorists who hid alongside him at the hospital.

27-year-old Jalamna, a resident of the Jenin refugee camp, held direct communications with Hamas leadership abroad. According to the statement, he was responsible for transferring weaponry and ammunition to Hamas terrorists across the West Bank for shooting attacks targeting Israelis.

The Israeli commando forces entered the hospital dressed as doctors and nurses, as seen in CCTV footage shared on social media.

Furthermore, Jalamna used the Jenin hospital as a secret base of operations as he was planning an infiltration attack akin to and inspired by the October 7 massacre, it added.

Along with Jalamneh, Mohammed and Basel Ghazawi, brothers and Palestinian terrorists, were also killed by Israeli forces. Mohammed was a terrorist operative of the Jenin battalions who was involved in numerous attacks including firing at IDF soldiers in the area in recent weeks, the IDF said.

Basel was a Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative involved in terror activities in the area.

The security forces stated that for a long time, a large number of wanted persons had been hiding in hospitals and were using them as a base for planning terror attacks and carrying them out, and that they believed that the hospitals would serve as protection against Israeli security forces.

The statement said that the operation was made possible due to accurate intelligence received before the operation, and an operation of this nature was unprecedented.

One senior official stated, “There are no cities of refuge in the West Bank and there will not be – every terrorist should know this. The hand of the IDF and the security establishment will reach everyone.”

Day 115 — Monday, January 29

Hamas Official Says Group Seeking ‘Complete Ceasefire,’ Not A ‘Temporary Truce’

A senior Hamas official says that the terror group wants a “complete and comprehensive ceasefire” in Gaza, after mediator Qatar said earlier that a framework for a temporary truce was being proposed.

“We are talking first of all about a complete and comprehensive ceasefire, and not a temporary truce,” Taher al-Nunu tells AFP, saying that once the fighting stops, “the rest of the details can be discussed” including hostage release.

Earlier, the Qatari prime minister said that he believed Hamas had “moved” from its demand for a complete ceasefire as a condition of any deal, something that has been outright rejected by Israel.

Day 115 — Monday, January 29

'Target Tehran': Congress Members Slam Biden Admin After Iran Drone Attack Kills Three US Troops, Urge Retaliation

Republicans blasted President Joe Biden after the U.S. military announced three American troops were killed and 25 injured in a drone attack in Jordan on Sunday.

“Joe Biden emboldened Iran for years by tolerating attacks on our troops, bribing the ayatollahs with billions of dollars, and appeasing them to no end. He left our troops as sitting ducks and now three are dead and dozens wounded, sadly as I’ve predicted would happen for months,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) said in a statement.

On Sunday afternoon, U.S. Central Command announced that three U.S. service members were killed and 25 injured from a one-way attack drone that hit a military base in northeast Jordan, near the Syria border.

Iran-proxy forces have targeted U.S. troops in the region since Hamas’s terrorist attack in Israel on October 7, which killed more than 1,200.

There have been more than 150 attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria since mid-October, with at least one critically injured. Sunday’s attack was the first time U.S. troops have been killed in such an attack in recent months.

Cotton called for “devastating military retaliation” against “Iran’s terrorist forces” both in Iran and across the Middle East.

“The only answer to these attacks must be devastating military retaliation against Iran’s terrorist forces, both in Iran and across the Middle East. Anything less will confirm Joe Biden as a coward unworthy of being commander-in-chief,” Cotton said.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) also called for retaliation. “Target Tehran,” Cornyn replied on X.

“It was only a matter of a time before Biden’s appeasement strategy towards Iran got American service-members killed. Tragic and preventable,” Rep. Mike Waltz concluded.

Day 115 — Monday, January 29

Analysis — On Thin Ice With God: The Growing Betrayal of Israel And Obsession With Dividing Jerusalem

In regard to its policy on Israel, the Biden administration is skating on thin ice. In the natural realm, this represents danger and death. If Israel remains God’s chosen people to whom He gave the Land of Israel, and they are, then the current position of the U.S. government is foolhardy at best.

Let’s begin by examining what President Biden and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken bring to the table. They claim that the only path to peace is the establishment of a Palestinian State, which would divide both the Land and Jerusalem. Even worse, they are attempting to force Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to accept their solution.

Even though the nation of Israel is far from a godly entity at the moment, the Land belongs to God, and He has deeded it to the descendants of Jacob. Although the peaceful enjoyment of the Land has always depended upon the faithfulness of the people, the Lord gave it to them as an “everlasting covenant” (Psalm 105:7-11). Additionally, Scripture makes it clear that He forbids any dividing of the Land, which the world now proposes as the sole path to peace.

This is just the beginning of the world’s obsession with Jerusalem and the Land of Israel (see Zechariah 12:1-4). In Joel 3:1-3, the Lord refers to the efforts of the nations to divide up His Land as a reason for His judgment of them in the final climatic battle, which is likely His destruction of the world’s armies at His Second Coming. God will severely judge those who seek to divide His Land.

Day 115 — Monday, January 29

Israel-Hamas War: UNRWA's Role In October 7 Massacre Revealed In Probe

The United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA), employed at least 10 Hamas members, among whom were a school counselor who worked with his son to kidnap an Israeli woman and a social worker who distributed ammunition, US intelligence suggests, according to a report Monday in the New York Times.

A dossier, originating in Israeli intelligence and found credible enough by American officials to warrant action, has circulated among Western officials, the report said. The dossier charges that 12 employees of UNRWA, the UN agency that oversees a number of social services, including a majority of schools, and about 3,000 of whose 13,000 employees are still working in the Gaza Strip, actively participated in Hamas’s war with Israel.

Ten of them were described as “Hamas members,” and another is believed to be affiliated with Islamic Jihad, another terrorist group active in Gaza, according to the report.

The intelligence was reportedly gathered in part through monitoring of the employees’ cell phones by Israeli intelligence services: some discussed their involvement in the attack, according to the dossier, while three others received text messages directing them to a particular location while the attack was ongoing, and one was told to bring rocket-propelled grenades storied in his home. Another employee distributed ammunition.

In response to the intelligence, the United States has suspended aid to the agency, as have Canada, Australia, Britain, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Finland. The US returned to being one of the organization’s largest funders in 2021 when US President Joe Biden restored $200m in funding that the Donald Trump administration had suspended in 2018.

Some of the UN employees are believed to have participated in the deadly October 7 attack, during which thousands of terrorists from Gaza invaded Israel, killing more than 1,200 Israelis, a vast majority of whom were civilians, committing acts of rape and sexual violence against Israeli women, and kidnapping an estimated 260 people to hold hostage in Gaza.

Of those hostages, 110 have been released, almost all during a temporary ceasefire in November in which 105 Israeli civilian women and children, as well as foreign workers who were also taken hostage during the attack, were exchanged for 240 Palestinian prisoners, most of whom were detained for security offenses and many of whom were affiliated with Hamas and other terrorist groups. There are still an estimated 132 hostages held captive by Hamas or other terrorists in the Strip.

In November, one released hostage reported having been held in captivity by a UNRWA teacher, according to Israeli media. At the time, the UN agency dismissed the reports as “unsubstantiated claims.”

Following the revelation of this intelligence, the agency says that it has fired nine of the 12 employees and that two of the others are dead. António Guterres, the UN Secretary-General, said that he was “horrified by these accusations,” but that he “strongly appeal[s]s to the governments that have suspended their contributions to, at least, guarantee the continuity of UNRWA’s operations.” 

Day 114 — Sunday, January 28

PM: World Court’s Handling Of False Genocide Claims Shows Holocaust Lessons Not Learned

At a televised press conference Saturday, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the International Court of Justice’s readiness to hear “ridiculous” allegations of genocide against Israel “proves that many in the world have not learned a thing from the Holocaust,” while arguing the court case was serving the interests of Hamas, “the new Nazis.”

Netanyahu also said Israel will never forget the October 7 massacres, atrocities and abductions, and “we will never forgive what the Hamas monsters did to our sons and daughters.”

Netanyahu said it was outrageous that South Africa went to The Hague and falsely accused Israel of genocide against the Palestinians in Gaza, and that it was Hamas that seeks genocide against Israel and the Jewish people. South Africa, he said, went to The Hague “on behalf of Hamas.”

He held up a volume of Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” in Arabic, which he said was found in a home in Hamas-run Gaza, and said this was how “the new Nazis” educate their children.

The war was imposed on Israel by a despicable enemy that openly declares that it wants to destroy all Jews, he said. On October 7, “if they could have, they would have slaughtered us all.”

He denounced the ICJ for failing to summarily reject the genocide allegations against Israel. “The readiness of the court” to even hear the “ridiculous” case, he said, “proves that many in the world have not learned a thing from the Holocaust.”

“But we have learned,” he said, and “the main lesson of the Holocaust is that only we will defend ourselves by ourselves. Nobody will do it for us.”

Israel needs to be strong and determined, and fight back, he said.

“The Jewish state rose from the ashes of the Holocaust to ensure defensive power for the Jewish people,” he stated, stressing Israel’s basic right to defend itself. “Nobody will take [that right] from us,” he added.

There is “no alternative to complete victory,” he said, eulogizing the many soldiers who fell in Gaza this week and saying Israel must achieve all the goals of the war in their memory — destroying Hamas, bringing all the hostages home, and ensuring that Gaza does not again constitute a threat to Israel.

If Israel does not destroy Hamas, “the next slaughter is only a matter of time.”

Day 113 — Saturday, January 27

Ambassador Erdan: The UN Is Weaponized To Physically Exterminate Us

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, and other members of Israel’s UN delegation, on Friday donned a yellow Star of David with the words “October 7th” during the UN ceremony marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

In his speech at the ceremony, Erdan commented on the investigation that was launched by UNRWA, the UN agency for “Palestinian refugees”, into alleged participation by its employees in Hamas’ October 7 massacre in Israel.

“How symbolic is it that on International Holocaust Remembrance Day it was exposed that UNRWA employees took part in the massacre? The UN is not only weaponized to delegitimize our existence, but also to physically exterminate us,” the Ambassador said.

The United States announced on Friday it has temporarily paused funding to UNRWA following allegations that 12 of its employees may have been involved in Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel.

“The Department of State has temporarily paused additional funding for UNRWA while we review these allegations and the steps the United Nations is taking to address them,” State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said.

Washington’s announcement came after UNRWA commissioner-general Philippe Lazzarini announced that the UN agency has launched an investigation into the employees who were allegedly involved in the October 7 attacks, adding it has severed ties with those staff members.

In his speech on Friday, Erdan also commented on the ruling of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which failed to reject South Africa’s case against Israel in which Israel is accused of genocide in Gaza, saying it is “outrageous” and adding that “the ICJ proved to the world that the lessons of the Holocaust were not learned”.

“Every year we dedicate this day to discuss the surge in Jew hatred poisoning the world, and this year – the year in which the largest number of Jews were massacred since the Holocaust – antisemitism has risen to heights not seen since the Nuremberg Laws. We can only draw one conclusion, a sad conclusion: The UN has failed in its mission,” stated Erdan.

“It’s plain and clear: If you count the number of UN resolutions and condemnations, it’s obvious that Israel – the only vibrant, liberal democracy in the Middle East – is the number one threat to world peace. But we know what we are outside of this building. We know very well and I pray here today that one day the UN cease its indifference, cease its lies, cease siding with terrorists. That the UN will stand by Israel’s side,” he added.


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