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Israel At War: Week Thirty-Five Coverage

TRUSTED ANALYSIS

Day 245 — Friday, June 7

Guterres To Put Israel On UN Blacklist Along Side Terrorist Organizations Such As ISIS, Al-Qaeda, And Boko Haram

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres informed IDF Attaché in Washington Major General Hedi Silberman that he has decided to include Israel in the black list of countries and organizations that harm children in conflict zones, alongside Russia and the terrorist organizations ISIS, al-Qaeda and Boko Haram.

All of Israel’s efforts to convince Guterres to avoid the step were unsuccessful, and Israel will appear on the list to be published next week.

Sources familiar with the matter said that it was a lost battle. “The current Secretary-General hates Israel – and it is impossible to influence him. Israel’s inclusion in the blacklist is very problematic and may cause countries in the world to impose an arms embargo on Israel.”

According to the estimates, the name of the State of Israel will not be explicitly mentioned in the report, but it will be written that the “Israeli security forces” are responsible for the situation.

Day 245 — Friday, June 7

Analysis — Amir Tsarfati: Israel’s Conditions For Ending The War Have Not Changed — Hamas Will Perish

(Galilee, Israel) — Global hypocrisy never takes a break! After speaking out in favor of a Palestinian state, there are reports that the progressive, Pro-Palestinian, and antisemitic Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs asked government ministers to stop using the term “genocide” in the context of Gaza, fearing that Gazans would seek political asylum in Spain. What goes around comes around! Spain’s government – bless their heart – following their recognition of a Palestinian state last week, stated that they would open an embassy in Ramallah. However, they’re now shying away from that commitment because their diplomates prefer to stay in Israel because it’s “safer” and provides a “higher quality of life”. This is almost laughable.

Slovenia now officially recognizes a Palestinian state. Fools! Switzerland has rejected the recognition of a Palestinian state for the obvious reasons that every country should reject a Palestinian state – they don’t want Iran 2.0.

Adding insult to injury, the POTUS delivered a shameful speech last Friday in which he exposed the administration’s total lack of competency when it comes it Israel, Hamas, and our fight for survival as a nation.

Biden laid out a peace plan for Gaza, where Israel retreats and Hamas continues to rule over Gaza indefinitely. As I stated previously, Israel’s government will collapse overnight if a deal like this should be embraced! Furthermore, the Israeli hostages are the only bargaining chips Hamas has. These terrorists are well aware that the minute all the hostages are released, Israel can complete the job and utterly destroy them! Ultimately, Biden’s plan puts all of the pressure on the Israeli government. When terrorists like Hamas support your plan, you know you have a terrible plan.

Thankfully, the recent statements from the Israeli government have made it very clear that Israel’s conditions for ending the war have not changed. Hamas will perish.

Day 244 — Thursday, June 6

Hezbollah Drone Strike Kills IDF Soldier, Wounds 10 Others; President Herzog: ‘The World Needs To Wake Up’


An IDF reservist was killed and 10 additional soldiers were wounded by a drone attack launched by Hezbollah on Wednesday evening at a field in the town of Hurfeish, Israeli media reported.

Another victim was left in serious condition and nine others suffered moderate to light wounds after two drones exploded on a soccer field, the Israeli newspaper Maariv reported.

The IDF announced the death of Staff Sgt. (res.) Refael Kauders (39) from Tzur Hadassah on Thursday morning.

The IDF said it is investigating why no warning sirens were activated before the drone strike.

According to Maariv, the attack was carried out in two stages, with the second drone striking first responders sometime after the first drone had exploded.

The town of Hurfeish is around 3 kilometers (less than 2 miles) from the Lebanese border. Its residents, primarily members of the Druze community, have not been evacuated.

Hezbollah later claimed responsibility for the attack, stating it launched a “drone squadron” at a gathering of IDF soldiers in the area in retaliation for an IDF strike that killed a Hezbollah terrorist in a-Naqoura on Tuesday.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog appealed to the international community on Wednesday evening amid the rising tensions with Hezbollah in recent weeks.

“I turn from here to the international community and its leaders and emphasize – it is impossible to remain indifferent to this terrorism, from Lebanon and in general,” Herzog said.

“Israel has been attacked daily, for many months, by Iran’s arms in Lebanon, in flagrant violation of all international agreements and resolutions. The world needs to wake up and realize that Israel has no choice but to protect its citizens and don’t be surprised when it does so ever more strongly and firmly, and don’t complain when the situation is out of control!”

“This is not the time to stand by and let the area escalate. This evil terrorist aggression must be curbed and stopped,” Herzog charged.

Day 243 — Wednesday, June 5

House Passes Bill That Sanctions Those Who Help ICC Pursue Israeli Officials

The U.S. House of Representatives voted 247 to 155 on Tuesday to pass H.R. 8282, the Illegitimate Court Counteraction Act. Two Republicans voted “present” and 42 Democrats voted with Republicans for the bill.

AIPAC stated that the bill responds to the “morally bankrupt and legally baseless attack against Israel” leveled by Karim Khan, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, a United Nations agency located in The Hague.

Khan announced that he was seeking arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, as well as for Hamas leaders.

“The ICC’s attack on Israel is a dangerous precedent that could be used in future efforts against America,” AIPAC said, lauding the bill’s passage in the House. “Since the court’s establishment, Democratic and Republican presidents have chosen not to join the ICC as they feared politically motivated trials that could impact our citizens and soldiers. This case affirms that decision.”

AIPAC “urges the Senate to adopt this important legislation,” it added.

The bill, which Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) introduced, calls the ICC’s actions against the Jewish state “illegitimate and baseless,” requires the U.S. president to sanction those who assist the ICC in its investigation, arrest, detention or prosecution of “a protected person” and sanctions and imposes visa bans on such people and their families, according to AIPAC.

The U.S. president could waive such sanctions “on a case-by-case basis” when such exceptions are “determined to be vital to the national security interests of the United States,” AIPAC added.

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) called the ICC’s actions “outrageous” and “unconscionable” in a press conference on Tuesday morning prior to the vote.

“The ICC has to be punished for this action,” he said. “We cannot allow this to stand. If the ICC was allowed to do this and go after the leaders of countries whose actions they disagree with, why would they not come after America?”

“The ICC chose the wrong side of history when they issued a warrant for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and other Israeli defense officials,” wrote Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), chair of the House Republican Conference, after the bill passed.

“These corrupt bureaucrats will be held accountable for punishing our greatest ally Israel in her hour of need,” Stefanik added.

Roy, who introduced the bill, stated that its passage “sends a strong message to the ICC that we will not tolerate their outrageous attacks on Israel.”

“But let’s be clear. This isn’t just about Israel. This is about ensuring that our nation’s sovereignty is protected, as well as our servicemembers,” he said. “Absent decisive leadership at the White House, Congress must stand in the breach defending our allies and our sovereignty.”

Day 242 — Tuesday, June 4

Over 10 Civilians And Soldiers Injured By Fire From Hezbollah Missiles


Yesterday evening, six reserve soldiers and five civilians were injured while combating fires in northern Israel, which were ignited by Hezbollah attacks from Lebanon.

The soldiers, who sustained minor injuries, were assisting in firefighting efforts near Kiryat Shmona and were subsequently brought to the Ziv Medical Center.

The civilians, also slightly injured from smoke inhalation while extinguishing flames near Amiad, were taken to the same facility. All injured individuals are undergoing medical tests and are expected to be released soon, according to a spokeswoman from the Ziv Medical Center.

Prime Minister Netanyahu, along with heads of security branches, conducted a situation assessment regarding the ongoing developments in the north. He received updates from the National Fire and Rescue Authority on their efforts to bring the fires under control. The IDF is working closely with fire and rescue forces to manage the fire locations.

The Israel Fire and Rescue Services announced that most of the blazes have been controlled. A significant fire near Amiad, which burned approximately 4,000 dunams (nearly 990 acres), was contained after a nine-hour battle involving firefighting planes. Firefighters also prevented fires in Kfar Giladi and Kiryat Shmona from spreading to homes.

Day 241 — Monday, June 3

Israeli Official Says Biden's Description Of So-Called 'Israeli Proposal' For Ceasefire Is Misleading

An Israeli government official has directly challenged President Joe Biden’s characterization of a ceasefire proposal aimed at ending the conflict in Gaza, casting doubt on the U.S. ally’s stance regarding the potential deal, according to a report from NBC News.

In a surprising announcement on Friday, Biden outlined what he described as a comprehensive truce plan that had originated from Israel and been conveyed to Hamas through mediators. However, the senior Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, stated that the president’s depiction of the proposal was inaccurate.

Contradicting Biden’s assertion that Israel had agreed to a complete withdrawal of its troops from Gaza as part of the deal, the official firmly stated, “Israel has not changed its conditions to reach a permanent ceasefire. That will only happen after our objectives are met, including destroying Hamas’s military and governing capabilities.”

The official also contested the notion that the plan was an Israeli proposal, claiming instead that it was a proposal put forward by mediators, to which Israel had made amendments and revisions. “It’s strange that they say it’s an Israeli proposal and at the same time that Israel needs to agree to it,” the official remarked.

According to the president’s remarks on Friday, the three-part plan involved an initial six-week complete ceasefire, followed by the withdrawal of Israeli forces from populated areas of Gaza and the release of hostages held by Hamas since the group’s attack on October 7. While the Israeli official awaited a formal response from Hamas, a spokesperson for the terrorist group expressed a positive view of Biden’s speech, stating that they “view positively” what was included in the president’s remarks.

Day 241 — Monday, June 3

Israel Announces The Deaths Of Four Hostages In Hamas Captivity


The Israel Defense Forces announced on Monday that it had confirmed the deaths of four Israeli hostages in Hamas captivity, following the gathering of new intelligence findings.

IDF spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said in a press briefing that the military could not immediately confirm the circumstances of the deaths of Chaim Peri, 79, Amiram Cooper, 84, Yoram Metzger, 80, and Nadav Popplewell, 51, but that it would investigate their deaths fully.

“We estimate that the four were killed together, in the Khan Younis area, several months ago, while being held by Hamas terrorists and while IDF forces were operating in Khan Younis,” he said.

“I know that difficult questions will arise regarding the circumstances of the deaths,” Hagari added. “We are examining the circumstances of these deaths in-depth, looking into all possibilities, and we will present the findings as soon as possible, first to the families and then to the public. We will present [the findings] transparently, as we have done so far.”

Peri, Cooper, and Metzger were abducted by Hamas from Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7, while Popplewell was taken hostage from Kibbutz Nirim.

Cooper’s wife, Nurit, was also taken hostage and freed in October along with Yocheved Lifshitz, whose husband, Oded, remains a hostage in Gaza.

Metzger’s wife, Tami, was kidnapped and freed during the same weeklong truce, as was Popplewell’s mother, Channah Peri. His brother, Roi Popplewell, was murdered in the Hamas attack on Nirim.

All four of the hostages had previously been seen alive in propaganda videos filmed during their captivity in Gaza and released by Hamas.

Earlier Monday, the family of Dolev Yehud, 35, who had been believed to be held hostage in Gaza for the past eight months, was informed that he had been killed on October 7 and that his body had finally been identified after extensive testing on previously unidentified remains found in Kibbutz Nir Oz.

Day 241 — Monday, June 3

War Looms in Lebanon as Hezbollah Intensifies Fire at Israel; IDF Prepares For Expanded Battle


Israel and Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed terror group in southern Lebanon, are near a war footing as Hezbollah fired dozens of rockets and projectiles at Israel over the weekend, causing widespread fires near Israel’s northern borders.

Israel had retaliated for a round of earlier attacks by targeting dozens of terrorist sites in southern Lebanon. Unlike Hezbollah, Israel targets military targets and not civilians; Hezbollah has targeted both since early October.

Amid the back-and-forth, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are preparing for war in the north, even as it works to end the war in Gaza with victory over the last remaining Hamas battalions in Gaza.

The IDF issued a statement Sunday:

This week, the IDF conducted an exercise in General Staff command centers as part of the IDF’s readiness for a campaign in the northern arena.

Regular and reservist soldiers participated in the exercise at the headquarters of the Northern Command and in all IDF branches and directorates. The exercise included scenarios simulating an expanded war in the northern arena, as well as multi-arena warfare.

The IDF continues to strengthen its readiness at all times and learn lessons during the course of the war.

Hezbollah is violating United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701, the resolution that ended the Second Lebanon War in 2006 and prohibited Hezbollah from locating military installations south of the Litani River.

Neither the Lebanese military nor the United Nations has been willing or able to enforce the resolution. President Joe Biden’s warning to Hezbollah and Iran in October — “don’t!” — has been ineffective in deterring the terrorist group.

Day 241 — Monday, June 3

Analysis — The PA, Hamas, And Hezbollah Will Always Refuse To Accept The Existence Of A Jewish State


The Arab-Israeli conflict is often perceived as a highly intricate issue involving a multitude of historical, political, and social elements. You’ll hear journalists and professors claim, “It’s a complex situation,” or “It’s extremely complicated.”

Navigating history’s ever-shifting landscape can be complex, as each day brings new developments; but the overall conflict is simple to grasp. Terrorist organizations like Hamas, Hezbollah, and factions of the Palestinian Authority (PA) refuse to accept the existence of a Jewish state. That is why tensions still exist between Israel and the Palestinians and many Arab nations.

Lebanon (established 1943), Syria (1946), Jordan (1946), and Israel (1948) were all formed within the same decade as a result of the dismantling of the Turkish Empire after World War I. However, Israel is the only country on that list whose right to exist is disputed. When Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan acquired independence, no neighboring countries stormed their borders or contested their sovereignty.

Why was Israel not afforded the same recognition? The answer is simple: Israel is a Jewish state.

Today, Israel’s neighbors no longer strategize how to use their military force to destroy the little Jewish country; but Iranian proxies occupy Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank, and Gaza to plot against Israel and execute acts of terror to remind the Jewish people they are not wanted.

Day 240 — Sunday, June 2

‘No Permanent Ceasefire Before Hamas Is Destroyed,’ Netanyahu Responds To Biden’s Dramatic Hostage Deal Presentation


Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dampened expectations after U.S. President Joe Biden announced an Israeli-American roadmap to end the Gaza War on Friday evening, which was received with international acclaim.

During a Friday press briefing, Biden presented a three-stage plan that would begin with a complete ceasefire while the two parties continued to negotiate final details.

It’s time for this war to end and for the day after to begin,he said.

In a rare statement during the Jewish Sabbath, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) responded on Saturday.

Israel’s conditions for ending the war have not changed: the destruction of Hamas’s military and governing capabilities, the freeing of all hostages and ensuring that Gaza no longer poses a threat to Israel.”

“Under the proposal, Israel will continue to insist these conditions are met before a permanent ceasefire is put in place. The notion that Israel will agree to a permanent ceasefire before these conditions are fulfilled is a non-starter.”

This followed a statement immediately after Biden’s speech on Friday. The PMO stressed that Israel’s government was united in working to return the hostages as soon as possible and that Netanyahu had authorized the presentation of a deal proposal to that end which included the goal of destroying Hamas’ military and governing capabilities.

“The actual proposal put forward by Israel, including the conditional transition from one phase to the next, allows Israel to uphold these principles,the statement read.

In his speech, Biden gave a detailed overview of the plan he said was offered by Israel and transmitted by Qatar to Hamas leadership.

Each phase would last for 42 days, Biden said. The first phase would includea full and complete ceasefire; a withdrawal of Israeli forces from all populated areas of Gaza; a release of a number of hostages – including women, the elderly, the wounded – in exchange for the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners. There are American hostages who would be released at this stage.”

During this initial phase, Biden said hostages’ remains would also be returned, while Palestinian civilians would be allowed to return to their homes, including in the northern part of Gaza which Israel has kept closed off during the past months.

In addition,Humanitarian assistance would surge with 600 trucks carrying aid into Gaza every single day,Biden said.

The details needed to implement the second phase would be worked out by Israel and Hamas during phase one, which would continue until an agreement was reached.

“There are a number of details to negotiate to move from phase one to phase two. Israel will want to make sure its interests are protected,Biden conceded.

During the second phase, the president continued,There would be an exchange for the release of all remaining living hostages, including male soldiers; Israeli forces would withdraw from Gaza; and as long as Hamas lives up to its commitments, a temporary ceasefire would become, in the words of the Israeli proposal,the cessation of hostilities permanently.’ 

“Finally, in phase three, a major reconstruction plan for Gaza would commence. And any final remains of hostages who have been killed would be returned to their families,Biden said.

The U.S. president said there werethose in Israel who will not agree,accusing them of calling for the war to continue and wanting to occupy Gaza.

“Some are even in the government coalition… They want to keep fighting for years and hostages are not a priority for them,Biden charged in a thinly veiled attack against Israeli ministers Itamar Ben Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich, among other right-wing Members of Knesset.

Turning to the Israeli public, Biden asked them totake a step back and think what will happen if this moment is lost.

“Indefinite war in pursuit of an unidentified notion oftotal victorywill only bog down Israel in Gaza, draining the economic, military, and human- – and human resources, and furthering Israel’s isolation in the world,Biden said.

On the other hand, he vowed,A comprehensive approach that starts with this deal will bring hostages home and will lead to a more secure Israel.

“And once a ceasefire and hostage deal is concluded, it unlocks the possibility of a great deal more progress, including – including calm along Israel’s northern border with Lebanon. The United States will help forge a diplomatic resolution,the president vowed.

Biden’s declaration was met with immediate international acclaim, including former U.S. President Barack Obama, European Union Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and leaders in France, Germany and the United Kingdom.

In a first reaction by Hamas, the terror group stated itlooks positivelyat Biden’s speech, after recently saying it wasn’t ready to resume negotiations while the war was still ongoing.

“We are ready to deal positively and constructively with any proposal based on a permanent ceasefire, complete withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, reconstruction, the return of the displaced to all their places of residence, and the completion of a serious prisoner exchange deal if the occupation declares its explicit commitment to that,Hamas stated.

“This deal does stop the war. That’s what Hamas wants. They can take the deal. Alternatively, if its leaders choose to live deep underground, holding innocent hostages, including women, as the war goes on and people of Gaza suffer, that would be their choice,a U.S. official told the Axios news site.

According to the official, the intention of Biden’s unusual speech, which was carried live by Israeli news channels on Friday evening, was to mobilize international pressure on Hamas to take the deal.

Day 239 — Saturday, June 1

Hamas Releases New Audio Of Noa Argamani In Latest Propaganda Terror


Hamas, the terrorist group that rules Gaza, escalated its psychological warfare campaign this week by releasing an audio recording, apparently of Israeli woman Noa Argamani – an Israeli student taken hostage on Oct. 7. Argamani’s horrific kidnapping on Oct. 7 was filmed by terrorists, who spread the disturbing footage showing here pleading “Don’t kill me” as she was violently being held by on a motorcycle and outstretching her hand toward her boyfriend, who In the recording, the woman’s voice pleads with Israelis to protest Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, accusing it of being willing to let the captives die. “Please, don’t let Netanyahu and the government kill us,” the voice says. “Save us. Time is running out,” referring to the 125 hostage still being held.

In the video, Argamani addresses the people of Israel “Go out into the streets, men and women, block the streets of Tel Aviv, and don’t go home until we return.” Argamani’s voice is also heard saying, “Do you support the Netanyahu Gallant and Gantz government?” referring to the three members of the War Cabinet: Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and Minister without Portfolio Benny Gantz.

While Hamas did not explicitly say the voice belonged to Argamani, officials from the forum representing families of captives said they believed it was her based on the recording. Argamani’s family gave a green light to air the recording.

The release follows a video in January that showed Argaman, 24, along with two Israeli men who were already deceased at the time after being held by Hamas. In that footage, the captives made statements that were almost certainly coerced for propaganda purposes.

It seems that in the past week, the terror organizations in Gaza have stepped up their efforts and released recordings of captives. In recent days, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group released a video of the captive Sasha Trufanov in which he says his condition is “good” and he too demands that residents continue with the protests and not stop them.

Day 239 — Saturday, June 1

Netanyahu Formally Invited To Address Joint Session Of Congress


All four United States congressional leaders signed on to a letter on Friday inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Washington to address a joint meeting of Congress. The letter was delivered to the Israeli embassy in Washington.

[The congressional members] wrote to Netanyahu that “the existential challenges we face, including the growing partnership between Iran, Russia and China, threaten the security, peace and prosperity of our countries and of free people around the world.”

“To build on our enduring relationship and to highlight America’s solidarity with Israel, we invite you to share the Israeli government’s vision for defending democracy, combating terror and establishing a just and lasting peace in the region,” the letter added.

It notes that Hamas continues to hold hostages from both nations. 

“We join the State of Israel in your struggle against terror, especially as Hamas continues to hold American and Israeli citizens captive and its leaders jeopardize regional stability,” the leaders wrote. “For this reason … we would like to invite you to address a joint meeting of Congress.”

While media reports indicate that the goal is to schedule the address in the next two months, it is understood that a tight Capitol schedule in an election year might push the visit back to after the August recess.

Earlier on Friday, U.S. President Joe Biden announced a multi-phased Israeli proposal to end its war with Hamas, including the gradual release of hostages and a release of hundreds of Palestinian security prisoners. 

While Biden said Israel had degraded Hamas’s military and governing capabilities, he made no mention of any component of the proposal which would force Hamas from power in Gaza.

Elements of Biden’s Democratic party, including the president himself, have at times been harshly critical of Israel’s response to Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre, causing a partisan splinter following near-universal sympathies from the Capitol in the wake of the brutal terror attack.

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