Archive for Gaza

Gaza Man

I confess that when I saw the term Gaza Man, I thought it referred to an evolutionary throwback, a subhuman species that lived in caves, walked semi-upright and ate leaves and dirt.

And I was right!

A new action game available on Google Play called “Gaza Man” allows players to take the role of Gaza gunmen shooting at Israeli soldiers with an assault rifle and RPGs.

The opening sequence to the game, produced by Bridgeview for Trading – a company that produces no results on Google search – shows Israeli soldiers arresting a young child, shooting his soccer ball and harassing a woman.

The creators of the game, according to its description on Google Play, “aim to stimulate the spirit of resistance against injustice in the young generation, and consider Gaza Man to be its first effort towards attaining this goal.”

‘Gaza Man’ is described in Google Play as: “more than just a game! It elevates the morale and the fighting spirit of its users. What the user experiences in the game can be translated from the virtual world of the game into the reality of his life in the Occupied Territories. This way, it helps to keep his will to achieve liberation alive, and helps to instil a deep dedication to the struggle against the occupier.”

Even ISIS has reportedly tried its hand at instilling its values into youth through a violent video game last September.

I don’t know the relationship between Google Play and Google, but this is why I use Bing whenever I can.

But why they didn’t call it Grand Theft Ottoman I’ll never know.

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Hajj Ball

Technically, not the hajj—but how could I resist?

With the war-battered Gaza Strip’s borders closed, thousands of people have been shut out of a Muslim pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia because they cannot leave the sealed territory.

Some 7,500 Gazans have sought to travel to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, for the minor umrah pilgrimage but have been turned away because Egypt restricts movement in and out of the coastal enclave.

Egypt has shut its border with the Gaza Strip since Oct. 24, citing security concerns in its northern Sinai Peninsula. It has opened it only intermittently for students and patients seeking medical care.

“I wait hour by hour. We feel every day that passes without leaving as though it’s a year,” said Fares Hayek, 80, who is among those waiting to make the pilgrimage. He applied in November along with his wife, children and grandchildren.

Boy, that’s tough. I’m tempted to label Egypt an apartheid state (since no one else will), and refer to Gaza as a township (Soweto-on-Sea), but let’s read a little further:

An Egyptian security official said that the closure is upon orders from President Abdel-Fattah Sisi, who said he will only open the border if it is controlled by the Palestinian Authority. Despite an agreement last year to form a Palestinian unity government, Hamas remains in control of Gaza and the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority wields little influence over the coastal strip.

Mahmoud Habash, an adviser to on religious affairs, blamed the pilgrims delay on the security situation in the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt has accused militants of using Gaza for their operations.

“We agreed with the Egyptians that the first priority is the safety of the travelers and the safety of the Egyptian teams at the border crossing, and when the safety conditions permit, there will be no problem for them to go,” he said.

See? There you go. Egypt is penning up the Gazan Arabs out of an abundance of caution, a surfeit of love. It’s really quite touching when you look at it from the pan-Arab perspective.

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Brother, Can You Spare a Dinar?

Not as gratifying as a newspaper calling President Obama an “assclown” (see post below), but still a heartwarming story:

UN political affairs chief Jeffrey Feltman told the Security Council that donors who had promised $5.4 billion to the Palestinians at the Cairo conference four months ago “have yet to fulfill the vast majority of their pledges,” according to AFP.

“This is, quite frankly, unacceptable, and cannot continue if we hope to avoid another escalation in Gaza,” Feltman told the 15-member council during a meeting on the Middle East.

In a sign of growing impatience with pace of reconstruction efforts, dozens of protesters forced their way into a UN office in Gaza on January 28, after the world body announced it was suspending an aid program to support home repairs and refugee shelter assistance.

Feltman described the situation in Gaza as “increasingly worrisome” and cited the slow pace of reconstruction along with security and governance problems as creating “an increasingly toxic environment.”

“This approach is neither sufficient nor sustainable,” he warned.

I can’t be sure which I’m enjoying more: suffering in Hamasstan, or the UN’s pique. Both, I guess! You can have your cake, and eat it too.

PS: Plus, of course, Arab betrayal. My cup runneth over.

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Palestine Is Not a Nation, But It’s in the Midst of a Civil War Anyway

Who needs statehood when you can just get on with the internecine killing?

Despite having formed a unity agreement last April torpedoing peace talks, Hamas and Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction seem to be slowly sliding into open warfare in Gaza, as an attempted assassination on a Fatah official on Monday caps off incessant back and forth car bombings.

Mamoon Sweidan, the Fatah official who serves in the Gaza office on foreign relations, told the Palestinian Arab Ma’an News Agency that on Monday two masked gunmen in a Subaru conducted a drive-by shooting, targeting him as he was getting into his car outside the al-Saadi building in Gaza City where he lives.

The official said two of his guards exchanged fire with the would-be assassins, and that both guards were wounded.

The assassination attempt is just the latest in a recent string of attacks that risk pushing Hamas and Fatah back into outright warfare; the two have been enemies since Hamas ousted Fatah by force in 2005, seizing control of Gaza, and the lukewarm unity deal has done little of substance to lessen that enmity.

On Sunday unidentified attackers set the car of Fatah official Abed al-Munim Ramadan Tahrawi on fire in the Nuseirat “refugee camp” before fleeing the scene.

That arson came just hours after the car of a senior Hamas official in the interior ministry of the terrorist organization’s government was likewise set on fire in Jabaliyah in northern Gaza earlier on Sunday.

Just over a week ago, the car of Hamas official Sheikh Sami Hams was bombed in Nuseirat.

The spate of back and forth car bombings was in full swing in January as well, with the car of Fatah official Adil Udeid set on fire in front of his Gaza home, and Fatah leader Ahmad Alwan’s car blown up in Gaza City.

Just prior to that the car of Administrative and Financial Manager of the Hamas-run military police, Helmi Khalaf, was blown up in Gaza City.

Did you know any of that? We follow this crap, and we didn’t. These are the so-called Palestinians, and these are the lovable underdogs so championed by world leaders.

Well, not all world leaders:

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Like ISIS, maybe? Arab leaders don’t like existential threats from terrorists who threaten to wipe them off the map? Can’t imagine why.

Carry on, Hamass; carry on, Fatah. Car bombs and drive-bys may be an odd way of life, but who are we to judge?

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The UN’s “Never Again” Moment

The Jew-hating genocidal jackals of Hamass have finally incurred the wrath of their benefactors, UNRWA:

The United Nations’ Gaza envoy has expressed his “outrage” at an incident in which Palestinian protesters attempted to storm UN headquarters in Gaza, accusing Hamas of turning a blind eye.

“During a pre-announced demonstration, of which Hamas was well aware, a number of protestors climbed the perimeter wall and entered the compound causing damage to United Nations premises and property,” Robert Serry said in a statement quoted by the Bethlehem-based Maan News Agency.

Expressing his “deep concern” over Hamas authorities’ inaction, Serry issued a rare scathing criticism of the Islamist terrorist group which runs Gaza.

Did you get that? “Deep concern”? That’s worse than the “mild distress” they expressed over the shelling of an Israeli kindergarten or their resigned shrug after the most recent bus stabbing. But he was just getting started:

“Pending a full transfer of security responsibilities to the legitimate Palestinian Authority, we continue to hold Hamas fully responsible for the security and safety of all United Nations personnel and operations in Gaza.”

It does seem ungrateful for Hamass to bite the hand that feeds, clothes, and shelters—and stores their missiles for—them. We’ve covered this story for a couple of days now, but it’s like Vitamin C or french fries: we have our daily requirements.

“$5.4 billion was pledged at the Cairo (aid) conference last October and virtually none of it has reached Gaza. This is distressing and unacceptable. It is unclear why this funding has not been forthcoming,” the agency said in a statement.

Earlier this month Hamas threatened the international community, demanding that it pay to rebuild Hamas’s stronghold of Gaza, or else face the region “becoming” a hotbed for extremism and terrorism.

Blah-blah-blah. Hey Hamass, why don’t you tunnel your way into UNRWA HQ and just take stuff? You might be able to get something for a fax machine on eBay.

Until tomorrow’s chapter…

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Laws of Physics

Newton’s Second: The acceleration of an object as produced by a net force is directly proportional to the magnitude of the net force, in the same direction as the net force, and inversely proportional to the mass of the object.

Boyle’s: At constant temperature for a fixed mass, the absolute pressure and the volume of a gas are inversely proportional.

Ampère’s/Maxwell’s: Maxwell’s addition states that magnetic fields can be generated in two ways: by electrical current (this was the original “Ampère’s law”) and by changing electric fields (this was “Maxwell’s addition”).

Gaza’s:

Hundreds of protesters on Wednesday tried to storm the Gaza headquarters of the United Nations, an AFP correspondent said, after the UN announced it lacked funds to rebuild the enclave from the damage caused by Hamas’s most recent terror war against Israel.

Around 200 people demonstrated outside the building in Gaza City of UNRWA, burning tires and throwing rocks, while shouting “we are still homeless!”

As the riot continued to turn violent, some tried to storm the building before police of the Hamas terrorist organization that rules Gaza, broke up the demonstration.

The incident came a day after UNRWA announced it can not afford to repair tens of thousands of homes damaged during the July-August war between Israel and Hamas because donors have failed to pay.

Hamass staged the demonstration so that Hamass could break up the demonstration. Street theater.

There are besieged and oppressed people in the world, but Gazans are not among them. The victims of Boko Haram, Ebola patients, Tibetans, even commuters on the Southeastern Expressway in a light drizzle are more deserving of your sympathy than one single Arab occupier of southwestern Israel.

The reconstruction has barely begun, not only because world nations have not delivered, but also because construction materials allowed in by Israel have been used by Hamas to rebuild terror tunnels into Israel meant to attack civilians, leading Israel to limit the transfers.

Earlier this month Hamas threatened the world, demanding that it pay to rebuild Hamas’s stronghold of Gaza, or else face the region “becoming” a hotbed for extremism and terrorism.

“Becoming”?! Since when has that human fly trap not been a hotbed for extremism and terrorism? Strawberries, tomatoes, and Qassam missiles—that’s all it’s good for.

Home is where the heart is, the saying goes. If you are “homeless”, you are homeless in every meaning.

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The Goodness of Mankind

Just when my faint flicker of faith in humanity is nearly snuffed out, a breeze of bogusness blows it back to life.

Thank you, hypocrites:

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees said on Tuesday that it cannot afford to repair Gaza homes damaged in last year’s war with Israel because donors have failed to pay.

“The agency has exhausted all funding to support repairs and rental subsidies,” the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) said in a statement.

“$5.4 billion was pledged at the Cairo (aid) conference last October and virtually none of it has reached Gaza. This is distressing and unacceptable.”

You say distressing and unacceptable, I say hopeful and restorative. For what worse message could there be than that you can launch a genocidal war largely against civilians—your own and your enemy’s—and make a tidy profit in the process?

“UNRWA in Gaza has so far provided over $77 million to 66,000 Palestine refugee families to repair their home or find a temporary alternative,” it said.

“This is a tremendous achievement; it is also wholly insufficient… We are talking about thousands of families who continue to suffer through this cold winter with inadequate shelter. People are literally sleeping among the rubble. Children have died of hypothermia.”

Hypothermia or “work accidents”—what’s the diff? Dead children are Hamass policy.

I applaud the Arab sultans and the international community for refusing to have anything to do with it. I take back some of the things I’ve said about you guys. Writing bogus $5.4 million dollar checks with your mouths that your wallets had no intention of cashing—respect.

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How to Handle Border Security

Egypt offers one model:

Egypt began work Thursday on doubling the width of a buffer zone along the border with the Gaza Strip to prevent terrorists infiltrating from the Palestinian enclave, security officials said.

The buffer was initially planned to be 500 meters (546 yards) wide, but is now being expanded by another 500 meters.

Much to our disappointment, Egypt is using its own land, not Gaza’s, for the buffer zone.

This, by contrast, is how Israel does it:

Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) and his staff have implemented a new program to rebuild and expand Gaza Belt region communities Wednesday, to the tune of some 134.5 million shekel ($34.2 million).

The expansion program is designed to help more families slowly settle the region, which was hit hardest by Operation Protective Edge over the summer. At the height of the war, up to 80% of Gaza Belt community families had fled inland due to the ongoing barrage of rocket fire, sparking concerns over the region’s future.

Despite the war, the communities near Gaza “continue to grow thanks to the wonderful residents of the area,” Ariel stated. “We ask for help to increase settlement in these communities and execute the government’s decision. Our aims our clear: more and more people are building there.”

Israelis continually amaze me. Egypt builds a mote and relocates thousands. Israel, which suffers much more from Arab terrorists than Egypt does, rebuilds and holds a block party. What a remarkable people.

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My Favorite Arab Caudillo

Against slim competition, it must be said:

Egypt has in recent days begun the second stage of creating a buffer zone between the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip.

The current zone is being expanded from 500 meters to a kilometer, which means the destruction of some 1,200 homes in Egyptian Rafah. However, The Times of Israel has learned, there will be additional stages, which will ultimately expand the buffer zone to between 1,500 and 2,000 meters. The plan will result in the eviction of hundreds of families from the area, initially to El-Arish and in the future to New Rafah, a suburb of sorts that is to be built next to the current Rafah, and New Ismailiya, which will be built near the existing city on the banks of the Suez Canal.

My only regret is that Sisi is evicting Egyptian families and appropriating Egyptian land. If your problem is with Gaza, you need less Gaza, not less Egypt.

But the greater point is still instructive. One simply cannot live in peace with Gaza as your neighbor: Gaza won’t allow it. Egypt’s solution is to create an Apartheid State, complete with a moat over a mile wide.

By the army’s estimates, the operation is bearing fruit, and has forced dozens of jihadis to flee the Sinai for Libya. There has also been a sharp decline in terrorism in the Sinai, and what activity remains is concentrated in the northeastern corner of the peninsula, in Rafah and Sheikh Zaid.

There’s your model, Israel. Never let it be said that Arabs can’t teach you something.

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In a Related Story

To the one below:

A group of 37 orphans from Gaza Strip were prevented from crossing into Israel Sunday after Hamas backtracked from a deal reached to allow the kids to tour the Jewish state, saying the tour was an attempt to “brainwash” the kids. The indicent took place amid claims of clashes along the border between the IDF and Palestinains.

The group, comprised of children aged 5 to 12 whose fathers were killed in the 50-day summer war between Hamas and Israel, were all ready to go at the border crossing with Israel when Hamas rescinded its initial agreement to the visit.

The children, some of them with families with strong links to Hamas, had been cleared to go on the special visit by the IDF over a week ago and were set to visit an Israeli safari, tour the Bediun town of Rahat, and even meet Palestinian President Abbas in Ramallah. They were also scheduled to tour the Israeli communities which live near the Gaza border.

Eyad Bozum, a spokesman for Hamas, said the children were prevented from traveling Sunday to “protect the culture of our children and our people” from normalizing relations with Israel.

He says Hamas turned the children back when they arrived at a crossing into Israel. He says Hamas would make sure such an attempt “will never happen again.”

“Never again”, huh? Nice slogan. And what would be so wrong?

Hamas said that it rejects any kind of normalization with Israel, saying “these types of encounters are Israeli attempts to brainwash the children so that they forgot the Palestinian issue and give up their principles.”

Exactly. Millions of dollars spent brainwashing the kids to become mindless mass-murderers goes down the drain if you let them actually get to know the human beings they are bred to kill. That “will never happen again.”

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Cover Blown

While the European Union considers Hamass as harmless as the Elks or the Webelos, Hamass considers its options:

According to the reports, Hamas has acknowledged the limited efficacy of its mid- and longer-range rockets, many of which were shot down by Israel’s Iron Dome defense system during the war, inflicting very limited civilian casualties. Meanwhile, Hamas has recognized the deadliness of mortar shells, which fall short of Iron Dome’s range.

One new approach that Hamas has been considering in an effort to extend its effective range is to launch large volleys of rockets that would challenge Iron Dome’s ability to fire interceptors in rapid succession, the reports said. It has also been conducting tests, lobbing dozens of rockets into the Mediterranean Sea in recent weeks, according to Ynet, which cited Palestinian Gaza sources in its report.

Is that how a crushed people in a devastated territory behave? Why would the international community reward an Islamofascist entity that starts wars, targets civilians (its own as well as Israeli), and earns the loathing of its big brother, Egypt?

Egyptian military troops have started to inform residents in Rafah that they must evacuate another 500 meters from the border with Gaza, indicting the beginning of the second phase in creating a buffer zone between Egypt and Gaza.

Residents of Rafah have begun to look for alternative housing in el Arish and Sheikh Zuwayed,

An earlier decision ordered residents to clear 500 meters from the border, following this order, the total area to be evacuated will reach 1 kilometer.

The government hopes the buffer zone will isolate the militants who say they attack the security forces in retaliation for the government crackdown on Morsi supporters in which at least 1,400 people have been killed in street clashes.

The authorities also hope that the buffer zone will neutralize hundreds of illegal underground tunnels connecting the Egyptian side of Rafah with Gaza.

Such tunnels are often used for smuggling weapons and militants, and the army says it has already destroyed more than 1,600 of them.

My only disappointment is that Egypt is using its own territory to build a moat around Gaza. I had previously congratulated them on seizing Gaza’s own land for that purpose.

And just for the sake of completeness:

A rocket launched from the Gaza Strip exploded in open territory near the Eshkol Regional Council on Friday around noon, the IDF confirmed.

But when I asked above “why would the international community reward an Islamofascist entity”, I was being rhetorical:

Two months after donors pledged $5.4 billion to help rebuild Gaza after the war between Israel and Hamas, Palestinian, UN and other officials say barely two percent of the money has been transferred.

The conference in Cairo had been hailed as a success, with Qatar promising $1 billion, Saudi Arabia $500 million and the United States and the European Union a combined $780 million in various forms of assistance.

Half was expected to go to rebuilding houses and infrastructure in Gaza destroyed during seven weeks of fighting, and the rest to support the Palestinian budget.

But of the total, only $100 million or so has been received, according to UN and other officials. While the EU and the United States have accelerated some funding that was already in the pipeline, very few new pledges have come to fruition.

So, the Arab states welsh on their pledges, made at a lavish, pointless conference, leaving the US and EU to pick up the tab—with some, most, or all of the money going toward rearming a group even Egypt treats as rabid, as the EU seeks to delist them as a terrorist organization.

And you say I’m cynical.

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Other Evictions You May Have Missed

Hey Amnesty, thanks for reading us, but…where’s our Hat Tip?

Egypt has forcibly evicted an estimated 1,165 families in Rafah so that it can clear a buffer zone by the Gaza border, charged the human rights group Amnesty International, which is concerned that additional homes will be demolished in the coming weeks.

“The scale of the forced evictions has been astonishing; the Egyptian authorities have thrown more than 1,000 families out of their homes in just a matter of days, flouting international and national law,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

“Shocking scenes have emerged of homes in Rafah being bulldozed, bombed, with entire buildings reduced to piles of rubble and families forcibly evicted,” said Sahraoui on Thursday.

Give me a break with that “shocking” nonsense. Bulldozing and bombing buildings to rubble is always shocking, therefore never so. You sound like a bunch of sissies.

We’ve covered this story for a couple of weeks, though our coverage as been significantly more positive than AI’s.

Egypt has destroyed some 800 homes in November in response to an attack on one of its military checkpoints in north Sinai on October 24, in which 33 soldiers were killed. The armed group Ansar Bait al-Maqdishas claimed responsibility for this attack, Amnesty said.

Days after the attack, on October 29, Egypt’s Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab issued a legal mandate to create of a buffer zone by Rafah and called for the area to be evacuated.

Clearing a buffer zone to stop Hamas from building infiltration and smuggling tunnels from Gaza into Egypt is one of the steps Egypt is taking to protect its armed forces from attacks by militant groups, Amnesty said.

At least 238 members of the security forces have been killed in northern Sinai since 3 July 2013, according state media reports.

Egypt has a right to take security measures, but it must do so within the bounds of international human rights law, Amnesty said.

The forced evictions have ignored these laws, said Amnesty, which explained that residents were not given adequate notice, proper compensation and alternative housing.

What rights? Gaza is run by Hamass, a criminal and terrorist organization. It must be isolated. When it isn’t, people—Egyptian, Israeli, Gazan—die.

Besides:

In a November 20th interview on France i24, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi defended the home demolitions and explained that the local population had been notified.

“Meetings have been organized in order to compensate them and to rebuild a new city of Rafah,” Sisi said.

“In our struggle against terrorism, we always tried to do our utmost to spare the human lives of civilians. We always respected human rights,” Sisi said.

In a related story of displaced people:

History was made on Sunday, November 30, when for the first time in the annals of the state, official recognition was given to Jewish refugees from Arab lands and Iran.

The event, hosted by President Reuven Rivlin at his official residence, was the continuum of legislation that was passed by the Knesset in June of this year designating November 30 as the national day of commemoration of the plight of Jewish refugees from Arab lands and Iran. The date was significant in that it commemorates the day after the anniversary of the November 29, 1947 United Nations resolution on the partition of Palestine, which led to an immediate flare up of anti-Zionist action and policy among Arab states, resulting in the killing, persecution, humiliation, oppression and expulsion of Jews, the sequestration of Jewish property and a war against the nascent State of Israel.

In 1948 close to a million Jews lived in Arab lands. Some were massacred in pogroms. Most fled or were expelled between 1948 and 1967. In 1948 there were 260,000 Jews in Morocco. Today there are less than 3,000. In the same time frame, the Jewish population of Algeria declined from 135,000 to zero, in Tunisia from 90,000 to a thousand, in Libya from 40,000 to zero, in Egypt from 75,000 to less than one hundred, in Iraq from 125,000 to zero, in Yemen from 45,000 to approximately 200, in Syria from 27,000 to 100, and in Lebanon from 10,000 in the 1950s to less than 100.

Jewish population in Arab lands is now 4,500 out of 1948’s 1,000,000—a 99.55% eradication of their former number. And they have the chutzpah to accuse Israel of genocide.

We trust these two stories have been helpful in understanding the region. You’re welcome.

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