Israel News

News Digest — 7/3/24

In News Surrounding Israel by The Friends of Israel

Chief Of Staff: ‘900 Terrorists From Hamas Rafah Brigade Killed’

IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi on Tuesday (2nd) visited the resting areas in the Kerem Shalom area, accompanied by the Head of the Technological and Logistics Directorate (J4), MG Michel Yanko, the Head of the Logistics Department, BG Moti Mizrahi, the Chief Technology and Maintenance Officer, BG Ariel Shima, the Chief Logistics Officer, BG Haim Malki, and additional commanders.

In addition, the Chief of the General Staff toured an advanced logistics center established in the Gaza Strp and had a conversation with the commanders and soldiers.

“In the Rafah Brigade, what we’ve seen with our own eyes, and I don’t want to say something out of thin air, we counted over 900 terrorists killed, including commanders, at least one battalion commander, many company commanders and many operatives. The current effort, and the reason we are working here week after week, is now focused on the destruction of the terrorist infrastructure and the destruction of the underground infrastructure, which takes time. Therefore, this is a long campaign, because we do not want to leave Rafah with the terrorist infrastructure intact. There are those we eliminated underground, and some that tried to emerge above ground, and we eliminated them,” Halevi said.

He added, “And this ongoing effort of ours, this pursuit, is very, very important. The enemy should feel exhausted, while we feel energized and determined. When we move to the next phase, we will utilize appropriate measures for that phase, and all these things ultimately are focused by our determination, perseverance, and patience, wearing down the other side and accomplishing our missions. A lot of willpower, a lot of patience and perseverance, and the results will speak for themselves going forward.”

“Great appreciation. Thank You,” he concluded.



IDF Eliminates Terrorist Cell Near Tulkarm

An IDF aircraft on Tuesday evening (2nd) struck a terrorist cell in the area of Nur Shams near Tulkarm, while they planted an explosive device.

According to a military source, the IDF monitored the terrorist squad and struck it with a UAV while the terrorists were planting explosive devices, intended to harm the security forces.

The Palestinian Authority’s health bureau said four terrorists were eliminated in the strike.

The strike took place over 300 feet from the spot where Sgt. First Class (res.) Yehuda Geto was killed by a roadside bomb on Monday (1st).

On Sunday, (6/30) an IAF unmanned aircraft struck a building in Nur Shams.

Palestinians reported several wounded as a result of the strike on the building, which according to the IDF, contained four terrorists.

The strike was carried out following intel that was received and after IDF surveillance on the building where senior terrorists from Nur Shams terror cells were. The defense establishment is looking into the possibility that among those who were eliminated were the two terrorists who murdered Amnon Mukhtar earlier this month in Qalandia while he was shopping in the town.

According to Palestinian reports, the building that was attacked was the home of the uncle of Abu Shaja’a the commander of the Islamic Jihad’s Tulkarm Battalion. Two months ago, it was reported that he had been eliminated, but it was later learned that he had survived.



‘Jews Have No Future In France,’ Warns Paris Rabbi

The French Jewish community has no future in France, a prominent local rabbi said this week, advising Jews to emigrate to Israel.

With some 442,000 estimated members, France’s Jewish community is the third-largest on Earth after Israel and the United States, made up primarily of emigres from North Africa and their descendants, with a smaller number of Ashkenazi Jews.

Yet the population has been in a long if slow decline, after peaking in the 1970s at approximately 600,000.

The Second Intifada sparked a wave of migration to Israel, as have subsequent conflicts between Israel and the Palestinians, resulting in outbreaks of anti-Semitic violence in France from elements in the country’s rapidly growing Muslim population.

Now, after Sunday’s (6/30) vote was dominated by the New Popular Front alliance of far-left parties and the stridently nationalistic, Eurosceptic National Rally party – a top French-Jewish religious leader is publicly calling on the republic’s Jewish population to emigrate en masse to Israel “or a more secure country.”

On Monday, (1st) Rabbi Moshe Sebbag, chief rabbi of the Grand Synagogue of Paris, told The Jerusalem Post that the time has come for French Jews to leave the country.

“It is clear today that there is no future for Jews in France,” Rabbi Sebbag said, despite the high-level of identification he acknowledged members of the community feel with France. “I tell everyone who is young to go to Israel or a more secure country.”

“Every country has its history, and its history is part of its identity. The moment you feel part of a country’s history, it doesn’t become another country’s history. After generations, the French Jews are very French and feel very French.”

“But France’s increasingly polarized political climate,” Rabbi Sebbag lamented, “has left Jews isolated by two extremes – both of them loathing our community.”

“The Jews are in the middle because they don’t know who hates them more.”



Medical Expo In France Helps Hundreds Of European Doctors Emigrate To Israel

A MedEx conference in Paris brought together 450 Jewish doctors and dentists from France and Belgium to assist them in emigrating to Israel.

Amid a shortage of doctors in Israel and rising anti-Semitism in France and other European countries, assistance with aliyah, or emigration to Israel, for medical professionals arrives at an important time. Nefesh B’Nefesh sponsored the MedEx event with Israel’s Ministry of Immigration and Absorption and Ministry of Health.

Israeli representatives from hospitals and medical facilities traveled to Paris to meet with medical professionals who often need extra assistance with the aliyah process, especially in converting their licenses and developing proficient Hebrew skills needed to practice medicine in Israel.

MedEx is expecting hundreds of European doctors to make aliyah in the near future, with the largest of 2,000 emigrating in the next five years.

The Minister of Immigration and absorption, Ofir Sofer, said, “The immigration of doctors to the State of Israel, particularly the Galilee and the Negev, will greatly strengthen the Israeli health system.

Sofer said the MedEx Paris conference is a continuation of a similar expo in New York, which attracted 1,500 participants from the medical field.

In addition , a similar medical fair was held in London, the first held in the UK capital in 5 years.

The Israel Minister of Health, Uriel Bosso, commented that the conferences will address the need to increase the number of doctors in Israel while encouraging aliyah.

Bosso added, “Shoring up the health system with high-quality Jewish professionals from Europe is an appropriately Zionist and forward-looking strategy.”

He added, “The office under my leadership will work to simplify bureaucratic procedures and speed up the process of receiving and integrating doctors who emigrate.”

Currently the number of doctors in Israel per 1,000 people is only 3.4 compared to the OECD average of 3.7.



Nearly 200 Jewish Headstones Vandalized At 2 Cincinnati Cemeteries

Local media reported Jewish gravestones in Cincinnati, some dating back to the 18th century, were toppled and smashed; the FBI is involved in the investigation.

A total of 176 headstones were vandalized in two Jewish cemeteries in Ohio, the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati said in a statement Monday (1st), calling it an “act of anti-Semitic vandalism.”

The desecrations occurred at Tifereth Israel Cemetery and Beth Hamedrash Hagadol Cemetery. No suspects have been arrested yet.

Ohio media outlets reported that headstones some hundreds of years old were toppled and smashed. Cincinnati police and the FBI are investigating the incidents with the help of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati.

Jewish leaders in the area expressed their deep sorrow upon discovering the desecration of the headstones in the two cemeteries. Sue Suskind, executive director of Jewish Cemeteries of Greater Cincinnati, said that she held discussions with law enforcement as the FBI began its investigation.

“When a crime takes place on a religious ground, like our cemeteries are, then it’s a federal crime,” Suskind explained. “That’s why the FBI was called to look into it as well.”

Cemetery officials are attempting to contact the relatives of those whose headstones were damaged. Many of the headstones were found face down, obscuring the names.

Law enforcement officials have advised against touching the vandalized headstones to preserve evidence. Once authorization is given, the headstones will be turned over to identify the names and contact family members.



Why Does The Media Ignore Hamas’ Crimes Against Palestinians? – Hamza Howidy

Since the start of the current war between Israel and Hamas, Hamas has committed countless atrocities against its own people in Gaza. Yet, somehow, these crimes are never reported by Arabic or Western media, or by global human rights organizations. The sad truth is, when Israelis aren’t involved, no one is interested in advocating for the Palestinian rights they claim to care about so deeply.

Many Gazans have raised concerns about the brutality of the Hamas regime, which they have witnessed first-hand. In 2019 and in 2023, the people of Gaza held peaceful marches against Hamas, for the crime of being brutally assaulted by Hamas militants. Hamas imprisoned over 1,300 protestors at each march. I was one of them. I was imprisoned by Hamas and tortured twice, just because I participated in these protests.

Since Oct. 7, hundreds of Gazans have been killed by Hamas’ failing rockets and Hamas has confiscated the food, fuel, and medicine sent to Gaza. Ahmad Breka,13, was shot in the head by Hamas in Rafah while attempting to collect humanitarian aid. Others were merely shot in the legs by Hamas while attempting to grab humanitarian goods that Hamas stole.

The writer is a Palestinian from Gaza City.



There Can Be No Real Discussion Of “The Day After” In Gaza Until Israel Destroys Hamas – Bassam Tawil

• If you think that the Palestinian Authority (PA) or any Arab state would agree to take control of Gaza as long as the Iran-backed terrorist group Hamas has not been totally destroyed and removed from power, you would be wrong. Removing the military and governing capabilities of Hamas, however, cannot be achieved as long as the Biden administration and Western countries keep exerting pressure on Israel to halt the war.

• According to reports from Gaza, Hamas has murdered a number of Palestinians who it believed had indicated willingness to be part of a new government that would replace Hamas after the war.

• Because Hamas has reportedly been stealing most of the food and medicine from humanitarian aid for its own members, it opposes other Palestinians engaging in the aid distribution. Several Palestinians, as well as aid workers, who defied Hamas and took part in the distribution of food and medicine were murdered or wounded by the group.

• Hamas seeks to prolong and aggravate the suffering of the Palestinians and create a “famine” so it can place the blame on Israel.

• Until the international community – and particularly the Biden administration – fully support Israel’s efforts to destroy Hamas, there can be no real discussion of “the day after” in Gaza.

• A large number of Arabs and Muslims who oppose Hamas and other Iran-backed Islamist groups will also benefit from Hamas’ demise.

• In reality, those advocating for a “ceasefire” are asking for Hamas to be allowed to continue ruling Gaza, rearming, and gearing up to attack Israel – in their words – “again and again.