Today’s Top Stories
1. Four year old Daniel Tragerman was killed on Friday afternoon when a mortar fired from Hamas struck a car in Nahal Oz, near the Gaza border, sending shrapnel flying into the Tragerman family home. His mother, Gila, said they had only three seconds to get their son to shelter. The family were packed and ready to evacuate the kibbutz due to the security situation, having only returned days before from spending much of the war with friends and family further north. The IDF said the mortar was fired near a school that Hamas was using to shelter displaced Palestinians. Daniel’s funeral was held on Sunday morning.
2. Masked Hamas gunmen on Friday afternoon killed seven suspected informants for Israel near a Gaza City mosque as worshipers were ending midday prayers, bringing the total number of alleged collaborators killed in the coastal strip during the day to 18, according to witnesses and Hamas media. On Saturday, four more alleged collaborators were killed, bringing the total in two days to 22. One witness said masked gunmen lined up the seven men Friday in a side street and opened fire on them.
3. Nearly 200 Hollywood entertainers, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Seth Rogen and Minnie Driver have publicly announced their support for Israel in its war against Hamas in a statement written by Creative Community For Peace, an organization of prominent entertainment industry executives devoted to using art and music to build bridges for peace, that comes down squarely on Israel’s side in the conflict.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Rocket fire from Syria slammed into the Golan Heights early Sunday after another rocket fired from Lebanon the day before hit northern Israel. The IDF estimated 5 Syrian rockets were fired. There were no casualties although several people were treated for shock. The IDF did not return fire nor did it respond militarily to the rocket from Lebanon, possibly launched by Palestinian terrorists in solidarity with Gaza.
• The IDF has published a new declassified report that exposes the extent to which Hamas illegally used public infrastructure during Operation Protective Edge:
• Hamas has declared its support for a Palestinian bid to join the International Criminal Court.
• Qatar-based Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal admitted that Hamas members were behind the kidnapping and murder of the three Israeli teens in June. He also admitted that Hamas has a “problem” directing its strikes at military targets only.
“We do not have sophisticated weapons. We do not have the weapons available to our enemy … so aiming is difficult … We promise that if we get more precise weapons, we will only target military targets,” he said.
Not sure that this excuse stands up to legal or moral scrutiny however.
• Meanwhile, the Mossad agent responsible for saving Mashaal’s life in the aftermath of an Israeli assassination attempt in 1997, has publicly appealed to the Hamas leader to seek peace.
• A terrorist was shot in an eastern Jerusalem neighborhood after firing at nearby Jewish homes.
• The Sunday Times interviewed the mother-in-law of top Hamas military commander Mohammed Deif following an Israeli attempt to assassinate him. (It is still unconfirmed if the operation succeeded.)
“Should Deif request the hand of any of my other daughters, I will happily consent and even if she, too, is martyred I will consent to the third,” said Zeian Asfura, 61.
“It is an honor to have Deif a husband to any of my daughters and be a father to their children.”
• A survivor of the 2003 suicide bombing of a Tel Aviv bar has given testimony in a trial in Federal District Court in Brooklyn in which about 300 plaintiffs are accusing Arab Bank of knowingly financing terrorism by maintaining accounts associated with Hamas and by processing payments to people linked with terrorism.
• A Jewish school in Denmark had its windows smashed and anti-Semitic graffiti referring to the conflict in Gaza spray-painted on its walls on Friday.
• Veteran reporter Marc Lavie gives an insider’s look for The Tower at how intimidation of journalists has affected the coverage of the Gaza conflict:
Journalists, of course, won’t tell you what you’re missing in the coverage. Their anchors or editors won’t tell you why large parts of the story are colored a certain way or taken from a certain angle. They don’t want to put their reporters’ lives at risk.
This is the main reason that video and pictures seem to flow freely out of Gaza. But critical elements of the story itself can’t, and neither can all the pictures and video. It gives the impression that the story is being covered, when only part of it—sometimes a small part—is being covered.
All we can do is keep this in mind: the world does not operate according to our democratic standards of freedom of the press. What we see may not be the whole truth. In fact, you can be sure it isn’t.
• Views differ on the efficacy of targeted killings of Hamas commanders. Khaled Abu Toameh and Amos Harel in the JPost and Haaretz, respectively, believe that these actions have dealt Hamas a serious blow. Avi Issacharoff in The Times of Israel, believes that the killings will spark desperate attacks against Israel.
• A Toronto Star staff-ed blames Hamas for triggering the conflict:
Whatever the truth about Hamas’ role in provoking this conflict, its attacks on Israel and rejection of an early ceasefire offer were cruelly self-defeating acts of folly. … Hamas’ hapless reign-of-error has been a calamity of brutal governance, economic ruin, futile conflict and sheer hopelessness.
• The Financial Times comes out surprisingly strongly against the rise of anti-Semitism in the wake of the Gaza conflict:
Such attacks are vile racism. It is reasonable to criticise Israel, a sovereign state, for its occupation of the West Bank and its actions in Gaza. But while most Jews in Europe and the US feel a strong empathy with Israel, the Jews of the diaspora have a variety of opinions over Israel’s actions and cannot be held to account for what the state decides to do. To blame Jews living in the west for Israel’s behaviour is equivalent, say, to blaming all Muslim British nationals for the conduct of repressive regimes in Saudi Arabia or Iran. The notion is wrong-headed.
The FT even acknowledges the double standard in how Israel is treated compared to other countries and the distinction between legitimate criticism of Israel and demonization.
• Eoghan Harris, meanwhile, worries in the Irish Independent, that increasing anti-Semitism may lead to the end of European Jewry.
• Ben Judah, however, dismisses the British anti-Semites as an inadequate bunch of political pygmies in The Sunday Times.
• Douglas Murray, in the Daily Express, calls on the world to wake up and stop blaming Israel and recognize the real problem: the black flag of jihad:
Because the truth is that behind the demands for Israel to lie down in front of its enemies is a fatal unwillingness of our own to face the problem which is in our midst.
There are those who think that Israel is somehow the cause of the world’s problems, or that in defending themselves from Islamic extremists Israel is somehow causing Islamic extremism. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The extremists of Hamas are the ideological bedfellows of the extremists of ISIS who are rampaging through Syria and Iraq, crucifying and beheading as they go.
• Jonathan Schanzer and Michael Argosh examine the links between Hamas and Erdogan’s Turkey in Foreign Policy.
Rest O’ the Roundup
• Iran has unveiled new short-range missiles and drones.
• While Iran’s military has toned down its rhetoric about military capabilities and exercises, it continues a low-profile buildup of weapons in and near the Strait of Hormuz, according to a classified Pentagon assessment.
For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream and join the IDNS on Facebook.