The UN’s Latest Anti-Israel Libel

Aug. 18 2015

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) recently announced that, for the first time in 50 years, infant mortality in Gaza has increased. Its report states that the cause of the rise can’t easily be determined, but goes on to blame the Israeli blockade. Claudia Rosett writes:

Was there, perhaps, some overarching development—unmentioned by UNRWA—that shaped events in Gaza during the interval in question, from 2008 to 2013?

Here’s a one-word answer, which does not appear anywhere in either the UN press releases or in the underlying UNRWA report: Hamas—which has ruled Gaza since 2007. . . .

[A]ssuming that UNRWA’s infant-mortality statistics for Gaza are remotely reliable, for decades—while UNRWA deplored Israel’s presence in Gaza—infant mortality rates in the enclave were declining. Then, in 2005, Israel withdrew. In the Gaza elections in 2006, Hamas won a legislative majority. In June 2007, in a bloody coup, Hamas evicted the rival Fatah forces of the Palestinian Authority. Since then, Gaza has been under the boot of Hamas. . . .

UNRWA, for its part, uses this kind of report as leverage to collect hundreds of millions in donations every year for its welfare operations in Gaza (the biggest contributor being the U.S.). That further frees Hamas to devote its resources not to decent governance, but to terrorism.

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Read more at PJ Media

More about: Gaza, Hamas, Israel & Zionism, Palestinians, UN, UNRWA

Why the Recent Uptick of Israeli Activity in Syria?

Sept. 23 2022

On September 16 and 17, the IDF carried out airstrikes in the vicinity of Damascus, reportedly aimed at Iranian logistical centers there. These follow on an increase in the frequency of such attacks in recent weeks, which have included strikes on the Aleppo airport on August 31 and September 6. Jonathan Spyer comments:

The specific targeting of the Aleppo airport is almost certainly related to recent indications that Iran is relying increasingly on its “air bridge” to Syria and Lebanon, because of Israel’s successful and systematic targeting of efforts to move weaponry and equipment by land [via Iraq]. But the increased tempo of activity is not solely related to the specific issue of greater use of air transport by Teheran. Rather, it is part of a broader picture of increasing regional tension. There are a number of factors that contribute to this emergent picture.

Firstly, Russia appears to be pulling back in Syria. . . . There are no prospects for a complete Russian withdrawal. The air base at Khmeimim and the naval facilities at Tartus and Latakia are hard strategic assets which will be maintained. The maintenance of Assad’s rule is also a clear objective for Moscow. But beyond this, the Russians are busy now with a flailing, faltering military campaign in Ukraine. Moscow lacks the capacity for two close strategic engagements at once.

Secondly, assuming that some last-minute twist does not occur, it now looks like a return to the [2015 nuclear deal] is not imminent. In the absence of any diplomatic process related to the Iranian nuclear program, and given Israeli determination to roll back Iran’s regional ambitions, confrontation becomes more likely.

Lastly, it is important to note that the uptick in Israeli activity is clearly not related to Syria alone. Rather, it is part of a more general broadening and deepening by Israel in recent months of its assertive posture toward the full gamut of Iranian activity in the region. . . . The increasing scope and boldness of Israeli air activity in Syria reflects this changing of the season.

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Read more at Jonathan Spyer

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Syria, War in Ukraine