In Gaza, Palestinians Took to the Streets to Protest Hamas—and Met with a Brutal Crackdown

Last week, demonstrations spread throughout the Gaza Strip demanding improved living conditions and an end to gas and electricity shortages. Crowds chanted “Let us live!” and some even called for an end to Hamas rule. The terrorist group responded by sending hundreds of armed men into the streets on Friday, successfully bringing the protests to an end. Bassam Tawil writes:

At the same time as the Palestinians were demonstrating in the Gaza Strip, armed clashes erupted in a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon, where at least eleven people were killed, including a senior Palestinian security official, and several others were injured. . . . . According to Palestinian sources, several protesters were wounded, some critically, when Hamas security officers used force to disperse the protests in the Gaza Strip.

Reports from the Gaza Strip—almost completely ignored by the international media—said that Hamas security officers stormed the Abu Yousef al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah and abducted three Palestinian men who were wounded during the protests. . . . Hamas officers also physically assaulted the Palestinian journalist Walid Abdel Rahman, a correspondent for the Palestinian Authority’s Palestine TV, while he was covering the demonstrations in Jabalya. Abdel Rahman said he was beaten by officers who identified themselves as members of Hamas’s Internal Security force.

It is no secret that Hamas has been investing millions of dollars in building tunnels and manufacturing weapons to attack Israel, while ignoring the dire economic crisis in the Gaza Strip.

The voices of the anti-Israel activists around the world who regularly rush to condemn Israel for seeking to defend itself against Palestinian terrorism have gone silent when it really comes to protecting Palestinians. The activists, who describe themselves as “pro-Palestinian,” do not actually care about Palestinians, especially those living in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon’s refugee camps. If Israel cannot be blamed, the world does not care.

Read more at Gatestone

More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, Palestinians

Why the White House’s Plan to Prevent an Israel-Hizballah War Won’t Work

On Monday, Hizballah downed an Israeli drone, leading the IDF to retaliate with airstrikes that killed one of the terrorist group’s commanders in southern Lebanon, and two more of its members in the northeast. The latter strike marks an escalation by the IDF, which normally confines its activities to the southern part of the country. Hizballah responded by firing two barrages of rockets into northern Israel on Tuesday, while Hamas operatives in Lebanon fired another barrage yesterday.

According to the Iran-backed militia, 219 of its fighters have been killed since October; six Israeli civilians and ten soldiers have lost their lives in the north. The Biden administration has meanwhile been involved in ongoing negotiations to prevent these skirmishes from turning into an all-out war. The administration’s plan, however, requires carrots for Hizballah in exchange for unenforceable guarantees, as Richard Goldberg explains:

Israel and Hizballah last went to war in 2006. That summer, Hizballah crossed the border, killed three Israeli soldiers, and kidnapped two others. Israel responded with furious airstrikes, a naval blockade, and eventually a ground operation that met stiff resistance and mixed results. A UN-endorsed ceasefire went into effect after 34 days of war, accompanied by a Security Council Resolution that ordered the UN Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL) to assist the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) in disarming Hizballah in southern Lebanon—from the Israeli border up to the Litani River, some 30 kilometers away.

Despite billions of dollars in U.S. taxpayer support over the last seventeen years, the LAF made no requests to UNIFIL, which then never disarmed Hizballah. Instead, Iran accelerated delivering weapons to the terrorist group—building up its forces to a threat level that dwarfs the one Israel faced in 2006. The politics of Lebanon shifted over time as well, with Hizballah taking effective control of the Lebanese government and exerting its influence (and sometimes even control) over the LAF and its U.S.-funded systems.

Now the U.S. is offering Lebanon an economic bailout in exchange for a promise to keep Hizballah forces from coming within a mere ten kilometers of the border, essentially abrogating the Security Council resolution. Goldberg continues:

Who would be responsible for keeping the peace? The LAF and UNIFIL—the same pair that has spent seventeen years helping Hizballah become the threat it is today. That would guarantee that Hizballah’s commitments will never be verified or enforced.

It’s a win-win for [Hizballah’s chief Hassan] Nasrallah. Many of his fighters live and keep their missiles hidden within ten kilometers of Israel’s border. They will blend into the civilian population without any mechanism to force their departure. And even if the U.S. or France could verify a movement of weapons to the north, Nasrallah’s arsenal is more than capable of terrorizing Israeli cities from ten kilometers away. Meanwhile, a bailout of Lebanon will increase Hizballah’s popularity—demonstrating its tactics against Israel work.

Read more at The Dispatch

More about: Hizballah, Israeli Security, Joseph Biden