The Israeli army has killed at least 77 Palestinian children in the West Bank and Gaza Strip since the beginning of 2021, a non-government organization reported on Sunday. (Getty)
The Israeli army has killed at least 77 Palestinian children in the West Bank and Gaza Strip since the beginning of 2021, a non-government organisation reported on Sunday.
In a press statement sent to The New Arab,Defense for Children International Palestine (DCI) said that 61 children were killed in the coastal enclave and 16 in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
On the occasion of International Children’s Day, the organisation said that “since 2000 until today, the Israeli forces have killed about 2,200 Palestinian children.”
“The Israeli army resort to deliberate lethal force in the circumstances not justified by international law, and that the excessive use of force is the rule then, taking advantage of the state of systematic impunity and lack of accountability,” the statement said.
Under international law, lethal force can only be justified in the circumstances with an immediate threat to life or severe injury.
Investigations and evidence collected by DCI regularly indicate that Israel uses lethal force against Palestinian children in conditions that may amount to extrajudicial or premeditated murder, according to the organisation.
From October 2015 until October 2021, the organisation documented the detention of 41 Palestinian children in Israeli prisons under administrative detention orders, four of whom remain in administrative detention.
“Israel is the only country in the world that systematically arrests and tries children in military courts, which lack a basic fair trial. It arrests and tries between 500 and 700 Palestinian children before military courts every year,” the DCI said.
“Should Iran achieve its nuclear ambitions, the region as we know it will be no longer.”
The world will face unprecedented threats if Iran attains a nuclear weapon, National Security Adviser Eyal Hulata warned at a conference of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in Bahrain on Sunday.
“We have been speaking about all of the malign activities of Iran throughout the region,” Hulata said. “Think how much bolder and dangerous Iran will be with a nuclear umbrella.”
“Should Iran achieve its nuclear ambitions, the region as we know it will be no longer. The free world would face extreme threats it hasn’t faced before, with a new nuclear arms race and the collapse of the existing nonproliferation regime,” he stated.Iran was deterred from developing a nuclear weapon only “when it was faced by determination,” Hulata posited, and called for a united message that Iran will not be allowed to go nuclear.
“We should recognize that Iran is stalling, and will continue to draw more concessions, unless we start showing unified determination, and then we can achieve our goals,” he said.
Israeli National Security Adviser Eyal Hulata is seen addressing the IISS in Manama, Bahrain, on November 21, 2021. (credit: IISS)
Hulata spoke at the annual IISS Manama Dialogue forum of government ministers and experts on the region’s security challenges, on a panel called “Militias, Missiles and Nuclear Proliferation.”
Israel faces these threats every day, he said, and not just because of the “over-politicized issue of Israel’s right for existence,” but because the threats come from extremists who seek to impose themselves on the entire world.
Hulata listed Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and the US, as well as Saudi Arabia and Iraq, as “friends” in the fight against Iran and its proxies, which attacked Aramco in Saudi Arabia, Emirati ships, and attempted to assassinate the prime minister of Iraq.
The US and Israel “may not agree on everything, but we share the goals of preventing Iran from ever being able to break out to nuclear weapons and to limit their [Iran’s] regional domination,” he stated.
US National Security Council Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa Brett McGurk spoke on the same panel, and warned that Washington will use force against Iran if it needs to.
“If tested, we will protect our people, including through the use of military force when necessary,” McGurk said, “and if we need to use force, we are prepared to do so, decisively. We are not going to be drawn into tit-for-tat exchanges of fire with Iranian-backed proxy groups and they know it.”
McGurk said that the US approach to Iran is grounded in “deterrence, diplomacy and de-escalation,” and based on the assumption that Iran will remain an adversary in the foreseeable future.
Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr holds a press conference in Najaf, Iraq on 18 November 2021. [Karar Essa – Anadolu Agency]November 22, 2021 at 11:51 am
The leader of Iraq’s Sadrist movement, Shia cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr, yesterday condemned “political and security pressure” exerted on the country’s Independent High Electoral Commission in order to change the results of the parliamentary elections that took place last month.
“We condemn and denounce all the political and security pressures the commission has been subjected to from the first day of its work until now,” Al- Sadr wrote on Twitter, warning that “there must be no interference in the work of the judiciary and the Federal Court, which is supposed to ratify the elections result that some parties are battling to change.”
Al-Sadr praised the “integrity and accuracy” of the commission.
Pro-Iran Shia parties including the Fateh Alliance, the main Shia coalition in Iraq, have rejected the election results and demanded a manual recount of the votes.
According to the preliminary results of the parliamentary elections last month, the Sadrist bloc won 73 seats out of 329.
Israeli security forces arrested dozens of members of a Hamas cell that was in the advanced stages of planning major terror attacks in the West Bank and Israel, the Shin Bet security service said Monday.
The effort to uncover the cell has been ongoing for several months, first coming to light with a round of arrest raids in September, including one in which two Israeli soldiers were seriously injured and several Palestinian suspects were killed in gunfights.Advertisement
According to the Shin Bet, over 50 Hamas operatives were arrested across the West Bank for suspected involvement in the cell and large quantities of weaponry was seized, including the materials needed to make at least four explosive belts for suicide attacks. An undisclosed amount of money that was allegedly used by the cell was also seized in the raids, according to the Shin Bet.
“You thwarted a large infrastructure, some of which you know was ready to go with explosive belts… grenades and other explosives,” IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi told the military commanders whose units took part in the raids.
The Shin Bet’s announcement about the discovery of the Hamas cell came a day after a member of the terror group in Jerusalem carried out a shooting attack in the Old City, killing one man, Eli Kay, and injuring four people.
Israeli officials generally believe that Hamas is looking to carry out attacks in the West Bank and in Israel while maintaining relative calm in the Gaza Strip, where the group serves as the de facto ruler.Advertisement
Ammunition and other materiel that was confiscated during arrest raids against major Hamas cell planning terror attacks on Israeli targets in the West Bank and Jerusalem. (Shin Bet)
According to the Shin Bet, the Hamas cell was led from afar by Saleh al-Arouri, deputy head of the terror group’s politburo, and Zacharia Najib, a member of the organization who was released from Israeli prison in the 2011 Gilad Shalit exchange and exiled to Turkey, where he allegedly continues to operate on behalf of Hamas. In the 2011 deal, over 1,000 Palestinian terrorists were released from Israeli incarceration in exchange for the release of Shalit, an IDF soldier who had been kidnapped by Hamas along the Gaza border in 2006.
Najib, who took part in the kidnapping and killing of Israeli soldier Nachshon Wachsman in 1994, was allegedly involved in a failed Hamas plot to assassinate Israelis abroad in 2019.
The Shin Bet said al-Arouri invested hundreds of thousands of shekels in the cell’s activities and offered a prize of $1 million if the cell successfully carried out a kidnapping.
Ismail Haniyeh, right, the head of the Hamas political bureau, shakes hands with his deputy Saleh al-Arouri, upon his arrival in Gaza from Cairo, Egypt, in Gaza City, August 2, 2018. (Mohammad Austaz/Hamas Media Office via AP)
“This was a major preventative effort that thwarted dangerous terrorist infrastructure, which was planning serious attacks. The goal of the terrorist activities, which were undertaken by Hamas operatives abroad and in Gaza with operatives in the West Bank, was to destabilize the region, while exacting a heavy price from local residents,” a senior Shin Bet officer said, referring to the toll on Palestinians in the West Bank.
According to the Shin Bet, the cell was planning “to carry out terror attacks in a number of formats in the West Bank and Jerusalem, as well as the possibility of carrying out bombings in Israel.”
Al-Arouri and Najib, who both live abroad, recruited a number of top operatives from Palestinian cities and towns across the West Bank, notably Jenin, Ramallah, and Hebron, who in turn found additional members, according to the Shin Bet.Advertisement
The Israeli security service identified one of those lieutenants as Hijazi Qawasmeh, a 37-year-old Hebron native, who has been arrested several times by Israel for allegedly planning terror attacks for Hamas, most recently in September.
An undated photograph showing Israeli forces raiding a home as part of an effort to break up a major Hamas cell planning terror attacks on Israeli targets in the West Bank and Jerusalem. (Israel Defense Forces)
“Hijazi recruited operatives in the West Bank, including Hamzah Zahran, a 40-year-old Hamas operative from the village of Bidu, near Ramallah,” the Shin Bet said.
According to the Shin Bet, Zahran, who has also been arrested multiple times for Hamas activities, went on to recruit several other operatives, including his family members. One of his brothers, Ahmad Zahran, was killed in a firefight with Israeli troops during one of the raids in Bidu in September. Two other Hamas members — Mahmoud Hameedan and Zakria Badwan — were killed in the same exchange.
“They worked using the money they received from abroad to obtain weapons and to create explosives, which were seized as part of the efforts to thwart this infrastructure,” the Shin Bet said.
According to the IDF, large amounts of explosives were found and later destroyed in a series of controlled blasts.
The Shin Bet identified two of the main bomb makers that were used by the cell: Muhammad Abu al-Hassan, from the village of Burqin near Jenin, and Ghani Hadour, from Bayt Sira near Ramallah.
The Israeli security services warned that Hamas operatives in the Gaza Strip and abroad were “constantly funneling funding toward various terrorist activities” in the West Bank.
In a tacit threat, the Shin Bet identified “one of the noteworthy people involved” as Musa Dudin, a senior Hamas member whom the security service alleged led an operation to send large sums of money to Hamas in the West Bank through couriers.Advertisement
American hypersonic missile capabilities are “not as advanced” as those of China or Russia, Space Force General David Thompson said Saturday at the Halifax International Security Forum in Canada, signaling that the U.S. is behind in developing the newest and most cutting-edge weaponry.
Thompson admitted during an interview that the U.S. lagging behind the other two countries is potentially dangerous for national security.
“We have catching up to do very quickly, the Chinese have an incredible hypersonic program,” he said. “It’s a very concerning development … it greatly complicates the strategic warning problem.”
“As a result, U.S. hypersonic weapons will likely require greater accuracy and will be more technically challenging to develop than nuclear-armed Chinese and Russian systems,” the CRS wrote.
For the fiscal year running through 2022, the U.S. is preparing to spend $3.8 billion on hypersonic missiles, which are defined as weapons that fly at the speed of Mach 5 or more, the memo said.
During his interview, Thompson said hypersonic missiles are “changing the game” for national defense and security, comparing their use to a snowball fight. Typically, you can predict where a snowball is when it’s thrown. Yet, if the projectile is thrown in another direction, it’s harder to detect — but it’s still going to hit you.
“That’s what a hyperglide vehicle does,” he said, referring to another type of hypersonic missile. “You no longer have that predictability. So every launch of a certain type, regardless of where it’s headed, now ha the potential to be a threat.”
A Hamas gunman opened fire in the alleyways of Jerusalem’s Old City on Sunday morning, killing one Israeli man and wounding four others, two of them seriously, Israeli officials said.
Police officers at the scene opened fire at the terrorist, a 42-year-old Palestinian man from East Jerusalem, and killed him, according to police.
The fatality was named as Eliyahu David Kay, 26, a recent immigrant from South Africa who worked as a guide at the Western Wall and resided in the central city of Modiin.
He was the first Israeli civilian to be killed by Palestinian violence in over six months, since May’s 11-day conflict with terror groups in the Gaza Strip, which killed 12 civilians in Israel.
Hamas hailed the attack, calling it a “heroic operation,” and identified the terrorist as a member of the organization, Fadi Abu Shkhaydam, a Hamas leader in the Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem, where he lived.
According to police, Abu Shkhaydam entered the Old City armed with a Beretta M12 submachine gun and opened fire at three Israeli men who were walking through the area, near the Chain Gate entrance to the Temple Mount, fatally wounding one of them and seriously injuring the other two.
Two female police officers rushed to the scene from one side of the alleyway, opening fire at Shkaydam. Shortly thereafter, two male officers ran in to assist them.
“[The gunman] moved through the alleys and fired quite a bit. Luckily, the alley was mostly empty because otherwise — heaven forbid — there would have been more casualties. The entire incident lasted 32 or 36 seconds. The actions of the female officers was — operationally — at the highest possible level,” Public Security Minister Omer Barlev said at the scene of the attack.Advertisement
Kay was taken to Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus, where he was pronounced dead. One of the severely injured victims, a rabbi, was taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center, where his condition stabilized somewhat after emergency surgery, doctors said. Another man sustained moderate-to-severe injuries — from gunshots and from shrapnel — and was taken to Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem.