Israel pre-empts further Iran proxy attack
These are facts you won't read in the mainstream British media
Last week, the al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri was assassinated by American forces in his safe house in Kabul. Reaction ranged from congratulatory and admiring to a muted sucking of teeth by those on the wrong side in the war against the west.
On Friday, Israeli forces assassinated a senior member of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which it believed to be preparing a deadly attack against Israeli civilians. In retaliation, the terror group started firing hundreds of missiles at Israeli civilians.
What was the immediate reaction of much of the media in Britain and elsewhere? Israel was blamed for defending itself and defamed by recycling Palestinian propaganda.
But of course. It happens every single time. You can write the script as soon as the first Israeli missile lands. You know there will be a total absence of context so that Israeli victim and Arab aggressor are reversed. You know that Palestinian lies will be believed and reported as truth. You know that Israel will be painted entirely falsely as the villain of the piece, as it is year in, year out. You know that untold numbers in the general public will buy into this demonisation.
With events in Gaza over the past couple of days, it’s been the same old story. The BBC and even newspapers supposedly sympathetic to Israel, such as the Telegraph, have been presenting the violence as Israel’s fault — modified subsequently only slightly by including the odd inconvenient fact that they found they couldn’t ignore.
So this is what actually happened, most of which you will not learn from the mainstream British media.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad is an Iranian proxy and takes its orders from Tehran. On the night of August 1, Israeli forces arrested Bassem Sa’adi, a senior member of PIJ, in the disputed territories of Judea and Samaria.
On Gatestone, Richard Kemp provides essential context for this arrest. He writes:
Saadi is the leader of PIJ in Judea and Samaria, and since May last year he has been consolidating his terrorist bases there, bringing together an assortment of other terror gangs including Hamas, Fatah-linked Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
This left PIJ's city strongholds, mainly in the north, largely ungovernable by the Palestinian Authority, with their Kalashnikovs calling the shots and PA security forces afraid to enter. The deteriorating situation contributed much to the wave of terrorist attacks against Israelis that included 19 dead in March and April this year. The IDF and Shin Bet launched Operation Breakwater in Judea and Samaria a few months ago, intensifying counter-terrorism action against this developing threat, and Saadi's arrest was part of that effort.
In the wake of Saadi’s arrest, Israeli intelligence picked up a PIJ plot to mount an attack on Israelis with an anti-tank missile which could have blown up a bus or a train. As result, Israel closed roads and train services in the south while it pressured PIJ to drop this threat, warning that Israel would take action if the terror group didn’t halt its preparations for an attack. The attempt to stop it failed, leaving Israel with no alternative but to take pre-emptive action.
On Friday, while the PIJ leader Ziyad al-Nakhalah was conferring in Tehran with the Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Israeli forces assassinated the PIJ commander in Gaza, Tayseer Jabari. By Saturday evening, the Israeli Air Force had also taken out Khaled Mansour, PIJ’s commander in southern Gaza. Another strike killed Rafat al Zamli, commander of the PIJ’s rocket unit.
As of earlier today, the Israeli Defence Forces had struck 139 PIJ targets including terror attack tunnels, military posts, weapons storage facilities and rocket launch sites. Overall around 31 Gazans have been reportedly killed.
At time of writing, upwards of 780 missiles have been fired from Gaza into southern and central Israel as far as the outskirts of Jerusalem. Most have been intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome defence system.
About a quarter of these rockets have fallen short into Gaza itself, probably causing casualties among Gazans. Indeed, the Israelis have produced video evidence of one such misfire that they say was responsible for the deaths of Gazan children that have been blamed on Israel. The Times of Israel reports:
Initial reports from Gaza claimed an Israeli strike in the Jabaliya refugee camp had killed seven civilians, including four children. Photos circulating on social media showed seven body bags.
But military officials said the Israel Defence Forces had not conducted any airstrike in the area in recent hours, and that rocket detection systems had shown the rocket launch and then explode inside the refugee camp.
“On our radar, we see the launch and impact and can see it was them failing and hitting themselves,” a spokesman said. A second official added: “We have videos that prove beyond any doubt that this is not an Israeli attack. It has been unequivocally proven that it was a failed Islamic Jihad rocket launch.”
Yet when the Palestinians claimed that Israeli strikes had killed these children, media outlets ran with that as if it were true. The Telegraph story today by Abbie Cheeseman was headlined
Six children killed in Palestine…
Woah! There is, of course, no such place as Palestine. The Telegraph is adopting the Palestinian tactic of waging diplomatic warfare against Israel by declaring a Palestinian state that has no legal or territorial foundation.
Cheeseman’s story then merely recycles Palestinian propaganda. She writes:
A sixth Palestinian child has been killed as Israel’s escalating cross-border conflict with militant group Islamic Jihad entered a third day on Sunday with the death of a second senior commander in Gaza.
The conflict, which marks the worst violence between Israel and Palestine since an 11-day war in 2021, has killed 31 people, including six children since Israel unleashed a wave of air attacks on Gaza on Friday.
She provides no essential context about the reason for these Israeli strikes.
She makes no mention of the Israelis murdered by PIJ and associates in March and April.
No mention of Iran’s involvement.
No mention of PIJ’s rockets falling short into Gaza.
No mention of the Israeli video showing this happening.
Whatever has happened to the once-responsible Telegraph?
In all, Israel says at least nine of the deaths in Gaza have been the result of failed PIJ rocket launches. The New York Times, however, reports that a five year old child, Alaa Qadoum, was killed on Friday outside her relative’s house in Gaza when an Israeli airstrike hit nearby. The paper writes:
An Israeli military spokesman, Lt. Col. Richard Hecht, said Alaa’s father, Abdullah Qadoum, was a senior Islamic Jihad commander, but would not say whether he was targeted in the airstrike. The family would not comment on whether he was linked to Islamic Jihad.
Even in the most precisely targeted airstrikes against military targets, there will inevitably be some civilian casualties. The death or injury of any child in these circumstances is a tragedy, whoever is responsible. But what the western media wilfully misses time and again in its reporting of Israel’s military campaigns are two crucial points.
First, that Israel’s defence forces go to lengths unmatched by any other military force — including the British and American — to avoid civilian casualties.
Second, while Israel targets terrorists and their infrastructure with rare precision and only ever as a defensive measure, the PIJ, Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups in Gaza deliberately target Israeli civilians. That is a war crime — as is also their strategy of siting their missiles and other terror infrastructure within civilian areas, thus using Gaza’s civilians, including their children, as hostages and human shields.
Israel’s enemies also point to the relative absence of Israeli casualties, as if this proves a “disproportionate response”. Not only does this grossly misunderstand proportionality in warfare (the response to aggression needs to be in proportion to the threat, not to the number of casualties sustained). There’s also this. When missiles rain down on southern Israel, the population takes cover in air-raid shelters. In Gaza, the Palestinians don’t build air-raid shelters to protect their people against war. Instead, they build terrorist tunnels from which to launch yet more murderous attacks on Israeli civilians.
This distinction is, of course, lost on the United Nations whose perverted and obsessive animus against Israel cannot be exaggerated. Thus the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland said he was:
deeply concerned by the ongoing escalation between Palestinian militants and Israel, including the targeted killing today of a Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader inside Gaza…I am deeply saddened by reports that a five-year-old child has been killed in these strikes. There can be no justification for any attacks against civilians.
But he doesn’t seem to have been “deeply saddened” by the hundreds of missile strikes against Israeli civilians; nor by the murder of Israelis in March and April.
And let’s not overlook Francesca Albanese, UN Special Rapporteur to the “Palestinian territories,” who tweeted:
A short time ago, Israel reportedly accepted an Egypt-brokered cease-fire. PIJ rejected it and unleashed another barrage of rockets, one of which fell in an open area next to the Ashkelon marina.
Let’s hope for a speedy end to this latest outbreak of hostilities. But to the malice of the western media or the UN against Israel, there is, alas, no cease-fire in prospect.
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