Listen Up Hamas: Israel is rethinking the Shalit deal

October 19, 2011

…the Amal Militia in Lebanon kidnapped two Soviet diplomats. But the Russians do not think like Westerners. The very next day, the Russians kidnapped two Amal commanders, and sent a box to Amal headquarters in Beirut with two index fingers and two ears, and a message saying the Amal militia would receive two new body parts every day until they ran out of body parts, and then they would kidnap two new Amal commanders and start over again. The two Russian diplomats were released the very next day.


Hamas declares Yassin’s house declared heritage site, plans to open museum

May 29, 2011

Double standard when fiends are slain

Yassin's broken wheelchairA Hamas official announced the decision will allow visitors to learn more about Yassin’s “Jihadist career” as well as his activities against the “Israeli occupation.”

Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, who was assassinated in 2004.

“The goal is to commemorate his image in a place which saw him devote his life to the distribution of Islam,” the official remarked.

(Ynet) The Hamas government decided to open the home of its former spiritual leader and founder
More… via and image via

Double standard when fiends are slain

May 15, 2011

When Israel killed Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, much of the world condemned the action. But when the U.S. killed Osama bin Laden, the reaction was quite different.
MONTREAL – On March 22, 2004, a rocket fired from an Israeli helicopter gunship terminated the life of the terrorist leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. As expected, world reaction was swift and almost unanimous in its condemnation of Israel.
Yassin, a founder of Hamas, was a virulent anti-Israel and anti-Semitic demagogue who repeatedly called for the destruction of the Jewish state. Among his more memorable statements are “Reconciliation with the Jews is a crime” and Israel “must disappear from the map.” n 1989, Yassin was arrested by the Israelis for masterminding the abduction and murder of Israeli soldiers and was sentenced to life imprisonment. However, in 1997 he was released in a prisoner exchange on the condition that he refrain from continuing to initiate suicide bombings against Israel.
In violation of the terms of his release, Yassin resumed his leadership of Hamas and immediately started a campaign of suicide bombings against Israeli civilian targets. After years of masterminding several appalling terrorist attacks on Israel, his reign of terror was finally brought to an end by the helicopter attack in 2004.
In a display of unwarranted antipathy to Israel, and a denial of its right to self-defence, countries of the world united in condemning the Jewish state. A brief survey:
The European Union issued a statement condemning Israel’s “extra-judicial” assassination of Yassin.
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan condemned the assassination as a violation of international law.
The UN Human Rights Commission passed a resolution condemning Israel. It was approved by 31 votes in favour, two against (the United States and Australia) and 18 abstentions (including most of the EU countries.)
French Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hervé Ladsous said: “France condemns the action taken against Sheik Yassin, just as it has always condemned the principle of any extra-judicial execution as contrary to international law.”
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw called it an “unlawful killing.”
Japan called Yassin’s killing a “reckless act” that “cannot be justified.”
New Zealand called the assassination counterproductive to Middle East peace efforts.
Malaysia called the killing of Yassin “state terrorism” by Israel and claimed that it would “only escalate further the cycle of deadly violence.”
In contrast, the same countries, so quick to beat their breasts in moral outrage at Israel’s actions, have reacted quite differently to the assassination of Osama bin Laden by the United States:
European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek, reflecting generally positive reactions among EU leaders, said, “we have woken up to a more secure world.”
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: “The death of Osama bin Laden … is a watershed moment in our common global fight against terrorism.”
In France, President Nicolas Sarkozy praised the “tenacity” of the U.S. in tracking down the al-Qaida leader and described his death as “a major blow to international terrorism,” adding that victims of al-Qaida terrorism “received justice today.” Foreign Minister Alain Juppé opined that bin Laden’s death is a “victory for all democracies fighting the abominable scourge of terrorism.”
British Prime Minister David Cameron said that bin Laden’s death would “bring great relief” around the world.
Japanese Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto said: “I pay respect to the U.S. officials concerned.”
Malaysian Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said he hoped that the death of bin Laden would help bring universal peace and harmony.
Chilean Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno hailed the death of bin Laden as “a very important advancement in the war against terrorism.”
Ahmed Yassin was responsible for some 425 brutal and cowardly attacks on Israel civilians carried out by Hamas. At least 377 Israelis were murdered and 2,076 wounded in the 3½ years preceding his death.
Comparing the number murdered in Israel by Hamas to the number murdered in the World Trade Centre on 9/11, a rough calculation shows that approximately one in 18,500 Israelis were killed, while the comparable figure was one in 102,000 Americans. Yet to its great shame, the world laments the death of the murderer of Jews while lauding the U.S. for assassinating bin Laden.
It is time for the world community to abandon this double standard and to accord to Israel and Jews everywhere the same right of self-defence that is claimed by every other people on the face of the globe. via and image via

Will bin Laden killing pave way for similar moves by Israel?

May 4, 2011

Former top IDF intel official talks to Haaretz about a gradual change in the rules of confrontation in the framework of the global war on terror.

At the height of the second intifada, until the middle of the last decade, Israel developed and enhanced a system of assassinations of terrorists which was euphemistically referred to as “pinpointed assassinations.” Maj. Gen. Aharon Ze’evi (Farkash ) headed the IDF General Staff intelligence branch at that time. While the American assault force’s operation against al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was an operation on a much bigger scale than the Israeli actions and took place far from the borders of the United States, to a large extent it employed a similar format to that used previously by the Israel Defense Forces and the Shin Bet security service.Aharon Ze’evi (Farkash ), Will the assassination of bin Laden at the hands of the United States pave the way for similar moves by Israel in the future, against [Hezbollah leader] Hassan Nasrallah or even [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad?
We must not forget that we are not a power. Not everything that is permitted to the Americans is permitted to us as well. But nevertheless, there is a gradual change in the rules of confrontation in the framework of the war on terror. A wider maneuvering space has been opened. Nassrallah understands that too. It is no coincidence that he so seldom leaves his bunker in recent years.
Is there greater legitimacy today, for Israel also, to make moves against heads of terrorist organizations that refuse to hold any kind of negotiations?
In the past, the countries of the West were opposed to the Israeli claim that no distinction should be made between the so-called political echelon and the “military” echelon in the terrorist organizations. There is an important message in the Americans’ decision to do away with bin Laden. It is not possible to distinguish between the leader and the operational echelon subordinate to him. The decision-makers have to be dealt a blow. Seven years ago, when we killed the senior Hamas officials such as Ahmed Yassin and Abdel Aziz Rantisi, our approach was not accepted by the international community.
In retrospect, did the Israeli policy of assassinations prove itself at all? Did it not merely provide encouragement for revenge attacks and the continuation of the cycle of bloodshed?
Since Israel unfortunately suffered more terrorist attacks, it became a kind of experimental laboratory for the front line in this struggle. The assassinations were an important tool. It can’t be helped. These leaders don’t like committing suicide. It’s different than sending other people to carry out suicide missions for them. When they are being chased, they are less effective. The pinpointed assassinations are still a very important deterrent tool against senior leaders of the terrorist organizations. It is true that every terrorist leader can be replaced. Bin laden will also have a replacement. What is important is the continuum of assassinations that is directed at the heads of the organization and indicates to them that they too have something to lose.

The immediate question that a lot of Israelis asked themselves, following the reports of the American success, was: Why do we not succeed in locating Gilad Shalit who is not hidden at the other end of the world but just a few kilometers from our border?
Organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah have successfully learned our strengths and weak points. They understand what precautions must be taken in order to safeguard an asset like an abducted Israeli. I think that Israel shares the same determination to bring Gilad back home that the Americans demonstrated in striking bin Laden.
Here too we must find the right combination of circumstances – precise intelligence information, the ability to organize an operation within a few hours while the target is “hot,” a reasonable ratio between the chances of success and the risk that there will be losses – we still remember the failed attempt to rescue [kidnapped soldier] Nahshon Waxman – and the possibility of avoiding excessive collateral damage. To my regret, this is a combination that occurs very rarely.
I don’t agree with the claim that the Shalit affair is a resounding failure on the part of intelligence. If you had asked me about the American efforts to hit at bin Laden a month ago, what would we have said? We would certainly have described them as terrible schlemiels. I can safely say that tremendous efforts are being made and that it is possible that the right timing will enable such an operation to be carried it out in the future. Israel has excellent intelligence capability but things have to fall together. One cannot carry out a rescue operation at any price. If they had told President Obama that there was a great risk that the entire American force would be harmed, he would not have sent the troops to kill bin Laden this week.
Everyone is praising the Americans for their intelligence work in this operation. What does it actually mean?
We must give credit to the American intelligence agencies for their sustained effort. I know the significance of chasing a terrorist for years. The people who head the agencies change every few years. One needs a great deal of determination, perseverance, and a high level of organization in order to continue running an operation like this until it succeeds. In this era, there must be a combination of exact information, cooperation between the various intelligence arms and sometimes also with foreign services, and a very sharp capability on the part of the force that carries out the operation. Consider the ability shown here by the American forces: tremendous firing power, accuracy, self-confidence, the ability to hit those you have come to kill and to leave without a scratch. Zero casualties is not a result that is achieved by chance.
TV programs like “24” actually present these kinds of operations in a fairly realistic way. They are not science fiction. There is a never-ending puzzle of information that has to be collected and collated. Without a fusion of this information, the operation won’t work. Even what appears to be the most minute bits of information have tremendous importance. We saw that in the media reports: The fact that the compound in which bin Laden was living did not have Internet activity increased the Americans’ suspicions. Various kinds of intelligence gathering are in operation here: human intelligence, visual information gathering, and wiretapping and other signal intelligence. In the end, this combination of intelligence enables a warning to be issued to the fighter heading the force: “Don’t go into the yard now, there is suspicious movement there.”
By the way, I was somewhat surprised to see the presence of President Obama in the war room in real time, with the ability to watch on the screens what appeared to be the force in the field. As the head of the intelligence division, I didn’t want leaders and senior officers to enter the war room of the unit that was instructing the advance guard. I also tried not to go there. The commanders don’t need too many kibitzers giving them advice while the business is still going on. That could influence the effectiveness of the fighting force.