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Suicide Bomber Kills Hamas Guard in Gaza


A suicide bomber killed a Hamas guard in the southern Gaza Strip near the border with Egypt early Thursday, officials said. Sources described it as a rare Islamist attack against Hamas, the terrorist Islamist group that rules Gaza. "Early this morning, security forces stopped two people approaching the southern border," an interior ministry spokesman in the Gaza Strip said in a statement. "One of them blew himself up and was killed. The other was wounded."

Later, a medical source confirmed that a member of Hamas' security services had been killed in the attack. The source named the victim as 28-year-old Nidal al-Jaafari. Witnesses said hundreds of security forces were deployed along the border after the explosion.

Hamas has stepped up patrols in the border area with the declared aim of preventing the movement of extremists between Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula, where the Islamic State (ISIS) group has been battling Egyptian troops for years. Gaza security sources said they believed the suicide bomber was a radical Islamist. Other reports suggested he may have been an ISIS sympathizer. This attack marks the first time a suicide bomber has targeted Hamas forces in Gaza, the security sources said.

Hamas, classified a terrorist organization by several countries, has been regularly criticized by more radical groups in the strip. The two terrorists are members of the Salafist faction in the Gaza Strip, which is affiliated with ISIS. Gaza's Salafis are proponents of global jihad, holy war, endorsed by ISIS and al-Qaida. Hamas, which seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007 from forces loyal to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, has shown little tolerance for Salafi movements, detaining many of their members and raiding homes in searches for weapons.

According to the Gazan Interior Ministry, Hamas forces stopped for a security check two people who were nearing the border crossing from inside the strip when one of them set off an explosion, likely from a suicide belt. Five other Hamas security personnel suffered various degrees of injuries in the explosion. The second terrorist was also wounded. The wounded were taken to the Abu Yousef al-Najjar hospital in the strip.

The Hamas Interior Ministry described the assailant and his colleague as "ideologically deviant," a term Hamas uses to describe members of the Islamic State group and other extremists. Hamas's military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, vowed in a statement to "fight the alien deviant ideology without concession."

The family of the attacker issued a statement condemning what he did, offering condolences to the security officer's family and refusing to hold mourning observances. Family members claimed Qualleb tried to infiltrate Egypt along with the other terrorist and when the two of them were stopped, he blew himself up.

Netanyahu's Son's Facebook Page is Getting Him in Trouble


Yair Netanyahu reportedly advises his father, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, on how to use social media. But his own Facebook activity has repeatedly sparked controversy in Israel — and made headlines worldwide.

Most recently, in the wee hours of Wednesday, Yair Netanyahu, 26, weighed in on the violence at a white supremacist rally over the weekend in Charlottesville, Va. He suggested in English that American left-wing groups — the anti-fascist Antifa movement and the Black Lives Matter movement against systemic racism — are more dangerous than neo-Nazis.

"To put things in perspective. I'm a Jew, I'm an Israeli, the neo nazi scums [sic] in Virginia hate me and my country. But they belong to the past. Their breed is dying out," he wrote. "However the thugs of Antifa and BLM who hate my country (and America too in my view) just as much are getting stronger and stronger and becoming super dominant in American universities and public life."

On Tuesday, after coming under criticism for staying silent on Charlottesville, the prime minister had tweeted a vague denunciation: "Outraged by expressions of anti-Semitism, neo-Nazism and racism. Everyone should oppose this hatred."

Earlier this month, Yair Netanyahu — who goes by Yair Hun on Facebook, using the pre-Hebraicized last name of his mother's father, Shmuel Ben-Artzi – trashed left-wing Israeli nonprofits and several former prime minister's sons.

He was responding to a critical article by Molad, a left-leading Israeli think tank, titled "Five Facts You Didn't Know About Crown Prince Yair Netanyahu." The article questioned the cost of Netanyahu's lifestyle to taxpayers, and noted a Facebook post making the rounds in which Yair's neighbor accused him of flipping her off when she complained that he had not picked up his dog's droppings.

Calling the article "lies and slander," Yair called for investigations into Molad's sources of funding or the alleged illicit behavior of the sons of former prime ministers. Most controversially, he said Ariel Olmert, the son of Ehud Olmert, had "an interesting relationship with a Palestinian, that could have had national security implications," apparently referring to rumors that Ariel Olmert had an affair with an East Jerusalem man.

Netanyahu ended the post by saying, "I have a message for all the members of the Israel Destruction Fund and their metastases," playing on the Hebrew name of the New Israel Fund. He then typed emojis of a hand giving the middle finger and a smiling poop.

Ariel Olmert responded with a Facebook post criticizing Netanyahu as an adult living at the prime minister's residence, using a state-funded driver and security guards and spending time with millionaires. "Unlike you," Olmert said, "I actually work for my living. I also make an effort to pick up my dog's poop."

Both he and Molad threatened to sue Netanyahu. Molad made good on the threat. The Hebrew media had a field day, with two leading papers running cartoons with caricatures of Netanyahu and poop emojis.

While Netanyahu's public timeline only goes back a few weeks, his Facebook activity has been getting him in trouble for years. In 2011, when he was doing his mandatory military service in the Israel Defense Forces Spokesperson's Unit, Netanyahu complained on the social media platform that soldiers need to do weekend duty "because of those damned Palestinians." After a report that criticized his mother, he wrote: "I hate the damned media." After that post, his Facebook page was temporarily deleted.

But by 2015, according to Hebrew reports, Netanyahu was helping to steer his father's media strategy in the national elections. With the help of a last-minute social media campaign — including the controversial Facebook warning that the Arabs were voting "in droves" — Binyamin Netanyahu defied the polls and held on to his seat.

Since then, Yair Netanyahu's influence with his father has reportedly grown. The media have lately made much of the sway he and his mother, Sara Netanyahu, allegedly hold over the prime minister.

For his part, the prime minister has often complained about the media's unforgiving coverage of his wife and two sons, recently railing against "fake news" and "leftists." At a rally last week in Tel Aviv, he called the corruption investigations that threaten to oust him from power "an obsessive witch-hunt against me and my family." But in a leaked statement Wednesday from sources close to Binyamin Netanyahu, the prime minister distanced himself from his son's statement, saying, "Yair is an adult and his views are his alone."

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