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New IDF Orders: Initiate Action in Gaza Instead of Letting Hamas Call the Shots

By DEBKAfile
Israeli forces guarding the Gaza border were instructed Monday, April 2, to remove the gloves and take action for pre-empting Hamas' escalating border provocations. DEBKAfile's military sources report that this change of policy was set by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and IDF chief of staff Lt. Gen. Gady Eisenkot. Israel's military rejected new allegations Monday of unlawful use of force against unarmed Palestinians during mass protests in Gaza last week, as the Palestinian death toll rose to 18. They saw that Hamas had been encouraged into ramping up its aggression by the clashes that occurred Friday. The IDF was therefore instructed to adopt new tactics, before the violence practiced on the Gaza border got out of hand and spread to other anti-Israel fronts in Judea and Samaria, or even Lebanon. The exact nature of those IDF tactics is not immediately known, except that they deviate sharply from the defensive posture adopted on Friday and Saturday by the troops guarding the Gaza border. The IDF continues to be authorized to use force when necessary within the IDF's rules of engagement. Hamas was cautioned Monday against continuing to stage provocations every few hours or else face a harsh IDF riposte. Israel's political leaders almost across the spectrum voiced their thanks to IDF troops for not letting a single Palestinian rioter cross the fence and so allowing the country to celebrate the Passover Eve Seder in peace. The very idea of an inquiry into a "determined and proportionate" defensive operation was widely ridiculed. In the first Palestinian rush on the Gaza-Israeli border fence on Friday, March 30, IDF counter-measures, including gunfire, killed 15 Palestinians and injured hundreds But this has not deterred Hamas from going forward with Round 2 of its six-week master plan for repeatedly buffeting at Israel's border defenses. They believe that when they find a gap in the Israeli wall, the Arab and international communities will come to their aid. So far, this had not happened. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has come out as the sole champion of Hamas, which is listed as a terrorist organization by most Western governments. But Erdogan had seized on the Gaza flare-up for his own game. The Syrian platform slipped out of his hands when the US vetoed plans for his army to advance across northern Syria and into Iraq and crush all the Kurds in its path. So Erdogan found another platform in Gaza. However, not a single Arab leader of note supported Hamas' "March for the Return." Nonetheless, Hamas is sure it has finally found a winning tactic against Israel, by turning the civilian population, heavily brainwashed into believing that a successful "March for the Return" would solve its problems, into a human battering ram for trampling the border fence and surging across into Israel. To defeat the coming assaults, the IDF must address two difficulties: Defuse the Hamas strategy in the Gaza Strip and stop its spread to Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. Another upsurge of violent Palestinian rioting in the Gaza Strip is expected on April 17, the day of Palestinian solidarity with the "Palestinian prisoner" held in Israeli jails for terrorism. However, Hamas may decide not to wait until then, but build on its initial momentum for another assault on the border on Friday, April 6, which is the seventh and last day of the Jewish Passover festival. The strategists in Gaza believe that their "protest march," the cover for terrorist attacks, will be mirrored by violent disturbances on the West Bank. Until now, the Israel government let the IDF convey to Hamas leaders an implicit threat: If they break through the border fence and invade a military post or civilian community on the Israeli side, the IDF will hit Hamas leadership targets deep inside their territory. This tactic is also in force against the Lebanese Hizbullah terrorist organization, which has been warned that any attack on targets deep inside Israel will bring forth powerful Israeli retaliation against targets deep inside Lebanon, including its national infrastructure. In view of Hamas´ revived aggression, the IDF has switched over to its war doctrine, which permits soldiers to use firearms to stop assailants, when crowd dispersal measures are unavailing. For many months, the IDF was kept on a tight leash by the official line, broadcast after every incident emanating from the Gaza Strip, which held, "Neither the IDF nor Hamas wants escalation." This slogan, which suggested that the two sides shared equal objectives and strength, was finally jettisoned last Friday. When Hamas threw down the gantlet on the Gaza fence, Israeli armed forces were permitted to engage in full war tactics While the US, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and France made quiet efforts at calming the situation and murmurs about the need for peace, their hands are tied. Hamas has never espoused anything but all-or-nothing belligerence, and the Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has been rendered powerless, both politically and by ill health. This may be a blessing in disguise if Hamas is satisfied with the storm it can raise in the Gaza Strip and does not attempt to stir up trouble in Judea and Samaria as well.

ZOA Head: `Arab Nazi-Like' Hamas Responsible for Violence on Gaza Border

By the Jerusalem Post
"The Nazi-like terror group Hamas" is responsible for the violence that left 17 dead and hundreds more injured after violent clashes erupted on the Gaza border on Friday, head of the Zionist Organization of America Mort Klein told The Jerusalem Post. "What I am painfully and frightfully reminded of by Israel's necessary defensive actions, is that the irrational hatred of Jews in 2018 remains so strong that while the Jewish state is fighting against an Arab, Nazi-like terrorist group, Hamas, whose charter and proclamations call for the murder of every Jew and Israel's destruction, the world – through the [United Nations] – continues to show sympathy and support for the Hamas Nazis actions," Klein said on Sunday. "What country on earth would not use military force against an avowed terrorist enemy who comes to their border, 30,000 thousand strong with guns, bombs and burning tires, to infiltrate their country in order to kill innocent civilians and damage their security infrastructure after the terrorists were warned to refrain from these terrorist actions?" Klein asked. Other organizations, like the American Jewish Committee, emphasized Hamas's use of financial aid to build terrorist infrastructure and tunnels as proof of the group's preference toward violence instead of peaceful planning or providing aid for their people. "Hamas has invested millions of dollars in its current campaign, which is meant to lead thousands of Gazans to breach Israel's borders," spokesperson Avital Leibovich told the Post in a statement. "This money, could have been used for the welfare of the people in Gaza, but instead was utilized in purchasing grenades and AK-47s, as well as paying people for their participation at the riot," she said. "Israel has the right to defend its borders just like any other country and any suggestion for an investigation on Friday's events [by the EU or UN] should be directed at Hamas, which is accountable for this situation." Soon after the violence subsided on the Gaza border, Human Rights Watch decried what it called the "shocking number of Palestinians killed and hurt" by IDF forces, adding that the incident brought into the fore concerns about Israel's use of deadly force in Palestinian demonstrations. "The shocking number of Palestinians killed and hurt today by soldiers firing across the Gaza fence raises serious questions about Israel's longstanding use of live ammunition to police demonstrations," HRW said in a statement. "Israeli allegations of violence by some protesters do not change the fact that using lethal force is banned by international law except to meet imminent threat to life," the organization added.

Saudi Crown Prince: Israelis Have the Right to Their Own Land

By World Israel News
In an interview by Jeffrey Goldberg published Monday in The Atlantic, Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said Israelis have a right to their own land. Apparently pushing for a two-state solution, he said, "I believe the Palestinians and the Israelis have the right to have their own land. But we have to have a peace agreement to assure the stability for everyone and to have normal relations." Ties between Israel and the Gulf states have improved over the past year, triggered by the common Iranian threat. "We have religious concerns about the fate of the holy mosque in Jerusalem (i.e. the Temple Mount, Judaism's holiest site) and about the rights of the Palestinian people. This is what we have. We don't have any objection against any other people," said the crown prince, who is currently touring the US. "Prince Mohammed's visit to the US is mainly a hunting trip for investment, and an opportunity for him to sell his so-called Vision 2030, an elaborate, still mainly unexecuted plan to modernize the Kingdom and end its dependence on oil," Goldberg said.

Israel Suspends Plan to Deport Thousands of African Migrants

By VOA News & YnetNews
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Monday he was putting on hold an agreement with the U.N. refugee agency to relocate thousands of African migrants to Western countries. Hours after announcing the deal Netanyahu posted a message on his Facebook page saying he was putting it on hold until further review. Under the agreement some 16,250 migrants would have been resettled in Western nations, including Canada, Italy and Germany, Netanyahu announced earlier Monday. The same number will be given residency in Israel, he said. A spokesman for the German Interior Ministry said he was unaware of any plans to resettle African migrants from Israel to Germany, And in Italy, a Foreign Ministry source said: "There is no agreement with Italy in the context of the bilateral agreement between Israel and the UNHCR." Shortly after Italy's denial, the PMO issued a statement to Italian news agency ANSA, clarifying that Netanyahu only named Italy as an example of a developed Western country, and did not specifically mean to name it as one of the countries willing to take in the asylum seekers, Italian daily la Repubblica reported. Jean-Nicolas Beuze of the UNHCR in Ottawa told CBC News that Canada has not made any formal commitment but things are "being discussed." Israel is home to roughly 35,000 African migrants, most of them from Eritrea, which has one of the world's worst human rights records, or war-torn Sudan. The migrants say they are asylum-seekers fleeing danger and persecution, while Israeli leaders have claimed they are merely job seekers. Netanyahu's right-wing government rejects claims by the Africans that they are refugees, describing them as "infiltrators" and economic migrants. The migrants also have become a political issue, with religious and conservative politicians portraying the presence of Muslim and Christian Africans as a threat to Israel's Jewish character. A group of residents of southern Tel Aviv, where many of the migrants have settled, immediately denounced the new plan in a statement, calling it "a shame for the state of Israel." Netanyahu said he would meet on Tuesday with residents of southern Tel Aviv. In a post he wrote in his Facebook account, Netanyahu explained that "in the last few weeks, following tremendous pressure on Rwanda by the New Israel Fund and elements in the European Union, Rwanda has withdrawn from the agreement and refused to absorb infiltrators from Israel who are forcibly removed. Due to this, I decided to strive for a new agreement that would allow us to continue deporting the infiltrators." Netanyahu concluded by stressing that while he, like many others, expected Israel to be able to deport the lot of them, once it was clear it is not an option, the government decided to "do the best it can—get some out, rehabilitate the rest and rehabilitate southern Tel Aviv." Later that evening, Netanyahu published a video on Facebook in which he gave further details on the outline. "We will remove the infiltrators from south Tel Aviv, bring them to moshavim, kibbutzim, and strong communities, so that the burden will not fall on neighborhoods in distress," he said. "The money we'll save, and that's a lot, we'll invest in rehabilitating southern Tel Aviv."

Rabbi: 'Tens of Millions Want to Return to Judaism'


Am Shalem movement Chairman Rabbi Haim Amsalem responded to a report submitted by a committee appointed by Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennet, in which it was determined there are roughly 100 million people in the world who are connected to Judaism or Israel. Crypto-Judaism is secret adherence to Judaism while publicly professing to be of another faith; practitioners are referred to as "crypto-Jews". Today, individuals and communities in Spain and Portugal, and the places where Jews fled from there, have been discovering evidence of their Jewish ancestry and started openly practicing the faith that their ancestors were barred from keeping for centuries. The report to which Amsalem refers claims as many as 95 million people worldwide possibly descended from Jews. Produced by a special committee formed by the Diaspora Affairs Ministry in 2016, the report suggests that in addition to the roughly 14 million people identifying as Jews around the globe, there some 95 million more likely descended from Jews who assimilated or were forced to convert – sometimes referred to as "lost Jews. "We have between 60 and 100 million people who define themselves as having an affinity to the Jewish people. In South America alone I estimate there are 30 million. These aren't lost tribes or descendants of the Bnei Menashe," referring to the Lost Tribe of Israel who were brought to Israel from India. "These are people who until 150 years ago maintained their Judaism and according to all standards they are from the seed of Israel. Not all of them want to convert, but they do want a friendly connection with the Jewish people and it's a great mitzvah to bring them closer. "There's the well-known slogan: 'The Jewish religion isn't missionary.' I say that the Jewish religion must be committed to helping all those who wish to return to the Jewish people, and that many of them, their parents and grandparents, were burned at the stake in the name of their Jewishness." He was asked if it is the role of the State of Israel or any rabbi abroad to be responsible for conversions of those with such affinity. "The State of Israel and the Rabbinate have long not been doing their job. I would almost say they've completed their historic role. We sit here in the State of Israel with hundreds of thousands who assimilate every day - and the Chief Rabbinate is unable to take up the gauntlet. "There's a solution if they want. It's not a one-minute conversion. The community rabbis, unfortunately, aren't among those known for courage. They look at what the Chief Rabbinate of Israel is doing - and the Chief Rabbinate is doing nothing. The Chief Rabbinate of Israel is incapable of solving the problems of the Jewish identity of the State of Israel. The Chief Rabbinate of Israel long ago lost its way, became non-Zionist, became extreme, and became political. I have no expectations of them. "Today, via the Internet, these descendants of Anusim from all over the world, and especially from South America, find their way to Judaism alone. They come to the rabbinical courts ready for conversion, and many of them return slowly." The rabbi said that the conversion problem also affects assimilation: "There's the well-known equation that anyone who makes it harder on conversion facilitates assimilation. Who brought us assimilation? It's the extreme approach, instead of embracing and bringing near. Anyone seeking to convert today is asked for almost impossible conditions. Everyone knows that Rabbinate conversion is equal to private conversion, and everything is politics and a whole industry of money," he said. The Chief Rabbinate and the Diaspora Ministry chose not to respond to Rabbi Amsalem's claims.

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