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January 24, 2014

Where’s the Coverage? War Looms in Gaza

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Three recent reports warn of the potential for new warfare between Israel and Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip led by Hamas. But the material—two news reports and one transcript with video—comes from two non-American news media and a research institute, respectively. It has yet to appear, except fragmented in news briefs, in U.S. news outlets.

“Recent history seems to be repeating itself in the Gaza Strip. The clocks have been wound back to the weeks prior to the destructive eight-day conflict fought between Israel and Hamas in November, 2012 .… Just three weeks into 2014, Palestinian militants have fired more than 20 rockets into Israel, compared with roughly 40 total during 2013,” writes Daniel Nisman in The Wall Street Journal—Europe (“War Looms in Gaza; Hamas and its partners in Tehran are setting the stage for the next conflict," January 23).

“Hamas has made preparations to outdo itself during the next conflict with Israel. It has test-fired numerous long-range, homemade T-75 rockets, which can reach Tel-Aviv’s high tech center and Jerusalem’s holy sites.”

Ynetnews.com’s Elior Levy examined Hamas’ preparations, including an extensive tunnel system below the Strip and cameras and other intelligence-gathering devices above it on mosque minarets and other buildings. In addition, Levy reported, rocket launchers are being hidden more thoroughly than before, including in and under buildings in residential areas (“Rockets and tunnels: Hamas preparing for next conflict," January 24).

A week before, at graduation from Hamas camps in which thousands of young people apparently were trained for war against Israel, Hamas’ minister of education, Fathi Hammid, congratulated them “on your coming future victory, and on the annihilation of Israel …. You will harvest the enemies of Allah in the battle to come” (Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV, January 16, from a clip provided by MEMRI, Middle East Media Research Institute, the same day).

Ismail Haniyeh, prime minister of the Hamas government in Gaza, told the graduates “we shall walk in [Mohammed’s] footsteps in educating the future generation to love death for the sake of Allah as much as our enemies love life. This is the generation that will be qualified for liberation, victory, return and independence.”

Hamas, reportedly in renewed partnership with Iran, and smaller terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip including Palestinian Islamic Jihad, may wish to reopen war with Israel for its own sake. It may seek to block any potential achievements in talks between Israel and the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority on the West Bank. And it may wish to help divert international attention from Iranian military support for Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and Iran’s insistence that agreement with Western countries over its nuclear program is a victory for Tehran.

If so, renewed combat with Israel might make sense. Developments seem newsworthy, so where is the coverage?

Posted by ER at January 24, 2014 03:37 PM

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