While the war has been ongoing for less than two months, Israel has already eliminated about a sixth of Hamas’ estimated 30,000 fighters. Hamas, however, still holds many of the hostages it captured during its October 7 terrorist attacks that killed more than 1,200 people in Israel.
Now Israel is closing in on Hamas’ “last stronghold” in southern Gaza, where they believe leadership of the terrorist organization, including leader Yahya Sinwar, are hiding. “In the heart of Khan Younis,” the largest city in southern Gaza, Maj. Gen. Yaron Finkelman says is Hamas’ final bastion in the territory, the WSJ reported.
“If Hamas loses Khan Younis, they are done. They may have some enclaves there, but they will lose their centers of gravity,” Kobi Michael, a senior fellow at The Institute for National Security Studies, told the WSJ.
As well as its military campaign’s ground success, Times of Israel reported on several clips and photos circulating on social media Thursday showed dozens of Palestinians rounded up by the Israel Defense Forces in Gaza after apparently surrendering to troops.
The men, suspected of involvement with Hamas and other terror groups, were seen stripped down to their underwear, blindfolded, and with their hands tied behind their backs, being held by Israeli troops in northern Gaza’s Jabaliya.
In one clip, a group was seen being transported in the back of Israeli military vehicles.
תמונות משנות תודעה: עשרות עצורים עזתים, ייתכן מחבלי חמאס, נתפסו או נכנעו, למרות ההתחייבות "לא נרים דגל לבן, לא ניכנע".
לצד צילום מפקדת צפון של חמאס במנהרות, חשיפת הקבלות ע"ש בנו של הניה, כיבוש כיכר פלסטין בעזה, כל אלו משנים תודעה. pic.twitter.com/gWADK72o9P
— Baruch Yedid, ברוך ידיד, باروخ يديد (@BaruchYedid) December 7, 2023
Urban warfare is Hamas’ barbaric game.
Watch to see armed Hamas terrorists fortify themselves in civilian buildings in Gaza from their own body camera: pic.twitter.com/HOCZfXcjyq
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) December 7, 2023
Good Riddance to UNRWA as it Supports Hamas
Follow Steve Postal: @HebraicMosaic
The head of UNRWA recently accused Israel of waging an “expanded, concerted campaign” to destroy the UN agency. The leader of UNRWA does have a cause for concern, as Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant stated that UNRWA has “lost legitimacy and can no longer function as a UN body.” UN Watch’s Hillel Neuer stated that “The rot is systemic, and that’s why we’re holding a conference…to replace UNRWA.” And now Congressional Republicans are probing the Biden administration’s decision to restore US funding to UNRWA in 2021, following the Trump administration’s suspension of that funding in 2018.
Good riddance to UNRWA if it ends up folding under pressure; UNRWA and the UN are Hamas apologists at best, and facilitators at worst. For example, the UN’s Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator actually insisted that “Hamas is not a terrorist group for us,” but merely a “political movement.” And the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the Palestinian Territories, in a rejoinder to the French president calling the October 7 attack “the largest anti-Semitic massacre of our century,” stated that “No, Mr. Macron. The victims of [the October 7 attack] were not killed because of their Judaism, but in response to Israel’s oppression.”
UNRWA Employees Provide Material Support to Hamas, PIJ
Israeli Defense Minister Galant has named 12 specific UNRWA employees who “actively participated” in Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel, and also stated that Israel has “significant indications based on intelligence” that implicates “over 30” additional UNRWA employees. Gallant stated that of UNRWA’s 13,000 staff in Gaza, “1,468 workers are known to be active in Hamas and PIJ, 185 UNRWA workers are active in the military branches of Hamas and 51 are active in the PIJ military branch.”
Additional to those numbers are the 30 UNRWA teachers known to have celebrated the October 7 attacks on a UNRWA Telegram group that had 3,000 members.
Hamas’ “Data Center” Found Underneath UNRWA Headquarters
Israel also found a Hamas “data center” under UNRWA’s headquarters in Gaza, equipped with an electrical room, computer servers and rooms where Hamas operatives could work and sleep, and that there were power lines connecting UNRWA’s headquarters to this data center. And surprise, some of the equipment found was made in Iran and China. Interestingly, while the Hamas “data center” contained electronics, a server room in the above-ground UNRWA headquarters had most of its electronics missing, which appears to be indicative of “actions of someone who knew the army was coming and wanted to hide the evidence,” according to Col. Benny Aharon of Israel’s 401st Armored Brigade. After the head of UNRWA denied that UNRWA knew of this data center ahead of time, Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) tweeted “Oh, you knew,” and stated that Israel had warned UN officials about the data center but those officials chose to ignore those warnings.
Additional Evidence of Strong UNRWA/Hamas Partnership
Additionally, UN Watch cited instances of UNRWA/Hamas synergy, including that Israel found:
- At the UNRWA headquarters above ground, weapons and “documents that indicated that the same offices were also used by Hamas”;
- UNRWA aid bags in Yahya Sinwar’s bunker;
- UNRWA concrete in Hamas’ tunnels that housed hostages;
- Missiles and rockets under UNRWA equipment;
- That Hamas stashed ammunition, explosives, and weapons in UNRWA bags, and that Hamas also had UN vests;
- That Hamas stored weapons in and fired weapons from a UNRWA school; and
- That Hamas’ “Ministry of Health” stole 24,000 gallons of fuel from UNRWA.
And to further emphasize the scope of how seriously UNRWA is compromised by Hamas, every single UNRWA “site, school, mosque, [and] kindergarten” that Israel has inspected had weapons, according to Israel’s commander of the 646th Reserve Paratroopers Brigade.
Calls to preserve UNRWA merely deflect away from the “systemic” “rot” found in the organization. Israel should make sure that UNRWA does not operate in any post-war Gaza, as the organization compromises the security of the Jewish state.
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