July 14, 2024
In-Depth Issues:

Argentina Declares Hamas an "International Terrorist Organization" (AFP-Al Arabiya)
    Argentina has declared the Palestinian group Hamas an "international terrorist organization" over its Oct. 7 assault in Israel and an "extensive history of attacks," the office of President Javier Milei said Friday.

Morocco Becomes Huge Customer for Israel's Defense Industry - Dean Shmuel Elmas (Globes)
    On July 9, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) announced an agreement worth $1 billion over five years with an unnamed third party.
    Foreign media has said that the deal was for Ofek 13 spy satellites and IAI chairman Amir Peretz was in Morocco when the deal was announced.
    According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), even though Morocco and Israel did not normalize relations until December 2020, Israel was already in third place in terms of Morocco's defense imports.
    IAI sold the Barak MX air defense system to Morocco in 2022 for $540 million.
    It was reported in 2023 that IAI completed delivery of three Heron 1 UAVs to Morocco.
    The French newspaper L'Humanite
reported this year that the Moroccan army operates Elbit Systems' Hermes 900 and Hermes 450 UAVs in the Western Sahara.
    Israel-Morocco security cooperation is not limited to weaponry. The IDF's new U.S.-made landing craft, the INS Komemiyut, stopped in Morocco for refueling on its long journey from Pascagoula, Mississippi, to the naval base in Haifa.

Anti-Israel Protesters Seek to "Make 2024 as Great as 1968" - Editorial (Wall Street Journal)
    Behind Enemy Lines, a self-styled "anti-imperialist organization," has issued calls on Instagram to "Make 2024 as Great as 1968" and "come to Chicago this summer and shut down the DNC!" (Democratic National Convention).
    Anti-Israel groups, including Palestine Action US, have promoted this campaign on social media.
    Black Lives Matter Chicago, Students for Justice in Palestine, Students for a Democratic Society, and others also plan to protest as part of the Coalition to March on the DNC.

Senior Hamas Official: Gaza Is Destroyed, but This Is Part of the "March toward Liberation" - Lazar Berman (Times of Israel)
    Former Hamas political chief Khaled Mashaal, based in Qatar, told Sky News Arabic on June 27 that "Gaza is now destroyed. Every fair-minded person sees that this is absolutely true."
    However, this is all part of the "march of our people toward liberation."

Former Palestinian Minister: Hamas Launched an Escapade on Oct. 7 that Led to the Loss of Gaza (MEMRI)
    On July 3, 2024, former PA prisoners affairs minister Ashraf Al-Ajrami wrote in the Palestinian daily Al-Ayyam that Hamas is deluded, because the Oct. 7, 2023, attack did not liberate the Palestinians.
    "What do we have today, except for tremendous destruction and division, and no vision whatsoever regarding the day after the war? This will bring us to a new Nakba, greater than that of 1948."
    "Whoever believes that we will quickly restore Gaza to the way it was before the war, if not [to a better state], is completely delusional."
    "According to the UN, restoring Gaza to the way it was before will take at least 20 years. We lost more than 40,000 citizens who were killed, and more than 80,000 were wounded."
    "Furthermore, we have lost most of our assets in Gaza, including infrastructure that was built over decades."
    "So has the 'resistance' led to liberation?...Absolutely not. On the contrary, it [has led to] greater damage, whose price we will pay for generations to come."
    Hamas must "face reality by recognizing that it perpetrated an ill-considered escapade that led to the loss of Gaza."

How the IDF Is Using Lessons from Gaza to Teach the U.S. How to Minimize Its Casualties - Anshel Pfeffer (Jewish Chronicle-UK)
    The IDF Medical Corps was properly prepared for the war which began on Oct. 7.
    IDF Surgeon-General Brig.-Gen. Prof. Elon Glassberg, who last week ended a four-year term encompassing a war and a pandemic, said his doctors and paramedics who served inside the combat zone in Gaza are measured by one metric - CFR (case fatality rate) - the percentage of wounded soldiers evacuated from the battlefield who they failed to save.
    In the Second Lebanon War in 2006, the CFR stood at 15%. In the Gaza War, the CFR was down to 6.5%.
    Glassberg explained the reasons for this. "We were much more aggressive in deploying doctors and paramedics in the field. Most militaries usually have a senior medical figure at battalion level."
    "In Gaza we deployed them also at company level, which meant that within minutes of a soldier being wounded they were being treated by a serious professional in the field."
    "Then we streamlined the evacuation process, changing centuries of military medical practice by eliminating the battalion aid station as the hub of treatment, and instead putting more focus on the initial treatment followed by immediate evacuation by helicopter or armored vehicles to the border and then helicopters home."
    "Third, we developed both powdered plasma and 'whole blood' transfusions which can be used in the field and have been proven to save lives."
    Glassberg is off to Washington to work with American military medicine experts on sharing the IDF's experience from this war.

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Israel Targets Architect of Oct. 7 Attacks in Airstrike - Ronen Bergman
    Israel conducted an airstrike in southern Gaza on Saturday, targeting Muhammad Deif, the leader of the Qassam Brigades, Hamas's military wing, and one of the architects of the Oct. 7 attack on Israel. He is the second most senior Hamas figure in Gaza after Yahya Sinwar. Rafah Salameh, the leader of Hamas forces in Khan Yunis, was also targeted in the attack. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said Saturday night that their deaths have not yet been confirmed.
        The Israeli military and the Israel Security Agency said the strike hit "an open area surrounded by trees, several buildings and sheds," and posted an aerial photograph of a plot of land filled with palm trees and a few houses. Israeli officials said Deif was targeted while he was inside a fenced Hamas-run compound that was not used as a camp for displaced people.
        Deif has been one of Israel's most wanted men for decades. He is revered by some Palestinians for overseeing the development of Hamas's military capabilities. Michael Milshtein, a former Israeli intelligence officer, described Deif as "the beating heart of Hamas's military wing." Deif also commanded the Hamas forces guarding the Israeli captives. (New York Times)
  • Israel Identifies 100 UNRWA Employees Who Are Hamas "Terrorist Operatives" - Andrea Vacchiano
    In a July 4 letter, Ambassador Amir Weissbrod wrote that UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, is employing 100 terrorist operatives and asked the organization to terminate the staffers immediately. "In recent months, Israel has discovered that hundreds of terrorists, members of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, have been employed by UNRWA in Gaza, some of them holding high-ranking positions in UNRWA or in Hamas."
        The ambassador added "a document containing 100 names and IDs of terrorist operatives who are currently employed by UNRWA-Gaza. This list includes their military IDs as well." He added that the list contains a "small fraction" of terrorist operatives employed by UNRWA, and that the names of more employees will be sent in the future. (Fox News)
  • 3/4 of Jewish People in Europe Hide Their Identity - James Rothwell
    3/4 of Europe's Jewish community hide their identities as they fear being harassed or attacked by anti-Semites. Jews in EU member states are in the grip of a "rising tide of anti-Semitism, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) said. Across Europe, 76% said in a survey they hid their Jewish identity "at least occasionally," while 34% said they took care to avoid Jewish events or places as they did not feel "safe" there.
        Agency director Sirpa Rautio said, "Jews are more frightened than ever before." The agency's study found that 96% of European Jews encountered anti-Semitism in 2023. In France, 74% said they felt the ongoing Gaza war affected their sense of security. 80% said anti-Semitism had worsened in recent years. 4% said they had been the victims of physical anti-Semitic attacks in 2023, twice the number in a 2018 study. (Telegraph-UK)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Hamas's Khan Yunis Brigade Commander Confirmed Killed in Israeli Airstrike - Einav Halabi
    Sources in Hamas confirmed that the commander of the Khan Yunis brigade, Rafa Salameh, was killed in the Israeli attack on Saturday, Asharq Al-Awsat reported on Sunday. (Ynet News)
  • Hamas Wants to Be Able to Continue to Threaten Israel after Ceasefire Deal - Ron Ben-Yishai
    A report published Thursday in the Washington Post by David Ignatius claims that Hamas has agreed to relinquish its civilian governance of Gaza to Palestinian elements that are neither Hamas nor representatives of the Palestinian Authority.
        Behind this concept lies Hamas's longstanding intention to mimic Hizbullah's operational model in Lebanon, allowing it to focus and invest all its resources on "resistance," meaning war with Israel. As the strongest military force in Gaza, it will still dictate what happens behind the scenes, with civilian officials acting as its executors. This is how Hizbullah operates in Lebanon.
        Alongside the civilian administration, there will be a security force funded and operated by the U.S. and Arab countries, made up not by Arab soldiers but by mercenaries hired by private security companies to safeguard humanitarian aid, oversee its distribution, prevent looting, and perform general policing and law enforcement tasks. (Ynet News)
        See also below Observations: Possible Strategies for Israel in Gaza - Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser (Channel 12-Hebrew)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:

    The Gaza War

  • Hamas's Guerrilla Tactics Have Proven Disastrous for Palestinians - Patrick Kingsley
    Hamas's Qassam Brigades hide under residential neighborhoods, storing their weapons in tunnels - and in houses, mosques, sofas, even a child's bedroom. They emerge from hiding in plainclothes, sometimes wearing sandals or tracksuits, before firing on Israeli troops, attaching mines to their vehicles, or firing rockets from launchers in civilian areas. They rig abandoned homes with explosives and tripwires, seeking to lure Israeli soldiers to enter the booby-trapped buildings.
        Hamas's decision to keep fighting has proven disastrous for the Palestinians of Gaza, as some 80% of its residents have been displaced. Israel says it has killed more than 14,000 Hamas fighters, while fewer than 350 Israeli soldiers have died in Gaza since the start of the IDF operation in late October. Israeli officials say that Hamas's tactics explain why Israel has been forced to strike so much civilian infrastructure. (New York Times)
  • Why Counterinsurgency Won't Work in Gaza - Will Selber and Bill Roggio
    U.S. General David Petraeus was one of the most prominent advocates of the strategy adopted to turn around the war in Iraq in the mid-2000s: population-centric counterinsurgency (COIN) - whose mantra was "clear, hold, and build." From 2007 to 2010, Petraeus's COIN strategy helped stabilize Iraq. However, President Obama withdrew U.S. forces in 2011 and, less than three years later, the Islamic State captured Mosul and declared its caliphate.
        In Afghanistan, the COIN strategy failed utterly. Joint Provincial Reconstruction Teams served in Afghanistan's 32 provinces for nearly a decade, building hundreds of schools, roads, and bridges. However, all of these programs ultimately failed to prevent the Taliban from humiliating the U.S. and NATO.
        Now Petraeus is arguing that COIN should be implemented in Gaza. Despite his good intentions, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) should politely decline his recommendations. Instead, they should continue grinding away at Hamas until they are no longer the governing power. The IDF is not fighting an insurgency. It is fighting a terror state that may employ guerrilla warfare tactics.
        COIN requires time to build rapport with host nation security forces. It's built by partnering with indigenous forces. Which group inside of Gaza could partner with the IDF like this and still survive? The PA is a weak, feeble group incapable of securing the West Bank. How would they secure Gaza working with the IDF?
        Furthermore, while Iraq and Afghanistan have large porous borders, Gaza doesn't. Thousands of foreign fighters can't cross into Gaza to support Hamas. Now, with the Philadelphi Corridor finally secured, the IDF can restrict Hamas's resupply of weapons, materiel, and manpower.
        Will Selber is a retired Middle East Foreign Area Officer in the U.S. Air Force with 20 years inside the intelligence community. Bill Roggio is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the editor of FDD's Long War Journal. (The Bulwark)
  • To Prevent Hamas's Resurgence, Israel Must Stay in Philadelphi Corridor - Meir Ben Shabbat
    Israel's grip on the Philadelphi Corridor stands out as one of its key strategic gains in the Gaza war. This control acts as a bulwark against Hamas's potential resurgence. Past reliance on international arrangements has proven ineffective.
        Could an Israeli-Egyptian mechanism, with U.S. involvement, effectively replace direct Israeli control? Historical precedent offers little room for optimism. In 2009, Israel signed an agreement establishing such a mechanism that failed to prevent even a single instance of smuggling.
        Detection and monitoring systems alone can't stop smuggling. An effective operational force is crucial. Without Israeli control, we would be dependent on the goodwill of the Egyptians. Their priorities and considerations may not align perfectly with Israeli security imperatives. Israeli control of the Philadelphi Corridor represents a vital course correction.
        The writer, a former Israeli national security advisor, is chairman of the Misgav Institute for National Security & Zionist Strategy in Jerusalem.  (Israel Hayom)
  • Hamas Remains the Dominant Power in Palestinians' Minds - Khaled Abu Toameh
    More than nine months after the Israel-Hamas war began, many Palestinians are convinced that the "day after" in Gaza will be a return to the pre-Oct. 7 era, in which the Iran-backed terrorist group still has control. Today, Palestinians fall into two groups: those who hate Hamas but think that, under the current circumstances, it is impossible to remove it from power, and those who want Hamas to stay in power because they embrace it and its extremist ideology.
        One Palestinian Authority official said that he had anticipated a fall in Hamas's popularity among Palestinians as the war drags on and more Palestinians lose their lives. "We see that the opposite has happened," he said. "According to polls conducted after Oct. 7, Hamas's popularity is rising. This is due to the widespread belief that Hamas is winning the battle. If you watched Al-Jazeera, you would also come to the same conclusion - that Israel has been defeated."
        According to the latest poll, a vast majority of Palestinians (68%) said the terrorist group's decision to launch war on Israel was "correct." There is virtually little debate among the Palestinians about the "day after" in Gaza. This is due to the widespread Palestinian belief that Hamas will somehow maintain its hold on power in Gaza after the war.
        The writer, a veteran Israeli journalist, is a senior fellow at the Jerusalem Center. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

  • Other Issues

  • Where's the Report to Congress on Iran's Nuclear Program? - Editorial
    Sen. Lindsey Graham helped to write Public Law 117-263, the Iran Nuclear Weapons Capability and Terrorism Monitoring Act of 2022. It requires the Administration to send Congress an assessment every six months about Iran's progress on uranium enrichment and other nuclear weapons development. In a letter Wednesday to Avril Haines, the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), the Senator said the Administration is "in violation of the law" for missing two assessment deadlines over the past year. He said he'll put a hold on DNI nominations, and work with colleagues to condition funding for DNI headquarters, until the reports are sent to Capitol Hill.
        The International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran has increased its stockpile of enriched fuel up to 60% purity to 313.3 pounds as of May. This is only a small technical step away from weapons grade 90% purity. Israeli officials are expressing their growing alarm in private conversations with U.S. officials. They're concerned enough that talk of a military operation is back on the table.
        Iran's progress may be a reason for the failure of Haines's office to provide the information to Congress. If it tells the truth about the program, members of both parties would increase the political pressure to do something. It is "unacceptable," as Graham puts it, that the Administration isn't providing "an updated assessment that outlines the exact status" of Iran's nuclear program. (Wall Street Journal)
  • America's Dachau Lesson - Ariel Bulshtein
    On April 29, 1945, U.S. Army soldiers liberated the Nazi concentration camp of Dachau in southern Germany. The horror that confronted the fighters of the 42nd Infantry Division was unforgettable: thousands of corpses of camp prisoners, gas chambers and crematoria, as well as tens of thousands of starved inmates, barely clinging to life.
        In the hours that followed, Dachau witnessed one of the most justified acts of retribution in 20th-century history: The Americans singled out the SS soldiers from among the surrendering Germans. These were lined up against a wall and then shot and killed, some by American soldiers and others by the camp's liberated prisoners.
        The United States of 1945 was a healthy society with a healthy military and, above all, a correct moral compass. It distinguished clearly between good and evil. America knew that evil wore SS uniforms.
        Did America's legal advisors seek to punish the soldiers who killed SS members? Quite the opposite. Col. Charles Decker, a senior legal expert in the U.S. Army at the time, ruled that given what the soldiers had witnessed at Dachau, justice and fairness demanded they not be held personally responsible for their actions, regardless of whether those actions violated international law. (Israel Hayom)

Possible Strategies for Israel in Gaza - Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser (Channel 12-Hebrew, 11July2024)
  • As Israel completes the current stage of the war in Gaza, it faces three possible strategies for achieving its announced objectives: the collapse of Hamas's military and government, freeing all of the hostages, and the creation of a new reality in Gaza that will prevent it from becoming a base to attack Israel in the future.
  • Strategy A: A deal with Hamas to end the war. This strategy requires Israel to accept Hamas's conditions for freeing the hostages, including an end to the war and the early withdrawal of the IDF from Gaza.
  • The practical meaning of this strategy is to allow Hamas to continue to govern Gaza. It would signal Israel's acceptance of Hamas as the victor in the war, showing the world that the strategy that served as the basis for Hamas's decision to start the war against Israel was vindicated and correct. Hamas's victory would be seen as a huge achievement and it would expand Iran's influence in the region. It would also strengthen Hamas among the Palestinians.
  • Strategy B: Continuing military pressure. This strategy views the primary effort in Gaza as continuing the military pressure on Hamas in order to bring about its eventual dismantling, involving pinpoint attacks that will cause serious harm to the terror organization and bring it to accept a deal for the return of the hostages. Israel would maintain full responsibility for the fight against terrorists in Gaza and will maintain its presence in the Philadelphi corridor along the Egyptian border and in the Netzarim corridor that now divides Gaza in two, as well as in the perimeter that surrounds Gaza.
  • However, this strategy would leave Hamas as the ruler of most of the territory of Gaza and of most of the population, giving a boost to Hamas and Iran. It also completely ignores a basic problem - the need to change the Palestinian narrative, known as deradicalization.
  • Strategy C: Control and dismantling. This strategy aims to act with full force to replace Hamas's military and governmental rule - initially with Israeli military rule. This is necessary so that in a relatively short time, after it becomes clear that Hamas rule will not be returning, it will be possible to transfer most of the civilian responsibilities to Palestinians who are not connected to terror and to international and Arab players who will deal with the reconstruction of Gaza.
  • This will bring about the freeing of the hostages due to military pressure, in a deal where Israel allows Hamas's leaders and remaining forces to leave Gaza. Such a strategy will improve Israel's strategic position and serve as a serious blow to Iran, both in the region and among the Palestinians. It would also strengthen Israel's position opposite Hizbullah and enable progress toward deradicalization to create a possibility of change in the long term.

    The writer, Director, National Security and Middle East Affairs at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, is former head of the IDF Military Intelligence Research Division.

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