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12552Fw: The Emet Report

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  • Susie Kurzawa
    Jul 21, 2014

      On Monday, July 21, 2014 1:23 PM, Susie Kurzawa <susiekurzawa@...> wrote:

      The Emet Report
      Daily News from the Middle East
      Top                                                                          July 21, 2014      23 Tamuz 5774  
      In This Issue
      Thirteen IDF Golani soldiers killed in Gaza, at start of urban stage of Israel's operation against Hamas
      How Human Intelligence works for Israel's Gaza operation - its crucial eyes on the ground
      UN agency handed rockets back to Hamas, Israel says
      Jordanians Protest Near Israeli Embassy, Call for More Rockets
      Iranian Caught Stealing Plans for DOD's $1.5 Trillion Jet

      Thirteen IDF Golani soldiers killed in Gaza, at start of urban stage of Israel's operation against Hamas

      IDF, IDN, DT, Ynet, INN, JP, TOI, Debka, II, JJ, JTA, JDF, WND, AP

      The IDF Golani Brigades lost 13 soldiers in combat with Hamas early Sunday, July 20, in the Gaza Strip district of Shejayia, the military spokesman announced Sunday evening. The unit's commander, Col. Rosan Aliyan, was seriously injured. The urban stage of the IDF's Operation Defensive Edge has taken Israel into one of its most perilous wars, launched as Hamas' rocket barrage against the Israeli population continued without pause.

      After accepting a brief truce, that was requested and then violated by Hamas, Israeli forces went back to the operation begun overnight in the Hamas Sheijaya stronghold, which bristles with large rocket stocks and arms factories and is the site of concealed openings of terrorist tunnels that snake under the border into Israel 2 km away to a point opposite Kibbutz Nahal Oz.

      Still ahead of the Israeli operation, after the troops finish cleansing Shejaiya are similar challenges to dismantle Hamas' offensive capabilities in another three of their Gaza City strongholds: Shaati, Al Bureij and Nuseirat, before Hamas' terrorist infrastructure can be said to have been disarmed.
      IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz praised the Israeli units fighting in the Gaza Strip and pledged they will carry on for as long as necessary, until Israel is safe from Hamas terror. While regretting the loss of Palestinian civilian life, Gen. Gantz held Hamas responsible for the innocent casualties, by forcing them to stay in place in spite of Israel's warnings to them to escape. Hamas could have provided the population with shelters, schools and hospitals, instead of investing in rockets and tunnels for Israel's destruction, he said.

      During Sunday, July 20, Israeli commanders rejected, then accepted, a Hamas request relayed via the Red Cross for a three-hour truce for the removal of its dead and wounded from the embattled Shejaiya district. The Palestinians reported 60 dead and 200 injured in Sunday's battles there.

      The truce was extended by two hours, despite attacks by armed Hamas bands on Israeli troops, in breach of the ceasefire, which was the third Israel had accepted in the 12 days of its Gaza operation.
      Hamas is not only bringing its deadly tunnels into play, but also planting small commando units heavily armed with anti-tank rockets across the paths of advancing Israeli armored forces.
      Saturday, those commandos fired 10 anti-tank rockets. Without their Windbreaker armor, many tanks would have been destroyed and the casualty toll much higher.
      However, most of all, Hamas is fighting to save its tunnel system from systematic destruction by IDF demolition teams. This system was designed to be the Palestinian Islamists' highest strategic asset, comparable in importance to the IDF's chain of fortifications along the Syrian border.

      Around 16,000 men, around 15 percent of Hamas' fighting strength, were assigned to the tunnel project in the last five years and substantial funds. The IDF will not be permitted to demolish this flagship project without a savage fight.
      The most important conclusion for Israel's war planners, from the first days of the ground phase of Israel's Operation Defensive Edge, is that Hamas is standing firm and not cracking, even under the relentless pounding of their military infrastructure by Israeli artillery and air might, and appears determined to fight on.
      Its commanders believe they can keep going for another 4 to 6 weeks, while also maintaining a steady hail of rockets against the Israeli population.
      This estimate has spurred a major buildup of Israeli military strength for the Gaza operation. Another 50,000 reservists were called up Saturday night and a large number of infantry brigades started moving into the Gaza Strip overnight and will continue to arrive Sunday. The extra forces have made it possible to embark on the second, urban stage of the IDF operation, the breaching of the densely-populated towns.
      A different type of combat lies ahead from the project for destroying tunnels. It is tougher and more perilous. But there is no other way to reach Hamas' command centers and its longest-range rockets.
      With this mission still unaccomplished, talk of a ceasefire sounds as though it comes from another planet. Hamas feels strong and confident enough to spurn the Egyptian-Israeli ceasefire proposal, which is firmly backed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Every attempt to sway its political leader Khaled Meshaal, when he was buttonholed in Kuwait, ran into a blank wall. He summarily rejected invitations from Egypt and the Arab League to travel to Cairo and discuss the cessation of hostilities. 
      The various international mediation efforts have therefore nowhere to go. As far as Hamas is concerned, no incentive has been offered tempting enough to persuade its leaders to give up their predestined war on Israel.

      US Secretary of State John Kerry changed his mind about visiting the region for the second time this month, when the Obama administration decided to stay out of it and let Egypt handle the crisis. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who scheduled a visit for Saturday, postponed it indefinitely.
      Israel has accordingly won a rare opportunity to deal with Hamas without being stopped short and the enemy saved by international intervention. But although it has wide popular support, this opportunity confronts Israelis with one of the cruelest, costly and drawn-out conflicts in their embattled history.

      How Human Intelligence works for Israel's Gaza operation - its crucial eyes on the ground


      The outcome of the ground phase of Israel's Defensive Edge Operation may be determined just as much by its unseen battle as by the destruction of more than a dozen Hamas terrorist tunnels and infrastructure Saturday morning, July 19, the 12th day of the operation.  
      This clandestine battle can't be fought or won by even the most sophisticated high-tech and electronic gadgetry tools. It requires a flexible, shrewd and cautious ground maneuver to be conducted among with the local population - and above all, boots on the ground - for collecting such arcane data as the locations of tunnel openings and other enemy secrets.
      This kind of interaction with the locals comes under the heading of Human Intelligence (HUMINT). IDF obtains its eyes on the ground either voluntarily, inadvertently or by interrogating prisoners.
      The spies on the ground of the Shin Bet, IDF combat intelligence-gathering and AMAN field units, trained in clandestine operations in an Arab environment, may pick up data bonanzas from ordinary people in war zones, who are willing to talk out of various motives:
      Financial:  Ordinary Gazan Palestinians, in contrast to their ruling elite, are in dire financial distress. They may be persuaded to part with valuable information for a cash reward or a permit to cross into Israel.

      Revenge:  They are deeply fragmented by factional and personal rivalries. Certain elements may offer information to settle scores with their opponents.

      Safe Guarantee: A Palestinian in Gaza may be willing to sell valuable secrets to buy an IDF guarantee of safety from attack for himself, his family and his property for the duration of the Israeli-Hamas military conflict.

      Buying long-term collaborators with financial or medical rewards is one of the key HUMINT operations which are performed under cover of the IDF ground incursion.
      Less gentle treatment is meted out to extract information from the dozens of captured Hamas operatives who are being grilled at makeshift sites.
      Contrary to conventional assumptions, Israeli interrogators have not found violence to be the most productive method of extracting secrets from unwilling subjects. They obtain their best results by tricks and subterfuge and, dovetailing the information obtained with the data incoming from other sources, human and other.

      They also act on the premise that their subjects may be utterly faithful to their national and religious ideals, but some may also human beings, with personal ambitions, wives, aging parents or sick children in need of medical or other assistance. Therefore, a detailed rundown on the subject's CV obtained in advance will give the investigator the advantage of knowing where to apply pressure to extract information.
      This sort of pressure is apt to produce a gold mine, the key piece of information for unlocking such secrets as the locations of terrorist tunnel openings - the first of which Israel ground forces in fact found Friday night in schools, private homes and greenhouses.
      It may also yield from prisoners such valuable data as the whereabouts of the booby traps Hamas rigged for invaders, the identities of contact men, the Hamas chain of command, its combat systems, its technological resources and its command and control centers.

      UN agency handed rockets back to Hamas, Israel says

      UNRWA, TOI, AFP, BBC, Reuters, IDF, IDN, INN, Ynet, JP, MEN,  AP

      A United Nations agency that last week found rockets in a Gaza school operating under its auspices has handed that weaponry over to Hamas, Israeli officials said Sunday, accusing the organization of actively helping the terrorist organization potentially attack Israeli civilians.
      "The rockets were passed on to the government authorities in Gaza, which is Hamas. In other words, UNRWA handed to Hamas rockets that could well be shot at Israel," said a senior Israeli official.
      A different senior official said UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, charged with overseeing humanitarian efforts in Gaza, has been suffering from "battered-wife syndrome" for years and currently "attempts to ingratiate itself with Hamas."
      A spokesperson for UNRWA said the organization gave the rockets to "local authorities," which answer to the Hamas-backed unity government led by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. UNRWA pledged to fully investigate the incident once the fighting stops and keep all relevant parties informed, but refused to release any photos of the weapons.
      "According to longstanding UN practice in UN humanitarian operations worldwide, incidents involving unexploded ordnance that could endanger beneficiaries and staff are referred to the local authorities," UNRWA's director of advocacy and strategic communications, Christopher Gunness, said Sunday.
      "Immediately after the discovery of the rockets, UNRWA proactively informed the relevant parties and successfully took all necessary measures for the removal of the objects in order to preserve the safety and security of the school. Local authorities fall under the government of national consensus in Ramallah. They pledged to pass a message to all parties not to violate UNRWA neutrality."
      Israel has requested the UN release photos of the rockets. Officials plan to disseminate these images to bolster its assertion that Hamas is hiding missiles in schools, diplomatic sources said Friday.
      But UNRWA is currently refusing to disclose any photos, arguing that "any photographic material" is evidence needed for UNRWA's evidence. "We will keep relevant players informed about the investigation," Gunness said.
      UNRWA has "strong, established procedures to maintain the neutrality of all its premises, including a strict no-weapons policy and routine inspections of its installations, to ensure they are only used for humanitarian purposes," he added.
      In Jerusalem, such assertions are rejected, even ridiculed. "Time and again, over the years, UNRWA is being abused by gunmen from different terrorist factions who are using UN facilities to stockpile weapons, to fire rockets from, to steal UNRWA humanitarian equipment and to cause damage and fire in UNRWA's hangars," a senior Foreign Ministry official reported.
      "Against all evidence, UNRWA refuses to acknowledge reality and pathetically attempts to ingratiate itself with Hamas, pretending that nothing serious has happened," the senior official said. "This is a classic case of beaten-wife syndrome, which we have been witnessing for years from UNRWA. The people of Gaza, and indeed taxpayers from countries who contribute to UNRWA's budget - including Israel - deserve better."
      Israel plans to raise this issue with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who is expected to arrive in Israel on Tuesday.

      Jordanians Protest Near Israeli Embassy, Call for More Rockets

      Petra, Reuters, IDN, DT, JP, INN, Ynet, TOI, AP, AFP, MEN
      Hundreds of mainly Islamist Jordanian protesters burnt Israeli flags in Amman on Sunday, as demonstrators called on Hamas to step up rocket attacks against Israeli towns and cities to avenge civilian deaths caused by Operation Protective Edge in Gaza.
      According to the Reuters news agency, demonstrators near the Israeli embassy in Amman chanted "Death to Israel" in one of the biggest public outpourings of anger against Israel in the last few years.
      Protesters chanting slogans backing Hamas urged a jihad in smaller marches in Amman and in cities and refugee camps across the kingdom.
      "O Hamas... Your rockets have raised our heads... hit again and again Ashkelon and Tel Aviv," angry youths carrying a large PLO flag shouted, according to Reuters. "O Hamas, you are the gun and we are your bullets," chanted a dozen bearded Islamist youths wearing green headbands of the Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas. Hamas has a large following among nearly two million "Palestinian refugees" living in refugee camps across the kingdom.
      Sheikh Hammam Saed, the head of Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood, the country's largest political party and a bastion of opposition to the kingdom's pro-Western policies, lambasted Arab leaders for failing to lend support to Hamas.
      The Islamist leader also slammed Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, for whom Hamas is a security threat because it is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, for effectively closing the border crossing with Gaza.
      He said hampering the entry of essential aid was inhumane and leading to the suffering of thousands of civilians. "These Arab regimes have made us accustomed to taste the bitterness of defeat and now the day has come that someone (Hamas) has ended this humiliation and weakness by their heroic resistance," Saed was quoted by Reuters as having told the protesters.
      Jordan is one of only two Arab states, the other being Egypt, to have signed a peace treaty with Israel. Nevertheless, the treaty has never won much domestic favor and there have been protests against Israel over the years.
      In February, hundreds of Islamists rallied in Jordan against a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The protesters also demanded that King Abdullah II "revoke the peace treaty with the Zionists."
      In 2012, Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood  sharply criticized the naming of a new ambassador to Israel, saying the move was "an act of provocation towards Jordanians."
      In 2011, Israel temporarily evacuated its embassy in Amman after calls by Jordanian activists for a 'million man march' near the embassy building.
      Israel has also been singled out for criticism by Jordanian officials. Jordan recently condemned Israel's Operation Protective Edge, calling the mission which aims to stop Hamas from firing hundreds of rockets at Israeli civilians "barbaric."
      Jordan's Prime Minister also threatened several months ago that his country might review the peace treaty with Israel, after the Knesset began a debate on allowing Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount.
      Top of Page

      Iranian Caught Stealing Plans for DOD's $1.5 Trillion Jet


      A new international incident could complicate the already controversial nuclear deal the U.S. and 5 other countries have brokered with Iran.
      Congress is already threatening sanctions that could derail the six-month interim agreement set to take affect next week, between Iran and the West, halting Tehran's nuclear program.
      Mozaffar Khazaee, a dual U.S.-Iranian citizen who worked for defense contractor Pratt & Whitney, was arrested last week for allegedly trying to smuggle boxes of documents related to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the plane expected to be the Pentagon's next generation fighter jet. He was picked up in New Jersey on his way to Iran.  
      Whether Khazaee was working as a spy for Iran or took the documents on his own is not known. However, it's unlikely he would take such a risk without someone waiting in the wings to receive the stolen papers.
      An affidavit filed by a Special Agent of Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations states Khazaee had shipped boxes of documents labeled "household goods" to Iran in November. According to Customs, Khazaee said the 44 boxes contained "books and college-related items, two suitcases, a vacuum cleaner and some other items."

      However, when Customs stopped the truck in route from Connecticut to California, they discovered the boxes contained ""thousands of pages contained in dozens of manuals/binders relating to the JSF [F-35 Joint Strike Fighter] program." Khazaee, who has traveled to Iran five times in the last seven years according to the affidavit, now stands accused of interstate transportation of stolen property of $5,000 or more. He could spend 10 years in prison if found guilty.
      The Pentagon has staked the future of American air superiority on the F-35, having already spent $400 billion on it. The final price tag for the jet is expected to be $1.5 trillion.
      Iran isn't the only international rival that has tried to get its hands on documents related to the plane. In a cyber attack last year, Chinese hackers targeted companies that work on the F-35.

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