Dispatches from Israel
Three reasons for pessimism, and one for optimism
Quick news summary
There have been reports of intense violence around the al Shifa hospital (aka “Hamas’s headquarters.”) The Hamas-run health ministry claimed Israel targeted several hospitals in overnight air strikes.
Ground operations are continuing, with the IDF claiming to have killed a number of Hamas navy commandos from their special forces units.
The Israeli air force attacked targets inside Syrian territory this morning in response to a drone attack on a school yesterday.
The IDF arrested another 41 people in the West Bank in overnight raids. The UN said tensions there are “boiling.”
Netanyahu: IDF will control Gaza after war, not hand it over to external forces, to “ensure there is no longer threat from Gaza to Israeli citizens.”
Family of Hamas attack victim offers US$1 million for information on his killers. Joad Abu 'Asa says Hamas terrorists tortured, humiliated and executed his brother Osama as he tried to save the lives of others on October 7:
“Look, this is a blood feud and we have nothing to say on the matter, it’s not only my brothers and my family who want it, it’s the entire world. Hamas is a crime syndicate, not a state working against a state. People there murder people for money and their own interests. This isn’t about a state or the war, this is about the people there. They only want more money and then fire rockets at Israel so that it has a chance to take a picture of a dead Palestinian child and show the world. We know this and we’ve had enough of Hamas, ISIS, and their violence. It’s not only about my brother, we’re aching for the Jewish children who were murdered as well, and the 80-year-old woman who was abducted, who does something like this? … Do you know how many Bedouins were taken? They took a 17-year-old girl, what do they want from her? She speaks Arabic and is a Muslim. They killed pregnant women and abducted the elderly. Do you know what happened there? … Look, their Islam doesn’t represent us, they’re not true Muslims. A Muslim doesn’t murder, they hide behind our Islamic religion, ours is a religion of peace and respect. Our religion tells us not to murder. It says much, but not to torture.”
The Ring of Fire
Tom Friedman has for so long been indistinguishable from the Tom Friedman parodies that I’d all but forgotten why he occupies his sinecure at The New York Times. But his latest column is very good, unfortunately. I say “unfortunately” because he makes the case that Israel is in more danger than it has been since 1948. I wish I could find fault with his argument.