Situation in Gaza

UPDATE | May 30, 2018

There have been major developments in Israel and Gaza. Jewish Federation of North America's Israel office reports that this has been the largest escalation since Operation Protective Edge in 2004.
 
Extensive resources (including many photos and videos) provided by the Israel Defense Forces can be found here.

IDF Response

  • Responding to the continued Hamas and Islamic Jihad attacks from Gaza, the IDF struck 65 terror sites in Gaza.
  • Targets included drone storage facilities, rocket manufacturing sites, military compounds and terrorist training facilities.
  • A map of the targets hit can be seen here.
  • The Israel News Channel quoted an unnamed Israeli leader as saying, “The IDF struck a significant blow (to Gazan militant groups) last night. If the (rocket) attacks continue, our efforts against Hamas will escalate.”

International Reaction

  • Internationally, many nations have condemned Hamas.
  • The United States called on the United Nations Security Council to hold an emergency meeting Wednesday in New York to condemn the Gaza rocket and mortar attacks against Israel.
  • Jason Greenblatt, the US special envoy for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, tweeted: “Reprehensible – mortars fired from Gaza at a kindergarten and community in Israel! Hamas has failed – all it can offer is terror. Palestinians in Gaza need real leaders to work on Gaza’s real problems with its water, its economy and so much more.”
  • The French Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying, “France condemns these unacceptable attacks, which are targeted at civilians, thankfully without fatalities. France’s commitment to Israel’s security is unwavering.”
  • The Italian Embassy in Israel tweeted, “Full solidarity to Israel and Israeli people for the brutal mortar shelling from Gaza [which] landed just outside a kindergarten while kids were starting daily activities. We condemn unconditionally any indiscriminate attack and we stand firmly by the Israeli communities at Gaza border.”
  • Chair of Israel’s Yesh Atid Party (opposition) in Israel, Yair Lapid, tweeted: “Good to see the world condemn today’s terror attacks from Gaza against Israeli civilians. Now our friends and allies need to translate their condemnations into unwavering support for Israel’s right to defend itself and act against the terrorism of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad.”

Rockets

  • An additional 60 projectiles were fired at Israel from Gaza overnight, following the 70 that were shot on Tuesday.
  • Red Alert sirens sounded dozens of times during the night, throughout the area close to the Gaza Strip. Many residents spent the night in shelters.
  • Click here to see a photo of Israeli passengers on a train taking cover during a siren late yesterday.
  • Many rockets were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome anti-rocket defense system. Others landed in open fields. (See here for a map of rocket landings.)
  • Hamas and Islamic Jihad have issued a joint statement saying that “Blood will be paid for with blood.”

On the Ground

  • Eight Israelis were lightly wounded during attacks overnight.
  • A number of properties were damaged, including a house in a kibbutz in the Eshkol Municipality, as well as the playground of a kindergarten hit yesterday. In this video, the IDF’s Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus (who gave a briefing to Federations on a conference call last week) can be seen surveying the damage that occurred before the children arrived for the day.
  • All school trips and other outdoor activities within a 10-mile radius of the Gaza border have been cancelled today.
  • Attempting to maintain daily life and routine as much as possible, schools and colleges in the region remain open today. All educational institutions have significant protected areas to shield from rocket hits. Students have been instructed to remain within a 15-second run of protected rooms at all times. The Ministry of Education stated that 75% of students in the region showed up to classes this morning.
  • Only one Israeli remains hospitalized from injuries that were suffered during the attacks of the last 36 hours.
  • One of the rockets fired from Gaza struck equipment that provides electricity to the southern Gaza Strip, knocking out power to thousands of Palestinians. The damage to three power lines leading to Gaza is preventing the flow of electricity to tens of thousands of Gazans and will take several days to repair.

Diplomacy

  • Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened the country’s top military and political leadership on Tuesday evening. Following the meeting, Intelligence Minister Israel Katz said the country was “at the closest point to the threshold of war” since Operation Protective Edge four years ago.
  • Some commentators have speculated that the latest Hamas attacks may have been directed by Iran, seeking to hurt Israel, without complicating its relations with Russia. See here, for example.
  • Reports overnight indicated that Egypt was attempting to broker a ceasefire.
  • Early this morning, Hamas reported that an understanding on a ceasefire has been reached. “Palestinian factions will abide by calm as long as (Israel) abides by it,” Islamic Jihad spokesman Daoud Shehab said.
  • The only Israeli leader to comment has been Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who stated that no agreement has been reached.  Nonetheless, unnamed Israeli sources have said that Israel will not strike additional targets in Gaza as long as the rocket fire is not renewed.
  • Since very early in the morning, the area has remained quiet.

Federation and Federation Partners on the Ground

  • The Jewish Federations of North America’s Israel office is in close contact with our partners and with the Israeli government (through the National Emergency Authority), monitoring the situation and assessing needs on the ground.
  • The Jewish Agency for Israel reports that all of its absorption centers in the region have been briefed on Home Front Command guidelines, as have other activities in the area.
  • The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s Centers for Independent Living have opened their services available in emergency situations. Recipients are now able to access special services as needed.
  • World ORT is currently focusing on monitoring the Home Front Command's instructions for their schools in the Gaza region: the Kfar Silver Youth Village and four affiliated schools: Shemma, Nofei Habesor, Makif Aleph and Sha'ar Hanegev. World ORT also operates other facilities in the south: the Technological College in Be'er Sheva and the Excellence Centers. Leadership has convened an emergency meeting in order to identify needs in their educational network.
  • The Israel Trauma Coalition (ITC) is mobilizing its resources. In the past 24 hours, there has been a 1,500% increase in new reCutquests for assistance to ITC Resilience Centers (which are working under emergency protocol) and experience has taught that these requests will further increase in the coming days, regardless of what takes place on the ground.

Israel Action Network

The Israel Action Network (IAN) is a strategic initiative of The Jewish Federations of North America, in partnership with the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, created to counter assaults made on Israel’s legitimacy. Israel today faces an intensive and increasingly sophisticated assault on its right to exist as a sovereign democratic Jewish state. The IAN was created to educate, organize and mobilize the organized North American Jewish community to develop strategic approaches to countering these assaults and develop innovative efforts to change the conversation about Israel and achieving peace and security for two states for two peoples. 

 

ISRAEL ACTION NETWORK UPDATES

Gaza Update Final | May 15, 2018

Embassy Move Update | May 14, 2018

 

Gaza Update Final | May 15, 2018

Background: ‘Great Return March’ on the Gazan Border

  • Today’s action is part of the Gazan ‘Great Return March’ campaign, which kicked off in March of this year and is expected to continue through tomorrow — when it will reach its height.
  • The Hamas-sponsored protesters have increased their attacks on the border. Several Hamas agents have attempted — and in some cases, succeeded — in sabotaging the border fence and, in at least two cases, crossing the border into Israel. Many of these operatives subsequently attacked IDF troops with explosive devices, acts which resulted in the deaths and arrests of several Hamas agents. The IDF has called these attempts to cross the border “part of a broader effort by Hamas to give its terror efforts a civilian cover and turn the border fence area into a battle zone.”
  • There has also been an intensification of Hamas’s efforts to use human shields in their efforts, as exemplified by the hundreds of rioters who attacked the border fence in an attempt to burn it and enter Israel on Apr. 27. The rioters threw explosives, firebombs, and rocks. This prompted the IDF to open fire “in accordance with the rules of engagement.”

 

Read More >

Gaza Update | May 14, 2018

Embassy Move & Jerusalem Facts

 

  • Today May 14th marked the 70th anniversary of Israeli independence and the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem.

  • The embassy move — which Jewish Federations have lobbied in support of for two decades — reflects a bipartisan effort that has enjoyed cross-party political support in the United States and Israel for decades.

  • Israel and the United States enjoy a deep friendship that is centered on the shared values of peace, democracy, freedom and progress. 

 

Read More >

IN THE NEWS































CONTACT THE JCRC


        

Jackie Congedo

Director, Jewish Community Relations Council
513-985-1501 | jcongedo@jfedcin.org 

 

 

 

 

 

Justin Kirschner

Associate Director
513-985-2960 | jkirschner@jfedcin.org