News Roundup for November 12, 2019

November 12, 2019

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Top News and Analysis

Israel Kills Senior Islamic Jihad Commander in Gaza, New York Times
In a surprise strike before dawn on Tuesday, Israeli forces killed a senior commander of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group in the Gaza Strip, setting off waves of retaliatory rocket attacks that immediately raised fears of an escalating new conflict. Islamic Jihad said that the commander’s wife was also killed in the attack, at 4 a.m., which the Israeli military said was a missile strike from a fighter jet.

Sirens sound across southern Israel as area bombarded by rockets, Times of Israel
Dozens of rockets were fired out of Gaza at Israel early Tuesday morning, following an IDF operation that killed powerful Islamic Jihad terror commander Baha abu al-Ata. Rocket sirens trilled repeatedly starting at 6 a.m. in towns near the Gaza border and as far away as Rishon Lezion, Gedera and Ashdod, according to the Israeli military. An Associated Press reporter said barrages of rockets could be heard being fired out of the Strip. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage from the attacks.

How to Fight Antisemitism, Jewish Currents
Bernie Sanders writes, “This wave of violence is the result of a dangerous political ideology that targets Jews and anyone who does not fit a narrow vision of a whites-only America. We have to be clear that while antisemitism is a threat to Jews everywhere, it is also a threat to democratic governance itself. The antisemites who marched in Charlottesville don’t just hate Jews. They hate the idea of multiracial democracy. They hate the idea of political equality. They hate immigrants, people of color, LGBTQ people, women, and anyone else who stands in the way of a whites-only America. They accuse Jews of coordinating a massive attack on white people worldwide, using people of color and other marginalized groups to do their dirty work.”


IDF girds for several days of fighting after 150 rockets fired at Israel, Times of Israel
The Israel Defense Forces on Tuesday afternoon launched a campaign of retaliatory airstrikes against the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group in the Gaza Strip following approximately six hours of unanswered rocket attacks on central and southern Israel from the enclave.

Palestinian leader boasts he has ‘slapped’ US in the face, AP
The Palestinian president says he has “slapped” the U.S. Administration in the face by rejecting President Donald Trump’s promised peace plan. “They tried to give us the slap of the century, but we slapped them in the face,” Mahmoud Abbas said during a ceremony marking the 15th anniversary of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s death.

As others slam timing as ‘political,’ Gantz backs slaying of Gaza terror chief, Times of Israel
Opposition leader MK Benny Gantz on Tuesday gave his support to Israel’s early-morning slaying of a senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander in the Gaza Strip, as terror groups responded by launching dozens of rockets at Israel, shutting down cities from the south all the way to the Tel Aviv area.

Palestinian Killed by Israeli Soldiers in West Bank Posed No Threat, Initial Army Probe Finds, Haaretz
Israeli security forces shot and killed a Palestinian on Monday during clashes with residents of a refugee camp in the southern West Bank, the Palestinian Health Ministry and Israeli army said.

Islamic Jihad declares ‘We’re going to war,’ after IDF kills its strongman, Times of Israel
Palestinian Islamic Jihad declared Tuesday that it was preparing for war with Israel after the IDF carried out a dawn assassination of one of the terror group’s senior leaders in the northern Gaza Strip.

Video raises questions about Israeli shooting of Palestinian, AP
An amateur video taken in the West Bank indicated a Palestinian man killed by Israeli forces Monday was shot at close range, apparently while he was unarmed and posed no threat to soldiers. The army said it was investigating.

Netanyahu: Forming Gov’t With Arab Parties Is ‘Slap in the Face of Israeli Soldiers’, Haaretz
Netanyahu said Monday that forming a government with the members of the Joint List is a slap in the face of Israeli soldiers, in response to the possibility of a minority government led by Kahol Lavan leader Benny Gantz supported by the Joint List.

‘Kill All Jews’ And Broken Windows: Two Anti-Semitic Incidents Strike New York, The Forward
Two more instances of anti-Semitic crime shocked New York City this past weekend, the latest in a slate of incidents targeting Jews here. The 103rd street subway stop was vandalized with swastikas and the words “kill all Jews,” and a man used a gun to smash the windows at a girls’ yeshiva, Bais Rikvah School, in Crown Heights on Friday.

Jordan retakes lands leased by Israel in 1994 peace accord, AP
Jordan’s king announced Sunday that his country is retaking “full sovereignty” over two pieces of land leased by Israel, reflecting the cool relations between the neighboring countries as they mark the 25th anniversary of their landmark peace deal.

Opinion and Analysis

After Israel’s Targeted Killing in Gaza, What Comes Next Depends on Hamas, Haaretz
Amos Harel writes, “Baha Abu al-Ata, the Islamic Jihad commander who was assassinated by Israel early Tuesday morning in the Gaza Strip, knew he was living on borrowed time. For the last few months, his name started appearing regularly in Israeli media, and he was labelled by the defense establishment as the main entity in charge of a recent string of rocket attacks emanating from the coastal enclave.”

Hamas may want calm, but at least one Islamic Jihad leader has different plans, Times of Israel
Avi Issacharoff writes, “Friday’s rocket fire suggests the Iran-backed terror group’s Baha Abu al-Ata has his own agenda, and is willing to set area ablaze to achieve it.”

Netanyahu, Liberman locked in ultimate battle, Al-Monitor
Ben Caspit writes, “The impression is that a real struggle is taking place between two veteran wolves who were once allies, but became bitter adversaries: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Yisrael Beitenu leader Avigdor Liberman. The opening shots were fired by Netanyahu who, on the afternoon of Nov. 8, only a few minutes before Shabbat, announced that he had decided to appoint New Right senior Naftali Bennett as defense minister in the transition government under his aegis.”

At an ICE Detention Center, We Rabbis Saw the Horrors the American State Tries to Hide, Haaretz
Jesse Olitzky writes, “The ICE propaganda machine kept telling us how humanely detainees were treated, even that inmates ‘chose’ solitary confinement. But we know what we saw.”

‘It’s So Easy to Live Here.’ Jewish Settlements Go Mainstream in Israel, WSJ
Felicia Schwartz writes, “West Bank settlements are still seen by many as an obstacle to peace with Palestinians, but newcomers say they are motivated less by politics than by economics and lifestyle.”