8 pm Israel time, Wednesday, January 1 2015
74 Days Until The Election
UPDATES and TODAY’S BLOG:
***The on again off again IDF retreat from all of the Gaza border communities in excess of .6 miles is on again. First scheduled to begin today, the decision was postponed for 24 hours as the IDF general command and so-called “Defense” Minister Ya’alon reviewed the decision.
This morning they decided to start the retreat on Sunday.
***The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center in Tel Aviv has issued the most comprehensive report to date on Palestinian casualties in the recent Hamas war. Many of those findings confirm exactly what israelstreet reported as the war was taking place.
Among the findings:
–Of the 2140 reported Palestinian deaths, at least 712 deaths were non-combatants; “at least” because the names of an additional 542 casualties cannot be identified even at this point (if they exist). But those who died did not necessarily die because of IDF actions. Many were killed by Hamas (click here), and the Center says that many died from natural causes and accidents.
As israelstreet reported at the time, Hamas was including in its “death lists” anyone who died for any reason. According to extremely conservative statistics, 16 people die everyday in Gaza. Multiply 16 x 51 (the number of days in the war), and you have 816 deaths.
–886 names on the Hamas lists were terrorists (67% from Hamas, 22% from Islamic Jihad, and 11% from other terror groups).
–At least 50 more terrorists were killed and are not included in the 2140 total. Virtually all of them are from Hamas’ military wing. For example, none of the Hamas “naval commandoes” who were killed in an attempted attack from the sea near Zikim are included nor are the tens of terrorists who were killed as they emerged from tunnels.
***A large IDF operation was carried out in the city of Jenin today by the Netza Yehuda Battalion of the Kfir Brigade in conjuction with a Nahal reconnaissance battalion. Huge numbers of weapons, ammunition clips, and grenades were uncovered, most of which had been stolen from IDF storehouses. In the course of their searches, IDF soldiers captured 10 terrorists–7 of whom have been involved in terror attacks on Jewish community members in Judea and Samaria.
Also, in support of the PLO and Mahmoud Abbas (yes, you read that correctly), the IDF also arrested Hamas members in Dir Amar and in a Palestinian settlement southwest of Shechem.
***On the subject of PLO Chairman and unelected President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas, he is now resorting to his default plan of joining the International Criminal Court in The Hague having been bitterly disappointed by the U.N. Security Council vote.
Of course one should never underestimate the capacity of international organizations to attack Israel, but it is hard to see how the Palestinians could possibly gain from being party to an organization in which they themselves can be found guilty of thousands of war crimes.
***The Likud primary election took place yesterday with few surprises. Aside from PM Netanyahu, the big winners were Gilad Erdan who came in 2nd place and Miri Regev who came in 5th. Regev was not supported by Netanyahu.
The biggest loser was the “right” within Likud. Both Moshe Feiglin who has been a tireless advocate for Jewish rights on the Temple Mount and Tzipi Hotovely who has ardently fought against Palestinian statehood, are so far down on the list that neither has a chance of being in the next Knesset unless Likud experiences a surge in the polls. For example, Hotoveli came in 26th place, but most polls show Likud winning 24 seats at most.
By the way, both Feiglin and Hotoveli have been thorns in the side of Netanyahu as he has sought to quash Jewish rights on the Temple Mount and construction in Judea and Samaria. Their loss is an unfortunate indication of how Likud is moving to the center of the political spectrum, though we will all hear from Herzog and Livni about how Likud has moved to the extreme right. The fact is that Regev and Danny Danon (spot 10 on the list) are virtually all that remains of the Likud “right.”
One final thought about the primary is that as much as Netanyahu wants to crow that the new Likud list is a “fantastic” list, it is, in fact, an old list with no new faces that are likely to motivate undecided voters to vote for Likud.