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Hamas Denies Terrorist Presence at Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital in English — but Celebrates It in Arabic

Israeli soldiers operate at the opening to a tunnel at Al Shifa Hospital compound in Gaza City, amid the ongoing ground operation of the Israeli army against Hamas, in the Gaza Strip, Nov. 22, 2023. Photo: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

Videos taken by Palestinian terrorists and released in Arabic show themselves in civilian clothing barricading in and around Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City while firing guns and explosives at Israeli soldiers — a different story than the one that Hamas and its allies have told the world in English.

For the last two weeks, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has been operating in and around Al-Shifa, the largest medical facility in Gaza before the current war, after Palestinian terrorists regrouped there following Israel’s operation in the compound in November.

In the fall, Israel had provided weeks of warning prior to entering the complex. “They [the terrorists] left there because they knew we were coming,” IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari said. “And this time, we did something else.”

Israel has long said Al-Shifa was home to Hamas’ main base of operations, as well as cover for the terrorist group’s complex tunnel system and a hideout for fuel, water, food, and other supplies that were being withheld from Gaza’s civilian population. According to the US, Hamas used the medical facility to run military operations and even hold hostages seized by the terrorists during their Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel.

The IDF on Monday withdrew from Al-Shifa after a two-week raid, claiming Israeli soldiers killed more than 200 gunmen and captured about 900 suspects, of whom more than 500 were confirmed to be terrorist operatives.

Despite Article 19 of the Geneva Convention stating that “protection to which civilian hospitals are entitled shall not cease unless they are used to commit, outside their humanitarian duties, acts harmful to the enemy,” some news reports framed Israel’s operation as a “massacre” that targeted doctors and patients rather than terrorists. Additionally, Hamas has told reporters in English language outlets that there were no militants in Al-Shifa.

However, footage taken by Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade — all Palestinian terrorist organizations — indicate they were quite active in the areas in and around Al-Shifa. The Israel Files, a pro-Israel X/Twitter account, compiled a number of such videos.

Al Araby TV, for example, reported on “scenes from Al-Qassam [Hamas] fighters confronting the Israeli forces invading the vicinity of Al-Shifa Medical Complex.”

The videos show Palestinian terrorists in civilian buildings and wearing civilian clothing. John Spencer, chair of Urban Warfare Studies at West Point’s Modern War Institute, recently wrote that “not wearing uniforms and trying to blend in with civilians” constitutes a war crime.

مشاهد من تصدي مقاتلي القسام للقوات الإسرائيلية المتوغلة في محيط مجمع الشفاء الطبي بمدينة #غزة

— التلفزيون العربي (@AlarabyTV) March 25, 2024


Observers have flagged the difference in Hamas’ messaging between English and Arabic to the media.

One X/Twitter user observed that these terrorist groups “openly [brag] about firing missiles and mortars at Al-Shifa over the last several weeks in Arabic, but then ‘reporters’ from the same outlets in English pretend the hundreds of terrorists were just invented and Israel was just assassinating random people.”

Islamic Jihad video portrays similar scenes. The Palestinian Information Center posted video with the caption: “The Al-Quds Brigades shows scenes of targeting a military vehicle and bombing Zionist enemy soldiers during the battles in the vicinity of Al-Shifa Complex.”

#شاهد.. سـ.ـرايا القدس تعرض مشاهد من استهداف آلية عسكرية وقصف جنود العـدو الصـ.ـهيوني خلال المعارك في محيط مجمع الشفـاء غرب غز.ة.

— المركز الفلسطيني للإعلام (@PalinfoAr) April 1, 2024

Other video, released by Hamas, shows terrorists firing mortars at Israeli troops around Al-Shifa, with the following caption added by an X/Twitter user: “Qassam mortar barrages crush the Zionists’ pigs in the vicinity” of Al-Shifa. 

زخات الهاون القسامية تدك خنازير الصهاينة في محيط #مستشفی_الشفاء

لا إسرائيل .. ولا 100 اسرائيل .. ولا 1000 اسرائيل يمكنها ان تقضي علي مقاومة نبتت من تراب الأرض الفلسطينية .#كتائب_القسام

— JUBA (@jubaegyptian) March 26, 2024

Meanwhile, Hamas has openly acknowledged its presence at Al-Shifa — in Arabic.

“Since Monday dawn, we have been engaged in fierce clashes with enemy forces in Al-Shifa Hospital, and we have caused deaths and injuries among its ranks,” the terrorist group said in a statement last month.

In its latest raid on the medical complex, the IDF said some “very significant” Hamas and Islamic Jihad commanders were captured. At least four Hamas leaders were killed — including the deputy commander of its Gaza City rocket unit and an operative who helped plan a terror attack that killed four Israelis.

Hamas commander Raad Thabet was also killed in the raid. Hagari described Thabet as one of the most senior Hamas military commanders who had been in close contact with the terrorist group’s Gaza leader Yahya Sinwar and military wing head Mohammed Deif.

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Air Canada cancelled two flights to Tel Aviv due to the Iranian missile attack—leaving some travellers to seek alternatives, or consider postponing their trips

After a weekend overnight shutdown of Israeli airspace, during which time Iranian missiles and drones attacked the country, Canadians ware cautiously optimistic that travel to and from Ben Gurion Airport will resume regular schedules later this week. Air Canada cancelled departures from Toronto on Saturday and from Tel Aviv on Monday—the latter despite the airport […]

The post Air Canada cancelled two flights to Tel Aviv due to the Iranian missile attack—leaving some travellers to seek alternatives, or consider postponing their trips appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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Harvard University Wants Antisemitism Lawsuit Dismissed, Denies Injury to Students

Students accusing Israel of genocide at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, US, Nov. 16, 2023. Photo: REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Lawyers representing Harvard University in Massachusetts have requested the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by six Jewish students who accused the school of ignoring antisemitic discrimination.

According to The Harvard Crimson, the university said in a court filing that a lawsuit, as well as a period of discovery during which its conduct would be thoroughly examined, was not necessary due to the “tangible steps” it has taken to combat antisemitism in just the past few months. Additionally, the school argued that the civil suit, led by graduate student Shabbos Kestenbaum and Students Against Antisemitism, lacked standing.

“Without minimizing at all the importance of the need to address energetically antisemitism at the university, plaintiff’s dissatisfaction with the strategy and speed of Harvard’s essential work does not state a legally cognizable claim,” said the motion to dismiss, as quoted by The Crimson. “Consequently, the amended complaint should be dismissed.”

Harvard University recently received an “F” grade for its handling of antisemitism in a first-ever Campus Antisemitism Report Card issued by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

Since Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel, students have stormed the campus calling for the destruction of the Jewish state, terrorizing students and preventing some from attending class.

In November, a mob of anti-Zionists — including Ibrahim Bharmal, editor of the prestigious Harvard Law Review — followed, surrounded, and intimidated a Jewish student. “Shame! Shame! Shame! Shame!” the crush of people screamed in a call-and-response chant into the ears of the student who —as seen in the footage — was forced to duck and dash the crowd to free himself from the cluster of bodies that encircled him.

In February, a faculty group posted on social an antisemitic cartoon which showed a left-hand tattooed with a Star of David dangling two men of color from a noose.

These incidents, and more, are currently being investigated by the US House Committee on Education and the Workforce, which is probing Harvard’s handling of skyrocketing instances of antisemitic intimidation and harassment on campus.

Proclaiming that Harvard “failed Jews repeatedly,” Kestenbaum told The Crimson that he would not stand down.

“Harvard’s meritless motion to dismiss our lawsuit only proves our point: It has never taken the concerns of us Jewish students seriously, and has no plans to start now,” he said in a statement. “We will continue to apply maximum pressure in both the court of law and the court of public opinion … We hope that donors and prospective students follow closely.”

No Ivy League school earned better than a “C” in the ADL’s landmark report, a grade awarded to Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. Four others — Columbia University, Brown University, Cornell University, and the University of Pennsylvania — received “D’s” while Harvard and Princeton University both received “F’s.”

“Every campus should get an A — that’s not grade inflation, that’s the minimum that every group on every campus expects,” ADL chief executive officer Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement announcing the report. “They deserve a learning environment free from antisemitism and hate. But that hasn’t been the experience with antisemitism running rampant on campus since even before Oct. 7.”

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

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Israel Sets New Standards for Saving Wounded Troops in War

Israeli soldiers scan an area while sirens sound as rockets from Gaza are launched towards Israel, near Sderot, southern Israel, Oct. 9, 2023. Photo: REUTERS/Amir Cohen

The Israeli army’s chief medical officer told a recent gathering of NATO and allied officials about the striking success of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in saving injured soldiers during the war against Hamas in Gaza.

According to IDF Medical Corps chief Elon Glassberg, the army has brought the time between the moment of injury and seeing a senior medical practitioner to under four minutes, and in many cases under one minute. One reason for the speed is that the IDF has changed its strategy for treating wounded soldiers from the typical field hospitals to which soldiers are evacuated and treated — and in serious cases transferred via helicopter to a hospital — to a system that brings doctors to the battlefield with soldiers.

The new system has, according to Glassberg, more than 670 doctors and paramedics embedded within combat groups in Gaza. As a result, wounded soldiers are given immediate care.

Additionally, the new policy calls for airlifting every wounded soldier to a hospital via helicopter, which are on standby at all times and outfitted to be like flying emergency rooms, staffed with surgeons and intensive care doctors.

The IDF has conducted over 950 such operations in the helicopters, according to Glassberg, bringing approximately 4,200 soldiers to hospitals. In the field, 80 soldiers were saved due to quick doses of plasma and 550 had bleeding stopped before the flights.

Of course, helicopter times to hospitals vary and are not predictable on the minute. The current time from moment of injury to arriving at the hospital stands at one hour and six minutes. This is in comparison to an average time of two hours and ten minutes during the 2014 Gaza War, also known as Operation Protective Edge.

The new processes by the IDF are saving lives. According to Glassberg, the current rate of death among wounded soldiers is 15 percent. In Gaza today, however, 6.3 percent of soldiers who are injured end up succumbing to their wounds, showing how quick action is key in ensuring the injured soldiers can return home after the war — or, in many cases, back to the battlefield.

Glassberg also pointed out how the IDF is continuing to learn how to best protect soldiers in the future. For example, he noted, a majority of deaths occurred due to injuries to parts of the body that are not protected by bulletproof vests. Therefore, Israel is already discussing new vests to give to soldiers to lower the casualty count.

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