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Israel Will ‘Address’ Remaining Hamas Forces in Rafah ‘Soon,’ Defense Chief Says

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant speaks during a joint press conference with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin at Israel’s Ministry of Defense in Tel Aviv, Israel, Dec. 18, 2023. Photo: REUTERS/Violeta Santos Moura

Hamas has stopped functioning as a military organization, and Israel will eliminate the Palestinian terrorist group’s remaining forces in the Gazan city of Rafah “soon,” according to the Jewish’s state’s defense chief.

“Hamas has ceased to function as a military organization in most parts of the Gaza Strip,” Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told an Israeli parliamentary committee on Tuesday, according to a statement from his office.

“Their commanders are hiding in tunnels, they have lost command and control capabilities, [and] the battalion frameworks in most parts of the strip have ceased to function,” Gallant added in comments briefing members of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on the war in Gaza. “The Hamas brigade in Rafah, however, is still standing, with its four battalions. We will address this soon.”

Rafah is Hamas’ last stronghold in Gaza, the Palestinian enclave ruled by the terrorist group since 2007. The United States has been pressuring Israel not to move forward with full-scale military operation in the southern Gazan city, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reiterated that “we are determined to do this.” Experts recently told The Algemeiner that Israel must operate in Rafah if it wishes to achieve its war objective of eliminating the threat posed by Hamas.

Israel’s military campaign against Hamas in Gaza began after an Oct. 7 attack in which Hamas terrorists breached the Israeli border to murder 1,200 people and take 253 hostages.

According to Gallant, continuing to apply military pressure on Hamas is the best way to ensure the release of the remaining hostages in Gaza amid ongoing negotiations brokered by Egypt, Qatar, and the US to reach a ceasefire agreement.

“Military pressure was and remains the main and most significant element in ensuring the return of the hostages,” he told Israeli lawmakers. “The advanced stage we have reached in dismantling Hamas and the information that we have gained from terrorists empower us at the negotiation table and enable us to make difficult decisions. I am committed to returning all the hostages to their homes.”

Beyond neighboring Gaza, Gallant explained that Israel is conducting operations “all over the Middle East” against its enemies.

“We are currently in a multi-front war — we see evidence of this every day, including over the last few days,” he said. “We operate everywhere, every day, in order to prevent our enemies from gaining strength and in order to make it clear to anyone who threatens us — all over the Middle East — that the price for such action will be a big one.”

Gallant’s comments came one day after an airstrike killed two top Iranian generals and five other military advisers at Iran’s embassy compound in Damascus, Syria. Iranian officials blamed Israel for the attack, vowing revenge. However, Israel has not declared responsibility for the strike, with an Israeli military spokesperson saying, “We do not comment on reports in the foreign media.”

Iran is the chief foreign backer of Hamas, providing the terrorist group with arms, funding, and training.

The post Israel Will ‘Address’ Remaining Hamas Forces in Rafah ‘Soon,’ Defense Chief Says first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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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.

The post Harvard University Wants Antisemitism Lawsuit Dismissed, Denies Injury to Students first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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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.

The post Israel Sets New Standards for Saving Wounded Troops in War first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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