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Palestinians Largely Support Oct. 7 Massacre, Deny Hamas Guilty of War Crimes: Poll

A Palestinian boy reacts next to a burning Israeli vehicle that Palestinian gunmen brought to Gaza after they infiltrated areas of southern Israel, in the northern Gaza Strip, Oct. 7, 2023. Photo: REUTERS/Mahmoud Issa

The vast majority of Palestinians support Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel and do not think the terror group has committed war crimes during its ongoing war with the Jewish state, according to a new poll.

The Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found in its latest pubic opinion poll of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank that a striking 72 percent of respondents said Hamas made a “correct” decision to launch its onslaught against Israel.

During the invasion, Hamas terrorists murdered 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and kidnapped 240 others as hostages, taking them back to Gaza. Hamas’ brutality during the pogrom — which included documented cases of rampant rape and other sexual violence, torture, and beheadings — shocked the world.

Despite the gruesome violence, however, only 10 percent of Palestinians think that Hamas has committed war crimes during the current war, according to the poll. When asked if the terror group, which rules Gaza, was guilty of atrocities “such as the killing of women and children in their homes,” just 16 percent of respondents in Gaza and 1 percent in the West Bank said yes.

Meanwhile, the research found that 95 percent of Palestinians believe Israel has committed war crimes during the ongoing war in Gaza.

Since the outbreak of the war on Oct. 7, US President Joe Biden and other international partners have been pushing for the renewal of peace talks, with the goal of taking steps toward a two-state solution to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Part of this plan, as Biden administration officials have indicated, would see a “revitalized” Palestinian Authority, which currently governs the West Bank, also take charge in Gaza.

However, 64 percent of Palestinians oppose the PA being a party to any peace talks to determine the future of Gaza, and only 7 percent back a PA led by current President Mahmoud Abbas taking charge of the Palestinian enclave. Even without Abbas in charge, only 16 percent of respondents said they want a PA government taking power.

Conversely — and despite Israeli, American, and European statements that Hamas will have no part in post-war Gaza governance — 60 percent of Palestinians are in favor of the terror group retaining power, the poll found. Specifically, 75 percent of Palestinians in the West Bank expressed support for Hamas retaining control, compared to only 38% in Gaza.

Beyond the immediate region, the poll’s findings show that 87 percent of Palestinians think that the response to the war of the US and other major Western powers, such as the UK, France, and Germany, “show disregard to international humanitarian law.”

Furthermore, 70 percent of respondents said that Western declarations in support of a two-state solution are “not serious.” On that same topic, most Palestinians are opposed to a two-state solution themselves, the poll found, with 34% in favor and 64% opposed. Indeed, a strong majority of Palestinians — 63 percent — said “armed struggle” against Israel is the best way forward to “end occupation and establish an independent state” — an increase of ten percentage points compared to three months ago.

Throughout most of the survey, support for Hamas and its objectives were much higher among Palestinians in the West Bank than in Gaza. For example, when it comes to the overall favorability of Hamas’ rule in Gaza, 85 percent of West Bank Palestinians expressed “satisfaction with the role of Hamas,” compared to just 52 percent of Gazans.

Another disparity between West Bank and Gaza Palestinians can be seen in the support for Hamas leadership, such as Ismail Haniyeh, the head of the terror group’s political bureau who is currently living in Qatar. In a hypothetical election between Abbas and Haniyeh, the latter would easily win in the West Bank, 82 percent to 10 percent, the poll found. In Gaza, Haniyeh would still trounce Abbas, but by a smaller margin: 71 percent to 24 percent. However, overall voter turnout would be only 53 percent.

According to the polling, Marwan Barghouti, a senior member of Abbas’ Fatah political faction, would defeat both men in a hypothetical election and is “the most popular Palestinian figure.”

The newly released poll, which was conducted from Nov. 22-Dec. 2, included a sample size of 1231 adults, of whom 750 were interviewed face to face in the West Bank and 481 in the Gaza Strip in 121 randomly selected locations.

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Obituary: Stanley Plotnick, 82, an e-commerce pioneer in Montreal—and a major philanthropist for Canadian and Israel-based projects

Stanley Plotnick, who played multiple leading roles for decades in the Montreal and Canadian Jewish community and was a major philanthropist for Israel-based projects, died on Feb. 19 at age 82. A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Plotnick was a pioneering entrepreneur in the field of information technology, specifically e-commerce, and founded […]

The post Obituary: Stanley Plotnick, 82, an e-commerce pioneer in Montreal—and a major philanthropist for Canadian and Israel-based projects appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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Israel Denies UN Report Claiming Israeli Forces Assaulted Palestinian Women

UN Special Rapporteur on Palestine Francesca Albanese, October 27, 2022 (Photo: Screenshot)

Israel has denied allegations made by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) charging Israeli forces with rape, abduction and extrajudicial killings of Palestinian women in Gaza, labeling them “despicable and unfounded.” 

The UN experts’ statement released on Monday said there were “credible allegations of egregious human rights violations” by the Israel Defense Forces against Palestinian women and girls. 

“Many [Palestinian women and girls] have reportedly been subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment, denied menstruation pads, food and medicine, and severely beaten,” the statement from the UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner said. “On at least one occasion, Palestinian women detained in Gaza were allegedly kept in a cage in the rain and cold, without food.”

“At least two female Palestinian detainees were reportedly raped while others were reportedly threatened with rape and sexual violence,” the statement added.

The report did not mention how it carried out its investigation and neither did it provide any evidence of its allegations. 

The Israeli government’s response was swift and stern.

“Israel forcefully rejects the despicable and unfounded claims published today by a group of so-called UN experts, including one who just days ago legitimised the massacre of October 7 in which more than 1,200 people were murdered, executed and raped, and another who publicly doubted the testimonies of Israeli victims of gender-based and sexual violence,” Israel’s mission to the UN in Geneva said in a statement. 

The experts cited in the UN report include Francesca Albanese, the UN monitor who came under fire for justifying the Hamas-led attack on October 7 because it was “in response to Israel’s oppression.” Albanese also denied that rapes and beheadings against Israelis ever took place. Another of the experts listed,  UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls Reem Alsalem, likewise denied sexual violence against Israeli women, calling it “disinformation.”

“These [UN] mandate holders have remained silent on the horrific sexual violence and gender-based violence perpetrated by Hamas on and since October 7. It is clear that the co-signatories are motivated not by the truth but by their hatred for Israel and its people,” the Israeli statement said. 

Israeli MK Danny Danon (Likud), who served as Israel’s ambassador to the UN, said that the statement was “nothing more than an endorsement of terror and genocide.”

“Where were these purported ‘experts’ when instances of violence occurred, such as when Hamas committed heinous acts against women, children, and families, raping, torturing and burning people alive?” Danon told The Algemeiner.

“Where are these ‘experts’ today to speak out for the innocent women and children and the remaining hostages, brutally kidnapped by Hamas and still held by the terror group with zero access to any form of humanitarian aid?”

Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, lawyer and chairwoman of legal aid group Shurat HaDin who has in the past represented the families of Israeli terror victims in cases against Hamas, said Monday’s report came as “no surprise” given the UN’s anti-Israel bias. 

“Hamas is losing the war, so its supporters rush to help it in its last dying moments. The sole weapon of Israel’s enemies is illusory slander plots against Israel,” Darshan-Leitner told The Algemeiner

Darshan-Leitner went on to note that the accusations against the IDF were the same atrocities perpetrated against Israeli women on October 7. 

“Since they want to keep symmetry between Israel and Hamas, they pretend everything that Hamas has done against Israel on a monstrous scale Israel has done also on a lower scale. But lies have to be proven,” she said. “Israel does not rape, Israel does not kidnap babies, Israel does not separate children from parents. Only the Hamas monsters do that as their go-pro cameras have proven.”

The UN statement also claimed that an “unknown number” of Palestinian women and girls had  “reportedly gone missing after contact with the Israeli army in Gaza” and went on to say that there were reports of at least one female infant was “forcibly transferred by the Israeli army into Israel.”

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Saudi Report Says Hamas Chief Sinwar Escaped to Egypt with Hostages, Israel Denies

Hamas leader and Oct. 7 pogrom mastermind Yahya Sinwar addressing a rally in Gaza. Photo: Reuters/braheem Abu Mustafa

Yahya Sinwar, the Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip, may have escaped with hostages to Egypt via tunnels in Rafah, the Saudi-based Elaph news site reported on Tuesday citing an Israeli security source.

Israeli officials later denied the claim saying there was no intelligence to support it. 

According to the Arabic-language report, Sinwar fled to Egypt through the vast network of tunnels in Rafah along with his brother Mohammad Sinwar and other key Hamas operatives. 

The IDF said later on Tuesday that it had no reason to believe that Sinwar was not still in Gaza. 

Elaph, based in London, has in the past broken stories involving Israel and citing Israeli sources, including a December report about secret negotiations taking place in Europe between Qatar and Israeli officials for the release of the hostages still being held in Gaza.

Last week, the IDF shared footage showing Sinwar in a tunnel in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis, accompanied by his wife, children and his brother Ibrahim Sinwar. The footage was captured days after the October 7 attack by his terror group and corroborated IDF claims that Sinwar had fled Hamas’s headquarters in northern Gaza and moved to the tunnels beneath Khan Younis, exploiting a humanitarian corridor that the IDF had opened to ensure the safe passage of civilians from Gaza City.

“The hunt for Sinwar will not stop until we catch him, dead or alive,” IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari said at the time.

Israeli media has reported that Sinwar has been incommunicado with Hamas for several weeks as he attempts to elude Israeli forces.

The army has refrained from entering Rafah, the remaining Hamas stronghold, amid strong pressure from the US and UN. But fighting continued in Khan Younis on Tuesday, with IDF operations at the Nasser Hospital. Over 200 individuals at the hospital were detained under suspicion of terrorist activities, with many reportedly linked to the hostages held by Hamas, the IDF said. 


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