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Terror Orgs Sustained Stinging Blow in Shifa Hospital Battle

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 Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in the Gaza Strip, November 22, 2023. Photo: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun/File Photo

JNS.orgAs more details emerge from the Israel Defense Force’s surprise raid on Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, which began on March 19, one thing has become clear: Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad absorbed a painful setback that will have strategic reverberations on their capabilities in northern Gaza.

The IDF has categorized the raid as one of its most successful operations in the entire war, due to the number of terrorists who surrendered, the number of terrorists killed in the hospital complex, and the intelligence gleaned from those being questioned.

So far, more than 180 terrorists inside Shifa and around the compound have been killed in the battle, and more than 500 have been arrested, including a string of senior terror commanders.

These Israeli military achievements will have “a huge effect on Hamas and Islamic Jihad,” IDF Spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari told journalists on March 25, adding that it was the most enemy combatants killed and captured in a single raid in the war, which will cause “severe damage” to terror organizations in the northern Gaza Strip.

“It concerns Hamas very much to know who are the ones that we have arrested,” said Hagari. “And the numbers, the huge numbers, concern them most of all. This is why we keep on pressing. This is our target in the war, dismantling the armed elements, to do that with the operatives and also with the leadership.”

Senior terrorists captured

Senior terrorists captured at Shifa include Bakr Ahmed Bakr Qanita, head of department in Hamas’s Security and Protection Unit; Radwan Younes Kamal Tafesh, head of department in the Weapon Manufacturing Unit of Islamic Jihad; and Hashem Muhammad Hasan Albatash, responsible for the financial affairs of Islamic Jihad’s Gaza City Brigade.

“These terrorists provide us with valuable intelligence during their interrogations that will lead us to further operations,” Hagari said on March 26. “And we keep on doing everything we can to kill the leadership of Hamas. And we are looking at following the intelligence… to other Hamas leaders whom we will capture or kill, I hope, in the future. This is a main effort for the IDF.”

Before launching the operation, the IDF used its intelligence units to learn how Shifa Hospital became, once again, a terror headquarters. This time, instead of the previous destruction of organized military Hamas structures in northern Gaza, the IDF took on smaller Hamas and PIJ cells that had taken over Shifa.

During questioning by the IDF Intelligence Corps’ Unit 504, captured terrorists said they returned to Shifa because they felt they’d be secure there, and because there is electricity, running water and available food.

Each terror organization took control of different hospital wards, intelligence has revealed.

Hamas also took over the offices of the Shifa Hospital director.

The IDF seized envelopes inside the hospital containing 11 million shekels ($3 million) of terror financing.

As such, Hamas and PIJ’s hope to turn the hospital into a terrorist hornet’s nest in northern Gaza has been shattered. There is no safe place for surviving cells in the area, and this message will further demoralize Hamas.

The fight at Shifa is not over. Hundreds of terrorists have been killed and captured after they opened fire at the IDF from the hospital’s courtyard, emergency room, “Qatari Building” and maternity ward.

Firefights continued on Wednesday as terrorists barricaded themselves in sections of the hospital, firing on Israeli forces and hurling explosives at them.

Hamas’s actions have caused heavy damage to the hospital compound. Earlier in the operation, Hamas terrorists in the hospital ordered cells outside of the hospital to fire mortars at the hospital buildings to try and force the IDF to evacuate it, according to Hagari.

Remarkably, the IDF’s operation has seen no harm come to a single patient, doctor, medical staff member, or civilian seeking refuge in the hospital.

The IDF evacuated patients to a safer location where they are receiving medical treatment. The army also provided more than 1,000 types of medications, food and water to these patients, while assisting Palestinian medical teams.

The military is proceeding with caution in an effort to avoid damaging the hospital and to secure its own forces on site, which include Israel Navy commandoes (Shayetet 13) and members of the 401st Brigade and the Nahal Reconnaissance Battalion, operating under the IDF’s 162nd Division, which is managing operations in northern Gaza.

Khan Yunis

On Tuesday evening, the IDF announced that it had initiated what it described as a focused operation at Khan Yunis’s Al-Nasser Hospital in southern Gaza.

The operation began following intelligence on Hamas activity in the hospital and was preceded by the safe evacuation of civilians, patients, and medical teams.

The IDF is demonstrating that not only does it have freedom of movement and access to these sites, but also that Hamas and PIJ will hijack any possible facility to try and continue to function as a terrorist threat.

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Hate crimes in Toronto are predominantly antisemitic—and the numbers continue to rise: TPS security and intelligence commander

Antisemitic hate crimes continue to account for more than any other category of reported hate crimes in Toronto, according to the head of Toronto police intelligence. Superintendent Katherine Stephenson of Toronto Police Service (TPS) confirmed the ongoing spike in hate occurrences during a presentation at Holy Blossom Temple on May 29, where she addressed 350 […]

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‘Israel Is Not Jewish People,’ New York Times ‘Daily’ Guest Really Wants You to Know

Anti-Israel protesters outside Columbia University in Manhattan, New York City, April 22, 2024. Photo: USA TODAY NETWORK via Reuters Connect

When producers from the New York Times podcast “The Daily” posted on social media looking for “Jewish students who represent a range of feelings and experiences, from being enthusiastically pro Palestinian to enthusiastically pro Israel, and everything in between,” I replied, “This is a trap! They’ll use the ‘pro-Palestinian’ (the polite term they use for the ones who want to wipe Israel off the map) ones to make it sound like the Jewish community is divided and give listeners the illusion that the anti-Israel protests aren’t antisemitic.”

Sure enough, the Times podcast episode that finally aired, headlined, “The Campus Protesters Explain Themselves,” included three students.

Mustafa Yowell, of Irving, Texas, said his mother was from “Nablus, Palestine” and described himself as a Palestinian Arab. He’s a student at the University of Texas, Austin who complained to the Times that “two IDF [Israel Defense Forces] soldiers had infiltrated the campus.” By “IDF soldiers” he meant Israeli students at the university who had, like many Israelis, served in the army before college.

The second student interviewed, Elisha Baker, a student at Columbia University, described himself as a proud Zionist and a graduate of Jewish day school.

And the third student, Jasmine Jolly, a student at Cal Poly Humboldt, described herself as the daughter of a Catholic father and “of Ashkenazi descent on my mom’s side.” Jolly showed up at protests with a sign that said “in honor of my Jewish ancestors, I stand with Palestine.” Jolly also chanted “there is only one solution, intifada revolution.”

“There’s nothing that has come across to me as antisemitic if you are able to pause and remember that Israel is not Jewish people and Zionism is not Jewish people,” Jolly explained to the Times audience.

Jolly read an email from her Jewish grandfather claiming, “Israel is an increasingly apartheid state.”

This is just such a misleading view of reality on campus and in American Jewish life. Even polls like Pew that use an expansive definition of who is Jewish find overwhelming Jewish support for Israel and negligible support for Hamas, including among younger Jews 18 to 34.

In reality, a lot of the anti-Israel protesters aren’t even Palestinians; they are European or Asian students or white or black Americans who either have been brainwashed by their professors or who have underlying, pre-existing antisemitic attitudes. Few of them have been to the Middle East and many of them are ignorant about basic facts about it — remember the Wall Street Journal piece, “From Which River to Which Sea?

“The Daily” episode made it crisply concrete, with the Times representing Jews as being split 50-50, with one normative Jew and one Jew chanting “there is only one solution, intifada revolution.” That’s ridiculous, yet a similar approach contaminates other Times coverage of the Jewish community, misleadlingly portraying American Jewry as deeply divided rather than unified around the goals of getting the hostages back, eliminating the threat of Hamas, and making American college campuses safe for Jewish students.

The Times was at this game well before Oct. 7, 2023, proclaiming “the unraveling of American Zionism” and trotting out old chestnuts such as the Reform movement’s Pittsburgh Platform of 1885 and the New York Times‘ favorite Jew, Peter Beinart.

I find myself rolling my eyes at such depictions, but there is clearly some audience for them among the Times readership and top editorial ranks. The Times executive editor, Joe Kahn, told Semafor’s Ben Smith in a May interview, “I’m not an active Jew.” Maybe the New York Times can sell sweatshirts: “Inactive Jew.” Who, exactly, is supposed to find that distinction between “active” and “inactive” Jews reassuring? Maybe they can put it on top of the front page in place of “All the News That’s Fit to Print”: “Edited by someone who wants the public to know he’s not an active Jew.”

Of all the moments to choose to distance oneself publicly from the Jewish people, this is sure quite one to choose.

This “Daily” episode seems calculated to appeal to the inactive Jews, and to others who want justification to believe it’s not antisemitic to set up on Passover and falsely accuse Israel of genocide. It’s nice for the Times to include a Zionist voice on the program, but he wound up sandwiched in between a Palestinian and an “only one solution, intifada revolution” person. It’s fairly typical for the New York Times these days, but it isn’t pretty.

Ira Stoll was managing editor of The Forward and North American editor of The Jerusalem Post. His media critique, a regular Algemeiner feature, can be found here. He also writes at

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Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases Second Video of Israeli Hostage Sasha Troufanov

Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov as seen in an undated propaganda video released by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group on May 30, 2024. Photo: Screenshot

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group on Thursday released a second propaganda video this week featuring Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov, 28, who was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists during Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel.

In the video, Trufanov says he is doing well and criticizes Israel’s prime minister and government in remarks that were likely scripted by his captors.

There was no information about when the video was filmed. However, Trufanov refers to Israel’s decision on May 5 to order the local offices of Qatar’s Al Jazeera satellite news network to close, indicating he may have been filmed in the last few weeks.

The latest video came just two days after Islamic Jihad, an Iran-backed Palestinian terrorist group in Gaza, released its first video featuring Trufanov.

The 30-second undated video shows Trufanov, an Amazon employee, identifying himself and saying that he will soon discuss what has happened to him and other hostages in Gaza.

Similar videos have been released by terrorists groups in Gaza. Israel has lambasted them as psychological warfare meant to torture the Israeli public, especially the families of the hostages being held in Gaza.

Trufanov’s mother said after the first video was released that she was happy to see her son after all this time, but it was “heartbreaking” that he had been a hostage for so long.

“Seeing my Sasha on my TV was very cheering, but it also breaks my heart that he’s still been in captivity for so long,” she said in a video released by the family. “I ask everyone, all the decision-makers: Please do everything, absolutely everything, to bring my son and all the hostages home now.”

Hamas-led Palestinian terrorists abducted over 250 people during their Oct. 7 onslaught. Sasha was kidnapped alongside his mother, grandmother, and girlfriend. All three women were released as part of a temporary ceasefire agreement negotiated in November. His father, Vitaly Trufanov, was one of the 1,200 people killed during the Hamas massacre.

“The proof of life from Alexsander (Sasha) Trufanov is additional evidence that the Israeli government must give a significant mandate to the negotiating team,” the Hostages Families Forum, which represents the families of the hostages, said in a statement.

More than 120 hostages remain in Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas. Islamic Jihad is a separate but allied terrorist organization in the Palestinian enclave. Both are backed by Iran, which provides them with money, weapons, and training.

Negotiations brokered by Qatar, Egypt, and the US to reach a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas in Gaza have been stalled for weeks.

Trufanov was an engineer at the Israeli microelectronics company Annapurna Labs, which Amazon owns.

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