The Terror Journal

A Journal on Terrorism and Genocide

Gaza tunnels back in business

Gaza tunnel at rafahHours after Israel completes withdrawal from Gaza, AP footage shows Palestinians in Rafah filling fuel truck with petrol that came through cross-border tunnel from Egypt; workers filmed clearing blocked tunnels
News agencies

Some smuggling tunnels under the Gaza Strip’s border with Egypt have begun to operate again despite heavy Israeli bombing during a three-week offensive, local residents said on Wednesday.

Israel has threatened to respond militarily should Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, try to rearm through the tunnel network that was also used by ordinary Palestinians to bring in commercial goods and get around an Israeli blockade.

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Filed under: MidEast, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Indian support for Israeli venture in Gaza

India IsraelIsrael hasn’t won much praise for invading the Gaza Strip. This unpopularity abides even though Israel is bombing Gaza to stop Qassam rockets from hitting its own towns.

Still, Israel has at least some supporters in what might seem an unlikely place: India.

Not official support, mind you. Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee rejected any comparison between the two countries in a recent television interview. But individual Indians have been speaking out in the press and on blogs about similarities between the missile attacks from Gaza and the November attack by terrorists who killed 164 people in Mumbai, India’s financial capital.

Just as Iran backs Hamas in Gaza, many Indians suspect that Pakistan is behind the Mumbai attack. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said outright that Pakistani agencies were involved.

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Filed under: Analysis, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Heroines of the Israeli home front

Jewish star of davidSince the beginning of Operation Cast Lead, the Bnei David Military Yeshiva, located in Eli, a settlement in Samaria, has known both joy and sorrow.

In one of the first casualties of the war (Capt.) Yoni Netanel, 26, a graduate of Bnei David, one of hundreds presently fighting in Gaza, was killed by friendly fire.

He is survived by Ziona, his wife of one year, and their three-month old daughter.

There is also celebration. Three boys and a girl have just been born to Bnei David graduates all presently fighting in Gaza.

In some cases, the husbands were unable to be by their wives’ sides for the births. (Lieut.) Matanel Maliach, who serves in the Givati Brigade’s Reconnaissance Company, heard about the birth of his daughter while on duty in Gaza.

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Filed under: Voice, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Few Israelis feel War achieved Much

Israeli artilleryThe wheat and potato fields of this kibbutz, or communal farm, in southern Israel stretch right up to the Gaza border fence. In almost surreal proximity on the other side rise the apartment buildings, water towers and minarets of the Palestinian village of Abasan.

Israel’s deadly offensive against Hamas in Gaza ended on Sunday, with each side having unilaterally declared a cease-fire. Yet there was little sense of triumph here in the days after, more a nagging feeling of something missed or incomplete.

Elad Katzir, a potato farmer, was nervous as he drove through the lush fields, agreeing to stop the car only behind clumps of trees or bushes as cover in case of sniper fire. By one thicket, nestled among wildflowers, was a memorial to a soldier who was shot dead here while on patrol seven years ago.

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Filed under: Analysis, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Civilians die in Pakistan clash

TalibanAt least three civilians have been killed in fighting between troops and Islamic militants in north-western Pakistan, officials and witnesses say.

Locals say some militants also died in the clashes in Mohmand district but it is unclear how many. Official claims of 60 militants killed are unconfirmed.

Troops used artillery, helicopter gunships and jets to pound the area.

Pakistan has thousands of troops in its tribal regions, but Western and Afghan officials say militants are undeterred.

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Filed under: Asia, , , , , , , ,

Two killed in Sri Lanka blast

Sri Lanka armyOfficials in Sri Lanka say at least two people, including a policeman, have been killed in a bomb attack in the eastern town of Batticaloa.

A police spokesman told the BBC that the bomb was planted on a bicycle parked close to the main police station in the town centre.

Six civilians, including three school children, were among the injured.

The authorities blamed Tamil Tiger rebels for the incident. There has been no reaction from the rebels.

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Filed under: Asia, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Israel completes Gaza troop withdrawal

Israeli troopsIsrael said it completed a troop pullout from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip Wednesday, starting its relationship with U.S. President Barack Obama by quitting Palestinian land devastated by its 22-day offensive.

“As of this morning, the last of the Israel Defense Forces soldiers have left the Gaza Strip and the forces have deployed outside of Gaza and are prepared for any occurrences,” an army spokesman said, about 13 hours after Obama’s inauguration.

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Filed under: MidEast, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Secret war with Iran

Iranian President AhmadinejadDespite military censorship, few secrets can be kept forever, at least not in Israel with its aggressive media, loquacious folk and insatiable public. For 15 years, no one knew that the Californian killed in a mysterious motorcycle accident one stormy night in Vienna in 1993 was actually a Mossad agent tracking a treasonous Israeli businessman selling chemical weapons to Iran.

The censor still does not permit publication of the name of the young man nor that of his partner, who was also killed. But the censor has allowed details of this incident and many, many more to finally be revealed in “The Secret War with Iran,” by Ronen Bergman, a top investigative security affairs journalist with the mass circulation Hebrew daily Yedioth Ahronoth.

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Filed under: Analysis, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

UN chief’s role in Gaza ceasefire

UN flagAfter seven hectic days in the Middle East, the UN chief is heading back to New York.

Ban Ki-moon’s aim when he left was to press for a ceasefire in Gaza, and call for humanitarian aid to be delivered to those in need. He returns with two ceasefires, and no Egyptian-negotiated truce agreement between Israel and Hamas.

Mr Ban sped around the Middle East with remarkable speed and determination. Those of us following him climbing in and put of helicopters were struck by his remarkable energy and focus. Mr Ban counted 14 cities he had visited in a week, meeting the region’s leaders.

Yet how much impact did he have on Israel’s decision to announce a ceasefire, swiftly followed by Hamas?

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Filed under: Analysis, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Education of Pakistani schoolgirls in Swat district

TalibanPrivate schools in Pakistan’s troubled north-western Swat district have been ordered to close in a Taleban edict banning girls’ education. Militants seeking to impose their austere interpretation of Sharia law have destroyed about 150 schools in the past year. Five more were blown up despite a government pledge to safeguard education, it was reported on Monday. Here a seventh grade schoolgirl from Swat chronicles how the ban has affected her and her classmates. The diary first appeared on BBC Urdu online.

THURSDAY JANUARY 15: NIGHT FILLED WITH ARTILLERY FIRE The night was filled with the noise of artillery fire and I woke up three times. But since there was no school I got up later at 10 am. Afterwards, my friend came over and we discussed our homework.

Today is 15 January, the last day before the Taleban’s edict comes into effect, and my friend was discussing homework as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened.

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Filed under: Voice, , , , , , , , , , , ,

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