Weekend long read

1) The ITIC reports on ‘The Jenin Battalion’.

“The Jenin Battalion is a network of armed terrorist operatives in the Jenin refugee camp. It is affiliated with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and serves as a quasi-branch of the Jerusalem Brigades, the PIJ’s military-terrorist wing, in Samaria. It was apparently founded after Operation Guardian of the Walls in the Gaza Strip in May 2021. However, its existence was publicly announced in September 2021 when six security prisoners escaped from the Gilboa Prison. While the Battalion was founded by PIJ operatives, it includes operatives from other military wings, such as Hamas’ Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades and Fatah’s al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, thereby uniting coordination among the prominent terrorist organizations and overcoming the schism within Palestinian society. The operatives’ allegiance is more local and less connected to the various organizations they represent, as reflected in their name and the names of the other local battalions.”

2) At the INSS, Meir Elran discusses the launch of the Israeli Guard.

“On June 21, 2022, Israel’s Prime Minister, Minister for Internal Security, and Police Commissioner announced the launch of the Israeli Guard or “National Guard,” to operate as part of the Border Police – an arm of Israel’s national police force. The background to this decision was the experience of May 2021, which saw extensive violent clashes between Israeli Arabs and Jews, mainly in cities of mixed Jewish and Arab populations and on main roads in the Bedouin-inhabited areas of the Negev. These events – and the media reverberations around them – contributed significantly to a growing sense of insecurity and lack of control in Israel’s civilian space, and consequently to the search for improved enforceable response capacity to manage severe cases of public disorder.”

3) The FDD’s Emanuele Ottolenghi looks at ‘Mystery Cargo’.

“…a Boeing 747 cargo plane registered with Venezuelan airline Emtrasur made its way from Caracas to Ciudad Del Este, Paraguay, in the Tri-Border Area (TBA) of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. There was no cargo on board, but the 18-member crew of seven Iranians and 11 Venezuelans included Gholamreza Ghasemi, a board member, shareholder, and manager of the U.S. sanctioned Iranian airline Fars Air Qeshm, the former chairman of Iran Naft Air (later renamed Karun Airlines) and, reportedly, a senior member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC. Ghasemi is a regime stalwart, not just a seasoned pilot, and since 2017, his airline, Fars Air Qeshm has been ferrying weapons and other military equipment to Damascus on behalf of the IRGC’s Quds Force. That a senior member of the IRGC in charge of such a sensitive logistical operation would be suddenly tasked to fly an empty cargo across the world is odd. What was he doing in Ciudad Del Este?”

4) At State of Tel Aviv, Shany Mor looks back at ‘20-Year Scars of The Second Intifada’.

“The third locus of combat that caught the world’s attention was, of course, the Jenin refugee camp, site of a pitched battle between the IDF and assorted Palestinian militant factions. It was the site of one of the only tactical successes Palestinian forces had against the IDF, when booby-trapped houses exploded on an invading force and killed thirteen Israeli soldiers. It was soon after that rumors that the IDF had conducted a “massacre” in Jenin began.

For more than two weeks, the news of the “massacre” dominated foreign press coverage, especially in Britain. “Firsthand” accounts spoke of entire families wiped out, of the stench of bodies buried under rubble, and of active efforts by the Israelis to cover it up.

After more than a fortnight of hysteria, it became clear that there was no massacre at all. All the dead in the battle were accounted for. There were 23 Israeli soldiers and 52 Palestinians, the bulk of whom were combatants.

There was never a moral or professional reckoning among the media outlets and NGOs about the fabricated reports of massacres. And the pattern of reporting which relies on a demonic archetype of Israelis, scheming, plotting, killing, covering up, was repeated again in Israel’s war with Hezbollah in Lebanon four years later, again in Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza three years after that, and again ever since.”

Wishing Eid Mubarak to those of our readers celebrating.

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