Weekend long read

1) MEMRI reports on ‘South Africa’s Diplomatic Campaign Against Israel’.

“On December 29, 2023, South Africa instituted proceedings against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), alleging that Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinians in Gaza. In addition, South Africa, along with Bangladesh, Bolivia, the Comoro Islands and Djibouti, filed a referral to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by Israel in Gaza.

These measures by South Africa are in line with the fact that it maintains close relations with Hamas, despite the latter’s recognition as a terrorist organization by many countries, and also cooperates with Hamas’ patron, the state of Qatar.”

2) NGO Monitor reports on ‘The South African Genocide Complaint and PFLP-Linked NGOs’.

“On December 29, 2023, South Africa instituted proceedings against the State of Israel before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), alleging that Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinian people in Gaza. In its 85-page submission and during public hearings on 11-12 January, South Africa relied on a number of highly biased NGOs with links to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror group.”

3) A Jerusalem Post investigation looks at a Hamas funding network.

“Research conducted by The Jerusalem Post staff and several sources uncovered what appears to be a network of several South African organizations and straw man companies deeply involved with funding Hamas activities through the Al-Quds Foundation, an international group sanctioned by the US and outlawed by Israel, using accounts registered in major local South African banks: Standard Bank, Nedbank, and Absa.”

4) Bloomberg reports on Hamas funding via online donations.

““There is no question that there is a sharp increase in legitimate and illegitimate charitable giving to Palestinians in wake of the Gaza hostilities,” said Matthew Levitt, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy who’s spent years covering groups such as Hamas, including while previously working at the US Treasury.

“An uptick in the interest to donate gives increased cover for Hamas,” said Levitt. “I’ve seen charities that were previously designated by the US popping up, some under new names, but there are also lots of new ones.”

Hamas officials publicly call for cash gifts for their fight against Israel.

“This is not just a humanitarian issue, despite its immense importance and Gaza’s need for any aid it can get,” Ismail Haniyeh, a Hamas political leader, said in January. “This is financial jihad.””

5) At the BESA Center, Prof Gerald Steinberg documents ‘the Enablers of Hamas War Crimes’.

“UN agencies, government aid programs and NGOs have consistently and willfully aided and abetted Hamas as it built its vast terror infrastructure in the Gaza Strip. They diverted aid money to Hamas to fund its terrorist activities, provided propaganda and disinformation support to Hamas in its efforts to tarnish and discredit Israel, and indoctrinated Gazan schoolchildren to hate Jews. Systematic documentation of the roles played by UN and government officials, as well as NGOs operating under the vast framework of international humanitarian aid, in enabling and cooperating with Hamas, both tacitly and actively, is vital to prevent a repetition of this abdication of responsibility and accountability.”

6) At the Atlantic, Yair Rosenberg asks ‘What Did Top Israeli War Officials Really Say About Gaza?

“Last week, a similar exchange unfolded on BBC radio, when an anchor pressed British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps about Israel’s conduct in Gaza. “The defense minister said, ‘We will eliminate everything,’ in relation to Gaza,” the host observed. Wasn’t this a clear call to violate international humanitarian law? Under repeated questioning, Shapps allowed that Gallant might have overstepped in the emotional aftermath of Hamas’s slaughter of more than 1,000 Israelis, but insisted that the quotation did not reflect the man he’d been regularly talking with about “trying to find ways to be precise and proportionate.”

As it turns out, there’s a reason the quote did not sound like Gallant: The Israeli defense minister never really said it.”

7) At WINEP, Gabriel Epstein explains ‘How Hamas Manipulates Gaza Fatality Numbers’.

“…since the [Hamas] terrorist group carried out its attack on October 7, questions have emerged about the reliability of fatality numbers reported by the Hamas-run Ministry of Health and associated entities. Principal concerns include the group’s failure to distinguish between civilians and combatants, its apparent understatement of fatalities for fighting-age men, and an associated overemphasis on women and children’s deaths. Hamas has extraordinary incentives to skew the numbers in this way, and international media and NGOs have repeated its figures without caveats, giving credence to suspicions of Israeli misconduct and fueling accusations of war crimes and even genocide.”

8) At the Modern War Institute, John Spencer explains why ‘Hamas’s entire politico-military strategy rests on its tunnels’.

“For the first time in the history of tunnel warfare, however, Hamas has built a tunnel network to gain not just a military advantage, but a political advantage, as well. Its underground world serves all of the military functions described above, but also an entirely different one. Hamas weaved its vast tunnel networks into the society on the surface. Destroying the tunnels is virtually impossible without adversely impacting the population living in Gaza. Consequently, they put the modern laws of war at the center of the conflict’s conduct. These laws restrict the use of military force and methods or tactics that a military can use against protected populations and sites such as hospitals, churches, schools, and United Nations facilities.”

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