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links for 2009-02-19

19 Feb

links for 2009-02-17

17 Feb

Cease Fire Begins in Gaza

17 Jan

soldiers1Stating that Israel had crippled Hamas, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert just announced an end to the 3-week Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip. He said the army would remain in Gaza while Egypt mediates a long-term truce with Hamas.

According to DEBKAfile Israeli forces will hold to their positions in the Gaza Strip for a trial period to test Hamas’ response. Meanwhile, Hamas promises to keep on fighting and shooting rockets, while neither Washington nor Cairo guarantee action to end the flow of weapons to Gaza. As the Israeli security cabinet voted on the unilateral cease fire, Hamas blasted rockets against Ashdod and Ashkelon.

The IDF Spokesperson’s Office reiterated that the IDF began Operation Cast Lead following an extended period of restraint as Hamas continued to terrorize the residents of southern Israel with daily rocket barrages. According to the IDF “Hamas alone is responsible for creating the situation in Gaza and is accountable for its consequences.”

The IDF will redeploy forces within the Gaza Strip in accordance with security assessments. Air, naval, ground and intelligence forces will remain on alert .

Sources: AP (photo); LA Times, DEBKAFile, IDF Spokesperson

Al-Jazeera – Growing Islamist Agenda

17 Jan

Since its launch in 1996, Al-Jazeera has been taking on an increasingly more Islamist agenda, according to Douglas Farah of The Counterterrorism Blog. This is particularly troublesome since so much of the Western media rely on this station to interpret news and events, such as the Hamas-Israel conflict. According to Farah, the station’s general manager may be the driving force behind this Islamist leaning, diminishing other voices which once had a stronger role.

The Nation reported on the station’s “Terror TV” trend in 2007. Kristen Gillespie, the author of the article describes Al-Jazeera’s programming as being comprised of newscasts, which tend to be fairly balanced; talk shows and related programs, to which viewers call in; documentaries; and reports from correspondents in the field. She says that it’s this last category where the reporting has frequently turned away from international standards of journalism and toward a sensationalistic and Islamist bias.

Farah concludes his article saying:

I am all for freedom of expression and the rights of others to get their message out. But I am also in favor of full disclosure of ownership and interests. Al-Jazeera is losing its right to claim to represent different voices, because the Islamist agenda has made it increasingly difficult for any other voices to be heard.

Agreed.

Interesting to note that last week Al-Jazeera ran an large ad in The New York Times, touting it’s journalistic integrity. Let’s see where this all goes.

Hat Tips: Counterterrorism Blog, The Nation

Hamas’ Latest High Tech Rockets Threaten Tel Aviv

7 Jan

Hamas has been fighting an increasingly more high tech ground war utilizing more advanced rocket power, according to analysts at globalsecurity.org and Jane’s Information Group. Popular Science (PopSci) reveales that over time, Hamas has been beefing up its arsenal of new rockets with expanded range. With the latest in rocket power, they are becoming better equipped to strike cities such as Tel Aviv with improved accuracy.rocket

In its recent article, PopSci reports that recently, Hamas imported factory manufactured rockets from China and Iran. Based on a family of Soviet rockets dating back to World War II, these rockets have the range to hit more Israeli cities, and their introduction help propel the current conflict.

The Iranian rocket, called a Grad, has a range of about 12 miles, long enough to hit the Israeli cities of Ashkelon and Sderot. The Chinese rocket, called the WS-1-E (pictured above, courtesy of globalsecurity.org) has an even greater range of up to 27 miles, and better accuracy than the Grad.

It is believed that Hamas possesses Iranian Fajr-4 rockets, which have a range long enough to hit Tel Aviv.

Sources: Popular Science, Jane’s Information Group, globalsecurity.org

IDF on the Ground: Latest Photos and Video from Gaza

7 Jan

groundforcesingaza61

IDF Spokesperson, the press site of the IDF, just posted new videos of air and ground strikes on Hamas targets. In the video clip below, the Israel Air Force (IAF) assists IDF ground forces in striking Hamas targets, including gunman posts and launchers—some of which were located in populated areas. The IAF neutralized the sources of gunfire and destroys the terrorists stash of weapons.

The IDF notes that “Hamas deliberately uses the Palestinian people, with whom Israel continues to seek peaceful coexistence, as human shields.”

Hamas Supporters Online: More Than You Think!

7 Jan

Internet Haganah this week published a pie chart which demonstrates the current global distribution of Hamas supporters online. It shows that 16 countries account for 91.35% of all Hamas followers, generated via more than 5,500 I.P. addresses.

hamas-supporters-online

To read more in-depth global statistics, please visit SOFIR – The Society for Internet Research.

Also,  to learn more about denial-of -service (DDoS) attacks taking place against Israeli, US, French,Spanish, UK and Danish websites by Jihadist  groups, check out the article “Battle for Gaza Fought on the Web Too,” by Jart Armin.