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Borrell: Israeli-Palestinian conflict a battle of religion, civilization

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Borrell: Israeli-Palestinian conflict a battle of religion, civilization



The Gaza war has transformed the nationalistic Israeli-Palestinian conflict into a battle of religions and civilizations, European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told a conference of ambassadors in Brussels on Monday.

While he’d previously viewed the issue as a nationalistic problem of two people, both of whom have a right to exist, Borrell explained that events of the last month have made the situation much more complicated and volatile.

“The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is no longer an Israeli-Arab [one] but a religious and civilization fight,” he said, in a wide-ranging speech about the war that began on October 7, its aftermath, and the forces that led up to it.

“The unfolding tragedy in the Middle East is the outcome of a collective political and moral failure” to resolve the conflict between the two nationalities for which  “the Israeli and Palestinian people are paying a high price,” Borrell said.

How the Israeli-Palestinian conflict got worse

For decades, he said, the international community committed to a two-state resolution but without providing a credible road map on how to achieve it, he explained. Instead, the forces of denial in both camps grew.

Smoke rises after Israeli strikes, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Gaza City November 6, 2023. (credit: REUTERS/MOHAMMED AL-MASRI)

“In Israel, the colonialization of the West Bank has been progressing with impunity and violence against Palestinians and this has become more brutal since October 7” when the Gaza war started, he said.

In Palestinian society, Borrell said, moderate forces have fallen prey to extremists.

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There had been a belief, until October 7, that regional normalization between Israel and the Arab nations, such as concluded under the Abraham Accords, would lead in the end to peace with the Palestinians.

The “barbarism” of the Hamas attack against Israel on October 7, which was “un-excusable,” destroyed the credibility of that idea and underscored the importance of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Borrell said.

His comment referenced the October 7 attack, in which Hamas infiltrated southern Israel killing 1,400 people and taking over 240 people hostage.

Borrell has been among those international diplomats who have called for a ceasefire in Gaza, or at the very least a humanitarian pause, warning about the high civilian cost of Israel’s military operation to oust Hamas.

“Ignoring the human cost” here, can ultimately “backfire,” he said.

“The overreaction of Israelis makes them lose the support of the international community,” Borrell said.

“Overreactions are always understandable but never acceptable,” he stressed.

Europe, he said, “has a moral and political obligation to be involved, not only by providing aid but by contributing to a durable solution.” The EU’s capacity “to contribute to a political solution will be a major test” of its credibility, he added.

But the priority has to be to end the violence in Gaza, he said, as Hamas asserted that close to 10,000 Palestinians in the enclave have been killed in violence related to that war.

“This is not going to be easy, because the humanitarian tragedy in Gaza is unprecedented,” he said, noting that Israel’s friends are asking it “not to be blinded by rage” and to conduct its military campaign based on international law.

There is no military solution to the conflict, so the war has to lead to peace, Borrell stressed. “No one can win a battle against terror, we have to look for political solutions,” he added. 





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Hezbollah war alert level rising: Is the IDF ready to fight in Lebanon? – analysis

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Hezbollah war alert level rising: Is the IDF ready to fight in Lebanon? – analysis



Amos Hochstein, the envoy and mediator of the Biden administration for the Israeli-Lebanese conflict, raised the alert level in Israel on Wednesday when he announced that his efforts toward agreement between Israel and Hezbollah had reached a dead end.

Hezbollah insisted throughout the months of fighting that as long as the fighting in the Gaza Strip continues, it will keep attacking the Israeli home front. In a few weeks, the intense fighting in Rafah will end, and the IDF should transition to intelligence-based raids against terrorist activities.

However, the emerging security situation will compel the Israeli government to make decisions about the future of the conflict with Hezbollah. Options include but are not limited to waiting for a diplomatic development, escalating the fighting, or launching a full-scale war against the Shiite organization in Lebanon. This arena could see the involvement of Iran, the Houthis from Yemen, and Shiite militias in Iraq and Syria.

A security official told Walla, “We are now approaching the moment of decision,” and officials in Beirut and Jerusalem now understand that the situation could deteriorate significantly.

The situation on the ground heated up in the last two days after Hezbollah terrorists resumed fighting following a two-day pause. Yesterday, two Hezbollah terrorists were killed, and last night, another four were killed. Hezbollah’s policy is to carry out their plans despite having more than 350 of their terrorists dead, terrorists who had a high level of familiarity with the region.

IDF Reserve infantrymen take part in a military maneuver of their battalion in Golan Heights, on April 1, 2024 (credit: MICHAEL GILADI/FLASH90)

Strategies and Readiness

Those remaining in outposts and temporary sites operate under a sense of being hunted as they attempt to launch anti-tank missiles at the Narkis outpost and rockets at Rosh Hanikra.

The focus of the IDF counter units is on Hezbollah’s junior command level, which has suffered very painful blows leading to a decrease in the scale of attacks on the Israeli home front. For example, Abu Jaafar Baz, a coastal brigade commander in Hezbollah, was eliminated alongside the head of the brigade’s artillery division. Following their elimination, there has been a noted decrease in the volume of rocket launches.

The IDF estimated that due to the pressure exerted by Hezbollah’s senior headquarters to carry out more launches and attacks, the Northern Command and the Israel Air Force would have more opportunities to strike in southern Lebanon based on mistakes made on the other side of the border.

There is an understanding that these are the most critical weeks since the fighting in the north began. In closed forums, IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi told the political leadership that the IDF was ready for war. Halevi emphasized to the field commanders in the North, both in training and operations, that the security situation could change rapidly and that they must maintain a high level of readiness and alertness.





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Shurat HaDin: FRC report rejecting Gaza famine exposes UN bigotry, undermines ICC prosecution claim

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Shurat HaDin: FRC report rejecting Gaza famine exposes UN bigotry, undermines ICC prosecution claim



In late May 2024, the Famine Review Committee (FRC) published its updated report on behalf of the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), the premier global famine monitoring initiative structured as a partnership between governments, international organizations, and NGOs. The report rejected FEWS NET (Famine Early Warning System Network) claims of Gaza famine, determining that these reports bluntly ignored “between as much as 38% to 49%” of food deliveries to Gaza and concluding that it “does not find the FEWS NET analysis plausible.” This report was ignored by UN agencies, including the World Health Organization, which continued to echo the “Gaza famine” campaign. Even upon publishing this report, the UN ignored its main conclusion rejecting the Gaza famine.

“The FRC report serves as a wake-up call, revealing – once again – the deep bias and obsession by UN agencies with Israel,” said Nitsana Darshan Leitner, founder and president of Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center, adding that “Miscalculating almost 50% of food supply into Gaza cannot be a minor mishap. It is clearly deliberate, exactly as bluntly ignoring this expert report – once already filed – by UN agencies. The UN is simply saying to us: “Don’t let the facts come in the way of demonizing Israel.”

Darshan Leitner emphasized that “this report does more than just expose UN bigotry: it also undermines the ICC prosecutor’s claims that Israel is deliberately using starvation as a method of warfare against the Gazan population. The ICC’s next steps will reveal its true colors. If the Prosecutor wishes to save anything left from the ICC’s reputation, he should quickly reconsider his actions, pull back his request for arrest warrants, and publish a formal apology. If he or the Pre-Trial Chamber chooses to ignore it and continue their modern “Dreyfus Affair” antisemitic blood libel against Israel, they will bury the remaining ICC credibility with it.”





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Watch: IDF, security forces arrest explosive-wielding terrorists in intense West Bank operation

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Watch: IDF, security forces arrest explosive-wielding terrorists in intense West Bank operation



The IDF, Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), and Border Police operated throughout Saturday evening and arrested eight wanted individuals in the West Bank, the IDF announced Sunday. 

Soldiers shot at a terrorist who threw an explosive device at them in Nablus, and interrogated suspects, finding weapons. 

In the village of Rujeib, near Nablus, soldiers arrested a wanted man and confiscated a gun and other weapons. 

During these operations, soldiers surrounded a building and arrested an additional two wanted persons, and confiscated weapons and destroyed an explosive device found in the area. 

Israeli forces arrest suspects implicated in terror activities 

In Beit Rima and Kafr Nima, near Ramallah, soldiers arrested two suspects implicated in terrorist activities. 

IDF soldiers operate in the West Bank overnight, June 16, 2024. (credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON’S UNIT)

In al-Khader, two wanted men were arrested, and in Idna, soldiers arrested another wanted man. 

The wanted persons who were arrested had their weapons confiscated and were transferred to security forces for further investigation. 

Since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war, approximately 4,150 wanted persons have been arrested throughout the West Bank, and approximately 1,750 are associated with terror organization Hamas. 





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