Fr Stephen Smuts

Posts Tagged ‘Hamas

Gaza Archbishop: Hamas Fired Out of Our Church

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The Algemeiner reports on Hamas firing rockets from a church in Gaza:

A Catholic Archbishop ministering to Gaza’s minute Christian minority says Hamas terrorists forced him to allow them to use his church to fire rockets at Israel during the four week-long Operation Protective Edge.

“Islam is the rule of this place and whatever Hamas says we must obey or face consequences,” Archbishop Alexios told The Christian Broadcasting Network.

Alexios showed the reporter where Hamas terrorists used the roof of the center to fire rockets at Israel …

Functioning as a tolerated Christian minority in an Islamic supremacist entity, some residents charge that Hamas has “imposed strict Taliban-style Islamic laws” on the populace, Muslim and Christian alike.

However, Alexios allowed 2,000 Gazans to take refuge within the church compound during the fighting, according to the report.

 

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

August 9, 2014 at 12:28

ISIS Captures City in Lebanon as Threat Moves Closer to Israel

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And what of the many Christians in Lebanon? Lord have mercy!

“If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.” (Proverbs 24:10)

Breaking Israel News:

An ISIS insurgent seek walking with the groups flag.

It appears that as one part of the Middle East quiets down, another starts up. The radical Islamic terror organization, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), has gained a larger foothold in Lebanon as it faces off against the Lebanese army.

Hezbollah announced on Wednesday that for the moment, it has no plans to confront ISIS. Hezbollah leaders told the Lebanese Daily Star that it has only agreed to provide logistical support to the Lebanese army. However, should ISIS capture significant territory, Hezbollah leadership implied that it would enter the fray.

Since Monday, Lebanese forces and members of ISIS have been squaring off in northern Lebanon. According to reports, ISIS has captured the city of Arsal.

The Telegraph reported that the Syrian terror group set up check-points throughout the city, which has some 40,000 residents and approximately 120,000 Syrian refugees.

The conflict erupted when the Lebanese army arrested Abu Ahmad al-Jumaa, a former commander in the Free Syrian Army who later defected and declared allegiance with ISIS. Army officials said that Jumaa was in the process of planning and carrying out an attack against an army outpost.

ISIS insurgents announced that they would completely withdraw from Arsal if the government releases Jumaa. Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Slama refused their request, saying on Monday, “There is no political solution with extremist groups who are manipulating the Arab communities under religious obscurantism and strange titles, seeking to transfer their sick acts into Lebanon.”

“Today, the only solution is the withdrawal of the gunmen from Arsal and its surroundings,” he added.

After days of fighting, a ceasefire was negotiated between the Lebanese army and ISIS fighters in Arsal by Muslim clerics mediating for both sides. However, ISIS is reported to have kidnapped 30 Lebanese security officers.

For the time being, ISIS militants have withdrawn from the town to a nearby mountainous area between Arsal and the Syrian border.

Infamous for its violent and destructive rampage throughout Iraq and Syria, ISIS has been wreaking havoc in the Middle East and has put many countries, including Israel, the United States and even Iran on high alert.

In Iraq, ISIS has been persecuting the ancient Christian community throughout the country. In Mosul, a 1,800-year-old church was destroyed while hundreds of Christian families have fled the city after being threatened if they did not covert or pay a tax, they would be killed.

Israel has been keeping a close eye on ISIS activities as their jihadist threat looms closer to Israel’s borders. In Gaza, there is growing evidence that ISIS has established a foothold there despite denial by Hamas.

In June, an Israeli official told Channel 2 TV that while Israel is “not too troubled at this stage,” Israeli Military Intelligence has been closely monitoring what it believes to be a more than 10,000 man army over the last two years.

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

August 8, 2014 at 09:14

Hamas Has Chosen Death: Israel Is Trying To Choose Life

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Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis in the Telegraph.

I welcome the much needed ceasefire in Gaza and pray that it will lead to a lasting, long-term resolution of a bitter and tragic conflict.

However, the prospect of a lasting cessation of hostilities between a Hamas-controlled Gaza and Israel will only be achieved if root causes of the conflict are fully addressed.

What we have witnessed in Gaza is not a conflict between Israel and the Palestinians but a war between Israel and Hamas – a ruthless terrorist organisation.

Within the last month alone, Hamas has fired over 3,000 missiles at population centres in Israel. In its deep-rooted desire to murder and cause maximum damage, Hamas does not distinguish between Jew, Muslim and Christian, so hell-bent is it on killing Israelis…

Rest here.

 

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

August 7, 2014 at 15:03

Praying for Peace, Prepared for War

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(Photo: flickr/IDF)

In light of the collapsed truce in Gaza, and Hamas’ kidnapping of an IDF soldier, Rabbi Eckstein recalls Psalm 120 when he looks at the reality of an enemy committed to war, even while Israel longs and prays for peace:

While the collapse of yet another ceasefire agreement is a bitter blow to war-weary Israel, it comes as no surprise. During Operation Protective Edge, Hamas has consistently refused to honor ceasefire terms, even as Israel has consistently accepted and tried to maintain them. History has shown us that terrorists will use any tactic to sow death and destruction and prolong conflict. The sad, but realistic attitude all Israelis must take is to be prepared for continued war – even while praying fervently for peace.

The psalmist wrote, “Too long have I lived among those who hate peace. I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war” (Psalm 120: 6-7). This is the situation Israel finds itself in today – longing for peace, and willing to make painful concessions to achieve it, but facing an enemy committed to hatred, war, and bloodshed. I ask you to pray for the bereaved loved ones of the soldiers who have lost their lives fighting this ruthless enemy, for protection for all the men and women of the IDF, and for the safe return of Lt. Goldin. And pray, too, for the day when Israel’s dreams of peace will be realized.

Source

 

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

August 1, 2014 at 20:46

Deaths in Gaza

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Infographic: Washington Post.

 

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

July 30, 2014 at 20:57

Hamas Executes Dozens of Civilians in Gaza

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I saw this link on Fr Rob’s Irishanglican Weblog:

Hamas has executed scores of Gazan civilians over the past few days, according to several separate reports.

Yisrael Hayom quotes Arab news sources that report that Hamas has executed some 30 Gazan civilians for allegedly collaborating with Israel.

Human rights groups report that some were executed after being caught ‘red handed’ while marking targets for the Israeli Air Force. All the alleged collaborates were summarily executed without trial.

A separate report by several new sources describes protesters in Beit Hanun who were shot in the street by Hamas on Sunday for demonstrating against Hamas’ leadership and the destruction caused to the Gaza Strip. They blamed Hamas for the calamity which has befallen the civilians of the Gaza Strip. Some 20 protesters were rounded up and shot in front of a crowd.

Hamas has previously been harshly condemned by the international community after being accused by local Gazans of summary executions of alleged collaborators who were shot on the basis of mere rumors or who confessed after being horribly tortured and were shot.

 

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

July 30, 2014 at 20:30

Posted in Culture

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Hamas Child Labor and Tunnel Fatalities

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Unreported, and well researched.

From the Institute for Palestinian Studies:

Gaza’s Tunnel Phenomenon: The Unintended Dynamics of Israel’s Siege

[...]

A similarly cavalier approach to child labor and tunnel fatalities damaged the movement’s standing with human-rights groups, despite government assurances dating back to 2008 that it was considering curbs. During a police patrol that the author was permitted to accompany in December 2011, nothing was done to impede the use of children in the tunnels, where, much as in Victorian coal mines, they are prized for their nimble bodies. At least 160 children have been killed in the tunnels, according to Hamas officials. Safety controls on imports appear similarly lax, although the TAC insists that a sixteen-man contingent carries out sporadic spot-checks.

[...]

HT goes to Fr Z.

 

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

July 27, 2014 at 22:13

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