Yesterday, Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron, spoke to Bloomberg News, reiterating that “you’ve got to get rid of Hamas and its ability to rain down terror on Israel”. He noted that “we’d have to see the Hamas leadership come out of Gaza, you’d have to see the hostage situation being resolved and resolved very rapidly, you’d have to make sure that Hamas was no longer capable of doing rocket and terrorist attacks onto Israel, you’d have to start working on who’s going to govern Gaza and how”.
Hizb ut-Tahrir proscription passes in both Houses
Yesterday, the proscription of Hizb ut-Tahrir was debated in both chambers of Parliament.
Home Office Minister, the Rt Hon Tom Tugendhat MP, introduced the motion to the Terrorism Act 2000, declaring that the UK Government “will never tolerate the promotion or encouragement of terrorism. We have zero tolerance for antisemitism. Hizb ut-Tahrir must be proscribed”.
He stated that “the events of the 7th of October will be permanently engrained on our minds. What Hamas did that day was barbaric. It was evil”, asking, “who can erase the images that we saw?” and “who can stay silent in the face of the worst pogrom against Jews on any day since the Holocaust?”
The Home Office Minister noted that after the 7th of October, “instead of horror, Hizb Ut-Tahrir responded to the murder of civilians with elation. Instead of condemnation, they lavished Hamas with praise”.
He underscored that “free speech includes neither the promotion of terrorism nor the celebration of terrorist acts”, adding that “it is not acceptable to describe Hamas as the “heroes” of Palestine or the events of 7 October as a “long-awaited victory””.
CFI Vice Chair, Andrew Percy MP, welcomed Hizb ut-Tahrir’s proscription, highlighting that the group “is an antisemitic, racist organisation that promotes and encourages terrorism”.
On celebrating Hamas’ attacks, he voiced that Hamas “are not heroes; they are murderers and rapists, for which they should be called out by everyone”.
Percy also voiced his “support for the proscription of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which is behind Hezbollah, Hamas and, of course, the Houthis”.
Rt. Hon. Sir Iain Duncan Smith MP called Hizb ut-Tahrir’s proscription “long overdue”. He noted that “it is not an organisation that is passingly antisemitic; antisemitism is its core belief”. He also called for the proscription of the IRGC, remarking that “the attacks in October, Iran has accelerated its executions of those who have protested against the current regime… the IRGC is behind Hezbollah”, and Iran is “supplying the Houthi rebels”.
In the House of Lords, CFI Honorary President Lord Polak CBE, shared his gratitude for the proscription of Hizb ut-Tahrir “declar[ing] an interest: I am a Jew, and very proud of it. I know full well what Hizb ut-Tahrir wants to do to me, my family and my co-religionists”.
“While the Government are on a roll”, he added, “I hope that [the Minister] will not mind me asking for a little bit more. The IRGC needs to be proscribed”. He noted that “the IRGC are the masters of everything that we do not like”.
Leader of the House of Commons Penny Mordaunt, pays tribute to Kfir Bibas on his first birthday
Yesterday, in Business in the House, Leader of the House of Commons Penny Mordaunt, thanked the families of those held hostage in Gaza, for coming into Parliament “to talk about their loved ones”. The Leader vowed that “we will all keep them at the forefront of our minds and do all we can to bring them home”. “I remind the House that Kfir Bibas turns one today in captivity”.
Kfir Bibas is the youngest captive still held in Gaza. He was taken hostage alongside his mother and four-year-old brother. His father is also being held captive in Gaza, taken separately from the two boys.
During the humanitarian pause in November, the Bibas family were not released alongside other women and children, although Hamas promised to realise children and their mothers first.
CFI Vice Chair received emails denying Hamas was responsible for the deaths on 7th October
“Following the terror attacks on 7 October, there has been a significant proliferation of disinformation and misinformation. Shortly after the attacks, conspiracy theories emerged that were rooted in the anti-Jewish ideologies of those who wished to deny the atrocities that took place—denying that innocent civilians were attacked, that children were murdered and that women were subjected to gender-based violence”, said CFI Vice Chair Andrew Percy MP, in a debate on “Online Filter Bubbles: Misinformation and Disinformation” on Tuesday.
He described receiving emails that “have included a denial that Hamas was responsible for the deaths on 7 October, while someone else questioned, in relation to the Houthis, whether interrupting shipping lanes is really a heinous act. Worst of all, someone emailed me and described the hostages as “them Zionist rat hostages””.
He noted that “one major conspiracy since 7 October is that the attacks on that day were a false flag operation by Israel… In one particular viral claim, social media users argued that the attack at the Nova music festival, in which 364 people were murdered and many abducted, was not carried out by Hamas but by Israeli forces, despite the fact that there was video evidence taken by the people there”.
Medicines sent to Gaza
In order for Israel to get medicines to Israeli hostages in captivity, Israel and Hamas reached an agreement in which Israel will transfer 1000 boxes of medical aid for Gazan residents for every box for an Israeli hostage.
The medical aid is meant to be delivered to four hospitals within Gaza, however, it is not yet clear how the Israeli hostages will receive their treatment.
Yesterday evening, the spokesperson of the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs told CNN that “the medicines and medical humanitarian equipment reached the [Hamas] Ministry of Health in the Gaza Strip”, but no confirmation has yet been received about the medicines reaching the hostages.
Severed head auctioned by Hamas in Gaza
Sgt. Adir Tahar, beheaded on the 7th of October by Hamas, had his head up for auction in the Gaza Strip by the terror organisation.
Adir’s father, told Israeli Channel 14, that his son’s head, was up for $10,000.
Adir was buried with missing body parts, and identified through DNA testing. The IDF was able to retrieve Adir’s head from Gaza 2.5 months after burial.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad snipers trained in Iran
Israel’s Shin Bet security agency revealed on Tuesday that Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) snipers were trained in Iran.
The discovery came during an interrogation of Bassel Mahdi, a commander of a platoon in PIJ, who said extensive military training was provided by Iranian soldiers to PIJ in Gaza, Lebanon, Iran, and Syria.
Mahdi told the Security Agency that “my commander called me and said that I should go to Iran for a sniper course, assuring me that I would benefit from it and that my salary would increase upon my return”.
“The course in Iran lasted for 15 days, encompassing physical fitness training and shooting exercises with various types of weapons”. The training reportedly included, “four days of training on a Kalashnikov at a distance of 100 meters, “five days at a distance of 100 to 150 meters, and “six days focused on a Dragunov sniper rifle, including shooting at stones, targets, and balloons at a distance of 300 meters”.
Mahdi’s journey to Iran included a stopover in Egypt for close to two weeks, then to Syria, before reaching his destination.
IDF Operation in Gaza
Yesterday, in a targeted operation, the IDF killed Wael Abu-Fanounah, a senior member of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and Deputy Head of Psychological Warfare Operations. He was responsible for creating hostage propaganda videos, and publishing clips of rocket strikes.
Abu-Fanounah, held key positions within the terror group, including serving as an assistant to Khalil Bahtini, the Commander of the northern region of the Gaza Strip.
Today, IDF troops raided a Hamas training ground in Khan Younis, where they discovered tunnel shafts, rocket launchers, weaponry, and mock armoured vehicles alongside replica IDF tanks. The training ground also doubled as a meeting point for senior Hamas commanders in its Khan Younis Brigade.
Israel’s northern border
An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), launched from Lebanon, was intercepted over the sea, near the Israeli town of Acco this morning, by Israel’s Iron Dome defence system.
In response, the IDF carried out airstrikes against Hezbollah observation positions, as well as other Hezbollah infrastructure, in the Lebanese towns of Houla and Kafr Kila.
In order to defuse tensions, the United States made initial proposals for Hezbollah to move 7 kilometres back from Israel’s border, and a cessation of hostilities, which Hezbollah rejected.
A Senior Hezbollah Official, Head of the Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc, MP Hajj Muhammad Raad, warned that “the Israeli enemy is not ready for war in the face of what the Islamic resistance in Lebanon has prepared for it”. He argued that “the hand of the resistance will remain supreme”.
Houthi attacks continue on shipping
The Iran-backed Houthi terror group has continued disrupting maritime trading routes in the Red Sea.
On Tuesday, the Houthi’s hit an U.S. oil tanker, as well as another ship – the Zografia, in the Red Sea. On Wednesday, a Greek oil tanker was hit by a Houthi missile off the coast of Yemen.
In response, on Wednesday, the US struck four ballistic missiles, in Yemen, ready to be launched. The U.S. Central Command stated that “we will attack the Houthis as long as their attacks on international shipping continue”.
Yesterday, the U.S. together with the UK launched its 4th attack on the Houthi’s. Targets were attacked in Sana’a, Tez, Bicha’a, Hudaydah, Damar and Zada, in the early hours of the morning.
According to the military spokesman of the Houthis, as part of the response to the U.S.-UK attack, several missiles were launched at the American ship Genco Picardy in the Gulf of Aden. An Indian Navy ship, who responded to the ship’s distress call, was also attacked.
Suicide drones, launched by the Houthis, heading towards Eilat, Israel, were intercepted over the Red Sea.
This morning, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning “call[ed] for an end to the harassment of civilian vessels, in order to maintain the smooth flow of global production and supply chains and the international trade order”. The Houthi’s terror group then promised safe passage for Russian and Chinese vessels through the Red Sea.
In a separate incident, on Wednesday, two Israeli ships were targeted by Iran; CHEM CILICON – owned by ACE company, and flew the flag of Liberia, and PACIFIC Gold – owned by the “HaMizrah” company. The ships were attacked northwest of the Maldives, and 200 miles from Veraval, India, respectively.
Counter-terrorism in the West Bank
After two-days, the IDF finished a counter-terrorism operation in the Tulkarem Refugee Camp in the West Bank.
During the operation, in which the IDF scanned close to 1,000 buildings, 400 explosive devices were located alongside other weaponry and military equipment.
37 wanted Palestinians were arrested in the operation, and eight Palestinian gunmen were killed in an exchange of fire with IDF troops.
An IDF soldier was seriously wounded in the operation on Wednesday.