By March 11 2024, 19:18 Latest News No Comments

Note to reader: We wanted to give you a trigger warning on what you may read below. We have chosen, as with every one of these briefings, to not share horrific images, however we want to alert you as sensitively as we can to the reports coming out of Israel and Gaza.

Yesterday: 225 trucks carrying humanitarian aid inspected and transferred to Gaza (COGAT on X)

Justice Minister Mike Freer: Only one country in the Middle East recognises women’s, minority’s, gay rights “and that’s Israel”

Justice Minister Mike Freer joined an event at St John’s Wood Synagogue held to show solidarity with 136 hostages still held captive in Gaza on Sunday. He said that “only one country in the Middle East recognises women’s rights, Israel. Only one country [in the Middle East] recognises minority’s rights, Israel. Only one country [in the Middle East] recognises gay rights, and that’s Israel”, after noting that “as a gay man, when I see ‘Queers for Palestine’, I say on what planet?”

“There are a significant minority, a very vocal minority, who are taking control and are intimidatory and so the Prime Minister is right that some of those demonstrations have got out of hand, and Michael Gove is right, we need to have a long hard look at where the line is drawn between freedom of speech and when it becomes intimidation”, Freer said to Sky.

Higher Education Secretary Robert Halfon: “antisemitism across our universities is not acceptable”

During an Education Questions session in the House of Commons today, Higher Education Secretary Robert Halfon said that he is “working with universities in the UK” and “spending a lot of time with Jewish student groups”, including at Leeds University where the chaplaincy Rabbi was attacked, to tackle antisemitism on campus. He discussed a meeting with the Office for Students regulator which he had taken “to make it very clear to the regulator that antisemitism across our universities is not acceptable”.

Restating a “(£)7 million package” for Jewish student and community groups, Halfon said that the Government is “developing a quality seal” which universities will be asked to adopt “so that they deal with antisemitic incidents properly”.

Former British Prime Minister Lord Balfour “was a great man”, Halfon added, who “identified the need for a homeland” for Jews – which is why “the antisemites don’t like him” leading to their “slashing” of his picture.

The remarks came after former Attorney General Rt. Hon. Sir Michael Ellis KC MP called out a vandal at Cambridge University for destroying “an historic painting” of Lord Balfour, “because she was so full of hate for Jews that Lord Balfour’s letter of 1917, she felt, gave her the moral superiority to destroy a valuable painting of him”.

The former Attorney General said that the incident “shines a light on the pernicious atmosphere faced by Jewish students in this country at universities across the country with calls for ‘Zionists off our campus’ now shamefully normalised.” He added the point that, “Zionists really means Jews” in such contexts.

Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden said he was “appalled by the moronic act of wanton vandalism”.

“Perpetrators should face the full force of the law,” he added in a post on X.

Conservative Party Chairman Richard Holden agreed that “There is something especially grotesque about slashing at the image of a person on a canvas. The symbolism is clear. A desire to eradicate the state of Israel”, on X.

A tunnel found during a raid on Hamad Town, Khan Younis, Gaza (IDF)

Israel: Hamas seeks to “ignite the region during Ramadan”

“Hamas is fortifying its position as if it is not interested in a deal, and it strives to ignite the region during Ramadan at the expense of the Palestinian population of the Gaza Strip”, Israel’s Prime Minister’s Office reported over the weekend.

The statement follows the breakdown of negotiations between Israel and Hamas, after the latter rejected a framework agreed by both sides, the U.S., Egypt and Qatar last month in Paris.

“Let’s remember that there is a group of people that can stop this conflict right now, and that is Hamas”, said Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron last week.

The framework would see 40 children, women, elderly and sick hostages released in the first phase, lasting around six weeks, with the release of around 400 Palestinian security prisoners, and further negotiations leading to potentially more releases thereafter.

Hamas refused to send a list of living hostages to Israel, leading to Jerusalem abstaining from recent talks in Cairo.

Hamas’ third in command reportedly killed in strike

Hamas’ third in command was possibly killed today in a reported Israeli strike in the Central Gaza Strip.

“There have been successes, including in recent days, and there will be more successes, the operations are persistent and headed in the right direction”, stated Israel’s Defence Minister Yoav Gallant.

Marwan Issa, who was struck by Israel, was the deputy commander of Hamas’ military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, and played a significant role in the 7 October attack.

Marwan, known as the Shadow Man, was targeted in an underground complex beneath the Nuseirat refugee camp.

Hamas’ Mahmoud Ishtiwi who was tortured and executed for homosexuality

Hamas executed its own commander due to homosexuality, new evidence finds

Mahmoud Ishitwi, former leader of Hamas’ elite Zeitoun battalion, was tortured for over a year due to his homosexuality before being executed in 2016 at the behest of Hamas’ Gaza leader Yahya Sinwar, The Times reported.

An account of Ishitwi’s experience was recently discovered by the IDF in the Gaza Strip: “The fear gripped me without end”, describing beatings “400-500 times”, sometimes for “20 hours” or “48 hours” and blindfolding “for five days”.

“I was suspended by my arms and legs, swinging while four men whipped me”, the account described, adding that Ishtiwi “confessed more than once under torture”.

Report: Israeli Arab terror cell working with Hamas thwarted

Over a dozen Israeli-Arabs from the northern city of Sakhnin will be reportedly charged with planning to carry out terror attacks on behalf of Hamas.

The thirteen suspects maintained contact with the terror group through a designated point person who would coordinate preparations for an attack.

Israeli authorities discovered four firearms, ammunition and equipment while raiding the cell. The operatives are thought to have purchased weapons from terror groups in the West Bank.

Hamas documents recovered in the Gaza Strip by IDF troops helped lead investigators to the suspects and to unravel the terror plot.

Israel’s Defence Minister: Aid port will help bring down Hamas

The U.S.-led sea corridor aid plan will help bring down Hamas, according to Israel’s Defence Minister Yoav Gallant today.

The Defence Minister said that “the process is designed to bring aid directly to the residents and thus continue the collapse of Hamas’s rule in Gaza”.

A plan “will bring the aid through a maritime route that is coordinated with the US on the security and humanitarian side, with the assistance of the UAE on the civil side, and appropriate inspection in Cyprus, and we will bring goods imported by international organisations with American assistance”, Gallant added.

U.S. President Joe Biden announced the deployment of a U.S. Army vessel over the weekend, which will supply construction equipment for the seaport to receive the aid transported through the sea corridor.

Israel’s Defence Minister surveys the Gaza coast (Israel Defense Ministry)
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