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Whenever Israel is united, it is successful. So far, we have killed thousands of terrorists in Gaza and in the North, and pretty much protected our citizens from major harm following the savageries of October 7.

But just yesterday, I read with alarm that two very disquieting conflicts have flared up, threatening to tear us apart all over again. First is the concept of “the day after.” Who will be in control of Gaza when Hamas is defeated? You might think this premature, but we in Israel do not. We are sacrificing our precious children to win this war. The suggestion made by Benny Gantz, Defense Minister and part of the opposition party, that Israel should have no part in governing Gaza, and it should be turned over to a “third party” (which many of us are reading as the Palestinian Authority, no less a terror organization than Hamas) has many Israelis sick with worry.

The proponents of what is known here as “the conception” – the Peace Now, Land for Peace people, who never saw a problem they thought they couldn’t solve by giving up and giving in to Palestinian demands – are campaigning for another disastrous land giveaway to terrorists.

However, a recent poll of 42 thousand Israelis showed 76 percent opposed turning control in Gaza over to the Palestinian Authority.

No wonder. The Palestinian Authority, successor of Yasser Arafat’s PLO, has for years been paying terrorists salaries for killing Israelis. It has tolerated Hamas terrorists and weapons depots in areas under its control, like Tulkarem and Ramallah. It has been behind numerous terror attacks all over Israel. Why in Heaven’s name would we clean out one terrorist organization just to turn the place over to another one that threatens our security and well-being?

Most Israelis want Israel to be deeply involved in what goes on in Gaza forever, because it is the only way to prevent Iran from pouring in more money to rebuild and rearm. The people of Gaza need to be carefully watched while they are de-Nazified, if that is even possible. The curriculum for their school children needs to be revised, and their teaching staff from UNRWA fired and thrown out of the country. Who is going to see this is done? Joe Biden? Egypt? The PLO (sorry, PA)?

The next big conflict is the law drafting yeshiva students. Netanyahu’s government has rehashed a previous law that had some backers last time, but falls far short of what is necessary now with the shortage of soldiers in the midst of an existential war. But even that law will be opposed by the haredi parties in Netanyahu’s coalition government.

In light of these conflicts, the disastrous tragedy that unfolded last night in Gaza, when an IDF tank crew mistakenly fired at a building filled with IDF paratroopers from a haredi unit, tragically killing five and badly injuring another seven, seems a portent. You can’t imagine how this makes Israelis feel. It’s just devastating. Not only for the families of those killed and injured, but for the entire tank team that thought it was firing on terrorists and now will have to live with the knowledge that they killed their brothers in arms. My heart goes out to everyone involved. It is shattering.

Our enemies jump for joy at each sign of disunity among us. A Hamas spokesman told Al Jazeera: “The arguments between Netanyahu and Gallant emphasize the failure of the Occupiers to reach their goals. We are ready to support a Palestinian consensus government in Gaza and the West Bank and don’t necessarily have to be part of it. Egypt can’t open the Rafah border crossing because it is now occupied.”

Does that sound like Hamas is getting used to the idea of losing and relinquishing its power? It does to me.

For the first time Hezbollah rockets attacked a base west of Tiberias, 50 kilometers (31 miles) from the Lebanese border, much deeper into Israel than ever before. In response, Israeli heavy bombs were dropped on Nabi Chit in the Baalbek area, deep inside Lebanon. Fires broke out in the area and echoes of the attack went as far as Syria.

102 out of 103 members of the Romanian parliament who were present voted to turn May 14 into a day of solidarity and friendship with Israel. Good news.

There was extensive IDF activity in the West Bank last night to capture money changers who aid terrorism in Tulkarm, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Hebron Tubas, Qalqilya, Jericho and Jenin. At the center was a chain known as Al-Khaliij. Funds were confiscated, and employees arrested including the director, Alaa Abiat.

Egypt has formally complained to the Americans about the changes made to the border between Egypt and Gaza. Israel responded that the Israeli control of Rafah is non-negotiable, and the Egyptians should get used to it. The crossing remains closed even though Israel is willing to open it. But I guess all that money the Egyptians were collecting from Gazans wanting to get the hell out of Gaza isn’t possible now that Israel is watching. Boo hoo. My thanks for Abu Ali Express English for this vital information!

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4 comments on “GAZA WAR DIARY: 16 MAY 2024”

  1. Brenda Matsumura Reply

    I was going to be silent for a bit, but so much is happening, so quickly, it’s too hard to say nothing. I have never seen such an impressive event as the one from Israel on Independence Day. Full of insight, tributes, acknowledgements and full.of sorrow,.but creative music and dance with the ultimate message of light through the darkness. Then last night I watched the entire presentation by Israel at the Hague, over yet more attempts by South Africa to have Israel condemned for Genocide with an obvious attempt to assist HAMAS in staying in power. The South African, full of pompousness, tried to bore holes in the heads of the two speakers with his hateful glare at them the entire time. S.A. recently met with HAMAS on their soil, made claims Israel categorically proved wrong regarding humanitarian aid. As if HAMAS would care about it. S.Africa going so far as accusations of execution areas in Gaza by Israel !! I don’t know why anyone would expect Israelis to NOT come apart at it’s seams. It’s appearing to get worse in every way and gives me actual nightmares, yet am not even there. Israel was the remaining place on my “bucket list” I love the people I see and hear, the rich creativity that Israel is known for, the beauty, history and diversity
    of it’s land and cultures.
    Jewish Music touches me in a deep and indescribable way. My heart and mind aches for you all, Naomi. From the Leaders, the victims Alexi sends photos of each day and the world’s constant back stabbing and demands,. Everywhere, there are lies and misinformation, games, back room deals and illegal acts running rampant. So many, many hopes and Prayers for Israel, it’s fight to exist, people held, the IDF, the injured and it’s many broken, yet strong people. I’m grateful to have discovered you, your Diary that is generously shared.
    ( Just ordered The Enemy Beside Me and The Weiss Sisters).
    With Love, Respect, and Great Hopes for Light in the Darkness, Brenda M.

  2. Chaya Reply

    For the first time ever I am worried about Israel’s existence. The worldwide wave of visceral anti-semitism frightens me no end. Has the world gone mad, blind? We will survive, we have to, but at what cost? Enough of giving in to terror and outside pressure!!!

  3. Sylvia Knoop Reply

    Dear Naomi,
    Everything you write is spot on !
    But West Bank must be in California…
    I have heard about Judea and Samaria…
    Great big hug and stay strong !

  4. Cathy Godwin Reply

    Thank you Naomi for giving those of us outside, insight, as you do in all your writings.
    I just finished you new book, The Enemy Beside Me.
    I await the next one.

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