USA Sanctions Hamas' Human Shield Practice

“Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.” Col 4:2

USA SANCTIONS HAMAS' HUMAN SHIELDS PRACTICE: Hamas is condemning a USA bill that sanctions the Islamic terrorist group for using civilians in Gaza as "human shields." The House unanimously passed the Hamas Human Shields Prevention Act on Wed. 14 Feb 2018. Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said the following day that the bill sides with "the Israeli narrative." The bill steps up USA pressure against Hamas, which Washington and much of the West already considers a terrorist organization. Echoing Israeli complaints, the bill says Hamas routinely instructs Palestinians not to flee from Israeli airstrikes, forcing them to act as "human shields." Sanctions include denial of entry into the USA, revocation of any visas, and the "blocking of property," which outlaws "all transactions" in USA property. These sanctions affect all "foreign persons" found to be "responsible for, complicit in, or responsible for ordering, controlling, or otherwise directing the use of human shields by Hamas," as well as those facilitating such activities. Last month, the USA designated Hamas' leader Ismail Haniyeh as a "global terrorist".(Algemeiner/INN)

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ISRAEL BLAMED FOR ‘CATASTROPHE’ IN GAZA: Bolivia’s UN Ambassador, Sacha Llorentty Soliz, last week accused Israel of bearing the primary responsibility for what he called "the catastrophic situation in Gaza." Llorentty Soliz’s comment came after the UN’s Mideast envoy, Nickolay Mladenov, briefed the Security Council behind closed doors at the request of Kuwait and Bolivia on the humanitarian situation in Gaza. Llorentty Soliz said following the meeting that Mladenov had told the Council that drinking water is short, hospitals have been closed and "doctors stopped doing surgeries." Mladenov also cited Gaza's 47% unemployment rate, rising to 60% for young people, he said. The Bolivian envoy further said that Mladenov highlighted that the situation in Gaza has been worsened by the USA suspension of millions of dollars in funding for the UN agency for “Palestinian refugees”, UNRWA. Llorentty Soliz added that he told the council the primary responsibility for "the catastrophic situation in Gaza" rests with Israel. Despite the accusations, Israel continues to regularly allow humanitarian aid and construction materials into Gaza, even though its terrorist rulers continue to attack southern Israel with rockets and openly threaten to destroy the Jewish state. Israel's UN ambassador, Danny Danon, told media sources on 14 Feb. 2018 that the responsibility for the situation in Gaza lies with Hamas. (Arutz-7)

WHO’S RESPONSIBLE FOR THE MESS IN GAZA: We know from both Israeli and Palestinian estimates that Hamas spends approximately $100 million a year - about 20% of the budget of the government in Gaza - on preparing for and executing attacks against Israel. The NY Times reported last week; "Five concrete plants have been set up, supplying 20 digging sites, at a cost of nearly $1 billion," all for the purpose of digging tunnels designed to facilitate the kidnapping and murdering of Jews. Given Hamas' steadfast commitment to destroy Israel, and given their dedication to spend every last shekel on tunnels, Qassam missiles, drones, and other weapons - if Israel isn't going to provide free electricity, sewage treatment, and hospital care to the terror group busy trying to kill it - we're looking at a deep humanitarian crisis. (Tablet)

GAZA’S MISERY IS NOT ISRAEL’S FAULT: Palestinian misery in the Gaza Strip portrays a harvest of hatred for all the world to see: Billions of dollars of humanitarian aid has been seeded into an endless pit of Islamic disdain for Israel and the Jewish people - has been spent on weapons instead of schools and sanitation facilities - squandered or siphoned into foreign bank accounts by terrorist leaders. The Palestinians could have had thriving orchards and green houses, businesses and homes built by Israelis forced to abandon the Gaza Strip “for the sake of peace.” But Gaza is in ruins, racked with poverty and despair because her hate-filled Hamas terrorist leaders continue to shout out, plot, and perpetuate violence and destruction against the Jewish nation. Instead of a new state, global assistance to prosper, a future for their young, Hamas leaders rule over a putrefying sore of human misery. Like madmen they are always preparing for the next war against Israel; building terrorist tunnels, better projectiles, targeting Israel’s Negev communities - then complaining to the world they have no food, no fuel…. What Gaza is, is what Gaza Palestinians and their Israel-hating, jihadist leaders have chosen. All that was ever asked of them was to recognize the Jewish nation, stop terrorist violence, and abide by previous peace agreements. They choose instead; gall, destruction and chaos. Their harvest is bitter fruit, and it is not Israel’s fault. (JNN) Please continue to intercede that God’s mercy will be poured out on the people of Gaza. May they may know and receive the Good News of Yeshua, and may terrorist leaders be toppled and replaced by those who want to build and are free of fanatical hatred of Israel and the West.

GAZA’S ONLY POWER PLANT SHUT DOWN OVER FUEL SHORTAGE: The sole electricity plant in the Gaza Strip stopped working Thurs. 15 Feb. 2018 because of a lack of fuel, officials said, as concerns grow over worsening humanitarian conditions in the Hamas-controlled area. The closure of the plant, which normally provides around a fifth of Gaza's electricity, will exacerbate an already critical power shortage. Gaza's two million residents receive a mere four hours of electricity a day, a situation for which they blame Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. Hamas leaders enjoy electricity 24 hours a day. However, they refuse to invest international aid money in infrastructure for Gaza's residents, preferring instead to invest in terror tunnels, rockets, and mortars, intended for use against Israeli civilians. Despite Hamas' attacks on Israeli civilians, and the fact that Gaza is no longer Israel's responsibility, Israel is set to increase the electricity supply to Gaza. (Arutz-7) “When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan.” Prov. 29.2

NO MORE PRISON VISITS FOR HAMAS MEMBERS IN ISRAELI JAILS, STATE TELLS COURT: The government has stopped visits to Hamas prisoners from Gaza by their families in Judea & Samaria over the past few weeks, said a lawyer representing the government to the High Court of Justice on Thurs. 15 Feb. 218. The announcement came as part of the government’s response to a petition submitted by the family of 1st Lt. Hadar Goldin, who was declared killed in action during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza in the summer of 2014 – but Hamas is still holding some of his remains. The Goldin family petitioned the High Court in November 2017 against the cabinet in an attempt to force the government to take action against Hamas to return the bodies of Goldin and Staff Sgt. Oron Shaul, who was also declared dead during the Gaza war and whose body Hamas still refuses to hand over. Shaul’s family now refuses to accept his death.

The Goldin family asked the High Court to order the government not to return the bodies of any more Hamas terrorists and to make the conditions for Hamas members in Israeli prisons harsher. Thursday’s hearing dealt mostly with the issue of allowing Hamas members and their families to enter Israel for humanitarian reasons. The Goldin family, represented by attorneys Prof. Aviad Hacohen and Oded Svorai, says the government should adhere strictly to a cabinet decision from January 2017 on the matter, which would completely ban any such visits to Israel, including those for medical treatments. Goldin’s parents, Leah and Professor Simcha Goldin, said after the hearing, “The time has come to make it clear to Hamas and its people that the days of medical treatments in Israel are over and from now and until the soldiers are returned, these treatments will be provided in Qatar, Turkey, Egypt and Jordan.” (Ha’aretz)

THE PALESTINIAN TEXTBOOK PROBLEM: Dr. Arnon Gross, formerly a senior Arabic language broadcaster at Voice of Israel Radio, read 200 Arabic textbooks to understand what Palestinian students are taught. He found that the school system drills into the heads of students that there is no entity called "Israel." And if it does exist, it should be called "the Zionist entity" that must be destroyed. He says the books clearly "demonize the Jews and Israel, and encourage the violent struggle to liberate Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea." The area in question here is not just Judea & Samaria but the whole Land of Israel. Gross stresses that from year to year, Palestinian textbooks have not become more moderate - quite the opposite, in fact. (Israel Hayom) How grave is the tragic truth that in fact Palestinians are destroying the souls of their own society - especially their children. They do so by furthering media and school text book incitement against Israel, and promoting the hero worship of terrorists from the cradle on. Pray against the sacrifice of Palestinian children to jihadist hatred and murder.

HOW ISRAEL IS LEADING THE WAY IN SMART CITY TECHNOLOGY: More than eighty municipal delegations from around the world converged on Tel Aviv last week for the Muni-Expo Urban Innovation conference – meant to highlight smart-city technologies. It is a sign that foreign investors and mayors are increasingly clamoring for Israeli-developed technologies in urban waste, water and traffic management; from using smartphone app Waze for navigating traffic to relying on local cybersecurity tools. The market for smart-city technologies could be worth more than $1.5 trillion by 2020, according to a study by business consulting firm Frost & Sullivan. That could provide Israeli smart city start-ups with lucrative opportunities, such as installing sensors on streetlights – to turn them off when not in use – or collect garbage based on when the bin gets full. “We save more than NIS 2 million a year on the new system with collecting garbage,” said Haim Bibas, mayor of Modi’in. “We’re using sensors and the sensor is part of the garbage truck and the garbage can. If the bin is empty, the collection services are reduced. If it’s not empty, we pick it up more.” The Muni-Expo International Conference was held on Feb. 13 and 14, 2018 at the Tel Aviv Exhibition Grounds. (J.Post)

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The suggestions, opinions and scripture references made by JNN writers and editors are based on the best information received.

Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff