Ontario editor: Gaza ‘resistance’ groups are “the honour of the [Muslim] nation”

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Abu Hamza, spokesman for the Islamic Jihad’s ‘military wing’, the Al-Quds Brigades. Photo: saraya.ps – screenshot

Mohamad Hisham Khalifeh (محمد هشام خليفة) is the Editor and Managing Director of Al Forqan (الفرقان) newspaper based in Windsor, Ontario.

On July 8, 2014 Mohamad Hisham Khalifeh posted (originally in Arabic):

This is the true resistance [struggle/fight]. They [Palestinian armed groups] are the honour of this [Muslim] nation. They are the heroes of Gaza and Palestine. May Allah make you victorious [give His support], May Allah support you, may Allah cherish you, and Allah is more powerful [Greatest] than all those who oppressed and treated [others] cruely.

Here is the online discussion on Mohamad Hisham Khalifeh’s Facebook post:

Ayman Abla [originally in English]:

The Saraya al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad movement, said it has fired a Buraq-70 rocket into Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv.

Mohamad Hisham Khalifeh [originally in Arabic]:

Allah is the greatest. They are the men and the best soldiers [fighters] in the world.

Issa Masri [originally in Arabic]:

The only ones who bombed areas beyond Haifa and Tel Aviv. Hamas are the honourable mujahideen [Muslims who practice jihad]

Mohamad Hisham Khalifeh [originally in Arabic]:

Real talk, action, sincerity, jihad and resistance/struggle. Its [Hamas] jihad has one direction [Israel] and it doesn’t change due to sectarian interests.

Walid Itani [originally in Arabic]:

Ameen, O the Lord of the Worlds

Mohamad Deeb [originally in Arabic]:

O Allah, give victory [support] to our brothers the Mujahideen [Muslims who practice jihad] in Palestine and everywhere, and support them with victory from you, O the Most Gracious.

Mohamad Hisham Khalifeh [originally in Arabic]:

Ameen, Ameen

Ahmad Orfali [originally in Arabic]:

O Allah, Ameen.

Ahmad Orfali posted a photo featuring the map of Palestine with a the following caption [originally in Arabic]:

We shall die but we will never bow down.

Mohamad Hisham Khalifeh [originally in Arabic]:

Victorious with Allah’s will, Mr. Ahmad.

Yasser Hassoun [originally in Arabic]:

Allah is more powerful [Greatest] than all those who oppresse and treated [others] cruely.

Mohamad Hisham Khalifeh [originally in Arabic]:

O Allah, Ameen.

Mohamad Hisham Khalifeh’s Facebook Post, 8 July 2014

Timeline of the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict (Wikipedia)

* See also a detailed report by Al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations

7 July

After an Israeli Air Force strike killed 7 Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip the day before, Hamas responded by launching rockets and assumed responsibility for all rockets fired from Gaza.[62][63][64][65][66] In preparations for a potential escalation in fighting, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) called up 1,500 reserves on 7 July. These reserves were positioned around southern Israel and were working on training in case of escalation.[67][68]

8 July

Israeli Air Forces bombing over Ansar site, 8 July 2014

The IDF continued calling up additional reserves on 8 July, stating plans to call up 40,000 or more. Due to the rocket fire from the Gaza Strip into Israel, the IDF Home Front Command closed all summer camps and banned gatherings of more than 300 people within 40 km of Gaza, while universities suspended studies and final exams, and people were cautioned to stay close to shelter. In Gaza, 37,000 students who had completed high school had their graduation delayed.

In the early morning of 8 July, Israel announced it had struck at least 50 targets in Gaza overnight Monday, injuring 17 people. In the Central Gaza Strip, 13 IAF airstrikes, with 16 missiles, struck numerous targets In Gaza City, 9 airtstrikes involving 11 missiles struck militant sites, agricultural plots and a blacksmith workshop. In the Northern Gaza Strip, 36 airstrikes using 45 missiles targeted numerous houses and militant training sites, and a poultry farm. In Khan Yunis 7 airstrikes using 18 missiles demolished 3 houses, with collateral damage to nearby homes. In Rafah 4 airstrikes involving 9 missiles hit 2 houses and agricultural sites.

A force of five Hamas naval commandos landed on a beach in Israel near kibbutz Zikim and advanced toward an IDF command post. Israeli infantry, aircraft, and a naval vessel engaged the Hamas commandos, killing all five. A short while later, a parachute was found abandoned near Yad Mordechai[80] and a Gaza tunnel exploded near Kerem Shalom.

This was followed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu instructing the IDF to “take their gloves off” against Hamas and instructed them to take any means necessary to restore peace to Israeli citizens. As the afternoon progressed, the IDF continued their targeted retaliation, including the home of senior Hamas member Abdul Rahman Juda, which served as a command and control center.

Additionally, the IDF targeted and killed Muhammad Sa’aban a commander of Hamas’s naval commando unit. The IDF targeted the homes of Hamas members Eiad Sakik, Abdullah Hshash, Samer Abu Daka, and Hassan Abdullah. The Palestinians confirmed that all homes were called by the IDF prior to being hit, asking residents to leave. The IDF assassinated Islamic Jihad commander Hafez Hamad, who was a commander in its military wing in Beit Hanoun, in an airstrike on his home.

Late afternoon, Hamas announced that all Israelis are now legitimate targets. Early evening, the Iron Dome Defense system shot down a rocket over Tel Aviv.

Hamas, in the evening, held a press conference to express their demands to stop their offense on Israel. Hamas demanded that Israel halt what it termed aggression in Jerusalem; the West Bank; and the Gaza Strip, re-release of the prisoners of the Gilad Shalit deal, and re-commit to all the terms of the Operation Pillar of Defense cease-fire. Hamas claimed responsibility for rocket fire.[citation needed] In addition, the Islamic Jihad (PIJ) claimed responsibility for 60 rockets, the Popular Resistance Committees asserted they had fired 17, and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed responsibility for three.

Late in the evening, a second rocket was shot down over Tel Aviv. Following this air sirens went off in Binyamina and Hamas stated that a rocket was fired at Haifa. This was all followed by several rockets being fired at Jerusalem and two landing just outside Jerusalem. Just before midnight, a rocket hit Hadera, 28 miles (45 km) north of Tel Aviv, making it the longest range rocket ever shot into Israel. Upon investigation of the shrapnel, Israel determined it was a Syrian-made M302 Rocket.

By the end of 8 July, Israeli Air Force (IAF) and the Israeli Navy had struck 435 targets in Gaza, resulting in the death of at least 23 Palestinians, including two children under five, and over 122 injuries. Also, during the first day 225 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel and 40 of out of 225 were intercepted.

Property damage in Israel totaled approximately 10 million NIS, from 35 vehicles, 52 buildings, 12 agriculture-related damages reported.