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The Economist calculus: Israel has just a few weeks left to destroy Hamas

IDF tanks Gaza
© IDF Handout Via EYEPRESS / Legion-Media
Israel Defense Forces troops and tanks. Israel says its ground operation in Gaza will last six weeks to six months.
Pressure from America to end the offensive is mounting

It has been nine weeks since Israel began bombarding the Gaza Strip and six since it sent in ground forces. Some 18,000 Gazans, mostly civilians, have died. But Israel has so far failed to achieve its main objective of destroying the military capabilities of Hamas, the Islamist movement that rules Gaza and, in a terrorist attack on October 7th, murdered 1,200 Israelis and took 240 people hostage. It increasingly looks as though the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) have just weeks to finish the job before America, Israel's vital ally, withdraws support for the offensive. Success looks unlikely.

Israel is stepping up its operations. It has deployed an entire airborne division of the IDF in and around the southern city of Khan Younis, where it believes Hamas's senior leaders are now holed up. Three armoured divisions are still operating in the northern sector, in devastated Gaza city. Fierce fighting has been occurring in the Shujaiya and Jabalia areas of the city. The IDF is destroying tunnels, where Hamas fighters take refuge, and infrastructure, both military and civilian, in the city and its outskirts.

Георгиевская ленточка

Senior Ukrainian commander says Russia attacking on all fronts

russian tanks ukraine
© Sputnik / Stanislav Krasilnikov/File
Russian servicemen ride T-80 tanks in the course of Russia's military operation in Ukraine.
The battlefield situation remains difficult for Kiev, Colonel General Aleksandr Syrsky has said

Russian troops are attacking Ukrainian positions in all areas along the conflict front line, the commander of Ukraine's ground forces, Colonel General Aleksandr Syrsky, has said.

In a Telegram post on Sunday, Syrsky acknowledged that "the operational situation in the east remains difficult" and that the Russian military "doesn't stop conducting offensive operations along the entire front."

He added that he had held a meeting with fellow Ukrainian commanders, who have been "on the defensive in the eastern direction," to analyze the situation and plan further steps.

Comment: History Legends give a good summary of the situation:


Israel knew Hamas's attack plan over a year ago

Manlio Dinucci discusses the reasons why the Israeli government allowed the attack of October 7 to take place, with full knowledge of the facts.

"Israel Knew Hamas's Attack Plan Over a Year Ago", The New York Times reveals, A 40-page document code-named by Israeli intelligence "Walls of Jericho" proves this:
It outlines point-by-point, without specifying the date, exactly the attack carried out by Hamas on Oct. 7, 2023. The plan has been circulated widely, for more than a year prior to Oct. 7, 2023, among Israeli military and intelligence leaders, but they concluded that "an attack of this magnitude is beyond Hamas' capabilities." Last July, only three months before the attack, a veteran analyst at Unit 8200, Israel's intelligence agency, warned that Hamas had conducted an intensive exercise similar to the one described in the plan. But an intelligence agency colonel trashed her report.

On Oct. 7, 2023, Hamas executed the attack plan with "astonishing precision": a barrage of rockets, drones to knock out security cameras and automatic machine guns along the barrier surrounding Gaza, gunmen entering Israeli territory from gaps opened by bulldozers in the barrier. Exactly as it was written in the plan called by the Israeli intelligence "Walls of Jericho."
This outstanding documentation, which the political-media mainstream has essentially passed over in silence, confirms what we have been demonstrating based on facts and not opinions, since episode 113 of Grandangolo entitled "The Middle East's 9/11". The leaders of Israel were not taken by surprise by the Hamas attack, but contributed to its execution in order to have the pretext to implement their strategic plan. It consists of exterminating the population of Gaza: the dead and seriously wounded, mostly women and children, amount to about 60,000 so far, equivalent (if we were in a similar situation) to about 2 million dead and seriously wounded in Italy.


IDF reports 1,593 wounded since October 7, but hospital data Is much higher

© Eyal Toueg
A military helicopter carrying wounded soldiers lands in the Ichilov Hospital, Tel Aviv.
Unlike past conflicts and wars, the Israeli army withheld reports of wounded soldiers and their condition. The army released the information after Haaretz reported it is refusing to do so...

Making its first such announcement since Hamas attacked on October 7, Israel stated on Sunday that 1,593 Israeli soldiers have been wounded during this period.

The military noted that 255 soldiers had suffered serious injuries, 446 moderate injuries and 892 minor injuries. The army released the information on the numbers of wounded soldiers and their condition after Haaretz reported two weeks ago that it had been refusing to do so. Those figures include 559 soldiers who have been wounded during Israel's ground operation in Gaza, including 127 who were seriously injured, 213 moderately injured and 219 who suffered minor injuries. As of Sunday, 40 seriously wounded soldiers remained hospitalized, as well as 211 moderately injured and 165 with minor injuries.


Hungary warns it will veto €70 billion EU aid to Kiev-junta & more anti-Russia sanctions

Orbán Charles Michel
© X
The President of the European Council Charles Michel met Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in Budapest on 27 November 2023 in a bid to ease rising tensions, with the increasingly belligerent Hungarian leader threatening to block key decisions on Ukraine.
EU heavyweights are set for a showdown with Hungary this week over giving Ukraine billions of euros in aid and the chance to start membership negotiations, both key objectives for Kyiv as its war with Russia stalls.

European Union leaders will meet for a summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday (14 and 15 December) to decide on proposals to grant €50 billion of economic support to Kyiv, assign a further €20 billion to Ukraine's military and launch accession talks.

Securing fresh financial assistance from Europe is critical as doubts mount over future US support for Kyiv, which relies on Western financial aid for its war with Russia.


US uses 'emergency authorization' to send tank shells to Israel for Gaza genocide, skips congressional approval

israel tank
© Atef Safadi/EPA
Israeli Merkava tanks in action at an undisclosed location along the border with Lebanon
The United States government has used an emergency authority to allow the sale of about 14,000 tank shells to Israel without congressional review, says the Pentagon.

The State Department on Friday used an Arms Export Control Act emergency declaration for the tank rounds worth $106.5m for immediate delivery to Israel, the Pentagon said in a statement on Saturday.

The shells are part of a bigger sale the Biden administration is asking the Congress to approve. The larger package is worth more than $500m and includes 45,000 shells for Israel's Merkava tanks, regularly deployed in its offensive in Gaza, which has killed thousands of civilians.

Comment: Israel's genocide of the Palestinians wouldn't be possible without the US, UK, and AI:


BRICS and the Resistance Axis: A convergence of goals

The Gaza war has accelerated cooperation between Global South behemoths resisting western-backed conflict. Together, the Russian-led BRICS and Iran-led Axis of Resistance can shape a US-free West Asia.
Putin and Raisi
© The Cradle
MOSCOW - Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin made a notable pit stop in the UAE and Saudi Arabia to meet, respectively, Emirati President Mohammad bin Zayed (MbZ) and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MbS) before flying back to Moscow to meet Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.

The three key issues in all three meetings, confirmed by diplomatic sources, were Gaza, OPEC+, and BRICS expansion. They are, of course, interlinked.

The Russia-Iran strategic partnership is developing at breakneck speed, alongside Russia-Saudi Arabia (especially on OPEC+) and Russia-UAE (investments). This is already leading to stark shifts in defense interconnection across West Asia. The long-term implications for Israel, way beyond the Gaza tragedy, are stark.

Putin told Raisi something that was extraordinary on so many levels:

"When I was flying over Iran, I wanted to land in Tehran and to meet you. But I was informed that you wanted to visit Moscow. Relations between our countries are growing rapidly. Please convey my best wishes to the Supreme Leader, who supports our relations."

Putin's reference to "flying over Iran" directly connects with four armed Sukhoi Su-35s flying in formation, escorting the presidential plane over 4,000 km (if measured as a straight line) from Moscow to Abu Dhabi, without any landing or refueling.

As every stunned military analyst remarked, an American F-35 is capable of flying at best 2,500 km without refueling. Yet the most important element is that both MbZ and MbS authorized the Russian Su-35s escorts over their territory - which is something extremely unusual in diplomatic circles.

And that leads us to the key takeaway. With a single move on the aerial chessboard, compounded with the subsequent clincher with Raisi, Moscow accomplished four tasks:

Putin proved - graphically speaking - that this is a new West Asia where the US hegemon is a secondary actor; destroyed the neocon political myth of Russian "isolation;" demonstrated ample military supremacy; and lastly, as the start of Russia's BRICS presidency approaches, showed that it retains all its crucial geopolitical and geoeconomic cards.


Strategic reflections from Moscow

Three Psychos
© Public Domain
U.S.-Russia relations have touched rock-bottom; it is worse even than imagined. In discourse with senior Russian officials, it is evident that the U.S. treats the former as clear enemies. To gain a flavour, it is as if a senior Russian official were to ask: "What is it you want from me?". The answer might come: "I wish you'd die".

The inherent tension and lack of genuine exchange is worse than during the Cold War when channels of communication did stay open. This lacuna is compounded by the absence of political nous amongst European political leaders, with whom grounded discussion has not proved possible.

Russian officials recognise the risks to this situation. They are at a loss however on how to correct it. The tenor of discourse too, has slid from outright hostility toward pettiness: The U.S., for example, might block workers from entering the Russian mission at the UN to repair broken windows. Moscow then — reluctantly — finds itself with little alternative but to respond in a similarly petty vein — and so the relationship spirals down.

There is an acknowledgement that the deliberately vituperative 'information war' is wholly dominated by the western MSM — further souring the atmospherics. And though the scattered western alternative media exists and is gaining in scale and significance, it is not easily engaged (being both diverse, and individualist). The tag of 'Putin Apologist' too, remains toxic to any autonomous news providers, and can destroy credibility at a stroke.

It is understood in Russia that the West presently exists in 'phony normality' — an interlude within its own cultural war (in the run-up to 2024). Russians, however, do perceive some obvious parallels with their own experience of radical civil polarisation — when the Soviet Nomenklatura demanded conformity to the Party 'line', or suffer sanction.

Arrow Down

Scholz blames Putin for high energy prices in Europe!

Nazi Scholz
© Sputnik / Sergey Guneev
The leader of Germany's coalition government attempted to scapegoat Russia for his country's self-inflicted economic woes as Berlin faces the threat of deindustrialization.

In a recent address at the Social Democratic Party (SPD) congress, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz blamed Russia for halting gas supplies to Europe amid rising energy costs.He accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of stopping gas flows through a functional pipeline, significantly reducing Germany's gas intake and contributing to a shortfall in Europe's energy reserves.
"Russia: Yes, Russia stopped supplying energy to Europe... It was the Russian president who halted gas supplies through a working gas pipeline," Schoz stated. "This has implications for energy prices."
But that narrative collapses in light of his country's role in imposing sanctions on Moscow and restricting the flow of Russian energy to Western Europe.

Scholz's decision to align with the US and Britain in sanctioning Russian energy sources worsened Germany's problems.

Russian Flag

Russia's FM say Israel cannot carry out 'collective punishment' of people in Gaza

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
© Reuters
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
The Russian foreign minister says it is unacceptable that Israel is using Palestinian resistance movement Hamas's October 7 operation as justification for a collective punishment of Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Speaking virtually at the Doha Forum on Sunday, Sergei Lavrov called for international monitoring of the situation on the ground in the besieged Palestinian territory.

The top Russian diplomat also said the unprecedented attack by Hamas inside the Israeli territory did not happen in a vacuum.

It was due to "decades and decades of a blockade [in Gaza] and decades and decades of unfulfilled promises to the Palestinians that they would have a state, living side to side with Israel in security and good neighborliness", he said.

Comment: See also:

NewsReal: Livid at Russian Victory in Ukraine, Anglo-Americans Facilitate Israeli Genocide of Palestinians The comments on the conflict begin at the time link: