26 February

War with Hamas

10:30 AM AEDT, 26 February

War update
We keep hearing about a ceasefire over Ramadan that may become permanent. Which leads to considerations of what ‘the day after’ may look like. Netanyahu released a paper to Cabinet about his plans. Arab media claims the Palestinian Authority’s current government will soon resign to be replaced with a new technocratic government. Are they positioning this new government as the future ruling power in Gaza?

Our own Bren Carlill discussed this issue at the ACT Zionist Council late last week (see below). Regardless of the outcome, the current military campaign appears to be winding down from the intensity of late last year, and the details of ceasefire agreements are being negotiated, including the release of more hostages. Read this opinion piece in the Times of Israel, for the critical issues that need to be settled.

Egypt is clearing a buffer zone on its border with Gaza. It may be preparing for a refugee camp when the IDF ground offensive begins in Rafah. The three kilometre wall it has quickly built is certainly there to block the movement of displaced Gazans into Sinai. Why is Egypt so desperate to prevent Palestinians from seeking shelter in Sinai? In this interview, Former US Ambassador Ryan Crocker offers his two cents as to why Arab states won’t accept Palestinians fleeing war.

Israeli security authorities have said that it is safe for evacuated Israelis to return to southern towns. This signals the first step to resettlement of these areas. Meanwhile towns in northern Israel are being evacuated after Hezbollah rocket fire hit Kiryat Shmona overnight.

The UK and US continue to battle the Houthis in Yemen. The attacks on international trade vessels in the Red Sea are designed to put pressure on Israel. It is unknown what the Houthis plan to do once a ceasefire agreement is implemented.

Sadly it has been confirmed that Sgt. Oz Daniel, one of the hostages taken on October 7, was was killed in captivity.


Hero of the day

Hananya Ben Shimon, who only just returned from serving in Gaza, was in the car with his mother on the way to work when he found himself in the middle of a terrorist attack, which took place yesterday morning on the road between Ma’ale Adumim and Jerusalem.

Without a second thought, Hananya raced out the car and fired at one of the terrorists. He succeeded in injuring one of them before falling over from his own injuries. While on the ground in pain, he managed to kill one of the other terrorists.

Read more about this story on the ZFA Facebook page

While on our Facebook page read posts from our ZFA representatives recent visit to Israel


Bren Carlill considers ‘the day after tomorrow’

The ZFA’s Bren Carlill spoke to the ACT Zionist Council on Thursday night at a packed National Jewish Memorial Centre, in Canberra. Focusing on ‘the day after tomorrow’, Dr Carlill spoke about the main regional groupings in the Middle East, and what each of them want to see unfold in Gaza. He also broke down the main groups in Israeli and Palestinian society, to explain their actions towards and perceptions of the other. In explaining all of this, Dr Carlill sought to explain the challenges facing Israel, and the international community, as it looks to make a post-Hamas Gaza a success.


AUJS at O-week across Australian uni campuses

February is a busy month for AUJS. As Jewish student leaders prepare for another semester, they’re also focused on orientation week, during which AUJS erects information stalls on campuses across the country to attract new members and potential future leaders.

This year poses new challenges and concerns, as antisemitism and anti-Israel rhetoric are becoming increasingly rampant. To best prepare students for what they might face on campus, AUJS has provided them over the past month with various seminars and workshops on Israel advocacy, bridge building and de-escalation.

Throughout February, Jewish Agency Shaliach Tobias Siegal will be traveling to as many campuses as he can with an emphasis on smaller regions like Adelaide, Perth and Auckland, where the Jewish community and AUJS are relatively small, and could use additional support more than ever.

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