News Sparks: Israel Completes Barrier to Gaza’s Tunnels; Earliest Sunset of the Year Tonight; and More

News Sparks: Israel Completes Barrier to Gaza’s Tunnels; Earliest Sunset of the Year Tonight; and More

By Yehudit Garmaise

Israel Defense Minister Benny Gantz Announces Completed Barrier Around Gaza Strip: to End Attacks from Tunnels

 Israel has completed its construction around the Gaza Strip of a 65 kilometer, 10-meter high concrete wall with sensors, announced Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, who explained that the purpose of the barrier is to end the emergence of Hamas terrorists from their underground tunnel system in which they hide, travel, and store and transfer weaponry, including rocket launchers.

The Israeli Defense Ministry hopes its new barrier, which cost NIS 3.5 billion, which is equal to $1.1 billion and took three and half years to complete, will put an end to Palestinian attackers who emerge from the tunnels, which the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) mockingly call, “the metro,” alluding to a subway system or an underground city that Hamas considers a strategic asset.

“This barrier: a creative, technological project of the first order, denies Hamas one of the capabilities that it tried to develop and puts a wall of iron, sensors, and concrete between it and the residents of the south,” said Israeli Defense Minister Gantz, who added that the wall “deprives Hamas of one of their capabilities and places an iron wall, sensors, and concrete between it and residents of the south.”

After Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups recently threatened Israelis with violence, Gantz warned that Israel could be currently seeing a “calm before the storm.”

Between May 10 and 21, Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups launched more than 4,360 unguided rockets and mortars toward Israeli civilians, according to Israeli authorities and the Human Rights Watch.

During that time seven months ago, when Hamas made extensive use of their tunnels, the Israel Air Force (IAF) launched a massive bombing effort, which involved 160 Israeli aircraft that dropped 80 tons of explosives, to destroy Hamas’s underground tunnels.

“We’ve seen in previous cases that Hamas will not stop its fire,” said Omer Tishler, the commander of the IAF’s Nevatim airbase. “We can’t reduce the fire from Gaza to zero.

“We have to get to a situation in which all our operations lead Hamas to understand that its fire is not effective.”

 Toronto School Board Trustee Criticized After Pointing Out Legitimatization of Palestinian Terrorism in Educational Materials

 After Alexandra Lulka, a Jewish school board trustee in Toronto objected to the city’s official educational manual, which was given to teachers, referred to suicide bombings as “a legitimate means of resistance,” investigators concluded that the materials “could be reasonably considered to contain anti-Semitic materials and seen to be contributing to anti-Semitism.”

However, the investigators, who were not bothered by the Toronto School Board’s endorsement of Palestinian terrorism, recommended that Lulka be censured because, they said, her opposition to the city’s official education materials could be construed as “discrimination against Muslims."

 Amazon Hires Across New York Before the End of the Year

Jobseekers should be aware that Amazon is looking to hire 5,500 new workers statewide to get packages delivered more quickly.

Although retailers nationwide are reporting shortages as a result of supply chain disruptions from the pandemic, Amazon managers at the new Morris Park station in the Bronx say that the mega-retailer has not had slowdowns in the delivery of their merchandise.

At the Morris Park hub, Amazon, which says many of its seasonal hires turn into full-time positions, is looking to add 40 associates and 100 drivers to its workforce.

Biden told Putin the US Will Take “Strong Economic Measures,” if Russia Attacks Ukraine

President Joe Biden warned Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a two-hour video call today, that the U.S. and its allies would take “strong economic measures” Russia was to attack Ukraine, as 100,000 Russian soldiers amass at the border of the Eastern European nation. As early as 2022, Russia has drafted a plan for a military offensive against Ukraine that could involve as many as 175,000 personnel along with armor, artillery, and other equipment, U.S. intelligence suggests.

Biden further threatened Putin by telling him that, if Russia attacks Ukraine, the U.S. would “provide additional defensive material to the Ukrainians: above and beyond that which Americans are already providing,” said National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, who added that the U.S. does not believe that Putin has made a decision about whether he will attack Ukraine.

Russian officials have repeatedly rejected accusations that they are planning for war.

Putin blamed the 30 countries that comprise North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) for its “dangerous efforts” to expand into Ukraine and increase its military presence in Russia’s borders, said the Kremlin, which also described the video call between the two world leaders as “frank and businesslike.”

The Russian president wanted Biden to provide binding guarantees that NATO, which is U.S.-led, won’t accept new members to the east or station offensive weapons close to Russia.

Putin also criticized the reduction of Russia’s diplomatic presence in the U.S. in recent years, which has forced the country to retaliate.

Enjoy the Earliest Sunset of the Year Tonight: at 4:28 pm

After New Yorkers enjoy the earliest sunset of the year: tonight at 4:28 pm, days will only stretch out and get longer.

So, while snow flurries may be coming in this weekend, more hours of daylight are soon arriving, as well.

Although the year’s earliest sunset usually coincides with the winter solstice, on Dec. 21, this year, the sun is following an “odd, looping path,” the Farmers' Almanac reports, that also affected 2021’s earliest sunrise on June 14, which was a week before the summer solstice on June 20.

Residents can expect sunsets on the earlier side for the next few weeks, the National Weather Service reported, and therefore enjoy beautiful, cozy, long nights in New York City.

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