Thursday, November 27, 2014

From Ian:

Shin Bet: Hamas terror attack plot at Jerusalem soccer stadium thwarted
The Shin Bet and IDF thwarted a large-scale, transnational Hamas terrorism network that was preparing to carry out an array of deadly attacks against Israelis.
It was cleared for publication on Thursday that the network planned to target the landmark Teddy soccer stadium in Jerusalem, the capital's light rail system, car bombings, and kidnappings of Israelis in the West Bank and overseas.
The nerve center of the network was situated in Hamas's headquarters in Turkey, the Shin Bet added. Additional intended targets included infiltrations into Israeli communities, shooting and bombing attacks against Israeli traffic and military targets in the West Bank, and setting up terrorist cells in Jordan in order to carry out cross-border attacks into Israel.
The plot, uncovered in September, involved the assembly of multiple terror cells in the West Bank, as well as the training of Hamas members overseas.
More than 30 Hamas members are under arrest, and the Shin Bet has seized two M-16 firearms, ammunition, and bomb-making equipment.
Netanyahu after foiled terror plot: Hamas challenges existence of Jews, Israel
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday praised the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and IDF after it was announced that security forces had thwarted a large-scale Hamas cell in the West Bank that "could have claimed the lives of many victims in our country."
While the premier noted that despite the announcement of the deterred plot in September, many others remain unrevealed.
The premier lauded those involved in counter-terrorism work and operations "against Hamas that seeks to challenge the existence of a Jewish national state and essentially challenges the existence of Jews in general."
He vowed that Israel was working "day in day out to ensure the safety of Israeli citizens."
Sarah Honig: Transcending All Other Considerations
On Israel’s first day, Arab League Secretary-General Abdul-Rahman Azzam Pasha, confirmed Arab priorities. Sending forth seven Arab armies to wipe out the “Zionist entity,” he declared: “This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades.”
The Arab agenda and intentions were unambiguous. The creation of a Palestinian state wasn’t even considered. Syria, Jordan and Egypt had even devised their own plan for the partition of Palestine – among themselves.
The unvarnished truth is that even now the last thing Palestinians desire is an Arab Palestinian state dwelling in idyllic coexistence alongside a secure, accepted and recognized Jewish state. Honchos in both Ramallah and Gaza may cynically exploit the two-state catchphrase, but they never genuinely espoused the cause of two-state harmony.
But what do Lofven and Wallström care that the Arabs brazenly spawned and successfully market a lie?
Forgetting Resolution 181 is exceedingly expedient for the brainwashed Mideast and voluntarily gullible moral relativists in capitals like Stockholm. It’s too useful – even in snow-white Sweden – not to remember that the Arabs were never interested in a Palestinian state. All they ever wanted and still want is to destroy the Jewish state.



Mudar Zahran: Who Is Setting the West Bank on Fire?
Nonetheless, suddenly the Palestinian, Jordanian and Qatari media(Aljazeera) began reporting on a daily basis:”Israeli settlers storm Al-Aqsa”.
In addition to the media’s messages, suddenly banners and posters started popping up across the West Bank and Jerusalem:”Jews are attacking Al-Aqsa, will you get angry?”, and around the same time those appeared violence began.
Surprisingly to some, Jordan’s king’s media launched an anti-Israeli campaign urging “a third Intifada for Al-Aqsa”. Why would the king do that?
Jordan’s king’s apologists usually claim the king lets his media demonize Israel and incite our young men to fight it just because “He wants to verbally appease his people who hate Israel”, only this time, this excuse won’t stick at all: The king’s media began inciting and calling for an Intifada long before any unrest in the West Bank or Jerusalem. A thorough and honest examination of Jordanian media would show mountains of evidence of that.
Needless to say, Jordan’s media is closely controlled by the king’s media office and his intelligence department.
In short, the king wanted this to happen. But did his role stop just with media incitement? Let’s see.
Ahmadi Muslim leader condemns terror against Israelis
Ahmadi Muslim religious leader, Sheikh Muhammad Sharif Odeh, who lives in Israel, condemned all the recent terror attacks carried out by Palestinians under the pretext of defending the Islamic holy sites, stating that they are a distortion of Islam. In an op-ed published in Ma'an, a private Palestinian news agency, he said that Muslims must "defend, first of all, the churches, houses of worship and monasteries of their fellow men, even before their own mosques."
Rejecting the statements of the PA and Fatah leadership, who have supported, defended and glorified the attacks, Odeh wrote:
"I assert that those people who are attempting to sanction this crime or incite to similar acts in the name of religion have no backing from the Quran."
He stated that crimes like the killings in the synagogue "contradict the principles of tolerance" in Islam:
"I visited the synagogue that was attacked in Jerusalem (i.e., in which five people were killed), and from the first moment, I felt a sense of anger because of this shameful act, which does not conform to our glorious Islam and contradicts its principles of tolerance. My condemnation of this crime arises from my understanding of and belief in glorious Islam..."
Netanyahu to Druze: 'You Are an Organic Part of Israeli Society'
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with Druze community leaders Wednesday, where he expressed condolences over the deaths of two security officers in terror attacks on Jewish Israelis and he expressed solidarity with the Druze community.
In attendance were Druze spiritual leader Sheikh Muwafaq Tarif, Sheikh Hatem Halabi, Sheikh Mahmoud Seif, Sheikh Fandi Salah Assad and Druze Local Councils Forum head Jaber Hamoud.
Netanyahu expressed his condolences on the deaths of Israel Police Master Sergeant Zidan Nahad Seif, who was killed in last week's terrorist attack on a Jerusalem synagogue, and Border Police Chief Inspector Jidan Assad, who was killed on November 5 when a Palestinian terrorist deliberately rammed his car into a crowd of people at a light rail station in Jerusalem.
"You are our very flesh," Netanyahu stated. "You are an organic part of Israeli society."
Report: Israel and PA Held Secret Back Channel Negotiations
In December 2013, the fundamental flaw of of the secret negotiations exploded: Abbas' so-called representative was holding the talks without a real mandate from the Palestinian Authority, and the concessions he had discussed did not represent the real views of the PA Chairman.
At this time, an Israeli news article reported that during Netanyahu's previous term in office (2009–2012), Molho had a "secret Palestinian contact" with whom he exchanged messages between Abbas and Netanyahu.
While Netanyahu's office did not comment, Abbas forcefully announced that "there is no secret channel with Netanyahu, and never was one."
His statement raised concern in Israel, who had taken seriously the back channel talks. Abbas' subsequent detachment from the compromises made in these secret talks, which Kerry attempted to incorporate into the official negotiations, saw the fizzling out of negotiations in the spring of 2014.
As the New Republic concluded, "“Perhaps what the Israelis considered a serious back channel, the Palestinians — including their man in the room — saw as merely an unofficial exchange of ideas."
"Only two people can really solve the mystery, Yitzhak Molho and his negotiating counterpart. Both of them refused to comment."
Israel and Allies Try to Prevent Fourth Geneva Convention Summit
Israel, along with allies the United States, Canada, and Australia are attempting to dissuade nearly 200 states that make up the Fourth Geneva Convention from convening a special session in regard to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
The special session, slotted for mid-December would address the conditions of Palestinians living in Judea and Samaria, the Gaza Strip, and eastern Jerusalem, Israeli and Western diplomats told Haaretz Wednesday.
The conference will have few speeches and no media coverage except for a statement to the press to be released only at the end of the meeting.
“We made it clear we didn’t want a political event or debate club, or a conference that would blame or criticize one of the sides,” a Swiss diplomat said.
Israel, however, objected strongly to the move. Senior diplomats have spoken to Geneva several times in an effort to persuade the Swiss Foreign Ministry not to hold the session. Israel has said it will boycott if the convention is held.
“They told us that holding the conference would help a one-sided Palestinian move intended to make Israel look bad and attack it in an international forum,” the Swiss diplomat said.
EU holds bitter debate over whether to recognize Palestine
The former Italian foreign minister, who has taken over as diplomatic chief of the 28-nation European Union, said the bloc was ready to “play a role” in moving the peace process forward. She also reiterated her support for a two-state solution to resolve the crisis.
The debate came as a growing number of European leaders and lawmakers are calling for unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state.
In Wednesday’s debate, European Parliament members appeared sharply divided on what policy to endorse. One lawmaker branded Israel “a state of child killers and land robbers,” while another likened a Palestinian state to the Islamic State terrorist group.
A vote, originally expected Thursday, was put off until December.
Recognition of a country is a decision for national governments. But Mogherini told the lawmakers that the bloc needs to forge “a united and strong message” to influence events.
The ultimate goal, Mogherini said, is creation of an independent Palestinian state and securing Israel’s right to live in “security, safety and peace.” She said one cannot happen without the other.
UK PM Cameron: Israel Ticks All the Boxes in Terms of Freedom
British Prime Minister David Cameron fired back at critics of Israel's "Jewish State Law" in parliament Wednesday, noting that Israel is one of the only countries in the Middle East which actually grants equal rights to all its citizens.
Cameron was responding to a statement during Prime Minister's Questions by notoriously anti-Israel Labor MP Gerald Kaufman, who called upon the Conservative PM to "condemn" the bill - which recently passed a cabinet vote and will be put to a Knesset vote next week.
Speaking to the House of Commons, Kaufman claimed the bill would "remove national rights for all Israeli citizens who are not Jews" and "makes Hebrew the only national language," alleging that what he termed as "statutory, repressive removal of citizenship rights on the basis of religion" would "turn Israel into an apartheid state."
Clearly, however, Kaufman did not check his facts.
One Third of all Nations have religious symbols on their Flags
According to a new report by the Pew research center 1/3 of all nations have religious symbols on their flags
Of the 64 countries in this category, about half have Christian symbols (48%) and about a third include Islamic religious symbols (33%). Only Israel, the national state of the Jewish people has a flag with Jewish symbols
And only the Israeli flag is controversial.
The Colonialist Crimes of Islam
Through its history of conquest, Islamic armies invaded many nations. In their process of colonization, Islam erased native cultures and converted holy places into Mosques. Holy Sites stolen by Islamic Armies in the past continue to be occupied today.
It is time for modern, moderate Muslim regimes to repent for Islam's violent past.
The same way that today Germany apologizes for the crimes of the Nazis, the same way that today Spain apologizes for the Inquisition, the Muslims today must apologize for the crimes of Islam and return stolen holy sites to whom they belong.
IDF Engineering Chief: No Hezbollah Tunnels Under Lebanon Border
Weighing on the “debate” over whether or not Hezbollah has dug tunnels under the border between Israel and Lebanon was Lieutenant Oshri Lugasy, a top member of the IDF Engineering Corps. According to Lugasy, it is very unlikely that such tunnels exist.
“Unlike in Gaza, the northern border does not have any tunnels,” Lugasy said. “As far as I know, there is no infrastructure under the border fence with Lebanon.”
In the wake of the discovery of dozens of tunnels under Gaza – some of them burrowing into Israeli territory – the IDF has been grappling with the question of whether the country could face the same danger on its northern border.
IDF official: 3 months after Gaza war Hamas still rehabilitating military hierarchy
Three months after the recent Gaza war, Hamas is still assessing the damage it sustained, the commander of a key IDF tactical drone unit told The Jerusalem Post this week.
Capt. Nir (full name withheld), who leads a Sky Rider drone company in the Artillery Corps, said Hamas is still “attempting to rehabilitate its military hierarchy. They are looking around, still trying to figure out what happened.
“We deal with trying to understand the other side from above.
My crews fly drones over Gaza, where they see reconstruction efforts. These won’t be complete in a year, or two years, in light of all the damage sustained,” Nir said.
The drone – the only unmanned aerial platform operated by the ground forces – provides high-quality images from an electro-optic camera, as well as images from a heat-sensitive infrared camera during nighttime intelligence missions.
Palestinians fire at IDF patrol on Gaza border
Palestinian gunmen inside the Gaza Strip opened fire at an IDF patrol operating on the Israeli side of the border fence, the IDF said on Thursday afternoon.
There no injuries reported but the windshield of the jeep was smashed by bullets.
An IDF tank in the area fired back at the source of the shooting.
According to Ynet, the incident happened near Kibbutz Be’eri.
Thousands of Gaza Construction Workers Allowed Into Israel
It was announced on Wednesday that the quota for Arab construction workers allowed to work in sovereign Israeli territory is being raised with 8,000 additional workers - and for the first time in a long time, Arab workers from the Hamas-stronghold of Gaza will also be allowed in.
Currently 86,000 workers are employed in Israel's construction department with 78% of them Israeli citizens, Netanel Lapidot, Advisor to the Ministry of Construction and Housing's General Director, told the Knesset's Committee on Foreign Workers headed by MK Michal Rozin (Meretz).
"Due to the shortage of roughly ten thousand workers in the construction department, the quota of Palestinian workers allowed to work in Israel was raised an additional 8,000 workers, in addition to the 37,000 of the existing quota," said Lapidot.
Hamas Bans Israeli Fruit Imports to Gaza
Hamas on Wednesday “punished” Israel - by announcing that it will stop importing Israeli fruit to Gaza.
According to the Ma’an news agency, the reason for the decision, as announced by the Gaza Ministry of Agriculture, is that Israeli authorities prevented vegetables from Gaza from entering Judea and Samaria at the Kerem Shalom crossing.
"We decided to stop importing fruits from the Israeli side to pressure Israel to resume allowing our vegetables to be exported," Tahsin Wal-Saqqa, general manager of marketing and crossings in the ministry, told Ma'an.
On Sunday, Israel prevented 12 trucks of vegetables from being sent into the Palestinian Authority regions of Judea and Samaria from Gaza. Two of the trucks were supposed to be sent to Jordan, and the total value was estimated at $150,000.
The ban caused Palestinian Arab farmers huge financial losses and will lead to a decrease in prices of vegetables in Gaza, the ministry said at the time.
28 Truckloads of Cement Go to Gaza; Hamas Must Be Happy
A total of 400 truckloads of goods entered Gaza on Tuesday, November 25, from Israel. Those “poor” Gazans, who got a beating this summer during Operation Protective Edge when Israel finally fought back after thousands upon thousands of rocket and other terror attacks, received goods which included 28 truckloads of cement.
Now remember, these convoys delivering goods to Gaza are a routine occurrence, typically facilitated by the IDF. Even during the war, the IDF transferred truckloads of goods, medical supplies, food, gas and humanitarian aid to Gaza and set up hospitals for Gazans, which Hamas tried to block in order to prevent its people from receiving the medical care they needed.
Also keep in mind that although Gazans need cement to build homes, schools, hospitals, etc., and they were recently awarded over $5 billion in pledges from governments and humanitarian groups around the world to rebuild after those “evil Jews” defended themselves, wiping out a large portion of Hamas’s arsenal and terror sites, if the past is any indication of the future, much of that cement will not be used for its intended purpose
Syrian Islamist Scholar: Only the Jihadi Movements Can Break the Backs of the Jews


Pro-Hezbollah Singer Arrested for Incitement in Lebanon
The vocalist received a summons in April for releasing sectarian songs that “harm Lebanon’s relations” with other Arab nations, authorities said, according to a report by ABC News that quoted the Associated Press.
One song was titled “Your Terror, Saudi Arabia,” referring to rival Arab regional powerhouse Saudi Arabia, which backs the Syrian rebels. The Hezbollah terrorist organization backs Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Several glorified Hezbollah, including one released on the 14th anniversary of the Israeli army’s withdrawal from Lebanon. He sang about Hezbollah conquering the Galilee — a goal the terrorist group has said it will reach in the next war — and of bombing the Golan Heights.
Kicking the Can Down the Road: Another Extension of the P5+1 Talks
Israel will continue to be unrepresented at the negotiating table. At the same time, it must continue working with the US administration through the existing working channels, particularly in view of the agreement and understandings between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu about a “bad agreement” and “an agreement that can be lived with.” An agreement that can be accepted, even if not ideal, must include rolling Iran back from a period of months to a period of years from a bomb, closing all routes of Iranian progress towards nuclear capability on the uranium and plutonium tracks, clarifying the military dimensions of the program over the years and constant monitoring of those dimensions in the future, implementing a comprehensive intrusive verification regime, insisting on a period of more than a decade during which the agreement is valid, and removing the sanctions gradually – only in exchange for full Iranian compliance with its obligations under the agreement.
Extension of the negotiations with Iran on a nuclear agreement gives Israel a seven-month period in which it does not have to make fateful decisions on the matter. On July 1, 2015, however, if a “bad agreement” is signed or if the talks collapse, Israel will face a strategic situation that will demand difficult decisions. Both of these scenarios will require Israel to reformulate its strategy for stopping the Iranian nuclear program. Israel must therefore take proper advantage of the third extension of the interim agreement to prepare and enhance all its options regarding the Iranian nuclear threat.
Khamenei: US, not Iran, would be biggest loser of failed nuclear talks
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Thursday he was not against an extension of nuclear talks between the Islamic Republic and world powers.
"For the same reasons I wasn't against negotiations, I'm also not against the extension, Khamenei said, according to his website.
The Supreme Leader also said that the United States, not Iran, would be the biggest loser should the nuclear talks fail.
Iran and six powers failed on Monday for a second time this year to resolve their 12-year stand-off over Tehran's nuclear ambitions, and gave themselves seven more months to clinch a deal.
Iran To Murder Man Accused Of Insulting The Prophet Muhammed
An Iranian court upheld the death sentence of a man who is accused of insulting the Prophet Muhammad in art posted online. Reports Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty:
Iranian opposition websites are reporting that an appeal court in Iran has confirmed the death sentence for an Internet activist who allegedly insulted Prophet Muhammad.
Soheil Arabi was reportedly arrested last year by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps over his posts on Facebook, where he is said to have been active under different names.
Arabi’s wife, Nastaran Naeimi, has said that printouts of Arabi’s alleged Facebook posts are the only proof that authorities have provided against him.
Iran Attempted to Disrupt Elections in Bahrain
Bahrain has repeatedly accused Iran, which is located just across the Persian Gulf, of backing the Shiite opposition. On Tuesday, Bahrain denounced the recurrent Iranian intrusions into the Kingdom’s internal affairs, saying: “Enough of your lies and interferences.”
Iran sees Bahrain as a target for intervention and subversion as the Gulf kingdom, beyond being economically important for Tehran, retains a tenuous sociopolitical structure, with a Shi’ite majority population ruled by a Sunni minority monarchy that is allied to Saudi Arabia and supports the U.S.
Bahraini authorities’ claims concerning Iranian interference are based on Iran’s intensive incitements of Bahrain’s Shi’ite citizens to overthrow the monarchy. Despite its position across the Persian Gulf, Tehran claims sovereignty over the tiny kingdom, calling it “Iran’s 14th province”. The regional upheavals in the past four years intensified both the Shi’ite majority protests against the Sunni regime, as well as Iranian efforts to destabilize it.
Expert Challenges Associated Press Report on Iran Jews, Says Anti-Semitism is ‘Founding Pillar’ of Regime
Since Rouhani took office last year, Dareini writes, “Jews say they have been heartened by the support they’ve received. His government agreed to allow Jewish schools to be closed on Saturdays to mark Shabbat, the day of rest. Rouhani also allocated the equivalent of $400,000 to a Jewish charity hospital in Tehran and invited the country’s only Jewish lawmaker to accompany him to the United Nations General Assembly in New York last year.”
However, continued skepticism of the Iranian regime’s true intentions is warranted. A report issued in March this year, several months after Rouhani came to power, by Ahmed Shaheed, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran, noted that “under the law, religious minorities, including recognized Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians, also face discrimination in the judicial system, such as harsher punishments than Muslims for certain crimes, and are barred from serving as judges.”
Saba Farzan, a German-Iranian journalist and the Executive Director of the Foreign Policy Circle, a Berlin-based think-tank, told The Algemeiner that the AP article “misses many key issues about how difficult circumstances are for the Iranian Jewish community.”
“Iranian Jews have to constantly distance themselves from Israel and Zionism, their synagogues are literally falling apart and discrimination against them is run by the Iranian state – Jews can’t become civil servants under the Islamic Republic,” Farzan said. “Things might have improved a little bit, but anti-Semitism is a founding pillar of the Iranian regime.”
WaPo Analysis: Kurds “Alone” in Fight Against ISIS
In the end, the Kurds still see themselves as alone. The thrust of their lobbying in Washington was to obtain U.S. heavy weapons for delivery to Irbil, with or without Baghdad’s consent. The Pentagon’s response was grudging: There is a plan in the works to deliver 250 armored vehicles to Iraq, of which the Kurds would get 25. The administration meanwhile plans to train nine Iraqi and three Kurdish brigades, in the hope that that will be enough to go on the offensive in northern and western Iraq. But U.S. officials still insist that any arms deliveries to the Kurds go through the central government.
Like many U.S. military experts — including former defense secretary Robert Gates — the Kurds see that plan as underpowered. “Three divisions is 10,000 fighters,” Hussein said. Mosul, the declared seat of the Islamic State’s caliphate, is a city of more than 1 million people, heavily fortified with captured U.S. weapons. “Who is going to liberate Mosul?” Hussein asked. “We cannot do that without heavy weapons — Apache helicopters and Humvees, artillery, rockets, sniper rifles.”
ISIS says its flag will wave over Jerusalem, even if the Jews don't like it
In the foreword, Islamic State announces that it plans to widen its rule into the Arabian Peninsula, the Sinai Peninsula, Yemen, Libya and Algeria.
The organization vows that its flag will fly over Jerusalem, as well as over Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.
"While the eyes of the world were all blinded and spellbound by the sorcerous media 'covering' the battle for ‘Ayn al-Islām (Kobani), the eyes of the Islamic State were scanning East and West, preparing for the expansion that – by Allah’s permission – would put an end to the Jewish State, Āl Salūl, and the rest of the apostate tawāghīt, the allies of the cross," the article says.
The group further vows that "the flag of the Caliphate will rise over Mecca and Medina, even if the apostates and hypocrites despise such. The flag of the Caliphate will rise over Baytul-Maqdis (Jerusalem) and Rome, even if the Jews and Crusaders despise such."
Denmark reports Turkey row to EU over shooting suspect’s release
Copenhagen is pressuring Ankara for an explanation regarding the release of the suspected shooter of a Danish writer in Turkey and conveyed the issue to the European Union, the Danish foreign minister has said.
“The government approaches this issue with great seriousness and we are continuing to put pressure on Turkey to get clear answers regarding the subject,” Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard said in a statement, Cihan News Agency reported on Nov. 26.
“We are doing this in both Ankara and Copenhagen with a new understanding and Turkey’s Copenhagen Ambassador has been called to the Foreign Ministry again,” he said.
The release of the suspected shooter of Lars Hedegaard, an outspoken critic of Islam, has severely strained ties between the two countries since early October, causing Turkey’s Danish envoy Mehmet Dönmez to be called to the ministry three times over the past month.
96.5% of Casualties from US Drone Strikes Civilians
The US's drone strike campaign in the Middle East has killed an unprecedented number of civilians, new data on the strikes reveals Wednesday.
Terrorists only comprise 3.5% of the people who have died from "targeted killings," the data, from human rights group Reprieve, reveals. Out of 1,147 people killed in targeted airstrikes, just 41 were targets. The data was reported in the British Guardian.
The study, an in-depth analysis of reports by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, also gave a breakdown of attacks by country.
In Pakistan, for example, the US targeted 24 men over the past three years - and it has resulted in the death of 874 people. Numerous strikes were aimed at each target, the data shows - but despite the endless attempts, just six of the targets actually died in the drone strikes. Among the dead were 142 children.
A detailed study after Operation Protective Edge later proved 49% of the casualties in Gaza were terrorists, meaning the IDF achieved a 1:1 civilian to combatant ratio almost unprecedented in urban warfare.
But it was not enough for some US officials, including the State Department.
"We would like the Israelis to take even greater steps to ensure the protection of civilians," spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters at the time.


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