Wednesday, July 08, 2015

From Ian:

JPost Editorial: 7/7 and Protective Edge
Just one day after Israelis gathered on Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl Military Cemetery to mark a year since Operation Protective Edge, Britons held their own memorial service in London on Tuesday to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of a series of terrorist attacks on London’s Tube and bus networks.
These two seemingly arbitrary dates help to illustrate the common threat Israel and other Western states such as Britain face today as they come under attack by radical Islamists. France, Australia, Canada and Belgium have all seen acts of extreme violence that were directly or indirectly inspired by the ideology and aims of a violently reactionary stream of Islam.
A cult of death, a racist hatred of Jews, Hindus, Christians and “unbelievers” and the desire to restore a long-vanished, despotic empire ruled by a medieval Muslim jurisprudence are the common features of the groups that carry out these attacks. In this sense, Hamas and Islamic Jihad are no different than Islamic State, Jabhat al-Nusra or other al-Qaida-affiliated organizations in the Middle East, Europe or elsewhere.
It is common for the news media, foreign political leaders and other shapers of world opinion to attempt to “contextualize” the terrorist attacks directed at Israelis by Islamist groups such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah. When Palestinians target civilians in driveby shootings or ambushes and when they fire rockets and mortar shells at residents of the South, the aggression is framed within the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
France Drops Pro-Palestinian UN Resolution
France is back-pedaling from a decision to submit a resolution to the United Nations Security Council forcing Israel to renew negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.
PA foreign minister Fiyad al-Maliki told Voice of Palestine radio on Tuesday that France was instead advancing a suggestion to form a negotiations support committee.
The move follows a visit to Israel in early June, during which French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius urged the resumption of final status talks between Israel and the PA.
Netanyahu warned in remarks prior to his meeting with Fabius that the international community’s ideas for peace with the Palestinian Authority ignore the security needs of Israel.
Fabius subsequently discussed the issue in depth with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and a host of other top government officials.
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas had already rejected out of hand the most recent French proposal for a resolution in the UN Security Council giving both sides 18 months to reach an agreement. The reason: Under the French resolution, the PA would be required to recognize Israel as a “Jewish” state.
Released Clinton e-mail reignites question whether Obama reneged on Bush settlement commitments
Former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice told her successor Hillary Clinton there was no agreement between Israel and the US regarding where settlement construction was permitted, according to an email made public by the State Department last week.
Bloomberg columnist Eli Lake reported Monday that the email, part of the disclosure of Clinton’s personal emails stored on a private server, was dated June 7, 2009, and sent by Clinton to two aides.
The subject line of the email was “settlements,” and it read, “Condi Rice called to tell me I was on strong ground, saying what I did about there being no agreement between the Bush admin[istration] and Israel.”
Whether the Bush administration reached informal agreements with the Sharon government that it could build inside the construction lines of established settlements has long been a point of contention.
The issue was thrust into the headlines in 2009 because of the Obama administration’s demand for a complete settlement freeze and Israel’s counter claim that by making this demand the Obama administration essentially was reneging on commitments given to Israel under the previous administration.
Former ambassador Michael Oren, in his recent book, Ally: My Journey Across the American- Israeli Divide, said the Obama administration did walk back commitments made by the Bush administration and that this marked the “first time in the history of the US-Israel alliance” that the White House “denied the validity of a previous presidential commitment.”

Vatican Won't Let Israel See Its Treaty With 'State Of Palestine'
After the Vatican signed its first treaty recognizing Palestine as a state in June, officials won’t allow Israel to review the document.
The Holy See, the representation of the Roman Catholic Church abroad, declined four appeals by Israeli officials to read the details of the agreement two weeks ago, Haaretz reports. The treaty, signed in Vatican City, formalized relations between the Vatican and Palestine.
Israeli officials have only been allowed to view the three-page preface that asserts the right to a Palestinian state within the borders prior to the war in 1967, including the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.
Vatican representatives provided general information on the agreement and reassured Israeli officials that it doesn’t contradict existing accords with Israel. After the treaty is ratified, it will be made public, according to Haaretz.
Schabas justifies UNHRC's distorted focus on Israel
BBC HARDtalk interviews William Schabas on UN Gaza Report. Released on 7 July 2015.

UN Gaza report shows "inaccurate understanding of military operations, and of the law"
LT. COL. GEOFFREY CORN (RET.), law professor, former law of war adviser for U.S. army, adviser to JINSA Task Force on Gaza Conflict. June 29, 2015. Panel at UN Human Rights Council, co-sponsored by UN Watch and NGO Monitor.

Continue or Abort? You Decide
Last year, the IDF set out on a mission to stop Hamas aggression against Israeli civilians. One of our major challenges was that Hamas’ chose to embed its vast terror network deep within Gaza’s population. The terror organization hid weapons in schools and mosques, fired rockets from hospitals and dug terror tunnels under homes.
When a weapons storage facility or launching pad must be targeted, but suddenly civilians appear in the area, you are faced with a serious dilemma. If you fire at the target, you may harm civilians nearby. If you don’t, you may be leaving Israeli civilians at risk.
Today, one year after Operation Protective Edge, we challenge you to face these scenarios and decide for yourself. Do you continue or abort?

As PA expresses ‘shock’ at India’s UN vote, Israel voices appreciation for abstention
The Palestinian Authority was “shocked” at India’s abstention on an anti-Israel resolution passed at the UN Human Right’s Council, the PA’s ambassador to India said Tuesday, recalling the days when Yasser Arafat used to call the country’s former premier Indira Gandhi “his sister.”
“We were shocked,” Adnan Abu Alhaija told The Hindu newspaper.
“The Palestinian people and the leaders, we were very happy with the UN resolution, but the voting of India has broken our happiness.
India is a very special country for us, and its abstention from voting can be seen as a departure from India’s traditional position on Palestine, which has remained unwavering over the last seven decades.”
Israel hailed India’s abstention, which was viewed in Jerusalem as “dramatic” and a sign of the very strong relations between the two countries, especially since the election last year of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
A year on, army looks to last Gaza war for lessons on fighting the next one
Five years after its last major conflict in Gaza and two years since an aerial campaign that caught Hamas unawares, Israel squared off in July against a Hamas that still used civilians as cover, still sought to fire sporadic rockets, and still believed that as long as it kept up the fight, despite the destruction on its territory, it could declare victory.
But the enemy Israel faced in Operation Protective Edge was different from the one that fled underground during 2008-2009’s Operation Cast Lead.
This enemy launched a daring July 8 naval commando raid into Israel, which ended in a face-to-face firefight. Although the Hamas squads were detected and met with overwhelming firepower, a leaked army video revealed several months after the war that Hamas gunmen charged an Israeli tank on the sands of Zikim and placed an explosive device on the vehicle. This, the commander of the Israeli army noted, was “not something people do if they are not brave.”
This enemy also changed its underground warfare doctrine, shifting from mere protection against Israel’s deadly aerial firepower to offensive channels, and overhauled its communications, which stood the test of the 50-day war as Hamas managed, despite Israel’s formidable cyber capacity, to keep most of its commanders safe and to keep the channels of communication open.
A year after the war, the army is still attempting to figure out what lessons it can glean from the events of last summer, as it prepares for the next war – a horrible but inescapable eventuality.
From learning to rely less on air power and focus more on fighting underground — literally — to having a clear endgame, policy experts and officials hope the experiences of Israel’s last war with Hamas will reverberate into the inevitable next one.
A sliver of war, as seen through the eyes of a fallen Israeli soldier
Marking one year since the outbreak of last summer’s war in Gaza, the army on Tuesday released a video filmed by a commander several days before he was killed in action and a new set of radio transmissions of the Givati infantry brigade on the morning of August 1, known as “Black Friday,” when two soldiers were killed and another was abducted and presumed killed in Rafah.
The two soldiers killed in action were recon commander Maj. Benaya Sarel and his radio operator, Staff Sgt Liel Gidoni; Lt. Hadar Goldin was abducted and subsequently pronounced dead based on evidence heroically retrieved from within a Hamas tunnel.
The video depicts a sliver of the war through Sarel’s eyes. His brother, Yair, told Ynet that Benaya used to wear two cameras on his helmet, one civilian and one military, in order to capture the action. Miraculously, he said, neither of the cameras worked on the morning he was killed.
The GoPro footage released by the army on Tuesday, he added, “was very emotional and it shows where my brother was. The more time passes, the more we thirst for information about Benaya.”
Hamas: 'We won't return soldiers' bodies until prisoners from Schalit deal released'
A senior Hamas official said Wednesday that Israel had begun back channel negotiations in order to return the bodies of two IDF soldiers, Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, who were killed in last year's Gaza Operation, the Turkish Anatolia News Agency reported.
The Hamas source claimed that a European mediator contacted Hamas and inquired about the status of the bodies.
"The European mediator sent a message from the government of Israel, who wants to open a channel of communication to bring back the bodies of its soldiers being held by Hamas since the last war in Gaza," the official said.
The source added that Hamas refuses to discuss this issue until Israel releases all the detainees who were released as part of the Gilad Schalit deal, and were subsequently rearrested last summer after the IDF conducted a sweep after the abduction of three Israeli teens in the West Bank.
St.-Sgt. Oron Shaul, 20, who was unaccounted for after an attack on his armored personnel carrier in Gaza which killed six other soldiers, was declared dead by the IDF’s chief rabbi last summer.
Lt. Hadar Goldin, 23, from the Givati Brigade’s Reconnaissance Company, was killed in the Battle of Rafah on August 1, 2014.
Both Goldin and Shaul's bodies have not been returned.
Hamas lists Ben-Gurion airport, Dimona Reactor, as 'notable' sites bombed in Protective Edge
A year since the onset of last summer's Operation Protective Edge, Hamas took to Twitter to boast of their military prowess during the nearly two-month long operation.
In a new post, the terror group noted sites such as the Dimona reactor, Ben-Gurion Airport, Jerusalem, and Gush Dan as "notable sites bombed during Operation Protective Edge."
Although Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal said in the past that, "We do not target civilians, and we try most of the time to aim at military targets and Israeli bases," the poster says otherwise, taking aim at metropolises such as Haifa, Jerusalem, and Gush Dan, on top of military airbases Palmachim and Ramon, and the Kanaf 2 nuclear base.
Hamas leaders continue to talk about “victory” over Israel on the first anniversary of the war.
Saleh Arouri, a senior Hamas operative based in Turkey, said in a statement that the “victory of the Palestinian people was a real step toward paving the way for independence and freedom.”
Watch: Murdered Teens' Parents Visit Scene of Abduction
One year since Israeli teens Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Sha'ar, and Naftali Frankel were brutally abducted and murdered, their parents visited the site where their bodies were found.
Arutz Sheva was present to capture the emotional moment, which culminated in song.
Also present at the ceremony, which was to mark one year since Operation Brothers' Keeper to find the teens, was the leader of the IDF Etzion Brigade, Maj. Gen. Amit Yamin.
Yamin described the special connection between the soldiers involved in the search and the teens' parents.
"The families' desire to come here, not only to learn the details of the operation but also to show support for the soldiers - this was something that the soldiers themselves and the commanders could not stop talking about during the operation," he stated in an Army Radio interview Wednesday morning.

Highway 12 in Southern Negev Reopens
The IDF has reopened Highway 12 in the southern Negev, stretching from west to east, near Eilat.
Last week the highway was closed when the army was placed on high alert along Israel’s southern border, in light of the terrorist activity in the Sinai Peninsula.
Shelters, sirens part of life for Israelis near Gaza
The risk of mortars and rockets in this corner of Israel is nonetheless a very real one. Several thousand were fired into Israeli territory during last summer's war, leading to repeated sirens and terrified runs to shelters, sometimes with only seconds to spare.
Tunnels dug by Palestinian militants with the aim of carrying out attacks also greatly added to local residents' fears.
Shelters at bus stations or farms adorned with cartoon characters and peace slogans, along with blast walls painted blue and white at schools like Weiner's, are constant reminders of the grim circumstances.
There have been three wars in six years in Gaza, and fears of yet another conflict cannot be put to rest despite indirect talks between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing government and Islamist movement Hamas.
"We know that the next one will begin where the last one finished," said Jehan Berman, a 34-year-old wounded by mortar fire while celebrating his three-year-old son's birthday at a kibbutz near the Gaza border during last year's war.
"We have more or less the same players."
- 'Never getting used to it' -
The range of the rockets can vary greatly, from the basic Qassams to more sophisticated M-302s made in Syria, which can travel about 160 kilometres (100 miles). Mortar shells are short-range and can send shrapnel in various directions.
A radar system is in place to alert residents and the country's "Iron Dome" missile defence system has had success in intercepting rockets, but the threat is far from being eliminated.
Israel has long had requirements that residents must have shelters for their homes, but new programmes have been put in place in recent years.
40% of Israeli children in Gaza border town of Sderot suffer from anxiety, PTSD
As the nation marks the first anniversary of Operation Protective Edge, the children of Sderot and the Gaza periphery are still dealing with the conflict’s aftermath.
Some 40 percent of the children in Sderot suffer from symptoms of anxiety, fear and PTSD, according to a recent study.
Even during wartime, the level of PTSD among children nationwide hovers is somewhere between 7 and 10 percent, Prof. Ruth Pat- Horenczyk explained.
Pat-Horenczyk, director of the child and adolescent clinical services unit at the Israel Center for the Treatment of Psychotrauma, at Herzog Memorial Hospital in the capital, discussed her research and understanding of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in children, in an interview with The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.
“The ongoing situation in Sderot causes PTSD at a rate three or four times greater than that of the rest of the country,” she said.
One Year After Protective Edge, IDF Set to Launch New Detection System for Gaza Tunnels
The IDF will activate in the coming days a new detection system for underground tunnels running between the Gaza Strip and Israel, a senior Israeli military official said on Tuesday, according to Israel’s Channel 2 news.
Marking one year since the launch of last summer’s Operation Protective Edge, the IDF official told reporters that the new system had recently been deployed along the Gaza Strip.
He said none of the 32 terror tunnels dug by Hamas that were destroyed during the 50-day operation have been rebuilt. Nonetheless, the official said, Hamas is searching for new routes to dig tunnels towards Israel.
Destroying Hamas’ underground tunnel network — which the group used for terror attacks against Israeli targets along the border — was one of the main objectives of the IDF operation.
Hamas has long used smuggling tunnels between the Gaza Strip and Egypt’s Sinai to smuggle weapons and other goods restricted by Israel’s security blockade. Since the end of hostilities last summer, the group has been seeking new smuggling routes, especially as Egypt has recently ramped-up efforts to stymie smuggling along the Sinai border, the IDF official said.
In Training Excercise, IDF Simulates Capture of Israeli Territory by Hezbollah
Israeli forces carried out a major exercise on Tuesday morning simulating the capture of northern Israeli territory, specifically a town at the very tip of the Galilee region, by Lebanese terror group Hezbollah, Israeli news site 0404 reported.
A number of different units in the Israel Defense Forces participated in the simulation, according to the report.
Over the course of the past nine years, since the end of the Second Lebanon War, Hezbollah and its leader, Hassan Nasrallah, have repeatedly threatened to capture and hold Israeli territory in the Galilee should an armed conflict break out.
Tuesday’s exercise was held to prepare the IDF for exactly such a scenario, in case Hezbollah actually attempted to cross the border and capture an Israeli town or settlement in the country’s northern reaches.
The Finger of the Galilee, a panhandle jutting up into Lebanese territory and surrounded on all sides by areas controlled by Hezbollah, would be especially vulnerable to such an attack.
Molotov cocktail hurled at Israeli bus in West Bank
A Molotov cocktail was hurled Wednesday at an Israeli bus near the central West Bank Jewish settlement of Halamish, northwest of the Palestinian city of Ramallah, causing slight damage to the vehicle but resulting in no injuries.
IDF soldiers were searching the area for the perpetrators.
Officials have noted a sharp uptick in violent attacks against Israelis in the West Bank over the past several weeks, with at least one assault carried out by a Palestinian said to be affiliated with the Hamas terrorist group.
Court Accuses Police of Serious Pro-Arab Discrimination
A quarrel broke out between a group of six Jewish children aged between 10 and 14 on one side, and three Arab men aged in their late 20s and 30s on the other.
Police arrested two Jews and two Arabs, but for unexplained reasons chose to unconditionally release the two Arabs who were involved in the brawl. It is suspected that one of the Arabs who was released beat one of the children with a stick and wounded him.
While the Arabs were let go, the two Jewish children were left in detainment overnight, and on Tuesday morning the police requested to extend the detention by three days.
Attorney Halevy sharply criticized the police policy, saying, "the worst thing is that the police in advance give preference to the version of the minorities. Why? No reason."
Arab Woman Doctor Indicted for Undercover Hamas Work
An indictment has been submitted to the military court in Judea against Tzabareen Abu Sharar, a female Arab doctor from the Judea-Samaria region who is accused of joining Hamas and conducting missions for the terrorist organization.
Abu Sharar visited Gaza during her medical studies according to the indictment, and there she met with a woman referred to as "Um Ahmed," who proposed that Abu Sharar aid Hamas.
It didn't take much convincing for the Arab doctor to agree.
Before returning from her studies in February she was given several missions to execute for the terrorist organization in the Judea-Samaria region.
As part of the operations she was tasked with, she contacted three people and tried to recruit them to form a terror cell for Hamas in the area.
For some Palestinians in East Jerusalem, a pragmatic 'Israelification'
Ever since Israel conquered and immediately annexed East Jerusalem in 1967, the city’s hundreds of thousands of Palestinian residents have lived in limbo. Even as their blue residency cards afforded them Israeli social benefits and freedom of movement, they remained loyal to their countrymen in the West Bank and Gaza and resisted the Israeli system.
That meant choosing Palestinian and Jordanian school curricula and ignoring Hebrew studies, boycotting Jerusalem municipal elections, and preferring the lesser status of permanent residency to full-fledged Israeli citizenship.
In recent years, however, a modest shift has begun as a growing number of Palestinians are embracing elements of Israel, including hundreds of applicants for citizenship every year when once there were almost none. Palestinians are also increasingly moving into Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, while others are studying Hebrew to attend Israeli colleges and universities.
The phenomenon seems all the more surprising considering that just a year ago, months of widespread rioting broke out in Palestinian neighborhoods that reflected frustration over years of neglect, creeping settlements, and discrimination. Israel responded with widespread arrests and roadblocks, and relations between neighboring Jewish and Arab areas suffered.
There is no one reason that explains the shift in Palestinian attitudes. Many Jerusalemites justify their citizenship move as a pragmatic survival tactic to ensure that Israel doesn't strip them of their Jerusalem residency status as it has done in the past with thousands of Palestinians who left the city. Israeli citizenship would allow them to move beyond the isolating security barrier Israel erected 10 years ago without sacrificing their right to return some day to East Jerusalem.
Others say the move toward Israel is to improve their quality of life or boost their job prospects.
Killer of 67 Israeli civilians honored by independent Palestinian TV Ma'an
Terrorist bomb maker Abdallah Barghouti is serving 67 life sentences in an Israeli prison for preparing the explosives for some of the most lethal suicide bombings targeting Israeli civilians during the Palestinian Authority’s terror campaign, the Intifada, from 2000 to 2005. Sixty-seven people were murdered in the attacks he planned.
The independent Palestinian news agency Ma’an, on the TV program In a Prisoner’s Home, interviewed the father of the terrorist in his home. Both the TV host and the father referred to the killer of 67 as a “hero.” Barghouti’s father added he was “proud” of his son, who he sees as a “noble fighter” who acted “generously” for “Palestine.” He encouraged “every Palestinian of noble soul to follow in the footsteps of Abdallah Barghouti for Palestine and Jerusalem”:
Independent Palestinian news agency Ma’an’s TV host: “We are now in the home of the heroic prisoner Abdallah Barghouti, in the month of the blessed Ramadan.”
Father of bomb maker Abdallah Barghouti: “Abdallah Barghouti, I am proud of him, because everyone knows of Abdallah Barghouti and what he generously did for Palestine. I am proud of him and I say: Praise Allah who gave me this hero, noble fighter for Palestine and its cause. I say: Praise Allah, Lord of the Universes, Abdallah fought for Palestine and left his family, his father and mother, and left behind three children, two girls and a boy, and sacrificed everything for the Palestinian cause. I ask every Palestinian of noble soul to follow in the footsteps of Abdallah Barghouti for Palestine and Jerusalem.” [Ma'an (independent Palestinian news agency), June 22, 2015]
Father of bomb maker on PA TV: “Praise Allah who gave me this hero, noble fighter”

Court immunity ruling paves way for Dahlan return to challenge Abbas
In a potential blow to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, a Palestinian appeals court ruled on Wednesday in favor of maintaining parliamentary immunity for his rival Mohammed Dahlan, who has been charged with corruption.
Abbas issued a decree in 2012 stripping Dahlan of his immunity, a move to bring him to trial on the charges. It was also seen as an effort to weaken Dahlan, who lives in exile in Dubai, as a potential challenger for the Palestinian Authority leadership.
Wednesday's decision "reaffirmed the validity of parliamentary immunity for lawmaker Mohammed Dahlan," said Fares Sabaana, the director of media at the Judicial Council.
The ruling goes against a decision by the Palestinian high court in a separate case in which Abbas's decree was upheld.
It increases the likelihood Dahlan will decide to return to the West Bank to clear his name and challenge Abbas.
Nervous Hamas Bans Hezbollah Offshoot in Gaza
In a move which could complicate attempts to reconcile with Iran, Gaza's Hamas rulers have banned a Shia Islamist group loyal to the Iranian regime.
Harakat al-Sabireen (The Sabireen Movement) is a relatively small, armed Shia group in Gaza, whose population is overwhelmingly Sunni.
Though not officially designated as a terrorist group by most western states, it is believed to be funded by Tehran and swears allegiance to the founder of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini.
The group models itself on Hezbollah, using Hezbollah imagery in its flag and literature, and voicing staunch support for Hezbollah and the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad - though it denies any formal links to the Lebanese terrorist group.
The ban was announced Monday by media outlets close to Hamas, with the reason given being that the group was trying to "spread Shi'ism" in Gaza.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Year after Gaza war, Hamas remains defiant to continue fight against Israel
One year after the confrontation with Israel, Hamas is now facing huge challenges both inside the Gaza Strip and elsewhere. And for the first time in many years, Israel is not the source of these threats and challenges.
At home, Hamas is being openly challenged by Islamic State and some radical Salafi-jihadi groups. In the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority security forces are continuing to crack down on Hamas supporters. Nearly 200 Hamas men have been rounded up by the PA security forces over the past five days.
The ongoing power struggle between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority has obstructed efforts to rebuild the Gaza Strip. International donors who promised billions of dollars to rebuild the Gaza Strip following the war obviously have no intention to fulfill their pledges.
The Egyptians, on the other hand, are increasingly viewing Hamas as a major threat to their national security, especially in the aftermath of recent terrorist attacks on Egyptian soldiers in Sinai.
All these challenges and threats increase the prospects of reaching a long-term truce between Hamas and Israel. There is good reason to believe that Hamas is interested in such a deal.
Israel says Islamic State's Sinai assault aimed to help Hamas get arms
Israel accused Hamas on Tuesday of supporting last week's assaults by Islamic State affiliates on Egyptian forces in the Sinai in hope of freeing up arms smuggling to the Gaza Strip.
The remarks followed Israeli allegations that Hamas members provided training and medical treatment for the Sinai insurgents - charges dismissed by the Palestinian Islamist group as a bid to further fray its troubled ties with Cairo.
Egypt said more than 100 insurgents and 17 of its soldiers were killed in Wednesday's simultaneous assaults, carried out against military checkpoints around the North Sinai towns of Sheikh Zuweid and Rafah. Islamic State's Egypt affiliate, Sinai Province, took credit for the attacks.
Rafah straddles the border between Egypt and Gaza and had long seen smuggling to the Hamas-controlled enclave. But Cairo has been cracking down on such activity and deems Hamas a threat to Egyptian interests.
An Israeli intelligence colonel responsible for monitoring the borders with Egypt and Gaza said on Tuesday that Hamas, short of weaponry after its war against Israel last year, supported the Sinai assaults with the "objective of opening up a conduit" for renewed smuggling.
"Why was it is so very important for them (Hamas) to develop the connection with Sinai Province? Because they need the raw materials that would enable the military build-up in Gaza," the colonel said in remarks aired by Israel Radio.
Hamas alleges ‘severe torture,’ mass arrests by PA
Hamas alleged Tuesday that more than 200 of its members had been arrested by the Palestinian Authority recently, with most of them tortured, threatening to widen a rift between Palestinian factions.
This was the latest sign of failed reconciliation efforts between Hamas, the Islamist movement that rules the Gaza Strip, and the Palestinian Authority, which runs the West Bank, despite a unity deal signed last year.
“Hamas members in the occupied West Bank are being submitted to their worst campaign of arrests — their biggest and longest,” Hamas official Abdurahman Shadid told journalists.
He said more than 200 had been arrested since July 2 in the West Bank and “most have been severely tortured.”
After man brandishes ISIS flag outside Big Ben now a shopper parks car emblazoned with flag of Hezbollah at an Asda
A car was spotted today outside an Asda store bearing the flag of terrorist-associated organisation Hezbollah.
The sighting, in Wembley Park, comes one day after a man strolled past the Houses of Parliament draped in an Islamic State flag with a young girl on his shoulders.
Both actions have been deemed 'within the law' by police, despite the latter making many feel unsafe on the streets of Britain.
Hezbollah is a Shia militant group and political party based in Lebanon, which was formed with Iranian support in 1982 after an Israeli invasion.
The group's military arm is considered a terrorist organisation by many developed countries in the world including the UK.
Recently Australian security forces decided it would remain listed as a terrorist organisation as the group is still involved in the 'planning, coordination and execution of terrorist attacks', reports the Guardian.
Hezbollah's external security organisation (ESO) has previously been accused of a number of terrorist attacks against Jewish and Israeli targets.
Weapons Caches Found in Forty Tunisian Mosques
As Turkish prime minister (now president) Recep Tayyip Erdogan famously said, “The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers.” And he wasn’t kidding — but he left out “armories”, because mosques serve that function, too.
Many thanks to Nathalie for translating this article from Tunisie Numerique:
Weapons caches found in forty Tunisian mosques
Fadhel Achour, the general secretary to the trade union for the managers and staff of mosques, announced on Wednesday July 1 2015 that police forces making searches in all parts of the country have uncovered caches of weapons in forty mosques.
Interviewed on the “Midi Show” programme broadcast on “Mosaïque Radio”, he declared that 190 mosques had been erected since the revolution, 90 of which had contacted the authorities in order to legalize their status. The 100 remaining mosques, 80 of which spread incendiary Takfirist speeches, have refused to acknowledge the authority of the Tunisian government.
Fadhel Achour further declared that things might have been much worse but for the Ministry of the Interior whose intervention helped to rescue some mosques from radicalization.
PreOccupied Territory: Oscars To Consider Daesh Execution Film Nominations (satire)
The 88th Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 28, 2016, at the Dolby Theater at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, and televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide. Academy officials expressed satisfaction at the adoption of the new eligibility rules, which they hope will add much-needed diversity to the ranks of candidate films.
“It’s gratifying to acknowledge the extraordinary range of talent displayed in Iraq, Syria, and Libya by these imaginative artists in our industry,” said Academy President Sheryl Bone Isaacs. “This year, our branches have recognized a more diverse and inclusive list of filmmakers and artists than ever before, and we look forward to adding their creativity, ideas and experience to our organization.” She specifically cited the bold contrasts of color and demeanor in the prisoner execution films.
Ms. Isaacs continued, saying, “We seek to bring closer these foreign filmmakers and cinema professionals with the hope that the common language of artistry will bridge cultural gaps.” To accomplish this, she said, the Academy intends to allow Daesh to compete for awards in twelve categories, including much-sought-after recognition for Best Picture, Best Director, and Cinematography.
Other award categories include Costume Design, Film Editing, Makeup/Hairstyling, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Visual Effects, Short Subject Documentary, Feature Documentary, and Live Action Short Film. Academy member Oscar Statchwett said Daesh submissions would previously have been eligible only under the Foreign Film category, but that the Board was convinced the footage of prisoners being beheaded, shot, drowned in a cage, or immolated represents a breakthrough in cinematic innovation, and deserves to stand apart from the crowd.
“Every once in a while the movers and shakers in this industry come to the realization that nothing less than a revolution is taking place out there in front of and behind the camera lenses, and that we in our offices, parlors, and lecture halls must modify our assumptions and approach to suit the rapid changes in the cinematic arts,” he said. “It seems artificial to me, and to my colleagues, evidently, to force our members to distinguish between high-quality films of the sort Daesh produces and other magnificent specimens simply on the basis of geography.”
PreOccupied Territory: Other 11 Months Renamed Ramadan To Maintain Terrorism Level (satire)s
Muslims have responded enthusiastically to calls encouraging them to embrace the month of Ramadan to augment their attacks on the enemies of Islam, leading Hamas officials in the Gaza Strip and elsewhere to extend Ramadan through the rest of the Islamic year.
Until now, the observation of Ramadan has lasted only one lunar month in each Islamic year, following more than a millennium of Islamic tradition. However, the success of the call by Muslim leaders throughout the Middle East to use the month, which is characterized by expressions of devotion and piety such as daytime fasting and the pursuit of spiritual growth, to fight the foes of the Islamic Ummah with renewed vigor. As a result, Molotov cocktail, brick, shooting, stabbing, and other attacks on Israelis have risen in the last three weeks, and aggressive, incitement-laden rhetoric has similarly increased in mosques, online, and on Palestinian airwaves.
Hoping to forestall the inevitable decline in fervor for such attacks that has always plagued the post-Ramadan period, Hamas-backed preachers began preparing their followers to continue observing Ramadan throughout the year. “We cannot allow the mere shift in phases of the moon to dictate that we diminish our efforts to drive the Jewish ape-pig infidel from the land,” said Imam Aifast Denkilia of a Khan Yunis mosque. “We must uphold the blessed high levels of resistance that Ramadan inspires, and we will do so by making all months Ramadan!” he exhorted his flock Tuesday.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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The Jerusalem Report:"A seemingly indefatigable one-man operation, armed only with a computer, chutzpa and stamina."

Algemeiner: "Fiercely intelligent and erudite"

Omri: "Elder is one of the best established and most respected members of the jblogosphere..."
Atheist Jew:"Elder of Ziyon probably had the greatest impression on me..."
Soccer Dad: "He undertakes the important task of making sure that his readers learn from history."
AbbaGav: "A truly exceptional blog..."
Judeopundit: "[A] venerable blog-pioneer and beloved patriarchal figure...his blog is indispensable."
Oleh Musings: "The most comprehensive Zionist blog I have seen."
Carl in Jerusalem: "...probably the most under-recognized blog in the JBlogsphere as far as I am concerned."
Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation."
The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"

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