Tuesday, December 15, 2015

From Ian:

Khaled Abu Toameh: Abbas: Palestinians attacking Israelis because 'they see no solution ahead'
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Monday that the current wave of attacks against Israelis was the result of the “despair” of Palestinian youths and Israelis’ visits to the al-Aksa Mosque.
Abbas said that continued settlement construction and Israeli military checkpoints were also responsible for the habba jamahiriya (popular puff).
In a speech marking International Anti-Corruption Day [!] in Ramallah, Abbas said he was unable to “ask the Palestinian youths why they are setting out” to attack Israelis.
Abbas, however, did outline what he thought were their grounds for violence. “They set out for several reasons,” he said, referring to the assailants behind stabbing, vehicular and shooting attacks.
“They set out because they have begun to feel desperate about the two-state solution. They wander around and see no logical basis for two states. Our state is non-existent – settlements and checkpoints. They see no solution ahead of them.”
Poll: 2/3 of Palestinians back stabbing attacks, armed uprising
Two-thirds of Palestinians support the current wave of stabbings against Israelis, with the same percentage backing a larger armed uprising, according to a Palestinian poll released Monday.
Sixty-seven percent back the use of knives, while 66% of those asked said an armed intifada or uprising would “serve Palestinian national interests in ways that negotiations could not,” according the survey by the respected Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR).
At the same time, nearly three-quarters said they opposed the involvement of “young schoolgirls” in stabbings.
Asked whether they backed continued attacks on soldiers, 79% said yes and 10% no.
Netanyahu: Given Abbas' incitement, no surprise majority of Palestinians support stabbing attacks
Polls showing that some 60% of the Palestinians support current stabbing attacks on Israelis should come as no surprise, given Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' continued incitement, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday.
Netanyahu, at a visit at the IDF's southern command headquarters with Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, was referring to a poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research showing that two-thirds of the Palestinians support the current violence. Another two-thirds said that a two state solution is no longer viable.
“This is not surprising because Abu Mazen [Abbas] continues to incite with lying propaganda about Al-Aksa, lying propaganda about executions and by rejecting all true efforts to come to negotiations,” the prime minster said.
Netanyahu said it was time for the international community to understand that “the reason there is no negotiations and no progress toward peace is not to be found on the Israel side, but on the Palestinian one.”
In numbers: 22 dead, 252 injured in 3 months of terror
Arab terrorists launched no fewer than 169 terror attacks against Israelis in 120 days - killing 22 people and injuring 252.
Of those, 21 were injured seriously, 7 suffered from 'serious to moderate' injuries, 36 were injured moderately, and 177 suffered from light injuries, Magen David Adom (MDA) stated late Monday.
MDA also treated 95 people for anxiety and post-traumatic stress.
The 169 attacks included 74 rock-throwing attacks, 68 stabbings, 19 car attacks, and 8 shootings.
MDA has called on the general public to donate blood in light of the high demand.
"MDA has been on high alert in the last three months, due to the wave of terrorist attacks across the country," MDA Director Eli Bin stated to Channel 2. "We are ready and prepared for any scenario or incident."

PMW: Fatah libel: Israel executes Palestinian children - and the US supports it
According to this cartoon, posted on the website of Fatah’s Information and Culture Commission this week, both the US and Israel behave like terror organizations, executing the innocent. Titled “Summary executions!”, the cartoon shows an Israeli soldier executing Palestinian children who are tied up and blindfolded, while an American soldier stands next to him reading from a piece of paper, apparently announcing and justifying the execution. [Website of Fatah's Information and Culture Commission, Dec. 12, 2015]
The scene in the cartoon is reminiscent of different terror organizations’ execution videos in which a statement is often read aloud before the execution of hostages. The flags in the background are also typical of such promotion videos by terror organizations.
The cartoon repeats two libels promoted by the PA and Fatah, which Palestinian Media Watch has documented: that Israel performs field executions of Palestinian children and that all terrorists killed by Israel in the current terror wave are “innocent victims” and never attacked anyone. Nearly all Palestinian attacks are presented to the Palestinian public as Israeli “fabrications.”
Arab Leaders and "Fellow Travelers" Support Terror
Maybe this is deja vu time again, like in the early, mid-1930's when "good" sic people all over the world closed their eyes to the rising antisemitism and systemized murder of Jews in Nazi Germany. All this acceptance and agreement and cooperation with the BDS and the support of Fatah and Hamas and the Arab terror against innocent Israelis bodes bad news for world peace.
American Secretary of State John Kerry is threatening Israel again, claiming that we are the cause of the "impasse" and lack of peace here.
Kerry told the magazine that he believes that Israelis headed toward becoming a “unitary state that is an impossible entity to manage” and warned that such a reality would lead to Israel becoming like a “big fortress” and strengthen groups like Hezbollah. (Arutz 7)
Of course he totally leaves out the fact that his buddies in Ramalla support and justify the terror against Israelis, civilians and patrolling soldiers.
Two-thirds of Palestinians support knife attacks: poll
Abbas: Palestinian violence is "justified popular uprising"
Considering all that, how can we expect a "State of Palestine" sic to be a good neighbor to the State of Israel?
Hamas political leader: Stabbers are ‘the most exalted, noblest of people’
Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal has praised the recent spate of Palestinian attacks on Israelis and said that because Palestinians have come to the conclusion that the peace process is futile, the path of “Jihad, sacrifice, and blood” is the only way forward.
“The Palestinians have reached the realization that negotiations with the (Israelis) are useless,” Mashaal said during a visit to the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lampur on December 10. “The so-called peace process is futile. There is no peace. Only the path of Jihad, sacrifice, and blood (will bear fruit).”
Mashaal, who lives in exile in Qatar, was in Malaysia last week at the head of a delegation of senior Hamas officials for a four-day visit to meet with government officials and politicians.
“Our rights will not be restored through the UN Security Council but by means of recruitment,” he said in a speech, according to a clip posted and translated by the Washington-based Middle East Media Research Institute monitoring group. “Two thousand verbal ‘rockets’ do not compare to a single rocket made of iron. The children and youth of the West Bank have absorbed the message.
Doctors fight to save foot of baby hurt in terror attack
Doctors at two main Jerusalem hospitals fought Monday afternoon to save the foot of a baby boy wounded a short time earlier in a Palestinian car-ramming terror attack at the entrance to Jerusalem. A total of 14 people were hurt in the attack. The infant’s mother was among those injured.
Speaking to Channel 2 television from Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center, where the boy was initially treated, one of the doctors there said there was a small chance of saving the 15-month-old baby’s foot.
The boy’s father Binyamin Sitbon, speaking from the hospital, said his son was “more or less good, he will be okay.”
Sitbon, who found out that his son was injured in the attack when his sister-in-law called him at work, explained that boy’s foot was “caught,” apparently under the attacker’s car, and “collapsed completely.”
The patient was later moved to Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem for further specialist treatment, where his condition was defined as serious.
Watch: Terrifying moments after Jerusalem car attack
An onlooker captured the terrifying seconds after an Arab terrorist rammed his car into a crowd of pedestrians in central Jerusalem, leaving 14 injured.
Among the wounded were a 65-year-old woman and a toddler.
After crashing his car into a fire hydrant, rupturing it, the terrorist emerged from his car armed with an ax, but was shot dead before he managed to cause any further casualties.
Hamas: Jerusalem car-ramming terrorist was a member
The terrorist who carried out a car-ramming attack in Jerusalem on Monday was a member of Hamas, the Palestinian terror group announced a day later in a flier, as it emerged that Abed el-Muhsen Hassuna had been residing in Hebron.
Police said on Tuesday that Hassuna, 21, had in the past lived in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina but moved to the West Bank city two years ago with his family.
Hassuna, who held resident status in Israel and an Israeli identity card that granted him access to the entire country, drove from Hebron to the capital to carry out the attack. Fourteen people were injured in the attack, including 18-month-old Yotam Sitbon, who was seriously wounded.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Palestinians Attain Strategic Objective Of Running Over Key Toddler (satire)
Palestinian leaders voiced gratification Monday evening after a terrorist rammed his car into a bus stop in Jerusalem and injured 14 people, among them a crucial eighteen-month-old who occupies an important position in Israel’s military-political establishment.
At about three o’clock in the afternoon, a Palestinian man rammed into a crowd of pedestrians on Herzl Boulevard, not far from the city’s central bus station. Armed bystanders and security personnel shot and killed the driver, who had also armed himself with an ax to continue his attack after emerging from the vehicle. While the neutralization of the attacker prevented him from wielding that weapon, he did succeed in causing serious injury to the toddler, who may need his foot amputated as a result. Taking the child out of action at this stage of the conflict represents an important strategic aim in the Palestinian campaign, said Fatah official Aiwil Qillemal.
“In the hundreds of Palestinian attacks over the last several months, none had succeeded in hurting the toddler in question,” explained Qillemal. “While our noble shaheed was unable to kill that key figure in the enemy’s ranks, he nevertheless achieved what hundreds of our compatriots have been unable to. This calls for double the quantity of sweets to be distributed in the streets of Ramallah, Jenin, and Tul Karm.” In Hebron, he added, the quantity would likely be quadrupled.
Palestinian officials had worried privately for weeks that the current campaign had focused too much in recent weeks on the targeting of IDF soldiers and of Jews driving home than on the really important enemy personnel: the ones just learning to walk, who pose a much more serious threat to Palestinian ambitions than other Israelis. “It’s encouraging that we’ve kept to our game plan in the long term,” said a visibly relieved Saeb Erekat.
Two hurt by hammer-wielding attacker in Modiin
An Israeli Jew and a Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem were wounded when a coworker in a construction site attacked them in the central Israeli city of Modiin Tuesday afternoon.
The attacker, identified as a Palestinian man, beat the two with a hammer in two separate attacks, moderately to seriously injuring them, according to police and rescue officials.
After interrogating the suspect, police said the attack was nationalistically motivated.
One of the injured was a 28-year-old Palestinian resident of the Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya. The other victim was identified as a 50-year-old Jewish man. Both were evacuated to the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, near Tel Aviv, with injuries to their upper body, according to medics.
The Jewish man was the attacker’s boss at a construction site where all three worked.
Cops nab Palestinian woman on way to carry out Jerusalem stabbing
Border Police officers on Tuesday arrested a Palestinian woman who said she planned to carry out a stabbing attack in Jerusalem with a screwdriver.
Police said the policewomen were alerted by the woman’s suspicious behavior and stopped her for questioning on Jaffa Street, a main road that runs through the center of the city. They discovered a “large screwdriver” on her person and transferred her to a nearby security facility for further interrogation, police said.
During questioning, the woman admitted she had intended to carry out a stabbing attack, police added.
Palestinians have used screwdrivers in stabbing attacks several times in recent months.
Israeli Arab sentenced to 38 months' prison for lynch attempt
The Central District Court sentenced an Israeli Arab terrorist to 38 months in prison on Tuesday, for being involved in a lynch attempt against an Israeli Jew.
Mohammad Haj Yahyia, of Taibe, confessed and was convicted of charges of injury with grave intent, incitement to violence, and racially-motivated sabotage.
Yahyia ran a Facebook account with 4,000 followers, on which he posted numerous posts calling for terrorism against Jewish civilians and security forces during 2014, and provided encouragement and support for terrorists in the wake of Operation Protective Edge in Gaza.
Following the shooting of Hir Alhamdan by police in Kafr Kana, riots broke out in the Arab city of Taibeh in central Israel in early November 2014.
During the ruckus, Yahyia took his vehicle out to commit a terror attack - approaching Israeli Jew Moshe German and speaking with him in Arabic to determine his ethnicity. When he saw German did not speak Arabic - and thus was presumably Jewish - Yahyia lit a pack of fireworks and threw them into German's vehicle.
IDF gears up to raze homes of 2 Palestinian teen attackers
Israel Defense Forces troops entered Hebron and an adjacent village in the early hours of Tuesday morning to map out the homes of two Palestinians who carried out separate stabbing attacks in recent weeks. The mapping procedure is conducted ahead of home demolitions.
In Hebron, IDF soldiers and engineers took measurements of the family home of 16-year-old Lama al-Bakhri, who tried to stab an Israeli in the settlement of Kiryat Arba on Friday morning, the army said. Bakhri was shot and moderately to seriously wounded by IDF soldiers during the attempted stabbing.
Meanwhile, troops went to map the home of 16-year-old Mus’ab Ghanimat in the nearby Palestinian village of Surif. Ghanimat stabbed an Israeli soldier in October in the Etzion Bloc south of Jerusalem. The soldier shot Ghanimat in the shoulder, and other troops shot him in the knee as he tried to flee.
Overnight Sunday combat engineering troops also mapped out the Nablus home of the Bassam Amin Muhammad Sayyah, one of the planners of the October 1 killing of Eitam and Naama Henkin.
PM orders barriers at bus stops across Jerusalem after attack
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday ordered the installation of concrete safety barriers at hundreds of Jerusalem’s bus stops to protect civilians from terror attacks. The move came hours after a car-ramming terror attack that injured 14 Israelis.
Netanyahu consulted with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan.
The plan, proposed by Barkat, will see protective posts designed to prevent car-rammings temporarily installed at bus stops throughout the capital, focusing on areas where there is the greatest risk of attacks.
The mayor’s initiative is set to cost the municipality some NIS 2 million (over $500,000). Katz vowed to work with the municipality to secure the required budget from the Finance Ministry.
Barkat welcomed Netanyahu’s directive and thanked the prime minister for his swift response to the attack.
Security forces seize firearms at Hebron mattress factory
Security forces seized improvised firearms and ammunition during a counter-terrorism raid on a mattress factory in Hebron overnight between Monday and Tuesday.
The raid was conducted by the Negev Foxes Battalion from the Infantry Training Center and Judea and Samaria police district police.
Elsewhere in the West Bank, security forces acting under government orders mapped out the homes of terrorists ahead of their demolition.
Ram battalion soldiers and Combat Engineering units from the Etzion territorial Brigade, together with the Civil Administration, mapped out the home of Mas'ab Animat, who stabbed and injured an IDF soldier who was on security patrol near the Hala crossing between Israel and the West Bank on October 23.
Animat was shot in the leg by an IDF soldier and injured.
UN decries Palestinian attacks, ‘excessive’ IDF response
The UN voiced deep concern Tuesday over an “unacceptable” wave of Palestinians attacking Israelis, but also slammed Israeli authorities’ reported “excessive use of force” in response to the attacks.
“We continue to be gravely concerned at the unrelenting violence in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and in Israel,” Cecile Pouilly, spokeswoman for the UN human rights office, told reporters.
“We call on both Israeli and Palestinian leaders to act decisively to de-escalate the situation,” she added.
Since October 1, almost daily attacks by Palestinians and clashes with Israeli soldiers have left 21 Israelis, an American and an Eritrean dead and scores more injured, she pointed out.
Some 117 Palestinians were killed, many of them in the midst of carrying out attacks. Some were killed during clashes with Israeli security forces.
Israel to Use Confiscated ‘Rock-Thrower’ Dolls to Demonstrate Palestinian Incitement
A recently confiscated shipment of about 4,000 dolls with mock rocks in their hands will be used to highlight Palestinian incitement against Israel, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely announced Monday. The Palestinian Authority-bound dolls were seized at the Haifa Port following an inspection of several containers from the United Arab Emirates.
“The dolls were sent to the Palestinian Authority for one clear reason — brainwashing children,” Hotovely said. “I have instructed the Foreign Ministry to send the dolls to Israeli missions abroad to have them shown to PA donor countries and prove that we cannot hold any form of meaningful dialogue with our neighbors until their school system undergoes drastic change.”
The dolls’ faces are masked and the Dome of the Rock was prominently featured on their keffiyehs, bearing the inscriptions “Jerusalem is ours” and “Jerusalem, here we come.” Their colors mirrored those of the Palestinian flag.
PMW: Swedish MP uses PMW documentation to refute FM's claim Abbas seeks peace
Palestinian Media Watch recently supplied Swedish MP Kent Ekeroth with information from its reports that he used in a recent debate in Swedish Parliament, which document that Abbas and the two institutions he runs, the Palestinian Authority and Fatah, are actively promoting violence and undermining peace.
Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström defended Abbas as having “made it his mission in life to replace violence with diplomatic struggle.” To refute this claim, MP Ekeroth held up and quoted PMW reports on PA and Fatah promotion of violence and terror.
Despite the fact that FM Wallström was literally shown PMW’s actual findings, she denied them, exclaiming that “only the gods know” where MP Ekeroth gets his information from.
Itamar Marcus interview on The Rebel about the PA's ongoing incitement to hatred and violence

Indy highlights taunting of Palestinian journo by soldiers, yet buries Jerusalem terror attack
A great contrast in priorities was on display at the Independent in editorial decisions involving two articles published yesterday.
Last night, they published a full report on an incident in the West Bank in which a few Israeli soldiers taunted and disrupted a Palestinian journalist as she was “reporting on what she describes as Israel’s ‘racist policy’ of collective punishment.”
The Indy explained that an IDF spokesperson rebuked the soldiers, saying the video “depicts combat soldiers behaving in a way unbecoming of IDF soldiers.
Fair enough.
However, most observers would be aware of another far more serious incident which occurred yesterday afternoon in Jerusalem involving a Palestinian terrorist who rammed his car into a crowded bus stop, inuring more than 12, including a baby. Following the ramming, the terrorist evidently intended to attack more Israelis with an ax, but was shot by police before he could get out of his car.
Lost in Haaretz Translation: Saeb Erekat's Relative Shot 2 Israelis
In the past, CAMERA and others have noted how Palestinian leaders and social media have falsely claimed that Palestinians killed as they were carrying out terror attacks were innocent, and that the purported Palestinian victims were killed in cold blood. As previously noted here, "It is precisely the unfounded claims of Palestinian perpetrators' innocence and false charges of 'extrajudicial killings' which fuel additional Palestinian attacks."
Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat is the latest to pull this deadly trick, and yesterday he found a helping hand at Haaretz's English print edition. The Dec. 14 page-one article by Barak Ravid ("Obama to HaaretzQ conference: Peace a must for Israel to remain a Jewish state") referred to Erekat's nephew, who had carried out a terror attack on Dec. 3, as follows: "Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, whose 37-year-old nephrew [sic] killed [sic] last week at the Hizme checkpoint . . . "
The print edition article does not include the critical information that Erekat's nephew carried out a shooting attack on Dec. 3, moderately injuring an Israeli Arab man and lightly hurting a soldier. It was then that Israeli forces shot him dead.
The English print edition's omission is all the more glaring in light of the fact that Ravid's original article in the Hebrew print edition appropriately includes the following (CAMERA's translation):
Erekat did not point out that his nephew -- Mazen Erekat, an officer in the Palestinian security forces, was shot after he carried out a shooting attack in which he injured two Israelis.
EXCLUSIVE: Hamas Gunmen Travel To Malaysia For Military Training
In recent weeks, at least twenty members of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the so-called “military wing” of Hamas, have traveled from the Gaza Strip to Malaysia to participate in combat training, according to a Palestinian security source.
Along with the training, some of the Hamas members will study at Malaysian academic institutions in fields that could aid Hamas in developing its military capabilities, the source said. For example, they are slated to undergo theoretical and practical training in the field of operating unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones.
Another Palestinian security source added that Malaysia has become a “favorite destination for Hamas members to develop their military abilities.”
Hamas Spokesman Ismail Radwan told Breitbart Jerusalem that the report is “one more lie that aims to embarrass the Malaysian leadership after a very successful visit of a Hamas leadership delegation to the country.”
Last week, a Hamas delegation led by Khaled Meshaal, the head of the terrorist group’s political bureau, took part in a four day visit to Malaysia that included meetings with senior politicians. While in Malaysia, Meshaal praised the ongoing wave of violence targeting Israelis. He claimed Palestinians have become disillusioned with the land-for-peace process and declared “only the path of Jihad, sacrifice, and blood” will bring results.
Israel has accused Malaysia of hosting Hamas training programs in the past.
Ya’alon: Not enough evidence to try Duma firebombing suspects
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Tuesday there was still not enough evidence to try the Jewish extremists who allegedly firebombed a Palestinian home in July, killing a toddler and both his parents.
Israel has come under heavy internal and external pressure to try those responsible for the deadly arson, with rights groups questioning the delay in the case and contrasting it to the swift reaction often following Palestinian terror attacks. Israel introduced the use of administrative detention — holding suspects without trial for extended periods — against Jews for the first time in the wake of the Duma killings.
Ya’alon told Army Radio that Israel was determined to bring those responsible to trial, adding that he considered the arson “a Jewish terrorist act.”
But he also said evidence was still lacking nearly five months after the July 31 firebombing in the West Bank village of Duma despite the recent arrests of suspects in the case.
Israeli officials to Erdogan: Stop talking nonsense about Gaza siege
Israel officially avoided issuing a response to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's hint at warming ties on Monday, saying if the Turks wanted to normalize their relations relations with Jerusalem, then "the ball is in their court."
Officials in Jerusalem won't officially admit it, but they do enjoy watching Erdogan and the Turks sweat.
"We apologized and were ready to pay compensations. He should stop talking nonsense about the removal of the Gaza siege, because Turkey knows that there is no such thing, and we are not about to pay more for normalization," officials in Jerusalem said.
Diplomatic officials said that ever since the breakout of tensions over the downing of the Russian jet by the Turks, it seems that Ankara wants to normalize relations with Israel, and is especially interested in the natural gas plan which will see Israel establishing a pipeline from their fields to Turkey and other places in the world.
Turkey, like some officials in Israel, thinks that a rare opportunity has presented itself to bring an end to the conflict between the two countries. The Turks are isolated; they have managed to alienate Syrian President Bashar Assad, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Egyptian President Fattah Abdel al-Sisi.
IDF Denies Raiding Arab Toy Factory in Tulkarem
According to Arab media reports an IDF force on Monday morning raided the plant of toy manufacturer Rotem Toys in Tulkarem and confiscated a large part of the inventory. But the IDF denies this report, claiming that it’s a hoax, Walla reported.
According to Rotem Toys’ Facebook page, the factory specializes in manufacturing “Palestinian puppets,” including the popular doll “Yasser,” modeled after former Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat, and a woman named Xena.
The factory owner, Hossein Rassam, said that the soldiers confiscated almost 700 dolls from the warehouse, as well as all the fabrics used for making keffiyehs. Hussein also said that the soldiers damaged his machines. The factory has been in business for more than 20 years and apart from the two dolls it also makes for children’s rooms equipment and toys.
The report comes after last week Haifa Customs employees foiled the smuggling of 4,000 dolls with masked faces, dressed in the colors of the Palestinian flag and holding stones in their hands. The dolls were seized from containers that were imported to Israel from United Arab Emirates en route to the Palestinian Authority. Because of their colors, as well as the captions they bore, such as “Jerusalem is ours” and “Jerusalem, we are coming,” authorities suspect that this is propaganda material.
Hamas is funding Islamic State in Sinai
Hamas' military wing in the Gaza Strip has been transferring tens of thousands of dollars a month to the Islamic State group's Sinai branch over the past year, via one of its emissaries.
The transfer of cash is just one part of the military and strategic cooperation between the two groups. The finances of Hamas' military arm, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, are independent of those of the organization's political bureau.
Hamas is paying the Islamic State militants in Egypt to secure weapons shipments being smuggled through the Sinai to Gaza.
The shipments primarily consist of explosive propellant material that Hamas needs in order to make rockets. As such the money is going towards smuggling both military equipment and material needed to build Hamas' military infrastructure.
Israel's security establishment has pointed out a clear paradox in this dangerous collaboration: the bulk of Hamas' financial support comes from Iran, which is persistently fighting ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Many Iranians have already been killed on the frontline of this battle. Furthermore, the Iranians are specifically funding the Gaza front against ISIS's Sinai branch – via Hamas.
On its anniversary, Hamas vows to 'keep its weapon directed at the Israeli occupation only'
On Monday, tens of thousands of Palestinians took to the streets to march in celebration of Hamas' 28th anniversary, chanting slogans of support and waving their hands in the air with green-washed-banners and Palestinian flags.
Coinciding with celebrations in the strip, the organization issued a statement on its English language website, vowing "to continue our resistance and steadfastness until almighty Allah grants us triumph."
"Hamas vows to remain faithful to the liberation of Palestine and to keep its weapon directed at the Israeli occupation only," the statement read.
The organization took the opportunity to emphasize its support of the recent wave of terror in Israel, which it referred to as the "Jerusalem intifada," and called for its continuation, along with an end to security cooperation between the Palestinian Authority and Israel - including nixing the possibility of a revival in peace talks.
While we weren't looking, the Taleban surged back in Afghanistan
Amid all the chaos in the Middle East, the breakdown of borders and states, a new threat is fast emerging. The key strategic bulwark to stabilise the region is a strong Afghanistan. But after 15 years of occupation by western troops and a trillion dollars spent, it now appears to be going the way of the Levant.
A weak government in Kabul has proved unable to forge a political consensus. The Taleban is resurgent, while other similar groups control much of the Afghan country-side. And this — with the potential spread factor of Isis — means that Afghanistan is probably worse off today than when foreign forces intervened in 2001. You will read very little about this problem, because Afghanistan is now regarded by most western leaders as an old problem, one that dogged their predecessors, one that they don’t want to confront. But expect to hear more about Afghanistan over the next year, because a bad situation is turning much worse.
Saudi Arabia Forms 34-Nation Coalition To Tackle 'Islamic World's Problem With Terrorism'
Saudi Arabia has formed a coalition of 34 countries to fight terrorism including powerful Gulf states, Egypt and Turkey but excluding Iran, the SPA state news agency announced Tuesday.
The Saudi-led alliance will be based in Riyadh “to coordinate and support military operations to fight terrorism”, the agency said, and comprises Middle Eastern, African and Asian states.
The coalition will tackle “the Islamic world’s problem with terrorism and will be a partner in the worldwide fight against this scourge” said Saudi defence minister and crown prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud at a press conference in Riyadh.
Arrangements would be made for “coordination with friendly peace-loving nations and international bodies for the sake of supporting international efforts to combat terrorism and to save international peace and security”, SPA added.
More than 10 other “Islamic countries” had expressed support for the coalition, including Indonesia, it said.
A third of Hezbollah’s fighters said killed or injured in Syria
The Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah has seen between 1,300 and 1,500 of its fighters killed in battles in the Syrian civil war, which means that together with the wounded it has lost as much as a third of its fighting force, according to Israeli estimates.
Some 5,000 of the organization’s members have been injured in fighting alongside regime troops against rebel groups, including the Islamic State.
Last weekend, Arab media published reports that Hezbollah had lost 14 fighters in battles with IS in the area of Baalbek near the border with Syria, and pictures of the fighters were published in Lebanese media. According to those reports, IS also took sustained casualties, with dozens of its members killed and many more injured.
Recently, Hezbollah has been publishing details of its members killed in Syria and is not trying to hide its losses, in contrast to its policy during the early years of the Syrian civil war, which broke out in 2011.

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 11 years and over 22,000 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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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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