Thursday, January 21, 2016

From Ian:

Khaled Abu Toameh: Western Media's Ignorance and Bias
Two Western journalists recently asked to be accompanied to the Gaza Strip to interview Jewish settlers living there.
No, this is not the opening line of a joke. These journalists were in Israel at the end of 2015, and they were deadly serious.
Imagine their embarrassment when it was pointed out to them that Israel had completely pulled out of the Gaza Strip ten years ago.
You have to have some pity for them. These foreign colleagues were rookies who aimed to make an impression by traveling to a "dangerous" place such as the Gaza Strip to report on the "settlers" living there. Their request, however, did not take anyone, even my local colleagues, by surprise.
These "parachute journalists," as they are occasionally called, are catapulted into the region without being briefed on the basic facts of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Sadly, correspondents such as these are more the rule than the exception. A particular clueless British reporter springs to mind:
When Israel assassinated Hamas's founder and spiritual leader, Ahmed Yasmin, in 2004, a British newspaper dispatched its crime reporter to Jerusalem to cover the event. To this reporter, the region, as well as Hamas, were virgin territory. His editors had sent him to the Middle East, he said, because no one else was willing to go.
Well, our hero reported on the assassination of Ahmed Yassin from the bar of the American Colony Hotel. His byline claimed that he was in the Gaza Strip and had interviewed relatives of the slain leader of Hamas.
Sometimes one feels as if one is some sort of a lightning rod for these tales. Another Ramallah-based colleague shared that a few years ago he received a request from a cub correspondent to help arrange an interview with Yasser Arafat. Except at that point, Arafat had been dead for several years. Fresh out of journalism school and unknowledgeable about the Middle East, the journalist was apparently considered by his editors a fine candidate for covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
PMW: Palestinian Greek Orthodox leader inadvertently honors murderer of Greek Orthodox monk
Last month, the Bethlehem municipality decided to honor 52 terrorist prisoners from Bethlehem - all of whom are serving life sentences. The unveiling of the exhibit “in honor of the [Bethlehem] district’s 52 prisoners sentenced to life,” was “a salute of loyalty and commitment,” speakers at the event stated. [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 31, 2015]
Among the participants in the unveiling “sponsored and supervised by the Bethlehem municipality” in honor of the murderers, was Palestinian Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Sebastia Atallah Hanna.
By his participation in the event, Archbishop Hanna inadvertently glorified a terrorist who murdered one of Hanna’s fellow clergy, Greek Orthodox monk Gur Pzipokatsatakis.
On June 12, 2002, Greek Orthodox monk Gur Pzipokatsatakis was murdered in a drive-by shooting near Maale Adumim. Palestinian terrorist and a member of the Tanzim (Fatah terror faction) Yasser Rabai’ah from Bethlehem participated in the attack and was later arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment.
Amb. Alan Baker: Are There Double Standards in Israel’s Application of the Rule of Law in the Territories?
Regrettably, there would appear to be a lack of understanding – whether by Ambassador Shapiro himself or by those senior State Department and White House officials who instruct him – as to the legal situation prevalent in the West Bank areas of Judea and Samaria.
Indeed, there exist two legal frameworks.
The one applied by Israel’s Civil Administration vis-à-vis the Palestinian residents of Judea and Samaria is based on the international norms regarding the administration of territory occupied or administered following armed conflict and pending a peace agreement. These norms, set out in the 1907 Hague Rules and 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, enable an administering power, in administering a hostile local population, to impose various limitations on the basic freedoms that exist in any ordinary civil legal system. All this pending a permanent peace arrangement regarding the fate of the territory.
The second legal framework covers the Israeli residents of towns, villages and other forms of settlement within the territory, who, not being part of the local Palestinian population, are subject on an ad-personam basis to Israeli law. As such, they are not covered by those limitations that apply solely vis-à-vis the local population of the territory.
Unlike the insinuations in Ambassador Shapiro’s statement, this dual set of legal frameworks is not based on any double standards, but on a clear division of legal authorities dictated by both international humanitarian law and Israeli law. (h/t Yenta Press)

Double Standards and the Intifada
That the Obama administration has forfeited the trust of Israelis is not news. After seven years of picking fights with their government over consensus issues like Jerusalem, the 1967 borders and then embracing détente with Iran, the growing divide between the two allies is not in dispute. Having come into office seeking to create greater daylight between the U.S. and Israel, President Obama has gone further toward achieving that dubious goal than even many of his critics might have thought possible in January 2009. But with the Iran deal now a fait accompli and the Palestinian Authority having squandered all of the advantages Obama tried to give them by attacking the Netanyahu government one might think that relations have sunk about as low as they can go. Since, thanks to Palestinian intransigence, even the administration seems to concede that the peace Obama once thought he would achieve is not possible, what possible purpose would more American attacks on Israel serve?
There’s no ready answer to that question, but the latest contretemps between the administration and the Jewish state highlights a problem that goes deeper than the personal dislike between Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu or even the president’s disappointment at being denied the opportunity to cut the Gordian Knot of Middle East peace. Far from being just a harmless spat, the latest irritant in the fractious relationship between Israel and the United States is actually an example of how Western governments don’t merely bungle the peace process but blunder into statements that actively create incentives for Palestinian attacks on Israelis.
The problem stems from a speech given Monday by Dan Shapiro, the U.S. ambassador to Israel. By blasting Israel’s government for employing “double standards” in justice in the West Bank, Shapiro was wading into dangerous territory. Asserting that Israel doesn’t punish attacks on Arabs the way they do those against Jews, Shapiro was not only making an argument that doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. He was also promoting an invidious moral equivalence between the two sides in the conflict that ultimately serves to encourage Palestinians to think they are justified in carrying out random attacks on any Jew within reach.
Requiem for a Two-State Solution
Indeed, what Herzog clearly wants to do is to run to the right of the supposedly “hard line” Netanyahu and to accuse him of being insufficiently tough on the deadly Palestinians terrorism that is plaguing the country on a daily basis. Unlike Americans who simply ignore any evidence about the conflict that doesn’t validate their preexisting assumptions, Israelis are aware that their so-called peace partners are both inciting and applauding the most gruesome acts of terrorism. Moreover, they have noticed that Palestinians don’t seem to draw any distinction between Jews sitting in a Tel Aviv café or those living in a West Bank settlement. For them, all are ripe targets for murder and those who commit such atrocities are considered heroes.
This is an important point American Jewish left-wingers that pose as experts about Israel steadfastly refuse to acknowledge. It also illustrates how pointless the Obama administration’s efforts to pressure Israel have been. Though Obama treats the hundreds of thousands of Jews who live in parts of Jerusalem as well as those in the settlement blocs as living in “illegitimate” communities, even the Israeli left is saying loud and clear that all of them are staying where they are and will be defended.
No one should expect these facts to influence Israel’s critics. But it ought to have some impact on those vying for the presidency in both parties. The next president’s task will be to repair the “daylight” damage Obama has done. But they should also be willing to tell the world that there will be no more talk of two states until the Palestinians give up their dreams of Israel’s destruction and cease terrorism.
Should the Palestinian political culture ever change to the point where a belief in permanent peace with a Jewish state becomes viable, then it will be time to resurrect plans for two states. But until then, any further discussion along these lines is a waste of time and energy and does nothing to convince the Palestinians to give up their unrealistic expectations.
Americans need to recognize that the requiem for two states is being sounded. Until such a sea change occurs, the U.S. ought to support Israel’s efforts to manage the conflict and to do all in its power to discourage further attempts to delegitimize the Jewish state. Doing so is a matter of Israeli consensus. The same should apply here to those, regardless of their partisan or ideological loyalties, that are truly friends of Israel.
Senior PA official: Palestinian state in West Bank just a phase
A senior member of Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas's inner circle has insisted that any "two-state solution" with Israel would merely be a "phase" in the ultimate dismantlement of the State of Israel.
Fatah Central Committee member Tawfiq Tirawi made the comments in a recent interview with Ma'an TV - the same interview in which he made widely-publicized comments defending Nazi leader Adolf Hitler as "not corrupt" and calling him "daring."
Tirawi began by expressing satisfaction with the ongoing "intifada" - referring to the wave of terrorist attacks against Israelis - which he said had succeeded in "uniting the Palestinian people" in "all of geographical Palestine," which he identified as including not only Judea-Samaria (West Bank) and Gaza, but the rest of Israel as well.
When his interviewer suggested there could still be a Palestinian state limited to the "pre-1967 lines," Tirawi said he agreed, but only as a first step.
"A Palestinian state in the 1967 borders (sic), with Jerusalem as its capital, is just a phase, as far as I'm concerned," he said, in comments translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
PA trying to get UN to declare 'settlements' illegal
The Palestinian Authority (PA) is continuing its diplomatic offensive against Israel and is now trying to advance a resolution in the UN Security Council that will condemn Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria and declare them illegal under international law and an obstacle to peace, Haaretz reports.
Senior Palestinian and Israeli officials cited by the newspaper said that the PA has been in contact with France, Spain and Egypt, all members of the Security Council, to get them to draw up such a resolution and support it.
Several weeks ago, PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki visited Paris, where he met with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and discussed submitting such a resolution, according to Haaretz.
Fabius himself has been weighing such a move for several months, the newspaper revealed, and raised it for the first time at a meeting of the foreign ministers of the Middle East Quartet (United States, Russia, UN and EU) that took place on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly at the end of September.
Mourning Dafna Meir, her family refuses to give in to hatred
In an interview to the Hebrew-language Yedioth Ahronoth daily on Tuesday, Natan said he harbored no anger towards Palestinians in general for his wife’s death.
“We don’t have anger,” he said. “I am not angry at anyone. We don’t fill ourselves with that. We don’t curse Arabs. I sit and talk with my kids and I haven’t heard a single word of that. We’re not people who hate. Dafna and I weren’t brought up that way.”
Natan Meir told Channel 2 on Wednesday evening that a Palestinian who lives in a nearby village came to the home to pay a condolence call earlier in the day, at his invitation. This Palestinian, a long-time friend, Natan said, is a relative of the 16-year-old who killed his wife.
“I am certain that had he known, he would have stopped that terrorist from coming here, even if it cost him his life,” Natan said of this Palestinian friend. “Our friendship is much stronger than that. I asked all my friends, everybody, Jews and non-Jews, to come (to the shiva). We are good friends. The tears in his eyes showed that.”
‘Love is more powerful than hate,’ says terror victim’s widower
The husband of an Israeli woman who was stabbed to death in her home in the West Bank settlement of Otniel earlier this week urged nonviolence, speaking when President Reuven Rivlin paid the family a condolence visit on Thursday.
“The message I want to spread, and which I have repeated to all those who have come to pay their condolences, is to stop sharpening swords and look for what unites us,” Natan Meir told the president.
“We know well the hatred. Enough of this. The true solution is love,” he said.
“I hope that her sacrifice will be remembered for her kindness to others. She believed, as we do, that love is so much more powerful than hate,” Natan said, adding that Dafna’s death was a loss to the entire community.
Rivlin said Natan’s sentiment would “reverberate around the whole country. These words should guide us all.”
Tekoa stab victim to be released from hospital
Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem relayed Thursday morning that Michael Froman is in the "advanced stages of rehabilitation from her injury.
The pregnant Froman was moderately injured in a stabbing attack Monday in a clothing store in the Gush Etzion community of Tekoa.
She was treated at the scene by Magen David Adom paramedics who evacuated her to Shaare Zedek in the capital.
Froman is the wife of Shivi Froman, a former advisor to former education minister Shai Piron, and the daughter-in-law of the late Rabbi Menachem Froman, who served as Tekoa's rabbi for decades.
"I'm a 30-year-old settler," Froman said after the attack. "I imagined this situation but when you are in it you don't believe it."
"There was no one around who could have eliminated him (the terrorist). He could could have killed me but he just stabbed me once and fled. I felt like someone sent him or he just wanted to check it off. If he wanted to kill, he could have invested a little more," she added.
One wounded in Jerusalem firebomb attack
Just before 4 p.m. on Thursday Jerusalem district Magen David Adom (MDA) paramedics were called up, after an Arab terrorist wounded one person by throwing a firebomb on the road leading to Ma'ale Adumim, to the east of the capital.
Paramedics were providing treatment at the site to the lightly wounded victim.
The current wave of Arab terror that has already seen 29 murdered since last September has included numerous forms of lethal attack, including rocks, shootings, stabbings and car ramming attacks.
Firebomb attacks have also proven to be just as lethal and damaging, with one of the most shocking examples of Molotov cocktail assaults coming in December 2014 when Ayala Shapira, then 11-years-old, was seriously burned in an attack on her family car.
Residency of 4 East Jerusalem terror suspects revoked
Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri revoked the residency rights Thursday of four Palestinians charged with taking part in deadly attacks in Jerusalem.
The move was the first revocation of such rights in 18 months, and the first since the start of a round of violence that has rocked the country over the last four months.
Israel effectively annexed East Jerusalem in 1980 and granted Arab residents some rights, but not full Israeli citizenship.
Deri, who said he would seek to have terrorists’ residency revoked after entering office earlier this month, said those who murdered Israelis or harmed state security would no longer be able to enjoy the privileges the state afforded them
Army positions artillery along Israel-Gaza border
The Israeli Army has been deploying artillery batteries along the border with Gaza amid fears of an increase in violence on the frontier.
The move follows the bombing by Israeli aircraft eight days ago of Palestinian terrorists placing explosive devices along the Strip’s northern border.
One man was killed in the strike and three more were injured, according to Hamas, which claimed the attack came not from an aircraft but from an Israel Navy ship.
An army spokesman told the Ynet news site the positioning was part of normal army activity.
“We are not talking about increasing our force but about moving forces, as part of ongoing defense and in line with an annual plan for the army’s activity. No special preparations are being made for the zone,” the spokesperson said.
Artillery batteries provide a quick response to suspect activity over a wide area.
13-year-old Palestinian stabber at center of worldwide protest campaign against Israel
In the past few weeks, Pro-Palestinian activists have been waging an international campaign for the release of Ahmad Manasrah, a 13-year-old Palestinian boy who stabbed two Israelis in a Jerusalem suburb in October.
Manasrah carried out the stabbing attack in Pisgat Ze’ev together with his cousin, severely wounding a 13-year-old Israeli boy. Israeli police shot Manasrah and his cousin in order to neutralize them, killing the latter while wounding Manasrah, who was taken to hospital.
The incident enraged Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who accused Israel of executing Manasrah “in cold blood.”
Abbas’ claims led Israel to prove that Manasrah was alive and recovering in an Israeli hospital. Israel released pictures of Manasrah convalescing in his hospital bed, and Israel Police sought to refute claims that Manasrah was innocent by distributing video of him and his cousin carrying out the terror attack.
Despite Israel’s efforts, Abbas’ claims that Manasrah is innocent are widely accepted among pro-Palestinian activists around the world, who stand behind the campaign for Manasrah's release.
Pro-Palestinians say teen terrorist was just 'waiting for a bus'
An international campaign to release Ahmad Mansara, the 13-year-old terrorist who together with his 15-year-old cousin nearly murdered two Israelis in October, has intensified in the past week, according to Walla! News.
The campaign's organizers, a group of pro-Palestinian activists, claim the boy, who was documented running across a Jerusalem street wielding a knife, was shot by Israeli security forces as he waited for the bus.
While the campaign is working hardest on social media with the sharing of videos showing Mansara's interrogation by Israeli security officials, the organizers have also led weekly demonstrations in various cities including London, Oslo and Amman under the title."
Although the attack, in which a 13-year-old boy and 25-year-old man were critically injured, was documented by security footage, the activists have tried to portray Mansara as an innocent victim of "Israeli aggression."
The #FreeAhmadMansara campaign's website claims Mansara "was waiting for the bus, had countless bullet wounds, at least one in his little neck. Settlers, soldiers, and policemen were surrounding him. An Israeli started filming in the background, shouting at Ahmad in Arabic, “die, son of whore… die son of 66 whores.”

Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinian Authority hard-liners blast security cooperation with Israel
Palestinian factions on Wednesday strongly condemned Palestinian Authority security commander Majed Faraj for his talk about security coordination with Israel.
Faraj, in an interview Sunday with Defense News, revealed that the PA security forces have prevented some 200 terrorist attacks against Israel since October 2015. He also revealed that his forces have arrested about 100 Palestinians on suspicion of planning attacks against Israelis.
Faraj is the commander of the PA’s General Intelligence Force in the West Bank.
His remarks triggered a wave of denunciations from a number of Palestinian factions that are strongly opposed to security coordination with Israel.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that Faraj’s admission that the PA security forces have prevented 200 attacks against Israel “proves these security forces’ role in serving the security of the occupation and combating the Palestinian intifada.”
Abu Zuhri said that the PA security forces in the West Bank were acting contrary to the Palestinians’ national consensus.
Israeli mayors refuse to attend Swedish leadership seminar
Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom sparked a diplomatic firestorm last week when she accused Israel of the extrajudicial "execution" of Palestinian terrorists - and Israel quickly lashed out in response.
Numerous Israeli officials condemned her incendiary comments while Sweden's ambassador to Israel was summoned by the Foreign Ministry for rebuke.
Former foreign minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) even urged a boycott of Swedish furniture chain "Ikea," and now it appears the call to boycott Sweden has moved from threat to action.
According to a Channel 10 report Wednesday night, a delegation of 15 Israeli mayors have announced their refusal to attend a conference set to take place in Sweden.
The delegation came to the decision Tuesday to cancel their flight to the conference, which was supposed to land near stockholm in March.
Citing International Law, Israel Charges Margot Wallstrom with “Illegal Occupation” of Her Stockholm Apartment (satire)
In a dramatic move at the International Criminal Court (ICC), the State of Israel filed formal charges against Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom, citing the “Illegal Occupation” of territory her Stockholm apartment. The Legal NGO Shurat Ha Din filed a “Friend of the Court” brief on behalf of the State of Israel’s charges, outlining the illegal nature of Ms. Wallstrom’s unilateral land grab queue-jumping acquisition of a subsidized apartment from a Swedish Labor Union. Attorney Robert F. outlined the charges. “By illegally acquiring this property and the dispossession of the rightful renters, Ms. Wallstrom committed a clear criminal act under International Law.” When asked by the Daily Freier how he defined International Law, Robert replied, “We are adhering to the common-use ‘Brussels Standard’ for International Law violations, meaning it can be defined as ‘stuff that makes me personally unhappy or uncomfortable’. Ms. Wallstrom’s actions clearly meet or exceed these standards. Oh and we’re pretty sure that she chopped down some olive trees in order to expand her patio last year.”
For her part, Ms. Wallstrom was defiant in declaring her innocence of wrongdoing. “I was treated equally. Just a little more equally than everyone else.” Ms. Wallstrom continued; “These charges are simply not true. I must remind the plaintiff that while European politicians may invoke ‘International Law’, we are by no means bound by it. I mean, really. This is like EU 101.”
In addition, Ms. Wallstrom’s attorney argued that the rush to condemn the apartment purchase in the international arena was circumventing the legal process of Sweden. “This obsession with ‘International Law’ is truly counterproductive. And what is with Israel’s obsession with labels anyway??”
Netanyahu: Sunni Arab states more realistic about Israeli-Palestinian conflict than EU
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested Thursday that many countries in the Arab world now view the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a more realistic light than many countries of the European Union do.
Speaking in an onstage interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Netanyahu said that "Saudi Arabia recognizes that Israel is an ally rather than an enemy because of the two principle threats that threaten them, Iran and Daesh," he said, using the Arabic acronym for Islamic State.
"Who can help us? they ask. Obviously Israel and the Sunni Arab states are not on opposite sides," he said.
He jested that he had met with some EU officials the previous day and asked that they show Israel the same understanding as Israel's Arab neighbors, who are the Jewish state's traditional enemies.
Hillary’s Movie Lie Source Revealed
Clare Lopez, former CIA analyst and member of the Citizens Commission on Benghazi, chronicles how former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton created and plotted the video narrative to deflect attention away from the State Department’s illegal gun running operation in Benghazi.
This segment examines emails from Sidney Blumenthal, a personal confidant of the Clinton’s, which are designed to place the blame of the Benghazi attack not of the Obama-Clinton administration, but on the foolish video “Innocence of Muslims.”
In an almost unbelievable disinformation moment, Blumenthal leads Clinton to use his son Max Blumenthal’s article about the video as the cause of the attack.
Do not miss this segment of the Benghazi series, “What Difference Does it Make,” where Lopez and host Tom Trento deconstruct the Blumenthal-Clinton act.
GoFundMe Deletes Rabbi Shmuley Boteach's Campaign Connecting Hillary with Israel Critic Max Blumenthal
Israel critic Max Blumenthal raised the stakes in his spat with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach by successfully pressuring crowdfunding platform GoFundMe into removing a campaign for an advertisement linking presidential candidate Hillary Clinton with the anti-Israel author.
For years, Blumenthal, who is the son of Clinton’s longtime adviser Sidney Blumenthal, has been blasted by critics for alleged anti-Israel activism. The recently released emails from Clinton’s private servers show that Sidney Blumenthal sent Clinton his son’s writings to which the then-secretary of state responded favorably, leading Boteach to accuse Clinton of taking advice from Blumenthal.
As a result, Boteach established a campaign on GoFundMe with the aim of raising funds for an advertisement in the New York Times emphasizing the link between Clinton and Blumenthal. Around the same time, Boteach penned a column for the Huffington Post in which he slammed Blumenthal’s “crackpot anti-Israel theories.”
Boteach accused Blumenthal of contacting both GoFundMe and the Huffington Post to pressure them into removing Boteach’s contributions from their websites. In a letter to Ryan Grim, the Huffington Post’s Washington bureau chief, Blumenthal denounced Boteach’s column for containing “malice and reckless disregard for facts that amounts to de facto libel.”
But a follow-up by Boteach that was able to provide evidence for all of his claims meant that the column stayed up.
Congressman demands Kerry reject US envoy's criticism of Israel
Several days after US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro ignited a diplomatic firestorm with his criticism of Israel, US Congressman Peter Roskam (R-IL) sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry urging him to adamantly reject the envoy's statements.
In his remarks before the Institute for National Security Studies conference on Monday, Shapiro blasted Israel's policy on "settlements," openly casting doubt on the Jewish state's to desire to achieve peace with the Palestinians.
According to Roskam, these "troubling" remarks not only "do not reflect reality," but also serve to "empower those who wish to delegitimize and marginalize the Jewish State."
Roskam noted that Shapiro made the statements on the same day terror victim Dafna Meir was buried - and as Shapiro was "wrongly castigating Israel on the world stage," Palestinian leaders were "unabashedly praising Dafna's killers."
"Perpetuating falsities and and placing undue and disproportionate blame on Israel for the stalled peace process is a harmful distraction from ongoing Palestinian terrorist attacks, which, ultimately, make peace harder to achieve," Roskam blasted.
Former Kerry Adviser on Peace Talks: U.S. Won’t Violate Confidentiality by Releasing Framework
The United States will not violate its commitments to confidentiality by releasing the framework proposal that had been discussed by Israel and the Palestinian Authority during U.S.-sponsored peace negotiations in 2013 and 2014, David Makovsky, a former member of Secretary of State John Kerry’s team for the talks, said on Tuesday.
Makovsky, who served for ten months on Kerry’s team and is now a director at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, made his statement in response to a question posed by Gilead Sher, a former Israeli peace negotiator and a researcher at Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), during the second day of INSS’s annual conference.
“Why won’t the United States lay out the parameters of the framework that you produced during those negotiations as an anchor for future negotiations,” asked Sher, adding that the framework could be discussed by the United Nations Security Council in lieu of one proposed by France or other U.N. member states.
EU Official: New Palestinian Community Police Centers a Step toward State
European Union and Palestinian Authority representatives inaugurated eight new community police stations in the town of Aqraba next to the Palestinian city of Shechem in a move viewed as a concrete step towards a two-state solution.
“These infrastructures are the backbone of the rule of law and a cornerstone of a future democratic and viable Palestinian state,” commented EU Representative to the Palestinians Ralph Tarraf at the opening of the inauguration ceremony. “This is further evidence, if ever needed, of our full commitment to the two-state solution.”
The EU views the police stations as an essential component of a Palestinian state. “The rule of law is a basic requirement and is one of the main pillars of the future Palestinian state,” the EU Palestinian Delegation’s Communication Officer, Shadi Othman told Tazpit Press Service.
“Part of what we do is help build such law enforcement institutions while working with the different parts of the judicial system, including the police, which is the judicial system’s executive arm,” Othman added.
The construction of these new community police stations is also meant to instill in Palestinians a sense of pride and self-respect.
Ezra Nawi named as activist arrested for ‘turning in Palestinians’
Police on Thursday named left-wing activist Ezra Nawi as the high-profile figure arrested last week as he tried to leave the country, following an investigative report in which he was recorded saying he helps Palestinian authorities track down Arabs who attempted to sell land to Jews.
Nawi, from the Ta’ayush organization, was named as the suspect detained at Ben-Gurion airport on January 11as he tried to take a flight out of Israel.
A prominent campaigner for Palestinian rights, Nawi had featured in a television investigation days earlier in which he was recorded saying that he helps Palestinian authorities find Palestinian vendors who sell land to Jews and are then killed for the crime.
Nawi’s name, along with other details of the investigation, had been under gag order since the arrest.
Ramallah readying new UN bid as Ban pans land expropriation
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon joined international condemnation of a planned Israeli move to appropriate West Bank land near Jericho, saying the action undermines the Israeli commitment to a two-state solution, as a top Palestinian official confirmed Ramallah would again seek a Security Council resolution against settlements.
“The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about reports of the Israeli Government authorizing the declaration of 370 acres in the West Bank, south of Jericho, as so-called ‘state land’,” said a statement on Ban’s website.
“Settlement activities are a violation of international law and run counter to the public pronouncements of the Government of Israel supporting a two-state solution to the conflict,” Ban added.
The comments echoed earlier remarks from the US State Department questioning Israel’s commitment to a two-state solution, after the Defense Ministry said Wednesday that officials approved the expropriation of some 370 acres of West Bank agricultural land near the Palestinian city of Jericho.
Report: Switzerland made secret deal with PLO to avoid terror attacks on Swiss soil
Following the hijacking of two Swissair flights in 1970, the then Swiss foreign minister met in Geneva with senior officials of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) headed by Yasser Arafat, according to reports by the Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ), to negotiate diplomatic ties and form a pact to avoid further terror attacks on Swiss soil.
While full details of the agreement are protected by a 50-year statute of limitations, according to the report. The secret negotiations risked creating a diplomatic crisis with the United States, Britain, Germany and Israel.
The negotiations took place following the hijacking by Palestinian groups of two Swissair flights in 1970.
In February of 1970, a Swissair plane bound for Tel Aviv was blown up shortly after taking flight killing all 47 passengers on board.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Obama Jealous Palestinians Get To LITERALLY Stab Israel In Back (satire)
US President Barack Obama expressed support for the Palestinian struggle for statehood today, admitting that he harbored some envy for them over the fact that he is currently forced to settle for stabbing Israel in the back only in a figurative sense.
In a phone call with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the president reaffirmed his country’s commitment to helping the Palestinians achieve the dream of an independent state, and voiced solidarity with his counterpart’s approach to ending the generations-old conflict. Obama said he would continue to empower Iran, the archenemy of Abbas’s enemy Israel, to pressure the latter into concessions, and encouraged Abbas to continue inciting his people to attack Israelis with knives, since that avenue of pressuring Israel is impractical for the Obama administration under current circumstances.
“I told President Abbas that the US remains committed to a Palestinian state living in peace and security,” the president told reporters after the phone conversation. “I said my administration will stand by is efforts in international forums to pursue that end, and facilitate it attainment where we can. But I also stressed that the outcome is not entirely in the hands of the United States – that the Palestinian leadership and people themselves bear some responsibility for making things happen on the ground. The current stabbing intifada is something that only the Palestinians themselves are in control of, and they should be proud – I, unfortunately, must make do with non-literal back-stabbing of Israel.”
Hanin Zoabi convicted for insulting public official
A Nazareth court convicted Arab MK Hanin Zoabi (Joint List) on Thursday of a her role in a confrontation she had with police in her hometown of Nazareth in July 2014.
Zoabi was indicted earlier this month after pleading guilty in December to the charge of insulting public officials, as part of a plea bargain with prosecutors relating to comments she made during the clash.
During the incident, the firebrand MK accosted Arab police officers guarding a protest in the northern city, calling them "traitors" and accusing them of being "collaborators."
"We need to spit on their faces, we need to mop them off the floor. We must not shake their hands, nor let them be among us. They should be afraid of us when we're in the street," she shouted to protestors.
However, the court dispute on Thursday stemmed from prosecutors' demands that Zoabi remain on probation for three years with the stipulation she go to jail for a year if she violates her probation.
Coded messages and money transfers: How Hezbollah recruits West Bank terrorists
The operations of the Tulkarm terror cell exposed on Wednesday, which was directed by Hezbollah's Unit 133, can reveal much on the Lebanese terror organization's efforts to recruit Palestinian terror activists.
Jawad Nasrallah, son of Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah, made his first contact with the head of the Tulkarm cell, Mahmoud Jalloul, on Facebook in late August, with the Palestinian asking Nasrallah the younger to put him in contact with the Shi'ite organization.
While the two started communicating before the outbreak of the wave of terror attacks in October, security forces already started noticing first signs of sleeper cells in the West Bank, particularly in the Samaria area, rearing their heads.
Nasrallah Junior was cautious, and responded to Jalloul several days later with the request to wait patiently. Several days after that, Jalloul was contacted by Fadi Shmandar, another Hezbollah operative, who sent him an e-mail with files and an encryption software with instructions on how to use it.
The two encrypted their communication from then onwards. The Palestinian asked his Lebanese contact for money to finance the terror attacks he was planning. "You'll receive the money only after we become more acquainted," Shmandar responded.
After receiving an encrypted message to their phones or computers, Jalloul and the members of his cell quickly deleted the messages, but Israeli security forces were still able to intercept them.

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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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