Friday, March 11, 2016

From Ian:

Candidate for UN’s Palestine observer compares Israel to Islamic State, watchdog says
The United Nations Human Rights Council has tapped a British professor, who has accused Israel of apartheid and compared it to the Islamic State, to be its investigator into human rights violations in the Palestinian territories, a UN watchdog group reported Thursday.
A committee charged with reviewing candidates to replace Makarim Wibisono, who will leave the position at the end of March, has recommended Penny Green — a professor of law and globalization at Queen Mary University of London — as its first choice for the role.
In response, UN Watch said it had submitted a report to the UNHRC against the “radical” Green’s appointment, citing her apparent bias against Israel.
The watchdog first spoke out against the position itself, charging that “while the title of the mandate implies that the special rapporteur monitors ‘the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories,’ this is false. In fact, the text of the mandate… makes clear that the rapporteur is charged with investigating only ‘Israel’s violations.'”
Not only does the rapporteur’s mandate not cover Palestinian actions against Israelis, it also ignores rights violations by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas against other Palestinians, the report said.
Meanwhile, a look at the Twitter feed of the top candidate for the post shows her to be vehemently anti-Israel. Green, UN Watch said, “accuses Israel of ‘criminal state practices,’ ‘ethnic cleansing,’ and ‘apartheid.'” She has lamented that the US and UK haven’t yet started “bombing Israel for its massacres,” as they have the Islamic State.
She also supports the total boycott of Israel and has posted tweets in support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. (h/t Yenta Press)
UNHRC 'diagnosed' with Israeli obsession
Israeli Ambassador to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva Eviatar Manor issued strong criticism Thursday against the UNHRC for its biased stance towards the Jewish state.
Speaking before the UNHRC, Manor said, "I have by now realized that this Council suffers from an Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder with Israel, which it cannot control, and that it repeatedly produces reports, resolutions and ID’s on my country."
"I should remind you that associated with this disorder is an increased risk of suicide. This Council will bring upon itself its own demise," he warned.
"What this Council needs is behavioral therapy. The treatment includes exposure and ritual preventions. I suggest the Council exposes itself to some other pressing conflict areas with increased attention and a parallel reduction of the level of anxiety with which it considers Israel."
Manor referenced statements made last Monday by the High Commissioner to the Council, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, saying, "he pointed you clearly towards your real priorities."
"UNHCR numbers are staggering: 4.8 million Syrian refugees, 13.8 million IDP’s (internally displaced persons - ed.) in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. OCHA reports that 7.6 million people in Yemen have no food security and 14 million do not have access to medical facilities."
Quoting Al Hussein, he said, "ten hospitals and other medical units have been damaged or destroyed in Syria since January - and this Council will consider 6 reports and 5 resolutions on Israel? This is nothing but shameful and demonstrates total disregard for the human rights of millions."
Revealed: How Hamas exploits Gaza to harm Israel
Aside from siphoning off international aid for its missile and tunnel programs, Hamas has been cynically manipulating the residents in Gaza by imposing unreasonable taxes to prop up its terror activities, even while deceiving the world into blaming Israel for the bleak situation.
Hamas continues to complain of the "Israeli blockade" in the international press and accuse it for Gaza's economic crisis, but meanwhile the terrorist organization is fleecing its residents in various forms of taxes and funneling tens of millions of dollars into its "military arm" every month. Meanwhile the international community continues to ignore the duplicity of Hamas and condemns Israel's legal naval blockade.
Several of Hamas' methods of ripping off Gaza residents were exposed by Walla on Friday, which reported that nearly 100,000 residents in the coastal enclave remain homeless since Operation Protective Edge in summer 2014, Hamas' third war against Israel.
Qatar has been donating enormous funds to rebuild Gaza, and slowly new homes are being built for the 17,000 families whose homes were completely destroyed.
Recently Hamas held a raffle for 1,040 housing units built by Qatar in Gaza, promising Gazan homeless who signed up that they would receive the homes for free.
However, Walla reports that those who won in the housing lottery found that Hamas demanded that they pay $40,000 for each "free" house. The terror group claimed the expenses were required to hook up the houses to the various infrastructure systems such as water and electricity.



Caroline Glick: The fourth strategy
This week we learned that Lebanon is no more. It has been replaced by Hezbollah’s Iranian colony in Lebanon.
Two weeks ago, Saudi Arabia listed Hezbollah as a terrorist organization and canceled its $3 billion aid package to the Lebanese military. The Gulf Cooperation Council followed suit. Rather than support the move by his sponsors and allies, Saad Hariri, the head of the anti-Hezbollah March 14 movement, flew to Syria to meet with Hezbollah leaders.
Saudi Arabia’s decision to end its support for the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) doesn’t mean that Saudi Arabia is making peace with Hezbollah.
It means that the Saudis are no longer willing to maintain the fiction that with enough support, the LAF will one day challenge Hezbollah’s effective control of Lebanon.
Hezbollah and its bosses in Tehran don’t seem too upset about the Sunnis’ decision to acknowledge that Hezbollah is a terrorist group. And they are right not to care. In essence, the Saudi move is simply an admission that they have won. Lebanon is theirs.
Hezbollah’s isn’t the dominant force in Lebanon because it has better weapons than the LAF.
Unlike the LAF, Hezbollah has no air force. It has no armored divisions.
Hezbollah is able to dominate Lebanon because unlike the LAF and the March 14 movement, Hezbollah is willing to destroy Lebanon if doing so advances its strategic goals.
Why No Consequences for Abbas?
That’s because despite all of the evidence that the Palestinians are interested in Israel’s destruction rather than peace, President Obama remains convinced that it is Israel and its government that is the obstacle to ending the conflict.
That’s one of the many fascinating nuggets of information in Jeffrey Goldberg’s wide-ranging interview with the president in The Atlantic. Despite all evidence to the contrary, Obama thinks Netanyahu “could bring about a two-state solution that would protect Israel’s status as a Jewish-majority democracy, but is too fearful and politically paralyzed to do so.” That’s why Obama, who knew little about the Middle East when he entered the White House, was convinced that peace could be obtained by creating more “daylight” between Israel and the U.S., and it’s what he still thinks today.
Nothing the Palestinians do or say is enough to shake the president of his ignorant assumptions and more than seven years into his presidency, and he shows no sign of learning from his mistakes now.
No doubt Biden was angered by Abbas’s refusal to even pay lip service to what a decent leader ought to do when he met with him, and that’s why there was no joint appearance or statement after their meeting. But the Palestinians don’t care much about that. They are hopeful a French diplomatic initiative will do them more good since it seems geared toward gaining them recognition without having to give up anything in exchange.
But if Biden and his boss are frustrated by Abbas, they need to do more than issue oblique statements. This administration is fond of ginning up conflicts with Netanyahu in which they can accuse the Israelis of insulting the president or even the vice president. But they appear ready to do nothing when Abbas spits in Biden’s face. Action is required to show the Palestinians that they will gain nothing from support for terrorism. But to a president who thinks he knows more about what is good for Israel than the Israelis and who has always refused to concede that it is the Palestinians that don’t want peace, even Abbas’s support for terrorism is not enough to distract him from his grudge against Netanyahu.
Jpost Editorial: Biden's diplomacy
US Vice President Joe Biden was being diplomatic when during a press conference with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu he voiced thinly veiled criticism of the Palestinian political leadership.
“Let me say in no uncertain terms the US condemns these acts and condemns the failure to condemn these acts,” Biden said in Jerusalem Wednesday.
The “acts” were a rash of terrorist attacks that have targeted innocent civilians, including US tourist Taylor Force, 29, murdered by a Palestinian on a stabbing spree in Tel Aviv-Jaffa on Tuesday. And who failed “to condemn these acts” were, apparently, the Palestinian Authority.
Biden could have done better. He could have pointed out not only that Palestinian political leaders including President Mahmoud Abbas regularly fail to condemn these murders, but that they glorify the murderers and honor them as “holy martyrs.”
On its Facebook page, Fatah, the party Abbas heads, celebrated Force’s murder. A hand-drawn sketch of a hand gripping a knife over a map of Israel and the Palestinian territories was posted with text on the arm reading “The heroic martyr,” according to Palestinian Media Watch.

How Peace Now is fueling the PA libel factory
The Palestinian Authority's (PA) foreign ministry has condemned Israel's defensive actions in which attacking Arab terrorists have been killed - and in delegitimizing the self-defense, it relied upon the head of the radical leftist Peace Now organization.
In a statement on Wednesday, the PA foreign ministry claimed Israel conducts "cruel executions by occupation forces against young men, young women and Palestinian children on the roads, alleys and death checkpoints spread throughout the occupied Palestinian land."
To support its warped "execution" assessment of the security actions in response to lethal Palestinian terror attacks, the PA relied on none other than Peace Now head Yariv Oppenheimer, who took to Twitter on Tuesday to condemn terror victim Yonatan Azarihab, who despite being stabbed in Petah Tikva managed to kill his would-be murderer with his own knife.
He also condemned security forces for killing the Arab terrorist who went on a stabbing spree in Jaffa (Yafo) later the same day, wounding ten and murdering US tourist Taylor Force.
"In Petah Tikva and also Jaffa, videos show how the neutralization turns into an extra-judicial execution," wrote Oppenheimer on Twitter. "In the current atmosphere no media outlet dares to report and deal with the topic."
Israeli man, 29, moderately hurt in Jerusalem stabbing
An Israeli man was moderately wounded Friday in a stabbing terror attack near Jerusalem’s Jaffa Gate.
The victim, 29, was hospitalized with a stab wound to his back.
A Haredi website, Kikar HaShabbat, said the victim was an ultra-Orthodox man, but did not identify him by name.
He was treated in the field and taken to Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center by a Magen David Adom ambulance. He was fully conscious throughout the evacuation, MDA said.
Explosives thrown at Israeli car near Hebron, none hurt
An Israeli vehicle was damaged when a masked assailant threw an explosive device at it near the southern West Bank settlement of Otniel Friday morning.
Security forces are searching the area, south of Hebron, for the attacker.
Shrapnel from the explosive device struck the car’s front and windshield. The Israeli driver, a woman, was not hurt. She drove to the police station in Kiryat Arba, next to Hebron, to report the attack.
In a separate incident late Thursday, police found two hidden M16 assault rifles in a Palestinian vehicle parked near the settlement of Petzael in the northern Jordan Valley.
Two Palestinians in the car, identified as residents of Nablus, were arrested.
321 wounded in terror attacks: Long rehabilitation and nightmares that won't end
Hundreds of Israelis have been wounded over the past five months of terror attacks, many of them still recovering from their injuries.
The ongoing escalation of violence began with the murder of Alexander Lebelovitch in a stone-throwing attack on the eve of Rosh HaShana. Since then, 33 people have been killed and 321 wounded: 31 seriously, eight moderately-to-seriously, 50 moderately, 14 lightly-to-moderately and 218 lightly. In addition, Magen David Adom paramedics treated 114 people for shock.
Four months ago, a terrorist sped into a bus stop near Kibbutz Gan Shmuel, ramming into 21-year-old IDF soldier Orel Azuri. As she was lying on the ground, the terrorist ran over her again.
Orel spent 13 days unconscious at the intensive-care unit at the Sheba Medical Center in Tel HaShomer. Doctors fought for her life for days, until they won the battle, but the road to recovery is still long.
"I want to go back to being like other girls my age - go out, dance, and have fun. It'll take me a while, but I believe it will happen," said Orel.
'Knowing Israel mourns with us is comforting,' says family of terror victim Force
A small ceremony was held at Ben-Gurion Airport early Friday morning in honor of United States veteran and terror victim Taylor Force, who succumbed to his wounds after a stabbing attack on Tuesday night in Jaffa. He was the only fatality.
Force, 29, had graduated West Point Military Academy in 2009 and was later deployed to the front lines in Afghanistan and Iraq, where he served as a field artillery officer. He later graduated Vanderbilt University at the Owen Graduate School of Management before coming to Israel this past month.
The intimate ceremony was attended by members of the US military, led by Lieutenant General Frederick S. Rudesheim, who is the US security coordinator for Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and representatives of the US embassy in Israel led by the Palestinian Authority. Also on hand was William Grant, deputy chief of missions.
The gathering was organized by former Yesh Atid lawmaker Dov Lipman. Upon his election to the previous Knesset, Lipman renounced his US citizenship as is required by law.
Lipman opened the ceremony by reading a letter from Force's sister, Kristen, on behalf of the family.
"Please convey our deepest appreciation to the Israeli people and government who have been so compassionate and thoughtful during the worst moment of our lives," the letter read. "Taylor was our world and our lives are forever changed, but knowing Israel mourns with us is comforting."
Following Palestinian Murder of Native Texan in Tel Aviv, Governor Declares State Will Stand by Israel to ‘Stomp Out’ Terrorism
Texas Governor Greg Abbott said on Wednesday that he stands beside Israel in wiping out terrorism, the San Antonio Express-News reported.
Abbott was responding to the Palestinian stabbing spree in Jaffa-Tel Aviv on Tuesday evening, in which an American graduate student and US Army vet from Texas was killed.
“It came as a stunning shock to me to learn earlier today that in the great nation that I just visited, a Texan lost his life because of a terrorist attack,” said Abbott, who was recently in Israel. “I strongly condemn that terrorism and reiterate the way that Texas will stand side by side with our friend and ally Israel on doing all that we can to stomp out terroristic activities like this in Israel.”
Taylor Force, the 28-year-old Lubbock, Texas native who lost his life in the terrorist attack, was pursing a graduate degree at Vanderbilt University, located in Nashville, Tennessee, and was visiting Israel on a school trip to learn about startup companies.
US warns citizens in Israel to be on high alert after string of attacks
The US diplomatic missions in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem warned American citizens in Israel to maintain heightened awareness, following a week of Palestinian shooting and stabbing terror attacks.
“During the last few months, and in particular over the past several days, there have been a number of attacks in Israel, Jerusalem, and the West Bank that have resulted in injury and death to multiple individuals, including to US citizens,” a security message sent to American citizens in Israel on Wednesday evening read.
“Given these recent events and the continuing dynamic security environment in these areas, the US Embassy in Tel Aviv and the US Consulate General in Jerusalem remind US citizens of the need to maintain a high degree of personal situational awareness and to monitor local media for information about breaking events.”
The warning came a day after Taylor Force, a graduate student at Vanderbilt University on a school trip to Israel, was killed in a stabbing attack by a West Bank Palestinian that wounded as many as 10 people at and near Tel Aviv’s Jaffa Port. Earlier the same day, Palestinian terror attacks in Jerusalem and the central Israel town of Petah Tikva left an ultra-Orthodox man and two Border Police officers seriously injured.
Please cry for me New York Jewry – but stop whimpering
Last week Palestinian terrorists killed one Israeli, critically wounded another, and created three more orphans. So far, 31 Israelis have died since October, leaving 55 children bereft because Palestinians decided once again to undermine any chance of peace by murdering innocent men, women and children.
Yet with Americans focusing on Donald Trump’s presidential push and Leonardo DiCaprio’s Oscar chances, I barely heard about this suffering in my US travels. Even in North America, even among much of the Jewish community, Palestinian terrorism against Israelis is not news, especially when the murders occur in “the territories.”
Too many engaged American Jews are disengaging from Israel. One leading non-Orthodox synagogue in Manhattan shifted its annual social service trip for teens from Israel to Peru because some parents feared Palestinian terrorism (others objected). I won’t name the synagogue out of respect for the teens, but I cannot respect the parents’ cowardly, insulting and illogical hysteria. Peru’s murder rate is 9.6 per 100,000 people; America’s is 3.8; Israel’s is… 1.8.
These parents chose to raise their children in post 9/11 New York (with a murder rate of 5.0 then, 4.0 now). These teens were toddlers when Osama bin-Laden destroyed the World Trade Center and began a wave of terrorism in New York that requires constant vigilance.
Israeli Stocks Rise Despite Triple Terror Attacks
A spate of terror attacks on Tuesday did not slow down Israeli stocks, which hit a new high when the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange closed on Wednesday.
Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Exchange by 195 to 149.
The TA 25 gained 0.41% to hit a new one-month high, Investing.com reported. Gains in the Communication, Real Estate, and Oil and Gas sectors pushed shares higher.
The stocks were apparently unaffected by three terror attacks in different cities that rocked the country on Tuesday.
In Jerusalem, a Palestinian gunman opened fire on border policemen near the Old City. In a separate incident just minutes later, a Palestinian terrorist stabbed a man in a store in Petah Tikva before the victim managed to pull the knife from his own neck and stab the terrorist, killing him.
Hours later, American tourist and U.S. Army veteran Taylor Force was killed when a Palestinian went on a stabbing spree in three different locations in Jaffa and south Tel Aviv. The terrorist wounded 12 others.
All three assailants were killed.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Security cabinet approves completion of barrier around Jerusalem
The security cabinet late Thursday night approved the immediate renewal of construction work on the security barrier around the area of Jerusalem, in an effort to halt Palestinian terrorist attacks against Israelis.
It was one of a series of measures the cabinet took just hours after US Vice President Joe Biden flew out of Ben-Gurion Airport for Jordan.
The security barrier has been largely frozen since 2007. Only some 470 km. of its 790-km. route has been erected. It has yet to be built around the Gush Etzion, Ariel and Ma’aleh Adumim settlement blocs.
There are also gaps in the barrier around Jerusalem that need to be completed.
The US has opposed construction of the barrier in the West Bank, but while Biden was here opposition leader Issac Herzog spoke with the vice president about the need to finish it.
It’s part of an overall separation plan Herzog has been promoting for the last month by way of lambasting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for failing to deal with the wave of terrorism.
“Only separation will stop terrorism. If we do not separate from the Palestinians, the Jews will continue to be killed here,” he told Biden.

Moscow condemns attacks on civilians in Israel
Moscow has strongly condemned the terrorist attacks in Israel that claimed the lives of civilians, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement posted on its website on Wednesday.
"Moscow resolutely condemns the terrorist attacks against civilians, whatever the reasons given for them," the ministry said.
"Among the victims are four Russian citizens who sustained injuries of varying severity," the statement says. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, Russia’s Embassy in Israel is taking vigorous measures to provide necessary assistance to the hospitalized Russian citizens.
A series of attacks on civilians in Israel occurred on March 8 and 9. Two Israelis suffered gunshot wounds at Damascus Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem. Almost simultaneously another Israeli was stabbed in the city of Petah Tikva near Tel Aviv. On the evening of the same day one person was killed and 12 wounded (among them Russian citizens) in an attack with the use of cold steel arms on the outskirts of Tel Aviv in Jaffa.
"In the course of the terrorist attacks all Palestinian attackers were killed by Israeli law enforcement authorities," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
Israel expels terrorist’s family from Jerusalem to West Bank
The family of a Palestinian terrorist who carried out a shooting attack in Jerusalem earlier in the week were expelled from the capital to the West Bank, the Israel Police said Thursday.
Fouad Tamimi seriously injured two Border Police officers, leaving one in critical condition, in a drive-by shooting attack on Salah a-Din Street, near Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate, on Tuesday afternoon.
A police check found that Tamimi’s father and some siblings were living in the capital without permits. Haaretz newspaper said Thursday that the killer’s mother, who has Israeli residency, took her four underage children to join her husband and four other offspring.
During the attack, the gunman opened fire at the officers, striking one in the head. As he attempted to escape the scene, security forces engaged the gunman in a firefight, during which he shot the second officer. Tamimi was then shot and killed by police.
Poll: Most Arab Israelis back MKs’ meeting with terrorists’ families
A majority of Arab Israelis feel Joint (Arab) List MKs did not make a mistake by visiting the bereaved families of Palestinian terrorists killed while carrying out attacks on Israelis, but said the faction’s lawmakers who condemned Gulf states for declaring Hezbollah a terror group were wrong to do so, according to a Channel 2 television poll published Thursday.
The survey conducted by the Midgam Institute found that 65 percent of respondents agreed with a decision by MKs from the Balad party, one of four parties that comprise the Joint List Knesset faction, to meet with family members of Palestinian terrorists whose bodies were held by Israeli authorities. Just 17% agreed that the move was a mistake.
The poll was conducted among 350 Arab Israelis, with a margin of error of 5.2%.
At the time the lawmakers maintained they were simply helping the families recover the attackers’ bodies for burial, but a video of the three MKs ostensibly observing a moment of silence sparked widespread Israeli outrage, and prompted the coalition to draft a controversial bill to allow a three-quarters majority of lawmakers to suspend their colleagues for “unseemly behavior.”
Jewish teacher of Arabic tells class to translate ‘I want to kill Jews’
Jewish Israeli students have complained about a Jewish teacher of Arabic who instructed ninth-grade students to translate into Arabic phrases such as “I want to kill Jews,” “I want to free Al-Aqsa [Mosque],” “I want to be a shahid [martyr],” and “The Arabs want peace? They want war!”
Pupils at the Makif Tet High School in the coastal city of Rishon Lezion were also instructed to translate the words “attack,” “car-ramming” and “stabbing,” the Hebrew-language Walla news site reported Wednesday.
One student wrote on his Facebook page: “The teacher is known for his right-wing views. He wears a kippa — not that that really matters. You mainly see his worldview and his attempt to preach to pupils that all Arabs are terrorists who only want to murder Jews.”
He added: “A teacher in Israel who educates students to hate Arabs and doesn’t educate for love and peace, who teaches that it’s not worth overcoming the disgusting stereotypes that exist, that, in my view, is the lowest thing there is.”

“Martyrs”—the New “Militants”—and Other Washington Post Word-Play
They were details. And the devil's in such details.
“Palestinian neighborhoods in Jerusalem are immediately recognizable. In Issawiya, for example, there are flags flying for Palestinian political factions and the walls are covered with graffiti celebrating Palestinian martyrs —assailants who were shot and killed while attacking Israeli soldiers and civilians.”
So read a paragraph in “An Israeli leader wants to build walls in Jerusalem, put Arabs on the other side,” (Washington Post, Mar. 8, 2016 print edition). By Post Jerusalem Bureau Chief William Booth and correspondent Ruth Eglash, it reported a proposal by Isaac Herzog, head of Israel's opposition Zionist Union coalition, to erect barriers between the capital's predominantly Jewish and Arab neighborhoods.
Martyrs? The immediately trailing specificity—“assailants who were shot and killed while attacking Israeli soldiers and civilians”—makes clear the dead were anything but martyrs.
But The Post's language, in context of the article itself, was insufficient. Martyrs, for 2,200 years in Western society, have been people willing to die for their religion—or more recently also a secular ideology—not those who kill for it.
56% of Israeli-Arabs say Arab MKs do not represent them
Most Israeli Arabs think that the Joint List Knesset members do not properly represent them, according to a survey published by Channel 2.
According to the survey, which was completed by 350 people from the Arab sector alone, 56% believe that the Arab MKs do not represent them or represent them to a lesser extent.
On the other hand, 40% Israel's Arab citizenry feel that the Joint List MKs represent them quite or considerably well.
When asked about the Joint List's condemnation of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States for labeling Hezbollah a terrorist organization, 56% said the move was not justified, compared with 19% who said that it was.
School’s out in West Bank until teachers get their dignity
Public school teachers in the West Bank are showing up to work, but they are not teaching. For the students who to go to class, the only subject they are likely to learn is civil disobedience.
A West Bank-wide teachers’ strike has now entered its fourth week, leaving hundreds of thousands of Palestinian children out of class.
Teachers must show up to school to avoid punishment from the government, but they refuse to move forward in the curriculum. Students mostly stay home, go to work or roam around outside.
What began as teachers demanding that the government make good on a promise from 2013 to raise their wages about 10% and pay money owed has now morphed into one of largest democratic movements in West Bank history.
The rallying call of the strike and its accompanying social media campaign has become “dignity for the teachers.”
Hamas burns 15 tons of Snickers bars following recall
Fifteen tons of Snickers chocolate bars have met a sticky end in Gaza.
Islamic Hamas authorities hurled boxes of the peanut chocolate candy bar into a bomb crater Thursday, dousing them with diesel and lighting them in a crackling bonfire following a company recall.
Confectionery giant Mars recalled sweets from its Netherlands factory last month after “a small piece of red plastic” was found in a Snickers bar.
Three children from a nearby Bedouin encampment managed to snatch some of the chocolate bars before they melted away.
Syrian opposition reveals alleged Hezbollah plan to seize Beirut
The General Intelligence Department of the Syrian Revolution has revealed an alleged Hezbollah plan to take over Beirut by purposely bombing the organization's own munition factories as well as military positions of the Lebanese army.
In a statement released Thursday on its Twitter page, the intelligence department claimed that Hezbollah, in cooperation with forces in the Lebanese army, plans to initiate a wave of attacks against its own facilities in Lebanon which will give it legitimacy to seize Beirut.
According to the statement, Hezbollah already has several car bombs prepared to hit the organization's own facilities. By doing so, the organization aims at painting itself as a "terror victim," which will give it legitimacy to operate in Beirut, ostensibly to "uproot terror" but actually, in order to inflame the street and deploy its activists in the Lebanese capital.
On Thursday, massive clashes between the Lebanese army and ISIS militants took place in the village of Ras Baalbek in northern Lebanon after a unit of the Lebanese army raided ISIS positions in the village.
Obama State Dept. Refuses to Call Slaughter of Mid East Christians 'Genocide'
A priest from Iraq literally waved the bloody shirt Thursday at the National Press Club as he described the terror and genocide being experienced by Christians in the Middle East at the hands of Islamic State radicals.
A parish priest in Baghdad, Father Douglas Al-Bazi was kidnapped by Islamic radicals in 2006 and tortured for nine days. He said his kidnappers used a hammer to pound out his teeth and break his nose. The bloody shirt he waved was the shirt he wore during his torture.
Al-Bazi was part of a panel of Middle Eastern experts that met Thursday to put pressure on the Obama administration to apply the name “genocide” to what is happening to Christians in the territory now controlled by the Islamic State.
The group, led by Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, say whole communities of Christians in the Middle East have fallen to the sword of Islamic State radicals and that Christians are being specifically targeted for extermination by ISIS. In the territory they control, ISIS has been largely successful.
According to Hudson Institute expert Nina Shea, “There are no operational Christian communities in any of the territory now controlled by ISIS.”
Yet, the Obama administration refuses to call this genocide, a term advocates say not only accurately describes the situation, but a term that fits within international law and demands action.
US nabs ex-Saddam expert trying to make chemical weapons for IS
US special forces captured the head of the Islamic State group’s unit trying to develop chemical weapons in a raid last month in northern Iraq, two senior Iraqi intelligence officials told The Associated Press, the first known major success of Washington’s more aggressive policy of pursuing IS militants on the ground.
The Obama administration launched the new strategy in December, deploying a commando force to Iraq that it said would be dedicated to capturing and killing IS leaders in clandestine operations, as well as generating intelligence leading to more raids.
US officials said last week that the expeditionary team had captured an Islamic State leader but had refused to identify him, saying only that he had been held for two or three weeks and was being questioned.
The two Iraqi officials identified the man as Sleiman Daoud al-Afari, who worked for Saddam Hussein’s now-dissolved Military Industrialization Authority where he specialized in chemical and biological weapons. They said al-Afari, who is about 50 years old, heads the Islamic State group’s recently established branch for the research and development of chemical weapons.
ISIS branch calls on Muslims to kill 'Russian apostates', vows to attack Putin
Islamic State's so-called 'Caucasus Province' has called on Russian Muslims to "kill apostates in Russia," vowing to attack President Vladimir Putin and implement Sharia in the country.
In a video titled "Profitable Trading" released by the ISIS branch in the Northern Caucasus region of Russia on Saturday, the group's fighters urged Muslims in Russia to join them, claiming that "the Caliphate is already here."
It is the first video the extremist group in the Caucasus has released since it pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in June 2015.
The video begins with a news report which was broadcast on a Russian TV channel about a deadly car bombing that struck the town of Dzhemikent in Dagestan province on February 15, killing two Russian police officers. The video later presents the alleged Caucasus Province militant who carried out the attack. The video claims to show the perpetrator, Abu Abdurahman, speaking about the importance of "striking the apostates."
The group's deputy emir, Abu Yasser, is also seen in the recording calling on Muslims in Russia to emigrate to the 'province' and join it, and if they cannot do so – "target the apostates wherever they are, using a rope or a knife."
Names of 22,000 IS members said leaked to news channel
Tens of thousands of documents containing the names, addresses, phone numbers and family contacts of jihadis who joined the Islamic State group have been given to Sky News, the broadcaster said Wednesday.
Sky reported that a disillusioned former member had handed over the documents on a memory stick that had been stolen from the head of the group’s internal security police.
The documents are forms that IS recruits had to fill out in order to be accepted into the organization, and contain information on nationals from 51 countries, the broadcaster reported.
“Sky News has informed the authorities about the haul,” the news channel wrote on its website. No comment was immediately available from Britain’s interior or foreign ministries.
Some of the documents reportedly contain the information of previously unknown jihadis located across northern Europe, the United States and Canada, as well as in North Africa and the Middle East, it said.
Richard Barrett, former global terrorism operations director at MI6, wrote on Twitter that the records would shed an “invaluable light” on who had joined IS.
“This is going to be an invaluable resource for analysts,” he added.
Copies of the documents broadcast by Sky News showed that recruits would have to answer 23 questions including on their blood type, mother’s maiden name, “level of sharia understanding” and previous experience.


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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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