Sunday, April 17, 2016

From Ian:

Amid Syria talks, Netanyahu declares ‘Israel will never leave the Golan Heights’
As UN-led peace talks on the future of Syria are being held in Geneva, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went to the Golan Heights Sunday and declared that Israel will never leave the strategic region.
“The time has come for the international community to recognize reality,” Netanyahu said at the opening of a special cabinet meeting held for the first time ever on the Golan Heights. “First, that whatever will be on the other side of the border, the border will not change.
“And secondly,” Netanyahu added, “the time has come after 40 years for the international community to finally recognize that the Golan Heights will remain forever under Israeli sovereignty.”
Israel took the Golan Heights during the 1967 Six Day War, and in 1981 extended Israeli law to the region, thereby de facto annexing it.
“I decided to hold this meeting on the Golan Heights to send a clear message,” he said. “The Golan Heights will always stay in Israeli hands, Israel will never leave the Golan Heights.”

Syrian official answers Netanyahu: We will use all available means to recapture the Golan
In a first reaction to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's declaration that "Israel will never leave the Golan Heights," Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal al-Miqdad said Sunday that Syria is prepared to use every possible means to recapture the area, including military means.
"The Syrian Golan is an occupied Arab land according to the UN Security Council's resolutions, and the presence of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Forces proves this," Miqad said in an interview with the Lebanon-based TV channel al-Mayadeen.
"We have never renounced the resistance and we are ready to recapture the Golan in all possible ways, including military ways. Israel wants to provoke us, but we will never surrender," Miqdad added.

Family of Israeli terror victim to visit UN, show 'truth about Palestinian terror'
The widower and daughter of Israeli terror victim Dafna Meir are set to appear before the United Nations to "show the world the truth about Palestinian terror," Israel's Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, said in a statement on Sunday.
Natan and Renana Meir were invited, in a joint effort by Danon and the non-profit One Family, to share their personal account of loss to terror with the international community and strike a chord of similarity between Palestinian terrorism in Israel and terror attacks inspired by Islam-extremism worldwide.
“It is time for the UN to condemn Palestinian incitement and make clear that there is no difference between terror attacks in France and Belgium than terrorism against Israelis. Do Israeli lives matter less?" Danon said in the statement.
Dafna Meir was murdered in January by a 15-year-old Palestinian who stormed the entrance of her home in Otniel. She was able to fight back the terrorist, saving the lives of her three children who were home and witnesses to their mother's murder.
Ben-Dror Yemini: The interesting case of the British soldier that opened fire
This is the story of a soldier who killed in cold blood a terrorist who was lying on the ground wounded and helpless. This did not happen in Israel of 2016, but rather in Afghanistan in 2011, in the notorious Helmand Province. The soldier was Alexander Wayne Blackman, a sergeant in the British Royal Marines. His unit got into a firefight which also involved an Apache helicopter, hitting a Taliban militant whose name remains unknown.
Some soldiers kicked the wounded terrorist. Blackman ordered two soldiers from his unit to not give him first aid. Suddenly, Blackman drew his weapon and shot the terrorist in the chest, sending the wounded terrorist to the next world with a quote from Shakespeare: "There you are. Shuffle off this mortal coil, you c***." It wasn't just another murder, this murder was poetic. He also added, "I just broke the Geneva Convention."
None of the members in his unit report this. There were no British "B'Tselem" cameras in the area. The whole event was supposed to remain unknown, but fate decreed otherwise. The helmet camera of one of the team members documented every detail of the incident. The video fell into the hands of the civilian police by accident. An indictment for murder was filed against Blackman and some of his comrades in arms. In December 2013, he was convicted, as the judge criticized the public pressure and determined that it was "murder in cold blood."
Blackman was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of ten years. An appeal was filed, and while the conviction remained, in May 2014 his sentence was reduced to a minimum of eight years.
Female Terrorist Inspired by Dream to ‘Kill Jews’ Indicted for Attempted Murder
Shatila Abu Iyadh, 22, who carried out a stabbing attack in Rosh HaAyin earlier this month was indicted for attempted murder at the Central District Court in Lod on Sunday.
According to the indictment, a dream, in which “the prophet” searched for her, inspired Iydah to become more religious and “kill Jews” as part of her new religious obligations to Allah.
The decision to carry out a stabbing attack was only taken after Idyah failed in implementing a far more deadly attack. Indeed, she set about purchasing the necessary materials to produce a bomb, which she learned to assemble from the internet, and intended to plant in two restaurants in Afek industrial park in Rosh HaAyin. Furthermore, she purchased nuts and bolts intended to maximize the damage.
Likud MK warns 'buses will explode' if IDF withdraws from Area A
MK Nava Boker (Likud) reacted strongly on Sunday to reports that covert talks are being held between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) to reach an agreement pulling IDF troops out of Judea and Samaria's Area A.
Area A is a group of regions designated as being under PA security and administrative control by the 1994 Oslo Accords, although the 2000 Oslo War or Second Intifada largely led by PA Security Forces necessitated a returned IDF presence in the area.
"There is no need for an expert security opinion to understand that the IDF is the best safeguard for the citizens of Israel. We have already heard 'recommendations' after the Oslo Accords and the (2005) Disengagement and we all remember the consequences,” warned Boker.
“Anyone with common sense will know that withdrawal of troops would reinstate PA terror bases. I object to this vehemently. This is a terrible mistake that would return us to the days of exploding buses in the streets.”
Guardian legitimizes Palestinian official’s lie about Israeli ‘ethnic cleansing’
Hussassian’s suggestion that one use of excessive force by one Israeli soldier, against 21-year-old Palestinian terrorist (“youth”), undermines Israel’s “claim” to be a democracy is itself undermined by the fact that the soldier was immediately arrested and is facing manslaughter charges. Democracies can’t insure that its armies behave properly in every occasion, only that there is accountability when they do act in a manner inconsistent with use-of-force regulations. The strength and vibrancy of Israel’s democracy – as evident by the country’s free and fair elections, its independent judiciary and a feisty and adversarial press – simply can not be denied by any serious political observer.
Moreover, the suggestion that this one incident represents a larger pattern “of extrajudicial killings of Palestinian youths” is given without even the slightest evidence, and represents a perfect example of the kind of incendiary rhetoric used by Palestinian extremists (and political leaders) to incite more violence. The latest wave of terrorism targeting Israelis in knifing, shooting and car ramming attacks, which has resulted in over 30 deaths and more than 400 injuries, was ‘sparked’ by the decisions of individual Palestinians. They weren’t merely “caught up in violence” as Hassassian claims. Hundreds of Palestinian terrorists have launched attacks (against Israeli victims as young as 13) freely and of their own volition, and often with one central task: to murder Jews.
Worse, Hassassian contextualizes this non-existent Israeli offensive against ‘innocent’ youth as part of a larger pattern of “ethnic cleansing” of Palestinians.
This extraordinary lie, as we’ve noted previously in response to such intellectually unserious charges, is easily refuted by a few population statistics.
Hamas chief vows to free Palestinian prisoners in Israel
Hamas political chief Khaled Mashaal said Sunday that his group “must soon free all Palestinian prisoners” in Israeli jails and would not wait for negotiations with Israel to do so.
Mashaal, in a televised speech on the occasion of Palestinian Prisoners Day, which takes place annually on April 17, said that Hamas would not open negotiations with Israel about anything until all the so-called “Shalit prisoners” who had been rearrested were freed.
In 2011, kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was released in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian detainees, in a deal brokered with the help of a German diplomat. Israel rearrested some of those released in the deal in the summer of 2014 during a search for three Israeli teenagers who were kidnapped by a Hamas cell. It later emerged that the teens had been killed shortly after their abduction.
“Our goal is not the completion of a deal, but the cleaning out of [Israeli] prisons,” he said.
UK terror cell was arrested after US code crackers hacked into the phone of 'man in the hat' Brussels terror suspect Mohamed Abrini
Five UK terror suspects were arrested after US code crackers hacked into a phone linked to the 'man in the hat' Mohamed Abrini.
Four men and a woman from Birmingham were held as officers swooped on the suspected UK arm of the fanatical group who killed 162 in Paris and Brussels in a wave of gun attacks and suicide bombings.
The phone linked to Abrini, 31, is believed to have contained photographs of Birmingham landmarks including Aston Villa's football stadium and the city's Bullring shopping mall.
A photograph of New Street rail station and images of the Small Heath area are also said to have been discovered on the device.
A European security official claimed this weekend that Abrini had made ‘multiple trips’ to Birmingham last year to meet home-grown terror suspects.
West Midlands Police said officers working with MI5 and Belgian and French authorities swooped in an operation ‘to address any associated threat to the UK following the attacks in Europe’.
Belgian minister says many Muslims ‘danced’ after attacks
He did not explicitly refer to last month’s jihadist attacks on Brussels’ airport and metro system that killed 32 people
“A significant section of the Muslim community danced when attacks took place,” Jambon said in an interview with the Flemish-language De Standaard newspaper.
The Belgian minister also accused Muslim residents of Brussels’ largely immigrant Molenbeek neighborhood of attacking police during an operation last month to arrest a suspect in connection with the deadly attacks in Paris last November.
“They threw stones and bottles at police and press during the arrest of Salah Abdeslam. This is the real problem. Terrorists we can pick up, remove from society. But they are just a boil. Underneath is a cancer that is much more difficult to treat. We can do it, but it won’t be overnight,” he said.
I’d Be Anti-Israel Too If I Believed Sanders' Lies About the Jewish State
I’m starting to understand the attitude of the wildly misinformed anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. I’d be anti-Israel too if I believed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)’ slanderous statements about the Jewish state, especially regarding the conduct of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
If I heard, for example, that Israel bombed “hospitals” during the 2014 Israel-Gaza War, as Sanders claimed during a recent interview, then I might believe the IDF is a morally depraved military that murdered innocent patients in cold blood.
Never mind that the only strike on a hospital during the war was when the IDF surgically bombed a wing of Gaza’s empty Al-Wafa Hospital, with the Israeli army saying the building was being used as a Hamas terrorist command center and a launching site for rockets. No casualties were reported in the bombing, and Israel first fired numerous warning shots and spent days ensuring that the building was entirely evacuated. Sanders has not said a word about Hamas’ criminal use of hospital patients as human shields.
Still, if I believed Sanders’ rhetoric that Israel indiscriminately leveled whole Palestinian apartment buildings, I too would likely view the IDF as a human rights violator. “My understanding is that a whole lot of apartment houses were leveled,” Sanders claimed to the New York Daily News two weeks ago.
I cannot accept Bernie Sanders’ position on Israel
While I may have a problem with Hilary Clinton’s stance on a number of key issues in this election, I cannot and will not accept Bernie Sander’s stance on Israel using excessive force in Gaza during the attacks in 2014. His comments, outlined in a recent debate, are based upon the number of injuries that were suffered by the Palestinians during these attacks in comparison to the injuries suffered by the Israelis which is not the correct benchmark to be using. You cannot punish or blame one country just because they suffered less casualties by having access to more effective defense systems.
There is no doubt in anyone’s minds that during the attack in Gaza, Hamas consciously placed its citizens in hospital facilities, educational institutions and in religious facilities but at the same time placed missiles and other weapons of destruction in such locations despite having been given advanced notice by the Israelis to the Palestinians that they should evacuate these areas before an attack was imminent.
Organizers of Hamas told the civilians to stay where they were knowing that if the Israelis chose to attack some of these facilities in order to defend themselves they would use the footage of injured or killed civilians in order to gain support and sympathy from people around the world.
NGO Monitor: "Who Profits"- Spearheading Global BDS
- ‘Who Profits‘ was founded in 2007 as “a research project of the Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP) a feminist, Palestinian-Jewish organization devoted to the struggle against the occupation…” and “in response to the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement” against Israel.
- In 2013, due to “the expansion of Who Profits and its increasing professionalization as a research center,” as well as the loss of some of CWP’s donors due to BDS activities, “the project separated from CWP and became an independent organization.” Nevertheless, “Who Profits and CWP continue to collaborate as sister organizations.” ‘Who Profits’ does not disclose any of its staff on its website or in its correspondences.
- The group seeks to expose “the commercial involvement of Israeli and international companies in the continued Israeli control over Palestinian and Syrian land… We focus on three main areas of corporate involvement in the occupation: the settlement industry, economic exploitation and control over population.”
- ‘Who Profits’ initiates boycott campaigns against Israeli and foreign banks, security companies, civilian infrastructures and private companies. It supports BDS campaigns around the world in finding target companies. The website provides the option to “Report a Company,” and calls on the public “to identify companies that should be included in their database.” This database includes more than 500 Israeli and international businesses.
Involvement in BDS
- The NGO promotes the BDS campaign through social media and is mentioned in almost every report calling for boycotts of or divestment from Israel. Its status as a registered Israeli NGO gives it a special status among BDS supporters.
- ‘Coalition of Woman for Peace’ and ‘Who Profits’ co-authored a document entitled “Knowing the Occupation Economy” (2015), funded by the Swedish organization “Kvinna till Kvinna” (itself funded by the Swedish Government).
'BDS gets hundreds of thousands of dollars from Rockefeller fund'
The Rockefeller Brothers Fund has given anti-Israel BDS organizations hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to the Shurat Hadin Israel Law Center.
In a scathing letter to the RBF earlier this month, the Israeli legal watchdog group warned the RBF that its support of groups that advocate boycotting Israel could cause the fund to be "considered complicit and as a participant in these groups' illegal activities."
The fund, which belongs to the Rockefeller family, donates especially large sums of money to various institutions in Israel and abroad, which according to the allegations include Israeli and Palestinian human rights groups that publicly support the BDS movement.
Shurat Hadin claimed that in 2015 the RBF granted $140,000 to Jewish Voice for Peace; $20,000 to Zochrot; $50,000 to the American Friends Service Committee's Israel program; and $100,000 to the Al-Shabaka organization.
Paying the Jizya in Bethlehem
Last month I spent four days attending the Christ at the Checkpoint Conference held in Beit Jala in the West Bank. It was the third time I attended the event, which has been held every even-numbered year since 2010. At the 2012 and 2014 conferences, I came home appalled by the lies and misinformation broadcast at the conference, which is organized by Bethlehem Bible College, a non-denominational school supported by Evangelicals from North America and Europe that is a hotbed of anti-Israel agitation in the West Bank.
At the 2012 and 2014 conferences, speakers blamed radical Islam’s violence against Christians in the Middle East on Christian support for Israel, as if Muslims had no moral agency of their own. Speakers condemned Jews for having rejected Jesus as the messiah, suggesting that this rejection rendered Jews unfit to run a sovereign state of their own. On a more practical level, speakers falsely reported that the security barrier completely surrounds Bethlehem, the city of Christ’s birth, in an attempt to portray the Jewish state as an obstacle to God’s purposes for peace in the Middle East.
I was stunned that the speakers defamed the Jewish people so brazenly and that the audience of 600 Evangelicals from North America and Europe listened so happily to it all.
Similar messaging was broadcast at the 2016 conference. I should be in a high dudgeon about what I heard, but instead I feel pity.
UMass Amherst Chancellor Reaffirms Opposition to BDS as Graduate Student Union Passes BDS Resolution
The resolution passed by the GEO calls for BDS to be maintained until Israel “ends its occupation of the Palestinian territories and dismantles the Wall,” as well as “protects the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes.”
“That is all code for destroying Israel,” a faculty member who also preferred to remain anonymous told The Algemeiner. “They don’t specify which ‘territories,’ so as to include 1948 Israel, and of course demanding that 5 million ‘refugees’ return — where exactly would the current Jewish citizens go? Would only Jews have to leave, or also the 20% of the Israeli population which is Arab?”
As reported by The Algemeiner, a small group of faculty made a last-ditch effort to oppose the resolution, by publishing a protest letter Thursday in the school newspaper. Further, the GEO vote may be reviewed and possibly overturned by the United Auto Workers, as GEO is affiliated with the larger body.
Ex-BBC chief: Jews voting for Corbyn is like Muslims voting for Trump
Speaking to The Times of London, Danny Cohen expressed deep concern over rising anti-Semitism in Labour, which he said precluded Jews from supporting it.
“If you are Jewish how can you vote for them? How could you? For me it would be like being a Muslim and voting for Donald Trump, how could you do it?” Cohen said, referring to the American presidential hopeful’s call for a ban on Muslims entering the US.
Cohen also slammed what he called a lackluster response from the party to anti-Jewish sentiment within its ranks.
“You have to feel absolutely confident that it is totally unacceptable and it won’t be tolerated and I personally haven’t felt comfortable that it is happening yet in the Labour party,” he said.
Response to anti-Semitism divides UK Jews, Labour chief
But leaders of British Jewry need additional reassurances, Arkush told JTA, in light of what he called Corbyn’s “belittling of the problem.”
Arkush was referring to Corbyn’s response last week about a tweet by his brother, Piers, dismissing Elleman’s claim that the Labour leader had not done enough to tackle anti-Semitism. Piers Corbyn wrote on Twitter: “Absurd. Zionists can’t cope with anyone supporting rights for Palestine.”
Asked for a comment by The Sun, Corbyn said: “My brother isn’t wrong.” He also said of Labour’s anti-Semitism issues: “I wouldn’t call it a crisis, we as a party are taking resolute action.”
Earlier this week, Michael Foster, a British Jew whose family gave Labour more than $570,000 last year, cited that quote in an op-ed explaining that he had stopped donating to Labour’s leadership. Corbyn’s statement “shows only his callousness and contempt for the history of the Jews in Europe,” Foster wrote.
The Board of Deputies wants Corbyn to distance himself from his brother’s statement, repudiate his expressions of friendship toward anti-Semitic entities or people, and continue to take disciplinary action against anti-Semites, Arkush told JTA.
Anti-Israel campaign calls on Jordanians to refuse working in Israeli hotels
Anti-Israel activists in Jordan have launched a campaign against Jordanians' employment in Israeli hotels, amid the clamor of senior Israeli officials for recruiting additional Jordanian employees to work in hotels in the southern city of Eilat.
In an interview with the London-based Arab-daily al-Arabi al-Jadeed Saturday, the head of the committee against normalization with Israel, Manaf Majali, said that the committee will start a broad campaign to convince Jordanians not to "work in the occupying entity."
According to Majali, the number of foreign workers has considerably decreased, which has forced Israel to search for a cheap alternative in Jordan.
Majali said that the committee will identify the Jordanian companies that assign Jordanians to work in Israel, in order to organize demonstrations against them, expose them to the public and urge people to boycott them.
EXCLUSIVE - Iran Seeks Merger Of Loyalist Palestinian Factions
Iran is apparently pushing for the merger of two rival Palestinian militias that promote its regional agenda as well as Shi’a Islam.
Members of Al Sabireen, an organization that split off from Islamic Jihad, met with representatives of the latter at Iran’s behest in an attempt to negotiate their reunification, an Al Sabireen source told Breitbart Jerusalem.
The source said that, if a deal materializes, Al Sabireen operatives will be integrated into Islamic Jihad’s ranks and will be loyal to the organization’s military wing, the Al Quds Brigades.
“Once a deal is clinched, the Islamic Jihad leadership will announce that Hisham Salem, Al Sabireen’s secretary-general, received a top appointment in the military wing,” he said.
It is unclear whether Iran’s efforts come in response to a Saudi endeavor to unify Sunni countries into an anti-Iran coalition. Iran recently resumed funding to Islamic Jihad, although at a lower scale than in the past. The organization then asked that Iran mediate between them and Al Sabareen, the source added.
The source said that Al Sabareen is considering reunification with Islamic Jihad because it believes Hamas will continue to clamp down on Al Sabireen’s public activity.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Senior Fatah official wounded in Gaza clashes
A senior Fatah official was wounded in a clash in the Gaza Strip on Friday night between supporters of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his rival, Muhammad Dahlan.
The incident occurred at al-Bureij refugee camp, Palestinian sources said, when a melee broke out during a rally marking the 28th anniversary of the assassination of the PLO’s Khalil al-Wazir (Abu Jihad), in Tunisia.
The sources said that Dahlan’s supporters used chairs to attack Abbas loyalists attending the rally.
The senior official who was wounded was identified as Abdullah Abu Samhadanah.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Hamas' heavily armed 'Elite Forces' replace police in Gaza
Hamas’s armed wing, Ezaddin al-Qassam, has deployed members of its “Elite Forces” in various parts of the Gaza Strip, Palestinian sources said over the weekend.
The sources said that the Hamas forces have replaced the civilian police force, who have disappeared from the streets.
The move came following a “security incident” that repeatedly occurred along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel in the last few days, the sources said.
The Gaza Strip has since been awash with rumors regarding the “security incident,” which resulted in an escalation of tensions along the border with Israel.
Eyewitnesses said they were surprised to see the heavily armed members of the Hamas “Elite Forces” patrolling the streets of the Gaza Strip in broad daylight, according to the Rai-Al-Youm online newspaper.
The “Elite Forces” have until now operated only at night.
Twitter shuts down yet another Hamas military wing account
Twitter shut down another account linked to Hamas in recent days, this time belonging to the spokesman of the terror group’s military wing.
The move followed a series of closures of Hamas accounts since last month, as the company took unprecedented step to remove the Palestinian group’s influence on its medium.
The spokesman, known as Abu Obeida, whose account was shut on Friday, promptly opened a new account on Saturday, underscoring the problem the social media site faces when monitoring pages belonging to terrorists and terrorist groups.
Twitter has been making efforts over the last two years to prevent terror organizations from spreading their messages through the service, but has come under fire for its inability to prevent users, most notably those linked to the Islamic State, from simply opening new accounts.
Hamas military spokesman loses brand-new Facebook page
The spokesperson for Hamas’s Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, who goes by the nom de guerre Abu Obeida, opened an official Facebook page on Saturday, shortly after Twitter shuttered his account, which counted nearly 200,000 followers, on Friday.
Hamas’s military wing has yet to release any statement regarding the closure of the Facebook page, which may have been carried out by the group itself. There was no immediate reply from Facebook to a request for comment.
The Facebook page had been advertised on Saturday through the terror group’s website, as well as via a new Twitter account of Abu Obeida and Hamas’s channel on Telegram, a secure messaging app.
Abu Obeida’s Twitter account was shut by the micro-blogging platform on Friday, joining dozens of other accounts by Qassam Brigade officials that have been shuttered in recent months.
Lebanon pushes for French mediation in its maritime border dispute with Israel
The Speaker of Lebanon's Parliament Nabih Berri asked French President Francois Hollande to help Lebanon resolve its maritime border dispute with Israel, the daily Lebanese newspaper al-Mustaqbal reported Saturday.
According to the report, during his meeting with Hollande Saturday, Berri "required France to play a role in order to help Lebanon demarcate its maritime borders with Israel and protect its offshore oil treasures."
The maritime border dispute between Israel and Lebanon revolves around Lebanon's rejection of the maritime agreement signed between Israel and Cyprus in 2011. According to Berri, this agreement enabled Israel to "seize Lebanon's Exclusive Economic Zone."
In this light, Israel opposes Lebanon's recurrent attempts to grant many international oil companies licenses to explore for oil and gas in the disputed region, which enrages Lebanon, who views investment in this area as vital to its economy.
Report: Dozens of Hezbollah militants 'accidentally' killed in chemical attack
Dozens of members of Hezbollah were killed last week in Aleppo in an "accidental" chemical attack carried out by the Syrian military, diplomatic sources reported to the Kuwaiti newspaper "Al-Jarida."
The report stated that Syrian fighter jets struck militants from the Shi'ite terror group when they mistakenly attacked the town of Al-Eis, south of Aleppo, in their efforts to retake the region.
On the bodies of the dead militants were signs of burns that are typical of chemical explosives.
"It is not the first time that coordination problems have arisen between the military police and the Russian military, Hezbollah and Iran. Incidents like this have happened repeatedly since the Russian forces entered into the conflict," a diplomatic source said.
The source added that, "What happened in Aleppo demonstrates an impending problem in regards to cooperation on the ground and the incident again brings up the issue of attacks on innocent people with unconventional weapons."
Iran parades parts of advanced S-300 missile battery in Tehran
Iran on Sunday paraded what it claimed were parts of its newly received Russian-made S-300 air defense system, after months of speculation over whether Moscow would deliver the advanced weapon.
Several trucks loaded with what Iran said were parts of the system, including vehicles and missile housing, were paraded through Tehran during an event to mark the country’s annual Army Day, days after an Iranian official said Russia had begun to carry out its part of the deal following years of start-and-stop negotiations.
Photos of parts of the S-300 showcased at the parade were published on Iranian news sites and posted on social media.
According to the semi-official Fars News, the parts did not include the missiles themselves.
Iranian President Blames ‘Zionist Regime’ for All Mideast Woes
Israel is the “root source of violence and extremism in the Middle East,” Iran’s president on Thursday, according to Tehran’s semi-official news agency, Tasnim.
Addressing the 13th summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Turkey, President Hassan Rouhani warned that the world must “always be vigilant against the danger of the Zionist regime.”
According to Tasnim, Rouhani said that Israel is engaged in the “continued massacre of innocent Palestinian people, mostly women and children,” and that “the siege of the Gaza Strip shows the violent nature of the Zionist regime of Israel that continues its brutalities.” He also accused the international community, particularly the West, of ignoring what’s taking place.
In a subtle threat to the OIC, Rouhani also called for unity in the Islamic world amid reports of an apparent draft statement by Saudi Arabia against Iran and proxy Hezbollah. “Since any divisive move does not enjoy consensus among (the member states) of the organization (the OIC) and the Islamic Ummah and is in conflict with the raison d’être of the organization, it would be invalid,” he stated.
Introduction of Niqab Emojis Causes Mass Online Confusion (satire)
“What emotion are they feeling?!” yelled a befuddled Twitter user earlier today after a series of new emojis were released by Apple. The emojis feature niqab-clad faces, (allegedly) displaying a wide range of emotions for users to choose from. Along with the new emojis came a statement from Apple, which explained the additions. According to the tech giant, “After we introduced more racially sensitive emoji faces, it just made sense to extend that inclusiveness to different religions as well.” And while many have applauded the move, many others are confused by the “different” expressions.
After initial comments that the emojis all looked the same despite being labeled as “happy,” “sad,” “angry,” etc., were condemned as Islamophobic, people have become more accustomed to the little veiled faces. “I don’t really know how to feel about the new emojis,” said one celebrity who wished to remain anonymous. “But, I guess that’s kind of perfect since I don’t know what emoji I’m sending.”
Aqwise dedicates wastewater plant in Mexico
Aqwise, a global provider of advanced water and wastewater treatment solutions for the industrial and municipal markets, has officially dedicated its new wastewater treatment facility in Durango, Northern Mexico.
Plans for the $3 million Turn-Key wastewater treatment project were signed in 2013, during an official visit by then President Shimon Peres to Mexico. The presidential visit came after Mexico turned to Israel’s water experts for help in improving their water.
The Durango plant will employ Aqwise’s AGAR (Attached Growth Airlift Reactor) technology solutions — a proprietary process that “utilizes biofilm grown on carrier media which aerobically degrade soluble organic pollutants in wastewater.”
“This is an important project for Aqwise, and it expands our activities in Mexico where we already have numerous water treatment facilities in place,” said Elad Frenkel, Chief Executive Officer of Aqwise. “We’re happy to dedicate this treatment facility, which came about on the presidential visit, and we hope the relationship between Israel and Mexico will continue to strengthen – economically and culturally.”
Israel Voted One of World’s Best Vacation Destinations by ‘Telegraph Travel’ Readers
Readers of the UK’s Telegraph travel section recently voted for Israel as one of the world’s best countries to visit.
More than 75,000 readers voted in the 2015-16 Telegraph Travel Awards for the best destinations, airlines, tour operators and cruise lines worldwide. The Jewish state ranked 28th on the list of the 50 best hotspots, jumping eight places since last year’s survey.
“Security concerns do not seem to have undermined your enjoyment of Israel’s fascinating sights,” Telegraph Travel noted. “And it’s not surprising — whatever your political views, Jerusalem in particular is one of the world’s greatest historical destinations and is too often overlooked as a destination for a fascinating city break.”
Other countries on the list include Chile, Brazil, Burma and Japan. Telegraph Travel readers voted New Zealand their favorite country for the fourth year in a row, followed by the Maldives and South Africa. Rounding off the top 50 was France.

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