Thursday, August 04, 2016

From Ian:

Israel charges senior Gaza aid worker with funneling tens of millions to Hamas
Over the course of several years, the Hamas terrorist organization siphoned off “tens of millions of dollars” from the US-based World Vision charity for its military wing, the Shin Bet security service said Thursday.
Those funds — allegedly 60 percent of the charity’s total budget — were used to purchase weapons, dig tunnels and construct military installations for Hamas, investigators said.
Muhammad Halabi, a Hamas member and manager of operations for World Vision in Gaza, was indicted on a number of security-related charges in a Beersheba court on Thursday for his role in the alleged scheme. He was arrested in a joint Shin Bet-IDF-Israel Police operation at the Erez Crossing on June 15 as he tried to return to the Strip, the Shin Bet said.
Halabi, a member of Hamas from a young age, was handpicked to infiltrate the international charity in 2005 in order to steal money for the terrorist organization, according to the investigation.
“This was a meaningful and important investigation that showed — above all — the cynical and crude way in which Hamas takes advantage of funds and resources from international humanitarian aid organizations,” the Shin Bet said in a statement.
In a statement released following the indictment, World Vision defended Halabi and denied the allegations against him.

Israeli minister: Gaza charity likely ‘turned blind eye’ to terror funding
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan on Thursday warned that the links between terrorist organizations and aid groups in the Gaza Strip are substantial, and urged donor states to ensure that their money does not end up in the hands of terrorists.
“I imagine that in the World Vision organization, which is very anti-Israeli, they turned a blind eye,” Erdan told Army Radio after a senior Palestinian aid worker in Gaza was indicted for allegedly funneling millions of dollars in donations to the Hamas terror group.
“The connections that were uncovered today are part of a much wider and very serious phenomenon,” Erdan said.
“Israel will not permit this, and we will take action against these organizations and their activists,” he said. “We expect donor countries and international organizations to carefully check the destination of the money.”
The Shin Bet security service said earlier Thursday that the Hamas terrorist organization siphoned off “tens of millions of dollars” from the US-based World Vision charity over a period of several years, using the money to fund its military wing.

Israeli woman among wounded in deadly London stabbing spree
An Israeli woman was among the five people injured in a stabbing attack in London’s Russell Square Wednesday night which killed one American woman, according to British police.
Among the two women and three men injured were also British, American and Australian nationals. None suffered life-threatening injuries. Two remain hospitalized, while three others have been discharged.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry confirmed that an Israeli was injured but could not give further details.
Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said Thursday it appeared to have been a “spontaneous attack and that the victims were selected at random.”
Rowley said that the attacker was a Norwegian man of Somali origin, but that, despite early suspicions, police had found no signs of radicalization as a motive. The investigation “increasingly points to this tragic incident as having been triggered by mental-health issues,” he said.
“So far we have found no evidence of radicalization or anything that would suggest the man in our custody was motivated by terrorism,” Rowley added.
Nicholas Young, D.C.-area police officer, charged with attempting to support ISIS
A Metro Transit Police officer was arrested and charged Wednesday with trying to provide support for the Islamic State — marking the first case in which a U.S. law enforcement officer has been accused of aiding the terrorist group.
The Justice Department said Nicholas Young, 36, who has worked for the Metro Transit Police Department since 2003, gave advice on crossing the border into Syria and evading detection to a person he believed was a U.S. military reservist who wanted to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State.
Last month, he sent $245 worth of gift cards for mobile-messaging accounts to the man, who actually was a confidential informant for the FBI, authorities said.
Though the actions that led to the criminal charges are said to have occurred from 2014 to 2016, an FBI spokeswoman said Mr. Young first landed on investigators’ radar in 2009, when Metro Transit officials reported “suspicious” activities by Mr. Young.
An investigation was opened into Mr. Young in 2010, the same year that authorities interviewed him as a result of his friendship with Zachary Chesser.
Mayor Nir Barkat: What the World Can Learn from Israel after July's Wave of Deadly Attacks
The past few weeks have shocked the global community. Millions have witnessed Europe, the U.S. and the Middle East rocked by a growing wave of extremist terror.
Unfortunately, we have seen this before and we have seen this coming. For years, Jerusalem has experienced the recent horrors unleashed on Orlando, Nice, Wuerzburg, Ansbach, Paris and Istanbul. Jerusalem has mastered strategies to deal with this threat.
We must condemn any and all justification for terror. Justifying one kind of terror is justifying it all. Make no mistake about it—terror is terror is terror. There is no excuse for these horrendous attacks.
We must fight terror with all the tools in our arsenal—relying on professional teams—but also on the strength, resilience and vigilance of our cities’ residents. I’d like to share a few points of collective wisdom with you.
Don't Let Terrorism Disrupt Our Lives
In Jerusalem, we focus on being vigilant, while encouraging our residents to maintain their routine. The public can take an active part in combating terror by being alert at all times and refusing to alter their daily lives. This is a positive step, not a negative one. It creates a sense of mutual accountability, puts hundreds of thousands of eyes on the lookout, and builds confidence, which empowers our residents.
Flaws in the "Lone Wolf" Analysis
Lately the lone wolf analysis has crept into political campaigns with Hillary Clinton promising to be the president who will stop lone wolves and Chuck Schumer bringing the lone wolves out in the latest battle of his ongoing war against gun ownership: “It’s a new America, with ISIS preying on lone wolves who can easily get guns. That has to stop before there’s another Orlando.”
The idea that a terrorist group could successfully call on its sympathetic global constituency to carry out attacks as “lone wolves” shows how unstable the term’s logic is. And yet its use continues.
Ultimately the “lone wolf” analysis provides a useful tool for anyone seeking to disconnect Islam from jihad attacks. In spite of Omar Mateen’s mid-attack pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, US Senator Bernie Sanders said that we may never know what inspired him to attack. Portraying the growing legion of attackers as “lone wolves” is a way of denying the existence of the global movement Azzam started. The Obama administration uses the term "lone wolf terrorist" to denote an unaffiliated and unconnected terrorist "wannabe" rather than a member of a movement. Much of the federal government seems puzzled by the threat, crippled by a fear of offending Muslims, and guided by a president who continues to insist that ISIS is not Islamic.
By refusing to look for jihadists, and then after their attacks looking for reasons other than jihad, we make it easier for them to hide.
Sebastian Gorka might be overstating the origin of the term “lone wolf” by declaring it designed to make Americans stupid, but he just might be correct about its effects.
Martyred Priest’s Last Words to Jihadists: ‘Be Gone, Satan!’
Just before having his throat slit by two Islamic terrorists in northern France last week, Father Jacques Hamel told one of his assailants, “Be gone, Satan!”, according to the priest’s bishop.
In his homily at the martyred priest’s funeral Mass on Tuesday, Rouen’s Archbishop Dominique Lebrun gave details of the last moments of the priest’s life as he was slaughtered for his Christian faith.
“Evil is a mystery that reaches summits of horror beyond what is human,” the Archbishop said. “Is that not what you meant, Jacques, by your last words? Falling to the ground after the first stab, you try to push away your attacker with your feet saying, ‘Go away Satan!’”
The archbishop said that the priest then repeated a second time: “Be Gone, Satan!”
During the same homily, with members of the Muslim community present, Archbishop Lebrun explicitly addressed those who may be tempted by jihad.
“You who are tormented by diabolical violence, you who are drawn to kill by a demonic, murderous madness, pray to God to free you from the devil’s grip,” he said. “We pray for you, we pray to Jesus who healed all those who were under the power of evil.”
British Soldiers Banned From Wearing Uniforms After Second ‘Kidnap Attempt’
British soldiers have been “warned not to wear their uniforms to work” after another suspected kidnapping attempt outside an army base.
The first attempt was committed by knife-wielding “Middle Eastern” men on the 20th of July outside an RAF base in Marham in Norfolk, East Anglia. A manhunt is ongoing.
Just weeks later, police are investigating a similar incident, involving two men in a blue Renault Clio, outside Aldershot Garrison in Hampshire. Police were called to investigate at around 8:40am today.
A Facebook page linked to the military wrote in a status update: “ALERT CONFIRMED. Just been briefed by our colonel and told no uniforms to be worn to work and out in town!”
A spokesman from Hampshire Police confirmed officers were called to a “suspicious incident at the junction between Queens Avenue and Hospital Hill, Aldershot”.
Jpost editorial: Myopic State
The US State Department’s recent attack on Israel’s settlement policy is an egregious departure from previous administration’s views that it is as an “obstacle to peace” and “illegitimate.” But the latest targeting of neighborhoods in Israel’s capital as “settlements” constitutes blatant interference in whatever possibilities exist for an eventual settlement of the conflict with the Palestinians, and indeed jeopardizes efforts to achieve peace.
The State Department’s overblown language indicates a distorted view of the reality driving the conflict – and it’s not settlements. The department’s statement reads like the Palestinian Authority narrative: Building Jewish housing in Jerusalem is “corrosive to the cause of peace,” “systematically undermining the prospects for a two-state solution,” “entrenching a one-state reality of perpetual occupation and conflict” and “provocative and counterproductive.”
Setting aside the historic fact that Arab opposition to the Zionist enterprise predated the creation of Israel by about a century and the “occupation” by another two decades, this unbridled assault on settlement distorts reality by making it the principal cause of the lack of a peaceful settlement.
Israel regularly reiterates its commitment to a two-state solution in the face of Palestinian refusal to conduct faceto- face negotiations. Instead, the PA under Mahmoud Abbas engages in incitement to terrorism on the ground, while pursuing membership status at the UN.
Arab League’s Boycott Israel Conference Opens In Cairo
The 90th Boycott Israel conference opened in Cairo on Wednesday in the wake of an Arab League resolution to increase efforts to isolate Israel diplomatically and financially.
According to the Arab media, the conference will focus on devising strategies to boycott Israel, drafting a list of companies not abiding by the boycott, deciding what sanctions are to be imposed on such companies, and issuing position papers warning companies of the dangers of dealing with Israel.
Also to be discussed are methods to facilitate the coordination between the different Boycott Israel bureaus across the Arab world.
The conference leadership issued a statement that stressed “the importance of the boycott to the Palestinian struggle and the fight against the occupation, while using lawful and economic means that would lead to favorable consequences, is invaluable.”
Waleed Alhamadi, the head of the Kuwaiti delegation, was quoted by the national press as saying, “Kuwait is the strictest adherent to the economic boycott of Israel.”
Alhamadi, who is a Customs Department official, said that a number of companies “trading with Israel and peddling settlement goods” have been added to the blacklist.
UN ambassadors receive security briefings in South during Israel visit
Eleven UN ambassadors were briefed on Israel’s security challenges on Tuesday, as they are visiting the country with Israel’s representative at the United Nations Danny Danon.
The delegation received the briefings as they were flying in helicopters over the country’s narrow “waistline” and visited communities near the Gaza Strip such as Sderot and Kibbutz Nahal Oz, where they heard about living under the threat of rocket fire and tunnel attacks. The group then flew north to Ziv Medical Center in Safed, where they witnessed medical aid care given to Syrian refugees.
The ambassadors were also taken to the Lebanese border where they were briefed on the threats Israel faces there.
The ambassadors are from Liberia, Panama, the Marshall Islands, Moldova, Tanzania, Serbia, Equatorial Guinea, the Republic of Palau, Thailand and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Uruguay, which currently serves as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.
Danon said he believes his counterparts will “return home with a better understanding of [Israel’s] need to stand strong in the face of the threats to its security."
Scottish Conservatives in Israel, in bid to flip the narrative back home
A first-ever delegation from the Scottish Conservative party is visiting Israel this week in a bid to promote bilateral trade and to bolster what it says is a growing pro-Israel advocacy movement in Scotland.
Hosted by the Conservative Friends of Israel, nine Conservative MSPs, including several shadow cabinet ministers, the chief whip and the party’s director, met with Israeli MKs, local businessmen and security officials and received briefings by the IDF at the Syrian border.
“We’re keen to ensure that people know that Scotland and the United Kingdom are still looking for business,” said John Lamont, the Scottish parliament’s chief whip, referring to widespread insecurity about the future of trade with the United Kingdom following its June 24 decision to leave the European Union. The EU is Israel’s largest trading partner. “We’re keen to use the Brexit result as an opportunity to build closer ties with Israel.”
Scotland, together with Ireland and Sweden, is considered one of the places in Europe most hostile to Israel. The center-left Scottish National Party, which in the May elections received 46 percent of the vote — compared to 22% for the Tories — is viewed as very pro-Palestinian. The Scottish parliament has considerable legislative competences in the area of its jurisdiction.
In recent years, many debates over the Middle East in the Scottish parliament have been “very unbalanced or biased toward the Palestinian perspective,” Lamont said.
Cabinet to vote on giving Gaza a port
The cabinet is to vote in the coming weeks on a proposal by Transportation Minister Israel Katz to facilitate the creation of a Gazan seaport, to be built on an artificial island off the Strip, the minister told The Jerusalem Post in an exclusive interview which will be published in full on Friday.
For the past several years, Katz has been promoting the idea of constructing a seaport for Gaza on a man-made island. His proposal has recently gained the support of the defense establishment, which is concerned by the prospect of an economic collapse in Gaza triggering another war.
“The world perceives Israel as having responsibility for Gaza,” Katz said during the interview, arguing that enabling the creation of the port will both help ordinary Gazans to make a living and improve Israel’s international diplomatic standing.
“It won’t change Hamas’s ideology,” Katz said, but opening up Gaza to trade with the world certainly has the potential of acting as a restraining factor for Hamas, enabling Gazans to export goods abroad and giving them a new economic horizon, the minister said.
Ultimately, he added, this might weaken Hamas’s grip on power, since the Islamist regime would end up losing its absolute, iron grip on Gaza’s two million people.
The current situation, Katz warned, is untenable.
IDF Blog: IDF counter-terror efforts lead to 30% decrease in terror attacks in past 5 months
The IDF has been bolstering its counter-terror strategy with an increase of weapons seizures and the shutdown of weapon manufacturing facilities; 27 weapon manufacturing machines and over 235 guns have been seized. This week alone, security forces seized 6 machines used to build guns in Nablus and Ramallah. On July 31, IDF and Israeli security forces also arrested a major illegal weapons dealer and Palestinian security official, Mahayub Borhan Rashad Knaza. Here are a few of the measures we’ve taken to put an end to lone wolf attacks and crack down on the illegal weapons industry in Judea and Samaria:
Shutting Down Weapons Manufacturing Facilities
Since the beginning of 2016, the IDF and Israeli security forces have seized 27 weapon manufacturing facilities in Judea and Samaria. 7 of these machines have been found in Nablus, where earlier this week a major weapons dealer was arrested. Hidden throughout Judea and Samaria, these illegal facilities are producing weapons intended to be used in attacks against Israelis.
Shutting Down Explosives Labs
Beyond improvised guns, some of these facilities are explosives labs where pipe bombs and other homemade bombs are put together, and then distributed to terrorists. On January 25, twin sisters were arrested for holding pipe bombs that they admitted were intended to be used in terror attacks against Israelis. On December 23, our forces discovered a Hamas explosives lab in Abu Dis with materials often used in making suicide vests. More recently, a man was arrested for attempting to plant explosives on the Jerusalem light rail. These seizures are preventing lethal weapons from falling into hands of terrorists and being used in attacks against Israelis.
When ‘Savage’ Is Too Kind a Word for a Palestinian Terrorist
After a Palestinian civil engineering student was revealed on August 2 to be the terrorist arrested for plotting a large-scale attack two weeks ago on Jerusalem’s light rail in revenge for Jews visiting the Temple Mount, everyone’s natural reaction to the terrorist’s capture was to breathe a sigh of relief, feel a sense of gratitude to the quick-thinking security guards who caught him and turn the page.
But before turning our attention away from this latest near-miss, it might be worth pondering a few lessons that might be learned.
Lesson #1:
It’s not the “occupation.” Would-be bomber Ali Abu Hasan is a resident of the town of Beit Ula, six miles northwest of Hebron. Like 99 percent of Palestinians, he lives under the rule of the Palestinian Authority (PA), not Israel. Former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin withdrew Israel’s forces from Beit Ula way back in 1995. This means that Hasan has lived literally his entire life under Palestinian, not Israeli, occupation.
Half a year after brutal axe attack, Tzvika Cohen goes home
After he was brutally attacked by an axe-wielding Arab terrorist, doctors predicted Tzvika Cohen might never recover.
Comatose for three weeks and suffering severe injuries across his body, the staff at Hadassah Ein Kerem in Jerusalem initially struggled just to keep Cohen alive.
But this week, Cohen beat the odds, receiving a green-light to return home finally after five and a half months in the hospital.
In February, Cohen a 47-year old father of four, was attacked by Saadi Ali Abu Hamad just outside of a mall in Maale Adumim.
Brandishing an axe, Hamad hacked Cohen, who was working as a security guard at the mall, nearly to death, leaving him unconscious before fleeing the scene.
This marked the second terror attack the Cohen family suffered. In 2000, Cohen’s older brother Rahamim, a cab driver, was stabbed 11 times by his passenger.
Arabs in East Jerusalem shoot fireworks directly at police
The Jewish neighborhood of Ma'ale ha-Zeitim regularly comes under a barrage of stones, Molotov cocktail and fireworks from the Arab neighborhood of Ras al-Amud; but while violence continues, number of attacks on the decline.
While there has been a decline in the number of incidents, police still have to deal with serious violence in East Jerusalem, as can be seen in security cameras footage of policemen in Ma'ale ha-Zeitim being attacked with fireworks launched directly at them from Ras al-Amud.
The police responded to the shooting of the fireworks from the Arab neighborhood with crowd dispersal measures.
Number of female combat soldiers highest ever
Since the IDF opened up combat roles to women, the number of female combat soldiers has been steadily increasing. The number rose from 435 female combat soldiers in 2005 to 547 by 2012. The women were only in one battalion: Caracal.
However, 2013 saw an explosion in women combat volunteers with 898 joining combat units. With the opening of another mixed-gender battalion—Lions of Jordan—the number jumped to 1,365 women in combat roles. Finally, 2015 saw the opening of the third mixed-gender battalion—Bardelas—and the number increased to 2,047 female combat soldiers, a number which is expected to increase all the way to 2,100 women in combat roles.
This constitutes a 400 percent increase in female fighters in a single decade. As if that weren't enough, the IDF is planning on opening up a fourth mixed gender battalion in the near future.
Israeli authorities demolish homes of Sarona terrorists
The Israeli military, in cooperation with the Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria, demolished the homes of the two Palestinian terrorists behind the deadly attack at Tel Aviv's Sarona Market in June.
The military says the West Bank homes of cousins Muhammed Muhamra and Khalid Muhamra were demolished early Thursday.
In the Tel Aviv attack, the terrorists, both dressed in black suits, opened fire at a restaurant in a popular shopping and dining district. Four people were murdered and several were wounded in one of the deadliest attacks in a 10-month wave of violence. The attackers were apprehended near the scene.
About two weeks ago, the Supreme Court rejected petitions from the terrorists' families, thereby allowing the military to demolish their homes. In one case, the court partially accepted the petition, allowing the military to demolish only the floor where the terrorist lived.
One of the terrorists said in the investigation that his family supports the Islamic State group, and that his father was aware that he used an uncle's car to trade weapons.
Palestinians issue international appeal: Stop Israel from demolishing Sussiya
The Palestinian Authority has appealed to the international community to prevent Israel from razing the Palestinian village of Sussiya, which is located in the South Hebron Hills.
“We call on Israel to abide by international law and we ask the international community to stop Israel from destroying Palestinian villages,” PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said on Tuesday, as he warned that Israeli action against the Palestinian herding village could be imminent.
On Monday, the High Court of Justice appeared to frown on a petition to save the village, as it ordered Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman to issue an opinion on the matter within two weeks.
Supreme Court President Miriam Naor told attorneys during a hearing on the matter, “Speaking for myself, this petition should be rejected.”
Arafat is not a hero
For the most part, Ramallah is like many other cosmopolitan urban centers. The prosperous de facto Palestinian administrative capital boasts museums, cultural centers and cafes, including “Stars & Buck,” a coffee shop bearing a green and white logo unmistakably similar to the iconic Seattle coffee chain.
What’s most striking about Ramallah, however, is the feeling that Yasser Arafat is still alive. Walk around the city and you can’t miss Arafat’s face looming down from banners and posters. In government offices, his portrait hangs alongside that of the current Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, though Arafat’s is sometimes larger and more prominent. Strike up a conversation about politics with any Palestinian and the conversation invariably turns to Arafat.
The Palestinian people longingly remember a hero who gave voice and vision to their dreams of a Palestinian state. That he failed to give them an actual state when he rejected the deal offered by Bill Clinton and Ehud Barack in 2000 is of no consequence.
Arafat wanted far more than the West Bank and Gaza Strip; he wanted total victory over Israel. In a 1996 speech in Stockholm, he made his intentions clear, stating, “We plan to eliminate the State of Israel and establish a purely Palestinian state.
PMW: PA law: Terror's reward - rise to rank of General in PA Security Forces
5 years in prison - Lieutenant
10 years in prison - Lieutenant Colonel
20 years in prison - Brigadier General
On July 1, 2016, Palestinian terrorists murdered a father of ten and critically wounded his wife in a drive by shooting south of Hebron. Last week, the shooter, Muhammad Al-Faqih, was killed when he fired at Israeli soldiers who came to arrest him, and the driver of the car during the murder, a member of the PA Security Forces, Muhammad Amira, was arrested.
In addition to the many financial rewards the PA grants all Palestinian terrorist prisoners, Amira, because he was a member of the PA Security Forces, will also be rewarded with a rise in military rank. This is stipulated in the PA Regulation: Securing Jobs for Released Prisoners in Government, Decision No. 15 of 2013, initiated by Mahmoud Abbas.
According to this Palestinian Authority law, all terrorists from the PA Security Forces who are imprisoned for "resisting the occupation," i.e., for terror offenses, are rewarded by rising in military rank - during their time in prison.
The following chart, published by WAFA, the official PA news agency on Dec. 12, 2013, is from the PA Regulation, Decision No. 15 of 2013, Issue 103 of the Records, published Dec. 8, 2013:
PA Media Expert: Abbas’ Declaration of ‘Freedom of Opinion, Speech Day in Palestine’ a Case of ‘Turning Truth Upside Down’
The head of an Israel-based research organization ridiculed PA President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday for “creating, as policy, a virtual reality in which all truth is turned upside down.”
Itamar Marcus, founder and director of Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), was referring to a report in the official PA daily on Tuesday that Abbas had declared that he was going “to strengthen the freedom of the press in the Arab world, and decided that August 1 will be Freedom of Opinion and Speech Day in Palestine.”
Expanding on his critique, Marcus told The Algemeiner: “Marwan Barghouti is a Palestinian mass murderer of Israelis, so Abbas decides to have him nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Abbas’ PA TV for kids teaches that Jews are the enemies of Allah, and his mufti teaches that the role of Muslims is to bring about the extermination of Jews. Yet his PA accuses Israel of initiating a religious war.”
Where freedom of the press is concerned, Marcus said, “The PA media is owned and controlled by the PA, and its directors are appointed by Abbas himself. Palestinians have been arrested for posting messages critical of Abbas and the PA on Facebook. And now Abbas is presenting himself as a defender of free speech. If Abbas is considering having a free media, he has to start by limiting himself and his control. If he does not do so, this is just another example of his purposely presenting a stance that is diametrically opposed to the truth.”
Tulkarem electricity crisis leads to clash between PA and local municipality
Much of Tulkarm has gone without electricity for the last three days, provoking anger, frustration and confusion.
Residents have taken to the street in protest and called on Israeli and Palestinian authorities to take immediate actions to restore electricity to the northern West Bank city.
Meanwhile, younger residents clashed with Palestinian Authority security forces, as Fatah members began staging a protest in Gamal Abdel Nasser Square.
One resident, who asked to remain unidentified, told The Jerusalem Post by telephone, “We need electricity to be restored. The current situation is unbearable, and many cannot operate their businesses and others are suffering in the intense heat.”
The crisis is not the first, and many residents do not expect it to be the last. The supply of power to Tulkarm has been compared to that of the Gaza Strip. Shop owners and families there have purchased generators to deal with electrical interruptions.
Hamas criticizes Israel for killing terrorists
The Hamas terrorist organization is continuing to encourage Palestinian Arabs to carry out terrorist attacks against Israel, but is also criticizing Israel for killing terrorists who harmed Israelis.
In recent days, the organization has distributed video guides on how to kill Jews by stabbing them, and educating the younger generation in schools and summer camps on the ethos of violence and terror aimed to kill the Jews in “Palestine”.
But at the same time, Hamas's official newspaper Palestine on Tuesday published an article written by Dr. Ali Ma'ali, who claims that Israel could have arrested Palestinians who carry out attacks instead of killing them.
In an article entitled "The Hawara checkpoint (south of Shechem) - area of ​​execution," Dr. Ma'ali wrote that “boys and girls, young in age, were executed in cold blood at checkpoints in the West Bank, including the Hawara checkpoint, which is known among the Palestinians as the checkpoint of death and the most cursed checkpoint.”
IS plans to hit US air bases in Mideast, warn Israelis who hacked into IS web group
The Islamic State terror group has issued a specific call to leading activists to target air bases used by the US in Kuwait, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, an Israeli cyberintelligence company that claimed to have hacked the jihadist organization’s Telegram communication group warned on Wednesday.
Intsights, a Herzliya-based intelligence company, hacked into what it said is the Islamic State’s Telegram group on the dark web in which the organization’s operatives disseminate terror attack plans among 500 leading activists, according to a (Hebrew) report on Channel 10.
The Israeli company, which is run by former IDF intelligence officers, told the TV station the Islamic State uploads potential targets to the group, and in recent months some of the targets have been hit by individuals claiming allegiance to the terror organization.
One such target presaged in the Telegram group was the church in Normandy, France, where local priest Father Jacques Hamel, 85, was murdered by jihadists on July 26. The call to carry out the attack in Normandy was issued via the Telegram group a few months ago, said Intsights Alon Arvatz.
When Not Spouting About Presidential Qualifications, Obama Piles $400M Cash in Crates and Ships It to Tehran as Ransom
The $400,000,000 in material support to terrorism cash payment was made under the guise of settling a 37-year-old dispute over a Carter era arms transaction with the Shah before the revolutionary jihadist regime took power. In reality, it was ransom for American prisoners who were being detained as “spies” by the jihadist regime. The release of the prisoners was presented to the American public as a prisoner swap in which the administration released seven Iranian citizens detained in U.S. prisons and dropped extradition requests on fourteen others. But the cash payment, which was hidden from Congress, arrived in Iran the same day the American prisoners were released. As the Journal notes: Revolutionary Guard commanders boasted at the time that the Americans had succumbed to Iranian pressure. “Taking this much money back was in return for the release of the American spies,” said Gen. Mohammad Reza Naghdi, commander of the Guard’s Basij militia, on state media.
Obama has long taken the view that the federal law making it a felony to provide material support to terrorism does not apply to the enormous aid and comfort he has provided to our Iranian enemy, the world’s leading state sponsor of anti-American jihadist terror. He evidently had qualms, however, about laws denying Iran access to the U.S. financial system, which bar transactions with Iran in U.S. dollars. To skirt these, the State Department recruited the Swiss and Dutch governments into Obama’s conspiracy. The equivalent of 400 million in U.S. dollars was transferred to their central banks in exchange for hard currency. The piles of euros and francs were then boxed up and flown to Tehran.
Before Obama came to power, it was longstanding American policy neither to negotiate with nor pay ransoms to terrorists because it only encourages them to seize more hostages and press for more ransoms and concessions. As I pointed out back in 2009, Obama departed from this policy shortly after taking office – for the benefit of Iran, naturally. And this was long before he traded five Taliban commanders for Bowe Bergdahl, a deserter currently facing court-martial.
As night follows day, since Obama sent the jihadist regime the $400 million ransom, the jihadist regime has taken more American hostages.
Earnest: It’s Possible $400 Million Iran Received Could Fund Terrorism
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said during Wednesday’s press briefing it is possible the $400 million that the Obama administration airlifted to Iran could have been spent on funding terrorism.
“The president was quite forward-leaning in advance of the nuclear deal even being completed in acknowledging that we know that Iran supports terrorism,” Earnest said. “We know that Iran supports Hezbollah and the Assad regime, and it is certainly possible that some of the money that Iran has is being used for those purposes, too.”
Earnest said the Obama administration has been working with their partners in the Middle East to counter Iran’s nefarious activities but knows that the bulk of the $400 million had been used to address the current economic weaknesses the country continues to face.
Earnest also slammed critics of the Iran nuclear deal because Tehran did not receive the billions of dollars from sanctions relief that some claimed and said opponents of the deal were either misinformed or lying to the American public.
Earnest said that the money Iran had received was from a bank account they had paid into and had been fighting to get back for years.
Report: Iranian Hackers Accessed Millions of Users’ Info on Telegram Messaging App
Hackers believed to be associated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) accessed user accounts of the secure messaging app Telegram earlier this year, identifying the phone numbers of millions of Iranians, Reuters reported on Tuesday.
The breach is the largest yet of the secure messaging system, cybersecurity experts told Reuters. The hacking group Rocket Kitten, believed by experts to be linked to the IRGC, compromised more than a dozen Telegram accounts and identified the phone numbers of some 15 million Iranians. Iran has a reported 20 million Telegram users.
The Berlin-based app uses end-to-end encryption, considered to be the most secure form of encryption. It claims 100 million users worldwide, especially in the Middle East, Latin America, and Central and Southeast Asia. The terrorist group ISIS is also known to use Telegram.
The weakness in Telegram’s security system, experts said, is that new devices are activated by SMS messages. In countries where cell phone companies are controlled or heavily influenced by the government, accounts could be compromised.
Iran threatened last month to ban all iPhones unless Apple opened a store in Iran as part of an effort to get all cell phones registered in a national telecommunications database. Three months ago, Iran ordered all messaging apps to begin storing their data inside the country or risk being prohibited from operating in Iran. These moves have raised concerns that users could have their data accessed by the government.
Iran executes gay teenager in violation of international law
Iran’s regime executed a gay adolescent in July - the first confirmed execution of someone convicted as a juvenile in the Islamic Republic in 2016 - Amnesty International reported this week.
Hassan Afshar, 19, was hanged in Arak Prison in Iran's Markazi Province on July 18, after he was convicted of "forced male-to-male anal intercourse" (‘lavat-e be onf’) in early 2015, the NGO said in a statement Tuesday.
Stefan Schaden, a LGBT rights activist and spokesman for the European 'STOP THE BOMB' campaign, told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday, “Consensual homosexual conduct remains illegal under Iran’s Sharia law and is punished with public flogging or even execution. While the Islamic State throws gays from rooftops, the Islamic Republic [of Iran] hangs them.”
Amnesty said the Iranian authorities received a complaint accusing Afshar and two other adolescents of forcing a teenage boy to have sex. Afshar, who was arrested in December, 2014, said that the same-sex relations were consensual and the accuser had freely engaged in prior homosexual relations.
“Iran has proved that its sickening enthusiasm for putting juveniles to death, in contravention of international law, knows no bounds," said Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Programme Director at Amnesty International.
‘Narnia’, ‘Endor’, and ‘Palestine’ send teams to the Rio Olympics! (satire)
Rio de Janeiro: Sports fans everywhere are kind of excited, and for good reason: this year will see several make-believe nations compete in the Olympics, to include ‘Narnia’, ‘Middle Earth’, ‘Endor’, ‘Brigadoon’, and ‘Palestine’!  The Daily Freier had a chance to talk to some of the Olympic hopefuls about this exciting opportunity.
Grumash, an Orc explained that while he was representing Middle Earth, he was really from Omaha. “But half of the Palestinian team are actually from Germany, so the Olympic Committee was totally cool with it.” Grumash went on to explain that he is competing in the 50 Meter Swim. “Me and the Palestinian entry only missed qualifying by 4 seconds. That’s not even a long time. One, Two, Three, Four. So they let us in anyway. Isn’t this awesome? Hashtag Winning!”
Wicket, an Ewok representing Endor, was equally ecstatic about this amazing opportunity. “When we found out the Palestinians were entering, I gathered everyone in our tree house on the Forest Moon and said ‘That’s it. They’re letting in pretend countries now.  This is our moment to shine!’ And sure enough, we emailed our forms to Rio and before we knew it, we were picking out Spandex uniforms!”

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