'ISIS suspects arrested for terror plot against Israeli soccer team in Albania'
Israel's 2018 World Cup qualifier against Albania this weekend was relocated on Tuesday after four suspects were arrested in connection with planning a terror attack against the blue-and-white national team.Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinians: When Fatah Becomes the Problem
According to reports in Albania, four people with links to ISIS were seized following a tip from the Mossad that they were preparing an attack on the Israel squad.
As a result, the Albanian Football Association asked FIFA to move Saturday's match from the stadium in Shkoder to Elbasan, which is closer to the country's capital Tirana and is believed to be easier to secure.
Even before Tuesday's announcement, the Israel squad was set to be escorted to Albania by an additional 15 security personnel. Israel's players were also told in advance that they wouldn't be able to return to their teams in Europe directly from Albania as is accustomed following international matches. They will instead need to travel back to Israel as a group and then fly from Ben-Gurion Airport to their different destinations.
Despite the decision to move the match to what is believed to be a safer venue, Israel's players are far from relaxed.
The upcoming conference coincides with mounting tensions in Fatah, the result of internal bickering and growing discontent with Abbas's autocratic rule.Obama: Hope of the Palestinians
Since its founding 50-some-odd years ago, the secular Fatah faction and its leaders have brought nothing but disaster, not only to Palestinians, but to other Arabs as well.
The business of Fatah is relevant to the entire international community, including Israel. Why? Because Fatah dominates the PA, which is supposed to be Israel's peace partner and which is funded and armed by the US, EU and other international donors.
Hamas will continue to exploit Fatah's corruption in order to gain more popularity among the Palestinians. The truth, however, is that neither Hamas nor Fatah has fulfilled repeated promises to improve the living conditions of the people.
Abbas and his old-guard cronies will continue to clutch onto power and resist demands for real reforms. And they will continue to blame Israel, and everyone else, for the misery of their people, misery they themselves have wrought.
Like the rest of the world, the Middle East is awaiting the decision of American voters with baited breath. According to the most recent poll, a plurality of Israelis is hoping Hillary Clinton wins the presidency while Donald Trump seems to have taken more votes from American expats living there. Most Arab-Americans are expected to back Clinton, a result mirrored by a poll of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. However, Haaretz’s chief Palestinian correspondent tells us they want another option. They’re still pulling for President Obama.
Obama’s not on the ballot, but according to Amira Hass, the main sentiment in Gaza and Ramallah about the U.S. election is indifference about the choice of Clinton or Trump mixed with ardent hopes that a bold stroke by Obama will make international recognition for a state of Palestine a reality before he leaves office.
Speculation about the possibility of an Obama surprise for Israel has been building all year. After the election, Obama will have a two-month lame duck window to operate without having to worry about political repercussions. During that time Obama could choose to support a harsh measure at the United Nations condemning Israeli settlements or setting down a diktat for peace terms that would essentially render the hundreds of thousands of Jews who live in the West Bank and parts of Jerusalem as outlaws. Or he could support—or simply fail to veto as the U.S. has always done in the past—a Security Council resolution that would recognize Palestinian independence in Gaza, the West Bank and part of Jerusalem.
If there was any doubt that this was a real possibility being considered by the administration, it was removed when Secretary of State John Kerry refused to give Prime Minister Netanyahu any assurances about the administration’s intentions. Israeli worries were compounded when the U.S. then sent the Palestinians a message warning them not to wait until after the election before introducing any new inflammatory resolutions at the UN. The implication was obvious. If Obama weren’t planning on backing the Palestinians after November 8th, what point would there be in asking them wait until then?
JPost Editorial: Obama’s last hurrah
Israel is bracing for the possibility that after the US presidential elections and just two months before leaving office, President Barack Obama will make a major policy move on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Caroline Glick: Tim Kaine, Clinton and three dead GIs
A number of options are in the offing: recognition of a Palestinian state; a UN Security Council resolution against settlements; a major policy speech; or adopting measures that discourage ties between US firms and entities located on the West Bank such as an amendment to Internal Revenue Service regulations.
But as Nathan Thrall argued in September in The New York Review of Books, the most significant way Obama can leave a concrete policy legacy – with the potential to influence either the Clinton or Trump administration – would be to set down the parameters for a peace agreement on the issues of borders, security, refugees and Jerusalem in a US-supported UN Security Council resolution.
Once passed in the UN, the Security Council parameters would, in theory at least, be binding on all future US presidents and peace brokers. If Obama is truly interested in leaving his mark on future talks between Israel and the Palestinians, this would be the way to go.
This then brings us to Israel and the real price that the J Streets and Kaines impose on America with their hostility to the Jewish state.Being judged by the friends you keep - a note on the Clintons
The adversarial nature and chronic instability and weakness of America’s key Arab allies demonstrates the basic fact that a strong and independent Israel is the key American interest in the Middle East.
Israel is the US’s only stable ally in the entire Middle East.
Kaine along with his ideological and political sponsors in J Street and the Obama White House is committed to a foreign policy that is based on obscuring this basic truth. The foreign policies that Kaine has supported and advanced from his seat in the Senate, and those he will champion as vice president are all based on misleading the public in order to weaken the US and its only stable Middle Eastern ally in the name of a fictional “peace.”
In October, Edward Klein, the best-selling Clinton biographer, alleged that when Hillary Clinton informed former president Bill Clinton that Obama told her to choose Kaine as her running mate, the former president recoiled, recognizing that Kaine will serve as Obama’s proxy in her administration.
But both understood that accepting Kaine in exchange for Obama on the campaign trail was a necessary bargain.
The Clintons were of course right, as far as the campaign was concerned.
But the presidency begins after the campaigning is over. And the fact is that if she is elected, with Kaine as vice president, Clinton – who has already placed herself snugly in Obama’s shadow – will face a powerful obstacle if she ever wishes to put daylight between her foreign policy and that of her predecessor.
Sidney and Max Blumenthal: If Huma is Hillary’s right hand person, then Sidney; the father of virulent anti-Semite Max is right up there with her. He was a senior adviser during Bill Clinton’s presidency and served again as senior adviser for Hillary’s failed 2008 run for the White House. For those who doubt her trust in his opinions, his paid salary of $10,000 a month from her should dispel any diffidence.Jewish Republican Ari Fleischer rescinds Trump endorsement
In an email sent to Clinton’s private account on March 21, 2010, Blumenthal urges Clinton to praise JStreet in order to discredit Netanyahu, U.S. neoconservatives, and AIPAC, which Blumenthal refers to as an “organ of the Israeli right.” He goes on to say:
“I would argue something you should do is that, while praising AIPAC, remind it in as subtle but also as directly as you can that it does not have a monopoly over American Jewish opinion.”
Does today’s Presidential candidate repudiate his advice? Clinton responds and writes in an email sent earlier that day, asking Blumenthal if she should also mention “private” analysis by Israeli scholar and rabid leftist Uri Avnery, who is a fierce critic of Israel’s current policies and right-wing government. Failing a prompt response she demands a memo from him on how to best paint JStreet while demeaning the Netanyahu government before AIPAC. This is not a matter of conjecture. Follow this recently unclassified U.S. Department of State link, it’s an eye popping, indisputable window into Hillary’s true feelings on Israel.
But the 'coup de grace' as to the inner workings and thoughts of the elder Blumenthal and his influence on the former Secretary of State is his relationship and non-repudiation of his baneful, Jew hating son Max.
Ari Fleischer, a White House press secretary under President George W. Bush, said he will leave his presidential ballot blank, walking back his endorsement of Donald Trump earlier this year.PreOccupiedTerritory: US Election Campaign Almost Over, Israelis Prepare To Watch TV Again (satire)
Fleischer, who serves on the board of the Republican Jewish Coalition, cited several reasons for his change of heart in a Washington Post op-ed.
“Trump lost control of himself and his message,” Fleischer wrote Friday. “He veered recklessly off track, attacking an American judge for his Mexican heritage, criticizing a war hero’s family, questioning the legitimacy of the election and otherwise raising questions about his judgment.”
In May, Fleischer had endorsed the billionaire real estate magnate, writing on Twitter, “There’s a lot about Donald Trump that I don’t like, but I’ll vote for Trump over Hillary any day.”
In the Friday op-ed, Fleischer again dismissed voting for Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate, calling her “dishonest.”
“I will vote for Republicans up and down the ballot. But when it comes to the presidency, I’m going to leave my ballot blank,” he concluded.
Israelis are looking forward to Wednesday and Thursday of this week, when the American presidential election results are known and the initial furor surrounding the outcome has subsided, a development that will allow them to emerge from their self-imposed isolation and start consuming media that for months has denied them respite from the barrage of campaign-related stories.Interpol Rejects Palestinian Membership Bid
Families in the Haifa Bay area told reporters they began counting down the hours last week to Thursday around midday, when it is estimated the torrent of Trump-Clinton news, gossip, and innuendo will finally stop dominating the media, and it will be safe to listen to the radio, watch TV, and go online again.
“It’s getting so close, I can almost taste it,” gushed Yaakov, a pale, emaciated father of two from Kiryat Motzkin. “Can you imagine what it will be like to go to a cafe again, to just sit somewhere that has a TV or radio blaring, and not be bombarded with election garbage? Oh, my gosh, it’s really almost here!”
“I’m looking forward to checking Twitter again,” confessed Dahlia, who has been living in her apartment’s sealed room since the beginning of August. “That is, if I can get my arm and finger muscles accustomed to moving in those ways again. It’s been so long.”
Across Israel, people are riding out the final throes of the 2016 Election coverage and all its toxicity by focusing on maintaining discipline. “We had a real scare over the weekend when I made one of my nighttime forays out into the streets to forage, and I found an actual open supermarket,” recalled a shaken mother from Jerusalem who declined to give her name. “I started piling things into my cart, but as I approached the checkout lanes I saw a lit TV screen between me and the cashiers, just hanging there, with no way around it. I froze. Luckily, it wasn’t connected to an internet or a receiver – it was just showing ads for stuff in the store.” She shuddered. “I don’t know what would have happened if there had been any of that awful election stuff there.”
The International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) rejected a bid by the Palestinian government to join the body on Tuesday after Israel lobbied against the move, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Tuesday.Palestinians say ‘oui’ to Paris peace conference after Israel balks
"Today is a good day," Netanyahu said, speaking from the town of Afula in northern Israel. "This morning we prevented the Palestinians’ bid to join Interpol. This constitutes a change in Israel’s international standing."
The Palestinians' bid to join the international security organization was opposed by sixty-two countries after weeks of diplomatic efforts, according to a statement released by the Foreign Ministry and the Israel Police.
"The vote is a major achievement and reflects the change in Israel’s international status and the success of Israeli diplomacy," Netanyahu said.
The Palestinians had applied to join the international security body more than a year ago, but its request was delayed by "executive measures" a Palestinian foreign ministry official had said on Saturday preventing a vote during the organization's annual gathering on the Indonesian island of Bali this week.
"The Palestinians once again attempted to politicize a professional organization," the joint statement by the Israel Police and Foreign Ministry stated.
"This is part of the ongoing Palestinian campaign to try to to evade direct negotiations, and to transfer the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to professional international bodies, which disrupts their work," it added.
Palestinians on Monday welcomed a French plan to hold an international conference on the two-state solution in Paris at the end of December.Moroccan delegation of journalists visits Israel, despite intimidation
“We have encouraged France to go ahead with its initiative and supported its efforts to have a multilateral conference before the end of the year,” PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat said after meeting with French envoy Pierre Vimont in Ramallah.
Vimont is in Israel and the Palestinian territories to drum up support for the gathering that he hopes will draw a pledge of support for the two-state solution from the global community.
In Ramallah he received a warm welcome from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Erekat. They urged Vimont not to let Israel “sabotage” the international conference.
“Israel is a state that does not only refuse to attend international conferences, but refuses to recognize Palestine, to implement signed agreements, UN resolutions or simply to abide by its obligations under international law. Israel wants only to maintain the status quo and to continue with its settlement policies and land grabs,” Erekat said.
A delegation of seven leading Moroccan journalists is currently being hosted by the Israeli foreign ministry with the aim of enabling the participants to view first-hand the situation in Israel and to shatter negative myths associated with the country’s image.Jerusalem Mayor: Thousands of Arabs live on Jewish property
As part of the visit which is taking place despite the absence of any official relations between the two counties, the journalists, comprising five women and two men, will receive political and military briefings, meet with ministers, MKs and senior officials from the Supreme Court and will also partake in a tour of the Gaza border.
In a conversation with Ynet, one of the delegation members from a prominent Moroccan newspaper explained the climate of fear and propaganda which has hitherto precluded the possibility of such a visit from coming to fruition.
In 2009, she said, she received an invitation to visit Israel as part of Euro-Mediterranean Youth Forum but felt pressured to decline the offer.
“I was extremely afraid of coming. We are under pressure from the Arab media, religious people and propaganda about the Palestinian issue,” the journalist confessed.
“People are scared to become outcasts. If you say you support Israel, or even that you don’t have a negative opinion about the country in regard to the Palestinian issue, they will single you out.”
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat contacted Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to ask him to examine the consequences the High Court decision to demolish the town of Amona would have on property in Jerusalem.Israeli minister admits government discriminates against Jews on Temple Mount
Barkat sent a letter to the Attorney General after spending the past few weeks working with the city's legal adviser on the issue of land in Jerusalem, finding that the city faces a situation similar to that of Amona but with the roles of Arabs and Jews reversed. This is especially true in eastern Jerusalem where there are many areas of Jewish owned land which are currently encroached on by Arab squatters.
Jews lived and owned property in the eastern section of Jerusalem before Jordan ethnically cleansed the area of Jews during the 1948 War of Independence. Many properties that are owned by Jews since before the State of Israel was established are currently occupied by Arabs who took up residence in those properties during the period when Jews were banned from the eastern half of the city,
According to estimates, if Arabs living on Jewish-owned property were to be treated the same way the residents of Amona are being treated for living on property allegedly owned by Arabs, the city would be obligated to evict thousands of Arabs from their homes. East Jerusalem is not recognized by the world as being under Israeli sovereignty, just as Amona is not.
The government discriminates against Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount out of concern for their safety, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said Monday at the Knesset.In crackdown on illegal guns, IDF shutters 2 West Bank workshops
Erdan spoke at a conference organized by MK Yehudah Glick (Likud) to encourage more Jews to visit the holy site and to express thanks two years after he survived an assassination attempt by a Palestinian who cited Glick’s Temple Mount activism as the reason for the shooting.
"Jerusalem is a city of peace,” Glick said. “Peace means many opinions. I didn’t agree with everything said today, but the beauty of a democratic state is that everyone can express opinions.”
Glick presented Erdan with a certificate honoring the minister’s efforts to make the Temple Mount safer for Jewish visitors, specifically citing his banning of Islamic Movement-affiliated agitators, the Morabitun and Morabitat.
“I wouldn’t have believed two years ago, when you were hovering between life and death, that you would end up in the Knesset giving out certificates,” Erdan said “It goes to show you should never give up.”
In early-morning raids Tuesday, Israeli troops shut down two workshops that were allegedly used to produce illegal weapons in Jenin and outside Hebron, the army said.PA condemns Israel for jailing teen terrorist
The raids were part of the army’s recent increased effort to curb the production and sale of illegal guns in the West Bank. Thus far this year, the army says it has shut down 37 illegal gunsmithing workshops and confiscated more than 370 weapons.
Just after midnight on Tuesday, members of the IDF’s Menashe Brigade, which operates in the northern West Bank, along with Border Police officers, welded shut the doors to a building in the northern West Bank city of Jenin that they believed had been used to create illegal guns.
A suspect was also arrested in connection with the workshop, an army spokesperson said.
A similar operation was carried out in the village of Yatta, outside Hebron, by the Judea Brigade, which is responsible for that area.
The two terrorists then turned a corner and found a 12-year-old child outside of a candy store. The terrorists stabbed and nearly killed the boy, who was hospitalized in serious condition after the attack.Palestinians open Arafat’s bedroom to public
Manasra was captured by security forces, while his cousin was shot and killed by police after charging officers while brandishing a knife.
The PA presidency issued a statement on Monday night condemning the sentence imposed on Mansara, saying the 12-year prison sentence was contrary to all international laws dealing with children's rights.
According to the statement, the sentence is intended to spread terror among Palestinian Arab children and to deter them.
At the same time, the PA presidency also praised a petition to the UN, signed by half a million people, which called on the UN to pressure Israel to release Mansara.
Palestinians will soon get a chance to glimpse the small bedroom where their longtime leader Yasser Arafat spent his final years.Gazan fisherman indicted for smuggling to Hamas
The 5-square meter (54-square-foot) room is the centerpiece of the new Arafat Museum, which opens to the public on Thursday to coincide with the 12th anniversary of Arafat’s death.
The room has only a single bed and small closet that barely holds four suits, a few checkered headscarves and shirts. There is also a nightstand and lamp, a prayer carpet and a painting by his then-young daughter Zahwa.
Arafat spent most of the last three years of his life in this bedroom on the ground floor of his Ramallah headquarters, known as the Muqata.
Israel confined him to the building on Dec. 8, 2001, accusing him of masterminding a violent uprising at the time. He remained holed up there until Oct. 29, 2004, when Israel allowed him to travel to France for emergency medical care. He died from a mysterious illness at the age of 75 two weeks later.
The bedroom, left largely untouched since Arafat’s death, is housed in a vacant wing of the Muqata that is connected to the new $7 million, 2,600 square meter (28,000 square foot) museum by a bridge.
A 22-year-old Gazan fisherman was indicted Sunday in the Be'er Sheva District Court for engagement in criminal activity against Israel on behalf of Hamas.EXCLUSIVE: Hamas Cracks Down On Gaza Salafists As Talks With Cairo Loom
Among other things, the indictment against Mahmoud ibn Said al-Saidi noted that he carried out smuggling operations on behalf of Hamas from Egypt, delivering to the terror organization diving equipment and cigarettes.
The smuggling was thwarted only when the suspect attempted to deliver weapons to Hamas after he was caught by the Egyptian military.
According to the indictment, in 2013 activists from the Hamas military brigade of Izz ad-Din al-Qassam approached al-Saidi seeking his assistance in acquiring military and diving equipment using a boat he received from Hamas.
Al-Saidi was asked to smuggle 50 diving suits, 50 flippers, 20 sets of binoculars and 6 oxygen balloons in return of $1,000.
When he arrived on the Egyptian side of the Gaza border, he met five masked individuals who informed him that his equipment exceeded the permitted weight and was therefore only able to deliver half of the diving equipment. Two days later he repeated the same journey to complete the mission.
Hamas has stepped up measures against Islamic State loyalists in the Gaza Strip, an official in the movement told Breitbart Jerusalem.Saudi oil shipments to Egypt halted indefinitely, officials say
Several Salafi Sharia experts and theologians have been busy recruiting young Gazans to attack Egyptian soldiers along the Strip’s border with Sinai, he said.
Following the arrest of a Salafi cell, the members told their interrogators that they had been told by clerics that the soldiers had disavowed Islam by agreeing to serve in an army that carries out an anti-Islamic policy.
The official said that Hamas troops are focusing their efforts on locating three of these clerics, who went underground following the arrest of the cell members. They are wanted on charges of incitement to terror after providing the detainees with religious justification for the attacks.
The source said that Hamas forces raided tower no. 132 in Alzahrahh in the central Gaza Strip, near the Nusseirat refugee camp, in search of a Salafi cleric named Abu Anass, who is suspected of being an associate of the wanted clerics.
A Salafi source confirmed to Breitbart Jerusalem that several days ago a Salafi activist was arrested there, but said he claimed the arrested individual was an elderly man suffering from diabetes and practically blind “who has no connection to the ring Hamas are after.”
Saudi Arabia has informed Egypt that shipments of oil products expected under a $23 billion aid deal have been halted indefinitely, suggesting a deepening rift between the Arab world's richest country and its most populous.Iran signs major gas deal with France’s Total
Saudi Arabia has been a major donor to Egypt since President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi seized power in mid-2013, but Riyadh has become frustrated with his lack of economic reforms and his reluctance to be drawn into the conflict in Yemen.
During a visit by Saudi King Salman in April, Saudi Arabia agreed to provide Egypt with 700,000 tons of refined oil products per month for five years but the cargoes stopped arriving in early October, as festering political tensions burst into the open.
Egyptian officials said since that the contract with Saudi Arabia's state oil firm, Aramco, remains valid, oil should start flowing again soon.
On Monday, however, Egyptian Oil Minister Tarek el-Molla confirmed shipments of petroleum products had stopped.
Iran signed a deal with France’s Total on Tuesday to develop a major offshore natural gas field, its first big contract with a Western energy firm since sanctions were loosened in January.Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei Explains the Chant "Death to America"
Total will lead a consortium also including China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and Iran’s Petropars to develop Phase 11 of the South Pars field under a 20-year contract worth $4.8 billion (4.3 billion euros).
The project will eventually supply 50.9 million cubic meters (1.8 billion cubic feet) of natural gas per day into Iran’s national grid, and marks a breakthrough in the oil ministry’s efforts to attract Western investment and know-how to improve its outdated energy infrastructure.
The companies involved signed a memorandum of understanding in Tehran on Tuesday, and the final agreement will be signed early next year, Total’s head of Middle East exploration and production, Stephane Michel, said.
It is the first deal of its kind since most international sanctions on Iran were lifted in January under a nuclear deal with world powers.
A day before the anniversary of the 1979 U.S. embassy takeover in Tehran, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei addressed the public and talked about the "trampling" of human values in the U.S., explaining the meaning of the Iranian chant "Death to America." Khamenei further said that Iran was a "glowing figure" in the Middle East, listing the countries in which it "holds its head up high."
The speech was posted on Khamenei's official website and social media outlets.