Monday, June 12, 2017

From Ian:

Nicholas Rostow: How the Balfour Declaration Became Part of International Law
What has this interesting history to do with today? The mandate system revolutionized colonialism. The victorious allies took control of German colonies and parts of the Ottoman empire as trustees obligated to discharge “a sacred trust of civilization” (as the League of Nations Covenant put it). The goal was self-determination. In the case of the Palestine mandate, that meant Jewish self-determination in a manner that respected the rights of non-Jewish inhabitants. Similar mandates for Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and what became Jordan were intended to result in Arab self-determination.
In legal terms, the mandates were trusts—and so, with the demise of the League of Nations, they were carried forward under the trusteeship system of the United Nations. Specifically, the UN Charter undertook to maintain each mandate until it was replaced by a new agreement between the responsible state and the United Nations. Up to that point, as the UN Charter’s chapter on trusteeships stipulated, nothing “shall be construed in or of itself to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any states or any peoples or the terms of existing international instruments to which members of the United Nations may respectively be parties.” In other words, where Palestine was concerned, the terms of the League of Nations mandate, incorporating the Balfour Declaration, became part of international law.
In 1945 when the UN Charter was created, the territory of the Palestine mandate theoretically included what is now Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, and Jordan. But two decades earlier, in 1922, the British, with League of Nations concurrence, had barred Jewish settlement east of the Jordan River and created the emirate of Trans-Jordan, which eventually became the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Thus amended, the Palestine mandate designated only the territory west of the Jordan as the Jewish national home: the same territory, further diminished by the UN partition resolution of 1947, that would become the state of Israel when Britain relinquished its responsibilities as mandatory power in 1948.
Violence between Arabs and Jews, restricted Jewish immigration in the 1930s, World War II and the Holocaust, the establishment of Israel, the June 1967 and October 1973 wars and their consequences—all of these developments and other, more recent ones have changed the demographics and politics in what was the Palestine mandate. But they have not by themselves changed international law.
In Photos: The Story of the Liberation of Jerusalem a Century Ago
On Yom Yerushalayim, which this year falls on May 24, Israel will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem’s unification in June 1967. Marking the climax of a swift defensive victory over the armies of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan, the battle for the Holy City resulted in dramatically altering its political, religious, and geographic status.
But this year also marks another anniversary: the centenary of a fierce World War I battle that not only saved Jerusalem from physical destruction but rescued its entire Jewish population from squalor, starvation, plague, exile, and death. In the scope of Jewish history, the liberation of Jerusalem in December 1917 ranks with the salvation holidays of Hanukkah and Purim.
Early in World War I, with the encouragement of its German allies, the Ottoman army in Palestine began preparations to attack British positions along Egypt’s Suez Canal, a critical artery linking Great Britain to its colonies in the east. The attack took place in January 1915.
To bolster their forces, the Turks declared universal conscription in Palestine, a territory that had been under Ottoman control since the late 15th century. Supplies, livestock, and equipment were plundered from the local population. A letter to an American supporter from the American Colony, a community of Christians in Jerusalem, summed up the situation in the city and the country at large:
[The Turkish] government commandeering not only animals but every requirement of life, the wholesale drafting of the manpower, and the dearth of business, since being entirely cut off from communication with the outside world—all of these things [have] brought people to an unbelievable state of poverty.
Jews, who already then constituted a majority in modern Jerusalem, were especially hard hit as Jewish men were rounded up and sent to the front lines. On August 31, 1914, the American ambassador to Turkey, Henry Morgenthau, sent an urgent telegram to the New York Jewish tycoon Jacob Schiff. “Palestinian Jews facing terrible crisis,” he wrote. “Fifty-thousand dollars . . . needed [to] support families whose breadwinners have entered army.”
Jewish recruits for the 40th (Palestine) Battalion, Royal Fusiliers in Jerusalem, summer 1918. Imperial War Museum Q 12670.

The Lebanese Jewish Housewife Who Spied for Israel
Born in Argentina and raised in Jerusalem, Shulamit Kishik-Cohen—who died last week at the age of one-hundred—was married to a wealthy Jewish businessman in Beirut when she was only seventeen. Her career in intelligence began before Israel became a state and lasted until her arrest in 1961. After the Six-Day War, she was released as part of a prisoner exchange and lived out the rest of her life in Israel. Ofer Aderet writes:
Due to her prominence in the local Jewish community, Kishik-Cohen managed to develop good relations with the Lebanese authorities and to gain the confidence of key people in the country’s leadership. Without ever planning to take such a path, she found she had access to valuable intelligence information. Then, just prior to the outbreak of Israel’s War of Independence in 1948, she began to hear talk of the “extinction of the Jews of the land of Israel,” and knew immediately that it related to military preparations for war against the Jews of Mandatory Palestine. . . .
She contacted officials in the Jewish community in British Mandatory Palestine and offered her services as a spy. In [her memoir], she describes the roundabout way in which she sent her first message to members of the Haganah (the underground, pre-independence army of Palestine’s Jews). She wrote a concealed message, using a method she had learned in the Girl Scouts, in a seemingly innocent-looking letter that on the surface appeared to be asking about how a sick relative was faring. Merchants who worked with her husband in the market in Beirut saw to it that it was passed along, and ultimately it reached its destination in Mandatory Palestine.
The message was understood loud and clear, and a short while later she received her first assignment in her new “profession.” From then until 1961, she operated a spy network that supplied Israel with intelligence information and engaged in smuggling Jews from Arab countries over the Lebanese border into Israel.

Ben-Dror Yemini: The occupation festival
Op-ed: The 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War is an opportunity to remember that the war broke out because of annihilation plans, before there even was an occupation. The Palestinians could have founded a state and improved their situation a long time ago, but have instead become completely addicted to victimization.
These are the days of the 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War, which many see primarily as the occupation festival. The Meretz faction decided to boycott a Knesset session, which—according to the faction’s chairman, Knesset Member Ilan Gilon—“blatantly and conspicuously ignores the occupation and the price it has claimed throughout the years in human life.”
This is the kind of claim I would expect to hear from MK Hanin Zoabi, not from Gilon. The occupation festival is being chanted—rightfully or not—almost incessantly. The 50th anniversary of the war is mainly an opportunity to remember that the war broke out because of annihilation plans, before there even was an occupation. And as for the price that has been paid in human life, I must say that every death is a tragedy, and I might also add that I doubt there is any other conflict that has claimed such a small price in human life.
Even a left-wing person like Gilon is capable of admitting these basic facts. And no, it does not contradict the battle waged by Gilon and others in favor of two states and/or against the current government’s policy.
Report: New details on Israel's part in ISIS hack allegedly leaked by Trump
New details on intelligence gathered by top Israeli cyber operatives that was allegedly part of classified information that US President Donald Trump was accused of leaking to Russia last month was reported by the New York Times on Monday.
The exposé on current cyber-warfare tactics used by the United States and its allies cited American officials revealing Israel's hand in the recent success in penetrating the hard-to-track cyber tactics utilized by Islamic State and other extremist groups.
According to the report, Israel months ago hacked a cell of extremists making bombs in Syria. Intelligence gathered from those Israeli breaches reportedly led to the US revelation that ISIS was working to develop explosive devices that resembled laptop computer batteries that could easily evade airport screening methods.
The report cited two US officials familiar with the operation as saying that the intelligence allowed the US to understand the mechanisms and the process detonating them.
Top Israel and UN officers spar in front of Nikki Haley – report
Israel’s deputy chief of staff, Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, and the commander of the UN peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon reportedly got into a heated argument while giving a tour of the tense border to visiting US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Thursday.
According to a Channel 2 news report Sunday, Haley was being briefed by UNIFIL commander Maj. Gen.l Michael Beary, who told her the situation on the border was stable and did not require further intervention.
Beary was interrupted by Kochavi, who told Haley that UNIFIL was not doing its jobs properly and was wary of entering the villages and cities of southern Lebanon and confronting the Hezbollah terror group.
Kochavi called on Haley to help change the mandate of the international force to enable it to disarm Hezbollah, the report said.
A diplomat later apologized to Haley for the outburst, but she reportedly said it was good that she got to see the reality of the Israeli side and that it would influence her work at the world body, where she has been a staunch supporter of Israel.
Avigdor Liberman Israel-Arab normalization first, then Israel-Palestinian peace
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman dismissed the possibility of a final Israeli-Palestinian peace deal that would end the conflict, just as US President Donald Trump is working to jump start the peace process which has been frozen for three years.
“The best case scenario is to reach a long-term interim agreement,” Liberman said on Monday as he addressed the meeting of the Knesset caucus on “a diplomatic vision for Gaza.”
Last week he told Channel 2 that Israel was closer to a peace deal than ever before. On Monday, he honed his vision, to explain that the best scenario would be for Israel to reach an agreement first with moderate Sunni Arab states and only then look toward making a final deal with the Palestinians.
"We must not accept a situation in which normalization with the Arab countries will be held hostage to [resolution of] the Palestinian issue,” Liberman said.
Israel signed peace agreements that have held with Egypt and Jordan without ending the Palestinian conflict, he said.
Normalized ties with the moderate Sunni states will create a “breakthrough” with regard to efforts in Judea and Samaria and Gaza, he added.
These Arab states understand that the main threat they need to worry about is Hamas, al-Qaida, Hezbollah and the Islamic state, Liberman said.
David Singer: Abbas Concessions Kick-Start Trump Attempt to Resolve Israel-Arab Conflict
Three concessions made by Mahmoud Abbas – following pressure placed on him by President Trump – open the way to possible negotiations between Israel, the Palestinian Arabs, Egypt and Jordan to resolve the 100-years-old Israel-Arab conflict.
Abbas has agreed to:
1. Withdraw his 2014 demand that Israel first agree to freeze building within Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) as a pre-condition to resuming negotiations with Israel.
2. Tone down his campaign to prosecute Israel for alleged war crimes and rallying condemnation of the Jewish state at the United Nations.
3. Cease paying salaries to 277 released Hamas prisoners including Director of Hamas’s Political Bureau in the Gaza Strip – Yahya Al-Sinwar.
Israel sentenced Al-Sinwar to four life terms in the late 1980s but released him after 23 years imprisonment in a swap of 1,047 Palestinian prisoners for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in 2006.
Al-Sinwar headed Hamas’s first security unit responsible for tracking and killing Palestinians accused of collaborating with Israel.
Abbas’s spectacular capitulation comes just two weeks after his reportedly fiery meeting with President Trump in Bethlehem on 23 May.
The PA-North Korean connection
The Palestinians have participated in the North Korean semi-proxy terrorist ‎network, stretching from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Guatemala, Mexico, ‎Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela, through South Africa, Mozambique, ‎Zimbabwe, Western Sahara, Europe, Syria and Iran all the way to Sri Lanka ‎and Japan.‎
While Israel's security control of the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria precludes substantial North Korean military assistance to the ‎Palestinian Authority, such assistance has been extended to Hamas in Gaza. Thirty-five ‎tons of arms destined for Gaza via Teheran -- including rocket-propelled ‎grenades, missiles and rocket launchers, missile tubes, surface-to-air missile ‎launchers and spare parts -- were seized when a North Korean cargo plane ‎made an emergency landing in Bangkok. In addition, during 2009, five North ‎Korean vessels were interdicted while carrying weapons intended for Iran, ‎Hamas or Hezbollah. Recently, Palestinian terrorists in Gaza received North ‎Korean shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles and anti-tank missiles. ‎
North Korea has been implicated in notorious cases of Palestinian ‎terrorism, such as the 1972 attack (in conjunction with the Japanese Red ‎Army) on Lod Airport, murdering 26 persons, most of ‎them Christian pilgrims from Puerto Rico. In 2010, a U.S. federal judge ordered ‎North Korea to pay $378 million in compensation to the families of the victims. ‎
According to Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the North Korean ‎Workers' Party, the Palestinian Embassy to North Korea (one of only 24 ‎embassies in the country) issued a statement expressing Abbas' praise of the current and ‎previous tyrants for "devoting [themselves] to freedom and people's ‎happiness." Such praise reflects Abbas' own track record of hate-education, terrorism and violation of civil liberties, providing more evidence ‎of the nature of the proposed Palestinian state.
PLO against disbanding UNRWA
Zakaria al-Agha, a member of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), on Sunday condemned Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's call for the disbanding of UNRWA, after terror tunnels were discovered underneath one of its schools in Gaza.
Al-Agha noted that this is not the first time that Israel has sought to dismantle UNRWA over allegations that the UN agency incites against Israel and supports terrorism.
He added that the Palestinian people are devoted to a solution to the “refugee problem” in accordance with Resolution 194 of the UN General Assembly in the context of a comprehensive agreement that would include the establishment of a Palestinian state within the pre-1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital. Until that time, argued al-Agha, UNRWA is committed to continuing its mission.
Speaking at the weekly Cabinet meeting earlier on Sunday, Netanyahu said he had spoken with the U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley and told her “that the time has come for the UN to re-examine UNRWA's existence.”
"Since the Second World War, the United Nation High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has dealt with tens of millions of refugees. Yet, the Palestinians have their own committee, UNRWA, which publicly incites against Israelis,” Netanyahu continued.
United Nations Rejects Saudi Arabia's List of Qatari 'Terrorists'
"The United Nations has rejected a list compiled by Saudi Arabia and three other countries of alleged Qatar terrorists, saying that the global governing body is 'only bound by the sanctions lists put together by UN organs.'
The list includes several Qatari charities and humanitarian aid organizations.
Saudi Arabia has launched a series of symbolic attacks against its sister state, Qatar, after it severed diplomatic relations with the Gulf country on Monday. Most recently, Saudi Arabia branded as terrorists 59 individuals and 12 entities affiliated with Qatar, including Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres' spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, stated on Friday that the UN is not concerned with the list.
'The UN is bound only by the sanctions lists put together by UN organs such as the Security Council. We're not bound by any other lists,' Dujarric said.
Qatar Charity, the Sheikh Eid Al-Thani Charity Foundation, and the Sheikh Thani Bin Abdullah Foundation for humanitarian services were among the entities blacklisted by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain.

U.S. Aims to Trim Its U.N. Peacekeeping Bill After Trump's Calls to Slash
The United States wants to cut $1 billion from the total United Nations peacekeeping budget for the year from July 1 to shave over 10 percent off Washington's share of the bill following calls by President Donald Trump for U.S. funding to be slashed.
The proposal by the largest U.N. contributor is an opening bid in negotiations by the 193-member General Assembly budget committee, which has to agree funding for 13 peacekeeping missions and a logistics support office by the end of June.
Reuters reviewed a document compiling the peacekeeping budget proposals by states and regional groups.
The U.S. proposal of an annual budget of $6.99 billion was the lowest made - nearly $1 billion less than U.N. chief Antonio Guterres' proposal and almost $570 million less than the recommendation by the world body's budget advisory experts.
Under the U.S. proposal, Washington would have to pay $1.99 billion compared with $2.25 billion for the current year.

Netanyahu vows Knesset push to limit NGOs’ foreign funding
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday confirmed the government would formulate a new bill restricting foreign government funding to Israeli organizations, significantly ratcheting up pressure on left-wing groups critical of Israeli policies.
At the weekly Likud faction meeting, the prime minister announced he had instructed Tourism Minister Yariv Levin (Likud) to spearhead the proposal, which would primarily apply to left-wing human rights groups, many of which receive the bulk of their funding from foreign states.
“There is no limit on money funneled to all sorts of organizations, which among other things, defame IDF soldiers, ” he said. “The situation is, in my opinion, not right.”
In July 2016, the government passed into law a hotly contested NGO bill, which forces non-governmental organizations that receive the majority of their funding from foreign countries to disclose this information on public documents. The NGO law was opposed by the US, and condemned by various European countries.
That law “was about transparency” but further limitations are necessary, Netanyahu said Monday, indicating the new measure will clamp down on how much money the groups may receive.
Minister nixes meeting with MPs who refuse to visit east Jerusalem
Public Security and Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan on Sunday canceled a meeting with German MPs visiting Israel after they refused to meet him in his east Jerusalem office on the grounds that it is located beyond the Green Line.
The Public Security Ministry is adjacent to the National Police Headquarters in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, and is one of several government bureaus in east Jerusalem. Its neighbors include the Science and Justice ministries.
The seven visiting MPs are members of the German parliament's Interior Committee, which is responsible for public security issues in Germany, including disaster management and countering threats of terrorism.
Erdan refused the MPs' request to hold the meeting elsewhere, saying he would not be party to a European boycott of east Jerusalem.
Israel cedes to PA demand, cuts Gaza electricity by 40%
Israel’s security cabinet agreed late Sunday night to cut the electricity it sends to Gaza by 40 percent, now that the Palestinian Authority has said it intends to only pay 60% of it’s monthly bill, Army Radio reported.
The 2 million people in the Hamas controlled Strip will now have only two to three hours of power a day, down from four hours of electricity they have lived on since April.
The drop in electricity is part of the PA’s push to pressure Hamas to rescind its control of Gaza. Hamas has ruled Gaza since it ousted Fatah in a bloody coup in 2007.
The Gaza residents in April were already living on 12 hours of power a day, half of the necessary 450 to 500 MGW, when the PA imposed an onerous tax on the diesel fuel needed to run the Gaza power plant.
Hamas warns Gaza electricity cut will lead to ‘explosion’
The Hamas terror group warned Monday that Israel’s decision to reduce Gaza’s already paltry power supply would have “disastrous and dangerous” results that could lead to an outbreak of violence.
The Israeli cabinet Sunday night decided it would reduce the amount of power it supplies to the Gaza Strip at the behest of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who is seeking to ramp up pressure on rival party Hamas.
The security cabinet decided Sunday to reduce the daily amount supplied to Gaza by around 45 minutes, Israeli media reported.
“The decision of the occupation to reduce the electricity to Gaza at the request of PA President Mahmoud Abbas is catastrophic and dangerous. It will accelerate the deterioration and explode the situation in the Strip,” said Hamas spokesperson Abdel Latif al-Qanua.
“Those who will bear the consequences of this decision are the Israeli enemy, who is besieging the Gaza Strip, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas,” he added.
Liberman: No more firing at the sand in Gaza
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman warned the Hamas terrorist organization Monday that Israel would not tolerate any provocations from the Gaza Strip, which Hamas rules.
At a Knesset meeting on the future of the Gaza Strip, Liberman said that "We will respond to all provocations with full force. There will be no more firing into firing positions in the sand. We will respond strongly against quality objectives. There will be no compromise on this issue and there will be consequences [for any provocation by Hamas]."
"The ball is in Hamas' court," Liberman continued. "It must decide what it wants in the end...It must decide whether it wants its children to be martyrs and to spend their lives in tunnels, or if it wants them to be doctors and engineers and to be able to travel the world without fear."
The Defense Minister spoke about a conversation with former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon before the disengagement from Gaza. "He explained to me, 'I want to create an opportunity for the Palestinians to prove that they can establish a state,' and told me that in ten years' time, Gaza will be the Singapore of the Middle East," he said. "Right now it's more like Mosul or Raqqa. The Hamas leadership must decide what they want. At the moment, they are leading the strip toward the [bloody] direction of Mosul and Raqqa."
MKs urge shutting down Palestinian 'incitement center'
Lawmakers on Sunday called for the immediate closure of a Palestinian media center that published a book glorifying terrorists, citing incitement to violence.
On Sunday, Israel Hayom reported that the Qalandiya Media Center had recently published a book titled "Stories of Qalandiya's Shahids, 1967-2017," which tells the personal stories of terrorists from the refugee camp adjacent to Jerusalem.
Seeking to "inspire younger generations," the center posted photos on its social media pages of young girls proudly holding the book.
"This book poisons the minds of young children," Likud MK Anat Berko said. "Anyone deluding themselves that it is possible to reach an arrangement with those who educate for death is wrong. This is insane incitement. The U.N. should send in UNICEF to work against the exploitation of these children, who are led down a path that deprives them of free choice. The [Palestinian] approach is that this is the only way and terrorism is the norm."
Likud MK Miki Zohar demanded an investigation into "who is funding the authors and editors of this book, and who is the brain behind it. This is a blatant attempt to undermine the security of the Israeli public. This book encourages terrorism."
Top Palestinian official donates to Israeli hospital that saved his life
A Palestinian Authority official has donated tens of thousands of shekels to the Rambam Medical Center after receiving life-saving treatment at the Haifa-area hospital, the hospital said.
According to a statement from Rambam, the unnamed PA official made a financial contribution to help hospitalized kids in an effort “to build peace through medicine.”
The official, who chose to remain anonymous, was hospitalized at Rambam earlier this year for cancer treatment and said he was motivated to donate after witnessing the coexistence in practice.
“When I arrived at Rambam, I saw a medical team that treats its patients with dedication, but I also saw the suffering of sick children,” he said according to the statement. “Palestinian children, Israelis, Syrians, and children from other countries who are being treated at Rambam for serious illnesses and are in need of all the help they can get.”
His donation will go toward building a kids’ playroom in the Institute of Radiology of the Joseph Fishman Oncology Center.
Fatah official rips Israel’s bid to slash PA funding over terrorist payments
The chairman of the Palestinian Prisoners Club on Sunday slammed a proposed Israeli law that would slash funds to the Palestinian Authority over salaries paid out by Ramallah to convicted terrorists and their families, and vowed the Palestinians will continue the payments.
The bill, approved earlier in the day by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation, “is a process of legitimizing the piracy of the Palestinian people’s money,” said Qadura Fares, whose organization is non-governmental but influential.
The bill would see Israel cut around NIS 1 billion ($285 million) from the annual tax revenues it collects for the Palestinians and hands over to them — equivalent to the amount that Ramallah pays to terrorists and their families — a practice Israel and the international community have been attempting to end.
The bill is expected be brought to a preliminary vote in the plenum on Wednesday.
CAMERA: Backgrounder: New Hamas Platform
On May 1, Hamas unveiled what it terms "A Document of General Principles and Policies" from Qatar. This new policy document:
  • does not replace the original charter;
  • does not accept the existence of Israel in any borders;
  • continues to embrace the goal of trying to destroy Israel; and
  • does not repudiate violence, including against civilians.
Upon its release, however, many journalists seemed credulous of the group's attempt to make itself appear more moderate. Various commentators and reports erroneously referred to the platform as Hamas's “new Charter,” or claimed that Hamas now accepts a two-state solution. CAMERA, UK Media Watch, and BBC Watch have noted a great deal of the misleading headlines and reporting on the issue.
Here, we explain what the document actually says, what it means, and how the media is getting it wrong.
Hamas says no breakthrough in Cairo talks
A high-level Hamas delegation returned home from Cairo after nine days of security and political talks intended to improve ties with Egypt, but has not announced any breakthroughs or any signed agreements, Hamas-linked media reported Monday.
Hamas denied reports in Arab media that an agreement had been signed between Cairo and Hamas.
A delegation including Hamas Gaza chief Yahya Sinwar and a senior commander in the group’s military wing, Tawfik Abu Naim, left to Cairo on June 4 in an attempt to improve relations Egypt.
Hamas has been under intense pressure lately both from the Palestinian Authority and due to the crisis with Qatar — a key Hamas supporter — which is being urged to cut contacts with the Gaza-based terror group.
Hamas is eager to restore ties with Egypt, which controls its border and joins Israel in imposing a blockade aimed at preventing arms reaching Hamas.
Report: Egypt Demands That Hamas Distance Itself From Iran
A Hamas delegation — led by Yahya Sinwar — visited Cairo last week for meetings with Egyptian government officials, the Hebrew news site nrg reported on Sunday.
This was the first such visit by a Hamas delegation to Egypt in several months, the report said, and came against the backdrop of growing cooperation against a common threat posed by radical Salafists.
The Egyptians, according to nrg, demanded that Hamas distance itself from Iran, following recent declarations by Tehran regime officials that a restoration of ties with the Gaza Strip-ruling Islamist group — including a renewal of funding — was in the works. Relations between Iran and Hamas cooled in recent years due to differences over the conflict in Syria.
Egypt, nrg said, has been angered by talk that Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh might soon lead a delegation on a visit to Iran. According to the report, Sinwar was told that rapprochement between Hamas and Iran could prompt Egypt to nix plans to expand the hours of operation of the Rafah border crossing with Gaza and loosen travel restrictions.
MEMRI: Jordanian Columnist: Arab Society Must Rally To Fight Extremism And Terror; Condemnations Are Not Enough
Against the backdrop of the attack perpetrated by ISIS on May 26, 2017 in Egypt's Minya Governorate, in which about 30 Copts were killed, Jihad Al-Mansi, parliamentary affairs editor and columnist for the Jordanian daily Al-Ghad, decried the helplessness of Arab society in the face of the extremism spreading within it. Arguing that it is not enough to condemn terror instead of taking tangible measures to eradicate it, he urged the Arabs to stop being silent in the face of those who spread the culture of terror and hatred for the other, and to act against all elements that express sympathy for ISIS.
It is not enough to continue condemning the systematic murder perpetrated by the benighted extremist organizations in Egypt, such as the killing of the peaceful Copts and their children one day before the start of the month of Ramadan. It is not enough to keep silent about what those same Salafi terror organizations are doing in Syria and Iraq, in Manchester, Britain, and in other places. It is not enough to say that they do not represent Islam if not a single real step is being taken to confront the dimensions of the dereliction that is increasing and spreading before our eyes every day, [and] if we are not halting the hijacking of Islam by representatives of that same [extremist] group, as we allow them to wish [that Allah would bring] doom and disaster upon the Shi'ites, the Christians, and others.
"It's time to stop turning a blind eye to the deeds of those same murderers who aspire to instigate ethnic strife in Egypt, like the sectarian war that they instigated in Iraq and in Syria. It's also time to stop turning a blind eye to the extremist schools of thought whose existence everyone knows about as well as the fact that they shape the murderers' perceptions. Enough of focusing only on the crime and not on its causes and those who incite to it! In the same way, it is not enough to publish statements of condemnation without taking active steps to stop the propagation of those murderers, to uproot their incitement and nip it in the bud and reach those who finance and recruit these benighted people and spread them around the world to murder and sow division to their hearts' content.
"We must not continue burying our heads in the sand and believing the words uttered by certain countries, when we all know, secretly or openly, that they support extremist ideas, and know for certain that they sponsor the schools of thought that brought these murderers out of their holes and planted in their heads [the idea] that the Christian, the Copt, the Shi'ite, the 'Alawi, and anyone who disagrees with their opinions and ideas, even if he is a Sunni Muslim, should be killed.
MEMRI: IRGC Navy General: 'Think Of 300 Fast Boats Armed With Weapons And Katyusha [Rockets] Approaching [An Aircraft Carrier] At 130 Km/Hr – Who Will Win?'
[A: The Phalanx CIWS]
In May 12, 2017 statements, Gen. Ahmad Mousavi, commander of a special forces unit of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy, set out the IRGC Navy's strategy for attacking American aircraft carriers in the Gulf. Gen. Mousavi was speaking on the occasion of the first anniversary of the death of Mohammad Nazeri, senior official and founder of the IRGC Navy commando unit, who had trained many top IRGC commanders. The text implies that Nazeri's death may have resulted from the use of chemical weapons, in contrast to other reports which claim that he died of a heart attack.
According to Gen. Mousavi, Nazeri also trained commando fighters in the Syrian army and in Hizbullah. Mousavi said that today all Iranian vessels leaving Iran for Africa and Sri Lanka have Basij and Iranian Vessel Guard forces aboard as part of Nazeri's legacy.
Gen. Mousavi stressed in his statements that the Americans have no answer to the IRGC's strategy for attacking U.S. aircraft carriers – involving hundreds of armed Iranian boats moving at high speed – and noted that the IRGC has decided to attack these American vessels first because they constitute a logistical base.
Al Quds Day 2017
Ever since 1979, the last Friday of Ramadan is Al Quds Day: described as a day to support Palestinians and also to work for the destruction of Israel.

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