Friday, July 07, 2017

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: Hezbollah’s missiles will not rust
Under the terms of 1701, Hezbollah is prohibited from operating south of the Litani River. Only the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and UNIFIL – the UN’s peacekeeping force – are supposed to be deployed in southern Lebanon.
According to Halevi, operating under the cover of a phony environmental NGO called “Green Without Borders,” Hezbollah has set up observation posts manned with its fighters along the border with Israel.
In Halevi’s words, with these posts, “Hezbollah is now able to operate a stone’s throw from the border.”
In a media briefing on Sunday, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman discussed Halevi’s revelations. Liberman said that the security community “is absolutely aware [of the missile plants] and is taking the necessary action.”
“This is a significant phenomenon,” Liberman warned. “We must under no circumstances ignore it.”
Perhaps in a jab at his predecessor, Moshe Ya’alon, who years ago argued notoriously that Hezbollah’s missiles would “rust” in their storage facilities, perhaps in warning to Hezbollah, Liberman added, “The factories won’t rust and the missiles won’t rust.”
So if we aren’t indifferent to Hezbollah’s expansion of its capabilities, what are we planning to do about it?
Whatever answer the IDF decides upon, Israel is already taking diplomatic steps to prepare for the next round – whoever opens it.
Seth Frantzman: Myths and misconceptions about Israel and Syrian rebels on the Golan
He says that if Israel really wanted a buffer against Hezbollah then it would have let Syrian rebels take Khadr in 2015 when they tried. But he characterizes Khadr as a “red line, that it shouldn’t fall to the rebels in deference to the Druze.”
In June 2015 an Israeli ambulance carrying a wounded Syrian was attacked in the Druze town of Majdal Shams and the Syrian man was beaten to death.
Druze accused the ambulances of transporting wounded Syrian rebels who were involved in attacking Khadr. So Israel tolerates the presence of hostile forces very near the border, because dislodging them would hurt Druze and create social tensions in Israel.
The concern for Israel is that one day the stalemate on the Golan will change. Al-Tamimi says that it’s likely a hostile group, such as ISIS or Iranian-backed militias will “try to test the waters with Israel, through harassment. It could happen if they decide that the rebels can’t defeat us but we can’t expand, let’s harass Israel.”
When the situation ends if the rebels are defeated, will refugees pour over the border fleeing the regime? Al-Tamimi thinks the situation isn’t like Lebanon in the 1980 and 90s, Israel isn’t trying to influence the character of Syria.” He also says that many people don’t understand that the Syrian rebels don’t like Israel, they see Israel as a lesser evil than the regime. “They would never say they are a friend of Israel.”
UK House of Lords Pays Tribute to 1917 Balfour Declaration That Promised Jewish ‘National Home’ in Palestine
British peers in the House of Lords, the UK’s upper parliamentary chamber, paid tribute to the November 1917 Balfour Declaration in a debate on Wednesday.
In what London’s Jewish News described as “one of the most pro-Israel debates heard in Parliament for years,” several peers spoke of their appreciation for the declaration — in which Britain promised to back the establishment of a “national home” for the Jewish people in Palestine — and their warmth for the State of Israel.
Opening the debate, Lord Turnberg said Israel owed “an enormous debt” to Britain for the Balfour Declaration, which he called “a hopelessly optimistic idea,” which had no legal enforcement until the San Remo conference of post-World War I allies in 1920.
He added: “Britain too has a lot to be grateful for. We should celebrate the fact that we in Britain provided the foundations of a democratic state in a part of the world where democracy is in very short supply.”
The former UK chief rabbi, Lord Jonathan Sacks, declared: “The Balfour Declaration was a significant moment in history.” He continued: “No people should lack a home, not Palestinians and not Jews — which is why it’s tragic that a century after the Balfour Declaration significant groups still seek to deny the Jewish people a home, among them Iran and Hezbollah and Hamas, two groups that the leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition has in the past called friends. Friends of violence and terror, yes. Friends of humanity, no.”
“It is shameful that the Jewish people still has to fight for the right to exist in the land that for 33 centuries it has called home,” Sacks added. “Yet constantly threatened though it is by missiles, terror and delegitimization, it has achieved so much in science, medicine, technology and humanitarian aid.”
Rabbi Sacks at the House of Lords on the Centenary of the Balfour Declaration

Melanie Phillips: Our Saudi Arabian frenemy
The current prime minister, Theresa May, has been sitting on this report for months. The government has admitted that it may never be published because its contents are “very sensitive.”
Which almost certainly means that it contains revelations about the extent of Islamist funding by Saudi Arabia, and maybe also by other Gulf states with significant financial investments in Britain.
The further complication is that Saudi Arabia has now become an important ally of Britain and the West against both strains of Islamic extremism – the Sunni Salafism of ISIS and al-Qaida, and the messianic Shi’ism which inspires the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Of the two, Iran poses by far the greater danger. Iran threatens Israel with genocide, has been in a self-declared war with the West since the regime took power in 1979 and is the leading state sponsor of terrorism around the world. Moreover, the Henry Jackson Society report names various extremist Shia centers in London with ties to the Iranian regime.
Iran presents the world’s principal terrorist threat. To fight it, the West needs Saudi support. Saudi Arabia, however, is itself a menace to the West. Yet it badly needs the West’s support. So now is the time to rein it in.
Britain should halt all foreign funding of mosques, university Islam departments and other Muslim institutions and charities.
And it needs to outlaw the Muslim Brotherhood – just as Saudi Arabia has done.
My enemy’s enemy may be my friend; but sometimes it may be my enemy and my friend at one and the same time.
At stormy meet, UNESCO declares Hebron an endangered Palestinian site
The United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization (UNESCO) passed an anti-Israel resolution for the second time in less than a week on Friday, voting in a stormy session to have the Tomb of the Patriarchs, in the Old City of Hebron in the West Bank, inscribed as a Palestinian world heritage site in danger.
The vote took place by secret ballot at the UNESCO World Heritage Committee’s 41st annual summit, which is currently taking place in Krakow, Poland.
Twelve countries voted in favor of the move to inscribe Hebron’s Old City, including the Tomb, as an endangered heritage site, while three opposed it. Six countries abstained.
Votes to inscribe sites onto UNESCO’s World Heritage List are usually done by a show of hands among all the member states. But three countries — Poland, Croatia and Jamaica — requested a secret ballot. Several states objected, leading to a shouting match between delegates, and Israeli Ambassador Carmel Shama-Hacohen storming to the desk of the session’s chairman to make Israel’s case. The kerfuffle ended after the chairman, a Polish diplomat, called in security.
Shama-Hacohen accused the session’s chairman of not conducting a truly secret ballot, as the chairman ordered the delegates to come up to the front of the hall and put a sealed envelope into a box in front of the other diplomats. The Israeli envoy claimed he was promised the vote would take place behind a curtain, hoping that would enable delegates from moderate Arab states to reject the Palestinian-led bid.
UN Watch: Hebron vote: UNESCO heritage body denies Jewish & Christian heritage in Biblical city
These resolutions do nothing to advance the peace process for Israelis and Palestinians, and only further pull them apart. Moreover, the resolutions harm UNESCO and its world heritage committee, and indeed cast a shadow upon the reputation of the United Nations as a whole.
We urge the Palestinians and the Arab states, and UNESCO, to refrain from further provocative actions and statements that hurt the the people in the region, as well as the United Nations itself.
Founded in 1945 to combat the doctrine of the inequality of men and races, UNESCO today has sadly become a serial perpetrator of inequality. The U.S. under President Obama cut funding as a result of such actions. This week’s provocative actions are liable to push the U.S. to eventually withdraw from UNESCO for good.
UNESCO’s actions send a message to bad actors in the Middle East, pouring fuel on the fires of incitement to terror that already poison educational curricula.
Background: Expert International Advisors Opposed Palestinian Request
UNESCO asks all nominations for the World Heritage to be examined by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), and to provide an expert opinion. ICOMOS opposed the Palestinian nomination, noting that they failed to highlight the “association of the wider town of Hebron with Jewish and Christian as well as Islamic culture… even though extensive remains testify to these links.” The experts also noted that the nomination failed to include “a clearer focus on sites relating to Jewish heritage.”
ICOMOS concluded in its report that it “considers that the comparative analysis has not so far justified consideration of this property for the World Heritage List” and rejected that the nomination meets any of the three criteria. Click here for the ICOMOS Report.
CAMERA: Updated: UNESCO and the Jewish Legacy in Hebron
Palestinian historical revisionism and attempts to negate Judaism's legacy in its homeland have been increasingly used as a political tactic by the Palestinian leadership and its Muslim allies. (See “The Battle Over Jerusalem and the Temple Mount”) What began as the absurd denial of Judaism's historical and religious ties to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount by Palestinian and Muslim leaders soon advanced to the enlistment of international bodies to pass resolutions eradicating the Jewish people's connections to their holy sites and repudiating Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem.
Buoyed by their successes at UNESCO, which passed several resolutions condemning Jewish visits to and policing of the Temple Mount while referring to Judaism's holiest site solely in Arabic terms, the Palestinian Authority (PA) is used the same tactic to get the UN body to invalidate the Jewish legacy in Hebron, Judaism's second holiest site after the Temple Mount. Turning to UNESCO's World Heritage Center to declare the Old City of Hebron and the Cave of the Patriarchs a “Palestinian World Heritage Site” that is endangered by Israel, the PA sent a letter to the World Heritage Center Director Mechtild Rossler, alleging a long list of supposed Israeli violations, including the placement of security barriers near the Cave, and other Israeli security measures, as well as the purchase of property by Jewish residents of the city.
And once again, they were successful, as the UNESCO committee on July 7, 2017, voted 12-3 to reward the Palestinians by declaring the Old City of Hebron and Cave of the Patriarchs a Palestinian world heritage site endangered by Israel.
It is noteworthy that while Hebron was in Muslim hands, Jews were often barred from their holy site and subject to pogroms by their Arab neighbors. But after coming under Israeli control in 1967, both Jews and Muslims share access to the shrine.
Israel reacts with disgust and disdain to UNESCO Hebron decision
Israel reacted with swift anger and disdain to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization (UNESCO) decision on Friday to declare Hebron an endangered Palestinian world heritage site, with officials issuing a series of scathing statements condemning another “delusional” resolution by the UN body.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired off a tweet accompanied by a short video in which he slams the decision and vows to protect the site of the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, revered as the biblical burial place of the Jewish patriarchs and matriarchs.
“Yet another delusional decision by UNESCO. This time they’ve decided that the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron is a Palestinian site, meaning not a Jewish one and listed it an endangered site. Not a Jewish site?” asked an indignant Netanyahu.
“Who is buried there? Avraham, Isaac and Jacob, Sarah, Rivka, Leah, our patriarchs and matriarchs. The site is in danger? In fact, only in places in which Israel has a presence, like Hebron, there is freedom of religion for everyone. In the Middle East, they bomb mosques, churches and synagogues, in places Israel is not present,” he went on.
Netanyahu added that Israel would “continue to protect the Tomb of the Patriarchs, freedom of religion for everyone, and we will also continue to protect the truth.”
Defense Minister: UNESCO is politically biased and anti-Semitic
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) responded on Friday to UNESCO World Heritage Committee's decision to recognize the Cave of the Patriarchs (Me'arat Hamachpelah) as a Palestinian heritage site and hand it over to a convicted terrorist.
"UNESCO is a politically biased, embarrassing, and anti-Semitic organization which makes scandalous decisions," Liberman said. "None of the decisions made by this irrelevant organization will harm our historical rights to the site, nor our right to our land. Our rights are thousands of years old."
"I hope that together with our great friend the United States, we will manage to halt funding to this organization. This resolution proves once again that the Palestinian Authority does not want peace - it wants to incite and slander, and to ruin Israel's international image."
MK Sharren Haskel (Likud) said, "UNESCO's declaration is ridiculous. UNESCO chose again to serve Palestinian propaganda and lies. For thousands of years, the Jewish nation has been connected to the Cave of the Patriarchs and our ancestors' city of Hevron."
Hotovely: A mark of shame for UNESCO
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) responded on Friday to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee's decision to name the Cave of the Patriarchs as an "endangered" "Palestinian heritage site" and hand it to convicted terrorist Tiyassir Abu Sanina.
"This is a mark of shame for UNESCO, who time after time chooses to stand on the side of lies," Hotovely said. "In spite of the efforts of senior diplomats in the Foreign Ministry, who have tried in the past weeks to thwart the decision that denies history, and despite the achievement of deciding on a secret ballot, the automatic Arab majority succeeded in passing the proposed resolution, which attempts to appropriate the national symbols of the Jewish people."
"In another thousand years, the Cave of the Patriarchs will remain under Jewish sovereignty and UNESCO will cease to exist as a heritage organization.
"The same automatic majority would also have passed a resolution that the sun rises in the west and not in the east.
"Israel will not surrender to historic distortion and will continue the fight against the bias of UN institutions regarding Israel."
IsraellyCool: Ahead Of New Vote, UNESCO’s Website Acknowledges Jewish History of Hebron
Today, UNESCO is set to vote on a palestinian-led motion to have the Tomb of the Patriarchs, in the Old City of Hebron, listed on UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger, and registered as located in the “State of Palestine.” It is the palestinian’s latest attempt to erase Jewish history.
Funnily enough, UNESCO’s website acknowledges the Jewish connection to Hebron and the Tomb of the Patriarchs, preceding what they describe as the Arab-Muslim conquest!

Ruthie Blum: A whole new ballgame
Here, again, Friedman purposely spoke of Jerusalem, emphasizing that the success and mutual ‎admiration that America and the Jewish state enjoy emanate from "ancient Israel."‎
‎"We have, of course, common enemies that unite us," he said -- as well as military, trade, culture ‎and cybersecurity cooperation. "But our collective core, what fundamentally unites us, is that we ‎are the two shining cities on a hill, drawn together by a shared history, shared values and ... a ‎shared destiny of continued greatness."‎
This declaration was nothing short of momentous, particularly as it came on the heels of senior ‎Trump adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner's June 21 meeting in Ramallah with PA President ‎Mahmoud Abbas, whose henchmen described the encounter as "tense." Apparently, being told ‎by a prominent member of the White House staff that the paying of terrorists' salaries has got to ‎stop is not what Abbas had expected to hear -- despite being yelled at by Trump himself in May ‎for having lied about the rampant incitement in the PA against Jews and Israelis.‎
Friedman's next allusion to Jerusalem involved noting that he is the "first [U.S.] ambassador to ‎accompany [Trump] in visiting the kotel hamaaravi, the Western Wall." From here, he segued ‎into his conclusion by talking about how, earlier in the day, he and Israeli Prime Minister ‎Benjamin Netanyahu had toured the aircraft carrier the USS George H.W. Bush off the coast of ‎Haifa. ‎
Peace through strength, he announced (quoting King David's words in Psalm 29, which he said ‎his father used to recite every Shabbat morning) is "a foundational cornerstone of the Trump ‎administration" and a "guiding principle of the State of Israel." ‎
Finally, Friedman said that American men and women in uniform, like their Israeli counterparts ‎in the IDF, "hope never to fire a shot," preferring to keep the world safe through a demonstration ‎of strength and courage. However -- he implied -- they willingly sacrifice their lives in this ‎mission if left no other choice.‎
While the new U.S. ambassador to Israel wound down his remarks by wishing the United State a ‎happy 241st birthday, the audience revved up its cheering for the start of what Americans call "a ‎whole new ballgame."‎
US Jewish Leaders Lambaste PA President Mahmoud Abbas Over Continued Support for Terror Payments
The umbrella group that represents leading Jewish organizations in the US issued on Thursday a stinging rebuke to Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas for his defiant confirmation that the policy of so-called “martyr payments” — monthly donations to approximately 35,000 families of imprisoned Palestinian terrorists that are higher than the average wage in the PA — will not be halted.
“We are appalled by widespread media reports that President Abbas and other officials of the Palestinian Authority have recently made statements in Palestinian social and other media reaffirming their commitment to continue payments exceeding $300 million annually to reward terrorists and their families for attacking and killing Israelis,” Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Chairman Stephen M. Greenberg and Executive Vice Chairman and CEO Malcolm Hoenlein said in a joint statement.
Earlier this week, the Israeli monitoring organization Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) highlighted a statement in Abbas’s name on the Facebook page of the PA, in which the 82 year-old Palestinian leader said he would not bend on the issue, even if it cost him his job.
“Even if I will have to leave my position, I will not compromise on the salary (rawatib) of a martyr (Shahid) or a prisoner, as I am the president of the entire Palestinian people, including the prisoners, the martyrs, the injured, the expelled, and the uprooted,” Abbas said.
'Israel can fully count on Russia'
At age 17, Alexey Drobinin took a rather odd step. The young Christian left his hometown, at the foot of Russia's Ural Mountains, and traveled alone to Moscow to study Hebrew and the history of the Jewish people, the history of Zionism and the history of the State of Israel.
"Why is it so surprising that I went to study about Israel?" Dobrinin, now the Russian deputy ambassador to Israel, asks with a grin. "Because I'm not Jewish and I have nothing to do with Israel? There are people who study Chinese or Amharic without being Chinese or Ethiopian. Israel is a well-known country.
"Before taking the university entrance exams, I filled out a form and had to select the languages I wanted to learn in the Eastern languages department. I thought about which language was the closest to the European languages. For some reason I thought that since Israel was the most Western of the bunch, out of countries like China, Tanzania and India, the Hebrew language would be most accessible for me. Does it still sound strange to you?"
Q: Some people might think that you were trained to be a spy, not a diplomat.
He laughs. "I'm no spy. Maybe I dreamt of being a spy. For a diplomat, one of the most important duties is to report back about the host country's reality, its domestic and foreign policy, and to do that you need to get to know the country. A diplomat's job includes collecting information, even covert information.
NGO Monitor: European Parliament to Host Terror-Linked NGO
On Thursday, July 6, 2017, the European Parliament’s European Delegation for Relations with Palestine (D-PAL) will host members of the terror-linked organization Addameer. According to Palestinian sources, Addameer is an official “affiliate” of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a terrorist group banned by the EU, US, Canada, and Israel. The organization is a leader of campaigns in support of Palestinian prisoners convicted of security offenses, referring to them as “political prisoners” and altogether omitting the context of violence and terror.
Addameer counts several PFLP members and affiliates within its ranks. Addameer’s vice chair, Khalida Jarrar, was arrested earlier this week, on July 2, on charges of incitement to terrorism. Jarrar was arrested and served a six-month prison term on similar charges in 2015-2016.
Thursday’s speakers include Addameer staffer Sumoud Sa’adat, daughter of the Secretary General of the PFLP Ahmed Sa’adat, and Dr. Fadwa Barghouti, wife of prominent Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti. Sa’adat was convicted of membership and holding a position as the head of a terrorist organization, while Marwan Barghouti was convicted of murder.
Also scheduled to speak at the EU Parliament event is Addameer’s director Sahar Francis, who has made statements supportive of BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns against Israel. Likewise, under her leadership, the organization is involved in numerous BDS activities.
'European Parliament members shouldn't host terrorists' relatives'
European Parliament President Antonio Tajani admonished lawmakers from the radical Left on Thursday for their decision to invite relatives of convicted Palestinian terrorists to speak in front of the parliament.
Among those invited to speak at a conference on Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails was Fadwa Barghouti, the wife of jailed archterrorist Marwan Barghouti. Barghouti, who is currently serving several life sentences for his involvement in the murder of Israeli citizens in the Second Intifida, recently led a hunger strike in Israel.
Another speaker invited to address the European parliament was Sumoud Sadaat, the daughter of Ahmad Saadat -- a terrorist who planned the murder of slain Israeli minister Rehavam Ze'evi.
Despite Tajani's rebuke, the event went ahead as scheduled Thursday.
Tajani, a conservative lawmaker from Italy, sent a strongly worded letter to Neoklis Sylikiotis, the chair of the parliament's delegation for relations with Palestine, who was responsible for inviting the terrorists' family members to participate in the event.
In the letter, Tajani warned Sylikiotis that "such meetings must not become a platform for terrorism, nor should the agenda or guests put the reputation of this institution at risk," the JTA reported.
Rabbi Menachem Margolin, founder of the Europe Israel Public Affairs lobby, which works within EU institutions, welcomed Tajani's letter and emphasized that, without proper oversight, "the radical Left will continue to seek moral justification for acts of terror committed against innocent Israelis."
ICC goes easy on South Africa to encourage future "cooperation"
The International Criminal Court (ICC) will not refer South Africa to the UN Security Council for censure despite ruling that South Africa breached its obligation to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir when he visited the country in 2015. The ICC had issued two arrest warrants against al-Bashir in 2009 and 2010 for war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity committed in Darfur. In its decision issued on July 6, 2017, the ICC rejected South Africa's argument that al-Bashir was entitled to immunity as a head of state, but declined to refer South Africa to the UN Security Council or the overall membership of the ICC (known as the Assembly of State Parties) for failing to comply with the ICC's arrest warrant.
In the words of the decision:
"... the Chamber is not convinced that a referral to the Assembly of States Parties and/or the Security Council of the United Nations would be warranted in order to achieve cooperation from South Africa..."
Netanyahu, Putin said to discuss southern Syrian buffer zone
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday as part of ongoing Israeli efforts to convince Russia and the United States to establish a demilitarized buffer zone in southern Syria, according to reports.
Israel is pushing for an agreement that would prevent “Hezbollah or other Iranian-backed militias” from operating in the area, which would extend some 30 miles (48 kilometers) beyond the Israeli-Syrian border on the Golan Heights, the Times of London reported Thursday, citing “sources in the Middle East.”
That would include the bitterly disputed city of Daraa, where Sunni rebels have fought bloody battles against regime and Hezbollah forces in recent months.
Netanyahu has repeatedly discussed the issue with Putin and US President Donald Trump, the report said.
In a terse statement, the Kremlin on Thursday said Netanyahu’s latest phone call came “at the Israeli side’s initiative. Mr. Putin and Mr. Netanyahu continued their exchange of opinions on topical issues of Russia-Israel cooperation. In the context of joint efforts against international terrorism, they discussed the Middle East settlement and the situation in Syria.”
The Israelis, the report said, were “present
Israel Is Buying Copter Drones for Urban Warfare
The Israeli military is buying small multi-rotor drones modified to carry a machine gun, a grenade launcher and variety of other weapons to fight tomorrow’s urban warfare battles. Their maker, Florida startup Duke Robotics, is pitching the TIKAD drone to the U.S military as well.
Lt. Col. Raziel “Razi” Atuar, a 20-year veteran of the Israeli military and a reservist in the Israeli Special Forces, co-founded the company in 2014 along with a paratrooper-turned-robotic engineer and another IDF buddy. He says he was tired of watching his comrades die in chaotic street battles that also, sometimes, took the lives of civilians.
“You have small groups [of adversaries] working within crowded civilian areas using civilians as shields. But you have to go in. Even to just get a couple of guys with a mortar, you have to send in a battalion and you lose guys. People get hurt. The operational challenge, it bothered us,” Atuar said.
A former battalion commander, Atuar fought in several Israeli urban warfare operations, including 2014’s Protective Edge operation in Gaza — the kind the U.S. military believes will typify fighting in the decades ahead.
Major Palestinian Terror Attack Foiled on Outskirts of Jerusalem
A major terrorist attack was foiled on Tuesday near eastern Jerusalem’s Mizmorah checkpoint, Israeli police said.
During the search of a suspicious Palestinian vehicle, police found a bag filled with knives, stun grenades and materials for producing Molotov cocktails.
The Palestinian vehicle, which was headed to Jerusalem from Nablus, was stopped after police noticed its license plates displayed different sets of numbers.
After stopping the vehicle, police ordered six Palestinian passengers to exit the car and undergo a search. The Palestinians did not have the necessary permits to enter through the checkpoint.
After police discovered the cache of weapons, the suspects were detained, the vehicle was seized and the checkpoint was temporarily sealed. A police spokesperson said the suspects confessed they were plotting to carry out a terror attack in Jerusalem.
Survey: Palestinian Support for Violence Drops, Most Still Back Terror Salaries
A new survey conducted among the Palestinian public shows the majority of Palestinians do not support violence against Israel, but overwhelmingly support the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) payment of salaries to terrorists and their families.
The survey, conducted by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in collaboration with Dr. Khalil Shikaki’s Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, was based on interviews with Palestinians from Gaza, the disputed territories and eastern Jerusalem. Palestinians in those areas were polled on issues such as the Gaza electricity crisis, the feud between the PA and Hamas, and violence against Israel.
According to the survey, 39 percent of Palestinians support an intifada (violent uprising) against Israel, down 12 percent from a poll conducted three months ago. More than half of respondents said they favor of nonviolent forms of “resistance.” Yet 91 percent of Palestinians polled believe the PA’s terror payments should not be stopped.
BESA: Gaza's Inhabitants Share the Blame with Hamas
Many assert that Israel must act to improve Gazans' economic welfare, even if this means that Hamas will increase its revenue through taxation of the incoming goods. That revenue is used for terrorist training, armaments, missiles, digging tunnels into Israel, and cultural programs geared at killing and maiming Israelis - measures that cost Israeli lives.
The claim that Gaza's inhabitants are hapless victims of Hamas simply has no moral basis. They are silent about, or even openly support, the trading of Israeli soldiers' corpses for Hamas terrorists. Few in Gaza can claim never to have seen the videos Hamas released of Israeli soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, which were aired on all the Hamas and Islamic Jihad outlets and viewed by tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands.
The open support for this evinced across Gaza's social media outlets is especially reprehensible in light of Islamic law, which specifically prohibits such acts. Islamic law has a rich legal tradition on these matters and the rulings are explicit. Islamic law prohibits the taking of innocent prisoners, and the trading of corpses for prisoners or for a ransom is specifically forbidden.
Where are the voices of Islamic clergy, Palestinian religious officials in the PA, the Gaza-based Association of Palestinian Islamic Scholars (Rabitat Ulama Filastin), the Islamic men of religious letters, the qadis (religious judges)? Where are their counterparts within the State of Israel?
Why, then, are they silent over the persistent, flagrant violation of Islamic law by an organization, Hamas, that considers itself a movement of wasatiyya - the middle-of-the-road Islamic path that presumably opposes the radical jihadism propounded by ISIS and al-Qaeda? If Hamas is so different from ISIS, why is it so similar in deed to that organization?
Gazans can expect Israeli empathy only if they take a stand against the barbarism of trading in corpses or incarcerating the mentally unbalanced in order to release terrorists. Gazans need to demonstrate their commitment to basic human values that comport with their Islamic convictions.
Death toll in car bomb, shooting attack in Egypt’s Sinai rises to 26
The death toll in a complex attack Friday on several checkpoints in Sinai that included car bombings and shootings has risen to 26.
The victims were Egyptian soldiers. An initial report said the attack killed 10.
The officials said the blitz attack began when a suicide car bomber rammed his vehicle into a checkpoint at a military compound in the southern Rafah village of El-Barth, bordering the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, followed by heavy gunfire from dozens of masked fighters on foot.
The dead included a high-ranking special forces officer, Col. Ahmed el-Mansi, and at least 20 others were wounded in the attack. Ambulance sirens were heard from a distance as they rushed to the site. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak to the media.
The military said it killed 40 assailants as it clashed with extremists in North Sinai, where the Islamic State group is leading a deadly insurgency.
Iran Won in Lebanon. It Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Win in Iraq, Too
Given the general chaos in the Middle East today—and its own bloody recent history—Lebanon seems almost an oasis of peace. But looks can be deceiving, writes Danielle Pletka; Lebanon should instead be seen as a warning. In the years following the end of the Lebanese civil war in 1989, its various militias disarmed or were integrated successfully into the Lebanese Armed Forces—all except the Iranian proxy Hizballah, which has since come to dominate both politically and militarily. Iran has similar designs for Iraq:
The Baghdad government has accommodated the so-called Hashd al-Shaabi, or Popular Mobilization Forces [or PMFs, as the Shiite militias fighting Islamic State are called]; Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, one of Shiite Islam’s greatest eminences, has blessed their fight. The Iraqi legislature has approved the PMF’s nominal incorporation into the Iraqi army, even as Iraqi government officials acknowledge that 30 percent of the PMF are under Iranian government control. Once the fight with Islamic State ends, what will happen to these militias?
There’s already a hint of how the future of the PMF will play out. Like Hizballah, some units are fighting at Iran’s behest in Syria on behalf of Assad. Iraqi leaders, as their Lebanese counterparts once did, are fretting about the future of Iran’s proxies. The Iraqis rightly see the militias as instrumental in the counter-IS battle, and also rightly judge them a danger when that fight is done. . . .
Ships Exporting Iranian Oil Go Dark, Raising Sanctions Red Flags
Ships chartered by two oil traders responsible for a significant share of Iran's fuel exports last year failed to transmit their location and the origin of their cargo -- red flags for governments seeking evidence of evasion of sanctions on Tehran.
The ships' radio-signal tracking systems were often not in use and occasionally indicated the ships had sailed from countries other than Iran, a Wall Street Journal investigation found.
The U.S. government is analyzing movements of ships in the Persian Gulf for any attempts to circumvent bans on funding Iran's weapons programs or clearing payments for Iranian oil through the U.S. financial system, a U.S. official said. U.S. officials said they weren't familiar with the particular shipments identified by the Journal.
This scrutiny come amid uncertainty in the U.S. about the future of the 2015 multinational agreement in which Iran pledged to scale back its nuclear program in return for the lifting of most international sanctions.
Will North Korea’s long-range missile success help Iran?
Was North Korea’s missile test on Monday a game-changer for Iranian nuclear weapons capabilities?
The word is already out on the test: North Korea’s missile test on Monday was an ICBM, an intercontinental ballistic missile.
That means, according to most estimates, North Korea’s missile could hit Alaska and a much wider swath of the world than it could have hit before.
What if North Korea transfers this technology to Iran?
In June, ex-US ambassador to the UN John Bolton told The Jerusalem Post that “it is only a matter of time” before North Korea successfully places miniaturized nuclear warheads on missiles. “Plenty of people have already done it and the day North Korea gets nuclear weapons, Iran could have it the next day by wire transfer.”
In February, two ex-Israeli intelligence officers wrote an analysis for the Begin Sadat Center for Strategic Studies arguing that there are massive transfers of nuclear-related technology and know-how between North Korea and Iran.
Russia blocks UN condemnation of North Korea
Russia on Thursday objected to a United Nations Security Council condemnation of North Korea's latest rocket launch, Reuters reported.
The reason for Russia's objection, diplomats said, was the fact the U.S.-drafted statement labeled the rocket that was tested an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and Moscow disagrees.
Security Council statements have to be agreed upon by all 15 members. The Russian mission to the United Nations said it had proposed amendments to the U.S. draft. It was not immediately clear if the United States would continue to negotiate with Russia in an effort to reach a council consensus on a statement.
U.S. officials confirmed earlier this week that North Korea successfully test-launched an ICBM for the first time, noting the ballistic missile flew longer than any North Korean missile test conducted by the regime to date.
John Bolton: Every Time You Hear North Korea Think of Iran
Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton talked about North Korea’s Fourth of July missile test launch on Thursday’s edition of Breitbart News Daily with SiriusXM host Alex Marlow.
Bolton said intercontinental ballistic missiles are a goal North Korea has been working towards since the early 1990s, as part of the outlaw regime’s quest for “deliverable nuclear weapons,” but it was still surprising to many observers that a missile with true intercontinental capability was successfully launched this week.
“It’s capable of hitting Alaska. It can’t hit the Lower 48 yet, but that’s only a matter of time,” he said. “The only other thing we need to find out, and I don’t want to be on the receiving end of it, is whether North Korea has miniaturized its nuclear devices – of which it’s already detonated five – to the point they can put it under an ICBM nose cone.”
“I’ve been talking about this for 20 years, and so have many other people. And yet, for the last three U.S. administrations – eight years of Clinton, eight years of Bush, eight years of Obama – people have tried to negotiate with North Korea to talk them out of their nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. It’s failed consistently for 25 years,” he said.
“That’s why Trump has inherited this mess. The issue is whether he can find a way out of it, or whether he succumbs to what I know the State Department, and much of the Defense Department, and much of the intelligence community are telling him: just keep doing what we’ve been doing before. Because that will result in a nuclear North Korea,” Bolton warned.

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