Tuesday, July 11, 2017

From Ian:

New Knesset lobby unveils plan for peace: Total Palestinian surrender
Israel has already defeated the Palestinians. All that’s left is for them to surrender.
That, at least, was an argument being made in Jerusalem this week. Led by the Philadelphia-based Middle East Forum, pro-Israel leaders and analysts gathered here to highlight local support for their aim of reframing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict internationally.
“After more than a century, the conflict is really over,” Daniel Pipes, the forum’s president, told JTA. “As an American, I would like my government to say to the Israeli government, ‘Do what you need to do to convince the Palestinians they lost.’”
Pipes on Sunday night held an English-language event at the Begin Heritage Center to cheer Tuesday’s launch of a Knesset lobby committed to forcing the Palestinians to admit defeat. He said he hoped the Knesset Israel Victory Caucus — along with a public opinion poll he released Sunday to JTA — would help them convince US policymakers to “let Israel win.”
In an article in the December 2016 issue of Commentary, Pipes described the things Israel might do to “encourage Palestinians to accept Israel and discourage rejectionism.” They include charging the Palestinians Authority for material damage from terrorism; blocking Palestinian Authority officials from returning to the West Bank if their colleagues incite violence; quiet, anonymous burials for Palestinians killed attacking Israelis, and shutting off water and electricity supplies to punish violence by Palestinians.
“Inducing a change of heart is not a pretty or pleasant process,” wrote Pipes. However, he continued, “Wars usually end when failure causes one side to despair, when that side has abandoned its war aims and accepted defeat, and when that defeat has exhausted the will to fight.”
The Middle East Forum held a meeting in Jerusalem last night to discuss Daniel Pipes’s “Victory Caucus“, his project for breaking the Arab-Israel impasse. He urges that the conflict should be reframed as a war which Israel has won and the Arabs have lost rather than a never-ending impasse with demands upon Israel for negotiations, peace processes and compromises. I spoke briefly at this meeting. You can watch my comments on this clip from the Facebook Live video below. You can also watch the video of the whole meeting here. A transcript of my remarks follows beneath the clip.

If the Palestinians Care about Peace, Why Do They Pay Salaries to Terrorists?
All over the world, people take the side of the Palestinians without knowing much about them and their collective beliefs and intentions. Palestinians who go abroad looking for praise and propaganda seem pleasant. They don’t find it hard to convince innocent Westerners that they have justice on their side.
But sometimes, even in the Middle East, a window opens and the truth peeks out. At the moment, the struggle over official payments to Palestinian terrorists provides an exceptionally useful vantage point.
For many years, the Palestinian Authority (PA) or one of its offshoots has been paying regular salaries to the families of dead or imprisoned terrorists. The 2016 PA budget says it now pays relatives of “martyrs” the equivalent of $183 million a year and families of imprisoned terrorists $135 million. According to the Times of Israel, the Palestinians have paid out $1.12 billion during the last four years to terrorists and their families. The money, all in U.S. dollars, comes from foreign aid grants.
The new administration in Washington has decided this practice should end. At his meeting in Bethlehem with Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the PA, Donald Trump said: “Peace can never take root in an environment where violence is tolerated, funded or rewarded.”

Is UNESCO’s Denial of Israel’s Ties to Jewish Heritage Sites Irrelevant?
For most countries, UNESCO is a relatively innocuous organization — dedicated to preserving some of humanity’s most important cultural treasures, as well as promoting scientific and educational collaborations between nations.
But for Israel, UNESCO has become the latest venue for attempts by its detractors — namely the Palestinians and their supporters — to deny fundamental aspects of Jewish heritage.
During the UNESCO World Heritage Committee’s 41st annual meeting last week in Krakow, Poland, the UN body approved a resolution denying Israel’s sovereignty in Jerusalem’s Old City — which includes the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site — as well as a resolution declaring Hebron’s Cave of the Patriarchs, where the biblical Jewish matriarchs and patriarchs are believed to be buried, as an endangered Palestinian heritage site.
These latest resolutions dovetail with previous anti-Israel measures passed by UNESCO in May, and late last year. At the same time, the Jewish state has seen steadfast support from the new Trump administration, and is strengthening economic ties with emerging powers in Asia and Africa. As such, do the most recent anti-Israel UNESCO resolutions even matter?
HR on the i24 News: The Spin Room July 9 with Michael Oren
Deputy Minister for Diplomacy Michael Oren on i24 News: The Spin Room with HR's Daniel Pomerantz, Haaretz's Allison Kaplan Sommer and host Ami Kaufman, discussing: UNESCO on Hebron, and Trump's Middle East peace efforts

'Hold cabinet meeting at Tomb of Patriarchs'
Chairman Avi Roeh of the Yesha Council of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and Secretary-General Ze'ev (Zambish) Hever of the Amana housing organization which develops Judea and Samaria communities, have sent a letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu inviting the Prime Minister and cabinet ministers to hold a cabinet meeting at the foot of the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hevron.
The letter follows last Friday's decision by the World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization that the Me'arat Hamachpela Tomb of the Patriarchs and the surrounding Old City of Hevron would be declared Palestinian Authority heritage sites. The letter calls the decision embarrassing and delusional, and says it causes "damage to Jewish and Israeli history and tradition".
In the past, such a request was raised by a number of ministers, but was not agreed upon. Now, the Yesha Council believes that things are different and that a government meeting is needed to strengthen the historical as well as Israeli sovereignty in Hevron in particular and in Judea and Samaria in general.
In their letter, Roeh and Hever responded to another claim made at UNESCO that the Cave of the Patriarchs and the Old City of Hevron are in serious danger of being harmed.
Haifa Residents Demand Renaming of ‘UNESCO Square for Tolerance and Peace’ After Hebron Vote
Some residents of Haifa are calling on their municipal government to change the name of a city square named after the UN cultural agency that has recently passed a series of anti-Israel resolutions — including one last week that designated the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron as an endangered Palestinian World Heritage site.
The square — located at the upper end of Ben-Gurion Boulevard in the German Colony neighborhood of the northern Israeli port city — received the title “UNESCO Square for Tolerance and Peace” after the UN body chose the adjacent Baha’i Gardens as a World Heritage site nearly a decade ago, the Hebrew news site Walla reported on Monday.
Following the Hebron vote last week, according to Walla, a number of Haifaites launched a campaign — including a petition — to have the square be renamed.
Nir Shuber — a local cafe owner and Labor Party activist who is leading the effort — was quoted by Walla as saying, “I and many others were convinced this was an organization working on behalf of preservation, but it has become clear to us as of late that it is an organization acting against Israel.”
“In recent years,” Shuber continued, “the square has become a place where anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian demonstrations are held, and this apparently is not by chance.”
WATCH: Israeli UNESCO Ambassador’s Surreal Speech
Israel’s ambassador to UNESCO, Carmel Shama-Hacohen, has already shown he pulls no punches when reacting to the organization’s shameful decisions (even though I think his relatively poor English does impede his effectiveness).
Following UNESCO’s latest shameful decision on Hebron, Shama-Hacohen got up to deliver what I can only describe as a surreal speech. It definitely had its powerful moments, but those were somewhat blunted by his poor English and his cellphone going off. Yep, I kid you not (and you thought Israelis leaving their phones on in the movie theater was bad).
But to his credit, he manages to come up with a zinger at the end when his phone goes off one too many times.

UNESCO Passes Another Resolution against Jews, “Just to See If We Could” (satire)

“We just wanted to see if we could”, was the explanation given earlier today by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, as it passed yet another resolution claiming a bagel store in West Jerusalem as a Palestinian heritage site.
UNESCO has come under heavy fire over the past year for a number of resolutions that deny a historical Jewish connection to parts of the Jewish State, that are about as Jewry as it gets. Last week UNESCO passed a resolution claiming the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron as being an endangered Palestinian heritage site.
A representative from UNESCO defended the UN body saying “It started out kind of serious, but then after some late night drinking we made a bet to see who could get the most ridiculous thing passed.” The Palestinian Authority released a statement welcoming the resolution and explaining that they hope that in time more Palestinian Heritage would be re-claimed by UNESCO. The UN body has also said that it was interested in passing resolutions to claim, a kosher Chinese store in Brooklyn, the apartment where they shot Seinfeld and Woody Allen as Palestinian heritage sites.
Break from Protocol US envoy Friedman, trusted by Trump, joins Mideast peace team
President Donald Trump has asked his ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, to join a growing task force on Middle East peace, breaking from protocol that has traditionally removed the US envoy from talks with the Palestinian Authority.
Trump made the move because he trusts Friedman to represent him – a critical factor in all of the president's decision-making, a White House official told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday. But a Palestinian official on Monday said the PA does not want to host Friedman in Ramallah, reflecting the delicate politics that greet Friedman in his new role and the president at the start of his foray into Mideast peacemaking.
"The administration believes that in order to give everyone the best chance to reach an ultimate deal, it is critical to have negotiators that are close with the president," the official said.
The team is now led by three people that have surrounded the president for years: Friedman, his former lawyer; Jason Greenblatt, formerly executive vice president and chief legal officer at the Trump Organization now serving as the president's lead negotiator; and Jared Kushner, his senior adviser and son-in-law.
Fatah official: US ambassador to Israel not wanted in Ramallah
Palestinian officials and US President Donald Trump’s peace envoy Jason Greenblatt will meet in Jerusalem on Tuesday because the Palestinians do no want US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman to come to Ramallah, Fatah Central Committee Member Azzam al-Ahmad said in a television interview.
“Tomorrow there will be a new round of talks with the Palestinian delegation in West Jerusalem because we do not want one of the members of the [American] delegation to come to us…Why? Because he is the ambassador of America in Israel and the purview of his work is in Israel,” Ahmad said in an interview with the official Palestinian Authority television station on Monday.
The interviewer then asked Ahmad if Friedman attending a meeting in Ramallah would send a political message.
“Of course,” he responded, without explaining what such a message would be.
Backlash against Breaking the Silence grows, more events nixed
Following Israel Hayom's report that several kibbutzim and moshavim have refused to host conferences featuring Breaking the Silence, the trend appears to be growing, and more communities are joining the list.
The controversial advocacy group, which claims it is dedicated to exposing alleged wrongdoings by the Israel Defense Forces, has been consistently lambasted for its efforts to delegitimize the IDF and Israel on the international stage.
Kibbutz Tlalim in southern Israel recently canceled one such conference, which had been slated to take place in the communal dining hall on July 12.
"We will not let an organization such as this appear in the kibbutz's communal buildings," a spokesperson from Tlalim said in a statement.
Last Thursday, a Breaking the Silence conference at Kibbutz Mizra was disrupted midway, after 100 kibbutz members signed a petition calling for the cancellation of the event.
A day later, Breaking the Silence activist Ido Even-Paz, who spoke at the conference, lambasted kibbutz residents in a Facebook post, calling them "reactionary thugs poisoned by false information."
"That was the worst lecture I ever gave," Even-Paz wrote. "The crowd didn't stop disrupting and shouting and speaking out of turn, no different than any bunch of hooligans."
Amit Deri, head of the Reservists at the Front organization, wrote in response: "After they finished with the right-wing organizations, [Education Minister] Naftali Bennett and [Justice Minister] Ayelet Shaked, Breaking the Silence activists are now turning their attacks on members of the kibbutzim.
New bill aims to bar BDS donors from giving to Israeli groups
A Likud Knesset member is promoting a new bill that aims to prevent individuals who donate funds to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement from donating to Israeli organizations.
Likud MK Miki Zohar has dubbed his legislative proposal the "Soros bill," after Hungarian-born U.S. financier George Soros, who is often criticized for systematically using his philanthropic activity to fund anti-Israel groups.
"The time has come to dry up the [resources] used by leftist organizations that undermine the government, slander Israel and try to infringe on its right to defend itself," Zohar said. "We must block their funding sources and prevent them from undermining the country."
Soros, an advocate of open immigration to Europe, has recently become the target of an anti-migration billboard campaign in his native country, which the Hungarian Jewish community warned has elements of anti-Semitism.
Saudis block Israeli Arab website for coverage of 'normalization' with Israel
Saudi Arabia has blocked access to a popular Israeli Arab website after it posted articles about alleged Saudi plans to normalize relations with Israel and cited reports from the Hebrew press that Israeli officials were pleased with King Salman's designation of his son, Mohammed Bin Salman, as crown prince.
The Arab48 website, whose coverage is sympathetic to the hard-line anti-Zionist Balad party and sharply criticizes Israeli policies, was blocked in Saudi Arabia beginning July 6, according to its editor-in-chief, Rami Mansour. That was four days after it published an article titled "Israel is betting on Saudi Arabia for normalization with the Arab world."
"It seems we have been blocked because of articles about the relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel and about Mohammed Bin Salman," Mansour said."The Saudis are simply isolating their citizens from the outside world." He said it was the first time anyone had blocked the site since it was established in 1999.
President of European Parliament Rebukes MEP for Offering Platform to Relatives of Convicted Palestinian Terrorists
In a rare intervention into the activities of parliamentary delegations, the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, directly admonished the chairman of the parliament’s delegation for relations with Palestine (DPAL), MEP Neoklis Sylikiotis for offering a platform to relatives of convicted Palestinian terrorists.
Tajani’s prompt intervention was in response to a letter addressed to him by 17 Members of the European Parliament from across the political spectrum, denouncing the delegation for hosting in Strasbourg as guest speakers relatives of two convicted terrorists, Marwan Barghouti and Ahmad Sa’adat, under the pretext of discussing ‘’the situation of the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails after the hunger strike.’’
Swedish MEP Lars Adaktusson, who is also President of the political board of Europe Israel Public Affairs (EIPA), addressed the letter to the European Parliament President, reminding that Barghouti and Sa’adat are members of two organisations listed as terrorist by the European Union.
In his letter to Sylikiotis, President Tajani called for the suspension of the meeting ‘’because of the presence of relatives of persons convicted of murder and of belonging to a terrorist organization.’’
PM raps visiting Irish foreign minister over support for Palestinians
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday rebuked visiting Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney‏ over his country’s traditional support for the Palestinians.
According to a readout of their meeting provided by the Prime Minister’s Office, Netanyahu “expressed his dissatisfaction over Ireland’s traditional stance and told the Foreign Minister that his country does not condemn Palestinians for incitement and for glorifying those who commit terrorist attacks.”
The discussion focused mostly on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the readout said.
Netanyahu also challenged Coveney over Dublin’s assistance to NGOs that “call for the destruction of Israel,” according to the readout. The prime minister further noted that “many European countries are overlooking the core problem of the conflict – the Palestinian refusal to recognize the state of the Jews.”
During his three-day trip to the region, the foreign minister is scheduled to meet with “representatives of Israeli and Palestinian NGOs funded by Irish Aid,” according to his office.
U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Slams American Fight Against Terror During July 4th Celebration
U.S. Ambassador to Turkey John Bass criticized the American fight against terrorism during a July Fourth celebration hosted by the U.S. consulate in Istanbul, claiming that an "overly broad" definition of terrorism has hampered U.S. efforts to combat extremists and eroded international confidence in America.
Bass, a career foreign service officer who was appointed by former President Barack Obama in 2014, urged Turkey to "avoid making the mistakes the U.S. made" in its fight against radical terrorists, telling those in attendance at an Independence Day reception "that rushing to justice or making an overly broad definition of terrorism can erode fundamental freedoms and undermine public confidence in government."
Bass's comments have come under scrutiny by Trump administration insiders and regional experts, who told the Washington Free Beacon that Turkey's recent crackdown on scores of political dissidents in no way reflects America's own battles in the region.
Insiders are viewing Bass's criticism of U.S. policy on terrorism as a veiled rejection of President Donald Trump, who has come under fire from multiple U.S. officials who rose to prominence under Obama and are still serving in government.
Moral Equivalence Insults Real Dissidents
Bass seems to imply that debates about the balance between security and individual liberty in the United States are somehow equivalent to the post-coup purge in Turkey. That purge has seen the imprisonment of tens of thousands, has led to more than 100,000 losing the jobs, and led to the government seizure of more than $11 billion in businesses. Even if the coup in Turkey was legitimate rather than Reichstag fire-type episode, the United States has an independent judiciary and legislative branch to ensure the protection of individual rights. Erdogan has extended a state of emergency indefinitely. In short, even the most afflicted by Bush, Obama, or Trump Derangement Syndrome would be hard-pressed to draw any parallels to the situation the Turks face.
Bass, of course, knows this. By engaging in this sort of equivalence, he diminished the United States and played into the hands of the state-controlled Turkish (and Russian) press, which argues that the United States is really no different than Turkey, Russia, or any other autocracy.
Bass’ speech dismissed the situation faced more than 55,000 Turks imprisoned without evidence or due process and equated them with Guantanamo Bay detainees, no-fly list members, or those who accuse the U.S. government of illegally monitoring them via poorly-conceived FISA court rulings. There is a real tragedy underway in Turkey. The voices of a democratic Turkey and, frankly, a post-Erdogan future are probably in Turkey’s prisons right now. The U.S. ambassador in Turkey is doing both a disservice to them and minimizing the abuses Erdogan perpetrates on the one hand, and downplaying the real security threats faced by the United States at the hands of al-Qaeda and other would-be terrorist groups on the other. Perhaps it’s time for Bass to come home.
At West Bank outpost, settlement-building feted as ‘true Zionist response to terror’
Speaking at a ceremony marking three years to the establishment of an outpost built after kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens, settler leaders said Sunday that the advancement of the settlement enterprise is the most appropriate response to Palestinian terror.
Some 500 people gathered at the illegal Oz Vegaon outpost for the event, which was organized by the World Zionist Organization, the Gush Etzion Regional Council, the Jewish National Fund, and Yehudit Katzover and Nadia Matar, two founders of the outpost.
“Today, our hearts are full of strength and pride,” said WZO’s Deputy Chair Yaakov Haguel, using the two Hebrew words chosen for the name of the site. “Our enemies will destroy and we will build. Our enemies will incite and we will establish.”
Oz Vegaon was founded weeks after the June 12, 2014, disappearance of Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Fraenkel and Gilad Shaer. The three teens had inadvertently hitched a ride from a bus stop at the Alon Shvut Junction in Gush Etzion with terrorists from a Hamas cell. Their fate was unknown for almost three weeks — until their bodies were found and it emerged that they had been killed mere hours after the kidnapping.

Hadar Goldin's twin brother Tzur speaks out

IDF raids home of West Bank car-rammer, seizes ‘inciting material’
IDF soldiers on Tuesday raided the West Bank hometown of a Palestinian man who the day before carried out a car-ramming attack in which a soldier was wounded, the army said.
On Monday afternoon, a resident of the Palestinian village of Teqoa outside Bethlehem attempted to drive his car into a group of soldiers, lightly injuring one of them, as they manned a roadblock in the area.
After crashing his car into the guard rail, the assailant then tried to stab the soldiers before he was shot dead by the troops, according to the IDF.
The assailant was named in Palestinian media as Muhammad Ibrahim Jibril, 24. According to the Palestinian Ma’an news site, Israeli officials agreed to turn over the body for burial Tuesday in exchange for “quiet” in the town.
During the attack, the soldier sustained wounds to his arms and legs. It was not immediately clear if the soldier was hit by the vehicle or by a streetlight that fell after it was hit by the Palestinian’s car.
Israel marks 11 years since Second Lebanon War
Israel marked 11 years since the Second Lebanon War with a state service held at the National Memorial Hall on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem on Monday.
President Reuven Rivlin, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan and Supreme Court Justice Yoram Danziger were among those in attendance at the ceremony, at which 121 memorial candles were lit in honor of the 121 soldiers who were killed in the 2006 conflict with Hezbollah.
"The lessons of the war continue to be implemented during routine conditions and in times of emergency, which to our deep regret have continued to occur," Rivlin said. "The war at home brought with it quiet to the communities of the north, but we must not mistake it. The threat is still great. ... If a battle is forced on us, we will defend our independence fiercely."
Also on Monday, Col. Max Nudelman, who was Gaza Division's chief engineering officer during Operation Protective Edge in 2014 and was seriously wounded when Hamas terrorists detonated a bomb inside a tunnel he and his troops were trying to destroy, was promoted to the position of chief engineering officer for the IDF Central Command.
He is currently wrapping up his role as commander of the 603rd Armored Engineering Battalion.
Female officer takes command of IDF Artillery Corps' drone unit
Lt. Col. Reut Retig Weiss officially became the first woman to become battalion commander of the IDF’s Artillery Corp’s drone unit at a ceremony on Sunday and the second Israeli woman ever to be appointed commander of a combat unit.
"Almost seven years ago I was present at the founding ceremony for the unit and never in my wildest dreams did I think that one day I would command it. It's an extraordinary privilege and a tremendous mission," said Retig Weiss, who had previously served as a deputy battalion commander in the Artillery Corps.
The unit, which was established in 2010, is considered one of the artillery corps’ most prestigious special units. Teams from the unit participated in Operation Pillar of Defense as well as Operation Protective Edge, receiving a citation from the head of the Southern Command for its work during the last war with Hamas in Gaza. There has also been a significant increase of the unit’s operational activity on all borders.
“The Sky Rider unit is facing a challenging period in which it will be required to lead with all its capabilities and excel in them, to prepare for war, for training, for routine tasks and to absorb all new capabilities that will change the future of the air land space. I am sure that together we will be able to face any challenge,” Retig Weiss said.
'Illegal immigration costs Israeli taxpayers 500M shekels a year'
More than 500 million shekels ($140 million) in taxpayer funds were spent in 2016 to deal with illegal immigration, a new report by the Knesset Research and Information Center said Monday.
The report, commissioned by Likud MK Amir Ohana, was based a year-long analysis of data from various government agencies, including health authorities, the Israel Police, and the Israel Prison Service.
The figure amounted to nearly NIS 530 million ($150 million), but it is likely the actual amount was much higher.
"Due to the limited figures available and because of the limited response from the agencies, we are not in a position to cite an exhaustive figure on the direct and indirect expenditures relating to illegal migrants," the report said.
The report shows that the Health Ministry spent NIS 76 million ($21 million), including NIS 36 million ($10 million) on hospitalizations of foreign nationals who entered Israel illegally. In Tel Aviv, where many of the migrants reside, the municipality reported spending a total of NIS 119 million ($33.3 million) on housing, education, social services and other activities.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Sorry, Muhammed, You Have To Kill More People To Push The Labor Primary Off The Front Page By Mustafa Massikr, Hamas Official (satire)
You tried, Muhammed. You tried to kill a bunch of Zionist occupation soldiers with a car yesterday, but you only managed to injure one, and then you got out of the car to try to stab as many others as you could, but they shot you dead. The next morning, the Zionist news sites barely made a mention of your heroism, as they were focused on Labor Party primary runoffs. You learned the hard way, and too late, what we in Hamas have known for more than twenty years now: if you want to push the prosaic stuff off the front page, you have to kill a whole bunch of people.
Not that we offer training in this, but I get the feeling that if you were a bona fide member of our movement, you would have succeeded. Hamas boys – no, fighting men! – show a dedication to killing Jews that the other Palestinian groups just can’t match. A Hamas operation would have resulted in at least two dead Jews, and then our media wouldn’t have to concoct a story about Occupation Forces planting a knife after executing you in cold blood. Much more heroic. Much more Hamas. That’s too bad.
As it is, it’s Tuesday morning, and your Monday afternoon deed is buried way down in the “news” sections of various Israeli sites. That’s no way to conduct a resistance. You need to be up in their faces all the time with blood, violence, and terror. Not footnotes. Who remembers the guy who failed? Nobody. You messed up, and the rest of us have to live with your failure, Muhammed. You can’t run a campaign of terror in which the enemy isn’t terrorized. Did I mention the soldier you did manage to hit had only light injuries? Pathetic. Just pathetic. Sure, you’ll get your poster added to the hundreds of other martyr posters lining the walls of various Palestinian towns, but in the end, who outside your family and circle of friends is going to remember what you did? Even an internal election in a decaying, irrelevant political party garnered more coverage than your attack.
MEMRI: Palestinian Journalist: Hamas Rule In Gaza – A Decade Of Failure And Damage To The Palestinian Cause
At the close of a decade of the Hamas movement's rule over the Gaza Strip, Palestinian author and journalist Majed Kayali, who lives in Syria and writes for the London-based daily Al-Hayat and the Lebanese daily Al-Mustaqbal, harshly criticized Hamas's government of Gaza in the past ten years, saying it has been rife with flaws and failures. He wrote that Hamas has been revealed as a movement with no political acumen or ability to contend with the complexity of the Palestinian problem; that Hamas' takeover in Gaza helped Israel by creating chaos, entrenching the rift in Palestinian society, and justifying the siege on the Strip, and that Hamas did not manage to sustain its position as a resistance movement and exploited democracy merely as a means to attain power. Kayali concluded that Hamas doesn't know what it's doing in Gaza, and that what has occurred there is proof of the disintegration of the Palestinian national movement.
The following are excerpts from the article:
"No political movement has ever been faced with the range of problems, frustrations, and doubts that Hamas has had to contend with since its ascendance in the Palestinian [political] arena, when it defeated the Fatah movement in the elections to the Legislative Council (in early 2006), and when it attained power or became a partner in it and then unilaterally took control of Gaza (in 2007), while excluding [Fatah], and [began] governing over some two million Palestinians.
"Who would have believed that a decade would pass with the Palestinian entity split into [two parts], the West Bank and Gaza, following the dispute and the fighting between Hamas and Fatah that took place this very month, ten years ago? Who would have believed that there would be two entities, or two rival Palestinian regimes, that oppose one another: Fatah in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza, each of them possessing its own security apparatus, and each supplying the public with services, while both are subject to the occupation and the siege, or Israeli rule? Who would have believed that all the efforts of the Arabs and all the [reconciliation] agreements [between Fatah and Hamas] (in Mecca, Cairo, Sana'a, and Doha) would not succeed in restoring unity to the Palestinians?
Over 120,000 Palestinian Children Attend Summer Camps Run By Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Other Terror Groups
In recent days, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other Palestinian jihadist factions opened their traditional summer camps in which Palestinian youth are indoctrinated with anti-Israel propaganda while some camps conduct weapons training and teach jihadist combat tactics.
According to figures from Hamas alone, some 120,000 children attend the terrorist group’s camps. Tens of thousands more children attend camps run by other Palestinian jihadist factions.
In addition, thousands of children participate in summer camps run by the Palestinian refugee welfare agency UNWRA, where the focus is more on educational activities than those of a religious or military nature. UNRWA’s summer camps bear the name “Summer Games,” in contrast to the names of camps run by Hamas, Islamic Jihad, national resistance committees and other organizations that mostly use the names of Palestinian activists who died as “martyrs” – in other words, terrorists killed while committing attacks against Israel.
As part of the competition between the organizations for the recruitment of children into their camps, the weapons training and military exercises serve as the best promotional tool. Live shooting lessons are considered a favorite in these summer camps that will end later in July with ceremonies attended by Hamas officials and representatives of the various organizations that give certificates of recognition. The officials typically give speeches in which they praise the children for their participation in the camps and encourage them to join the different organizations.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Experts Mystified By Utter Lack Of Flotillas To Supply Power Plant Fuel To Gaza (satire)
Analysts are struggling to explain the puzzling absence of aid flotillas carrying precious fuel for the electricity-generating plants in this coastal territory, given the noise international activists have made regarding the horrors resulting from Israel’s naval blockade.
Israel ceased supplying the fuel when the Fatah-run Palestinian Authority stopped paying for it last month, in a move calculated by the ruling Fatah faction among the Palestinians to apply pressure on the Hamas movement that runs Gaza. While some internal Palestinian propaganda and other Arab media items have sought to blame Israel for the fuel crisis, as well as for Fatah’s refusal to allow medicines into the territory or patients out, the perfunctory anti-Israel rhetoric has convinced few Palestinians, let alone Gazans who stands behind the decision. With the welfare of Gaza residents so prominent in the hearts and minds of worldwide activists, experts find themselves at a loss to make heads or tails of both the silence on the part of those righteous individuals and groups, and the lack of efforts to organize maritime relief efforts.
“I’m not sure what lies behind this deafening silence,” wondered Avi Uss, a fellow with the Brookings Institution. “We know that human rights activists and groups place great emphasis on the welfare of Palestinians when Israel makes any move that might adversely affect them, so my colleagues and I expected those vaunted principles to come into play now that the Gaza Strip is suffering a massive electricity shortage right when the need for air conditioning is at its most acute. But crickets. We’re stumped.” The Middle East has seen nearly two weeks of unusually high temperatures.
MEMRI: Further Reporting By Syrian Opposition Website On Long-Range Missile Facility Near Baniyas: It Is Making Iranian Fateh-110 Missiles
Recently, the Syrian opposition website Zamanalwsl.net has published several articles, of uncertain credibility, about a new facility manufacturing long-range missiles in Wadi Jahannam, between Baniyas and Hama, Syria that is subordinate to the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center. The Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC) has been identified by the U.S. Treasury Department as "the Syrian government agency responsible for developing and producing non-conventional weapons and the means to deliver them."
In Zamanalwsl.net's first report, on June 28, 2017, it stated that this new facility had been constructed in Wadi Jahannam and that it is under direct Iranian oversight. According to that report, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad recently visited the facility, meeting with Iranian and Syrian experts there (see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 6984, Syrian Opposition Website: Assad Visited New Long-Range Missile Facility Near Baniyas, June 29, 2017).
On July 10, 2017, Zamanalwsl.net published another report on the facility, titled "What Are Russia And [North] Korea Doing There?" The article included what it said were exclusive photos of the Wadi Jahannam facility. According to this report, the facility is producing long-range missiles as well as M600 ballistic missiles, which are a Syrian version of the Iranian Fateh 110 missile. It added that this facility has a branch in western Hama province for producing chemicals, and that that there is a Russian military base in the region, where North Korean officers once served.
Iran’s Growing Missile Might
Last month, the Islamic Republic fired seven of its newest model of Zulfikar ballistic missiles at Islamic State positions in Syria, not far from the U.S. zone of operations. Official Iranian media covered the missile launch with enthusiasm, although it seems that only one of the projectiles hit its target. Despite this apparently poor performance, argues Uzi Rubin, the fact that Tehran possesses such long-range, high-precision weapons should arouse serious concern:
To hit a single house from more than 6oo kilometers away, [as one of the missiles probably did], is far from trivial. In fact, it is a very significant development. As a military operation, Iran’s missile strike may have been a dud, but as a technical demonstration of the Zulfikar’s inherent capability, it may have been a step forward. . . . In any case, poor reliability can probably be cured by design refinements and further testing. If its basic design is sound, the Zulfikar can still become an awesome weapon.
While Israel is threatened by Iranian missiles from Lebanon and from Iran itself, it is not the intended target of the Zulfikar, which lacks the range to reach Israel from Iranian territory. Its intended target is probably Saudi Arabia, whose capital city, Riyadh, is about 700 km away from the Iranian shores of the Persian Gulf—well within [its] claimed range.

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