Friday, January 05, 2018

From Ian:

Rabbi Abraham Cooper: Trump's bold moves just might jolt the Palestinians to finally negotiate with Israel
President Trump has sent a loud and clear message to leaders of the Palestinian Authority: Stop treating the United States like a giant ATM, withdrawing billions of dollars in aid without engaging in peace negotiations with Israel and being willing to make mutual compromises.

Has this message upset Palestinian leaders and their supporters? Absolutely.

But maybe – just maybe – President Trump’s bold and unconventional message will act like a shock treatment and jumpstart new talks between Palestinians and Israelis. If this happens – and it is far from certain – the president’s departure from past policies could go down as an historic turning point in what seems like a never-ending and frozen “peace process.”

The State Department reports that America has provided more than $5.2 billion from the U.S. Agency for International Development to the Palestinians since 1994, including $290 million in 2016.

In addition, the U.S. has provided billions more to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine (UNRWA), which has aided Palestinian “refugees” in several countries in the Middle East since 1949. This aid includes $355 million from American taxpayers in 2016 alone. America also provided an additional $55 million to Palestinians in 2016 for law enforcement.

The term “refugees” includes children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of people who left Israel when the nation became independent 70 years ago.

The president tweeted Tuesday: “… we pay the Palestinians HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect. They don’t even want to negotiate a long overdue peace treaty with Israel…. But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?”

President Trump’s tweet comes on the heels of his announcement last month that the U.S. recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital – and our United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley’s threat to make deep cuts to America’s financial contributions to the world body.
Fight against incitement
As Palestinian leaders call for more violence and Palestinians burn American flags alongside effigies of U.S. President Donald Trump on the streets, the prospects for peace appear more distant than ever.

But Palestinian terrorism did not begin with Trump's Dec. 6 declaration recognizing Jerusalem as the official capital of Israel. It has been ongoing since the 1920s and it is fueled by violent indoctrination spread by the Palestinian leadership. It is only via incitement and indoctrination that innocent Palestinian children grow up to become terrorists.

More must be done to prevent the Palestinian children of today from becoming the terrorists of tomorrow.

The only way to stop young, impressionable Palestinian children from supporting terrorism in the future is to ensure that UNRWA schools no longer indoctrinate children into supporting terrorism.

Recently, the Center for Near East Policy Research published a comprehensive study on Palestinian school textbooks. The study argues that indoctrination continues to be a systematic problem in the Palestinian Authority school system.
Sexual Harassment East and West
"I say that when a girl walks about like that, it is a patriotic duty to sexually harass her and a national duty to rape her." — Nabih Wahsh, Islamist lawyer, on Egypt's al-Assema TV, October 19, 2017.

The Iranian Revolution of 1979 sparked off increasingly revolutionary movements across the Islamic world, and in the process saw women in many countries denied the freedoms they had started to acquire under earlier regimes. The veil returned widely, notably in Turkey, following the growing power of authoritarian and fundamentalist President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, with women's rights being increasingly denied.

We urgently need to drop our unwillingness to contrast Western and Islamic values -- whether regarding violence, treatment of religious minorities, anti-Semitism, or treatment of women. There are also growing numbers of Muslims, as we are seeing today in Iran, who find wider Islamic attitudes abhorrent and work hard, mostly against the odds, to bring their faith closer to modern values.

Trump reviews aid to Palestinians in light of their 'recent conduct'
US President Donald Trump has ordered his administration to review aid to the Palestinians and to the international bodies that sustain them, weighing a significant cut if Palestinian leadership refuses to enter serious peace talks with Israel, a senior administration official said on Thursday.

The formal review process began after Trump tweeted angrily earlier this week that Palestinians were receiving "HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS" in US aid without offering Washington "appreciation or respect" in return.

Palestinian Authority officials dismissed Trump as an unserious peace broker last month after he recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital. The status of the ancient city is one of the thorniest issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“We are reviewing our assistance to the Palestinians in light of their recent conduct, per the president’s recent message,” the senior administration official told The Jerusalem Post.

Officials are eyeing a cut to UN bodies that are viewed as biased against Israel, as part of the president's broader policy goal of cutting funding to the international body. On the chopping block may be aid to the UN Relief and Works Agency, which supports Palestinian refugees and their families.

Earlier this week, the White House accused PA officials of "spreading falsehoods" about US policy and undermining its efforts to forge peace before they formally begin.
How much aid does the US give Palestinians, and what’s it for?
‘Time has come to dismantle UNRWA’

Haley mentioned the possibility of cutting funding to UNRWA in an impromptu response Tuesday to a question from a Canadian journalist, who asked whether the US would retain its current level of funding for the UN agency in light of a non-binding UN General Assembly resolution last month condemning the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“[Trump] doesn’t want to give any additional funding until the Palestinians agree to come back to the negotiation table, and what we saw with the resolution was not helpful to the situation,” Haley said.

Haley seemed to be arguing that cutting UNRWA funding was aimed at dissuading the UN from foiling the US’s strategy for an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that in his first meeting with Haley in June 2016, he asked her to “re-examine UNRWA’s continued existence.”

UNRWA was created in 1949 in the wake of Israel’s War of Independence.

Netanyahu, in statements last year to his cabinet, accused the organization of inciting against Israel while doing nothing to help the plight of Palestinian refugees. He asked why they needed a specific body, when the UN High Commission for Refugees has helped tens of millions of displaced persons since World War II.

“The time has come to dismantle UNRWA and have its parts be integrated into the UN High Commission for Refugees,” he said.

UNRWA has long been the target of heavy criticism for alleged anti-Israel rhetoric promoted at its schools and for turning a blind eye to terrorist activities taken place at its premises, including the storing of rockets and hosting of tunnels belonging to the Hamas terror group.

UNRWA has condemned the use of its premises by Hamas for military purposes.

Additionally, Israel has long claimed that some of UNRWA’s Palestinian employees support terrorist activities and use hate-speech online.
Is US aid to the Palestinians actually preventing them from making peace?

'UNRWA is a terror-supporting organization'
Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) spoke about the Trump administration's announcement regarding cuts in US aid to UNRWA, the UN’s agency for "Palestinian refugees."

"UNRWA is a terror-supporting organization," Bennett said. "Its very existence perpetuates the sad situation of Gaza residents, who are groaning under Hamas rule."

"Aid to Gaza residents does not need to be any different than aid to Syrian residents who are living under the rule of terror, or different than [aid] to any other group of refugees' descendants in the world.

"US President Donald Trump and US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley's decision to cancel US aid is the right thing to do. I expect everyone in the Israeli government, including in the Foreign Ministry, to support the decision to cut the budget to an organization which employs Hamas terrorists and in whose schools rockets are hidden."
Israel privately urging Trump to back down from UNRWA funding threat
There were cries of joy in Israel Tuesday when the United States threatened to cease funding for the Palestinian refugee aid organization UNRWA as long as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas refuses to return to the negotiating table.

But the Israeli Foreign Ministry, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has privately urged President Donald Trump's administration to back down from its threat, according to an Israeli TV report Thursday.

The ministry opposes the move for fear of an ensuing humanitarian disaster in Gaza, and perhaps a deterioration of the security cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the Channel 2 News report claimed.

The United States is UNRWA's largest donor. In 2016, it contributed $152 million directly to the organization and another $216 million to projects related to its work — totaling about a quarter of the agency's budget — according to UNRWA's donor charts.

An internal document prepared by the ministry said the move "may worsen the humanitarian situation and lead to catastrophe, especially in Gaza," adding that "it will not help, but on the contrary, it will [put the burden on] Israel." In addition, the sources noted that "IDF officials also believe cutting the budget will not help, to say the least."
Haley fetes ‘friends’ who supported US against UN Jerusalem resolution
Nikky Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, on Wednesday received 64 representatives of nations who supported the US in a December UN General Assembly vote condemning President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Under the title “A great evening of friends,” Haley’s Twitter page said, “It’s easy for friends to be with you in the good times, but it’s the friends who are with you during the challenging times that will never be forgotten. Thank you to the 64.”

She was photographed surrounded by ambassadors at a reception in New York City that was announced in December.

On December 21, 128 countries voted in favor of a resolution condemning the Trump administration’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and calling on countries not to move their diplomatic missions to the city. That was despite a threat from Trump, reiterated by Haley just before the vote, to cut aid to countries that supported the resolution.

Nine countries — the US, Israel, Togo, Micronesia, Guatemala, Nauru, Palau, Marshall Islands and Honduras — voted against it. There were 35 abstentions, including a number of countries that had been widely expected to support the move, such as Colombia, Mexico, Malawi and Rwanda. A further 21 countries did not vote at all.

Haley tweeted after the vote that “65 countries refused to condemn the United States” — totaling the no votes, the abstentions and the no-shows.
Kosovo says it would’ve voted with US at UN on Jerusalem recognition
Kosovo President Hashim Thaci said his Muslim-majority nation would have voted with the United States against a United Nations resolution condemning the Trump administration’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Thaci said in a recent interview with the Albanian newspaper Express that were Kosovo to achieve full United Nations membership it would vote with the United States “all the time” including on last month’s resolution on Jerusalem.

The UN General Assembly approved a non-binding resolution condemning the Trump administration’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Only 8 nations voted with the United States and another 53 abstained. The US delegation to the United Nations on Wednesday threw a party for all 64 countries. Among those not voting for the resolution was Bosnia, which like Kosovo is Muslim majority.

Kosovars are overwhelmingly pro-American. The Clinton administration led the NATO action in 1999 that pushed back Serbia’s repression of its Muslim majority, Albanian-speaking province and the George W.Bush administration recognized Kosovo when it declared independence in 2008. Jewish Americans, citing the example of world inaction during the Holocaust, helped spur the US-led intervention in 1999.
More hollow regrets from Dennis Ross
Veteran Middle East peace processor Dennis Ross has admitted that he made a big mistake. Again. This time, he’s admitting he was wrong about Iran. Last time, he admitted he was wrong about Hamas. How many times is this guy going to get things wrong, before we all recognize that he’s not the one from whom we should be taking advice?

Writing in the journal Foreign Policy this week, Ross offered this startling confession concerning the Obama administration’s policy toward anti-government protests in Iran:

“In June 2009, I was serving in President Barack Obama’s administration as the secretary of state’s special advisor on Iran and was part of the decision-making process. Because we feared playing into the hands of the regime and lending credence to its claim that the demonstrations were being instigated from the outside, we adopted a low-key posture.

“In retrospect, that was a mistake. We should have shined a spotlight on what the regime was doing and mobilized our allies to do the same; we should have done our best to provide news from the outside and to facilitate communication on the inside. We could have tried to do more to create social media alternatives, making it difficult for the regime to block some of these platforms.”

Well, isn’t that just great? Eight years later, after all those Iranian protesters were crushed, jailed, probably tortured, maybe even in some cases killed, Dennis Ross says, “Oops!”
MEMRI: Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradawi Incites To Resistance, Jihad And Martyrdom Following Trump's Recognition Of Jerusalem As Israel's Capital
Following the announcement by U.S. President Donald Trump on December 6, 2017 recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradawi posted several tweets and Facebook messages urging Muslims to fight for the liberation of Jerusalem with resistance and jihad, and praising "the honor of martyrdom," noting that he himself aspires to die as a martyr.

Al-Qaradawi, who heads the International Union of Muslim Clerics (IUMS) and is a prominent authority for the Muslim Brotherhood, also criticized Arabs who do not act on behalf of Jerusalem, came out against Arab normalization with Israel, and used antisemitic expressions to emphasize the hostility toward the Jews that he claims exists in Islam.

This is not the first time that Sheikh Al-Qaradawi has preached violence and jihad, and he has also long preached in favor of perpetrating suicide attacks. MEMRI has reported extensively on his extremist ideology, on the basis of which he calls for jihad and terror attacks. In 2001, for example, in response to a religious ruling by former Saudi mufti 'Abd Al-'Aziz Bin 'Abdallah Aal Al-Sheikh, who prohibited suicide attacks even against soldiers of a country occupying Muslim land, Al-Qaradawi stated that operations by Muslim suicide bombers were a legitimate form of resistance, "heroic acts of martyrdom and sacrifice," and one of the noblest kinds of jihad for the sake of Allah. He clarified: "These operations are the furthest [thing] from suicide and the ones who carry them out are not suicides by any measure. A suicide is someone who kills himself for selfish reasons, while one who sacrifices himself [a fidai] does this for the sake of his religion and ummah. [He] fights the enemies of Allah using a new weapon that God has placed in the hands of the oppressed as a means of resisting the tyranny of the strong and the haughty." The Dublin-based European Council for Fatwa and Research, which Al-Qaradawi heads, also encouraged the perpetration of suicide attacks, and Al-Qaradawi stated that he himself hoped to "die a virtuous death like a jihad warrior, with the head severed from the body." In 2012, he ruled that suicide attacks were permissible in Syria, but said it was conditional on the approval of the "group," without clarifying what he meant by that. During his visit to Gaza in May 2013, Al-Qaradawi expressed support for jihad and martyrdom and reiterated that he hoped to die as a martyr. In 2015, after he was accused of permitting suicide attacks in Egypt following the ouster of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, Al-Qardawi's office clarified that, in his 2009 book Fiqh of Jihad, he had already ruled that martyrdom attacks were permitted only in Palestine; furthermore, now that the Palestinians have acquired advanced weapons, there is no longer any need for these attacks even in Palestine. However, rulings sanctioning suicide attacks still appear on the sheikh's website and are understood as such among many Islamic circles.
This Ongoing War: In Jordan, the FBI fugitive Ahlam Tamimi (among others) pays tribute to her slapping/taunting/kicking Tamimi cousin
Some months ago, an Australian TV journalist contacted us about doing an interview after the Jordanians rejected a US request to extradite our daughter's killer.

The felon, a Jordanian woman called Ahlam Tamimi, murdered 15 innocent Israeli civilians, most of them children, in the bombing of Jerusalem's Sbarro pizzeria in the summer of 2001. She did this on behalf of Hamas as its first-ever female jihadist. Our daughter Malki, 15, was one of the people she killed.

Two of Jordan's courts, in strange decisions several months apart (the first in September 2016; the second in March 2017) ruled that there are problems with Jordan's 1995 extradition treaty with the United States. As a result, they decided, she doesn't have to be extradited and the US treaty request can be refused. The US doesn't agree:

The State Department's official listing of valid treaties ["United States Department of State | Treaties in Force | A List of Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States in Force on January 1, 2017" at page 240] includes the one with Jordan, stating that it "entered into force July 29, 1995". No suggestion that the US sees any legal problems with it.
The Department of Justice have confirmed to us that the treaty is valid and in effect.
The FBI are actively pursuing the Jordanian woman. (More about that later.)
Billboards backing Ahed Tamimi removed from London bus stops
Billboards put up in bus stops around London supporting Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi were removed by JCDecaux, the company in charge of bus-stop advertising in the city.

The billboards read "Free Ahed Tamimi" above a black-and-white stylized photo of Tamini, 16, staring down an IDF soldier with a person carrying a Palestinian flag in the background. The billboards also read "Arrested: 19 Dec 2017" and "Freedom for Palestinian Prisoners" across the bottom.

Tamimi was indicted on January 1st for throwing rocks, threatening soldiers and incitement to conduct violence after a December 18th video showed Tamimi among several protesters in the West Bank village of Nebi Salah who engaged in conflict with IDF soldiers. In the video Tamimi slapped an IDF soldier, while another Palestinian woman filmed the interaction.

JCDecaux, the largest outdoor advertising company in the world, said on Twitter the billboards were "an act of vandalism" that were "not supported or approved" by the company. "We removed the posters as soon as we were made aware of them. We deeply regret this incident."
Judge orders release of older Tamimi cousin filmed slapping soldier
A military court on Thursday ordered the immediate release of 21-year-old Nour Tamimi, who was filmed along with her 16-year-old cousin Ahed slapping IDF soldiers outside the family’s home in the West Bank last month.

The appeals court judge rejected the request of the Military Advocate General, who requested that the 21-year-old remain behind bars until the end of proceedings against her.

While Judge Netanel Benisho did not provide reasons for his decision — which he wrote would be detailed at a later time — he ordered Nour to perform weekly check-ins at a police station near her village of Nabi Saleh, outside Ramallah.

On Sunday, Nour was charged with aggravated assault of a soldier and preventing soldiers from carrying out their duties.

Twenty-four hours later, the military court indicted Ahed as well as her mother, Nariman, who also took part in the December 15 incident.
IsraellyCool: Roger Waters Praises ‘Shirley Temper’ and Lorde As “Courageous Young Women”
It makes sense he would praise Lorde for making “a stand for human rights…on the barricades in defense of equality, justice and liberty.” Except for those poor Crimeans who have been the subject of Russia’s arbitrary arrests and detentions, enforced disappearances, ill-treatment, torture, and extra-judicial executions. And those LGBTQ folk affected by Russia’s anti-LGBT “Gay Propaganda Law.” Oh, and let’s not forget the victims of Assad’s genocide in Syria supported by Putin. Yup, they don’t count in Water’s book either, considering he will be playing two dates in Russia as part of this year’s US+THEM tour.

It also makes complete sense he would praise Ahed Tamimi for slapping a “heavily armed” soldier, even though if we were as evil as he claims, she would not live to tell the tale (and would be in most other places in the world, especially Russia). I guess he does not truly value her safety or actually does realize after all that the IDF shows incredible restraint. And naturally, he would ignore her call for terrorist attacks against Israelis (or actually sees it as legitimate “resistance”). Note also his mention of “her people’s land” being “brutally occupied” for the last 70 years. He is delegitimizing Israel’s very existence here, and not the so-called occupation of lands recaptured by Israel in 1967.

So no surprises here. Roger Waters has just confirmed what we already know about him – and none of it is good.
Adelsons donate 5 armored ambulances for West Bank settlements
The Magen David Adom emergency service inaugurated on Thursday five bullet-proof ambulances donated by Sheldon and Miriam Adelson for use in West Bank settlements.

In unveiling the ambulances at a ceremony at the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv, MDA Director Eli Bin announced that the emergency service’s new headquarters currently being constructed in Ramle would be named after the casino magnate and his physician wife.

The ambulances will serve the settlements of Hebron, Efrat, Ofra, Karnei Shomron and Ariel, replacing transports that are over 15 years old, MDA said in a statement.

In addressing the ceremony, Miriam Adelson reflected on her long relationship with MDA that began when she worked as a doctor in Tel Aviv.
IDF appears to have hit Gaza tunnel in response to mortar attacks
Shortly after 1 a.m. on Thursday, the Israel Defense Forces announced that its jets had just struck “significant terror infrastructure” in the Gaza Strip in retaliation for mortar fire on Wednesday.

According to official Palestinian media, that “significant terror infrastructure” was farmland in the southern Gaza Strip.

It’s more likely that the target was, in fact, something beneath the farmland — a tunnel. What is less clear is to whom it belonged.

The IDF strike came after three projectiles were fired at the Eshkol region in southern Israel over the course of a few hours on Wednesday and amid a substantial increase in the number of attacks coming from the Gaza Strip over the past two months.

The IDF would not elaborate on the nature of the “significant terror infrastructure” it targeted.
Israel arrests former senior PA security official
In a rare move, security forces this week arrested a former senior Palestinian Authority security official.

On Sunday, security forces detained Yousif Sharkawi near the Palestinian town Eizariya. Sharkawi retired from the PA security forces with the rank of general in 2006.

Pictures circulating on Twitter and Facebook show Border Police officers arresting Sharkawi as he was clad in a long black coat.

Sharkawi was detained for “organizing and participating in a protest last Friday near Rachel’s Tomb in which antisemitic posters were raised,” Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said on Thursday.

Last Friday, tens of Palestinians near Rachel’s Tomb took part in a protest against President Donald Trump’s decisions to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and initiate the relocation of the US Embassy to the holy city.
Thousands in Gaza protest against worsening living conditions
Thousands of Palestinians protested Thursday evening against the deteriorating humanitarian and economic conditions in the Gaza Strip, local media reported, demanding that the Palestinian leadership provide them with solutions.

The demonstrators rallying in the Jabaliya refugee camp vented their anger against both the Palestinian Authority of President Mahmoud Abbas and the Islamist Hamas terror group, which runs Gaza.

Video from the protest by the Quds New Network showed protesters shouting “We want unity,” in reference to the reconciliation process, which both Hamas and Fatah have said recently is in danger of failing.

“Where is the future,” “We want electricity,” proclaimed two signs held by two of the protesters, according to pictures of the event posted on social media.

“Our requests are justice, living freely and social justice,” read another sign held by protesters.
As economy crumbles and with ‘nothing to lose,’ war in Gaza grows likely
Just a few hours after Israel made known through unofficial channels on Wednesday that it held the Islamic Jihad terrorist group responsible for shooting a barrage into Israel on Friday, another three mortar shells were fired from the coastal enclave into Israel.

The three shells all fell in open areas, thankfully. But one does not need to be an officer in an elite unit to understand that someone in Gaza is looking to escalate the situation and may even be looking for war.

The question is, who?

While Israel continues its hunt for the group responsible for the fire — and tries to figure out to what extent the ruling Hamas terrorist group turned a blind eye — Gazans are struggling to figure out how to deal with the worsening humanitarian situation.

“War no longer seems like such a bad option for us,” one resident told this reporter.

From conversations with Gazans, the situation in the Hamas-ruled Strip appears dire, perhaps worse than ever: from the continually rising unemployment rate, to the deep poverty, the frustration and despair among the young, and, of course, the ailing economy of Gaza.

“Nobody is buying in the stores, businesses are closing, people no longer have anything to lose,” one resident told me.
Hamas said prepared to place its weapons under PLO’s control if it can join
Hamas has tentatively agreed to hand over its weapons to the Fatah-led Palestine Liberation Organization, provided it can become part of the PLO and of the overall Palestinian government, according to a report in the Al-Hayat newspaper Friday. There was no confirmation of the report.

The London-based Arabic newspaper reported that a senior Hamas official in Ramallah said that the terror group would agree to disarm if it can gain PLO representation.

The paper, which cited unnamed sources in Gaza, said Hamas was prepared to place its weaponry under PLO control, provided it had a key role in that leadership, and had clarified this position to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Al-Hayat linked the new approach to US President Donald Trump’s December 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a move that it said set the stage for what the terrorist organization may view as a new bid to become part of the internationally recognized Palestinian political system.

Only a month ago Hamas’s Gaza chief Yahya Sinwar said that the Palestinian reconciliation process was failing over the issue of the future of the terror group’s armed forces.
Hungry for regional hegemony, Iran takes a bite out of Hamas
One week of popular protests in Iran has brought into stark focus the country's deep internal divisions, along with widespread resentment towards the mullahs, which have remained relatively dormant since regime forces brutally quashed the Green Revolution in 2009. What started last Thursday in the city of Mashhad as a small economic rally—with participants primarily venting frustration over the lack of trickle-down effect from some $100 billion in sanctions relief granted to Tehran in the 2015 nuclear deal—has morphed into nationwide, deadly demonstrations against the rulership of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Across Iran chants of "death to the dictator" have become common refrain as pictures of the ayatollah are set on fire. Among the many grievances being aired is anger over the Islamic Republic's deep military, and thus financial, involvement in conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, in addition to support for Lebanese-based Hezbollah. Somewhat less pronounced is the regime's bankrolling of the Palestinian terrorist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad, although protesters have reportedly recited slogans such as 'Let go of Palestine' and 'Forget Palestine' while invoking the Gaza Strip in particular.

In this respect, relations between Shiite Iran and Sunni Hamas have thawed since the former froze ties with Gaza's rulers after they refused to support the Assad government at the onset of the Syrian war. Now, Tehran's renewed funding of Hamas is part and parcel of the Islamic Republic's attempt to increase its regional influence and, on the micro level, its presence along Israel's borders. The latter entails accelerating Hezbollah's militarization in Lebanon and establishing a permanent presence in Syria, including the entrenchment of Shiite proxies in the Golan Heights.

According to Brig. Gen. Yossi Kuperwasser (ret.), former director general of the Israeli Ministry of International Affairs and Strategy, Iran's growing involvement in Gaza is based on a convergence of interests. "On the one hand, Hamas has become weaker as it lost the ability to rely on its usual supporters, while its effort to forge unity with the Palestinian Authority appears to have failed. "On the other hand," he explained to The Media Line, "the Iranians want to increase the strength of the 'resistance' axis that opposes Israel and promotes radical Islamic ideology and Hamas can be a useful ally in this cause."
Islamic State Affiliate in Sinai Declares War on Hamas in Bloody Execution Video
The Islamic State affiliate in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula has called for attacks on the Palestinian terror group Hamas in a gruesome execution video posted online.

In the video — published by the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors Islamic extremism online — a man who is accused as being a Hamas collaborator is executed by Islamic State’s Sinai branch.

“[Hamas] uses its smuggled weapons to empower that which was not revealed by God. It also fights supporters of the Islamic State in Gaza and the Sinai and prevents the migration of these supporters from Gaza to the Sinai,” states an Islamic State terrorist in the video.

“Never surrender to them. Use explosives, silenced pistols and sticky bombs. Bomb their courts and their security locations, for these are the pillars of tyranny that prop up its throne,” the terrorist adds.

The animosity between the two terror groups likely stems from Hamas’s crackdown on Gaza-based Salafi extremist groups that are tied to Islamic State.

Salafi groups in Gaza have criticized Hamas for not being extreme enough and not sufficiently focusing on Islam. The Salafi groups have launched rockets at Israel without coordinating with Hamas, while Israel holds Hamas — which rules Gaza — responsible for all attacks emanating from the coastal territory.
Jihad against Jews Our Only Option
In a November 3 Friday sermon, Dr. Subhi Al-Yazji, a lecturer in the Islamic University of Gaza, said that Britain was a "criminal country, a country of killing and bloodshed, just like the Jews," and that if there was an Arab force, "these countries [Britain and France] would be brought before a tribunal along with their leaders, and they would be sentenced to death." Dr. Al-Yazji, who is a member of the Palestine Ulema Association, also said that "the only way the Jews will leave our land is through holy Jihad." The sermon was posted on the YouTube account of the Palestine Ulema Association in Gaza.

US Sanctions Five Entities Tied to Iran’s Missiles Program
The United States on Thursday sanctioned five Iranian-based entities it said were owned or controlled by a industrial firm responsible for developing and producing Iran’s solid-propellant ballistic missiles.

“These sanctions target key entities involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program, which the Iranian regime prioritizes over the economic well-being of the Iranian people,” US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

The Treasury Department said the five sanctioned entities — the Shahid Eslami Research Center, Shahid Kharrazi Industries, Shahid Moghaddam Industries, Shahid Sanikhani Industries and Shahid Shustari Industries — were subordinated to the Shahid Bakeri Industrial Group.

The sanctions freeze any property the entities hold in the United States and prohibit Americans from dealing with them.
Saudi intercepts ballistic missile near Yemen border — state media
Saudi Arabia on Friday intercepted a ballistic missile over the kingdom’s south near the border with Yemen, state media reported, hours after Yemeni rebels said they had launched an attack.

The Houthi rebels, locked in a war against Yemen’s Saudi-backed government, said they had fired a missile at the kingdom’s southwestern province of Najran in a statement tweeted by their Al-Masirah television channel.

Saudi air defenses intercepted the ballistic missile over Najran, according to the kingdom’s state-owned Al Ekhbariya news channel.

A spokesman for the Saudi-led military alliance fighting the Houthis in Yemen did not immediately respond to a request for further details.

Saudi Arabia, which has been targeted by multiple rocket attacks in recent weeks, has blamed its regional rival Iran for arming the Shiite Houthis in the Yemen war.
US Suspends at Least $900 Million in Security Aid to Pakistan
The United States said on Thursday it was suspending at least $900 million in security assistance to Pakistan until it takes action against the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network militant groups.

The State Department announced the decision, saying it reflected the Trump administration’s frustration that Pakistan has not done more against the two groups that Washington says use sanctuaries in Pakistan to launch attacks in neighboring Afghanistan that have killed US, Afghan and other forces.

The department declined to say exactly how much aid would be suspended, saying the numbers were still being calculated and included funding from both the State and Defense Departments.

Pakistan has long rejected accusations that it fails to tackle the militants battling the Kabul government and US-led foreign forces in Afghanistan, from sanctuaries on its side of the border.

On Friday, Pakistan criticized what it called “shifting goalposts” and said the US suspension of aid was counter-productive.

US officials said two main categories of aid are affected: foreign military financing (FMF), which funds purchases of US military hardware, training and services, and coalition support funds (CSF), which reimburse Pakistan for counter-terrorism operations. They said they could make exceptions to fund critical US national security priorities.
Outrage in Turkey after state agency says girls can marry from age 9
Turkey’s religious affairs state agency came under heavy criticism on Thursday from the main opposition party after it said girls as young as nine could marry under Islamic law.

The Diyanet religious affairs directorate said on Tuesday the minimum age for girls to marry was nine, while for boys it was 12, according to Turkish media including the Hurriyet daily quoting the agency’s official website.

The post, which took the form of an explanatory statement on Islamic law, has since been taken down, after a backlash from the opposition and women’s rights groups.

The head of the High Commission of Religious Affairs Ekrem Keles on Thursday told Hurriyet that the earliest age for a girl to marry is 17 and 18 for a boy.

“Forget a nine or a 10 year old child marrying, a child at 15 should not marry and should not be married,” he said.

The legal age to get married in Turkey is 18.

But Turkish law says that in an extraordinary circumstance, a judge can give permission for a male and female aged 16 to marry.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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The Jerusalem Report:"A seemingly indefatigable one-man operation, armed only with a computer, chutzpa and stamina."

Algemeiner: "Fiercely intelligent and erudite"

Omri: "Elder is one of the best established and most respected members of the jblogosphere..."
Atheist Jew:"Elder of Ziyon probably had the greatest impression on me..."
Soccer Dad: "He undertakes the important task of making sure that his readers learn from history."
AbbaGav: "A truly exceptional blog..."
Judeopundit: "[A] venerable blog-pioneer and beloved patriarchal figure...his blog is indispensable."
Oleh Musings: "The most comprehensive Zionist blog I have seen."
Carl in Jerusalem: "...probably the most under-recognized blog in the JBlogsphere as far as I am concerned."
Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation."
The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"

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