Monday, April 23, 2018

From Ian:

PMW: PMW Submission to US State Department: PA fails to implement terms of Taylor Force Act
Dear Mr. Acting Secretary and Mr. Secretary Designate,

Re: The Taylor Force Act - Certification of the Secretary of State
Failure of the Palestinian Authority to fulfill the requirements of TFA

Section 4 of the Taylor Force Act (TFA), passed on March 23, 2018, requires that the Secretary of State certify that the Palestinian Authority (PA), the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and any successor or affiliated organization "are taking credible steps to end acts of terrorism"; "have terminated payments for acts of terrorism"; "have revoked any law, decree regulation or document authorizing or implementing a system of compensation for imprisoned individuals"; and "are publicly condemning such acts of violence" or face a limitation on the US aid provided to the PA.

In the report, PMW shows that the PA and its leaders entirely rejected, and continue to reject, the actions required by them under section 4 of the TFA.

Action requirement I: Credible steps to end acts of violence

Since the passage of the TFA, the PA media has not reported any steps to end acts of violence by Palestinian terrorists against Israeli and American citizens. On the other hand, it has continued to glorify and honor terrorists. (See Action requirement IV, below)

Action requirements II + III: Termination of payments for acts of terrorism and revocation of the Prisoners' Law and ordinances

Just days following the passage of the TFA, the Palestinian Authority publicized the PA budget for 2018, which had recently been approved by Mahmoud Abbas. PMW's analysis of the budget demonstrated that the PA had not fulfilled the terms of TFA and were continuing to pay salaries to terrorists and allowances to families of "Martyrs". In fiscal year 2018 the PA allocated 550 million shekels ($158 million) for the payment of salaries to terrorist prisoners and released terrorists and 687 million shekels ($197 million) were allocated to the payments to families of "Martyrs" and wounded.
Palestinians: New Twist on an Old Lie
In keeping with the Palestinian tradition of double-talk, Zomlot informed his Jewish audience, in English, what he would never dare say in Arabic -- that the Palestinians will one day recognize the Jewish connection to Jerusalem.

Addressing the annual conference of J Street on April 16, the PLO envoy said that Palestinians would "celebrate the Jewish connection to Jerusalem" once a Palestinian state was established with East Jerusalem as its capital.

"Once a state of Palestine is established, once that state has East Jerusalem as its capital, that city will not only recognize the Jewish connection, but we will celebrate the Jewish connection to Jerusalem," Zomlot said.

These are nice words to hear from the mouth of a senior representative of the PLO -- which Palestinians themselves often refer to as the Professional Liars Organization. But would this PLO representative ever dare to make such a statement in front of a Palestinian or Arab audience? The answer, bluntly, is No.

If Zomlot made such a statement in his native Arabic language, he would be denounced as a traitor -- if he were very lucky. If he were less lucky, he would end up in a hospital or morgue.

Just as Zomlot was lying to his Jewish audience, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip were chanting the famous battle cry: "We will march toward Jerusalem, we will sacrifice millions of martyrs."

So, while the PLO representative is promising to celebrate the Jewish connection to Jerusalem, his people are promising to march on the city and kill as many Jews as possible in order to liberate it from the Jewish "occupiers."

Zomlot knows that he can always deny (in Arabic) what he said in English. This tactic is also not new to the Palestinian political landscape.

JPost Editorial: End ‘Occupation’
Putting aside for a moment the intricacies of international law, anyone with a modicum of intellectual honesty and a basic ability to reason can recognize the weakness of the claim that the West Bank is “occupied” by Israel.

The term “occupied” implies that Israel took, even stole, this land from another people. That is not the case. After Britain’s decision to end its mandate over Palestine, the War of Independence broke out and Jordan unilaterally annexed the West Bank, which Jews refer to as Judea and Samaria.

It is difficult to ascertain what the precise status of the West Bank was at the time Jordan took control of it. Geographically speaking, it makes sense to view the territory west of the Jordan River as an integral whole. Documents such as Churchill’s White Paper of 1922 stated specifically that the Balfour Declaration – which called for the creation of a Jewish national homeland “in Palestine” – purposely did not refer to Transjordan, which was also part of the British Mandate.

At the same time there was an understanding, as reflected in the UN Partition Plan of 1947, that both an Arab and a Jewish state would be created in the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean.

The Arab nations’ rejection of the plan was not their forfeiting claims to this land. The converse is true: They were declaring their right to the entire land between the Jordan and the Mediterranean.

In any event, the status of the West Bank was never properly sorted out. Numerous attempts to reach a negotiated agreement have failed since 1988, when Jordan relinquished claims to the West Bank and recognized the Palestinian Liberation Organization as the legitimate representatives of the Palestinian people. The West Bank remains a “disputed” territory with two sides – Palestinians and Israelis – claiming that some, or all, of the land is rightfully theirs.

Now, eliminating “occupied” when referring to the West Bank has become official US policy.



Ron Prosor: Time to target Hezbollah in Europe
After 70 years, no Israeli citizen can look to our northern border without a growing sense of concern over the greatest conventional threat to our security: Hezbollah, the Iran-sponsored Shiite terrorist group.

Ever since the 2006 Second Lebanon War, Hezbollah has been trying to rehabilitate its abilities and Israel's defense apparatus has taken great pains to prevent this and to deter Iran, the group's patron.

But this is insufficient. Deterrence and prevention alone are not enough. Israel must invest in severing Hezbollah from its main sources of funding and global deployment.

To this end, Israel has another tool at its disposal, one that is multinational and would be effective and efficient if implemented properly, but one that has simply been ignored by Israel in recent years: the diplomatic campaign.

This entails an international effort spearheaded by us, supported by our friends across the globe, via direct and indirect diplomatic channels, overt and covert. Its objective would be to create an international chokehold around Hezbollah's neck, effectively forcing the organization into a state of operational asphyxiation far before any Israeli soldier sets foot on Lebanese soil.

What is the diplomatic campaign? In short: We must bring the European Union to categorize Hezbollah in its entirety as a "terrorist entity," including its "diplomatic wing."

Israel strikes Syrian army position after mortar shell hits Golan
The Israeli army on Monday attacked a Syrian army artillery position after a mortar shell struck the northern Golan Heights, in an apparent case of spillover fighting from Syria’s civil war, the army said.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, the mortar shell exploded near the border fence earlier on Monday. It appeared to have been fired at Israel accidentally during fighting between Syrian dictator Bashar Assad’s military and rebel groups in the region.

In response, the Israeli military targeted an artillery cannon belonging to Assad’s army, which was in the same area of the Syrian Golan Heights from which the mortar shell was fired, the IDF said.

As a rule, Israel targets Assad’s army in retaliation to any attack coming out of Syria, regardless of who was behind it and whether it was unintentional or deliberate.

“The IDF sees the Syrian regime as responsible for every action in its territory and will not tolerate violations of the sovereignty of the State of Israel and the security of its citizens,” the army said in a statement.

The minor exchange came during a period of increased tension along the northern border as Jerusalem and Tehran continue to trade verbal blows following a deadly airstrike on an alleged Iranian facility in central Syria, which has been attributed to the Israeli Air Force. Israel officially will not comment on the strike.
Danon to UN: Condemn Hamas for encouraging violence
Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, reacted on Friday to the latest violent riots by Palestinian Arabs along the fence between Strip and Israel.

“Hamas is continuing to instigate violence against Israel as rioters today used firebombs and other means in attempts to damage the fence and infiltrate our sovereign territory. I call on all UN officials to condemn Hamas for encouraging violence, promoting instability and for the despicable act of exploiting women and children by placing them in harm’s way,” he said.

Some 3,000 Palestinian Arabs tried to approach the security infrastructure on Friday, burning tires and flying kites with firebombs attached to them.

The IDF said that a number of kites had crossed into Israeli territory and were extinguished as needed. IDF troops used riot dispersal methods and opened fire in accordance with the rules of engagement.

The riots, dubbed “the March of the Return” and openly encouraged by Gaza’s Hamas rulers, have been ongoing since March 30.

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas last week welcomed the marches, claiming they are a means of “peaceful resistance”.





PreOccupiedTerritory: Terrorists Hoping To Elicit Threats From Lieberman As Sign They’re Safe (satire)
Leaders of the various militant factions opposed to Israel’s existence have taken to monitoring the statements of the Israeli minister of defense for indications he has spoken of targeting them for assassination, knowing that if he were to make such an utterance, he would never follow through, and they will be free to adopt a much less restrictive security routine.

Hamas chief in Gaza Yahya Sinwar, senior Islamic Jihad figures, and a smattering of other violent groups in this coastal territory now begin their days with a check on whether Avigdor Lieberman had said anything menacing about them in the previous 24 hours, now that more than two years have elapsed since Lieberman pronounced in mid-April 2016 that were he minister of defense, the chief of Hamas in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, would be eliminated within forty-eight hours. Lieberman has served as minister of defense since June of that year, and Haniyeh now leads Hamas’s international political and fundraising activities. The figures take Haniyeh’s situation as a defining precedent, and hope to achieve similar hands-off status while Lieberman runs Israel’s defense apparatus.

“I actually have a guy on full-time salary whose job is just to follow what Lieberman says,” admitted Sinwar, who inherited Haniyeh’s position when the latter was promoted, unharmed, late last year. “For now I’ve got to stay vigilant and assume I’m in the crosshairs whenever various senior Zionists decide my time is up, but it would sure save me a lot of hassle if Lieberman would just come out and declare my days are numbered. Then I could dispense with the whole mess of security precautions, and enjoy a bit of relative relaxation.”
40 Dignitaries to Attend Dedication of US Embassy in Jerusalem on May 14
A sizeable delegation of American dignitaries will arrive in Israel to attend the official dedication ceremony for the US Embassy in Jerusalem, according to Sunday report on Israel’s Channel 10 news.

US Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin, senior adviser to the president Jared Kushner and his wife Ivanka, Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt, and US Sens. Ted Cruz and Lindsay Graham are among the estimated 40 politicians who will arrive from the United States as part of a 250-person American delegation.

US President Donald Trump will reportedly not be in attendance.

Images of newly minted road signs directing drivers to the US Embassy have been circulating on social media, confirming that concrete steps were being taken towards implementing Trump’s Dec. 6 announcement that the United States would move its Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The ceremony will take place in Jerusalem’s Arnona neighborhood on May 14, which will mark the secular 70th anniversary of Israel’s independence. The United States currently operates its Jerusalem consulate in Arnona. The new embassy will operate out of that space temporarily, and is expected to complete construction of additional office space at the compound to meet its needs.

A brand-new embassy complex will be constructed in the coming years.
NIF, EU, Trying to Stall Transfer of US Embassy to Jerusalem
The European Union and the New Israel Fund continue to intervene in Israel’s internal as well as foreign affairs, through the services of an Israeli leftwing NGO which exploits the legal system, among other things, to torpedo the planned transfer of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Mida reported Sunday.

The extreme leftist NGO is Ir Amim, which is supported by both the EU and the NIF, and has petitioned the High Court of Justice demanding that preparations for the embassy move be stopped.
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According to the latest figures offered by NGO Monitor, between 2012-2017, Ir Amim received $3 million from donors that included the European Union, Sweden, Switzerland, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Germany, Social Justice Fund, Open Society Institute, and the Jewish Funders Network. In 2008-2016, the NIF authorized grants worth $1.8 million to Ir Amim.

Last week, the high court ruled against issuing an interim injunction as requested by the petition, and the embassy construction work is proceeding as usual. However, the state is scheduled to give submit its response to the same petition later this week and the court will debate the case on May 7.
David Singer: Arab Summit Helps Trump Break Jordan-PLO-Israel Impasse
The Washington Declaration – signed by His Majesty King Hussein and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin at the White House on July 25, 1994 in the presence of President Clinton – formally ended the 46-year state of war between Jordan and Israel.

The Washington Declaration is testament to America’s role as the only power possessing the prestige and clout to change Arab and Jewish perceptions on resolving their long-running conflict.
Jordan’s special role in Jerusalem recognised by the Summit closely follows PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s recent assertion that Jordanians and Palestinians are indeed one people.

Resolving the “Palestine Cause” remains more easily achievable in negotiations between Israel and Jordan within the framework of their existing peace treaty – rather than resuming fruitless negotiations pursued over the last 25 years between Israel and the PLO.

Ending the 100-years-old “Palestine Curse” which has so terribly afflicted both Jews and Arabs could well be within Trump’s grasp thanks to the Dhahran Summit.

JCPA: Assassination in Malaysia
The fact that the military wing of Hamas uses the services of engineers and scientists to develop their combat capabilities is not new.

Hamas used the services of Tunisian aeronautical engineer Mohammed al-Zoari to develop unmanned aircraft and small submarines to sabotage Israel’s gas rigs. Al-Zoari was assassinated in December 2016 near his home in Sfax, southern Tunisia, by unknown assailants, and the killing was attributed to Israeli Mossad agents.

According to various reports, Hamas also used the services of an Iraqi scientist named Taha al-Jabouri to improve the technological abilities of its rocket system. Al-Jabouri used to work in missile industry Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

Al-Jabouri was extradited recently from Turkey to Iraq. According to a March 26, 2018 report in the Al-Akhbar newspaper, which identifies with Hizbullah, Hamas approached Iran with a request for help in releasing Taha al-Jabouri from Iraqi incarceration, apparently so that he can return to Gaza.

Dirar Abu Sisi, an electronic engineer from Gaza, is currently serving a 21-year active prison sentence in an Israeli jail. He was abducted from Ukraine in 2011 and brought to Israel to stand trial.

Abu Sisi was convicted of assisting the Hamas military wing in expanding the range of its rockets and developing a means of warfare that can penetrate the armor plating of armored vehicles used by the IDF.
The Mossad's hi-tech Hamas hit-list
It seems that the most dangerous job for a Hamas terrorist these days is no longer being a combat soldier, but working in hi-tech.

The Mossad has been accused by Hamas and some local Malaysians of assassinating Fadi Muhammad al-Batsh in a drive-by motorcycle shooting near a mosque in Malaysia on Saturday.

As of Sunday, the Malaysian government still had no suspects, but was prepping for an autopsy of Batsh, who has been identified as a Hamas electrical engineering expert both for designing drones and rockets.

Al-Batsh’s assassination, if it was carried out by the Mossad, could very well line up with the December 15, 2016, assassination in Tunis of Muhammad al-Zawari – also credited by most to the Mossad.

Zawari was an aeronautical engineer who manufactured drones for Hamas, and possibly also for Hezbollah.
Malaysian police issue sketches of suspects in hit on Hamas rocket expert
Malaysian police on Monday issued facial composites of two suspects in the shooting of a Hamas rocket and drone expert gunned down over the weekend, in what the Palestinian terror group says was an assassination by Israel.

Fadi Mohammad al-Batsh, 35, was killed in a drive-by shooting on Saturday in the country’s capital, according to Malaysian authorities.

Royal Malaysia Police Inspector-General Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun said Sunday the suspects were male, around 1.80 meters tall, well-built, had fair complexions, and were believed to be of Middle Eastern or Western descent.

Harun said the composite images were based on eyewitness descriptions.

The suspects had been riding BMW and Kawasaki motorbikes and it was not clear if they were still in the country, he added.

After Malaysia hit, minister says, 'We will find anyone who hurts us'
A day after a Hamas scientist Fadi al-Batsh was mysteriously assassinated in Malaysia, Construction and Housing Minister Yoav Gallant warned that Israel will hunt down its enemies wherever they are.

"Anyone who tries to hurt us should know that we will go to the ends of the earth to find him, and then to bring them to a courthouse or to a cemetery," Gallant said, choosing not to address Israel's alleged role in the killing a day earlier.

Malaysian police said Batsh, 35, was shot early Saturday as he was heading to a mosque for dawn prayers in the capital Kuala Lumpur. The police said closed-circuit television footage showed him being targeted by assassins who had waited for him for almost 20 minutes.

Batsh, who was originally from the Gaza Strip, specialized in electrical and electronic engineering and worked at a Malaysian university. He had lived there with his family for the past eight years and was an imam at a local mosque. Hamas has accused the Israeli Mossad of carrying out the attack.
Report: Trump bluntly asked Netanyahu if he wants peace
U.S. President Donald Trump seemed to doubt Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's intentions when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict when the two talked over the phone several months ago, Axios reported Sunday.

According to the report, "Trump was pressing Bibi [Netanyahu's nickname] on the importance of striking a deal for Mideast peace," after the administration had come across reports that the latter was "planning to build additional settlements to please his conservative base in Israel. "

Trump was apparently displeased with the move because he believed it could anger the Palestinians and complicate his efforts to strike a historic deal, "so, in the course of a longer conversation that was mostly friendly and complimentary, he bluntly asked Bibi whether or not he genuinely wants peace."
Yesh Atid leaders butt heads over removal of provocateur Arab MK
Chairman of the centrist Yesh Atid party Yair Lapid announced Sunday that he backs a measure to oust Joint Arab List MK Hanin Zoabi from the Knesset.

Speaking to the Kan Bet radio station, Lapid explained his decision to back the initiative, submitted by Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beytenu, saying that "no parliament in the world would let a supporter of terrorism serve in it."

"Balad [one of the parties that makes up the Joint Arab List, and which Zoabi represents] should be disqualified [from the Knesset] because it supports terrorism, and Hanin Zoabi shouldn't be in the Knesset, because she mainly represents Hamas," Lapid said.

Zoabi is well known as a provocateur. She has taken part in numerous flotillas seeking to breach the Israeli blockade on Hamas-controlled Gaza and has been involved in many protests that devolved into violent clashes between Israeli Arab demonstrators and Israeli security forces.
UN Agency That Helps Palestinians in Serious Need of Reform: Jewish Group
Ottawa’s recent $10 million emergency donation to the U.N. agency that helps Palestinian refugees has drawn criticism from Canada’s former ambassador to Israel and Jewish groups who say the agency is in need of serious reform, including curbing the incitement of hate against Israel in its classrooms.

Following the U.S. government’s decision in January to withhold $65 million of its $125 million planned funding to the UN Relief and Welfare Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), the head of the agency appealed to other donor countries to supply emergency humanitarian aid, claiming the loss of U.S. funding would risk instability in the region.

Global Affairs Canada stepped up, along with several other democratic nations, and provided an additional $10 million that will go toward helping the poorest and most vulnerable Palestinian refugees by delivering essential food, health, education, and social services through UNRWA.

But like the Trump Administration, B’nai Brith Canada and former ambassador to Israel Vivian Bercovici allege neutrality violations within UNRWA haven’t been addressed, and reforms and more peace talks need to take place before any new tax dollars are doled out.
Police Crackdown on Weapons After Video Circulates of Bedouins Shooting M-16s at Wedding
Police said Sunday that they would renew efforts to crack down on illegal weapons after a video of a Bedouin wedding party shooting automatic weapons into the air caused outrage in Israel.

Police have identified and arrested several members of a Bedouin wedding party seen in the video shooting M-16 assault rifles from their cars in Israel’s south. The groom was among those detained, according to a police statement.

The ownership of firearms is strictly regulated in Israel, with most Israelis ineligible to possess them. Those who do pass background checks and qualify for personal weaponry are typically restricted to one personal defense weapon, usually a pistol. Weapons more advanced than handguns are reserved for law enforcement and army personnel.

Police said they seized “unprecedented” numbers of illegal weapons in 2017, “especially in Arab communities.”
Janna Tamimi, 12, Replacing Imprisoned Cousin Ahed in Cursing, Harrassing IDF Soldiers
Janna Tamimi, a.k.a. Jana Jihad, 12, the younger cousin of Ahad Tamimi who has been convicted in a plea bargain and is serving eight months for assaulting IDF soldiers, has taken up the mantle of harassment last Friday in her village of Nabi Salah, cursing out soldiers.

As is customary in her family, Janna stands very close to the soldiers, enjoying the freedom to curse young men who would not dare touch her because IDF soldiers don’t hit 12-year-old children, even the crazy ones.
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Janna “Jihad” Tamimi has been a regular, along with her cousin, on these harassment details. Last Friday she delivered her curses IDF soldiers who had entered the village after reports of stone-throwing.

Incidentally, according to her plea bargain, cousin Ahed stands to get her sentence reduced by a third for… wait for it… good behavior. This means she’ll be out in early May, having been jailed December 19. If she doesn’t exercise good behavior, Ahed will rejoin her cousin on June 19.
Venezuela’s Hezbollah-Linked, ‘Drug Kingpin’ VP ‘Runs the Country’
Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami, who has been linked to Iran’s narco-terrorist proxy Hezbollah and designated as a drug trafficking “kingpin” by the United States, “is calling the shots” as the top leader in the chaos-ridden socialist country, an expert told Breitbart News Daily on Sirius XM.

Joseph Humire, who specializes on Iran and Hezbollah activities in Latin America, joined Friday’s Breitbart News Daily on SiriusXM 125 the Patriot Channel to discuss the deteriorating security and political conditions in Venezuela with host Frances Martel, the national security editor for Breitbart News.

Humire, who serves as the executive director for the Center for a Secure Free Society (CFS) think tank, proclaimed, “Venezuelan observers all know that the Vice President Tareck El Aissami runs the country. I mean [President Nicolás] Maduro is on TV and Maduro is, you know, the public face. He is the one who is pretty much targeted by the Venezuelan opposition, but he is not the one who is calling the shots in Venezuela.”

“If you looked at the beginning of 2017 when he was announced the vice president,” he continued, “there were executive decrees that were passed in Venezuela that pretty much gave him all the presidential powers in the country.”
Satellite photos indicate precision of raid on Iranian military base in Syria
Satellite images taken before and after a raid on an Iranian military facility in Syria earlier this month reveal the precision and limited scope of the airstrikes, Channel 10 reported Sunday.

The images obtained by the channel show the charred remains of a single hangar at the Tiyas airbase, with the surrounding area relatively unaffected.

Iran, Syria, Russia, and some US officials have all said that Israel was responsible for the strike on the base, also known as T-4. Israel has not commented.

According to the TV report, the pre-dawn rain on April 9 attack was carried out with “surgical precision,” and was limited to the arsenal of Iranian weapons stored at the airbase outside the city of Palmyra.

“[The raid] was a barrage of small explosives designed to destroy the contents of the hanger, but not damage unintended targets,” Channel 10 said.
Iran, Israel play down prospect of hostilities escalating into war
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday he is "unimpressed" by belligerent language from Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accusing Israel of violating international law.

"I heard today the remarks of the Iranian foreign minister, who accused Israel of violating international law. This is the foreign minister of a country that sends armed UAVs against Israel and missiles at Saudi Arabia.

"I also heard his moderate remarks and there is a tremendous gap between his words and the actions of the Revolutionary Guards, which are moving an army against Israel with the avowed goal of destroying the State of Israel," Netanyahu said at an Independence Day toast to IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot and the General Staff Forum.

Zarif said in a U.S. television interview that further Israeli sorties in Syria would have "consequences." But he deemed major escalation as unlikely.

"I do not believe that we are headed towards regional war but I do believe that unfortunately, Israel has continued its violations with international law, hoping to be able to do it with impunity because of the U.S. support and trying to find smokescreens to hide behind," Zarif told CBS News.

"The easiest answer would be to stop – to stop these acts of aggression, to stop these incursions."
Russia, China vow to block any US attempt to ‘sabotage’ nuke deal with Iran
Russia’s foreign minister said Monday that he had agreed with his Chinese counterpart that the two countries would “obstruct” any attempt by US President Donald Trump to “sabotage” the nuclear deal with Iran.

“We are against revising these agreements. We consider it very counterproductive to try to reduce to zero years of international work carried out via talks between the six major powers and Iran,” Sergey Lavrov said after discussions with China’s Wang Yi, the Tass news agency reported.

“We will obstruct attempts to sabotage these agreements which were enshrined in a UN Security Council resolution.”

Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also weighed in, tweeting on Monday that French President Emmanuel Macron was correct to tell Fox News on Sunday that he had no “Plan B” if the Trump administration decided to withdraw from the accord.
Imperfect Iran deal better than no deal, Merkel tells Israeli TV
German Chancellor Angela Merkel defended the Iran nuclear deal in an interview with Channel 10 News Sunday, saying an imperfect deal is better than no deal and that her country will "watch very closely" to ensure it is being fulfilled.

Her comments were broadcast Sunday, ahead of a meeting in Washington this week with U.S. President Donald Trump who vows to withdraw from the agreement by May 12 unless U.S. and European negotiators agree to fix what he calls its serious flaws. Separately, French President Emmanuel Macron, a fellow defender of the Iran deal, begins a state visit to the U.S. on Monday.

The 2015 deal, negotiated by the U.S. and other world powers, curbs Iran's nuclear program in exchange for easing economic sanctions. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vehemently opposed the agreement, saying it falls short of containing the nuclear ambitions of Iran, a declared foe of Israel.

Merkel told Channel 10 that she can understand the "great worries in Israel, concerning what is emanating from Iran."

"The issue on which we disagree is how we can best contain this," she said.
'Russia will soon supply Syria with S-300 missile systems'
The Kremlin on Monday declined to comment on media reports suggesting that Russia plans to supply Syria with S-300 air defense missile systems, but said a Western missile strike on Syria had soured the atmosphere in the region.

Citing unnamed military sources, Russia's daily Kommersant newspaper reported Monday that Russia might start supplying S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems to Syria in the near future.

The report said experts believed that Israel would react negatively to the development and might bomb the area where the missile systems were slated to be deployed.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday that Western military strikes on Syria earlier this month, in response to alleged poison gas attacks launched by Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces on a rebel town near Damascus, had essentially removed any moral obligation Russia previously felt to withhold the missile systems from its Syrian ally.
Russia said to warn of ‘catastrophic’ result if Israel hits its S-300s in Syria
Russia may hand over its powerful S-300 missile defense system to Syria in the near future, despite opposition from Israel and other Western powers, the Russian daily Kommersant reported Monday, citing anonymous military sources.

The sources told the newspaper that if Israel tried to destroy the anti-aircraft batteries — as analysts have indicated Israel likely would — it would be “catastrophic for all sides.”

But Russian Foreign Minister later said no decision had yet been made on whether to give the S-300s to Syria, and added that it would not keep such a delivery a secret.

“We’ll have to wait to see what specific decisions the Russian leadership and representatives of Syria will take,” he said, according to a TASS report quoted by Reuters.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Those Syrians Have Some Gall, Getting Gassed While We’re Trying To Attract Attention By Yahya Sinwar (satire)
The Great Return March, known by various similar names, has been going on for more than a week already, and the intense planning that went into it now appears to have gone to waste, all because those inconsiderate Syrians in Douma had to go and put themselves on the receiving end of a chemical weapons attack, and the international media have lost interest in us.

For decades, Palestine’s suffering and struggle commanded the headlines and the agendas of all Arab and Muslim societies. In those heady days when all was right with the world – well, except for the fact that it was the Jews exercising sovereignty instead of lying dead in ditches – the world had its priorities straight and gave Palestine the respect it deserved. Our Right of Return and the degradation we suffered under infidel occupation never failed to exercise the masses and the international bodies whose funding and attention we craved. But all that has crumbled, and in this dystopian reality the horrific deaths of children and other innocents at the hand of their own despotic president perversely results in media, NGOs, and once-friendly governments assigning greater priority to that then to us. The injustice cries out for remedy. Who gave those insolent Syrians the right to upstage us?

We could have mobilized the credulous Western media and NGO apparatus to leverage our dead and wounded to undermine the Zionist enterprise, as has always been our modus operandi. But no, hundreds of Syrians dying from sarin and chlorine just had to force themselves onto the world stage when we were clearly already occupying it. The absolute nerve of them.



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