Tuesday, July 24, 2018

From Ian:

Israel summons head of Hebron observers after tire-slashing video
Israel has summoned Brigadier General Einar Johnsen, who heads the Temporary International Presence in Hebron. to the Foreign Ministry over the publication of a video allegedly showing one of his staff members slashing the tire of a Jewish owned vehicle in the city.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the Foreign Ministry to act after the incident, which occurred a year ago, was published on Channel 2.

It follows the release earlier this month of a video of TIPH’s legal counsel slapping a 10-year Jewish child in Hebron.

TIPH could not be reached for comment. It’s 64 member observer force has operated in Hebron since 1997, when the Hebron agreement split the city. It placed 80% of the city of over 200,000 residents under the auspices of the Palestinian Authority, and the remaining 20% under IDF rule. Hebron’s Jewish community of some 1,000 people, lives solely in the part of the city under IDF control.

On Tuesday, the Jewish community called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to end TIPH’s mandate, which is renewed twice a year by Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and to oust the observers from the city.
Danny Ayalon: Palestinians have a culture of terror
Israel's former deputy foreign minister has said the Hamas movement is solely to blame for the recent bloodshed in the besieged Gaza Strip, claiming that Palestinians represent a "culture of terror" while absolving Israeli forces for the killings of more than 130 protesters, journalists and medics at the border.

Danny Ayalon told Al Jazeera's Mehdi Hasan that the killings by Israeli snipers of unarmed Palestinians, including paramedic Razan al-Najjar and journalist Yasser Murtaja, were unfortunate but justified because "they came with harm intention".

"They [Hamas] are sending them to die. It's a culture of death," he said in an interview with Head to Head television programme to be aired on Al Jazeera at 20:00 GMT on Friday.

Since March, protesters in Gaza have been gathering near the fence with Israel, calling for their right to return to the homes from which they or their families were expelled from in 1948. More than 13,000 have also been reported wounded by Israeli fire.

According to the World Health Organization, hundreds of health personnel and dozens of ambulances have been targeted by Israeli forces since the start of the Great March of Return movement.
JPost Editorial: Prosecute AMIA
Last week was the 24th anniversary of the bombing of the building housing the AMIA, the Jewish Mutual Association of Argentina located in Buenos Aires, which serves as the headquarters of the Federation of Jewish Argentine Communities.

At 9:53 a.m. the day after Tisha Be’av in 1994, 21-year-old Ibrahim Hussein Berro, a Hezbollah operative, drove his Renault Trafic van loaded with some 275 kilograms (606 lb.) of explosives into the building of the AMIA (short for Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina), killing 85 people, the highest number killed in any single attack against Jews since the Holocaust.

The AMIA bombing occurred two years after the bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires on March 17, 1992, which killed 29. The same type of explosive was used for both blasts.

To date, authorities have been unable to locate those responsible for either of the two bombings, and the charged suspects who are still alive remain as fugitives.

How is that possible?



IDF after downing plane: We warned Syria against entering Israeli airspace
The Israel Defense Forces on Tuesday said it had repeatedly warned Syria against flying aircraft close to the border before shooting down a fighter jet that the military claims traveled two kilometers into Israeli territory.

“We issued numerous warnings through numerous channels and in various languages to make sure that no one on the other side violates Israeli airspace or threatens Israeli civilians or sovereignty,” IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus told reporters.

According to the Israeli military, a Syrian Sukhoi fighter jet entered Israeli airspace over the Golan Heights on Tuesday afternoon, traveling approximately two kilometers (one mile) before it was shot down by two Israeli Patriot interceptor missiles.

Syria confirmed that its aircraft had been shot down by Israel and said it crashed in the Yarmouk Basin in southwestern Syria.
IDF Blog: IDF shoots down a Syrian fighter jet
Today, a Syrian Air Force Sukhoi Su-22/24 fighter jet infiltrated about 1 mile into Israeli airspace before it was shot down after the IDF launched two Patriot missiles. The Syrian fighter jet fell in Syria, however there are no reports of what happened to the Syrian pilot.

The IDF monitored the path of the fighter jet before it was shot down. The Syrian Air Force Sukhoi Su-22/24 departed from the T-4 Airbase in Syria and then flew towards Israel at a high speed. This happened after hours of increased internal fighting in Syria and increased Syrian Air Force activity.

“We issued warnings and messages through different channels, in various languages, numerous times over the day to avoid any misunderstandings or any violations of Israeli airspace. We have continued to deliver messages through various channels, including through the UN, UNDOF, and we will not tolerate any violation of the 1974 Separation of Forces Agreement. We hold the Syrian Regime accountable for any such violations coming from the Syrian side,” said Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus, Head of the International and Social Media Branch.

This is not the first time this year that aircraft from Syria have infiltrated Israeli airspace. On July 13th, a Syrian UAV was shot down by a Patriot missile after flying in the demilitarized zone.

Earlier this year, on February 10th, the IDF intercepted an Iranian UAV, which was launched from Syria. In response, the IDF struck several Syrian Air Force and Iranian military targets in Syria. While the IDF struck these targets, the Syrian Air Force shot several missiles and hit an Israeli Air Force F-16, severely injuring the pilot.

The IDF is on high alert and will continue to fulfill its mission of defending Israeli civilians and sovereignty, and will operate against the violation of the 1974 Separation of Forces Agreement.
Seth Franzman: Soviet-made Sukhoi downed by IAF exposes Syria’s aging air force
The Syrian fighter jet Israel shot down over the Golan Tuesday is an old Soviet-era aircraft that has formed the backbone of Syria’s air force as attrition has taken its toll over seven long years of war.

It took off from the T4 Air base more than 200km from the Golan and was on a mission to bomb ISIS targets near the 1974 ceasefire line. Initially thought to be either an SU-22 or SU-24, it was flying towards Israeli airspace at high speed, the IDF said. What do we know about the SU-22 and its capabilities?

According to the website Janes 360 there is a squadron of SU-22 M4 aircrafts at the T4 base. Nicknamed the ‘Fitter’, the aircraft has a range of 2,200 km and is one of seven types of war planes the Syrian army has in its arsenal.

It can be armed with the AA-2 ‘Atoll’, AA-8 ‘Aphid’ and AA-11 ‘Archer’ air to air missiles and other ordinance.

The SU-22 is based on a model that has been flying since the 1960's. It can fly 1,400 km an hour. Syria got an earlier version of the aircraft, an SU-20 in 1973, and they fought in the Yom Kippur war, also flying from T4 airbase.
Russia working to move Iranians 100 km from Israel's Golan Heights border
Russia is working to move Iranian forces and their proxies 100 km. from the Syrian border with Israel, a senior diplomatic official said Monday after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Chief of Staff Valery Gerasimov.

The Israeli official said Jerusalem’s goal is to remove Iran from all of Syria, and if Moscow wants to deal in the first phase with the buffer zone, then that is fine, “but that does not satisfy us even in the first phase, because they [Iran] have weapons [in Syria] that go beyond that range.”

Israel’s stated position remains the removal of all Iranian forces and their proxies from Syria, although Netanyahu made clear in his talks in Moscow two weeks ago that the priority was to move these forces away from the border, and to remove Iran’s long-range missiles from throughout Syria.

The Israeli official characterized the meeting with Lavrov and Gerasimov at this time as “significant.”

“Now when the Syrian Army is returning to the border, it is important for us to ensure that Iran and Hezbollah do not return as well,” he said.

Netanyahu was joined in the meeting by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, who spread out maps for the Russian visitors and showed intelligence information about where the Iranians have entrenched themselves throughout Syria, including close to the border.

Netanyahu, according to the official, said Israel will hold Syrian President Bashar Assad responsible for any Iranian aggression toward Israel coming from Syrian territory.
Government said set to launch NIS 30 billion missile defense plan
The government reportedly intends to launch a multi-billion-shekel missile defense plan aimed at providing blanket coverage for the entire country against a massive rocket attack, in what would be the biggest program in the history of the Israel Defense Forces.

Spread over 10 years, the plan will cost some NIS 30 billion ($8.2 billion), reports said Tuesday.

The reports came one day after the first known operational launch of the David’s Sling medium-range air defense system, which was triggered by a pair of Syrian surface-to-surface missiles, each carrying approximately a half ton of explosives. Israeli authorities initially believed the missiles were heading toward Israeli territory, but they landed inside Syria.

The reported plan aims to enable the development and purchase of advanced systems that will offer comprehensive protection for the entire country.

The program is scheduled to begin in 2019 and will end by 2028, the reports said. It is reportedly set to be approved by the security cabinet at its upcoming weekly meeting on Sunday.

In January the government budgeted NIS 63 billion ($18.4 billion) for defense for 2019. Half the annual cost of NIS 3 billion for the new project will be drawn from the existing defense budget and the rest will covered by increasing the budget, the Marker news site said.
White Helmets fail to acknowledge Israel's part in their rescue from Syria
In an official statement released on Monday, the Syrian White Helmets, who were rescued in an unprecedented operation from Syria through Israel into Jordan Saturday night, failed to acknowledge Israel's role in the rescue.

"Ninety-eight male and female White Helmet volunteers, with 324 of their family members — mostly women and children — have arrived in Jordan through the occupied Syrian Golan Heights," the statement read.

"The UNHCR participated in the coordination of the agreement to resettle the 422 rescue workers and their family members."

The statement did not mention Israel once. A statement by the French foreign ministry also failed to mention the Israeli participation in the operation.

More than 400 Syrians affiliated with the White Helmets and their families were evacuated Sunday from Quneitra through Israel to Jordan, according to the IDF.
Unsure where they’d end up, some Syrian White Helmets said no to Israel rescue
The call came on Saturday night. In the raging war zone that is southwestern Syria, with enemy forces on the march, the 98 White Helmets volunteers brought their spouses, children and a personal bag each. A total of 421 people massed at two collection points where they were to make their crossing to safety.

By the time they crossed, they were 422. One woman went into labor, requiring an emergency C-section. Her son, Nairouz, came into the world in an open field under the darkness of night just short of the frontier with Israel’s Golan Heights.

It was just one moment of drama in a complicated international rescue operation to extract the Syrian volunteer rescuers who work in opposition areas through their country’s bitter enemy Israel by bus to a temporary haven in Jordan.

Finding where the volunteers were in the fast-changing battlefield was a challenge. Conscious not to raise expectations, the planners only asked the volunteers whether they would accept an opportunity to evacuate through Israel.
Russia slams rescue of Syria’s White Helmets via Israel
Russia has criticized the extraction of members of a Syrian volunteer rescue organization, who were pulled out of their warn-torn country by the Israeli army and then transferred to safety in neighboring Jordan.

“The recent news involving the White Helmets organization speaks volumes,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Monday. “Reportedly, Westerners carried out an emergency evacuation of a large group of these pseudo-humanitarians to Jordan via Israeli territory.”

The statement echoed Syria’s own criticism of the rescue nighttime operation, which saw 422 rescuers and their families spirited into Israel via the Quneitra crossing on the Golan and then to Jordan, out of fears they would be targeted by an approaching Syrian and Russian military onslaught.
PMW: "Children's Games" - only in the PA!!
PA Government: Flaming arson kites are "children's games" Palestinians launching them are "peaceful protesters"

The Palestinian "children's games" have burned 20 sq. km. of nature reserves and natural forests
The Palestinian "children's games" have killed thousands of wildlife, including foxes, jackals, tortoises, birds, lizards, rodents, reptiles, and more

The following is a longer excerpt from the article from the official PA daily in which the PA government declares kite-arson to be a "children's game" committed by "peaceful protesters":
"Official [PA] Government Spokesman Yusuf Al-Mahmoud... said: 'The occupation's escalation, to which the Gaza Strip - which is under siege - has been witness in recent hours, constitutes part of the occupation government's policy towards our residents and the heroic members of our people...
He added: 'The occupation is striving to create equivalence in which there is a parallel between the newest and most lethal fighter jets and a children's game such as kites (i.e., flaming arson-kites) used by peaceful protesters as one of the means of protest against the siege and the occupation.'"
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 22, 2018]
U.N. Security Council debates Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza
Israel's ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon will address the United Nations Security Council on Monday during a regularly-scheduled meeting on the situation in the Middle East.

Danon told the Security Council last week Hamas is solely responsible the escalation on the Israel-Gaza border on Friday, during which an Israeli soldier was killed by a Hamas sniper and the IDF struck dozens of targets in Gaza.

In a letter ahead of the Security Council's meeting last Tuesday to discuss the escalation, called on the UN body and international community to "unequivocally condemn Hamas immediately, which perpetrates violence and terror against Israeli communities, endangering their lives, and holds the entire Palestinian population of Gaza hostage."
IDF said to fire at group launching incendiary devices from Gaza
An Israeli drone shot at a group of Palestinians in the northern Gaza Strip on Tuesday as they prepared to launch incendiary kites into southern Israel, Palestinian reports said.

An IDF spokeswoman said that the military does not confirm “foreign reports.”

The reports said that the group of Palestinians preparing to launch the incendiary kites was operating east of the Jabaliya refugee camp. They also said that there were no injuries.

Such kites, along with incendiary balloons, have wreaked havoc in the Israeli communities surrounding Gaza since the phenomenon began several months ago, sparking fires that have scorched thousands of acres of farmlands and countryside.

The reports of the Israeli strike on the kite launchers came as Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman announced the partial lifting of restrictions applied over the past two weeks on the movement of goods at the Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel and Gaza.
In English-language video, Netanyahu enlists parents in PR battle over Gaza
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu posted a video to social media on Monday night asking parents around the world to spread the story of an incendiary balloon from Gaza that landed in the yard of an Israeli preschool as children played outside last Tuesday.

Netanyahu said the “beautiful children were nearly burned alive,” and were saved by a teacher leading them inside to safety.

“What does it say about the terrorists who run Gaza that they try to burn Israeli preschoolers alive?” asks Netanyahu in the English-language video. “This is what Israel defends itself against every single day.”

The prime minister says those watching should tell their children that they love them and will always protect them, and then call another parent to tell them the story.


Gas and fuel allowed back into Gaza while commercial goods still banned
Israel will allow fuel and gas to enter Gaza starting at noon on Tuesday, but has extended the ban on commercial goods until such time as Hamas completely halts it violence against Israel. Food and medicine will continue to enter the Strip as usual.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman this month directly linked Hamas violence with the movement of goods and humanitarian supplies into Gaza, which is why certain goods were banned from entering the coastal enclave.

This Sunday, he expressed his hope that calm had been restored to the Gaza border, such that he could lift the crossing restrictions Israel had imposed earlier this month.

Liberman also visited the main commercial crossing into Gaza at Kerem Shalom, where he explained that an average of 140 trucks had entered Gaza with food and medicine over the last week, compared with 1,000 trucks of supplies that entered at peak times this year.

“The full restoration of the Kerem Shalom crossing is contingent upon the complete cessation of flaming balloons and friction on the fence,” the Defense Ministry said then.
UN rights chief slams Israel over Gaza border deaths and nation-state bill
The UN human rights chief sharply criticized Israel on Monday, calling recent killings by its soldiers during Palestinian demonstrations along the Gaza border fence “shocking.”

Recent months have seen an uptick in violence on Israel’s border with Gaza and violent clashes at weekly protests. Friday saw the killing of an IDF soldier by terrorists, massive airstrikes in Gaza and the firing of hundreds of rockets and mortars into Israel.

In addition, Palestinians in Gaza have launched many hundreds of kites, balloons and inflated latex condoms bearing flammable materials, and occasionally explosives, into Israeli territory, sparking near-daily fires that have burned thousands of acres of farmland, parks and forests.

However, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said it was vital to address the root causes of the Gaza demonstrations. Zeid placed no responsibility on the Hamas terror group, which rules the Gaza Strip and openly calls for the destruction of Israel.

In a video address to the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, he said that the situation in Gaza has escalated dramatically in recent months with “the potential to generate threats to peace across a far broader region.”
Douglas Murray: The Great British Foreign Office Fantasy
The armies of ISIS came right up to the villages on the Syrian side along the borders of the Golan. There, they were able to bring that form of peace-through-barbarism which the world has come to know well. If ISIS had triumphed in the Syrian conflict rather than suffering repeated set-backs, would the UK Foreign Office have handed them the territory by way of reparational justice, or victor's prize?

The painful irony of this situation should be clear to all observers. If the Israelis did not lay claim to the Golan, there would have been no means to have got the White Helmets and their families out of Syria. Had Israel not made the Golan the peaceful and thriving area it is, it would simply be another part of Syria in which different sectarian groups were slaughtering other sectarian groups.

The British Foreign Office will have to back out of its self-imposed corner regarding the Golan at some point and accept the reality on the ground. How much better it would be if it did so now in a spirit of goodwill and reciprocity, rather than later on in a spirit of inevitable and grudging defeat.
Col Kemp: After Brexit, we can give Isil terrorists the justice they deserve
The Home Secretary is right to agree to pass evidence against Islamic State terror suspects Alexanda Kotey and Shafee El-Sheikh to the US Attorney General without guarantees that they will not be executed if convicted. His decision cannot have been easy.

The Government is opposed to the death penalty and has a long-standing policy of securing assurances that it will not be used by foreign governments if current (or former, in the case of Kotey and El-Sheikh) British citizens are extradited. Indeed, there has been outrage against this move by human rights activists and we can expect legal challenges.

But Sajid Javid is prioritising the rights and safety of innocents above the human rights of suspected terrorists. Far better for them to go to the electric chair in the US if convicted than to let them come back to Britain and murder our citizens.

For the same reason, if they can’t be successfully prosecuted in the US, they should be sent to Guantánamo Bay. Many people balk at that, but what is the alternative?

Barack Obama was elected president in 2008 with a pledge to close Guantánamo, but when he stepped down after eight years it was still open. It is the equivalent of a prisoner of war camp during conventional hostilities and, even after 17 years of the War on Terror, no one has come up with a viable alternative.

Some claim that it is a recruiting sergeant for terrorism against the West, and that incarceration there, or a death sentence, would make martyrs of Kotey and El-Sheikh. Maybe. But there is a greater risk if they are not dealt with effectively.
Report: Toronto Shooter Showed 'Support' For Pro-ISIS Website
The late Faisel Hussain, believed to be responsible for Sunday’s shooting that killed 18-year-old Reese Fallon, a 10-year-old girl and injured 13 others, was well-known to Toronto police, a law enforcement source told the Toronto Sun.

The source says police are reviewing a file showing Hussain had shown “support” for a pro-ISIS website, as law enforcement seek to determine a motive. He had also been the part of previous police investigations by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Ontario Provincial Police and Toronto Police Service. Sources told the Sun that Hussain had spent time in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Hussain died after a shoot-out with police — though it is not yet known whether the 29-year-old he was shot or killed himself.

Hussain’s family released a statement expressing their “deepest condolences to the families” for their son’s actions.

“Our son had severe mental health challenges, struggling with psychosis and depression his entire life,” the statement reads.

But many are wondering how someone with such mental health issues ever owned a handgun — a restricted weapon in Canada that is usually difficult to procure unless you work for the military, police or a security service.
Israel detonates 350 landmines to clear Golan field
The Defense Ministry detonated some 350 landmines on the Golan Heights on Tuesday afternoon, as part of a government project to clear boobytrapped fields throughout the country.

The 350 mines were exploded in several bursts in a minefield located near the Daughters of Jacob Bridge in the southern portion of the Golan Heights.

The explosion was originally slated for 12 p.m., but was pushed back repeatedly. Shortly after 1:30 p.m., the detonation began but only the first line of mines exploded due to a disconnect in the wires between the explosives.

The rest were exploded a few minutes later.

“The lands that were cleared will become the responsibility of the Golan regional council and the Majdal Shams community. They can be used for agriculture, tourism or any other civilian need,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement.

The detonation was performed by the ministry’s National Mine Action Authority, which has already cleared approximately 1,000 mines in the area since 2017, a Defense Ministry spokesperson said.
IsraellyCool: The Real Story Behind the Palestinian With Down Syndrome
I have already written twice about the palestinian libel against Israel regarding the Down Syndrome boy/youth/man, focusing on the inconsistencies in their accusations.

Now I have learned what actually happened.

My friend Ari Fuld has posted a photo of the poor man holding a brick. He looks dazed, confused and not like he wants to be there – he was clearly put up to it by others.

In fact, Ari tells me he has a reliable source who told him the man was paid 35 shekels ($10) to attack soldiers and get arrested. I believe Ari – like me, he despises fake news, and would not make this claim without trusting his source.

Note how the photographer Amer Shallodi is there to take the photo – instead of, say, taking the brick out of his hand and telling him to go home to safety.

Of course, this Amer Shallodi was also there to take photos of this poor man being taken away by IDF soldiers.
Hamas Chief Says He Misspoke and Meant to Say He Sees No Reason Why Israel “Shouldn’t” Exist (satire)
Following rebuke from international observers for a speech in which he questioned Israel’s right to exist and called for her destruction, senior Hamas figure, Ismail Haniyeh, claims he misspoke and went before the press to say that he “realized there is some need for clarification”.

“In a key sentence in my remarks I said the word ‘should’ instead of ‘shouldn’t’. The sentence should have been: ‘I don’t see any reason why that filthy Zionist entity of land thieves and child killers shouldn’t exist, sort of a double negative. And on that note, all the rockets and flaming kites we’re sending over should also be understood as a double negative. We send over thousands of them but they’re so rubbish that they rarely do any harm. So that kind of undoes any ill intent, right?”

It is also understood that President Trump called Haniyeh to congratulate him on “delivering such an erudite, eloquent and entirely convincing explanation”, saying that that he understood “more than anyone, ever“, how easy it is to be so misunderstood.
Just tough Trump tweeting? US ratchets up Iran pressure
Asked at the White House if he had concerns about provoking Iran, Trump said simply, "None at all."

Tehran is already aware of what is coming from the administration as consequences of Trump's May 8 withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear accord take shape.

As Pompeo noted in his speech to Iranian-Americans and others in California on Sunday, the centerpiece will be the reimposition of U.S. economic sanctions; the first batch will go back into force Aug. 4, targeting the Iranian automotive sector and trade in gold and other metals. A more significant set of sanctions that will hit Iran's oil industry and central bank by punishing countries and companies that do business with them will resume Nov. 4.

"Right now, the United States is undertaking a diplomatic and financial pressure campaign to cut off the funds that the regime uses to enrich itself and support death and destruction," Pompeo said in his speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley.

Pompeo also slammed Iran's political, judicial and military officials, accusing several by name of participating in rampant corruption, and called its religious leaders "hypocritical holy men" who amassed wealth while allowing their people to suffer. He said the government has "heartlessly repressed its own people's human rights, dignity and fundamental freedoms," and he hailed the "proud Iranian people [for] not staying silent about their government's many abuses."

"The United States under President Trump will not stay silent either," he said.
Israel's UN Ambassador: Iranian People Are Being Held Hostage by Regime
A weekend of comments by President Trump, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani followed a speech by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in which he accused Iran's leadership of massive corruption and widespread rights abuses and urged Iranians to rise up in protest.

“I think they are panicking in Iran today,” said Danny Danon, Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations. “For the last few years they were pampered by the international community and President Trump came in and said that’s it. Enough.”

Danon made his comments during an interview on FOX Business’ Making Money with Charles Payne.

“WithIn a few weeks, the U.S. will reimplement the sanctions so they are panicking due to that,” said Danon. “The Europeans will have to decide to work with the U.S. economy or the Iranian economy and I believe they will choose your economy.”

The Ambassador said the Iranian people see the regime investing money in terror locations around the world, money that could go to domestic projects.

“We have nothing against the Iranian people, they are good people,” said Danon. “We want to help them, we want to cooperate with them, but they are being kept hostage by the regime which exploit their economy and take the money to stick in their bank accounts and when they have free money they invest in Hamas, Hezbollah, terror cells around the world, even in South America you can find fingerprints of Iranian money.”
Kim Jong Un Makes Good On Promises To Trump, Starts Dismantling Key Testing Facility
Satellite images suggest North Korea has started taking important steps toward fulfilling a major commitment North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made to President Donald Trump in Singapore.

The North has started dismantling key facilities at its primary satellite launch vehicle and engine testing site — the Sohae Satellite Launch Station, North Korea watchdog 38 North revealed Monday. The North is apparently dismantling the rail-mounted processing building where satellite launch vehicles are assembled and the nearby rocket engine test stand where the country tests liquid-fueled engines for rockets and ballistic missiles.

“These facilities are believed to have played an important role in the development of technologies for the North’s intercontinental ballistic missile program,” the 38 North analysts explained, adding, “These efforts represent a significant confidence building measure on the part of North Korea.”

While it was not included in the agreement signed in Singapore, the president has repeatedly insisted that Kim offered to destroy a major missile development site.

“Chairman Kim has told me that North Korea is already destroying a major missile engine testing site, that is not in your signed document, we agreed to that after the agreement was signed,” Trump said at a post-summit press conference. “That’s a big thing, the missiles that they were testing, the site is going to be destroyed very soon.”

It was later revealed the site in question is the Sohae Satellite Launch Station.
MEMRI: Former ISIS Member Nour Al-Din Al-Hatimi Explains How He Grew Disillusioned With The Organization: That Enterprise Is On The Verge Of Bankruptcy
Former Islamic State (ISIS) member Nour Al-Din Al-Hatimi, a Moroccan who returned to his country after becoming disillusioned with the Jihad in Syria, explained the mindset of foreign ISIS recruits who traveled to Syria in order to establish the Caliphate. Interviewed by Egyptian-German scholar Hamed Abdel-Samad on his "Box of Islam" TV show on June 24, 2018, Al-Hatimi recounted his encounter with the Syrian refugees in Turkey, who were cursing the revolution and saying that they did not want foreigners in their country, and with ISIS fighters on the Syrian-Turkish border. "Some of them told me that what is going on [in Syria] has nothing to do with Jihad, that Islam has no future and the Caliphate cannot be established on that land, because that enterprise is on the verge of bankruptcy." Al-Hatimi cited Western stereotypes and acts of brutality as motives leading Muslims to join ISIS, but said: "They fight the brutality that is employed against them with brutality no less ferocious."

To view the clip of Nour Al-Din Al-Hatimi and Hamed Abdel-Samad on MEMRI TV, click here or below.

"Some Of Them Told Me That... Islam Has No Future And The Caliphate Cannot Be Established On That Land, Because That Enterprise Is On The Verge Of Bankruptcy"

Nour Al-Din Al-Hatimi: "[The ISIS recruits] wanted to establish the Caliphate, because they considered it a shelter and a utopian place of repentance, where the Muslims could unite and gather all their power, in order to fight the forces attacking them with violence."

Hamed Abdel-Samad: "But what did they actually encounter?"

Nour Al-Din Al-Hatimi: "The first thing that struck me was that the Syrian refugees in Turkey were cursing the revolution and everything that came with it. They were saying that they do not want foreigners coming into their country, and that it would have been better had [the volunteers] remained in their countries. They were saying that they had had enough of all the massacres, and that they only wanted to live a life of dignity with their families, and so on."

Hamed Abdel-Samad: "So the first myth – that you were going to Syria to support your brothers – was shattered, when the Syrians told you to get lost."

Nour Al-Din Al-Hatimi: "Yes, in this kind of language. After that, I went to the [Turkish-Syrian] border, and spent some time with people who had taken up arms and were fighting. Some of them told me that what is going on [in Syria] has nothing to do with Jihad, that Islam has no future and the Caliphate cannot be established on that land, because that enterprise is on the verge of bankruptcy. It is in a dark tunnel, leading to a dead end, and it is better for people to find other ways to build their glory. They should plow their own lands and bring about life rather than death."



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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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