Monday, December 02, 2019

From Ian:

Col. Richard Kemp: London Bridge horror proves we need new solutions to 23,000 jihadists in the UK
Two innocent people are dead because of the Government’s refusal to confront the threat Britain faces from Islamic jihad.

The chilling reality is that we are trying to deal with people who are fighting a war against us, using a criminal justice system designed for ordinary crime.

Since 9/11 it has been obvious we have faced a new and different challenge.

The Americans quickly recognised this and opened Guantanamo Bay as a form of PoW camp.

Meanwhile, the UK Government has kept its head in the sand.

MI5 claim there are 23,000 jihadists here who are of concern.

Friday’s horror on London Bridge shows new solutions are urgently needed.

We must ban anyone who has fought jihad overseas from returning.

We must deport any non-British citizen suspected of involvement or support for terrorism.

We must devise a method of judicial administrative detention to imprison those who cannot be deported or properly convicted through the normal legal processes.

In short, we must fight fire with fire.
'I hope when I'm gone, someone picks my soul up and thinks, I would have loved her': Poignant past message of Cambridge graduate Saskia Jones, 23, is revealed as she's named as second victim of London Bridge terror attack
The second victim of the London Bridge terror attack left a poignant past message on social media as her family paid tribute to the Cambridge graduate who was 'intent on living life to the full.'

Saskia Jones, 23, of Stratford-upon-Avon, died alongside Jack Merritt, 25, of Cottenham, Cambridgeshire, after Usman Khan, 28, went on a deadly knife frenzy in London on Friday.

On her Twitter account, Miss Jones left a touching message in January 2017, which said: 'I hope that someday when I am gone, someone, somewhere, picks my soul up off of these pages and thinks, 'I would have loved her.'

Both graduates were taking part in a prisoner rehabilitation conference that was trying to rehabilitate the likes of the terrorist who went on to kill them. Miss Jones was working as a volunteer and Mr Merritt as a coordinator.

The 23-year-old's family paid tribute to her 'funny, kind, positive influence', saying she was 'intent on living life to the full'.
Islamic State Alive and Well in Europe
"I think that the practice of automatic, early release where you cut a sentence in half and let really serious, violent offenders out early simply isn't working, and you've some very good evidence of how that isn't working, I am afraid, with this case." — UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson November 30, 2019, after the ISIS attack on London Bridge a day earlier.

At least 1,200 Islamic State fighters, including many from Western countries, are being held in Turkish prisons. Another 287 jihadis have been captured by Turkish forces since the start of an offensive that began on October 9 against the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in northeastern Syria.

Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu announced that Turkey would begin repatriating captured Islamic State fighters back to their countries of origin — even if their citizenship had been revoked.

"We could soon be facing a second wave of other Islamic State linked or radicalized individuals that you might call Isis 2.0." — Jürgen Stock, Secretary General, Interpol.

"From my point of view, it is better to know that these people are prosecuted in France rather than leaving them in the wilderness. How can we protect ourselves if we do not have them in custody? The best method is to judge and control them." — David De Pas, French anti-terrorism judge.

PMW: "The Dark-Eyed [Virgins] yearn for me" - Martyrdom-death promoted to kids on PA TV children's program
Children recite:
”The blood of the Martyrs flows in my veins… My sword is drawn and won’t return to the sheath… the Dark-Eyed [Virgins] yearn for me… I have not sold my homelands, and have not given up my assault rifle, Today I carry my shrouds”
“With blood we have woven the shrouds… O homeland, our souls are a gift for you"

Official PA TV children’s host demonizes Israelis:
They “are trying to reach us everywhere in order to kill us… The Israelis are… killing [Palestinian] children on an almost daily basis”

How old should children be before they are taught that the Dark–Eyed Virgins await them in Paradise if they become Martyrs for Allah? According to the Palestinian Authority no age is too young, as this message was broadcast on occasion of World Children’s Day on an official PA TV children’s program that addresses children as young as pre-schoolers.

In the same episode of the program The Best Home, two children recited poems encouraging Martyrdom-death for “Palestine.”

One poem, recited by a girl probably not more than 10 years old, taught that Palestinian kids – “lion cubs” – should use violence and fight with a “drawn” sword that “won’t return to the sheath.” The poem further told the kids that they have “the blood of the Martyrs” in their veins, and reminded them that according to Islam, the 72 virgins of Paradise – “the Dark-Eyed” - are “yearning” for them, and appreciate them when they die as Martyrs. The poem further stressed the ideal and urgency of seeking death – even right now – as it stated that “today I carry my shrouds.” Representing Palestinian adult approval, the PA TV host enthusiastically applauded the girl:

Netanyahu slams European ‘rush to appease Iran’ by sidestepping sanctions
Israel on Sunday scolded six new European members of the INSTEX barter mechanism meant to circumvent US sanctions on Iran, saying they encouraged the Iranian regime’s repression of its citizens and “should be ashamed of themselves.”

“While the Iranian regime is killing its own people, European countries rush to support that very murderous regime,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu charged in a video released Sunday.

In a separate statement, Israel’s Foreign Ministry said “Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden could not have picked worse timing. The hundreds of innocent Iranians murdered during the latest round of protests are rolling in their graves.”

Protests broke out across sanctions-hit Iran on November 15, hours after a sharp fuel price hike was announced.
Iraqi anti-government protesters burn an Iranian flag during protests in Baghdad, Iraq, November 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

Reports of deaths and arrests emerged as security forces were deployed to rein in demonstrations which turned violent in some areas, with dozens of banks, gas stations and police stations torched.

The London-based human rights group Amnesty International has said that 161 demonstrators were killed.
Netanyahu Criticizes EU Leaders for Helping Iran Circumvent U.S. Sanctions
"In Tehran, in Baghdad, in Beirut, people are taking to the streets. They are being slaughtered by the hundreds....In Baghdad, Iran's cronies have killed hundreds of Iraqis."

"And while the people of the Middle East bravely stand up to Iran and its henchmen...countries in Europe are working to bypass U.S. sanctions against Iran."

"While the Iranian regime is killing its own people, European countries rush to support that very murderous regime. While Iran bombs Saudi Arabia's oil installations, while Iran rushes to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons, European countries rush to appease Iran with even more concessions."

"These European countries should be ashamed of themselves. Have they learned nothing from history?"

"They are enabling a fanatic terrorist state to develop nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, thereby bringing disaster to themselves and upon everyone else."

"Now is the time to ratchet up the pressures on Iran, not to lessen them."

Trump and Netanyahu discuss ‘threat from Iran’ in second call in weeks
US President Donald Trump spoke Sunday with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with the two leaders focusing talks on “the threat from Iran,” the White House said.

“The leaders discussed the threat from Iran, as well as other critical bilateral and regional issues,” a brief statement said late Sunday.

There was no immediate readout on the call from Israel.

The two last spoke on November 19, when Netanyahu thanked the president for Washington’s decision to repudiate a State Department legal opinion that said West Bank settlements were illegal.

Though Netanyahu and Trump were once close allies who touted their friendship to their respective bases, ties between the two have been seen as cooling in recent months as the Israeli premier has struggled to cling to power.

Netanyahu has also reportedly become uneasy with what he perceives as Trump’s unwillingness to stand up to Iranian aggression.

The two leaders will both be in London later this week at a NATO summit. While Netanyahu is reportedly planning on meeting several European heads of state, no plans for a sit down with Trump have been announced.
Netanyahu’s London trip to meet Pompeo said nixed after veto from UK officials
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not fly to London on Tuesday to meet with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on the sidelines of a NATO summit, a senior official told Channel 13 news on Monday.

According to the report, the UK government said that logistically it cannot accommodate Netanyahu on such short notice in addition to the other world leaders and their delegations who are attending the conference.

The Haaretz newspaper reported that the British officials were unhappy that this was to be the second time in recent months that Netanyahu planned a trip to London just to meet with US officials — this time with short notice, at an event with multiple delegations in need of security and just days after the British capital was hit by a terror attack.

In September, Netanyahu flew to London to meet with US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The spontaneously planned trip raised some eyebrows among political analysts, given the turmoil then engulfing the British political system that was sure to take priority over any other matter in 10 Downing Street. He held talks with Johnson, who was facing a revolt within his Conservative party over his controversial plan to leave the European Union.

According to Hebrew-language reports, Netanyahu plans instead to meet with Pompeo in Lisbon, Portugal, later this week.
Netanyahu, Gantz spar over possible defense pact with US
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White head Benny Gantz sparred over the wisdom of a security pact with the United States, something that Netanyahu said was among the things Israel used to “dream about.”

Speaking at a cornerstone-laying ceremony for 12 new factories in Ashkelon, Netanyahu said that this was among the topics he discussed with US President Donald Trump during a telephone conversation on Sunday.

Netanyahu characterized this conversation with Trump as “very important” for the country's security.

In addition to Iran, he said, “we also spoke at length about the historic opportunities that we will have in the coming months – among them, the Jordan Valley as the recognized eastern border of the State of Israel as well as a defensive alliance with the US.”

Netanyahu said these were things that “we could only dream about, but which now we have the opportunity to implement.”
Israel’s presence in the Golan Heights benefits the US
Thus, Israel’s control of the Golan Heights spared the United States the need to deploy its own troops to save its Jordanian ally, while preventing a potential superpower confrontation and denying the USSR a geostrategic bonanza.

The significance of Israel’s control of the Golan Heights for the national security of the United States has increased over the years, due to the following phenomena:
• The raging civil war in Syria which erupted in 2011.
• The escalation of Iran’s involvement in Syria and Lebanon, with Tehran aspiring to extend its dominance to the Mediterranean and Europe.
• The entrenchment of ISIS cells in Syria, irrespective of their recent setbacks.
• The growing involvement in Syria by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who aims to resurrect the Ottoman Empire.
• The Russia-Syria alliance and the expanding Russian presence in the Mediterranean and throughout the Middle East.
• Since the 1960s, North Korea has been a leading ally of Syria, engaged in illicit military and technology cooperation, including ballistic missiles and chemical warfare. Pyongyang facilitated the construction of the Syrian nuclear reactor that was destroyed by Israel in 2007.

In November 2019, the explosive potential of Syria transcends the boundaries of the Middle East. The pro-Russia, pro-Iran, pro-North Korea, and anti-US Syrian regime – which provided safe haven to Nazi war criminals – has become a global epicenter for global terrorism and drug trafficking.
Relations With Israel at a ‘Dead End,’ Abbas Tells UN Rep
Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas said on Saturday that relations between Israel and the PA have hit a “dead end” and urged Europe to recognize a Palestinian state.

Speaking during a meeting in Ramallah with Spanish diplomat and United Nations High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations Miguel Moratinos, Abbas urged Europe to formally recognize a State of Palestine in the West Bank and parts of Jerusalem, the Palestinian Wafa news agency reported.

Such recognition was necessary, said Abbas, to “end the occupation and create an independent state of Palestine with eastern Jerusalem as its capital and within the pre-1967 borders.”

The meeting came following the Nov. 18 announcement by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the United States no longer views Israeli
communities in Judea and Samaria as illegal, a move which the European Union subsequently denounced.

Law outlawing W. Bank products casts shadow over Irish FM visit
Israel will convey to visiting Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney the severe damage that a proposed Irish law to criminalize buying or selling goods from beyond the 1967 lines would have on Israeli-Irish ties, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

Coveney, whose country – along with Sweden – is considered inside the EU to be the most critical of Israel, is scheduled to arrive on Monday for a two-day trip.

The “Occupied Territories Bill” that is currently snaking its way through the Irish parliament would, if it passes, mean that fines of up to €250,000 or five years in jail could be imposed on merchants in Ireland selling dates from settlements in the Jordan Valley, wine from the Golan Heights, or any goods or services coming from east Jerusalem.

The bill has already passed the Irish senate, and must pass through five stages in the lower house before being enacted as law. Israeli officials have said they are hoping the bill – which is currently between the second and third stage – will not move forward.
Irish Aid - NGO Funding Report
In a week when the Dutch parliament voted to sharply reduce aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) due to its "pay-for-slay" policy, below is a report on Irish aid to Palestinians - with a particular focus on contributions to NGOs (non-governmental organisations).

Irish financial aid to the Palestinian Arabs
In January 2018, Ireland’s Tanaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) and Foreign Minister Simon Coveney invited Mahmoud Abbas to make an official visit to Ireland. Mr Abbas, elected in early 2006 to a four-year term as Chairman of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and now nearing the end of his fourteenth year in that office (though no further elections have taken place), accepted the invitation.

In September 2018, Mr Abbas, the head of a ‘state’ that does not exist (that’s another story) was received at Áras an Uachtaráin by the Irish head of state, President Higgins. Mr Coveney used the occasion to announce a grant of €1 million in financial aid to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in addition to the €6 million already donated by Ireland in 2018.

Outside, pro-Israel protesters shouted their opposition to the ‘pay-for-slay’ policy of the Palestinian Authority under which Arabs arrested in the process of murdering or attempting to murder Jews are paid a stipend while serving their prison term; if killed, their families receive the stipend. According to a report by Yossi Kuperwasser of the Israeli advocacy group Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs, in 2017 half of the $693 million received by the PA as foreign aid, $345 million, was paid out as stipends to convicted terrorists and their families.
Israel barring Malaysian ‘Embassy to Palestine’ because of antisemitism
Israel has refused to grant officials from Malaysia access to Ramallah in light of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s antisemitic statements, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

As a result, Malaysia opened an “Embassy to Palestine” in Amman, Jordan.

Israel will not allow any Malaysian officials to visit Palestinian Authority offices in the West Bank, a break in policy towards other Muslim countries with which Israel does not have official relations.

The Foreign Ministry said in response: “Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has led an extremist anti-Israel and antisemitic policy,
including prohibiting Israeli athletic delegations from entering his country, not allowing Malaysian citizens into Israel and hostile declarations with an antisemitic tinge. Such behavior does not allow for any possibility of a Malaysian foothold in Israeli territory.”
Mohamad has called Jews “hook-nosed” and said that “Jews rule this world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them.”
Former Meretz MK uses image of IDF helping lost Arab boy to condemn Israel’s soldiers
Moshe “Mossi” Raz, a two-time Meretz MK, twisted the meaning of a picture of IDF soldiers helping a lost Arab boy in Hebron into a condemnation of the Israeli army for cruelty, Israel Hayom reported on Sunday.

While the picture clearly shows one soldier guiding the boy on his bike as another points his gun behind the child to guard their rear, Raz accepted the Arab version that they were threatening the boy instead.

“Al Quds News says this photo was taken today in Hebron,” Raz tweeted on Friday. “I wish it was a fake.” Reactions to the tweet were sharp, as they explained the background of the event.

“A Palestinian boy is trapped with his bicycle in an area where there are clashes, and the IDF forces are evacuating him out of concern [for his well-being],” wrote Israeli citizen Aviv Benderman.

“Mossi Raz expresses anger after IDF soldiers show their concern and he puts out an inciting post. No it’s not fake, it’s an image that demonstrates a moral army that rescues a child from danger – or do you have a problem with that too?” Benderman wrote.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Meretz Head Demands IDF Mistreat Palestinians So His Tweets Won’t Be False (satire)
The leader of Israel’s main far-left delegation in the Knesset called on the military today to abuse Arab civilians in the areas under their control to make his online posts about such incidents true.

MK Mossi Raz, chief of the Meretz Party, reacted Monday to revelations that a photo he had shared on social media depicted IDF soldier helping a Palestinian youth away from an area where violence was taking place, and not, as Raz claimed, harassing or otherwise abusing the boy. In an official statement, the Meretz leader demanded that the Israeli military modify its procedures to include abuse of every Palestinian so that no photo with a caption such as his will constitute libel.

“I call on the Ministry of Defense and all relevant military echelons to make mistreatment of Palestinians a component of every action,” Raz declared this morning. “Only because of their inconsistency was my tweet this past weekend untrue. But everyone knows the reality of the situation, and it remains disingenuous of the army and its political leaders to pretend otherwise.”

Raz posted a photograph from the contentious city of Hebron over the weekend, asserting that it showed IDF soldiers mistreating a Palestinian preteen. One of the soldiers had his gun raised while the other was moving the boy toward the camera. The MKs tweet accused the soldiers of systematically abusing Palestinians as demonstrated by the image. However, other photographs from the series, in addition to posts by the photographer himself and IDF sources, documented that the soldiers were moving the boy out of harm’s way after violence erupted nearby, and the soldier’s gun pointed elsewhere, behind and away from the child.
Documentary reveals details of Israeli special forces’ fatal Gaza operation
The Al Jazeera TV network aired a documentary over the weekend purporting to reveal new information about last year’s IDF special forces raid in the Gaza Strip that went awry, which ended in a shootout and the deaths of an Israeli soldier and seven Palestinian gunmen.

During the 50-minute program, members of Gaza-ruling terror group’s military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, said their suspicions were raised when two vans carrying a team of undercover Israeli agents were pulled over and the passengers were questioned.

“We pulled them over, had the passengers get out of the vans and were questioning them for about 40 minutes. We asked one of them to undergo additional questioning with [Brigades commander] Nour Baraka, but they refused, which aroused our suspicions,” one of the masked fighters says.

“But more than one of them that aroused our suspicions… when I asked them what they were doing in the area, they said they were going to visit a relative at the European Hospital,” a Qassem fighter identified as Issa said. “But the route [they were taking] didn’t make sense because Salah ad-Din Road was closer to us and easier to use.”

After the Israelis realized their cover was blown, Issa said one of the Israeli commandos opened fire in a desperate bid to escape their potential capture by Hamas forces.
Following 3-week hiatus, Gaza groups announce resumption of border marches
The committee responsible for organizing protests in the border region between Israel and the Gaza Strip announced on Monday that demonstrations would take place Friday following a significant hiatus.

The High Commission for the March of Return and Breaking the Siege, which includes representatives of Gaza-based terror groups and political factions, canceled the protests in the border area over the last three weeks.

“The High Commission for the March of Return and Breaking the Siege calls on the Palestinian masses to participate in large numbers this coming Friday,” the body said in a statement.

It also named this week’s protests “The March is Ongoing.”

Since late March 2018, Palestinians in Gaza have participated in the protests along the frontier on most Fridays, demanding Israel lift its restrictions on the movement of people and goods into and out of the coastal enclave and calling for the return of Palestinian refugees and their descendants to lands that are now a part of the Jewish state.

The protests have frequently descended into violence, including the hurling of explosives, rocks and firebombs at IDF soldiers, as well as attempts to storm and sabotage the border fence. Israeli troops have often responded with live fire and tear gas. At least 200 Palestinians have been killed at the demonstrations and thousands have been injured.

How Hizballah Uses the Internet to Promote Palestinian Terror
In recent years, Hizballah has focused its energy on quashing rebel forces in Syria and building up its arsenal along Israel’s northern borders while refraining from direct attacks on the Jewish state. Instead, it has used social media to recruit West Bank Palestinians and even Israeli Arabs to carry out acts of terror, providing these individuals with funding and coordination. Michael Shkolnik and Alexander Corbeil explain:

Hizballah operatives [often] use Facebook groups to establish contact with an individual. After a nascent relationship is forged, the Hizballah operatives usually communicate with the prospective recruit via email and send instructions on how to use encrypted communications platforms. . . . For example, Hizballah operatives . . . sent Muhammad Zaghloul [of the West Bank city of Tulkarm] requests for information on IDF bases and instructions on how to carry out suicide bombings. Not all suggestions flowed top-down: . . . Zaghloul initially proposed killing a specific Israeli soldier to his handler after providing the officer’s picture and personal information.

[Most] of the plots’ objectives involved conducting suicide bombings or shooting and bombing attacks, or combinations thereof, against IDF patrols in the West Bank. [One] cell, however, was plotting to carry out a suicide bombing against an Israeli bus and was disrupted after its members had already started to build explosive devices. . . . In each case, significant sums of money were promised and often transferred.

Hizballah is presumably aware that operations that depend on in-person recruitment and training are time-consuming, costly, and rarely bear fruit. Contacting, inciting, funding, and directing self-selecting operatives reduces these associated costs, avoids exposing Hizballah members to capture in foreign jurisdictions, and skirts the complex logistics of smuggling operatives into Israel or the West Bank.

A recent uptick in deadly Palestinian terrorist attacks (August-September 2019), one of which involved a sophisticated remotely detonated explosive device, may give Hizballah new opportunities to exploit heightened tensions in the West Bank. Even unsuccessful attacks cost Israeli authorities time and manpower.
Hezbollah uses Germany to finance terrorism, weapons purchases – report
The Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah uses a center in Berlin as well as other locations across Germany to recruit members and raise funds for terrorism and weapons purchases, according to a report by the Berlin-based Tagesspiegel newspaper.

Tagesspiegel on Saturday published a detailed exposé on how the Lebanese terrorist organization uses Germany for “money generated” illicit activities and those funds are “used for arms purchases and for financing attacks.”

According to the article, Hezbollah members “use Germany as a place for drug trafficking, trade in stolen cars and money laundering. The implications of the group for the drug business are well documented.”

The report said that Hezbollah’s “main routes now move from South America to Africa into the EU. Cocaine reaches Germany mainly via the ports of Rotterdam, Antwerp and Hamburg.”

Within the capital city of Berlin, “Hezbollah is also allowed to spread propaganda here in the Reuterstrasse, recruit new members, collect donations – and then forward them to Beirut,” Tagesspiegel reported.
Former Yazidi sex slave faints while confronting her IS rapist on Iraqi TV
A 20-year old Yazidi woman who was kidnapped and repeatedly raped by a member of the Islamic State terror group confronted her tormentor on Iraqi television last Tuesday, sobbing and demanding an explanation for her suffering. Then she fainted.

Ashwaq Haji Hamid was 14 years old when IS group fighters seized Mount Sinjar in Iraq, the Yazidi ancestral heartland in Iraq, and went on to slaughter thousands of Yazidi men and boys and abduct girls to be used as sex slaves.

“I was approximately 14 years old when I was arrested by the terrorist ISIS gangs,” Hamid said in an interview with Iraqi station Al-Iraqiya translated into English by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

“We arrived in Syria at midnight. We were worried and didn’t know what would become of us and whether we would be killed or not,” she said.

“However, we took some comfort in being together — we would either live together or die together. But then they separated us from one another. There, in Syria, the IS terrorists separated all the girls above the age of nine from their relatives. We were taken to Mosul. We were 300 or 400 women in Mosul. We stayed there for three days and the IS men would come and see us. They would give us to one another as gifts or sell us for cheap.”

Turkey's Burgeoning Nuclear Ambitions Raise Concerns
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, in an address on September 4 this year to his ruling Justice and Development Party's governing body, spoke openly of his country's nuclear ambitions.

"Some countries have missiles with nuclear warheads, not one or two. I, however, am not supposed to have missiles with nuclear warheads. This, I cannot accept," the Turkish leader said. "And right next to us, there is Israel, right? With everything [it has], it is frightening [other countries]."

Turkey already has the major elements for acquiring a nuclear capability – rich uranium deposits, and the TR-1 and TR-2 Research Reactors maintained by the Turkish Atomic Energy Authority.

The greatest challenge in acquiring a nuclear weapons capacity is obtaining fuel. A civilian nuclear power program, as in the Iranian case, can often serve as a ruse for making that fuel and building a clandestine nuclear arsenal.

Russia's Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation recently won a $20 billion contract to build four civilian nuclear reactors in Turkey.

Turkey is currently building its first major reactor to generate electricity with Russian help. The Russian Rosatom company in September won a $20 billion contract to build four civilian nuclear reactors in Akkuyu, on Turkey's Mediterranean coast.
Iranian media focuses on Naftali Bennett: 'Zionist minister of war'
Iranian media is concerned and fascinated by Israel’s new defense minister, Naftali Bennett. Nearly daily articles in news agencies Tasnim and Fars News, as well as in other popular Iranian media, have focused on Bennett’s statements about Syria, the bodies of terrorists and social media.

Bennett is called the “Zionist minister of war” in Tehran, and his appointment has led to concerns about potential changes in Israeli policy. Iran appears to be fascinated by potential Israeli escalation in Syria, reporting on claims that there is discussion in Israel about how to confront Iran in Syria.

Fars News reported on Bennett’s calls to have Iranians connected to social media so they can protest. Over recent weeks, Iran’s regime closed the Internet to suppress protests. The report at Fars News quotes Bennett, and notes that the Internet had been shut down due to security threats. However, it appears to give the Israeli defense minister ample space in the discussion. The report from Fars was picked up in Farsi by other media. Mehr News also reported Bennett’s comments and claimed that the government only restricted Internet access to prevent those foreign powers from exploiting protests.

However, Mehr News claims that Iran’s government accepts the right of the people to conduct peaceful protests. Mehr News also gave more space to Bennett’s comments than its own regime narrative.
Inside Israeli Intelligence: Former Mossad Chiefs on Iran
With a high level of international intrigue around covert Israeli intelligence operations, three former Mossad chiefs spoke with Jotam Confino, in his Part 3 of Israeli Intelligence, on how Israel outsmarts its enemies.

In recent days, devastating footage of Iranian protesters being violently attacked by government security forces emerged. Iran is in an economic crisis and the citizens have been suffering from a brutal dictatorship for far too long.

Iran charges families for bullets used to kill protesters
The Islamic Republic has demanded that some families pay for the cost of the bullets used to kill relatives during nationwide anti-government protests as the estimated death toll continues to rise.

Human rights NGO Amnesty International reported that Iranian authorities would demand the payments for the bullets or compensation for destroyed property when returning the victims' bodies to their families. Families have also been warned against holding funerals or speaking to the media. In many cases, victims' bodies have not been returned to families at all.

According to the NGO's most recent update, the reported death toll numbers at least 161 protesters, although "the real death toll is likely to be significantly higher." Iranian opposition website Kalemeh reported an estimated death toll of 366 protesters, although more recent reports by the site imply that the death toll is even higher, according to Radio Farda.

Some Iranian officials have begun admitting that some protesters may have been "wrongly targeted and killed," although "it is not currently possible to confirm or refute such reports with any degree of certainty," according to IRGC commander Mohammad Reza Yazdi.

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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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