Thursday, October 31, 2013

From Ian:

Israel files UN complaint over PA praise of terrorist
Israel’s ambassador to the UN lodged a complaint with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Wednesday over a condolence letter sent by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to the family of a terrorist killed by Israeli forces.
The IDF said Mohamed Aazi was among the planners of the bombing on the No. 142 bus in central Tel Aviv during Operation Pillar of Defense as the bus drove near the Kirya, the Israeli military’s headquarters.
“When we talk about the troubling rise of incitement and its effects on the hearts and minds of young Palestinians,” wrote Ambassador Ron Prosor, “there cannot be a more outrageous example than an incident that occurred last week. At the heart of this incident is Mohamed Assi, a terrorist responsible for the November 2012 bus bomb explosion that injured 29 civilians in the center of Tel Aviv.”
Ban: Releasing Murderers is Good, Building is Bad
Releasing terrorists is good, but approving new Jewish construction in Jerusalem is wrong, according to the head of the United Nations.
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, in a statement he released on Wednesday, condemned Israel’s announcement that it will build 1,500 new housing units in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo.
Abbas vows there will be no peace agreement unless all prisoners go free
Abbas was speaking during a reception at the Mukata presidential compound in Ramallah for Palestinians released from Israeli prison.
After hugging and kissing each one of the freed prisoners, Abbas vowed to pursue his efforts to secure the release of all inmates.
Twenty-one prisoners were released to the West Bank, while another five were returned to the Gaza Strip, where Hamas did not hold a reception for them.
Abbas welcomes 21 murderers released from prison

Guardian images highlight freed terrorist; ignores Holocaust survivor he murdered
Whilst the Guardian’s coverage of the prisoner release continues to highlight the joy of the freed terrorist and their families, the Jews (and Palestinian ‘collaborators’) they murdered continue to largely remain nameless and faceless.
BBC coverage of prisoner release in pictures
Not one image of any of the twenty-five victims of the murders committed by the twenty-six prisoners was shown by the BBC and yet again the faces of family members of the victims also remain unseen. That is not because such photographs do not exist; it is an editorial decision.
US Mideast czar slams settlement expansion
Philip Gordon, the National Security Council coordinator for Middle East policy, emphasized perceived Israeli transgressions in describing the difficulties afflicting renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in an address Tuesday evening to the annual gala dinner of the American Task Force on Palestine.
“The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement expansion,”
Gordon said, an apparent reference to new housing starts announced by Israel in recent weeks.
EU demands Israel stop settlement activity, ‘including natural growth’
“The EU deplores the recent settlement announcements. Any actions that could hamper or undermine the ongoing negotiations must be avoided,” Catherine Ashton said in a statement. “The EU has repeatedly stated that settlements are illegal under international law. It has also called on Israel to end all settlement activity, including natural growth, and to dismantle outposts erected since March 2001.”
French Citizen Detained for 'Spying' on Jewish Community
A French citizen was detained this afternoon for questioning (Wednesday) by civilian security guards on allegations of spying on Yitzhar residents in their homes. The unnamed man, who is suspected of taking unwanted photographs of residents and buildings in the community, may be involved in Palestinian Arab incitement in a nearby village.
Syria completes destruction of chemical arms equipment
The announcement by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons came one day ahead of the November 1 deadline set by the Hague-based organization for Damascus to destroy or “render inoperable” all chemical weapon production facilities and machinery for mixing chemicals into poison gas and filling munitions.
Destruction of the equipment means that Syria can no longer produce new chemical weapons. However, Damascus still has to start destroying existing weapons and stockpiles. The country is believed to have around 1,000 metric tons of chemicals and weapons including mustard gas and the nerve agent sarin.
Huge explosion reported at Syrian air defense base
A Syrian air defense base near the coastal city of Latakia was reportedly destroyed Wednesday night, with multiple Syrian and Lebanese sources speculating that an Israeli strike from the Mediterranean was to blame.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported a loud explosion in a Syrian army base, and Twitter users quoted eyewitnesses who said the blast occurred near Snobar Jableh, just south of the city.
Saudi resolution slams Syria’s human rights record
A draft UN resolution initiated by Saudi Arabia would strongly condemn “widespread and systematic gross violations of human rights” by the Syrian government and “any” abuses by anti-government armed groups.
Saudi Arabia, which backs rebels fighting to overthrow President Bashar Assad, has strongly criticized the Security Council’s failure to resolve Syria’s civil war and other conflicts, citing this as one reason for rejecting a seat on the UN’s most powerful body earlier this month.
Iran’s secret night flights to arm Syria’s Assad revealed
The US, a cautious supporter of Syrian rebels, has long complained about flights between Iran and Syria, saying Tehran airlifts soldiers and weapons to the Assad regime.
Last year, in the final months of her tenure as US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton struck an agreement with Iraq to intercept and search Iranian planes flying through its airspace, a measure that the government in Baghdad – which has close ties to Tehran – has shown little desire to implement.
Elliott Abrams: Meanwhile, back in Iran
The Obama administration has shown its lack of interest in Iran's human rights situation since June 2009, when the president seemed indifferent to the wave of protests that arose around the presidential election. Today we find in regime stalwarts, who have represented the Islamic republic for decades and smiled while acts of terrorism took hundreds of lives, new hope for reform. But inside Iran, there is no reform; human rights violations continue apace. The "reformer" Rouhani has appointed as justice minister Moustafa Pour-Mohammadi, whom Human Rights Watch called "minister of murder" in 2005 for his previous conduct, including hundreds of extrajudicial executions.

Day After Rushed White House Meeting With Jewish Leaders, Simon Wiesenthal Center Calls Out Obama Admin. on Iran
A leading Jewish human rights group called out the Obama administration Wednesday for its recent efforts to block new Iran sanctions legislation, and urged the senate to “immediately adopt the Nuclear Iran Prevention Act, which earlier passed the House with broad bi-partisan support.”
“We respectfully disagree with the White House’s push to give the Iranians more time,” said rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, founder and dean and associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, who also called on the President to sign the bill if it is ratified by the senate.
Nuclear chief says Iran will keep enriching to 20%
Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, told the Tehran parliament’s news site Wednesday that “the 20% uranium and fuel plates are being produced and built within the country,” the state-run Fars news agency reported.
“No stop has occurred in the process of the production and it never stopped before,” he continued.
Iran sentences activist actress to prison
An Iranian actress known for her political activism in support of the country's reformists has been sentenced to 18 months in prison after facing security charges, newspapers reported Tuesday.
The case over the 24-year-old actress, Pegah Ahangarani, points to the internal, and sometimes conflicting, centers of power in Iran as calls for greater openness by new President Hassan Rouhani have angered Iran's more conservative judiciary.
Egypt arrests senior Muslim Brotherhood figure
The arrest of Essam el-Erian, the deputy leader of the Brotherhood’s political arm, the Freedom and Justice party, was the latest in a wide-ranging crackdown and prosecution of both the Islamist group’s leaders and its rank-and-file since the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi, who also hails from the Brotherhood.
Asst. Secretary of State: Egypt Churches Burned by Some People Who Are ‘Simply Anti-Christian’
Obama administration officials took heat from both the right and left over the White House’s brusque stance toward the interim Egyptian government, with California Democrat Brad Sherman wryly noting “we didn’t criticize Morsi’s departure from democracy, but we are criticizing Morsi’s departure.”
But perhaps the most telling moment of testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee this morning came when Elizabeth Jones, acting assistant secretary of State for Near East Affairs, was asked who was behind the burning of Coptic churches across the country.
“Some of them are just — are simply anti-Christian,” she stumbled in an answer that refused to point blame toward the Muslim Brotherhood or any other Islamic extremists.
Hezbollah Prepares for Syria Showdown in al-Qalamoun
The offensive will again pit Hezbollah fighters directly against jihadists and militant Islamists. The al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra and Islamist militias Ahrar al-Sham and Liwa al-Islamhave been reinforcing towns and villages in the region to prepare for the expected Hezbollah assault. Some reports claim that as many as 20,000 rebel fighters have poured into the region, some being redeployed from Damascus suburbs.
Saudi court sentences man for spying for Israel
A Saudi court reportedly sentenced a Jordanian national to nine years in prison and 80 lashes for spying for Israel.
Though details regarding the man or his arrest were unclear, Saudi daily al-Riyadh said a special court had determined that the accused contacted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and that he spoke with an Israeli intelligence officer and sent him a picture via email. The court determined that the man agreed to work with Israeli intelligence for a fee.

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