Friday, May 15, 2015

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: Israel’s peace fantasists in action
For more than 20 years, Israel’s policy-making community has been intellectually ensnared by the notion of peace. As a consequence, the concept of joint action based on shared interests has become almost incomprehensible.
Many senior officials believe that the only way for Israel to collaborate with its Arab neighbors is by first signing a peace treaty with the Palestinians. So long as such a peace treaty eludes us, no real cooperation is possible.
This is the why Labor head “Buji” Herzog and Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid responded to the stunning support Israel received from Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE during Operation Protective Edge, not with a simple nod and smile, but with the idea that what we all need to do to follow up with a regional peace conference where the Egyptians, Saudis and the UAE could join the West in condemning Israel for failing to cough up Jerusalem.
The problem is that the security establishment is committed to the notion that Israel’s international position is a function of the state of our relations with the Palestinians. If we appease the Palestinians, then people will develop ties with us. If not, they will blackball us.
Guy Bechor: Germany can keep its 'friendly advice' to itself
And as for security, an independent Arab territory in Judea and Samaria means the end of the Jewish state which Germany is allegedly so concerned for. Does the German foreign minister know that the border is supposed to pass two kilometers away from the Knesset, which will be threatened by snipers? That Abbas plans to bring hundreds of thousands and maybe even millions from Syria, Iraq and Lebanon into that territory? It's "the return," and these are the most dangerous terrorists, and their missiles will reach Ben-Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem.
Will Mr. Steinmeier come to save us then? Did he work to save the hundreds of thousands of dead people in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Egypt? Is he working to save Ukraine? Israel's tiny size is the most dangerous of all these cases. Would he agree to divide Berlin with the Islamic State according to the quarters' demography? Jerusalem's unification was the example for Berlin's unification, so why does Berlin want to divide Jerusalem?
A reasonable person asks himself why are the Germans so obsessed with the Palestinians, when the latter are the only ones in our region who are living a good and protected life, under Israel's mercy. There is no occupation here, but rather a rescue, otherwise they would have already grabbed each other in the throat, like what is happening in the entire region around us, which has been destroyed. Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen – they have all been destroyed already, with some 10 million refugees and hundreds of thousands of dead people. And maybe this obsession is not with the Palestinians, but rather with the Jews?
When Germany talks about the Jewish state, it has no right to criticize, reprimand, or offer advice, but only to show some modesty. After all, it was Germany, and no other country, which carried out the cruelest evil in the history of humanity, against the Jewish people.
Melanie Phillips: The Vatican channels war against Israel
However many countries proclaim recognition of this spurious state does not alter that fact. The Vatican’s “treaty” is no more than a crude propaganda stunt assisting a war of extermination.
Recognition of a Palestine state is a ploy to bounce it into virtual existence by getting the world to agree it exists. The sole reason it does not in reality exist is that, resting on a wholesale denial of Jewish history in the land, the purpose of such a state is to create the platform for a devastating war on Israel.
By supporting this Potemkin Palestine, the Vatican has lined up behind those who disdain international law. In supporting the recognition gambit which tears up the Palestinians’ own treaty obligations under the Oslo Accords, the pope has now openly made Catholics complicit with reneging on promises and shattering bonds of trust.
And where exactly is this state of Palestine the pope has now recognized? For as PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement reiterated on its Facebook page this week (according to Palestinian Media Watch): “Palestine means the entire national land, from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea.” For good measure, the PA’s national security forces declared on Facebook that Mount Tabor was in “occupied Nazareth” and the Hippodrome in Caesarea was in “Palestine.” And of course, the PA’s maps of Palestine include all of Israel.
So it would appear that what the pope has actually recognized and endorsed is the open intention to destroy Israel and replace it by Palestine.
Why has he done this? One answer is realpolitik. It is hardly a coincidence that the treaty was finalized shortly before this Sunday’s ceremony in Rome, due to be attended by Mahmoud Abbas, to canonize two Palestinian nuns.



ISIS- Two-staters’ excuse du jour
I am sure you have noticed how it is with “twostaters” – a.k.a. adherents of the dogma of political appeasement and territorial concessions as an effective measure for assuaging despots.
For them, the prevailing conditions – no matter what they are – are always favorable for implementing the land-for-peace doctrine and establishing a Palestinian state, and in fact comprise a compelling imperative, indeed, a veritable “historic opportunity” for doing so, which cannot, must not be missed, lest it be regretted for generations to come.
Come rain, come shine – ‘Palestine’...
If it rains, we are told we need a Palestinian state – because it is raining. When it is dry, we must have a Palestinian state – because dry weather is ideal for setting up such a state. When it is freezing cold – only the establishment of a Palestinian state can bring any warmth. When it is sizzling hot, it’s time for a Palestinian state – for only it can bring relief from the wilting heat...
So, whatever the existing conditions, they are seized upon as the irrefutable and urgent rationale for the establishment of a Palestinian state – even if they constitute the utter negation of the previous conditions, which formerly had been invoked as the exigent and incontestable rationale for such a state.
If this sounds flippant, just look back at the history of the last three decades and any misgivings will be dispelled.
In Camp David homage, Obama says Israeli-Palestinian peace 'seems distant now'
A final Israeli-Palestinian accord "seems distant now," Obama said from Camp David, reiterating the US position that an agreement recognizing two states for two peoples is "absolutely vital" for greater Middle East peace.
"Since we're up here at Camp David, I think it's important to remind ourselves of the degree to which a very hard peace deal that required incredible vision and courage and tough choices resulted in what’s now been a lasting peace between countries that used to be sworn enemies," Obama said. "And Israel is better off for it. I think the same would be true if we get a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians."
"That prospect seems distant now," he continued. "But I think it's always important for us to keep in mind what’s right and what’s possible."
Israel was only a brief agenda item at the rare summit here at the Maryland camp, where the president hosted leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council for six hours of meetings. The parties focused on a cohesive security plan between the US and the GCC, but both parties "strongly affirmed the necessity of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the basis of a just, lasting, comprehensive peace agreement."
Abbas sets preconditions for new Netanyahu government to return to peace talks
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday set out preconditions to restarting the peace talks with Israel.
According to Israel Radio on Friday, Abbas called for the halt of all settlement construction in the West Bank and for the immediate release of Palestinians that were imprisoned before the Oslo Accords who were supposed to be released in 2014.
The Palestinian leader demanded that the talks be held for a minimum of a year, during which the two sides will agree on a specific timetable for an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank that is to be completed by 2017.
In a speech given Thursday before the new Israeli government was sworn in, Abbas declared that the previous government was not a partner for peace and had purposely hampered the peace efforts of US Secretary of State John Kerry. If the new government will continue on the path of the previous government, the Palestinians will continue to internationalize the conflict, he threatened.
PA Parliament: Jews Have No Right to Even 'One Inch' of Israel
The Palestinian parliament is continuing to reject any Jewish right to the “land of Palestine”, meaning the entire land of Israel, including the sovereign territory of the State of Israel.
At a special meeting in Gaza on Thursday held on the occasion of Nakba Day, the Palestinian parliament stated that the entire “land of Palestine” is an Islamic endowment, and the Jews have no right to even a single inch of it.
Nakba Day is the day on which Arabs mourn what they view as the “disaster” of the founding of the State of Israel in 1948. It is marked on May 14, the day in 1948 on which Israel became a state.
The parliament also stressed that the “right of return” is a sacred collective and private right and cannot be given up, and added that the Palestinians will never agree to the settlement of the so-called “Palestinian refugees” outside the territory of “Palestine” nor will they ever agree to recognize Israel.
The NSC: ‘Radical Wing’ of Obama White House
The National Security Council (NSC) is meant to serve as “the President’s principal forum for considering national security and foreign policy matters with his senior national security advisors and cabinet officials. Increasingly, it is a repository for radicals whose ideas are too extreme for public scrutiny, and who would never pass congressional muster. The latest case is the NSC’s hosting last month of a Palestinian-American teenager, Tariq Khdeir, who was beaten by Israeli police in 2014.
There is nothing wrong, in principle, with the U.S. government reaching out to American citizens who have been harmed abroad. There is much that is odd, however, about the NSC’s Khdeir event, which happened last month and was apparently hidden from the media until now. There is no reason that the event should have been hosted by the NSC, much less at the White House itself. The apparent intent was to show solidarity with Palestinians and their supporters without offending the pro-Israel community in the midst of the debate about the Iran deal. Yet the NSC has no formal role in public diplomacy.
Under Obama, however, the NSC has become the “radical wing” of the White House, pushing a highly ideological agenda. Consider Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, the NSC Iran director with close ties to a pro-regime lobby group and no other policy qualifications. She works under Susan Rice, whose lies about the Benghazi attack made her confirmation as Secretary of State impossible. And they both work with Ben Rhodes, of Benghazi talking points and one-sided Cuba détente infamy.
Hamas: UK Should Pay Us Reparations for Israel's Existence
The coordinator of the Palestinian Arab world's "Nakba Day" events has blamed Britain for Israel's existence on Friday, charging it with "theft of natural resources and property" and calling for the country to assist in Palestinian terror groups' retaking of Israel and to pay reparations to "avenge" the "injustice."
Hamas official Essam Adwan stated Friday that Britain "paved the way" for a "Zionist takeover" by preventing Palestinians from establishing an armed resistance against Jews in 1947 and by weakening the local economy and education system.
He also accused the British policy of forced expulsion imposed on the Palestinian Arabs of allowing Jews to "massacre" Arabs by fighting back against those who were launching terror attacks and their own massacres against Jews living in Israel.
Adwan cast responsibility for the situation of Palestinians upon Arab countries also agreed to a cease-fire with Israel and after years signed peace treaties with it - most likely referencing Jordan and Egypt.
Recognize the Legitimate Rights of Self-Determination Now!! (satire)
The Vatican
Friends, Comrades, Zionists!
It is time we acknowledge Alaric I and his descendents as the true and rightful rulers of the Vatican.
As you recall, the good Alaric took control of the Vatican on August 24, 410 CE, and turned it into a city of Visigoths. Ever since then, the rights of the Visigoths to self-determination and freedom in the Vatican have been denied by Church authorities. But these rights to the eternal city are eternal and must at long last be acknowledged.
Indeed, Visigoth rights stem directly from the Nakba that the long-suffering Visigoths suffered at the hands of Theodosius and the Eastern Empire based in Constantinople and also from the Huns. Thousands of Visigoths were brutally murdered in the year 400 in Constantinople. Clearly a two-state solution is called for whereby the Church can retain its control of Roman Ravenna and the Visigoths exercise their legitimate rights in the Vatican!
Edgar Davidson: In shock move Vatican recognizes Islamic State of Luton* (satire)
The Vatican has quickly followed its recognition of the terrorist State of Palestine today by also formally recognising the Islamic State of Luton. In an historic meeting in Rome today with the moderate leader of Luton, the Emir Anjem Choudary, Pope Francis said:
The illegal occupation of Islamic Luton by the imperialist British government continues to be a barrier to world peace. The aspirations of the Muslims of Luton to have their own independent Sharia State - as Emir Choudary has heroically campaigned for years - can no longer be denied.
By recognising the Islamic State of Luton today the Vatican also brings pressure to bear on the Britsh Government to ensure a peaceful transfer of power to these long down-trodden Muslim people.

Anjum Choudary, in a surprisingly sensitive and conciliatory speech asserted:
The new Islamic State of Luton demands that the rest of Britain must now submit to Sharia law. No non-Muslim will be harmed providing they convert to Islam. We also demand that the Vatican renounce Catholicism and submit to the Sharia.
Congress overwhelmingly passes nuclear deal review bill
Congress on Thursday sent President Barack Obama a bill to give lawmakers the power to review and potentially reject a nuclear deal with Iran.
The House overwhelmingly passed the measure, 400-25, a reflection of lawmakers’ insistence on having a say in what could be a significant international accord to get Iran to curb its nuclear program in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.
Getting a deal would enhance Obama’s foreign policy record, and while the GOP-led Congress doesn’t want to see a nuclear-armed Iran, they are skeptical about Iranian compliance and have demanded time to review the fine points of any agreement the White House reaches with Tehran.
Presidential spokesman Josh Earnest said again Thursday that Obama would sign the bill into law.
Washington Summit Highlights Arab Displeasure With Obama on Iran
One recent development that reportedly has further alienated the Arab states is Obama’s rejection of their proposed common defense treaty with the U.S.—a decision, ironically, that will make them more dependent on Israel in the event of any military confrontation with Iran. According to Foreign Policy, key members of the Gulf Cooperation Council had lobbied hard for the U.S. to agree to a defense pact ahead of the summit. Still, the pact was not forthcoming, with one analyst, Frederic Wehrey of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, surmising that the administration didn’t feel compelled to “bend over backwards” to countries that repress basic human liberties. (That might have been a sound argument were it not for the Obama administration’s generally feeble commitment to human rights globally, from Syria to China.)
Moreover, Arab leaders know that their displeasure with Obama is not the only obstacle in the way of a final deal with Iran. Domestically, Obama has to contend with the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, which passed the Senate last week in a 98-1 vote. The president can still push a deal through in the face of bitter opposition, but he will do so on the defensive, forced to justify an arrangement that leaves the Iranian nuclear program intact—and without the intrusive, round-the-clock monitoring that an effective inspections regime requires. If, indeed, a final deal is reached by the June 30 deadline, the U.S. State Department will need to make sure that any fact sheets it publishes are cleared with the Iranians first, so as to avoid the radically different interpretations of what was supposedly agreed during the last round of talks in the Swiss city of Lausanne.
Those divergent interpretations were not concerned with insignificant points. Ultimately, the failure of the administration to make an effective case for its Iran deal rests on its inability to answer the burning questions. Will sanctions be lifted the day an agreement is signed, as the Iranians claim, or will they be phased out in accordance with Iranian cooperation, as Washington would have us believe? Exactly what kind of inspection regime will be acceptable to the Iranians, and will it include unimpeded rights of access to military installations like Fordow, an enrichment facility located in a bunker beneath a mountain? What will be the fate of the stockpile of enriched uranium which the Iranians originally promised would be shipped to a third party, before reneging on that shortly after?
Arab leaders are skeptical that the Obama administration can deliver an acceptable deal, given these stakes. So are the Israelis. And so is an enormous chunk of the U.S. Congress. This isn’t over yet.
Obama offers Gulf states ‘ironclad’ support on Iran
US President Barack Obama pledged America’s “ironclad commitment” to anxious Persian Gulf nations Thursday to help protect their security, pointedly mentioning the potential use of military force and offering assurances that a potential nuclear agreement with Iran would not leave them more vulnerable.
At the close of a rare summit at the presidential retreat at Camp David, Obama said the US would join the Gulf Cooperation Council nations “to deter and confront an external threat to any GCC state’s territorial integrity.” The US pledged to bolster its security cooperation with the Gulf on counterterrorism, maritime security, cybersecurity and ballistic missile defense.
“Let me underscore, the United States keeps our commitments,” Obama said at a news conference.
Iran Threat Behind Israel, AIPAC Silence Amid Arms Sales to Arab States
According to a Foreign Policy report published on Wednesday, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee is not attempting to lobby Washington over what will likely be a huge arms transfer from the U.S. to Gulf countries, over fears of an expanding Iran.
“Israelis have been silent [about the arms deals to Gulf countries],” one congressional aide familiar with the issue told Foreign Policy. “Aipac was asking a lot of questions, but I wouldn’t characterize our interaction on this as lobbying.”
In addition, the Egyptian purchase of the advanced s-300 Russian missile defense system was of little concern to Israel because it doesn’t see hostility from its southern neighbor.
“We don’t see Egypt as the enemy,” an Israeli official told Reuters on Thursday, and an official in Cairo said Israel has nothing to fear.
“Israel has seen an opening with the Sunni Gulf states which has been very important, and with Egyptian President [Abdel Fattah] el-Sisi,” who opposes Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood,” said John Landis, associate professor and director for the Center of Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.
The Middle East Has Four Minutes To Act If Iran Fires a Missile
If Iran launches a ballistic missile at the Middle East, nuclear or not, Arab states would have as little as four minutes to act before impact.
Ideally, the launch would be detected, the missile tracked during its flight by radar and its trajectory then passed to an interceptor missile, which would then blast off. If all goes as planned, the interceptor would collide with the Iranian missile as it re-enters the Earth’s atmosphere.
But which country would shoot down the missile? While the missile’s target may be in Saudi Arabia, it would travel over UAE, Qatar or Kuwait. America’s friends have sophisticated, American-made missile interceptors. But there’s one problem, the equipment in one country does not talk to the equipment in another. So, the United States is renewing its push during this week’s Gulf Cooperation Council summit outside Washington to get Arab states to link-up the missile interceptors and radars into a single Middle East missile shield.
Obama: Chlorine Gas Not 'Historically' a Chemical Weapon
Widespread reports of chlorine gas attacks in Syria have not been prevented - or acted upon - because chlorine is not "historically" considered a chemical weapon, US President Barack Obama stated Thursday.
Obama was forced to answer the chlorine question during a press conference from a summit at Camp David with leaders of the Gulf states. Syria and Iran were key issues at the conference.
However, when pressed about chlorine, Obama evaded defining it as a "weapon," noting that it has many other non-threatening uses, as caught in this footage from the Washington Free Beacon.
"Chlorine itself is not listed as a chemical weapon," he insisted, referring to the US's pledge against chemical weapons use in Syria.
In his response, Obama made reference to the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which indeed supervised the liquidation of Syria's sarin gas over a year-long process that ended in late 2014.
Eugene Kontorovich: Iran shaking down shipping, as predicted
Today, Iran’s navy fired upon a Singapore-flagged tanker in the Straits of Hormuz, and attempted to force it into Iranian waters.
I predicted as much last week, when the U.S. stood by as Iran seized a Marshall Islands’ vessel and held it for ransom:
The Islamic Republic has no legal authority to seize the ship. Releasing it on payment of money is not piracy, because that can only committed by non-state actors, but it is definitely a shake-down, and an assertion of general sovereign rights over international shipping lanes. It is likely not the last such ransom Iran will demand.
Though I must admit, Tehran is working on more accelerated timetable than I had expected.
No one hurt aboard ship fired on by Iranians in Gulf
No one onboard a Singapore-flagged commercial tanker that was fired on by an Iranian naval patrol in the Persian Gulf was injured and the ship did not sustain serious damage, the companies responsible for it said Friday.
The MT Alpine Eternity “was attacked by a number of small craft,” which first fired warning shots and issued calls ordering the ship to stop on Thursday morning, according to a statement from ship manager Transpetrol and owner South Maritime Pte Ltd.
The crew ignored the order, changed course to head for Emirati territorial waters and called for help, they said.
The tanker had been in international waters on its way from Bahrain to the port of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates. The shooting happened near Abu Musa island, one of three islands near the Strait of Hormuz that are controlled by Iran but also claimed by the Emirates.
Showdown: Iranian Ship Defies US Orders, Sets Course for Yemen
Iran has deployed a “humanitarian aid” ship carrying 2,500 tons of unknown supplies to Yemen, setting up a situation where Tehran is attempting to openly defy a U.S. order not to dock its ships in the country’s ports.
State media outlet Mehr News reports that the ship left Iran’s Bandar Abbas port on Thursday and will make its way to “one of Yemen’s ports.” The ship will travel at least 1500 miles and should arrive in Yemen, without any delays, sometime on Monday.
Iran has threatened that blocking the ship from reaching its intended destination “will spark a war in the region.” The Pentagon has insisted that the ship dock in a United Nations port in Djibouti, where officials could then confirm whether the vessel was indeed carrying only humanitarian aid.
Iranian officials have claimed that the West has nothing to worry about and that the 2,500 tons of material are strictly for humanitarian purposes. “We have no political objective and our main task is humanitarian relief for civilians, women and children,” Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) Secretary General Ali Asghar Ahmadi told state media.
But many in the West are skeptical of the Tehran regime’s intentions, largely because of its open support for Shiite Houthi militants in Yemen, who are attempting to usurp power in the country through force. In late March, an Iranian cargo ship reportedly dumped 180 tons of weapons and aid into the hands of the Houthi militants, according to reports.
Palestinian confesses to West Bank car-ramming attack
A Palestinian man has confessed to ramming his vehicle into a bus stop in the West Bank, in an apparent terror attack Thursday afternoon that left four young Israelis injured.
The attack occurred outside the Alon Shvut settlement in the Etzion settlement bloc south of Jerusalem, at the site of a similar fatal attack in November.
The suspect was named by the Shin Bet security service as Muhammed Arfaaya, a 22-year-old resident of Hebron.
The deputy head of the Etzion settlement bloc council Moshe Savil told the Ynet news site that the driver came from the direction of nearby Kfar Etzion. “He crossed the highway and with great force struck a group of students who were waiting for the bus,” he said.
Terem Medical Center Gets Enraged Arab Letter About Their Israeli Flags
The staff at the Terem Medical Center, a network of private immediate care medical clinics, found by Dr. David Applebaum HY”D, were surprised when the Armon HaNetziv branch in Jerusalem received a letter from an angry Arab woman they apparently treated, according to a mynet report by Moshe Heller.
The Arab Jerusalemite wrote that she was upset that the Terem Medical Center had Israeli flags hanging for Israel’s Independence Day.
She claimed it hurt her sensitive feelings and the feeling of other Arabs visiting the medical center, including the Arab doctors and medical staff who work in Terem and identify with the “Palestinian-Arab minority”.
In the letter, the wounded Arab wrote, “The clinic serves all people without differentiating between religion, race or nationality, and therefore, it is inappropriate that dozens of the Israeli-Jewish national flags were hung in the clinic.”
FIFA head: Israel concessions needed to head off Palestinian call for expulsion
FIFA head Sepp Blatter, who runs the world’s largest body of organized soccer, said on Friday that it is incumbent upon Israel to “make some concessions” to the Palestinians in order to defuse the latest attempt by Ramallah to compel Israel’s ouster from the organization.
AFP reported on Friday that Blatter said he was hopeful that the issue could be resolved following meetings next week with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas.
PreOccupied Territory: IAF Now Just Trolling Sudan With Fake Explosions (satire)
Hysteria surrounding repeated rumors and reports of explosions resulting from alleged Israeli air attacks on Sudanese facilities have prompted the Israel Air Force to dispense with actual sorties and rely on fake explosions to achieve the same psychological effect, a senior air force officer reported today.
Sudan has long served as a conduit for Iran to ship arms to Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Israeli planes have reportedly bombed convoys or warehouses in Sudan several times over the last few years to prevent weapons from reaching terrorist groups in Gaza. Just last week Sudanese residents reported seeing and hearing explosions, though accounts differed over the location and scale of the explosions. They were quick to point a finger at Israel, but the latter, in keeping with a longstanding policy, declined to comment on the incident. The event sent local forces scrambling and served as yet another embarrassment to President Omar al-Bashir over his regime’s inability to thwart such incursions, or even detect them.
IAF commanders realized the latter goal could be achieved without putting aircraft at risk and without expending fuel or ordnance by simply yanking Sudan’s chain with faux attacks. “Deterrence and actual interdiction of weapons headed for terrorists is of course an important mission, and we will in no way diminish our efforts in that regard,” said the officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “But the other important goal of such missions is to undermine the confidence the people of Sudan have in their leadership and military. By separating the latter function from interdiction operations, we will be able to significantly augment the confidence-busting measures at little or no extra cost without sacrificing operational resources or effectiveness.”
PA to Use Jordanian Electricity and Leave Amman Holding the Debt
The Palestinian Authority will connect to Jordan’s electric grid, reducing its dependency on Israel, according to Omar Kittanah, the director of the Palestinian Power and Natural Resources Authority.
He told the Ma’an News Agency, based in Bethlehem, that connecting Jordan to electricity grid in Jericho is part of a project that in three years will tie together eight countries in the system. The other countries are Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Libya and Egypt, Jordan.
After a high-tension line from Jordan to Jericho is completed, a separate line will be built to send electricity from Judea and Samaria to the other countries, tying the Palestinian Authority with Israel’s enemy nations of Lebanon and Syria.
The Palestinian Authority now needs approximately $100 million to pay for hooking up its grid to Jordan.
Kittanah said that other countries have special funds to support development projects.
Buying electricity from Jordan instead of Israel may leave Amman holding a bag of debts if the Palestinian Authority continues not to pay for electricity. Israel frequently has frozen taxes that collects for the Palestinian Authority on goods and merchandise flowing into Judea and Samaria. Israel resume the flow of money last month on another agreement that would reduce but not eliminate the debt.
In first, Palestinian official jailed for Facebook posts
The Jerusalem Magistrate Court on Tuesday sentenced the secretary general of Fatah’s Jerusalem branch to nine months in prison for using his personal Facebook account to incite violence and support terrorism against Israeli civilians.
The sentencing of Omar Shalabi, 44, a resident of the West Bank village of Eizaria, marks the first time Israeli courts handed out a prison sentence for incitement on social media, according to the Ynet news website.
Shalabi, who has no prior criminal record, was arrested in December for his online activity.
The indictment against him referenced 10 Facebook statuses written between July and October of last year, at a time of heightened tensions in the capital, in which he hailed terrorists for various attacks.
Last October, following an assassination attempt on Temple Mount activist Yehudah Glick, Shalabi wrote that Glick was in serious condition, and wished him “hell and bad fate.”
PA uncovers Hamas cell in Hebron planning attacks on Israel
A Palestinian Authority security official said Friday that the PA's security services uncovered and arrested a Hamas cell near Hebron in the West Bank.
The official told Israel Radio on Friday that the group was planning attacks meant to take place in Israel.
Palestinian police were first alerted to the cell after a report was received of people preparing explosives inside an apartment. Five members of the cell were then arrested.
The report said that cell members were in the early stages of preparing the necessary materials to make an explosive device and a search of the house did not find any completed explosives.
The official said that Palestinian security forces have arrested other Hamas military cells in Hebron, Kalkilya, Nablus and Jenin since the beginning of the year.
Gaza: Blast in Hamas training camp wounds 50, including children
Around 50 people, including children, were wounded after an explosive detonated inside a Hamas training camp in the Gaza Strip, AFP reported Friday.
Witnesses at the scene said that the blast took place at a training camp of Izzadin Kassam, Hamas's military wing, in the northern Gaza city of Beit Lahiya.
A doctor at Al-Awda Hospital, Baker Abu Safia, said that most of the 30 people who were brought to his hospital were women and children. He added that the hospital was in a "state of emergency" following the incident.
Hamas health ministry spokesman, Ashra al-Qudra, said that among the 50 people hurt, five were were in serious condition.
The reason for the blast is unknown, as well as to why so many children were inside a military-style base.
At Upcoming Military Parade, Hamas Will Roll Out Its Tank and Helicopter
In an attempt to demonstrate its strength, Hamas is preparing a parade in Gaza in which it will display its sole helicopter and tank, Israel’s NRG news portal reported.
According to the report, Gaza sources said on Tuesday that Hamas had restored the private helicopter of deceased Palestinian Authority president Yasser Arafat in order to display it before the Palestinian public. A security source in the Gaza Strip notified reporters that the helicopter is now being held at a secure location in the western part of Gaza, and will be displayed in the march, which will “be held soon.”
Saeb Abu Rakba, a resident of Gaza, told reporters that the helicopter, “had been lying in disrepair for years on the Gazan coast, filled with dirt and dust,” according to NRG. Other residents, like Muhammad Saqer, expressed their joy over Gazans having a helicopter of their own, saying that Hamas should “display the helicopter in a more prominent place, so that the residents of Gaza will be able to see it and be filled with pride.”
Hamas is Allowing ‘Palestinian Hezbollah’ to Operate in Gaza
Hamas has been allowing a Shia organization in Gaza beholden to Iran, which calls itself “Al-Sabirin,” to carry out its activities in the coastal Strip.
Al-Sabirin reportedly launched its first operation against Israel on May 25, 2014, and is thought to comprise disgruntled or expelled members of Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
The group is led by Hisham Salem – a former senior official in Palestinian Islamic Jihad – who founded the group last June.
Salem has been issuing condemnations of Saudi Arabia’s “Decisive Storm” military operation against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. Salem’s condemnations are in line with the position taken by Iran’s other proxies in the Arab world, particularly Hezbollah’s vociferous criticism of the Saudi-led strikes.
It styles itself, “a Palestinian resistance movement that seeks to free all of Palestine and does not believe in any negotiated agreements or even long-term truces with Israel.”
Hamas Victory Explains Israel’s Stand
Some will claim that the unpopularity of Fatah and the belief in Hamas’s war strategy is Israel’s fault because it refuses to make peace and give the Palestinians a state. But this ignores the fact that Fatah has repeatedly refused Israeli offers of peace and independence in almost of the West Bank, Gaza and a share of Jerusalem. Even the so-called moderates refuse to recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders are drawn. The dynamic of Palestinian politics has always given an advantage to any group that prioritized violence. Until a sea change in their culture occurs to change that, the peace process will be permanently stalled.
Israel withdrew every solider, settler and settlement from Gaza in 2005 and got more terror instead of peace. If it were to repeat the experiment in the West Bank as its foreign critics urge, the consequences would be incalculable. Even if Fatah were to remain in power, giving them sovereignty would place Israel’s security in jeopardy. If the West Bank were soon to fall into Hamas’s hands, it would mean a war that would make last summer’s fighting in Gaza look like a picnic.
Rather than an advertisement for Hamas’s appeal or even Fatah’s unpopularity, the Bir Zeit election is a warning to Israel of what might happen in the West Bank should it succumb to pressure and withdraw. Most Israelis may see a two state solution as the best option but not under the current circumstances. President Obama’s wishes notwithstanding, that’s something that no Israeli government will think of doing.
Egypt completes expansion of Gaza buffer zone
Egyptian authorities yesterday announced that they have completed a kilometre-deep buffer zone the length of the Egypt-Gaza border in order to protect against tunnels enabling the smuggling of arms and weapons, fuelling Islamist violence in the Sinai Peninsula.
The buffer zone expands on an existing 500-metre deep area Egypt had already established spanning a nine-mile stretch along the Gaza border. It is estimated that around 2,000 homes have been destroyed to make way for the buffer zone, which Egypt hopes will halt Hamas’s ability to support terrorist groups in Sinai.
Egypt’s President al-Sisi declared a state of emergency in parts of Sinai in October, after saying that “foreign forces” were responsible for a huge double terror attack in northern Sinai, which killed 33 Egyptian soldiers. He also ordered the closure of the Rafah border crossing with Gaza, which has remained almost entirely shut ever since. Yesterday, al-Sisi said that Egypt had destroyed around 80 per cent of the smuggling tunnels and again alluded to Hamas’s influence, blaming “foreign agents” for the violence.
'I Confess: I Played Katy Perry's Music in Gaza'
The latest report by ultraleftist NGO “Breaking the Silence” contains the alleged testimony of soldiers who served in Gaza, and who describe what they thought was immoral IDF activity during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza last summer. The report was gobbled up by news media abroad for its Israel-bashing value, although it does not describe anything that constitutes a war crime.
While many Israelis reacted to the report with anger and accusations of backstabbing, some decided to vent their frustration through satire. And thus, the Facebook page “1000 Times More 'Breaking the Silence'” was born.
The page displays mock statuses of soldiers who express their remorse over “atrocities” they perpetrated. Here is a sampling:
"Once, at a checkpoint, I let a pregnant Palestinian woman cut past the line. In the end, it turned out she was just fat. She was so insulted.”
"We were lying in ambush when suddenly, a boy approached us, wearing an explosive vest. We convinced him to take it off and promised we'd give him a Messi shirt. We had a different shirt, but we fooled him and he didn't even know.”
"Once, during reserve duty at Etzion, I served black coffee to two Palestinian workers. I now think, with regret, that perhaps they couldn't sleep that night.”
"Once, I had a bottle of Coke and I didn't throw it at the roadside – thus preventing a Palestinian from exercising his right to a fire bomb.”
"When I was at a roadblock in Hevron, I stopped a private car with two small girls. In the car's baggage trunk were two guns and ten cartridges. To this day, I find it hard to get over the damage I caused that family when I scratched their car as I removed the ammunition from the trunk. One of the guns scratched the hood of the trunk.”


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