Monday, August 31, 2015

From Ian:

Report: Gazans Fleeing to Israel, Risking Death to Escape Hamas Oppression
A growing number of Palestinians are fleeing the Gaza Strip for Israel, Israeli news site nrg reported on Sunday.
According to the report, the reason for the exodus is the oppressive rule of terror group Hamas, which has controlled the coastal enclave since 2007.
The number of Gazans attempting to make the move has steadily risen since Israel’s 50-day war against Hamas terrorists last summer, dubbed Operation Protective Edge, nrg said. When apprehended by Israeli authorities, the absconders told interrogators about their poor living conditions and the repressive Hamas regime.
The IDF interrogations revealed that the refugees are even willing to risk going to prison — or being killed by security forces mistaking them for terrorists — due to widespread hunger and fear of Hamas.
The fugitives also said that Hamas was acting to prevent the exit of Palestinians from Gaza into Israel, for fear they will become Israeli collaborators. They explained that since the establishment by Hamas of an administrative route near the border fence with Israel, which is guarded by Hamas fighters, they are forced to crawl under the fence, to avoid being caught and executed.
'Big embarrassment for Obama' as DNC chair blocks support for Iran nuclear deal
Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz blocked a resolution that would have backed U.S. President Barack Obama's Iran nuclear deal, which curbs Iran's nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief, The Washington Post reported Saturday.
Citing "knowledgeable Democrats," the paper reported that during the party's summer meeting, Wasserman Schultz had prevented a vote on a resolution seeking to put the national committee on record as supporting the nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers, ahead of a crucial vote in Congress that will seal its fate.
A CNN panel described the incident as the "president's big embarrassment."
"The Obama-controlled DNC could not pass a resolution this weekend expressing support for President Obama's Iran deal," New York Times reporter Jonathan Martin said during the panel debate. "It's a bit of an embarrassment for the administration seeing as it's his party; he appointed Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and it's revived the sort of latest round of eye-rolling among Democratic operatives about the state of the party."
CNN host John King said Martin was being diplomatic, saying it was a "big embarrassment for the president."
"We wanted to show support for the president," James Zogby, the co-chair of the DNC's Resolutions Committee, told The Washington Post. "We found that the best way to show support was a letter that members would sign on to, and the overwhelming majority of DNC members signed onto the letter."
Republican Senators: Filibuster on Iran Would Be a 'Gift'
Republicans intend to “hammer” Senate Democrats next month if they do not allow a vote on a measure disapproving President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, according to The Hill.
Republicans, who oppose the deal unanimously, need the support of six Democrats to break a filibuster by Democrats, while the deal's supporters need 41 Senate votes to block the measure of disapproval. So far, 30 Senate Democrats have committed to voting in favor of the Iran agreement, and only two Democrats have broken ranks.
If the resolution is filibustered, it would be a major victory for the White House, which wouldn’t have to resort to a presidential veto to keep the Iran deal alive.
However, opponents of the deal warned that Senate Democrats would pay a political cost for such a move.
“Democrats will be setting themselves up for a further political hit if they deny the people the opportunity —the people meaning members of Congress — to vote on it,” said Allen Roth, the president Secure America Now, which opposes the Iran agreement. “I think it’ll be handing a political gift to the Republicans.”
GOP Senator: States Can Undo Iran Deal Damage
Republican Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma has co-authored an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal urging individual US states to widen sanctions against Iran even as the White House and Congress undo their sanctions against the rogue Islamist republic.
President Barack Obama’s deal with Iran “welcomes Iran as a participant in the world community conditioned only on marginal changes to its nuclear program. It effectively allows Iran to maintain technology that would lead to a nuclear weapon, as well as continue its human-rights abuses, sponsoring of terrorism, imprisoning of American hostages, and threats to American allies, including Israel,” writes Inhofe, in an article co-signed by Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma’s attorney general.
“Fortunately,” the two write, “the U.S. states have the power to limit these threats, if they all choose to use it.” They justify this by noting that it was Obama who chose to turn the major international accord as an executive agreement, rather than as a treaty, “in order to evade the Constitution’s requirement of two-thirds approval by the U.S. Senate for enactment.” Since Obama skirted the people’s representatives in Congress – “the people, through the states, may come to their own decisions regarding sanctions on Iran.”

Dividing the Arabs: America and Europe's Double Game
Iran is on its way in a few years to having nuclear weapons capability. The breakout time, according to President Obama, would effectively be "zero." Iran could then make as many bombs as it would like, along with intercontinental ballistic missiles to delver them to major American cities, directly from Iran, from South America, or -- making identification and retaliation impossible -- from submarines submerged off the U.S. coast.
Obama with one hand allows Iran to glide to nuclear capability and encourage the Muslim Brotherhood and similar Islamist terrorist organizations such as the Islamic State in the Sinai Peninsula -- while with the other hand, he claims to support Israel.
Qatar's role is duplicitous. It plays host to U.S. military bases at the same time that it funds and supports ISIS.
Hamas, since last year's war, has chosen to use its scant resources to rebuild its kidnapping tunnels and war capability, instead of developing businesses and turning the Gaza Strip into a magnificent Arab Riviera, as Dubai has become. Hamas's failure does not come from a lack of resources; it comes from a deliberate choice of how to use them.
The Iranians, in opposing American policy, which is a tissue of amateur plans and plots, are flexible and exploit Islam's taqiyya [dissimulation] -- religious approval to lie in the cause of Allah and to further Islam. However, they are not even bothering with that, they are telling the truth: "Death to America; Death to Israel."
Obama: US and Israel must improve Intel cooperation to stop Hezbollah from getting missiles
US President Barack Obama voiced his commitment to Israel's security in an interview published by Forward on Monday, saying that the US and the Jewish state should get back to increasing security cooperation after the current debate on the Iran nuclear deal has subsided.
"I think that once we have completed the congressional debate and the deal is in the process of being implemented, it will be important for my administration and the Israeli government to move forward on what I’ve been calling for since April, when the political framework agreement in Lausanne was first announced, and that is to sit down and ask the question, what are the major security challenges that we together face in the region, and how can we build on the already robust, unprecedented military and intelligence cooperation that we have to make our security arrangements even stronger?" Obama told Forward.
In particular, he mentioned the importance of finding ways to increase intelligence cooperation between the US and Israel to prevent Iran's proxy in Lebanon, Hezbollah, from obtaining more missiles with which to target Tel Aviv.
Obama reiterated that his disagreement with Israel over the terms of the Iran nuclear deal was a "fight within the family."
"Over the next several weeks as we get to the conclusion of the congressional debate, I think it is important for everybody to just take a breath for a moment and recognize that people on both sides of the debate love the United States and also love Israel," he told Forward.
Now Exposed - Iran is Already Waging War Against Israel
How serious is the likelihood of attacks from Kuntar's group and other terror gangs in the Golan? "At any given moment, the IDF Northern Command faces at least two warnings of impending attacks in the Golan region," the officer said. In fact, just two weeks ago, the IDF "conducted an exercise simulating an Israeli incursion into Syria in response to attacks on the border….The main threat in the area is posed by jihadi groups, not the Syrian military."
"At any given moment." Sure enough, just four days later, Iranian rockets from Syria struck in the Upper Galilee. Air-raid sirens sounded for the first time in years, as residents of local town and kibbutzim grabbed their children and ran, panic-stricken, to their bomb shelters.
It was bad enough when it turned out that the Iran deal would give the Iranians hundreds of millions of dollars, which they could use to help Hezbollah and Hamas. And it was bad enough when it was revealed that Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamanei, recently authored a 416-page book on the need to destroy Israel.
But now it turns out that the danger is not hypothetical, and Tehran is not just using words. It is already engaged in a daily proxy terror war against America's ally, Israel.
Will Members of Congress ignore these “facts on the ground” as they are weighing how to vote on the Iran agreement?
Jewish Pundits Bemoan Media ‘Obsession’ With Jewishness of Congress Members Over Iran Nuclear Deal
Two well-known Jewish pundits took to Twitter on Sunday to question the practice of the newspaper, The Hill, to emphasize the Jewishness of members of Congress in relation to the Iran nuclear deal.
Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic and Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept tweeted similar sentiments about what they consider the dubious practice, which neither actually refers to as “antisemitic” though this could be inferred from their banter with followers.
Goldberg, whose many one-on-one interviews with President Barack Obama has made him an international household name, wrote: “The Hill newspaper appears to be a bit obsessed by the Jewishness of members of Congress.”
Greenwald, an award-winning author and long-time writer for publications such as Salon and the Guardian, wrote: “News outlets keep highlighting Jewishness of US politicians when discussing Iran Deal – why?”
Each linked to a piece in The Hill, a political website widely read in Washington, D.C., about a Washington Post report on Saturday, according to which Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz “blocked consideration of a resolution at the party’s summer meeting that would have praised President Obama and backed his nuclear deal with Iran.”
Report: Iranian Hackers Linked to Sophisticated Cyber-Attacks on Political Dissidents
Iranian dissidents abroad who are falling victim to sophisticated cyber-attacks are likely being targeted by Iranian hackers who seek “to steal their email communications and contacts,” according to a report released this week by Canadian researchers, Voice of America reported yesterday.
The report, titled “London Calling,” details a multi-layered, real-time phishing campaign that uses a cybersecurity technique known as “two-factor authorization” – often employed to bolster online security – to trick its targets. …
The ploy basically worked like this: A target would receive an early-morning phone call, usually from London. The caller, pretending to be a trusted source, would inform the target that he or she would soon receive a Google document, which would arrive almost instantly at the target’s Gmail account.
“So before you’re fully awake, you get something that looks legitimate,” Scott-Railton told VOA. “But what you’re actually looking at is a fake Web page controlled by the attackers.”
A new era? Iranians erase 'Death to America' graffiti from wall of former US embassy in Tehran
Slogans against America are being erased from walls on the street of Tehran, Iranian media has reported in recent days.
Iranian news sites have published pictures of a person wiping off graffiti that reads,"Death to America," also from the walls of where the US embassy was formerly located prior to its closure after the Islamic Revolution of 1979.
The US embassy was sacked in the early days of the Islamic Revolution in 1979 by students who feared a repeat of a 1953 coup, when the CIA orchestrated the overthrow of Iran's prime minister. The ensuing US hostage crisis lasted 444 days and Washington and Tehran have yet to restore diplomatic ties.
Last week, as Britain restored its diplomatic mission four years after protesters ransacked the British ambassador's residence, Iran's foreign minister said it was too early to talk of reopening the US Embassy in Tehran.
Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, asked if Tehran would now countenance a restoration of the US diplomatic mission, said the United States' "illogical attitude" towards Iran meant the time was not ripe for a similar move with Washington.
Iran jails 2 people for 10 years for spying for US, Israel
Iran’s official IRNA news agency said two people have been sentenced to 10 years in prison after being convicted of spying for the United States and Israel.
IRNA quoted judicial spokesman Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejehi as saying Sunday that the two were sentenced by a Revolutionary Court, which handles national security cases. He did not provide the names of those sentenced.
“The two persons were sentenced to 10-year prison terms by Tehran’s Islamic Revolutionary Court,” Ejehi told reporters in Tehran on Sunday, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.
The lawyer for Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, who was tried for espionage in a Revolutionary Court, said the case “has nothing to do with the case of my client.” Leila Ahsan says the court has yet to issue its verdict on Rezaian.
Family of American held in Iran marks 4-year anniversary of captivity
Saturday marked the fourth anniversary of the imprisonment of a former U.S. Marine in Iran due to what Secretary of State John Kerry has said are false espionage charges.
Amir Hekmati became the first American to receive the death penalty in Iran in more than 33 years in January 2012 for espionage, waging war against God and corrupting the earth, according to the Free Amir website set up by his supporters.
That death sentence was later overturned by a higher court, but he was subsequently convicted in a secret trial of "cooperating with hostile governments" and received a 10-year prison sentence, according to the website and a CNN interview with Hekmati's sister, Sarah, last year.
"Today marks four years that our brother, son and American Marine veteran, Amir Hekmati, has been imprisoned in Iran," Hekmati's family wrote in a statement.
Kerry called on the Iranian government to release Hekmati on humanitarian grounds.
Israel Could Stop Nabi Salah Riots, But it Doesn't - Why?
The controversial footage - in which a soldier is forced to abandon an arrest of a rock-thrower - has caused a storm of controversy in Israel. Many right-wing legislators, such as Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman, see it as proof of how the army's hands have been tied by the political echelons and called for an urgent review of the IDF's rules of engagement in dealing with rioters.
But others have questioned why authorities are not being more proactive in tackling what are essentially staged provocations, in Nabi Salah and elsewhere, many of which happen like clockwork each and every week.
Speaking to Arutz Sheva, David Bedein of the Center for Near-East Policy Research explained that the clashes are part of a longstanding attempt by Palestinians to seize control of a well owned by the Jewish village of Halamish.
Since losing a legal battle in the Israeli High Court, the Arab villagers - led by the notoriously violent Tamimi clan - have staged weekly attempts to take the well by force. Each time the IDF turns up to repel them, in what has become a weekly ritual involving anarchists and left-wing activists from both Israel and abroad.
Seth Frantzman: Nabi Saleh and Israel’s professional army problem
The photos could have been published 30 years ago in 1985, or 30 years from now in 2045, when Israel will still likely be doing the same thing it is today. It’s the kind of incident that comes up every year. It recalls David “the Nahlawi,” a soldier from the Nahal Brigade who cocked his weapon at a Palestinian youth in Hebron in 2014, or the photos of Lt. Col Shalom Eisner hitting a foreign peace activist in the Jordan Valley in 2012. Sometimes the soldier’s actions are deemed to have been correct, other times the soldier comes in for massive condemnation and is sent to military prison.
For the pro-Israel community, these incidents are unfortunate mistakes, or part of an international media conspiracy that blows routine events out of proportion. The media doesn’t tell the “whole story,” because, we are told, the video or photos do not show what the Palestinians did to provoke the incident. Or the Palestinians are said to have “scripted” the incident. In the case of the soldier at Nabi Saleh the army spokesman told the press that the Palestinian youth was throwing rocks and that after the arrest, the intercession of the women and children, “a decision was made by the regional commander to cease the arrest.”
For the crowd more critical of Israel these kinds of incidents are all seen as symbolic of the evils of military occupation of the West Bank. The Israeli soldiers are described as brutes, the Palestinians as victims. Someone will soon make a meme of the incident, and someone else will interview the family of the Palestinian boy and that will be the end of it.
What no one seems to wonder is why, after 48 years of Israel running the West Bank, is the regular conscript army sent in to deal, again and again, with stone-throwing children.
IsraellyCool: Shirley Temper And Brother Follow The Script
As I have documented on this blog, Basem Tamimi of Tamimi Press has trained his children well in the art of parading before the cameras. Daughter Ahed aka ‘Shirley Temper‘ is particularly adept, but son Mohammed aka ‘Sling-shot’ seems to be following in her footsteps.
Besides the images that have gone viral, the children’s interviews with Israeli television reaffirm the depth of their schooling in this art form.
In an interview with Channel 10, Mohammed says “I want to say to him [the soldier] that the women who were there were able to strike him and kill him, but they are humane.”
Now see what sister ‘Shirley’ says in her interview with Channel 1.
“We could have killed the soldier, but our humanity does not allow us to kill anyone.”
Clearly someone is feeding them specific sound bytes, and I am guessing it is daddy dearest.
Father of Palestinian boy at heart of clash with IDF: Our children are doing their duty
The father of Muhammad Tamimi, who was at the center of a viral video of Palestinian women and children preventing his arrest by an IDF soldier, spoke out on Sunday in support of his children's involvement in demonstrations in the Nabi Saleh village in the West Bank.
"We have the right to resist. Our children are doing their duty and must be strong," Bassem Tamimi told The Jerusalem Post, when asked how he feels about his children's participation in West Bank protests against soldiers. He noted, however, that they are not against the soldiers, but against the occupation.
Muhammad's mother and sister were among those filmed on Friday hitting the soldier and trying to pull the boy away from him. This isn't the first time the family had made headlines for encounters with the IDF - Ahed, 14, was filmed two years ago shaking her fist at an Israeli soldier in a video that went viral.
According to the IDF, the reason for Muhammad's attempted arrest on Friday was stone-throwing, a claim his father rejects.
Family ‘proud’ of soldier’s restraint in West Bank scuffle
The father of an Israeli soldier who was attacked in the West Bank while trying to arrest a child said Sunday that he was proud of his son’s restraint, even as the child’s family accused the soldier of using too much force.
A video of the soldier being attacked Friday by Palestinian women and children near the village of Nabi Saleh has received some two million views on Facebook and other social media. In the video, the soldier appears to forcefully restrain the boy, whose arm is in a cast. And on several occasions, he chokes the kid and presses his head against a boulder to keep him still. Activists said the boy is 12 years old.
A group of women and children begin grappling with the soldier and punching him repeatedly, while he holds down the boy. At one point, a girl bites his hand.
“We are very proud of what we saw, proud of the restraint that he demonstrated, because without a doubt if [the] women had been injured, it would have ended very differently,” Arnon, the soldier’s father, told Army Radio.
Israeli teacher under fire for participating in Nabi Saleh demonstrations
An Israeli high school teacher is under fire after he was seen in the Friday YouTube video that went viral, in which Palestinian women and children attack an IDF soldier as he attempts to arrest an 11-year old boy with a broken arm.
In the background of that video it is possible to see a tall man, in a bluish-gray T-shirt and a baseball cap, who has since been identified as a teacher at the Avin ORT High School in Ram Gan.
The teacher does not attack the soldier, but he does appear to call on him to leave the boy alone.
The IDF has charged that the soldier attempted to arrest the boy, Muhammad Tamimi, because he was throwing stones during the weekly Friday demonstration.
Jew to Stand Trial for Fighting Back after Ambush
Well-known Jewish activist Noam Federman of Kiryat Arba will stand trial for an incident last year in which Arabs ambushed his vehicle with rocks.
Federman will be charged with damaging a vehicle.
The incident took place when Federman was driving through Hevron with two of his children. They were ambushed at close range. Federman and his son immediately got out of their car and chased the rock throwers into an alley.
In the alley, Arabs threw more rocks at Federman and his son, who threw rocks back. A video shot by Arabs shows Federman approaching an Arab vehicle, pulling out some egg cartons that were in it and throwing them onto the ground. He also appears to hurl a rock at the vehicle.
According to Federman, when police questioned him, they showed him a military video showing how an IDF vehicle was attacked at the same spot just before his vehicle got there. Instead of catching the attackers, the soldiers drove off, he said – leading the ambushers to attack his car next.
Federman said that Judea and Samaria Police filed the charge sheet without first holding a hearing with him as he had requested.
Intifada? Netanyahu Offers 'Vehicle Protection'
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu acknowledged on Monday the surging terror wave that Israeli citizens have been subjected to in recent months and years but appeared to offer little in terms of concrete action to thwart it.
"I held a special discussion this morning with the Minister of Defense, the Minister for Internal Security and the Minister of Transportation, in order to deal with what is looking like a growing trend of terror attacks, in Jerusalem as well as Judea and Samaria,” he said at the opening of the cabinet session. “We will beef up forces and increase vehicular protection to safeguard the security of the citizens of Israel.”
The term “migun,” which Netanyahu used, usually refers to installing rock-proof windshields in cars, and other forms of passive defense.
"The Israel Police has an important role in this, as it does in preserving law and order in general. I give full backing to the Minister for Internal Security, and his efforts to appoint the best man for the post of Israel Police Commissioner.
"Gal Hirsch is the right man in the right place,” Netanyahu added, regarding the nominee for commissioner, who has come under fire from various circles. “He is an officer with values, dedicated, he has great capabilities to create changes and contribute to the strengthening of the Israel Police and the rule of law in Israel.”
Wounded Israeli: It Was a Very Big Miracle
Ronen Edri, 46, who was wounded in a shooting attack on Sunday as he drove past the Jit intersection, near Kedumim in Samaria, spoke to Channel 20 and recalled the ordeal.
Edri was lightly wounded by shrapnel in his hand, but managed to continue driving to a nearby IDF base, where he was treated by the Ephraim Brigade's medics.
"I got up for a normal work day. I was driving to work and in front of me was a vehicle that was traveling relatively slowly. I kept driving until the intersection, I turned right and the second after I turned right, I heard a tremendous noise. A volley of gunfire destroyed the window to the left. I made a preliminary assessment that I can respond, I stepped on the gas and got away as fast as possible," Edri recalled.
"I was wounded in the hand, shrapnel in the back. All in all, thank G-d, it was a very, very big miracle. I am grateful for the miracle, I could have been in quite a different place right now," he added.
The attack joins a long list of terrorist incidents that have occurred recently on the roads of Judea and Samaria and in Jerusalem.
Police probe mysterious deep shaft dug in East Jerusalem
A 100-foot-deep hole discovered Monday beneath the streets of East Jerusalem has police stumped.
Police announced the discovery of a shaft dug in the yard of an elderly East Jerusalem woman, meters from the Rockefeller Archaeological Museum, just outside the Old City walls.
A neighbor alerted police to the excavations on Nur al-Din Street, just north of the Old City, and officers who arrived at the home discovered a 30-meter-deep hole and ladders leading below ground.
The area surrounding the Old City is rich with archaeological remains dating back thousands of years, but Israeli law prohibits unsanctioned excavations, and all artifacts found must be handed over to the government.
An Israel Police spokesperson said there were no known suspects and that nobody was spotted at the scene of the incident.
The owner told police that several months ago, people arrived at her home and told her they were from the Jerusalem municipality and needed to dig in the yard to fix a water leak.
Since then they arrived every day to carry on the excavations.
Ashkelon: Mayor, Parents Protest Against Leftist Principal
Parents of pupils in Ashkelon’s School of the Arts are threatening to boycott the start of the school year because of the appointment of a radical leftist principal.
Avital Benshalom was approved as the principal of the school, despite opposition from parents and Ashkelon Mayor Itamar Shimoni over reports that she signed a petition calling on soldiers not to serve in Judea and Samaria in 2002.
Members of the parents’ organization threatened to petition the High Court of Justice on the matter. “Until she retracts her words, she is unworthy to head a school in our city,” Shimoni said Sunday.
In a letter to Education Minister Naftali Bennett, the parents’ organization said its members would keep their children out of the school indefinitely if Benshalom's appointment is not cancelled.
Druze Ex-MK Headed for Jail for Meeting Terror Chief in Syria
A panel of Supreme Court judges rejected on Monday an appeal by former Balad MK Said Nafaa against his conviction and sentencing for contact with a foreign agent in the course of an illegal trip to Syria, eight years ago. He will serve 12 months in jail.
In 2007, Nafaa helped organize a visit by Druze clergymen to Syria, which he took part in. During the trip, he met Talal Naji, deputy secretary-general of the PFLP terror group.
Nafaa was convicted of exiting Israel illegally to an enemy state, assisting others to exit illegally to an enemy state, and contact with a foreign agent.
Beside the 12 months he will spend in jail, he received a six-month suspended sentence for three years.
Palestinian prisoners launch fresh hunger strike
Five Palestinian prisoners launched a hunger strike on Saturday, and warned they would stop taking fluids on September 1 unless Israel ends its policy of imposing detention without trial.
According to the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency, Fadi Obeidat, a lawyer for the PA committee, said over the weekend the detainees were threatening to refuse their “fluids” on Tuesday. It was not immediately clear whether that referred to nutrients and sodium-enriched fluids, or to drinking water altogether.
The new hunger strike comes days after a Palestinian inmate was removed from so-called administrative detention by court order after nearly dying as a result of a two-month fast that ramped up tensions between Israel and Palestinians and saw several violent confrontations.
Liberman: Israel should have let hunger-striker die in jail
Yisrael Beytenu party chairman Avigdor Liberman on Sunday slammed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s security and foreign policies, saying Israel should have allowed a hunger-striking detainee to die in prison, and predicted the governing coalition would not survive the 2015 calendar year.
“I say this with complete confidence: In 2016, elections for the 21st Knesset will be held,” Liberman told a gathering of his party’s Knesset members and activists in Jerusalem, held to mark the upcoming High Holidays.
Liberman, who served as foreign minister in the previous Netanyahu government, told his party’s lawmakers to prepare for an election campaign in the near future. The right-wing Yisrael Beytenu won a disappointing six seats in March’s elections, and Liberman opted to go into opposition, from where he has been a relentless critic of his former ally Netanyahu.
Liberman criticized Netanyahu for his weak stance towards terrorism and pointed to the handling of the case of Palestinian hunger-striker Mohammed Allaan as evidence, who he said should have been allowed to die in jail. A High Court ruling from earlier this month suspended alleged Islamic Jihad activist Allaan’s administrative detention after tests showed that he had sustained brain damage as a result of a two-month fast.
Report: Hezbollah enlisting West Bank youth to carry out terror attacks against Israel
Hezbollah has been working intensively to enlist former operatives from Fatah's armed wing, the Al Aksa Brigades, in order to carry out terror attacks against Israeli targets in the West Bank and inside Israel, a Palestinian security source was quoted as saying on Sunday.
Saudi daily Okaz quoted the source as saying that "among those Hezbollah members involved in the operation is Kayis Ubayid, who was behind the kidnapping of Col. (res.) Elahanan Tenebaum in 2000." Tenenbaum was released to Israel from Hezbollah captivity as part of a prisoner exchange in 2004.
The source added that Palestinian security forces believe that recent shootings and the use of explosive devices such as that thrown at an IDF position near Beit Jala, south of Jerusalem, earlier this month, are part of the Lebanese Shi'ite group's efforts.
Senior Palestinian official calls for unification of Islamic Jihad, Hamas into PLO
Prominent Palestinian politician and former Fatah member Muhammad Dahlan called for the integration of all Palestinian factions, including Islamic Jihad and Hamas, into the Palestinian Liberation Organization's new government, BBC Arabic reported late last week.
Dahlan, a former leader of Fatah in Gaza, said in his interview that "the homeland of Palestine and the state of the PLO is in danger," citing the fact that the number of Israeli settlements have increased under Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's rule.
Dahlan also stated that he is not calling for a national reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas. Instead, his solution, he said, "is to unify all Palestinian governmental groups into the PLO."
Egypt launches crackdown on Gaza smuggling tunnels
Egyptian military bulldozers are digging through the sand along Egypt’s border with the Gaza Strip in recent days, pressing ahead with what appears to be a renewed campaign to pressure Gaza’s Hamas rulers and stamp out terror activity along the border.
The project, billed as an Egyptian military-operated fish farm, effectively would fill the border area with water and is designed to put an end to the last remaining cross-border underground smuggling tunnels, Egyptian military officials said. Hamas accuses Egypt of further isolating the beleaguered Palestinian territory.
The new excavations seem to be “a tightening of the grip of siege on Gaza,” Hamas official Mushir al-Masri said. Egypt “should not slide into this cliff that agrees with the Israeli policies of siege.”
Hamas, Egyptian TV Exchange Threats over Seizure of Hamas Militants in Sinai
In a televised address on August 21, aired on Al-Aqsa TV, a masked spokesman for the Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades vowed that they would "not stand idly by" following the seizure of four of their militants in the Sinai on August 19. TV host Dina Ramez of the Egyptian Sada Al-Balad TV channel responded on August 23 by calling them "cockroaches" who should be "sprayed or else squashed with a slipper," and a day later, another Egyptian TV host, Riham No'man, said on Al-Assema TV that Egypt should strike Hamas.

ISIS release pictures of their new gold coins they say will 'break capitalist enslavement' - so why are they still paying their deranged gunmen in US dollars?
ISIS have released a new hour long video, showing off their latest propaganda tool - their very own coin currency.
The video, which includes a dreary and distorted history of world economics, shows the smelting of gold, silver and copper coins.
Dramatised by clips from Hollywood war films, the film accuses the US of 'confiscating Americans real wealth through an executive decree' with the introduction of the Gold Reserve Act in 1934.
Yet despite their glorification of their new currency, ISIS have no other means to pay their band of jihadis except through the use of US dollars.
Local trade continues to be done through the use of local currency or more commonly US dollars, due to the stability of the western currency.
The jihadi group claim in the video that one 21-carat one dinar coin will weigh 4.25 grams and it will be worth an equivalent to $139 due to its weight in gold.
The militant group claims that the currency will never lose value in comparison to paper money. Due to ISIS being a terrorist group, it will not be able to use the coins to trade outside its territory.
Parents of Jewish journalist Sotloff open up to press one year after ISIS beheading
On the one year anniversary of the Islamic State beheading of freelance journalist Steven Sotloff, his parents Shirley and Arthur opened up to the press in a recent interview with The Miami Herald in which they recount stories from their son's life and describe how they are dealing with the loss.
The grandson of Holocaust survivors, Sotloff came to Israel in 2005 and studied at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya until 2008, later taking on Israeli citizenship and eventually becoming a contributor to The Jerusalem Report, a sister-publication to The Jerusalem Post.
He had also worked for Time, Foreign Policy, and other outlets.
The 31-year-old from Pinecrest, Florida was kidnapped in Syria in August 2013 one year before the hardline Islamic group executed him.
“We don’t have Steven,” Arthur, a salesman told the Herald. “Steven is in a desert somewhere, laying in pieces with thousands of other people that have been killed. We’ll probably never get his remains back, so that means we won’t get the closure most people get when they lose somebody. This has been very difficult.”
Israeli who fought IS returns to Iraq to help freed Yazidis
Gill Rosenberg, an Israeli-Canadian who fought alongside the Kurds, has returned to Iraq to help the Yazidi women and children freed by a Jewish Montreal businessman.
According to a report by Channel 2, Rosenberg returned to Iraq last week on behalf of Steve Maman, who has been nicknamed the “Jewish Schindler” for founding the Liberation of Christian and Yazidi Children of Iraq project, which purports to have saved 128 women and children from sex slavery and abuse at the hands of the Islamic State.
Rosenberg, 31, had returned to Israel in mid-July after more than six months in Syria and Iraq.
Maman told Channel 2 that he had contacted Rosenberg on Facebook upon her return from Iraqi Kurdistan, and recruited her in his efforts to free Yazidi women.
He said that Rosenberg was in a safe place, and was using her local connections to free additional Yazidis. Maman praised Rosenberg’s bravery, and said it was unfortunate there were not more activists like her.

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