Wednesday, December 23, 2015

From Ian:

Why Palestinians Love Baby-Killers
Samir Kuntar murdered four Israelis. One of his victims was a four-year-old girl, Einat Haran. Kuntar smashed her skull. Kuntar was killed this week in Syria while helping President Bashar Assad commit war crimes against his own citizens.
Senior Palestinian official Sultan Abu Al-Einein evidently believes that murdering Jews is not a "despicable crime," but killing an arch-terrorist such as Kuntar is a "despicable crime."
When the Western-backed Palestinian Authority openly endorses terrorists and names streets, squares and schools after them, Palestinian leaders are sending a message to their people that murdering Jews is a noble and dignified act. This show of solidarity with a baby-killer is the direct result of ongoing incitement against Israel and Jews in mosques, the press and social media in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
In this sick, twisted society that the Europeans have bought and paid for, anyone who murders Jews is considered a role model. Anyone who supports peace with Israel is denounced as a "traitor."
Douglas Murray: The Establishment Is In Denial — Yet Again
Worst was in the wake of November’s atrocity in Paris when the story went around from the Wall Street Journal to the Huffington Post and the Daily Mail that one of the suicide bombers at the Stade de France football stadium had been stopped and turned away by a Muslim security guard called Zouheir. The story was reported around the world and heralded across social media. Amid a night of bloodshed which allegedly had nothing to do with Islam here was a security guard who had everything to do with Islam saving hundreds of lives. This seemed such a good meme that it became one of the most popular “stories” of the night on Twitter. Except that it turned out — as the BBC was unusual in being good enough to concede — that the tale was fabricated. There was a guard in the stadium of unknown religion called Zouheir but he had been elsewhere on the night and had not seen any bombers. He had relayed part of a colleague’s story to a reporter. Why had this all become about him? For the simple reason that people wanted it to be.
The point is that all these things are varieties of self-distraction. They are things we have set up to stop us coming to the conclusions based on the evidence before us. Parliament discusses sending a few planes to bomb IS, but is aware that this minimal action could cause maximal pain at home. The media reports the terrorist attacks while scouring to find a news story that will show Muslims in a good light.
Many worthy sentiments may be mixed up in all this. But at the root of them, living through them and watching this doubt from the top to the bottom, it is hard not to reflect that we are living in the in-between years. At some point the atrocities will come here again and only then will we again be able to see that these years were largely wasted.
Ted Cruz to Obama: Shut Down DC's Terror-Supporting Palestinian Office
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is demanding that the Obama administration close the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s (PLO) office in Washington for “celebrating the murder of Jews,” “glorification of terrorism,” and paying salaries to jailed Palestinian terrorists.
The United States government has an obligation to publicly denounce the PLO’s actions and should immediately revoke its waiver,” reads a letter signed by 30 Republican lawmakers and sent to Secretary of State John Kerry by Cruz and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC).
The letter, released Monday, further states that Israel has “seen a dramatic increase in deadly attacks carried out by Palestinians sympathetic to the message of hatred and intolerance proclaimed by leaders” of the PLO.
The PLO has been banned by Congress from maintaining a D.C. office. However, the legislation allowed the president to temporarily waive the requirement and since 1994 this waiver has been in effect.
But Republican lawmakers are insisting that the waiver be revoked due to a string of terrorist attacks “directly connected to the Palestinian government’s teaching of hate and glorification of terrorism.”
US State Department rejects lawmakers' calls to close PLO office
State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau confirmed that the department had received the letter and said Kerry would respond to it.
"We believe that closing the PLO office would be detrimental to our ongoing efforts to calm tensions between Israeli's and Palestinians, advance a two-state solution and strengthen the US-Palestinian partnership," Trudeau told reporters.
She said every US administration since 1994 had used the waiver to keep the PLO office open.
"We believe the PLO has a valid place ... and we'd oppose those efforts" to close the office," Trudeau said, adding that Kerry had condemned the attacks.

JCPA: Will the West Defend Its Own Values Against Radical Islam?
The West is now reaping the fruits of its weakness, as it turns to the “extremist-realist” camp in the region to counteract – even militarily – the ”ultra-extremists.” Other weak characteristics are its lack of understanding of the profound factors now shaping the Middle Eastern system; of the naïve worldview it has espoused, which prevents it from calling the enemy by its name – radical Islam in all its components; and of the cul-de-sac that Obama has entered, wanting at all costs to avoid ending his tenure with American soldiers deployed in Iraq and Syria.
The remedial strategy toward radical Islam must begin with recognition of the threat and with preparedness to take realistic measures to counter it. First of all, there must be a revolution in the intelligence domain. It cannot be that Muslim radicals are able to amass large quantities of weapons under the radar. Second, the West must stop treating representatives of the realistic Islamic extremists, Muslim Brotherhood organizations, and Western and regional supporters of the Iranian regime as its allies. This policy weakens the pragmatists and encourages radicalization.
Finally, the West must make clear that it is committed to its own values and prepared to defend them, while assertively and concretely supporting pragmatic elements that are waging an existential war against the various radicals. Settling for airstrikes, while using the ridiculous excuse that ground activity is what ISIS wants – since it longs for a mythical, decisive battle in the Syrian town of Dabiq – displays weakness and confusion and plays into the radicals’ hands. The admired Polish king and commander, John III Sobieski, went boldly into the decisive battle at the gates of Vienna in 1683, and his victory saved Europe and enabled the flourishing of Western culture. Can the West regain its resolve this time as well?
Why Palestinian terrorism is never a ‘justified popular uprising’
Palestinian terrorists are not “freedom fighters.” They are not engaged in any “justified popular uprising.” They are, instead, “common enemies of mankind,” major criminals who exceed all moral and legal authority by their persistently cruel and random attacks.
History adds a useful dimension. Until July 7, 2005, British newspapers had always referred to Palestinian murderers as “militants,” but when the al-Qaida allies of Islamic Jihad and Hamas launched suicide attacks in London in that year, the media in Great Britain abruptly changed its vocabulary. Once the victims were Londoners, it seemed, the perpetrators quickly became “terrorists.”
Similar linguistic transformations may be detected in France, especially after the more recent Paris attacks.
Although obvious enough to anyone familiar with relevant law, many international observers of Palestinian terrorism in Israel still find it convenient or reassuring to conflate terrorist attackers with freedom fighters. Nonetheless, however these observers may choose to craft their particular arguments, truth is ultimately exculpatory, at least under law. In essence, this means that there can remain no defensible legal position for the intentional murdering or wounding of Israeli civilians, or of any other civilians for that matter.
Never can such violence be correctly excused as an example of “justified popular uprising.”
Three wounded, one critically, in Jerusalem stabbing
Three Israelis were wounded in a stabbing attack Wednesday at the Old City’s Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem. Magen David Adom paramedics said they treated one critically wounded victim and two who were in serious condition.
The attack was carried out by two Palestinian stabbers, both of whom were shot by policewomen at the scene. One of them was killed immediately and the other later succumbed to his wounds, police and paramedics said.
Police said one of the Israeli victims may have been injured by gunfire when security forces opened fire at the stabbers. Paramedic Aharon Adler, who treated victims at the scene, later confirmed that the casualty whose condition was described as critical was indeed hit by police gunfire.
Paramedics treated him at the scene, and then evacuated him to the city’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center, where he was taken directly to the operating room. The other victims were evacuated to Shaare Zedek and Hadassah Hospital in Ein Kerem.
WATCH: Police gain control of terrorists in Jerusalem stabbing attack
Two Palestinian terrorists stabbed and seriously wounded three male Israeli civilians near the Old City’s Jaffa Gate on Wednesday afternoon, before being shot and killed by two female Border Police officers patrolling the highly-populated area.
The attack comes nearly 24 hours before tens of thousands of Christians from around the globe are expected to make a pilgrimage to the Old City to celebrate Christmas.
As dozens of concerned passersby and members of the media took in the chaotic scene behind police lines outside the Old City walls, roughly 100 meters from Jaffa Gate, Magen David Adom and ZAKA paramedics placed one of the dead terrorist’s corpses into a black plastic body bag.

Fifty steps from terror
We were about to head off when we heard the shots. They were close and they were loud and I had no doubt as to what had just happened. I exchanged glances with my wife and we went into a silent communication as to how to handle the situation. There was a pause, there was silence and then a commotion. Almost immediately we heard the sirens in the background and people started to run. Not away from the scene but towards it.
Shopkeepers became soldiers. Everyone was suddenly armed and the mall sprang into action. No one ran away but everyone ran towards. That was the most overwhelming impression. In a second everyone had a job to do and no one wasted time in doing it. A solitary woman who was sobbing and who had clearly been at ground zero hurried away from the scene was comforted by strangers who held her and who consoled her. She was shaking and overwhelmed, but she wasn’t alone.
And we did the same. My son of 14 was with us. “Come Judah!” I said, and we too took the 50 steps towards the scene. I had a sense that we needed to be part of the collective, almost like one becomes part of a minyan, which is essentially the creation of community. And I needed my son to be with me.
The scene was one of efficient chaos. There was more blood than I could have imagined and more “weaponised” people than I would have thought possible. The one terrorist was clearly dead and the other was being restrained. A victim was being cared for and then lifted on a stretcher, his “payot” falling loosely and defining the demographic. This was the moment that made it real for Judah. That terror doesn’t play favourites.
Hamas cell planned suicide and car bombings, Shin Bet reveals
The Shin Bet uncovered a large Hamas terror cell, among whose members were Israeli citizens, which planned to carry out suicide bombings and other terror attacks in Israel, the security service revealed on Wednesday.
The Shin Bet, alongside the IDF and Israel Police, have thus far arrested 25 Hamas operatives, the majority of them Al-Quds University in Abu Dis students, who they suspect were preparing to attack Israeli targets, the agency said in a statement. The arrests were carried out over the past few weeks.
The service also uncovered a makeshift laboratory in Abu Dis, in east Jerusalem, which was being used to create the explosives necessary for bombing attacks. It said the cell was controlled by Hamas leadership in the Gaza Strip.
“This case reveals and highlights again the involvement of the military arm of Hamas from the Gaza Strip, which operates continuously with the intent of carrying out mass-casualty attacks within Israel and the West Bank,” the Shin Bet said.
IDF arrests 17 in West Bank raids, preps house for demolition
IDF troops carried out a range of operations in West Bank towns and villages overnight Tuesday night, arresting Palestinian suspects in a series of raids and preparing for demolition the home of a Palestinian man who carried out a terror attack earlier this month.
During the raids soldiers seized weapons including Kalashnikov rifles, knives and combat gear presumed to be held in preparation for future attacks.
The IDF said a total of 17 Palestinian suspects were arrested, including two men described as Hamas members. Fifteen of those arrested are suspected of direct involvement in recent attacks on civilians and security forces, the army said.
The suspects have been transferred to the Shin Bet security agency for interrogation.
Victim recalls frantic struggle to save husband from stabber
Oshrat Levy, whose husband Moshe was critically wounded in the stabbing attack in the coastal city of Ra'anana on Saturday afternoon, spoke on Tuesday about the harrowing incident.
The Arab terrorist approached the couple as they sat in a park, seriously wounding Moshe and lightly wounding Oshrat, before trying to enter a full synagogue and being locked out, and then entering the apartment of local resident Dikla Dvir who bravely managed to push him out while sustaining light wounds. The terrorist was caught by police outside their home.
"I saw the terrorist when we were in the park," said Oshrat Levy, reenacting for Channel 10 on Tuesday the incident in which the couple with their five-year-old son came under attack.
"He had his arms crossed and was looking at my husband, and then in a matter of seconds he took out a knife and stabbed him in the back, and he screamed 'aii!,' and my husband fought him like in a movie," recalled the horrified wife.
Oshrat noted, "I didn't give up. He didn't want me, instead he wanted my husband because he had a kippah on his head. And I said, 'I'm not leaving this area, I have to help my husband.'"
Israel to raze West Bank home of Modi'in hammer terrorist
Israel was set on Wednesday to raze the West Bank house belonging to a Palestinian laborer who carried out a terror attack with a hammer in Modi'in last week.
Security forces, acting with instruction from the political echelons, cooperated with the Civil Administration planned to demolish the home of Ismail Musa Muhammad Alhadidi in the Palestinian town of Beit Liqya, located near Ramallah.
Last Tuesday, the 39-year-old hacked with a hammer two other workers at construction sites in the Israeli city’s Tziporim neighborhood.
One victim was severely wounded, the other suffered moderate wounds.
Since the terror wave gripped the capital in early October – largely fueled by Palestinian incitement – the government has expedited demolition orders against all terrorists responsible for Israeli murders.
Authorized demolitions have been carried out in both Jerusalem and the West Bank since the terror wave started on October 1.
Leftist Media Ignore Islamic Terrorist Groups
Where is the reporting on Iran's Islamic terrorist groups that are as monstrous as ISIS?
One reason behind the liberal media outlets’ failure to shed light on non-ISIS terrorist groups is that they do not want to criticize Iran. These outlets are heavily influenced by the Obama administration's leniency toward the Islamic Republic. If President Obama views Iran as a constructive state actor, then the media put aside standards of professional journalism and follow in the footsteps of the President.
One of the crucial tenets of Journalism in Western democracies is that it should not be influenced, intimidated or guided by ruling politicians. Being independent and raising public awareness by presenting different ideas and facts is what makes a media outlet an informative outlet and a platform for advancing democracy.
If a Western media outlet is following what the White House likes or despises, then what is the difference between these outlets and Iran’s state media outlets, which are the mouthpieces of the ruling clerics?
In addition, media outlets and journalists seem to prefer simplicity to complexity. It is much easier for those journalists to talk about the Islamic State and their horrific acts rather than engaging in rigorous research on other stealth terrorist and radical militia groups. Unfortunately, a lot of reporters are not knowledgeable in this field and they prefer to do the easier task. It is easier for them to write about ISIS in the length of space and time they are given than to research all other Islamist terrorist groups.
EXCLUSIVE - Muslim Brotherhood Ideologues Criticize Hamas for Condolences to Hezbollah
The Jordanian columnist Yasser Za’atreh, a Muslim Brotherhood sympathizer and a close associate of Mashal, tweeted that Hamas’ statement was “overly sycophantic, ridiculous and contempt and disdainful.” Za’atreh went on to say that the movement should be more mindful of its good name.
In a separate Facebook post, he told Hamas: “Don’t burden those who love you. Iran is bent on destroying our nation, and your conciliatory approach will come back to haunt you.”
Omar Mushaweh, a spokesperson for the Syrian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, also published a fiery response.
“We condemn Hamas’ expression of regret over the killing of the top Hezbollah operative Samir Kuntar,” he wrote in a Facebook post. “In our view, that murderer and his organization are involved in spilling Syrian blood and are complicit of the crimes of the Syrian regime.”
IDF Assessment: Hezbollah Fears Confrontation With Israel
Hezbollah does not want a confrontation with Israel over the assassination of terrorist Samir Kuntar, an Israeli military source told Hebrew news site 0404 on Tuesday.
“[Hezbollah chief Hassan] Nasrallah does not want to provoke Israel,” the source said, following a televised address on Monday in which Nasrallah blamed Israel for the assassination and declared his organization would retaliate at the time and in the place of its choosing.
The IDF source explained that in spite of Nasrallah’s tough talk, his threats were empty, because of his awareness that Israel would preempt, thwart and respond forcefully to any attack. Israel, said the source, would not sit idly by, even as Russia and the US-led international coalition targets terrorist in Syria.
“Whomever threatens Israel will suffer the consequences,” he said.
Arab-Jewish Hadash party condemns killing of terrorist Kuntar as Israeli ‘thuggery’
Opposition leader Isaac Herzog strongly condemned on Tuesday the Arab-Jewish Hadash party’s Arabic Facebook post depicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as an Islamic State fighter.
Hadash on Sunday posted a picture showing a man wearing a ski mask with ISIS written on it and pulling off a rubber mask of Netanyahu. The man has a Star of David and “CIA” tattooed on his arm.
The Hadash post condemned the killing of Hezbollah terrorist Samir Kuntar, calling it part of Israel’s “thuggery” in Syria and the region.
The party accuses Israel of cooperating with the US, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar in supporting “the forces of terrorism in Syria.”
Hadash head Ayman Odeh is the leader of the mostly Arab Joint List.
Putin, Netanyahu to coordinate efforts to fight terrorism
Security coordination between Moscow and Jerusalem continued to grow stronger on Tuesday as Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed in a phone call to coordinate their actions to fight terrorism in the Middle East, the Kremlin said in a statement.
The two leaders discussed regional issues, chief among them the Syrian crisis, and promised to hold further discussions in the future.
Although it was not mentioned in their post-meeting statements to the press, the meeting was convened against the backdrop of several significant developments recently that could affect the countries' relations.
Both sides on Tuesday declined to comment on whether they coordinated prior to the Kuntar assassination.
Palestinians Livid at Hezbollah’s ‘Iranian’ Map of Palestine
Palestinian social media has been abuzz with references to Hassan Nasrallah’s speech in the wake of the elimination of a top Hezbollah operative earlier this week, allegedly by Israel.
The leader of the Lebanese Shi’ite militia came under fire for a background picture he used, which featured a map of Palestine superimposed with the portrait of Samir Kuntar, who was sent back to Lebanon after spending 29 years in Israeli jail for an attack against an Israeli family. Most of the criticism was directed at the use of the colors of the Iranian flags.
For the critics, superimposing the Iranian flag on the map of Palestine reveals Hezbollah’s desire to paint the predominantly Sunni territory in Iranian Shi’ite colors.
Shehab News Agency, a pro-Hamas website, succumbed to pressure from readers and removed the picture, replacing it with a stock image of Nasrallah.
“Hezbollah wants Palestine to be yet another Iranian satellite country,” a reader called Abd Alrahman commented, before his comments and the comments of other readers were erased from the website–but not before Breitbart Jerusalem saved a screengrab.
Analysis: Hezbollah's 100,000 rockets and Israel's new missile defense system
It was coincidence that Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah gave his usual "threatening speech" on Monday night after the Defense Ministry announced its successful trial of the David's Sling missile defense system. However, there is a connection between the two events. David's Sling is a system for intercepting medium-range missiles which was developed in answer to the threat posed by the missiles and rockets in the hands of the Shi'ite Lebanese organization.
Nasrallah said in his speech that his organization sees Israel as being responsible for the assassination of Hezbollah operative Samir Kuntar, vowing to avenge the attack at the time of his choosing. It is likely that because of Hezbollah's involvement in the civil war in Syria, which exacts a high price from the group, the retaliation is not a top priority for the organization. However, there is no doubt that the group will try to take revenge with terror attacks abroad against Israeli targets and also with attacks on the Golan Heights from Syria.
On Monday, the Defense Ministry's Israel Missile Defense Organization announced that it had successfully completed the last phase of trials for the David's Sling, concluding the five-year long development of the system. The system is now scheduled to be delivered to the Air Force, which has already begun training the first crews to operate it, and it will likely be operational by the end of 2016, but not before its interception accuracy is tested thoroughly. According to the defense establishment's plan, the system's batteries will be deployed at four sites throughout the country.
 Photo of plump prisoner Kuntar drives rare Arab praise of Israel on Facebook
A Facebook post by an Arab journalist comparing the wretched condition of Syrian prisoners with that of well-fed Palestinians serving time in Israel has gone viral, eliciting surprising praise of Israeli practices from across the Arab world.
The side by side photos of an emaciated Syrian in an Assad-regime prison next to the paunchy looking Samir Kuntar leaving an Israeli jail after nearly 30 years were posted by al-Jazeera journalist Faisal al-Qassem following an alleged Israeli airstrike that killed Kuntar in his Lebanon home on Saturday.
“Samir Kuntar left an Israeli prison with a beer belly and a doctorate. At the other extreme, this is how Syrians leave Assad’s prisons,” read the text accompanying the photo.
The Syrian man appears famished and malnourished, barely able to hold up his bony figure as he peers at the camera from the bed he is sitting on.
BBC radio stations mangle Samir Kuntar story – part one
BBC Radio 4’s ‘Six O’Clock News’ not only upgraded Kuntar’s Hizballah ranking whilst simultaneously downgrading the outfit from designated terrorist organisation to “militant group” but also misled listeners with regard to the fact that Kuntar’s role in the 1979 terror attack in Nahariya was proven in a court of law.
A leading figure in the Lebanese militant group Hizballah has been killed by a rocket attack in the Syrian capital Damascus. Samir Kuntar had previously spent thirty years in an Israeli prison for his alleged role in the killing of four people. Hizballah said Israel was behind the rocket attack. An Israeli minister welcomed his death but didn’t say whether his country had carried it out.”
Kuntar was convicted of murder, attempted murder and kidnapping and sentenced to five life sentences plus 47 years imprisonment.
It is of course difficult to believe that the BBC would use the inaccurate term “alleged” to conceal from its audiences the fact that due legal process resulting in conviction had taken place when reporting on a terrorist previously imprisoned in the UK.
Heinous Terrorist Killed, Washington Post Goes Easy on His Crimes
However, in their 859-word report on the death of Kuntar, Post reporters Ruth Eglash and Hugh Naylor fail to provide details about the “deadly attack” the terrorist committed in Nahariya. The Post repeatedly refers to Kuntar as a “militant” and U.S.-listed terror groups Hezbollah and Islamic State as “militant organization” or “militant group.” Only in the last paragraph does the paper acknowledge that Kuntar was specifically designated a “global terrorist” by the U.S. State Department.
The paper's use of the less descriptive “militant” contrasts with recent Post reporting on terror attacks in the California and Paris in which the more precise phrase “terrorist” was used accurately. For example, in covering breaking news events closer to home, The Post wrote of “terrorists” and “terrorist attack” in its own voice (“ISIS paid Md. Man to plan attack, FBI says,” December 15).
Isis Is Not Invincible — If The West Has The Will
The terrorism that hit France in 2015, in January against Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket and in November against a number of targets in Paris, is of a new kind for a number of reasons.
To start with, all previous Islamist terrorist attacks were inspired if not actually organised by foreign powers, including the USSR, Egypt, Syria, Libya and Iran. Even the attacks carried out by various Palestinian groups ultimately came under the umbrella of their respective patrons in Arab capitals. The 2015 attacks were ideologically sponsored by Islamic State (IS), a non-state entity regardless of its lofty name and pretention to the status of caliphate.
Second, previous terror attacks had precise political aims and were done to force changes to French foreign policy. The 2015 attacks, however, were not designed to obtain any concessions from the French state. The terrorists’ intention was simply to kill as many people as possible. Parisians had to die not because of what their government did or didn’t do but simply because of who they were.
That important point was spelt out by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the “Supreme Guide” of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in an “Open Letter to the Youth of the West” published on November 30, 2015. Khamenei wrote: “In the modern era the West, using advanced instruments [sic] has insisted on global cultural uniformalisation of the world. I regard the imposition of Western culture on [other] nations and the humiliation of independent cultures [by the West] as devastating and silent violence. Humiliating other cultures and insulting the most sacred of their content [i.e. religion] is the work of a culture that has absolutely no capability for replacing them. Even in the West itself the emergence of aggressiveness and loose-living as the principal ingredients of the dominant culture is leading to its rejection. We ask: is it a sin to reject your aggressive, cheap and nihilistic culture?” Khamenei went on to claim that IS represents a violent reaction based on “a Bedouin desert ideology” to colonialism, Zionism and American hegemony.
In other words, while the politically correct elites in the West pooh-pooh the theory of a clash of civilisations, Iran’s spiritual leader puts it at the centre of his analysis.
Watch: How ISIS imitates video games and movies to recruit Jihadists
What makes ISIS propaganda so effective, particularly in drawing a seeming endless stream of recruits from western countries, including many living comfortable lives in North America, Europe and elsewhere?
The answer, according to a study carried out by George Washington University scholar Javier Lesaca, is by ditching the grainy, boring footage of robed jihadis talking about jihad that was once the trademark of global jihadis, and instead opting to tap into cultural references western Muslims will find more familiar.
Specifically, ISIS propaganda very often directly replicates scenes from western action movies like American Sniper, and uses graphic first-person footage which mimics the style of violent, popular video games like Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty.
In one recent case, "Islamic State" produced a gruesome video showing child recruits traversing obstacles and other challenges to earn the "honor" of executing prisoners in a deserted desert complex, in a clip which appeared to draw inspiration from the popular Hunger Games movie series.
ISIS Seeking Improvised Anti-Aircraft Missile
Islamic State terrorists in Syria, assisted by western experts, are trying to develop improvised anti-aircraft missiles following stepped up airstrikes against its forces, according to U.S. officials and reports from the region.
The effort was disclosed by an anti-ISIS social media account that revealed the anti-aircraft arms development Dec. 15 on Twitter.
According to the Twitter user @Raqqa_SL, the new missiles are being developed in a desert area north of Raqqa, the ISIS headquarters. The terrorists have tried linking five bomb detonators and explosives to captured anti-aircraft missiles to enhance their explosive power against aircraft.
The added explosives are linked to walkie-talkies that are used to detonate the additional explosives in an attempt to create a larger fragmentation blast that ISIS hopes will impact bombing aircraft.
Physicians for Human Rights: Assad Behind 95% of Medical Personnel Deaths in Syria
Over 650 of the nearly 700 medical personnel who have died in Syria since the start of the uprising against dictator Bashar al-Assad have been killed by the regime and its allies, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) charged in a report last week.
According to PHR, there have been 336 documented attacks against hospitals and other medical facilities in Syria between March 2011 and November 2015. Of these, 305 or over 90% have been carried out by Assad’s troops or allied forces, including Russia. Of the 697 medical personnel who lost their lives in these attacks, 95% or 662 were killed by Syria and its allies.
In terms of attacks on Syrian hospitals, this year was also the worst since the civil war began. In 2015, 112 such assaults were cataloged by PHR, a 25% increase from the previous record of 89 in 2012.
Russian Missile System in Syria Threatens U.S. Pilots
Russia’s S-400 missile system in Syria has the range to target airbases in the region with a U.S. presence, according to a new analysis.
Moscow deployed the S-400, an advanced air defense system with surface-to-air missiles, at the end of last month after Turkey shot down a Russian jet that violated the airspace of the NATO country. The system was reported to be installed in the coastal Latakia Province at Bassel al-Assad International Airport, which also serves as a base for Russian and Syrian regime forces.
According to the Institute for the Study of War, Russia’s S-400 system has a range of up to 250 miles and the capability to track and target aircraft at multiple bases in the region. The think tank noted on Monday that two of those bases have a U.S. presence: Incirlik Airbase in Turkey, and the Al-Shaheed Muwaff­aq Salti Airbase in Jordan.
“The S-400 SAM system is capable of contesting most of the airspace over Syria, southern Turkey, northern Jordan, a significant portion of Israel, as well as all of Lebanon and Cyprus,” the institute said.
“At 250 miles, the S-400 is able to track and target aircraft based at numerous United States and Allied Coalition airbases (including Incirlik Airbase) in the region,” it added.
IDF Blog: Cyber Command: Defeating The Enemy That Can’t Be Seen
Cyber warfare is quickly becoming one of the most important aspects of modern combat. Sophisticated enemies are constantly chasing new developments and technologies that present an ever-changing threat to Israel’s security. Experts predict that in the future, 40% of warfare will take place online. Combating this threat demands a new approach – the IDF Cyber Command.
Recently, the still inactive IDF Cyber Command achieved a new milestone.The first six cadets just completed their officers training course. Currently serving in the Telecommunications Protection Division of the C4I Directorate, each one of the young officers will play an integral role in the IDF’s new approach to fighting terror online. They will be responsible for opening new sections within the unit in order to prepare and increase the IDF’s capability to protect Israel’s vital digital infrastructure.
By 2017, the IDF Cyber Command will start operating in full force. The command will combine the capabilities of the Military Intelligence Directorate and the C4I Telecommunication Directorate. “The key is teamwork. In the cyber world, there are no bullets. There are no easy ways to recognize your enemies. Success requires the combined effort of programmers, engineers, and cyber warfare experts,” explained Major Itay Sagi.
Education council pushing for first state-funded Arab academic college in North
The plenum of the Council of Higher Education (CHE) is expected to approve on Tuesday a proposal to establish a state-sponsored higher academic institution in an Arab town in northern Israel.
“For the first time in the history of the State of Israel, we will establish a general academic college in an Arab town. This is historic for the Arab sector and it’s historic for the State of Israel,” Education Minister and CHE head Naftali Bennett said at the opening of the Bayit Yehudi faction meeting on Monday.
The expected vote follows a decision made last year by the CHE’s planning and budgeting committee recommending the establishment of a budgeted academic framework in the North catering to the Arab population.
“We continue to work on behalf of all the citizens of Israel – Jews and Arabs as one. There is no doubt that the Arab public lacks the academic framework to meet the demand and to promote equality in Israeli society,” Bennett said.
Haifa students shout down Yale coexistence lecturer
Students at the University of Haifa heckled a visiting lecturer from Yale University when he spoke about coexistence between Jews and Arabs, accusing him of being a “collaborator with the Zionists.”
The incident, during a lecture by Omer Salem earlier this week, was filmed by one of the two students who interrupted him. According to a report on the Hebrew-language news site Ynet, the two were activists in the Arab Balad party.
“The blood of martyrs is spilled and in the end you get a middle finger,” one student shouted while gesturing with his finger at Salem. “Do you know what this is?”
Salem, a devout Muslim and researcher in the religious studies department at the prestigious US college, promotes coexistence between Muslims, Jews, and Christians. He also serves as managing director of the Ibn Rushd Institute, which promotes Islamic moral values.
Jordan rejects Hamas leader's request to visit, calling him 'unwelcome' in the kingdom
Jordan has turned down a request from Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal to visit the kingdom, sources in Amman reported on Tuesday.
The sources said the Jordanian authorities told Mashaal that he was currently “unwelcome” in Jordan.
The authorities explained that the circumstances that led to Mashaal’s expulsion from Jordan have still not changed, the sources said.
According to the sources, the previous decision to expel Mashaal and other Hamas leaders from Jordan was no longer security-related.
“The decision to prevent Mashaal from visiting Jordan is now politically motivated,” the sources said.
In 1999, Jordan expelled the Hamas leaders and closed the movement’s offices in Amman. Then, the Jordanians accused Hamas of meddling in the kingdom’s internal affairs. Mashaal and the Hamas officials were expelled despite the fact that they hold Jordanian citizenship.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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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