Wednesday, January 27, 2016

From Ian:

David Horovitz: Rather than despair at the awfulness of it all
As we look at the fresh graves of Dafna Meir and Shlomit Krigman, we must insist on seeking the most effective means to prevent the unconscionable loss of more wonderful people
Dafna Meir and Shlomit Krigman. Two Israeli women — one a mother of six in her late 30s; the other about to turn 24, just setting out in life. Dafna, stabbed to death by a Palestinian teenager at her home in the settlement of Otniel on January 17. Shlomit, stabbed to death by two Palestinians near the grocery store at the settlement of Beit Horon, where she lived with her grandparents, on January 25.
Dafna and Shlomit, now buried one next to the other at Jerusalem’s Har Hamenuhot cemetery.
Dafna and Shlomit smile at us from our TV screens and news sites and newspapers — smile at us incongruously, immortalized in snapshots of unremarkable happiness, alongside the tearful features of the loved ones from whom they have been murderously torn.
Dafna could not have had an easy childhood. Adopted at age 13, she became a foster mother herself, raising two foster children along with her and husband Natan’s own four. Even from the superficial familiarity that Israel now has with the world Dafna and Natan built, this is plainly a wonderful family, warm and selfless, moral and generous. Natan invited an old friend to their shiva, a Palestinian who lives nearby and who, it so happens, is a distant relative of the despicable youth who murdered his wife. And the friend came, “with tears in his eyes,” said Natan.
Shlomit’s friends tell of an intellectually curious, quiet but determined young woman, a creative force, a voracious reader. Who knows what she would have gone on to achieve with her life?
This has to stop. This killing has to stop.
What would happen if Israel withdrew from the West Bank and ended the ‘siege’ of Gaza
Americans relate to Israel on shared values, and the occupation is undermining the long-term American commitment to Israel. They don’t know that the 3 billion per year American investment in Israel returns more vital intelligence and saved more American soldier lives than all of NATO combined.
If I were to council the next American President, I would recommend the following:
• Announce that American stands with the one and only democracy in the region, Israel, which is essential for American national security
• Publicly place the onus for the failure of a two-state solution primarily with the Palestinians who have repeatedly refused to sign an end-of -conflict resolution, or accept a Jewish state, as evidenced by their rejection of the Clinton and Olmert offers
• I would recommend that America stop considering the Palestinians victims, as much of their struggles are self-imposed, choosing ideology over economic independence
• Unless the Palestinians agree in advance to sign an end-of-conflict resolution with a demilitarized state, America will publicly state that it won’t push for anything more than a more sustainable ceasefire and ground-up economic development
• Ask Israel as a gesture and to affirm its rule of law, to uproot all illegal settlement outposts
• Israel as a gesture for the future time when the Palestinians are ready for a final deal, should limit their building over the Green line to the environs of the major settlement blocks
• Make clear that with ISIS just over the Jordan, Israel must for the foreseeable future control the security of the Jordan River Valley
• Demand transparency, an uncorrupt Palestine government ending incitement, and a preparation of Palestinians for their share of painful compromises.
Realistic? Actually yes! One of the reasons the peace process has failed is that almost nothing is ever asked of the Palestinians, and worse, no consequences are imposed for their rejection of every deal that allows Israel to exist. They need to see sticks as well as carrots to prompt them to come to the table and do more than take what they can and then walk out, as they have every single time so far.
The Last Chance for Peace Fantasy
That is why even Israeli left-wingers understand that while Abbas may actually be the most moderate imaginable Palestinian leader, that is a meaningless compliment. Given the fact that Palestinian public opinion remains stuck in a mindless cycle of rejectionism that views Israel’s existence as illegitimate and violence against Jews laudable, there’s simply no chance for him or anyone more or less moderate than Abbas to deliver any sort of a peace agreement. If even he, the man President Obama has called a “champion for peace,” can’t be persuaded to recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders might be drawn, then hopes for peace must be put on hold until a sea change in Palestinian culture happens to make it possible.
Perhaps someday two states will be possible. But so long as Abbas is the best Israel can hope for, the overwhelming majority of Israelis will continue to believe that any withdrawals from the West Bank will merely result in a repetition of Ariel Sharon’s Gaza experiment that created a terrorist enclave for Hamas. Abbas’s last years in power aren’t a “last chance” because he has been as much of an obstacle to an agreement as his Hamas rivals.
As the Times of Israel’s David Horovitz notes in an important column today, this doesn’t mean nothing can be done to halt the bloodshed. Those that claim to be friends of Israel or the Palestinians and lovers of peace can do something. They can advocate for an end to the sort of incitement to murder that is routine in the Palestinian media controlled by Abbas and by the PA and its leadership. They can also stop pretending Abbas is a “last chance” and, finally, start holding him accountable for torpedoing peace. Until the remaining last-ditch members of the peace camp in the press and the foreign policy establishment start doing those two things, we shouldn’t take their advocacy for more pressure on Israel or the two-state solution seriously.

300 attackers are not 'lone'
The huge, screaming difference can be pointed out -- the attackers' burning desire to take life, from women who were entirely devoted to living. You cannot mistake the vitality of a pregnant woman, you cannot mistake the vitality of a mother in her own home, you cannot mistake the vitality of a young woman who stopped by the market to do some shopping. The murderers made a clear, threatening choice to enter safe spaces -- the home, the secondhand shop, the market -- to kill.
And maybe that's the reason why the wave of terrorism refuses to abate. Nothing has made it relent, not even when we adopted a different tactic and decided not to call it by its name, neither an intifada nor a war. We tried to call it "lone wolf terrorism," because words shape reality, but that didn't help, either. It didn't convince the hundreds of knife-wielding attackers or at the wheels of cars, holding rocks or Molotov cocktails. The wave has claimed the lives of 30 victims, and no one counts the dozens who have been lightly, moderately or seriously wounded; or those who suffered from shock, or the people who witnessed the murders or the attempts at murder; all those who have been left with painful scars on their souls, a loss of faith and dreams. Over 300 lone terrorists have sprung up in this wave, and it doesn't matter whether we are talking about a 13-year-old boy with a knife or a 12-year-old girl with scissors, or a guy who is over 18 and holding a sharp knife. They have the same goal.
We can keep burying our heads in the sand, but when we shut our eyes, we are committing an injustice. That's true about the women from whom we didn't learn enough while they were with us, and it's true about this wave of terrorism. It's time to call it by its name and fight it, before it's too late. Three hundred terrorists aren't "lone," and it's already too late.
Palestinian teen pulls knife on soldiers, is arrested
A Palestinian teen was arrested Wednesday on suspicion that he had attempted to stab a soldier at the Qalandiya checkpoint near Jerusalem in the West Bank. There were no injuries in the incident.
During a routine army search on a bus at the checkpoint, the teenager was asked to show his identity card, and when he failed to do so, was requested to step out of the vehicle. At that point the 17-year-old pulled out a knife and tried to assault an IDF soldier, but the weapon fell from his hand, police said.
Soldiers subsequently apprehended the teenager, a resident of the West Bank city of Nablus, and transferred him to a nearby security facility for interrogation.
The IDF on Tuesday encouraged civilian security personnel in the West Bank to carry their weapons at all times, following a stabbing attack Monday in a Jewish settlement, when two terrorists climbed over the fence into Beit Horon, located on a major highway just outside Jerusalem. The pair stabbed two women, 23-year-old Shlomit Krigman, who died of her wounds on Tuesday, and a 58-year-old woman.
Tel Aviv terrorist took bus home after killings, planned second attack
The Israeli Arab gunman who opened fire on a Tel Aviv bar on January 1 killing two people, and then killed the cab driver in whose taxi he fled the scene, was planning more attacks before being killed in a shootout, according to information released Wednesday.
Security and justice officials released details of an investigation into the terror attack, including news of the indictment of three people suspected of helping Nashat Milhem hide, and selfie videos of Milhem drinking, using drugs and railing against Jews and others.
According to a statement by the Shin Bet security service, Milhem took a public bus to his hometown after the shooting spree, where he hid for a week before being found by police following a nationwide manhunt. (Two girls saw him on the bus and this was reported to police but ignored, Israel Radio said Wednesday.)
Ayoub Rashid, Muhammad Adel Milhem and Amin Milhem, the latter two relatives of the terrorist, were indicted in Haifa District Court Wednesday on charges of helping Milhem hide in his Arara hometown, bringing him food, a cellphone, cigarettes and narcotics.
Druse Guard: Terrorists Threw Pipe Bombs at Me So I killed Them
The terror attack in Beit Horon, where the late Shlomit Krigman was murdered Monday and Adina Cohen was injured, ended with the termination of the Arab terrorists by Akhsan Kherev, a Druze security guard who arrived on the scene. Speaking to radio station FM103, Kherev said he heard local residents shouting there were terrorists near the grocery store.
“I started running towards the grocery store, people told me they had gone in the direction of the fence. I started to run again, I saw two terrorists hiding behind cardboard boxes near the fence. I circled them and got within 15 feet of them. One of the terrorist threw at me three or four pipe bombs that didn’t explode. Both of them attacked me with knives, so I eliminated them. There was another security man nearby who helped me.”
“I’ve been four years on the job,” said Kherev. “I’m a Druze from Maghar village up north, married, father of two. I served in Shchem, I’m familiar with all these problems. I don’t wish to discuss the security situation.”
When Swedish FM Margot Wallström and US Ambassador Dan Shapiro count this case as yet another Israeli “extrajudicial execution,” they should mention the pipe bombs and the knives.
BBC News belatedly reports fatal terror attack, ignores praise from Abbas’ Fatah
As ever, the words ‘terror’, ‘terrorists’ or ‘terrorism’ do not appear at all throughout the article and the incident’s perpetrators are described as “assailants” and “attackers”.
Although the information was available by the time this report was published, the victim is not named, no personalizing details are given and her photograph does not appear.
Another piece of information which was in the public domain by the time the BBC got round to reporting this incident was the ‘martyrdom poster’ for one of the two terrorists produced by the Fatah movement – which is of course headed by the Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas.
Haaretz Covers Up For Palestinian Prisoner Mohammed al-Qiq
In an article yesterday about Mohammed al-Qiq, a Palestinian prisoner who is being held without trial, Haaretz's English edition identifies the prisoner only as "a television reporter" ("Palestinian journalist urges international intervention after 63 day hunger-strike in Israeli detention"). In the latest instance of "Haaretz, Lost in Translation," the English edition omits key information that appears in Jack Khoury's original Hebrew article: that al-Qiq is reportedly affiliated with Hamas, and that security officials said he is being held because of his current involvement in terror activity and not due to incitement.
Unlike Haaretz's English edition, wire services which also covered the story yesterday included the critical information from Israel's Shin Bet that al-Qiq was recently involved in Hamas terror activity.
The Associated Press reported: "Israel's Shin Bet security service says al-Qeq is involved in terrorism activities linked to the militant Hamas movement."
Likewise, AFP reported: "Shin Bet, the Israeli domestic security service, said Qiq was arrested for 'terror activity' as part of the Islamist group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip."
Even Gulf Today mentions the Shin Bet's allegation that al-Qeq is involved with current terror activity: "Shin Bet, the Israeli domestic security service, alleges Qiq is an active member of Hamas group which controls the Gaza Strip."
Swedish Embassy Retweets BDSHole Who Justified Calls To Shoot Jews
Since this was pointed this out, they have deleted the tweet – but not before Arsen screenshotted it.
But it gets worse than that. He’s justified calls for the shooting of Jews.
A leader of the South African Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel justified calls to “shoot the Jew” during a protest last Wednesday against a concert by an Israeli musician.
Protesters, who gathered at Wits University in Johannesburg last Wednesday in opposition to a performance by jazz saxophonist Daniel Zamir, screamed at concertgoers slogans such as “Israel is apartheid” and “down, down Israel.” Some also threw paper at the Jewish attendees.
Furious Netanyahu slams Ban Ki-moon for ‘stoking’ Palestinian terrorism
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday accused the United Nations chief of “stoking terror” after Ban Ki-moon said, in connection with the wave of Palestinian deadly terror attacks, that it was “human nature to react to occupation.”
“There is no justification for terrorism,” Netanyahu said. “The Palestinian terrorists don’t want to build a state; they want to destroy a state, and they say that proudly. They want to murder Jews everywhere and they state that proudly. They don’t murder for peace and they don’t murder for human rights.”
The UN has “lost its neutrality and its moral force, and these statements by the Secretary-General do nothing to improve its situation,” Netanyahu said in a furious video statement. Ban’s remarks, said Netanyahu, “stoke terror.”
Ban had attributed the terror attacks in the past four months, in which over 25 Israelis have been killed, to “Palestinian frustration.”
Israeli UN Ambassador: Ban Ki-moon ‘Encourages Terror’
Israel’s top UN diplomat, Danny Danon, strongly criticized UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon following comments he made at the Security Council on Monday.
“The Secretary General encourages terror instead of fighting against terror,” Danon said, according to a press release by Israel’s mission to the UN. “The Secretary General forgot what the UN’s role is – terror must not be encouraged for any reason whatsoever.”
Danon was responding to Ban’s remarks on what he called “unacceptable levels of violence” affecting Israel and the Palestinian territories.
Danon’s comments echoed those of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also accused the secretary general of providing a justification for terrorism against Israelis.
12 UN Security Council resolutions against terror - 0 for Israel
Israel's United Nations Ambassador Danny Danon fiercely criticized the UN Security Council on Tuesday, during a UNSC discussion on the situation in Israel and the wider Middle East.
Danon slammed the Security Council for failing to issue a single condemnation following deadly terror attacks against Israeli civilians, accusing it of "hypocrisy."
"During the past four months, Israelis have been stabbed in their homes, shot at in the streets, and run over by terrorists using cars as weapons," he fired. "During this period of time, the Council has adopted 12 resolutions against terrorism. Not once were the lives of Israelis murdered by terrorists recognized by this Council. The facts don’t lie. The Security Council has been hypocritical when it comes to Israel."
Danon went on to condemn ongoing Palestinian incitement, and recounted in detail before the council the brutal murder of Dafna Meir - an Israeli mother of six and nurse who was stabbed death last week in front of her children by a 15-year-old Arab terrorist.
During his interrogation, the murderer told investigators that he had been inspired to carry out the attack by propaganda clips broadcast regularly on the Palestinian Authority's official TV station.
Ambassador Danon on the Security Council's Hypocrisy

Ambassador Danon's full statement at the UNSC Middle East debate

Power: Anger over 'settlements' shouldn't lead to violence
Both the United States and the European Union (EU) on Tuesday reiterated their opposition to Israeli “settlement activities” in Judea and Samaria.
But, speaking after UN chief Ban Ki-moon appeared to express sympathy for Palestinian terrorism during a UN Security Council session, American Ambassador Samantha Power said that anger over “settlements” should not lead to violence.
"Steps aimed at advancing the Israeli settlement program ... are fundamentally incompatible with the two-state solution and raise legitimate questions about Israel's long-term intentions," Power told the council, according to the Reuters news agency.
She then stressed, however, that anger over Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria should not lead to violence.
"Settlement activity can never itself be an excuse for violence. Never," said Power, in comments quoted by the AFP news agency.

The State Department’s Anti-Palestinian Racism
The US State Department has been so pro-Palestinian for so long that it might seem startling to suggest that there is a current of anti-Palestinian racism at Foggy Bottom.
But just consider: The official Palestinian Authority (PA) daily newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, published an article on Jan. 21 suggesting that the US carried out the 9/11 attacks in order to have a pretext for causing “creative anarchy” in the Arab world.
The article, by regular columnist Dr. Osama Al-Fara, claimed that there are “many questions” about 9/11 “that place the US in the defendant’s seat, as was exposed later in a series of facts and reports.” As part of a secret plot to “distance Arab states from each other,” the US “created an imaginary enemy called ‘terror’” and “supervised” the emergence of Islamic State, Al-Fara claimed.
Thanks to Palestinian Media Watch, we know that the official PA news media frequently publish such screeds. But if you ask anybody in the State Department about these kinds of Palestinian conspiracy theories, they will invariably say that we should not take it seriously, because “that’s just how the Palestinians talk,” or “yes, that’s what Palestinians believe, it’s no big deal.”
Demographer: PA Counts Hundreds of Thousands of Long-Gone Immigrants as Residents
Yaakov Feitelson, a Demographer associated with the Institute for Zionist Strategies, revealed that the Palestinian Authority has been concealing data regarding large-scale negative immigration and includes Palestinians living abroad in its population count to increase EU assistance, Srugim reported.
Speaking on Monday at the annual conference of the Torah and Land Institute, in a forum dealing with demographic changes with halakhic ramifications, Feitelson said that within a decade, by 2026, the number of Jews in Israel is expected to match the number of Jews everywhere else in the world. This would usher us into an halakhic reality whereby most of the Jews are back in the land of Israel, triggering a large body of relevant commandments such as the jubilee, shmitta (which would include loan forgiving), tithes, orla (prohibition on eating a fruit from a tree before its fourth year), kla’ayim (plant cross breeding), and leaving portions of the harvest to the poor — to name but a few.
Feitelson said that Israeli Jewish women’s birthrates are rising, while around the world the Jewish birthrate is down except among the ultra-Orthodox.
As to Arabs living in Israel, Feitelson revealed that the Palestinian Authority statistics bureau, much like its US counterpart, conceal or alter data regarding the high rates of negative immigration of Arabs from Judea and Samaria, which he puts at about 10,000 each year. According to Feitelson, in a meeting he and a few colleagues had attended a few years ago with a senior official at the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the latter told them that the agency is aware of this phenomenon, but opt to accept the official PA figures, which continue to count every Palestinian immigrant for seven years after they leave. They also add the children of Palestinian immigrants as PA citizens.
Road project puts Israel, EU on collision course
A narrow country road outside Jerusalem has turned into a new battleground between Israel and the European Union, deepening a dispute between the allies over Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank.
The EU is financing the paving of the dirt road by Palestinians as part of a broader effort to help them develop the local economy on the way to eventual independence. Israel, however, says the roadwork is illegal because it was done without Israeli permits and has ordered it to stop.
The dispute goes far beyond the 4-kilometer (2.5-mile) road, which Palestinians say is to help farmers in the area reach their land. At issue is the future of portions of the West Bank known as “Area C,” the 60 percent of the territory that remained under full Israeli control as part of interim peace accords two decades ago. Its ultimate fate has been a major contention point in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
The Palestinians claim all of the West Bank, captured by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War, as the heartland of a future independent state.
Abbas: Israeli policies will lead ISIS into the heart of Israel
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday called on the United Nations Security Council to issue a resolution condemning settlements.
Abbas said that the resolution should also call for providing international protection for the Palestinians.
Abbas said in a radio interview that the “basic condition for achieving peace lies in the principle that Palestinians restore their lands on the 1967 borders.”
The Palestinians, he added, want to resume the peace process and reach a solution with Israel, “but only on condition that it implements 20 agreements that were signed since the Oslo Accords.”
Abbas said that another condition is the release of the fourth group of prisoners incarcerated before the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993. The prisoners were supposed to be released in 2014 in accordance with understandings reached between the PA and Israel under the auspices of US Secretary of State John Kerry.
Israel says Hamas recruits Gazans with travel permits for terror
Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) threatened in remarks published Tuesday to close all crossings with the Gaza Strip should Hamas continue to recruit workers entering Israel “for terrorist purposes.”
“Hamas is exploiting the permits given to workers, those going to the West Bank, and those going to Israel, for the purpose of terrorism,” the Palestinian daily Al-Quds quoted Major-General Yoav Mordechai as saying. “This is going to make the Israeli authorities think twice before issuing permits, and we will perhaps close the border for entry by all Gazans, if Hamas continues this policy.”
Mordechai did not elaborate on exactly how the permits were being used by Hamas in terror activities.
He continued: “It appears that Hamas is preparing for war and does not care for the well-being of Gazans. They are recruiting merchants, and this places an obstacle in the way of the economic plan put forward by the Israeli government and prevents those who come into Israel from praying at the Al-Aqsa mosque every Friday.”
PA arrests relatives of Arab who sold houses to Hevron Jews
In the past several days the Palestinian Authority has arrested the brother and son of a Palestinian Arab man who sold two houses to Jews in Hevron, Arutz Sheva has learned.
When a contact approached the PA to appeal for the release of the two - one of whom is a 17-year-old boy - he was told they would not see the light of day until the seller hands himself in to PA police. Were he to do so, he would likely be subjected to torture and possible execution - the punishment under Palestinian Authority law for selling land or property to Jews.
Hevron Jewish activists have called on the Israeli government to respond by permitting Jewish residents - who were evicted from the two structures shortly after moving in - to return, as well as by providing protection to the Arab seller and his family.
Jewish activist Shlomo Levinger urged the government to act now, as an appropriate response to the murderous Palestinian terror attacks of recent weeks.
Steinitz: Israel’s Electric Authority hit by ‘severe’ cyber-attack
Israel’s Electric Authority is currently being targeted by a “severe cyber-attack,” Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said Tuesday, adding that steps are being taken to counter the assault.
Addressing the Cybertech Conference in Tel Aviv, Steinitz said the attack was discovered on Monday, and that his ministry was “already handling it,” along with the Israel National Cyber Bureau.
“The virus was already identified and the right software was already prepared to neutralize it,” he said. “We had to paralyze many of the computers of the Israeli Electricity Authority. We are handling the situation and I hope that soon, this very serious event will be over … but as of now, computer systems are still not working as they should.”
“This is a fresh example of the sensitivity of infrastructure to cyberattacks, and the importance of preparing ourselves in order to defend ourselves against such attacks,” he said.
Steinitz did not say whether Israel has identified any suspects behind the attack.
IDF officers: Islamic State will turn its attention to Israel
The Islamic State terrorist organization has made it clear that Israel is its next target, high-ranking army officers told reporters in a briefing Tuesday.
The IS affiliate in the Sinai Peninsula, Wilayat Sinaa, has been fighting a bloody war with the Egyptian military, but the army believes that the terrorist group will eventually move against Israel.
The conflict with the jihadists is not going to necessarily happen “tomorrow or next year,” an IDF officer told The Times of Israel last month, but it will happen.
The head of the group Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in December issued an explicit threat against Israel, the first such indication that the Jewish state was on his agenda. In an audio recording released on social media, al-Baghdadi warned that his forces will “soon meet [the Jews] in Palestine,” Channel 2 television reported.
Milwaukee man charged with terror plot had planned attack on Israelis
A Milwaukee man who authorities said was planning to kill dozens of people in a mass shooting at a Masonic temple has been arrested and charged with possession of two machine guns and a silencer, federal officials said on Tuesday.
Samy Mohamed Hamzeh, 23, told two people who turned out to be FBI confidential sources that he planned to carry out the shooting at a Masonic temple in Milwaukee in an attack that would be "known the world over" and in order to "ignite broader clashes," the US Department of Justice said in a statement.
The officials said Hamzeh had been under investigation since September and had first considered an attack on Israelis in the West Bank but decided instead to plan an attack in the United States. He abandoned that plan because of family, financial and logistical reasons, according to a criminal complaint.
Authorities did not indicate whether Hamzeh is a US citizen. He was arrested on Monday after he bought the two machine guns and a silencer from undercover FBI agents during a meeting that included the FBI sources, authorities said. (h/t Alexi)
Gaza border residents renew complaints of underground tunnel digging
Residents of various Israeli communities along the southern border of the Gaza Strip have renewed complaints of reverberating, underground drilling sounds possibly linked to the construction of infiltration tunnels by Palestinian terrorists, Channel 10 reported Tuesday night.
The residents told the Israeli news channel that at first they believed the middle of the night excavation sounds were caused by rain storms that hit the country earlier this week, however when the sounds desisted at 4 a.m. they realized their source was not the precipitation.
One resident, Tzila Pitusi, said it felt as if someone was breaking into her home.
"We started hearing things like concrete cracking, we felt that the concrete was rising up. We heard booms and bangs from the kitchen," another local, Esther Naim, told Channel 10.
Hamas tries to keep lid on tunnel disaster as death toll rises
Hamas on Wednesday tried to keep under wraps the details of a Gaza Strip tunnel collapse, the day after the cave-in killed several members of the terror group.
Seven people were confirmed killed and another four remain missing after the collapse, which came as heavy rains drenched the region, according to sources in Gaza.
In a bid to keep a lid on the disaster, the group, which is the de facto ruler in Gaza, prevented local media from reporting the incident, which occurred in the Al-Tuffah neighborhood in northeastern Gaza City.
Hamas accused Israel of causing the collapse by opening dams to flood Gaza with water — an annual claim made by Palestinians and flatly rejected by Israel.
As a result of the recent heavy rain in the region the tunnel fell in, burying the 11 Hamas members who were digging the passage. Seven bodies were pulled out, according to senior Palestinian sources, but another four have not yet been found.
The nature of the tunnel in question was not immediately clear. Hamas has in the past dug cross-border tunnels into Israel in order to stage attacks on civilians and soldiers. Other tunnels are used by the terror group as part of its defensive infrastructure.
Ya'alon: Turkey funds ISIS militants by buying oil from them
While Israel and Turkey's representatives are hard at work on normalizing ties, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon on Tuesday accused Ankara of encouraging terrorism by buying oil from the Islamic State group.
"As you know, Daesh (Islamic State) enjoyed Turkish money for oil for a very, very long period of time. I hope that it will be ended," Ya'alon said during a meeting with his Greek counterpart Panos Kammenos in Athens.
The Israeli defense minister further accused Turkey of "permitting jihadists to move from Europe to Syria and Iraq and back, as part of Daesh's terrorist network, and I hope this will stop too."
"It's up to Turkey, the Turkish government, the Turkish leadership, to decide whether they want to be part of any kind of cooperation to fight terrorism. This is not the case so far," he said.
Turkey has denied permitting oil smuggling by the Islamist militant group, which holds swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq. The United States last month rejected Russian allegations that the Turkish government and President Erdogan's family were in league with Islamic State to smuggle oil.
ISIS Has A Thriving Fake Passport Industry
Islamic State has a burgeoning passport manufacturing industry, which originally got its start after militants seized a trove of documents from Iraq, Syria and Libya.
French Minister of the Interior Bernard Cazeneuve delivered news of the thriving passport operation Monday at a press conference, at which point he also advocated for a special task force to be sent to Greece in order to screen out fake documents held by migrants, The Wall Street Journal reports.
“Daesh has managed to seize passports in Iraq, Syria and Libya and to set up a true industry of fake passports,” Cazeneuve said.
No decision has been reached on the task force.
Ex-Libyan intel official: IS has Gaddafi-era chemical weapons
A former Libyan intelligence official said in a recent TV interview that the country’s chemical weapons stores have fallen into the hands of the Islamic State, which has taken them to Syria.
“It is no secret that these gasses exist in Libya. They have taken it. To be fair, IS is not the only one,” Ahmad Qadhaf al-Dam told Egyptian Dream2 TV on January 18.
The clip was translated into English and posted online by the Middle East Media Research Institute.
Al-Dam, a cousin of deposed Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, explained that despite assertions that Libya’s remaining chemical weapon stockpiles had been destroyed as part of a 2014 deal, unspecified quantities remained untouched, “hidden in bases with which nobody was familiar, deep in the desert.”
New documentary on Saudi royal family centers on sex, drugs and murder
A new documentary based on the account of an ex-wife of the late Saudi King Fahd bin Abdulaziz al-Saud portrays a lurid story of the royal Saudi family, centered on drugs, sex, gambling, corruption and murder, according to Internet publication earlier this week.
“The Weaknesses of King Fahd” tells the story of Janan Harb, who secretly married Fahd when she was 20 and moved to the Saudi royal palace in Riyadh in 1967. From there, Harb details the tumultuous relationship between her and the monarch's family, especially his younger brother, current Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
“I call him the butcher from Riyadh," she was quoted as saying. “He didn’t have a good reputation, he was very aggressive.”
Harb, 68, who is of Palestinian decent and currently resides in London, claims that her ex-husband, along with Salman, were frequent visitors to casinos in the UK and used illicit drugs on numerous occasions.
$681 million in Malaysia PM’s bank account was Saudi ‘donation’
Malaysia’s Attorney General on Tuesday said the $681 million transferred to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s personal bank account was a “personal donation” from the Saudi royal family.
Attorney General Mohamed Apandi Ali said in a statement that no further actions would be taken as no criminal offense was committed by Najib in relation to the investigations submitted by Malaysia’s antigraft agency.
“I am satisfied that as no criminal offense has been committed, there is no necessity for Malaysia to make a request for a mutual legal assistance to any foreign states for the purpose of completing the criminal investigation by the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission in relation to the said 2.08 billion ringgit ($681 million) donation,” he said.

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