Thursday, February 25, 2016

From Ian:

Barkat slams Cameron: East Jerusalem better off now than under UK
Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat on Thursday slammed comments by British Prime Minister David Cameron in which he criticized conditions in East Jerusalem, questioning Cameron’s knowledge of the region and pointing a finger at the UK for its policies during the pre-state British Mandate.
On Wednesday, Cameron told Britain’s Parliament that Israeli construction in East Jerusalem was “genuinely shocking,” even as he insisted that he was a “great friend of Israel” and defined Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
“I am well known for being a strong friend of Israel, but I have to say the first time I visited Jerusalem and had a proper tour around that wonderful city and saw what had happened with the effective encirclement of East Jerusalem, occupied East Jerusalem, it is genuinely shocking,” Cameron said during a weekly question-and-answer session.
Barkat said Cameron’s statements were “incorrect, based on a lack of awareness of facts and the reality on the ground,” in a statement released by the Jerusalem municipality.
The mayor rhetorically asked what it was that specifically shocked Cameron, highlighting investment in schools, infrastructure and community centers in East Jerusalem.
New video shows off-duty soldier’s fatal fight with Palestinian terrorists
A video released Wednesday evening documents the moments in which an Israeli off-duty soldier was stabbed to death last week while shopping in a supermarket near his West Bank home.
Security camera footage broadcast by Channel 2 News shows the attack in which 21-year-old Tuvia Yanai Weissman was fatally injured last Thursday in the Sha’ar Binyamin Industrial Zone, southeast of Ramallah.
In the video, Weissman can be seen running toward two Palestinian attackers who were stabbing another victim. As he sprints out of a shopping aisle, one of the terrorists surprises him from the side and stabs him in the neck.
The two wrestle for a few moments before Weissman falls behind a shopping trolley. An armed shopper then shoots the attacker, who also falls to the floor.
Weissman was unarmed. On a week’s leave from the IDF, he had asked to take his gun home with him, but was refused. Since his killing, the IDF has reversed that regulation, and ordered soldiers to take their guns with them when they head home from their bases for leave.
Netanyahu: World must condemn Iran for paying terrorists’ families
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday urged the world to condemn Iran for providing financial support to the families of Palestinian terrorists.
The prime minister also called on the international community to denounce Palestinian incitement, which he said is the “number one cause of terrorism.”
“Our fight against terrorism, which comes with the assistance and agitation of states and regimes, does not exist in a vacuum. Yesterday Iran announced that it will finance the families of the terrorists and murderers; this shows that Iran, even after the nuclear agreement, is continuing to aid terrorism, including Palestinian terrorism, Hezbollah terrorism and its assistance to Hamas,” Netanyahu said.
“This is something that the nations of the world must confront and condemn and assist Israel – and other countries, of course – in repelling,” he added.
Iran’s ambassador to Lebanon, Mohammad Fateh Ali, said Wednesday that Tehran would give $7,000 to the families of each Palestinian terrorist killed while attacking Israelis. Iran will also give $30,000 to Palestinian families whose homes have been destroyed by Israel because a family member carried out a terror attack, he told a news conference in Beirut.

Thousands mourn reservist killed by errant fire in stabbing attack
Thousands of people attended a late night funeral Wednesday for an Israeli reserve soldier killed earlier in the day by errant IDF gunfire during a stabbing attack in the West Bank.
Eliav Gelman, 30, an Air Force captain in the Israeli military’s reserve corps, was shot by troops trying to stop the Palestinian who was attacking him with a knife at the Gush Etzion Junction south of Jerusalem.
He was laid to rest at the Kfar Etzion cemetery in the West Bank.
A Palestinian man stabbed Gelman while he was waiting for a bus on his way home from base. Soldiers stationed nearby opened fire on the man but one or more bullets accidentally struck Gelman, critically injuring him. He was taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, where doctors pronounced him dead some two hours after the attack.
Gelman, a father of boys Yoav and Yair, ages 2 and 5, lived with his wife Rina, who is pregnant, in the West Bank settlement of Karmei Tzur in the Etzion settlement bloc south of Jerusalem. He was originally from Kiryat Arba, a settlement on the outskirts of Hebron and had studied at the Mekor Haim Yeshiva, also in the Etzion bloc.
Father of terror victim: We accept the sacrifice
Thousands of people gathered late at night at the military cemetery in Kfar Etzion on Wednesday to pay their final respects to Maj. (res.) Eliav Gelman, who had been killed in a terrorist attack earlier in the day.
Gelman, 31, is survived by his wife Rinat and sons, Yair, 5, and Yoav, 2. His wife is due to give birth to their third child in several weeks.
"Who will take the children to synagogue now?" Gelman's brother, Eyal, demanded at the funeral. "Who will support Rinat when she gives birth in a month and a half?"
Gelman was on his way home to the community of Karmei Tzur after four days of reserve duty in a unit that coordinates between the military's air force and ground forces when a terrorist pounced on him at a hitchhiking station at the Gush Etzion Junction. Gelman managed to draw his weapon, but was accidentally shot by security forces aiming for the terrorist.
Shin Bet: Sudanese attacker in Ashkelon stabbing was devout Muslim influenced by ISIS
A Sudanese national who stabbed a soldier in Ashkelon earlier this month was a devout Muslim who was influenced by the ideology of the Islamic State, the Shin Bet Israel Security Agency said in a statement on Thursday.
The Shin Bet said 32-year-old Kamel Hasan was a devout Muslim who carried out the attack on February 7 “after he was influenced by ISIS” and that on his cellphone investigators found “pictures of ISIS members taken in locations around the world”.
The announcement was sent out Thursday after the Shin Bet and the Southern District police finished their investigation into the incident.
Hasan had previously been arrested in 2009 on suspicion of carrying out a violent crime, the Shin Bet said, adding that he had been living in Ashdod and Ashkelon ever since he fled the “Holot” detention center for illegal migrants in the Negev in 2014.
On February 7, a soldier was waiting at a bus stop near the entrance to the Neot Ashkelon neighborhood in the southern city when he was stabbed and lightly wounded by Hasan, who then fled the scene on foot. Another soldier grabbed the wounded soldier’s rifle and gave chase, pursuing Hasan deep into the neighborhood.
President turns away Arab lawmaker who met attackers' families
President Reuven Rivlin refused to allow Arab MK Jamal Zahalka entry to his official residence in Jerusalem Wednesday, due to the latter’s February 2 meeting with the families of Palestinian terrorists.
Zahalka, who leads the Balad party inside the Joint (Arab) List’s Knesset faction, had been invited along with other party leaders to the meeting with the heads of Arab regional and local authorities in Israel.
But the invitation was issued before Zahalka and fellow Balad lawmakers Hanin Zoabi and Basel Ghattas met with the relatives of Palestinians killed during attacks or attempted attacks on Israelis.
Zahalka never RSVPed to the invitation last month, and when he tried to do so two hours before today’s event, he was declined on the grounds that the president did not wish to see him since accepting him would offend Israeli citizens, according to a report by Channel 2 news.
Kerry Slaps Abbas’ Wrist on Palestinian Incitement
Just when you thought Secretary of State John Kerry couldn’t get any weaker on the problem of Palestinian incitement and violence, he did.
Kerry met with Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas in Amman, Jordan, on Feb. 21, against a backdrop of daily Palestinian stabbings of Israeli women and children, and non-stop anti-Jewish incitement in the official PA press, radio, and television.
Yet the secretary of state did not threaten to withhold the Obama administration’s annual $500 million aid package to the PA over the incitement. He didn’t even threaten to reduce the aid.
Incredibly, Kerry didn’t even demand that the PA stop the incitement or the violence. Here’s how State Department spokesman John Kirby described what Kerry said to Abbas: “The secretary continued to urge for calm and a decrease in violence, incitement and inflammatory rhetoric.”
“A decrease.” Not an end to violence — just a decrease.
After terror attack, Kerry blames ‘settlement construction’
Just hours after a terror attack in Gush Etzion which left 30-year-old air force reserve captain Eliyav Gelman dead, US Secretary of State John Kerry responded by condemning Israeli housing projects in Judea and Samaria.
While speaking to a congressional subcommittee hearing on the State Department’s budget request, Kerry answered questions about Wednesday’s attack and the ongoing terror wave inside Israel.
"I don't think that the situation is helped by additional settlement construction and building," he remarked.
"I think that I know we need to see measures taken on both sides to indicate a readiness and willingness to try to proceed forward and reduce the violence," Kerry added.
Earlier on Wednesday MDA reported that during the current five-month terror wave 33 Israelis had been killed and more than 300 wounded in 222 terror attacks.
Abbas’ advisor defends glorification of terrorists: “We do not incite ” we respect "the Martyrs"
Mahmoud Al-Habbash, the Supreme Shari’ah Judge and Mahmoud Abbas’ advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs, in speech made in presence of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: “Some accuse us of incitement against others. What incitement? Are we inciting? … If by incitement they are talking about our insistence on holding on to our principles, and our respect, honor, and appreciation for those more honorable than us, the Martyrs who fall for Palestine – if that is what they call incitement – we do not deny this, and are not ashamed of it, and we do not renounce it. Indeed – we cling to our right, our land, our holy sites, our Jerusalem and our Al-Aqsa Mosque… We adhere to our right to defend ourselves.” [Official PA TV, Dec. 11, 2015]

2 Terrorists Killed Shooting Israelis Awarded Honorable Military Funeral by Palestinian Authority
Thousands of mourners attended an honorable military funeral held by the Palestinian Authority security apparatus for two 20-year-old terrorists – one of whom had served as a PA policeman — killed while attempting to commit an attack in Jerusalem earlier this month, the Hebrew news site nrg reported on Wednesday.
According to the report, the bodies of Amr Amru and Mansur Shwamra were carried to the burial site by members of the PA security forces. Amru and Shwamra were killed when they opened fire with M-16 rifles on Israeli police being given a briefing next to the light rail station near the Damascus Gate in the Old City.
Photos of the ceremony were posted on social media, spurring Ofir Gendelman, spokesperson to the Arab media in the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, to tweet that the funeral exemplified the glorification of terrorists by the PA.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Stingy Agency Won’t Offer Lifetime Pension For Killing Palestinians (satire)
Israel’s National Insurance Institute does not offer lifetime financial support to those who have killed Palestinians, an investigation has revealed, calling into question the organization’s and Israeli society’s commitment to conforming with the moral equivalence that the international community sees between Arab terrorism and Jewish self-defense.
A report by the non-profit group Profiling Ugly Terrorist Zionism (PUTZ), published today, contains strong evidence that the Institute, the main vehicle for the financial support of the economically disadvantaged in Israel, is doing nothing to encourage Israelis to kill Palestinians. If confirmed, those allegations cast doubt on Israel’s occupation of the same moral plane as Palestinians, whose government and media verbally and financially encourage the killing of Israelis, and threaten to undermine widely-cherished assumptions about how the two sides to the conflict should be treated.
PUTZ director Benzo Na expressed confusion at the outcome of the study. “I get my news from the international media, like most everybody,” he said. “So this result means one of two things: either there’s some major incompetence and inconsistency going on with Israel’s National Insurance, or the media reports have it all wrong, and everyone knows the media never get it wrong.”
Signing law to defend Israel from boycott, Obama excludes settlements
US President Barack Obama signed a bill on Wednesday that punishes the international boycott campaign against Israel, but said he will not apply a segment that extends protections to West Bank settlements.
The Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, aimed at removing unfair barriers to competitive US trade, passed the US House of Representatives in December and the Senate on February 11.
A lengthy section of the law on promoting US-Israel trade requires non-cooperation with entities that participate in the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, and reporting on such entities. The section includes within its definition of an Israel boycott actions that would target businesses in “Israeli-controlled territories.”
“I have directed my administration to strongly oppose boycotts, divestment campaigns, and sanctions targeting the State of Israel,” Obama said in a signing statement. “As long as I am president, we will continue to do so. Certain provisions of this act, by conflating Israel and ‘Israeli-controlled territories,’ are contrary to longstanding bipartisan United States policy, including with regard to the treatment of settlements.”
Obama: Important to provide both Palestinian and Israeli sides with hope
US President Barack Obama said on Wednesday that it was important to provide both the Israeli and Palestinian sides with hope for a resolution to violence.
Obama said Jordan has played a “critical” part in “reducing some of the immediate tensions around the Temple Mount” and called the King a “voice of reason … and tolerance. We’re lucky to have a friend like Jordan.”
Also on Wednesday, US Secretary of State John Kerry said that increased Israeli settlement building is not helping to ease tensions between Israelis and Palestinians.
Rubio slams Trump for Israel-Palestinians ‘honest broker’ goal
Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio slammed Donald Trump, his party’s front-runner for the nomination, Wednesday over statements he made last week on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
According to the Florida senator, Trump has said he’s not going to take sides on Israel versus the Palestinians because he wants to be an “honest broker.”
Rubio said there was no such thing, “because the Palestinian Authority, which has strong links to terror, they teach little kids, 5-year-olds, that it’s a glorious thing to kill Jews.”
The criticism referred to comments made during a town hall event hosted by MSNBC in Charleston, South Carolina, last Wednesday.
After being asked by a voter what steps he would take to broker an accommodation between the sides in the conflict, Trump vowed to give it “one hell of a shot” and called it “probably the toughest agreement of any kind to make.”
But when pressed by host Joe Scarborough over whether he ascribed fault to either Israelis or Palestinians over the failure to reach a lasting accord, Trump declined to take sides.
Florida legislature passes anti-BDS bill
Florida’s Senate overwhelmingly passed a measure Wednesday aimed to deter corporate entities from participating in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.
The bill passed by a vote of 112-2, and now moves to the office of Florida Governor Rick Scott, who must decide whether to sign it into law.
In the last year, several other states have taken up similar legislation, such as Illinois and South Carolina. Illinois has targeted BDS activities through investment — prohibiting state investment in entities that boycott Israel or Israeli companies. South Carolina has done the same through procurement — banning the state from contracting with entities that engage in Israel boycotts.
The Florida bill is the strongest of any anti-BDS measure passed through a state legislature, according to Peggy Shapiro, the Midwest director of Israel advocacy group StandWithUs, who lobbied for the bill, because it targets BDS activities through banning both state investment and procurement in such entities.
Why is Sanders Taking Foreign Policy Advice from Someone Who Suggested Israel—Not Assad—Gassed Syrians?
Today, Politico reported on the nascent coterie of foreign policy advisers that is slowly taking shape around Bernie Sanders, whose presidential campaign to date has focused almost entirely on domestic concerns. According to Politico, Sanders has hired Bill French, an analyst at the progressive National Security Network, as a full-time foreign policy staffer, and is receiving further counsel from the Center for American Progress’ Lawrence Korb, a former Obama 2008 campaign adviser.
The third and final person named in the report, however, is likely to raise some eyebrows: Lawrence Wilkerson. A former U.S. Army Colonel who became a Republican policy hand, Wilkerson eventually served as chief of staff to George W. Bush’s Secretary of State Colin Powell. Disillusioned by the Iraq War, he later remade himself as a sharp critic of American foreign policy, slowly sliding to the extremes of the political discourse–which is how he came to insinuate that Israel was gassing Syrians to frame their dictator, Bashar al-Assad.
In March 2013, after Western intelligence officials had confirmed that Assad had used chemical weapons on his own people, Wilkerson went on TV to alternately cast suspicion on the victims and the Jewish state. In an interview with Current TV, Wilkerson told host Cenk Uygur: “This could’ve been an Israeli false flag operation, it could’ve been an opposition in Syria … or it could’ve been an actual use by Bashar Assad.” In other words, the Syrian rebels might have gassed themselves to place blame on Assad, or Israel might have.
‘Happy and proud’ to be here, Egypt’s first ambassador since 2012 presents credentials
Egypt’s new ambassador to Israel hailed bilateral relations Thursday, expressing hope that the two countries’ “constructive” relationship would bring peace to the region.
Hazem Khairat handed his diplomatic credentials to President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem, officially becoming Cairo’s first senior emissary to the Israel since 2012. The Egyptian embassy is in Tel Aviv.
“He told me that he is very happy and very proud to be in Israel and that he hopes that his presence here will bring about a situation in which the friendship between the Jewish people and the Arab people in general, and between the countries of the region, will be such that we can live in peace,” Rivlin told reporters after Khairat left the President’s Residence.
Khairat, whose appointment was warmly received in Jerusalem when it was announced in June, watched the Egyptian flag being raised and the Egyptian national anthem played as he arrived and then handed his letter of credence to Rivlin. Before he exited the residence, he listened to the Israeli national anthem, impassively, standing next to Rivlin.
Israeli ambassador to Egypt gives rare Egyptian interview
Israeli Ambassador to Egypt Haim Koren gave a rare interview to Egyptian journalists in his residence in Cairo on Tuesday, and surprisingly, the transcript of the interview was published, and what's more, the journalists were not afraid to expose the fact that they had spoken to the representative from Israel.
On the Israeli Embassy in Egypt's Facebook page, the entire transcript was published next to a picture of Ambassador Koren with the flags of both Israel and Egypt.
"We respect the President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, because he is an open president who is interested in bringing stability to the region in general and Egypt in particular, and because he knows the face of the Middle East has changed, and knows the experiences of Egypt the best, and the experiences of Israel," Koren said to the journalists, one of them from important government newspaper "Al-Ahram."
In the past, journalists were afraid to mention the fact that they had "dared" to meet the Israeli ambassador. But according to officials in the Foreign Ministry, the barrier of fear has been broken. This stems first and foremost from the warming of relations and the strategic alliance between Israel and the Egypt of President al-Sisi.
Israeli Defense Split on Turkey’s Gaza Port Demands
Israeli negotiations with Turkey on renewal of full economic and diplomatic relations hinge, not surprisingly, on an area that isn’t part of Israel or Turkey, namely the Gaza Strip. Or, more to the point, the Turks insist that Israel must allow the Gazans to build a new port, having lived since 2007 under a tight Israeli blockade. With the Hamas’ track record on abusing whatever shipments Israel does allow through the border crossings, using cement to build terror tunnels instead of rehabilitating residential buildings that collapsed during the 2014 war, it’s obvious why Israel would resist such a demand. However, it appears that at least some in the IDF echo the Turkish sentiment, arguing that something must be done to alleviate the suffering of Gaza’s civilian population, and soon.
Military Intelligence chief Major General Hertzi Halevy on Tuesday told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that the deteriorating economy in Gaza is liable to cause an explosion which would be turned against Israel. MKs who participated in the closed-door meeting told Ha’aretz that Halevy believes the rehabilitation of Gaza is going too slowly, and stresses that an economic improvement would be the best restraining measure against a new war.
But others in Israel’s security apparatus insist that “Whatever enters the Gaza Strip must undergo an Israeli check. If someone is eager to transport goods by sea, they are invited to bring them through the Ashdod harbor.” Responding to news earlier this week that Israel and Turkey are on the way to some agreement on a Gaza harbor, a source in the defense ministry told Walla that “we have no intention to turn a blind eye on anything that’s going into Gaza.”
Palestinians demand UN assess the environmental impact of recent Gaza wars
The Palestinian delegation to the UN Environment Program submitted a draft resolution on Wednesday, demanding the UN conduct an assessment of the environmental impact of the recent wars that took place in Gaza, Palestinian media reported on Thursday.
The draft resolution was submitted by the vice president of the Palestinian Environment Quality Authority and the Palestinian representative to the UN Environment Program during a meeting of the program that took place in Kenya's capital, Nairobi.
The draft resolution, which is also signed by the Arab League, demands the UN Environment Program send a group of experts to the Gaza Strip to conduct an assessment of the environmental impact of the recent wars in Gaza, and especially the wars that took place in 2012 and 2014.
After being submitted, the resolution was put up for discussion at the Environmental Program's committee of permanent representatives in order to reach an agreed version. In the event that the parties do not reach an agreement, the draft resolution will be put to a vote at the program's next meeting in Nairobi in May.
Netanyahu promises ‘imminent solution’ to Gaza tunnels
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told leaders of Israeli communities around the Gaza Strip Wednesday that the army was working to end the threat of attack tunnels emanating from the coastal Palestinian territory.
In a meeting held with municipal heads, the prime minister said the IDF was “likely to find an imminent solution to the problem of tunnels from Gaza,” according to Haaretz.
He told the group that the army has been employing the latest technology and that a budget has been earmarked for the job.
“The money is waiting for the border and not the other way around,” he was quoted as saying.
Hamas official: We're not seeking a war with Israel, our tunnels are defensive
A senior leader of the Islamist group Hamas said the Palestinian movement was not seeking a new war with Israel and insisted a network of tunnels it is digging, some of which have reached into Israel in the past, was "defensive."
Speaking to members of the Foreign Press Association in Gaza, Mahmoud al-Zahar, a medical doctor seen by many as a hardliner, suggested the prospects of reconciliation with the rival Fatah party of President Mahmoud Abbas were slim, despite years of international efforts to forge unity.
"I think nobody here in the region is looking for a war," said Zahar, 71, who has survived two Israeli assassination attempts, one of which, in 2003, killed his son.
"We are not looking for any confrontation with Israel, but if they are going to launch an aggression we have to defend ourselves," he told reporters late on Wednesday.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Jailed Barghouhi intends to run for president in next PA election, wife says
Jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti intends to run in the next Palestinian Authority presidential election when and if they take place, his wife, Fadwa Barghouti, announced on Wednesday.
Barghouti told a Hamas-affiliated online newspaper that it was her husband's "duty to contest the vote in order to correct the path of the Palestinian cause."
She said that her husband would also run in the election in order to "salvage and restore the national movement and achieve the right of return and independence."
The Fatah leader is serving a sentence of five life-terms for his role in terror attacks against Israelis during the Second Intifada.
Barghouti's wife said that the PA leadership should work toward securing the release of her husband from Israeli prison.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Zoabi Secretly Relieved That Barghouti To Run In Palestinian, Not Israeli Elections (satire)
Firebrand lawmaker Haneen Zoabi of the Balad Party revealed to confidants today that she breathed a sigh of relief upon discovering that when imprisoned Palestinian figure Marwan Barghouti said he intends to run in the next elections, he meant a Palestinian presidential contest, not Israeli parliamentary elections. Zoabi admitted she would be hopelessly overshadowed by a man of Barghouti’s political stature, and is therefore happy not to have to contemplate the prospect.
Aides to Zoabi reported that the legislator visibly relaxed after being informed that she had misunderstood the Fatah official’s intentions, and that in fact he has no designs on competing with her for a slice of the Israeli Arab electorate, but instead seeks the Palestinian presidency. If Barghouti wins, Zoabi and her colleagues in Balad are confident he will see them as important allies.
Barghouti, currently serving several life sentences for involvement in terrorism against Israelis in the Second Intifada of 2002-2005, announced Wednesday that in any electoral contest to replace current Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, he will be a candidate. Abbas is currently ten years into the four-year term he began serving in 2006, but is aging, and several would-be successors are already jockeying for position. Barghouti’s direct experience in funding and directing terrorism far outweighs Zoabi’s meager pro-terrorism posturing, and she therefore initially feared being pushed aside by Joint List voters.
 Rabbi Yehuda Glick Acquitted, Hoping to Go Back to Guiding Temple Mount Tours
Following a year and a half of being barred from ascending the Temple Mount, police voided the indictment against tour guide and Temple Mount faithful extraordinaire Rabbi Yehuda Glick, and he was acquitted of the charges of breaking the arm of a Muslim woman on the sacred compound. According to the Temple Mount Faithful movement, police had insisted on barring Rabbi Glick from the Temple Mount even after an assassination attempt against him by an Arab terrorist — in fact they claimed the attempt “only made him more dangerous.”
Naturally, anyone who has met the skinny, jovial, redheaded America-born Rabbi Glick knows full well that he simply isn’t capable of hurting a fly, never mind attacking a grown Muslim woman. Luckily, the Jerusalem court also couldn’t bring itself to placing even a shred of faith in the testimony of Zoya Badrana, who claimed Glick had pushed her down on the ground, causing her injury.
Rabbi Glick now expects to go back to guiding groups of visitors around the parameter of the holiest Jewish site on the planet — despite the fact that most Jews, for a variety of religious and political reasons, prefer to congregate down below, near a supporting wall erected by Herod (the Western Wall).

Abbas' Antisemitic advisor speaking at Hebrew University
The Hebrew University has invited Mahmoud Al-Habbash, the PA's Supreme Shari'ah Judge and Mahmoud Abbas' advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs, to debate Israeli MP Ofer Shelah from the Yesh Atid Party next week.
Palestinian Media Watch has reported at length on Al-Habbash and his messages to Palestinians. At the beginning of the current terror wave, Al-Habbash preached Antisemitism in a sermon broadcast on official PA TV, explaining that Jews represent "evil," "falsehood," "the devils" and "the satans" and that Israel is "Satan's project."
Al-Habbash has on several occasions presented all of Israel as the "land of Ribat" and a "Waqf" - meaning all of Israel is Islamic land and an inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law. He also stressed that this means that Palestinians are prohibited under Islamic law from accepting Israel's existence in any borders, because they are prohibited from giving up Palestine - "even a millimeter of it."
Al-Habbash has also defended the terrorist murderers of the current terror wave, explaining that they are "more honorable than us," and glorified them as "Martyrs" - Shahids - the highest honor a Muslim can achieve. During a similar upsurge in terror attacks in 2014, Al-Habbash specifically stated that the PA leadership supported the terrorists.
Treasury Department: Islamic State Building Base In Gaza Strip; Using Palestinian Enclave to Recruit and Deploy Fighters
With little fanfare, the Treasury Department earlier this month imposed financial sanctions on three Islamic State leaders, including a jihadist from the Gaza Strip it said was central to recruiting and deploying foreign fighters and establishing an IS base inside Gaza.
The move highlights the growing threat of the Gaza Strip serving as a central headquarters for IS.
“Treasury and our partners worldwide are aggressively targeting ISIL’s ability to earn and make use of its money, and we are making progress on many fronts,” said Adam J. Szubin, Acting Under-Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. Szubin said the new sanctions target “key ISIL leadership figures responsible for oil and gas production, foreign terrorist fighter recruitment and facilitation, and other financial facilitation.”
One of the three newly-sanctioned IS leaders is Gaza-based Salafi jihadist Husayn Juaythini. Treasury accused Juaythini of providing support and services to IS “by facilitating communications and the movement of foreign terrorist fighters and conducting financial activities in support” of the terrorist organization.
The Treasury profile of Juaythini stated that he was “the link” between IS Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and armed groups in Gaza, and “had money that he was using to build an ISIL presence in Gaza.”
The Israeli who goes undercover to save Syrian lives
Several times a year, often more, Doreen Gold, an Israeli Jew, goes undercover to organize a mission of humanitarian aid for Syrian NGOs. From there the aid is delivered to the increasingly desperate and starving people of Syria, an enemy nation still reeling from a brutal and deadly civil war that may, or may not, be nearly over.
She’s not alone. Some 200 or so Israeli volunteers working for her nonprofit, Il4Syrians, have also been operating in stealth mode since the revolution began in 2011.
It’s a dangerous job for anyone, but for Israelis the consequences of exposure are unthinkable. Doreen, whose name has been changed to hide her identity, has signed a form that says that if she is captured, the government will not negotiate for her release. It’s a form that all of her volunteers – Arab, Jewish, Christian and Druze – must fill in before they leave on a mission.
“It is frightening,” Doreen, a mother of two, tells ISRAEL21c. “It’s always frightening. We know we are on our own.”
Report: Dozens of Russian generals in Syria killed after a car bomb hits their military base
Dozens of Russian generals at a military base near the eastern Syrian city of Latakia were killed Sunday afternoon in a deadly car bomb attack committed by two opposition factions, Ahrar al-Sham and Bayan movement, Syrian opposition groups reported on Wednesday.
According to the media office of Ahrar al-Sham, the two factions, in coordination with local jihadists who were located at the Russian military base, decided to bomb the car after they observed a gathering of senior Russian generals at the military base.
Ahrar al-Sham claims that dozens of Russian generals were killed and injured in the explosion. According to the movement, the announcement of the terror attack was delayed until Wednesday to ensure that the jihadists who committed the attack returned safely to opposition territories.
The military base that was hit by the car bomb is considered one of the most important military centers of the Russian forces on the Syrian coast, located some 15 kilometers from Latakia.

Kirk Mocks John Kerry With ‘Team America’ Reference: ‘You’re Going to Send Them a Very Angry Letter?’
Sen. Mark Kirk (R., Ill.) made a reference to one of the greatest movies of all time Wednesday during a Senate hearing on the budget for the State Department.
Kirk was asking Secretary of State John Kerry about the release of terror suspects from countries that receive aid from the United States. Kirk found this to be a good time to mock Kerry by roughly quoting Team America: World Police, the 2004 satirical puppet comedy from the creators of South Park.
Kirk’s questioning was focused much on Sudan.
“So as they said in Team America: World Police, ‘You’re going to send them a very angry letter’?” Kirk said.
Mark Kirk Mocks John Kerry With Team America: World Police's 'Angry Letter' Reference

Saudi Writer Asks How Muslims Would Act If Christian Terrorists Blew Themselves Up In Their Midst
Liberal Saudi journalist Nadine Al-Budair, who lives in Qatar, penned an article in the Kuwaiti daily Al-Rai in which she wondered how Muslims would have acted if Christians had blown themselves up in their midst or tried to force their faith on them. She called on the Muslim world to be introspective and enact reforms, instead of condemning Western attitudes towards it.
The following are excerpts from the article:
"Imagine a Western youth coming here and carrying out a suicide mission in one of our public squares in the name of the Cross. Imagine that two skyscrapers had collapsed in some Arab capital, and that an extremist Christian group, donning millennium-old garb, had emerged to take responsibility for the event, while stressing its determination to revive Christian teachings or some Christian rulings, according to its understanding, to live like in the time [of Jesus] and his disciples, and to implement certain edicts of Christian scholars…
"Imagine hearing the voices of monks and priests from churches and prayer houses in and out of the Arab world, screaming on loudspeakers and levelling accusations against Muslims, calling them infidels, and chanting: 'God, eliminate the Muslims and defeat them all.'

MEMRI: Moroccan Oncologists Blast Camel-Urine Cancer Treatment Project: Urine Is Urine

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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 19 years and 40,000 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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