Tuesday, March 21, 2017

From Ian:

PMW: Abbas: Reason for all world’s disasters is “occupation”
In a recent speech, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas stated that the Israeli “occupation” is the reason for all disasters in the world:
“The international community is becoming more and more convinced that the occupation of the Palestinian state by Israel is the reason for all the disasters that the region and the world are suffering from...” [Official PA TV, March 12, 2017]
Abbas’ statement echoes the antisemitic teachings of a religious scholar on official PA TV, Imad Hamato, who Abbas has also endorsed by
appointing him dean of a system of schools. Palestinian Media Watch reported on a lesson in Islam where Hamato taught that the Jews are the reason for all of humanity’s problems:
"Humanity will never live in comfort as long as the Jews are causing devastating corruption throughout the land. Humanity will never live in peace or fortune or tranquility as long as they are corrupting the land. An old man told me: If a fish in the sea fights with another fish, I am sure the Jews are behind it." [Official PA TV, Feb. 27, 2015 and Feb. 25, 2016]
In another interview, Abbas recently clarified what he means by Israeli "occupation" - saying it has lasted “70 years” - i.e., since Israel was established in 1948.
“I told him [US President Donald Trump] that we hope that he will find a solution to the Palestinian issue after 70 years of occupation that will be based on two states, a Palestinian state that will live in security and peace alongside the State of Israel." [Al-Watan, (Qatar), March 16, 2017]
Again Abbas is showing that he does not recognize Israel in any borders. The entire State of Israel is an "occupation."
Israel arrests head of Turkish humanitarian group in Gaza for financing Hamas
The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) on Tuesday announced the arrest of the head of a Turkish humanitarian group in Gaza for giving terror financing to Hamas' military wing in an announcement which could have broader impact on Israel-Turkey relations.
The security agency and police arrested Gaza resident Muhammad Murtaja, 39, in February while he was attempting to depart from Israel on a trip related to his position as the Gaza coordinator of the Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency (TİKA).
Investigations revealed that Murtaja was recruited by Hamas in late 2008, and that his activity with the Palestinian terror group including funneling funds earmarked for humanitarian projects to Hamas.
According to the Shin Bet, he was also involved in Hamas militant training and exercises, manufacturing weapons and explosive devices and digging terror tunnels. Murtaja was said to have stored weapons, such as hand grenades and guns, in his home on behalf of Hamas.
Iran accused of planning attack on head of French-Israel business group
Iran's Quds Force plotted with the aid of a paid Pakistani man to surveil --and possibly assassinate--the head of the French-Israeli chamber of commerce, according to revelations from a Monday court proceeding in Berlin and German media reports.The daily Berliner Zeitung reported that the 31-year-old Pakistani Syed Mustafa spied on the French-Israel business professor David Rouach who teaches at the elite Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris (ESCP) and served as head of the French-Israeli chamber of commerce.
Quds Force, a US-classified terrorist entity, is part of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and paid Mustafa at least 2,052 euros between July 2015 and July 2016. Rouach is expected to testify on Tuesday. The federal prosecutor Michael Greven said at an earlier proceeding that a collection of surveillance activities took place to prepare for possible attacks. Mustafa amassed information on Rouach from July until August 2015. German investigators seized more than 300 photographs and 20 videos from Mustafa. The video and photographic material showed the ESCP campus and various travel distances in connection with the college.
According to German prosecutors, Mustafa's assignment was to identify Israeli and Jewish institutions, as well as pro-Israel advocates, for possible attacks. Mustafa conducted espionage in Gemany, France and other unnamed western European countries. He monitored a German-Jewish newspaper's headquarters in Berlin, and Reinhold Robbe, the former head of the German-Israel Friendship Society. Robbe told the court "I consider the regime there [in Iran] to be one of the worst dictators on the planet."
Mustafa delivered his dossiers to the IRGC. The criminal complaint said Mustafa had contact with a Quds Force agent named Mehmud since 2011. The Quds Force has a history of employing Pakistanis for their operations outside of Iran, said Greven. The trial started in early March and is slated to run until the end of the month.

Evelyn Gordon: The U.S. Human Rights Report Travesty
In other words, the State Department accused Israel of subjecting Palestinians–including children–to forced labor, without citing a single example to substantiate this accusation. It did so despite admitting that it doesn’t actually have any evidence aside from unspecified “reports” by unspecified “NGOs,” which even the Palestinian Authority wasn’t prepared to back (it “was unable to monitor and investigate” the allegations). Nor is this lack of evidence surprising, since the accusation is groundless (shockingly, Israel isn’t running forced labor camps in the settlements). So why was such a vile, unsubstantiated allegation even included in the report?
A human rights report worthy of the name would prioritize, devoting most of its attention to the world’s worst abusers. It would reflect enough basic good judgment to excise inanities like “suffering from construction dust.” It would either try to confirm unsubstantiated allegations or omit them because they were unsubstantiated. And it might even include some original investigating about human rights abuses in the many oppressive dictatorships that “human rights” organizations find less enthralling than democratic Israel.
Instead, the State Department apparently just copy-pasted anything it could find from such organizations, no matter how ludicrous or unsubstantiated. That inevitably resulted in paying absurdly excessive attention to Israel, because that’s what most “human rights” organizations do. If you doubt that, just consider this stunning graph from the Elder of Ziyon blog analyzing Amnesty International’s tweets during one month in summer 2015: Amnesty spared only four tweets for Syria’s ongoing civil war, but devoted over 60 to Israel and Gaza, most of them rehashing a war that had ended a year earlier with less than half a percent of Syria’s death toll.
In short, the human rights bureau simply generated a U.S.-sponsored version of the same anti-Israel bias Ambassador Nikki Haley so rightly condemns at the UN. And if so, then really, who needs it?
The Department of Pay-for-Slay
How the Palestinian Authority not only incites terrorist murder—but supports it with U.S. tax dollars
Commonly described as peace-seeking and opposed to violence, the PA appears to contrast favorably with Hamas. But no one paying attention can honestly say that the PA opposes the murder of ordinary Israelis going about their business on the streets. In fact, the PA exerts itself to cause such murder, though it works to calibrate the violence. It blocks West Bank–based attacks by its Palestinian political opponents and works to head off devastating Israeli retaliation. It has been successful on both counts for the last dozen years.
The theme of PA propaganda is that the only way ultimately for the Palestinian people to maintain their honor and achieve justice is to drive the Jews violently off the land. Hence the praise of terrorists as heroes and martyrs, the naming of streets and public squares after Palestinians who have murdered Israelis in pizzerias and at bus stops, the school pageants at which small children are praised for saying they want to grow up to be killers of the Jewish “occupiers,” the laws promising large financial rewards for terrorism, and the ministries and other institutions that exist to pay terrorists.
Congressional hearings in 2014 brought to light the PA’s payments to imprisoned terrorists and their families. In 2015, Congress passed a law to reduce U.S. aid to the PA by one dollar for every dollar “expended by the Palestinian Authority as payments for acts of terrorism.” The Congressional Research Service reports that the State Department submitted a classified report to Congress on how much it reduced U.S. aid to the PA and how it determined the number.
To minimize the reduction in aid, the PA appears to have organized a subterfuge, masking such payments by routing them through the PLO. Congress responded in its aid appropriation act for 2017 by ordering a dollar-for-dollar reduction for all pro-terrorism payments made by either the PA or the PLO.
More and more members of Congress have become aware of the magnitude and formality of the PA program to pay rewards to terrorists. This is in part due to the murder of Taylor Force in March 2016. Force was a 28-year-old West Point graduate who was visiting the port of Jaffa, a Tel Aviv tourist attraction, when he was set upon. The Congressional Research Service described Force as “a former U.S. Army officer who served in Afghanistan and Iraq.” It noted that he was “stabbed to death by a Palestinian attacker” while on a “civilian study program in Israel.”
New legislation known as the Taylor Force Act has been introduced in the House and Senate. It conditions all Economic Support Funds for the PA on the U.S. secretary of state’s certification that the PA has “terminated payments for acts of terrorism against United States and Israeli citizens.”
BESA: Offering Carrots to the Palestinians Before They Have Committed to Peace Negotiations
In March 2017, Jason Greenblatt, President Trump's Special Representative for International Negotiations, was sent to Jerusalem and Ramallah to test the waters for a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.
The Israeli consensus is that there is no peace partner in Ramallah and/or in Gaza. Yet, in the absence of a Palestinian peace partner, there is some merit to engaging in a "process" that lowers tensions in the region and removes a sticky, if increasingly marginal, issue from the diplomatic table.
Greenblatt stressed how important it was to President Trump to stimulate the Palestinian economy and improve the quality of life for Palestinians. However, it is odd to offer carrots to the Palestinians before they have committed to returning to the negotiations table they left in March 2014.
The impulse to give out carrots displays the conventional wisdom that the Palestinians must be well fed to prevent their erupting into violence. However, short-term calculations of this kind only prolong the conflict. Indeed, the campaign of terror that started in September 2000, dubbed the Second Intifada, took place after several years of economic progress during which the Palestinian standard of living was the highest in history.
The carrots awarded the Palestinians indicate that their intransigence and unwillingness to compromise have no correlation to the level of support they receive. They will never change if their poor decisions never exact a cost.
The Palestinians are still committed to unrealistic goals like Jerusalem and the "right of return." Yet without tacit and/or manifest threats, there is little chance that their behavior will improve.
Caroline Glick: The real face of Jordan
Israel, which now faces a nightmare situation along its border with post-civil war Syria, does not want to face the prospect of a post-Hashemite Jordan, where the people will rule, on its doorstep.
But Israel can ill afford to assume that this will not happen one day, and plan accordingly.
Under the circumstances, the only way to safeguard against the day when Daqasmeh and his supporters rule Jordan is to apply Israeli law to the Jordan Valley and encourage tens of thousands of Israelis to settle down along the sparsely populated eastern border.
After the massacre, the parents of the dead children and the public as a whole demanded to know why the school hadn’t smuggled armed guards into the Island of Peace to protect them. Their question was a reasonable one.
Daqamseh was able to kill those girls because we let down our guard.
The only way to prevent that from happening again – writ large – is to reinforce that guard by reinforcing our control over eastern Israel.
23 years after the peace was signed, nothing has changed in the Kingdom of Jordan. No hearts and minds have been turned in our favor. The peace treaty has not protected us. The only thing that protects our children is our ability and willingness to use our weapons to protect them from our hate-drenched neighbors with whom we share treaties of peace.
Jordanian High Court rejects U.S. extradition request for Ahlam Tamimi
We reported last week on the unsealing of a criminal complaint against Ahlam al-Tamimi, the mastermind of the 2001 Sbarro Pizzeria suicide bombing in Jerusalem, U.S. to seek extradition of Ahlam Tamimi, the Savage of Sbarro Pizzeria bombing.
The Sbarro bombing killed fifteen people, including two American citizens. Ahlam’s only regret, expressed multiple times in interviews (see prior posts) is that she did not kill more people.
As we have pointed out in prior posts, Ahlam is a ghoul who took pleasure in killing children, and became joyful when a reporter informed her that more children had been killed than she originally thought.
She was released in October 2011 as part of the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange.
Last Friday it became apparent that Jordan unlikely to extradite Ahlam Tamimi, the Savage of Sbarro pizzeria bombing. The Tamimi clan was confident Jordan’s highest court would reject the extradition request:
“We are fully confident that the court of cassation will issue a ruling endorsing the verdicts made by the first instance and appeal courts that rejected the [US] extradition request,” the family stated in a press release on Thursday.
More than just a matter of justice
On Aug. 9, 2001, Ahlam Tamimi dropped Izz al-Din Shuheil al-Masri off at the Sbarro pizza restaurant on the intersection of King George Street and Jaffa Road on the western side of Jerusalem. Izz al-Din calmly ate his lunch and then detonated a bomb, killing himself and taking with him 15 innocent diners. Among them were two American citizens, the pregnant Judith Greenbaum, 31, and 15-year-old Malki Roth.
I never met Malki, but I have gotten to know her through her father, Arnold, possibly the kindest, loveliest man anyone could have the pleasure of knowing. He described Malki as an intelligent, sensitive child who loved helping others, especially children. She was a talented flutist who composed her own music, and wanted to be a special education teacher.
Malki, whose life was snuffed out well before she could actualize her dreams, was one of eight children murdered in the bombing. Years after the attack, the enormous pain is still evident in her father's eyes when he talks about her or when he describes that dreadful night when he had to identify her horrifically disfigured body at the Jerusalem morgue.
Meanwhile, Tamimi has gone on to have quite the career as a role model for young, aspiring Islamic terrorists. She spent eight years in an Israeli jail before being released in a 2011 prisoner exchange agreement, along with 1,026 others.
Daniel Pipes: What Do Jihadis Want? The Caliphate
A question often asked is, "What do the jihadis [Mujahideen] want?" The answer is surprisingly obscure, as most of their attacks do not include clear demands.
The horrific attacks on Mumbai in November 2008 and on Paris in November 2015 were carried out by suicide squads, with gunmen carrying out mass shootings. Elsewhere, they have resorted to machine gun assaults, beheadings, bombings, hijackings etc. After the attackers have been neutralized by the security forces, an assessment is carried out of the damage they caused and detectives attempt to trace the identities of the perpetrators, to look into possible motives. Shadowy websites then make post-hoc unauthenticated claims, which still belie the question, "What do the jihadis want?"
Motives for Jihadi Attacks
Why do the motives go unexplained? Post the attacks on the United States on 11 September 2001, analysts are still speculating on the likely motives. In broad terms however, we can state that there are two general categories or motives for attacks.
The first is to change specific policies of the state which has been targeted. As an example, this could pertain to seeking withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq and Afghanistan or to get Riyadh to expel foreign troops from its soil. It could also be aimed at pressuring governments to end support for Israel or to pressure New Delhi to cede control over Kashmir.
The second category is more broad-based and is aimed at weakening non-Muslims in general, undermining their economy, creating fear in the minds of their populace and attempting to establish Muslim superiority. But both the categories point to something even larger. The jihadis seek to establish a world dominated by Muslims, Islam, Shari'a and the caliphate.
Ruthie Blum: Falsehoods and false hopes
Fatah Central Committee Secretary Jibril Rajoub told foreign reporters on Monday that he was encouraged by U.S. President Donald Trump's overtures to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, which ostensibly indicated a strong commitment to the establishment of a Palestinian state.
Referring to Trump's phone conversation with Abbas, whom he invited to the White House for a meeting, Rajoub said the U.S. administration is in a ''stage of exploration'' on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and ways to achieve "real and serious" peace between the sides.
There are a two main problems with Rajoub's enthusiasm. One is that no matter who occupies the Oval Office, there will be no peace between Israel and the PA until the latter decides to stop delegitimizing Israel and killing and encouraging violence against Jews. The other is that Rajoub himself is among those leaders who promote, in word and deed, the elimination of the Jewish state. He is thus both deluding himself and lying about the extent to which Trump has a say in the matter.
But this is par for the course for someone like Rajoub, the head of the Palestinian Football Association and Olympic Committee, who uses sports as an additional tool to incite against Israel.
Team Trump is already kicking butt at the United Nations
Want to rein in the bureaucratic bees at the United Nations? Forget honey; grab the vinegar.
The United States pays $5.4 billion, 22 percent, of the annual UN “regular” budget, much more than any other country. Additionally, US taxpayers fork over $8.25 billion for UN peacekeeping (28.5 percent of the total peacekeeping budget).
Haley said she’s scrutinizing those budgets, starting with peacekeeping — a target-rich environment with quite a few defunct, redundant or bloated blue-helmet missions around the world.
Other UN cuts were detailed in President Trump’s recently announced budget.
The trend is clear: America will significantly reduce its UN contributions and stop handing over blank checks to agencies controlled by US antagonists.
No wonder they’re freaking out at Turtle Bay. Last week, Guterres indicated in a statement that such US budget cuts would harm global efforts to combat terrorism and would undercut his attempts to reform the world body.
As evident by his scrapping of an anti-Israel report under Haley’s pressure, the opposite is true.
They’re shaking on the 38th floor. Good.
More than other bloated bureaucracies, the UN system has known only growth — in budgets, personnel and waste. Time to lose weight, and America alone is in a position to set the terms of the diet.
Dictatorships at UNHRC try to silence UN Watch's Hillel Neuer

UNESCO envoys visit Temple Mount, acknowledge challenges
Following UNESCO's adoption last December of a resolution denying Jewish links to holy sites in Jerusalem, five representatives from the U.N. body visited the Temple Mount on Monday.
UNESCO Ambassador Carmel Shama Hacohen joined the representatives from Haiti, Croatia, Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania. The tour was designed to educate the envoys and encourage them to vote more favorably toward Israel.
They are on a six-day trip to Israel funded and organized by the American Jewish Committee, with the assistance of the Israeli delegation to UNESCO.
During the visit, Kenyan Ambassador to UNESCO Professor George Godia said the "challenges and complexity" Israel faces were now clearer to him and he was impressed with how the country was handling them.
Knesset passes law restricting political activity of NGOs
A bill that requires advocacy groups to abide by campaign finance regulations in the same way as political entities passed its final legislative hurdle and became law on Monday.
The so-called V15 law, an amendment to the Parties Financing Law that aims to prevent nongovernmental organizations from exerting undue influence during an election, passed its third reading a year after being submitted.
The amendment was drafted in the wake of the 2015 election, when a group called V15 mounted a campaign to unseat Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, even though it was not officially affiliated with a specific party.
The new law defines for the first time what constitutes an "active election entity" that is subject to campaign finance regulations. Groups that meet the criteria will have to abide by those regulations as if they are linked to a specific campaign or party, and will have to file official reports on their funding and activity.
Police minister said planning database of Israeli BDS activists
Gilad Erdan, minister of public security and strategic affairs, is reportedly pushing for the establishment of a new database of Israeli citizens who support or advocate for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS).
Erdan, who is also minister for public diplomacy and is formally responsible for any government efforts to battle boycott efforts, has been trying to advance the project for several months, the Haaretz daily reported Tuesday.
The report suggested the database could include a wide swath of Israelis who criticize West Bank settlements. But Erdan took to Twitter on Tuesday to criticize the report, saying, “We’re only talking about the key boycott activists who work together with the [international] BDS movement, and whose activities must be tracked in order to disrupt attacks.”
Erdan has already tasked officials in the ministry with gathering information on foreign BDS activists. The initiative to expand the collection to Israelis would come as part of that existing effort. On Twitter he said the database would only track publicly available information such as media reports and social media posts.
Israel Pushes the Envelope in Syria
Israel has conducted more than a few airstrikes in Syria since the civil war began there in 2011, but the one that took place in the pre-dawn hours on Friday morning was unusual. First, the IDF broke with precedent by taking responsibility for the attack, although it did not release any details. Second, Israeli aircraft struck much deeper into Syria than they have previously done, hitting regime positions near Palmyra. Third, they were met by enemy anti-aircraft missiles, which were then countered by Israeli anti-missile missiles. David Daoud explains:
One possibility is that the target of the Israeli strike was a weapons shipment to Hizballah at the Syrian army’s T-4 airport in western Palmyra. The Syrian military, assisted by Hizballah and the Russians, recently retook the airport from Islamic State, and the Shiite group continues to maintain a large presence there. It is likely that, since the Israelis continue to interdict weapons shipments to Hizballah at the Damascus airport, the group has begun receiving shipments at T-4 thinking it was out of the IAF’s reach. . . .
In another first, Israel’s ambassador to Moscow was summoned into the Russian foreign ministry to clarify his country’s actions. This comes shortly after Benjamin Netanyahu returned from a visit to Moscow, where he discussed Israel’s concerns over Hizballah and Iran’s growing power in Syria with the Russian president Vladimir Putin. Israel’s intelligence minister commented that Jerusalem had acted without informing the Russians because the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, was changing the rules of the game vis-à-vis Israel and allowing Syria to “become a dangerous hub of Hizballah activity,”
Indeed, the Syrian air defenses’ response constitutes a serious development. During past Israeli strikes on Hizballah, the Syrian army has largely stayed out of the fray. The contrast this time is a possible indication that the Assad regime perceives a positive change in its domestic fortunes, particularly after its success against rebel factions in the battle of Aleppo in December 2016.
Israel to deploy David’s Sling, final piece of missile defense shield
Israel’s David’s Sling anti-missile battery will go operational within the next two weeks, providing the finishing touch of the Jewish state’s multi-tiered missile defense array, a senior Israeli Air Force officer said Monday.
The David’s Sling, also known as the Magic Wand, will make up the middle tier of Israel’s multi-layer missile defense capabilities, and with it, Israel hopes to close the gaps in its missile defense capabilities, said Brig. Gen. Tzvika Haimovitch, head of the army’s Aerial Defense Command
Haimovitch did not give an exact date for the system’s deployment, but said on Monday afternoon that it should occur “around two weeks from today.”
However, Haimovitch stressed that even with the new missile defense system, Israel is still vulnerable.
The David’s Sling gives the Israel Defense Forces “more capabilities and more effectiveness,” he said, “but it’s never enough. It’s not hermetic.”
New Air Defense System: David's Sling

Shin Bet says it thwarted 16 suicide bombings, 16 kidnappings, last year
For the first time in 30 years, not a single Israeli was killed by terror attacks emanating from the Gaza Strip in 2016, the head of the Shin Bet security service said Monday, noting that this was due largely to Israeli vigilance and not to a lack of desire by Palestinian terror groups.
But even as Hamas and other groups were kept relatively quiet in Gaza, they were transferring much of their efforts to the West Bank, the Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman told the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, as part of a yearly review.
Hamas has “significantly increased its efforts to advance terror attacks in the West Bank and Israel,” Argaman said, referring specifically to mass-casualty attacks.
“Hamas has found itself in strategic distress and is interested in undermining the security situation in the West Bank through bombings,” he said.
To thwart those attempts, Israel has stepped up its crackdown on Hamas in the West Bank, arresting 1,035 suspected members. Some 114 terror cells were also broken up in 2016, as opposed to 70 the year before — a 62 percent increase, Argaman said.
Syria claims it downed Israeli drone, but IDF says drone failed
Syrian air defenses shot down an Israeli drone, Arab media reported Monday. The Israel Defense Forces confirmed that a Skylark unmanned aerial vehicle crashed on the Syrian side of the Israel-Syria border and said the circumstances are under investigation, but the crash did not compromise any classified information.
Skylark is a tactical surveillance drone developed by Elbit Systems and operated by the Artillery Corps. It is used primarily for routine operational missions along Israel's borders. Two other Skylark drones have crashed during routine operations in recent months.
Arab media claimed Sunday that Yasser al-Sayed, a militia commander loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime, was killed in an alleged Israeli drone strike in Syria.
While Arab media linked the two incidents, the IDF did not comment on the issue.
Australian probe clears World Vision over Gaza case
An Australian government probe has found no evidence taxpayer money was misused by the World Vision NGO in the Gaza Strip, after Israel alleged millions of dollars were diverted to the Hamas terror organization.
In August 2016, Israel accused World Vision’s Gaza head Mohammed Halabi of siphoning off millions of dollars per year to the Islamist group which rules the Palestinian enclave, claims the NGO said it had seen no evidence for.
Australia had given millions of dollars to the charity’s work in the Palestinian territories in previous years and immediately suspended its funding for World Vision’s Gaza programs, with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) announcing a review.
“The review uncovered nothing to suggest any diversion of government funds,” DFAT said in a statement sent to AFP on Tuesday.
Halabi’s court case is ongoing but his lawyers have accused the prosecution of refusing to hand over much of the evidence.
Hamas tried to get more accurate maps to aim rockets
The Hamas terror group requested better quality maps from a Turkish charity in order to gain more accuracy when firing rockets, according to Israel’s Shin Bet intelligence agency.
The Shin Bet discovered after questioning Muhammad Murtaja, who was arrested last month on suspicion of working on behalf of Hamas, that over the past two years the terror terror organization had asked the Turkish IHH organization for advanced satellite mapping programs to improve the accuracy of its rockets, the Hebrew-language Ynet news site reported.
The Shin Bet investigation reportedly revealed that during its last war with Israel in 2014, Hamas used Google Maps in order to target locations in Israel, leading to most of the rockets missing their targets. Many of the other rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.
Murtaja, the manager of the Gaza branch of the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA), is accused of having taken advantage of his position in TIKA in order to direct funds and resources away from “meaningful humanitarian projects” and toward Hamas’s military wing.
IDF chief: Hezbollah commander killed by his own men last year
The head of the Israel Defense Forces said on Tuesday that Hezbollah’s military commander in Syria, Mustafa Badreddine, was killed by his own men last year.
“This shows the level of [Hezbollah’s] viciousness,” Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot said.
On May 10, 2016, Badreddine was killed in a mysterious explosion near Damascus shortly after a meeting with his commanders, according to Lebanese media.
“According to preliminary information, a large explosion targeted one of our positions near Damascus international airport, killing our brother, commander Mustafa Badreddine, and wounding others,” Hezbollah said at the time.
At the time, Badreddine commanded Hezbollah’s forces in Syria, fighting alongside Syrian President Bashar Assad’s troops.
Iran says it’s ‘completely ready’ to restart nuclear program
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned Monday that Tehran is “completely ready” to restart its nuclear program if the US fails to live up to its commitments under the July 2015 nuclear deal.
“If [the] US creates a situation that continuation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action would damage Tehran’s national interest, then Iran is completely ready to come back to the situation it had prior to the JCPOA even more powerfully than before,” Zarif was quoted by Iranian state media as saying.
The foreign minister spoke to reporters in Isfahan in central Iran.
On the campaign trail during last year’s election, US President Donald Trump and many Republican lawmakers vowed to gut the deal once in office. But since the election, the Trump administration has signaled a gentler approach, though it has not provided details of its new policy.
Earlier this month, IAEA chief Yukiya Amano said “the new administration of the United States just started and they are looking at this issue,” but “it is very early for them to give their assessment.”
US bans large electronics from 10 airports, mainly in Mideast
The Trump administration confirmed Tuesday it is imposing new restrictions on electronic devices carried by travelers coming to the United States from 10 airports mainly in the Middle East and North Africa in response to unspecified terror threats.
The Department of Homeland Security will require passengers coming to the United States from airports in Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Morocco and Qatar to check electronic devices larger than a cell phone such as tablets, portable DVD players, laptops and cameras.
The airports affected are in Amman, Cairo, Kuwait City, Doha, Dubai, Istanbul, Abu Dhabi, Casablanca, Morocco; Riyadh and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Officials said the decision had nothing to do with President Donald Trump's efforts to impose a travel ban of six majority-Muslim nations. A DHS spokeswoman said the government "did not target specific nations. We relied upon evaluated intelligence to determine which airports were affected."
On March 6, Trump signed a revised executive order banning citizens from Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen from traveling to the United States for 90 days. Two federal judges have halted parts of the ban, saying it discriminates against Muslims. Trump has vowed to appeal up to the Supreme Court if necessary.
All 10 airports are in majority-Muslim countries.
No electronics ban on flights to US from Israel

Saudi Woman Really Excited Not to be Allowed to Compete in Her New Athletic Hijab (satire)
With Nike’s release of a new “Pro-Hijab” geared towards athletic Muslim women, a whole new group of female Muslim Athletes are really excited at the prospect of not being allowed to compete in international domestic and international competitions.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, one female athlete in Saudi Arabia said she loves to run, but found it very difficult to find a male relative willing to escort her outdoors. Of Nike’s new innovation she whispered: “Now with the Nike Pro-Hijab, half my problems are solved!”
Other Muslim women expressed that, were they to make it to a competition, they would be glad to wear the Pro-Hijab while refusing to compete against Israel in international tournaments. One woman noted that “until now, only the men were allowed to flat out refuse to compete against athletes from the Zionist cancer, now I can too!”
Non-Muslim women in the Western world are also excited by the new Pro-Hijab, with Stacy Smith of New York saying “now, when I wear a Hijab at a protest as a show of support for global Feminism, I won’t have to be so damn hot and sweaty all the time.”

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