Wednesday, September 12, 2018

From Ian:

U.S. Decision to Defund UNRWA Aimed at Refocusing Attention on Ways to End the Conflict
UNRWA has existed for more than 60 years as a "temporary" initiative to address the needs of Palestinian refugees from the 1948 Israeli-Arab conflict and to facilitate their resettlement and/or repatriation. The U.S. has provided UNRWA with more than $6 billion since 1950.

Unfortunately, that support did not bring the situation any closer to resolution. On the contrary, it absolved Palestinian leaders of the responsibility to provide health care, education, and other basic services that sovereign governments - which the Palestinians claim to be - are expected to provide for their own people.

Contrary to the claims of the Palestinians, the U.S. is not "violating international law" by ending funding for UNRWA. U.S. funding is voluntary, not a legal entitlement, and America reasonably expects that its support not be misused and that the Palestinians earnestly engage in the peace process.

Instead, Palestinian leaders have rejected increasingly generous offers since the 1990s. This intransigence, encouraged by Iran and rejectionist Arab leaders, lies at the root of the Palestinian refugee problem and harms the Palestinian people.

Although it will likely cause short-term ramifications, the decision to defund this agency will, hopefully, refocus attention on what is necessary to end this protracted dispute.
How does UNRWA impact Palestinians and Israelis?
Millions around the world were made refugees in the 1940’s. Over 70 years later, they are not refugees anymore. So why are Palestinian Arabs perpetually referred to that way? WATCH our new video on the controversy surrounding UNRWA - the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

Likud minister: Trump peels Palestinian lie like an onion
Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) on Wednesday welcomed US President Donald Trump's decision to close Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) offices in Washington DC.

"This decision joins the decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the decision to stop funding UNRWA, which is an organization that perpetuates the refugees' pretend right of return,"Katz said. "All these steps reach the roots of the conflict and tell Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas that he can not continue his double-talk."

"Trump is peeling the Palestinian lie like an onion - layer by layer. Their educational system as well teaches their children that 'big Palestine' is from the Jordan River to the sea. Trump cmes and says: 'If you want to sit and negotiate, do it from a realistic place - Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, and there is no right of return. Abbas' response shows exactly what he thinks of these issues."

Katz also slammed Israeli leftists who oppose Trump's actions.

"They should have been the first ones supporting it, if they believe in negotiating based on something different," he said. "But they're so immersed in supporting the Palestinian narrative and blindly following whatever the Palestinian leaders say that they don't truly examine reality, and that's a shame."

Diplomatic retribution at last
The closure of the Palestinian mission in Washington is just the latest in a series of moves by a U.S. administration that does not differentiate between the Palestinians' diplomatic warfare against Israel and the various terrorist methods it employs.

The Palestinians have attempted to enlist the International Criminal Court in their efforts against Israel. Under President Donald Trump, the Americans announced they would "use any means necessary" against the ICC should it decide to begin proceedings against Israeli officials.

As the U.S. administration sees it, the Palestinians, along with the Iranians, are corrupting global democracy.

Under Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinians serve Iranian interests. Abbas and the PA are the ones fanning the flames in the Gaza Strip and they are responsible for the deteriorating situation there. Hamas, meanwhile, supplies the goods in return for Iranian funds. The Palestinians also sent a senior delegation to attend North Korea's 70th-anniversary celebrations. This is the political and ideological environment of the PA.

The Trump administration is breaking norms. Instead of courting the Palestinians in the hope that they will enter negotiations, the White House is punishing them and acting to bring about their defeat. In Israel, many recoil from this strategy. We are the ones who live with the Palestinians and what their defeat will mean for us remains unclear. The last time the Palestine Liberation Organizations looked like it was about to wiped off the map, the organization had its pieces pulled back together and the Oslo Accords were signed.

Clifford D. May: The 'Long War' is not getting shorter
A grand illusion to which Americans and Europeans are susceptible: War is an aberration, and peace is the normal state of the world, a condition to which all peoples aspire. Even a cursory reading of history shows this to be wishful thinking.

Christians and Muslims fought for almost 800 years in Iberia. The Persian-Roman wars dragged on for more than 700 years. The Byzantine-Ottoman wars: more than 200 years. The notion that modernity has brought us wars of only short duration, or, better yet, that modern diplomacy and the “science” of “conflict resolution” can obviate wars entirely is comforting but entirely unsupported by evidence.

The grim reality is that after 17 years of conflict, we have not decisively defeated al Qaeda or the Taliban. Far from it: al Qaeda franchises proliferate and, according to Thomas Joscelyn, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, “the Taliban’s men contest or control approximately 60 percent of the country — as much ground as at any point since the U.S.-led invasion in late 2001.”

Claims that the Taliban is prepared to begin a “peace process” seem fanciful. Instead, as Mr. Joscelyn writes, the Taliban has indicated only that it “is willing to negotiate the terms of its own victory.”

The Islamic State, which splintered from al Qaeda and is one of many jihadist groups operating in dozens of countries on several continents, is down but hardly out.

The Islamic Republic’s long-term goal remains, as it has for nearly 40 years, “Death to America!” The supreme leader now projects power into Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Gaza and Iraq. He aids those fighting Americans in Afghanistan. He sponsors terrorists with impunity.

The only good news: The imperial overstretch of his corrupt and unpopular regime may be strained beyond its limits by the tough economic measure being imposed by the current American administration.

Nevertheless, our enemies do not appear exhausted, discouraged or underfunded. Do we know them yet or are we still trying to imagine what “drives” people to “violent extremism?” Do we have the stomach to endure The Long War — which, I believe, should be recognized as a multi-front struggle against jihadism? Do we have the patience to develop a winning strategy even if that requires — as it clearly does — much trial and too many errors?

In the days after the 2001 attacks, it was said that a sleeping giant had been awakened. Today, there are many on both the left and the right telling the giant to go back to bed, and pull the covers over his eyes. If that’s where our enemies find us, they’ll know what to do.
Hamas Exposed: Iran, Qatar, and Turkey Funding Terrorist Activities in Gaza
Hamas has become one of the most well-equipped terrorist organizations in the world, with advanced rocket-building, cyber hacking capabilities and military training tactics against Israel.

However, this is not without international assistance. Hamas receives an estimated $100-200 million dollars from foreign allies each year, with the majority of financing coming from Turkey, Qatar, and Iran.

Turkey’s Role in Funding Hamas
Turkey has become a major player in Hamas’ financing, while remaining a NATO ally. The Foundation for Defense of Democracies Senior Vice President, Jonathan Schanzer, told, “Turkey has become the top external headquarters for Hamas. Senior military and financial officials from the terrorist organization are welcomed in Turkey.” Schanzer continued, “Turkey has, in some cases, turned a blind eye to their military and financial activity. In some cases, it has actively assisted Hamas. This kind of behavior is not befitting a NATO member state. Between this, Turkey’s Iran sanctions-busting, its support for Jihadists in Syria and its authoritarian rule at home, there is a good argument to be made for ejecting Turkey from NATO. The problem is that NATO lacks a procedure for this.”

The United States is dealing firsthand with Turkey’s unbefitting behavior. American Pastor, Andrew Brunson remains a religious hostage of Turkey. According to the American Center for Law and Justice, Brunson has been held for close to 700 days. The ACLJ and the European Centre for Law & Justice submitted a request to the United Nations calling for the immediate release of Brunson who is being unjustly held for alleged “Christianization”.

President Erdogan’s political posturing has shifted Turkey from a more secular state, to what some analysts describe as a more stringent, religious dictatorship.

In early January 2018, The Israel Security Agency (ISA) arrested two suspected terrorist operatives, Cemil Tekeli and Daram Jabarin. The suspects were found to have direct links to Hamas’ illicit financial and military schemes in Turkey.
European hypocrisy rears its ugly head
The first day of the 5779th year of the Hebrew calendar will be remembered as a historic day for EU hypocrisy: On that day, EU member states, including those that claim they are Israel's greatest friends, decided to stand with European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and release a statement that completely contradicts the supposed principles of the EU.

By calling on the Israeli government not to act in the spirit of the High Court of Justice's ruling and evacuate and demolish the illegal Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Britain have violated official EU foreign policy, which supports the achievement of peace on the basis of the 1993 Oslo Accords and recognizes Israel as a sovereign state.

According to the Oslo Accords, Israel is responsible for Area C until other diplomatic agreements are reached on the matter. The EU has systematically acted in violation of international law and the Oslo Accords and without coordinating with Israel to establish and encourage illegal Bedouin settlements.

The EU routinely rushes to condemn any construction in "illegal" Jewish settlements beyond the Green Line. But to the EU, the illegal but non-Jewish settlement of Khan al-Ahmar is an entirely different matter. It is the EU's stance on Khan al-Ahmar that makes its objections to "illegal settlements" that much harder to swallow.
Michael Oren: Trump decision advances peace
US President Donald Trump’s administration’s decision Tuesday to close the Palestine Liberation Organization’s mission in Washington will help bring about peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, said Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Michael Oren (Kulanu), a former ambassador to the United States.

Oren said Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his people have grown accustomed over the years to violating agreements freely without consequences. For example, he said, there is an article in the Oslo Accords that forbids them to act in order to recognize a Palestinian state outside negotiations with Israel.

“With the closing of the PLO office in Washington, the American administration is not changing the rules of the game, but simply restoring them after years of neglect,” Oren said. “It should be noted that in contrast to previous administrations that would reward the Palestinians for abandoning the negotiations with Israel, President Trump is forcing the Palestinians to pay a price. As we have seen in the past – giving gifts to the Palestinians only keeps them away from the peace talks, and now the Americans are punishing them in order to make them return to the table.”

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud) said the PLO mission was not used for advancing peace but for spreading hatred and incitement. His Likud colleague, Social Equality Minister Gila Gamliel said Abbas’s efforts to isolate Israel prove that he is the problem and not the solution.

Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (Bayit Yehudi) called the decision a “New Year’s gift” to Israel and the Jewish people.
But Joint List MK Ahmad Tibi called the decision “an act of revenge against the Palestinian people” by Trump, who was also condemned by Meretz leader Tamar Zandberg.
Palestinian Authority threatens to end cooperation with US
The Palestinian Authority has threatened to retaliate against the United States following the closure of the Palestine Liberation Organization office in Washington DC by ending its coordination on security affairs with the US, Kan reported.

On Monday, the PLO announced that the US had ordered the closure of its Washington DC mission. The US State Department later confirmed the move, stating that the Palestinian Authority (PA) had consistently refused to engage with the US government or to support peace talks with Israel.

"We have permitted the PLO office to conduct operations that support the objective of achieving a lasting, comprehensive peace between Israelis and the Palestinians since the expiration of a previous waiver in November 2017," a State Department spokesperson stated.

In response to the closure, Kan reported, the PA threatened Tuesday night to end its security cooperation with the CIA. A senior PA official said Tuesday night that Ramallah was ‘reassessing’ its cooperation with the US, and was weighing the possibility of ending all joint efforts, including security cooperation.
FOX: U.N. bloc may push for recognition of Palestinian state
The selection of the Palestinian mission to the United Nations to head a UN member bloc may lead to the world body's recognition of Palestine as a full member state, Fox News reported.

The Palestinian representative at the United Nations was named in July as in the incoming chair of the G77 bloc, a group of 135 developing countries including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Cuba, China and Venezuela. The chairmanship begins in January of 2019.

After President Donald Trump closed the Palestine Liberation Organization offices in Washington on Monday, a UN diplomat said the Palestinians will likely use their new platform to try to change their status from that of a non-member state to a full member of the United Nations.

In response, a US official condemned the move.

“The United States strongly disagrees with the Group of 77’s decision to make the Palestinian delegation the Chair of the G77 beginning in January 2019,” the official told Fox News.

“The United States does not consider the Palestinians to be a State, and believes that it is inappropriate for the Palestinians to assume this role in the UN. We urge members of the G77 to reconsider their choice of leadership for the coming year.”

“They’re still denying we are a state,” Palestinian representative Riyad Mansour told the New York Times. “We walk like a state. We quack like a state. Therefore we are a state.”
Palestinian Authority Demands Arab Support for Anti-Trump Diplomatic Campaign
The Palestinian Authority has decided to embark on a political and diplomatic campaign against the Trump administration, Israel’s Channel Two reported on Wednesday.

The Palestinian Authority’s foreign minister, Riad al-Maliki, told official Palestinian radio that he had turned to the Arab states for support against Trump’s policies toward the Palestinians.

These policies have included the defunding of the Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA, major cuts in aid to the PA, and the shuttering of the PLO mission in Washington, DC.

Maliki informed attendees at an Arab League summit in Cairo of the Palestinian decision to engage in an anti-Trump campaign, including in international forums, and demanded Arab support.

A columnist close to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas asserted in a recent column that “the US has been conquered by Israel,” and Channel Two said this was the general attitude in the PA government, according to anonymous sources.

However, the sources also said, “Our toolbox is empty, we have to keep our heads down and wait.”
Joint List MKs meet with Arab League to fight Nation-State Law
Joint List MKs Ahmad Tibi and Jamal Zahalka met in Cairo Tuesday morning with Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit and received his support in their international efforts against the controversial Nation-State Law.

Aboul Gheit told the MKs that the foreign secretaries of the countries in the Arab League would discuss the new law during a future meeting in Cairo, and would persuade other countries around the world to take action against Israel.

“This law is racist,” Aboul Gheit said. “In the past, Israel has presented itself as a democratic country. But [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu with this apartheid law has made Israel into a racist state.”

Tibi and Zahalka explained the ramifications of the law on the Arab sector and on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They told him the law creates “blatant racism against its Arab citizens and cancels any possibility of there being two states for two people.”

The meeting was one of a series for Tibi and Zahalka, who have been going around the world seeking condemnation of Israel for passing the law. They went with five other Joint List MKs to the European Union in Brussels last week, and they will be going to the United Nations office in Geneva in two weeks.

At their meeting, Tibi and Zahalka also condemned US President Donald Trump for his administration’s decision to close the Palestine Liberation Organization office in Washington. Tibi called the move “revenge against the Palestinian people.”
Al-Qaeda leader: US embassy relocation proves it's an enemy
The leader of the Al-Qaeda terrorist organization on Tuesday called on Muslims to wage war against the United States throughout the world, The Associated Press reports.

The comments by Ayman al-Zawahiri came in a 30-minute speech which was translated by the Washington-based SITE group, which monitors media material by jihadists across the world.

In the speech, Zawahiri cited Washington's relocation of its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as evidence of the fact that the US is an enemy of Islam.

"America (is) the number one enemy of Muslims ... despite of its professed secularism," Zawahiri said in the video. He listed 14 directives to fight the United States, including an appeal for Muslim unity and jihadists close ranks.

Zawahiri previously released a recording on May 14, the day on which the US relocated its embassy to Jerusalem, in which he urged Muslims to carry out jihad against the United States over the embassy move.

Netanyahu: 17 years after 9/11 attacks, Europe appeasing Iranian terror
As the world marks 17 years since the 9/11 attacks in the United States, the time has come for western governments to take part in “the strong and clear effort of the Trump administration against the terrorist regime in Tehran,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday.

Speaking at the the start of the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu took European leaders to task for “appeasing Iran,” something he said “helps the unending attack on the values and security of free societies.”

Netanyahu again noted the irony that on the same week in June that an Iranian terror cell tried to carry out an attack against an Iranian opposition group in Paris – an attack that Israeli intelligence helped to thwart – European leaders were trying to “appease” Iran and looking for ways to soften the fallout from the US withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal.

Al-Qaeda, the terrorist group that carried out the September 11, 2001 attacks, has “passed the torch” of extremist Sunni terrorism on to Islamic State, while the extremist Shia variety of terror is being led by Iran, the premier said.

“They both have the same goals: to destroy the free societies as we know them, to destroy Israel, and also to destroy the west and others. The time has come for the world to unite in a struggle against the terrorist organizations. It did so to a certain degree in the attack against Islamic State, but has not done it against Iran – the opposite is the case,” he said.
Russia to Europe: Don't cooperate with US on Iran
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov called on European companies to not cooperate with the pressure exerted by the United States on Iran.

"Russia and Iran will continue to work intensively with China and Europe against US attempts to strike at the nuclear deal," Rybakov said.

The 2015 nuclear deal offered Iran relief from exchange for restricting its enrichment program. However, Iran did not keep the deal and continued developing its nuclear weapons program.

In May, US President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal., and in August, he signed an executive order targeting Iran's access to American dollars and steel and automobile industries, banning trade with Iran in gold and other precious metals, and including other sanctions which were lifted under the 2015 deal.

The European Union (EU) has urged its members to continue trade with Iran and attempted to institute a "blocking statute" to protect companies which ignore the US sanctions.
Israeli Economics Ministry punishes Paraguay over embassy move
Israel’s Economics Ministry cancelled a planned visit to Paraguay by a delegation of Israeli economists, as part of the ongoing diplomatic dustup following Asunción’s decision to relocate Paraguay’s embassy in Israel from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv.

In May, Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes inaugurated his country’s new embassy in Jerusalem, following similar moves by the US and Guatemala.

Last week, however, Paraguayan Minister of Foreign Affairs Luis Castiglioni announced that the embassy would be moving back to Tel Aviv, something he hoped would “contribute to an intensification of regional diplomatic efforts” towards a lasting peace agreement.

The decision to move the embassy back was reached by Paraguay’s new president, Mario Abdo Benitez, following pressure from Arab leaders and Turkey, who argued that the move would help spur peace talks in the region.

In response to the announcement, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu instructed the Foreign Ministry to return the Israeli ambassador to Paraguay back to Israel for consultations, and to close the Israeli embassy in Paraguay.

On Wednesday, it was announced that Economics Minister Eli Cohen (Kulanu), had cancelled a trip by a ministry delegation to Paraguay planned for this coming December.
Swedish court nixes deportation of Palestinian to Israel 'for his safety'
A Swedish court of appeals overturned a deportation order against a Palestinian man who firebombed a synagogue, saying he’d be in danger from Israel because of his crime if sent to the Palestinian Authority.

The ruling Wednesday by Court of Appeals for Western Sweden was on a motion filed by one of three men who in June were convicted of the attempted arson of a synagogue in Gothenburg in December, hours after locals marched in the southern city against the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The appellant, who was not named in the Swedish media, was sentenced in June to two years in prison and ordered to be deported after serving that term. But whereas the appeals court kept in place the conviction, it overturned the deportation order, the SVT broadcaster reported Wednesday.

Since the man committed a crime that “could be perceived as a threat to other Jews,” and that Israel “might be interested in the matter,” the appeals court ruled that one “cannot safeguard the man’s fundamental human rights if he is deported to Palestine,” the broadcaster quoted the judge as writing in his opinion.
Report: Nearly 8,000 acres of land lost to Palestinian arson terrorism
The number of incendiary kites and balloons being sent by Palestinians over the Gaza border and causing fires in Israel has fallen in recent weeks, enabling the Israel Nature and Parks Authority to begin assessing the ecological and financial damage to Israeli parks and nature reserves.

Authorities are also working on a plan to minimize the damage if the arson terrorism campaign resumes next summer.

The four-month arson terrorism campaign, part of the campaign of border violence orchestrated by the Hamas terrorist group that rules the Gaza Strip, has resulted in appalling damage: Some 32,000 dunams (7,900 acres) of Israeli fields, parks and other lands have been reduced to ash.

The report found that 12,086 dunams (2,987 acres) of national parks and nature reserves, 9,873 dunams (2,440 acres) of JNF-owned land, 4,237 dunams (1,047 acres) of agricultural fields and 6,085 dunams (1,504 acres) of open land have been burned. Since the arson terrorism began, 14% of all nature reserves in the region bordering the Gaza Strip have been lost to fire.

The worst-hit areas are the Be'eri Crater Nature Reserve, 78% of which has been burned, and the Kurkar Niram Nature Reserve, 77% of which has been burned. Fifty percent of the Karmiya Nature Reserve, 30% of the Reches Gvaram Reserve, 27% of Nahal Grar Park, and 21% of the Besor Nature Reserve have also been lost to the fires.
Palestinian terrorist gets 35 years in jail for two attempted murders
The Jerusalem District Court sentenced a Palestinian terrorist to 35 years of prison on Wednesday for two attempted murders, including permanently paralyzing a policewoman.

The assailant, Ayman Kurd, 21 from Hebron, stabbed policewoman Tsippi Yacovian in the neck, severely wounding her in an attack that took place in the Old City of Jerusalem in September 2016 during an increased spike in violence in the area.

The attack left Yacovian permanently disabled after her spinal cord was severed during the attack near the Old City’s Herod’s Gate.

A second police officer was wounded in the incident as well.

The court also ordered Kurd to pay NIS 258,000 to Yacovian and NIS 70,000 to the second officer.

Kurd confessed to perpetrating the attack out of revenge and to be like a relative of his, Ramzi, who was killed while perpetrating a similar attack.

In 2017, despite being paralyzed, Yacovian attended the trial and testified against Kurd for repeatedly stabbing her.
IDF Fires on Terror Group Attempting to Launch Incendiary Balloons
Israeli military aircraft opened fire on a group of Gazans attempting to launch flammable balloons from northern Israel into Israeli civilian areas on Friday. Reports from the area indicated that two people were lightly injured.

Terror balloons and kites have led to hundreds of instances of arson along the Gaza border area of Israel, causing millions of shekels in damage to agricultural, nature preserves and other lands, as well as to wildlife.

The Israel Defense Forces’ effort to thwart the terror act came just hours prior to the expected convergence of thousands of protesters rioting as part of the Hamas-run “March of Return,” which urges Palestinians to fight to reach all areas of Israel, including Jerusalem.

The riots began on March 30. These protests have been marked by the use of Molotov cocktails, rock-throwing, tire-burning, attempts to cut and breach the security fence, and in some instances, even the use of live fire.

Last Friday, approximately 5,000 Palestinians rioted on the border.
Woodward book details WH concern Israel couldn’t defend itself against Hezbollah
Early in the Trump administration, top officials were worried that Israel could not defend itself against Hezbollah, with one National Security Council staffer warning that this could lead to a devastating Middle East war, according Bob Woodward’s new book.

In “Fear: Trump in the White House,” the veteran Washington Post journalist details how an intelligence analyst assigned to the Middle East portfolio in February 2017 expressed deep anxiety about Hezbollah’s expanding military arsenal.

The Iranian-backed terrorist organization, Derek Harvey insisted, was substantially stronger than during the Second Lebanon War in 2006, rendering Israel militarily vulnerable — unable to defend itself against an onslaught of projectile attacks.

“Hezbollah was a perfect proxy for Iran to use to pressure and attack Israel, whose air bases could be pummeled with rockets,” Woodward writes in his 357-page bombshell book. “Israel’s defenses of Iron Dome, David’s Sling and Arrow missiles would be inadequate.”
MEMRI: Hizbullah Commander To Lebanese Daily: In The Next War We May Succeed In Penetrating Israel And Reaching The West Bank
On August 31, 2018, the pro-Hizbullah Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar published a front-page article by journalist Firas Al-Shoufi, titled "Israel Plans to Invade [Lebanon] from Jabal Al-Sheikh; Will the Resistance Fighters Penetrate the West Bank in the Next War?" In it, Al-Shoufi describes a tour he took in Hizbullah's Al-Jabour camp, located in the Jabal Al-Rihan region north of the Litani river. According to the report, Hizbullah's late military chief, 'Imad Mughniyah, who was killed in Damascus in 2008, turned this area into a training ground for Hizbullah following the 2006 war with Israel. The article also presents lengthy quotes from the commander of this camp, who states that Hizbullah is prepared for the next war with Israel and that, when it occurs, the enemy is likely to encounter many surprises. The commander reveals that, in a meeting last month between Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah and the organization's military chiefs, it was stated that Hizbullah knows all about the Israeli army's deployment and preparations for war; there were also speculations that, in the next war, Hizbullah's fighters may succeed in penetrating Israel and reaching the West Bank. The commander mentions the extensive experience Hizbullah has gained in the Syria war, which, he says, was "like a big military [training] camp" for the organization, because its fighters used every type weapon and fought in every kind of terrain, including in built-up areas.

The following are translated excerpts from the article:
"A resistance commander underscored that Hizbullah is prepared for any new Israeli war against Lebanon. He stated that a war was surely coming, and exposed an Israeli plan to advance on Jabal Al-Sheikh [Mount Hermon] and the eastern sector of South [Lebanon], but [added that] the resistance was preparing surprises for the enemy behind every tree and under every rock. [The] resistance commander, [stationed] in Jabal Al-Rihan, described to his guests at the Al-Jabour Camp the extent of Hizbullah's preparedness for the upcoming war against the Israeli enemy in South Lebanon, quoting a Hizbullah fighter, who said: 'We made [so many] efforts in planting explosive charges and putting up ambushes in anticipation of the next war with Israel that it would have been easier to cover the [entire] area of South [Lebanon] with 10 centimeters of TNT...'

"The commander is a man in his 50s with a greying beard. His calm and serious manner reflects his experience fighting against the [Israeli] army that occupied South Lebanon and against the terror organizations in Syria. Here in Jabal Rihan... the fingerprints of the martyred commander 'Imad Mughniyah are still visible, since he is the one who planned the transformation of this area – in which the occupation army sustained humiliating losses – into a training camp, and supervised this [process] after the 2006 war...

"'The war is imminent, and that is why we are preparing well,' said the military commander... For him, the Al-Jabour camp is not just a front-line buffer zone of strategic and geographical importance in the area north of the Litani [river]. It is [an emblem of] courage that produced hundreds of martyrs and is still training thousands of resistance fighters every year, who then leave for the front lines, each according to his expertise and role. This is the area where the Israeli army sustained humiliating losses that caused it to hasten its withdrawal, first from the [town of] Jezzine and its environs, and later from [all of] South Lebanon, under a barrage of high-quality [Hizbullah] operations...
Assad used chemical weapons in three attacks this year — UN report
The Syrian government committed war crimes by using chlorine in three attacks against civilians in 2018, UN investigators said in a report released Wednesday.

The forces of President Bashar Assad used the banned chemical weapons in attacks on Douma, near Damascus, on January 22 and February 1, as well as in the northern Idlib province on February 4, the report quoted by Reuters said.

An unspecified number of civilians were injured in the three attacks, including women and children.

“To recapture eastern Ghouta in April, government forces launched numerous indiscriminate attacks in densely populated civilian areas, which included the use of chemical weapons,” it said.

“The Commission concludes that, on these two occasions, government forces and or affiliated militias committed the war crimes of using prohibited weapons and launching indiscriminate attacks in civilian-populated areas in eastern Ghouta.”
Turkey boosts arms to Syrian rebels as Idlib attack looms, groups say
Turkey has stepped up arms supplies to Syrian rebels to help them stave off an expected offensive by the Syrian army and its Russian and Iran-backed allies in the northwest near the Turkish frontier, rebel sources told Reuters.

Senior rebel officials said Turkey had sent more military aid to rebels in and around the Idlib region since a summit meeting with Iran and Russia last week failed to agree a deal to avert a government offensive into the area.

Turkey, which is already hosting 3.5 million Syrian refugees, is warning against such an attack, fearing it could force more Syrians over the border. President Tayyip Erdogan has warned of a humanitarian disaster and security risks for Turkey.

"They pledged complete Turkish military support for a long, protracted battle," a senior FSA commander who was privy to talks in recent days with senior Turkish officials said, requesting anonymity as he was not authorized to speak publicly.

The weapons, which have entered Syria in large quantities in recent days, include ammunition and GRAD rockets.

"These arms supplies and munitions will allow the battle to extend and ensure our supplies are not drained in a war of attrition," the commander added.

A second rebel commander said: "They are getting new shipments of munitions -- they don't need more than munitions."

"The Turks are making sure they have enough munitions that keep them going for a long while," he added.
Former Egyptian Official Gen. Mahmoud Al-Rashidi: West behind ISIS, Other Terrorist Organizations
Egyptian analyst Gen. Mahmoud Al-Rashidi, a former assistant to the Minister of the Interior on cyber crime, said that "in America, in Qatar, and elsewhere, they cooperate with these terrorist organizations to achieve their own goals." Israel, he said, was "the largest center for electronic terrorism in the Middle East. They have with them groups like Hamas, ISIS,and others, which they fund and with which they cooperate, in order to infiltrate societies and recruit people." He was speaking on the Palestinian Authority's TV channel on September 6, 2018.

Algerian Blogger Says Gov't Using "Homosexual Zionist" Actor to Turn Children into "Homosexuals"
Algerian blogger known as Toufik.Dz weighed in on a controversy raging in the Algerian media around the casting of Gérard Depardieu as Husein Dey, the last Ottoman provincial ruler in the Regency of Algiers, in a new movie titled "Ahmed Bey." Calling Depardieu "that homosexual, French Zionist actor," Toufik.Dz said that instead of casting an Algerian to play the role of one of Algeria's "greatest men," they chose Depardieu, who has been accused of rape in France. It is part of a "fierce campaign to turn our children into a generation of homosexuals and sissies," he said, complaining that "the message they want to convey... is that in Algeria, homosexuals have rights." He posted the video on his YouTube channel on September 6, 2018.

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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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