Friday, September 14, 2018

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: Ending the Palestinians Exception
When Rosh Hashanah ended on Tuesday evening, Jews discovered that over the holiday, the Trump administration had enacted two policies – one foreign and one domestic – that on their face, don’t appear to be connected. But actually, they stem from the same rationale. And both together and separately, these two policies give Jews much to be thankful for.

First, the administration announced it is closing the Palestine Liberation Organization’s office in Washington, DC.
US National Security Advisor John Bolton explained Monday that the administration decided to close the PLO office due to the PLO’s refusal to carry out substantive negotiations towards the achievement of a peace agreement with Israel. Then too, by working to prosecute Israeli nationals at the International Criminal Court, the PLO is violating the conditions Congress set as law for the continued operation of its Washington office.

Second, Kenneth Marcus, Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights determined that from now on, the US Department of Education will use the State Department’s definition of antisemitism in adjudicating all complaints regarding alleged acts of antisemitism in US educational institutions.

The State Department’s definition of antisemitism is based on the definition drafted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. The IHRA’s working definition of antisemitism explicitly states that anti-Israel activities which among other things reject Israel’s right to exist and the Jewish people’s right to self-determination; compare contemporary policies of the State of Israel to policies of Nazi Germany; and apply a standard for judging Israel’s policies and actions that is not applied to other nations and states, are all acts of antisemitism. As such, they are prohibited under the civil rights statutes that protect Americans against discrimination based on their group identity.

The common phenomenon both policies address can be referred to as “the Palestinian exception.”

The Palestinian exception was born with the Oslo process, whose 25th anniversary was marked on September 13. Ironically, the more the process failed, the more entrenched the Palestinian exception became.

The Palestinian exception involves giving the Palestinians and their supporters a pass for actions that would otherwise be illegal, simply because they are Palestinians and pro-Palestinian activists.
David Singer: Trump Squeezes UNRWA, Checkmates PLO and Incentivises Jordan
President Trump has created a veritable diplomatic tsunami affecting the political fortunes of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), Hamas and Jordan – with his decision to cease all future donations to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) – currently US$360million per annum and comprising about 30 percent of UNRWA’s budget.

The numbers of UNRWA-registered Palestinian Arab refugees in Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza have been increasing in leaps and bounds annually because they include all the descendants of those Palestinian Arabs caught up in the 1948 and 1967 Arab-Israel wars.

2,175,000 live in Jordan – 370,000 of whom reside in 10 camps
810,000 live in the West Bank – 200,000 of whom reside in 19 camps
1,300,000 live in Gaza – 580,000 of whom reside in 8 camps

UNRWA only provides services to the camps. UNRWA does not administer or police the camps, as this is the responsibility of the host authorities.

Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza comprise 83 per cent of the territory of former Palestine.

For UNRWA to count as “refugees” people who are now living in Arab-controlled parts of the same country where their forebears once resided – is really an insult to one’s intelligence.

For UNRWA to tolerate a system of apartheid and segregation that allows those “refugees” to be divided into camp dwellers and non-camp dwellers makes a mockery of the humanitarian principles espoused by the United Nations and the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Struggling under an accumulated deficit of US$271 million before Trump’s hammer blow – UNRWA had already shut down or slated for closure many programs and laid off large numbers of employees – mainly Palestinian Arabs.

The further cuts UNRWA will now be forced to make following America’s defunding will be critical to the PLO, Hamas and Jordan – as “refugees” coming under their respective jurisdictions affected by substantial cuts to their well-established entitlements see others not similarly subjected.

Palestinian Activist at EU Parliament: Europe Should Cut BDS Funding Like Trump Cut That of UNRWA
Speaking at the EU Parliament in Brussels, the Jerusalem-based Palestinian human rights activist Bassem Eid criticized Europe for turning a blind eye, for centuries, on the economic plight of Gaza, saying that "dignity can be achieved only via economic prosperity." Accusing the BDS movement of "trying to use the Palestinians in order to gain power and money," Eid said that if Europe cut its funding, like Trump was cutting the funding of UNRWA, the BDS movement would cease to exist within six months. Europe should give the money directly to the Palestinians, he said, adding that the slogans uttered by BDS members that short-term suffering was necessary in order to gain long-term benefits were similar to slogans uttered by Arab leaders in 1948. He criticized the Palestinian Authority for preventing activists from participating in coexistence events. Eid's address was posted on his YouTube channel on September 5, 2018.

The Palestinian Victimhood Narrative No Longer Sells
After decades of accepting the idea that Palestinians deserve American financial assistance without offering anything in return, President Trump has finally said, “Enough.” Fed up with their lies and obduracy, he decided the Palestinians are not entitled to US taxpayer dollars to pay terrorists, support phony refugees, and line the pockets of corrupt leaders who enrich themselves, their families, and their cronies.

Cutting aid to UNRWA was long overdue because UNRWA is a poster child for the fraudulence of Palestinian claims. UNRWA has invented five million refugees and created a welfare system to guarantee their perpetual misery. The refugee problem could have been solved decades ago, as UNRWA originally envisioned, if the leaders in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, and Syria gave the Palestinians citizenship, took them out of camps, and allowed them to assimilate into their societies, where they already shared a common language, religion, and culture.

And how can anyone justify the fact that Palestinian leaders keep their people confined to camps. After Israel evacuated Gaza, the Palestinians said that they would build housing for refugees on the rubble of the settlements, and received billions of dollars for the project. I don’t think a single house was built for a single refugee.

Where did the money go?
To Hamas, for building rockets and tunnels, and taking care of themselves at the expense of the people. Perhaps one day the refugees will grow tired of uselessly railing against Israel, and protest their jailors from Fatah and Hamas.

The Palestinians’ enablers immediately predicted the loss of US funding would create a humanitarian catastrophe in the territories. But where are the other 190 countries in the world that could fill the gap? Most of these countries declare their fealty to the Palestinian cause and vote for every UN resolution that feeds Palestinian fantasies. Of course, casting a vote is easy, because it costs them nothing. If they really cared, do you really believe a coalition of states, or the EU alone, could not replace the few hundred million dollars the United States was providing? The Arab oil producers could fund the Palestinian Authority’s annual budget out of a week’s oil revenues.
UNWRA: What will be the repercussions of Trump's funding cuts?
MORE IMPORTANTLY, the definition ensures that the number of refugees will continue to grow exponentially and that they will remain under the auspices of UNRWA, and not the UNHCR. This situation has led US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert to state that UNRWA’s business model and fiscal practices were an “irredeemably flawed operation,” and that the agency’s “endlessly and exponentially expanding community of entitled beneficiaries is simply unsustainable.”

The government of Israel also contests the UNRWA definition of refugee, criticizing the partial and discriminate share of attention and services they enjoy under the auspices of the UN. “They have their own set of rules, their own funding and of course, their own international agency – UNRWA, and if this wasn’t enough, their refugee status is transferred to their children.” Furthermore, the government states, “It’s worth noting that when UNRWA was established, its mandate included the task of resettling refugees. But the mandate was amended in 1965 to remove this important function. Today, many of the Palestinian refugees and their descendants do not live in refugee camps. Yet they continue to be counted as refugees by UNRWA and are receiving benefits including free health care and education.”

UNRWA spends one-third of all the resources donated to refugees internationally. Per-capita annual support for a Palestinian refugee is more than twice the amount of support allocated by the UNHCR.

UNRWA also states that the standards and criteria are intended to facilitate the agency’s operations (that is, not to determine who is a refugee under international law). So even though the agency keeps records of over five million Palestinians whom it refers to as “registered refugees,” it does not mean that under international law there actually are five million Palestine refugees.

UNRWA has in the past issued financial emergency appeals on an almost yearly basis, and will continue to justify these appeals claiming that the refugee numbers will continue to grow. And grow they will. If the “refugee” term remains uncontested, UNRWA will continue to serve as a political springboard for those states which seem to be more interested in using UNRWA to keep the right of return on the international political agenda than they are for meeting the humanitarian needs of its Palestinian beneficiaries.
July 05 2018 The real story behind the Jahalin Bedouin in Khan al Ahmar
David Halbfinger’s recent article, “As Israel Pushes to Build, Bedouin Homes and School Face Demolition” (The New York Times, June 24, 2018, co-authored by Rami Nazzal) begins with a statement that sets the tone for what is to follow: “The herders are being herded.”

The implication, of course, is that Israel is treating the innocent, unfortunate Jahalin Bedouin of Khan al Ahmar like animals, but the facts of the case indicate precisely the opposite: I’m sure there are many hard-working, tax-paying citizens of Israel (and other countries all over the world) who would love to be “herded” into an all-expenses-paid, fully developed plot of land and paid tens of thousands of dollars by the state to move in. In fact, several years ago, another branch of the Jahalin clan agreed to precisely this treatment and voluntarily relocated; the families that remained in Khan al Ahmar agreed to move as well, but were bullied or patronized by their “representatives” into retracting their consent and have been dragged through Israel’s courts ever since.
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The history of the illegal outpost at Khan al Ahmar includes some very interesting facts that Mr. Halbfinger neglected to mention: The Jahalin Bedouin are an offshoot of a larger tribe based in southern Israel, in the Arad region. After a blood feud broke out within the tribe, some of the families were forced out and migrated north through the Judean desert, arriving and settling in their present location after the 1973 Yom Kippur War (see aerial photographs of the area here). From day one, they knew that this would not be a permanent solution for their needs. The highway and growing communities around them were already facts of life; the Jahalin knew they would have to relocate.

Despite the claims that Mr. Halbfinger makes in his article, some 80 percent of the residents of Khan al Ahmar are employed in Ma’ale Adumim, Kfar Adumim and other Israeli communities in the area—and have been for many years. Shepherding is a hobby for most, a means of supplementing income and maintaining their connection to Bedouin folklore. The Bedouin of Khan al Ahmar, like Bedouin tribes throughout the Middle East, abandoned their nomadic existence generations ago; the structures (as opposed to tents) at Khan al Ahmar are a very good indication of this trend.
Army finds another IED on Gaza border; police disarm boobytrapped balloon
The Israeli military found and destroyed an improvised explosive device along the southern Gaza border on Friday, the second such case in two days.

In addition, a cluster of balloons carrying an unlit explosive detonator, which was apparently launched from the Gaza Strip, landed in a playground in the southern Israeli town of Kiryat Gat.

The army said the improvised explosive device had been hidden underneath a pile of dirt next to the security fence, east of the Gazan city of Khan Younis. It had a receiver attached to it, allowing the device to be set off remotely, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

The device was detonated by IDF troops in a controlled blast, the army said.

“There were no injuries, and no damage was caused,” the military said in a statement.

This was the second such explosive device planted along the southern Gaza security fence and discovered by the IDF this week.

The military accused the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group of being behind the attempted attack.

“Hamas continues to try to harm defensive infrastructure and security forces in the security fence area, while using residents of the Gaza Strip as human shields and as cover for terrorist activities,” the army said in a statement.

Pipe bomb thrown at IDF troops on Gaza fence; soldiers respond with fire
Three Palestinians were spotted crawling towards the Gaza border fence in the early hours of Friday morning before they threw a pipe bomb at soldiers patrolling the area, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

The troops, who were not hit by the bomb and sustained no injuries, responded by firing at the Palestinians, the army said in a statement.

There were no reports of Palestinian injuries.

Earlier Thursday, the army said it detonated a large bomb that had been placed along the Gaza security fence by Palestinians during a recent riot.

The IDF said the placement of the improvised explosive device showed that the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group was trying to keep up the clashes along the border, despite the reported ongoing ceasefire talks with Israel.

The large IED, which was placed inside a blue jerrycan, was found earlier this week by the IDF next to the security fence in the southern Gaza Strip.
Two Palestinians said killed as thousands rally along Gaza border
Around 12,000 Palestinians were participating in weekly demonstrations along the Gaza Strip’s border with Israel Friday evening.

The army said rioters were burning tires and hurling rocks at Israeli soldiers, who were responding according to open-fire regulations.

The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry said two people were killed by IDF fire, including a 14-year-old teenager shot east of Jabaliya in northern Gaza. The second man was said to have been shot in the Khan Younis area in central Gaza.

Two fires also broke out in Israeli communities near the border due to incendiary balloons. Firefighters managed to gain control of the blazes.
Putting the PLO in its place
Twelve hours and an ocean separated two important speeches this week. On Monday, U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton addressed the Federalist Society in Washington. The next day, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini spoke before the EU Parliament in Strasbourg, France.

Bolton made an unprecedented attack on the International Criminal Court in The Hague, saying, "The United States will use any means necessary to protect our citizens and those of our allies from unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court," he said.

"If the court comes after us, Israel or other US allies, we will not sit quietly," Bolton said, adding that ICC judges and prosecutors could face personal sanctions from the U.S., including being banned from entering the U.S. and/or prosecution in the U.S. justice system.

Little was said about Bolton's speech in Israel but the appreciation for it was as great as the silence about it. The ICC is a major concern for the country's leaders. The threat of Israelis being tried in The Hague hangs like a sword over their heads. IDF soldiers and commanders could be tried for actions taken as part of their military service, and any approval of construction plans in Greater Jerusalem or on the Golan Heights or in Samaria, could be defined by the ICC as a war crime. This is the widely held position in the ICC, which is exactly where law and politics meet.
Greenblatt says US expects Israeli criticism of parts of coming Mideast plan
The Trump administration is prepared for Israeli criticism of elements of its coming Middle East peace plan, the U.S. envoy to the region said, even as Washington faces growing Palestinian accusations that it will be heavily tilted in favor of Israel.

In an interview with Reuters, Jason Greenblatt, a chief architect of the long-awaited peace initiative, said U.S. negotiators had entered the “pre-launch phase” of the plan, despite a boycott by Palestinian leaders.

But he declined to specify a time frame, except to say it would not be announced at the U.N. General Assembly gathering in New York later this month, or offer any details of a proposal that has drawn deep skepticism even before its unveiling.

Pushing back against widespread perceptions among Palestinians, Arab officials and independent analysts that the peace plan is likely to be decidedly pro-Israel, Greenblatt made clear that both sides can expect parts they will like and dislike.

“We’re going to have to defend the plan to Israelis and Palestinians. We are ready for criticism from all sides, but we believe this is the best path forward for everyone,” he said as the administration moved to finalize the initiative, which is led by Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

But there was no immediate explanation of what might disappoint Israelis, who have been largely pleased with President Donald Trump’s Middle East policies but have at times been rattled by suggestions he might ask them for significant concessions.

Greenblatt said, however, that the United States will recommend compromises but will not seek to impose a deal.
Kushner says punitive measures against Palestinians will help peace chances
Jared Kushner, tasked with leading the US administration’s Middle East peace efforts by his father-in-law US President Donald Trump, said Thursday that a series of recent punitive measures against the Palestinians will help, not harm, the chances for a peace deal.

Speaking on the 25th anniversary of the day that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin shook hands on the White House lawn, sealing the Oslo Accords, Kushner said the current US administration was taking vital steps toward peace that others had failed to.

“There were too many false realities that were created — that people worship — that I think needed to be changed,” he said in an interview with the New York Times. “All we’re doing is dealing with things as we see them and not being scared out of doing the right thing. I think, as a result, you have a much higher chance of actually achieving a real peace.”

Since Trump took office, Washington’s stance vis-a-vis the Palestinians has dramatically changed.

Late last year, the Palestinian Authority froze all contacts with Washington after Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Since the breakdown in US-Palestinian ties, the Trump administration has redoubled efforts to both punish Palestinian leaders and twist their arm so that they return to talks with Israel.

US aid has been effectively wiped out, as has its support for the UN agency that assists three million Palestinian refugees, known as UNRWA.
PA says Kushner comments on peace reflect ‘ignorance of reality of the conflict’
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s spokesman on Friday slammed statements that Jared Kushner, a senior adviser to US president Donald Trump, made in an interview with an American newspaper, contending that they reflect “ignorance of the reality of the [Israeli-Palestinian] conflict.”

Nabil Abu Rudeinah said in comments published on the official PA news site Wafa: “Peace will only come through a two-state solution, including East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine, in accordance with legitimate international resolutions and Arab League summit decisions.”

In an interview published in The New York Times on Thursday, Kushner argued that measures the Trump administration has taken against the Palestinians have not lessened chances of achieving a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, but rather increased them.

He also asserted that the Trump administration’s moves eliminate “false realities” related to the Middle East peace process.

“There were too many false realities that were created — that people worship — that I think needed to be changed,” Kushner told the Times. “All we’re doing is dealing with things as we see them and not being scared out of doing the right thing. I think, as a result, you have a much higher chance of actually achieving a real peace.”
Poll: Most Palestinians Reject Trump Peace Plan Without Seeing It
A majority of Palestinians reject outright President Donald Trump’s peace proposal before it’s even released, according to a new poll published Wednesday.

The poll, conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, showed that 62% of Palestinians oppose the resumption of talks between the Palestinian Authority and the Trump administration and 52% will not accept any framework for peace presented by that administration since “it must be bad for the Palestinians.”

Almost 27% are in favor of resuming dialogue with the American administration, the poll found, while 31% are in favor of examining the American proposal first before dismissing it.

Another 14% of Palestinians said the PA should accept the peace proposal “because it will certainly be better than the status quo,” the poll found.

The PA has boycotted the U.S. since Trump’s formal recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the subsequent transfer of the U.S. embassy to the city.

Just 6% said Trump was an honest broker for peace while 90% said his administration is biased in favor of Israel.

The poll was released days after the U.S. announced that it was cutting all its funding to the UN’s Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA and a day before the 25th anniversary of the Oslo Accords.

Almost 43% of respondents said the PA was to blame for the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, while 24% said the Gaza-ruling terror group Hamas was responsible. Another 8% blamed Egypt and 17% said “others.”
PLO mission in Washington officially ceases operations after US closure
The Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington ceased operations on Thursday following a demand by the United States to shut down but expressed hope the closure would be short-lived.

State Department officials on Monday ordered the office shuttered, in a bid to pressure the Palestinians to enter peace talks with Israel.

It was the latest point of tension between the administration of US President Donald Trump and the Palestinians, who cut off contact with Washington after Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December.

“Today is the deadline” for closure, Husam Zomlot, who headed the Palestine Liberation Organization mission, said in a Facebook video addressed to “the great people of America.”

The closure came on the 25th anniversary of the Oslo accords, the first agreements between the rival Israelis and Palestinians which promised to end decades of deadly conflict, but which are now deadlocked and tarnished by soured relations.
White House denies report Trump offered Abbas $5 bil. to enter peace talks
The White House denied a report published in Israeli media on Thursday claiming that US President Donald Trump offered Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas $5 billion in economic and infrastructure aid if he agrees to enter peace talks with Israel.

The report, in Globes, claims that Trump diplomats also gave Abbas’ aides a “detailed timetable” for the start of negotiations.

“This is false,” a National Security Council official said in response to the story.

White House officials have worked for 19 months on a plan for a comprehensive peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians. Senior aides to the president say they will release the plan “when the timing is right,” which has thus far not come to pass since the PA cut off contact with the administration over its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last year.

US enjoy Jason Greenblatt tweeted a response to the Globes publication, "Myth: @GlobesEnglish “reporting” that @POTUS is offering $5b to PA to return to the negotiating table."

Greenblatt also tweeted, "It is an absurd idea to pay $5b for a party to “return to the negotiating table.” How would that accomplish peace?"
MEMRI: Former Hamas Political Bureau Head Khaled Mash'al: We Agree To A State Within The Pre-1967 Borders, But Without Ceding The Rest Of Palestine And Without Recognizing Israel
Khaled Mash'al, former chairman of Hamas' political bureau, said in a September 10 Al-Jazeera TV interview that while the May 2017 policy document manifested a development in the character of Hamas and in its political and ideological conduct, "it did not constitute a renunciation of the past." He stressed that "our natural platform is to fight the occupation, to liberate Palestine in its entirety, and to regain the land, the holy places, Jerusalem, and our rights." While the formal Arab and Palestinian position is to achieve a state within the pre-1967 borders through negotiations, "we will not agree to concessions – we will not concede the rest of Palestine and will not recognize Israel," he said.

To view the clip of Khaled Mash'al on MEMRI TV, click here or below.

"The 2017 Document Manifested A Certain Stage... But It Did Not Constitute A Renunciation Of The Past"

Khaled Mash'al: "Hamas was launched in 1987, and about a year later, in August 1988, it released its charter. Twenty-nine years later, in May 2017, Hamas released the policy document. We long believed that since a long time had passed, it was necessary for Hamas to present a new text.
"Just as Hamas progressed from stones to guns and then to martyrdom operations, to the point that it is now waging defense wars in Gaza against the Zionist enemy... Just like there was a great creative development in the field of combat, as well as in politics, [in 2017] Hamas presented the development of its ideology. This is natural development. Therefore, the 2017 document manifested a certain stage, as well as a process of maturation and awareness, and a development in the character of Hamas, and in its political and ideological conduct, but it did not constitute a renunciation of the past. Every stage has its own documents and texts."
"We Agree To A State Within The Pre-1967 Borders... We Will Not Concede The Rest Of Palestine And Will Not Recognize Israel"

"Our natural platform is to fight the occupation, to liberate Palestine it its entirety, and to regain the land, the holy places, Jerusalem, and our rights. This is our platform. Meanwhile, we have Palestinian partners, as well as partners in the Arab and Islamic world.
Trump slams Kerry for ‘illegal meeting’ with Iranians after leaving office
US President Donald Trump on Thursday slammed former secretary of state John Kerry, accusing him of holding “illegal meetings” with the Iranian regime and of urging Iran’s leaders to “wait out the Trump Administration”

“John Kerry had illegal meetings with the very hostile Iranian Regime, which can only serve to undercut our great work to the detriment of the American people,” Trump tweeted late Thursday.

“He told them to wait out the Trump Administration! Was he registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act? BAD!” Trump said, referring to a law requiring those who represent or lobby for foreign governments to declare their activities.

Trump’s attack came after Kerry, who is promoting a new book, acknowledged to Fox News in an interview that he had met with Iranian officials after leaving office “a few times, two or three times.”

Kerry, a principal architect of the Iranian nuclear deal, which Trump pulled out of in May, denied that his talks were about the nuclear issue.
Ted Cruz Renews Call to Designate Muslim Brotherhood a Terrorist Group
Amidst a highly visible reelection campaign, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) renewed a call last week for the Muslim Brotherhood to be designated a terrorist organization.

This follows the Trump administration's designation earlier this year of two affiliates of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood -- Hasm and Liwa al-Thawra -- as terrorist organizations:
.@StateDept has designated Ismail Haniyeh, Harakat al-Sabireen, Liwa al Thawra, and Harakat Sawa’d Misr (HASM) as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) under Section 1(b) of Executive Order (E.O.) 13224. Full details:
— State Dept CT Bureau (@StateDeptCT) January 31, 2018

Last year Cruz introduced S. 68, calling on the State Department to designate the group. The Senate bill is co-sponsored by Senate President Pro Tempore and Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch and Senate Homeland Security Chairman Ron Johnson:
Proud to introduce Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act w @MarioDB. It's time to call the enemy by its name
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) January 10, 2017

The House companion bill, H.R. 377, is sponsored by Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart and currently has 76 House co-sponsors.
Top UAE trade official visited Israel in August — report
A senior official from the United Arab Emirates visited Israel in August to discuss trade relations between the two countries, according to an unconfirmed Arab-language report this week.

An anonymous source told Arabi21 that Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, CEO of the government-owned port operator DP World, visited Tel Aviv to promote relations between the company and Israel.

According to a translation by Middle East Eye, the meetings were arranged by Michael Vaknin, chief economist at JP Morgan investment bank, and one of the people who attended was the Israeli head of customs.

DP World reportedly already has strong ties with Israeli shipping company Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd. and other Israeli companies.

Israel in 1996 officially opened “trade offices” in Oman and Qatar (which have since closed), but the Jewish state has never had formal ties with the Emirates.
Hamas using 17,000 children to fight Israel
The Jerusalem Institute of Justice (JIJ) completed a a request to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Hague, asking to sue Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.

In the request, JIJ cites testimonies showing that Haniyeh committed two main war crimes: Firstly, he used children under the age of 15 for military purposes, using them both as child soldiers and to carry out terror attacks.

Secondly, Haniyeh consistently used children as human shields and as military targets.

The total number of children misused by Hamas since 2016 currently stands at 17,000.

Haniyeh is also charged with widescale and consistent use of torture and illegal killing, carried out by Hamas' internal security forces in Gaza.

JIJ Attorney Uri Morad, who submitted the request, said the testimonies collected have received praise from representatives of the ICC's department of information and research.

"The entire process was very efficient and organized, and we felt like we had the trust of those receiving the request," he said. "I believe that this suit, which the Jerusalem Institute for Justice has submitted, will be dealt with fairly and without bias."
Lebanon refuses to grant citizenship to 'Palestinian refugees'
Lebanon’s Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil says his country will never agree to grant Lebanese citizenship to so-called “Palestinian refugees", in response to reports that the US government would like the countries hosting the “refugees” to grant them citizenship.

"Even if the entire world agrees to naturalization, we will never agree to that, and just as we defeated Israel by removing its occupation [from Lebanon in 2000], we will defeat it with regard to the naturalization plan and the right of return that will remain sacred," Bassil said in an interview with Lebanese newspaper Al Joumhouria.

He added that the discussion on the refugee issue was nothing new and said that Lebanon had become accustomed to dealing with such positions adopted by Israel and the United States, and that it had warned about the severity of such positions.

There are thousands of people registered as Palestinian refugees in Israel’s neighboring countries, including Lebanon and Syria, where they have been caught in the Syrian civil war.

Palestinian refugees in Lebanon have limited work options and are refused citizenship.
Turkish teenager who plotted to blow up gay club in Frankfurt arrested
German police in the state of Hesse arrested a teenager in September for plotting an Islamic terror attack on a gay club and church in the city of Frankfurt.

An intelligence source in Germany told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday that the state police "arrested a guy named Yusuf Erkocoglu, a young Turkish kid caught planning to blow up a gay club in Frankfurt."

The Post is the first publication to obtain the name of the suspect.

The intelligence source confirmed that Erkocoglu also targeted a Catholic church in Frankfurt -- the financial center of Germany. German media outlets reported that the 17-year-old suspect has both Turkish and German citizenship.

The United States Ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, told the Post : "The US will always work with our German Government partners to thwart acts of terror. This case highlights the urgent need to work together."

The US government played a role in preventing Erkocoglu 's suspected attack, according to the intelligence source in Germany.
Germany Looking at Payment System With Iran to Save Nuclear Deal
Germany and its European partners are considering setting up a payment system with Iran that allows the continuation of business transactions with the Islamic Republic once US sanctions kick in, an Economy Ministry spokeswoman said on Friday.

“As you know, it is a central goal of the EU and the German government to ensure that the processing of transactions is secured,” the spokeswoman said during a regular government news conference. “All options are being considered.”
TIP CEO: As Assad Prepares His Final Assault, Israel Has Done Its Best to Protect Syrians
Israel has played a central role in alleviating the suffering of Syria’s civilian population, often at great risk to their own, Joshua S. Block., CEO & President of The Israel Project, wrote in an op-ed published in the Washington Examiner on Wednesday. His comments come at a time when the Syrian regime and Russia are preparing the final assault on the last remaining rebel-stronghold in Idlib.

“With the world wavering and the chemical attacks continuing, Israel has found itself more and more drawn into the chaos,” Block said. “What set out as a strict survival policy in Syria, to contain the influence of Iran and Hezbollah, has over the years evolved into a multifaceted strategy to meet Israel’s security needs and ease the unimaginable suffering of Syria’s civilians.”

Israel’s main strategic goal in Syria is to contain the influence of Iran and its proxy Hezbollah, as well as to prevent an Iranian land bridge — a continuous, unimpeded route over land from Tehran to the Mediterranean Sea.

The Israeli army said last week that it hit more than 200 Iranian military targets in Syria and fired over 800 missiles and mortar shells over the past year and a half. Failure to win over Russia to effectively curb Iran’s influence in Syria, “has left Israel to enforce its own red lines,” Block observed.

He noted, however, that besides enforcing its security interests, the Jewish State also “forged genuine partnerships with aid organizations on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights and launched an unprecedented campaign to ease the suffering of Syrian civilians — despite the fact that Israel and Syria remain officially at war.”
After caring for countless wounded Syrians, IDF closes aid unit
With the Syrian regime again in control of its side of the Golan Heights border, the IDF on Thursday said it would shut down its Good Neighbor Directorate after two years operations during which it provided humanitarian aid to Syrian civilians across the border.

The military also shuttered a day clinic it had operated near the border for the past year, which treated some 7,000 Syrian children.

The IDF said the humanitarian aid provided by the directorate to Syrian civilians was "a gesture of goodwill."

According to the military, its humanitarian operation was "further expression of it values, which include lending a helping hand in times of need to needy civilians, beyond Israel's borders as well."

Among other things, the IDF transferred 630 tents, 40 vehicles, 20 generators, some 8,200 diaper packages, around 1,700 tons of food, 26,000 boxes of medical supplies and some 350 tons of clothes.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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


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