Thursday, September 27, 2018

From Ian:

David Singer: Trump’s PLO Shutdown Paves Way for Jordan-West Bank Reunification
President Trump’s decision to close the PLO mission in Washington, cancel the visas of the Palestinian ambassador and his family and order their bank accounts be closed – mark the PLO’s final humiliation for condemning Trump’s proposed peace plan before its contents have even been published.

Strangely however the United States still maintains that direct negotiations between Israel and the PLO are the only way forward.

The PLO will be fortified by this latest statement – mistakenly believing it:
  • remains in the box seat to stymie any peace plan Trump wheels out,
  • can blunt Trump’s reputation as a highly successful deal maker and
  • reinforces the PLO’s right to continue as sole spokesman for the Palestinian Arabs although Hamas governs Gaza and Jordan exercises sovereignty in 78 per cent of former Palestine.
Direct Israel-PLO negotiations on Trump’s peace proposals are a pipe dream.

Jordan remains the key to resolving – with Israel – Trump’s plans involving the future of the West Bank for the following reasons:
  • Transjordan occupied the West Bank from 1948 to 1967.
  • Transjordan and the West Bank were unified in 1950, the new entity was renamed “Jordan” and Jordanian citizenship was extended to the West Bank Arab population
  • Jordan continued to retain legal and administrative control and extend citizenship between 1967 and 1988 until King Hussein announced Jordan’s termination of its role in the West Bank in the PLO’s favour for the following reasons:
“Lately, it has transpired that there is a general Palestinian and Arab orientation which believes in the need to highlight the Palestinian identity in full in all efforts and activities that are related to the Palestine question and its developments. It has also become clear that there is a general conviction that maintaining the legal and administrative links with the West Bank, and the ensuing Jordanian interaction with our Palestinian brothers under occupation through Jordanian institutions in the occupied territories, contradicts this orientation. It is also viewed that these links hamper the Palestinian struggle to gain international support for the Palestinian cause of a people struggling against foreign occupation.
In view of this line of thought, which is certainly inspired by genuine Palestinian will, and Arab determination to support the Palestinian cause, it becomes our duty to be part of this direction, and to respond to its requirements…”

PMW: 25 years after Oslo, PA and Fatah still don’t recognize Israel
While PA Chairman Abbas and other Palestinian leaders speak internationally about Israel as an accepted fact, it should be noted that the PA and Abbas' Fatah Movement still have not accepted the most fundamental commitment the PLO made when it signed the Oslo Accords 25 years ago: To recognize Israel's existence. Such a recognition has never happened.

The image above posted by Fatah on Facebook last week, shows a boy with a shirt in the shape and colors of the Palestinian flag, painting the following words across the PA's map of "Palestine" that includes all of Israel together with the PA areas:

"Palestine from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea"
[Official Fatah Facebook page, Sept. 20, 2018]

Behind the map are the names of different cities located both in Israel and in the PA areas, among them Israeli cities such as Acre, Jaffa, Be'er Sheva, and Haifa.

The text and image leave no room for the State of Israel in any borders.

For more than two decades, Palestinian Media Watch has documented that neither the PA nor Fatah recognize Israel when addressing their own people. In fact, the opposite is true. Both do their utmost to convince Palestinians that all of Israel was, is, and will remain "Palestine."

It is not surprising that Palestinians deny Israel's existence, since the message that all of Israel is "Palestine" comes from the top. The Palestinian Authority Minister of Education Sabri Saidam recently posed holding a sketch of the PA's map of "Palestine" that likewise presents all of Israel as "Palestine" at an event with NGOs working with the education sector. "Palestine" is written on the map in Arabic and English (on left). Saidam is also Deputy Secretary of Fatah's Central Committee.
Report: Palestinian Textbooks Claim Entirety of Israel as Arab Land, Call Jews ‘Sinful and Liars’
Palestinian Authority textbooks encourage children to view the entirety of Israel as Arab territory, and teach them to seek the land’s liberation even at the cost of martyrdom, according to a new report by a Jerusalem-based research group.

Palestinian nationalist and Islamist ideologies that reject Israel’s basic legitimacy saturate lessons for children as young as six, with various science, math, and humanities exercises all reinforcing this overarching narrative, the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se) found.

The group studied grade 1–11 textbooks published for the 2017–18 academic year, and grade 12 textbooks that were inaugurated this August, following PA curriculum reforms first implemented in 2016. It released a preliminary review of the grades 5-11 curriculum in October.

“Palestine after the 1948 War.” Geography and Modern History of Palestine, Vol. 2, Grade 10, 2017, p. 8. Photo: IMPACT-se.

Israel is routinely referred to as the “Zionist Occupation” within the curriculum, including in contexts before the 1967 Six-Day War, in which it came to control the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and eastern portions of Jerusalem.

Various areas within Israel are described as Palestinian, with a geography textbook for 12th graders stating that the “Negev Plateau is located in southern Palestine,” while a entrepreneurship textbook for the same grade claims that the Israeli city of Nazareth is located in the “Palestinian North.”
European Parliament committee votes to freeze €15M to PA over inciting textbooks
The European Parliament Budgetary Committee voted to freeze over 15 million Euros from the Palestinian Authority if they do not remove incitement from their textbooks.

"The reserve will be released," the bill reads, "when the Palestinian Authority has committed to reform its school curriculum and textbooks to bring them in line with UNESCO standards standards for peace and tolerance in school education."

The bill, an amendment to the EU's draft budget proposed by Budgetary Committee chairwoman MEP Dr. Ingeborg Grässle, is expected to go to a plenary vote on October 24th.

If the bill passes the plenary vote, the EU will withhold €15,440,597 until the PA changes its textbooks. The European Union is the largest single donor to the Palestinian Authority.

The bill states: "The textbooks published by the PA in 2017, which are financed by the EU...contain, across all subjects, numerous examples of violent depictions, hate speech – in particular against Israel – and glorifications of jihad and martyrdom. As has already been pointed out by Parliament in its resolution on the 2016 budget discharge (par. 272), EU-financed teaching and training programs should reflect common values.”

UNRWA’s Message of Hate and Indoctrination
The education of Palestinian schoolchildren must change drastically if there is ever to be a lasting negotiated peace between the Israelis and Palestinians. Why? Because these schools have been inciting three generations of young Palestinians to hate and kill Jews, and the only means of conflict resolution that these students have been exposed to is violence.

For children all over the world, the new school year is filled with promise and excitement, affording them the opportunity for personal development so that they may eventually become productive citizens of their perspective communities. The same cannot be said for Palestinian children. The United Nations’ Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA and the Palestinian leadership have manipulated their education system to serve a different purpose. Rather than an education that strives to better the child, they exploit impressionable minds, indoctrinating these children into a culture of hate, thereby perpetuating the conflict rather than resolving it. Until their education system changes, the region is at least a generation away from a true, sustainable peace.

Palestinian schools, including various private schools belonging to Christian churches and Islamic charity foundations, all receive their textbooks from the PA Ministry of Education’s Curricula Center in Ramallah.

According to Dr. Arnon Groiss, whose research on the subject spans 18 years, the most recent set of books published in 2016/2018 are even more radical than their predecessors. According to him, a curriculum of hatred permeates all subject matter, from elementary arithmetic to high school social studies and science. Martyrdom is glorified, the Jews’ historical connection to their biblical homeland is rejected, and contemporary maps of the region omit the existence of the UN member state of Israel. Jews are demonized and terrorist/jihad concepts are woven into songs, plays, and academia.
Israel blasts UN agency for peddling 'false definition' of Palestinian refugees
Diplomatic officials are calling a new Foreign Ministry report "revolutionary" for its stance on UNRWA, the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees.

Israel Hayom was granted exclusive access to the position paper, compiled only a few days ago, in which officials maintain that U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to end funding to UNRWA late last month "made it clear that the organization is not part of the solution but part of the problem.

"Instead of providing social aid, UNRWA exacerbates the conflict by inflating the number of fake refugees, instilling a narrative of hatred and undermining Israel's right to exist and having ties with Hamas," the report said.

"There are in practice very few Palestinians who meet the legal definition to receive refugee status. Only a few tens of thousands of the 5.4 million registered beneficiaries are refugees."

In the policy paper, ministry officials conclude UNRWA is a political organization that perpetuates the status of Palestinian refugees and feeds the cycle of violence and desperation.
Why is the US cutting aid to refugees?

Trump backtracks: I prefer 2 states, 1 state is OK too, as long as there’s deal
Hours after US President Donald Trump declared his unequivocal support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Wednesday, he backtracked during a frenzied news conference on the sidelines of UN General Assembly, saying that the actual solution was less important to him, so long as there was a peace deal in the end.

“Bottom line: If the Israelis and Palestinians want one state, that’s okay with me,” he said. “If they want two states, that’s okay with me. I’m happy, if they’re happy.”

“I’m a facilitator. I want to see if I can get a deal done so that people don’t get killed anymore,” the US president said.

Trump said that reaching a two-state solution is “more difficult because it’s a real estate deal” but that ultimately it “works better because you have people governing themselves.”

He also promised that the long-awaited peace plan that was being crafted by his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, who has been working on the Middle East portfolio, would be “very fair.”

“He loves Israel but he’s also going to be very fair with the Palestinians,” Trump said during the 84-minute long press conference.
Pence: We're proud to stand with Israel
US Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday reiterated Washington’s support for Israel, following the meeting in New York between President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

“The United States of America is proud to stand with Israel and her people, as allies and cherished friends. Under President Trump, we continue to work tirelessly to strengthen the relationship between the US and Israel,” tweeted Pence.

During the meeting between Trump and Netanyahu, which took place on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, the President said the move of the US embassy to Jerusalem was something which "I guess was controversial, but it's turned out to be very positive in many ways.”

He expressed his support for "everything Israel is doing as far as their defense is concerned."

"[The Israelis] are aggressive, and they have no choice but to be aggressive. It's a very difficult part of the world. So I just want to let Benjamin and all of the people know that we are with you, we are with Israel 100%," added Trump.

Netanyahu later said he was very pleased with his meeting with Trump.
PM: Trump accepts Palestinian state would remain under Israeli security control
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that the United States accepts that even if a two-state solution is achieved to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Israel will retain overall security control of the West Bank.

Briefing Israeli reporters after a meeting with Donald Trump at which the US president for the first time explicitly endorsed a two-state solution as his preferred option, Nentayahu said that under any peace accord, Israel would retain security control from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

“I am sure that any US peace plan will reflect that principle to a great extent, maybe even entirely,” Netanyahu said.

“Some things are not to acceptable to us,” he added. “Make no mistake: Israel will not give up on security control west of the Jordan as long as I am prime minister. I think the Americans accept that principle.”

Asked whether he hoped a Palestinian state would to come into being during his time in office, Netanyahu smiled and said, “I suggest that you wait patiently.”

“The question is, what is a state?” he asked. “It’s a real question. That’s also what I said in the meeting: Will it be Costa Rica or Iran? Who will have security control?”
Palestinians reject presence of Israeli soldiers in future state
The Palestinian Authority on Thursday threw cold water on an Israeli demand that a future Palestinian state contain security zones manned by IDF troops, rejecting the proposal outright and underlining one of several obstacles facing the US administration as it readies to embark on a Mideast peace push.

“We will not accept the presence of an occupation soldier on our Palestinian land,” Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, said in a statement carried by Ramallah’s official Wafa news agency.

A day earlier, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Israeli reporters on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly that under any peace accord with the Palestinians, Israel would retain security control from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

His comments came after US President Donald Trump backed the idea of a Palestinian state for the first time, saying he favored a two-state solution. Netanyahu said Trump supported the Israeli security demands, which he was sure would be included in the peace proposal being prepared by the White House.

“Some things are not to acceptable to us,” Netanyahu said Wednesday. “Make no mistake: Israel will not give up on security control west of the Jordan as long as I am prime minister. I think the Americans accept that principle.”
PMW: Abbas - a world leader in supporting terrorists
As Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas takes the podium at the UN, it is important to remember that this man is a world leader in supporting terrorists. (Sept. 27, 2018)

As Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas takes the podium at the UN, it is important to remember that this man is a world leader in supporting terrorists.

The latest terrorist Abbas has chosen to honor specifically is Nasser Awais, a Palestinian serving 14 life sentences for murdering 14 people. Abbas decided to raise Awais to the rank of "major general" as "a sign of appreciation for his struggle and sacrifice for the homeland." [Official Fatah Facebook page, Sept. 9, 2018]

Announcing Abbas' decision to promote Awais, the Fatah Movement mentioned among Awais' accomplishments that he "established the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades in a direct appointment by [former PA] President Yasser Arafat." The US, Canada, the EU, and other countries have declared the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades a terror organization. The Brigades is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Israelis in suicide bombings.

Fatah glorified murderer Awais further by stating that "all of the ranks are small for your stature and the stature of the giants of the struggle." Fatah ended with blessing Abbas' decision as "serving the national path."
Cornered by US and Israel, Abbas could pull the plug on Gaza — and start a war
Hamas parliamentarians convened in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday and announced breathlessly that Mahmoud Abbas’s presidency was unlawful.

Arab media quoted the lawmakers as saying that the Palestinian Authority leader “no longer represents the Palestinian people.”

This not a surprising statement given the organizational affiliation of the speakers, as Hamas and Abbas’s Fatah party have long been at odds.

Nevertheless, the remarks underlined Abbas’s complex political situation on the eve of his speech at the UN General Assembly: It appears that Abbas has hit rock bottom, and it is doubtful he can make a comeback.

The PA president is suffering from an unprecedented dip in support in West Bank and Gaza public opinion polls, and is blamed by Gazans for the Strip’s humanitarian decline. Israel is not ready to engage in any dialogue with him, but at the same time expects him to accept responsibility for the Hamas-run coastal enclave.

It is possible that all this will lead to a radical UN speech by Abbas, which the PA leader has proven capable of delivering in the past.
Prime Minister Netanyahu Thanks U.S. for Extraordinary Support
During their meeting in New York City on Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told President Donald Trump:

"First, thank you for your strong words yesterday at the General Assembly against the corrupt terrorist regime in Iran....The fact that you brought American sanctions to bear has cut the cash machine of Iran and its campaign of carnage and conquest of the Middle East. And we who live in the Middle East - Israelis and Arabs who are subject to this Iranian danger - want to thank you especially."

"Secondly, I want to thank you for the extraordinary support that you have shown for Israel in this building, in the UN. No one has backed Israel like you do, and we appreciate it."

"Third, this is the first time that we meet after the American Embassy has been moved to Jerusalem. You've changed history, and you've touched our hearts."

"Fourth, and last, I want to say how much I appreciate your robust defense of Israel's right of self-defense....Everybody should understand that Israel will continue to do what is necessary and defend ourselves against Iranian aggression in Syria, in Lebanon, [and] anywhere else."
Netanyahu Slams UNESCO as Antisemitic, Boycotts Conference In New York
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed on Wednesday that Israel will indeed be withdrawing from the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), skipping an event sponsored by the organization on the topic of antisemitism.

Netanyahu, who is in New York to attend the UN General Assembly, said that “while I commend all efforts to combat antisemitism, I have decided not to participate in this week’s UNESCO conference on antisemitism due to the organization’s persistent and egregious bias against Israel.”

In a statement, he said, “since 2009, UNESCO has passed 71 resolutions condemning Israel and only two resolutions condemning all other countries combined. This is simply outrageous.”

“The mark of antisemitism was once singling out the Jewish people for slander and condemnation,” he continued. “The mark of antisemitism today is singling out the Jewish state for slander and condemnation.”

Netanyahu said the organization “must do more than host a conference on antisemitism. It must stop practicing antisemitism.”

In 2017, Israel and the United States announced they would withdraw from the organization, after years of controversy over UNESCO’s rejection of key points of Jewish history.

In 2010, UNESCO officially decided that the Tomb of Rachel in Bethlehem was rightfully a mosque and appealed to Israel to give up the site, along with the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs in Hebron, calling them “an integral part of the occupied Palestinian Territories.”

In 2011, UNESCO accepted the Palestinian Authority as a full member state.
Israel hosts 'No To Antisemitism" pavilion at the U.N.
In response to a growth in global antisemitism, Israel’s Mission to the UN set up a "No to antisemitism" pavilion at the UN General Assembly this week.

The goal is to offer world leaders attending the 73rd annual General Assembly a chance to stand up to antisemitism.

The Pavilion has been operating in the lobby of the entrance to the UN headquarters in New York since the UN General Assembly kicked off on Monday and will be available until Thursday, September 27 and those participating have been taking to social media with the hashtag #no2antisemitism.

Several of the leaders who visited the pavilion come from countries known for antisemitism including Poland, Austria and the Ukraine.
Yisrael Medad: Jordan’s King Once Again Smears Israel at the UN
At the outset, he befuddles the legal aspect in that there is quite a difference between a decision by the General Assembly and one by the Security Council. For example, the famous partition plan of 1947 was apparently but a “proposal” that made a “recommendation.” It was not binding. And once rejected by the Arabs (the Zionists accepted it), it should have been called a dead letter 70 years ago. In fact, as I documented, the United States did think the plan was unworkable and should be jettisoned in the summer of 1948.

Abdullah was adamant: “Only a two-state solution … can meet the needs of both sides.”

Only? Is not Jordan part of historic Palestine?

He then defined the two states as “a viable, independent, sovereign Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, and a secure Israel, fully part of its own region, recognized by Arab and Muslim states around the world.”

By “on the 1967 borders,” does he mean Israel must fully withdraw from all territories it now administers as a result of Arab aggression, foremost that of Jordan in 1967, as well as the PLO terror campaign that began in January 1965?

And what does “fully part of its own region” mean? Israel? Palestine? Does Israel have a “region”?

Abdullah then blamed Israel for an “endless cycle of violence” when he rhetorically asked: “How long must Jerusalem, a holy city to more than half the world’s people, face dangers to its multi-faith heritage and identity? How can we accept a status quo of continuing crisis and bigotry?”
Play 'Bibi Bingo' during Netanyahu's UNGA speech
There are some things Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is almost certain to mention when he takes the stage at the UN General Assembly.

There's the Iranian nuclear threat. Hamas in Gaza. Israeli innovation. The US Embassy in Jerusalem - and more.

The recurring themes appearing in Netanyahu's speeches could make for a game.

We've prepared three Bingo cards for anyone watching the speech. Print them out, share with your friends, and tweet at @Jerusalem_Post when you get Bingo!

Netanyahu talks with Sisi amid Quartet concern over Gaza violence
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a late night two hour meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi as the Middle East Quartet said it was worried about Gaza violence.

The two leaders spoke late Wednesday night New York time, about the situation in Gaza and regional developments the Prime Minister’s Office said after the meeting.

Sisi "stressed the importance of resuming the negotiations between the two sides, the Palestinians and the Israelis, to reach a just and a comprehensive solution based on a two-state solution and in accordance with the international treaties," according to a presidential statement.

Al-Sisi was the only Arab leader to meet with Netanyahu, who also spoke with US President Donald Trump as well as leaders from Belgium, Guatemala, Austria and Poland. Netanyahu and Sisi also met on the sidelines of the UNGA last year.

In May, Netanyahu made a secret trip to speak with the Egyptian leader who, along with the UN’s Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov has attempted to broker a cease-fire deal between Israel and Hamas.

On Wednesday members of the Middle East Quartet — the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations — met on the sidelines of the UNGA.

The Quartet said it discussed “prospects for peace negotiations and the situation on the ground, in particular in Gaza.”
PA President Mahmoud Abbas expected to deliver a historic speech at U.N.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to deliver a "historic speech" at the UN General Assembly in New York on Thursday, Palestinian media reported. According to the Media Line, Abbas is also expected to declare Palestine “a state under occupation.”

However, Palestinian legal expert Hanna Issa told The Media Line that a “state under occupation has no meaning in international law, as this term has never been used.” He explained that no party can declare a state without sovereignty and full practice of authority within its designated borders.

“Palestinians lack that; Israel controls almost everything,” Issa asserted.

Nevertheless, Issa believes that “a state under occupation” has symbolic significance in that it will bolster the two-state solution—two states, Israel and Palestinian coexisting side by side—and the idea that there is a Palestinian state in waiting, it just needs to be declared. However, he said, the 'Israeli occupation' had to end first. “That’s what Abbas means to say,” Issa added.

Palestinians reject Trump’s two-state overture: 'He's waging war'
US President Donald Trump is waging war against the Palestinians, Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki told reporters in New York on Wednesday night after holding an an international diplomatic meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

He spoke after Trump publicly endorsed a two-state resolution to the conflict for the first time and said he believed the Palestinians would engage in a US lead peace process.

But Malki told reporters that the PA still held that “the current American administration has waged an open war against the Palestinian people.”

Tensions are high between the US and the PA, after the Trump Administration cut over half-a-billion dollars in annual international and bilateral assistance to the Palestinians. It also closed the Palestine Liberation Organization’s delegation office in Washington, DC.

On Wednesday Palestinian leaders appealed to the international community to support a multilateral peace process for a two-state solution. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to present such a plan when he addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday.

20 Palestinians said hurt in clashes with IDF troops securing Nablus holy site
Violent clashes broke out between Palestinians and Israeli security forces that entered Nablus late Wednesday night to secure the northern West Bank city ahead of the pilgrimage of some 1,500 Jewish worshipers to the Joseph’s Tomb holy site.

Twenty locals, including two Palestinian journalists, were injured from IDF efforts to disperse the demonstrators, which included live fire, rubber bullets, and tear gas, the Palestinian news site Ma’an reported.

Footage from the scene shows demonstrators hurling stones and Molotov cocktails at the Israeli convoy entering the city.

There were no reports of injuries among Israeli troops and the IDF said the thousands Jewish worshipers entered and left Joseph’s Tomb without incident.

Joseph’s Tomb is located inside Area A of the West Bank, which is officially under complete Palestinian Authority control, though the Israeli military conducts activities there on its own volition. The IDF bars Israeli citizens from entering Area A without prior authorization.
Lebanon detains Palestinian suspected of mass poisoning plots
Lebanon’s security forces said Thursday they had detained a descendant of Palestinian refugees allegedly linked to the Islamic State terror group over two poisoning plots, one of Lebanese army water and another of food in a foreign country.

The man, born in 1991, admitted to links with an IS member in Syria “who tasked him with making explosives and concocting poison,” the General Security force said in a statement.

He prepared to “concoct a quantity of deadly poison along with someone living in a foreign country” for two planned poisonings.

The first was to “poison one of the water tanks from which the Lebanese army’s trucks fill up on water every day to take it to the army barracks.”

The second was to “carry out a mass poisoning in a foreign country” through “poisoning food during a public holiday,” the statement said, without specifying the location.
Palestinians: ‘Israel owes us $360 million from 17 years of unpaid taxes'
The Palestinian Authority has demanded that the Israel government transfers $360 million in back taxes it has collected for commercial activity in Area C of the West Bank.

Israel stopped transferring those funds in the year 2000, which would have amounted to an estimated $20 million a year, the PA said.

It made its demand in a report it issued for Thursday’s meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

The meeting, which is held twice a year, deals with donor funding for the Palestinians. This year it is expected to grapple with declining donor funds, particularly the US decision to halt over half-a-billion in payments to the Palestinian Authority either directly or through the United Nations.

The sum that the Palestinians are demanding in back taxes, would go a long way to making up for that shortfall.

The World Bank, in its report to the Ad Hoc, also spoke of the problems incurred by Israelis decision to withhold funding.
PA president to impose additional sanctions on Gaza, officials say
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas plans ‎to impose additional sanctions on the Gaza Strip, ‎Palestinian officials were quoted by Arab media as ‎saying Wednesday.‎

According to the reports, Abbas, who is currently in ‎New York to attend the 73rd U.N. General Assembly, plans to convene his government upon his ‎return to Ramallah and outline a series of new ‎financial sanctions against Hamas, the ‎terrorist organization that rules Gaza.‎

Hamas routed Abbas' Fatah-led government from power ‎in Gaza in 2007, effectively splitting the ‎Palestinian population ‎into two separate political ‎entities. Egyptian efforts over the past ‎‎decade to ‎‎‎promote a ‎‎reconciliation between the rival ‎‎‎Palestinian ‎‎factions – the latest ‎‎brokered ‎‎in ‎October 2017 ‎‎– ‎have so far failed.‎

The consistent failure to reinstate the Palestinian Authority's power in Gaza has prompted Abbas to ‎impose a series of crippling financial sanctions on ‎its rulers, including suspending the salaries of ‎thousands of Hamas government employees and cutting ‎PA payments for the electricity used in Gaza, in an ‎effort to regain control of the Strip.

These moves have significantly aggravated the already dire economic ‎reality in Gaza. With unemployment exceeding ‎‎50% and no growth to speak of, the World Bank has ‎recently warned the coastal enclave's economy was on the verge of ‎‎"immediate collapse."

Abbas also hopes ‎the sanctions on Hamas will pressure Israel to resume the ‎Israeli-Palestinian peace process, deadlocked since ‎‎2014, the media reports suggested.
PA reportedly arrests dozens of Hamas members in the West Bank
The Palestinian Authority security forces arrested dozens of Hamas members in the West Bank early Thursday morning, the Hamas-linked al-Risalah reported, citing sources in the terror group.

The reported arrests come a day after the official PA news site Wafa reported the Hamas-run security forces summoned dozens of Fatah members in the Gaza Strip and arrested several others, including the son of a Fatah Central Committee member.

The PA dominates urban centers in the West Bank, whereas Hamas controls controls Gaza.

Wafa also reported the Hamas-run security forces threatened print shop owners with “arrests and beatings” if they printed materials in support of PA President Mahmoud Abbas ahead of his speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday.
Textile merchants helped aid Hamas terror
Israeli authorities uncovered a widescale infrastructure intended to finance Hamas activities.

The discovery was made thanks to a joint operation by the IDF, Shabak (Israel Security Agency), the Tax Authority's National Center for Cargo Identification, and the Defense Ministry's Department for Fighting Terror Va the Economy.

According to suspicion, Hamas used textile merchants who imported large containers into Gaza.

Senior Hamas member Hamad Houdri, who owns a money-changing business declared by Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (YIsrael Beytenu) to be a terror organization, convinced Gaza businessmen to work with his business in exchange for financial benefits.

Thousands of textile products were scheduled to be sold to Gaza civilians and the profits handed over to Hamas, for use in terror activities in Gaza, Judea, and Samaria. Some of the funds would have gone to pay Hamas terrorists' salaries, while others were intended for use in funding terror attacks and acquiring illegal weapons.

Thanks to operational and intelligence activities, Israeli security forces and Tax Authority officials succeeded in stopping and confiscating several of the containers.
Report: Britain slated to outlaw the entire terrorist entity Hezbollah
The United Kingdom’s Home Secretary Sajid Javid will designate the entire Lebanese organization Hezbollah as a terrorist movement at next week’s Conservative Party conference.

London-based The Jewish Chronicle first reported Javid’s anti-Hezbollah terror classification on Thursday.

The EU proscribed Hezbollah’s so-called military wing a terrorist organization in 2013. The terror classification arose because Hezbollah operatives blew up an Israeli tour bus in Bulgaria in 2012, murdering five Israelis and their Muslim Bulgarian bus driver. The terror act resulted in injuries to 32 Israelis.

Britain banned Hezbollah’s military wing in 2008 because the Lebanese militia attacked UK soldiers in Iraq. However, the United Kingdom allows Hezbollah’s political wing to operate.

The United States, Canada, the Arab League, the Netherlands and Israel consider Hezbollah to be a unified terrorist entity without separate military and political wings.
Israel ready to reopen crossing to UN staff as Syrian troops return to Golan
Israel completed the necessary preparations to reopen its main crossing with Syria to UN troops after a four-year closure, leaving the checkpoint’s fate in the hands of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman announced Thursday.

“Everything is ready and set,” Liberman said at a press conference at the site. “It’s all on the other side [to decide] now.”

This Israeli offer to reopen the Quneitra Crossing would restore the situation along the border between the two countries to what it was prior to the Syrian civil war, which began in 2011.

Through the metal gate separating the two sides, Syrian crews could also be seen working. Israeli officials speculated that the crossing could reopen in the coming weeks.

Liberman stressed that Israel was demanding that Syria abide by “every single section” of the 1974 ceasefire agreement between the two countries, which ended the 1973 Yom Kippur War and created a demilitarized zone along the border.

During the press conference, the defense minister also briefly discussed comments made by US President Donald Trump about his apparent support for the creation of a Palestinian state as a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Trump appeared to backtrack hours later during a frenzied news conference on the sidelines of UN General Assembly, saying that the actual solution was less important to him, so long as there was a peace deal in the end.
Europe Flips Off America, Sides With World’s Largest State Sponsor of Terrorism
The European Union, sticking it to the United States and President Trump, has announced that it will implement a special payments channel to maintain economic ties with Iran in order to save the disastrous 2015 nuclear deal.

After the Trump administration walked away from the deal last May, Iranian officials tried to intimidate the EU into capitulating, warning that Iran would also quit the nuclear deal.

Sure enough, the EU meekly decided they would indulge the world's largest state sponsor of terrorism. As The Wall Street Journal reports, "Under the agreement announced Monday by EU foreign-policy chief Federica Mogherini, the bloc agreed with other parties to the 2015 nuclear deal that it would set up a legal entity 'to facilitate legitimate financial transactions with Iran and this will allow European companies to continue trade with Iran.' The special purpose vehicle would be open to all other countries to participate, including Russia and China, who helped negotiate the agreement."

On Tuesday, President Trump addressed the U.N., where he urged other countries to severely cut their acquisition of Iranian oil. But a European diplomat whined, “We are not backing down [on the Iran nuclear agreement]."

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, speaking on Tuesday on the sidelines of the General Assembly, bluntly stated, “I was disturbed, and indeed, deeply disappointed” by Monday’s announcement.
US Envoy on Iran to Europe: ‘We Will Vigorously Enforce Our Sanctions’
Following up on US National Security Advisor John Bolton’s harsh rhetoric regarding Iran, its aggression and its nuclear ambitions, Senior Policy Advisor to the Secretary of State and Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook elaborated on America’s thinking when it comes to Tehran.

In a special briefing on Tuesday as part of this week’s UN General Assembly meeting and related proceedings in New York, Hook answered reporters’ questions, including any future US meetings with Iranian leaders.

“When [US President Donald Trump] talks and Secretary of State [Mike Pompeo] talks and says that we have an ear open, we are happy to meet and to discuss the kinds of things that we’re seeking and the kinds of things that we’re willing to do in return. This is a regime … this is an aspect of revolutionary regimes which makes it difficult to get to the table,” said Hook.

“Iran historically comes to the table after extensive pressure, and so everything that is being said is being said publicly,” he continued. “There’s been no shortage of tweets from [Iranian President Hassan] Rouhani and [Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad] Zarif and others, and so it’s all been out in the open.”
India Is Cutting Imports of Iranian Oil to Zero in November
India isn’t planning to buy any Iranian oil in November, raising the prospect that Tehran will lose another major customer as U.S. sanctions hit and spurring speculation over whether China will follow suit.

India is joining other Asian buyers such as South Korea and Japan that have already halted imports from the Persian Gulf state before American restrictions take effect in early November. It’s unclear if China, the world’s biggest oil importer as well as Iran’s top customer, will persist with purchases.

Indian Oil Corp. and Bharat Petroleum Corp., the country’s two largest state-owned refiners, haven’t asked for any Iranian cargoes for loading in November, according to officials at the companies. Nayara Energy also doesn’t plan any purchases, said an industry executive. Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd. hasn’t made any nominations for that month, but may do so later, a company official said.

The companies are the four largest buyers of Iranian oil in India, accounting for almost all of the country’s imports from the Islamic republic. Final decisions on purchases aren’t due until early October, so the refiners could still change their minds. The officials and industry executive asked not to be identified because of internal policies.
Iran Rejects Argentine President’s Demand for Cooperation Over AMIA Atrocity
Iran has bluntly rejected the president of Argentina’s appeal for its cooperation in investigations into two major terrorist attacks on Argentine soil.

On a day dominated by US President Donald Trump’s accusation that Iran is “sowing chaos, death, destruction” in the Middle East, Argentine leader Mauricio Macri told delegates at the 73rd UN General Assembly in New York that Argentina had not forgotten the two attacks in Buenos Aires planned and executed by Iranian agents in the 1990s.

On March 17, 1992, the bombing of the Israeli Embassy in the Argentine capital claimed the lives of 29 people, injuring nearly 250. Just over two years later, on July 18, 1994, a truck packed with explosives drove into the headquarters of the AMIA Jewish Center in the city, killing 85 people and wounding over 300.

Noting that 2019 will mark the 25th anniversary of the AMIA atrocity, Macri stressed the importance of bringing its authors to justice. “We want to get the people involved in the attacks to appear in Argentine courts,” Macri stated on Tuesday, demanding that “Iran cooperate with the Argentine authorities” in the investigation of “the most brutal terrorist attack to occur on our territory.”

Macri also urged the international community to avoid “sheltering or receiving” those accused of the atrocities. The Argentine leader referred to the “red notices” issued in 2007 by Interpol, the global law enforcement agency, seeking the arrest of the Iranian and Hezbollah operatives behind the AMIA bombing.

But on Wednesday, Iran responded to Macri’s speech by distancing itself from the attack. “The Islamic Republic of Iran strongly condemns acts of terrorism in any part of the world and in any shape,” foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said. “Accordingly, Tehran has repeatedly condemned the AMIA bombing since it took place and has expressed sympathy with the families of its victims.”
Senior Iranian Official: Israelis Are Weak Compared to Iranians, Bones of Zionists Will Be Crushed
Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, who is the Special Assistant to the Speaker of the Iranian Parliament and a former Iranian deputy Foreign Minister, was interviewed on Iraq's Al-Nujaba TV network. Abdollahian said that Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen is a Zionist plot to weaken Saudi Arabia, and that the Saudis' collaboration with the Zionists and the Americans is a "path towards division and weakness." He said that the Zionist slogan is "From the Nile to the Euphrates," and that the Iraqi people should not trust Israel because it is plotting against Iraq. He also expressed confidence that Jerusalem will be liberated. When asked whether Iran would attack Israel from the Golan Heights, Abdollahian added that Iran will respond as quickly as possible to any Israeli threat, and added that the Israelis will "taste bitter defeat," and that "the bones of the Zionists will undoubtedly be crushed." The interview aired on September 21, 2018.

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