Friday, October 26, 2018

From Ian:

In dramatic sign of warming ties, Netanyahu makes secret visit to Oman
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a secret visit to the Gulf nation of Oman on Friday — the first by an Israeli leader in over two decades, and a sign of warming ties between the Jewish state and the Sunni Arab world.

On Friday afternoon, his office surprisingly announced that Netanyahu and his wife Sara had just returned from an “official diplomatic visit” to Muscat, during which they met with Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said.

“The Prime Minister’s visit is a significant step in implementing the policy outlined by Prime Minister Netanyahu on deepening relations with the states of the region while leveraging Israel’s advantages in security, technology and economic matters,” his office said in a statement.

The last visit by an Israeli leader to Oman took place in 1996, when Shimon Peres visited.

The Netanyahus were invited to Oman by the sultan, who has been ruling the Gulf state since 1970, “after lengthy contacts between the two countries,” the statement said.

A joint statement issued by Jerusalem and Muscat said the two leaders discussed “ways to advance the peace process in the Middle East as well as several matters of joint interest regarding the achievement of peace and stability in the Middle East.”

Netanyahu and his wife were accompanied to Muscat by Mossad Director Yossi Cohen, National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat, Foreign Ministry Director-General Yuval Rotem, the head of the Prime Minister’s staff, Yigal Horowitz, and the Prime Minister’s Military Secretary, Brig.-Gen. Avi Bluth.

This is a conflict over narratives. Israel needs to tell ours to Palestinians.
Yossi Klein Halevi is senior fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem and the author of the recent New York Times bestseller, ‘Letters to my Palestinian Neighbour’. In conversation with Fathom deputy editor Calev Ben-Dor, he sets out the main themes of his book: the need for both sides need to stop the war on the legitimacy of each other’s narrative, and the need for a radically new kind of Israeli-Palestinian conversation about the conflict based on respect and deep mutual recognition.

Telling our story

My book originated in the 1990s when I undertook a year-long journey into Palestinian society, specifically into its religious life, going to mosques and monasteries looking for shared devotional language with my neighbours. I was exposed to the Palestinian narrative and to Palestinian stories which deeply moved me and helped shape my thinking about the conflict. And in this book I’m asking my neighbours to hear my story – not through a tit-for-tat argument, but because minimal respect of the right of each side to tell its story is, I believe, a prerequisite for peace. This isn’t primarily a conflict over tangible issues like borders and settlements – those are the consequences of a deeper conflict over narratives. We’ve been fighting a hundred-year war of clashing narratives.

I felt the time had come for someone on the Israeli side to try to explain our story to our neighbours, to tell a story about who we are. So I told my own story – an American-born Jew who moved to Israel as part of a people returning home to a land that has been at the centre of its identity for 4000 years.

The book also came out of the realisation that the other side doesn’t know our story. The Palestinian media and school system overwhelmingly convey the message that Israelis and the Jewish people are not only thieves but also liars. They say we’ve invented our story, or that we have no story. That’s the message Palestinians receive on a daily basis. A young man in Hebron, the city with the longest Jewish history of any city anywhere, once told me that there were no Jews in the city until after 1967. But he was simply repeating what he’d been told his whole life.

One part of the Jewish community defends the Israeli, Zionist narrative which is under growing assault. Another part of the Jewish community defends the two-state solution and the hope for peace. The implicit premise of my book is that both these approaches are necessary and, more, they are complementary. If we don’t defend the integrity of the Israeli story and the legitimacy of the Jewish presence here, we’ll never reach peace. If the other side is convinced we have no story or roots here – which is what they hear over and over – peace will not be possible. How do you make peace with a non-existent illegitimate people?

The “Moderate Sunni Camp” – Does it Really Exist?
The Trump administration has been encouraging the establishment of an alliance of so-called moderate Arab states, consisting of the Persian Gulf states, Egypt, and Jordan, that would both share U.S. interests and serve as a counterweight to Iran and its network of proxies and puppets while also opposing Islamists. Reportedly, the White House believes that these countries, several of which have overt or covert relations with Israel, could also play a role in solving the Palestinian question. While these states have constructive roles to play, argues Joshua Krasna, neither Jerusalem nor Washington should expect too much from them:

[D]espite certain commonalities among its constituents (and between them and Israel), the “moderate Sunni camp” is essentially a theoretical construct representing the current activities, and the [desire for leadership], of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. In contrast to the so-called Shiite camp high-handedly controlled by Tehran, [these countries don’t constitute a unified group] capable of meaningfully shaping regional politics, both because of Saudi Arabia’s lack of the means [to accomplish its goals] and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s questionable judgment in particular, and because of a lack of congruence between the interests and agendas of Egypt and Jordan, on the one hand, and those of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, on the other.

The openness on the part of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states toward Israel undoubtedly presents an important strategic opportunity. Relations between Israel and the Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia, have advanced significantly in recent years, boosted dramatically by their common struggle against the nuclear deal with Iran during the Obama administration. . . . They and Israel are united by concerns over Iran’s aggressive policy and by uncertainty regarding the extent of protection they can expect from the United States. It is important that Israel proceed wisely and discreetly to take advantage of this opportunity and cultivate bilateral ties with each and every one of the relevant Arab states.

The impulse to regard [these states] as a single bloc is [thus] admittedly enticing, but would be unproductive in the long run. Nor does it accord with reality, given that this “bloc” is not an actual entity and has no definitive leadership. Such an approach is likely to hold relations with each of the various constituents hostage to relations with the others and, in particular, dependent on relations with Riyadh. It is preferable to [pursue] understandings with each state separately. . . .

[In addition], the notion that it is possible to “resolve” the Israel-Palestinian issue by sidelining and bypassing the Palestinians, dealing instead with distant, rich, authoritarian Arab leaders, is illusory. For years Israel has refrained from engaging in peace processes with groups of states and instead focused conscientiously on bilateral negotiations in order to avoid rigid positions stemming from posturing as well as attempts at coercion. Furthermore, it is unrealistic to expect that any Arab leader would . . . establish relations with Israel without regard for the Palestinian issue.
Dr. Martin Sherman: Israel’s policy of sustaining the enemy in Gaza
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman ordered…[the] reopen[ing of] the Kerem Shalom and Erez border crossings in Gaza. The defense ministry said that the decision was made after consultations with security officials – Y-Netnews, October 21, 2018.

Most of the resources entering the Gaza Strip go toward digging tunnels and manufacturing rockets. - Brig. Gen. Yehuda Fuchs, outgoing head of IDF’s Gaza Division, Times of Israel, October 24, 2018.

On October 13, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman announced resolutely that Israel would not resume the supply of fuel to Gaza until the rioting on the fence stops.

On October 24, Defense Minister Liberman announced that Israel would resume the supply of fuel—despite the fact that rioting on the fence continued unabated.

The proof of the pudding…

The juxtaposition of these two diametrically contradictory declarations of intent starkly underscores the utter lack of any coherent strategy on the part of Israel regarding Gaza.

Indeed, ever since Israel’s foolhardy unilateral withdrawal in 2005, the military capabilities of the terror organization that rules that hapless enclave—and those of its even more radical off-shoots—have been developed to levels inconceivable back then.

Every time the Gazan terrorists developed some offensive tactic, Israel devised some countermeasure that was designed to thwart the attacks, rather than prevent them being launched in the first place.

Thus, suicide attacks resulted in a security fence and secured crossings; which led to the development of enhanced rocket and missile capabilities; which lead to the development of the multimillion dollar Iron Dome; which led to the burrowing of an array of underground attack tunnels; which lead to the construction of a billion dollar subterranean barrier; which led to the use of incendiary kites and balloons that have reduced much of the rural South, adjacent to the Gaza border, to blackened charcoal.

Indeed, it takes little imagination to envisage the deployment of future modes of Judeocidal assault on the Jewish state and its citizens--such as a possible drone swarm carrying explosive—perhaps even some non-conventional—charges, to be detonated on, or over, some luckless Jewish community.
Egypt said to broker deal between Israel and Hamas to end Gaza violence
The Egyptian delegation which visited Tel Aviv, Gaza and Ramallah in recent days has reportedly orchestrated an understanding between Israel and Hamas which would stop all violence emanating from the Strip, including incendiary balloons and the mass violent flare-ups at the border fence.

Sources told the London-based Arab news outlet Al-Hayat that Egypt has conveyed a message to senior officials in Gaza and the West Bank that all parties should refrain from escalating the situation, Channel 10 news reported.

The sources clarified that the agreement did not amount to a ceasefire and that Palestinians will be able to continue weekly demonstrations at the border with Israel, but they will not commit acts of violence such as trying to breach the border, flying incendiary balloons or throwing Molotov cocktails at Israeli troops stationed in the area.

According to the report, Israel has pledged in return that it will expand the maritime zone for permitted fishing off the Gaza coast, will allow fuel to be supplied to the coastal enclave and extend the number of hours electricity is supplied, and will allow the United Nations to carry out infrastructure projects in Gaza.
Liberman says he expects quiet weekend on Gaza border
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Friday said he was “hopeful” that the Gaza Strip would be calm over the coming weekend, without clashes between Palestinians and Israeli troops, following weeks of heightened tensions and two flareups that threatened to lead Israel and the Hamas terror group to war.

“I am hopeful and I anticipate that this Friday will pass more quietly — that’s what we need to hope for,” the defense minister said.

Liberman made his remarks in Kibbutz Kerem Shalom, next to the Gaza border, where he met with the heads of local governments to discuss the current strained security situation in the Strip.

The defense minister also briefly discussed an ongoing diplomatic row between Israel and Jordan, in which Amman announced it would not renew the lease on a piece of territory along the border that was under its control, but which it allowed Israel to utilize.

Liberman downplayed the severity of the rift, saying Jordan was still abiding by its 1994 peace treaty with Israel.

“We’ll talk to them. We must speak with them, we must have negotiations, but I don’t see any change in our relationship with the Jordanians at the moment,” he said.
Five Palestinians said killed in Gaza riots, shattering expectations of calm
Five Palestinians were said killed and 85 injured Friday by IDF fire during riots along the Gaza border fence, the Hamas-run health ministry said, as violence continued despite expectations of quiet along the turbulent frontier.

The ministry said 27-year-old Muhammad al-Nabi was shot in the head during protests near Jabaliya in northern Gaza.

It identified three others as Nasser Abu Taim, 22, Aish Sha’ath, 23, Ahmed Abu Lebda, 22, and said they were killed in separate incidents near Khan Younis in southern Gaza. The fifth casualty was named as Jaber Abu Hemesa and the ministry said he was killed east of El Bureij.

There was no immediate comment from the army.

Thousands took part in the protests in several locations under the banner of “Gaza won’t surrender,” setting fire to tires, throwing rocks and explosives at soldiers near the border and attempting to break down the fence.
Incendiary balloon found in settlement north of Jerusalem
A balloon carrying an incendiary device was discovered Friday in the West Bank settlement of Givat Ze’ev, just north of Jerusalem, Israel Police said in a statement.

Bomb disposal experts arrived at the scene to examine the suspicious package the balloon was carrying before taking it away for investigation, police said.

There were no reports of injuries or damage in the incident at Givat Ze’ev, which is located about five kilometers north of the capital. This is the second time this month that an incendiary balloon has been found in the settlement.

The tactic of sending airborne incendiary devices into Israeli territory has been used almost daily by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip since the start of weekly border protests there in March, but it is unlikely this balloon device was launched from the coastal enclave.

Gaza protesters have launched hundreds of such incendiary kites and balloons into Israel, sparking fires that have destroyed forests, burned crops and killed livestock. Over 7,000 acres of land have been burned, causing millions of shekels in damages, according to Israeli officials. Some balloons have carried improvised explosive devices.

On four occasions over the past month suspicious balloons have been discovered in Jerusalem, as well as in the courtyard of a home in Givat Ze’ev, and in Lod and the Tel Aviv suburb of Bat Yam.
IsraellyCool: Star Trek’s George Takei Glorifies Terrorism
I have long followed Star Trek actor George Takei on Facebook because I enjoyed his sense of humor, cringe-worthy puns notwithstanding. Sure, the constant anti-Trump comments have become cumbersome (not because I am pro Trump – which I am not – but because they have become predictable and unhinged), yet I was willing to turn a blind eye in order to read his other, entertaining posts.

That was until now.

It links to this disgusting article basically glorifying terrorism.

The man in the photo – as well as other rioters – have been trying to break down the border fence so they can flood Israel and take over, killing any Jew they see. No, I am not kidding.

So sorry, but referring to that image as “powerful” and “captivating” is highly offensive, especially to those of us who these rioters would love to slaughter.

Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t think George is a bad man. He just is afflicted with the illness of so many on the left these days – reflexively supporting the side they see as the “weakest”, ignoring the fact that 1. They have the support of most Arab countries surrounding the tiny Jewish state and 2. Any lack of progress is their own fault – had they concentrated on state-building rather than state-destroying, they would be living better lives.

Incidentally, if George and his Jewish husband Brad visited Gaza, they would likely be slaughtered before getting the chance to say “Beam me up, Scotty!”
Trump envoy to visit Israel next week for talks on peace plan, Gaza
The Trump administration’s envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process will travel to Israel next week to meet with officials, as the White House prepares to release its peace plan and attempts to calm the situation at the Gaza border.

“I can confirm that Special Representative Jason Greenblatt will be traveling to Israel this coming week,” a White House official told The Times of Israel on Thursday. “This trip reflects the administration’s commitment to productive engagement, as well as the value it places on understanding the situation on the ground, especially amid recent tensions.”

Greenblatt’s agenda is not yet clear, but he is likely to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, though not with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Relations between Washington and the Palestinians have been at a standstill since US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moved the American embassy there from Tel Aviv.

Abbas and other PA leaders have refused to meet with Trump officials ever since, including US Vice President Mike Pence when he visited the region earlier this year.

The White House official did not say whether Greenblatt plans to meet with any other Palestinian representatives during his trip. Axios quoted Israeli officials as saying the former Trump Organization lawyer will meet with Netanyahu and other senior Israeli officials.

Why King Abdullah’s Decision on Peace Treaty Should Be a Wake-Up Call
Jordan’s King Abdullah II, in what has been described as a “sharp tone,” announced this week that he would annul an appendix to the 1994 Israeli/Jordanian peace treaty under which certain parcels of lands in the border regions were to have been leased to Israel in perpetuity.

Jews have farmed these lands since 1926, when the then-British Mandatory power authorized it, along with the establishment of a power station by Russian Jewish engineer Pinchas Rutenberg.

However, in 1994, when Israel and Jordan concluded a peace treaty, Israel transferred these territories to Jordanian sovereignty. An appendix in the treaty authorized continued Israeli cultivation of these farmlands for 25 years, automatically renewable for 25-year periods “unless one year prior notice of termination is given by either Party, in which case, at the request of either Party, consultations shall be entered into.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has indicated that he will be taking up the matter with King Abdullah in a bid to have the termination of the lease rescinded, but Oraib Rintawi, director of the Quds Center for Political Studies in Amman, has said, probably accurately, “Jordan cannot backtrack on this. … This is a decision of the king, government and public. I do not believe there is any possibility to backtrack on this decision.”

Abdullah’s sudden and unexpected announcement, following public demonstrations in Jordan and a letter signed by 80 Jordanian legislators urging the cancellation of the appendix, illustrates two issues that are easily and indeed routinely overlooked when considering Israeli negotiations with neighboring Arab interlocutors:
  • The intense hostility to and non-acceptance of the Jewish state of Israel by Arab societies.
  • The undergirding problem that bedevils all such negotiations with the Palestinian Arabs: the inadmissibility under Sharia law of relinquishing lands once controlled by Muslim powers and thus deemed a waqf (a perpetual Islamic trust) to non-Muslims.
Jordan says peace treaty won’t be affected by decision to nix land leases
Jordan said Thursday that its decision to end a pair of land leases with Israel would not affect the decades-old peace agreement between the countries, seeking to calm fears in Jerusalem that ties could be downgraded.

King Abdullah II announced Sunday that Amman would not renew an agreement to lease two parcels of land on the border to Israel for agriculture use, which it has done for the past 24 years as part of an annex of the historic peace treaty between the nations signed in 1994.

Officials in Jerusalem had expressed fears that the move signaled Jordan’s desire to effectively reduce diplomatic ties with Israel, and many saw it as a reflection of intense domestic pressure from a public that still largely views Israel as an enemy.

Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi told Reuters on Thursday that Amman had never planned to extend the land leases indefinitely.

“That is why there was a time cap on it … We acted within the provisions of the peace treaty. This is an indication of our commitment to the peace treaty. There has never been a question of our solid commitment to the treaty,” Safadi said.
JCPA: Jordan Renews Its Request to Build a Fifth Minaret on the Temple Mount
Jordan has asked Israel to allow it to build a fifth minaret on the Temple Mount, on the eastern wall of the Mount, facing the Mount of Olives. The Jordanian request is not new, and as far as it is known, at least at this stage, Israel does not intend to allow it. This issue has again been put on the public agenda, along with other matters relating to the ties between Jordan and Israel on the Temple Mount, in light of Jordan’s decision not to renew the lease agreement for land in Naharayim and the Arava, which Israeli farmers have been working for the past 25 years.

Israel intends to open a general dialogue with Jordan on security, intelligence, economic, and agricultural issues related to diplomatic ties between both countries. Jordan seeks to include within this discussion – at least formally – the issue of the Temple Mount. Israel’s relations with Jordan on the Temple Mount are based on informal understandings that are intended to prevent the growth of extreme elements on the mount, such as Hamas and the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel. The understandings are also supposed to allow Jordan to influence Temple Mount affairs as part of the empowerment that the Hashemite royal family wants to demonstrate to the Jordanian public so that it can stabilize its rule and show its achievements against the opponents of the regime among the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan.

The only formal basis of the special relationship between Israel and Jordan regarding the Temple Mount is the peace agreement that was signed between the two. The agreement states that out of all the Arab countries, Israel will grant top priority to Jordan with regard to the sites that are holy to Islam in Jerusalem. An additional formal dimension of this special relationship between Israel and Jordan on the Temple Mount are the understandings reached by former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry between Israel and Jordan several years ago. Within the framework of these understandings, Israel and Jordan created the current situation and for the first time formally established that Jews cannot exercise their right to pray on the Temple Mount, although they can visit.

The issue of the “fifth minaret” has been on the agenda as part of a series of discussions with Jordan about the Temple Mount for a long time. Jordan has now renewed its request on this matter as part of a growing rivalry with Turkey over exerting an influence on the Old City and the Temple Mount.
Have Palestinians Given Up on Resistance?
A poll by the Jerusalem Media and Communication Center (JMCC) published Oct. 16 showed that 47% of Palestinians now believe peace negotiations are the best solution to establish a Palestinian state. In January, 25% believed this. The poll, conducted on Sept. 19-24 in the West Bank and Gaza, showed that supporters of armed resistance declined to 25% - from 30% in February 2017 and 33% in March 2015.

Support for peaceful mass resistance dropped to 20%, compared to 25% in February 2017 and 27% in March 2015. 31% of Palestinians said that rockets fired from Gaza toward Israeli targets benefit the national interest, while 62% had believed that in October 2014 and 74% in December 2012.

Amin Maqboul, a member of Fatah's Central Committee, told Al-Monitor, "These results reflect the decline in Arab and international attention to the Palestinian cause. Palestinians are leaning toward negotiations rather than the armed struggle since no countries support the latter. Palestinians have become frustrated with the future of the resistance."
Death toll rises to 20 in Jordan school trip flooding tragedy
The death toll from flash floods near Jordan’s shore of the Dead Sea rose to 20 on Friday, in what Civil Defense officials said was one of the deadliest incidents in the kingdom involving schoolchildren.

The search for survivors continued after daybreak, with helicopters and teams with sniffer dogs scouring the rocky slopes near the Dead Sea in the Jordan Valley.

The body of a 12-year-old girl was found early on Friday and several more people were still feared missing, said the director general of the Civil Defense, Mustafa al-Basaiah.

Thirteen of the dead and 26 of about three dozen people wounded in Thursday’s flash floods were middle school children, officials said.

The incident began early Thursday afternoon when 37 students from an Amman private school, along with seven adult chaperones, as well as other visitors were taking a break at hot springs several kilometers from the Dead Sea shores. Sudden heavy rains sent flash floods surging toward them from higher ground, sweeping them away, some as far as the Dead Sea, officials said.

Earlier, a civil defense official who asked not be named said the group was on a bus that was swept away by the flooding.
Israel sends elite rescue unit to Jordan after flood kills at least 20
The IDF sent forces and helicopters to assist in rescue operations at the request of Jordan on Thursday, as at least 18 people, mainly schoolchildren and teachers, were killed in a flash flood near the Dead Sea.

“Upon the Jordanian government’s request, a number of IAF helicopters have taken off with soldiers from the 669 Elite Search and Rescue Unit led by the unit’s commanding officer,” the IDF said. “At the same time, troops assisted in actions to locate those missing and are doing all in their power, in spite of the adverse weather conditions, in order to assist the children in the flooded area.”

Jordanian Prime Minister Omar Razzaz was on the scene overseeing the rescue mission, state news agency Petra reported. Many of those killed were children under 14. A number of families picnicking in the popular destination were also among the dead and injured, rescuers said, without giving a breakdown of numbers.

Rescuers combed the shores of Jordan's Dead Sea resort area early on Friday to find survivors.

Thirty seven people were rescued in a major operation involving helicopters and army and divers searching for survivors of the floods which swept through valleys to the shores of the area, the lowest point on earth, Jordanian civil defense sources said.

Jordanian Police chief Brigadier General Farid al Sharaa told state television the torrential rains swept away a bus carrying 44 children and teachers who were on a school trip picnicking in the popular destination.
Defense officials: Hezbollah will hide its activities in Syrian Golan
Israeli defense officials believe Iranian proxy Hezbollah will try to conceal its activities to resurrect its military infrastructure and capabilities in the Syrian Golan Heights, which were exposed by Israel Hayom Thursday.

Mustafa Mughniyeh, the commander of Hezbollah activities in the Druze village of Khader, 3.5 kilometers (2 miles) from the Israeli border, could be forced to go underground in fear for his life, the officials say.

Mughniyeh is the eldest son of Imad Mughniyeh, Hezbollah's former military chief who was assassinated in February 2008 in Damascus in an operation attributed to Israel and the CIA.

Mustafa Mughniyeh's younger brother, Jihad Mughniyeh, was assassinated in 2015 in the Golan Heights after trying to establish terrorist infrastructure there. Reports at the time said Jihad Mughniyeh had been building up the organization's military and terrorist infrastructure in Khader. That assassination was also attributed to Israel.

Hezbollah's current efforts in the Golan Heights consist primarily of manning lookout posts and providing equipment to local residents who report back to the organization.
France Expels Iranian Diplomat Over Failed Bomb Plot
France has expelled an Iranian diplomat in response to a failed plot to carry out a bomb attack at a rally near Paris organized by an exiled Iranian opposition group, diplomatic and security sources say.

France’s Foreign Ministry said on Oct. 2 there was no doubt the Iranian Intelligence Ministry had been behind the plot against the June 30 rally. It subsequently froze assets belonging to Tehran’s intelligence services and two Iranian nationals.

About a month ago it went a step further, expelling an Iranian diplomat based in Paris, five sources said. Two of the sources said the diplomat was an Iranian intelligence operative under diplomatic cover.

A spokesman at the Iranian embassy in Paris did not respond when asked about the diplomat’s expulsion. Iran has previously said it had nothing to do with the attempt to carry out a bomb attack at the rally. One Iranian official, who declined to be identified, denied there had been any expulsion.

French President Emmanuel Macron’s office referred all inquiries to the foreign ministry, which said it would not comment.

The fallout from the failed plot has further strained ties between Paris and Tehran, especially as France has been one of the strongest advocates of salvaging the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, which US President Donald Trump withdrew from in May.
Qadhafi's Cousin Ahmad Qadhaf Al-Dam: Iran Has a Right to Nuclear Weapons and So Do We
Former Libyan intelligence official Ahmad Qadhaf Al-Dam, a cousin of former Libyan ruler Mu'ammar Al-Qadhafi, spoke about what he called a "Western plot" to topple the Islamic regimes. During the interview, he said: "They have now found out that Libya had nothing to do with [the Lockerbie bombing]." Asked by the Sada Elbalad TV interviewer why the Libyan authorities had paid compensation to the victims' families, Qadhaf Al-Dam responded: "We took from the West more than we paid." He explained that Libya collected $7 billion from American companies that wanted access to Libya oil. Qadhaf Al-Dam said that Iran, as well as the Arabs, have a right to nuclear weapons for "self-defense." The interview aired on October 20, 2018.

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