Tuesday, September 24, 2019

From Ian:

Daniel Pipes: Should Israel Invade Gaza?
So, what should Israel’s goal in Gaza be?

The occasional show of force against Hamas interests has failed, as has destroying Gaza’s infrastructure; so too the opposite policy of good will and the prospect of economic prosperity. It’s time for something altogether different, a goal that transcends sending signals and punishing misdeeds, something far more ambitious.

Victory is such a goal. That is, aim to impose a sense of defeat on Gazans, from the head of Hamas to the lowliest street sweeper. Aiming for an Israel victory is entirely in keeping with historical war aims, but it is out of step with our times, when even the words victory and defeat have dropped from the Western war lexicon. The Israeli security establishment seeks just peace and quiet vis-a-vis the Palestinians; Mr. Inbar speaks for them in dismissing the goal of victory over Hamas as “naive.”

Negotiations, mediation, compromise, concessions and other gentle means have replaced victory. These sound good; but they have failed in the Palestinian-Israeli arena since 1993, and blindly persisting with them guarantees more destruction and death.

With imposing a sense of defeat on Gazans the goal, what are the strategy and tactics? These cannot be decided on in advance. They require a contemporaneous and detailed study of the Gazan population’s psychology. Questions to be answered might include:

• Does the deprivation of food, water, fuel and medicine in retaliation for attacks on Israel inspire a sense of resistance (muqawama) and steadfastness (sumud) among Gazans or does it break their will?

• Same question about the destruction of homes, buildings and infrastructure.

• Would knocking out the Hamas leadership paralyze the population or prompt an insurrection?

Israel’s security establishment needs to explore these and related issues to map out a sound strategy and to offer reliable counsel to the political leadership. That done, with victory as the goal, Israel finally can address the hitherto insoluble problem of Gaza.
David Horovitz: 7 things to know as Rivlin tries to impose unity coalition on Netanyahu, Gantz
3. Anonymous sources close to Rivlin told Channel 13 that the president has not made up his mind who to charge first with the task of building a coalition. “He does not have a name in his head,” the TV station quoted an unnamed source as saying.

The president has until Wednesday, October 2 to make a choice — which happens to be the same day as Netanyahu’s hearing pending indictment. Rivlin could choose one of the two to form a government as early as this Wednesday or Thursday, the TV report said, but would be perfectly prepared to wait another week, enabling them to reflect on his unity appeal during the two-day Rosh Hashanah holiday, which begins Sunday.

4. If Netanyahu and Gantz cannot agree between themselves on a process of coalition building, Rivlin will indeed face a complex choice. Neither would-be prime minister has majority support or a clear path to a coalition. Fifty-five MKs (from Likud, Shas, United Torah Judaism and Yemina) have recommended Netanyahu as prime minister, compared to 54 for Gantz (from Blue and White, Labor-Gesher, the Democratic Camp, and 10 of the 13 Arab MKs from the Joint List). By that measure, Rivlin could opt to give Netanyahu the first shot at mustering a majority. But Blue and White party has 33 seats, compared to 31 for Likud. So that favors Gantz.

In 1984, when elections also produced political deadlock, the Labor Alignment had 44 seats to Likud’s 41, and the Alignment’s leader Shimon Peres took the first two years as prime minister, before the role rotated to Likud’s Shamir.

Israel's top court hears appeal for activist expelled for boycott activity
Israel's Supreme Court on Tuesday heard the appeal of the local director of Human Rights Watch, who is seeking to block an attempt by the government to expel him for allegedly supporting the international boycott movement against Israel.

A lower court in April upheld a decision not to renew Omar Shakir's work visa and ordered him to leave the country, saying his advocacy against Israel's settlements in Judea and Samaria amounts to support for the Palestinian-led boycott movement.

"We want to be able to do the same work we do in nearly 100 countries across the world and here in Israel," Shakir said, speaking to reporters outside the courtroom.

"The kind of work we've been doing in Israel for three decades, the kind of work that we've done with Palestinian Authority, with Hamas, with every country in the Middle East and North Africa."

Human Rights Watch says neither it nor Shakir has called for an outright boycott of Israel. It says Shakir, who is a US citizen, is being targeted for the rights group's opposition to the settlements and its calls for companies to stop working with the settlements.

Tuesday's hearing had been delayed for months and an immediate ruling was not expected.

Bizarro world: Neither candidate wants the president's blessing
As of now, each side and all the parties are doubling down on their campaign promises. Netanyahu corralled a solid right-wing bloc that gives him the keys to forming a government at all, while Blue and White is refusing to enter coalition talks. It's safe to assume that as time passes, the glue holding these promises together will start to weaken.

This won't happen right away, but coalition talks last a minimum of 28 days, with an option for a 14-day extension thereafter. Another election, which would be Israel's third in the past year, is an extreme and outrageous scenario. We can reasonably expect all sides to do their utmost to gradually and eventually eschew most if not some of their campaign vows to avoid dispersing another Knesset. However, the fact that the first candidate's failure to form a government simply means the second in line receives the opportunity, could lead the parties to harden their stances in the near future and prevent progress.

Hence, only after the second candidate's attempt to form a government – in other words in another two-three months from today – will the pressure reach a breaking point conducive to compromise. Or perhaps other solutions will arise, such as party defections capable of tipping the scales.

For the time being, once the president is done receiving all the parties' recommendations, the decision is entirely his. It stands to reason that Rivlin, who is motivated by a healthy appetite for revenge toward the prime minister, will consider the option most likely to hurt Netanyahu, whether that means tasking him first or second, and will choose accordingly. The reasons for any decision he eventually makes, after all, are already known.

Blue and White source: Netanyahu wants elections, not unity – and Gantz knows it
As teams representing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his chief rival Benny Gantz met Tuesday as part of negotiations for a possible unity government, a senior figure in the Blue and White party raised questions over the premier’s true intentions in the long-shot effort to solve the political paralysis that has emerged from last week’s deadlocked national elections.

Speaking to The Times of Israel on Tuesday as the two teams met, a senior Blue and White source said the centrist party’s lawmakers, including its chairman, did not believe Netanyahu really wanted to form a unity government and was instead planning on forcing a third round of elections.

“We support Benny’s decision to meet with Netanyahu 100 percent. But we are under no illusion that he really wants a unity government with us,” the Blue and White member said, speaking for fellow MKs.

“This is a ploy by Netanyahu to push new elections. Period,” the source added. “Benny knows it just as well as the rest of us.”

The prime minister on Monday met for the first time with Gantz, at the residence of President Reuven Rivlin, and agreed to begin talks aimed at building a unity coalition. Rivlin invited them to return on Wednesday and they agreed for their negotiating teams to meet on Tuesday.
Liberman doubles down, won’t sit with ultra-Orthodox, ‘messianics,’ Arabs
Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman reiterated his opposition on Tuesday to sitting with the ultra-Orthodox and right-wing religious parties, as well as the Arab parties and the Democratic Union.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has insisted that any unity government between his Likud Party and Blue and White needs to include his ultra-Orthodox allies as well as the religious-Zionist Yamina Party.

In comments he made on Facebook Tuesday afternoon, Liberman doubled down on his commitment never to join such a coalition and insisted that the formation of a national unity government including Blue and White, Likud, and possibly his own, was an urgent need due to Israel’s security and economic challenges.

Liberman said he was responding to “spin” and “commentary” published of late regarding the possibility that Yisrael Beytenu might enter a government including the parties it has previously declared to be out of bounds.

He also insisted that his party was not “coordinating” with Blue and White or with Likud, as has been speculated, given his enigmatic decision not to recommend either Blue and White co-chairman Benny Gantz or Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form the next government.
Ayman Odeh has been pandering to Mizrahim
The news that the Arab Joint List has for the first time endorsed Benny Gantz, the leader of the Blue and White party as a potential Prime Minister, brings Arabs closer to power than ever. Perhaps it comes as a surprise to learn that its leader, Ayman Odeh, has also made overtures to Mizrahi Jews in Israel.

According to Wikipedia, Odeh has 'expressed strong support for increasing recognition of Mizrahi culture and Arab Jewish history in official Israeli and Palestinian discourses; in a widely cited speech to the Knesset plenum in July 2015, MK Odeh argued that the State of Israel has systematically discriminated against and suppressed the culture of Jews who immigrated to Israel from Arab and Muslim lands in order to feed the idea of a natural separation between Jews and Arabs. He also argued that the large role played by Jews in forming historical and modern Arab culture (including famous Jews such as Rabbi David Buzaglo, who wrote Jewish religious poetry primarily in Arabic, and famous Jews who were popular in the Arab world in the mid-20th Century, such as Leila Murad), has been forgotten by Jews and Arabs alike due to the ideological elements of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the desire by Israel's elite to portray a Western image of Jews and of the country.'

Odeh called upon Jewish and Arab members of the Knesset alike to support a new Knesset committee (which he had joined as a member) lobbying for the re-emphasizing of the culture of Jews from Arab and Muslim lands. In that speech, Odeh summarized his position thus: "The culture of the Jews of Arab and Islamic countries is a shared Jewish and Arab culture. Because of this, the state has fought [against] it, and yet because of this [same reason], we must fight to strengthen it."
Arab party member admits they met with Likud to negotiate in radio prank
In a prank on live radio, radio presenters pretending to be Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his aide managed to get Ra'am member and outgoing MK Abd al-Hakim Hajj Yahya to admit that Ra'am leader Mansour Abbas had met with Nathan Eshel, part of the Likud Party's coalition negotiation team, and Likud MK Miki Zohar.

"I'm happy that you didn't recommend Blue and White," said the Netanyahu impersonator, confusing Ra'am with the Balad Party that retracted it's recommendation for Gantz. "I'm ready to promise everything. We'll meet and sit. I said we'll sit on all the regulations of the Arab sector, to deal with them as needed, to give you anything you need. Enough. It's time to stop the extremism of this discrimination." Throughout the conversation, the impersonator promised to give Ra'am whatever they needed.

Yahya seemed to consider the offer throughout the discussion, telling the Netanyahu impersonator that, if he's serious, he still has influence in the party, even though he's no longer going to be an MK.

The presenter pretending to be Netanyahu's aide asked Yahya if he could really convince the other members of the party to consider it.

"I still haven't left the field. I'm in the political office of the party. I have my voice in any case," said Yahya.

Netanyahu then asked Yahya to promise to support him as he would be the one that Rivlin would choose to form the government. Yahya stated that nothing was sure yet, and he and the presenter pretending to be an aide asked the Netanyahu impersonator, "What about Liberman?"

Yahya told the presenters that "Eshel can talk with Mansour Abbas. He was in a meeting with Abbas and apparently there was even chemistry between them even more than with me. We were together at that meeting."
UN Watch: Leah Goldin to UNHRC: What if this was your son?
My name is Leah Goldin. I am the mother of Lieutenant Hadar Goldin, a proud soldier in the Israel Defense Forces.

Hadar was 23 years old. A gifted artist, he was engaged to be married to the love of his life, Edna, in summer 2014.

But that August, hours after a UN ceasefire between Hamas and Israel, Hamas terrorists emerged from a tunnel in Gaza, ambushed an IDF unit, and killed Hadar.

For five years, Hamas has been holding our son, and the remains of another soldier, Oron Shaul, refusing to release them, in flagrant violation of the Geneva Conventions and international humanitarian law.

For five years, Hamas has cruelly tormented our family, denying Hadar a proper burial and Red Cross access.

In June, the Security Council adopted Resolution 2474, mandating that all nations share responsibility for the return of the remains of missing persons in armed conflict and for UN special envoys to take this into account in implementing their mandates.

Last month, I met Secretary-General Guterres, who reiterated he stands behind this resolution, calling to immediately and unconditionally release our son’s remains.

Israelis hold most negative view by far of UN in poll of 32 countries worldwide
Israelis have the most negative view of the United Nations by a large margin among countries polled in a new survey.

The poll by the Pew Research Center published Monday, as the UN General Assembly convenes in New York, showed 65 percent of Israelis view the UN negatively — a number considerably higher than in any of the other 31 nations surveyed. Only 31% view the world body in a positive light.

The Israeli part of the survey was conducted among 974 adults with a margin of error of 4.2%.

Second in unfavorable views was Russia, with 43% holding negative opinions and 34% holding positive opinions; next was Tunisia, 40% to 33%; then Greece with 36% negative, though positivity won out in that country with 48%.

The Israeli view was an outlier in Pew’s spring 2019 Global Attitudes Survey. The poll, which included 34,904 respondents across 32 countries and was conducted between May and August, found a median of 61% have a positive view of the UN, while a median of 26% have a negative view.

The highest ratings came from the Philippines (86% positive), South Korea (82%), Sweden (80%) and Poland (78%).
King Abdullah warns annexation would have 'major impact' on Israel ties
While next month marks 25 years since Israel and Jordan signed their peace agreement, Jordan’s King Abdullah warned that Israeli annexation of the West Bank would have a “major impact” on ties between the two countries.

Abdullah, in an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, said that he took Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s preelection statement regarding annexation with a “pinch of salt” because of the timing.

However, he added, “a statement like that does not help at all, because what you do is hand the narrative to the worst people in our neighborhood. We – who want peace and want to be able to move forward – tend to be more isolated.”

In the days before last week’s voting, Netanyahu said that if elected he would immediately annex the Jordan Valley, and – after that, and in consultation with US President Donald Trump – would extend sovereignty to other settlements and “vital areas.”

“If the policy is to annex the West Bank, then that is going to have a major impact on the Israeli-Jordanian relationship and also in the Egyptian-Israeli relationship, because we are the only two Arab countries that have peace with Israel,” Abdullah said. “If there is a box that is being ticked on a certain government getting everything that it wants, without giving anything in return, what is the future? Where are we going to go unless we are going to be able to get Israelis and Palestinians to come together, to live together, and be the message for the future?”

Abdullah said that once a government is formed in Israel, countries in the region and the international community “will all jump on board and say we can focus back on what most of us believe is the only solution: the two-state solution.”

A one-state solution, he said, would be “an apartheid future for Israel, which I think would be a catastrophe for all of us.”
South Africa to UNHRC: Israeli annexation excuse for ethnic cleansing
Israeli plans to annex West Bank settlements is an excuse for Israel to ethnically cleanse the area, South Africa warned the UN Human Rights Council on Monday during its 42nd session in Geneva.

“South Africa is concerned that the annexation of Palestinian territory is highly likely in the South Hebron Hills and the Jordan Valley – selected because of their low population density with potential for ethnic cleansing,” South African envoy Clinton Gary Swemmer said. “What started in east Jerusalem is going to spread unannounced and without an outcry, but with devastating consequences for Palestinian communities that will be left utterly defenseless and without residents.”

Arab countries, such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bahrain and Ehypt all spoke out against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s pledge to annex West Bank settlements staring with the Jordan Valley should he form a new government.

Settlers and right-wing Israelis have welcomed the announcement, made in advanced of the pending publication of US President Donald Trump’s peace plan.

But at the UNHRC, Arab States warned it would have devastating consequences and pledged their support for a two-state solution at the pre-1967 lines.
Netanyahu guilty of ‘racist hate speech,’ Palestinians tell UNHRC
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used “racist hate speech” against Palestinians during his re-election campaign, PLO Ambassador Ibrahim Khraishi told the United Nations Human Rights Council on Monday as it held its 42nd session in Geneva.

“You may have followed the recent Israeli elections campaign, which included racist hate speech against Palestinians, including a statement by the racist Israeli Prime Minister who wrote a post against Arabs claiming that women, children and older Palestinians plan to exterminate us,” Khraishi said.

“This is added to the racist statements issued by various racist Zionist political parties. We have sent to you by e-mail some such videos,” Khraishi said.

He spoke during an Agenda Item 7 debate. The UNHRC is mandated to hold a debate on alleged Israeli human rights violations during each of its meetings, which occur three times a year. Human rights violations committed by all other countries around the globe, are all debated under Agenda Item 4. Israel, whose actions are debated under Agenda Item 7, is the only country for which there is such a standing mandate.

Israel boycotts the Agenda Item 7 debates and has called on all other countries to do so as well. It has urged that all human rights complains against it be dealt with under Agenda Item 4.

On Monday none of the European Union members states participated in the debate. Western countries also refrained from speaking. European and western countries have increasingly boycotted Agenda Item 7.
U.S. Banks Embroiled in Lawsuit Over Funding of Hamas Terrorists
Victims of the Palestinian Hamas terror group are suing a prominent Turkish-controlled bank with business ties in the United States over the financial institution's backing of the terror group and its violent attacks.

The estate of Eitam Henkin, a U.S. national who was killed in a Hamas terror attack in 2015, alleges in a suit filed Monday in a U.S. court that Turkey's Kuveyt Bank, knowingly provided "substantial assistance via financial services" to Hamas from at least 2012 to 2015.

While Turkey’s ties to Hamas have long been a flashpoint in its diplomatic relations with the United States, the suit could unearth new ties between the Middle Eastern bank and Hamas. The suit could also deter U.S. banks from working in the Turkish banking system for fear of incurring risk.

Kuveyt Bank carries out U.S. dollar-denominated transfers via several American financial organizations, including Citibank, HSBC Bank USA, Standard Chartered Bank, and the Bank of New York Mellon, according to financial records offered to the court as part of the case.

During the time Kuveyt was dealing with U.S. banks, it also was providing funding to Hamas with the knowledge of Turkish officials, according to the suit.
Latin America: Surging Momentum for Designating Hezbollah a Terror Organization
"Transnational terrorism poses an immediate threat to us here in the Western Hemisphere. Although the perceived center of gravity seems far away, groups like ISIS, al-Qa'ida, and Lebanese Hizballah operate where they can find recruits, raise support, operate unchecked, and pursue their terrorist agendas." — U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan; ministerial conference on counterterrorism, December 11, 2018.

[W]hen the Department of Justice (DOJ), on October 15, 2018, designated Hezbollah as one of the world's top five transnational criminal organizations, many Latin American governments turned their attention to Hezbollah's illicit networks.

Argentine President [Mauricio] Macri's leadership and political will have succeeded in establishing tremendous momentum for other Latin American governments to think critically about Hezbollah, as evidenced in President Abdo's recognition of the Lebanese terror group in Paraguay last month.

At this moment, President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, and President Ivan Duque of Colombia, are working potentially to designate Hezbollah as a foreign terrorist organization.

Recent Hezbollah-related cases in Peru and Paraguay show that [Hezbollah's] crime-terror actions in Latin America are far from Over.
Five French Women on Trial in Paris for Car Bomb Plot
Five French women have gone on trial in Paris for trying to detonate a car bomb near Notre Dame cathedral in September 2016.

Five gas canisters in the vehicle, which had been doused in diesel fuel, failed to explode when a cigarette was thrown at them.

The defendants are all Muslim converts. A defense lawyer said the women had been brainwashed on the Internet.

The women planned the attack on the instructions of Rashid Kassim, an ISIS handler, who is thought to have been killed in a drone strike in Iraq in 2017.

They are believed to have been planning other attacks in the Paris area.
Minister slams academy as film on Rabin’s killer set to be Israeli Oscars entry
“Incitement,” a film about about the assassination of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin viewed through the eyes of his killer, won Best Picture at the 2019 Ophir Awards on Sunday night, drawing immediate criticism from Israel’s populist culture minister, who said it libeled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Best Picture winner at the Ophir Awards, the country’s most prestigious cinema awards ceremony, is traditionally sent on to compete as Israel’s entry for Best Foreign Picture at the Oscars.

Despite the film being well reviewed, Culture Minister Miri Regev renewed her long-running feud with the Academy of Film and Television and slammed the choice of “Incitement,” saying there was “no place” in Israel for such a film and charging that it maligned Netanyahu, who has been accused of incitement in the lead-up the the November 4, 1995, murder.

“Yigal Amir is a murderer who shot a bullet into the heart of the nation and did the worst thing possible, kill a prime minister in a democracy,” said Regev. “There is no place for a film that tries to understand him or his motivations, or to hint or accuse others of being behind his heinous act.”

Regev in particular took umbrage at the way that Netanyahu was portrayed.

“The creators did not miss an opportunity to assign Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a part in the incitement campaign,” she said, calling such a portrayal “a distortion and an attempt to mislead the public, which was completely detached from reality.”
Honest Reporting: How Israelis Near Gaza Cope With the Gaza Rocket Threat
Walking through the streets of any southern Israeli neighborhood, the untrained eye could be led to believe that life there is no different to any other city or community in the country. In fact, one might need to be alerted to the pieces of infrastructure unique to a region which, for almost two decades, has endured the threat of rockets being fired from Gaza, compelling residents to run for cover.

In Kibbutz Alumim, less than three kilometers from the coastal enclave, Israel’s well-known air defense system, the Iron Dome, can be seen sitting up on a hill pointing towards the sky, in full view, as residents mosey through their neighborhood.

Meantime, underground, Israel’s military is building a defensive wall against Hamas attack tunnels.

Life in the Sha’ar HaNegev region is anything but ordinary.

A thin barbed wire fence is all that blocks the view from Israel into Gaza, where now a thick cloud of smoke is all but permanent since those Great March of Return protests began in 2016.

One could mistakenly believe an Israeli child had neglected their kite in the garden, looking at it laying torn and deteriorating in a family’s back yard. In reality, this is the remnant of an arson device flown over the border fence into Israeli territory from Gaza.

While the first Palestinian rocket was fired from Gaza in 2001, the launches have increased after Israel withdrew from the Strip in 2005.

Since the disengagement, more than 13,000 rockets and mortars have been fired at Israel.

In the most intense barrage, Palestinians fired more than 600 rockets in one weekend in May 2019.
Photos show ongoing work at Iran-linked Syrian base despite reported IDF strikes
Satellite images released Tuesday showed expanded construction at compounds allegedly controlled by Iran along the Syria-Iraq border, despite repeated airstrikes on the site in recent weeks that have been attributed to Israel.

The photographs, released by the private Israeli intelligence company ImageSat International, indicated the building of the site in the Boukamal region of eastern Syria has advanced over the past month.

The compound — known as the Imam Ali Base — is considered a critical element in Tehran’s efforts to create a land corridor under its control from Iran, through Iraq and Syria, into Lebanon and out to the Mediterranean Sea. Israeli officials have expressed grave concerns about such a “land bridge” as it could allow Iran to more easily transport weapons, fighters and materiel throughout the Middle East.

Several airstrikes have been reported at sites in this area in recent months, at least two of them in September alone, including one on September 9 in which 18 pro-Iranian fighters were reportedly killed.

Yet during this time, from September 9 to 21, new fortifications were built, access roads were created, buildings were completed and additional construction equipment was brought in to the base, according to the photographs released by the satellite image analysis firm.
IDF arrests 19 Palestinians amid violent clashes in West Bank
The IDF arrested 19 Palestinians on Monday night as violent clashes broke out in multiple Palestinian towns.

The 19 suspects were arrested for involvement in terrorist activities, popular terror and violent disturbances towards civilians and security forces, according to an IDF's spokesperson. The suspects were transferred for questioning.

The IDF also secured the entry of about 1,200 Jewish worshipers to Joseph's Tomb overnight.

While IDF soldiers were patrolling the city of Nablus, they found an IED next to the roadway. Sappers removed the device from the scene and no injuries or damage were reported.

Violent clashes broke out between Palestinians and IDF soldiers throughout the West Bank on Monday afternoon and overnight, according to Palestinian media. Some of the confrontations were sparked in support of 140 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails who have been conducting a hunger strike for over two weeks, according to the Palestinian Quds news agency.
Palestinian gets life sentence for deadly 2015 terror attack
A military court on Monday sentenced a Palestinian man to life in prison for his involvement in a deadly West Bank shooting attack in 2015.

Four Palestinians from the Gaza Strip were also indicted Monday for belonging to the Hamas terror group and taking part in a series of attacks along the border of the coastal enclave.

Fa’iz Hamed was part of a terrorist cell that killed Malachy Rosenfeld, 25, in a drive-by shooting. Hamed was convicted on a number charges, among them intentionally causing death — the military legal system’s equivalent to murder.

The West Bank Military Court also ordered Hamed to pay compensation to Rosenfeld’s family, but the amount was not disclosed.

Besides the attack in which Rosenfeld was killed, the verdict said that the cell Hamed was a part of also carried out a shooting near the Beit El Settlement days before in which no one was wounded.

Hamed was the third member of the terrorist cell to receive a life sentence for Rosenfeld’s murder.
PA Security Forces Thwart Attempt by Iran-Backed Islamic Jihad to Build Rockets in West Bank
Palestinian Authority security forces have thwarted an attempt by Islamic Jihad to manufacture rockets in the West Bank.

The Israeli news site Mako reported that the terrorist group was operating under Iranian guidance in the building of low-tech rockets.

Despite their crude nature, such rockets would place central Israel under direct threat from short-range projectiles, compounding the threat from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip that southern Israel has faced for nearly two decades.

According to intelligence assessments, various terrorist groups in the West Bank are attempting to establish infrastructure to enable them to conduct major attacks.

While there have been recent terror incidents in the West Bank, most have been stabbings or shootings, rather than rocket attacks or suicide bombings.
PMW: "The machine gun and the bullet are the essence of the path" - song at PA university graduation ceremony for terrorist prisoners
According to Israeli law and the rules of the Israeli Prison Service, Palestinian terrorist prisoners are not allowed to study for academic degrees while imprisoned in Israel. Despite this, Palestinian Media Watch has documented that Palestinian terrorist prisoners continue to enroll and study at several Palestinian universities, earning degrees while in prison, and receiving university diplomas - in absentia.

At a ceremony in Nablus this summer, Al-Quds Open University President Younes Amr and Director of PLO Commission of Prisoners' Affairs Qadri Abu Bakr handed out university degrees to the relatives of prisoners. The choice of a song played at the ceremony stresses the PA's ideology and policy to continue promoting violence and terror:
Song lyrics: "Give me the machine gun so that I can keep going
Our occupied land will not return without it...
The machine gun and the bullet are the essence of the path
Whoever destroys my home - we will shoot them with a bullet..."

[Official PA TV, July 23, 2019]

At the ceremony, Director of PLO Commission of Prisoners' Affairs Qadri Abu Bakr praised the terrorist prisoners and stated that almost a fifth of Palestinian prisoners are registered at Palestinian universities:
"They [the prisoners] armed themselves with desire and determination and completed the path of struggle through knowledge...They have enrolled in the Palestinian universities [while in prison]...1,026 prisoners [out of 5,700] are currently registered at the Palestinian universities."
[Official PA TV, July 23, 2019]

University studies during imprisonment is one of the many benefits that the PA grants terrorists and murderers, in addition to paying them monthly salaries.

Exposing Hezbollah's lies
One major secret Hezbollah has kept for many years now concerns its decision to join the Syrian civil war, which Iran and the organization has consistently claimed served the interests of the international, and as a result, the Lebanese community. Had Iran and Hezbollah not joined the fighting, they argue, the Islamic State group would continue to control the country and threaten global and Lebanese security. Keep in mind, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has consistently fostered the narrative that the Shiite group entered Syria of its own volition, as part of a defensive war aimed at protecting Lebanon from the terrorism of the Islamic State group.

According to this narrative, the war in Syria is not a popular uprising against the Syrian regime but an American-Israeli conspiracy, within the framework of which groups that are identified with global jihad, comprising tens of thousands of terrorists, were brought to Syria from all over the world.

But Nasrallah's claims that his organization entered Syria by choice are incompatible with the testimony of the deputy commander of the Revolutionary Guards in Tehran province. In an interview with state-aligned media, he revealed that in a meeting with an Iranian delegation, Nasrallah had said he did not want to enter the campaign in Syria and explained that Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei had convinced and in fact forced him to do so.

The decision to take part in suppressing the popular uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad was one of the most difficult decisions Hezbollah has made since it was established in 1982. Nasrallah and other senior Hezbollah officials are fostering a false narrative that holds that the decision was independently made and aimed largely at serving Lebanon's interests. Israel is in possession of information that could interest Lebanon's citizens and its Shiite community in particular. It could disprove Hezbollah's false narrative and force it to confront the version of events revealed by its patrons in the Revolutionary Guards. It is quite possible that this will also serve to reveal the names of Hezbollah operatives killed in the organization's activities in Yemen, something that will further deepen the image crisis the organization would face. The time may have come for Israel to use the information at its disposal in order to remove the mask from the organization that is terrorizing Lebanon.
As UNGA kicks off, AJC launches 'EU recognize Hezbollah as terror org'
As world leaders gather in New York this week to participate in the UN General Assembly, the American Jewish Committee (AJC) is launching a TV ad campaign on major US cable networks, calling on the European Union to recognize Hezbollah as a terror organization.

In addition, the AJC bought a full-page ad in Tuesday’s New York Times, criticizing the EU’s distinction between the terror group’s military branch and other parts of the organization. “Hezbollah is a global terrorist organization, armed and supported by Iran,” the ad reads.

“Its deadly reach extends to Europe, North and South America, Africa and Asia, and across the Middle East. Yet, defying all logic, the European Union insists there are actually two Hezbollahs—one ‘political’ and the other ‘military,’ banning only the latter in 2013. This is self-delusion at its worst and most dangerous, allowing Hezbollah to operate its ‘political’ wing in Europe by recruiting members and raising funds. As Hezbollah leaders themselves declare repeatedly, it is one indivisible organization.”

The ad continues: “To date, the Arab League, Argentina, Canada, the Gulf Cooperation Council, Israel, Netherlands, United Kingdom and the United States have recognized without qualifications the reality of Hezbollah, and added it to their lists of terrorist organizations.”

The AJC also launched a new website, which contains short video clips of the bloody terror attacks Hezbollah has been responsible for in the past 35 years. The TV ads will appear on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, i24 and BBC America. The ad emphasizes that Hezbollah poses a threat to Europe.
Tehran Launches Anti-Zionism Conference in Beirut
The International Institute of Independent Thinkers and Artists, a.k.a. New Horizon, a Tehran-based NGO, on Monday launched the seventh annual New Horizon anti-Zionist conference in Beirut, Lebanon, featuring “renowned figures from different countries, including countries in the Middle East, North and South America and Europe.”
The 7th New Horizon anti-Zionist conference, in Beirut, Lebanon, 2019 / Fars News

American and European “high-ranking anti-Zionist and anti-imperialist” academics, political & military figures, media analysts, writers, activists, singers, actors, movie critics and filmmakers will address the conference, some of them via video conferencing, because the FBI would not permit them to participate in person.

The three-day event focuses on Israel’s influence on United States foreign policy, particularly under President Donald Trump’s tenure; political rifts within the US; Washington’s sanctions and their impacts on world order; and the role of religious convergence in dialog among civilizations.

Iranian filmmaker Nader Talebzadeh, chairman and founder of New Horizon, delivered a speech about “Israel’s recent acts of aggression and the US support for the Israeli regime.” Talebzadeh and his wife have been put on the US sanctions’ blacklist for participating in the conference.
US official said to warn Lebanon future sanctions will hit Hezbollah benefactors
A US official warned Lebanese politicians on Monday that future US sanctions would target any party suspected of providing “material” support to the Iran-backed Hezbollah terrorist group, a Lebanese source told AFP.

Treasury Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing Marshall Billingslea met Prime Minister Saad Hariri and parliament Speaker Nabih Berri on Monday during a two-day visit to Lebanon.

During the meetings, Billingslea warned that US sanctions may extend beyond direct affiliates of Hezbollah, according to a source present at talks.

“The US will sanction any group that provides material support to Hezbollah, be it through supplying weapons or money,” the source quoted Billingslea as saying.

But sanctions “will not target groups who are only tied to Hezbollah politically,” he added, easing concern that the group’s political allies, including President Michel Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement and Berri’s Amal Movement, could be targeted.
Lebanese man nabbed in Greece ‘mistaken’ for Flight 847 hijacker, officials say
The arrest in Greece of a Lebanese man accused of involvement in a 1985 plane hijacking by Hezbollah is a case of mistaken identity, Lebanese officials said on Monday.

Greek authorities detained the 65-year-old man last week on the island of Mykonos.

They said there was a European arrest warrant issued by Germany against him for his suspected involvement in the hijacking of TWA Flight 847 and the murder of an American passenger.

A Lebanese diplomatic official and a security official, neither of whom wanted to be named, identified the man in Greek custody as Mohamed Ali Saleh.

Saleh has a nearly identical name to the suspected Lebanese hijacker, but his father’s name does not match that of the suspect, the diplomatic source said.

Both sources told AFP the arrest was a case of “mistaken identity.”
Trump: Iran on fanatical quest for nukes
US President Donald Trump accused the Iranian government of a "fanatical quest" for nuclear weapons in an address to the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday.

"The regime's record of death and destruction is well-known to us all," the president said. "Not only is Iran the number one state sponsor of terrorism, but Iran's leaders are fueling the tragic wars in both Syria and Yemen.

"At the same time, the regime is squandering the nation's wealth and future in a fanatical quest for nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them. we must never allow this to happen.”

Trump stated that the 2015 Iran nuclear deal "has very little time remaining" and had severe gaps in its inspection regime.

"Following our withdrawal [from the nuclear deal], we have implemented severe economic sanctions on the country. Hoping to free itself from sanctions, the regime has escalated its violent and unprovoked aggression. In response to Iran's recent attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities, we just imposed the highest level of sanctions on Iran's central bank and sovereign wealth fund.

"All nations have a duty to act. No responsible government should subsidize Iran's bloodlust. As long as Iran's menacing behavior continues, sanctions will not be lifted: they will be tightened," he declared.

Dore Gold: Video: Iran Moves Against the Saudis, Dropping the Pretense of a Proxy War
Why has Iran's proxy war evolved into direct action against Saudi Arabia with the September 14 attacks on two Saudi Arabian oil facilities? Because no one has stopped Iranian escalation in recent years.

Since 1979, when the Iranian Islamic regime came to power, its policies have been motivated by the doctrine known as the export of the revolution "beyond the frontiers of Iran," as articulated in the preamble of the Iranian Constitution.

Consequently, Iran's regional role has been increasing across the Middle East. Iran has established itself as the dominant power around the Strait of Hormuz, the naval chokepoint affecting the movement of ships from the Persian Gulf into the Indian Ocean. The Yemen War is giving Iran a position along a second choke point, Bab al-Mandab, controlling movement of ships from the Indian Ocean into the Red Sea and the Suez Canal.

The collapse of Syria has given Iran the option of penetrating the Middle East from another end, constructing a land bridge from its border with Iraq, across Syria and Lebanon, to the Mediterranean.

Iran has began to network with the Polisario through Algeria, providing weapons and training for its war against Morocco. The Iranian-supported Al-Ashtar Brigades claimed responsibility for bombing a strategic oil pipeline connecting Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

During the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s, Western shipping came under Iranian attack in the Persian Gulf, including oil tankers. After a period of restraint, the U.S. unleashed its military strength, sinking or damaging half of Iran's operational navy. As a result, the U.S. bought quiet for a number of years. But thirty years have passed since then. Unless Western deterrence of Iran is restored, Iranian expansionism is only likely to get worse.

UN: Britain, France, Germany blame Iran for Saudi attack
Britain, Germany and France backed the United States and blamed Iran on Monday for an attack on Saudi oil facilities, urging Tehran to agree to new talks with world powers on its nuclear and missile programs and regional security issues.

The Europeans issued a joint statement after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron met at the United Nations on the sidelines of the annual gathering of world leaders.

European leaders have struggled to defuse a brewing confrontation between Tehran and Washington since U.S. President Donald Trump quit a deal last year that assures Iran access to world trade in return for curbs on its nuclear programme.

The United States reimposed sanctions on Iran and recently sharply tightened them. Iran has responded by breaching some of the limits on nuclear material in the 2015 accord and has set an October deadline to reduce its nuclear commitments further unless the Europeans keep their promises to salvage the pact.

"The time has come for Iran to accept negotiation on a long-term framework for its nuclear programme as well as on issues related to regional security, including its missiles programme and other means of delivery," Britain, France and Germany said.
Britain Calls for New Accord with Iran, Breaking with France and Germany
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it’s time to strike a new nuclear deal with Iran, breaking ranks with European allies France and Germany, which are still trying to preserve the 2015 agreement President Donald Trump withdrew from last year.

“Whatever your objections to the old nuclear deal with Iran, it’s time now to move forward and do a new deal,” Johnson told Sky News on Monday in New York, where he’s attending the United Nations General Assembly.

Johnson also suggested it’s “plainly” clear that Iran was responsible for attacks this month on key oil facilities in Saudi Arabia, pulling into line with the Trump administration’s assessment. “How do we respond to what the Iranians plainly did?” Johnson said. “What the U.K. is doing is trying to bring people together and de-escalate tensions.”
Saudi Arabia pleads with world to check Iran's 'aggressive behavior'
Saudi Arabia's cabinet on Tuesday renewed the kingdom's call for the international community "to put a limit" to what it described as Iran's aggressive behavior and "sabotage acts," the state Saudi Press Agency reported.

The world's top oil exporter has said preliminary indications show Iran was to blame for the Sept. 14 attacks on Saudi oil facilities, rejecting a claim of responsibility by Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi group. Tehran denies involvement.

SPA quoted King Salman as saying at the cabinet meeting that the attack represented a "dangerous escalation."

Iran said on Tuesday that a statement by Britain, France and Germany accusing it of responsibility for the attacks on Saudi oil facilities showed that they lacked the will to confront US "bullying," the semi-official Mehr news agency reported.

"The statement showed that the European parties have no strength or willpower to counter US bullying," Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi was quoted as saying.

On Monday, Britain, France and Germany joined the United States in blaming Iran for the attacks, but the Iranian foreign minister pointed to claims of responsibility by Yemeni rebels and said: "If Iran were behind this attack, nothing would have been left of this refinery."
Iran's recent activities in the region
Do YOU even know what CIVILIZED means Javad Zarif? While the Iranian Foreign Minister has been busy on Twitter here's what his regime has been up to lately. Take a deep dive into the chasm of Iranian lies.

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