Friday, September 03, 2021

From Ian:

6 wounded in Islamist stabbing at New Zealand supermarket
New Zealand authorities said Friday they shot and killed a violent extremist after he entered a supermarket and stabbed and injured six shoppers.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the incident as a terror attack. She said the man was a Sri Lankan national who was inspired by the Islamic State group. She said he was well-known to the nation's security agencies and was being monitored around the clock.

She said that by law, the man was not allowed to be kept in prison.

Ardern said that three of those who had been stabbed were seriously injured.

"This was a violent attack. It was senseless," Ardern said. "And I am so sorry that it happened."

The attack unfolded at about 2:40 p.m. at a Countdown supermarket in New Zealand's largest city, Auckland. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks about a stabbing attack during a press conference, Friday, Sept. 3, 2021

Ardern said that because the man was under constant monitoring, a police surveillance team and a special tactics group were able to shoot and kill him within 60 seconds of the attack starting.

Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said they had concerns about the man's ideology and kept very close tabs on him. Coster said they followed him from his home to the supermarket on Friday.
Caroline Glick: The Lesson the Biden Administration Refuses To Learn
As Biden and his advisors see things, once the U.S. announced it was withdrawing from Afghanistan, the war was effectively over. The Taliban was only fighting America because the U.S. was in Afghanistan. This explains the administration's lack of concern about the $90 billion worth of U.S.-made weapons now under Taliban control. The Taliban won't turn those weapons on America, so the thinking goes, because now that the U.S. has left, the Taliban has no problem with it. Biden and his advisors applied the same logic to sharing the names and biometric data of U.S. citizens and the America's Afghan allies with the Taliban. The Taliban won't harm those people now that U.S. forces have withdrawn.

The Taliban made no effort to hide their scorn for the administration's self-delusion. They blocked U.S. citizens and America's Afghan allies from reaching the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. They let ISIS terrorists get through to kill 13 U.S. servicemen and women and 170 Afghan civilians. They let thousands of ISIS and other terrorists out of jails. But Biden and Blinken refused to notice. They said the Taliban were now partners, and that was that.

In this light, Biden and Blinken's prioritization of the Taliban's withdrawal deadline over keeping faith with U.S. citizens trapped in Taliban-controlled territory makes sense. They think that now that U.S. forces are gone, everything will be fine. It will be possible to "deter" the Taliban from taking hostages or mistreating women and girls through diplomacy, especially at the UN.

As Biden and his team showed in their meetings with Bennett, the same assumptions about U.S. responsibility for other people's hostility toward it applies to their view of Iran and the Palestinians.

Israel is increasingly alarmed by Iran's escalating nuclear activities. Tehran has doubled the pace of its uranium enrichment. It is enriching uranium to near bomb-grade levels of purity, and it is developing the uranium metals that form the core of nuclear warheads. On August 5, Israel assessed that Iran is on schedule to become a nuclear-capable state able to build an arsenal whenever it wishes by mid-October.

Bennett hoped to impress the urgency of the moment on Biden and his advisors. But they weren't interested. Biden ended the conversation at his public appearance with Bennett by insisting that the U.S. was "putting diplomacy first and seeing where it takes us." He insipidly added, "If diplomacy fails, we're ready to turn to other options."
The Caroline Glick Show: Ep19 - Afghanistan, the Palestinians and Western Narcissism
In this week's episode of the Caroline Glick Mideast News Hour, Caroline and co-host Gadi Taub do a post-mortem on Biden's catastrophic failure in Afghanistan. Biden's refusal to acknowledge the failure suggests that he will also refuse to learn the lessons from the failure. This bodes poorly for the U.S. and for Israel. Caroline and Gadi discussed the Soviet roots of "Palestinian nationalism," and how the post-Holocaust war against the Jews fits into the Soviet goal of destroying American society. Join our dynamic duo for this lively discussion, and get the bonus of meeting Caroline’s mom!

Caroline Glick: Bennett's voters face Bennett's diplomacy
The four farmers of Arugot Farm, located on the eastern side of the Gush Etzion settlement bloc, were tense on Monday morning. They had just gotten word that the next day, 100 soldiers were set to storm their farm and uproot their vineyard. They planted their vineyard six years ago in memory of Ezra Schwartz, a Jewish American youth who was murdered in a terror attack in 2015.

Ezra was killed and five of his friends from yeshiva were wounded when a terrorist opened fire on the minibus they were travelling in. They were stuck in a traffic jam at Gush Etzion junction and didn't have a chance. The spot they were stuck in traffic was just a few dozen meters from where three other teenagers, Naftali Frankel, Gil-Ad Shaer, and Eyal Yifrach were kidnapped and murdered the previous summer. Their abduction and execution set off a chain for events that led to the summer war with the Hamas regime in Gaza. Ezra and his friends were on their way to help build Oz V'Gaon nature preserve on the eastern side of the junction. Oz V'Gaon is locted not far from where their bodies were found and was built in their memory.

Local officials asked the farmers to build Arugot Farm. It is located on state lands the Jewish National Fund had been unable to maintain. Around 20 years ago, the JNF planted 10,000 trees on the site to protect it from Palestinian land grabs. But in the space of a few hours, Palestinian villagers uprooted all of the trees. The four farmers and their families moved in seven years ago. Together they cultivate and protect some forty acres of state land.

Under the 1995 Oslo agreement, Judea and Samaria were divided into three areas: A, B, and C. A and B were transferred to Palestinian control. Area C, which made up 60% of the area, remained under Israeli control. Israel administers Area C through the IDF's Civil Administration.

In 2008, then-Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad released a strategy to seize the lands of Area C with the goal of choking the Israeli communities, blocking their development and transferring control over strategic lands to the PA. Since then, with lavish funding from the EU, thousands of acres of state land have been seized by the Palestinians. Illegal settlements have sprung up by the dozens, major traffic arteries and access roads to Israeli communities have turned into gauntlets. In an interview with Maariv last week, Kobi Eliraz, who served as an advisor on Area C to three defense ministers, estimated that as a result of the land grabs, Israel today controls at best 40% of Judea and Samaria.
Israel Advocacy Movement: Media blackout on Hamas war crimes

The Forever War is Islam’s War on the West
Imagine after Pearl Harbor, FDR announcing, “We’re getting into this to bring human rights to Japanese women” or “Our goal in this war is give Germany a democracy.” He would have been laughed out of office.

There was only one legitimate reason to go into Afghanistan after 9/11 and it’s the same reason that should have impelled us to stay – not human rights, democracy or nation-building – but saving our nation.

We went to Afghanistan to root out terrorism, to destroy Al Qaeda’s infrastructure, to disrupt its network – and, quite frankly, to kill as many terrorists as possible.

The goal was to kill them there so they wouldn’t kill us here, as they did on 9/11. Everything else was extraneous. That the mission failed may be seen in just how quickly the Taliban made a comeback, except now, with the most modern weapons in the region – thanks to Quartermaster Joe.

The cut-and-run crowd called it “the forever war.” Rubbish.

You want to hear about a forever war? Afghanistan was the latest chapter in a conflict that’s been going on since the 7th century.

At one time, Islam engulfed much of the known world – from the Arabian Peninsula west to the Pyrenees and east to the Indian subcontinent and beyond.

In his book “The Clash of Civilizations and Remaking of World Order” (1996), Harvard Professor Samuel P. Huntington spoke of “Islam’s bloody borders,” alluding to the fact that almost all of the religion-based conflicts in the world involve Islam versus someone else.

‘Freedom is our motto’: Afghan women demand rights as Taliban seek recognition
A small group of Afghan women protested near the presidential palace in Kabul on Friday, demanding equal rights from the Taliban as Afghanistan’s new rulers work on forming a government and seeking international recognition.

The Taliban captured most of the country in a matter of days last month and celebrated the departure of the last US forces after 20 years of war. Now they face the urgent challenge of governing a war-ravaged country that is heavily reliant on international aid.

The Taliban have promised an inclusive government and a more moderate form of Islamic rule than when they last ruled the country from 1996 to 2001. But many Afghans, especially women, are deeply skeptical and fear a rollback of rights gained over the last two decades.

The protest in Kabul was the second women’s protest in as many days, with the other held in the western city of Herat. Around 20 women with microphones gathered under the watchful eyes of Taliban gunmen, who allowed the demonstration to proceed.

The women demanded access to education, the right to return to work and a role in governing the country. “Freedom is our motto. It makes us proud,” read one of their signs.

A Taliban fighter ventured into the crowd at one point, but witnesses said he was angry at the bystanders who had stopped to watch the demonstration and not the protesters themselves.

MEMRI: Turkish President Erdogan: 'We Have No Hesitation At All In Getting The Second Shipment' Of S-400s; Central Asian Countries 'May Want To Join Together As Partners In The Positive Steps That The Taliban Will Take'
On August 29, 2021, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan spoke to Turkish journalists about the second shipment to Turkey of the Russian S-400 air defense system, Turkey's relations with the Taliban and a possible Turkey-Taliban agreement on the joint management of Hamid Karzai International Airport, and a forthcoming new law to prevent what he calls "lying terrorism" by the opposition parties in Turkey.[1] Erdoğan spoke to the journalists on a flight returning from a diplomatic trip to the Balkans in which he visited Bosnia Herzegovina and North Macedonia. This report will review some of his statements.

"We Have No Hesitation At All In Getting The Second Shipment" Of S-400s

Following a June 11, 2021 meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and President Erdoğan on the sidelines of the NATO Summit in Brussels, President Erdoğan said that he had told Biden: "As Turkey, do not expect us to change course, either on the F-35 or on the S-400, because we did our part for the F-35."[2] Following the same line, Erdoğan recently announced that Turkey would be getting a second shipment of S-400s from Russia, a decision that has been criticized by some in the opposition press.[3] In the August 29 meeting with journalists on his plane, he said of the S-400: "On the subject of Russia, we have no hesitation at all in getting the second shipment [of S-400s]. We have many steps [taken] with Russia, be it on the matter of the S-400 or concerning the defense industry."

"If [The Taliban] Take Care Of The Security, Then If Many People Are Killed There, How Are We Going To Explain This To The World?"

President Erdoğan also spoke to journalists about relations between his government and the Taliban as the group establishes its governance of Afghanistan. Among other Turkish military personnel in Afghanistan, there had been 600 Turkish soldiers stationed at the airport in Kabul.[4] Following Biden and Erdoğan's June meeting, the two leaders agreed on Turkey's role in securing the airport following the withdrawal of American military forces from Afghanistan. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said after the meeting: "The clear commitment from the leaders was established that Turkey would play a lead role in securing Hamid Karzai International Airport and we are now working through how to execute to get to that."[5] An article in the Turkish press reported that "those with news of the meeting" were saying that Erdoğan agreed to secure the airport in exchange for, among other things, U.S. recognition of Turkey's positions in Libya and Nagorno Karabagh, and U.S.-Turkey cooperation in Idlib.[6]
House Democrats Pushing To Boycott Israel Go Silent on Taliban Boycott
House Democrats who support boycotts of Israel are mum on whether they back similar economic pressure campaigns against Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.

The Washington Free Beacon on Thursday reached out to Reps. Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (Mich.), and Cori Bush (Mo.) to see if they favor a global boycott campaign against Afghanistan or if they support cutting off financial aid to the country in light of its takeover by a terrorist group. The lawmakers did not respond to requests for comment.

The silence is noteworthy considering that the three congresswomen have all advocated for the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, a global campaign to economically isolate the Jewish state. They have also backed efforts to cut foreign aid to Israel, citing concerns about the Israeli government's human rights record and treatment of Palestinians.

While Omar declined to comment on whether she supports a boycott of the Taliban, she has publicly opposed U.S. economic sanctions against the Iranian government.

Omar, Tlaib, and Bush have repeatedly praised the BDS movement.

Omar tweeted in January that "BDS opposes Israel's denial of Palestinian rights & dignity" and argued that Americans "should support this nonviolent movement."
The Taliban and the British Islamist Problem
Afghanistan is back in the hands of the Taliban. Western forces have conceded defeat and thousands of Afghan civilians are desperate to get out of the country. But whilst we may not be in Afghanistan anymore, back home we are dealing with the reverberations nonetheless.

British Islamists have been waiting for a morale boost for a long time and they have been given one. As soon as the decision to withdraw western troops from the region was announced, and the speed at which the Taliban once again took control over the country, British Islamists leaped for joy. For them, it was a moment of ‘I told you so’, as we found ourselves prioritising the life of animals over that of human beings.

But it wasn’t always like this. Against the Islamists, we seemed to be gaining ground. Take for example PREVENT, the government’s counter extremism strategy. Set up in 2011 as part of the government’s counter-terrorism policy CONTEST, it placed a responsibility on public bodies to prevent people being drawn into terrorism.

It received a lot of negative press. Islamists and the hard left complained that it targeted Muslims disproportionately. That it was Islamophobic and that the only way to rectify the whole policy, was to abolish it. Indeed, negative stories in the press of referrals being made to PREVENT officers for either innocuous things, or outright bizarre reasons didn’t help either.

Yet whilst all these claims were being made by detractors, the actual reality presents a different picture. For example, in the year ending March 2020, official Home Office figures set out that there were in total 697 Channel cases. Of those, 210 (30%) were for Islamist radicalisation. However, just under half of referrals 302 (43%) were for right-wing radicalisation.

A recent study by think tank Crest Advisory found high levels of trust (64 per cent) from British Muslims in relation to the police and countering extremism. Furthermore, 63 per cent of British Muslims were not in denial about the threat of extreme Islamism. The most striking figure was that 80 per cent of British Muslims tend to support PREVENT once it had been explained to them. That PREVENT has been positioned as inherently ‘Islamophobic’ by British Islamists appears to be at odds with official data and polling.
Report: Cairo to announce resumption of Israel, Hamas ceasefire talks
Cairo is set to announce that Israel and Hamas will soon resume talks for a long-term ceasefire as well as the resumption of negotiations for a prisoner exchange deal and Gaza's reconstructions, according to a report in the Riyadh-based Al Arabiya news channel.

Sources that spoke with the outlet emphasized the Egyptian efforts would focus on a comprehensive ceasefire for all of the Palestinian territories as well as the transfer of funds to the PA in the near future.

The report further noted Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' meeting with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and Jordan's King Abdullah II Thursday came at a time when the international community was enlisting to rehabilitate Gaza, and the tripartite meeting was aimed at efforts toward reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah and setting out a timeline for efforts to that end.

At Thursday's meeting, the regional leaders discussed the two-state solution to the conflict with Israel and said the Palestinians have a right to an independent state, with east Jerusalem as its capital, according to a statement from el-Sissi's office.

"We very much welcome the meeting of these three leaders," UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. "We hope it will lead to a positive outcome and a regain of traction of diplomacy in the Israeli‑Palestinian conflict."
The Israel Guys: Israel to Give Palestinians 150 Million Dollars | Israel News
Naftali Bennett met with Joe Biden last week. In the meantime, Defense Minister Benny Gantz went to Ramallah to meet with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. A meeting on this level has not happened in 10 years. You might be horrified to find out what Gantz offered to the PA.

In good news, the new president of Israel, Isaac Herzog visited the heart of Samaria this week, and made some surprising statements regarding Israel’s connection to the biblical heartland.

Hamas: Series of Israeli Steps to Ease Conditions in Gaza are ‘Not Enough’
Hamas has warned that a series of recent steps by Israel to ease conditions in the Gaza Strip are “not enough,” adding to growing tensions along the Gaza-Israel border. Hamas has threatened to expand border rioting disturbances in the coming days.

In a statement released by the terror organization that rules the coastal enclave, Hamas said that “Israel’s easing [of restrictions] on Gaza are not enough” and that “broader steps are required that will generate a real breakthrough in the lives of Gaza’s residents,” Kan news reported on Wednesday.

Recent Israeli steps include permitting the entry of building material for the first time since May’s conflict with Hamas, expanding the Gazan fishing zone to 15 nautical miles and opening the Kerem Shalom border crossing for more equipment and commodities to pass through it into Gaza. Israel also increased Gazan entry permits for traders from 2,000 to 7,000.

Egypt reopened its Rafah border crossing with Gaza after closing it for six days.

Meanwhile, the Israeli Ministry of Defense announced that it had intercepted an attempt to smuggle hazardous material protection equipment into Gaza, which it said was likely intended for Hamas’ tunnel project.

Why were Israel and the US not invited to the Baghdad conference?
At the Baghdad conference, the foreign ministers of the UAE and Kuwait met with Iran’s foreign minister, but it is unclear whether an Iranian-Saudi meeting was also held on the sidelines. Nonetheless, Baghdad has hosted talks since April between Iranian and Saudi representatives aimed at easing tensions between them.

French President Macron is trying to advance his country’s economic interests in Iraq’s rehabilitation, and by-the-by to find ways to rebuild Lebanon, too. On the other hand, the US was not a formal participant at the conference, although one should remember that 2,500 American soldiers are still deployed in Iraq, and a large US diplomatic mission operates in Baghdad’s protected “green zone” near the conference site.

The final conference communique expressed support for the strengthening of Iraq’s institutions and its stability, but stopped short of proposing concrete measures for the implementation of these goals. In the regional context, too, the communique noted that participants recognized the shared challenges they face, which require cooperation on the basis of good neighborly relations that avoid intervention in each other’s domestic matters and respect each country’s national sovereignty. Time will tell whether these general platitudes are translated into actions or remain on paper. Time will also tell whether significant meetings were held on the sidelines of the conference.

And what about Israel? The US pullout from Afghanistan ostensibly heralded a strengthening of its regional position and importance.

In the absence of a Western superpower patron, many countries perceive Israel as a regional power with an important role to play in the system of checks and balances vis-à-vis Iran, which could strike its nuclear facilities, if need be, as it did in 1981 in Iraq and in 2007 in Syria. However, this conference illustrates that despite the public alliance forged among Israel, the UAE and Bahrain, and Israel’s clandestine ties with Saudi Arabia, these countries are trying to reach understandings with Iran based on the assumption that in a worst-case scenario – a nuclear Iran – the Israeli option will still be on the table.
Israel's Delek finalizes sale of Tamar gas stake to Abu Dhabi's Mubadala
Delek Drilling has finalized a deal to sell its 22% stake in the east Mediterranean Tamar gas field to Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Petroleum for about $1 billion, the Israeli company said on Thursday.

Delek said it is the biggest commercial deal to be signed between Israeli and Emirati groups since Israel and the United Arab Emirates normalized ties last year. A preliminary agreement was reached in April but it required government approval.

The Tamar field is one of Israel's primary energy sources and can produce 11 billion cubic meters of gas a year – enough to cover much of the Israeli market as well as exports to Egypt and Jordan.

Delek Drilling, a unit of conglomerate Delek Group, holds a 22% stake in the field, which is operated by Chevron.

Mubadala Petroleum, a unit of Abu Dhabi government-owned Mubadala Investment Company, said the acquisition "will complement Mubadala Petroleum's gas-based portfolio strategy in line with its energy transition goals".

Delek also holds a significant stake in the even larger Leviathan gas field nearby and is selling its Tamar holdings to comply with government moves to open the market to more competition.

MEMRI: Saudi Journalist: Hizbullah And Hamas Leaders Are Terrorists Who Should Be Prosecuted And Executed
In a July 14, 2021 article in the Saudi daily Al-Watan, journalist Khalid Al-'Owijan slammed the organizations of the so-called "resistance axis," especially Hizbullah and Hamas. These organizations, he said, brandish the slogan of "liberating Jerusalem" and other empty slogans, but in practice they serve Iran and its agenda and only harm the Palestinian cause by detracting from its centrality in the Muslim world. He added that these terror organizations bring only catastrophes upon their countries, peoples and nation. In Lebanon, for example, Hizbullah caused a devastating war against Israel that cost thousands of lives, and in Palestine, Hamas adopted the method of suicide bombings, with utter contempt for human life, and entered a reckless and hopeless war against Israel.

'Owijan called to act without hesitation to prosecute and even execute the "terrorist" leaders of the resistance axis, such as Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, Hamas leader Isma'il Haniya and Houthi leader 'Abd Al-Malik Al-Houthi.

The following are translated excerpts from his article:[1]
"The leaders of the gang that calls itself 'the coalition for the liberation of Jerusalem' do not belong in the glorious pages of history… [This gang] monopolized this slogan in order to strip the [Muslim] nation of its foremost cause, namely the Palestinian cause. It is difficult to accept the situation whereby [this gang] periodically provokes the immensely powerful Israel just in order to reinforce its fake slogan, which is espoused by sectarian political entities that enjoy the popular support of simple and ignorant people.

"For dozens of years, the resistance axis has taken part in many wars with the Israeli side and brought destruction upon countries like Lebanon, Palestine and Syria, as well as parts of Iraq… Hizbullah created an artificial crisis vis-à-vis the Israelis by abducting two Israeli soldiers, and [thus] caused the July 2006 war, which resulted in 1,000 Lebanese dead and in the destruction of infrastructures in some parts of Lebanon. This was an unjustified war that reflected the arrogance of the so-called 'resistance axis' and the terror that [Hizbullah leader] Hassan Nasrallah feeds on, and which he uses to position himself as a political leader who makes decisions not only in Lebanon. Things have come to the point where Nasrallah's influence and control extend to the Gaza Strip, which is outside the control of the official Palestinian authorities [i.e., the PA].

"The Hamas movement is no less terrorist than Hizbullah. It is a fundamentalist movement that emerged from the womb of the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood, and which one day adopted the method of suicide bombings, ascribing not the slightest importance to human life. It is a movement that spews bombastic rhetoric about liberating its land from the occupier and which recently [in the May 2021 confrontation with Israel] acted recklessly, promoting its 'cardboard rockets' by means of a group of media outlets that feed on sectarian extremism, on sowing discord and on harming the pan-Arab fabric. Imported by Hamas from the Iranian republic, [these rockets] do not even meet the standards of a non-strategic war or conflict, or of a street [brawl] or [a quarrel] between children.

"The recent war, which [Hamas] called 'Operation Sword of Jerusalem,' demonstrates the bankruptcy of [this movement], which reinforces and markets the Iranian plan while disregarding the fact that [this plan] seeks to isolate the defeated Palestinian people from its Arab surroundings…

"What the leaders of these wretched, extremist and worthless factions have done requires reexamining their deep-seated inclinations, stopping all support for them, and, more importantly, advancing a plan to bring this gang to trial before the international courts, which are known for their fairness. For thousands of people have died due to their actions and their extremism, and there is historical evidence [to prove this]…

"Genuinely humane [values] dictate that the guillotine of history and the gibbet be the final destination of these leaders, who for years have been feeding on the blood of innocent and unarmed people, causing injuries and death and producing orphans, based on fake slogans aimed chiefly at winning them popularity and [the support of] the masses… and on false promises that they can never fulfill.
Portugal, Sweden slap COVID entry ban on Israelis, including those vaccinated
Portugal and Sweden have decided to bar entry to Israeli nationals amid soaring coronavirus infections in the Jewish state, a move some other European nations are expected to follow.

Israelis scheduled to fly Thursday to Portugal were prevented from checking in at Ben Gurion Airport. The Swedish ban will take effect on Monday, a representative from the Swedish embassy in Tel Aviv told The Times of Israel.

Though vaccination rates in Israel are among the world’s highest, Portugal and Sweden have their eyes on the elevated case numbers and aren’t making exceptions for Israelis who are vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19. The two countries only accept European Union vaccination certificates.

Their decisions came after the European Union on Monday removed Israel from a list of nations deemed “epidemiologically safe.”

Member states are not bound by the EU recommendation and Italy has decided to bar unvaccinated Israelis but welcome those with Israeli vaccination certificates.
Syria Says Israeli Air Strikes Target Areas Near Damascus
srael carried out air strikes on targets near Damascus early on Friday, triggering Syrian air defenses but causing no casualties, Syrian state media reported, the second such attack in just over two weeks.

The Israeli military declined to comment on the report.

A Syrian military source quoted by state media said Syrian air defenses shot down most of the Israeli missiles and only material damage was done in the attack launched at 1:26 a.m.

The Israeli army said a surface-to-air missile launched from Syrian territory towards Israeli air space had exploded over the Mediterranean Sea and residents in central Israel had located several fragments of the projectile on the ground.

Many residents of central Israel reported hearing a large explosion at the time Syria reported the strike.

Blasts were also heard in Lebanon, from whose air space the attack was launched, a Lebanese security source said.

Israel has for several years been mounting attacks on what it has described as Iranian-linked targets in Syria, where Tehran-backed forces including Lebanon’s Hezbollah have established a presence since deploying to help President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian conflict that erupted in 2011.

Syrian TV showed footage of air defenses shooting at targets.
Israeli woman arrested in Turkey on suspicion of PKK involvement - report
An Israeli woman, 25, who works as a kindergarten teacher in Rehovot was arrested in Turkey this week for suspected involvement with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which is classified a terror organization in Turkey, N12 reported Friday.

The woman, on holiday in Turkey, reportedly met a Kurdish couple with whom she went to a few bars. At one point during the evening, the Kurdish woman fought with her partner, causing police to arrive, said N12. When they did, the Kurdish woman, who was reportedly inebriated, yelled to police that she was "Kurdish and supports the PKK, I am a terrorist, who even are you? I will commit terror attacks here," the woman told N12.

The Kurdish woman was arrested and police beat her during the arrest, according to the Israeli woman who said that is what prompted her to intervene, leading to her own arrest, N12 reported.

The Israeli woman was released on Wednesday after being detained and beaten during her detainment, according to N12 who also reported that she cannot leave Turkey until her trial.
Poor placement of troops, not open-fire regulations at fault for Shmueli's death
The Israeli military released the results of the preliminary investigation into the death of Border Police officer Barel Shmueli on Friday, stating that it was not the open-fire regulations at fault but rather the placement of troops

The investigation, which was shared with Shmueli’s family, found that the operational assessments and procedures that dealt with the riots “were carried out in a thorough and comprehensive manner.”

The preparations for the riots included the reinforcements of troops including snipers like Shmueli.

But, the investigation also found that “it would have been correct to deploy the troops and use them differently once the violent mob reached the defensive wall. At the same time, no discrepancy was found in relation to the rules of engagement which had not been changed at any stage before or during” the riots.

“The chief of staff determined that the rules allowed for completion of the operational mission and the removal of any threat to life. It was also found that during this event significant gunfire was conducted in response to the riots,” the military said.

Following Shmueli’s death on Monday, many have leveled harsh criticism of the government and the military, claiming that it had imposed restrictions on troops along the border.
Palestinian killed by IDF in Gaza border clashes
A 26-year-old Palestinian man was killed and several others injured as thousands of Gazans clashed along the border fence with Israel on Thursday night.

The Hamas-run Health Ministry announced that Ahmed Mustafa Mahmoud Saleh from the Jabalya refugee camp died after he was shot in the stomach during the riots.

Another 15 Palestinians were injured, including 5 children during the riots where some 1,000 demonstrators hurled explosive devices and burned tires. Troops responded with live fire and tear gas.

Palestinian rioters from so-called “night confusion brigades” have been rioting along the perimeter fence every night for the past week since the weekend in an attempt to increase pressure on Israel to ease the 14-year-old blockade on the coastal enclave.

Saleh was the third Palestinian killed during the recent protests along the border fence, along with a 12-year-old Omar Abu Nil and 36-year-old Hamas militant Osama Duiej. An Israeli border police sniper was also killed after he was shot in the head at point-blank range by a Hamas operative.
Israeli military court frees pregnant Palestinian security prisoner on bail
An Israeli military court decided Thursday to immediately release pregnant Palestinian security prisoner Anhar al-Deek to house arrest on around $12,500 bail.

Al-Deek’s case featured prominently in Palestinian media, as she was set to give birth in jail. The last Palestinian prisoner to give birth while in custody was Gaza resident Fatima al-Ziq in 2008.

Al-Deek, 25, was charged by Israeli military prosecutors for threatening to stab Israeli settlers at the illegal outpost of Sdeh Ephraim, which lies outside the Palestinian town of Ras Karkar in the central West Bank.

Her defense says that she suffers from a history of mental illness and was psychologically incapacitated during the incident.

According to Thursday’s court ruling, al-Deek will be under 24-hour supervision while staying at her mother’s house. She will also have to appear at an Israeli police station once a week and undergo psychological treatment, among other conditions.

According to military prosecutors, Al-Deek broke into Sdeh Ephraim’s farmhouse, grabbed a knife from the kitchen, and sought to attack one of the farm’s owners, Leah Ze’ev, who called her husband on the phone for help.

MEMRI: Egyptian Intellectual Dr. Khaled Montaser: Terms Such As Jizya, Jihad, And Infidel Belong In A Museum, Should Be Erased From Our Discourse – They Contradict The Foundations Of A Secular State
Egyptian intellectual Dr. Khaled Montaser said that such terms as "the jizya poll tax," "Jihad," "Islamic raids," "loyalty and disavowal," and "Infidel" belong in a museum and must be erased from the discourse of the Arabs, because they contradict the foundations of a secular civil state. He made these remarks in an interview that aired on Sky News Arabia (UAE) on August 1, 2021. When asked by the interviewer why Arabs fear secularism more than they fear the coronavirus, he said that this is because they are terrified of losing their rule. For more information about Dr. Khaled Montaser, see MEMRI TV clips nos. 6552 and 5849.

"There Is A Whole Lexicon Of Terms That Must Be Entirely Erased From Our Discourse... Because They Contradict The Foundations Of The Modern Secular State, Which Is Based On Laws And On The Concept Of Citizenship"

Interviewer: "Do you support a law that would criminalize takfir in the Arab world?"

Khaled Montaser: "Of course ! There is a whole lexicon of terms that must be entirely erased from our discourse. It belongs in folklore. It belongs in museums. 'The jizya poll tax,' 'Jihad,' 'ghazwa' [Islamic raid], 'loyalty and disavowal,' 'infidel'...

"All these terms must be placed in a museum because they contradict the foundations of the modern secular state, which is based on laws and on the concept of citizenship.

"How can I ask a Christian to pay the jizya in a secular state? How can I raid another country and call it an Islamic conquest? All these words should be erased from our lexicon.

MEMRI: Iranian Teacher And Activist Javad Lal-Mohammad, Following Release From Prison: Khamenei, Raisi – You Will End Up Like Saddam And Qadhafi; Go To Your Friends, Nasrallah And The Houthis
Javad Lal-Mohammadi, a teacher and activist from Mashhad, Iran, who was recently released from prison, said that the Iranian people do not want Supreme Leader Khamenei or newly elected president, Ibrahim Raisi. He made these remarks in a video that was posted by Afshin Afshin Jam on Facebook on August 10, 2021. Lal-Mohammadi said that the fate of Khamenei and Raisi will be like that of Saddam and Qadhafi. He said Raisi should go to his "friends" Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah and the Houthis of Yemen. Lal-Mohammadi added that the Khamenei has destroyed Iran and "filled it with filth." He recounted how he was flogged on every single day of his eight day prison sentence and instead of moaning he cried out: "No to the Islamic Republic!" every time the whip hit his back. Lal-Mohammadi showed off the scars on his back from the flogging. He continued to say that the only way to fix the country is for "those people to go away." He said that they could do what they want to him, but he will not pull back.

Supreme Leader Khamenei And President Raisi "Will End Up Like Qadhafi [And] Saddam!"

Javad Lal-Mohammadi: "Mr. Khamenei, you should pay attention and be careful. [Your] day is coming. Saddam was dragged out of his spider hole by the Americans, but you will be dragged out of the spider hole by the public.

"The day will come when, like Qadhafi. You will beg and say: 'you are my children,' but each piece of your flesh will be held by someone else.

"Mr. Governor of Khorasan Province, get lost! Go away from Khorasan. Mr. Head of Khorasan Intelligence, who flogs a teacher on his back — go away!

"Go away from this country! Mr. Head of the Education Department, you have stolen enough. You have cheated enough teachers. Enough! Go away!

"[President] Raisi, go to Hassan Nasrallah! Go to the Houthis of Yemen! Go to your friends!

"Enough! The people do not want you! Go away from this country! You will end up like Qadhafi! You will end up like Saddam.
Biden Needs an Effective—and Coercive— Iran Strategy
Last but not least, the American pressure campaign should seek to undermine Iran’s rulers by strengthening the pro-democracy forces that erupted in Iran in 2009 and resurfaced from 2017 to 2021. It should target the regime’s soft underbelly: its massive corruption and human rights abuses, especially against women. Conventional wisdom assumes that Iran has a stable government. In reality, as the selection of Raisi and the boycott of his election by over 50% of Iranians (and protest ballots by another 20%) demonstrated, the gap between the ruled and their Islamist overlords is expanding. Many Iranians no longer believe that the “reformists” can change the Islamic Republic from within. After the 2009 uprisings, Khamenei alluded to his regime being “on the edge of a cliff.” A new Republican president should create the distinct impression that America will help to push it over that edge.

Other key voices in Iran have warned of the regime’s precariousness. In 2019 one Iranian lawmaker, Jalil Rahimi Jahanabadi, compared the regime’s predicament to the Soviet Union’s. “When the Soviet Union collapsed,” he told the Iranian parliament, “it had 13,000 nuclear warheads and had influence in more than 20 countries and a space station, but it was torn apart on the streets of Moscow, losing its security and territorial integrity.” Mohammad Reza Tajik, a political adviser to former president Mohammad Khatami, likened Tehran to the “Titanic in turbulent waters.”

To be sure, collapsing a brutally repressive regime like the Islamic Republic will not be easy or predictable. It will require sustained US pressure, a willingness to withstand international opprobrium, and a steely determination—perhaps over a period of years—to target the full range of Iran’s malign conduct. Yet cracking the regime remains a solution that Washington should not abjure merely because it is difficult. Ultimately, it remains the best and only way to reduce instability in the region and advance US interests.

The nuclear issue likely will loom large in the immediate future and the years ahead. A willingness to negotiate arms-control agreements (as Reagan did with Moscow) must never come at the expense of continuing a relentless campaign of pressure. Any American administration should present Iran with the choice between a new and better agreement and an unrelenting American pressure campaign, which includes the credible use of force against an expanding nuclear program.

Washington does not need to have a public strategy to collapse the clerical regime; Reagan did not have one for the USSR. Our political leaders should only talk about the inevitability of the fate of the Islamic Republic. An ideologically, politically, and economically bankrupt regime, it will end up on the “ash heap of history.” Reagan spoke that way about the Soviet Union in his famous 1981 Westminster speech. In 1983, he released NSDD-75. Only seven years later, the Soviet bloc collapsed. Washington should intensify the pressure on the mullahs as Reagan did on the communists. We would be far better off this time round, of course, not to have a dogged enemy armed with atomic weapons if we can possibly avoid it.
State Dept Expands Iran Team Days After Israel Asked Biden to Abandon Nuke Talks
In meetings with President Joe Biden and top State Department officials, Bennett expressed concerns that the ongoing talks will provide Iran with economic sanctions relief and bolster the regime as it faces a cash crunch that has sparked nationwide protests. The Israelis fear a new deal will embolden Iran and its terror proxy groups operating on the country's borders. These concerns have been amplified since the Taliban retook control of Afghanistan and reportedly moved leftover U.S. military equipment into the Islamic Republic.

A State Department spokesman told the Free Beacon that Shapiro will join Iran envoy Robert Malley's negotiating team as it works to secure a new deal with Iran. America's Iran policy "will benefit greatly from the participation of a diplomat of his caliber and experience," the spokesman added.

Shapiro's tenure in the Obama administration was mired in controversy, including allegations he assisted in election interference meant to undermine then-Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Free Beacon reported at the time that a congressional investigation discovered emails it requested about the campaign had been destroyed by the State Department.

Biden and Bennett discussed the Iran threat at their meeting last week. The State Department, however, would not say whether the Israeli concerns about a new deal would factor into the administration's approach.

"The president made clear his commitment to ensure Iran never develops a nuclear weapon," the spokesman told the Free Beacon. Biden and Bennett "reviewed steps to deter and contain Iran's dangerous regional behavior. They reiterated their commitments to work constructively and deepen cooperation to address all aspects of Israel's security against Iran and other threats."

The official said the State Department does "not have further comment" on the contents or outcome of those talks.

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