Monday, September 27, 2021

From Ian:

Alan M. Dershowitz: Mainstream Democrats Introduce Bill Endangering Israel
This is not an "occupation." It is legitimate and entirely lawful self-defense. It would be a lie — a blood libel — for the United States to declare Gaza to be occupied territory.

Under international law, a military occupation may continue as long as there is belligerence, as there certainly continues to be.

Had Israeli troops remained, Israel would be criticized. Now that they have left, there is still criticism. For some, Israel can do no right.

Jerusalem is more complicated... These are not occupied territories. Nor is the rest of East Jerusalem which is part of a united city.

Israel twice offered to end its presence in more than 90% of the West Bank in exchange for peace. The Palestinian leadership refused these offers and are thus responsible for the current situation.

The bill proposed by Levin and his fellow Democrats encourages the refusal of Palestinian leaders to negotiate painful compromises that are essential to achieving peace. It also rewards the pay-to-slay and terrorist policies... It sends a dangerous message to Palestinian naysayers: you do not have to negotiate or compromise; the United States will compel Israel to give in to your demands without requiring the Palestinians to negotiate, compromise or give up terrorism.

A far better bill would be one that conditioned reopening the Palestinian embassy on a willingness of the Palestinian leadership to return to the negotiating table and engage in genuine and honest discussions leading toward a peaceful two-state solution that assured security for Israel and autonomy for the West Bank Palestinians. (There can be no solution for Gaza except a military one as long as Hamas remains in charge, and persists in its terrorism and refuses to recognize Israel.)
The Democrats' new assault on Jerusalem's Western Wall
Throughout 2016, a year rife with global Islamist terrorism and horrific human rights violations, the UN General Assembly passed 20 resolutions against Israel and four against all other countries combined. At UNESCO, an Arab–backed resolution erased any historic link between the Jewish people and Judaism’s holiest sites, the Temple Mount and the Western Wall. It also rebranded Rachel’s Tomb and the Tomb of the Patriarchs as exclusively Muslim sites. The resolution also “deeply regrets” Israel’s refusal to remove these sites from its national heritage list..."

UNSC 2334 called Jerusalem's Jewish Quarter, the Temple Mount, the Western Wall and the settlements "occupied Palestinian territories" but the Congress rejected this. H.Res.11 rejected UNSC 2334. 0n July 1st 2017 the Congress approved H.Res.11 - Objecting to United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 as an obstacle to Israeli-Palestinian peace, and for other purposes. H.Res.11 "Calls for such resolution to be repealed or fundamentally altered

On January 13, 2017 JEAN-PATRICK GRUMBERG wrote in "In a historic trial carefully forgotten by the media, the 3rd Chamber of the Court of Appeal of Versailles declared that Israel is the legal occupant of the 'West Bank'."

Until 1948 Jews were a majority of the population in Jerusalem. On December 11, 2017 Amb. Dore Gold wrote in the Jerusalem Center of Public Affairs "By the mid-19th century, the British Consulate in Jerusalem made the following determination, according to this report, which I found in the Public Record Office in Kew, it states that Jews were a majority in Jerusalem, when? already in 1863 – that’s long before Theodor Herzl, before the Britt’s arrived, or Lord Balfour."

"See the guy on the right, William Seward, he was Secretary of State of the United States during the American civil war, under President Abraham Lincoln.

"When Seward’s term ended, he visited the holy land, he visited Jerusalem. And he wrote a memoir. And in his memoir, it is written, 'There is a Jewish majority in Jerusalem.'" See William Seward, Travels Around the World (1873)

Jews were a majority of the population in Jerusalem until they were expelled by the Jordanian Arab Legion in 1948. In 1948 British General Glubb Pasha lead the Jordanian Arab Legion to expel all the Jews from Hevron, East Jerusalem and the 'West Bank'. Not only they did ethnic cleansing but they destroyed dozens of ancient synagogues and thousands of Ancient Jewish Tombstones in the Sacred Ancient Jewish Cemetery of Mount of Olives to try to erase all evidence of Jewish History.

According to the Palestinians Arabs themselves most "Palestinians" are migrants from other Arab Countries. On March 23, 2012 MEMRI reported "Hamas Minister of the Interior and of National Security Fathi Hammad Slams Egypt over Fuel Shortage in Gaza Strip, and Says: "Half of the Palestinians Are Egyptians and the Other Half Are Saudis" (Please see video in the link below)

Even though 20% of the Israeli population is Israeli Arab and Arabs are allowed to live anywhere in Israel, Abbas calls for the ethnic cleansing of all Jews from Judea and Samaria (including Jerusalem's Jewish Quarter and the Western Wall). On July 29, 2013 Reuters reported "...Abbas said that no Israeli settlers or border forces could remain in a future Palestinian state..."

In conclusion, Israel must emphasize that Jerusalem is to Judaism as Mecca is to Islam. Jerusalem is the spiritual capital of Judaism, the spiritual capital of Islam is Mecca. Jews around the world face Jerusalem when they pray, Muslims face Mecca even when in or around Jerusalem. Jews were not allowed to pray in Jerusalem's Western Wall while it was under Jordanian occupation (1948-1967) and now the Democrats are trying to get the Jews expelled from the Western Wall again.

The Palestinians Don’t Want ‘Economy for Peace’
Twenty years after the collapse of the political process, Israel is now insisting on repeating exactly the same perceptual error vis-à-vis Hamas, with the idea that an “economic settlement” will take the place of a political settlement. Economic easing and a partial relaxation of the so-called Israeli “siege” of the Gaza Strip are meant, like the spurned territorial concessions of the 1990s, to inspire Hamas and all the other Palestinian terrorist elements in Gaza to lay down their arms and make peace with Israel.

In recent years, this notion has become a cornerstone of Israel’s policy toward Gaza, comporting as it does with Israel’s reluctance to engage in further military campaigns in the Strip. So great has Israel’s attachment to this misguided idea become that it has begun to misrepresent Hamas terrorism as “disobedience” that has nothing to do with the organization’s official goal of destroying the Jewish state, which Hamas makes no attempt to conceal.

Not even the violence of the Gaza war in May could change this outlook among Israelis. On the contrary: it anchored the assumption that an economic settlement was possible. This perception reveals that Israelis have not yet internalized the fact that like the PLO, which was unwilling to accept the existence of Israel in any shape or form and expressed that view with violence even as it pretended to negotiate, Hamas’ strategy is based on a combination of negotiations and terrorism. This combination of a false willingness to negotiate and constant violent behavior also characterizes Iran in its relations with the US as it attempts to forge a path toward a nuclear weapon. This approach works well for terrorist entities because their Western enemies, be they American or Israeli, remain committed to the idea of “either/or” — either war or concessions are the pathway to peace.

There is no fundamental difference between the PLO and Hamas. As far as Israel is concerned, they feel the same way: the goal is Israel’s total destruction. Yet Israel repeats its mistakes by artificially imposing Western thought patterns on its enemies.

Political folly is not fate, however. It’s time for Israel to sober up and recognize that economic regulation carries no promise whatsoever of a secure peace.

At UN, Bennett hints at action on Iran: ‘Words don’t stop centrifuges spinning’
The prime minister’s speech opened and closed with the theme that Israel is a “lighthouse in a stormy sea.”

Bennett called Israel “a beacon of democracy, diverse by design, innovative by nature, and eager to contribute to the world — despite being in the toughest neighborhood on earth.”

Bennett did not mention the Palestinians, nor did he bring up climate change, an issue many other world leaders focused on.

In the speech, he also highlighted Israel’s treaties with Egypt and Jordan, and the 2020 Abraham Accords with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco.

“Alongside our old friends, we are gaining new friends — in the Middle East and beyond,” he said.

Bennett alluded to the 38 countries that boycotted “the racist, anti-Semitic, Durban conference.”

“It’s a choice between darkness and light,” Bennett concluded. “A bit of light dispels much darkness.”

“The lighthouse among the stormy seas — stands tall, stands strong, and her light shines brighter than ever.”

Bennett at the UN: Hating Israel doesn’t make you ‘woke’
Pointing to the 38 countries that opted out of last week’s Durban IV Conference, marking 20 years since the World Conference of Racism, which devolved into antisemitism and anti-Israel bias, Bennett said: “This conference was originally meant to be against racism, but over the years turned into a conference of racism, against Israel and the Jewish people. And the world has had enough of this. I thank the 38 countries who chose truth over lies and skipped the conference.”

The prime minister specifically thanked the US for being a “longtime, trusted friend,” citing the vote last week to fund $1bn. In Iron Dome batteries.

Bennett lamented that “for way too long, Israel was defined by wars with our neighbors. But this is not what Israel is about.”

“Israelis don’t wake up in the morning thinking about the conflict. Israelis want to lead a good life, take care of our families, and build a better world for our children,” he stated, “which means that from time to time, we might need to leave our jobs, say goodbye to our families, and rush to the battlefield to defend our country, just like my friends and I have had to do ourselves. They should not be judged for it.”

Israelis, Bennett said, are “determined to look ahead, to build a brighter future.”

While Israel is focused on doing good, it still faces a threat from a nuclear Iran, Bennett said.

“Iran's nuclear weapon program is at a critical point,” he warned. “All red lines have been crossed. Inspections — ignored. All wishful-thinking — proven false. Iran is violating the [International Atomic Energy Agency’s] safeguard agreements — and it's getting away with it.”
War crimes prosecutor leaves US forces out of new Afghan probe bid
The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court on Monday said he was seeking approval to resume a war crimes investigation into Afghanistan, focusing on the actions of the Taliban and the Islamic State Khorasan (ISIS-K) militia.

A statement said the request was being made to the court's judges in light of developments since the Islamist Taliban movement seized control of Afghanistan in a lightning advance last month.

Prosecutors had previously also looked into suspected crimes by US forces and Afghan government troops. But prosecutor Karim Khan, six months into his nine-year tenure, said they would now "deprioritize" that element of the probe due to lack of resources, and instead focus on "the scale and nature of crimes within the jurisdiction of the court".

The ICC had already spent 15 years looking into alleged war crimes in Afghanistan before opening a full investigation last year.

But that probe was put on hold by the Afghan government, which said it was investigating the crimes itself. The Hague-based ICC is a court of last resort, intervening only when a member country is unable or unwilling to prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide. Khan said the fall of the internationally recognized Afghan government and its replacement by the Taliban represented a "significant change of circumstances".
Arrest Warrants Issued for Three Iraqi Leaders Who Attended Conference Calling for Peace With Israel
Three prominent Iraqi leaders are facing arrest warrants after they participated in a conference that called for peace with Israel, Agence France-Presse reported Sunday.

The conference, held Friday in Erbil, the capital of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq, featured more than 300 attendees.

Organized by the US-based think tank the Center for Peace Communications, the conference called for Iraq to make peace with Israel and normalize relations with it in the context of the Abraham Accords.

The Iraqi government and other leaders were apoplectic at news of the conference, with the government calling it “illegal.”

Shia extremist cleric Moqtada Sadr demanded the participants be arrested, and pro-Iran MP Ahmad Assadi called them “traitors.”

Arrest warrants were quickly issued for tribal leader Wissam al-Hardan, Culture Ministry official Sahar al-Tai, and ex-MP Mithal al-Alusi, who all attended the conference.

Tai had addressed the conference, saying, “We demand our integration into the Abraham Accords.”

Bret Stephens (NYTs): A Foul Play by Progressives over Israel's Iron Dome
Whatever the tensions between the Democratic Party and Israel, they aren't anywhere near the point that the mainstream of the party would begrudge the Jewish state funding for a technological marvel that, over a decade of operation, has saved countless civilian lives by shooting down thousands of rockets fired indiscriminately at Israel by Hamas and other terrorist groups.

As it turned out, undermining Israel's security is enough of a priority for at least some House progressives that they're fully prepared to humiliate a president from their own party on the day Biden told the UN General Assembly that "the commitment of the United States to Israel's security is without question."

Support for Iron Dome should be a no-brainer - all the more so since the system is now being deployed by the U.S. to protect American troops. There is no conceivable argument that denying funding puts pressure on Israel to show greater military restraint (quite the opposite) or helps advance the cause of a two-state solution. The only coherent rationale is to give Hamas a better chance to kill Israelis in the next war.

Israeli Critics' Iron Dome Defeat Is a Win for the U.S.
Progressive Democrats in Congress attempted to gut $1 billion in funding for the Iron Dome, the missile shield that prevents Hamas from firing rockets at Israeli civilians. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wept on the floor of the House after colleagues defeated her plot and restored funding to the Iron Dome. You'd be upset too if you'd just failed to strip funding from a life-saving system that saves the wrong sort of lives.

Earlier generations of Israel-haters were careful to couch their hostility in talk of settlements, checkpoints, security detention and the military courts. This crew are against a purely defensive anti-missile system that reduces the number of Israeli children blown up in their bedrooms.

The Jews are indigenous to the Land of Israel, they alone have ever been sovereign in the territory, and they keep trying to give a state to the people they are supposed to be oppressing and keep getting blown up in response.

That AOC was outmaneuvered is good news for Israel but even better for the U.S. American influence is already crumbling in west Asia. It cannot afford to lose another ally.

IDF chief says troops hurt in West Bank raid foiled imminent attacks
Military chief Aviv Kohavi on Monday visited two soldiers seriously wounded in a gun battle while trying to capture terror group members in the northern West Bank on Sunday.

Members of the Duvdevan counter-terrorism unit, Captain “Daled” and Sergeant first-class “Yud,” identified only by their Hebrew first name initial, were transported by helicopter to Haifa’s Rambam Health Care Campus for treatment early Sunday morning.

“Your sons are warriors, as is their character. They acted in the operation while showing great courage and fearlessness,” Kohavi told their families, according to a statement from the Israel Defense Forces.

Five Palestinian suspects were killed in the raids, which targeted alleged members of a Hamas cell in the West Bank, preventing a major terror attack, officials said.

“It is important for you to know that if we had not stopped this network, of the Hamas terror organization, they would have been at an advanced stage and would have carried out attacks in Israeli cities,” the IDF chief said.

“Your sons prevented these attacks,” he added.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz also visited the wounded troops and their families on Monday.
Conditions of wounded IDF soldiers improves in hospital
As the conditions of the IDF troops seriously wounded in the anti-Hamas operation in the West Bank continue to improve, a senior IDF medical officer said that the two men might not have survived if not for the quick thinking of the paramedic who treated them.

“They got the most advanced medical treatment in the world,” the senior officer said. "Those two men, anywhere else in the world, would have likely died before getting to the hospital. The chances of getting to the hospital alive was really small."

Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa, where the two men are being treated, announced Monday that their conditions were improving. One of them regained consciousness and is expected to be removed from a ventilator, and has communicated with his family. The other is scheduled to undergo a lengthy operation for his wounds.

The two troops, a platoon commander and his soldier, were seriously injured during a firefight in the West Bank village of Burqin when they engaged armed Palestinian terrorists. The IDF’s preliminary investigation is looking into the circumstances surrounding their injuries but is leaning towards the possibility that they were injured by friendly fire.

One of the men was shot in the chest and lost one of his lungs while the other man was shot in the jaw and stomach. The two are also suffering from shrapnel wounds.

“They were very seriously injured... and from the moment they were shot, the 18-year-old EMT-P went straight to treat them. The time we have to get to an injured person and give them medical treatment is seconds,” the officer said, adding that while “most armies around the world have their paramedics in the back, in the IDF they are in the front.”
Israel's West Bank raid proves Hamas is trying to have it both ways
The Israeli military, the Shin Bet internal security agency and Border Police's joint raid overnight Sunday on Hamas infrastructure on the West Bank was an unusual event, owing not only to its large scope and deadly outcome — five dead Palestinian militants and two seriously wounded IDF soldiers — but to its implications for the future.

Hamas is trying to have it both ways — the terror outfit is negotiating an agreement with Israel on the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip following their last standoff in May while concurrently scheming terrorist acts against the Jewish state on the West Bank.

Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar has made it his goal to alleviate the plight of the Palestinian enclave's residents through an arrangement with Israel while solidifying his organization's image as an armed Islamist group girded for conflict with the so-called "Zionist occupier."

Hamas has been pushed aside lately as the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) group threw down the gauntlet several times in the form of launching rocket fire into Israel and orchestrating the escape of the six security prisoners from the maximum-security Gilboa Prison earlier this month. Hamas fears losing its dominance on the Palestinian street if people start feeling like the group has abandoned the armed struggle against Israel. That is why it has been working as of late to establish armed, well-organized terrorist capabilities in the central and northern West Bank with help from the group's top brass, some of whom are operating from Turkey and Lebanon.

Building such capabilities took many months, perhaps even more than a year. It included funneling funds for the purchase of weapons by terror units that have already begun training for an attack and conveying the know-how necessary to produce homemade explosives. The militants themselves are villagers from the Ramallah and Jenin areas, places where Hamas has long had a very strong presence.
PA using Israeli army to push Hamas & Islamic Jihad out of West Bank

2 Israeli officers injured after clashes in Nablus as Jews visit Joseph's Tomb
Clashes and firefights broke out between Palestinians and Israeli security forces on Sunday night as about 500 Jewish worshipers visited Joseph's Tomb in Nablus in the West Bank, with two Border Policemen injured by Palestinian rioters.

As the Israeli forces and worshipers entered the city, dozens of Palestinians rioted, throwing rocks and explosives toward their vehicles and firing toward security forces, according to Border Police.

Border Police responded to the riots with live fire and riot dispersal methods. One officer was lightly wounded by an explosive and transferred for treatment to an IDF clinic. Another officer was injured lightly by a stone that hit his face and was treated at the scene.

Amid the firefight, an armored vehicle belonging to Border Police sustained significant damage.
Arab MK's embrace of paroled PFLP terrorist sparks outrage
Joint Arab List member Aida Touma-Suleiman garnered harsh criticism Sunday for publicly expressing support for the newly released Khalida Jarrar who had been arrested for involvement in terrorist activity.

Jarrar is a Palestinian lawmaker and a senior official at the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorist organization, whose members carried out an attack in Samaria in 2018, killing 17-year-old Rina Shnerb and seriously wounding her father and sibling.

Jarrar was released on Sunday after a two-year sentence she received as part of a plea bargain with the Military Prosecution.

Touma-Suleiman posted a congratulatory message on Facebook that included a photo with her and Jarrar embracing. In the background, one can see Ahmad Sa'adat, secretary-general of the Popular Front, who orchestrated the failed assassination of Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze'evi.
Palestinian Escapees Are Murderers, Not Freedom Fighters
In November 2002, Samuel Milshevsky, who immigrated to Israel from Estonia a year earlier; Yehiav Elshad, 28, who immigrated from Azerbaijan; and student Inbal Weiss, 23, were murdered on a bus near Pardes Hanna by a suicide bomber sent by Mohammed Aradeh, one of six prisoners who escaped Gilboa Prison earlier this month. What did these two new immigrants and a student on her way to class do to anyone that warranted sentencing them to a terrible death by suicide bombing?

Four of the prisoners are convicted murderers who offered no shred of mercy to their victims. They took human lives at random. They don't deny and even take pride in what they did. In September 2002, escapee Yakub Kadari murdered Yosef Ajami - shooting at his car with an automatic weapon near Mevo Dotan in the West Bank. The same day, Kadari sent a suicide bomber to the Um al-Fahm Junction, killing police officer Moshe Hezkiyah, who approached the bomber.

In 2006, a car stopped to offer a ride to Eliyahu Asheri, 18. Inside was Iham Kamamji, another of the escapees, who levelled a pistol at Asheri's head and calmly pulled the trigger.
Palestinian officers go on trial over death of Abbas critic Nizar Banat
A Palestinian military court on Monday began the trial of 14 security officers charged with beating to death a prominent critic of President Mahmoud Abbas, in a case that has drawn widespread protests and calls for his resignation.

Nizar Banat's death following his arrest on June 24 has heightened criticism of Abbas' Palestinian Authority and his security forces, who human rights groups say regularly arrest critics in the West Bank. Abbas denies the charges.

An autopsy carried out the day Banat died showed he was struck in the head and over the body with metal rods, leading to his death. The PA, which has limited self-rule in the West Bank, has vowed to hold those responsible to account.

Appearing in Monday's court session in the West Bank city of Ramallah, the indicted officers pleaded not guilty as prosecutors read out a charge sheet including battery, abuse of power and violation of military instructions.

But Banat's family have demanded that senior Palestinian officials be held to account over his death, accusing Abbas and his prime minister, Mohammad Shtayyeh, of deflecting blame.

FDD: Suicide Bombers Take Part in West Bank Ceremony
Members of the Fatah-affiliated al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades wore what appears to be explosive-laden vests during a ceremony Friday night in the West Bank town of Jenin in commemoration of several Palestinians who were killed in clashes with Israeli security forces during the previous months.

In addition to the apparent explosive-laden vests, the militants wore a white garb signifying what they believe is a sign of their readiness to meet God as a martyr.

During the ceremony, a militant accompanying the suicide bombers threatened that factions would respond if Israeli forces entered Jenin.

“[We are] here in the Joint Operations Room in Jenin camp. The room consists of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, and Saraya al-Quds. We warn the Zionist enemy against committing any foolishness and entering the Jenin camp, because we will be ready. We warn the Zionist enemy against committing any foolishness and entering the Jenin camp, and we will be ready for any Israeli attack or aggression,” the militant stated.
Sudanese FM downplays Israel ties, says no plans for Israeli embassy in Khartoum
Sudan’s foreign minister has downplayed the country’s emerging ties with Israel, saying that there are currently no plans to establish an Israeli embassy in Khartoum.

In an interview published with The National Sunday, 11 months after the announcement of normalization between the countries, Mariam al-Sadiq al-Mahdi said that there is “not any sign of normalization with Israel.”

Nonetheless, in April, the Sudanese cabinet abolished a 63-year-old Israel boycott law. And last week, Sudanese authorities seized assets of companies linked to the Hamas terror group, which rules the Gaza Strip.

“There is no talk at any official level,” al-Mahdi said, adding that “abolishing a law on boycotting Israel does not mean that we consider opening an Israeli embassy in Khartoum.”

Al-Mahdi said that Sudan agreed to normalization so as to improve economic ties with the rest of the globe by becoming a member of the World Trade Organization.

“We have been trying to be a member of the WTO whose terms stipulate that there should be no boycotts between member states,” al-Mahdi said. “We want to be a country open to the world and different partnerships.” Ties with Israel are “completely linked to lifting Sudan off the US state sponsors of terrorism list,” she maintained.
Sudan Closes Door on Support for Hamas
Sudanese authorities have taken control of a dozen companies that officials say were linked to Hamas, shedding light on how the country served as a haven for the Palestinian militant group under former Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir.

Seized assets include real estate, company shares, a hotel in a prime Khartoum location, an exchange bureau, a TV station, and more than a million acres of farmland.

Hamas has lost a foreign base where members and supporters could live, raise money, and channel Iranian weapons and funds to Gaza.
IAEA: Violating deal, Iran denies access to site it says was sabotaged by Israel
Iran denied access to UN inspectors who were seeking to visit the Karaj centrifuge assembly site on Sunday, several months after a sabotage incident at the facility, which Tehran blamed on Israel.

Citing several unnamed sources, The Wall Street Journal reported that International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors were seeking to replace and fix up cameras at the site as part of a deal struck earlier this month.

The IAEA confirmed later Sunday that its inspectors were turned away from the site, with a statement from the agency’s head, Rafael Grossi, saying the move violated the September 12 agreement to allow inspectors to service the surveillance equipment.

“The Director General reiterates that all of the agency’s activities referred to in the joint statement for all identified agency equipment and Iranian facilities and locations are indispensable in order to maintain continuity of knowledge,” the UAEA said in a statement said.

Grossi in his latest report on Iran informed member states that the Islamic republic had granted all other access from September 20 to 22.

Agency inspectors had been allowed to service monitoring and surveillance equipment and to replace storage media at “all necessary locations” except the Karaj workshop, the statement said.
EU, US urge Iran to let nuclear watchdog access site allegedly struck by Israel
The European Union and United States on Monday urged Iran to allow inspectors access to a nuclear site, while Tehran argued the facility was exempt from a recent agreement with the United Nations watchdog.

The Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Sunday that it had been denied “indispensable” access to the TESA Karaj centrifuge component manufacturing workshop near Tehran, contrary to a September 12 agreement with Iran.

The facility was the site of a sabotage incident in June, which Iran blamed on Israel. Without disclosing details, Iranian authorities acknowledged that the alleged strike had damaged the building.

Iran’s ambassador to the IAEA Kazem Gharibabadi on Monday rejected the charge on Twitter.

“During the discussions in Tehran and Vienna, Iran indicated that… equipment related to this Complex are not included for servicing,” he wrote, referring to IAEA work on its surveillance equipment.

Sunday’s IAEA statement “isn’t accurate and goes beyond the agreed terms,” he added.

Three injured in fire at Iran Guards’ research facility
Three people were injured Sunday in a fire at a research center belonging to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iran state TV reported.

Citing a statement from the IRGC, the report said the fire, at a site west of Tehran, was brought under control.

“With the efforts of the firefighters of this center, the fire was contained and the injured were taken to the hospital,” the statement said.

The report did not indicate the extent of the damage from the blaze, or the possible cause.

The powerful IRGC controls major aspects of Iran’s security facilities and operations.

Several mysterious incidents have in recent years damaged Iranian facilities, including those tied to its defense establishment or its nuclear program.

Iran has blamed some of the incidents on sabotage by Israel.

Israel has officially neither confirmed nor denied involvement.

PreOccupiedTerritory: Taliban Groom Frustrated Toys “R” Us Gone: Wanted Bride’s Registry There (satire)
A member of the militant Islamist group that now governs Afghanistan voiced his disappointment today that his fiancée will be unable to create an age-appropriate wish-list for wedding invitees to consult at her preferred retailer, because that chain of toy stores went out of business.

Omar Massoud, 29, claimed a bride from among various daughters of a family that had supported the previous regime. His position within a Taliban unit that overran Kabul as the US and allies withdrew their military presence allowed him first choice of the captives, and he selected Fala, who, until Massoud’s group shut it down, had attended third grade at a local school. The fighter expressed excitement at his upcoming nuptials, then frustration that his bride-to-be will be denied a gift registry at Toys “R” Us now that the latter went bankrupt and closed all of its branches.

“It’s a big problem, because there aren’t any real alternatives out there,” he lamented. “I was hoping we could get her some hijab-wearing Barbies, maybe a Barbie Dream Humvee that the Americans abandoned, or something. Her friends and family could know exactly what toys to get her, like maybe an E-Z Bake oven, or a Snoopy snowcone machine. Now we won’t be able to celebrate as we should.”


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