Monday, May 23, 2022

From Ian:

Time for a reality check
How convenient it is for the coalition that characters like Joint Arab List MKs Ofer Cassif and Ahmad Tibi are part of the opposition. When they are caught on camera hitting a police officer or disrupting police in the line of duty, then the coalition can adopt its combative tone. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Public Security Minister Omer Barlev can put on a grave expression and condemn the opposition MKs for crossing a red line, and they can back up the police and the security forces while deputy minister Abir Kara collects signatures to impeach Cassif for his "anti-Israel" comportment.

But the maelstrom surrounding Cassif's slap of a police officer is no more than a veil, and an efficient one at that, for the government's other chagrins. Cassif is the same Cassif and Tibi is the same Tibi – both of them are at the far end of the opposition and are well known for their constant and flagrant provocations against the core values of Israeli statehood. The very same statehood that the "government of change" swore to rehabilitate.

If we wish to pretend to be shocked by an anti-Israel stance and debasement of the security forces then we should do so with regard to someone who was allowed to walk into the halls of Israeli statehood thanks to a "political accident." I am referring to Ra'am MK Waleed Taha who said: "How ugly and pitiful is the face of the damned occupation! The occupation murdered Shireen Abu Akleh in cold blood, and also prevents the masses from participating in the pain of her death."

Yamina MK Nir Orbach immediately responded "the fundamental error is in the word 'occupation'" adding, "enough of this mendacious terminology." This led his coalition colleague Meretz MK Mossi Raz to suggest that he look up, "the definition of the term occupation before claiming it does not exist." While it's nice that the opportunity has been found to conduct a symposium on the semantics of the Israeli-Arab conflict, occupation or not, the key term in Taha's tweet was "murder in cold blood."

JPost Editorial: Rinawie Zoabi can no longer represent Israel in China
It’s too early to say for sure whether Meretz MK Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi got what she wanted out of the coalition crisis she manufactured last week – other than attention. But the case shines a light on many problems both in the country’s political system and in the way that diplomatic appointments are made. Rinawie Zoabi surprised Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and his partners when she suddenly announced that she was leaving the coalition to protest what she claimed was a series of problems within the Arab community. Among other things, she cited recent clashes on the Temple Mount, Sheikh Jarrah, settlements, house demolitions, the Citizenship Law and land confiscations in the Negev. The last straw, she said, was the clash between police and the Palestinians who carried the Palestinian flag-draped coffin of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in Jerusalem.

Rinawie Zoabi is no stranger to making bold protest measures. In January, she voted against the government’s bill on the ultra-Orthodox military draft, which as a result did not pass. She said then that she was voting to protest JNF tree planting on land which Bedouin residents of the Negev claim is theirs. Largely as a result of this protest gesture, instead of being punished within the coalition, Rinawie Zoabie was rewarded with a prestigious diplomatic appointment meant to remove the unpredictable lawmaker from the Knesset. She was, the government decided, to become Israel’s consul-general in Shanghai. Tellingly, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid gave the appointment to a Meretz MK, rather than to a member of his own Yesh Atid list. This was another reason to suspect that the appointment was largely a means to remove Rinawie Zoabi from the Knesset where she could endanger the government’s survival.

Her decision to resign from the coalition (but not the Knesset) was interpreted as a protest at what she sees as stalling over her appointment as consul-general, which still has to go through different channels for approval, like any official diplomatic appointment.

Although the position is considered to be more focused on commercial and financial ties, a field in which she is indeed qualified, the fact that she frequently attacks the government and the country makes her unsuitable for a post representing it. During a barrage of Hezbollah rockets from Lebanon in August, she went as far as telling KAN Radio that “Bennett knows that if the government enters into a military confrontation, the coalition will fall because Meretz and Ra’am will not agree to such a thing.” It was an open warning to the government that it could not respond to attacks from the terrorist organization and survive.
New Dialogue and Collaboration between EU and Israel
European Parliament President Roberta Metsola is visiting Israel and will address the Knesset on Monday, symbolizing an encouraging and dramatic change in Europe's tone and approach in its relations with the Jewish state.

Europeans have become much more suspicious of Iran. The danger of Iran's nuclear and hegemonic ambitions was amplified after the Russian invasion of Ukraine and Russia's nuclear threats, which shook the Europeans at their core. Statements criticizing anti-Zionism as a disguise for anti-Semitism are also becoming more prevalent among Europe's most influential voices. The EU has withheld funds from UNRWA due to the incitement against Jews and Israelis in Palestinian textbooks.

Moreover, a number of European nations have experienced acts of radical, Islamic terror and are wary of shifting demographics within their own societies that could be susceptible to further Islamic radicalization. At the same time, Israel's economic success and its pioneering prowess in the high-tech sector have increased its stature in Europe.

Tlaib and her crocodile tears
A Palestinian-American has been murdered—but not the one whom Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib has been tweeting about.

Here’s what Rep. Tlaib tweeted on May 11: “[Al Jazeera reporter] Shireen Abu Akleh was murdered by a government that receives unconditional funding by our country with zero accountability.” And: “An American journalist clearly marked with press credentials was murdered. Doing and saying nothing just enables more killings.”

It’s good to know that a United States congressmember cares when an American citizen is killed overseas. But why is it that Rep. Tlaib cares only about someone whose death she can falsely blame on Israel, while showing zero interest in a Palestinian-American who was murdered by the Palestinian Authority?

On September 27, 1995, a few months after my daughter Alisa was murdered by Arab terrorists, a 52 year-old Palestinian-American man named Azzam Muhammad Ibrahim Muslih was arrested by the PA police in the village of Ein Yabrud. Muslih was the owner of a grocery store in Dallas, Texas, and was known to be a generous contributor to community projects in Ein Yabrud, his home town.

As I describe more details of the Muslih case, I am only going to cite pro-Palestinian Arab sources, so that nobody can think that this account is part of some kind of anti-Palestinian vendetta.

Two days after the PA arrested him, Muslih’s dead body was delivered to his family. “Relatives said Mr. Muslih's body bore a bruise on the forehead and wounds on the lips and right ear,” the New York Times reported. There were also cigarette burns on his body, the family said.

“Under heavy pressure from United States officials,” the Times continued, “the Palestinian police force in Jericho said today that it had begun an investigation.” I wonder why it required “heavy pressure” from the U.S. for the PA to even investigate the matter? Considering that the PA was then receiving $500-million annually from the U.S. (today the figure is about $350-million), you would think that it would not have to be pressured into investigating the death of a U.S. citizen.

Russia Permanently Bans Three Senior Chabad Rabbis
The Kremlin has released a list of 963 Americans it has permanently banned from traveling to Russia in retaliation against US sanctions over its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, Axios reported.

The list is an update to a sanctions list it initially released in March that included President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and other administration officials, though the sanctions themselves are largely symbolic, it was reported.

The list, published by the Russian Foreign Ministry, has been significantly expanded to encompass numerous people not involved with the US government, like tech executives and journalists, Axios said.

“In the context of response to the constantly imposed anti-Russian sanctions by the United States and in connection with incoming requests about the personal composition of our national ‘stop list’, the Russian Foreign Ministry publishes a list of American citizens who are permanently banned from entering the Russian Federation,” the ministry said in an accompanying statement.

“We emphasize that the hostile actions taken by Washington, which boomerang against the United States itself, will continue to receive a proper rebuff,” it added.

The list includes three rabbis associated with Agudas Chassidei Chabad (“Aguch”), the umbrella organization for the worldwide Chabad-Lubavitch movement.

Chabad has long sought the return of its historic collection of Jewish and Chassidic books and manuscripts amassed by the Rebbes of Chabad and seized by Russia since the Second World War.
Jerusalem Court Rules in Favor of Jews Praying on Temple Mount
The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Sunday ruled that Jews are now allowed to recite the Shema prayer and bow down on the Temple Mount.

The decision was taken following an appeal by the legal defense group Honenu against the arrest of three young Jews, detained after praying at the site. They received a 15-day restraining order.

The status quo at the site, administered by the Jordanian Waqf, allows Muslims to visit and pray there almost every day, while Jews are not allowed to pray there and can only visit the site on certain days at fixed times.

Judge Zion Saharay said that the recitation of the Jewish prayer “Shema Israel” presents no “reason that could lead to breach of peace,” saying three young Jews should not be banned from site, like police demanded it.

“We are very happy with the court’s decision. It is time for the Israeli police to start arresting the rioters and people who commit crimes in Jerusalem, and to protect the inhabitants. They must stop dealing with esoteric issues while violating blatant religious freedom for Jews on the Temple Mount,” Honenu group lawyer Nati Rom said.
Media Accuse Israel of Violating Jerusalem ‘Status Quo’, Turn Blind Eye to Foreign Gov’ts That Actually Do
Biased Coverage Normalizes Palestinian Rejection of Coexistence
By not reporting on the undermining by external forces of stability in Jerusalem that aims to chip away at Israel’s sovereignty over the city, media outlets have erased crucial context from a complex issue.

Perhaps the most significant outcome of this journalistic malfeasance is that the PA’s rejectionism is given a pass. For while many insist that Jerusalem must be divided in the event of a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, Ramallah marks no distinction between the eastern and western parts of the city.

In 2020, one of PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ advisors, Mahmoud Al-Habbash, made clear in a television interview that “Jerusalem and Palestine” will be liberated and “will belong to us alone.”

The media’s refusal to report on any of this has effectively legitimized the assault on Israel’s sovereignty over its capital city.

The ongoing manipulation of the “status quo” by foreign actors, and the apparent cover-up by their media allies, has significantly harmed coexistence.
Jordan: Court support for Jewish prayer at Temple Mount breaches international law
Jordan on Sunday panned an Israeli court’s dramatic ruling in favor of three Jewish teenagers who bowed down and recited the “Shema Yisrael” prayer at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, warning that it flew in the face of international law.

“The decision allows extremists to hold ceremonies at the Al-Aqsa compound,” a statement issued by the Jordanian foreign ministry read.

By praying at the site, the teenagers violated a longstanding but informal arrangement that dictates that Jews are allowed to visit the site but not pray there.

“The ruling is legally null and void according to international law, which does not recognize the authority of the Israeli judicial system on occupied Palestinian territories from 1967, including East Jerusalem,” it said, adding that the ruling “is a gross violation of international decisions relating to Jerusalem, including resolutions passed by the United Nations Security Council, which all clarify that the status quo must be maintained in the holy city.”

The office of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called the decision “a serious violation of the historical status quo” and urged Washington “to intervene urgently to stop the Israeli attacks on our people and their sanctities.”

In comments that also referenced Israelis’ upcoming Jerusalem Day “Flag March” through the Old City, Abbas’s office called “on our people to challenge and confront these attacks.”
Two Jews prevented from praying on Temple Mount, a day after court ruling
A Jewish man was detained by police for bowing down on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Monday, a day after a court decision appeared to approve Jews engaging in such religious practices at the flashpoint holy site, bucking decades of enforcement against the practice.

Video clips showed two men trying to access the Temple Mount while wearing Jewish prayer shawls and tefillin and being stopped by police at an entrance security gate. One of the men was later detained after gaining entry.

The incident came a day after the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court, in a near-unprecedented decision, ruled in favor of three Jewish teenagers who were temporarily barred from the Temple Mount compound after they bowed down and recited the “Shema Yisrael” prayer.

MK Itamar Ben Gvir, leader of the extreme-right Otzma Yehudit party, posted the video of the two men arriving at the security checkpoint and accused police of “not respecting a court decision.”

“The police are sending a message of anarchy and regrettably encouraging youth to not uphold judicial decisions,” he wrote.

Bedouin students wave Palestinian flags in Ben-Gurion University protest
Hundreds of Bedouin students at Beersheba's Ben-Gurion University in the Negev commemorated Nakba Day by flying Palestinian flags on the university's campus on Monday.

The protest, which was publicly criticized by politicians and Beersheba Mayor Ruvik Danilovich, was countered by Jewish students who held a rally with Israeli flags nearby.

In a letter sent to university president Daniel Chamovitz, the mayor strongly condemned the decision to allow the Palestinian demonstrations to take place at the university, that it shows the university's "fragility," Danilovich said.

Danilovich continued his scathing attack on the Bedouin protesters and called for a ban on any political activity on campus, especially "a demonstration which blatantly defies Israel's sovereignty."

"A redline was crossed today," the mayor said. "Our leadership must be felt... I am ashamed."

PA refers Abu Akleh death to International Criminal Court prosecutors
Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad al-Maliki said Monday that the PA had referred Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh’s death to the International Criminal Court’s prosecutor’s office on Saturday.

Abu Akleh was killed as she was covering a gunfight between Israeli forces and Palestinian gunmen in Jenin on May 11. The next day, echoing calls by other Palestinian officials, PA President Mahmoud Abbas vowed that the matter would be taken to The Hague.

Defense Ministry Benny Gantz, who supports strengthening the Palestinian Authority and has met several times with Abbas, said on Sunday that referring the case to the ICC would hurt ties between Jerusalem and Ramallah.

Also Monday, speaking at the Israel Bar Association’s annual conference in Eilat, the IDF’s military advocate general said the Palestinians were preventing a proper investigation of the incident by not handing over to Israel the bullet that killed Abu Akleh. Israel has offered to cooperate with the Palestinians in the investigation, alongside an international authority, but the Palestinians have refused, saying they do not trust Israel.

“At this stage, it is unclear which side fired the round that struck the journalist,” said Gen. Yifat Tomer-Yerushalmi, stressing the IDF’s responsibility to protect freedom of the press and prevent harm to journalists.

“The best way to determine how the journalist died is to check the bullet that was found in her body through a professional ballistic investigation,” she continued, saying that the PA refuses to provide Israel with the round. “Without the possibility of investigation of the bullet, doubt remains at this time.”
Why has truth become the first casualty in the media’s coverage of Israel?
The response from the global media was outrage, anger and the usual, expected, reflexive blaming of Israel for firing the fatal bullet.

The next casualty was the truth about what actually happened.

Nobody waited for proof of whodunit but they immediately jumped to conclusion faster and higher than an Olympic athlete competing for a medal. Israel, having learnt the brutal lesson taught by the Mohammed Al Dura case where the IDF immediately accepted responsibility for the killing of the little boy but on closer investigation it was found he was killed in the crossfire by a Palestinian bullet, called for a joint investigation. The Palestinians refused.

To date, the Palestinians have refused to hand over the fatal bullet and Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas, under international pressure to cooperate with an investigation, has said “international organisations” may take part but not Israel. He omits to say which organisations or how much participation they may have. The Palestinian medical examiner who carried out the autopsy on Al Akleh said that it was impossible to draw conclusive results.

But this did not mollify the global media who still maintain Israel is responsible. Not only has the global media bared its teeth for Israel but they also forgot to mention a very import thing – the context in which this exchange of fire took place. Since the beginning of March, Israel has endured a wave of terror that has seen 19 people killed. Several of these attacks have been planned and carried out by Palestinians from the town of Jenin in the West Bank. Jenin is a hotbed of incitement and terror activity and even the PA have lost control. The only way to root out terror, is for IDF security forces to engage in counterterror operations. This was the reason there was an exchange of fire. Al Akleh’s death could have been accidental and a horrible mistake.

MEMRI: Jordan's 'Al-Rai' Daily Continues Incitement: Article Claims Israeli Prime Minister Bennett, 'A Nazi With A Kippah,' Ordered The Assassination Of Al-Jazeera Reporter Shireen Abu 'Akleh
On May 16, 2022, the website of the Jordanian state daily Al-Rai posted an article by journalist Raja Talab titled "Naftali Bennett – A Nazi with a Kippah." The article claimed that Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett ordered to assassinate Al-Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu 'Akleh, who was killed on May 11, 2022 in a firefight between Palestinian gunmen and the Israeli armed forces in Jenin. Talab called Bennett and other Israeli officials Nazis, and stated that Bennett, who has certain characteristics in common with Hitler, is motivated by "a murderous instinct," by "constant feelings of inferiority" and by a desire to defend "a fake sense of nationalism." The article was reposted on the website, and also posted on Al-Rai's social media accounts, on May 21.

It should be noted that, in the recent weeks, amid the events at Al-Aqsa and the resultant tension between Israel and Jordan, the Jordanian state daily Al-Rai has published several virulent articles against Israel, some of which also included antisemitic claims and Holocaust denial.[1] Two of these articles were likewise by Raja Talab. In one he supported the statement of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who said that Hitler was Jewish, and in the second he claimed that Israel inflates the scope of the Holocaust and falsifies its details, and pronounced it unlikely that six million Jews died in the Holocaust.

The following are translated excerpts from his article:[2]
"Naftali Bennett and his family, which came from California to Palestine in 1967, have no more connection [to the land] than an olive or fig sapling [recently] planted on Palestinian soil. Like the vast majority of those who call themselves 'Israelis,' they have no connection to this land or this region. They are descended from the Khazars of eastern Europe, and have nothing to do with the Semitic race [in terms of] their genes or even their appearance. [The Israelis] came to Palestine fleeing poverty and hunger after World War II or seeking 'freedom' from the Soviet and socialist totalitarian regimes of the cold war era. In either case, their immigration to Palestine was handed to them like a free gift by the Jewish Agency for Israel… which oversaw the immigration project under the enticing slogan of 'A Better Life in the Promised Land.'

"This is a land they know nothing about and had never heard of [before immigrating to it]. But what is conspicuous and embarrassing about these people is that they became unrestrained extremists [in their attitude to] the Palestinians and Arabs… Among these [extremists] are Naftali Bennett, [Israeli Finance Minister] Avigdor Lieberman, and [former Israeli prime minister] Binyamin Netanyahu. Bennett, who was the head of the Settlement Council,[3] is the most extremist of them…
Probe Finds Sponge-Tipped Bullet Didn’t Kill Palestinian in Al-Aqsa Clashes
An investigation into the death of the Palestinian who died during clashes at the Temple Mount last month found he wasn’t hit by a sponge-tipped bullet, according to Monday reports.

The findings, obtained by Haaretz, are based on medical opinions and medical documents from institutions, including Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Karam, where Walid al-Sharif was hospitalized.

Al-Sharif, aged 21, of eastern Jerusalem, collapsed last month while fleeing the Temple Mount and was taken to the hospital with injuries.

The Palestinians claim a sponge-tipped bullet fired by police hit him. Israel Police say he had been throwing stones at them and sustained a head injury when he fell while running away. He died May 14.

There are no marks on al-Sharif’s body that indicate he was hit by a sponge-tipped bullet, according to Haaretz, citing medical documents. Instead, experts think he collapsed due to a heart attack, which is what also caused the massive brain injury that led to his death.
PMW:Immortalizing a child terrorist
On October 15, 2015, as part of the PA instigated “Knife Intifada” terror campaign, two Palestinian terrorists, aged 15 and 13 years old, went on a terror spree in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Ze’ev. Before being neutralized, the pair managed to attack and inflict life threatening injuries on two Israelis. Yosef Ben Shalom, then 21 years old, was stabbed twice in the chest. Naor Ben Ezra, then just 12 years old, was stabbed 4 times.

Video footage released by the Israel police showed the terrorists, knives in hand, chasing their potential victim.

The older of the terrorists was killed on the spot, while the younger, Ahmad Manasrah, was just injured. Manasrah was then indicted and later convicted of 2 counts of attempted murder. While the Jerusalem District Court sentenced him to 12 years in prison, Israel’s Supreme Court lowered the sentence to 9 and a half years.

Having served over two thirds of his sentence, the PA has now launched a widespread media and social media campaign to free Manasrah.

Discussing the campaign, PA TV presented the all too familiar warped description of the events that led to Manasrah’s incarceration, omitting any reference to the fact that he and his accomplice nearly murdered 2 people:
Text on screen: “This child [Ahmad Manasrah] has become a 20-year-old youth today. It is impossible to forget his screams [from his interrogation video]: ‘I don’t remember.’ The occupation arrested him when he was 12 after he was run over and beaten by the settlers. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison”

[Official PA TV, April 6, 2022]

As part of the campaign, the scouts in the PA controlled city of Tubas participated in special vigils on Manasrah’s behalf and made new members from kindergartens hold signs declaring, “We are all Ahmad Manasrah”:
Headline: “A group of girl scouts from the Tubas charity association organized a welcoming ceremony for the new members from the kindergartens”

Text on sign: “We are all Ahmad Manasrah”

“A group of young girl scouts from the Tubas charity association participated in the vigil of solidarity with prisoner Ahmad Manasrah”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 15, 2022]

Gaza Terror Groups Prepare for Next War with Israel
One year after the May 2021 war in Gaza, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad are hard at work preparing for the next conflict with Israel.

They are developing and perfecting new attack methods, including digging more tunnels, utilizing drone technology, and expanding their naval capabilities.

Newly dug tunnels recently uncovered by the IDF reach the Israeli border but don't cross Israel's new subterranean barrier. Adjusting its tactics, Hamas hopes to emerge out of the tunnels on the Gaza side and then break through the partition fence.

Hamas has also added 1,000 rockets to its arsenal since last year and is focusing on their quality, improving their range and accuracy.

PreOccupiedTerritory: Hamas: NY’s East Side Access Delayed, Wasteful Because No Children Enslaved To Dig Tunnels (satire)
Consultants from the militant Islamist movement that governs the Gaza Strip issued their report today on the audit they conducted of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s failure to maintain scheduling and budgetary discipline in its decades-long project to connect the Long Island Rail Road with Manhattan’s Grand Central Terminal on the borough’s east side, with the chief factor, in the consultants’ view, the MTA’s refusal to conscript minors to perform the most hazardous underground tasks as the movement itself has done in Gaza.

A group of mid-level Hamas officials submitted their analysis to the MTA and several federal agencies that provided funding for the massive infrastructure project, a project that already dwarfs in cost others of similar physical scope. The Hamas analysis’s chief critique of the project’s economic management centers on labors costs, which instead of upwards of $5 billion to date, could have topped out at less than $200,000 had the MTA adhered to Hamas’s tunnel construction standards: drafting young boys to excavate the passages with hand-held equipment and to labor under inhuman conditions for little or no recompense and with no regard for basic safety or hygiene.

Other factors the consultants found include wasteful, redundant contracts, conflicting jurisdictions, and corruption, none of which went against the way Hamas does things in Gaza anyway.

Initial estimates and budgeting put the East Side Access project cost at just over $3 billion; it has already ballooned to more than $11 billion. Completion at first aimed for 2009; current forecasts call for LIRR commuter train operations to commence no earlier than the end of 2022. A more assiduous application of child slave labor, the Hamas report contends, could have slashed those skyrocketing costs and, as a societal benefit, taken thousands of young people off the streets and a life of the violent crime now plaguing New York.
Is Russia's Withdrawal from Syria an Opportunity for Israel?
A recent IDF drill includes simulated airstrikes on Iran and a simulated multi-front war against Iran-backed proxies in Syria, Lebanon, and Gaza. The message was unmistakable: The Israeli government is weighing its military options.

The war in Ukraine has prompted Russia to redeploy some forces and hardware out of Syria, and the Iranians want to fill the void. Iran appears determined to establish offensive capabilities on Israel's doorstep and the Israelis are determined not to let that happen. The number of Israeli

A TikTok war and weapons-grade enrichment
IDF Brig.-Gen. Amir Sa'ar, head of the Military Intelligence Research Division, says, "Iran is weeks away from accumulating a sufficient quantity of uranium for a nuclear bomb....It's the most advanced position they've reached in terms of accumulating materials....They've achieved complete control of advanced centrifugal technology."

However, Sa'ar says, the Iranians need another two years before they will be able to produce a bomb, since they still haven't mastered metallurgy or the production of the explosive device.

"Three things have always worked with the Iranians: military pressure, internal distress and political pressure. When these were used, they prompted the Iranians to make their biggest decisions. Iran can be deterred, and we have to have the capability to operate against them."

"I doubt [the recent spate of Palestinian terror attacks] can be defined as a 'wave,' like in the past....The Palestinian public weren't part of this for a moment. There is weariness among them, as well as a lack of understanding of what, exactly, the issue is. The cry 'Al-Aqsa is in danger' doesn't resonate with the [Palestinian] population in Judea and Samaria. It's an eastern Jerusalem event, a bit Arab Israeli, but has nothing to do with Judea and Samaria."

Israel, he says, has an interest in day-to-day life in Judea and Samaria going on as usual, with people working and making a living. "The more you can separate the innocent population, who really want to work and to live, from terrorism, and to make sure there's a cost for it [the terror], the better."

Egypt has recently brought its relations with Israel more into the open. "The Egyptians saw the Gulf states sailing comfortably into the world openly with us, and not paying a price. They didn't want to be bypassed, and they understand the benefits of these relations. President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi...understands he won't benefit if he keeps relations with us on the level of security, and concealed....Egypt today sees Israel as a positive element in the region. I don't think the current Egyptian leadership sees Israel as an enemy."
Slain Iranian Officer Planned Attacks Against Israelis, Jews Worldwide
Iranian Revolutionary Guards Col. Hassan Sayad Khodayari had planned kidnappings and other attempts to attack Israeli and Jewish targets worldwide, according to Hebrew media. Channel 13 reported that one of the operatives under Khodayari's direction was Mansour Rasouli, who admitted to Mossad agents in April that he was sent to target an Israeli diplomat in Turkey, an American general stationed in Germany, and a journalist in France.

Channel 12 reported that Khodayari was also behind an attempt to lure Israeli academics, businesspeople, and former defense officials abroad and possibly kidnap them. It also said he was behind a plot to kill five Israelis in Cyprus. An Iranian security source was quoted as saying Khodayari also played an "important" role in Iran's military industry, "especially when it came to drones.
" IRGC Quds Force member assassinated in Tehran assassination: report
'I have no doubt that the blood of this great martyr will be avenged,' says Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi

Iran will avenge the killing of a Revolutionary Guards colonel who was shot dead in Tehran, President Ebrahim Raisi warned on Monday.

Assailants on motorcycles on Sunday hit Col. Sayyad Khodai with five bullets as he sat in his car outside his home.

Who Was Assassinated Revolutionary Guard Figure Sayyad Khodai?
Who was Colonel Sayyad Khodai (also spelled Sayad Khodayee or Khodaie), the Revolutionary Guard figure assassinated yesterday outside his Tehran home by two unidentified gunmen? A defender of religious shrines or the mastermind behind assassination plots targeting Israeli businesspeople and diplomats?

According to the Iranian totalitarian regime and the press that it controls, he was the heroic champion of sacred Shiite sites threatened by dangerous Al Qaeda terrorists. According to Israeli press reports apparently informed by off the record briefings from Israeli security officials, Khodai designed plots to murder Israeli civilians abroad.

In the first day of coverage, international media outlets all cited the information from the Iranian sources while completely ignoring the Israeli reports.

International media cited Iranian reports claiming he was “one of the defenders of the shrines,” a role which the different outlets characterized in various ways.

Assassination of IRGC Officer Reveals Iran's Hollow System
The picture that emerges is that Iran is more vulnerable than in the past. While the regime’s proxies have grown in power in Yemen, Lebanon, Iraq and Syria, the regime itself appears hollow. It is suffering economic challenges and, besides its drone, missile and satellite programs, has few achievements to show.

Although Tehran is adding centrifuges and enriching uranium, it still faces hurdles in its nuclear program. In some ways, Iran’s problem mirrors that of Pakistan several decades ago: a country on the brink of a nuclear weapon that has severe problems at home.

Iran’s problem is that its proxies have grown too powerful and they face angry backlashes in elections in Lebanon and Iraq. It is forced to backfill the weak Syrian regime, and its conflict in Yemen drags on and on. The only card Tehran can play is to threaten to destabilize the region through drone attacks on places such as the United Arab Emirates.

Iran also knows its adversaries are working more closely together lately, including on naval drills; it can see US Central Command delegations visiting Israel. It knows Hamas has been outfoxed by the Jewish state, stuck in Gaza and unable to break out into the West Bank. And its proxies like Palestinian Islamic Jihad operate only as a way to harass Israel.

The latest assassination illustrates Iran’s hollow threats, and the regime has so far shown it has few ways to directly respond. Reports of Israel’s penetration have also grown, giving Israel more of a spotlight than in the past. That can humiliate Tehran – which can cause it to be more chaotic and risky in its response.

Iran Plotted to Target Former Israeli Defense Minister
The Israel Security Agency has uncovered an Iranian intelligence plot to lure former Israeli security officials and academics abroad, according to an announcement on Thursday. Iranians used fictitious email accounts to contact Israeli officials while impersonating real-life academics, journalists, businessmen, and philanthropists. The Iranians would then invite them to conferences abroad, possibly to abduct or hurt them.

"It is a well-known method of operation of the Iranian intelligence and security bodies, headed by the Intelligence Organization of the Revolutionary Guards, Quds Force, and the Ministry of Intelligence," the ISA said.

One of the Israeli officials targeted was former Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, who immediately understood that he was being scammed and alerted the ISA.
Iran’s media claims fake news spread about key commander Hajizadeh
Iran’s Tasnim News Agency claims that a fake account was created in Tasnim’s name on Twitter.

The social media handle of that account has now been deleted, but while it existed, it supposedly put out a fake statement about Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Force Commander Amir Ali Hajizadeh. Hajizadeh is sometimes called the “drone mastermind” for Iran’s drone program that currently threatens the region.

According to Tasnim, the fake account “published news about the assassination attempt on Sardar Hajizadeh, commander of the Revolutionary Guards Air Force.”

The apparently fake news did not spread far and was mostly in Farsi. A search of the account shows it no longer exists, and only a few replies currently exist online.

Tasnim News seems to be the main organization alerting everyone that this is false information. One might wonder, if the account was taken down so quickly, what is the point of Iranian media highlighting false information about an attack on the key IRGC commander’s car, alleging an assassination attempt?

Iran's IRGC Has Covert Presence in Red Sea
Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps' (IRGC) Navy maintains a covert presence in the Red Sea through an array of ships, including some that gather intelligence and act as forward bases, Lt.-Col. (ret.) Michael Segall, a senior analyst at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, told JNS.

After an alleged Israeli attack on the Saviz - described by international media as an IRGC ship acting as a forward and expeditionary base - the Iranians replaced it with the Shahid Roudaki, which is operated by the IRGC off the Eritrean coast.

"They are building sea-based abilities to launch UAVs, and this is something that can reach our area, too," cautioned Segall.

The use of small submarines for laying mines is another Iranian aspect of this doctrine.
JCPA: Demonstrations Erupt across Iran amid a Sharp Rise in Food Prices
On May 3, 2022, the Iranian government began implementing a new policy to overcome the economic crisis by abolishing government subsidies on essential items such as bread, medicines, and many other products. Within a few days, prices rose ten-fold. The rise in prices sparked panic buying and bread products became scarce, leading to intensified protests and clashes with security forces in several Iranian provinces.

Iran will need to import at least 20 million tons of grain this year. The canceling of subsidies could make bread unattainable for millions of Afghan refugees now living in Iran; the new policy stipulates that bread is only to be sold to citizens with an Iranian identity card.

For now, it appears that the regime is managing to contain the protests and avoid many casualties. But the primary factors behind them will continue to exist and constitute an ongoing challenge for the Islamic regime.

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