Thursday, August 18, 2022

From Ian:

Jonathan Tobin: Why the world won’t care about Abbas’s ‘Holocaust’ lie
There’s something almost pathetic about the outrage generated after the latest comments by Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas. In Berlin for a meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who was standing with him, the Palestinian was asked about his role in funding the 1972 Olympic massacre of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches in Munich, and whether he ought to apologize on the 50th anniversary of that infamous crime. In response—and speaking in English so that there could be no doubt about his meaning—he said: “If we want to go over the past, go ahead. I have 50 slaughters that Israel committed … 50 massacres, 50 slaughters, 50 holocausts.”

Of course, this unrepentant and libelous comment deserves to be harshly condemned. Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid was entirely correct to say that for Abbas to falsely claim that the Jewish state had committed “holocausts” while standing on German soil “is not only a moral disgrace but a monstrous lie. Six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, including one and a half million Jewish children. History will never forgive him.”

Other condemnations, such as that of Scholz, who, to his shame, did not contradict Abbas when he uttered these words in his presence, were also angry and entirely justified.

But the fury about this seems both oddly misplaced as well as somewhat hypocritical, especially when it comes from those in Israel, Europe and the United States who have spent so much energy and time puffing up Abbas as a partner for peace and doing their best not only to appease him, but to pressure the Jewish state to accommodate his every demand.

This was no gaffe. Abbas’s long career has been nothing of a series of offensive actions, decisions and statements that should have long ago convinced the civilized world to shun him completely. After a lifetime of criminal behavior in which he has aided and abetted the slaughter of countless victims of terrorism, coupled with corruption and opposition to peace, the real question about this incident is why anyone should bother getting upset about a mere offensive comment from such a person?

Caroline Glick: Biden ushers in an era of nuclear chaos and war
The Biden administration is on the verge of closing its long-sought for nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Europeans distributed a “final draft” of an agreement to the Americans and the Iranians last week. While the text was billed as a “take it or leave it” offer, neither the Europeans nor the Americans walked away after Iran returned with reservations. Instead, President Joe Biden and his advisers are avidly looking into Iran’s positions and are reportedly trying to incorporate them into the agreement, which will likely be concluded quickly, if only the Iranians will agree.

Back in 2015, news that the Obama-Biden administration was closing in on a final draft of what became its nuclear deal with Iran provoked a mass public outcry. The majority of Americans opposed the deal. Many key Democrats opposed it. The entire Republican Party opposed it. News of the deal was greeted by mass protests in Washington, New York and countrywide.

Today, the opposite is the case. News of Biden’s deal is greeted with yawns and apathy.

The difference is doubly striking because since 2015, the warnings the deal’s opponents sounded have all been borne out by events. Just as the opponents warned, Iran began cheating on the deal the moment it was concluded: Iran stockpiled uranium beyond what was permitted and refused to come clean to inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency on its previous nuclear work.

Even worse, Iran exploited the deal’s loopholes—first and foremost its non-limitation of research and development work. While ostensibly abiding by the agreement, Iran developed advanced centrifuges capable of enriching uranium 10 times faster and to much higher levels of purity than the centrifuges it fielded in 2015. Although administration officials and their allies insist that Iran only began to use the advanced centrifuges in response to then President Donald Trump’s abandonment of the nuclear deal in 2018, in truth, Iran’s activities were dictated by its operational timeline. Iran completed development of the centrifuges in late 2020, and immediately put them to use.

As the deal’s opponents had warned, Iran used the tens of billions of dollars it received from sanctions relief in 2015 and 2016 to massively expand its funding of terror proxies. The Iranian people got no dividend from the deal. Their economic privation and suffering only grew. But the Iranian proxy Houthis attacked Saudi oil installations with guided missiles and drones. Iranian proxy Hezbollah massively expanded its capabilities as did Iranian proxies Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other Iran-backed terrorist groups and militias in Iraq and Syria.

The nuclear deal was supposed to keep Iran a year away from breakout, but last month Teheran announced it had already crossed the nuclear threshold and could develop bombs at will. The nuclear deal Biden is now negotiating won’t push Iran’s nuclear genie back in the bottle. Iran will enter the deal—if it agrees—as a threshold nuclear state. And it will exit the deal as a nuclear power.

Yet, despite the manifest dangers Iran poses, and everything we have learned since 2015, no one is in the streets protesting today. No one is campaigning against Biden’s deal.
Caroline Glick: ‘In Israel and the US, an assault on democracy using the language of law’
In Israel and the U.S., unelected jurists and police forces are arrogating themselves the right to decide what is the law and to use it as a political tool, Caroline Glick and Abraham Bell, a Law Professor at Bar Ilan University, argue on this week’s episode of “Mideast News Hour.”

“[Criminal] charges are part of the political game and are designed to drive people out of office or out of positions,” Bell tells Glick. “[They] are used selectively in order to achieve political aims.”

Bell explains how in his view these mechanisms are behind the trials of former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

According to Bell, “no matter how much the prosecution continues to show that it acted corruptly in putting together this case, and it acted incompetently in believing that it has a case, no matter how much that happens, I think that at the end of this, there is a conviction.”

Stephen Daisley: Can Israelis Trust the UN?
Sarah Muscroft was the head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Palestinian territories (OCHA), based in eastern Jerusalem. After Islamic Jihad fired 1,000 rockets into Israel until there was a ceasefire, Muscroft tweeted: "Relieved to see a ceasefire agreed ending hostilities impacting both Palestinians and Israeli civilians. Such indiscriminate rocket fire of Islamic Jihad provoking Israeli retaliation is condemned." That's when all hell broke loose. The Palestinians fumed that Muscroft was blaming them for the fighting.

Muscroft deleted her tweet, then tweeted an apology, then deleted her Twitter account. A spokesperson for OCHA said Muscroft had been reassigned. Israel's UN ambassador, Gilad Erdan, deemed Muscroft's dismissal "a clear surrender of the UN to threats and intimidation" and called for her reinstatement.

Muscroft's case recalls that of Matthias Schmale, Gaza director of UNRWA, who admitted during a TV interview in May last year that Israeli airstrikes against terrorists in Gaza had been "precise." Hamas condemned him, Palestinian NGOs condemned him, and he now works in the UN office in Nigeria.
Israel ratifies decision to designate three Palestinian NGOs as terror organizations
Israel on Wednesday ratified an October 2021 decision to designate three PFLP-affiliated NGOs as terrorist organizations, according to the Israeli Defense Ministry.

The Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees (UPWC), Bisan and Adameer, are all “branches of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine,” the ministry said in a statement.

The designation of another three organizations—Al-Haq, Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCI-P) and Union of Agricultural Work Committees’ (UAWC)—which were also named last October as being tied to the PFLP, has not yet been ratified.

Al-Haq and DCI-P submitted appeals to the Israel Defense Forces’ Central Command but their appeals were denied, the ministry said. A spokesperson for NGO Monitor, which has been closely monitoring the designation of these organizations since last year, said that UAWC has also appealed, but that its status remained unclear.

These organizations, under the guise of humanitarian and other activities, in fact further the goals of the PFLP terrorist organization, including recruiting PFLP operatives and raising money for the PFLP, according to the ministry.

They were found to be “controlled by the PFLP, employ PFLP operatives in management and field positions and operate to conceal their affiliation to the terrorist organization, out of fear of the security agencies in Israel and in the countries in where they raise funds,” the statement continued.
NGO Monitor: PFLP Ties of Six Newly Designated Terror NGOs
On October 22, 2021, the Israeli Ministry of Defense designated six Palestinian NGOs as terrorist organizations. According to the Ministry of Defense, Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCI-P), Union of Agricultural Work Committees, Al-Haq, Addameer, Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees (UPWC), and Bisan were included on Israel’s list of terrorist organizations because they are operated by and for the benefit of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), designated as a terrorist organization by the US, EU, Canada, and Israel.1 (A seventh PFLP-linked organization – Health Workers Committee (HWC) – was designated in January 2020.)

The Ministry of Deefnse, building off a ISA (Shabak) May 2021 press release, explained that these NGOs diverted humanitarian funds from European donors to the PFLP and recruited members into the terror group. Relatedly, a security official told Israel’s N12 news site on October 23, 2021 that these NGOs provided a funding “lifeline” for the PFLP, employed PFLP terrorists, and that PFLP terror operatives used NGO offices for meetings.

On August 17, 2022, Israeli Minister of Defense Benny Gantz announced that the appeals of Addameer, Bisan, and UPWC were rejected, and he had finalized the designations. Head of the IDF’s Central Command Gen. Yehuda Fuchs also rejected appeals made by Al-Haq and DCI-P. That night, IDF forces raided at least seven PFLP-linked institutions, including the offices of Addameer, Al-Haq, Bisan, and UPWC. According to Al-Haq, IDF forces “shut down the main entrance with an iron plate leaving behind a military order declaring the organization unlawful.”

Since 2007, NGO Monitor has published numerous reports, based on open sources, documenting the close connections between these and other Palestinian NGOs and the PFLP. It is likely that Israeli authorities possess further materials on the NGO-PFLP ties, but it is unknown whether they will make this public.

Palestinians Want Full UN Membership, but U.S. Law Stands in the Way
Palestinian Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour is once again seeking full membership status at the UN, but the U.S. has passed laws aimed at thwarting such an effort. PA President Mahmoud Abbas applied for full membership in 2011, but the effort didn't get past the Security Council, largely due to opposition from the Obama administration. In 2012 the General Assembly granted the Palestinians observer status.

Congress over the years has added clauses to annual budget legislation which would strip the Palestinian Authority of U.S. aid if it obtains UN member status. Moreover, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act passed in 1990 bars U.S. funding "for the United Nations or any specialized agencies thereof which accords the Palestine Liberation Organization the same standing as member states."

A spokesperson for the State Department told the Times of Israel that while the U.S. remains committed to the two-state solution, "the only realistic path to a comprehensive and lasting peace that ends this conflict permanently is through direct negotiations between the parties....There are no shortcuts to Palestinian statehood outside direct negotiations between the parties."
Renewed Palestinian push to attain full UN member status ‘a pure PR stunt,’ experts say
The Palestinian mission at the United Nations is once more pushing for full member status, but the effort will fail as in times past, analysts tell JNS.

The U.N. Security Council is against the Palestinians’ quest to obtain “full-fledged, voting member-state status,” said Alan Baker, a member of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) and former Israeli ambassador to Canada.

“They tried twice, once in 2009 and once in 2012, but they couldn’t get accepted to the U.N. as a full member because the Security Council blocked them,” he told JNS. “They can only turn themselves into a state member of the U.N. through the Security Council and the Security Council won’t go along with it.”

The United States will veto the attempt as it opposes full Palestinian U.N. membership on the grounds it would undermine future peace talks and should come only after a peace deal is reached. This is also Israel’s position.

While the Europeans are more sympathetic toward the Palestinians, they, too, would oppose granting full member status as it contradicts their own position, Baker noted.

“Every resolution that the E.U. adopts calls for the parties to come back to negotiations, according to the Oslo Accords,” said Baker, who took part in drafting them. “The Oslo Accords say, and the parties, the Palestinians and the Israelis have agreed, that the resolution of the issue of the permanent status of the territories can only be through negotiation and not by international resolution, or wishful thinking or anything else.”

Arsen Ostrovsky, human rights attorney and CEO of The International Legal Forum, agreed that the Palestinian effort won’t bear fruit. “Given the current make-up of the Council, the Palestinians are unlikely to receive even the minimum nine affirmative votes to necessitate a U.S. veto, which would also automatically trigger a raft of U.S. sanctions, with congressional legislation requiring immediate defunding of the P.A. and U.N.,” he told JNS.

“The fact of the matter is, there is very little appetite in the Security Council to support this move, with priorities at this point rightfully elsewhere, including Iran, what is happening in the Ukraine and a host of other pressing concerns around the world,” he noted.
Who tried to block US funding for Iron Dome?
The May 2021 Gaza war put a strain on Israel's Iron Dome system. More than 1,500 rockets flew toward heavily populated areas in Israel, and Iron Dome's Tamir missiles knocked down more than 90% of them. Within days, experts from Israel and the U.S. were discussing restocking the Tamir interceptors. Yet in June 2021, opposition to replenishing this essential defensive materiel emerged in Washington among a squad of members of Congress and anti-Israel groups.

Who led the charge against the Iron Dome? J Street. AIPAC lobbied for the measure and in September 2021, the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly, 420-9, to provide $1 billion to restock Israel's Iron Dome missiles.

In the last 15 months, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad fired thousands of deadly rockets and mortars at Israeli civilians. Consider the consequences if the Iron Dome ran out of interceptors: hundreds of Israeli casualties and billions of dollars of damage. Moreover, the IDF would have been forced to aggressively search out Gaza rocket launchers and the militias operating them. The bombing campaign would have been savage and ground forces and tanks would have rolled into Gazan cities. Simply put, the Iron Dome saved Palestinian lives.

The writer worked for AIPAC in Washington and Jerusalem, and later served as a senior Israeli diplomat in Washington. He is the author of American Interests in the Holy Land Revealed in Early Photographs and the forthcoming Secrets of World War I in the Holy Land.
Mossad appoints first-ever woman as director of Intelligence Authority
For the first time in history, women are occupying some of the most senior roles in Israel’s Mossad, the intelligence agency announced on Thursday.

“A,” who has served in the Mossad for 20 years, recently assumed the post of director of the Intelligence Authority, the first-ever woman to hold the position, according to the statement released by the agency.

As director, she is responsible for formulating Israel’s strategic intelligence picture on a variety of issues, including Iran’s nuclear program, global terrorism and normalization with the Arab world.

“A” is also responsible for gathering intelligence for all Mossad operations, and managing hundreds of employees that collect and analyze information.

Meanwhile, the Mossad revealed that another woman, “K,” is currently serving as the head of the agency’s Iran Desk, which the statement said is the “chief concern of the organization” at present.
Israel Targets the Worst Terrorists and Takes Careful Aim
The recent violent round in Gaza between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad showed that radical Islam can be defeated by self-defending democracies. In fighting radical Islam, democracies must sometimes reluctantly resort to targeted killing. Conventional wisdom presumes that terrorists should be brought to trial. That is easier said than done when terrorists surround themselves with the human shields of civilians, making their arrest either impossible or ending in gruesome bloodshed.

Should democracies then leave terrorists alone who have wrought so much destruction and death, and who undoubtedly are plotting to do it again, just because they can't bring them to justice? Or should they adapt their norms of warfare to the ruthless battle against terrorism?

Aharon Barak, former president of the Israeli Supreme Court, gave an unequivocal answer: "Democracy must fight terrorism with one hand tied behind its back, but certainly not two." It is in this spirit that the U.S. killed al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden and his successor, Ayman al-Zawahiri.
When Radicals Are No Longer Mainstream, Israel Can Attack Them without Much Consequence
The real issue at stake in the fighting between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza is Arab and Palestinian solidarity with those who seek an armed conflict with Israel.

When radicals are no longer mainstream, Israel can ignore them or attack them without much consequence.

When they manage to drag other Muslim, Arab or Palestinian elements into a confrontation with Israel, the threat they pose increases many times over.

Breaking the pan-Arab solidarity has prevented a large-scale war between Israel and Arab countries for almost five decades and has led to the positive development of having Israel increasingly integrate into the region as a Middle Eastern power.
Military chief says IDF forces struck ‘third country’ during recent Gaza fighting
Military chief Aviv Kohavi revealed Thursday that the Israel Defense Forces carried out a strike on an unnamed country during the recent round of fighting in the Gaza Strip earlier this month.

“Ten days ago, the Israel Defense Forces hit with great precision Tayseer Jabari, who is an arch-terrorist,” Kohavi said at a Federation of Local Authorities conference, referring to the northern Gaza commander of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, killed during the opening strikes of Operation Breaking Dawn.

“And at the same time [the IDF] carried out a wave of arrests in [the West Bank], and at the same time attacked a third country, and carried out defense along the rest of the country’s borders,” Kohavi said.

Kohavi did not name the “third country” that was hit during that battle between August 5 and 8.

However, Arabic-language media reports have said that on August 7 at least six Iranian and Lebanese advisers were killed in Yemen at a camp run by the Iran-backed Houthi rebel group. The reports attributed the blast to a Houthi ballistic missile that exploded while being redeployed.

The reports carried by Saudi broadcaster Al Arabiya and Al-Hadath said dozens of Houthi fighters were also killed, and that the blast triggered a second explosion in a nearby factory and weapons dump near Yemen’s capital Sa’ana.

Armed Drones Gave IDF "Surgical" Precision during Recent Gaza Fighting
During the recent fighting against Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza, Israel Air Force drones conducted 100 sorties.

"The whole of Gaza is covered with UAVs that collect intelligence 24 hours a day," Brig.-Gen. Omri Dor, the commander of Palmachim Airbase, said Wednesday.

Dor said that being able to conduct "aggressive attacks with...minimal collateral damage" using fighter jets was thanks to the drones scanning the area.

During the recent battles, the IDF said it delayed several strikes after drones identified innocent people nearby.
One Palestinian killed, 30 wounded after Jewish group attacked en route to Joseph’s Tomb
A Palestinian youth was killed and some 30 Palestinians were wounded on Wednesday in Nablus during clashes with Israeli forces that erupted when a Jewish group was attacked on the way to Joseph’s Tomb, Israeli media reported.

There were no Israeli casualties or wounded, though a bullet struck the visitors’ armored bus, according to the reports.

The incident began when the would-be worshippers and the security forces guarding them entered the city and were met by Palestinian rioters. The visit was a monthly pilgrimage to the site coordinated in advance with the military.

The previous visit took place on June 29, resulting in two Israeli civilians and a member of the security forces being wounded after coming under “massive” Palestinian gunfire.

The same month, a mob of Palestinians broke into Joseph’s Tomb, setting fire to the site and smashing parts of the tomb structure.
Blinken reportedly asked Gantz to review IDF’s rules of engagement in light of Abu Akleh death
Biden administration officials have asked Israel to review its military’s rules of engagement for operations in Judea and Samaria and for Jerusalem to publish the conclusions of its report into the killing of Palestinian-American Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh on May 11.

American and Israeli officials told Axios that the requests were made in a recent call between U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz.

Blinken made the request after recently meeting with Abu Akleh’s family members in Washington, and after the release of the United States’ own investigation into Abu Akleh’s death.

Abu Akleh was killed in crossfire between IDF soldiers and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists in the city of Jenin.

Rules of engagement are guidelines used by the military to determine when the use of live-fire is justified during operations.
The Israel Guys: Counter-Terrorism Operations in West Bank
Counterterrorism operations are continuing in Judea and Samaria. An IDF officer was sadly killed by friendly fire near the town of Tulkarem. The US State Department is set to give a visa to the president of Iran for a speech at the UN general assembly in September. The parties of Itamar Ben-Gvir and Betzalel Smotrich are planning to run separately in the upcoming elections. And the Palestinian Islamic Jihad is threatening Israel again.

MEMRI: Arab Journalists: Palestinian Factions' Alliance With Iran Is A Grave Error For Which Gazans Pay With Their Lives
Following the latest round of fighting between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in Gaza, Arab journalists castigated the Palestinian factions, especially the PIJ and Hamas, for their alliance with Iran. They called this alliance an "unforgivable error" that allows Iran to control the decision-making in Gaza, use it as a bargaining chip in its nuclear negotiations with the West and drag it into confrontations with Israel for which Gazans pay with their lives. Iran's exploitation of the Palestinian cause, they added, harms it and causes the Palestinians to lose the support of the Arab and Islamic world.

The following are translated excerpts from some of these articles:
Columnist In Saudi Daily: The Palestinians Will Pay Dearly For The Alliance With Iran
Rami Al-Khalifa Al-'Ali, a lecturer in political philosophy at the University of Paris and a columnist for the Saudi daily 'Okaz, argued that the alliance between some Palestinian factions and Iran is an unforgivable error that will cost the Palestinian people dearly. He wrote: "The latest Israeli war against the Gaza Strip has ended, and the result is more Palestinian victims and Israeli cities bombed, while nothing has changed in the details of the Palestinian arena or the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. What occurred in the Gaza Strip in this [round of fighting] and in previous ones is aggression that is not acceptable to the Arab countries, and Israel bears the responsibility for the death of [Palestinian] citizens and for the siege on the [Gaza] Strip. However, this needn't prevent us from reflecting and directing questions to all those who are responsible for the Palestinian issue, in the [Palestinian] factions and in all [parts of] the PLO.

"The biggest mistake made by the Palestinians since the 1950s is bringing their cause into the tangle of regional and international politics and into the local crises of every Arab country that the Palestinian factions managed to reach. First, the Palestinian factions adopted the Nasserite national-leftwing ideas and started to exhibit hostility toward some of the Arab countries, in support of [former Egyptian president Gamal] Abdel Nasser. Involvement in Arab conflicts accompanied [the activity of] these factions already in their embryonic stage. Shortly afterwards, the Palestinian factions [also] interfered in internal Jordanian conflicts, which led to the deadly clashes between them and the Jordanian Arab Army in the events of Black September [in 1970]. As soon as this tragedy ended, the Palestinian factions interfered again, this time in the civil war in Lebanon, which led some of the Lebanese political forces to make an agreement with Israel in order to undermine the Palestinian presence [in their country]. And then came the catastrophic mistake of Yasser Arafat, who supported the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait, [an act] that cut off the Palestinian cause from many Arab peoples.
PMW: Why didn’t Abbas apologize for the Munich Olympics massacre?
At a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz during his visit to Germany, PA Chairman Abbas was asked to apologize for the massacre at the Munich Olympics 50 years ago when Palestinian terrorists murdered 11 Israeli athletes.

Instead of apologizing, Abbas accused Israel of committing “50 Holocausts” against the Palestinians.

But there is an obvious reason why Abbas didn’t apologize for the massacre at the Munich Olympics: The PA and Fatah are proud of the attack and the murders.

The deadly terror attack in which eight Palestinian terrorists from the terror organization Black September - a secret branch of Fatah - broke into the athletes' village at the Munich Olympics on Sept. 5, 1972, took Israeli athletes and coaches hostage, and ultimately murdered 11 of them, is one of the flagships of Palestinian terrorism.

For almost 50 years, the PA, and Fatah – both institutions that Abbas currently heads, have expressed satisfaction with this terror attack and admiration for the terrorists. When describing the massacre and the terrorists, the PA/Fatah use terms like “pride,” “glory,” “heroic,” and “beloved.”

Just a few months ago, Palestinian Media Watch reported that one of Abbas’ senior Fatah officials praised the terrorists who perpetrated the Munich killings as “heroes”:

Gaza sources to i24NEWS: Hamas arrests Islamic Jihad missile unit
Informed sources from the Gaza Strip revealed to i24NEWS' Arabic channel that Hamas prevented the Palestinian Islamic Jihad from placing missiles in positions and arrested the cell.

"An armed group of the Al-Qassam Brigades, the military arm of Hamas, stopped at dawn Wednesday a cell from the missile unit of the Al-Quds Brigades, the military arm of the Islamic Jihad movement, and prevented it from laying missiles in its positions in the northwest of the Gaza Strip," the sources said.

According to the Palestinian sources, the group from Hamas stopped the PIJ cell and confiscated the rockets, as well as the joint coordination cards that allow the cells of the organizations in the enclave to move freely.

"After the arrest of the cell members, they were released following the intervention of senior military leaders from the two organizations," the report indicated.

"The Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaderships held a joint session at dawn, and it was decided to form an investigation committee."

The sources confirmed that "it was revealed that the Al-Quds Brigades took a decision after the last round to withdraw from the joint operations room. The decision came due to Hamas' betrayal of the Islamic Jihad in the last round."
Palestinian Islamic State leader in Sinai killed by Egyptian forces - report
The leader of Islamic State in Sinai responsible for the death of 305 Egyptians in a 2017 mosque massacre has been killed in fighting with the Egyptian Armed Forces, the Sinai United Tribes announced on Monday.

Hamza Adel Muhammad Al-Zamili, better known by the Jihadi moniker Abu Kazem Al-Maqdisi, was killed in combat along with nine other Islamic State fighters. Three others were arrested, and as of Tuesday, Egyptian military operations were still underway, according to the Sinai United Tribes, which is aligned with the Egyptian government.

Rawdah mosque massacre
In 2017, 305 people at Al Rawdah mosque in the northern Sinai were killed in a bombing and gun attack during Friday prayers. Many of those killed were reportedly Sufis, a branch of Islam that is considered idolatrous by the Islamic State. Maqdisi was reportedly responsible for the attack.

"The armed forces and the police will avenge our martyrs and restore security and stability with the utmost force," Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said in a televised address at the time. "What is happening is an attempt to stop us from our efforts in the fight against terrorism, to destroy our efforts to stop the terrible criminal plan that aims to destroy what is left of our region."
MEMRI: In Friday Sermon In Kabul Mosque, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar Says 9/11 Attacks Were 'Revenge' For America's 'Past Actions,' Condemns Drone Strike That Killed Ayman Al-Zawahiri: 'It Is, Without Any Doubt, An Act Of Terrorism'
Delivering a Friday sermon at a mosque in Kabul, Hizb-i-Islami Afghanistan (HIA) leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar condemned the July 31, 2022 drone strike that killed Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri, saying it is an act of terrorism and an attack on Afghanistan's territorial integrity.

In the hour-long sermon delivered on August 5, 2022, Hekmatyar also spoke on the U.S.-led War on Terror and its outcome and impact on other countries, especially on the U.S. and Afghanistan. In addition to the U.S. drone strike on Al-Zawahiri, the sermon touched on the themes of the Doha Agreement and America's motives behind the withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan, the China-Taiwan standoff, the Iran-Israel standoff, and the Russia-Ukraine War.

Hekmatyar said that the U.S. has failed to present to the world proof of Al-Zawahiri's death: "Till this moment, the U.S. has been unable to present accurate proof of the killing of Zawahiri in this strike. It is only a claim. The [the U.S.] has neither presented the proof to his nation and the world nor has it taken any picture to show to the media," he said.

Hekmatyar went on to say: "All the Afghans consider this attack as a cruel aggression and encroachment on their national integrity, country, and air space, and strongly condemn it. It is, without any doubt, an act of terrorism that can never be justified with any reason and proof. It is neither the way to implement justice nor the way to reach peace."

"20 Years Ago, Attacks Were Carried Out In New York And Washington – These Attacks Had Past Causes Which Encouraged Some Youths To Prepare Themselves For Sacrifice And Take Their Revenge"

Iran ordered terror attacks in Israel ‘as revenge for sabotage of its nuclear sites’
Iran ordered the recent spate of terror attacks inside Israel as revenge for Mossad’s sabotage of its nuclear programme, a former top IDF official has told the JC.

Brigadier General Amir Avivi, founder of the Israel Defense and Security Forum, said: “Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) is a militia, like Hezbollah, that is trained, funded, and directed by Iran.

“Iran has tried many times to retaliate in other ways to Israel’s attacks on its nuclear facilities but it has failed and has realised that the best way it can retaliate is via militias such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and PIJ in Gaza and the West Bank.”

Between 22 March and 5 May, 19 Israelis died in terror attacks, the highest death toll from terror in years.

Brig Gen Avivi’s comments come after a gunman opened fire on a bus of Jewish worshippers leaving the Western Wall on Sunday, along with people in a nearby car park.

Eight people, including five American tourists, were wounded, two seriously. East Jerusalem citizen Amir Sidawi, 26, gave himself up to police shortly afterwards. While Hamas and PIJ, both heavily linked with Tehran, publicly praised the attack, no group has claimed responsibility for it.

The attack followed the latest clashes between Israel and PIJ in which the entire PIJ leadership in Gaza is said to have been eliminated.

Last month, Iranian state media claimed it had foiled a Mossad plan to bomb a “very sensitive” site in the same province as the Natanz nuclear plant.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Biden Administration and Iran Empowering Rushdie's Attackers
"Whenever they (Islamists) disagree with a woman, they accuse her of treason, threaten her with rape and torture, and bully her family." — Ghada Oueiss, Lebanese journalist, to Lebanese television presenter Dima Sadek's 1.1 million followers on Twitter, after she received death threats for criticizing the stabbing of author Salman Rushdie; Twitter, August 14, 2022.

"Get out of the Middle Ages and learn how to live with other people's opinions." — Antoine Haddad, Lebanese academic, to people threatening Sadek, Twitter, August 14, 2022.

Sadek has good reason to be worried for her life. Most of the threats she received came from supporters of Hezbollah, the terrorist group that effectively controls Lebanon and reports directly to the mullahs in Iran.

On the same day that Sadek was receiving threats of murder and rape, Taliban militiamen in Kabul beat women protesters and fired into the air. The women [were] chanting "Bread, work and freedom...."

It is the mullahs of Iran, whose media has welcomed and praised the stabbing attack on Rushdie, that are inspiring, funding and arming Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Yemeni Houthis and other Islamist terrorist groups around the world.
Kylie Moore Gilbert: Iran’s fingerprints are all over the Salmon Rushdie attack, but the question is will the US stand up
It is no coincidence this flurry of Iranian activity comes at a crucial moment for the hitherto-moribund [nuclear] negotiations. Iranian hardliners have long opposed reviving the 2015 deal, and the Iranians have made a series of unrealistic and seemingly ever-shifting demands which has led many to conclude that they are not negotiating in good faith. Among these is requiring the U.S. to delist the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in its entirety from the State Department’s list of terror organizations.

The Biden administration and its European partners’ willingness to make concessions are viewed in Tehran as signals of weakness. The lack of a firm response in the shocking attack on Salman Rushdie will similarly indicate to Tehran that there is little to be lost and much to be gained in pursuing dissidents like Alinejad or so-called blasphemers like Sir Salman on U.S. soil.

If we don’t stand up for our values when under attack we can hardly blame our adversaries for assuming that we have none. Likewise, if we don’t erect and maintain firm red lines in negotiations our adversaries will perhaps also assume that we have none.

New Senate bill aims to make 1996 Iran energy sanctions permanent
A bipartisan group of Senators introduced a bill that would make energy sanctions placed against Iran in 1996 permanent.

The co-sponsors of the Solidify Iran Sanctions Act (SISA) wrote in a news release that the bill was necessitated by Iran’s continued pursuit of a nuclear weapon and malign activities in the Middle East being a danger to Israel, America’s Arab partners and American military personnel in the region.

Drafted and introduced on Aug. 2 by Sen Tim Scott (R-S.C.), its original co-sponsors included Sens. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) and Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.).

“The United States, Israel and our Arab partners remain concerned about the looming threat that a nuclear Iran poses to the stability of the region,” Scott said in a news release. “U.S. sanctions are a necessary deterrent for this dangerous and unstable regime, which is why my bill will make the cornerstone of sanctions on Iran permanent.”

“Iran has repeatedly undertaken destabilizing activities in the Middle East. This bipartisan legislation will ensure that we continue U.S. sanctions on Iran, which are important for restraining Iran’s ability to pursue weapons and technology that threaten our national security and the safety of Israel, our strongest partner in the region,” said Hassan.

Contending with Iranian Plots Against the West
This week, the U.S. Department of Justice charged a member of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, Shahram Poursafi, with plotting to kill former U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton and former Secretary of State and CIA Director Mike Pompeo. In fact, Iran has a long track record of carrying out assassinations, abductions, and surveillance operations targeting American and other Western interests around the world, including here in the U.S.

I maintain a database of Iranian foreign operations, which currently includes 105 cases since the Iranian revolution in 1979. Out of 62 cases I have tracked over the past decade, 23 targeted Iranian dissidents, 28 targeted Jews or Israelis, 20 targeted diplomats, 14 targeted Western interests, and six targeted Persian Gulf state interests. They include 18 plots that took place in the U.S.

Iranian assassination, surveillance, and abduction plots continue unabated despite the negative publicity that accompanies the arrest of Iranian operatives - even in the midst of negotiations over a possible return to the Iran nuclear deal. Iran engages in such aggressive activities because Iranian officials believe they can do so at little to no cost. Iran perceives the potential benefits of such operations to be high, while the costs of getting caught are low and typically temporary. Jailed perpetrators are regularly released in prisoner exchanges.
Pompeo Presses Biden To Deny Iranian President a US Visa, Citing Active Terror Plots
Former secretary of state Mike Pompeo is calling on the Biden administration to deny Iran's president a visa to enter the United States and attend U.N. ceremonies next month, citing Tehran's active plots to assassinate him and other top U.S. officials.

Pompeo, one of the main targets of Iran's assassination campaign, told the Washington Free Beacon in his first public comments on the matter that the Biden administration is setting a dangerous precedent by permitting Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi into America just weeks after the hardline regime threatened to "turn New York into ruins and hell" with an intercontinental ballistic missile strike.

"We worked for four years to deny Iranian terrorists the freedom to put Americans at risk," Pompeo told the Washington Free Beacon. "This administration is allowing them to come to New York City while actively engaged in efforts to kill Americans on U.S. soil. The Iranians just recently sponsored an attack that was almost successful in killing an American in that very city. We can do better."

Nikki Haley, the former ambassador to the United Nations during the Trump administration, told the Free Beacon the U.N. is providing a megaphone to the leader’s of the world’s top sponsor of terror

"This shows just how corrupt and broken the U.N. is," said Haley, who has publicly called for Raisi to be denied a visa. "Even when Iranian terrorists try to assassinate our officials, on our soil, the U.N. welcomes them with open arms and lets them give a speech."

"Under no circumstances should the Biden administration allow Raisi to set foot in our country," Haley said. "He should not be allowed to stain American soil."
Iran-linked hacking group is targeting Israeli shipping, US cybersecurity firm says
A hacking group that appears to be linked to Iran has been targeting Israeli shipping in recent years, as the shadow war between Israel and Iran began to play out at sea after mainly being waged on land and in the air, a leading US cybersecurity firm said Wednesday.

The hacking group focused on collecting intelligence from Israeli entities and has also targeted Israeli government, energy and health care organizations, said the Virginia-based cybersecurity firm Mandiant.

The cybersecurity group warned that intelligence and data the hackers obtained could be leveraged for nefarious activities, such as becoming fodder for damaging leaks or guiding direct military action. It wasn’t clear how successful the hackers had been in their attacks.

The hacking group has also targeted some global companies, indicating its activity may go beyond Israel, although there is no known target outside Israel so far.

Mandiant said it was moderately confident that the group is linked to Iran and has found some technical remnants pointing to an Iranian link, such as the use of Persian, including the word khoda, which means “God.”

The group appeared to pursue activities that would support Iranian interests and operations, including shipping groups that handle sensitive components. The focused targeting of Israeli entities was similar to that of other Iranian attackers.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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