Monday, August 22, 2022

From Ian:

Half of Fatalities from IDF Strikes in Gaza Fighting Were Terrorist Operatives
During the three days of Operation Breaking Dawn (August 5-7, 2022), 1,175 rockets were fired at Israel, with around 990 landing in Israeli territory. The Iron Dome aerial defense system intercepted about 450 rockets with a 97% rate of success. Around 200 rockets fell in the Gaza Strip or in the Mediterranean Sea. During the operation, the IDF, using precision weaponry, carried out 170 attacks against Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorist targets. The PIJ commanders of the northern and southern sectors were eliminated in targeted killings and several other senior officials were killed. The IDF airstrike targets included a tunnel, rocket and mortar launching pads, squads that were en route to launch rockets, weapons depots, facilities for manufacturing weapons, a military compound that was used by the PIJ’s naval force (Israeli media based on an Israel Air Force briefing; Maariv; Walla; Yedioth Ahronoth, August 9, 2022)

During the operation in the Gaza Strip, 49 Palestinians were killed in IDF airstrikes and as a result of PIJ rocket misfires.

The ITIC examination into the identity of the 49 fatalities distinguished between 38 fatalities resulting from IDF strikes and 11 resulting from rocket misfires. Of the 38 fatalities from IDF strikes, 20 (52%) were identified as terrorist operatives, 12 (31%) were identified as operatives of the PIJ’s military wing, including the two senior operatives who were eliminated in targeted killings, one Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) operative, four Hamas operatives and three Fatah operatives (it is unclear how involved the Hamas and Fatah operatives were involved in the military activity).

A total of 18 women and children under the age of 16 were killed in the operation. Four women and 10 children were killed in IDF airstrikes, and four children were killed as a result of misfires. Full document in PDF format
Gantz: Jerusalem is Israel's; can't be the Palestinians', too
Jerusalem is the united capital of Israel, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Monday morning as he pushed back at former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who attacked him on social media over the past day for his previously announced stance.

“Jerusalem is the united capital of the State of Israel – so it has been, and so it will be,” Gantz told Radio 103 FM.

Gantz, Netanyahu, a Palestinian capital in Jerusalem and the Trump peace plan

Netanyahu on Sunday tweeted the headline of an interview Gantz gave to a Saudi paper in 2020 in which he said there was room for a Palestinian capital in a united Jerusalem.

“The answer is no,” Netanyahu tweeted. The issue of a united Jerusalem is one he often campaigns on and has in the past warned that his opposition would give it away to the Palestinians. He famously did so when he campaigned against former Labor Party leader Shimon Peres.

Gantz clarified in his radio interview on Monday that he had made those comments around the time former US president Donald Trump had unveiled his peace plan, which called for a Palestinian capital in Palestinian neighborhoods of Jerusalem that were on the opposite side of the security barrier. Netanyahu also supported that plan.

Trump’s plan also called for a two-state resolution to the conflict. Gantz in his public comments since then has spoken of a resolution that involves two entities.
David Singer: Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine – Netanyahu breaks silence
“If I’m elected now I’m going to have peace with Saudi Arabia. They trust me. They trust me to be the bulwark against Iran. And if we have peace with Saudi Arabia effectively the Arab-Israeli conflict is over. Yes – we don’t have Yemen. Yes we don’t have Iraq, Syria –that’s not important”

Netanyahu committed:
“To do the things against Iran’s nuclear program, and we did many things, I can’t talk about them, but I can say I sent the Mossad into the heart of Teheran to pluck the secret atomic archives that Iran had and they brought it back”

Netanyahu has not publicly commented specifically on Shihabi’s peace plan since its release on June 8th - despite its implementation being the game-changer that could end the 100 years old Jewish-Arab conflict.

Shihabi’s plan to merge Jordan, Gaza and part of the 'West Bank' into one territorial entity called The Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine – promises the following outcomes that Israel certainly wants:
- It would supersede two previous Saudi peace proposals in 1981 and 2002 calling for Israel to withdraw completely from the 'West Bank'
- The two-state solution – the creation of a separate Palestinian Arab State between Jordan and Israel – promoted unsuccessfully by the United Nations for the last 29 years – is consigned to the diplomatic graveyard
- Amman – not Jerusalem – will be the capital of The Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine
- The right of return to Israel is abandoned.
- Palestinian Arabs in the 'West Bank', Gaza and stateless refugees get full citizenship in the merged Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine with all the elements of sovereignty applicable to those Territories that belonging to a fully recognized state in the UN entail.

Netanyahu however wants one further outcome in the Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine west of the Jordan River – telling Shapiro: “They can have all the powers to govern themselves but not to threaten us ... they can have their Parliament representatives, Executives, have their flag and their national anthem...

“...West of the Jordan River ... Israel and Israel alone controls security. We control the airspace, we control the ground security, underground security in case they want to do tunnels... We’re not going to commit suicide for a favourable op-ed in the New York Times”

Muslim World League chief says Rushdie attack ‘unacceptable’ to Islam
Secretary-General of the Muslim World League Muhammad bin Abdul Karim al-Issa said that the attack on acclaimed author Salman Rushdie in New York was “a crime that Islam does not accept” in an interview with Saudi news outlet Arab News.

“Islam is against violence and can never admit any method of violence. Religious and intellectual issues, including phrases that may read in full or partly as offensive, cannot never be dealt with in these violent ways,” al-Issa was quoted as saying on the sidelines of a conference on inter-religious dialogue in Rimini, Italy.

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

Rushdie, 75, was set to deliver a lecture on artistic freedom at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York on August 12 when he was attacked and stabbed by a man who has been identified as Hadi Matar, a US-raised 24-year-old with Lebanese roots.

Rushdie has lived with a bounty on his head since his 1988 novel ‘The Satanic Verses,’ which prompted Iran’s then-leader Ali Khamenei to urge Muslims to kill him.

Al-Issa, who is also the president of the International Islamic Halal Organization and Saudi Arabia’s former Minister of Justice said that Islam is “opposed to violence.”

An avid activist against religious extremism, al-Issa has been commended by religious leaders and government officials for his efforts to promote peaceful coexistence among all people.

He said that religion is “the sense of man’s existence in this life, the sum of values based on particular principles, at the base of which there is not only a philosophy but also a religious source that comes from God.”
The Palestinian Authority’s stealth attempt to take over Judea and Samaria
Diligently following a master plan worked out over 10 years ago, the Palestinian Authority is laying claim to large tracts of Israeli state land through illegal building. Resembling Potemkin villages, many structures stand empty, hollow, windowless, alone or clumped together. The land grab has been hugely successful because Israeli countermeasures have been so feeble, Jews living in the area tell JNS.

“Their side is focused, determined and has a well-developed plan. Our side is unfocused, indecisive and in many cases not even aware of what’s going on,” said Michael Sperber, a family lawyer who lives in Efrat, a city of 15,000 about a half-hour’s drive south of Jerusalem in the Judean hills.

Sperber, a long-time resident of Efrat (he served as deputy mayor 15 years ago) has taken it upon himself to document illegal Arab construction in the area. From Dagan, the city’s northernmost neighborhood, Sperber has a window seat onto Arab buildings advancing from Bethlehem across the narrow valley below and up toward Efrat.

Efrat Mayor Oded Revivi told JNS that, “The illegal building that’s taking place by the Arabs has increased so dramatically in the last year that it’s out of control. If we judge according to where these activities are happening, they’re definitely in places which you can see they’re trying to create facts on the ground.”

Revivi noted that if the illegal structures are not hooked up to the sewage system this could lead to pollution of underground reservoirs, and if they are erected too close to roads then this could prevent the widening of lanes in the future.

Sperber believes the stakes are even higher.

“The Palestinians are at every entrance to the city. Efrat will be surrounded—and not just Efrat. All over Judea and Samaria, we’re being encircled, closed in. My main effort in the last three years has been to wake up the government so that it will understand that we’re losing this fight. We need to do something, and not just here and there, but something organized,” he said.
Lapid to visit Germany to discuss procurement of Israel’s Arrow-3 missile-defense system
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid is expected to travel to Germany in the coming weeks to discuss, among other things, Berlin’s request to procure a missile-defense system from either Israel or the United States, according to Israel Hayom.

Germany is looking to acquire the Arrow-3—built by Israel Aerospace Industries—or the US THAAD system—produced by Lockheed Martin—to defend against threats, including Russian Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad.

Arrow-3, which intercepts ballistic missiles from outer space, neutralizing them before they reenter the Earth’s atmosphere, is considered one of the most state-of-the-art interceptors and the only one that crashes into missiles, rather than detonating them with warheads.

It is designed to serve as the top of the multi-layer Israeli air-defense system, joining the ranks of Arrow-2, David’s Sling and Iron Dome.

The German government first made the request at the beginning of 2022, when Naftali Bennett was prime minister, and talks are expected to continue for some time.

The Israeli political-defense echelon has expressed great support for the move.

“Germany is one of Israel’s biggest friends in the world, and every such request should be granted,” one official said.
CIA cannot corroborate Israel's terrorism claims of six Palestinian NGOs - report
The United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was unable to corroborate Israel's decision to classify six Palestinian NGOs as fronts for terrorist organizations, The Guardian reported on Monday.

It was reported last week that Israel would attempt to justify the closures of the NGOs to the US after the IDF raided the offices of the seven groups in the West Bank last week.

On Thursday, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters that there "must be a very high bar to take action against civil society organizations," adding that Israel says the information it has meets that standard.

Price refused to comment on the CIA report leaked by The Guardian.

Israel and Lebanon close to an agreement on maritime border dispute
Israel and Lebanon have had a years-long, ongoing dispute as to who has the rights to maritime territories that contain natural gas fields, in which the two sides have yet to agree on a border.

Energy Minister Karin Elharrar claimed earlier this month that Jerusalem made a serious offer to Beirut, hoping to successfully bring maritime border talks to an end. “I call on Lebanon to take what is a very significant step for them towards becoming a country that produces gas, in order to solve their economic and energy crisis," Elharrar added.

There have been calls within Israel, mostly from the opposition, to hold a national referendum on any agreement reached with its northern neighbor.

According to the Kohelet Policy Forum think tank, Israeli law requires the government to hold a national referendum on any agreement reached with Lebanon over the maritime border.
IDF on high alert over fears Hezbollah could launch attack to derail maritime border talks
The Israel Defense Forces is on high alert amid fears that Hezbollah could launch an attack in a bid to derail an emerging maritime border deal between Jerusalem and Beirut that would end a longstanding dispute over contested offshore natural-gas deposits, local media reported on Monday.

Israel and Lebanon have for more than a year been engaged in intermittent indirect talks mediated by the United States aimed at resolving the issue.

According to reports, the sides are nearing a compromise regarding the Karish field, in particular, which Israel considers to be in its exclusive economic zone but the Lebanese government claims sovereignty over.

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah has upped his rhetoric ahead of a possible breakthrough in the negotiations, having previously threatened war over the matter.

“The new equation is, Karish, what’s beyond Karish, and what’s beyond, beyond Karish,” said Nasrallah in remarks last month made available by the Lebanese Naharnet news website.

“We’re following up on all gas fields across Palestine,” said Nasrallah. “If you don’t allow firms to extract gas, we’ll flip the table on the entire world. Going to war would be more honorable if the other choice is for the Lebanese to starve.”

On July 2, Hezbollah sent three unmanned aerial vehicles in the direction of the Karish platform, all of which were intercepted by the IDF.
PMW: Did PMW's report on kids posing with rifles lead to closure of Fatah Hebron Facebook page?
Three weeks ago, Palestinian Media Watch exposed scores of pictures of Palestinian children participating in Fatah summer camps posing with weapons. The pictures were posted on the Facebook page of Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah Movement in Hebron.

While PMW is pleased to report that the terror supporting Fatah Hebron Facebook page has been blocked by Facebook, this is only a small, albeit important, part of the puzzle.

While Fatah Hebron may no longer have the ability to abuse the Facebook platform to widely publish its harmful recruitment and training of the Palestinian child terrorists, unfortunately this response is far from being sufficient.

Despite the fact that these PA/PLO summer camps continued on, shamefully neither UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, his special representative Tor Wennesland nor UNICEF bothered to take the time to issue a condemnation of the PA/PLO/Fatah for training and recruiting the Palestinian child terrorists.

While the UN functionaries and organizations are quick to criticize Israel, when it comes to the PA/PLO/Fatah's abuse of Palestinian children, they are deafeningly quiet.

Similarly, for many years PMW has been highlighting the material support Facebook provides to the PA/PLO and Fatah facilitating the glorification, promotion, and incitement to terror. Unfortunately, Facebook only took action on limited occasions by removing selected terror-supporting posts, as it has now apparently done with the Fatah Hebron page. But the truth is, as PMW has demonstrated, that all the Fatah Facebook pages are in breach of Facebook’s own terror prevention regulations by actively glorifying, promoting and inciting terror. All of these pages should be permanently removed from Facebook.
Palestinian kids play Martyrs shot by Israeli soldiers in drama class in PLO summer camp Fatah

Girl in PLO summer camp calls for terror gnite an intifada

British Hizb ut-Tahrir Women’s Section Director: The Islamic Caliphate Will Liberate Islamic Lands

PreOccupiedTerritory: Hey, I Just Found Ancient Proof Of Palesti- Never Mind, This One’s Jewish Too by Dr. Hassan Barghouti (satire)
Guys! Guys! Look at this! I got it! Here’s irrefutable evidence that this site was a Palestinian shrine way back during the late- oh. Huh. OK, forget that, guys! Forget it! False alarm! More Jewish stuff. As you were.

By Allah, that’s like the fifth time today. And I really thought we had this one in the bag.

The boys and I have been scouring archaeological sites for years, seeking the one artifact, structure, or other find, to once and for all debunk the Zionist narrative of continuous, ancient Jewish presence in Palestine. Our colleagues in academia and politics have focused mainly on coopting existing evidence of Jewish sovereignty and indigeneity, or perhaps accusing Zionist “archaeologists” of fabricating or distorting the existing evidence. Often we simply label Ottoman, Mameluke, Seljuk Turk, or other foreign conqueror “Palestinian” because as everyone knows, all Muslims are basically interchangeable. A select group of activists also tries to destroy sites and items that undermine the Palestinian narrative. But I still hold out faith that we can take the aboveboard route and find something unequivocal that settles the issue for good.

It wouldn’t have to be huge; an inscription of “Palestine” in Arabic on a coin minted by our ancient Islamic ancestors, for example. A bronze-age postage stamp with the same irrefutable name on it. “Huge,” on the other hand, would be more like a clay tablet with the edict of an ancient Palestinian ruler. So far, though, we have nothing like that. Plenty of things like that for ancient entities of “Judah” and “Israel.” But just one for our team and we can bring down the entire false edifice of two hundred years of archaeology and three thousand years of documented history. It’s science. As soon as we say it is. Until then it’s all just Zionist hasbara.
Representative of International Human Rights Council to UN: No Evidence the U.S. Killed Al-Zawahiri

Haaretz: How Israel Reduced the Iranian Presence in Syria
The commander of the Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force, Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who was assassinated by the U.S. in Iraq in January 2020, hoped to establish a large, independent Iranian presence in Syria based on thousands of combat troops.

Israel began to take action against this in 2017 when it bombed a large Iranian base near Damascus. Since then, many of the attacks in Israel's "war between the wars" in Syria have focused on targets directly linked to the Revolutionary Guards.

What remains today is just a few hundred Iranian advisers with limited capacity to cause damage.

Iran still wields influence in Syria, and arms smuggling has improved Hizbullah's arsenal in Lebanon, including precision missiles. But the Iranians are far from realizing their original goal.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Biden Drops More Crucial Demands to Get Iran Deal
"First, Biden decided to waive the demand to include the role of Iran's terrorists in the region in the talks [in Vienna]... Biden decided not to address this issue at all, nor the role of terrorist militias affiliated with Iran in the Arab countries." — Sayed Zahra, deputy editor of the Gulf's Akhbar Al-Khaleej, August 20, 2022.

The second demand Biden gave up, according to Zahra, includes the issue of Iran's ballistic missile program and the threat it poses to the security and stability of the region, the US itself and its interests.

"The issue is not whether the agreement is signed or not.... [T]here is something more dangerous than this: Biden has completely abandoned the Arabs, allies and non-allies alike." — Sayed Zahra, August 20, 2022.

The Iranian-backed Houthi militia in Yemen, [Kheirallah] added, is continuing to recruit hundreds of fighters.

"What will the Houthis do with these fighters? Are they preparing for new rounds of fighting, or is their goal limited to threatening neighboring countries, primarily the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia?" — Kheirallah Kheirallah, veteran Lebanese journalist, Alraimedia, August 17, 2022.

The Iranian regime, [Kheirallah] wrote, cannot survive without its expansionist project. "The collapse of this project means the collapse of the regime, similar to the collapse of the Soviet Union. In Lebanon, Iran is flexing its muscles through Hezbollah, which asserts daily that it is the ruling party. In Iraq, Iran refuses to admit that it is rejected by the majority of the Iraqi people.... Unfortunately, there is no American administration capable of understanding the meaning and repercussions of the presence of an Iranian entity in the Arabian Peninsula. Iran escalates everywhere it considers itself present through its militias. There is a question that will arise soon: Will the US administration facilitate this escalation through a deal it concludes with the Islamic Republic that provides it with large financial resources? To put it more clearly, does America consider itself concerned with the security of its allies in the region, or should these people manage their own affairs in the way they see fit?" — Kheirallah Kheirallah, Annahar, August 17, 2022.

"Iran still considers interference in the affairs of other countries in the region as one of its top priorities.... for the sake of regional hegemony." — Hamid Al-Kaifaey, Iraqi author, Sky News Arabia, August 14, 2022.

"The most striking thing about the ongoing international negotiations with the Iranian regime regarding its suspicious nuclear program is that the international community has become confident and certain that this regime is lying and engaged in all forms of deception to achieve its goals without meeting international demands.... Anyone who relies on the Iranian regime is engaged in self-deception. Western countries have completed more than three decades of practicing the policy of appeasement and alignment with the Iranian regime and provided it with many privileges without getting anything in return." — Alladdin Touran, member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, Elaph, August 15, 2022.
Former Russian Diplomat: It Is Time for Russia to Export S-300, S-400 Air Defense Systems to Iran

Iran's "Butcher of Aleppo" Oversaw Plots to Kill Israelis in Turkey
A notorious commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guard (IRGC), previously expelled from Syria, oversaw operations to kill Israelis, Iran International, a Persian language television station headquartered in London, has learned.

General Javad Ghaffari, the IRGC Quds Force commander who had reportedly been expelled from Syria last November for ‘major breach of Syrian sovereignty’, led the IRGC Intelligence Organization's plots to kill Israelis in Türkiye in the past nine months, a former senior IRGC official told Iran International.

After returning from Syria, Ghaffari was appointed as the deputy head of IRGC Intelligence Organization for Special Operations, where he orchestrated a series of failed attacks against Israeli citizens, the Iranian source said.

In the latest case in June, Türkiye’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) thwarted a planned attack against Israeli diplomats and tourists in Istanbul.

Ghaffari was the third commander of the Iranian forces in Syria since 2011 when Iran began its large-scale intervention in Syria's civil war.

He started his career in Syria as one of the commanders at the Iranian forces' headquarters in Damascus and was later appointed as the commander of the forces in Aleppo - where he became known as the 'Butcher of Aleppo'.

There, he led Iranian forces as well as their Lebanese Hezbollah proxies and Afghan mercenaries, the Fatemiyoun, until he was allegedly ousted by Assad.

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