Monday, September 12, 2022

09/12 Links Pt1: The “State of Palestine” is just a stepping-stone to the destruction of Israel; Qatar U.N. Ambassador is a Rabid Antisemite, Homophobe, Anti-Western Conspiracist

From Ian:

The “State of Palestine” is just a stepping-stone to the destruction of Israel
For Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) the creation of a “State of Palestine” in the territories Israel freed in 1967 - Judea, Samaria (the West Bank) and East Jerusalem (freed from Jordanian occupation) and Gaza (freed from Egyptian occupation) - is just one stage towards the ultimate goal of destroying Israel.

While the international community would often like to believe that forcing Israel to relinquish Judea, Samaria, and East Jerusalem (Israel completely left Gaza in 2005) will bring about the long-awaited Israeli-Palestinian peace, the truth is that the Palestinian leadership is not interested in peace with Israel. Rather, the Palestinian leadership actively seeks Israel’s destruction.

As Palestinian Media Watch has shown, the PA, the PLO, and the Palestinian leadership constantly claim that Israel has no right to exist. These claims are reinforced by repetitive messaging and thousands of maps of “Palestine” that erase any recognition of Israel’s existence. It is the Palestinian leadership’s refusal to accept the existence of Israel (in any borders) that has brought the Palestinians to repeatedly reject every Israeli offer to secure a long-lasting peace. Those offers included the 2008 offer of then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to create a Palestinian state on an area larger than the combined areas of Gaza, Judea, Samaria, and East Jerusalem prior to 1967.

To understand the Palestinian position, it is important to appreciate that this reality is not a passing phase, but rather, has been official Palestinian policy for decades.

While the Palestinian leadership take great pains to conceal its true goals, occasionally the truth slips out.

Abbas was recently criticized for having put too much faith in the US administrations and in the results of Israel’s elections to achieve a limited Palestinian state that comprises only Gaza, Judea, Samaria, and East Jerusalem. Deflecting the criticism, Fatah Revolutionary Council member and regular columnist for the official PA daily Muwaffaq Matar, came to Abbas’ defense. According to Matar, if the Palestinians were to read the speeches of Abbas, they would realize that his goal is to free every inch of the “[Palestinian] land”, including all of Israel, through “the policy of stages” – a reference to the PLO’s “10 Point Program” or “Stages Program”.
Joe Truzman: Mounting Evidence of the PA’s Security Services Clashing With IDF Troops in the West Bank
Since last year, IDF troops have increasingly engaged in armed clashes with members of the Palestinian Authority Security Services (PSS) in the West Bank. In some cases, PSS members belonged to militant organizations.

The trend began in June 2021 when two members of the PA’s military intelligence, Adham Tawfiq and Tayseer Issa, were killed after they fired at Israeli special forces who were attempting to arrest Jamil al-Amouri, a member of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in Jenin.

In May 2022, IDF troops arrested an officer of the PA’s Palestinian Preventative Corps during an anti-terrorism raid near Jenin. Three months later, Israeli forces arrested a member of the PA’s customs police after a lengthy armed clash in the town of Rujeib, near the city of Nablus.

In late July, a Palestinian police officer named Mahmoud Hujeer, fired at Israeli troops at the Huwarra checkpoint in the West Bank. Hujeer was arrested after he was critically injured during the attack.

Other examples involve militants and their supporters working for the PSS. In May, Dawood Zubeidi, a member of the PSS, was shot and wounded in Jenin by Israeli forces during an anti-terrorism raid. He later died in an Israeli hospital and was lauded by al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades as a commander belonging to the organization.

Lastly, Fathi Hazzem, an officer in the PSS, launched an incitement campaign shortly after his son committed a terrorist attack in Tel Aviv earlier this year.

The evidence suggests the PA is ostensibly losing control of its security services. While the number of PSS members launching attacks against IDF troops has not reached the level of the second intifada, the upward trend should be noted. Adding to the PA’s problems is the erosion of its authority in pockets of the West Bank.
Mossad director: ‘We thwarted dozens of Iranian terror attacks overseas’
The Islamic Republic of Iran continues to try to kill Israelis abroad, but Israel has stymied its efforts dozens of times in recent weeks, Mossad Director David Barnea said on Monday.

“In Cyprus, an attempted terror attack against Israeli businesspeople was thwarted. In Turkey, a terror attack attempt against a local Israeli businessman and an Israeli diplomat was thwarted, in Colombia, an attempt to attack Israeli businesspeople was thwarted. In many additional places in the world, terror attacks were thwarted,” Barnea said, speaking at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism’s 21st annual conference in Herzliya.

In all such cases, he said, terrorists were caught with deadly weapons and provided information about the identity of their target during questioning.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) intelligence agency sent three hit squads to Istanbul simultaneously, with orders to kill any Israelis they could, said Barnea.

“We stood a hairsbreadth away from harm to our people. The crosshairs were actually on peoples’ heads. Thanks to the dedicated intelligence personnel of the Mossad, with excellent cooperation with the Israel Defense Forces, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and the National Security Council, we, with Turkish assistance, foiled terror incidents that were imminent a moment before the trigger was pressed, a moment before terrible tragedies would have occurred,” he said, adding that the targets were innocent tourists.

Addressing the ongoing nuclear negotiations between Iran and world powers, Barnea said the talks have had no restraining effect on Tehran, adding that its terror activities had expanded to the United States and Europe to target former American administration officials, Iranian dissidents and others.

UN Watch: Report: Qatar U.N. Ambassador Hend Al-Muftah is Rabid Antisemite, Homophobe, Anti-Western Conspiracist
This report evaluates the nomination of Qatar’s new ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Council, Hend Al-Muftah, to become Chair of the United Nations Forum on Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law, “an important forum for exchange, dialogue, mutual understanding and cooperation,” according to the UN, which will be held on November 24-25, 2022.

Mutual understanding, however, appears to be the last trait one would ascribe to Ambassador Al-Muftah. Qatar’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva has a long record of publishing racist and classically antisemitic tropes about Jews, bigoted attacks on gays, and spreading false information and conspiracy theories about Western societies and liberalism.

Ambassador Al-Muftah’s multiple posts over more than a decade stand in complete contravention to the principles and values of the UN Forum which she seeks to lead, and of the founding charter of the Human Rights Council. in wake of the report,

Part 1 of this report documents Ambassador Al-Muftah’s hate against Jews; Part 2 exposes her hatred against gays; and Part 3 reveals her bigoted remarks against France, America, NATO and other Western societies.

Herzog denounces politicization of World Health Assembly
At the opening of the first-ever European Regional Conference of the World Health Organization (WHO) to be held in Israel, President Isaac Herzog blasted “the biased and politicized resolutions almost on an annual basis singling out Israel at the World Health Assembly.”

“These resolutions must end,” Herzog told the participants.

“They damage the work and reputation of this distinguished body, while negatively impacting health cooperation in the region. Health must be above politics, while serving as a bridge to mutually-beneficial cooperation and exchange, enhancing quality of life for all.

“Such resolutions, based on falsehoods and ulterior motives, damage the work and reputation of this distinguished body, while negatively impacting health cooperation in the region. Health must be above politics,” he said.
Germany is Israel’s most important ally after US, says new envoy in Berlin
Prime Minister Yair Lapid is traveling to Germany this week to emphasize the deep strategic and historical relationship between Israel and the largest country in the European Union, and will discuss the threat posed by Iran with German leaders, Israel’s ambassador in Berlin said on Sunday.

“The trip of the prime minister, in essence, is saying, ‘I traveled to Washington, I traveled to France, I traveled to the different countries of the Abraham Accords,'” Ron Prosor told The Times of Israel by phone before Lapid took off for Germany. “‘I’m coming to Germany because this is the most substantial relationship we have in Europe.'”

Lapid departed Sunday afternoon for Germany, where he will meet Monday with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock. Steinmeier and Lapid will meet at the House of the Wannsee Conference, where Nazi officials finalized plans for the Holocaust, with survivors who are flying with the prime minister.

Prosor emphasized that “the relationship between Germany and Israel is a strategic relationship.”

“German-Israeli relations are the most intense strategic relationship that Israel has with Europe. After the United States of America, this is the most strategic relationship bilaterally that Israel has with any country,” Prosor said.

German’s Foreign Office calls ties with Israel “a cornerstone of German foreign policy.” Germany is Israel’s top trading partner in Europe, and the long-standing quiet military and intelligence relationship is increasingly coming out into the open.
Lapid Arrives in Germany With Holocaust Survivors For Diplomatic Visit During Campaign Against Nuclear Deal
Israel’s Prime Minister Yair Lapid arrived in Berlin on Sunday together with a group of Holocaust survivors, where he is expected to discuss ongoing negotiations with Iran to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement.

“This evening, I arrived in Berlin for a diplomatic visit accompanied by Holocaust survivors Pnina, Avraham, Shoshana, Yisrael, and Zvi,” said Lapid after landing in Berlin. “As we stepped off the plane together and onto German soil, we were welcomed by a German military honor guard. This is their victory, mine as the son of a Holocaust survivor and ours as a people and a nation. We will never forget.”

During the diplomatic visit, Lapid will meet with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and other senior officials to coordinate “positions on the nuclear issue,” and work out final details of a strategic, economic, and security cooperation document, which will be signed.

Before his departure on Sunday, Lapid thanked European leaders, including Germany who is part of the contingent of European nations involved with in nuclear negotiations with Iran, for their “strong position.”

Over the weekend, France, Britain and Germany on Saturday said they had “serious doubts” about Iran’s intentions to revive a nuclear deal, suggesting that a revival is not imminent following more than a year of talks.

“Following the Americans, yesterday the E3 countries [France, Britain and Germany] announced that a nuclear agreement with Iran will not be signed in the near future, that the IAEA’s [ International Atomic Energy Agency] open files regarding Iran are not about to be closed,” Lapid said. I”n recent months, we held a discreet and intensive dialogue with them, and presented them with up-to-date intelligence information about Iranian activity at nuclear sites.”

Shin Bet Chief: Israel’s Internal Divisions Provide ‘Encouragement’ to Its Enemies
In a wide ranging speech, the head of Israel’s Shin Bet security service warned on Sunday that while Israel faces a constellation of threats, its internal social divisions are providing a boon to its enemies that “should disturb us more than anything else.”

Speaking at an annual counterterrorism conference at Reichman University in Herzliya, Ronen Bar addressed “the deep and growing rift developing within Israeli society” over the character of the country. In November, Israel will hold its fifth election in under four years.

“The political instability, the growing internal division, the breaking up of the historical common denominators, and the radicalized discourse — all these are a shot of encouragement to the countries of the axis of evil, to terrorist organizations, and to lone threats,” said Bar.

“The prevailing feeling among our adversaries is that our historic comparative advantage, the same one that stood to our credit for thousands of years and is our national resilience, is dissipating,” he added. “This insight should disturb us more than anything else.”

In his remarks, which lasted for nearly 40 minutes, the Shin Bet chief outlined the complex security environment where these external adversaries operate, both online and within the physical arena.

Social media networks and algorithms that reward extreme content, said Bar, empower terrorist organizations “to manufacture a threat and advance an agenda without paying a price.”

“The social networks, in conjunction with ‘deepfake’ technology” — which can be used to produce realistic-looking but synthetic images and other media — “make this relatively easy,” he argued. “Last Ramadan, Hamas succeeded from the Gaza Strip to convince youth that al-Aqsa Mosque is in danger,” leading to riots among groups that don’t even identify with Hamas ideology, Bar added.

“The flat and uncontrolled world of social networks captures the free world when it is in an intergenerational crisis and under the very heavy challenge of governance following the Covid-19 pandemic,” the Shin Bet chief warned.
Parole denied to Palestinian in rock-throwing attack that led to toddler’s death
An Israeli parole board on Monday rejected a request for early release by a Palestinian imprisoned for a stone-throwing attack that severely injured 2-year-old Adele Bitton and and caused her death two years later.

The prisoner was one of five Palestinians convicted for hurling rocks at a car driven by Adva Bitton as she traveled with her daughter through the West Bank in March 2013. The stone-throwing caused her to veer from her lane and crash into a truck, with her then-2-year-old daughter sustaining serious brain damage. Adele Bitton died two years later from a lung infection linked to a neurological condition that developed as a result of the attack, according to hospital officials.

The assailants — Muhammad Suleiman, Tamer Souf, Ammar Souf, Ali Shamlawi and Muhammad Kleib — were handed 15-year prison sentences in January 2016. The five, from the northern West Bank village of Kifl Haris, were all minors at the time of the attack. They all admitted involvement but later argued they confessed under duress.

The name of the Palestinian seeking parole from his manslaughter sentence was not included in the board’s decision and a court issued a gag order on publishing it.

“The committee believes that the prisoner remains a danger [to the public] and therefore rejects the request,” the parole board wrote in the ruling.
Israel's 'Operation Focus': Inside One of the Most Successful Air Campaigns in Military History
In May of 1967, Egypt's President, Gamal Abdel Nasser, declared war on the State of Israel, telling his followers that "our path to Palestine will be covered with blood."

Nasser moved his troops into the Sinai Peninsula, expelled UN peacekeepers, then blocked the Straits of Tiran to Israeli ships.

For Israel, it was time to strike – or be struck. And for the next three weeks, the Israel Defense Forces were on high alert.

MAJOR ATTACK WAS THWARTED in Tel Aviv By Special Police Unit | The Israel Guys
A massive terror attack was thwarted last Thursday when the police stopped a suspicious looking Palestinian in Jaffa, turns out he was carrying a submachine gun and two pipe bombs. The political parties in Israel’s Parliament are making last minute deals and running agreements before the party submission deadline on Thursday, The chairman and CEO of the Jewish Agency is returning to Ethiopia 40 years after he helped in a very special mission in Ethiopia. 11 new Jewish families immigrated from France to a community in Samaria called Bruchin.

Palestinian Anger at Mahmoud Abbas Hits Israel's Security
Since the beginning of the year, Israeli security forces have seen a sharp increase in terrorist incidents - including stone throwing on main highways, as well as more serious incidents like shooting, stabbing and car ramming attacks. One leading researcher relates the uptick in terror to the deterioration of the Palestinian economy, which has yet to recover from the Covid pandemic. The Palestinians are completely dependent on foreign aid, which has decreased by 65%, from NIS 2.9 billion in 2016 to NIS 1 billion in 2021.

I asked Amjad, a Palestinian laborer from Hebron who has been working in Israel for years, about his opposition to the announced plan to transfer his salary through Palestinian banks instead of continuing to receive it in cash. "You are cooperating with the corruption of the Palestinian Authority, and so are the Americans. Every dime that enters the Palestinian Authority goes to the corrupt. What do they do for us? Roads? Schools? Nothing. It's all from foreign money or from Israel, and what comes to them goes into their pockets." These harsh sentiments are echoed in countless conversations, and investigations by international media substantiate the complaints.

PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas' sons, Yasser and Tarek, are wealthy businessmen. Yasser founded companies in the fields of computers and communications. Reuters found that USAID tenders worth millions of dollars in a wide variety of fields somehow fell "accidentally" into Yasser's hands. Foreign Policy magazine noted Yasser Abbas' monopoly on the sale of American cigarettes.

Tarek is the owner of the advertising and public relations company Sky, the largest in the PA. Almost every product marketed by international companies in the Palestinian Authority passes through it. Sky also holds the exclusive franchise for advertisements on Palestinian state television.
Who Really Harms Palestinian Kids? What the Media Fail to Report
The media is nowhere to be found when information is released about Hamas abusing children as terror assets. Even when innocent children are killed by Israel — unintentionally and regretfully — they are praised for their martyrdom by the terrorist organizations fueling the conflict for the betterment of the few in Palestinian leadership.

Notably, the recruitment of child soldiers does not begin in these “summer camps” for adolescents, or with the recruitment of young adults by Hamas’ Al-Qassam Brigades, but rather with the brainwashing of young children in day school.

Hamas’ ideology and values are taught within schools using funds from the United Nations, as has been reported several times. Instead of learning life skills and receiving an education, children are taught hatred and violence.

As recently as July 2022, IMPACT-se, an education watchdog organization, published a report exposing academic material funded by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) “that encourages violence, jihad and martyrdom, antisemitism, hate, and intolerance, with overtly politicized language.”

Unfortunately, this is not a one-off incident. In July of 2021, UN Watch produced a report concluding that over “100 UNRWA staffers… in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan… incite antisemitism and terrorism, in gross violation of United Nations and UNRWA internal policies concerning staff neutrality and impartiality.”

Major outlets including BBC, CNN, CBS News, MSNBC, Al Jazeera, and many more have failed to report on this. Ironically, media like these are quick to publish headlines such as ‘Gaza’s children are used to the death and bombing’ or ‘Israel: normalising terror, one dawn at a time’ during Operation Breaking Dawn in August 2022.

It is imperative for journalists to note that, at these young ages, teaching children hatred and antisemitism has lifelong impacts on their perceptions of Israel and Jews. These future Gazan leaders, fighters, and terrorists will impact possible future peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian leadership.

Indeed, the Arab-Israeli conflict is intensified and peace regresses so long as news outlets and organizations promote a flagrantly inaccurate narrative.

Senior Hamas Delegation in Moscow for Talks With Russian Foreign Minister
Hamas political bureau chairman Ismail Haniyeh arrived in Moscow on Saturday together with a senior delegation from the terror organization for talks with Russian officials.

The Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Mayadeen television channel, based in Beirut, cited a Hamas spokesperson saying that Haniyeh “has arrived in Moscow on a visit during which he wants to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and a number of Russian leaders and officials.”

The Hamas delegation includes Saleh al-Arouri, the deputy head of Hamas’s political bureau who is responsible for orchestrating terrorism in the West Bank, as well as senior Hamas politburo members Moussa Abu Marzouk and Maher Salah.

“The Russian Foreign Ministry has requested that this visit last a few days. The purpose is to discuss the future of bilateral relations in order to aid the Palestinian cause,” the Hamas spokesperson added.

MEMRI: Lebanese Journalist: Lebanese Ministers' Farcical Gesture Of Throwing Rocks Towards Israel Reflects The Tragedy Of Lebanon, Which Is Controlled By Hizbullah And Iran
During a tour taken on August 30, 2022 by several Lebanese ministers along the Lebanon-Israel border, two of them, Energy Minister Walid Fayad and Social Affairs Minister Hector Hajjar, threw rocks towards Israeli territory as a display of hostility towards it and support for Hizbullah.[1]

The two ministers, both of whom are Christians, belong to the Free Patriotic Movement, which was founded by Lebanese President Michel Aoun, a known supporter of Hizbullah, and is currently headed by his son-in-law, Gebran Bassil. Footage of the incident, which was circulated on social media, evoked ridicule from Lebanese citizens, who wondered whether the ministers thought this was a way to scare Israel or liberate Palestine, and called on them to address Lebanon's urgent problems, such as the energy crisis, instead of throwing rocks.[2]

Among those who responded in this vein was Lebanese journalist Khairallah Khairallah, a columnist for the London-based daily Al-Arab. Sharply criticizing the ministers' action, he stated that they should address the dire troubles and crises afflicting Lebanon instead of making "foolish" and "silly" gestures. He added that this gesture by the two members of Aoun's Free Patriotic Movement was meant to please Hizbullah and signal loyalty to it and a willingness to serve it. The incident, he concluded, reflects the depth of Lebanon's tragedy as a country that is now completely controlled by Hizbullah and Iran.

The following are translated excerpts from his article.
"[The incident in which] two Lebanese ministers came to a place near the Israeli border in South [Lebanon] and threw rocks towards Israeli territory reflects the extent of Lebanon's collapse into an apparently bottomless [pit]. [Energy] Minister Walid Fayad and [Social Affairs] Minister Hector Hajjar are part of Lebanese President Michel Aoun's [Free Patriotic] Movement, headed by [Aoun's] son-in-law, Gebran Bassil. What is the point of throwing rocks at Israel? Will it restore Jerusalem [to Arab control], liberate Palestine or resolve the issue of delineating the maritime and land border between Lebanon and Israel? How can Lebanon, the foundations of whose very existence have all collapsed, derive any benefit from such behavior, which is silly more than anything else?... What is certain is that Lebanon is no longer anything more than a deformed country whose ministers play foolish games, a country that is out of touch with what is happening in the region and the world.

"One of the important 'achievements' of Energy Minister Walid Fayad is his failure to make any progress towards improving the electricity situation [in Lebanon]. Since he came into office, the condition of the power grid has only gotten worse. He avoided welcoming an official of the French electric company who, after the establishment of the current government headed by Najib Mikati, came to Lebanon with a plan for [rebuilding the country's] power [sector]. The minister was not required to adopt this plan, but [merely] to take a look at it and see that Lebanon is not doomed to be plunged into darkness. Nobody knows what kept him from receiving the French company official, but his conduct, which indicates a desire to see Lebanon remain in the dark, is suspicious.
Amb. Ron Dermer interviewed by Dr. Michael Makovsky: The U.S. Administration Isn't Listening to Israel on Iran
For the past year and a half, the U.S. has committed to a policy of appeasement versus Iran. The Iranians are not facing much pressure. The Chinese are buying all their oil, America is not enforcing a lot of the secondary sanctions, and there is clearly no credible military threat.

Iran has been in the driver's seat in this whole process. I don't believe the Americans are prepared to walk away. It doesn't matter how many people Iran tries to kill on American soil. It doesn't matter that they are launching cyberattacks on America's European allies.

The U.S. argument is that Iran is a terrible actor. We know this deal doesn't cover a lot of the malign activities of Iran, but if Iran had nuclear weapons it would be even worse. There is only one problem with this argument. Their deal does not block Iran from developing nuclear weapons. It paves the path. That's the great lie that the deal is based on, in addition to the lie that Iran does not have or want to have a nuclear weapons program.

This deal is a disaster. Israelis are against it. Arabs who live in the region are against it. We're the guinea pigs in what was a failed experiment and would be a failed experiment again. It would unleash Iran on the whole region and not actually solve the nuclear problem.

President Biden is a friend of Israel, he has supported Israel in so many ways. But the American people should understand why we in Israel, why our Arab neighbors who we've made peace with, oppose the deal. The administration isn't listening. They're pretending to listen, but I have not seen any evidence that they're listening to what Israel is saying because they remain on this course despite it all.

The core issue is that in their minds they do not want a military confrontation. And instead of realizing that a military confrontation is prevented by the Americans putting a credible military threat on Iran, they think a military confrontation is prevented by rushing into a diplomatic agreement.
In Germany, Lapid says he gave Scholz ‘sensitive’ information on Iran nuke program
Prime Minister Yair Lapid said Monday that he gave German Chancellor Olaf Scholz “sensitive and relevant intelligence information” on Iran’s nuclear program during a meeting in Berlin earlier in the day.

Scholz, meanwhile, confirmed that Iranian demands had put a nuclear deal opposed by Israel out of reach “in the near future,” as Lapid urged the German leader and others to quit pursuing talks with Tehran on reviving the 2015 pact.

“Our partnership also requires us to act together against the growing threat of Iran becoming a nuclear state,” Lapid said in English, standing next to Scholz at an outdoor press conference with Israeli and German media.

Lapid added that the two leaders discussed the need for a new strategy to stop Iran’s nuclear program, saying it was “time to move past the failed negotiations with Iran.”

“Returning to the nuclear agreement, under the current conditions, would be a critical mistake,” Lapid said.

“We agree that Iran must not have a nuclear weapon,” noted Scholz, speaking in German.
Shin Bet chief calls Iran ‘fundamental problem’ in Middle East
Iran is the “fundamental problem” in the Middle East, and a new nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers would have a destabilizing effect on the region, Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) chief Ronen Bar warned on Sunday.

During speech at the World Summit on Counter-Terrorism at Reichman University in Herzliya, Bar said, “Iran is not only a nuclear problem—it is the fundamental problem of the Middle East.”

“We can only imagine the future scope of influence if a nuclear agreement is signed and the Iranian coffers are enriched … some of which will be designated, apparently, for the purposes of terrorism and strengthening organizations like [Hezbollah in Lebanon and Islamic Jihad in Gaza],” he added.

Bar also said that Israel’s political uncertainty and general internal discord were encouraging enemies to up their attacks on the Jewish state.

“From the intelligence that we have read, from the interrogations of attackers we have conducted and also from many years of familiarity with our adversaries, wherever they are, we can say today without a shadow of a doubt that the political instability, the growing internal strife … are an encouragement to the axis of evil, to the terror organizations and individual attackers,” he said.
Dennis Ross: A New Iran Deal Won't Prevent an Iranian Bomb
Iran now has two bombs worth of uranium enriched to 60% - close to weapons grade - and continues to install and operate advanced centrifuges that can enrich it far more quickly. Rafael Grossi, director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), says this enriched uranium and Iran's production of uranium metal have "no justifiable civilian purpose."

Iran has now developed nuclear know-how, so it is already a threshold nuclear weapons state. And Iran will have zero breakout time when the JCPOA's limits on its nuclear program lapse at the end of 2030. A resurrected JCPOA essentially buys time until then. It would defer the Iranian nuclear threat, not end it.

Israel - which believes a nuclear-armed Iran is an existential threat to the Jewish state - will become far more likely to launch major military strikes against the Iranian nuclear infrastructure if it sees the U.S. and others are ready to live with an Iran with nukes.

Similarly, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia has declared that if Iran has a nuclear weapons capability, the kingdom will get one as well. Will Egypt and Turkey be far behind? If Iran develops a nuclear weapon, the odds are high it will produce a nuclear-armed Middle East - and the risk of a nuclear war in a conflict-ridden region will grow.

It is still not too late to prevent Iran from translating its threshold capability into a weapon. But it requires that Iranian leaders believe they really are risking their entire nuclear infrastructure if they keep moving toward a bomb. Today, they do not believe Washington will ever use force against them.

Iran says it has developed drone 'designed to hit Israel's Tel Aviv, Haifa' - Mehr News
Iran’s ground forces chief Brigadier General Kiomars Heidari said on Monday that Tehran has developed an advanced long-range suicide drone "designed to hit Israel's Tel Aviv, Haifa," the semi-official Mehr news agency reported.

Heidari said the drone, named Arash-2, is a newer version of Arash-1.

Iran said on Monday it was ready to continue cooperating with UN nuclear watchdog while revealing a drone capable of hitting major cities in Israel, which has threatened to attack Iranian nuclear sites if diplomacy fails to save a 2015 nuclear pact.

Speaking after European powers expressed frustration with Tehran's intentions to salvage the agreement, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani urged the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) "not to yield to Israel's pressure" over Tehran's nuclear activities.

The IAEA's Board of Governors meets on Monday, three months after adopting a resolution urging Iran to give credible answers to the agency's investigations into uranium traces at three sites in Iran. Iran says the probes are politically motivated.
Iran and Reuters Inhabiting the Nuclear and Journalistic Abyss
It is inherent responsibility of news organizations to sift through unverified claims and allegations to ferret out truths and expose falsehoods. The Trust Principles, codified by Thomson Reuters in the midst of World War II, said it best: “Customers across the world depend on us to provide them with reliable and objective news and information.”

Now, as the international community potentially finds itself in a very precarious crossroads — last month United Nations chief warned that “humanity is just one misunderstanding, one miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation” — journalistic integrity and careful independent reporting free of bias, the very values prized in Reuters’ principles, are of paramount importance.

Unfortunately, though, Reuters’ article today on the highly tendentious Iran deal delivers just the opposite: packaging objective news as unverified claims and obscuring consensus assessments shared by Western nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as nothing more than belligerent Israeli claims (“Iran urges IAEA ‘not to yield to Israel’s pressure’, says ready to cooperate“).

According to this narrative, the non-violent nature of Iran’s nuclear program is merely an Israeli allegation, hardly an international concern voiced by the IAEA itself.
Israel’s Defense Minister Discloses 10 Iranian Missile Production Bases in Syria
Iran has turned scientific facilities in Syria into bases for the production of advanced missiles and weapons for its proxy forces across the Middle East, Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz said on Monday.

Speaking at The Jerusalem Post annual conference in New York, Gantz disclosed a map showing over 10 different bases including an underground facility in the city of Masyaf in Syria’s northwestern region.

“Under the vision of Qassem Soleimani, Iran transformed CERS into production facilities for mid and long-range, precise missiles and weapons, provided to Hezbollah and Iranian proxies,” Gantz said at the conference. “In other words, it became yet another Iranian front – a factory for advanced, strategic weapons.”

Gantz said the sites “host significant threats to the region and to the State of Israel,” where “advanced missiles” are produced.

During his presentation, Gantz emphasized that Iran distributes weapons, including long-range missiles, cruise missiles and UAVs to its proxies in the region. Specifically, Iran distributes “hundreds” of weapons to its proxies in Syria, “tens of hundreds” of weapons to the Hezbollah terror organization in Lebanon as well as to its proxies in Iraq and the Houthis in Yemen.

“In addition to CERS, the Iranians are currently working to build missile and weapon industries in Lebanon and Yemen,” Gantz said. “If this trend will not be stopped, within a decade, there will be advanced Iranian industries across the region, producing weapons and spreading terror.”

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