Trump threatens to cut off US aid to Palestinians over Jerusalem dispute
Acknowledging his push to broker peace in the Middle East has stalled, US President Donald Trump on Tuesday threatened to cut off aid to the Palestinian Authority, asking why Washington should make “any of these massive future payments” when the Palestinians were “no longer willing to talk peace.”
In a tweet, the president dismissed Palestinian fury over his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, saying he had planned for Israel “to pay” in future negotiations for his declaration. But Palestinian intransigence was now preventing any progress on peace talks, he said
Washington was paying the Palestinian Authority hundreds of millions of dollars a year “for nothing,” he wrote, complaining that the US received “no appreciation or respect” in return.
“They don’t even want to negotiate a long overdue peace treaty with Israel,” he said. “We have taken Jerusalem, the toughest part of the negotiation, off the table, but Israel, for that, would have had to pay more.”
“But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace,” he went on, “why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?”
…peace treaty with Israel. We have taken Jerusalem, the toughest part of the negotiation, off the table, but Israel, for that, would have had to pay more. But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2018
Speaking with reporters Tuesday at UN headquarters, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley stressed the US remains committed to reaching a peace deal, and indicated it would cut off aid if the Palestinians refused to engage in peace negotiations.
Responding to a reporter’s question on whether the US will continue to provide funding for the UN Relief and Works Agency, which provides aid to millions of Palestinian refugees, in light of a non-binding UN General Assembly resolution last month condemning the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Haley said Trump was prepared to cut aid to UNRWA if the Palestinians refuse to return to peace talks.
“I think the president has basically said that he doesn’t want to give any additional funding until the Palestinians are agreeing to come back to the negotiation table,” Haley said. “We’re trying to move for a peace process but if that doesn’t happen the president is not going to continue to fund that situation.”
“The Palestinians now have to show their will — they want to come to the table. As of now they are not coming to the table but they ask for aid. We’re not giving the aid,” added Haley. “We’re going to make sure they come to the table and we want to move forward with the peace process.”
The US was the biggest donor to UNRWA in 2016, giving $368,429,712. It is also the largest overall supplier of financial support for the Palestinians.
I24 News added the census was “conducted by 1,000 Lebanese and Palestinian employees and was taken over the course of a year.”
In his statement, UNRWA’s Gunness said that “UNRWA looks forward to analyzing the survey results in detail and to discuss their policy implications with the Lebanese authorities, the Palestinian community, donor countries and the broader UN family.”
He stressed that the census “does not cover all Palestinian refugees in Lebanon – it covers those in the camps and gatherings.” However, the census was reported as a thorough accounting of most Palestinian “refugees” living in Lebanon.
Gunness added: “UNRWA continues to operate facing a large shortfall in its budget. UNRWA urges all donor countries to provide the funding needed in order to maintain and actually strengthen its capacity to assist and protect Palestine refugees in Lebanon.”
The U.S. is UNRWA’s single largest donor, providing about $300 million annually.
The definition of a Palestinian “refugee” and the actual numbers have long been the subject of debate.
US President Donald Trump’s bombshell tweets late on Tuesday demonstrated once again just how unpredictable the leader of the free world is.
In under 100 words, he questioned America’s longstanding financial support for the Palestinian Authority, contradicted his own position on Jerusalem, and indicated that Israel would have to “pay” in future peace negotiations.
With a president as impulsive as Trump, nothing is impossible. Tomorrow he really could, as he threatened on Twitter, announce that the US will cease funding the PA or demand painful concessions from Israel, or declare he is abandoning his pet peace project altogether.
At this point it appears more likely, however, that US officials will somehow try to downplay the president’s surprising tweets, indicating support for the status quo and vowing that the White House will continue unabated in its efforts to bring about a lasting peace.
Still, Trump’s tweets do provide fascinating insights into how he views international relations and the application of his “America First” foreign policy in the Middle East. It’s all quid pro quo, a system of bilateral transactions in which the strongest player dominates weaker ones. Call it diplomatic Darwinism.
The best thing that US President Donald Trump does for Israel is rip off the “Palestinians mask of hypocrisy,” Communications Minister Ayoub Kara said Wednesday morning, in response to Trump’s tweet threatening to pull funding from the Palestinians for refusal to enter peace negotiations.
Kara, in a tweet he posted soon after Trump’s pair of tweets about the Palestinians, said that the US president tells the world the obvious: the Palestinian Authority is the “peace refusenik, and why should those who laugh at you be helped? This is also true of the UN and UNRWA.”
Kara characterized Trump’s declaration about Jerusalem and his comments that the settlements are not the obstacle to peace as sharp and appropriate.
Minister of Education Naftali Bennett responded with a statement in which he slammed the possibility of a two-state solution: “President Trump is not afraid to say the truth, even if it’s not popular. The truth is Jerusalem has always been, and will always be, Israel’s capital. The truth is no peace deal could ever be predicated on the division of Jerusalem. The truth is the US has no interest in funding those who act against its interest. The truth is the Palestinian leadership continues to fund terrorists, using US tax monies. By speaking truth, we can stop the fantasy of another Palestinian state in the heart of Israel.”
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s office said Wednesday that Jerusalem is “not for sale” after US President Donald Trump threatened to cut annual aid of more than $300 million to force them to the negotiating table.
“Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the state of Palestine and it is not for sale for gold or billions,” Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh told AFP, referring to Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Following the US president’s December 6 declaration, Abbas said the US had relinquished its traditional role as the mediator of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. He has also refused to meet with American officials regarding the peace process.
“We are not against going back to negotiations, but (these should be) based on international laws and resolutions that have recognized an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital,” Abu Rudeineh said.
His comments came hours after Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestinian National Council, said the Palestinians would not be “blackmailed” by US threats.
“President Trump has sabotaged our search for peace, freedom and justice. Now he dares to blame the Palestinians for the consequences of his own irresponsible actions!” she said in a statement.
US President Donald Trump’s tweets threatening to cut aid to the Palestinians have “absolutely no justification,” a senior Palestinian official said on Wednesday.
Late Tuesday evening, Trump tweeted “with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them,” referring to the hundreds of millions of dollars the US makes in aid payments for the benefit of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
“This statement has absolutely no justification. We wanted a peace process with the Americans and we worked hard for it. We gave Trump all the attention and time. We went to the White House to see him and welcomed him here in Bethlehem. But then he recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, taking the single most important part of negotiations and a two-state solution off the table,” Nabil Shaath, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s international affairs adviser, told The Jerusalem Post in a phone call. “So he wants to punish us for protesting and not accepting his position on Jerusalem…This [tweet] shows that Trump is not a serious man.”
A senior Palestinian official on Wednesday said that US President Donald Trump’s threat to slash hundreds of millions of dollars in annual aid would lead to children starving in refugee camps and that the America leader was emboldening Israel to commit crimes against international law.
For years the “Palestinian leadership has engaged in good faith in numerous meetings and encounters with the US administration,” said Saeb Erekat, the longtime senior Palestinian negotiator, after a meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s political committee in Ramallah.
Erekat slammed the American president for being unreasonable with the Palestinians and accused Trump, by his actions, of encouraging “the Israeli occupation to consolidate its occupation and apartheid regime.”
“Now, he is threatening to starve Palestinian children in refugee camps and deny their natural rights to health and education if we don’t endorse his terms and dictations,” Erekat said, referring to Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
“Instead of treating the Palestinians with fairness, President Trump has chosen a game of blame rather being an honest broker,” Erekat said. “His statements against the Palestinian people have encouraged Israel to continue its heinous crimes and violations of International Law.”
Caroline Glick: Considering Netanyahu’s transformational leadership
Had Netanyahu remained silent as Obama gave the keys to the nuclear club to the ayatollahs, Obama and his echo chamber would have successfully demonized opposition to the deal.
It was Netanyahu with his unswerving, reasoned opposition to the centerpiece of Obama’s foreign policy that empowered Republicans and even some Democrats to maintain their public opposition to the deal. Their opposition in turn paved the way for President Donald Trump’s decision last October to refuse to certify Iranian compliance with its terms.
As for Trump, Netanyahu has deftly cultivated his relations with the new president. Trump’s respect for Netanyahu’s statesmanship empowers the president to break with the failed Middle East policies of his predecessors and base his policies on support for America’s allies and opposition to its enemies.
So yes, it is true that Netanyahu’s long tenure in office has been largely undramatic. But his record of accomplishments makes clear that drama is not what we should be seeking.
Under his quiet, workaday leadership, Netanyahu has transformed into an economic and military power. He has cultivated good relations with Israel’s regional neighbors and with the nations of the world.
He has developed constructive and mutually beneficial ties with all the major world powers while preserving and enhancing Israel’s strategic alliance with the US. All of these accomplishments render Netanyahu one of Israel’s most successful leaders. Indeed, they place him second only to Ben Gurion as the most significant leader Israel has ever hand.
Later, the Palestinians threw in their lot with the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and supported his invasion of Kuwait in 1990. Kuwait was one of many wealthy Arab countries that used to provide the Palestinians with billions of dollars in aid every year. When Kuwait was liberated a year later by the US-led coalition, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were deported from Kuwait and other Gulf countries. When Saddam fired rockets at Israel during the first Gulf War, the Palestinians took to the streets to dance and cheer.
Palestinians also took to the streets to celebrate the 9/11 attacks carried out by al-Qaeda. In the past decade, they have also rejoiced each time Hamas or Hezbollah fired rockets or carried out suicide attacks against Israel. Scenes of Palestinians handing out sweets in the aftermath of suicide bombings and other terror attacks are commonplace on the Palestinian street.
Another sign of Palestinian support for dictators and terrorists emerged in August 2017, when President Mahmoud Abbas sent the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-Un, a telegram congratulating him for “Liberation Day.” In his letter, Abbas said the Korean people “sacrificed the most precious sacrifices for its freedom and honor” and expressed his appreciation to the support North Korea has shown the Palestinian people in their fight for freedom.”
So, Palestinian history is packed with support for terrorists and despots. The Palestinian Authority ambassador’s participation in a rally together with Hafiz Saeed was anything but an “unintentional mistake.” In fact, it reflects a long-standing Palestinian tradition of siding with evil and ruthless leaders, regimes, groups and terrorists.
The response from many Indians is encouraging. Something good has come out of the fiasco surrounding the Palestinian ambassador’s association with a global terrorist: the Indians now know the depth of Palestinian admiration for, and glorification of, terrorists and their thirst for violence. The Indians also realize now that Israel is their ally in the war on terrorism — certainly not the Palestinians, who again and again align themselves with those who seek death and destruction.
As Palestinian Media Watch has reported, both the Palestinian Authority and Abbas’ Fatah continuously called on Palestinians to participate in riots and to use violence at the end of 2017. Among these calls were the republishing of two old posters, both showing masked Palestinians carrying rifles and promoting violence.
The following text accompanied the poster above showing a masked Palestinian from behind, carrying a rifle:
“From the posters of the revolution on the anniversary of the Launch [of Fatah]:
Tighten your iron grip on the rifles that create victory, the decision is yours and the future and victory are yours”
[Official Fatah Facebook page, Dec. 28, 2017]
A second poster showed a child reading from a book, and behind him a masked Palestinian wearing a keffiyeh with a rifle over his shoulder.
“One of the posters of the revolution in the mid-1970s
We are fighting for the future of our children”
Text on image:
“We are fighting for the future of our children can quickly shed his 230 hours
(In English:) He fights so that I live”
[Official Fatah Facebook page, Dec. 28, 2017]
Both posters bear the Fatah logo that includes a grenade, crossed rifles, and the PA map of “Palestine” that presents all of Israel as “Palestine” together with the PA areas.
As the 53rd anniversary of the January 1, 1965 founding of the Fatah movement approached, and in light of increased Palestinian-U.S. tension following President Trump’s December 6, 2017 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Fatah announced that the main slogan for its anniversary would be “The Year of Confrontation [with Israel] and of Defense of the Holy Places.”
Against this backdrop, the Fatah movement posted numerous posts and tweets on its official social media accounts glorifying its years of armed struggle, with an emphasis on the second intifada, as well as female Fatah members’ participation in this struggle, including in suicide attacks. The accounts also posted slogans supporting the armed struggle, calls to bear arms, and portraits of senior movement members imprisoned in Israel.
It should be noted that messages advocating violence were also posted recently on the Facebook account of the Fatah branch in Al-Doha village, in the Bethlehem area, that included expressing pride for Fatah members’ stabbing attacks and firing of rockets. One of the messages even said that there was room in the country for only a single identity – the Palestinian identity.
The following are translated examples of these recent posts on Fatah’s Facebook and Twitter account.
After the Knesset passed the “Jerusalem Law,” Palestinians are raging (again) and The New York Times says the two-state solution is doomed (again).
MKs from Bayit Yehudi, which proposed the bill, are applauding it as safeguarding the city from ever being divided in order to be shared with the Palestinians.
But it seems like many are missing what the bill’s most likely use will be: to split neighborhoods beyond the separation barrier from Jerusalem’s municipal borders, in accordance with Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze’ev Elkin’s plan.
Let’s face it, the part of the bill most people focused on, requiring an 80 MK vote, will probably never come to fruition. It’s something for Bayit Yehudi’s to boast about in its next election campaign, and a good indicator of where most of this coalition stands on the two-state solution and land concessions (the Times is right about that much), and little more.
Israel raises threshold to cede parts of Jerusalem in Knesset vote, January 2, 2017 (Reuters)
All the political trickery used to approve the Oslo Accords and the Gaza disengagement – from buying off an MK by giving him a deputy minister post and the Mitsubishi that comes with it, to hauling in an MK in an ambulance from his hospital bed to vote – proves that if a prime minister wants to divide Jerusalem enough, he or she can find a way to do it.
It won’t even be as hard as the required super-majority would make it seem. The law clearly states that only an absolute majority is needed to change it, meaning that 61 votes can cancel the need for 80 votes.
Ben-Dror Yemini: In a foolish decision, Likud gave BDS a valuable gift
Minister Gilad Erdan called on Likud Central Committee members to attend a special meeting Sunday evening to vote “in favor of free construction in all of Judea and Samaria and in favor of applying Israeli law to Judea and Samaria, so that Jewish residents living there will finally be able to enjoy the Israeli law.”
I listened to his words and couldn’t believe my ears. Is this Erdan speaking?
Erdan is the minister of strategic affairs. He is in charge of the battle on anti-Israel propaganda. He knows that one of the main arguments made by that propaganda is that Israel imposes an apartheid regime, which applies two separate sets of rules on different populations.
In practice, Israeli law already applies to the settlements and to the settlers. There is a difference, however, between a law that is applied in accordance with the military governor’s orders, temporarily, and Knesset legislation. When a demand to apply Israeli law is attached by senior Likud members to a demand for “free construction in all of Judea and Samaria,” who needs BDS?
Oddly enough, there is only one person—or almost only one person—who is standing up against this march of folly, and he is likely having trouble understanding the new rebels too. His name is Benjamin Netanyahu. It’s not that the prime minister has become a leftist, but he knows exactly what all the Israel-friendly countries are thinking. He also knows that the American administration sees the settlements as serious trouble in need of a stop sign.
Right-wing speakers in general, and Likud speakers in particular, present the current US administration as an ardent supporter of any Israeli whim. President Donald Trump’s Jerusalem announcement has increased their appetite. But when it comes to the settlements, it’s a major deception.
On December 21st, the General Assembly of the UN (UNGA) adopted Resolution A/ES‑10/L.22, titled “Status of Jerusalem”, proposed by Yemen and Turkey, and passed by 128 votes to 9 against with 21 absentees and 35 abstentions:
“The General Assembly…Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, … Affirms that any decisions and actions which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded…” (full text at https://undocs.org/en/A/ES-10/L.22).
Right. Absolutely and unequivocally correct. For maybe the first time in their otherwise worse-than-miserable history, those nudniks over in 760 United Nations Plaza in Manhattan have actually got something right.
They can start with the Romans. When the Roman Empire conquered Jerusalem in the year 70, destroyed our Holy Temple, and Romanised our Holy City – the UN resolution means that action, which altered the character, status and demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem, had no legal effect, is null and void, and must be rescinded.
That is to say, Jerusalem must return to the status quo ante: Jewish sovereignty over an undivided Jerusalem, and the Holy Temple restored on the Temple Mount.
The United Nations General Assembly resolution on 21 December 2017 asking nations not to establish diplomatic missions in Jerusalem (“Resolution”) was adopted by 128 of the 193 member States acting in breach of three specific articles in the UN Charter.
“Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter; but this principle shall not prejudice the application of enforcement measures under Chapter Vll.”
President Trump’s decisions to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem were made in accordance with the Jerusalem Embassy Act passed on 24 October 1995 by the Senate 93-5 and the House 374-37.
Trump’s decisions fell squarely within the framework of America’s domestic jurisdiction.
Other countries wanting to follow America by locating their Embassies in Jerusalem are perfectly entitled to do so free of UN condemnation or interference.
“While the Security Council is exercising in respect of any dispute or situation the functions assigned to it in the present Charter, the General Assembly shall not make any recommendation with regard to that dispute or situation unless the Security Council so requests.”
A bill which would make it easier for both civilian and military courts to sentence terrorists found guilty of murder to death passed its preliminary reading in the Knesset Wednesday, winning a narrow plurality of 52 to 49 in the 120 member legislature.
The proposal, which was introduced by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu party, was backed by most of the 66-member governing coalition.
The United Torah Judaism party, however, abstained from the vote, withholding its six votes after the haredi faction failed to reach an agreement with Liberman regarding another piece of legislation proposed by the Shas party.
Earlier on Wednesday, Liberman stormed out of a meeting with UTJ leaders after the haredi faction demanded that the Defense Minister back the “Supermarket Law”, which would enable the Interior Minister to nullify local bylaws permitting the opening of businesses on the Sabbath.
Liberman has expressed his opposition to the law, calling it ‘religious coercion’.
Rocket alert sirens sounded in southern Israel Wednesday evening after a rocket was launched into Israel from the Gaza Strip, according to the IDF spokesperson’s office.
The Eshkol regional spokesperson stated that there were no casualties or damage yet reported.
It is not the first incident of the day. Earlier on Wednesday, a rocket was fired from Gaza towards Israel, and an Eshkol regional spokesperson said that the rocket struck Israel in an open area near the Gaza border in the Eshkol Regional Council. No alarm was sounded.
Gadi Yarkoni, head of the Eshkol regional council said, in a statement, that residents “will not allow sirens to be the routine of [their] daily lives,” and that they rely on the IDF and politicians to “act with discretion” in considering retaliating against rocket attacks.
There has been an increase in rocket fire from Gaza in the weeks since United States President Donald Trump announced that he recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and declared that he would move the American embassy there from Tel Aviv.
Over 20 rockets have been fired towards Israel in the last month alone, many intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome defense system and a number falling into Israeli territory. One rocket was intercepted over Ashkelon, about 20 km. from Gaza.
Mortar shells fired at Israel from Gaza on Friday appear to be the same Iran-made variety used in a November 30 barrage fired by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group, indicating the terrorist group was responsible for both attacks, The Times of Israel has learned.
According to army assessments, those recent attacks show that Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, has apparently lost its ability to prevent other terrorist groups from carrying out attacks from the coastal enclave.
Israel’s retaliation policy in recent years has mostly been to strike Hamas in response to attacks carried out from Gaza, the idea being that the group, which rules the territory, is ultimately responsible for any attack emanating from it. The army believed that such strikes would force Hamas to rein in more radical groups.
But in light of Hamas’s apparent inability to do so, the army may reconsider that policy and potentially go after those organizations itself.
The Iran-backed Islamic Jihad has vowed to avenge the deaths of 12 of its operatives, including two senior officers, who were killed when the Israel Defense Forces blew up a cross-border attack tunnel dug by the group on October 30. Two Hamas members were also killed in the blast.
The Israeli Air Force hit a Hamas camp in the southern Gaza Strip early Tuesday in response to a rocket fired at Israel hours earlier, the army said.
The army said it targeted a Hamas facility because Israel holds Hamas responsible for all rocket fire and violence emanating from the coastal enclave.
Palestinian security sources said there were multiple strikes, in Khan Younes in the south and Deir al-Balah in central Gaza, causing damage but no casualties.
Late Monday, terrorists in the Gaza Strip launched a rocket at Israel that hit an open field in the Eshkol region, Israeli officials said.
There were no reports of injuries or damage caused by the rocket.
The IDF reported an increase in the number of fatalities among its soldiers in 2017.
55 IDF soldiers died in 2017, compared with 41 soldiers who died in 2016, and 36 who died in 2015, according to a report published by the IDF Tuesday evening.
Five soldiers were murdered in terrorist attacks. Two soldiers were killed in during combat operations. One soldier was killed in an aircraft crash. Two soldiers were killed in operational accidents. Twelve soldiers were killed in traffic accidents. One soldier was killed in a workplace accident, and five soldiers were killed in other accidents.
Nine soldiers died of illnesses, and the deaths of 16 soldiers are believed to be suicides.
The increase in fatalities was attributed largely to an increase in the number of soldiers killed in accidents. There was a slight increase in the number of suspected suicides.
Armed Palestinians affiliated with the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, the military wing of the Fatah faction, released a video on Tuesday threatening the life of GOC Southern Command Maj. Gen. Eyal Zamir.
In the video, Zamir is seen standing with other soldiers at a briefing near the Gaza Strip security fence, in the crosshairs of a sniper’s rifle.
It was unclear when the footage was filmed.
The Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades video also detailed some of Zamir’s personal information, including his age, rank and position.
It also contained a direct message: “Eyal Zamir, commander of the Zionist enemy army’s southern command, as long as you are on the land of the Zionist entity, you are within reach – whether you are near the border or far from it. Be careful because your time is coming soon.”
Israeli troops shot dead an armed Palestinian teenager at a protest in the central West Bank on Wednesday, the IDF said.
The youth was identified by Palestinian news agency Wafa as 17-year-old Musab Firas Tamimi from the village of Deir Nitham, north of Ramallah.
According to the IDF the teenager was taking part in a violent protest of about 30 Palestinians and was holding a gun, which led to troops opening fire with live ammunition. Palestinian media reported that he was shot in the head and was evacuated by Palestinian Red Crescent to Istishari Arab Hospital in Ramallah, were he was pronounced dead.
Tamimi is a distant relative of Ahed Tamimi, her father told The Jerusalem Post. Ahed made headlines recently after a video of her and another teenager slapping IDF soldiers went viral. Tamimi was arrested in an overnight raid after the incident, and was indicted on Monday for threatening soldiers and inciting violence.
The IDF stated that the circumstances of the incident are being investigated.
The Knesset on Wednesday advanced a bill that would allow the interior minister to cancel the permanent residency for East Jerusalem residents who are found to have committed actions constituting a “breach of trust” to the State of Israel.
Likud MK Amir Ohana’s bill — cleared in a preliminary vote of 63 against 17, with one abstention — would give Interior Minister Aryeh Deri the authority to strip the residency of Palestinians with ties to terrorist groups, convicted terrorists, would-be attackers, or those convicted of treason, according to the proposed legal definition of “breach of trust.”
This would also likely apply to East Jerusalem Palestinians who have attacked IDF soldiers, which Israeli law defines as a terror offense.
The proposal came after the High Court of Justice in September ruled the Interior Ministry did not have the right to revoke the permanent residency status of four Palestinian parliamentarians with ties to the Hamas terror group, 10 years after their residency permits were canceled for “breach of trust.”
Israel said on Wednesday it had cracked a Palestinian terrorist cell suspected of having been recruited and handled by Iranian intelligence officers who worked out of South Africa.
Israel has long been locked in a shadow war with Iran, which supports Islamist terrorists in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon and whose nuclear program is widely believed to have been targeted repeatedly by Israeli saboteurs.
Israel’s Shin Bet security agency said three Palestinians from the West Bank had been indicted on espionage and terrorism charges after they confessed to accepting Iranian-assigned missions, including preparation of a suicide bombing and providing their handlers with Israeli cellphone SIM cards.
In its statement, the Shin Bet said the suspects’ point of contact was a Palestinian who lived in South Africa and had been recruited by Iranian intelligence. It gave no indication whether the South African government knew of the alleged Iranian activity, or of the Palestinian man’s whereabouts.
South Africa, where pro-Palestinian sentiment is strong, has strained relations with Israel, but the Shin Bet statement also suggested the country effectively served as an Iranian spy hub.
The Hamas terror organization published on its Twitter account three pictures of formerly captive IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.
Shalit was captured in 2006 in a Hamas attack. He was released in 2011, in exchange for over 1,000 convicted terrorists. Since then, Hamas has promised and carried out additional kidnappings, in efforts to replicate a similar deal.
Some of the freed “Shalit deal” terrorists have continued on to kill additional Israelis.
In the pictures, Shalit can be seen sitting beside the terrorists and a Hamas flag.
A prominent Palestinian militant whose followers have fought other factions in a refugee camp in Lebanon has traveled to Syria, he said, removing one of the main combatants in one of Lebanon’s most volatile settlements.
A statement by Bilal Badr, who led a hardline Sunni Islamist faction against mainstream Palestinian groups in the Ain el-Hilweh refugee camp at Sidon, did not say when or how he had traveled to Syria.
The rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad has drawn militant Sunnis from across the region. After fighting in Ain el-Hilweh in August, Palestinian groups urged wanted security suspects to leave the camp.
Badr’s statement addressed his supporters “from the land of jihad and glory, from Assad’s lair in Syria, to which we migrated to support the religion of God.”
The statement was circulated on social media inside the camp and its authenticity was confirmed by a source close to Badr.
The Palestinian Authority said on Wednesday that it is ready to resume paying for all of its share of electricity for the Gaza Strip, ending more than six months of restrictions for the already power-starved Strip.
The measure comes amid a Palestinian reconciliation process between the PA and the Hamas terror group that has ruled the Strip for the last 10 years, and was one of the key demands by Hamas.
Abbas had dramatically reduced payments to Israel for the electricity — effectively slashing the supply — in a bid to pressure Hamas to loosen its grip on Gaza.
The PA has now requested that Israel now resume supplying another 50 megawatts to Gaza’s power lines, restoring the provision of electricity to Gaza to what it was prior to June 2017, said Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh in a statement to the official PA news site Wafa.
The return of the regular power supply to the Strip would mean Gazans would again see six to eight hours of electricity a day, rather than two to four hours a day they received during the reduction. Some days during the electricity crisis some Gazans received more than four hours of electricity a day, thanks to supplies of fuel sent from Egyptian.
IsraellyCool: “Concentration Camp” Gaza’s Latest Barracks
Inspired by the old Gaza mall photos, I have featured on this blog various facilities from Gaza, with the aim of providing readers with a glimpse into the real Gaza, which is anything but a concentration camp as some claim.
My point is not that there is no hardship in Gaza, but rather that the situation is a far cry from what is being presented by the palestinians, their supporters and the mainstream media.
Thank you to the antisemitic Palestinian Information Center, which I find ever so helpful!
When they are not posting easily debunk-able propaganda, or their commenters are not outing themselves as antisemites (for me to expose), they occasionally post something true, which is also useful.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Hamas Tunnel-Digging Opens Chamber Of Secrets; 41 Muggles Dead (satire)
Efforts by the militant Islamist group that controls the Gaza Strip to develop and maintain a subterranean logistical and combat infrastructure met a hurdle over the weekend after a new portion of the excavations opened a portal to the lair of a large, murderous serpent that targets non-magical humans. As of Monday evening, more than 40 fatalities among the Muggle population had been recorded, but health officials in Gaza warned that the figure might already be higher.
Preliminary reports indicate that an attempt on Friday to dig a shaft from an existing tunnel in the Shuja’iyya Refugee Camp neighborhood of Gaza City created an aperture to a vast underground lair of a basilisk, an immense venomous snake that can kill its prey either by striking with its fangs or by making eye contact. Forty-one Gazans are known to have perished since then from encounters with the basilisk, all of whom were born to non-wizarding families, according to Gaza Ministry of Health spokesman Jinn Wizli.
“The figure we have so far represents only the confirmed basilisk victims,” he stressed. “Autopsy results from the several that have been conducted do not indicate a cause of death, leading us to believe that they were killed by the serpent’s gaze alone. Gaza has not faced a peril of this magnitude since the last war in 2014.” That 51-day war with Israel claimed more than 2,000 dead in Gaza, though most of them were combatants.
“Our resources are already stretched thin, as [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas has refused to allow essential medicine and medical supplies into Gaza,” he added. “But at present we would have no idea what to do even if we had fully stocked hospitals and pharmacies – no one seems to know how to prevent or treat this threat. In any case, the leadership has convened to discuss what can be done, primarily to find a way to blame Israel.”
On November 21, 2017, the German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle’s Arabic-language channel aired a youth program on women’s rights in Jordan, during which a Jordanian teen told of sexual harassment she had been subjected to and pointed out that when she went to file a complaint about it she was harassed a second time by security personnel. Mahmoud Al-Kharabsheh, a former Jordanian MP who was also on the program, shouted at the girl and expressed doubts about the credibility of her account. He stated that in Jordan there was no such thing as sexual harassment, and that with his statements he was defending the honor of his country. The program host, who defended the girl, argued with Al-Kharabsheh, and silenced him, and the latter walked out of the studio in a rage. Later on, Al-Kharabsheh announced that he intended to sue the channel for harming Jordan’s reputation.The program also featured interviews with young people, some of whom expressed radically chauvinistic views, one even saying that if his sister went to work during the nighttime hours, he would kill her.
In response to these incidents, Nidal Mansour, director of the Center for Defending Freedom of Journalists, in Jordan, wrote an op-ed for the Jordanian Al-Ghad daily, under the headline “Stop The Violence Against Women.” In it he attacked Al-Kharabsheh’s statements and the chauvinistic statements by young people on the program. He wrote that the denigration and harassment of women and the denial of their rights was well known and recognized in Jordan, even if some tried to deny it, and that it was rooted in society, culture, and mentality. Therefore, he said, it was not enough to further amend the legislation recently amended in the country in order to strengthen protection for women, but there was a need for society to completely change how women are treated.
IsraellyCool: Egypt (Literally) Rewriting History on Jerusalem
Mature and helpful stuff from our peace partners Egypt.
The Ministry of Education instructed all Education Directorates on Tuesday to omit the word “Jerusalem” in Hebrew, Yerushalayim, from the book, “Alf Akhtraa W Akhtraa” (A thousand invention and invention). The Arabic translation of Jerusalem, al-Quds, is still in the curricula.
Over the past month, pictures from several schools across Egypt circulated on social media showing students and teachers keen to discuss Jerusalem’s history as part of Palestinian and Arab lands, explaining the significant historical error committed by the American president Donald Trump when he declared the Holy City as the official Israeli capital.
Israel seized control of the Eastern part of the city in the six-Day War in 1967 and annexed East Jerusalem in 1980, a move that has never been recognized by the international community. The Palestinians have long demanded the occupied East Jerusalem to be the capital of their future state.
I can’t say I am surprised, because Egypt has a tendency to rewrite history. For instance, they consider the 1973 Yom Kippur War (also known as the October War) to be a great military victory, celebrating it as a national holiday each year. They even built the huge October 1973 War Panorama Museum to commemorate the event. But history shows they were close to having their asses handed back to them on a platter, despite some initial victories over Israel brought on by the element of surprise.
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