Netanyahu: Israel thwarted ‘major’ terror attacks in Europe involving planes
Israeli intelligence has thwarted mass terrorist attacks in Europe that “involve civil aviation,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday, in a possible reference to September 11-type attacks planned against European targets using hijacked aircraft.
Netanyahu, speaking in Jerusalem to ambassadors of NATO countries, said that the world is threatened by radical Sunni groups, initially led by al-Qaeda, but now by Islamic State, and radical Shi’ites led by Iran.
“When we talk about ISIS, it’s important to understand that Israel helps Europe in two fundamental ways,” Netanyahu said.
“The first is that we have, through our intelligence services, provided information that has stopped several dozen major terrorist attacks, many of them in European countries. Some of these could have been mass attacks, of the worst kind that you have experienced on the soil of Europe and even worse, because they involve civil aviation. Israel has prevented that, and thereby helped save many European lives.”
He did not elaborate. Netanyahu has said numerous times in the past that Israeli intelligence has helped thwart numerous terrorist attacks in Europe.
JPost Editorial: Shut down UNRWA
The US under the leadership of President Donald Trump is rightly reconsidering the logic of funding the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine – at least as it operates presently.
Some $125 million, which makes up about a third of the United States’ annual support for the organization, has already been frozen.
Judging from a tweet by Trump that preceded the decision to freeze aid, it seems the US president wants to make funding conditional upon Palestinian cooperation in helping to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Trump’s concern is legitimate. UNRWA, which has been around since 1949, was supposed to be a temporary solution, until the “Palestinian refugee problem” was sorted out. But with the Palestinian Authority refusing to cooperate with the US in solving the problem, there is little reason for the US to continue footing the bill for the agency indefinitely.
We can think of a few additional reasons why UNRWA – which employs 11,500 employees in Gaza alone – should be radically revamped, if not disbanded altogether.
The first problem is that UNRWA perpetuates the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. While the original Palestinian refugees from 1948 – both those who left their homes willingly and those who were forced – might legitimately have deserved refugee status, why should their grandchildren or great-grandchildren share that status? Most other refugees are cared for by the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees, and their status is not passed on to grandchildren or great-grandchildren. The Palestinians, on the other hand, have their own agency.
This leaves millions of Palestinians in a state of limbo. Instead of getting on with their lives, the Palestinians in places like Gaza continue to grasp a false dream of one day returning to Jaffa, Haifa or Jerusalem. This also allows the kind of apartheid that takes place in Lebanon, where more than one million Palestinians live without official status. They do not have Lebanese citizenship and are confined to dismal refugee camps where terrorism and crime thrive. But because they are refugees, the Lebanese government can wash its hands of having to integrate them into society.
All this can change if UNRWA is reformed or shut down. While UNRWA is an organization that nominally is dedicated to transforming refugees into fully self-sufficient individuals, it has allowed the myth of the “right of return” to persist. Within UNRWA it is heretical to say that repatriation to Israel is unrealistic.
The Palestinian Authority paid terrorists and their families over $347 million last year, according to its own records, the Defense Ministry reported to the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Tuesday.
The average income of a Palestinian is $580 per month, which is what the PA pays terrorists who are sentenced to three to five years in prison.
The PA pays terrorists who are sentenced to 20 years or more in prison – in other words, those who committed more severe crimes, and likely were involved in killing Israelis – five times that each month for the rest of their lives.
Terrorists who are Israeli citizens receive a $145 bonus, which, when added to the amount PA pays for the most severe crimes, comes to over $2,900, more than the average Israeli income of around $2,700 per month. There are also increases in pay for being married and for each child a terrorist has.
Palestinian terrorists’ income per month. (JPOST STAFF)Palestinian terrorists’ income per month. (JPOST STAFF)
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said, “The PA pays over a billion shekels a year to terrorists and their families, thus encouraging and perpetuating terror.”
“The minute the amount of the payment is decided according to the severity of the crime and the length of the sentence – in other words, whoever murders and is sentenced to life in prison gets much more – that is funding terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens. There is nothing that better illustrates the PA’s support for terror. We must stop this,” Liberman said.
The Defense Ministry on Tuesday publicized a draft bill that would deduct welfare payments paid out by the Palestinian Authority to Palestinian prisoners and their families from the tax revenues Israel transfers annually to the PA.
“The Palestinian Authority pays over a billion shekels a year to terrorists and their relatives, thereby encouraging and perpetuating terrorism,” Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said in a statement. “The moment the payments are set based on the severity of the crime and the prison sentence, namely that those who murder and are sentenced to life receive a lot more, this is [tantamount to] funding terror attacks against Israelis.”
The bill, which targets cash payments by the PA to jailed or injured terrorists and their relatives, will also apply to Palestinians who committed other crimes for which they are being compensated by the PA, the ministry said in a statement.
The Palestine Liberation Organization gives monthly payments to all Palestinian prisoners jailed in Israel, no matter the reason for their incarceration, and also to families of so-called “martyrs” — a term used by the PLO to refer to anyone killed by an Israeli, whether the person was killed attacking Israelis or an innocent bystander.
Caroline Glick: The Palestinians’ race to the bottom
So while it is true that 128 countries – including India, Egypt and Saudi Arabia – voted with the PLO against Israel and the US at the UN last month, it is also true that their votes don’t signify as much as they used to. It is equally true that the Palestinians can’t try their patience by pushing anti-Israel resolutions every day as they have for the past 45 years. Because as the Palestinians keep playing their old tricks, Israel is becoming a more and more significant regional and global power and the nations of the world aren’t interested in weakening Israel when Israel is helping them survive and prosper.
As Abu Ali’s continued tenure in Pakistan shows, rather than recognize the shifting power balance and update their positions to align with it, the PLO has become even more brittle and reactionary and extreme. If Egypt doesn’t support their war against Israel, then they will take their roadshow to Tehran, or its Lebanese satrapy.
On December 31, Fatah Central Committee member Azzam al-Ahmad met with Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah in Beirut. After meeting with al-Ahmad, Nasrallah told al Mayadeen TV that Fatah – led by Abbas – agreed to “activate a third intifada,” or terror war, against Israel. PA parliament members also visited Lebanon and met with Iranian-controlled Prime Minister Saad Hariri.
Sunday night, Israel Channel 2 reported that terrorist incitement is rising steeply in the official PA media and social media networks. One video, of a faked shooting of a Palestinian teenage girl by an actor dressed in an IDF uniform, has gone viral. Thousands of viewers have responded to the fake scene with pledges to kill Israelis to avenge the fake death.
When later this month Netanyahu meets Modi in Delhi, India’s UN vote and Abu Ali’s embrace of Saeed will be on the agenda. And there is good reason to believe that Modi will recognize the linkage and vote differently in the future. Like Netanyahu, he recognizes that the PLO’s basic case is wrong. Peace is achieved by defeating terrorists, not by empowering them.
Moreover, Israel beckons. The economic and strategic realities of Israel cannot be ignored. Modi and his counterparts worldwide are now recognizing that the Palestinians have nothing to offer them, not even gratitude. When a critical mass of Palestinians recognize that the PLO’s jig is up, they will make peace with Israel. Until then, they will continue to serve as an irritating irrelevancy and nothing more.
Official PA TV rebroadcasts 41 times Abbas’ call to prevent Jews “in any way” from “defiling our holy places,” which in 2014 was broadcast 32 times during the Palestinian terror wave in which 12 Israelis were murdered
Song calling for murder repeatedly broadcast by official PA TV in 2000 when the PA launched its terror campaign – the second Intifada – has also been broadcast again 5 times
There was a dramatic rise of Palestinian terror attacks during December: from 84 in Nov. 2017, to 249 in Dec. 2017, according to the Israeli Security Agency
A speech by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and an inciting music video that the Palestinian Authority broadcast repeatedly in the past when it wanted Palestinians to commit terror attacks have been rebroadcast by official PA TV and radio at least 46 times since the US recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
On Oct. 17, 2014, Abbas claimed that Jews’ presence on the Temple Mount was “defiling” an Islamic holy site. He called “to prevent them, in any way,” which is a Palestinian euphemism for violence and terror. Thus implicitly encouraging Palestinians to attack Israelis, PA TV replayed Abbas’ call for violence 19 times in three days and eventually broadcast it 32 times during the next month. Five days after the first broadcasts, two Israelis were stabbed to death, and during that month numerous Palestinians heeded the call, using knives, guns and car rammings to murder 12 Israelis.
On Dec. 6, 2017, the day US President Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, PA TV and radio started rebroadcasting Abbas’ old call to confront Israelis in “any way.” By the beginning of January it had been rebroadcast at least 41 times.
There is no reason for the PA to be rebroadcasting Abbas’ message now unless it is hoping to generate terror again as it did in 2014.
Fatah video: “I’m coming towards you, my enemy, from every house… with my weapon and my faith”
Director of the Palestinian Women’s Union in Gaza presents 3 female terrorists as role models
Sohrab Amari: What the Iran Protests Have Already Achieved
First, the Iran protests showed that the people are not rallying to the regime under the press of President Trump’s hawkish rhetoric. Far from being “swept up in a wave of nationalist fervor,” as the New York Times‘ Thomas Erdbrink reported a few weeks before the uprising, Iranians still detest their corrupt, repressive regime. As my colleague Noah Rothman has noted on our podcasts, Americans have an almost-religious conviction that world events revolve around the U.S. and specifically the White House. To be sure, America remains the most important nation on the world stage. Yet the average Iranian doesn’t wake up in the morning cursing Donald Trump for trying to undo the nuclear deal. More likely, he curses the fact that he can’t even afford eggs to feed his children, and there are more proximate actors whom he blames for that: namely, the mullahs.
Second, the uprising revealed, once and for all, that Iranian President Hasan Rouhani has been no moderate, and that the reformer-vs.-hardliner distinction is meaningless. Ever since he came to power, Rouhani has been the subject of adulation among members of the Western foreign-policy establishment. The media attached the “moderate” and “reformer” labels to Rouhani on the night of his first election, in June 2013, and refused to remove them even as evidence mounted that he was no such thing. There was Rouhani’s leading role in the violent repression of the 1999 student uprising; his support for the post-2009 crackdown; his long record of anti-American rhetoric (“the beautiful cry of ‘Death to America’ unites our nation”); his decidedly immoderate cabinet; his work overseeing Iran’s campaign of assassinations targeting dissidents abroad; and much else of the kind.
But now Iranians themselves are plainly telling the West that Rouhani is no moderate. Their slogans–“Not Gaza, Not Lebanon, My Life Only for Iran” and “Let Syria Be, Do Something for Me”–are a reminder that Tehran has continued to underwrite terror and bloodshed across the Middle East during the four-plus years of Rouhani’s presidency. The people have also been chanting, “Reformists, Hard-Liners, the Whole Game Is Over.” Let’s hope the same realization soon dawns in Washington and Brussels.
Third, the protesters put the lie to the Obama administration’s claims about the 2015 nuclear deal. Remember when senior Obama officials reassured Americans that Iran would use the sanctions relief under Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to improve the lots of its people?
ROUHANI VS. REGIME
The Trump administration’s view of Iranian president Hassan Rouhani is fundamentally different from that of most European governments. The EU generally sees him as a moderate who wants to use the nuclear agreement and foreign investment as tools for promoting political freedoms and engagement with the West. In contrast, Trump’s top advisors have charged the Obama administration with being hoodwinked by Rouhani’s negotiators, whom they see as nothing more than the friendly face of a despotic regime. Trump aides also believe that the protests are proof that Rouhani is incapable of reforming the Iranian state, since most of the demonstrations have focused on the government’s economic failures. As one White House official put it, “The government can’t do what the protestors want them to do.”
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is scheduled to visit Brussels in the coming days for talks with Mogherini and his counterparts from Britain, Germany, and France. There, he is expected to argue that more foreign investment will allow Rouhani to meet the protestors’ demands.
Against that backdrop, European officials are keeping a close eye on President Trump’s looming decisions about sanctions waivers. If U.S. officials want to keep the nuclear deal intact in the hope of repairing it down the road, they will need to maintain the waivers enacted by the Obama administration in 2016, at least for now. The president’s top aides indicate they are still uncertain about which way he will go, though one senior White House official acknowledged that the protests “will have a bearing” on his waiver decisions.
Even if Trump extends the waivers, American diplomats expect a fight with Europe over the future of relations with Tehran. Alongside its desire to punish the regime for cracking down on protestors, the White House has signaled that it might not allow Boeing and Airbus to move forward with their planned aircraft sales to Iran. EU officials have said that this would cost European companies billions of dollars and put the nuclear deal in further jeopardy, heightening the stakes of Trump’s decision considerably.
US President Donald Trump faces two major deadlines this week that could determine whether the United States will quit the Iran nuclear deal.
On Friday, Trump will have to decide whether to sign a number of waivers that would block the renewal of sanctions removed under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the deal is formally known.
If he does not sign those waivers, the sanctions will automatically be reinstated, putting the US in contravention of the deal’s terms and likely spelling the end of the 2015 pact.
Under the accord, the US president has to sign the waivers every 120 days, while the American intelligence services monitor the Islamic Republic’s compliance with the deal, which rolled back crippling sanctions against Tehran in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.
As a candidate, Trump expressed intense disapproval of the deal, repeatedly promising to tear it up should he be elected and often calling it the “worst deal ever negotiated.” Since ascending to the Oval Office, however, he has stepped back from such dramatic action.
It’s this sort of thing that feeds suspicions that the newspaper’s journalism is somehow compromised by the Times Company’s lucrative business running luxury tours of Iran guided by Times journalists, or by the fact that the Times Company’s largest economic owner, Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, owns Telekom Austria in partnership with OBIB, Austria’s sovereign wealth fund, which is also a huge player in developing Iran’s oil and gas business.
Maybe the Times editorial board members just can’t reach a consensus on the issue, or newly installed publisher A.G. Sulzberger is too busy familiarizing himself with the First Amendment to offer the editorial board some direction. Maybe they are all on an extended winter vacation, or working hard on their Pulitzer Prize entries, for which the annual deadline is approaching.
Whatever the reason, it’s a sad day for freedom when the brave Iranians standing up to a brutal terror-sponsoring regime can’t count on the timely or energetic editorial support of The New York Times. When freedom finally does come to Iran and the prisoners do emerge to say their thank yous, they will have plenty of other newspaper offices to visit.
Noah Pollak: How Trump Can Cut Aid to a Horrible U.N. Program
East. The president made history with his Jerusalem announcement, and his critics—the U.S. foreign policy establishment, Europe, the media—were embarrassed after their dire and hysterical predictions of violence failed to come true.
What’s more, it appears the president and his advisers, in dramatic contrast to the previous administration, take the Palestinians seriously and understand that anti-American, anti-Israel, and anti-Semitic rhetoric from Palestinian leaders is meaningful. The president also appears to believe that enormous U.S. spending on the Palestinian Authority—more than $5 billion since the mid-1990s—has earned us a negative return. The billions haven’t promoted peace, but instead kleptocracy, terror, and hate—in the course of making Palestinians the greatest per capita recipients of foreign aid in the world.
Conflict with Israel is what keeps American and European aid money flowing, so conflict is what we get. As Trump might tweet: Not smart!
Now the administration has apparently held up a payment to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) and is exploring ways to reduce aid to the Palestinians. Reforming U.S. aid to the Palestinians is long overdue—so allow me a recommendation for the administration.
There are three major streams of U.S. funding for the Palestinians: INCLE, ESF, and UNRWA.
The tension between the PA and the U.S. – and in particular the Palestinians’ inclination to express their rage by severing relations, rejecting the U.S. as a mediator in the peace process, and adopting harsh rhetoric vis-à-vis the U.S. administration – may leave the peace process at an impasse and distance the Palestinians from the achievement of their political goals. The crisis has placed the PA, and especially ‘Abbas, on a collision course with the U.S., in addition to the conflicts that already exist between the PA and various elements.
The first of these conflicts is with Israel. The political process has long been in a stalemate due to ‘Abbas’s insistence on setting conditions for renewing it, among them the demand to halt construction in the settlements, including in Jerusalem, and the demand that Israel agree to the establishment of a Palestinian state within the June 4, 1967 borders. This is in addition to his refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. The rejection of the U.S. as a broker will likely make the chances of renewing the peace process slimmer still.
In the regional arena, ‘Abbas’ relations with the Arab Quartet (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Jordan), have been tense ever since he rejected their demand that he reconcile with Dahlan and move towards reconciliation with Hamas as part of advancing the peace process. ‘Abbas not only refused to comply but also condemned their interference in the PA’s affairs, and Palestinian elements even accused Saudi Arabia of normalizing relations with Israel.
In the inter-Palestinian arena, ‘Abbas has not managed to mend the rift with Hamas that has existed for over a decade. While a new reconciliation agreement was achieved in October 2017, its implementation has encountered many difficulties, with the PA accusing Hamas of refusing to cede control of Gaza despite the agreement and Hamas countering that the PA has not lifted its sanctions on Gaza despite the reconciliation. The conflict between ‘Abbas and Dahlan, due to the expelling of the latter and his associates from the Fatah institutions, has caused Fatah to split into two factions, which diminishes its chances of winning future elections, if and when they take place.
‘Abbas’s reaction to Trump’s announcement has bolstered his public image as a national leader who defends the interests of the Palestinian people and remains loyal to its goals. The need for this public support, which comes after a significant decline in his popularity in recent years, may be what motivated him to take such a harsh stance in response to Trump’s move.
Israel’s National Security Council has warned the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that Israel may face International Criminal Court action this year over either of two issues, 2014’s Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip or its construction policies in Judea and Samaria, Channel 10 News reported Monday.
Both issues are the subjects of complaints filed with the ICC by the Palestinian Authority, and ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has been investigating them for nearly three years. According to the report, she may decide to pursue one of the issues further this year.
In December, Bensouda ruled that there were no grounds to open a full-scale investigation into the 2010 raid by Israeli naval commandos on a flotilla that was attempting to breach the maritime blockade Israel has placed on the Gaza Strip.
According to Channel 10 News, Col. (ret.) Amit Aviram, a senior National Security Council official, presented members of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee with a classified strategic situation assessment for 2018 that lists details of diplomatic threats, as well as security threats.
The two main threats he reportedly warned lawmakers about include a possible ICC investigation into the 2014 Gaza campaign or settlement construction. Such investigations are likely if there is a security escalation in the Gaza Strip or the West Bank, or if the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process collapses, he said.
You know that critics of Israel are getting panicky when they start trotting out the old “one state” bogeyman.
“As a 2-State Solution Loses Steam, a 1-State Plan Gains Traction,” a New York Times headline announced on January 5, above an article so palpably absurd that it can only reflect the mad panic among advocates of Palestinian statehood, as they see their dream fading away. And the fact that the Times chose to make this page one news says a lot about the fearful mindset among the left-wing news media, Israel-bashing pundits and Jewish peace camp types.
The article was written by David M. Halbfinger, who became the Times’ Jerusalem bureau chief six months ago. Before taking up that position, Halbfinger served as one of the newspaper’s Hollywood correspondents, and as its New York City metro political editor. It doesn’t sound like those previous posts prepared him very well for understanding Israel and the Palestinians.
On the other hand, sometimes it seems as if the only “qualification,” the Times requires for someone to serve as its Jerusalem correspondent (or bureau chief) is the ability to come up with ways to harangue and smear Israel, and to make Palestinians look sympathetic. That’s certainly what Halbfinger seemed up to with his “one state” declaration.
The basic idea is to threaten Israel: If you don’t agree to create an independent Palestinian state adjacent to your major cities and airports, then you’ll really be in trouble, because the Palestinians will demand that they become part of a single state, then they will outnumber you, and then — suddenly — no more Israel.
Opposition leader Yitzhak Herzog (Zionist Union) spoke to the Saudi Elaph news outlet, claiming his party will bring down Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s party and work to create a Palestinian state.
“The Israeli people are ready for peace, and there is a basis for reaching a historic agreement,” Herzog said.
Herzog also suggested giving Saudi Arabia special status with regards to the holy places in Jerusalem.
“We need to implement an interim solution for the next ten years, and then talk about Jerusalem,” he said. “Here, Saudi Arabia has a big job. When we start talking about Jerusalem and holy places such as Al-Aqsa mosque, I think Saudi Arabia has an important job and responsibility…we need to give them a central role in this issue.”
According to Maariv, Herzog called on Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to address the Knesset.
“I am sure that Labor leader Avi Gabbay will be able to lead Israel to peace. We will bring down the right-wing government and work towards a two-state solution with the Palestinians,” Herzog concluded.
Vice President Mike Pence will visit Egypt, Jordan and Israel this month after postponing a trip to the Middle East in December.
The White House announced Monday that Pence will travel to the region January 19-23, starting with a meeting in Cairo with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi. Pence will also confer with King Abdullah II of Jordan and then hold two days of meetings and events in Israel.
Get The Times of Israel’s Daily Edition by email and never miss our top stories
Free Sign Up
Pence’s agenda in Israel includes meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin, an address to the Knesset, and visits to the Western Wall and the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial.
Pence postponed his visit to Israel and Egypt in mid-December because of a Senate vote on Trump’s tax overhaul. But Pence’s trip to the Middle East, his first as vice president, will be carefully watched following US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, which prompted Palestinian leaders to cancel planned meetings with the vice president.
Top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat on Tuesday said the Palestinians would reject all United States-sponsored peace talks until Washington rescinded its December 6 recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
“The continued American talk about deals to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or calling for negotiations or talks is unacceptable to the Palestinian leadership, as long as Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is not revoked,” Erekat told the official Voice of Palestine radio station, according to the official PA news site Wafa.
When US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, he “removed Jerusalem from any negotiations,” said Erekat.
Tensions between the US and Palestinians flared after Trump’s December 6 announcement, with the Palestinian leadership declaring that it would no longer accept Washington as a peace broker.
Following the US president’s declaration, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud 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 on the peace process.
IsraellyCool: Abbas Laughs His Way Thru London
In an astonishing example of double talk, Johnson was quoted as saying, “I reiterated the UK’s commitment to supporting the Palestinian people and the two-state solution, the urgent need for renewed peace negotiations and the UK’s clear and longstanding position on the status of Jerusalem.”
There’s nothing new there; he’s reiterating again what we have all known. Yes, yes. They support the Palestinians, the two state solution, renewal of peace talks that the Palestinians have repeated refused to attend, and then states their position on Jerusalem is both longstanding and clear.
What is that position? Says Johnson, “It should be determined in a negotiated settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians.”
And I and most Israelis agree with him. If there is to be a negotiated settlement, it should indeed be between the Israelis and the Palestinians. That’s why the efforts of the Turks and the Arab countries in general fail – they refuse to invite the Israelis to the peace talks they strongly believe should be held. They do however, think it is their right to tell us what they decided. Yeah, that’s not going to work…
But back to Johnson. His statement would be both noteworthy and commendable, it he hadn’t then continued to share his thoughts. “And Jerusalem should ultimately be the shared capital of the Israeli and Palestinian states.”
So we are to negotiate a pre-determined agreement? Luckily, Israel is not that stupid and suddenly the smirk on Abbas’ face becomes clear.
Israel attacked Syrian territory three times early on Tuesday with jets and ground-to-ground missiles, Syria’s army said in a statement carried by state television.
The army said Israeli jets fired missiles at the al-Qutaifa area near Damascus from inside Lebanese airspace at 2:40 a.m. (0040 GMT), and that Syrian air defenses hit one of the planes.
Israel then fired ground-to-ground rockets from the Golan Heights, but the Syrian defenses brought the missiles down, the Syrian army said.
It said Israeli jets fired a final barrage of four rockets from inside Israel, and that the Syrian air defenses brought down one, but that the others caused material damage.
An Israeli military spokeswoman declined to respond to the Syrian statement. Although the Israeli air force chief last August disclosed that his corps had struck in Syria around 100 times, Israel’s policy is generally not to confirm or deny such operations.
Israel has pledged to prevent Syrian territory being used for Iran to set up bases or transfer high-quality weaponry to Lebanon-headquartered Hezbollah, which has been helping Damascus beat back a six-year-old rebellion.
A new umbrella organization linked to the Palestinian Authority bringing together several Arab bodies has been running an unprecedented incitement campaign in Judea and Samaria for several days.
The organization paid for large billboard space encouraging terrorists to disrupt the peace and throw rocks at Jews.
Otzma Yehudit movement Executive Director Zvi Sukkot and other Jewish activists surprised to see both the campaign itself and enforcement authority’s inaction decided to remove an incitement billboard that was placed next to the town of Eli in Samaria, along with signs in other places.
In recent days the activists removed additional incitement signs and said they would not allow PA officials to incite to unbridled attacks on Jews.
After the sign was removed by unofficial Jewish activists, and in light of many requests to the army, IDF soldiers also removed a similar incitement sign.
IsraellyCool: Oops! Palestinians Once Again Trip Up Over Their Lies
Remember Israa Jaabis, the palestinian terrorist and Darwin Award contender who tried to detonate a car bomb at a checkpoint, but only succeeded in burning and disfiguring herself?
The palestinians claimed that the fire broke out in her car due to a faulty domestic gas cylinder, which she had in the back seat while she was in the process of moving to a new home in East Jerusalem.
Well they either forgot they used that excuse, or decided it needed an update. Because now it is the airbag’s fault.
Israeli security forces arrested on Tuesday a Palestinian teenage girl who was found in possession of a utility knife and a bottle of gasoline at a bus stop in the central West Bank, the army said.
An Israeli civilian spotted the teenager behaving suspiciously at the Shiloh Junction, north of Ramallah. He drew his pistol and called on her to halt.
The girl then took out and threw away the knife that she had in her possession, an army spokesperson said.
A short while later, Israel Defense Forces soldiers arrived on the scene and placed her under arrest. During a search of her bag, they found the plastic bottle full of gasoline, the IDF said.
“She is now being questioned,” the spokesperson said.
There were no injuries reported.
Palestinian Authority media this week are celebrating the successful application of the most racist laws on the books anywhere on the planet, prohibiting the sale of land to Jews – under penalty of death.
According to the news agency Ma’an, following a lengthy investigation, the PA General Intelligence Service (GIS) in Qalqilya on Sunday arrested four Arab real estate brokers suspected of attempting to “divert land to the occupation,” or, more simply, sell land to Israeli customers.
“Palestinian land laws” cover the ownership of land under the Palestinian Authority. These laws prohibit PA Arabs from selling Arab-owned lands to “any man or judicial body corporation of Israeli citizenship, living in Israel or acting on its behalf.”
Land sales to Jews are considered treason by the PA, because they encourage “the spread of moral, political and security corruption.” Arabs who sell land to Israelis may be sentenced to death, although death sentences have only rarely been carried out. Instead, suspects of selling land to Jews are tortured in prison by PA security forces. In 1998, Amnesty International reported that torture of Arabs accused of selling land to Israelis appeared to be systematic, and unlawful killings were also reported against those accused.
Senior Hamas official Imad al-Alami on Tuesday was admitted to a hospital in Gaza City after being shot in the head “while examining his personal weapon in his home,” Hamas Spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said.
Alami is known as a hardliner and has supported Hamas’s ties with Iran.
In a Facebook post, Barhoum said that Alami is in “critical condition.”
On Tuesday afternoon, Senior Hamas officials including Hamas Politburo Chief Ismail Haniyeh and Hamas Chief in Gaza Yahya Sinwar visited Alami in the intensive care unit in Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital, Gaza-based media reported.
Alami has been a Hamas member since the late 1980s and was the first Hamas representative in Tehran.
The Swiss paper Basler Zeitung reported this week that Saudi Arabia’s government expressed interest in purchasing Israel’s anti-missile Iron Dome system to stop attacks launched by the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen.
The prominent Basel-based daily wrote that a “European weapons dealer in the Saudi capital of Riyadh” said the Saudis are examining the purchase of Israeli military goods, including the Israeli Trophy Active Protection System (APS), which was developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries’ Elta Group.
The APS is installed on tanks to detect and neutralize incoming projectiles aimed to take out the tank.
The Basler Zeitung wrote that Saudi military experts examined the Israeli military technology in the city of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.
Israel and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia do not have diplomatic relations. However, the Swiss paper reported that Saudi-Israel intelligence cooperation has registered “further progress,” according to observers in Tel Aviv and Riyadh.
In his January 2, 2018 column in the Qatari Al-Watan daily, Bin Saif laments the state of the Arab world as a new year begins. He writes that, while children in the West are celebrating the holiday season with presents and joy, Arab children are experiencing war, bloodshed and bombardments. To illustrate his point he envisions an “Arab Santa Claus,” who instead of riding a sled and handing out presents, rides an old tank and hands out explosive charges and cluster grenades.
The following are excerpts:
“Santa Claus rides a sled pulled by reindeer. He refuses to be pulled by an Arab horse, no matter how thoroughbred, because an Arab horse might always be booby-trapped. Santa Claus hands out gifts to the children of the world, but he stays away from the Arab children, out of fear of being killed by a stray bullet, a car bomb parked [by the side of the road] or a barrel bomb. The children of the world are decked out in bright clothing and hold toys and [booklets of] holiday songs, while the Arab children wake up every morning to shake the dust of the daily bombings off their clothing and wipe bright red blood off their faces. Every year, Santa Claus fears to cross the Arab equator.
“The main difference between optimistic and pessimistic nations is the way they express themselves. We write our thoughts under the heading ‘Goodbye to 2017,’ [while] other [nations] express their optimism under the caption ‘Welcoming 2018,’…
“To please you, let me envision, together with you, an Arab Santa Claus: instead of a sled harnessed to reindeer, he will ride an old Russian or American tank steered by an Arab soldier who is all skin and bones due to hunger. The sack [of gifts] he carries is filled with beautiful explosive charges, RPG rockets decorated with balloons, and cluster grenades in every color of the rainbow. The Arab Santa Claus wears a rosy bullet-proof helmet and wears a suit dyed bright red with Arab blood. He passes through every village sowing death, and then continues to the next village…
PreOccupiedTerritory: Mossad Harnesses Predictive Powers of ‘The Simpsons’ (satire)
Officials at Israel’s elite secret intelligence service have engaged writers from the world of entertainment with a knack for foreseeing important developments years in advance, as part of an effort to identify threats and opportunities before others do.
Most of the members of the creative team behind the 28-year-running animated sitcom The Simpsons have agreed to contribute to the Mossad’s new project, which an official from the organization called Operation Mossad Clairvoyance-Buttressing Activities In Nascence, or Operation MCBAIN for short.
“On more than a dozen occasions the Simpsons team has demonstrated its ability to predict events far in advance of many so-called experts or analysts,” observed the anonymous official. “Until now their uncanny skill has been something of a joking matter in the intelligence community, but Israel’s security establishment has always prided itself on thinking outside the idiot box. We thought, essentially, ‘Why not?’ And this arrangement was born.”
A significant number of the writers behind The Simpsons are Jewish or have some Jewish connection, and several have expressed open sympathy for Israel. “It was set up in under two days,” recalled the official.
We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.