July 14, 2020

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02/09 Links Pt1: US envoy Friedman tears into Haaretz for op-ed disparaging him; Dore Gold: The Assault on the Jewish Connection to Jerusalem; Like water for Gaza


From Ian:

US envoy Friedman tears into Haaretz for op-ed disparaging him
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman tore into the Haaretz daily Friday after the left-wing outlet ran an op-ed criticizing his financial support for the settlement enterprise.

“What has become of .@Haaretz ? Four young children are sitting shiva for their murdered father and this publication calls their community a ‘mountain of curses.’ Have they no decency?” he tweeted.

The “mountain of curses” remark with which Friedman took particular issue was a play on words by columnist Gidon Levy referring to the Har Bracha, or “Mount of blessing,” settlement.

The northern West Bank community was home to Rabbi Itamar Ben-Gal, a 29-year-old father of four who was stabbed to death by an Israeli Arab terrorist outside the Ariel settlement on Monday.

A day after the murder, Friedman recalled having donated an ambulance to Har Bracha years ago “hoping it would be used to deliver healthy babies.”

“Instead, a man from Har Bracha was just murdered by a terrorist, leaving behind a wife and four children. Palestinian ‘leaders’ [sic] have praised the killer. Praying for the BenGal family,” his Tuesday tweet concluded.

In his Haaretz column, Levy addressed the ambassador’s tweet, taking issue with his donation’s beneficiaries.

“With Friedman’s ambulance or without it, Har Bracha is a mountain of curses. It was a settlement established, like all the others, to poke a stick in the Palestinian eye and drive a stake into any chance of an agreement,” Levy wrote, highlighting the settlement’s location deep inside the northern West Bank.

Haaretz publisher Amos Schocken replied to Friedman’s tweet Friday, posting to the social media network that “Gideon Levy is right. As long as the policy of Israel that your Government and yourself support is obstructing peace process, practical annexation of the territories, perpetuating apartheid, fighting terror but willing to pay its price, there will be more Shivas.”

Video: The Assault on the Jewish Connection to Jerusalem – Dore Gold (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

At a meeting of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation last December, Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority, said that Jews are really excellent at faking and counterfeiting history and religion. I was struck by that because I refuse to assault the principles of their faith. They can say whatever they want about their faith as long as they don’t try and assault my faith. Part of the tragedy of the current period is this overall assault on the connections between Israel, the Jewish people, and Jerusalem.

In October 2016, UNESCO asserted that the Temple Mount was connected to Islam, but it refused to acknowledge any Jewish connection whatsoever – or for that matter any Christian connection – to the Temple Mount. In the resolution adopted in Paris, it used only the Islamic term for the Temple Mount – Haram al-Sharif, but the actual terminology “Temple Mount,” which had been used by international organizations for years, suddenly vanished. A few months later in December 2016, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2334 which called the Old City of Jerusalem, the Western Wall, and the Temple Mount “occupied Palestinian territory.”

The entire international community met together after World War I and said the Jews have a right to reconstitute their ancient homeland. That ought to be worth something. Israel is the only country in the international system whose historical rights were confirmed by both the League of Nations and the United Nations. To completely dismiss the rights of Israel is to dismiss how our rights have been understood by the international community for more than a century.

The cardinal question is who is going to protect Jerusalem in the future. Will it be national movements that doubt the legitimacy of various faiths’ connections to Jerusalem, or will it be national movements that understand that there are other national groups that have connections to Jerusalem. If Jerusalem is important to people, if freedom of religious expression is important to people, then only a free and democratic Israel will protect Jerusalem for all the great faiths.

Like water for Gaza

According to a 2016 Haaretz interview with Adnan Ghosheh, a senior water and sanitation specialist at the World Bank, the Gaza Strip will become uninhabitable for human beings by 2020.

This grim forecast is supported by the Institute for National Security Studies in a report titled “Water and Energy Crisis in Gaza: Snapshot 2017.”

According to the report, the “lack of clean water for domestic use and unsafe sanitary conditions pose a serious public health threat to the two million people living in the Gaza Strip. By now, large amounts of untreated wastewater have already crossed Gaza’s borders and created additional repercussions for several neighboring communities in Egypt and Israel, with Israel at one point forced to close two of its beaches.”

When unlimited drinking water flows from the taps in Ashkelon, just north of Gaza, it is too easy to accuse Israel of unjustly dividing this precious resource, as self-righteous Israelis, and Europeans, sometimes do. These voices continue to condescend, absolving the local leadership of any responsibility. But it is the Palestinian leaders who actually bear the blame for this disgraceful situation.

The fact is that the deterioration of Gaza’s water aquifers is a perfect reflection of the deterioration of the Oslo Accords. It is not a military or diplomatic issue, but rather a refusal to take any responsibility for providing basic infrastructure that is essential for maintaining the most fundamental aspects of life – preventing disease and death. If only they dug sewer tunnels for the betterment of Gaza rather than terror tunnels to the detriment of Israel.

Egyptian Journalist And TV Host Ibrahim Eissa: The Palestinians Who Carried Out The 1972 Olympics Massacre Were Terrorists, Not Fedayeen

Egyptian journalist and TV host Ibrahim Eissa said recently that the Palestinians who carried out the 1972 Munich Olympics attack on Israeli athletes were terrorists. “When people storm the Olympic games and the Olympic village, and kidnap athletes – even if they are Israelis – they cannot be called ‘fedayeen,’ in my view. They should be called ‘terrorists,'” he said. Eissa made the comment while reviewing a book on his show on the Egyptian ON TV, in which he said that the use of terrorism was “the backbone of the wretched political exploitation of the Palestinian cause.”

Arab Culture Was The First To Use Sports Events In Politics, And To Make Terrorist Use Of Sports Events In Politics

Ibrahim Eissa: “Arab culture was the first to use sports events in politics, and to make terrorist use of sports events in politics. The great Palestinian cause, which has been the life cause of us all, was peddled by some, used by some, and exploited by some, but the backbone of the wretched political exploitation of the Palestinian cause has been the use of violence and terror under the false pretext that this constitutes resistance against the colonialist West, Israel, or the Americans.

“The highlight of this was the famous operation in the 1972 Munich Olympics. It demonstrated that the catastrophe has always originated from the same culture. It is exploiting religion today just as it exploited pan-Arabism and the Palestinian cause in the past. What happened in the Munich Olympics? A group of what we used to call Palestinian fedayeen…

“The truth is they had nothing to do with fedayeen… Fedyaeen fight the enemy, fedayeen fight the occupation forces, but when people storm the Olympic games and the Olympic village, and kidnap athletes – even if they are Israelis – they cannot be called ‘fedayeen,’ in my view. They should be called ‘terrorists.'”

Trump’s Mideast strategy rejects anti-Israel theory of linkage

In announcing the embassy move to Jerusalem, President Trump gave credence to this history and recognized Israel’s sovereign right to determine her own capital. He also signaled that US policy would no longer be dictated by false narratives denying the Jews’ connection to their homeland. In so doing, he broke with his predecessors in office, whose endorsement of contrary Palestinian claims served only to undermine Israel’s legitimacy.

Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush were naive to think a two-state solution could be workable despite the Palestinians’ oft-stated goals of exterminating Israel and her people (and refusal to amend their charter calling for Israel’s destruction). Still, Clinton and Bush never expressed personal disdain for the Jewish State. In contrast, Barack Obama disrespected Israel, sought to appease Islamists, and validated the theory of linkage, which became a mantra for the progressives, BDS advocates, and radical regimes who were enabled by his policies.

Given the absence of evidence suggesting Israel has any impact on regional tensions, it becomes easy to see the bigoted underpinnings of the linkage theory. Claiming Israel is responsible for extraterritorial conflicts dating back 1,500 years or more is the same as accusing Jews of manipulating the global economy, controlling governments, or seeking world domination. Just as classical conspiracy theories accuse Jews of exercising power beyond their numbers, so too the linkage doctrine blames Israel for situations well beyond her influence and control.

When analyzed critically, the theory of linkage resembles a modern reworking of the ancient canard of undue Jewish influence. Whereas Clinton and Bush did not see through the theory’s subterfuge, Obama affirmatively indulged its worst impulses. In contrast, Trump has rejected it altogether and signaled that US foreign policy will no longer be governed by revisionist fiction. And this may augur well for America’s regional interests and Israel’s continuity as a Jewish state.

Trump tells Israel it will also have to make ‘hard compromises for peace’

US President Donald Trump said in an interview published Friday that recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was a “high point” of his first year in office, but that Israel will have to make “hard compromises for peace” in return.

Speaking to the Sheldon Adelson-owned Israel Hayom, Trump noted the December 6 recognition as a highlight.

“I think Jerusalem was a very big point. And I think it was a very important point. The capital, having Jerusalem be your great capital, was a very important thing to a lot of people,” said Trump according to an excerpt of the interview released Friday ahead of its full publication Sunday in the conservative Hebrew daily.

“I have been thanked and in some cases not thanked, to be 100% honest about it. But it was a very important pledge that I made and I fulfilled my pledge,” he said, noting that “the lobbying against it was tremendous.”

The move was hailed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and by leaders across much of the Israeli political spectrum. Guatemala has since announced it will follow the US in moving its embassy to the city.

But the decision sparked protests in some countries and was rejected in a non-binding UN General Assembly resolution. Arab and Muslim leaders have railed against it and the Palestinians cut off contacts with the US, saying Washington could no longer be an “honest broker” in peace talks.

Trump: My greatest moment was recognizing Jerusalem

US President Donald Trump spoke with Boaz Bismuth, a journalist for the Israel Hayom newspaper, about his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city.

At the beginning of the interview, Trump explained that prior to becoming President, he was a man of his word. Now, after his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, he has proof of that, and does not for one second regret his decision.

When asked which moment during his first year in office was most memorable, Trump didn’t hesitate: “I think that Jerusalem was my high point. It was very important that I recognized Jerusalem as your beautiful capital city. This was an extremely important decision for many people, who thanked me [for it]. To be completely honest, there were others who did not thank me. But it was an extremely important promise – and I fulfilled it.”

“Did you know ahead of time that you would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital during your first year in office?”

“Yes, I said that I wanted to do this during my first year,” Trump said. “I understand why other presidents failed to keep this promise. They were under extraordinary pressure not to do it. All of the other presidents failed to keep this promise, despite the fact that they promised it during their election campaign. But I understand, because there were enormous efforts to prevent them from keeping their promises.”

“What did you mean when you said that your recognition took Jerusalem off the table?”

“By removing Jerusalem from the negotiating table, I made it clear that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. When it comes to the specific borders, I will support whatever decision the sides reach.”

UN warned to stop giving Hezbollah free rein in Lebanon — or face consequences

A new warning on Iran’s destabilizing behavior in Lebanon was sent to the United Nations Secretary General and Security Council. The letter, which has been seen by Fox News, warned of the consequences of leaving Hezbollah’s actions unchecked by the U.N.

The letter was written by Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Danny Danon, and was shown to Fox News by a U.N. diplomat. It warns that continued inaction by the U.N. and the Lebanese government will lead to Iran and its U.S. designated terrorist organization, Hezbollah, further disrupting the region.

The two-page letter describes a recent visit by a senior Iranian official, Ayatollah Ebrahim Raisi, to the Lebanese/Israeli border where he was escorted by Hezbollah officials who were uniformed and armed — which is a blatant violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions. The visit took place within a U.N. buffer zone free of any armed personnel.

The letter refers to pictures on social media showing Raisi inspecting Hezbollah military sites. The letter reports that he made provocative comments about the imminent liberation of Jerusalem, and thanked Hezbollah for its “stand against the Zionist regime.”

The letter states in part, “ I write, once again, to alert you and members of the Security Council to the dangerous and destabilizing actions taken by Hezbollah, the internationally recognized terrorist organization that serves as an Iranian proxy in our region.”

US Jewish leaders to visit United Arab Emirates

In yet another sign of rapprochement with the Persian Gulf states, a group of prominent US Jewish organizational leaders led by Malcolm Hoenlein will travel in the coming days to the United Arab Emirates.

Members of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, which Hoenlein leads as its executive vice chairman, will travel to Abu Dhabi and Dubai as part of their annual leadership mission before coming to Israel. The group’s annual conference in Jerusalem will begin a week from Sunday.

The visit comes amid increasing small signs of normalized interaction between Israel and the Gulf states, including reports on Wednesday that Saudi Arabia will allow Air India to fly over its territory on flights to and from Israel, and a 23-person delegation from Bahrain that visited Israel in December.

Hoenlein told The Jerusalem Post that the aim is to “foster better ties with the US, the American Jewish community and Israel.”

Although this is not the first time his organization will bring a delegation to the UAE, he said it will be the largest.

“Each year the conference goes to another country before coming to Israel,” he said. Among countries visited in previous years were Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, Bahrain, Qatar, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

The trip comes quickly on the heels of a trip Hoenlein made to Qatar in November, when he met with Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani. A number of other prominent US Jewish leaders have also visited Qatar in recent weeks.

PA envoy sees ‘several options’ for resuming Mideast peace talks

But all the option he listed would include the United States, despite the fact that the Palestinian leadership has repeatedly stated in recent weeks, since U.S. President Donald Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on Dec. 6, that the U.S. can no longer mediate peace negotiations due to its obvious bias in favor of Israel.

“We’re saying a collective approach involving several players at minimum would have a better chance of succeeding than the approach of only one country that is so close to Israel,” Mansour told reporters.

The Palestinians are also furious at Trump for cutting the funding for the U.N. agency dedicated to assisting Palestinian refugees known as UNRWA.

Mansour said a collective peace process could “be in the format of the [U.N.] Security Council – that would be something that we will look at seriously.”

“The Quartet plus China plus the League of Arab States plus maybe others … we could also look at that,” he added, referring to the Quartet of Middle East peace negotiators that comprises the U.N., the U.S., the European Union and Russia.

“Or the collective process might be of the nature of the French Paris conference or international conference,” he said.

Foreign Ministry names new envoy to Jordan after diplomatic crisis

Israel named a new ambassador to Jordan on Thursday, seven months after recalling its ambassador amid a diplomatic crisis sparked by an incident in which an Israeli embassy guard killed two Jordanian citizens after being attacked with a screwdriver.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry said that Amir Weissbrod, head of the ministry’s Middle East bureau, would be appointed head of mission to Amman pending government approval. Weissbrod is a career diplomat who has served in both Jordan and Morocco. He also served as part of the Israeli mission to the U.N.

The embassy was closed after July’s incident, and then-Israeli Ambassador Einat Schlein returned to Israel along with the guard. The guard claimed self-defense, saying one of the Jordanians attacked him with a screwdriver. He received a hero’s welcome upon returning to Israel, angering the Jordanians.

The shooting triggered a crisis between the two countries, which signed a peace treaty in 1994 and cooperate on security and other issues.

Israel reopened the embassy last month, after reportedly expressing regret for the incident, and offering compensation to the victims’ families.

Haley: UN Committee ‘Steamrolled by Countries With Terrible Human Rights Records’

An influential committee responsible for accrediting non-governmental organizations at the United Nations is drawing criticism for shooting down applications from U.S.-based groups dealing with human rights in Iran and North Korea.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley called the decision “shameful.”

Haley said the two NGOs – the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC) and the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) – “have a long track record of success and have amply demonstrated that they would add value to the U.N. system.”

IHRDC and HRNK were established in 2004 and 2001 respectively, to monitor and report on abuses and promote human rights in Iran and North Korea.

At a session in New York, the 19-member NGO Committee, which falls under the U.N. Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), voted against their applications, first made years ago, for “consultative status” at the world body.

The committee voted down HRNK’s application 9-5 on Friday, after North Korea’s representative said it was an entity controlled by the U.S. government.

On Monday, the committee voted not to approve IHRDC’s application 9-4, after Iran’s delegate charged that the group was financed by the U.S. government to undermine Iran’s sovereignty.

The nine “no” votes came from Burundi, China, Cuba, Iran, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Russia, South Africa and Venezuela.

“It’s a shameful day at the U.N. when Iranian and North Korean human rights violations are protected,” Haley said afterwards.

Trump Admin Calls Out Russia for Supporting Syrian Regime’s Use of Chemical Weapons on Civilians

State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert called out Russia on Thursday for enabling the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons on civilians.

Russia has supported Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his regime’s fight against rebels and in laying siege to the city of Aleppo, which resulted in a large number of civilian casualties. Chlorine has been one of the regime’s frequently used methods to gain control in the civil war.

Russia continues to deny having a role in the attacks.

“The Secretary recently talked about this and let me just underscore and highlight some of the important things that we would like to see take place in regard to Russia as it pertains to Syria: They need to stop using chemical weapons, Syria does,” Nauert said. “But we also know that chemical weapons use is enabled by Russia.”

Nauert mentioned the frequency of the use of chemical weapons that have been used on Syrian civilians, which includes an attack last Sunday.

“Let me remind you, six times in the last 30 days, some form of chemical weapons have been used on the Syrian people,” Nauert said. “It’s disgusting, it’s horrific, and it’s evil. And we would like to see that stopped. But we’ll keep following this. We’ll keep working on it. The government is meeting; I have to assure you that this is a top issue for us.”

Border Police foil terror attack in Hevron

Border Police on Friday arrested an Arab resident of Hevron after he attempted to enter the Cave of the Patriarchs (Me’arat Hamachpelah) with a knife hidden in his sock.

Border Police officer stationed at the Cave of the Patriarchs noticed that the 23-year-old Arab arriving at the site was behaving oddly, and asked him to walk through a metal detector.

After the metal detector beeped a few times, the officers found a large kitchen knife hidden in one of the Arab’s socks.

Following an initial investigation, Border Police estimate that the Arab planned to carry out a stabbing attack at the Cave of the Patriarchs.

The suspect has been taken for questioning.

Since January 1, 2018, six stabbing attacks planned for the Cave of the Patriarchs have been foiled.

Army: Syrians shot at IDF drone, but hit a house in Israel

Gunshots were fired from Syria at an Israeli drone on Thursday night, missing it, but hitting a house in the town of Majdal Shams on the Golan Heights, the army said.

There were no injuries reported, but the house sustained some light damage, the Israel Defense Forces said.

The military said that soldiers and police officers were searching the area around Majdal Shams for additional signs of gunshots. The town is home to Druze residents, many of whom maintain a level of support for Syrian dictator Bashar Assad and therefore eschew Israeli citizenship.

The unmanned aerial vehicle was not damaged in the attack, an army spokesperson said.

The IDF said it was flying within Israeli airspace at the time the shots were fired.

PM blocks settlement annexation bill from coming to vote

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday pulled legislation aimed at annexing Israeli settlements in the West Bank that was slated to come before a key Knesset committee for a vote next week.

A spokesman for a senior member on the Knesset’s Ministerial Committee for Legislation told The Times of Israel that the prime minister wants to coordinate the measure with the White House first, but that the bill would still be debated by coalition leaders in their own meeting scheduled to take place on Sunday.

The proposal, drafted by Yoav Kisch (Likud) and Bezalel Smotrich (Jewish Home) seeks to apply Israeli sovereignty over all areas of Jewish settlement in the West Bank, which are currently under military rule.

“In the 70th year of the rebirth of the State of Israel and after the 50th anniversary of the return of the Jewish people to its historic homeland in Judea and Samaria (West Bank)…we move to designate the status of these territories as an inseparable part of the sovereign State of Israel,” the legislation reads.

Palestinians call to blacklist, punish Arab journalists who visited Israel

The Palestinian Authority on Thursday denounced a visit by Arab journalists to Israel and called for punishing them to deter others from following suit.

Last week, the Israeli Foreign Ministry hosted a delegation of nine Arab journalists from Morocco, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, and Syria, in a bid to let them get to know Israel, its history, and its society from up close, the ministry said.

But the PA said that the visit was aimed at “promoting normalization” between the Arabs and Israel. The Palestinians oppose other Arab nations establishing ties with Israel until a peace deal is signed with between Israel and the Palestinians.

The PA Ministry of Information denounced the visit of the Arab journalists and called on Arab media bodies to place them and the media outlets they work for on the Arab boycott “blacklist.”

It called on the Arab Journalists Union to take “punitive and deterring measures” against the journalists and their media outlets.

“Siding with Israel and its terrorism marks a departure from the Arab rank and the decisions of the Council of Arab Ministers of Information,” the PA information ministry said, calling the visit an “inexcusable and unjustified disgrace.”

IsraellyCool: Latest Blood Libel: The Case of the Kidnapping “Settlers”

The Palestinian Information Center reports on a supposed kidnap attempt by “settlers.”

Palestinian residents of the northern West Bank city of Nablus managed on Wednesday to foil an Israeli settlers’ attempt to kidnap two children from Madama town south of the city.

Local activist Ghassan Duglas affirmed that 12 settlers from Yitzhar settlement infiltrated into the town and kidnapped two children while playing near their house.

The two children were identified as Hossam Ziadeh, 10, and Taha Ziadeh, 8.

Fortunately, local youths managed to catch up the settlers before reaching their settlement and to save the two children.

Following the incident, violent clashes broke out between local residents and the settlers who later fled the scene under Israeli forces’ protection.

A clue that this is a lie (besides the fact it seems highly unlikely to begin with) is the photo accompanying the story, which is supposed to evoke images of “settlers” either torturing or trying to capture a palestinian child. I have dealt with this photo before here – it is actually a photo of “settlers” trying to pull a fellow “settler” as he is dragged away by border policemen.

Palestinian said killed, two hurt in rioting in Gaza, West Bank

A Palestinian rioter was reportedly shot dead Friday by Israeli fire as security forces faced down riots on the Gaza border and at several locations across the West Bank.

The Palestinian, a teenager according to Palestinian media, was reportedly shot in the head in Jabaliya in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, near the border with Israel.

Two Palestinians were reported injured in the Ramallah area of the West Bank in a separate violent protest.

The clashes broke out at the end of Friday prayers in mosques as Palestinians heeded calls by the Hamas terror group and other organizations to wage yet another “day of rage” against Israel — the first for a month but the tenth since US President Donald Trump’s December 6 announcement that his administration recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Hadashot television news reported that some 500 Palestinians took part in the rioting at six West Bank flashpoints and that Israeli forces used live fire on demonstrators at the village of Beita, near Nablus.

Qatari official urges international community to aid Gaza

A top Qatari official on Thursday called on the international community to send aid to the people of the Gaza Strip, saying the dire conditions in the coastal enclave could potentially lead to renewed violence.

Mohammed Al-Emadi, the head of Qatar’s Gaza reconstruction committee, said he hopes that his country’s support for Gaza, highlighted by a $9 million pledge on Thursday, will encourage other nations to join the effort. He also shined a rare light on his working relationship with Israel, which does not have formal diplomatic relations with the energy-rich Gulf state.

“When you want to do work in Gaza, you have to go through the Israelis,” he said. “Without the help of Israel, nothing happens.”

Since a 2014 war between Israel and Hamas, the terrorist group that rules Gaza, Qatar has been a leading player in internationally backed reconstruction efforts.

Under Al-Emadi’s supervision, Qatar has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into large-scale projects, including a new highway, state-of-the-art rehabilitation hospital and high-rise housing. Al-Emadi, an architect, has been a frequent visitor to personally oversee some of the work. He is expected to return later this month.

European parliament: ‘Our member states must increase UNRWA funding’

The EU parliamentarians urged Trump to reconsider his decision and asked Arab states, most of whom are not large contributors to UNRWA, to give more funds to the organization.

The resolution also called on UNRWA to enhance transparency and accountability “to ensure timely and accurate program.”
UNRWA should ensure that its “facilities are not misused” and “investigate allegations of neutrality violations by its staff members,” the resolution stated.

At a parliamentary debate on Tuesday about UNRWA, an EU commissioner Johannes Hahn warned that “the EU will not be able to compensate for substantial US cuts, given the pressure on available funds.”

Hahn is the commissioner of the European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiation.

“We can and will actively assist UNRWA in reaching out to non-traditional donors in order to help the agency to broaden its donor base and, given the magnitude of the problem, we also need to work with host governments on how they might consider providing certain services that UNRWA cannot and maybe should not provide,” Hahn said.

“The EU and its Member States are by far the largest provider of assistance to Palestinian refugees – they provide around €460m. a year,” Hahn said.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini told the parliamentarians that “supporting UNRWA is a humanitarian duty and it is also in our collective interest for peace and security in the Middle East.”

Modi to become first Indian PM to visit West Bank

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to arrive in Ramallah on Saturday and become the first Indian prime minister to visit the West Bank.

Modi is not scheduled during this visit to travel to Israel, which he toured for three days in July.

B. Bala Bhaskar, a joint secretary in the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, told reporters earlier this week that Modi’s decision to exclusively visit Ramallah is a part of his country’s “de-hyphenation policy.”

According to Bhaskar, India sees its ties with Israel and the Palestinians as “exclusive and independent” of each other.

Modi will fly by helicopter on Saturday morning from Jordan to the Palestinian Authority’s presidential headquarters in Ramallah, according to a PA security official.

“He will not pass through any Israeli checkpoints on his way to Palestine, but we are coordinating his flight with Jordan and Israel,” the official said in a phone conversation.

Report: Egypt foils ISIS plot to kill Haniyeh

Egyptian security forces recently uncovered an Islamic State (ISIS) cell which plotted to kill Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, the Egyptian Al-Dustour newspaper reported on Wednesday.

According to the report, the cell which was made up of 18 terrorists, was arrested while trying to sneak into Gaza.

The terrorists reportedly plotted to blow up the mosque in Gaza in which Haniyeh prays on Fridays.

ISIS’s Sinai affiliate, which is known as the Sinai Province, has claimed the majority of the attacks in the Sinai Peninsula in recent years.

ISIS, which follows a Salafist interpretation of Islam, has also targeted Hamas. In August, a suicide bombing near Egypt’s border with Gaza killed a Hamas guard. It was the first time a suicide attack has targeted Hamas forces in Gaza.

Palestinian man faints, Israeli Border Police come to his aid

A Palestinian Authority Arab collapsed while exiting a checkpoint near the Cave of the Patriarchs (Me’arat Hamachpelah) in Hevron.

Border Police officers called their troop paramedic, who administered first aid to the PA Arab and helped him regain consciousness.

Red Crescent paramedics arriving later on transferred the man, a resident of Hevron, to a local hospital.

In December, a similar incident occurred, in which Border Police officers saved a PA man who had lost consciousness and stopped breathing.

In July 2017, a PA father from Hevron approached Israel Border Police officers asking them to help his son, who had fallen in the family’s home and suffered an injury to his head.

The officers immediately called over their unit’s paramedic, who administered first aid. Afterwards, the Red Crescent arrived to take the boy to a local hospital.

Palestinian Arabs see their local Israeli security forces as a place to go whenever there is a problem or need, despite the complexity of the security situation.

IDF Blog: Inside the IDF – Episode 4: January 2018

Ever wondered what Operation Good Neighbor’s main logistical facility looks like? Join Lt. Col. Jonathan for Episode 4 of Inside the IDF for an inside look at the operation and a recap some of the highlights of January.

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.

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