January 24, 2020

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04/09 Links Pt1: Fatah: Murder of 11 was "greatest and most wonderful quality operation,"; The Gaza Clashes: What’s Really Happening; It’s Hamas that wants to see Palestinians killed, not Israel


From Ian:

PMW: Murder of 11 was “greatest and most wonderful quality operation,” says Fatah in video and Facebook post
In March 1975, eight terrorists traveled by boat from Lebanon to a Tel Aviv beach. They took over the Savoy Hotel and took guests as hostages. The next morning, while Israeli forces tried to free the hostages, the terrorists murdered eight hostages and three soldiers. Seven of the terrorists were killed.

For Abbas’ Fatah Movement this attack was the “greatest and most wonderful quality operation.” In a video and post on Facebook, Fatah’s Nablus branch honored the terrorists who carried out the attack as “heroic” and “pure.”

The video shows pictures of each of the terrorists who committed the Savoy terror attack posing with weapons, as well as the planner of the attack, arch-terrorist Abu Jihad who the PA has credited with planning attacks in which they claim 125 were murdered.

Text on screen: “Heroes of the Savoy self-sacrificing operation March 5, 1975
Heroic Martyr Abdallah Khalil Abdallah Kleib
Heroic Martyr Ahmed Hamid Ahmed Abu Qamar
Heroic Martyr Khader Ahmed Jarram
Heroic Martyr Muhammad Diya Al-Din Al-Hilwani
Heroic Martyr Musa Al-Abd Abu Thuraya
Heroic fighter Musa Jum’a Hassan
Heroic Martyr Naif Najd Ismail Al-Saghir
Heroic Martyr Omar Muhammad Mahmoud Al-Shafai
The one supervising the operation, Martyr leader Khalil Al-Wazir

May Allah’s mercy be upon our pure Martyrs
Long live the memory – the revolution will continue!
Group picture of those who carried out the self-sacrificing Savoy operation”
[Facebook page of the Fatah Movement – Nablus District Branch, March 6, 2018]

Palestinian Media Watch has documented that PA District Governor of Ramallah and El-Bireh Laila Ghannam honors the Savoy murderers with a wreath of flowers on their grave every year.

Honest Reporting: The Gaza Clashes: What’s Really Happening

Re-cap of events
  • On April 1, we posted this explanation and analysis of the events up to that date. It was immediately clear that the “protests” also included molotov cocktails, burning tires, rock throwing, and in one case even live gunfire at the IDF. There were ongoing attempts by rioters to breach the border fence and enter Israel.
  • Of the 30,000 Palestinians present, 16 were reportedly killed by IDF sniper fire. The figure later increased to 19.
  • It was well known since April 1 that at least ten of the casualties had clear affiliations to terror groups, including Hamas. An analysis of open-source information from Palestinian media brought that number up to 15, and HonestReporting was the first to publish that new information on April 5.
  • Another protest/riot on April 6 brought 20,000 people and new violence: including the burning of what may have been 10,000 tires, and further attempts to both attack IDF soldiers and to infiltrate Israel under the resulting smokescreen. Meanwhile, and this is not a joke, Hamas is now blaming Israel for what it claims is a “shortage” of tires in Gaza. Seriously. You couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried.
  • A number of Palestinians criticized Hamas for publicizing the deaths of its members, including holding military funerals and rallies. The main objection can be summarized as follows: by revealing that so many of the deaths were actually terrorists, Hamas undermines the PR illusion that this was a “peaceful protest.”
  • As of yesterday morning, Haaretz put the total number of Palestinian casualties at 29, while a slightly later AP story puts the number at 32. One casualty was Palestinian photojournalist Yaser Murtaja. Though the not all the facts are known yet, this story is making some strong waves in the press. The IDF says it is investigating and that it does not deliberately target journalists. Most of the information known so far is from the Hamas controlled Gaza Ministry of Health or from Hamas itself.


If the latest chemical attack in Syria is verified, the US should hit back and Britain must play a leading role.

President Trump’s cruise missile strike following a Sarin nerve agent attack one year ago failed to deter Assad which means much stronger action is needed this time.

Russia’s presence makes the risks of escalation greater. Assad is counting on that to deter Western retaliation.

We should not fear Russia but we should avoid hitting their forces on the ground in Syria.
Why should we take such risks? As a permanent member of the UN Security Council we have global responsibilities – including prevention of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.Rightly outraged by Russian use of nerve agent against one person in Britain, we cannot confine ourselves to ineffective speeches in the Security Council while the world’s most violent despot gases hundreds of his own people.

There are even bigger stakes. President Obama’s failure to enforce his red line against Syrian chemical weapons use in 2013 emboldened not only Assad but also Russia.

Putin’s aggression in the Ukraine and his intervention in Syria were the consequences.

MEMRI: Hamas Pays Families Of Gazans Killed Or Wounded In ‘Return March’

Hamas is continuing to encourage Gazans to participate in the Great Return March.[1] On April 5, 2018, ahead of the second Friday of the protests, Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem revealed that the movement is granting financial aid to the families of Gazans killed or wounded in the confrontations on the border. The sums range from $3,000 for the family of a “martyr” to $200 for protesters moderately injured. Concurrently, Hamas officials reiterated their determination to continue the marches on the Israeli border, and threatened that these confrontations will “erupt in the face of the Israeli occupation” and will be a turning point in Palestinian history.

The following are excerpts from some of their statements:

Hamas Spokesman: Families Of Martyrs Receive $3,000, Protesters Seriously Wounded Receive $500, Protesters Moderately Wounded Receive $200

Addressing the aid granted to the families of the martyrs and wounded, Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said: “The financial aid granted by the [Hamas] movement to the families of the martyrs and the wounded does not compensate them for what they lost and is not on a par with the sacrifice they made for the sake of our people and our just cause… [The aid] is part of [Hamas’s] social and national duty to support our people as they steadfastly struggle for return, liberty and the breaking of the siege… The Hamas movement will continue supporting the struggle of our people by every means and every method, despite the difficult situation in the Gaza strip.” Specifying the sums granted to the families, Qassem stated that the family of a martyr receives $3,000, the family of a protester seriously wounded receives $500, and the family of a protester moderately wounded receives $200.[2]

PA lifts ‘disguise’ on ‘martyr’ payments, defying Taylor Force Act

After three years of disguising its payments to families of martyrs and imprisoned terrorists, the Palestinian Authority has lifted its veil on those payments in a “blatant act of defiance against the US,” a new intelligence center report says.

The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center report, obtained by The Jerusalem Post prior to it being posted online, argues that the PA’s removal for the first time of its disguise on payments is its response to the Taylor Force Act.

The recently passed United States Taylor Force Act stipulates that portions of US aid to the PA will be cut back until it stops paying stipends to prisoners, released terrorists and families of “shahids,” the Arabic word for martyrs—terrorists who die while carrying out violent acts.

Since 2014, the amount allocated to the Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs has been removed from the PA budget “in an attempt to disguise the fact that it is the PA that finances the payments to imprisoned and released terrorists,” says the report.

JCPA: The Gaza “Return March” Splits Hamas and Organizers

The events at Israel’s border with Gaza reflect a deep division between some of the NGO organizers of the Return March, led by Ahmed Abu Artima, and Hamas. Abu Artima, described by the British Guardian as a 34-year-old “activist and journalist,” opposed Hamas’ plan to hold a “Friday of Tires” on April 6, 2018. His followers on the March’s Facebook page suggested throwing flowers instead of burning tires.

Abu Artima, who works with European NGOs (non-government organizations), explained that the purpose of the gathering on the border was to prepare for the big march on Nakba Day in May and not to break through the fence at this point. Using force, he explained, would give legitimacy to the “occupation” to apply even greater force, while it would have no violent response to a mass march of refugees, including young people, the elderly, and babies. The main condition for the march would be that all of the marchers would refrain from any violence at all, including throwing stones, tires, Molotov cocktails, or the like.

Abu Artima distanced himself from the Hamas point of view when he referred to the shahids (martyrs) as “having died for nothing” and claimed that to achieve success in the national struggle, it was not necessary to sacrifice any martyrs at all. If anything, the opposite would be the case.

From reactions to Abu Artima’s statements, Hamas has accused him of betrayal, and Abu Artima’s supporters say that even though they primarily support his claims, it is forbidden to deny the importance of the shahids. Abu Artima responded that he would not be deterred by accusations of “traitor.”

IDF officer: Our activity on Gaza border is preventing war

Now, I’m going to complicate this complex account even more by saying that although Hamas and Israel are archenemies, although each side seeks to eliminate the other side, both sides have a shared interest in some sense. I’ll explain.

Meanwhile, in the eucalyptus grove at the entrance to Nahal Oz, I meet two IDF commanders. “It started out as a civil initiative on social media,” one of them says. “It was detected by Hamas, which enlisted the initiative for its own purposes. It wants popular but violent protest activities. Its goal is to put Gaza back on the Arab and international agenda. The right of return is just a platform.”

But that’s our goal too, I said. Major-General Yoav Mordechai, the coordinator of government activities in the territories, traveled last month to Cairo, to Washington (twice) and to Brussels to try to convince Arab and Western governments to do something to prevent Gaza from collapsing. If Gaza falls, it will fall on our doorstep.

“Gaza is in serious distress,” one of the officers replied. “Hamas is in serious distress. It has no achievements. The Qataris and Iranians are transferring some money, but apart from that it’s in complete isolation. Yahya Sinwar, the Hamas leader in Gaza, consults no one. He makes his decisions on his own. He went towards Egypt and towards a reconciliation with (Palestinian President Mahmoud) Abbas. The move failed because of Abbas. There isn’t much left for him to do. The reconciliation with the Palestinian Authority is pretty hopeless. He isn’t interested in another battle with Israel. He knows he will suffer a heavy blow and won’t achieve a thing. Having no other choice, he took over the civil protest initiative.”

As far as he’s concerned, I said, it’s a good idea.

“It is,” one of the officers said, “but when he did it last Friday, he did it his way. There were armed cells among the protestors that wanted to break through the fence to set it on fire, to kidnap soldiers and perhaps break into one of the kibbutzim. There are several people within the crowd, members of Hamas’ elite Nukhba force, who are hiding guns, knives, explosives under their clothes. Their intention was to turn into a fighting force.”

National Post Ed: It’s Hamas that wants to see Palestinians killed, not Israel

No reasonable person expects anything good from Hamas. But the group’s latest efforts to provoke a military confrontation with Israel still somehow boggle the mind.

In recent weeks, Palestinians have protested at the densely populated Gaza Strip’s border with Israel, demanding the right to return to the territory their ancestors once inhabited but lost long ago through a combination of emigration, military defeats, and strategic blunders connected to the Arabs’ repeatedly failed attempts to expel the Jews from the land also of Jewish ancestry. When protesters have turned violent and either tried breaching the border or posing harm to Israelis on the other side, Israeli forces have responded with fire. In total, 27 Palestinians were killed in protests last Friday and this Friday, many of them identified as Hamas fighters.

The loss of life is tragic, and the frustration of Gaza’s Palestinians is understandable. Even devoted supporters of Israel can still feel sympathy for those living under the dysfunctional, cynical and corrupt rule of a Hamas government more devoted to Iran than its own people.

But the obvious reality is that Israel has nothing to gain from clashes along the border; indeed, given the lopsided international opprobrium it must bear, Israel has every reason to avoid bloodshed. It is Hamas that seeks to inflame tensions, encouraging protesters to test the border, despite Israel’s warnings that it will defend its territory against invasion. Hamas surely doesn’t doubt Israel’s resolve. It’s counting on it. Leaders are sending soldiers to whip up the crowd and push them all, civilians included, toward a heightened confrontation. And if Israeli troops shoot to defend their territory, Hamas and its anti-Israel apologists get to decry the atrocity of it.

Why Israel Must Not Capitulate to the Gaza Protests

Critics of the Jewish state claim that the IDF has used excessive force in containing the demonstrations at the Israel-Gaza border; defenders point to the armed men interspersed among the protestors, some of whom have attempted to breach the security fence. To Christopher Caldwell, the demonstrations are in themselves a threat to Israel’s sovereignty:

No matter how “innocent” or powerless these thousands are, they are marching to renegotiate the border. No matter who manages to breach the border, whether it be a seven-year-old girl or a crippled man in an electric buggy, Hamas will be the beneficiary of the principle of breachability thereby established. . . . Issam Hammad, [the] founder of the [Gaza] march committee, . . . envisions a political pilgrimage that will grow until millions of Palestinians from neighboring countries somehow gravitate toward the Gaza Strip. “We’ll give the order, and everyone will rush them at the same time,” Hammad said. Part of what Israelis and Palestinians were fighting over on March 31 was whether this [strategy] would prove effective—and whether it would prove risk-free—before Hammad’s promised millions showed up.

Al Jazeera, Human Rights Watch, and the Israeli newspaper Haaretz treated the encounter as if it were a matter of two individuals meeting on a street, insisting that the “protesters posed no threat to Israeli soldiers positioned across the border.” But the issue is not whether soldiers are threatened. It is whether the border is threatened, whether it is legitimate, and therefore whether the country it defines is legitimate.

Israeli jets strike Gaza after Palestinians plant bombs on fence

Israeli planes carried out airstrikes in the northern Gaza Strip early Monday morning, the army said, hours after a group of Palestinians entered Israeli territory from the enclave and planted two improvised explosive devices along the Gaza security fence.

The strikes targeted a military base belonging to the Hamas terrorist group, which controls the Gaza Strip, the army said.

“The Israel Defense Forces sees with severity any attempt to harm or destroy the security and defense infrastructure and will not allow the border area to become a combat zone,” the army said in a statement, echoing a similar statement released on Sunday night announcing that soldiers found two bombs, which appeared to be rigged out of plastic drinking bottles full of an explosive liquid with a detonator.

The army said that soldiers monitoring closed circuit cameras spotted three men as they broke through the border to place the explosive devices, and then later crossed back into Gaza.

An IDF tank opened fire at them, according to Palestinian media.

No injuries were reported.

Terrorists, NOT peaceful demonstrators

Jeremy Corbyn calls for review of arms sales to Israel over Gaza clashes

British Labour Party head Jeremy Corbyn called for a review of arms sales to Israel in a message condemning its “illegal and inhumane” actions against Palestinians protesting on the border with Gaza.

The message was read Saturday at a demonstration in support of the Palestinians outside of the prime minister’s office on Downing Street and posted on Corbyn’s Facebook page.

“The killing and wounding of yet more unarmed Palestinian protesters yesterday by Israeli forces in Gaza is an outrage,” the statement said. “They have a right to protest against their appalling conditions and the continuing blockade and occupation of Palestinian land, and in support of their right to return to their homes and their right to self-determination.”

“Firing live ammunition into crowds of unarmed civilians is illegal and inhumane and cannot be tolerated,” Corbyn also said in the statement.

He added: “The UK government must support the UN Secretary-General’s call for an independent international inquiry into the killing of protesters in Gaza and review the sale of arms that could be used in violation of international law.”

The message came a day after nine Gazan Palestinians, including a journalist, were killed during protests at the border with Israel, the second Friday in a row of so-called March of Return protests.

Jewish Community Condemned at Pro Gaza Rally

The Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council were accused of trying to bring about the political lynching of Jeremy Corbyn in Westminster today.

At a demonstration organised by the Palestine Forum in Britain Glyn Secker, Secretary of Jewish Voice for Labour, attacked the two main representative bodies of the Jewish community, he did so to great applause.

Secker said of the Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council that;
“Their purpose is transparent, to bring down Corbyn because he is on the side of justice for Palestinians”

Watch the full 4 minutes speech below;

Of course such demonstrations attract only the highest quality activists such as possibly the only activist even Tony Greenstein could call antisemitic, Gerry Downing. Here he is, complete with a brand new beard, chilling with some Momentum types while giving out his Socialist Fight leaflets;

The inevitable Nazi discourse was present;

IsraellyCool: Latest Blood Libel: Israel Used White Phosphorus or Chemical Weapons on Rioters

In the wake of Friday’s violent “March of Return” riots, some palestinians and their supporters have claimed Israel was using white phosphorus or other chemical weapons on the rioters.

They have done so using a number of “proofs.”

“Proof” 1: This image

I am guessing those using this image are trying to suggest the light streak in the black smoke is white phosphorus – since it is as clear as day that the dark smoke is from the burning tires.

But footage from the scene shows it is clearly tear gas.

AP Misuse of Photo Links Syrian Gas Attack Victims to Israel

According to an Associated Press headline this morning, Israel is being blamed for a pre-dawn strike on a Syrian military base. The large photo AP opted to use alongside that headline, though, is of young Syrian victims of an earlier chemical attack presumed to be carried out by the Syrian regime.

As a result of AP’s egregiously misleading photo choice, the casual reader is likely to assume, wrongly, that these children are the victims of the airstrike blamed on Israel.

CAMERA has contacted Associated Press journalists to urge the wire service to replace the misleading photograph, and also notified AP on Twitter.

On the Associated Press website, a hidden caption explaining that the photo is of victims of an “alleged poison gas attack in the rebel-held town of Douma” during a Syrian offensive (and not of the subsequent strike on the Syrian military base near the city of Homs) is not visible to readers unless they click on a small button at the bottom of the photo.

Separately, the UK-based Sky News used a similar photo of a child victim of the Douma gas attack below a headline that reads, “Israel Accused of Deadly Syria Airfield Bombing.” Again, the “airfield bombing” was on a Syrian military base, not on Douma.

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes Presents Hamas Propaganda as Fact

In a completely biased report slamming Israel for allegedly “pick[ing] off” unarmed demonstrators, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes discards any semblance of journalistic professionalism and embraces Hamas propaganda. The MSNBC hosts insists that the figure that he provides for the number of Palestinians wounded by Israeli live fire during the Gaza border “March of Return” (March 30) are sound despite the fact that it is unconfirmed data supplied by a terror group which has a long history of manipulating casualty statistics to suit its propaganda purposes. In April 4’s “All in with Chris Hayes,” he states:
Yesterday, President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had a phone call. And according to the White House readout that they put out afterwards, apparently the two did not talk about what was probably the most important thing for them to talk about, and that’s the fact that just a few days ago, Israeli troops shot more than 750 Palestinians, killing at least 15. Yes, that is the correct number, more than 750 Palestinians shot, at least 15 dead.

In addition, the accompanying text also states as fact that 750 Palestinians were shot.

How is Hayes so certain “that is the correct number,” that “that’s the fact,” given that the information is supplied by Gaza’s Health Ministry, meaning Hamas? At no point does Hayes attribute the unconfirmed information to Hamas, and nowhere does he point out that the United States, the European Union, Canada and Israel have all attributed Hamas as a terror organization, making it an unreliable source at best. Indeed, no source as independently verified Hamas’ figure. While Hayes conceals the fact that the Western powers regard Hamas as a terror organization, he notes only that “defenders of Israeli military’s actions will point out” that Hamas “rules Gaza in a thuggish and anti-democratic manner, and . . . uses violence and terror in its campaign against Israel.”

The New York Times Misleads With Hamas Propaganda Lines

The New York Times is one of the few prominent media outlets that operates a Jerusalem bureau with on the ground news gatherers and journalists to investigate and probe unfolding news events. Readers might therefore expect accurate news reporting and knowledgeable news analysis rather than the facile rehashing of standard propaganda lines. But this is not the case: Jerusalem Bureau Chief David Halbfinger abandons the role of objective news analyst as he quotes or echoes in his own voice Hamas propaganda lines attacking Israel.

In his April 7th web article, “Though Deadly, Gaza Protests Draw Attention and Enthusiasm,” labelled as a “news analysis” he credulously states that the terrorist group’s “experiment with nonviolent protest is a significant step,” and in his own words accuses Israelis of using “disproportionate force” against mainly unarmed protesters.

How does the New York Times analyst judge Israel’s use of force “disproportionate”? He minimizes the threat posed to Israel, presenting a scene of protesters mostly “doing little more than standing around – chanting, singing and shouting” and implies that Israel’s concern of what “could be a catastrophic breach in the Gaza fence” is an unwarranted justification/excuse for “using lethal force.” To support this, he quotes anti-Israel activists who describe a nonviolent, civil-rights march, and devotes multiple paragraphs to the allegations of BDS activist Yusef Munayyer, known for his advocacy on behalf of Hamas (see, for example, here, here and here), and for his misleading propaganda and statements (see here, here, here and here). Munayyer compares the “Great March of Return,” orchestrated by the terror groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, to “American civil rights” marchers in Selma and accuses Israel of employing “very real policies of violent repression” against peaceful and nonviolent protesters who pose no danger at all to Israelis.

BBC continues to promote anti-Israel campaign with ‘ancestral lands’ theme

A TV version of Yolande Knell’s one-sided and totally context-free amplification of the Palestinian demand for ‘right of return’ was also seen by viewers of BBC Four’s ‘World News Today’ and an edited version of Knell’s interview with Ahmed Abdullah was heard by listeners to the March 6th evening edition of the BBC World Service programme ‘Newshour’ (from 18:05 here), with presenter Julian Marshall once again unquestioningly quoting Hamas casualty figures and telling listeners that:
“…in similar protests last Friday in support of the demand that Palestinian refugees and their descendants be allowed to return to their ancestral homes in what is now Israel, 16 Palestinians lost their lives.”

Listeners to an earlier version of ‘Newshour’ on the same day (from 49:32 here) heard similar promotion of Hamas-supplied casualty figures that have not been independently verified by the BBC and were told by Yolande Knell that:
“The Palestinians…they’re calling for the right of those original 1948 Palestinian refugees and their descendants in Gaza – which is about 1.3 million of the 2 million population – to be allowed to go back to their land which is now in Israel. Israel has long rejected such a claim but the Palestinians here say they’re going to keep up these protests until the middle of May when it will be the 70th anniversary of the creation of the State of Israel when those hundreds of thousands of people were forced to leave their homes or forced to flee.”

The BBC has now had well over a week in which to provide its audiences with the background which would facilitate their understanding of why Israel (and the pro two-state solution international community) ‘rejects’ the Palestinian demand for ‘right of return’. In light of its continued failure to produce any such reporting, one can only conclude that the BBC’s intention is not to meet its remit as a supplier of “impartial news and information” but to provide amplification for that anti-Israel political campaign.

PreOccupiedTerritory: NGOs Can’t Hear Dying Syrians Over Sound Of How Awesome Hamas Is (satire)

Human Rights groups and international organizations have difficulty discerning that people in Syria are being slaughtered and subjected to atrocities such as chemical weapons, representatives are reporting, because the manifest greatness of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas has overwhelmed their senses.

Dozens of Syrian civilians, including children, were killed in a chemical weapons strike by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad over the weekend, but organizations such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and others have made only token mention of the war crime while maintaining focus on the Hamas-manufactured confrontation between violent demonstrators and Israeli forces on the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel. Of the 19 fatalities from Israeli fire, most have been military-age males with membership in terrorist groups. Spokespeople for the organizations explained that their attention is dedicated to assisting the noble Palestinians in resisting Zionism by all means possible, and that only one mainstream Palestinian group has consistently rejected moderation in pursuit of that agenda: Hamas. It would compromise the noble cause of Resistance to focus on other issues, they insisted.

“Wait, a what attack in Syria?” stammered an Amnesty official in Gaza. “Chemical weapons? No, that couldn’t be right. Obama and Kerry promised Russia would take care of removing Assad’s stockpile. Whatever – we have more important fish to fry. Free Gaza! You show them, Hamas!” The activist handed a teenage boy a tire to add to the acrid, burning mess of others near the border fence.

The Saudis exit the conflict with Israel

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman made history after telling The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg that his country recognized the right of the Jews to “their own land.” Though he added that the Saudis also care about the rights of Palestinians and the fate of “the holy mosque in Jerusalem,” the message he was sending to Muslims and Arabs was loud and clear. As far as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia—the state that has styled itself the defender of Islamic holy places, and thus the self-styled moral leader of the Arab and Muslim world—the long war against Zionism is over.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. (Wikimedia Commons)

That’s good news for Israel and the United States, which wants friendly relations between two of its most important allies, especially in the context of the threat from Iran. Yet this shouldn’t be treated as a harbinger of a peace agreement that will end the struggle between Israel and the Palestinians. The reason why has little to do with Israel or the Saudis—and everything to do with the Palestinians.

While important, it should also be understood what the statement from the prince—popularly known as “MbS”—doesn’t mean.

His comments shouldn’t be confused with a formal declaration of Saudi recognition of the Jewish state. Nor should we imagine that it means that the Saudis will not continue to be something of a contradiction as they are, at one and the same time, a close ally of the West while also being the primary funder of Wahhabism. It is a particularly militant form of Islam that is closely identified with the Saudi ruling family that has helped inspire violent radicals who have, ironically, become a major thorn in the side of their regime.

MKs move to impeach Zoabi after call for Palestinian march on Jerusalem

Yisrael Beytenu hopes to make Joint List MK Haneen Zoabi the first casualty of the Knesset’s Impeachment Law, as the party began gathering signatures Monday to hold a hearing for her dismissal.

The initiative by Yisrael Beytenu MK Oded Forer came after a day after Zoabi called on West Bank Palestinians to cross into Israel and join the Hamas-supported demonstrations on the Gaza border.

“We need to go on popular marches to remind the world of the siege [of Gaza],” Zoabi said. “We need millions of Palestinians to march on Jerusalem. That is the aspiration. But we can’t do it, because the Israelis would kill them.”

Zoabi also called Israel a “fascist country” which is “only looking for an excuse to kill the Palestinians.” She was suspended from the Knesset for a week last month for calling IDF soldiers murderers.

Forer needs to collect 70 signatures, with at least 10 from the opposition, in order to hold a hearing in the Knesset House Committee.

A final vote on Zoabi’s dismissal would have to be held in the plenum and could only pass with the approval of 90 MKs. While Zoabi is unpopular among her colleagues, that will be challenging.

Netanyahu meets families of slain soldiers held by Hamas

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with the families of Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, IDF soldiers whose bodies are held by the Hamas terror group.

Netanyahu updated the families on the “unceasing efforts” to return their bodies, including both “open and covert ways,” the Prime Minister’s Office says. The two soldiers were killed in Gaza during the 2014 war with Hamas.

The meeting was attended by Yaron Blum, a Shin Bet veteran who in October became the point man for efforts to return the bodies of Israelis being held by Hamas.

The terror group is also believed to be holding Israeli citizens Avraham Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, who are said to have entered Gaza on their own accord.

Reports: Israel warned U.S. of Syria strike, Kremlin says left in the dark

Israel gave the United States advance warning of its early Monday morning strike on a military base in Syria, according to initial reports, while the Kremlin charged that it failed to inform Russia.

There have been some media reports, however, that Israel did warn Russia, and as a result, Moscow pulled its personnel from the base. There were no Russian casualties from the attack.

Israel has not made any statement on the strike. The US, France and Great Britain have also said they were not involved in the operation.

On Sunday, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman indicated that when it comes to Syria he always operates under the assumption that Israel acts alone.

Two US officials told NBC that Israel carried out the strike and that the US was informed in advance.

Russia and Syria have also accused Israel of striking the Tiyas Military Airbase, also known as the T-4. Located near Homs, it is the largest Syrian airbase. It is believed to house an Iranian complex that that supplies arms to Tehran’s ally, Lebanon’s Shi’ite Hezbollah.

It is believed that Israel also hit this same base in February of this year.

Four Iranian fighters killed in air strike on Syrian air base

Four Iranian military personnel were killed in an air strike on a Syrian air base on Sunday, Iran’s Fars news agency said, as Syria and its main allies Iran and Russia blamed Israel for carrying out the attack.

Israel has not confirmed or denied mounting the raid, but Israeli officials said the Tiyas, or T-4, air base near Homs was being used by troops from Iran, and that Israel would not accept such a presence in Syria by its arch foe.

The Revolutionary Guards, Iran’s most powerful military force have been fighting in support of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad for several years. More than 1,000 Iranians have been killed in Syria, including senior members of the Guards.

The semi-official Fars news said on Monday that four “defenders of the shrine” were killed in the air strike.

Iran calls its fighters in Syria the defenders of the shrine as it says the forces are there to protect the Zeinab Shrine, a Shi’ite holy site near Damascus.

Some Iranian media reported that one of those killed was a member of the Revolutionary Guards Aerospace Force, a division that operates drones.

UN Watch: Syria to chair UN disarmament forum on chemical & nuclear weapons; watchdog calls on US & EU to walk out

Despite accusations that it perpetrated yet another deadly chemical weapons attack on Saturday, Syria will next month chair the United Nations disarmament forum that produced the treaty banning chemical weapons, sparking calls by an independent monitoring group for the U.S., the EU, and UN chief Antonio Guterres to strongly protest, and for their ambassadors to walk out of the conference during the four weeks of the Syrian presidency.

The 65-nation Conference on Disarmament, based in Geneva, has also negotiated the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, considered the cornerstone of nuclear disarmament efforts, as well as the convention against biological weapons.

“Having the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad preside over global chemical and nuclear weapons disarmament will be like putting a serial rapist in charge of a women’s shelter,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of United Nations Watch, the Geneva based non-governmental organization. The activist group announced that it intends to hold protest events outside the UN hall featuring Syrian victims of their government’s chemical weapons attacks.

“The Assad regime’s documented use of chemical weapons remains the most serious violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention in the treaty’s twenty-year history,” said Neuer. “We urge the UN to understand that at a time when Syria is gassing its own men, women, and children to death, to see Syria heading the world body that is supposed to protect these victims will simply shock the conscience of humanity,” said Neuer.

Assad bombs with Putin’s blessing

The horrific images coming out of the Syrian town of Douma showing men, women and children being gassed to death have led to angry rhetoric and some threats in the West, but that is about it.

French President Emmanuel Macron vowed to attack only if there is proof “beyond any doubt” that the prohibited chemical weapons were used. But Macron knows full well that when it comes to Syrian President Bashar Assad, there is no need for proof. Assad is a war criminal and a serial chemical monster. The use of chemicals to bomb civilians, including those that killed a thousand people some five years ago, resulted in the Russians mediating a deal to dismantle Syrian’s chemical weapons stockpile.

For then-U.S. President Barack Obama, who wanted to avoid a strike on Syria, the deal offered an easy way out. He fooled himself into believing that Assad would fully dismantle all of his chemical agents.

In fact, monitoring groups have documented more than 85 chemical attacks in Syria since 2014, most of which were perpetrated by regime elements.
The most severe attack was in April 2017, when about 100 people died from sarin gas, and Assad’s planes have dropped dozens of barrels of chlorine gas over the past several month as part of the campaign to crush the anti-regime elements east of Damascus.

There is zero ground to believe Assad when he says he could not have perpetrated the latest attack because “he no longer has such weapons and doesn’t need them.” Rebel-controlled eastern Ghouta and Douma have been a source of annoyance for the regime by threatening the capital.

PreOccupiedTerritory: God Considering Russia, Syria For Genocide Of Palestinians Since Israel So Bad At It (satire)

Supernal sources indicated today that the Almighty has expressed displeasure with the performance of Israel in its work of exterminating the Palestinians, and reported that the Lord has come closer to deciding that Vladimir Putin or Basher Assad would be better candidates to accomplish that goal.

Archangel Gabriel told reporters during a press conference this morning at the Pearly Gates that God’s patience with the pathetic results of Israel’s attempts at genocide has worn thin, and that continued lack of real achievement in the short term will mean that other nations with proven brutality track records will become eligible for the mission.

“The Palestinian population has increased exponentially since the genocide was supposed to begin seven decades ago,” pronounced Gabriel. “On top of that, Arab economy, life expectancy, education, and health indicators have all improved in all areas controlled by Israel since its establishment. That is not the outcome of a serious or committed effort at genocide. One would think, having been on the receiving end of a genocide only several years earlier, the Jews would display more knowledge of perpetrating one, but alas, they have shown little interest or competence. The Almighty will soon announce whether He has elected to remove that responsibility from the shoulders of Israel and reassign it to those who have shown the proper dedication and effort toward eradicating undesired populations.”

Gabriel noted that while Russia and Syria remain the favored candidates to conduct an actual, not pretend, genocide of Palestinians, other countries can still submit applications and documented evidence of their capacity for the kind of ethnic cleansing and mass murder that Israel has only committed in the imaginations of its enemies.

“China, Iran, and several African states could, if they were interested, apply for the role,” the archangel explained. “Not that I can see China doing so, but if Beijing wants to expand its influence into the Mideast, it can make a strong case for its candidacy.”

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