Eugene Kontorovich: What Trump not signing a Jerusalem embassy waiver would really mean
On Thursday, President Barack Obama’s last waiver pursuant to the Jerusalem Embassy Act will expire. Absent a new waiver by President Trump, the provisions of the law will go into full effect. Trump promised during his campaign to move the embassy, a policy embodied both in federal law and the Republican Party platform. But since he came into office, Trump’s promise seems to have lost some momentum.
This piece will examine the mechanics of the Embassy Act waiver — it is not actually a waiver on moving the embassy. The details of the law make it a particularly convenient way for Trump to defy now-lowered expectations and not issue a waiver on June 1.
First, some context. Many commentators have sought to cast a possible Trump waiver as proof that Obama’s Israeli policy is really the only possible game in town. But whether or not a waiver is issued, Trump has succeeded in fundamentally changing the discussion about the U.S.-Israel relationship. Waivers under the 1995 act come twice a year, and for the past two decades, they have hardly warranted a news item. Under the Bush and Obama administrations, they were entirely taken for granted.
Now everyone is holding his or her breath to see whether Trump will sign the waiver. If he does, it will certainly be a disappointment to his supporters. But it will not be the end of the show — he will have seven more waivers ahead, with mounting pressure as his term progresses. Under Obama, speculation focused on what actions he would take or allow against Israel (and even these waited until very late in his second term).
The waiver available to the president under the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 does not waive the obligation to move the embassy. That policy has been fully adopted by Congress in the Act (sec. 3(a)(3)) and is not waivable. Of course, Congress cannot simply order the president to implement such a move, especially given his core constitutional power over diplomatic relations.
But Congress, having total power over the spending of taxpayer dollars, does not have to pay for an embassy in Tel Aviv. The Act’s enforcement mechanism is to suspend half of the appropriated funds for the State Department’s “Acquisition and Maintenance of Buildings Abroad” until the law’s terms are complied with. The waiver provision simply allows the president to waive the financial penalty.
What this means is that by not signing a waiver, Trump would not actually be requiring the embassy to move to Jerusalem, moving the embassy or recognizing Jerusalem. That could give him significant diplomatic flexibility or deniability if June 1 goes by with mere silence from the White House.
As a noted historian, former Israeli ambassador to the United States and current Knesset member, Michael Oren has been grappling with the question of how Israel should be presented to the world for years.
Last year, shortly before being appointed deputy minister for public diplomacy, Oren was invited for a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss just that.
“Delegitimization, the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement… What are we doing wrong? What could we be doing to present Israel better?” Oren, speaking to a crowded auditorium of English-speaking Israelis at a Times of Israel event Sunday night, recalled Netanyahu asking him.
Oren said he told the prime minister that he believed Israel was fighting the war of words with the wrong weapons. While “the other side” has a simple narrative peppered with buzzwords like “occupation,” “colonialism,” “oppression,” and “apartheid,” Israel, according to Oren, had yet to work out how to present a succinct and salient argument to counter its critics. Israel was falling behind in the battle for hearts and minds because it has not succeeded in creating a positive counter-narrative, Oren argued.
Tasked by Netanyahu with forming that narrative, Oren at first approached public relations experts, he recounted, but soon realized that traditional PR methods were the wrong approach to hasbara, or pro-Israel advocacy.
A series of psychological measures was administered to Palestinian residents of a refugee camp as well as a neighboring village, with subjects asked to rate both themselves as well as how they imagined actual perpetrators of “lone wolf” violence would see themselves. Our sample included many in both groups who actually knew “lone wolves.” Our goal was to construct a psychological profile of the young Palestinian “lone wolf” based on the descriptions of those who knew him or her best, namely peers.
We found distinct differences between the Al-Aroub refugee camp and the nearby village of Beit Ummar. The Beit Ummar subjects saw themselves no less “nationalistic” regarding the rights of Palestinians than they saw terror operatives being, while at the same time were more tolerant of Jewish rights and less tolerant of violent behavior towards Jews.
The refugee camp residents appear to have more closely identified with those that perpetrate attacks, while Beit Ummar residents see themselves as more psychologically intact, less hopeless, less violent in school settings and more moderate in their beliefs related to incitement. We found that many Palestinian Arabs see the “lone wolves” as psychologically distressed individuals who are not solely driven by ideology.
A forthcoming report from one of Argentina’s top security agencies will confirm that Alberto Nisman — the special prosecutor who investigated the July 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires, in which 85 people were killed — was murdered in his apartment on January 18, 2015.
Nisman was found dead one day before he was due to present a complaint to the Argentine Congress accusing leading politicians, including former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, of colluding with Tehran to cover up Iranian culpability for the atrocity. A team of investigators appointed by the Kirchner government concluded — following a controversial investigation that was heavily criticized by Nisman’s family — that the special prosecutor committed suicide using a gun supplied to him by Diego Lagomarsino, a computer specialist employed by Nisman.
But a new report from the Gendarmeria, a federal security force, will put the suicide theory to bed once and for all and show that Nisman was murdered, according to Argentine news outlets. The report’s publication is expected within the next thirty days, the Clarin newspaper said.
“This is a major development,” Eamonn McDonagh — an expert on Argentine politics who has written widely on the Nisman case — told The Algemeiner. “Once Eduardo Taiano, the fiscal, or prosecutor, has the report in his hand, he’ll be able to say that this is a murder investigation.”
Last week, after the police announced the results of their inquiry, the Jewish community seemed to have taken up the Sarah Halimi case with renewed vigour. Mme Halimi’s brother, William Attal, has been deploring the unbearable silence surrounding his sister’s murder. A Jewish parliamentarian, Meyer Habib, has made representations to the government; two lawyers, one civil and one criminal, have been appointed to represent the Halimi family in Traoré’s trial. One, William Goldnadel, remarked: “if the murderer had been blond-haired and blue-eyed, all of France would have marched in the streets: he is an islamist, so all of France hides in the woodwork.”
On 25 May the public intellectual Alexandra Laignel-Lavastine wrote an impassioned open letter, posted in Atlantico, to Gerard Collomb, the minister of the interior in the new Macron government. She pleaded with him to join the dots between the murder of Ilan Halimi in 2006 and Sarah Halimi 11 years later (despite having the same name they were not blood relations). Ilan Halimi was the young man abducted by a gang called the Barbarians, tortured for three weeks and found dying by the roadside – because he was a Jew. Both acts were antisemitic, both were proof of a moral failure of French society, a catastrophic failure to call a spade an ideological spade.
The Halimi cases recall another antisemitic murder, earlier still: that of Sebastien Selam, by a neighbour. “I have killed my Jew,” the murderer shouted triumphantly. A recent convert to Islam, he believed his act assured him of a place in heaven.
The killer of Sebastien Selam, too, was declared a mental case, and was allowed out of hospital at weekends to visit his parents in the same block where the murder was committed, and Selam’s mother Juliette still lived. His parents were rehoused; Juliette was not.
Will the Macron government break with the past and begin to take Islamist anti-Jewish hate crimes seriously? We shall see.
Halimi’s murder robbed the Jewish community in Paris of one of its most loved figures, known for her work as a doctor and as a kindergarten teacher. “She was very well known and respected, a great person,” Gurfinkiel said. “The tragedy is that she was living in that part of Paris where Jews are gradually leaving, since the security doesn’t exist anymore.”
It also brought forth reminders of the 2006 kidnapping and murder of a young French Jew, Ilan Halimi — no relation to Ruth Halimi — whose body was left for dead by a mostly-Muslim gang who seized him out of the belief that Jews were wealthy and willing to pay ransom money.
“The French police were of no help during the whole (Ilan Halimi) episode, rejecting any idea that antisemitism could have played a role in the affair and preferring to believe the absurd notion that this was the result of some war between rival gangs,” Laignel-Lavastine noted in her letter about Ruth Halimi to French Interior Minister Collomb. “Ten years later, we have reached the same point.”
Traore is currently undergoing psychiatric tests and Jewish communal leaders are impatient for more information from authorities. “The more time passes, the more the community feels that there is something you do not want to tell us,” commented Joel Mergui, head of the Consistoire — the governing body of French Jewish communities.
Israel Law Center founder Nitsana Darshan-Leitner told Breitbart News Daily in an exclusive Memorial Day radio special on SiriusXM 125 The Patriot Channel that it’s past time for the United States to cut funding to Palestinian terrorists and their families.
Darshan-Leitner’s organization, an Israel-based law group, is representing the family of Taylor Force, a U.S. Army veteran who was murdered in cold blood by a Palestinian terrorist last year in Israel after serving the U.S. in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Force was in Israel as part of a school mission trip, and was killed by a Palestinian terrorist who thought he was attacking Jews—even though Force was not Jewish but Christian.
“Taylor Force was a serviceman and he went with his school on a mission to Israel, a seven days tour,” Darshan-Leitner said in the interview, which aired Monday morning. ”One of his visits in Israel was on Jaffa. It was nighttime, and a Palestinian young man came and stabbed him and many, many others with a knife. He killed him and also injured many, many others… He did a great service to his country. He served in Iraq and served in Afghanistan. And he came to Israel on a tour in the framework of his school.”
Force was a 28-year-old West Point graduate who served as a U.S. Army officer in Iraq and Afghanistan before enrolling in graduate school at Vanderbilt University. He was killed in a tourist area in Jaffa Port. At the time of the terrorist murder, then-Vice President Joe Biden was meeting with then-Israeli President Shimon Peres in Tel Aviv when the 21-year-old Palestinian terrorist went on the stabbing spree claiming Force’s life and injuring many others.
The Palestinian Authority’s practice of providing monetary payments to terrorists and their families is “unacceptable and contradicts all common sense,” a former top Israeli diplomatic official said on Monday, the Hebrew news site nrg reported.
Appearing at a special meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Dore Gold — a former Foreign Ministry director general and Israeli UN envoy — said the issue has come up in recent meetings between US President Donald Trump and PA President Mahmoud Abbas “because the Americans are not willing to forgive this thing.”
Referring to the Taylor Force Act — which was introduced in February by Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Congressman Doug Lamborn of Colorado but has made no legislative progress since — Gold said, “We hear from officials in America that they’re not sure what Israel’s position is on it, so they don’t want to support [the bill]. Therefore, it’s very important that Israel’s position be clear.”
Gold noted that during his time at the Foreign Ministry, it published two reports, with the approval of the Prime Minister’s Office, that the Palestinian Authority must stop the terror payments. “That’s the official position,” he said.
Just give us your money and leave us alone to define our values for ourselves. Who are you to judge? Your weakness in failing to fully embrace the extermination of the Jews of Europe played a direct role in the establishment of Israel, leaving us no choice but to assume for ourselves the mantle of genocidal Jew-hatred that you cast down in such a blase fashion. Now that we have internalized that value and made it the entire focus of our national identity (as we lack any other distinctive elements of identity beyond the happenstance of geography), it represents the height of hypocrisy to demand that we abandon the pursuit you so heartily adopted for a few years not so long ago. We Palestinians do not demand that you drop your antisemitism, and you may not demand that we drop our unique brand of it. Imperialists.
This is hardly the first time the problematic dynamic of you cultural imperialists suppressing our indigenous culture. the authentic, robust expression of our culture already faces suppression in the form of Zionist limitations and prevention of honor killings – you should all know better than to contribute to further such endeavors.
Killing Jews is an ancient element of our culture, and the one thing we should be able to agree on. Pity.
As thousands of teens and young adults enjoyed an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester Arena, Salman Abedi, a 23-year-old detonated a bomb he had strapped to his body. That he packed the bomb with nails made his goal clear: He not only wanted to kill as many innocents as possible, but maim many times more.
The Manchester attack is terrorism, plain and simple. There is no justification nor would any self-respecting politician nor diplomat even attempt to offer one.
But what if someone detonated a nail-packed bomb amidst a crowd of children and other civilians and both the human rights community and European diplomats said it was justified?
That’s exactly what happened 15 years ago when the United Nations Human Rights Commission, operating under the leadership of former Irish President Mary Robinson, did just that against the context of a wave of suicide bombings in Israel.
In an April 15, 2002 vote, 40 countries — including Austria, Belgium, France, Portugal, Spain and Sweden — argued that Palestinians could engage “all available means, including armed struggle” to establish a Palestinian state. That U.N. Human Rights Commission resolution enshrined the right to conduct suicide bombing in international humanitarian law. After all, many academics, diplomats, and human rights activists argue that the U.N. and its human rights wings set the precedent that becomes the foundation for international humanitarian and human rights law.
Kevin Williamson: Terrorism Is Not Random
Tim McVeigh was God’s gift to the Left, and the Left will forever keep his memory alive, tending it like a kind of sacred flame. Al-Qaeda attacks the United States on September 11, 2001? Yes, but don’t forget about McVeigh. Omar Mateen lets loose an “Allahu akbar!” before massacring 49 people at a gay bar in Orlando? Yes, but remember McVeigh. Salman Abedi and his pack of “lone” wolves get a jump on Ramadan by nail-bombing a bunch of little girls and their grandmothers at a concert in Manchester? Terrible, of course, but let us not forget about the real threat: right-wing terrorism on the McVeigh model.
The more you know about McVeigh, the less he fits the mold of right-ring extremist. He was an agnostic who declared “science is my religion,” who held views on U.S. foreign policy that fell somewhere between those of Noam Chomsky and those of Oliver Stone, and who had a weakness for adolescent Nietzschean posturing, whose final statement was William Ernest Henley’s poem “Sol Invictus,” with its romantic conclusion: “I am the captain of my soul.” But there was also the militia stuff and the Waco obsession and other aspects of his worldview that had more than a whiff of right-wingery about them. Jared Lee Loughner was obsessed with monetary policy, as was John Salvi, who feared that the Vatican was planning to issue its own currency. Lots of loons are sui generis.
But lots of them aren’t.
The Venn-diagram overlap between the world’s Muslims and the world’s terrorists may be small, but it is not trivial, and the confrontation between the Islamic world and the West puts a cold light on areas of concern beyond political violence. In the Islamic world itself, we see a heritage of high culture and great civilizational achievements, but a great deal of it looks like Karachi at the high end and rural Yemen at the low end: violent, backward, cruel, and uninterested in progress to the extent that “progress” is synonymous with Westernization — which, multiculturalist pieties notwithstanding, it is. Even if you set aside the propensity of certain Muslim fanatics to bomb pizza shops and to name public plazas in celebration of fanatics who bomb pizza shops, there’s still a lot of real life as lived in Afghanistan or Egypt that just isn’t going to fly in Chicago. In places such as Minneapolis, we have done a fairly poor job integrating the relatively small number of Muslim immigrants we already have.
There is no chance President Donald Trump will secure a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton told The Jerusalem Post on Monday.
Speaking just before he received the Guardian of Zion Award from Bar-Ilan University’s Ingeborg Rennert Center for Jerusalem Studies at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, Bolton said Trump “is an optimistic man and can take a good shot at it, but I don’t think the conditions exist. I don’t think the two-state solution is viable anymore.”
“It is not a question of personality or effort, it is just undoable. There has been a 70-plus year effort for the two-state solution,” which has failed, he said, adding, “You can’t put it back together again.”
Bolton said both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority were not viable interlocutors for peace and that any two-state solution would lead to “a terror state or an anarchic state.”
Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 is not a blueprint for the West Bank, the son of late prime minister Ariel Sharon told a group of diplomats, including officials from the US, Spain and France.
“The Gaza Strip is a completely different story from the West Bank,” said Gilad Sharon as he stood by the grave of his parents on a small sandy hilltop on the outskirts of their home in Sycamore Farm in the Negev.
The youngest of Sharon’s three sons, Gilad penned a book on his father called “The Life of a Leader” and has already announced that he is running in the next Likud primary election, for which a date has yet to be set.
Any discussion of territorial concessions in the West Bank is premature until such time as the Palestinians and the Arab world recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, Gilad said.
Israel does not now have a choice about giving the Palestinians land or creating a Palestinian state. While there are undoubtedly peace-seeking Palestinians, as a community, the Palestinians have not even begun to discuss the possibility of making a peace that accepts Israel and ends the Palestinian effort to gain all the land “from the river to the sea.”
Nor have they begun public discussion of the possibility of most of the “refugees” settling outside Israel. Without that discussion, there is no way the Palestinians can give up their determination to destroy Israel and make a genuine peace.
The Palestinians see peace with Israel as defeat in their 100-year struggle. The choice they have made is to force Israel to “occupy” them, because they want to keep up the struggle to destroy Israel. This reality means that the question of what land we should give up is a question for the fairly distant future.
We should do whatever we can to make the Palestinians and the Arab world more willing to give up their determination to destroy us. Being nicer to them might help, although that is not usually a very effective strategy in the Middle East.
The U.S. could help by replacing false “even-handedness” with a truth-telling strategy that shows the Arab world that the U.S. will not help them destroy Israel.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted on Tuesday that any future peace agreement reached with the Palestinians must include an Israeli military presence in the West Bank and offered insight on security concerns the government may have following a prospective deal.
During an interview with Army Radio, Netanyahu said that “In any peace agreement we [Israel] will have to maintain military control of all the territory west of the Jordan River. This is the truth and I will continue saying this truth.”
Netanyahu indicated that an Israeli military withdraw from all areas of the West Bank would likely create a vacuum prone to takeover by extremists, who could pose a threat to Israeli security.
“Why is there no peace?” the premier asked rhetorically. “It is not because of the territories or the settlements. For about 50 years, from 1920 until 1967, we did not hold the territories or have any settlements and they wanted to throw us out of Tel Aviv.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday said that Israel must maintain its military control over the West Bank in the event of a peace agreement with the Palestinians.
“The idea that we can give up territory and achieve peace is not right,” Netanyahu told Army Radio in a pre-Shavuot holiday interview.
“In order to assure our existence we need to have military and security control over all of the territory west of the Jordan [River],” he said, reaffirming his commitment to a policy that is rejected by Palestinians, who seek a full Israeli withdrawal from the territory.
In the radio interview, Netanyahu asserted the root of the conflict lies not with Israeli settlements in the West Bank, but rather in Palestinian intransigence regarding recognition of Jewish rights to any part of the land.
Netanyahu’s comments came after visiting US President Donald Trump last week impressed on the prime minister and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that he is determined to work on a peace agreement.
“It is not because of the territories and the settlements,” Netanyahu said, noting the history of conflict between Jews and Arabs in the area from 1920, long before the establishment of Israel in 1948 and the capture of the West Bank in 1967.
Anne Bayefsky ($): Why Is U.S. Funding UN Human Rights Council’s Israel Blacklist?
The UN Human Rights Council is preparing a blacklist of American and other companies doing business with Israel – and U.S. taxpayers are paying a quarter of the bill. The council’s move embraces the “boycott, divestment and sanctions” campaign. Successive White Houses have tried and failed to correct the entrenched anti-Israel and anti-Jewish bias of the council.
Under a sanctions resolution adopted in March 2016, the council is creating a database of companies that “directly or indirectly” do business with Israeli settlements. This means that an ATM in Arab-claimed territory could be enough to land a bank and its business associates on this database. The blacklist threatens to tarnish business reputations, make companies targets for lawfare in European and U.S. courts, and provide fuel for the boycott-and-divestment machinery on college campuses. Meanwhile, the council has no boycott policy for the world’s most ruthless regimes. The writer is director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres has once again dissociated his organization from a controversial Palestinian women’s center, after Palestinian officials changed the facility’s name to the “Martyr O.J. Simpson Palestinian Women’s Center.”
The center’s new name caused embarrassment for both the UN and for Norway’s foreign ministry, which had sponsored the project. The controversy comes a week after the Palestinian Authority named another center after Dalal Mughrabi, who killed 38 Israeli civilians, including 13 children, in a 1978 terror attack.
“At this point, it kind of feels like they’re just trying to embarrass us,” Guterres said, referring to the PA. “We’re really starting to get tired of their sh!t.”
As of press time, Palestinian officials were set to announce the opening of the “Jared Fogle Children’s Center.”
President Donald Trump reportedly landed in Saudi Arabia earlier this month with dreams of forming an “Arab NATO” to fight the Sunni Islamist terrorists in the Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaeda (AQ) as well as Shi’ite Islamist Iran.
In an historic speech at the first Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh on May 21, he rightly named the main enemy as Islamist ideology, and boldly rallied the heads of the Arab and Muslim worlds to unite to take up the fight themselves.
Though his “Arab NATO” idea was getting a lot of media buzz for some weeks prior to his maiden trip abroad as president, he did not mention it in his address to the 55 leaders in Riyadh.
However, according to the London-based Arabic newspaper Asharq al-Awsat, Trump pushed the concept with “several Arab leaders.”
The idea apparently aroused interest at Thursday’s NATO summit in Brussels, which Trump attended.
The population in Jerusalem has been steadily increasing since 1967 while the increase in the city’s Arab population is on a steady decline, according to new research,
“The Jewish populace is, of course, the majority, and although that majority is diminishing, the rate in which it is doing so is slowing down,” said Yair Assaf-Shapira, a researcher in the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies. “Now, we are at a state where the changes are becoming very small.”
Assaf-Shapira also spoke about the possibility of an Arab majority in Jerusalem, saying that “this subject was very popular about 5-10 years ago. I think that as long that this trend is becoming more certain, you can see that it’s not data errors—the number of children per mother in the Arab community is dramatically decreasing due to modernization, education and other factors.
“I think that the subject on when Jerusalem will lose its Jewish majority, and what is needed to be done in order to prevent it—questions that have led in the past to the establishment of big neighborhoods and annexation—is slowly losing ground,” he added.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday praised Norway for withdrawing funding from a Palestinian women’s center named for a terrorist who took part in the 1978 Coastal Road massacre.
The prime minister said Israel had made a point of pressing nations and organizations over this issue and would continue to do so.
Dalal Mughrabi and several other Fatah terrorists landed on a beach near Tel Aviv, hijacked a bus on Israel’s Coastal Road and killed 38 civilians, 13 of them children, and wounded over 70. The new West Bank center, which opened last month and was funded in part by the Scandinavian country, was named in her honor.
The prime minister revealed during the weekly meeting of his Likud parliamentary faction that he instructed Foreign Ministry director-general Yuval Rotem several days ago to press Norway and the United Nations to pull their donations from the West Bank project.
The army on Monday laid the cornerstone of a new training facility in the Golan Heights that is meant to simulate a Lebanese village of the type Israeli soldiers might find themselves in should war break out with the Hezbollah terrorist group.
The Snir facility, which gets its name from a nearby kibbutz, is meant to prepare Israeli soldiers for urban warfare, including subterranean combat, according to Brig. Gen. Einav Shalev, commander of the army’s Ground Forces Division. (This is not to be confused with the Ground Forces itself, which is led by Maj. Gen. Kobi Barak.)
The army plans to have the training center ready for soldiers by the end of next year and construct three similar facilities in the coming years, a senior IDF official told reporters, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The Snir facility will take over as the army’s most advanced urban combat training center — “we have nothing like this in the State of Israel,” the officer said — superseding the Urban Combat Center, which was built a decade ago, in the Tzeelim training base in southern Israel.
The PA has called on the Palestinian police to arrest anyone who eats in public during Islam’s month of Ramadan, which started this week. The Grand Mufti, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, the highest PA religious official, called on the PA police “to act against anyone who breaks the fast in public, in preparation for legal steps against them.”
District Governor of Jenin Ibrahim Ramadan, likewise announced a prohibition against eating in public. Both called on cafés and restaurants to be closed during the daytime.
Although it was not mentioned specifically, in previous years these PA religious restrictions against public eating, were enforced against Christians as well.
A day after Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails ended a 41-day hunger strike Saturday, an online survey conducted by the Palestinian Maan news agency found that 70.5% of Palestinians believe the Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strike succeeded in meeting only minimum demands, contrary to Palestinian claims of victory.
According to the survey, only 16.5% believe the strike achieved most of the prisoners’ demands, with some 13.1% answering that they were unsure of whether the minimum or maximum demands were met.
The prisoners demanded access to public telephones, eased restrictions on family visits and better transport conditions, among other demands.
Citing the Maan poll at a meeting with senior Israel Prison Service officials Monday, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan declared that “the strike failed.”
The Palestinian Authority (PA) government in Ramallah has admitted that Hamas-ruled Gaza has turned into an independent entity.
The government on Sunday condemned the unilateral steps taken by Hamas to effectively control Gaza, further deepening the rift between the sides.
Yusuf al-Mahmoud, the official spokesman for the government in Ramallah, said that the appointment of a deputy minister of justice in Gaza and the establishment of a special ministry by Hamas constituted a further violation of Palestinian law and was a step towards deepening the split between Hamas and the Ramallah government headed by Fatah.
Hamas and Fatah have been at odds since 2007, when Hamas took over Gaza from Fatah in a bloody coup. All attempts to reconcile the sides have thus far failed.
Iran has agreed in principle to renew its funding for the Hamas terror group, according to a report published in a London-based Arabic daily Tuesday.
Palestinian officials told Asharq al-Awsat that Ismail Haniyeh, the political leader of the Gaza-based terror group, will visit Tehran in the near future to bridge gaps between the parties and resolve old disagreements.
The deal to restore Hamas’s financial support came after marathon meetings in Lebanon between officials from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Hamas, and the Lebanon-based Hezbollah terror group, the report said.
Relations between Iran and Hamas have been rocky since the outbreak of Syria’s civil war in 2011, when the Palestinian terror organization came out against Syrian President Bashar Assad, who is backed by Tehran.
The report also said Iran wanted Haniyeh to be the new head of Hamas, and would have refused to work with the terror organization had former deputy head Moussa Abu Marzouk won the elections earlier this month.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Car Bomb Means ISIS In Baghdad Really Hates Cars (satire)
Another vehicle laden with explosives went off this morning in the Iraqi capital, driving home the point to military and political experts that the Islamic State, responsible for the bulk of such incidents, harbors an intense animosity for cars.
The latest attack in downtown Baghdad destroyed yet another motorized passenger vehicle, making it the nine hundredth such explosion of a car by ISIS since its Iraqi insurgency began, and prompting analysts to observe that the Islamist movement must really, really hate those vehicles.
In a telephone interview, Professor Tiyenti Siffor of the University of Helsinki, who studies Islamic State ideology and strategy, described how he and his colleagues independently arrived at their disturbing conclusion. “At first we thought, based on visual and other evidence, that Daesh favored Toyota pickup trucks,” he explained, referring to infamous images of the group’s fighters riding along in a procession of many such vehicles. “But it turns out, after several years’ observation, that they will blow up any kind of car.”
“It’s not just that they destroy cars,” agreed Sue Wisside of the TNT Institute, a Washington think tank, who collaborated with Professor Siffor on the research. “It’s that they insist on such thorough dismemberment of these vehicles that one cannot help concluding these beasts have some intense obsession with destroying cars and trucks. It can’t be healthy to go through life like that.”
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