September 18, 2020

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07/09 Links Pt1: Abbas: PA to continue paying salaries to families of prisoners, ‘martyrs’; Abbas’ Foreign Affairs advisor: Spit on Australia; What you aren’t hearing about Khan al-Ahmar

From Ian:

Khaled Abu Toameh: Abbas: PA to continue paying salaries to families of prisoners, ‘martyrs’
The Palestinians will not allow US President Donald Trump’s yet-to-be-announced plan for peace in the Middle East to pass, and will continue paying salaries to families of Palestinian prisoners and “martyrs,” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Sunday.

Speaking at a meeting of the Fatah Central Committee in Ramallah, Abbas said that the Arab countries have told the Palestinians that they too were opposed to Trump’s plan, also known as the “deal of the century.”

At the beginning of his speech, Abbas sent greetings to Palestinians who were taking part in the Hamas-sponsored protests along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel and demonstrations against the Trump plan and the plans to evict the Bedouin hamlet of Khan al-Ahmar, near Ma’aleh Adomim.

“We are proud of these marches and protests,” Abbas said.

He reiterated his strong opposition to the Trump plan, saying the Palestinians will not accept it and will not allow it to pass. “We want to affirm that our Arab brothers have told us that they too are against the deal of the century,” Abbas said. “In addition, there are countries in Europe, Asia and Africa that have begun realizing this deal can’t pass.”

Abbas lashed out at Israel for its decision to deduct payments made by the PA to families of “martyrs” and security prisoners (from tax revenues collected on behalf of the Palestinians), saying the Palestinians will take measures in accordance with their interest. He did not provide details about the nature of the measures the Palestinians were planning.

“We won’t allow anyone to interfere with the money [that is paid to the prisoners and families of “martyrs],” Abbas stressed. “They are our martyrs and prisoners and the injured and we will continue to pay them. We started the payments in 1965.”

PMW: Spit on Australia, says Abbas’ advisor on Foreign Affairs

Following Australia’s decision to suspend direct funding to the Palestinian Authority because the PA pays salaries to terrorists and their families, senior PA official Nabil Shaath, who is also PA Chairman Abbas’ advisor, launched a verbal attack on Australia:

Mahmoud Abbas’ advisor on Foreign Affairs and International Relations Nabil Shaath: “This filthy talk of ”the criminals” in connection with our Martyrs and prisoners – while they are our heroes, the heroes of self-sacrifice and the candles of freedom. They cannot be compared to the Israeli criminals in Israel’s prisons… Australia’s decision [to stop] transferring $10 million angered me greatly… It transferred [the aid to the UN]… so that it would not serve for payment of the salaries of the [prisoners and Martyrs’] families. In other words, the truth is they are worthy of being spat on. You [Australians] are the servants of the US… I don’t want your 10 million, I don’t want to chase after them.” [Official PA TV, Topic of the Day, July 3, 2018]

Shaath’s definition of Palestinian terrorist prisoners as “heroes” and “candles of freedom” exemplifies the PA’s policy of honoring terrorists and murderers, as documented by Palestinian Media Watch. Shaath’s comments are also a result of Israel’s passing of the law to deduct terror salaries from PA tax money.

The law was passed by the Israeli Parliament on July 2, 2018 and deducts the amount of money the PA pays imprisoned terrorists and families of “Martyrs” from the tax money Israel collects for the PA. The law freezes the deducted money and has Israel hold it indefinitely. Should the PA not pay terrorists’ salaries or allowances to families of “Martyrs” for a full year, the Israeli government would have the option of giving all or part of the frozen money to the PA.

The Oslo process is dead, it is time to win

Eve Harrow was at the Knesset, invited to a special meeting of the Victory Caucus on the subject of ’25 Years since Oslo, Time for New Thinking’.

She recorded Stuart Force, father of Taylor z”l, whose murder by Arab terrorists galvanized the “stop pay to slay” legislation in both Israel and the US.

MidEast Forum director Daniel Pipes also spoke, as well as Arab Hevron community leader Ashraf Jabari and others.

Eve then sat down with Gregg Roman of the MidEast Forum to hear details of the joint US-Israel program, years in the making, to end incentives for terror and perhaps finally, bring some real peace to the area between the Jordan River and the Sea.

The Real Story behind the Bedouin Village in Khan al Ahmar

Khan al Ahmar is an illegal outpost, created and supported by the Palestinian Authority, the European Union and EU member-states, in complete violation of international law.

I’m sure there are many hard-working, tax-paying citizens of Israel (and other countries all over the world) who would love to be given an all-expenses-paid, fully developed plot of land and paid tens of thousands of dollars by the state to move in. In fact, several years ago, another branch of the Jahalin Bedouin clan agreed to precisely this treatment and voluntarily relocated; the families that remained in Khan al Ahmar agreed to move as well, but were bullied by their “representatives” into retracting their consent.

The Jahalin Bedouin are an offshoot of a larger tribe based in southern Israel, in the Arad region. After a blood feud broke out within the tribe, some of the families were forced out and migrated north, squatting in their present location after the 1973 Yom Kippur War. From day one, they knew that this would not be a permanent solution for their needs.

Some 80% of the residents of Khan al Ahmar are employed in nearby Israeli communities – and have been for many years. Shepherding is a hobby for most, since the Bedouin of Khan al Ahmar abandoned their nomadic existence generations ago.

Four separate lawsuits were filed by the PA and the EU in an effort to block the relocation of the Jahalin – and all were found to be baseless. Israel is doing precisely what any other government would do if people attempted to build an illegal outpost on the outskirts of the capital city. In fact, French and British government policy regarding nomadic populations is clear: forcible deportation – not negotiation, and certainly not all-expenses-paid relocation or land giveaways.

Israel will not be “wiping the community off the map.” The community will remain intact, its traditional culture and lifestyle fully protected in a location only four miles away, with electricity, running water, a government-built schoolhouse, and many other modern conveniences that the Jahalin have never had.

What you aren’t hearing about Khan al-Ahmar

Khan al-Ahmar at its core represents a politically motivated Palestinian land grab, and an effort to establish “facts on the ground”.

Thats not what you’ll hear in the mainstream media. Instead you’ll hear that Khan al-Ahmar is a “besieged” or a beleaguered “Bedouin village”.

The reality is that Khan al-Ahmar is an illegal encampment, with no electricity, no running water, and no sewage treatment, built on Israeli state land without permits.

Khan al-Ahmar was built on land that belongs to the State of Israel, in an area under full Israeli administrative and security authority, a critical fact left out of nearly every media report.

The current residents belong to the Jahalin Bedouin tribe, who were forced out of the Negev after a tribal dispute, in the 1980’s.

Aerial photos, originally posted by CAMERA show the comparatively recent settlement of the area, disputing reports that the Beduoin had been there since the establishment of the State of Israel.

Gaza and the Zionist Left

In the days of the terrorist manhunts – following the murder of the Arroyo family children in 1971 in Gaza – my commanding officer in Sayeret Rimon, Meir Dagan, told me: “Tomorrow you’ll take two jeeps, load up some senior government officials and take them on a tour of the dunes.”

In the morning we met representatives from the settler movement who came with engineers and city planners, all of them from Mapai (the precursor to the Labor party). There wasn’t a right-winger among them. The most senior official explained: “Golda [Meir] and [Moshe] Dayan decided we’re not leaving the Strip anymore,” referencing the withdrawal from Gaza in 1957, after the Sinai War, and the withdrawal from Kfar Darom during the War of Independence in 1948.

“The way to keep the Strip this time is by renewing settlement, including Kfar Darom; that’s what they think in the government,” the official said.

Then the settlers came, and then the homes with the red roofs and the green, lush communities; and the children; the tiny mills and greenhouses dotting the landscape; and the large contingent of farmers, working with local laborers to make a living by turning those sandy dunes into fertile fields. And relations were neighborly. Women received their driver’s licenses in Khan Younis and took their cars there to get fixed.

Former Minister Gideon Sa’ar: Time for a Zero-Sum Approach to the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Finding a solution to any conflict or disagreement demands the willingness of all sides and mutual understanding. It can not be accomplished unilaterally.

This is just as true for the so called, “two-state-solution”. On a practical level, it was never more than a “two-state-slogan”, or a theoretical idea – and not an especially successful one at that. It is unsuccessful even theoretically, because Israel cannot live with the inevitable outcome – the loss of control between the “River and the Sea” in two crucial aspects: Security and demography.

From our history of nearly 100 years, we learn that territorial compromise never worked. At the crucial moment, the Arabs always said “no”. No to any solution based on this idea, no matter where the lines were drawn or how the land was divided. They always rejected the possibility of two states.

This was true in 1937, when the “Peel Commission” made their proposal, and again in 1947, when UN Partition Plan was passed – even though the Arabs were offered the majority of the country.

The same goes for the generous offers made by Prime Ministers Ehud Barak (in 2000) or Ehud Olmert (in 2008), even though both of them accepted most of the Palestinian demands.

This Palestinian rejection also explains why bilateral negotiations – that have lasted for a generation since Oslo – have not only failed to solve the conflict, but have not brought us any closer to peace, security or stability.

EU: The PA did not refuse to cooperate with us

An EU team here last week to discuss “modalities of EU engagement in the peace process” did not demand nor were refused an accounting by the Palestinian Authority of payments made to incarcerated terrorists and their families, an EU spokeswoman said Sunday.

Yesh Atid MK Elazar Stern, who co-sponsored a bill last week requiring the government deduct from the duties and tariffs it collects for the PA money it pays to prisoners and their families, said on Sunday that the EU is now following Australia’s lead and asking the PA for an accounting of its funding.

Australia last week discontinued $7.4 million in direct funding to the PA because of concern that the money is making PA payments to terrorists and their families possible.

According to Stern, the PA is not cooperating with the Europeans, and PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah refused to give an accounting to the EU of the use of the EU funds to the PA.

“I believe today even more that the law will bring to a reduction of terror and will save lives,” Stern said.

But Sharon Offenberger, a spokeswoman at the EU delegation in Israel, said she was not aware that the Palestinians refused to cooperate with the EU.

She said this seems like a “misinterpretation and complete speculation of what came out of the recent review mission.”

Khaled Abu Toameh: PA: Knesset promoting ‘ethnic cleansing, terrorism’

The Palestinian Authority launched a scathing attack on Israel Sunday over a bill that makes it easier for Jews to purchase land in Area C of the West Bank, and continued visits by Jewish groups to the Temple Mount.

The PA used the two issues to accuse Israel, specifically the Knesset, of “ethnic cleansing,” “racial discrimination” and “assaulting Islamic and Christian holy sites.”

It urged world parliaments to “reassess” their ties with the Knesset in response to recent controversial legislation.

In response to a bill put forward by MK Bezalel Smotrich (Bayit Yehudi) that would make it easier for Jews to purchase land in Area C of the West Bank, the PA sent a letter to parliamentary speakers around the world in which it claimed the Knesset has become a “platform for legitimizing ethnic cleansing, terrorism and killings against the Palestinian people.”

The PA also accused the Knesset of serving as an “official sponsor of racist laws.”

Smotrich’s proposed legislation aims to change a 1953 Jordanian law that prevents foreigners and non-Arabs from directly purchasing land.

Qatari envoy says letting Gazans work in Israel would calm border

A Qatari diplomat working behind the scenes to ease tensions on the Israel-Gaza Strip border suggested that Palestinians would stop their protests and the sending of incendiary kites across the border if Israel were to allow in 5,000 Gazans on work permits.

Qatari envoy Mohammed Al-Emadi floated the idea during an interview with Israeli public broadcaster Kan on Sunday.

Israeli and Hamas officials had no immediate comment on the Qatari proposal.

Since late April, the Palestinians have been letting loose incendiary balloons and kites, setting fire to thousands of acres of farmland and forests in Israeli border towns and causing millions of dollars in damage.

At least 136 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops during the Hamas-orchestrated border riot campaign, launched on March 30.

Al-Emadi said that were Israel to let in workers from the Gaza Strip, where unemployment nears 50%, the border protests and kite attacks would cease.

“It could start for example with 5,000 people in Gaza who would work in Israel. That is good. That would stop the protests, the fires, the kites and the balloons,” Al-Emadi said.

Qatari mediator: Hamas will only return IDF bodies in prisoner swap

A Qatari mediator between Israel and Hamas said Sunday that the terror group that rules Gaza will not return the bodies of IDF soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul unless Israel releases Palestinian security prisoners in exchange.

His comments appeared intended to respond to Israeli officials who have suggested in recent weeks that they would be willing to work toward easing the blockade on the territory. Recent reports suggested that Israel has offered to establish a seaport in Cyprus for Gaza in exchange for the release of the remains of Goldin and Shaul, as well as two living Israeli civilians currently held by Hamas.

“The rehabilitation of Gaza in exchange for the return of the Israeli captives is not possible,” Muhammad al-Amadi, who has been part of indirect and informal talks between Israeli and Hamas officials, told the Israeli Kan public broadcaster.

“There’s no such thing as captives in exchange for a port or airport, or opening of borders,” he said. “Anyone who says otherwise won’t accomplish anything.”

Times of London omits Olmert’s 2008 peace plan (rejected by Abbas) in their list of “failed peace efforts”.

Note that the list omits two historically significant peace efforts – in 1947 and 2008:

In November 1947, UN Resolution 181, the Partition Resolution passed, calling for the creation of a Jewish state and an Arab state. The Palestinians and Arab countries opposed the resolution, voted against it, and threatened war to prevent it from being implemented. The Jewish Agency, representing the Jewish inhabitants, supported the plan. The Times failed to mention this in their list of “failed peace efforts”.

Ehud Olmert’s widely reported far reaching offer to Mahmoud Abbas in 2008 was also omitted by The Times. The offer was rejected by the Palestinian leader. In 2009, The Times’ Middle East correspondent reported on the proposal (“How Ehud Olmert mapped a vision for peace in West Bank”), and noted both Abbas’s rejection and the details of Israel’s offer. The proposal addressed all the core issues of the conflict and would have created a Palestinian state in Gaza and 97% of the West Bank (with land swaps for the remaining 3%). The Palestinian state also would have included a capital in east Jerusalem.

We’ve complained to editors about these omissions.

‘Japan also executes terrorists’

Yisrael Beytenu MK Robert Ilatov demanded that the Knesset advance the bill mandating the death penalty for terrorists.

The bill was frozen after passing its first Knesset reading in January.

“Contrary to the claims of those who oppose the death penalty for terrorists, we see that in the most enlightened countries, such as the US and Japan, the death penalty is an effective weapon against terror,” Ilatov said.

“There’s no question that Japan is a progressive country, one of the most developed in the world. Just this weekend, Japan executed the terrorists who carried out a sarin attack on Tokyo’s subway.

“Obviously, the hypocritical human rights organizations did not say a word.”

Ilatov also said he had spoken to the head of Israel’s National Security Council (NSC), demanding a discussion on the law.

Netanyahu promises heavy hand against Hamas

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Monday that Israel would be taking a series of steps against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, starting with closing the Kerem Shaom Crossing into Israel.

“We intend to immediately wield a heavy hand against Hamas,” Netanyahu told the Likud faction, while vowing additional steps that he said he could not announce yet.

Israel has closed the main commercial crossing into the Gaza Strip in light of the continued launching of incendiary aerial devices from the Hamas-run coastal enclave towards southern Israel, the IDF announced Monday.

The military stated that there would be no export or marketing of goods from the Gaza Strip except for humanitarian supplies such as food and medicine which will be approved on a individual basis by the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT)

In addition, the expansion of the fishing area in the Gaza Strip for the fishing season over the last three months from six nautical miles to nine nautical miles, which ends today, will not be extended, and the fishing area will be returned today to six miles.

Israel shutters Gaza crossings to pressure Hamas over border violence

Amid criticism over his government’s response to ongoing violence on the Gaza border, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Monday that Israel will close the Kerem Shalom border crossing that serves as the main entry point for commercial goods and humanitarian aid into the coastal enclave.

“We will double our efforts against Hamas,” Netanyahu told his Likud faction meeting in the Knesset to the applause of party activists.

The prime minister said that the Kerem Shalom closure will be coupled with “other measures that I won’t go into.”

Speaking at his own Yisrael Beytenu party’s faction meeting, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said that he had instructed the IDF “to take a number of steps” to respond to “Hamas provocations” on the border.

“They will start to understand that it doesn’t work in just one direction,” he said.

“We are not looking for a confrontation or for a military venture but in the way Hamas operates, the [situation] deteriorates and [Hamas] is liable to pay the full price, a much heavier price than Operation Protective Edge,” Liberman added, referring to the 2014 war with the terror organization.

Phoenix photosCouple poses for wedding pix among burnt fields near Gaza border

Large swaths of forests, fields and grasslands along the Gaza Strip border have been destroyed by incendiary kites and balloons sent into Israel from the coastal enclave. But one couple has chosen to take their wedding photos among the blackened remnants, explaining it was the landscape of their childhood.

The poignant photos show the couple dressed in white at Tel Gama, near Kibbutz Re’im, while all around them are the ashes of the once-lush foliage. Despite security concerns — several guests were too nervous to attend the wedding last week — Dana and Itai Nisanov went ahead with the celebrations, Hadashot news reported Monday.

“We know every grain of dirt here,” Itai Nisanov told Hadashot. “When you’re young — with your bike. When you get older — with your motorcycle. And afterwards with four-wheelers and jeeps.”

Dana Nisanov told the news channel life was challenging so close to the Gaza border.

“We live under fire 24 hours a day,” she said. “It is unreal.”

Al Quds TV declared a terror organization

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman signed an order Mondaydeclaring Al-Quds TV, which is affiliated with Hamas and operates out of Lebanon Lebanon, as a terrorist organization.

The decision was made at the recommendation of the Shin Bet and the National Counterterrorism Bureau of the Defense Ministry.

“According to reliable, current, reliable and cross-border intelligence, the Al-Quds channel is a propaganda arm of Hamas and constitutes a central platform for disseminating the messages of the terrorist organization in its broadcasts,” the defense minister’s office said.

Still Angry Over 1917 Balfour Declaration, Palestinians Bemoan England Advance in FIFA World Cup

An abiding resentment of Britain for its alleged role in supporting the Zionist movement left Palestinians in Gaza bitterly disappointed on Saturday, following England’s 2-0 victory over Sweden in the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Prior to the match in Russia, Palestinians sitting by television screens in Gaza’s cafes were interviewed by a reporter for Middle East Online. All of them made clear that their hostility to the England team was based on the belief that the United Kingdom was responsible for the creation of Israel.

“Of course I will support Sweden,” 37-year-old Hisham Ahmed said. “I can’t imagine a Palestinian supporting England, which created the Balfour Agreement (sic), or not supporting the country that stood before the world and recognized our state.”

In the November 1917 Balfour Declaration, British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour confirmed the UK’s sympathy for the establishment of a “Jewish national home” in Palestine.

The article noted that “Sweden has long been a vocal supporter of the Palestinians and was the first European Union country to recognize Palestine as a state.” It quoted Ahmed, a Gaza accountant, arguing that “football is not removed from politics.”

“These teams represent their countries and governments and will raise their flags in the stands,” Ahmed said. “How can I support the country that allowed the Jewish state on our land?”

Turkish national indicted for trying to launder money for Hamas

A Turkish national who was arrested a month ago at Ben-Gurion Airport was indicted by the Military Advocate General on Sunday in the Samaria Military Court for several security offenses.

The defendant, 27-year-old Ebru Ozkan, was charged with unlawful associations, crimes against public order for Hamas and offenses of bringing enemy funds into the area.

According to the indictment, in 2016 the defendant decided to visit Israel as part of an organized tour. During her stay at the Istanbul Airport, a tour guide named Mohammed Samer approached her and asked to take15 bottles of perfume he had with him into Israel , as a way to launder money for Hamas.

The military advocate general claims the defendant complied with the request and took the perfume to her hotel room, where it was taken from her by an unidentified man a day later.

“In doing so, the defendant performed a service for the Hamas organization which in itself is an unlawful association,” emphasized the indictment.

Between March , 2016 up until her arrest in June of 2018, the defendant worked as a secretary at a research center in Turkey, along with several Hamas activists.

Turkey vows to retaliate after Turkish woman indicted in Israel

A Turkish national who was arrested in Israel last month has been charged with aiding a terrorist group, after she allegedly contacted members of the Hamas terror organization and transferred money on the group’s behalf.

In June, 27-year-old Ebru Ozkan was arrested at Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport as she was preparing to board a flight back to her native Turkey.

During her time in Israel, prosecutors say, Ozkan worked on behalf of the Hamas terror group and carried money for terrorists linked with the Gaza-based terror organization.

On Sunday, Ozkan was formally charged in an IDF court with two counts of acting on behalf of a hostile organization, and one count of transferring money to hostile foreign agents.

According to a report by Reuters, on Friday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu blasted Ozkan’s arrest, demanding her return and threatening retaliation.

“We will retaliate against this,” said Cavusoglu. The minister claimed that Israel was “taking deterrent measures against” Turkish citizens “travelling to Jerusalem”.

Top Iranian general: Forces in Syria ‘awaiting orders’ to destroy Israel

In a recent speech, the deputy commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) boasted that the “Islamic army in Syria” in the Golan Heights was awaiting orders to eradicate the “evil regime” of Israel.

He also said the Tehran-backed Hezbollah terror group had 100,000 missiles aimed at Israel.

“We are creating might in Lebanon because we want to fight our enemy from there with all our strength,” he stated. “Hezbollah today has tremendous might on the ground that can on its own break the Zionist regime. The Zionist regime has no strategic-defensive depth.”

In the speech for the anti-Israel al-Quds Day in June, translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Hossein Salami said that the dangers Israel faces today are greater than at any time in history.

“Today an international Islamic army has been formed in Syria, and the voices of the Muslims are heard near the Golan,” he said. “Orders are awaited, so that… the eradication of the evil regime [Israel] will land and the life of this regime will be ended for good. The life of the Zionist regime was never in danger as it is now.”

Syria accuses Israel of striking T4 airbase near Homs

Syrian state TV accused Israel of striking Syria’s T4 Airbase near Homs just hours after a senior Iranian official said Iran will maintain its military presence in Syria.

Citing a military source, official Syrian news agency SANA said the air defense batteries downed “a number of missiles that targeted the T4 airport” late on Sunday night.

Unconfirmed reports said the jets flew in via Jordan and passed over the al-Tanf area where the United States has a military base, and Al Jazeera reported that between four to six missiles struck the base causing material damage.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that the attack targeted “Iranian forces and pro-Assad militias” and that “there are likely fatalities.”

Israeli officials have repeatedly voiced concerns over the growing Iranian presence on its borders and the smuggling of sophisticated weaponry to Hezbollah from Tehran to Lebanon via Syria, stressing that both are redlines for the Jewish State.
Israel has admitted to having carried out hundreds of strikes in Syria against Iranian and Hezbollah targets and is suspected of carrying out hundreds of others.

North Korea offered Israel a halt to its missile sales to Iran for $1b — report

A new book by a former top North Korean diplomat claims Pyongyang made an offer to Israel in 1999: It would stop supplying Iran with missile technology in exchange for $1 billion in cash.

The offer to halt weapons sales to Tehran and other enemies of Israel was made by North Korea’s ambassador in Sweden to his Israeli counterpart at a Stockholm cafe, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday, citing the recently published Korean-language memoir of former top North Korean diplomat Thae Yong-ho.

Thae defected to South Korea in 2016.

Israel refused the offer, but a few days later offered to send food aid to North Korea, the book claims.

The Wall Street Journal was unable to confirm the meeting or the offer, saying it was unable to contact the then-Israeli ambassador Gideon Ben Ami or the North Korean envoy, Son Mu Sin.

However, last week Ben Ami told Israel’s Kan public broadcaster that he held a series of secret talks with the ambassador from Pyongyang between 1999 and 2002.

Iranian Dissidents, Former Political Prisoners, Urge Sec of State Pompeo to Sanction Tehran Regime’s Official Broadcaster

More than 50 Iranian dissidents and former political prisoners have urged US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to enforce sanctions against IRIB, the Iranian regime’s official broadcaster.

The regime’s main propaganda arm, IRIB was exempted from US sanctions by a 2013 waiver – the result of a side agreement in which Tehran undertook not to jam outside broadcasts. That waiver, however, expires on Thursday. The Iranian dissidents told Pompeo in their letter that the regime “continues to interfere with satellite broadcasting into Iran by the practice of terrestrial jamming.” The sanctions waiver on IRIB should “be revoked or allowed to expire,” the letter said.

The dissidents highlighted IRIB‘s role in perpetrating the Iranian regime’s systematic abuses of human rights.

As a new wave of protests has emerged in Iran in recent weeks, “Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) has played, and continues to play, a central role in the human rights abuses perpetrated in Iran,” the letter said. As with previous protests, IRIB‘s reporting of the latest anti-regime demonstrations “began by not reporting the protests; then defamed protesters by labeling them foreign agents, terrorists, drug addicts and criminals; then later broadcasted numerous forced confessions supporting such false labels; and ultimately televised images of protesters and requested viewers to identify them for security forces,” the letter said.

Iran dealt new set back with Austrian Airlines cancelling flights

The alpine country’s Austrian Airlines announced on Friday that it will stop service to the Iranian cities Isfahan and Shiraz, delivering another business set back to the Islamic Republic of Iran’s already fragile economic situation.

Austrian Airlines said it canceled its service to the Iranian cities, starting in September, according to the airline trade website Aviation Tribune. Austrian Airlines will, however, continue its service to Tehran.

Aviation Tribune wrote that “The underlying reason for these changes in the [Austrian Airlines’] route network is a realignment of the airline’s portfolio.”

The giant KLM Royal Dutch Airlines announced on Saturday that it suspended service to Iran’s capital Tehran.

Austrian Airlines, which is owned by the giant German airline company Lufthansa, announced with great fanfare on its website in 2016 and 2017 the expansion of flights to Shiraz and Isfahan. According to the 2017 announcement, the carrier wrote that “Austrian Airlines expands offering to Iran: flights to Shiraz as of the summer of 2017.” The airline listed four weekly flights to Shiraz beginning in July, 2017, according to the airline’s website. In 2017, the carrier said that it will offer three direct flights each week from Vienna to Isfahan.

Iranian women dance for justice after government detains teen for video

After Iran detained an 18 year old gymnast, Maedeh Hojabri, social media users posted videos dancing in support and protest of the government’s conservative laws.

BBC reported one Twitter user wrote: “I’m dancing so that they [the authorities] see and know that they cannot take away our happiness and hope by arresting teenagers and (girls like) Maedeh.”

Hojabri recorded and posted around 300 videos on Instagram of herself dancing in what Iran would deem an ‘immoral’ manner. Yet, she has amassed thousands of followers for her moves.

“It wasn’t for attracting attention,” Hojabri said. “I had some followers and these videos were for them. I did not have any intention to encourage others doing the same … I didn’t work with a team, I received no training. I only do gymnastics,” The Guardian reported.

Report: Germany Considers Iranian Bid to Withdraw 300 Million Euros Cash

German authorities are considering a request by Iran to withdraw 300 million euros from bank accounts held in Germany and transfer the cash to Iran, Bild newspaper reported Monday, citing unnamed government officials.

Tehran is seeking withdraw the funds from the Europaeisch-Iranische Handelsbank AG (eihbank) because it is worried that it could run out of cash when fresh US sanctions against its financial sector take effect, Bild said.

Washington has announced new sanctions on Iran and ordered all countries to stop buying Iranian oil by November and foreign firms to stop doing business there or face US blacklists.

One of the world’s biggest shipping lines, France’s CMA CGM, announced on Saturday it was pulling out of Iran for fear of becoming entangled in US sanctions after US President Donald Trump abandoned the 2015 nuclear agreement in May.

Iran told the German Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) it needed the cash from the accounts “to pass on to Iranian citizens who require cash while travelling abroad, given their inability to access recognized credit cards,” Bild said.

Shiite Scholar Assad Qassir: Zionist Goal to Gain Hegemony over Mecca, Medina, Entire Islamic World

Shiite scholar Assad Qassir, a professor at Qom Hawza, said that the goal was “to establish a Zionist empire from the Nile to the Euphrates, and from there, to take control over the Islamic world in its entirety.” Thus, Iran, Afghanistan, Egypt, and all of Africa would be lost, he said, and Mecca, Medina, and the Arabian Peninsula would “submit to the Zionist control.” Qassir, who was interviewed by the Iranian Al-Kawthar TV channel, further said that “you never see anyone from ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Jabhat Al-Nusra, or Jeish Al-Islam firing a single bullet at a Zionist” because they are part of the Zionist enterprise and that not a single Zionist was killed on 9/11. The interview aired on June 11.

Egyptian Islamist Lawyer: All the Political Forces in Egypt Celebrated Sadat’s Assassination

Egyptian Islamist lawyer Muntassir Al-Zayyat said that “all the political forces in Egypt – left, pan-Arabs, and Nasserists – applauded Sadat’s assassination,” and so did the people on the street, whom we saw “handing out candy and chocolate, to celebrate the killing of Sadat.” Speaking on the U.K.-based Al-Araby TV channel on June 20, Al-Zayyet said that the religious justification for his killing was his refraining from implementing Islamic law, his reconciling with the Zionists, his alliance with infidels, and his hostility to the Islamists and to Islam. “He said that the hijab is like a tent and called to separate religion from politics. All these reasons led our generation to assassinate Anwar Sadat,” said Al-Zayyat.

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