Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinians launch campaign to foil Anti-‘Pay for Slay’ bill
Palestinians on Tuesday launched a “national campaign” to thwart Israel’s decision to deduct payments made by the Palestinian Authority to security prisoners and families of “martyrs” from tax revenues belonging to the Palestinians and which are collected by Israel.
The campaign was launched in Ramallah by representatives of various Palestinian groups and relatives of security prisoners held by Israel and “martyrs.” Palestinian politicians and activists from different factions also participated in the event.
Earlier this month, the Knesset voted into law the so-called “pay-for-slay” bill to slash funds to the PA by the amount it pays out to the prisoners and the families of Palestinians killed in attacks on Israelis. The money will be deducted from the taxes and tariffs Israel collects on behalf of the PA.
Organizers of the campaign said its goal was to thwart the new Israeli bill through a series of activities in the press and social media. As part of the campaign, the Palestinians are also planning to send letters to diplomatic missions in Ramallah explaining the dangers of the Israeli move, the organizers added.
Issa Qaraqi, head of the Palestinian Commission for Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners and one of the leaders of the campaign, said that the drive was directed against Israel’s “piracy and theft” of the stipends. The campaign, he added, will take place in many parts of the West Bank, as well as some capitals around the world.
Condemning the Israeli bill as “Israeli blackmail,” Qaraqi said, “All the racist laws approved by Israel stemmed from apartheid.” He added, “Nothing will discourage our people from supporting those who made sacrifices for the Palestinian cause.”
PA responds to Israeli law against the PA’s terrorist salaries
Palestinians have a “right” to kill Israelis
PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Spokesman Hassan Abd Rabbo:
“The [Israeli] legislation… targets the history of our people’s struggle and its right to resist the occupation”
PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs:
“The Martyrs and prisoners are the symbol of the struggle, freedom fighters, and fighters of independence, and not murderers and terrorists as the occupation defines them”
PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Director Issa Karake:
“[Israel] wants to define the Palestinian people’s entire struggle as a “crime” and those who have resisted the occupation as ‘criminals.’ This is the resistance of our Palestinian people, which is guaranteed by the international and humanitarian laws”
PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs:
“The PA [will] not submit to racist laws like these, whose goal is to prevent the Palestinian people’s legitimate resistance”
PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Director Issa Karake:
“The president [Abbas is] signing on the status of the prisoners as legitimate prisoners of war”
Caroline Glick: Time to Let Gaza Fail
Israel and the U.S. should not worry about what will happen when Hamas is overthrown. Hamas is unlikely to lose power for the foreseeable future.
Simply put, if the U.S. stops supporting humanitarian aid to Hamas and its loyal supporters, Hamas’s economic model of governance will be destroyed. The economic incentive to attack Israel will be defeated.
The argument that Iran will fill in for any lost revenues from the U.S. or others is not convincing. First, Iran gives money, arms and training to Hamas no matter what the aid situation is in Gaza. Second, when Iran’s money starts drying up as a result of the U.S. sanctions beginning next month, over time, Iran will have far fewer resources to devote to Hamas.
Hamas is a terror regime dedicated to the goal of annihilating Israel in the course of a wider jihad for global Islamic domination. And the people it governs support it, and its goals, and its methods of advancing its agenda.
It is time to stop telling ourselves fairytales about how all they want is a better quality of life and start acting on the basic reality that enemies attack you when they think it is in their interest. The way to defeat Hamas is to degrade its ability to attack and stop rewarding its aggression. Let Gaza fail on its own terms.
Members of the U.S. Congress are demanding the State Department make public a key report that includes precise figures on the number of people who became refugees in the 1948 War of Independence.
The existence of the State Department assessment, compiled and classified under the Obama administration, was first disclosed by the Washington Free Beacon six months ago.
Lawmakers say the report could impact how the U.S. views the refugee issue when the actual number of refugees is made public and is significantly smaller than the number of Palestinian refugees according to the United Nations.
Once the largest donor to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, which provides assistance to Palestinian refugees and their descendants, the U.S. in January cut $65 million of a planned $125 million in aid funds to agency.
The agency, which asserts that there are 5.1 million Palestinian refugees worldwide, focuses on providing health care, education and social services to Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.
All other refugees fall under the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.
Israelis share their experience of living under Hamas terror
Take a minute and watch the stories of these Israelis from communities bordering the Gaza strip, sharing their experiences of living under Hamas terror, which has been targeting them with rockets & with arson terrorism, setting fires to their lands.
There you go: pic.twitter.com/9SC2pYnVSG
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) July 18, 2018
90 Minutes of Hamas Rockets
On July 14th, approximately 200 rockets were fired by Hamas at Israel aiming to kill Israeli citizens. If you were watching the World Cup games, imagine this – rockets being fired by a terror organization throughout the entire game. This is the reality for people in the south of Israel.
Tying flammable material to a falcon and sending it over the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel border with intent to start a fire in Israeli territory was deemed an “unacceptable” use “as weapons of war” by PETA, the organization said on Wednesday.
After that occurred on Monday and publicized by the IDF’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), social media users reached out to PETA to condemn the action. “As an animal-protection organization, PETA notes that animals claim allegiance to no nation, don’t choose sides, and can only rely on human beings to show them mercy, and it is unacceptable to use them as weapons of war,” the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.
As an animal-protection organization, PETA notes that animals claim allegiance to no nation, don’t choose sides, and can only rely on human beings to show them mercy, and it is unacceptable to use them as weapons of war.
— PETA 🐾 (@peta) July 17, 2018
On Monday, an employee from the National Parks Authority (NPA) discovered the bird after extinguishing a fire at the Habesor National Park near the Gaza Strip.
As the BBC correctly reported at the beginning of the article – there is no “closure” of the Kerem Shalom crossing and “Gaza’s main lifeline” has not been ‘shut down’. It is therefore significant that the BBC chose to amplify those inaccurate claims despite obviously knowing that they are false.
BBC editorial guidelines on impartiality require that audiences be informed of the “particular viewpoint” of contributors. In the case of ‘Gisha’, it would obviously be helpful to BBC audiences to know that the political NGO touting the claim of “illegal collective punishment” petitioned Israel’s Supreme Court in April, claiming that Israel’s responses to the ‘Great Return March’ violence along the Gaza border are illegal and demanding that the Court prohibit the use of live ammunition by the IDF. The court rejected that petition.
The BBC’s public purposes oblige it to “provide accurate and impartial news […] of the highest editorial standards so that all audiences can engage fully with issues across the UK and the world”. Apparently BBC News website editors are of the opinion that the amplification of baseless propaganda slogans such as “crime against humanity” from a terror faction and “illegal collective punishment” from a political NGO which claims to represent the interests of “Gaza residents” that have burned thousands of acres of farmland, woodland and nature reserves in three months of terror attacks, contributes to audience understanding of this story.
Critics of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians censured the IDF today for neglecting to take precautions that they assert would save Palestinian lives when Israel enforces its sovereignty by protecting its border, arguing that instead of simply shooting people who attempt to cross the existing border fence, Israel must construct an additional fence in front of that one to keep those would-be infiltrators from reaching the original fence and getting fired upon.
Representatives of both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch issued condemnation Wednesday of what they regard as “Israel’s continuing disregard for Palestinian lives,” in particular the lives of Palestinian protesters who try to scale the fence separating Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip. Hundreds of Palestinians have suffered injury or death in recent months amid a wave of often-violent demonstrations aimed at penetrating the barrier, a threat to which Israeli forces have responded by warning those near the fence not to attempt to scale, breach, or dig under the fence lest they be shot. The rights groups insist that such a policy violates the human rights of the Palestinians, who must make do with only one layer of warning not to engage in dangerous illegal activity. Instead of only one fence, they stated, Israel must build a second fence to protect Palestinians from reaching the fence at which they will face gunfire.
“By not implementing this solution Israel again demonstrates its callous disregard for Palestinians,” declared Ken Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “We call upon the international community to force Israel to take the steps necessary to protect those whom its actions affect in the most direct way, in this case with the entirely reasonable measure of an additional fence guarding the fence.”
Amnesty International posted a video clip on Twitter of a Palestinian youth getting shot after ignoring Israeli warnings and shaking off a friend who tried to keep him from climbing the border fence. “This clip shows the necessity of an additional barrier to protect protesters from the consequences of their decisions,” read the tweet.
Satellite images released by an Israeli intelligence firm on Tuesday showed the extensive damage done to at least one building, in a deadly airstrike on a Syrian airfield earlier this week that was blamed on Israel.
The bombing raid targeted Al-Nayrab airbase, adjacent to Aleppo’s international airport, in northern Syria late Sunday night, according to Syrian state media. The facility was identified in the past as a base for Iranian forces, including Tehran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
“The Zionist enemy (Israel)… targeted with its missiles one of our military positions north of the Nayrab military airport, but the damage was only material,” SANA said citing a military source.
Syrian rebel forces claimed that 22 people, including nine Iranians, were killed in the strike, the Qatar-based al-Jazeera network reported Monday. That figure, which could not be confirmed, was significantly higher than an earlier report of nine deaths by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor.
Satellite images from July 17, 2018, showing an airfield in Aleppo, Syria, which is said to be a base for Iranian forces, that was hit in alleged Israeli airstrike days before. (ImageSat International ISI)
The satellite images released on Tuesday by ImageSat International, a company that interprets visual intelligence, show the effects of the airstrike to one structure near the airfield.
The agency’s Twitter account tweets daily, and mostly against Qatar and Iran. It uses anti-Semitic terminology, referring to Qatar as “Qatariel,” a portmanteau of Qatar and Israel and claiming the Al Jazeera network “belongs to the Israeli Mossad.”
“The deal of the century” is a Qatari scheme to sell Palestine to the ‘Zionist entity,'” one tweet reads, while another alleges that the “Zionist” Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the father of Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, is scheming to divide the Arab states to fulfill the dreams of the “Zionist entity” and Iran. In yet another tweet, the authority alleges Qatar is “trying to destroy the Arab world to serve the enemies of the Muslim world: Israel and Iran.” These statements penetrate deep into the Arab consciousness and increase their existing hatred toward Jews and Israel.
The Saudis then are playing a double game. Behind the scenes, they send the Israelis the message that Iran is a common enemy and goad them to fight Iran and Hezbollah. At home, however, they say the enemy is first and foremost the State of Israel, followed by Iran. Their formula is clear: Covert ties with Israel coupled with overt hostility to the Jewish state to satisfy the people, a majority of whom hate Israel.
The Saudi’s double game is reminiscent of the Egyptian model under the late President Gamal Abdel Nasser: While dozens of anti-Semitic articles are published on a daily basis, the Israeli audience is not exposed to the phenomenon and the politicians close their ears. Following the signing of the 1994 Oslo Accords, the Palestinians asked Israel for permission to “moderately” incite against the Jewish state for “domestic needs.” This incitement turned deadly and was used as live ammunition for the boycott, sanctions and divestment movement. We must not give in and accept the incitement against us, and that is also true when Saudi Arabia is concerned. Incitement translates into action, and that action comes at a deadly price.
A congressional panel convened in Washington on Tuesday to discuss the possibility of U.S. recognition of Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights.
The discussion was initiated by Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Florida), chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Security and one of the leaders of the campaign to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. DeSantis invited Dr. Dore Gold, president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and a former director general of the Foreign Ministry, to be the keynote speaker at Tuesday’s session.
Gold told the panel that three U.S. administrations (those of Presidents Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush) had given Israel “diplomatic assurances regarding the international status of Israel’s position on that strategic plateau.”
Gold said that Iran’s Revolutionary Guards deputy commander Hossein Salami had recently announced that the Islamic Army in Syria was “now operating on the Golan Heights was awaiting orders to eradicate the ‘evil regime’ of Israel,” meaning that Israel could not withdraw from the Golan without imperiling itself.
“With the imminent victory of the forces of [Syrian] President Bashar Assad in the sector of south Syria, new arrangements for Syria are being considered by various countries,” Gold said.
“Now is the time for the United States to recognize Israel’s sovereignty on the Golan Heights.”
DeSantis said it would be “madness” for Israel to transfer the Golan Heights to Assad or “any of the other forces active in Syria.”
Prof. Eugene Kantorovich at the hearing before the Congress on recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights
— i24NEWS English (@i24NEWS_EN) July 18, 2018
Why has Russia under Vladimir Putin acknowledged Israel’s need to prevent the buildup of an Iranian military presence in Syria? Putin’s vision is to cement an alliance of minorities against the Sunni majority in the Middle East. Israel could be a valuable participant in making that vision a reality, but only if Moscow works to rid Syria of the Iranian presence, joins forces to topple its Islamist regime, and weans the Alawite regime in Damascus away from Tehran.
Ever since September 2015, when Russia turned the tide of the Syrian civil war in the Assad regime’s favor through strategic air power and subsequently on the ground — where it brokered truces and withdrawals of rebels from strategic areas in Syria to the rebel stronghold in Idlib — Israel has been heavily pounding Syrian, Iranian, and Hezbollah forces.
The question arises: why has Russia under Putin acknowledged Israeli red lines aimed at preventing the buildup of an Iranian military presence in the country? That Iranian presence, after all, would seem to advance the goal of consolidating the Assad regime — the main reason behind Russia’s involvement in Syria in the first place.
To fully understand Putin’s acceptance of Israeli involvement in Syria, one must consider the balance of power that existed between Czarist Russia and its southern neighbors — Ottoman Turkey and imperial Persia — at the turn of the 20th century.
The controversy over US President Donald Trump’s remarks alongside his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday has overshadowed the significant commitment to Israel’s security expressed by both leaders at the same press conference, a prominent US Jewish leader argued on Tuesday.
Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC), told The Algemeiner that while Trump’s criticism of US intelligence agencies — which the president backtracked from on Tuesday afternoon — had “understandably taken center stage,” the significance of Trump and Putin’s statements on the situation in the Middle East should not be overlooked.
“President Putin also is helping Israel,” Trump told journalists on Monday. “And we both spoke with [Israeli Prime Minister] Bibi Netanyahu, and they would like to do certain things with respect to Syria, having to do with the safety of Israel.”
For his part, Putin said that a return to the May 1974 Separation of Forces Agreement would “bring peace to Golan Heights, and bring a more peaceful relationship between Syria and Israel, and also to provide security of the State of Israel.”
From the little Trump and Putin revealed about their meeting, the two clearly discussed many important topics. But these matters were not the focus of their joint press conference. Instead, the two leaders were forced to contend with the provocative questions of – mainly American – journalists, who sought to instigate a public spat between Trump and Putin. But neither leader had come to Helsinki to fight. They simply wanted to try and forge a new dynamic between their countries.
One statement Trump made that did not get enough attention, probably due to the fact it did not relate to Russian subversion, says a lot about what happened in Helsinki: “I would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace than to risk peace in pursuit of politics.” Trump, who knew that even if Putin gave him the keys to Moscow, his opponents and the media would ask why he didn’t demand St. Petersburg while he was at it, preferred to take the heat for not crucifying Putin on the subject of Russian meddling in the U.S. elections and not reveal the issues he discussed with Putin. One can only hope the attacks on Trump did not serve to distract their attention from the issues that really matter.
In their uproar over the Helsinki summit, the hypocrisy of Trump’s critics is all the more evident. The same liberal Left that tells us we should talk to Hamas and Hezbollah, makes pilgrimages to the grave of the late PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, fiercely defends the Iran nuclear deal and crowned Obama for renewing ties with Cuba now lashes out at Trump for “selling his soul to the war criminal and human rights violator” Putin. In Israel, too, Trump’s obsessed critics chose to ignore the historical significance in the superpowers’ commitment to ensuring Israel’s security and instead invest their energy in laying into Trump once more.
After years of discussion and lobbying, it appears that the ‘Nationality Law’ – which codifies into Israel’s Basic Laws the country’s status as the nation-state of the Jewish people and elevates Hebrew as the sole official language – will pass its final reading in the Knesset plenum before the Knesset’s summer session ends.
The bill, which was never brought to a final vote in previous Knesset sessions, had been intentionally blocked by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, after coming under pressure from the Obama administration, senior Likud officials claim.
According to a report by Kan, the Obama administration worked to ensure that the Nationality Law would not be passed by the Knesset.
“The Obama administration was opposed to and worked to prevent the passage of the Nationality Law, which codifies Israel’s status as a Jewish state.”
Netanyahu, who had wanted to promote the bill, the sources claim, refrained from doing so as a result of pressure from the White House.
The Trump administration, by comparison, has not pressured Israel to block passage of the Nationality Law, enabling the Netanyahu government to advance the bill in 2017 and 2018.
Sen. Ted Cruz’s Senate re-election campaign is running ads swatting at his Democrat opponent, Rep. Beto O’Rourke, for his stance on Israel.
According to Facebook, Cruz’s campaign began running the ads Tuesday.
O’Rourke’s track record on Israel is less than stellar.
In 2015, he refused to attend Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s address to a Joint Session of Congress. In the same year, he wrote an op-ed defending the Iran Deal.
O’Rourke was one of only eight Congressman who voted against funding for Israel’s Iron Dome Missile Defense system. He explained that he recognizes Hamas as a terrorist organization and supports Israel, but felt the bill was rushed.
According to the Cruz campaign, O’Rourke also opposed “a resolution in the U.S. House that objected to a United Nations measure, UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which undermined the United States’ support for Israel.”
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban was due to arrive in Israel on Wednesday for his first state visit to the country. Although he has been attacked in Israel and abroad as being anti-Semitic, Israel Hayom has obtained two documents that detail numerous actions Orban and his government have taken in support of Israel and Jews since he entered office in 2010.
As Israel Hayom reported this week, Orban will not visit the Palestinian Authority, and is scheduled to visit the Western Wall on Friday in violation of European Union policy. Although this is Orban’s first state visit to Israel, he previously visited to attend the funeral of former President Shimon Peres in 2016.
The first document obtained by Israel Hayom was written by the Hungarian Foreign Ministry and lists Orban’s demonstrations of support for Israel in international forums, including: Hungary’s refusal in April 2015 to sign a letter signed by 16 other EU nations that demanded special labeling for goods produced in Judea and Samaria; a visit to Israel by Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto in November 2015 during which he announced that Hungary opposed that policy; Hungary’s refusal in December 2017 to join the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania and Croatia in condemning U.S. President Donald Trump’s declaration that the U.S. recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel; and Hungarian and Czech opposition in May this year to an official condemnation by the European Council on the status of Jerusalem, which caused the council to drop the initiative.
The second document reviews actions taken by Orban’s government to combat anti-Semitism.
A Palestinian man twice convicted and imprisoned for terrorist activities has been lecturing Israeli soldiers and officers as part of the IDF’s education program, the independent news website 0404 revealed Tuesday.
Ali Abu Awwad served two prison terms in Israel in the 1980s. His first came after he was arrested in the mid-1980s for hurling stones and firebombs at Israeli troops in the West Bank. He refused to pay a 1,500 shekel fine and was imprisoned for three months.
He was arrested again in 1987, during the First Intifada, and convicted of being a member of Fatah, then still designated a terrorist group. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison and was released after four years as part of the 1993 Oslo Accords.
After his release from prison, Abu Awwad became a political activist and a proponent of nonviolence. He founded Taghyeer (“Change”), a Palestinian national movement promoting nonviolence to guarantee a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The Knesset Ethics Committee decided Wednesday to distance Joint List MK Jamal Zahalka from the Knesset plenum for an entire month, to punish him for calling Knesset Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Avi Dichter a murderer of innocents.
The incident occurred July 2 in a fierce debate in the Knesset plenum over the Taylor Force Law, in which the Knesset decided to withhold the amount of funds to the Palestinian Authority that it gives as monthly stipends to terrorists and their families.
Dichter gave examples of murderers who receive a share of the NIS 1.2 billion a year the PA distributes in monthly stipends, which will be frozen due to the law.
Zahalka responded by accusing Dichter, who headed the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), of being “responsible for the deaths of dozens if not hundreds of people.”
“Who is the terrorist here?” Zahalka asked the MKs in the plenum. “The one who listens to classical music, listens to Beethoven, and pushes a button for a plane to kill 100 innocent people.”
The state filed an indictment on Wednesday against a resident of the Arab Israeli town of Jaljulia who in 2015 paraglided across the border into Syria to join the Islamic State terrorist group.
Nadal Salah, 26, was indicted on charges that include contact with a foreign agent, illegally leaving the country. joining a terrorist organization, and providing intelligence to the enemy.
According to the indictment, in October 2015, Salah and a number of acquaintances from Jaljulia plotted to leave Israel for Syria and join the Islamic State group and help it battle the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Some members of the Jaljulia cell originally planned to fly to Turkey and cross the border into Syria, but Salah and his friend Hussam Hajala planned a more direct entry into Syria using paragliders.
The two purchased paragliders, learned to operate them using instructional videos, and practiced in open areas near Jaljulia.
When the cell leaders informed them that the plan had been canceled, Salah and Hajala decided to proceed on their own. On Oct. 17, 2015, they brought their paragliders to the planned jumping-off point in the Golan Heights. But a malfunction prevented Hajala from taking off, so he and Salah decided to return home.
Lebanon must investigate the account of a prominent actor who says he was forcibly disappeared and tortured by state security forces last year, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Monday.
Ziad Itani was arrested in November and held for several months, accused of “collaborating” with Israel, which is formally still at war with Lebanon.
He was released in March after it appeared that a top Lebanese security official had framed him, but the time he spent in detention haunted him, he told HRW.
The actor and writer said he was held for nearly a week in what appeared to be an informal jail, where men in civilian clothes punched and kicked him, forced him into stress positions and threatened to sexually assault him.
“There was no doctor who saw me, my body was all blue and I was spitting blood,” he told the rights group. “I couldn’t speak properly.”
While the U.S. has withdrawn from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)—as the nuclear agreement with Tehran is formally known—the Islamic Republic’s response still remains unclear. Michael Herzog believes it unlikely that the ayatollahs will be content either to do nothing or to renegotiate the terms of the deal. He writes:
The more likely scenario is that Iran will resume its nuclear activities with regard to [uranium] enrichment, albeit slowly and gradually, at each phase [observing] the international and domestic response [before] deciding how to proceed. There is a range of activities they can undertake, starting with the . . . less risky part of the spectrum, and then possibly escalating. The more extreme measures of withdrawing from the Non-Proliferation Treaty, stopping all cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), kicking out inspectors, and going underground with its nuclear program are less likely in the foreseeable future because they enhance the risk of a U.S. or Israeli military response and they will bring about loss of European support.
More likely is that Iran decides to enrich uranium up to 20 percent using new types of centrifuges and continues to work with the IAEA on its own terms—allowing limited inspections of declared sites. As major sanctions are kicking in regardless, the Iranians don’t have much to lose economically, but their continued cooperation with the IAEA may make it harder [for Israel or the U.S.] to decide on military action against them.
Once Iran resumes its nuclear program outside the scope of the JCPOA, both the U.S. and Israel will have to redefine their red lines concerning the Iranian nuclear program, namely where to draw a line, the crossing of which would trigger a military response against Iran. . . .
In a video clip aired Tuesday by Israeli television, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu boasted that Israel was responsible for US President Donald Trump’s decision to quit the Iran nuclear deal.
In the video, which the Kan public broadcaster said was filmed two weeks ago, Netanyahu can be seen speaking to activists and senior members from his Likud party.
“We convinced the US president [to exit the deal] and I had to stand up against the whole world and come out against this agreement,” Netanyahu says in the video. “And we didn’t give up.”
The prime minister then begins to speak about the Iranian regime — “not the Iranian people, I have nothing against them” — before he is interrupted by an unidentified person off-screen who says, “It will disappear with the help of God.”
The chief of Iran’s nuclear agency said on Wednesday that his country’s effort to acquire uranium has resulted in a stockpile of as much as 950 tons.
Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, told state TV that Iran had imported some 400 tons of uranium since the landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Western powers, bringing its stockpile to between 900 and 950 tons — up from 500 tons.
Salehi said that would be enough of the material for Iran to reach its longtime goal of running 190,000 centrifuge machines for enriching uranium in the future.
Salehi also said that the country has constructed a new factory to build rotor blades for centrifuges, with a capacity to manufacture rotors for up to 60 IR-6 centrifuges per day, Reuters reported.
Salehi insisted that the factory did not break the terms of the nuclear agreement.
“Instead of building this factory in the next seven or eight years, we built it during the negotiations but did not start it,” Salehi said, according to Reuters.
“Of course, the [Supreme Leader] was completely informed and we gave him the necessary information at the time. And now that he has given the order this factory has started all of its work.”
Iran has filed a suit against the United States alleging that Washington’s decision in May to impose sanctions after pulling out of a nuclear deal violates a 1955 treaty between the two countries, the International Court of Justice said on Tuesday.
President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the 2015 nuclear pact with Iran reached by his predecessor Barack Obama and other world powers, and ordered tough US sanctions on Tehran. Under the 2015 deal, which Trump sees as flawed, Iran reined in its disputed nuclear program under UN monitoring and won a removal of international sanctions in return.
The ICJ, also known as the World Court, is the United Nations tribunal for resolving international disputes. Iran’s filing asks the ICJ to order the United States to provisionally lift its sanctions ahead of more detailed arguments.
“Iran is committed to the rule of law in the face of US contempt for diplomacy and legal obligations,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a statement on Monday with respect to Tehran’s lawsuit at the ICJ.
Iran is a threat to the middle east and to the entire world
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