PMW: PA tries to increase hatred regarding Jerusalem
With Palestinian-Israeli tensions over Jerusalem’s Old City and the Temple Mount still simmering, the Palestinian Authority has chosen to intensify Palestinian anger and hate by repeating one of its most dangerous libels – that “senior Jews of high position” planned the arson of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in 1969. In a documentary broadcast on PA TV, it was presented as fact that not only did Jews plan the arson of the Mosque but also that after the fire started Israel shut off the water supply, preventing fire fighters from efficiently putting out the fire.
The following is some of the narration from the documentary:
“From investigations conducted by the Islamic Council it became clear that there was more than one perpetrator [of the Al-Aqsa Mosque arson in 1969] and that the fire was planned by senior Jews of high position, especially since the roof can only be reached from a wooden spiral staircase located outside the Al-Aqsa building. This proves that careful, premeditated measures were taken to completely destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The proof is that the occupation authorities were slow to extinguish [the fire] and that the water supply to the Sanctuary (i.e., the Temple Mount) had been cut off during those hours.” [Official PA TV, Aug. 21, 2017]
The 1969 fire in the Mosque was started by a Christian Australian man, who was arrested immediately afterward and found to be mentally unstable.
PA TV’s decision to broadcast this Al-Aqsa libel now, follows its ongoing attempts to keep Palestinian hatred of Israel simmering over the Temple Mount issue. Last month the Palestinian Authority Minister of Religious Affairs told Palestinian viewers on television that Israel was planning to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque:
US President Donald Trump’s administration is urging the United Nations not to publish what it calls a “blacklist” of international firms that do business in Israeli settlements on land claimed by the Palestinians for a future state, diplomats and others said, the Washington Post reported on Monday.
The UN Human Rights Council voted to approve the database of companies last year, over objections from the United States and Israel, which describe the list as a prelude to anti-Israel boycotts.
American companies on the list drawn up by the Geneva-based council include Caterpillar, TripAdvisor, Priceline.com, Airbnb and others, according to people familiar with it. It is not clear whether the list has been finalized.
Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN high commissioner for human rights, has told US officials he plans to publish the list by the end of the year and has asked for comments by Sept. 1 from countries where affected firms are headquartered, diplomats said.
“The United States has been adamantly opposed to this … from the start” and has fought against it before several UN bodies, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said. “These types of resolutions are counterproductive and do nothing to advance Israeli-Palestinian issues.”
The United States joined Israel in unsuccessfully opposing UN funding for work related to the database, Nauert said.
Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, reacted harshly to reports on the names of companies on a ‘blacklist’ of businesses being complied by the UN Human Rights Council. The full list of companies operating in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights is set to be published at the end of the year.
The UN General Assembly voted to fund the compilation of the blacklist in December, 2016.
“This shameful step is an expression of modern anti-Semitism and reminds us of dark periods in history. Instead of focusing on the terrible humanitarian problems plaguing the globe, the Human Rights Commissioner is seeking to harm Israel, and in doing so has become the world’s most senior BDS activist. I call on the UN, and the international community as a whole, to halt this dangerous policy and put an end to this anti-Israel initiative,” Danon said.
I have given dozens of UN ambassadors tours of Israel’s border with Lebanon, where IDF officers identified Hizbullah positions along the border. Our guests asked where the UN Interim Force in Lebanon was, and why nothing was being done to stop Hizbullah terrorists from blatantly violating numerous Security Council resolutions. Our answer was that the UNIFIL force is there, but they are not effectively fulfilling their mandate.
In 2006, UNIFIL was charged with ensuring that the territory south of the Litani River remained free of weapons and fighters other than the Lebanese army. When UNIFIL’s mandate comes before the Security Council later this month, there are practical steps that can be taken to ensure that this important UN force succeeds and another conflict with Hizbullah is avoided.
UNIFIL must meticulously inspect the towns and villages of southern Lebanon. Hizbullah strongholds must be dismantled, and other villages must be kept free of rockets and weapons aimed at Israeli population centers.
UNIFIL forces also must insist on unlimited access to all suspicious installations under their mandate. As a report by the UN secretary-general recently noted, UNIFIL is regularly obstructed in southern Lebanon.
No one wants UNIFIL to succeed more than Israel does. With Hamas rearming in Gaza and Islamic State increasing its strength along our frontier with Syria, we seek calm and stability on our northern border.
To achieve this, the Security Council must step up its efforts to ensure that UNIFIL’s renewed mandate fulfills the goals outlined above.
Israel’s Communications Ministry pays out some 100,000 shekels a year to Israel Social TV, a nongovernmental organization that broadcasts programs through satellite and on the internet, and which has expressed support for the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, Israel Hayom recently discovered.
In 2015, for example, the Communications Ministry paid 99,050 shekels ($27,350) to the NGO, classified as a “public benefit company.” In 2016, that amount increased to 121,000 shekels ($33,400).
Moreover, it was decided two years ago that the organization would not be included in the national service program, making it ineligible for national service volunteers (who volunteer in various capacities in lieu of mandatory military service). But Israel Hayom investigated this and discovered that Social TV is still allocated two volunteer slots each year.
According to NGO Monitor, the group’s advisory public council includes Professor Noam Chomsky, who has been very vocal against Israel’s policies and has called Israel an “apartheid state”; human rights attorney Dr. Michael Sfard, who represents several radical Israeli organizations; Naomi Chazan, a former Meretz MK and former president of the left-wing New Israel Fund; and Dalia Baum, the founder of Who Profits?, an organization that supports a boycott of “the occupation.”
Responding to the recent terrorist attacks in Spain, Ed Husain—a former radical Islamist—assails the Western tendency toward self-flagellation and points to the true motives behind the violence.
Consider the facts on Spain: on March 11, 2004, al-Qaeda terrorists killed 192 and injured 2,000 on trains in Madrid. Spain had 1,300 troops in Iraq at the time (America had 135,000 and Britain 8,700). Three days after the bombing, Prime Minister José Maria Aznar lost the general election to a left-wing party committed to ending Spain’s involvement in Iraq. On April 18, 2004, the new prime minister ordered the withdrawal of Spain’s troops. Scarred by the Madrid bombing, fearful of reprisals after the terrorist attacks in France, in November 2015 the Spanish government refused to join a global coalition against Islamic State. So what did Spain do wrong?
We are asking the wrong questions. Spain’s foreign policy shows that we cannot stop terrorism by changing our behavior. In the mind of the Muslim extremists, Spain is not Spain, but al-Andalus, part of a Muslim empire that lasted in Spain for 700 years. Today’s Spain is considered to be “occupied land” that must be liberated. . . .
We have to be honest. Across the West we now have 30-million Muslims who are Westerners. There is no war against Islam. The freedom of Muslims to worship and live proves that the old, imperialist paradigms of Islamic State’s Dar al-Harb [the “abode of war” to be invaded by the caliphate] and Dar al-Islam [the “abode of Islam”] are outdated. Most Muslims are quietly thriving in business, politics, media, sports, and more. In Britain, Mishal Husain’s voice wakes us up on the Today program. Nadiya Hussain of The Great British Bake Off prepares cake for the queen. [The distance runner] Mo Farah reinstates British sporting pride. The list goes on. But there is a dark, sinister movement growing, too. . . .
Enough of blaming the West. . . . Muslims must reject the idea that we need a caliphate. Unless we discard the drive for a Muslim super-state, many more will be killed in pursuit of it.
TERROR experts today blasted Channel 4 for airing a drama about ISIS described as a “recruiting sergeant” for the extremist group.
Viewers told of their disgust at the content of The State, which tells the story of a group of British Muslims fleeing to Syria to fight for ISIS.
In the programme, characters describe life in ISIS as “super-cool” and dismiss Britain as a “dump”.
The first episode was broadcast last night, with three more going out this week – just days after the latest ISIS atrocity in Barcelona.
The former commander of British forces in Afghanistan warned that the series would encourage more young Brits to sign up to Islamic State.
Colonel Richard Kemp told The Sun that the programme was the jihadist equivalent of inspiring war epics such as Band of Brothers or Dunkirk.
The drama follows British Muslims who flee to Syria and fight for ISIS
He said: “It supports our enemies’ cause quite well.
“You have a moral responsiblity not to do anything that would encourage it.”
The respected ex-soldier said potential ISIS recruits would be attracted by scenes which show Brit fighters “learning their skills, bonding, having a good time in the pool and so on”.
And he also expressed concern that forthcoming episodes – which will feature brutal violence – will draw more young Muslims to the ISIS cause.
Col Kemp said: “It’s quite likely they will serve as a recruiting sergeant for Islamic State.”
Europe bleeds again as terrorists in Spain plowed their vehicles into crowds of pedestrians in tourist areas in Barcelona and Cambrils. The men killed 14 people and injured more than 100.
Spanish police are currently investigating a local imam for possibly having radicalized the terrorists. The imam had apparently been preaching at a mosque in the town of Ripoll for two years, but stopped just a few months ago. The question has arisen if the mosque administration may have found out something about the imam and fired him, but never bothered to report the information to the local police and to clear the mosque of blame.
The day after the attacks in Spain, two people in Finland were hacked to death in another Islamist terrorist attack, leaving some eight injured.
We hear yet again the promises to root out the terrorism, with a warning from security agencies that they cannot stop each and every terrorist attack — words that translate into the admission that terror has gone beyond the control of European governments.
Yes, there were candlelight vigils for the victims; flags of Spain and Finland on social media profiles; there might even be a “Je Suis Barcelona” campaign — and then the long silence as if we are all in a loop, waiting for another terrorist attack..
We have seen — and these are just the recent ones — Islamist-inspired attacks in London, Manchester, Paris, Brussels, Nice, Berlin and Stockholm, all of the violence leaving scores of women, children and men dead, and even more injured and possibly disabled for life.
It does not take much common sense to understand that individuals cannot commit mass murder without any training, support and most importantly, indoctrination.
Many of Catalonia’s problems with radical Islam are self-inflicted. In an effort to promote Catalan nationalism and the Catalan language, Catalonian pro-independence parties have deliberately promoted immigration from Arabic-speaking Muslim countries for more than three decades, in the belief that these immigrants (unlike those from Latin America) would learn the Catalan language rather than speak Spanish.
Although some Catalans are having second thoughts about the wisdom of promoting Muslim mass immigration as a strategy to achieve Catalan independence, at least 10,000 Catalans with links to the separatist movement have actually converted to Islam in recent years.
It is believed that two out of every ten Catalan radicals who belong to the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC), a far-left political party, are converts to Islam. The ERC, which now governs Catalonia, has vehemently refused to sign a cooperation agreement with the central government in Madrid to fight jihadist terrorism.
A dead Moroccan imam has become a key target of the probe into Spain’s twin terror attacks, suspected of having created the cell in a picturesque town near the Spanish Pyrenees that allegedly launched the deadly assaults last week.
Those who knew him described Abdelbaki Es Satty as a discreet and religious man, who had recently asked for a holiday from the mosque he was preaching in, apparently to return to Morocco for personal business.
But in fact, he was among those blown up in an accidental explosion Wednesday in the house where the suspected attackers were believed to be building bombs, police confirmed on Monday.
The blast likely changed the plans of the attackers, who instead used vehicles to smash into pedestrians on Barcelona’s busy Las Ramblas boulevard and in the seaside resort town of Cambrils.
“On Tuesday morning, he left saying he was going on vacation to Morocco,” said fruit-seller Nordeen El Haji, 45, who four months ago moved into the apartment that Satty occupied in Ripoll.
Harking back to ‘al-Andalus’ in the Middle Ages
Experts are still trying to understand why the IS group decided to target Spain. Although a staunch NATO member, Spain has not played a major role in the international coalition against the jihadist group in Syria and Iraq. Neither has the country been the source of many foreign fighters headed for the IS group battlefields in the Levant.
“We can assume that Madrid is paying the price for its involvement in the [anti-IS group] coalition, like France, Germany or Great Britain,” said Conesa, although he conceded that “this country is much less involved than the main Western powers “. The Spanish government has deployed troops in Iraq to participate solely in a mission to train Iraqi troops.
But attacking Spain has symbolic weight for IS group sympathisers. “There’s a bunch of evidence in recent years, in the IS group and other radical Islamist propaganda, which castigated Spain by recalling that part of its territory was Muslim for several centuries,” explained Alexandre Vautravers of the University of Geneva’s Global Studies Institute.
Indeed, in its propaganda messages, the jihadist group often cites the Islamic past of Andalusia – or al-Andalus in Arabic — during the Middle Ages, and its willingness to incorporate it into its self-proclaimed caliphate.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas surprised participants of an Aug. 20 meeting at his Ramallah headquarters with members of the left-wing Israeli Meretz Party when he launched a broadside attack on the Trump administration just days ahead of a planned visit to the region by Trump’s top envoys, Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt. Abbas said he had met with the American representatives 20 times since Trump took office in January, but he was no closer to understanding what Israeli-Palestinian peace plan they have in mind. “Each time they reiterate their commitment to a two-state solution and the stop to settlement building. I urge them to tell [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu that, but they refrain,” he said.
The Israelis were not the only ones taken aback by Abbas’ remarks. Senior Palestinian officials present at the meeting were, too. The Palestinian Authority (PA) has, after all, trod wearily with the Americans until recently in an effort to achieve legitimacy in the eyes of the new administration. Abbas set up a top-level team, including experts on US politics, in a bid to decipher the nature of the new president and the best way to approach him. The group even scored some points: Trump rolled back his election campaign commitment to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and even hosted Abbas last May at the White House less than four months after moving in. But since then, the Palestinians are under the impression that the Trump administration is not interested in getting entangled in the complex task of restarting the moribund Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, which have been the undoing of many previous administrations that were far more focused. “I don’t understand their conduct toward us, as inside his country the administration is in chaos,” the Palestinian president was quoted as saying.
Al-Monitor has learned that Abbas’ remarks to the Meretz delegation were only the prelude to far harsher talking points he has prepared for his Aug. 24 meeting with the Trump envoys. A senior Palestinian source who spoke on condition of anonymity said a decision had been reached after lengthy negotiations at top PA levels, including consultations with its team of Trump experts, to present Kushner and Greenblatt with a clear ultimatum: Unless progress is made within 45 days on launching talks with the Israelis, the Palestinians will consider themselves no longer committed to the US channel and will turn to an alternative plan on which they have been working for the past two years.
Israeli government officials have expressed “grave concern” after a high-level defense delegation from the Jewish state met with US officials in Washington, DC, last week and failed to secure commitments regarding the situation in Syria and Lebanon.
The delegation, headed by Mossad intelligence agency Director Yossi Cohen, reportedly met with US National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell, President Donald Trump’s international negotiations representative Jason Greenblatt and others.
Israeli intelligence officials said they presented the US officials with “sensitive, credible and highly disturbing intelligence information” detailing Iran’s expanding military presence in Syria, including documents and photographs, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.
The US officials, however, purportedly did not commit to preventing the spread of Iranian influence in Syria. Delegation members noted “a kind of embarrassment and lack of a clear position” among Trump administration officials regarding America’s commitments in Syria and the Middle East.
There is “grave concern” in Israel after a delegation of high ranking Israeli defense officials sent to Washington was not able to secure a commitment from the Americans to ensure any agreement to end the war in Syria would include the evacuation of Iranian military forces from the country.
During its visit to the American capital, the Israeli delegation met with the heads of the US intelligence community, National Security Council officials and President Donald Trump’s envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt.
Among the delegation’s members were Mossad Director Yossi Cohen, Military Intelligence Directorate (MID) Chief Maj. Gen. Herzi Halevi, head of the Political-Military Affairs Bureau in the Defense Ministry Zohar Palti (former chief of intelligence for the Mossad), Israel’s Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer and Deputy National Security Advisor Eitan Ben-David.
Israeli intelligence officials said the delegation “presented sensitive, credible and highly disturbing intelligence information,” backed by documents and photographs, which showed the ever-growing spread of Iranian influence in Syria.
The US and Russia are currently working to formulate an agreement to bring an end to fighting in Syria. Thanks to Russian and American understandings vis-à-vis military coordination between them, there has been a decline in the fighting in Syria since May. Israeli intelligence agencies documented a significant drop both in fighting and in the number of casualties, while jihadist groups such as ISIS and the Nusra Front appear to be weakening. This situation, Israeli intelligence officials explain, implies there is a strong chance that world powers may reach a final-status agreement.
The Israeli defense officials’ talks with their American counterparts were described as detailed and professional, while the atmosphere was described as friendly (Greenblatt posted a photo of the participants, without ties or jackets, eating dinner at the home of US National Security Advisor Herbert Raymond McMaster.)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin this week for the first time since the Russia-US deal on a ceasefire in southwestern Syria was announced in July — but Jerusalem should not expect any concessions from Moscow over Iran’s growing military presence in Syria, a leading expert on Russian policy toward the Middle East said on Monday.
“Putin is not going to say anything that’s going to surprise Russia analysts,” Anna Borshchevskaya — the Ira Weiner Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy think tank — told The Algemeiner.
Netanyahu arrives in the Russian resort city of Sochi on Wednesday with the issue of Iran’s footprint in Syria uppermost in his mind.
Announced on July 7 following the first encounter in person between Putin and US President Donald Trump, the exact details of the Syria ceasefire deal have remained sketchy. While both leaders said that concerns about the potential spillover of the Syrian war had been taken into account, Israel is known to be deeply concerned that the so-called “de-escalation zones” in Syria — created under a separate agreement between Russia, Turkey and Iran, without US involvement — will provide a major opportunity for Iran and its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah to continue establishing weapons factories, command posts, missile launch sites and other threats that directly endanger Israel. These worries led Netanyahu to publicly reject the deal, as other influential Israelis warned that Jerusalem would not hesitate to militarily destroy Iranian and Hezbollah assets in Syria should the imperative arise.
The good doctor’s latest contribution concerns the campaign against ISIS. Kissinger warns that destroying ISIS could lead to an “Iranian radical empire”.
In other words, we must leave ISIS, which is a clear and active threat to large chunks of the Middle East and Europe, intact, for fear of seeing it replaced by an arguably bigger threat represented by a “radical Iranian empire.”
As usual, there are many problems with Kissinger’s attempt at using medieval European concepts to analyze situations in other parts of the world.
To start with, he seems to think that the Khomeinist regime in Tehran and the so-called ISIS “caliphate” in Raqqa belong to two different categories. The truth, however, is that they are two versions of the same ugly reality, peddling the same ideology, using the same methods, and helping bestow legitimacy on one another.
What is the difference between Ayatollah Ali Khamenei claiming “supreme leadership of all Muslims throughout the world” as “Imam” and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s similar claim as “Caliph”? And aren’t both regimes claiming to have the only true version of Islam with a mission to conquer the entire world in its name? One may even argue that without Khomeinism in Iran, there would not have been ISIS and ISIS-like groups, not to mention the Taliban, in our part of the world — at least at this time.
That ISIS and the Khomeinist regime feed on each other is also illustrated by Tehran’s current line of propaganda, which is telling the Iranians they must tolerate brutal oppression as the price for protection against ISIS.
Kissinger’s second error is to think that it’s not possible to fight against two versions of evil without favoring one.
Two North Korean shipments to a Syrian government agency responsible for the country’s chemical weapons program were intercepted in the past six months, according to a confidential United Nations report on North Korea sanctions violations.
The report by a panel of independent UN experts, which was submitted to the UN Security Council earlier this month and seen by Reuters on Monday, gave no details on when or where the interdictions occurred or what the shipments contained.
“The panel is investigating reported prohibited chemical, ballistic missile and conventional arms cooperation between Syria and the DPRK (North Korea),” the experts wrote in the 37-page report.
“Two member states interdicted shipments destined for Syria. Another Member state informed the panel that it had reasons to believe that the goods were part of a KOMID contract with Syria,” according to the report.
KOMID is the Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation. It was blacklisted by the Security Council in 2009 and described as Pyongyang’s key arms dealer and exporter of equipment related to ballistic missiles and conventional weapons. In March 2016 the council also blacklisted two KOMID representatives in Syria.
“The consignees were Syrian entities designated by the European Union and the United States as front companies for Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Centre (SSRC), a Syrian entity identified by the Panel as cooperating with KOMID in previous prohibited item transfers,” the UN experts wrote.
SSRC has overseen the country’s chemical weapons program since the 1970s.
South Africa has recently been attempting to impede the development and strengthening of ties between Israel and other nations on the African continent.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has made strengthening Israel’s ties with Africa a priority with the stated goal of breaking the automatic anti-Israel majority at the UN.
A senior South African diplomat said today that his country would boycott a planned summit in two months in Togo because it was “designed to normalize the relations between the African countries and a country whose sole concern is the occupation of another people.”
He added that Israel “behaves in a shocking manner when it maintains a blockade of the Gaza Strip and causes great suffering to the Palestinian population.”
The official said that South Africa would call on other countries to hold a dialogue on the need to boycott Israel and not strengthen relations with the Jewish State. “We can not turn a blind eye to the Israeli efforts to enlist support from Africa and elsewhere in order to undermine the Palestinian cause.”
The organizers of the Africa- Israel summit scheduled for the end of October in Lomé, Togo, have not received official word from Pretoria that South Africa will be boycotting the summit, despite remarks to the contrary made last week by that country’s ambassador to Lebanon and Syria.
Nevertheless, there is no expectation at all that South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma would attend the conference, as South Africa has emerged as one of the leading forces in sub-Saharan Africa working against Israeli efforts to make inroads on the continent. For instance, it was South Africa, according to Israeli diplomatic officials, which has blocked for years Israel’s acceptance as an observer to the African Union.
The South African newspaper The Citizen last week quoted Sean Benfeldt, the country’s ambassador to Lebanon and Syria as telling a delegation of the Popular Conference of Palestinians Abroad that Pretoria will not take part in the event which he described as a step to normalize relations between Africa and an “occupation state.”
According to the report, “the South African ambassador highlighted what he believed was Israel’s inhumane blockade of the Gaza Strip, stressing the need for practical solutions to the humanitarian suffering of the population in the besieged territory. Benfeldt also adopted the delegation’s proposal to invite ambassadors of African countries in Lebanon to a special meeting soon to talk about the summit with Israel and the need to boycott it.”
Al Jazeera reported last week that in addition to South Africa, several other African countries – including Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Mauritania – have decided to boycott the summit.
Israeli troops arrested a Hebron man in possession of an M-4 assault rifle as he was apparently trying to smuggle it into Israel from the southern West Bank on Monday night, officials said.
According to police, the suspect, a Jordanian national living in Hebron, drove through a barricade that had been set up in the southern Hebron Hills in light of intelligence gathered by detectives.
As he sped away, police officers gave chase in their car. The man, 30, abandoned his vehicle and took off on foot, with the detectives in pursuit.
He was arrested near the area of Tel Arad in the southern Hebron Hills, police said.
Inside the car, the detectives found the M-4 assault rifle with a fully loaded magazine. In his interrogation, the suspect said he was paid NIS 500 ($140) to drive the car into Israel. According to police, the man knew a gun was inside the vehicle.
Footage of the arrest was captured by a soldier from the Combat Intelligence Corps who was monitoring the scene through a surveillance camera, the army said.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Eclipse Distraction So Successful, Mossad Plans More (satire)
Israeli secret intelligence officials enjoyed such success with the operation to distract Earth’s population from their nefarious doings by blocking the sun with the moon that more such events are planned.
A source within the Mossad told PreOccupied Territory today (Monday) that the extent to which the day’s solar eclipse diverted attention from the organization’s efforts to cement control over the world’s governments, economy, and media proved effective far beyond organizers had predicted, and the Mossad’s Deputy Director for Operations has ordered three such eclipses in 2018 and 2019, plus two each year afterwards until 2028.
Department heads congratulated one another on a task well done, with special recognition reserved for the Outer Space Operations Division, which has seen some the Mossad’s most daring successes in recent decades. Today’s coup comes on the heels of the lunar eclipse two weeks ago, which concealed a mass movement of alien vessels away from Earth following a mind-control-technology exchange.
“We’re chuffed to bits,” gushed a section chief in uncharacteristic exuberance. “We haven’t had a string of uninterrupted successes like this since at least the First Gulf War, perhaps even 1967. Of course nothing can compare to the sense of accomplishment had by those who contributed to the Seven Years’ War of the eighteenth century – the first world war, in a sense – but only a handful of operatives are still around who had a hand in that, since longevity pills were discontinued in 1917.”
Four years ago, when 29-year-old Alaa Sayej was setting up a brewery in his hometown of Birzeit, north of Ramallah, he encountered a problem he didn’t foresee: Palestinian authorities insisted his logo looked too much like Jesus.
Officials from the Palestinian Authority found the image of a staff-holding shepherd dressed in somewhat biblical garb, surrounded by olive branches, hops, and barley too troublesome for the market. Look a little more closely and you can see a single star above the shepherd — a not-so-subtle allusion to the stars that guided shepherds to baby Jesus’s birthplace in Bethlehem, according to the biblical account.
“If they knew anything about religion, they would have known that Jesus would have been a baby in this image. Do you see a baby,” said Sayej, who learned to love beer while working as a banker in London.
“He looks more like Moses with the staff,” Sayej laughed. After convincing the Palestinian authorities the figure was not Jesus, his biggest challenge actually came from the Israeli border control, that held up imports of machinery and supplies from Europe, he said.
The brewery began selling beer in 2015. The issues with the Palestinian Authority and Israel have been smoothed over, and Sayej’s beer is sold across the Palestinian territories, in Israel, Italy and Chile, the last being home to a large Palestinian diaspora.
Between Saturday and Sunday, some 7,000-8,000 Palestinians and tourists showed their love for the beer by traveling to the edge of a little village at the far eastern end of Bethlehem called Beit Sahour for the second annual Shepherds Beer Festival.
Hamas security forces arrested over 170 Islamic State-inspired jihadists last week, senior Gaza-based jihadist Abou Baker al-Maqdesi told Breitbart Jerusalem.
According to al-Maqdesi, who is aligned with IS ideology, the Salafi jihadists were arrested on Sunday morning in the wake of the explosion last week on the border between Egypt and Gaza in which a Hamas security officer was killed while detaining a jihadist who was trying to infiltrate the Sinai Peninsula.
The incident occurred early Thursday morning when a Salafi blew himself up next to Hamas security personnel after being stopped at a checkpoint along with another jihadist. The two planned to infiltrate Sinai but were caught by surprise by Hamas security personnel. During the ensuing security check, the Salafi triggered his explosives, killing one of the Hamas members.
Hamas immediately embarked on a wide-ranging wave of arrests, al-Maqdesi stated, resulting in the detention of over 170 individuals. He also said that Hamas raided the homes of dozens more. According to al-Maqdesi, Hamas members were among those arrested, suspected of supporting the Islamic State and the organization’s ideology.
Hamas’s Terror Summer Camp
The Hezbollah terrorist organization announced that it had attacked two positions belonging to rival terrorist organization ISIS Monday afternoon.
The Shiite terrorist organization coordinated its attack with the Lebanese army. The battle took place on ISIS-controlled territory along the Syrian-Lebanese border.
According to Hezbollah, the Lebanese army succeeded in taking two-thirds of the territory held held ISIS along the border. 15 ISIS terrorists and three Lebanese soldiers were reportedly killed in the fighting.
Hezbollah’s military wing announced that it had used unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) during Monday’s operation and published video showing the drone strikes. This is not the first time Hezbollah drones have been seen in Syria.
Hezbollah is believed to possess hundreds of UAVs.
Much has been written about Syria’s civil war — but sadly the mounting death and destruction there has long since become mere statistics. The international community has grown comfortably numb to the horror, and the external players — especially Russia and Iran — have been nurturing their vested interests by prolonging the deadly conflict.
What happened to the sentiment of “never again” that was universally embraced in the wake of World War II to prevent calamities such as this from occurring? How low will the moral bar of the international community sink before we awake to the unfolding catastrophe in Syria?
How many more men, women and children must die, and how much ruin can the country further sustain before we act to stop this madness that seems to infect every party involved?
“Crimes against humanity” has become a mere slogan. The international community has assumed no responsibility, and discharged their moral culpability while the blood of innocent Syrian people continues to stream, marring what’s left of our collective conscience.
Former U.N. chief weapons inspector Ake Sellstrom, who is now chief scientist for the U.N.-OPCW mission, said it is critical that perpetrators of chemical attacks are put on trial to deter future use of weapons of mass destruction. His team should be reporting back to the U.N. by mid-October, he said.
A key unsolved question is what happened to the 2,000 aerial bombs that Syria said it had converted to conventional weapons, a process that would be costly and time-consuming.
“To my knowledge, the Syrian government never furnished any details of where, when and how they changed the bombs’ payload,” said an OPCW-U.N. source, who took part in investigations in 2015-2016. He said there clearly was “a real, high-level, command structure behind this.”
Syrian officials did not respond to requests for comment about the bombs.
The team is also examining the deaths of almost 100 people on April 4 when a gas attack hit Khan Sheikhoun, a town in the rebel-held province of Idlib near the Turkish border. Samples taken from people exposed to the chemicals and tested by the OPCW confirmed sarin use. Meqdad, Syria’s deputy foreign minister, said in the interview that Syrian forces were not to blame, repeating earlier denials by Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem.
Sellstrom said the presence of sarin so long after Syria was supposed to have dismantled its chemical weapons program posed difficult questions. “Is there a hideout somewhere, or is there production somewhere and how much is available?” he said, adding that the reported use of aerial bombs in Khan Sheikhoun could point to the Syrian forces keeping some strategic weapons as well.
The attack means either “that someone can produce sarin today, or sarin has been hidden,” Sellstrom said.
One of US President Donald Trump’s most longstanding conservative critics, Bret Stephens of The New York Times, recently challenged pro-Israel conservatives on why they still support the president.
“The president’s Jewish supporters are left to wonder why the Iran deal remains in force… Bashar al-Assad is stronger than ever, [and] the Israeli government is outraged by the deals the administration has cut with Russia at Israel’s strategic expense.”
While America, the media, and the world have completely focused on the presidential melodrama, America has taken its eye off potentially more consequential issues in the Middle East affecting national security interests for years to come. First among the essential decisions coming due is on Iran.
Will Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and Secretary of Defense James Mattis convince President Trump, for the third time, to recertify Iranian compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in October, despite evidence of serious violations? Only UN Ambassador Nikki Haley seems inclined to oppose recertification, but she is not in the inner circle.
As Ambassador Eric Edelman and Gen. (ret.) Charles Wald, former deputy commander of US European Command, wrote in Politico, abiding by the JCPOA “will only enable a nuclear and hegemonic Iran. It provides Tehran significant financial, military and geopolitical benefits… in exchange for minimal, reversible and temporary concessions on its nuclear program… the JCPOA puts Iran on track to become as intractable a challenge as North Korea is today.”
In order to understand Iran’s nuclear weapons program, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) needs full access to Iran’s Parchin military installation, two experts on nuclear weapons wrote in a report published Monday.
David Albright, a former weapons inspector and current president of the Institute for Science and International Security, Olli Heinonen, former IAEA Deputy Director, and three others wrote in a report that the IAEA has inadequate means to investigate possible Iranian violations of the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
According to the report, the problem is that the arrangement made for investigating Parchin, a military site where Iran is believed to have conducted nuclear weapons research, “established inadequate rules for on-the-ground investigation and environmental sampling about alleged nuclear weapons-related high explosive work at this Parchin site.”
The IAEA discovered two particles of uranium in its investigation of Parchin. The Obama administration later acknowledged this was likely an indication of an Iranian nuclear weapons program, which, according to the report “should have been a ‘red-flag’ necessitating further follow-up investigation.”
Iran’s atomic chief warned Tuesday the Islamic Republic needs only five days to ramp up its uranium enrichment to 20 percent, a level at which the material could be used for a nuclear weapon.
The comments by Ali Akbar Salehi to Iranian state television come as US President Donald Trump repeatedly has threatened to renegotiate or walk away from the 2015 nuclear deal.
Salehi’s warning, along with recent comments by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, show Iran is willing to push back against Trump while still acknowledging they want to keep the deal, which lifted crippling economic sanctions on the country.
“If there is a plan for a reaction and a challenge, we will definitely surprise them,” said Salehi, who also serves as one of Rouhani’s vice presidents. “If we make the determination, we are able to resume 20 percent-enrichment in at most five days.”
We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.