In surprise move, Nikki Haley resigns as US ambassador to UN
UN Ambassador Nikki Haley is tendering her resignation, marking the latest shake-up in the turbulent Trump administration just weeks before the midterm election.
US President Donald Trump met with Haley at the Oval Office in front of news cameras shortly after reports of her resignation Tuesday, saying the departure had been planned for several months.
Trump said she would leave at the end of the year.
He called Haley a “very special” person, adding that she told him six months ago that she might want to take some time off. Trump said that together, they had “solved a lot of problems.”
Speaking after Trump, Haley said serving as ambassador to the UN has “been an honor of a lifetime.”
She cited pushing back against the anti-Israel bias at the UN as one of the key accomplishments of her tenure. She praised Trump for moving the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
Haley also pointed to her work with Jared Kushner, Trump’s special adviser and son-in-law, on the Trump administration’s Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.
“Looking at what we’ve done on the Middle East peace plan. It is so unbelievably well done,” she said. “Jared is such a hidden genius that no one understands.”
Haley said she had no plans to run for the White House in 2020.
The Israeli mission to the United Nations responded Tuesday to the decision by US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley to step down from her position, lauding her work in the international body since assuming office in January 2017.
“Thank you, Nikki Haley,” Israeli ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said in a statement Tuesday.
“Thank you for standing with the truth without fear. Thank you for representing the values common to Israel and the United States.”
Danon praised Haley for her efforts in the UN to challenge anti-Israel bias and work to block resolutions targeting the Jewish state.
“Thank you for your support for the State of Israel, which helped lead to a change in Israel’s status in the UN. Thank you for your close friendship and common paths. Wherever you are, you will continue to be a true friend of the State of Israel.”
I am sad to learn that Ambassador Nikki Haley is resigning. Facing an assembly of dictatorships and their apologists, history will record that she stood up for truth, fairness and human rights, and that she did so with courage, eloquence and grace. I will miss her. pic.twitter.com/fwa6FwNAyk
— Hillel Neuer (@HillelNeuer) October 9, 2018
Khaled Abu Toameh: How Iran Plans to Take Gaza
If anyone was hoping that removing Hamas from power in the Gaza Strip would improve the situation there and boost the chances of peace between Palestinians and Israel, they are in for a big disappointment. Hamas, which violently seized control over the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2007, is not the only terrorist group in the coastal enclave, home to some two million Palestinians.
In addition to Hamas, these are several other Palestinian terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip.
The second-largest group after Hamas is Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), which has thousands of supporters and militiamen. If and when Hamas is ever removed from power, PIJ has the strongest chance of stepping in to fill the vacuum.
You remove Hamas from power, you will most likely end up having to deal with PIJ – not a more moderate group. While Hamas could only be considered “good,” in some alternate reality, its replacement would not be any better. Islamist fundamentalism is enshrined in the hearts and minds of tens of thousands of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
The two Islamist groups — Hamas and PIJ — are like two peas in a pod. The two do not recognize Israel’s right to exist and continue to call for an armed struggle to “liberate all Palestine,” from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.
Like Hamas, the Iranian-funded PIJ also has an armed wing, called Saraya Al-Quds (Jerusalem Brigades). Founded in 1981 by PIJ leaders Fathi Shaqaqi and Abed Al-Aziz Awda in the Gaza Strip, the Jerusalem Brigades is responsible for hundreds of terrorist attacks against Israel, including suicide bombings. In recent years, the group has also been launching rockets and mortars at Israel.
On Sept. 15, a 45-year-old American-Israeli man was walking into a mall in Efrat, Israel, frequented by Palestinians and Israelis alike. What is normally a place of everyday coexistence became a scene of terror: A Palestinian attacker stabbed the man, Ari Fuld, in the back. Mortally wounded but armed, Fuld used his last seconds to shoot his attacker before more shoppers could be harmed. Fuld’s funeral, per Jewish custom, took place the next day.
Per Palestinian custom, the terrorist, who survived, will receive cash payments for the rest of his life, as will his family. This custom is enshrined in detailed laws adopted and administered by the Palestinian Authority, accounting for an astonishing $370 million, benefiting 36,000 recipients. The PA’s terror budget increases every year as more attackers and their families are added to the rolls. Already, a PA official confirmed to the Times of Israel that the terrorist’s family would soon begin receiving monthly payments: “We are not bashful or secretive about our support for our prisoners,” he said.
The PA’s pay-for-slay program is why the U.S. Congress passed the Taylor Force Act this year, and part of why the Trump administration closed the PLO office in Washington and cut aid to organizations, including UNRWA and programs administered by USAID, that support the Authority. Since money is fungible, every dollar of western aid is one more dollar the PA can spend rewarding terrorists and their families.
For doing this, the administration has been harshly criticized by devotees of the peace process. Cutting aid, they claim, is rash and undeserved, will reduce U.S. leverage, and will empower Palestinians who say the PA shouldn’t even pretend to seek peace with Israel.
Palestinian terrorist murdered 2 and injured 1 at factory where Palestinians and Israelis work together
Fatah: “The Israeli government… is incapable of protecting anyone that steals the Palestinian land,” implying Israeli guilt in the murder
Fatah: “Israel… uses terror and murder…”
4 days before the murders, Fatah glorified another murderer, Muhannad Halabi, who killed 2 in Jerusalem, as “heroic Martyr”
Murderer grew up learning from the PA and its educational system that murdering Israelis is “heroic”
In Gaza, Palestinians celebrated the murders, handing out sweets in the streets
Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror organizations: “The heroic operation” is a “natural response to occupation’s crimes”
Yesterday, a 23-year-old Palestinian terrorist murdered two of his Israeli coworkers in a factory in the Barkan Industrial Zone, a place known as an example of coexistence where Palestinians and Israelis work together. It was established in 1982, and is situated between the Palestinian city of Qalqilya and the Israeli city of Ariel. Thousands of Israelis and Palestinians currently work there.
On the official Facebook page of Abbas’ Fatah Movement, a Fatah official blamed Israel for the murders, stating that “Israel… is incapable of protecting anyone that steals the Palestinian land” and announced that no Israeli is safe until the Palestinian people gain “its rights in its homeland.” Israel, he said, uses “terror and murder,” while he himself coined yesterday’s killing of two Israeli civilians an “operation.” [Official Fatah Facebook page, Oct. 7, 2018, see below]
The fact that Fatah did not condemn the murder of the two Israelis is no surprise, because Fatah and the PA continue to glorify terrorist murderers as “heroes”, as documented by Palestinian Media Watch. Just 4 days before the murders, Fatah glorified another murderer of 2 as a “heroic Martyr.” Murderer Muhannad Halabi stabbed and killed 2 Israelis in the Old City of Jerusalem in 2015:
An op-ed in the official Palestinian Authority daily identifies Palestinian Media Watch as the organization exposing the PA’s messaging, and asks PMW to deliver a message to Israeli Minister for Public Security Gilad Erdan. The op-ed by football coach and journalist Abd Al-Fattah Arar, goes on to condemn and threaten Erdan for urging the International Olympic Committee to ban the Chairman of the Palestine Olympic Committee Jibril Rajoub. The writer opens by asking PMW to deliver his message to Erdan:
“We hope that the unit that monitors the Palestinian media, Palestinian Media Watch, will pass on this message as it has passed on other messages in the past…”
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 5, 2018]
The message to the minister and possibly all of Israel contains a threat and a warning.
“If this threat (i.e., Erdan’s letter to the Olympic Committee) is meant to frighten us so that we will not again defend our cause, we say to you (in plural -Ed.): ‘If you return [to sin], We will return [to punishment]’ [Quran, Sura 17:8, Sahih International translation].”
[Op-ed by Abd Al-Fattah Arar in sports section of official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 5, 2018]
This verse from the Quran that the writer chose to quote is part of Sura 17 which talks about the “Children of Israel”, and their various punishments for their “sins.” The verse following the warning quoted in the op-ed promises “Hell for the disbelievers”
JPost Editorial: Fragile coexistence
We are often told that terrorists act out of frustration and poverty. This clearly was not the case this week. On the contrary, Na’alwa’s heinous deed itself endangers the financial well-being of thousands of Palestinians and harms all those who believe that even without a political resolution to the conflict, economic ties can create a modus vivendi to the benefit of all.
Part of the problem is the culture of martyrdom fostered by the Palestinian Authority as much as by Islamist organizations. Na’alwa reportedly told his family he was fed up with work and life. He also had a serious argument with one of his brothers about building a home above his sibling’s apartment. Although Na’alwa escaped, triggering a massive manhunt, it is unlikely he thought he would survive the attack. He probably has no problem becoming a shahid, or martyr, and an instant and eternal hero. Given the PA’s “pay for slay” policy, his family would be ensured of ongoing monetary compensation – encouraging other Palestinians to carry out attacks even if they don’t formally belong to a terrorist organization.
As Edelstein stated, “The appropriate response to the murderous attack in Barkan is to continue to strengthen the joint industrial zones. We shall not allow abominable terrorists to harm coexistence.”
But Palestinian society, too, must take a courageous stand against such attacks that endanger it as much as they harm Israel.
“I was very lucky. If the terrorist had found me, that’s it, I wouldn’t be here,” Sara Vaturi, 54, recalled after surviving a terrorist shooting attack Sunday in which two of her co-workers were brutally murdered. “Fortunately, he disappeared after a second or two.”
Vaturi, a factory management worker in the Barkan Industrial Park in Samaria, recounted cowering under a desk in her office after being shot in the stomach by the terrorist.
The terrorist later came back into Vaturi’s office but didn’t see her, she recalled.
After the attack, Vaturi was treated for moderate wounds. Miraculously, the bullet missed all her vital organs. Before she was discharged from the hospital Monday, she recounted the moments of terror at the factory, where she had been working for only five months.
“I came to work in the morning as usual,” she said. “I said good morning to everyone and suddenly one of the girls at the office, Lena, came into the room shaking. I thought someone must be ill.”
“As soon as I walked into the lobby, the terrorist was in front of me, and he shot me. I ran back into my office and hid under the desk. I put my hand over the wound and I saw that I was bleeding. The only thing going through my head was, ‘Breathe, it’s going to be alright, breathe.’ Then I heard four or five more loud gunshots.”
The terrorist at the Barkan Industrial Park forced a Palestinian janitor to tie the hands of Kim Levengrond Yehezkel, before fatally shooting her, The Times of Israel confirmed Tuesday.
Twenty-three-year-old Ashraf Na’alowa threatened the fellow Palestinian that if he did not cuff Yehezkel he would shoot him as well, a defense official said, confirming a Kan public broadcaster report.
Initial reports on the Sunday attack said that before shooting the 28-year-old Israeli mother-of-one at point-blank range, Na’alowa had bound her hands using cable ties he had taken from a storage closet.
But the Shin Bet security service has learned that Na’alowa had given the orders to a janitor who happened to have been cleaning the Alon Group factory’s offices at the time. Fearing for his life, the 20-year-old resident of Nablus complied.
He was then given several seconds to flee the scene before Na’alowa went on to shoot Yehezkel, 35-year-old Ziv Hajbi, and 54-year-old Sara Vaturi — the former two succumbed to their wounds at the scene, while Vaturi survived and was released from the hospital on Monday.
The young custodian was questioned by the Shin Bet security service following the attack, but was released after agents concluded that he was not involved in planning the shooting.
Seven Palestinians were arrested in the West Bank early Tuesday as the manhunt for the shooter in the deadly Barkan Industrial Park terror attack entered its third day, the Israel Defense Forces said.
Overnight, Israeli security forces continued operations in the village of Shuweika, near Tulkarem, the home of Ashraf Na’alowa, 23, who is suspected of killing his coworkers Kim Levengrond Yehezkel, 28, and Ziv Hajbi, 35, and wounded Sara Vaturi, 54, using a locally produced Carlo-style submachine gun.
Na’alowa’s mother and sisters were detained and brought in for questioning in the pre-dawn raid, but were later released, according to the Shin Bet security service.
After carrying out the shooting, the suspect fled the scene, prompting a large-scale search of the area and a deployment of additional troops to the West Bank to prevent copycat attacks, the army said.
In a separate operation in the village of Beit Sira near Ramallah in pursuit of a terror financing ring, IDF troops overnight Monday-Tuesday uncovered thousands of shekels in cash that the army said were meant to fund terror networks in the West Bank.
No details were provided by authorities Tuesday morning on the progress of the manhunt for Na’alowa.
Much like the terrorists who carried out the attacks in Itamar and Halamish, the terrorist who carried out the attack Sunday at the Barkan industrial zone had no past record of terror activity. Seemingly, he checks all the boxes of the lone wolf terrorist: He is not affiliated with any terror organization, has no past record of terror activity, and he has a work permit and a steady job. But unlike previous cases, the Barkan terrorist’s conduct was professional, and it is safe to assume he received guidance of some sort.
The terrorist walked into the factory with a rifle in his bag. The initial investigation found the bag went through a metal detector at the entrance to the industrial zone, and it remains to be seen if he had help and if the rifle was waiting for him on the other side of the security check.
The fact the terrorist handcuffed the secretary could indicate he planned to take her hostage. So in addition to the cruelty that characterized this terror attack, we must remember it could’ve ended far worse.
Immediately after the attack, the IDF and Shin Bet launched a wide-scale manhunt for the terrorist, bringing in the best of the Special Forces units. Since the terrorist is armed, it’s safe to assume the search won’t end with an arrest, but rather with an exchange of fire, which would require the expertise of highly-skilled fighters. It is possible, however, the terrorist would choose to turn himself in to the Palestinian security services—and through them to the IDF—to avoid getting killed.
The deadly shooting in the Barkan Industrial Park in Samaria has prompted the military to review and revise security protocols in industrial zones, defense officials said Monday.
Sunday’s terrorist attack saw Ashraf Walid Suleiman Na’alwa, 23, a former employee of the Alon Group facility in the park, murder Kim Levengrond Yehezkel, 28, and Ziv Hajbi, 35, and moderately wound a third employee, Sara Vatore.
A massive manhunt has been in place since Sunday for Na’alwa, who fled the scene. The IDF and Shin Bet security agency have warned they believe him to be a ”ticking time bomb,” saying that he is unlikely to hesitate to carry out another attack.
According to available details from the investigation, the terrorist was able to smuggle the rifle into the industrial park in his backpack, as he was not checked upon entering the compound.
Facilities at the Barkan Industrial Park employ some 4,200 Palestinians and 3,000 Israelis. Park security is handled by a private company but while metal detectors are installed at all the gates, the personal screening of those who enter the park is selective rather than comprehensive, meaning, not everyone’s personal belongings are searched.
Times of London
Since the Palestinian terror attack at the Barkan Industrial Park on Sunday that killed two Israelis, Kim Levengrond Yehezkel, the mother of an infant, and Ziv Hajbi, a father of three, Times of London’s Jerusalem correspondent Anshel Pfeffer published two articles: both concerning fraud charges against Sara Netanyahu.
But, neither Pfeffer nor any of the paper’s other regional correspondents published anything on the deadly West Bank terror attack.
The Telegraph’s Jerusalem correspondent, Raf Sanchez, published an article this morning on the row between Turkey and Saudi Arabia over the missing Saudi journalist, and another regional correspondent published an Israel related story – regarding Netanyahu’s scheduled meeting with Vladimir Putin.
However, as with Times of London, nothing has been published by any of the Telegraph’s reporters about the Barkan terror attack.
The Independent published an article on the day of the attack about new Israeli restrictions on Gaza’s fishing zone, but nothing on the Palestinian terror attack, despite the fact that the Indy has a Middle East correspondent, Bel Trew, who covers Israel and the Palestinian territories quite extensively.
In addition to ignoring Sunday’s deadly attack, by 23-year-old Walid Suleiman Na’alowa, a colleague of the victims at the Barkan plant, Times of London, The Telegraph and Independent have something else in common: they all similarly ignored the Palestinian terror attack on Sept. 16th at Gush Etzion Junction that killed Ari Fuld, a father of four from Efrat.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke Monday at the dedication of a restored 1,500-year-old synagogue at the Ein Keshatot archaeological site in the Golan Heights.
“Today we see what is happening over the border [in Syria] – Iran’s attempts to establish a military presence and the aggression of terrorist fanatics.”
“Israel on the Golan Heights is a guarantee for stability in the surrounding area. Israel on the Golan Heights is a solid reality based on ancient rights.”
“Israel on the Golan Heights is a fact that the international community must recognize, and as long as it depends on me, the Golan Heights will always remain under Israeli sovereignty because otherwise we would have Iran and Hizbullah on the shores of the Kinneret.”
“We will continue to act with determination against Iran’s attempts to open an additional front against us on the Golan Heights, and in Syria we will act against all attempts to transfer lethal weapons to Hizbullah in Lebanon. I will discuss these matters with President Putin when I meet with him soon.”
“I know that President Putin understands my commitment to the security of Israel and I know that he also understands the importance…that we all ascribe to the Golan Heights and to the heritage of Israel.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday vowed during a visit to the Golan Heights to hold on to the disputed territory and insisted that Russia understands Israel’s need to act beyond the northern border to maintain its security.
Israeli-Russian relations have become strained over the downing of a Russian spy aircraft by Syrian forces responding to an Israeli strike over Syrian airspace. Moscow has blamed Israel for the incident, which killed 15 Russian crew members, and in response has provided its advanced S-300 air defense system to Syrian forces.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of new a national heritage site in the Golan Heights, Netanyahu said: “I know [Russian president Vladimir] Putin understands my commitment to Israeli security and I know he also understands the importance I place on the Golan.”
Israel has carried out numerous airstrikes in Lebanon and Syria against Hezbollah and Iranian targets, and has said it will not allow Tehran and its proxy terror group to entrench themselves in war-torn Syria.
“We see what is happening beyond the border, unbridled barbarism and attempts by Iran and Hezbollah to set up base. We will stand firm against them,” he said. “Iran and Hezbollah are ceaselessly attempting to form a force that will operate against us, against the Golan and against the Galilee.
How did Donald Trump go from “People have been talking about [the two-state solution] for so many years now; it so far hasn’t worked” in February to last week’s “I like a two-state solution. That’s what I think works best”?
The answer, as with so many things involving Donald Trump, is that we just don’t know. But one thing is certain: He didn’t arrive at this new position after looking at any actual maps of what Israel would look like if a Palestinian state were created.
Because nobody who realizes that establishing a Palestinian state would reduce Israel to just nine miles wide could possibly advocate such an outcome — except, of course, somebody who seeks to facilitate Israel’s destruction.
Take a look at a map of Judea-Samaria (the “West Bank”). Notice the cities with the largest Palestinian Arab populations. Hebron is first, Nablus (Shechem) is second. The third largest is Tulkarm. The fifth largest is Qalqilyah. Obviously, Tulkarm and Qalqilyah would have to be included in any Palestinian state.
Now notice where Tulkarm and Qalqilyah are located. They are on the far western edge of what would be a Palestinian state. They are a little more than nine miles from the Mediterranean Sea. That is, nine miles of Israel.
Meaning that if “Palestine” is created, then Israel will be just nine miles wide at its mid-section. That’s not as wide as Washington, DC or even the Bronx.
We have grown accustomed in recent years to lawmakers from the Joint Arab List engaging in political subversion against Israel and lobbying officials around the world to take punitive action against a state they are supposed to represent and that pays their salaries. Last week, it was MK Jamal Zahalka’s turn, and he met with U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and other members of Congress in an effort to enlist them in the struggle against the nation-state law.
In their meeting, Zahalka and the members of the Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel that accompanied him slandered Israel. They lied and claimed Israel’s nation-state law was the only such legislation in the world. During deliberations over the new Basic Law as well as following its enactment, we spoke of the dozens of countries that have chosen to enact legislation defining themselves as the nation-states of the majority group. These are not the types of dictatorships favored by members of the Joint Arab List, but rather highly developed countries, many of them members of the European Union. In fact, Israel has gone farther than those countries by ensuring the rights of its minority citizens, and that includes its Arab minority.
Even when compared to the United States, Israel has nothing to be ashamed of. Although it is not a nation-state, the United States does not afford collective rights to minorities but rather incentivizes them to assimilate in the dominant culture. America has a huge Hispanic minority, some 40 to 50 million strong, whose native language is Spanish. But in 49 out of 50 U.S. states, these people have no linguistic rights. Although the United States and Israel have an identical number of Arabic speakers, it goes without saying that Zahalka’s native language has no status in the United States. In Israel, however, Arabic is a special-status language.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Tuesday with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Maxim Akimov to discuss economic partnerships between the two countries, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.
The meeting came as Israel’s ties with Moscow have become strained over the downing of a Russian plane in Syria last month, and Russia’s recent delivery of its advanced S-300 air defense system to the Syrian regime. Israel and the US are concerned the delivery of the system could complicate ongoing Israeli efforts to prevent Iran from deepening its military presence in Syria and transferring weapons to Hezbollah.
Akimov arrived in Israel to participate in the 15th joint Russian-Israel intergovernmental committee of economic cooperation.
During a meeting at his office in Jerusalem, Netanyahu and Akimov discussed cooperation in the fields of medicine, science, innovation, construction, and agriculture, the Prime Minister’s Office said.
Jordan dispatched its new Ambassador Ghassan Majali to Israel this week. Majali presented a copy of his credentials to the Foreign Ministry on Tuesday.
Majali is replacing Walid Obeidat, who served for five years as Jordan’s envoy to Israel.
Majali is a member of a prominent Jordanian family, and served from 2013-2017 as Jordan’s ambassador to Spain.
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon posted a picture on Twitter of Majali at the Foreign Ministry on Tuesday, and wrote, “The new ambassador of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan HE Ghassan Al Majali at his first meeting at @IsraelMFA with Head of Protocol @AmbMeronReuben and Deputy Director General for Middle East Amb. Haim Regev. Welcome Ambassador and lots of success !!!”
Zionist Union leader Avi Gabbay met Monday with Jordan’s King Abdullah in Amman to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
A tweet by the Jordanian Royal Court said the two ”discussed the need to revive the peace process, based on the two-state solution and in accordance with international law, relevant U.N. resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative.”
An official palace statement quoted in Jordanian media later added that “King Abdullah stressed the need to revive the peace process, based on the two-state solution … leading to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital, living side by side with Israel, in peace and security.”
According to the statement, the monarch further pledged that Jordan will “continue undertaking its historical role in safeguarding Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, in line with the Hashemite Custodianship.”
Gabbay’s office said he had “expressed his deep appreciation for Israeli-Jordanian peace” and for the king’s “determined efforts to promote regional stability.”
German politicians on Monday accused Bremen’s Senator of the Interior Ulrich Mäurer of antisemitism and urged him to resign after he said Israel executes Palestinians on the Gaza-Israel border.
“When I see that the Israeli Army is simply executing dozens of Palestinians at the border fence, I don’t understand that either. And I can understand all those who use this opportunity to express their opinions very clearly,” said Mäurer in the Bremen State Legislature on September 27. The 67-year-old politician said he would demonstrate for the Palestinians in light of Israel’s actions.
The vice president of the Christian Democratic Union Party in the Bundestag, Gitta Connemann, told Germany’s top-selling Bild newspaper that Mäurer’s doubling-down on his anti-Israel comment “makes Jew-hatred respectable.” Connemann is also vice president of the German-Israel Friendship Society.
After Mäurer faced intense criticism on social media and from politicians, he told the Bremen paper Weser-Kurier, “In view of the deaths on the border, you have to understand when it comes to demonstrations and protests in response.”
Commentators in Germany noted that is unclear why a politician responsible for interior affairs expressed his view on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Likud MK Avi Dichter was verbally attacked by two European Parliament members after delivering a speech to the European Parliament in Brussels, Monday.
Dichter, who heads Israel’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, delivered his address as part of the annual inter-parliamentary meeting between Israel and the EU’s respective committees.
Addressing the chairman of the European Parliament following Dichter’s speech, Portuguese MEP Ana Maria Gomes said, “Mr. Chairman, you said you were honored to receive Mr. Dichter. I’m not. I’m disgusted. … Knowing that he has been the head of [the] Israeli Shin Bet [security agency] who was responsible for masterminding the Israeli policy of targeted killings, where many, many people died in extrajudicial killings in [the] West Bank [and] in [the] Gaza [Strip] since 2001.
“He was also the first lawmaker to initiate the racist nation-state bill, which I think makes Palestinians, Israeli citizens of Arab origin second-class citizens. I am a member of this parliament. I am a former diplomat. I am trained to engage with whomever, with the devil. … I just want to say that from what he has said indeed he is not interested in peace. He is a warmonger,” she said.
Spanish MEP Javier Couso Permuy accused Dichter of being a “war criminal” who ordered the torture of Palestinian prisoners, the execution of Hamas members and bombed civilians.
“I do not want to be in the same place as a war criminal because I am disgusted and I will therefore leave,” he said before exiting the hall.
A balloon fitted with an explosive device, launched by Palestinian terrorists, landed outside a home in Givat Ze’ev, a suburb of Jerusalem, for the first time Monday.
Police sappers neutralized the device in the private yard of the Samaria home and transferred their findings to a laboratory for further review.
Several similar cases recently suggest that Palestinians in the West Bank may be trying to mimic a wave of recent arson attacks from Gaza and launch incendiary balloons into central Israeli cities.
On Saturday, incendiary balloons launched from Gaza sparked a fire in Shokeda Forest. Firefighters, Jewish National Fund workers and Israel Nature and Parks Authority teams worked together to extinguish the blaze.
Incendiary balloons also landed in Kibbutz Nir Am and Kibbutz Dorot, but fortunately did not cause damage.
Shaar Hanegev Regional Council security officer Tayel Hajbi told Israel Hayom, “Today, fortunately, there were no fires because there was early detection, and when the balloons reached the ground they were immediately extinguished.”
The mayor of the Israeli Arab town of Baqa al-Gharbiya on Monday canceled plans to hold an official launch event for a book written by a convicted Palestinian terrorist.
The event at a publicly funded community center was to be held for the launch of a children’s book by Walid Daka, an Israeli citizen who was convicted in the abduction and murder of Israeli soldier Moshe Tamam in 1984.
Mayor Mursi Abu Mokh nixed the event after being cautioned by Interior Minister Aryeh Deri.
“In the State of Israel the writings of a terrorist will not be given voice in a public building owned by the local council,” Deri said.
Daka was sentenced in 1987 to life in prison for his involvement in Tamam’s killing. In 2012, then-president Shimon Peres chiseled the sentence down to 37 years.
On August 6, 1984, on the eve of the Tisha B’av fast, Tamam was abducted by a group of Arab Israelis as he got off a bus a few minutes away from his home outside of Netanya. Tamam’s body was located four days later — he had been shot, and his face was badly mutilated. He was 19.
Four Arab Israelis affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine were later convicted for the attack, including Daka.
Daka has denied any involvement in the killing.
The “National Popular Council of Al-Quds” on Sunday strongly condemned the sale of residential buildings in the Old City of Jerusalem to “Jewish settlers and their settlement associations.”
It also described the sale of real estate to “Jews” as “a despicable crime against Al-Quds, Palestine and the homeland.”
The organization noted in its statement that those who sell real estate assets to “settlers and their settlement associations” are “traitors to the homeland” and must be brought to justice, deterred and ostracized from society.
Bilal Al-Natsheh, the organization’s secretary-general, called for the establishment of an official commission of inquiry to investigate the circumstances of the transfer of real estate assets from the Palestinian Arab Jouda family to the “settlers’ associations” and to publish its findings.
He noted that any sale of real estate assets to “the occupation, its institutions and executive arms” is considered null and void and illegal under international law.
Spotted this today in a Palestinian refugee camp. While many of the products being sold were from the West Bank & beyond, many were made in Israel. #BDS is a political tool. In reality Palestinians love – and eat – Israeli junk food. #bdsfail pic.twitter.com/DFBWGYrp8z
— Michele Chabin (@MicheleChabin1) October 9, 2018
Two trucks carrying some 35,000 liters (9,200 gallons) of fuel entered the Gaza Strip from the Kerem Shalom border crossing on Tuesday after Qatar, which paid Israel for the transfer, deposited a check through the United Nations. They were escorted by U.N. vehicles.
Egyptian and Palestinian officials told Israel Hayom that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas had spared no effort, until the last minute to block the transfer of fuel to the coastal enclave.
A senior Palestinian official told Israel Hayom that Abbas had spoken with U.N. Middle East envoy Nikolay Mladenov and accused him of helping to bypass Palestinian leadership. Abbas had also warned he would instruct the Palestinian Finance Ministry not to transfer the salaries of those workers with UNRWA, the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, set to receive the tankers in Gaza.
A senior Egyptian official told Israel Hayom that the PA had warned Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and other Arab leaders that through their actions, they were helping establishment a “Muslim Brotherhood state in Gaza.” According to the official, Abbas is doing everything in his power to ensure the situation in Gaza escalates and keep Hamas from reaping any diplomatic gains.
UNRWA in Gaza now seeks bodyguards, after their international staff were forced to flee to Israel under death threats from protesting staff. https://t.co/DP8mWCjKBN
— UN Watch (@UNWatch) October 9, 2018
The Israeli military on Tuesday acknowledged that Palestinians caused significant damage to one of the fences along the Gaza border, but maintained that there had not been a mass breach or destruction of “active” military equipment, after videos of the riots were aired on Palestinian television.
“The incident was kept under control through monitoring and the use of force from the beginning to the end and it never got out of control,” the army said.
On Monday, the military said thousands of Palestinians rioted along the border, throwing explosives and rocks at Israeli troops, who responded with tear gas and live fire, in some cases.
Later in the day, videos of the clashes surfaced on Palestinian media, showing protesters tearing down pieces of a security fence and setting it on fire.
Thousands of Palestinians demonstrated on land and at sea along the Gaza Strip’s border with Israel Monday, with the Hamas-run health ministry saying 29 people were injured in the riots, either by Israeli troops or by shrapnel from Palestinian bombs.
Near Zikim beach, south of Ashkelon, thousands of rioters threw explosives and rocks at the Israeli soldiers on the other side of the security fence, the army said.
Protesters also set fire to tires along the fence, filling the air with thick black smoke. Some sabotaged part of the fence, removing pieces of it. A small number cut through the barrier and started a fire in an empty Israeli army sniper nest, before rushing back into the Strip.
Israeli soldiers responded with tear gas and live fire in certain cases, the military said.
Meanwhile, dozens of boats challenged the Israeli blockade and were intercepted by Israeli Navy boats.
Close up view of the moment an IED detonates in front of Palestinians at the Gaza border
Friday Sermon by PA Judge: The Jews’ Rabbis Sanction All Global Corruption
PreOccupiedTerritory: Typo Results In Palestinian Preacher Inciting Violence Against Jaws (satire)
Materials distributed to mosque officials by the Palestinian government today contained a printing error, eyewitnesses are reporting, resulting in at least one imam calling on worshipers to engage in violence against a notorious great white shark.
Attendees at the Al Quds Mosque in the de facto Palestinian capital city of Ramallah recounted how at Tuesday’s midday prayers, Imam Ta’ut Haqlada began railing against Jaws, a departure from the normal pattern of blaming Israel and the adherents of its majority religion for all the world’s ills and for Palestinian suffering in particular. The fiery sermon left hundreds confused.
“I’ve never seen the film, and probably never would in any case,” admitted Ramallah resident Karish al-Labni. “But I think something went wrong in the official channels today.”
“That was… different,” observed a dazed-looking woman who declined to give her name. “I get that’s it’s a bad movie. Is it because of the ethnicity of the film’s director? That wasn’t made clear, in my opinion.”
A spokesman for Imam Haqlada denied any errors. “All these reports of confusion are slander,” he insisted. “The imam did as he always does, which is speak out against the enemies of Islam and of the Palestinian people. Only those who would willfully distort his teachings to create some sort of media feeding frenzy would come up with such an insulting notion.”
According to unconfirmed reports, the office of President Mahmoud Abbas has reprimanded the preacher, but that could not be independently corroborated.
Russia provided the advanced S-300 air defense system to Syria’s military free of charge, transferring three battalions with eight launchers each to the Assad regime, Russia’s state news agency TASS reported Monday.
“On October 1, three battalion sets of S-300PM systems of eight launchers each were delivered to Syria,” a military source told the agency.
“These systems were previously deployed at one of the Russian aerospace forces’ regiments which now uses the S-400 Triumf systems. The S-300 systems underwent capital repairs at Russian defense enterprises, are in good condition and are capable of performing combat tasks,” he said.
The source added that the systems were provided free of charge, along with 100 surface-to-air guided missiles for each battalion, 300 in all.
Israel’s ties with Moscow have become strained over Russia’s recent delivery of the S-300 to Syria. Israel and the US are concerned the delivery of the system could complicate ongoing Israeli efforts to prevent Iran from deepening its military presence in Syria and transferring weapons to Hezbollah.
Russia’s delivery of the the S-300 system to Syria follows the downing of a Russian spy aircraft by Syrian forces that were responding to an Israeli strike over Syrian airspace. Russia has blamed Israel for the incident, which killed 15 Russian crew members.
A senior Iranian official on Monday said Israel would be hard-pressed to conduct airstrikes in Syria after Russia provided the country with the advanced S-300 air defense system.
“I do not believe the Israelis are able to undertake any serious steps. It is Russia’s right to deploy the S-300 system in Syria and defend its interests, especially after the Israeli attack on the Russian plane,” Ali Larijani, Iranian speaker of the parliament, told the Kremlin-controlled Russia Today TV station.
“This is a legitimate right of Russia,” he said, speaking to the outlet’s Arabic channel, on the sidelines of the Speakers of Eurasia Countries’ Parliaments conference in Turkey.
The Russian spy plane was shot down on September 17, after Israeli fighter jets conducted an airstrike on a weapons facility in the coastal Syrian city of Latakia, which Israel said was going to provide weapons to the Hezbollah terror group and other Iranian proxies. The Il-20 reconnaissance plane was shot down during a counterattack by Syrian air defenses and its 15 crew members were killed.
Israel blamed Syria for the downing of the aircraft, accusing the country’s air defenses of firing “indiscriminately” into the sky and continuing to do so long after the fighter jets returned to Israeli airspace.
An internal battle is being fought inside the Trump administration to save Iran’s access to international financial markets, providing Tehran with a critical lifeline ahead of the implementation of harsh new economic sanctions, according to multiple U.S. officials who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon.
Top officials in the Trump administration’s Treasury Department—including some who hope to save the landmark nuclear agreement—are said to be pushing for Iran to remain connected to the SWIFT banking system, an international system that facilitates cross-border transactions.
SWIFT leaders were in Washington, D.C., last week holding meetings with Trump administration officials to ensure that Iran retains its access to the international banking system, which has helped keep the ailing Iranian economy afloat as European allies seek to continue doing business with the Islamic Republic, according to U.S. officials familiar with the situation.
While President Trump and top White House national security officials such as John Bolton have made clear that SWIFT and European allies must end their business dealings with Iran, a cadre of Treasury Department officials are said to be standing firm against this effort, paving the way for an internal showdown ahead of the Nov. 4 deadline for new sanctions, sources said.
“President Trump instructed the administration to restore all of the sanctions from the Obama era and then some, because that’s what maximum pressure means,” said one U.S. official who works extensively on Iran policy.
In 2009, large fields of natural gas were discovered below Israel’s coastal waters; in the subsequent years, researchers concluded that these were part of a massive deposit of gas and petroleum in the eastern Mediterranean, distributed among the territorial waters of Israel, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Cyprus, and Greece. Egypt and Israel have already begun exploiting these reserves, and Israel in particular is eager to join with Cyprus, Greece, and Italy in a major project—known as the East Med pipeline—that could export these fossil fuels to Europe, thereby relieving the EU of its reliance on Russia. But playing the role of spoiler is Turkey, motivated by its historic conflicts with Greece and Cyprus, its more recent hostility toward Israel, and its growing economic and diplomatic ties with Moscow—which include cooperation in the export of fuel. John Psaropoulos explains:
The key attraction of East Med is stability. It would be a risk-free, intra-EU route carrying committed volumes of gas to Europe for a quarter-century. Europe would in turn be a reliable client, in contrast to cash-poor regional economies [such as Jordan]. “We used to seek out investors in East Med. Now they are seeking us out,” says [Kostas Karayannakos, the executive director of gas supply for Greece’s public gas corporation].
For Karayannakos, the pipeline brings tremendous geopolitical advantages. . . . It is precisely this vision—of a pipeline that circumvents its exclusive economic zone, turns Cypriot energy interests into European energy interests, elevates the importance of Greece in the EU, and offers Greece and Cyprus a leading role in the EU’s relations with the Middle East—that concerns Turkey. Its displeasure has already caused one high-seas standoff. . . .
Turkey is the only country in the eastern Mediterranean that has so far found no proven and probable resources even though, [according to reliable estimates], it has spent at least $560 million on acquiring two seismographic research vessels and a drillship. It is also the only country that hasn’t defined its exclusive economic zone with its neighbors, but disputes theirs.
Saudi Cleric Al-Arifi: Jews Are Cowardly by Nature; In the Holocaust They Came to Be Slaughtered
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