December 18, 2017

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10/10 Links Pt1: Fatah: Dying for Allah “will create the State of Palestine”; The united Jerusalem delusion

http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2017/10/1010-links-pt1-fatah-dying-for-allah.html

From Ian:


PMW: Fatah: Dying for Allah “will create the State of Palestine”
In a post on Facebook, Abbas’ Fatah Movement encourages Palestinians to die for Allah. It is Palestinians dying for Allah, the spilling of “the blood of the Martyrs,” Fatah says, that “will create the State of Palestine.”

Fatah posted the following text together with a collage of photos of terrorists:
“#Palestine”
“From the sea of the blood of the Martyrs (Shahids)
we will create the State of Palestine”
“Fatah Movement – The official page”
[Official Fatah Facebook page, Oct. 3, 2017]

Palestinian Media Watch has documented that Fatah’s student movement Shabiba at two different universities uses the same slogan, encouraging youth to adopt a path of violence and to become “Martyrs.”

When Israel placed metal detectors at the Temple Mount entrances following an attack there in which 2 Israelis were murdered in July 2017, and Palestinians responded with violence and riots, Fatah encouraged Palestinians to “escalate” the riots and stated that “with our blood we will thwart the Zionists’ plans.”

How Palestine “Occupies” Itself

Of course, declaring a de facto state does not make it a reality. Nor will declaring that state to be “under occupation.” The reality is that both the essential non-existence and the victimized character of the Palestinian state represent a conscious decision to embrace failure. This will not change unless there are direct negotiations, a choice the PA has consistently refused.

While a functioning Palestinian state remains desirable, it is telling that the Palestinian leadership has refused to directly negotiate with Israel and uses bodies like the UN to endorse a “virtual” state with no viable institutions. Is the Palestinian goal a state of their own, or just the erasure of Israel? If the latter, it is to be followed by what? Insisting upon a Palestinian state must go hand in hand with reviving the moribund Palestinian political system and institutions that would support it, like a free press. But these are demands that should come first from Palestinians. When such demands come from Israel or Western countries, they collide with the narrative of “occupation.”

Palestinian nationalism has never seen the conflict as one between two national groups with legitimate claims and aspirations. Israel’s existence – indeed, Zionism itself, the very idea of Jewish nationalism – is regarded as wholly illegitimate. Palestinian acceptance of the two-state solution was a means of appeasing the West and its stated desire for all parties to live in peace according to democratic, national ideals. But for Arafat in his day and now for Mahmoud Abbas, the two-state solution was a mechanism with which to buy time until the Palestinians can finally overcome and defeat Israel. The language of “occupation” plays a key role.

Whether Palestinians think they are an “occupied state” or “Palestinian territories under occupation,” as long as Palestinians cling to the notion of being “occupied” and Israel remains the “occupier” we are destined to see more of the dynamics of the past and fewer possibilities in the future. Until we see more self-awareness, self-criticism, and a sense of accountability, Palestinian identity and statehood will remain occupied in perpetuity. Palestine is indeed “occupied” by shadows of its own making.

Barry Shaw: The united Jerusalem delusion

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week pledged to support a Greater Jerusalem bill that would annex places like Ma’aleh Adumim, Givat Ze’ev and villages in the Etzion Bloc and would allow their residents to vote in Jerusalem mayoral elections.

This bill would also create independent municipalities for Israeli-Arabs living within Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries, but outside the security barrier.

Members of Knesset and mayors acclaim this move.

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said that “applying Israeli law is the most important thing to make sure that everyone realizes that Jerusalem will remain united.”

Is Jerusalem united? Let me throw a bucket of icy water over those of our politicians who are in denial.

If Jerusalem were truly the undivided capital of Israel, how is it that at least 14 soccer clubs based in Jerusalem play under the auspices of the Palestinian Football Association, headed by Jibril Rajoub of the Palestinian Authority? As these clubs come under the PFA, which is a member of FIFA, the world governing body for soccer, these Jerusalem-based clubs are globally recognized as Palestinian, not Israeli. The Israel Football Association lost control of them decades ago.

Worse still, some of these clubs promote terrorism against Israelis as part of their footballing activities, with the full knowledge and approval of Rajoub. Some of these activities are supervised and funded by the PFA.

JPost Editor: Stuck in Tel Aviv

The idea is that moving the embassy to Jerusalem would send out a message that the US recognizes Israeli sovereignty over the entire city. The backlash from the move would supposedly sabotage attempts by the US to make a deal, because the US would be perceived by the Palestinians and Arab nations as partial and therefore unfit to serve as a fair broker.

However, there are number of problems with this argument.

First, it suggests the US should cave in on central foreign policy decisions due to threats of violence. If the US were to move its embassy to Jerusalem, it would be to areas of the city that would remain part of Israel in any conceivable agreement. These are areas that are not even included in Palestinian demands.

Second, accepting as a given that Palestinians and Arab nations would go ballistic in response to an American decision to recognize that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital implies that dialogue and reasoning are impossible. Yet, the very premise of the two-state solution is that, through dialogue and negotiations, Israelis and Palestinians can solve their differences.

Moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem would be done in dialogue with the Palestinians. Jordan, whose leader, King Abdullah, has a special role acknowledged by Israel in safeguarding Jerusalem’s holy sites, would also be consulted.

Even the Saudis and the Egyptians could be part of the decision-making process.

Finally, contrary to what State Department officials claim, moving the embassy to Jerusalem would actually improve chances of a peace deal. History has taught that when Palestinians and Arab nations sense US support for Israel is wavering, they tend to harden their positions. They believe that it is possible to extract more from Israel when US support is less than unequivocal.

If, on the other hand, the US under Trump were to affirm that the uncontested parts of Jerusalem make up Israel’s capital, the Palestinians would understand that there is “no daylight” between Jerusalem and Washington and that the time has come for serious negotiations that include mutual, painful concessions.

It should also be recalled that in April, when Russia announced that it considers western Jerusalem to be Israel’s capital, the Muslim world did not explode. Russia became the first country in the world to extend such recognition, despite Trump’s election promise.

At the end of the year, when Trump is faced once again with the prospect of using his waiver to delay the move for another six months, he should reconsider. Official recognition of the uncontested parts of Jerusalem as Israel’s official capital would actually be a boon to peace, contrary to State Department illogic.

Trump Moves Embassy To Mt. Gerizim (satire)

In a radical departure on promises to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem President Trump announced Saturday night that he intends to move it to Mt. Gerizim instead. Located in the West Bank city of Nablus, Mt. Gerizim is the holiest place to the Samaritan people. The place they believed the temple should have been built and where, contrary to the Masoretic Text, the binding of Isaac occurred.

“You know Israelis and Palestinians, great people but gotta tell ya folks it’s getting annoying hearing both sides tell me where to move or keep the embassy. The Samaritans, yeah those people, nobody ever talks about them. I think maybe they deserve more say in how business is done there.” Trump said in a recent press conference.

The move has drawn backlash from both sides. Israelis charge that it neglects the notion that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital while Palestinians claim moving to the West Bank indicates that it is also a part of Israel. He angered all sides once more in a final tweet on the matter: “Israel, Palestine, Judea, West Bank, Samaria etc… NO DIFFERENCE. Get over it LOSERS”.

David Singer: PLO-Hamas Referendum Could Boost Trump Peace Plan

There is little hope that reconciliation talks between Hamas and Fatah will end a decade of bitter internecine feuding which has seen a parallel entrenchment of territorial divisions between them in Gaza and the West Bank.

Gazan and West Bank Arab populations will continue to be the victims of this ongoing power play as both groups remain bitterly opposed to recognising Israel as the Jewish National Home.

Elections have not been held since January 2006 when Hamas won a large majority in the new Palestinian parliament trouncing the governing Fatah party.

Since then, conflict between Hamas and Fatah has seen any prospect of the peaceful creation of a second Arab State – in addition to Jordan – in the territory encompassed by the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine – consigned to the diplomatic scrapheap.

Now it seems that Hamas and Fatah are seeking yet again to come to some form of reconciliation – which will only be about preserving their own organisations and retaining their current powers and privileges and have nothing to do with giving their long-suffering populations any say in their own future.

Clearly whatever game of musical chairs they intend to play – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made Israel’s position very clear – reportedly stating that as part of any reconciliation Hamas must:
1. recognise Israel
2. dismantle Hamas’s military wing and
3. Break off ties with Iran.

Senate Unanimously Passes Bipartisan Bill Targeting Hezbollah Financing

On Thursday, the United States Senate passed the Hizballah International Financing Prevention Amendments Act of 2017 (S. 1595), which seeks to cut off the flow of resources to the Lebanese-based terrorist organization. The bipartisan legislation was introduced by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.).

“Iranian-backed Hizballah terrorists are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans, and continue to pose grave threats to the United States and our allies, including the democratic state of Israel,” Rubio said in a statement.

“Congress should exercise every tool at its disposal to confront Iran’s destabilizing activity in the region…particularly in Lebanon, where Hizballah continues to stockpile rockets and other weapons that directly threaten our ally Israel and provide military support to the murderous Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad,” Shaheen added.

The new legislation strengthens and expands the scope of economic and financial sanctions imposed on the terrorist group by previous legislation, the Hizballah International Financing Prevention Act of 2015.

It is a significant development in light of Hezbollah’s destabilizing regional activities and the group’s global reach to areas in the Western Hemisphere, where Hezbollah is involved in organized crime. The organization has been linked to drug trade, trafficking of exotic animals, and black-market sales of precious metals and gems to finance its terror activities and its fighting in support of the Assad regime in Syria.

Ex-Qatari Minister, Who Wrote Preface to Antisemitic Book, Among Leading Candidates in Election Contest for New UNESCO Chief

A Qatari official with a questionable record on antisemitism is among the leading candidates standing for election this week for the post of the next director-general of UNESCO — the UN’s Paris-based educational, scientific and cultural organization.

Seven candidates are in the running for the post, with voting continuing through this week until one of the contenders wins a majority. Qatar’s candidate for the post is its former culture minister, Hamad Bin Abdulaziz Al-Kawari.

Dr. Shimon Samuels — director of international relations for the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) — told The Algemeiner on Monday that the Jewish human rights organization had been tracking Al-Kawari’s antisemitic statements and activities for several years. Despite protests from the SWC and other Jewish organizations, Al-Kawari permitted the prominent display of violently antisemitic literature at the Doha Annual Book Fairs in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Antisemitic texts have also been display on Qatar’s stand at the world-famous book fair in Frankfurt.

Most glaringly, an antisemitic book published in 2013 by Qatar’s Ministry of Culture — titled Jerusalem in the Eyes of the Poets — contains a preface written by Al-Kawari himself.

The book includes the statement, “The Jews control the media, newspapers, publishing houses in the United States and the West” — a calumny, Samuels said, reminiscent of the antisemitic invective of Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Germany’s propaganda minister.

Argentine Judge Summons Ex-President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in Ongoing Probe of Cover-up of Iran’s Responsibility for 1994 Buenos Aires Jewish Center Bombing

The Argentine federal judge investigating the allegation that ex-President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s administration conspired with Iran to hide Tehran’s culpability for the deadly 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires announced on Monday that Kirchner has been subpoenaed to appear before him on October 26.

In the latest sensational development in a case that has proceeded for over twenty years without a single conviction, Judge Claudio Bonadio banned Kirchner and fourteen other defendants from leaving the country until they have provided their testimonies.

Bonadio’s case is based on the original complaint that was to have been submitted by late special prosecutor Alberto Nisman in January 2015, which laid out the charge of complicity with Iran against Kirchner, her foreign minister Hector Timerman and several other officials. Nisman was found dead in his Buenos Aires apartment the night before he was due to present his complaint to Argentina’s Congress; the initial spurious claim that Nisman committed suicide was finally disproven last week, when an official report from from Argentina’s Gendarmeria Nacional concluded that the federal prosecutor had been beaten, drugged, and then shot execution-style.

Along with Kirchner and Timerman, the former secretary general of the presidency, Oscar Parrilli, Kirchner confidante Luis D’Elia and ex-Foreign Ministry official Luis Zuain were among the individuals ordered to appear before Judge Bonadio. D’Elia achieved notoriety after he was caught on tape mocking Timerman as “that f—ing Jew” while the former Argentine foreign minister was in Syria negotiating the cover-up with the Iranians, during a secret 2011 meeting hosted by the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.

Bernard-Henri Lévy Slams Turkish President Erdogan for Pushing ‘Crudest, Worst’ Antisemitic Campaign in Wake of Kurdish Independence Vote

Leading French-Jewish intellectual Bernard-Henri Lévy on Monday slammed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for orchestrating “the crudest, the worst” antisemitic campaign against him over his support for the September 25 independence referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan — in which 93 percent of voters declared their backing for the creation of a sovereign Kurdish state.

Lévy was responding to a report published last Friday in Güneş — a muckraking Turkish tabloid that is solidly loyal to Erdogan — in which the Turkish president pointed to a photograph of Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani flanked by Bernard Kouchner, who served as a minister in successive French governments, and Lévy, who is arguably the best-known advocate for Kurdish national rights in the West.

“You have the former foreign minister of France (Kouchner) to your right-hand side, and another Jew (Lévy) to your left-hand side, working at a table with them (Barzani and his colleagues),” Erdogan was quoted as saying. Güneş then went on to claim Lévy was a “Mossad agent.”

Lévy told The Algemeiner that Erdogan was “the enemy of the Kurds.”

“His antisemitism is the crudest, the worst, because it is nourished by the most deplorable conspiracy theories,” the philosopher observed.

Pro-Israel lawmakers from 14 countries tour West Bank with settler leaders

A group of lawmakers from 14 countries visited the northern West Bank on Sunday in a show of solidarity with Israel, as the head of the settlement movement praised US President Donald Trump.

The 26 parliament members, who hailed from countries including US, Australia, South Africa, Guatemala and several in Europe, were addressed by Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely and settler leader Yossi Dagan at a spot overlooking the Palestinian city of Nablus.

Dagan praised the Trump administration’s position on Israel, but said its policies have yet to be implemented on the ground.

“We are very happy with the Trump government in the USA,” he told the visiting delegation of Israel Allies Foundation.

“It is a very big change after the hateful years of Obama. But this change has still not begun,” he said. “I believe that there is still a lot of work to be done.”

Obama’s White House repeatedly condemned West Bank settlement construction, and in December 2016, at the end of his presidency, his administration chose not to veto a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate halt to all Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, enabling the measure to pass.

Will pro-Israel senator lead the CIA?

US President Donald Trump is reportedly considering appointing Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) to lead the CIA instead of current agency head Mike Pompeu. According to the report, Pompeo is being considered to replace US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Cotton is one of the most outspoken supporters of Israel in the US Senate.

“The president’s senior advisers are discussing with the president the move of Mike Pompioo to the State Department and Senator Tom Cotton to the CIA, ” senior radio broadcaster Hugh White said on NBC News’ ‘Meet the Press’ Sunday.

Earlier this year, Senator Cotton told Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic that “Jews are called Jews, because they’re from Judea … It is a homeland to which the Jews have been attached for many millennia.”

Cotton was the only senator to vote against the bill that allowed the nuclear agreement with Iran to be approved in July 2015. The bill passed by a vote of 98 to 1.

Cotton also said to Congress in 2014 that the US should consider selling B-52 bombers to Israel, as well as bunker buster bombs capable of destroying underground Iranian nuclear facilities.

Underwhelming settlers, Israel to advance just 2,000 West Bank homes

The Defense Ministry body responsible for authorizing construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank will be advancing plans for roughly 2,000 new housing units when it convenes next week, of which some 1,200 of them will be receiving final approval, and not 4,000 as previously reported.

A quarter of the houses set to earn final approval are part of projects for evacuees of the illegally built outposts of Ulpana (in Beit El), Migron, and Amona, which were demolished — in June 2012, September 2012 and February 2017 respectively — after the High Court of Justice ruled they had been built on private Palestinian land.

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In addition, a separate Defense Ministry body is set to advance planning for 31 housing units in the Jewish settlement in Hebron. It would be the first construction approval for the highly contentious settlement in 12 years. The city’s Palestinian municipality is expected to petition the High Court over the expansion, arguing that the settlers have no right to build in the designated area.

Over half of the housing units set to be advanced would be built outside the so-called “settlement blocs” that Israel has vowed to retain under any future peace deal, with mutually agreed land swaps with the Palestinians.

IDF officer wounded 5 times insists on returning to combat

IDF Capt. Ben Abutbul, 24, was wounded five different times during the course of his military service: in Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip in 2014, in Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012, in military operations and during training.

He was shot, wounded in explosions or by rocks thrown at him, all of which left him with physical and mental scars, but Abutbul’s fighting spirit never waned.

“I’m not afraid to die,” Abutbul told Israel Hayom. “I’m the first who will go into battle, without any fear, and I’ll lead my soldiers.”

Abutbul, currently a company commander in the Infantry Corps’ Nahal Haredi Netzah Yehuda Battalion, enlisted in the IDF in August 2011, joining the Kfir Brigade’s Nahshon Battalion. Seven months into his service, he was wounded for the first time while on a clandestine mission, smashing his knee during a special operation.

“The doctors told me, ‘Be thankful you’ll be able to walk.’ For two months, I was at home, going out of my mind. I just wanted to get back to the field.”

Abutbul returned to the Kfir Brigade after clashing with military authorities to ensure that his medical profile would still allow him to serve in a combat role. But he was wounded again. In Operation Pillar of Defense, a large brick was thrown at him, breaking his jaw and some of his teeth. He would head out on army missions at night, and when he returned in the morning, would undergo treatment.

Israel’s Defense Minister: Lebanon’s army ‘an integral part’ of Hezbollah

Lebanon’s army has become an integral part of Hezbollah’s network, Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman stated on Tuesday, warning that the next war on Israel’s northern border will not be confined to one front but will see conflict with both Syria and Lebanon.

Addressing IDF soldiers during a celebratory event marking the festival of Sukkot at his sukka in the military headquarters in Tel Aviv, Liberman warned that preparation for the next war was of great importance, as it will likely include the Lebanese military along with Hezbollah.

“We’re talking about Hezbollah and about the Lebanese military, and unfortunately this is the reality,” Liberman said, adding that the “Lebanese army has lost its independence and has become an integral part of Hezbollah’s network.”

“Even if the next campaign develops, and it does not matter where it develops, in the north or the south, it will immediately become a battle on two fronts,” the defense minister said.

“We are supposed to prepare for every possible scenario, and the new reality also prepares new challenges for us. If we once talked about the Lebanese sector, then there is no longer such a sector, there is a northern sector in every development,” he continued.

Arab MK in hot water over visit inside Temple Mount compound

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan has filed a complaint with the Knesset Ethics Committee over a recent visit to the Temple Mount by Joint Arab List MK Ahmad Tibi. According to the complaint, Tibi flouted a decision by the Ethics Committee by entering the Temple Mount compound itself, “despite the good of the country, and in so putting public safety and security at risk and disrespecting the Knesset.”

Erdan stated that on July 27, Tibi had been caught on police cameras inside the Temple Mount compound, despite the Ethics Committee’s explicit ban on MKs visiting the sensitive site. According to Erdan, Tibi had not paid his visit discreetly or in a time in which the security situation was stable, but as a clear provocation at the particularly sensitive and fraught period following the July 14 murder of two border policemen on duty on the Temple Mount.

The public security minister stressed that Tibi’s visit had put the public at risk and could have incited acts of violence.

Tibi said in response that “the police pressured Public Security Minister Erdan to take steps against me, even though as an MK I have immunity. The conduct of the police is scandalous, and cannot keep me from entering Al-Aqsa.”

Watch: Soccer ball confiscated on Temple Mount

The Israel Police stopped a soccer game on the Temple Mount and confiscated the ball from the Arab youths who played with it, according to a video posted on Facebook.

The video shows the Arab youths playing ball on the Mount as a policeman approaches them. One of the youths appears to be about to refuse to hand over the ball, but ultimately acquiesces to the policeman’s orders.

The policeman enforced a Supreme Court order forbidding the playing of soccer games on the Temple Mount. The order was issued after Temple Mount activist Yair Kehati and the Honenu legal organization submitted a complaint in which they argued that the soccer games desecrate the Mount, which is the holiest site in Judaism.

Yair Kehati said in response to the video: “We are happy that the Israel Police has begun to enforce the law on the Temple Mount against the Arabs as well [as the Jews]. We expect and hope that it will continue to enforce the rest of the state’s laws on the Mount against the Arabs and allow the Jews to pray on the Mount the same way it does not prevent the Arabs [from praying].”

Attorney Shmuel Meidad, the founder of Honenu, said: “It is terrible to see our holy place violated and desecrated. We are pleased that the complaint we filed has sharpened the procedures and that there is a change in the blind eye policy of the police on the Holy Mount. However, we hope that this change will not end here, and that the great incitement, the humiliation of Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount, and the policy of discrimination against Jews on the Mount will also be dealt with as soon as possible.”

Arab town hosts anti-Israel event in public venue, sparks outrage

A support rally for Sheikh Raed Salah, leader of the outlawed Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement, was held last month in the northern Arab city of Umm al-Fahm in a facility built with donations from Mifal Hapayis, Israel’s national lottery agency, Israel Hayom learned Monday.

The fact that the rally was held in a building constructed with the help of the lottery, a public institution, has caused outrage.

Maor Tzemach, chairman of the group Lach Yerushalayim (“To Thee Jerusalem”), sent a letter to Mifal Hapayis Chairman Uzi Dayan, calling on him to issue a strong condemnation of the rally and declare the building off-limits for use by members of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in the city.

“All activity of the Islamic Movement’s Northern Branch is … against the law and comprises support of incitement and terrorism. We expect Mifal Hapayis to strictly monitor its facilities in Arab communities so they don’t become centers of incitement and nationalist anti-Israel preaching,” Tzemach wrote.

Mifal Hapayis issued a statement stressing it had “no information about the rally being held. Mifal Hapayis takes a very serious view of political events in its facilities.

Four arrested in east Jerusalem for glorifying terrorist in graffiti

Border Police arrested four east Jerusalem residents on Tuesday who were spray painting and hanging posters praising Misbah Abu Sabih, the terrorist from the Ammunition Hill attack in October 2016, who killed Levana Malihi and St.-Sgt.-Maj. Yosef Kirma and wounded six others.

Two of those arrested were caught in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Wadi Joz during the act of spray painting. After the arrest, police found more posters with Abu Sabih’s picture among their belongings.

The other two, who were also involved in the act according to the police, were caught several hours later and taken in for questioning to the Police Central Unit.

Police asked the court to extend the suspects’ remand for seven days.

After examining the evidence, Police Central Unit investigators asked the state prosecutor to question the suspects about illegal unionizing and identifying with a terrorist act.

Police said in a statement that they will prevent every activity that glorifies a terrorist attack “conducted by despicable terrorists who have taken the lives of innocent citizens and law enforcement personnel.”

Egypt to extend buffer zone with Gaza Strip

North Sinai governor, Major General Abdel Fattah Harhour, said Friday that work is underway to extend the Egyptian side of the Gaza Strip buffer zone 1500 meters in width, instead of 1000 meters which has been implemented over two phases.

In press statements during the 6th of October war anniversary celebrations, Harhour said that all buildings within the new extension will be demolished, adding that 40 houses have been demolished and 61 feddans have been dredged.

Egypt has been working since October 2014 to establish a buffer zone along the Gaza Strip border, in an effort to eliminate militants in the region and prevent smuggling.

Demolitions were performed during phases I and II for a distance of 500 meters each, with compensation for residents in the area whose homes were torn down.

In October 2014 Egypt implemented the first phase, and in January 2015 implemented the second phase. The number of homes slated for clearance at the most recent stage is estimated at 1,220.

Turkey’s president says arrested US consulate staffer is a spy

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday branded a US consulate staffer who was arrested by Turkish authorities a spy and said it was Turkey’s right to take steps against “an internal threat,” in the latest swipe in an escalating feud with the United States.

Speaking at a news conference in Belgrade, Serbia, Erdogan also accused the US ambassador to Turkey of wrecking ties between the NATO allies by suspending the issuing of visas to Turkish citizens at US diplomatic missions following the arrest of Metin Topuz, a Turkish citizen employed at the US consulate in Istanbul.

The US suspended considering visa applications on Sunday saying it wanted to reassess Turkey’s commitment to the safety of US personnel. Turkey retaliated by halting visas services in the US.

If the U.S. Reimposes Sanctions on Iran, Allies Will Follow

Today, we are seeing the same old opponents of tough sanctions on Iran come out of the woodwork to warn President Donald Trump against threatening to reimpose a global financial embargo on Iran. Despite Iran’s refusal to allow inspections at military sites, continued testing of advanced ballistic missiles, expansion of its terrorist proxy armies into Syria and Lebanon, and holding of American hostages, former Obama administration officials argue that the United States has no choice but to keep its most powerful sanctions options in a lockbox for fear of European and Asian noncompliance.

Their arguments ring as hollow today as they did in the past. European and Asian businesses will oppose the reimposition of sanctions on Iran right up until the point they are reimposed. And then their lawyers will force them to comply — choosing continued access to the $19 trillion American financial system over Iran’s $400 billion.

The left has all but conceded that Iran is not complying with the letter and spirit of the nuclear agreement. Many have finally conceded that the agreement was a bad deal for America. But the one argument they’re hanging onto is that the United States has no alternatives — that the threat of reimposing sanctions would not be effective and Iran would therefore win a race to the bomb.

History shows how wrong they are. Trump should decertify Iran’s compliance with the nuclear agreement and hold a sanctions Sword of Damocles over the Iranian economy: change your behavior or risk total economic collapse before you could ever reach the point of a nuclear weapon. Cry as they might along the way, no European or Asian corporation is going to choose a terrorist regime over access to the U.S. dollar.

Former IDF intel chief to Trump: Don’t quit Iran deal now, raise pressure

Instead of trying to end the Iran nuclear deal now, the US should pressure Iran with the threat of leaving the deal at a more strategic moment, former IDF military chief Amos Yadlin wrote on Monday.

Essentially, Yadlin does not dispute US President Donald Trump’s frustration with the deal’s holes, but believes that the conditions and timing for leaving the deal are wrong.

Rather, he suggests the US and the West use brinksmanship with Iran to improve and extend the deal in the 2023-2025 period – shortly before the deal’s nuclear restrictions expire.

Yadlin, who is also the head of the Institute for National Security Studies, co-authored the essay against leaving the Iran deal with INSS fellow and former National Security Council official Avner Golov.

“Improving the deal is a goal which should be strongly pursued in the medium and long term, but only after creating the conditions of international pressure on Iran to cause it to accept the offered restrictions,” writes Yadlin.

Report: Iran tried to illegally buy nuclear technology 32 times

Iran had made dozens of attempts to illicitly obtain technology that could propel its military nuclear and ballistic missile programs forward, raising concerns about possible violations of the 2015 agreement intended to curb its race to become an atomic power, three German intelligence reports reveal.

The intelligence reports, which covered 2016, casts doubt on Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal.

According to a Tuesday report on Fox News, German intelligence believes the Islamic republic made “32 procurement attempts … that definitely or with high likelihood were undertaken for the benefit of proliferation programs.”

The attempts allegedly took place in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The data suggests that Iran tried using shell companies based in the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and China to circumvent international restrictions on its nuclear and missile programs.

While in 2016 the overwhelming majority of Iran’s illegal procurement attempts focused on technology for its missile programs, the year before, Germany intelligence recorded 141 Iranian attempts to source illicit goods for proliferation purposes.

Iran’s Press TV Messes Up Big Time In Story on Hamedan Province

In a special on Iran’s Hamedan Province, Iranian propaganda outfit Press TV speaks about the area’s importance in ancient times.

“Iran is home to more biblical sites than any other place outside of occupied Palestine.” Think about the ridiculousness of this statement for a minute. They are acknowledging the bible and the history depicted in it – which shows how the Jews were in the land of Israel well before the Arabs – yet still refer to the land as occupied Palestine!

Note also how they mention the tomb of the Jewish prophet Habakkuk – except they cannot refer to him as “Jewish”, so they settle for “Hebrew.”

It actually gets even better.
A mausoleum southeast of the city of Tuyserkan in the west of Iran is also believed to be Habakkuk’s burial place. It is protected by Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handcrafts and Tourism Organization. The Organization’s guide to the Hamadan Province states that Habakkuk was believed to be a guardian to Solomon’s Temple, and that he was captured by the Babylonians and remained in their prison for some years.

In other words, in promoting Habakkuk’s supposed burial place in Iran, they even play up the existence of Solomon’s Temple – the area the Muslims claim today as Haram esh-Sharif.

Iran set to block Israeli-founded navigation app Waze

Iran is reportedly set to block the navigation app Waze from being downloaded across the Islamic Republic because it was founded and developed in Israel.

Iran briefly blocked the app back in March, arguing that its Israeli history “raised concerns”; it was later reinstated.

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The head of an Iranian cyberspace watchdog, the ‎Committee for Determining Criminal Web Content, said Monday that a committee is working to have the Iranian Communication Ministry block the service to Iranians, according to a report in the Azerbaijan-based Trend News Agency.

Abdolsamad Khorramabadi said the ministry was at work “filtering” the app, according to the report, citing Iranian news outlets, and that a full ban may take more time because of Waze’s infrastructure.

Waze was bought by Google in 2013 for over $1 billion.



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