Shin Bet foils Hamas suicide bus bombing in Jerusalem
An East Jerusalem man was indicted Tuesday for planning to carry out a suicide bombing on a bus in the capital, officials said.
On September 9, the Shin Bet security service arrested alleged Hamas operative Muhammad Fuaz Ibrahim Julani, a resident of the Shuafat refugee camp, a few days before he planned to carry out his attack, the agency said.
Over the past few months, Julani, 22, had been planning to carry out a terror attack on behalf of Hamas, the Shin Bet said.
In September, he told an accomplice he planned to carry out the suicide bombing as “this is the way of God,” according to the indictment.
The Hamas terror group’s operatives in the Gaza Strip had been in contact with Julani through the internet in order to plan the bombing and had also encouraged him to recruit other people to carry out attacks, according to the indictment filed against him Tuesday in the Jerusalem District Court.
“This investigation reiterates and highlights the unrelenting effort by Hamas operatives in the Gaza Strip to instigate severe terror attacks in Israel and the West Bank,” the Shin Bet said in a statement.
While failing to accurately describe it as terrorism, the BBC News website’s English language report on the attack in Jerusalem on October 9th did make it clear to audiences that the perpetrator was a “Palestinian gunman” in both the headline and the opening paragraph.
In contrast, the headline selected for the BBC’s Arabic language report on the same incident failed to provide visitors to the BBC Arabic website with any information concerning the identity of the attacker.
The headline reads “Two Israelis killed and 6 wounded in shooting in Jerusalem”. The report’s opening paragraph reads:
“The Israeli police said that two Israelis were killed and six others injured as a result of shooting near the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in East Jerusalem.”
Ben-Dror Yemini: The sickness of narrative thinking
In recent years, the truth has fallen casualty to storytelling; the Palestinian narrative of the Nakba must not override the truth that the Arab armies came to try and destroy Israel in its inception, and must not infantilize the Arab population by not holding them accountable for their actions.
A severe disease has stricken the institutes of knowledge, media, and academia in Israel. It’s the disease of narrative thinking. There is no longer and truth, no historic facts. We are living in a new world. Instead of serious research aimed at finding the truth, the world now sees reality through different stories, with each community, group, people, and country having its own.
Case in point, the claims made by MK Ayman Odeh (leader of the Joint List party) following the death of former president Shimon Peres. According to Odeh, the “Palestinians of 1948” (how Israeli-Arabs define themselves), who experienced the “Nakba,” are victims of the Zionist enterprise, of which Peres is a main representative. So why should the victim come to the criminal’s funeral?
And so, things should be made clear: There was indeed a Nakba. There was a disaster. Crimes were committed during the Independence War, whose victims were local Arab people. And those who would deny this are at least as bad as MK Odeh and his “narrative.” We need to acknowledge this not in order to identify with the victims on a human level (not that this is unimportant), but because these are facts.
The thing is, MK Odeh ignores the fact that the Arab leadership of that period, to which he is a successor, mad it unequivocally clear: Not only are we not interested in compromise and in a division of lands, we plan on conducting a massacre.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prefers the stance on Israel of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to that of the current US administration, with one senior Israeli official saying Netanyahu feels Clinton is “more instinctively sympathetic to Israel than the White House,” according to a leaked email released by WikiLeaks.
In correspondence dated December 2015, Stuart Eizenstat, a former US diplomat and close associate of the Clintons, describes to Clinton’s campaign chief John Podesta and top aide Jake Sullivan a meeting he had with “a senior Israeli official who is very close to the Prime Minister, and knows his thinking,” detailing at length a number of key positions on the Israel-US relationship held by Netanyahu.
The WikiLeaks organization on Friday posted what it said were thousands of emails obtained in a hack of the Clinton campaign chairman’s personal email account.
In his email, Eizenstat said the Israeli official told him that Netanyahu’s relationship with Clinton is far from how it has often been portrayed in both the Israeli and US media.
The choice for America’s voters could not be clearer:
* co-operation with Russia to first get rid of ISIS and – unmentioned during the debate – al Nusra – threats to world peace and security already declared by the UN Security Council or
* continuing confrontation with Russia seeking to resolve the Syrian civil conflict which has raged since 2011.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov extended the following olive branch to America on 18 November 2015:
“The Security Council needs to give preferential attention to the task of creating a solid legal foundation for the fight against this evil [Islamic State] and for the mobilization of an actual global coalition in response to this common uncompromising challenge for us all.”
Obama has spurned Russia’s offer – Clinton is adopting Obama’s position.
Trump seems ready to take up Russia’s offer of defeating ISIS first.
American voters have been presented with a stark choice between Clinton and Trump on America’s future involvement in Syria.
In last week’s Vice Presidential debate, Democratic nominee Tim Kaine claimed that, as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton “worked a tough negotiation with nations around the world to eliminate the Iranian nuclear weapons program without firing a shot.”
The National Review called Kaine’s claim “preposterous,” and Commentary Magazine said of Kaine’s various claims about the JCPOA, also known as the Iranian nuclear deal, that they are “not only largely false, but frightening in themselves.”
But lest those critiques be dismissed as coming from “conservative” outlets, other so-called “mainstream” media also said that Kaine’s claims simply weren’t true.
ABC News rated Kaine’s statement as “False”:
The nuclear agreement reached between six world powers and Iran last year does not completely eliminate the Iranian nuclear program. Its major achievement, as told by the Obama administration, was getting Iran to commit to reduce its stockpile of nuclear material and cease further enrichment, effectively extending the time it would take Iran to build a bomb.
The Washington Post wrote:
Kaine leans way over on his skis here. The Iranian nuclear agreement was actually negotiated by Clinton’s successor, John Kerry, though Clinton helped tee up the negotiations by increasing sanctions on the Islamic Republic. The deal, which has been sharply criticized by Republicans, did increase the amount of time that Iran would need to build a nuclear weapon by reducing its centrifuges for uranium enrichment and its stockpile of enriched uranium. But the deal expires in 15 years, and Iran’s nuclear infrastructure remains in place.
While Iran has insisted it has no interest in building nuclear weapons, the deal does not eliminate the risk that it will obtain nuclear bombs.
On Tuesday, the United Nations will for the first time in its history observe Yom Kippur. No formal meetings will be held at the General Assembly and its permanent committees in New York, and Jewish employees will be able to stay home without having to use a vacation day.
The campaign urging the UN to add the Day of Atonement to its list of recognized holidays was launched in May 2014 by Israel’s then-ambassador Ron Prosor and approved a year later — during the term of the current envoy, Danny Danon, who at the time took credit for this “decisive victory.” But he has not stopped at Yom Kippur.
“I brought Judaism into the UN,” Danon told The Times of Israel happily during a recent interview marking the elapsing of a year since he took up the prestigious post at Turtle Bay.
By which he meant that he donned a skullcap and cited the Bible during his first speech in the Security Council, organized a Hannukah party, took 70 foreign diplomats to see “Fiddler on the Roof” on Broadway on Israel Independence Day, and organized the first Passover Seder at the UN in recent memory. “We had more than 40 ambassadors sit down for three hours — that’s very impressive,” he recalled.
With its eyes on the potential launch of an Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative after next month’s presidential election, the Obama administration is “manufacturing a crisis” over settlement construction, to exert diplomatic pressure on the Jewish state, The Weekly Standard reported on Sunday, citing sources in Congress and the American Jewish community.
Last week, the administration raised many eyebrows with its unusually strident criticism of Israel’s settlement policies following the approval of dozens of new homes in the West Bank. One congressional source told The Weekly Standard that the administration had been “waiting for an opening” to hit hard against Israel, and an official with an American-Jewish organization was quoted as saying the administration “wants to be able to say the Israelis forced them to act.”
The vociferous anti-settlement rhetoric used by White House and State Department spokespersons was shortly followed by the publication of a New York Times editorial board op-ed calling on the administration to back a UN Security Council resolution that would outline the parameters of a two-state solution.
In response to that op-ed, Mark Dubowitz — executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) think thank — tweeted on Friday, “Obama is laying the groundwork for UN & EU sanctions on Israel. I’ve seen this playbook before.”
Later the same day, Dubowitz took aim at the administration again, tweeting, “Unlike with Iran, all options are on Obama’s table to pound Israel.”
US Secretary of State John Kerry reportedly told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the weekend that the Obama administration has not yet made a decision on whether to back a UN Security Council resolution on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict after the November presidential elections.
Support for or promotion of such a resolution would mark a drastic change in policy for the US, which has consistently vetoed and/or threatened to veto any UN resolutions deemed unfavorable to Israel.
In a phone conversation on Saturday night, Netanyahu told Kerry he expects that the US will not support any diplomatic measures at the UN that are carried out without Israel’s consent, Haaretz newspaper reported. The prime minister also reiterated statements he made in a speech to the UN General Assembly last month, in which he said “peace will not come from statements and resolutions at the United Nations.”
But while Kerry listened to Netanyahu’s request, he told the prime minister that no decision on supporting future resolutions had yet been made, the report said.
Members of the Israeli government are worried that before leaving office in January but after his successor is chosen, US President Barack Obama may seek to impose or advance a solution to the conflict, or at least set out parameters for how it should be solved. These measures would include the Security Council, where the US would decide against using the veto granted to it as a permanent member of the Security Council for any anti-Israel resolutions.
A senior Israeli minister is slated to travel to Turkey this week, marking the first such trip since Jerusalem and Ankara announced a reconciliation deal after six years of ruptured relations.
Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy, and Water Resources Yuval Steinitz is set to attend the World Energy Congress in Istanbul, where he may also meet with Turkey’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Berat Albayrak to discuss gas deals between the two nations. While an Israeli foreign ministry official told Agence France-Presse on Monday that the meeting is “not certain” yet, Steinitz’s office announced last week that the ministers plan to “discuss the export of gas from Israel to Turkey, and cooperation on energy matters between the two countries,” Globes reported. The meeting will be the first on the ministerial level since the restoration of diplomatic ties.
Kemal Okem, a close adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was selected to become his country’s new ambassador to Israel, Turkish media reported on Friday. The appointment has not yet been officially confirmed.
Israel’s strengthening ties with Turkey and other regional powers led former State Department official Josh Cohen to observe last month that “Israel’s diplomatic gains have never been greater.” His assessment echoed that of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said in March that “today we have diplomatic relations with 161 countries – more than at any time in our history.”
Students in Jordan and the United Arab Emirates have launched an anti-normalization campaign against a recent gas deal signed between Jerusalem and Amman, which they claim supports the “genocidal” regime of the Jewish state.
Activists at the University of Jordan (UJ) have organized under the Student Coalition for the Cancellation of the Gas Deal (SCCGD) group, which aims to use debates, conferences, marches and protests to undermine the deal, the Jordan Times reported.
SCCGD spokesman Anas Hussein told the Jordan Times that the gas deal — valued at $10 billion — “will mainly affect students and youth, [most of whom] are not aware of the fact that more than 30% of their electricity bills will fund the Zionist entity.”
According to the report, over the past week, students at UJ and the Jordan University of Science and Technology conducted protests and marches on their campuses, demanding the immediate cancellation of the gas deal. In addition, members of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in Jordan shut off all electrical appliances and lights in their homes for one hour.
In solidarity, a group of students at the New York University Abu Dhabi campus on September 30 carried out a “performance” protest in front of the campus dining hall, students newspaper the Gazelle reported, during which they stood with medical masks covering the lower half of their faces for three hours during lunch period — and every 15 minutes chanted, “Blood is thicker than gas.”
The Defense Ministry and IDF Archives on Monday released rare recordings of the radio communications made in the course of a heroic rescue mission carried out during the 1973 Yom Kippur War by Lt. Col. Yoni Netanyahu, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s brother.
The mission saw the Golan Heights rescue of wounded tank battalion commander Yossi Ben-Hanan from enemy fire. Yoni Netanyahu was awarded the IDF’s Medal of Distinguished Service for his actions. He was killed during Operation Entebbe less than three years later.
Ben-Hanan was wounded after his tank was hit by Syrian fire. He was pulled out of the tank by crew member Zvika Rosenzweig, who dragged him to a nearby location, which was still under threat by Syrian forces. A rescue mission under Netanyahu’s command was dispatched to retrieve both.
The tapes allow for a rare glimpse of the operation, with the voices of then-7th Armored Brigade Commander Avigdor (Yanush) Ben-Gal, then-division commander Rafael Eitan, and Netanyahu. At times, the low-quality recording makes it difficult to distinguish between the speakers.
“Yossi, Yanush here. … Give me cardinal directions. … We sent you a doctor,” Ben-Gal’s voice is heard over the radio. “They’re [the rescue party] riding in an APC [armored personnel carrier] and will make the final approach on foot.”
Israel’s security community has come to the conclusion that Air Force navigator Ron Arad, who disappeared 30 years ago when he ejected from his stricken plane over Lebanon, died within two years of vanishing, Channel 2 said Monday.
A joint report by the Mossad spy agency and the Israel Defense Forces’s Directorate of Military Intelligence, which includes new information obtained over the past two years, says Arad likely died by 1988, earlier than was previously believed, the TV report said.
The navigator disappeared after he and pilot Yishai Aviram bailed out of their plane over southern Lebanon.
Aviram was rescued shortly afterwards, but Arad was never found. Israel believes he was captured by the Shiite Amal movement before being handed over to Iran, and moved from Lebanon to Iran and then back again.
Israel declared the airman dead in 2008.
The report noted that much of the information remains under wraps as all branches of Israel’s security continue to try to solve the puzzle of Arad’s fate.
IDF soldiers destroyed early Tuesday the Nablus home of a Palestinian terrorist who masterminded the October 1, 2015, shooting attack that killed Eitam and Naama Henkin in front of their children.
“Last night, in accordance with the instructions of the political echelon, our forces, together with Border Police troops and the Civil Administration, destroyed the home of the terrorist who carried out the attack,” an IDF statement said.
Amjad Aliwi was convicted of leading the Hamas cell that carried out the killing and acquiring the firearms used in the attack.
The Henkins were driving with their four young children — the oldest was nine years old at the time — on the road between the northern West Bank settlements of Elon Moreh and Itamar, when they were ambushed by Aliwi’s cell as their car slowed down at an intersection.
Four days later the IDF arrested five members of a cell over the shooting. In June, four of them, including Aliwi, were convicted and sentenced by a military court to two life terms and 30 years in prison each.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Expert Warns Video Games Might Turn Palestinians Violent (satire)
A psychologist at Bir Zeit University has admonished Palestinian leaders that the proliferation of entertainment featuring shooting, sword fighting, and other forms of violence is likely to adversely affect the disposition of Palestinian youths, who might then view physical violence as a legitimate form of expression.
Ali Moot, a professor of psychology, warned the political and cultural leadership that violent video games, movies, television programs, and other forms of entertainment have been implicated in what appears to be a rising trend of violent behavior. Moot claimed the proliferation of such material makes it seem to the consumer that those modes of behavior are commonplace and therefore acceptable under most circumstances. Such a development, he cautioned, would increase the chances of large numbers of youths seeking violent confrontation instead of wiser, more sedate resolutions to conflict.
“It’s been documented extensively, especially in the United States,” argued the professor. “Violent crime has risen in tandem with the popularity of violent shows, films, and video games, and it would be smart of our leadership to do something to prevent such a trend from hitting our society. I, for one, would not want to see our youth deciding that the best way to react to an unpleasant situation is to go out and shoot, stab, or run somebody over. It can only get them in trouble.”
“I worry about the values behind those games,” he continued. “Fantasies of violence appeal to the simplistic desires people have, for power, or for redemption, but they’re illusory. I hope I do not live to see the day when Palestinian society has been so saturated and overcome with such invidious values that our youth – and many adults – default to violence when they encounter adversity. Why should they listen to reason when the visceral appeal of killing an enemy is so much more compelling, even if ultimately pointless? Those games are dangerous, I tell you, and the government should act immediately to block their sale and distribution in Palestinian jurisdiction.”
The cancellation of long-awaited Palestinian elections, as well as the recent hospitalization of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who does not have a clear succession plan, have caused growing concern over whether Palestinians would be prepared to run an effective independent state.
Municipal elections had been scheduled for Saturday, but will not be held for several months, if at all, after a a PA court cancelled them last month, citing “procedural problems.” In a report for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, longtime Arab affairs correspondent Yoni Ben Menachem attributed the cancellation of the elections, and Abbas’ failure to name a successor, to the president’s interest in preserving his sons’ business empire.
Abbas’ refusal to establish any sort of chain of succession is only one area where the Palestinians have failed to establish the institutions needed for effective statehood.
In an analysis written last month for Newsweek, Jonathan Schanzer, vice president for research of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, described the PA under Abbas as increasingly autocratic with little interest in establishing the institutions of government.
Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, for his part, said Thursday that while Israel does not want to spark a war with Hamas, it will answer every attack from the Gaza Strip with a “forceful response.”
“We are not looking for adventures and no one wants to push for escalation with Hamas in the Gaza Strip — however, we are determined to protect the safety of the citizens of the State of Israel, and on that point there will be no compromise,” Liberman said at a Tel Aviv event honoring outstanding officers and NCOs.
“All fire from Gaza into the sovereign land of the State of Israel will get a forceful response. Hamas rules the Strip with a firm hand and when it wants to get something or prevent something, it knows how to do that,” he said.
Meanwhile, Hamas has arrested dozens of Salafists in connection with the rocket attacks after Israel struck several tunnels and rocket launchers, some adjacent to the Israeli border, Breitbart Jerusalem learned.
The Gaza source said that the latest round of hostilities cost Hamas millions of dollars, which apparently spurred the Islamic organization to act decisively against rowdy militants.
The source said that Hamas hopes the latest clampdown will send the Salafist dissidents a message that Hamas would not let the security situation deteriorate. He added that some of the detainees weren’t suspected of taking part in the attacks, but were relatives of militants who had gone into hiding “and can be used to provide useful information as well as send them a message that we mean business. We will not let Gaza become an IS launching pad.”
Syrian MP: The Golan Heights Must Be Part of Any Solution to the War in Syria
An Iranian child bride could be hanged within weeks after she was sentenced to death for allegedly murdering her abusive husband.
Zeinab Sokian was sentenced to death for the 2012 murder of her husband, when she was just 17.
However, Zeinab married another prisoner while in jail and fell pregnant, and as Iranian law prevents pregnant women from being executed her death sentence was delayed.
However, on September 30 she gave birth to a stillborn child in Euromieh central prison in northern Iran, meaning she could now be put to death within weeks.
Zeinab, who hails from a small village in northern Iran, was just 15 when she married her first husband.
Under Iranian law girls can marry at 13-years-old and boys at 15, although international human rights organisations say both parties in a marriage should be aged 18 or over.
During her trial, Zeinab claimed that her husband frequently beat and abused her, a source told Human Rights Watch. However, her claims were dismissed by the court.
The human rights organisation says that Zeinab was informed by authorities this week her execution could take place in the coming weeks.
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