September 29, 2022

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12/01 Links Pt1: Will Abbas pay salaries to the arsonists?; Keith Ellison – The Wrong Man at the Wrong Time

From Ian:

PMW: Will Mahmoud Abbas pay salaries to the arsonists?
While Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas was accepting praise for sending Palestinian firefighters to help put out fires in Israel, the PA Finance Ministry was busy doing the paper work to start paying salaries to the Palestinian arsonists who were arrested for setting many of those same fires. So far Israel has arrested 23 suspected arsonists connected to the hundreds of fires that raged across Israel last week burning more than 500 homes and 32,000 acres of forests and national parks. According to Palestinian law documented by PMW, anyone imprisoned for “resisting the occupation” receives a high monthly salary. Therefore, all of those convicted and imprisoned for arson will receive PA salaries “from the day of arrest until the day of release.”
Of course, it is not only arson-terrorists who receive a PA salary. All Palestinian, Israeli Arab and Arab terrorists from any country who are imprisoned are rewarded with high salaries from the PA. (See PMW Special Report) According to PA law and practice, “resisting the occupation” includes any Arab imprisoned for attacking Israelis by any means, including throwing a stone at a car, driving a car into people at bus stops, building bombs for suicide bombers to blow up at cafes, or shooting and stabbing civilians to death in their sleep. Since the PA automatically includes anyone who attacked Israelis or their possessions as “fighters” who are “resisting the occupation,” there is no justification under Palestinian law and practice not to include last week’s arsonists among the Palestinian “heroes” who receive monthly salaries.
Significantly, these salaries for terrorists rise the longer terrorists are in jail. Terrorists convicted of murder and serving life sentences will reach a high salary of NIS 12,000 a month – more than four times the average Palestinian salary.
The PA has already paid the five Hamas terrorists who murdered Eitam and Naama Henkin in front of their four children last October in total NIS 91,000 as reward for their murders. And terrorist Abdallah Barghouti has already received NIS 645,000 for building the bombs that murdered 67 Israelis at the Sbarro pizza shop, Sheffield Club, Moment Café, the triple bombing at the Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall, Hebrew University and No. 4 bus in Tel Aviv.
Today there are approximately 7,000 Palestinian prisoners on the PA payroll. The PA rewards them every month for terrorism, and this generous arrangement will cost the PA NIS 488 million in 2016 alone, according to the PA’s publicized budget.

Alan M. Dershowitz: Keith Ellison – The Wrong Man at the Wrong Time

Ellison has struggled to explain his association with Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam. He has acknowledged working with the Nation of Islam for about 18 months to organize the Minnesota delegation to Farrakhan’s 1995 Million Man March in Washington. However, Ellison insists that he never joined the Nation of Islam and more recently, he has held himself out as a friend of the Jewish people and of Israel. This late conversion coincided with Ellison’s decision to pursue elected office in Minnesota, and an apparent realization that his association with the Nation of Islam might hurt his political fortunes. In 2006, he wrote a letter to the Jewish Community Relations Council in Minneapolis, in which he apologized for failing to “adequately scrutinize the positions” of Farrakhan and other Nation of Islam leaders. “They were and are anti-Semitic, and I should have come to that conclusion earlier than I did.” In his recently released memoir “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee: My Faith, My Family, Our Future,” Ellison writes of Farrakhan:
“He could only wax eloquent while scapegoating other groups” and of the Nation of Islam “if you’re not angry in opposition to some group of people (whites, Jews, so-called ‘sellout’ blacks), you don’t have religion.”
Ellison’s voting record also does not support his claim that he has become a “friend” of Israel. He was one of only 8 Congressmen who voted against funding the Iron Dome program, developed jointly by the U.S. and Israel, which helps protect Israeli civilians from Hamas rockets. In 2009, Ellison was one of only two dozen Congressmen to vote “present” rather than vote for a non-binding resolution “recognizing Israel’s right to defend itself against attacks from, reaffirming the United States’ strong support for Israel, and supporting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.” And in 2010, Ellison co‐authored a letter to President Obama, calling on him to pressure Israel into opening the border with Gaza. The letter describes the blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza strip as “de facto collective punishment of the Palestinian residents.”
Even beyond Ellison’s past associations with anti-American and anti-Semitic bigotry and his troubling current voting record with regard to Israel, his appointment as head of the DNC would be a self-inflicted wound on the Democratic Party at this critical time in its history. It would move the party in the direction of left-wing extremism at a time when centrist stability is required. The world at large is experiencing a movement toward extremes, both right and left. The Democratic Party must buck that dangerous trend and move back to the center where the votes are, and where America should be.

2 Iranians charged with plan to attack Israeli embassy in Kenya

A Kenyan prosecutor has charged two Iranian men with collecting information to carry out a terrorist attack after they were allegedly found with video footage of the Israeli embassy.
State Prosecutor Duncan Ondimu said in court on Thursday that Sayed Nasrollah Ebrahim and Abdolhosein Gholi Safaee were arrested Tuesday in an Iranian diplomatic car while taking the pictures of the Israeli mission using a mobile phone, including when they were intercepted.
They were detained in the capital, Nairobi after they had come from visiting Kamiti Prison where they saw two other Iranians who have been jailed for 15 years on terrorism charges.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem had no comment on the incident.
A Kenyan driver, Moses Keyah Mmboga, who was chauffeuring the vehicle belonging to the Iranian embassy has been charged along with the suspects and also faces a separate charge of “abetting terrorism,” Ondimu said.

UN General Assembly supports resolution ignoring Jewish ties to Temple Mount

The UN General Assembly overwhelming voted to support a resolution that used solely Muslim language to describe the Temple Mount.
Out of the United Nation’s 193 member states, 147 voted in favor, seven voted against and eight abstained.
The Jerusalem resolution was one of six resolutions condemning Israel and supporting the Palestinians that the General Assembly approved on Wednesday, as part of its special annual session for the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, which began on Tuesday.
All the European member states present in the room voted in favor of the resolution – countries such as France, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom.
The states that opposed the Jerusalem resolution were the United States, Canada, Israel, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Naura and Palu.
Those that abstained were Australia, Guatemala, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay and Vanuatu.

Hillel Neuer at UCL Debate: Is the UN fair in its treatment of the Israel-Palestine conflict?

UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer at University College London (UCL) to debate Prof. Sir Nigel Rodley, UN Human Rights Committee member & former chair, and Prof. Eric Heinze. Moderated by Prof. Rosa Freedman. Debate topic: “Is the UN fair in its treatment of the Israel-Palestine Conflict?”

Hold UNRWA Accountable

UNRWA has been supplying textbooks with inciting material to children in the West Bank and Gaza. These books are APPROVED by the United States. Teaching violence to children is incredibly dangerous and undermines the peace process. Stand with us in demanding that the US remove these books from their approved list and condemn UNRWA’s role in providing the books. Promote peace, not hate.

Israeli justices sued in Chile over West Bank security barrier

Two lawsuits have been filed in Chile against three current or former Israeli Supreme Court justices for endorsing the construction of the West Bank security barrier and the seizure of goods from Palestinians.
Chile’s Palestinian Federation filed a war crimes suit Monday against current Justices Uzi Vogelman and Neal Hendel and retired justice Asher Grunis, who was president of the court in 2012-15. The group argues that Chile’s international agreements allow for suits involving crimes against humanity committed in other countries.
A Chilean-Palestinian woman who owns land in the Cremisan Valley, which is near Bethlehem, filed a separate suit against the justices.
The lawyer representing her in the case, Nicolas Pavez, said the plaintiffs decided to sue in Chile after exhausting all avenues in Israel over the past eight years, leading to the Israel top court ruling on the legality of the barrier.
“The Supreme Court justices are accused of giving an appearance of legality to this wall that is illegal and that constitutes a war crime,” Pavez said.

Police minister: Nearly half of fires were arson

Israel’s minister for public security said on Wednesday that forty to fifty percent of the fires that broke out across Israel last week were the result of arson.
Speaking at the Knesset, Gilad Erdan said that his claim regarding the percentage of fires started by arson was based upon “the estimates of professionals” and that the Fire Services back up his claim, according to a transcript of his speech distributed by the Knesset.
“These estimates are based upon facts. When you see two Molotov cocktails with flammable materials, and you see that the fire started from there, you understand that this is arson, and there were a number of cases like this,” Erdan said.
According to Yoram Levy, spokesman of the Fire Services, firefighters battled 1,773 brush fires around the country and the West Bank from November 18 to November 26.

Sister Act. Thank you, Mayor Ed Lee

San Francisco’s Mayor Ed Lee wants to help its sister city Haifa get back on her feet following the devastating fires. He just tweeted
” #SF is proud to be Haifa’s Sister City & we encourage you to support the recovery efforts from the fires. Donate now at”
The donations are channeled through the venerable Jewish National Fund (JNF)
The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) has more info:
Tens of thousands of residents of the Israeli port city of Haifa, a San Francisco Sister City, were forced to evacuate last week when high winds pushed fires into residential areas. More than 700 homes were damaged or destroyed, and residents are only now returning. While among many serious fires in Israel, Haifa’s were some of the worst. In response, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has launched a new website at to help bring attention to the situation and drive donations.
“On behalf of the residents of San Francisco, my thoughts and prayers go out to the families affected by the fires that have struck our Sister City Haifa, Israel. San Francisco stands ready to support and assist…,” he said in a statement.

Islamists Won: Charlie Hebdo Disappears

“The newspaper is no longer the same, Charlie is now under artistic and editorial suffocation.” — Zineb el Rhazoui, French-Tunisian intellectual and journalist, author of Destroying Islamic Fascism.
“We must continue to portray Muhammad and Charlie; not to do that means there is no more Charlie.” — Patrick Pelloux, another cartoonist who left the magazine.
“If our colleagues in the public debate do not share part of the risk, then the barbarians have won.” — Elisabeth Badinter, philosopher, who testified in court for the cartoonists in the documentary, “Je suis Charlie.”
After the Kouachi brothers slaughtered Charlie Hebdo’s journalists, they ran out into the street and cried: “We have avenged Muhammad. We killed Charlie Hebdo.” Two years later, it appears that they won. They succeeded in silencing the last European magazine still ready to defend freedom of expression from Islamism.

Ahead of the Curve: Countries Keep Criticizing Israel’s Safety Measures—Before Adopting Them

Israel has one glaring problem: lousy timing. Most of Israel’s apparent problems, certainly the ones its critics claim it has, emerge from Israel’s repeated inability to be synchronized with prevailing global moods. But patience has its rewards—over time, as challenges facing Israel turn out to be global rather than local, Israel’s failings appear so much less so, if at all.
Consider, as an appetizer, the minor but remarkably annoying issue of airport security. During the 1990s, when I was working on projects in Israel for a global consulting firm, senior partners of the firm would arrive in Israel for a two- to three-day stay to oversee the projects. They would invariably arrive angry. Fuming, really. “What is this crazy security you have at your airports? How dare they look in my bag? How do you ever expect to be part of the global economy if you carry on this way?” The Israelis among us would bow our heads in shame, apologize profusely and mumble something about necessity and terrorism.
Cut to 9/11. Cut to the shoe-bomber. Cut to the liquid terrorism plots. Having spent, since 2011, cumulative hundreds of hours waiting in airport security lines around the world, I can safely argue that that Israel’s Ben-Gurion Airport is one of the world’s sanest. No need to take off shoes or belts. No fussing with tiny liquid bottles. Ben-Gurion has a security system that has been honed through decades of battling terrorism, yet designed to enable the existence of an open society.

ISIS terrorists planned to kill kindergarten children with poisoned ice cream before detonating a bomb in a school car park, German trial hears

An ISIS plot to feed poisoned ice cream to kindergarten children before detonating a bomb in their nursery car park has been revealed in Germany.
The gruesome plan came to light during hearings of two teenage Islamic State fanatics who blew up a Sikh temple in the industrial city of Essen during wedding celebrations.
Mohammed O, 17, one of the temple bombers who carried out the assault in April which wounded four people, planned to sell the toxic ices before blowing himself up in the midst of the children.
A second teen, Yusuf T, 17, was the leader of the so-called Temple bomber group.
The young Salafists first formed their murder gang on Whatsapp and built bombs from ingredients ordered from online retailer Amazon.

Arrested German spy was a onetime gay porn actor — and a secret Islamist

Two weeks ago, German intelligence agents noticed an unusual user in a chat room known as a digital hideout for Islamic militants. The man claimed to be one of them — and said he was a German spy. He was offering to help Islamists infiltrate his agency’s defenses to stage a strike.
Agents lured him into a private chat, and he gave away so many details about the spy agency — and his own directives within it to thwart Islamists — that they quickly identified him, arresting the 51-year-old the next day. Only then would the extent of his double life become clear.
The German citizen of Spanish descent confessed to secretly converting to Islam in 2014. From there, his story took a stranger turn. Officials ran a check on the online alias he assumed in radical chat rooms. The married father of four had used it before — as recently as 2011 — as his stage name for acting in gay pornographic films.
Authorities on Tuesday said they had arrested him on suspicion of preparing to commit a violent act and for violating state secrecy laws. His arrest was first reported in Germany’s Der Spiegel. But two German officials familiar with the case — a senior intelligence official and a senior law enforcement official — revealed new details about his double life in interviews with the Washington Post. They include his role in pornographic films, which could cast a fresh light on the judgment and vetting of the German intelligence agency at a critical time.
News of the case sparked a storm of outrage in Germany, even as critics said it raised serious questions about the country’s bureaucratically named domestic spy agency, known as the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV).
As they scramble to contain a proliferation of new threats from the Islamic State terrorist group and lone wolves in Europe, German security officials have been credited with foiling plots. But they also have stumbled — including in the case of Jaber al-Bakr, a Syrian who was arrested last month on suspicion of planning an attack and who managed to kill himself while on a 24-hour suicide watch in a Leipzig jail cell.

PreOccupiedTerritory: Motives Of Terrorists Murdering In Name Of Islam Still Mysterious (satire)

In the wake of yet another Islamist attack this week, religion experts are still scratching heir heads over the possible motive behind the attackers’ invoking the name of Allah and Islam as they try to kill and injure as many people as possible.
Following the same pattern that emerged after the Fort Hood, San Bernardino, Minnesota, and Orlando massacres, among others, scholars throughout the Western world voiced continued puzzlement at the inscrutable considerations that might have led a Somali refugee imbibing Islamic State and Al-Qaeda materials to wreak violence at Ohio State University in Columbus.
“It’s a total enigma,” remarked Hedda Pmyass, a professor of comparative religion at Columbia University. “We have to develop some way of getting inside the heads of these perpetrators to figure out why they’re doing what they’re doing. As it stands, the only things we have to string these incidents together is that they happened to be the work of people loudly citing the same source of inspiration. That’s never enough to establish motive unless the perpetrators were, for example, Jews, Trump supporters, or cops.”
Journalists and politicians in particular have warned against jumping to conclusions about the murderous incidents, stressing that “we just don’t know” what jihadi rhetoric and tactics have to do with establishing the driving force behind the attacks. “It’s just irresponsible to claim you have the answer,” insisted prospective Democratic National Committee chairman Keith Ellison. “There’s nothing clear-cut about these situations. It’s different from, for example, characterizing all Israeli policies as harmful by dint of their being Israeli policies. In that case, we know their motive is just evil oppression and exploitation, so the conclusions come naturally.”

David Singer: Carter Threatens Chaos for Obama, Trump and US Foreign Policy

Ironically Carter hit upon the clue to finally resolving the conflict when addressing Jordan and Jordan’s late monarch King Hussein in another op-ed in Time magazine on 11 October 1982:
“Hussein is personally courageous but an extremely timid man in political matters. That timidity derives almost inevitably from the inherent weakness of Jordan. As a nation it is a contrivance, arbitrarily devised by a few strokes of the pen”
Jordan – 78 per cent of former Palestine – originally designated as part of the location for the Jewish National Home – still remains the key to resolving the Jewish-Arab conflict.
Obama should reject Carter’s latest disastrous advice and leave Trump to try and end the long conflict which has eluded all American presidents.

Top Peace Negotiator: Jimmy Carter’s UN Plan “Would Leave Obama Legacy In Tatters”

The New York Times op-ed that former president Jimmy Carter published in The New York Times on Tuesday, which explains his support for a United Nations Security Council resolution outlining parameters for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, contains recommendations that would “leave the Obama legacy in tatters, while diminishing US credibility in the process,” veteran State Department peace negotiator Aaron David Miller wrote in an analysis for Wednesday.
Miller, who served under both Democratic and Republican administrations, expressed sympathy with Carter’s desire to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians. But he warned that following the former president’s suggestion would “make matters worse.” A unilateral move taken by a lame duck Obama administration would very well be reversed by the incoming Trump administration, giving such an effort limited viability anyway. In all likelihood, Miller explained, a unilateral move to support Palestinian statehood in the UN would backfire.
Firstly, he argued, “any initiative undertaken during the presidential transition in the United States would need to address not just Palestinian needs, but those of Israelis, too. No administration I’ve ever served in took a unilateral, consequential step related to the peace process that didn’t bear this fundamental principle in mind.” Miller noted that Carter kept this in mind when overseeing the historic peace deal between Israel and Egypt, showing sensitivity to the concerns of both Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin.
A unilateral effort in the Security Council to support Palestinian statehood would only serve to alienate Israel while “having little appreciable impact on the realization of Palestinian statehood.” Rather than advancing the cause of peace, Miller wrote, such an effort “would inevitably widen the gap between Israelis and Palestinians.” Even worse, it would increase the “risk of more violence by raising Palestinian expectations without any conceivable promise of delivering.”

Why does Israel want Trump’s son-in-law to be Middle East peace envoy?

Israel’s top diplomat has welcomed suggestions that US President-elect Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner could be appointed as a special envoy to broker peace in the Middle East, but warned against hopes for a quick fix to the country’s decades-long conflict with the Palestinian people.
Deputy foreign minister Tzipi Hotovely told This Week in Asia strong ties between Washington and Tel Aviv were unlikely to change under a Trump presidency, and “we even believe the relationship will be closer”.
“We would be so happy if someone could bring peace to the Middle East. We welcome him,” Hotovely said when asked about the prospects of Kushner, who is married to Trump’s daughter Ivanka, being made a special representative for peace between Israel and the Palestinian people.
Trump told The New York Times this month that Kushner would be “very good” at dealing with both sides.
“I mean he knows it so well. He knows the region, knows the people, knows the players,” Trump said of Kushner, who is of Jewish descent.
But Hotovely – who is Israel’s de-facto top full-time diplomat as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is also foreign minister – said his ethnicity was not an issue. “What matters is that he is American…we will be happy if someone can promote peace,” she said.

US officials: Obama has nearly ruled out UN action on Israel

President Barack Obama has nearly ruled out any major last-ditch effort to put pressure on Israel over stalled peace negotiations with the Palestinians, US officials said, indicating Obama will likely avoid one last row with Israel’s government as he leaves office.
Frustrated by the lack of progress, Obama for more than a year had considered giving a major speech describing his vision for a future peace deal or, in a more aggressive step, supporting a United Nations resolution laying out parameters for such a deal. Although the goal would be to impart fresh urgency to the moribund peace process, either step would have been perceived as constraining Israel’s negotiating hand while strengthening the Palestinians’ argument on the world stage.
Discussions about those potential maneuvers, underway before the US election, have fallen off since Donald Trump’s surprise victory, officials said. Obama is now highly unlikely to approve either of those options presented to him by US diplomats, said the officials, who weren’t authorized to discuss internal deliberations and requested anonymity.
Officials left open the possibility that Obama could address the Mideast issue in a more limited way, short of weighing in on the contours of a future peace accord, before leaving office.

House Unanimously Passes Resolution Urging Bilateral Talks for Israeli-Palestinian Peace

A bipartisan resolution stating that peace between Israelis and Palestinians “will come only through direct bilateral negotiations between the parties” passed the House of Representatives unanimously on Tuesday.
The resolution urged President Barack Obama to veto any United Nations Security Council resolutions that would set parameters for a peace deal between the two parties. Such a resolution would be “unacceptable to any Israeli government, left or right – making it impossible to see any future peace,” Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and sponsor of the resolution, said on the floor of the House.
Royce also questioned whether the Palestinian Authority was properly preparing its population to make peace with Israel, noting that the PA has incited its citizens to violence against Israelis and also “[rewards] Palestinian terrorists in Israeli jails with a monthly paycheck.” He called on the United States to “stand firm,” and recognize that “the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can only be resolved through direct negotiations between the parties.”
House minority whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) issued a statement praising Royce and Rep. Eliot Engel (D – N.Y.), the Foreign Affairs Committee’s ranking Democrat, for working together to pass the resolution.

Israeli UN Envoy Slams General Assembly President for Wearing Palestinian Flag Scarf at Anti-Jewish State Event

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon slammed UN General Assembly President Peter Thomson for wearing a Palestinian flag scarf at a meeting marking the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people on Tuesday.
Danon said it was “unacceptable” that someone in a position symbolic of “neutrality and stateliness…wrap[ped] himself in a Palestinian flag” and attended the event — held by the UN’s Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP) — “whose sole purpose [was] to attack and besmirch the state of Israel.”
“This is living, unequivocal proof of the bias against Israel and the slander spread about us at the UN,” Danon added.
The special session of CEIRPP was initiated by the Palestinian delegation to mark the day on which the UN passed its 1947 Partition Plan that led to the creation of the state of Israel.

Lawmakers Will Challenge Obama’s Limit on Defense Aid for Israel

Democratic and Republican lawmakers are vowing to challenge a limit on US defense aid to Israel that President Barack Obama included in the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding between the two nations.
The agreement — reached in September — guarantees Israel $38 billion in aid over 10 years, but it also states that if Congress increases the aid, Israel is obliged to return the extra funds. Representatives Paul Gosar (R-Texas), Randy Weber (R-Ariz.), and Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) said Tuesday at Agudath Israel of America’s annual legislative luncheon in New York that the restriction is “unconstitutional” because it would interfere with the ability of Congress to fulfill its mandate as a co-equal branch of the Federal government. Engel vowed to “fight every step of the way” to revoke the aid limit.
Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), speaking at the same event, said that the aid restriction “conflicts with the Constitution in spirit if not in letter,” because Congress “has a right to respond to emergency situations, and we will not give up that right.” As an example, Jeffries said that if Israel is attacked, it might require extra aid to defend itself. Congress, he said, should be able to take action in such circumstances.

Minister: Abbas ‘No. 1 enemy of Israel,’ worse than Arafat

Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz (Likud) declared Thursday that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is Israel’s top enemy, saying the Palestinian leader has consistently refused to recognize the Jews’ right to self-determination and is unwilling to view major cities, such as Tel Aviv and Haifa, as Israel’s territory.
In an interview with Israel Radio, Steinitz responded to comments Abbas made in a key speech Wednesday, during which the Palestinian leader doubled down on his refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and threatened to back away from recognizing the State of Israel altogether.
During his major policy address at the Seventh Fatah Congress in Ramallah, Abbas stressed he “will not recognize a Jewish state,” and said Palestinian recognition of Israel “will not last forever” if Israel does not recognize a Palestinian state.
“It is another sad joke,” Steinitz told the radio station, adding that Abbas recognizes the de facto existence of Israel, but not its right to exist.
“Abbas is talking about stopping his recognition of Israel, but first he should start recognizing Israel. Abbas has never recognized Israel’s right to exist. To this very day he rejects Israel’s right to exist,” the minister said.

Abbas: We will join all 522 international organizations

The Palestinian leadership plans to continue its strategy to internationalize the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by joining international institutions, PA President Mahmoud Abbas said during a long speech at the seventh Fatah General Congress in Ramallah on Wednesday.
“We will join all of them,” Abbas said of 522 international organizations.
The Palestinian leadership has joined 44 international organization thus far, including UNESCO and the International Criminal Court.
Abbas also said that the Palestinian leadership plans to “go to the UNSC to ask for full membership” in the world body.
The Palestinian leadership achieved non-member observer status at the UN in September 2012, after an abortive attempt to do so in 2011.

Coca-Cola inaugurates new Gaza bottling plant

The Coca-Cola Company inaugurated its first bottling plant in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, a facility which will eventually employ 270 people and indirectly support hundreds of households.
The $20 million (NIS 76 million) investment, in coordination with Coca-Cola’s Palestinian partner, National Beverage Company, is the fourth bottling plant in the territories, which also contains four distribution centers.
“National Beverage Company and Coca-Cola share great pride in having been part of the fabric of Palestinian communities for almost 18 years and our new Gaza plant shows our ongoing commitment to investing in and supporting progress in communities around the world,” said Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company.
The bottling facility first began production in April 2016 but began full operations after a ceremony on Wednesday.

Israel’s new ambassador to Turkey arrives in Ankara

Israel’s new ambassador to Turkey — the first in five years — arrived in Ankara on Thursday morning.
“I am very happy to be back in Turkey as ambassador. We have a lot of work to do,” Eitan Na’eh told Turkish reporters at the airport. “I want to thank Turkey for the support, the aid it sent Israel fighting fires last week. We have a history of helping each other.”
Ankara was among the several states that sent planes and other equipment to help Israel extinguish over 1,000 wildfires across the country.
“Thank you for the warm welcome,” Na’eh said in English, declining a reporter’s request to say a few words in Turkish — a language he is said to speak fluently — before heading into his grey van and driving off.
Na’eh, who most recently served as Israel’s deputy ambassador in London, was stationed in Ankara in the 1990s.

Turkey’s Erdogan: Israel restricting Muslim worship

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey accused Israel of restricting Muslim worship while calling on all Muslims to embrace the Palestinian cause and protect Jerusalem.
Erdogan made the call to Muslims on Tuesday during public remarks at the Symposium of Jerusalem Platform in Istanbul. A Turkish government document sent to JTA summarized his remarks.
“It is not only the duty of unarmed Palestinian children to protect Al-Aksa mosque,” Erdogan said.
He added: “We will continue to support Jerusalem with all our means as we have done so far. We will work with might and main to protect Palestine and the sanctity of Al-Aksa mosque.”
In accusing Israel of restricting Muslim worship, he said it was “harming the sanctity” of Al-Aksa and that “Policies of oppression, isolation and discrimination have been pursued since 1948.”
He referred specifically to the proposed Israeli legislation to limit the volume and the hours of the Muslim call to prayer, calling it “dangerous.”

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