Archive for May 14, 2018

Turkey recalls ambassadors to Israel, US over Gaza ‘genocide’

May 14, 2018

‘Israel is a terrorist state,’ Erdogan says of response to Hamas-led riots on border; Foreign Ministry says it has not received official notice

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan answers questions after giving a speech at Chatham house in London on May 14, 2018. (AFP Photo/Adrian Dennis)

Turkey on Monday recalled its ambassadors to Israel and the United States in protest of the Israeli military’s deadly response to riots on the Gaza border.

The announcement was made by Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag, who also declared three days of mourning over the 55 Palestinians the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza said were killed in the riots.

“Israel is wreaking state terror. Israel is a terror state,” Erdogan told Turkish students in London in a speech broadcast by state television. “What Israel has done is a genocide. I condemn this humanitarian drama, the genocide, from whichever side it comes, Israel or America.

“We will continue to stand with Palestinian people with determination,” he added.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said Jerusalem was aware of reports on Turkey’s intention to recall its ambassador but had not received an official notice.

A protestor holds a placard reading “Al-Quds (Jerusalem in Arabic) belongs to the Muslims” during a protest in Istanbul against the opening of the new US embassy in Jerusalem on May 14, 2018. (AFP Photo/Ozan Kose)

Turkey’s announcement came after South Africa announced the immediate recall of its ambassador to Israel in protest of the Gaza deaths.

Monday’s clashes, the deadliest yet in the weeks-long violent “March of Return” protests, came the same day the US inaugurated its new embassy in Jerusalem.

Citing Hamas sources, Hadashot TV news said 10 of the terror group’s members were killed in the clashes, including a son of its co-founder Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi. The IDF’s spokesman said Hamas deployed 12 separate terrorist “cells” to try to breach the border at different locations, and that all were rebuffed.

Erdogan, whom Israel has accused of providing aid to Hamas, the terror group that runs Gaza and backs the protests, said, “We will not allow today to be the day Muslim world loses Jerusalem.”

The Turkish president has positioned himself as a defender of the Palestinians and harshly criticized the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and its relocation of its embassy to the city, saying earlier that the move was a violation of international law.

Turkey’s decision to recall its envoys to Israel and the US came as thousands gathered in Ankara to condemn the US embassy relocation, burning American and Israeli flags, and protesting the deadly clashes along the Israel-Gaza border.

Demonstrators carried banners that read: “Al Quds belongs to the Muslims,” the Arabic name of Jerusalem. They chanted “God is great” and slogans calling for holy war and martyrdom. One speaker called Americans “dogs” as people shouted “Jerusalem is ours, it will be ours.”

Protesters chant slogans as they wave Hamas, Turkish and Palestinian flags outside the residence of the Israeli ambassador in Ankara on May 14, 2018, during a demonstration against the opening of the new US embassy in Jerusalem. (AFP Photo/Adem Altan)

The rally was called by pro-Islamic Humanitarian Relief Foundation, or IHH, which Israel lists as a terror group.

In 2010, 10 Turks were killed in a melee after they attacked IDF troops who boarded an IHH-organized Gaza blockade-busting ship.

The raid led to a souring of ties between the two countries, once close economic and security partners. Diplomatic ties were fully restored when Ankara returned its envoy to Israel in December 2016, though they have remained frosty since.

Raphael Ahren and agencies contributed to this report.

Hamas vows to respond to Israeli ‘bloodshed,’ slams US for embassy move

May 14, 2018

In a press conference following the deadly clashes on the Israel-Gaza border, Hamas promised an immediate response to the killing of protesters and slammed the US for the relocation of its embassy to Jerusalem.

Omri Ariel

http://www.jerusalemonline.com/news/middle-east/israel-and-the-middle-east/hamas-response-to-israeli-bloodshed-is-coming-35803

Hamas held a press conference Monday evening following the deadly clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian protesters along the Gaza border, vowing to retaliate soon.

“The protests of our people have tempted the enemy to cause more bloodshed,” the terrorist group said, adding that its members “won’t wait long” before delivering a response.

According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, at least 52 protesters were killed and more than 2,000 injured in Monday’s clashes as about 50,000 Palestinians were protesting near the security fence, some of whom tried to cross it into Israel.

Hamas also blamed the US administration for sparking the violence with its “criminal” recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the relocation of its embassy there.

Photo credit: Rahim Khatib, Flash 90

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas said the PA is currently considering its response to the relocation of the US embassy earlier today. “We will convene an emergency meeting where we will discuss these issues,” he said, thanking world leaders who opposed US President Donald Trump’s decision.

US Embassy Move Helps the Fight Against Radical Islam

May 14, 2018

By Meira Svirsky Monday, May 14, 2018 Clarion Project

Source Link: US Embassy Move Helps the Fight Against Radical Islam

{The times, they are a changing. – LS}

Today, the United States moved its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Israel’s capital city, Jerusalem. The move is significant – it marks a recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city by the U.S. and an end to the dispute of its status by the world’s foremost superpower.

The move is also significant in the battle against radical Islam. Here are four reasons why:

The move marks an end the era of appeasement of radical Islamists

Congress passed the bipartisan Jerusalem Embassy Act in 1995 which required the U.S. Embassy in Israel to be located in Jerusalem. It was unanimously affirmed by the Senate in 2017.

Up until President Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, U.S. presidents declined to act on the bill, citing security concerns. That was a code word for appeasement of radical Islamists (as well as other Arab nationalists, like the Palestinian Authority, which conveniently pulls out Islamist tropes for violent jihad when it suits their purposes).

As it has been proven historically, appeasement has only led to the emboldening of violent Islamists and has been the impetus for broad-scale and unrelenting terrorism, both against Israel and the U.S.

(The opposite is also true. Far from causing a world conflagration as predicted by various elements which have traditionally taken the appeasement route, the recognition by Trump that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel passed with narry a whimper in the Arab world.)

The embassy move is a message to Islamists: There will be no more appeasement.

 

The move puts Islamists on notice that the US president keeps his word

Former president Obama famously vowed the use of chemical weapons in Syria was his red line. When Syrian President Assad pulled out the weapons and used them on his own people, Obama reneged on his promise to take action, serving to embolden the Syrian despot even further.

That’s just one example.

World powers have already gotten the idea that Trump is a force to be reckoned with. One gets the idea that his saber rattling against North Korea was not a bunch of empty promises, as we have already witnessed substantial progress with North Korea, from their willingness to come to the table to talk about getting rid of their nuclear weapons to the release of political prisoners to the U.S.

 

The move tells Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah and the rest of the Islamist world that the US is serious about standing up to them

 Jason Greenblatt, a key player in Trump’s Mideast negotiating team, said the move “show(s) that America will always stand with Israel.”

Said another way, the move demonstrates in a dramatic way (i.e., going against the stance of the European Union) that it supports a country that actually fights radical Islam instead of giving it lip service.

Tiny Israel has risked war with Iran by not crossing its own red lines – which, at the moment, have to do with making sure that Iranian forces and their advanced weapons are not knocking on Israel’s borders or being transferred to Israel’s enemies like Hezbollah. To this end, Israel has repeatedly attacked Iranian installations in Syria and been willing to face the consequences.

Similarly, Israel is currently showing the world it will not back down when threatened by the Islamist terror organization Hamas on its southern border.

 

The move is a way to get radical Islamists to accept reality and move on

Greenblatt also noted the move is “not a departure from our strong commitment to facilitate a lasting peace deal. Rather, it is a necessary condition for it.”

In other words, the Arab World needs to accept the reality of the State of Israel, make peace with it and stop using the issue as an excuse for not getting their own houses in order.

We see this has already happened in the Sunni states of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt. Under tremendous and potentially disastrous threats from not only from their own radical elements but from Iran, these states have chosen to accept (and even embrace) the reality of the State of Israel, which they rightly believe can help them win these battles.

 

Hamas calls for intifada in response to Gaza deaths

May 14, 2018
Deputy Hamas leader urges Palestinian uprising in Gaza and West Bank in the wake of high death toll on the strip’s border; Netanyahu: ‘Every country has an obligation to defend its borders.’
https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5260576,00.html

Hamas called for an uprising on Monday night after violent clashes on the Gaza border resulted in a high death toll.

“The natural reaction to the death of people who were protesting peacefully should be with an Arab and Islamic intifada (uprising),” said Khalil al-Hayya, the deputy Hamas leader. “The Palestinian response must be clear in Gaza and in the West Bank. There is no other choice but to light the fire in Gaza and in the West Bank in response to what happened.”

“Hamas is monitoring the marches and stands as a shield for them,” he added.

Palestinian protesters on the Gaza border (Photo: EPA)

About 40,000 Palestinians have gathered near the fence in 13 hot spots along the border since the morning hours. Several thousand others were located in the tent area about half a kilometer from the fence. At 5:30pm, Hamas ordered all those present in the border area to return home.

At least 52 Palestinians were killed from IDF fire on the Gaza border, with over 1,200 suffering gunshot wounds and 1,200 others suffering other injuries. This is the highest Palestinian death toll since Operation Protective Edge in 2014.

(Photo: AFP)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who held security consultations on Monday evening in light of the clashes on the Gaza border, said Israel was acting in self-defense.

“Every country has an obligation to defend its borders,” Netanyahu wrote on Twitter. “The Hamas terrorist organization declares it intends to destroy Israel and sends thousands to breach the border fence in order to achieve this goal. We will continue to act with determination to protect our sovereignty and citizens.”

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman also held consultations on Monday evening with IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, instructing him “to continue acting with determination to prevent any attempt to undermine Israeli sovereignty and Israeli citizens, in accordance with the policy outlined.”

(Photo: AFP)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, meanwhile, called the new US embassy, which was opened in Jerusalem on Monday, “a US settlement outpost,” saying the Palestinians would reject any American mediation in peace talks with Israel and demand at least two different international mediators.

“We received Trump’s peace plan; the Americans removed the issue of refugees and Jerusalem from the negotiations. We won’t accept this deal and we don’t want to hear from the United States anymore,” he said.

 

 

Iranian Group Offers $100,000 to Blow Up New U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem

May 14, 2018

By Adam Kredo May 14, 2018

Source Link: Iranian Group Offers $100,000 to Blow Up New U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem

{It was just a matter of time for a threat such as this to surface. – LS}

A hardline Iranian organization is reportedly offering a $100,000 reward to any person who bombs the newly opened U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, according to a translation of Farsi language reports.

A group known as the Iranian Justice Seeker Student Movement is reported to have disseminated posters calling for an attack on the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, which has been opposed by Palestinian and Iranian officials as an affront to the holy city.

“The Student Justice Movement will support anybody who destroy the illegal American embassy in Jerusalem,” the poster states in Farsi, Arabic, and English, according to an independent translation of the propaganda poster provided to the Free Beacon.

There will be a “$100,000 dollar prize for the person who destroys the illegal American embassy in Jerusalem,” the poster states.

The call for an attack on the new embassy is just the latest escalation by hostile Islamic states and leaders who have lashed out at the United States and President Donald Trump for making good on a campaign promise to relocate the embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel’s declared capital city of Jerusalem.

News of the bomb threat was first reported by the University Student News Network, a regional Farsi-language site that aggregates relevant news briefs.

“The Student Movement for Justice declared, ‘Whoever bombs the embassy’s building will receive a $100,000 award,'” the report states. “It is necessary to mention that the steps by Trump to transfer the US Embassy to Holy Qods [Jerusalem] has led to the anger and hatred of Muslims and liberators throughout the world.'”

Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon adviser and expert on rogue regimes, told the Washington Free Beacon that terrorism of this nature is embedded in the Iranian regime’s hardline stance.

“Unfortunately, terrorism directed toward diplomats and embassies has become a central pillar of the Islamic Republic’s culture,” Rubin said. “Terrorism is lionized in Iranian schools. This bounty is more the rule than the exception. To blame Washington or Jerusalem is to blame the victim and give terrorists a veto over U.S. policy.”

Behnam Ben Taleblu, an research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, described the poster as repulsive and blamed the Iranian ruling regime for fostering such an attitude.

“This is nothing short of an invitation to a heinous act of an international terror by a student group that looks up to the world’s foremost state sponsor of terror—the Islamic Republic of Iran,” he said.

 

PM Netanyahu’s Remarks at Dedication Ceremony of US Embassy in Jerusalem 

May 14, 2018

 

 

 

 

Iran is funding Hamas’s violent campaign at Gaza border, Shin Bet says

May 14, 2018

Source: Iran is funding Hamas’s violent campaign at Gaza border, Shin Bet says | The Times of Israel

Captured terror operatives say Hamas sends civilians to the fence, keeps its own gunmen back — ready to enter Israel if fence is breached to carry out terror attacks

A Palestinian boy protester runs carrying a tire towards a fire during clashes with Israeli forces along the border with the Gaza strip east of Gaza City on May 4, 2018 (AFP PHOTO / MAHMUD HAMS)

A Palestinian boy protester runs carrying a tire towards a fire during clashes with Israeli forces along the border with the Gaza strip east of Gaza City on May 4, 2018 (AFP PHOTO / MAHMUD HAMS)

Iran is funding Hamas’s campaign to promote violence and attacks against Israel under the cover of mass demonstrations at the border, the Shin Bet security service said on Monday.

Hamas has warned its own members to stay away from the security fence during Gaza’s mass protests, lest they get shot, while actively encouraging Palestinian civilians — particularly children and teens — to approach the border, the Shin Bet added, citing findings from a number of interrogations. If the fence is breached, however, armed Hamas gunmen are poised to enter Israel to carry out attacks.

“There is a prohibition for Hamas operatives to approach the border, from a fear that they will be killed or captured by IDF troops, unless the security fence falls and then they must enter, armed, into Israel under the cover of the masses and carry out terror attacks,” the Shin Bet said in a statement.

Over the course of the past seven weeks of violent demonstrations along the Gaza border, in an event known collectively as the “March of Return,” Israeli forces have arrested a number of Palestinians, some of them Hamas members, who crossed the security fence into Israeli territory.

Ahead of mass riots expected on Monday, the Shin Bet released the findings of its interrogations of those suspects, which the security service said showed the methods used by Hamas to destabilize the border area, breach the fence and try to carry out terror attacks inside Israeli territory.

“From the information we have, it appears Hamas is encouraging and sending protesters to the border fence in order to carry out violent acts and damage security infrastructure. In addition, it was found that Iran is providing funding to Hamas in order for it to carry out these violent activities along the Gaza Strip’s border fence,” the Shin Bet said.

Palestinian demonstrators burn tires near the Gaza-Israel border, east of Gaza City, on May 14, 2018 (AFP PHOTO / MAHMUD HAMS)

The security service did not provide specific evidence of Iranian involvement. However, Hamas has maintained relations with the Islamic Republic and reportedly drawn significant funding from Tehran.

On Monday, the Israel Defense Forces expects upwards of 100,000 Palestinians to take part in violent protests along the Gaza border. These riots were expected on Tuesday, the Palestinian Nakba Day, which commemorates Palestinians’ displacement from their homes following the creation of the State of Israel. But on Sunday the military assessed that Hamas would look to capitalize on the media attention around the transfer of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and move its plans up a day.

The IDF warned Sunday that Hamas was planning to “massacre” Israelis.

The IDF is particularly concerned that the demonstrations will see mass border breaches, in which Palestinians, including Hamas members, would stream across the border and wreak havoc in nearby Israeli communities — attacking residents, setting fires and destroying property.

“The IDF and the Shin Bet security service will continue with determination to prevent any infiltration attempts into the State of Israel in order to defend Israel’s citizens and sovereignty,” the Shin Bet said on Monday.

Earlier on Monday, the IDF dropped thousands of leaflets into the Gaza Strip, telling residents not to be Hamas’s “puppets” and to keep away from the border.

The testimonies

Yahya Ijlah, a 19-year-old Hamas member who entered Israel on April 29, told Shin Bet interrogators that he had been sent to the border in order to steal a security camera along the fence.

Captured Hamas operative Yahya Ijlah (Shin Bet)

According to the Shin Bet, Ijlah said Hamas “is working to make its activities look like a popular uprising in the media, and not a violent operation by its members.”

The security service said that a number of suspects told interrogators that Hamas was specifically encouraging teenagers and children to approach and even breach the fence.

“The testimony showed a cynical use of children and innocent civilians by Hamas, while endangering their lives, in order to vandalize and steal equipment,” the Shin Bet said.

Salim Abu-Daher, 21, who was arrested after breaching the fence on April 28, told the Shin Bet that Hamas operatives wear normal street clothes and blend themselves into the masses of civilian protesters, while armed with “bottles of butane, knives and wire cutters,” the Shin Bet said.

Captured Hamas operative Salim Abu-Daher (Shin Bet)

The Shin Bet said that Ijlah revealed that during protests Hamas members are meant to act as instigators but not take action themselves.

“The role of Hamas members is to provide Gaza Strip residents with tires and help set them on fire. This is in order to create a thick smokescreen and to rile the Gaza residents, in order to convince them to infiltrate into Israeli territory,” the service said.

Hamas operatives also “help throw firebombs and prepare incendiary kites,” according to the Shin Bet.

These so-called “attack kites” or “terror kites” have proven a challenge to Israeli forces and have destroyed hundreds of dunams of farmland.