Archive for July 3, 2018

Report: Explosion in Iranian Militias’ Warehouses in Syria

July 3, 2018

Explosion in Damascus (illustration image) Photo Credit: Screenshot

The Syrian opposition news agency Orient Net on Tuesday reported an explosion in warehouses used by the Iranian militias fighting for the Assad regime, near the Dara-Damascus highway.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, it is not yet clear who is behind the explosion. The Observatory noted that in recent weeks there have been several attacks on arms depots belonging to the Iranian and Hezbollah militias which were attributed to Israel.

A week ago, Syrian State TV reported an Israeli attack near the Damascus airport, and a Syrian human rights organization said at the time that two rockets had been fired at Hezbollah arms depots near the airport. According to that report, the rockets attack destroyed an entire shipment of Iranian missiles recently sent from Tehran, and all the anti-aircraft systems deployed in the area over the past month were bombed.

US court: Teen murdered by Hamas to blame because he traveled in Judea

July 3, 2018

July 3, 2018

A US judge ruled that Naftali Frankel, kidnapped and murdered by Hamas in 2014, was partly to blame because he attended a school in an area supposedly prone to terror attacks.

By: World Israel News Staff

A US judge has told the parents of Naftali Frankel, who was kidnapped and murdered by Hamas terrorists together with another two Israeli teens in the summer of 2014, that they were partially to blame for his death because they chose to send him to a school in an area supposedly prone to terror attacks.

The three Israeli teenagers, Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaer and Naftali Frankel, were kidnapped and murdered by Hamas terrorists in the summer of 2014 in the Gush Etzion area of Judea and Samaria. Their bodies were found in a shallow grave three weeks later on the route to Hebron. A couple of months later, Israeli Special Forces tracked down and killed the terrorists.

In 2015, Racheli Frankel, Naftali’s mother and a US citizen, filed a lawsuit against Iran and Syria in a federal court in Washington in a bid to hold them accountable for their son’s murder.

During the proceedings, Racheli Frankel recounted the devastating night of her son’s abduction and the subsequent torturous weeks.

Federal Judge Rosemary Mayers Collyer accepted the family’s claims but chose to award them a very small amount in compensation, arguing that the family had taken its chances and endangered itself when it chose to live in Judea and Samaria, according to the ruling obtained by Israel’s Ynet news and published on Tuesday.

‘This is Unthinkable’

Collyer conceded that Frankel’s murder “was a tragic event for which money can never compensate his family.”

She was convinced that Iran and Syria did provide material support and resources to Hamas in Israel, which contributed to the hostage-taking and murder of the boys, but ordered the defendants to pay only $1 million for Naftali’s pain and suffering, $50 million in punitive damages, and $4.1 million to his family in “solatium damages,” a term for the mental anguish suffered. The family sought damages of $340 million.

The Frankel family appealed the low sum in compensation, but Collyer refused to reconsider her decision, stating that the plaintiffs had taken the risk involved in living beyond the Green Line in Israel and sending their son to a school in Gush Etzion.

Explaining the decision to award the family a relatively small sum, Collyer noted that Frankel was kidnapped and murdered for being Jewish and Israeli, not because he was an American citizen. This somehow affects the amount the family is entitled to receive in civil damages, she asserted.

Racheli Frankel was shocked by the judge’s comment. “This is unthinkable,” she said. “The children were on their way home from school. How can the teens be responsible for their own death?”

The family members appealed the ruling through attorneys Nitsana Darshan-Leitner and Robert Tolchin of the Shurat Hadin-Israel Law Center, saying that the court exceeded its authority and involved unlawful considerations in its decision.

Last month, a court ruled that the Frankel family is entitled to a higher level of damages than that awarded by the earlier judgment and handed the case back to Collyer, clarifying that no guilt should be ascribed to the victim. The court also said that it found “no legal basis” to limit damages based on being “targeted for his affiliation with Israel, rather than the US.”

Collyer is expected to rule on the matter soon.

Justifying terror against innocent civilians

“We filed the claim to ‘irritate the bad guys,’” Racheli Frankel explained, according to Ynet. “There are many, ways to fight terror, and in this case we are trying to put financial obstacles in their way. Even if a large sum of money is awarded, no one will enforce the ruling. We don’t actually expect to receive the money.”

Frankel referred to the original ruling as “outrageous,” adding that “the boys were on their way home from school. Does that make it okay to kill them?”

Meir Katz of the Berkman Law Office, who is one of the attorneys representing the Frankels, welcomed the new ruling.

Darshan-Leitner stated that “we are glad that the court of appeals ruled that Naftali shouldn’t have expected to be murdered by Palestinian terrorists because he studied beyond the Green Line. The statement that the Frankel family took the risk of being kidnapped and murdered because of their place of residence justifies terrorism and violence against innocent civilians. Moreover, when such a statement is issued by a court—alongside a financial reward to Palestinian terrorists—it may encourage further acts of terror, in Israel and worldwide.”

Iran will not pay, but the Frankels may receive the money through the US Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund. The Fund is financed by fines paid by entities found to be engaging in business with countries in violation of US sanctions.


PA: Law to deduct terrorists’ salaries from tax money ‘a declaration of war’

July 3, 2018

Palestinian President Abbas’ spokesman says Knesset crossed a ‘red line’ in its decision to deduct terrorists’ salaries from roughly $130 million in monthly tax revenues Israel collects on behalf of Palestinian Authority; MK Zahalka slams vote, accuses Israel of ‘murdering 547 children in Gaza.’

Elior Levy|Published:  07.03.18 , 15:10,7340,L-5303180,00.html

The Palestinian Authority strongly condemned the Knesset on Tuesday for passing into a law a bill proposal to deduct terrorists’ salaries from roughly $130 million in monthly tax revenues Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, defining the move as “a declaration of war on the Palestinian people.”
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, said the PA considered the law a “red line” and threatened that its implementation would lead to “harsh Palestinian decisions.”

“The Palestinian presidency strongly refuses to accept this severe decision, which damages the foundations of the relations since the Oslo Agreement to this day,” Abbas’ spokesman said. “If this decision is implemented, it will prompt important Palestinian decisions to deal with it.”

Abbas' spokesman says implementing decision would lead to 'harsh Palestinian decisions' (Photo: EPA)

Abbas’ spokesman says implementing decision would lead to ‘harsh Palestinian decisions’ (Photo: EPA)

According to Abu Rudeineh, “This issue is considered a red line which no one can cross. It’s a declaration of war against the Palestinian people, its fighters, its prisoners and its fatalities, who have carried the flag of freedom for Jerusalem and the establishment of the independent Palestinian state. The Israeli government must back down from its decisions and stances so that we don’t reach a dangerous, dead-end road.”

Youssef Al-Mahmoud, a spokesman of the Palestinian Authority government in Ramallah, also condemned Israel’s move, saying the money belonged to the Palestinians and Israel had no right to hold it back and was violating signed agreements.

“This money belongs to the Palestinian people and this is legislation to steal the money of the prisoners and the martyrs who are symbols of freedom for us and they must not be harmed,” Mahmoud said.

In a bipartisan vote Monday, 87 MKs supported the legislation while 15 opposed it.

Under the new law, which was sponsored by MKs Elazar Stern (Yesh Atid) and Avi Dichter (Likud), money that would otherwise go to pay stipends to roughly 35,000 families of Palestinian terrorists and their families will be automatically frozen in accordance with the Paris Protocol—without the need for a special approval from the Cabinet.

Zahalka. 'Israel is screwing the Palestinians' (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)

Zahalka. ‘Israel is screwing the Palestinians’ (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)

According to the law’s sponsors, the PA paid terrorists over NIS 4 billion over the past four years from its so-called “martyrs’ fund,” with NIS 1.2 billion (roughly $330 million) being paid in the last year alone.

During the stormy session that preceded the vote, Joint List MK Jamal Zahalka accused Stern and Dichter of being “shameless, uncultured. They support the murder of Palestinian children. You all supported the bombing of Gaza. You murdered Palestinian children. Who among you came out against it?”

Speaking at the Ynet studio on Tuesday, Zahalka said: “The Palestinian people are fighting for their freedom and independence against a cruel foreign occupier. The Israeli government murdered 547 children in Gaza. It’s a war crime and it’s terrorism. The Oslo Agreement is being eliminated here. The Israeli government is taking the convenient things from Oslo and screwing the Palestinians.”

Reuters contributed to this report.


Nassim Taleb Slams “These Virtue-Signaling Open-Borders Imbeciles” In 3 Short Tweets

July 3, 2018

As liberals across America continue to attempt to one-up one another with the volume of virtue they can signal, specifically on the question of ‘open borders’ – especially since ‘jenny from the bronx’ victory over the weekend, none other than Nassim Nicholas Taleb unleashed a trite 3-tweet summary of how farcical this argument is…

What intellectuals don’t get about MIGRATION is the ethical notion of SYMMETRY:

1) OPEN BORDERS work if and only if the number of pple who want to go from EU/US to Africa/LatinAmer equals Africans/Latin Amer who want to move to EU/US

2) Controlled immigration is based on the symmetry that someone brings in at least as much as he/she gets out. And the ethics of the immigrant is to defend the system as payback, not mess it up.

Uncontrolled immigration has all the attributes of invasions.

3) As a Christian Lebanese, saw the nightmare of uncontrolled immigration of Palestinians which caused the the civil war & as a part-time resident of N. Lebanon, I am seeing the effect of Syrian migration on the place.

So I despise these virtue-signaling open-borders imbeciles.

Silver Rule in #SkinInTheGame

* * *

IDF appoints first Iran ‘project director’ as northern tensions rise

July 3, 2018

Source: IDF appoints first Iran ‘project director’ as northern tensions rise – Israel News – Jerusalem Post

The appointment underscores the overwhelming importance that Israel places on the developing military confrontation between the countries.

 JULY 3, 2018 10:57
Gadi Eisenkot

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot has appointed Maj.-Gen. Nitzan Alon, who recently left his role as head of the military’s Operations Directorate, as the first director of a special IDF project to coordinate all issues related to Israel’s battle against Iran.

Alon accompanied Eisenkot on his recent trip to the United States last weekend and participated in meetings with American military leaders, including Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Joseph Dunford.

This is the first time that the IDF has appointed a “project director for Iran issues,” who is meant to coordinate all areas of Israel’s battle against the Islamic Republic: with respect to its nuclear program, coordinating intelligence gathering with other countries, and in countering Iran’s presence in Syria.

In the past, the head of the Mossad Meir Dagan was responsible for the “Iran file” under Prime Ministers Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert, but at that time the battle was restricted to intelligence spheres.

Now that the war between Israel and Iran has come into the open and includes military confrontation, the appointment of a “special project head” underscores the overwhelming importance that Israel sees for these developments.

Within the framework of the role, Alon will also be responsible for coordination between the Israeli and American security establishments. The United States and Israel are in close contact and, on the Iran issue, the two countries are not concealing their interest in overthrowing the regime of the Ayatollahs.

Israeli media recently reported that renewed American pressure on Iran, especially the enforcement of additional American sanctions, are having a significant impact within Iran — much more so than was foreseen.

Part of this effect can be seen in the growing protests in the large Iranian cities in the face of the worsening economic situation and critical water shortage.

The appointment of Alon, who is in a cooling-off period and is vying for appointment as the deputy IDF chief of staff, illustrates the trust that the IDF leadership places in him, including Eisenkot and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman.

Alon was head of the operations division until a little more than a month ago, and he can take part of the credit for the accruing Israeli successes on everything related to Israel’s “war between the wars” against Iran, Hezbollah, and Shi’ite militias.

Now, as as a general-in-waiting, he is coordinating the IDF’s overall Iran efforts and reporting directly to the chief of staff. Alon is also charged with maintaining the connection between the IDF and military intelligence and the Mossad.

Does this appointment strengthen the position of Alon in the battle over the next chief of staff, or at least over the appointment of the next deputy chief of staff? At this point, there is no clear answer to this question.

Alon has been labeled as a “leftist,” which has made him a target of extremist settlers in the West Bank while he served as head of the Central Command. At the same time, settlers spread a rumor that Alon’s wife was an activist with the Israeli left-wing NGO Checkpoint Watch.

Nevertheless, Alon has won considerable and consensual professional acclaim that grew over the course of his appointment in the projects division.

The IDF chief of staff and defense minister, who now have only a few weeks before having to make a decision on the identity of the next chief of staff, are faced with a glut of options: a clear favorite whose fitness and readiness for the position cannot be impinged (Deputy Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi); another particularly high quality candidate who has failed in public statements in the past (former deputy Chief of Staff Yair Golan), and two younger generals, Gen. Nitzan Alon and Gen. Eyal Zamir, who recently finished a successful stint in the southern command.

Liberman is expected to make his decision after the fall holidays.

Rouhani warns of ‘consequences’ to US push against buying Iranian oil

July 3, 2018

Source: Rouhani warns of ‘consequences’ to US push against buying Iranian oil | The Times of Israel

As State Department official says Washington working to reduce Tehran’s crude-oil revenue, Islamic Republic’s president says regional oil supply could be jeopardized

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, right, arrives at the Zurich airport, in Kloten, Switzerland, July 2, 2018. (KEYSTONE/Walter Bieri via AP)

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, right, arrives at the Zurich airport, in Kloten, Switzerland, July 2, 2018. (KEYSTONE/Walter Bieri via AP)

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned Tuesday that regional oil supply could be jeopardized if the United States manages to convince its allies to stop buying Tehran’s oil.

Rouhani spoke to Iranian expatriates in Switzerland during his visit there on Monday. He said the US has threatened not to allow Iran to continue exporting its oil. Iranian state TV broadcast his remarks.

“It would be meaningless that Iran cannot export its oil while others in the region can. Do this if you can and see the consequences,” he said according to an English-language report of his statements provided by Iran’s Press TV.

Rouhani didn’t elaborate but when pressured in the past, Iran has threatened to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz through which one third of the world’s oil supply passes.

Iran is OPEC’s second-largest crude exporter with more than 2 million barrels a day.

Since the US pulled out of the nuclear deal with Iran, known officially as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Washington has been pushing allies to cut oil imports from the Islamic Republic altogether by November.

An Iranian navy vessel during a drill in the Strait of Hormuz (YouTube screenshot)

Rouhani asserted that Iran will not buckle under US pressure and urged dialogue to resolve the differences between the nations.

“Iran’s logic has not changed, one party without logic has left the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with the goal of putting pressure on the Iranian nation,” Rouhani said.

“We told all our foreign parties that if they speak to the Iranian nation with the language of logic and respect, then we can get problems solved… and that threats, pressure and humiliation will never work against the people of Iran,” he said.

Also Monday, a senior Iranian military commander said that Iran will respond to any threat against the nation. Speaking at a meeting of senior Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commanders in Tehran, Major General Gholam Ali Rashid urged social and political unity in facing up to the United States, Press TV reported.

Rouhani’s comments came after the Trump administration vowed Monday to stick with its pressure campaign against Iran, affirming its strategy to change Tehran’s behavior by gutting its oil revenue and isolating the country globally.

“Our goal is to increase pressure on the Iranian regime by reducing to zero its revenue on crude-oil sales,” said Brian Hook, the State Department’s director of policy planning, at a briefing with reporters.

He also suggested, however, that there would be some legroom with other countries that import Iranian oil from avoiding immediate sanctions, once they are set to be re-imposed come November 4.

“We are prepared to work with countries that are reducing their imports on a case-by-case basis, but as with our other sanctions, we are not looking to grant waivers or licenses,” Hook said, in comments that were seen as a softening of the United States’ prior demands.

US President Donald Trump speaks to the press after announcing his decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal with Iran during a speech from the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House on May 8, 2018. (AFP Photo/Saul Loeb)

These moves follow US President Donald Trump’s decision in May to withdraw the United States from the Iran nuclear deal, which removed sanctions against the Islamic Republic in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.

The accord, forged during the Obama administration, is still being honored by the other signatories — Russia, Germany, France, the UK and China.

Despite the space Washington is prepared to grant these and other nations working with Iran, Hook insisted the Trump administration would not provide exemptions and was intent with fully charging forward with its current plan.

Notable countries that import Iranian crude include Turkey, India, China and South Korea.

Since a US State Department official first told reporters on June 26 that the US was preparing to ask allies to cut their oil imports from Iran, the US market took a hit, with US crude jumping more than 8 percent.

Trump subsequently expressed concern about oil prices last week, announcing in a tweet that he and King Salman of Saudi Arabia had agreed to raise daily oil production by 2 million barrels.

Donald J. Trump


“Prices [too] high!” he said. “He has agreed!” It is not clear when that agreement will begin implementation.

Obama gave citizenship to thousands of Iranians in phony Iran deal – Iranian Official

July 3, 2018



Source Link: Obama gave citizenship to thousands of Iranians in phony Iran deal – Iranian Official

{Iranian Elites: Death to America…but not until our children get a good college education in the USA. – LS}

Considering Obama gave billions of dollars to Iran as part of his phony Iran deal, this is totally believable even if it does come from an Iranian official:

FOX NEWS – The Obama administration granted citizenship to 2,500 Iranians, including family members of government officials, while negotiating the Iran nuclear deal, a senior cleric and member of parliament has claimed.

Hojjat al-Islam Mojtaba Zolnour, who is chairman of Iran’s parliamentary nuclear committee and a member of its national security and foreign affairs committee, made the allegations during an interview with the country’s Etemad newspaper, cited by the country’s Fars News agency.

He claimed it was done as a favor to senior Iranian officials linked to President Hassan Rouhani, and he alleged the move sparked a competition among Iranian officials over whose children would benefit from the scheme.

“When Obama, during the negotiations about the JCPOA, decided to do a favor to these men, he granted citizenship to 2,500 Iranians and some officials started a competition over whose children could be part of these 2,500 Iranians,” he claimed.

“If today these Iranians get deported from America, it will become clear who is complicit and sells the national interest like he is selling candies to America.”

The conservative Zolnour, who is in Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s inner circle, added: “It should be stated exactly which children of which authorities live in the United States and have received citizenship or residency.”

He estimated that between 30 and 60 were studying in the U.S. while the rest of them were working in the country “against our national interests.”

Though Zolnour did not mention anyone by name during the interview, several children of current and former Iranian officials live in the United States, including Ali Fereydoun, whose father Hossein Fereydoun is the brother of and special aide to Rouhani; and Fatemeh Ardeshir Larijani, whose father Ali Larijani is speaker of parliament.

There is no suggestion either of these people received citizenship in the wake of the Iranian nuclear deal. It’s also unclear if Zolnour meant citizenship or a green card.

In 2015, 13,114 people born in Iran were issued green cards, while 13,298 were issued one in 2016, according to figures from the Department for Homeland Security. In 2015, 10,344 Iranians became naturalized, with a further 9,507 in 2016.

Asked about the cleric’s claim, a State Department spokesperson said: “We’re not going to comment on every statement by an Iranian official.”

My guess is the Trump State department is hearing about this for the first time, otherwise they probably would have confirmed or denied it. So we’ll see if it’s actually true, but as I suggested, it really wouldn’t surprise me if it were.