Author Archive

Up to 22 killed, including 9 Iranians, in Syria strike blamed on Israel – report

July 17, 2018

https://www.timesofisrael.com/up-to-22-killed-including-9-iranians-in-syria-strike-blamed-on-israel-report/

Earlier, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the death toll at 9, said raid targeted an Iranian Revolutionary Guard center

Syrian rebel forces claimed that 22 people, including nine Iranians, were killed in an overnight strike in northern Syria blamed on Israel, the Qatar-based al-Jazeera network reported Monday.

An Israeli F-16 during an exercise on November 25, 2013. (Ofer Zidon/Flash90)

The figure, which could not be confirmed, was much higher than an earlier report of nine deaths provided by a Syrian watchdog group.

The al-Jazeera report did not cite its sources or give any further details.

Syrian state media has accused Israel of carrying out the bombing of a military position in Aleppo province late Sunday, in what would be a rare Israeli attack so far north in the war-ravaged country.

“The Israeli missiles targeted an Iranian Revolutionary Guard center, near the Neyrab military airport,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor.

He said those killed included at least six Syrians, but could not specify the nationalities of the remaining fighters.

The position is a logistics hub used to provide equipment and food to pro-regime forces fighting at nearby fronts, but it did not store weapons, Abdel Rahman said.

Earlier Monday, the country’s official news agency SANA reported there was only damage to the site, identified as the Al-Nayrab airbase, adjacent to Aleppo’s international airport.

“The Zionist enemy (Israel)… targeted with its missiles one of our military positions north of the Nayrab military airport, but the damage was only material,” SANA said citing a military source.

Al-Nayrab has in the past been linked with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps militia.

The Observatory, which relies on a network of sources inside the country, said it had recorded a wave of blasts around Nayrab on Sunday night.

It said that a suspected Israeli missile strike had targeted “positions held by Syria’s regime and its allies at the Nayrab airport” and its surroundings.

The base was reportedly previously struck by Israel on April 29 as part of a large raid that also targeted weapons depots near Hama.

There was no immediate comment from Israel, which rarely confirms such attacks.

Suspected Israeli airstrikes have hit Syrian army positions near Damascus and in the central provinces of Homs and Hama in the past. However, they rarely occur as far north as Aleppo.

The raid came hours before a high-stakes summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump, where Syria and Iran are expected to be on the agenda.

Israel has been pushing Russia to remove Iranian-aligned militia fighters from Syria, and has vowed to stop them from getting a foothold anywhere in the country. Russia has reportedly only agreed to removing them from the Golan border region.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who met with Putin in Moscow last week, said Sunday he had discussed the issue with Trump a day earlier.

Netanyahu reportedly told Putin during their Wednesday meeting that Israel would not challenge Assad’s control of Syria, in exchange for freedom to act against Iran.

On July 8, Israel was accused of carrying out an airstrike on the T-4 military base near Homs, also thought to be used by IRGC fighters.

How the Mossad stole Iran’s nuclear secrets

July 16, 2018

Following on from this previous post…

How did the Mossad get the nuclear papers out of Iran?
https://warsclerotic.com/2018/05/31/how-did-the-mossad-get-the-nuclear-papers-out-of-iran/

… is the following article from the New York Times.

How Israel, in Dark of Night, Torched Its Way to Iran’s Nuclear Secrets

//www.nytimes.com/2018/07/15/us/politics/iran-israel-mossad-nuclear.html

TEL AVIV — The Mossad agents moving in on a warehouse in a drab commercial district of Tehran knew exactly how much time they had to disable the alarms, break through two doors, cut through dozens of giant safes and get out of the city with a half-ton of secret materials: six hours and 29 minutes.

The morning shift of Iranian guards would arrive around 7 a.m., a year of surveillance of the warehouse by the Israeli spy agency had revealed, and the agents were under orders to leave before 5 a.m. to have enough time to escape. Once the Iranian custodians arrived, it would be instantly clear that someone had stolen much of the country’s clandestine nuclear archive, documenting years of work on atomic weapons, warhead designs and production plans.

The agents arrived that night, Jan. 31, with torches that burned at least 3,600 degrees, hot enough, as they knew from intelligence collected during the planning of the operation, to cut through the 32 Iranian-made safes. But they left many untouched, going first for the ones containing the black binders, which contained the most critical designs. When time was up, they fled for the border, hauling some 50,000 pages and 163 compact discs of memos, videos and plans.

In late April, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the results of the heist, after giving President Trump a private briefing at the White House. He said it was another reason Mr. Trump should abandon the 2015 nuclear deal, arguing that the documents proved Iranian deception and an intent to resume bomb production. A few days later, Mr. Trump followed through on his longstanding threat to pull out of the accord — a move that continues to strain relations between the United States and European allies.

Last week, at the invitation of the Israeli government, three reporters, including one from The New York Times, were shown key documents from the trove. Many confirmed what inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency, in report after report, had suspected: Despite Iranian insistence that its program was for peaceful purposes, the country had worked in the past to systematically assemble everything it needed to produce atomic weapons.

“It’s quite good,” Robert Kelley, a nuclear engineer and former inspector for the agency, said in Vienna, after being shown some of the fruits of the document theft. “The papers show these guys were working on nuclear bombs.”

There is no way to independently confirm the authenticity of the documents, most of which were at least 15 years old, dating from the time when an effort called Project Amad was ordered halted and some of the nuclear work moved deeper under cover. The Israelis handpicked the documents shown to the reporters, meaning that exculpatory material could have been left out. They said some material had been withheld to avoid providing intelligence to others seeking to make weapons.

The Iranians have maintained that the entire trove is fraudulent — another elaborate scheme by the Israelis to get sanctions reimposed on the country. But American and British intelligence officials, after their own review, which included comparing the documents to some they had previously obtained from spies and defectors, said they believed it was genuine.

From what the Israelis showed to the reporters in a secure intelligence facility, a few things are clear.

The Iranian program to build a nuclear weapon was almost certainly larger, more sophisticated and better organized than most suspected in 2003, when Project Amad was declared ended, according to outside nuclear experts consulted by The Times. Iran had foreign help, though Israeli officials held back any documents indicating where it came from. Much was clearly from Pakistan, but officials said other foreign experts were also involved — though they may not have been working for their governments.

The documents detailed the challenges of integrating a nuclear weapon into a warhead for the Shahab-3, an Iranian missile. One document proposed sites for possible underground nuclear tests, and described plans to build an initial batch of five weapons. None were built, possibly because the Iranians feared being caught, or because a campaign by American and Israeli intelligence agencies to sabotage the effort, with cyberattacks and disclosures of key facilities, took its toll.

David Albright, a former inspector who runs the Institute for Science and International Security, said in an interview that the documents contained “great information.”

“Iran conducted many more high-explosive tests related to nuclear weapons development than previously known,” he told Congress last month.

But the archive also shows that after a burst of activity, a political mandate delivered at the end of 2003 slowed the program dramatically, just as American officials had concluded in a 2007 intelligence report.

Israel, which has its own undeclared nuclear program, has long claimed that the Iranian program continued after 2003, and some documents show senior officials in Tehran’s program — including two who were later assassinated, presumably by Israeli agents — debating how to split it into overt and covert elements.

One of the scientists warned that work on neutrons that create the chain reaction for a nuclear explosion must be hidden. “‘Neutrons’ research could not be considered ‘overt’ and needs to be concealed,” his notes read. “We cannot excuse such activities as defensive. Neutron activities are sensitive, and we have no explanation for them.” That caution, the documents show, came from Masoud Ali Mohammadi, an Iranian nuclear physicist at the University of Tehran, who was assassinated in January 2010.

Mr. Netanyahu argues that the trove proves that the 2015 agreement, with its sunset clauses allowing the Iranians to produce nuclear fuel again after 2030, was naïve. The fact that the Iranians went to such lengths to preserve what they had learned, and hid the archive’s contents from international inspectors in an undeclared site despite an agreement to reveal past research, is evidence of their future intent, he has said.

But the same material could also be interpreted as a strong argument for maintaining and extending the nuclear accord as long as possible. The deal deprived the Iranians of the nuclear fuel they would need to turn the designs into reality.

Former members of the Obama administration, who negotiated the deal, say the archive proves what they had suspected all along: that Iran had advanced fuel capability, warhead designs and a plan to build them rapidly. That was why they negotiated the accord, which forced Iran to ship 97 percent of its nuclear fuel out of the country. Tehran would never have agreed to a permanent ban, they said.

The archive captures the program at a moment in time — a moment 15 years ago, before tensions accelerated, before the United States and Israel attacked Iran’s nuclear centrifuges with a cyberweapon, before an additional underground enrichment center was built and discovered.

Today, despite Mr. Trump’s decision to exit the deal with Iran, it remains in place. The Iranians have not yet resumed enrichment or violated its terms, according to international inspectors. But if sanctions resume, and more Western companies leave Iran, it is possible that Iranian leaders will decide to resume nuclear fuel production.

The warehouse the Israelis penetrated was put into use only after the 2015 accord was reached with the United States, European powers, Russia and China. That pact granted broad rights to the International Atomic Energy Agency to visit suspected nuclear sites, including on military bases.

So the Iranians, Israeli officials said in interviews, systematically went about collecting thousands of pages spread around the country documenting how to build a weapon, how to fit it on a missile and how to detonate it. They consolidated them at the warehouse, in a commercial district with no past relationship to the nuclear program, and far from the declared archives of the Ministry of Defense. There were no round-the-clock guards or anything else that would tip off neighbors, or spies, that something unusual was happening there.

What the Iranians did not know was that the Mossad was documenting the collection effort, filming the moves for two years, since the relocation began in February 2016. Last year, the spies began planning a heist that one senior Israeli intelligence official said bore a strong resemblance to George Clooney’s adventures in “Ocean’s 11.”

In most Mossad operations, spies aim to penetrate a facility and photograph or copy material without traces. But in this case, the Mossad chief, Yossi Cohen, ordered that the material be stolen outright. That would drastically shorten the time that the agents — many, if not all, of them Iranians — spent inside the building. But the Israelis wanted to be able to counter Iranian claims that the material was forged and offer it up for examination by international groups.

Clearly, the Israeli spies had inside help. They had learned which of the 32 safes held the most important information. They watched the habits of the workers. They studied the workings of the alarm system, so that it would appear to be working even though it would not alert anyone when the agents arrived around 10:30 p.m.

For all the cinematics of the raid, the immediate aftermath was absent much drama. There was no chase, said Israeli officials, who would not disclose whether the documents left by land, air or sea — though an escape from the coast, just a few hours’ drive from Tehran, appears the least risky.

Fewer than two dozen agents took part in the break-in. Fearing that some of them would be caught, the Israelis removed the materials on several different routes. At exactly 7 a.m., as the Mossad expected, a guard arrived and discovered that the doors and safes were broken. He sounded the alarm, and the Iranian authorities soon began a nationwide campaign to locate the burglars — an effort that, according to an Israeli official, included “tens of thousands of Iranian security and police personnel.”

The effort yielded nothing. And until Mr. Netanyahu’s speech, the Iranians never said a word in public about what had happened.

Among the most fascinating elements of the archive are pictures taken inside what were once key facilities in Iran, before the equipment was dismantled in anticipation of international inspections. One set of photos taken by the Iranians appears to show a giant metal chamber built to conduct high-explosive experiments, in a building at Parchin, a military base near Tehran.

Intelligence agencies had long suspected nuclear activity at the Parchin site, and Iran had refused to allow international inspectors in, saying that as a military base, it was off limits to inspectors and not part of any nuclear experiments.

By the time the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Yukiya Amano, was finally permitted to visit the site in 2015, it was empty, though the agency’s report indicated that it looked as if equipment had been removed. The photos indicate that is exactly what happened: They show a large chamber that nuclear experts say is tailor-made for the kind of experimental activity that the international inspectors were looking for.

It was part of a larger, previously known effort: Satellite photographs show that Parchin was so sanitized before the inspectors’ arrival that tons of soil in the area had been removed, to eliminate any traces of nuclear contamination.

The chamber appears to be part of neutron experiments that strongly point to an effort to build nuclear weapons. Nuclear explosions start when fast-moving particles known as neutrons split atoms of nuclear fuel in two, producing chain reactions that release more neutrons and enormous bursts of energy. At the core of an atom bomb, a device known as a neutron initiator — or sometimes a spark plug — creates the initial wave of speeding neutrons.

The Iranian papers repeatedly mention a specific substance used for making neutron initiators: uranium deuteride. Experts say it has no civil or military use other than making nuclear arms, and is known to have been used for that purpose by China and Pakistan. The initiator appears to be one of the key technologies that A.Q. Khan, the Pakistani nuclear expert who ran a black market in atomic goods, sold to Iran, North Korea and other nations.

Hamas’ online terrorism

July 6, 2018

Interesting, have only copied in extracts, each article at each link is not too long however.

Viral social media

Hamas’ online terrorism

https://www.idf.il/en/minisites/hamas/hamas-online-terrorism/

Extract:

The Information Security Department just revealed Hamas’ method of operation on the internet. In response, the IDF has launched Operation Broken Heart. Hamas cyber terrorists operate as stolen identities in order to talk to people, get their personal information, retrieve sensitive security information, and download malicious applications that turn cell phones into weapons. Thanks to IDF soldiers’ vigilance, there was no damage to Israel’s security.

 

Hamas’s new espionage system exposed

Hamas plot to upload applications to official Google store to make soldiers download spyware uncovered by alert soldiers.

https://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/248373

Extract:

As of January 2018, the Department of Information Security has begun to receive requests from dozens of soldiers who claim to have encountered suspicious individuals on social media who tried to make them download applications from the official Google app store. Following the soldiers’ reports, the Information Security Department opened an investigation. The investigation revealed that the network was an intelligence operation of the Hamas terrorist organization. The applications included a World Cup app as well as two dating apps.

Proud defender of Israel to step down from Aussie Parliament

July 6, 2018

Michael Danby is most likely not well known among people in the northern hemisphere. He is a politician and member of the Australian national parliament, the House of Representatives.

But he has been a long-time staunch defender of Israel. I have heard him referred to, sympathetically, as the “Member for Israel”.

He has stood firmly and proudly at the front of the battleline to defend Israel and the Jewish people, unwavering in his commitment despite the onslaught against him.

I hope he continues to stand in the shield-wall after he leaves public office!

Here is his wiki page:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Danby

Danby passion will be missed by many

From The Australian, 5 July 2018, behind paywall

By Greg Sheriden

The member for Melbourne Ports is not contesting his seat at the next election.

At the funeral of Sir Zelman Cowen almost seven years ago, former prime minister John Howard ran into the Labor member for Melbourne Ports. Howard remarked: “Ah, Michael Danby, we’ll never win this seat while you remain the Labor member.” Howard was right, but now the Liberals will have a chance. For a Labor lion will roar no more, at least not in parliament. After 20 years and seven successive election wins, Danby has decided to retire from federal parliament at the next election.

Danby’s political career was of a type not much celebrated in Australia but one that should be celebrated much more. He was a courageous and highly influential backbencher who used parliamentary committees and every bully pulpit opportunity afforded by politics to further the causes he cared about deeply.

Because he is so passionate in his commitments, he is sometimes impetuous and prone to overstatement, and I don’t think he is one of nature’s born administrators. But, by God, Australia would benefit if there were more like him in parliament. For Danby is utterly fearless, utterly committed to the causes he believes in, he sticks in good times and bad, and the causes he champions are good causes.

He is not remotely an identikit professional politician. But his straightforward political achievements should not be overlooked.

In 1997 he beat the formidable Tim Pallas, now Victoria’s treasurer, for preselection. He won what was a marginal seat and has held it ever since. Really, Melbourne Ports is a natural Liberal seat with a deep green tinge. It is the eighth most affluent seat in Australia and its electors would make it the fifth biggest beneficiary of Malcolm Turnbull’s tax cuts.

Danby has sometimes achieved swings to him and sometimes recorded swings against him. But his personal vote and his indefatigable networking throughout the electorate and beyond have kept the seat Labor.

I asked him to nominate his three biggest achievements in office. He is immensely proud of all the local work he has done for Melbourne Ports but the three he listed off the top of his head were activism for international human rights in cases such as the Darfuris, the Baha’is in Iran and the Tibetans; activism on national security issues around terrorism, foreign interference and the US alliance; and No 3 was this: “I think over 40 years I’ve had some effect both on people who have worked on my staff and other Labor Party members to help make the Australian Labor Party a middle-of-the-road party that can still credibly be elected to office, unlike the Corbynistas in Britain.” It is hard to capture quite the distinctive political personality of Danby. He is Jewish, and proudly so, as he should be. Melbourne Ports, with Wentworth in Sydney, is one of the two most Jewish federal electorates. Danby’s father escaped from Germany as World War II was approaching. His father’s parents died at Auschwitz.

Danby is a strong, though not uncritical, supporter of Israel. This, too, is a good cause.

Being a Labor right-winger and a strong Israel defender ensured that he never got a fair go from the ABC or Fairfax, and all his parliamentary career he has laboured under the settled hostility of both organisations.

But he has never flinched, never backed down. It is a career that truly exemplifies independence of mind and courage of spirit. And while he occasionally overstates his own arguments, this is as nothing compared with the calumnies routinely flung at him.

But while Danby has been important in Australia’s Israel debate, his effect on politics has been much broader. Because he doesn’t just drift into parliamentary committees but consciously fashions them to advance his issues, and because he is at heart always an activist, he has used the opportunities of parliament’s committees to secure big results.

He used his position on the electoral affairs committee to secure much simpler and more automatic registration of voters on the electoral roll and helped gain support for these reforms with the Senate crossbench. Perhaps hundreds of thousands more people are entitled to vote at each election as a result.

Most significant of all has been Danby’s activism on human rights and national security. The causes he supports, such as the Tibetans, or the Muslim Uighurs in western China, or the Baha’is, or the Darfuris, don’t lead to promotion, lavish grants or remunerative post-politics career opportunities. But I am very glad that somebody significant supports them.

Although he briefly served as a parliamentary secretary in the Gillard government, Danby’s talents would have been wasted, or misapplied, as a generic minister for potholes and drains or some such. I thought he reached the zenith of his public influence when he was chairman of the foreign affairs, defence and trade committee. Very much like a powerful US congressman, he would call witnesses to highlight issues and achieve outcomes.

His committee got Huawei to talk about the role of the Communist Party committee in its headquarters. It got the vice-president of the Chinese National People’s Congress to testify about the South China Sea.

When Danby was a member of the treaties’ committee, he was a central player in getting Labor to oppose ratification of a mutual extradition treaty between Australia and China. He gave powerful speeches about the unreliability of the Chinese legal system, pointing, for example, to its higher than 99.6 per cent conviction rate. This was one of the most significant moments in our recent history when the Australian polity registered in the starkest manner its objection to the operation of Chinese government law on Australian territory.

A decade ago, with only the small resources of a backbencher’s office, Danby staged in Melbourne a big international conference on human rights in North Korea. For two days in Melbourne, somebody cared about the unspeakably foul wickedness of the North Korean gulag. There was absolutely no political pay-off for Danby in this.

It was at heart an expression of human solidarity.

On another occasion, Danby introduced me to an activist for free trade unions in China. A Labor Party politician actively supporting free trade unions in China – now there’s an idea.

I have known Danby for more than 40 years and have greatly enjoyed his humour and his connoisseur’s delight in ideological eccentricities, the strange and florid plants to be observed if you journey far enough into the labyrinths of political obsession.

There is a Yiddish word perhaps designed to describe such as Danby. He is a mensch.

 

PA whines about the Aussies taking action against “pay for slay”

July 5, 2018

Following on from this post by joop about the Aussie government taking action in regard to aid $ being put towards “pay for slay” payments….

Australia ends direct aid to PA over payments to terrorists

https://warsclerotic.com/2018/07/02/australia-ends-direct-aid-to-pa-over-payments-to-terrorists/

… we now have the Palestinian response.

Can you guess their response?

Yep, that’s right, they do what they always do.

They whine.

And lie.

Boo. Hoo.

The Palo’s sickening response is below.

PA lambastes Australia for nixing aid, says decision ‘not grounded in facts’

https://www.timesofisrael.com/pa-lambastes-australia-for-nixing-aid-says-decision-not-grounded-in-facts/

Ramallah accuses Canberra of siding with Israeli ‘colonialism’ under US pressure, insists foreign aid was never used to pay stipends for Palestinian terrorists

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop at United Nations headquarters, March 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

The Palestinian Authority on Tuesday slammed Australia’s “cruel” decision to end its direct aid to the Ramallah government, calling the move politically motivated and saying it “has no grounding in facts.”

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop announced Monday that Australia had ended its direct government aid to the PA over fears its funds would be used to pay welfare stipends to families of Palestinians killed or jailed for attacks on Israel.

The funds will instead be provided to UN aid efforts to Palestinians.

In a statement, the Palestinian envoy to Australia, Izzat Abdulhadit, expressed the PA’s “deepest disappointment and concern” at the decision.

He asserted the Australian aid was never used to pay the stipends of convicted terrorists, and said the “stringent auditing procedures” of the governing World Bank trust fund could prove it.

“We have therefore concluded that this decision is political in nature, for its justification has no grounding in facts,” the statement said. “It has less to do with genuine concerns about terrorism and the stifled peace process than it does with domestic political expediency.”

Abdulhadit went on to say that by “ignoring Israel’s ever-expanding colonial project,” Australia had sided with the Jewish state, and “again apportioned all blame to only one side, the much weaker and disenfranchised one at that.”

PA official Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, said in a statement that Australia “seems to have succumbed to the US administration’s pressure in compounding the injustice of Israel’s military occupation by punishing its Palestinian victims.

“This unjustified and cruel move further targets the Palestinians who are already being held captive, while ignoring the persistent violations and war crimes being committed by the Israeli occupation.”

The statement insisted that the Palestinians are committed to nonviolent resistance, and urged Bishop to reverse the decision.

“We strongly urge the government of Australia to reconsider its decision and not embolden Israel in its unilateral and illegal policies,” Ashrawi said. “Bringing Israel to compliance with international law and international humanitarian law would be the most constructive action for governments interested in peace and justice.”

Israel has long accused the PA and its leader, Mahmoud Abbas, of encouraging terror attacks against Israelis by rewarding perpetrators and their families with monthly stipends, and on occasion has withheld millions of dollars in tax revenues over Ramallah’s unwillingness to change the controversial policy.

On Monday, Bishop announced that state funding to the World Bank trust fund for Palestinians had been cut after she requested assurances from the PA earlier this year that Australian funding was not being misspent.

The minister expressed concern that providing further aid would allow the PA to use the funds for activities that “Australia would never support.”

“Any assistance provided by the Palestine Liberation Organization to those convicted of politically motivated violence is an affront to Australian values, and undermines the prospect of meaningful peace between Israel and the Palestinians,” Bishop said in a statement. “I wrote to the Palestinian Authority on May 29, to seek clear assurance that Australian funding is not being used to assist Palestinians convicted of politically motivated violence.”

“I am confident that previous Australian funding to the PA through the World Bank has been used as intended,” Bishop added. “However, I am concerned that in providing funds for this aspect of the PA’s operations there is an opportunity for it to use its own budget to activities that Australia would never support.”

Australia’s AUD 10 million ($7.4 million) donation to the trust fund will now be rerouted to the United Nations’ Humanitarian Fund for the Palestinian Territories, which provides Palestinians with health care, food, water, improved sanitation and shelter.

Bishop said the UN body “helps 1.9 million people. Approximately 75 percent of its funding will be spent in Gaza where the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate.”

Australia allocated AUD $43 million for humanitarian assistance in the region for the current fiscal year, which began on July 1.

According to Israel’s Defense Ministry, the PA in 2017 paid NIS 687 million ($198 million) to the so-called “martyrs’ families fund” and NIS 550 million ($160 million) to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club — some 7 percent of its overall budget.

Palestinian prisoners serving 20- to 30-year sentences for carrying out terror attacks are eligible for a lifetime NIS 10,000 ($2,772) monthly stipend, the Defense Ministry said last week, citing PA figures. Those prisoners who receive a three- to five-year sentence get a monthly wage of NIS 2,000 ($554). Palestinian prisoners who are married, have children, live in Jerusalem, or hold Israeli citizenship receive additional payments.

The Defense Ministry last month released figures alleging that some terrorists who killed Israelis will be paid more than NIS 10 million ($2.78 million) each throughout their lifetimes by the PA.

Hours after the Australian announcement, Knesset lawmakers voted in favor of a bill that would officially see Israel deduct customs fees it collects on behalf of the PA by the amount Ramallah pays out to convicted terrorists each year.

The bipartisan bill, proposed by Yesh Atid MK Elazar Stern and Likud MK Avi Dichter, passed by 87 to 15 in a late-night vote.

The PA has refused to cease its payments to Palestinian prisoners.

 

Arab media leaks Trump’s “deal of the century” and Egypt’s role in it

June 28, 2018

Obviously take this with a grain of salt but…

Arab (more precisely, Arabic – Palestine Today) media has provided a description of what role Egypt would play in Trump’s so-called “deal of the century” – the deal to end the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

The article is in Arabic, but I have used Google translate to get an English version. Google translate does a pretty good job converting Arabic to English, so I have not amended anything.

This proposal sounds very interesting. More interesting is that Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan are all (apparently) prepared to accept it, even if the Pally’s don’t… (and they would never accept anything that doesn’t include the so-called “right of return” and destruction of Israel’s jewish character).

The deal would seem to also have the effect of driving out of the Sinai the Isis-types, which have been a cause of concern for Egypt, hence it seems feasible that Egypt would be on side (as per the bit in blue). Trump sure does know how to do crafty deals…

Be good to see the Israel haters response if everyone (including Arab states) accepts the plan, but the Pally’s don’t. That would fully expose what most of us have known all along: the Pally’s and their supporters aren’t interested in “peace”, but instead are only interested in the eradication of the Jewish state.

I have seen this approach referred to as the “outside in” approach. Traditionally, the resolution of the Israel-Pally conflict was seen as a precusor to Israel achieving peace/acceptance with the Arab nations.

On the other hand, the “outside in” approach seeks to gain the support/acceptance of the Arab nations before peace is achieved in the Israel-Pally conflict (ie acceptance from other Arab nations is seen as driving the peace deal).

Of course, the beauty of the “outside in” approach is that will make abundantly clear to everyone the true motivation of the Pally’s when they refuse to accept the deal, and yet again, they fail to accept the opportunity placed right before their eyes. They never fail to achieve defeat in the face of victory….

But before the article I have pasted links-only to two other articles: the first where the Pally’s refute the speculated deal and that the Arab nations are on side with the US, and the second where Hamas claims Russia is against the speculated deal.

I suggest you take these two articles with an even bigger grain of salt…

PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY: NO ARAB PRESSURE TO ACCEPT TRUMP’S PEACE PLAN

https://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Palestinian-Authority-No-Arab-pressure-to-accept-Trumps-peace-plan-560864

Hamas claims Russia opposes Trump peace plan

https://www.timesofisrael.com/hamas-claims-russia-against-trump-peace-plan/

Egyptian agreement on the “deal of the century”: Sinai is essential in the plan

https://paltoday.ps/ar/post/325810/%D9%85%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%81%D9%82%D8%A9-%D9%85%D8%B5%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%89-%D8%B5%D9%81%D9%82%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%82%D8%B1%D9%86-%D8%B3%D9%8A%D9%86%D8%A7%D8%A1-%D8%A3%D8%B3%D8%A7%D8%B3%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D9%81%D9%8A-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AE%D8%B7%D8%A9

Trump to settle the Palestinian issue known as the “Deal of the Century”, which was discussed during the last round in the region by his brother-in-law and adviser, Jared Kouchner, and his envoy to the region, Jason Greenblatt, From Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Qatar.

The sources said the meeting, which brought together Kouchner and Greenblatt with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri and intelligence chief General Abbas Kamel in Cairo last week, touched on the details of the deal, which is being hampered by the Palestinian Authority’s refusal to respond.

The sources explained that the talks of Kouchner in Cairo touched on the details of the Egyptian contribution to the deal, which will be through the Sinai Gate, specifically North Sinai, which has been identified a major role in the plan, to serve as a “cornerstone,” the sources said, pointing to That the establishment of a free trade zone on the border between the Gaza Strip and Rafah, Egypt, in addition to the establishment of a giant power station in the area dedicated to production of the Gaza Strip with full funding of more than $ 500 million.

The North Sinai section of the US plan for the settlement of the Palestinian issue also includes the establishment of a joint Egyptian-Gaza seaport, which will be fully supervised by Egypt and will be operated by the sector. In addition, the project includes, according to the sources, the allocation of an Egyptian airport in the north of Sinai to serve the people of the sector, to be under the supervision and employment of Egypt in full, as well as the establishment of a large industrial area on the border between the two countries, funded by the Gulf.

The sources stressed that this formula has become very welcome in the Egyptian political circles, instead of the principle of land exchange, which was a popular Egyptian rejection, pointing out that the current perception will facilitate the popular marketing, especially as these projects will be implemented on Egyptian territory, Which will join a group of Saudi projects in South Sinai as part of the giant Neum project, which is being adopted by the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, with the participation of Egypt, Jordan and Israel.

The sources stressed that there are Israeli requirements to implement these steps and all the projects allocated to the Gaza Strip within the framework of inflating it into a Palestinian state, in addition to what is left of the West Bank that has not been consumed by the settlements and other than Jerusalem as well. These requirements are to be subject to supervision, , To ensure that they are not used in “any activities hostile to Israel”.

The sources pointed out that the Egyptian government in the context of the semi-final scenario, will in the coming period, specifically the new fiscal year, to start expanding the buffer zone in Sinai, and the evacuation of larger areas, to facilitate the implementation of those proposed projects after that, to be all the land is allocated uninhabited.

In the same context, the Egyptian parliament approved the opening of a new appropriation in the state budget, about 70 billion pounds (about 4 billion dollars) earmarked for additional government expenditure items, which included payment of compensation expected to the people of Sinai. The text of the law, which was approved by the parliament on Sunday in its first article, stipulates that an additional appropriation of the state budget for the fiscal year 2017-2018 of 70 billion three hundred million pounds, distributed on the third section of the “benefits”, will be added to the amount of 57 billion pounds The benefits of local and external public debt, and also the fifth section “other expenses”, in the amount of two billion and three hundred million pounds, to meet the payment of compensation in the province of North Sinai.

Egyptian and Arab diplomatic sources confirmed to the “new Arab” earlier that the first phase of the Trump plan includes a package of measures estimated at about 3 billion dollars pledged by Gulf countries to bear them in full.

The White House issued a statement after Kouchner and Greenblatt’s visit to Cairo, saying that the meeting “discussed increased cooperation between the United States and Egypt, the need to facilitate humanitarian access to Gaza, and Trump’s efforts to facilitate peace between Israelis and Palestinians.” Egyptian Ambassador to Egypt, Ambassador Bassam Radhi, said that Sisi affirmed Egypt’s support for international efforts and initiatives aimed at reaching a just and comprehensive settlement in accordance with agreed international terms and on the basis of the two-state solution according to the 1967 borders. To review the efforts exerted by Egypt to complete the process of Palestinian reconciliation and calm the situation in Gaza and its measures to alleviate the suffering of the residents of the Gaza Strip, including the opening of the Rafah crossing throughout the month of Ramadan.

 

 

Bibi’s outreach to the Iranian people

June 27, 2018

Another great video from Bibi (1 min 12 sec long)

Reaching out to the Iranian people, using the World Cup.

Stoking the fires of discontent amongst the Iranians by telling the uncomfortable truth about the Iranian leadership… 

Good tactics, good skills from Bibi.

And right at the start of the video he shows off some pretty good soccer skills as well.