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Quick Takes: News From Israel You May Have Missed

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The Jewish National Fund, which purchased two key areas in Jerusalem for Jewish settlement – lands the Jewish Press reported were used instead for the illegal construction of Arab communities and a United Nations school – has been telling concerned donors that the illegal construction occurred during periods when the land was occupied by Jordan.

Last month, The Jewish Press broke the story about how hundreds of acres of land at two Jerusalem sites bought by the JNF in the early 1900′s have been utilized for the illegal construction of dozens of Arab apartment buildings, a refugee camp and a UN school.

The Jewish-owned lands recently were blocked off from Jewish sections of Jerusalem and isolated amid Arab neighborhoods by Israel’s security fence. The JNF has seemingly done little to boot Arab squatters from the land, while the Israeli government, which manages the areas, did not halt illegal Arab construction on Jewish-owned properties.

In response to queries by concerned donors, JNF CEO Russell Robinson sent letters last week stating that the land highlighted by The Jewish Press article ”was under Jordanian management prior to 1967.”

“During that time the Jordanian government oversaw all activities, including the UN building. Under international law this makes matters pertaining to the land more complicated than what Klein describes,” states Robinson’s letter to donors.

Jordan, together with other Arab countries, attacked Israel after its founding in 1948 and administered eastern sections of Jerusalem following an armistice agreement, until Jordan attacked again and Israel liberated the entire city of Jerusalem in the 1967 Six Day War.

During the period of Jordanian control, some new construction took place, including in areas previously purchased by Jews.

But this column obtained aerial photos of the two JNF sites in question, which Robinson claimed were illegally built upon prior to 1967.

A photo taken in 1991 of one of the sites, Shoafat, shows that the entire area was a forest at that time – meaning that all illegal Arab construction took place after 1967 while the land was under Jewish control.

An aerial photo taken in 1967 of the second site, Kalandiya, which is now a large Arab town, finds there was a UN building but few others, indicating that the vast majority of Arab construction – dozens of large apartment complexes – occurred under JNF’s watch. 

The Jewish Press had reported that some of the construction took place prior to 1967, but that the bulk of the building occurred in the past few years.

Robinson did not return phone calls seeking comment.

Democrats’ Debate A ‘Victory for Jihad’

Democratic presidential hopefuls flashed their anti-war credentials last week at a national debate, stating that they would immediately withdraw from Iraq. Palestinian terrorist leaders, encouraged by the prospect, labeled the debate a victory for Iraqi insurgents and “resistance movements” throughout the world. 

The debate was widely covered by the Palestinian and pan-Arab media.

“We see Hillary [Clinton] and other candidates are competing on who will withdraw from Iraq and who is guilty of supporting the Iraqi invasion. This is a moment of glory for the revolutionary movements in the Arab world in general and for the Iraqi resistance movement specifically,” said Abu Jihad, one of the leaders of the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades terror organization.

Abu Jihad said he believes that if a Democrat is elected to the White House, he (or she) will immediately order a withdrawal from Iraq. He warned that if such a retreat does not happen, the U.S. will likely be attacked on the home front.

Abu Nasser Aziz, deputy commander of the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades in the northern West Bank, told WorldNetDaily that the Democrat primary debate proved “the invasion of Iraq was judged by Allah to be a failure. America needs to stop letting its foreign policy be dictated by the Zionists and the Zionist lobby. The Democrats understand this point and want to prevent this scenario.”

Abu Muhammad, a leader of the Islamic Jihad terrorist group in northern West Bank city of Telkerem, said he believes both Democrats and Republicans are controlled by Israel, but said he thinks the Democrats are better for his group’s interests.

Abbas Group Rejoicing in American Deaths

Members of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah militias, which receive funds from the United States, celebrated a suicide car bombing that killed nine U.S. soldiers in Iraq last week, stating the attack bolsters their belief the U.S. will soon be defeated and retreat from “Muslim lands.”

“It was a very happy day for us Palestinians to hear nine American dogs were killed in Iraq. We feel encouraged and we feel great solidarity with our brothers in Iraq, and we consider this heroic operation, which aims to humiliate the Americans, as proof that the will of our resistance is more powerful than any [big] American war airplanes,” Abu Ahmed, the northern Gaza commander of the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades terror group, said in a WND interview.

Abu Ahmed was responding to news last Monday of a suicide car bomber that struck a patrol base northeast of Baghdad, killing nine U.S. soldiers. It was one of the deadliest attacks against American ground forces since the Iraq war started more than four years ago.

Abu Ahmed said Palestinians are are taking lessons from the Iraq insurgency.

“The coming victory in Iraq proves the next step is to release Palestine if we speak in one voice,” he said. “We the Palestinians are learning both on the political and military level from our brothers, the heroes in Iraq. They are a model for us.”

The U.S. regularly provides weapons and funds to Fatah militias. Congress in April approved a $59 million aid package to bolster Fatah forces. Many members of the Fatah militias, including dozens recently arrested by Israel, are openly members of the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades.

Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief for WorldNetDaily.com. He appears throughout the week on leading U.S. radio programs.

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About the Author: Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief and senior reporter for WorldNetDaily.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York's 770-WABC Radio, the largest talk radio station in the U.S., every Sunday between 2-4 p.m (CHANGE TO 7-9 p.m.). His website is KleinOnline.com


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