Tehran has arrested a member of the IranDeal negotiating team barely a year after signing the agreement that lifted international sanctions and restored billions of dollars to the Islamic Republic coffers.
Iranian state media reported Sunday the unidentified negotiator is under investigation for being a “spy who infiltrated the nuclear team.” The suspect was allegedly held for several days but has since been released, according to the report.
Earlier this month, U.S. President Barack Obama announced with pride that Israel’s “military and security community” has realized he was right all along and now supports the deal with Iran. “The country that was most opposed to the deal,” he said in news conference on August 6, “acknowledges that this has been a game-changer.”
The Iranian prosecutor general announced August 16 that a dual national linked to British intelligence had been arrested, but at the time did not link the arrest to the nuclear talks. At the same time, the UK said it was trying to find out more about the arrest of a dual national, Reuters reported.
On Sunday, Iranian judiciary spokesperson Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei responded during a weekly briefing to a question by a reporter about a reference by an Iranian lawmaker to a member of the negotiating team with dual nationality, who was arrested on charges of espionage. He did not, however, confirm the suspect had British citizenship.
Earlier this month, nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri was executed by Iran “for revealing the country’s top secrets to the (U.S.) enemy,” Ejei was quoted as saying by the Mizan Online news site. The scientist’s body was returned to his home town with what appeared to be rope marks on his neck, according to his family, suggesting execution by hanging, media reported.
The United Nations and apparently all the PA Arab factions have reacted with outrage to a report of PA security officers who arrested Ahmad Izz Halaweh, the main suspect in a shooting that killed two policemen, and beat him to death in prison Tuesday morning. The UN denounced the killing as an “apparent extrajudicial execution.” Hamas said the killing marked a new height in the PA security forces’ collaboration with Israel. The PLO, for its part, accused Hamas of making political hay out of the incident, in order to “mislead the Palestinian people.”
According to Arab media reports, Halaweh was arrested in predawn raids in the Old City of Shechem, Samaria, on Tuesday and hauled to the Juneid security compound, where he was attacked and severely beaten by security officers. Akram Rujoub, the Governor of Shechem, later reported his death. At that point, a very graphic photo of Halaweh after being attacked, showing his seriously damaged face, neck, and shoulders, was shared on social media.
Halaweh, the most senior leader of the PLO’s militia Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade in the Shechem area, was the third civilian to be killed by PA security in retaliation for Thursday’s shooting, Arab media reported. Two other civilians were shot dead on Friday during raids in the Old City, three more were arrested on Sunday, and five remain in hiding.
James Heenan, head of the UN Human Rights Office in Judea and Samaria, released a statement Tuesday afternoon saying the UN is “extremely concerned about the apparent extrajudicial execution,” and welcomes “the prompt announcement of an investigation into the killing by Prime Minister Hamdallah, and urge the Palestinian authorities to hold independent investigations into the string of events since last week that have now seen five people lose their lives.”
Heenan wants the security officers involved in the “unlawful killings” to be “brought to justice and be suspended, pending the completion of the investigation.” He noted firmly that “there is no place for such acts in a State of Palestine that seeks to abide by international human rights law,” and warned that “Our Office will follow this case closely.”
According to Jack Khoury, writing for Ha’aretz, the much-anticipated October 8 municipal elections, in which Hamas is likely to participate and score a significant victory, have inflamed the already contentious Arab cities in the PA. The latest eruption of violence in Shechem is getting intense coverage in the Arab media inside and outside the PA, because of its high death toll (for this part of the Middle East — elsewhere the death of five Arab civilians might be considered a lull in the violence). However, Khoury suggests that, regardless of the upcoming vote, armed gangs and the PA security services have been fighting each other in Shechem for some time.
It turns out that the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades in Shechem have evolved into criminal gangs, and are fighting police over control of the casbah and other profitable city neighborhoods.
Armed warfare is spreading across the PA, Khoury writes, with gangland shootings in several Arab towns and the refugee camps, leading to the conclusion that PA security forces have long since lost control of the situation. In other words, as Shechem residents cited by Khoury are saying, what is being presented as an ideological warfare between political factions in the PA, is, in fact, turf war between criminal enterprises.
Children in Gaza played with their toy guns for the Eid al-Fitr holiday, on July 7, 2016.
The celebration of Eid usually starts with an early morning prayer, followed by a visit to the tombs of loved ones, and then the children pretend to be Islamic terrorists by lining up their friends against the wall and executing them (pretend of course).
Needless to say, normal children don’t hold toy gun battles like this.
Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization has scheduled 13 public executions in the style of the Da’esh (ISIS) terror group.
Although there have been death sentences carried out by the group in the past, few have been public. However, Hamas has built increasingly stronger ties with the Sinai Province branch of Da’esh, and members have been moving in and out of Gaza.
This past Sunday, however, the group’s de facto “attorney general,” Ismail Jaber, informed reporters, “Capital punishments will soon be implemented in Gaza. I ask they be performed publicly before a large crowd.”
Hamas official Khalil al-Haya said Friday at weekly Muslim prayers there are currently 13 men awaiting execution on murder charges. Under Palestinian Authority law, collaborators with Israel, murderers and drug dealers are all subject to the death penalty.
Shuafat is one of the tragedies of Jerusalem. Jerusalem ambulances, garbage trucks and fire trucks cannot enter the neighborhood without being stoned. Much of it is officially an UNRWA camp where services are supposed to be provided by that organization, but UNRWA all but ignores it as well. As a result, Shuafat is a crime-ridden, drug-infested, dangerous place with open sewers, huge piles of trash and little hope. While most of it is in the Jerusalem municipal boundary, it lies outside the separation barrier – it is a failure of Zionism as well that the Israeli authorities, after many years, simply gave up on trying to control this part of Jerusalem.
Into this vacuum stepped a young man, Baha Nababta.
By all accounts, Nababta worked tirelessly to help the residents of his neighborhood. He founded a number of social institutions in Shuafat to help troubled youth. Nababta was also the head of a local, volunteer fire department that worked with tools as crude as hammers to rescue people from burning houses. He created an emergency response team with over 50 volunteers to respond to all kinds of local emergencies from snowstorms to a team of motorcyclists who could protect Israeli emergency teams who must enter the camp. He helped pave roads, get rid of garbage – essentially every service taken for granted by residents of every other urban area
Nababta was not shy about asking for help from Jerusalem authorities or from liberal Israeli organizations, asking for basic medical and firefighting equipment. His local groups received training from Jerusalem municipal firefighters and from Jerusalem medics, and from all accounts they were happy to help. His main contact on the Israeli side was Dr. Meir Margalit, a Jewish member of the far left Meretz party.
This is probably the reason he is no longer alive.
Baha Nababta, a well-known social activist in the Shoafat refugee camp in northern Jerusalem, was shot to death on Monday by an unknown assailant.
The murder occurred at about 11:30 P.M. on Monday, while Nababta stood with a large group of local residents near the paving work they had initiated. Witnesses said an unknown person riding a motorbike was looking for Nababta, and when he found him he shot 10 bullets at Nababta, seven of which hit him. Nababta was rushed to hospital but died a short time later.
Camp residents said on Tuesday that they did not know who the murderer was, but thought the murder was connected to his social activism.
We don’t know who executed Baha Nababta but it seems likely that Palestinians who are against “normalization” were behind the murder.
This is the one week anniversary of the murder. The story was covered, barely, in Israeli newspapers (Jerusalem Post buried it on page 10, for example.)
Palestinian media ignored the story completely. Outside of social media I couldn’t find one news story about this murder of a prominent social worker.
His death did not receive the headlines of those who are killed while trying to murder Jews. Nababta did not have a huge funeral. His Facebook page – which was quite active – does not have one person expressing condolences after his death.
I’m sure I wouldn’t have agreed with Baha Nababta’s politics, but he deserved a huge amount of respect for actually working to help his people instead of choosing to spend his life complaining and protesting. His work was heroic and his death is a tragedy by any measure for Arabs and Jews alike.
But perhaps the bigger tragedy is that his murder has been so roundly ignored by his own people.
The Palestinian leadership and media do not want to publicize anything that cannot be blamed on Israel, because their entire existence is based on “resistance,” not on doing anything positive for their people. Nababta was guilty of the cardinal crime of “normalization” with Jews who wanted to help him and his fellow Arabs, and to Palestinians, that is unforgivable – and his murder is understandable if embarrassing to mention.
The execution of Baha Nababta, and the silence about his murder from not only Palestinians but from so-called pro-Palestinian activists, sends a message to all Arabs that working even with left-wing Jews is an unforgivable crime.
A person who should be hailed as an example to all Palestinians has been relegated to one of the many piles of garbage that he worked hard to eradicate.
Peace is impossible with a society that treats a true hero like Baha Nababta as a villain.
Mirroring ISIS in Syria, the Palestinian Authority arrested an Arab resident of Ramallah after he posted a video onto Facebook of his son cursing one of the wives of Muhammad, according to a report in Al-Watan.
The man said he posted it because he was converting from Sunni Islam to Shiite Islam.
In the video, the boy, encouraged by his father, curses Aisha, Muhammad’s 9-year-old third wife whose father, Abu Bakr, was the first Sunni Caliph. The Shiite’s claim Ali was meant to be the Caliph. Aisha is connected to the Hadith’s which are central to the Sunni version of Islam.
The boy’s father should consider himself lucky that the Palestinian Authority, unlike ISIS, will probably only torture and execute him and not his child – though one can never be sure when it comes to those wacky Palestinian Authority Islamists.