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October 22, 2016 / 20 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Hezbollah’

Ex-MK, Accused Spy for Hezbollah, Got A Visa to Speak in Washington DC

Sunday, October 9th, 2016

Former head of the Israeli Arab Balad party and a fugitive from Israeli justice, ex-Knesset member Azmi Bishara has somehow been granted an American visa in time to speak next week in Washington DC.

Bishara was accused by the Shin Bet domestic intelligence agency of aiding and abetting the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist organization plot terrorist operations against Israel.

According to a report published last week by the Washington Free Beacon, Bishara is scheduled to speak this coming weekend at a conference in the downtown Marriott hotel organized by The Arab Center of Washington DC, entitled “Democracy in the Arab World: The Obama Legacy & Beyond.” The conference is hosted in partnership with the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies.

The State Department reportedly declined to confirm whether it had granted a visa to Bishara, who has lived in Qatar since fleeing Israel in 2007, and whose image as a scheduled speaker still appears on the website of the conference. Bishara escaped just hours after he was accused of passing information to Lebanon-based Hezbollah agents and recommending Israeli targets to the Iranian-backed terrorist group in 2006 during the Second Lebanon War. He fled just prior to being arrested by police on charges of spying and aiding the enemy in wartime.

Israel is still holding a warrant for Bishara’s arrest. If tried and convicted Bishara could face life in prison. Since Qatar is not currently a participant in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program it is not clear how Bishara, a wanted fugitive from a U.S. ally, was able to enter the United States.

“We are unable to provide information on individual cases because visa records are confidential under U.S. law,” an official told the Free Beacon. “Visa applications are adjudicated on a case-by-case basis in accordance with U.S. law.” In addition, the source told the Free Beacon, “Section 222 (f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) prohibits us from disclosing details from individual visa cases.”

Bishara is slated to deliver the keynote address, “A Framework for Democracy in the Arab World.” He is listed as the “General Director, Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS), Qatar.” Attending the same conference from the ACRPS is “Associate Researcher” Marwan Kabalan, a panelist speaking on the “Future Outlook and Recommended US Policies regarding Democracy in the Arab World.”

Kabalan is a Syrian academic and writer who has been a visiting professor in the College of Law at Qatar University, and has written for the Qatar Tribune. He is a recognized writer and expert on Syria, with a PhD in International Relations. In 2012, Kalaban was the Dean of Faculty of International Relations and Diplomacy at the University of Kalamoon, Damascus.

Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, originally scheduled to speak at the event on promotion of democracy in the Arab world, has reportedly canceled his plans to appear.

Hana Levi Julian

6-Member Hezbollah Terror Cell Discovered Operating in Northern Israel

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) uncovered a Hezbollah terrorist cell operating in northern Israel, the intelligence agency revealed Thursday. Six suspects were arrested last month on suspicion of smuggling explosives that had been discovered south of Metulla on July 30, in a joint operation of the ISA, Israel Police and IDF.

All members of the cell, residents of the border town of Ghajar, were taken into custody for planning to carry out major terror attacks in Israel, according to a statement by the intelligence agency.

In recent years, security services have dealt with several cases in which links were discovered between routes for smuggling drugs from Lebanon into Israel, and routes for the infiltration of war materiel.

For example, in 2012, 20 kilograms of C4 explosive material were discovered, leading to a wave of arrests of Israeli Arabs from the Nazareth area and of several residents of Ghajar for involvement in the affair. Drugs trafficking in southern Lebanon is controlled and managed by Hezbollah, which maintains a constant effort to also smuggle war materiel along the drug smuggling routes, with the involvement of Israeli drugs traffickers.

In this case, the attempt was foiled and all those involved were arrested. From the investigation of the detainees as well as from information gathered about the operation, it was learned that several activists from Ghajar, led by Diab Sa’ad Jamil Kahamuz, were in contact with Hezbollah operatives.

At the behest of Hezbollah operatives, the detainees carried out smuggling into Israel over the Lebanese border fence as well as additional intelligence-gathering activity deeper inside Israel.

The Northern District State Attorney’s Office filed detailed indictments on Thursday (October 6, 2016), against all those involved in the case. Diab Kahamuz was arrested on September 4, 2016. During his investigation, it was learned he was in contact this year with his father, Sa’ad Kahamuz, a drug trafficker from Ghajar known for helping Hezbollah, and who fled to Lebanon in October 2006.

The central nature of the elder Kahamuz in the affair stems from his being an intermediary between Hezbollah operatives and his family in Ghajar, headed by his son Diab. Sa’ad Kahamuz liaised between Diab and Hezbollah operatives; communication was by means of – inter alia – encrypted emails. In May 2016, Diab received two explosive charges from Hezbollah, which he hid in an orchard south of Metula. As noted above, these charges were discovered on 30 July 2016. Diab was asked by Hezbollah to carry out an attack at a site – to be chosen by him – in Haifa. Diab also considered the possibility of carrying out an attack at a factory in Nesher, and recruited his brothers Yusuf and Jamil, planning to use the latter in carrying out the attack.

Diab agreed to carry out the attack; however, Hezbollah provided him with an alternative site – the bus stop at the entrance to the village of Tur’an, which is frequented by many soldiers, especially on Sundays. Diab collected intelligence about the site and conveyed the information to Hezbollah.

In August 2016 Diab was to have carried out an additional smuggling operation at the behest of his Hezbollah handlers. During his investigation, it was learned that additional parties were involved in his activities, namely his brothers Yusuf Sa’ad Jamil Kahamuz and Jamil Sa’ad Jamil Kahamuz.

The following residents of Ghajar were also arrested last month on suspicion of involvement in Diab’s activities with Hezbollah:

* Adal Ahmed Hassan Ayunat was arrested on September 4. During his investigation it was learned that he had been aware of Diab Kahamuz’s contacts with Hezbollah and that he had accepted an offer from him to assist him in his contacts and vis-à-vis drug smuggling. It was also learned that in 2007, he had smuggled night vision equipment to Hezbollah operatives.

* Mohssan Muhammad Jamil Kahamuz was arrested on September 4. He assisted Diab Kahamuz – inter alia – in purchasing a computer for contacting Hezbollah and in passing messages to Hezbollah via encrypted email. He also helped him to twice look for the bag with the explosives that had been hidden in the orchard near Metula in July 2016. He was also involved in drug smuggling along with Diab Kahamuz and others.

* Mandouh Karim Munif Ibrahim was arrested on September 12. During his investigation it was learned that he had assisted Diab Kahamuz – on several occasions – in passing messages to Hezbollah via encrypted email. He was also involved in drug smuggling along with Diab Kahamuz and others.

* Yusuf Sa’ad Jamil Kahamuz was arrested on September 18. During his investigation it was learned that he was fully cognizant of his brother Diab’s contacts with Hezbollah and had assisted him in carrying out activities at the behest of the organization. For example, he went with him to gather information about the Tur’an bus stop, had gone out of Ghajar with him in order to send and receive encrypted messages to/from Hezbollah, and had assisted him in receiving the explosives from Hezbollah. After Diab’s arrest, Yusuf burned the two computers that Diab had used for contacts with Hezbollah.

* Jamil Sa’ad Jamil Kahamuz was arrested on September 20. It was learned that he had acted as Diab’s main assistant regarding his Hezbollah activities and had been fully cognizant of them. It was also learned that he had assisted Diab on several occasions in passing information to Hezbollah, including photographs and video clips taken at Tur’an junction. On several occasions he also drove Diab to the smuggling points, including in May 2016 to collect the explosives. He also helped his brother Yusuf to destroy the computers to prevent them from being seized by the security forces.

Hana Levi Julian

Lessons from 5776, Optimism for 5777

Sunday, October 2nd, 2016

As we take our leave from 5776, I would sum it up as the year that Israel discovered the correct paradigm for dealing with her adversaries.

In previous years, many believed Israel’s military superiority allowed and even obliged her to take “risks for peace.” Others believed that propping up the economies of Israel’s neighbors until they were on par with her own, while giving up land, would bring peace.

But in 5776, Israel discovered that the secret for a relatively peaceful status quo comes not from creating economic parity, giving away land or taking risks, but rather by creating economic dependence, along with the application of Israel’s military superiority.

It should be made clear that a peaceful status quo is a separate discussion from what Israel’s long term vision for the region should be — whether that solution be Israel applying phased or full sovereignty over all of Israel’s territories, a confederation with Jordan, or some other ideas not yet tested or considered.

It’s been repeatedly noted that only one of the terror attacks by PA Arabs in this recent terror wave was executed by an individual with an Israeli work permit.

Israelis have learned that no matter how much their neighbors may hate them (and by the way, not all of Israel’s neighbors close and far hate Israel), or how much incitement they absorb from Palestinian Authority TV and the Islamic preachers, their families and villages depend on the money they make from Israelis, and all of them, save one, would not dare risk that.

Which is why the Palestinian Authority tried its best to force these Arab workers to stop working in the settlements, and why it failed. (PA Arabs make three times more working for Israelis than they do working in the Palestinian Authority.)

Incidentally, Israel would probably help the future stability of Judea and Samaria by announcing it will guarantee PA police salaries should the Palestinian Authority collapse under the weight of its own incompetence and corruption or Abbas’ retirement or death.

There’s very little that creates more loyalty than a paycheck paid on time.

Despite the roadblocks set up by Israel’s High Court, 5776 concluded with Jordan signing a $10 billion gas deal with Israel, which a Jordanian official said will save Jordan $600 million a year. It’s a deal that might very well tie Jordan’s economic stability to Israel for the next 15 years, along with the fresh water that Israel provides them.

Besides natural gas, Turkey, Greece, various Arab countries, some African states, India, Russia and China are looking to purchase or enter business partnerships with Israel, to acquire Israeli technology, military experience and equipment, fresh water solutions, solar energy, agricultural know-how or simply gain access to Israeli projects.

As these countries and others become more reliant on what Israel has to offer, there will be a gradual, visible change in their public attitudes, voting in international forums, and policies towards Israel, as Prime Minister Netanyahu pointed out in his speech last month before the UN General Assembly.

On the military side, this past year, the IDF finally resumed its function in actively preventing terrorism, rather than restricting itself to a reactive mode. IDF soldiers have been raiding the hornet nests in the Palestinian Authority every night, to confiscate illegal weapons and ammunition, uncover weapons factories and erode the terror networks of Hamas, the PLO, and the various Islamic Jihadi groups which expanded operations under former defense ministers Ehud Barak and Moshe Ya’alon. And, surprisingly, these IDF actions hardly provoke any international condemnation, save for criticism from Haaretz.

It was also the year Israel has actively taken on BDS, and began to beat it down, state after US state.

Obviously, all was not rosy this past year.

Thanks to the Iran deal, a revitalized Islamic Iran has been expanding its terror operations. But as Iran and their client Hezbollah try to establish terror bases on Israel’s Golan Heights’ border, Syrian Rebels are fighting those Iranian and Hezbollah terrorists on the Golan — the same rebels who are reportedly receiving much-needed medical aid from Israel.

There has been an upswing in Israeli Arabs participating in terror attacks and joining ISIS due to Islamic radicalization, incitement and propaganda, but Israel is already learning how to deal with them.

Hamas is still destroying Gaza as it continues to prepare for another round of fighting with Israel.

In the spring of 5777, Israel will celebrate 50 years since the liberation of our ancient lands of Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem from the illegal Jordanian occupation. Expect the usual NGOs (under new names and old) and Israel haters to foment their venomous propaganda, and also expect fewer and fewer people, everywhere in the world, to pay attention.

There’s concern over Obama’s anticipated November surprise at the UN.

And, of course, there will be the new challenges that either candidate for US president will present to Israel.

At the JewishPress.com we believe we have reason to be optimistic.

Israel has made significant positive changes this past year, with strategic, long term ideas being implemented, already with noticeable results. 5777 will bring challenges, even difficult ones, but we believe Israel is ready for them.

Shana Tova – Have a sweet new year.

Stephen Leavitt

Black Flags in Gaza

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

You’d be excused if you thought these armed masked men in pickup truck waving black flags in Gaza were ISIS or a JV team – they have them (ISIS) in Gaza too.

But this is a different Islamic terrorist group in Gaza, these are the Al-Nasser Salah al-Deen Brigades, an armed wing of the PRC.

They’re celebrating their 16th anniversary.

Their specialty is planting roadside bombs against civilian and military vehicles.

In 2003, it is believed their group blew up a US diplomatic convoy in Beit Hanoun (Gaza), killing 3 guards and wounding a diplomat, and it is also believed they blew up a bus in Haida, killing 16 Israelis. And then they did other stuff too.

They were formed by ex-PLO terrorists who didn’t feel the PLO was terrorist enough for them – they are believed to be financed by Hezbollah.

Al-Nasser Brigades, an armed wing of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC),

Al-Nasser Brigades, an armed wing of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC),

Al-Nasser Brigades, an armed wing of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC),

Photo of the Day

Emergency Session on Syria at UN Security Council

Monday, September 26th, 2016

The United Nations Security Council held urgent talks Sunday in response to a summons by the United States, UK and France for an emergency meeting over the ongoing bombing of Aleppo by Russia and Syrian regime forces.

British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft told reporters the incendiary munitions that have been dropping on Aleppo are “indiscriminate and a clear breach of international law. The barrel-busting bombs are falling from the skies likewise.”

French Ambassador Francois Delattre was more blunt: “War crimes are being committed in Aleppo. They must not be unpunished and impunity is simply not an option in Syria.”

According to U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power, more than 150 air strikes targeted the northern Syrian city between Friday and Sunday night. The death toll has reached 115 in the assault, including at least 19 children, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

A number of cluster bombs remain undetonated and sitting in the streets of eastern Aleppo where some 250,000 civilians are under siege in a section of the city that is populated by many who support the opposition forces.

Close to half a million people have died in the conflict since March 2011, and some 11 million others have been driven from their homes.

According to local Syrian sources, most of the air strikes currently targeting Aleppo are being carried out by Russian fighter jets. “No ISIS fighters are in the targeted areas; all the victims are civilians,” the source tweeted.

UNICEF reported that although repair efforts are ongoing at the damaged pumping station for east Aleppo, 100,000 children have had no safe drinking water for the past three days.

Hana Levi Julian

UNIFIL Soldiers Wounded in Southern Lebanon by ’30-Year-Old’ Landmine

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

A group of UNIFIL soldiers were injured Wednesday when their vehicle inadvertently ran over a “30-year-old landmine” in southern Lebanon, according to the Al Masdar News website.

A military source in Beirut told Al Masdar the UNIFIL vehicle was patrolling along the Lebanese-Israeli border, driving off pavement near the village of Maqam, when it hit the landmine.

The explosive reportedly dated back to the Lebanese Civil War, according to the report. The UN soldiers were rushed to the nearest field hospital by the ambulance that arrived at the scene.

UNIFIL — the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon — was originally created by the UN Security Council in March 1978 to “confirm Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, restore international peace and security and assist the Lebanese government in restoring its effective authority in the area,” according to the agency’s website.

After the 2006 Second Lebanon War, the Security Council “enhanced” that mandate. The force was ordered to monitor the cessation of hostilities; accompany and support the Lebanese armed forces as they deploy throughout the south of Lebanon; and “extend its assistance to help ensure humanitarian access to civilian populations and the voluntary and safe return of displaced persons.”

In addition, the force was tasked with ensuring that no weapons or armed militias other than the Lebanese government forces were to enter the region — a mandate that was blithely ignored within seconds after it was set forth.

Since the ceasefire (UN resolution 1701) the Hezbollah guerrilla terrorist group has taken control over the country and has exerted significant control over the government as well. The terrorist group possesses possibly the largest arsenal in the entire hemisphere, thanks to the generous support of Iran, and has completely restocked and exceeded the prior supply level of rockets and missiles it held at the start of the Second Lebanon War.

The group has been threatening for the past five years to eventually invade Israel and seize control of the Galilee. As a result, the Israeli military has begun to include military and civilian drills that feature evacuations of the civilian populations of major northern Israeli cities, in response to those threats.

Hana Levi Julian

Mortar Shell Strikes Golan Heights Third Day in a Row

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

Another round of mortar fire from Syria reportedly struck the Golan Heights in northern Israel from Syria. The IDF located four artillery shells in the northern part of the Golan Heights by Wednesday night, Ynet reported, allegedly more of the “spillovery” from the raging civil war taking place across the border.

If the report is confirmed, it will be the third day in a row for what has become a continuing series of mortar fire despite Israeli military efforts to deter, or at least, contain an escalating situation on the northern border.

This is the eighth time the region has been hit by “spillover” action from the raging civil war taking place on the Syrian side of the border.

The attacks have continued despite retaliatory Israeli Air Force air strikes and IDF artillery fire intended as a warning to prevent further shelling.

On Tuesday, the IDF closed Route 98 in the north after the third mortar shell of the day came whistling into the region from across the border.

That attack came just 24 hours after two projectiles landed in Israel from Syria.

The Golan Heights also was attacked on Monday, and over the weekend as well.

The Israeli government has issued a statement after each attack, warning that it holds the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad responsible for all activity that takes place within its territory, military and otherwise.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/mortar-shell-strikes-golan-heights-fourth-day-in-a-row/2016/09/14/

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