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January 19, 2017 / 21 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Lebanon’

ISIS Takes Weapons in US Retreat, But Where Else Are American Arms?

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

The Amaq media outlet of the Da’esh (ISIS) terrorist organization disseminated photos of American arms this past weekend showing the new military treasure it acquired when U.S. troops who were supporting government soldiers in Afghanistan retreated in the face of terrorist fire during a clash that took place in July.

Among the seized items were a rocket launcher, grenades, machine gun ammunition, an encrypted radio and military identification cards, the Washington Free Beacon reported Wednesday. One of the identity cards was that of an American soldier, but U.S. officials denied he was taken prisoner and said he was with his unit.

U.S. Brigadier-General Charles Cleveland, deputy chief of staff for the U.S.-led mission in Afghanistan confirmed the loss, saying the clash had taken place in the eastern province of Nangarhar as American forces were moving a “casualty collection” area. Cleveland said in his statement the soldiers came under “effective enemy fire” and were forced to retreat. “In the course of moving the [casualty collection point] to a safe location, some equipment was left behind. For understandable reasons, the lives of soldiers were not put at risk to recover the equipment,” he said. “The loss of equipment is regrettable but no equipment is worth undue risk to those involved,” Cleveland pointed out. “And we do not expect any measurable operational impact due to the loss.”

This is not the first time that American military hardware and weapons have ended up in hands other than those for whom they were intended.

Weapons that were sent to Syrian opposition forces via Jordan last year by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and Saudi Arabia were reported stolen by Jordanian intelligence operatives, according to an investigative report by the New York Times.

Instead, they ended up in the hands of arms merchants who sold them to the highest bidders on the black market, American and Jordanian officials told the newspaper.

Those same weapons were used by a Jordanian officer to murder two U.S. government security contractors, a South African trainer and two Jordanians in an attack at a U.S.-funded police training facility for Jordanian intelligence in Amman last November, both NYT and Al Jazeera reported. The killer was later shot dead in a shootout.

The site was set up in 2003 as a center for the U.S. to train Iraqi police. It then was used to train Palestinian Authority security forces, who were ultimately equipped with new American military equipment. Although (USSC) U.S. Security Coordinator (2005-2010) Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton repeatedly stated, “We don’t give out any guns or bullets,” the forces received them from Jordan and Egypt with approval from Israel.

Numerous Palestinian Authority security forces have since used their vastly improved military skills to target Israelis in terror attacks.

In his report, The Implications of United States Military Training of Palestinian Security Forces, journalist David Bedein points out that in addition to the United States, the European Union also started training and equipping Palestinian Authority security forces in 2007. (see page six)

Under the European Union Coordinating Office for Palestinian Police Support (EU COPPS), about one thousand police officers were trained and at least a dozen police stations were opened in Judea and Samaria. By mid-2008, European donor states had already pledged $242 million to the Palestinian Authority, all this in addition to the USSC effort.

At present, a similar issue is taking place in Syria with American weapons once again going astray. Western-backed “moderate” opposition forces are fighting government troops defending the regime of President Bashar al-Assad together with Russian, Iranian and the Lebanese Hezbollah guerrilla terrorist fighters.

The Western-backed opposition forces, supplied in part by the United States, are not in any way linked to Al Qaeda or Da’esh (ISIS). But in the heat of battle and for the purposes of achieving their objectives, all opposition forces often band together as one in Syria — regardless of ideological affiliation.

Hana Levi Julian

Iran Seizes Chance to ‘Help’ Beirut, Shipping Arms to Lebanon

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

Iran is making final preparations to send a large arms shipment intended for the Lebanese army, according to a report on the Hebrew-language NRG website.

The shipment is being sent by Iran to fill the vacuum created by Saudi Arabia, which pulled its economic aid to Beirut.

A senior official in Tehran said that Iran is waiting only for the approval of Beirut to finalize the shipment of the deadly supplies. Saudi Arabia announced its decision in February to reconsider a grant of $4 billion in military aid to the Lebanese Army and its security services.

The decision came after Beirut declined to condemn the assault by Shi’ite protesters against the Saudi Arabian embassy in Tehran. The demonstrators were protesting the execution of a Shi’ite cleric in Saudi Arabia. Lebanon is dominated by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist organization via cabinet ministers and parliamentarians who serve in a large percentage of the government.

Interestingly, the United States has also just announced the arrival of “an entire ship full of military equipment” at a port in Lebanon.

U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Elizabeth H. Richard told reporters on Tuesday that Lebanon was the recipient of $50 million in military aid from Washington DC.

Among the items shipped to Beirut were 50 armored Humvees, 40 Howitzers and more than a thousand tons of ammunition.

Lebanon is the fifth largest recipient of U.S. foreign military financing in the world, Richard said.

The Israel Defense Forces have been preparing for the possibility of a new war with Hezbollah along Israel’s northern border.

The supply of new military hardware to an active Israeli enemy sworn to annihilate the Jewish State — one who is serving as a proxy for Iran — has raised red flags for the Jewish State, which is closely watching the border.

The Lebanese Army is closely entwined with Hezbollah and for all intents and purposes, a nation that once was called “the Riviera of the Middle East” has now become a satellite of jihadist Iran.

Hana Levi Julian

$50 Million in US Military Aid Delivered to Lebanon

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

Lebanon has received some $50 million in military aid from the United States, including 50 armored Humvees, 40 Howitzers and more than a thousands tons of ammunition.

“An entire ship full of military equipment,” was how U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Elizabeth H. Richard described the aid to the Lebanese army, intended to provide support in the fight against jihadists near the Syrian border.

Lebanon is the fifth largest recipient of U.S. foreign military financing in the world, the ambassador told reporters.

The Lebanese Army works hand in hand with the Iranian proxy Hezbollah terrorist organization, a sworn enemy of the State of Israel.

Hezbollah possesses one of the largest and best-equipped arsenals in the world, which includes approximately 100,000 rockets and missiles of varying ranges capable of reaching all parts of the Jewish State.

Hana Levi Julian

Senior IDF Officer Indicted for Sexual Misconduct

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

The military prosecutor on Thursday submitted to a special military court indictments against Brigadier General Ofek Buchris, on several counts of rape, sodomy, indecent assault and misconduct against two female soldiers who served under his command during his tenure as Golani Brigade Commander.

Buchris, 48, a religious Orthodox Jew, graduated from Midrashiat Noam and the pre-military academy of Ateret Kohanim yeshiva. He is married, the father of six children, and lives in Mitzpe Netofa in the Lower Galilee.

In late 2015 the military was about to appoint him Head of the Operations Division, a senior position in the IDF command. Then, in February 2016, deputy chief of staff Maj. Gen. Yair Golan suspended Buchris following a complaint by one of his female subordinates in Golani. The Military Police investigations unit launched an investigation of accusations of rape against him. Buchris denied all the accusations from the start, but on March 10 the new chief of staff Maj. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot revoked his high command appointment, since the investigation was dragging on and the army needed to fill the post.

An announcement from the IDF Spokesperson’s office described Buchris as “an officer and a warrior with a stellar record; the Judge Advocate General said that he made his decision with a heavy heart. Still, during the thorough investigation some alleged evidence surfaced to the fact that the officer carried out several serious sexual offenses against a junior enlisted female soldier and against a female officer, while the two were serving under his command as Golani Brigade Commander. Therefore the Judge Advocate General decided to indict him.”

Buchris and his military defenders issued a statement saying, “We regret the decision of the Judge Advocate General and think it is fundamentally erroneous. During the hearing process we presented to the JAG serious problems with which the case is rife. We are certain that we’ll be able to fight and prove Brigadier General Buchris’s innocence in court and that justice will prevail.”

Attorneys for the complaining officer, a Major, said that their client “was dragged into this affair against her choice, did not initiate a complaint against Brigadier General Ofek Buchris and was prepared to continue with her life. But once the military police investigators had come to her, she told them the truth regarding his behavior towards her. From the start she was certain that as soon as she exposed his actions he would be indicted, and that’s what took place today. The officer is certain the judicial system will know how to handle this case properly.”

In May 2002, Buchris commanded an operation to locate explosives labs and capture wanted terrorists in Shechem; during the raid on a house the company commander was killed and Buchris was severely injured, after being hit by four bullets. He received a commendation from then chief of staff Shaul Mofaz for his bravery.

In July 1994, while serving in the security strip in southern Lebanon, two of Buchris’s men were killed and four others were injured during an operational accident, when a troops carrier hit a high voltage wire; Buchris was indicted together with his battalion commander and the sector commander. They were acquitted of causing death through negligence but were convicted of negligence of duty.

JNi.Media

Shots at IDF Post near Lebanon Border

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

On Wednesday morning an IDF post in the Metula area, near the Lebanese border, was fired on, the IDF Spokesperson’s Office reported, suggesting these may have been stray bullets. One IDF soldier was injured from a shrapnel that was blocked by his dog tag. He was evacuated to a nearby emergency room with a minor chest injury.

There were no other casualties and the event is being investigated.

David Israel

Netanyahu Warns Hezbollah Will Meet ‘Iron Fist’ If Group Attacks Israel

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the Lebanon-based Hezbollah terror guerrilla organization that Israel will deal a “powerful response” if forced to respond to aggression from the group.

The prime minister made the remark at a ceremony held in Jerusalem Tuesday to mark the tenth anniversary of the 2006 Second Lebanon War.

Netanyahu expressed empathy for the families of the soldiers who were killed in the war, and he warned Hezbollah it will face an “iron fist” if the group attacks Israel again.

The previous war was launched with a cross-border raid in which terrorists from the group attacked an IDF patrol that was traveling along Israel’s northern border.

Two Israeli reservists were abducted that day and both were murdered. It took years and a German negotiator plus a prisoner swap with a hundred-plus dead terrorists and a handful of live terror inmates to get the Israeli reservists’ bodies back for burial by their families.

Among the terrorists traded to Hezbollah was child-killer Samir Kuntar, who later commanded Hezbollah terror forces in the Syrian Golan Heights.

Hana Levi Julian

Finally: Congress Asking UNRWA for Real Number of Palestinian Refugees

Friday, July 15th, 2016

Both houses of Congress are at work to modify funding bills for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), as part of an effort to investigate the very legitimacy of the decades-old agency, Michael Wilner reported in the Jerusalem Post Friday. Both the House and the Senate want the State Department to, once and for all, define the term “Palestinian refugee,” and while they’re at it, reveal how many are receiving aid from UNRWA.

UNRWA was established in 1948 to assist the 750,000 Palestinians who had left Israel. Since then UNRWA has been a promoter of the Palestinian cause, funding as many as 5 million “refugees,” the majority of whom never left the homes where they were born in the Gaza Strip, the “West Bank,” eastern Jerusalem, or other Arab countries, to the tune of $1.23 billion annually, $250 million of which is donated by US taxpayers.

Many in Congress have been saying, since about 2012, that the majority of Palestinians are permanently settled, and should not be under the jurisdiction of a refugee agency.

Needless to say, Wilner points out, “such a finding would fundamentally change the narrative of the decades-old conflict.”

The first Palestinian census was completed 15 years ago, and the head of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) admitted then that the census was, in effect, “a civil intifada” rather than a scientific survey. In 2011 the Bureau attempted to correct that blatant misrepresentation, claiming that 2.6 million Palestinian Arabs inhabit Judea and Samaria.

But Israeli demographer Yoram Ettinger challenged those numbers, claiming they overstated the real number of Arabs there by as much as 66%. He explained that the PCBS’s total counts 400,000 Palestinians living overseas, and double-counts 240,000 Jerusalem Arabs. It also undercounted Palestinian emigration.

In 2014, UNRWA came up with the figure of 5 million Palestinian refugees living in Gaza, Judea and Samaria, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, and the US responded by providing hundreds of millions of dollars for UNRWA’s health, education, and social service programs.

“UNRWA is sort of becoming an entitlement program of the Middle East, and the desire is to increase transparency on who actually are refugees relevant to that conflict,” a senior Senate aide familiar with the language told Wilner, suggesting the new bill “goes to the heart of the debate over UNRWA funding.”

Republicans in both houses have launched parallel efforts to compel the State Department to go on the record with who qualifies as a “Palestinian refugee,” and the combined version of the law, once passed, will compel the secretary of state to provide “a justification of why it is in the national interest of the United States to provide funds to UNRWA.”

The bill’s language continues: “Such justification shall include an analysis of the current definition of Palestinian refugees that is used by UNRWA, how that definition corresponds with, or differs from, that used by UNHCR, other UN agencies, and the United States Government, and whether such definition furthers the prospects for lasting peace in the region.”

And, naturally, “the committee directs that such report be posted on the publicly available website of the Department of State.”

Finally, it should be noted that there are two distinct definitions of the term “refugee” in international law.

A refugee, according to the United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, is a person who is outside their country of citizenship because they have well-founded grounds for fear of persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, and is unable to obtain sanctuary from their home country or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail themselves of the protection of that country; or in the case of not having a nationality and being outside their country of former habitual residence as a result of such event, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to their country of former habitual residence.

It is rare for a refugee status to extend beyond the lifetime of the original refugee, because normally it is expected that their offspring will have settled someplace else.

Not so regarding Palestinian refugees, according to UNRWA’s definition of the term, which includes the patrilineal descendants of the original “Palestinian refugees,” limited to persons residing in UNRWA’s areas of operation in the Palestinian territories, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/finally-congress-asking-unrwa-for-real-number-of-palestinian-refugees/2016/07/15/

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