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July 6, 2015 / 19 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Middle East’

More Than a Dozen Terror Suspects Arrested in West Bank Raids

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

Israeli soldiers detained more than a dozen suspected terrorists overnight Monday into Tuesday in raids across Judea and Samaria. A total of 17 suspects were arrested.

Seven of the detainees were members of the Hamas terrorist organization, according to IDF officials.

Two were taken into custody in the village of Fara’a, located northeast of Shechem (Nablus.) Two others were detained in a raid carried out southwest of Jenin, in Jaba’a.

Another member of the Gaza-based terror group was arrested in Beit Fajar, southwest of Bethlehem and quite close to the Gush Etzion junction. Three other suspects – including two alleged Hamas members – were arrested in nearby Hebron.

Ten of the suspects were taken into custody in connection with participating in riots and attacks on civilians and security personnel, the IDF said.

During the evening on Monday, Arab attackers hurled rocks at a private car and at an Egged bus on the No. 160 line traveling along Highway 60 near the Arab village of El Aroub in Judea. No one was physically injured but both vehicles were damaged in the attacks.

After Leader Killed, ISIS Threatening to Kill Obama and Christians

Saturday, May 16th, 2015

On Friday night, May 15, the elite U.S. Army’s Delta Force commandos killed a leader of the barbaric Islamic jihadi group ISIS in a raid in Syria, National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said.

The team, based in Iraq, killed abu Sayyaf and captured his wife, Umm Sayyaf. They also freed a Yezidi woman who had allegedly been held by the couple as a slave. The raid took place near the eastern Syrian city of al-Amr. President Obama was said to have ordered the raid.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said the operation represented “another significant blow” and that “it is a reminder hat the United States will never waver in denying safe heaven to terrorists who threaten our citizens, and those of our friends and allies.”

Sayyaf was believed to be directly involved in many ISIS military activities and funding. Carter said Sayyaf directed ISIS’s “illicit oil, gas and financial operations.” The New York Times, however, referred Sayyaf as merely a “mid-level leader in the organization” who “can be easily replaced.”

Apparently the original goal of the operation was to capture Abu Sayyaf in order to learn more about ISIS operations. As soon as the U.S. commandos landed near the building they believed contained their target’s residence, fighting broke out. In all, at least a dozen terrorists were killed, including Abu Sayyaf, according to a Defense official, as reported in the Washington Post.

Now ISIS and its supporters are vowing revenge. “If they took Abu Sayyaf, we will take Obama,”threatened an ISIS supporter.

“If your goal is killing Abu Sayyaf then our goal is killing Obama and the worshippers of the cross. We have attacks coming against you,” an ISIS member tweeted, according to the news site Vocativ.

EU Chief Meeting Next Week with Netanyahu, Abbas

Friday, May 15th, 2015

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini is scheduled to arrive in Israel next week, her office said in a statement Friday.

Mogherini “will travel to the Middle East on Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 May,” and is expected to meet both Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas during her visit.

The EU head will also meet with “a number of other Israeli and Palestinian interlocutors, to discuss the bilateral relations as well as prospects for the Middle East peace process,” the statement said.

The impending visit follows Israel’s installation of its new coalition government headed by Netanyahu for a record fourth term in office.

On Monday, EU foreign ministers are expected to discuss current issues taking place in the region with Mogherini at a routine meeting of the European body prior to her trip.

Recently it was revealed that the European Union has taken an exceptionally active role in funding and otherwise aiding in the construction of hundreds of illegal Palestinian structures in “Area C.” These are territories that are controlled solely under the State of Israel in accordance with the internationally-recognized Oslo Accords.

These areas are expected to be retained by Israel in any final status agreement between the two parties.

UN Castigates Saudis for Bombing Houthis and Their Human Shields After 24-Hour Warning

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

We’ve seen this movie before.

A recent exchange between UN representatives in Yemen and Saudi Arabian officials sounded just like the ones that take place between the UN and Israel over Hamas in Gaza.

On Sunday, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen Johannes Van Der Klauuw said he was “deeply concerned” by the Saudi-led coalition strikes on northern Yemen. The UN warned that the “indiscriminate bombing of populated areas a violation of international law.”

The UN claims the airstrikes have killed at least 1,400 people and more than half of them were civilians.

Saudi’s military spokesperson, Brigadier General Ahmed Asiri, responded to the UN criticism, saying Iranian-backed Houthi rebels are using hospitals and schools to store weapons, which is why they have been targeted by airstrikes.

On Sunday, the Saudis reportedly also targeted the home of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa, Yemen’s capital. Saleh is unharmed, according to a BBC report.

The Saudis have declared the northern province of Saada, located on the Saudi border, a “military zone”, and on Friday dropped leaflets warning local civilians to get out before the attacks began.

On Saturday, the Sunni coalition said it has conducted 130 airstrikes in 24-hours against Houthi targets in Saada.

Van Der Klauuw warned that the “indiscriminate bombing of populated areas, with or without prior warning, is in contravention of international humanitarian law. Many civilians are effectively trapped in Saada as they are unable to access transport because of the fuel shortage. The target of an entire governorate will put the countless civilians at risk.”

International law of warfare, as understood by the UN, seems to face an inescapable dilemma.

It calls on both sides to not put civilians in harms way. But when one side purposely does, it doesn’t allows the other side any reasonable means of defense or attack against the initial international law-breakers.

So instead we’re left with laughably ineffectual and meaningless statements such as Van der Klaauw’s suggestion, “all parties must avoid using populated areas as launching grounds for attacks.”

From experience, we all know statements like that really stop Iran’s clients and proxies from using their human shields as they attack their enemies.

It’s about time the international laws of war be updated to reflect how the bad guys are actually fighting.

A five-day, Saudi-initiated, humanitarian truce is set to begin today.

It all sounds so familiar.

Saudis Hijack de Facto Recognition of Israel after Plane Lands at Lod

Sunday, May 10th, 2015

Saudi Arabia has foregone a golden opportunity to recognize Israel and instead canceled contract with a Portuguese company that committed the ultimate sin by flying a Saudi plane to Ben Gurion Airport for maintenance last week.

The landing touched off a sensation on social media and may have been the first time a Saudi aircraft landing in Israel has been seen by the public.

The Kingdom immediately denied the report and stated, “It’s untrue that a Saudi Airlines plane landed in [Ben Gurion] airport.”

In typical Arab Middle East character, Saudi Arabia followed the denial by cancelling its contract with the Portuguese Hi Fly company that is responsible for maintenance for Saudi Arabian Airlines.

The kingdom stated:

The company had been given a contract for air transport to provide Saudi Arabia with planes for commercial operations.

The plane was off duty and under the management of the holding company at the time when it left Saudi Arabia on Sunday, May 3, for Brussels, Belgium, for routine maintenance.

Such landing or operation process should take place in a country that shares diplomatic relations with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to enable Saudi staff and the Civil Aviation authority to conduct inspection and follow up on the maintenance operation at any time.

Nevertheless, it is assumed that Israel and Saudi Arabia are in cahoots behind an iron curtain when it comes to making plans to attacks their common enemy Iran, if Tehran gets too close to a nuclear weapon.

It also is likely that Israel exports some products to Saudi Arabia, possibly via East Podunk and packing them in unmarked boxes so no one will be contaminated by a “Made in Israel’ label.

But the kingdom is not yet ready to accept landing a commercial Saudi plane in Israel in broad daylight for maintenance where Zionist hands would keep the airplane in tip-top shape.

Speculating journalists had all kinds of theories why the Saudi plane landed, without passengers, although Press TV, one of the Iranian regime’s propaganda organs, took the opportunity to spin the tale that the plane had at least one passenger, none other than Saudi crown prince Muhammad Bin Nayef who was named last week by King Salman as the new interior minister.

Bin Nayef has been the target of assassination attempts at least four times and is considered a possible future monarch.

Even in the James Bond-like movies of Middle East diplomacy, it is a bit far-fetched to think that Riyadh and Jerusalem would hatch a plot to send the prince to Israel on a maintenance flight, in full view of airport workers.

It is also a bit far-fetched to think that the new kingdom, with all due credit to King Salman’s opening up the monarchy’s anti-Zionist mindset.

Saudi Arabia’s so-called Peace Initiative of 2002 has become the framework for the Obama administration’s diplomatic effort to create a Palestinian Authority country. Fortunately for Israel, one of the Peace Initiative’s clauses is that Israel accept a few million Arabs living in UNRWA refugee camps, a demand that even President Barack Obama is not ready to force on Israel.

In order to remove a shadow of doubt that Saudi Arabia might be changing its position, the kingdom canceled the contract.

Otherwise, there might be peace with Israel.

Baltimore City Curfew Helps Taper Off Riots

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

A 10 pm curfew and strong show of force by thousands of security personnel Tuesday night helped restore order to most of the city, and put an end to riots in Baltimore.

At least one Jewish business owner faced near-total ruin Tuesday night; Harvey Levy of the Baltimore suburb of Reisterstown responded to an alarm and saw his sports store had been damaged and emptied by rioters.

The Agudath Israel synagogue also posted a notice on its door warning congregants its final evening service of the night would be held at 9:30 pm due to the 10 pm curfew.

Two of the three city’s home games between the Baltimore Orioles and the Chicago White Sox were postponed; a third, scheduled for Wednesday, is to be played at Camden Yards in a historic “first” televised game with an entirely empty stadium. No fans are allowed into the stadium due to security considerations.

The Baltimore police department managed to finally contain thousands of rioters throughout the city by the wee hours of Wednesday morning, with the help of some 2,000 National Guard troops, 1,000 supplemental police officers from neighboring counties and 2,000 civilian volunteers.

Users on Twitter and other social networking sites have been comparing the situation in Baltimore to that in Israel, whose security forces must contend with similar issues in her cities, albeit with Arabs instead of rioting city residents hoping for anarchy.

The situation in the United States, in fact, appears to be developing a parallel process in many ways similar to the Arab intifada that is faced by Israel every few years.

More than 235 arrests were made in Baltimore in the past 24 hours At least 20 police officers were injured, including one who remains in critical condition. The force has been forced to decide how and when to use increased riot control measures such as tear gas, smoke canisters and other security options; issues also confronted by Israel.

An alleged alliance between three national gangs — the Black Guerrillas, the Crips and the Bloods — was formally denied on Tuesday in a statement by the gang members who said the supposed agreement to “take out” Baltimore police was untrue. Gang members were later seen towards sunset organizing into a secondary buffer line spreading out between protesters and police.

Baltimore mother Toya Graham became the most well-known personality in the city on Tuesday: the single mother of six was seen in a video flashed around the Internet chastising her 16-year-old son after spotting him on television among rioters wearing a black face mask. Graham was seen ripping the mask from her son and smacking him around the face and shoulders while chasing and scolding him, forcing him to leave the riots and come home with her. Many news groups and Internet users informally dubbed her “Mother of the Year.”

US: UNRWA Gets Add’l $6M for Yarmouk ‘Palestinians,’ Only $10M for Nepal

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

The U.S. State Department issued a quiet little bombshell with an unheralded press release dated April 27, which revealed that on April 24, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power announced that an additional $6 million of U.S. taxpayer money is being provided to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) “in response to the devastating crisis in Yarmouk.”

This latest $6 million comes in response to the Yarmouk Emergency Call for Funds, which seeks funding for a 90 day rapid response effort.

This tranche brings the total U.S. contributions to UNRWA in response to the crisis in Syria to more than $57 million in 2015 alone. Keep in mind that UNRWA only serves those designated by the U.N. as “Palestinian refugees,” and not ordinary Syrian citizens.

What has happened in Yarmouk, Syria, has indeed led to a grave humanitarian crisis. Still, the context matters.

When the barbarian ISIS members entered the “Palestinian refugee” camp of Yarmouk, on the edge of Damascus, earlier this month, it had already been the site of two years of deadly clashes.

Those clashes were largely between the members of the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command, which supports the Assad regime, and the Palestinian Arab camp residents who oppose the Baathist regime of Assad. Yarmouk was also the site of several bombing raids by Syrian Army jets.

So for years, as the civil war in Syria has raged on, the civilian population throughout Syria has suffered appallingly. The recent murders and brief takeover of Yarmouk by ISIS has further led to “severe restrictions on food, medicine, clean water and electricity.” This is tragic, beyond a doubt.

But is the answer to the problem to just keep funneling in money to UNRWA, an agency that would not exist were these particular people living in Syria not labeled “Palestinian refugees”? The fallout from the latest tragedies would exist, of course, because of the Syrian civil war and the ISIS barbarism, but it is exponentially larger because the people in this “refugee camp” have never been absorbed into the general population of Syria (or Lebanon or Jordan, for that matter).

Why is it that the U.S. government believes taxpayer funds must be used to sustain a “Palestinian refugee” population indefinitely, putting aside the question of why they are considered refugees at all. That civilians caught in a brutal civil war should be the recipients of humanitarian aid is beyond dispute, but the duplications, to say nothing of the cost of maintaining a separate humanitarian agency just to serve one separate, designated afflicted group cannot be efficient, to say the least.

According to UNRWA (which exists solely to support these “refugees”), “there are 480,000 Palestinian refugees in Syria,” a full 95 percent of whom rely on UNRWA for their basic needs.

Not only that, but 470,000 of those “refugees” rely on small grants to sustain them: in other words, UNRWA is supplying the goods and services for their basic needs in addition to a cash supplement. If this special population were absorbed by their Muslim brethren anytime over the preceding half-century, it is impossible to believe they would not be vastly better off and better able to withstand the current onslaught.

To put it in context, the devastating series of earthquakes that struck in and around Nepal this month has already claimed thousands of lives. The number dead is expected to increase to 10,000. At least eight million people have been affected, nearly one quarter the country’s population, with over two million living in the most severely affected districts.

Vast swathes of the Nepalese infrastructure have been destroyed; the damage is inestimable.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/us-unrwa-gets-addl-6m-for-yarmouk-palestinians-only-10m-for-nepal/2015/04/28/

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