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August 30, 2014 / 4 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘PA’

IDF Helps Settlers Hold Firm in Judea, Samaria

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

For the past several months, residents of Beit El and other Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria have been living with a wave of increased Palestinian Authority Arab terrorism.

Road terror attacks have included near-daily rock attacks on the roads, including Highway 60, the main artery that runs from the north in Samaria all the way south through Jerusalem and down through Judea to the Negev.

Other attacks involve firebomb attacks (Molotov cocktails) aimed at motorists driving vehicles with Israeli license plates, and occasional shootings as well.

The residents of Beit El, north of Jerusalem, have been living with an especially intense wave of violence emanating from the nearby the Arab village of Jeelazun.

An IDF army base is located right on site at the entrance of the community, however, and soldiers guard the town around the clock – as other security teams both civil and military do in every other settlement throughout Judea and Samaria. The arrangement works for both the residents of Beit El and for the soldiers, who are often tasked with carrying out searches for fugitives in Jeelazun, a hotbed of terrorism.

Nearly as complicated, Beit El is also located right next door to the Palestinian Authority capital of Ramallah.

One More Try for Peace as Envoy Martin Indyk Arrives in Israel

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

U.S. Special Envoy Martin Indyk raced to Jerusalem Wednesday for emergency meetings with Israeli and Palestinian Authority negotiators over the crashing final status talks.

In Algeria for strategic security talks, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also urged Israeli and PA leaders to make one more effort to reach an agreement, warning that the Obama administration could not force peace if partners were unwilling.

“You can facilitate, you can push, you can nudge, but the parties themselves have to make fundamental decisions and compromises,” he said. “The leaders have to lead and they have to be able to see a moment when it’s there.” Kerry quoted the old adage of being able to ‘lead a horse to water but not being able to make it drink’ — an analogy that every American child is raised with.

“Now is the time to drink,” Kerry said. “The leaders need to know that.”

Last week Israel balked over the release of a final group of 30 PA terrorist incarcerated in Israeli prisons. The group included 20 Israeli Arab citizens – a controversial issue that had split the coalition government of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu from the start of the talks in July 2013.

The Israeli Arab prisoners acted in their terrorism under the auspices of Fatah and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Both are led by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, so it is impossible for him to close his eyes to their incarceration. More so, it is impossible for Israeli government ministers to ignore the fact that Abbas, whose nom de guerre is Abu Mazen, is in some ways as much a terrorist as those who are imprisoned. Abbas has claimed “only a few hundred thousand” Jews were killed by the Nazis during the Holocaust. During the years of the Bush Administration he refused to dismantle terrorist organizations as required by the Roadmap peace plan – which collapsed — and refuses to stop media incitement in the PA against Israel as well.

The prisoners were to be freed in stages linked to progress in the talks and the participation of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas – who has not been active at the negotiating table since November 2013. Further exacerbating the problem is the fact that no visible progress appears to have been made on the core issues since that time, with Israel making all the security concessions and endangering its own population.

Last Friday, instead of freeing the terrorists, Israel proposed to extend the talks and offered to free another 400 prisoners, again in stages linked as before to progress in the negotiations.

The talks are not scheduled to end until April 29.

Instead, on Monday infuriated PA leaders signed applications for membership in 15 United Nations agencies and organizations. The move is an outrageous violation of its commitment to both Israel and the United States at the outset of the talks.

Last night (Wednesday), Fatah faction leader Mohamed Shtayyeh also threatened in a statement in Arabic to Sky News to submit an application to the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague – a second violation.

The PA committed at the start of negotiations with Israel in July 2013 not to seek membership in international organizations – including the International Criminal Court at The Hague – until the conclusion of talks on April 29.

But Shtayyeh announced that the PA is also no longer willing to “negotiate” on any issue other than borders and demanded Israel present a map of new borders based on the 1949 Armistice lines, also known as the “1967 lines.” This is a third violation.

The “1967 lines” term is used with bitterness by Arabs and many in the international community to refer to the areas occupied by Jordan from 1948 to 1967, whose borders were dissolved after Israel won the 1967 Six Day War.

If Israel is unable to reach agreement with the PA on borders, the PA threatened to submit applications for membership in 63 international organizations. The strategy is being used as a means of gaining de facto legitimacy as a as an independent sovereign nation.

Moreover, Shtayyeh blamed Israel for the action, saying it came in response to the government decision not to release the final group of terrorist prisoners last week.

PA envoy to the United Nations Riyad Mansour added in a statement to the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency – a PA mouthpiece — that the entity is “eligible for membership in up to 550 international organizations.”

12 Hours, 2 Meetings for Netanyahu & Kerry; Abbas & Kerry, 0

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has left Israel without speaking to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, and after two intense meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in less than 12 hours.

Kerry met in Jerusalem with Netanyahu for several hours on Monday evening and then again for another two hours on Tuesday morning before leaving to attend scheduled NATO ministerial meetings in Brussels on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Although there was a possibility that Kerry might have gone to Ramallah for a quick meeting with Abbas late Monday night, he chose not to do so. It is believed he will return to Israel in the coming days, possibly to meet with Abbas at that time instead.

Abbas, meanwhile, chaired his own meeting Monday night with top officials from the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the PA’s leading Fatah faction.

Officials decided to again appeal to United Nations agencies for recognition of the PA as an independent sovereign nation if Kerry does not force Israel to free a final group of 30 terrorist prisoners, according to the PA official who spoke with reporters.

Rumors that long-incarcerated Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard might be freed from a U.S. prison as a way to keep the talks going again were raised, but there has been no confirmation by an official source, U.S. or Israeli, that the report was true.

Likewise, an alleged proposal from Israel last Friday offering to free an additional 400 PA terrorist prisoners in exchange for the PA continuing the talks until the end of 2014, and refraining from its appeal to the United Nations, has not been confirmed.

White House spokesperson Jay Carney has told reporters he has “no update” on the status of Jonathan Pollard, and Israeli government officials are tight-lipped about the latest developments under discussion with the PA.

PA Accuses Israel of ‘Blackmail,’ Threatens Return to UN

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

The Palestinian Authority is accusing Israel of “blackmail” and instead says it is heading back to the United Nations to appeal for recognition as a sovereign nation if U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry can’t force Israel to release 30 terrorists.

The group comprises the final of four tranches to have been released last Friday from Israeli jails. Included were at least 20 Israeli Arab citizens, a controversial list opposed by nearly all of the ministers in Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s coalition government, especially in view of the fact that all of the major concessions since the talks began — as before — seem to have been made by Israel only.

Incensed PA officials rejected the alternate proposal advanced instead of the release last Friday by Israel’s government. Israel allegedly offered to released hundreds more terrorist prisoners if the PA continue final status negotiations beyond the April 29 deadline – but this time take the talks more seriously.

The response of Israel’s “peace partners” was not encouraging.

“Israel is practicing a policy of blackmail and linking its agreement to releasing the fourth tranche of prisoners with the Palestinians accepting an extension of the negotiations,” a PA official told news agencies in Ramallah.

“If Kerry doesn’t provide a clear answer on the release of the 30 prisoners [we] will initiate steps for acceptance to United Nations organizations,” Mustafa Barghouti, an independent PA parliament member, told news agencies Monday night.

The move would be a clear violation of all agreements the PA has made with Israel and the United States.

Since July 2013, Israel has freed 78 PA Arab terrorists and made numerous other concessions that endanger the security of its citizens in “good will gestures” to encourage the PA to remain at the negotiating table.

But the four-stage release of terrorists incarcerated in Israeli jails was conditioned upon the active participation in direct talks by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas — and the Arab leader has not made good on his end of the deal.

It’s an old pattern, this “let’s talk some more about it but I can’t sit down with you until you give me what I want” — a game as beloved, familiar and ingrained in the Middle East as that being played out with Washington by the Iranians in Tehran.

Youngsters and tourists quickly learn the drill in the storefront alleyways of Jerusalem’s Old City market. And it’s profitable and even fun, until it turns deadly.

Survival makes it essential to learn to tell when the game is deadly, and when you can’t, it is equally important to have enough sense to trust your friends to tell you when it is.

White House Denies Concrete Plan to Swap Pollard

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

The White House has denied an Israeli radio report broadcast Wednesday saying the U.S. proposed swapping convicted Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard for 26 Palestinian Authority terrorist prisoners to keep the Israel-PA talks alive.

Pollard is entering his 29th year in a U.S. prison, held on a single charge of passing classified information to a friendly ally (Israel) after his arrest in 1985. The crime normally carries a maximum jail term of two to four years.

Israel was set to release the 26 PA terrorists this week in a final tranche of four groups to complete an agreement made as a “good will gesture” on condition the PA would participate in “serious” talks. Since July 2013, 78 PA terrorists have been freed. A number of roadblocks at entrances to Arab cities and towns along major arteries in Judea and Samaria, where terrorists are known to take refuge, have also been opened and new roads paved with funding and assistance from the U.S. government.

But there has no been significant participation in negotiations by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas since November 2013, according to Jerusalem officials. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has notified the U.S. that many senior ministers in his coalition government are opposed to releasing the final group of terrorists, not having seen any real progress in the talks and no movement in any of the PA’s positions.

“There are no plans to release Jonathan Pollard at the moment,” State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki announced at a briefing. “Jonathan Pollard was convicted of espionage against the United States – a very serious crime. He was sentenced to life and is currently serving his sentence,” she said. The spokesperson sidestepped the issue of whether or not a deal offering a prisoner swap had been offered.

The PA leader announced at an Arab League summit yesterday that he intends to move ahead with unilateral attempts to gain membership for the PA as an independent sovereign nation in international organizations, ignoring his own commitment. Both Abbas and the Arab League are insisting on preconditions by Israel to continue “negotiations” that require the Jewish State to pull back to the 1949 Armistice Line, withdrawing from all “occupied territories” won in 1967. They also demand Israel accept the “right of return” by Arab refugees who fled Israel in 1948 and 1967 and their millions of descendants, and refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish State.

U.S. Reportedly Offers Israel Pollard Prisoner Exchange for PA Terrorists

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

The United States has allegedly pulled out its ace in the hole this week, reportedly offering at last to free imprisoned Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard in exchange for the release by Israel of 26 Palestinian Authority terrorist prisoners.

The move, reported Wednesday morning by Ilil Shachar on IDF Army Radio, would force Israel to complete the last of a four-stage prisoner release that has thus far freed 78 PA inmates from Israeli jails.

Israeli government officials could not be reached for comment. A spokesperson for Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett told The Jewish Press, “Nothing is official, and we have not been given any information at this point. We haven’t been told anything other than the report we heard this morning on the radio.”

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu agreed eight months ago to the “good will gesture” as a means of testing the truth of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s resolve as a peace partner in working towards a final status deal.

Netanyahu stated from the outset in an “open letter to the citizens of Israel” that the process would depend upon the actions of the PA and its ability to prove it is “really serious and not playing games.”

Pollard’s incarceration in 1985 on a single charge of passing classified information to an allied nation (Israel) has long been a sore point for Jews and Israelis the world over. The crime normally carries a maximum prison term of two to four years. Pollard has been often been held in harsh and sometimes inhumane conditions, and has suffered serious health problems as a result. Despite numerous appeals for his release by hundreds of American and Israeli leaders, every U.S. president has turned a deaf ear to requests for clemency, to terminate his sentence to time served.

According to the report, the alleged U.S. decision to offer Pollard in exchange for the PA prisoners came after Prime Minister Netanyahu told the White House officials that too many of his coalition members opposed the release.

Among those opposing the release were senior officials including Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Communications Minister Gilad Erdan and Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz.

Shachar reported the U.S. proposed the swap deal for Pollard on condition that Israel would free the fourth round of 26 PA terrorists, which includes some 20 Israeli Arab citizens. The PA, in return, would also agree not to withdraw from the talks at least until the end of 2014.

Nevertheless, it is entirely possible the offer may have come too late.

Israeli advocacy groups, the Israeli public and numerous Israeli officials appear fed up with the White House intransigence on Pollard’s incarceration – and resent using him as a bargaining chip over the safety of Israeli citizens. Some have said they will not agree to support such a deal.

Pollard himself has said that he will not agree to be used in a prisoners swap for Arab terrorists.

Mahmoud Abbas told the Arab League yesterday at its summit in Kuwait that the PA has no interest in continuing negotiations with Israel. Both the Arab League and the Palestinian Authority has categorically refused to recognize Israel as a Jewish State. They continue to insist on the so-called “right of return” for millions of Arabs, generations later, to return to homes they fled after the wars of 1948 and 1967. They also insist Israel hand them a major part of Jerusalem including Judaism’s holy sites, to which Jews would then have no access whatsoever.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and other officials are set to meet with PA leaders to discuss the proposal today.

The Wonders of the Olive

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

The area under the government of the Palestinian Authority has long been known as a place of miracles.

For instance, during the first and second intifadas, no one in the PA ever died from illness or other natural causes. Everyone, one hundred percent of the people who died there were killed, often brutally, by the IDF. It was known as the age of miracles, and will come back, no doubt, should a third intifada intensify.

Meanwhile, a separate miracle has been manifesting in the PA, whereby no olive tree is ever pruned by Arabs – they’re all cut down brutally by settlers who, let’s face it, hate olive trees and are even prepared to violate the laws off Shabbat to take down those poor trees.

Like yesterday, to follow Ma’an’s report, Israeli settlers chopped down more than 100 olive trees in “the village of Qaryut early Saturday.”

“Ghassan Daghlas, a PA official who monitors settler activities in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that settlers from the illegal Israeli settlement of Eli destroyed over 100 trees.”

Here’s a telling factoid in the same Ma’an story: “According to a 2012 report on Israeli settler violence released by the Palestine Center, a Washington-based nonprofit, every year the olive harvest period sees the highest peak in attacks on Palestinian civilians and property.”

So, you prune your tree, then you realize there are so many broken branches rolling on the ground, they shouldn’t go to waste, so you come up with this ingenious story about settlers who are mechallel Shabbes because they hate olives.

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Ehud Amiton, Tazpit News Agency

Exactly three years ago, in October, 2010, our friends at the Tazpit news agency exposed Arabs and leftist activists (see picture above) who staged an attack on Palestinian fields in a bid to accuse settlers of vandalism, but didn’t know they were getting caught on camera. But for the most part the normal pruning makes the trees look like crazed Jews in their talaisim were all about, destroying one of the seven prized fruits of Eretz Israel.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/photos/the-wonders-of-the-olive/2013/10/20/

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