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September 20, 2014 / 25 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Palestinian Authority’

Detached From Reality: US Renews Travel Warning Against Israel

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

The U.S. State Department has again warned its citizens against traveling to Israel, equating the dangers facing people in the Jewish State with those facing visitors to areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority. The warning comes on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attack on America by the global Al Qaeda Islamist terrorist organization — and just ahead of the Hebrew month of Tishrei, the start of the Jewish high holy days.

The new travel warning replaced that posted on July 21 during the height of Israel’s counter terror Operation Protective Edge, when Hamas was firing rockets and missiles at Israel daily from Gaza. To read it, one would believe the war is still in progress. But to walk the streets of Israel, one knows without a doubt it’s over. Schools are overflowing and so are the stores, which are filled with the latest fall fashions in Be’er Sheva, Ra’anana and even in Ramallah.

This is total silliness. Or perhaps a veiled attempt to sabotage the Israeli economy, which although damaged by the war is still in much better shape than that of Gaza.

Or even maybe it’s an attempt to take a swing at the Ramallah-based Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) headed by Fatah’s Mahmoud Abbas — with whom Hamas is currently locked in a power struggle over control of the Palestinian Authority unity government, which the two factions agreed to this spring.

Sour grapes? Also maybe. Hamas is backed by Iran, Qatar, and Turkey, and demanded unsuccessfully the latter two nations be allowed to participate in cease-fire negotiations in Cairo. Although at the end they were not allowed, Secretary of State John Kerry consulted with both at a meeting in Paris at the height of the war. All three are close allies of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the United States recently signed an $11 billion military contract with Qatar. Egypt and Saudi Arabia have backed Ramallah, which has recently resumed its stance in supporting Israel on a crackdown on terrorism.

But to read the U.S. travel warning, one could believe there’s an active war zone at play.

“During the recent conflict between Israel and terrorist organizations in Gaza, long-range rockets launched from Gaza reached many locations in Israel and the West Bank including Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and other cities in the north and south. A ceasefire was announced on August 26 and, as of the date of this Travel Warning, is holding. The Government of Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system has successfully intercepted many rockets. However, in some cases missile impacts caused damage and injuries,” the travel warning reads – as if a cease-fire with Hamas was never reached.

“U.S. citizen visitors to and U.S. citizen residents of Israel and the West Bank should familiarize themselves with the location of the nearest bomb shelter or other hardened site. Consult municipality websites, such as those for Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, for lists of public bomb shelters and other emergency preparedness information. Visitors should seek information on shelters from hotel staff or building managers. We advise all US citizens to follow the instructions of the Home Front Command on proper procedures in the event of rocket attacks or other crisis events.”

Commercial flights to and from Ben Gurion International Airport are operating as usual, the warning notes, “although delays and cancellations can occur. Travelers should check with their airline prior to their planned travel to verify the flight schedule. Other border crossings are generally operating as normal; however, travelers should check the status of crossings before embarking on trips. See information on the status of the airport and other crossings.”

Rioting Arab Mob Attacks IDF Soldiers Near Ramallah

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

A mob of rioting Arabs attacked Israeli soldiers Wednesday near Ramallah following the funeral of a Hamas terrorist killed overnight in Samaria.

Hundreds of Arabs hurled rocks at the soldiers following the funeral of 22-year-old Issa al-Qitri; he was one of about 50 Arabs who attacked Israeli soldiers the night before in an attempt to prevent IDF troops from arresting a Hamas operative.

The Arabs hurled rocks and firebombs (Molotov cocktails), and rolled burning tires at the soldiers, according to the IDF Spokesperson. Soldiers opened fire and hit a rioter who hurled an explosive device at the troops, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said. Al-Qitri later died of the gunshot wounds. Seven others were arrested.

The IDF soldiers continued with their task following the exchange late Tuesday night and proceeded to the home of the Hamas terrorist and arrested him. While searching the home they found and confiscated a significant amount of ammunition and several firearms.

During the day on Wednesday six Arab fugitives were arrested, including four suspects who were wanted for participating in previous riots and attacks on Israeli civilians and security personnel, the IDF said. Two were members of the Hamas terrorist organization. Arrests were made in Ramallah, Kalandia, Sair and Shukba.

PA Soccer Chief Calls Israeli-PA Friendly Game ‘Crime against Humanity’

Monday, September 8th, 2014

The friendly soccer game between Israeli and Palestinian Authority youth and organized last week by the Peres Center for Peace was “a normalization in sports with the Zionist enemy [and] a crime against humanity,” said Jibril Rajoub,, a senior Fatah official and head of the Palestinian Olympic Committee and the Palestinian Football Association.

Rajoub, besides being secretary of the central committee of Fatah, Mahmoud Abbas’ party, he also is chairman of the Palestinian Olympic Committee and the Palestinian Football Association.

Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) translated and published Rajoub’s remarks that he posted on his Facebook page this week.

“The Palestinian sports leadership and community – the Supreme Council for Sport and Youth Affairs, the Palestinian Olympic Committee and the Palestinian Football Association – have opposed such activities,” he wrote. ”Normalization in sports with the Zionist occupation is a crime,” and he demanded that “all individuals and institutions distance themselves from such activities, especially because their recurrence would arouse disgust and aversion towards all members of the [Palestinian] sports community.”

Rajoub’s comments were published today (Monday) by Al-Hayat Al-Jadida and were opposite in tone from an AFP report that was published by the Palestinian Authority daily and which reported, “After a summer of brutal war, destruction and fatalities, Palestinian and Israeli children met on Monday [last week] to participate in football matches a few kilometers from the devastated Gaza Strip….

“The Israeli children came from communities located near the besieged Gaza Strip, while the Palestinian children came from Yatta,” which for some reason AFP reported in Gaza but actually is immediately south of Hebron.

“Many of the children had already played in previous tournaments organized by the Peres Center for Peace, which is run by former Israeli President Shimon Peres,” the article stated. It added, “Qusai, 11, said, ‘I love it when we play together like this. I hope that one day there will be peace between Arabs and Jews and that there will be no more wars and death.’”

PMW also translated and published a comment in another PA news agency by Palestinian Olympic Committee member Abd Al-Salam Haniyeh, who denounced the soccer game as “a crime and an unpatriotic and immoral act” and demanded that Rajoub “immediately interrogate the organizers of the match, settle the account with them and prosecute them on charges of serious treason against the blood of the Martyrs and in violation of the decisions made by the Palestinian sports community’s leadership.”

Even more revealing of the two-faced character of Abbas’ party is that the leadership of the “peace partner’s” Fatah movement branch in Yatta held “an urgent meeting to discuss the ramifications of the normalization matches” and “strongly condemned” the event, according to the Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency.

Fatah branch secretary Dr. Kamal Makhamreh said that the participation in the match “was an individual act, conceived by sick souls that agreed to be humiliated for a handful of money,” and he “urged the residents to supervise their children and distance them from these kinds of activities, which damage our cause.”

Palestinian PM Hints: Hamas Stole Food and Medical Aid

Monday, September 8th, 2014

The Palestinian Authority Prime Minister admits that Hamas has stolen food and medicine meant for civilians, and the PA has no say over what goes on in Gaza, despite the so-called “Palestinian Unity Government”.

Fatah, Hamas Preparing Groundwork to Dissolve Palestinian Authority Unity Govt

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

Ramallah-based PLO Chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas hinted during a three-day visit to Cairo this weekend he is close to ending the latest Palestinian Authority “unity government” with Hamas.

Hamas, meanwhile, warned that Abbas should keep his debates out of the media spotlight. “Abbas’s remarks against Hamas and the resistance are unjustified and the sources of information and figures he relied on were incorrect and have nothing to do with the truth,” Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zukhri told the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency.

Abbas told media that more than 850 Hamas members and their family members were killed in this summer’s Operation Protective Edge – figures similar to those quoted by Israel.

On Saturday, Abbas told Egyptian reporters in Cairo that he is strongly inclined to end his unity deal with Gaza’s leadership unless the terrorist entity can make its peace with the idea of having a single government in leadership.

“If Hamas will not accept a Palestinian state with one government, one law and one weapon, then there will not be any partnership between us,” Abbas told reporters at a briefing. “This is our condition, and we will not back away from it.

“There are 27 under secretaries of ministries who are running the Gaza Strip, and the national consensus government (unity government) cannot do anything on the ground,” Abbas said. It was his most blunt statement of powerlessness yet, making it clear that Hamas has yet to relinguish any authority over the region. That, despite the fact that the so-called “unity government” actually includes Hamas, although its ministers are technically “unaffiliated” technocrats.

“We will only talk to Hamas if they meet our requirements,” Abbas continued. “The partnership with Hamas depends on arms being under the control of the Palestinian state…” The latter is a direct reference to the fact that Hamas has repeatedly insisted on controlling the armed forces of the PA – some 3,000 fighters, to this point led by Hamas military wing Izz a-Din al-Qassam chief Mohammed Deif, who may have been killed by Israel during the recent Operation Protective Edge.

“[Hamas political bureau chief Khaled] Meshaal told me, ‘I’m the resistance leader and there will be no cease-fire without my agreement.’ One side cannot unilaterally declare war. That isn’t unity or reconciliation.”

Abbas also expressed exasperation with Hamas, asking how they could have been surprised by Israel’s rage, and military response to the abduction and murder of three teenage yeshival students, and rocket fire at civilians.

He also said he was fed up with Israel and the U.S. “Honestly, my patience with Israel, the United States and Hamas has expired,” he said.

Meanwhile, Hamas spokesman Hussam Badran told reporters there had been a “escalation in the number of summons and arrests (of Hamas members) in the West Bank,” allegedly for “no reason.” Hamas, meanwhile, has told its members not to cooperate with Fatah investigations in Judea and Samaria.

This is not the first time this has happened.

Within the year after the Palestinian Authority legislative elections of January 25, 2006, Abbas accused Hamas of running its own “shadow government.”

The Gaza-based terrorist organization at that time went to war with Fatah, seizing total control over the region by June 2007.

Countless broken “reconciliation” and “unity” deals later, Abbas has yet to woo Hamas back to the fold. Instead, Gaza has become a haven for every terrorist entity in the Middle East, with Iran as the region’s benevolent benefactor, along with Qatar and Turkey.

The closest Abbas came to any “unity deal” was this past spring, when he broke ties with Israel and reneged on every international agreement he had ever made. Fatah-linked terrorist groups were ecstatic, as were Gaza fighters – but not so blinded that they gave Fatah carte blanche entry to the region. Abbas has yet to be able to walk into Gaza safely, unguarded.

Israel Goes on Offensive with Announcement of New Homes in Samaria

Friday, September 5th, 2014

Israel announced on Friday it is issuing tenders for 283 new homes in the community Elkana, located on the western side of Samaria and approximately 10 miles east of Kfar Saba, on the northern edge of metropolitan Tel Aviv.

The news is certain to draw the ire of the United States at the daily press briefing at the State Dept. which earlier this week virtually ordered Israel to “reverse” its decision to create a new community in Gush Etzion and build homes for Jews in Jerusalem.

Plans for 2,200 new homes for Arabs in Jerusalem did not draw a whisper from the Obama Defense Minister, as reported here on Thursday,

The new homes for Elkana, where more than 4,000 people were reported as a “land grab” by the AFP news agency, a total lie since, as lawyer-journalist Lori Marcus Lowenthau wrote here yesterday, the land is not “grabbed” from anyone because it has no owners since the time of the Ottoman Empire and Jordanian occupation.

This week’s flurry of announcements for new homes is not a coincidence. Palestinian Authority negotiator Saed Erekat met with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry Wednesday to present PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ three-year-ultimatum that Israel withdraw from every inch of land in Judea and Samaria as well as area of Jerusalem where he claims sovereignty.

A Palestinian Authority said that Israel rejected the idea.

State Dept. spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that the meeting between Kerry and Erekat was “constructive.” But did not reveal any details.

Obama-Kerry’s ‘Peace Process’ Team Falling Apart

Friday, September 5th, 2014

David Makovsky, a member of the State Department’s Middle East peace team, is returning to his think tank position.

The departure of Makovsky announced Thursday by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy is the latest signal that the Obama administration is retreating from its intensive efforts to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

Talks collapsed in April and, over the summer, team leader Martin Indyk also quit and returned to the think tank that employed him before he joined the effort in 2013, the Brookings Institution.

Other team members have left in recent months and not been replaced.

The team, numbering over a dozen at one point, was considered large for such an effort and represented Secretary of State John Kerry’s intense interest in brokering a deal.

Makovsky is director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy Project on the Middle East Peace Process and is the co-author of the book Myths, Illusions, & Peace with Oslo architect Dennis Ross, another disillusioned leftist.

The “peace process” died and was buried years ago, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s reincarnation efforts have produced nothing but war, which was going to happen anyway.

President Barack Obama once named George Mitchell as the great savior who was going to rescue the world, all of whose problems were seen as rooted in the lack of a new Arab country for the Palestinian Authority.

Mitchell slowly faded away into oblivion, as did Indyk, both of whom carried on with the American two-faced policy that it was up to both sides to decide the conditions for a peace accord while Kerry nevertheless unabashedly kept dictating the terms of a final agreement, mostly but not totally at the expense of Israel. He managed to lost the trust of both Israel and Mahmoud Abbas.

Even President Obama apparently has finally realized that the “peace process” is a dead-end that will give historians even more evidence in their indictments of his administration whose accomplishments can be counted on one hand with amputated fingers.

JTA contributed to this report.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/obama-kerrys-peace-process-team-falling-apart/2014/09/05/

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