The family of Hebron terrorist Abd Fatah el-Sharif issued a statement threatening Israel and IDF Sgt. Elor Azaria on Wednesday following the conviction of the young combat medic for the shooting death of el-Sharif after he and another terrorist had attacked IDF soldiers in the city in March 2016.
El-Sharif, who had stabbed a soldier, was shot and lying on the ground as Azaria, age 20, had finished attending to his victim. The second terrorist had already been shot and killed by other soldiers while trying to stab another.
Azaria walked over and shot el-Sharif at point-blank range, killing him.
The terrorist’s family vowed after Azaria’s conviction on charges of manslaughter they would ensure the soldier received the “maximum penalty,” Israel’s Channel 10 television news reported.
The stabber’s family told reporters they intend to turn to the International Criminal Court at The Hague over the case, saying “at the ICC, we will make sure this soldier receives the maximum penalties for his crimes.”
But it’s not even clear whether the ICC has any jurisdiction over such a case, let alone over any Israeli soldier whose actions have already been judged and addressed in a sovereign Israeli court of law.
In the wake of his conviction on Wednesday, Azaria faces sentencing by the IDF military court next month. He could face up to 20 years in prison.
Israel’s Channel 1 News’ Middle east correspondent Oded Granot on Tuesday night cited a secret protocol published by Egyptian media with “smoking gun” evidence showing the UN Security Council resolution against Israel was composed in a meeting of Secretary of State John Kerry, National Security Adviser Susan Rice, PA Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat and PA UN envoy Ryad Mansour.
According to Granot, Egyptian media published the secret protocol of the clandestine meeting that took place in Washington Dec. 15, which provides irrefutable proof the anti-Israel resolution was concocted by Kerry, Rice, Erekat and Mansour.
According to the Egyptian report, Kerry and Rice told Erekat and Mansour that President Obama would support a “balanced” Palestinian resolution at the Security Council. They also assured them that Prime Minister Netanyahu had no intention to live up to his commitment regarding a two-state solution.
Kerry advised Erekat the PA should ask for parameters to a forced permanent solution, after discussion with the Saudis, who a few years ago had advanced a two-state based Middle East peace resolution. Rice objected, because, she said, President Trump would kill such a resolution.
“The Trump administration is dangerous,” Rice warned the two senior PA officials, adding that “Trump’s opinions about Israel and the Palestinians would be different from all previous administrations.”
The four officials then discussed Trump’s intention to.
Rice asked Erekat how the PA would react should President Trump move the US embassy to Jerusalem. Erekat told her the PLO would withdraw its official recognition of the State of Israel, dismantle the Palestinian Authority and demand that Israel go back to ruling it directly. He also suggested the PA might demand that Arab states retaliate by cutting their relations with the US.
That last quote, unrealistic as it is, shows the level of grandiose thinking in the PLO leadership, no doubt a measure of their despair.
Both Rice and Kerry advised against any move that would irritate and provoke President Trump, especially returning to suicide attacks on Israel, dismantling the PA, or suing Israel for “war crimes” at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. They said the PA should avoid steps that would “harm the Palestinian cause.”
Of course, if they knew how to do that they would have had their own state years ago.
Both Rice and Kerry also stressed the content of their discussion be kept a secret. But, apparently, that didn’t happen.
Israeli ambassador to Washington Ron Dermer told US Media this week that his government had evidence showing the Obama administration had orchestrated the anti-Israeli UNSC resolution. He said Israel planned to pass on the information to the incoming Trump Administration to disclose or keep it a secret.
But the General el-Sisi regime refused to wait, according to Granot, and published the secret protocol of the meeting Tuesday evening, probably because they were angry at President Obama for making them look bad in the eyes of the Arab world. You’ll recall that last Wednesday night, the Egyptian UN delegation withdrew its own version of the anti-settlements resolution following the personal intervention of President-Elect Trump with President el-Sisi. Now they appeared like Israeli collaborators, as the US and other USC members managed to push the resolution through behind Egypt’s back.
Granot cautioned that the Obama Administration might still use the weeks ahead before Trump’s inauguration to inflict some more damage on Israel. to prepare more measures against Israel. Indeed, Secretary of State John Kerry has announced Tuesday that he would deliver “remarks on Middle East peace” Wednesday, at 11:00 AM, at Foggy Bottom’s Dean Acheson Auditorium.
In a priceless demonstration of the Arabs’ 600-year long failure to appreciate new realities, Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian Authority’s UN Ambassador, on Friday warned President-elect Donald Trump that if he dared move the US embassy to Jerusalem, he and his ilk would “make life miserable” for the United States at the United Nations.
“If people attack us by moving the embassy to Jerusalem, which is a violation of Security Council resolutions, it is a violation of resolution 181 of the UN general assembly that was drafted by the US … it means they are showing belligerency towards us … If they do that nobody should blame us for unleashing all of the weapons that we have in the UN to defend ourselves and we have a lot of weapons in the UN,” Mansour said.
Mansour did demonstrate that he was still living on Planet Earth by conceding that the Security Council would not vote to condemn such a move by the US, because, well, the US is a veto wielding member of the Security Council. But that did not hold the PA rep back from warning the incoming president. “Maybe I can’t have resolutions in the Security Council but I can make their lives miserable everyday with precipitating a veto on my admission as a member state.”
Mansour, who served as the Deputy Permanent Observer of the PLO to the United Nations from 1983 to 1994, succeeded Nasser al-Qudwa as Permanent Observer for Palestine to the UN in 2005. On November 29, 2012, 65 years to the day after the Arabs forever ruined their chance for a legitimate state in the UN Partition vote, the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations was upgraded to “non-Member Observer State.” Now, it appears, Ambassador Mansour made sure no further upgrades may be coming. Especially when he promised Trump he would drag him to the International Criminal Court of Justice in the Hague.
Taking Trump to court — now, that’ll scare him.
Mansour warned that “it is illegal to defy Security Council resolutions that the US is party to it that the unilateral action by Israel annexing East Jerusalem is illegal and it is null and void. If the US administration wants to defy international law they are doing something illegal.”
Trump’s plan to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem sounds radically different coming from his key advisor Jason Greenblatt than from his other key advisor, Walid Phares. The former has spread enthusiastic promises regarding the move before the election, the latter has told the BBC that the move depended on there being a favorable “consensus.”
On Saturday night’s satirical show Back of the Nation, comic Rotem Abuhav said moving the embassy would be a nightmare, seeing as it would permanently clog the already jammed city traffic, making it impossible for Israelis to receive consular services. Abuhav suggested that from now on, instead of taking a trip to see America, she and her family would just take a trip to the US embassy to take the Visa Application ride.
Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center, representing American the families of terror victims who have won US court judgments against the government of Iran for its support of Palestinian terrorist attacks in Israel, on Tuesday released a letter it sent US Congress members alleging that the Obama Administration kept secret the details of the $1.7 billion in cash payments to Tehran in January 2016 in order to evade efforts by their clients to recover those funds to satisfy outstanding court awards.
In the past, American terror victims have been successful in seizing Iranian bank accounts when those had been located.
The letter, sent by attorneys Nitsana Darshan-Leitner of Tel-Aviv and Robert Tolchin of New York, recalls that on January 17, 2016, President Obama announced the settlement of a legal dispute between the United States and Iran over $400 million held by the US in a Foreign Military Sales (“FMS”) program account since 1979. The Obama Administration agreed to pay the $400 million it finally conceded it owed Iran, plus payment of an additional $1.3 million in interest on that amount.
Then, “in recent weeks, the $1.7 billion which was secretly paid out in cash has come under severe scrutiny because the timing and circumstances of the payments appear to confirm the Iranian claim that the White House agreed to pay the money as ransom to Tehran for the release of American hostages.”
However, in light of the recent revelations in a Congressional subcommittee hearing held on Thursday, September 8, 2016, Shurat HaDin is asserting that “it is now clear that the Administration has deliberately kept numerous payments to Iran secret in order to shield Iran from having to forfeit those funds to pay terror victims amounts Iran owes under outstanding US judgments.”
The Shurat HaDin letter cites a “suspicious revelation at the Congressional subcommittee hearing that the United States and Iran did not draft a written settlement agreement or any other formal documentation of the cash transfers, and that Iran specifically directed the Iran-US Tribunal at the Hague, where the claim was to be resolved through arbitration, that it should not record the settlement of the claim for the parties.”
Shurat HaDin asserts that under a legislation passed in 2000, the US was legally entitled to apply the $400 million in the FSM account to satisfy terror victims’ judgments, and this way eliminating the $400 million balance and nearly 16 years of interest claimed by Iran.
Shurat HaDin President Nitsana Darshan-Leitner said in a statement: “We believe that the secrecy in which these cash payments were made was part of an effort by the White House to conceal these payments from the terror victims and to hide the fact that it was effectively canceling Iran’s debt for its terror-related activity. This is a horrible fraud against the terror victims. It appears the secret cash transfers were specifically done as an end run around the ability of the families to attach the money and enforce their federal court judgments.”
Why didn’t the Treasury ever tell the families they were holding these funds?” Darshan-Leitner demanded to know.
Had either the settlement or an award against the United States at the Iran-US Tribunal been entered on the books, and Iran had sought to have the settlement or award confirmed in US court, then terror-victims with judgments against Iran could have legally “attached” any judgment affirming the settlement or award, so that the amount could be applied to satisfy their terror-compensation judgments, Shurat HaDin contends, explaining that “instead, the Administration went to great lengths to ensure that the $1.7 billion purported settlement was shrouded in secrecy, was never reduced to writing or even recorded with the Tribunal in Hague, and was paid to Iran in cash as quickly and directly as possible in order to head off any chance that Iran would be forced to forfeit any amount to pay legal judgments it owes to American terror victims.”
Shurat HaDin urged Congress to continue to investigate these issues, and to take action to guarantee that further payments to Iran do not take place as long as Iran remains a state sponsor of terrorism and a threat to its neighbors, “and until it has paid every judgment it owes to American victims of terror.”
Nitsana Darshan-Leitner addressed her letter to Senator Marco Rubio and Representatives Mike Pompeo and Ed Royce, who have each introduced legislation in response to the $1.7 billion payment to Iran, and to House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Sean P. Duffy, whose subcommittee held a special hearing on the $1.7 billion payments last Thursday, September 8, 2016.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is heading to the Netherlands for a diplomatic visit on Tuesday for meetings with top officials on “deepening the bilateral relations” between Israel and Holland.
Netanyahu with meet in The Hague with Prime Minister Mark Rutte as well as with the Dutch King Willem Alexander at the Noordeinde Palace — the first meeting between the prime minister and the monarch since his succession to the throne on April 30, 2013.
The prime minister will also visit the Dutch States General (parliament) and meet with Senate President Ankie Broekers-Knol and House of Representatives Speaker Khadija Arib.
Netanyahu is also scheduled to meet with members of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, and expected to discuss with them Israel-Netherlands relations.
According to a statement from the prime minister’s office, Netanyahu will present Israel’s policy in the regional context and vis-à-vis Europe.
Zionist Union leader Tzipi Livni has come out with guns blazing following an attempt by British police to present her with an arrest warrant and summon her for questioning over suspected “war crimes” committed in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead in 2009.
“What I have to say to British police I will say in every place: Israel will continue to fight terror and the absurdity of arrest warrants has to stop,” the Israeli Knesset member tweeted in response to the incident, which took place this weekend during her attendance at a Haaretz Israel conference held in the UK.
Livni, who was serving as Israel’s foreign minister during Operation Cast Lead, has also served as a justice minister.
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Palestinian Authority (PA) and pro-PA NGO groups have been waging international lawfare campaigns against Israel for more than a decade by filing criminal complaints via local the courts against senior Israeli officials and military personnel whenever they travel abroad.
The main NGOs behind the campaigns in the UK and beyond — including at the International Criminal Court at The Hague, are the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), Al Haq and Al Mezan, according to the NGO Monitor. All are funded by European governments.
Last year the legal codes were revised in Britain to prevent such tactics, but this weekend’s incident highlighted loopholes in the legislation.
At least Livni did not lose her sense of humor over the matter, tweeting her take on a recent anti-Israel comment by British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn:
Corbyn’s words imply a serious lack of moral judgement. Just as all Muslims are not to blame for ISIS, not all Brits are to blame for Corbyn— ציפי לבני (@Tzipi_Livni) June 30, 2016
The summons against Livni was ultimately cancelled after intervention by the Israeli Embassy in London and action by senior officials in the ministries of foreign affairs and justice, which required granting Livni diplomatic immunity.
It has become particularly enticing for these bodies to use the European Union nations for this purpose, since the EU has been especially supportive of the PA activities.
Israel is “engaging” with the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague, according to a report Saturday by the Reuters news agency.
The discussions are a change from the standard Israeli policy of ignoring ICC inquiries or investigations into war crimes claims by the Palestinian Authority against the Jewish State.
This time the claims refer to the conflict with Israel dating back to the summer of 2014, ignited by the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli yeshiva teens by Hamas terrorists.
That attack eventually led to Operation Protective Edge, the 50-day war with Hamas and its associated terrorist allies – Iranian-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Fatah-linked Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades – in Gaza.
ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda told Reuters in a visit at a UN office in Geneva Thursday, “Israel has agreed to engage with my office and we are exchanging information… If a visit to the region is required, or when it’s required, we will also be making that request to visit,” she said.
Israel was accused of committing war crimes because it fired at sites from which Hamas launched rockets at Israeli civilians and soldiers.
But Hamas planted its rocket and mortar launchers among civilians – within the courtyards of schools and hospitals – and stored its ammunition in UNRWA schools.
The United Nations itself was shown the concrete evidence that its own school buildings and medical clinics were being used as weapons storage facilities by Hamas – but that did not stop the international body from accusing Israel of committing war crimes when the IDF attempted to destroy the source of the attacks on Israeli civilians.