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August 2, 2015 / 17 Av, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Tunisia’

ISIS Prompts State of Emergency in Tunisia, Declaration of ‘War’ in Egypt

Sunday, July 5th, 2015

Tunisia’s President Beji Caid Essebsi has declared a state of emergency in the wake of ISIS (Da’esh) attacks on its soil, according to the state-run TAP news agency. The president made the move in response to the massacre by Da’esh terrorists of dozens of tourists on a hotel beach in the town of Sousse a scant week ago, according to TAP.

Not since the 2011 Jasmine Revolution that deposed former President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali has the country’s government declared a state of emergency. At least 38 foreign tourists were slaughtered during the attack, most of the British and more than a hundred others were wounded.

British Prime Minister David Cameron announced Sunday (July 5) the UK will erect a permanent memorial in Britain to honor the victims of that horrific attack. A second monument will be created to honor victims of other terror attacks overseas as well, he said.

Da’esh followed up the massacres – which also included additional murders in France, Kuwait and Kobani, Syria – with massive attacks by affiliates in the Sinai Peninsula and an announcement of executions at the ancient ruins of Palmyra.

Last week the ISIS-linked “Sinai Province” terror group formerly called Ansar Bayt al Maqdis launched attacks on Egyptian soldiers and police in 15 locations in the Sinai Peninsula.

Making it clear the government views the attacks by Da’esh as an existential threat, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi cut short a visit to Ethiopia and flew home to take command of what he has called the “war” on terror.

El-Sisi also called on Israel to cooperate with Egypt in any battle against Da’esh that might flow over the Gaza border. Israel has agreed to allow Egypt to beef up its troops in Sinai beyond the restrictions of the current peace treaty between the two nations. In addition, the Israel Defense Forces went to high alert last week along the southern border and has closed Highway 12, which traverses the southern Negev from the coast to Eilat, indefinitely.

The precautions were well advised: On Friday, Da’esh launched a triple rocket attack from the Sinai Peninsula against southern Israel; miraculously, none of the Grad Katyusha missiles reached residential areas.

On Saturday, Egypt launched air strikes against the group’s stronghold at Sheikh Zuweid in northern Sinai, eliminating 12 terrorists and destroying caches of weaponry and explosives, according to security sources. El-Sisi visited the province to inspect the site where some of the bloodiest battles in years have taken place.

Sinai Province is hoping to oust the Egyptian president who removed the Muslim Brotherhood-backed former President Mohamed Morsi two years ago after a year of constant street protests against his Islamist regime.

Gaza’s ruling Hamas terror organization was also spawned by the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood; IDF sources told journalists last week there is evidence proving that Hamas has been actively helping Sinai Province in its battles against the Egyptian government forces.

Da’esh also released a video Saturday (July 4) showing the mass execution of at least 27 Syrian Army soldiers in the ruins of the Roman Theater in the ancient city of Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Experts who viewed the video estimated that the executions had taken place shortly after Da’esh seized control of the site, sometime in late May.

Ambassador to UN Prosor Expects It to Condemn PA Terror

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

Israeli Ambassaodr Ron Prosor to the United Nations wrote to the undistinguished body Tuesday that he expects it to condemn the latest Palestinian Authority terrorist attack, which killed Malachi Moshe Rosenfeld and wounded three others Monday night.

Prosor noted that since the beginning of the Muslim month of Ramadan, which they consider so holy that it drives them into a frenzy to try to murder Jews and Christians, “There has been a dramatic increase in attacks against Israelis – part of a global surge of terrorism.”

He stated:

I write to you for the second time in less than two weeks to ​inform you that yet another citizen of Israel has been brutally murdered by Palestinian terrorists…..

Each day seems to bring with it news of a shooting attack, or a stabbing. Just yesterday, a terrorist stabbed a 19-year old female soldier next to Rachel’s Tomb, causing severe injuries. These attacks are a direct result of incitement by the Palestinian Authority in the media and in its education system. Even after this latest incident, the leadership of the PA remains silent, failing to condemn the murder of innocent people.

Prosor noted that the United Nations condemned “in the strongest terms” last week’s terror stacks in France, Tunisia and Kuwait.”

Fulfilling his role as ambassador, he went through he motions to demand that the United Nations also condemn the murders of Jews by Palestinian Authority terrorists, and wrote:

We join in your call that ‘those responsible for these appalling acts of violence must be swiftly brought to justice’  and that ‘these heinous attacks will only strengthen the commitment of the United Nations to help defeat those bent on murder, destruction and the annihilation of human development and culture.

I expect you to condemn the terrorist attacks in Israel in an equally decisive manner.

Terror is terror, no matter where it takes place, or who is harmed. The people of Israel deserve the same level of concern and empathy as any other people in the world.

Nice try, Ron.

If the United Nations does actually condemn the murder, it will be done so with a “balanced” resolution that also condemned the “war crime” that Rosenfeld committed by living in Samaria, which Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas has stated over and over will be an Arab country closed to Jews, a volition of the U.N. charter.

 

 

Send the #FreedomFlotilla to Syria

Sunday, June 28th, 2015

I was thinking, what’s the most productive way Israel could handle this latest Hamas supporting flotilla to Gaza.

Presumably the IDF will simply bring them to Ashdod, where they’ll then be allowed into Gaza (assuming they’re allowed into Israel) via one of the open land crossings that ships in humanitarian supplies every single day.

But that’s not really the most effective use of these anti-Israel activists who must love their Islamic terrorists.

With so much killing and misery in the region, there are far better places the flotilla could go.

Obviously We could send them to a beach in Tunisia and ask them to help the tourists hoping to escape the Islamic terrorists, but the tourists might be on wrong side of their equation.

We could send them to the Sinai, and they can enter Gaza through Egypt’s border. Oops. Egypt like to keep it closed because of the Gazan terrorism.

So the best move would be to send them to Syria. There they can select whichever Islamic group they want to help… Hezbollah, ISIS, Al Qaida, all of them even… there’s so many to choose from over there.

And with a few hundred thousand Syrians dead, the flotilla fools won’t even have to look like the hypocrites and anti-Semites they are.

US Officials Warn of ISIS Attacks on July 4

Saturday, June 27th, 2015

American police forces from coast to coast are on alert from federal officials that the Islamic State (ISIS) is planning to terrorize the country during the July 4 Independence Day holiday.

Homeland Security, the FBI and the National Counterterrorism Center sent an intelligence bulletin to law enforcement agencies.

No specific plots were spelled out, according to CNN, but there was a general warning because of the holiday and the upcoming visit of Pope Francis.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said on Friday, following multiple ISIS-linked attacks in France, Kuwait and Tunisia:

Particularly with the upcoming July 4th holiday here in the United States, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI continue to communicate with state and local law enforcement about what we know and see.

We are encouraging all law enforcement to be vigilant and prepared. We will also adjust security measures, seen and unseen, as necessary to protect the American people.

In Britain, the ISIS targeted the annual Armed Forces Day parade on Saturday, but intelligence officials foiled the plot, which was discovered by an undercover British agent who was recruited by the terrorist group.

The ISIS had told the investigator, according to the London Sun, “It will be big. We will hit the kuffar (unbelievers) hard InshAllah. Hit their soldiers in their own land. InshAllah. Soldiers that served in Iraq and Afghanistan will be present. Jump in the crowd and detonate the bomb.

“They think they can kill Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan then come back to the UK and be safe. We’ll hit them hard InshAllah.”

The multiple attacks on Friday indicate, whether coordinated or not, are clear signs that the Islamic State’s declared war on the world is more than rhetoric.

Dismissing the murderers as “lone wolves,” as some of Israel’s security officials and leftist media try to do in order to play down Palestinian Authority-incited terror, is not going to satisfy the nationwide American fear of the ISIS.

19 Dead in Tunisia Attack

Friday, June 26th, 2015

At least 19 people have been killed after a gunman attacked a hotel in Tunisia.

Israel Counter-Terror Bureau Nixes Travel to Tunisia

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

Israel’s National Counter-Terrorism Bureau is warning citizens to avoid visiting Tunisia, especially during the upcoming holiday of Lag B’Omer.

A warning published in the travel advisory guide issued by the Prime Minister’s Office was designation as a Level 2 alert. The advisory said there was a “concrete and high threat” that terrorist groups are planning attacks against Jewish and Israeli attacks in Tunisia.

“The recommendation is to avoid visiting Tunisia” at this time, the warning said.

But Tunisia’s Interior Ministry issued a statement countering the warning and denying that any danger existed.

It’s a high-stakes issue for Tunisia, which is still struggling to restore the bountiful tourism industry it once enjoyed.

The country’s Jasmine Revolution overthrew the government and launched the region-wide Arab Spring four years ago, sweeping away the regimes of at least three other Arab nations and destroying the stability of the Middle East. Along with it went the economies, manufacturing bases and tourism industries in many, including Tunisia, where it all started.

There is a custom to make a pilgrimage on the Jewish holiday of Lag B’Omer – coming up this Thursday – to visit the ancient synagogue on the Tunisian island of Djerba, home to a centuries-old Jewish community.

The El Ghriba Synagogue is one of the oldest synagogues in the Arab world. It is believed that kohanim (priests) from Jerusalem’s Holy Temple fled to the island during the period of the Roman occupation of the holy city. They allegedly brought with them a door from the Second Temple, as it was being destroyed by the Romans, and embedded it within a wall of the new synagogue they built on Djerba Island.

Until the Arab Spring, thousands of Jews from around the world came to Tunisia each year to celebrate Lag B’Omer on the island of Djerba. Most abandoned the practice in deference to security.

Cheat Sheet on Who’s Doing What to Whom in the Middle East

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Jordan (and a few quiet others) have been urging U.S. President Barack Obama to climb down from his tree and listen to Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. There’s a reason for that.

A new radical Islamic axis is forming, one that is cuddling up to the Muslim Brotherhood. The once-scattered Iranian-backed terror groups dedicated to annihilating the State of Israel are coalescing into a second axis while threatening to form an alliance with Daesh, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria also known as ISIS, as well as Al Qaeda and other global jihad organizations.

Because part-time pundits don’t have time to study the fine details of where things are happening on the political chessboard of the Middle East, here’s a cheat sheet to help you keep score on the latest realities in the region.

For a lot of Western political analysts, the Arab Spring was confusing and a real pain in the neck — but that was a walk in the park compared to the nightmare now facing foreign affairs policy makers trying to stay abreast on current terrorist ties and the tangled web they are spinning in the ‘hood.

U.S. President Barack Obama is looking for a way to nurse his salty wounds over having to spend his final tenure swallowing bile while chatting civilly, if not with good manners, during phone calls with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

But here’s what’s happening right now — and what the leader of the greatest country on earth has to grapple with — while he continues to search for ways to pick a fight with Israel’s most popular leader since the Israel was founded by its first Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion.

In Africa:
Two terror organizations in Nigeria and Somalia, Boko Haram and Al Shaba’ab respectively, have both pledged allegiance to Daesh, also known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS. Both groups have slaughtered thousands and wounded more, committed numerous atrocities and are continuing to carry out murderous terror attacks to prove their mettle as “jihadists,” or holy warriors for Islam.

The moderate Arab nation of Tunisia suffered its first public terrorist attack by ISIS this weekend in a massacre that left 20 dead and dozens of others wounded in the iconic Bardo museum in Tunis, including many foreign tourists. At least 3,000 Tunisians have flown to Syria to join the ISIS terror organization; it’s no surprise those chickens are beginning to come home to roost in North Africa.

Tunisia is one of the few Arab nations left that can claim to be home to one of the most ancient Jewish communities in Africa, and which has enjoyed a healthy international tourism trade. It now faces severe damage to its tourist industry, which was just beginning to recover from the ravages of the Arab Spring. Ominously, the threat level facing Tunisia’s Jewish community on the country’s island of Djerba is also not clear.

Libya, which borders Tunisia — and where an American Ambassador and three U.S. diplomats were murdered in an Al Qaeda attack in Benghazi on September 11, 2012 — has been entirely swallowed by Al Qaeda and allied terrorist groups. ISIS has also joined the party, spreading cells throughout the country as well. Earlier this month, ISIS made its “debut” appearance in the oil-rich nation with a public seaside beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christian laborers taken captive by the terror organization.

In the Middle East:
Egypt is facing one of the toughest fights of its life in the Sinai Peninsula as it battles a budding invasion by ISIS, Al Qaeda, and Iranian proxy groups. Homegrown terror cells and disgruntled Bedouin tribes are aiding and abetting this effort, having always looked for greener pastures and a better deal regardless of who’s in power in Cairo.

Gaza has been controlled since 2007 by Iran‘s proxies who include Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and in a consultant position, Hezbollah. All maintain contentious but cooperative relationships with the Salafi, global jihad Army of Islam terror group which is linked to Al Qaeda. ISIS is also now represented in the region as well.

Jordan is facing an existential threat on its borders with Iraq and Syria due to ISIS having captured border crossings on both, and the presence of Hezbollah and Iranian Revolutionary Guards along the border with Syria. So far, its only remaining friendly borders are with Israel, and with Egypt. In addition, the Palestinian citizens within Jordan are not as friendly to the Hashemite regime as one might believe; moreover, they are wont to align with the Muslim Brotherhood which also operates within the kingdom and which can be seen as a fifth column.

Lebanon has been swallowed by ISIS, Palestinian Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades linked to Fatah, Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hamas and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, all of whom vie for power in the nation. Hezbollah holds the lion’s share of the political clout in the government since the terrorist group long ago expanded to include parliament members and actual ministers in the government cabinet as well.

Iraq was the first to fall to ISIS; its border crossings with Syria and Jordan were easy prey for the terror group. Iran easily persuaded the government that its was better off allowing its Islamic neighbor to “help” it fight off the Sunni threat than to place its trust in the American administration that had abandoned its ally when it was still to weak to fend off terrorist and tribal challenges to the power of the central government. So now Iran has now entered the picture there as well, to “assist” Iraqi forces in fighting ISIS, which Iran perceives as a threat to its own interests, for the time being at least.

It is likely that when the power struggle ends, one way or the other, Iran will be the force to divide the spoils and cut a deal with ISIS in order to ultimately divide up the region between the two emerging empires. However, Iran will ultimately be the one to rule because ISIS does not have the self-discipline, nor the structural underpinnings necessary to create and maintain an administration to rule an empire. This is quite separate and apart from Iran’s booming weapons production industry, not to mention its galloping race to develop nuclear arms.

Watch it happen – you read it here first on Jewish Press.com.

Syria was the little ticking time bomb that appeared to have set off this entire conflagration – but if one looks closely, it is clear that ISIS does not attack the forces of President Bashar al-Assad. Nor does Assad bother much with the ISIS terrorists. Both have bigger fish to fry.

Assad is an Alawite — a sect that is linked to Shia, hence his close ties with Shiite Iran and that nation’s support of his struggle. Iran sent Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps units and Hezbollah guerrillas to fight alongside his troops. Russia also supplemented Assad for quite some time — right up to the point that Assad began to lose and Russian citizens were endangered. Then Russian “consultants” were evacuated, funding slowed down to a crawl but weapons shipments continued to arrive.

ISIS meanwhile wants to expand its reach throughout the entire Middle East — and that’s just for starters. Its ultimate stated goal is simply to establish a worldwide caliphate — an “Islamic State” — and nothing less. Think ‘Hitler’ with a 21st century media team and you’re headed in the right direction.

In any case, Syria is no longer really Syria; it is now divided up into cantons, each of which is governed separately by various emirs and such. Many report to ISIS already. Some report to Al Qaeda. Others still are loyal to the “moderate” Syrian National Council and its Free Syrian Army. A few are hanging on to Syria’s government, or what’s left of it – mostly around Damascus.

And now there’s Yemen, bits of it left currently on the chopping block and most already nearly to the mop-up stage by Al Qaeda, ISIS and their Houthi opponents, soon probably to be allies as well. Of course, Al Qaeda had laid the groundwork for the takeover of the country to a great extent, having infiltrated and permeated the territory over the past several years. Al Qaeda promotes the image of being at odds with ISIS, although the latter began as a freak offshoot of the terror mothership, but it is more likely all a bluff. We will yet see the day the two will re-unite as one, or return as allies.

In the meantime, Saudi Arabia is starting to move its military forces towards the border with Yemen. The last time Saudi Arabia did that was in March 2011, when it “helped” its neighbor Bahrain fend off a surreptitious move by Iran to foment unrest in the Sunni-ruled country (which has a Shia majority) under cover of the Arab Spring.  It took one day for 1,000 Saudi troops and 500 troops from United Arab Emirates to clear protesters from around the iconic Pearl Roundabout in Manama, and then to destroy the statue on what became known locally as “Bloody Thursday.”

The U.S. Embassy in Yemen has been closed due to the escalating attacks. Embassy staff and families of diplomats were evacuated from the country, just in time. The last group of 100 American special forces who were there to consult and help the Yemen military fight off the takeover in the first place were evacuated from the country last weekend due to the ‘rising danger.’

Houthi rebels seized the airport and control of the entire city of Taiz as well as the surrounding province over the weekend as well – about 240 miles south of the Yemeni capital of Sana’a — according to Taiz provincial government officials who spoke with international media.

As early as January, Yemen’s president and his cabinet resigned after the Houthis surrounded the presidential palace, and in fact the entire capital city of Sana’a was captured by the Houthi rebels. Last week ISIS suicide terrorists arrived in Sana’a and bombed two mosques, killing 137 Yemenis and wounding hundreds more, making it clear that supremacy over the city is still up for grabs.

The United Nations Security Council met Sunday (March 22, 2015) to discuss Yemen’s deteriorating situation, with its UN envoy to Yemen reporting the country is “at the edge of civil war.” Meanwhile, Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi remains in exile in the southern port city of Aden, maintaining that he is still the nation’s leader. Last week, the Houthi war against Hadi pursued him all the way south to Aden, with an air strike aimed at the palace where he is housed. That day, Houthi rebels on the ground battled Hadi loyalists in Aden leaving 13 dead.

Finally, there is Turkey.

It’s odd how few actually discuss what’s happening in Turkey, a NATO member who has provided free passage to literally every single terrorist group that has requested safe passage through its country, even into Syria to reach the ISIS capital of Raqqa. If you travel through Istanbul airport on an average day, it becomes amazingly clear that whoever wishes to, can travel through Istanbul from Iran, Russia, or anywhere else.

Turkey is the ultimate Casablanca of today’s Middle East.

Muslim Brotherhood officials are warmly greeted by their supporters there. Hamas has a new international headquarters in the country, Fatah and other Palestinian officials are always welcome, and ISIS operatives move across the border to bring imports (brides and other ‘items’) to Raqqa with no trouble at all. Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps members – you name it, and you can make that meeting happen in Turkey, if you know the right buttons to push. Even United States officials are welcome.

Just be wary if you’re Jewish, or Israeli, of course.

Only a U.S. reject deported back home via Cairo to make a good showing to the Americans was turned back. Turkish authorities didn’t bother with that performance when it came to ignoring three young Muslim school girls from the UK whose frantic parents begged the Ankara government to block them from crossing the border into ISIS Land.

One wonders how Turkey is able to square its relationship with NATO with all that going on.

But managing delicate, intricate relationships are a peerless skill practiced by Turks since ancient times. There are few who can match a Turkish diplomat in anything, let alone the multi-lateral negotiations involving events so complex that one would need a nuclear microscope just to see past the surface, let alone begin to address it.

No wonder President Obama feels so disgruntled, so out of sorts, so … over his head.

This is not his neighborhood. He doesn’t know the language, diplomatically, behaviorally, gramatically or culturally. Nor has he yet learned the basic regional sport of bargaining in the souk. Worse, he probably would never enjoy it. You have to really love it to survive it.

But if you don’t live in the neighborhood, or you never come to visit, how on earth can you work out a two-state “solution” — let alone PEACE? More to the point, if you really dislike it so much why bother?

Mr. President, at least relax a little before you really hurt someone, and let those who actually like the region deal with it and with the Israelis too.

By the way – just as for your information — you may not realize it, but in Israel the appliance stores are still doing a really brisk business selling those terrific home appliances that are made in Turkey. Now, how do you suppose that could be, given all that hostile anti-Israel ranting from Ankara?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/cheat-sheet-on-whos-doing-what-to-whom-in-the-middle-east/2015/03/25/

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