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Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

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Kerry Finds Palestinian Blood Redder Than Jews’

A comparison of U.S. statements in recent days regarding violence in the Mideast reveals the State Department painting a quick picture of sympathy for Palestinian youths, while not offering Israeli youths the same consideration.

Secretary of State John Kerry’s statement condemning the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers last month originally omitted the fact that one of those abducted was an American citizen, a fact that would have likely garnered increased attention in the U.S.

“The United States strongly condemns the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers and calls for their immediate release,” read Kerry’s official statement, put out three days after the kidnapping. “Our thoughts and prayers are with their families.”

According to news media reports, the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv was immediately briefed that one of the three teens was Naftali Frankel, 16, a dual Israeli-American citizen whose parents live in the central Israeli town of Nof Ayalon.

Last week, after the bodies of the three were found following an 18-day search, Kerry released another statement finally mentioning that Frankel was an American.

The State Department had faced some criticism in Israel for not mentioning Frankel’s American nationality sooner.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, the State Department rebuked Israel amid reports that Jerusalem police beat teenage protester Tariq Khdeir, a Palestinian-American cousin of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, the 16-year-old killed by suspected Jewish extremists in a revenge attack.

In contrast to original statements about the three Israeli teenagers – which omitted Frankel’s American nationality – State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki immediately singled out Tariq Khdeir as “an American citizen.”

Meanwhile, Kerry’s condemnation of the murder of Khdeir’s cousin, Mohammed Abu Khdeir, was unusually emotional.

Last Wednesday, while details of the murder were still sketchy, Kerry stated, “There are no words to convey adequately our condolences to the Palestinian people.”

His statement further condemned “in the strongest possible terms the despicable and senseless abduction and murder of Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir. It is sickening to think of an innocent 17-year-old boy snatched off the streets and his life stolen from him and his family.”

In the case of the murder of Khdeir, Kerry’s “no words” phraseology was directed at condolences to the Palestinian people. He used the “no words” rhetoric last week about the murder of the three Israeli teens, except in that case the words were directed at “every person of conscience.”

He stated, “As a father, there are no words to describe the shocking loss every person of conscience feels. This was a despicable act of terrorism. We mourn together with the citizens of Israel.”

Terror Groups In Gaza Hope To Unite Under ISIS 

There is an attempt by jihadist organizations in the Gaza Strip to unite under the common banner of the Al Qaeda-inspired Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, according to informed Middle Eastern security officials.

Contacted by KleinOnline, Abu Saqer, one of the top leaders of Jihadiya Salafiya, which represents Al Qaeda ideology in the Gaza Strip, confirmed the attempt to organize various jihad groups to fight Israel under the ISIS umbrella.

Saqer claimed there is also an effort to recruit jihadists to ISIS from inside the West Bank, particularly in the Hebron region.

While the exact nature of the ISIS presence in Gaza remains unclear, the group’s flags were seen flying at a funeral this past Sunday for two terrorists eliminated in an Israel Air Force strike last Friday, Israel’s daily Maariv newspaper reported. The terrorists’ coffins were reportedly also draped in ISIS flags.

The Israel Defense Forces said the two terrorists belonged to the Salah e-Din Brigades of the Popular Front group.

 Why Wasn’t Sensitive Material In Benghazi Declared Classified?

Did the State Department under Hillary Clinton deliberately refuse to classify what has been described as sensitive information housed at the U.S. special mission in Benghazi?

The storage of any officially classified information in the compound would have required the deployment of the U.S. Marine Corps Embassy Security Group for protection.

Instead, external security at the facility was provided by unarmed local Libyan guards.

Armed members of the Martyrs of the February 17th Brigades served as the official quick-reaction force that worked within the compound. The Brigade is an offshoot of the Ansar Al Sharia terrorist organization that was implicated in the Benghazi attack.

The question of the security designation of documents and information contained at the Benghazi facility comes up as members in the intelligence community debate why the materials were not officially classified.

On July 1, Fox News quoted sources in Washington and on the ground in Libya, including a witness, confirming that computers were stolen during the Sept. 11, 2012, attack.

Two days after the attack, the London Independent reported documents inside the U.S. mission were said to “list names of Libyans who are working with Americans, putting them potentially at risk from extremist groups.”

Three weeks after the attack, the Washington Post reported that documents inside the U.S. mission contained “delicate information about American operations in Libya.”

The Post reported one of its journalists visited the facility weeks after the attack to find scattered across the floors “documents detailing weapons collection efforts, emergency evacuation protocols, the full internal itinerary of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens’s trip and the personnel records of Libyans who were contracted to secure the mission.”

Tuesday’s Fox News report revealed that after the U.S. mission was looted, some of the Libyans employed there received death threats via text message. It is unclear whether the threats were prompted by the stolen documents and computers.

Officially, the information processed at the U.S. mission was not designated as classified by the State Department.

As Fox News noted, Clinton writes in her book Hard Choices that “because there was no classified processing at the diplomatic compound, there were no Marines posted there.”

However, two former CIA agents contacted by this reporter said they were perplexed as to why such reported sensitive information was not designated as classified. The agents’ comments were based on news media descriptions of the information, not on first-hand knowledge.

The U.S. government classifies information based on an estimation of the potential damage to national security if it were released.

Documents classified as “confidential” are likely to cause “damage” to national security if released. Material classified as “secret” would cause “serious damage” if exposed. The classification of “top secret” is used for material that would cause “exceptionally grave damage” to national security.

About the Author: Aaron Klein is a New York Times bestselling author and senior reporter for WND.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York's 970 AM Radio on Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern. His website is KleinOnline.com.


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