Shin Bet: Hamas terror attack plot at Jerusalem soccer stadium thwarted

jerusalem soccer stadiumThe Jerusalem Post (Nov 27) — The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and the IDF thwarted a large, transnational Hamas terrorism network that was preparing to carry out an array of attacks against Israelis, the domestic intelligence agency announced on Thursday.

In recent weeks, some 30 Hamas members have been arrested in raids led by the IDF’s Duvdevan undercover unit.

Two M-16 rifles, ammunition and bomb-making equipment were seized.

The network planned to target the Teddy soccer stadium and the light rail system in the capital, to carry out car bombings and kidnappings of Israelis in Judea and Samaria as well as overseas, the Shin Bet said.

The nerve center of the network was situated in Hamas’s headquarters in Turkey, the Shin Bet added.

Additional intended targets included infiltrations of Israeli communities, shooting and bombing attacks against Israeli traffic and military targets in the West Bank, and setting up terrorist cells in Jordan to carry out cross-border attacks into Israel.

The plot, uncovered in September, involved the assembly of multiple terrorist cells in the West Bank, as well as the training of Hamas members overseas.

Members of the network planted two bombs in Samaria on August 31. Neither of the attacks, which involved time-detonated explosives, resulted in injuries.

The second explosive was timed to kill emergency responders, according to the Shin Bet’s investigation.

Following that attack, the agency arrested dozens of suspects, and learned during subsequent interrogations that some had joined Hamas as far back as 2012, in Jordan.

“They received military training, and were given missions. At the start of 2014, they moved in and began taking action. Their missions included meetings with operatives, preparing [terrorist] infrastructure, and gathering intelligence on targets,” the Shin Bet said.

In Jordan, the network sought to recruit students who were friends of Hamas operatives.

The network identified students who supported the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, and had highly developed skills in various areas.

Eventually, recruiters turned to selected prospective operatives with formal requests to join Hamas. Those who accepted came under the command of Hamas’s Turkey-based headquarters, which oversaw their military training.

They were trained under the supervision of Hamas’s overseas and Gaza-based branches, in Jordan, Turkey, Syria and the Gaza Strip.

Recruits reached Gaza through smuggling tunnels from Egypt, and were instructed in weapons, terrain analysis, navigation and how to keep information secret.

In Turkey, they learned about various “spheres of operations, aimed at carrying out terrorist attacks within Israel, the West Bank and overseas,” the Shin Bet said.

In Jordan, training included weapons handling, bomb-making and briefings ahead of attacks.

At the end of their training, recruits joined various terrorist plots, in line with guidance from senior Hamas members in Turkey.

Instructions arrived from Hamas commanders in Turkey to field operatives, via “forward operatives in Turkey and Jordan, who were responsible for executing the plans.”

Subsequently, Hamas operatives arrived in the West Bank to carry out the attacks, as well as coordinate the smuggling of weapons and money.

The operatives received instructions to recruit local terrorist cells and train more operatives, as well as to locate sites for bomb-making labs and apartments that could serve as operations centers.

In August, the Shin Bet thwarted an earlier large-scale plot, headed by senior Ramallah- based Hamas commander Riad Nasser, who is under arrest.

That plot was also directed by Hamas’s Turkey-based headquarters, specifically by Saleh Aruri, who commands the movement’s “West Bank sector.”

Hamas funneled more than NIS 1m. into that network and purchased weapons, before the Shin Bet thwarted the initiative.

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Daniel Pipes: Thoughts on the P5+1 Nuclear Negotiations with Iran

Daniel Pipes is one of the world’s leading experts on politics in the Middle East and the president of the Middle East Forum. His bi-weekly column appears regularly in The Washington Times and more than 100 newspapers have carried his articles.

2994By Daniel Pipes for National Review Online (Nov 26) —  The Nov. 24 deadline came and went for an agreement between the powers and the Islamic Republic of Iran; on that date, they managed only to extend the existing interim deal for another seven months. The ayatollah crowed and U.S. senators stewed. Looking beyond these responses, the current situation spurs several thoughts:

  • If one assumes, as I do, that the apocalyptically-minded Iranian leadership will do everything it can to acquire The Bomb, then economic sanctions only serve to slow its course, not to stop it. Put more forcefully, the debate over sanctions is peripheral and even diversionary. The arcane financial and scientific minutiae of the negotiations tend to bury the only discussion that really matters – whether or not some government will use force to reverse the nuclear program.
  • That said, should the 114th Congress pass legislation with a veto-proof majority, this would be an unprecedented blow against Barack Obama and would presumably serve as a low-water mark of his presidency. But this signal event for American domestic politics is unlikely to affect the Iranian program.
  • Some governments (Russian, American) have the means but not the intent to destroy the Iranian facilities. Others have the intent (Saudi, Canadian) but not the means. This leaves only one player, which sort-of has the means and sort-of the intent: Israel. Given its in-between status, whether it will act is the $64,000 question. This is what preoccupies me and, I suggest, what others too should focus on.
  • Israel’s conundrum appears genuine: On the one hand, this is only state to have knocked out nuclear programs (and it did so twice, in 1981 and 2007); on the other, the logistical challenge and supremely high stakes make this round far more daunting.
  • Not for the first time, the 8 million people of Israel have an outsized international role. There’s a reason it has the highest per-capita number of foreign correspondents: whether it’s classical music virtuosity, religious passions, high-tech breakthroughs, UN Security Council resolutions, or warfare, the Jewish state globally punches far above its weight.

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Nearly 18,000 people died in terrorist attacks in 2013 — 66% by Taliban, Boko Haram, al Qaeda, and the Islamic State

“The index added that poverty rates, educational achievement and most economy factors aren’t related with terrorism.”

boko-haramFierce Homeland Security (Nov 25) — In 2013, nearly 18,000 people around the world were killed in terrorist attacks, a 61-percent increase from the prior year, according to the recently published annual Global Terrorism Index report.

Most of the terrorist incidents were concentrated in only a handful of countries – Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria – collectively accounting for nearly 15,000, or 82 percent, of the fatalities, the report noted.

Of those countries, Iraq was the most impacted, accounting for nearly 2,500 attacks that killed more than 6,300 people. By comparison, the index showed that the United States had nine incidents last year, resulting in six fatalities.

Twenty-four countries experienced terrorist attacks that killed more than 50 people, while 75 countries did not experience an attack.

The index, which was released Nov. 16, is published by the Institute for Economics and Peace, an international think tank based in Australia. It defines terrorism as “the threatened or actual use of illegal force and violence by a non-state actor to attain a political, economic, religious or social goal through fear, coercion, or intimidation.”

It said four groups – the Taliban, Boko Haram, al Qaeda, and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which is also known as the Islamic State – accounted for 66 percent of all fatalities.

The three main factors that contribute to terrorism, the index noted, are state-sponsored violence such as extra-judicial killings, group grievances and high levels of criminality. However, the index added that poverty rates, educational achievement and most economy factors aren’t related with terrorism.

“Terrorism doesn’t arise on its own; by identifying the factors associated with it, long term policies can be implemented to improve the underlying environment that nurtures terrorism,” said Steve Killelea, an IT entrepreneur who founded the institute in 2007.

“The most significant actions that can be taken are to reduce state-sponsored violence, reduce group grievances and hostilities, and improve effective and community-supported policing,” he added.

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Iran leader: West fails to bring Iran to its knees

Ayatollah Khamenei is right. The Iranian Regime will receive $700 million each month over the 7 month extension while giving nothing in return.

Khamenei twitterThe Associated Press (Nov 25) — Iran’s Supreme Leader said Tuesday that western powers will not be able to bring the country to its knees in nuclear talks, his website reported.

“On the nuclear issue, the United States and European colonialist countries gathered and applied their entire efforts to bring the Islamic Republic to its knees but they could not and they will not,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said, speaking to a group of clerics.

The remarks were the first by Khamenei, who has final say on all state matters, since Iran and major global powers agreed Monday to decide by March 1 what needs to be done and on what kind of schedule. A final agreement is meant to follow four months later.

Khamenei has so far backed the nuclear negotiations. His reference to the future indicates that the extension of the talks would have his approval as well.

Earlier on Monday and in a nationwide broadcast, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani told his nation that it “has achieved a significant victory” and “negotiations will lead to a deal, sooner or later.”

Rouhani also said many gaps in the talks “have been eliminated.”

But he also vowed that Iran will not relinquish its right to nuclear capability.

“Our nuclear rights should be admitted by the world,” Rouhani said. “We will continue the talks.”

The United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany, have engaged in intensive negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. Tehran has denied its nuclear research has any sort of military dimension, saying it is focused on peaceful uses like power generation and medical treatments.

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Police bust massive shipment of firecrackers, knives bound for Jerusalem

Container marked as Christmas lights contained 18,000 firecrackers and thousands of other weapons meant to supply Palestinian rioters, officials say.

Weapons seized at the Ashdod Port on November 20, 2014. (photo credit: Courtesy Police Spokesman's Unit)

Weapons seized at the Ashdod Port on November 20, 2014. (photo credit: Courtesy Police Spokesman’s Unit)

The Times of Israel — Authorities intercepted a massive shipment of tens of thousands of firecrackers, as well as knives, Tasers and other weapons Thursday that police say was en route to rioters in East Jerusalem.

Intelligence information led police and customs officials to the shipping container in Afula, which had been marked as containing Christmas lights, police said.

The container contained some 18,000 firecrackers, 5,200 knives, 4,300 Taser-flashlight devices, 5,000 electric shock devices and 1,000 swords, according to a police statement.

Police said it was the largest seizure of weapons of the type in recent history.

According to police, the enormous stockpile of weapons was intended to supply Palestinians in East Jerusalem, who have thrown firecrackers, Molotov cocktails and stones in ongoing clashes with police amid rising tensions in the capital.

The containers, shipped from China to the Ashdod Port, were addressed to residents of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina.

The containers were picked up by three Israeli Arabs from the north who came to Ashdod to collect the shipment with two trucks.

The three suspects were unloading the shipment into a warehouse in Afula where they were arrested together with their drivers and the warehouse owner.

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Israel’s Arabs Need Better Leaders

Khaled Abu Toameh, an Arab Muslim, is a veteran award-winning journalist who has been covering Palestinian affairs for nearly three decades. He studied at Hebrew University and began his career as a reporter by working for a PLO-affiliated newspaper in Jerusalem. Abu Toameh currently works for the international media, serving as the ‘eyes and ears’ of foreign journalists in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

By Khaled Abu Toameh for the Gatestone Institute:

  • It is hard to see how the words and actions of these Arab Israeli leaders help, if at all, the Arab citizens of Israel.
  • It is time for these citizens to stand up to those Arab Israeli leaders who are causing them huge damage and remind them that they are supposed to represent Israeli Arabs and not the PLO or Hamas.
  • It is also time for them to start searching for better leaders.

Some representatives of the Arab community in Israel are continuing to cause tremendous damage both to their constituents and coexistence between Jews and Arabs.

These representatives, who serve in the Knesset (Parliament), have forgotten that they were elected to look after the interests of Israel’s Arab citizens.

Their fiery rhetoric and provocative actions are the main reason why a growing number of Israeli Jews have begun relating to Arab citizens as a “fifth column” and an “enemy from within.”

These Knesset members are obviously confused as to who their constituents are. Many of them seem to believe that they were elected to the Knesset to represent the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Of course, not all of the 11 Arab Knesset members (out of 120) are involved in provocations and inflammatory rhetoric. Half of them appear to be working toward improving the living conditions of the 1.5 million Arab citizens of Israel.

The other half, however, do not seem to care about the problems facing their constituents in the Galilee, Triangle and Negev. Over the past decade, these Knesset members have done a great job representing the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.

It is possible that these representatives are so desperate to win media attention that they are willing to say or do anything that would provoke Israeli Jews. They know that dealing with the problems of infrastructure, unemployment and poverty in the Arab sector are not going to draw media attention.

They have learned that the best and fastest way to grab headlines is by issuing inflammatory statements or engaging in provocative actions against Israel.

… On another occasion, Zoabi compared Israeli soldiers to Islamic State terrorists. “They (Islamic State) kill one person with a knife each time, while the IDF kills dozens of Palestinians at a time by pressing a button,” Zoabi said. “The soldier remains in the plane when he launches strikes and he does not see the victim – the wings of the plane just lightly shift. IDF soldiers are no less a terrorist than the ones who behead. They kill more than a knife kills.”

It is hard to see how the words and actions of these Arab Israeli leaders help, if at all, the Arab citizens of Israel. On the contrary; these representatives seem to be determined to damage relations between Jews and Arabs inside Israel, the same way Hamas and the PLO destroyed any prospects for peace between Israel and the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The leaders of the Israeli Arabs are damaging their people’s hopes of being fully integrated into Israeli society and being looked upon by Israeli Jews as equal and loyal partners.

It is time for these citizens to stand up to those Arab Israeli leaders who are causing them huge damage and remind them that they are supposed to represent Israeli Arabs and not the PLO or Hamas.

It is also time for them to start searching for better leaders before it is too late to stop the rapid deterioration of relations between Israel’s Arabs and Jews.

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The Hidden Hand of ISIS and Its Impact on Palestinian Escalation

By Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi for Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs:

isisIn recent months the State of Israel has been facing what military jargon terms “popular terrorist activity,” characterized by violent disturbances in the al-Aqsa Mosque compound; Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem; the West Bank and Arab towns within Israel; attempts to lynch Jews entering Arab towns; attacks on vehicles with stones and fire bombs and of late – a wave of vehicular murders and fatal stabbing attacks.

This recent outbreak of Palestinian violence resembling an intifada (popular uprising), i.e. wide-spread acts of violence coupled with terrorist attacks (including within Israel’s sovereign territory), has taken place against the backdrop of Hamas’ recurring attempts to ignite an intifada in the West Bank and topple the Palestinian Authority, as well as unrelenting incitement on the part of the Palestinian Authority and its full support of “popular terrorism.” The violence has the complete backing of the Fatah movement whose military wing officially returned in July to “armed struggle,” i.e. perpetration of terrorist attacks with firearms. Palestinian leadership also foments violence in response to Jewish activists’ demand to realize the right of Jews to pray on the Temple Mount.

Ominously, there is also a “hidden hand” at work directly impacting events throughout the Middle East and the Palestinian arena.

On July 29 this year, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi announced the establishment of the Islamic caliphate in territories captured by the Islamic State (known as IS, ISIS, and ISIL). In contrast to similar announcements in the past (by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq and the Islamic emirate in Afghanistan), the impact of the Islamic caliphate in Iraq and Syria has worldwide implications owing to the process of Islamization taking root in the Middle East, in Islamic states, and within Muslim societies around the globe.

The caliphate is not only a political entity-in-creation (an authority providing public services, education, food supplies, and enforcement of law and order via a morality police), but also the embodiment of the dream to resurrect the glory days of Islam. To many adherents it is the realization of the prophecy of Muhammad regarding the Islamic state that will enforce Islamic rule over the entire world.

The large Islamic organizations, among them the Muslim Brotherhood and Hizb al-Tahrir, although sharing the vision of a caliphate, have not recognized the caliphate regime, as this entails full submission and obedience to the Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The Caliphate’s Worldwide Strategy

Baghdadi’s strategy is to circumvent traditional and established Islamic organizations to reach the hearts of the Muslim public pining to witness the resurrection of Islam and rally jihadi forces to his side together with the thousands of volunteers rushing to his caliphate from around the world.

The list of those swearing allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s caliphate is extensive and comprises local Islamic organizations from Syria and Iraq; senior leaders of the Pakistani Taliban; al-Qaida’s affiliate Khorasan group; al-Qaida in the Indian subcontinent; Mujahedeen in Yemen, Libya, Algeria and Saudi Arabia, and Ansar Beit al-Makdas, active in Egypt’s Sinai that has close links to the Gaza Strip under Hamas rule.

The caliphate serves as inspiration to the Palestinian public, as witnessed by young Israeli Arabs (who identify as Palestinians) and Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip travelling to Syria and Iraq to participate in the jihad (holy war) against the infidels.

The Islamic awakening message, coupled with Islamic power evidenced in achievements on the jihadi front and defiance towards the West, all exert a strong pull on the Palestinian public, which is traditionally attracted to any force declaring a pretense to liberate Palestine (Iraq under Saddam Hussein, Iran and its proxy Hizbullah).

The organizational basis of the caliphate in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip is still limited, yet the ideological infrastructure has deep roots within Palestinian society, as Hamas (the Palestinian offshoot of the global Muslim Brotherhood movement) and Hizb al-Tahrir (also a global network organization) share the vision of the Islamic state, including the establishment of a caliphate and implementation of strict sharia law.

In the new Middle East, increasingly Islamic in character, the winds of jihad are sweeping the masses, and would appear to be the main driving force behind the recent wave of Palestinian violence, not born of political or economic despair, but rather hopeful of cracking Israeli confidence and realizing the dream of the liberation of Palestine from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River with Jerusalem as capital city of the caliphate. These are also the principles expressed by leaders of the Islamic movement within the state of Israel, who identify with the Muslim Brotherhood.

The more the Islamic caliphate continues to boost its rule in Iraq and Syria and is certain to destabilize Jordan, the greater the chances are of the collapse of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and the expansion of Palestinian violence towards Israel in its various names – popular intifada, armed intifada or terrorist assault.

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WATCH: How do American college students react to ISIS, Israeli flags?

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The Jerusalem Post (Nov 20) — What happens when you wave the Islamic State flag on an American college campus? Filmmaker Ami Horowitz expected at least the same amount of outrage that the notoriously anti-Israel student body at the University of California-Berkley has toward Israel.

“I went to the bucolic campus armed with a flag that represents the greatest evil known today, ISIS,” Horowitz wrote in an article for Fox News. “If these are our best and brightest then we should all be afraid, very afraid.”

While waving the ISIS flag, Horowitz also chanted sarcastic justifications for the terror organization’s use of extreme violence and beheadings of foreign aid workers in Syria.

“ISIS is misunderstood. We just want our own state. Western and American imperialism are to blame, not us. We just want a state of our own, an Islamic state, no different than America.”

One passerby wished him “Good luck” while another passerby gave a supportive fist pump in the air. Most people just walked by hardly paying attention, however. The only bout of criticism came from a man telling him smoking is forbidden on campus.

When Horowitz did the same thing while waving the Israeli flag, the reaction was much different.

Horowitz received verbal assaults, yells and middle fingers. “The shocking video above unfortunately proves once and for all that there is in fact no connection between intellect and wisdom,” said Horowitz.

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Abbas’ advisor blesses terrorists and their weapons

“Blessed be your quality weapons, the wheels of your cars, your axes and kitchen knives… because [they are being used] according to Allah’s will. We are the soldiers of Allah.”

by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

Palestinian Media Watch (Nov 19) — Following yesterday’s terror attack in which five Israelis were killed by two terrorists with pistols, knives and axes, Abbas’ advisor and Fatah Central Committee member Sultan Abu Al-Einein praised the terrorists and their weapons on his Facebook page. Continuing the PA policy of justifying the attacks and riots as religiously mandated, he referred to the terrorists as “those who carry out Ribat” (religious conflict/war over land claimed to be Islamic) and stated that “we are the soldiers of Allah.”

“Peace be upon you, oh children of Jerusalem. Oh, those who carry out Ribat (religious conflict/war over land claimed to be Islamic) in the plazas of the first direction of prayer of Allah (i.e. the Al-Aqsa Mosque) in the name of your people and your Arab nation… Blessed be your quality weapons, the wheels of your cars, your axes and kitchen knives. By Allah, these are stronger than the arsenals of our enemy, because [they are being used] according to Allah’s will. We are the soldiers of Allah.” [Facebook page of Abbas’ advisor and Fatah Central Committee member Sultan Abu Al-Einein, Nov. 19, 2014]

Both PA Chairman Abbas and Mahmoud Al-Habbash, Abbas’ advisor on religious affairs, have stressed that the PA leadership encourages Palestinians perform “Ribat” in Jerusalem. Palestinian Media Watch has shown that Abbas recently stated that “we must all carry out Ribat.” Al-Habbash confirmed that this is PA policy by saying, “Yes, we are inciting the people in Jerusalem to [perform] Ribat.”

Yesterday, Al-Einein immediately praised the terrorists who killed four Jewish worshippers and a policeman in the attack on a Jerusalem synagogue. He has praised terrorists who have killed Israeli civilians numerous times, including the terrorists who ran over and killed Israelis and the shooter of Rabbi Yehuda Glick.

Members of US Congress have condemned Al-Einein for similar statements and glorification of terrorists in the past, and demanded Abbas dismiss him. However, Abbas defied this demand.

On Nov. 18, 2014, two Arab terrorists, Ghassan and Uday Abu Jamal, from East Jerusalem, entered a synagogue in Jerusalem and attacked worshippers with guns, knives and axes, killing 5 and injuring 7, 3 of them seriously. The terrorists were killed in an exchange of fire with Israeli Security Forces that arrived on the scene.

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Fatah: ‎Abbas only condemned murder of 4 Jews because of international pressure

Abbas’ Fatah:

Abbas only condemned murder of 4 Jews
because of international pressure –

just like Arafat 

To justify why Abbas condemned this morning’s murders,
Fatah publicized a video today that PMW had exposed
in which Arafat’s bodyguard explained that Arafat was lying
when he condemned terror attacks 

Palestinian Media Watch (Nov 18) — Following the Palestinian Authority’s condemnation of this morning’s terror attack in which 4 Jews were murdered while praying in a Jerusalem synagogue, Abbas’ Fatah showed on its official Facebook page that Abbas’ condemnation is not sincere.

Fatah explained Abbas’ condemnation of the murders by using Palestinian Media Watch documentation showing Arafat’s bodyguard explaining that Arafat would lie and condemn terror attacks due to international pressure to do so, but that “it wasn’t true.”

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Fatah posted this text with the video: “For those who argue with Fatah: Why the PA condemns self-sacrifice operations!” [Facebook, “Fatah – The Main Page”, Nov. 18, 2014]

This shows that Fatah needed to justify the fact that Abbas, heading both the PA and Fatah, issued a condemnation in the name of the PA. Arguing that the reason Abbas issued the condemnation is the same reason Arafat condemned the killing of civilians – namely international pressure – Fatah states that Abbas’ condemnation is not sincere.

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Guardian deletes reference to Palestinians, CNN labels synagogue ‘mosque’, BBC: no pictures of victim of terror

World media coverage of Jerusalem terror attack raises eyebrows in Israel.

CNN Jerusalem terrorThe Jerusalem Post (Nov 18) — From mistaking the Har Nof synagogue where Tuesday’s terror attack took place for a mosque, to deleting references to Palestinian perpetrators, some of the international media continued to report on the events in Israel in an eyebrow-raising manner on Tuesday.

The website of British newspaper The Guardian ran a story about the attack from Reuters. The wire dispatch the agency sent included the headline ‘Palestinians kill four in Jerusalem synagogue attack’ and led with the sentence:  ”Two Palestinians armed with a meat cleaver and a gun killed four people in a Jerusalem synagogue on Tuesday before being shot dead by police….”

However The Guardian changed their headline to “Four worshippers killed in attack on Jerusalem synagogue” and in their lead, they also excised any reference to Palestinians, publishing:  “Two men armed with axes, knives and a pistol have killed four Israelis and wounded several others in a Jerusalem synagogue …”

In another questionable slant on its coverage, CBC headline their report on the attack with: “Jerusalem police fatally shoot 2 after apparent synagogue attack.”
CNN headline gaffeIn a reporting gaffe, CNN superimposed their preliminary coverage of the terror attack with the headline: “Deadly attack on Jerusalem mosque.”

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“BBC to Bennett: We don’t want to see victims of terrorism” November 14:

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A BBC interviewer refused to allow Economy Minister Naftali Bennett show a photograph of victims of the terrorist attack in Jerusalem in an interview Tuesday morning.

Bennett appeared on BBC World News after a Palestinian spokesman, who claimed that Jews were murdering Palestinians in Jerusalem.

The Bayit Yehudi leader responded: “The fact is that [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] himself incites and tells the Arabs ‘take arms and fight the Jews.'”

Bennett’s comments echoed earlier remarks calling Abbas one of the biggest terrorists of the Palestinian people and blaming him for the bloodshed.

Then, Bennett lifted a photo of the scene of the terrorist attack, depicting a man in a tallit lying face down on the floor of a synagogue.

“You know, this individual came this morning to pray,” Bennett said, pointing at the man in the picture.

“We don’t want to actually see that picture, if you could take that down,” the interviewer shot back.

Bennett continued: “This individual came this morning to pray, just like many Muslims and many Jews went to pray this morning. The Muslims went home safe [sic], but four Jews will never come home again.”

The clip soon made waves on social media, after Bennett shared it.

British journalist Jake Wallis Simons, who was covered Israel extensively for The Telegraph, among other major news sources tweeted: “BBC refuses to show picture of murdered Jewish worshiper. Didn’t have a problem with dead Gazans, I recall.”

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Graphic images: Scene from inside Jerusalem synagogue hit by terror attack

Video and pictures released from scene of gruesome terror attack in capital.

Photo: Israel Government Press Office

Photo: Israel Government Press Office

The Jerusalem Post (Nov 18) — Images of blood trails in the Jerusalem synagogue emerged on Tuesday after two Palestinians armed with a meat cleaver and a gun killed four people before being shot dead by police, the deadliest such incident in six years in the Holy City amid a surge in religious conflict.

A worshiper who attended the morning service in the Kehillat Bnei Torah synagogue in an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of West Jerusalem said about 25 people were praying when shooting broke out.

Pictures posted by an Israeli army spokesman on the Internet showed a man in a Jewish prayer shawl lying dead, a bloodied butcher’s cleaver discarded on the floor and several overturned prayer tables.

Israel’s ambulance service said at least eight people were seriously wounded.

Photo: Israel Government Press Office

Photo: Israel Government Press Office

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Israeli FM: Collaborating with radical Islamists is “perilous thinking”

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman for the Jerusalem Post, “You can’t invite an arsonist to help put out a fire,” November 13, 2014:

The first step to mobilizing moderate forces in the Middle East in an effective coalition against the violent fanaticism of the region’s terrorist groups and their state backers.

Khamenei twitterExperience shows that employing one group of radicals as a counter-balance against another is ill-advised. This has been the hard-learned lesson in numerous arenas around the world, whether in the Middle East or elsewhere. The Soviet period in Afghanistan and its aftermath comes to mind as a case in point.

Radical Islamist forces and their state sponsors may collaborate with Western powers in the very short term in order to confront their rivals. But ultimately they will not veer away from their aggressive agenda which pits them irrevocably against the West and everything it stands for. To hope otherwise is wishful – and perilous – thinking.

Iran, in particular, exemplifies what happens when a fanatic ideology is adopted by the machinery of state.

The implications are felt by Israel of course, as well as by the many moderate elements in the region that fear Iran’s hegemonic ambitions and bear the brunt of the regional insurrection which it fosters.

The leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, a few days ago once again called for Israel’s elimination, writing that Israel “has no cure but to be annihilated.” This latest outburst, just ahead of the November 24 deadline for the talks on Tehran’s nuclear program, is a clear signal of Iran’s sinister intent with regard to Israel.

The Iranian leader’s statement was issued against a backdrop of open indications that his regime is continuing with the military dimensions of its nuclear program, in defiance of its agreements with the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Western powers.

Echoing statements made by IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano in recent weeks, the agency’s latest report, released several days ago, underscored that it “remains concerned about the possible existence in Iran of undisclosed nuclear related activities involving military related organizations, including activities related to the development of nuclear payload for a missile.”

Such careful language communicates the rapid development of nuclear weapons technology which continues apace in Iran, in parallel with its stalling tactics at the negotiating table.

Even as it continues with its race for nuclear weapons, Iran persists in stirring up regional unrest by training and financing terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah and Hamas and by backing violent Shi’ite factions, for instance in Iraq, Bahrain and Yemen. Moderate Arab regimes understand only too well the threat posed to them by these Iranian proxies and by Iran’s regional ambitions in general.

Thus, Iran cannot be usefully enlisted to assist in the fight against Islamic State, just as Iran’s ally the Assad regime cannot be helpful in curbing the advance of Islamic State, Jabhat a-Nusra, al-Qaida or the many other terrorist entities running rampant throughout the region. Similarly, the Muslim Brotherhood cannot serve as a partner in the fostering of democracy and human rights. States and organizations that themselves train, finance and equip terrorist groups and that foster regional instability cannot be expected to serve as reliable partners in defeating radicalism.

The first step to mobilizing moderate forces in the Middle East in an effective coalition against the violent fanaticism of the region’s terrorist groups and their state backers is to realize that there is no artificial distinction between “good” radicals and “bad” radicals…

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Top US general: Israel protected civilian lives in Gaza

Chairman of Joint Chiefs Martin Dempsey says IDF went to ‘extraordinary lengths’ to save innocents; America studying methods

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Times of Israel — Israel went to “extraordinary lengths” to prevent civilian casualties during this summer’s conflict in the Gaza Strip, the top US military leader said Thursday.

“I actually do think that Israel went to extraordinary lengths to limit collateral damage and civilian casualties,” said General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, during a forum at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs in New York City.

“In this kind of conflict, where you are held to a standard that your enemy is not held to, you’re going to be criticized for civilian casualties,” he added, according to Reuters.

The Hamas tunnels “caused the IDF some significant challenges,” Dempsey said. “But they did some extraordinary things to try to limit civilian casualties, to include… making it known that they were going to destroy a particular structure.”

Dempsey listed Israel Defense Forces measures such as the “roof-knocking” and the dropping of warning leaflets as part of their attempts to protect civilian lives.

“The IDF is not interested in creating civilian casualties. They’re interested in stopping the shooting of rockets and missiles out of the Gaza Strip and into Israel,” Dempsey argued.

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Why Abbas Will Not Condemn Terror Attacks

Khaled Abu Toameh, an Arab Muslim, is a veteran award-winning journalist who has been covering Palestinian affairs for nearly three decades. He studied at Hebrew University and began his career as a reporter by working for a PLO-affiliated newspaper in Jerusalem. Abu Toameh currently works for the international media, serving as the ‘eyes and ears’ of foreign journalists in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

By Khaled Abu Toameh for the Gatestone Institute (Nov 12):

  • Secretary of State Kerry’s “peace process” actually put Israelis and Palestinians on a new collision course.
  • Not a single Palestinian Authority official has denounced the wave of terror attacks on Israel. They, too, are afraid of being condemned by their people for denouncing “heroic operations” such as ramming a car into a three-month old infant.
  • Kerry and other Western leaders do not want to understand that Abbas is not authorized to make any concessions for peace with Israel. For Abbas, it is more convenient to be criticized by the U.S. and Israel than to be denounced by his own people. Ignoring these facts, Kerry tried to pressure Abbas into making concessions that would have turned the Palestinian Authority president into a “traitor” in the eyes of his people. Abbas knows that the people he has radicalized would turn against him if he dared to speak out against the killing of Jews.

The recent spate of terror attacks in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and the West Bank did not come as a surprise to those who have been following the ongoing incitement campaign waged by Palestinians against Israel.

This campaign escalated immediately after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s last failed “peace process” between Israel and the Palestinians. Kerry’s “peace process” actually put Israelis and Palestinians on a new collision course, which reached its peak with the recent terror attacks on Israelis.

Kerry failed to acknowledge that Palestinian Authority [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas does not have a mandate from his people to negotiate, let alone sign, any agreement with Israel. Abbas is now in the tenth year of his four-year term in office.

Nor did Kerry listen to the advice of those who warned him and his aides that Abbas would not be able to implement any agreement with Israel on the ground. Abbas cannot even visit his private house in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, and he controls less than 40% of the West Bank. Where exactly did Kerry expect Abbas to implement any agreement with Israel? In the city-center of Ramallah or Nablus?

What Kerry and other Western leaders do not want to understand is that Abbas is not authorized to make any concessions for peace with Israel, and has even repeatedly promised his people that he would not make any concessions for the sake of peace with Israel.

In a speech in Ramallah on November 11, marking the tenth anniversary of the death of his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, Abbas declared: “He who surrenders one grain of the soil of Palestine and Jerusalem is not one of us.”

This statement alone should be enough for Kerry and Western leaders to realize that it would be impossible to ask Abbas to make any concessions. Like Arafat, Abbas has become hostage to his own rhetoric. How can Abbas be expected to accept any deal that does not include 100% of his demands — in this instance, all territory captured by Israel in 1967?

Abbas himself knows that if he comes back with 97% or 98% of his demands, his people will either spit in is face or kill him, after accusing him of being a “defeatist” and “relinquishing Palestinian rights.”

This is precisely why Abbas chose to walk out of Kerry’s nine-month “peace process.” Realizing that Israel was not going to offer him 100% of his demands, Abbas preferred to abandon the peace talks last summer.

… During the past few months, Abbas, Hamas and Islamic Jihad have radicalized Palestinians to a point where it has become laughable even to talk about any peace process with Israel.

Abbas is well aware that his people will condemn him if he ever returns to the negotiating table with Israel. That is why he has now chosen a different strategy — to try to impose a solution with the help of the United Nations and the international community.

Abbas wants the international community and UN Security Council to give him what Israel cannot and will not offer him at the negotiating table.

The incitement campaign against Israel is reminiscent of the atmosphere that prevailed in the West Bank and Gaza Strip immediately after the botched Camp David summit in the summer of 2000. Then, Yasser Arafat also walked away from the table after realizing that Israel was not offering him all that he was asking for, namely a full withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines.

Upon his return from Camp David, Arafat also unleashed a wave of incitement against Israel; eventually the incitement led to the eruption of the second intifada in September 2000.

Now Abbas is following in the footsteps of Arafat by stepping up his rhetorical attacks on Israel. This time, Hamas and other terror groups have joined Abbas’s incitement campaign by openly calling on Palestinians to use cars and knives to kill Jews in order to “defend” the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Abbas’s refusal to condemn the recent terror attacks on Israel may be attributed to two motives: fear of his people, and the belief that violence will force Israel to make far-reaching concessions. By refusing to denounce the attacks, and even praising the perpetrators as heroes and martyrs (as he did in the case of Mu’taz Hijazi, the east Jerusalem man who shot and wounded Jewish activist Rabbi Yehuda Glick), Abbas is indicating his tacit approval of the violence.

Not a single Palestinian Authority official, in fact, has denounced the wave of terror attacks on Israel. They, too, are afraid of being condemned by their people for denouncing “heroic operations” such as the stabbing murder of a 26-year-old woman or ramming a car into a three-month-old infant.

Victims of what official Palestinian Authority media organs call "heroic operations": Left, Dalia Lamkus, 26, run over and then stabbed to death by a terrorist on Nov. 10. Right: Three-month-old Chaya Zissel Braun, murdered on Oct. 23 when a terrorist rammed a car into her stroller. Several other victims were killed or injured in these attacks.

Victims of what official Palestinian Authority media organs call “heroic operations”: Left, Dalia Lamkus, 26, run over and then stabbed to death by a terrorist on Nov. 10. Right: Three-month-old Chaya Zissel Braun, murdered on Oct. 23 when a terrorist rammed a car into her stroller. Several other victims were killed or injured in these attacks.

Abbas is hoping that the terror attacks will keep the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the top of the world’s agenda at a time when all eyes are turned toward the threat of the Islamic State terror group in Syria and Iraq. He also knows very well that the people he has radicalized would turn against him if he dared to speak out against the killing of Jews.

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The Two Words the PLO Doesn’t Want the Media to Use

It’s Judaism’s holiest site — but reporters are being told not to call it by its Jewish name.

Temple Mount compound with The Dome of the Rock

Temple Mount compound with The Dome of the Rock

TheBlaze (Nov 9) — The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has issued an advisory to the international media expressing “concern” over reporters’ widespread use of the term “Temple Mount” which it called “inaccurate” when referring to the third holiest site in Islam and the holiest site in the Jewish faith.

Instead, it suggested reporters use the term the “Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound.”

The official Palestinian Authority news agency WAFA Saturday reported on the advisory which was issued on Wednesday by the PLO’s Negotiations Affairs Department.

“All international media representatives are advised to adhere to international law and correct any other existing terminology used,” read the statement. “The Al-Aqsa Mosque compound is not a disputed territory and all other terms, therefore, are null and void.”

Supporters of Israel – and even some journalists – have contended that Palestinian officials, including from Hamas, have tried to hide information and intimidate reporters in an effort to secure more favorable coverage.

The pro-Israel media watchdog, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), called the PLO advisory the latest attempt “to erase the perception among the public of Jewish connection to the Temple Mount and to Jerusalem.”

“It remains to be seen which international media outlets will dutifully follow these marching orders,” CAMERA sarcastically noted.

The PLO media advisory did not once refer to the Jewish connection to the site. The Temple Mount is believed to be where both the First and Second Temples once stood, and Jews worldwide pray in its direction.

… Also absent from the advisory was any mention of Palestinians throwing rocks and firecrackers from inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque at Israeli police as documented in video posted of clashes last week.

During the summer hostilities, the Foreign Press Association issued a protest about harassment and threats international journalists working in Gaza faced. The use of reporters as human shields was documented when Palestinian terrorists were seen launching rockets next to live network television positions.

The PLO advisory came one week after the shooting of Rabbi Yehuda Glick, a prominent advocate for the right of Jews to pray on the Temple Mount who was shot at point-blank range by a Palestinian gunman.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas sent a condolence letter to the family of the gunman, Mu’taz Hijazi who was killed in a subsequent shootout with Israeli police, praising him as a “martyr” who was “defending the rights of our people and its holy places.”

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Hamas among richest terror groups worldwide – second only to ISIS

Forbes Israel ranks 10 wealthiest terror organizations; Palestinian group comes ahead of Hezbollah, Al-Qaida and Taliban.

Hamas leader Khaled Meshal speaks during a speech held in Doha, Qatar, Augst 28, 2014. Photo by AP

Hamas leader Khaled Meshal speaks during a speech held in Doha, Qatar, Augst 28, 2014. Photo by AP

Haaretz (Nov 12) — Hamas is one of the two richest terrorist organizations in the world, second only to the Islamic State group, according to Forbes Israel.

To finance their operations, terrorist groups sometime use methods similar to those used by criminal organizations, such as drug trafficking, robberies and extortion, but also raise money through charities, donations and, in some cases, government agencies, according to the report. A terrorist organization, like any other large organization, has a business model to finance its activities: from maintenance, salaries and trainings, to acquiring of weapons and vehicles.

The richest terrorist organization today – and in history – is the Islamic State. According to Forbes, the Islamist group, also known by the acronyms ISIS or ISIL, has an annual turnover of $2 billion. Hamas comes in second, with a yearly revenue of $1 billion.

As for the rest of the list: Colombia’s FARC is ranked third with $600 million; Hezbollah is fourth with $500 million; fifth is the Taliban with $400 million; Al-Qaida and its affiliates with $150 million; Pakistani-based Lashkar e-Taiba with $100 million; Somalia’s Al-Shabaab with $100 million; Real IRA with $50 million; and, closing the top-ten list is Boko Haram, with $25 million annual revenue.

The U.S. Treasury estimates that ISIS earns $1 million a day from the sale of crude oil from fields it captured in Syria and Iraq. According to Forbes Israel, however, the figure is closer to $3 million a day. The money flow enables ISIS to expand its operations in the Middle East, recruit foreign fighters and train them, among other things.

The report describes Hamas’ takeover of Gaza in 2007 as the point from which it entered “the big league.” Today, Hamas is now no longer only dependent on donations, but is able to collect taxes from both civilians and businesses. But that’s not all. The report says Hamas also takes a cut out of all international aid donated to Gaza by Arab and other foreign countries.

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‘Car intifada’ cartoon campaign encourages vehicular attacks

Palestinians distribute cartoons likening cars to Hamas rockets on social networks in wake of wave of vehicular terror attacks.

Ynet (Nov 7) — After two vehicular terror attacks occurred on Wednesday, wounding 16 people and killing one, Palestinians have termed their latest resistance efforts a “car intifada” and are posting cartoons online likening vehicles to rockets launched by Hamas during Operation Protective Edge.

Following the wave of attacks in which drivers ploughed their cars into groups of people, which started two weeks ago with the attack that took place at the Ammunition Hill light-rail stop, killing 3-month-old Haya Ziesl Baron and Ecuadorian Karen Mosquera (22) – Palestinians came to understand that vehicles could potentially be used as lethal weapons.

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Hamas, whose officials praised on Wednesday the terror attack in Jerusalem, is fueling the fire and is attempting – through vehicular attacks – to initiate an intifada.

During the past day, many cartoons were distributed on social networks following the terror attacks. In one of them, which garnered significant popularity, the word “daes” appears (‘run over’ in Arabic), alluding to the jihadist organization Daesh, which is the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State.56806095100089490490no[1] A different cartoon terms the situation a “car intifiada”, and similar to the first cartoon, features the word “run over”.

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Yet another cartoon likens a vehicle to a weapon, bearing some similarity to the Hezbollah flag. The caption reads: “Object – even with your car”.

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