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Iran Arms Palestinians for New War with Israel

October 30th, 2014

The Washington Free Beacon
By Adam Kredo, October 16, 2014

Ayatollah: ‘Fighting the Zionist regime is a war of destiny’

Ali Khamenei / AP

Ali Khamenei / AP

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei promised increased support for Palestinian terrorists and urged them to stockpile arms in anticipation of a new war on Israel, according to public comments made Thursday following his meeting with members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terror group.

“Fighting the Zionist regime [Israel] is a war of destiny,” Khamenei said after a meeting with PIJ’s secretary general, according to Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency.

Khamenei instructed Palestinians to “intensify their fight against the Israeli regime” and vowed that Iran would continue to arm Palestinian terrorists in both the Gaza Strip and West Bank, according to Fars.

All Palestinian terrorists groups—with Iran’s support—should rearm and prepare for another war with Israel, Khamenei said.

“The resistance movements in Palestine should boost their preparedness day by day and reinforce their power resources inside Gaza,” Khamenei was quoted as saying Thursday, less than two months after Israel launched an intense several week war against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.

Khamenei maintained that the most recent war with Israel, in which thousands of terror rockets were dropped on the Jewish people, marked the start of the “divine promise” of destroying the Jewish state.

The supreme leader also discussed the importance of arming terrorists in the West Bank, which is controlled by the more moderate Fatah Party.

Iran said in late August, days after the last war officially ended, that Tehran had stepped up arm shipments to the West Bank.

“The enemy should feel the same worries in the West Bank as it does in Gaza,” Khamenei said on Thursday, adding that Tehran will continue its support for the Palestinian “resistance.”

“The Islamic Republic and the Iranian people are proud of your victory and resistance, and hope that the back-to-back triumphs of resistance groups will continue until final victory,” he was quoted as saying.

PIJ Secretary General Ramazan Abdullah thanked Khamenei for Iran’s ongoing support for terrorism against Israel.

“Definitely, the victory was achieved with the assistance of the Islamic Republic,” Abdullah was quoted as saying by Fars following his meeting with Khamenei in Tehran. “Without Iran’s strategic and efficient help, resistance and victory in Gaza would have been impossible.”

Iran’s “arming” of the Palestinian factions in the West Bank has been “strategic and effective,” according to Abdullah, who also noted that Tehran’s support has “re-energized the Palestinian fighters and raised their spirit,” according to Fars.

Additionally, Iran on Thursday sent a plane of what it claimed is humanitarian aid and food to the Palestinians. The aid was said to be delivered via Egypt, according to Fars.

“The society has dispatched aid packages, including tents, blankets, food, and medical products worth $890,000 to Gaza,” the Iranian Red Crescent announced on Thursday.

As the Obama administration contemplates extending nuclear talks with Iran through the November deadline, sources on Capitol Hill are warning that there is no way to stem Iran’s support for terrorism.

The potential extension of talks through November, which already marked the second deadline for progress in the negotiations, has experts and lawmakers worried that the Obama administration will concede to Tehran’s demands that it be permitted to enrich uranium.

“With the Obama administration poised to extend nuclear talks with Tehran once again, it’s business as usual for the Iranian regime, which continues to brazenly fund and incite terrorism across the Middle East,” said one senior congressional aide who works on foreign policy issues. “Almost a year of negotiations has only served to boost Iran’s economy, embolden its leaders, and buy Iran more time to continue its quest for nuclear weapons.”

IDF confirms Hamas planned massive tunnel attack

October 28th, 2014

Times of Israel
By Stuart Winer and Mitch Ginsburg, October 21, 2014

Coordinated assault, thwarted by summer’s ground offensive, would have seen 200 gunmen pour into Israel to wreak mayhem, army says

A photo released by the IDF shows a Hamas tunnel discovered by soldiers from the Paratroopers Brigade in the Northern Gaza Strip on July 18, 2014. (photo credit: IDF Spokesperson/Flash90)

A photo released by the IDF shows a Hamas tunnel discovered by soldiers from the Paratroopers Brigade in the Northern Gaza Strip on July 18, 2014. (photo credit: IDF Spokesperson/Flash90)

 

IDF officials confirmed Tuesday that Hamas had planned to carry out a massive assault by penetrating Israeli communities via tunnels under the border from the Gaza Strip, and then killing or kidnapping as many people as possible.

IDF Spokesperson Peter Lerner said the terror group planned to use the tunnels to attack civilian areas in Israel and “inflict mass casualties,” in a report published Tuesday by Vanity Fair.

“Hamas had a plan,” Lerner said. “A simultaneous, coordinated, surprise attack within Israel.”

The assault was based on using tunnels, dug under the border by Hamas, as a means of entry into Israel.

“They planned to send 200 terrorists armed to the teeth toward civilian populations,” Lerner said. “This was going to be a coordinated attack. The concept of operations involved 14 offensive tunnels into Israel. With at least 10 men in each tunnel, they would infiltrate and inflict mass casualties.”

Lerner confirmed his statement to The Times of Israel, saying the IDF’s Military Intelligence had painted a picture of Hamas intentions to use the tunnels in a coordinated and strategic manner.​

Weapons found inside a tunnel near Kibbutz Sufa on the Israel-Gaza border on July 17, 2014. (photo credit: IDF Spokesperson’s Office/Flash90)

Weapons found inside a tunnel near Kibbutz Sufa on the Israel-Gaza border on July 17, 2014. (photo credit: IDF Spokesperson’s Office/Flash90)

“We have no specific date but they absolutely intended to use strategic points of access for multiple coordinated attacks,” he said.

Some of the details had earlier been reported by Israeli news site NRG, citing an unnamed security official. However, officials had refused to confirm the report, which set the date for the attack at the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah in early fall.

​Lerner said the hesitation to confirm the report surrounded the date. “The sensationalism was around Rosh Hashanah,” he said. “There was no specific date.”

An unnamed security official told Vanity Fair that while it was possible the attack had been planned for Rosh Hashanah, Hamas was forced to abandon its strategy once a summer war was launched, during which Israel destroyed dozens of the tunnels.

Lerner’s statements were supported by unnamed military intelligence officials who noted that Hamas aimed to inflict massive damage on IDF and civilian targets while also scoring a morbid publicity coup, according to Vanity Fair.

“First, get in and massacre people in a village,” one official explained. “Pull off something they could show on television. Second, the ability to kidnap soldiers and civilians using the tunnels would give them a great bargaining chip.”

In 2006, Hamas operatives used a tunnel to kill two soldiers and capture a third, Gilad Shalit, who they eventually traded for over a thousand prisoners.

Destroying the tunnels was one of Israel’s main objectives during Operation Protective Edge, the 50-day conflict fought between Israel and Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip.

Israel said it destroyed 38 tunnels, many of which crossed into Israel and were planned for Hamas attacks.

Soldiers from the Givati Brigade seen at the entrance to a Hamas ‘attack tunnel’ on Wednesday, July 23, 2014. (photo credit: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit/Flash90)

Soldiers from the Givati Brigade seen at the entrance to a Hamas ‘attack tunnel’ on Wednesday, July 23, 2014. (photo credit: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit/Flash90)

During the war, Hamas gunmen emerged from the tunnels on several occasions to ambush IDF forces, killing several soldiers.

Hamas leader Khalid Mashaal told Vanity Fair the tunnels were only for defensive operations against Israeli forces.

“The tunnels may have been outwardly called ‘offensive tunnels,’ but in actual fact they are ‘defensive’ ones’,” he said, according to the magazine report.

Mashaal dismissed the fact that many of the tunnels led to Israeli civilian communities near the border as being circumstantial.

“There are Israeli towns adjacent to Gaza,” he noted. “Have any of the tunnels been used to kill any civilian or any of the residents of such towns? No. Never! . . . [Hamas] used them either to strike beyond the back lines of the Israeli army or to raid some military sites . . . This proves that Hamas is only defending itself.”

Exactly when the planned attack was supposed to go ahead remains unclear.

Lerner suggested that the massive attack scenario played itself out, to a lesser degree, on July 21, when two Hamas squads, operating in tandem, emerged near Kibbutz Erez and Kibbutz Nir-Am during the 50-day campaign in and around Gaza this summer.

Several days later, NRG reported that Hamas, before the beginning of Operation Protective Edge, had been planning a mega attack inside Israel. The plan, a security source reportedly told the site, was to push 200 terrorists into Israel, attacking multiple sites and taking multiple hostages during the Jewish new year holiday of Rosh Hashanah.

Ultimately, the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers set in motion a chain of events that led up to the conflict during which the Hamas plan was disrupted as Israel worked to locate and smash the tunnel infrastructure.

A Palestinian woman takes some of her belongings from her partially destroyed home across the street from where a high rise apartment building, that Israel said was used as a Hamas command center in Gaza City, was targeted by Israeli air strikes overnight on August 26, 2014. (photo credit: AFP/ROBERTO SCHMIDT)

A Palestinian woman takes some of her belongings from her partially destroyed home across the street from where a high rise apartment building, that Israel said was used as a Hamas command center in Gaza City, was targeted by Israeli air strikes overnight on August 26, 2014. (photo credit: AFP/ROBERTO SCHMIDT)

Israel blamed the kidnapping on Hamas, but Mashaal said that while the abduction was carried out by “Hamas field operatives,” the group gave no orders for the attack.

Some 2,100 Gazans were killed during the summer conflict, according to Palestinian and UN tallies. Israel says about half of the casualties were fighters.

Seventy-two people were killed on the Israeli side, including 66 soldiers and six civilians, as Hamas shot thousands of rockets into the country. Eleven soldiers were killed in attacks by Hamas gunmen emerging from the tunnels during the summer conflict.

Ben Shapiro: The Myth of the Tiny Radical Muslim Minority

October 24th, 2014

TruthRevoltOriginals, October 15, 2014

Ben Shapiro takes on Ben Affleck and the myth that only a tiny minority of Muslims worldwide are radical.

Christian Mother of Five Death Sentence for Blasphemy Upheld by Pakistani Court

October 22nd, 2014

The Christian Post
By Stoyan Zaimov, October 17, 2014

Protesters demand release of Asia Bibi, in Lahore, Pakistan, November 21, 2010.

Protesters demand release of Asia Bibi, in Lahore, Pakistan, November 21, 2010.

The death sentence of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman and mother of five children, was upheld by the Lahore High Court in Pakistan on Thursday. Bibi has been convicted of blasphemy for drinking from the same bowl of water as Muslims and making derogatory comments about the prophet Muhammad.

“The case against Asia Bibi is a great example of how Christians and other religious minorities are abused in Pakistan by fundamentalists wielding the controversial blasphemy laws. The blasphemy laws were originally written to protect against religious intolerance in Pakistan, but the law has warped into a tool used by extremists and others to settle personal scores and persecute Pakistan’s vulnerable religious minorities,” said International Christian Concern’s Regional Manager for South Asia, William Stark.

“Sadly, the vast majority of blasphemy accusations brought against Christians and others are false. Unfortunately, pressure from Islamic radical groups and general discrimination against Christians in Pakistan has transformed trial courts and now appeals courts into little more than rubber stamps for blasphemy accusations brought against Christians, regardless of the evidence brought to bear in the case.”

Bibi was sentenced in 2010 following an incident in 2009 where she was harvesting berries with a group of Muslim women in Sheikhupura. The Muslim women accused her of drinking from the same water bowl as them, which was considered unclean as she is a Christian. Following an argument, the women went to a local cleric and told him that Bibi had blasphemed against Islam.

BBC News noted that the sentencing sparked global condemnation from several human rights groups, who criticized Pakistan’s harsh blasphemy laws. ICC and other critics of these laws say that they are often used to settle personal scores and unfairly target minorities, especially Christians.

Bibi’s appeal hearing was initially scheduled to take place on March 17, but was delayed and rescheduled, before finally taking place on Thursday. The Christian mother’s lawyers have said that they will take the case to the country’s Supreme Court.

Earlier this year, Christian mother Meriam Ibrahim was spared the death penalty and allowed to go free by the court in Sudan, after having initially been found guilty of refusing to identify as a Muslim and for marrying her Christian husband. Ibrahim’s freedom was won in part thanks to a huge international campaign that petitioned for her release, which included pressure on Sudan from several American politicians, such as Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.

Israeli prof.: US lagging behind on Ebola precautions

October 18th, 2014

Times of Israel
By Times of Israel Staff and AP, October 17, 2014

Screening passengers using infrared cameras is a no-brainer, says BGU’s Leslie Lobel, who has been working on cure for a decade.

Emergency crews stand next to a plane, carrying 163 people, at the Madrid Airport, Spain, Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014. An Air France plane was isolated at Madrid's airport on Thursday because of a suspected Ebola case after a passenger was reported to have a fever and shivers, officials said. (Photo credit: AP/Antoni Manchado)

Emergency crews stand next to a plane, carrying 163 people, at the Madrid Airport, Spain, Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014. An Air France plane was isolated at Madrid’s airport on Thursday because of a suspected Ebola case after a passenger was reported to have a fever and shivers, officials said. (Photo credit: AP/Antoni Manchado)

The airport screening of passengers for Ebola using infrared cameras to detect temperatures is a simple, obvious precautionary measure, said an Israeli expert in the field.

According to Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Professor Leslie Lobel, “the world has been asleep for 50 years regarding infectious diseases and Ebola is the wake-up call.”

Lobel is a world-recognized virologist who has studied the virus and others emanating from the African continent.

“Fifty years ago, we were dealing with eradicating polio, smallpox and yellow fever which had similarly high mortality rates. Today, most of the world seems to understand the need to screen passengers in airports using infrared cameras for elevated temperature as a simple precaution — the US is lagging behind,” said Dr. Lobel.

Dr. Leslie Lobel in the lab

Dr. Leslie Lobel in the lab. (photo credit: Dani Machlis/Courtesy Ben-Gurion University of the Negev)

The American-Israeli professor has been researching a cure for hemorrhagic fever viruses, including Ebola, for a decade, the university said in a press release.

The US and other countries started implementing screenings at airports earlier this month, weeks after the outbreak began in West Africa.

On Friday, Israeli officials conducted an Ebola identification training exercise at Ben Gurion International Airport outside Tel Aviv.

As part of the drill, officials administered first aid and evacuated anybody with a high temperature — and who arrived from countries where the Ebola virus is active — to the Sheba Medical Center, near Tel Aviv, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

A meeting of top Health Ministry officials decided this week that should any Ebola cases be detected in Israel, they will be quarantined and treated either at Sheba or at the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a conference call Thursday to review the exercise procedures with Health Minister, Yael German; Health Ministry director, Prof. Arnon Afek; and director general of Ben Gurion Airport, Shmuel Zakai.

Netanyahu ordered increased preparations at all points of entry into the country, including taking the temperature of travelers arriving from affected areas in West Africa.

Earlier Friday, the World Health Organization admitted that it botched attempts to stop the now-spiraling Ebola outbreak in West Africa, blaming factors including incompetent staff and a lack of information.

“Nearly everyone involved in the outbreak response failed to see some fairly plain writing on the wall,” WHO said in a draft internal document obtained by The Associated Press, noting that experts should have realized that traditional containment methods wouldn’t work in a region with porous borders and broken health systems.

Hamas Threatens Jews to Leave Israel — Or Else

October 15th, 2014

Arutz Sheva
By Dalit Halevy and Tova Dvorin, October 12, 2014

“We will not keep you [Jews] in our country,” Hamas political official warns, ahead of Cairo conference.

Hamas terrorists in Gaza

Hamas terrorists in Gaza. Flash 90

Hamas leader Khalil al-Haya insisted that Hamas “would not abandon its weapons” on Saturday, boasting that the group is allegedly closer to defeating “the Israeli entity and its leaders” more than ever.

“We say to those who brought the Jews [to Israel] from all over the world, we are now confident and believe more than ever in the implementation of the promise of Allah – that we will not keep you [Jews] in our country,” Al-Haya threatened. “The option available to you is to leave the country for its native residents [Palestinian Arabs].”

Al-Haya added, in this context, that Hamas is “paving the way” for the success of the Palestinian “unity government,” noting that Sunday’s talks for international aid for Gaza in Cairo legitimizes the terror group politically and proves that war works.

He expressed confidence that the process of reconstruction in the Gaza Strip will be accelerated due to the conference, and that the “armed resistance” is not a burden, but rather a boon to the Palestinian Arab PR war on Israel.

Hours earlier, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri threatened to wage war against Israel once again, unless the international community forcibly intervened in Israel’s foreign policies to remove travel and import restrictions on the terror government.

“If the international community wishes that the situation will not blow up again, it must step in and resolve the situation and handle it through a real and serious removal of the siege,” Abu Zuhri stated.

This is not the first time that the Palestinian Arab world has threatened Jews – publicly and in official media – with exile or even death.

In May, Hamas threatened the wide Jewish world with genocide pledging to kill immigrants to Israel in a cartoon published in its official Palestine (Arabic: Falastin) daily. The publication was later among many shut down by the Israeli government.

The Jews can save Columbus Day

October 14th, 2014
Rabbi Barbara Aiello is the first woman and first non-orthodox rabbi in Italy.

Rabbi Barbara Aiello is the first woman and first non-orthodox rabbi in Italy.

The Times of Israel
Blog post by Barbara Aiello, October 11, 2014

“In Fourteen Hundred and Ninety-Two…”

Everyone can finish the first line of the famous poem with “Columbus sailed the ocean blue.”

The Columbus poem, whose official title is “The History of the U. S.,” was written by Winifred Sackville Stoner, Jr., a child prodigy whose mother pioneered the Natural Education Movement, an innovative pedagogy designed to make learning fun. Using rhyming couplets to remember important facts, little Winnie, Jr. penned the poem whose first two lines almost any American can recite.

But it’s not just Winnie’s poem that celebrates the famous explorer. Columbus Day was celebrated unofficially as early as the 18th century and finally became a federal holiday in 1937. Yet even though the poem ends with the disclaimer, “The first American? No, not quite. But Columbus was brave, and he was bright,” a number of groups nationwide want the holiday abolished. Some would like to deep six Columbus Day and replace it with one that recalls that Native Americans were here first and didn’t need discovering, thank you very much.

Anthony J. Baratta, National President of the Order of the Sons of Italy in America feels differently. In a recent memo to OSIA members Baratta writes, “More than five hundred years ago, a strong man with an unmistakably Italian name took a world divided in half and made it whole. When Cristoforo Colombo crossed a huge, dark ocean, he joined the Old World of Europe to the New World of what was to become America. His voyage changed the world forever.”

Opponents would agree but not for the same reasons. For example, Nadra Kareem Nittle, in an article “The Argument Against Columbus Day,” writes “…the Italian explorer’s arrival in the New World ushered in genocide against indigenous peoples as well as the transatlantic slave trade.” Nittle and others feel the holiday should be abolished.

So as the argument rages on, I propose a solution. Since Columbus was most likely an Italian Jew, organizations that represent these two minorities could join forces and celebrate Columbus for the hero that he was — an Italian Jewish explorer whose devotion to Judaism impacted lives and saved many.

Yes, Columbus was Jewish.

In a 2012 CNN opinion piece, Charles Garcia summarizes what historians had long suspected and recently corroborated — that Cristobol Colon` was a secret Jew, a maranno, who worked to save his fellow Jews from the horrors of persecution brought on by the Inquisition authorities who were determined to rid Spain of its Jewish population.

Garcia tells us that, according to Spanish historians and scholars, among them Jose Erugo, Celso Garcia de la Riega and Otero Sanchez, along with British historian, Cecil Roth and linguistics expert Estelle Irizarry, Columbus wrote and spoke in Castilian Spanish or Ladino that was the “Yiddish” of 15th century Spanish Jews. Columbus used Hebrew words and phrases in his correspondence, among them a Hebrew blessing meaning “with God’s help,” that most Spanish Jews used as well.

But it was Columbus’ actions that merit the most praise. At the time that he set sail, Jews routinely suffered horrible persecutions at the hands of the authorities of the Spanish Inquisition. Under threat of arrest and torture, Jews were forced to accept Christian conversion. Those who refused were often rounded up, driven to the center of town, tied to posts and burned alive. Thousands were driven from Spain after their homes were looted their businesses burned and their livelihood destroyed.

In his book, “Sails of Hope,” Simon Wiesenthal wrote about Columbus’ motivation for his voyages. Ironically, Wiesenthal writes that Columbus ultimately wanted to stem the tide of Jewish genocide by finding a safe haven for his Jewish brothers and sisters.

October 12, 1492 is important for two reasons. Obviously that was the day that Columbus set sail. What is not as well known is that October 12, 1492 was also the exact same date that Spanish Jews were, by law, given the choice of accepting forced conversion, leaving Spain or, if they remained they could be arrested, tortured and eventually killed.

Charles Garcia concludes that “As we witness bloodshed the world over in the name of religious freedom, it is valuable to take another look at the man who sailed the seas in search of such freedoms — landing in a place that would eventually come to hold such an ideal at its very core.”

I agree. Columbus Day can be saved and given this man’s remarkable history, it seems that we Italian Jews are uniquely positioned to do just that.

German Nationals Join Kurdish Army Fighting ISIL – video

October 14th, 2014

Genuinely Moderate Moslems
MEMRI.org

In late September, France 24 TV aired a report (posted below) about German Kurds returning to Iraq in order to join the Peshmerga forces fighting ISIL. According to the report, hundreds of European Kurds have already joined the fighting. The following is a transcript of the video.

Reporter: “When the sun goes down, the Peshmerga patrols return to base. Hussein and Lukman resemble the other fighters, but their story is different. They are Germans who came here three months ago to fight the Islamic State [in Syria and the Levant (ISIL)].

“50-year-old Lukman lived for 19 years in Germany where he worked as a truck driver. His wife and five children stayed behind in Munich.”

Lukman: “We heard that the terrorist organization known as the Islamic State was attacking our brothers. That’s why I decided to return and fight them. Many have returned (to fight), not only from my city, but from Cologne as well. Two of our men were killed in the town of Jalawla.”

Reporter: “Hussein Muhammad is from Cologne. Leaving behind his Kurdish orchestra, he exchanged his violin for a rifle. These two men both have battle experience. At the beginning of the 1990s, they fought in the Peshmerga against the Iraqi forces commanded by Saddam Hussein.

“Lukman shows us gruesome pictures – which we cannot show here – of corpses of ISIS fighters, which he took himself. He also shows us the explosives that awaited him and his comrades in a village.”

Lukman: “Look at the mines and explosives that they left in a village we attacked. The engineers managed to defuse them.”

Reporter: “Hundreds of European Kurds have returned to fight here. Another group awaits its turn.”

Hussein Muhammad: “Thank God [Allah] for the modern media in Germany, which enabled us to follow events here in real-time. We get calls every day from young men still in Germany asking how to get here to join us in battle. They are ready and willing to defend Kurdistan.”

Reporter: “When night falls, it is time to relax. Another day has gone by for Lukman and Hussein, who say that they will not return to Germany until the war is over.”

THE VIDEO
German Nationals Join Kurdish Army Fighting ISIS
France 24 Arabic TV (France) – September 28, 2014 – 02:22 (#4522)

Israeli Leader Says Iran Nuclear Program, Islamic State Twin Threat

October 13th, 2014

The Wall Street Journal
By Laurence Norman and Joshua Mitnic, September 29, 2014

Israel’s Prime Minister Warns Focus on Tehran’s Nuclear Program Is Blurred by Islamic State

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds up a photo said to be of a Hamas rocket as he addresses the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly on Monday. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds up a photo said to be of a Hamas rocket as he addresses the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly on Monday. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said defeating the radical group Islamic State but allowing Iran to move to the brink of nuclear weapons would be akin to losing the war against Islamic extremism.

Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly, Mr. Netanyahu equated Islamic State, also known as ISIS, with Hamas, Boko Haram in Nigeria, the Iranian regime and al Qaeda.

“The Islamic Republic is now trying to bamboozle its way to an agreement that will remove the sanctions it still faces and leave it with a capacity of thousands of…centrifuges to enrich uranium. This would effectively cement Iran’s place as a threshold military nuclear power,” he said.

Israeli PM has berated world leaders who condemned Israel for the conflict with Hamas, while praising the U.S. president for attacking Islamic State. WSJ’s Mark Kelly reports

“Make no mistake—ISIS must be defeated,” he said. “But to defeat ISIS and leave Iran as a threshold nuclear power is to win the battle but to lose the war.”

Iran is negotiating a comprehensive nuclear agreement with six powers to constrain its nuclear activities in exchange for a phased lifting of sanctions.

Tehran, which has been supporting the Syrian regime and the Iraqi government in their fight against Islamic State, denies it is seeking nuclear arms.

Mr. Netanyahu and Israeli officials have expressed concern in recent weeks that Western powers will make concessions to Iran in talks to gain its support in the battle against Islamic State.

The six-power group—the U.S., Germany, France, the U.K., Russia and China—have already accepted that Tehran should have some kind of future uranium enrichment program. In recent weeks, they have floated solutions to Iran, according to Western diplomats, which could leave some additional centrifuges in place but remove the infrastructure that makes them work.

U.S. officials have insisted any agreement must significantly lengthen the time it would take Iran to obtain enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon.

Israel has long demanded a solution that would leave Iran with no enrichment capacity and without the infrastructure of a nuclear program.

The international community shouldn’t be “fooled by Iran’s manipulative charm offensive,” Mr. Netanyahu warned.

“Once Iran produces atomic bombs, all the charms and all the smiles will suddenly disappear. And it’s then that the ayatollahs will show their true face,” he said.

“There’s only one responsible course of action to address this threat: Iran’s nuclear capabilities must be fully dismantled.”

Mr. Netanyahu argued that Islamic State, Iran, and the Palestinian militant group Hamas should all be considered part of the same “indivisible” threat of extremist Islam, which he said aims to spread throughout the globe like a “cancer.”

Turning to Hamas and Israel’s recent war with the Islamist rulers of Gaza, he lashed out at the United Nations Human Rights Council, which recently commissioned an inquiry into allegations of war crimes by the Israeli army. Holding up a poster-size picture purporting to show rocket launchers near Gaza children, he charged that the U.N. body was ignoring violations committed by Hamas, making it a “terrorist rights council.”

The picture reflected Israel’s repeated allegations that Hamas shielded its weapons and fighters in civilian areas of Gaza during the war.

With peace negotiations with the Palestinians mothballed since the breakdown of U.S.-mediated talks in May, Mr. Netanyahu suggested that pushing rapprochement between Israel and pro-Western Arab states could serve as a new paradigm.

“Many have long assumed that an Israeli-Palestinian peace would facilitate a broader rapprochement between Israel and the Arab world. But these days I think it may work the other way around,” Mr. Netanyahu said.

“Namely that a broader rapprochement between Israel and the Arab world may help facilitate an Israeli-Palestinian peace. And that to achieve that peace, we must not only look to Jerusalem and Ramallah, but to Cairo, Amman, Abu Dhabi and Riyadh and elsewhere.”

The overture to the Arab world echoed Mr. Netanyahu’s remarks during Israel’s fight with Hamas that the conflict had opened new possibilities for cooperation and even a “diplomatic horizon” with other countries in the region opposed to the militant Islamist rule of Gaza.

However, such a development would require Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to depart from their long-standing practice of shunning open normalization of ties with Israel before progress is made with the Palestinians.

Egypt was the only Arab state to make peace with Israel with no progress on Israeli-Palestinian ties.

Mr. Netanyahu’s proposal to overhaul Israeli-Arab peacemaking efforts mirrors an initiative for a peacemaking overhaul by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

During a strongly worded address to the U.N. General Assembly on Friday, Mr. Abbas called on the Security Council to impose a deadline for talks on the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza—an effort to pressure Israel on withdrawal and a step away from U.S.-led mediation.

Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi said Mr. Netanyahu’s outreach to Arab countries was an effort to sidestep the need for an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank. Ms. Ashrawi added such a move would mean “buying more time to create facts that will destroy the chances of peace for the foreseeable future.”

Mr. Abbas accused Israel of waging a “war of genocide” in Gaza. He said Israel had committed war crimes during the seven-week conflict and warned that without a clear timeline for talks in place, there was little point in resuming peace talks.

Mr. Netanyahu responded on Monday to Mr. Abbas by calling the allegations “shameless.”

A U.S. State Department spokeswoman said Mr. Abbas’ remarks were “counterproductive” and included “offensive characterizations” of Israel.

Satellite photos reveal massive damage at suspected Iran nuke facility

October 11th, 2014

Times of Israel
By Times of Israel staff and AFP, October 8, 2014

After Monday’s mysterious blast at secretive Parchin plant east of Tehran, images show collapse of some buildings on the site

2004 satellite image of the military complex at Parchin, Iran (photo credit: AP/DigitalGlobe - Institute for Science and International Security)

2004 satellite image of the military complex at Parchin, Iran (photo credit: AP/DigitalGlobe – Institute for Science and International Security)

Following Monday’s mysterious blast at a suspected Iranian nuclear facility east of Tehran, satellite imagery obtained by Israel’s Channel 2 and Israel Defense magazine Wednesday claimed to show extensive damage at the site.

Images of the facility taken Tuesday, a day after the reported explosion which killed at least two people at the secretive Parchin plant, showed that several buildings at the location sustained heavy damage and some even collapsed, Channel 2 reported.

The photos “clearly show damage consistent with an attack against bunkers in a central locality within the military research complex at the Parchin military compound,” Israel Defense wrote.

The images were taken by the French satellite Pleiades the morning following the blast, the source of which remains unknown.

Screenshot from Israel Defense showing satellite images of the Parchin site east of Tehran before and after Monday’s explosion at the suspected nuclear facility on October 8, 2014.

Screenshot from Israel Defense showing satellite images of the Parchin site east of Tehran before and after Monday’s explosion at the suspected nuclear facility on October 8, 2014.

Iran’s state news agency IRNA reported Monday that the explosion occurred at a defense ministry plant east of Tehran for the production of explosives.

The Defense Industries Organisation, quoted by IRNA, said the fire broke out at the plant on Sunday night but it gave no further details.

The BBC, citing a report from the semi-official Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA), reported on Monday that the incident happened in an “explosive materials production unit” at the site south-east of the capital Tehran.

According to ISNA, the blast was so powerful it shattered windows up to 12 kilometers away and the glare from the explosion lit up the night sky.

Several arms facilities and military bases are located east of the Iranian capital, including Parchin. UN nuclear inspectors have been seeking to visit the site to answer concerns about Iran’s atomic program.

The base lies at the center of allegations of past Iranian research into sophisticated explosives that can be used to detonate a nuclear warhead.

Tehran, which has denied inspectors access to Parchin since 2005, insists its nuclear program is for purely civilian uses. Israel and the West fear Iran is seeking to attain nuclear weapons.

In August Iran reiterated that it will not allow IAEA inspectors to visit the site.


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