Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas continues to propagate false allegations against Israel, contributing to widespread Palestinian incitement that continues to fuel terrorist attacks against Israelis.
On Monday, Abbas repeated two of his demonstrably inaccurate claims, accusing Israel of attempting to change the status quo on the Temple Mount by increasing Jewish activity there, and saying that Israeli authorities are conducting "extrajudicial killings" of Palestinian terrorists, the Times of Israel reports.
Last month, Abbas's claim about Israeli "field executions" of Palestinian terror suspects was debunked, including the case of a Palestinian teenager responsible for a stabbing attack that wounded two Israelis, including a 13-year-old boy.
"We will not give up to the logic of brute force, policies of occupation and aggression practiced by the Israeli government and the herd of settlers who are engaged in terrorism against our people, our holy places, our homes, our trees and the execution of our children in cold blood as they did with the child Ahmed Manasrah and other children from Jerusalem," Abbas said in an address broadcast on Palestine TV.
Israeli officials released video and photograph evidence of the teenaged terrorist Ahmed Manasrah, being treated at an Israeli hospital.
These fabrications are among the widespread propaganda espoused by Abbas and other Fatah and PA officials contributing to the growing violent incitement against Israelis. Official Palestinian institutions glorify attacks – setting up memorials in to honor terrorists – and encouraging more killing.
On Monday, a Palestinian stabbed and killed an Israeli soldier near the central West Bank town Modi'in. Two other Israelis were injured in the attack, including a woman who was struck by ensuing gunfire from Israeli troops.
Israeli forces shot and killed the Palestinian terrorist. These attacks occurred hours after two Palestinian girls used scissors to stab a 70-year-old man who turned out to be a Palestinian in Jerusalem.
On Sunday, a Palestinian terrorist stabbed and killed 21-year-old Hadar Buchris in Gush Etzion. Ofer Merin, director of Shaare Zedek Medical Center, said that Buchris was stabbed several times in the head and torso.
In Monday's statement, Abbas charged Israel with trying to "change the identity, historical and demographic character of Jerusalem."
Some observers believe Abbas' blatant libel and calls for resistance directly contributed to the ongoing wave of violence plaguing Israelis since the start of October.
"The Al-Aqsa [Mosque] is ours ... and they have no right to defile it with their filthy feet. We will not allow them to, and we will do everything in our power to protect Jerusalem...Every martyr (Shahid) will reach Paradise, and everyone wounded will be rewarded by Allah, " Abbas said in a speech in September, segments of which aired on official PA TV.
Abbas repeated these false claims a day before U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Israel for separate talks with Abbas and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a bid to calm tensions.
Abbas could have attempted to help that effort by calling for the attacks to stop immediately, pointing out they do nothing to advance the Palestinian dream of statehood. If anything, the random violence makes that dream more difficult to realize. Instead, he chose to rationalize the killing, calling it the "inevitable result of diminishing hopes, the continued strangulation, siege and pressure and the lack of sense of security and safety felt by our people."
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) styles itself as America's largest Muslim civil rights advocacy group. Its executive director, Nihad Awad, recently took advantage of a reporter's inflammatory article on a likely miscommunication with a presidential candidate to tweet to his English audience, "Exactly what
#ISIS wants: #DonaldTrump's recent call to force American Muslims to carry special ID."
Moments later, Awad more directly reflected CAIR's real status as a front for the radical Islamist Muslim Brotherhood when in Arabic he expanded upon those comments to compare the U.S. to Nazi Germany. The IPT translated the comments:
"It actually happened. The Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is calling for forcing American Muslims to carry ID's classifying them on the basis of their religion. Exactly like Hitler did."
A Saudi tweeter noted that "The Arabic is completely different in meaning and has a big racist and religious sense."
Readers can determine for themselves whether members of the media distorted Trump's response to the reporter's questioning, as the Investigative Project on Terrorism takes no position because it is unclear.
The debate will sort itself out, but Trump's comments are not the real issue. CAIR is not some benign petitioner for the grievances of Muslims.
Its Florida chapter is holding three annual conferences just this month for the year 2015. The first, held in Orlando, featured a Hamas-linked, Chicago-based imam, Kifah Mustapha. The second, held in Tampa, featured a racist comedian, a U.S.-named co-conspirator for a terror trial and an Islamist who has threatened the wrath of God on world leaders, Frontpage Magazine reports.
CAIR, which was involved in the largest terrorism financing prosecution in U.S history as an unindicted co-conspirator, bills itself as a humble advocacy organization when it seeks support among an English audience.
Then, at times within minutes of posting comments designed to elicit sympathy, it illuminates its ingrained radical tendencies by casting the ugliest of aspersions on Western politicians to antagonize its Arabic constituency.
It never takes much for CAIR to reveal its original and true mission.
Pete Hoekstra represented Michigan for 18 years in Congress, including as chairman of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee. He currently serves as the Shillman senior fellow at the Investigative Project on Terrorism, and is the author of "Architects of Disaster: The Destruction of Libya."
Fearing the overthrow of Bashaar Al-Assad's regime, an emboldened Islamic Republic of Iran has drastically increased its involvement in Syria, despite suffering heavy losses among its elite Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
That finding is detailed in a new report by Raz Zimmit of the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center.
Since the 2011 start of Syria's civil war, Iran has directed the military campaign to maintain the Assad regime's control over Damascus and strategic strongholds in the north. Until recently, Iran's presence in Syria resembled interventions in Iraq, Lebanon, and Yemen – involving several hundred advisors and thousands of Shi'ite fighters – including Hizballah – under the direction of the IRGC's Quds Force. However, Iran deployed 1,500-2,000 of its own troops to support Syria's northern military offensive launched in early October.
A joint Iranian-Syrian operations room was created in Aleppo to serve as a command and control center for the purposes of coordinating the offensive – involving the IRGC, Syria's military and Iranian sponsored Shi'ite militias under the cover of Russian aerial support. However by the end of October, rebel organizations including al-Qaeda's al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State, maintained control over key areas targeted by the Iranian-led offensive.
At least 53 IRGC troops have been killed since, marking a significant increase in Iranian casualties. According to the analysis, the vast majority of Iranians killed are from the IRGC's regular fighting units – including high-ranking officers – indicating that they are fighting on the front lines. Moreover, IRGC's elite Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani personally directs the military operations in northwestern Syria, suggesting that Iran is diverting critical assets from Iraq to the Syrian theater.
Meanwhile, Iran continues to enhance terrorist networks in the Golan Heights, using Hizballah, Druze, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) operatives to strike Israel. In August, PIJ terrorists – reportedly under Iran's directions – fired four rockets at Israeli territory.
Further examination of the Iranians recently killed shows that many of the fighters hail from special, highly trained units, including the Ansar al-Mahdi security unit and the Saberin brigade. The sharp increase in deaths has forced Iran to justify its involvement in Syria, launching a media campaign to bolster public support for the military intervention. This campaign emphasizes the importance of protecting Shi'ite religious shrines in Syria and the extent to which the Assad regime serves the Islamic Republic's national interests.
Growing dissention among the IRGC ranks surfaced amid reports that several senior commanders, along with junior officers, reportedly refused to obey orders to continue the military campaign in Syria. Growing defiance has forced Iran to court-martial several personnel for "mutiny and treason," as the rising death toll contributes to deteriorating morale among the IRGC ranks. There may even be some disagreement among Iran's leadership concerning continued involvement in Syria. In a recent address to a group of students, IRGC commander Mohammad-Ali Jafari suggested that some Iranian officials questioned Iran's steadfast support for Assad.
Despite rising casualties and internal dissention, Iran's leadership appears firmly committed to propping up the Assad regime in its bid to maintain a critical ally that serves the Islamic Republic's expansion and regional hegemonic ambitions.
Palestinian terrorist attacks gripped the Jewish state again on Thursday, a shooting attack near the Gush Etzion Junction killed an Israeli, a Palestinian and an American tourist, reports the Jerusalem Post. Five more people were injured.
Early reports indicate that the terrorist fired at an Israeli minibus from his car before crashing into another vehicle near the Alon Shvut settlement in the West Bank. Israeli security personnel shot and detained the terrorist as he exited the car and tried to shoot more Israelis.
The Shin Bet – Israel's domestic intelligence service – said that the attacker, 36, is from the village of Dura near Hebron and did not have a prior security record. The dead Palestinian was a passenger in a vehicle fired upon by the terrorist.
The attack occurred shortly after a Palestinian terrorist stabbed three people in Tel Aviv, killing two and injuring another. Civilians apprehended the terrorist, who was trying to run off, until police arrived.
Hamas praised the stabbing attack on its official Twitter account, posting images of the scene featuring Israeli first responders and one of the fatalities.
Meanwhile, a Fatah official participated in a rally glorifying Palestinian terrorist Muhannad Halabi, supporting Halabi's murderous attack and other recent Palestinian terrorist attacks.
"It is the right of our young men to cause Israeli women to cry like our women are crying, even though our women make sounds of joy after their sons' and husbands' deaths as Martyrs," Fatah Central Committee member Jamal Muhaisen said Saturday, according to the independent Palestinian news agency Ma'an and reported by Palestinian Media Watch.
The praise came after Halabi's West Bank hometown, Surda-Abu Qash, named a street in his honor.
The consistent and systematic violent incitement emanating from across the Palestinian political spectrum continues to fuel deadly terrorist attacks targeting Israeli civilians and security personnel. It continues despite a U.S threat to reduce economic aid for Palestinians by $80 million unless the incitement stops.
Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallström attributed Friday's terrorist attacks in Paris to Muslim frustrations in the Middle East and Palestinian anguish in particular, in an interview with Sweden's SVT2T network and reported by the Times of Israel.
"To counteract the radicalization we must go back to the situation such as the one in the Middle East of which not the least the Palestinians see that there is no future: we must either accept a desperate situation or resort to violence," Wallström said on Swedish television shortly after the Islamic State's terrorist attacks in Paris which killed an estimated 129 people.
Israel's foreign ministry issued a swift rebuttal, arguing that the Swedish FM's statements are "appallingly impudent" and that anyone who attempts to create a link between the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and radical Islamist attacks around the world is deceiving the international community.
"The Swedish foreign minister has consistently demonstrated bias against Israel and exhibits genuine hostility when she indicates a connection of any kind between the terrorist attacks in Paris and the complex situation between Israel and the Palestinians," the Israeli Foreign Ministry statement said.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Fatah party – led by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas – posted cartoons on its official Facebook page accusing Israel of planning the terrorist attacks in Paris, reports Palestinian Media Watch (PMW).
One of the cartoons shows a conniving Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu overlooking Paris with a telescope beside a smiling ISIS terrorist wielding an assault rifle.
Israel's Mossad was also blamed for orchestrating the Paris attacks, according to an op-ed featured in the Palestinian Authority's official daily newspaper, reports PMW.
Blaming Israel for radical Islamist terrorist attacks is nothing new, particularly from conspiratorial Palestinian elite and societal circles. However, baseless statements from a senior European official like Wallström suggesting Israel's treatment of the Palestinians are a root cause of the latest terrorist attacks is especially concerning and needs to be condemned by the international community.
A Palestinian terrorist shot and killed a father and son, wounding another youth in the south Mount Hebron region on Friday after firing at their vehicle, the Jerusalem Post reports.
The Israeli military is searching for the gunman.
Hamas glorified the "heroic" murders without claiming responsibility. Moreover, Palestinian sources told the Jerusalem Post that people are handing out candy in the streets in Gaza to celebrate the terrorist attack.
In the past few months, Fatah-run TV has regularly broadcast a famous Palestinian song that encourages violence against Jews, reports Palestinian Media Watch (PMW). Other popular incitement songs are being played in Ramallah's streets, specifically calling for Palestinians to riot, throw rocks, and attack innocent Israelis with "cleavers and knives."
"The owner of the stall selling discs on Al-Irsal Street [in Ramallah] said that the discs of national songs make up 90% of his sales at the moment because the prevailing national sentiment causes people to buy them... From another stall near the El-Bireh cultural center the song 'I come out to you, my enemy, from every home, neighborhood and street' is heard," according to a Nov. 2 article in the Palestine National Authority daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida and translated by PMW.
That song was posted on Fatah's official Facebook page last November, shortly after terrorists killed five Israelis in a Jerusalem synagogue, using butchers' knives and firearms. Last month, Rabbi Yehiel Rothman succumbed to wounds inflicted almost a year after the attack.
These latest examples demonstrate that Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party and official Palestinian Authority institutions continue to fuel violent incitement against Jews and Israelis, which in turn is promoted broadly by Palestinian society.
Since the beginning of October, Palestinians have waged a violent uprising targeting innocent Israelis and security personnel in a wave of stabbing, vehicular, rock throwing, and Molotov cocktail attacks. The violence has killed 11 Israelis and injured numerous others. Nearly 80 Palestinians also have been killed as a result – many of whom were alleged attackers killed at the scene, while others died during confrontations with Israeli soldiers.
The commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps' (IRGC) Quds Force– Qassem Soleimani – continues to remain actively involved in promoting the Islamic Republic's regional expansion and terrorist networks, according to an extensive report compiled by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center.
Click here to see the full report.
As the head of the Quds Force – the most powerful security organization in Iran –Soleimani is directly tasked with maintaining the fundamentalist regime in power and is responsible for exploiting Arab World turmoil in recent years to advance Iran's regional hegemonic objectives. From September 2015, Iran increased its number of troops - mainly IRGC soldiers - in Syria from hundreds to thousands, to support Hizballah terrorists acting at Iran's behest in propping up the Bashaar Assad regime.
In October 2015, Soleimani reportedly landed in northwestern Syria to brief Hizballah operatives and command a Syrian military offensive, indicating that Iran is diverting more resources from its presence in Iraq to Syria.
Despite Iran's commitment to Syria, the Islamic Republic is actively establishing terrorist networks in the Golan Heights – using Hizballah, Druze, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) operatives - to target Israel.
Emphasizing growing concern over Iranian terror bases on the Jewish state's borders, Israel allegedly conducted an airstrike targeting a convoy of Hizballah and Iranian operatives in January 2015, killing Jihad Mughniyeh – son of slain Hizballah leader Imad Mughinyeh – and a senior IRGC general in the Golan Heights.
In August 2015, PIJ terrorists, reportedly under Iran's direction, fired four rockets at Israeli territory, signalling the first missile attack striking the Upper Galilee from the Syrian Golan Heights since the 1973 Yom Kippur War. In fact, since the 1990s, the Quds Force has invested significant resources in supporting Palestinian terrorist organizations, smuggling weapons into the West Bank and Gaza, and ordering attacks against Israel.
Since the end of 2006 war in Lebanon, the Quds Force also played a vital role in rebuilding Hizballah's terrorist infrastructure, helping the terrorist organization amass an arsenal of over 100,000 rockets, including precision guided missiles that can strike any target in Israel. Iran's continued support to Hezbollah also includes sophisticated air defense systems and anti-ship missiles.
The Israeli report assumes that the Quds Force directly oversees the ongoing transfer of advanced weapons from Iran through Syria to Lebanon, despite the Islamic Republic's overwhelming commitment to ensure Assad's survival amid an intensifying civil war.
Iran has also attempted to infiltrate intelligence agents into Israel. In September 2013, Ali Mansouri – under direction from the Quds Force - was detained at Ben Gurion International Airport and found to be in possession of pictures of important sites in Israel, such as its international airport and the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv.
In the past, Soleimani's Quds Force was responsible for financing most of the Iraqi Shi'ite militias and providing them with weapons to specifically target American soldiers. With Hizballah's assistance, the Quds Force supplied terrorists with powerful explosive devices that killed numerous American and coalition troops in Iraq.
After Iran and the West signed the nuclear agreement, Soleimani and the Quds Force were featured on a list of Iranian personnel and institutions that may be relieved of previously imposed international sanctions. Despite initial denials, the U.S. administration confirmed that Soleimani's name would be removed from the list of UN Security Council sanctioned individuals, eight years following the nuclear deal's signing. Adding to the confusion, the U.S. Treasury Department insisted that Soleimani will remain sanctioned in light of his ongoing involvement in terrorist activity.
Nevertheless, the Iranian commander's recent trip to Russia to coordinate both countries efforts in Syria emphasizes the difficulty in enforcing personal sanctions.
Critics of the nuclear deal argue that ensuing sanctions relief will encourage Iran to enhance its regional expansion and global state sponsorship of terrorism.
Palestinian violence against Jews continues, as a terrorist stabbed and injured an Israeli man in Jerusalem on Friday, reports the Times of Israel.
Israeli police shot and critically wounded the terrorist; however a second Israeli man was accidentally injured by police gunfire.
The stabbing was the first in Jerusalem since Oct. 17, and comes amid analyses that the Palestinian violence has shifted primarily from the Israeli capital to the West Bank.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas issued a directive 11 days ago to cease attacks in Jerusalem in order to increase attacks in the West Bank, emphasizing the areas of Gush Etzion and Hebron, the Jerusalem Post reported.
The clear difference in Israeli authorities' ability to prevent attacks in eastern Jerusalem versus the West Bank shows the extent of the PA's influence over the Palestinians in the capital. However, today's events show that not all Jerusalem Arabs are heeding to Abbas' call to divert attacks, suggesting that broader societal Palestinian incitement continues to play a major role in driving violence against Jews.
Meanwhile, two Palestinian attackers attempted to stab Border Police officers at the Tapuah Junction in the West Bank and were subsequently shot by Israeli authorities – one terrorist died as a result.
Palestinians rioted in the West Bank city of Ramallah, leading Israeli police to shoot an assailant who was ready to throw a Molotov cocktail. As Israeli first responders administered first aid to the wounded Palestinian, another Palestinian terrorist approached the medical officers wielding a sharp object. Seeking to prevent another terrorist attack, an Israeli commander in a jeep ordered his driver to approach the terrorist. The driver hit the second Palestinian and moderately wounded him.
These incidents mark more than 60 separate terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians and security personnel in the last month, killing 10 Israelis and injuring dozens more.
As anti-Israel propagandists take to social media with memes and statements supporting the "Knife Intifada," it is refreshing to hear voices of reason in the Arab world describe the situation realistically.
"When someone dashes off to stab an Israeli youth passing on the street, or a settler crossing at the traffic light – this is not resistance," Egyptian editor Ibrahim Issa wrote, according to a translation released Thursday by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). "There is no nobility in it, and it does not serve the cause of liberation. It is only an expression of a flood of rage that has overcome, blinded, and drowned reason."
Issa faulted Islamists who use religion "as a tool to rip and divide countries to pieces [and] to declare Allah's creatures apostates ... and calls on its youth and those it has misled to kill themselves as [a form of] jihad in the path of Allah. But this path never leads to Palestine."
Similar sentiment came from a Kuwaiti columnist with a more peaceful viewpoint.
In a piece for Al Watan, also flagged and translated by MEMRI, writer 'Abdallah Al-Hadlaq called on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to condemn the attacks and stop incitement against Israelis. Not only is it ineffective, but it is wrong. He called it "embarrassing" that the international community was unable to confront "Palestinian crimes against Israelis [and] the continued series of stabbings against them."
"Israel has a right to defend itself and kill the Palestinian terrorists, whatever their age, whether they are children, adolescents, men, or women," Al-Hadlaq wrote. Inherent in the conflict is a Palestinian "lie versus the clear, open, Israeli truth."
Al-Hadlaq previously has been critical of Hamas, MEMRI reported. In this case, Al Watan took the article down in the face of negative reactions.
On Israeli television last week, Arab-Israeli broadcaster Lucy Aharish lashed out at Arab leaders for failing to act to quell the violence. "I don't understand," she said, "even if the status quo has been broken, which in reality is false ... does that allow someone to go and murder someone else because of a sacred place? Or because of religion, or because a Jew went there to pray in the house of God? I don't understand it and can't comprehend it."
"What God are they speaking of that allows for children to go out and murder innocent people?" Aharish asked. "What woman puts a hijab [on] and prays to God, takes a knife out and tries to stab innocent people? I don't understand it and I don't justify it in any way. I can't accept it. Not even excuses of frustration."
She blamed weak Arab leadership for stoking tensions and "inciting thousands of young people to go to the streets. You are destroying their future with your own hands."
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry finally told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to cease inciting violence after weeks of Palestinian terrorist attacks against Israelis, the Times of Israel reports.
Since the recent violence started, American officials have consistently called for both sides to show restraint even though Palestinian terrorists conducted the overwhelming majority of attacks against Israeli civilians.
"President Abbas has been committed to non-violence. He needs to be condemning this, loudly and clearly...and he needs to not engage in some of the incitement that his voice has sometimes been heard to encourage. So that has to stop," Kerry told National Public Radio.
Meanwhile, Fatah's military wing – under Mahmoud Abbas' control – called for more terrorist attacks against Israelis on its Twitter account on Friday, the Jerusalem Post reports.
On Friday, a group of Palestinians set fire to the compound hosting Joseph's Tomb – a Jewish holy site – in Nablus. Whereas Palestinian provocative allegations of an Israeli planned takeover of the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem proved unfounded, sparking a wave of violence throughout the country, Palestinians actually attempted to fully destroy a Jewish biblical landmark.
Kerry's warning to Abbas comes as State Department spokesman John Kirby walking back comments that blamed Israel for the latest escalation in violence. Kirby's initial statement suggested that Israel violated the status quo on the Temple Mount – a baseless accusation that Palestinian leaders initially fabricated in order to justify inciting violence against Israelis.
"Well, certainly, the status quo has not been observed, which has led to a lot of the violence," said Kirby on Wednesday, a statement that was retracted the following day.
Kerry's warning also comes after Abbas was caught propagating a lie that Israel was "executing our children in cold blood" after young Palestinians were shot after attacking Israelis.
As Palestinian incitement grows and Hamas called for a "day of rage," daily Palestinian terrorist attacks continue. A Palestinian disguised as a journalist – wearing a "press" flak jacket and holding a camera - stabbed and wounded an Israeli soldier near Hebron.
Meanwhile, reports claim that Palestinian Authority security personnel arrested 19 Hamas members in the West Bank who were plotting a new wave of stabbing attacks. Israelis authorities confirmed that Palestinian security forces are undertaking great efforts to reduce tensions in the West Bank as their political leaders continue to incite violence. This contradictory reality contributes to Israel's pressing dilemma with respect to ongoing security coordination and diplomatic ties with the Palestinian Authority.