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Friday, May 26, 2017

Iran to Hamas: Let's get closer 'on basis of jihad'

Senior Iranian officials are expressing hope that the appointment of new Hamas terrorist organization leader Ismail Haniyeh to head Hamas will bring about a policy strengthening the ties between them.
 
Kassam Soleimani, a commander in the Iran’s Al-Quds Brigades, sent a letter to Haniyeh, congratulating him on his appointment as the new leader of Hamas.
 
In a letter published by Iranian news agency Mehr, Soleimani said that he expects a strengthening of ties with Hamas on the basis of jihad against “the arrogance of the world” (meaning the US) and its satellite, “Zionism,” which are “working to divert the jihad of the nation from its Islamic compass.”
 
He emphasized that, within this context, all efforts need to be devoted to the service of “Palestine.”
 
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also emphasized in a letter to Haniyeh the continued support of Iran for struggle of the “Palestinian people” until “the Israeli occupation is removed.”
 

Egypt: 23 killed in shooting attack

Egyptian news sources reported this afternoon that armed ISIS terrorists opened fire at a bus in which Coptic Christians were riding in Menyah, south of Cairo.
 
There are at least 23 killed and 25 wounded.
 
Egyptian military forces are searching the area, and the government has announced a higher security alert.
 
Earlier this month, more than 17 were killed in an explosion near the Coptic cathedral in Alexandria, Egypt.
 
The Copts are the oldest and largest Christian denomination in Egypt, comprising some 10% of the Christian population. Copts have been subject to violent religious persecution by Islamic extremists. In just one province, 77 attacks against Copts were recorded between 2011 and 2016.

Bosnian town defends Virgin sightings, despite Pope's doubt

Medjugorje (Bosnia and Herzegovina) (AFP) - Pope Francis is dismissive of claims that the Virgin Mary appears daily in Medjugorje, but Danielle Pitau is convinced that her pilgrimage to the small Bosnian town cured her of cancer.
"Whoever tells me that nothing happens in Medjugorje, I tell them to come here and try it," the 72-year-old Belgian woman said.
She told AFP that "a warmth did not stop rising" inside her stomach on her first visit to the town 11 years ago, which followed surgery on a bladder tumour and a pessimistic diagnosis from doctors.
In June 1981, six Bosnian teenagers said they had witnessed the appearance of the Virgin in the southern town near the Croatian border.
She continues to "appear" to three of them daily, and to the other three once a year.
With some of them now living between Medjugorje, Italy and the United States, they proclaim themselves "seers" and say the Virgin is transmitting them messages, which they publish for the edification of believers on the multi-language website, medjugorje.hr.
- 'Crown of stars' -
In a rare interview to local media, one of the self-declared seers, Vicka Ivankovic-Mijatovic, described Mary's visitations, which occur "every day at 6:40 pm".
"Before her arrival, a light appears three times. This is the sign that she is coming."
The Virgin "has a grey dress, a white veil, a crown of stars, blue eyes, black hair, pinkish cheeks. She is floating on a grey cloud and does not step on the ground," said Ivankovic-Mijatovic, now 52.
In early March, Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo, another one of the six "seers", transmitted a message from the Virgin calling on people to "live with love for the word of (her) Son, so that the world can be different". READ MORE

Thursday, May 25, 2017

'We will not divide the land with our enemies'

Speaking at the traditional central Jerusalem Day celebration at the Merkaz Harav Yeshiva in Jerusalem, Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) responded Wednesday night to a report that the US is demanding that Israel transfer parts of northern Samaria from Area C, under Israeli rule to Area B, part of the Palestinian Authority where Israel is only in charge of security..
 
According to the report by Channel 10, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu also opposes the move, which would effectively cede control over the affected areas from Israel to the PA.
Bennett said that: "the era in which we treat the Land of Israel as a mere piece of real estate - that era is over. We will not take a saw and slice off parts of our land to give to our enemies. That era is over."
 
"I come now from the march of flags [to the Western Wall]. The organizers and the police said that it was the largest march [for Jerusalem Day] ever, and the most people who have been at the Western Wall since 1967. But according to my calculation this is also the largest concentration of Jews since the Second Temple period."
 
He said that when speaking about 'united Jerusalem,' "the Temple Mount, the Western Wall, the entire Old City, the City of David, Ma'aleh Hazeitim, The Mount of Olives, and Nof Zion" should also be remembered. "All of Jerusalem that will remain united under Israeli sovereignty and only under the sovereignty of Israel forever."

U.S. planning to boost sanctions on Iran

The U.S. Treasury is reviewing licenses for Boeing Co and Airbus to sell aircraft to Iran and will increase sanctions pressure on Iran, Syria and North Korea, department head Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday, according to Reuters.
 
"We will use everything within our power to put additional sanctions on Iran, Syria and North Korea to protect American lives," Mnuchin told the House Ways and Means Committee, adding, "I can assure you that's a big focus of mine and I discuss it with the president."
 
Mnuchin did not elaborate on the review of the licenses, which were issued under a 2015 agreement between Tehran and world powers to lift sanctions in return for curbs on Iran's nuclear activities.
 
During the election campaign, President Donald Trump was highly critical of the Iran nuclear deal which was signed under the Obama administration, saying it was “disastrous” and pledging to annul it.
 
After he was sworn in as President, Trump described the nuclear deal as “the worst deal I’ve ever seen negotiated” and accused the Islamic Republic of “disrespecting” the United States because of the deal. READ MORE

Iran says it has built third underground ballistic missile factory

Iran has built a third underground ballistic missile production factory and will keep developing its missile program, the semi-official Fars news agency quoted a senior commander of the elite Revolutionary Guard as saying.
The development is likely to fuel tensions with the United States in a week when President Donald Trump, on his first foreign trip, has called Iran a sponsor of militant groups and a threat to countries across the Middle East.
"Iran's third underground factory has been built by the Guards in recent years ... We will continue to further develop our missile capabilities forcefully," Fars quoted Amirali Hajizadeh, head of the Guard’s airspace division, as saying.
Since taking office in January, Trump has imposed new sanctions on Iran in response to its recent missile launches, putting Tehran "on notice".
Iran has reacted defiantly. Newly re-elected pragmatist President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday: "Iran does not need the permission of the United States to conduct missile tests".
Iran's Sunni Muslim Gulf neighbors and its arch-enemy Israel have expressed concerns over Tehran's ballistic missile program, seeing it as a threat to regional security.
In 2015, Iranian state TV aired footage of underground tunnels with ready-to-fire missiles on the back of trucks, saying the facility was one of hundreds of underground missile bases around the country.
"It is natural that our enemies America and the Zionist regime (Israel) are angry with our missile program because they want Iran to be in a weak position," Hajizadeh said. READ MORE

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Trump: Iran must disarm militias, never gain nuke

“We can declare with one voice that Iran must not be allowed to possess a nuclear weapon ever, ever and must cease training terrorists and militias immediately!’ said US President Donald Trump in a statement he issued at the Israeli president’s residence in Jerusalem on Monday on May 22, shortly after arriving in Israel.
 
“I come her to affirm that we are not only friends, but allies and will stand together always,” he went on to say and urged: “We must strengthen our cooperation, as we both face common threats from ISIS and other terrorists who foment terrible violence all over the world. Together we can end scores of years of violence," he said.  Trump, who flew to Israel directly from Riyadh, reported on the strong consensus he found in the Muslim world on the need to stand up together against Iran.
 
He cited Saudi King Salman in this consensus, adding that the monarch and other Arab rulers feel strongly about the need for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Many of them, he said, expressed the will to end extremism, after hearing his speech. He also found a growing realization among the Arab and Muslim leaders he met in Riyadh Sunday of “their common cause with Israel under threat from Iran” and a willingness to help in the peace effort.

Trump said he was honored to be in the homeland of the Jewish people. He commended Israel’s commitment to peace and said he looked forward to discussing the process with the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem Tuesday.

In a throwaway remark to reporters on arrival at the president’s residence, the US president said he had two first-rate envoys working on promoting a peace treaty, and named his special Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt and the new US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman. He joked: “If there is no peace, I’ll know whom to blame.”

President Reuven Rivlin said: We can’t wake up with Iran and Hizballah on our border. We want Iran out of Syria, out of Lebanon and away from our borders, and we must move forward to this goal together with America.”
 
DEBKAfile:  Donald Trump once again rebutted media evaluations of his trip to Israel as a demonstration of friendship without real content. Very shortly after his arrival, he stood up at the president’sl residence in Jerusalem and delivered a string of important policy statements and new revelations:
 
1. Iran would not be permitted to possess a nuclear weapon.
2, Iran must dismantle the Shiite terrorists and militias.
3. Iran must remove all those same foreign militias from Syria.
4. Iran must evacuate Hizballah forces from Syria and disarm this Lebanese Shiite organization.
5.  The Saudi King Salman had told him first hand of his fervent wish for an Israeli-Palestinian peace. Trump heard the same sentiment from other Arab and Muslim rulers.
 
Our military sources add: The issue of the pro-Iranian militias ties in directly with the battlefield confrontation building up in the past fortnight along Syria’s borders with Jordan and Iraq. DEBKAfile reports have disclosed the arrival of American and other Western special operations forces at a key crossing. They were followed this week by Russian elite contingents, who arrived nearby to support a Syrian-Iranian-Hizballah scheme to grab this vitally important border. The Americans are positioned there to prevent Iran from forging a land bridge from Tehran to Syria through Iraq by seizing control of this strategic border.

Liberman slams US-Saudi Arabia arms deal

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) spoke on Wednesday morning about the weapons deal signed between the US and Saudi Arabia during US President Donald Trump's recent visit.
 
In an interview with Galei Zahal Radio, Liberman said, "I'm not comfortable with the whole arms race in the Middle East. The weapons deals have reached $215 billion, and that's a significant sum of money. I'm not comfortable with the weapons race and acquisitions in huge Saudi Arabia."
 
Speaking about the concern that the US leaded classified information to the Russians, Liberman said, "Everything we needed to do to make up with our American friends, we've done. We've done everything we can, we've spoken with them about it, and there's no reason to continue."
 
"We've patched things up, and we are cooperating on intelligence like never before."
The Saudi-US weapons deal, worth $110 billion, includes tanks, warships, anti-missile systems, radar systems, and cyber technology which the US will sell to Saudi Arabia. In addition, Lockheed Martin will assemble in Saudi Arabia instead of in the US 150 Black Hawk helicopters intended for the Saudi kingdom.

Gaza protest calls for Trump assassination

Hamas yesterday evening (Tuesday) organized a massive march in western Gaza to denounce US President Donald Trump for accusing it of being a terror group during his recent visit to the region, reported the Israel Hatzolah News Feed, amidst calls for Trump's assassination featuring weapons facing an effigy of the US president.

“The real terrorism is the occupation that kills the Palestinians and destroys homes over the heads of its inhabitants, and not Hamas that is considered a Palestinian national liberation movement practicing legitimate resistance in accordance with the international law,” senior Hamas official Ismail Radwan was not embarrassed to say, addressing a crowd of marchers.
 
Radwan condemned Trump for "ignoring Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people, their prisoners and holy sites," wrote the "Palestinian Information Center".
The Hamas official also highlighted the issue of prisoners in Israeli jails and the Gaza blockade, reiterating his movement’s support for their hunger strike and calling on Arab and Muslim nations to work on "breaking the siege on the impoverished enclave".

The Six Day War - Salvation and Miracle

Israeli Prime Minister Binaymin Netanyahu on Wednesday afternoon spoke to the Knesset about Jerusalem Day.
 
"We will not go back to a situation in which we can look at the Western Wall, but cannot approach it," Netanyahu said. "The desire to pound Israel is not something which is based on facts."
 
"Again and again, they try to erase our roots, to deny our historical connection to Jerusalem, and to destroy our sovereignty over it.
 
"To you, the members of the Knesset, the citizens of Israel, and to the entire world, I want to make it clear: The Temple Mount and the Western Wall will forever stay under Israel's sovereignty.
 
"There are those who see the Six Day War as a disaster for Israel. I see it as a miracle and a salvation for Israel.
 
"How could we have continued to exist with such narrow borders, with daily threats to our existence and to our citizens' lives? Even walking on Jerusalem's King George Street [a central street in the heart of Jerusalem's commercial area - ed.] used to be dangerous.
 
"We can say for certainty that the entire world was looking at Jerusalem this week. Certainly, the entire Jewish world is celebrating with us, celebrating fifty years since the liberation and unification of our eternal capital.
 
"But I am sure the entire world was excited when they watched US President Donald Trump and his family meet a warm and honorable reception in Jerusalem, approach the Western Wall, and touch its stones.
 
"This is exactly what our soldiers did when they liberated Jerusalem fifty years ago, during the Six Day War. The feelings are the same feelings, and they come from the depths of the soul.
 
"Jerusalem is built, blossoming, open for everyone, and respects followers of all religions.
"We are the ones who liberated Jerusalem from its continued neglect and distress.
"We are the ones who developed the city into what it is today."

Six Major Points In President Trump’s Keynote Address On Israel

JERUSALEM – In a keynote speech today that capped his 24-hour visit to Israel, President Donald Trump outlined his administration’s approach toward the Jewish state and vowed an “unshakable bond” between the U.S. and Israel.
Below are six key points that Trump made in his address, presented in no particular order:
1 – Trump affirmed the Jewish people’s “ancient and eternal” ties to the land of Israel.
He stated:
Jerusalem is a sacred city.  Its beauty, splendor, and heritage are like no other place on Earth.  (Applause.)  What a heritage.  What a heritage.  The ties of the Jewish people to this Holy Land are ancient and eternal.  (Applause.)  They date back thousands of years, including the reign of King David whose star now flies proudly on Israel’s white and blue flag. …
From the two Holy Temples to the glorious heights of Masada, we see an incredible story of faith and perseverance.  That faith is what inspired Jews to believe in their destiny, to overcome their despair and to build here – right here – a future that others dared not even to dream.
Still, Trump did not single out Jewish ties to the city of Jerusalem. His speech was delivered here on Jerusalem on Jerusalem Day, a national holiday that marks Israel’s reunification of Jerusalem after the 1967 Six Day War and the establishment of Israeli sovereignty over the eastern sections of the city, which include the Old City, Western Wall and Temple Mount.
Current U.S. law does not officially recognize Israeli control over the eastern sections of the city, going so far as to prevent American citizens born in Jerusalem from listing “Israel” as their country of birth. All eyes will be on Trump to see if he makes any declarations regarding Israel’s status in Jerusalem. READ MORE

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Rouhani: We'll continue our missile tests

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Monday warned that his country would continue its missile tests.
 
Speaking to reporters in Tehran and quoted by AFP, Rouhani, who was just last week elected to a second term in office, ridiculed U.S. strategy in the Middle East, dismissing President Donald Trump's summit with Arab leaders as "just a show".
 
"Our missiles are for our defense and for peace, they are not offensive. Know that while there is a technical need to conduct missile tests, we will do so and we will ask the permission of no one," he stressed.
 
His comments followed fierce criticism from Trump during his visits to Saudi Arabia and Israel.
 
"Iran must never be allowed to possess a nuclear weapon -- never ever -- and must cease its deadly funding, training and equipping of terrorists and militias," Trump said during a meeting with President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem on Monday.
 
Rouhani responded by ridiculing decades of U.S. strategy in the Middle East.
"When they attacked Afghanistan, they made a mistake. When they attacked Iraq, they made a mistake. When they imposed sanctions on us, they made a mistake," he said, according to AFP.
 
"If you know of a case where America acted correctly, you tell me," added the Iranian president, who said the only sensible move by Washington was the nuclear deal it signed with Iran in 2015, when the U.S. "talked with respect" and reached a "win-win result". READ MORE

Republicans Facing Violence, Death Threats From Left-Wing Activists

Republicans going home to talk to their constituents are facing violence and death threats, with some lawmakers upping security at town hall events — a consequence of a culture of violence being fostered by left-wing activists and their allies in the liberal media.
In the lead up to the passage of ObamaCare in 2010, conservatives were vocal at town halls and other forums in their opposition to the law. Yet, despite a great deal of speculation and fearmongering by the media, town hall events were almost entirely free of violence or threats of harm.
As the Democrats seek to mirror that opposition against President Trump and the Republican health care bill, the same commitment to non-violence is not there. Using similar tactics to “Antifa” activists opposing conservative speakers on college campuses, some anti-Trump activists are disrupting events and even resorting to threats and acts of violence.
A man was arrested last week for threatening Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ) in voicemail messages, telling her that her days “were numbered” because of her support for the president. The Arizona Republic reported that her district is one of the most evenly divided in the nation, but the threats are especially disturbing as she represents the district represented by former Democratic Rep. Gabby Giffords, who was shot in the head in 2011.
McSally faced one of the more extreme crowds at a town hall in February where she was heckled as activists carried signs saying, “Stop Trump’s crusade of hate” and “No! This fascist regime must be stopped before it starts.”
Some threats, allegedly from Steven Martan who was arrested by the FBI, say: “Martha our sights are set on you, right between your (expletive) eyes” and “Can’t wait to (expletive) pull the trigger (expletive),” according to the Republic. READ MORE