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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

From Ian:

PMW: Did the PA lie to the US Secretary of State?
The US Secretary of State was told that the PA intends to "cease the payments to the family members of those who have committed murder or violence against others"
The PA currently pays 26,800 families of "Martyrs" 660 million shekels ($183 million) per year [2016 PA budget]
The PA currently pays 6,500 terrorist prisoners salaries amounting to 486 million shekels ($135 million) per year
Contrary to what the US was told, Abbas and PA officials tell Palestinians that the salaries will never be stopped:
PLO Prisoners' Affairs' Commission director:
"In response to American Secretary of State [Rex Tillerson's] statements about stopping the allowances... Karake emphasized that the Palestinian leadership will not submit to any pressure, and that the aid to the families of the prisoners and Martyrs is a national, moral, and human responsibility. He also rejected all the terms and concepts that define the prisoners and Martyrs as 'terrorists'"
PLO Prisoners' Affairs' Commission director [April 29, 2017]:
"The President [Abbas] emphasized his absolute refusal of the Israeli demands to stop the allowances of the families of the prisoners and Martyrs (Shahids), and emphasized his absolute support for them (i.e., for the payments)'"
PA Ministry of Information: "Martyrs" deserve payments because they are not "highway robbers, but people who sacrificed their lives and freedom"
PLO official Ahmed Majdalani: "... calmed the prisoners and Martyrs' families [saying] that the Palestinian leadership will not submit to the occupation's laws and will continue to be loyal to the Martyrs' blood and the prisoners' suffering."

PMW: PA TV’s “heroic prisoner,” representing “pride and honor,” is mastermind of murders of 14
Official PA TV recently visited the home of imprisoned terrorist Nasser Awais, who is serving 14 life sentences for planning attacks in which 14 were murdered. Palestinian Media Watch has documented that PA TV routinely honors terrorist murderers as "heroes," visits their homes, and even participates in their birthday celebrations .
The PA TV host praised Awais, who was also one of the founders of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades terror organization, saying:
"Nasser Awais has left behind a name and a legacy that cannot disappear. Nasser Awais who everyone knows what he did for the homeland... All the glory is yours, my brother Nasser Awais." [Official PA TV, Giants of Endurance, May 30, 2017]
In fact, the "glorious" things that Awais "did for the homeland" was plan terror attacks in which 14 were murdered and dozens were wounded:
6 murdered in shooting at Bat Mitzvah celebration (Hadera, Jan. 16, 2002)
3 murdered in shooting and stabbing at Seafood Market (Tel Aviv, March 5, 2002)
2 murdered in shooting (Jerusalem, Jan. 22, 2002)
2 murdered, 1 a baby, in grenade attack (Netanya, March 9, 2002)
Israeli border policeman murdered (March 31, 2002)
In addition to glorifying terrorists verbally, all Palestinian terrorists imprisoned by Israel receive a high monthly salary from the PA. Awais has already received 558,200 shekels ($147,000) in salary, as mandated by PA law. Under PA law, salaries of terrorist prisoners keep rising the longer the terrorists are imprisoned. In other words, the worse the crime, the longer the time in prison, the higher salary. In January 2011, the PA also raised the salaries substantially.
PA TV's “heroic prisoner,” representing “pride and honor,” is mastermind of 14 murders




Israel rejects US claim Palestinians stopping payouts to terrorists
Jerusalem on Wednesday said the Palestinians were continuing to pay salaries to incarcerated terrorists, rejecting US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s claim a day earlier that the controversial payouts would be stopped.
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and a second senior diplomatic official both said they had not seen any sign Ramallah was intending to cut off the payments, rebuffing Tillerson and making a rare break with Washington.
“I have to say that that I didn’t seen any indication that the Palestinian Authority stopped or intends to stop payments to terrorists and terrorists’ families,” Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman told Israel Radio Wednesday morning.
“We’re following this closely,” he added.
A senior diplomatic official said the Palestinians were “continuing to pay families of terrorists.”
“Israel is unaware of any change of Palestinian policy,” the official said. “The Palestinian Authority continues to glorify [terrorists], to incite and to promote terror vis-a-vis these payments.”
PLO official to JPost: We will continue to pay terrorists, Tillerson is wrong
Palestinian official on Wednesday said there are no plans to stop making payments to families of Palestinians who have been convicted of killing Israelis, contradicting comments by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
“We will continue to pay them,” PLO Prisoners’ Commission Chairman Essa Qaraqaa told The Jerusalem Post. “What Tillerson said is not correct."
Tillerson told a Senate hearing on Tuesday he had received reassurances from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that the Palestinians would end the practice of paying a monthly stipend to the families of convicted killers.
Qaraqaa added that Abbas had personally informed him that the payments would continue.
“Abu Mazen told me that he will not give up the issue of the prisoners and will ensure they continue to receive salaries,” the PLO official stated.
Isi Leibler: British Jews: A wake-up call
British Jews have long argued that the antisemitic prejudice they faced was benign and that England was different from Europe. But, had Corbyn been elected, it would have been far worse for the Jewish community than had Marie Le Pen become head of state in France.
The time has come to speak plainly and face reality.
As far as British Jews are concerned these elections, which almost brought to power an outright antisemite and friend of terrorists, means that the red line has now been crossed.
Jews in the UK are considered pariahs by a substantial proportion of the nation. The anti-Israel rhetoric has reached unprecedented levels both in street demonstrations and at the universities, where many Jewish students seek to disguise their Jewish identity and in some cases even display hostility to Israel to curry favor.
Schools, synagogues and other Jewish communal venues require armed guards and this will need to be intensified in the future.
All committed Jews should ask themselves whether, in this climate of intensifying hostility, they should consider coming to Israel or at least encourage their children to do so, so they can live in an environment in which they are able take pride in their Jewish heritage. The majority are likely to remain but some of the most committed will hopefully consider making aliya.
This must be a wake-up call. In contrast to the 1930s when Jews were desperate and, in most cases, futilely seeking visas to escape the Holocaust, today Jews are privileged to live in an age when a Jewish state is willing to embrace and provide them with security. It is a state which is powerful – militarily, economically and politically – and has the support of the US government. Living in Israel will enable them to enjoy the fruits of the Jewish national renaissance and create a home in which their children can grow up proud of their heritage and leave behind the humiliation of antisemitism.
A Replacement of Population is Taking Place in Europe
In 2050, a third of Italy's population will be made up of foreigners, according to a UN report, "Replacement Migration: Is It a Solution to Decline and Aging Populations", which designs a cultural melting-pot that could explode in cultural and social tensions. The level of arrivals will fall from 300,000 to 270,000 individuals per year by 2065; during the same period, it is expected that 14.4 million people will arrive. Added to the more than five million immigrants currently in Italy, 37% of the population is expected to be foreigners: more than one out of every three inhabitants.
In addition, the humanitarian-aid system has been hit by new scandals. "The investigative hypothesis to be verified is that subjects linked to ISIS act as logistical support to migration flows", was a warning just delivered in front of the Schengen Committee, to the Italian anti-mafia and counterterrorism prosecutor, Franco Roberti. There are now judges investigating the connection between the migrants' smugglers in North Africa and the Italian NGOs rescuing them in the Mediterranean. People-smugglers bring the migrants to the NGOs' ships, which then reach Italian seaports. Another legal enquiry has been opened about the mafia's economic interests in managing the migrants after their arrival.
Only 2.65 percent of those migrants who arrived in Italy were granted asylum as genuine refugees, according to the United Nations. The other people are apparently not fleeing wars and genocide. Yet, despite all this evidence, one cannot compare the migrants to the Jews fleeing Nazism. Pope Francis, for example, recently compared the migrants' centers to Nazi "concentration camps". One wonders where are the gas chambers, medical "experiments," crematoria, slave labor, forced marches and firing squads. Italian newspapers are now running articles about the "Mediterranean Holocaust", comparing the migrants dead by trying to reach the southern of Italy to the Jews gassed in Auschwitz. Another journalist, Gad Lerner, to support the migrants, described their condition with the same word coined by the Nazis against the Jews: untermensch, inferior human beings. These comparisons are spread by the media for a precise reason: shutting down the debate.
To understand how shameful these comparisons are, we have to take a look at the cost of every migrant to Italy's treasury. Immigrants, once registered, receive a monthly income of 900 euros per month (30 euros per day for personal expenses). Another 900 euros go to the Italians who house them. And 600 euros are needed to cover insurance costs. Overall, every immigrant costs to Italy 2,400 euros a month. A policeman earns half of that sum. And a naval volunteer who saves the migrants receives a stipend of 900 euros a month. Were the Nazis so kind with their Jewish untermenschen?

Israel and New Zealand restore ties after spat over UN resolution
Israel on Tuesday said it will restore its diplomatic relations with New Zealand, returning its Israeli ambassador to Wellington, months after the two countries had a falling-out over a UN Security Council resolution condemning West Bank settlements.
The announcement by the Foreign Ministry came the day after New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressing regret over the damage to ties that were caused by New Zealand’s co-sponsoring of UN Resolution 2334.
The contentious resolution, also co-sponsored by Senegal, Malaysia and Venezuela and approved on December 23, declared that Israel’s policy of building settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank has “no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-state solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.”
English wrote that Israel’s ambassador was welcome to return to Wellington, the capital of New Zealand.
Netanyahu responded to the letter by instructing Foreign Ministry Director-General Yuval Rotem to notify New Zealand authorities that Ambassador Itzhak Gerberg will return to his post.
New Zealand denies apologizing to Israel over controversial UN motion
New Zealand's Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee on Wednesday characterized a letter his country sent to Israel stemming from Wellington's sponsorship of an anti-settlement UN resolution as a “clarification,” not an “apology.”
Grilled on Radio New Zealand about the issue by an interviewer , who at one point asked whether the letter did not amount to “pandering” to Israel, Brownlee said that the letter “indicated that New Zealand wanted to resume diplomatic relations with Israel and regretted that there had been fall-out from the co-sponsorship of the resolution.”
Israel announced Tuesday it was sending its ambassador back to New Zealand, ending the crisis between the two countries following New Zealand’s sponsorship -- along with Senegal, Malaysia and Venezuela -- of the harshly critical UN Security Council Resolution 2334 in December.
That resolution, which passed the UN Security Council because US President Barack Obama refused to veto it, essentially delegitimizes any Israeli presence beyond the 1967 Green Line, including in Jerusalem, and holds that any Israeli presence beyond the 1967 lines lacks legal validity and must be noted and actively opposed by the international community.
Palestinians spurning offers of peace
Make no mistake – any Palestinian leader who makes peace with Israel will be killed by his own people within days or weeks. Egypt's Sadat did not survive his peace agreement with Israel.
In 1948 when Israel became a new nation, 100,000 Palestinians in the West Bank were offered Israeli citizenship. But after being persuaded by neighbouring Arab states that Israel was to be destroyed, only 30,000 accepted. These people and their families are now well integrated in one of the only economically reliable and democratically functioning states in the region.
A Palestinian state exists today. It has a parliament in Ramallah, its own police and security forces, and a huge palace for President Abbas; whose term expired in 2009 yet there has been no elections since. Palestinian leaders since Arafat have diverted millions of dollars intended for their people to their own Swiss bank accounts.
Recent polls show 70 per cent of Israelis want a two-state solution. But how can they believe this is possible when Hamas and significant parts of the Palestinian Authority regularly state their mission is to destroy Israel? Can Tamar Louisson be confident that a new Palestinian state will not be another Syria, where 500,000 have been killed, or Yemen, where more than 200,000 are dead, or a completely failed state like Libya?
Today the major settlement blocks occupy only 2 per cent of the West Bank. It is said that when the Palestinians want to have a Palestinian state more than they want to destroy the Jewish State, when they value life more than death, then maybe there will be peace.
MEMRI: Russian Ambassador To Israel: We Do Not Consider Hamas And Hizbullah To Be Terrorists At All
Russian Ambassador to Israel Alexander Shein said, in a June 9, 2017 interview with the Israeli Russian-language Channel 9 TV, that Russia did not consider Hamas and Hizbullah to be terrorist organizations, since they have not carried out attacks in Russian territory or against Russian interests abroad.
Interviewer: "Let me ask you quite a painful question regarding Russia's attitude toward Hamas and Hizbullah. Let me ask you: Do you in Russia understand that from our perspective, Hamas and Hizbullah are terrorists, who are no different from ISIS? They carry out terror attacks and fire missiles at Israel – and let me remind you that we have many Israelis with Russian citizenship – yet Moscow continues to conduct a dialogue with them."
Alexander Shein: "We do not consider these organizations to be terrorist. True, they are radical organizations, which sometimes adhere to extremist political views. Let me explain why we do not – and can not – designate them as terrorist organizations. Russian law – the Supreme Court, following an appeal by the prosecution – defines terrorist organizations as such when they intentionally conduct acts of terror in Russian territory, or against Russian interests abroad – installations, embassies, offices, or citizens. You equate ISIS [with Hamas and Hizbullah], but we think this is wrong."
Interviewer: "I do equate them, because when rockets were fired at Tel Aviv a few years ago, and people were forced to run for shelter, it was indiscriminate [fire], which did not distinguish between Russian, Israeli, or other passports. They all faced the same rocket fire. So what is rocket fire if not an act of terror or of war?"
Alexander Shein: "Of course we condemn such fire."
The Arrest of Two Operatives Shows That Hizballah Poses a Serious Threat to the U.S.
Syrian opposition leaders asked John Kerry last September why America wouldn’t support them in fighting Iranian proxies like Hizballah. The secretary of state bluntly replied that “Hizballah is not plotting against us.” This statement, difficult to believe at the time, has been proved decisively false by the recent arrest of two highly trained Hizballah agents—both naturalized U.S. citizens. Marc C. Johnson writes:
It seems clear now that Kerry’s principal motivation in attempting to steer the opposition away from any confrontation with Iran’s terrorist proxies was fear of angering the regime in Tehran. Kerry was at pains to avoid jeopardizing the Obama administration’s already fragile nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic, which Barack Obama and his team desperately wanted to hold up as a key, legacy-burnishing foreign-policy achievement. But Kerry’s off-the-cuff comment betrayed either a shocking ignorance or cynical indifference. . . .
Hizballah, it should be noted, is the most advanced terrorist organization operating today. It long ago became a de-facto state within the country of Lebanon [and] has both a functional military wing and fairly sophisticated intelligence and counterintelligence capabilities. The members of this latter branch . . . operate just like many moderately advanced sovereign intelligence and security services the world over. They identify, train, recruit, and dispatch spies for all the usual reasons that nation-states do so. But their spies have the added mandate of preparing for and executing terrorist attacks.
MEMRI: Egyptian Writers Debate Possibility That Israel Will Join Arab League After Resolution Of Conflict With Palestinians
Following the Arab League summit in Jordan, in late April 2017, Egyptian businessman Salah Diab, owner of the Egyptian daily Al-Masri Al-Yawm who goes by the pen name Newton, published an exchange between himself and Egyptian physician Yahya Nour Al-Din Taraf regarding the possibility of Israel joining the Arab League once the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is resolved. The idea was raised by Dr. Taraf in a letter he wrote to Newton, in which he noted that Comoros had joined the Arab League in 1993 despite its geographical distance from the Arab world and despite the fact that Arabic was only its third official language, while Israel is situated in the middle of the Arab world and Arabic is its second official language. Newton responded favorably to the idea and noted that it corresponded to the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002. He added that it had already been proposed in 1965 by Tunisia's first president Al-Habib Bourguiba as part of his call to end the conflict with Israel.
This exchange, which was published by Newton in his newspaper on April 1, 2017, sparked a critical response from 'Abd Al-'Aal Al-Baqouri, a columnist for the official newspaper Al-Gomhouriyya. He wrote that in raising this idea, Newton and Taraf were ignoring the fact that Israel is an aggressive country that has thwarted a long series of peace initiatives over the years. The official Arab position on the resolution of the conflict with Israel, he stated, demands several things from Israel, adding that there is no justification for making advance concessions, for example by considering Israel's incorporation into the Arab League.
US Congress takes up new bill to ensure Israel’s qualitative military edge
A bipartisan bill introduced in the US House of Representatives would strengthen the processes that have ensured Israel’s qualitative military edge in the Middle East.
Under the legislation introduced Friday, the president would consult with Israel about its defense needs before authorizing the sale of arms or defense technologies to countries in the Middle East.
Representatives Brad Schneider, a Democrat of Illinois, and Claudia Tenney, a Republican of New York, introduced the Defending Israel’s QME Act of 2017.
Israel is thought to have the most advanced military research and development capabilities in the region, a fact that ensures an Israeli defense advantage in any potential conflict with another regional power. But US arms sales have the capability of altering that balance.
The administration of former US president Ronald Reagan was the first to explicitly adopt a policy of ensuring that US arms sales to the Middle East do not compromise Israel’s qualitative advantage in any potential face-off with other states in the region.
Arab judge appointed vice president of Supreme Court
Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran was appointed vice president of the court on Monday by the Judicial Appointments Committee.
Joubran, the first Arab to be appointed to the 15-member court as a full-time judge, will serve in the position until his retirement in August, when he will turn 70.
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked praised the appointment, saying “Judge Joubran is a first-rate, trailblazing judge. His appointment as vice president of the Supreme Court brings great honor to the State of Israel.”
Joubran turned down the salary increase that comes with the new position.
A Christian-Arab, born in the northern city of Acre, Joubran was involved in a number of important verdicts. He was one of three judges who rejected the appeal of former president Moshe Katsav, sending him to prison for seven years for rape and sexual abuse.
Joubran has also served since 2013 as chairman of the Central Elections Committee, the first Arab to do so.
UNHRC: ‘ICJ should rule on Israeli, Palestinian compliance failure'
The International Court of Justice at The Hague should issue an advisory opinion on the failure of both Israelis and Palestinians to comply with humanitarian law, a United Nations official said in a report that will be debated in Geneva next week.
The suggestion was made toward the end of the document written by the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein.
“The High Commissioner suggests the Human Rights Council consider recommending to the General Assembly that it make use of its powers under Article 96 (a) of the Charter of the UN in order to specify how all parties can fulfill their obligations in implementing the recommendations reviewed in the present report,” the document stated.
Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein of Jordan (REUTERS/PIERRE ALBOUY)Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein of Jordan (REUTERS/PIERRE ALBOUY)
Article 96 is the procedure under which an advisory opinion is sought from the ICJ.
In 2004, the ICJ advisory opinion stated that Israel's security barrier and West Bank settlements were illegal under international law.
Zeid’s has now suggested that the ICJ take a broader look at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict so that the UN would have stronger tools by which to enforce compliance with its resolutions and recommendations.
Haley threatens US pullout from UNHRC over int'l court suit on Israel
The United States warned that it would leave the United Nations Human Rights Council if it turns to the International Court of Justice at The Hague for a broad advisory opinion on Israeli actions in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley issued a statement on the matter after learning that the UN might ask the International Court of Justice to comment on the failure of both Israelis and Palestinians to comply with humanitarian law.
The High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein plans to make an initial request to this effect when he addresses the UNHRC next Monday.
The initial request was part of a report he published this week called “Ensuring accountability and justice for all violations of international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.”
Court of Arbitration to hear Palestinian appeal over FIFA settlements decision
The Palestinian Football Association has filed an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport over a decision by world soccer's governing body FIFA regarding the association's rights to run football activities there.
CAS said in a statement the appeal was against a decision taken during the FIFA Congress in May to not vote on a proposal by the PFA in which it sought the "recognition of its rights to run football activities in accordance with the FIFA statutes".
FIFA instead chose to vote on an alternative proposal in which the FIFA Council was granted a time limit until the end of March 2018 to study and evaluate reports from the FIFA Monitoring Committee Israel-Palestine.
The dispute centres on six teams from lower divisions of the Israeli league who are based in settlements in the West Bank and play their matches there.
The PFA says this is contrary to FIFA statutes which state that a member country's teams cannot play matches on the territory of another association without permission.
IsraellyCool: Six Minutes That Cemented Pallywood Whining (satire)
Pallywood is celebrating 50 years since its ”victory” in the famous Six Minute War in 1967.
For the first time ever, Pallywood historian Mahmud Whitewashallah shares with the wider public his shocking findings from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion’s Archives. “In 1967 Pallywood was threatened by three Zionist armies led by the Egyptian Jewish despot Gabriel Wasser who threatened to wipe out Pallywood from the map of fairytales. It was really a terrifying time for Pallywood which is not used to be outside the world of fairytales. We are very proud of the fact that we gave the world the world-famous One Thousand and One Lies as well as the Pallynudnik fairytale writer Hussein Chalid Andersenallah who lived in exile in Denmark. Thanks to him, every kid from Nebraska to Nablus knows children stories like The Little Merry Jihadnik and The Emperor Abbas’ New Armani Clothes.”
Trying to keep the lights on in Gaza
Menwhile, far from the public eye, attempts are being made to resolve the Gaza electricity crisis. A number of Western and Arab countries are considering footing Gaza's electricity costs temporarily, until a permanent solution can be reached with the PA. If an agreement on temporary funding is reached, the money will either be transferred directly to Israel, which produces and supplies the electricity Gaza consumes, or to Hamas, so the group can purchase diesel to produce its own electricity. Israel would probably prefer the second option, which would keep it out of the crisis and prevent another face-off with the PA.
In addition to its humanitarian efforts, Israel clearly signaled to Hamas on Tuesday that it is not seeking any escalation in the south. The IDF may be in the process of ensuring battle-readiness (part of which included testing an automated emergency call-up system during a Homefront Command drill), but the prime minister himself said explicitly that Israel wants calm in the south, not a war.
The general assessment in Israel at the moment is that Hamas also wishes to avoid a clash. Israel's effective power of deterrence is clearly demonstrated by Hamas' decisive efforts to prevent other groups in the Gaza Strip from perpetrating attacks against Israel. However, if the Gaza crisis deteriorates and results in public backlash against the Gaza government, Hamas, pressed into a corner, might try to provoke a war with Israel as a means of improving its strategic position, as it did before 2014's Operation Protective Edge.
This scenario, which could also come to pass if Hamas manages to launch a major terrorist attack from Gaza, is something Israel wants to prevent, or at least delay. On Tuesday evening, senior officials voiced cautious hope that a solution to the current crisis would be found, but stressed that it would only be a temporary one and that because of Hamas' current distress -- having lost its patrons Qatar and Egypt and possibly seeking sponsorship from Iran -- tension in the south could continue for quite some time.
Five reasons why Gaza's electricity crisis could spark a war
Israel and Hamas – after fighting three bloody conflicts since Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007 – both say they are not looking for conflict. But the latest electricity crisis in Gaza has senior IDF officials worried that any miscalculation on either side could spark another armed confrontation.
The following are five factors are in play:
1. Qatar is in trouble
Hamas has long relied on the Gulf emirate for financial and political support and Qatar stepped in to provide financial aid during the last fuel crisis which hit the Strip in January. Qatar has supported Hamas financially over the last decade and pledged some $1.5 billion since 2012 to build roads, houses, schools and clinics in Gaza. It has for a long time also hosted exiled leaders of the group, such as Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal and Saleh al-Aruri, who is believed to be behind the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers that led to Operation Protective Edge in 2014. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said this week that Aruri has left Qatar for Lebanon, while Mashaal remains in Doha. If Qatar continues to reduce its support for Hamas, the group may try to show its relevance by attacking Israel.
2. Hamas may want to divert attention away from internal problems
Hamas has provoked confrontation in the past with Israel to distract from internal issues. In addition to a lack of fuel to supply residents with electricity, Gaza’s water utility company has warned that when the power is off, it also lacks fuel and cannot run water and sanitation facilities. There is also a skyrocketing unemployment rate, especially among youth, creating an even more urgent humanitarian situation. While nearly 80% of Gaza residents receive some form of aid, those who are lucky enough to find work receive salaries of just over $400 per month. One of Hamas’ primary fears is that the people of Gaza will one day rise up and lead to its fall from power and to the return of the Palestinian Authority to control of the Strip. If the electricity cuts remain in place and the people blame Hamas for its role, the organization may lash out against Israel to divert attention and criticism from the urgent humanitarian issues it faces in its territory.
US places onus on Hamas for Gaza crisis
Hamas is responsible for the humanitarian crisis, the Trump administration said as 2 million Palestinian in Gaza struggle to live on four hours a day of electricity.
“We do remain deeply concerned about the humanitarian situation there,” US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters in Washington on Tuesday.
“We continue to underscore the need for international support for Gaza’s recovery and humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people,” she said.
“But no one should lose sight of the fact, of this fact, that Hamas bears the greatest responsibility for the current situation in Gaza,” Nauert added.
Palestinians say Netanyahu, not Abbas, to blame for Gaza crisis
The Palestinian Authority on Wednesday blamed Israel for an energy crisis in Gaza, after Israel acceded to a request by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to slash the amount of power it transfers to the beleaguered Strip and defended the move by saying the matter was an internal Palestinian rift.
Youssef Mahmoud, a spokesperson for the PA, said in a statement Wednesday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was unfairly attempting to exculpate Israel in the crisis in the Gaza Strip.
“The simplification of his portrayal [of the crisis] as an internal dispute over the payment of the electric bill does not absolve the Netanyahu government from taking responsibility,” he said.
On Tuesday, Netanyahu said the crisis was not Israel’s to get involved with, defending Israel’s decision to allow Abbas to slash the electricity it transfers to Gaza by some 40 percent.
With Gaza ailing, PA accused of slashing medical aid by nearly 90%
The feud between Palestinian factions that has led to an electricity crisis in the Gaza Strip has also brought about a severe shortage of medicine and medical equipment in the Hamas-run enclave, a rights watchdog said this week, describing a worsening humanitarian situation.
According to information given to Physicians for Human Rights Israel (PHRI) by Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry, “one-third of essential medicines and more than 270 medical equipment items for operating rooms and intensive care units can no longer be obtained in the Health Ministry’s storerooms and in Gaza hospitals.“
The physicians’ NGO said the cause of the shortages is the Palestinian Authority’s slashing of funds sent to Gaza, including for healthcare operations and medical supplies.
The PA, according to information given to PHRI, used to pay $4 million monthly for the regular operation of 13 government hospitals and 54 primary care centers. In April, the sum was down to $2.3 million, and in May it fell to just $500,000, the organization said.
In April, the Israeli daily Haaretz quoted a senior adviser to PA President Mahmoud Abbas who said Ramallah was slashing the health care budget for Gaza as part of a series of measures meant to coerce Hamas into relinquishing some control of the Strip, which it seized in 2007, and giving authority back to the PA.
“We realize this sounds cruel, but in the end, after 10 years of the split and Hamas rule in the Strip, [Hamas] must decide whether it will control things in every sense, including ongoing expenses, or let the Palestinian government rule,” the adviser said.
Song on PA TV criticizes the Arab world for not fighting against Israel


Most Palestinians Want Hamas to Accept a Two-State Solution, and Care Little about Settlement Building
From reading the Western press—or, for that matter, the Israeli press—one would imagine that most Palestinians see Israeli construction in the West Bank as one of the primary threats to their wellbeing and would furiously and perhaps violently protest a move of the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. But a recent poll suggests very different priorities, writes David Pollock, and even gives some reasons for hope:
The most startling finding concerns the bonuses the Palestinian Authority (PA) pays to convicted terrorists. . . . The PA has claimed that popular pressure compels it to persist in this practice. In fact, the survey shows that two-thirds of Palestinians think “the PA should give prisoners’ families normal social benefits like everybody else, not extra payments based on their sentences or armed operations.” . . . .
Similarly, on the controversial issue of moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, the Palestinian public is less militant than its leaders. In the West Bank . . . the majority (56 percent) say this issue is “not so important” or even “not important at all.” Gazans are more opposed; but just one-quarter of them label moving the U.S. embassy a “very important” issue. . . .
Equally revealing are the answers to this question: “What is the one thing you’d most like the U.S. to do about the Palestinian issues these days?” A plurality of West Bankers pick “put pressure on the Palestinian Authority and Hamas to be more democratic and less corrupt”—more than those who prefer “pressure on Israel to make concessions” or “increased economic aid to the Palestinians.” Among Gazans, economic aid comes first. . . . Moreover, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza continue to prioritize their personal lives over politics. . . . And significantly, concerning Hamas, most Palestinians now seek to defuse its conflict with Israel. . . .
Iran Charity Spreading Republic’s Influence in Gaza Strip
Iran is continuing to increase its influence in the Gaza Strip through the social activities of the official Iranian charity foundation named after Ayatollah Sayyid Ruhollah Mūsavi Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The fund recently launched a campaign called “Khomeini’s Aid,” in which it distributed thousands of food parcels to Palestinian families in the Strip for the month of Ramadan, a month of fasting for Muslims.
One of the leaders of the campaign in Gaza, Khamis Alhaytam, said that the goal of the campaign is to help families in need during the month of Ramadan.
The activity of the Iranian charity fueled debate among Palestinians when some in Gaza claimed that the goal was to spread the Shi’ite concept of Islam and to strengthen Iran’s influence and image among the Sunni population of the Gaza Strip.
Social media users haven’t remained silent about the Iranian effort to penetrate the social fabric of the residents of the Gaza Strip. Ismail Hamid, the leader of “Army of the Nation,” a Salafi organization active in the Gaza Strip, wrote on his Twitter account, “The Khomeini Committee for charity, or the Iranian Red Crescent, the Sunnis will not open their doors to Iran so that no one will complain afterwards that many Gaza residents are becoming Shi’ites.”



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compliments

Algemeiner: "Fiercely intelligent and erudite"

Omri: "Elder is one of the best established and most respected members of the jblogosphere..."
Atheist Jew:"Elder of Ziyon probably had the greatest impression on me..."
Soccer Dad: "He undertakes the important task of making sure that his readers learn from history."
AbbaGav: "A truly exceptional blog..."
Judeopundit: "[A] venerable blog-pioneer and beloved patriarchal figure...his blog is indispensable."
Oleh Musings: "The most comprehensive Zionist blog I have seen."
Carl in Jerusalem: "...probably the most under-recognized blog in the JBlogsphere as far as I am concerned."
Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation."
The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"