Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Iran Moves Some Centrifuges to Underground Site - Ali Akbar Dareini (AP/Forbes) Gaza Lull Breached; Rockets Hit Western Negev - Shmulik Hadad (Ynet News) Israel Lauds Success of Iron Dome Missile Interceptor - Ori Lewis (Reuters) Abbas Postpones Palestinian Municipal Elections without Setting a New Date (AP/Washington Post) Gaza Crossings Operate Despite the Attacks (IDF Spokesman)
Iran Moves Some Centrifuges to Underground Site - Ali Akbar Dareini (AP/Forbes)
Gaza Lull Breached; Rockets Hit Western Negev - Shmulik Hadad (Ynet News)
Israel Lauds Success of Iron Dome Missile Interceptor - Ori Lewis (Reuters)
Abbas Postpones Palestinian Municipal Elections without Setting a New Date (AP/Washington Post)
Gaza Crossings Operate Despite the Attacks (IDF Spokesman)
News Resources - North America and Europe:
What appeared to be a climactic showdown between rebel and government forces in Libya a day earlier devolved into confusion and uncertainty Tuesday about whether ruler Moammar Gaddafi's regime would fall anytime soon. Sporadic fighting continued in Tripoli as two purported rebel accomplishments came unhinged. On Monday, rebel leaders had said claimed they had captured three of Gaddafi's sons, including Saif al-Islam -- who is wanted on war crimes charges by the International Criminal Court. But Tuesday, Saif al-Islam showed up at the Rixos Hotel, one of the remaining strongholds of pro-Gaddafi forces. (CNN)
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Monday accused Syrian President Bashar Assad of failing to live up to his pledge to halt all security operations against protesters, saying the Syrian leader “has not kept his word.” Assad assured Ban in a telephone conversation Wednesday that all police and military operations had stopped.
But there has been no visible slowing of the crackdown. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said Monday that the steadily mounting death toll in Syria had topped 2,200 civilians, including 39 demonstrators killed since Assad made his pledge to the UN chief. (Washington Post)
A budding middle class in the impoverished Gaza Strip is flaunting its wealth, sipping coffee at gleaming new cafes, shopping for shoes at the new tiny shopping malls, and fueling perhaps the most acrimonious grass roots resentment yet toward the ruling Hamas movement. The level of consumption may be modest by Western standards, but it’s in startling contrast to the grinding poverty of most Gazans, who rely on U.N. food handouts to get by.
“There is a nouveau riche that has followed the rise of the government,” said Alaa Araj, a former Gaza economic minister and businessman considered close to Hamas. “We must sound the alarm,” he said. “(Resentment) is growing in Gaza.” (AP/Washington Post)
Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby on Sunday suggested Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reconsider his appeal to the UN to recognize an independent Palestinian state in September. "The unilateral appeal to the UN Security Council and UN General Assembly could be a very dangerous move for the Palestinians during this period and I propose that Abbas reconsider the handling of the matter," Elaraby said. Elaraby said the UN bid could be ill-timed because the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank is not in control of the situation in Gaza. (Israel Hayom)
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday agreed to a request by Turkey to delay the publication of a report on the events of an Israel Defense Forces raid on a flotilla bound for Gaza, in which 9 Turkish activists died during clashes with Israeli troops. An Israeli official said that a delay of the report would allow the renewal of Israel-Turkey negotiations aimed at ending the diplomatic crisis between the two countries, and to try to word an Israeli apology to Turkey that would be acceptable to Israel. (Ha'aretz)
See also Israel Fails to Apologize, Turkey Ponders Options - Goksel Secilmis
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated on July 23 that Turkey now intends to move on to “Plan B,” which will include a campaign against Israel to be carried out at UN institutions, legal action against senior Israeli figures in European courts, and military cooperation between Turkey and Israel being put on hold. (Zaman - Turkey)
Israeli-Turkish trade rose 26% to $2 billion in first half of 2011 from $1.59 billion in the first half of 2010, the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce reports. Israeli exports to Turkey rose 39% to $950 million from $648 million, and imports from Turkey rose 16% to $1.05 billion from $907 million. (Globes)
The terrorist attack in southern Israel on August 18 in which eight Israelis were killed was initiated and executed by the Palestinian terrorist organization known as the “Popular Resistance Committees,” which operate as a terrorist arm of Hamas.
The Popular Resistance Committees were established at the beginning of the Second Intifada at the end of September 2000 by Jamal Abu Samhadana. The ideology of the Popular Resistance Committees is based on an extremist version of Islamism, which places the organization in the same category as Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and even al-Qaeda. The Popular Resistance Committees joined forces with Hamas and Jaish al-Islam (the Army of Islam), which is identified with al-Qaeda, in order to conduct an attack in June 2006 on Israeli forces inside Israel, just north of Gaza, in which IDF soldier Gilad Shalit was kidnapped. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
See also Al Qaeda Linked to Israeli Bus Ambush - Eli Lake
U.S. intelligence agencies are investigating reports that al Qaeda-aligned groups played a key role in the deadly commando-style attack near the Israeli resort town of Eilat last week.
“There has been a history of close operational coordination between Hamas, the Popular Resistance Committees and Jaish al Islam, which is the most important of the al Qaeda affiliates in the Gaza Strip,” said Dore Gold, a former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations who now is the president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. (Washington Times)
The Popular Resistance Committees is an independent terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip that is supported, subsidized and trained by the Hamas terrorist organization. The PRC operates in coordination with Iranian authorities and the Hezbollah terrorist organization and has conducted multiple terrorist activities against Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers. (IDF Spokesman)
Assad’s fall is not only good for the future of Syria. It is also very much in the interests of the United States.
Assad is not about to go quietly. Energy sanctions will weaken the regime, hindering its ability to pay the security forces going about their bloody work, and persuading the merchant middle class that its interests may no longer be aligned with Assad’s. But sanctions are unlikely to break the regime’s back. Assad will fight, and so will his Iranian allies, whose 30-year investment in Hizbullah may depend on the survival of the regime in Damascus that arms Iran’s Lebanese asset. Syria and Iran and their clients in Gaza, Lebanon, Iraq, and elsewhere may hit closer to home by targeting direct American interests and U.S. military and diplomatic personnel. The White House would do well to recognize that the goal of the Syrian opposition—Assad’s exit—runs parallel to American interests. (Weekly Standard)
Tripoli Minus Gaddafi - Marc Ginsberg (Huffington Post)
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