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by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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  DAILY ALERT Tuesday,
October 23, 2012

In-Depth Issues:

Egyptian President Morsi Joins Preacher in Prayer for Destruction and Dispersal of the Jews (MEMRI)
    On October 19, 2012, Egyptian cleric Futouh Abd Al-Nabi Mansour, Head of Religious Endowment in the Matrouh governorate, delivered a sermon in the presence of Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi that aired on Egyptian Channel 1.
    The cleric said: "Oh Allah, absolve us of our sins, strengthen us, and grant us victory over the infidels. Oh Allah, destroy the Jews and their supporters. Oh Allah, disperse them, rend them asunder. Oh Allah, demonstrate Your might and greatness upon them. Show us Your omnipotence, oh Lord."

British Al-Qaeda Gang Planned "Another 9/11" in UK - Tom Whitehead and Sam Marsden (Telegraph-UK)
    A Jihadist group from Birmingham sought to target crowded areas to cause "mass death" in a terror plot that was set to be even more devastating than the 7/7 London bombings, Woolwich Crown Court was told on Monday.
    Two of the ringleaders had received terror training in Pakistan and made martyrdom videos to be released after they had "blown themselves up."
    They planned to detonate homemade bombs in up to eight rucksacks and may also have blown others up with bombs on timers.
    In order to raise funds for their terrorist activities, the gang organized bogus street collections for the charity Muslim Aid and for a local Islamic school.

Protesters in Jordan Demand End to Israeli Ties - Taylor Luck (Jordan Times)
    Dozens of activists marked the anniversary of the Jordan-Israel peace treaty with an anti-Israel rally on Friday, demanding that the government sever ties with Israel.
    Meanwhile, hundreds of leftist and opposition activists hit the streets in cities across the country, demanding the postponement of the January 23 parliamentary elections and the release of 20 jailed protesters.

Is Hassan Nasrallah a "Zionist Agent"? - Amir Taheri (Asharq Al-Awsat-UK)
    Commenting on reports about the penetration of an unknown drone into Israel's air space, Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah claimed that the drone had been made in Iran and sent to Lebanon as part of a strategy to keep Israel under pressure.
    Deputy Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) General Jamaleddin Abroumand responded: "Those who link the drone incident to Iran are carrying out Israel's psychological war against the Islamic Republic."
    Since no one, not even Israel, had linked the drone to Iran, it was obvious that the general was referring to Nasrallah.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Iranian Official Set Up International Money Laundering Network - Damien McElroy
    A senior aide to Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has used trips to Vienna to defy UN sanctions to build an international money laundering network that funds black market equipment purchases by the country's regime. At least two visits this year to Vienna by a senior departmental director have been used to carry out transactions worth millions of euros, according to sources.
        While the official and the Center for Innovation and Technology Cooperation - part of Ahmadinejad's presidential office - are on the U.S. Treasury's sanctions list, no measures have been taken against the official in Europe. Internal documents have been obtained from the center by People's Mujahadeen, the Iranian opposition group. The official spent more than a week in Austria in April and September, holding meetings with key lieutenants, two of whom are Iranian businessmen and two Austrians. The center is a key vehicle for supplying technology to Iran's nuclear program. (Telegraph-UK)
        See also One Shady Operator Provides Glimpse of Supply Line to Iran - Shashank Bengali
    In October 2005, Austrian authorities intercepted a parcel containing graphite cylinders, which can be used in ballistic missiles, addressed to Iran from Austrian-born Daniel Frosch's tiny export company in Graz. In late 2006, they tried to arrest him for attempting to sell valves and other components with military applications to Iranian state-owned companies. Today, U.S. officials say, his UAE-based International General Resourcing FZE sells banned electronics and other material to Tehran as part of a global maze of illicit suppliers, fly-by-night companies, crooked shipping agents and other corrupt officials in Iran's sanctions-busting schemes. (Los Angeles Times)
  • Iran Setting Up Businesses in Turkey to Circumvent Sanctions
    The number of Iranian-funded foreign companies established in Turkey totaled 2,140 at the end of last year - a 40% rise over 2010, a Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) report revealed on Friday. In September 2012, 17% of the foreign companies that were established in Turkey in September were Iranian-funded. The report comes amidst growing concerns that some of these Iranian businesses may be front companies set up to circumvent UN-sponsored sanctions on Iran. (Zaman-Turkey)
  • Syrian Rebels Getting More Advanced Gear
    Syria's rebels are slowly expanding their arsenal and getting their hands on more advanced weapons. Most units still rely on their arsenal of automatic weapons, hand grenades and rocket-propelled grenades, but there have been notable advances. Anti-aircraft missiles have made their first appearances in rebel hands in recent weeks.
        "My sense is that the rebels are winning this war," said Jeffrey White of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. "They are winning by inches and the regime is doing its best to use its assets in innovative ways, but it is basically losing that fight."  (AP-Washington Post)
  • Qatari Visit Hands Hamas Major Victory - Ibrahim Barzak
    When Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the ruler of Qatar, arrives in Gaza on Tuesday, he will hand Hamas their biggest diplomatic victory since taking power five years ago. The first head of state to visit Hamas-controlled Gaza, the emir will deliver more than $250 million in aid. (AP)
        See also Qatar's Emir Visits Gaza - Simon Henderson (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Netanyahu: No Immunity for Those Firing Rockets from Gaza - Herb Keinon and Yaakov Lappin
    There will be no immunity for those firing rockets on Israel from Gaza, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Quartet envoy Tony Blair on Monday. Last week saw dozens of rockets falling on southern Israel and the Israel Air Force striking centers of terror activity in response.
        "We will not allow anyone to arm themselves and fire rockets on us, and think they can do this with impunity," Netanyahu said. "They are not going to get away with it." "We attacked them before, we attacked them after and we're going to prevent them from arming themselves," he said. "This is our policy....And they know that's what we're doing."  (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Video: Prime Minister Netanyahu Meets Tony Blair (Prime Minister's Office)
  • Gaza: IDF Officer Injured by Roadside Bomb at Gaza Border
    An IDF officer injured on Tuesday during a routine patrol near the Gaza border fence was in critical condition, the IDF Spokesman's Office stated. Last week, an explosive device detonated against IDF soldiers in the same area damaged a military vehicle. (Jerusalem Post)
  • IDF: Hamas Gaining Strength in West Bank - Yaakov Lappin
    Hamas is getting stronger in the West Bank, focusing its activities on building up its base of supporters by indoctrination and creating social assistance programs, an IDF source said Sunday. It is also preoccupied with a program called "Kutla," which recruits university students by spreading jihadi ideology. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Does Iran Have an "Inalienable Right" to Enrich Uranium? - Emily B. Landau
    The Iranian media reiterate Iran's "inalienable right" to enrich uranium according to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Yet since 2006, Iran's claim is actually negated by the six resolutions passed by the UN Security Council instructing Iran to suspend enrichment-related activities, which Iran has blatantly violated. These Security Council resolutions "trump" any privilege provided by the NPT. The demand that Iran suspend uranium enrichment is currently a legally binding demand.
        The right of Iran to pursue nuclear energy, including uranium enrichment activities, is not absolute. According to the NPT, this right is explicitly conditional upon upholding Articles I and II of the treaty, including the stipulation that states not manufacture nuclear weapons. In other words, if a state engages in weapons-related activities, the right no longer holds. (Institute for National Security Studies-Tel Aviv University)
  • Is Syria's Regime Spreading Turbulence as a Survival Tactic? - Simon Tisdall
    The assassination of the Lebanese intelligence chief, General Wissam al-Hassan, has stoked fears that the Syrian regime is deliberately trying to "internationalize" the civil war as a means of ensuring its survival. President Bashar al-Assad is effectively raising the price that hostile neighboring countries and the major powers must pay for his overthrow.
        The Syrian regime has already impressed on Turkey how big a price Ankara may have to pay after Syrian army units shelled a town inside Turkey, killing five civilians, which was followed by days of artillery exchanges. (Guardian-UK)

The Future of the Palestinian Authority - Ehud Yaari and Nathan Brown (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)

  • Yaari: More than three years after the inauguration of Prime Minister Salam Fayad's state-building plan, the PA is nearly bankrupt. Arab donors have failed to fulfill their financial pledges, private banks will no longer extend loans to the government, employee salaries have been deferred, and the deficit is effectively over $1.5 billion. Without evidence of substantial progress toward state-building, many have begun to question the need for the PA's existence.
  • Brown: To outsiders, Fayad was perceived as both a symbol of Palestinian self-reliance and a vehicle for institution-building. Domestically, however, these perceptions held little credibility. Fayad was successful in reforming fiscal procedures, repairing traffic lights, and paying salaries on time. But such measures amounted merely to a recovery from the second intifada and not to the building of a state. Nevertheless, countless households rely on the institutions of the PA, and its collapse would have a significant impact.
  • With the Arab uprisings that have swept the Middle East, a similar rebellion has not occurred within the Palestinian context for several reasons, including lingering exhaustion from the second intifada, the absence of a specific target for protests, and the lack of a tactical focus.

    Ehud Yaari is a fellow with The Washington Institute and Middle East correspondent for Israel's Channel Two television. Nathan Brown is a professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University and a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment.

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