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by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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  DAILY ALERT Thursday,
October 25, 2012

In-Depth Issues:

Report: Bombed Arms Factory Belongs to Iran's Revolutionary Guard - Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff (Ha'aretz)
    Opposition sources in Sudan claim that the arms factory bombed in Khartoum belongs to Iran's Revolutionary Guard.
    In recent years, several reports published in the Arab media said that Iran's Revolutionary Guard built weapons manufacturing plants together with the Sudanese government.
    According to foreign reports, the arms factories that Iran built in Sudan were meant to arm Hamas.
    Moreover, after the fall of Gaddafi, the Al-Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps smuggled dozens of antiaircraft and SA-24 missiles from Libya to Sudan, in order to later pass them on to Hamas.

Israeli Official: Sudan a Terrorist State (AFP)
    "Sudan is a dangerous terrorist state," Amos Gilad, director of policy and political-military affairs at Israel's Defense Ministry, told Israel's army radio on Thursday.
    "Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir is regarded a war criminal. Sudan has also served as the operational base for bin Laden," Gilad pointed out.
    "The regime is supported by Iran and it serves as a route for the transfer, via Egyptian territory, of Iranian weapons to Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists."
    See also The Islamic Republic of Sudan? - Jonathan Schanzer (Foreign Policy)

Arab Media Depicts U.S. Elections as Controlled by Israel, Jews (ADL)
    Cartoons featured in major Arab newspapers continue to portray U.S. presidential candidates as being in the pocket of Jews and Israel, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) reported Monday.
    In a compilation of election-themed cartoons from the Muslim and Arab press, ADL highlighted the repeated demonization of Jews and Israel and the U.S.-Israel relationship, with offensive caricatures published in Egypt, Jordan, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Syria.
    "For far too long, anti-Semitic cartoons have appeared in the Arab and Muslim press, often in countries where the press is tightly controlled by the government," said ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman.

Foreign Islamic Militants Provide a Powerful Boost to Syrian Rebels (AP-Washington Post)
    Syria's rebels share misgivings over the possible injection of al-Qaeda's influence into the country's civil war, but they also see a welcome boost from the experienced, disciplined fighters whose battlefield valor is legendary.
    Several hundred fighters from Jabhat al-Nusra, a shadowy group with an al-Qaeda-style ideology, have been a valued addition to rebel ranks in the battle for control of Aleppo, Syria's largest city.
    Many rebels talk of the al-Nusra fighters' prowess as snipers. "They rush to the rescue of rebel lines that come under pressure and hold them," one rebel said.
    "They are like the special forces of Aleppo." But he added: "The only thing is that they are too radical."

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Lull in Fighting Between Israel, Gaza Militants - Amy Teibel
    A deadly flare-up in fighting between Israel and Gaza's militant Hamas group subsided on Thursday after militants fired some 80 rockets and mortars at Israel and Israeli aircraft struck Gaza four times on Wednesday. Both sides confirmed Egyptian involvement in ending the fighting. Israeli defense official Amos Gilad told Army Radio on Thursday that Egyptian security forces have "a very impressive ability" to convey to the militants that it is in their "supreme interest not to attack."  (AP-ABC News)
        See also Israeli Official: Egypt Not Doing Enough in Sinai
    Israeli Cabinet minister Moshe Yaalon, a former army chief of staff, told Israel Radio Thursday that Israel cooperates on security with Egypt's new government, headed by President Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, also the parent movement of Hamas. Still, Yaalon added: "To say that we are satisfied with Egyptian activity in Sinai, I can't say we are satisfied yet."  (AP-Boston Globe)
  • Sudan Accuses Israel of Airstrike on Munitions Factory - Robyn Dixon
    Sudan on Wednesday accused Israel of launching an airstrike that caused a large explosion at a munitions factory in Khartoum. Sudan Information Minister Ahmed Belal Osman said the planes in the attack used sophisticated technology to evade antiaircraft systems.
        The Yarmouk arms factory was believed to be "part of the smuggling trail leading from Iran, Sudan, and Egypt into the Sinai and finally into Gaza," said Ehud Yaari, Arab affairs commentator for Israel's Channel 2. (Los Angeles Times)
        See also Sudan Accuses Israel of Bombing Military Factory
    Sudan Information Minister Ahmed Belal Osman said that 60% of the military factory was completely destroyed while 40% was partially destroyed. (Sudan Tribune)
  • Iran Supplying Assad through Ground Convoys across Iraq - Josh Rogin
    For several months, the U.S. government has been urging the Iraqi government to stop Iran from supplying arms to the Syrian regime through commercial flights over Iraqi airspace, but a larger amount of supplies is now crossing Iraq via convoys on the ground, said Iraq's exiled Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi. He said a growing and active ground transport route from Iran to Syria crosses through the Zarbatia checkpoint on the Iran-Iraq border, west of the Iranian town of Mehran, flows through the city of Karbala, and crosses over to Syria via the al-Qaim border crossing.
        "Munitions, heavy arms, and even militias are passing checkpoints without any sort of obstruction," Hashimi said. "A huge number of buses and trucks are passing the checkpoints all the way from the Iranian border to the Syrian border, passing through al-Anbar [province] without stopping at the checkpoints."
        "The American administration should be aware that because of unique ties with Iran, the Maliki government will never be able to resist any sort of demand coming from Tehran....This is just a matter of fact," he said. "We should expect many, many, many attempts to bypass and circumvent sanctions against Iran and Syria by Iraq."  (Foreign Policy)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israel to UN: Silence on Gaza Rockets Gives Terror a Green Light - Joshua Davidovich
    Israel's ambassador to the UN called on the Security Council Wednesday to issue a statement condemning fire from Gaza after more than 80 rockets slammed into southern Israel over a single day. Ron Prosor warned Security Council members that if they don't condemn the rocket attacks, Hamas and other terrorists will interpret the silence "as a green light for terror."  (Times of Israel)
        See also Israelis Describe Non-Stop Missiles, Near-Death Hits - Greg Tepper
    Zilpa Yoz described waking up to the bombardment, during which her house sustained heavy damage, telling Channel 2 TV, "I heard a red alert, explosions in the area - 7 a.m....I closed the door to protect myself from the concussion. Within a second, as I closed the doors, I heard a big boom and horrible silence." A rocket had smashed into her home. (Times of Israel)
        See also U.S. Ambassador to Israel Condemns "Outrageous" Rocket Fire from Gaza - Ron Friedman (Times of Israel)
  • U.S. Extends Israel Loan Guarantees to 2016 - Nadav Shemer
    U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Israeli Treasury Director-General Doron Cohen signed an agreement in Washington on Wednesday that will extend U.S. loan guarantees to Israel to 2016. The agreement gives Israel four more years to use $3.8 billion in guarantees left over from $9b. in guarantees granted in 2003. Even if Israel does not take advantage of the loan guarantees, having American backing helps it obtain favorable rates on borrowing abroad. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Why Hamas Feels Confident Enough to Fire Rockets at Israel - Khaled Abu Toameh
    Hamas' involvement in the current rocket and mortar attacks on Israel is a sign of its growing sense of confidence, especially in the wake of the visit to Gaza of the emir of Qatar. Hamas knows that it also enjoys the support of many Arabs and Muslims thanks to the Arab Spring, including the full backing of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi.
        Hamas feels confident that Morsi would not remain idle if Israel retaliated against the rocket fire with a massive military operation in Gaza. The least that Hamas expects from Morsi in response to such an operation would be to sever Egypt's diplomatic ties with Israel. Hamas has to prove to its critics and political rivals that it has not abandoned the "armed resistance against the Zionist enemy."  (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Israel: By Embracing Hamas, Qatar Threw Peace under the Bus
    Israel's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday condemned a visit to Hamas-ruled Gaza by the emir of Qatar, who announced he would donate $400 million to rehabilitating Gaza. "This money will only entrench its recipients deeper in corruption, hate and wastefulness," a Foreign Ministry spokesman said. "You could say that Qatar threw peace under the bus."  (Israel Hayom)
  • Iran's Unrequited War - Bret Stephens
    When it comes to Iran, the mullahs started the war a long time ago. Here's a list of the American victims of Iranian aggression: The 17 Americans killed in April 1983 at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut by the Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad Organization, later known as Hizbullah. The 241 U.S. servicemen killed by Islamic Jihad at the Marine barracks in Beirut on Oct. 23, 1983.
        Master Chief Robert Dean Stethem, beaten to death in June 1985 by a Hizbullah terrorist in Beirut aboard TWA flight 847. William Francis Buckley, the CIA station chief in Beirut, tortured to death by Hizbullah that same month. Marine Col. William Higgins, taken hostage in 1988 while serving with UN peacekeepers in Lebanon and hanged by Hizbullah sometime later.
        The 19 U.S. Air Force personnel killed in June 1996 in the Khobar Towers bombing, for which several members of Saudi Hizbullah were indicted in U.S. federal court. The thousands of U.S. troops killed by improvised explosive devices in Iraq and Afghanistan. The most lethal IEDs were manufactured in Iran for the purpose of killing Americans.
        33 years of Iranian outrages have gone unavenged, and Iran now proceeds undeterred. Sensible policy on Iran begins not with the question of how to avoid a war - that war was foisted on us in 1979 - but how to win it. Anything less invites further terror and dishonors the memory of Iran's many American victims. (Wall Street Journal)
  • For Iran, Clear Boundaries Prevent War - Michael Ledeen
    On Sept. 17, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the UN that "red lines don't lead to war, red lines prevent war." Strategic thinkers have long argued that it's dangerous to encourage an enemy to believe he can take provocative action without serious consequences. In the 20th century, several ambitious leaders marched into war at least in part because they believed their potential enemies would not respond. The writer is a freedom scholar with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. (Washington Times)

What Egypt's President Has Forgotten - Alan Baker (Ha'aretz)

  • In his interview with the New York Times on the eve of his first visit as Egypt's president to the U.S., Mohammed Morsi conditioned the continued implementation of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty on the fulfillment of commitments by the U.S. and Israel regarding Palestinian self-rule.
  • One wonders whether President Morsi is deliberately mixing the terms of the Camp David Accords with the terms of the bilateral Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty.
  • The 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty was devoted solely to terminating the state of belligerency that had existed between the two countries, and to the establishment of peace and neighborly relations between them.
  • Article VI, paragraph 2 of the peace treaty states: "The Parties undertake to fulfill in good faith their obligations under this Treaty, without regard to action or inaction of any other party and independently of any instrument external to this Treaty."
  • This commitment stands alone, and subjecting fulfillment of Egypt's peace treaty obligations to the settlement of the Palestinian issue would appear to be a violation of the spirit and integrity of the treaty.

    The author, former legal adviser to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Israel's ambassador to Canada, directs the Institute for Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

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