Israel: Fire at Al Aqsa Mosque Caused by Arabs Shooting Fireworks at Police - Joshua Mitnick and Nicholas Casey (Wall Street Journal)
While Jordan accused Israel of attacking and desecrating the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on Wednesday and withdrew its ambassador, Israel denied it was responsible for a fire that burned some carpets.
Israeli police blamed Arabs who lit fireworks aimed at police from within the mosque. "If there were any fires, it was as a result of the fireworks that were being fired," said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.
Jordanian officials complained that Israeli police forces had desecrated the mosque by entering it. Police said they went a few feet inside the mosque to shut the door to block rioters who had taken cover inside.
See also Palestinians Store Firebombs in Al Aqsa Mosque - Elhanan Miller and Stuart Winer (Times of Israel)
Palestinians threw rocks and set off fireworks at Israeli security forces on
the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Wednesday.
Israel Radio reported that police chased the rioters back into the Al Aqsa Mosque, where they saw a stash of stones, bottles, and firebombs they had prepared.
The clashes came after the Fatah movement called on Palestinians to keep Jews from visiting the site.
Israel: 15 Attacks on Syrian Border Since March - Jodi Rudoren (New York Times)
IDF Brig. Gen. Ofek Buchris said Wednesday that he had counted 15 intentional attacks from across the once-quiet Syrian frontier since March, including the firing of rockets and placement of roadside bombs, most of them attributed to two "proxy groups" supported by Hizbullah and Iran.
There have also been about 100 instances in which Syrian Army ordnance has landed on the Israeli side of the fence since the onset of the Syrian civil war in 2011.
Israel Okays Egypt Request to Deploy More Forces in Sinai (Jerusalem Post)
Israel has permitted Egypt to send two additional infantry battalions as well as a fleet of attack helicopters into the Sinai Peninsula to root out Islamist jihadists, Army Radio reported on Thursday.
Arab Activist Lied to Get U.S. Citizenship, Jurors Told - Ed White (AP)
Chicago Arab activist Rasmieh Odeh deceived U.S. officials, getting citizenship in 2004 without disclosing that she had spent a decade in an Israeli prison for a bombing that killed two people at a supermarket, a prosecutor said at the start of her trial Wednesday in Detroit.
Odeh, associate director at the Arab American Action Network in Chicago, repeatedly lied, prosecutor Mark Jebson told jurors in federal court.
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
- Obama: We Have Presented Iran with a Framework for Nuclear Energy
President Obama told a press conference on Wednesday:
"Even countries where we have some differences, like Russia, have agreed with us and have worked with us cooperatively in trying to find ways to make sure that we can verify and have confidence going forward that Iran doesn't have the capacity to develop a nuclear weapon that could not only threaten friends of ours like Israel, trigger a nuclear arms race in the region, but could, over the long term, potentially threaten us."
"Whether we can actually get a deal done, we're going to have to find out over the next three to four weeks. We have presented to them a framework that would allow them to meet their peaceful energy needs....I've said consistently that I'd rather have no deal than a bad deal - because what we don't want to do is lift sanctions and provide Iran legitimacy but not have the verifiable mechanisms to make sure that they don't break out and produce a nuclear weapon."
- Iranian Website Reports U.S. Giving Ground on Nuclear Centrifuges - Paul Richter and Ramin Mostaghim
The Obama administration has agreed to allow Iran to operate 6,000 centrifuges to enrich uranium, up from a proposed ceiling of 4,000 reported two weeks ago, as part of negotiations for a nuclear deal, according to a website approved by the Iranian government. The Iranian website said the Obama administration has repeatedly given ground on the centrifuge count, starting early this year with a ceiling of 500 centrifuges, then being raised in negotiations to 1,500 and then 4,000. The Persian-language irannuc.ir website is closely aligned with Iran's foreign ministry and national nuclear organization.
(Los Angeles Times)
- Global Court Says It Will Not Investigate Israeli Raid on Turkish Flotilla - Thomas Escritt
Lawyers at the International Criminal Court have decided that any crimes committed in the context of the interception and takeover of the Mavi Marmara by IDF soldiers on 31 May 2010 were not of sufficient gravity to fall under the court's jurisdiction,
according to court papers seen by Reuters on Wednesday.
The Mavi Marmara was registered to the Comoros Islands, which referred the raid to the court.
"The Mavi Marmara was deliberately reflagged several days before she set sail," said Nick Kaufman, an Israeli lawyer who represents clients before the ICC.
"This allowed the Union of Comoros to be exploited as a jurisdictional vehicle for the continuing and obsessive lawfare against Israel at the ICC." (Reuters)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
- Three IDF Soldiers Injured in West Bank Terror Attack - Yaakov Lappin
Three IDF soldiers were injured Wednesday night, one seriously, after a Palestinian truck slammed into them southwest of Bethlehem. Earlier Wednesday, a Hamas-linked Palestinian slammed into pedestrians near the Jerusalem light rail, killing one Border Police officer and wounding 14 others. (Jerusalem Post)
See also Israeli Border Police Officer Killed in Jerusalem Terror Attack - Aviel Magnezi
Israeli Border Patrol Chief Inspector Jaddan Assad, 38, from the Druse town of Beit Jann, was named as the Israeli murdered Wednesday in a terror attack in Jerusalem.
See also Terrorist's Family "Proud" of Jerusalem Terror Attack - Khaled Abu Toameh (Jerusalem Post)
- Terror Attacks in Jerusalem Receive Abbas' Blessing - Ron Ben-Yishai
Wednesday's two hit-and-run terrorist attacks were carried out in the framework of efforts by Palestinian Islamist elements to affect a change in their favor in the status quo on the Temple Mount. The attacks in Jerusalem receive Mahmoud Abbas' explicit blessing. The PA leader uses the alleged danger posed to the Al Aqsa Mosque as a means of promoting his political strategy.
Israel's government doesn't want a widespread conflagration that would mobilize the entire Muslim world against us, and has relayed explicit instructions to security forces to avoid killing Palestinian rioters - despite the fact that the rioters are doing all they can to create more martyrs to help spark a regional flare-up. The Americans must pressure Abbas to stop trying to take advantage of this flare-up for his own purposes.
- Beware of an Iranian Atomic "Sneak-Out" - James M. Acton
While America's strategy for preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons involves blocking the use of declared facilities that are inspected by the International Atomic Energy Agency - the much-discussed "breakout" scenario - if Tehran goes nuclear it will almost certainly be more surreptitious and build a secret, parallel program dedicated to military ends. The U.S. should, therefore, aim to negotiate measures to prevent "sneak-out."
One critical lesson from history is that would-be proliferators try to sneak out; they don't breakout. Six countries have been found by the IAEA to have violated their nonproliferation commitments: Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Libya, Romania and Syria. Each of these states was guilty of clandestinely conducting nuclear activities that it was legally obliged to report. None made a brazen attempt to divert declared nuclear material that was under the watchful eyes of international inspectors.
Iran's focus on sneak-out is entirely rational; the IAEA is just too good at monitoring what's declared. By contrast, detecting secret enrichment facilities is more difficult.
The writer is a senior associate in the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington.
- The Iranian Nuclear Program: Practical Parameters for a Credible Long-Term Agreement - Olli Heinonen
Any credible and durable deal regarding the Iranian nuclear program must include intensified, sustained verification - undertaken by the IAEA - and a suitable degree of irreversibility.
Iran must allow the IAEA to address the whole picture of the military dimension concerns and decommission, dismantle or convert to non-nuclear or peaceful use in a verifiable and irreversible manner nuclear-related equipment, materials, facilities and sites that contradict the provisions of the safeguards agreement.
Iran must provide the IAEA with unconditional and unrestricted access to any and all areas, facilities, equipment, records, people, and materials, including source materials, which are deemed necessary by the IAEA to fulfill its requirements under the safeguards agreement, and to verify Iran's declarations. The writer was Deputy Director-General for Safeguards at the International Atomic Energy Agency.
(Henry Jackson Society)
- ISIS Wave Is Turning into a Ripple - Ben Hubbard
Analysts say the days of easy and rapid gains for Islamic State jihadists may be coming to a close in Iraq, as the group's momentum appears to be stalling. The international airstrike campaign has clearly played a role, forcing the group to overhaul its operations. Bases and hospitals have been evacuated and moved to civilian homes that are harder to identify and bomb. Fighters who used to cross the desert in convoys now move in small groups or by motorcycle.
ISIS thrives in poor, Sunni areas that have lost their connection to the central state. But the Islamic State has taken most of these areas in Iraq, while failing to seize areas with non-Sunni populations. In Syria, the group also faces resistance from rival rebel groups. Moreover, strikes on oil wells and refineries run by the Islamic State have undermined its economic base.
(New York Times)
Western Double-Standard on Israeli "Racism" - Ben-Dror Yemini (Ynet News)
- Rula Jebreal wrote in the New York Times (Oct. 27) about an ordeal she allegedly suffered at Ben-Gurion International Airport. It's sad and unfortunate, but Muslims are treated with suspicion at almost every airport in the West.
- British travelers, for example, refused to board a flight from Malaga to Manchester only because there were two Arabic speakers on the aircraft; and another incident in Minneapolis saw six imams removed from a flight. In Washington, nine Muslims, three of them children, were removed from a flight. The New York Times reported the incident, but it didn't brand the U.S. as racist.
- "Death to the Arabs" graffiti does indeed appear here and there. Some Israelis are racist - but not more so, and probably much less so, when compared with similar phenomena in other civilized countries. In the real Israel, hundreds of thousands voted an Arab contestant, Lina Makhoul, into first place in the singing contest "The Voice."
- In The Netherlands, Theo van Gogh was murdered by an Islamist. The Muslims in The Netherlands were quick to condemn and protest against the act. In Israel, on the other hand, some members of the Arab leadership have specialized in offering understanding for murderers. The Netherlands was considered one of the most tolerant countries in the world. Yet a total of 117 mosques were torched or damaged there between 2005 and 2010.
- France has imposed a ban on the wearing of niqabs and burqas. Switzerland has banned construction of minarets. And polls in France, Britain and Germany show that more than 70% of their populations view Islam in a negative light. Indeed, incidents of racism, violence and hostility in Europe far outnumber those in Israel.
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