Hamas Has 100,000 Men Ready to "Liberate Palestine" - Khaled Abu Toameh (Jerusalem Post)
Hamas has 100,000 men who are ready to "liberate Palestine," Ahmed Bahr, a senior Hamas representative, told a rally in Gaza on Wednesday.
Bahr said the goal of the Palestinian "resistance" was "liberating Palestine and expelling the last Zionist soldier from our lands."
He added that the "right of return" for Palestinian refugees is nonnegotiable, and "anyone who makes concessions on the rights of the refugees would be committing high treason."
At the IDF Hospital in Nepal - Nathan Jeffay (New York Jewish Week)
As of Tuesday night, the IDF field hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal, has treated almost 1,000 patients, delivered seven babies, and performed 50 surgeries, as Nepalese flock here based on word-of-mouth reports about the treatment on offer.
Avi Alpert, 49, a U.S. immigrant to Israel, is the man who keeps the emergency room running smoothly, as doctors walk around with tablets inputting digital records and people wait well under an hour to be seen. It's a setup that "any emergency department in the world would envy," said Alpert.
See also Israel Briefs UN on Nepal Aid Mission - Amb. David Roet (Israel Mission to the UN)
Report: Foreign Planes Strike Military Base in Sudan - Roi Kais (Ynet News)
"Foreign planes" struck a target in Omdurman, Sudan, Al-Araby al-Jadeed reported Wednesday, citing Sudanese military officials. Witnesses said they heard explosions near a military base.
Israeli planes reportedly have struck targets in Sudan in the past.
Iran Releases Seized Cargo Ship (AP-Washington Post)
The Iranian government released a Marshal Islands-flagged cargo ship on Thursday, Iran's official IRNA news agency reported.
Iranian forces seized the MV Maersk Tigris after firing warning shots across its bridge on April 28.
Saudi Airliner Lands in Israel for Maintenance - Sharon Udasin (Jerusalem Post)
An Airbus A330-300 with the logo "Saudia" - Saudi Arabian Airlines - arrived in Tel Aviv on Tuesday for routine maintenance work with the Bedek Aviation Company, a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).
The maintenance work is being done under an agreement that IAI has with a European company that leases the plane to Saudi Arabia, a spokeswoman for IAI said.
Hizbullah's Child Soldiers (NOW-Lebanon)
Hizbullah's Al-Manar television reported last week that "Hizbullah bid farewell to the mujahid martyr Mashhur Fahd Shamseddine."
Arab newspapers reported that he was only 15-years-old.
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- Syria Is Using Chemical Weapons Again, Rescue Workers Say - Anne Barnard and Somini Sengupta
Two years after President Assad agreed to dismantle Syria's chemical weapons stockpile, there is mounting evidence that his government is dropping chlorine bombs on insurgent-held areas. Lately, the pace of the bombardments in contested areas like Idlib Province has picked up, rescue workers say.
"We know the sound of a helicopter that goes to a low height and drops a barrel," said Hatem Abu Marwan, 29, a rescue worker with the White Helmets civil defense organization who has responded to nine suspected chlorine attacks. "Nobody has aircraft except the regime."
Prodded by the U.S., the UN Security Council is discussing a draft resolution that would create a panel to determine who is responsible for using chlorine as a weapon. With many civilian uses, like purifying water or disinfecting hospitals, chlorine is not banned under international law and thus was not on the list of chemicals that Assad promised to destroy.
(New York Times)
- Syria's Transformation into an Iranian Base - N. Mozes
Iran's support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, in addition to economic aid, arms, and advice, includes combat forces from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), from Hizbullah in Lebanon, and from Iraqi, Afghan and Pakistani Shi'ite militias that are loyal to Iran. Initially, these organizations focused on defending Shi'ite holy sites in Syria, but over time the fighting expanded to the most difficult anti-opposition fronts. According to the Syrian opposition, thousands of fighters trained by the IRGC have arrived in Syria on four daily flights from Iran to Latakia.
Iran also has begun to organize and oversee Syrian forces fighting alongside the regime, such as Syrian Hizbullah, Liwa al-Quds, the National Religious Resistance-Jaish al-Imam al-Mahdi, the National Resistance in Houran (HAMO), and Liwa al-Ridda al-Shi'i. Some of the Iran-operated Syrian "popular resistance groups," such as Syrian Hizbullah, stress that their aim is to operate against Israel, not only against the Syrian opposition.
- Saudi Arabia's King Salman Warns of Iran Threat
Saudi Arabia's King Salman told a meeting of Gulf monarchs in Riyadh on Tuesday that Gulf leaders must stand up to Iran. In a clear reference to Iran, Salman spoke of the need to confront an external threat that "aims to expand control and impose its hegemony." (AFP)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
- Israel Believes Iran Behind Attempted Golan Heights Blast - Gili Cohen and Amos Harel
Israeli defense officials assume the terrorist cell that intended to place an explosive charge on the Israeli-Syrian border in the Golan Heights on April 25 was operated by Samir Kuntar, working on instructions from Iran. Kuntar, a Lebanese Druze who was serving a life sentence for the brutal 1979 murders of the Haran family in Nahariya, was freed in 2008 as part of the deal to return the bodies of IDF reservists Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev. (Ha'aretz)
- Security Forces Arrest Arab Israeli Who Funneled Hamas Money to West Bank - Yaakov Lappin
Malak Khatib, an Arab Israeli dentist, was arrested for systematically transferring large sums from Hamas in Gaza to Hamas in the West Bank under the instructions of Hamas operatives, security forces said Tuesday. "Khatib was arrested while making his way to Judea and Samaria for the purpose of transferring funds to Hamas elements in the Ramallah area. He had NIS 170,000 in his possession," the Israel Security Agency said.
From May 2014 to February 2015, Khatib made at least five illegal transfers of funds for Hamas, for which he received NIS 1,000 for each transfer, according to the indictment. Khatib confessed to transferring funds from Gaza to the West Bank.
- Why France Should Rethink Its UN Peace Initiative - Moshe Arens
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius intends to propose a UN Security Council resolution that would present a framework for negotiations to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. That framework will include the 1967 lines as a basis for negotiations on the border between Israel and the future Palestinian state. In other words, Fabius, and his superior, President Francois Hollande, want Israel to abandon the territory of Judea and Samaria and turn it over to the Palestinians. The fact that control of this territory is considered of great importance to Israel's security by the democratically elected Israeli government seems to be of little concern to them.
They do not busy themselves trying to find a solution to the endless slaughter going on in Syria, Iraq, Libya or Yemen. Their excuse is that they don't know how to handle these problems. But as regards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, they claim they know exactly what the solution is, and they have no compunctions about attempting to impose their solution on Israel.
They refuse to acknowledge that if Israel left Judea and Samaria, this would by no means be the end of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Further claims against Israel would be put forth by Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and various terrorist organizations claiming to represent the Palestinians.
President Mahmoud Abbas would probably be brought down once he could no longer depend on the Israel Defense Forces for support in the area.
And the vacuum left by an Israeli withdrawal would most likely be filled by Hamas, or possibly even the fighters of the Islamic State.
Rather than a glorious end of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, all hell would break loose.
The writer served as Israel's Minister of Defense three times and once as Minister of Foreign Affairs.
- Judges Shocked by IRS Conduct Against Pro-Israel Group - Editorial
On Monday, a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals eviscerated the IRS and Justice Department during oral argument in a case alleging the agency delayed the tax-exempt application of a pro-Israel group due to its policy views. In December 2009, "Z Street" applied for 501(c)(3) status to pursue its pro-Israel educational mission. In July 2010, when the group called to check on what was taking so long with its application, an IRS agent said that auditors had been instructed to give special attention to groups connected with Israel. Z Street sued the IRS for viewpoint discrimination.
Chief Judge Merrick Garland told government lawyer Teresa McLaughlin: "Imagine the IRS announces today a policy that says as follows: No application by a Jewish group or an African-American group will be considered until one day short of the period under the statute....Is it your view that that cannot be challenged?" "If I were you, I would go back and ask your superiors whether they want us to represent that the government's position in this case is that the government is free to unconstitutionally discriminate against its citizens for 270 days."
(Wall Street Journal)
Sadat Showed How to Solve the Arab-Israeli Conflict - Fred Maroun (Times of Israel)
- Many of us Arabs deny Jewish history, while the more charitable among us concede that Jews have their own narrative and we have ours. But history is factual and verifiable, and "narrative" is just a polite word for "myth." The fact that so many Palestinians live in camps and remain stateless and vulnerable is a huge tragedy, but we created the Palestinian tragedy by trying to deny the rights of Jews.
- Being Lebanese, I am particularly ashamed of Lebanon's role in the conflict. We allowed the PLO and then Hizbullah to attack Israel and terrorize and kill its citizens. Then we had the audacity to claim victimhood when Israel's citizens ran out of patience and responded with force. The deplorable way that we treat Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon only adds to my shame.
- Our latest big lie is that Israel is stealing our land in the West Bank. The reality is that the West Bank is Judea and Samaria for the Jews, and they build on that land because they love the Land of Israel.
- We are mostly responsible for creating and maintaining the Arab-Israeli
conflict. To resolve it, there is no need to deny history, to claim (as we Arabs commonly do) that Jews are a foreign nation imposed on us. Instead we must start by recognizing that Jews have as much right to be in the Middle East as we do. To resolve the Palestinian problem we have to recognize that our denial of Jewish history is the root of that problem.
- In the Arab-Israeli conflict, one side has always initiated conflict, and the other side has always been on the defensive. One side has been intolerant and hateful, and the other side has been inclusive and ethical. One side has promoted war, and the other side has always been ready for peace. You know which side is which.
- The message I am delivering here is essentially the same one delivered by former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat 38 years ago. Sadat did not go to Israel to grovel; he went to show that he respected Israel's right to exist, and that he was willing to leave behind the hatred and the violence. As a result, he was able to sign a peace deal with Prime Minister Menachem Begin.
The writer is a Canadian of Arab origin who lived in Lebanon until 1984.
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