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  DAILY ALERT Wednesday,
December 7, 2016

In-Depth Issues:

Islamic State Claims Over 1,000 Suicide Attacks in 2016 - Thomas Joscelyn (Long War Journal)
    The Islamic State's Amaq news agency reported 132 suicide bombings launched in Iraq and Syria during November, claiming responsibility for a total of 1,034 suicide attacks through the first eleven months of 2016.

Israelis Save Japanese Hiker in Nepal - Itay Blumental (Ynet News)
    A Japanese backpacker whose leg was broken in a rockslide in Nepal was rescued by a group of Israeli hikers on Monday.
    Hearing her screams, they ran to her, applied a tourniquet, and used a satellite phone to call a rescue helicopter.
    The Japanese consul-general in Nepal said, "We thank the nation of Israel."

Senators Demand that Palestinians Stop Rewarding Terrorism - Paul Miller (Observer)
    West Point graduate Taylor Force, who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, was stabbed to death by Palestinian Bashar Massalha in Jaffa, Israel, on March 8, 2016.
    PA President Mahmoud Abbas praised Massalha for his attack, describing him as a "heroic martyr" and a role model for Palestinian children.
    Palestinian terrorists and their families receive a monthly stipend for the murder of civilians.
    A group of U.S. senators has introduced the Taylor Force Act, requiring that the PA terminate payments for acts of terrorism against U.S. and Israeli citizens.

Israel's F-35s to Have Unique Secret Components - Yuval Azulai (Globes)
    Lockheed Martin Israel CE Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Joshua Shani estimates that Israel will have two F-35 squadrons of 25 planes each by 2022.
    The money for them is included in the new U.S. military aid to Israel over the coming decade.
    Israel insisted on replacing some of the original systems on the F-35 with systems made by Israeli defense companies in order to adapt the planes' performance to the IDF's needs.
    "They realized that Israel...wants its own special systems that no one else knows about."
    "All the Israeli requests have been accepted: all the electronic warfare, command and control, and communications systems installed in the plane are Israeli-made."

Israel Provides $100 Wheelchairs for Children - Shoshanna Solomon (Times of Israel)
    Millions of disabled people in the third world lack minimal mobility.
    Pablo Kaplan of Israel's Keter Plastics set up the Wheelchairs of Hope project to produce wheelchairs for disabled children in Third World countries.
    Together with engineer Dr. Amir Ziv Av, he developed a lightweight chair that can handle off-road conditions, requires zero maintenance, and is robust and simple to assemble.
    More importantly, the chair costs just $100.
    The project's vision is to distribute one million chairs over the next decade.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Syria Says It Seized 75 Percent of Eastern Aleppo
    Syrian government forces and allied militias had captured nearly 3/4 of rebel-held areas of Aleppo by Tuesday, less than two weeks after launching a ground offensive, according to the Syrian military. An intense aerial offensive had preceded the ground troops' advances. Local media activist Mahmoud Raslan told AP from inside the city's remaining rebel-held enclave that "morale has hit rock bottom."  (AP-Chicago Tribune)
        See also Syrian Army on Verge of Major Victory in Aleppo (Deutsche Welle-Germany)
        See also Senior Russian Officer Killed in Aleppo (AP-Fox News)
  • Netanyahu Condemns Abbas' Fatah Party for Elevating Convicted Terror Mastermind - Jack Moore
    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday condemned Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party for elevating Marwan Barghouti to a senior position on its decision-making body, the Central Committee. Barghouti helped to establish Fatah's Tanzim militia and Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade that have killed dozens of Israelis. He is currently serving five life sentences in an Israeli prison for orchestrating the murders of Israelis. (Newsweek)
  • Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube Agree to Curb Terror Content Online
    Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube said they will partner to curb the spread of terrorist content online. The companies said they will create a shared industry database of unique digital fingerprints for violent terrorist imagery or terrorist recruitment videos or images that were removed from their services. The program is expected to begin early next year. (JTA)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Report: Israel Again Strikes Targets in Syria - Anna Ahronheim
    Hizbullah accused Israel of striking the Mezze airforce base near Damascus early Wednesday, causing large explosions. This is the second report of Israeli strikes against targets in Syria in two weeks. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in April, "We will not agree to the supply of advanced weaponry to Hizbullah from Syria and Lebanon."  (Jerusalem Post)
  • Israel Approves Five Armored Jeeps for Palestinian Security Forces - Barak Ravid
    Israel has approved the delivery of five armored jeeps for the Palestinian Authority security forces, amid a deteriorating security situation in the West Bank. The jeeps were delivered overnight Sunday from Jordan via the Allenby Bridge, in cooperation with the U.S.  Palestinian security forces need armored vehicles for operations in West Bank refugee camps against armed militants not accountable to the PA. (Ha'aretz)
  • Two Palestinians Wounded as Hamas Clashes with Islamists in Gaza
    A police officer and a Salafist man were hospitalized on Tuesday after Hamas forces clashed with Islamists in Gaza, a medical source said. Both were shot during an attempt by Gaza security forces to arrest two men from a Salafist group in Al-Fukhari. (AFP-i24news)
  • IDF Trains Against Hamas Attack from Gaza - Yoav Zitun
    The IDF held a drill Tuesday in and around Israeli communities near Gaza that simulated mass infiltration of Hamas fighters via tunnels, the sea and the air (using drones or paragliders). One scenario involved a Hamas commando unit exiting tunnels and infiltrating a city using motorcycles. (Ynet News-Ha'aretz)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • The Real Illegal Settlements - Bassam Tawil
    As the international community continues to slam Israel for construction in Jewish settlement communities, Palestinians are quietly engaging in massive construction of entire neighborhoods in many parts of the West Bank and Jerusalem. A quick tour of the areas surrounding Jerusalem exposes the colossal construction of high-rise buildings without any adequate planning or safety concerns. Only a handful of steps separate some of the buildings, and most lack proper sewage systems.
        It is not an Arab housing crisis that is prompting this spree of illegal Palestinian construction. Rather, the goal is political: to show the world that Jerusalem is an Arab city. By and large, the apartments remain empty: there is simply no real demand.
        According to Arab residents, many of the "contractors" are actually land-thieves and thugs who lay their hands on private Palestinian-owned land or on lands whose owners are living abroad. But they also point out that the EU, the PLO and some Arab and Islamic governments are funding the project. "They spot an empty plot of land and quickly move in to seize control over it," said a resident whose land was "confiscated" by the illegal contractors. "They tell you if you don't like it, go to court, knowing that by the time the legal procedures are over they would have succeeded in building another tall building and even selling some of the apartments."
        Palestinians estimate that in the past few years they have built more than 15,000 illegal housing units in areas surrounding Jerusalem. Dozens of correspondents see with their own eyes the Palestinian settlements rising on every side of Jerusalem, but choose to report only about Jewish building and not the Palestinian land-grab. (Gatestone Institute)
  • Still Awaiting Israeli-Egyptian Normalization - Zvi Mazel
    Much is made in Israel of the strong security cooperation with Egypt in the fight against Islamic terrorism in northern Sinai. Yet relations between the two neighboring countries show no sign of thawing in spite of a few gestures of goodwill lately.
        Trade figures remain low and stem largely from the agreement on Qualified Industrial Zones (QIZ) reached in 2004, enabling Egyptian textiles to enjoy custom-free access to the U.S. under the umbrella of the free trade agreements between Israel and America, provided that 10.5% of the finished product originates from Israel. Egyptian exports rose from $200 million a year to more than $1 billion, giving work to 700 companies employing a total of 280,000 people.
        In the first years after the peace treaty, Israel put its know-how in growing fruits and vegetables in desert soil at the disposal of Egypt and model farms were established. Israel gave its neighbor the best seeds and trained thousands of Egyptian farmers. Production soared. Then the Islamists accused Israel of "poisoning Egyptian soil," and agricultural cooperation came to an end with the fall of Mubarak. The writer, a fellow of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, is a former ambassador to Romania, Egypt and Sweden. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Israel's Nationalism Is a Model to Emulate - Einat Wilf
    For decades, Israel has been subject to criticism for its supposed retrograde insistence on maintaining and fighting for a nation-state of the Jewish people. Jewish nationalism, also known as Zionism, was subject to a sustained onslaught as a singularly depraved idea. Zionism and Israel were looked down on as a last vestige of a past world, where humans still cared for their nations and peoples, and were willing to sacrifice their very lives to sustain them.
        Over the years, I have been asked why we in Israel were still insisting on this idea of a nation-state. My response was that as much as I share their desire to live one day in a John Lennon world with no religion and no countries and all the people living as one, I do get suspicious and somewhat antsy when the Jews are asked to go first. Dr. Einat Wilf, a senior fellow with the Jewish People Policy Institute, is a former Knesset member. (The Tower)

With Anti-Israel Obsession, UN Ignores World's Greater Problems - Amb. Ron Prosor (Jerusalem Post)

  • During one of the numerous events at the UN to mark the anniversary of the UN Partition Plan which led to the establishment of the Jewish state, the president of the UN General Assembly, Peter Thomson of Fiji, chose to drape himself in the Palestinian flag, crossing a red line that Israel must simply not accept. In all my years as Israel's Ambassador to the UN, I never observed this kind of identification with any country, in any context.
  • When Fiji sent its representative to fill a role as prominent and prestigious as that of GA president, it surely did not expect that he would disgrace himself or his country by acting like a PLO demonstrator, trampling upon the values on which the UN was founded.
  • Thomson wrapping himself in the Palestinian flag is symbolic of the moral bankruptcy of the UN and its representatives, who continue selling their souls in return for Arab votes, while welcoming any Palestinian propaganda, however dishonest, from the UN podium.
  • The creation of Israel, shortly after the establishment of the UN, expressed the very values of freedom, liberty and equality upon which the UN was founded. Since then, however, the UN has been taken hostage by tyrants and dictators, and driven by the darkest influences in the global community which have wiped out all trace of the principles they inherited.
  • The UN has not brought to an end the killings of civilians by autocrats, it has not defeated Islamic State, it has not found solutions to climate change, it has not overcome the challenges of desertification, and it has not put an end to violence against women. It is time for the UN to focus on what is wrong in the world instead of condemning what is right.

    The writer, Israel's former ambassador to the UN, holds the Abba Eban Chair for International Diplomacy at IDC Herzliya.

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