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by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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October 7, 2013

In-Depth Issues:

Gunmen Kill Five Egyptian Soldiers near Suez Canal (AFP)
    Gunmen killed five Egyptian soldiers in an attack on an army patrol near the Suez Canal city of Ismailiya on Monday, security officials said.
    The attack came three days after masked gunmen killed two soldiers on a desert road between Ismailiya and Cairo.
    See also Explosion Hits Egyptian Security HQ in Sinai (AP)
    Egyptian officials say a massive explosion on Monday hit the four-story security headquarters in the southern Sinai town of al-Tour, killing two people and wounding 48.

Iran Arrests 4 in Nuclear Plant Sabotage Plot (AFP)
    Iran has arrested four people for attempting to sabotage one of its nuclear plants, Atomic Energy Organization chief Ali Akbar Salehi said Sunday.

Palestinian Terror on the Rise - Yaakov Lappin (Jerusalem Post)
    Figures released by the Israel Security Agency for September point to an unmistakable upsurge in Palestinian attacks on Israeli civilian and military targets across the West Bank and east Jerusalem.
    In September, security forces logged 129 attacks, compared to 93 in August. The upsurge included the murders of two IDF soldiers last month, as well as 72 firebombings, four explosive attacks, and four instances of small arms fire.

Weapons Inspectors Begin Destroying Syrian Chemical Stockpile and Machinery (AP-Washington Post)
    International disarmament experts on Sunday began dismantling and destroying Syria's chemical weapons arsenal and the equipment used to produce it, an official said.
    The team oversaw Syrian personnel who used cutting torches and disc saws to destroy and disable missile warheads, aerial bombs, and mixing and filling equipment.

Retired Lebanese Colonel Gets Death for Collaborating with Israel (Daily Star-Lebanon)
    Ghassan al-Jidd, a retired Lebanese Army colonel who fled the country in 2009, was convicted of spying for Israel and sentenced to death in absentia by a military tribunal, a judicial source said Saturday.
    The Lebanese judiciary has handed down several death sentences against collaborators with Israel over the past years but none have been executed.

Palestinians Accuse Israel of Sending Animals to Attack Farms - Nasouh Nazzal (Gulf News-Dubai)
    Palestinian farmers allege that Israelis have released a large numbers of rock hyrax near Palestinian farms that eat all available vegetation.
    Palestinians also accuse the Israelis of releasing a large number of wild pigs into the Palestinian territories to destroy the farms.
    Emad Al Atrash, who heads the Palestinian Wildlife Association, warned against killing the rock hyrax, which is on the verge of extinction.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Netanyahu: Iran Sanctions Are Close to Goal
    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Cabinet on Sunday that sanctions on Iran are close to "achieving their goal" of dismantling Tehran's nuclear enrichment capability and should not be relaxed. "The sanctions on Iran are working. They are very strong; they are a moment away from achieving their goal. The sanctions must not be eased before reaching the goal of dismantling Iran's enrichment capability - the ability to produce nuclear weapons."  (AFP)
        See also Netanyahu Reports to Cabinet on Discussions on Iran in U.S. (Prime Minister's Office)
        See also below Observations - Netanyahu: Israel and U.S. in Full Agreement on Need to Prevent Nuclear Iran (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
  • U.S. Commandos Seize Al-Qaeda Operative in Libya - Benjamin Weiser and Eric Schmitt
    Al-Qaeda operative Abu Anas al-Libi, seized by U.S. commandos in Libya over the weekend, is being interrogated while in military custody on a Navy ship in the Mediterranean Sea, officials said on Sunday. Abu Anas, 49, was indicted in New York in 2000 on charges of conspiring with Bin Laden in plots to attack U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Somalia, as well as in the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, which killed 224 people. (New York Times)
        See also How the U.S. Captured an Al-Qaeda Leader in Broad Daylight - Connor Simpson (Atlantic)
        See also U.S. Raids Home of Al-Shabab Leader in Somalia - Ernesto Londono and Scott Wilson
    U.S. Navy SEALs carried out an overnight raid on the Somali home of a leader of the al-Qaeda-linked group al-Shabab which had attacked a shopping mall in neighboring Kenya, but the militant was not seized, U.S. officials said Saturday. (Washington Post)
  • Egypt Islamists Clash with Police, 50 Dead - Matt Bradley
    Clashes between pro-Morsi protesters demanding his reinstatement and Egyptian security forces on Sunday left at least 51 people dead and more than 246 injured, the health ministry said, after some of the largest rallies since President Morsi was ousted more than three months ago. Morsi's mostly Islamist backers had organized counterprotests to pro-military celebrations marking the 40th anniversary of Egypt's initial success against Israel during the Yom Kippur War. (Wall Street Journal)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • West Bank Attack: "Noam Screamed and Prevented a Disaster" - Itay Blumenthal
    "Noam's scream prevented a grave disaster," says Yisrael Glick, father of nine-year-old Noam who was injured in a terror attack in Psagot in the West Bank on Saturday. Noam returned home at 9:20 pm and was coming towards the house entrance when she saw a masked man. "She immediately screamed and surprised him....I went outside and asked Noam what happened and she said, 'dad, there's an Arab here.' I...called the emergency squad." Initially, it was reported that Glick had suffered serious gunshot wounds but it was later revealed she had been stabbed. (Ynet News)
        See also Netanyahu: Palestinian Incitement to Blame for Psagot Attack - Mati Tuchfeld and Gideon Allon
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday, "The Israeli government takes this incident, in which a 9-year-old girl was the victim of a heinous attack, very seriously....As long as the Palestinian media continues to promote incitement, the Palestinian Authority cannot wash its hands of it....The inciters and murderers won't win. We are here, and here we will stay."  (Israel Hayom)
  • Video: Rouhani Tells Iranian TV How He Broke Nuclear Pledge
    Iran's President Hassan Rouhani bragged on Iranian state television just four months ago that he and the regime flouted a 2003 agreement with the IAEA in which Iran promised to suspend all uranium enrichment and other nuclear activities. Interviewed by Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting on May 27, less than three weeks before he won the June 14 presidential elections, Rouhani detailed how Iran had flagrantly breached the October 2003 "Tehran Declaration," which he said "was supposed to outline how everything should be suspended." In practice, Rouhani said, "We did not let that happen!"
        Far from honoring the commitment, in which Iran said "it has decided voluntarily to suspend all uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities," Rouhani said that all Iran did was merely suspend "ten centrifuges" in the Natanz enrichment facility. "And not a total suspension. Just reduced the yield." He went on to state proudly that the Iranian heavy water reactor at Arak was also developed under his watch, in 2004. "Do you know when we developed yellowcake? Winter 2004," Rouhani went on. "Do you know when the number of centrifuges reached 3,000? Winter 2004."  (Times of Israel)
  • Iranian Spy Charged with Espionage, Aiding Enemy in War - Revital Hovel
    The Israeli government prosecutor filed charges Sunday against Ali Mansouri, 55, for spying on Israel for Iran. The charge sheet says Mansouri came to Israel three times "and actively and consistently tried to start a company in Israel that would serve as a fictitious business infrastructure for the purpose of activity undertaken by another person from Iranian intelligence who was supposed to come to Israel in the future."
        Mansouri met with Iranian intelligence officials many times for briefings on his assignment. He passed along information about security procedures at Ben-Gurion International Airport, as well as photographs of the airport, the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and a classified security installation. Mansouri told investigators he was asked to spy on Israel in early 2012 and was promised $1 million to do so. (Ha'aretz)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Iran: A New Style of Negotiations - Ephraim Kam
    The sanctions are the primary leverage the West has to use against Iran and there is no reason to assume that the West will revoke them merely because of flowery Iranian rhetoric. The sanctions will be lifted only if Iran shows a positive approach and agrees to substantial concessions. The sanctions also compel Iran not to try to use the negotiations as a stalling tactic. Unlike in the past, Iran is currently not interested in gaining time to advance its nuclear program because uppermost in its mind is attaining an agreement that will result in revocation of the sanctions.
        The U.S. administration is committed to keeping nuclear weapons out of Iranian hands, whereas Iran would apparently be willing to make various concessions as long as they don't interfere with the capability it has already constructed to break out to nuclear weapons within a short period of time. Col. (ret.) Dr. Ephraim Kam served as assistant director of the Research Division for Evaluation in IDF Military Intelligence. (Institute for National Security Studies-Tel Aviv University)
  • Netanyahu Sets New Red Line for Iran - Shlomo Cesana
    Netanyahu is not ruling out dialogue with the Iranians if that should be effective, but the prime minister does not want to see the model that failed with North Korea, which said that it had given up its intentions, but kept its nuclear capability. His personal opinion, like that of the entire defense establishment, is that there is no more time for talk. Now, Netanyahu has drawn a new red line: no to a threshold state that enables the construction of a bomb within three weeks. (Israel Hayom)
  • Iran Nuclear Talks: Congress Is the Elephant at the Negotiating Table - Paul Richter
    Without congressional backing, Obama's diplomatic options are limited. Since only Congress can permanently lift the bruising sanctions it has imposed on Iran, lawmakers can torpedo any deal if they believe the White House is giving too much to Iran. While Obama can temporarily suspend sanctions imposed by law, he would most likely need to convince Congress that Iran has complied fully with tough U.S. legal requirements before lawmakers would permanently lift sanctions.
        The long reach of U.S. sanctions law means the White House "really has to treat Congress as a full partner on this issue," said Mark Dubowitz, a sanctions specialist at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Administration officials say they will require real concessions from Iran before easing the sanctions that have forced Iran to negotiate. (Los Angeles Times)

Netanyahu: Israel and U.S. in Full Agreement on Need to Prevent Nuclear Iran (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke at Bar-Ilan University on October 6, 2013:

  • "Iran's goal is to take over the entire Middle East and beyond, and to destroy the State of Israel. This is not speculation, this is the goal. Israel and the U.S. are in full agreement as to the need to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weapons."
  • "The President of Iran stated a few days ago at the UN that Iran is interested in nuclear capability only for civilian purposes. I don't believe him, but if you want to test his statement, you must ask the Iranian regime a simple question: If you only want nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, why do you insist on centrifuges to enrich uranium and plutonium reactors which are not needed to produce nuclear energy for peaceful purposes?"
  • "In my speech here four years ago I said that the solution is a demilitarized Palestinian state, with very clear security arrangements, not international forces. But the Palestinians must recognize the Jewish state. We are prepared to recognize their nation-state, but they must also make concessions - first and foremost relinquish the dream of the right of return."
  • "We will not accept recognition of the Jewish people or a binational state that will later be overrun with refugees. Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people. Only when they recognize our right to live here in our nation-state will peace be possible."

        See also Video: Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's Address at Bar-Ilan University on October 6, 2013 (YouTube)

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