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Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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  DAILY ALERT Wednesday,
July 2, 2014

In-Depth Issues:

Qawasme Clan Dominates Hamas in Hebron Area (World Tribune)
    Palestinian sources said Hamas has come under the influence of the powerful Qawasme clan in the Hebron area of the southern West Bank.
    One of the suspects identified by Israel in the abduction and killing of three Israeli teenagers is Marwan Qawasme, 29, a leading Hamas operative in Hebron.
    Shlomi Eldar, who covers Palestinian affairs for an Israeli television network, told the London-based Al-Monitor about the Qawasme clan:
    "At least 15 members of the family were killed during the Second Intifada, nine of them while committing suicide attacks against Israel."
    "Whenever the head of the terrorist organization within the clan was assassinated or arrested by Israel, one of his brothers or cousins was selected to replace him."

Russian Pilots Set to Fly Over Iraq - Josh Rogin (Daily Beast)
    Vladimir Putin has already delivered not only fighter jets to Iraq, but also the pilots needed to fly them, diplomatic sources said.
    Russian pilots will fly the planes due to a lack of Iraqi pilots with the proper training. The Su-25 planes have not been employed in Iraq since at least 2002.
    Iraq's crowded airspace also reportedly includes U.S. and Iranian drones.

In Middle East, Concerns about Islamic Extremism on the Rise (Pew Research Center)
    Concern about Islamic extremism is high and growing among countries with substantial Muslim populations, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center.
    In the Palestinian territories, 65% were concerned about Islamic extremism, with much greater concern in Gaza (79%) than in the West Bank (57%).
    Al-Qaeda gets negative marks in all 14 countries surveyed, with its greatest support in the Palestinian territories (25%).
    Hizbullah also is seen unfavorably in every Middle Eastern country surveyed. Among Palestinians in the West Bank, 35% had a favorable view vs. 46% unfavorable; in Gaza, 26% favorable, 69% unfavorable. Among Israeli Arabs, 25% viewed Hizbullah favorably, 65% unfavorably.
    Most countries surveyed have an unfavorable impression of Hamas. In the West Bank, 35% favorable, 47% unfavorable. In Gaza, 35% favorable, 63% unfavorable. Interestingly, Hamas' greatest support is found among Lebanese Shiites (55%).
    When it took control of Gaza in 2007, 62% of Palestinians had a favorable view of Hamas, while a third had negative views. Now, only about a third have positive opinions.
    62% of Palestinians in Gaza say suicide bombings can be justified against civilian targets, as do 36% in the West Bank. Overall, support by Palestinian Muslims for suicide bombing has fallen 16 percentage points since 2013.

    See also Most Victims of Jihadists Are Muslims - Ben-Dror Yemini (Ynet News)
    99% of the jihad groups' victims in the past five years were Muslims. If Israel was not around, Hamas would do to the West Bank what ISIS is doing to Iraq.

Key Links 
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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • After One Kidnapped Israeli Teen Phoned Police, They Were Ordered to Lower Heads, Then Shot by Hamas Terrorists - Richard Behar
    "They just released the tape of Gil-Ad Shaer [one of the three Israeli schoolboys abducted and murdered by Hamas terrorists] as he called the police to report the kidnapping," Shahar Azani, the Consul for Media Affairs at Israel's Consulate General in New York, tells Forbes. "You hear him say 'I was kidnapped' and then a loud noise and shouts and then only the radio. You could hear the Hamas terrorists tell them to lower their heads and hands. They were probably shot there and then, and then buried hastily as they were sure the police were behind them after that call."
        "What about the Palestinians themselves? When will someone rise there and speak up for peace and tolerance? For the love of children and the joy of being alive? For outreach and good neighborly relations? When will we really find a partner?"  (Forbes)
        See also Second Part of Conversation Reveals Gunfire, Cries of Pain, and Exclamations of Joy - Roi Mendel
    The chilling recording released on Tuesday that documents the abduction of Gil-Ad Shaer, Eyal Yifrach, and Naftali Frenkel was only partial. The full recording reveals the two terrorists' expressions of joy and they are heard uttering the word "thalaathah" (three, in Arabic). It is possible one of the terrorists is heard saying "take it (the phone) from him." This is followed by a scream, a gunshot, another one and then what appears to be a series of gunshots. Then a soft cry of pain, and gunfire again. And then silence. (Ynet News)
  • Congress Moves to Halt Palestinian Funding - Barbara Opall-Rome
    Moves by both houses of Congress to terminate two decades of economic and security assistance to the PA come in response to the June 2 establishment of a new Palestinian government backed by Hamas, a U.S.-declared terrorist organization. The House Appropriations Committee last week approved a 2015 foreign operations bill that bars aid to the PA from $440 million in proposed funding. The Senate's version of its 2015 foreign operations bill, which includes similar language, was approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee on June 19.
        Unlike previous years, this year's language targets any type of power-sharing government "that results from an agreement with Hamas." It also imposes strict conditions under which Obama can waive the funding ban. "Funding for the Palestinians is off the table until it is clear that the unity government is committed to peace and security," said Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas), chairwoman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations. (Defense News)
        See also U.S. Tax Dollars Supporting Terrorists? - Clifford D. May (Washington Times)
  • A Grieving Father Pulls a Thread that Unravels Illegal Bank Deals - Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Ben Protess
    Stephen Flatow of West Orange, N.J., accused Iran of financing the terrorist group responsible for the suicide bombing that killed his daughter, Alisa, in 1995. His quest for justice inadvertently set off a chain of events that led American prosecutors to accuse some of the world's biggest banks of transferring money for Iran. On Monday, BNP Paribas, France's biggest bank, admitted to doing billions of dollars in deals with Iran and other countries blacklisted by the U.S. and agreed to pay a record $8.9 billion penalty. (New York Times)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • IDF Razes Home of Hamas Terrorist - Yaakov Lappin
    The IDF destroyed the home of Hamas terrorist Ziad Awad in the West Bank village of Idna on Wednesday. Awad - released in the 2011 Gilad Shalit deal - opened fire with an automatic weapon on the car driven by police officer Baruch Mizrahi on Passover eve, killing him and wounding two children. Awad stood by the side of the road, near Tarkumia checkpoint, shooting at passing Israeli vehicles. After the killing, Awad told his son that he carried out the shooting because, "according to Islam, anyone who kills a Jew goes to heaven."
        "The destruction of the homes of terrorists is a message of deterrence to terrorists and their partners," the army said. "There is a price they will pay if they choose to continue with terrorist activities and harming innocent civilians."  (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Israel's High Court Approves a Return to House Demolitions for Terrorists - Yonah Jeremy Bob
    On Tuesday, Israel's High Court of Justice approved a return to the house-demolition policy for terrorists that had ceased in 2005, starting with the house of the family of Ziad Awad, who has been indicted for murdering Baruch Mizrahi. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Homes of Palestinian Kidnappers Targeted for Demolition - Daniel Siryoti and Lilach Shoval (Israel Hayom)
  • Reinstatement of PA Civil Servants Threatens Unity Government - Khaled Abu Toameh
    In a move that could lead to the collapse of the Hamas-Fatah reconciliation agreement, the Palestinian "national consensus" government on Tuesday ordered PA civil servants in Gaza to return to their workplaces for the first time since 2007. The employees had continued to receive their salaries from the PA to keep them from joining the Hamas administration in Gaza. Hamas had replaced the employees with its own 50,000 civil servants. The new Palestinian government, headed by Rami Hamdallah, has refused to pay salaries to the Hamas civil servants. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • There Is No Moral Equivalent to the Murder of Three Israeli Teenagers - Thane Rosenbaum
    There is no moral equivalence between the purposeful kidnapping of teenagers hitching a ride and the inadvertent killing of teenagers who are hurling grenades at armed soldiers searching for the boys.
        Everyone has an opinion on what Israel can't do to defend itself, but those very same people remarkably find themselves tongue-tied when asked what Israel can and should do. Palestinians must be held accountable for their love affair with terror.
        No one would have excused the murder of white teenagers by African-Americans as justified retribution for years of racism and slavery. Neither the Kurds, Tibetans, nor Sudanese have responded with acts of terror against their far worse persecutors. Why are Palestinians granted a license of bloodlust?
        Palestinian mothers who push their children toward jihad and martyrdom are not the same as the three grieving Israeli mothers whose boys never made it back home. The writer is a law professor at New York University. (Daily Beast)
  • Moderation, Hamas-Style - Editorial
    The discovery Monday of the bodies of three kidnapped Israeli teenagers - one of them a U.S. citizen - should destroy the myth of a new, moderate Hamas. The three apparently were killed almost immediately after they were seized 19 days ago. This is cold-blooded murder. But its popularity on the Palestinian street will translate into support for Hamas. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rightly regards the killings as a war crime. (New York Post)
  • Will Iraq's Crisis Lead to Kurdistan's Independence? - David Pollock
    Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Masoud Barzani still seems to be using the threat of declaring independence as leverage to obtain the best possible terms for staying in Iraq. The terms would include formal recognition of the KRG's energy independence, newly acquired territory, and more. Only if Iraq refuses to make this life-saving deal with its Kurdish citizens, or falls apart completely because of intra-Arab conflict, is the KRG likely to secede. The writer is a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. (Fikra Forum)

Netanyahu: Hamas Is Responsible. Hamas Will Pay (Prime Minister's Office)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Israel's Security Cabinet on Tuesday:

  • This evening we buried our boys - Naftali, Gil-Ad and Eyal, may G-d avenge their blood.
  • The entire nation supports the families and the entire nation is united in our struggle against murderous terrorism. We are fighting it decisively and with determination.
  • We have three tasks:
    • First, to reach the murderers and all those who participated in the kidnapping. Whoever was involved in the kidnapping and the murder will bear the consequences. We will neither rest nor slacken until we reach the last of them and it does not matter where they will try to hide. We will reach them all even if it takes time. This is our first goal and it will be carried out.
    • Second, we must vigorously strike at Hamas members and infrastructures in Judea and Samaria. We have already arrested hundreds of Hamas activists. We have closed dozens of institutions. We have demolished homes. We are still active.
    • Third, is that we must act against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Hamas is continuing to encourage the abduction of our citizens and it is directly responsible for firing rockets and mortars at our territory, including in the past few hours. The IDF has been active in recent days against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip and here as well we are still active. If need be, we will expand the campaign.
  • Anyone who thinks that they can achieve anything by using terrorism against us will continue to be mistaken and will achieve the opposite results.
  • Hamas is responsible. Hamas will pay and Hamas will continue to pay. We are acting with determination, sagacity and responsibility with the top consideration - of myself, the Defense Minister and the Chief-of-Staff - being to ensure the security of Israel's citizens.

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