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  DAILY ALERT Tuesday,
October 14, 2014

In-Depth Issues:

Islamic State Boasts of "Revival of Slavery"  (Sky News-UK)
    The Islamic State has boasted of giving Yazidi women and children captured in northern Iraq to its fighters as spoils of war in the latest issue of its magazine Dabiq.
    In an article called "The Revival of Slavery Before the Hour," IS argues it has restored an aspect of Sharia (Islamic law) to its original meaning by enslaving people it claims hold deviant religious beliefs.
    Dabiq said that while "people of the book," such as Christians or Jews, could pay a tax or convert, the Yazidis could not do this.
    See also ISIS Jihadists Boast of Enslaving Yazidi Women (AFP-Al-Arabiya)

Yemen Shiite Rebels Seize Strategic Red Sea Port North of Bab el-Mandeb Strait (AFP-Daily Star-Lebanon)
    Yemeni rebels captured the strategic Red Sea city of Hudeida, less than a month after they seized the capital, a security official said Tuesday.
    See also Yemen Changes Hands. Will an Iranian Stronghold Emerge Near the Entrance to the Red Sea? - Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah (ICA-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

Iran Refused to Let In U.S. Member of UN Nuclear Team - Fredrik Dahl (Reuters)
    A UN atomic agency official recently denied entry into Iran as part of a team investigating suspected bomb research is believed to be an American nuclear weapons expert, diplomatic sources said.
    The IAEA last month said Iran denied a visa for one member of its delegation that visited Tehran on Aug. 31.
    Iran's failure to issue a visa to an IAEA official may deepen longstanding Western suspicions that it is stonewalling the UN agency's inquiry into possible military dimensions of the country's nuclear program.

Guerrilla Groups Hunt Down Islamic State Militants in Syria - Isabel Coles (Ha'aretz)
    The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has recorded a rising number of attacks by gunmen on Islamic State targets in Deir al-Zor province.
    Abu Aboud, a commander in an anti-Assad insurgent group crushed by Islamic State earlier this year, said his 300-man group "White Shroud" has killed more than 100 Islamic State fighters in Deir al-Zor province in recent months.

Israelis and Palestinians Join Forces to Combat Ebola (AFP)
    Israeli and Palestinian officials met at the weekend to draw up an action plan to prevent the Ebola epidemic from spreading to the territories they control, the Israeli military said Sunday.
    One proposal was for Israel to provide courses in advanced epidemiology for Palestinian and Jordanian medical staff.
    There have been no reported cases of Ebola in Israel or the Palestinian territories, but Israel is a popular destination for African Christians, 43,000 of whom have visited the country since January.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • British Parliament Backs Palestinian Statehood Alongside Israel
    The House of Commons voted 274 to 12 on Monday in favor of recognizing Palestine as a state alongside Israel. The motion stated: "This House believes that the Government should recognize the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution."
        Former foreign secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind said he too wanted to see a two-state solution but added: "You do not recognize a state which has not yet got the fundamental ingredients that a state requires if it's going to carry out its international functions and therefore, at the very least, I would respectfully suggest this motion is premature." The government is not bound to do anything as a result of the vote. (BBC News)
        See also UK Envoy to Israel: London Not Recognizing Palestine Yet - Marissa Newman (Times of Israel)
        See also Britain: We Won't Go On Paying for Gaza - Matthew Holehouse
    Britain will cut off aid to Palestinians unless a political solution is found to the Middle East crisis, ministers have warned. As Britain signed off on a further 20 million pounds of aid to the territory, Desmond Swayne, the development minister, said, "Simply relying on international donors to continue to pick up the pieces is not an option. The cycle of conflict and emergency aid is unsustainable....It is critical that reconstruction efforts now form part of a process of meaningful political change. The UK will continue to stand alongside the people of Gaza in their hour of need, but this must be the last time that we see Gaza being rebuilt."  (Telegraph-UK)
  • Turkey Denies It Gave U.S. Permission to Use Air Base Against Islamic State - Liz Sly and Craig Whitlock
    Turkey denied Monday that it has reached any "new agreement" with the U.S. to allow the use of Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey for attacks on the Islamic State militant group. (Washington Post)
        See also Turkish Forces Strike PKK Outposts - Daniel Dombey
    Turkey has carried out airstrikes against outposts of the Kurdistan Workers' party, or PKK, in Daglica in the province of Hakkari, follow protests against Ankara's non-interventionist stance towards Syria that left more than 30 people dead in Turkey's largely Kurdish southeast. Much of Turkey's Kurdish minority are outraged at the plight of the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane, currently besieged by fighters from the Islamic State, just across the border from massed ranks of Turkish tanks. (Financial Times-UK)
  • Jihadists Fight Way into Center of Syria Border Town Kobane
    Jihadists fought their way into central Kobane in heavy clashes with the Syrian border town's Kurdish defenders. Islamic State claims half of Kobane, nearly a month after the Sunni extremists began their assault on the town, despite more than three weeks of U.S.-led air strikes in Syria aimed at stopping them. Jihadists carried out three suicide car bomb attacks in the border zone, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. (AFP-The Australian)
  • Iraqi Forces Retreat in Wake of Islamic State Attack - Tamer El-Ghobashy
    Iraqi security forces abandoned a military camp in the city of Hit in Anbar province after it was surrounded by Islamic State fighters, Iraqi officials said on Monday. Many people had fled to Hit during fighting in other towns and most of them have now taken refuge in the provincial capital of Ramadi, which local officials say is at imminent risk of falling to the insurgency.
        As recently as Sunday, the U.S. carried out airstrikes in Hit, illustrating the limits of the campaign to beat back the Islamic State's dramatic offensive in Iraq. Provincial officials in Anbar say Islamic State militants have surrounded and continue to assault Abu Ghraib, just 15 miles west of Baghdad Airport. (Wall Street Journal)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israel Successfully Tests "Naval Iron Dome" - Shlomi Diaz
    The Israeli Navy successfully tested an upgraded anti-missile system designed to protect naval vessels several months ago. The defense system was developed to confront the growing threat to Israeli ships and offshore drilling rigs from Russian-made Yakhont anti-ship cruise missiles possessed by Hizbullah and Syria. In the test, a mock-Yakhont missile was successfully intercepted by an Israeli Barak missile fired from an Israeli missile boat. (Israel Hayom)
  • Hamas Is Upping Its Price for Return of IDF Soldiers' Remains - Alex Fishman
    Hamas is now busy with psychological warfare that worked in the Gilad Shalit deal, in negotiations over the bodies of Israeli soldiers Staff Sergeant Oren Shaul and Lt. Hadar Goldin, who were killed in the Gaza war. Hamas is readying to turn the talks over the body parts into a campaign aimed at achieving a wide-scale release of Palestinian prisoners, while humiliating Israel and glorifying its own achievements. Hamas is ignoring the fact that Israel has declared both soldiers killed in action. (Ynet News)
  • Israeli President Thanks Evangelical Christians for Support of Israel - Jeremy Sharon
    Israeli President Reuven Rivlin addressed the 35th annual Feast of Tabernacles event in Jerusalem on Monday and thanked the 5,000 Christian visitors from 80 countries for their support of the Jewish state. "Thank you for your friendship. Thank you for your dedication. Thank you for your consistent trust and support," he said at the event organized by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.
        World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder told the group that the international community is ignoring the plight of Christians in the Middle East. "We as Jews know how important it is to speak out. In the 1930s in Germany when Jews were deprived of their rights and persecuted the world was silent. We know what happens when the world is silent, so today we are standing up and speaking out," Lauder said. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Recognizing Palestine Won't Promote Peace - Melanie Phillips
    The idea that Israel-Palestine lies at the core of global danger has been exploded (literally) in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and other Muslim states.
        According to the main proposer of a motion in Parliament to recognize Palestine, Labour MP Grahame Morris, the international community has "cruelly refused" the Palestinians their right to a state. Totally untrue. The sole reason no Palestine state exists alongside Israel is that the Arabs have consistently refused to accept one. Such a state was proposed in 1937, 1948, 2000 and 2008. The Jews agreed to or promoted every such proposal. The Arab answer has always been rejection, war and terrorist campaigns.
        Recognizing Palestine makes no sense, as such a state has no agreed boundaries. Negotiations with Israel are supposed to hammer out the borders. Unilaterally declaring a state tears up the Oslo treaty that committed both sides to a negotiated settlement. Imposing Palestinian demands upon Israel in this way would destroy the peace process altogether. (The Times-UK)
  • Hamas Searches for a New Strategy - Ehud Yaari
    Hamas' Executive Council is taking a hard look at the realities it faces. Gaza's local Hamas leadership, under growing pressure from residents, pushed Hamas' top leader, Khaled Mashal, to accept a cease-fire long before he himself was willing to drop his preferred terms in return for a cessation of hostilities. The main conclusion for Hamas is that beyond the bombastic rhetoric about the "success of the resistance," its military strategy has proven self-defeating.
        The tendency among most in Hamas' leadership council is to finally accept that Gaza offers only limited opportunities for escalating the struggle against Israel. Mashal has explicitly stressed the far greater importance of the West Bank and east Jerusalem for any military undertakings, reflecting a recognition of the limited opportunities offered by Gaza for future military assaults.
        As Hamas is prepared to give up its monopoly of governance in Gaza, in return, Hamas aspires to receive a much wider scope for operating in the West Bank. Hamas would tolerate reemergence of Fatah activities in Gaza as the price for opening the West Bank's gates to Hamas, including permission for political mobilization, which will serve as a cover for resurrecting underground military networks. The writer is a fellow of The Washington Institute and a Middle East commentator for Israel's Channel 2 TV. (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)

Netanyahu: The Root Cause of the Gaza War? Hamas' Commitment to Kill Every Jew (Prime Minister's Office)

On Sunday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told a donor conference in Cairo: "We must not lose sight of the root causes of the recent hostilities: a restrictive occupation that has lasted almost half a century...."
    On Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told visiting UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in Jerusalem:

  • "The root cause of the violence that burst from Gaza is not Israel's occupation in Gaza, for a simple reason: Israel doesn't occupy Gaza. Israel left Gaza to the very last centimeter, to the very last inch. We uprooted all the settlements and vacated all the settlers. So there is no Israeli occupation of Gaza."
  • "The root cause of this summer's outburst of violence was Hamas' rocketing of Israeli cities, and these rocket attacks often exploited UN neutrality, using UN facilities and UN schools as part of the Hamas machine of terror. And when rockets were discovered inside UN schools, some UN officials handed them back to Hamas - that very same Hamas that was rocketing that very same time Israeli cities and Israeli civilians."
  • "What is the root cause of Hamas' rocket fire on Israel? It's Hamas' opposition to Israel's very existence....They're committed to killing every Israeli and every Jew. You just have to read their charter - they say that very plainly....A real peace can only be achieved through bilateral negotiations with those who believe in peace."
  • "I believe that unilateral steps by the Palestinians at the United Nations will not advance peace. I think they'll do the very opposite. They'll bring about a further deterioration in the situation - something none of us want. If the UN wants to support a genuine reconciliation, it must avoid any steps that could undermine peace."

        See also UN Chief Ban: Israeli Occupation Led to Gaza War - Tovah Lazaroff (Jerusalem Post)

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