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  DAILY ALERT Tuesday,
December 9, 2014

In-Depth Issues:

Israeli Stabbed in Brooklyn Synagogue - Joseph Stepansky and Jason Molinet (New York Daily News)
    Levi Rosenviat, 22, an Israeli student, was stabbed in the neck at a Brooklyn synagogue at the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic world headquarters early Tuesday by a man who yelled, "I want to kill the Jew."
    The attacker, Calvin Peters, 51, was shot and killed after he lunged at a police officer with a knife.

PA: Gaza Health Ministry Stole Medical Aid in Summer Conflict (Ma'an News-PA)
    A spokesman for the Palestinian Ministry of Health, Osama al-Najjar, on Sunday accused officials in Gaza of stealing medicines and supplies.
    "After investigations, we have been informed that influential ministry officials in Gaza steal these medicines and equipment, and that the medicines do not go to hospitals and the health sector in the Gaza Strip which badly need them."

Hamas Delegation Arrives in Iran for Talks on Repairing Ties (AFP-Daily Star-Lebanon)
    A delegation led by Hamas political bureau member Mohammed Nasr and Ossama Hamdan, who is in charge of international relations, arrived in Tehran on Monday for talks with Iranian officials on repairing ties.
    The visit is aimed at clearing the way for a visit by Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal.

U.S. Denies Plans for Sanctioning Israel (State Department)
    When State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki was asked on Monday if the U.S. is considering imposing sanctions against Israel because of its opposition to settlement activity, she replied, "reports that we might be contemplating sanctions against Israel are completely unfounded and without merit."

At Israel's MIT, Arab Women (and Men) Are Thriving - Peter Coy (Business Week)
    Israeli Arabs, women in particular, have made huge strides over the past decade at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.
    Arabs accounted for 21% of undergraduates at the Technion in 2014, which is the same as their share of the population of Israel. Of those students, 48% are female.

China's Baidu Invests $3 Million in Israeli Start-Up - David Shamah (Times of Israel)
    Chinese Internet giant Baidu, China's leading search engine, has invested $3 million in the Israeli video capture firm Pixellot, which enables viewers to watch streaming video with total freedom to choose camera angles.
    Pixellot's system allows users to zoom in on any part of the action and roll that particular segment ahead or back in time.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • U.S. Accuses Iran of Breaching UN Nuclear Sanctions - Colum Lynch
    A U.S. delegation informed a UN Security Council panel of experts monitoring Iranian sanctions on Nov. 7 that Iranian procurement agents have been increasing their efforts to illicitly obtain equipment for the IR-40 research reactor at the Arak nuclear complex. The allegation is sure to add to the mounting congressional unease over the administration's ongoing talks with Tehran. (Foreign Policy)
  • International Criminal Court Gives Palestinians Observer Status - Somini Sengupta
    The Palestinians on Monday became an observer at the annual meeting of the International Criminal Court. The symbolic change upgrades their status, but they still have not come under the court's jurisdiction. While the Palestinians have repeatedly threatened to ratify the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the International Criminal Court, they have not yet done so. Such a step could empower the court to investigate accusations by the Palestinians against Israel as well as accusations by Israel against the Palestinians. (New York Times)
  • Three American Teens, Recruited Online, Caught Trying to Join the Islamic State - Kevin Sullivan
    While his parents slept, Mohammed Hamzah Khan, 19, gathered three newly issued U.S. passports and $2,600 worth of airline tickets to Turkey that he had gotten for himself, his 16-year-old brother and their 17-year-old sister, all U.S.-born children of Indian immigrants, and together they went to O'Hare International Airport in Chicago. Their plan was to fly to Istanbul, then drive into Syria to live in the Islamic caliphate, part of a growing number of young Americans who are attempting to join the Islamic State.
        This year officials have detained at least 15 U.S. citizens - nine of them female - who were trying to travel to Syria to join the militants. Almost all of them were Muslims, and almost all were arrested at airports waiting to board flights. Authorities are closely monitoring Twitter, Facebook and other social media networks, where recruiters from the Islamic State aggressively target youths. (Washington Post)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Ya'alon: Israel Working to Thwart Terror Cells Directed from Turkey and Gaza - Arik Bender
    "There is pressure from outside Islamist groups, particularly Hamas, to inflame the region, and we are working to thwart terror cells directed from Turkey and Gaza," Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Tuesday. "Iran is also continuing to support terror and to arm our enemies - both Hizbullah and terror groups in Gaza. The Middle East has not stabilized and, in fact, suffers from chronic instability."  (Maariv Hashavua-Jerusalem Post)
  • Terror Attack by Nephew of Israeli Teens' Murderer Thwarted in West Bank - Yaakov Lappin
    Israeli security forces arrested two Palestinians outside of Tekoa in the West Bank on Tuesday. One of the suspects is the nephew of Amar Abu Eisha, who helped kidnap and murder three Israeli teens in June. Tekoa residents captured one of the suspects, while the second was captured by IDF security forces. Both had intended to carry out attacks on Israelis. One was caught in possession of a knife. After the two went missing on Saturday, security forces began searching intensively to find them. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Abbas Promoting "Impossible Fantasies" on "Return" of 6 Million Palestinians to Israel
    The Israeli Prime Minister's office responded Monday to comments by PA President Abbas that six million Palestinian refugees, himself included, were waiting to "return" to Israel. "The Palestinian leadership does the Palestinian people no service when they cultivate impossible fantasies," Netanyahu spokesman Mark Regev said Monday. "It's high time the Palestinian leadership abandon these sort of maximalist positions which make reaching a peace agreement more difficult."  (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Shiite Militias Win Bloody Battles in Iraq, Show No Mercy - Matt Bradley and Ghassan Adnan
    A militia of more than 650 Shiite fighters, known as the Al Qara'a Regiment, drove Islamic State out of Jurf al-Sakher, Iraq, in late October. After briefly interrogating the enemy soldiers, commander Ahmed al-Zamili ordered their executions. "We see them, we attack them, we get the weapons from them, we talk to them, we get their confessions, and then we kill them," says Zamili, 35, who formed Al Qara'a in June. "Of course, this is much better than the army strategy."
        Shiite militias like Al Qara'a have emerged as the most effective fighting force against Islamic State in Iraq. Iraq's new prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, estimates that more than a million Shiite fighters are trying to fill the void left by failures of the U.S.-trained Iraqi military. Shiite militia leaders say their recent successes reflect their holy warrior zeal, superior training compared with Iraqi government troops, less corruption in the ranks, and freedom from the legal, bureaucratic and human-rights restrictions on regular Iraqi forces. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Europe Goes Zionistfrei - Brendan O'Neill
    In Nazi Germany, it was all the rage to make one's town Judenfrei. Now a new fashion is sweeping Europe as towns across the Continent are declaring themselves "Israel-free zones," insulating their citizens from Israeli produce and culture. During this summer's Gaza conflict, businesses in Kinvara in western Ireland agreed to expunge from their premises anything produced in Israel. The mayor of Newry in Northern Ireland asked all the retailers of his district to remove Israeli products.
        The French city of Lille in October ripped up its twinning accord with the Israeli city of Safed. In 2011, the council of West Dunbartonshire in Scotland voted to boycott all Israeli products and instructed all local libraries to stop stocking books printed in Israel. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Britain's Unrequited Love - Douglas Murray
    The former Bishop of Oxford, Lord Harries, used a debate in the House of Lords to suggest that the coronation of the next monarch in Britain should perhaps include some verses from the Quran as a demonstration of "inclusive hospitality." But it is worth asking why British Muslims should have their scripture represented in the coronation of the new monarch, when many, in their mosques, will not even pray for the well-being of that monarch. In synagogues in the UK, British Jews every week have a prayer in their services for the long life and happiness of the Queen.
        Whenever I have mooted this to Muslim friends in Britain, they have always dismissed the idea. Everyone knows this would be impossible because many Muslims in Britain simply do not share Lord Harries' tolerance, inclusivity or indeed liberalism. (Gatestone Institute)

IDF Investigates Complaints from Gaza War (IDF Military Advocate General)

  • The IDF Military Advocate General has investigated over 100 complaints regarding alleged exceptional incidents that occurred during the Gaza War. Information cleared for publication includes the following cases:
  • It was alleged that on 8 July 2014, six members of the family of senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander Hafet Hamed were killed as a result of an IDF strike on their home. According to the factual findings, the attack was carried out using precise and relatively low-explosive munitions, in an effort to minimize the risk of harm to civilians who may have been in the vicinity. At least three of those killed in the attack belonged to Palestinian terrorist organizations.
  • An aerial strike was carried out in the Rimael neighborhood of Gaza City on 9 July 2014 against a vehicle marked "TV," which resulted in the death of one person. According to the factual findings, the vehicle was being used to transport weaponry. The vehicle was marked "TV" in order to mask its military use.
  • On 12 July 2014, two women were killed and four others injured as a result of an IDF aerial strike on a care center for the mentally and physically disabled belonging to the Alambra Association in Beit Lehia. According to the factual findings, the strike was directed at a weapons depot located inside the residential home of a senior Hamas commander. A number of precautionary measures were undertaken including several attempts to telephone the residents and the firing of two "knock on the roof" warning projectiles.
  • It was alleged that the Al-Wafa Hospital was unlawfully attacked by IDF forces on a number of occasions between 11-23 July 2014. According to the factual findings, Palestinian terrorist organizations used the hospital compound for a range of military purposes. Hospital structures were used on multiple occasions as firing positions towards IDF forces, and rockets were launched from the immediate vicinity of these structures. The hospital was attacked on 23 July after the IDF had ensured that all civilians had evacuated the hospital and that the hospital was being used at that time solely for military purposes.
  • On 28 July 2014, an incident occurred involving a strike on medical clinics belonging to Al-Shifa Hospital, as well as a strike on a park where children were present in the Shati Refugee Camp. Israel's technical systems recorded in real-time the path of a salvo of missiles fired by Palestinian terrorist organizations from within Gaza which landed in the medical clinics and in the Shati Refugee Camp at the time of the incident.

        See also IDF Launches Internal Probe into Possible Gaza War Infractions - Shlomi Diaz
    Israel's chief military advocate general, Maj. Gen. Danny Efroni, published on Saturday evening a series of conclusions reached in investigations into possible criminal and international law violations carried out during Israel's Operation Protective Edge in Gaza this past summer. The military prosecutor's office looked into more than 150 complaints filed by Israeli and international rights organizations dealing with claims of attacking and killing civilians and firing at public buildings, hospitals, Red Crescent buildings and UNESCO buildings. (Israel Hayom)

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