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October 12, 2015

In-Depth Issues:

Turkey: Islamic State Responsible for Ankara Bomb Blasts that Killed 128 - Orhan Coskun and Ece Toksabay (Reuters)
    Turkey is targeting Islamic State in investigations of a double suicide bombing in Ankara that killed 128 people at a rally of pro-Kurdish activists and civic groups.
    "All signs indicate that the attack may have been carried out by ISIL (Islamic State). We are completely focused on ISIL," a senior security source told Reuters on Sunday.

Islamic State Advances near Aleppo as Russian Airstrikes Target Its Rivals - Erin Cunningham (Washington Post)
    Islamic State militants captured villages in Aleppo province in northwestern Syria as part of a surprise offensive against rival insurgents on Friday in its most significant gains in Syria in months, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
    The progress made by Islamic State fighters comes at the expense of rebel groups opposed to Assad and the jihadists.
    Those groups, which the U.S. has viewed as the most palpable allies in Syria's civil war, are now confronting both the Islamic State and Russian firepower.
    See also Hizbullah Commander Killed in Syria (Fars-Iran)
    Senior Hizbullah commander Hassan Hossein al-Haj was killed during heavy fighting in Idlib in northwestern Syria on Saturday.

Iranian TV: Washington Post Correspondent Jason Rezaian Convicted - William Branigin (Washington Post)
    The Washington Post's correspondent in Iran, Jason Rezaian, went on trial May 26 behind closed doors in Tehran's Revolutionary Court on charges that included espionage.
    Iranian state television reported on Monday that Rezaian has been convicted.

The Recent Wave of Terrorism: Myths, Facts, and Wishful Thinking - Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror (Israel Hayom)
    There is no real proof that "diplomatic initiatives" can quell terrorism. It was when the Oslo Accords were signed and the government was pursuing the Israeli-Palestinian peace process in earnest that explosive devices and suicide bombers exploded nationwide.
    We, the Jews, are the stronger party in this fight, and no wave of terrorism, horrific as it may be, will change that. Israel must use its force prudently, only when its results have proven benefits, and only as a last resort.
  The writer is a former national security advisor to the Prime Minister of Israel.

Nazareth Mayor Slams Arab Leadership for "Destroying Coexistence" - Raoul Wootliff (Times of Israel)
    Nazareth Mayor Ali Salem, the Muslim mayor of Israel's largest Arab city, on Sunday criticized Arab Knesset members for their role in recent violent demonstrations, saying, "I blame the leaders; they are destroying our future, they are destroying coexistence."
    "We need to find a way to live together. We cannot fight like this. We are damaging ourselves."
    Salem told Army Radio that he saw Joint (Arab) List chair Ayman Odeh at a violent protest in Nazareth on Thursday night, and told him to leave.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Israeli Envoy to UN: Attacks on Israelis Met with Silence
    Israel's UN ambassador, Ron Prosor, called on the body to condemn the recent attacks against Israeli citizens. "In 72 hours alone, 11 terror attacks have taken place in cities across Israel, and the Security Council stands by in silence," Prosor said Friday on the last day of his four-year tenure. "Israelis are being attacked and murdered in the streets, in their vehicles, and even in their homes, and the UN stands by in silence. Palestinian officials continue to use inflammatory rhetoric and dangerous incitement, intensifying this wave of terror against Israeli citizens, and it must stop."  (JTA)
  • Iran Tests New Precision-Guided Ballistic Missile in Defiance of UN Ban - Sam Wilkin
    Iran tested a new precision-guided ballistic missile on Sunday in defiance of a UN ban. The UN Security Council prohibits foreign powers from assisting Iran in developing its ballistic missile program in any way, a ban that will remain in place under the terms of the nuclear deal. The UN also prohibits Iran from undertaking any activity related to ballistic missiles that could deliver a nuclear warhead, which applies to the new missile, called Emad, but Iranian officials have pledged to ignore the ban. "We don't ask permission from anyone to strengthen our defense and missile capabilities," said Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan.
        "The Emad represents a major leap in terms of accuracy. It has an advanced guidance and control system in its nose cone," Israeli missile expert Uzi Rubin said. (Reuters)
  • U.S. Warns Governments, Bankers Iran Sanctions Still in Place - Ron Bousso and Timothy Gardner
    The Obama administration has privately reminded foreign governments and U.S. bankers that sanctions against Iran remain in effect, cautioning against a rush by Western companies to invest in Iran until the country fully complies with the nuclear agreement. (Reuters)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Palestinian Tries to Stab Border Policeman in Jerusalem - Roi Yanovsky
    A Palestinian terrorist walked up to a border policeman near Lion's Gate in Jerusalem's Old City on Monday morning and tried to stab him. Security forces killed the terrorist. (Ynet News)
  • Israeli Arab Attacks Jews at Bus Stop, Wounds Four near Hadera - Raanan Ben-Tzur
    Four Israelis, including two soldiers, were attacked on Sunday evening at the bus stop of a shopping center near Kibbutz Gan Shmuel, next to Hadera. The assailant, an Israeli Arab from Umm al-Fahm, was captured by security forces. He used his car to run over two soldiers waiting at the bus stop, then got out and stabbed a 19-year-old female soldier, who is in critical condition, and two others. (Ynet News)
  • Palestinian Car Bomber Wounds Israeli Policeman - Elisha Ben Kimon
    A Palestinian driver activated an explosive device at a checkpoint near Maale Adumim in the West Bank on Sunday, wounding a police officer who pulled her over. The terrorist, 31, from east Jerusalem, was severely wounded. Staff Sgt. Maj. Moshe Chen, a traffic officer, noticed she was driving suspiciously. "I started speaking to her in Arabic, at which point she started shouting 'Allah Akbar, Allah Akbar!' (God is great) and I noticed smoke coming out of the car," he said. "I thought her car was on fire, so I ran to get an extinguisher, and then I heard a blast."
        Rafi Cohen, commander of the Maale Adumim police, said: "We have no doubt that the terrorist intended to drive into Jerusalem. Had she arrived at a crowded place, the damage would have been much, much greater."  (Ynet News)
  • Palestinians Storm Gaza Border Fence, Seven Killed - Yaakov Lappin
    On Saturday night, dozens of Palestinian rioters from Gaza damaged the security fence and infiltrated into Israel, where they were immediately surrounded by security personnel. On Friday, seven Gaza rioters were shot dead while seeking to enter Israel. Soldiers first called out warnings and fired warning shots to try and stop the rioters from advancing to the border, before finally firing at them. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Israel Intercepts Rocket from Gaza - Matan Tzuri
    Palestinian terrorists fired a rocket from Gaza at Ashkelon on Saturday night. An Iron Dome air defense battery intercepted the rocket. (Ynet News)
  • Palestinian Stabs Two Israeli Border Policemen in Jerusalem - Efrat Forsher
    Muhammad Ali, 19, a resident of Shuafat near Jerusalem, stabbed two Israeli Border Police officers at Damascus Gate on Saturday. The attacker was killed. (Israel Hayom)
        See also Video: Arab Stabs Israeli Border Policemen - Daniel K. Eisenbud (Jerusalem Post)
  • Two Jewish Men Stabbed in Jerusalem's Old City
    A Palestinian terrorist stabbed two Jewish men in their 60s near Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City on Saturday. Police killed the attacker at the scene. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Netanyahu: Incitement Caused Wave of Terrorism
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Israeli Cabinet on Sunday: "We are in the midst of a wave of terrorism originating from systematic and mendacious incitement regarding the Temple Mount - incitement by Hamas, the Palestinian Authority and the Islamic Movement in Israel....We will use all means at our disposal against the instigators from any direction."  (Prime Minister's Office)
        See also Fatah Officials Involved in Incitement - Herb Keinon
    PA President Mahmoud Abbas is not behind the current wave of terrorism, but senior PA and Fatah officials are involved in the incitement that is fanning the violence, an Israel Security Agency representative told the Israeli Cabinet Sunday. The official said most of the attacks have been carried out by individuals who are not connected to any organized terrorist group. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • The Escalation in the Palestinian Arena - Kobi Michael, Udi Dekel, and Assaf Orion
    The current escalation, accompanied by the disintegration of the institutional order in the PA, contains the seeds of PA decline and loss of control. The growing friction between the Palestinian population and the Israeli security forces, combined with efforts by Hamas to undermine the PA - given the PA's leadership and functional crisis - is liable to escalate the violence. The Israeli public must understand the reality of conflict management in the current situation, in which Palestinian violence draws its inspiration from religion and the regional upheaval. (Institute for National Security Studies)
  • Terrorism Epidemic - Boaz Ganor
    We are experiencing a deluge of "self-initiated" attacks, each beginning and ending in the raging mind of an incensed young man or woman. This wave of attacks is shedding more Palestinian blood than Israeli. The solution is to end the incitement, and to get back on the track of productive discussion between the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships.
        The PA must pause the diplomatic campaign it is waging against Israel, and both sides must increase security cooperation in recognition of mutual interests. The writer is executive director of the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Why Is the World Ignoring a Wave of Terror in Israel? - Arsen Ostrovsky
    In the last week, Israel has come under an unprecedented wave of Palestinian terror. Yet somehow the international community is silent in the face of this onslaught. Imagine for a moment if people were being mown down with cars, guns or knives by Islamic terrorists on the streets of central London, Paris, Washington or Moscow. How would leaders of those countries react?
        Israelis, like all people, have the right to live in safety and security, free from terror. And our government and security forces have an obligation to take whatever action is necessary to ensure this. Attacks like these do not occur in a vacuum. They are the direct result of a pervasive Palestinian infrastructure indoctrinating hate, inciting violence, and instilling a worldview justifying such gruesome acts. (Telegraph-UK)

A Stabbing War Born of Hysterical Intolerance - David Horovitz (Times of Israel)

  • Nobody knows whether this unprecedented spate of Palestinian "suicide stabbings" constitutes the start of another protracted round of conflict. This is a stabbing war born of insistent, hysterical intolerance. Impressionable young Palestinians have been persuaded that their God requires them to kill, and if necessary be killed, to "protect Al-Aqsa."
  • The false claim that Israel is about to permit Jews to pray on the Temple Mount, or otherwise change the policies that Israel has maintained at the holy site, has been assiduously spread by Hamas, Fatah, and the extremist Northern Branch of Israel's Islamic Movement, widely peddled in mosques and on social media, and bolstered by PA President Mahmoud Abbas.
  • Israel dare not entrust sovereign legitimacy to a Palestinian nation that is not truly prepared to live alongside what it acknowledges is a rooted, legitimate, revived Jewish state. Until the Palestinians internalize Israel's right to be here, their quest for independence is doomed.
  • This phase of violence suggests to Israelis that the Palestinians have a knife-wielding, even suicidal, intolerance for the Jewish state's connection to Judaism's holiest place, and that Moshe Dayan's historic decision in 1967 not to fully realize renewed Jewish sovereignty at the Temple Mount - and therefore not to risk a religious confrontation with the Muslim world - has hardened intransigence rather than encouraged the reciprocal imperative for understanding and compromise.

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