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November 16, 2015

In-Depth Issues:

Israel: We Stand Shoulder-to-Shoulder with France in This Common Battle Against Militant Islamic Terrorism (Prime Minister's Office)
    In response to the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday, Prime Minister Netanyahu said Saturday evening:
    "On behalf of the people and Government of Israel, I extend our deepest sympathies to the people of France and to the families of those who were brutally murdered in Paris last night."
    "Israel stands shoulder-to-shoulder with France in this common battle against militant Islamic terrorism."
    "I've instructed Israel's security and intelligence forces to assist their French counterparts and their counterparts from other European countries in any way possible."
    See also Photo: Jerusalem's Old City Wall Lit Up in Colors of French Flag after Paris Attacks - Marc Israel Sellem (Jerusalem Post)

Targeted Paris Theater Was Sold by Jewish Owners Two Months Ago (Times of Israel)
    The Bataclan theater, targeted in Friday night's Paris terror attacks, was Jewish-owned for four decades and had been the venue for pro-Israel events, but was sold two months ago.
    Joel Laloux, one of the theater's former owners, told Israel Channel 2 on Saturday that his family sold the theater on September 11, and he recently immigrated to Israel.

ISIS Sees Paris Attacks as an Act of Retaliation - Nahum Barnea (Ynet News)
    France is the only European country bombing in Syria, apart from Russia.
    Britain avoided doing it because of opposition in the British Parliament. Canada stopped bombing after Justin Trudeau replaced Stephen Harper as prime minister.
    Russia lost a civilian plane full of passengers in the Sinai skies. France was hit in Paris. Both cases should concern every intelligence organization whose government is hostile towards ISIS.
    See also The West vs. Radical Islam - Ron Ben-Yishai (Ynet News)
    The world war between murderous fundamentalist Islam and Western civilization - and basically anyone and anything not Muslim - will have to be waged without compromise.
    We're all in the same boat. And no, the current wave of terrorism has nothing to do with the "occupation of Palestine."

ISIS Leader in Libya Is Targeted in U.S. Airstrike - Eric Schmitt (New York Times)
    The U.S. targeted Abu Nabil, also known as Wissam Najm Abd Zayd al Zubaydi, the senior leader of the Islamic State in Libya, on Friday night, the Pentagon announced on Saturday.
    Pentagon officials said they believed the strike had killed Abu Nabil. It was carried out by F-15E attack planes based in Britain.

Op-ed in Official PA Daily: Israel Carried Out Paris Attacks (Times of Israel)
    A Sunday opinion piece in the official Palestinian Authority daily al-Hayat al-Jadida blamed Israel's Mossad intelligence agency for Friday's terror attacks in Paris, suggesting they were orchestrated in order to undermine new European moves to label produce from Israeli West Bank settlements.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Islamic State Attacks in Paris Kill 129, Wound 352 - Adam Nositer
    Three teams of Islamic State attackers acting in unison carried out a terrorist assault against six targets in Paris on Friday night. "It is an act of war that was prepared, organized and planned from abroad, with complicity from the inside," President Francois Hollande told the nation on Saturday. The death toll was 129 - with 352 others wounded, 99 of them critically. (New York Times)
        See also How the Paris Attacks Unfolded - Meghan Keneally
    Two bodies were discovered at the Stade de France soccer stadium - of a suicide bomber and a bystander. A Cambodian restaurant called Le Petit Cambodge and the Le Carillion bar across the street were attacked by drive-by shooters; 15 people were killed and 10 others were wounded. A second explosion took place near the stadium, killing only the suicide bomber. The Casa Nostra restaurant was attacked by drive-by shooters; 5 people were killed and 8 injured. Another shooting at the La Belle Equipe restaurant left 19 dead and 9 injured. A suicide bomber attacked another restaurant, injuring several individuals.
        Attackers opened fire inside the Bataclan concert hall, killing scores and taking hostages. When French security forces sought to take back control, three terrorists detonated explosive devices that they were wearing. 89 people were killed and many others were injured. (ABC News)
  • Security Guards Blocked Suicide Bomber from Entering Paris Soccer Stadium; President Hollande Was Inside - Joshua Robinson and Inti Landauro
    A security guard outside France's national soccer stadium said one attacker was discovered wearing an explosives vest when he was frisked at the entrance. While attempting to back away from security, the attacker detonated the vest, which was loaded with explosives and bolts. Three minutes later, a second person also blew himself up outside the stadium. A third suicide attacker detonated explosives at a nearby McDonald's. French President Francois Hollande was at the stadium and was ushered out after the first blast. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Paris Attackers Communicated with ISIS, Officials Say - Katrin Bennhold and Michael S. Schmidt
    The attackers in Friday's terrorist assault in Paris communicated at some point beforehand with known members of the Islamic State in Syria, American and French officials say, evidence that the group coordinated or helped carry out the attacks rather than simply inspiring them. The officials said the attackers had operated with high levels of sophistication, beyond what would be expected of a plot in which the assailants were merely inspired to act by a radical group rather than being trained or equipped by it. (New York Times)
        See also After Paris Attacks: ISIS Has New External Operations Unit, U.S. Says - Brian Ross
    ISIS has developed a specific group dedicated to launching terrorist attacks abroad, U.S. officials told ABC News. "There is a specific unit on the organization charts of ISIS for external attacks, for planning and carrying out attacks in Western Europe and in the United States," said Richard Clarke, a former White House counter-terrorism advisor. Recently, the terror group appears to be embarking on "complicated, commanded and controlled multi-actor" external operations.
        Witnesses at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris said the gunmen talked about Iraq and Syria in the midst of the carnage. At least one of the attackers is suspected of having come into Europe as a refugee from Syria or gotten ahold of a refugee's passport. (ABC News)
  • French Launch Anti-ISIS Airstrikes in Syria
    Twelve French jets dropped 20 bombs on a jihadi training camp and a munitions dump in Raqqa, the Islamic State's de facto capital in Syria, on Sunday. The planes flew from sites in Jordan and the Persian Gulf, in coordination with U.S. forces. (AP-CBS News)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israeli Father and Son Killed in West Bank Shooting - Gili Cohen
    Rabbi Ya'akov Litman, 40, and his son Netanel, 18, were killed in a shooting attack south of Hebron in the West Bank on Friday afternoon. Two other passengers were wounded. The Israel Security Agency arrested a Palestinian suspect in the shooting and located the gun and vehicle used in the attack. (Ha'aretz)
        See also Palestinian Terrorist Turned In to Israel by Father, Fearing Home Demolition
    The father and brother of Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist Shadi Ahmad Mutawa, 28, informed the Israeli authorities of his involvement in killing Rabbi Ya'akov Litman and his son Netanel, in a bid to prevent the family home from being demolished. (Times of Israel)
        See also IDF Destroys Homes of Four Palestinians Who Killed Three Israelis - Yoav Zitun
    IDF forces on Saturday destroyed the homes of four terrorists who were convicted of murdering Israelis in the recent terror wave. The demolitions were conducted peacefully and without incident. (Ynet News)
  • 4 Israelis Wounded in West Bank Car Attack - Elisha Ben Kimon
    Four Israelis were wounded near Psagot in the West Bank on Saturday night in a vehicular terror attack. Yisrael Ganz, deputy head of the Benjamin Regional Council, said a Palestinian terrorist armed with a large knife tried to enter Psagot with a car that had Israeli license plates. Following a security check by the guard at the gate, the Palestinian turned around and intentionally hit the car of a resident of Psagot head on. The Palestinian attacker was killed in the collision. (Ynet News)
  • Two Armed Palestinians Killed in West Bank as Israeli Army Demolishes Terrorist's Home
    Israeli soldiers came under fire Sunday night while razing the Kalandiya home of Muhammad Abu Shaheen, who killed Danny Gonen in June near Dolev in the West Bank. "In response to the immediate danger, forces fired towards the attackers," the army said. Palestinian hospital sources said two Palestinians were killed and dozens were wounded in the clash. Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon told Israel Radio on Monday: "The force reacted with professionalism, destroying the house and returning fire at those shooting at it."
        Ya'alon said that "under no circumstances" would the policy of home demolitions stop. "This step really deters....In recent weeks and months, parents have turned in their children or told us their children are on their way to carry out an attack. There's no doubt it works."  (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • What Will Come After Paris - Editorial
    The terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday, along with twin bombings in Beirut the day before and the downing of a Russian jetliner over the Sinai Peninsula on Oct. 31, show a new phase in the Islamic State's war against the West, a readiness to strike far beyond areas it controls in Iraq, Syria, and Libya. The challenge for threatened countries is huge. The Islamic State must be crushed, but that requires patience, determination and the coordination of strategies and goals that has been sorely lacking among countries involved in the war on ISIS.
        France must take measures to protect its citizens, as must the U.S., Russia and all the other countries threatened by the Islamic State's murderous dream of a new caliphate. ISIS has demonstrated that there is no limit to its reach, and no nation is really safe until they all come together to defeat this scourge. (New York Times)
  • Paris Attacks Prompt Geopolitical Shift in West - Stephen Fidler and Julian E. Barnes
    Much of the focus in the West over the past year has been on Russia's new aggressive military posture in Ukraine and beyond. But with a series of well-coordinated strikes, Islamic State put the threat of terrorism back at the center of the international agenda. And Russia, far from a nuclear-armed enemy, instantly presented itself as a partner.
        The Paris killings confirmed the ability of Islamic State to reach out from its base in Syria and Iraq to attack major powers. They followed recent terror attacks in Ankara and Beirut and the downing of a Russian airliner by the terror group. (Wall Street Journal)

Has France's All-Out War on Terror Really Begun? - Freddy Eytan (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

  • For the first time since the Second World War, except for a few days during the Algerian War, Paris is under curfew and looks like a city of devastation, a ghost town. Why is it happening?
  • The French-born children of North African immigrants harbor a deep resentment toward the authorities and have been joining the ranks of the Islamic State and other Islamic movements with vengeance as their aim. The presence of eight to ten million Muslims in France strongly influences governmental decision-making as well as intelligence work.
  • Numerous French intellectuals, opinion leaders, and radicals still see the terrorists as freedom fighters, as underground activists who wage a just fight against all occupation and repression.
  • Terror has crossed the Mediterranean and is striking Europe. France must unhesitatingly change its strategy and its naive attitude toward radical migrants.

    Amb. Freddy Eytan, a former Foreign Ministry senior advisor who served in Israel's embassies in Paris and Brussels, has written 20 books about the Israeli-Arab conflict and the policy of France in the Middle East.

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