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  DAILY ALERT Wednesday,
July 19, 2017

In-Depth Issues:

U.S. Announces New Iran-Related Sanctions (State Department)
    The U.S. remains deeply concerned about Iran's malign activities across the Middle East.
    In response to these continued Iranian threats, the Administration on Tuesday announced that it has designated 18 entities and individuals for supporting Iran's ballistic missile program and for supporting Iran's military procurement or Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps pursuant to Executive Order 13382, which targets proliferators of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery and supporters of such activity.
    Iran's continued malign activities outside the nuclear issue undermine the positive contributions to regional and international peace and security that the deal was supposed to provide.
    The U.S. will continue to use sanctions to target those who lend support to Iran's destabilizing behavior and, above all, the U.S. will never allow the regime in Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon.

Hungary's Orban: Collaboration with Nazis Was Mistake, Sin - Pablo Gorondi (AP-Washington Post)
    "At an earlier time, the government of Hungary made a mistake, moreover, committed a sin when it did not protect its citizens of Jewish heritage," Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban told visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday.
    "At the time we decided that instead of protecting the Jewish community, we chose collaboration with the Nazis."
    Some 550,000 Hungarian Jews were killed in the Holocaust.

Video: Hizbullah Men on the Lebanon-Israel Border (Israel Defense Forces)
    After the 2006 Second Lebanon War, UN Security Council Resolution 1701 established that the area between the Lebanon-Israel border and the Litani River was to be free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons other than those of the Government of Lebanon and of UNIFIL.
    Yet Hizbullah has distributed hundreds of arms depots, thousands of militants, and tens of thousands of rockets throughout southern Lebanon.

Israel Faces Surge in Mongolian Asylum Requests - Itamar Eichner (Ynet News)
    The Israeli Population and Immigration Authority reports that since June, dozens of Mongolians have submitted applications for refugee status in Israel on grounds of belonging to the opposition party in their country.

Turkish Aid Distributed in Gaza - Nour Abu Aisha (Anadolu-Turkey)
    The Turkish aid ship Aqua Stella docked at Israel's Ashdod port late last month carrying tons of aid for poor families in Gaza.
    The Palestinian Ministry of Social Development on Sunday distributed Turkish aid packages to 29,000 Palestinian families in cooperation with the state-run Turkish Coordination and Cooperation Agency.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Israel Installing Metal Detectors at Jerusalem Shrine after Terror Attack - Karin Laub
    Israel says installing metal detectors at the gates to the Temple Mount after Israeli Arabs launched an attack there last week is a routine security measure. By Tuesday, five of the eight gates used by Muslims had been fitted with metal detectors, and three of those five gates were open, Muslim officials said. A gate used by non-Muslim visitors previously had been fitted with metal detectors.
        "Two Israeli police officers were just murdered on the Temple Mount by terrorists who smuggled in guns," government spokesman David Keyes said Tuesday. "Magnetometers are vital for security. That's why they are at the Western Wall and at holy sites around the world."  (AP)
        See also Israel: Security Measures Needed at Temple Mount to Prevent Future Attacks - Ian Deitch
    Israel Police Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the new security measures at the Temple Mount have been instituted "to ensure and prevent further incidents or attacks" and would continue. Jerusalem Police Commissioner Yoram Halevy told Army Radio, "I assume that with time they [the Muslims] will understand that this is not terrible." He said that security measures of this kind are commonplace in the world. "When I go shopping on Friday I pass through a detector at the mall," Halevy said. "We see them everywhere, they have become a part of our lives."  (AP)
  • Pence Restates Trump Pledge to Move U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem
    Vice President Mike Pence pledged on Monday to Christians United for Israel, "I promise you that the day will come when President Donald Trump moves the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. It is not a question of if, it is only when."  (JTA)
        See also Pence: Peace Requires Palestinian Willingness to Recognize the Jewish State of Israel
    Vice President Mike Pence told Christians United for Israel on Monday: "How unlikely was Israel's birth, how more unlikely has been her survival, and how confounding, against the odds, has been her thriving. Since the moment of their independence, the Jewish people have awed the world with their strength of will and their strength of character.  Indeed, anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear must acknowledge that Israel is a living testimony to the power of hope over hate and so will she always be."
      "The Jewish people have turned the desert into a garden, sickness into health, scarcity into plenty, despair into hope, and slander into blessings - rebuking all who condemn them; not for what they do wrong, but for what they do right."
        "Any [Israeli-Palestinian] peace requires an end to the incitement of hatred, an end to any support whatsoever of terrorism.  And above all else, a lasting peace requires true and complete Palestinian willingness to accept and recognize the Jewish State of Israel."  (White House)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Two Israeli Soldiers Injured in Car-Ramming near Hebron
    Two IDF soldiers were injured Tuesday in a car-ramming attack at a checkpoint north of Hebron in the West Bank. The Palestinian attacker was killed. The Israeli government blames the terrorism on incitement by Palestinian political and religious leaders. (Times of Israel)
  • Jerusalem Mayor: Palestinians Should Aim Rage at Terrorists - Joy Bernard
    Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat responded on Facebook Wednesday to calls by Fatah for a "day of rage" to protest the introduction of metal detectors at the entrances to the Temple Mount. "Muslim leaders and the whole world have to understand that the Temple Mount can't be used as a refuge or as a planning and meeting point for terrorists and murderers....I suggest to the demonstrators to turn their rage at the terrorists who created the need for this."  (Jerusalem Post)
        See also The Palestinian Campaign to Exploit the Temple Mount Terror Attack - Seth J. Frantzman
    Demonstrations against security measures at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem seem to be choreographed in a campaign led by local Palestinian religious leaders and activists. It is largely an attempt to create a "conspiracy" against al-Aksa where none exists, in order to fan flames and encourage young Muslim men in Jerusalem and the West Bank to "defend al-Aksa." This is a refrain that has been heard since the 1920s.
        Palestinians who come from the West Bank already pass through metal detectors at the checkpoints. Muslims on Hajj to Saudi Arabia pass through security and metal detectors on the way. The Temple Mount always has Israeli police at its various gates. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Israeli Arab Singer Slams BDS Activists
    Nasreen Qadri, an Israeli Arab singer who will perform alongside Radiohead in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, spoke out against calls by BDS activists for the band to cancel their concert in Israel. In an op-ed in Newsweek, Qadri described the efforts to "boycott the only democracy in the Middle East" as "counter-productive." "Those who call for boycott are only trying to divide us. They are trying to shut down the music. I will not be a part of that. Sadly, there are too many countries in the Middle East in which such a concert could have never taken place," she said.
        Qadri, who is Muslim, wrote, "I was lucky to be born in Israel, and I am grateful for the opportunity to build bridges of understanding."  (Ha'aretz)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Palestinians' Dilemma on Jerusalem's Temple Mount: Opposing Israel or Each Other? - Pinhas Inbari
    Several Fatah sources in east Jerusalem told me that on Sunday, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas instructed them not to escalate the situation in Jerusalem. Instead, they were to concentrate on the conflict with Hamas over Gaza. On Wednesday, Abbas delivered a policy speech in Beijing, China, and barely mentioned current Jerusalem issues.
        According to understandings between Israel and Jordan in 1967, the Temple Mount is to be used exclusively for Muslim prayers, Israel is responsible for its security, and the site is open for non-Muslim tourist visits. However, the PLO and Muslim movements never accepted the 1967 understanding, and want the status quo prior to 1967. That means Jews cannot enter the site, the Western Wall is Palestinian/Muslim, and the Palestinians will be responsible for security.
        If the Waqf insists on refusing to cross through the metal detectors, it risks other changes in the status quo - the municipality of Jerusalem will assume the role of maintaining the site instead of the Waqf and Jews will be allowed to enter the site without Waqf personnel escorting them. The writer, a veteran Arab affairs correspondent for Israel Radio, is an analyst for the Jerusalem Center. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • Terror at the Temple Mount Puts the Lie to Palestinian Rage - Eli Lake
    A prevailing Palestinian narrative about the Al Aqsa Mosque is that Jews are a threat to its preservation. You hear it in the speeches of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in which he falsely claims Jewish settlers are building tunnels underneath the Temple Mount. He complains of "dirty feet" stepping on this holy ground.
        Martin Kramer, a historian at Shalem College in Jerusalem, told me that the attack at the Temple Mount broke a taboo. "The usual Islamist claim is the danger to the mosque and the shrine is from Jews," he said. "Here there was an actual conspiracy to smuggle weapons into this holy place and Hamas does not condemn it, they praise it. Who poses the greater danger to Al Aqsa?"  (Bloomberg)

Expert: Understanding Islamic Culture Is Key to Preventing Further Violence at Temple Mount - Alex Traiman (

  • The Israeli government reopened the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Sunday with strict new security measures, in the wake of Friday's attack by Arab terrorists who killed two Israeli police officers. Israeli defense experts stress that such attacks are likely to occur again.
  • Dr. Mordechai Kedar of Bar-Ilan University's Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, who served for 25 years in IDF military intelligence, noted that the Temple Mount has long been a source of radical Islamic incitement against Israel and the U.S.  "There are hundreds of recordings of sermons from the Temple Mount, replete with violence, replete with incitement against the Jews, against Israel."
  • In Muslim doctrine, Islam "cannot exist side by side" with another religion, and "within Islam there is only the concept of one religion being dominant over the other....Islam, as a religion, cannot accept a Jewish state. They view Judaism as a threat on Islam."
  • While murderous acts are considered unholy by Jews and Westerners, acts of martyrdom can be considered holy in Islamic culture.
  • Understanding Islamic culture is a key to preventing further violence. "They are violent, but if they face an iron wall, they will retreat - once they understand that they cannot defeat us," Kedar said. "The more determined Israel is in this regard, the better the chances that this round of violence will be short."
  • For more than a decade, worshippers or tourists wishing to visit the adjacent Western Wall have been forced to pass through metal detectors, despite the fact that there have been no recently recorded incidents of Jews seeking to commit acts of terror at the site. Now these same measures are being installed on the Temple Mount.

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