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  DAILY ALERT Tuesday,
July 25, 2017

In-Depth Issues:

Houthi Leader: Yemeni Forces Will Take Part in Any Future Conflict with Israel - Caleb Weiss (Long War Journal)
    The leader of the Houthi insurgent group in Yemen, Abdul Malik Badreddin al Houthi, last week vowed to fight in any future conflict between Hizbullah and Israel.
    "The Yemeni nation is ready to take part in any future confrontation against the Israeli enemy," he said. Israel should "take us into consideration in all future conflicts with Hizbullah and the Palestinian people."
    See also Yemeni Houthis Release Video of Missile Launch on Saudi Oil Refinery - Caleb Weiss (Long War Journal)

Saudis Make Mecca Pilgrims Wear Electronic Bracelets - Ben-Dror Yemini (Ynet News)
    In Mecca, Saudi Arabia, there are 5,000 closed-circuit television cameras overseen by a British company, G4S.
    As a security measure, an electronic bracelet is attached to each of the millions of pilgrims throughout their entire stay in the kingdom, allowing the authorities to monitor them.

Putin Thanks Israel for Opposing Toppling of World War II Monuments to Soviet Soldiers in Eastern Europe (Tass-Russia)
    Russia is grateful to Israel for denouncing the toppling of World War II monuments to Soviet soldiers by Eastern European countries, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting of the Council for International Relations.
    Israel's Knesset on Wednesday passed a statement supporting the preservation of the historical memory of World War II.
    On June 22, Polish President Andrzej Duda endorsed amendments to a law that envisage the demolition of more than 200 monuments dedicated to the Red Army soldiers who freed Poland from Nazi occupation in 1944-1945.

Hamas Member Convicted in Austria for Planning Attacks in Jerusalem - Benjamin Weinthal (Jerusalem Post)
    An Austrian court on Monday sentenced a Palestinian asylum-seeker to life in prison for organizing suicide attacks on Israelis in Jerusalem and membership in Hamas, which is designated as a terrorist organization by the EU, the Austrian daily Kurier reported.
    The convicted man used phone messages to encourage Palestinians to toss grenades at gatherings of people in Jerusalem.
    The judge overseeing the trial termed the man's criminal planning "perfidious."

Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma to Buy Israel's Neuroderm for $1.1 Billion (Reuters)
    Japan's Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corp has agreed to buy Israeli drug maker Neuroderm for $1.1 billion.
    The Japanese drug maker said on Monday it was particularly attracted by Neuroderm's Parkinson's disease drug that is in advanced clinical trials.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Israel Removes Metal Detectors from Temple Mount to Defuse Tensions
    Israel's Security Cabinet decided early Tuesday to remove the metal detectors it installed a week earlier in response to an Arab attack that killed two Israeli police guards. The metal detectors are to be replaced by "sophisticated technology" involving cameras that can detect hidden objects. (AP-Washington Post)
        See also Muslims Maintain Temple Mount Boycott after Metal Detectors Removed - Raoul Wootliff
    Muslim leaders advised worshipers to continue to stay away from the Temple Mount on Tuesday, even after Israel removed the metal detectors and security cameras that touched off a boycott of the holy site. Ikrema Sabri, the head of the Supreme Islamic Committee, said, "Our position is that for now, nobody should enter." A Waqf official said new high tech cameras would not be accepted in place of metal detectors. (Times of Israel)
  • Video Shows U.S. Soldiers Surrendering before Fatal Shooting in Jordan - Dave Philipps and Ben Hubbard
    Newly released video of the killing of three American Special Forces soldiers on Nov. 4, 2016, at the gate of the al-Jafer military base in Jordan shows that the episode - which was initially explained as a mistake by a Jordanian guard firing on Americans who failed to stop - was actually a six-minute gun battle where Americans crouched behind barriers and repeatedly waved their hands in surrender as the gunman closed in and killed them. The footage was made public on Monday by the Jordanian military. (New York Times)
  • Ex-Gaza Chief Says Hamas Deal Will Open Border with Egypt - Mohammed Daraghmeh
    Exiled Palestinian politician Mohammed Dahlan has quietly negotiated a power-sharing deal for Gaza which will open its border with Egypt and ease power outages. The Egypt-Gaza border crossing is expected to open by late August and funding has been secured for a $100 million power plant, Dahlan told AP in an interview.
        Dahlan grew up in the Khan Yunis refugee camp with Gaza's newly elected Hamas chief, Yehiyeh Sinwar. "We both realized it's time to find a way out" for Gaza, Dahlan said. "Everyone who needs to travel will be able to travel." Hamas officials describing the deal have said their group will remain in charge of security in Gaza. (AP)
  • Russia Deploys Checkpoints in Southwestern Syria
    Col.-Gen. Sergei Rudskoy said that Russian military police established two checkpoints and ten observation points along the de-escalation zone in southwestern Syria on July 21-22, aimed at supporting a ceasefire. One Russian military post is 13 km. (8 miles) from the Israeli-Syrian border in the Golan Heights. (Sputnik-Russia)
        See also Russian Police in Golan to Keep Hizbullah Away - Taha Abdul Wahed (Asharq Al-Awsat-UK)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israel-Jordan Embassy Crisis Ends, Israeli Diplomats Return Home - Barak Ravid
    A senior Israeli official said that Israel Security Agency head Nadav Argaman's visit to Amman on Monday enabled the conclusion of the crisis between Israel and Jordan in the wake of an attack on an Israeli security guard who killed his attacker and another Jordanian. Israel refused to allow the guard to be interrogated, but agreed to allow Jordanian police to arrive at the embassy compound to hear the guard's description of the incident in the presence of Israeli diplomats.
        An hour later, the entire embassy staff headed back to Israel. A senior Israeli official noted that the Jordanians who met with Argaman did not doubt that the guard was attacked nor that the shooting was justified. (Ha'aretz)
  • Israel to UN: End Palestinian Incitement - Danielle Ziri
    The UN Security Council should demand that the Palestinian Authority stop promoting violence, Israel's UN Ambassador Danny Danon said Monday. "We do not need more carefully-worded statements asking for calm. The council must demand real action by Mahmoud Abbas, make him stop his tacit support for terror, force him to end this unbearable wave of violence, and make him do so immediately before the lives of more innocent victims are lost."
        Referring to the stabbing attack in Halamish on Friday, where three members of the Salomon family were murdered in their home, Danon said, "This attack is not an isolated incident, it is part of the wave of terror sweeping the free world....These terrorists are brainwashed with the same hateful teachings they are all taught: that violence and cold-blooded murder is holy."
        "The terrorist who slaughtered the Salomon family last Friday did so knowing that the PA plans on paying him. He had the courage to kill because he knew it would put him on Abbas' guaranteed payroll for the rest of his life. From Friday evening, he is receiving $3,000 a month."  (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Gazans Are Not about to Overthrow Hamas - Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror
    The hardships experienced by Gaza residents will not drive them to stage a coup to topple Hamas' rule. The organization is entrenched in Gaza and is notorious for its brutality toward any sign of dissidence, and the Palestinians know there is no viable alternative. The assumption that if Gaza experiences economic stability and prosperity Hamas would refrain from provoking hostilities with Israel is also baseless.
        All the supplies Israel allows into Gaza on a daily basis to facilitate normal life have little chance of reaching the people. Hamas first takes care of its leaders and makes sure it has what it needs to sustain its terror tunnel digging enterprise and its weapon production efforts. It then sees to the needs of its members, and what little is left is diverted to rehabilitation efforts that benefit the population.
        This is why the argument that Israel is responsible for Gaza's inability to recover from its plight is baseless. Hamas determines the priorities, and the more construction materials enter Gaza, the easier and faster it is for Hamas to restore its military capabilities. The writer is former National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of Israel and former Head of Israel's National Security Council. (Israel Hayom)
  • Iran Is at the Center of China's Global Ambitions - Thomas Erdbrink
    Iran is strategically at the center of China's "One Belt, One Road" project across Asia. In eastern Iran, Chinese workers are busily modernizing a major rail route, with the ultimate goal of connecting Tehran to Turkmenistan and Afghanistan. Much the same is happening in western Iran, where railroad crews are working to link the capital to Turkey and, eventually, to Europe. Other routes to Western markets are longer and lead through Russia, potentially a competitor of China. In a 2016 test, China and Iran drove a train from Shanghai to Tehran in 12 days, a journey that takes 30 days by sea.
        China is already Iran's biggest trading partner and is an important market for Iranian oil. Chinese state companies are active all over the country, building highways, digging mines and making steel. Tehran's shops are flooded with Chinese products and its streets clogged with Chinese cars. (New York Times)

The Argument Is About Jews, Not Metal Detectors - Jonathan S. Tobin (

  • How could putting metal detectors to protect a holy site from a recurrence of murder provoke outrage, violence and a promise of mass riots? The answer is that this isn't about metal detectors. It's about the right of Jews to be in Jerusalem.
  • Israel didn't change the status quo at the Temple Mount. Jews are still denied the right to pray at the holiest place in Judaism. The Islamic Waqf was left in charge of the Temple Mount's Al-Aqsa mosque.
  • Nor was the new security measure discriminatory. Any Jew or non-Jew who wishes to enter the Western Wall plaza below the Temple Mount compound must also pass through metal detectors.
  • For a century, Palestinian Arab leaders have been playing the "Al-Aqsa is in danger" card. It was the supposedly moderate Mahmoud Abbas who also claimed Jews were going to harm the mosque. His rhetoric sought to remind Palestinians that the conflict wasn't over borders or settlements, but something far more basic: a religious war that mandates Arab opposition to the Jewish presence.
  • The new security measures are merely the latest pretext for Arab violence intended to make the point that Jews have no right to be there at all.
  • The threats of violence are just one more power play intended to remind the world that the only solution Palestinians will ultimately accept is one in which the Jews are excluded. So long as this is their goal, it isn't Al-Aqsa that is in danger, but any hope for peace.

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