December 2, 2019

In-Depth Issues:

IRGC General: 21 American Bases in the Region Are Targets for Our Missiles (MEMRI-TV)
    IRGC Gen. Allahnoor Noorollahi said on Nov. 29 that 21 of the American bases in the region constitute targets for Iran's missiles.
    "Iran is the world's fourth [strongest] missile power."
    "NATO itself announced that Iran's 110 missile bases and launching sites are capable of launching 20,000 missiles per day."

Israel Struck by 2,600 Rockets and Mortars from Gaza in Past Two Years - Anna Ahronheim (Jerusalem Post)
    Over 1,500 rockets and mortars were fired at Israel over the past year from Gaza and over two dozen fired from Syria.
    The Israel Security Agency reported that 2,600 rockets and mortars were fired over the past two years from Gaza, the majority during rounds of conflict in November 2018 and in March, May and November 2019.

Fatah Calls Planned U.S. Hospital in Gaza a "Military Base" - Kifah Zboun (Asharq Al-Awsat-UK)
    Fatah central committee member Zakaria al-Agha said that there are several questions on the "advanced security base being established on the Palestinian territories in the north of the Gaza Strip dubbed as an advanced field hospital."
    A U.S. firm started constructing the hospital near Beit Hanoun on Nov. 21.

Israeli Diplomats Celebrate 72nd Anniversary of UN Decision that Led to Israel's Founding (Algemeiner)
    Friday marked the 72nd anniversary of the UN General Assembly's passage of Resolution 181 which led to the establishment of the State of Israel.
    Israel's UN ambassador Danny Danon tweeted, "Today, 163 nations recognize the State of Israel as we continue to build our state and be a rising force in the world."
    Israeli Ambassador to the UK Mark Regev highlighted the Palestinians' rejection of the partition resolution, noting that "their leadership chose violence over compromise. When will they finally admit their mistake?"

Israel's Augmentiqs Makes Microscopes "Smart" and Connected - Shoshanna Solomon (Times of Israel)
    Augmentiqs has developed an electro-optic device combining software and hardware that integrates within existing microscopes, connecting them to a PC and transforming them into smart and connected instruments.
    While looking at a slide through the microscope, pathologists can - through the augmented reality provided by Augmentiqs - view a digital overlay with which they can interact using a mouse.
    Pathologists can make annotations, take measurements, or utilize image processing algorithms and artificial intelligence, and then share images with colleagues.

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • ISIS Claims Responsibility for London Bridge Terror Attack - Jack Newman
    ISIS has claimed responsibility for a knife rampage by Usman Khan, 28, who killed two and left three injured near London Bridge on Friday. Khan was jailed in 2012 for his role in an al-Qaeda-inspired terror group that plotted to bomb the London Stock Exchange. He was attending a prisoner rehabilitation conference and his first victim was Jack Merritt, 25, coordinator of the course run by the University of Cambridge's Institute of Criminology. Khan had participated in previous rehabilitation sessions.
        Those involved in tackling Khan were ex-offenders. Khan was eventually shot and killed by police. He was wearing a fake suicide vest. (Daily Mail-UK)
  • Iran Convulsed by Worst Unrest in 40 Years - Farnaz Fassihi
    Iran is experiencing its deadliest political unrest since the Islamic Revolution 40 years ago, with at least 180 people killed - and possibly hundreds more - as angry protests have been smothered in a government crackdown of unbridled force. In Mahshahr, witnesses and medical personnel said Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps members surrounded, shot and killed 40 to 100 demonstrators in a marsh where they sought refuge. A local reporter in Mahshahr said the total number of people killed in three days of unrest had reached 130. In Shiraz and Shahriar, dozens were reported killed by security forces.
        In a statement posted Saturday on an opposition website, Mir Hussein Moussavi, an opposition leader and former presidential candidate who has been under house arrest since 2011, blamed Iran's supreme leader for the killings. (New York Times)
        See also Iran's Brutal Crackdown in Shiraz - Michael Safi
    The average of several independent eyewitness accounts was that 60 were killed across Shiraz and an additional nine died in the suburb of Sadra. A woman said in a recorded message: "I saw two people getting shot next to me. Since Monday there has been a military curfew, there are [paramilitary] Basij officers all over the place. They were really scared and with every slight sound they were reacting strangely." Another recording said: "For two days Shiraz was under the control of the people, but nothing bad happened. There was complete peace. It was such a great thing that people had the control over the city. I could see how the country would look like if we take power."  (Guardian-UK)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Two Palestinians Indicted for Planning Attacks in Jerusalem on Israel's Independence Day
    Ahmad Ja'abis, 21, and Basel Abidat, 19, from Jabel Mukaber in east Jerusalem, were indicted Sunday for attempting to join Islamic State in Sinai and planning to carry out terrorist attacks on Israel's next Independence Day in April. According to the indictment, the two Palestinians intended to "kill as many Jews as possible in the name of ISIS."  (i24News)
  • Palestinian Killed While Throwing Firebombs at Israeli Cars in West Bank
    Badawee Masalma, 18, was shot by Israeli troops in the West Bank on Saturday while throwing firebombs toward an Israeli vehicle. Two additional Palestinians were arrested. (Times of Israel)
        See also Reuters, AFP Headlines Cast Palestinian Assailant as Victim - Tamar Sternthal
    A Palestinian attacker was hurling firebombs at Israeli vehicles on a West Bank road when Israeli troops fatally shot him. The Reuters headline was "Israeli troops kill Palestinian in the West Bank," while Agence France Presse used a similar headline. (CAMERA)
  • IDF Strikes Hamas in Gaza in Response to Weapons Fire, Rocket
    The Israel Defense Forces launched airstrikes against Hamas in Gaza early Saturday after weapons were fired at Israel from Gaza on Friday. (Times of Israel)
        See also Gaza Border Demonstrations to Resume
    The Palestinian March of Return demonstrations along the Gaza border will begin again on Friday after being canceled for three weeks, Palestinian media reported. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Report: Hizbullah Uses Germany to Finance Terrorism, Weapons Purchases - Benjamin Weinthal
    The Berlin newspaper Tagesspiegel on Saturday reported on how Hizbullah uses Germany to raise funds "used for arms purchases and for financing attacks." Hizbullah members "use Germany as a place for drug trafficking, trade in stolen cars and money laundering."
        Berlin's intelligence agency revealed in its 2019 report that 250 Hizbullah members live in the capital. 1,050 Hizbullah members and supporters operate across Germany, according to other German intelligence reports. "In Germany, there are currently about 30 known cultural and mosque associations in which a clientele regularly meets that is close to Hizbullah or its ideology," wrote a 2019 Hamburg intelligence agency report. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
  • Tehran's Assassination Playbook - Editorial
    As Iran cracks down on mass protests at home, the Islamist regime continues to strike at dissidents who criticize it from exile abroad. Iranian opposition figure Massoud Molavi, who ran a social-media channel on the Telegram messaging service and published allegations of corruption against regime elites, was gunned down in Istanbul last month.
        Extraterritorial murders are a staple of Tehran's strategy of spreading revolution. In 2018 European officials thwarted a bomb plot against Iranian dissidents in France. Later that year Danish officials narrowly prevented the assassination of an opposition figure in Denmark. Two Dutch citizens of Iranian descent were assassinated in the Netherlands in recent years. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Hamas Digs Its Own Grave by Executing the Innocent
    Amal, 26, will never forget the day in August 2014 when Hamas executed her brother in Gaza for alleged collaboration with Israel. "Hamas is an oppressor and a terror organization that kills innocent people, leaving kids orphaned and women widowed. That's why we hate them so much," she said over the phone, adding that executions of alleged collaborators have become widespread in recent years.
        In 2014 alone, Hamas executed at least 44 people suspected of ties with the Jewish state, the Israel Defense Forces reported. Many others were shot in their legs, a signature punishment used by Hamas to deter political opponents. But Amal says many of those killed were wrongfully accused. Hamas refused to provide evidence linking Amal's brother to Israel. (Sputnik-Russia)
  • How Hizbullah Is Using the Internet to Incite Violence in Israel - Michael Shkolnik and Alexander Corbeil
    Hizbullah uses social media to recruit Israeli Arabs and West Bank-based Palestinians to attack Israeli targets. Using encrypted messaging services, terrorist operatives attempt to recruit and assist individuals or cells based in different countries to carry out attacks.
        This study reviews Hizbullah's efforts to build relationships with Palestinians and Iran's recent push to escalate violence against Israel from the West Bank. It then focuses on key cases of Hizbullah's virtual planners recruiting operatives in the West Bank. (Combating Terrorism Center at West Point)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday:
  • "In Tehran, in Baghdad, in Beirut, people are taking to the streets. They are being slaughtered by the hundreds....In Baghdad, Iran's cronies have killed hundreds of Iraqis."
  • "And while the people of the Middle East bravely stand up to Iran and its henchmen...countries in Europe are working to bypass U.S. sanctions against Iran."
  • "While the Iranian regime is killing its own people, European countries rush to support that very murderous regime. While Iran bombs Saudi Arabia's oil installations, while Iran rushes to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons, European countries rush to appease Iran with even more concessions."
  • "These European countries should be ashamed of themselves. Have they learned nothing from history?"
  • "They are enabling a fanatic terrorist state to develop nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, thereby bringing disaster to themselves and upon everyone else."
  • "Now is the time to ratchet up the pressures on Iran, not to lessen them."

        See also Six European Nations Join Effort to Bypass U.S. Sanctions on Iran - Michael Lipin (VOA News)