October 25, 2021

In-Depth Issues:

PA Security Forces Members Planned Terror Attack (Times of Israel)
    A Palestinian Islamic Jihad cell arrested in Jericho over the past two weeks for planning a terrorist attack included senior Palestinian Authority security officials, Israel's Channel 12 reported Thursday.
    They included Majed Abu-Shakar, a captain in the PA's National Security Forces, and Jasser Dwikat, a Fatah member whose father is a major general in the PA security forces.

2 Pakistanis Arrested in Plot to Kill Israelis in Cyprus - Neta Bar (Israel Hayom)
    Cyprus authorities on Friday arrested two Pakistani nationals for planning to target Israelis in the country, the local Politis daily reported. An Azeri national involved in the plot was arrested in September.
    They were found with photos of potential targets on their phones and were involved in surveillance of certain sites.

Expert: Hizbullah Seeking to Avoid Civil War in Lebanon - Amos Harel (Ha'aretz)
    After a recent battle in the streets of Beirut, Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Dr. Shimon Shapira from the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs says Hizbullah has no desire to bring about a civil war.
    "Iran and Hizbullah are continuing to pursue the same strategic line. They are preserving the achievements they have already recorded - control of the ports and growing influence in the army, the other security branches and in parliament - but are taking care to operate through the legitimate institutions, not to topple them."
    In August 2020, an explosion in Beirut port, where thousands of tons of explosives were stored negligently, killed more than 200 people.
    "The disaster in the port showed them for what they are. They didn't expect such broad public support for the work of the investigating judge. Hizbullah's display of force is intended to thrust him aside, but without completely dismantling the system that holds the state together."

Report: Israel Targets Missiles in Southern Syria (Jerusalem Post)
    Israeli aircraft hit missile batteries in southern Syria near the Israeli border on Monday morning, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

Report: Russia Disbanding Its Syrian Militia, Opening Up Golan for Iran (Times of Israel)
    Russia is disbanding a militia it formed, funded, and armed in southern Syria near the border with Israel, Al-Quds al-Arabi reported.
    The 10,000-strong paramilitary group, comprised mainly of former opposition fighters and paid by the Russians, is part of the 8th Brigade of the 5th Corps of the Syrian army.
    "This opens a wide door for the Iranians, Hizbullah, Assad's forces...to complete a takeover of all this region near the [Israeli] Golan," Channel 12 Arab affairs analyst Ehud Ya'ari said Wednesday.

Hamas Uses Aid Money to Procure Turkish Citizenship for Its Operatives (MEMRI-TV)
    Hamas members use humanitarian aid money from Arab and Islamic nations to procure Turkish citizenship and passports for its operatives, Sohaib Hassan Yousef, son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, the leader of Hamas in the West Bank, told Sky News Arabia on October 10, 2021.

In Israel, Christian Arabs Can Now Register as Aramaic Christians, Not Arabs (Jerusalem Post)
    Israeli Interior Minister Gideon Saar on Tuesday ordered that the population registry recognize a separate Aramean identity.
    Christians who identify with the ancient people can decide to register as Arameans instead of Arabs.
    MK Yariv Levin, who supported the move, said, "The reality is there. There is a big difference between Christians and Muslims, and they deserve recognition."

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Israel Outlaws 6 Palestinian NGOs Linked to PFLP Terror Group - Joseph Krauss
    Israel on Friday effectively outlawed six prominent Palestinian human rights groups by declaring them terrorist organizations. They include Al-Haq, Addameer, Defense for Children International-Palestine, Bisan Center for Research and Development, the Union of Palestinian Women's Committees, and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees.
        The Israeli Defense Ministry said the organizations are "controlled by senior leaders" of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, considered by Israel and Western countries as a terrorist organization. The organizations employ PFLP members, including some who have "participated in terror activity." The ministry said the groups had received "large sums of money from European countries and international organizations," and serve as a "central source" of financing for the PFLP. (AP)
        Israeli media reported that Defense Minister Benny Gantz took action following investigations by the Israel Security Agency and the Ministry of Defense's task force on terrorism. The ministry said the groups typically presented themselves as social advocacy organizations while serving as an arm of a faction "set on the destruction of Israel through terrorist means."  (Algemeiner)
        See also below Commentary: 13 NGOs, 70 Staff and Board Members Linked to Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) (NGO Monitor)
  • Man Who Murdered British MP Was Inspired by Islamic State - Phoebe Southworth
    Ali Harbi Ali, charged with stabbing to death Sir David Amess on Oct. 15, had previously targeted two other MPs and was inspired by Islamic State, prosecutors said. (Telegraph-UK)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israel to Share "Unequivocal" Intelligence on Palestinian NGOs with U.S. - Jonathan Lis
    A security source in Israel said Sunday that Israeli security officials will fly to Washington to present clear-cut evidence, including footage and receipts, against the six Palestinian NGOs classified by the Defense Ministry as terror groups. The intelligence "is unambiguous and cast in concrete. It proves a direct link between the organizations and their associates to the terror organization, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine," the official said.
        Israel's State Prosecutor, Amit Aisman, approved the decision to classify the Palestinian NGOs as terror groups after the Israel Security Agency presented "extensive and convincing" evidence showing how funds were transferred from the groups to the PFLP with the knowledge of their management. (Ha'aretz)
  • Israel Disputes U.S. Claim It Wasn't Told of Plan to Outlaw Palestinian NGOs Linked to PFLP - Judah Ari Gross
    An Israeli defense official on Saturday disputed claims that the U.S. was not informed of Israel's decision to label six Palestinian organizations as terror groups. "Officials in the American administration were updated in advance of the intention to make this declaration and they received intelligence information about the matter," the official said.
        "The organizations act as an organized network under the directive of the Popular Front's leadership. Many terrorist operatives, including those convicted of terrorism, have been employed by the organization. The organizations forged documents in order to raise money and to continue raising them with activities that never took place. The organizations represent a lifeline for the Popular Front for raising money and recruiting operatives and even for laundering money for the PFLP," the official said. The organizations also recruited people to join the PFLP's armed military wing. (Times of Israel)
  • Israeli Prime Minister Bennett Meets Russian President Putin
    Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi on Friday. Bennett said, "Putin and I spoke about a wide range of issues, from his special relationship with the Jewish people to ways to deal with Islamic fundamentalism."
        Housing Minister Ze'ev Elkin, a native Russian speaker who accompanied Bennett as a translator, said the two held deep discussions on Iran's nuclear program and a very wide conversation on maintaining a coordination mechanism regarding Syria. "It was decided to keep policies vis-a-vis Russia in place [regarding airstrikes] in Syrian territory," Elkin said. (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:

    The Evidence: Palestinian NGO Links to Terrorists

  • 13 NGOs, 70 Staff and Board Members Linked to Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)
        Al-Haq: Shawan Jabarin, Al-Haq's General Director, was convicted in 1985 for recruiting and arranging training for PFLP members. In 2008, he was referred to by Israel's Supreme Court as a "senior activist" in the PFLP.
        Addameer: Abdul-Latif Ghaith, Addameer's Founder and former Chairperson, has been identified as a PFLP "activist." Khalida Jarrar is Addameer's former Vice-chairperson. In March 2021 she was sentenced to 2 years in prison for membership in the PFLP. Bashir Al-Khairi, a member of Addameer's Board of Directors, is a member of the PFLP's National Council.
        Defense for Children International - Palestine (DCI-P): Hashem Abu Maria was coordinator of DCI-P's community mobilization unit and was hailed by the PFLP as a "leader." Nassar Ibrahim, former President of DCI-P's General Assembly, was former editor of El Hadaf - the PFLP's weekly publication. Mary Rock was a DCI-P board member and PFLP candidate for the Palestinian Legislative Council.
        Bisan Center for Research and Development: Ubai Aboudi, Bisan's Executive Director, was sentenced in 2020 to 12 months for membership in the PFLP. Itiraf Hajaj (Rimawi), Bisan's previous Executive Director, was responsible for clandestine PFLP operations. In 2020, he was sentenced to 42 months. An Israeli High Court of Justice decision referred to Rimawi as a "PFLP member" who "posed a security threat."
        Union of Palestinian Women's Committees (UPWC): Suhair Khader, UPWC's Vice President, is a member of the PFLP Central Committee. Board member Samira Abdel-Alim, UPWC head in the Rafah area, is a member of PFLP Central Committee. Ismat Shakhshir, head of UPWC operations in the Nablus district, ran for the Palestinian Legislative Council representing the PFLP.
        Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC): The group was identified by USAID as the "agricultural arm" of the PFLP. Abdul Razeq Farraj was UAWC Finance and Administration Director at the time of his arrest in 2019 for recruiting members of the PFLP. Samer Arbid, UAWC's accountant, was arrested for commanding a PFLP terror cell that carried out a bombing that murdered an Israeli civilian. (NGO Monitor)
        See also Blood Money: European-Funded Palestinian NGOs and their Terror Operatives - A Case Study: Addameer (Israel Ministry of Strategic Affairs, May 2020)
  • The Smoke and Mirrors of Palestinian Rights Groups - Amnon Lord
    The designation of six Palestinian groups linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) as terrorist organizations is a courageous and revolutionary step for Israel. The six groups claim to be "civil society" or "human rights" groups but are, in fact, an integral part of the Palestinians' war strategy against the Jewish state. They pretend to stand for justice, but in reality act as a frontline to the enemy organizations that seek to destroy the Jewish state.
        These institutions take advantage of the legal system and use psychological warfare and propaganda to achieve their goals. They have essentially become the driving force of anti-Israel hatred, including hatred of Jews, throughout the Western world. (Israel Hayom)
        See also How Denmark, Sweden, the UN, and the EU Got Suckered into Funding a Terror Organization - Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser
    The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) has perfected a terror-NGO hybrid system that has succeeded in gaining funding from the EU and from individual European countries such as the Netherlands, Switzerland, Norway, and Sweden.
        These entities are entirely aware of these organizations' affiliation with the PFLP and the roles that terror activists play in the PFLP network of "human rights" NGOs. Nevertheless, European organizations and governments invite activists from those NGOs to speak and hold meetings in Europe, including in the European Parliament.
        The writer, who headed the Research and Assessment Division of Israeli Military Intelligence, is a Senior Project Director at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. (Tablet, Sep. 22, 2020)

  • The U.S. has expressed its intention to open an American consulate in Jerusalem for the Palestinians in the coming weeks. Former Israel Foreign Ministry Director-General Dr. Dore Gold, currently president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, believes that Israel should clarify to the U.S. very openly what it can do and what it is not licensed to do.
  • "If we are very clear about our real maneuvering space, the Americans will respect that." Gold defines the U.S. intention as "scandalous." "Israel cannot come to terms with threats to its sovereignty in Jerusalem." Moreover, "the Palestinians haven't changed their behavior and they are receiving a reward."
  • "Coordination with the United States is something that is vital and important, but the story of the consulate is critical, and there is no room for compromise on this issue. It is something that is at the very soul of the state. We cannot compromise on our rights in all of Jerusalem."
  • "The formal reality now is still such that from the perspective of the United States, Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. The United States has not withdrawn recognition of this. In this reality, we must be tenacious and manage this battle with the U.S. with prudence and sensitivity, but most of all, with tenacity and faith."
  • "The opening of the consulate on Agron Road in the west of the city will not only undermine Israeli sovereignty in the capital, it will also result in a grave withdrawal from the status Israel achieved in West Jerusalem prior to 1967."

        See also Israeli Official: U.S. Knows Israel Opposes Consulate for Palestinians in Jerusalem
    Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Idan Roll said Sunday that the Biden administration may shelve its plan to reopen a U.S diplomatic mission for Palestinians in Jerusalem after Israel voiced opposition to such a move. "I believe that I have good reason to think this will not happen," he told Ynet TV. "The Americans understand the political complexity. We have very good relations....We don't believe in surprising them. I don't think they will try to surprise us."  (Reuters)

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