Islamic Jihad Planned to Infiltrate Israel through Tunnels from Gaza
During the recent fighting, Islamic Jihad was preparing to infiltrate into Israeli territory
through tunnels from Gaza, but the terrorists in the field refused to enter the tunnels.
The IDF believes that the Palestinians are wary of using the tunnels because in May 2021, the IDF hit two tunnels with Hamas terrorists inside that were dug at a depth of 20-30 meters.
Armed Drones Gave IDF "Surgical" Precision during Recent Gaza Fighting
- Emanuel Fabian (Times of Israel
During the recent fighting against Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza, Israel Air Force drones conducted 100 sorties.
"The whole of Gaza is covered with UAVs that collect intelligence 24 hours a day," Brig.-Gen. Omri Dor, the commander of Palmachim Airbase, said Wednesday.
Dor said that being able to conduct "aggressive attacks with...minimal collateral damage" using fighter jets was thanks to the drones scanning the area.
During the recent battles, the IDF said it delayed several strikes after drones identified innocent people nearby.
See also Video: IDF Drone Strikes Against Islamic Jihad Targets in Gaza
- Tzvi Joffre (Jerusalem Post
The IDF has released extensive footage of drone strikes against Islamic Jihad targets in Gaza, revealing the extent of their use in precision strikes.
U.S.-Led Coalition Forces Repel Drone Attack near Base in Syria
- Ellie Kaufman (CNN
U.S.-led coalition forces repelled all but one of multiple drones near the At-Tanf base in Syria on Monday.
One drone detonated within the compound, resulting in "zero casualties or reported damage."
Iranian-backed militias in the region have frequently targeted U.S. troops in Syria.
The U.S. maintains 900 troops in Syria, split between the At-Tanf base and the country's eastern oil fields.
Israeli Companies to Launch Renewable Energy Projects in 7 Arab Countries
Israeli energy companies Enlight Renewable Energy and NewMed Energy announced Monday that they have signed agreements to launch renewable energy projects in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, the UAE, Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia.
The projects will focus on solar and wind power production, and energy storage.
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Chief Rabbi of Moscow Says Russian Jewish Community Being Held "Hostage"
- Hanan Greenwood (Israel Hayom
Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, 59, served as chief rabbi of Moscow for over 30 years, until Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
He and his wife, Dara, left their home in the Russian capital on March 7, 2022, and came to Jerusalem.
"Day by day I'm realizing I did the right thing, for the Jewish community, too. Now I'm in a place where I can help them, and I can talk freely."
"I'm much calmer now, because it's a relief to talk after not being able to express myself for years. If I were still there, I wouldn't be able to say a word. Now I'm helping refugees."
"I reached the realization that today, from every perspective, it's better for Jews not to be in Russia. Today, it's not like it was during the Holocaust, when there was no way to get out."
"I led the way for many families who decided to make aliyah after I did. The political situation creates questions about the future of the Russian Jewish community, because in many senses Russia is reverting to the days of the Soviet Union."
"It's a very real possibility that the Iron Curtain could come down again. The Russian Foreign Ministry announced that soon, no more visas would be issued for Western countries."
"There is danger for Jews, no doubt. The Jewish community is being held hostage in the diplomatic war between Russia and Israel."
Normalizing Relations between Israel and the Arab World Continues Calmly
- Prof. Hillel Frisch (Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security
The Arabic-speaking publics are too preoccupied with their own problems to demonstrate in support of the Palestinians.
The fact is that the Arab world's reaction to the ever-deepening process of normalization arouses less and less interest, let alone protest.
In a few Arab capitals, a dozen activists, mostly with greying hair, gathered behind banners opposing normalization, while many more passed by without raising an eyebrow.
The same scenes played out among Palestinians.
The writer is professor of political and Middle East studies at Bar-Ilan University.
When Radicals Are No Longer Mainstream, Israel Can Attack Them without Much Consequence
- Dan Schueftan (Israel Hayom
The real issue at stake in the fighting between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza is Arab and Palestinian solidarity with those who seek an armed conflict with Israel.
When radicals are no longer mainstream, Israel can ignore them or attack them without much consequence.
When they manage to drag other Muslim, Arab or Palestinian elements into a confrontation with Israel, the threat they pose increases many times over.
Breaking the pan-Arab solidarity has prevented a large-scale war between Israel and Arab countries for almost five decades and has led to the positive development of having Israel increasingly integrate into the region as a Middle Eastern power.
The writer heads the International Graduate Program in National Security Studies at the University of Haifa.
Why Is Antisemitism Reappearing in America?
- Walter Russell Mead interviewed by Rich Goldberg and Jarrod Bernstein (Jewish Insider
Antisemitism in America has risen and fallen in waves. Probably the peak of antisemitism in American history was in the 1930s and '40s.
Another peak would have been in the 1880s and '90s. And to some degree, we're seeing a rise, though not yet to those levels.
When people have lost faith in the promise of America, they often turned to conspiracy theories, to "Who were the puppet masters controlling our fate? Why are things not going the way we'd like them to go?"
At these moments of American self-doubt, and when these basic ideas of American life are being contested more vigorously than usual, that's when antisemitism, both on the left and on the right, tends to reappear.
Walter Russell Mead, a fellow at the Hudson Institute, is Professor of Foreign Affairs and Humanities at Bard College.
Israel's Economy Grew at 6.8 Percent in 2nd Quarter of 2022
- Guy Ben Simon (Globes
Israel's GDP grew 6.8% in the second quarter of 2022, after contracting by 2.7% in the first quarter, the Central Bureau of Statistics reports.
The strong growth was attributed to a return to post-Covid routine with recoveries in the tourism, aviation, hospitality, restaurant and transport services sectors.
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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
- Iran Renews Demands for U.S. Guarantees in Nuclear Deal Talks - Laurence Norman
Iranian demands for guarantees from the U.S. have once again stalled efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear pact. Tehran sent a response on Monday that neither accepted nor rejected an EU draft text of a deal but raised several issues Iran wanted incorporated into the agreement.
Central to Iran's response were assurances it seeks that Western companies investing in Iran would be protected if the U.S. withdrew from the pact again. Iran also floated mechanisms in the agreement that would allow Tehran to quickly increase its nuclear work if Washington quit the deal. A senior European official said Wednesday that Tehran and Washington need to give a yes or no on the draft text, dismissing the idea of reconvening talks.
(Wall Street Journal)
See also Iran: "We Are in No Rush" to Revive the Nuclear Deal - Arshad Mohammed
"We are in no rush" to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, said a senior Iranian official.
"We are selling our oil, we have reasonable trade with many countries, including neighboring countries, we have our friends like Russia and China that both are at odds with Washington...our (nuclear) program is advancing. Why should we retreat?"
"The Ukraine war, high oil prices, the rising tension between Washington and China, have changed the political equilibrium. Therefore, time is not of the essence for Iran," said a second senior Iranian official. (Reuters)
- German Chancellor Condemns Mahmoud Abbas' "50 Holocausts" Remark - Ilan Ben Zion
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Wednesday that he was "disgusted by the outrageous remarks" made by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Berlin, accusing Israel of committing "50 Holocausts" against Palestinians over the years.
"For us Germans in particular, any relativization of the singularity of the Holocaust is intolerable and unacceptable," Scholz said. Germany has long argued the term should only be used to describe the Nazis' singular crime of killing 6 million Jews before and during World War II. Earlier, Scholz had rejected the Palestinian leader's description of Israel's treatment of Palestinians as "apartheid." (AP-ABC News)
See also PA President Makes Scandalous Accusation Against Israel - Imanuel Marcus (Berlin Spectator-Germany)
See also Mahmoud Abbas Walks Back "Holocaust" Remark after International Outcry - Michael Daventry (Jewish News-UK)
- Turkey, Israel Agree to Restore Full Diplomatic Ties - Diyar Guldogan
Turkey and Israel will mutually reappoint ambassadors, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced on Wednesday.
See also Israel and Turkey Restore Full Diplomatic Ties (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
- Palestinians Want Full UN Membership, but U.S. Law Stands in the Way - Jacob Magid
Palestinian Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour is once again seeking full membership status at the UN, but the U.S. has passed laws aimed at thwarting such an effort. PA President Mahmoud Abbas applied for full membership in 2011, but the effort didn't get past the Security Council, largely due to opposition from the Obama administration. In 2012 the General Assembly granted the Palestinians observer status.
Congress over the years has added clauses to annual budget legislation which would strip the Palestinian Authority of U.S. aid if it obtains UN member status. Moreover, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act passed in 1990 bars U.S. funding "for the United Nations or any specialized agencies thereof which accords the Palestine Liberation Organization the same standing as member states."
A spokesperson for the State Department told the Times of Israel that while the U.S. remains committed to the two-state solution, "the only realistic path to a comprehensive and lasting peace that ends this conflict permanently is through direct negotiations between the parties....There are no shortcuts to Palestinian statehood outside direct negotiations between the parties." (Times of Israel)
- Palestinian Rioters Attack Jewish Worshipers at Joseph's Tomb
Jewish worshippers participating in a monthly pilgrimage to Joseph's Tomb in Nablus under military guard early Thursday were attacked by Palestinians. A bullet struck an armored bus used by the group. In April, Palestinian rioters broke into the shrine and vandalized it. (Times of Israel)
- Israeli Arabs Planned to Join ISIS, then Return to Israel to Commit Terror Attacks - Lauren Marcus
The Israel Security Agency announced Monday an indictment against three Israeli Arabs associated with ISIS. Muhammad Farouk Yosef Agbaria, 21, and Abdel Mahdi Masoud Muhammad Jabarin, 21, of Umm al-Fahm were arrested in July 2022 and charged with plotting to carry out a terror attack in Israel under the auspices of ISIS, as well as planning to join the group's jihadist activities abroad. A week later, security forces arrested Muhammad Al-Rafaieh, 30, a resident of a Bedouin community in the Negev, for his affiliation with ISIS. (World Israel News)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
- Contending with Iranian Plots Against the West - Matthew Levitt
This week, the U.S. Department of Justice charged a member of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, Shahram Poursafi, with plotting to kill former U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton and former Secretary of State and CIA Director Mike Pompeo. In fact, Iran has a long track record of carrying out assassinations, abductions, and surveillance operations targeting American and other Western interests around the world, including here in the U.S.
I maintain a database of Iranian foreign operations, which currently includes 105 cases since the Iranian revolution in 1979. Out of 62 cases I have tracked over the past decade, 23 targeted Iranian dissidents, 28 targeted Jews or Israelis, 20 targeted diplomats, 14 targeted Western interests, and six targeted Persian Gulf state interests. They include 18 plots that took place in the U.S.
Iranian assassination, surveillance, and abduction plots continue unabated despite the negative publicity that accompanies the arrest of Iranian operatives - even in the midst of negotiations over a possible return to the Iran nuclear deal. Iran engages in such aggressive activities because Iranian officials believe they can do so at little to no cost.
Iran perceives the potential benefits of such operations to be high, while the costs of getting caught are low and typically temporary. Jailed perpetrators are regularly released in prisoner exchanges.
The writer is director of the Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
- Iran's Proxy War Against Israel - Khaled Abu Toameh
According to several Arab political analysts, the recent war between Israel and the Iranian-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) should be seen in the context of Tehran's attempts to force the U.S. to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. By unleashing Islamic Jihad against Israel, the mullahs are apparently trying to tell the U.S., "You see what we are capable of doing? We have a number of militias and armed groups that could attack Israel and Arab countries. Hurry up and give us (Iran) everything we want before it is too late."
PIJ is not different than Iran's other proxies in the Middle East, especially Lebanon's Hizbullah and Yemen's Houthi militia. These proxies are all staunchly committed to the destruction of Israel and the killing of as many Jews as possible.
The Arabs are stressing that the Americans are mistaken to think that Iran will change its dangerous policies and actions once it reaches a new nuclear deal with the U.S. The Arabs are saying that the time has come for the international community to make Iran pay for its continued support for Islamist terrorist groups and intervention in the internal affairs of a number of Arab countries.
The U.S. needs to understand that any concessions to the mullahs will pose a critical threat to U.S. interests and harm America's allies and friends in the Middle East. Iran would not have dared stand behind PIJ and encourage it to attack Israel had it not sensed indecision on the part of the U.S.
- Reporters in Gaza Have Never Been Free - Clifford D. May
Since Hamas wrested control of Gaza from rival Fatah in 2007, foreign journalists have been unable to work in the territory without Palestinian sponsors (more commonly known as "minders" or "fixers") answerable to Hamas. They endanger both themselves and these hires if Hamas disapproves of their reporting.
Matti Friedman, a former reporter and editor in the Jerusalem bureau of the Associated Press, has exposed Hamas' intimidation and censorship, as well as the limits most journalists covering the Palestinian-Israeli conflict impose on themselves.
For example, Friedman wrote that during the conflict with Israel in 2014, the AP staff in Gaza City could see Hamas launching missiles from "right beside their office, endangering reporters and other civilians nearby - and the AP wouldn't report it."
Nor did they inform readers that Hamas fighters had "burst into the AP's Gaza bureau" and threatened the staff. Cameramen "waiting outside Shifa Hospital in Gaza City would film the arrival of civilian casualties and then, at a signal from an official, turn off their cameras when wounded and dead fighters came in, helping Hamas maintain the illusion that only civilians were dying."
The writer is founder and president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. (Washington Times)
- Palestinian Response to Terror on Israelis Shows Why Peace Is Impossible - Editorial
Much can be learned about people by understanding who their heroes are.
When a Palestinian terrorist went on a shooting spree in Jerusalem early Sunday,
wounding eight innocent people including a pregnant American Jewish woman,
the reaction of a segment of Palestinian society is to term the operation "heroic," thereby coronating its perpetrator a hero.
How is peace possible with those who view as heroic the shooting of a pregnant woman? What kind of accommodation can possibly be made with those who view such a despicable act as heroic?
The predictable counterargument is that Israelis also kill Palestinians.
Yes, unfortunately, some Palestinian civilians were killed last week by the IDF in Gaza. But those deaths - deeply regrettable - were the unintentional results of legitimate actions of self-defense. And, unfortunately, there have been cases of Jewish terrorism. But to compare the numbers is as outlandish as it is ludicrous. When there are those few instances of Jewish terror, they are unequivocally and forcefully condemned by the officials of the state, as well as by the vast majority of the country repulsed by such action.
When the only voices Israelis hear after Palestinian attacks are those of men distributing celebratory sweets, or praising the actions as heroic and calling for more and more and more, then any talk of accommodation seems discouragingly remote and hollow.
- Palestinians Expect U.S. Financial Aid, but Oppose the U.S. on Every Foreign Policy Front - Bassam Tawil
Less than a month after the Biden administration announced new contributions totaling $316 million to support the Palestinian people, the Palestinian leadership proved once again that the Palestinians are not friends of the U.S.
In response to House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was quick to issue a statement supporting China. The statement is yet another example of the Palestinians' siding with despotic regimes.
Palestinians expect U.S. financial aid, but oppose the U.S. on every foreign policy front. Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat backed Saddam Hussein when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990 and opposed the U.S.-led war that liberated Kuwait in 1991. In the 1970s and '80s, Arafat's PLO supported the Irish Republican Army (IRA) against the British, providing guns, sabotage devices, and special training. During the Cold War, the Palestinians sided with the Soviet Union against the U.S.
The Palestinians continue to publicly voice support for the Assad regime in Syria, even though the Syrians have killed thousands of Palestinians in Syria and Lebanon. Most recently, the Palestinian leadership has come out in support of Russia in its war with Ukraine, and has repeatedly expressed solidarity with North Korea. While Israel consistently stands by its U.S. partners, Palestinians continue to ridicule and condemn the U.S., and undermine its interests by aligning themselves with anti-U.S. parties.
Many Arab countries have learned the lesson of Palestinian betrayal and long ago stopped funding the Palestinians. The Arab leaders refuse to throw their money at those who praise their enemies. Rewarding bad behavior in the hope of changing it simply incentivizes and reinforces it. (Gatestone Institute)
- Key Factors that Led to the Abraham Accords - Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror
The Abraham Accords (March 2020) came about due to a number of factors.
First, it became evident to the Arab countries that Israel is here to stay and is only growing stronger. There is no realistic way to destroy Israel, and the Arab states were paying a high price for a dream that had no chance of materializing.
Second, after the "Arab Spring," Islamist forces have grown stronger and become a dangerous force internally. The Arab rulers are looking for ways to improve their economies and deal with radical Islamic worldviews.
Third, the Palestinian issue moves the world much less than it once did. The Arabs have recognized that the Palestinians failed to capitalize on the agreements reached with Israel beginning in 1993 to establish a functioning state, instead becoming a "beggar entity" that begs for more money while complaining about and criticizing everyone. Many Arab rulers are tired of the Palestinians. For these countries, Palestinians are a burden rather than a genuine political and moral cause.
Fourth, Iran has evolved into a powerful, aggressive force that will not hesitate to harm anyone who refuses to cooperate. The Arabs have understood that Shi'ites, a minority of 15% in the Middle East led by Iran, are the main threat to the Arab world, not the Jews.
Fifth is the ongoing reduction of American involvement in the Middle East. A ruler of an Arab country who feels that American protection is waning as the Iranian threat increases has two choices: Make a deal with Iran and gradually lose sovereignty, as Lebanon did, or view Israel as a reliable partner that can help strengthen the economy, supply cutting-edge technology, and deter Iran's aggression.
The writer was national security adviser to the Israeli prime minister and chairman of Israel's National Security Council.
- Israel Targets the Worst Terrorists and Takes Careful Aim - Uri Dromi
The recent violent round in Gaza between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad showed that radical Islam can be defeated by self-defending democracies. In fighting radical Islam, democracies must sometimes reluctantly resort to targeted killing.
Conventional wisdom presumes that terrorists should be brought to trial. That is easier said than done when terrorists surround themselves with the human shields of civilians, making their arrest either impossible or ending in gruesome bloodshed.
Should democracies then leave terrorists alone who have wrought so much destruction and death, and who undoubtedly are plotting to do it again, just because they can't bring them to justice? Or should they adapt their norms of warfare to the ruthless battle against terrorism?
Aharon Barak, former president of the Israeli Supreme Court, gave an unequivocal answer: "Democracy must fight terrorism with one hand tied behind its back, but certainly not two." It is in this spirit that the U.S. killed al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden and his successor, Ayman al-Zawahiri.
The writer was spokesman for the Israeli government in 1992-1996.
- Who Tried to Block U.S. Funding for Iron Dome? - Lenny Ben-David
The May 2021 Gaza war put a strain on Israel's Iron Dome system. More than 1,500 rockets flew toward heavily populated areas in Israel, and Iron Dome's Tamir missiles knocked down more than 90% of them. Within days, experts from Israel and the U.S. were discussing restocking the Tamir interceptors. Yet in June 2021, opposition to replenishing this essential defensive materiel emerged in Washington among a squad of members of Congress and anti-Israel groups.
Who led the charge against the Iron Dome? J Street. AIPAC lobbied for the measure and in September 2021, the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly, 420-9, to provide $1 billion to restock Israel's Iron Dome missiles.
In the last 15 months, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad fired thousands of deadly rockets and mortars at Israeli civilians. Consider the consequences if the Iron Dome ran out of interceptors: hundreds of Israeli casualties and billions of dollars of damage. Moreover, the IDF would have been forced to aggressively search out Gaza rocket launchers and the militias operating them. The bombing campaign would have been savage and ground forces and tanks would have rolled into Gazan cities. Simply put, the Iron Dome saved Palestinian lives.
The writer worked for AIPAC in Washington and Jerusalem, and later served as a senior Israeli diplomat in Washington. He is the author of American Interests in the Holy Land Revealed in Early Photographs and the forthcoming Secrets of World War I in the Holy Land. (Jerusalem Post)
- Can Israelis Trust the UN? - Stephen Daisley
Sarah Muscroft was the head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Palestinian territories (OCHA), based in eastern Jerusalem. After Islamic Jihad fired 1,000 rockets into Israel until there was a ceasefire, Muscroft tweeted:
"Relieved to see a ceasefire agreed ending hostilities impacting both Palestinians and Israeli civilians. Such indiscriminate rocket fire of Islamic Jihad provoking Israeli retaliation is condemned." That's when all hell broke loose. The Palestinians fumed that Muscroft was blaming them for the fighting.
Muscroft deleted her tweet, then tweeted an apology, then deleted her Twitter account. A spokesperson for OCHA said Muscroft had been reassigned. Israel's UN ambassador, Gilad Erdan, deemed Muscroft's dismissal "a clear surrender of the UN to threats and intimidation" and called for her reinstatement.
Muscroft's case recalls that of Matthias Schmale, Gaza director of UNRWA, who admitted during a TV interview in May last year that Israeli airstrikes against terrorists in Gaza had been "precise." Hamas condemned him, Palestinian NGOs condemned him, and he now works in the UN office in Nigeria.
- These Doctors Invented a Fake Disease to Save Italian Jews - Stephen Silver
The new documentary, "Syndrome K," by filmmaker Stephen Edwards, tells the story of how three doctors at a hospital in Rome shielded dozens of Jews from the Nazis in 1943 and 1944 by inventing a fake infectious disease called Syndrome K. The prospect of catching the disease kept the Nazis, who were occupying Rome following the fall of Mussolini, away from the hospital until the Allies liberated the city in June 1944.
The three doctors were Vittorio Sacerdoti, who was Jewish, and Catholics Adriano Ossicini and Giovani Borromeo, who is recognized as a Righteous Among the Nations at Yad Vashem.
When Edwards first began working on the film in 2018, he learned that Ossicini was still alive at age 98 and interviewed him. The film also includes an interview with Sacerdoti from 2000, shortly before his death. (JTA)
- How Six U.S. and UK Media Moguls Aided the Nazi Regime - J.P. O'Malley
In January 1934, Lord Harold Rothermere, the owner of Britain's Daily Mail, filed a story from Munich praising Adolf Hitler, at a time when Jews were being ousted from public life in Germany and the Nazi party had already established a large network of concentration camps across the country. Rothermere assured his readers that these stories were wildly exaggerated. The Nazis needed to control the "alien elements and Israelites of international attachments who were insinuating themselves into the German state," as Rothermere wrote in July 1934.
Historian Kathryn S. Olmsted's new book, The Newspaper Axis: Six Press Barons Who Enabled Hitler, profiles Rothermere and five other powerful media moguls in the Anglophile world who took a pro-Nazi editorial line.
Also possessing Nazi sympathies were Lord Max Beaverbrook, owner of Britain's Daily Express, Sunday Express, and Evening Standard; Robert McCormick, who owned the Chicago Tribune; William Randolph Hearst, who owned more than two dozen newspapers; and Joseph and Cissy Patterson, who ran the New York Daily News and the Washington-Times Herald.
The newspapers owned by these six reached 65 million readers in Britain and the U.S. William Randolph Hearst paid Hitler and other top Nazis an average of $1,500 per article - $20,000 in today's money.
Olmsted's book is the first to document how British and American press lords worked together to delay and undermine the Anglo-American alliance against Hitler.
(Times of Israel)
- The international media repeat certain catchphrases and buzzwords in order to dictate and influence a partisan political narrative against Israel. This tendency increasingly obstructs any genuine attempt to achieve reconciliation between the Palestinian and Israeli peoples. Moreover, such phrases and terms are often legally inaccurate and blatantly misleading.
- In fact and in law, no "State of Palestine" exists and has never existed.
Attempts by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to gain recognition as a full-fledged, voting member-state of the UN have never been accepted.
- As part of the 1993-95 Oslo Accords, a "Palestinian Authority"
was established to administer parts of the territories in the West Bank. The title "Palestinian National Authority" was never agreed to or established by the Oslo Accords and the use of the term by the Palestinian leadership constitutes a clear and deliberate violation of the accords.
- According to the international law and practice of armed conflict, occupation is not illegal. It is an accepted legal situation referring to a provisional status pending an agreed resolution of a conflict.
- Moreover, "occupation" does not reflect the case in the West Bank and Gaza, since these areas had never been considered sovereign Jordanian or Egyptian territory. The areas were not taken from states that held prior legitimate sovereign status, and legitimately came under the authority of Israel while defending itself during an offensive war imposed on it by its neighbors in 1967.
- The phrase "Occupied Palestinian Territory" (OPT) is incorrect both factually and legally. The territories are neither occupied nor are they Palestinian.
Any use or acceptance of this term undermines the agreed commitments in the Oslo Accords.
The writer, who heads the international law program at the Jerusalem Center, is former legal counsel to Israel's Foreign Ministry and participated in the negotiation and drafting of the Oslo Accords with the Palestinians.
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