July 3, 2023
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In-Depth Issues:

UK to Breach Iran Nuclear Deal and Refuse to Lift Sanctions - Patrick Wintour (The Guardian)
    The UK and other European powers are expected to announce plans to breach the 2015 Iran nuclear deal for the first time when they confirm they are not going to lift sanctions on Tehran's use of missiles this October as required in the agreement.
  Donald Trump took the U.S. out of the nuclear deal in 2018, but Germany, France, and the UK remained inside the deal, even though Iran responded to the U.S. walkout by breaching the agreed limits on the quality and quantity of enriched uranium. Iran is closer to producing weapons-grade uranium than ever before.
  The justification cited by EU and British diplomats included Iran's own breach of the accord, formally known as the JCPOA, Iran's sale of drones to Russia for use in its invasion of Ukraine, and the possible future transfers to Russia of Iran's ballistic missiles.

UNESCO Says U.S. Rejoins Body, Reversing Withdrawal over Anti-Israel Bias (i24News)
    The UN's cultural agency UNESCO on Friday said the United States had rejoined the body, five years after it withdrew over claims of anti-Israel bias.
  Former U.S. president Donald Trump announced in 2017 that he was pulling out of UNESCO alongside Israel, accusing the body of bias against the Jewish state, a decision that took effect in 2018. The pullout followed two Arab-sponsored resolutions adopted by UNESCO, which were critical of Israel. Washington at the time accused UNESCO of having an "anti-Israel bias" while Netanyahu slammed UNESCO for becoming "the theater of the absurd."

For Jewish Community, Paris Riots Stoke Fear They Will Become Targets of Violence - Canaan Lidor (Times of Israel)
    Thousands of Jews who live in Sarcelles near Paris and other areas with a large Muslim population perceive the riots as a direct threat and reminder of the volatility of life in crowded neighborhoods with a history of antisemitic violence.
  So far, the rioters have not targeted Jews, several community leaders confirmed. Unidentified perpetrators did vandalize a monument for Holocaust victims in Nanterre, the Paris suburb where the 17-year-old Algerian was killed. A kosher supermarket and a wig shop for Orthodox Jewish women were among the businesses ransacked in Sarcelles.

Senior IRGC Commander Reportedly Killed in Israeli Strike in Syria (BasNews)
    ERBIL - Iranian media sources have confirmed the killing of General Hussein Suhani, a senior commander of the Revolutionary Guard known for his expertise in missiles, in an Israeli raid on Homs. Suhani was targeted and killed in the Israeli air strikes near the Syrian city of Homs, Al-Hadath cited media outlets affiliated with Iranian militias as confirming the reports.

Israel to Purchase 25 More F-35 Stealth Fighter Jets - Yossi Yehoshua (Ynet News)
    The Israeli government on Sunday approved the purchase of 25 more F-35 aircraft, bringing the total fleet of stealth fighter jets to 75.
   The deal, valued at $3 billion, will be funded through American aid.

GM Buys Israeli Startup to Detect Early Battery Defects (Reuters)
    General Motors said Friday it had acquired Algolion Ltd., an Israel-based software startup that helps detect problems in batteries for electric vehicles.
   Safety authorities have urged U.S. automakers to improve battery standards after a series of vehicles have caught fire due to defective batteries.

Hamas Opens Weapons Exhibit for Palestinian Public (Times of Israel)
    Hamas has put its weapons on public display for the first time, drawing hundreds of Palestinians including children brandishing rocket launchers for selfies in Gaza City.
   The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades invited Palestinians via social media and posters in mosques to "take souvenir photos with many of al-Qassam's weapons."
   The weapons on display on Friday included locally manufactured missiles, "Shihab" drones, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, and Russian-made Kornet missiles.
   A young boy in fatigues and wearing a green Brigades headband smiled as a man propped a rocket launcher on his shoulder.
   The exhibition is "encouraging and means that the liberation of our land is near," said Shahadeh Dalou, who came with his children.

Israeli Doctors Save Swazi Boys' Lives - Nicola Miltz (South African Jewish Report)
    The lives of two little Swazi boys - Liyabonga Zwane, 6, and Snothando Mkhuleko Dlamini, 5, from Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) - who had congenital heart defects, were saved after surgery by doctors in Israel via the Save A Child's Heart (SACH) program.
   Nozipho Sakhile Magagula, Snothando's mother, said, "Coming here and experiencing the people's kindness and care, it's another feeling altogether. What Israel is doing for our African children is amazing."

News Resources - North America and Europe:
  • Israeli Forces Launch a Massive Defensive Operation Targeting Jenin and "Terrorist Headquarters"
    Israeli forces overnight launched a massive military operation in the West Bank, targeting what officials said was a terrorist headquarters within a Palestinian city's refugee camp. The Israel Defense Forces said early Monday that security forces were conducting "an extensive counterterrorism effort" in the area of Jenin.
      The officials said a "joint operations center" of the militant group, the Jenin Brigades, within the camp was hit by the IDF and the Israel Security Agency.
      The operational command center purportedly served as an advanced observation and reconnaissance center where accused armed terrorists would gather before and after conducting terrorist activities, the IDF said in a statement published to Telegram, adding that it is also a site where weapons and explosives were stored and was used as a coordination and communications hub. (UPI)
        See also IDF Finds a Makeshift Rocket in Jenin - Emanuel Fabian
    IDF says troops located a makeshift rocket, among other weapons and equipment in Jenin. (Twitter)
  • Israel Informed the U.S. before "Unavoidable" IDF Action in Jenin - Lahav Harkov
    The Israeli government informed the U.S. of its plan to enter Jenin, a senior diplomatic source said on Monday. Jerusalem told Washington about 10 days ago that it plans to try to root out terrorism from the West Bank city, without saying when it would do so or providing further specific details, the Israeli source said.
      "We said that security officials think that we cannot avoid entering Jenin, though we had not yet made an exact decision of how and when we would do it," the source stated. "We said we would enter for a focused action when we have enough intelligence."
      American interlocutors understood the necessity of the actions, according to the source, who compared it to the U.S. Army fighting ISIS in Iraq or Syria: "Sometimes, you know you can't wait." (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Video: How Did Jenin Become a Hub for Terrorism? - Zina Rakhamilova
    It all comes down to Iran who has funded and armed these militant groups. (Twitter)
  • Former U.S. Envoy to Israel Dan Shapiro Named to Manage Abraham Accords - Ron Kampeas
    Daniel Shapiro, formerly the U.S. ambassador to Israel, will be the Biden administration's point man in expanding and managing the Abraham Accords, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday.
       Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen welcomed the appointment. "We will work together to expand the circle of peace and normalization and bring prosperity and stability to the region." (JTA)
  • Biden's Iran Envoy Robert Malley Placed on Leave amid Security Clearance Investigation - Andrea Vacchiano , Nick Kalman
    President Biden's Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley has been placed on leave amid an investigation into his security clearance, Malley confirmed to Fox News. Malley, who has served in the position since January 2021, played a significant role in the Biden administration's efforts to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement. (Fox News)
        See also Congress Requests further Details on Investigation into Malley Suspension
    In light of an inquiry into Robert Malley's handling of secret materials, chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs has requested further information from the State Department concerning the decision to put Malley on leave.
      Michael McCaul said on Saturday in a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, (Tehran Times)
News Resources - Israel, the Mideast, and Asia:
  • Islamic Jihad Leader Says Iran's Khamenei Ordered West Bank Turmoil
    What is happening today in the West Bank corresponds to the directives of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Ziyad al-Nakhalah, Secretary-General of the Islamic Jihad, said in an interview with Iran's Al-Wefaq. "There was a great focus in order for the West Bank to move from a state of coexistence and calm to a state of resistance that we see today, and of course all of this coincides with the directives of His Eminence the Leader, and during our last meeting with him in Tehran, he renewed the call for that." He added that elements of Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement have also been helped with support and arms. (Al-Quds-PA)
  • Israel Air Force Hits Anti-Aircraft Battery in Syria after Missile Explodes over Israel - Emanuel Fabian
    Israeli planes struck a Syrian air defense battery Sunday after an anti-aircraft missile launched from the site exploded over Israel. Shrapnel from the Syrian missile landed in the southern city of Rahat, causing slight damage to a building, but no injuries. (Times of Israel)
  • Mossad Abducted Terror Leader inside Iran to Thwart Cyprus Attack - Yonah Jeremy Bob
    Israel's Mossad revealed Thursday that it was able to recently thwart a Cyprus terror attack by kidnapping the mastermind, Yusef Shahabazi Abbasalilu, from within Iranian territory. "In a unique daring mission within Iranian territory, the Mossad was able to seize the mastermind of the terror cell, who then admitted [to the terror plot] in detail during his interrogation, which led to exposing and the taking apart of the Cyprus terror cell," said the Mossad.
       Abbasalilu had received detailed instructions from senior members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and told his interrogators how the plot was to be carried out and where to find all the supplies and cell members. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Iran's Militarization of West Bank Raises Concerns
    The Secretary-General of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), Ziyad al-Nakhalah, was interviewed by the al-vefag (Al-Wifaq) newspaper affiliated with the Supreme National Security Council media outlets.
      The interview with Al-Nakhala provides a clear insight into the stance of his Iranian patrons and the purpose of his visit to Iran in mid-June. During the interview and his visit, Nakhala emphasized the significance of advancing armed activities in the West Bank and Iran's crucial contribution in providing military, economic, and political support to the PIJ.
      Iran places great importance on expanding its activities in the West Bank and aims to enhance the process of Lebanonization concerning actions against the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). This involves deploying tactics such as using Explosively Formed Penetrators (EFP) explosive devices against the IDF forces, employing snipers, and setting up ambushes. (Iran Dossier)
  • IDF in Covert Talks with Lebanon to Expunge Hizbullah Border Presence, Delivers Ultimatum - Itamar Eichner, Yoav Zitun, Yair Kraus
    Israel is diplomatically engaging with several countries, including France and the United States, in order to pressure Lebanon to remove a Hizbullah post erected on the Israeli side of the border in Mount Dov, or Shebaa Farms as it is known in Lebanon, over two months ago. Israeli officials have drawn a red line with a warning: if Hizbullah does not remove the tents, Israel will take action. (Ynet News)
  • Fatah: PA Security Forces Are Leading Terror Against Israel - Nan Jacques Zilberdik
    Fatah and the PA security forces are leading the recent terror wave against Israelis, Muhammad Al-Masri, Director of the Palestinian Center for Strategic Studies, told PA TV on June 14. He stated that "63-65%" of the "martyrs" in "the daily confrontations" are from Abbas' Fatah movement, and that most of those are officers in the PA security forces.
      Moreover, the Fatah Commission of Information and Culture said on Facebook on May 27 that "more than 355 of our Palestinian people's prisoners...are from the Palestinian Security Forces." (Palestinian Media Watch)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Palestinian Terrorists, Not Jewish Homes, Cause Violence in the West Bank - Editorial
    One claim that we must oppose with all our might is that the construction of homes for Israeli families significantly fuels violence in the West Bank. Palestinian terrorists have never wanted for pretexts to attack Jews. Palestinian terrorist groups are using the construction of homes for Israeli families in the Jewish heartland as an excuse to murder Jews in their homes, on the roads, in their synagogues, and elsewhere.
       If it were true that the construction of homes causes violence, it would follow logically that the absence of such construction should bring about a lull in that violence. But the 10-month settlement freeze declared by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in November 2009 did no such thing. Numerous Israelis, both soldiers and civilians, were murdered by Palestinian terrorists during that period.
       What drives Palestinian terrorism is the persistent refusal to countenance any sovereign Jewish presence in this land, the hatred and dehumanization of Jews, the ongoing incitement to violence in Palestinian schools and mosques, and the Palestinian Authority's incentivization of terrorism by means of financial inducements and rewards.
       Jewish homes do not cause violence. Terrorists cause violence. To compare the construction of homes to the wanton murder of innocent civilians is to engage in a stunning perversion of basic morality. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Jenin Rockets Fire at Israel Spell Trouble - Yaakov Lappin
    The two rockets launched by Palestinian terrorists in Jenin on June 26 had no warheads and are considered to be highly amateurish. Yet the rockets are still a red flag. They are a source of inspiration for terrorist factions bent on turning Samaria into a rocket launching pad.
       The IDF's grip on the area means that Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and local terror groups will not find it easy to advance their rocket project, unlike in Gaza, where Hamas has full control and has established, with Iranian assistance, a sprawling rocket production industry. (JNS)
  • Arming the West Bank: Iran's New Israel Strategy - Dr. Amir Hossein Vazirian
    After the 2014 Gaza War, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stressed the need for "serious planning to join the West Bank in confronting Israel." The West Bank is relatively close to Israel's three key cities and military-economic centers - Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Haifa.
       Qassem Soleimani, the late commander of the Quds Force, in contact with the commanders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, emphasized the arming of the West Bank as Iran's priority, and the smuggling of arms has grown significantly in recent years. (National Interest)
  • Biden Administration Denies 'Interim' Iran Deal, but New Report Suggests Continued Diplomatic Backdoor Dealings - Peter Aitken
    The Biden administration has denied that an "interim" Iran nuclear deal is on the table, but a think tank report outlines a number of indications that diplomatic discussions may have continued, potentially with incoming concessions.
      "Despite a variety of statements by the administration since last fall alleging that the Iran nuclear deal was on the back burner, it appears the administration had merely been seeking a back-door to negotiate with the Islamic Republic this whole time," said Behnam Ben Taleblu, Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD). (Fox News)
  • Little Let-Up In Israel's Air Campaign Against Iran In Syria - Paul Iddon
    Israeli airstrikes on Syria are still a regular occurrence over a decade after Israel initiated its preemptive air campaign against Iran-related targets in its war-torn northern neighbor.
      The strikes were a reminder that Israel's air campaign over Syria, primarily aimed at Iranian entrenchment there, is far from finished. Recent reports indicate that Iranian efforts to strengthen its foothold in the Arab country and bolster the capabilities of the Hizbullah group in neighboring Lebanon are still very much active. Iranian success in either country could undercut Israel's concerted decade-long effort to prevent the implementation of these overlapping strategic projects.
      A June 30 report in the Israeli newspaper Maariv cited unnamed Israeli military sources claiming Hizbullah has doubled its air defense arsenal and could attempt to deter or actively interfere with Israeli Air Force operations over Lebanon.
      "Hozbullah's decision to restrict the Israeli Air Force with available Russian air defenses, SA-8 and SA-22, is a fundamental change in Hizbullah's strategic concept, within which attempts are being made to restrict the Israeli Air Force's freedom to operate. (Forbes)

Israel's UN Envoy: Israeli West Bank Communities Are Not an Impediment to Peace - Daniel Edelson (Ynet News)
  • Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan told the UN Security Council on June 27 that building permits in Israeli West Bank communities are "not an impediment to peace." He emphasized that home construction in existing Israeli communities is "not an inflammatory step."
  • "Judea and Samaria is the heartland of the Jewish people. We are called 'Jews' because we are from Judea. It was the home of our forefathers. It is an integral part of our heritage and who we are. Despite it constantly being referred to here as the 'occupied Palestinian territories,' the land has never been sovereign territory of any Palestinian entity. The Jewish people can't be occupiers in our homeland."
  • Erdan stated that Israeli communities constitute "less than two percent of the entire area....Israelis living in Judea and Samaria are human beings who deserve basic needs such as infrastructure and housing. The building there will not stop."
  • "Did you expect us to simply surrender to all Palestinian demands? To turn the hills of Judea and Samaria into terror rocket launch pads overlooking Israeli cities, just like what happened in Gaza?"
  • "Palestinian terror attacks have been relentless regardless of Israel's various governments. Right-wing, left-wing, centrist - it makes no difference to the Palestinians. Palestinian incitement persistsand, as a result, Palestinian terror persists."
  • "The narrative of a 'cycle of violence' is "completely false. There is no such thing. Terrorists are murdering Israelis as a result of poisonous Palestinian incitement, and Israel is taking actions to defend itself. There is no 'cycle.'"