Israel bars entry to British activist over BDS support
The Chairman of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, a pro-BDS organization, was denied entry into Israel Sunday night. In a joint statement the Interior Ministry’s Population and Immigration Authority and the Strategic Affairs Ministry said British national Hugh Lanning was denied entry over alleged efforts to promote boycotts against Israel.Antisemitic global terrorist Carlos the Jackal faces trial in France
“The organization Mr. Lanning heads is one of the leading anti-Israel delegitimization and BDS organizations in Britain, and one of the largest in Europe,” the ministries said in a statement Sunday night.
Spokeswoman for the Interior Ministry Sabine Haddad said Lanning landed in the afternoon, but the decision to deny him entry was only reached at approximately 9:00 p.m.
Hugh Lanning has served as chairman of the PSC since 2009 and worked as a head of prominent trade unions in Britain.
The statement, from the Population and Immigration Authority and the Ministry of Public Security, cited the PSC's connections to other British groups critical of Israel and the presence of some of its members on ships that aimed to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza in 2010. The statement said Lanning had personally met with top Hamas official Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza in 2012. Included with the statement was a picture of Lanning standing for a group photo with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.
Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan, said Sunday night that “Whoever acts against Israel should understand that the rules of the game have changed. No sane country would allow entry to key boycott activists working to harm the country's core interests and lead to its isolation”.
Interior Minister, Aryeh Deri, said “The decision we made tonight is an unequivocal statement against boycott activists,” adding that a Knesset law passed last week allowing the Interior Ministry to refuse entry to supporters of boycotts is “another step in fully implementing this policy.”
Carlos the Jackal, the 67-year-old Venezuelan terrorist who executed horrific terror attacks in the 1970s and early 1980s , will be tried in France on Monday for the deadly bombing of a Paris shop he has allegedly committed 40 years.The Israelization of anti-Semitism
Carlos, whose real name is Ilyich Ramirez Sanchez, was apprehended in 1994 by French police and is serving a life sentence for the murder of two French policemen and a Lebanese revolutionary. He had also been convicted for four bombings in the cities of Paris and Marseille in the early 1980s, which resulted in the death of 11 people and injured close to 150.
Carlos, who is known to be sympathetic with the Palestinian cause not unlike multiple modern-day lone wolf terrorists who target Western countries in the name of political and religious agendas, is the former leader of a gang that attacked targets for pro-Palestinian causes.
The international terrorist has expressed his hatred of Jews and the Jewish state on numerous occasions in the past. As AFP reported in 2014, while in prison Carlos verbally attacked a female prison official, calling her an "Israeli," "Zionist" and "dirty Jew." He was later fined for his antisemitic lashout.
In a different antisemitic incident that occurred in 2009, Carlos issued a campaign in which he endorsed France's Anti-Zionist Party. He expressed his solidarity with the views of the anti-Israel party in a move that came after he had blamed Israel for framing him in the three murders he was charged with. Carlos, who joined the Front for the Liberation of Palestine back in 1970, has made multiple remarks against Israel in the past, with one of them being that Israel was "the first terrorist state in history."
Monika Schwarz-Friesel and Jehuda Reinharz are the authors of Inside the Antisemitic Mind: the Language of Jew-Hatred in Contemporary Germany, available through Brandeis University Press/University Press of New England.
Antisemitic attacks throughout the centuries have been grounded in demonizing Jews as the ultimate evil. This concept was found repeatedly in the messages we studied. For example, in one 2007 letter to the Israeli Embassy, the writer states, “The Israelis are and remain, no matter what a show they put on, the greatest racists, war criminals, warmongers, murderers, child-murderers, violators of international law, torturers, robbers and thieves, Nazis, liars, [and] terrorists…” Another message sent to the embassy in 2008 announces plainly, “Here’s one in the kisser for you, you filthy Jew. You’re to blame for the misery in the world!”
In addition to demonization, a second millennia-long antisemitic idea delegitimizes the very existence of Jews, paving the way first for segregation and then elimination or genocide. Just as Jews have no right to exist, it is claimed, a state so abysmally evil and destructive has no right to exist. In the minds of these antisemites, Israel has become the Collective Jew and should be destroyed. Racist delegitimization draws on stereotypes of Jews as exploiters, parasites, and homeless nomads, as in this message from 2006 sent to the Central Council of Jews in Germany: “Only dissolution of the Israeli state can counter the Jews’ solidarity and thereby also their highly aggressive tendencies as a united people that ruthlessly indulges its congenital aggression and frustration. The Jews who move away from Israel will then have the possibility of settling elsewhere. In Old Testament times, the Jews were already a nomadic people that emigrated at one point to Egypt, at another to Babylon, the latter, by the way, because of moral turpitude, after which they moved back to Israel.”
Looking at the messages as a whole, there was little variation among the different years except the spikes we noticed during times of military conflict such as the 2014 war in Gaza. This event ignited a storm of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish commentary in Europe and the United States that continues to this day—spread most widely online. It is also interesting to note that these conflagrations were defined always in one-sided terms, with Israel as the sole aggressor. This unilateral framework applies not only to Israel’s military conflict with the Palestinians and Arab States but also to the condemnation of Israel for human-rights violations that are defined as almost exclusively characteristic of Israel in comparison to the records of other countries.
When Israel, the Jewish state, is denounced as uniquely evil and immoral, antisemitism is clearly at play. Modern antisemites have turned “the Jewish problem” into “the Israel problem.” In this world where we are trying to eliminate racism, misogyny, homophobia and more, it is time to include the age-old hatred of Jews as well.
Wave of threats at Jewish centers across the US sends police scrambling
Jewish community centers and synagogues across the United States received another series of phoned-in threats Sunday, prompting another round of police response. No suspicious items were found.Trump’s Middle East diplomacy is complicated by Palestinian terror incitement
In Brighton, New York, police checked and cleared a Jewish community center, located outside of Rochester. It wasn't the first threat to the community they had responded to in recent weeks.
"We do believe that this is part of, as I mentioned on Tuesday, a larger picture - a national trend. That's why I did mention that the FBI was involved. They are assisting us. The state police has taken a lead role from a New York state perspective," Brighton Police Chief Mark Henderson said.
Bomb threats were received on Sunday by Jewish community centers in Indiana, Texas, New York, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Vancouver, British Columbia, the Jewish Community Center Association of North America said. Sunday's threats brought the total this year to 128 incidents at 87 community centers, the association said. So far, all have been hoaxes.
The American incidents prompted all 100 US senators last week to ask the federal government to help Jewish groups enhance security.
The Trump administration’s budding efforts to establish a new Middle East diplomatic process are about to run into some stiff headwinds at home. Many in Congress want to cancel all U.S. aid to the Palestinians because of payments made to militants who attack Israelis. President Trump will soon have to decide if confronting the Palestinians on that terrorist incitement is more urgent than pursuing a pathway to peace.Liberman suggests new peace push afoot, calls for population swaps
Trump conducted his first phone call with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday, and White House Israel affairs adviser Jason Greenblatt is headed to the region this week. On Greenblatt’s agenda will be whether the U.S. and Israeli governments should raise the pressure on the Palestinian Authority to stop paying the families of Palestinians imprisoned or killed after attacking Israeli or American civilians, a practice both governments believe incentivizes violence.
Republicans in both chambers of Congress are pushing legislation that would cut off all U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority, more than $300 million in fiscal year 2016 , unless its chief political counterpart, the Palestinian Liberation Organization, ceases rewarding the families of attackers. The bill is not new, but its sponsors believe that Trump’s victory bolsters their cause.
“Last year we introduced the bill. This year we are going to pass it. President Trump will sign it,” said Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), the chairman of the Appropriations Committee’s subcommittee for state, foreign operations and related programs. The bill is named after Taylor Force, a former Army officer who was stabbed to death last year by a Palestinian attacker while on a student trip to Israel. Standing alongside his parents late last month, Graham said, “We’re going to honor the memory of your son.”
Graham argues that withholding U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority is the only way to get Abbas’s attention and pressure him to dismantle what has become a sprawling bureaucracy dedicated to compensating families of young Palestinians involved in attacks.
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said Monday that any future peace agreement with the Palestinians should not see some current Israeli Arab MKs as citizens of Israel.'Liberman is an immigrant from Moldova, Arabs own the land'
Writing on his Facebook page, Liberman suggested that a new push for peace was on the horizon and warned against repeating what he said were the mistakes of the past.
"On the threshold of a new attempt to start up diplomatic negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, we must learn the lessons of the past, and the first lesson is: every attempt to solve the Palestinian issue on a land-for-peace basis is destined to fail."
Liberman said that "the only way to a sustainable agreement is through land and population swaps as part of a larger regional peace deal."
The defense minister suggested that Israel's Arab population should be part of a Palestinian state if a two-state solution were to be agreed upon.
"It cannot be that a hegemonic Palestinian state will be established, without a single Jew - 100% Palestinian, and Israel will be a bi-national state with 22% Palestinians," he stated.
"There is no reason that Sheikh Raed Salah, Ayman Odeh, Bassel Ghattas or Haneen Zoabi will continue to be citizens of Israel," he added, referencing the leader of the Islamic Movement's Northern Branch as well as three Joint List MKs.
In his post, Liberman wrote, "We cannot have a 100% homogeneous Palestinian state, in which there are no Jews at all, if in Israel there are two nations and 22% of the population is Palestinian.Top Trump adviser Greenblatt to meet today with Benjamin Netanyahu, Abbas
"The only way to solve the problem for good is to swap land and populations as part of a larger agreement. There is no reason why Joint Arab List MKs should continue to be Israeli citizens."
In response, MK Basel Ghattas (Joint Arab List) said, "There is no doubt Liberman is an immigrant from Moldova, and that he has no idea what a homeland is, or what it means to have a nation of natives."
"In any future agreement, there will be no place for land-stealing settlers in a Palestinian state, and there will be no place for racist immigrants. The Palestinians who are now living in Israel are the owners of the land, and Liberman is a temporary guest."
Liberian has been suggesting a land-population swapping plan since his first Knesset term as a way to achieve peace by switching the "triangle" of Arab towns near Megiddo for Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.
Jason Greenblatt, US President Donald Trump’s special representative for international negotiations, is scheduled to arrive in Israel on Monday, three days after Trump’s phone call with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas about ways to advance the Middle East diplomatic process.Congress, Jewish Groups Oppose Trump’s Plan to Axe Antisemitism Envoy
Greenblatt is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, and with Abbas in Ramallah.
In addition, he is also scheduled to meet in Jerusalem with President Reuven Rivlin, acting National Security Council head Yaakov Nagel and Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories head Maj.-Gen.Yoav Mordechai.
As first reported in The Jerusalem Post last week, Greenblatt is coming to discuss guidelines to govern Israeli construction in the settlements, an issue that was a constant source of friction with the previous administration. Netanyahu and Trump agreed during their meeting in Washington last month to establish a mechanism to work out these guidelines and Greenblatt is to head that mechanism.
Jason Greenblatt. Credit: CourtesyJason Greenblatt. Credit: Courtesy
Israel’s ambassador to the US Ron Dermer is currently in the country as well to take part in the discussions with Greenblatt.
The talks with Greenblatt, however, are expected to be wider than just the settlement issue and to include looking at ways to move the long-stalled diplomatic process forward.
Recent reports have indicated that the Trump administration’s planned budget cuts could lead to the demise of the State Department’s Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism.JPost Editorial: Netanyahu pushes Putin and Trump to curtail the Iranian threat to Israel
Pressure to salvage the position and its associated bureau — the Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism — is mounting from members of Congress and others familiar with the office’s work. Among their other duties, past envoys have met with representatives of various countries to discuss issues of antisemitism or other Jewish concerns, such as proposed European bans on Jewish ritual circumcision.
The envoy’s office “[is] crucial in documenting human rights abuses against Jewish communities abroad as well as developing and implementing policies designed to combat anti-Semitism,” a bipartisan group of members of Congress wrote in a draft of a letter that will be sent to President Donald Trump as early as March 14, according to Haaretz.
The envoy position was created by the Global Anti-Semitism Review Act of 2004, which was sponsored by the late Congressman Tom Lantos (D-Calif.), the only Holocaust survivor ever to serve in Congress.
In August 2011, the Washington, DC-based Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) — which monitors and translates Arab media reports as well as jihadist activity online — received a $200,000 State Department grant to help expand the State Department’s documentation of antisemitism in the Arab and Muslim world.
Indeed, the world is a very different place today. Unlike in the time of Mordechai and Esther, when Jews lacked political sovereignty and military might, and they had to rely on the largesse of the nations of the world and on quixotic leaders such as Ahasuerus.How Obama Undermined the U.S. Alliance with Egypt, and How Trump Might Repair It
But while the prime minister might have failed to convince Putin of the relevance of ancient Persian history to contemporary events, he was right to prioritize the Iranian threat to Israel.
That is important, as the international community – and in particular the US, Russia, Turkey and Arab states – work toward an arrangement for Syria that will put an end to the civil war there.
Israel and Russia have cooperated in the past to advance their respective interests. The sharing of intelligence and open communication between the two countries have prevented incidents like Turkey’s downing of a Russian warplane on its border with Syria in November 2015.
According to foreign media reports, Russian warplanes have operated over the Golan Heights against forces opposing the Assad regime, and Israel has carried out air strikes within Syria to prevent Iran and Hezbollah from smuggling arms to Lebanon.
Continued cooperation with Moscow is important as a means of curtailing Tehran’s influence in Syria.
That was Netanyahu’s message to Putin during their meeting in Moscow on Thursday. The concern in Jerusalem is that the Russian-backed Assad regime’s victory over ISIS-affiliated forces will pave the way for Iran, Assad’s other ally, to fill the vacuum created by ISIS’s departure to gain a lasting foothold in Syria. An Iranian front on Israel’s northern border – and not just via its Hezbollah proxy – would be a strategic nightmare for the Jewish state.
Despite Barack Obama’s much-heralded efforts to bring a “new beginning” in relations between America and Muslim countries, his efforts were already off to a bad start during his 2009 trip to Cairo. The solid alliance between the U.S. and Egypt was further weakened by the policies of the subsequent seven years. Robert Satloff explains what went wrong, and what can be done:Ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak due to be freed
Speaking not to parliament, as he did in Ottawa and London, but to a by-invitation-only gathering at Cairo University, the president of the United States uttered not a single word toward the president of Egypt—not a word of thanks for his hospitality, not a word of gratitude for Egypt’s quarter-century fulfillment of peace with Israel, not a word of appreciation for the 36,000-man Egyptian force sent to assist America in the war to liberate Kuwait eighteen years earlier. Instead, after insisting that Egyptian authorities admit a Muslim Brotherhood delegation into the campus auditorium to attend the speech, the president spoke over the heads of Egypt’s ruling elite in order to, as he said, “eradicate years of mistrust.” . . .
Whether he knew it or not, Obama’s “new beginning” outreach to Muslims—not as Egyptians, Tunisians, or people with some other nationality but as adherents of a trans-national religion—was fundamentally different and profoundly threatening. . . . [T]o the always-paranoid (sometimes justifiably so) political leadership in Cairo he seemed to lend America’s stamp of approval to the Islamist project that, for decades, offered itself—sometimes violently, sometimes not—as the alternative to the military-led nationalists. Just eighteen months after Obama lit the fuse with his Cairo speech, the holder of the nationalist flame—President Hosni Mubarak—was forced from power. . . .
Hosni Mubarak, who was overthrown as president of Egypt in an uprising in 2011, will be released from detention in a military hospital, the public prosecutor ruled on Monday, his lawyers and judicial sources said.Middle Eastern Leaders Relieved to Learn of America’s ‘Deep State’ (satire)
"He will go to his home in Heliopolis," Mubarak's lawyer Farid El Deeb said, adding the aging former president would likely be released Tuesday or soon after.
Mubarak was cleared of murder charges this month in his final trial, having faced various charges ranging from corruption to ordering the killing of protesters who ended his 30-year-rule.
He had one more jail sentence to serve but was cleared after serving time for the murder charges, judicial sources and the state news agency said.
The prosecution subtracted the time served in the murder case from the time he was meant to serve for a separate case in which he was found guilty of appropriating funds reserved for maintaining presidential palaces.
Saying that they are “thankful to Allah that that orange-skinned lunatic isn’t actually in charge,” rulers from across the Middle East are relieved to learn of a powerful “deep state” secretly running the US.2 police officers hurt in Jerusalem stabbing attack; assailant killed
“I must admit, for a while I was quite concerned about these American ‘elections,’ as they call them,” Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi told The Mideast Beast. “It’s quite comforting to know that in America the elected government is virtually powerless and that a web of bureaucrats, generals and other shadowy figures make all the real decisions, just as it should be.”
After President Trump’s inauguration, Sisi was one of several Arab leaders who feared that, as elected president, Trump would be the one making key decisions about US domestic and foreign policy. But the administration’s revelation that the US has a “deep state” allowed these leaders, and many Americans, to breathe a sigh of relief.
But not all the region’s heads of state were thrilled at the prospect.
“It’s bad enough if Barack Obama is the secret leader of a shadow government,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told The Mideast Beast. “But please God, don’t make John Kerry the shadow Secretary of State.”
Two Border Police officers were moderately wounded in a stabbing attack in Jerusalem in the early hours of Monday morning, police said.Palestinian tried to cause gas blast near crowded Jerusalem pub — police
The assailant was shot and critically wounded during the attack. He later died of his injuries.
The stabbing occurred shortly after 4:00 a.m. near the Lions’ Gate in the Old City.
According to police, the assailant entered a guard booth where the two officers were stationed, holding a large butcher’s knife. Inside the cramped post, he began stabbing and hitting them.
After a brief struggle, one of the officers fought his way out of the guard booth, loaded his weapon and shot the assailant, police said.
A Palestinian man has been arrested on suspicion of trying to cause an explosion in central Jerusalem by tampering with gas tanks and piping and then throwing a lit cigarette into the fumes.Victims of 1997 shooting call terrorist's release 'nauseating'
A gag order was lifted Monday after a preliminary indictment was served on the man — an East Jerusalem resident in his 30s — accusing him of willful damage to property, attempted arson and attempted destruction of property with explosive material.
Police requested that he be detained until the end of proceedings against him, on the grounds that he had “attempted to harm innocent people.”
Initially, the man was suspected of having tried to commit a terror act for nationalist reasons. It then emerged that he was just drunk, Channel 2 News reported.
The release Sunday of Ahmad Daqamseh, a Jordanian terrorist who killed seven Israeli schoolgirls in 1997, reopened the wounds of the bereaved families -- wounds that never fully healed.Families of Israeli schoolgirl victims outraged over freed Jordanian terrorist
Nurit Fathi, the mother of Sivan, sounded agitated and in pain. "I'm shocked. He [Daqamseh] should have served seven life sentences, but this is the maximum sentence in Jordan. I hope he rots at home if not in prison. The most painful thing is that they are releasing him on the anniversary of the murder. A great injustice has been done to us. What's 20 years in prison for the murder of seven girls? Our families have been ruined."
"We were recently notified that he would be released from prison, despite our protests," she went on to say. "I feel they are mocking us because the pain is eternal. We could have been with a daughter who would bring us grandchildren. We were a very happy family, and ever since the incident I take tranquilizers. I believe God will punish him."
Miri Meiri, whose daughter Ya'ala was murdered, told Israel Hayom: "This is a punch to the gut. Even though I knew his release was coming, this is a difficult day. I hope he gets all the evil in the world. It won't bring Ya'ala, who would have been 33 years old and could have been a mother, back to me. It's heartbreaking. I thought he would die in jail, but by the pictures he looks healthier than I am."
Hezi Cohen, whose daughter Nirit was murdered, said, "The emotions are very difficult. It takes us back 20 years. His release is nauseating and horrible. My wife Ruth didn't survive this. She was depressed until she died of a broken heart. I sincerely hope we do something, instead of him bringing joy to his family, to kill him like Haman [the Persian minister who conspired to kill the Jews in the Purim story]. He ruined seven families and took seven girls."
Families of the seven Israeli schoolgirls murdered by Jordanian solider Ahmad Daqamseh on March 13, 1997, expressed outrage at his release on Sunday.Not a madman
“You know what day is tomorrow? It will mark 20 years since my daughter was taken in cold blood,” said Shlomo Badayev, whose daughter Shiri was killed at the age of 14. “And the murderer is going free. Of course this hurts.”
In July 1997, a five-member Jordanian military tribunal found Daqamseh guilty of opening fire at a group of Israeli schoolchildren and killing seven of them before soldiers seized him and rushed to help the victims.
Daqamseh would have faced the death penalty, but the tribunal said he was mentally unstable. Instead he was given a life sentence, which is equivalent to 20 years under Jordanian law.
“He should have been sentenced for longer, he killed seven girls,” said Yisrael Fatihi, whose 13-year-old daughter Sivan was killed in the attack. “My daughter should be 34 today. But what can you do, we are just the families and we will continue living.
“What is really a pity is that he is being accepted as a hero,” he added.
The interview given by Ahmed Daqamseh, the Jordanian soldier who in 1997 killed seven Israeli schoolgirls, upon his release on Sunday, made it very clear: He is no madman, nor is he a fool. He is a typical wild Islamic thorn, much like Hamas, who harbors a murderous ideology toward the Jewish people in general and particularly toward Israel. Many more like him grow wild in the nettle patch of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan and worldwide.Analysis: 20 years on, a thorn in Jordan’s side is removed
The footage of his release shows Daqamseh parading around like a peacock, armed with dark glasses and surrounded by adoring fans. Arab media presented him as a national icon, a symbol for Jordanians who oppose normalization with Israel. The Qatari news network Al Jazeera described Daqamseh as a "hero" who killed "young settlers." The report completely ignored the fact these so-called "settlers" were seventh- and eighth-graders on a school trip.
Throughout the process of Israel's modern resurrection, many associates of Jew-killers tried to defend them by saying they were crazy. Daqamseh himself evaded the death penalty in Jordan after a military tribunal ruled he was mentally unstable at the time of the shooting.
An insane individual is an anomaly in his surroundings, but Daqamseh is no anomaly. He epitomizes the creed of radical Islamists who justify the murder of Jewish civilians, including little girls, as part of the religious battle to eliminate Israel.
By freeing soldier-killer Ahmad Daqamseh, the Jordanian authorities removed a serious hurdle that haunted them for many years and was a thorn in their relations with Israel.Palestinian forces said to use live fire to quell anti-PA protest in West Bank
While his release has caused agony and brought tragic memories to the surface for the victim’s families, for Israel and its security establishment the release closes an ugly chapter and cleanses the atmosphere.
During his prison term, Daqamseh expressed pride for his actions and was publicly praised by his mother. Even Hussein Mejalli, Jordan’s justice minister at the time, called him a hero.
While the majority of Jordanians disapproved of the 1997 attack and expressed sympathy for the schoolgirl victims – King Hussein traveled to Israel to pay his respect to the bereaved families – Daqamseh became a hero to some Jordanians who oppose normalization and peace with Israel.
During the time he was jailed, Daqamseh was an anti-Israel magnet, attracting support from radical groups in Jordan that used his case as a pretext to bash not only Israel but the Jordanian regime for its special relation with the Jewish state. That point of contention against Israel and Jordan has now been removed.
Palestinian Authority security forces reportedly used live fire to disperse a violent protest by Palestinian youths gathered in the Deheishe refugee camp outside of Bethlehem in the West Bank on Sunday evening.Palestinian PM promises probe of police beatings at protest
Police were said to have used live bullets, tear gas and stun grenades against demonstrators hurling rocks and Molotov cocktails, according to Palestinian news agency Ma’an.
Dozens of Palestinians marched from Deheishe to the nearby village of Artas to protest legal proceedings brought against six Palestinian activists arrested by the Palestinian Authority last year, one of whom was killed in a shootout with the Israeli military earlier this month, and against alleged police brutality during a demonstration outside the Magistrate’s Court in Ramallah earlier Sunday.
The six were detained last April on charges of possession of illegal weapons and planning an attack against Israel. After the arrests, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told the German daily Der Spiegel that the operation had been the fruit of security cooperation between Israel and the PA. Ma’an reported that the six were tortured while in PA custody.
They were released six months later, according to a Palestinian court ruling, after they went on a hunger strike that grabbed headlines in Palestinian media.
Several hundred Palestinians marched in an anti-government protest Monday, calling for the resignation of President Mahmoud Abbas and criticizing his security coordination with Israel.Iranian FM chides Netanyahu over Purim spiel, says Persians saved the Jews 3 times
Separately, Palestinian journalists staged a sit-in nearby to protest the violent dispersal of an anti-government protest by Palestinian riot police a day earlier.
In Sunday's incident, helmeted troops beat demonstrators and journalists with clubs. Jihad Barakat of Palestine Today TV said he was pushed and that his camera was broken. He said he saw three colleagues being beaten with clubs.
Critics have said Abbas and his government are becoming increasingly intolerant of dissent.
Dozens of people have been detained after peaceful protests in the past six months, though most were released, said Amar Dweik, head of Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights.
Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah promised Monday that he would launch an investigation into Sunday's incident. He said he formed a committee that includes Dweik, the deputy interior minister and members of the lawyers' union.
Meanwhile, several hundred protesters marched through the center of the West Bank city of Ramallah on Monday, calling on Abbas to resign. Abbas heads the Palestinian Authority, a self-rule government that administers parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif on Sunday accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of distorting history by repeatedly saying that modern Iran, like ancient Persia, is bent on annihilating the Jewish people.The Destructive Legacy of Appeasing Iran
“To sell bigoted lies against a nation which has saved Jews 3 times, Netanyahu resorting to fake history & falsifying Torah. Force of habit,” Zarif tweeted.
In an attachment to the post, Zarif wrote “once again Benjamin Netanyahu not only distorts the realities of today, but also distorts the past — including Jewish scripture. It is truly regrettable that bigotry gets to the point of making allegations against an entire nation which has saved the Jews three times in its history.”
“The Book of Esther tells of how Xerxes I saved Jews from a plot hatched by Haman the Agagite, which is marked on this very day,” he wrote, referring to the king known in the Purim story as Ahasuerus.
Jews don’t view Ahasuerus as a savior, as he originally approved Haman’s order to kill the Jews; rather, they look to the Jewish Queen Esther as the heroine of the tale.
Surveying the Obama administration’s overall Middle East policy in light of its dogged pursuit of the deeply flawed nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic, Emily Landau asks if the damage can be repaired:Assad Calls New US Troops Deployed To Syria 'Invaders'
President Obama has left the Middle East a far more dangerous place than it was eight years ago. Not merely because the nuclear agreement opens the door to the terrifying prospect of a nuclear Iran within ten-to-fifteen years, and perhaps even sooner, but because the administration then enabled an emboldened Iran to emerge over the course of 2015-16, unchallenged by Washington. In fact, while negotiating the deal, the U.S. president was already helping to transform the Islamic Republic, with its extremist, hegemonic agenda, into the region’s preeminent power at the expense of traditional U.S. allies.
For example, despite Barack Obama’s pretense of focusing exclusively on the nuclear issue by way of securing the deal, . . . the president resisted upholding the redline he had set with regard to Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons due to a warning issued by Tehran: if the U.S. resorted to military force in Syria, it could scuttle the nuclear negotiations. Obama continued to shun the Syrian crisis to his final days in office so as not to upset Tehran and risk rattling the nascent nuclear deal. [Thus] Washington left Syria to Iran (and Russia) in return for the nuclear deal, a tradeoff that the administration denies. . . .
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad referred to the 400 new U.S. troops who recently deployed to Syria as “invaders,” in an interview with Chinese television.Monitor tallies over 320,000 dead after six years of war in Syria
“Any foreign troops coming to Syria without our invitation … are invaders,” Assad said, responding to a question about 400 U.S. troops close to northern Syrian city of Manbij, Reuters reports.
“We don’t think this is going to help,” he added in the interview with the Chinese TV station Phoenix, which Syrian state news posted Saturday.
These additional U.S. troops have been shipped into the region to prevent fights from breaking out between Turkey and the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is largely composed of Kurds, who have a long-standing enmity with Ankara.
The new 400 troops, who are also set to help rebels take back Raqqa from ISIS, won’t breach any caps because the assignment will last for no more than 120 days. There are already 500 U.S. troops stationed in Syria.
The SDF are moving against Turkish forces and other rebel groups in Manbij.
Syria’s war has killed just over 320,000 people since it erupted six years ago, a monitor said Monday, noting that a fragile ceasefire had helped to slow the rising death toll.Record number of children killed in Syria last year-UN
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it had recorded the deaths of 321,358 people since the conflict broke out in March 2011 with protests against President Bashar al-Assad.
The toll represented an increase of about 9,000 since December, when government ally Russia and rebel backer Turkey brokered a nationwide cessation of hostilities.
“There have been fewer people dying in the three months since the ceasefire was put into place,” said Observatory Rami Abdel Rahman.
“The deaths haven’t stopped, but they have been slower in the past few months,” he said.
The new toll included more than 96,000 civilians, among them over 17,400 children and nearly 11,000 women.
The Observatory said just over 60,900 government soldiers were killed, as well as 45,000 Syrian militiamen and over 8,000 foreign fighters loyal to Assad’s government.
A record number of children were killed in Syria last year, more than a third of them in or near a school, the UN children's agency said ahead of the sixth anniversary of the war.Crisis Hits Turkey as Erdogan Runs Out of People to Call a ‘Nazi’ (satire)
More than 850 children were also recruited to fight - more than double the number in 2015 - with some used as executioners and suicide bombers, UNICEF said.
"The depth of suffering is unprecedented. Millions of children in Syria come under attack on a daily basis," the agency's regional director Geert Cappelaere said in a statement from Homs in Syria.
"Each and every child is scarred for life with horrific consequences on their health, well-being and future." At least 652 children were killed last year, up by 20 percent from 2015, the agency said.
The figures - collected since 2014 - only represent formally verified casualties, meaning the true toll could be higher.
UNICEF also said there were at least 338 attacks against hospitals and medical personnel last year.
Half of Syria's pre-war population has been uprooted in the conflict whose six-year anniversary falls on March 15.
Around 6.5 million people are displaced within Syria and nearly 5 million have sought shelter in neighboring countries where conditions are getting increasingly desperate.
Turkish leadership entered uncharted territory this weekend, as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has finally run out of people to call a Nazi.
While some Turkish officials had expressed concerns after Erdogan called the leaders of Germany and the Netherlands Nazis within a week, the crisis caught the government off-guard. The final accusation came Saturday, as Erdogan labeled a kebab vendor a “Nazi remnant” for allegedly skimping on the president’s yogurt sauce.
Aides to the Turkish leader quickly realized that their boss had used the slur against every individual on the planet.
“It started with Shimon Peres and the Israelis,” one source close to the president said of Erdogan’s habit of comparing anyone he disagreed with to Hitler. “But it escalated quickly. Pretty soon any baby who cried at his rally was guilty of ‘fascist actions.’”
As of press time, Erdogan was apparently trying out new insults, blasting US President Donald Trump as a “total Otto von Bismarck” over the institution of a Muslim ban.