Opinion: Iran Nuke Deal at Best A 15-Year Ceasefire

The framework agreement reached last week between the major world powers and Iran over the latter’s nuclear program has been hailed by US President Barack Obama as preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. To some degree, he is correct—for now. But key fine-print in the deal unfortunately paints a …

Israel Builds A Modern Highway and Finds an Ancient Village

Highway expansions can result in traffic jams, and in Israel it can turn into archaeology as well. That’s what happened to a recent project, after an Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) inspector found pottery shards during the Highway 1 project, a discovery that has since led to the uncovering of an …

Israeli Civilians Shot, Soldier Stabbed in Terror-filled Day

Four Israeli civilians were wounded in a shooting on Monday in the Judea and Samaria region [West Bank] according to Ynet, one of two terror attacks to strike Israelis in the same day. Earlier, an Israeli female soldier was stabbed by a Palestinian near Bethlehem, reported IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Peter …

Hamas Says West Bank Palestinian Government Spent ‘Not A Penny’ on Gaza

The Gaza Strip is still in need of funding and rebuilding, but one key culprit has managed to escape most of the scrutiny for the crisis—the Palestinians themselves. Specifically, the offender is the West Bank-based government essentially led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas—which was supposed to be part of a …

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Hamas Says West Bank Palestinian Government Spent ‘Not A Penny’ on Gaza

June 29, 2015 News
Is Abbas' government part of Gaza's problem? Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Marco Castro

Is Abbas’ government part of Gaza’s problem? Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Marco Castro

The Gaza Strip is still in need of funding and rebuilding, but one key culprit has managed to escape most of the scrutiny for the crisis—the Palestinians themselves. Specifically, the offender is the West Bank-based government essentially led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas—which was supposed to be part of a broader unity government with Gaza-based Hamas.

With that unity government having been dissolved by Abbas’ Fatah party in June, senior Hamas official Mousa Abu Marzouq let the West Bank-led government have it on Monday. The Ma’an News Agency quoted Marzouq of accusing the West Bank-led government of “running the West Bank only and not a penny of its budget was allocated to the Gaza Strip.” Furthermore, he said they had not done any projects in Gaza and said claims by the government to have rebuilt thousands of Gaza houses are “not true.” … Continue Reading

Israeli Civilians Shot, Soldier Stabbed in Terror-filled Day

June 29, 2015 Peace and Conflict
IDF Soldier one of five injured in terror attacks on Monday. Israeli Soldiers. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

IDF Soldier one of five injured in terror attacks on Monday. Israeli Soldiers. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Four Israeli civilians were wounded in a shooting on Monday in the Judea and Samaria region [West Bank] according to Ynet, one of two terror attacks to strike Israelis in the same day. Earlier, an Israeli female soldier was stabbed by a Palestinian near Bethlehem, reported IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner. In his Twitter feed, Lerner said the stabbing perpetrator was arrested, while the IDF was “searching the area” for the shooters in the later incident, which Lerner said looked to be a “drive-by attack.”

The same-day acts of terrorism come close on the heels of another shooting last Friday, in which a Palestinian opened fire on soldiers who stopped him to check his suspicious-looking car, reported the IDF Blog. The soldiers were able to “neutralize” the terrorist, Sgt. Amit Elat was quoted by the Blog as saying. … Continue Reading

Israel Seeing World Powers ‘Retreat from Red Lines’ in Iran Nuke Talks

June 28, 2015 Iran Nuclear Program, News
Really moderate, or just for show? Iranian President Rouhani. Illustrative. FEMA/Marty Bahamonde.

Really moderate, or just for show? Iranian President Rouhani. Illustrative. FEMA/Marty Bahamonde.

The Iranian nuclear talks are not expected to meet their June 30 deadline according to the BBC, but that doesn’t seem to discourage the teams negotiating yet. Iran’s support for terrorism and its human rights abuses doesn’t seem to be impacting the world powers either in this all-important nuclear deal, and Israel’s leader is concerned the already “bad agreement” is “becoming worse by the day.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in comments released by his office, highlighted Iran’s dismal human rights record per the latest American report to slam the Islamic Republic, following the recent report showing their ongoing support for global terrorism. What’s worse, Netanyahu said that not only has that record not factored into the negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program, but the world powers are believed to be offering even more concessions to Iran than before. … Continue Reading

As Nuke Deal Deadline Looms, Iran Predicts ‘Intense Days’ of Talks

June 22, 2015 Iran Nuclear Program, News
Radiation Warning Symbol. Public Domain.

Radiation Warning Symbol. Public Domain.

The top Iranian negotiator expects “a very intense few days” coming up as his team seeks to finalize a nuclear deal with the major world powers ahead of a June 30 deadline, reported Iran’s Press TV. The sides developed the general outline of a deal earlier this year, setting the end of this month to reach a final arrangement that would provide Iran sanctions relief in exchange for concessions on their nuclear program.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said it may take a “few days” more than the deadline to achieve a deal, but sounded unexpectedly optimistic in saying that there is “a good possibility” it could be done in the next couple weeks. … Continue Reading

Coalition Partners Battling toward ISIS ‘Capital’ in Syria

June 22, 2015 Peace and Conflict
US jets are fighting ISIS—and they're getting help. US F-22 jet. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Michael Holzworth.

US jets are fighting ISIS—and they’re getting help. US F-22 jet. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Michael Holzworth.

ISIS may have conquered significant portions of Syria in the past, but holding on to it could be proving difficult in the face of American air strikes and coalition partners on the ground. In the latest sign that ISIS, also known as ISIL or Islamic State, may not be here to stay, Kurdish forces in Syria are taking territory and moving closer to the ISIS ‘capital city’ in Syria.

The Daily Star, citing a spokesman for the Kurdish forces, said they had moved within seven kilometers, or 4.4 miles, of a smaller city in northern Syria that is on the path to the ISIS ‘capital’ of Raqqa. The Kurdish forces had previously taken a bordercrossing town near the Turkish-Syrian border. … Continue Reading

Israeli Analysis of Terror: ‘Iranian Network’ Involves over 30 Countries

June 21, 2015 News
Iran sponsors terrorism like this rocket attack in Israel. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of IDF Spokesperson.

Iran sponsors terrorism like this rocket attack in Israel. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of IDF Spokesperson.

Following the latest release of the United States report on national sponsors of terrorism, which noted Iran’s interest in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Latin America, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu underscored Iran’s very broad terrorist reach—which includes Cyprus in the European Union. “The Iranian network now embraces over 30 countries and a new terrorist cell is added every few weeks, whether directly or via its proxy Hezbollah,” Netanyahu’s office quoted him as saying on Sunday.

“For example, we recently saw in Cyprus a terrorist apartment in which a great quantity of explosives was discovered, and this is only one example out of dozens.” Netanyahu did not clarify if his insights came from US or Israeli intel. By contrast, the US report focused on Iran’s Middle East terrorism activities, noting Iran’s involvement with Iraqi terrorists battling ISIS (ISIL) in Iraq and helping the Syrian regime in that nation’s civil war. Despite the fight with ISIS, Iran’s Iraqi associates are themselves dangerous troublemakers and one group is officially designated by the US as terrorists. … Continue Reading

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