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US Sec of State Pompeo: Iran Tested Nuclear-Capable Missiles that Can Reach Europe

December 2, 2018 Peace and Conflict

PM Netanyahu & US Secy. of State Pompeo. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of: Haim Zach / Israeli GPO

Iran is working on missiles that are “capable of delivering nuclear weapons” and can reach parts of Europe and the entire Middle East, United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Saturday. Pompeo, in a statement released by the State Department, said the Iranian regime had “just test-fired a medium range ballistic missile that is capable of carrying multiple warheads.” Israel, Saudi Arabia and other Middle East nations are among the enemies of Iran within the missile’s range, and Pompeo said “parts of Europe” were within scope of the latest missile test. He said the activity opposes the authority of the powerful United Nations Security Council.

“This test violates UN Security Council resolution 2231 that bans Iran from undertaking ‘any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology,’” said Pompeo.

In response, the Iranians alleged again that their missiles are defensive in nature, although it’s unclear why they would need to deter Europe given that continent’s determination to maintain the controversial nuclear deal with Iran against the wishes of the US. Senior spokesman of the Iranian Armed Forces, Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi, per a report from Iran’s PressTV, called missile tests “in line” with Iran’s policy of deterrence and said they would “continue to both test and develop missiles.” … Continue Reading

Israel Says Take Threat ‘Seriously’ after ‘Moderate’ Iranian President Calls Israel ‘Cancerous Tumor’

November 25, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Iranian President Rouhani is an Iranian “moderate”? Illustrative. FEMA/Marty Bahamonde.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, considered by some in the West as a “moderate,” told the Islamic Unity Conference on Saturday what he really thinks of Israel. “One of the most important effects of World War II was the formation of a cancerous tumor in the region,” said Rouhani in an English translation of his comments posted to his office’s website. The Arabic version of the website—per a Google translation into English—clarified that Rouhani was describing Israel.

Rouhani said Israel was “deployed” into the Middle East as an entity that “completely obeys the West in regional matters.” He continued, “They formed the fake Israeli regime and killed and displaced the historical nation of Palestine.”

Following the surprising public comments, Israel warned the words are more than just empty threats. “History has taught us that anti-Semitic threats from fanatical leaders, and exporters of terror who have hegemonic aspirations, must be taken seriously,” said Israeli Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy Minister Gilad Erdan in Germany on Sunday. Erdan, whose comments to the pro-Israel Deutscher Israelkongress conference were published in a press release, encouraged Germany to “take a more aggressive stance against the Iranian regime.” He noted that Iran threatens Europe as well.

… Continue Reading

US at UN Security Council Slams Iranian Terrorism in Europe, Israel

November 19, 2018 Peace and Conflict

U.S. Ambassador the U.N. Nikki Haley. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Mission to the UN

Another Middle East briefing was delivered to the powerful United Nations Security Council focusing on the Israel-Palestinian conflict, but United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said it was “very incomplete” because it left out a key threat not just to the region, but the world: Iran. “While this Council remains focused on the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, it ignores other very serious conflicts in the Middle East,” said Haley on Monday.

“One has in recent months come to the doorstep of Europe and the United States. That is the continued evidence of increased international terrorist activity by the Iranian regime… Iranian malign behavior does not just target one country, it targets us all.”

Haley, whose comments were published by the US Mission to the UN website, proceeded to list not one but two foiled Iranian terror attacks in Europe in recent months that targeted political opponents. She also noted that Iran backed an attack against a US consulate in Iraq and has supported violence against Israel, a fact among many that recasts Israel’s war with terrorists in Gaza as not just another dispute.

“You also cannot escape the fact that the group responsible for the rocket attacks [against Israeli civilians]— Palestinian Islamic Jihad—is an Iranian supported group. The PIJ is yet another terrorist proxy that Iran calls on to stoke violence and instability in the region,” said Haley.

The US representative argued that these acts of malignant behavior are not isolated incidents for the Iranian regime.

“These attempts to murder their political opponents on foreign soil reflect the true nature of the Iranian regime. These attacks are precisely the sort of behavior that led the United States to re-impose sanctions against Iran,” said Haley. “…Our European allies are increasingly finding proof of that in their own front yards. We must unite in our efforts to stop this behavior before it reaches more innocent people across the world.”

The report that preceded Haley’s remarks wasn’t even complete in its discussion of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, according to the American diplomat. Haley clarified that while the comments from UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov did mention the violence in Gaza, his call for “both sides” to show restraint “misses the mark.”

Haley contrasted the Israeli barrage on military targets in Gaza with the more than 400 rockets and mortars that were “fired indiscriminately from Gaza into Israel.” “Even if you accept Hamas’ excuse that it launched its missiles in response to an Israeli covert operation, you cannot escape the fact that the Gaza militants targeted civilians in response. Their actions were not actions of a nation exercising self-defense, but of a terrorist group seizing a pretext to kill civilians,” said Haley. “…Fact: There is only one side that attacks indiscriminately. One side that targets civilians. One side that terrorizes to achieve its objectives.”

Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, praised Haley on Twitter for her words. “Thank you to Ambassador @nikkihaley for, once again, revealing the #truth that there is no such thing as ‘two sides to the conflict,’ there is Hamas that fires missiles at civilian populations, and there is #Israel that protects its citizens. Thank you for standing by Israel!” he tweeted.

Haley, who is leaving her post at the end of the year, concluded her comments on Monday with a call for compromise from both sides. However, she noted that “compromise can only begin with a clear, honest, and complete appraisal of the facts on the ground.”

Without that, she said the monthly discussion at the UN Security Council is “doomed to fail in its objective of helping to achieve peace.”

(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, November 19, 2019)

 

Terrorist Threat Everywhere: Israeli Officers Stabbed inside Police Station, Rocket Threat Highlighted to UN

November 14, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Terror knife attacks are a threat too. Illustrative photo of commando knives apprehended amid shipment of plumbing materials destined for Gaza. Photo courtesy of Israel Ministry of Defense Crossing Authority

Even Israeli police stations aren’t safe from terrorism, as a knife-wielding assailant chose just such a location on Wednesday night to stab four Israeli police officers in the Armon Hanatziv station in Jerusalem. Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said on Twitter that the four officers were lightly injured and that the terrorist had been arrested. A separate tweet showed a group of counterterrorism police units on the scene.

While reports of a ceasefire between Israel and terrorists in Gaza indicate things are calming down in the south of Israel, Wednesday’s knife attack served as a stark reminder that terrorist efforts to wound and kill Israelis are a threat always—and in any place.

That has been a difficult reality for the Israeli south in particular recently, and their suffering under the massive rocket barrage earlier this week was heard loud and clear on Tuesday at the United Nations. Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon posted a video to Twitter showing him playing the rocket-warning siren. “At the #UN, I explained that every time Hamas fired one of its 460 rockets, families have 15 seconds to find their loved ones & run to a bomb shelter. When Hamas fires a rocket, families hear this,” tweeted Danon. … Continue Reading

IDF Soldier Killed in Gaza Fight, Rockets Sirens Resume as Abbas Threatens ‘Tough Measures’ against Hamas

November 11, 2018 Peace and Conflict, Uncategorized

Abbas is very upset with Hamas. PA President Mahmoud Abbas. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Marco Castro

An Israeli soldier was killed during “special forces’ operational activity in Gaza” and multiple projectiles were launched at Israel from Gaza on Sunday according to the IDF Twitter page, the same day Hamas was threatened by a powerful member of their own people. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday leveled perhaps his harshest critique of the Hamas terrorist group that runs the Gaza Strip on Sunday when he accused them of a conspiracy to “foil” an independent Palestinian state. Abbas’ comments, which were published in a report by the Ma’an News Agency, further included a warning that the Palestinian government in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) that he heads would be taking “tough measures against Hamas” in the days ahead.

That same day, the IDF Spokesperson reported on Twitter that one IDF soldier was killed and another wounded in an “exchange of fire” during the aforementioned special forces activity. Following that post, numerous rocket siren warnings were posted by the IDF Spokesperson, with one Tweet noting that two projectiles from Gaza had been intercepted by the Iron Dome. The situation was serious enough that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shortened his visit to return to Israel from Paris, where he was meeting with world leaders and marking the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, according to a press release from Netanyahu’s office.

The day’s violence came as Abbas claimed that Hamas’ plan to prevent the creation of a Palestinian state would not succeed, and neither would the American-led peace process and it’s anticipated “Deal of the Century” for peace. Abbas isn’t alone in his recent critiques of Hamas, and ironically it’s one of main proponents of the American peace plan that also slammed the Gaza rulers last week. … Continue Reading

Gaza Bomb Lands in Israeli Playground, Vehicle Set on Fire by Arson Balloon

November 4, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Last Thursday’s incident wasn’t the first car damaged by a Gaza attack. Illustrative results of past Gaza attack. Photo Courtesy of IDF Spokesperson.

The Gaza arson attacks using balloons and kites have destroyed significant amounts of land and killed many animals. Last week, torching a car was added to the list. The IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter feed posted a video on Thursday showing a jeep in flames. “Imagine if YOUR car in YOUR neighborhood went up in flames. This just happened—an explosive balloon launched from #Gaza at #Israel set this car on fire,” said the Tweet caption. According to a report in The Times of Israel, the vehicle that was set ablaze by the arson balloon when it drove over the incendiary object, setting the fuel system on fire. While there were no injuries, the car was notably damaged.

An even more serious attack occurred the same day, as an explosive device apparently attached to a balloon landed in a kindergarten playground, according to same article in The Times of Israel. The school was evacuated and the explosive device was safely removed by Israeli security forces.

That hasn’t been the only threat to children by Gazan explosives. The IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter feed also posted a picture of a cluster of colorful balloons along with a larger balloon featuring a cartoon character—and a bomb attached. “It’s safe to say that most children would be attracted to these balloons. However, these balloons are far from safe—they were launched by terrorists in #Gaza and landed in #Israel. An explosive was attached to the balloons,” said the Twitter post. … Continue Reading

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