UN Offers to Monitor Gaza Construction Material (AFP)
The UN is ready to check imports of construction material sent to
Gaza in order to ease Israel's concerns that supplies could be used to
rebuild Hamas tunnels, UN Mideast envoy Robert Serry told the UN
Security Council on Monday.
"Construction material must be allowed into Gaza...[but] their
access to Gaza must be facilitated in such a way that fulfills Israel's
security concerns," Serry said.
"The United Nations stands ready to lend its support in this regard."
Israel Ends Export to EU of West Bank Dairy, Poultry Produce - Jonah Mandel (AFP)
Israel will end exports of poultry and dairy produce to the EU
from West Bank communities, Israeli and European officials said on
The restrictions stem from directives issued by the European
Commission in February, in which "the EU no longer recognized the
authority of the veterinary inspections services of Israel to approve
the export of poultry and (dairy products), the origin of which are in
settlements," a European official said.
Israeli officials said the move would have minimal economic effect
as the produce affected would now be channeled towards the local
Hizbullah Lowers Fighting Age as It Takes on Islamic State - Nicholas Blanford (Christian Science Monitor)
Hizbullah has begun sending fighters as young as 16 to the
battlefields of Syria, an indication that the Shiite army is being
stretched by fighting Sunni jihadis there, as well as dispatching advisers and trainers to the new battlegrounds of Iraq.
Israel Shows New Capabilities in Gaza War - Barbara Opall-Rome (Defense News)
On July 8, the first day of the Gaza war, five Hamas frogmen
attempted an amphibious assault on an Israeli military base bordering
They didn't get far.
First, they were spotted by a Navy coastal sensor, which streamed
targeting data through the Army's new command-and-control network to
air, sea and ground forces.
A Merkava tank had them in its sights, as did Israeli Air Force unmanned
aircraft. At the same time, a Navy offshore patrol vessel equipped with
Tammuz missiles was following the frogmen.
"In the end, everyone shot at the same time," said IDF chief signals officer Brig. Gen. Eyal Zelinger.
Israel's First Christian Arab Pre-Military Class Graduates (Israel Hayom)
Israel's first pre-military course specially tailored for Christian
Arab citizens entering the Israel Defense Forces graduated in a formal
ceremony in Haifa this week.
The 30-member group includes four women. Some 128,000 Arab Christians live in Israel.
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- IS Militants Threaten to "Drown Americans in Blood"
The Islamic State (IS) warned the U.S. on Monday in a video that it
will attack Americans "in any place" if U.S. airstrikes hit its
militants. The video shows a photograph of an American who was beheaded
during the U.S. occupation of Iraq and U.S. tanks being blown up in
Iraq. A statement in English reads, "We will drown all of you in
blood." U.S. airstrikes in northern Iraq have helped Kurdish fighters
take back some territory captured by IS. President Obama said Monday
that the Islamic State posed a threat to Iraq and the entire region.
See also Islamic State Leader Warns America: "Soon We Will Be in Direct Confrontation" - Marc A. Thiessen
IS Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi warned in January: "Our last message is
to the Americans: Soon we will be in direct confrontation, and the sons
of Islam have prepared for such a day." (Washington Post)
See also Threat Posed by the Islamic State - U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Brett McGurk (House Foreign Affairs Committee, 5 Feb 2014)
- Kerry: Declared Syrian Chemical Weapons Destroyed, "But Much More Work Must Be Done" - Thomas Gibbons-Neff
Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement Monday: "We removed
and have now destroyed the most dangerous chemicals in the [Syrian]
regime's declared stockpile...but much more work must be done." There
are still "discrepancies and omissions related to Syria's chemical
weapons declaration." (Washington Post)
See also White House: Syria Must Still Destroy Chemical Weapons Production Facilities
President Obama's statement on the destruction of Syria's chemical
"Going forward, we will watch closely to see that Syria fulfills its
commitment to destroy its remaining declared chemical weapons production
- U.S. Group Cancels Trip to Glasgow after City Council Flies Palestinian Flag - Kerry Gill
Plans to bring 600 U.S. visitors to Glasgow have been abandoned because
of the city council's decision to fly the Palestinian flag. The trip,
which would have injected hundreds of thousands of pounds into Glasgow,
and the Scottish economy, was a reward to 600 salesmen and women, and
their spouses, from one of the top worldwide corporations.
But after reading about Glasgow's decision to fly the Palestinian flag
over the City Chambers to show solidarity with Gaza, the New York-based
vice-president of the company wrote to Glasgow's Lord Provost, Sadie
Docherty, saying: "I was...spearheading an event in Glasgow for 600
business visitors to be guests of your wonderful city. We were
scheduling six days in Glasgow.... Having read your statement endorsing
Hamas and its leadership due to the number of Muslims in your city, I
have decided to cancel all plans for our trip." (Express-UK)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
- Gaza Cease-Fire Extended by 24 Hours - Elior Levy
Israel announced it agreed to extend the temporary truce in Gaza for 24
hours while it continued to negotiate a permanent agreement with the
Palestinian delegation in Cairo. (Ynet News)
- Israel Arrested 93 Hamas Men in West Bank over Terror Network Targeting PA, Israel - Gili Cohen
The Israel Security Agency has interrogated 46 Hamas operatives in the
West Bank over the past three months on suspicion of setting up a
network of cells to commit attacks against Israel and to carry out a
coup against the Palestinian Authority. Altogether, 93 Hamas members
have been arrested since May for involvement in this network.
As a result of the arrests and interrogations, the security
services have seized NIS 600,000 shekels ($171,000); 24 rifles, mostly
M-16s; six pistols; seven rocket launchers; and a large quantity of
ammunition. The head of the network was Riad Nasser, 38, of Deir Kadis
near Ramallah, who did jail time in Israel in the past for his Hamas
activities. Nasser was recruited by Saleh Arori, who did 16 years in an
IDF prison and was subsequently deported and now lives in Turkey. (Ha'aretz)
See also Abbas: Hamas Plot Against PA Threatens Unity Government - Yoav Zitun
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he was following reports of a
Hamas plot to topple the PA government with great concern, and that the
information posed a serious threat to the future of the Palestinian
See also Israel: Coup Attempt in West Bank Planned by Hamas Official in Turkey (Zaman-Turkey)
- Israel Is Held to an Impossible Standard - Richard Cohen
Americans massacred as many as 500 unarmed Vietnamese civilians at My
Lai in 1968. Americans have killed children while attempting to kill
their fathers and made all sorts of mistakes in wartime, but none of
this changed the nature of the society. We ought to be measured by our
intent, not by what went astray.
The same holds for Israel. It is not a child-murdering community, although Syria, next door, most certainly is.
- Hamas Seeks an Islamic Caliphate, Not an Independent Palestinian State - Zvi Mazel
As an Islamic jihadi caliphate is strengthening its hold in the
heart of the Middle East, the West seems intent on venting its
frustrations on Israel, which is defending itself against Hamas, another
radical Islamist group. Hamas was founded by Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, a
member of the Muslim Brotherhood, with the express purpose of destroying
Israel and establishing an Islamic state on the ruins of the Jewish
Unfortunately, the West has yet to realize that Hamas is using the
Palestinian problem and spouting fake nationalistic slogans in order to
further its aims. Yet Hamas does not speak of creating an independent
Palestinian state. Instead it says it is fighting "occupation," a word
encompassing Tel Aviv and the whole of Israel.
Egypt is the last rampart of the Arab world against the barbaric
Islamic state taking shape, as Iraq and Syria are in disarray. The writer is a former Israeli Ambassador to Egypt. (Jerusalem Post)
- What My Visit to Israel Taught Me about the War in Gaza - Andrew Percy
You're facing an enemy whose founding principle is the total destruction
not only of your country but your entire people.
It uses civilian locations to fire thousands of rockets at your
country. This enemy also digs tunnels into your country so it can murder
your people en masse and it describes large civilian deaths on its own
side as an "effective strategy."
I've just returned from Israel where I've spent time responding to
sirens, running to bomb shelters and watching Hamas rockets
deliberately aimed at civilians being shot out of the sky by Israel's
Iron Dome missile defense system. In my talks with Israelis almost every
conversation started with the question: "What would you do?"
Balance in this debate seems to have been lost. A terrorist network
has been made to look like the victim with some asking incredibly why
Hamas isn't allowed a missile defense shield! While Jewish people get
attacked in the streets of Western Europe for simply being Jewish, Hamas
terrorists are relieved of the responsibility for the plight of their
The writer is a Tory MP in Britain.
Why the Islamic State Represents a Dangerous Turn in the Terror Threat - Gerald F. Seib (Wall Street Journal)
The threat from Islamic extremism has morphed into something new,
more ambitious and more dangerous. This threat represents a long-term
danger to the U.S., but a more immediate threat to America's friends and
foes alike across the Middle East and even Europe.
Precisely because the threat from the extreme Islamist
movement known as Islamic State is so far-reaching, this movement cries
out for a coordinated international coalition to counter it.
"ISIS is not a shadowy terrorist cell; rather it is a
proto-state that is testing the best ways to get the world's attention
and broader support from the Muslim community abroad," says a new
analysis by the Institute for the Study of War.
ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi broadly defines the group's
ambitions as well as its enemies. The world, he says, now has divided
into two camps, "the camp of Muslims and the mujahidin
everywhere, and the camp of the Jews, the crusaders, their allies, and
with them the rest of the nations and religions - all being led by
America and Russia and mobilized by the Jews."
Lest anyone doubt the expanse of ISIS' ambitions, the most recent edition of its magazine Dabiq
quotes from an Islamic tradition reflecting the teachings of the
Prophet Muhammad: "You will invade the Arabian Peninsula, and Allah will
enable you to conquer it. You will then invade Persia, and Allah will
enable you to conquer it. You will then invade Rome, and Allah will
enable you to conquer it."