Tuesday, August 07, 2012

7-Aug-12: Time is short for Iran diplomacy and for soul searching by those able to act before it is too late

Michael Oren has an article in today's edition of the Wall Street Journal. The subtitle is one of the most dramatic we have seen anywhere. 

Unfortunately, the note of extreme drama is fully justified. The dangers he outlines are liable to turn upside down the lives of everyone in the WSJ's territory - meaning the world. But without a doubt it's us Israelis who have the most to fear from the perils that Oren, Israel's ambassador to the United States, lays out here. What follows is shortened version - the whole thing is shattering and should be read by the widest possible audience.

Time Is Short For Iran Diplomacy: Iran is the world's leading terror sponsor without nuclear weapons. With them, it can commit incalculable atrocities.
MICHAEL OREN, Ambassador of Israel to the United States
  • Nearly two decades ago, Israel started alerting the world about Iran's nuclear program. But the world ignored our warnings, wasting 10 years until the secret nuclear enrichment plant at Natanz was exposed in 2002. Then eight more invaluable years were lost before much of the international community imposed serious sanctions on Iran...
  • Iran has blocked International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors from visiting its nuclear sites, refused to answer questions about the military aspects of its program, and rejected all confidence-building measures. Iran has tested long-range missiles capable of reaching any city in the Middle East and, in the future, beyond.
  • Iran is also the world's leading state sponsor of terror. It has supplied more than 70,000 rockets to terrorist organizations deployed on Israel's borders and has tried to murder civilians across five continents and 25 countries, including in the United States... 
  • By providing fighters and funds, Iran is enabling Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad to massacre his own people.
  • Iran has done all this without nuclear weapons. With them, it can commit incalculable atrocities anywhere in the world, beginning with Israel. As the chief of staff of the Iranian military recently stated, "the Iranian nation stands for the full annihilation of Israel." 
  • Last week, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said "the annihilation of the Zionist regime is the key for solving the world problems"...
  • Iran now has amassed roughly 225 pounds of 20% uranium and 11,000 pounds of 3.5%, sufficient for almost five nuclear bombs... 
  • Iran will continue to drag out the negotiations while installing more centrifuges. These, according to the IAEA, are spinning even faster. The sanctions, which have dealt a blow to Iran's economy, have not affected the nuclear program. Meanwhile, more of Iran's expanding stockpile will be hidden in fortified bunkers beyond Israel's reach.
  • No country has a greater stake than Israel in using negotiations and economic pressure to dissuade Iran from developing nuclear weapons. We appreciate the determination of President Obama and the U.S. Congress to advance the sanctions and their pledge to keep all options on the table...
  • A combination of truly crippling sanctions and a credible military threat—a threat that the ayatollahs still do not believe today—may yet convince Iran to relinquish its nuclear dreams. But time is dwindling and, with each passing day, the lives of eight million Israelis grow increasingly imperiled. 
  • The window that opened 20 years ago is now almost shut.
The full text is here. We would add two more points to this: 
  • For at least two years, the Obama administration has known what the Bush administration preferred not to know: that the claims made by the Iranian regime back in 2003 about having ended all development work on designing a nuclear warhead were and are untrue [source]. The Iranians were lying.
  • This morning's Haaretz reported that new intelligence information indicates Iran has made greater progress on developing components for its nuclear weapons program than the West had previously realized. The United States, Britain, France, Germany and Israel all agree on this grim and extremely unsettling assessment.

7-Aug-12: Egyptian fingers point at Israel as terror attack culprit

[Screenshot source]
Our post from last night ["6-Aug-12: Conspiratorial Egyptians"] anticipated events on Cairo's streets last night. The story below is currently (as of Tuesday morning, 8:30 am) number 7 on Al-Ahram's hit list of ten most viewed articles:

Tens of Egyptian protesters call on Morsi to expel Israeli ambassador 
Blaming Israel for the death of sixteen Egyptian soldiers on Sunday, demonstrators take to the residence of the Israeli ambassador to call on president Morsi to cut relations with Tel Aviv        Randa Ali, Tuesday 7 Aug 2012 [Ynet]
Tens of protesters gathered by the Israeli ambassador’s house in the posh Maadi district on Monday night calling on the Egyptian government to cut off relations with Tel Aviv.
While the assailants behind the attack that took the lives of sixteen Egyptian soldiers and injured another seven remain unknown, some Egyptians have pointed the fingers at the Israeli state.
“It’s definitely Israel who is behind it; we demand the termination of any political relations with Israel,” said Ahmed El-Toni who referred to himself as an “independent activist” and was one of the protesters. El-Toni also criticised the president for failing to take an action against the culprits in response to the attack till now... Bakhati [one of the Egyptian protestors] slammed all claims the assailants are Palestinians from the besieged Gaza Strip. ”Palestinians have an interest in keeping good relations with Egypt; no one is benefiting from this attack but Israel,” Bakhati said.
The entire depressing piece is here

Considerably better sense is on display in an analytic piece on the MENAfn.com website. An extract from "Sinai attacks may stoke Egypt-Israel tensions":
...Egypt's new Cabinet and its partner SCAF must do everything within their power, to ensure that everyone in their country is subject to the rule of law, even if this means adopting an iron fist, else risk being branded by the international community as 'a terrorist harboring state'. Hopefully, the new man in charge has now seen the writing on the wall and will act decisively to prevent such escalations. [Source]

Monday, August 06, 2012

6-Aug-12: Sinai in perspective: The threat is only starting to crystallize, and will repeat itself along the Syrian border

[Image Source]
From the article that currently leads the Haaretz.com English language site, referring to the terror attack on Israel's Sinai border last night:
Sunday’s confrontation on the Israeli-Egyptian border ended very successfully from Israel’s point of view. A concrete warning from the Shin Bet security service allowed the Israel Defense Forces to properly ready itself along the triangulated border near Rafah. Every terrorist that tried to infiltrate into Israeli territory was killed, while the Israeli side suffered no casualties.
But if one takes a broader view, the incident testifies to the development of some very serious problems – for Egypt, in the near term, and for Israel, in the slightly longer term...
Looking toward the future we face a much more serious problem. The terrorists on Sunday demonstrated sophistication and daring. On the surface it seems like an operation that had been planned for a long time, and in its complexity it resembled attacks by global jihad terrorists in Iraq or Afghanistan...
Sinai has become, in essence, a no-man’s land, a failed state that serves as fertile ground for ultra-extremist groups – and the threat these pose is only now starting to crystallize. This phenomenon can be expected to repeat itself in a few months along the Syrian border with the Golan Heights. All the ingredients are already there: A central government that doesn’t function, a violent civil war, and a steady flow of extremists into the country from throughout the region, all of whom want to participate in the new jihad.
See "Israel-Sinai border attack thwarted, but ominous signs loom ahead", By Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff, Aug.06, 2012 - Haaretz.

6-Aug-12: Conspiratorial Egyptians

Mustafa Bakri [Image Source]
It's been a big couple of days for journalist, sometime editor in chief of Al-Osboa newspaper and former Egyptian parliamentarian, Mustafa Bakri. He's in today's headlines because, in the wake of the Egyptian trauma caused by the deaths at the hands of Islamist terrorists of some 15 policemen in a Sinai police station, he's quoted saying in the Egyptian daily Al-Youm A-Sabi’ that last night's co-ordinated and ultimately unsuccessful attack was “a Zionist plot to bring Israel back to Sinai and expel Palestinians to Egyptian lands in Sinai.” 

The same article quotes his Twitter account where Bakri speculates that Israel would seize the opportunity and reoccupy Sinai. Israel’s warning last week to its citizens to leave the Sinai Peninsula [the one we blogged here] is proof, in Bakri's view, that it was aware of the terrorists’ plan. Being aware, in certain minds, means being behind the plot.

Back in February 2012, and speaking in the parliament while he was still an MP, Bakri pronounced [source] that Egypt's problems were the fault of the United States, Israel and the Mubarak regime. They were the cause of Egypt's "state of anarchy", and for good measure Mohamed ElBaradei was the one “directing” American agents to cause unrest. The riot in Port Said a day earlier that caused the deaths of 74 soccer fans and injured more than 1,000 "was part of the continued efforts of the United States and Israel to bring down the Egyptian government" [source] [video]. 

To balance the picture somewhat, Bakri the accuser himself came under attack yesterday, just hours before Sunday's terror attack, over allegations that he was part of a conspiracy. The Moslem Brotherhood’s Ali Khafagi accused Bakri and two others of turning people against the group and of 
"inciting to people to burn the party’s branches across Egypt... two of them have already been burnt down and at the exact same time... Both branches were attacked and burnt at 4:30 am and this shows that it is preplanned... I call upon the Prosecutor General to issue an arrest warrant for both.” [source]

6-Aug-12: Understanding last night's terror attacks

This morning, the IDF showed some of the weapons that
the Gazan attackers had been carrying [Image Source]

The terrorist attack on an Egyptian police facility in Sinai and the rocketing/mortaring of Israel's Kerem Shalom look different in daylight compared with last night. 

What appears to have happened is that Palestinian Arab terrorists from Gaza carried out an attack intended to allow them to cross Israel's border and conduct the mayhem of which they and their kind dream inside Israel. They managed to kill 16 Egyptian soldiers, and commandeered two Egyptian vehicles - one an armored personnel carrier (APC), the other a truck filled with explosives [source]. They drove these to the nearby border and were subsequently stopped by Israeli forces who killed some, all or most of them - not clear yet. Israeli forces have been searching during the night and morning hours and the last we heard (it's now noon) the searching continues. There are no Israeli casualties, fortunately. Residents of the Israeli communities in the area were instructed to stay inside their homes late into the night.

The Israeli security forces had advance intelligence on plans for an attack, the IDF Spokesman Yoav Mordechai said. Maj.-Gen. Tal Russo, the O/C Southern command, was at the scene... The gunmen launched the attack around 8 p.m. while the Egyptian troops were breaking their Ramadan fast. After gunning down the Egyptian soldiers, the terrorists commandeered the two Egyptian vehicles, and tried to smash through the border into Israel at the Kerem Shalom crossing, reportedly firing as they moved. The first vehicle was said to have exploded on the Egyptian side of the border crossing. The second vehicle moved towards Israel and the IAF blew it up. Conflicting initial reports spoke of three to six terrorists who were killed by Israeli army troops, the Army Spokesman said.  A spokesman for Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh condemned the attack on Egyptian soldiers and said officials had sealed off all smuggling tunnels on the Strip’s border with Sinai to prevent the perpetrators from leaving Egypt, according to Israel Radio. The official, Yussuf Rizka, claimed there was no evidence that the attackers came from Gaza. He added that Hamas would cooperate with the Egyptian military regarding the incident. Egyptian and Israeli media said Gaza-based Palestinians were involved in the attack. An Egyptian border official said the Rafah terminal between Egypt and Gaza had been closed indefinitely. Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi’s office issued a statement offering his condolences to the families of the dead and saying the “cowardly” attack will not go “without a response.” “Those who carried out this crime will pay dearly,” Morsi’s statement said. Morsi met with military chiefs in the wake of the incident. In an interview on Egyptian state TV early Monday after the meeting, the president said orders had been issued to arrest the perpetrators. “There is no room for appeasing this treason, this aggression and criminality,” Morsi said. “The troops will totally control Sinai.” In a statement issued late Sunday, Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood urged Egyptian authorities to take all necessary measures to “confront this serious challenge to Egyptian sovereignty and to protect Sinai from all armed groups.”
Reuters is saying this morning that Egypt's Rafah border crossing with Gaza has been closed "indefinitely" according to Egypt's state news agency MENA. Contrary to the Hamas statement we quoted above, the Egyptians are saying "the attack was staged by militants who infiltrated from Gaza through tunnels and others from the Sinai region". It quotes a journalist based in North Sinai saying Egyptian security forces have sealed off the Rafah area, blocking the road from el-Arish in the direction of the Gaza border.

Meanwhile, according to the Gaza-based GANSO website, the terrorists of Gaza fired two short-range Qassam explosive rockets (GANSO calls them HMR's), and six mortars into whatever parts of Israel they could reach this morning. The only confirmation we can locate from the Israeli side came in the past hour with this report of two Qassam rockets exploding in open spaces in the Hof Ashkelon region; 19 communities are located in that region including five kibbutzim, eleven moshavim, two communal settlements and a youth village. Thankfully, none of them was hit.

The image below, just in, shows the destroyed Egyptian APC from last night's aborted attack. May all the designs of all the terrorists end as badly as this one did.

Burned-out Egyptian Armored Personnel Carrier [Image Source: IDF]: Terror attack thwarted

Sunday, August 05, 2012

5-Aug-12: Tonight's terror attack on the Egyptians is (of course) part of an attack on Israelis

The IDF's Twitter site is reporting that the lethal attack a short time ago on an Egyptian police or army base on the border with Israel included an attempt by the terrorists - as yet, not identified by group or classification - to commandeer an Egyptian vehicle and drive it into Israel. The IDF is tweating that: "1 vehicle exploded near Kerem Shalom Crossing, 2nd targeted by #Israel Air Force. No Israelis hurt, forces scanning area." Ynet says it knows more. It's reporting that the terrorist gunmen, evidently Islamists of some stripe, seized two armored vehicles from the Egyptians, including on-board RPG missiles and explosives. The first of the two vehicles "blew up" near the Kerem Shalom border crossing with Israel (more or less where the borders of Egypt, the Gaza Strip and Israel meet) while the other one managed to infiltrate into Israel. The terrorist gunmen managed to fire tank shells toward Israeli forces stationed at the border, but aircraft of the Israel Air Force struck and neutralized the armored vehicle. There are no casualties among IDF forces. 

"At least 13 Egyptian soldiers were killed and 10 were wounded in an ambush by gunmen at a security checkpoint in Rafah, a city in North Sinai near the border to the Gaza Strip. The gunmen were driving four-wheeled off road vehicles when they attacked the troops, witnesses said. Egyptian state television reported the attackers were jihadists. Earlier, security sources said that 15 Egyptian troops were killed, however they later revised the casualty toll." 
Earlier this afternoon, around 3 pm, we received first reports of a barrage of mortars crashing down on the Kerem Shalom area. It now appears that was part of the terror attack on the Egyptian side.

There will surely be more details soon, as well some probing analysis into the dramatic post-Mubarak slide into chaos of the Sinai region.

5-Aug-12: Suddenly tonight, the level of violence directed at southern Israel has shot upwards

Israel Television is reporting in the past few minutes (10 pm Israel time, Sunday) on dozens of rockets and dozens of mortars having been fired from the Gaza Strip terror gangs and crashing into southern Israel's  Eshkol region. Before the barrage, a Qassam rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip in the direction of the Kerem Shalom crossing around 6:30 pm - no injuries, no damage [source]. A second incoming Gazan rocket crashed into the same general area shortly after that.

Residents of the Eshkol region in southern Israel are under IDF instructions right now to remain inside their homes until further notice.

At the same time, we are getting reports of a major terror attack in the Sinai tonight, evidently bearing out the advance warnings issued by Israel's Counter Terrorism Bureau over the past few days; we blogged about the warnings - see "2-Aug-12: Israelis are advised tonight to get out of Sinai immediately". Israel Television's Carmella Menashe reported a few minutes ago on fifteen Egyptian servicemen being killed in a Sinai attack carried out by an Al-Qaeda arm. Times of Israel is saying the attack took place at an Egyptian post close to the Rafah crossing on the Gaza/Israel border (we'll reserve judgement on the actual location). The Egyptians were killed just as they were partaking of their post-Ramadan fast-breaking meal.

Details as we get them.

5-Aug-12: Iran's moderate speaks again

Moderate loquacious Larijani [Image Source]
Ali Larijani is an important man, an Iranian philosopher, politician and the current chairman of the Parliament of Iran. We last blogged about his blood-curdling political predictions in June 2012 [our posting].

At various times, he has been described as
The loquacious, moderate insider says today [source] that "the fire set ablaze in Syria will burn the panicked Zionists." He is quoted at length in the official Iranian Republic News Agency mouthpiece website, Irna.ir, saying a few additional moderate things, particularly about the ongoing slaughter going on in Syria which is being done with the active participation of Iranian men and material:
  • "Though Zionists kept bluffing in the past few days, their fear is quite apparent from their tone."
  • "The resignation of the United Nations special envoy in Syrian affairs Kofi Annan together with the ceaseless trend of the US officials’ visits to the region, their contacts with the regional politicians and their military support just prove the failure of international hooligans."
  • "The intervention of the US officials in Syrian affairs is nothing but a part of their global adventurism."
  • "There was still hope that the US possessed a minimum of wisdom but after the developments in Iraq and Lebanon the hope totally faded away."
We're not rushing to review what the immoderate Iranians are saying today.

5-Aug-12: "Dropped short" again, but no matter. No one is watching; no one cares

Israeli civilians under rocket attack from Gaza [Image Source]

This just in from the EU-funded GANSO service that reports daily from the Hamas-controlled side of the Gaza/Israel border:
MU, 05 AUG: Overnight, Pal. ops. fired 1 HMR from Juhor Ad Dik, NE of Al Bureij, MA, toward the Green Line. The rocket dropped short and exploded in Pal. territory. IF responded by firing 1 tank shell toward E of Juhor Ad Dik. No injuries reported.
Interpretation for the terminology-challenged: 
Palestinian Arab terrorists ("ops") operating from Juhor ad-Dik, a village of some 3,200 people more or less in the middle of the Gaza Strip, south of Gaza City, fired a rocket more or less vaguely, as they generally do, in the general direction of anything Israeli. They don't really aim at much since anything it hits is a victory for the terror-minded thugs, armed to the teeth as they are with virtually limitless supplies of rocket-propelled explosives. This time, as so many times before, their rocket crashed and exploded onto the heads and houses of the people among whom they live: fellow Gazans. No one from any of the international news services has reported it, and never will, even if people are killed or injured because - as anyone reporting from this part of the world knows - the news value of Arab-on-Arab violence is close to nil. It's only when the violence crosses the Israel/Arab divide that the juices of the news-reporting world get going. Palestinian Arab rockets falling [source] onto Palestinian Arabs? Misery among the Gazans [video - see 2m28s]? Reportable if and only if the cause can be laid at the feet of the Israeli side.

You would never know it from the news reporting, but these self-inflicted rocket attacks by Gazans on Gazans are routine, often daily. Yet, try finding even a single online photograph of any of the numerous "dropped short" rocket incidents in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

5-Aug-12: [UPDATED] Rock-hurling attackers again, this time in Jerusalem

How much harm can a Palestinian Arab rock thrower, slingshot
firer, cement block hurler possibly do? Depends on where you're standing
It's Sunday morning in sunny, summery Jerusalem. In the early hours of this morning, starting around 1 am, non-fatal street violence was reported starting with an incident in which a couple of East Jerusalem Arabs attacked a Jewish pedestrian in the vicinity of Sha'ar Shechem, known also as Damascus Gate. That's the Old City gate most used by residents of the Haredi neighbourhoods of Jerusalem on their way to and from the Jewish Quarter and the Western Wall. 

Border Police called to the scene [source] arrested the two attackers, one of whom is a minor. Their arrest led to a Palestinian Arab mob forming and pelting the paramedics who had been called to attend to the injured Jew. They also hurled rocks at a city bus that services the Kotel. As a result of the hail of rocks, five Israelis are reported injured [source]. 

For the record, the Palestinian Arab version reads like this [Maan]: "Eyewitnesses told Ma'an that Israeli soldiers "provoked worshipers coming back from Al-Aqsa mosque after finishing the Trawih prayer." A minor from Beit Hanina and a man from Ras al-Amoud were arrested..."

The almost-pastoral image of an Arab David with his slingshot, so beloved of the photographers who daily market such images to the newswire services, is highly misleading. Palestinian Arab stone throwing, which often actually means the hurling of cement-blocks and heavy rocks, has caused the deaths of Israeli civilians on several occasions in the past, including the tragic killing a year ago of a young father, Asher Palmer, and his year-old son Yonatan. We have posted [see for instance "5-Dec-11: Attempted murder by rock", and "11-Oct-11: Living with neighbours who want us all back to the stone age"] several times about the dangerously relaxed way in which distant observers fail to understand how lethal these attacks can easily be.

UPDATE Sunday 11:30am: A Hebrew-language Israeli site [source] carries a longer and more detailed report, and says 16 Israeli bus passengers were injured on two separate Kotel-bound Egged public buses, routes 1 and 3, in the incident. Six needed hospitalization and were taken away by ambulance. Eight of the injured are children.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

2-Aug-12: Israelis are advised tonight to get out of Sinai immediately

[Image Source: Reuters]
Israel’s Counterterrorism Bureau issued what it calls a sharpened warning today: Israeli citizens should leave the Sinai Peninsula immediately. A Times of Israel report published an hour ago (it's now nearly 9pm Thursday night here in Jerusalem) says the Bureau is telling Israelis that it has information "that Gaza terror groups and others are planning attacks on Israeli tourists in the immediate future”.
Based on intelligence collected by the bureau, terrorists belonging to global Jihad organizations and Palestinian terror groups plan to kill or abduct Israeli tourists and will target beaches and resorts known to be favored by them. The travel warning instructed Israelis planning to travel to Sinai not to go — and called on families to make immediate contact with relatives who are currently there to try to bring them back to Israel. According to Channel 2 News, there are currently several hundred Israelis vacationing in the Sinai, most of them Arab Israelis. 
We wrote here just three weeks ago ["17-Jul-12: Sinai used to be seen as a paradise"] about the changes that have overtaken Egyptian Sinai. With the emergence of new/old forces, Egypt is not what it used to be and probably never will be again.

2-Aug-12: Iranian leader says he knows how to "solve entire world problems" and it involves annihilation (his word). Guess whom?

Is this so hard to interpret?: The head of the Iranian Islamic republic says annihilate. 

Over the years, apologists for the political head of the government of Iran have played down the violence and aggression of his words. This time he was quoted out of context. The next time, the translation from the Persian language was faulty. And so on and on, ad nauseum.

With those soft-hearted individuals in mind, we are copying a slab of extraordinary text here directly and verbatim from the Islamic Republic of Iran's official press service. It's called "Islamic Republic News Agency", and it publishes in English. Earlier today, under the headline "Ahmadinejad: Qods Day to liberate Palestine, solve entire world problems", it pulled the mask from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's face. Incidentally, Quds (or Qods) Day is an Iranian 'contribution' to civilization, taking place annually on the last Friday of Ramadan [Wikipedia]. This year, that means the 24 hour period starting at sunset on Thursday, August 16 according this source.

Ahmadinejad: Qods Day to liberate Palestine, solve entire world problems 
Tehran, Aug 2, IRNA – IRI president said here Wednesday world status, particularly that of Islamic countries like Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, Syria, Turkey, and many other regional countries prove that entire humans are captives, and oppressed under hegemony of global oppression.According to IRNA Wednesday night news team, the information website of the Presidential Office further quoted the IRI President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad late Wednesday night as making the comment Wednesday night in a meeting with ambassadors and embassy staffs of Islamic countries in Tehran...Focusing on the question: What’s to be done to solve the human society’s problems and totally uproot them? He reiterated, “It is quite obvious that the present day conditions of the world are quite messy and the management system in effect has faced defeat in providing the human beings’ basic needs, so that each year over 1,200 billion US dollars are spent for manufacturing weapons, most of which are exported; if these weapons were merely stockpiled, the weapon warehouses would have been fully packed within a single year, but using the weapons means committing crimes, occupation, massacre of people, and oppression.”The president emphasized that the existence of a just system is a dire necessity and the management of the world power circles must be in the hands of just, qualified, pure from all vices, and popular human beings.Ahmadinejad added, “It has now been some 400 years that a horrendous Zionist clan has been ruling the major world affairs, and behind the scenes of the major power circles, in political, media, monetary, and banking organizations in the world, they have been the decision makers, to an extent that a big power with a huge economy and over 300 million population, the presidential election hopefuls must go kiss the feet of the Zionists to ensure their victory in the elections.” He said, “If the people’s votes really counts in those countries, why then a candidate must go to kiss the feet of a clandestine Zionist minority, sacrificing the entire prestige, chanted mottoes, and values of their system before the Zionists, and justifying the entire criminal acts of that regime?”Ahmadinejad said that Israel is the symbol of the globally ruling Zionism in the world, reiterating, “Among the western governments and politicians there are great differences of tastes and the political competitions are tough, but is supporting the Zionist regime, they are all united.”The president pointed out that in order to evolutionize the status of the world decision making is needed, the forces must get united, and their ultimate objective must be the annihilation of the Zionist regime, emphasizing, “The Zionist regime is both the symbol of the hegemony of the Zionism over the world and the means in the hand of the oppressor powers for expansion of their hegemony in the region and in the world.”Ahmadinejad pointed out that it is the right of the entire nations, without any discrimination, to be benefitted from justice, respect and freedom, and to be dear and prestigious, reiterating, “When such an event would occur in the Middle East, the situation would be overturned, and today we are witnesses to the presence of the enemies of mankind altogether to channel the righteous demands of the nations in a way to ensure that the Zionist regime would be saved!”The IRI president emphasized, “NATO has no where and in no country been the harbinger of justice and peace in the world.”
It goes on and on in similar vein. To see the full text, go here. And remember, it is the right of entire nations to be dear and prestigious. The secret? Annihilation. Simple when you think about it.

In case there are still people out there who think this is a parody, or that Ahmadinejad is some kind of joker or sicko (we certainly don't), we recommend taking a look at what the US State Department said about Iran in its annual publication called "Country Reports on Terrorism", published yesterday. Enough if we quote a handful of lines:
Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, continues to undermine international efforts to promote peace and democracy and threatens stability, especially in the Middle East and South Asia. Its use of terrorism as an instrument of policy was exemplified by the involvement  of elements of the Iranian regime in the plot to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador in Washington, a conspiracy that the international community strongly condemned through a UN General  Assembly resolution in November... Iran also continued to provide weapons, training, and funding to Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups, including Palestine Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command.  Since the end of the 2006 Israeli-Hizballah conflict, Iran has provided significant quantities of weaponry and funding to Hizballah... Iran also began a public relations campaign aimed at Latin America and the Caribbean by announcing the impending kickoff of a Spanish-language version of Iranian television to be broadcast in the region.
The profile of "the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism" makes depressing reading. But not understanding this is worse.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

1-Aug-12: Accidental explosion in Gaza car terminates one terrorist career prematurely; puts two more on hold

The English-language Palestinian news service Maan is reporting that a car exploded in Gaza City’s Tal al-Hawa neighborhood before dawn today (Wednesday). Here are the details it provides:
Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesman of the ministry of health in the Hamas-run government in Gaza, said 22-year-old Ayman al-Sharafa sustained deadly wounds in the incident and was pronounced dead later. Two other men sustained injuries, he confirmed. The cause of the blast was not immediately clear.
The cause of the blast may not be immediately clear in Bethlehem and is likely to remain unclear based on past performance. But it is evidently somewhat clearer in Gaza. There the Arabic-language daily Al-Quds is now saying ["Report: Man killed in Gaza was Hamas operative"] that the "military wing" (their term) of the terrorist organization (not their term) Hamas is mourning what it calls
the death of one of its elements in an internal explosion in Gaza City. Explained in a statement, that the martyr is Ayman al-Yahya Shurafa from the Sabra neighborhood in Gaza City [who] died at dawn today in explosion on a car by mistake during training. Reported our correspondent in Gaza, that the citizen was killed and two others wounded when a mysterious occurred in a jeep in Gaza City... The blast took place near a mosque... south of Gaza City... The blast was caused by the explosion of an explosive device... inside the "pocket"... All of the inside are members of the Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the movement Hamas. 
Terrorists inside cars, frequently young men with explosives stuffed into their clothing, are a fixture in streets controlled by Hamas and other like-minded terrorist groups. There's an understandable reticence on the part of the Palestinian Arab terror organizations to own up to the way they place their own communities and neighbours at mortal risk, using them in effect as human shields. When, as happens often, the young men explode and go to their 72 virgins, their media conceal this by referring to "mysterious explosions" as Maan does today. For its part, the Israeli media term these events "work accidents" without much sympathy.

So it's a little refreshing when the terrorist thugs come right out and call it what it is, as Al-Quds is doing - though in Arabic only.