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Israel

‘No interest in peace with Israel’: New Fatah logo sparks outrage over Palestinian nationalism

Reacting to a new Fatah logo that appears to depict a united, Israel-free Palestine, the Jewish organization B’nai Brith says it shows the Palestinian Authority and President Mahmoud Abbas are lukewarm about a two-state-solution.

“We are continuing to warn the [Canadian] government not to be fooled into accepting the notion that Fatah and Abbas want real peace with the Jewish state,” said Frank Dimant, head of B’nai Brith Canada. “[A] true partner for peace on the Palestinian side does not exist.”

His remarks echo the U.S.-based Zionist Organization of America, which said the logo proves Fatah and the PA “have no interest in peace with Israel, only its destruction.”

Last month, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, the official daily newspaper of the Fatah-led PA, issued a logo for the party’s 48th anniversary. It featured a map of the British mandate of Palestine, the state that existed before the 1948 establishment of Israel. It was quickly spotted by the Israel-based Palestinian Media Watch.

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Israel grows jittery of new Palestinian uprising

JERUSALEM (AP) -- The rising confidence and bellicosity of Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip, combined with rapidly deteriorating relations with Israel's would-be peace partner in the West Bank, are raising jitters in Israel that a new Palestinian uprising could be near.

A number of prominent voices urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday to take steps to ease the tensions and bolster the Western-backed Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas. Netanyahu's political rival, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, warned that renewed violence might not be "far off."

But the Israeli leader stood tough. Poised for re-election, it appears unlikely he will float a bold new initiative anytime soon. "We in the government have no illusions. We want a true peace with our neighbors. But we will not close our eyes and stick our heads in the sand," Netanyahu told his Cabinet.

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Israel alert for attacks abroad, eyeing Olympics

JERUSALEM—Israel's prime minister said Sunday that his country is on alert for plots to kill more of its citizens overseas, after speculation that last week's suicide bombing of a tour bus in Bulgaria was a rehearsal for a spectacular attack on Israel's Olympics team.

Israel blames Iran and its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah for last week's bombing at an airport in the Bulgarian resort town of Burgas, just a little more than a week before the opening of the London Games. Five Israelis and a bus driver were killed. Iran called the accusation "baseless."

While Israeli officials are tight-lipped about security procedures for their athletes, they are on high alert on the 40th anniversary of a Palestinian attack at the 1972 Olympics in Munich that killed 11 Israeli athletes and coaches.

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Exiled Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal makes first-ever visit to Gaza as Muslim Brotherhood clears Egyptian path

RAFAH, Gaza Strip — The exiled Hamas chief broke into tears Friday as he arrived in the Gaza Strip for his first-ever visit, a landmark trip reflecting his militant group’s growing international acceptance and its defiance of Israel.

Khaled Mashaal, who left the West Bank as a child and leads the Islamic militant movement from Qatar, crossed the Egyptian border, kissed the ground, and was greeted by a crowd of Hamas officials and representatives of Hamas’ rival Fatah party. He was also welcomed by a group of Palestinian orphans — children of Gaza militants killed by Israel in recent years — wearing military-style uniforms.

That the visit took place at all is a window on the changing climate of the Middle East and the balance of power among the factions and nations.

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UNESCO: Nativity Church heritage site in 'Palestine'

RAFAH, Gaza Strip — The exiled Hamas chief broke into tears Friday as he arrived in the Gaza Strip for his first-ever visit, a landmark trip reflecting his militant group’s growing international acceptance and its defiance of Israel.

Khaled Mashaal, who left the West Bank as a child and leads the Islamic militant movement from Qatar, crossed the Egyptian border, kissed the ground, and was greeted by a crowd of Hamas officials and representatives of Hamas’ rival Fatah party. He was also welcomed by a group of Palestinian orphans — children of Gaza militants killed by Israel in recent years — wearing military-style uniforms.

That the visit took place at all is a window on the changing climate of the Middle East and the balance of power among the factions and nations.

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Abbas gives victory speech in Ramallah: We have a state now

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbbas on Sunday delivered a victory speech to thousands of Palestinians who welcomed him back to Ramallah following his triumphant statehood bid at the United Nations General Assembly Thursday.

The UNGA voted to upgrade the Palestinians to non-member observer status.

"We went to New York taking to the world a dream..." he said. "We have a state now" he stated, but warned that the people still faced many obstacles.

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‘Cruel’ shooter filmed French Jewish school killing spree, minister says

The gunman who shot dead three children and a rabbi at a Jewish school was a cold, cruel killer who filmed his carnage, France’s interior minister said, as the country prepared to hold a silent tribute to the victims on Tuesday.

Claude Gueant told reporters video surveillance tapes at the school in Toulouse showed the gunman was recording his shooting spree with a small video camera attached to his neck.

“This adds another element to the profile of the killer. It is someone who is cruel enough to record it,” Gueant said at a primary school in the southwestern city.

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Gaza truce between Israel, Hamas holds but top Muslim Brotherhood cleric urges ‘jihad’

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Gaza residents cleared rubble and claimed victory on Thursday, just hours after an Egyptian-brokered truce between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers ended the worst cross-border fighting in four years.

The cease-fire announcement had set off frenzied late night street celebrations in the coastal strip, and raised hopes of a new era in relations between Israel and Hamas. The two sides are now to negotiate a deal that would open the borders of the blockaded Palestinian territory.

“Today is different, the morning coffee tastes different and I feel we are off to a new start,” said Ashraf Diaa, a 38-year-old engineer from Gaza City.

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Anyone who builds nuclear weapons has committed a ‘great sin,’ Iran says

GENEVA — Iran, facing growing international pressure over its nuclear program, called for more talks with the UN nuclear watchdog on Tuesday and condemned production of atomic weapons as a “great sin.”

Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful but negotiations with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have stalled and Western powers have grown increasingly concerned over the possible military dimensions of Tehran’s atomic work.


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Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu poised to call early election, official says

JERUSALEM — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will make a statement on Tuesday, his office announced, and a political official said he had decided to call an early election.

The ballot, which Israeli commentators predicted would be held in January or February, seemed likely to focus on two main issues — tensions with Iran over its nuclear program and the Israeli economy.

But an election campaign would not necessarily have an impact on any Israeli timetable for possible military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

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Israeli hacker team brings down Iranian websites

English-language Iranian media outlet Press TV, Iranian Ministry of Health and Medical Education are hacked and taken offline.

Israeli hackers brought down Iran’s Press TV website and two websites belonging to the Islamic Republic’s Ministry of Health and Medical Education on Thursday.

The hackers, who call themselves IDF Team, said their actions were a response to a series of attacks on Israeli sites the previous day.

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Harper, Israeli PM to meet in NYC

Prime Minister Stephen Harper will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week in New York City.

Harper will be in the Big Apple to receive an award Thursday evening from the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, a group which advocates for religious freedom and human rights around the world. The group is giving Harper its World Statesman Award on Thursday night.

On Friday morning, Harper and Netanyahu are scheduled to meet where they will almost certainly talk about Iran and unrest in the Middle East.

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U.S. says it would veto potential Palestinian state bid at UN

WASHINGTON — The United States said Thursday it will veto a bid for UN recognition of a Palestinian state if it comes to a vote before the UN Security Council.

Courtesy of: the National Post: http://news.nationalpost.com

Michael Ross: Israel needs our help to subdue Iran

With all the recent sabre-rattling by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu about the increasing possibility of a unilateral pre-emptive strike on Iran’s nuclear weapons program, I have to remain skeptical that Israel can go it alone. I say this as a former member of a team of deep-cover officers tasked with forays into Iran some two decades ago to lay the foundation for ongoing intelligence collection on Iran’s non-conventional weapons program.

From a technical perspective, Israel’s well-equipped air force is arguably pilot for pilot the best air force in the world and experienced in covert strikes on non-conventional weapons facilities deep within hostile territory. But striking Iran is not the same as the Osirik reactor in Iraq or Al-Kibar nuclear facility in Syria. Iran has dozens of installations scattered throughout the country and the Fordow enrichment facility alone is buried so deep that it would take a highly sophisticated 30,000 lb. bomb known as a Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) to cause any lasting damage – and even that is not guaranteed. The only aircraft that can carry a MOP of this magnitude is the B2 Stealth bomber which as it happens is the exclusive property of the USAF. That is not to say that Israel lacks other options (air strikes combined with special forces on the ground), but the logistics and risks of such an undertaking are manifold especially since Iran has been preparing for this (and other attack scenarios) for a very long time. Interestingly enough, the majority of public opinion in Israel only supports a pre-emptive strike that is conducted in conjunction with the U.S. military. This is telling, seeing that it’s from the very people directly threatened with elimination by the thuggocracy in Iran.

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Texas pastor: Cut off aid if Palestinians go to UN

Courtesy of: The Jerusalem Post: http://www.jpost.com

By abandoning negotiations, Palestinians are violating their obligations under Oslo, says John Hagee, head of Christians United for Israel.

Israeli Olympic team says Lebanese judo fighters refuse to train next to them

LONDON (Reuters) - Olympic officials were forced to erect a screen between Lebanon's and Israel's judo fighters on Friday after the Lebanese refused to train on the same mat, the Israeli Olympic team said on Friday.

The incident arose after Lebanon's two judokas found themselves next to the five Israelis during practice at the official training venue in Redbridge, in east London, said Nitzan Ferraro, spokesman for the Israeli Olympic Committee.

"We started to practice. They came and they saw us - they didn't like it and they went to the organizers," Feraro told Reuters. "They put up some kind of wall between us. Everyone went on and there was no interaction between us."

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Israel marches towards war as Hamas rockets kill three near Gaza

Barcelona

JERUSALEM - Israel's security cabinet on Monday ordered the navy to stop an international aid flotilla from breaching a naval blockade on the Gaza Strip, but also to avoid clashes with activists on board.

Silence Is Golden: Olympic Moment for the 1972 Israeli Terrorism Victims

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the darkest day in Olympic history. On Sept. 5, 1972, during the Munich Olympics, eight Palestinian terrorists broke into the Olympic village: two Israelis were shot and killed, and nine others were taken hostage. The militants demanded that 200 Arab inmates held in Israeli prisons be released; the Israeli government refused to negotiate, and a tense 20-hour, televised standoff captivated the globe.

The terrorists demanded that the Germans supply them with an airplane they could take to Egypt. The West German government agreed, then tried to rescue the hostages at the airport; all nine Israeli athletes and coaches, five Palestinians, and a German police officer died in the ensuing battle. “They’re all gone,” ABC broadcaster Jim McKay told shocked viewers.

In defiant move, Palestinians to seek full UN membership next week

The Palestinians will ask the Security Council next week to accept them as a full member of the United Nations, the Palestinian foreign minister said Thursday, a move that would defy Washington’s threat to veto the statehood bid.

Courtesy of: The Globe and Mail: http://www.theglobeandmail.com