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Syria: Assad Launching Chemical Weapons Attacks with Chlorine - Damien McElroy (Telegraph-UK)
The Assad regime has reverted to the use of lethal chlorine gas, first
used in World War I, in a series of recent attacks, Western
Francois Hollande, the French president, on Sunday declared the Syrian leader had continued to use chemical weapons.
While the Syrian regime has handed over 80% of its declared chemical
weapons stockpile for destruction under UN supervision, officials are
examining attacks on at least three towns in the last week where
credible reports point to the use of chlorine gas, leaving dozens of
people seeking treatment.
Video footage shows Chinese-manufactured chlorine gas canisters
rigged with explosive detonators hitting the town of Kafr Zita near
Palestinians Riot Again Sunday on Temple Mount in Jerusalem - Nir Hasson (Ha'aretz)
Palestinians rioted again on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on
Sunday, with the rioting spreading into the Old City's Muslim Quarter.
Israeli police said that dozens of Palestinian youths, many of them
masked, were throwing stones and firecrackers at police forces from
within the Al-Aksa mosque.
Violence has rocked the Temple Mount virtually every day for the past week.
See also Jordan Slams Israel over Temple Mount Violence (Times of Israel)
Asia to Overtake U.S. as Israel's 2nd Biggest Export Destination - Niv Elis (Jerusalem Post)
Israeli exports to Asia nearly equaled those to the U.S. for the
first time in 2013 and will overtake the U.S. in 2014, while the EU
remains Israel's major regional export destination, the Economy
Israeli Firm May Partner with Japan to Build Floating Water Desalination Plants - Tafline Laylin
Israel's IDE Technologies Ltd. may partner with Japanese shipbuilders to
built a fleet of floating desalination plants within the next three years.
Each ship would be able to produce up to 120,000 cubic meters of fresh water in a day.
Tel Aviv, Israel, Leads List of Best Beach Party Spots on the Planet - Corinne Canning (USA Today)
The section on beaches of Matador Network's new travel guide stands
out, with a tour of the 15 best beaches for a rockin' good time.
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News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
- Obama Signs Measure Aimed at Blocking Visa for Iran's Proposed UN Envoy - Katie Zezima
President Obama on Friday signed a law barring the U.S. government from
providing a visa to any nominee to the UN deemed to have engaged in
terrorist activity, a measure aimed at blocking Hamid Aboutalebi,
Iran's choice as envoy. Obama said he shared Congress' concern that
individuals who have engaged in terrorism "may use the cover of
diplomacy" to gain entry to the U.S. Iran formally complained to the UN
about the denial of Aboutalebi's visa.
Aboutalebi has admitted that he worked with an organization that
stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979 and held 52 Americans hostage
for 444 days.
- After Hizbullah Arrests, Israel Asks Thailand to Bolster Security
The Israeli Embassy in Thailand has asked the Metropolitan Police Bureau
(MPB) to step up safety measures for tourists on the popular backpacker
Rambutri and Khao San roads in Bangkok's Phra Nakhon district until
Tuesday after a terrorist plot to attack Israelis in the area was
Two terrorists were arrested in Bangkok, accused of planning attacks on
Israeli tourists on Khao San Road, and of having close ties to
Police Lt.-Gen. Kamronwit Thoopkrachang said the embassy told
police that Hizbullah terrorists were planning to carry out attacks at
six locations in Bangkok during Passover. The embassy also thanked the
MPB for its arrest of the two men, identified as French-Lebanese
national Daoud Farhat and Lebanese-Filipino national Youssef Ayad.
Police Maj.-Gen. Thitirat Nongharnpitak said additional
plain-clothes and uniformed police officers had been deployed to Khao
San Road and neighboring areas where the majority of Israeli visitors
stay. (Bangkok Post-Thailand)
- Supreme Court to Review Law Giving Jerusalem-Born U.S. Citizens an Israeli Birthplace - Robert Barnes
After years of litigation, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday said it
would decide if Congress or the State Department has the final say in
whether U.S. passports acknowledge Jerusalem as part of Israel. A 2002
law passed by Congress says that a U.S. citizen born in Jerusalem may
request his or her birthplace to be listed as Israel in an attempt to
nullify State Department instructions that only "Jerusalem" be listed.
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
- Netanyahu to Palestinians: When You Want Peace, Let Us Know - Khaled Abu Toameh
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday: "Today, we saw the
Palestinian Authority speak of dismantling itself and also talking about
unity with Hamas....When they want peace, they should let us know.
Because we want a genuine peace." (Jerusalem Post)
See also U.S. Warns Palestinians Not to Dismantle PA - Yitzhak Benhorin
The U.S. administration warned the Palestinian leadership Monday not to
proceed with a proposal to dismantle the Palestinian Authority - or risk
damaging their ties to Washington. "Those kinds of extreme measures
would have grave implications," said State Department spokeswoman Jen
- Iran's Redesign of Arak Heavy Water Reactor an "Exercise in Deceit" - Shlomo Cesana
Israel believes Iran's Saturday announcement regarding the redesign of
its Arak heavy water reactor to greatly limit the amount of plutonium it
can produce is little more than an exercise to keep the negotiations
going while Iran continues to work toward its goal of developing a
nuclear bomb. Intelligence and Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz
said: "This is an exercise in deceit on the part of the Iranians. The
Iranians are prepared to make concessions, but not on the most critical
and threatening issue. They are protecting the core program."
"If the Iranians offer not to switch from heavy water to light
water, but instead to lower the reactor's output, that is an
unacceptable offer. Instead of being able to create a bomb every year,
they will create one every two years," Steinitz said. "As long as the
Iranians are not prepared to give up on uranium enrichment and
centrifuges, they continue to be a nuclear threshold state and we cannot
agree to that."
Ali Akbar Salehi, who heads the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran,
said on Saturday that Iran plans to increase its number of centrifuges
until it reaches the capacity to enrich 30 tons of uranium per year.
- Gaza Rocket Salvo Hits Israel - Shirley Sieder
Ten rockets fired by Palestinians in Gaza exploded in Israel on Monday
morning. One of the missiles hit a street in the city of Sderot,
causing damage but no injuries.
The Israel Air Force responded by attacking targets in Gaza.
See also Hamas Tells Israel It Does Not Seek Escalation - Itamar Sharon
Hamas on Monday sent messages to Israel stressing that it was not
behind a barrage of rockets fired at Israel in the morning, Israel's
Channel 10 TV reported.
(Times of Israel)
- Dismantle the Palestinian Authority? Not Likely - Avi Issacharoff
At least three Palestinian threats have become a recurrent ritual,
repeating themselves every few months: 1) the resignation of Mahmoud
Abbas from the presidency of the Palestinian Authority; 2) the
resignation of top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat; and 3) the
dissolution of the PA. The probability that the PA will be dissolved is
very low. The discussion in recent days has been mainly in the
Israeli media, with little to no discourse in the Palestinian media.
Abbas understands that dismantling the PA would lead to countless
acts of violence, not only against Israel but also within Palestinian
society. For Abbas, dissolving the PA security apparatus would increase
Hamas' power and severely imperil every PA and Fatah official. Another
important consideration is the future of the 150,000 PA workers and
Fatah members, in the West Bank and in Gaza, who receive salaries each
(Times of Israel)
- The Necessity to Condemn Terrorism - Uri Elitzur
It has been claimed that Israel can't criticize PA leader Mahmoud Abbas
for not condemning the murder of Israel Police Chief Superintendent
Baruch Mizrahi because Israeli leaders never condemn or express sadness
when a Palestinian is killed.
There have not been many cases where a Jewish murderer fired with
premeditation at a passing Arab family with the intention of killing
Arabs. There were a handful of these terrible cases over the past 40
years. But there is no basis for trying to create some sort of balance
between Arab terror and Jewish terror.
It is not possible to claim that no Israeli leaders condemned murder
by Jews. The situation is exactly the opposite. There was no Israeli
leader who did not condemn them - in the clearest language, without any
"but" or "on the other hand," and without stuttering - from the left and
the right, from the top leaders to the lowest officials - at the time
of the event and also years later.
There was never a shadow of a doubt that all Israeli leaders condemned them with full force and at full volume.
(Makor Rishon-Hebrew, 28Apr2014)
Intelligence Revolution: In the Next War, Israeli Troops Will Know Exactly What They Face in Each Sector - Yoav Limor (Israel Hayom)
- Israel's operational intelligence has been undergoing a dramatic
process in recent years. No longer will commanding officers go out to
fight relying on shreds of intelligence and what they see through their
binoculars. The next war will be based more significantly upon
intelligence, and will allow each force to know what it faces in every
- A commander who must fight in a particular village in southern
Lebanon, for example, will receive more than maps and current aerial
photographs (rather than ones that were last updated some years before,
as happened in 2006), in color. He will also be given pinpoint
intelligence about the enemy and the various threats in the sector - and
also about the civilian population concentrations so that he may avoid
harming civilians as much as possible.
- New technology allows an abundance of information in real time
from many sources. In general, it can be used to transfer any bit of
information that is gathered by any source to any screen of any
commanding officer anywhere.
- The result is a coherent picture in which the commander has
all the information about our own troops and about the enemy. The
company commander can receive on his laptop, in the field, information
and updates, and the force will have a color printout of a current
aerial photograph of the village - with all the threats.
- Since technical malfunctions or cyber attacks could disrupt
plans, the troops are drilled carefully in "intelligence blindness" to
prevent commanders from developing a dangerous addiction to the