Suicide Bomber in Germany Confirmed ISIS Loyalty in Video (ABC News)
A Syrian suicide bomber who injured 15 people and wounded dozens at a
musical festival in Ansbach, Germany, on Sunday pledged allegiance to
ISIS in a video found on his phone, according to Bavarian Interior
Minister Joachim Herrmann.
In addition, a source told Amaq, the official ISIS media
arm, "The attack was carried out by a soldier" who "executed the
operation" in response to "calls to target" Western countries fighting
Last Monday, an asylum seeker attacked passengers on a commuter
train in Bavaria with an axe and a knife, injuring five people. On
Friday, a German-Iranian killed nine people in a shooting in Munich. On
Saturday, a Syrian refugee killed a woman and injured four others with a
knife in Reutlingen.
Netanyahu Offers Abbas Condolences over Brother's Death - Daniel Siryoti (Israel Hayom)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday evening and
offered his condolences over the death of Abbas' brother, Omar, 76, who
died in Qatar after a long battle with cancer.
In recent years Omar traveled to Israel regularly to receive medical treatment.
ISIS, Nusra Front Recruiting among Palestinians in Lebanon - Jack Khoury (Ha'aretz)
The Islamic State and the Nusra Front are both trying to recruit
fighters among Palestinians in Lebanon, according to Lebanese security
They are particularly active in Ain al-Hilweh in southern Lebanon,
where sources said more than 200 had been recruited, with dozens
crossing the border into Syria to join ISIS.
Hamas Vows to Join Palestinian Municipal Elections - Grant Rumley (Foundation for Defense of Democracies)
Hamas announced that it would participate in municipal elections across the West Bank and Gaza in October.
Hamas boycotted the previous municipal elections in 2012.
In those elections, rogue members of Fatah ran against the party
and won in key districts, including in the de-facto Palestinian capital
Egyptian Statue Unearthed in Northern Israel - Daniel K. Eisenbud (Jerusalem Post)
On Monday, during a dig in Tel-Hazor, a UNESCO Heritage Site north of
the Sea of Galilee, an American volunteer uncovered a large limestone
fragment of an Egyptian statue depicting an ancient official's foot on a
square base containing a few lines in hieroglyphic script.
Bryan Kovach, 42, who unearthed the fragment, has volunteered periodically at the excavation site since 1997.
"This was really strange and exciting... when I rolled it over and realized that it was an Egyptian statue," he said.
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
- To France from Israel: Lessons on Living with Terror - Isabel Kershner and James Glanz
For many Israelis, the horrifying images of a truck plowing through
crowds in Nice, France, struck a familiar chord. In a 2014
Palestinian attack, a tractor flipped over a bus with its bucket,
killing an Israeli. In 2011, an Arab-Israeli man's truck barreled down a
Tel Aviv street for a mile, killing one and wounding 17. Since October,
32 Palestinians have rammed vehicles into people at bus stops,
intersections and checkpoints.
That the Nice attack occurred at a mass gathering for Bastille Day,
France's national holiday, had Israelis shaking their heads. Micky
Rosenfeld, an Israeli police spokesman, said that to secure a major
event like Independence Day celebrations, officers gather intelligence
for weeks beforehand, and erect a 360-degree enclosure of the area, with
layers of security around the perimeter. Main roads are typically
blocked off with rows of buses, and smaller side streets with patrol
cars. In addition to a large uniformed and undercover police presence,
counterterrorism teams are strategically placed to provide a rapid
response if needed. (New York Times)
- Iran to Protest to IAEA over Leaked Nuclear Document on Secret Side Deal
Last week, the Associated Press cited a classified document
stating that Tehran's scaling back of its nuclear program "will start to
ease years before the 15-year accord expires."
Spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Behrouz
Kamalvandi said Sunday that "the parts [of the document] published were
confidential and were supposed to remain so....Our assumption is that it
has been leaked by the (International Atomic Energy) Agency."
AEOI head Ali Akbar Salehi said Saturday Iran had asked the IAEA to keep
the data on Tehran's long-term nuclear program confidential.
- Court Halts U.S. Seizure of New York Building Linked to Iran - Barry Meier and Benjamin Weiser
In a setback for victims of attacks linked to Iran, a federal appeals
court in New York on Wednesday threw out a lower-court ruling that had
upheld the government's move to seize a landmark Manhattan building at
650 Fifth Avenue near Rockefeller Center on charges that it was a front
The office tower is the largest single asset seized by the Justice
Department as a result of charges that its owners acted on behalf of the
Iranian government in violation of economic sanctions against Iran and
also engaged in money laundering. Estimates of the property's value
range from $800 million to $1 billion.
(New York Times)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
- Abbas Prepares to Sue Britain over Balfour Declaration - Jack Khoury
PA President Mahmoud Abbas has asked Arab states to help the
Palestinians prepare a lawsuit against Britain over the 1917 Balfour
Declaration which voiced Britain's support for establishing "a national
home for the Jewish people." After World War I, the League of Nations,
the predecessor to the UN, incorporated this goal into the British
Mandate for Palestine.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki announced the
intention on Wednesday at the Arab League summit in Mauritania. Maliki
also spoke out against regional cooperation with Israel.
Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said, "Palestinian
leaders haven't been interested in peace for some time already. The only
goal is to delegitimize Israel." (Ha'aretz)
See also Palestinians, Sudan Working to Restrain Israeli Breakthrough in Africa - Adam Rasgon
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki announced on Wednesday in
Khartoum that "President Mahmoud Abbas and his Sudanese counterpart Omar
al-Bashir discussed developing a strategy for the African continent and
coordinating to restrain Israeli attempts to make a breakthrough in
Africa." (Jerusalem Post)
- Israel, Jordan Discuss Energy, Water and Employment Cooperation - Hedy Cohen
Earlier this month a senior Israeli delegation led by Deputy Minister of
Regional Cooperation Ayoob Kara met with Jordanian Prime Minister Dr.
Hani Al-Muki to discuss closer cooperation on water, electricity, and
natural gas. Jordanian sources attending the meeting said that Jordan's
King Abdullah is committed to joint projects with Israel even though a
large part of the Jordanian public opposes such a policy.
- Saudi Arabia's Diplomatic Dance with Israel - Simon Henderson
While retired Saudi major-general Anwar Eshki's visit last week may
not have been his first trip to Israel, this time he was accompanied by
a number of Saudi academics and businesspeople. In the absence of
mutual diplomatic recognition, all of these individuals would have
needed special dispensation from the Saudi government to make the
The main Saudi personality in the slow process of publicly
acknowledging Israel has been former intelligence chief and ambassador
Prince Turki al-Faisal, a more high-profile figure than Eshki but also
not a current official. So far this year, Turki has shaken hands with
then-Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon and debated with Netanyahu's
former national security advisor Yaakov Amidror.
The writer is director of the Gulf and Energy Policy Program at The Washington Institute.
(Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
- How Iran Ruined Nuclear Deals for Everyone - Behnam Ben Taleblu
Last summer's Iran nuclear deal establishes larger lessons for
potentially problematic nuclear actors. The first is that steadfastness
and even intransigence can lead the international community to accept
The second lesson is that being a Western ally does not guarantee
more flexible treatment when accessing nuclear technology. Key American
allies that have previously limited their nuclear activities - like
South Korea or the United Arab Emirates - have already noted that Iran
has been permitted to sign a deal allowing it to develop
industrial-scale nuclear capacity. As a Foundation for Defense of
Democracies report last year noted, "Few countries...may be willing to
accept greater constraints on their nuclear activities than were
demanded of Iran." The writer is an Iran Research Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
- Should Canada Be More Balanced on Israel and the Palestinian Authority? - Robert Fulford
"Balance" implies that the opinions of two antagonists should be
regarded as morally equivalent. It would mean that we would consider
that Israel and the Palestinian Authority are similar entities, with
similar goals and similar methods, to be taken seriously in a similar
way. But how could Canada do that?
In many ways Israel lives by the same principles as Canada. It is a
democracy, with rival political parties. Its government lives under
constant scrutiny. It has independent judges, a free marketplace,
freedom of speech and media. It has academic freedom. In all these ways,
Israel is unique in the Middle East. The Palestinian Authority has none
of those attributes.
The Palestinian Authority just installed a monument to Ahmed Jabara,
who killed 15 people and injured 60 in 1976 by leaving a refrigerator
packed with explosives in Zion Square in Jerusalem. A bust of him in
white marble sits in a square in Ramallah. Should a Canadian treat with
balance a community that teaches young people to revere terrorist
martyrs? Sympathy, perhaps, or some level of understanding. But
Israel's Foreign Ministry Chief: "If Paris Goes Ahead with Peace Summit, I Doubt We'll Be There" - Raphael Ahren (Times of Israel)
- Dore Gold has become the face of Israel's foreign policy since he
became the director-general of the Foreign Ministry in June 2015. He
said in an interview that Israel will likely boycott a French-planned
international conference on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Paris,
if it goes ahead later this year.
- "The French initiative unfortunately is an alternative to
direct negotiations.... It's undermining the whole peace process that
was begun in Madrid," referring to a 1991 summit attended by Israel.
- "Madrid, and afterwards of course the Oslo accords, envisioned
specifically direct negotiations without preconditions. That's the
international consensus, and the French initiative is a deviation."
- In the 1990s, Gold spent many hours negotiating with now PA
President Mahmoud Abbas. "He has certain maps in his mind that are
beyond the maps the people of Israel can accept. He dabbles in the
delegitimization of Israel and in the total denial of Jewish history.
That raises serious questions whether he can deliver, or wants to
deliver, a permanent solution. I'm not sure he wants to."
- "Unfortunately, he has fallen into a pattern of behavior of
relying on vicious incitement against the people of Israel, which simply
cannot be accepted....His need for using incitement to violence and
condoning terrorist acts after the fact just raises serious questions
about whether he can ultimately be relied upon to produce a political
- Gold also rejected international criticism that expanding
Jewish communities is rendering a two-state solution impossible.
The international reaction to the "addition of another row of houses in
an existing settlement" in the West Bank is "very difficult to
of the Jews live in settlement blocs that are expected to be annexed to
Israel in a peace deal. "The addition of Jews is not what's blocking a
peace settlement....What's blocking the peace settlement is this
Palestinian resorting to violence."