07302016 NEWS AM
"It is necessary for every American, with becoming energy to endeavor to stop the dissemination of principles evidently destructive of the cause for which they have bled."
—Mercy Warren (1805)
Read the Prophets & PRAY WITHOUT CEASING!
That is the only hope of this nation! Plead for Grace and Mercy
Please remember these folks in prayer- Check often – they change
That the world would W A K E U P.
Time for a worldwide repentance!
ALL US soldiers fighting for our freedom around the world
Pray for those in our government to repent of their wicked corrupt ways.
Pray that the American people WAKE UP
to the truth concerning our government and take a positive act
Pray for SH – Hip surgery yesterday
Pray for DA family – family members terminal
Pray for AW – Kidney tumor treatment
Pray for HK – recurrent cancer
Pray for SH – having treatment for Breast cancer
Pray for DF and wife’s ability to cope – problems Alzheimer’s disease problems
Pray for CM – Severe liver failure
Pray for M B B –Home good result. No new cancer found - very slow recovery
Pray for KG – Stroke and trying to recover.
Pray that The Holy One will lead you in Your preparations for handling the world problems. – Have YOU made any preparations?
2Kings 21:23And the servants of Amon conspired against him and killed the king in his own house. 24And the people of the land killed all those who conspired against King Amon, and the people of the land made his son Josiah king in his place. 25And the rest of the acts of Amon that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Matters of the Days of the Kings of Judah? 26And they buried him in his grave in the garden of Uzza. And his son Josiah reigned in his place.
Israel fires back at US over criticism of settlement building
Foreign Ministry: ‘Baseless’ to claim construction over Green Line undermines two-state deal; real obstacle is Palestinian refusal to recognize Jewish state
By Eric Cortellessa and Times of Israel staff July 29, 2016, 9:29 pm
The Israeli government on Friday fired back at the US State Department over its criticism a day earlier that Israeli construction over the Green Line is “provocative and counterproductive.”
In a statement, the Israeli Foreign Ministry rejected the US argument that recently announced plans to build in East Jerusalem were undermining the prospects for a two-state solution, calling that argument “factually baseless.”
On Wednesday, Israel announced the approval of 323 tenders for housing units in East Jerusalem, and plans to build 770 units in Gilo. While much of the international community considers Gilo a settlement, Israel considers it a neighborhood of annexed East Jerusalem and argues that it will be part of Israel in any negotiated peace agreement.
The international outcry, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Emanuel Nachshon on Friday according to Haaretz, “was done with the full knowledge that the neighborhood of Gilo in Jerusalem will be part of Israel in any conceivable agreement reached through negotiations. The argument that building in Gilo undermines the two-state solution is factually baseless and distracts from the real obstacle to peace — the persistent Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, under any borders.”
On Thursday, the State Department said it was “deeply concerned” about new reports of construction approvals and said building in such sensitive areas runs counter to Israel’s stated goal of achieving a two-state solution.
The State Department’s communications director John Kirby released a statement calling into question Israel’s commitment to a peace agreement with the Palestinians. http://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-fires-back-at-us-over-criticism-of-settlement-building/
State Comptroller: If Protective Edge report is declared classified, I’ll establish a board of inquiry
Comptroller Yosef Shapira is determined to prevent the government from classifying the non-operational details in his report of the 2014 war in Gaza.
Tova Tzimuki|Published: 29.07.16 , 17:59
The State Comptroller’s Office stated Thursday that Comptroller Yosef Shapira will not allow the classification of parts of hisreport on Operation Protective Edge that do not pertain to operational details. Channel 2 News’ Amnon Rubinstein reported that if there is an attempt to prevent the report’s publication, Shapira will recommend that a national board of inquiry be established.
Shapira has already stated that he is examining the government and Cabinet’s decision making during the 2014 operation. He believes the number of discussions and their depth, as well as the issue of the government’s awareness of the threat of Hamas attack tunnels, should not be classified.
The government has the ability to widen the scope of classification on the report. In case such a thing is done, the comptroller intends to implement his authority and suggest that a national board of inquiry be established to investigate Operation Protective Edge.
The comptroller sent a draft of his report to those who were Cabinet members during the summer 2014 operation. The leaked draft reveals a very severe report, in which the comptroller is set to heavily criticize Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, and former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz.
That draft reportedly includes claims that Netanyahu and Ya’alon did not update the Cabinet on the Shin Bet’s warnings of a possible upcoming military conflict with Hamas shortly before it broke out in July 2014, and that the Cabinet did not discuss the tunnel threat until Protective Edge was already underway. Gantz is expected to be criticized over military estimates given to the Cabinet.
The prime minister’s associates have said of the report that it is, “A non-serious report by a non-serious comptroller.” They have rejected Shapira’s claims out of hand and said, “The opreration was conducted with transparency and ended in success, all the rest is badmouthing.” They further claimed that the Cabinet met several times, including once especially in order to discuss the tunnel threat. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4834823,00.html
Light rail construction to cripple Jaffa's main thoroughfare
Works are soon to begin on Sderot Yerushalayim and are expected to last for the next four years, shutting the boulevard to private transit and severely interrupting buses.
Published: 29.07.16 , 10:04
Sderot Yerushalayim plans (Photo: Dana Kopel)
Work will begin on the light rail in Jaffa in the coming months on the major boulevard of Sderot Yerushalayim in Jaffa as part of the Red Line. During the work that will continue for four years, the main traffic artery will be completely closed to private vehicles. Buses will still travel along the road but will be forced, at a certain point to divert to an adjacent road. The plan aims to create a one-level pedestrian walkway on which vehicles will also be able to travel, along with cyclists who will enjoy special dedicated lanes for bicycles.
Along the length of the track, which will stretch three kilometers, will be seven stations up to the border of Bat Yam. The entire street will remain the same level, and most travelling vehicles will be diverted to alternative lanes.
According to the plan, the boulevard along the section between Erlich Street and Eilat Street will be intermittent lane segments parallel to the light rail which will be specifically designated for cars. Hours during which vehicles will be permitted to travel will be decided by the Tel Aviv Municipality. In 2020, NTA, the company responsible for the new line, will conduct the first test drive and at the end of 2021 it intends begin its commercial operations.
Circulation during construction
Many Jaffa residents, many of whom are elderly and many of whom are Arab, claim that they were not aware of the construction plan on the boulevard. Over the last year, three public meetings were held between residents and residents from NTA and the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality and its supplementary authority for Jaffa. Before the beginning of construction, NTA has promised to hold additional meetings and briefings.
In conversations held between residents and senior municipal officials, the former expressed their fears related to the interruption of public transit on Sderot Yerushalayim, despite NTA's assurance that accommodations will be made. Currently, an average of 170 buses per hour travel along the boulevard. The residents also said in a meeting with the city's deputy director general for operations, Ruby Zluf, that they were seriously concerned that forcing private vehicles into Jaffa's narrow side streets would create unbearable traffic jams, especially in addition to the plan to renovate Bloomfield Stadium simultaneously.
Sderot Yerushalayim was created in 1915 by the Turkish military governor of Jaffa, Hassan Bey, at the height of the First World War. Its original purpose was to connect the Jaffa orchards with the city center, and it was hurriedly constructed by the forced labor of Jewish and Arab city residents. The ficus trees that line the boulevard, some of which are over 80 years old, are now associated with it, and residents' fear of their being cut down has led in the past to petitions and protests.
Twenty-nine of them are to be cut down to allow room for the Salame Station platforms out of 860 on the boulevard. A further four ficus trees that would hinder the light rail's path will be moved at a cost of four million shekels. During the construction, some 50 other kinds of trees will be uprooted, including olive trees and Washingtonia palms. NTA will plant 282 other trees along the sidewalks and platforms. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4834755,00.html
Single parents' tax burden to be lessened
Knesset's Welfare Committee has approved a bill intended to facilitate single parents' return to the workforce; Minister Haim Katz lauds the bill's approval.
Telem Yahav|Published: 29.07.16 , 22:03
The Knesset's Labor, Welfare and Health Committee approved on Monday the second and third reading of Welfare Minister Haim Katz's (Likud) bill to lower the tax burden on single parents and facilitate their joining the workforce.
The committee approved that the offset percentage for anyone receiving income support or child maintenance assistance from the National Insurance Institute of Israel (NII) will be reduced from 60% to 25%, which will lead to an increase in net income for those affected. This is an initiative from the NII that Katz has championed, its goal being to increase the earning rate of single-parent families.
How does it work? Of a single parent's salary up to NIS 3,200, 25% will be deducted, as opposed to 60% today. In addition, unlike the first version of the bill, single parents receiving income support and child maintenance from the NII right to a work grant will not be automatically cancelled. However, the addition that they receive will be deducted from the grant.
The minister said, "We have successfully created a precedent and led the first step to encourage engaging in the employment cycle by thousands of single parents. Following the reform, the tax burden will dramatically reduce, and families will be able to earn hundreds of shekels more per month."
Today, according to date from the Welfare Ministry and the NII, more than 20,000 single-parent families receiving income support or child maintenance do not work at all. At the current deduction rate (60%), those applying for income support and maintenance are limited to low incomes and any income higher than the set amounts leads to revocation of income support. For this reason, there is a negative incentive to increase the rate of employment. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4834801,00.html
Hamas exploiting current calm to prepare for next war
By YAAKOV LAPPIN \ 07/29/2016 18:20
In the next conflict in Gaza, Hamas will aim to pound IDF staging areas and communities near the Strip.
Two years ago this month, Israel and Hamas were locked in the middle of a 50-day conflict, which saw southern and central Israel attacked several times a day with Hamas rockets, and the Iron Dome air defense batteries intercept the projectiles in midair. Despite the disruption and fear caused by sirens, civilians soon became accustomed to the idea that Iron Dome can defend them, and the Israeli home front found a way to resume normal routine despite being under daily fire.
Some 4,500 Hamas and Islamic Jihad rockets were hurled into Israeli airspace, but the big majority of those heading into built up areas – some 750 – were destroyed by Iron Dome before they could sow death and destruction.
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During that conflict, Hamas apparently learned that Israel’s vulnerability could be exposed not by making sirens ring out in Tel Aviv but by pounding southern Israeli communities near the Strip with projectiles, forcing the eventual evacuation of thousands of Gaza-border residents to the North a month-and-a-half into the war.
Short-range rockets caused those areas to become ghost villages, inhabited only by military personnel, and Hamas also seemingly learned that by pounding IDF staging areas near the border, it was able to inflict casualties among soldiers who could not seek cover in time.
Therefore it appears Hamas is currently trying to find ways of overwhelming Israeli air defenses in the next war, and one way it believes it can do this is by dramatically increasing the short-range rocket and mortar fire, and striking southern areas in a more targeted, precise manner.
Hamas is extremely deterred by Israel at this time, and the Gaza border is at its quietest since 1968. Gaza border communities, once pounded heavily by Gazan attacks, are now thriving and growing as they attract new members from other parts of the country.
But Hamas continues to exploit the current calm to prepare for war. Nor does Hamas seem to have abandoned its mid- and long-range rocket production program, which it continues to develop and mass produce in its weapons factories in Gaza, as well as trying to smuggle in projectiles from Sinai with the help of Islamic State.
Hezbollah in Lebanon and Islamic State in Sinai could, in solidarity with Hamas, fire rockets to set alight new arenas in a future escalation.
Hamas’s cross-border tunnel network continues to dominate the headlines; 32 such tunnels were destroyed during the 2014 conflict, and in recent months the IDF used innovative new technology to detect and destroy additional tunnels.
In the near future, when Hamas diggers try to enter Israel underground, they may find themselves facing a new Israeli subterranean wall, being built at this time around Gaza. The wall will have control rooms that detect suspicious activity and can mobilize the IDF to respond. The project is expensive though, costing roughly NIS 150 million per kilometer.
The Gaza-Israel border is 65 kilometers long, meaning the cost would run into the billions.
But one topic that receives less media attention is Hamas’s vast tunnel system inside the Gaza Strip, which it used in 2014 to move weapons and fighters around, out of sight of the air force, and to launch hitand- run guerrilla warfare strikes on ID F units operating in Gaza.
The IDF did not adequately prepare itself for Gaza’s internal tunnel network, and this is an area the military has spent the past two years improving upon, though how remains classified.
The IDF’s use of heavy armor that now comes protected with the Trophy active protection system, produced by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, will pose a very serious challenge to Hamas’s armed wing.
In 2014, IDF officers who fought in Gaza testified that there was not a single Hamas armed-wing member who was without an armor-busting RPG-29-type shoulder-fired weapon. Such weapons resulted in deadly attacks on the IDF’s 1970s-era M113 armored personnel carriers, but they will not be able to destroy Trophy-protected Namer APCs, or the Merkava Mark IV tanks.
This month, the Armored Corps Battalion 82, which was the last conscripted unit to use the Merkava II, left its old platform behind and began using the Merkava IV.
Despite its pledge to unending jihad against Israel, Hamas today is regionally isolated, with no new allies or partners, and is facing financial crisis in the Strip. It also remains highly disturbed by Israel’s intelligence reach, of which it is aware.
Under the surface of the current calm, Hamas continues to prepare for war, and the IDF is watching these preparations like a hawk, while setting up crushing responses of its own.
The mere fact that both sides are readying themselves for the next round does not indicate that one is imminent. It does, however, mean, that any regional developments, such as an uptick in West Bank violence, could destabilize the delicate cease-fire, and Hamas and Israel could find themselves at war again in a week or five years or a decade from now.
The hope among most civilians in the South is for the current quiet to last as long as possible. After a decade of becoming adjusted to conflict, southerners have begun to get used to the quiet. http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Security-and-defense-A-constant-wave-of-short-range-fire-462692
Islamic Jihad Parades Children Dressed as Terrorists, Shows Off Newest Weaponry at ‘Bond of Blood’ Family Festival in Gaza
July 29, 2016 5:28 pm Author: Lea Speyer
The Gaza-based Islamic Jihad terror group proudly paraded its newest weapons in its family friendly “Bond of Blood” festival on Thursday, Palestinian news website Donia al-Watan reported.
The military arm of Islamic Jihad, known as the Al-Quds Brigades, unveiled a new long-range rocket at the event in a purported show of force against Israel. The group didn’t disclose any details on the exact capabilities and range of its newest advanced weaponry.
According to the report, the “the upgraded weapons show that the Al-Quds Brigades are ready to repel any Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip.”
In pictures of the festival — which honors terrorists who died while carrying out attacks against the Jewish state and those wounded while waging jihad — small children are seen dressed up like terrorists, carrying guns and other weapons. The acquisition and use of long-range rockets by Gaza terror groups poses a significant and growing security threat to Israel. During 2014’s Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip, terror groups successfully launched Syrian-made long-range M-302 rockets as far north as Haifa, targeting major population centers in Israel for the first time.
The M-302 — which is capable of reaching targets up to 150 kilometers away — is the same type of missile confiscated by Israel when its navy intercepted the KLOS-C vessel in 2014. According to Israeli officials, the weapons were part of a smuggled arms shipment from Iran to Gaza via Sudan.
Beyond the threat faced by Israel of rocket attacks from Gaza, officials have also expressed concern over the hidden arsenal of Lebanon-based Hezbollah, totaling some 120,000 projectiles.
As reported by The Algemeiner, earlier in July, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon warned that Hezbollah has amassed a larger arsenal of hidden rockets and missiles than all European NATO allies combined. http://www.algemeiner.com/2016/07/29/islamic-jihad-parades-children-dressed-as-terrorists-shows-off-newest-weaponry-at-bond-of-blood-family-festival-in-gaza/
In financial straits, Hamas hands out former settlement lands
The cash-strapped group is hoping the giveaway of plots will help appease disgruntled civil servants owed millions of dollars in salaries
By Fares Akram July 30, 2016, 12:35 pm
KHAN YOUNIS, Gaza Strip (AP) — Earth movers dig into sand dunes on land where once Jewish settlements stood — prime real estate that the Gaza Strip’s ruling Hamas group hopes will ease its worsening financial crisis.
Hamas has begun handing out plots of the land to 40,000 civil servants loyal to the group, to make up for millions of dollars in salaries it owes them for the past two years.
The land giveaway is the latest sign that Hamas is struggling financially after almost a decade of uncontested power in the coastal strip.
Gazans grumble about lack of jobs, constant electricity shortages and a blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt that has confined the territory’s 1.8 million people to the tiny strip. The World Bank says unemployment is 38 percent.
Since 2014, Hamas’s main problem has been a dire lack of cash amid Egypt’s clampdown on smuggling tunnels underneath Gaza’s border with Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Before the tunnels closed, Hamas earned millions of dollars from taxes on smuggled consumer goods, including subsidized Egyptian fuel.
Later that same year, Hamas and its rival, the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority, agreed to form a unity government for both Gaza and the West Bank. PA President Mahmoud Abbas had lost Gaza to a Hamas takeover in 2007, and this was an attempt to heal the split.
But the deal stalled, partly because Abbas refused to add the 40,000 employees hired by Hamas since 2007 to the payroll of his Palestinian Authority. In time, Hamas resorted to paying its loyalists 40% of their salaries at 50 day intervals.
Since March, after Hamas collected additional taxes, these civil servants have been receiving 45% of their salaries on a monthly basis. The price of cigarettes went up 35% and an additional $30 in taxes was imposed on each ton of fruit entering Gaza from Israel.
The land giveaway allows each group of four Hamas employees to share a 500-square-meter plot that they can either build on or sell. Even the sand collected on the land can be sold for about $100 a truckload.
About 13,000 civil servants have already signed up for certificates attesting to their ownership of the plots. Bulldozers are working to get three initial projects launched in August. http://www.timesofisrael.com/in-financial-straits-hamas-hands-out-former-settlement-lands/
Hezbollah to air ‘new footage’ on raid that sparked 2006 Lebanon war
TV channel affiliated with terror group says 3-part series will reveal new info on kidnappings of Ehud Goldwasser, Eldad Regev, subsequent prisoner exchange
By Times of Israel staff July 29, 2016, 10:50 pm
The Lebanese terror group Hezbollah said it will broadcast new footage showing the moments leading up to the 2006 cross-border raid into Israel, in which three soldiers were killed and two — Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev — were captured. The raid sparked the 34-day Second Lebanon War where thousands of rockets fell mainly in northern Israel.
The war claimed the lives of 165 Israelis, including 44 civilians. Over 1,100 Lebanese, including both Hezbollah fighters and civilians, were killed.
In a promo video released on the Hezbollah-affiliated al-Mayadeen TV station on Friday, the terror group said it prepared a three-part “documentary” on the reconnaissance preparations for the raid and the subsequent kidnapping. The first part of the “documentary” is set to air on Saturday.
The promo clip shows Hezbollah commandos training for the raid, which is said to have taken three months of planning. The training, according to al-Mayadeen, was under the watchful eye of Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh, who can be heard saying “someone just needs to fire at them.”
Mughniyeh was assassinated in Syria in 2008.
Al-Mayadeen said the new footage includes surveillance clips of the IDF vehicle in which Goldwasser and Regev were in at the time and an eyewitness account from an Israeli soldier who survived the raid.
Goldwasser and Regev’s remains were retrieved in a prisoner exchange deal with Hezbollah in 2008. Israel released five Lebanese nationals, including arch-terrorist Samir Kuntar, and the bodies of over 150 Hezbollah members.
The terror group promised to reveal new information on the deal in the third part of the series.
Israel’s Channel 2 TV said that some of the footage included in the promo was broadcast four years ago by al-Mayadeen, and picked up by Israeli media, including the part where Hezbollah militants open fire on the IDF vehicle and cross the border into Israeli territory. The clip ended right as the Hezbollah commandos reach the ruined vehicle.
The raid and the 34-day war that ensued were widely seen as security failures.
Israel recently marked the 10-year anniversary of the Second Lebanon War, with IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot saying that the conflict had dealt “a severe blow to the Hezbollah organization, reestablished Israeli deterrence,” and helped bring about “a sustained and stable quiet along the Lebanese border that is a boon to civilians on both sides of the border.”
In a letter to troops on the tenth anniversary of the war, Eisenkot, who served as the army’s chief of operations during the war, acknowledged the command failures of 2006, but said that they had driven the army to massively improve its capabilities, training and equipment, as well as emergency preparedness for the homefront in the event of massive missile barrages on Israel’s cities.
“We see the dramatic advances we’ve made in the years [since 2006]. The IDF of 2016 is prepared, trained and equipped… The regimen of training for IDF fighters has increased and improved. Steps were taken to improve the readiness and operational capabilities of the reserves,” he said earlier this month.
The threat from Lebanon has not abated, he wrote, but “I am certain and sure that if the order is given, we will be able to carry out the IDF’s mission — to protect the country, ensure its existence, and if necessary, win a war.”
The letter was published as part of a new website established by the IDF to commemorate the ten-year anniversary of that war.
The IDF’s website includes previously unseen footage and audio recordings of IDF battlefield communications, testimonies of commanders and soldiers, and a site commemorating those who fell in battle during the fighting
Syrian army commander said to ‘narrowly survive’ Israeli strike
Iranian media claims IDF fired missiles across border, missing target; Israel issues no comment on reports
By Times of Israel staff July 29, 2016, 6:39 pm
A senior official in the Syrian army is said to have survived an assassination attempt allegedly at the hands of Israel, according to unconfirmed reports in the Iranian press on Friday. Majid Heymoud, the commander of the First Battalion of the Golan Regiment, according to Iran’s Fars News Agency, was on a visit to a town on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights when he “narrowly survived the assassination plot.”
His convoy came under two missile attacks which were fired from an area of the Golan Heights “under Israel’s control,” Fars reported.
The Al-Nusra Front, according to Fars, then tried to kill Heymoud separately but also failed, the Iranian news agency reported.
There was no Israeli comment on the report.
On Monday, the Israeli Air Force struck a target in Syria in response to errant mortar fire from the war-torn, neighboring country that landed in the central Golan Heights, an army statement said.
The shell hit “an open area near the security fence,” the army said, likely referring to Israel’s border fence along the Golan’s demilitarized zone. There were no reports of injuries.
The strike came amid reports of increased fighting between the Syrian regime and rebels in the area around Quneitra, in the demilitarized zone.
The air force “successfully targeted the source of the fire in Syria,” it said, warning that it holds the Damascus government responsible for any fire that hits Israel.
The Syrian army, in a statement carried on the official SANA news agency, said Israeli forces fired two rockets from drones on the Syrian side of the Golan, damaging a residential building.
The IDF often responds to fire that crosses into Israel by striking Syrian army posts.
On July 17, Israeli said its military fired two Patriot missiles at a drone that had infiltrated from Syria. http://www.timesofisrael.com/syrian-army-commander-said-to-narrowly-survive-israeli-strike/
French police arrest Syrian refugee over church attack
Asylum seeker held on suspicion of involvement in Tuesday’s killing of priest in jihadist assault in Normandy town
By Times of Israel staff and AFP July 29, 2016, 4:20 p
PARIS — A Syrian refugee was arrested by French police on suspicion of being involved in a deadly jihadist attack on Tuesday on a Catholic church, a source close to the probe said Friday.
The arrest, which took place in central France on Thursday, raises to three the number of people currently being held as part of the investigation into Tuesday’s murder of an elderly priest at a church in the northwestern town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray in Normandy.
The suspect was arrested near a refugee center in the rural Allier region of central France, Reuters reported.
There was no immediate information on the two others being detained.
The perpetrators of the attack, Adel Kermiche, 19, and Abdel Malik Petitjean, also 19, were shot dead by police after a standoff at the church on Tuesday. http://www.timesofisrael.com/french-police-arrest-syrian-refugee-over-church-attack/
Turkey’s Erdogan slams US reaction to failed coup
Foreign minister raps European countries for ‘starting to give us lessons in democracy, to talk down to us, to warn us’
By Suzan Fraser and Elena Becatoros July 29, 2016, 8:55 pm
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey’s president slammed the United States on Friday, claiming it was not standing firmly against a failed military coup and accused it of harboring the plot’s alleged mastermind, as a government crackdown in the coup’s aftermath strained Turkey’s ties with key allies.
Turkey has demanded the United States extradite Fethullah Gulen, a cleric living in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania whom it accuses of being behind the violent July 15 coup attempt that left 290 people dead. It is accusing Western nations of not extending sufficient support to its efforts to counter further threats from followers of the Gulen movement, which it says have infiltrated the country’s state institutions.
Turkey considers Gulen’s movement a terrorist organization. Gulen has denied any prior knowledge of the plot and says his movement espouses interfaith dialogue. The United States has asked Turkey for evidence of his involvement, and said the US extradition process must take its course.
“Instead of thanking this nation that quashed the coup in the name of democracy, on the contrary, you are taking sides with the coup plotters,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in an angry speech Friday at a police special forces headquarters in Ankara. The facility was bombed and fired upon during the attempted coup, and 47 police officers were killed.
“The putschist is already in your country,” Erdogan said.
The president also lashed out at an American military official who expressed concern that the failed coup may have longer-term effects on the US-led fight against Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq. Gen. Joseph Votel said Thursday the unrest could affect US relations with the Turkish military, noting that some of its leaders have been jailed.
“We’ve certainly had relationships with a lot of Turkish leaders, military leaders in particular. And so I’m concerned about what the impact is on those relationships as we continue to move forward,” Votel said at the Aspen Security Forum.
Erdogan criticized the comment. “It’s not up to you to make that decision. Who are you? Know your place,” he said, and hinted the United States could be behind the failed plot. “My people know who is behind this scheme … they know who the superior intelligence behind it is, and with these statements you are revealing yourselves, you are giving yourselves away,” he said.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also criticized the comments, saying the jailed officers are “not the only ones with the capacity to fight” the Islamic State group. Speaking to reporters in Ankara, Cavusoglu said the purge of those suspected of being involved in the coup is rendering the Turkish army more efficient.
“When we weed out these bad apples… then our army is more trustworthy, more dynamic, cleaner and more effective,” Cavusoglu said.
The foreign minister said Turkey wanted Gulen’s extradition process to conclude rapidly and has asked the United States to make sure he does not escape to another country.
He also criticized Turkey’s European and Western allies for their stance on the government’s broad crackdown, which has included a purge of the civil service, military, judiciary and education sectors, and the closures of hundreds of schools and dozens of media outlets.
“We are disturbed by our European and Western friends’ approach,” Cavusoglu told reporters. “Very few have given us a clear support against the coup. They started to give us lessons in democracy, to talk down to us, to warn us.”
The European Union and other countries, as well as human rights groups, have voiced increasing concern about the crackdown. According to recent figures from the interior ministry, more than 18,000 people have been detained since the coup attempt. Of those, more than 3,500 have since been released, a senior government official said.
A total of 49,211 people have had their passports revoked, according to the interior minister. The government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with his office’s regulations, said the revocations were a precaution against the flight risk of possible terror suspects.
More than 66,000 people in the wider civil service have been suspended from their jobs.
Ankara says the crackdown targets followers of Gulen and is necessary to prevent a new threat. It has also been seeking to extend its crackdown on the network of schools and institutions abroad connected to his movement.
In Germany, the governor of the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg said his regional government received a letter from the Turkish consul-general in Stuttgart asking it to check and “reevaluate” organizations, facilities and schools “which in the opinion of the Turkish government are, it says, ‘controlled’ by the Gulen movement.”
“That surprised me greatly,” Winfried Kretschmann told the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. “Of course we will not do that.”
Kretschmann said he has seen no evidence to back Turkey’s assertion that the Gulen movement was responsible for the coup attempt or that Islamization is taking place at schools in Germany.
Germany’s foreign minister said it was good that the coup had been foiled “but now the reactions are getting far out of proportion.”
“When tens of thousands of civil servants, teachers and judges are dismissed, thousands of schools and education facilities shut and dozens of journalists arrested without any direct connection with the coup being discernible, we cannot simply stay silent,” Frank-Walter Steinmeier was quoted as saying Friday in the Ruhr Nachrichten paper.
Steinmeier said bringing back the death penalty would be “a major step backward” for Turkey.
Cavusoglu, in an interview with Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung to be published Saturday, raised the possibility of a referendum on reintroducing capital punishment.
This decision should not be taken “in the heat of the moment,” he was quoted as saying. “Perhaps the decision on this will be taken in a referendum. These are very serious questions.” He argued that officials are getting thousands of tweets and texts saying “‘if you don’t reintroduce the death penalty, we won’t vote for your party anymore.'”
“The EU doesn’t have the right to give us lessons on this matter,” Cavusoglu was quoted as saying.
Separately, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Turkey would shut down an air base in the outskirts of Ankara that the coup plotters used as their headquarters. He said several army barracks used in the attempted coup would be moved away from Ankara and Istanbul to new locations. http://www.timesofisrael.com/turkeys-erdogan-slams-us-reaction-to-failed-coup/
Turkey creates 'traitors' cemetery' for dead coup plotters
Alongside a makeshift dog shelter—whose volunteers are incensed at the proximity—Turkish authorities have made a dishonorable final resting place for those branded as traitors undeserving of a proper burial.
Associated Press|Published: 29.07.16 , 14:04
ISTANBUL — Tucked in the back corner of a construction site for a new dog shelter in eastern Istanbul lies a freshly dug, unmarked grave—the first in the new "Traitors' Cemetery," created specifically to hold the bodies of coup plotters who died in the July 15 abortive putsch.
In the week following the attempted coup in Turkey, which killed about 290 people, the municipality announced it intended to set up a cemetery specifically for those involved—people that officials have branded as traitors undeserving of a proper burial. About 24 coup plotters are believed to have been killed that night. Authorities would "reserve a spot and call it a traitors' cemetery. Passersby will curse them," Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş said in remarks carried by the Doğan News Agency. "May every passerby curse them and let them not rest in their tombs."
'Traitors' Cemetery' (Photo: AFP)
Unmarked graves (Photo: AFP)
The creation of the cemetery comes amid a widespread crackdown in the aftermath of the coup. Nearly 16,000 people have been detained, including about 10,000 military personnel; displays of patriotism abound, with many Turks flying national flags from the windows of their apartments or cars; and nightly pro-government rallies are held in cities across the country.
Turkey's Directorate of Religious Affairs issued a directive denying funeral prayers and services for those who died while trying to overthrow the government. Such prayers, it said, were intended for the faithful as an act of exoneration, "but these people, with the action they undertook, have disregarded not just individuals but also the law of an entire nation and therefore do not deserve exoneration from the faithful."
Andrew Gardner, Turkey researcher for the Amnesty International rights group, said such moves were "contributing to what is a pretty poisonous atmosphere and a dangerous atmosphere" in the aftermath of the failed coup.
"Denying people religious services and decent burial is a basic denial of people's rights. In any normal circumstances such statements would be unimaginable," Gardner said.
Construction was quick. In two days, workers had built a low stone wall around a patch of land in the back of the site that will hold a new shelter for some of Istanbul's many stray dogs. A black metal sign was put up Monday, with the words "Traitors' Cemetery" in white.
The first—and so far, only—body arrived in an ambulance Monday, the workers say. No prayers were said and no ceremony was held for the burial beneath a dying pine tree.
The workers aren't sure who lies beneath the rough mound of earth, stones and broken pine branches, but local media say the first to be interred there was Mehmet Karabekir, a 34-year-old captain and father of two. His mother, they reported, refused to claim his body, so he was taken to the new cemetery.
Next to his lie three more graves—deep, open trenches dug out of the rocky ground with heavy machinery, waiting for new arrivals. The workers haven't been told when more bodies might come.
All they know, workers said Wednesday, is that they were told to build a dry stone wall in a corner of the construction site, and dig some graves. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4834791,00.html
Report: Firearm killings of police up 78% this year; ambush killings up 300%
By Andrew V. Pestano | July 27, 2016 at 7:38 AM
WASHINGTON, July 27 (UPI) -- There has been a 78 percent increase in shooting deaths of law enforcement officers so far in 2016 when compared to the same period last year, according to a report by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
Ambush killings of police officers, such as the attacks that killed eight police in Dallas and Baton Rouge, rose by 300 percent. Of the 32 officers killed by firearms in 2016 so far, 14 were killed in an ambush, seven were killed while investigating suspicious persons or circumstances, and five were killed in a tactical situation, such as a hostage situation or when a gunman barricades himself or herself.
Four other officers were fatally shot while attempting to make arrests in cases not related to burglary or robbery, and two were killed while handling or transporting prisoners in their custody. Despite the year-to-year spike, police fatalities from firearms remain the lowest in decades. The 1970s was the deadliest decade for officers, according to NLEOMF data. Since then, fatal shootings of officers have decreased with each decade.
The NLEOMF's Mid-Year Law Enforcement Officer Fatalities Report includes the Dallas and Baton Rogue shootings, which occurred July 7 and July 17, respectively.
"Firearms-related fatalities peaked in 1973, with 84 officers shot and killed in the first half of the year. Since then, the annual average has decreased from 63 in the 1970s, to 29 in the 2000s," the NLEOMF report says. "Handguns were the leading type of firearm used in fatal shootings of law enforcement officers in the first half 2016. Of the 32 officer fatalities, 19 officers were shot and killed with a handgun. Twelve officers were shot and killed with rifles and one officer was shot and killed with an unidentified firearm." http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2016/07/27/Report-Firearm-killings-of-police-up-78-this-year-ambush-killings-up-300/6931469614321/
Learn about the real threat to the USA and forget the PC stuff about the ‘peaceful religion’ that our leaders of the past 30 years have been feeding us. – rdb]
Exclusive: Clinton campaign also hacked in attacks on Democrats - sources
WASHINGTON/SAN FRANCISCO | By Mark Hosenball, Joseph Menn and John Walcott Fri Jul 29, 2016 7:31pm EDT
The computer network used by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign was hacked as part of a broad cyber attack on Democratic political organizations, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
The latest attack, which was disclosed to Reuters on Friday, follows reports of two other hacks on the Democratic National Committee, or DNC, and the party’s fundraising committee for candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives.
A Clinton campaign spokesman said in a statement late on Friday that an analytics data program maintained by the DNC and used by the campaign and a number of other entities "was accessed as part of the DNC hack."
"Our campaign computer system has been under review by outside cyber security experts. To date, they have found no evidence that our internal systems have been compromised," said Clinton campaign spokesman Nick Merrill.
The U.S. Department of Justice national security division is investigating whether cyber attacks on Democratic political organizations threatened U.S. security, sources familiar with the matter said on Friday.
The involvement of the Justice Department’s national security division is a sign that the Obama administration has concluded that the hacking was sponsored by a state, people with knowledge of the investigation said. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-cyber-democrats-investigation-exc-idUSKCN1092HK
FBI warned Clinton campaign last spring of cyberattack
Michael Isikoff Chief Investigative Correspondent July 28, 2016
The FBI warned the Clinton campaign that it was a target of a cyberattack last March, just weeks before the Democratic National Committee discovered it had been penetrated by hackers it now believes were working for Russian intelligence, two sources who have been briefed on the matter told Yahoo News.
In a meeting with senior officials at the campaign’s Brooklyn headquarters, FBI agents laid out concerns that cyberhackers had used so-called spear-phishing emails as part of an attempt to penetrate the campaign’s computers, the sources said. One of the sources said agents conducting a national security investigation asked the Clinton campaign to turn over internal computer logs as well as the personal email addresses of senior campaign officials. But the campaign, through its lawyers, declined to provide the data, deciding that the FBI’s request for sensitive personal and campaign information data was too broad and intrusive, the source said. https://www.yahoo.com/news/fbi-hillary-clinton-cyber-attack-000000269.html
Time for Israel to walk away from US aid
By Caroline B. Glick Published July 29, 2016
On Monday, acting head of the National Security Council Yaakov Nagel will sit down with his US counterpart, Susan Rice, and try to conclude negotiations about a new, multi-year defense assistance package.
We must all hope that he fails.
No clear Israeli interest will be advanced by concluding the aid deal presently on the table.
Indeed, the deal now being discussed will cause Israel massive, long-term economic and strategic damage. This is true for a number of reasons.
First, there is the issue of the deal’s impact on Israel’s military industries, which are the backbone of Israel’s strategic independence.
Under the current defense package, which is set to expire next year, a quarter of the US aid Israel receives is converted to shekels and spent domestically.
Reportedly, the deal now under negotiation will bar Israel from using any of the funds domestically.
The implications for our military industries are dire. Not only will thousands of Israelis lose their jobs. Israel’s capacity to develop its own weapons systems will be dangerously diminished.
Then there is the problem of joint projects.
Today, Israel receives additional US funds to develop joint projects, including the Iron Dome and David’s Sling short range missile and rocket defense programs. These programs were undertaken in response to threats that weren’t foreseen when the current deal was negotiated a decade ago.
According to reports, the deal now being negotiated denies Israel and the US the ability to fund jointly new projects or to provide supplemental funding for existing projects. All funding for all projects will be covered by the lump sum that is currently being negotiated.
Not only does this preclude new projects, it prevents Congress from exercising oversight over administration funding of existing joint projects with Israel. President Barack Obama has consistently tried to slash funding of missile defense programs, only to be overridden by Congress. Under the deal now on the table, Congress will be denied the power to override a hostile administration.
Given the obvious problems with the aid program currently being proposed by the Obama administration, there’s little wonder that until now, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has publicly stated that if necessary, Israel is ready to wait for the next administration. Some argue that Netanyahu’s apparent newfound interest in concluding negotiations on Obama’s terms owes to his fear that this is the best offer Israel is likely to get. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump for various reasons, it is argued, will be less likely to offer significant increases in US military assistance.
Assuming this is accurate, the question becomes whether Israel has an interest in the assistance at all.
And so we come to the F-35.
For Israel, to a significant degree, the aid package on offer is about the F-35, the US’s fifth generation fighter, otherwise known as the Joint Strike Fighter.
Last month Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and IAF Chief of Staff Brig.-Gen Tal Kelman flew to Texas to ceremonially “take possession” of Israel’s first two F-35s. Both aircraft are set to be delivered to Israel in December.
To date, the IAF has purchased 33 F-35s – all with US aid money. The IAF wants to purchase a total of 75 F-35s, which are supposed to replace the F-16s and the F-15s that the IAF currently fields.
As Liberman made clear during his visit, whether Israel purchases them or not is entirely dependent on the aid deal.
We should not take them. We should walk away.
And we should walk away even if we receive nothing in exchange for the planes we reject.
The F-35 is a disaster of epic proportions, for the US first and foremost. If Israel agrees to base its next generation fighters on the F-35, it will be a disaster for us as well. Although it is late in the game, we need to cut our losses.
To date, the F-35 has cost the US $400 billion.
That is twice what it was supposed to cost. The project is already four years behind schedule and still in development. It won’t be operational until May 2018 – at the earliest.
The F-35 is a jet that was developed by a committee and tasked with doing everything. So it isn’t surprising that it doesn’t work. In February, J. Michael Gilmore, the director of the Pentagon’s Operational Test and Evaluation office, submitted a scathing report to Congress on the F-35 program.
It is worth going through just a few of his findings.
The F-35’s calling card is its stealth capacity.
According to the engineers at Lockheed Martin, the JSF is supposed to be all-but-invisible to radar systems. Its stealth system is supposed to be far superior to the stealth capabilities of its third generation predecessors.
But at present, its stealth systems do not work, and it is unclear whether they will ever work as planned.
First there is the problem with the JSF’s cooling systems. The JSF is too hot. To prevent its single engine from melting down in flight, pilots are forced to open its weapons bays at high speeds and altitudes every 10 minutes. When the weapons bays are open, the stealth systems do not work.
Then there is the software. The F-35 is considered one big flying computer. It uses over 20 million lines of computer code. These codes are supposed to make it the most maneuverable and stealthy aircraft in history. The problem is that the codes are defective. The software programs that enable the plane to fly, maneuver, and engage in combat are all defective. So are the software programs that control the plane’s stealth capabilities.
And fixing them is not a simple process.
The fixed software systems can’t simply be attached to existing hardware – or to existing planes. The planes themselves have to be rebuilt to adjust to the new software. So the models that have already been produced, including the two F-35s that are set for delivery in December, will all have to be rebuilt before they will be combat ready.
And as a panel of US defense and aviation experts that convened in late February following the publication of Gilmore’s report noted, that too will take time and cost hundreds of millions of dollars.
Another major problem is that the F-35’s nerve center is dysfunctional and there is no clear path to fixing it. The F-35 is controlled by the Autonomic Logistics Information System. The ALIS is a central computer system, located in the US.
All F-35s all over the world will be required to log into the ALIS system to upload computer files after each flight and to check flight readiness. The ALIS is supposed to identify broken parts and help speed up repairs and handle mission data uploads.
ALIS has the capacity to prevent F-35s from taking off. ALIS can lock out pilots and ground crews if it sees danger. If this happens, maintenance technicians have to convince the computer that they either dealt with the issues the computer identified or that it was a false alarm.
Dan Grazier, a member of that panel, whose deliberations were reported by This Week, warned that this power renders the entire F-35 fleet vulnerable to hackers. If someone were able to convince the computer that something was wrong across the fleet, they might be able to keep all the F-35s grounded. Although the damage wouldn’t be permanent, it could continue long enough to cause the US or an ally to lose a battle or fail a mission.
For Israel, this vulnerability is prohibitive even if ALIS is ever made to work. The significance of ALIS control over all F-35s worldwide is that the US – and anyone able to hack the US system – will control the IAF. It will operate at the pleasure of the US government, and those able to hack US computers. They will be able to ground IAF planes whenever they wish.
This critical problem was acknowledged obliquely by Lt.-Col. Yotam, the commander of Israel’s first F-35 or Adir squadron, in an interview with Israel Defense in April.
Lt.-Col. Yotam said, “The maintenance concept of the Adir is based on international management and logistics in terms of spare parts and maintenance echelons.”
Israeli experts note that although in theory Israel will be able to crack the ALIS code and override it, it will take years to develop such a capacity. In the meantime, the IAF will become a contract employee of the US government whose operation is subject to US approval on a flight by flight basis.
The US Air Force, Marines and Navy are all trying to figure out how to deal with the deficiencies of the F-35. There is a vague hope that the US will develop a different fifth generation fighter.
More F-18s and A-10s will likely be ordered. Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work told Fighting Global that he foresees using the current batch of F-15s into the 2040s. In other words, the US Air Force will deploy 70-year-old planes alongside the defective F-35s.
This, of course, is a disaster for the US. And if Israel goes ahead with the F-35 project it will be an even bigger disaster for us.
Back when the Pentagon convinced the Shamir government to scrap the Lavi project and purchase the F-16, the argument that won the day was economic. The Lavi was simply too expensive.
Today, both economics and strategic arguments indicate that the opposite is the case, even if walking away involves ending US military aid.
If Israel cuts its losses and begins to develop a fifth generation jet fighter that meets its own specific needs, rather than one designed by a committee to meet other countries’ needs poorly, it will end up both far safer and far more prosperous than if it goes ahead with the F-35 project. It will produce a better plane, better suited for Israeli defense needs, and simultaneously stimulate the growth of Israeli military industries, providing jobs for thousands of Israelis.
If Israel walks away from the military assistance package currently under discussion, it will be in a position to sign joint development deals with the US and other governments on a project by project basis and so ensure that we develop the weapons systems we need, not the ones the US thinks we should have, as we need them. Just as India is investing billions of dollars in joint projects with Israel, so will the US in the future.
It is far from clear that the US can afford its $400b. white elephant. It is abundantly clear that Israel cannot afford it.
Whether or not a Trump or Clinton administration will be more forthcoming is really beside the point. The point is that the US aid deal is really a deal for Lockheed Martin, not for Israel. And we need to say no
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/0716/glick072916.php3#ePeQBPh3lG5dQSOM.99
Nasrallah blasts Saudi Arabia's 'normalization with Israel'
Hezbollah leader claims Saudi Arabia wants to normalize ties with Israel at the expense of the Palestinian Arabs.
Elad Benari, Canada, 30/07/16 00:49
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah on Friday blasted Saudi Arabia for its alleged “normalization with Israel.” "Saudi Arabia has taken advantage of the ailing Arab situation, only to build relations with Israel. The price will be at the account of the Palestinians," he warned, in comments quoted by Lebanon's National News Agency.
"This is free normalization with Israel and this will open the doors to other states than Saudi Arabia to follow suit," added Nasrallah.
"We will be before a cultural disaster that allows Saudi Arabia to make peace with Israel. And this is the most dangerous thing that could happen," warned the Hezbollah chief, and said, "Everybody must now take a clear position.”
Nasrallah's comments came in a speech from his bunker at a ceremony to honor a Hezbollah commander who recently passed away.
"The Arab situation is weak (...) and the Palestinian cause has become irrelevant," he said, according to the National News Agency.
"Saudi Arabia still insists on carrying on wars everywhere and rejecting dialogue in Bahrain, Yemen, and Syria. Its initiatives are only made towards Israel, and for free," he continued.
The comments are not the first time that Nasrallah has criticized Arab countries, particularly Saudi Arabia, over alleged attempts to normalize ties with Israel.
In March, Nasrallah declared that normalizing ties with Israel will fail because most of the Arab people still regard Israel as an enemy and an “occupier”.
Those comments came after Hezbollah was blacklisted as a terrorist organization by Gulf states – a move which, Nasrallah claimed, was connected to Arab states' desire to normalize ties with Israel. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/215731
Dozens of weapons seized in Arab villages since the start of the year
Tamuz 23, 5776 , 29/07/16
Since the beginning of the year, police have seized dozens of weapons in Arab villages in northern Israel, it said on Friday. These include 73 guns and various types of assault rifles, 69 pistols, and 86 grenades of different types.
As well, police seized 26 explosive devices, 10 demolition blocks, 81 firebombs, thousands of bullets of different diameters and a large quantity of explosive materials (explosives, shells, fireworks and firecrackers). http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/Flash.aspx/366086
Austria extradites two suspected terrorists to France
Austria extradites two men thought to be connected to the terrorists who carried out Paris attacks in November.
Ben Ariel, Canada, 29/07/16 23:44
Two men thought to be connected to the terrorists who carried out the Paris attacks in November have been extradited to France from Austria, the prosecutors' office in the city of Salzburg said on Friday, according to Reuters.
The two men, an Algerian believed to be 29 and a Pakistani thought to be 35, were arrested last year at a shelter for refugees on suspicion of being linked to the attacks in which 130 people were killed.
"The two accused have left federal territory," the Salzburg prosecutors' office said in a statement quoted by Reuters.
The French newspaper Le Monde has reported that the two men traveled together from Syria to the Greek island of Leros with two Iraqi brothers who blew themselves up near the Stade de France stadium outside Paris on November 13.
The two men were first arrested on Leros during a passport check on October 3, because one of them spoke Arabic poorly and the other could not describe Aleppo, which was cited as his birthplace on his passport, the newspaper Le Parisien reported.
Both men were released three weeks later and went to Austria, where they were arrested again, according to Reuters.
The men's transfer to France was carried out under a European arrest warrant issued by France, the Austrian prosecutors' office said.
Since the November attacks in Paris, France has been hit by several more terrorist attacks, most recently an attack in Normandy this week, in which two Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists broke into a church and beheaded a priest.
On Wednesday, ISIS released a video in which the two terrorists are seen pledging allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/215730
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