PJ MEDIA EXCLUSIVE: Gen. McMaster Sparked a Row With the Israeli Delegation at a White House Meeting on Hezbollah

H.R. McMaster (Rex Features via AP Images)

PJ MEDIA, BY DAVID STEINBERG, SEPTEMBER 12, 2017:

During the week of August 27, an Israeli delegation met with members of the National Security Council (NSC) at the White House to discuss the current threat to Israel by the terror group Hezbollah.

Israel believes this threat is currently dire. This meeting preceded a two-week long Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) exercise to rehearse for possible war with Hezbollah. The Jerusalem Post described this exercise, which commenced on September 4 and is ongoing, as the IDF’s largest in 20 years.

Hezbollah has been a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization since 1997. However, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster reportedly brought NSC Senior Director on Counter-Terrorism Mustafa Javed Ali to the White House meeting with Israel. Ali, a McMaster appointee, is described by a senior administration source as being “opposed to Hezbollah’s designation as a terrorist organization.”

What then transpired at the meeting has been confirmed to PJ Media by several administration sources, by members of non-governmental organizations involved in national security, and by a source within the Israeli government.

The Israeli delegation demanded that Mustafa Javed Ali leave the room.

This demand was made despite the clear likelihood that Ali would later be privy to the meeting’s materials and discussion. As such, sources speculated that Israel intended the demand to serve as a message to President Trump that McMaster’s behavior has constituted a subversion of Trump’s stated Middle East policy.

Mustafa Javed Ali, second from right, attending West Point’s 2015 Senior Conference. The conference was described as having focused on “unconventional approaches to counterterrorism.”

None of the several sources were aware if Trump had been made aware of the incident.

As has been widely reported, Trump’s Chief of Staff General Kelly has instituted tight restrictions on information and contacts reaching the president. Additionally, Kelly has been said to be working closely with General McMaster on issues related to the flow of information within the administration.

Friction between General McMaster and the Israeli delegation did not end with Israel’s demand that Ali leave the room.

Sources reported that McMaster went on to explicitly dismiss the Israelis’ specific concerns about Hezbollah.

In particular, the Israelis expressed concern that the “safe zone” currently being established within Syria — an idea that had been vociferously supported by Hezbollah’s sponsor, Iran — would immediately become a safe zone for Hezbollah to operate.

McMaster was said to “blow off” this major Israeli concern, and to be “yelling at the Israelis” during the meeting.

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For months, General McMaster has been under fire regarding his personnel decisions from Trump voters and the large majority of Americans who support Israel. McMaster has fired or otherwise removed all NSC appointees who strongly supported President Trump’s Middle East campaign platform.

Trump had repeatedly promised that his administration would reject the Bush/Obama policy of denying the doctrinal Islamic roots of terror, most notably expressed by Trump’s willingness to declare jihadist attacks to be “radical Islamic terrorism.” Indeed, Trump honored this pledge early in his term via the many appointees to the NSC brought on by former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and others.

Under McMaster, however, all of these voices have been removed from the NSC in what has been described as a “purge.”

In their stead, McMaster has astonishingly welcomed figures such as Kris Baumanand Robert Malley to his NSC. Bauman’s and Malley’s careers have been so objectively subversive to the Trump agenda on Israel that McMaster might as well have appointed Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter.

Mustafa Javed Ali in attendance at former President Obama’s 2010 White House Iftar Dinner. Ali worked within the FBI at the time. Per a source: “No Muslim reformers or liberals were welcome at those events.” (List of expected attendees available at link.)

Little information has previously been public about McMaster appointee Mustafa Javed Ali. Regarding Israel’s demand that he leave the meeting, a source claimed:

Israel possibly knows more about Javed Ali than [the Trump administration] does.

Earlier this year, Ali was rumored to have caused the cancellation of a scheduled talk to the NSC by Ayaan Hirsi Ali on account of her “Islamophobia.” Mrs. Ali, who escaped to the Netherlands from Kenya after fleeing a forced marriage, violence, and being a victim of female genital mutilation, is now an activist exposing Islamic doctrine. She has lived under 24/7 protection since 2004, when a Muslim murdered Dutch film director Theo van Gogh for making a film with Mrs. Ali that criticized Islam. A five-page note threatening the same fate for Ali was left pinned to van Gogh’s chest with a knife.

Sources within the Trump administration have confirmed to PJMedia that this rumor about Mustafa Javed Ali was correct: Mrs. Ali had been invited to speak to the NSC. She was later disinvited due to Javed Ali’s interference.

On August 11, Mrs. Ali published a Wall Street Journal op-ed criticizing Trump for “losing focus” on his terrorism campaign pledges. Within the op-ed, she chose to mention only the “most charitable” criticism being floated about General McMaster:

Some administration critics have blamed the loss of focus on Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, who became White House national security adviser in February. The most charitable formulation of this criticism is that military men who slogged their way through wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have an aversion to the argument that we face an ideological opponent, as opposed to a series of military problems.

But I put the responsibility on Mr. Trump. With regard to radical Islam, he simply seems to have lost interest.

Yet senior administration sources are far less charitable about McMaster and his appointee Mustafa Javed Ali. As mentioned above, they described Ali as taking the breathtaking position that Hezbollah should not be a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization. They described Ali as holding the same view regarding the Muslim Brotherhood.

They claimed Ali’s work within the NSC essentially amounts to him attempting to prevent the Trump administration from using any of the means at its disposal to target Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood as organizations. They claimed Ali advocates only targeting such groups’ identifiably “violent” members, and ignoring all other elements of their activities that may be subversive of U.S. interests.

These are recognizable as Obama-era policies — the “smart set” foreign policy strategies behind the Obama administration’s disastrous “Countering Violent Extremism” programs. This is the thinking that marched the Middle East to bloody catastrophe: a half-million dead in Syria.

Yet General McMaster appointed Ali as NSC Senior Director on Counter-Terrorism, and purged the NSC of voices supporting President Trump’s Mideast agenda. Then McMaster reportedly sat Ali in front of an Israeli delegation visiting the White House to share its concerns about Hezbollah.

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I have previously reported here at PJMedia of an extensive public relations push — coordinated by administration supporters of General McMaster — to encourage conservative outlets and think-tanks to reject claims that McMaster is antagonistic to Trump’s foreign policy and to the State of Israel in general. That push was remarkably successful: an online search for critical McMaster stories from the right will reveal such articles virtually halted in mid-August.

The broader questions of President Trump’s continued silence are more difficult to read. None of the sources contacted for this article believe the president has fundamentally shifted his thinking.

Trump likely understands he would not have defeated Hillary Clinton without stating “radical Islamic terrorism.” Yet sources could offer only speculation as to how Trump intends to win his Middle East agenda while saddled with a National Security Council subversive to those goals.

Israeli airstrikes target suspected chemical weapons facility in Syria

GETTY

Long War Journal, by Thomas Joscelyn, Sept. 7, 2017:

Israel struck a suspected chemical weapons facility maintained by Bashar al Assad’s regime near Masyaf, Syria earlier today. The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), a propaganda arm for Assad’s regime, quickly confirmed the strikes, claiming that “Israeli warplanes fired several rockets from the Lebanese airspace.” SANA did not mention that Masyaf reportedly houses a chemical weapons facility, but claimed that “two army personnel” were killed and “material damage” was done “to the site.”

The airstrikes were launched less than a day after the United Nations released a report saying it has documented “25 incidents of chemical weapons use in the Syrian Arab Republic” between Mar. 2013 and Mar. 2017. Twenty of these “were perpetrated by government forces and used primarily against civilians.” The UN also held the Assad regime responsible for Apr. 4 sarin attack on civilians in Khan Sheikhoun, Syria. At least 83 people were killed and hundreds more injured in the bombing. Both the Syrian and Russian governments have denied the regime’s culpability, but the UN found that their explanation was not credible.

The facility near Masyaf, which is located in the Hama province, is one of several suspected chemical weapons sites maintained by the Syrian regime. Both the UN and the US say that despite agreeing to give up its chemical weapons, the regime continues to operate a weapons of mass destruction program.

In January, the US Treasury Department sanctioned “18 senior regime officials connected to Syria’s weapons of mass destruction program.” The sanctions were announced after a UN body “found that the Syrian government, specifically the Syrian Arab Air Force, was responsible for three chlorine gas attacks” on Apr. 21, 2014 and Mar. 16, 2015.

Among those sanctioned were several officials who work for the regime’s Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC), which reportedly manages the sites in Masyaf and elsewhere.

In late April, just weeks after the Sarin attack in Khan Sheikhoun, Treasury announced “one of the largest sanctions actions in” history. 271 SSRC employees were sanctioned. Treasury explained that they “have expertise in chemistry and related disciplines and/or have worked in support of SSRC’s chemical weapons program since at least 2012.”

Treasury’s designations did not specifically mention Masyaf as one of the SSRC’s chemical weapons facilities, but other reporting has pointed to the location.

In May, BBC News cited a document prepared by a “western intelligence agency” as indicating that Assad’s men were producing chemical weapons at three primary locations. In addition to Masyaf, two other facilities, Dummar and Barzeh, are reportedly located outside of Damascus. The same document “alleges that both Iran and Russia, the [Syrian] government’s allies, are aware” of the ongoing chemical weapons production, according to the BBC.

Israel has closely tracked the facilities in Masyaf and elsewhere for years, fearing that the Syrian military may transfer some of the know-how to Hezbollah or other Iranian-backed terrorists. This concern has only grown as Hezbollah has increased its footprint inside the country. In 2012, Spiegel Online reported that Masyaf was one of the locations being closely monitored by Israeli intelligence and Israel was “weighing whether to strike.”

Israel has repeatedly bombed other locations inside Syria since the beginning of the war.

In May, for example, the Israeli Air Force struck an apparent weapons shipment to Hezbollah at the T-4 military base near Palmyra. In Dec. 2015, the Israelis reportedly bombed a Hezbollah position, killing a long-wanted terrorist. These are just two of Israel’s suspected bombings in Syria. [See FDD’s Long War Journal reports: Israel’s airstrikes in Palmyra likely targeted Hezbollah weapons shipments
 and Israeli Air Force kills notorious Hezbollah commander in Syria.]

The facilities at Masyaf reportedly store not only chemical weapons, but also the means for delivering them. Jane’s Defence Weekly reported in 2014 that various Syrian regime development projects, including those related to “missile and rocket production,” were relocated to Masyaf as a result of the ongoing war. Projects related to manufacturing Scud missiles, armor, and surface-to-air missiles were already based in Masyaf, according to Jane’s.

In April, the US launched its own airstrikes on a Syrian airbase. The bombings were carried out after the sarin attack in Khan Sheikhoun.

Thomas Joscelyn is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Senior Editor for FDD’s Long War Journal.

Also see:

The urgent need for the detection of mettle

By Melanie Phillips, July 25, 2017:

The Israeli government has removed the metal detectors, or magnometers, that it installed at the entrance to Temple Mount to prevent further Arab terrorist attacks.

This is a bad move. Even worse is how the government explained it – in terms of total capitulation. This morning Yoav Galant, Israel’s Minister of Housing and Construction, said at a meeting I attended that the metal detectors were a “mistake”. He told IDF Radio:

“It is clear that from the absorption point of view that it is impossible to transfer tens of thousands of people who are unwilling to cooperate through magnometers. It was clear from the beginning. Mistakes were made. What is important is that we bear collective responsibility.”

Let’s recap. Ten days ago three Arab terrorists burst out of the al Aqsa mosque, where they had stored weapons, and murdered two Israeli Druze police officers stationed just outside the compound. To prevent any further such violence, Israeli put up the metal detectors. The Jordanian Waqf which administers Temple Mount threw a hissy fit and told Muslims not to go through the metal detectors but to pray in the street outside. Which they did.

It is therefore absurd to say Israel’s mistake was to think it could move onto Temple Mount tens of thousands of people who were refusing to go. If they choose not to go there, well, that’s their choice. Obviously.

Israeli says it will now install instead high resolution cameras with facial recognition software and thermal systems capable of detecting bombs. Guess what! The Waqf is still telling Muslims to keep away.

The issue is not, of course, the metal detectors themselves (which are to be seen at religious shrines in the Islamic world) but the fact that they were installed by Israel. This is because Arabs falsely deny the existence of the ancient Jewish Temples and deny the unique entitlement of Israel to its own ancient capital city of Jersualem. The issue is not devices but sovereignty.

The Palestinian Authority, which has been claiming falsely for months that Israel intends to take over/remove Muslims from/destroy al Aqsa and thus has been inciting Arabs to repeated rock-throwing and other acts of violence from Temple Mount, has in typical fashion inverted cause and effect over the metal detectors in order to ramp up the incitement still further. Thus the metal detectors were an act of aggression/keeping Muslims out of Temple Mount/changing the status quo on the compound.

As a direct result of these murderous lies and incitement, an Arab slaughtered three members of the Salomon family in their settlement home last Friday evening.

This atrocity was widely presented by the western media as being part of the “clashes” resulting from the metal detectors. This is demonstrably untrue. The slaughter of the Salomon family was the result of incitement and lies – the same incitement and lies which provoked the murder of the two Druze police officers, which was in turn the only reason the metal detectors were erected in the first place.

“Clashes” inescapably entail acts of violent aggression between different groups. There have been no “clashes” over the metal detectors because Israel has committed no acts of violent aggression. The only such acts have been committed by the Arabs against their Israeli victims. The western media has, as usual, embraced, internalised and faithfully reproduced the inversion of reality being promulgated by the Arabs in order to incite further acts of violence and murder.

The hysteria being whipped up by the Palestinian Authority was amplified by the Palestinians within Jordan, which regards itself as the guardian of Temple Mount as a result of its illegal occupation of east Jerusalem until 1967. Jordan was the first to condemn Israel for closing Temple Mount to Friday worshippers immediately after the murder of the policemen in order to search it for weapons. The Jordanian Parliament Speaker Atef Tarawneh called the Israeli Arab terrorists who carried out that attack “martyrs who sowed and watered the pure land.”

On Friday, thousands of Jordanians protested in Amman over the metal detectors. On Sunday, a Jordanian attacked an Israel embassy security guard with a screwdriver. The guard shot him dead and another Jordanian was inadvertently killed in the crossfire. This resulted in a diplomatic stand-off between Israel and Jordan, which effectively held the security guard hostage by refusing to allow him to leave the country and demanding to interrogate him. After intensive negotiations, the guard and Israel’s entire diplomatic team have now returned to Jerusalem for their own safety.

In further Jordanian harassment over the last couple of days a group of Israeli tourists visiting the supposed tomb of Aaron, brother of Moses and who according to tradition is buried in Jordan near Petra, were threatened with jail by Jordanian police if they prayed or displayed any religious symbols.

At the same time Israel, Jordan and the US have been engaged in urgent talks to resolve the Temple Mount security issue. It is notable that the Palestinians have been excluded from these talks. It is also notable that Saudi Arabia was insisting that the metal detectors should be removed.

The new Trump-led strategy in the Middle East is to marginalise the Palestinians and get Saudi Arabia on board in the battle against Iran and al Qaeda/Isis. Saudi Arabia (whose clerics might be assumed to believe that using al Aqsa as a weapons store and theatre of war was an unpardonable act of sacrilege) needs both Israel and the US as strategic allies against Iran. Both the US and Israel are anxious to prop up Jordan’s fragile King Abdullah for fear of an Islamist takeover of Jordan should he fall. The hysteria being whipped up over those metal detectors threatens the King even more.

It seems most likely that they were removed as a quid pro quo for the return of Israel’s security guard. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a point of thanking President Trump “for instructing his adviser Jared Kushner and dispatching his envoy Jason Greenblatt to the region in order to aid our efforts to bring back the embassy team quickly”.

This would seem to suggest that the Americans put pressure on Netanyahu to dismantle the metal detectors – two days after he declared they would stay put. If so, the Trump team has just forced Israel to hand its enemies yet another victory.

Israel further compounded this error by saying the metal detectors were a mistake – thus loudly proclaiming weakness, which in the Arab and Muslim world is always an incentive for further attack.

In any event, the problem is not at root the terrorist violence around Temple Mount, nor is its solution the metal detectors. The problem is the charade of Temple Mount itself: the fact that Jordan, which has no legitimate title on Temple Mount whatsoever, is allowed not only to administer it but to prevent Jews from free access to Judaism’s own holy of holies.

This ridiculous and unjust status quo has been allowed to continue for one reason only: fear that the Muslim world will ignite if it is altered in any way. This was first displayed 50 years ago by Moshe Dayan, the general who liberated Temple Mount from its illegal Jordanian occupiers – only to hand its administration back to Jordan for fear of Islamic holy war.

Temple Mount is a symbol therefore of the enduring timidity of Israel and its consequent belief that it can only ever seek to manage, make deals with and calm down its mortal enemies rather than defeat them. It is also a symbol of Israel’s refusal to acknowledge that the violence against it is not the result of a land boundary dispute, nor a clash of rival nationalisms. It is, far more terrifyingly, the product of Islamic holy war.

Displays of weakness such as the metal detector debacle encourage these jihadi enemies to screw the vice ever tighter. But the regional situation has now dramatically changed. Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and the other Gulf states (except rogue Qatar) all desperately need the support of Israel and America.

This is surely the time for the US to use that leverage to start addressing the real issues behind this flare-up. What’s needed is not metal detectors but the detection of long-absent mettle.

***

California Imam Urges Killing of Jews: “Annihilate Them Down to the Very Last One”

[Photo: MEMRI / YouTube ]

The Tower, July 25, 2017:

In a Friday sermon at the Islamic Center of Davis in California, an imam called on Allah to “liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque from the filth of the Jews” and to “annihilate them down to the very last one.” His sermon was translated by The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

Imam Ammar Shahin’s sermon was initially posted to the YouTube account of the Islamic Center of Davis. Shahin was born in Egypt and received a B.A. in Islamic studies there before immigrating to the United States and obtaining a degree in computer engineering.

Shahin quoted a hadith—a saying attributed to the Islamic prophet Muhammad—that claims, “Judgment Day will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews, and the Jews hide behind stones and trees, and the stones and the trees say: Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah.”

Discussing this hadith, Shahin observed, “The Prophet Muhammad says that the time will come, the Last Hour will not take place until the Muslims fight the Jews.”

“We don’t say if it is in Palestine or another place,” he added. “It will say: Oh Muslim … It will not say: Oh Palestinian, oh Egyptian, oh Syrian, oh Afghan, oh Pakistani, oh Indian … No, it will say: Oh Muslim. Muslim.”

Shahin continued by calling on Allah to “liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque from the filth of the Jews …. count them one by one and annihilate them down to the very last one. Do not spare any of them.”

“Oh Allah, make this happen by our hands. Let us play a part in this,” he added.

Palestinian leaders in Fatah—the ruling party in the Palestinian Authority, which is sometimes described as “moderate”—and the Islamist terrorist group Hamas have adopted similarly incendiary language.

Shahin’s call to “liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque from the filth of the Jews” echoes the sentiment of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who said in 2015, “The al-Aqsa [Mosque] is ours… and they have no right to defile it with their filthy feet.”

Omar el-Abed, a Palestinian terrorist who murdered three members of an Israeli family on Friday, similarly wrote on Facebook before the attack that one of his motivations was that “They desecrate the al-Aqsa mosque and we are asleep, it’s a disgrace that we sit idly by.”

The hadith cited by Shahim is also included in the Hamas covenant that was adopted in 1988 and remains in force for the terrorist group.

The Temple Mount—the holiest site in Judaism and the home of the al-Aqsa Mosque—has long been used as a subject of incitement against Jews. A teacher at the al-Aqsa Mosque school once described Jews who visit the area “monkeys and pigs,” while numerous hate preachers have called “to annihilate the Jews” and implored their followers to “slaughter Jews.”

Palestinian leaders often declare that al-Aqsa is in danger, an accusation that predates the founding of Israel.

In his testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs in 2015, Washington Institute for Near East Policy distinguished fellow David Makovsky explained:

Sadly, the charge that Israel is out to destroy the mosque is not new. This claim was made in 1929, resulting in riots in Hebron that killed 63 people. More recently, fatal violence surrounding the Temple Mount occurred in 1991 (20 killed), 1996 (87 killed), 2000 (153 killed within the first month of violence), and 2014 (9 killed).

Also see:

Fmr. Israeli Security Chief: Iranian Land Corridor, Bases in Syria Biggest Threats to Israel

Photo: Basel Awidat/Flash90

The Tower, July 19, 2017:

Iran’s efforts to build a “direct corridor” from Baghdad to the Mediterranean Sea and further entrench itself militarily in Syria are two of Israel’s most pressing concerns, Israel’s former national security adviser said Monday.

The corridor, referred to as a “Shiite crescent” by Jordan’s King Abdullah, would place Israel’s borders in “direct connection to Iran—a long line but still very easy to move forces, capabilities and everything that the Iranians will want to build around Israel,” Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror said. Iran’s ability to project its power along this route would “change the whole geostrategic situation in this area.”

The establishment of permanent Iranian bases in Syria would pose a more immediate and direct threat to Israel, placing it at risk of simultaneous confrontation with Lebanon and Syria. “Israel might face two battlegrounds,” Amidror explained, “one in Lebanon and one in Syria in which the Iranians and Hezbollah will have their infrastructure [that] can be used against Israel, in parallel, and of course it definitely will be connected to the corridor that I just described that it makes the situation even much [more] complicated for Israel.”

These bases would act as launching pads for Iranian and Hezbollah attacks against Israel from Syria, and should be prevented “whatever will be the price,” Amidror warned.

When asked what Israel might do to prevent Iran from establishing bases in Syria, Amidror said that if the United States and Russia won’t take action, “that might lead the IDF to intervene and to destroy every attempt to build infrastructure in Syria.” While he noted that Israel would first try to handle things diplomatically, he indicated that resorting to using “military capability” could also be an option.

On the implications of the underground weapons factories Iran is believed to be building in Lebanon for Hezbollah, Amidror answered that the facilities—one of which reportedly produces Fateh 110 rockets that can carry half-ton warheads and reach most of Israel—would have to be destroyed. “Lebanon as a state does not exist. But the price will be paid by the end of the day by the Lebanese,” Amidror observed.

He elaborated:

The fact is that the Iranians and Hezbollah are spreading more than a hundred thousand rockets and missiles in Lebanon. The day will come [that] we will have to destroy them and the price will be paid by the Lebanese. So, the world is allowing Hezbollah and Iran to build huge military capabilities in Lebanon and the day will come [that] we will have to deal with it and to destroy it and the price will be paid by the Lebanese. Whoever will be complaining then about the results—the devastating situation of the Lebanese who will have to pay the price—I don’t know what percentage of Lebanon will be destroyed in this struggle, but the world will have to reply to itself. The world is not stopping that and the price will be paid by the Lebanese.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday denounced Hezbollah’s ongoing military buildup, telling reporters after a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, “I share Israeli concerns on the arming of Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.”

Israel’s former ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, wrote an op-ed in May calling on the world community to take action against Hezbollah, which he said has grown stronger than most NATO nations. He urged the UN Security Council to strengthen and enforce resolution 1701, in line with Chapter 7 of the UN’s charter, which mandates peace enforcement.

According to a July 2016 report by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Israeli officials believe that any future war with Hezbollah has the potential to cause “thousands of civilian deaths” in Israel. Hezbollah has, among other things, threatened to attack ammonium tanks in Haifa, which could kill tens of thousands of people.

Jonathan Schanzer, senior vice president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, explained that month that Hezbollah’s widely-reported tactic of hiding military assets in civilian areas would lead to mass casualties. Reports emerged in 2013 that Hezbollah was offering reduced-price housing to Shiite families who allowed the terrorist group to store rocket launchers in their homes. An Israeli defense official told The New York Times in May 2015 that the buildup of Hezbollah’s terror infrastructure in southern Lebanese villages meant that “civilians are living in a military compound” and that their lives were at risk. A few days later, a newspaper linked to Hezbollah bolstered the Israeli assessment.

Brig. Gen. (res.) Nitzan Nuriel, a former director of Israel’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau, said in March that another war between Israel and Hezbollah was “only a question of time” due to the Iranian proxy’s efforts to acquire “game-changing weapons.” A week later, Eisenkot assessed that Hezbollah is building up its arsenal in Lebanon, which will bear the brunt of any future conflict between the Iranian proxy and Israel. Israeli security officials warned earlier in March that the Lebanese army, which receives American military aid, will likely fight alongside Hezbollah in a war against Israel.

A complete recording of Amidror’s call is embedded following the article here.

Jordan’s intel tags Hizballah for Temple Mt. terror

 

DEBKAfile Special Report July 20, 2017:

The Israeli police Thursday, July 20, released a video tape recording the movements of the terrorists heading for the murderous attack they committed on Temple Mount six days ago, when they shot dead two Israeli border guard police officers.

The film shows not three but four men who carefully stepped away from each other before entering the Al Aqsa Mosque. There, the three gunmen were handed their weapons by the fourth confederate, who made his escape among the crowds of worshippers exiting the mosque.
The police published the video Thursday ahead of Muslim Friday prayers – which brings tens of thousands of worshippers to Al Aqsa – as a reminder that the crime committed was a terrorist attack staged by Muslims at Islam’s third most sacred site – not the metal detectors Israel which installed for its safety. To drown this truth out, the Palestinians and Waqf officials have been raising a worldwide uproar over those detectors, as though nothing else happened to make them necessary.
The investigation going forward has established that the terrorists were far from amateurs. They acted coolly, with professional precision and were clearly highly trained and familiar with the terrain. It was a skilled terrorist cell that assaulted a shrine holy to three world faiths.
Even the absence of any claim of responsibility for the attack is a clue, especially since none of Israel’s investigators, be they police, security authorities or intelligence agencies, have so far thrown any light on the identity of the hand behind that cell.

However, DEBKAfile’s intelligence and counterterrorism sources report that Jordanian and Saudi intelligence services have come to the conclusion that the attack was the work of a Hizballah-run cell on orders from Iran. One of Hizballah’s signatures is the absence of any claim of responsibility.

On July 18, 2012, a suicide bomber blew himself up on a bus carrying Israeli tourists at the Bulgarian resort of Burgas, killing five Israelis and the Bulgarian driver and injuring 32. No organization has ever claimed this attack. Israeli intelligence uncovered evidence that it was orchestrated by Hizballah, but was never able to lay hands on the perpetrators.
The difference this time was that the three gunmen on Temple Mount had no intention of committing suicide. They did not expect the Israel police detail to react quickly enough to gun them down, but had meant to elude pursuit by fleeing to safety into Al Aqsa mosque. There they planned either to escape through ancient subterranean tunnels leading outside the Old City walls, or barricade themselves inside the cavernous mosque for a long shootout with Israel police.
Jordanian intelligence circles suspect that the Temple Mount attack was linked to the US-Russian deal for ceasefire zones in southwest Syria right up to the borders of Jordan and Israel. Both governments have demanded the exclusion of Iranian and Hizballah forces from those zones.

Tehran found an answer to this demand by demonstrating that its Lebanese proxy is capable of reaching deep inside Israel without recourse to external territory, because Hizballah not only maintains a presence in Daraa and the Syrian Golan, but has planted terrorist networks inside Israel and Jordan. The pro-Iranian terror group has long been suspected of recruiting networks in some Israeli Arab communities. By striking Temple Mount, Iran and Hizballah targeted both Israel and Jordan, which claims religious custodianship of its mosques.

Also see:

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State Dept blames Israel for causing Palestinian violence

SHOCKING NEW REPORT SAYS “LACK OF HOPE” IS A CAUSE OF PALESTINIAN VIOLENCE.

Conservative Review, by Jordan Schachtel, July 19, 2017:

Rex Tillerson’s State Department added blistering anti-Israel language to this year’s “Country Reports on Terrorism,” adopting a tone not seen even during the hostile Obama era.

On Wednesday, Tillerson submitted the annual report to Congress. This year’s report may come as a shock to the overwhelmingly pro-Israel majority that elected Donald Trump president.

The report appears to blame Israel for the lack of peace between the two sides, pointing to a “lack of hope” as a “driver” for Palestinian violence.

Tillerson’s State Department concluded that Palestinian terrorism is motivated by “Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank, settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank, the perception that the Israeli government was changing the status quo on the Haram Al Sharif/Temple Mount, and IDF tactics that the Palestinians considered overly aggressive.”

Continuing its pro-Palestinian posture, the next paragraph of the State Department memo commends the Palestinian Authority chairman for condemning acts of violence.

“Explicit calls for violence against Israelis, direct exhortations against Jews, and categorical denials by the PA of the possibility of peace with Israel are rare and the leadership does not generally tolerate it,” the memo states.

The aforementioned statement is simply not true. Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah party have a long history of promoting violence against Israel, and using inciting language to fan the flames of terror against its Jewish population.

In fact, organizations like Palestinian Media Watch and the Middle East Media Research Institute find almost daily examples of Palestinian state media waging incitement campaigns.

The State Department report does label Israel a “committed counterterrorism partner.” However, the sometimes-positive language toward America’s closest Middle East ally does not excuse the morally reprehensible act of sanctioning Palestinian violence against innocents.

By excusing Palestinian terrorism as motivated by a “lack of hope,” the State Department is helping to create a morally paradoxical environment in which the Israeli victim becomes the perpetrator and the Palestinian perpetrator becomes the victim.

Conservative Review looked through the Obama-era State Department country reports on terrorism and found that the Tillerson-led assessment added the aforementioned anti-Israel language.

Last year’s report under Obama said the Palestinians argued that terrorism is sometimes caused by frustration over “occupation.” But that report was much less accusatory because it makes clear that the position is reflecting the views of Palestinian officials, and not the U.S. government.

Tillerson continues to shock supporters of Israel with his pro-Palestinian policy promotion.

In May, the embattled secretary of state blackmailed Israel, using the debate over its embassy move as a bargaining chip for Palestinian statehood. That same month, he described Tel Aviv, not Jerusalem, as the “home of Judaism.”

Unlike U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, Tillerson refuses to recognize that the Western Wall is in Israel. Moreover, his State Department continues to reject Israeli claims over the city of Jerusalem.