Senators to Trump: Tell Abbas, Palestinians Payments to Terrorists Must Stop

Mahmoud Abbas / Getty Images

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, May 2, 2017:

A delegation of leading Republican senators is urging President Donald Trump to demand that Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas end his government’s longtime practice of paying terrorists and their families for attacks committed against Israel, according to a letter obtained by the Washington Free Beacon and sent Tuesday to the White House.

Sens. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), Marco Rubio (R., Fla.), and Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) are urging Trump to lay down a marker when he hosts Abbas later this week for a round of meetings on the Middle East peace process.

The lawmakers are pushing Trump to reverse a years-long policy under the former Obama administration that sought to downplay the Palestinian Authority’s support for terrorism and put the onus for peace directly on Israel.

“One of the most troubling aspects of the Obama administration’s handling of this issue was the double standard applied to the two parties,” the lawmakers write to Trump. “This double standard saw Israel criticized and condemned regularly, while the Palestinian Authority and its leadership were rarely, if ever, held accountable.”

“This unwillingness to speak out when the PA rewarded and glorified terrorism left many with the mistaken impression that the PA was earnestly seeking pace—and that Israel was the impediment,” the lawmakers write.

The PA, which receives millions in funding from U.S. taxpayers, spends roughly $300 million a year—or eight percent of its total budget—on salaries for Palestinian terrorists who are imprisoned in Israel for their crimes as well as the families of terrorists who attacked the Jewish state.

“Far from being an information practice, these payments are codified in Palestinian Authority law,” the lawmakers write. “If these facts seem hard to believe, it is because for many years they were obscured by an administration that found them inconvenient to the narrative it sought to promote.”

Trump must take bold action and demand that Abbas end these payments immediately. The president should also make clear that continuation of this practice will force the United States to publicly blame Abbas for stalling the peace process, according to the senators.

“The United States cannot treat the Palestinian Authority as a partner for peace, or take seriously president Abbas’s claimed desire for peace, so long as the PA is spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year funding and incentivizing terror,” the letter states.

The lawmakers additionally ask Trump to publicly express support for the Taylor Force Act, a new piece of legislation that would cut U.S. funding to the Palestinians until payments to terrorists cease.

Also see:

Hamas, ISIS Affiliates, See Opportunity in Terror Truck Attack

hamas23

by Yaakov Lappin
Special to IPT News
January 11, 2017

Hamas launched a public relations campaign in recent days, aimed at capitalizing on a deadly truck attack in Jerusalem Sunday that killed four Israeli soldiers. The campaign sheds a light on Hamas’s plans to encourage and launch jihadist atrocities, but also on its vulnerability to the arrival of ISIS as an ideology and movement.

The truck attacker was Fadi Ahmad Hamdan Qanbar, a father of four from east Jerusalem. He acted alone when he plowed into a cluster of soldiers gathered, according to Israeli assessments, under the influence of jihadist propaganda disseminated by ISIS.

That fact has not stopped Hamas from making multiple efforts to claim the attack as its own, celebrating it, and pushing Palestinians to emulate it. The Gazan regime’s goal of setting the West Bank alight is well served by such incidents.

Yet Hamas’s efforts to cash in on the truck ramming also strengthen its domestic challengers in Gaza – ISIS-affiliated Salafi-jihadist groups which have been just as quick to claim Qanbar as one of their own, and probably with better cause.

These same groups wasted little time in using the opportunity to launch stinging attacks on the Hamas regime, whose security forces arrest their members and repress their activities.

For example, an ISIS-affiliated group in Gaza proudly noted that Israel attributed the attack to one who “belongs to the Islamic Caliphate State,” and stated: “Praise Allah, who provided the oppressed people of Bayt Al-Maqdis [Jerusalem] with trucks they can use to run over the settler herds – [and this] instead of the haram [forbidden] organizations [the main Palestinian organizations].”

A grim jihadist competition is underway, over who can use the Jerusalem attack to boost its political power. Immediately after Qanbar’s attack, Hamas claimed he was an operative of its military wing, the Izz Al-Din Qassam Brigades.

Fathi Hamad, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, told a rally in Gaza to celebrate the murders that same night: “the [Israeli] soldiers fled from the Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades operative who carried out the attack for the sake of the Palestinians, the Arab nation and the Muslims.”

Other Hamas officials issued similar statements, praising Qanbar, and calling for his actions to reinvigorate the ‘intifada for Jerusalem.’

As the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) noted, Hamas’s official Twitter account chimed in: “We welcome the bold and heroic truck operation in Jerusalem which was a natural reaction to the crimes of the Israeli occupation.”

To be sure, Hamas is engaged in unceasing efforts to set up and launch terror cells in the West Bank and east Jerusalem from where they try to evade Israeli intelligence, infiltrate and commit mass casualty attacks in Israeli cities. Hamas also is a main source of inciting lone Palestinian attackers.

Yet it is also in a state of conflict with Gaza-based ISIS entities, which sporadically fire rockets into Israel hoping to provoke retaliatory Israeli airstrikes on Hamas targets. In essence, ISIS-affiliated groups try to use the Israel Air Force to punish Hamas.

ISIS views Hamas as an infidel movement due to its willingness to blend jihadist doctrines with Palestinian nationalism. Nationalism has no place in ISIS’s vision of a pan-Islamic caliphate, free of so-called artificial national divides among Muslims.

Meanwhile, tensions increased as relations between Hamas and the ISIS affiliate Wilyat Al-Sinai (Sinai Province), which once saw a good degree of cooperation, soured. This relationship enabled Hamas to continue smuggling arms into Gaza via tunnels, and to make Gazan hospitals available to wounded ISIS fighters and commanders. Egypt has long suspected Gaza’s Islamist rulers of being a steady source of weapons and volunteers for ISIS.

Now, the ISIS-affiliated movement in and around Gaza is openly challenging Hamas’s legitimacy. Ironically, Hamas does the same thing to the ruling Fatah movement in the West Bank, which it seeks to topple by provoking a large-scale Israeli military counter-terrorism operation, according to assessments by Israeli security sources.

This deadly jihadist “game of thrones” looks set to continue and could act as a destabilizing factor and a catalyst for further attacks.

The Israeli defense establishment sees the truck ramming as the work of a lone attacker – the hardest type to detect and thwart preemptively.

While the Shin Bet domestic intelligence agency is making progress using big data analytics to scan social media accounts and pick out potential lone terrorists, much work remains to be done in this challenging field.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu referred to this during remarks he made on the scene of the Jerusalem ramming, “I think the most important thing to understand is that we are under a new type of attack, by a lone terrorist, who becomes inspired and decides to spontaneously act.”

To counter ramming attacks, Israel has installed concrete barricades around bus stops in Jerusalem and the West Bank, he added. Additionally, Israeli security forces spent the past year intensively developing a “preventative intelligence infrastructure,” Netanyahu said, in reference to data analytics.

As the race continues to improve these techniques, Israel will need to continue to rely on the rapid responses of armed security forces and civilians who typically arrive at the scene of such incidents within seconds and open fire on terrorists.

Whether it is organized large-scale cells or lone murderers, the threat of indiscriminate jihadist violence looks set to remain with Israelis for years to come – though as the past two years have shown, Western cities are also increasingly prone to such threats.

Yaakov Lappin is a military and strategic affairs correspondent. He also conducts research and analysis for defense think tanks, and is
the Israel correspondent for IHS Jane’s Defense Weekly. His book, The Virtual Caliphate, explores the online jihadist presence.

ISIS’s Child Terrorists and Their Palestinian Precedents

hamas-cc-photo-from-wikimedia-commons_2

Front Page Magazine, by P. David Hornik, Aug.30, 2016:

“There is no safety for honest men, but by believing all possible evil of evil men, and by acting with promptitude, decision, and steadiness on that belief.”

Those words, written in 1791 by Irish philosopher Edmund Burke, should be deeply internalized by anyone who wants to deal seriously with international affairs. In our present era of Islamic State and other Islamic terror groups, the phrase “all possible evil” seems to take on new meaning almost every day.

As in a chilling new video, first reported by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) and reported on by Fox News here, that shows IS “cubs”—child warriors, in this case as young as ten—executing five Kurdish fighters.

The video features scenes of beheadings and other carnage before zeroing-in on the five boys and their victims. One of the boys, identified as Abu al-Baraa al-Tunisi, warns: “The war against you has not started yet and the U.S., France, the U.K., Germany, and neither humans nor Jinn devils will avail you. Prepare you coffins, dig your graves, and await a fate similar to that of these men.”

The boys then shout “Allah Akbar” and shoot the five kneeling, red-suited men in the backs of their heads.

Although this is not the first IS video to show executions by children, it is believed, Fox News notes, “to be the first showing a mass execution carried out by multiple children.”

But for all that IS is reaching new depths of “all possible evil,” it should not be forgotten that the pioneers of various modes of terrorism in our time were, and remain, the Palestinians. That includes the phenomenon of child terrorism.

As far back as the Second Intifada (2000-2005), at least nine suicide bombings were perpetrated by Palestinian minors. And the wave of stabbing, shooting, and vehicle-ramming attacks that began last September (and has lately abated) has included numerous cases of teenage terrorists and one case of an eleven-year-old terrorist.

These minors, unlike the IS “cubs,” were not explicitly delegated their tasks by adults. Yet they were responding to endemic incitement in the Palestinian Authority, and the sorts of acts they committed have been systematically glorified—up to the recent naming of a scouts’ leadership course after a terrorist who, with an accomplice, murdered a middle-aged man and two elderly men on a Jerusalem bus last October.

Gaza-based Hamas, of course—a direct ally of IS—is hardly to be outdone by the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority when it comes to linking children and terrorism.

As The Tower reported, last month Hamas “opened three-week-long training camps in Gaza for over 50,000 elementary, middle, and high school students.”  It was nothing new:

Hamas has long encouraged Palestinian children to see themselves as soldiers against Israel, often dressing them in military uniforms and teaching them how to shoot firearms. In May, Palestinian kindergarten students in the Gaza Strip wore military fatigues and brandished toy machine guns to simulate the capture of an Israeli soldier as part of a school play.

In June 2014…around one thousand students from ages 12 to 17 would line up each week in the Saraya neighborhood of Gaza City to receive [military] training…. More than 10,000 Palestinian teenagers graduated from such camps in 2015, after undergoing intensive military training using live ammunition, as well as hearing sermons from Hamas leaders praising armed attacks.

Apart from debates about efficacy, the fact that Western countries have been attacking IS in Iraq, Syria, and Libya at least indicates an awareness that the organization is evil and can only be fought.

Little such awareness, of course, has been evident when Israel has fought Hamas in the 2009, 2012, and 2014 Gaza wars. Hamas’s use of a human-shields strategy—involving the sacrifice of children as well as older civilians—has, instead of inspiring revulsion and understanding of Israel’s predicament, worked with great effect to turn blame and condemnation against Israel.

For Israel and its supporters, it is always an uphill struggle to establish that terror against Israel belongs to the same genus as terror that strikes other countries, showing the same heinous flouting of the most fundamental moral norms including distinctions between combatants and civilians and between adults and children.

That ISIS has taken child terrorism a step or two further than the Palestinian Authority or Hamas should not obscure the fact that Israel, too, has to confront “all possible evil.”

***

Also see:

Israel charges UN employee with aiding Hamas in Gaza

Waheed Abd Allah Bossh, an engineer with the UN's Development Program, accused of using his position to aid the Hamas terrorist organization on August 9, 2016. (Shin Bet)

Waheed Abd Allah Bossh, an engineer with the UN’s Development Program, accused of using his position to aid the Hamas terrorist organization on August 9, 2016. (Shin Bet)

The Times of Israel, by  August 9, 2016:

Israel on Tuesday accused a United Nations employee of taking advantage of his position to assist the Hamas terrorist group in the Gaza Strip, the third such allegation in less than a week.

According to the Shin Bet security service, Wahid Abd Allah Borsh, 38, an engineer in the UN’s Development Program, both funneled resources to the terrorist group and kept Hamas out of trouble with the international organization.

In July, Shin Bet officers arrested Borsh, a resident of Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip, as he made his way into the coastal enclave through the Erez Crossing, the security service said.

During his interrogation, Borsh told investigators that in 2014, he was directed by Hamas to “focus on his work in the UNDP in a way that would allow Hamas to extract the greatest possible benefit from him,” the Shin Bet said.

“This investigation also demonstrates how Hamas exploits the resources of international aid organizations at the expense of the civilian population of the Gaza Strip,” the security service said.

The UNDP did not have an immediate response to the allegations, but said it planned to release a statement “within the hour.”

Hamas, meanwhile, denied the allegations in an official statement. The group’s spokesperson Sami Abu Zurhi called the accusations “false and baseless,” and said they were aimed at helping Israel strengthen its “siege” of Gaza.

If Israel persists in its policy of accusing aid organizations in Gaza, it would face “dangerous consequences,” Zurhi said.

The UNDP has operated in the West Bank and Gaza since the late 1970s. In recent years, its Gaza branch has focused on rebuilding the homes and businesses destroyed in the conflicts between Israel and Hamas.

In light of the allegations, the Foreign Ministry demanded the United Nations carry out an “immediate investigation of the incident in order to ensure that an organization that is supposed to work toward peace and calm is not supporting a murderous terrorist group,” Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said in a statement.

“Along with that, we must increase the oversight of the moneys that flow to human rights organizations, which are repeatedly used to transfer money to terrorist groups,” she said.

In addition to directing material support to Hamas, Borsh allegedly helped the group keep its weapons and materiel after they were found in UN locations.

“For example, when weapons or terrorist tunnel openings were discovered in houses being handled by the UNDP, Hamas would take control of the site and confiscate the arms and other materials,” the Shin Bet said.

“This violates clear UN procedures according to which UNMAS is supposed to be immediately notified as the United Nations Mine Action Service is the UN body in charge of dealing, inter alia, with explosive remnants of war,” it said.

Through his work as an engineer, Borsh allegedly directed the UNDP to work on projects that would benefit Hamas.

Read more

Also see:

Palestinian Terrorists Incorporating Rat Poison in Attack Plans

by IPT News  •  Aug 2, 2016

A Palestinian terrorist planned to bomb the Jerusalem light rail last month with an explosive device containing poisonous material, Israeli police said Tuesday.

Ali Abu Hassan – a civil engineering student from a village northwest of Hebron – infiltrated Jerusalem on July 15 armed with three pipe bombs forming a large explosive. The terrorist doused nails and screws fitted on the explosive with rat poison to maximize the carnage.

Hassan researched how to make a bomb that would inflict “the most, and most effective, damage” and “even carried out test explosions with a number of bombs in order to check them before entering Israel,” said the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security agency.

The investigation revealed that Hassan originally intended to attack a restaurant, but changed his target after seeing numerous civilians boarding Jerusalem’s light rail. A security guard notified police after checking and discovering the explosive in Hassan’s bag after boarding the train.

An Israeli court on Tuesday charged Hassan for building a weapon, attempted murder, and conspiracy.

Another major terrorist plot this year also involved the use of rat poison.

In June, Palestinian terrorists opened fire on a Tel Aviv café, killing four civilians and injuring 15 others. According to the indictment, the terrorists also planned to contaminate knives with rat poison and stab Israelis, going so far as to buy the poison, but never executed that part of the plan.

These incidents mark a significant development concerning the recent wave of Palestinian terrorism targeting Israelis. While most individual terrorist initiatives involved rudimentary means for attack – including stabbing and vehicular attacks – these high profile cases show that an educated Palestinian with the motivation to kill Israelis is capable of producing relatively sophisticated terrorist means that can maximize casualties. More importantly, the use of rat poison may signal the emergence of a new trend in which Palestinians seek to exploit unconventional attack methods, including chemical and biological agents, to inflict greater damage and spread fear throughout Israeli society.

Muslim Nations Defend Palestinian Terror During UN Terrorism Review After U.S. Citizen Murdered Near Hebron

OIC-at-UN.sized-770x415xbPJ MEDIA, BY PATRICK POOLE, JULY 3, 2016:

Thirteen-year-old Hillel Ariel, a U.S. citizen, was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist last week while sleeping in her bed in her home near Hebron.

The day after her murder the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the group representing all 57 Muslim-majority nations, tried to insert justifications for Palestinian terror during a United Nations review of its counter-terrorism strategy.

Stephanie Granot of The Jewish Press reports:

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), attempted to introduce language condoning terrorism under certain conditions into a draft of a UN Counter-Terrorism Resolution. The official document is expected to be finalized on Tuesday when the General Assembly concludes a bi-annual Review of its UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.The OIC, an organization of 57 member-states that considers itself “the collective voice of the Muslim world”, has Permanent Delegations to the United Nations as well as to the European Union. Several days prior to the start of the Review, OIC Representative Abdallah Y. Al-Mouallimi (Saudi Arabia) sought to insert the following clause to the draft of the resolution: “Terrorism in the name of self-determination and national liberation does not constitute terrorism.”

Shortly after Rep. Al-Mouallimi addressed the General Assembly, Israel’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador David Roet delivered an impassioned and powerful speech…

Subsequent to Ambassador Roet’s speech, some significant diplomatic maneuvering by the Israel’s Mission to the UN, and a steadfast refusal on Israel’s part to allow member-states to compromise draft language for the sake of a unanimous consensus, the clause was ultimately not included in the final draft of the review, entitled “The United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy Review”.

As the article notes, the OIC, which is the second largest inter-governmental body in the world behind the United Nations, has a permanent delegation at the UN.

In May, just a month before the Orlando terror attack targeting a gay nightclub that killed 49, the OIC blocked LGBT groups from attending a UN conference on AIDS held days before the attack.

The defense of Palestinian terrorism is a recurring topic of the OIC.

In April 2002, in response to the 9/11 terror attacks, the OIC adopted a declaration on international terrorism. But during the debate the OIC could not agree on a definition of terrorism, but did reject “any attempt to associate Islamic states or Palestinian and Lebanese resistance with terrorism.”

The OIC’s Islamic Fiqh Council published a January 2003 resolution explicitly endorsing Palestinian terror attacks, saying suicide attacks are a legitimate form of jihad:

3- The Islamic Fiqh Council asserts that jihad and martyr operations done to defend the Islamic creed, dignity, freedom and the sovereignty of states is not considered terrorism but a basic form of necessary defense for legitimate rights. Thus the oppressed peoples who are subjected to occupation have the right to seek their freedom via all means possible.4- The Islamic Fiqh Council stresses that martyr operations are a form of jihad, and carrying out those operations is a legitimate right that has nothing to do with terrorism or suicide. Those operations become obligatory when they become the only way to stop the aggression of the enemy, defeat it, and grievously damage its power.

5- It is not allowed to use terms such as “jihad”, “terrorism”, and “violence”, which have become frequently used by today’s mass media as scientific terms, to mean other connotations beyond their basic well known meanings.

In between its unashamed defense of terrorism, the OIC has taken up the cause of suppressing freedom of speech in the name of combating “Islamophobia.”

As I noted last year here at PJ Media, the OIC remarkably called for more free speech limits immediately following the terror attack on the Paris offices of French satirical publication Charlie Hebdo. After reporting that, the OIC’s representative to the UN, Ufuk Gokcen, blocked me on Twitter.

I also reported exclusively that the OIC had funneled $325,000 to Georgetown University through the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) terror front group to push its “Islamophobia” agenda.

Through the OIC’s 2005 10-Year Plan of Action and supporting implementation plan, they stated their intent to push for the international criminalization of criticism of Islam.

Hillary Clinton enthusiastically backed the OIC’s push for criminalizing “Islamophobia,” with the U.S. co-sponsoring UNHRC Resolution 16/18 with Pakistan on behalf of the OIC which calls for free speech restrictions in the name of banning “defamation of religion.”

At a July 2011 meeting with the OIC in Istanbul, she reaffirmed her commitment to Resolution 16/18, vowingto use some old-fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming so that people don’t feel that they have the support to do what we abhor.”

Clinton hosted the OIC in a three-day closed-door conference in Washington, D.C., in December 2011. The official OIC media center characterized the meetings with Clinton as an effort to enact its “defamation of religion” agenda spelled out in the OIC’s annual Islamophobia Observatory.

No word if now-Democratic Party presidential candidate Clinton endorses the attempts by the OIC to justify Palestinian terrorism.

66% of Palestinians in Hamas-Controlled Gaza Believe Terrorism Serves the Palestinian Cause

children_1543287iThese numbers are symptoms of a larger issue at work in Palestinian culture: jihadist ideology promoted through corrupt leadership.

Counter Jihad, by Bruce Cornibe · | April 26, 2016

Amid months of heightened tension between Arabs and Israelis, Palestinian attitudes continue to show a propensity towards violence against Israelis. A recent poll by the JMCC (Jerusalem Media and Communications Center), sampling 1,000 random Palestinians ages 15-29, reveals that young Palestinians feel terrorism serves the Palestinian cause. The poll found a shocking 66% of youth in the Gaza Strip and 40% in the West Bank believe the recent terror attacks against Israelis furthers the Palestinian cause, while only 17% (Gaza Strip) and 23% (West Bank) say the attacks hinder the cause. This is an alarming statistic to say the least. Here are some other disturbing figures,

“More than 35% of respondents in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip predicted that the violence would develop into a fully-fledged uprising, the results showed.”

“Palestinian youth seem to be equally split over “military operations” against Israel: 43% in favor and against. Support among Palestinian youth for the two-state solution stands at 42%, according to the poll. Nearly 20% said they preferred a bi-national state.”

“An overwhelming majority of 67% of respondents believe that negotiations will not succeed in resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. In addition, the survey found, a majority of 63% of Palestinian youths oppose working with like-minded Israeli youths to find a solution to the conflict, while 27% supported the idea.”

These numbers are symptoms of a larger issue at work in Palestinian culture; jihadist ideology promoted through corrupt leadership. From Yasser Arafat to Mahmoud Abbas and Ismail Haniyeh, Palestinian leaders continue to push propaganda and incite violence against Israelis, leaving their citizens misinformed and misguided. One example is the Hamas controlled Al-Aqsa TV which runs programs such as “Pioneers of Tomorrow,” that encourages the audience to “throw stones” at Jews, and in one episode the host applauds a young child for her wish to be a police office and “shoot Jews.” Palestinian social media is another outlet where this this kind of violence is transmitted (poll shows about 60% of youth depend on “Facebook and Twitter as a first source of news”). Late last year Israel’s UN ambassador, Danny Danon, talked about the prevalence of “How to Stab a Jew” tutorials on the internet, while Twitter users utilized the Arabic hashtag, “Slaughtering the Jews,” encouraging further stabbings.