Sunday, June 23, 2024

The Palestinian Plan For 'The Day After' In Gaza: To Kill More Jews And Destroy Israel - Bassam Tawil

 

by Bassam Tawil

Any strategy the Biden administration proposes for the day after the war in the Gaza Strip is bound to fail.... Any legitimate discussion about what the day after looks like in the Gaza Strip must address the radical and Islamist elements in Palestinian society.

 

  • The Palestinians, meanwhile, appear to have their own ideas about what should happen the day after the war in Gaza: they want to murder even more Jews and carry on the Jihad (holy war) to destroy Israel. Rebuilding the Gaza Strip is not a top priority for many Palestinians. Their primary focus lies in providing support to Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist organizations that aim to destroy the sole homeland of the Jewish people.

  • Hamas says its plan is to "keep the flame of resistance burning.... the [resistance] will not end and will not be extinguished until the comprehensive liberation and the establishment of a fully sovereign Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital."

  • Hamas refers to a variety of terrorist actions as "resistance." These include suicide bombings, stabbings, car-rammings, shootings, firing rockets, gang rapes, and beheadings. This is the only form of "resistance" Hamas has known and practiced since its founding 36 years ago. As far as Hamas is concerned...[a]ll Jews are "settlers" who need to be killed or expelled from their state.

  • As Hamas openly states in its charter... "There is no solution for the Palestinian question expect through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals, and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors."

  • Hamas... is, not surprisingly, also opposed to any plan that seeks to remove it from power in the Gaza Strip. As long as Hamas's military capabilities are not totally eliminated, neither the Palestinian Authority nor the Arab countries will take over administration of the Gaza Strip.

  • The only plan Hamas (and many Palestinians) believes in is one that calls on all Muslims to undertake Jihad against Israel. For this reason, the Biden administration is misguided in thinking that Hamas, which enjoys broad support among the Palestinians, would approve of any plan for the day after in the Gaza Strip that does not view terrorism as the only means of eradicating Israel and ethnically cleansing the Jewish people.

  • The [Palestinian Center For Policy and Survey Research] poll also found that satisfaction with Hamas's performance has increased to 75%.

  • Any strategy the Biden administration proposes for the day after the war in the Gaza Strip is bound to fail.... Any legitimate discussion about what the day after looks like in the Gaza Strip must address the radical and Islamist elements in Palestinian society.

  • "The possibility of defeating Israel is very real...and the possibility of liberating Palestine is very great... Any other option will certainly be rejected, especially if it is accompanied by any non-Palestinian security presence. The Palestinians will consider it a new form of occupation, regardless of the identity of these forces." — Bassam Naim, senior Hamas official, to Al-Jazeera.

  • "Israel is a country that has no place on our land.... We must remove it because it constitutes a security, military and political catastrophe to the Arab and Islamic nation.... We must teach Israel a lesson, and we will do it twice and three times. The Al-Aqsa Flood is just the first time, and there will be a second, a third, a fourth...." – Ghazi Hamad, senior Hamas official, Lebanese TV channel LBC, October 24, 2023.

The Palestinians appear to have their own ideas about what should happen the day after the war in Gaza: they want to murder even more Jews and carry on the Jihad (holy war) to destroy Israel. Pictured: Hamas terrorists on their way into Israel from Gaza Strip, on their mission to murder Jews, on the morning of October 7, 2023. (Photo by Said Khatib/AFP via Getty Images)

The Biden administration says it will soon reveal its plans for the Gaza Strip's future in the aftermath of the Hamas-led attack on Israel on October 7, 2023, in which the terrorist organization murdered 1,200 Israeli, wounded thousands more and kidnapping more than 240 Israelis, including babies, women and the elderly. Half of the Israeli hostages, only 50 of whom may still be alive, are still being held in the Gaza Strip by Hamas terrorists and "ordinary" Palestinians.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on June 12:

"In the coming weeks, we will put forward proposals for the key elements of a 'day after plan' including concrete ideas for how to manage governance, security, reconstruction. That plan is key to turning a ceasefire into an enduring end to the conflict, but also turning an end to the war to a just and durable peace and using that peace as a foundation for building more integrated, more stable and prosperous region,"

The Palestinians, meanwhile, appear to have their own ideas about what should happen the day after the war in Gaza: they want to murder even more Jews and carry on the Jihad (holy war) to destroy Israel. Rebuilding the Gaza Strip is not a top priority for many Palestinians. Their primary focus lies in providing support to Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist organizations that aim to destroy the sole homeland of the Jewish people.

Hamas, buoyed by its popularity among the Palestinians, seems certain that after the war it will continue to rule the Gaza Strip. In addition to preserving its rule over the Gaza Strip, Hamas says its plan is to "keep the flame of resistance burning in the face of Israeli, its fascist government, and the herds of settlers, in all parts of the homeland because the [resistance] will not end and will not be extinguished until the comprehensive liberation and the establishment of a fully sovereign Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital."

Hamas refers to a variety of terrorist actions as "resistance." These include suicide bombings, stabbings, car-rammings, shootings, firing rockets, gang-rapes, and beheadings. This is the only form of "resistance" Hamas has known and practiced since its founding 36 years ago. As far as Hamas is concerned, there is no difference between a Jew living in a settlement in the West Bank or in Tel Aviv. All Jews are "settlers" who need to be killed or expelled from their state.

When Hamas talks about "comprehensive liberation," it means the elimination of Israel, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. As Hamas openly states in its charter:

"Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it." (Introduction)

"Hamas believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Muslim generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered. It, or any part of it, should not be given up. Neither a single Arab country nor all Arab countries, neither any king or president, nor all kings and presidents, neither any organization nor all of them, be they Palestinian or Arab, possess the right to do that." (Article 11)

"There is no solution for the Palestinian question expect through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals, and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors." (Article 13)

Hamas continues to reject any peace plans or proposals for solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The terrorist group is, not surprisingly, also opposed to any plan that seeks to remove it from power in the Gaza Strip. As long as Hamas's military capabilities are not totally eliminated, neither the Palestinian Authority nor the Arab countries will take over administration of the Gaza Strip.

The only plan Hamas (and many Palestinians) believes in is one that calls on all Muslims to undertake Jihad against Israel. For this reason, the Biden administration is misguided in thinking that Hamas, which enjoys broad support among the Palestinians, would approve of any plan for the "day after" in the Gaza Strip that does not view terrorism as the only means of eradicating Israel and ethnically cleansing the Jewish people.

A recent poll conducted by the Palestinian Center For Policy and Survey Research (PSR) showed that 56% of the Palestinians are convinced that Hamas will continue to rule the Gaza Strip after the war. Only 11% believe that a new Palestinian Authority with an elected president, parliament and government will be in control.

When asked who the public would prefer to control the Gaza Strip after the war, 61% said it was Hamas, 16% chose a new Palestinian Authority with an elected president, parliament and government, 6% chose the current PA without its current leader, Mahmoud Abbas, now in the 19th year of his four-year term.

For the third time since the October 7 atrocities committed by Hamas and thousands of "ordinary" Palestinians, the PSR poll asked the Palestinians what they thought of Hamas's decision to launch the attack on Israel. Two thirds, compared to 71% in March 2024 and 72% in December 2023, say it was "correct."

The poll also found that satisfaction with Hamas's performance has increased to 75%.

Any strategy the Biden administration proposes for the day after the war in the Gaza Strip is bound to fail, as evidenced by the huge support for Hamas and the crimes it committed against Israelis on October 7. Any legitimate discussion about what the day after looks like in the Gaza Strip must address the radical and Islamist elements in Palestinian society.

Emboldened by the Biden administration's growing pressure on Israel to end the war, Hamas leaders are convinced that they are on their way to achieving victory. "The possibility of defeating Israel is very real, possible and available, and the possibility of liberating Palestine is very great," senior Hamas official Bassam Naim told the Qatari-owned Al-Jazeera network when asked about the day after the war in the Gaza Strip.

"This may have costs, but this is the nature of things. Any other option will certainly be rejected, especially if it is accompanied by any non-Palestinian security presence. The Palestinians will consider it a new form of occupation, regardless of the identity of these forces."

Asked if the Palestinian Authority would be allowed to return to the Gaza Strip, the Hamas official responded:

"The Palestinian Authority, under the current circumstances, is unable to manage the Palestinian people in the West Bank, and therefore it is too weak to play this role in the Gaza Strip."

Mohammed al-Hindi, a senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) official, was also asked about his organization's vision for the future of the Gaza Strip. PIJ, he said, will not abandon the armed struggle against Israel and will never accept the Biden administration's plan for establishing a Palestinian state next to Israel.

"The outcome of this conflict will decide the fate of the entire region, including Palestine and Israel," al-Hindi argued.

"No one should be tempted to fall into the deception of a one- or two-state solution. In the wake of the strategic defeat of the [Israeli] enemy, there is talk again about the two-state solution. The American administration affirms at every opportunity that a Palestinian state cannot be established except through direct negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel. Some Palestinians and Arabs are ready to engage in the context of this deception to circumvent the consequences of the Al-Aqsa Flood [the name Hamas uses to call its October 7 atrocities]."

Finally, if one wants evidence of what the day after the war will look like, one needs to listen to what Ghazi Hamad, another prominent figure in Hamas, said shortly after October 7. Celebrating the murder of Israelis, Hamad swore that, given the chance, Hamas would carry out similar crimes repeatedly until Israel is exterminated.

"Israel is a country that has no place on our land," Hamad said in an interview with Lebanese TV channel LBC, and translated and published by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

"We must remove that country, because it constitutes a security, military, and political catastrophe to the Arab and Islamic nation, and must be finished. We are not ashamed to say this, with full force.We must teach Israel a lesson, and we will do this again and again. The Al-Aqsa Flood is just the first time, and there will be a second, a third, a fourth, because we have the determination, the resolve, and the capabilities to fight. Will we have to pay a price? Yes, and we are ready to pay it. We are called a nation of martyrs, and we are proud to sacrifice martyrs."


Bassam Tawil is a Muslim Arab based in the Middle East. The work of Bassam Tawil is made possible through the generous donation of a couple of donors who wished to remain anonymous. Gatestone is most grateful.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/20725/palestinian-plan-gaza-day-after

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Biden's foreign policy record gives Trump ammunition ahead of debate - Ben Whedon

 

by Ben Whedon

Trump, for his part, has long cast himself as a peacemaker in contrast to Biden’s interventionist approach to global affairs and is likely to press the incumbent commander-in-chief about the uptick in global tensions under his watch.

 

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are expected to square off in the first presidential debate of the 2024 election next Thursday and Trump appears poised to hammer his opponent on foreign affairs.

The pair negotiated their participation in the debate over a string of social media challenges to one another and have circumvented the Commission on Presidential Debates, which has traditionally managed the contests. Foreign policy is expected to feature prominently in the discussion amid the backdrop of conflicts in Europe, the Middle East, and rising tensions in the Pacific.

Trump, for his part, has long cast himself as a peacemaker in contrast to Biden’s interventionist approach to global affairs and is likely to press the incumbent commander-in-chief about the uptick in global tensions under his watch.

During the Trump administration, Washington attempted a diplomatic rapprochement with North Korea, sought to foster friendly relations between Israel and its neighbors, and negotiated a withdrawal agreement with the Afghan government and the Taliban. 

Under his successor, however, most of those developments have either been stalled or upended, with conflicts erupting across those regions, potentially handing Trump considerable ammunition against Biden in the debate. The campaign, for his part, has been clear that Trump will use it.

“President Trump will contrast his strong record on the world stage that encouraged peace around the world with Joe Biden's weakness that has emboldened our adversaries, weakened our allies, and led to war from Ukraine to the Middle East,” Trump Campaign National Press Secretary Karoline Leavitt told Just the News.

North Korea

Known colloquially as the “Hermit Kingdom,” North Korea has been a geopolitical pariah for decades, maintaining formal relations with a limited number of strategic partners and attracting international concern over its nuclear program and bellicose rhetoric towards its southern counterpart.

Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un generally developed personally amicable relations while Washington pursued a diplomatic pact intended to curb the nation’s nuclear and military ambitions. Those efforts resulted in a 2018 summit in Singapore between Trump and Kim, as well as a 2019 summit in Vietnam, though they did not achieve a formal agreement on denuclearization.

The Biden administration has since resumed military drills with Seoul, which Trump had largely curtailed, resulting in a return to frosty relations. The U.S. and South Korea held their first large-scale drills in August of 2022 after a five-year pause.

Tensions between the North and South have escalated dramatically in recent years, moreover. Earlier this month, for instance, Pyongyang sent trash-laden balloons across the border in response to the south’s blasting K-Pop music across the border.

This week, moreover, Kim signed a mutual defense pact with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which the latter called a "truly breakthrough document.” The development appears to have locked Pyongyang firmly in an adversarial camp against Washington and reversed much of the prior administration’s initiatives.

Afghanistan

The Trump administration in 2020 negotiated a withdrawal agreement to remove U.S. forces from Afghanistan after roughly 20 years. The terms of Trump’s agreement required both the Taliban and Afghan government to meet certain criteria for U.S. help to establish "a peaceful, negotiated government in Afghanistan without U.S. troop presence," former Trump advisor Kash Patel told the John Solomon Reports podcast in 2021.

Under the Biden administration, the U.S. went ahead with the withdrawal, but did so amid a Taliban offensive that saw the armed group seize control of the country. The conflict concluded with tens of thousands of Afghan allies and American personnel evacuated out of Hamid Karzai airport in Kabul. During the evacuation, 13 U.S. service members were killed in a bombing on the airport’s Abbey Gate. 

Though a report from United States Central Command (CENTCOM) concluded that the incident was not preventable, the families of some of the victims have nonetheless blamed Biden for his handling of the withdrawal. Gold Star father Steve Nikoui this year interrupted Biden’s State of the Union address shouting “Abbey Gate!” His son, Kareem, died in the attack.

Patel further excoriated the administration for ignoring the detailed plans he says the Trump administration left behind and asserted that Washington’s handover of a key airbase set the stage for the Taliban’s eventual victory.

“We would not have ever relinquished control of Bagram Airfield, because that is our command and control node for the entire region," he said. The Biden administration has largely attempted to blame the Trump administration and a report released last year insisted that "[d]uring the transition from the Trump Administration to the Biden Administration, the outgoing Administration provided no plans for how to conduct the final withdrawal or to evacuate Americans and Afghan allies.”

"We actually did not leave them a deadline," Patel insisted. "It was a negotiation between the U.S. government, the Taliban, and the Afghans. And if that date was not to work for this incoming administration, they could have moved it. But what they chose to do was break the entire agreement. And then they thought, since the adults were back in Washington, D.C., and Blinken and Biden were leading the charge, the world will just fall into place for them.”

Israel

Trump’s tenure also witnessed the signing of the Abraham Accords, a historic set of diplomatic agreements that saw a number of Muslim-majority nations establish formal diplomatic ties with Israel after decades of hostility. The relatively quiet period in the Levant stood in contrast to the current situation, which has seen geopolitical tensions escalate sharply in the wake of the Oct. 7 Hamas raid that triggered the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

Biden’s handling of the issue has drawn criticism from both sides of the political spectrum, with many of his progressive detractors demanding he press Israel to limit civilian casualties and his Republican opponents insisting he hamstrung Jerusalem in its quest to eliminate Hamas. He notably attracted Republican scrutiny in May over a threat to hold up arms shipments to Israel if it went forward with an invasion of Rafah, to which many civilians fled amid Israeli military operations.

"What Biden is doing with respect to Israel is disgraceful," Trump said in May in response to Biden’s threat over the Rafah situation. "If any Jewish person voted for Joe Biden, they should be ashamed of themselves. He's totally abandoned Israel. I guess he feels good about it because he did it as a political decision.”

Biden has further attracted criticism from the left, including from Arab Americans and Muslims, which are traditionally Democratic constituencies. In October of last year, for instance, the National Muslim Democratic Council warned Biden that his “unconditional support [for Israel], encompassing funding and armaments, has played a significant role in perpetuating the violence that is causing civilian casualties and has eroded trust in voters who previously put their faith in you.”

Muslim leaders in Michigan -- with a large Muslim population --  last December launched the #AbandonBiden National Coalition in response to his handling of the conflict. Biden ultimately won the Michigan Democratic primary, though 16.2% of participants cast their votes for “uncommitted” in what was widely seen as a protest vote.

Russia

Trump, for years, faced allegations of collusion with the Russian government to win the 2016 presidential election. Though now-thoroughly debunked, Trump continues to face claims that he is close to Putin.

The former president, for his part, has made much of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, contending that such a development would not have occurred on his watch and that Putin’s aggression signaled his disregard for Biden’s leadership. Russia invaded Ukraine in February of 2022 and the conflict has persisted with no signs of a ceasefire. The invasion followed 10-years of internal conflict in Ukraine after the 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea.

"If I were in Office, this deadly Ukraine situation would never have happened!" Trump said shortly after the invasion began. "[Putin] was going to be satisfied with a piece [of Ukraine] and now he sees the weakness and the incompetence and the stupidity of this administration," he said the same month.

“Putin only invaded Ukraine, because he has no respect for Biden. Would have never happened under the Trump Administration, and for four years it didn’t happen!” he said in March of this year.

Biden has stood by his support for aiding Kyiv, even amid signs of mounting Russian gains in the eastern Ukrainian provinces. Earlier this month, he signed a 10-year security agreement with Ukraine with the aim of strengthening the nation’s “credible defense and deterrence capabilities for the long term.”


Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X.

Source: https://justthenews.com/politics-policy/wkdbiden-foreign-record-gives-trump-ammunition-ahead-debate

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

'What constitutes a border crisis?' Sanctuary cities have found out - Tom Gantert

 

by Tom Gantert

Since Joe Biden took office in January 2021, about 12 million illegal border crossings have been documented.

 

(The Center Square) -

In March 2021, the Los Angeles Times published a story with a headline that asked, "What constitutes a border crisis?"

The story quoted then House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy as saying, "There is no other way to claim it than a Biden border crisis."

Then the LA Times asked, "But is it a crisis?"

Just a month later in April 2021, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio released a statement about his city being a sanctuary city.

“New York City is proud to be a welcoming and inclusive city for immigrants,” de Blasio said at the time.

The debate in the U.S. on migrants took off in April 2022 when Texas Gov. Greg Abbott decided to take a stand against President Joe Biden and what Abbott called an open border policy.

Abbott stated that Biden's repeal of Title 42 – a pandemic-era policy that allowed the government to quickly expel arriving asylum seekers – had created an "unprecedented surge of illegal aliens" into the country with as many as 18,000 apprehensions a day.

Abbott said that Texas border towns were being overrun by migrants and were overwhelmed. His solution was to bus many of the arriving migrants to sanctuary cities across the U.S.

In August 2022, when the first bus of migrants leaving Texas arrived in New York, Abbott was clear why he had his state paid for the trip. New York had a new mayor by then.

“New York City is the ideal destination for these migrants, who can receive the abundance of city services and housing that Mayor Eric Adams has boasted about within the sanctuary city,” Abbott stated in a news release. “I hope he follows through on his promise of welcoming all migrants with open arms so that our overrun and overwhelmed border towns can find relief."

And just over a year later, New York Gov. Kathleen Hochul was on CNN in September 2023 pleading with immigrants to “go somewhere else.”

How it has played out was not lost on liberal comedian Bill Maher.

“Could everyone just stop the posturing?” Maher said on a July 2023 podcast with Sharon Osbourne. “Don’t pretend that you love migrants so much and then when we send them to you, you don’t like them. You know? You’re full of [expletive]. And we can see that. Yeah, you liked them when it wasn’t your problem because you’re not a border state. And then when they show up in Chicago and New York, you’re like ‘What the [expletive] are we going to do with these people?’”

New York wasn’t the only destination for Abbott's buses. He also targeted other sanctuary cities, such as Washington, D.C, Chicago and Denver.

The New York Times published an article in July 2023 that had a headline that asked, "Is Texas' Busing Responsible for the Migrant Crisis Across Cities?"

On June 14, Abbott’s office stated that it had bused 119,200 migrants to six sanctuary cities since August 2022. That included 45,700 migrants to New York City and 36,900 migrants to Chicago since August 2022. There were also 19,200 migrants bused to Denver since May 2023 and 12,500 migrants bused to Washington D.C. since April 2022.

But Abbott wasn't alone in busing migrants from the border to locations throughout the country. The Democratic-run city of El Paso also bused migrants north.

Democratic Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs stated in September 2023 that Arizona was "overwhelmed" by the flow of migrants into her state. Arizona spent $10.5 million transporting 10,247 migrants out of state as of September 2023.

That's just part of a bigger surge of migrants into the U.S. Since Biden took office in January 2021, about 12 million illegal border crossings have been documented, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data and a compilation of "gotaway" data obtained from border agents by The Center Square. Gotaways is the official CBP term to describe those who illegally crossed the border between ports of entry but who were not apprehended. CBP does not publicly release "gotaway" data.

The increase in migrants has hammered the budgets of sanctuary cities.

Washington, D.C. created an Office of Migrant Services with an initial start-up cost of $10 million in 2022. In 2025, the city budgeted $39 million for that office.

Chicago has spent $299 million on migrants since 2022, according to a March 2024 report by the Illinois Policy Institute, and that does not include the hundreds of millions of dollars state taxpayers have paid for costs such as migrant health care.

New York City Mayor Adams said in August 2023 the migrant crisis may cost his city $12 billion over three years.

The city of Denver stated in April 2024 that the increase in migrants has cost it $63 million.

The cost to taxpayers in the state of Texas was $13.4 billion in 2023, according to the Federation For American Immigration Reform. Only California had a higher cost at $30.9 billion.

Ira Mehlman, spokesman for the Federation For American Immigration Reform, said Abbott's busing strategy has worked.

"His busing policy exposed the hypocrisy of many sanctuary jurisdiction politicians who extolled the virtues of mass immigration regardless of its legality, but are not so happy when they actually have to deal with the real impact of large numbers of migrants," Mehlman said in an email to The Center Square. "So long as it was someone else’s problem, they were happy to virtue signal and criticize others. Once it became their problem, they demanded that Abbott and others stop sending them migrants. For years, these sanctuary proponents claimed that illegal aliens were a benefit to the country, but are now demanding federal assistance to manage to cover their costs, exposing the fact that illegal immigration imposes huge fiscal costs."


Tom Gantert

Source: https://justthenews.com/nation/states/center-square/what-constitutes-border-crisis-sanctuary-cities-have-found-out

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Hezbollah threatens war ‘without rules’ - JNS

 

by JNS

A video clip released by the Iran-backed terrorist group includes footage and GPS coordinates of various sites in central Israel.

 

Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah in Beirut on May 8, 2023. Credit: Mohammad Kassir/Shutterstock.
Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah in Beirut on May 8, 2023. Credit: Mohammad Kassir/Shutterstock.

The Iranian-backed Hezbollah terror group overnight Saturday threatening to wage war against Israel “with no restraints.”

In a video message, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said, “In case an inclusive war is imposed on Lebanon, the resistance will fight without restraints, without rules, without limits.”

The minute-long clip then shows footage of various sites in central Israel, along with their GPS coordinates.

“Whoever thinks of war against us, will regret it,” the video ends.

Last week, U.S. presidential envoy Amos Hochstein visited Israel and Lebanon in an attempt to prevent all-out war on the Jewish state’s northern border.

Hochstein met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, telling the premier that de-escalation was possible but that there was no “magic solution” to the situation, which he said was largely dependent on what happens with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The White House official reportedly rejected Jerusalem’s demand that a diplomatic deal to end the conflict in the north be based on the implementation of U.N. Security Resolution 1701—which was adopted to end the Second Lebanon War in 2006 and calls for a demilitarized zone from the Blue Line to the Litani River some 18 miles to the north.

Instead, he said it should include a range of options, including moving Hezbollah six miles from the border. He stressed that the United States was concerned about further escalation and called for calm on both sides.

Hochstein traveled to Beirut on Tuesday, including for talks with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, a powerful ally of Hezbollah.

“The conflict along the Blue Line [the de facto border] between Israel and Hezbollah has gone on for long enough,” Hochstein said after the meeting with Berri. “Innocent people are dying, property is damaged, families are shattered and the Lebanese economy continues to decline.

“The country is suffering for no good reason. It’s in everyone’s interest to resolve it quickly and diplomatically,” added the American envoy.

Iran-backed Hezbollah has attacked northern Israel nearly every day since joining the war in support of Hamas on Oct. 8, killing more than 20 people and causing widespread damage. Tens of thousands of Israeli civilians remain internally displaced due to the ongoing violence.


JNS

Source: https://www.jns.org/hezbollah-threatens-war-without-rules/

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

'Not in the name of Islam': Muslims speak out against Hamas - Jerusalem Post Staff

 

by Jerusalem Post Staff

"Terrorist groups like Hamas and their backers, including Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard (IRGC), cannot be allowed to speak for all Muslims or Islam."

 

Faithful attend the prayer marking the Eid al-Adha festival, at the Grand Mosque of the Avenue 8 in Treichville, a district of Abidjan, Ivory Coast June 16, 2024 (photo credit: REUTERS/LUC GNAGO)
Faithful attend the prayer marking the Eid al-Adha festival, at the Grand Mosque of the Avenue 8 in Treichville, a district of Abidjan, Ivory Coast June 16, 2024
(photo credit: REUTERS/LUC GNAGO)

The organization Council of Muslims Against Antisemitism (CMAA) used a full-page ad in the Canadian National Post newspaper to enforce their support for the Jewish community and condemn the Hamas terror organization and its October 7 attack on Israel, the organization said in a Saturday X, formally known as Twitter, post.

According to its website, CMAA is "a charitable organization comprised of Muslim thinkers, professionals, and activists committed to fighting antisemitism in all its guises."

The organization's full-page ad began with the large header "Not in the name of Islam."

The ad then continued to condemn Hamas for its actions on October 7 that were done in the name of the Islam faith.

"The [Hamas] terrorists repeatedly invoked the name of Allah and verses from our holy books during the slaughter," the ad explained.

"Terrorist groups like Hamas and their backers, including Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard (IRGC), cannot be allowed to speak for all Muslims or Islam," the statement continued. 

 Iranians carry a model of a missile during a celebration following the IRGC attack on Israel, in Tehran, Iran, April 15, 2024.  (credit: MAJID ASGARIPOUR/WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY) VIA REUTERS)Enlrage image
Iranians carry a model of a missile during a celebration following the IRGC attack on Israel, in Tehran, Iran, April 15, 2024. (credit: MAJID ASGARIPOUR/WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY) VIA REUTERS)

Furthermore, the statement said that the organization mourns the death of Gazan civilians but places the blame on Hamas, the IRGC, the Iranian regime, and "all those who fund, justify, and glorify them."

Calling on Muslims to reject 'the weaponization of faith'

The ad ended with a call to action, asking fellow Muslims to reject the "weaponization of our faith by Islamist extremists" that promotes antisemitism, violence, and terrorism.

The organization's website contains pro-Israel activism including a statement by its board in the aftermath of October 7. The document strongly condemns the attacks and features the signatures and statements of several prominent Muslim leaders "debunking the Islamist ideology and recognizing the truth."

The website also includes further advocacy for the Jews and shows the antisemitic sections of the Hamas charter that call on the killing of Jews and claim that the "Jews are the root of historical evil."


Jerusalem Post Staff

Source: https://www.jpost.com/international/article-807262

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Will the Supreme Court Affect the Debate? - Clarice Feldman

 

by Clarice Feldman

This week, the Supreme Court issued two opinions that do not bode well for the outcome of the NY case brought by Alvin Bragg.

 

The Supreme Court announced that it was adding another opinion day to its schedule -- Wednesday, June 26th. Among the pending cases is United States v. Trump, in which the court must decide to what extent presidential immunity shields the president from criminal prosecution for actions taken while in office. 

While the content of the discussions during oral arguments are not a perfect indicator of how the court will rule, Scotus blog sat through oral argument and concluded the court is likely to side with Donald Trump to some degree:

With four of the court’s conservative justices -- Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh -- appearing to lean toward some form of immunity for Trump, the ruling may hinge on Roberts, who although relatively quiet seemed dubious about the reasoning of the D.C. Circuit’s opinion, which he summarized as saying that “a former president can be prosecuted because he is being prosecuted.” And although Dreeben stressed the “layers of protection” available to shield a former president from unwarranted prosecutions, such as the assumption that prosecutors will act in good faith and the need for a grand jury to return an indictment, Roberts asked Dreeben why the court shouldn’t send the case “back or issue an opinion saying that’s not the law?”

The timing of the release of the opinion -- should it occur on Wednesday -- is particularly significant because the following day is set for the debate between President Biden and Donald Trump, and there’s every indication that Biden’s strategy is to hammer on the criminal cases (and singular criminal conviction in New York) against his opponent.

But all those cases have substantial infirmities as well and Trump can certainly argue that those cases are not evidence of wrongdoing by him, but rather evince the Democrats’ use of lawfare to punish him and remove him from the election contest. (All these cases arise from the deep blue cities of New York and Washington, D.C. which, at least when it comes to Trump, seem to be using a Soviet legal handbook.)

This week, the Supreme Court issued two opinions that do not bode well for the outcome of the NY case brought by Bragg, which is the single conviction.

In Gonzalez v. Trevinothe court held in favor of Sylvia Gonzalez, who had been arrested in Castle Hills, Texas in 2019 on a trumped-up charge of tampering with government records. She had briefly misplaced a petition on a table at a public meeting. 

This was a blatant case of selective prosecution by officials whom Gonzalez had criticized.  She was the only person charged in the last 10 years under the state’s records laws for temporarily misplacing a document. She argued that virtually every one of the prior 215 felony indictments involved the use or creation of fake government IDs.

Although the charges were later dropped, the case reeked of political retaliation and selective prosecution. …when she sued, the appellate court threw her case out, requiring Gonzales to shoulder an overwhelming burden of proof to establish selective prosecution for her political speech. The justices, on the other hand, reduced that burden…

Unlike the Trump case, the criminal charges against Gonzales were thrown out before trial. For Trump, selective prosecution claims were summarily dismissed, even though no case like Bragg’s appears to have ever been brought before.

The Bragg case is raw political prosecution. No one seriously argues that Bragg would have brought this case against anyone other than Trump. Indeed, his predecessor rejected the case.[snip] Another case decided this week was Erlinger v. United States. The justices ruled 6-3 (and not along the standard ideological lines) to send back a case in which Paul Erlinger had been convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm as a felon. [snip]

The court ruled that a jury had to decide this issue unanimously under a standard of beyond reasonable doubt. This is in contrast to how the Trump case was handled, in which jurors could disagree on key aspects of the crime yet still convict the defendant.

In Trump’s trial, Judge Juan Merchan effectively guaranteed a conviction by telling jurors that they did not have to agree with specificity on what had occurred in the case to convict Trump. The only way to get beyond the passage of the statute of limitations on the dead misdemeanor for falsifying business records had been to allege that the bookkeeping violation in question occurred to conceal another crime. Bragg did not bother to state clearly what that crime was, originally alluding to four different crimes.

It was not until the end of the case that Merchan would lay out three possible crimes for the jury. All the way up to the final instructions in the case, legal analysts on CNN and other outlets expressed doubt about what the actual theory of the criminal conduct was in the case. [snip]

…Merchan told the jurors that they did not have to agree on which fact-pattern or conspiracy had occurred. They could split 4-4-4 on the secondary crime motivating the misdemeanors and just declare that some secondary crime was involved.

That was all that is required in New York when in pursuit of Trump. [snip]

But Gonzales and Erlinger demonstrate the high level of protections that we normally afford criminal defendants. A court with a 6-3 conservative majority just ruled for the rights of all defendants in defense of the rule of law.

That is not how the law is seen from 9th Avenue.

It all comes down to the legal map. As even CNN senior legal analyst Elie Honig observed, this case of contorting the law for a selective prosecution would not have succeeded outside of an anti-Trump district. 

As for the pending case in Florida respecting a claim of mishandling classified documents, Judge Cannon has been wading through numerous pretrial discovery matters and motions. This week she announced she wants to hear the arguments respecting whether Jack Smith’s appointment violates the Constitution, in which case he would have had no authority to bring the case at all. 

Another brief, authored by a former attorney general, Edwin Meese, who is 92, and two law professors, Steven Calabresi and Gary Lawson, takes the position that Mr. Smith’s appointment was “unlawful.”

Judge Cannon’s judgment that the brief “may be of considerable help” suggests that she is taking seriously Mr. Trump’s constitutional contention -- made both to her and before the Supreme Court in the January 6 case that Attorney General Garland’s choice of Mr. Smith violated the Appointments Clause. 

That section of the national parchment ordains that the president “shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the Supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law.”

Mr. Smith, it turns out, was not nominated by the president and was not confirmed by the Senate. His appointment was solely at the discretion of General Garland. Mr. Meese et al. -- and Mr. Trump -- contend that Mr. Smith “does not have authority to prosecute this case.” The key designation, the former president and ex-attorney general argue, is that Mr. Smith is not an “inferior” officer of the United States but a “principal” officer -- and thus requires Senate confirmation. 

As for the civil fraud case against Trump presided over by Judge Arthur Engeron, even former NY governor Andrew Cuomo says it never should  have been brought

“The Attorney General’s case in New York, frankly, should have never been brought and if his name was not Donald Trump, and he if he wasn’t running for president, I’m the former AG in New York, I’m telling you that case would have never been brought, and that’s what is offensive to people,” Cuomo said during a discussion with Maher and former Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois in “Real Time With Bill Maher: Overtime.”

Jake Tapper, who will be moderating the debate on CNN, has a long history of demonstrated bias against Trump.

So while presidential “debates” in recent years have been snoozefests with the moderators stacked against the Republican candidates, this one, with its rules clearly designed to benefit a decrepit Democrat candidate, may well work to Trump’s advantage -- the microphones will be shut off when it’s not the candidate’s turn to speak, so there can be no disruptive impromptu remarks by an often combative Trump. There’s no Candy Crowley running overt interference for the Democrat as she did for Barack Obama, and Trump, unlike Mitt Romney, will be unlikely to fold and run if any moderator pulls such an obvious stunt again.

 
Clarice Feldman

Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2024/06/will_the_supreme_court_affect_the_debate.html

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Biden Outraged Netanyahu Mentioned His Blocking Aid to Israel - Daniel Greenfield

 

by Daniel Greenfield

Cue the media narrative campaign.

 

Pictured: US President Joe Biden meets with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, Israel on October 18, 2023. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)

Act 1. The stage is set. The key players are Barack Obama, who wants to manufacture a break with Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, looking to navigate a hostile administration, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Vice President Joe Biden.

During Biden's visit to Israel, the Obama administration stages a scandal, claiming that it was deliberately insulted because the local Jerusalem municipality routed some housing that the administration belatedly opposed through an approvals process.

Hillary Clinton spends an hour (and later brags about) yelling at Netanyahu over the phone. Biden refuses to come down for an hour to an event and a glass trophy being awarded to him ends up being broken. The media plays up a scandal that had been purely invented while spreading the narrative that it was Netanyahu who was creating a crisis.

Act 2. Dramatis Personae. Joe Biden. Benjamin Netanyahu. Barak Ravid, the Axios-employed propagandist acting as a point man for the Biden administration's influence operation to remove Netanyahu and stop the war on Hamas while preventing any action against Iran.

Here's how it plays out.

Biden publicly blocks previously approved military aid to Israel. And is slow-walking other aid. Netanyahu mentions this in a video. The Biden administration fumes and cancels a meeting over Iran. Barak Ravid writes all of this up with lots of "anonymous sources" in the administration and the Israeli Left.

Act 2 is even more absurd than Act 1 because Biden was touting his "extreme pressure" on Israel in a recent video.

But when Netanyahu mentions it, it's a "scandal" and an "insult".

Cue the media narrative campaign.

Barak Ravid / Axios: Scoop: White House cancels meeting, scolds Netanyahu in protest over video

Barak Ravid / Axios: White House baffled by Netanyahu's claim Biden is withholding weapons

Baffled!

Barak Ravid / Axios: Scoop: U.S. put a hold on an ammunition shipment to Israel

All of this is a scam. The goal is to abandon Israel and convince liberal American Jews to blame Israel for the breach.

It's the same Obama playbook being run again.


Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/20727/biden-outraged-by-netanyahu

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

PA salary crisis: How bad is it and who is to blame? - Itamar Marcus and Ephraim D. Tepler

 

by Itamar Marcus and Ephraim D. Tepler

By its own admission at various times, the primary reason that the PA finds itself in this financial situation in the first place is because of its insistence on paying salaries to terrorists.

 

  • Since 2019, PA refuses to pay full salaries to employees, but it continues to pay $350 million a year in Pay-for-Slay terror rewards

2019 – PA Ministry of Finance:

  • “The March [2019] allowance salaries of the prisoners... will be paid in full tomorrow, in accordance with the orders of President Mahmoud Abbas… [but] the public employees' salaries will be paid at a rate of 50%”

2024 – PA Ministry of Finance:

  • “The April [2024] salaries of the [PA] public employees will be paid on Sunday [June 9], at a rate of 50%”

Columnist at PA daily:

  • “The PA will not [stop paying salaries to prisoners]… because if it had done so, it would have admitted that these people are terrorists, as Israel claims”

  • “The [PA] employees have received only half of the monthly salary [since 2019]. In other words, with the passage of more than five years, this [PA] employee is defined as one of the poor of society.”

Al-Marsad – Social and Economic Policies Monitor:

  • “The [PA] Monetary Authority is forcing the [PA] public sector employees to take loans to cover its loans”

 

It is hard to imagine how unpredictable life must be for Palestinian Authority employees and their families because the PA prioritizes the rewarding of terrorists rather than the payment of salaries to its working civil servants. According to the PA’s official daily, PA employees are poverty-stricken:

“[Since 2019] out of solidarity (i.e., with the terrorists), the [PA] employees have received only half of the monthly salary. In other words, with the passage of more than five years, this employee is defined as one of the poor of society.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida website, June 8, 2024]

Why didn’t the PA stop paying salaries to imprisoned terrorists and families of terrorist “Martyrs,” and save the Palestinian civil servants from poverty?

“The PA insisted on continuing to pay these salaries, because it cannot do otherwise… The PA will not do this (i.e., stop paying terrorists) because if it had done so, it would have admitted that these people are terrorists, as Israel claims…

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida website, June 8, 2024]

PA employees literally don't know what their take-home pay will be from month to month or when they will receive it. Salaries are so erratic that even the partial 50% that they received in mid-June was not the May salary but was for April—a month and a half late.

The following PMW chart and table review the PA cuts in salaries in many of the months since 2019:

Palestinian Authority financial abuse of its own employees

Month

Civil Servants

Prisoners and Martyrs

Backpay

March 2019

50%

100.00%

0.00%

April 2019

60%

100.00%

0.00%

May 2019

60%

100.00%

0.00%

June 2019

60%

100.00%

0.00%

July 2019

60%

Not specified

0.00%

August 2019

60%

Not specified

0.00%

September 2019

60%

Not specified

29.41% (Full reimbursement for March salary)

October 2019

100%

Not specified

66.66% (Full reimbursement for April-June)

November 2019

100%

Not specified

50% (Full reimbursement for July)

December 2019

100%

Not specified

100.00% (Full reimbursement for September)

May 2020

50%

Not specified

0.00%

September 2020

“Trying to pay” 50%

Not specified

0.00%

August 2021

100%

Not specified

0.00%

January 2022

80%

Not specified

0.00%

February 2022

80%

Not specified

0.00%

March 2022

80%

Not specified

16.00%

April 2022

80%

Not specified

20.00%

May 2022

80%

Not specified

5.00%

July 2022

80%

Not specified

10.00%

November 2022

80%

Not specified

5.00%

April 2023

80%

Not specified

0.00%

May 2023

85%

Not specified

0.00%

June 2023

85%

Not specified

0.00%

July 2023

85%

Not specified

0.00%

August 2023

90%

Not specified

0.00%

September 2023

90%

Not specified

0.00%

October 2023

50%

Not specified

0.00%

November 2023

65%

Not specified

14.00%

December 2023

60%

Not specified

0.00%

January 2024

65%

Not specified

0.00%

February 2024

70%

Not specified

0.00%

March 2024

50%

Not specified

0.00%

April 2024

50%

Not specified

0.00%

Note that in the first four months on the chart, in spite of the salary cuts of between 50% and 40% to civil servants, terrorists in prison still received 100%. Shockingly, when the PA began making the deductions, it made a point of announcing that although it was cutting employees’ salaries, it would NOT be cutting the salaries of terrorists in prison. Later on, however, the PA stopped disclosing what the terrorists received and it remains unclear whether it actually ever cut terrorists’ salaries by the same percentages.

This entire financial crisis is because the PA rewards terrorists. Since Palestinian Media Watch discovered and notified donor countries in 2011 that the PA rewards terrorists with high monthly salaries, donor countries have cut support by more than two billion dollars. In addition, since 2019, Israel has deducted close to one billion dollars in tax transfers to the PA—part of the amount that the PA has paid as terror rewards during this period. This has placed an extreme burden on the entire PA civil service, and it is all due to the PA’s insistence on rewarding terror and making it a priority.

This month, the PA announced once again that its employees would receive only 50% of their salary (PA TV, June 7, 2024). And as stated above, the reduced salary they are receiving in mid-June is not for May but for April, since the PA salary payments are more than a month behind schedule.   

April 2024’s salaries

“The Ministry of Finance announced that the April salaries of the public employees will be paid on Sunday [June 9], at a rate of 50% of the salaries… The ministry emphasized that the rest of the payments to which they are eligible are considered a debt to the employees, and that they will be paid when this becomes financially possible.”

[WAFA, official PA news agency, June 6, 2024]

March 2024’s salaries

50% was also deducted in May:

“The [PA] Ministry of Finance announced… that ‘since Israel has yet to transfer the tax money for April [2024]…the ministry will pay the [public] employees’ salaries for March on Tuesday, May 14, 2024, at a rate of 50%... The rest…is considered a debt.”

[WAFA, official PA news agency, May 12, 2024]

These deductions were 20% greater than in January and February, when the PA paid 70% and 65%.

February 2024’s salaries

“The [PA] government also decided to pay the February [2024] salaries of the [PA public] employees tomorrow, Wednesday [April 3, 2024], at a rate of 70%.” 

[WAFA, official PA news agency, April 2, 2024] 

January 2024’s salaries

Headline: “The [PA public] employees’ salaries will be paid tomorrow, Thursday [March 7, 2024], at a rate of 65%”  

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 6, 2024] 

Pride in perverse values – overview since 2019

The PA actually takes pride in its twisted values. The decision to pay full salary rewards to the terrorists while the rest of the employees would receive as little as half was openly made by Mahmoud Abbas himself. For example, the PA Ministry of Finance announced in April 2019:

“The March allowance salaries of the prisoners, released prisoners, and families of the Martyrs (Shahids) and wounded will be paid in full tomorrow, in accordance with the orders of [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas… The public employees' salaries will be paid at a rate of 50%.”

[WAFA, official PA news agency, April 1, 2019] 

The exploitation of employees continued the next month when the PA again announced under the instructions of Abbas that terror-rewards recipients would receive full payments while the working PA employees would receive 60% [Official PA TV News, May 1, 2019].

This repeated itself in August and September 2019 as well—60% for the working PA employees and 100% for terror-reward payments [official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 30, 2019, Oct. 2, 2019].

Only in September 2019 did the PA announce that it would start partially compensating for the deductions from March. 

Six months later, in May and June 2020, the PA was still paying only 50% to its employees [official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 3, 2020]. 

In September 2020, the PA announced that it was “striving to pay 50%” [official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 23, 2020].

In 2021, full salaries were paid in the middle of the year, but they decreased again to 75% in December.

From January to June 2022, the PA raised the salaries to 80% but dropped them again to 70% in July. In the middle of the year, it also announced it would pay 20% of some of the money lost in the deducted salaries. In November, salaries returned to 80%, with additional promises of eventual debt repayment [official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 6, 2022].

As mentioned above, the 2023 and 2024 salaries were a maximum of 90% and currently are 50% of the regular salaries. Moreover, the salaries are paid a month late. The 50% being paid this June was not for May but for April.

The salary deductions make economic planning impossible for Palestinian Authority civil servants.

PA acts as a loan shark

While essentially taking free loans from its employees, the PA is forcing the [PA] public sector employees to take [personal] loans to cover its loans” through the [PA] “Monetary Authority’s new orders regarding opening an overdraft account [for employees] at a rate of 3%.”

“Al-Marsad – Social and Economic Policies Monitor published a position paper today [June 15, 2023] under the headline ‘The [PA] Monetary Authority is forcing the [PA] public sector employees to take loans to cover its loans.’ The document discussed the Monetary Authority’s new orders regarding opening an overdraft account at a rate of 3% for the public sector employees who are borrowing to make payments that were not carried out, on the pretext of protecting the borrowers’ rights… 

The financial statistics regarding the governmental loans from the banks showed a decrease in the rate of loans by the PA during the period of reducing the public sector employees’ salaries from November 2021 until the end of April 2023, as it decreased by approximately $295 million, in other words, more than 1 billion [Israeli] shekels. This strengthens the conclusion that the PA is attempting to resolve its crisis by paying 80% of the public employees’ salaries and taking the rest as a free loan from its employees.”

[Ma’an, independent Palestinian news agency, June 15, 2023] 

Reason for the crisis

By its own admission at various times, the primary reason that the PA finds itself in this financial situation in the first place is because of its insistence on paying salaries to terrorists.

“Today, Thursday [Nov. 9, 2023], the [PA] Ministry of Finance confirmed that yesterday it returned the tax money that was transferred, because Israel deducted sums that it claims equal the money that the Palestinian [PA] government transfers to the Gaza Strip (i.e., Israel deducted the percentage of PA monthly budget that goes to Gaza to prevent the money from going to Hamas) – as a result of which payment of the October [2023] salaries will be delayed… The ministry continued: ‘Given that the tax money is money that constitutes a main source for paying the monthly salaries of the [PA] public employees, we sadly inform you of a delay in payment of the October salaries.’”

[WAFA, official PA news agency, Nov. 9, 2023] 

“The PA is currently facing a financial crossroads, with the deepening of the financial crisis after a number of months in which it has not succeeded in paying the salaries of its [public] employees in full or in fulfilling its commitments to the private sector… 

The PA’s financial situation is becoming worse and worse; foreign aid dropped from $1.3 billion in 2013 to just $313 million at the end of 2021. The [PA] Ministry of Finance and Planning’s forecasts also indicate that the European promises to aid the PA this year [2022] will not cross the barrier of 225 million euros, as only 144 million euros of them are being allocated to support the [PA] budget. 

This is while the Israeli government has doubled the scope of the tax money robbery from 50 million shekels ($15 million) [all parentheses in source] a month to 100 million shekels ($33 million) starting from July and until December 2021 (refers to Israel’s Anti “Pay-for-Slay” Law to deduct PA terror salaries; see note below -Ed.). The cumulative amount of deductions since 2019 and until June 2022 reaches approximately $530 million… In a meeting with journalists, [PA] Minister of Finance and Planning Shukri Bishara…emphasized that it is necessary to carry out reforms regarding the salaries and to lower their rate from amid all the expenses from 100% to 70% by the end of the current year, which requires making difficult decisions such as imposing early retirement.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 4, 2022] 

EU to the rescue

The European Union has been coming to the PA’s rescue repeatedly during its crisis by paying its salaries. The EU, however, has never insisted that the PA stop rewarding terror so that it could pay salaries from its own budget. Instead, the EU keeps giving the PA money for salaries to many civil servants, thus enabling the PA to continue its terror salaries. On May 31, 2024, the EU announced additional salary funding to the PA:

“The Commission has today processed a second tranche of assistance of €25 million for the Palestinian Authority to contribute to the payment of salaries and pensions of Palestinian civil servants and disbursed €16 million for UNRWA to provide basic services such as health and education to Palestinian refugees.

The €25 million payment under PEGASE will help the Palestinian Authority to meet part of its commitments towards Palestinian civil servants in the West Bank.

The payment is the second tranche disbursed to the Palestinian Authority as part of the €118.4 million assistance package adopted in December 2023. The first €25 million payment were disbursed in March.”

[European Commission press release, May 31, 2024]

Incredibly, the EU looks away from the PA’s monthly announcements explicitly showing that it views the salaries of both terrorists and other employees as coming from the same pot. The EU is making a mockery of itself by imagining that somehow its euros are not helping to pay salaries to terrorists, or in the very least enabling those payments to terrorists.

PA intransigence on Pay-for-Slay

Despite all the financial obstacles being faced by the PA, it nevertheless consistently insists on making salary payments to terrorists a priority and a point of pride.

PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Deputy Director Abd Al-Qader Al-Khatib: “When we are asked about things the Europeans wonder about, which they were already taught by the Israelis, we have an answer to every question. We have nothing to hide and are not embarrassed of anything. It’s the complete opposite. We are proudly adopting the position of the Palestinian leadership led by [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas, when he said: “Even if we are left with one penny, we will pay it to the prisoners and Martyrs.” This is our position. These are the heroes of freedom. We will not abandon them. We will not leave them to deal with their fate alone. They have sacrificed the best of their years for the sake of Palestine and the people of Palestine, and Allah willing we will be loyal to them. We will be their servants.

[Official PA TV, Topic of the Day, July 18, 2022]

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: "Israel came and said that the Martyrs are criminals, terrorists, and murderers. Shame on you Israel! We will never agree to abandon our Martyrs… Our Martyrs, prisoners, and wounded are the most sanctified that we have. We will not agree to waive our money in full. Our Martyrs have a right to this money."

The video of Abbas has been broadcast on Official PA TV at least 48 times:

[Official PA TV, Nov. 11 (twice), 12 (twice), 15 (three times), 18 (twice), 30, Dec. 2, 4, 10, 12, 23, 24, 26 (twice) 28, 2019,Jan. 6, 16, 18, 26, Feb. 4, 13, June 8, 25, July 14, 16, 19, 23, Oct. 8, 11,15, Nov. 3, 17, 2020; Jan. 19, March 14, April 4, 5, May 1, Aug. 16, Sept. 8, 26, Nov. 17, 2021; Jan. 12, 2022, Oct. 2 2023]

By its own admission, the PA has lost billions of dollars in support from other countries due to its intransigence on continuing the “Pay-for-Slay” payments and the subsequent Israeli deductions. Were it not for its insistence on continuing this program, it would have an abundance of funds, both from its own revenue and from increased international donations. However, Mahmoud Abbas “has said repeatedly – that if we are left with one penny, it will be paid to the families of the Martyrs and the prisoners” [WAFA, official PA news agency, April 4, 2024].

Finally, for political reasons, the PA can’t stop itself from rewarding terror. Bassem Barhoum, a regular columnist for the PA’s official daily, described the PA’s dysfunctional situation quite succinctly:

“The PA insisted on continuing to pay these salaries, because it cannot do otherwise. After all, the PLO’s political ethics say that these people are ‘the most noble among us’ thanks to the sacrifices they have made. The PA will not do this (i.e., stop paying terrorists) because if it had done so, it would have admitted that these people are terrorists, as Israel claims… Since that time, and out of solidarity [with the prisoners], the [PA] employees have received only half of the monthly salary. In other words, with the passage of more than five years, this employee is defined as one of the poor of society.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida website, June 8, 2024]

Israel's Anti "Pay-for-Slay" Law - Israeli law stating that the PA payments to terrorists and the families of dead terrorists is a financial incentive to terror. The law instructs the state to deduct and freeze the amount of money the PA pays in salaries to imprisoned terrorists and families of "Martyrs" from the tax money Israel collects for the PA. Should the PA stop these payments for a full year, the Israeli government would have the option of giving all or part of the frozen money to the PA. The law was enacted by the Israeli Parliament on July 2, 2018. During the parliamentary vote, the law's sponsor Avi Dichter said: “The Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee received much help in its deliberations... from Palestinian Media Watch who provided us with authentic data that enabled productive and professional deliberations, nuances that are very difficult to achieve without precise data.” [Israeli Parliament website, July 2, 2018] In accordance with the law, as of September 2021 Israel’s Security Cabinet had ordered the freeze of 1.857 billion shekels ($580.15 million) - the sum equivalent to the PA payments to terrorists in 2018, 2019, and 2020.


Itamar Marcus and Ephraim D. Tepler

Source: https://palwatch.org/page/35179

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter