Hamas And Fatah Sign Preliminary Reconciliation Deal Over Control Of Gaza Strip

Egyptian-brokered talks between rival Palestinian factions are being held under the direct auspices of Egyptian President  el-Sisi (the meeting was proposed and supported by President Trump.)

He [el-Sisi] wants a deal to permanently halt the movement of militants between Gaza and Sinai, where an Islamic State affiliate has damaged Egypt’s tourist industry as well as the broader recovery El-Sisi wants to portray. Ending the rift in Palestinian ranks could also ease Gaza’s suffering and bolster their hand in future peace talks with Israel. Put together, they point to an assertive Egypt looking to reclaim its role as a regional powerhouse.

There’s the “sense of wanting to re-establish Egyptian leadership and foreign policy activism — putting Egypt back in its rightful place,” said Michael Wahid Hanna, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation in Washington. Bloomberg

Previous attempts at reconciliation between the two sides were unveiled with fanfare and declarations of unity, only to quickly end.

Pressure on Hamas

“The Egyptians have certainly put a lot of pressure on Hamas, but they’re under no illusions about the possibility of this agreement’s early demise,” Eran Lerman, a lecturer at Shalem College in Jerusalem and a former member of Israel’s National Security Council, said. Bloomberg

In June, Egpyt put pressure on Hamas to distance itself from Iran.  Egypt also demanded that Hamas not express support for Qatar.

Relations between Iran and Hamas cooled due to differences over the conflict in Syria.  In 2017, Iran agreed in principle to renew its funding for the Hamas terror group, stated the Times of Israel.

International largesse from Europe, American, NGOs… goes to the Palestinian Authority.   It is supposed to use the money for all the Palestinians including those in Gaza, which it uses it uses to assert authority in Gaza.

Beginning in April and during the summer the PA stopped paying the Gaza utility bills to Israel.  The PA also cut the pay by 30 percent of Gaza government officials and workers who do not work but have remained on the payroll.

Fatah then sent a stark message to Hamas: Reconcile and allow the Palestinian Authority to assume control in Gaza, or manage alone.

“Part of this is Abbas showing he is in control and he is the boss,” said Mahdi Abdul Hadi, director of the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs, an independent research institute in East Jerusalem. “The message to Hamas is: If you want to govern it, take it.”  NYTimes

Hamas holds few cards.   Egypt keeps the Rafah border crossing in Gaza mostly closed.   Qatar reduced funding to Hamas and Iran has only discussed the renewal of funding.

Preliminary  Deal

Hopes for the agreement, signed under the watchful eye of Egyptian intelligence, were tempered by the knowledge that many previous Palestinian initiatives have failed. Yet there is optimism that this time may be different, partly because the stakes are so much higher.

Hamas, which controls Gaza and has fought Israel three times, said it was ready to cede control of Gaza’s borders and allow the rival Palestinian Authority to effectively take over the day-to-day running of the territory.

Continue reading “Hamas And Fatah Sign Preliminary Reconciliation Deal Over Control Of Gaza Strip”

Half Of All Foreign Aid To The Palestinian Authority Is Used As Payments To Prisoners, ‘Martyr’ Families

Half of foreign aid to the PA is used to fund terrorism.

The 2017 Palestinian Authority budget for payments to inmates in Israeli prisons and the so-called “families of martyrs” is equal to half of the foreign aid Ramallah expects to receive this year, a recently published Israeli report shows.

According to the PA Ministry of Finance’s 2017 budget, published on its website earlier in July, salaries to incarcerated and released Palestinian prisoners, many of which are convicted terrorists, will amount in 2017 to NIS 552 million ($153.4 million).

This is an increase of 13 percent over the 2016 budget, according to a report by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs published July 24.

The new budget also allocates $190,869,166 for payments to the so-called “martyr’s families,” a 9% jump from the $174,630,296 allocated in 2016.

The “martyrs’ families” are defined as those with members “killed or wounded in the struggle against Zionism,” which includes those killed while committing terror attacks against Israelis, or those killed in any other context by an Israeli.

The total allocated to Palestinian prisoners and ex-prisoners, as well as martyrs’ families, in the 2017 budget is 1,239,528,424 shekels ($344,313,451), equal to 49.6% of foreign aid Ramallah expects to receive in 2017. TimesOfIsrael

Norway Orders Palestinian Authority To Return Funds: No Aid For The Glorification Of Terrorist Attacks

Good for Norway.

Norway has ordered the Palestinian Authority to return funding provided to the entity for a youth center as part of a joint initiative together with the United Nations and the Women’s Technical Affairs Committee, an NGO in the Palestinian Authority.

Norway didn’t realize when it provided funding for the center that it would be named after Dalal Mughrabi, the terrorist who in 1978 led a group of operatives who hijacked a bus and slaughtered 37 Israelis, including 12 children, in the attack that became known as the Coastal Road Massacre.

The joint cooperation of the Norwegian government with the Palestinian Authority in supporting the Dalal Mughrabi Center is clear in a sign on the building, as shown in news coverage by the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news site, and detailed coverage by the Palestinian Media Watch

The purpose of the center is to “focus especially on the history of the struggle of Martyr Dalal Mughrabi and on presenting it to the youth groups,” according to Ma’an.

Brende said in a statement, “‘The glorification of terrorist attacks is completely unacceptable, and I deplore this decision in the strongest possible terms. Norway will not allow itself to be associated with institutions that take the names of terrorists in this way. We will not accept the use of Norwegian aid funding for such purposes.” JewishPress

Families Of Palestinian Terrorists Getting A Pay Raise

The money has been a fixed sum, now it will include a cost-of-living increase.

In defiance of the US, which is demanding that the Palestinian Authority completely stop financial rewards to families of terrorist “Martyrs” (Shahids), the PA is now raising the payments to the “Martyrs'” families. These PA payments include lifetime monthly allowances to families of suicide bombers, and other murderers who were killed during or after committing their crimes.
Muhammad Sbeihat, the Secretary-General of the National Association of the Martyrs’ Families of Palestine, which is the PLO organization dealing with the PA’s payments to “Martyrs'” families, explained last week:
“In the upcoming period the allowances of the Martyrs’ families will be linked to the cost of living index, which will cause an improvement in these allowances, if only slightly.”
[Al-Quds, April 4, 2017]
The fact that the PA is raising the amount of the allowances to Martyrs’ families, even slightly, at this time is in direct defiance of the United States. Palestinian Media Watch exposed in 2011  that the Palestinian Authority pays salaries to imprisoned terrorists and allowances to families of terrorist Martyrs, and in 2016 exposed that the PA was lying when they claimed to have stopped payments to prisoners.
After years of international condemnation of the PA, the United States Congress recently proposed The Taylor Force Act to cut off financial all aid to the Palestinian Authority because of these payments to terrorists and their families. When Taylor Force, an American citizen, was murdered last year in Tel Aviv, American legislators were incensed to learn that the family members of the dead terrorist would be rewarded with lifetime payments, thus benefiting either directly or indirectly from American financial aid.
Similar legislation was proposed in the Israeli parliament last month, to deduct the equivalent amount that the PA pays to terrorists and their families from the tax revenues that Israel collects on the PA’s behalf.

The following are the payment amounts, mostly based on PA law signed by former PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in 2011:
1- Immediate (one-time) payment: 6,000 shekels
2- Monthly (life-time) payments: 1,400 shekels/monthly, plus additions
2A: Addition for spouse: 400 shekels
2B: Addition for each child: 200 shekels
2C: Addition for residents of Jerusalem: 300 shekels
2D: Addition for residents of Israel: 300 shekels
3- Monthly payments to families abroad: $350
3A: Addition for spouse: $100
3B: Addition for each child: $50
Total expenditure per year (2016 budget): 660,315,772 shekels ($180,839,067)  PMW

Life Under Palestinian Authority Rule

The Jerusalem Center was contacted by a respected Palestinian attorney from a West Bank city.  After personally interviewing him, we are publishing a letter he wrote.  His identity will not be made public to ensure his safety.

The true opposers of the Palestinians are its leaders.

“Principal human rights problems related to the PA included mistreatment in detention, arbitrary and prolonged detention, poor prison conditions, impunity, corruption, and lack of transparency. Domestic abuse of women, societal discrimination against women and persons with disabilities, and child labor remained serious problems.” State.gov

A Life of Degradation and Bitterness under Fatah Rule
by a Palestinian attorney from a West Bank city

Excerpts:

  • The Palestinian citizen suffers from ugly terror if he expresses an opinion that is opposed to that of the PA, or insists on his rights before an official or has refused to pay a bribe to a senior official, his sons, or his bodyguards.
  • The citizen wonders – is he supposed to pay the extortion money to the members of the Fatah Executive Committee, or to the members of the Fatah Central Committee, or to their sons, when he does not have the wherewithal to protect himself from their evil and from the evil of their sons, their bodyguards, and Fatah? No – they will declare him a doomed Zionist agent, and no one will protect him.
  • I demand of the international legal organizations that pretend to defend human rights, the states of the European Union, and the United States, the great economic and rhetorical supporter of the PA, and even of the United Nations, which has a commitment to human rights, to set up investigatory committees on the irregularities of the Palestinian Authority, whose legal branch is nothing but an arm of Fatah’s governmental terror, and that includes the civilian and military prosecution. The security apparatus of the PA and the Fatah movement has already been committing crimes against the Palestinian people, which reach the level of crimes against humanity, for half a century – and the crimes continue.
  • I still have never heard of any settler, Israeli soldier, or Israeli officer extorting a Palestinian citizen. It is what the PA and Fatah people do.
  • I ask: “Is there one honest person in the PA and in Fatah, or are they all thieves and bandits?”

Read the full letter at JCPA.

Widow Of Jerusalem Truck-Ramming Attack Terrorist To Receive $760 Lifetime Monthly Allowance From Palestinian Authority

Funding to the Palestinian Authority supports and fuels terrorism with generous salaries paid to murderers,  the sending of money to families monthly, and buying families new homes, it needs to be stopped.

The widow of the terrorist who committed Sunday’s truck-ramming attack at the Haas Promenade in Jerusalem, killing four Israeli soldiers and wounding another 15, will receive a lifetime monthly stipend as a reward for her husband’s “martyrdom for Allah,” a prominent research organization reported on Wednesday.

According to Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), Fadi al-Qanbar’s widow, a resident of the Jabel Mukaber neighborhood in east Jerusalem, will receive a total of NIS 2,900 (approximately $760) each month, in accordance with Palestinian Authority law.

PMW broke down the sum, based on the statute, as follows:

All families of “martyrs” receive a base monthly payment of NIS 1,400 ($365). Widows of “martyrs” receive an additional NIS 400 ($104). NIS 200 ($52) is paid for each of their children; al-Qanbar has four. And Jerusalem residents, such as al-Qanbar, receive an extra NIS 300 ($78).

In addition, within the next few months, al-Qanbar’s widow will receive a one-time grant of NIS 6,000 ($1,580).

In October, US Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Dan Coats (R-IN) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) introduced the Taylor Force Act — named after the American military veteran who was stabbed to death in Tel Aviv in March by a Palestinian terrorist — which would cut off funding to the PA if it continues its policy of dispensing monetary rewards for terrorism.  Algemeiner

Palestinian Authority Threaten Against Opposition To UNESCO Jerusalem Vote

Ahead of Wednesday’s vote, PA and Jordan warn of “other options” if full support is not received on controversial Jerusalem resolution.

The Wailing Wall or Western Wall is in Jerusalem, Israel
The Wailing Wall or Western Wall is in Jerusalem, Israel

 

This is not the first time Palestinians has threatened other counties to get them to do their bidding, although not as blatantly.  The UNESCO World vote on Wednesday would deny the Jewish and Christian connection to the Temple Mount.

The resolution, which refers to the Temple Mount solely by its Muslim name of Al-Haram Al Sharif, is expected to be approved by the committee at its 40th session.

But in light of public statements on such resolutions made last week by Italy, Mexico and Brazil, the Palestinians want the resolution to pass by consensus, with the full support of all 21 member states of the World Heritage Committee (WHC).

On Monday, they sent a letter to committee members asking them to submit their positions on the resolution by noon Tuesday.

“Otherwise, the delegation of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the delegation of Palestine would and according to the rules of procedure be obliged to consider other options,” they stated.

Without pledges of a consensus approval, the Palestinians and Jordanians plan to resubmit a text with language that was even more problematic to Israel, explained Israel’s Ambassador to UNESCO Carmel Shama-Hacohen. JPost

Abbas Was Reportedly KGB Agent In Syria

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

Abbas working as an agent of the KGB would be an curious footnote except for the current Russian attempt to arrange a summit between Abbas and Netanyahu.  Russian President Putin  Putin has offered to host Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Palestinian President Abbas for Middle East Peace talks at the Kremlin.

The document naming Mr. Abbas was among thousands of pages of files spirited out of Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union and turned over to British intelligence by a former K.G.B. archivist, Vasily Mitrokhin. Disillusioned by Soviet repression, Mr. Mitrokhin spent years painstakingly copying secret documents by hand, creating a treasure trove for Western analysts and historians that became known as the Mitrokhin archive.

The documents, the subject of at least two books, are now stored at the Churchill Archives Center at the University of Cambridge and were opened to the public two years ago. Mr. Remez and Ms. Ginor said they came across the paper naming Mr. Abbas while researching Soviet involvement in the Middle East. NYTimes

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was a Syrian-based KGB agent in 1983, according to an Israeli news report citing Soviet archives.

A document from the Mitrokhin Archive that was obtained by two Israeli researchers contains a note that refers to Abbas with the code name “Krotov,” or “Mole,” according to the Israeli Broadcasting Authority’s Channel 1.

The document — which was studied by scholars Isabela Ginor and Gideon Remez — lists Palestinian operatives who worked for the KGB in Damascus, explicitly stating that Abbas was an operative in Syria.

The report said it was unclear if Abbas also was an agent before or after 1983.

During that time, Nicolai Bogdanov, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s man in the Middle East, served at the Soviet Embassy at Damascus.NYPost

Recommended Resource:

The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB by Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin available at Amazon.

Abbas Seeks To Sue The UK Over The Balfour Declaration

Palestinian Authority President Abbas asked the Arab League’s support in prosecuting the British for the 1917 Balfour Declaration.  I think the statute of limitations has expired.  This is a continuation of a “strategy to exploit any law and abuse any forum to delegitimise Israel.” Algemeiner

“We are working to open up an international criminal case for the crime which they committed against our nation – from the days of the British Mandate all the way to the massacre which was carried out against us from 1948 onwards,” said aid Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki on behalf of Abbas. Algemeiner

Danny Danon, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, sarcastically called on the president of the Palestinian Authority to consider suing Egypt, France and Iran for their historic roles in securing a Jewish state in the land of Israel.

uk-pa-sue

Each of the three example cited by the Israeli ambassador are regarded as significant moments in the Jewish nation’s quest for rights, sovereignty and possessing the land of Israel, as promised by God to the Jewish nation in the Bible.

The exodus from Egypt marked the beginning of the Jewish people’s 40-year trek through the desert to the Promised Land.

In 1799, Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte issued a letter offering Palestine as a homeland to the Jews under French protection. The initiative was stalled following Bonaparte’s defeat and subsequent withdrawal from the Near East.

In 1879, what is now known as the Cyrus Cylinder was discovered in today’s modern Iraq. The Cylinder’s text — which praises King Cyrus of Persia and records his conquest of Babylon in 539 BC — outlines Cyrus’s policy of allowing a number of people who were held captive by Babylonian kings to return to their homelands. While Jews are not mentioned specifically, many scholars view the text as evidence corroborating Cyrus’s reinstatement of the Jewish people to Israel. Algemeiner

 

The Palestinian Authority’s Billion Dollar Fraud

dollar-signsA report by PMW shows the Palestinian Authority deception of Western countries, claiming to have stopped paying salaries to terrorist prisoners, and reaping more that a billion dollars in return in foreign aid yearly.

In 2014, the PA announced that in order to continue receiving more than a billion dollars in financial support annually, it was acceding to US and European donor countries’ demands that the PA stop paying salaries to terrorist prisoners. The PA claimed the money for prisoners salaries would no longer be paid by the PA but instead by the PLO.

Even though PMW warned at the time that this was a “ploy,” the US and EU countries accepted the PA’s assurance, and continue to give the PA over a billion dollars in financial aid every year.

This PMW special report cites numerous official PA sources and statements by officials, showing that the PA is violating the trust of the US and EU donor countries. According to all these sources, the PA Ministry of Finance continues to make the decisions and remains the source of the money for paying salaries to terrorist prisoners.

In addition, PMW has studied records of the PA Ministry of Finance that show money transfers the PA made to the PLO in the years 2012 – 2015. These transfers show a noteworthy money trail used to transfer money that is needed for terrorist salaries from the PA to the PLO. In 2015, after the PA had assured Western donors it was no longer paying the salaries, and after it had closed the Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs, it suddenly transferred more than double what it had transferred to the PLO in previous years. The additional amount transferred by the PA to the PLO in 2015 was almost identical to the budget the PA Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs used to have. This extra money the PLO received from the PA in 2015 matches the amount the PLO now needed to pay the salaries of terrorist prisoners.

The payments may be made by the PLO, but the money is still PA money.

Since it continues to fund salaries to terrorists, thereby clearly violating its promise to donors, the PA should be ineligible to receive Western donor money. However, through this deception the PA is still reaping over a billion dollars in foreign aid. PalWatch
Click here to view the full report in PDF