New York Quake Overdue (The Sixth Seal) (Rev 6:12)

http://www.gothamgazette.com/graphics/2008/09/skyesfig3_cropped.gif

Won-Young Kim, who runs the seismographic network for the Northeast at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, said the city is well overdue for a big earthquake.

The last big quake to hit New York City was a 5.3-magnitude tremor in 1884 that happened at sea in between Brooklyn and Sandy Hook. While no one was killed, buildings were damaged.

Kim said the city is likely to experience a big earthquake every 100 years or so.

“It can happen anytime soon,” Kim said. “We can expect it any minute, we just don’t know when and where.”

New York has never experienced a magnitude 6 or 7 earthquake, which are the most dangerous. But magnitude 5 quakes could topple brick buildings and chimneys.

Seismologist John Armbruster said a magnitude 5 quake that happened now would be more devastating than the one that happened in 1884.

The China Nuclear Horn Continues to Grow (Daniel 7)

China has been expanding its nuclear arsenal, think tank warns

By MailOnline Reporter 14:26 30 Jun 2020, updated 14:57 30 Jun 2020

• China has been expanding its nuclear arsenal, a European think tank warns

The research group said Beijing added at least 30 destructive warheads in 2019

• China is conducting ‘a significant modernisation’, the Swedish institute claims

The Communist country is estimated to have a total of 320 nuclear weapons 

China is developing a so-called ‘nuclear triad’ for the first time, which is made up of new land- and sea-based missiles and nuclear-capable aircraft, a European think tank has warned.  

Beijing also equipped itself with at least 30 new warheads in 2019 as part of the country’s ‘significant modernisation’ of nuclear arsenal, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute claimed.

The Communist country is estimated to have a total of 320 weapons in its nuclear arsenal, according to the Sweden-based independent group.

China has equipped at least 30 more nuclear warheads in the past year as part of the country¿s ¿significant modernisation¿. The file picture taken in September 3, 2015, shows intermediate-range ballistic missile ‘DF-26’ driving past the Tiananmen Square during a military parade

The Communist country is estimated to have a total of 320 weapons in its nuclear arsenal, according to the Sweden-based independent group. The file picture taken on October 1, 2019, shows vehicles carrying the DF-41 intercontinental nuclear missile at Tiananmen Square

The think tank released an analysis in mid-June, assessing the current state of the nine nuclear-armed countries, which together possess an estimated 13,400 warheads at the start of this year.

China is said to be one of the six countries that increased its nuclear arsenal in the past year, adding 30 warheads to its stockpile, according to a chart from the report.

The other five countries are India, Britain, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea, which all have increased less than 20 warheads. 

US, Russia and France are said to have decreased their number of warheads, mostly to dismantle retired stocks.

China is said to be one of the six countries that increased its nuclear arsenal in the past year, adding 30 warheads to its stockpile, according to a chart from the Swedish group’s report

The research group warned: ¿China is in the middle of a significant modernization and expansion of its arsenal.’ Pictured, military vehicles carrying the DF-17 hypersonic ballistic missile rolling past Tiananmen Square during a parade in Beijing on October 1, 2019

Soldiers from China’s People’s Liberation Army carry a state flag ahead of a military parade marking the 75th anniversary of the Nazi defeat, at Red Square in Moscow, Russia, on June 24

The research group warned: ‘China is in the middle of a significant modernization and expansion of its arsenal.

‘It is developing a so-called nuclear triad for the first time, made up of new land- and sea-based missiles and nuclear-capable aircraft,’ the think tank added.

Despite six countries having geared up on their stockpiles of nuclear weapons, the global inventories continue to decline, according to the report.

It wrote: ‘The decrease in the overall number of nuclear weapons in the world in 2019 was largely due to the dismantlement of retired nuclear weapons by Russia and the USA – which together still possess over 90 per cent of global nuclear weapons.

‘At the same time, both the USA and Russia have extensive and expensive programmes under way to replace and modernize their nuclear warheads, missile and aircraft delivery systems, and nuclear weapon production facilities,’ the report said. 

Despite six countries having geared up on their stockpiles of nuclear weapons, the global inventories continue to decline, according to the report. This file photo taken during a military parade on September 3, 2015, shows China’s Dongfeng 21D anti-ship ballistic missiles

The US has a total of 5,800 nuclear warheads as of January, with a third of them deployed.

Russia owns 6,375 weapons in its nuclear arsenal, including 1,570 deployed warheads.

Outside nuclear armaments, new threats such as chemical and biological weapons were emerging, destabilising the global military and political landscape, according to the independent group.

The findings come after US State Department has warned that China may be conducting small nuclear bomb tests and hiding the evidence from the rest of the world.

Lop Nur was China’s sole nuclear testing site until 1996 when both China and the US signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and vowed to adhere to its terms.

The findings come after US State Department has warned that China may be conducting small nuclear bomb tests and hiding the evidence from the rest of the world. US says there are secret activities at the remote Lop Nur test site in the western province of Xinjang

Chinese Presdient Xi Jinping is seen in a file photo. A senior US official said the concerns about China’s testing activities buttressed US President Donald Trump’s case for getting China to join the United States and Russia in talks to replace the 2010 New START treaty

But suspicious activity at the site throughout last year raised concerns that Beijing is breaching the treaty’s ‘zero yield’ standard for test blasts, according to the American authority in April.

A senior US official said the concerns about China’s testing activities buttressed President Donald Trump’s case for getting China to join the United States and Russia in talks on an arms control accord to replace the 2010 New START treaty between Washington and Moscow that expires in February 2021.

New START restricted the United States and Russia to deploying no more than 1,550 nuclear warheads, the lowest level in decades, and limited the land- and submarine-based missiles and bombers that deliver them.

China has repeatedly rejected Trump’s proposal, arguing its nuclear force is defensive and poses no threat. 

Hamas tests long-range rockets outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

A Hamas supporter takes part in the anti-annexation rally in Gaza City, July 1, 2020. Adel Hana,AP

Hamas tests long-range rockets in Gaza night before annexation target date – Israel News – Haaretz.com

Jack Khoury

Hamas Tests Long-range Rockets in Gaza Night Before Annexation Target Date

Gaza residents reported hearing at least 25 launches, and a political source estimated that new rockets have a range over 100 km

Hamas’ military wing carried out a long-range rocket test overnight Tuesday in the Gaza Strip, immediately ahead of Israel’s declared July 1 target to begin annexing portions of the West Bank.

Speaking with Haaretz by phone, a Hamas source linked the timing of the test to the announcement by Hamas’ military wing last week, in which the organization said that any unilateral annexation by Israel would be construed as a declaration of war by the organization.

According to the source, the rocket test is a clear message to Israel that “it will not be business as usual if annexation is enacted.”

Residents reported hearing at least 25 launches beginning in the late night hours and continuing until the morning. “We heard very loud sounds, this is the first time we heard sounds like that,” one Gaza resident said, who surmised that these are rockets that have been developed in recent years and are a technological innovation for the organization. A political source estimated that the new rockets have a range of over 100 km.

Meanwhile, Hamas and the other factions in the Strip organized demonstrations in Gaza City on Wednesday against the proposed annexation plan. The protesters emphasized the fact that annexation would have far-reaching implications for Palestinians beyond the leadership in Ramallah.

Hamas Spokesman Abdel Latif al-Qanoa said at the protest that the event is proof that the Palestinians are united against the Trump peace plan, and that the Palestinians must have a united policy against annexation.

Islamic Jihad spokesman Daoud Shihab called upon Palestinians to resist in every place with an Israeli presence. The Hamas spokesperson in Gaza, Fawzi Barhoum, also spoke at the protest and called “to burn the West Bank” in response to Israel’s declared intention to annex.

Despite these statements, Hamas was careful to keep the protests within Gaza City and avoided protesting near the border fence with Israel. Despite the threats, Hamas is wary of taking actions that may lead to a violent escalation.

Last week, thousands of Palestinians protesting against annexation in Jericho were joined by Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh,  Arab and other foreign diplomats, including the ambassadors of the European Union, China, Russia and Jordan.

The UN special envoy to the Middle East, Nickolay Mladenov, said at the protest that “The annexation plan violates international law and destroys the dream of a Palestinian state,” and urged the international community to save the peace process and begin negotiations for a Palestinian state.

The Growing Pakistani Conflict (Revelation 8 )

China-India clash marks a huge regional shift and Pakistan is its epicentre | TRT World

Pakistan finds itself in the middle of the 21st century’s defining geopolitical war, and the strategic implications for Islamabad are huge.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan attends talks with China’s President Xi Jinping (not pictured) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Friday, Nov. 2, 2018. ( Thomas Peter / AP )

The recent deadly clash between Chinese and Indian forces in the Ladakh region of Kashmir heralds the biggest shift in South Asia’s strategic balance since the September 11 terrorist attacks by Al Qaeda.

Since 2001, the US military presence in Afghanistan has overshadowed all other geopolitical interests in the region.

In 2002 and 2008, it ensured that India and Pakistan did not go to war over cross border terrorist attacks.

On both occasions, escalations were prevented by big-power diplomacy whereby the US and China worked together to prevent tensions from boiling over – having previously interceded to bring an end to the Kargil War in 1999.

Since President Donald Trump decided last year that the time had come to withdraw the US military from Afghanistan, geopolitical competition between the region’s indigenous powers has spiralled – and Washington has done its best to fan the fire sparked by its pullout.

Despite making placating noises to Pakistan, the US was clearly at ease with Narendra Modi’s ground shaking move to absorb Kashmir into the Indian Union last August.

By emboldening Modi, it helped set into motion a historic escalation with China, the third – and hitherto low profile – claimant in the Kashmir dispute, culminating in the Ladakh escalation.

From obscurity, Kashmir is now being viewed as the latest – and potentially most dangerous – hotspot in the so-called new Cold War between China and a US-led alignment of the West and Indo-Pacific nations who most feel threatened by Beijing.

The implications for Pakistan’s strategic calculus are huge. Kashmir is the cornerstone of its foreign policy, and the one issue on which all the pillars of the state and the public are in consensus.

Since the 1962 border war between China and India, Kashmir has been defined as the basis of the India-Pakistan enmity. The China-India rivalry was another issue, until now.

Pakistan’s decision makers are now counting the costs of having asked China last October to take the lead role in diplomacy on Kashmir.

The first victim of this friendly fire is Pakistan’s diplomatic response to India’s move to annex Kashmir.

It is built upon highlighting the brutality of the lockdown subsequently enforced in Kashmir by India.

Fleetingly, state atrocities against Kashmiris and subsequent communal attacks against Indian Muslims caught the attention of the world media, and politicians in key partner states began to ask whether they really wanted to pursue a strategic partnership with an overtly fascist government in New Delhi.

For Pakistan, the unprecedented international focus on the human rights situation in Kashmir represented a morale boosting moral victory.

For decision makers in Islamabad, it also helped to conceal the ugly stain left by their failure – however sensible in the circumstances – to react decisively on Kashmir when India’s push turned into a shove.

In the circumstances, it is hardly surprising that Pakistan’s response to events in Ladakh has been ambivalent.

There is a limited sense of relief that China has replaced India as the big-stack bully in Kashmir. By redirecting India’s military focus northward to Ladakh, China has in all probability staved off any threat of an Indian attack against Pakistan, because it raises the prospect of an unwinnable two-front conflict.

Yet, Pakistan’s government is reluctant to publicly acknowledge that breathing space because it runs counter to its assessment that the Modi administration is planning another adventure across the Line of Control.

It cites the rising intensity of skirmishes along the de facto border in Kashmir, which have shown no signs whatsoever of relenting since India sent warplanes across it in February 2019 – whipping up the Hindutva nationalist frenzy that secured Modi re-election shortly after.

Islamabad argues that India’s setback in Ladakh actually increases the temptation for Modi to launch a face-saving operation against Pakistan.

Pakistan’s other major concern is the potential blowback that the China-India escalation has for its relations with the US.

Islamabad has worked hard over the last 18 months or so to patch up its ties with Washington, as evidenced by the key enabling role it played in the US-Taliban peace deal signed in February.

The hope was that the US would lift the intense pressure it had exerted, through forums like the terrorist funding watchdog Financial Action Task Force, on Pakistan’s imploding economy.

Islamabad’s decision makers seemed to think that playing fairy godmother for Trump in Afghanistan would secure Pakistan’s embattled western front and persuade him to lean on Modi to back down in Kashmir.

Instead, Pakistan finds itself smack in the middle of the 21st century’s defining geopolitical war, between its most important frenemy and closest ally, and it is losing leverage, not gaining it.

This week, US special representative on Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad is visiting Islamabad and Tashkent. For the first time, he will be accompanied by the head of the US International Development Finance Corp – Washington’s answer to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, of which Pakistan is the biggest beneficiary.

The visit comes shortly after the US embarrassed Pakistan with another public report highlighting the issue of crossborder terrorism.

It is a carrot with a very large stick that Pakistan, since handing China the baton on Kashmir last October, has pushed back forcefully, both in terms of rhetoric and action.

It has just signed contracts with Chinese state owned enterprises to develop three major hydropower projects on the Jhelum River, which acts as the Line of Control in western Kashmir.

The contracts also represent a reassertion of Pakistan’s rights under the 1960 Indus Water Treaty, a World Bank mediated treaty, which is showing signs of falling apart.

As the new Cold War escalates, Washington will publicly revive its concerns about Pakistan’s development of short range nuclear weapons – often misrepresented as tactical weapons because it implies a heightened risk of rapid deployment and escalation.

Islamabad has helped to fuel that narrative by playing up the threat of a nuclear response to a conventional India attack, as part of its diplomatic response to Modi’s aggression.

But it’s complaints about India’s development of a second-strike capability will fall deaf on ears attuned to China’s recent deployment of the same capability.

Earlier this week, I heard distinguished Pakistani thinkers – all of them participants in so-called Track II diplomacy – discuss the ramifications.

Their bottom line: The Pakistani state is cognisant of the challenges it faces, but it is nowhere close to coming up with a policy to meet them.

Disclaimer: The viewpoints expressed by the authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions, viewpoints and editorial policies of TRT World.

We welcome all pitches and submissions to TRT World Opinion – please send them via email, to opinion.editorial@trtworld.com

Russia’s New Nuclear Weapons (Daniel 7)

The Poseidon test submarine Sarov and special [+]

Russia’s New Super Weapons May Be Cause Of Radiation Leak

Jul 1, 2020,

Aerospace & Defense

I cover the changing world of underwater warfare.

H I Sutton. Includes material © CNES 2020, Distribution Airbus DS all rights reserved / PLEIADES satellite imagery | Acquired through ShadowBreak Intl

A recent nuclear leak may relate to one of the country’s new nuclear-powered strategic weapons. These are part of a range of new ‘super weapons’ unveiled by President Putin on March 1, 2018. Russia is testing a nuclear-powered mega-torpedo called Poseidon, and a nuclear-powered cruise missile called Burevestnik. If either are to blame, then it would not be the first radiation spike caused by testing one of these weapons.

On June 23 the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) revealed that scientists in Sweden had detected higher than usual levels of radiation. Based on analysis of the weather, the origin was projected to be in Northern Russia. Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo tweeted that they had detected “3 isotopes; Cs-134, Cs-137 & Ru-103 associated w/Nuclear fission”. He went on to say that “These isotopes are most likely from a civil source.” and that it is “outside the CTBTO’s mandate to identify the exact origin.”

In response Russia’s nuclear energy body has denied that it originated from its two nuclear power stations in the region. However, it is not only civilian power stations which use nuclear reactors. Tom Moore, a nuclear policy expert and former Senior Professional Staff Member of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, believes that these military reactors cannot be ruled out:

“CTBTO radionuclide monitoring is intended to discriminate explosive events and to complement seismic monitoring. Not to effectively rule in or rule out a source of radionuclides as being civil or military reactors”

Possible Cause: Burevestnik Cruise Missile

The first military system which comes to mind is the new Burevestnik cruise missile. It’s name means ‘Storm Bringer’ in Russian, after the Petral sea bird. It is more formally known by the designation 9M730 and NATO code name Skyfall. This is a nuclear-armed cruise missile which uses a nuclear engine to give it virtually unlimited range. Burevestnik is the natural candidate because it is airborne. So any accident would likely release radioactive material into the sky.

This may have previously happened on August 9, 2019. There was a fatal radiation incident at the State Central Navy Testing Range at Nyonoksa. This is near to Severodvinsk in Russia’s arctic north, the same area that the CTBTO has pointed towards this time. Then it was caused by an explosion in a rocket engine. Many analysts believe that this was most likely related to the Burevestnik missile.

Possible Cause: Poseidon Drone-Torpedo

The other weapon in the frame is Poseidon. This is a massive nuclear-powered torpedo which will be launched from specially built submarines. At 60-78 feet long it is about twice the size of a Trident missile. It’s designation is believed to be 2m39 and it is known in NATO as Kanyon. Its virtually unlimited range and high autonomy mean make it hard to classify. The U.S. Government has described it as an Intercontinental, nuclear armed, undersea autonomous torpedo. It is a weapon worthy of a bond-villain which literally goes underneath missile defenses. Its threat is slow but inevitable doom to coastal cities such as New York and Los Angeles.

While Poseidon probably doesn’t have very much shielding on its reactor, it is normally underwater. So any radiation leak may not reach the atmosphere. But it would be lifted out of the water after a test launch, so there is room for an incident which could get detected hundreds of miles away in Scandinavia.

Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) On The Suspects

Open Source Intelligence analysts have been following these weapons. Evgeniy Maksimov noted that flight tests of Burevestnik were probably being conducted. He noted two no-fly zones closed for June 22-27 at a missile test range. But the launch site was far south of where the radiation is believed to originate.

A better candidate may therefore be Poseidon, Vessels believed to be associated with its tests were active in the region at the time. The special support vessel Akademik Aleksandrov was at sea around June 18 to 23, in the area of interest. This ship is suspected of being involved in retrieving Poseidon weapons. Twitter user Frank Bottema found a matching vessel using radar satellite imagery.

We may never know for sure what was the cause of the heightened radiation levels. But Russia’s denials that it was from a civilian power plant, combined with the ongoing tests, point a finger at the of nuclear powered weapons. This reignites the debate about how safe these projects are, even in peacetime.

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Using OSINT (Open Source Intelligence) to get to the stories first. Author of several books on Submarines, Special Forces and Narco subs. I mostly write about submarines

Indian hybrid warfare (Revelation 8 )

Indian hybrid warfare: The threat is real

The false allegations that Pakistan is a terrorist sponsor state has been one of the longstanding notions developed by India and transmitted via targeted misinformation

Syed Zain Jaffery8:27 PM | June 30, 2020

Hybrid warfare in conflict studies is a developing but undefined concept, which utilizes unconventional approaches as part of multi-sphere warfighting tactics. These approaches are designed to destabilize and disable the activities of an adversary without kinetic means. Hybrid warfare menuevers through social or psycological components which could be employed under conventional warfare, irregular warfare and cyber warfare with other operating approaches such as fake news, diplomacy, and electoral interference.

The term “political warfare” is also commonly referred to hybrid warfare as the power used to attain national objectives in the absence of armed conflict. Political warfare is also the engagement of all the means at a nation’s command, short of war, to achieve its national objectives. As per existing literature, hybrid warfare can be elaborated as an amalgamation of traditional military approach, unconventional means, economic exploitation and information war. The most prominent hybrid war was waged by the United States against Russia and China by adopting strategies i.e. “containment” or “constructive engagement.” The contemporary approach of Russia towards Ukraine is also an illustration of this form of warfare.

In hybrid warfare, the target state’s media is often used as the most effective method to cause desperation, confusion and resentment among the general public. The aggressor can manipulate existing internal fault lines such as ethnic/religious extremism, crumbling economy and insurgencies. The perpetrator could fuel political turmoil to avoid national policies being formulated and implemented by the target state. To isolate the rival state globally, robust diplomatic lobbying can be employed to produce desirable results and the belligerent can exploit weak diplomatic channels of target state to damage/deprecate its positive initiatives/efforts. Subversive actions can also be utilized through proxy forces and non-state entities inside the target state to politically undermine law and order while turning the target into an unstable society. Belligerent could exploit its leverage on foreign financial institutions to establish circumstances that further economically degrade the rival by paving the way for such financial institutions to seize over the target state’s national assets.

In the context of South Asian regional stability, the current security situation indicates the use of hybrid warfare against Pakistan. Throughout the last two decades, especially since it became a nuclear power, Pakistan is in the midst of hybrid warfare. When Pakistan demonstrated its nuclear capability in 1998, along with powerful conventional military preparedness, New Delhi found it difficult to coerce Islamabad through direct conflict. So India shifted its policy towards hybrid tactics against Pakistan. India is exploiting socio-ethnic and religious fault lines in Pakistan while propagating against every effort leading towards national cohesion. In this regards, the doctrine of Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval reflects the hybrid warfare ambitions of India against Pakistan. India has a history of instigating proxies against Pakistan, but the indirect vilest approach was adopted by Ajit Doval in the public domain when he was nominated as National Security Advisor.

A prominent YouTube video of Mr. Ajit is a perfect manifestation of India’s intentions to wage hybrid war against Pakistan. He elaborated his doctrine as an engagement with the enemy at three levels, defensive, defensive-offensive and offensive. While classifying Pakistan as an Indian enemy, Mr. Ajit advocated an extensive range of clandestine actions against Pakistan i.e. isolating Pakistan internationally OR aiding Tehreek Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to create internal security of Pakistan chaotic. He is of the view that India should use the Taliban as a prevalent vulnerability against Pakistan. The latest exposure of the spy network following the arrest of RAW agent Kulbhushan Yadav by Pakistani security agencies reveals that rules of engagement have been changed. Whereas, the primary purpose of Pakistan-specific land warfare doctrine – declassified by the Indian Army in 2018 – was to initiate the hybrid nature of wars through modernization and integration of the armed forces. The persistence of the terrorist attacks in Balochistan as well as the emerging military strategies of India are proofs that Doval doctrine is functioning at full throttle.

The mainstream media has less often publicized that India is persistently involved in a proxy war against Pakistan, which is an efficient tactic of indirect engagement. New Delhi has been wagging a proxy war against Islamabad through Kabul especially at a time when NATO forces are almost ready to depart. Pakistan on many occasions has provided sufficient evidence to Indian authorities, about Indian covert support in several terrorist acts. Former United States Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, has also indicated that India is using Afghan soil to finance the problems for Pakistan. These Indian infiltrations in Pakistan are a prominent feature of hybrid warfare as Webster G. Tarpley, a prominent US based analyst revealed that “the chosen strategy is to massively export the Afghan civil war into Pakistan and beyond, fracturing Pakistan along ethnic lines.”

The false allegations that Pakistan is a terrorist sponsor state has been one of the longstanding notions developed by India and transmitted via targeted misinformation. India is persistently creating opportunities for false flag operations such as the Indian parliament bombing, Mumbai crisis of 2008, Pathankot attack in 2016 and Pulwama incident of 2019. As a result of India’s falsified propaganda campaigns, misinformation and diplomatic efforts, Pakistan was placed on the FATF grey list. Recently, India has circulated another fake news about the terrorist attack in Sri Lanka, alleging that Pakistani-based terrorists had carried it out. This claim was subsequently refused by global terror expert of Sri Lankan origin and confirmed that terrorists had infiltrated and coordinated through Indian soil.

While the government of Pakistan is well aware of the threat of Indian Hybrid warfare and taking appropriate safeguard, it is the right time for Pakistan’s policymakers to adopt a more practical and proactive approach for the formulation of a cohesive strategy to counter Indian hybrid tactics. The government of Pakistan should conduct a self-evaluation of critical functions and weaknesses across all segments, especially related to international narrative building, and maintain it regularly. There is a need to institute and entrench a procedure to lead and coordinate a national approach of self-assessment and threat analysis. Military leadership has already acknowledged that Pakistan confronts a hybrid war as the adversary tries to manipulate many of its financial, economic and political fault lines. In the changing pattern of Hybrid warfare, Pakistan must prepare itself at all levels of policy, doctrine, strategy and operations.

Why Palestinian Terror Continues Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Why Palestinian Terror Continues Amid a Pandemic

Hamas members wear protective gear as a precaution against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at the Rafah border crossing in the southern Gaza Strip, April 13, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Ibraheem Abu Mustafa.

During the coronavirus crisis, Israel has devoted great resources to helping the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the people of Gaza fight the pandemic. Nevertheless, the increased need for Israeli humanitarian assistance has not led to a decline in Palestinian Arab obstinacy, terrorism and incitement to violence. Recently, PA leader Mahmoud Abbas ended security and other kinds of coordination with Israel, despite the threat that the pandemic and Hamas pose to his society.

Furthermore, Palestinian Media Watch reported that the PA daily Al-Hayat al-Jadida recently published an op-ed proclaiming, “Palestine is from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea. It is the Palestinian people’s historical homeland, and the status of Acre [i.e., an Israeli city] is the status of Nablus [biblical Shechem], and the status of Jaffa [i.e., an Israeli city] is the status of Hebron.” In other words, the PA does not recognize Israel’s right to exist within any borders. As the Fatah Constitution states in Article 12, the goal of the Fatah movement “is the complete liberation of Palestine and the eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence.”

Pandemic or no pandemic, neither the Palestinian Authority nor Hamas is reconsidering their political ideology, which is inherently hateful towards the State of Israel. Their desire to destroy Israel is uncompromising and no humanitarian need will change it. As prominent Middle East scholar Dr. Mordechai Kedar stated in an interview, “The whole raison d’etre of the PA entity is negating the right of Israel to exist as the nation state of the Jewish people. Their philosophy is based on not how to live side by side with Israel, but how to establish another Arab state on the ruins of Israel. They never gave up on their aspirations to return millions of people into Israel.

“They speak about establishing a state in Judea/Samaria and Gaza, but they never show the borders,” he added. “In every illustration of their land, Palestine includes Israel entirely. They have never started to teach or to educate their young generation about peace with Israel. On the contrary, they keep teaching false narratives, as it is stated in their school books that Haifa, Acre, Nazareth are all part of Palestine.”

This violent ideology promoted by both Hamas and Fatah has a humanitarian cost for the Jewish state. The Meir Amit Intelligence and Information Center recently reported a rise in the number of terror attacks originating in Judea and Samaria. These incidents all occurred despite Israeli aid, both to Gaza and the Palestinian Authority. According to COGAT, otherwise known as the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories, at least hundreds of coronavirus test kits have been transferred from Israel to the PA. COGAT also announced that “joint training sessions for Israeli and Palestinian medical personnel were organized for the professional study of the virus, the protection of medical personnel, and the testing of patients suspected of being virus carriers.”

This Israeli assistance to the PA and Gaza is of critical importance at a time when the Gaza Strip has reported its first coronavirus related death. Although the Gaza Strip has only reported 55 coronavirus cases to date, according to Israel Hayom, the coastal strip has only 60 ventilators and a chronic shortage of medication. Therefore, a massive outbreak of coronavirus there would be disastrous. For that reason, the Israeli assistance is of critical importance and so far, this assistance has helped to prevent a massive humanitarian disaster.

Civil Administration Health Coordinator Dalia Basa proclaimed: “Bacteria and viruses do not stop at the border, and the spread of the dangerous virus in Judea and Samaria can also jeopardize the health of the residents of Israel. COGAT and the Ministry of Health will continue working to help the Palestinian authorities curb the spread of the virus in the territories, both as an Israeli interest and for humanitarian reasons. We will expand medical training to Palestinian personnel as much as possible, as well as the transfer of medical equipment to the Palestinian healthcare system.”

Nevertheless, neither Fatah nor Hamas appear to be grateful for the life-saving assistance that they received from the Jewish state. However, not everyone in the Palestinian Authority and Gaza supports what the terror groups are doing. This past “nakba” (“catastrophe,” referring to the creation of the State of Israel) day, due to the coronavirus, not too many people attended anti-Israel rallies and events commemorating the nakba, which were mainly held online with poor attendance.

According to an Arab source who wishes to remain anonymous, most “Palestinian” people these days are “indifferent towards the PA, its institutions” and also the terror groups due to their corruption:

“The Palestinians are beginning to question, where is all of the billions of dollars of aid supposedly received by the PA in the past decades since its establishment? This state of emergency that they are living [in] showed them and proved to them that all the donors’ money, 90 percent of it, never reached where it should be.”

“People are more realistic today,” he declared, stressing that the coronavirus aid can be the beginning of a new relationship with the “Palestinian people,” not the corrupt leadership who refuses to relinquish their hateful ideology.

“The Palestinian people can be told lies over and over again, but it does not mean that they believe everything that is aired or published. Eastern Jerusalemites would prefer … the Israeli civil administration, rather than … a bunch of corrupt officials of their own blood. Israel was there wherever it could be, whether in Gaza or the West Bank. The fact is that Israel allowed medical equipment into Gaza and medical supplies from various sources and from Israel itself into the cities of the West Bank and into Gaza in an expeditious manner, which helped to save the lives of people,” said the source.

“Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion is popular among eastern Jerusalem Palestinians,” he added. “Moshe Lion and the Department of Eastern Jerusalem Affairs worked day and night for east Jerusalemites as per testimony of many families and many people of eastern Jerusalem today. They handed out food to the needy, as well as medical supplies, and visited the people in numerous places. He accomplished a lot and that meant a lot for the people of eastern Jerusalem.

“The conditions of the eastern part of the city are hopefully improving after the corona issue. People are very optimistic. Their complaints are being handled quickly. Many hard-core Fatah people in eastern Jerusalem are now praising the mayor and praising the government for what it did for them. The Palestinians found out who was there for them and who was not. In contrast, Fatah stole cartons of food.”

Rachel Avraham is a political analyst working for the Safadi Center for International Diplomacy, Research, Public Relations and Human Rights. Since 2012, she has been working as an Israel-based journalist and writer, covering Iran, Kurdistan, Turkey, Iraq, Syria, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and other developments in the greater Islamic world.