Great March of Return Outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

After ‘Great March of Return,’ Gaza still under threat

By Ted Kelly posted on April 14, 2021

Philadelphia

Gaza is located on the western side of occupied Palestine and has been under Israeli military control since 1967. With a population of 2 million, it is one of the most densely populated places on the planet. It is frequently referred to as an “open-air prison,” as the Israeli occupation forces have effectively blockaded it on all sides, including its shores on the Mediterranean Sea. To the south, the government of Egypt also polices a border that keeps Palestinians from fleeing the increasingly desperate conditions imposed upon them. Of the Palestinians in Gaza, 70% are officially listed as “refugees” in their own country. (Al-Jazeera, March 30, 2019)

The COVID pandemic has been weaponized by the Israeli occupiers against the people of Palestine. As Mahmoud Abu Saaman, a worker at the Palestinian Ministry of Communication, commented to Al-Jazeera, “People in Gaza had enough in their lives, moving from a crisis to another without a break. . . . This is a blockade within a blockade. It’s not the coronavirus, but the ongoing blockade that has destroyed our lives.” (tinyurl.com/49wf8tsk)

As of March 15, 50% of Israel’s population had been fully vaccinated, and 60% had received their first dose. (tinyurl.com/3m34zmvw) But Israel is refusing to share vaccines with Palestinians and has blocked delivery of Russian vaccines designated for prisoners in Gaza. Israel’s denial of lifesaving vaccines will result in countless deaths. Yet Article 56 of the Fourth Geneva Convention requires Israel, as the occupying power in the Palestinian territories, to provide medical supplies, including preventative measures, to stop the spread of contagious epidemics. The Zionist state is violating this protocol. (Workers World, March 10)

Before the pandemic

Palestinian nurse Razan al-Najjar murdered by Israeli snipers, June 1, 2018.

Three years ago, Palestinians met the ongoing blockade with a series of prolonged protests known as the “Great March of Return.” These first began in Gaza March 30, 2018. Palestinians demonstrated along the boundary area between Gaza and the rest of Zionist-occupied Palestine for 18 months.

In part because the state of Israel refuses to declare its borders under international law, occupation forces regularly murder Palestinians on both sides of this boundary zone. Electronic Intifada reports that 29,000 Palestinians were wounded by Israeli occupation forces during 2018, and nearly 300 were killed. (Dec. 27, 2018)

At least 48 of those killed by the Israeli military during this period were children. Nine of the slain protesters were people with disabilities, including 29-year-old Saber al-Ashqar, who had used a wheelchair since losing both his legs to an Israeli bombing in 2008. (Buzzfeed, May 15, 2018)

The majority of these murders were committed by military snipers targeting protesters at a distance. The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimates that 2018 was the most violent year of Israeli aggression against Palestinians since the agency began collecting data in 2005. (Electronic Intifada, July 28, 2020)

Protesting the blockade of Palestine

Throughout the spring of 2018, simultaneous with the Great March of Return, protesters in the U.S. and Europe picketed concerts put on by the Philadelphia Orchestra, which toured occupied Palestine at the invitation of the Israeli government, while it was murdering protesters. Demonstrators participating in the “Philly Don’t Orchestrate Apartheid” campaign interrupted the orchestra’s performances in Philadelphia, Belgium, France and Germany, before they landed in occupied Palestine to give Israeli soldiers music lessons. (Workers World, April 24, 2018)

International solidarity with Palestine continues unabated in 2021. An ongoing campaign, “Shut Elbit Down,” targets an Israeli-owned weapons manufacturer. Elbit Systems is Israel’s largest privately-owned arms company, making obscene profits from Israel’s attacks on Palestinian people. Elbit’s biggest single customer is the Israeli Ministry of Defense. (Palestineaction.org)

The international campaign particularly focuses on Elbit’s ten sites within Britain including four arms factories, according to Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoners Solidarity Network. In February, activists blocked the entrance to an Elbit arms factory near Manchester, covered the building with red paint, chained themselves to the gates and temporarily shut down the factory.

Israel Tries to Stop Hamas Election: Revelation 11

No elections without East Jerusalem say Palestinian factions as Israel arrests Hamas members

The New Arab Staff

Palestinains want Jerusalemites to participate [Getty]

Date of publication: 13 April, 2021

Palestinian political factions on Monday unanimously agreed that no elections will take place without Jerusalemites taking part.

Palestinian political factions on Monday unanimously agreed that no election will take place without East Jerusalem residents participating, amid concerns Israel might try to block voting in the occupied areas.

During a meeting held in Ramallah to discuss the upcoming general elections, the factions reiterated East Jerusalem’s Palestinian status and said Israel has no right to prevent Jerusalemites from voting in upcoming elections.

The parties also called on the international community – including the UN, EU, China, Russia – to urge Israel not to “put obstacles in the way of holding elections in all stages across the occupied territories, including East Jerusalem, the capital of the Palestinian state”, according to a statement on the Wafa news agency.

The statement urged all parties to encourage voting participation “as part of a comprehensive popular resistance across the pre-1967 occupied territories”.

It also called for Palestinian unity “for the sake of the electoral battle and all the legitimate national rights for freedom and independence in accordance with the laws and resolutions of international legitimacy”.

Prior to the 2006 Palestinian elections, Israeli officials tried to obstruct voting in East Jerusalem, which was illegally annexed by Israel in 1967 and is under Israeli civil and military control.

Unofficial estimates indicate that around 340,000 Palestinians live in occupied Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces arrested Hamas members across the occupied West Bank on Monday.

Hamas member Mustafa Shawer, Palestinian Legislative Council member Omar al-Qawasmi, and Anas Rasras were among those detained during the Monday raids, an anonymous source told Anadolu Agency.

Palestine will head to the polls for the first time in 15 years this summer. The legislative elections will take place on 22 May and a presidential vote on 31 July. 

It is currently unclear whether the votes will take place.

The Iranian Nuclear Horn Defies the West: Daniel 8

Iran has begun 60% uranium enrichment – chief nuclear negotiator

Araqchi also announced that Iran will introduce 1,000 more centrifuges at the Natanz nuclear facility.

Iran announced that it will begin enriching uranium up to 60% at the Natanz nuclear facility attacked earlier this week, which would be an unprecedented level for the Islamic Republic, Iranian state media reported on Tuesday.

Fissile material must reach 90% purity to be used for a nuclear weapon. Under the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran was meant to enrich uranium to under 5%, until it expired in 2030.

Chief Iranian nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi also said Iran would install 1,000 more centrifuge machines in Natanz, the nuclear site whose regular and emergency electrical grids exploded on Sunday, in an act that Iran has called terrorism by Israel. Sources have confirmed that the Mossad was behind the explosion.

Before 2015 and since Iran began violating the nuclear deal in 2019, Iran enriched its stock to about 20%.

Even the jump to 20% set off alarms globally as taking a major additional step toward a nuclear weapon – especially since there is no viable civilian use for 20% enriched uranium.

But to date, Iran has not enriched uranium up to 60%, often referred to as the next level for jumping toward a nuclear weapon.

US President Joe Biden has called for Iran to return to compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the world powers’ 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran is called, in exchange for the US lifting sanctions placed on Iran in recent years and an American return to the JCPOA.

Indirect negotiations between Iran and the US were scheduled to continue in Vienna on Thursday, after a one-day postponement. Neither side commented on whether talks would continue nor did the State Department comment on the matter at all by press time.

However, the US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan “reaffirmed the Biden-Harris administration’s unwavering commitment to Israel’s security and to ensuring Iran will never obtain a nuclear weapon,” in a virtual meeting with his Israeli counterpart Meir Ben-Shabbat on Tuesday. This was their second strategic consultation, and they said they would continue an open dialogue in the months ahead. Sullivan invited Ben-Shabbat to visit Washington later this month.

Russia’s Ambassador in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov, who is involved in the nuclear talks, tweeted that on Thursday, “no doubt that in addition to previous issues the Commission will address the latest steps of Iran in the nuclear field, including 60% enrichment.”

The European parties to the Iran deal – the UK, France and Germany – have spoken out against Iran’s recent increase of enrichment to 20% and its development of uranium metal, pointing out that they have no credible civilian use, but not immediately.

An Israeli official said that enrichment to 60% is “breaking a threshold where it’s very clear what they’re doing and obviously this is well on the way for a weapons-grade material.”

The official explained that this highlights the core problem with the JCPOA, that it allows Iran to maintain “the infrastructure in place that allows it to do this. It’s only a matter of a political decision.”

Sources told The Jerusalem Post that Iran’s threat may be more of a boast as they may not really yet have achieved the capability of enriching uranium at the 60% level. Even if they might have had the capability a few days ago, Sunday’s wiping out of the Natanz power grid might also make the statement more of a future than a present threat.

Still, even a public commitment to enrich at that level would be unprecedented for Iran and could show its seriousness to move closer to the nuclear threshold.

It was unclear exactly how Tehran would increase the number of centrifuges it operates at Natanz after reports that enrichment at the facility could be set back nine months. However, the Islamic Republic has other nuclear facilities, like Fordow.

Israel arrests Hamas members outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Israel arrests Hamas members in West Bank raids

Hamas described the arrests as ‘an attempt to disrupt and stop the course of the Palestinian elections’.

Most of the arrests took place in the cities of Hebron, Bethlehem, Jenin, Ramallah, Al-Bireh and occupied East Jerusalem [File: Alaa Badarneh/EPA]

Israeli forces arrested 25 Palestinians in overnight raids across the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS) said on Monday.

Among those detained were prominent members of the Hamas movement and former prisoner Mona Qa’dan.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Mahmoud Qa’dan, Mona’s brother, said Israeli forces raided his sister’s house at dawn in the town of Arraba and took her into custody.

“Mona was previously arrested five times, and was last released in 2016 after 40 months of detention in the occupation prisons,” Mahmoud said.

A local source in Hebron, who spoke to Anadolu on condition of anonymity, said the Hamas member Mustafa Shawer, Palestinian Legislative Council member Omar al-Qawasmi, and Anas Rasras were among those arrested in the raids.

A young woman, Shams Mashaqi, was also arrested from her village of Yaseed near Nablus.

Most of the arrests took place in the cities of Hebron, Bethlehem, Jenin, Ramallah, Al-Bireh and occupied East Jerusalem, the PPS said in a statement.

Hamas has described the arrests of some of its leaders and members in recent weeks as “an attempt to disrupt and stop the course of the elections”.

Palestinians will vote in a legislative election on May 22. At least three members of the Hamas slate of candidates for the election have been arrested in recent weeks.

According to Fuad al-Khuffash, a Palestinian human rights researcher and expert on prisoners’ affairs, the arrest of Hamas members and supporters in the run-up to the vote was an attempt to harm the faction’s electoral chances.

“Prior to the 2006 elections, Israel arrested more than 560 leaders and members of Hamas,” he said.

Al-Khuffash said the Israeli tactic of arresting such people is aimed at “emptying the arena of influential people” who can determine the direction of the elections and limiting Hamas’s choice of who can run.

A member of the Hamas political bureau, Mousa Dudin, said in a statement the Israeli arrests reflect its “criminal and terrorist identity in besieging our people and its democratic options”.

“Since the start of the elections, the Israeli occupation threats against the Hamas movement’s leaders and sons have not stopped,” he said.

Dudin called on the international community to “stand up in the face of the Zionist arrogance that expresses a fascism that has no parallel in the world, by robbing the will of the people”.

“We pay tribute to the members of the movement, who have vowed to continue on the path of national cohesion,” he added.

An estimated 4,450 Palestinians are believed to be held in Israeli prisons, including 37 women, about 140 minors and 440 administrative detainees.

Head of diaspora office

Meanwhile, former Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal has been elected as the head of the group’s office in the diaspora, a spokesman said on Monday.

Meshaal, 64, who survived an Israeli assassination attempt in 1997, was head of the political bureau until 2017 when he was replaced by Ismail Haniyeh, 59, who is based in the Gaza Strip.

Although Hamas’s power base is in Gaza, which it has controlled since 2007, it also has followers among refugees and others in the Middle East and elsewhere. In 2012 Meshaal angered close Hamas ally Syria when he left Damascus because of Iranian-backed President Bashar al-Assad’s war against opposition rebels.

Akram Atallah, a Palestinian analyst, said the move was not likely to cause a significant shift in Hamas’s position as Meshaal was broadly aligned with Haniyeh, both in terms of their more pragmatic approach to Arab and Western countries, and in their attitudes to the Middle East conflict.

“When it comes to Hamas’s policy towards Israel, I don’t see hardliners and moderates. I believe there is an agreement over that,” Atallah said.

Occupation forces infiltrate outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Occupation forces infiltrate border with Gaza, raze lands

GAZA, Sunday, April 11, 2021 (WAFA) –  Israeli occupation forces today infiltrated into borderline Palestinian-owned lands north of Al-Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, razing agricultural lands and randomly shooting at shepherds.

WAFA correspondent reported that three tanks and two D9 military bulldozers broke into agricultural lands east of al-Maghazi, and embarked on razing large tracts of planted lands.

In the meantime, Israeli occupation forces stationed at military watchtowers along the border fence east of al-Maghazi camp opened fire at Palestinian shepherds while they were grazing in the agricultural lands east of the camp, and forced them to leave the area.

No casualties were reported.

From time to time, Israeli occupation forces deliberately break into the border lands of Palestinian citizens in the north and east of the Strip, and prevent shepherds and farmers from accessing their lands.

K.T/M.N

Beware the Islamist Underbelly outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Beware the Islamist Underbelly

by Sam Westrop

National Review

April 10, 2021

Dozens of businesses and charities linked to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas have been incorporated and managed from this unassuming property on Store Street in London.

Tucked away in the east of London, Store Street is just a short walk from the enormous Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, built for London’s triumphant hosting of the 2012 Games. The squat, unremarkable home in a cul-de-sac at number 32, however, lives in a rather more dangerous world. It is from here that, for many years, dozens of businesses and charities, controlled by British representatives of the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, have been incorporated and managed.

Trustees of organizations registered at the address include Mohammad Sawalha, a representative of Hamas’s political bureau; Mohammad Jamil Hersh, an Israeli-sanctioned terror activist; Zaher Birawi, a leading British Hamas representative; and Essam Mustafa, a founder of the U.S. designated terrorist-financing charity Interpal, who is described by the federal government as having “served on the Hamas executive committee under Hamas leader Khaled Misha’al.” This list barely scratches the surface.

32 Store Street and its assortment of radical proxies, it turns out, is the home of Sayam and Co, an accountancy firm apparently serving terrorist interests by hosting, managing, and keeping the books for a considerable array of extremist proxies. Ignored by the British government, it operates with impunity.

Western governments habitually turn a blind eye to the “support staff” of Islamist groups.

All across the West, in fact, governments have made a habit of turning a blind eye to the “support staff” of extremist movements and terrorist groups. The noisy front lines of Western Islamism naturally contain its most visible advocates: activists, lobbyists, spokesmen, community groups, mosques, and charities. But all these Islamist individuals and institutions — long locked in battle with ordinary Muslims for the control of Western Islam — subsist on a lesser-known underlying infrastructure.

It is in the quieter background that an industry of Islamist attorneys, accountants, lobbyists, businessmen, PACs, and private grant-making foundations, among other professionals and institutions, all diligently toil — working to advance radical agendas through (mostly) lawful means.

Tracking these support staff — including accountancy firms such as the Hamas bean counters in London — generates new understandings of how lawful extremist networks (along with their unlawful terror-finance arms) all operate. Studying the lawful Islamist underbelly helps analysts, law enforcement, and journalists understand the degree of collaboration and dependency between the sundry Islamist sects and their component factions.

In Illinois, for example, it is fascinating that one accountancy firm — C&A Financial — does the books for not just the Al Furqaan Foundation, a Qatari-regime-funded Salafi organization whose officials express violently extremist rhetoric, but also the Khalil Center, a Turkish-regime-linked project of a terror-tied activist named Halil Demir, a former official of a designated al-Qaeda financing outfit.

Similarly, there are lessons to be drawn from the fact that Sterling Management Group, in Herndon, Va., still remains the accountant of choice and the controlling voice for member organizations of the SAAR network, a web of charities and businesses accused by federal prosecutors during the 2000s of laundering money for terrorism.

Sterling Management Group CEO M. Yaqub Mirza meeting with Nancy Pelosi in 2014.

It is even more interesting that the Sterling Management Group recently prepared the tax returns of a number of lesser-known private Islamic foundations around the country, such as the Khandekar Family Foundation, whose recent 990 forms show that it has handed over tens of thousands of dollars to a variety of radical charities and social organizations, such as the radical North American Bangladeshi Islamic Community, a notorious proxy of the violent South Asian Islamist movement, Jamaat-e-Islami.

But of all the hundreds of bookkeepers of American Islamism, among the most prolific by far is Mostafa Afr and his firm, A&A Management, in Southfield, Mich. Almost 50 private Islamic grant-making foundations with Islamist ties, along with a scattering of radical charities, have specifically registered their offices to 26300 Telegraph Road — Afr’s office in Southfield — with an additional 30 Islamic foundations otherwise listing Afr as their accountant in filed tax returns.

Of the radical charities among Afr’s 80 clients, some of them are already familiar to federal officials. The FBI, for example, has stated that the Muslim American Youth Association (MAYA) “played pivotal roles in building [the Palestinian terrorist group] Hamas’s infrastructure in the United States.” The FBI claims that “MAYA served as a conduit for money to Hamas . . . and served as a forum where Hamas could promote its ideology and recruit new members.”

In 1995, Sheikh Muhammad Siyam was invited to address a MAYA conference, where, according to the New York Times, he told the crowd: “Finish off the Israelis. Kill them all. Exterminate them. No peace ever.” The last published IRS records for MAYA list its registered office as Afr’s office address.

Another prominent Islamist charity, LIFE for Relief and Development, also had its books managed by Afr. In 2006 (the last year LIFE was listed at Afr’s office), FBI agents raided LIFE’s nearby offices and its officials’ homes, uncovering close ties to Saddam Hussein’s intelligence services. One of LIFE’s officials was jailed and the charity itself was fined $780,000. Today, LIFE is just as extreme: Its current CEO, Hany Saqr, shares extremist material on social media openly backing the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and denouncing Egypt’s President Sisi as “the dog of the Jews.”

Mostafa Afr relaxing in his hot tub (Facebook)

Is Afr just a hapless number cruncher who happens to get into bed with some very unsavory clients? Hardly. To start with, he is a staunch supporter of his radical clients. In a rare 2010 interview with Arab media, Afr claimed that LIFE was unfairly “subjected to great injustice and persecution.”

In that same interview, Afr warned his Arab audience that the “Zionist lobby” seeks to “exterminate Muslims in America and uproot Islam from the whole world.” The 2008 financial crisis, Afr claims, was “fabricated” to “cover the costs” of America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Moreover, Muslims should beware of banks offering Islamic financial products, because “most of those who own these banks . . . are Jews.”

Indeed, to combat such purported Jewish influence, Afr established his own (short-lived) Islamic bank, as well as four charter schools, all subsidized by the taxpayer. As a wealthy man, he also established his own grant-making charity, the AFR Foundation. Curiously, he has also owned several ice-hockey teams.

I emailed Mostafa Afr to ask about his comments, his partners, and his relationship with groups such as MAYA. He did not respond.

The danger of accountants such as Afr goes far beyond their personal radicalism.

The danger of accountants such as Afr goes far beyond his own personal radicalism. Over the past ten years, published tax returns of the private grant-making foundations both previously and currently linked to Afr’s accountancy firm disclose the distribution of over $20 million, across more than 3,400 grants, to over 700 organizations — with enormous amounts ending up in the pockets of radical groups. Some grantees share dozens of Afr’s clients as donors — suggesting a sustained, coordinated financial arrangement or, at the very least, a shared radical focus.

Thirty-one of Afr’s foundations, for example, handed over a total of almost $600,000 to Islamic Relief USA, a branch of the global Islamist franchise recently denounced by the U.S. State Department and a number of European governments because of its officials’ “vile anti-Semitic vitriol” and support for designated terrorists. In both Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Islamic Relief’s British headquarters is banned as a terrorist organization.

A 2012 joint event held by the Afr-linked Muslim charity Helping Hand for Relief and Development and Al Khidmat Foundation, the charitable wing of the violent South Asian Islamist movement Jamaat-e-Islami.

The main U.S. proxies for the violent South Asian Islamist movement Jamaat-e-Islami — Helping Hand for Relief and Development (HHRD) and branches of its sister organization, the Islamic Circle of North America — received well over $80,000 from over a dozen Afr foundations. As first revealed in National Review, HHRD has openly collaborated with the Pakistani terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba, which carried out the 2008 Mumbai attacks in which 166 people were murdered, including Americans.

Additional huge amounts of money are reported being given to hardline Salafi and Deobandi institutions, along with many tens of thousands of dollars to groups and charities long accused of links with the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, including multiple branches of the terror-tied Council on American–Islamic Relations, the Islamic Society of North America, and the Muslim American Society. In 2019, members of Congress called for an investigation into the Philadelphia branch of the Muslim American Society after it organized an event at which children sang about torturing and beheading Jews.

Significant amounts of the outgoing monies cannot be tracked at all. For instance, one of Afr’s clients reported the transfer of over $300,000 to a generically named “Sharia Assoc” in Egypt, with no other details offered. Meanwhile, Afr’s personal grant-making foundation reports giving significant yearly sums to an organization of which no public record exists.

Afr’s clients appear to cater to both Sunni and Shia extremists.

Afr does not appear to serve just one Islamist cause. Several of his clients, for example, appear to cater to Shia extremists. Over $400,000 has been given to the Al-Mabarrat Charity Association, the U.S. arm of a reported Lebanese charitable proxy for the terrorist group Hezbollah. Similarly, nearly $100,000 has been distributed to institutions that overtly support the Iranian regime, such as Dearborn’s Islamic House of Wisdom and the Islamic Center of America, which have long been associated with senior Iranian regime officials.

Moreover, it is noteworthy that a considerable number of the Afr network’s payments do not stop with the first grantee. Recipients often appear to pass the money on to other, equally worrying charities and organizations. The Michigan-based Foundation for Justice and Development, for instance, has received over $100,000 from Afr grant-making foundations, only to distribute its funds every year almost exclusively to Mercy Without Limits, a Kansas-based charity whose officials were senior members of Muslim Brotherhood networks, including Afr’s old client, the terror-tied Muslim Arab Youth Association.

Much of the network, it seems, is incestuous. A substantial amount of funds is passed between current and former clients of Afr, according to the grants disclosed in their 990s. But there are also close logistical links. For example, almost $50,000 from Afr clients was given to Baitulmaal, a Texas charity that unashamedly funds Hamas proxies in Gaza, and that is currently run by Mazen Mokhtar, a former Taliban fund raiser. Not only has Baitulmaal shared officials with LIFE for Relief and Development, but Baitulmaal’s founder, Hasan Hajmohammad, petitioned for naturalization using a letter of support from Afr’s Muslim Arab Youth Association.

Whether it’s the Hamas initiative at Store Street in London or the pan-Islamist facilitators at Telegraph Road in Michigan, organized, powerful Islamist fundaments continue to operate across the West. And Afr is far from the only American example.

Following 9/11, there had been, for a while, a concerted effort to destroy such networks. In the 2000s, the federal government brought vast law-enforcement investigations and ground-breaking prosecutions targeting Islamist financiers and their support staff. Some extraordinary successes, such as the 2007 Holy Land Foundation trial, served to decimate many Islamist networks across the United States.

The U.S. government has shifted focus away from terror finance and its supporting infrastructure.

But this zeal soon fizzled out. Varying degrees of political interference in the early years of the Obama administration led to a number of vitally important investigations’ being dropped, and there was a distinct shift of focus away from the problems of terror finance and its supporting infrastructure.

The Trump administration, whose record on the question of domestic Islamism was surprisingly lousy, did little to resurrect the Bush-era efforts to go after Islamist infrastructure, despite a promise by candidate Trump in 2016 that “support networks for radical Islam in this country will be stripped out and removed one by one.” Meanwhile, the Biden administration shows little interest in the subject of Islamism at all.

It is amid this current obliviousness that Islamism will flourish, and a new generation of Islamist “support staff” will rebuild the financial, logistical, and legal infrastructure that extremist movements operating across the world use to advance their agenda and influence.

We will pay a heavy price later if we do not remember what happens when Islamists are left to their own devices.

Sam Westrop is director of Islamist Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum.

Report: US, Israel fear possible Hamas victory outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Report: US, Israel fear possible Hamas victory in elections

February 22, 2021

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Brussels, Belgium 24 March 2021 [Olivier Hoslet/Anadolu Agency]

April 10, 2021 at 11:40 am

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his Israeli counterpart Gabi Ashkenazi have shared concerns in a phone call about Hamas’s potential victory in the upcoming Palestinian parliamentary election, RT reported on Friday.

In a report issued by the Israeli Walla news website, RT disclosed that Ashkenazi voiced Israel’s worries to Blinken about the possible victory of Hamas due to the fragmentation of its rival movement, Fatah.

However, Ashkenazi confirmed that Israel was not placing any obstacles to undermine the parliamentary elections slated for 22 May.

Walla reported that Blinken responded to Ashkenazi by stressing that his country does not oppose the Palestinian general elections.

He reiterated that the US administration believes that Israelis and Palestinians should enjoy equal measures of freedom, security, prosperity and democracy.

The US Department of State, according to a Walla report republished by RT, urged that whoever takes part in the Palestinian elections: “Must renounce violence, recognise Israel and respect previous deals.”

Both Israeli and US officials have confirmed that they would instead prefer if the Palestinians postponed the elections on their own accord, Israeli sources told Walla.

Save the Oil and the Wine: Revelation 6:6

I

ran Says It Will Return To Nuclear Compliance After U.S. Lifts Oil Sanctions

By Julianne Geiger – Apr 09, 2021, 4:30 PM CDT

Iran insists that it will only start complying with its obligations under the nuclear deal after the United States removes all the sanctions on the Islamic Republic, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said.

World powers, including the United States, started talking about the deal in Vienna this week.

“Iran will return to its JCOPA obligations once the US fully lifts its sanctions in action and not in words or on paper, and once Iran verifies the sanction relief,” Iran Press News Agency reported, citing the Ayatollah as saying.

On Thursday, Iran’s deputy foreign minister for political affairs, Abbas Araqchi, also said that Tehran would resume full compliance with the so-called nuclear deal only after the United States lifts all sanctions, including those on Iran’s oil exports.

“The US must lift anti-Iran sanctions [and only] then Tehran would resume compliance with [the] JCPOA,” Araqchi told Iran’s Press TV from Vienna on Thursday.

The United States, under the Biden Administration, is seeking to revive the nuclear deal, or the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) as it is officially known, after the Trump Administration pulled out of the agreement in 2018 and imposed sanctions on Iran’s oil, shipping, and banking industries.

The Biden Administration, however, has set Iran’s return to compliance with its nuclear activities as a condition before it would consider lifting the sanctions.

Despite the fact that the United States and Iran are now indirectly talking—via the European, Russia, and Chinese signatories to the nuclear deal—positions remain apart. Both the United States and Iran are demanding that the other make the first concession.

Analysts see the start of indirect talks as a positive sign toward lifting the sanctions on Iran’s oil exports at some point in the future. However, most analysts also see the return of Iranian barrels legitimately on the oil market as a move that would be taken into account by the OPEC+ group so that oil prices would not sink.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

Israel Terrorizes the Iranian Nuclear Horn

Iran nuclear: ‘Terrorist act’ at underground Natanz facility

Reuters

A satellite image of Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility taken last October

A nuclear facility in Iran was hit by a “terrorist act” a day after it unveiled new advanced uranium centrifuges, a top nuclear official says.

He did not say who was to blame but urged the international community to deal with nuclear terrorism.

Israeli media suggest the incident was a result of an Israeli cyber attack.

Last year, a fire broke out at the Natanz underground facility, which the authorities alleged was the result of cyber sabotage.

The latest incident comes as diplomatic efforts to revive a 2015 nuclear deal – abandoned by the US under the Trump administration in 2018 – have resumed.

On Saturday, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani inaugurated new centrifuges at the Natanz site, which is key to the country’s uranium enrichment programme, in a ceremony broadcast live on television.

• Why Iran’s nuclear facilities are still vulnerable to attack

• Why do the limits on uranium enrichment matter?

• Iran’s nuclear crisis in 300 words

Centrifuges are needed to produce enriched uranium, which can be used to make reactor fuel – but also material for nuclear weapons.

It represented another breach of the country’s undertakings in the 2015 deal, which only permits Iran to produce and store limited quantities of enriched uranium to be used to produce fuel for commercial nuclear power plants.

What has Iran been saying?

On Sunday, a spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI), Behrouz Kamalvandi, said an “incident” had occurred in the morning involving the nuclear facility’s power network.

Mr Kamalvandi did not provide further details but told Iran’s Fars news agency there there had been “no casualties or leaks”.

Later state TV read out a statement by AEOI head Ali Akbar Salehi, in which he described the incident as “sabotage” and “nuclear terrorism”.

“Condemning this despicable move, the Islamic Republic of Iran emphasises the need for the international community and the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] to deal with this nuclear terrorism,” he was quoted as saying.

“Iran reserves the right to take action against the perpetrators.”

The IAEA said it was aware of the reports of an incident but would not comment.

Last July, sabotage was blamed for a fire at the Natanz site which hit a central centrifuge assembly workshop.

How could Israel be involved?

Israeli public broadcaster Kan said that it could be assumed that the incident was an Israeli cyber operation, citing the discovery in 2010 of the Stuxnet computer virus, believed to have been developed by the US and Israel, which was used to destroy centrifuges at Natanz.

Haaretz newspaper also said the incident could be assumed to be an Israeli cyber attack.

Ron Ben-Yishai, a defence analyst at the Ynet news website, said that with Iran progressing towards nuclear weapons capability it was “reasonable to assume that the problem… might not have been caused by an accident, but by deliberate sabotage intended to slow the nuclear race accelerated by the negotiations with the US on removing sanctions”.

The Iranian nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), has been in intensive care since Donald Trump pulled the US out of it.

Under the Biden administration diplomatic efforts have been redoubled to revive it.

But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned against a return to the deal, and declared last week that Israel would not be bound by a new agreement with Tehran.

What happened to the deal?

The nuclear deal only allows Iran to produce and store limited quantities of uranium enriched up to 3.67% concentration. Uranium enriched to 90% or more can be used to make nuclear weapons.

Mr Trump said the accord was based on “a giant fiction that a murderous regime desired only a peaceful nuclear energy programme” and reinstated crippling economic sanctions in an attempt to compel Iran to negotiate a replacement.

Iran, which insists it does not want nuclear weapons, refused to do so and retaliated by rolling back a number of key commitments under the accord.

It has since accelerated the breaches in an attempt to increase pressure on the US. They have included operating advanced centrifuges to enrich uranium, resuming enrichment to 20% concentration of the most fissile U-235 isotope, and building a stockpile of that material.

Report outlines how Iran smuggles arms outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Report outlines how Iran smuggles arms to Hamas

Israel reveals how weapons are being smuggled from Iran to Hamas in Gaza via Yemen and Sudan and then through Egypt.

The Panamanian-flagged Klos-C is escorted into the southern Israeli port of Eilat by Israeli warships (unseen) on March 8, 2014, after it was intercepted by the Israeli navy, with the military saying it was carrying advanced rockets from Iran to the Hamas-run Gaza Strip. Israeli naval commandos seized the vessel on March 5, 2014, in the Red Sea between Eritrea and Sudan. An Israeli flag is seen on a speedboat in the foreground.

Adnan Abu Amer

Israeli-Palestinian conflict

April 9, 2021

Israeli military expert Amir Bohbot revealed in a report published by Israel’s Walla News website April 3 said that in 2006, Iran opened a route to smuggle missiles and ammunition to Hamas in the Gaza Strip through Yemen and Sudan, thousands of kilometers from the Israeli coast.

The smuggling operations were led by Hamas’ military commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh until he was assassinated by Israel in Dubai in January 2010, Bohbot said, without specifying who succeeded Mabhouh.

Bohbot, who received his information from Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency, said the maritime arms smuggling route starts from Iran toward Yemen, and from there reaches Sudan. Yemen and Sudan are on opposite sides of the Red Sea. From Sudan trucks head for the desert on a 1,000-kilometer (620-mile) journey to Egypt, where smugglers cross the Suez Canal and transport the weapons through the tunnels dug under the Gaza Strip with the help of Bedouins. He said smugglers routinely move weapons from Sudan on behalf of Hamas.

A source told Al-Monitor that other weapons are shipped through the Suez Canal and then surreptitiously delivered to Gaza frogmen.

Hamas has yet to officially comment on the report. However, the movement does not hide its willingness to engage in a military confrontation with Israel. Hamas believes that it has the right to accumulate combat power and that any new weapon it can secure, especially accurate and lethal weapons, will have a large and decisive role in any upcoming confrontation with Israel.

Mahmoud Mardawi, a Hamas leader and former official in the movement’s armed wing, Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, told Al-Monitor, “Hamas wants to explore all sources of military supplies from every country and movement, mainly from Iran. We will not stop knocking on doors to find parties to provide us with weapons.”

He added, “Arab and Islamic countries are required to understand our moves when we try to supply ourselves with weapons. Despite the importance of external financial and political support, it is not enough. We want to be supported with weapons, because they are the source of strength in our struggle against Israel. We will not hesitate to reach out to any country that is willing to supply us with weapons and equipment with no conditions or requirements that would drag us into any conflict in the region that does not serve the Palestinian cause.”

The Israeli report about the smuggling route coincided with two important regional developments related to Hamas’ arms smuggling operations. The first is that Sudan, a key corridor for Hamas’ weapons supplies, approved on April 6 a bill abolishing a law on boycotting Israel. The second is the attack — believed to have been carried out by Israel — on an intelligence-gathering vessel linked to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps off the western coast of Yemen in the Red Sea the evening of April 6 in tandem with the launch of US-Iranian indirect talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal. The area is one of the routes by which weapons move from Iran to Hamas.

Rami Abu Zubaydah, an expert on Hamas military affairs who writes for Al Jazeera, told Al-Monitor, “The reason for the Israeli disclosure of Hamas’ weapons smuggling maritime routes comes to provoke international public opinion against Hamas and Iran. Meanwhile, Hamas is exerting all efforts to come up with new ways of securing weapons into Gaza discreetly, given the sensitivity of its security information. Hamas relies on complete secrecy regarding such sensitive issues.

He pointed out that Hamas relies on tunnels, the sea and mafia networks as ways to bring military equipment into the Gaza Strip and smuggle arms. “It has managed to evade Israeli attempts to hinder the delivery of weapons to it, across thousands of kilometers by land and sea, bypassing military bases, aviation and sea patrols,” he said. “Hamas even obtained Russian Kornet anti-tank guided missile systems from Libya.”

The delivery of weapons to Hamas in Gaza and the smuggling routes will continue to trigger controversy at the Israeli, regional and international levels. The Gaza Strip is under an Israeli siege by land, sea and air. The combat equipment that Hamas possesses today — some of which came to light in the 2014 war and some of which was revealed in military parades and drills in the besieged enclave’s cities — appears to show how smuggling has helped Hamas develop advanced combat capabilities.

Nimrod Aloni, commander of the Israeli army’s Gaza Division, told Walla on March 28 that declining Iranian financial support to Hamas due to US sanctions imposed on Iran has shifted this support toward the transfer of military technology to help the movement develop weapons.

Saeed Bisharat, the editor-in-chief of Al-Hodhod news network, told Al-Monitor, “Israel had cut off all roads used by Hamas to get weapons and is now in control of the smuggling routes. However, Hamas may have found an alternative. It is only natural for it to have other safe ways of smuggling in order to develop its arsenal. Although smuggling operations have weakened recently, they will quickly recover.”

He added, “Hamas does not depend only on Iran for its arms supply, but also resorts to other entities and countries who also provide it with expertise and military officers to train its fighters. Israel may have succeeded in stopping a ship or a vessel headed for Hamas in Gaza, but what is being smuggled is much more than what is being seized.”

On Feb. 4, 2020, the Israeli army announced that it had foiled an arms smuggling attempt off the Gaza coast, north of Sinai. The army pursued a small boat and arrested everyone on board after discovering several weapons to be used by Hamas’ naval commando forces.

On July 3, 2019, the Israeli air force said it had stopped several trucks carrying weapons between November 2018 and March 2019 in Sinai before they were transported to Hamas in Gaza. There were Iranian rockets, weapons and highly explosive material used in the manufacture of explosives. According to Israel, the trucks made their way from Libya via arms smugglers.

An arms smuggler who deals with Hamas in the Gaza Strip told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity that weapons reach Sinai on their way to Gaza after being shipped to Sudan or Somalia, “then to Egypt, where smugglers transport it by land to Sinai, and from there Bedouins specialized in smuggling deliver the shipment to Gaza through tunnels. The second route is through the Iranian Revolutionary Guards who send weapons through the Suez Canal all the way to the Mediterranean Sea, where Iranian ships dock off the coast of Gaza in Egyptian territorial waters. When night sets, Hamas frogmen transport the weapons in closed containers.”

In turn, Imad Abu Awad, a researcher at the Jerusalem Center for Studies of Israeli and Palestinian Affairs, told Al-Monitor, “Israel has succeeded in cooperating with Arab countries to uncover Hamas’ arms smuggling routes. Even though the common path is Iran, Sudan, Sinai then Gaza, the recent normalization agreements [reached between Israel and a number of regional countries] have greatly undermined Hamas’ efforts to bring weapons into the Gaza Strip. However, other ways are still being used such as undiscovered tunnels and sea lanes, in light of Hamas’ great development thanks to a division trained in diving, swimming and penetrating the depths of the sea.”

Abu Awad added, “There are no countries other than Iran that supply Hamas with weapons, because they do not dare to get involved. This would make them face international sanctions. However, there are regional organizations that provide the movement with weapons, such as Libyan parties.”