This issue covers a curious celebration cancellation, more honoring of terrorists by the PA, and more.
OUR ISRAELI CONNECTION
The Israel Project reports
Senior Palestinian Authority (PA) officials at the last minute canceled plans to hold a ceremony Thursday (March 11) to dedicate a square in the West Bank city of Ramallah commemorating a female Palestinian terrorist who led a 1978 terrorist attack that killed 37 civilians including a U.S. citizen. The event would have coincided with U.S.
Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to the region. Biden is in the Middle East to support indirect negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians agreed upon this week. The United States will act as mediator in these talks.
Following the killing of Israeli civilian Rabbi Meir Hai in the West Bank on Dec. 24, 2009, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared the terrorists responsible for the attack to be shahids (martyrs) after they were killed during an arrest operation by an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) unit. In addition, Palestinian Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad visited the families of the terrorists to give his condolences. Rabbi Hai was shot and killed by terrorists from Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades militia in the West Bank on Dec. 24, 2009. He was driving from his home in the community of Shavei Shomron to the nearby community of Einav.
Fatah’s official website issued a statement following the terror attack stating that the “armed struggle” should be continued and that “resistance” is “the primary option for liberating Palestinian lands from the filth of the children of Zion [Jews].”
IT’S NEWS TO ME
An indictment against a suburban Philadelphia woman accused of recruiting jihadist fighters online and moving to Europe to try to kill a Swedish artist is a rare case of an American woman aiding foreign terrorists, authorities say, and shows the evolution of the threat of terrorism. Colleen R. LaRose agreed to murder the artist, marry a terrorism suspect so he could move to Europe and martyr herself if necessary, the indictment filed Tuesday said. LaRose, who called herself JihadJane online, is “one of only a few such cases nationwide in which females have been charged with terrorism violations,” said U.S. Department of Justice spokesman Dean Boyd. LaRose, 46, of Pennsburg, Pa., has been held without bail since her Oct. 15 arrest in Philadelphia. Authorities said the case shows how terror groups are looking to recruit Americans to carry out their goals.
David Zauber reports
The US is reportedly preparing to increase its naval forces in and around the Straits of Hormuz to interdict Iranian arms shipments as part of a stepped-up sanctions regime, but the move comes just as a top commander in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards has warned his country controls half the world”s oil supply and will freeze out Europe if it also imposes new sanctions on Tehran.
Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel of crossing every red line and dimming any remaining prospects for peace after Israeli police entered the Temple Mount compound on Friday to stop dozens of young Muslims from throwing stones on Jewish worshippers at the Western Wall below. Abbas charged the “occupation army” with “provoking” what could turn into “a religious war in the region” and warned that “Israeli escapades” in East Jerusalem would have repercussions throughout the Muslim world. Israeli police sought to restore order on the Temple Mount after Arab youths, incited by an anti-Israel sermon during Friday prayers at the al-Aksa mosque, started hurling rocks down on people praying at the Western Wall. Eighteen policemen and dozens of Muslim rioters were wounded in the clash, as police used stun grenades to restore calm, with some helpful intervention by other Muslims who had come to worship at the site. However, rioting also broke out later this afternoon in other Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem as well as in Hebron.
The Israel Project reports
Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faysal Mekdad announced Monday (March 8) that Damascus needs to “consider alternative energy sources, including nuclear energy.” Speaking at an international conference in Paris on civilian nuclear energy, Mekdad said that “the peaceful application of nuclear energy should not be monopolized by the few that own this technology but should be available equally for all.”
Syria began construction on a clandestine nuclear reactor in 2002 in the northeast of the country, based on North Korean designs and with the assistance of North Korean technicians. According to the German weekly Der Spiegel and other sources, the Israeli Air Force destroyed the facility in a Sept. 6, 2007 airstrike. A June 2008 report in Der Spiegel alleged that North Korean scientists and technicians were to train Iranian scientists at the plant to further Iran”s nuclear program and help it develop a nuclear weapon in secret, away from its own territory.
Syria is on the U.S. State Department’s list of “State Sponsors of Terrorism” for providing financial aid, political support, weaponry and military training to terrorist organizations. Among the terror groups it supports are Iran-backed Hezbollah and Hamas, as well as Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and other extremist groups.
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root canal? His goal: transcend dental medication.