The Hamas terrorist organization on Saturday named former Gaza prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, as the group’s new political chief. Haniyeh succeeds Hamas’ longtime leader Khaled Mashaal, who is based in Qatar, and the move comes shortly after the group unveiled a new, seemingly more pragmatic political program, which Israel swiftly dismissed as an “attempt to fool the world”. Haniyeh’s appointment marks the final phase of the secretive Hamas elections.To serve in his new capacity, however, Haniyeh will apparently be required to leave the coastal enclave and move to Qatar. Haniyeh was supposed to have departed for the Qatari capital of Doha on Saturday for his swearing-in ceremony, but was forced to remain in Gaza after Egypt closed down the Rafah border crossing until further notice.Hamas officials expressed concern that if Haniyeh continues to reside in Gaza in his new capacity, he would be targeted by Israel for assassination and therefore, in their view, it was imperative that he leave the area as soon as possible.Gaza-based political analyst Hani Habib said he did not foresee a big paradigm shift in internal Palestinian politics under the new leadership.
In a highly unusual move, Israel shut down the Taba Crossing to Israelis trying to enter Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula on the eve of Passover on Monday, citing fears of an imminent terror attack by the Islamic State terror group. Israel announced the closure of the border for at least one week (until next Thursday). However, thousands of Israelis were expected to pass the border for the Passover Holidays. The closure was ordered by Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz, after discussion with Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and other security officials. Since the official opening of the border in 1982, it had been closed few times, the last one had been in 2014.
The Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem and he said that Israel fully supports the American airstrike in Syria. He also underline the fact that Trump did it for moral reasons, in the face of horrible sights from Idlib Province, but also to send out a clear message that there is a price to be paid for using chemical weapons. “There is an existing commitment from 2013 to remove all chemical weapons from Syria, and this commitment has not yet been fully met”, Netanyahu added. “We call on the international community to complete this task. This is an opportunity for American-Russian collaboration on this particular point”. This job needs to be completed. On Friday, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence called Netanyahu to thank him for his support of U.S. President Donald Trump’s retaliatory strike in Syria. The Prime Minister also committed to help and accomodate Syrian refugees
For the first time in years, the United Nations Security Council will not focus its monthly open Middle East debate on Israel and the Palestinians, at least under the month-long presidency of US Ambassador Nikki Haley. The president of the Security Council, said that he would like to implement measures for peacekeeping reforms and broader human rights issues, despite the opposition of some member states. She intends to have the April 20 debate revolve around such issues as Iran’s support for terrorism, the Syrian crisis, Hezbollah and Hamas among others, Haley said on Monday. So much has been put toward Israel and the Palestinian Authority and not enough has been put toward some of these other issues. That is our goal for the Middle East open debate.
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman brushed off Hamas’ claims on Sunday that Israel was behind the death of its top commander Mazen Fuqaha, saying that the Palestinian militant group is “known for internal assassinations”. “We have no quarrel with Hamas, they can do what they want”, Lieberman said during a tour of the Israeli border community of Sderot, adding that Israel wasn’t looking for “adventures” in the coastal enclave. Hamas said that ISrael is behind the murder of Fuqaha. Fuqaha, saying the murder “clearly bears Mossad’s fingerprints”. Speaking at a memorial service held for Fuqaha in Gaza, Hamas leader Khaled Meshal threatened to retaliate against Israel. “This is a great challenge for us that joins the open account between us and [Israel]”, he said, adding that if Israel is looking to change the rules of the game, “then we accept it”. The commander was sentenced to life in prison and an additional 50 years for planning a suicide bombing on a bus in northern Israel in 2002, which killed nine Israelis. But in 2011, Fuqaha was released as part of a prisoner exchange deal to free Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Originally from the village of Tubas in the northern West Bank, Fuqaha was exiled at Israel’s demand to Gaza. He was considered a senior member of Hamas’ West Bank command, which gave orders and funds to West bank cells.
The Jerusalem District Police on Sunday declared high alert across the capital, which will be in effect throughout the Passover holiday, beginning on April 10. The decision in taking after a terrorist attack in the Old City of Jerusalem when a Palestinian terrorist stabbed two youths and tried to stab a border policeman. The terrorist attempted to flee the scene and was killed after a short clash with Border Police. They are trying to strengthen the security forces under the Easter holiday and those who try to prevent people from visiting Jerusalem will have “think twice” because ISrael is much better prepared than in the past. Saturday’s incident took place at around 3:15 p.m., when a 17-year-old Palestinian from the Nablus region, who had no permit to be in Israel, began following two haredi youths aged 18 and 20 down Hagai Street in the Old City of Jerusalem. Due to this event during the holiday, increased police deployment will focus on holy sites and recreational destinations like parks, national parks, and nature reserves, as well as along major highways and other hightraffic roads. Extra police presence will be felt along the seam line between east and west Jerusalem and in the Greater Jerusalem area, as well as at entrances to Israel from Judea and Samaria.
The Vice President of the U.S Mike Pence on Saturday said that Donald Trump is seriously considering to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Pence told the influential American Israel Public Affairs Committee at its annual policy conference in Washington. It was Pence’s first time speaking to the conference. Also Pence said that there will be peace and cooperation not only with Israel but also with the Middle East. The U.S. Embassy, like nearly all other foreign embassies in Israel, is located in Tel Aviv. During the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, Trump’s team spoke often about moving the embassy to Jerusalem, but the problem is if Trump moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem is strongly opposed by many U.S. allies. The Palestinian Authority has warned that such a move could have “disastrous results”. Relocating the embassy would be seen as an explicit recognition of Jerusalem’s belonging to Israel, potentially pre-determining the outcome of eventual peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. “Under President Donald Trump, if the world knows nothing else, the world will know this: America stands with Israel”, Pence said. Finally he criticized Iran for its mode of operation.
Hamas on Saturday vowed a “harsh response” against Israel for the killing of Mazen Faqha, a high-profile official with the Gaza Strip-based terrorist group. Faqha was found shot dead at the entrance of his house in the Tel al-Hawa neighborhood on Friday evening. According to Hamas he was shot four times in the head with a silenced gun. Hamas has vowed revenge against Israel. There is a problem: Hamas blamed Israel for the “assassination” but provided no proof to support the accusation. While the group usually points the finger at the Shin Bet security agency, this time Gaza’s rulers claimed the Mossad, Israel’s national intelligence agency, was behind the hit. Faqha was well known in Israel. In 2003, he was apprehended by Israel and sentenced to nine life terms with an additional 50 years for directing a 2002 suicide bombing in Safed that left nine Israelis dead and dozens wounded. He was released as part of the 2011 Schalit prisoner exchange and was deported to Gaza, where he formed Hamas “West Bank headquarters”, tasked with creating terrorist cells across Judea and Samaria. Hamas will do everything to avenge Farah. The means of revage are manifold and we know that Hamas executes those convicted of collaborating with Israel.
David Friedman, a longtime friend and bankruptcy lawyer of US President Donald Trump, was approved by the Senate to serve as ambassador to Israel on Thursday. Fredman has faced criticism and opposition from Jewish American leftistpoliticians during the presidential campaing of 2016. Almost half of the Senate voted to oppose this deeply unqualified and inappropriate nominee, whose predecessors had all been confirmed without a single vote cast against them.Almost half of the Senate voted to oppose this deeply unqualified and inappropriate nominee, whose predecessors had all been confirmed without a single vote cast against them. Anyway the Organization said that since Friedman’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, CUFI continued its efforts by holding in-district meetings with key senate offices and launching additional action alerts in select states asking CUFI supporters to call the offices of specific senators during the 24 hours preceding the floor vote. Israel’s ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer, also congratulated Friedman after the vote. “Looking forward to working closely with you to make the US-Israel alliance stronger than ever”, he said on Twitter.
The Israel Defense Forces foiled a security incident on the Israel-Gaza Strip border in the early hours of Wednesday morning. One terrorist was killed and two others were wounded in the incident, one of this have only eighteen years old. We know that IDF troops on routine patrol along the border detected suspicious movement on its eastern part, near Rafah. The Palestinian news agency Maan said that the local residents reported hearing gunshots and sounds of explosions, adding Israeli Air Force aircraft were heard flying over the border.