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Hamas plotting major revenge attack, defense officials say

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Hamas is stepping up its efforts to carry out a major terrorist attack in Judea and Samaria to avenge the killing of one of its top operatives in the Gaza Strip, defense officials told Israel Hayom Wednesday. Mazen Faqha was killed in mid-March in what Hamas said was a Mossad assassination. Hamas has vowed to avenge Faqha, even going as far as directly threatening top Israel officials. The military and Shin Bet security agency have been following the group’s efforts very closely, and have stepped up their counterterrorism efforts across Judea and Samaria. Israeli authorities have arrested a number of terrorists operating under explicit instructions from Gaza to carry out attacks, mainly abductions and mass-casualty attacks. Faqha was a close associate of Hamas leader in Gaza.Hamas’ efforts to carry out a major terrorist attack compound existing security tensions, which are expected to escalate further against the backdrop of three coinciding events: The upcoming visit by U.S. President Donald Trump; Jerusalem Day, which this year marks the 50th anniversary of the capital’s reunification; and the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan.Israeli security forces are collaborating with their Palestinian counterparts and the joint counterterrorism efforts have prevented dozens of attacks over the past few months. Defense officials predict that if a diplomatic breakthrough is achieved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during Trump’s visit, terrorists will consequently step up their efforts to carry out attacks.

Syrian militia leader killed in alleged Israeli drone strike.

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At approximately 4 p.m. on Sunday, a militia commander loyal to the Bashar Assad regime was killed in an alleged Israeli drone strike in Syria. The drone fired in Syria, to Damasco.The U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the alleged Israeli strike was carried out near the town of Khan Arnaba on the Syrian Golan Heights. We know that al-Sayed was affiliated with President Bashar Assad’s regime and commanded armed militias operating on the Syrian Golan Heights.  Al-Sayed was assassinated after apparently planning and trying to carry out terrorist attacks against Israel, with the support of his Iranian colleagues and his militia fighters. According to the Prime Minister Lieberman he said that ISrael hasn’t got any interest to intervening in the civil war in Syria, going against Russia and Assad. Israel wants only to prevents weapons to Hezbollah. Anyway he Russians are still furious.

Haftar’s forces claim victory in battles in east Libya.

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East Libyan forces said they captured the final holdout of Islamist-led rivals in the southwest of Benghazi yesterday, ending weeks of resistance by fighters camped in a cluster of apartment blocks. After three years of resistance in Bengazhi, LNA army told that it took control of all the parts of Benghazy. According to first informations, Humanitarians conditions had not been respected, and the evacuation of population has failed.

King Salman visits China,his fifth Asian destination.

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After concluding his visit to Japan by attending the closing session of the Forum on the Business vision between Saudi Arabia and Japan 2030, King Salman arrived to China on Wednesday, the fifth destination of his asian tour. The Forum discussed ways to achieve the executive programs following Kingdom Vision 2030 and to promote trade and investments between Saudi Arabia and Japan in the presence of many Saudi and Japanese business men. Saudi King Salman and the Japanese Prime Minister also signed notes and programs of cooperation in the field of industrial revolution and a Memorandum of Cooperation on the Implementation of the Japanese Saudi Vision for 2030.

Ageela Saleh refused to meet Serraj; The intransigence of each party has resulted in the stagnation of a political solution and has increased the suffering of the Libyan people

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Presidency Council leader FaiezSerraj has claimed that the reason there was no meeting in Cairo between himself and KhalifaHafter was because Hafter had insisted on House of Representatives (HoR) President Ageela Saleh taking part in the talks but that Saleh had refused to meet Serraj. In an interview with the London-based Arabic daily Asharq Al-Awsat Serraj, who flew back to Tripoli last night from the Egyptian capital, blamed the breakdown on the stubbornness of the other two. “The intransigence of each party has resulted in the stagnation of a political solution and has increased the suffering of the Libyan people” he said. Ageela Saleh has already been accused by the US and the EU of blocking a settlement of the Libyan crisis and as a result is now sanctioned by both. Despite the problems in Cairo, Serraj nonetheless stated in his interview that he believed that dialogue would “inevitably” find a way out, adding that he would announce a new roadmap in the next few days.

Tusk: Azerbaijan is an important partner for the EU, we support the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence

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The European Union supports the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Azerbaijan, said President of the European Council Donald Tusk. Azerbaijan is an important partner for the EU, Tusk told a joint press conference with Azerbaijani President IlhamAliyev in Brussels, yesterday.Tusk said he had a productive meeting with the Azerbaijani president in Brussels, noting that Azerbaijan is an important country in terms of Europe’s energy security and diversification of its supply sources. “We share the same views on the completion of the Southern Gas Corridor project. This is a key priority for both sides,” Tusk said.

Egyptian Foreign Minister: “western media ignored terror attacks around the world”

On Tuesday, Egyptian Foreign Minister SamehShoukry praised the White House’s criticism of western media outlets’ alleged disregard to cover 78 terrorist assaults around the world, according to a statement issued by the ministry’s official spokespersonThe statement follows a release by the White House of a list of 78 terror attacks—dating back from September 2014 to December 2016—western media has allegedly ignored.“We praise the stance of US President Donald Trump regarding how western media ignored terror attacks around the world, as well as the White house’s list of 78 terror attacks western media has disregarded—including nine attacks in Egypt,”the statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ spokesperson read.Abou Zaid noted that the White House list and the criticism of Trump towards western media’s biased coverage is consistent with recurring calls from Egypt, stipulating the necessity of adopting a comprehensive strategy by the international community to fight terrorism.

Iraqi forces’ partecipation in Syria’s anti-terror campaign could be possible

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The spokesman of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces, Hashd al-Shaabi, didn’t rule out the possibility of the forces’ participation in Syria’s anti-terror campaign in consequences of the request by Damascus government.“If we were to be present (in Syria), it should be at the request of the Syrian government and with the approval of the Iraqi Parliament and administration,” he have said but itemized that a presence of the Iraqi popular forces in Syria would be after liberation of Iraqi territories and should be within the framework of law. On a meeting with Ayatollah Khamenei, the Leader stressed the necessity for unity in Iraq and said it can prevent formation of more Takfiri groups in the Arab country.

Saudi King supports any political solution to international crises

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Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz inaugurated the works of the first year of the seventh session of the Shoura Council on Wednesday. In his speech, he said that the Kingdom supports any political solution to international crises in order to pave the way for development efforts. He added: “We will continue our cooperation with the international community to restore world peace. Saudi Arabia will deploy all possible efforts to protect the State and society and to serve the Two Holy Mosques”. Regarding Yemen, King Salman said that the security of Yemen and the Saudi kingdom is intertwined, adding that the Kingdom does not seek to interfere in Yemen’s internal affairs.

U.S. opposition to bilateral summit between PM Shinzo Abe and President Putin disregarded by Japan

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Japan has disregarded U.S. opposition to a planned bilateral summit between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Tokyo next week, diplomatic sources said. Last month, Washington repeatedly conveyed its objection to the Abe-Putin meeting in the capital out of concern that it might relieve pressure on Moscow by the Group of Seven economies, but on Thursday Japan formally announced the summit for Dec. 16, as well as another meeting in Yamaguchi Prefecture the previous day.

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