The Palestinian terror organization Hamas provides “tens of thousands” of dollars per month to the Islamic State in the Sinai for the securing of “weapons shipments” trafficked from Egypt to Gaza, according to Yedioth Ahronoth’s military analyst Alex Fishman. The shipments “primarily consist” of materials that Hamas needs to fuel its domestic rocket manufacturing capability as well as military equipment. Hamas, in return for ISIS’s smuggling services, also provides logistical support. Fishman cited an example of how ISIS militants were wounded and could not be smuggled into Gaza for treatment, so Hamas sent medical personnel into the Sinai. Fishman highlights the impact that Hamas has had on the growth of ISIS’s Sinai branch, writing, “Egyptian security officials note that it is solely thanks to Hamas' monetary and professional support of ISIS in the Sinai that the branch has, in the last few years, turned from a gang of Bedouin with light weapons into a well-trained, well-armed group of 800 militants.” Additionally, Hamas provides training and supplies to ISIS, even equipping them with the Kornet anti-tank missile, which allows the group to target the Egyptian military’s armored vehicles. The group carries out attacks against Egyptian security forces; is responsible for the downing of Russian passenger plane in November, killing all 224 people onboard; and has targeted Israel. On its blog, the IDF lists four attacks on Israel for which the group has claimed responsibility. The report also said that Israeli officials believe that in the event of an escalation, the ISIS branch in the Sinai would assist Hamas against the IDF. Moreover, Fishman notes that Iran provides a “bulk” of Hamas’s financial support. Times of Israel journalist Avi Issacharoff in September highlighted Iran’s continued support for Hamas when he wrote that after the nuclear deal, Iran had “significantly increased” its funding to both Hamas and Hezbollah. In the two months after the deal, Issacharoff wrote, “Iran has sent suitcases of cash – literally.”
Argentina’s new justice minister, Germán Garavano, announced that he will not renew a controversial agreement with Iran to jointly investigate the 1994 AMIA community center bombing, The New York Times reported on Saturday. The deal was originally signed by the government of former Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.
Six top Iranian officials, including Ali Akbar Velayati, who was Iran’s foreign minister at the time of the attack and is currently an advisor to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, have had Interpol red notices issued against them over their suspected involvement in orchestrating the terror attack.
Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who accused Kirchner and her foreign minister, Héctor Timerman, of covering up Iran’s role in the bombing, was found dead under mysterious circumstances the night before he was scheduled to present his case to an Argentine congressional committee in January.
Eamonn MacDonagh, contributing editor to The Tower, wrote in an analysis of the election of President Mauricio Macri last month that the incoming administration would move to distance itself from Iran.
While praising Macri for his willingness to scrap the deal with Iran, MacDonagh cautioned that “it would be unwise to hope that it will lead to progress on the AMIA massacre.” (via TheTower.org)
Many people still aren’t exactly sure what the Internet of Things is all about. But experts with their finger on the pulse of this massive connectivity trend predict that Israeli companies will take a leading role in building the IoT bridge between the digital and physical worlds to transform everyday lives and markets. That’s the conclusion of a three-month study recently released by Innovation Endeavors, the Silicon Valley and Tel Aviv early-stage venture-capital firm solely backed by Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt. The study looked into 330 Israeli IoT companies across five verticals and 23 sub-verticals, from the seed stages all the way to revenue growth. “By now, nearly everyone has been exposed to the Internet of Things (IoT) in one way or another, whether through a Fitbit bracelet, a Nest smart thermostat, or now even the Apple watch,” according to a report summary. “But despite all of the hype, IoT is still something of an enigma, both to laymen and investors alike, and from Silicon Valley all the way to Tel Aviv. Moreover … there is a general lack of belief that Israel can be a leader in IoT. “However, at Innovation Endeavors in recent months, we have seen a growing amount of impressive IoT activity coming out of Israel. This intrigued us and led us to do a three-month deep dive into the space. The goal was to both demystify the existing understanding of IoT and identify the trends, sectors, and technologies that can serve as significant opportunities for Israeli entrepreneurs in this space.” Their “deep dive” involved poring over more than 50 market research and analyst reports, and meeting with top Israeli IoT companies and leading experts from around the world. “We found that if Israeli entrepreneurs can capitalize on their existing IoT-related proficiencies, they can dominate in this space,” says Aaron Dubin, a member of Innovation Endeavors’ investment team. “This is mainly because in Israel IoT already actually has strong, real context. In other words, the sectors that are currently most relevant to IoT – like cyber security, ag-tech, and healthcare – also happen to be the ones in which Israel is already the most advanced around the globe.” (via Israel21c)
What started as a series of peaceful demonstrations for democratic and civil society reform in 2011 has since degenerated into a brutal multi-front conflict involving the Assad regime in Damascus, Vladimir Putin’s Russia, Iranian-backed Hezbollah, a smorgasbord of mostly Islamist rebel groups including al-Qaeda, secular left-wing Kurdish militias, and, of course, ISIS—the most psychopathic army of killers on the planet.
Rather than live up to his earlier and undeserved reputation as a “reformer,” President Bashar al-Assad has proven himself the most violent dictator in the Middle East since Saddam Hussein.
ISIS, meanwhile, rather than living up to U.S. President Barack Obama’s description as al-Qaeda’s “JV team,” has evolved from a ragtag terrorist organization to a full-blown genocidal army massacring its way through Syria, Iraq and beyond.
The American response so far is only a tad more robust than the sound of chirping crickets.
Perhaps no one is as chagrined at all this as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power. She began her career as a war correspondent in Bosnia during the near-apocalyptic civil war there, and she was so shocked and appalled at what she saw—first the mass-murder and ethnic cleansing waged by Serb genocidaires in the heart of Europe, and second the near-total paralysis of the Clinton administration—that she dedicated years of her life to researching and writing her first book, A Problem From Hell: America in the Age of Genocide, which won her the Pulitzer Prize in 2003.
Her conclusion: despite the cries of “never again” after the Holocaust, the international community, including the United States, nearly always stands aside when mass-murderers go to work.
After Power finishes her current stint as a diplomat, she’ll need to update her book with a new chapter on Syria. Only this time she’ll have to blast the very administration she works for.
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