Lawmakers demand Treasury take "all necessary measures" against Hamas supporters Qatar, Turkey


A bipartisan group of lawmakers on Tuesday urged the Treasury Department take additional measures to sanction individuals and groups – including countries – providing financial and material support to Hamas. In a letter addressed to Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen, 24 of the 29 members of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and its Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade blasted regional players – including Iran, Qatar, and Turkey – for supporting the Palestinian terror group and called on the Treasury Department to take "all necessary measures" against the offending entities. Both Qatar and Turkey have since the beginning of the year found themselves engulfed by scandals linked to their consolidation - along with Sunni extremist groups including the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Al Qaeda, and ISIS - into one of three regional blocs. Doha was widely blamed over the summer for backing intransigent elements inside Hamas, deliberately extending the summer’s conflict between the Palestinian terror group and Israel. Tuesday’s letter demanded that Treasury produce a report detailing the level of support within Qatar for terrorist groups, including Hamas. The letter cited lawmakers’ concerns over continuing Turkish support for the Palestinian terror group, including “serv[ing] as the headquarters for Saleh al-Arouri, who is believed to head Hamas’ terrorist operations in the West Bank.” Jonathan Schanzer and Grant Rumley, respectively the vice president for research and a research analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, warned this week of a growing Hamas presence in Turkey – noting that Arouri, who had long ago been identified as having "sole control" over efforts to rebuild Hamas's West Bank terror infrastructure, had been joined by Imad al-Alami, Mahmoud Attoun and Taysir Suleiman. Schanzer and Rumley refer to the Alami as “a founding father” of Hamas and the group’s “point man” for its relations with Iran and its proxies. Attoun and Suleiman had both been freed in prisoner releases in recent years. (Attoun was convicted of abducting an Israeli soldier; Suleiman of killing a soldier in 1993). Observers have for more than a year drawn attention to Arouri’s activities in Turkey – the Hamas official was reportedly responsible for a foiled summer plot to overthrow the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. Reporters last week pressed State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf over U.S. relations with Ankara, with veteran Associated Press reporter Matthew Lee asking Harf if Turkey could “continue to be a close partner and NATO ally if, in fact, it is supporting a designated terrorist organization?” Harf told Lee that she’d “check with our folks and see what the latest is on that.”


Israel’s Micromedic Technologies has identified several new genetic markers with high potential to predict necrosis of the jawbone in patients taking bisphosphonate drugs for multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow. Upon confirmation of these findings from a trial conducted at the Tel Hashomer Medical Center, Micromedic plans to develop a diagnostic test for people with multiple myeloma and possibly for others taking bisphosphonates, such as people with breast or prostate cancer and people with osteoporosis. The trial was designed to identify the unique genetic profile that enables the assessment of risk among cancer patients to develop the devastating side effect known as bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaw, or BRONJ. BRONJ appears in approximately 500,000 cancer patients each year, with a prevalence rate of up to 18.6 percent among multiple myeloma patients, 1.2%-12% among breast cancer patients, 6.5%-7% among prostate cancer patients and up to 0.1% among osteoporosis patients taking bisphosphonates. In response to growing concern about BRONJ, in 2005 the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a broad drug class warning about this complication. Micromedic has filed three new patent applications covering the newly discovered markers and is preparing to conduct testing to validate the findings. “To our knowledge there is no effective method on the market to identify the population at risk of developing the BRONJ side effect. … Given the FDA’s warning on these drugs, we believe there will be an extremely receptive market for a test assay,” said Micromedic CEO Steven Eitan. The Ramat Gan-based company invests in, manages and promotes products for the early detection of cancers, with an emphasis on personalized medical treatments. (via Israel21c)

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