- Poll shows vast majority of Palestinian public supports terror attacks against Israelis as Abbas calls ongoing Palestinian terrorism “justified”
A new poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research showed that two-thirds of Palestinians support the stabbing attacks, and that a growing majority supports an armed intifada and rejects the two state solution. Furthermore, if presidential elections were held today in the West Bank, Hamas would win against President Mahmoud Abbas. On Tuesday, a Palestinian woman with a screwdriver who was planning to carry out an attack was caught in Jerusalem, while a Palestinian construction worker beat an Israeli Jew and his Palestinian co-worker with a hammer. A monthly report released by Israel’s internal security service shows that during the month of November, there have been 326 attacks against Israelis, with 10 fatalities. In total, 22 Israelis have been killed and 252 have been wounded in three months of almost daily stabbings, shootings, and vehicular attacks.
False allegations and incitement to violence have been spread on social media by both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. On Sunday, President Barack Obama said, “Palestinian leaders have to condemn the ongoing attacks [against Israelis] and stop incitement.” However, on Tuesday Abbas called the terror attacks against Israelis a “justified popular uprising.” Abbas has failed to condemn the terror attacks against Israelis and has continued to make inflammatory remarks, while reiterating false accusations that Israel is performing “field executions against defenseless Palestinian civilians, including children.” In October, he accused Israel of actions aimed “at altering or eliminating the Palestinian Christian and Muslim presence in and the identity of the Holy City.” Abbas has also appeared to glorify the violence, declaring, “We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem…With the help of Allah, every shaheed (martyr) will be in heaven, and every wounded will get his reward.” On Tuesday Hamas boasted that the perpetrator of Monday’s vehicular attack on a crowded bus station was a member of the organization. The head of the terror group, Khaled Mashaal, called on Palestinians to embrace jihad and praised Palestinian stabbers as “the most exalted and the noblest of people.”
Recent reports that Iran is supporting ISIS through its funding of Hamas are a reminder that the Islamic Republic has long backed the powerful jihadist group and its predecessors in a variety of ways.
In 2012, the United States Treasury Department exposed the extensive financial ties between Iran and al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), the terrorist organization that evolved into ISIS. The generous support Iran afforded ISIS in its formative years was part of a broader alliance that the Islamic Republic established with al-Qaeda over a decade ago.
As AQI metastasized across Iraq and eventually became ISIS, Iran sought to position itself at the vanguard of the global effort against the terrorist group, claiming that it was dedicated to beating back its advances. However, Iran and its clients, particularly Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, have notably failed to dislodge ISIS from any significant territory. Former U.S. military intelligence officer Michael Pregent observed in May that Iran and its allied militias in Iraq did not extend themselves to fight the terror group, and concluded that “Iran needs the threat of ISIS and Sunni jihadist groups to stay in Syria and Iraq in order to become further entrenched in Damascus and Baghdad.” A month later, U.S. officials similarly charged Syria with bombing non-Islamist rebels “in support of ISIL’s advance on Aleppo,” which helped the terror group push back Syrian opposition factions that were fighting Assad’s regime.
Monday’s Ynet report on Iran’s ongoing financial support of Hamas, which the Gaza-based terrorist group partially uses to fund ISIS’s affiliate in the Sinai Peninsula, shed more light on Iran’s strategy of using its proxies to bolster ISIS. Last week, a senior U.S. treasury official revealed that Assad is the biggest purchaser of oil from ISIS. Reports surfaced that Iranian agents were also directly selling weapons to ISIS in exchange for oil last year.
In November, Secretary of State John Kerry noted that Assad “never bombed” ISIS as it captured Raqqa in eastern Syria, and also highlighted Assad’s oil purchases from ISIS. Last week, David Blair, chief foreign correspondent for The Telegraph, wrote that Assad strategically released a number of Islamists from jail during the early stages of the Syrian conflict, a portion of whom later rose to become commanders of ISIS.
In Iran Is More Deeply Tied To ISIS Than You Think, which was published in the December 2015 issue of The Tower Magazine, Benjamin Decker untangled the complex history behind the alliance between the Islamic Republic and ISIS.
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and the rise of al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), the predecessor to the Islamic State, has been well documented; comparably little attention has been given to the group’s global reach. While the Islamic State was born out of Osama Bin Laden’s global jihad against the West, many overlook the importance of another player in the equation – Iran.
This may seem surprising given that Iran, the stalwart of the Shi’a Crescent, is currently embroiled in a regional war against the Islamic State in both Syria and Iraq. However, Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security, described as one of the “largest and most dynamic intelligence agencies in the Middle East” by the Pentagon’s Irregular Warfare Support Program, has, over the past 20 years, provided financial, material, technological, and other support services to AQI. The man responsible for fostering this unexpected relationship was Imad Mughniyeh. While his name may not carry the same perceived significance as Osama Bin Laden, Mughniyeh commanded a vast international terror network that included Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, Hamas, and a myriad of others, spanning over five continents. (via TheTower.org)
Of all the hurdles to broad implementation of solar power across the world, one of the highest is cost. The most mainstream type of solar cell is photovoltaic (PV), made from expensive silicon wafers and silver paste. Inventing a way to reduce the cost was a challenge taken on with relish by an Israeli quartet of semiconductor and optical technologies veterans. Their six-year-old company, Utilight, has developed a revolutionary technology for economical 3D laser printing of PV cells. Solar cells made with Utilight’s patented PTP (Pattern Transfer Printing) method not only are priced realistically for mass manufacturing, but also are more efficient than conventionally made cells, says cofounder and CEO Giora Dishon, who holds a doctorate in material science. This win-win product is now being tested by leading solar-cell manufacturers in China and Taiwan through a strategic partnership with Utilight. “We are in the final stages of developing a production-ready system we can take to customers in the industry to improve solar-cell efficiency and reduce their cost,” Dishon tells ISRAEL21c. “You see solar cells on rooftops and power parks everywhere, and our technology can be used to manufacture all of them.” (via Israel21c)