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ISIS Arrives in Gaza: Supporters of the 'Islamic State of Jerusalem' Sighted on Israeli Border

By DEBKAfile

Followers of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant were spotted for the first time in the Gaza Strip this week, DEBKAfile's military sources report. Their arrival on Israel's border was confirmed as a division-strength IDF force launched its large-scale "Turning Point 2015" exercise for repelling Islamist cross-border incursions. The Islamist group which has established a substantial anti-Hamas presence in the Gaza Strip is Ansar al Dawa al-Islamia, renamed "Supporters of the Islamic State of Jerusalem."

Israeli, Egyptian and Hamas' military sources are all concerned to make light of this development. When asked, they say that the group's nature and scope have not yet been evaluated. Western and Middle East governments took the same tack two years ago, when ISIS first embarked on its calamitous course in Syria.

DEBKAfile's military sources point to eight signs of the ISIS presence in the Gaza Strip: 1. In the last 48 hours, Hamas security authorities have suddenly set up scores of roadblocks across the Strip, including Gaza City. 2. They acted after senior Hamas security officer Sabah Siam was murdered Saturday, May 30, by a gang of five gunmen sporting ISIS insignia.

Hamas tried pretending that the officer died in a bomb planted in his vehicle by a local rival faction. But the attack was too public to be concealed. The ISIS gunmen burst into a shop owned by the officer's family in the center of Gaza City while he was visiting. They cut him down in front of his relatives and dozens of passersby, none of whom made any move to stop them as they made off in two vehicles.

The terrorists later issued a communiqué saying: "Sabah Siam was liquidated because he was a partner in a war declared against religion and against Muslims working for the heretical government in the Gaza Strip." In a declaration of war, ISIS warned the Palestinian Hamas to "end its war against religion in Gaza or face the consequences."

  1. Israeli and Egyptian security services, most likely in conjunction with Hamas, set up a tight ring of bodyguards to protect German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier against possible assassins when he visited Gaza Monday. He insisted on going through with his visit in the face of the internecine Islamist fighting which had erupted in the Palestinian-ruled territory.

  2. On the day of the visit, Ansar al Dawa al-Islamia posted a social media notice calling on Gazans to discontinue their cooperation with the "heretical Hamas regime." 5. The same group also claimed responsibility for a string of bombings outside Hamas headquarters and offices in Gaza during the month of May.

  1. On May 8, the ISIS Sinai branch Ansar Bait Maqdis shelled the Hamas facility in Khan Younis, in southern Gaza. 7. On May 28, ISIS-Sinai threatened to "target Eilat Port in the coming days," as a joint project with the ISIS wing in the Gaza Strip, which would also attack Hamas's military arm, Ezz e-din Al-Qassam, and take control of the Gaza Strip. 8. DEBKAfile's counter-terror sources report that Ansar al Dawa is preparing to declare the Gaza Strip a province of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Bolton: Israel Must Strike Iran Soon


On the sidelines of the Israel Day Concert in New York's Central Park on Sunday, former US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton gave a rundown of Iran's nuclear program and the impending deal on curbing it, in an exclusive Arutz Sheva interview. See While negotiations between Iran and world powers have reached an interim agreement ahead of a June 30 deadline for a final deal, Bolton predicts that the Iran negotiations are "doomed to failure."

"I don't think Iran has any intention of giving up its efforts to get deliverable nuclear weapons," said the former ambassador. "Even if a deal is signed sometime in the summer I think the ayatollahs will violate it even before the ink is dry."

Lending credence to those suspicions, top Iranian officials have said they will start using advanced IR-8 centrifuges that are 20 times as effective as standard ones as soon as a deal is reached, even as the US asserts a deal will limit the usage of advanced centrifuges.

According to Bolton, the West doesn't have enough knowledge about Iran's covert nuclear program, nor does it possess any sufficient mechanism to monitor possible violations of a future deal, meaning such a deal will only "legitimize Iran's path to nuclear weapons."

So why is President Barack Obama so earnestly pressing for a deal with Iran? In Bolton's estimation his actions stem from a belief that negotiations can change the nature of the hostile Islamic regime, because Obama "is driven by an ideology that sees American influence as part of the problem, and if he can show the ayatollahs that we are no threat to them that they will happily give up their 30-year pursuit of nuclear weapons. I just think that's flatly wrong."

Faced with the threat of a nuclear armed Iran, Israel will have to choose whether to strike Iran's nuclear facilities based on estimations that within the next 20 months Iran will be able to produce a nuclear arsenal. Israel must decide soon, he added, because once Iran has the bomb, "any attack would risk nuclear retaliation."

In the case of an Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear sites, the Jewish state will have Congressional pressure to help it against Obama's antagonism to such a development, according to Bolton. Ahead of such a strike it will need to stress how the attack is part of its legitimate right to self-defense, and after the strike it will need to resupply with US aid.

Project 'Bomb Shelters Online' Underway in Northern Israel


The newest in rocket defense comfort: Wireless internet (WIFI) will now be available, free of charge, in bomb shelters in northern Israel.

The Israel Defense Ministry's Emergency Authority, acronymed Rachel, is running the new, first-of-its-kind project, which it calls "Bomb Shelters Online." It is designed to improve besieged citizens' accessibility to real-time information and to emergency centers, as well as their ability to communicate with relatives and emergency services when bomb-warning sirens are sounding. Use of the service will be free from the moment the shelters are officially opened, in the event of rocket warnings.

Rachel ran a pilot Shelters Online program over the past few months in Kiryat Shemonah, Israel's northern-most city, situated along Israel's border with Hizbullah-controlled southern Lebanon. (Metulah, which is further north, is officially a town, not a city.) The shelters in Kiryat Shemonah, which have seen much use in recent decades in the face of frequent Katyusha and other terrorist attacks, have been refurbished and adapted to wireless internet.

Similar works are now underway in more than 50 other public shelters in northern cities such as Tzfat, Nahariya, Tiberias, Acco and Shlomi, as well as in the Arab town Sakhnin, and even as far south as Migdal HaEmek just north of the Jezreel Valley. "The internet is taking an increasingly large share of our ability to communicate with the population during emergency situations," Betzalel Treiber of Rachel told Israel Defense News. "This is why we view this project as so crucial."

The shelters selected for the first stage of the project are located in high-risk areas in which apartments are generally not fitted with "protected areas." Rachel is planning to equip hundreds of other shelters in the north in the coming months, and possibly to expand to other areas of the country as well. The project is expected to cost millions of shekels.

PA Children's Show: Jews are Bloodthirsty, Evil


The Palestinian Authority has once again broadcasted anti-Semitic content, this time "informing" viewers that Jews are bloodthirsty and subhuman on a children's show, Palestinian Media Watch reported Monday.

On the latest broadcast of the official PA TV children's program "The Best Home," a young girl recited a poem calling Jews "barbaric monkeys," "the most evil among creations," and those "who murdered Allah's pious prophets." See Jews are said to be "throngs... brought up on spilling blood... impure... [and] filth."

The full text of the poem is as follows:

Eichmann's Wife Visited Israel Before His Execution


Sunday marked 53 years since the execution of the Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann in Israel and newly released state archives reveal that Eichmann's wife Vera visited her doomed husband in prison in Ramle one month prior to his execution.

The revelation came in a post on the state archives blog regarding a debate within the government on whether Vera should be allowed to visit Eichmann before his death. Her visit to Israel was kept secret and until this day no proof was found to confirm her visit with her husband.

The state archive cited the prison's visitor's log which listed Vera as a guest on April 30, 1962. She stayed for an hour-and-a-half and was accompanied by the district police commander and two Israel Prison Service officers.

Eichmann, who was a senior commander in the SS was one of the key players in carrying out Hitler's "Final Solution" against Europe's Jews during the second World War. He was captured by the Mossad in Argentina in 1960 where he had fled and lived under a false identity. He was tried and executed in Israel as opposed to the majority of Nazi criminals who have been mostly tried and sentenced by international courts.

The blog post from the state archive reveals the chronology of events that led to Vera's visit. Two months before Eichmann's execution, she passed a request to the Justice Minister, Dov Yosef to see her husband. Yosef brought the request to the government on March 18, 1962 and told the ministers that Prime Minister David Ben Gurion thought that Israel would find it difficult to stand before international criticism if Vera would be prevented from seeing Eichmann. Yosef suggested that the meeting be held in secret and be carried out quickly - within 24 hours if possible.

On the same day, Foreign Minister Golda Meir brought the government's decision to the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. "I assume that most of us are completely satisfied with the entire process," she said. "But we know that there are many 'righteous' in the world who's attention now will be much greater than their attention during the Holocaust."

MK Ya'akov Hazan agreed with the decision and only asked, "that she won't help him go into the next world in a more humanitarian way."

Israeli Rabbi Sells 'Kosher' Pleasure with Online Sex Shop


Their inspiration may be exotic -- the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty, Rome's Coliseum -- but Rabbi Natan Alexander's vibrators have a distinctly domestic goal: giving Orthodox Jewish couples gratification without the guilt. Alexander, 34, was born in Sydney and now lives in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank.

After studying religion and becoming a rabbi in Israel, he turned his hand to online sex counseling in a mission to spice up the love lives of the faithful. "Giving pleasure to one's wife is a religious obligation," he told AFP. "Religious couples should be helped to better live their sexuality."

He founded the Better2gether website where observant couples can peruse and purchase all sorts of sex aids, safe in the knowledge the products are kosher. "Jewish law permits the use of these objects that can best help fulfill the commandment to give pleasure to one's wife," Alexander said. "Better2gether is here to help couples enhance and strengthen relationships both emotionally and physically," the website proclaims. "Our approach provides modesty, sensitivity, and confidentiality."

Its online catalogue has an architectural flavor, offering vibrators modeled on landmarks including London's Gherkin skyscraper, the fronds of Palm Island in Dubai and the spires and domes of Saint Basil's Cathedral in Moscow's Red Square.

Alexander is not the first cleric to publicly address sex and eroticism in marriage among Judaism's deeply conservative community. American Orthodox rabbi Shmuley Boteach had a blockbuster success with his 1999 book "Kosher Sex" and his 2009 follow-up "The Kosher Sutra" was also a bestseller.

"I think in our culture we suppress and deny a woman's true erotic nature," he said in a video promoting his 2014 work, "Kosher Lust. Women today are loved but they're not lusted after. They're appreciated but not desired," said Boteach, 49, whose website says that he has nine children and two grandchildren. "They're complimented but their husbands aren't ripping their clothes off."

Alexander's West Bank business has proved successful, counting satisfied customers in Israel but also as far afield as the United States, Britain, Australia and South Africa. In spite of sales of approximately five items a day and more than 20,000 views of the website a month, he insists his online sex venture isn't all about profit. "I want to offer these services to allow religious couples access to pleasure without breaking religious laws," he explained.

While the products are the same as those offered by sex shops everywhere, they are supplied in packages without the kind of racy illustrations that offend Orthodox sensitivities.

The site offers online counseling by what it says are professional sex therapists, couples counselors and gynecologists on issues which many couples find hard to raise with their rabbis. Questions on premature ejaculation, penis size, orgasms and sexual positions are answered using language "respecting the rules of religious life," Alexander said. "Judaism gives an important place to sexual pleasure but it is still too often a taboo subject," he added. "I am proud to be a pioneer in this field."

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