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Trump threatens to cut aid to countries who oppose US Jerusalem move in UN vote December 20, 2017
Trump threatens to cut aid to countries who oppose US Jerusalem move in UN vote US President Donald Trump (AP/File)
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Echoing earlier statements by US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, President Donald Trump threatened to slash aid to nations that vote in the UN against the US' decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

By: World Israel News Staff

As the Palestinians and their allies attempt to marshal opposition at the United Nations (UN) to the announcement that the US recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital and will move its embassy there, President Donald Trump issued a stern warning regarding foreign aid.

"For all of these nations that take our money and then they vote against us at the Security Council or they vote against us, potentially, at the Assembly, they take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars and then they vote against us," Trump began, speaking on Wednesday at a Cabinet meeting.

"Well, we're watching those votes," Trump warned. "Let them vote against us. We'll save a lot. We don't care. But this isn't like it used to be where they could vote against you and then you pay them hundreds of millions of dollars and nobody knows what they're doing."

President Trump's message mirrored comments made a day earlier by US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, who communicated to fellow UN ambassadors that Trump is watching the vote closely.

"The US will be taking names," Haley declared.

"At the UN we're always asked to do more and give more. So, when we make a decision, at the will of the American people, about where to locate OUR embassy, we don't expect those we've helped to target us," Haley tweeted.

In a letter shared with Bloomberg News, Haley advised several countries, including allies of the US, that the president "requested I report back on those countries who voted against us. We will take note of each and every vote on this issue."

The diplomats claimed that Haley's letter would have minimal impact on their vote.

Donald TrumpJerusalemNikki HaleyUN anti-Israel biasUnited Nations Print Email 20 Comments
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Hamas leader: We will no longer rule in Gaza

Hamas's Gaza leader declares that the organization is permanently ceding control of Gaza in order to reconcile with Fatah. Contact Editor
Elad Benari, 21/12/17 00:08
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Yihya Sinwar
Yihya SinwarReuters

Hamas's Gaza leader, Yahya Sinwar, declared on Wednesday that the terrorist organization would no longer control Gaza and that move will be permanent.

"This decision is a strategic one and there is no going back. Hamas will be completely out of the picture," he said, according to comments quoted by the Hebrew-language Walla! news website.

Sinwar added that the split between Hamas and Fatah had harmed Hamas as a resistance movement, saying that it "harmed all of us as a people and as a liberation movement, so we must end the division at any price."

In his remarks, Sinwar also addressed U.S. President Donald Trump's statement that Washington recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and said that "Trump's actions on Jerusalem require rapid steps to reconcile and end this tragic chapter in the history of the people."

He added that "we are concerned about the possibility that reconciliation will fail and will continue for many years. The continuation of the current situation will have disastrous consequences, and therefore Hamas will not be part of the destruction. This declaration is a real opportunity to overcome the obstacles on the way to reconciliation."

Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation agreement in October, as part of which Hamas was to transfer power in Gaza by December 1. That deadline was initially put back by 10 days and last week had reportedly hit "obstacles".

Sharp disagreements remain between Fatah leader and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas, particularly over the fate of public employees in Gaza and security control of the enclave.

Abbas has demanded that the armed militias in Gaza disarm as part of the implementation of the agreement, but Hamas has categorically rejected this demand.



Tags:
Hamas, Fatah-Hamas, Gaza Region, Fatah-Hamas reconciliation, Hamas-Fatah Unity, Yahya Sinwar







North Korea testing biological warheads for its missiles — report

By AFP
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North Korea testing biological warheads for its missiles — report

Japanese newspaper says Pyongyang's research focused on ensuring deadly anthrax spores will survive extreme heat during long-range missile strike

By Stuart Winer 20 December 2017, 9:29 am 2

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A photomicrograph of Bacillus anthracis bacteria, the cause of the anthrax disease (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Department of Health and Human Services/Wikipedia Commons)
A photomicrograph of Bacillus anthracis bacteria, the cause of the anthrax disease (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Department of Health and Human Services/Wikipedia Commons)

North Korea is carrying out tests toward arming its long-range missiles with deadly anthrax spores and other biological weapons, the Japanese Asahi newspaper reported Wednesday, citing a a South Korean intelligence source.

The source, who was not identified in the report, said that Pyongyang is conducting heat and pressure experiments to find ways of protecting biological agents in the intense conditions a warhead experiences during reentry. As long-range missile warheads plummet back from space through the atmosphere toward their targets, they can experience temperatures of over 7,000º C, the paper said.

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An unconfirmed intelligence report suggested some of the tests have been successful.

The South Korean intelligence source assessed the North Koreans are looking at developing biological weapons as they do not yet have the ability to hit all of the US mainland with nuclear weapons.

On Monday US President Donald Trump released his first National Security Strategy, declaring that "North Korea is also pursuing chemical and biological weapons which could also be delivered by missile."

According to the Asahi report, the US has known about North Korea's anthrax research for a while. As a precaution, US troops serving in South Korea have been vaccinated against smallpox and anthrax since around 2004.

At the end of November, nuclear-armed North Korea test-fired a new ICBM, which it says brings the whole of the United States within range. The Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile, at an undisclosed location in North Korea, November 29, 2017. (Image provided by the North Korean government, Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

The isolated and impoverished North has staged six increasingly powerful atomic tests since 2006 — most recently in September.

The North has boasted that the Hwasong 15 ICBM it tested is capable of delivering a "super-large" nuclear warhead anywhere in the US mainland.

Analysts agree that the latest test showed a big improvement in potential range, but say it was likely achieved using a dummy warhead that would have been quite light.

They say a missile carrying a much heavier nuclear warhead would struggle to travel as far.

The North's widely-condemned nuclear and missile programs have made significant progress under leader Kim Jong-Un, who has overseen four nuclear tests and dozens of missile launches since taking power in 2011.

A months-long nuclear standoff between Kim and Trump — as well as their trading of personal insults — has fueled concerns of another conflict, more than six decades after 1950-53 Korean War that left much of the peninsula in ruins.

But even some Trump advisers say US military options are limited when Pyongyang could launch an artillery barrage on the South Korean capital Seoul — only around 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the heavily-fortified border and home to 10 million people.

AFP contributed to this report.
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Israel & the Region anthrax North Korea North Korean missiles US-North Korea relations intercontinental ballistic missiles ICBMs biological warfare

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Palestinians Destroy Important Israeli Archaeological Site in Jericho 4 Comments
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Dec 20, 2017
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Israeli archaeology
Israeli history
Jericho

Israel entrusted one of its great archaeological treasures to the Palestinians. They destroyed it.

The Palestinians are systematically destroying King Herod's grand Third Palace in Jericho by stripping its stone and building homes around it, thereby erasing a testament to the Jews' deep roots to the Land of Israel.

Israel Hayom reported Tuesday that a team from the Kfar Etzion Field School visited the site recently and was appalled to find that the Palestinians, who received the important site as part of the Oslo Accords, had built housing around it. Some homes were constructed on the grounds of the palace itself. The remains of the palace are being systematically demolished to construct a road. The historic edifice is being stripped of its stone, and the supporting pillars and arches have been defaced.

Most of Herod's Third Palace, lies within Area A, under full Palestinian control.

Not far away, in Area C, are the Hasmonean palaces, the most important preserved Hasmonean site in Israel.

The Hasmonean palaces are located in Area C, under full Israeli control, but can only be accessed via Area A, where the Palestinians are in full control.

The Palestinians began building illegally next to the site and desecrating it. One of the palaces was even vandalized with a swastika. Natural wear and tear had also taken its toll.

Under the guidance of Israeli Minister Zeev Elkin, the IDF and the Civil Administration stopped Palestinian assaults on the site. Elkin invested millions in preservation work. The Hasmonean palaces are safe.

However, the Herodian palace, under full PA control, is exposed to all manner of desecration and destruction. When the Israeli Civil Administration, which has no authority in Area A, received reports of the destruction taking place at the palace, they tried to exert influence and to reach out to local village leaders, but the Palestinian construction around the Third Palace has not stopped. It's Time for Israel to Say, `No More'

Along with Caesarea, the city of Sebastia north of Shechem (Nablus), Herodian, and the Temple, the winter palaces Herod built for himself at Jericho were the grandest of his projects in the Holy Land.

Yaron Rosenthal, director of the Kfar Etzion Field School, who sometimes works with the Palestinians on environmental preservation projects, expressed anger at the destruction.

"Israel sees how one of the grandest palaces ever built in the Holy Land is being destroyed, and [Israel] is standing by helplessly, because under the Oslo Accords the site, which is 30 meters from Area C, was made the responsibility of the Palestinians. It's time for Israel to say, `no more.' With all due respect to the Oslo Accords, we will not let [the Palestinians] destroy important [archaeological] remains linked to the history of the Jewish people in their land, remains that are part of the cultural fabric of this country," Rosenthal stated.

"We [Israelis] are horrified when to our east and north, the Islamic State destroys archaeological treasures, or when Jewish cemeteries are desecrated in Europe. But when it happens a few dozen yards from our own territory, we're helpless. The Palestinians are causing damage, building a residential neighborhood on top of this unique site, wrecking it with tractors, and causing irreparable damage, which must be stopped."

The Palestinian Authority has refused to comment.

By: United with Israel Staff
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