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Abbas Calls to Step Up `Popular Resistance' Against Israel

By World Israel News

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that "popular resistance" should be the only means of struggle towards independence and statehood. "Popular resistance" usually indicates the use of rocks and firebombs against Israelis rather than more advanced weapons, such as guns. Speaking during the closing session of the 29th meeting of the Palestinian Central Council held in Ramallah, Abbas said that the Palestinians "should not underestimate it [popular resistance]" and must "keep the ground aflame with popular resistance" against Israel. He called for further visits to the illegally built Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, east of Jerusalem, which is facing a court-ordered demolition by Israel. "Everyone, officials and the public, should be going to Khan al-Ahmar. Our goal now must be to stay there and not allow them [the Israelis] to set up their project because we know that they will tear apart the West Bank if they take over that area. This is a critical issue that we must keep in mind," he stated, according to the official Palestinian WAFA news agency. The location of the illegal structures is hazardous due to its proximity to a major highway. Khan al Ahmar is adjacent and overlooking the highway that connects Jerusalem to the south of Israel in a strategic area that bisects the country.

The residents, the Jahalin Bedouin, are an offshoot of a larger tribe based in southern Israel in the Arad region. After a blood feud broke out within the tribe, some of the families were forced out and migrated north through the Judean desert, arriving and settling in their present location after the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Their battle for the land is part of a PA and European Union-orchestrated program of creating strategically located outposts that undermine the basis of the Oslo Accords.

By creating "placeholder" encampments in strategic points throughout Area C of Judea and Samaria, the PA has circumvented the process of negotiation. The PCC, the second-highest authority after the Palestinian National Council, affirmed on Friday its strong rejection of President Donald Trump's yet unveiled "Deal of the Century" peace plan "in any shape or form," stressing that it will fight it "with all available means." It also announced that it considered the Trump administration a "partner to the Israeli occupation government and part of the problem rather than the solution." The PCC stressed, "the continuation of the severing of political relations with the US administration until it retracts its illegal decisions on Jerusalem, refugees and settlements." The Palestinians have frozen all ties with Washington since Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital. The PCC approved the recommendations submitted by the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization to implement the decisions of the National Council and to submit a "comprehensive plan with specific timetables for redefining political, economic and security relations with the Israeli Occupying Power." The plan includes the suspension of recognition of the State of Israel until it recognizes the "State of Palestine on the June 1967 borders, with its capital in East Jerusalem"; the cessation of security coordination with Israel; cessation of the Paris Protocols, which dictate the economic relations with Israel, and identifying the pillars and steps to start the process of transition from the current phase of "authority" to the independence of the sovereign state of Palestine.

Israel Closes Gaza Border Crossing

By VOA News & Israel Hayom
Israel, Sunday, closed its only crossing for people on the Gaza Strip. Humanitarian cases, however, will be able to cross the border, Israeli officials say. The impetus for the decision, officials explained, was the violent Palestinian demonstration at the border on Friday, in which some 20,000 people hurled rocks and firebombs at Israeli troops under cover of thick smoke from burning tires, witnesses said. Israeli forces responded with tear gas and sporadic live fire. Medics said Israeli gunfire killed two men and wounded at least 270 other Palestinians. Palestinians have been protesting at the Gaza border since the end of March in part for an end to the Israeli-Egyptian blockade of Gaza. Palestinian health officials say Israeli fire has killed 170 Palestinians since the protests began. Egyptian officials have been meeting in Cairo with representatives of Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist terrorist group that runs Gaza, hammering out details of a possible truce with Israel. Israel and Egypt placed severe economic restrictions on Gaza after Hamas seized the coastal territory in 2007 from the internationally recognized Palestinian Authority. Israel says the economic blockade is needed to contain Hamas, a terrorist group that seeks Israel's destruction. The closure has greatly harmed Gaza's economy, but it has failed to oust Hamas or ease the group's hold on power. Following Friday's clashes, the IDF Spokesperson's Unit issued a statement asserting that "thousands of Palestinians and rioters gathered in the Gaza Strip, many of them deep within the territory. Several firebombs and homemade explosives were hurled across the border fence. No one was hurt and there was no damage. Several suspects were seen crossing the border into Israel and immediately turning back. IDF troops responded with riot dispersal measures and live fire in adherence to the rules of engagement."

Trump Tells King Abdullah: Without a Deal, Israel will End Up with 'Muhammad' as Prime Minister

By Reuters

Israel is in danger of losing its Jewish majority and character as a Jewish state if no peace deal is reached between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Jordan's King Abdullah II recently told President Donald Trump, Israeli media reported Sunday night. In response, Trump replied that in the absence of a final status agreement, Israel would likely have an Arab prime minister. According to a report by Channel 10 Sunday evening, the discussion took place during President Trump's meeting with King Abdullah at the White House on June 25th. The comments were made in private, but were shared by King Abdullah with France's Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves le Drian earlier this month, Channel 10 claimed. The report was confirmed, Channel 10 said, by US and Israeli officials. "Many young Palestinians no longer want two states," King Abdullah is quoted as telling President Trump during the White House meeting. "They want one state with equal rights. The result would be Israel losing its Jewish character." Trump said, somewhat jokingly the report claimed, that "there's logic in that. In a few years, Israel will have a prime minister named Muhammad." The president also told the Hashemite monarch that his administration was best suited for achieving a final status agreement between Israel and the PA. "I want to advance a peace agreement in the Middle East because if my administration can't get a deal, no administration can." King Abdullah balked at the prospect of a new US-backed peace plan, given the current regional tensions. "Don't present the plan now; there are too many difficulties right now," Abdullah is quoted as saying.

Unopened Letter Sent to Anne Frank's father in 1942 up for Auction

By JTA

An auction house is selling an unopened letter that was mailed to the home of Anne Frank while she and her family were hiding elsewhere from the Nazis. Bidding on the envelope, which came from an insurance company in 1942, will begin at $570 during the auction, which is scheduled to take place on Sept. 21 at the Corinphila Auction House in Amstelveen south of Amsterdam. The letter is of "paramount importance, a testament to the most difficult period in the life of the Frank family, their underground existence," the auction house wrote in a statement. The envelope carries a red "return to sender" stamp and is addressed to Otto Frank, the teenage diarist's father and the only member of her nuclear family who survived the Holocaust. When it was sent to the family's home in Merwede Square in Amsterdam's south, the Franks were already in hiding in what is now called the Anne Frank House in the Dutch capital's west. They hid there for over two years until they were discovered and sent to concentration and death camps. Anne Frank, who was 13 when she went into hiding with her family, wrote journals during her time there. Her father later edited them into a book titled "The Diary of a Young Girl." Published in 1947, it became a bestseller and turned Anne Frank into a symbol of persecution and one of the world's best-known Holocaust victims. The unopened letter, which presumably never reached Otto Frank — he died in 1980 — was found along with other belongings of stamp collector Stefan Drukker following his death in 2013, the Trouw daily reported Wednesday. The envelope containing the weighty letter carries the logo of the British life insurance agency Gresham.

Nathan Bouscher, the auction house's director, told Trouw that the envelope was found in a room containing other old envelopes that Drukker had collected for the stamps on them. Bouscher does not know what the sealed envelope contains, despite his attempts to hold it against a bright light to see what's inside. He could make out typed text.

Spying Seagull—the New Enemy of the Arab Nation

By YnetNews.com
Researchers at Ramat Gan Safari attached a surveillance transmitter to a seagull's leg for research purposes and set it free. Unfortunately, the bird landed in Tripoli, where it was soon caught and transferred to the authorities on suspicion of spying for Israel. How does a wounded gull become an Israeli spy? Ask the media outlets in Arab countries. This story began a few months ago when a sick seagull discovered in Eilat was transferred to the veterinary hospital at Ramat Gan Safari. In April, the bird recovered and was released near Atlit, a small town located on the northern coast. Before its release, researchers attached a GPS-based satellite transmitter onto the seagull's leg, in order to track the bird's migration route. The gull arrived at Tripoli, Libya. Unfortunately, locals noticed the transmitter attached to its leg and transferred the bird to the authorities. The authorities suspected that the seagull was part of an Israeli espionage plot, and Arab media outlets published pictures of the seagull with the transmitter alongside a caption accusing the bird of espionage: "engaged in spying for Israel." The transmitter indicated that the bird was later transferred to a villa in Beirut, Lebanon. The flapping bird had undergone a thorough examination there, perhaps by Hizbullah terrorists. On August 15, the GPS device stopped transmitting signals on its location, apparently because it had been neutralized. The seagull's fate remains unknown. Amir Ben Dov, the ornithologist who attached the transmitter to the seagull's leg, said on Friday that the device was one of 12 transmitters given by Dr. Nir Sapir, a senior lecturer at the University of Haifa, who received them as donations from a German university. He made it clear that the device was not used for espionage purposes, but rather as a mere tracking device used to track the Armenian seagull's migration route. "We invested a lot in understanding the migratory trajectory of the seagulls, and to our delight, we received 12 transmitters for that purpose," Ben Dov said. "We were sorry to discover the pictures of the seagull after being caught by Libya's authorities, and we fear for its life. We see that the bird's captors keep moving with the transmitter, but there is no telling what happened to it," he continued. In a message to the bird's captors, Ben Dov said: "I ask for its immediate release. Let the bird live and set it free. It will also contribute to our study, which aims to trace the movement of the Armenian seagull, which is an endangered species, and its nesting sites. Unfortunately, there are those who have decided that this innocent bird is a sophisticated Israeli spy," the ornithologist concluded.


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