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Senior Iranian Cleric Threatens to Attack Israel if US Strikes Iran

By World Israel News

Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, a senior member of Iran's leadership, warned the United States and Israel that both would pay a "heavy" cost if the US goes to war with his country, reported the Iranian Tasnim News Agency on Wednesday. Speaking to attendees of a Tehran mosque who were celebrating the Eid al-Adha holiday, the hardline cleric said, "The costs of a possible US war on Iran will be definitely heavy for Americans, and any aggression against Iran will inflict costs not only on America but also on its ally, the Zionist regime." His remarks come only a day after Iran claimed it revealed its first domestically-produced jet fighter. Shortly after the unveiling, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's Arabic spokesman, Ofir Gendelman, tweeted that the jet bore an uncanny resemblance to the US F-5 jet, which was produced in the 1950s. Iran's unchecked ballistic missile development program, which it claims it needs for defensive purposes, was one of the top items on the agenda this week in the talks between US National Security Adviser John Bolton and Netanyahu. Khatami also echoed his Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's rejection of any renegotiation of the nuclear deal that President Trump withdrew from in May. "Americans say you should accept what we say in the talks," he stated, according to a Reuters translation of his remarks in the regime-supporting Mizan news agency. "So this is not negotiation, but a dictatorship. The Islamic Republic and the Iranian nation would stand up against dictatorship." Khameini himself has accused the administration of "bullying" Iran, saying that Americans "easily renege on promises and refuse to fulfill them after negotiations" and it is therefore forbidden to talk to them. Khatami has threatened Israel several times in the past, most recently in May, after the IAF struck dozens of military targets belonging to the Iranian Quds forces in Syrian territory in retaliation for its firing a barrage of missiles towards the Golan Heights. No one was injured in the attack, though the Iron Dome defense system had to shoot down several of the rockets. "We will expand our missile capabilities despite western pressure [to curb it] … to let Israel know that if it acts foolishly, Tel Aviv and Haifa will be totally destroyed," the 58-year-old imam ranted during a sermon that same week, according to Reuters. He has also encouraged Palestinian aggression, as in a homily during prayers following President Trump's declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. "[Trump] proved that the cure for the issue of Palestine is only, only, an intifada," he said, using a term that signifies violent confrontation, and terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians. Khatami encouraged the Palestinians, "Any damage that you can incur to this occupying and criminal regime will mean you have taken a step towards pleasing God," reported AFP.

Bolton: Israel Won't Have to Make Concessions in Exchange for Embassy Move

By Israel Hayom & World Israel News

President Donald Trump said Tuesday that Israel would have to pay "a higher price" in peace talks with the Palestinians as a result of official U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital last year. Speaking at a rally in Charleston, West Virginia, Trump said it was now the Palestinians' "turn" to "get something very good" in potential peace talks with Israel. Trump touted his decision to recognize Israel's claim over Jerusalem and move the U.S. Embassy there, which sparked international condemnation and drew the ire of the Palestinians. "If there's ever going to be peace with the Palestinians, then this was a good thing to have done," Trump said of his decision "We took it off the table. In past negotiations, they never got past Jerusalem. Now Israel will have to pay a higher price because it's off the table. The Palestinians will get something very good because it's their turn next." This was not the first time Trump has said that Israel will need to pay the price for U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Speaking alongside Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January, Trump said, "There were never any [peace] deals that came close because [of] Jerusalem. You couldn't ever get past Jerusalem. So when people said, oh, I 'set it back' – I didn't set it back. I helped it. Because by taking it off the table, that was the toughest issue. And Israel will pay for that." "The US embassy ought to be in the capital city of the country, which is accredited as the right and natural thing to do, and it's not an issue of quid pro quo," Bolton said of the US embassy move to Jerusalem. Trump's national security adviser says there's no timetable for releasing the administration's much-anticipated Mideast peace plan and that the move of the US embassy from to Jerusalem was a principled move that was not made in return for Israeli concessions. Bolton said Wednesday in Jerusalem at a press conference to sum up his three-day work visit in Israel that a "lot of progress" has been made, but he refused to speculate what the plan entailed or when it may be publicized. The Trump administration recently began staffing its Mideast policy team ahead of the plan's expected release. "On the peace plan, work continues. There are a lot of consultations that are underway, and there's no decision on when the timing of the full plan will be announced," he stated. "I think there's been a lot of progress in relations in the region as a result of the process of going through the possible outlines of what the plan would look like. There have been dramatic geo-strategic changes in the Middle East with the recognition that the Iran deal has failed and failed badly. That gives the possibility of re-alignment with Israel and many of its Arab neighbors that no one would have predicted years before. Regarding the specifics of when the plan might be rolled out, no decision as of now," he said. Trump officials have long promised the most comprehensive package ever put forward toward resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Palestinians have stated they consider it a non-starter given Trump's alleged bias toward Israel and his unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as its capital. Responding to a reporter's question on Trump's statement, Bolton stated that "I don't think there's any change in policy. I think the president looked at the recognition of Jerusalem as being Israel's capital and the inevitable consequence of that – that the US embassy ought to be in the capital city of the country that is accredited as the right and natural thing to do, and it's not an issue of quid pro quo."

Woman Attempts Suicide, Court Overturns Divorce Agreement


BeHadrei Haredim reports the Jerusalem Great Rabbinical Court overturned a ruling by the regional court approving a divorce agreement that left the woman without money or shelter. The ruling, which was brought by attorney Moshe Shachal from the Psak Din website, stated the evidence and testimony prove the woman signed the agreement when she was in an unsound mental state and was apparently unaware of its implications. The husband and wife became embroiled in arguments and serious claims were brought by the husband. At the end of the day, the woman signed a divorce agreement according to which the apartment would be sold and most of the proceeds would be transferred to the husband, with the exception of NIS 200,000 to be set aside for their two children. In other words, the man would pocket a large sum (the value of the apartment was estimated at NIS 1.3 million), while the woman would receive nothing but child allowances of NIS 3,000. In the meantime, a number of incidents occurred: the woman had two miscarriages, attempted suicide twice, and attacked her husband. She was finally convicted of violent offenses and sent to five months in prison. Upon her release from prison, she demanded the agreement be cancelled, but the regional court rejected her claim. In her appeal she claimed she signed the agreement while under the influence of tranquilizers and did not understand what she was doing. The Great Court overturned the divorce agreement and Judge Rabbi Shlomo Shapira wrote: "In this case, the court is obligated to rescue a person who is being oppressed and to annul the agreement." The judge listed many other reasons for canceling the agreement. According to the ruling, the agreement was canceled and the apartment was divided equally between the spouses. The rabbinical court judges Eliezer Igra and Aharon Katz joined the verdict.

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