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Hamas, which was Secretly Co-opted in Egyptian-Israel War on ISIS in Sinai Finds Pretext for Extorting Cash

By DEBKAfile
Unbeknownst to Israel, Cairo enlisted Hamas to the IDF-assisted Egyptian war on ISIS in Sinai, then turned Hamas' demand for more cash to Jerusalem. Hamas has switched on its latest upsurge of terror from the Gaza Strip for extortion. The Palestinian terrorists discovered last year that, by turning up the heat, Israel's Prime Minister (and defense minister) and former Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Gady Eisenkot would pay up, rather than embark on a major military offensive, especially when those payments were disbursed by Qatar. This discovery led ultimately in March 2019 to a new wave of attacks from the Gaza Strip on Israeli civilian locations, with balloon clusters flown over the border by primitive gliders and armed with explosives linked to timers. In between these two events, DEBKAfile's military sources report, Cairo caught Israel unaware. Egypt's General Intelligence service chief Gen. Abbas Kamel last month secretly negotiated a deal for Hamas to make its intelligence agencies and military wing Ezz-e-din al-Qassam available for fighting the Islamic State in Sinai alongside the Egyptian army in areas adjoining the Gaza Strip. This was not the first time that a government and army had enlisted one terrorist organization to fight another – there were many precedents in the Syrian war – but never before has a Palestinian organization of Hamas' ilk been used to fight the Islamic State. In its quiet exchanges with US, Israeli and Saudi officials, Cairo presents the deal with Hamas as a worthwhile political process for "laundering" the Palestinian terrorists and making them kosher for heading an independent Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip. But by acting without Israel's consent, Egypt has turned the IDF into an unwilling partner in an unholy triad of forces fighting ISIS in northern Sinai, consisting of Egypt, Hamas, and Israel. Israel was not consulted on this "pact." DEBKAfile's military and counter-terrorism sources stress that, however carefully Egypt may try to compartmentalize the intelligence received from the IDF on the situation in northern Sinai, some is bound to leak to its new partner, Israel's enemy, Hamas. The Egyptian "pact" came to light when Hamas lodged fresh complaints with Cairo about Israel's alleged violations of the "truce" deal Egypt negotiated between them last year. Unaware of Cairo's new setup with Hamas, Israel replied that there were no grounds for its complaint. After all, Israel had made good on its promise to triple electrical power to Gaza, from 3-4 hours a day to twelve; and 11,000 trucks laden with Israeli supplies for the population crossed into the territory each month – at the rate of 366 a day. Furthermore, $15m of Qatari funds were delivered monthly on time. The answer coming back from Cairo was that Hamas wanted Israel to lay out more cash as compensation for the cutbacks ordered by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (who has incidentally gone to Baghdad) in the funds due to the Gaza Strip! To back its demand, Hamas turned to its usual leverage: terrorism. By night, Palestinian mobs pelt Israeli troops along the Gaza border with dozens of explosive devices and hand grenades, and by day, balloons explode over Israeli locales. Hamas leaders are exploiting Israel's election campaign to raise the ante. They assume that since Defense Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is bent on winning another term as prime minister, he will pay up to keep them quiet.

'Ilhan Omar Strikes Out with Latest Anti-Semitic Tirade'

By, JTA and the Jerusalem Post Longtime New York Democrat State Assemblyman, pro-Israel advocate, and current Coalition for a Positive America Chairman Dov Hikind Tuesday urged U.S. House of Representatives Democratic leadership to condemn the new remarks by Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., who said domestic support for Israel amounts to "allegiance to a foreign country." Omar said last week during a town hall in Washington that "I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country." "With her comment over the weekend that those who supported Israel were being loyal to a foreign government, Rep. Ilhan Omar doubled, no, tripled down on her earlier series of anti-Semitic tweets," Hikind said. "Although repudiation came quickly this time from the likes of Eliot Engel, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Jewish groups and leaders are calling for Omar to be removed from her appointment. "It's not enough to condemn her week after week only to elicit false apologies when we know Omar believes every word of her statements. I'm calling on Eliot Engel and House Leader Nancy Pelosi to remove Omar from the Foreign Affairs committee because she's had not one, or two, but at least three strikes that have shown her to be unbecoming of her committee appointment and untrustworthy with its dealings." Hikind said "the problem and danger with Omar isn't her criticism of Israel but her demonization and distortion of it. First, Jews hypnotized the world, charging them with the age-old trope of Jewish sorcery. Second, Jewish `Benjamins,' namely from AIPAC were `controlling Congress', or in more classical terms, Jews dominate the world financially. Third, Jews are the only people who have dual loyalty, a perpetual fifth-column. These are not innocent mistakes of statements, but deliberately designed anti-Semitic propaganda that's as old as the blood-soaked earth of Europe only repackaged and made palatable for a modern audience." Thus far, Democrats like Engel have condemned Omar, but none have called for her removal from the committee. The Democratic leadership in the House advanced a resolution that condemns anti-Semitism but does not name Omar. "It's time for the Democrats to wake up before their train flies off the rails at a point of no return," warned Hikind. "It's for their good. The Jews will be fine." President Donald Trump chastised Omar for her "terrible" comments on Israel. He noted the controversy on his Twitter feed, referring to a petition asking Pelosi to remove Omar from the influential Foreign Affairs Committee. "Representative Ilhan Omar is again under fire for her terrible comments concerning Israel," Trump tweeted late Monday. "Jewish groups have just sent a petition to Speaker Pelosi asking her to remove Omar from Foreign Relations Committee. A dark day for Israel!" The petition Trump referred to was signed by 11 groups, two of which are not Jewish. Only one, the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity, is a member of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. The others are conservative and would not normally get a hearing from a Democratic speaker. White supremacists dramatically stepped up their propaganda efforts targeting neighborhoods and campuses in 2018, far exceeding any previous annual distribution count for the United States. The Anti-Defamation League reported Tuesday that White supremacists' propaganda efforts increased 182%, with 1,187 distributions across the U.S. in 2018, up from 421 total incidents reported in 2017. The number of racist rallies and demonstrations also rose last year, with 91 white supremacist rallies or other public events attended by white supremacists held in 2018, up from 76 the previous year. Also, hate groups increasingly used so-called "flash mob" tactics to avoid advance publicity and scrutiny. In most cases, the identities of individual members were successfully hidden, according to the ADL. "Posting fliers is a tried-and-true tactic for hate groups, one that enables them to spread hateful ideas and sow fear across an entire community," said Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO and National Director. "Hate groups were emboldened in 2018, but their increasing reliance on hate leafleting indicates that most of their members understand this is a fringe activity and are unwilling to risk greater public exposure or arrest." ADL recorded 319 incidents of white supremacist propaganda appearing on 212 college and university campuses in 37 states and Washington, D.C. This was up from 292 campus incidents in 2017. The number of non-campus community propaganda efforts was 868 in 2018, up from 129 incidents in 2017. Alt-right groups were responsible for the majority of these efforts, according to the ADL.

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