Zio-Watch News Round-up

Peres: Netanyahu was never sincere about making peace: Zio-Watch, November 2, 2015


Dr. Patrick Slattery’s News Roundup
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From The Times of Israel

Peres: Netanyahu was never sincere about making peace

Ex-president says PM’s overtures have never ‘escaped the domain of talking,’ and warns against his notion of continually ‘living by the sword’

November 2, 2015, 11:10 pm

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres seen during a ceremony laying a founding stone for the National Memorial Hall for IDF victims of war on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem on April 30, 2014. (Photo credit: David Vaaknini/POOL/Flash 90)

AP — Over a seven-decade career in politics, Shimon Peres has helped guide Israel through wars and existential threats. But now, with the country embroiled in a new wave of violence, the 92-year-old elder statesman worries that if its leaders do not get serious about pursuing peace with the Palestinians, it will be in an eternal state of war and will risk losing its Jewish majority.

In an interview with The Associated Press on Monday, Peres said that Netanyahu’s peace overtures have never “escaped the domain of talking.

“A politician and a government should be judged by one way only, on the record of what you do or did, not on what you say,” he said.

The former president made no secret of his belief that the values he and the assassinated prime minister Yitzhak Rabin inherited from Israel’s founding father, David Ben-Gurion, were in jeopardy.

Netanyahu accepted the concept of a Palestinian state in 2009, but with strict caveats and limits on that state’s control over its territory and security. He has since said that a state would not be founded during his term, and that the prospects for peace may be more distant still.
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From The Times of Israel

Trump: ‘Obama hates Israel, Jewish state safe with me’

Republican presidential candidate attacks deal with Iran, which he says leaves Israel in ‘so much trouble’

October 30, 2015, 8:27 pm

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the CNBC debate on October 28, 2015 (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the CNBC debate on October 28, 2015 (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Thursday that he believes US President Barack Obama hates Israel, citing the recent nuclear deal with Iran which he said was “so bad” for the Jewish state.

“So many friends in Israel, they don’t know what happened,” he said of the agreement between Tehran and the US, along with other world powers. “They actually think Obama hates Israel. I think he does.”

Speaking during a campaign speech in Reno, Nevada on, the business magnate added: “Honestly, I think Israel is in such a massive amount of trouble because of the agreement.”

Trump vowed to defend Israel if elected president. “Israel is safe with this one,” he said, pointing to himself. “Nothing bad is going to happen to Israel.”

Trump, a brash billionaire businessman, dominated the Republican field for months. Recently he has been losing ground to neurosurgeon Ben Carson.
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From PressTV

A member of the staff inspects the damage at the main office of Free Palestine Radio in the southern occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron) following an attack by Israeli military forces, November 3, 2015.

Israeli officials have taken a Palestinian Arabic-language radio station off air over what they described as its attempts to further escalate tensions in the occupied West Bank.

On Tuesday morning, Israeli military forces raided the office of Free Palestine Radio in the southern occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron), located 30 kilometers (19 miles) south of al-Quds (Jerusalem), ransacked the building, and confiscated the radio’s broadcasting equipment, Arabic-language Palestine al-Yawm news agency reported.

The Israeli army had earlier ordered Free Palestine Radio to be shuttered for at least six months after accusing it of spreading hatred against the Tel Aviv regime.

West Bank tensions

The developments come amid heightened confrontations between Israelis and Palestinians over the past few weeks.
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From PressTV

Mourners carry the body of 23-year old Muhammad Nathmi Shamasneh during a funeral procession for him and 24-year old Omar al-Faqih in the occupied West Bank town of Qatanna,  November 2, 2015. (Photo by AFP)

Israeli forces have attacked a funeral procession for two Palestinians killed by regime forces last month, wounding at least eight people with live bullet rounds.

On Monday, thousands of people converged in the occupied central West Bank town of Qatanna to attend the funeral of 24-year-old Omar al-Faqih and Muhammad Nathmi Shamasneh, 23, whose bodies had been released from Israeli custody the previous day.

Clashes broke out when Israeli troops attacked the mourners and fired live rounds as well as rubber-coated steel bullets to disperse the crowd. They also hurled tear gas canisters at the Palestinians.

On October 17, Israeli forces shot and killed Faqih at Qalandiya checkpoint between Ramallah and Israeli-occupied al-Quds (Jerusalem) after he allegedly stabbed and injured an Israeli border police officer.

An Israeli soldier takes aim during clashes with Palestinian demonstrators outside al-Quds University in the occupied West Bank town of Abu Dis, November 2, 2015. (Photo by AFP)


Shamasneh was killed by Israeli forces in the northwestern part of al-Quds after another alleged stabbing attack four days earlier.
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From PressTV

Palestinian demonstrators hurl rocks towards Israeli forces next to the Israeli controversial apartheid wall separating the occupied West Bank town of Abu Dis from al-Quds (Jerusalem), during clashes with Israeli  forces, on November 2, 2015. (AFP photo)

Israeli forces have attacked Palestinian students protesting against the Tel Aviv regime’s so-called separation barrier as well as the recent wave of aggression against Palestinians across the occupied territories.

Israeli police stormed the Al-Quds University in the occupied West Bank town of Abu Dis on Monday after clashing with the students who assembled at the foot of the controversial wall, separating the town from al-Quds (Jerusalem,) to demonstrate against the Israeli regime.

The students afterwards went back to the campus and from there threw stones at the Israeli forces who fired rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades at the protesters before opening the gates of the university by force and getting in.

“The policemen entered firing grenades left and right,” said one of the students, adding, “They fired at us with rubber bullets, aiming for the torso and the head.”

Israeli forces stand outside Al-Quds University in Abu Dis, in the occupied West Bank, close to the Israeli controversial separation wall during clashes with Palestinian demonstrators on November 2, 2015. (AFP photo)

It is not clear how many people were injured in the attack but Palestinian medical sources say many students were hit and wounded by rubber bullets in the upper parts of their bodies, while many others suffered from smoke inhalation due to tear gas.

The Tel Aviv regime started building walls and fences inside the West Bank in 2002 in a move that angered Palestinians. They say the measure is a land grab, denouncing the barrier as the “apartheid wall.”
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From PressTV

Israeli regime police and forensic experts inspect the scene of an alleged stabbing attack in Rishon LeZion, about 10km (six miles) south of Tel Aviv on November 2, 2015. (AFP PHOTO)

Israeli forces have shot dead a Palestinian youth in the town of Netanya, north of Tel Aviv city, in the occupied territories.

A 22-year-old Palestinian was shot dead after allegedly stabbing and injuring an old Israeli, the regime’s police said on Monday.

In a separate incident, Israeli forces arrested another Palestinian youth for allegedly stabbing three Israelis south of Tel Aviv.

A 19-year-old Palestinian, from al-Khalil (Hebron) in the occupied West Bank, stabbed two people on the pavement and a third in a clothes store, Israeli police claimed in a statement on Monday.

The alleged assailant reportedly disembarked a bus about ten kilometers (six miles) south of Tel Aviv in the central Rishon LeZion bus station, where he was claimed to have stabbed a person at the bus stop, before running across the street and allegedly knifed another person.
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Ukrainian Jewish politician arrested on embezzlement charges

(JTA) — A Ukrainian Jewish politician has been arrested on suspicion of embezzlement and participating in organized crime.

Hennadiy Korban, head of the UKROP party that he founded in June, was arrested Saturday in Dnepropetrovsk, a city in eastern Ukraine. He is accused of stealing $1.7 million intended to fund Ukrainian troops fighting the pro-Russian rebellion.

His attorney called the arrest politically motivated, Reuters reported.

Korban, a member of the board of trustees of the Dnepropetrovsk Jewish community, is a close associate of former Dnepropetrovsk governor Ihor Kolomoisky, serving as his deputy before the oligarch was removed from office in March.
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Reports: Iran begins shutdown of centrifuges

(JTA) — Iran has begun shutting down centrifuges for nuclear enrichment as part of the nuclear deal between the Islamic Republic and six world powers.

The head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi, said Monday on a visit to Japan that Iran had begun the preliminary work toward taking the centrifuges offline, according to Japanese media. Salehi said it would take about two months to reduce the number of working centrifuges at the Natanz and Fordow plants from 19,000 to 6,000.

In exchange for the decommission of the centrifuges, the world powers will lift international economic sanctions against Iran under the deal reached in July. The shutdown of the centrifuges must be verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the nuclear watchdog of the United Nations.

Iran’s Parliament last month voted to implement the nuclear deal, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, by a vote of 161 to 59, with 13 abstentions.

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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Israel silences Palestinian radio station over ‘incitement’

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s military shut down a Palestinian radio station in the West Bank over its calls to attack Israelis.

The Hebron-based Al Hurria was raided late Monday night, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

“Forces confiscated broadcasting equipment in order to prevent the incitement which has caused a flare of violence in the region over recent weeks,” the IDF said in a statement issued early Tuesday morning,

There have been 29 attacks in Hebron on soldiers and civilians in the past month, including 22 stabbings, four car-rammings and three shootings, according to the IDF.
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From Russia Today

Crash victims’ injuries show midair explosion likely caused A321 crash – investigator

Published time: 3 Nov, 2015 15:21

Military investigators from Russia stand near the debris of a Russian airliner at the site of its crash at the Hassana area in Arish city, north Egypt, November 1, 2015. © Mohamed Abd El Ghany / Reuters The nature of passengers’ injuries from the Russian jet that crashed in Egypt’s Sinai on Saturday may indicate that an explosion took place aboard before the plane hit the ground, an Egyptian doctor who examined the bodies said, Sputnik news agency reported.

“A large number of body parts may indicate that a powerful explosion took place aboard the plane before it hit the ground,” an Egyptian forensic expert told the agency.

A DNA analysis would be required to identify the victims of the Russian A321 airliner crash in Egypt, the expert added.

Earlier, Russian tabloid LifeNews claimed to have obtained the results of a forensic medical examination that allegedly stated that the passengers “in the tail section of the liner died because of so-called blast injuries.”
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From Russia Today

Heat flash over Sinai prior to Russian plane crash reportedly detected by US satellite

Published time: 3 Nov, 2015 07:16

Just before a Russian passenger airliner crashed in Egypt’s Sinai on Saturday, a US infrared satellite reportedly detected a heat flash in the same vicinity, indicating that an explosion may have happened on board.

The US intelligence community believes that a fuel tank or bomb may have been the source of the heat signature, NBC News reported. The same satellite ruled out a missile attack, as it didn’t detect a heat trail that a rocket engine would have produced, the channel’s source said.

The heat flash may not be related to the crash since the Sinai Peninsula is a volatile place with regular military activity, a Pentagon official told ABC News.

As the investigation into the deadliest air incident in Russia’s history, which has claimed 224 lives, mostly Russian, is under way, officials say it’s too early to pronounce the cause of the crash – and that no version has been ruled out.

Preliminary data indicates that the Airbus 321 en route from Sharm-el-Sheikh to St Petersburg sustained heavy damage as it was traveling at an altitude of over 10,000 meters and the crew had no control over its descent. Rescue workers have found 12 large pieces of the plane’s hull at the crash site, indicating how badly it was damaged in the incident, Russian officials reported.
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From Russia Today

‘Illegal invasion’: Okinawa challenges Tokyo’s move to resume work on US base

Published time: 2 Nov, 2015 23:46

Osprey military aircraft are seen at the U.S. Futenma airbase in Ginowan, on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa © Nathan Layne Osprey military aircraft are seen at the U.S. Futenma airbase in Ginowan, on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa © Nathan Layne / Reuters

Okinawa authorities have filed a complaint against the Japanese government’s decision of October 28 to recommence work on a landfill project that is preparing a site for the relocation of a US military base, labeling it an “illegal invasion.”

Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga blasted the Wednesday move, asserting “the decision by the land minister represents illegal involvement,” the Japan Times reports.

The local government filed a complaint with a third-party panel, the Central and Local Government Dispute Management Council, after Tokyo restarted the landfill work on Thursday.

If the Council’s ruling does not block the central government’s work, which Okinawa has been opposing from the start, the local government plans to file a lawsuit.

Okinawa’s previous governor, Hirokazu Nakaima, gave the go-ahead for the relocation of the US military’s Futenma base to Henoko in 2013. The mood changed, however, in 2014, when Onaga was elected and promised to scuttle Tokyo’s plans.
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From Russia Today

Syria hospitals Russia accused of bombing don’t exist – Defense Ministry

Published time: 2 Nov, 2015 14:22

The Russian Defense Ministry has denied media reports its aircraft hit hospitals in Syria, saying the medical facilities mentioned by Western media don’t actually exist.

The Defense Ministry has checked the data presented in recent media reports, which blamed Russian aviation for hitting several hospitals in Syria, Major-General Igor Konashenkov, the ministry spokesman said in a press briefing on Monday.

Konashenkov denied the accusations, which he said were “traditionally made without any proof, without any factual backing.”

Out of six hospitals that were mentioned in the reports, only one medical facility actually exists in real life, he added.
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Italian soccer chief: ‘Nothing against’ Jews and gays, just keep them away from me

(JTA) — The president of the Italian Football Federation said he has “nothing against” Jews and gays, but that he prefers to keep such people at a distance.

The comments by Carlo Tavecchio were recorded for an interview with the online magazine Soccer Life and published on the website of the Italiandaily Corriere della Sera.

Tavecchio made the remarks while talking about a Jewish-Italian businessman Cesere Anticoli.
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Russian airline: ‘External force’ brought down plane

(JTA) — The Russian airplane that crashed in the Sinai was brought down by an “external force,” according to the airline.

Alexander Smirnov, the deputy general director of Kogalymavia airline, also known as Metrojet, told reporters on Monday in Russia that there were no technical failures on the plane, which he said was in excellent condition.

“There is no combination of system failures that could have broken the plane apart in the air,” he said, according to RT.

The airline’s deputy director, Viktor Yung, said the crew appeared to have been disabled before the crash as well.
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From Russia Today

Greek island has run out of burial ground after influx of dead refugees – mayor

Published time: 3 Nov, 2015 04:42

Refugees and migrants board a bus after arriving aboard the passenger ferry Eleftherios Venizelos from the island of Lesbos at the port of Piraeus, near Athens, Greece © Alkis Konstantinidis Refugees and migrants board a bus after arriving aboard the passenger ferry Eleftherios Venizelos from the island of Lesbos at the port of Piraeus, near Athens, Greece © Alkis Konstantinidis / Reuters

A surge in the number of bodies of refugees whose boats capsized as they desperately tried to reach Europe has filled the burial grounds of the Greek island of Lesbos to capacity, the island’s mayor said, adding that over 50 bodies remain unburied.

The island’s morgues, cemeteries and emergency services have been overwhelmed with a record number of bodies of migrants who died trying to cross the Mediterranean in October. According to the latest UN data, over 218,000 people arrived in the EU during the month, beating the total annual number for the whole of 2014.

Some 744,000 migrants and refugees have arrived in Europe in 2015 alone, of which at least 3,300 died while making the journey.

Mayor Spyros Gallons told the Greek media that, while five funerals were held this weekend, 55 bodies remain at the morgue and the island is having a hard time finding burial ground for them.

“Yesterday we held five funerals, but there are still 55 bodies at the morgue,” NBC News quoted Galinos as saying. “Who could have anticipated such a carnage in the Aegean?”
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