West Side Story

It could be a brawl.
It could be worse.
Some may fall,
On this disputed turf…

During an upcoming militia to militia melee of sub-government warfare like the Bloods and the Crips or the Red Sox and the Yankees.

The is arming and training settlers in preparation for attacks by Palestinians that will likely take place around the time the UN is asked to recognize a .

Stun grenades and teargas are being distributed and training sessions held with settlement security teams.

The IDF has also drawn lines on maps around Jewish settlements close to villages of Palestinians to guide troops, police and settlement security chiefs. Palestinian Protesters who cross the first line will be subject to teargas and other means of crowd dispersal. If a second “red line” is breached, soldiers are ordered to open fire at protesters’ legs.

The IDF confirmed that it was working with settlers over Operation Summer Seeds, its codename for the exercise. Palestinian leaders deny that violent protests are in the works and Ehud Barak says he expects September to pass quietly.

The IDF released a statement to OneJerusalem.com saying:

“The IDF maintains an ongoing, professional dialogue with the community leadership and security personnel throughout [the West Bank] while devoting great efforts to training local forces and preparing them to deal with any possible scenario…Recently, central command has completed training the majority of the first response teams; these exercises are ongoing. Beyond the aforementioned training, the IDF cannot comment further regarding its operational preparedness.”

According to the guardian, the IDF has stockpiled some 200,000 litres of foul-smelling liquid to be fired out of water cannon at protesters, or perhaps dropped from planes; this is with supplies of stun grenades, rubber bullets and riot gear.

According to an IDF document leaked to Haaretz, the Jewish country is expecting:

“…marches towards main junctions, Israeli communities and education centres; efforts at damaging symbols of [Israeli] government. Also there may be more extreme cases like shooting from within the demonstrations or even terrorist incidents. In all the scenarios, there is readiness to deal with incidents near the fences and the borders of the state of .”

Mahmoud Abbas is calling for peaceful demonstrations in September to cheer on the Palestinians’ UN statehood bid, like cheerleaders at a college football game. He said, “I insist on popular resistance and I insist that it be unarmed popular resistance so that nobody misunderstands …”

And speaking of protesters:

A Jewish activist who protested during Israeli Prime Minister ’s address to the U.S. Congress is suing four security guards whom she says attacked her.
Rachel Abileah of El Grenada, California the Middle East Coordinator for CODEPINK, has filed a lawsuit in the District of Columbia’s Superior Court against the four unnamed people for $500,000 in compensatory damages and $500,000 in punitive damages for assault, battery and false imprisonment.
Abileah, an American/Israeli stood up in the House Gallery during the May 24 speech and opened a banner which said “Occupying Land is Indefensible” and shouted, “No more occupation. Stop Israeli war crimes! Equal rights for Palestinians!”

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Muslims in America and Denmark

It is about to be ten years since the 9/11 terror attacks in the United States of America, and some 2.75 million live in the United States, so what better time to conduct a Pew poll to find out where Muslim Americans stand in terms of quality of life.

Recently, the Pew Research Center conducted telephone interviews with 1,033 Muslim Americans between April and July, surveying their social and political viewpoints, their levels of religious observance and their sentiments about Islamic extremism. On the latter issue, the majority of respondents expressed concern about religious extremism at home and abroad.

The Pew Research Center also conducted a similar poll in 2007, the results from which showed little change in the way Muslims feel they are perceived by the public. Fifty-five percent of respondents from the recent poll said life in the United States was more difficult for them than was before Sept. 11, 2001, while 37% said they felt no difference. Two-thirds of respondents said they believe the quality of life in America is better than in Islamic countries.

Seven out of 10 responders said that they were satisfied with ’s performance.

The report read:

“On a variety of measures, Muslims in America are very content with their own lives and with the communities where they live…We’ve seen Muslims move in a different direction than the rest of the country, (with more) believing America is going in the right direction.”

When the 2007 survey was taken, 25% of Muslim Americans said they felt the U.S.-led global war on terror was intended to combat terror and not rooted in ulterior motives, whereas this year’s survey saw that number increase to 43%.

A third of those polled said local Muslim leaders have spoken out against extremism, while seven in 10 believe Muslim communities are cooperating well with law enforcement officials. 81% said that suicide bombings and other violence that used the name of Islam to target civilians was “never justified…” whilst, one percent said it was often justified. Five percent had a “somewhat or very favorable” view of al-Qaida, while 70 percent said they held “very unfavorable views” of al-Qaida.

In other news, a man was killed and two others injured in a shooting outside a Copenhagen mosque following prayers marking the end of Ramadan.

The shooting took place outside the Muslim Culture Institute, in the Danish capital’s western Vesterbro district.

No arrests have been made but police are on the lookout for the perpetrators.

A spokesman for the Muslim institute said the incident took place on a parking lot next to the mosque as hundreds were leaving the 9 a.m. prayer service.

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Will NATO Get Syrias About Assad? What Will It Mean For Iran?

On Sunday told NATO not to get any big ideas about invading . The hypothetical situation, warned Iran, would be akin to NATO’s “quagmire” situation in Afghanistan and Iraq.

According to the United Nations, 2,200 people have been killed since Assad sent in tanks and troops to crush demonstrations which erupted in March after the presidents of and Tunisia were toppled by popular protests.

is concerned that the Syrian military could transfer chemical weapons to terrorist organizations like Hezbollah or because of instability within Syria.

American intelligence agencies believe that Syria has large caches of chemical weapons. The United States considers Syria among largest distributors of weapons of mass destruction, along with North Korea and Iran, and accuses Syria of smuggling such weapons to the likes of Hezbollah and Hamas.

Meanwhile, three Scud missiles flying between Iraq and Kuwait last Friday were launched by the Iran-backed Ketaeb Hezbollah of Iraq. These are the first such attacks since the US invaded Iraq in 2003. It also marks the first time that any Middle East terrorist group has used Scud missiles.

The round was a warning for Kuwait to cease construction of the Grand Mubarak Port opposite the Iraqi shore.

Earlier in August, Kuwait massed troops on Boubiyan Island opposite from Iraq to defend the $1.1b Grand Mubarak Port that is under construction there – an odd reaction to Iraq’s demand that Kuwait freeze construction of the Persian Gulf port until guarantees are provided the new facility will not be a hindrance to the operations of Iraq’s own planned harbor in the southern region of Basra. A government spokesman in Baghdad demanded reassurance that safe and free navigation will not be affected by the Kuwait port scheduled for completion in 2016.

This dispute did not account for Kuwait’s heavy military deployment on its largest island. This came after Tehran discovered that Mubarak Port is also projected to house a large naval base to serve the fleets of Kuwait, the US and Saudi Arabia in the

Persian Gulf. Until last Friday, there was no confirmation of the group’s claim to have recovered the majority of the 250 Scuds held by Saddam Hussein before the US invasion in 2003.

Last week, Iraqi Hezbollah activities staged a demonstration against the port on the Iraqi-Kuwait border. Kuwait said it would show no tolerance for any border incursions whatsoever.

Meanwhile, reports out of Washington indicate that the rebels of ’s National Transitional Council will recognize Israel diplomatically, and Israeli businessmen are already arriving in to establish future business relations.

This will represent a major shift in Libya’s foreign policy toward Israel and will provide the Jewish state with a much needed strategic ally among the Arab countries, since ousting of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

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Will NATO Get Syrias About Assad? What Will It Mean For Iran?

On Sunday told NATO not to get any big ideas about invading . The hypothetical situation, warned , would be akin to NATO’s “quagmire” situation in Afghanistan and Iraq.

According to the United Nations, 2,200 people have been killed since Assad sent in tanks and troops to crush demonstrations which erupted in March after the presidents of and Tunisia were toppled by popular protests.

is concerned that the Syrian military could transfer chemical weapons to terrorist organizations like Hezbollah or because of instability within Syria.

American intelligence agencies believe that Syria has large caches of chemical weapons. The United States considers Syria among largest distributors of weapons of mass destruction, along with North Korea and Iran, and accuses Syria of smuggling such weapons to the likes of Hezbollah and Hamas.

Meanwhile, three Scud missiles flying between Iraq and Kuwait last Friday were launched by the Iran-backed Ketaeb Hezbollah of Iraq. These are the first such attacks since the US invaded Iraq in 2003. It also marks the first time that any Middle East terrorist group has used Scud missiles.

The round was a warning for Kuwait to cease construction of the Grand Mubarak Port opposite the Iraqi shore.

Earlier in August, Kuwait massed troops on Boubiyan Island opposite from Iraq to defend the $1.1b Grand Mubarak Port that is under construction there – an odd reaction to Iraq’s demand that Kuwait freeze construction of the Persian Gulf port until guarantees are provided the new facility will not be a hindrance to the operations of Iraq’s own planned harbor in the southern region of Basra. A government spokesman in Baghdad demanded reassurance that safe and free navigation will not be affected by the Kuwait port scheduled for completion in 2016.

This dispute did not account for Kuwait’s heavy military deployment on its largest island. This came after Tehran discovered that Mubarak Port is also projected to house a large naval base to serve the fleets of Kuwait, the US and Saudi Arabia in the

Persian Gulf. Until last Friday, there was no confirmation of the group’s claim to have recovered the majority of the 250 Scuds held by Saddam Hussein before the US invasion in 2003.

Last week, Iraqi Hezbollah activities staged a demonstration against the port on the Iraqi-Kuwait border. Kuwait said it would show no tolerance for any border incursions whatsoever.

Meanwhile, reports out of Washington indicate that the rebels of ’s National Transitional Council will recognize Israel diplomatically, and Israeli businessmen are already arriving in to establish future business relations.

This will represent a major shift in Libya’s foreign policy toward Israel and will provide the Jewish state with a much needed strategic ally among the Arab countries, since ousting of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

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Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

Israeli experts have nearly completed the restoration of the five-century-old, 2.5 mile wide walls of Jerusalem. The $5 million undertaking – the first restoration in a century – which commenced in 2007 is set to be completed by the end of 2011. But this is not the only wall being built in .

Israel is also increasing its presence along the Egyptian border and building a brand new fence after last week injured dozens of Israelis and killed eight. The government is building a new, NIS 1.4 billion fence along the border, but construction is expected to take some two years. Consequently, the NSC recommended increasing the IDF’s deployment along the border in the meantime.

Many in are worried that the increased Israeli military presence along the border could be permanent and will keep tensions between the two countries high. This is among the reasons for protests in Cairo outside the Israeli embassy, where Israeli flags are being burnt.

Reportedly, both the Egyptian and Israeli militaries are in constant discussion over how to tackle the militant issue in the Peninsula. One anonymous official said, “Right now, we are looking at ways of reducing the tension and working together, logistically, on how to battle violent militants in Egypt…”

Meanwhile, Ynet reported that an “Army inquiry shows at least three of the terrorists that perpetrated attack were Egyptians; clips, radio communication show IDF did everything in its power to prevent Egyptian troops from getting hurt.”

And in other news, Iranian dictator, , released a statement saying:
believes that whoever is for humanity should also be for eradicating the Zionist regime (Israel) as symbol of suppression and discrimination… follows this issue (the eradication of Israel) with determination and decisiveness and will never ever withdraw from this standpoint and policy…”

The remarks came only one day before the annual anti-Israeli rallies named Qods (Jerusalem) Day, which are held nationwide in Iran on the last Friday of the fasting month of Ramadan. On Monday, Ahmadinejad said that Iranians and Muslim nations worldwide should hold Qods rallies and show their willingness to dispose of this “infectious tumor and this regime full of rascality.”

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Legions of Pharoah and Google Street View

Al-Youm al-Saba, the Egyptian daily, reported Wednesday that Egyptian citizens have created groups on Facebook calling for “a million-man protest” outside the Israeli embassy in Cairo on Friday.

The focus of the demonstration will be the demand to have the Israeli ambassador expelled from and ’s embassy in the capital closed.

The protests come after 5 Egyptian policemen were killed on the border by IDF soldiers in friendly fire, after eight Israeli citizens were killed by Palestinian terrorists. Israel apologized to Egypt for the incident.

For the fifth day in a row, protesters continue to demonstrate outside the embassy holding signs and chanting slogans saying, “Expel the ambassador immediately” and “force the ambassador to leave Egypt”.

Protesters burnt Israeli flags, and threw fire crackers at the embassy building attempting to burn an Israeli flag on a flagpole at the embassy.

In other news, Israel will allow cameras to snap 360 degree photographs of its street. They are the first Middle Eastern country to do so. However, there are conditions.

/>Using the electronic tool to plot terrorist attacks and other privacy issues are concerns which prompted the Law, Information and Technology Authority to develop guidelines with Google for Google Street View. Here are some of the stipulations:

Google must provide citizens with an account of what Google Street View does and means, the rights of citizens and routes the camera crews will follow.

Users will be offered an efficient and reliable way online to blur residences and other objects.

Google must instruct Google Israel to heed legal proceedings in the country, meaning that any civil litigation brought by citizens against the company will be carried out in this country, despite the fact that Google’s main center is in the U.S.

Google has promised not to dispute criminal claims that might be raised against Street View by arguing that the Law, Information and Technology Authority lacks standing to prosecute criminal claims against the company in Israel.

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Kurds in a Turkey Sandwich

’s military said air strikes on suspected Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq this week have killed some 100 guerrillas and warned that it would begin further offensives against the group from both inside Turkey and across the border.

The military said that 80% of separatist rebels were injured in six days of cross-border air raids which commenced on Aug. 17th, hours after eight soldiers and a government-paid village guard were killed in an ambush by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party near the border with Iraq.

The Turkish military released the following statement:

“According to initial information obtained, between 90 and 100 terrorists were rendered ineffective, more than 80 wounded terrorists were moved to hospitals or villages, and contact with a high number of terrorists was cut…Rendered ineffective…Iraq’s north and domestic areas will be monitored for separatist terrorist activity and air and ground operations will continue…”

The military said 79 shelters and hideouts were hit, one ammunition depot, 18 caves, eight depots, 14 PKK buildings or facilities, nine anti-aircraft gun positions and three rebel road blocks.

The PKK rebels however have denied any losses, insisting that areas hit by Turkish warplanes were in fact deserted bases.

“By giving these false numbers, the Turkish army commanders are trying to raise the spirits of their soldiers and to create more pretexts to continue their war against civilians…The government condemns and denounces all attacks and violations of the sovereignty of Iraq by neighboring countries… We do not believe that this is the best way of solving this issue… Both the stances of the Kurdistan and Baghdad governments is weak and far from firm. (Prime Minister Nouri) al-Maliki’s government is too weak to stand against Turkey… Targets hits were determined following detailed analyses that were verified several times and were included on the list of targets only after it was established with certainty that they were not areas inhabited by civilians…”

Considered a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union the PKK is fighting for autonomy in southeastern Turkey. Tens of thousands of people were killed in the conflict since 1984.

The rebels have long used northern Iraq as a base for hit-and-run attacks on Turkish targets. Some 40 soldiers were killed in escalated PKK assaults since July.

Turkey has been carrying out a number of cross-border air raids and ground incursions over the years but has failed to stop rebel infiltration throughout the mountainous border.

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Libyan End Game

says that it will continue operations in after General Qadaffi’s compound in was invaded by some 500 well-trained rebels based in the western Nafusa Mountain range. The general’s whereabouts are still unknown but it seems impossible he could leave . The red, black and green flag of the rebellion is flying in Tripoli and the reign of Muamar Qadaffi is clearly coming to an end.

At checkpoints inside the city, rebels placed the ubiquitous canvas portraits of the dictator on the ground for drivers to run over. Loyalist forces, however, are continuing to hit back, Seif al-Islam, the general’s son visited a hotel where foreign journalists were staying. A vicious gunfire ensued and as of Tuesday afternoon continued.

The International Organization for Migration, meanwhile, said that a rescue mission to pluck 300 foreign nationals from the Libyan capital has been delayed by fighting. The Geneva-based group says an IOM-chartered ship will remain off the coast of Tripoli “until security conditions have improved and the safety of staff and migrants can be guaranteed.”

Carol E. Lee of the Wall Street Journal wrote on her blog:

“President Obama spoke with French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Tuesday about events in Libya, the White House said. The two leaders “welcomed the progress” being made by the opposition and agreed that Gadhafi, along with remaining members of his government, need to “reliquish power once and for all,” according to a White House statement on the call.
“At the same time, they agreed to continue to work with allies and partners in the international community to protect the people of Libya and to support a peaceful transition to democracy,” the statement said. “President Sarkozy joined the president in urging the Transitional National Council to continue demonstrating its leadership by respecting the rights of the people of Libya, avoiding civilian casualties, protecting the institutions of the Libyan state, and pursuing a transition to democracy that is just and inclusive for all of the people of Libya.”

Obama has no plans to make any public statements Tuesday on Libya, a White House official said. He was briefed on Libya on Tuesday morning by his counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, and he will be updated throughout the day “as needed,” the official said.”

And here’s another one from the ol’ Wall Street Journal.

Charles Levinson and Margaret Coker wrote:

Forces loyal to Col. Moammar Gadhafi battled through Tripoli’s densely populated neighborhoods, attacking and defending patches of territory across the sprawling, and seemingly divided, capital.
Specific districts of Tripoli have become notorious for their antiregime protests during the six months of Libya’s civil war, while other neighborhoods have remained forcibly allied with the leader—loyal men and families who owe their careers, tribal ties and social positions to Col. Gadhafi. These divisions have erupted in increasingly bloody street fighting this week, threatening a vacuum of power and a Balk.

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A Strange Relationship: Israel, Egypt, and introducing Ghost!

If there is anything bizarre about the Middle East, besides permitting genocide in , it is ’s strange relationship with an that still exists in a state of formless static – still no elections, alas no formal government. After a coordinated on the road to that left eight Israeli nationals dead (The claimed responsibility) IDF soldiers accidently killed four Egyptian officers, victims of friendly fire.

The IDF also was successful in their retaliation by killing the top commanders of the Popular Resistance Committee and setting off cross-border exchanges of gunfire.

Needlessly, Israel released a public apology for the incident. But on Friday as evening prayers were winding down, the people of Cairo rioted, vandalizing the Israeli embassy, burning Israeli flags and calling on to attack Israel. Dually noted, as the Associated Foreign Press reported, Egyptian Presidential hopeful, Hamdin Sabahi, praised the actions of the demonstrators.

Despite the fact that Ilan Grapel, the alleged Mossad agent arrested back in June in Egypt, (an American citizen who served in the IDF Paratrooper’s Brigade during the Second Lebanon War and interned at the Israeli Supreme Court) is still being held in custody, Israeli President Shimon Peres held a Ramadan dinner for senior Arab sector officials at his home in Jerusalem. Peres told Egyptian diplomat Mustafa al-Kuni that “he has great respect for the Egyptian people.”
Meanwhile, Israel remains under a rain of rocket fire, while Hamas claims to be in fire of an immediate ceasefire.

In other news, over the weekend, Israel Aerospace Industries unveiled its latest development in the secret unmanned aerial vehicles sector – a tiny aircraft weighing four kilograms, known as GHOST. According to Haaretz, “GHOST has a low acoustic signature, and can stay airborne for half-an-hour including a payload for both daytime and nighttime observations.” The unmanned aerial vehicle can be used by both the military company as well as fighters in the field. The system can be carried in two backpacks by fighters, and it includes two aircrafts, several batteries and a portable computer that is used to oversee and control the device, including communication.

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Conflict: where does Egypt stand?

Southern Terror Attack August 2011The Egyptian government’s state of Tohu Bohu is evident during the nation’s behavior amidst recent warfare between and terrorist factions in the Gaza Strip.

Hundreds of protesters congregated in front of the Israeli embassy in Cairo last Friday after prayers, torching Israeli flags and calling on to attack the Jewish state.

Seven Israelis were killed and at least 26 wounded on Thursday in a series of terrorist attacks near . IDF soldiers who rushed to the scene were hit by several explosive roadside devices that detonated alongside the IDF vehicle. At about 12:35, another mortar was fired from .

A senior Egyptian official said that the death toll among security forces after Thursday’s attacks in Israel had reached six.

Israel says the men were killed by the same terror cell that killed eight Israelis Thursday.

So, given the ’s juxtaposition to the border, Egyptian forces assisted Israeli forces. However, al-Jazeera falsely reported that the six Egyptian soldiers were killed by an Israeli airstrike.

However, protesting in Egypt persists. The protesters, demonstrating against the deaths of the six Egyptian soldiers, waved
Palestinian flags and called out, “Israel will be torched” and “Death to Israel”. They also shouted, “Jihad, jihad!” and “The army of Mohammed will return” and “We want fire, we want war!” and “The people demand an end to Camp David Accords!”
Officials hold that Thursday’s attacks were carried out by the Popular Resistance Committees, but the terror group denies involvement after the IDF killed five of its members. A separate terror group affiliated with al-Qaeda, the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, claimed responsibility for the fire of a Grad rocket at Ashdod Friday morning, saying it was in response to “Israel’s crimes”.

Meanwhile, Saturday the rockets continued to be fired from the Gaza Strip at Israel. Four were fired at Ofakim, injuring two Israeli children. Another mortar shell was fired from Gaza toward Eshkol Regional Council; no injuries or damage were reported

Luckily, the new Iron Dome anti-missile system shot down a Grad rocket fired from the Gaza Strip at Beersheba, southern Israel’s largest city.

The IDF Spokesman’s Office says that over 45 rockets have been fired at Israel from the Gaza since the action started

Thursday. bomb squad officers have successfully retrieved the remains of 18 rockets. The Lachish sub district was hit with 28 rockets and nine in the Negev region. Three Palestinians working in Israel were also injured when a number of Grad rockets exploded in southern Ashdod.

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