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Israel Jordan Rift Resolves
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday July 25, 2017

I've Been Thinking:

Resolutions are in the works. Calm may be restored sooner rather than later.

The Israeli guard who shot and killed two Jordanians has returned to Israel.
That resolution came about after conversations between Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Jordan's King Abdullah.

At the same time, the head of Israel's Shin Bet traveled to Amman to meet with his Jordanian counterpart, the head of the General Intelligence Directorate (GID). In the presence of the two department heads, while in the Israeli embassy in Amman, the Israeli guard re-enacted events and was debriefed/investigated/interrogated.

At the end of the investigation, the guard was permitted to leave Jordan. He and the Israeli ambassador crossed the Allenby Bridge and returned to Israel on Monday.

It is almost 100% certain that in exchange for lifting their ban on Israeli diplomats, Jordan received assurances that Israel will remove the metal detectors from the Temple Mount.

The Israeli cabinet discussed removing the metal detectors and replacing them with smart cameras - very sophisticated cameras that can sense weapons and explosives.

Once all this happens, tensions will melt away.


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Israel Embassy Attacked in Jordan
By Micah Halpern

Monday July 24, 2017

I've Been Thinking:

There was a shooting inside the Israeli embassy in Amman, Jordan yesterday.

Israel has not yet issued a statement. So far, all the information we have has come from the Jordanians.

Two terrorists entered the Israeli embassy, presumably, as workers for a furniture company coming to do repairs. Once inside they started to shoot.

The terrorists were killed. An Israeli was wounded.

The Israeli embassy in Jordan is in a very luxurious neighborhood in Amman.
It is built like a fortress and is guarded, on the outside, by Jordanian anti-terror forces. The embassy has been a center for protests against Israel.

Tensions are high in Jordan - about 40% of Jordan's population is of Palestinian descent.

Jordan is very close with the United States and they have a peace treaty with Israel. They are officially in charge of the Temple Mount. The Wafq, which is the religious trust that operates and controls the Temple Mount, is funded by Jordan.

The Jordanians are walking a tightrope.

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Tensions Increasing - Not Yet an Intifada
By Micah Halpern

Sunday July 23, 2017

I've Been Thinking:

A rocket, shot from the northern part of Hamas-controlled Gaza, exploded en-route to Israel.

The rocket was aimed at the southern Israeli port city of Ashkelon. Thankfully, it exploded prematurely, early on during its flight.

This rocket is the latest exchange in the increasingly tense situation between Israelis and Palestinians.

Tensions ratcheted up when three Israeli-Arab terrorists killed two Druze-
Israeli border guards in the Old City of Jerusalem. The murder took place just outside the compound of the Temple Mount. The terrorists ran into the grand plaza for protection after the attack. Two of the three were killed by the Israeli army responding to the attack. The third was injured and arrested. One of the terrorists posted about his need to defend al Aqsa, the mosque atop the Temple Mount.

Israel shut the Temple Mount for 36 hours and then re-opened it up after setting up metal detectors. This past Friday, the Muslim Sabbath day, the day when most Arab worshipers come to pray at the Mount, Palestinian leaders called for protests until the metal detectors were taken down. In response, Palestinians rioted.

Three Palestinian youths were killed during Friday's rioting.

And on Friday night a Palestinian terrorist broke into a Jewish settlement and then into a private home as a family was enjoying their Sabbath evening dinner. Three members of the family were killed, a fourth was seriously injured. This terrorist wrote on his facebook page that he loves people and is peaceful and happy, but he can't sit still, he must defend Al Aqsa.

Palestinian President Abbas has cancelled all interaction with Israel until the metal detectors are taken down.

And now much of the Arab world is echoing the call to defend al Aqsa from the Jews.

Tensions will only continue to escalate.


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Kuwait Expells Iranian Ambassador
By Micah Halpern

Friday July 21, 2017

I've Been Thinking:

Kuwait has evicted the Iranian ambassador stationed in Kuwait City. The ambassador has 48 days to pack up and leave.

This is all the result of a spy scandal.

Kuwait uncovered a set of spies and tracked them back to Iran. The Kuwaitis are breaking relations with Iran because of the spy ring.

Iran issued a statement through SNA, their official press, the Iranians
Students News Agency. They said:

"Under the pressure of Saudi interventionist policies, and the baseless accusation of Iranian interference ... Kuwait has announced that ... Alireza Enayati, the Iranian ambassador to Kuwait, must leave within 48 days".

Obviously, tensions are rising. The real issues go far deeper than spying.

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Iran Threatens US Over Sanctions
By Micah Halpern

Thursday July 20, 2017

I've Been Thinking:

As everyone knows, the US has stepped up sanctions against Iran.
The United States feels that Iran is violating the great deal that was signed between the P-5 plus 1. And Iran is hitting back.

The head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, General Mohammed Ali Jafari, has warned the United States that if they continue to invoke sanctions, they should withdraw troops up to about 700 miles away from Iran.

He said: "If the United States wants to pursue sanctions against Iran's defenses and the Guards, then it has to move its regional bases to a distance of about 1,000 km around Iran and be aware that it would pay a high price for any miscalculations.”

Iran is making a direct threat. Iran will attack US interests.

Here is the deal – Iran does not think that they have violated the deal.
Hitting them with sanctions will almost certainly result in a serious counter response. And the Iranian counter may be military.

More probably, however, it will be political response, perhaps even an economic response, like blocking US firms from bidding on Iranian contract or buying Iranian oil.

Time will tell.


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More Sanctions on Iran
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday July 19, 2017

I've Been Thinking:

The US Treasury Department announced a list of Iranians who are skirting the now infamous deal with the Western nations signed in March of 2016.
Sanctions have now been levied on the Iranian firms and individuals on the list.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard, which is part of the elite of the elite of Iran, is on the list. The US Treasury says that Iranian violators have been developing drones, producing and maintaining boats and importing electronic components of defense materials.

According to the report two Iranian individuals are "engaging in activities that have materially contributed to the development of Iran's nuclear and missile programs."

Another group has been involved in stealing US software.

The agreement with Iran covered nuclear development and not conventional weapons development. The Iranian claim is that all this activity is for conventional and not nuclear weapon programs.

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Imam in Montreal Calls to Kill Jews
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday July 18, 2017

I've Been Thinking:

Montreal police have issued an arrest warrant for a Jordanian Imam who preached the murder of Jews.

Daral Arqam Mosque, located in the neighborhood of Saint Michel, invited an Imam named Sheik Muhammed bin Musa al Nasr to give a sermon in December of 2016. During his sermon the imam recited a Hadith, a post-Koranic text, about the end of days which proscribes that Muslims murder Jews who hide behind every tree.

"O Muslim, O servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him."
The director of Bnai Brith in Montreal asked the police to investigate and police issued the arrest warrant.

B'nai Brith has committed to tracking down this imam wherever he is and to extradite him for trial. They argue that one cannot preach hatred that calls for the murder of Jews.


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