* Leading Arab paper: Hamas-ruled Gaza becoming like Afghanistan
* First show of Arab contemporary art in an Israeli museum
* Link between child porn and Muslim terrorists discovered in police raids
1. Al-Qaeda number two killed by U.S. was Swedish
2. Saudi cleric says women should wear a head-to-toe veil with only one eye open
3. Record numbers of Saudi executions, some by crucifixion
4. Iranian boy to undergo cancer surgery in Israel
5. Women’s track and field training in Iran this week
6. Hizbullah spying through Facebook
7. Both Iran and the U.S. aiding the Palestinian Authority?
8. PA incitement continues: “New Synagogue Built within Al-Aqsa Mosque”
9. Nine of the Israeli Caribbean hostages released
10. Female soldier prevents attack; 3 Palestinians carrying bombs arrested
11. Leading Saudi paper: Hamas-ruled Gaza becoming like Afghanistan
12. French daily Liberation: Russia secretly delivering weapons to Hizbullah
13. IDF has oversupply of new officers
14. Gulf beach jaunt leads to prison
15. First show of Arab contemporary art in an Israeli museum
[All notes below by Tom Gross]
AL-QAEDA NUMBER TWO KILLED BY U.S. WAS SWEDISH
Al-Qaeda’s number two in Iraq, Abu Qaswarah, who the U.S. military on Wednesday announced had been killed, held Swedish citizenship.
“Abu Qaswarah is a Swede of Moroccan origin,” Iraqi defense ministry spokesman General Mohammed al-Askari confirmed yesterday.
The U.S military on Wednesday revealed that Abu Qaswarah had been killed on October 5 during a raid on a building in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.
His Swedish background was confirmed this morning by Sweden’s intelligence service, Saepo. They added that he had forged close ties to Al-Qaeda in Iraq’s leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was killed in a U.S. air strike in Iraq in June 2006.
Abu Qaswara attended the Brandbergen mosque in Stockholm, which in the past has been connected to extremist Islamic networks. There has been an increasing trend among some Muslim radicals in Europe to engage in terrorist activity.
The U.S. raid also led to the death of four other insurgents as well as three women and three children, the military said.
CHILD PORN LINK REVEALED
Today’s Times of London (which could now be described as center-left having just endorsed Barack Obama) has an important article, headlined “Link between child porn and Muslim terrorists discovered in police raids.”
The Times reveals how pedophile websites are being used to pass information between Islamist terrorists in Britain, Italy and Spain. In one case, 40,000 images of children being forced to perform pornographic acts was found, reports The Times.
SAUDI CLERIC SAYS WOMEN SHOULD WEAR A ONE-EYED VEIL
A leading Saudi cleric has called on women to wear a full-body and face veil in future that reveals only one eye. Sheikh Muhammad al-Habadan told viewers on the Muslim satellite channel al-Majd that showing both eyes was “seductive” and should be forbidden.
Whatever next for the poor suffering women of Saudi Arabia?
When are the zealous feminists of the West going to speak out forcibly? (Or are they too busy slurring the first female Republican vice-presidential candidate of the U.S., because she chooses to be a working mother?)
RECORD NUMBERS OF SAUDI EXECUTIONS, SOME BY CRUCIFIXION
Meanwhile, a new report reveals that executions are surging in Saudi Arabia, and those most likely to face death by the sword are migrant workers and poor Saudis because they are unable to pay the hefty bribes needed to avoid punishment.
Of the last 1,695 executions in Saudi Arabia, 830 have been of foreign nationals, mainly poor guest workers from Asia.
In some cases, execution is followed by crucifixion, Amnesty International said.
IRANIAN BOY TO UNDERGO CANCER SURGERY IN ISRAEL
A 12-year-old Iranian boy suffering from brain cancer arrived in Israel last weekend for emergency surgery.
The boy, whose brain tumor had not responded to chemotherapy and radiation in Tehran, was admitted to a Turkish hospital, but the physicians in Ankara said last week that their facility lacked the technological and medical expertise needed to treat him properly.
The Turkish doctors said the top medical specialists were in Israel, and persuaded the family to go there, even though Iran regards Israel as an “enemy state” which should cease to exist.
“I contacted Dr. Feldman and Prof. Shapira from the Chaim Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer near Tel Aviv, and they agreed to treat the boy,” a Turkish doctor said.
Doctors say the boy’s prognosis is not good, given the fact he has had the tumor for a year before arriving in Israel. Israel has not revealed the patient’s family’s name for fear they will face repercussions upon their return to Iran.
WOMEN’S TRACK AND FIELD TRAINING IN IRAN THIS WEEK
Photos courtesy of the official Iranian Fars news agency:
HIZBULLAH SPYING THROUGH FACEBOOK
The Israeli military has ordered soldiers to stop using Facebook and other social networking sites, since Hizbullah terrorists are trailing the pages of young off-duty Israeli soldiers, looking for potential opportunities to mount kidnap attempts.
Israeli officials are concerned that soldiers may unwittingly give Hizbullah information through the sites or even arrange to meet an Internet companion who is in fact a terrorist, or invite one to a social event. In the past, the Palestinian group Fatah lured a teenage Israeli to a “date” near Jerusalem where he was brutally killed.
BOTH IRAN AND THE U.S. AIDING THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY?
President Bush has ordered the U.S. government to waive congressional restrictions against giving direct financial aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA), on the very day that Arab sources revealed that the PA was also receiving money from Iran.
The Palestinian Authority is presided over by Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas.
In a message to the State Department, President Bush declared, “I hereby certify that it is important to the national security interests of the United States to waive [the restrictions].”
The move will enable $75 million to be given directly to the cash-strapped PA, in addition to hundreds of millions paid through various agencies and third parties. Congress had added the waiver clause to ensure aid be directed through non-PA organizations to prevent the money from going into PA leaders’ Swiss bank accounts or to terrorists.
Direct American financing to the PA is supposed to be contingent upon the PA showing that it has ceased incitement against Israel and has disarmed terrorists.
PALESTINIAN INCITEMENT CONTINUES: “NEW SYNAGOGUE BUILT WITHIN AL-AQSA MOSQUE”
The official Palestinian Authority media website, headed by PLO Executive Committee member Yasser Abed Rabbo, claimed in a headline on Tuesday that: “New Synagogue Built within Al-Aqsa Mosque.”
In the past, such false rumors about “Israel destroying or damaging the Al-Aqsa Mosque” have led to deadly rioting as far away as Indonesia.
NINE OF THE ISRAELI CARIBBEAN HOSTAGES RELEASED
Nine of the fifteen Israeli men being held hostage on the Caribbean island of West Caicos were released yesterday, three days after being kidnapped. The men are managers and engineers of an Israeli construction company building a tourist resort on the island. Israel’s Foreign Ministry said it was working to secure the release of the remaining men. The event is one of piracy resulting from a work dispute, not politically-inspired terrorism.
FEMALE SOLDIER PREVENTS ATTACK; 3 PALESTINIANS CARRYING BOMBS ARRESTED
Three Palestinians carrying nine bombs have been apprehended at (what the international media claim is a “humiliating”) roadblock near Nablus. The arrested men have admitted they were planning a terror attack in Israel.
The attack was foiled as a result of the alertness and insistence of a female soldier at the checkpoint. No injuries were reported in the incident.
A similar attack was thwarted at a different roadblock near Nablus last week.
LEADING SAUDI PAPER: HAMAS-RULED GAZA BECOMING LIKE AFGHANISTAN
Here are extracts from a new article by Tariq Alhomayed, the editor-in-chief of the leading Saudi-owned, pan-Arab newspaper Asharq Alawsat, which is published in London:
Gaza is following in the footsteps of Afghanistan with regard to an abundance of arms, poverty, and division between one armed group and another, who are more than prepared to fight, leading to even greater divisions. The transformation of Gaza into Afghanistan is a future whose first casualty will be the Palestinians and their cause, which has been shattered by Hamas. The first thing we must do is stop this nonsense of saying that Hamas came to power through elections. Those who come to power via elections do not have the right to be selective with regard to agreements made by the legitimate authority - the very same authority which pushed for the elections which Hamas won. Those who call for elections must respect all previous agreements.
Hamas is a very real danger to the Palestinian cause. They have already blown the chance of creating a Palestinian state thanks to their division from the legitimate authority of Mahmoud Abbas. We have yet to see a reasonable trend within Hamas which appreciates the consequences of governing Gaza. So we must take a decisive stand against Hamas, and for a simple reason: the boat which they are drilling holes in will not only drown them, but drown all of us, and we will all be the victims. We cannot allow Hamas to fragmentize the Palestinians as they wish, or to plot with Iran as they see fit.
FRENCH PAPER: RUSSIA SECRETLY DELIVERING WEAPONS TO HIZBULLAH
The leftist French newspaper Liberation yesterday reported that Russia has been secretly delivering weapons to Hizbullah. Here are extracts from the article (translated from the French):
With the exception of local newspapers, the event went unnoticed: On July 4, the Angela, a cargo ship flying the flag of Gibraltar, was subjected to a thorough search in the Bulgarian port of Varna. Two containers were found to contain dual-use metal pipes produced in Russia. The grooves on both sides of the tubes suggest that these were parts for the assembly of missiles.
Questioned for 17 hours, the captain, a Lithuanian, eventually confessed that the vessel was destined for Latakia, a major Syrian port. Why was such a delivery clandestine since Moscow and Damascus are linked by military cooperation agreements, unless the final destination of the material seized in Varna is not Syria?
According to Western military sources, these missiles were assembled in Syria, and destined for Hizbullah.
IDF HAS OVERSUPPLY OF NEW OFFICERS
Contrary to the regular reports by anti-Israeli journalists in mainstream western news media that Israeli army is suffering from lack of morale and there are many young Israelis refusing service, in fact Israel this year has a record number of young recruits in combat units who have volunteered for the officer program, reports Ma’ariv.
The IDF now has a 10% oversupply of new officers –this after suffering from an almost 20% shortage after the 2006 Lebanon War, says Israel’s second highest circulation newspaper. According to the IDF, there is now both an increase in the willingness of recruits to volunteer for the officer program as well as an improvement in the quality of the participants in the program.
GULF BEACH JAUNT LEADS TO PRISON
A Dubai court has sentenced a British man and woman to three months in one of the country’s notorious jails after they were said to have been discovered having sex on a beach. The two admitted to being drunk and cuddling but denied charges of sex outside marriage and public indecency.
FIRST SHOW OF ARAB CONTEMPORARY ART IN AN ISRAELI MUSEUM
The Mayer Museum for Islamic Art in west Jerusalem, which is supported by a Jewish endowment fund, run by Jewish staff, and located in a Jewish neighborhood, is showing work by 13 Arab artists – the first group exhibition featuring only Israeli Arab works in an Israeli museum. The show is also the first contemporary art exhibition in an Israeli museum organized by an Arab curator, Farid Abu Shakra.
The museum was founded in 1974 with an endowment from the late British philanthropist Vera Frances Bryce Salomons and named after a Jewish professor of Middle Eastern art and architecture she had admired at Hebrew University. Until now it has primarily exhibited antiquities and ethnographic works. The museum director said she hoped the Arab art show would be the first of many such shows.
Jerusalem also has an Islamic antiquities museum run by the Islamic Waqf (religious authority), and a satellite antiquities museum of the Israel Museum, the Rockefeller Museum, headed by Arab curator Fariz Ibrahim. There is an Arab modern art gallery in east Jerusalem, but it identifies itself as Palestinian, not Israeli.