The Vatican signed its first treaty with the "State of Palestine" on Friday, calling for "courageous decisions" to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with a two-state solution.
Israel expressed disappointment last month at the Vatican’s announcement that it reached the outline of an agreement with the Palestinians and at the Holy See’s use of the term “State of Palestine” for the first time in an official document.
The Foreign Ministry released a statement expressing regret over the decision of the Vatican to officially recognize the Palestinian Authority as a state. "This offensive step hurts the chances of reaching a peace agreement and moves the Palestinian leadership further away from returning to direct bilateral relations.”
The statement concluded saying, "Israel cannot accept the unilateral decisions of the agreement as it does not take into account the vital interests of the State of Israel and the unique historical status of the Jewish people and Jerusalem."
- Shocking attack took place at the headquarters of American-owned Air Products close to Lyon in southern France
- Two men burst through the factory gates in a car, setting off small 'gas bombs' and injuring factory workers
- Murder victim's severed head was said to have been covered in Arabic writing and left hanging on a fence
- It is not yet clear whether the terrorists killed the man elsewhere and transported his body to the factory
- 30-year-old man 'known to security services' was arrested at the scene, telling officers he was a member of ISIS
A man has been decapitated and dozens more injured at a gas product factory in France by terrorists carrying Islamist banners.
The attack took place at the headquarters of the American owned Air Products, in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, near the city of Lyon, in the south east of the country.
The murder is believed to have been accompanied by several explosions on the site when the terrorists ignited small 'gas bombs', causing injuries to dozens of factory workers. It is believed the attackers may have intended to blow up the entire factory site.
The murdered man's head is understood to have been found 30 feet away from his body, hanging on the factory's fence. The dead man's head was covered in Arabic 'inscriptions' before being placed on the fence, according to local journalists at the scene.
Reports that the victim may have been killed earlier and driven to the scene are being investigated, but officials say the full details remain unknown.
A 30-year-old man who was known to security services since at least 2008 has already been arrested at the scene, telling police officers that he is a member of the Islamic State terror group.
There remains a great deal of confusion over whether a second terrorist was involved and has now gone on the run, or whether a 'lone wolf' jihadi had actually killed the victim elsewhere and transported his body to site, confusing eyewitnesses.
The French anti-terror prosecutor said an investigation was opened into the attack carried out by "a terrorist group."
France has been on high alert following the January attack on the office of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris that left 12 people dead.
We all remember how, in early June, President Putin announced that Russia would deploy more than 40 new ICBMs “able to overcome even the most technically advanced anti-missile defense systems.”
Oh dear; the Pentagon and their European minions have been freaking out on overdrive ever since.
First was NATO Secretary-General, Norwegian figurehead Jens Stoltenberg, who condemned it as “nuclear saber rattling.”
Then there’s Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson, the head of US Global Air Strike Command – as in the man responsible for US ICBMs and nuclear bombers – at a recent briefing in London; “[They’ve] annexed a country, changing international borders, raising rhetoric unlike we’ve heard since the cold war times…”
That set up the stage for the required Nazi parallel; “Some of the actions by Russia recently we haven’t seen since the 1930s, when whole countries were annexed and borders were changed by decree.”
At His Masters Voice’s command, the EU duly extended economic sanctions against Russia.And right on cue, Pentagon supremo Ashton Carter, out of Berlin, declared that NATO must stand up against – what else – “Russian aggression” and “their attempts to re-establish a Soviet-era sphere of influence.”
Bets are off on what this huffin’ and puffin’ is all about. It could be about Russia daring to build a whole country close to so many NATO bases. It could be about a bunch of nutters itching to start a war on European soil to ultimately “liberate” all that precious oil, gas and minerals from Russia and the Central Asian “stans”.
Unfortunately, the whole thing is deadly serious.
That condemns the “pivoting to Asia”, for the moment, to the rhetorical dustbin. For the self-described “Don’t Do Stupid Stuff” Obama administration – and the Pentagon - the name of the game is to solidify a New Iron Curtain from the Baltics to the Black Sea and cut off Russia from Europe.
So it’s no surprise that in early June, the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment, in itself a think tank, hired another think tank, the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) to churn out – what else – a bunch of war games.
Russian intelligence is very much aware of all these US maneuvers. So it’s absolutely no wonder Putin keeps coming back to NATO’s obsession in building a missile defense system in Europe right at Russia’s western borderlands; “It is NATO that is moving towards our border and we aren’t moving anywhere.”
NATO, meanwhile, gets ready for its next super production; Trident Juncture 2015, the largest NATO exercise after the end of the Cold War, to happen in Italy, Spain and Portugal from September 28 to November 6, with land, air and naval and special forces units of 33 countries (28 NATO plus five allies).
NATO spins it as a “high visibility and credibility” show testing its “Response Force” of 30,000 troops. And this is not only about Russia, or as a rehearsal in pre-positioning enough heavy weapons for 5,000 soldiers in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary.
As far as Russia is concerned, all this warmongering hysteria is pathetic.
Facts: under Putin, Russia has actively rebuilt its strategic nuclear missile force. The stars of the show are the Topol M – an ICBM which zooms by at 16,000 miles an hour - and the S-500 defensive missile system, which zooms by at 15,400 miles an hour and effectively seals off Russian airspace.
Russian intelligence identified as early as the dawn of the new millennium that the weapons of the future would be missiles; not clumsy aircraft carriers or a surface fleet which can easily be smashed by top-class missiles (as the new SS-NX-26 anti-ship, Yakhont missile which zooms by at 2.9 Mach).
The Pentagon knows it – but hubris dictates the “we’re invincible” posing. No, you’re not invincible; silent Russian submarines offshore the US could engage in a nuclear turkey shoot knocking out every major American city in a few minutes with total impunity. In only fifteen years Russia has jumped two generations ahead of the US on missiles and may be on the verge of a first strike nuclear capacity, while the US can’t retaliate because the Pentagon can’t get through the S-500s.
Public opinion in the US doesn’t know any of this – so what’s left is posturing. We’re back to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey spinning the US is “considering” deploying land-based missiles - with nuclear warheads - that could reach Russian cities across Eurasia.
This does not even qualify as a childish – and unbelievably dangerous - provocation.
These missiles will be useless. The US has submarine-based missiles available, and they cannot get through Russian defenses either; the S-500s will do the job. So if the Pentagon and NATO really want war, wait until next year or 2017 max – with ‘The Hillarator’ or Jeb “I’m not Bush” at the White House - when the S-500 deployment will be completed.
“Options” being considered against Russia are an offensive missile shield across Europe to shoot Russian missiles (totally useless against the Topol M); a “counterforce” (in ‘Pentagonese’) that implies pre-emptive non-nuclear strikes against Russian military sites; and “countervailing strike capabilities”, which in ‘Pentagonese’ means pre-emptive deployment of nuclear missiles against targets – and cities – inside Russia.
So we’re talking about the unthinkable here; a pre-emptive nuclear strike against Russia.
There’s only one scenario if that happens; a full-scale nuclear war. The mere fact that this is considered an “option on the table” reveals everything one needs to know about what passes for “foreign policy” in the heart of the Indispensable Nation.
MAD – Mutually Assured Destruction – is way over. It kept a somewhat uneasy peace during seven decades of Cold War. Cold War 2.0 is as hardcore as it gets. And with all those Breedhate Strangeloves on the loose, nuclear madness is now at five seconds to midnight.