Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Putin: Russia Will Target U.S. If Nukes Deployed In Europe

Abbas rejects all tax money from Israel after it withholds $138m in terror funds

The times of Israel is liveblogging Wednesday’s events as they unfold.

Putin: Russia will target US if nukes deployed in Europe

President Vladimir Putin says Russia will target new weapons at the United States should it deploy new intermediate-range missiles in Europe following Washington’s withdrawal from a key arms control pact.
Putin, speaking at a state-of-the-nation address, rejected the US claim that its withdrawal from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty was prompted by Russian violations of the pact. He charges the US made false accusations against Russia to justify its decision to opt out of the pact.
Putin reaffirms that Russia will not be the first to deploy new intermediate-range missiles in Europe, but warned that it will retaliate if the US puts such missiles on the continent. He said it will not only target the host countries, but field new weapons that will target US decision-making centers.

Abbas rejects all tax revenues from Israel after cabinet withholds terror funds

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is rejecting all tax revenue payments transferred to it by Israel, in response to Jerusalem withholding over $138 million of the revenues over Ramallah’s payouts to Palestinian attackers and their families.
Earlier this week, the security cabinet okayed implementing a law passed last year allowing Israel to withhold funds used to pay the stipends from taxes Israel collects on the behalf of the PA.
According to Reuters, Palestinian officials say Israel collects and transfers NIS 803,282,580 ($222 million) to the PA every month.
PA officials have condemned Israel for withholding the money, arguing it amounts to “piracy” of Palestinian funds.
Israeli officials have defended the security cabinet’s decision, arguing that the PA’s payments incentivize violence and terrorism.

Iran’s Zarif slams ‘hypocrisy’ of US-Saudi nuclear plans

Iran’s foreign minister seizes on a congressional report that the US sought to share nuclear technology with Saudi Arabia, accusing Washington of ignoring the kingdom’s human rights violations.
Mohammad Javad Zarif tweets: “First a dismembered journalist; now illicit sale of nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia fully expose #USHypocrisy.”
He appears to be referring to the report, released yesterday, which said senior White House officials pushed a project to share nuclear power technology with Saudi Arabia despite the objections of ethics and national security officials. He also refers to the killing of writer Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents in October.
The Trump administration withdrew from a 2015 international agreement aimed at preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons, saying it did not go far enough in restricting Tehran’s nuclear activities.

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