Saturday, August 31, 2019

PA Claims Sovereignty Over Entire West Bank


Collision course with Israel? Palestinian Authority claims sovereignty over ENTIRE West Bank



The Palestinian Authority has announced that it will cease to recognize the division of the West Bank into three areas of differing Israeli and Palestinian control, and will lay claim to the entire territory.
The pronouncement, if acted upon, will end the current division of the West Bank into areas A, B, and C, as set forth in the Oslo Accords, signed by the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel in 1993 and 1995.
The news comes a month after PA President Mahmoud Abbas decided to halt all agreements with Israel, and several weeks after newly-appointed Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh tweeted that “we will deal with all the lands belonging to the State of Palestine as Area ‘A’, including occupied East Jerusalem.”
Under the terms of the Oslo Accords, Area A comprises 18 percent of the West Bank, and includes all large Palestinian cities. This area is under the full control of the PA. Area B – 22 percent of the West Bank – is under Israeli security control and Palestinian administrative control. Area C occupies 60 percent of the West Bank’s land but is sparsely populated. This area is under full Israeli control, and has seen a controversial expansion of Israeli settlements since the 1980s.
Though the division is more than two decades old, it was originally intended to last for five years, until a more long-term peace agreement could be reached. That never happened, and the divisions have since become entrenched. As such, it remains unclear how the PA will exercise this newly-claimed authority, especially in the settlements of Area C and in East Jerusalem, which was not placed in any of the three categories by the accords in the first place.
Though Tel Aviv has yet to formally respond to the announcement, it is extremely unlikely that Israel will relinquish its control of Area C and East Jerusalem. Indeed, the policy of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been the exact opposite. The hardline leader has overseen a steady expansion of settlements and declared upon taking office in 2009 that “all of Jerusalem would always remain under Israeli sovereignty.”
Netanyahu also declared in June that any future peace deal must guarantee an Israeli presence in the Jordan Valley, which makes up much of Area C.



IDF Aims To Break Up Hezbollah's Missile Arsenal


Gen. Kochavi’s step-by-step offensive aims at finally breaking up Hizballah’s vast missile arsenal


IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi launched his “we are changing the equation” campaign against Hizballah with a drone attack on Beirut’s Dahya district last Saturday, Aug. 24, with no official disclosure of its real target.

Kochavi running this campaign in person. He is the first Israel military chief to be granted by the prime minister and defense minister full latitude for a war operation, after first presenting his plan for crushing Hizballah’s tools of war to the national security-foreign affairs cabinet.

When a northern front commander asked the chief of staff this week: What if the government interferes? He replied: They’ve given me a free hand.

Since the Dahya operation, the army chief has been stalking Hizballah in slow steps up to the brink of war.
  1. On the operational level, IDF forces are conspicuously ranged ready for a full-scale conflict against the Shiite group along Israel’s borders with Syria and Lebanon, especially the latter. Pushed up front was a full array of the IDF’s armored and artillery brigades, as well as its special and naval forces. The Air Force started round-the-clock circuits in Lebanese air space, primed ready to strike at any moment.
  2. An unprecedented intelligence/propaganda campaign was switched on. Select confidential data gathered by Israeli intelligence was leaked judiciously day by day. Its purpose was to drive home to the leaders of Hizballah and Iran’s Al Qods the unsettling news that their highest operational ranks were deeply penetrated and their secret plans an open book.
By these steps, Kochavi is challenging Nasrallah to follow through on his threats of revenge, while making sure he appreciates the high price tag attached to such action: Any Hizballah attack on  Israel – large or small in scale – would result in the destruction of Hizballah’s missile arsenal together with other offensive systems, such as its fleet of explosive UAVs. 

The chief of staff’s plan stemmed from a determination never to let Hizballah launch the kind of war of attrition which Yemen’s Houthi rebels are waging against Saudi Arabia with sporadic assaults of ballistic missiles and armed drones against the kingdom’s strategic military and civilian facilities. Hizballah has recently accumulated the weapons for launching this sort of cross-border aggression against Israel. Kochavi is resolved to cut down this mountain of deadly weaponry before it is activated, even if this takes weeks or more. 

In conversations with the leaders of local council and communities of northern Israel this week, the general said there are no guarantees for how this campaign turns out, or if and when Iran may step in to support its Lebanese proxy. Tehran may see the total destruction of the Hizballah arsenal, in whose buildup the Islamic regime has invested heavily for many years, as a direct assault on a vital national security interest – especially since Israel extended its reach to the Iraqi sector.

Kochavi also explained in his round of the northern communities that Israel was changing the equation in view of the changed, more threatening, circumstances arising since the Israel-Hizballah ceasefire, confirmed by UN Security Council Res 1701, ended the 2006 war. Israel then pledged not to initiate hostile operations against Hizballah. Since then, this Shiite group’s troops have been fighting outside Lebanon in Syria under the command of Iranian officers, hand in glove with a regime sworn to annihilate Israel and beginning to upgrade Nasrallah’s missiles for high-precision attacks.

Kochavi now confronts Hizballah’s Hassan Nasrallah with two broad options. He can defer his revenge attack and wait for a move opportune moment, or he can go for broke in the coming hours. Whichever course he chooses, he will understand that the third round of the Hizballah-Israel war to be fought in 13 years has begun and it will take place in a different scenario.



Hezbollah: Attack Against Israel 'Decided', Israel 'Must Pay A Price'


IDF calls off major drill, puts forces on alert amid fears of Hezbollah attack



The Israel Defense Forces on Saturday postponed a massive exercise scheduled for next week in light of ongoing concerns of a reprisal attack by the Lebanese Hezbollah terror group that continued to issue threats.
The military said it had also begun preparing ground, air and naval troops for the possibility of an outbreak of violence in northern Israel, specifically in the Galilee region.
Tensions with Hezbollah and its patron Iran have soared over the past week, after the IDF last Saturday night detected an attempt by Iranian operatives — including two Hezbollah members — in Syria to carry out an attack on northern Israel with armed drones and attacked their base, and following a drone attack in Beirut that reportedly destroyed key components of a joint Hezbollah-Iran project to manufacture precision-guided missiles in Lebanon, which has been attributed to Israel.

On Saturday night, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah threatened that the response to last week’s events would come from Lebanon and could strike anywhere along the border, including Shebaa Farms, the site of a reprisal attack by Hezbollah in 2015 after several senior members of the group were killed in an airstrike attributed to Israel. Two Israeli soldiers were killed in the retaliatory strike and seven were injured.
Shebaa Farms, known in Hebrew as Mount Dov, and the adjacent Kfar Chouba hills are small patches of land captured by Israel from Syria during the Six Day War in 1967 and kept under Israel’s control since. Lebanon maintains that the strip of land is its territory, though it was under Syrian control from the 1950s until it was captured in 1967 along with the Golan Heights.
The IDF believes Hezbollah intends to again attack Israeli soldiers or a military installation on the border, and not civilians.
In light of the terror group’s threats, the Israeli military has been on high alert over the past week, restricting soldiers’ movements in vulnerable areas, canceling weekend leave for troops in the IDF Northern Command and reportedly sending artillery and other heavy equipment to the Lebanese border.

“In the past week, IDF troops — including ground, air, naval and intelligence forces — have improved their preparedness for a variety of scenarios in the area of the Northern Command and the Galilee Division,” the army said in a statement.

On Saturday night, the Iran-backed terror group released a new Hebrew-language video threatening to attack northern Israel, using portions of a speech made by Nasrallah following last week’s attacks and video footage apparently filmed along the border.

“I am telling residents of the north and residents of all of occupied Palestine, do not rest, do not relax for a second,” the terrorist leader shouts in Arabic with Hebrew subtitles, over images of northern Israeli towns.







The Israel Defense Forces sent artillery and other heavy equipment to the Lebanese border on Saturday, bolstering forces there as it remained on high alert in anticipation of a possible attack from Hezbollah.
There was no comment from the IDF, but TV news showed a convoy of transports hauling self-propelled howitzers toward the border.
Israel has been on high alert over fears of a reprisal attack from Hezbollah or another Iranian proxy following Israeli airstrikes against Iran-linked targets in Syria, and an armed drone attack on Hezbollah’s south Beirut stronghold, which has been blamed on Israel.








Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said Saturday the Lebanese terror group’s response to an alleged recent Israeli drone attack on its Beirut stronghold had been “decided.”
It is about “establishing the rules of engagement and… the logic of protection for the country,” he said in a televised speech, adding that Israel “must pay a price” for the assault.
His comments came in a speech to supporters Saturday night, a week after an alleged Israeli drone crashed on the roof of Hezbollah’s media office in southern Beirut, while another exploded and crashed nearby.

The Iranian-backed group said both drones were armed with explosives and were carrying out an attack mission.
Nasrallah threatened that the response to last week’s events would come from Lebanon and could strike anywhere along the border, including Shebaa Farms, the site of a reprisal attack by Hezbollah in 2015 after several senior members of the group were killed in an airstrike attributed to Israel. Two Israeli soldiers were killed in the retaliatory strike and seven were injured.
Shebaa Farms, known in Hebrew as Mount Dov, and the adjacent Kfar Chouba hills are small patches of land captured by Israel from Syria during the Six Day War in 1967 and kept under Israel’s control since. Lebanon maintains that the strip of land is its territory, though it was under Syrian control from the 1950s until it was captured in 1967 along with the Golan Heights.
The Israel Defense Forces believes Hezbollah intends to again attack Israeli soldiers or a military installation on the border, and not civilians.

IDF Remains On High Alert For Hezbollah Response





As tensions remain high along Israel’s northern border, the IDF has closed the airspace to civilian flights and put the Navy on high alert for an attack by Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Israel’s Northern Command has been on high alert since last week expecting a limited strike against military targets and on Saturday a convoy of artillery was seen being moved north. The Navy has also stepped up their alert and the civilian airport in Kiryat Shmona has been closed.

In addition to the reinforcement of artillery batteries, Iron Dome missile defense batteries have been deployed and leave for combat soldiers in the area has been cancelled.

The moves are part of the military’s strengthening of power and readiness in anticipation of any retaliation by the Lebanese Shiite terror group which it expects against IDF troops or a military installation along the border, but not civilians.

Last week the Israeli Air Force carried out strikes against a cell belonging to the IRGC in Syria, which it says was on its way to launch armed drones to attack targets in northern Israel. Two Hezbollah militants and an Iranian was killed in the strike. 


Two explosive laden drones crashed and exploded in the Hezbollah stronghold of Dahiyeh in Beirut several hours later. The attack, which reportedly targeted a component of Hezbollah’s precision missile project, was blamed on Israel by Hezbollah and the government of Lebanon.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi toured the area on Friday and the Head of the Northern Command Maj.-Gen. Amir Baram warned that Hezbollah and Lebanon would suffer a “harsh response” to any attack.

“You should be preparing not for Hezbollah’s response against the IDF, but for their response to our response” to such an attack,  Baram said, vowing that “if an IDF soldier is so much as scratched, our response will be harsh.”

While the military believes the response by Hezbollah will be limited to the north, a Hezbollah official was quoted by Lebanese media on Friday that the retaliation will take place “deep inside Israel.”

“The stance of Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has pushed the Zionist enemy to live in a state of extreme terror, panic and caution, to an extent that it has started hiding behind dummies in its military vehicles,” ex-MP Mohammed Yaghi, who is Nasrallah’s executive aide, was quoted by Naharnet as saying.

“Our decision is to strike this enemy, which has launched a direct attack on us, on a normal house in (Syria’s) Aqraba and in Beirut’s southern suburbs (through a drone explosion). This is not a mere threat but a real action after which the enemy will learn not to commit new follies,” he continued, adding that the group is prepared to respond.

“We have prepared equipment, weapons and personnel to confront the enemy and the resistance is today much stronger than the pre-2006 aggression era. We will let the enemy taste the bitterness and it will regret its deed and aggression very much. They struck deep inside and we will respond deep inside and we will have another response for their drones,” Yaghi said.


Things To Come And Things Already Here Now


The American Gulag: Brick by Brick, Our Prison Walls Get More Oppressive by the Day

By John W. Whitehead - August 29, 2019

This is how freedom dies.
This is how you condition a populace to life as prisoners in a police state: by brainwashing them into believing they are free so that they will march in lockstep with the state and be incapable of recognizing the prison walls that surround them.
Face the facts: we are no longer free.
We in the American Police State may enjoy the illusion of freedom, but that is all it is: an elaborate deception, rooted in denial and delusion, that hides the grasping, greedy, power-hungry, megalomaniacal force that lurks beneath the surface.
Brick by brick, the prison walls being erected around us by the government and its corporate partners-in-crime grow more oppressive by the day.
Brick by brick, we are finding there is nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.

That’s the curious thing about walls: they not only keep those on the outside from getting in, they also keep those on the inside from getting out.
Consider, if you will, some of the “bricks” in the police state’s wall that serve to imprison the citizenry: Red flag gun laws that strip citizens of their rights based on the flimsiest of pretexts concocted by self-serving politicians. Overcriminalization resulting in jail time for nonviolent offenses such as feeding stray cats and buying foreign honey. Military training drills—showy exercises in armed intimidation—and live action “role playing” between soldiers and “freedom fighters” staged in small rural communities throughout the country. Profit-driven speed and red light cameras that do little for safety while padding the pockets of government agencies. Overt surveillance that turns citizens into suspects.
Police-run facial recognition software that mistakenly labels law-abiding citizens as criminals. Punitive programs that strip citizens of their passports and right to travel over unpaid taxes. Government agents that view segments of the populace as “subhuman” and treat them accordingly. A social credit system (similar to China’s) that rewards behavior deemed “acceptable” and punishes behavior the government and its corporate allies find offensive, illegal or inappropriate.
These are just a small sampling of the oppressive measures used by the government to control and constrict the American people.
What these despotic tactics add up to is an authoritarian prison in every sense of the word.
Granted this prison may not appear as overtly bleak as the soul-destroying gulags described by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, but that’s just a matter of aesthetics.
Strip away the surface embellishments and you’ll find the core is no less sinister than that of the gulags of the Cold War-era Soviet Union.
Those gulags, according to historian Anne Applebaum, used as a form of “administrative exile—which required no trial and no sentencing procedure—was an ideal punishment not only for troublemakers as such, but also for political opponents of the regime.”
The word “gulag” refers to a labor or concentration camp where prisoners (oftentimes political prisoners or so-called “enemies of the state,” real or imagined) were imprisoned as punishment for their crimes against the state.
The age-old practice by which despotic regimes eliminate their critics or potential adversaries by making them disappear—or forcing them to flee—or exiling them literally or figuratively or virtually from their fellow citizens—is happening with increasing frequency in America.
We saw it happen with Julian Assange. With Edward Snowden. With Bradley Manning.
They, too, were exiled for daring to challenge the powers-that-be.
Now, through the use of red flag lawsbehavioral threat assessments, and pre-crime policing prevention programs, the government is laying the groundwork that would allow it to weaponize the label of mental illness as a means of exiling those whistleblowers, dissidents and freedom fighters who refuse to march in lockstep with its dictates.

These developments are merely the realization of various U.S. government initiatives dating back to 2009, including one dubbed Operation Vigilant Eagle which broadly defines extremists as individuals and groups “that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely.”
These tactics bode ill for anyone seen as opposing the government.
Of course, this is all part of a larger trend in American governance whereby dissent is criminalized and pathologized, and dissenters are censored, silenced, declared unfit for society, labeled dangerous or extremist, or turned into outcasts and exiled.
Where the problem arises, of course, is when you put the power to determine who is a potential danger in the hands of government agencies, the courts and the police.
Remember, this is the same government that uses the words “anti-government,” “extremist” and “terrorist” interchangeably.
This is the same government whose agents are spinning a sticky spider-web of threat assessments, behavioral sensing warnings, flagged “words,” and “suspicious” activity reports using automated eyes and ears, social media, behavior sensing software, and citizen spies to identify potential threats.
This is the same government that has a growing list—shared with fusion centers and law enforcement agencies—of ideologies, behaviors, affiliations and other characteristics that could flag someone as suspicious and result in their being labeled potential enemies of the state.
This is a government that pays lip service to the nation’s freedom principles while working overtime to shred the Constitution.
Yes, this is a prison alright.
In a carceral state—a.k.a. a prison state or a police state—there is no difference between the treatment meted out to a law-abiding citizen and a convicted felon: both are equally suspect and treated as criminals, without any of the special rights and privileges reserved for the governing elite.

As I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, with every new law enacted by federal and state legislatures, every new ruling handed down by government courts, and every new military weapon, invasive tactic and egregious protocol employed by government agents, “we the people”—the prisoners of the American police state—are being taught the painful lesson that the government and its many operatives have all the privileges and rights and “we the prisoners” have none.

Ebola Deaths Top 2,000 In Congo


DR Congo Ebola deaths top 2,000


The numbers of people who have died in the current Ebola outbreak in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo has reached the 2,000 mark, government figures show.
The health authorities have struggled to contain the spread of the virus.
Neighbouring Uganda said that a nine-year-old girl with Ebola who had crossed the border had died.
The World Health Organization has called the situation one of the world's "most complex humanitarian crises".
This outbreak, in the east of DR Congo, is the second largest on record with the number of cases now exceeding 3,000, according to the government.

The largest was the epidemic that ravaged parts of West Africa from 2014 to 2016, killing more than 11,000 people.
In Uganda, the girl with Ebola was isolated and transferred to an Ebola treatment unit where she later died. She is reported to have crossed the border with her mother, who was put into an isolation unit until she can be repatriated.
Uganda has maintained largely successful screening centres along its border with DR Congo in an effort stop the outbreak crossing the frontier.

There were two Ebola cases in the country in June. A Ugandan man and his Congolese wife lost two sons after their return from a trip to DR Congo to see relatives.

In DR Congo, the health authorities, working with NGOs, have been vaccinating health workers and people who have been in contact with suspected Ebola cases, but it has been difficult getting the spread of the virus under control.
Insecurity in the east of DR Congo and people's suspicions of treatments have hampered efforts. 
About 200 health facilities have been attacked in the country this year, causing disruption to vaccinations and treatments. In one incident, family members assaulted health workers who were overseeing the burial of their relative.




Israel vs Iran Reveals Israel's Impressive Intelligence And Technological Capabilities


ANALYSIS: How Israel Handed Another Defeat to the Iranian Axis



After widening its anti-Iran activities to Iraq, where Iran is trying to arm the Shiite militias with ballistic missiles which can reach Israel, the Israeli military and government now appears to have to have decided that the situation in Lebanon demands a similar strategy change.
After the Iranian Revolutionary Guards of the Quds Force together with Hezbollah were about to launch a massive drone attack on Israel’s north last weekend the Israeli military showed off its impressive intelligence and technological achievements in the war against Iran.
On Sunday, the Israeli air force prevented a massive Iranian drone attack from Syrian soil on northern Israel planned by the shrewd commander of the Quds Force Qassem Soleimani.
“Iran has no immunity anywhere” Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu said after the IAF action in Syria and later warned Soleimani and Hezbollah that Israel knows what they are plotting.
Indeed, the Israeli military seems to have knowledge about virtually every movement of the Quds Force and its many proxies in the Middle East.
The fact of the matter is that Israel’s military prevented the carefully planned suicide drone attacks on the Israeli communities in the north of Israel by using its massive intelligence-gathering capabilities.
The same happened over the last month with the military build-up of the Iranian-founded and funded al-Hashd al-Shaabi umbrella organization of mainly Shiite militias in Iraq.
Every attempt to deliver Iranian ballistic missiles to al-Hashd al-Shaabi has been thwarted by the Israeli air force over the past few months.
In Lebanon, however, the Israeli military has been careful not to use military force to thwart the Iranian attempts to convert crude rockets into guided missiles and to deliver other sophisticated weapons to Hezbollah.
Instead, Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu used diplomacy to stop Iran from delivering the necessary components for the conversion of those rockets.
The US administration upped the pressure on the Lebanese government to contain Hezbollah after Netanyahu made revelations about Iran’s covert missile program in Lebanon during a speech before the General Assembly of the United Nations at the end of 2018.
After revealing that “ Iran is directing Hezbollah to build secret sites to convert inaccurate projectiles into precision-guided missiles, missiles that can target deep inside Israel within an accuracy of ten meters,” Netanyahu disclosed the location of three secret rocket conversion sites in neighborhoods of Beirut and the International Airport of Lebanon.
“I (also) have a message for Hezbollah today: Israel knows, Israel also knows what you’re doing. Israel knows where you’re doing it. And Israel will not let you get away with it,” the Israeli leader said at the time.
Netanyahu wasn’t exaggerating about Israel’s intelligence gathering capabilities as became clear from an incident in Beirut on Sunday which was widely misinterpreted by the international media.
A few hours after IAF warplanes took out the Iranian attack drones in the village of Aqraba near Damascus Israel did something not seen in years during the now open conflict with Iran and its proxies.
The two drones which exploded near Hezbollah’s media center in the Moawas district and the headquarters of the terror organization in Dahiyeh neighborhood were used to thwart a new Iranian attempt to deliver components for the conversion of crude missiles,  according to The Times.
The two DIJ drones loaded with 5.5 kilos of C4 plastic explosives were hovering over Dahiyeh and Moawas to prevent the delivery of a planetary mixer — an industrial mixer weighing about eight tons used to manufacture solid fuel propellants which improve the engine performance of missiles and their accuracy, the British paper reported.
When two trucks carrying the industrial mixer finally showed up near a parking lot in Beirut they were attacked by the drones and went up in flames damaging key parts of the precision missile technology and destroying a computer control system needed for the conversion of crude rockets into guided precision missiles.
The botched transfer of the mixer and the computer systems was part of an Iranian plan to move the precision missile project from Syrian soil to civilian areas in Beirut.
Apparently, the Iranians and Hezbollah thought Israel wouldn’t dare to carry out an attack on Beirut in order to avoid civilian casualties and to avoid the risk of a new war with Hezbollah.
They again miscalculated.
The Israeli government is determined to deny Hezbollah from building up a precision missile arsenal in Lebanon and to limit the organization’ abilities to launch a massive surprise attack on the Jewish state.
Hezbollah is already in the possession of roughly 140,000 missiles which can reach every part of Israel but has only a few dozen GPS-guided missiles at its disposal.
Israeli officials estimate that when nothing is done Hezbollah will possess more than 1,000 precision missiles within a decade.
Hezbollah has repeatedly warned it will attack vital civilian and military installations in the Jewish state with these missiles in a future war with the Israeli military.
Observers now expect Hezbollah and the Quds Force will retaliate in the coming days and for this reason the IDF decided to close off roads in the vicinity of the Lebanese border.
The Iranian axis will not start a war against Israel at this point in time, however.
Why? Because Soleimani is still in the process of building up forces in Syria and after the debacle on Sunday will realize his forces still have a long way to go before they can match the abilities of the Israeli military.








Hong Kong Rages After Protest Leaders Arrested


Firebombs, Teargas And Mayhem; Hong Kong Rages After Protest Leaders Arrested



Protesters in Hong Kong returned to the streets in what Bloomberg has called "one of the city's most violent days in its 13th weekend of social unrest," after several top organizers were arrested and then released, including Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow and Andy Chan. 
Hong Kong police fired tear gas and sprayed protesters with blue dye from pepper-spray filled water cannons, while charging other protesters with shields and batons. 


Water cannons fired blue dye pic.twitter.com/U8YAR1PsrQ
— Tiffany May (@nytmay) August 31, 2019


Tens of thousands participated in an unauthorized demonstration - many of whom threw objects and gasoline bombs over barriers at the government's headquarters. After initially retreating in response to the crowd control measures, protesters returned to a nearby suburb and set fire to a wall on Hennessy Road in the city's Wan Chai district. 

While others marched back and forth elsewhere in the city, a large crowd wearing helmets and gas masks gathered outside the city government building. Some approached barriers that had been set up to keep protesters away and appeared to throw objects at the police on the other side. Others shone laser lights at the officers.
Police fired tear gas from the other side of the barriers, then brought out a water cannon truck that fired regular water and then colored water at the protesters, staining them and nearby journalists and leaving blue puddles in the street. -AP

The protesters were undeterred.



Several people were arrested and tossed into police vans. 
"Violent protesters continue to throw corrosives and petrol bombs on Central Government Complex, Legislative Council Complex and Police Headquarters," said the police in a statement. "Such acts pose a serious threat to everyone at the scene and breach public peace."




Protesters in Hong Kong returned to the streets in what Bloomberg has called "one of the city's most violent days in its 13th weekend of social unrest," after several top organizers were arrested, including Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow and Andy Chan.  Hong Kong police fired tear gas and sprayed protesters with blue dye from pepper-spray filled water cannons, while charging other protesters with shields and batons.  Water cannons fired blue dye pic.twitter.com/U8YAR1PsrQ — Tiffany May (@nytmay) August 31, 2019 Tens of thousands participated in an unauthorized demonstration - many of whom threw objects and gasoline bombs over barriers at the government's headquarters. 

After initially retreating in response to the crowd control measures, protesters returned to a nearby suburb and set fire to a wall on Hennessy Road in the city's Wan Chai district.  this fire has gotten much bigger after 20 minutes. the street is full of dark smoke. #hongkongprotests#HongKong Clashes Escalate as Water Cannons, Firebombs Are Used https://t.co/JtIZo9EhGJ @bpolitics pic.twitter.com/pxdhcV0iRc — Fion Li (@fion_li) August 31, 2019 

While others marched back and forth elsewhere in the city, a large crowd wearing helmets and gas masks gathered outside the city government building. Some approached barriers that had been set up to keep protesters away and appeared to throw objects at the police on the other side. Others shone laser lights at the officers. Police fired tear gas from the other side of the barriers, then brought out a water cannon truck that fired regular water and then colored water at the protesters, staining them and nearby journalists and leaving blue puddles in the street. -AP #HongKong police used water cannons to disperse rioters near Causeway Bay.




Israel-Iran: Serious Escalation As Israel Having To Hit So Many Targets Close To Borders


Israel Faces a Serious Escalation in its Proxy War with Iran



  • The fact that Israel has found it necessary to attack targets so far from its traditional area of military operations close to its immediate borders is indicative of the alarming escalation that has taken place in recent months in the threat Iran poses to Israeli security.

  • Earlier this week, in Lebanon, an Israeli drone was reported to have bombed a Palestinian base that is said to be funded by Iran. Israeli warplanes were also reported to have bombed Iranian military bases on the outskirts of the Syrian capital Damascus.

  • The very idea of Washington sitting down with the Iranians at a time when it is continuing to threaten the security of its closest Middle Eastern ally would be unconscionable.

  • The reality is that there can be no meaningful dialogue between Washington and Tehran on a future deal so long as Iran remains committed to its long-standing policy of seeking the wholesale destruction of the Jewish state.



The recent confirmation by US military officials that Israeli warplanes were responsible for the recent attack on an Iranian military base in Iraq demonstrates the alarming extent to which the so-called proxy war between Tehran and Jerusalem has escalated in recent weeks.

According to senior Israeli security sources, spoken to on an off-the-record basis, the base in the northern Iraqi province of Salaheddin was targeted because they believed it was being used to assemble Iranian-made medium-range missiles with the capability to hit targets in Israel.

The threat was deemed so important that senior Israeli officers decided to launch a daring bombing raid that required F-35 stealth warplanes to penetrate Saudi airspace to achieve their objective. It is unclear whether the Saudis, who oppose Iranian meddling in Iraq but do not have diplomatic relations with Israel, gave permission for the Israeli warplanes to enter their airspace.

The attack, which took place on July 19, on the base run a group of local Shia militias known collectively as the Popular Mobilisation Forces, which are sponsored by Iran, is said to have resulted in the deaths of two Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commanders, as well as several fighters from the Iranian-backed Hizbollah militia.

Now, the extent of Israeli involvement has been confirmed by the US, which has 5,000 troops based in Iraq, after military officials said Israel was responsible for carrying out the raid.

This is the first time that Israeli warplanes have attacked targets in Iraq since the famous Operation Babylon bombing raid in 1981 against the Osirak nuclear reactor being built by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein as part of his drive to acquire nuclear weapons.

The fact that Israel has found it necessary to attack targets so far from its traditional area of military operations close to its immediate borders is indicative of the alarming escalation that has taken place in recent months in the threat Iran poses to Israeli security.

Speculation that there could be a diplomatic breakthrough in the acrimonious stand-off between Washington and Tehran was based on the surprise appearance of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the French resort, apparently at the invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron, the summit's host.

This prompted Donald Trump to suggest that he was prepared to meet with his Iranian counterpart, President Hassan Rouhani, if the circumstances were right.

Any genuine prospect, though, of such a meeting taking place, was quickly quashed after the Iranian leader said it could only happen if Washington ended its punitive sanctions regime against his country, a precondition no one in the Trump administration is likely to countenance.

The very idea of Washington sitting down with the Iranians at a time when it is continuing to threaten the security of its closest Middle Eastern ally would be unconscionable.

The reality is that there can be no meaningful dialogue between Washington and Tehran on a future deal so long as Iran remains committed to its long-standing policy of seeking the wholesale destruction of the Jewish state.



Friday, August 30, 2019

U.S. To Provide Diplomatic, Legal, And Military Supply In War With Iran


Pompeo: U.S. Will Give Israel Diplomatic, Legal, And Military Resupply Support In Any War With Iran, However Long | Video



In an interview Thursday with syndicated radio host Hugh Hewitt, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pledged that Israel can rely on diplomatic, legal, and military resupply aid in any war with Iran, however long.


HUGH HEWITT: I’m joined now by the United States Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo. Mr. Secretary, welcome back to the Hugh Hewitt Show.
MIKE POMPEO: Hugh, it’s great to be with you again. Hope you’re doing well.

HH: I’m doing well. Former Ambassador to the United States from Israel, Michael Oren, joined me earlier this morning. He sends along his warm hello. He talked about Israel being on the cusp of war with Iran, and that America’s tough policy and Iranians’ increasing recklessness leaves them vulnerable. And he said, I want to quote here, "the resupply of critical ammunition is going to be necessary, and that Israel will need a diplomatic and legal iron dome at the Security Council and the International Criminal Court if war breaks out." Will Israel get that diplomatic and legal iron dome, Mr. Secretary?

MP: Look, we’ve been very clear about a couple of things that you just referred to. First, with respect to the Islamic Republic of Iran, we flipped the U.S. policy there. The previous administration guaranteed Iran a path to nuclear weapons systems, allowed them to foment terror, and allowed their missile system to run amok. President Trump has directed that we do just the opposite – to deny them the resources to create risks not only for the United States and its citizens, but for Israel as well. And we’ve been successful with that. And we’ve also been incredibly supportive each time Israel has been forced to take actions to defend itself, the United States has made it very clear that that country has not only the right but the duty to protect its own people. And we are always supportive of their efforts to do that. So with respect to ensuring that Israel is treated fairly at the United Nations, Israel can certainly count on the United States of America.

HH: I know it’s not your writ. It belongs to your colleague over at the Pentagon. Will they get the ammunition resupply that happened when Nixon sent it on the Yom Kippur war? Do you think the President would resupply the ammunition they need?

MP: We’re constantly in conversations about that, making sure that we collectively have defense systems capabilities that are appropriate for their needs. I have every confidence this president who moved our embassy and who made clear Israel’s rights in the Golan Heights will do all that is necessary to ensure that our great partner in Israel will be protected.