The Tribunal de Grande Instance de Nanterre announced Aug. 28 that a three-judge panel will investigate the death of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. The investigation was prompted in August by Arafat's widow and daughter after an Al Jazeera investigation discovered traces of polonium-210 on his final effects. The Institut de Radiophysiquemedical records released by Slate do not suggest radiation poisoning was apparent.
Hamas security forces on Aug. 15 arrested a senior Salafi sheikh who was injured in an Israeli airstrike in June . Sheikh Abu Suhaib Rashwan was detained as he left a hospital, where he was recovering from wounds sustained in the June 20 airstrike in Rafah. The missile strike on a motorcycle wounded Rashwan and a companion, Ghaleb Ermilat, who the IDF described as a "global jihad operative." Israel accused the two of being behind an ambush along the Egyptian border two days earlier that killed an Israeli civilian, and said they were members of Tawhid wal Jihad, a "global jihad terror movement that is responsible for ongoing terror attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers."
We've warned before that if Israel continues on its accelerating trajectory deeper into Jewish chauvinism and monocultural supremacy, it may have to forfeit its long-touted claim to the title of the "Middle East's only democracy." (Especially given that Israel is ironically fast becoming a more closed society simultaneous with the unprecedented political opening in the Arab world.) We've also warned that one way this chauvinism is manifesting is in the Judaization of geography in Jerusalem, and censoring of old Arab place names by municipal authorities. Now a similar controversy emerges from Tel Aviv. From Ha'aretz, Aug. 10:
Reacting to the Aug. 5 armed attack on an Egyptian military post near the Rafah crossing on the border with the Gaza Strip, the Muslim Brotherhood website that the attack "can be attributed to Mossad," Israel's foreign intelligence service. Read the statement: "Evidently, this crime may well be the work of Israel's Mossad, which has sought to abort the revolution ever since its launch, and which issued instructions to Israeli citizens in Sinai to leave immediately, just days ago. It is clearly noticeable that every time a warning like this is issued, a terrorist incident takes place in the Sinai." More than 15 Egyptian soldiers and border guards were killed in the night attack, and the assailants reportedly seized two armored personnel carriers. The militants briefly penetrated Israeli territory, before their vehicle was shelled by an Israeli air force helicopter. A statement on the Israeli Defense Forces website said the attack was carried out by "global jihadists"—a term the IDF uses to describe members of Salafist groups linked to al-Qaeda's network in the region.
Hamas spewed some predictable ugliness about a Palestinian official's visit to the site of the Auschwitz death camp in Poland—and the mainstream and Zionist press predictably plays it for all it is worth. Ziad al-Bandak, an adviser to President Mahmoud Abbas, made the visit this week, prompting Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum to say: "It was an unjustified and unhelpful visit that served only the Zionist occupation." He called the visit "a marketing of a false Zionist alleged tragedy....at the expense of a real Palestinian tragedy." The comments were picked up by Reuters and flaunted with open glee by the settler organ Arutz Sheva, which also offers more such gems from Hamas sympathizers.
Large protests began two weeks ago in Syria's largest Palestinian refugee camp, Yarmouk, an enclave of nearly 150,000 within Damascus. Security forces fired on protesters, killing at least five and setting off a cycle of funerals, demonstrations and further crackdowns—which in recent days has escalated to shelling of the camp. Similar violence has hit other Palestinian camps in Syria. More than two-thirds of the 17,500 refugees in the southern city of Daraa fled an attack last month, the UN reported. While many have returned, the camp is under siege, with food and medicine in short supply. Palestinian activists provided AP with the names of 198 refugees killed since the Syrian uprising began in March 2011—67 in July alone. The Palestinian Authority places the number of Palestinians killed in Syria since the start of the uprising as high as 300.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak on July 22 ordered the demolition of eight Palestinian villages in the hills south of Hebron because the Israeli military needs the land for training exercises. A total of 1,500 residents will be evicted from their homes and have their lands confiscated in the villages of Majaz, Tabban, Sfai, Fakheit, Halaweh, Mirkez, Jinba and Kharuba. Evacuation orders were first issued in 1999, but were frozen by an injunction from the Israeli High Court of Justice.
No surprises here. A bomb goes off in a tour bus in the Black Sea resort city of Burgas, Bulgaria, killing five Israelis and wounding some 30. Netanyahu wastes not a minute: "All signs point to Iran. In just the past few months we've seen Iran try to target Israelis in Thailand, India, Georgia, Cyprus and more. The murderous Iranian terror continues to target innocent people. This is a global Iranian terror onslaught and Israel will react forcefully to it." Probably not coincidence that the attack comes on the 18th anniversary of the AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires, the world's most deadly attack on Jews since World War II, which has been linked to Hezbollah. More Netanyahu (apparently trying to set a record for number of uses of the word "terror" in a single press release): "Eighteen years exactly after the blast at the Jewish community center in Argentina, murderous Iranian terror continues to hit innocent people. This is an Iranian terror attack that is spreading throughout the entire world. Israel will react powerfully against Iranian terror."