Thursday, May 18, 2017
NIKKI HALEY-EMBASSY SHOULD BE MOVED FROM TEL AVIV TO JERUSALEM.WESTERN WALL IS PART OF ISRAEL NOT MADE UP (NON EXISTANT) FRAUD PALESTINIAN ARAB MURDERERS LAND.
28 And when these things begin to come to pass,(ALL THE PROPHECY SIGNS FROM THE BIBLE) then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption (RAPTURE) draweth nigh.
29 And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree,(ISRAEL) and all the trees;(ALL INDEPENDENT COUNTRIES)
30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.(ISRAEL LITERALLY BECAME AND INDEPENDENT COUNTRY JUST BEFORE SUMMER IN MAY 14,1948.)
3 A fire devoureth (ATOMIC BOMB) before them;(RUSSIAN-ARAB-MUSLIM ARMIES AGAINST ISRAEL) and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.
30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.(ATOMIC BOMB AFFECT)
12 And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet,(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB) and their eyes shall consume away in their holes,(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB) and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB)(BECAUSE NUKES HAVE BEEN USED ON ISRAELS ENEMIES)(GOD PROTECTS ISRAEL AND ALWAYS WILL)
13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.(1/2-3 BILLION DIE IN WW3)(THIS IS AN ATOMIC BOMB EFFECT)
47 And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein.
18 Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD'S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.
1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven;(FROM ATOMIC BOMBS) and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
And here are the bounderies of the land that Israel will inherit either through war or peace or God in the future. God says its Israels land and only Israels land. They will have every inch God promised them of this land in the future.
Egypt east of the Nile River, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, The southern part of Turkey and the Western Half of Iraq west of the Euphrates. Gen 13:14-15, Psm 105:9,11, Gen 15:18, Exe 23:31, Num 34:1-12, Josh 1:4.ALL THIS LAND ISRAEL WILL DEFINATELY OWN IN THE FUTURE, ITS ISRAELS NOT ISHMAELS LAND.12 TRIBES INHERIT LAND IN THE FUTURE
Nikki Haley: Western Wall part of Israel, US embassy should be moved to Jerusalem-Ahead of Trump’s visit, US ambassador to UN wades into recent spat between Israeli, US officials on sovereignty over holy site-By Times of Israel staff and Agencies May 17, 2017, 5:55 am
The US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said Tuesday that the US embassy should be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, upholding a campaign promise of US President Donald Trump, and that the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem is part of Israeli territory.Her remarks came amid an ongoing diplomatic spat between the US and Israel over whether the Western Wall is part of Israel or the West Bank — as one US consular staffer suggested — as well as speculation on whether Trump will fulfill his campaign promise to relocate the US embassy to Jerusalem, even as the president has since distanced himself from the move.Trump is due in Israel and the West Bank on May 22-23, stopping first in Saudi Arabia. He will also visit Brussels and the Vatican after leaving the Mideast.In excerpts from an interview with CBN News released on Tuesday, Haley said: “Obviously I believe that the capital should be Jerusalem and the embassy should be moved to Jerusalem because if you look at all their government is in Jerusalem. So much of what goes on is in Jerusalem and I think we have to see that for what it is.”Regarding the Western Wall, Haley said: “I don’t know what the policy of the administration is, but I believe the Western Wall is part of Israel and I think that that is how we’ve always seen it and that’s how we should pursue it… We’ve always thought the Western Wall was part of Israel.”U.S. Ambassador to the UN @nikkihaley says it’s her belief that the U.S. Embassy should be moved to Jerusalem. https://t.co/hbuaZG9Dxw pic.twitter.com/hK4sxQnwUF— CBN News (@CBNNews) May 17, 2017-Haley’s full interview is set to air on Wednesday.The issue of Israeli sovereignty over the Wall came to a head this week when Israeli officials asked US officials organizing Trump’s visit to Israel if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could accompany him on his visit to the Western Wall. But the US declined, with one official telling the Israelis that the site is “not your territory.”Israel angrily demanded an explanation from the White House, casting a cloud over the highly anticipated visit by the new president. The White House quickly distanced itself from the comments, saying they were unauthorized and did not reflect the president’s view.Israel captured and annexed East Jerusalem, including the Old City and its holy sites, in the 1967 Six Day War and considers all of Jerusalem to be the undivided eternal capital of Israel, a stance not recognized by the international community, including the US.Earlier Tuesday, Trump’s Press Secretary Sean Spicer affirmed that the Western Wall is indeed “clearly in Jerusalem,” hours after another official, national security adviser H.R. McMaster declined to answer a direct question as to whether the US government considers the Western Wall to be within Israeli territory. McMaster said that question “sounds like a policy decision.”Asked about the issue on Tuesday, Spicer told journalists, “The Western Wall is obviously one of the holiest sites in Jewish faith. It’s clearly in Jerusalem.”“But there’s been — it’s an issues that’s had serious consideration. It will be a topic that’s going to be discussed during the President’s trip between the parties that he meets with,” Spicer said.The Western Wall, part of the retaining walls of the Second Temple compound, is the closest point of prayer for Jews to the site of the Temple itself and thus the Jewish people’s holiest place of prayer.The Palestinians seek East Jerusalem as the capital of a future independent state. The rival claims to the capital city have often sparked violence.McMaster’s brief comment appeared to be consistent with long-standing US policy that the status of Jerusalem is an issue to be decided in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.However, Trump has indicated he is disposed toward recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Although his campaign pledge to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem seems to be on hold, US officials have hinted that Trump could make some other gesture to show Washington’s new thinking on the city’s status.Trump’s signal could be as symbolic as identifying the city as “Jerusalem, Israel,” on official White House documents and photographs while he is there, according to sources familiar with planning for the trip. They weren’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter and demanded anonymity.Previous administrations have declined to identify Jerusalem as being in Israel, out of concern for the diplomatic repercussions.Trump’s visit to the Wall, formally confirmed by McMaster on Tuesday, will be the first ever by a serving US president.
Spicer confirms Western Wall ‘clearly in Jerusalem’-Amid spat between Israel and US ahead of Trump visit, administration officials sidestep questions on sovereignty of Jerusalem-By Times of Israel staff and Agencies May 16, 2017, 11:43 pm
Wading into an ongoing diplomatic spat between Israel and the US over whether the Western Wall is in Israel, White House spokesman Sean Spicer brought his own brand of clarity to the situation, affirming that the holy site is “clearly in Jerusalem.”The issue of Israeli sovereignty over the Wall came to a head this week when Israeli officials asked the team organizing US President Trump’s visit to Israel if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could accompany him on his visit to the Western Wall. But the US declined, with one official telling the Israelis that the site is “not your territory.”Israel angrily demanded an explanation from the White House, casting a cloud over the highly anticipated visit by the new president.Israel captured and annexed East Jerusalem, including the Old City and its holy sites, in the 1967 Six Day War and considers all of Jerusalem to be the undivided eternal capital of Israel, a stance not recognized by the international community, including the US.Asked about the issue, Spicer told journalists, “The Western Wall is obviously one of the holiest sites in Jewish faith. It’s clearly in Jerusalem.”“But there’s been — it’s an issues that’s had serious consideration. It will be a topic that’s going to be discussed during the President’s trip between the parties that he meets with,” Spicer said.Spicer’s remarks came hours after another senior Trump administration official, H.R. McMaster, declined to answer a direct question as to whether the US government considers the Western Wall to be within Israeli territory. He said that question “sounds like a policy decision.”The Western Wall, part of the retaining walls of the Second Temple compound, is the closest point of prayer for Jews to the site of the Temple itself and thus the Jewish people’s holiest place of prayer.The Palestinians seek East Jerusalem as the capital of a future independent state. The rival claims to the capital city have often sparked violence.McMaster’s brief comment appeared to be consistent with long-standing US policy that the status of Jerusalem is an issue to be decided in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.However, Trump has indicated he is disposed toward recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Although his campaign pledge to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem seems to be on hold, US officials have hinted that Trump could make some other gesture to show Washington’s new thinking on the city’s status.Trump’s signal could be as symbolic as identifying the city as “Jerusalem, Israel,” on official White House documents and photographs while he is there, according to sources familiar with planning for the trip. They weren’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter and demanded anonymity.Previous administrations have declined to identify Jerusalem as being in Israel, out of concern for the diplomatic repercussions.Trump will visit Israel and the Palestinian territories on May 22-23. His visit to the Wall, formally confirmed by McMaster on Tuesday, will be the first ever by a serving US president.
An embassy of peace-The Hebrew-language media can’t figure out if the US mission will relocate from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, or what consequences such a move would have-By Adiv Sterman May 15, 2017, 3:48 pm
As the Israeli government prepares for US President Donald Trump’s visit to the region, the Hebrew-language papers take distinctive stances on the White House’s apparent walk-back of pledges to relocate the US Embassy to Jerusalem, after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson questioned whether the move would help or harm the peace process.Trump had promised while campaigning to move the embassy to Jerusalem, but appeared in the months after being elected to retreat from that vow as Arab and Western officials warned the move could inflame tensions and spark fresh violence.“Moving the embassy will promote peace,” reads Israel Hayom’s headline, but while the statement was made by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the daily attributes the quote to “Israel.” The Netanyahu-allied paper, which has long rallied for the embassy move and had all but officially endorsed Trump for president during the 2016 US election race, shows a bit of discomfort about how to deal with the White House’s change of tone. The daily is careful not to explicitly criticize the Trump administration at any point, but at the same time, makes every effort to repeatedly state that the prime minister is pushing for the relocation of the US mission. Reporters Shlomo Tsezena and Erez Lin go as far as stressing that the Prime Minister’s Office vehemently denied any rumors according to which Netanyahu had been concerned over the international community’s reaction to moving the US Embassy, and had therefore secretly requested of Trump to reconsider this particular election pledge.Meanwhile, left-wing Haaretz gleefully characterizes the rift over the embassy relocation as a “public dispute,” and highlights the fact that the “rumors” about Netanyahu’s reservations concerning the move did not just appear out of thin air but were actually hinted at by Tillerson. “The president is being very careful to understand how such a decision would impact a peace process,” Tillerson said in an interview Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” He said Trump’s decision would be informed by feedback from all sides, “most certainly” including “whether Israel views it as helpful to a peace initiative or perhaps a distraction.”In Yedioth Aharonoth the embassy kerfuffle is not top priority and is buried deep within the pages of the publication. Instead, the daily leads with a photo of a masked man strangling a doll by the neck, and another of several other masked individuals carrying what looks like a coffin. No, this is not a still from an Islamic State video but a shot from a “funeral” for the Israeli soccer team Hapoel Tel Aviv, organized by fans of nemesis Maccabi Tel Aviv. Hapoel was demoted yesterday from the Israeli premier league, for the second time in its history, after a particularly dismal season, and some hardcore Maccabi fanatics saw the downfall as an opportunity to ridicule their rivals.“A rally of hate,” Yedioth titles the scene, and scolds the fans for “having no shame.” But the truth is that as nasty as a mock funeral for a sports club may be, such a display is also harmless. Dedicating more than half the front page of a major newspaper to the whims of a few bored soccer enthusiasts, on the other hand — that’s just plain stupid.Haaretz reports that migration of African asylum seekers from Israel to other countries has spiked in the past year, with many individuals leaving to Canada, specifically, where laws concerning refugees are considered to be fairly lax. “There is less fear here than in Israel,” one refugee tells the paper.Israel Hayom reports that IDF soldiers operating security cameras in the West Bank will from now on begin to keep an eye out not just on possible hostile activity but also on animals in distress, as well as on poachers. The new initiative, dubbed “Nature Defense Forces,” will be run alongside environmental protection organizations. As of today, there are more than 100 security cameras scattered across the West Bank, Israel Hayom reports.“The cooperation assists greatly in the protection of nature, as well as on the preservation of wildlife which are being defended from poaching and injuries,” says Motti Sheffi, the head of the Samaria division of the Nature and Parks Authority.
Netanyahu welcomes envoy Friedman to ‘Jerusalem, our eternal capital’-Arrival of new US ambassador comes amid renewed calls for Trump to honor pledge to move embassy to city, tensions over Western Wall-By Raoul Wootliff and Raphael Ahren May 16, 2017, 4:51 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday met with new US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman at the Prime Minister’s Office, welcoming him to Jerusalem.“It’s a joy to see you and to welcome you to Jerusalem, our eternal capital,” Netanyahu said, in an apparent reference to Friedman’s comment after being tapped for the post that he looked “forward to doing this from the US embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem.”Friedman’s arrival in Israel coincided with a flurry of controversies surrounding the upcoming visit of US President Donald Trump to Israel, his visit to the Western Wall and the ongoing debate over whether the US will, or should, move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.“I know you visited the Western Wall, which we all appreciate,” the prime minister said to Friedman.“There was no other place to go,” Friedman replied.“It was a strong gesture of solidarity,” said Netanyahu.The two agreed to work together to continue to strengthen the relationship between Israel and the United States, a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said.Before meeting Netanyahu, Friedman presented his credentials to President Reuven Rivlin at a ceremony at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, officially marking the start of his tenure as the American envoy to the Jewish state.Israel’s Channel 2 reported that when the Israeli national anthem was played at the ceremony, Friedman initially murmured along — “familiar habit” from years of Israel events, said the TV reporter — before realizing that this might not be appropriate.Friedman’s arrival in Israel on Monday came amid calls by Netanyahu and several Israeli lawmakers for the US to move its embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, following comments by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Sunday that Trump is weighing whether the move would help or harm the prospects of reaching an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.Despite promising during the 2016 presidential campaign that he would move the US embassy, Trump has since hedged on the plan amid his increasing efforts to revive peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.Friedman’s arrival also came during an unusual diplomatic spat between US and Israeli officials surrounding Trump’s planned visit to the Western Wall next week.According to Channel 2, a US official involved in making preparations for Trump’s visit angrily rejected a request that Netanyahu accompany the president when he visits the Jewish holy site in Jerusalem, and then sniped at his Israeli counterparts that the Western Wall is “not your territory. It’s part of the West Bank.”In response, the Prime Minister’s Office said it believed the comments did not represent the president’s position, an assertion confirmed by a senior Trump administration officials hours later.“The comments about the Western Wall were not authorized communication and they do not represent the position of the United States and certainly not of the president,” the official told The Times of Israel.Despite his pledge to work from Jerusalem, Friedman — who also owns an apartment in Jerusalem — will work out of the Tel Aviv embassy and live at the ambassador’s official residence in Herzliya. In addition, he will use an office at the King David Hotel in West Jerusalem, as many of his predecessors have.Alexander Fulbright contributed to this report.
Obama came as a candidate; George H.W. Bush as Veep; George W. before; Clinton before and after, but not during-Trump set to become first sitting US president to visit Western Wall-As candidates, many US politicians stop by the Jerusalem holy site, but once in the White House, they’ve all stayed away-By Raphael Ahren May 15, 2017, 11:41 am-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
Donald Trump is slated to become the first incumbent US president to visit the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem.George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama all have visited the Jewish holy site, but either before or after their tenures as president.“I don’t recall ever hearing of a sitting US president visiting the Western Wall,” said Shlomo Slonim, a professor emeritus of American history and the former chairman of Hebrew University’s Department of American Studies. Trump’s anticipated, but as of this writing unconfirmed, visit to the site would be “an innovation,” he added.The White House has yet to publish the itinerary for Trump’s May 22-23 visit to Israel — the 11th presidential trip to the country since Richard Nixon came in 1974 — but according to sources involved in planning the trip, he is set to visit the Western Wall. If he indeed goes to the site, it would likely be interpreted by some as akin to an American recognition of Israeli sovereignty over East Jerusalem. (Despite some reports to the contrary, Trump has never visited Israel before.)-During the 1967 Six Day War, Israel captured the eastern part of Jerusalem, which until then had been under Jordanian administration. In 1980, Israel formally annexed East Jerusalem, which includes the Old City with the Western Wall, the Temple Mount, the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. So far, the entire international community has adamantly refused to recognize Israel’s claim to that part of the city, arguing that the final status of Jerusalem is subject to negotiations with the Palestinians.It has been rumored in some quarters that Trump, on the occasion of his visit — which coincides with the week in which Israel celebrates the 50th anniversary of the city’s reunification — will recognize a united Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state. But, for now, that remains speculative.During his election campaign, the former Manhattan real estate developer vowed emphatically to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, an act that would have been seen as tacit recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the city. “We will move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem,” Trump promised in an address at AIPAC’s annual policy conference in March 2016.But that plan has since been put on the back burner. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Sunday that the president was still weighing whether such a move would help or hurt his efforts to relaunch Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.As a matter of standard diplomatic procedure, Western dignitaries usually do not visit the Old City and East Jerusalem in any official capacity. If they want to visit the Western Wall or other sites in that part of the city, they do so privately and without being accompanied by Israeli officials.In recent years, however, an increasing number of foreign dignitaries have ignored this unwritten rule, especially leaders of African and East European countries. Polish prime minister Donald Tusk went to the Wall in 2008; President Vladimir Putin of Russia visited the site in 2012.In 2013, then-Canadian foreign minister John Baird caused a diplomatic brouhaha when he visited Israel’s justice minister in her office on Salah al-Din Street in East Jerusalem. Although Baird asserted that his meeting didn’t “signal a change in Canadian foreign policy,” Palestinian officials were furious.The first sitting US president to visit Israel was Richard Nixon, who arrived on June 16, 1974, and met with president Efraim Katzir and prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.According to Denis Brian’s 2012 “The Elected and the Chosen: Why American Presidents Have Supported Jews and Israel,” Nixon’s two-day visit was a “vain attempt to rescue his presidency, endangered by the Watergate scandal, his efforts to cover it up, and a growing demand among his political enemies to impeach him.”In March 1979, Jimmy Carter became the second US president to visit Israel. He met with president Yitzhak Navon and prime minister Menachem Begin, assuring them that the US would provide the Jewish state — which had just returned the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt — with oil for the next 15 years, Brian writes. Carter also addressed the Knesset and visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum and the graves of David Ben-Gurion and Zeev Jabotinsky.It would take 15 years for the third US presidential visit to Israel (although a vice president — future president George H.W. Bush — visited in Israel, including the Western Wall, in 1986).In October 1994, Bill Clinton arrived for the first of four trips taken during his two terms, celebrating the Israel-Jordan peace agreement he had helped broker.A year later, Clinton — who had first visited Israel, including the Western Wall, as an Arkansas state governor in 1980 — came to Israel again, to attend the funeral of slain prime minister Rabin.In March 1996, amid a series of terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians, Clinton traveled to the Jewish state once more, to discuss “cooperation against terrorism with senior Israeli officials,” according to the State Department’s Office of the Historian.Two and a half years later, following the signing of the Wye River Agreement, Clinton arrived in Israel for the fourth and final time in office, meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He also toured Masada in the Judean desert, a site Trump is said to be considering as a venue for a speech nest week.Since leaving the White House, Clinton has returned to Jerusalem on several occasions, and has also stopped by the Western Wall.In 2008, George W. Bush, during the last year of his two-term presidency, visited Israel twice. During his first trip in January, he met president Shimon Peres and prime minister Ehud Olmert and he went to Yad Vashem.“I’ve really been looking forward to coming back,” he said at the arrival ceremony at Ben Gurion Airport, referring to his first trip in 1998, during which he visited the Western Wall. “Truth of the matter is, when I was here last time, I really didn’t think I’d be coming back as president of the United States. But I knew I’d come back, because Israel is a special place. And it’s a great honor to make my first visit as the president of the United States.”Five months later, Bush returned to Israel on the occasion of the state’s 60th birthday. During the two-day visit, he also went to Masada and addressed the Knesset — but again steered clear of the Western Wall (though his wife Laura visited).Obama’s first presidential visit to Israel took place in March 2013. He went to Yad Vashem and the Israel Museum. At the iconic Shrine of the Books, he saw the Dead Sea Scrolls, some of the oldest surviving manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible, some of them 2,400 years old.He returned three years later for a whirlwind visit to attend the funeral of Shimon Peres.On neither trip did he visit the Western Wall, a site he doubtless remembered well from his visit there in 2008.At the time, the Illinois senator and presidential candidate was heckled by locals, with one man shouting at him for minutes on end: “Obama, Jerusalem is our land! Obama, Jerusalem is not for sale!”As per Jewish custom, the Illinois senator also placed a note in one of the cracks of the Wall. Nosy Israeli reporters took it out and published it, causing a small scandal. The note reportedly stated: “Lord — protect my family and me. Forgive my sins, and help me guard against pride and despair. Give me the wisdom to do what is right and just. And make me an instrument of your will.”“I was expecting more reverence,” Obama complained later.
Pope plans to avoid politics, seek common ground in Trump meet-Ahead of hosting US president, Francis says he’ll search for ‘open door’ despite disagreements over immigration, climate change-By AP May 14, 2017, 12:26 am-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE — Pope Francis says he won’t try to convince US President Donald Trump to soften his policies on immigration and the environment when they meet this month, but wants instead to find common ground and work for peace.Francis said proselytizing isn’t his style — in politics or religion.Speaking to reporters while traveling home Saturday from a trip to Portugal, Francis said he would say what he thinks sincerely to Trump and listen respectfully to what Trump has to say.“I never make a judgment about a person without hearing him out,” the pope said.Speculation has swirled about what Trump and Francis will discuss during their May 24 audience, given Francis has already said anyone who wants to build walls to keep out migrants is “not Christian.”Trump, who made building a wall along the border with Mexico a signature campaign promise, responded by saying it was “disgraceful” that the pope would question his faith.Francis said that in talks, he always tries to find “doors that are at least a little bit open” where common ground can be found, particularly in peace-building.“Peace is artisanal. You do it every day,” he said.Asked specifically if he would try to soften Trump’s policies, Francis said: “That is a political calculation that I don’t allow myself to make. Also in the religious sphere: I don’t proselytize.”Trump will call on Francis mid-way through his first foreign trip, after visiting Saudi Arabia and Israel and before attending a NATO summit in Brussels and a G-7 summit in Italy.
Israeli intelligence source: We must reassess what info we share with US – report-‘We can’t hand over our crown jewels,’ an official says following allegations that US president relayed sensitive Israeli information to Russia-By Jacob Magid May 17, 2017, 12:00 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
Israeli intelligence is reassessing what information they choose to share with the country’s “greatest ally,” the United States, according to a Wednesday report in the Hebrew-language daily Yedioth Ahronoth.“We can’t hand over our crown jewels,” an intelligence source warned following Monday’s bombshell Washington Post story revealing that US President Donald Trump had disclosed highly classified intelligence to Russians officials in the White House last week.The country supplying the intelligence to the US was identified in the Post story only as “an ally that has access to the inner workings of the Islamic State.” Sources told The New York Times on Tuesday that Israel was that country.The Yedioth source assessed that the “highly sensitive” information disclosed by Trump to Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and its US ambassador Sergey Kislyak was handed over recently in several meetings with US officials on the situation in Syria. The intelligence officials speculate that Trump presented this information as a reprimand to the Russians.As a result of the information leaked by Trump, an Israeli spy’s life is believed to be at risk, according to a Tuesday ABC news report.The spy is said to have tipped handlers off about an Islamic State plan to blow up a passenger plane headed for the US by hiding a bomb in a laptop, said the station, quoting current and former US officials.The US already prohibits 10 mainly Middle Eastern airports from allowing laptops on board US-bound flights. US and European officials were set Wednesday to discuss plans to broaden the ban to include planes from Europe.They added that the intelligence provided by the spy was so sensitive that it was shared only with the US and was conditioned on the source remaining secret.Trump acknowledged in a series of tweets that he passed on the information to Russia. “As President I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety. Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism.”While not commenting directly on the Post and Times reports, Israel’s ambassador to the US Ron Dermer stood by the US president in a Monday statement.“Israel has full confidence in our intelligence-sharing relationship with the United States and looks forward to deepening that relationship in the years ahead under President Trump,” Dermer said.BuzzFeed quoted what it described as two unnamed Israeli intelligence officers saying that the incident represented Israel’s “worst fears confirmed.”“We have an arrangement with America which is unique to the world of intelligence sharing. We do not have this relationship with any other country,” said one officer.“There is a special understanding of security cooperation between our countries,” he said. “To know that this intelligence is shared with others, without our prior knowledge? That is, for us, our worst fears confirmed.”A report earlier in the year foreshadowed just such an incident as well as the growing concerns within the intelligence community regarding the new US president.In January, Yedioth revealed that US intelligence officials warned their Israeli counterparts that Trump’s ties to Russia could pose a security threat, and described a meeting between US and Israeli intelligence officials in which the Americans indicated to Israel they should be cautious in sharing information with Trump’s White House. The paper reported that the Americans had assessed that Russia had some kind of leverage over Trump, but did not go into details.Times of Israel staff and AP contributed to this report.
Five Palestinians arrested for making pipe bombs out of fireworks-Men arrested after allegedly manufacturing explosives, using them in attacks on soldiers in northern West Bank-By Judah Ari Gross May 17, 2017, 9:46 am-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
The Israel Defense Forces broke up a cell of Palestinian men who are suspected of making pipe bombs and using them in several attacks in the northern West Bank, an army officer said Tuesday.Last month, the army arrested a group of four Palestinian men who had made and used pipe bombs in attacks on Israeli troops in the Tulkarem area.During their interrogations, the four suspects revealed the origins of their homemade explosive devices: an illegal fireworks dealer.According to the IDF officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the suspects’ testimonies led the security services to a fifth Palestinian man in the Tulkarem area who was selling large quantities of fireworks in the knowledge that they were being used for terror attacks, “not for something innocent.”The army raided the building from which the fireworks dealer was peddling his goods on Thursday and found 10 boxes of pyrotechnics, the officer said.Fireworks are illegal to own in the West Bank. The army is now investigating how the dealer acquired the merchandise.According to the officer, the four suspects used the explosives inside the fireworks to craft “classic” pipe bombs.“They made bombs with a very, very large amount of the explosives from the fireworks, cramming it into pipes and sealing it on both sides with screwed-on caps,” the officer said.The four Palestinian men are suspected of using these pipe bombs in the weeks before their arrest to attack military positions in the northern West Bank, not in attacks against civilians, the IDF official said.No soldiers were seriously wounded in these attacks; however these kinds of pipe bombs have been known to cause serious injury and even death in the past.Last year, an IDF officer was seriously injured in a pipe bomb attack that was perpetrated by a group of five Palestinian men.The four suspects in the Tulkarem area were not trained members of a terrorist group, though they did have some connections with one, the officer said.“But I can’t say which as it’s still being investigated,” he added.In their interrogations, the suspects said they carried out their attacks out of a combination of nationalistic motivations, as well as a general sense of frustration with the situation in the West Bank, the officer said.The suspects, all of them between the ages of 17 and 24, were residents of the city of Tulkarem and the Nur a-Shams refugee camp, he said.
Trump, Netanyahu speak by phone, but reportedly don’t discuss leaks-Prime Minister’s Office confirms conversation, says leaders spoke only about US president’s upcoming visit to Israel-By AFP and Raphael Ahren May 17, 2017, 12:51 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have spoken by phone, an Israeli spokesman said Wednesday, as controversy brewed over the US president’s sharing of intelligence with Russia that came from Israel.A spokesman in Netanyahu’s office confirmed the phone call took place on Tuesday afternoon but did not say who initiated it.Trump is due to visit Israel next week.“There was a call yesterday between the president and prime minister for about 20 minutes,” the spokesman said. “The only topic discussed was the upcoming visit.”Israel meanwhile sought to contain fallout from Trump’s sharing of its intelligence with Russia, while not commenting directly on the move.Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman lauded security ties between the United States and his country, saying it would continue to be “unprecedented” in scope.But he made no mention of Trump divulging intelligence to Russia that a US administration official said had originally come from Israel.The United States is Israel’s most important ally, providing it with more than $3 billion in defense aid each year.The Washington Post reported late Monday that Trump revealed what it said was highly classified information on the Islamic State group (IS) during a meeting last week with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Moscow’s Washington ambassador Sergey Kislyak.It said that Trump told Lavrov about a specific IS bomb threat.A US administration official confirmed to AFP on condition of anonymity that the original intelligence came from Israel, which was initially reported by the New York Times.
Israel said to be the source of intel Trump gave to Russians-NY Times warns info could find its way to Iran; Ambassador Dermer says ‘Israel has full confidence in our intelligence-sharing relationship with US’-By Times of Israel staff and Agencies May 16, 2017, 10:02 pm
Israel was the country that provided the US with the classified intelligence that President Donald Trump shared with the Russians, The New York Times reported Tuesday, casting a dark shadow over one of the closest intelligence-sharing partnerships.According to a Washington Post report on Monday, Trump disclosed top secret intelligence to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Moscow’s ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak concerning a terror plot by the Islamic State involving the use of laptops on aircraft.Some of that intelligence came from Israel, unnamed US officials told the Times.The Times reported that, according to a current and a former American official, it was information that Israel relayed to the United States. The intelligence was deemed too classified to share with other United States allies, let alone a rival state like Russia, the Washington Post’s sources said. Russia is the main supporter of Syrian President Bashar Assad, and an ally of Iran, one of Israel’s principal adversaries.The country supplying the intelligence to the United States was identified in the Post story only as “an ally that has access to the inner workings of the Islamic State.”Israel and the United States are close allies whose leaders often refer to the countries’ “special relationship.” The United States provides Israel with some $4 billion of defense assistance annually, and the countries share intelligence and participate in joint military exercises. Trump will be visiting Israel next week on his first foreign trip as president.Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, did not comment directly on the report.“Israel has full confidence in our intelligence-sharing relationship with the United States and looks forward to deepening that relationship in the years ahead under President Trump,” Dermer said in a statement.“The revelation that Mr. Trump boasted about some of Israel’s most sensitive information to the Russians could damage the relationship between the two countries,” The Times said. “It also raises the possibility that the information could be passed to Iran, Russia’s close ally and Israel’s main threat in the Middle East.”BuzzFeed quoted what it described as two unnamed Israeli intelligence officers saying that the incident represented Israel’s “worst fears confirmed.”“We have an arrangement with America which is unique to the world of intelligence sharing. We do not have this relationship with any other country,” said one officer.“There is a special understanding of security cooperation between our countries,” he said. “To know that this intelligence is shared with others, without our prior knowledge? That is, for us, our worst fears confirmed.”A report earlier in the year foreshadowed just such an incident and concerns in the intelligence community.In January, the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper in Israel reported that US intelligence officials warned their Israeli counterparts that Trump’s ties to Russia could pose a security threat, and described a meeting between US and Israeli intelligence officials in which the Americans indicated to Israel they should be cautious in sharing information with Trump’s White House. The paper reported that the Americans assessed that Russia had some kind of leverage over Trump, but did not go into details.On Tuesday, US National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said in a White House briefing that Trump was not aware of the source of the intelligence that he disclosed to the Russians, suggesting that Trump could not have compromised confidential sources.McMaster added that none of the US officials present for the president’s Oval Office meeting with Lavrov last week “felt in any way that that conversation was inappropriate.” He used the words “wholly appropriate” nine separate times.“In the context of that discussion, what the president discussed with the foreign minister was wholly appropriate to that conversation and is consistent with the routine sharing of information between the president and any leaders with whom he is engaged,” he said.He also cast some of Trump’s revelations as information that was available from publicly available “open-source reporting.”Earlier Tuesday, Trump took to Twitter to defend his reported decision to give classified intelligence information to Russia, in a statement that appeared to contradict earlier denials by White House officials, who had said he had not let slip any secrets.Trump said he has “the absolute right” to share information and had done so in order to encourage the Russians to “greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism.”As President I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining….— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 16, 2017-…to terrorism and airline flight safety. Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 16, 2017-The information Trump disclosed, according to the Washington Post, was provided by an unnamed US partner — now said to be Israel — through an intelligence-sharing arrangement so secret, its details are unknown to some within the government. The officials said Trump’s revelations endangered cooperation with the US ally, which is reported to have access to the workings of the Islamic State.“If that partner learned we’d given this to Russia without their knowledge or asking first, that is a blow to that relationship,” a US official told the Washington Post.The New York Times, which later picked up the story, said the ally had previously shared information with the US only to see it leaked, and had warned US officials that it may cut off access to such information if it is shared too widely.Trump “revealed more information to the Russian ambassador than we have shared with our own allies,” another US official said.The bombshell Washington Post report came as Moscow’s alleged interference in last year’s US presidential election was back in the spotlight following Trump’s shock firing of FBI chief James Comey, whose agency was investigating Russia’s possible collusion with aides to the Republican billionaire.
Syrians brave mines, execution to flee Islamic State in Raqqa-Displaced people arriving at camp in Ain Issa say jihadists preparing for determined fight to keep stronghold-By Ayham al-Mohammad May 17, 2017, 1:20 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
AIN ISSA, Syria (AFP) — The main section of a camp for the displaced in the northern Syrian town of Ain Issa is full, but civilians fleeing the Islamic State group keep on arriving.The camp is a stark affair, with dusty tents flapping in the wind atop white gravel that covers inhabitants in a fine white dust.People have been arriving at the camp for months, but the pace has picked up as the Syrian Democratic Forces militia presses its offensive against IS.The US-backed alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters is pushing towards Raqqa city, IS’s most important remaining bastion in Syria.The newest arrivals at the central camp are forced to take refuge beyond the bounds of the established tented area, even setting up along the side of the nearby road.“There are more than 20,000 people in the camp now, and the numbers are growing by the hour,” camp director Jalal al-Ayyaf told AFP.“Since the beginning of the battle of Raqqa six months ago, more than 100,000 people have arrived at the camp, some of whom have now gone back to their villages and others have gone to stay with relatives in other areas,” he added.He urged international aid groups to “increase assistance for the displaced, whose numbers have exceeded the capacity of the city’s local council.”Hundreds of men and women crowded round a truck distributing rations, with one woman carrying away a box of World Food Programme items on her head.-Far from the horror-Elsewhere, women gathered at a red water tank to wash clothes, and two young boys struggled to carry a jerrycan of water together.Children throng the camp, among them a toddler sitting in the gravel and chewing a piece of plastic, seemingly oblivious to the white dust coating his red trousers.Nearby, two boys played on a makeshift swing, sitting on loops of yellow rope tied to a metal frame.And in a tent, a family tried to use a pink pacifier to settle a baby crying inside a bundle of blankets stuffed into a wire rocking crib.But despite all the hardships, the camp is safe, and far from the horrors residents say they endured under IS control and during their escape.New arrival Abu Ahmed, 47, fled from the Al-Rashid Farms area north of Raqqa city and described a harrowing journey.“They fired on our vehicles and set fire to our tents while we were fleeing,” he said.“They mined the bridges, and mined areas before they withdrew from them,” he told AFP.Khalid, a resident of Al-Sabahiya district in Raqa, arrived at the camp two days earlier and still looked exhausted.“We couldn’t believe that we had arrived here,” he said.“Daesh prevents those who want to come here — it damages their vehicles to stop them escaping,” he added, using the Arabic acronym for IS.-“Looking for safety”-“They executed several people who tried to escape a few days ago.”Another Raqqa resident, Talal, said IS fighters were keeping an eye out for people with tents that could be used to camp along an escape route.“The situation is very bad,” the 36-year-old said.“Everyone in the city is looking for safety.”SDF fighters are just a few kilometers (miles) from Raqqa city to the north and east, but are still working to encircle it from the west and south.They have said a final assault could begin next month, and Washington has pledged additional support to bolster the militia ahead of time.Hamza al-Hussein, a resident of Raqa’s Al-Daraiya neighborhood, said IS fighters were hunkering down for a battle.“They’ve surrounded the area with mines and put up wooden frames they brought from Iraq,” he said.The frames are erected over streets and covered with cloth to block the view of US-led coalition aircraft overhead.“They’ve even blocked off streets with berms of earth and cement,” he added.He said his nephew was killed by a mine blast as they escaped the city.“We brought him with us and buried him here.”Khalid said there was no more local support for IS, and residents were waiting for the city to be liberated.“No one can stand them any more,” he said.“Everyone is looking for a way to be rid of them.”
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