Eight Israelis were stabbed across Israel on Thursday as Palestinian violence continues throughout the country. Starting in the early morning hours, rocks were thrown at Israelis before the first stabbing occurred around noon in Jerusalem. Another terrorist stabbed five Israelis with a screwdriver in Tel Aviv before being neutralized by an Israeli Air Force officer. An Israeli was also stabbed in Hebron, and a 20-year-old soldier was stabbed in Afula.
The surge in terror attacks continues to be fueled by Palestinian leaders who refuse to condemn the violence or demand an end to it. The Palestinian Authority (PA) also repeatedly promotes rumors and incites violence by claiming that Israel is trying to undermine Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem. Times of Israel journalist Elhanan Miller wrote: “Abbas and his government have effectively been echoing the rumors and misinformation disseminated on Palestinian social media, rather than refuting them.”
After meeting on Thursday, the Palestinian cabinet released a statement calling on Israeli leaders to be “held accountable for their decision to allow the occupation forces to kill and assassinate defenseless children and civilians, who have become a permanent target for acts of summary executions and cold-blooded murder.” PA President Mahmoud Abbas maintained on Tuesday that the “Palestinian side didn’t attack, nor did it carry out any act against Israelis. The residents of Jerusalem are acting in self defense, which is our right. We must all protect our holy sites — the Islamic and Christian ones. If they [the Israelis] think of dividing al-Aqsa, that will never happen.” On its Facebook page, President Abbas’s Fatah party posted an image with burning tires, a kufiya-clad youth throwing rocks, and a knife with the phrase “#third intifada.” In September, on Palestinian television, Abbas declared, “We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem … With the help of Allah, every shaheed (martyr) will be in heaven, and every wounded will get his reward.”
In a press conference Thursday evening, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that even though the terror attacks are mostly unorganized, “they are all the result of wild and mendacious incitement by Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, several countries in the region and – no less and frequently much more – the Islamic Movement in Israel,” especially when it comes to spreading lies that Israel intends to alter the status quo at the Temple Mount.
Russia and Iran decided in July to undertake joint military action to prop up Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, even while they sat on opposite sides of the table in nuclear negotiations, Reuters reported Tuesday.
The first step of the joint offensive was planned by the commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps—Qods Force, Qassem Soleimani, who reports directly to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and was in Russia despite aninternational travel ban.
Major General Qassem Soleimani’s visit to Moscow was the first step in planning for a Russian military intervention that has reshaped the Syrian war and forged a new Iranian-Russian alliance in support of Assad. …
His Moscow meeting outlined the deteriorating situation in Syria, where rebel advances toward the coast were posing a danger to the heartland of Assad’s Alawite sect, where Russia maintains its only Mediterranean naval base in Tartous.
“Soleimani put the map of Syria on the table. The Russians were very alarmed, and felt matters were in steep decline and that there were real dangers to the regime. The Iranians assured them there is still the possibility to reclaim the initiative,” a senior regional official said. “At that time, Soleimani played a role in assuring them that we haven’t lost all the cards.”
The current offensive against anti-Assad rebels—a combination of IRGC ground operations and Russian bombing raids—”underscores several months of planning between Assad’s two most important allies.”
Benjamin Weinthal and Emanuele Ottolenghi, respectively a research fellow and a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, reported in Politico last month that Iran was utilizing an internationally-sanctioned domestic airline to “ferry weapons and military personnel” across the region, possibly even delivering IRGC personnel to Syria in advance of the offensive. (via TheTower.org)