Senate Democrats introduce legislation to strengthen Iran deal


Senate Democrats introduced a piece of legislation on Thursday that would enforce the Iran nuclear deal reached in July. The bill, called the Iran Policy Oversight Act of 2015, is sponsored by nine senators, including Sens. Ben Cardin (Md.) and Charles Schumer (N.Y.), both of whom opposed the deal. The senators announced that the “legislation builds upon the bipartisan commitment to oversight outlined in the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 that passed the U.S. Senate 98 to 1.” Sen. Bennet said, “It will strengthen implementation of the nuclear agreement and reiterate our support for Israel. It reiterates that options, including the use of force, remain available to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.” Sen. Blumenthal avowed that the “proposal seeks a regional strategy that pushes back against Iran’s malign, destabilizing influence…I support Congress taking additional steps…to crack down on the growing threat of Hezbollah and other terrorist extremists, and assure that verification and inspection are strictly enforced.”

The legislation envisions deterring Iran from destabilizing the Middle East and its “support for and acts of terrorism” and calls for the administration to submit reports every two years specifying a regional strategy to counter Iran as well as on how Iran has used the funds it has gained through sanctions relief and Iran’s research and development activities. With regard to the funds, Sen. Schumer said, “We need to watch those funds like a hawk, and ensure that they’re not going to fund terror in the Middle East.” It explicitly calls for security assistance for and cooperation with Israel to maintain Israel’s qualitative military edge. An important aspect of the legislation is that it would foresee preserving sanctions on Iran for its human rights violations and the establishment of “expedited procedures for consideration of new terrorism sanctions against Iran” in the event that Iran carries out an attack against the U.S. or “substantially increases its operational or financial support for a terrorist organization that threatens U.S. interests and allies.” It also seeks to clarify how exactly the U.S. would respond in the face of any Iranian violation of the agreement and ensure “effective re-imposition of sanctions.”


Terrorists affiliated with Fatah, the faction led by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, have taken responsibility for the murder of an Israeli couple driving in the West Bank Thursday, The Times of Israel reported today.


The Abdel Qader al-Husseini Brigades, a group affiliated with Fatah’s al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, announced on Friday that its men on Thursday night opened fire on the car of Eitam and Naama Henkin, a couple in their 30s, while they were driving home with their four children, aged four months to nine. The children were not wounded in the attack. …


“With Allah’s help and in keeping with our right for resistance and our duty to sacred jihad, our forces on Thursday night carried out a necessary action in which they fired on a car of occupying settlers that left the settlement of Itamar, built on Palestinian lands in the south of the city of Hebron. They fired on the car and killed the settler and his partner.”

The NGO Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) reported that a member of Fatah’s Central Committee also announced the claim of responsibility on his official Facebook page.

Fatah Central Committee member Mahmoud Al-Aloul posted: “The Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, the military wing of the Palestinian National Liberation Movement Fatah, accepted responsibility for the Itamar operation (i.e., murder of Eitam and Naama Henkin), carried out against settlers, leading to their deaths.”


Palestinian Media Watch has documented that the Palestinian Authority has led a vicious incitement campaign against Israel calling for violence in recent weeks. Palestinians are fed a steady diet of statements by senior PA and Fatah leaders, claiming that the Al-Aqsa Mosque is “in danger” and that Palestinians must defend it through Ribat, a religious war to liberate or defend what is claimed to be Islamic land.

The Henkins were murdered one day after Abbas gave a speech at the United Nations that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said “encourages incitement and lawlessness in the Middle East.”

“It has been proven again that the wild Palestinian incitement leads to acts of terrorism and murder such as we have seen this evening,” Netanyahu said in response to the attack. (via


MediWound, a biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Yavneh, has won a contract valued at up to $112 million from the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to advance the development of NexoBrid, its proprietary enzyme treatment for non-traumatic, non-surgical removal of dead or damaged tissue (eschar) in adults with deep thermal burns. BARDA, which operates within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response in the US Department of Health and Human Services, envisions the Israeli product as part of the medical arsenal for treating wounds sustained in mass casualty events. The five-year base contract includes $24 million to support development activities to complete the US Food and Drug Administration(FDA) approval process for NexoBrid for use in thermal burn injuries, as well as $16 million for procurement of NexoBrid contingent upon FDA authorization. The contract includes options for further funding of up to $22 million for expanding NexoBrid’s indications and up to $50 million for additional procurement of NexoBrid. “BARDA’s commitment underscores the important role NexoBrid might play in preparing for mass casualty events where subsequent surgical capacity is limited and rapid severity assessment and intervention are imperative,” stated Gal Cohen, president and CEO of MediWound. “In addition to the U.S. government’s interest in NexoBrid in preparing for burn mass casualty events, last fall the Disaster Committee of the International Society for Burn Injuries recommended inclusion of NexoBrid in their draft plan for mass casualty events, as they, too, see a role for NexoBrid in providing relief in the expected bottleneck in hospitals after such disasters,” said Cohen. (via Israel21c)

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