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Resources updated between Monday, July 17, 2017 and Sunday, July 23, 2017

July 21, 2017

Musa Kulaklıkaya (on the right), the SESRIC Director General at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, who made the inciting remarks at a U.N. conference (File photo)

A participant in a two-day event organized by a U.N. committee on the "Question of Jerusalem" fanned the flames by claiming Israel is threatening the "Mosque of Al-Aqsa", necessitating Muslims to "defend" it. The statement was made by a former Turkish ambassador, Musa Kulaklıkaya, at a conference organized by the U.N.'s notoriously anti-Israel Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People on July 21, 2017 in Baku, Azerbaijan.

In addition to inciting further violence as Palestinians riot over security measures on the Temple Mount following the murder of two Israeli policemen, Kulaklıkaya repeatedly accused Israel of a policy of "Judaization" of Jerusalem.

In his words:

"The political challenges are reflected in two main issues: (1) The illegal Israeli Settlements; and (2) The Israeli Strategy of Judaization of the City...Judaization of Palestinian land is particularly evident in Al-Quds...

Meanwhile, Israel continues its attempts to change the civilizational and religious image of the city threatening, first and foremost, the Islamic sanctities in Al-Quds Al-Sharif. In particular, it has been observed, during the last few years, that Israeli threats to the Blessed Mosque of Al-Aqsa, the first qibla and third holy mosque in Islam, have been extremely increased. This urges the need for the Muslims to defend the Blessed Mosque of Al-Aqsa, its first qibla, and all other Islamic sanctities in Al-Quds Al-Sharif city through empowering the Palestinian people and institutions of the city of Al-Quds and supporting their steadfastness against the brutal Israeli policies and plans.
...
Capacity building programmes and training workshops can be organized for the Palestinian Lawyers in Al-Quds with the aim of enhancing their knowledge, experience and capacities of understanding the international laws as well as the Israeli legal system in issues related to human rights and other challenges of the Palestinian people in Jerusalem, particularly their struggle against the Israeli policies of Judaization of the city such as home eviction, home demolition and residency revocation.
...
To counter Israeli strategy of Judaization of the Al Quds Al Sherif City, there is a vital need to revive and support the preservation of Islamic heritage and economic development of the City..."

After Arab Muslims kill Arab Druze, U.N. incites more violence Development

A graphic promoting the "Question of Palestine" conference in Baku, Azerbaijan

A United Nations "expert" suggested that the General Assembly should commission a study into the "status and membership" of Israel at the United Nations. The statement was made on July 21, 2017 by Michael Lynk, the "Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967," at a conference on the "Question of Jerusalem" held in Baku, Azerbaijan. The conference was organized by the U.N.'s Israel-bashing Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. Lynk was awarded his position as a special rapporteur in 2016 despite past comments comparing Israel to Nazi Germany.

In his words:

"Turning to the issue of leveraging, I would like to advance three ideas...

1. The United Nations General Assembly is in a position to commission legal studies designed to bring Israel into compliance with the United Nations' body of resolutions on Jerusalem. These studies should include (i) a legal assessment of the obligations upon the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions under common Article 1 to ensure respect and compliance by a High Contracting Party that is in persistent breach of its duties and responsibilities under the Fourth Geneva Convention; (ii) a legal and social assessment of the status of Jerusalem as a Holy City to three world religions and how that may be preserved both while occupation continues and under future conditions of a just settlement of the Question of Jerusalem; (iii) a legal study into the status and membership of a UN member that persistently defies the direction of the Security Council and/or the General Assembly; and (iv) a legal study of the different forms that the future political status of Jerusalem may take, and which forms would be broadly compliant with international law and which ones would not."

U.N. "Human Rights" Council "Expert" launches initiative to kick Israel out of the U.N. Development

The scene of the stabbing attack

Three Israelis were killed and another was seriously wounded in a stabbing attack in the Israeli settlement of Halamish in the West Bank on Friday night when a terrorist broke into a home and stabbed its residents.

Paramedics said two men, one in his 60s and another in his 40s, and a woman in her 40s, have died of their wounds sustained in the attack in a home in a settlement. The three were initially listed in critical condition. Earlier reports said a 70-year-old woman was among those critically injured. A fourth woman, in her 60s, was taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem in serious condition.

According to a preliminary investigation, the terrorist, a Palestinian youth from a nearby village, arrived in the settlement on foot armed with a knife, climbed a fence and chose the last house on a street near it.

The perpetrator broke a window and entered the home, surprising the four people inside, launching his stabbing spree, Channel 10 reported.

Palestinian media identified him as Omar Al-Abed, 19, from the village of Kubar, near Ramallah. An IDF soldier on leave in a nearby home, upon hearing the sounds, realized that a terror attack was being carried out and shot the terrorist through the window, Channel 10 reported.

It was not clear if the perpetrator was killed.

The attack came after a day of heavy clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police in and around Jerusalem over new security measures at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem following a terror attack last Friday in which three Israeli Arabs killed two Israeli police officers at the site.

Israeli media, citing Palestinian sources, reported that two hours before the attack in Halamish on Friday, the terrorist had published a post on Facebook calling for the need to defend the al-Aqsa mosque, which sits on the Temple Mount alongside the Dome of the Rock sanctuary.

Security forces said they were looking for any additional suspects in the Halamish attack.

MDA paramedics described a "very difficult" scene in the house in the settlement, also known as Neve Tsuf.

"When we went into the house we saw four casualties lying [on the floor] with stab wounds. Three of them were unconscious, with no pulse and [were] not breathing," said Ohad Amitoun with Magen David Adom.

"Another 60-year-old woman was conscious and suffered stab wounds to her upper body. She was treated at the scene and was evacuated by an MDA intensive care ambulance.She was in moderate-serious condition," he added.

Three Dead, One Wounded in Palestinian Stabbing Attack Document

Former president of the U.N. General Assembly, John Ashe, who was involved in the corruption scandal (File photo)

"A suspended United Nations diplomat's testimony has provided a glimpse at the seedier side of international diplomacy as a Chinese billionaire stands trial on charges that he shared hundreds of thousands of dollars with ambassadors he thought could help him realize his dream to build a permanent center in China to serve less-advantaged countries.

Francis Lorenzo, 50, stepped off the witness stand Wednesday after testifying against Chinese billionaire Ng Lap Seng for over a week.

Ng, 69, has pleaded not guilty to charges he paid bribes to Lorenzo and a former top U.N. official to gain support to build a U.N. conference center in Macau. He remains confined to a Manhattan apartment on $50 million bail.

Lorenzo testified Ng paid him up to $50,000 monthly to push the ambitious multibillion-dollar project along and funneled another $300,000 to former U.N. General Assembly President John Ashe, who was charged in the case before he died last year in an accident at home.

Over several days, Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas Zolkind elicited from Lorenzo an unsavory depiction of the ease with which Lorenzo and Ashe accepted and sometimes solicited tens of thousands of dollars to supplement modest salaries as ambassadors.

Within months of meeting Ng in late 2009, Lorenzo testified, he agreed to supplement his $72,000 salary at the U.N. with $20,000 a month as president of Ng's new not-for-profit, South South News.

'Did you have any experience in media or in news reporting?' Zolkind asked.

'No,' Lorenzo said.

He said at Ashe's request, he helped arrange a no-show job that paid Ashe's wife $2,500 monthly. He said Ashe asked Ng to fund a family trip to New Orleans and to pay for construction of a basketball court at his home. In 2014, Ashe asked Ng for a contribution to help his presidency and Ng sent $200,000, Lorenzo said.

After Ashe solicited a $20,000 contribution to fund a U.N. reception, Lorenzo passed along only $16,000 to Ashe..."

UN ambassador testifies he didn't know what 'bribe' meant Article

Israeli ambassador to UNESCO in Paris Carmel Shama HaCohen

Israel: UNESCO is a full partner in Palestinian incitement Article

July 20, 2017

Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda in the International Criminal Court in The Hague

Palestinians urge International Court to speed up 'war crimes' probe Article

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova

Will UNESCO ever condemn Temple Mount terror attack? Article

Knife from the scene of an attempted stabbing attack by a Palestinian terrorist

Palestinian attempts to stab IDF troops in West Bank Document

July 19, 2017

Palestinian Authority police officers

Israeli courts to let Palestinians sue PA for torture Article

Site of the car-ramming attack

Two Israeli soldiers injured in car-ramming near Hebron Document

July 18, 2017

Russian President Vladmim Putin

The UN's gift for Russia Article

July 17, 2017

An UNRWA school

Dismantle UNRWA Article

Xiyue Wang

An American student from Princeton University was arrested in Iran and has been sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges he was spying for the United States, an Iranian judiciary official said on Sunday, an action bound to aggravate relations between the two countries.

The arrest and sentencing of the American, Xiyue Wang, a graduate student in history, was announced months after he had vanished in Iran, where he was doing research for a doctoral thesis. There had been rumors of his arrest, but the announcement on Sunday from Iran was the first official confirmation.

A spokesman for Iran's judiciary, Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejei, said at a weekly news conference that one of "America's infiltrators" had been prosecuted, but he did not identify Mr. Wang by name or nationality. The judiciary's Mizan News Agency provided his name and his age, 37, saying he had "spider connections" with American and British intelligence agencies.

Mizan also said Mr. Wang, whom it described as fluent in Persian, had digitally archived 4,500 pages of Iranian documents and had done "super confidential research for the U.S. Department of State, Harvard Kennedy School and British Institute of Persian Studies."

A Princeton spokesman, Daniel Day, confirmed that Mr. Wang, an American citizen of Chinese descent, was the man arrested in Iran. "That's our student," Mr. Day said in a telephone interview.

He also said the university had known about the arrest for months but had been trying to work quietly to have Mr. Wang freed.

In a statement issued after news of his arrest and sentence was reported, the university said Mr. Wang was a fourth-year doctoral candidate specializing in 19th- and early-20th-century Eurasian history who had been arrested last summer while doing scholarly research in Iran on the Qajar dynasty.

"Since his arrest, the university has worked with Mr. Wang's family, the U.S. government, private counsel and others to facilitate his release," the statement said. "We were very distressed by the charges brought against him in connection with his scholarly activities, and by his subsequent conviction and sentence," the statement continued. "His family and the university are distressed at his continued imprisonment and are hopeful that he will be released after his case is heard by the appellate authorities in Tehran."

News of Mr. Wang's sentencing came as the judiciary spokesman also announced that the brother of President Hassan Rouhani of Iran had been arrested in a corruption inquiry, in what appeared to be a move by Mr. Rouhani's hard-line rivals to undermine and embarrass him.

The brother, Hossein Fereydoun, had been one of Mr. Rouhani's close aides.

The arrests suggested ominous new pressure on Mr. Rouhani, a moderate cleric who was re-elected to a second four-year term a few months ago.

His re-election was seen as a referendum vote by Iranians for more cooperation with other nations, including the United States, despite the entrenched anti-American hostilities harbored by other powerful interests in Iran, including its supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei; the judiciary and intelligence services; and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps paramilitary force.

The news of the arrests coincided with the second anniversary of Mr. Rouhani's signature achievement: the agreement with the United States and other world powers to curb Iran's nuclear activities in return for the easing of economic sanctions that have long isolated Iran.

The agreement has not produced the desired economic boom in Iran, giving political ammunition to conservatives who opposed the pact. Critics of the agreement in the United States have also complained, saying it is too weak.

Understand the world with sharp insight and President Trump, who has escalated tensions with Iran, repeatedly assailed the nuclear agreement during his 2016 campaign as "the worst deal ever." He must decide by Monday whether Iran is honoring the deal, under an American law that requires the administration to certify every 90 days that Iran is complying with the terms.

Mr. Fereydoun, a former ambassador to Malaysia, has long been considered a potential political vulnerability for Mr. Rouhani over allegations of nepotism and cronyism.

Hard-liners accused Mr. Fereydoun more than a year ago of improper dealings with money-changing companies during the final years of the administration of Mr. Rouhani's predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. They said Mr. Fereydoun had continued those dealings while serving as an adviser to Mr. Rouhani.

Mr. Fereydoun also has been accused by hard-liners of using his influence to place colleagues in high-paying positions, and of exploiting his connections to gain a coveted spot in a doctorate program at an Iranian university. He has denied the accusations.

"Rouhani and the reformists won a landslide victory in the May presidential elections, yet this detention makes clear the conservatives are still strong and can lash out," said Cliff Kupchan, chairman of the Eurasia Group, a political risk consultancy in Washington. The president's brother, Mr. Kupchan said, is "low-hanging fruit for conservatives seeking to cut Rouhani down to size."

Iran's judiciary spokesman, Mr. Mohseni-Ejei, said on Sunday that Mr. Fereydoun had been arrested the day before, according to the judiciary's news agency, and because he was not able to provide bail, he was jailed until he could do so.

Mr. Mohseni-Ejei did not specify the bail amount or the precise charges.

Referring to Mr. Wang, the spokesman said the person sentenced in the espionage case had been "identified and arrested by the Intelligence Ministry's forces, and it was established that he was gathering information and was involved in spying activities."

Once the verdict is final, Mr. Mohseni-Ejei said, he would "be able to explain more about this person's intentions and activities," adding, "Unfortunately he was taking direct orders from America."

In a statement, the State Department said: "The Iranian regime continues to detain U.S. citizens and other foreigners on fabricated national-security related changes. We call for the immediate release of all U.S. citizens unjustly detained in Iran so they can return to their families."

A number of American citizens, mostly Iranian-American dual citizens, have been imprisoned in Iran over the years on similar charges.

Five were freed when the nuclear deal took effect in January 2016, including Jason Rezaian, a former Washington Post correspondent in Tehran. But others continue to languish in Iranian prisons, despite repeated calls by the United States and others to release them.

The most notable prisoners include Siamak Namazi, an Iranian-American businessman who had called for improved relations; his father, Baquer Namazi, a former Unicef diplomat; and Nizar Zakka, a Lebanese citizen with permanent United States residency.

Mr. Zakka's lawyer in the United States, Jason Poblete, said his client had been on a hunger strike for the past three weeks. Mr. Zakka was sentenced a few months ago to 10 years in prison.

Iran Sentences U.S. Graduate Student to 10 Years on Spying Charges Document

Workers and security detain the man who stabbed two German tourists to death and wounded four others

Two German tourists stabbed to death on Egyptian beach Document

The gun used in the attack

Former Palestinian officer opens fire on Israeli troops Document