Tag Archives: Britain

Spotlight on Iran

July 31 – August 14, 2016 Editor: Dr. Raz Zimmt
Hossein Sheikholeslam (Tasnim, August 3, 2016).

Hossein Sheikholeslam (Tasnim, August 3, 2016).

Hossein Salami (Fars, August 4, 2016).

Hossein Salami (Fars, August 4, 2016).

Mohamed Maradi, Iranian regular army officer, killed in Syria (Qassemsoleimani.ir, August 1, 2016).

Mohamed Maradi, Iranian regular army officer, killed in Syria (Qassemsoleimani.ir, August 1, 2016).

 Soleimani at the house of Fatemiyoun commander Tavasoli, killed in Syria (Tasnim, August 2, 2016).

Soleimani at the house of Fatemiyoun commander Tavasoli, killed in Syria (Tasnim, August 2, 2016).

Alaeddin Boroujerdi meets with Hassan Nasrallah (Fars, August 2, 2016).

Alaeddin Boroujerdi meets with Hassan Nasrallah (Fars, August 2, 2016).

Ali Shamkhani and the PUK delegation meet in northern Iraq (IRNA, August 9, 2016).

Ali Shamkhani and the PUK delegation meet in northern Iraq (IRNA, August 9, 2016).

Mahmoud Abbas meets with Maryam Rajavi (Asr-e Iran, July 31, 2016).

Mahmoud Abbas meets with Maryam Rajavi (Asr-e Iran, July 31, 2016).

Abdollahian meets in Tehran with al-Zawawi (NASNIM, AUGUST 7 2016).

Abdollahian meets in Tehran with al-Zawawi (NASNIM, AUGUST 7 2016).

Main Points
  • At least six Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) fighters and one regular army officer were killed during the past two weeks battling Syrian rebels in the Aleppo region.
  • Qasem Soleimani, commander of the IRGC's Qods Force, recently paid a visit to the family of the commander of the Afghan Fatemiyoun Brigade who was killed in Syria in February 2015. Soleimani praised the brigade, which so far has lost about 400 of its fighters in combat in Syria.
  • A delegation of members of the Majlis (Iranian parliament) national security and foreign policy committee visited Lebanon and Syria. Meeting with senior Lebanese and Syrian officials they stressed Iran's continuing support for the "resistance front" in the fight against radical Sunni Islamic organizations and Israel.
  • A spokesman for the Iraqi Shi'ite militias said that Qasem Soleimani, commander of the IRGC's Qods Force, was expected to participate in the campaign for the liberation of Mosul from ISIS, noting that his presence on the battlefield was vital. The London-based newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat reported that Soleimani had recently toured Nineveh Province in northern Iraq in preparation for the campaign.
  • Iran strongly condemned the meeting held by Mahmoud Abbas and Maryam Rajavi, the leader of the Iranian opposition organization Mojahedin-e-Khalq. They met in Paris at the end of July 2016.
  • The Iranian foreign ministry denied the claim of a spokesman for the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, who said that Iran had sent arms to Yemen.
  •  Ahmad Vahidi, the former Iranian defense minister, who is wanted by Interpol for involvement in blowing up the Jewish community center (the AMIA building) in Argentina in 1994, was recently appointed head of Iran's Supreme National Defense University.

 

General Information
  • Hossein Sheikholeslam, advisor to the Iranian foreign minister interviewed by Tasnim News, said that Iranian-Syrian military cooperation had existed since 1982, and that in certain instances Syria supported Iran and in others Iran supported Syria. He stated that Iran operated a factory in Syria for the production of missiles that had been used by Hezbollah against Israel in the Second Lebanon War. He claimed that Iran's involvement in the current Syrian crisis only began after foreign terrorists had arrived to fight the Syrian regime.
  • Hossein Sheikholeslam, formerly the Iranian ambassador to Damascus, said that one of the most significant events during his tenure as advisor to the speaker of the Majlis for international affairs was the convening of the international conference in support of the intifada in Palestine, at which the supreme leader had been present. The committee responsible for organizing the conference, he claimed, had five members. Its chairman was appointed by the Majlis speaker, two members were nominated at the Majlis open session and two others by the Majlis committee for national security and foreign policy. He stated that Iran was investing efforts to implement the supreme leader's instructions regarding the necessity of arming the West Bank (Tasnim, August 3, 2016).
  •  Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, meeting with clerics during a visit to the Azeri capital of Baku last week, said Iran regarded it as its duty to rescue the Islamic world from terrorism and that if a request were made, Iran would offer support to Muslims anywhere they were affected by terrorism. He claimed Iran had been quick to support the Iraqis and had not allowed Baghdad and Irbil to fall (Tasnim, August 8, 2016).
  •  Mohammad Hossein Bagheri, commander of the Iranian armed forces, recently appointed Ahmad Vahidi, former Iranian defense minister, as head of Iran's Supreme National Defense University. The university is located in Tehran and is a subsidiary of the Army of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Its objective is to increase the research ability of high-ranking commanders and managers in the armed forces and defense and security officials, and prepares skilled manpower for holding command and management positions at high levels in the Iranian armed forces[1] (Mehr, August 3, 2016). At the time of the AMIA attack in Argentina (1994) Ahmad Vahidi was commander of the IRGC's Qods Force. He is wanted by Interpol for his involvement in the attack, and the warrant for his arrest is still outstanding.
  •  Mohammad Ali Jafari, commander of the IRGC, gave a speech in the northern Iranian city of Orumiyeh. He claimed Iran alone was capable of taking a stand to fight the takfiri organizations that enjoyed the support of the West. He said that for Iran's enemies the coordination between Iran and Syria, Iraq and Yemen was unbearable, and that as long as Muslims continued resisting their enemies could not achieve their goals (Tasnim, August 9, 2016).
  •  Hossein Salami, deputy commander of the Revolutionary Guards, said at a conference in Kermanshah that the Iranians fighting in Syria and Iraq ("the defenders of the shrines") had taken up positions against the plots of their enemies and had turned the lands of Islam into a graveyard for the aspirations of "arrogance" [i.e., the West] (Fars, August 4, 2016).
Iranian Intervention in Syria and Lebanon
  •  At least six Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) fighters and one regular army officer were killed during the past two weeks in combat against Syrian rebels in the Aleppo region.
  •  On August 2, 2016, the Tasnim news agency reported that Qasem Soleimani, commander of the IRGC's Qods Force, had recently paid a visit to the family of Ali Reza Tavasoli, the commander of the Afghan Fatemiyoun Brigade who was killed in Syria in February 2015. Soleimani praised Tavasoli and the activities of the Fatemiyoun Brigade in Syria, saying their fighting was particularly influential in the Syrian campaign and important in defending the Muslim world. "The Fatemiyoun Brigade," he said, "is a blessing, not only for the Muslims here, but for the entire Muslim world." He added that the Fatemiyoun Brigade fighters had changed the way Iranians perceived Afghans living in Iran, and they were now respected. About 400 Afghan fighters have been killed in Syria since the beginning of the Syrian civil war.
  •  At the beginning of August 2016 a delegation of members of the Majlis' national security and foreign policy committee visited Lebanon and Syria. They met with the Lebanese prime minister, foreign minister, speaker of the Lebanese parliament and Hassan Nasrallah, secretary general of Hezbollah. In Syria they met with President Assad, the Syrian prime minister, foreign minister and speaker of the Syrian parliament. In Beirut Alaeddin Boroujerdi, chairman of the Majlis committee, said that Lebanon's security, unity, independence and stability were very important for Iran. He told journalists that Iran was still prepared to provide Lebanon with military support to fight against "Zionists and takfiri terrorists" (IRNA, August 1 and 2, 2016). At a press conference in Damascus he said the visit to Syria was an expression of Iran's policy of supporting the "resistance axis" against the "Zionist entity." He stressed Iran's support of Syria, saying that the attacks in the countries that supported terrorism in Syria proved terrorism had no borders (SANA, August 4, 2016).
  •  Shahrouz Barzegar, a member of the Majlis national security and foreign policy committee delegation visiting Syria and Lebanon, said Iran was prepared to collaborate in rebuilding Syria. He said Syrian and Iranian officials had examined ways of repairing the damages caused by the Syrian civil war. He said Iran would not provide financial support but wanted to integrate the Iranian private sector in the construction projects (IRNA, August 8, 2016).
Iranian Intervention in Iraq
  •  Ahmad al-Assadi, spokesman for the Iraqi Shi'ite militias, said Qasem Soleimani, commander of the IRGC's Qods Force, was expected to participate with the Iraqi militias in the campaign to liberate Mosul from ISIS and that his presence on the battlefield was vital. He said every region where Soleimani had been present was rapidly liberated and that ISIS suffered heavy losses. He claimed Soleimani's participation in the war on ISIS expressed Iran's overall support. He added that Soleimani was the military advisor of all the Iraqi forces fighting ISIS, among them the popular militias, the army, counterterrorism headquarters and the federal police. Soleimani's participation in the campaign, he said, could remove all the obstacles on the road to victory. As to the sensitivity of the inhabitants of Mosul to the presence of an Iranian advisor in the liberation of the city, al-Assadi said a distinction had to be made between the desire of most of the civilians who were held hostage by ISIS and the desire of those who wanted to keep the campaign from succeeding (ISNA, August 1, 2016).
  •  On August 3, 2016, the London-based, Saudi Arabian funded newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat quoted an Iraqi parliament member as saying that Qasem Soleimani, commander of the IRGC's Qods Force, had recently toured Nineveh Province in northern Iraq in preparation for the campaign to liberate Mosul from ISIS. According to the report, Soleimani had crossed the border between Iran and Iraqi Kurdistan and reached Nineveh Province by passing through Kirkuk. His passage, according to the report, had been coordinated with the Iraqi security authorities and did not require a passport.
  •  A delegation of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) from northern Iraq visited Tehran last week. Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of the Supreme Council for National Security, met with the members of the delegation. He told them Iraq's interests and regional standing required unity, and that only a strong, united Iraq could defeat the takfiri terrorist groups operating in the country. Regarding the continuing cooperation between Iran and the Kurdish groups in Iraq, he said the abiding friendship between Iran and the Kurds in Iraq was the foundation for their cooperation and long-time common struggle. He added that Iran was prepared to broaden its economic and political collaboration with the Kurdish Autonomous Region in northern Iraq within the framework of the central Iraqi regime (Tasnim, August 9, 2016).
 Iranian Intervention in the Palestinian Arena
  •  Iran strongly condemned the meeting held by Mahmoud Abbas and Maryam Rajavi, the leader of the Mojahedin-e Khalq Iranian opposition organization, in Paris on July 30, 2016. Hossein Sheikholeslam, advisor to the Iranian foreign minister, said Mahmoud Abbas' conduct showed he was a puppet of the Americans. He added that documents found in the American embassy in Tehran clearly indicated Abbas was a CIA agent. He said it was not surprising that the Palestinian faction pressured by the United States to surrender to Israel had met with [Iranian] terrorists. According to Hossein Sheikholeslam, in view of Abbas' weak, disturbed personality, Iran did not have to relate seriously to the meeting (Asr-e Iran, July 31, 2016).
  • Hossein-Amir Abdollahian, advisor to the Majlis speaker for international affairs and a former deputy foreign minister, said that without a doubt the Palestinians were displeased that Mahmoud Abbas supported terrorists instead of fighting against them. Abbas' problem, he said, was that he was not focused on restoring the Palestinians' rights. Supporting terrorists instead of fighting them would not lead to the liberation of Jerusalem and weakening of the "Zionist regime," making the meeting a source of regret for the Palestinians (Mehr, August 2, 2016). On August 7, 2016, Hossein Amir Abdollahian met in Tehran with Sallah al-Zawawi, the Palestinian ambassador, to discuss regional developments and ways of "strengthening the resistance axis" (Tasnim, August 7, 2016).
Iranian Intervention in the Gulf States
  •  Bahram Qasemi, spokesman for the Iranian foreign ministry, rejected the claims of a senior British official who said Iran had sent arms to Yemen. Edwin Samuel, a spokesman for the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office for Middle Eastern and African affairs, recently accused Iran of sending arms to Yemen and meddling in the country's internal affairs. The accusation was made in an interview with a Saudi Arabian newspaper. Qasemi claimed the accusation was a bald-faced lie and called it "clear meddling in the internal affairs of regional [i.e., Middle Eastern] countries and a continuation of divisive British policy." He added that Iranian policies were based on regional stabilization and security, but unfortunately the military presence of foreign countries contributed to regional instability, extremism and the spread of terrorism (Fars, August 3, 2016).

[*] Spotlight on Iran is an Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center bulletin illuminating Iran's activities to establish its influence in the Middle East and beyond. It is based on reports in the Iranian media and written for the ITIC by Dr. Raz Zimmt, an expert on Iran's politics, society, foreign policy and social networks.
[1] http://www.iranwatch.org/iranian-entities/supreme-national-defense-university

News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (July 20 – 26, 2016)

Hamas summer camps in the Gaza Strip, where children and adolescents receive military training.

Hamas summer camps in the Gaza Strip, where children and adolescents receive military training.

Hamas summer camps in the Gaza Strip, where children and adolescents receive military training.

Hamas summer camps in the Gaza Strip, where children and adolescents receive military training.

Palestinians riot against IDF forces near the village of Nahal Oz (Facebook page of QudsN, July 22, 2016).

Palestinians riot against IDF forces near the village of Nahal Oz (Facebook page of QudsN, July 22, 2016).

Military training in the Rafah district where high school students practiced capturing an Israeli APC, storming an IDF post and abducting an Israeli soldier, taking him to the Gaza Strip through a tunnel (Facebook page of the Hamas summer camps, July 21, 2016).

Military training in the Rafah district where high school students practiced capturing an Israeli APC, storming an IDF post and abducting an Israeli soldier, taking him to the Gaza Strip through a tunnel (Facebook page of the Hamas summer camps, July 21, 2016).

Rifle practice with live ammunition (Facebook page of the Hamas summer camps, July 21, 2016).

Rifle practice with live ammunition (Facebook page of the Hamas summer camps, July 21, 2016).

Training in a summer camp in the Rafah district.

Training in a summer camp in the Rafah district.

Girls and the wives of senior Hamas operatives practice shooting (Facebook page of Paldf, July 24, 2016).

Girls and the wives of senior Hamas operatives practice shooting (Facebook page of Paldf, July 24, 2016).

Riyad al-Maliki speaking at the Arab summit meeting in Nouakchott, the capital of Mauritania (YouTube, July 25, 2016).

Riyad al-Maliki speaking at the Arab summit meeting in Nouakchott, the capital of Mauritania (YouTube, July 25, 2016).

Tires burning in the market in Nablus (Facebook page of Quds.net, and Facebook page of Hamas – Jenin, July 20, 2016).

Tires burning in the market in Nablus (Facebook page of Quds.net, and Facebook page of Hamas – Jenin, July 20, 2016).

  • This past week the throwing of stones and Molotov cocktails and shootings at passing Israeli cars continued. However, no serious terrorist attacks were carried out.
  • This year as well Hamas and the other terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip are exploiting the summer vacation to give children and adolescents military training. The goal of the military training is to prepare the younger generation for the future campaign against Israel. Military training includes firing live ammunition, simulating the storming of an IDF post, attacking an Israeli APC, abducting an Israeli soldier and taking him to the Gaza Strip through a tunnel.
  • Riyad al-Maliki, foreign minister in the Palestinian national consensus government, gave a speech at the Arab summit held in Mauritania (replacing Mahmoud Abbas, who canceled his appearance because of his brother's death). Al-Maliki said the Palestinian Authority (PA) intender to sue Britain for having issued the Balfour Declaration and demanded the support of the Arab states.

 

Monthly Distribution of Terrorist Attacks in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem

Monthly Distribution of Terrorist Attacks in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem

Riots, Clashes and Popular Terrorism
  • In the meantime, demonstrations, protest marches, riots, and the throwing of stones, Molotov cocktails and pipe bombs continue in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.
  • The more prominent events were the following:
  • July 26, 2016 – Rioting Palestinians threw Molotov cocktails and stones at an IDF force operating in the Amari refugee camp (near Ramallah). The soldiers fired at the rioters, wounding two (Facebook page of Red Alert, July 26, 2016).
  • July 23, 2016 – Palestinians threw two pipe bombs at an IDF post near Beit El. There were no casualties (Facebook page of Red Alert, July 23, 2016).
  • July 21, 2016 – Palestinians fired at an Israeli vehicle near Beit Sahour (east of Bethlehem) in a drive-by shooting. There were no casualties but a bullet was found in the vehicle (Facebook page of Red Alert, July 21, 2016).
  • July 21, 2016 – Palestinians threw stones at Israeli vehicles from a passing car on the Tekoa-Har Homa road. There were no casualties; the vehicles were damaged (Facebook page of Red Alert, July 21, 2016).
  • The Palestinian media claimed that a Palestinian boy from al-Ram was killed in a confrontation with IDF forces (Wafa, July 20, 2016). The IDF spokesman reported that the incident was unknown to the IDF. According to the spokesman, at the time of the alleged incident no IDF activity was carried out in al-Ram, and his death apparently occurred during a local dispute.

Left: The funeral held for Muhi al-Tabakhi in al-Ram; the yellow Fatah flag is in evidence (Wafa, July 20, 2016). Right: The death notice issued by Hamas for Muhi al-Tabakhi (Facebook page of Hamas in Jerusalem, July 20, 2016). Apparently the boy's death occurred during a local dispute.
Left: The funeral held for Muhi al-Tabakhi in al-Ram; the yellow Fatah flag is in evidence (Wafa, July 20, 2016). Right: The death notice issued by Hamas for Muhi al-Tabakhi (Facebook page of Hamas in Jerusalem, July 20, 2016). Apparently the boy's death occurred during a local dispute.

Rocket Fire Attacking Israel
  • This past week no rocket hits were identified in Israeli territory.

Rocket Fire Attacking Israel

Riots near the Border Security Fence
  • The Palestinian media reported that Gazans had rioted against IDF forces near the village of Nahal Oz, east of Gaza City. Several Palestinians approached the border security fence and set tires on fire and threw stones at the IDF forces. According to the reports, a number of Palestinians suffered from smoke inhalation from smoke grenades thrown when the IDF forces responded to the riot (Quds.net, July 22, 2016).
Terrorist Organization Summer Camps in the Gaza Strip
  • The first round of the summer camps held for high school students in the Gaza Strip ended this past week. A commander speaking at a final ceremony said that the objective of the camps was to train the "generation of liberation for a campaign against Israel" (Quds.net, July 23, 2016). Khaled Mashaal, head of Hamas' political bureau, said in a recorded speech that Hamas, its military wing and all the organizations in Palestine understood that conflicts with Israel demanded a long period of preparation. He said Hamas was working intensively on preparations for "resistance" and liberation, defending the [Palestinian] people and fighting against the [Israeli] occupation and settlements (Hamas website, July 22, 2016).

Graduation ceremony for the first session of Hamas summer camps. Left: Khaled Mashaal's recorded speech. Right: Campers simulate taking control of the Temple Mount (Facebook page of the Hamas summer camps, July 21, 2016).
Graduation ceremony for the first session of Hamas summer camps. Left: Khaled Mashaal's recorded speech. Right: Campers simulate taking control of the Temple Mount (Facebook page of the Hamas summer camps, July 21, 2016).

  • During the summer camp in the Sajaiya refugee camp, Hamas' military-terrorist wing displayed weapons it claimed had been used in fighting Israel during Operation Protective Edge. The display included various types of rockets, rifles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) (Facebook page of the "Pioneers of Liberation in Sajaiya," July 19, 2016). In a different display organized by Hamas' military-terrorist wing in one of its posts, there was a model of a tunnel and materials used by the Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades' information unit (Facebook page of the "Pioneers of Liberation," July 21, 2016).

The display in Sajaiya. Left: A UAV Hamas claimed had flown over Israel during Operation Protective Edge. Right: IDF "spoils of war" Hamas claimed it had seized in the Sajaiya refugee camp during Operation Protective Edge (Facebook page of the "Pioneers of Liberation in Sajaiya," July 19, 2016).
The display in Sajaiya. Left: A UAV Hamas claimed had flown over Israel during Operation Protective Edge. Right: IDF "spoils of war" Hamas claimed it had seized in the Sajaiya refugee camp during Operation Protective Edge (Facebook page of the "Pioneers of Liberation in Sajaiya," July 19, 2016).

Display in an Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades post. Left: Rocket launchers used by Hamas' military-terrorist wing. Right: Model of a tunnel and a poster with the names of Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades terrorist operatives killed during activities the tunnels (Facebook page of the "Pioneers of Liberation," July 21, 2016).
Display in an Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades post. Left: Rocket launchers used by Hamas' military-terrorist wing. Right: Model of a tunnel and a poster with the names of Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades terrorist operatives killed during activities the tunnels (Facebook page of the "Pioneers of Liberation," July 21, 2016).

Training for Women
  • The security apparatus of the ministry of the interior in the Gaza Strip noted the completion of the second round of a special training course in Khan Yunis called "Flowers of Palestine." The course was given to women, some of whom were the wives of senior Hamas operatives (Alresala.net, July 24, 2016). According to reports, there was also a course given for young women. It was supervised by the security and guard forces of the southern Gaza Strip (Facebook page of Palinfo, July 24, 2016).
The PA Intent to Sue Britain over the Balfour Declaration
  • Riyad al-Maliki, foreign minister in the Palestinian national consensus government, gave a speech at the Arab summit meeting in Mauritania (replacing Mahmoud Abbas, who canceled because of his brother's death). Al-Maliki said the PA intended to sue Britain because of the Balfour Declaration and demanded the support of the Arab states. He said the PA would open the issue of the crimes committed by Israel against the Palestinian people since the Declaration (November 2, 1917). He also praised the French initiative and called on the Arab states to support it (Wafa, July 25, 2016).
Activities of the Palestinian Security Forces
  • The Palestinian security forces continue their operation to put an end to the "security anarchy" in the territories under PA control. They instituted a broad campaign in the villages in the region south of Hebron (Quds.net, July 19, 2016). Their activities infuriated local residents, who set tires on fire in the market in Nablus to protest the detention of an Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades operative (Facebook page of Quds.net, and Facebook page of Hamas – Jenin, July 20, 2016).
  • The Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR), an Arab human rights organization in Britain, lodged a complaint with the office of the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague regarding what it called "the widespread and systematic torture of Palestinian detainees in the West Bank, committed by the Palestinian Security Services."[3] The organization appended a list of the names of those detained and the tortures allegedly inflicted on them. According to the AOHR, despite their appeals to the authorities, including Mahmoud Abbas, the crimes were not investigated and the organization was therefore appealing to the ICC (AOHR, July 25, 2016). The AOHR is a non-governmental organization established "to promote human rights culture in the world and to advocate human rights in general and the rights of the Arab citizens in particular."[4]
Facebook page of the Town of Sa'ir (north of Hebron)
  • The Facebook page of "Sa'ir, our home" calls itself the official Facebook page of the "Sa'ir, the hometown of shaheeds." The page has received about 21,000 "likes." Its background pictures include scenes of Palestinians rioting against the Israeli security forces (Facebook page of "Sa'ir, our home," February 7, 2016)

Facebook page of the Town of Sa'ir (north of Hebron)
 (Facebook page of "Sa'ir, our home").

  • During the most recent Palestinian terrorist campaign Sa'ir was prominent for the number of operatives who carried out terrorist attacks. From the beginning of the terrorist campaign (middle of September 2015) till the present day ten residents of the town have been killed while carrying out terrorist attacks. Others were killed in confrontations with the Israeli security forces. 

[1]As of July 26, 2016. The statistics do not include mortar shell fire or rockets which misfired and fell inside the Gaza Strip.
[2]The statistics do not include mortar shell fire or rockets which misfired and fell inside the Gaza Strip.
[3]http://aohr.org.uk/index.php/en/all-releases-2/6270-torture-by-palestinian-security-services-before-icc.html
[4]http://aohr.org.uk/index.php/en/about-us.html

Hamas’s media reported that Hamas’s senior figure Ismail Haniya congratulated Majed al-Zeer, the general director of the Palestinian Return Centre (PRC), on receiving a non-governmental observer status in the UN Committee on NGOs.

Majed al-Zeer and Ismail Haniya (UN Watch Facebook page)
Majed al-Zeer and Ismail Haniya (UN Watch Facebook page)

Overview

1.   Hamas’s English-language and Arabic-language media announced on June 3, 2015, that Ismail Haniya, deputy chief of Hamas’s Political Bureau, congratulated Majed al-Zeer, the general director of the Palestinian Return Centre (PRC), for having been granted a non-governmental observer status in the UN Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations. The congratulations were conveyed on a telephone call, apparently on June 2.

2.   Following is the text of the announcement on Ismail Haniya’s telephone call as appeared on Hamas’s websites in Arabic and in English:

Wording of the announcement as appeared on Hamas’s website in Arabic (PALINFO, June 2, 2015). The announcement also appeared on the website of Hamas’s organ Al-Resalah.
Wording of the announcement as appeared on Hamas’s website in Arabic (PALINFO, June 2, 2015). The announcement also appeared on the website of Hamas’s organ Al-Resalah.

Wording of the announcement as appeared on Hamas’s website in English (PALINFO, June 2, 2015). Emphasis added by the ITIC.
Wording of the announcement as appeared on Hamas’s website in English (PALINFO, June 2, 2015). Emphasis added by the ITIC.

3.   AP (as well as other media outlets, including Reuters) reported that PRC’s spokesman Sameh Habeeb claimed that Majed al-Zeer had not received a telephone call from Ismail Haniya. According to AP, later on that day (June 2, 2015), Ismail Haniya’s spokesman sent a message to reporters asking them “‘not to deal’ with the earlier announcement about the phone call”. However, an examination conducted by the ITIC showed that the report on a phone call by Ismail Haniya to Majed al-Zeer was still in place on Hamas’s websites (as on June 4, 2015).

Notes

4.   During recent days, following the news on granting the PRC a non-governmental observer status in a UN Committee, the organization once again denied that it had any affiliation with Hamas, and even threatened to take legal action against Israel because of these accusations. Based on this development, it is the ITIC’s assessment that the PRC was embarrassed due to the Hamas media reports on Haniya’s phone call, in which he congratulated Majed al-Zeer. In the ITIC’s assessment, this is the background for Haniya’s spokesman’s request to the reporters “not to deal” with the announcement. In addition, an examination by the ITIC found that there had been no similar congratulation on the part of the Palestinian Authority.

5.   Majed Khalil Musa al-Zeer serves as the general director of the PRC, an organization which is affiliated with Hamas and with the Muslim Brotherhood in Britain. In the past, Majed al-Zeer had spoken in favor of eliminating Israel (“the Zionist Project”) and emphasized the need for “military resistance” (i.e., terrorist attacks) inside the territory of Palestine (i.e., the state of Israel), in addition to his intensive activity for promoting the so-called “right of return” of the Palestinian refugees.


An excerpt from an interview with Majed al-Zeer that appeared on Al-Jazeera Channel website, May 2, 2010. The emphasized line is where Al-Zeer pointed out the need for “military resistance inside the territory of Palestine”. The text was written as a paraphrase by the journalist and not constructed as an interview, with questions and answers.
An excerpt from an interview with Majed al-Zeer that appeared on Al-Jazeera Channel website, May 2, 2010. The emphasized line is where Al-Zeer pointed out the need for “military resistance inside the territory of Palestine”. The text was written as a paraphrase by the journalist and not constructed as an interview, with questions and answers.

Majed al-Zeer (left) at a Damascus congress on the “right of return” (November 2008). Sitting next to him (left to right) are the Iranian representative Ali Akbar Mohtashami-Pour (who played a major role in establishing Hezbollah in Lebanon), Mahathir Mohamad (former president of Malaysia who was known for his anti-Semitic rhetoric) and Hamas leader Khaled Mash’al (photo: hurryupharry.org)
Majed al-Zeer (left) at a Damascus congress on the “right of return” (November 2008). Sitting next to him (left to right) are the Iranian representative Ali Akbar Mohtashami-Pour (who played a major role in establishing Hezbollah in Lebanon), Mahathir Mohamad (former president of Malaysia who was known for his anti-Semitic rhetoric) and Hamas leader Khaled Mash’al (photo: hurryupharry.org)

[*} See the ITIC’s Information Bulletin from June 3, 2015: “UN Committee on NGOs voted to grant the Palestinian Return Centre observer status, pending authorization. The London-based PRC is affiliated with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and has played an important role in the campaign to delegitimize Israel.”

Foreign Diplomats, Mainly European, Participate in Popular Resistance Activities in Judea and Samaria

European diplomats at the Eighth Bil'in International Conference for Popular Resistance

European diplomats at the Eighth Bil'in International Conference for Popular Resistance

Luisa Morgantini speaks at a meeting of the seventh Bil'in conference held in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan (Silwanic.net website, April 12, 2012).

Luisa Morgantini speaks at a meeting of the seventh Bil'in conference held in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan (Silwanic.net website, April 12, 2012).

Foreign activists wave flags, including the blue EU flag, at an event held during the seventh Bil'in conference (Arabs48 website, April 11, 2012).

Foreign activists wave flags, including the blue EU flag, at an event held during the seventh Bil'in conference (Arabs48 website, April 11, 2012).

Palestinian activists confront Israeli security forces during the removal of an illegal outpost in the northern Jordan Valley (Wafa News Agency, September 20, 2013).

Palestinian activists confront Israeli security forces during the removal of an illegal outpost in the northern Jordan Valley (Wafa News Agency, September 20, 2013).

Luisa Morgantini, a member of the European Parliament, at the event near Beit Jala (PNN TV, October 11, 2013).

Luisa Morgantini, a member of the European Parliament, at the event near Beit Jala (PNN TV, October 11, 2013).

Popular resistance activists vandalize the security fence around the Jewish village of Har Gilo (Wafa News Agency, October 11, 2013).

Popular resistance activists vandalize the security fence around the Jewish village of Har Gilo (Wafa News Agency, October 11, 2013).

 Sign at the entrance to the village of Nabi Saleh, a symbol of the popular resistance. The Arabic word in red (added to the sign by an anonymous hand) reads

Sign at the entrance to the village of Nabi Saleh, a symbol of the popular resistance. The Arabic word in red (added to the sign by an anonymous hand) reads "resistance" (Facebook page of the British Consulate in Jerusalem, June 13, 2013)

Naji al-Tamimi, popular resistance field activist, interviewed during a march in support of terrorist operative Hanaa Shalbi  (YouTube, March 3, 2013)

Naji al-Tamimi, popular resistance field activist, interviewed during a march in support of terrorist operative Hanaa Shalbi (YouTube, March 3, 2013)

Overview

1. Foreigners take part in popular resistance events and activities in Judea and Samaria alongside Palestinians. In most cases they are activists, representatives of pro-Palestinian Western NGOs participating in the campaign to delegitimize Israel. In certain instances diplomats and parliamentarians, mainly from European countries, have participated in popular resistance conferences held in Bil'in.[1] In isolated cases, they also participate in activities on the ground which defy Israel. On one occasion a French diplomat was documented attacking an Israeli member of the Border Police during an attempt made by Palestinian activists to erect an illegal outpost in the northern Jordan Valley.

2. The popular resistance is a strategy supported by the PA and Fatah. It includes violent activities such as the destruction of fences, confrontations with IDF soldiers, throwing stones and Molotov cocktails and in certain instances, carrying out vehicular and stabbing attacks.[2] The Eighth Bil'in International Conference for Popular Resistance, which was recently held and discussed ways and means to encourage the popular resistance, was attended by John Gatt-Rutter, the EU's representative in the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Sir Vincent Fean, the British consul-general in Jerusalem.  Previous Bil'in conferences were also attended by Luisa Morgantini, a member of the European Parliament and a Nobel Peace laureate, who is hostile to Israel.

3. The PA and Fatah encourage European diplomats and anti-Israeli activists to participate in popular resistance events. They regard their involvement as a tool for enhancing the legitimacy of the popular resistance, as a way of making it difficult for the Israeli security forces to respond to illegal activities and a means of exerting international diplomatic pressure on Israel, especially pressure from European countries. In our assessment, their participation is limited and does not reflect the general conduct of European diplomats in Israel or the PA. However, in those cases in which they do participate in popular resistance events, whether at the Bil'in conferences or activities on the ground, such involvement is exceptional behavior with regard to accepted diplomatic practice. Such involvement may create difficult situations for the IDF (such as the event in the northern Jordan Valley) and reflect badly on Israel in the international arena, especially in European countries.

Participation of Foreigners, Including Diplomats, in the Bil'in International Conferences for Popular Resistance

4. Every year an international conference for the popular resistance is held in the village of Bil'in (west of Ramallah). The conference is a manifestation of the efforts of the PA, Fatah and popular resistance activists on the ground to put the issue on the national Palestinian and international agendas. The conferences (held in Bil'in but also in other locations in Judea and Samaria) are attended by representatives of the PA, Fatah and other organizations, and field activists promoting the popular resistance. In addition, they are also attended by foreigners, including diplomats (primarily from European countries and the EU) and representatives of pro-Palestinian NGOs participating in the international campaign to delegitimize Israel. The Bil'in conferences discuss ways of expanding the popular resistance, making it more effective, gaining broader support for the Palestinians  and extending it to the international arena.

5. The previous Bil'in conferences were attended by diplomats and foreign parliamentarians. For example, the fifth conference (held April 21-23, 2010) was attended by members of parliaments who gave speeches, and communiqués were read from Desmond Tutu and Jimmy Carter. Among the participants, prominent were Robert Serry, the UN special coordinator for the Middle East, and Luisa Morgantini, a member of the European Parliament. She also attended the seventh conference (held April 10-13, 2012), which passed resolutions calling for strengthening the popular resistance and increasing coordination between Palestinian institutions and legal bodies in the United States and Europe.

6. Luisa Morgantini, who has participated in Bil'in conferences, is a representative to the European Parliament from Italy. In the past she was its vice-president, and she is a Nobel Peace Prize laureate. She is a member of the EU delegation to the Palestinian territories and frequently visits Judea and Samaria. Her views are consistently anti-Israel. During the 1970s she expressed solidarity with the PLO. She organizes meetings in the European parliament attended by groups critical of Israeli policy and which present Israel in a negative light.

7. The Eighth Bil'in International Conference for Popular Resistance, which was held between October 2 and 4, 2013, was attended by two European diplomats:

1) John Gatt-Rutter, the EU representative in the PA, whose office is located on French Hill in East Jerusalem. Rutter is originally from Malta, and began his diplomatic career as Malta's representative to the EU. In 2011 he was deputy EU representative in the PA, and in December 2011 Catherine Ashton, the EU's foreign minister, promoted him to the post of EU Representative to the West Bank and Gaza Strip, United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). He is charged with promoting and funding EU projects in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, including projects in Palestinian Area C. He often meets with PA officials and representatives of Palestinian organizations. He condemns Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria, which, he claims, does not serve the interests of regional peace. He supports European boycotts of products manufactured in the Israeli settlements and marking their place of origin.

Left: John Gatt-Rutter, EU representative in the PA, at a press conference held jointly with Palestinian foreign minister Riyadh al-Maliki (Al-Watan TV, April 23, 2013). Right: John Gatt-Rutter, front row second from left, at the eighth Bil'in conference for popular resistance. To his right is Rami Hamdallah, Palestinian prime minister (Paltoday TV, October 3, 2013).
Left: John Gatt-Rutter, EU representative in the PA, at a press conference held jointly with Palestinian foreign minister Riyadh al-Maliki (Al-Watan TV, April 23, 2013). Right: John Gatt-Rutter, front row second from left, at the eighth Bil'in conference for popular resistance. To his right is Rami Hamdallah, Palestinian prime minister (Paltoday TV, October 3, 2013).

2) Sir Vincent Fean, the British consul-general in Jerusalem (the consulate has an office in Gaza City as well), is in contact with Palestinians in Judea and Samaria. His office is located in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in east Jerusalem. He joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1975 and previously served in Tripoli as HM Ambassador to Libya between 2006 and 2010. Before that he was British High Commissioner to Malta from 2002 to 2006. On March 5, 2013, he was attacked by angry Palestinian students at Beir Zeit University (near Ramallah) when he came to speak about British policy in the Middle East and the peace process, forcing him to leave. In June 2013 he paid a visit to the village of Nabi Saleh, a popular resistance focal point, in a show of solidarity. (See below) At the beginning of October 2013, he participated in the Eighth Bil'in International Conference for Popular Resistance.

Participation of Foreign Diplomats in Popular Resistance Activities
Overview

8. In several instances, foreign diplomats, especially from European countries, have participated in various popular resistance events. They have included participation in conferences and events on the ground, some of which have involved violence. In our assessment, their participation was mainly the result of the initiative of the PA, Fatah and popular resistance activists. They wanted to enhance the popular resistance's international legitimacy and provide those participating in illegal activities with a kind of defense against the Israeli security forces.

Active Participation of French Diplomat in a Popular Resistance Event in the Jordan Valley

9. On September 20, 2013, dozens of Palestinian demonstrators gathered near the Jewish village of Hemdat in the northern Jordan Valley, accompanied by leftist activists and diplomats. They had brought tents with them and tried to erect an illegal outpost, a tactic adopted by popular resistance activists.[3] The Palestinians threw stones at the Israeli security forces who came to disperse them (Tazpit News Agency, September 20, 2013). As the demonstrators were being evacuated a Reuters correspondent documented the confrontation between a French diplomat and an Israeli security force. During the confrontation the diplomat attacked a policeman from the Israel Border Police force (See picture). According to the Israeli media, a formal complaint was lodged, the result of which was that the diplomat, a cultural attaché in the French consulate in Jerusalem, would leave the country at the end of the year (Israel Hayom, September 21, 2013).

Participation of Foreign Diplomats in a Fatah Event Held to Defy Israel

10. Nabil Shaath, a member of Fatah's Central Committee and in charge of Fatah's external relations, recently held a joint event with the Popular Committees Against the Fence and Settlements near Beit Jala (Bethlehem area). The Palestinian media reported the presence of European ambassadors and consuls. The activities included a solidarity visit to Beit Jala and joining the olive harvest, during which Nabil Shaath urged "a popular resistance against the Israeli occupation" (Quds News, October 11; Radio Mawtini, October 12, 2013). During the event a number of Palestinian activists vandalized the security fence of the Jewish village of Har Gilo, which they claimed occupied land belonging to Beit Jala (PNN TV, October 11, 2013).

British Consul Visits Nabi Saleh, a Popular Resistance Symbol

11. On June 14, 2013, Sir Vincent Fean, the British consul-general in Jerusalem, and Alistair Burt, the British minister for the Middle East and North Africa, paid a visit to the village of Nabi Saleh (northwest of Ramallah) to express solidarity. The village, which began hosting weekly demonstrations in 2009, has become one of the symbols of the popular resistance. The two met with Naji al-Tamimi, the Nabi Saleh coordinator for the Popular Committees Against the Fence and Settlements, who in the past was detained by the Israeli security forces for participating in riots in the Ni'lin region. They toured the village and inaugurated a building renovated by the British consulate in Jerusalem. After the visit Alistair Burt said that he felt proud to return to Nabi Saleh and that the village was very significant for him. He said it was his third visit and every time he came he was surprised by the villagers' determination. He said the al-Tamimi family represented the thousands of Palestinian families in the occupied territories suffering directly from the occupation (Arabic Facebook page of the British Consulate in Jerusalem, June 13, 2013).

Left: The British consul-general, Sir Vincent Fean, and British minister Alistair Burt visit the village of Nabi Saleh. Right: Sir Vincent Fean and Alistair Burt meet with Naji al-Tamimi, the Nabi Saleh coordinator for the Popular Committees Against the Fence and Settlements (Facebook page of the British Consulate in Jerusalem, June 13, 2013)
Left: The British consul-general, Sir Vincent Fean, and British minister Alistair Burt visit the village of Nabi Saleh. Right: Sir Vincent Fean and Alistair Burt meet with Naji al-Tamimi, the Nabi Saleh coordinator for the Popular Committees Against the Fence and Settlements (Facebook page of the British Consulate in Jerusalem, June 13, 2013)

[1] For further information about the Eighth Bil'in International Conference for Popular Resistance see the Terrorism Information Center,  October 13, 2013 bulletin “PA-Sponsored Eighth International Conference for Popular Resistance Held in Bil'in to Discuss Broadening It and Increasing Its Effectiveness.”
[2] For the violent nature of the popular resistance see the May 20, 2013 in-depth study “The Palestinian Popular Resistance and its Built-In Violence.” 
[3] During 2012 and 2013 Palestinian activists erected a series of outposts in Judea and Samaria to establish facts on the ground and challenge Israel. For further information see “The Palestinian Popular Resistance and its Built-In Violence,” Footnote 2.
[4] Hanaa Shalbi is a Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist operative, who spent two years in administrative detention and was released in the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal. She was detained again in February 2012 when she returned to terrorist activities. She was deported to the Gaza Strip as part of a plea bargain with the military attorney's office.

This year events were again held for Iranian-sponsored Jerusalem Day.

Burning Israeli, American and British flags at an International Jerusalem Day march in Tehran
Burning Israeli, American and British flags at an International Jerusalem Day march in Tehran (Mehr News Agency, Iran, August 2, 2013)

Overview

1.On August 2, 2013, the last Friday of the Muslim religious month of Ramadan, Iranian-sponsored International Jerusalem Day was marked with marches, demonstrations and rallies throughout the Arab-Muslim world and by Muslim communities in the West. The main events, as usual, were held in Iran and attended by the leaders of the Iranian regime.

2. The events were generally characterized by the following:

1) Themes – As in previous years, the events were exploited for hate propaganda and incitement against Israel and the United States, and calls were heard for the destruction of Israel. Slogans condemning the renewal of the Israel-Palestinian negotiations were also present, as were slogans in support of Syria and the regime of Bashar Assad.

2) Scant participation outside Iran – The demonstrations and events were mainly held in Iran. In other countries, as in years past, there were few participants at the events. Apparently the recent dramatic events in the Middle East (the second coup in Egypt, the ongoing fighting in Syria) have overshadowed the issue of the Palestinians in general and Jerusalem in particular. The relatively small number of participants might also be a result of the anti-Iranian criticism in the Sunni Arab-Muslim world, caused by Iran's support for the Assad regime.

3) The prominent Iranian-Shi'ite nature of the events – Despite the Iranian desire to make Jerusalem Day a pan-Muslim event, it is still identified as Iranian-Shi'ite. Most of the events were organized by the Shi'ite communities in the various countries and attended by Shi'ites or pro-Iranian activists. Conspicuous this year was the absence of Sunni activists, possibly in protest of the killing of Sunnis in Syria by the Assad regime, which is supported by Iran and Hezbollah.

3. Media coverage –  The events were not well covered by the media. Most of the reports of international events appeared in the Iranian media. Particular attention was paid by the media to the statement made by the new Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani. At the Jerusalem Day march in Tehran he said "In our region, a sore has been on the body of the Islamic world for many years in the shadow of the occupation of Palestine and holy Quds." He was careful not to explicitly say "Israel," or even the "Zionist regime," allowing the Iranians to issue a "clarification" claiming his statement had been distorted. However, during the Jerusalem Day events in Iran, Lebanon and elsewhere, there were specific calls for the destruction of Israel (for example, a poster at the march in Tehran quoting Ali Khamenei as saying that "the Zionist regime must be toppled," and a speech given by Hassan Nasrallah quoting the Ayatollah Khomeini as calling Israel "a cancerous growth that has to be excised").

Events in Iran
Overview

4.As in years past, Jerusalem Day was marked in Iran with marches, demonstrations and rallies held throughout the country. The main rally was held in Tehran. Marchers carried anti-Israeli, anti-American and anti-British signs and chanted slogans including "Down with to Israel," "Down with America" and "Down with Britain" [in Farsi and Arabic they signs read "Death to Israel" and "Death to America"], and stamped on Israeli, American and British flags. There were also "ceremonies" in which the Israeli, American and British flags were burned. They also called on the government to impose sanctions on "the merchandise manufactured by the Zionists" (Fars and Mehr News Agencies, Iran, August 2, 2013).

5. The office of the president issued an announcement for Jerusalem Day stressing the day's importance and Iran's support for the Palestinians' struggle. Senior members of the Iranian regime attended the march in Tehran, among them newly-elected President Hassan Rouhani, Hashemi Rafsanjani, chairman of the Expediency Discernment Council, former Iranian president Ahmadinejad, and others (ISNA, Iran, August 2, 2013).

The demonstration in Iran. The red posters read "Down with Israel" (Press TV Facebook page, August 2, 2013).
The demonstration in Iran. The red posters read "Down with Israel" (Press TV Facebook page, August 2, 2013).

Statements by Iranian Leaders

6. Newly-elected Hassan Rouhani was interviewed at the march. He said that for many years in the Middle East there had been a sore on the body of the Islamic world in the shadow of the occupation of Palestine and holy Jerusalem. He added that Jerusalem Day was a reminder that the Muslim nation would not forget its historic right and would always stand firm against oppression and aggression (ISNA, Iran, August 2, 2013).[1]

7. Outgoing president Ahmadinejad said that Jerusalem Day was one of the great Islamic days and that it was important for all of humanity, in the hope it would lead to the isolation of the so-called "Satanic front" (Fars News Agency, Iran, August 2, 2013).

8. Seyed Abbas Araghchi, spokesman for the Iranian foreign minister, said that this year Jerusalem Day was doubly important because it fell at the time of the renewal of the talks between Israel and the Palestinians. He said that if all the Muslims in every Muslim country demonstrated their loyalty to the Palestinians' aspirations for the "liberation of Jerusalem," without a doubt it would lead to the failure of the talks. He condemned the negotiations because he said they did not relate to the "rights of the Palestinian people." He said that the "Zionist regime" did not want peace and existed on a foundation of war and occupation (Fars News Agency, Iran, August 1, 2013).

[1]Initially, the various media quoted Rouhani as saying that "the Zionist regime has for years been a sore on the body of the Islamic world and the wound must be healed." A number of hours later an Iranian clarification was issued to the effect that the media had misquoted him and that he had not said what had been attributed to him (ISNA, Iran, August 2, 2013). In fact, Rouhani did not explicitly mention "the Zionist regime" but the spirit and the message, were consistent with the main theme of Jerusalem Day, i.e., the destruction of the State of Israel.

The Iranian regime is preparing for its annual Jerusalem Day events, which will be held in Arab-Muslim countries around the globe and in the West.

From the Facebook page of the IHRC, an Islamic organization affiliated with the Iranian regime operating with Britain, which organizes World Jerusalem Day events in London. The posters show Khomeini and Khamenei and call for the boycott of Israel.

From the Facebook page of the IHRC, an Islamic organization affiliated with the Iranian regime operating with Britain, which organizes World Jerusalem Day events in London. The posters show Khomeini and Khamenei and call for the boycott of Israel.

The World Jerusalem Day logo.

The World Jerusalem Day logo.

A sign held in Trafalgar Square in last year's Jerusalem Day rally (Picture from Richard Millet's Blog).

A sign held in Trafalgar Square in last year's Jerusalem Day rally (Picture from Richard Millet's Blog).

Publicizing Jerusalem Day events. The banners read ''Jerusalem belongs to the Muslims'' and ''Death to America and Israel''

Publicizing Jerusalem Day events. The banners read ''Jerusalem belongs to the Muslims'' and ''Death to America and Israel''

Poster for the cartoon contest stressing the so-called ''right of return'' of the Palestinian refugees, announced by the Iranian national academy of art. The stone in the slingshot symbolizes the intifada

Poster for the cartoon contest stressing the so-called ''right of return'' of the Palestinian refugees, announced by the Iranian national academy of art. The stone in the slingshot symbolizes the intifada

Iranian girls hold posters reading, ''Jerusalem is ours'' Picture from the FARS website, August 11, 2012).

Iranian girls hold posters reading, ''Jerusalem is ours'' Picture from the FARS website, August 11, 2012).

Picture accompanying the news item about the mayor of Ardal (Picture from the FARS website, August 12, 2012).

Picture accompanying the news item about the mayor of Ardal (Picture from the FARS website, August 12, 2012).

A Bahraini poster for Jerusalem Day. The picture is of the Ayatollah Khomeini (Picture from the alalam.ir website)

A Bahraini poster for Jerusalem Day. The picture is of the Ayatollah Khomeini (Picture from the alalam.ir website)

Advertisement for the marches in New York and Washington, DC

Advertisement for the marches in New York and Washington, DC

Overview

1. On August 17 events will be held throughout the Arab-Muslim world and in other countries around the globe to mark World Jerusalem Day. They have been held since 1979 on the last Friday of the Muslim religious month of Ramadan, in accordance with a decision made by the Ayatollah Khomeini and the Iranian government. Their stated objective is to express the support of Iran and the Muslim world for the Palestinian cause and for the "liberation" of Jerusalem, but they are used as a stage for strong anti-Israeli and anti-American propaganda and incitement. In recent years they collaborated with Western networks to promote the campaign to delegitimize Israel.

2. This year events are planned for a number of locations around the globe, a partial list of which is the following[1]:

1) Iran – Iran is traditionally the focal point for Jerusalem Day events and many preparations are being made. District governors, mayors and many local functionaries have been asked to help organize the events. Iranians have been asked to attend the events in their cities en masse. This year the organizers are planning the events "to bolster the axis of resistance."

2) Turkey – There will be a series of events to mark Jerusalem Day in Turkey's largest cities (Istanbul, Ankara and Bursa), which are being organized by Turkish anti-Israeli Islamist groups; Turks are being asked to participate in them. In Ankara an event in front of the Israeli embassy is being planned by a Turkish Islamist group.

3) Britain and other countries in Western Europe – The main event will be a march and protest in central London on August 17 to "show solidarity with Palestine and the oppressed throughout the world" (Ihrc.org.uk website). This year, like last year, the event in London is being organized by a local organization affiliated with Iran. Anti-Israeli propaganda and incitement can be expected this year as well.

4) Australia – A march is planned for Sydney on August 17, and will leave from Hyde Part to show support for the Palestinians (YouTube).

5) United States – There are a number of events planned throughout America for August 17, among them a march in Washington, DC. Marches are also planned forTimes Square, NYC, and Detroit, Michigan (Alqudsday.org website).

6) Canada – On August 18 a march is planned for Vancouver, BC (Facebook)

3. Throughout Lebanon, including its south, events will be held, led by Hezbollah. One of them is expected to be held near the Fatma gate, near the Lebanese-Israeli border, on August 16. The main event will be held in Beirut on August 17, where a speech will be given by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.

4. The Gaza Strip, Judea and Samaria – So far, not many preparations are being made for Jerusalem Day. A march is planned for the Gaza Strip. In our assessment, after the Friday prayer, local rallies and demonstrations will also be held in Judea and Samaria.

5. Details of the events:

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[1] As of August 16, 2012.