- Hamas calls for “Day of Rage” during Peres funeral, says “Palestinian people are very happy” to hear of his death
Iran is more of a threat to the Western world than the Islamic State, wrote former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon in the pages of the Los Angeles Times on Thursday. Ya’alon explained that “the threat of a militaristic messianic Iran – 80-million strong – is much more menacing to Western interests than the Sunni thugs and murderers of Raqqah and Mosul.” Iran is the “prime backer of the genocidal Syrian regime” as well as of its terrorist proxy Hezbollah, which Iran uses as “a strategic tool to undermine the legitimate role of the Lebanese government.” In addition, Iran supports the Houthis, who overthrew the internationally-backed government of Yemen, as well as radical Shiite elements in the Arab Gulf states. Iran also supplies the terrorist groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad with weapons, financing, and know-how. Ya’alon continued, “Those who believed that the nuclear agreement would lead to a more moderate, open, reformist Iran, at home and abroad, regrettably suffer from wishful thinking.” In fact, Iran has become more aggressive. “So long as the ayatollah’s regime governs Iran,” he wrote, “there is no chance we will see a McDonald’s in Tehran. Instead, we will see more executions, more repression, more tyranny.” Because of Iran’s expansionism and aggression, “Arabs and Israelis are in the same boat, facing Iranian-backed threats all around us.”
In a move that underlines the danger indicated by Ya’alon, Brigadier General Amirali Hajizadeh, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Aerospace Division, told reporters on Tuesday that “we do not need missiles with a range of over 2,000 kilometers. The longest range required for [Iran’s] missiles is the [Israeli] occupied lands.” He asserted that “the Zionist regime is our biggest target.” Hajizadeh said that the Zolfaqar ballistic missile would become operational in March of next year. Earlier this month during a military parade, a banner on a truck carrying a Zolfaqar missile read, “If the leaders of the Zionist regime make a mistake then the Islamic Republic will turn Tel Aviv and Haifa to dust.” At a ballistic missile test in March, Iran launched a missile with a range of about 870 miles that had the phrase “Israel must be wiped from the face of the earth” inscribed on it in Hebrew.
Israelis and foreign dignitaries from around the world will gather in Jerusalem to mourn the death of Shimon Peres on Friday—a spirit Hamas wants to counter with a “Day of Rage”. The Gaza-based terror group is asking Palestinians to mark the former president’s funeral—and the one-year anniversary of the wave of terror attacks that have included stabbings and car-rammings—with violence and bloodshed.
Hamas spokesman Samu Abu Zuhri expressed his contempt for the former president in remarks made to the Associated Press on Wednesday: “The Palestinian people are very happy at the passing of this criminal who caused their blood to shed.” He also commented that Peres’s death closes the door on a generation.
Peres commented on generational divides during his own life, attributing many of the problems besieging the Palestinian people to an outdated mindset that working with Israel is taboo. “The present Arab uprising didn’t stem from Israel,” Peres told Bloomberg in 2012. “The old guard is trying to keep down the young chickens. The old guard is better organized. They may win elections, but unless they have a solution to poverty, to corruption, to oppression, they will not last. I am with the young people.”
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas plans to attend Shimon Peres’ funeral in Jerusalem on Friday, Palestinian and Israeli officials stated on Thursday, as other Arab leaders expressed their condolences upon Peres’ passing. Abbas will be joined by a PA delegation. A senior Palestinian official said that, with his attendance, Abbas wants to “send a strong message to Israeli society that the Palestinians are for peace, and appreciate the efforts of peaceful men like Shimon Peres.” Abbas sent a condolence letter to Peres’ family on Wednesday, expressing that “Peres was a partner in making the brave peace with the martyr Yasser Arafat and prime minister (Yitzhak) Rabin.” Peres, Abbas continued, “made unremitting efforts to reach a lasting peace from the Oslo agreement until the final moments of his life.”
King Abdullah II of Jordan sent a condolence letter to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Thursday, which read in part, “Mr Peres’s efforts in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and his support for the two-state solution must be upheld and built upon by leaders in Israel and all stakeholders in this conflict.” He continued, “Today, his contributions towards achieving peace and security in the region are more relevant than ever before, as the situation becomes more complex and the security of this entire region comes under threat.” Jordan’s Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Jawad Anani, will attend Peres’ funeral.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bahrain, Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa, paid his respects to Peres on Thursday local time, tweeting, “Rest in Peace President Shimon Peres, a Man of war and a Man of the still elusive Peace in the Middle East.”
While Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi will not attend the funeral, Egyptian officials confirmed that Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry will be in attendance.
Crop-picking and food donation organization Leket Israel is preparing for Rosh Hashanah by gathering apples, according to an article in the Times of Israel. Leket is the country’s largest food bank and rescue network, and on a typical day, will provide 7,600 volunteer-prepared sandwiches to children in need from 113 schools in 30 cities throughout Israel. But in light of the High Holy Days, Leket is switching its focus from harvesting vegetables to picking apples. Dipping apples in honey is a traditional Jewish custom meant to mark the sweetness of entering into a new year.
This September, Leket helped farmers in the Golan Heights region of Israel, picking 300 tons of apples to be provided to 140,000 families in need over the holiday. Other fruits of interest include “starfruits,” pomegranates and carambola, of which they gathered 300 kilograms to be distributed to 150 families.