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Several countries, Palestinians assist Israel in fighting raging fires

Posted by Tip Staff - November 28, 2016

Several countries assisted Israel in fighting the fires that raged over the country for days, many of them started by terror arsonists. Countries including the United States, Canada, France, Russia, Turkey, Italy, Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, and Azerbaijan all sent crews and equipment to Israel, which was suffering from more than 1,700 fires burning in the center and north of the country. The U.S. sent its Supertanker, a converted Boeing 747 that is the largest firefighting aerial vehicle in the world. Egypt and Jordan, the two Arab countries with which Israel has signed peace treaties, also sent assistance: the former sent two firefighting helicopters and the latter firetrucks.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) sent eight firetrucks and 40 firemen to fight the blazes; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called PA President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday night to offer his and his country’s gratitude. Muhammad Amayra, a Palestinian firefighter, said, “It’s our duty to help...This is a humanitarian situation.” Amayra continued, “The Israeli firefighters welcomed us very nicely. They helped us with everything, and always asked if we needed anything. Israeli firefighters are excellent firefighters.” He said he was touched by Israeli families offering their thanks and shaking the Palestinian firefighters’ hands: “That gave us a great feeling and it gave me hope that in the future we will be alright.” In addition to Palestinian assistance, Arab Israelis opened their homes to help people fleeing the fires.
Thirty people are being held in custody on suspicion of arson or incitement.

Comments, like last week's threat by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that Iran would "react" to the passage of the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA), are part of "a broader strategy" to seek further sanctions relief, Benham Ben Taleblu, an Iran analyst, wrote in a policy brief Saturday.
Taleblu explained that the ISA, which was originally passed in 1996 and was renewed in 2006, is the legal basis for imposing sanctions on Iran's energy sector as well as for U.S. secondary sanctions. An overwhelming bipartisan Congressional majority passed the ISA earlier this month. In order to be renewed it must now pass the Senate and be signed into law by President Barack Obama.
Since the Congressional vote to renew the ISA, various Iranian media outlets and officials have disparaged the move claiming falsely that it violates the deal and that Iran would back out of the deal in response.
The accusations that Congress violated the deal serve two purposes, Taleblu argued. The first goal is to "[complain] of U.S. nuclear-deal violations to wring further concessions. The second objective of the complaints is to "draw clear red lines" challenging both President Obama and President-elect Donald Trump to "enforce" the existing terms of the deal.
In July of this year, 15 Democratic senators who supported the nuclear deal questioned whether the IAEA's reporting requirements on Iran's nuclear program were specific enough to be effective.
In a letter to Obama, the senators, led by Sen. Gary Peters (D - Mich.), wrote, “Providing additional situational awareness of Iran’s nuclear program is vital for the long-term health of this agreement." Further, the senators wrote, “We urge [the Obama] administration to ensure that the IAEA releases all relevant technical information so that we may continue to make our own judgments about the status of Iran’s nuclear program.”


A report by UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, said Saturday that the number of children trapped in besieged areas of Syria had doubled in less than a year to half a million. The report estimated that 100,000 of the trapped children were among the civilians pinned down in eastern Aleppo. They do not have access to adequate food or medical care (there are only an estimated 29 doctors remaining) and are on the brink of starvation.“People are looking through garbage to find something to eat — that’s if they find garbage in Aleppo,” Muhannad Hadi, the Middle East coordinator of the World Food Program, said in an interview with The Canadian Press. A Washington Post opinion piece published 11 days ago predicted these children will run out of food and medical supplies in 20 days or less.
Fighting in Syria has intensified over the past few days, with government forces capturing around 10 civilian areas. Nearly 40% of Aleppo's formerly rebel-held neighborhoods are now under regime control.

The Israeli film, Lev Shaket (A Quiet Heart), has won two top honors at the 20th Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival. Director Eitan Anner took home the Grand Prix honor and actress Ania Bukstein was awarded for best actress. The film tells the story of Naomi (Bukstein), a young classically trained pianist who moves to Jerusalem to escape the pressure of her life in Tel Aviv. The story tells of two unexpected connections Naomi makes with an Ultra-Orthodox musical prodigy and an Italian monk who is also an organist. These two help her reconnect with her music but also make her a target of intolerance. Bukstein was a nominee for best actress at the Ophir Awards, Israel’s Oscars. (via Israel21c)

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