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The Daily TIP: Bipartisan Bill Targeting Hamas, Hezbollah for Using Human Shields Passes Senate Unanimously

Posted by Tip Staff - October 15, 2018

Bipartisan Bill Targeting Hamas, Hezbollah for Using Human Shields Passes Senate Unanimously
Washington Post: Failed Paris Attack Raises Fear in Europe that Iran Is Planning More Terror
German City Removes Ad by Group Promoting Anti-Israel Boycotts
Israeli Rescue Organization is Sending Teams to Florida to Help in Aftermath of Michael


Bipartisan Bill Targeting Hamas, Hezbollah for Using Human Shields Passes Senate Unanimously

The United States Senate has unanimously passed a bipartisan bill that would enact sanctions on those who use civilians as human shields as a tactic of war, including terror groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah, Al Qaeda and ISIS.

In a press release on Friday, the office of Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee who together with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) introduced the bill, said “The use of human shields is barbaric and illegal, and terrorist groups – including Hamas and Hezbollah – must be held responsible when they engage in this reprehensible practice.”

The bill, called the Sanctioning the Use of Civilians as Defenseless Shields Act, was co-sponsored by 50 other senators, including Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), and David Perdue (R-Ga.). It will now be headed to the House of Representatives for a vote. “I commend the Senate for unanimously passing our bipartisan bill,” Cruz said on Friday. “Terrorist groups, including Iranian proxies such as Hamas and Hezbollah, have made the use of human shields a routine tactic. This bill signals to the rest of the world that America will hold accountable anyone who uses civilians as shields to achieve military ends, as well as their enablers.”

The bill requires and gives the President authority to identify and impose sanctions on a foreign individual, who is a member of or acting on behalf of terrorist groups and “who knowingly orders, controls, or otherwise directs the use of civilians protected as such by the law of war to shield military objectives from attack.”

When announcing their support for the legislation, several senators explicitly singled out the Iranian-backed terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah for the use of human shields



Washington Post: Failed Paris Attack Raises Fear in Europe that Iran Is Planning More Terror

The failed terror attack earlier this year in Paris has "sparked growing anxiety" in numerous European countries, the United States, and Israel, that Iran is increasing its intelligence activities abroad in preparation for more "audacious" terror attacks, The Washington Post reported Friday.

Citing American, European, and Middle Eastern experts familiar with the intelligence, Iran is "making contingency plans to strike at the country’s adversaries in the event of open conflict," the Post said.

The Iranian preparations for possible attacks include deploying units to surveil opponents of the regime, as well as Jewish and Israeli organizations, in both Europe and the U.S. A Middle Eastern intelligence official told the Post that there has been a "definite uptick" in activities by Iranian agents recently. The official added that Iran is preparing "for the possibility of conflict."

The case of the attempted attack on an MEK rally in Paris this past summer, however, which included the participation of Iranian diplomat, was assessed to be the "most alarming," recent case. The official involved, Assadolah Assadi, was a high-ranking diplomat in the Iranian embassy in Vienna. Assadi has also been identified as the station chief of Iran's Ministry of Intelligence, or MOIS, according to American and European officials.

Assadi's arrest "tells you, I think, everything you need to know about how the government of Iran views its responsibilities in connection with diplomatic relations,” White House national security adviser John Bolton said to reporters earlier this month. Bolton characterized Iran as “the central banker of international terrorism.”

In a similar vein, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last week that the Paris terror plot "lays bare Iran’s continued support of terrorism throughout Europe."

A German official told the Post that the thwarted Paris attack could properly be described as "state terrorism," but that French and German leaders "would rather play the danger and level of interference down,” in order to protect the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.



German City Removes Ad by Group Promoting Anti-Israel Boycotts

The German city of Stuttgart, the capital of the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg, has removed the promotional page for a hardcore anti-Semitic boycotts group, after Benjamin Weinthal reported in The Jerusalem Post a week ago Sunday that the municipal promoted the entry for the pro-BDS organization Palestine Committee.

“BDS [Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions] propagates the goal of an Israel boycott. Therefore, we have removed the address entry of the association of Palestine Committee Stuttgart from the website stuttgart.de,” Sven Matis, a spokesman for the city’s Green Party Mayor Fritz Kuhn, told the Post, Weinthal reported Friday.

Matis explained that additional research led to new conclusions that Palestine Committee lists “boycott measures against Israel” on its website and draws a parallel between Israel and an “apartheid state.” In contrast to other German cities – such as Munich, Frankfurt and Berlin – Stuttgart does not have a law prohibiting the use of city funds and space for BDS activity.

Germany’s best-selling newspaper Bild on Wednesday cited the fact that Mayor Kuhn allowed a boycott-Israel entry on the city’s website, financed by the taxpayers, as an example of modern anti-Semitism in the German Green Party.

“We are committed to combat BDS as a top priority, in Germany and elsewhere. We will address the Stuttgart authorities on the issue,” said Emmanuel Nahshon, spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry.

The deletion of the entry from the city’s website is believed to be Stuttgart’s first anti-BDS action against the Palestine Committee. The German-Israel Friendship Society in Stuttgart (DIG) had earlier informed the Post about the pro-boycott entry on the city’s website.

In May, Baden-Württemberg’s intelligence agency referred to the boycott movement as a “new variation of antisemitism,” in Germany.



Israeli Rescue Organization is Sending Teams to Florida to Help in Aftermath of Michael

Israeli humanitarian NGO IsraAID is preparing to deploy an emergency response team to northwest Florida, which has suffered brutal devastation from Hurricane Michael since it made landfall on Wednesday.

Several people have been killed and thousands evacuated from their homes as the category-four hurricane damaged and destroyed houses, hospitals, roads and water systems across the Florida panhandle.

IsraAID’s team in Florida will collaborate with Team Rubicon, an international disaster response organization founded by US military veterans, to aid the return of survivors of Hurricane Michael to their homes. IsraAID also is working with Team Rubicon in North Carolina to remove debris and restore the homes of people forced to evacuate by Hurricane Florence last month.

“This will be the second time in just over a year that we have responded to an emergency in the state, after Hurricane Irma hit last September,” said IsraAID co-CEOs Yotam Polizer and Navonel Glick. “Our team will remain in the area to help people affected by this devastating storm for as long as we are needed.”

IsraAID also has emergency response teams on the ground in the Philippines and Indonesia.

After the initial emergency period ends, IsraAID transitions towards supporting a long-term, sustainable recovery, based on an assessment of need and in partnership with the local community.

As of 2018, IsraAID has responded to crises in 47 countries, and currently has programs in 18 countries.

(via Israel21c)


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