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The Daily TIP: U.S. Peace Envoy: Hamas “Harmed People of Gaza”, PA Must Resume Control

Posted by Tip Staff - August 31, 2017

U.S. Peace Envoy: Hamas “Harmed People of Gaza”, PA Must Resume Control
UN Security Council Toughens UNIFIL Mandate in Lebanon to Disrupt Hezbollah Activity
UN Chief's Visit to Israel Provides Opportunity to Reverse Organization’s Anti-Israel Policy
Hezbollah Tightens Hold on Lebanon, IDF Intelligence Chief Warns

U.S. Peace Envoy: Hamas “Harmed People of Gaza”, PA Must Resume Control

Jason Greenblatt, President Donald Trump's special envoy for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, said on Wednesday that “Hamas has substantially harmed the people of Gaza” with its “commitment to terrorist violence.”

Greenblatt made his comments during a tour of the Israel-Gaza border area, accompanied by IDF Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories. The envoy stated that "it is clear that the Palestinian Authority needs to resume its role in the administration of Gaza,” taking over power from Hamas, the terrorist group in complete political and military control of the Strip, Haaretz reported.

This is the first time a senior official in the Trump administration publicly voiced support for such a strategy toward Gaza.

Greenblatt explained that the tour of the region helped him learn “a great deal about the difficult challenges facing the IDF, Israelis living in surrounding areas, and the Palestinians living in Gaza, as a result of Hamas' mismanagement of humanitarian aid and its commitment to terrorist violence."

Meanwhile United States Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, told The Jerusalem Post in an exclusive interview that the U.S. and Israel are “of the same mind” when it comes to containing Iran’s military presence in Syria.

Friedman, in his first wide-ranging interview with the Israeli media since taking up the role in mid-May, said the U.S. was “extraordinarily receptive” to Israel’s concerns over Iran’s entrenchment in Syria.

Regarding Israeli-Palestinian affairs, the ambassador said that the Trump administration was “trying very hard not to repeat the mistakes of the past.”

UN Security Council Toughens UNIFIL Mandate in Lebanon to Disrupt Hezbollah Activity

The UN Security Council on Wednesday extended the UNIFIL mission in south Lebanon for another year under tougher conditions in a move that was hailed by United States Ambassador Nikki Haley as a critical decision to “ensure that this peacekeeping mission has the power and the will to do its job.”

Haley said in a statement that “the United States will not sit by and watch Hezbollah strengthen itself for the next war. We will not be passive as Iran makes a mockery of this Council’s word.” She added that “Hezbollah has used the relative quiet since 2006 to re-arm itself in violation of Security Council Resolutions 1701 and 1559.”

The new mandate equips the UNIFIL force with the authority to "take all necessary actions" to prevent hostile activities, including stepping up its patrols and inspections to disrupt Hezbollah’s illicit operations. For the first time since 2006, UN peacekeepers can also support the Lebanese government in securing the border area and stop the flow of illegal weapons into the country. The new mandate further requires UNIFIL to submit regular reports to the Security Council.

Haley warned that “conditions in south Lebanon are very dangerous today. The clouds of war are gathering” and called UNIFIL commander General Beary’s lack of understanding of the situation “baffling.”

The ambassador said that “at the direction of its patron Iran, the terrorist organization Hezbollah is stockpiling an offensive arsenal in southern Lebanon. They have thousands of missiles and thousands of trained fighters.” She added that “it is apparent to everyone who cares to see it.”

Israel also welcomed the renewal of the mandate with Ambassador Danny Danon saying in a statement that "the resolution requires UNIFIL to open its eyes, and forces it to act against Hezbollah's terror buildup in the area." He hailed the resolution as “a victory for Israel.”

UN Chief's Visit to Israel Provides Opportunity to Reverse Organization’s Anti-Israel Policy

The first official visit to Israel by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres this week presents a great opportunity for him to reverse the UN’s discriminatory policy against Israel, Benjamin Weinthal wrote on Fox News.

Nearly half of the states in the United States and many Europeans governments over the last two years have passed anti-BDS legislation, recognizing the dangerous nature of the movement and its potential to undermine peace between Israelis and Palestinians. However, Weinthal argues, “the United Nations is set to engage in full-throated BDS by the end of this year.”

Last week it was reported that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Jordanian Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein, plans to publish a “blacklist” of Israeli businesses and international corporations that have ties with the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights to facilitate the launching of boycotts.

According to Weinthal, “the blacklist is UN-sanctioned BDS” and “by attempting to blacklist Israel companies and U.S. companies like Caterpillar, TripAdvisor, Priceline.com, and Airbnb, the UN high commissioner is discouraging bilateral peace talks.”

Weinthal added, “put simply, the UNHRC should not be in the business of using the tools of economic warfare to bring about precisely the result it claims it wishes to avoid: a powerful setback to the Israel-Palestinian peace process.”

On Wednesday, U.S. ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley warned that the U.S. would cut funding to the UN Human Rights Council if it releases the blacklist.

Haley sharply criticized the discriminatory targeting. She said: “It is an attempt to provide an international stamp of approval to the anti-Semitic BDS movement. It must be rejected.”

Reiterating his commitment to fighting anti-Semitism, Secretary General Guterres vowed in response to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin’s concerns over anti-Israel bias at the UN that “impartiality means treating all states equally, and I am totally committed to that in my action and in everything I can do for the organization I lead.”

Hezbollah Tightens Hold on Lebanon, IDF Intelligence Chief Warns

The head of the IDF Intelligence Directorate, Maj.- Gen. Herzi Halevi, in a meeting with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in Jerusalem this week, warned that Hezbollah is tightening its grip on Lebanon.

Citing serious and prolonged violations of UN Security Council Resolution 1701 by the terrorist group, Halevi called on Guterres to ensure that the UN is doing more to preserve peace, but also to prevent another war between Israel and Hezbollah, The Jerusalem Post reported.

The IDF accused the terrorist organization numerous times in the past for violating the terms of the resolution, which ended the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah and stipulates that there be no armed groups in Lebanon except for the Lebanese Armed Forces [LAF] and banned other nations from shipping weapons to any force other than the LAF.

Hezbollah and the LAF are fighting side by side against ISIS in northeastern Lebanon, further demonstrating the complete political and military control the Iranian-backed group exerts over its host country.

The IDF Chief of Staff, Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, accused the UNIFIL’s leadership for failing to endorse its mandate, while Hezbollah is preparing a new for war, “arming itself with more lethal and accurate weapons to harm the Israeli home front.” War preparations include the use of human shields, a war crime under international law.

During the meeting with Guterres, Halevi also briefed the Secretary General on the intelligence situation in various sectors, including Iran’s entrenchment in Syria and the Islamic Republic’s attempt to produce precision weapons for Hezbollah in Lebanon.

“The consolidation of Iran and the Shi’ite axis in Syria and the strengthening of Hezbollah in Lebanon are two processes that could lead to an undesirable escalation in the northern front,” Halevi said.

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