Weekend long read

1) At the INSS Tomer Naveh and Yoram Schweitzer analyse changes in the strategy of Islamic State Province in Sinai.

“In the past few months, Wilayat Sinai (the Sinai Province), which is the Islamic State (ISIS) affiliate in Egypt, carried out two unconventional attacks. On November 19, 2020 it blew up (yet once more) a pipeline that carries natural gas from Israel to Egypt and on July 21 it attacked an Egyptian military base in the area of Rabaa in Sinai. Following that attack, Wilayat Sinai militants held four nearby villages that were liberated by the Egyptian army only after three months of fighting. The attack on Rabaa was unusual and may indicate a strategic change in the organization, shifting from survival-based defensive action toward offensive actions that inflict considerable damage on the Egyptian regime and economy – inter alia by means of attacking the Suez Canal and tourism in the Sinai Peninsula.”

2) Jonathan Spyer reviews ‘Iranian Responses to Fakhrizadeh Killing; Teheran’s Options for Retaliation’.

“Teheran possesses an extensive infrastructure of paramilitary client organizations across the Middle East, one or another of which might be activated to strike at Israel.  Iran also has a extensive global network, with a long history of terror attacks on Israeli, Jewish and other targets.  Retribution will almost certainly come from one or other of these possibilities. A conventional response from the Iranian state forces, which would amount to a declaration of war, is unlikely. Israeli and Jewish security structures are consequently in a state of high alert globally.”

3) NGO Monitor reports on EU funding for three political NGOs not infrequently quoted and promoted by the British media.

“In November 2017, the EU approved a 2018-2020 €269,975 grant to an Israeli political NGO, Yesh Din, for a project ostensibly designed to increase “Israeli security forces personnel (ISFP) accountability for forcible home entries in line with democratic standards and international humanitarian and human rights law.” Yesh Din is implementing this grant in partnership with Breaking the Silence and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I). […]

A review of the activities of these three Israeli NGOs since 2018 reveals what they have done with the EU funds, including promoting the canard that Israel is practicing “apartheid.””

4) At the FDD David May looks at the connection between Jibril Rajoub’s efforts to delegitimise Israel through sports and his political ambitions.

“Rajoub is a veteran politician. He rose to the rank of major general in the nascent Palestinian Preventive Security Forces from 1994-2002 and then served as Yasser Arafat’s and Mahmoud Abbas’s national security adviser until 2006. He switched careers to the world of sports in 2006, when he lost a parliamentary race to his younger brother Nayef, a Hamas leader. He became the head of the Palestinian Football Association in 2006 and the Palestine Olympic Committee in 2008.

Rajoub has never been afraid to mix politics and sports. He recently called the Gulf-Israel peace deal a “circus” and a “ridiculous, stupid, and cheap comedy” and referred to Arab leaders as “worms.” He then headed a Fatah party delegation to Istanbul for political dialogue with the terrorist group Hamas. Increasingly, Rajoub appears desperate.”


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