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PA President Abbas: Iran Wants to Sacrifice the Blood of the Palestinians

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas attends a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Russia November 23, 2021. Photo: Sputnik/Evgeny Biyatov/Kremlin via REUTERS

The office of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Monday that Iran wants to “sacrifice the blood of the Palestinians” after Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, praised Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

Khamenei claimed earlier in the day that the massacre by Hamas, a Palestinian terror group supported by Tehran, occurred “just when the region needed it.” He added that there was a plan by “the Americans, the Zionists, of their supporters and of some of the countries in the region to change the equation in the region” — an apparent reference to ongoing, US-brokered efforts to foster a normalization agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia.

The Iranian leader was speaking at a ceremony marking 35 years since the death of his predecessor, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic.

The Palestinian Authority (PA), which exercises limited self-governance over the West Bank, took issue with Khamenei’s remarks.

“The Palestinian people have been fighting for 100 years, and they don’t need more wars that don’t serve their interests — freedom and protection of al-Quds and the holy places,” Abbas’s office said, according to Haaretz. The statement added that “we want to end the occupation and implement the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, and not a policy that does not serve the interests of the Palestinian people.”

The official WAFA Palestinian news agency quoted Abbas’s office as saying that Khamenei’s comments “clearly declare that their goal is to sacrifice Palestinian blood and thousands of children, women, and the elderly, and to destroy Palestinian land.”

This is not the first time that Abbas, whose Palestinian Authority (PA) is the chief political rival of Hamas, has publicly slammed Iran.

In April, Fatah, the main Palestinian faction in the West Bank and the movement that controls the PA, lambasted Iran for meddling in internal Palestinian affairs, accusing the Iranian regime of spreading chaos in its territory.

“This external interference, particularly by Iran, has no other objective than to sow chaos in the Palestinian internal arena, which will only benefit the Israeli occupation and the enemies of our people,” Fatah said in a statement.

Iran is the main international sponsor of Hamas, providing the Palestinian terrorist group that rules Gaza with arms, funding, and training. The regime in Tehran also supports Palestinian Islamic Jihad, another terrorist group based in Gaza.

The PA, a rival of Hamas, has sought to publicly distance itself from the terrorist group after attempts at reconciliation. However, PA officials have been regularly rationalizing Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel and in some cases even denying it took place or falsely claiming Israeli forces carried out the onslaught.

Nonetheless, US officials in the Biden administration have reportedly expressed support for a “revitalized” PA, which has long been riddled with allegations of corruption and authoritarianism while governing the Palestinians in the West Bank — to take over Gaza following the Israel-Hamas war.

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Missile Barrage Hits Northern Israel, Emergency Services Report

Firefighters respond to a fire near a rocket attack from Lebanon, amid ongoing cross-border hostilities between Hezbollah and Israeli forces, near Kiryat Shmona, northern Israel, June 14, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Ammar Awad

Israeli emergency services reported dealing with a string of fires in northern Israel on Friday after dozens of missiles were fired from southern Lebanon into the area around the border town of Kiryat Shemona.

The military said that warning sirens had sounded in northern Israel and emergency services said teams were searching the area, where they reported there was property damage but no casualties.

Television footage on Friday showed damaged buildings and cars as well as brush fires in several locations caused by strikes or falling debris amid heatwave conditions.

The Israeli military has exchanged regular fire with Hezbollah forces across the border in southern Lebanon ever since the start of the war in Gaza in October.

Neither side has appeared to wish a wider conflict, but there has been growing worry that the steady intensification of strikes could push the situation out of control with the risk of a wider conflict in a region that has already seen direct exchanges between Israel and Iran.

The latest salvo came after an Israeli strike killed a senior commander from the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist group in southern Lebanon on Tuesday, drawing the heaviest bombardment of northern Israel since the start of the war in October last year.

Tens of thousands of residents have been evacuated from their homes on both sides of the border, creating growing pressure to resolve the stand-off, but diplomatic efforts have so far proved fruitless.

On Friday, the Israeli military said fighter jets and anti-aircraft systems had intercepted 11 of the 16 drones launched by Hezbollah against Israel in the past 72 hours.

“The Israeli Air Force is continuing to operate at all times to thwart terrorist activities and protect Israel‘s skies from any threat,” it said in a statement.

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G7 Warns Iran Over Continuing Nuclear Program Escalation

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Italian President Sergio Mattarella, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and European Council President Charles Michel pose for a family photo as they arrive to attend a dinner at Swabian Castle in Brindisi, Italy, June 13, 2024. Photo: Italian Presidency/Handout via REUTERS

The Group of Seven leaders warned Iran on Friday against advancing its nuclear enrichment program and said they would be ready to enforce new measures if Tehran were to transfer ballistic missiles to Russia, according to a draft communique.

“We urge Tehran to cease and reverse nuclear escalations, and stop the continuing uranium enrichment activities that have no credible civilian justifications,” the statement seen by Reuters said.

Iran has rapidly installed extra uranium-enriching centrifuges at its Fordow site and begun setting up others, a UN nuclear watchdog report said on Thursday.

Iran is now enriching uranium to up to 60 percent purity, close to the 90 percent of weapons grade, and has enough material enriched to that level, if enriched further, for three nuclear weapons, according to an IAEA yardstick.

Iran must engage in serious dialogue and provide convincing assurances that its nuclear program is exclusively peaceful, in full cooperation and compliance with the IAEA’s monitoring and verification mechanism, including the Board of Governors’ resolution of 5 June,” the G7 said.

Iran says its nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes.

The leaders also warned Iran about concluding a deal to send ballistic missiles to Russia that would help it in its war against Ukraine, saying they were prepared to respond with significant measures if it were to happen.

“We call on Iran to stop assisting Russia’s war in Ukraine and not to transfer ballistic missiles and related technology, as this would represent a substantive material escalation and a direct threat to European security,” they said.

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Doorstep Postings: A midtown Toronto byelection play for Jewish votes brings out new accusations of Conservatives keeping a swindler’s list

This is a special edition of Doorstep Postings, the periodic political commentary column written by Josh Lieblein for The CJN. Voters in the St. Paul’s riding believe they’re living amidst Canada’s most consequential political happenings. Ottawa with its seething gossip, Quebec with its linguistic convulsions and the West with its populist stampedes are all considered child’s […]

The post Doorstep Postings: A midtown Toronto byelection play for Jewish votes brings out new accusations of Conservatives keeping a swindler’s list appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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