Monday, March 14, 2016

MIDEAST - Iran vs Israel

"Violence and Iranian missile tests cause havoc in Israel" PBS NewsHour 3/9/2016


SUMMARY:  A wave of Palestinian attacks on Israeli civilians and security forces has left the Middle Eastern state in turmoil, further exacerbated by the recent ballistic missile tests from Iran’s hardline Republican Guard faction.  Gwen Ifill talks to Daniel Estrin of the Associated Press for more on the situation in Israel.

GWEN IFILL (NewsHour):  Vice President Biden met with Israeli and Palestinian leaders today amid a deadly spike in attacks in Israel.

Yesterday, an American war veteran and student, Taylor Force, was killed in Jaffa during a series of stabbings.  Today, after meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Biden condemned the attacks and the apparent celebration of the tactic by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ political party.

VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN:  The kind of violence we saw yesterday, the failure to condemn it, the rhetoric that incites that violence, the retribution that it generates, has to stop.  There can’t be — there cannot be unilateral steps to undermine trust that only takes us further away — further and further away from an outcome.

GWEN IFILL:  The vice president also responded to Iran’s test launch of ballistic missiles capable of reaching Israel.  The Israeli government has strongly opposed the U.S.-brokered nuclear deal reached with Iran last summer.

Biden today said, if Iran were to break the deal — quote — “We will act.”

I’m joined now by Daniel Estrin in Jerusalem, who’s covering the story for the Associated Press.

Daniel, we have seen months and months of these stabbing attacks, especially horrific.  What’s behind them?

DANIEL ESTRIN, Associated Press:  That’s a good question.

Palestinians say that it’s the Israeli military occupation of the Palestinian territories, a desperation, that there seems to be no solution and no end if sight, and no hope for a future for them.

Israeli officials say that this is a Palestinian campaign of incitement and lies fueled by social media.  And you see a lot, especially today on Twitter.  The Fatah Party, the political party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, posted a photo of a cartoon basically extolling the stabber that stabbed the American student.

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