Eye on Extremism: February 15, 2024

Reuters: UK Records Worst Year For Antisemitism After Outbreak Of Israel-Hamas War

“Britain recorded thousands of antisemitic incidents after the outbreak of war between Israel and Hamas in October, making 2023 the worst year for UK antisemitism since 1984, when Jewish advisory body CST began recording such data, it said on Thursday. The number of antisemitic incidents across the country reached 4,103, more than twice the figure in 2022, amid a surge of threats, hate speech, violence and damage to Jewish institutions and property, the Community Security Trust said. The CST, which advises Britain's estimated 280,000 Jews on security matters, said two-thirds of those incidents occurred on or after Oct. 7, when Hamas militants rampaged through southern Israel, killing 1,200 people and taking around 250 hostage.”

Associated Press: Gaza Cease-Fire And Hostage Release Talks Appear To Stall As Netanyahu And Hamas Trade Blame

“International efforts to broker a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas suffered a setback on Wednesday as Israel reportedly recalled its negotiating team and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Hamas of hobbling the high-stakes negotiations by sticking to “delusional” demands. Netanyahu’s remarks came hours after local media reported that the Israeli leader had ordered an Israeli delegation not to continue talks in Cairo, raising concerns over the fate of the negotiations and sparking criticism from the families of the roughly 130 remaining captives, about a fourth of whom are said to be dead. The relatives of the hostages said Netanyahu’s decision amounted to a “death sentence” for their loved ones.”

CEP Mentions

WTOP News: Israeli Operation To Destroy Hamas Could Be Terrorist Propaganda Bonanza

“Israel’s military is planning a military operation in southern Gaza to go after the remaining members of Hamas. On this week’s episode of “The Hunt with WTOP national security correspondent JJ Green,” Dr. Hans Jakob Schindler suggests that the operation could be a gold mine for terrorist propaganda.”

United States

Associated Press: On The USS Eisenhower, 4 Months Of Combat At Sea Facing Houthi Missiles And A New Sea Threat

“... While the Houthis have launched unmanned surface vessels, or USVs, in the past against Saudi coalition forces that have intervened in Yemen’s civil war, they were used for the first time against U.S. military and commercial in the Red Sea on Jan. 4. In the weeks since, the Navy has had to intercept multiple USVs, including one on Wednesday. It’s “more of an unknown threat that we don’t have a lot of intel on, that could be extremely lethal — an unmanned surface vessel,” said Rear Adm. Marc Miguez, commander of Carrier Strike Group Two, of which the Eisenhower is the flagship. The Houthis “have ways of obviously controlling them just like they do the (unmanned aerial vehicles), and we have very little little fidelity as to all the stockpiles of what they have USV-wise,” Miguez said.”


Reuters: Iran Will Reciprocate If Its Ships Are Seized, Official Says

“Iran will reciprocate if its ships are seized, the legal adviser to Iran's President told state media on Thursday, in response to a statement by the United States Department of Justice. This month, the Department of Justice issued a statement announcing the seizure of more than 500,000 barrels of Iranian fuel to clamp down on the "Revolutionary Guards' financing network". "If an Iranian ship is seized, we will reciprocate and the legal way is not closed in this regard," legal adviser Mohammad Dehghan said, adding that he was not able to confirm whether U.S. authorities had seized an Iranian vessel.”


Associated Press: Leaders Of Turkey And Egypt Unite In Efforts To Stop Israel’s Looming Offensive In Gaza’s Rafah

“Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Edrogan and Egypt’s leader united their efforts Wednesday in Cairo, calling for a halt to Israel’s looming offensive on a southern Gaza city in its war against Hamas. Erdogan’s visit comes as ties between Ankara and Cairo are back on track after years of tensions and frosty relations. Turkey has long been a backer of the pan-Islamist Muslim Brotherhood group, which has been outlawed as a terrorist organization in Egypt.”


Voice Of America: UN Seeks Taliban's Presence At Qatar-Hosted Huddle On Afghanistan

“The United Nations says it would like to see Taliban representatives attend a two-day international conference on Afghanistan that will take place in Qatar next week. Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi said Wednesday the Taliban would participate in the February 18 meeting, provided they are received as official representatives of Afghanistan. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will host the two-day session, with member states and regional organizations’ special envoys on Afghanistan in attendance. Stephane Dujarric, the secretary-general’s spokesperson, said that the objective of the meeting is to discuss the international engagement approach with the Taliban since they reclaimed power.”


Reuters: Ex-Pakistan Premier Imran Khan Nominates Omar Ayub As PM Candidate: Aide

“A key aide of former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan said on Thursday that the jailed leader had nominated Omar Ayub Khan as a candidate in a parliamentary vote to elect a new premier following last week's national elections. The polls did not return a clear majority for anyone, but independent candidates backed by Khan won 92 out of 264 seats making them the largest group. Khan ruled out alliances with the three largest parties, which means his candidate currently does not have the numbers to form government.”


BBC: Israel Launches Deadly Air Strikes In Lebanon After Rockets Hit Army Base

“A woman and two children were killed in Souaneh, and at least four members of a family were later killed in Nabatieh. At least two Hezbollah fighters were also killed in attacks in southern Lebanon, the group said. Israel's military said it hit Hezbollah infrastructure in response to a deadly rocket attack on northern Israel. Hezbollah fighters have exchanged fire with Israeli forces almost every day along the border since the start of the war between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas in the Gaza Strip in October.”

Middle East

Reuters: Palestinian UNRWA Agency Faces 'Deep' Cash Crunch In April, Chief Says

“The U.N. Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA) said on Thursday that the cash crunch it is facing next month will get far worse in April if it cannot secure fresh funding or convince donors to resume suspended contributions. UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini was speaking in Dublin, where Ireland announced 20 million euros in support for the agency and urged countries that have suspended funding to "urgently rescind that decision" and resume and expand their support. UNRWA, which provides healthcare, education and other services, has been pitched into crisis since Israel alleged that 12 of its 13,000 staff in Gaza were involved in the Oct. 7 Hamas-led attack on Israel that precipitated the Israel-Hamas war.”

The Washington Post: Israel Complains After Vatican Denounces 'Carnage' And Disproportionate Response In Gaza

“Israel has formally complained after a senior Vatican official spoke of “carnage” in Gaza and what he termed a disproportionate Israeli military operation following the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks. The Israeli Embassy to the Holy See called the comments by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican secretary of state, “deplorable.” In a statement Wednesday, the embassy said Parolin hadn’t considered what it called the relevant facts in judging the legitimacy of Israel’s actions. Speaking Monday at a reception, Parolin condemned the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks against Israel and all forms of antisemitism. But he questioned Israel’s claim to be acting in self-defense by inflicting “carnage” on Gaza. “Israel’s right to self-defense has been invoked to justify that this operation is proportional, but with 30,000 dead, it’s not,” he said.”

Associated Press: Israeli Forces Storm Main Hospital In Southern Gaza After Prolonged Standoff And Partial Evacuation

“Israeli forces stormed the main hospital in southern Gaza on Thursday, hours after Israeli fire killed a patient and wounded six others inside the complex. The Israeli army said it was a limited operation seeking the remains of hostages taken by Hamas. The raid came a day after the army sought to evacuate thousands of displaced people who had taken shelter at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis. The southern city has been one of the main targets of Israel’s offensive against Hamas in a war that also has fueled escalating violence between Israel and Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group over the last 48 hours. The military said it had “credible intelligence” that Hamas had held hostages at the hospital and that the remains of hostages might still be inside.”

United Kingdom

Reuters: Ireland To Give UNRWA 20 Mln Euros After Key Donors Suspend Aid

“Ireland announced 20 million euros ($21.46 million) in support for the U.N. Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA) on Thursday and urged countries that have suspended funding to resume and expand support to the agency. UNRWA, which provides healthcare, education and other services, has been pitched into crisis since Israel alleged that 12 of its 13,000 staff in Gaza were involved in the Oct. 7 Hamas-led attack on Israel that precipitated the Israel-Hamas war. The allegations prompted a number of countries to suspend funding, including the United States, its largest donor.”

Associated Press: Russia And China Clash With US And UK Over Attacks On Yemen Rebels For Strikes On Red Sea Ships

“Russia and China on Wednesday accused the United States and Britain of illegally attacking military sites used by Yemen’s Houthi rebels to launch missiles at commercial vessels in the Red Sea, disrupting global shipping. U.S. deputy ambassador Robert Wood and UK Ambassador Barbara Woodward countered that the Houthi attacks are illegal, and their “proportionate and legal action” against the Yemen rebels are being taken in self-defense. Woodward said the Houthi attacks are “driving up the costs of global shipping, including the costs of food supplies and humanitarian aid in the region.”


Reuters: Canada, Australia, NZ Call For Immediate Ceasefire In Gaza Ahead Of Rafah Assault

“The leaders of Canada, Australia and New Zealand on Thursday called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, according to a joint statement released in response to reports about Israel's planned military operation in Rafah. "We are gravely concerned by indications that Israel is planning a ground offensive into Rafah. A military operation into Rafah would be catastrophic," the statement by the prime ministers of the three countries said. "An immediate humanitarian ceasefire is urgently needed." Israel will press ahead with an offensive against Hamas in Rafah, the last refuge for displaced Palestinians in southern Gaza, after allowing civilians to vacate the area, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday.”


Forbes: X Accused Of Profiting From Banned Terrorist Groups

“A campaign group has accused X of granting blue checkmarks to terrorist organizations that should be subject to U.S. sanctions. The Tech Transparency Project said it has identified more than a dozen X accounts for U.S.-sanctioned entities that have been given the paid-for checkmark, which, it said, confer a variety of perks, including the ability to post longer text and videos and greater visibility for some posts. These accounts, said the TTP, are listed by the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control as Specially Designated Nationals, with whom U.S. nationals and U.S. incorporated entities are prohibited from trading without a license, or waiver, from the government."

Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.

In Their Own Words:

We reiterate once again that the brigades will directly target US bases across the region in case the US enemy commits a folly and decides to strike our resistance fighters and their camps [in Iraq].

Abu Ali al-Askari, Kata’ib Hezbollah (KH) Security Official Mar. 2023
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