Abbas addresses United Nations General Assembly

Palestinian president claims Israel violating all agreement from Oslo Accords; Calls on the end of occupation, calling Israel a “racist, terrorist, colonial settlement of our land”

Mahmoud Abbas

Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas addressed the United Nations General Assembly Wednesday. Abbas accused Israel of continuing its occupation of the Palestinian people and for violating all agreement of the Oslo Accords.

Ahead of his reported resignation from the Palestinian Authority, Abbas stated that “It is unconscionable, in light of all our enormous sacrifices and patience of all these years of suffering, and our acceptance of two-state solutions, that the question of Palestine remains unresolved all these decades. He warned that, “So long as Israel refuses to commit to the agreements signed with us, cease settlement construction and release prisoners, Israel has left us no choice but to insist that we will not remain the only ones committed to these agreements…. We cannot continue to be bound by these signed agreements with Israel and Israel must assume fully its responsibilities of an occupying power, because the status quo cannot continue”

Abbas warned that the Palestinian Authority “will start the implementation of this declaration by all peaceful and legal means. Either the Palestinian National Authority will be the conduit of the Palestinian people from occupation to independence, or Israel, the occupying Power, must bear all of its responsibilities.”

Abbas not only blamed Israel for failure of peace negotiations, but also claimed the Palestinians have cooperated with peace negotiations stating “We have tried to oblige Israel to implement the signed agreements and to negotiate in conformity with the two-State solution, however, the Israeli Government insists on continuing its destruction of the two-State solution and on entrenchment of two regimes on the ground: an apartheid regime that is currently imposed on the territory of the State of Palestine” asking, “Is it not time to end the racist, terrorist, colonial settlement of our land, which is destroying the two-State solution?”

Russia carries out first airstrikes on rebel forces in Syria

Just hours after demanding American warplanes leave Syria, Russia approves military operations in Syria; Russian airstrikes on rebel forces

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Russia fighter jets have launched airstrikes on rebel-controlled areas in Syria Wednesday, with attacks reported on Homs and Hama.

The airstrikes come just a few hours after Russia demanded that American warplanes leave Syrian airspace and following Russian approval for military operations in Syria.

Russia’s Federation Council unanimously approved a request made by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Kremlin Chief of Staff Sergei Ivanov stating, “the use of military forces in ground combat has been ruled out. The military goal of these operations is exclusively limited to air support for the Syrian government forces in their campaign against ISIL [ISIS… We’re talking specifically about Syria and we are not talking about achieving foreign policy goals or about satisfying our ambitions … but exclusively about the national interests of the Russian Federation.” Ivanov added that the “Russian military action would not be open-ended. The operations of the Russian air force can not of course go on indefinitely and will be subject to clearly prescribed time frames.”

The airstrikes, however, were carried on strong rebel-controlled areas.

According to initial reports and information provided by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 27 civilians were killed in the attacks.

Rocket intercepted by Iron Dome, IDF strikes four targets in Gaza

Investigation underway following Code Red Sirens in Ashdod and Iron Dome intercepting rocket

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A rocket was intercepted by an Iron Dome anti-missile system outside of Ashdod Tuesday night. A Code Red Siren was sounded in Ashdod with no injuries or damages reported.

The IDF and Israeli police are currently investigating the incident with initial reports claiming the rocket fire may be have been a result of clashes in the Gaza Strip between Hamas and Salafist groups.

Two Iron Dome batteries were deployed in southern Israel in September amidst security concerns issued by the southern command.

The Israeli Air Force responded with airstrikes, hitting four targets in the Gaza Strip. IDF Spokesman

Lt. Col. Peter Lerner stated, “This evening, the third day of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, a rocket was fired at southern Israel sending the residents of Ashdod as well as several surrounding communities to nearby bomb-shelters. Hamas is responsible and will be held accountable for every attack emanating from the Gaza Strip. The IDF will continue defending all Israelis who are repeatedly attacked by such blatant acts of aggression.”

IDF responds to mortar shell spillover from Syria into Israeli territory

Two positions targeted by IDF following spillover into Israeli territory; Ya’alon addresses incident as “a challenge to our sovereignty, and a crossing of our red lines”

IDF soldiers on the Israeli-Syrian border (Reuters)

IDF soldiers patrol on the Syrian border with Israel

The Israeli Defense Forces conducted two artillery strikes on southwest Quneitra, Syria in response to two mortar shells that landed in Israeli territory in the Golan Heights overnight Sunday and again on Monday. The mortar shells were not targeted at Israel, but a spillover from fighting in Syria.

According to the IDF, two artillery strikes were carried out on positions responsible for the spillover, and that the IDF “viewed the Syrian army as responsible for any fire emanating within its territory, and that the IDF will not allow any attempts to harm Israel’s sovereignty or citizens.”

While no damages or injuries were reported in Israel, Syrian media claims that a deputy brigade commander of the Syrian Army was injured, with mixed reports claiming two Syrian Army soldiers were killed.

Israel’s Defense Minister, Moshe Ya’alon, stated Monday morning, “The projectiles which landed in Israeli territory both yesterday and today were fired from Syrian artillery pieces which are currently involved in the fighting there are a challenge to our sovereignty, and a crossing of our red lines” while IDF Spokesman Lt. Co. Peter Lerner stated, ”Israel will not tolerate violation of its sovereignty; the Syrian military is responsible and accountable for any aggression emanating from Syria. The IDF remains committed in defending the civilians and safeguarding the borders of Israel from all threats.”

Spillovers into Israeli territory have been common over the past two years, a result of intense clashes and fighting between Assad’s Regime and various rebel forces in Syria’s civil war.

The IDF is on high alert in the Golan Heights following the incident.

In UN address, Iranian president claims nuclear program good for environment

Rouhani claims nuclear program and nuclear deal with world powers beneficial for environment; Addresses “West Asia” and process of how terrorists are created; Calls for investigation of haj plane crash

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani addressed the United Nations Summit for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development on Saturday, claiming Iran’s nuclear program is good for the environment.

The president not only claimed that Iran’s nuclear program contributes to environmental preservation, but also stated that the negotiations and nuclear deal made with world powers has created means of international and regional cooperation.

Rouhani went on to state how Iran is “eager to cooperate with our neighbors to promote regional sustainable development through active environmental diplomacy, constructive relations with other countries, transfer of technology and know-how, and participation in joint scientific activities, in order to fulfill our share in building a more sustainable world immune from environmental threats” warning of “West Asia” as a beacon of political and environmental instability. He stated that West Asia is “not only facing hotter climate conditions and challenges of continued extensive drought but, it is also grappling with the scourge of terrorism and extremist violence.”

He informed the summit on terrorism and how it is created, stating that, “Terrorists tend to grow and thrive in lands that are deprived and damaged by environmental disasters and easily pour across borders like haze. Terrorist groups crush the sustainable development goals. And the continuation of this situation results in further poverty and environmental destruction. Not only have terrorism and violence damaged the environment, but also they have taken sustainable development out of the agenda of countries, forcing them to expend their national resources on fighting against insecurity.”

Rouhani proclaimed that Iran is “increasing environmental awareness across the board” in efforts in “environmental education in school curriculums, revamping dam-building policies, reviving endangered wetlands and exerting round the clock efforts to preserve endangered lakes.”

Rouhani additionally called for an investigation in the “heart-rending” plane crash at the haj pilgrimage that killed over 700, 131 of the pilgrims Iranian. Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir renounced Iran’s ongoing speculation, stating before a meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry, “I would hope that the Iranian leaders would be more sensible and more thoughtful with regards to those who perished in this tragedy and wait until we see the results of the investigation.”

Iran to purchase $21 billion in aircraft & satellite equipment from Russia

Iran makes second large deal with Russia in two months time, following arms deal for S-300 missile system to be delivered to Iran by the end of this year

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Iran has signed a $21 billion deal with Russia to purchase aircraft and satellite equipment in a second major deal between Russia and Iran in the past two months.

A report from the Russian agency Sputnik sites Manouchehr Mantgehi, the managing directing of Iran Aviation Industries Organization and claims the deal involves the Russian Sukhoi Superjet 100 regional passenger aircraft and that the deal was signed last month during the MAKS-2015 air show in Russia.

Russia completed its arms deal with Iran for long-range S300 surface-to-air missile system in August, the system to be delivered by the end of the year.

Iran continues to develop and advance its military capabilities, while continuing to to develop strong economic and diplomatic ties with Russia.

Hezbollah welcomes Russian military buildup in Syria

Hezbollah head welcomes Russian military, blames United States for failure in region; Reports claim Syrian Army arming Hezbollah with Russian tanks; 28 jets and 12 attack helicopters reported in Latakia

Syrian President Bashar Assad and Hezbollah Head Hassan Nasrallah (AP)

Syrian President Bashar Assad and Hezbollah Head Hassan Nasrallah (AP)

Hezbollah welcomes Russian military advances in Syria that it claims results due to the failure of United States as part of a “international coalition” to defeat the Islamic State in the region, according to the head of the terrorist organization, Hassan Nasrallah.

In an interview with Al-Manar Friday, Nasrallah stated that, “We welcome any force which intervenes and supports the front in Syria, because through its participation, it will contribute to pushing away the major dangers that are threatening Syria and the region” adding that, “The failure of America and the international coalition to bring defeat to Daesh [ISIS] was one of the reasons which called or pushed Russia to also come, and to get directly involved.”

Nasrallah confirmed the deployment of “very advanced Russian weaponry” in Syria, including warplanes, helicopters and precision missiles stating that Russian efforts “proves what we said years ago, when people thought Syria would collapse, we said then that Assad’s allies would not abandon him.” He additionally confirmed that Russian military advances were and continue to be coordinated with Iran, claiming the likelihood that Russian troops will assist the Syrian Army on the ground, but that the “Syrians haven’t requested this up to now.”

Reports from the Kuwait newspaper Alrai additionally claim that the Syrian Army has given Hezbollah “dozens of Soviet-era tanks” and that Syria, Russia and Hezbollah have launched a “joint operations room” for coordinated military cooperation. The Syrian Army is believed to have received 75 tanks.

The Syrian Army has been reinforced by thousands of combat fighters from Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and Afghanistan, to aid Assad’s Regime in Syria’s ongoing civil war. Alrai’s report confirmed the deployment of 100 Iranian special forces combatants training in urban warfare in Damascus.

Additionally, Russian presence in Syria is larger then previously assessed. According to reports over the weekend that included satellite images, 28 fighter jets and 12 attack helicopters were deployed to Latakia. 4 advanced Sukhoi Su-30SM fighters, 12 multifunctional Sukhoi Su-24’s, 12 Sukhoi Su-25’s as well as 10 Mil Mi-24 gunships and 2 Mil Mi-8 transport helicopters were deployed according to the report.

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The reports come after Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit with Russian President Vladimir Putin early this week. Netanyahu addressed the ongoing threats of terrorist organizations and development such as Hezbollah, Putin claiming that Russian military advances in Syria are to support the country and not terror activity.