Iran terror threat to Obama’s Israel trip



TEL AVIV – There is immediate information that the Iranian-backed Islamic  Jihad terrorist organization may attempt to disrupt President Obama’s visit here  next month with attacks aimed at derailing Israeli-Palestinian talks, according  to informed Middle Eastern security officials.

The officials stressed there is no known threat against Obama himself or any  U.S. targets.

Rather, Islamic Jihad is planning for possible attacks within the West Bank  as well as inside major Israeli cities before and after Obama’s trip, said the  officials.

The officials fear Iran is trying to disrupt planned Israeli-Palestinian  dialogue aimed at creating a Palestinian Authority-led state. Obama’s visit is  ostensibly aimed, among other things, at restarting these long stalled  negotiations.

Since Hamas itself does not oppose the talks, Iran must reach out to Islamic  Jihad, largely funded by Tehran, to carry out any attacks, said the  officials.

Based on this information, PA security forces working with Israeli security  agencies have been leading a major campaign in recent days to minimize Islamic  Jihad cells in Jenin and surrounding villages, said the officials.

THIS is why Obama visiting Israel

Obama is due in Israel next month in his first trip here as president.

Last week, WND reported Obama’s planned visit has already secured Israeli and Palestinian pledges to  restart so-called land-for-peace talks, according to informed Palestinian and  Israeli officials.

The officials disclosed the Obama administration told both sides the talks  would be aimed at creating a Palestinian state in what is known as the 1967  borders, meaning an Israeli retreat from some of the strategic West Bank and  possibly some eastern section of Jerusalem.

According to the informed officials, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed  that once the talks begin there will be a silent, undeclared freeze on all  Jewish construction in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem with the exception of  what are known as main blocs – Maale Adumin, Ariel and Gush Etzion.

The officials said the White House was adamant that Israeli talks with  Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas begin regardless of the position  of Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.

Still, the U.S. is supporting Qatar, Egypt, Jordan and Turkey in back-door  efforts to broker a national-unity deal between Abbas and Hamas during the same  time period the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations are set to take place, the  officials said.

There is already close coordination between the White House and likely  incoming members of Netanyahu’s government coalition who are known to be  sympathetic to creating a Palestinian state, primarily former opposition leader  Tzipi Livni.

Further, WND was told Livni and former Minister Haim Ramon are currently  coordinating the renewal of talks with the PA’s chief negotiator, Saeb  Erekat.

Regarding Jerusalem, the informed Israeli and Palestinian officials said the  White House has been nonspecific other than to champion talks based on what is  known as the Clinton parameters.

The formula, pushed by Bill Clinton during the Camp David talks in 2000,  called for Jewish areas of Jerusalem to remain Israeli while the Palestinians  get sovereignty over neighborhoods that are largely Arab.

WND previously reported Palestinians are building illegally in Jewish-owned  areas of Jerusalem, changing facts on the ground that result in Arab majorities  on certain neighborhoods.

The informed officials, meanwhile, said the White House expects the issue of  Jerusalem to be a key impediment in reaching a deal and is therefore discussing  the formation of an international committee to help smooth the process.

Previous Israeli-Palestinian talks saw the U.S. naming an envoy meant to  broker between the two sides. According to the officials speaking to WND, the  White House has expressed interest in naming an envoy but has doubts about  whether such a point man will be successful.

The officials said the PA is pushing for a U.S. envoy while Netanyahu’s  government is indifferent to the idea.

As a way to entice the PA back to the bargaining table, the White House  agreed to release some $200 million in aid that it has withheld for months, said  the officials. According to the officials, the deal was brokered with the  Palestinians by incoming Secretary of State John Kerry.




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