蘇老師的國際新聞導覽及中東中亞的歷史故事 Diplomat's daily news review and history research on Middle East and Central Asia
Manage episode 319643534 series 2948782
更新時間： 2022 年 2 月 3 日 17:05
當最初的拜登政府最初談到 與伊朗談判時，關鍵詞是“更長和更強”，暗示國務卿安東尼·布林肯尋求一項更嚴厲的伊朗協議，該協議將持續到 2015 年《聯合全面行動計劃》的 2030 年到期日。
然後，目標被悄悄降級為讓伊朗“回到盒子裡”，這意味著重新遵守 JCPOA。該協議通過將伊朗的鈾濃縮純度限制在 3.67% 並幾乎消除其核武器燃料庫存，同時逐步解除對該政權的製裁，使伊朗在一年內避免核突破。
伊朗目前正在將鈾濃縮至 60%，一些專家表示，他們距離武器級 90% 的濃縮鈾還有數週的時間。武器化——意思是把燃料變成核彈——需要更多時間。但 JCPOA 的重點是鈾，理論上任何協議都會延長伊朗達到 90% 濃縮度所需的時間。
歐洲對外行動署 (EEAS) 副秘書長恩里克·莫拉和伊朗首席核談判代表阿里·巴蓋里·卡尼 (Ali Bagheri Kani) 等待 2021 年 12 月 3 日在奧地利維也納舉行的 JCPOA 聯合委員會會議的開始。（圖片來源：EU DELEGATION IN維也納/通過路透社分發）
當 Blinken 本月早些時候表示“我們現在真的需要幾週時間來確定我們是否可以恢復相互遵守協議”時，美國的評估已經是他們實際上無法完全恢復相互遵守協議。協議。
美國國務院一名高級官員本周向記者介紹說：“我們只剩下幾個星期才能達成協議，不幸的是，在那之後，將不再可能重返 JCPOA 並重新獲得協議為我們提供的，”這位官員知道他們已經無法“重新獲得不擴散的好處”。
如果 BREAKOUT 時間少於六個月，它可能使伊朗能夠迅速加快其核計劃，同時阻礙華盛頓的反應。
此外，伊朗在先進離心機方面的專業知識——JCPOA 禁止在 2026 年之前部署該技術——是不可逆轉的。伊朗在去年的談判中表示，它不會同意銷毀其先進的離心機，這使得它能夠比上一代離心機更快地濃縮鈾。
根據本月早些時候《華爾街日報》的一篇報導，侄子和馬利不同意的一個領域是伊朗的核進步使 JCPOA 不再相關。事實上，Nephew 認為美國團隊應該在 12 月退出談判，當時伊朗在其位於福爾多的地下設施啟動了 IR-6 先進離心機，同時拒絕從 5 月談判中斷的那一刻開始進行談判。
參議院外交關係委員會主席參議員羅伯特·梅南德斯（D-New Jersey）本週表達了類似的擔憂，呼籲拜登政府執行美國現有的製裁，並鼓勵歐盟重新實施 JCPOA 制裁，並提出創造性的外交舉措和新戰略“以支持伊朗的核計劃並解決其危險和邪惡的活動。”
The US is negotiating a shorter, weaker Iran Deal - analysis
The American rhetoric surrounding the Iran Deal has gotten progressively less assertive since talks resumed in Vienna.
By LAHAV HARKOV
Published: FEBRUARY 3, 2022 15:50
Updated: FEBRUARY 3, 2022 17:05
MEMBERS OF the JCPOA Joint Commission convene in Vienna last month.
(photo credit: EU Delegation in Vienna/European External Action Service/Reuters)
When the incipient Biden administration originally spoke about negotiating with Iran, the key words were “longer and stronger,” implying that Secretary of State Antony Blinken sought a tougher Iran deal that would last past the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action’s 2030 expiration date.
The goal was then quietly downgraded to putting Iran “back in the box,” meaning a return to compliance with the JCPOA. That agreement kept Iran a year from nuclear breakout by limiting Iran’s uranium enrichment to 3.67% purity and almost eliminating its stockpile of the fuel for a nuclear weapon, while gradually lifting sanctions on the regime.
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Now, the US is aiming even lower than that.
Iran is currently enriching uranium to 60%, with some experts saying they are weeks away from weapons-grade 90%-enriched uranium. Weaponization – meaning, turning the fuel into a nuclear bomb – would take more time. But the JCPOA is focused on uranium, and any deal would, in theory, extend the time it takes Iran to reach 90% enrichment.
US officials concluded late last year that Iran had advanced its nuclear program too far to be kept a year away from breakout, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.
That means that negotiations have been going on for over a month with the West knowing that Iran cannot be put back in the proverbial box, and a real return to the JCPOA – with its many shortcomings – is not possible.
When Blinken said earlier this month that “it’s really now a matter of weeks where we determine whether or not we can return to mutual compliance with the agreement,” the American assessment already was that they cannot, in fact, fully return to mutual compliance with the agreement.
When a senior State Department official briefed reporters this week saying, “We only have a handful of weeks left to get a deal, after which point it will, unfortunately, be no longer possible to return to the JCPOA and to recapture the nonproliferation benefits that the deal provided for us,” the official knew that they already would not be able “to recapture the nonproliferation benefits” in full.
Instead, the Journal says, the Biden administration is deliberating how short an Iranian breakout time they’re willing to tolerate, based on how much enriched uranium and related machinery Iran agrees to eliminate or seal in exchange for lifting most Trump-era sanctions.
IF BREAKOUT time is less than six months, it could enable Iran to quickly accelerate its nuclear program while impeding Washington’s response.
Plus, Iran’s expertise with advanced centrifuges – the deployment of which the JCPOA prohibited until 2026 – is something that cannot be rolled back. Iran has said over the last year’s negotiations that it will not agree to the destruction of its advanced centrifuges, which allow it to enrich uranium faster than with earlier-generation centrifuges.
The timing of the assessment that the flagship aim of the JCPOA cannot be attained appears to coincide with the departure of US Special Envoy for Iran Rob Malley’s deputy, Richard Nephew.
Nephew, a sanctions expert, departed over differences in approach with Malley, seeking a firmer American stance.
According to a report in the Journal earlier this month, one of the areas on which Nephew and Malley disagreed was the point at which Iran’s nuclear advancements render the JCPOA no longer relevant. In fact, Nephew thought the American team should have walked away from the talks in December, when Iran launched IR-6 advanced centrifuges at its underground facility in Fordow while refusing to negotiate from the point at which talks had left off in May.
The senior State Department official seemed to confirm the differences in opinion when asked about Nephew in his briefing this week, saying, “The team presents a wide range of policy options and arguments to the senior-most leadership of our government, but at the end of the day… the Iran team implements the policies that the president, secretary of state, the national security advisers and others in the cabinet have decided on. This is not a matter of person; it’s a matter of what the policy of the administration is.”
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. Robert Menendez (D-New Jersey) expressed similar concerns this week, calling on the Biden administration to enforce existing US sanctions and encourage the EU to reimpose JCPOA sanctions, and come up with creative diplomatic initiatives and new strategies “for rolling back Iran’s nuclear program and addressing its dangerous and nefarious activities.”
“We are not dealing with a good-faith actor here,” Menendez said. “Iran’s consistent obfuscation, continual stalling and outlandish demands have left us flying blind, especially when it comes to verifying that Iran is not engaged in activities related to the weaponization process. I have yet to hear any parameters of ‘longer’ or ‘stronger’ terms or whether that is even a feasible prospect.”
Not only is Menendez right that a longer and stronger deal does not seem to be on the way, but every indication is that at this point, the US is negotiating a deal that is going to be shorter and weaker.
馬修·李今天凌晨 12 點 34 分
在這張 2007 年 4 月 3 日的檔案照片中，一面伊朗國旗在伊朗港口城鎮布什爾的布什爾核電站反應堆所在的建築物外飄揚。（貝魯茲·梅赫里/法新社）
華盛頓（美聯社）——拜登政府週五恢復了對伊朗原子計劃的一些制裁減免，因為旨在挽救陷入困境的 2015 年核協議的談判進入關鍵階段。
這些豁免旨在誘使伊朗重新遵守自前總統唐納德特朗普於 2018 年退出該協議並重新實施美國製裁以來一直違反的 2015 年協議。伊朗表示，它不尊重協議條款，因為美國首先退出了協議。伊朗要求恢復根據協議承諾的所有製裁減免，以恢復合規。
週五的舉動解除了對外國和俄羅斯、中國和歐洲公司的製裁威脅，這些國家和公司一直根據 2015 年協議的條款與伊朗核計劃的非軍事部分合作，該協議被稱為聯合全面行動計劃 (JCPOA)。
特朗普政府於 2020 年 5 月結束了所謂的“公民核武器”豁免，這是其對伊朗的“最大壓力”運動的一部分，該運動始於 2018 年特朗普讓美國退出該協議，抱怨這是最糟糕的外交協議曾經進行過談判，並為伊朗提供了研製核彈的途徑。
2022 年 2 月 4 日，美國國務卿安東尼·布林肯（左）在華盛頓國務院會見波蘭外交部長茲比格涅夫·勞（圖中未顯示）之前對媒體發表講話。（尼古拉斯·卡姆/普爾，通過美聯社）
美國國務院在聲明中說：“對這些活動的豁免旨在促進討論，這將有助於達成一項相互恢復全面執行 JCPOA 的協議，並為伊朗恢復履行其 JCPOA 承諾奠定基礎。”向國會發出通知，宣布此舉。
美聯社獲得了國務院通知的副本和 Blinken 簽署的實際豁免。
豁免允許外國和公司在伊朗布什爾核電站、阿拉克重水廠和德黑蘭研究反應堆從事民用項目。美國前國務卿邁克·蓬佩奧於 2020 年 5 月撤銷了豁免，指責伊朗繼續和擴大這些地點的工作是“核勒索”。
2021 年 12 月 27 日，一名警察在維也納科堡宮酒店外巡邏，那裡正在就恢復 2015 年伊朗核協議進行談判。（Alex Halada/法新社）
遊說特朗普退出核協議的批評者表示抗議，認為即使拜登政府想要恢復 2015 年的核協議，它至少應該要求伊朗做出一些讓步，然後才能預先給予其製裁救濟。
“從談判的角度來看，他們看起來很絕望：我們甚至會在達成協議之前放棄制裁，對任何事情都說是！” Rich Goldberg 說，他是一位直言不諱的交易反對者，他是強硬的民主國家防禦基金會的高級顧問。
US waives sanctions on Iran’s civil atomic program in bid to advance nuke talks
Ahead of possible make-or-break meetings, State Department says move ‘also designed to serve US nonproliferation and nuclear safety interests and constrain’ Tehran’s nuclear work
By MATTHEW LEEToday, 12:34 am
In this file photo from April 3, 2007, an Iranian flag flutters outside the building housing the reactor of the Bushehr nuclear power plant in the Iranian port town of Bushehr. (Behrouz Mehri/AFP)
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration on Friday restored some sanctions relief to Iran’s atomic program as talks aimed at salvaging the languishing 2015 nuclear deal enter a critical phase.
As US negotiators head back to Vienna for what could be a make-or-break session, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken signed several sanctions waivers related to Iran’s civilian nuclear activities. The move reverses the Trump administration’s decision to rescind them.
The waivers are intended to entice Iran to return to compliance with the 2015 deal that it has been violating since former president Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement in 2018 and re-imposed US sanctions. Iran says it is not respecting the terms of the deal because the US pulled out of it first. Iran has demanded the restoration of all sanctions relief it was promised under the deal to return to compliance.
Friday’s move lifts the sanctions threat against foreign countries and companies from Russia, China and Europe that had been cooperating with non-military parts of Iran’s nuclear program under the terms of the 2015 deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA.
The Trump administration had ended the so-called “civ-nuke” waivers in May 2020 as part of its “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran that began when Trump withdrew the US from the deal in 2018, complaining that it was the worst diplomatic agreement ever negotiated and gave Iran a pathway to developing the bomb.
As a presidential candidate, Joe Biden made a US return to the nuclear deal a priority, and his administration has pursued that goal but there has been little progress toward that end since he took office a year ago. Administration officials said the waivers were being restored to help push the Vienna negotiations forward.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, speaks to the media before meeting with Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau, not shown, at the State Department in Washington, February 4, 2022. (Nicholas Kamm/Pool via AP)
“The waiver with respect to these activities is designed to facilitate discussions that would help to close a deal on a mutual return to full implementation of the JCPOA and lay the groundwork for Iran’s return to performance of its JCPOA commitments,” the State Department said in a notice to Congress that announced the move.
“It is also designed to serve US nonproliferation and nuclear safety interests and constrain Iran’s nuclear activities,” the department said. “It is being issued as a matter of policy discretion with these objectives in mind, and not pursuant to a commitment or as part of a quid pro quo. We are focused on working with partners and allies to counter the full range of threats that Iran poses.”
A copy of the State Department notice and the actual waivers signed by Blinken were obtained by The Associated Press.
The waivers permit foreign countries and companies to work on civilian projects at Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power station, its Arak heavy water plant and the Tehran Research Reactor. Former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo had revoked the waivers in May, 2020, accusing Iran of “nuclear extortion” for continuing and expanding work at the sites.
A police officer patrols outside the Hotel Palais Coburg in Vienna, where talks are being held on reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, December 27, 2021. (Alex Halada/AFP)
Critics of the nuclear deal who lobbied Trump to withdraw from it protested, arguing that even if the Biden administration wants to return to the 2015 deal it should at least demand some concessions from Iran before up front granting it sanctions relief.
“From a negotiating perspective, they look desperate: we’ll waive sanctions before we even have a deal, just say yes to anything!” said Rich Goldberg, a vocal deal opponent who is a senior adviser to the hawkish Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
One senior State Department official familiar with the waivers maintained that the move is not a “concession” to Iran and was being taken “in our vital national interest as well as the interest of the region and the world.” The official was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
與伊朗進行核談判的歐洲各方敦促其抓住美國放棄對伊朗民用原子計劃的一些制裁的“機會”，以吸引德黑蘭重返 2015 年的核協議。
英國、法國和德國的談判代表在一份聯合聲明中說：“這應該有助於進行必要的技術討論，以支持在維也納恢復 JCPOA 的談判。”
“我們敦促伊朗迅速利用這個機會，因為豁免的時機凸顯了我們與美國的觀點：我們幾乎沒有時間讓 JCPOA 談判圓滿結束。”
“這將有助於加快#JCPOA 的恢復以及#US 和#Iran 的相互回歸，以遵守2015 年的協議。這也可以看作是#ViennaTalks進入最後階段的一個跡象，”他在推特上寫道。
European parties to the nuclear talks with Iran urge it to seize the “opportunity” of the US waiving some sanctions on Iran’s civilian atomic program in an effort to entice Tehran back to the 2015 nuclear deal.
“This should facilitate technical discussions necessary to support talks on JCPOA return in Vienna,” negotiators of Britain, France and Germany say in a joint statement.
“We urge Iran to take quick advantage of this opportunity, because the timing of the waiver underscores the view we share with the US: we have very little time left to bring JCPOA talks to a successful conclusion.”
Moscow’s ambassador to the UN in Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov, welcomes the US waiver decision as “a move in the right direction.”
“It will help expedite restoration of #JCPOA and mutual return of #US and #Iran to compliance with 2015 deal. It also can be seen as an indication that the #ViennaTalks have entered the final stage,” he writes on Twitter.
美國總統喬·拜登下令向波蘭和羅馬尼亞增派近 3,000 名士兵，以保護東歐免受烏克蘭危機的潛在影響。
發佈時間： 2022 年 2 月 5 日 13:23
在索馬里青年黨武裝分子襲擊造成三名美國人死亡後，美國陸軍士兵被分配到第 101 空降師東非響應部隊 (EARF) 執行任務，以加強肯尼亞曼達灣機場的安全，他們在營地登上一架運輸機Lemonnier，吉布提 1 月 5 日，
電視畫面顯示，附近 Jasionka 鎮的 G2A 競技場正在準備臨時住所，同時可以看到工人們在場地周圍建造圍欄。
波蘭軍方發言人說：“正如宣布的那樣，美國陸軍第 82 空降師旅戰鬥群的第一批成員已經抵達波蘭。”
週三，美國總統喬·拜登下令向波蘭和羅馬尼亞增派近 3,000 名士兵，以保護東歐免受烏克蘭危機的潛在影響。
美國陸軍消息人士稱，大約 1,700 名軍人，主要是第 82 空降師的傘兵，將在“未來幾天”從北卡羅來納州的布拉格堡部署到波蘭。
在 2022 年 1 月 28 日發布的這張講義圖片中，烏克蘭武裝部隊第 28 獨立機械化旅的服役人員參加了烏克蘭敖德薩地區的海岸防禦演習。（來源：烏克蘭國防部/REUTERS 講義）
據五角大樓稱，將派駐德國維爾塞克鎮的約 1,000 名美國軍人組成的史賽克中隊前往羅馬尼亞。
俄羅斯否認入侵烏克蘭的計劃，但已在烏克蘭邊境附近部署了超過 100,000 名士兵，並表示如果其要求得不到滿足，它可能會採取未指明的軍事措施，包括北約承諾永遠不會接納基輔。
新計劃超出了五角大樓上個月在必要時部署到歐洲的 8,500 名士兵的警戒。預計北約國防部長將在 2 月 16 日至 17 日的下次會議上討論進一步的增援問題。
US reinforcement troops arrive in Europe amid tensions with Russia
US President Joe Biden ordered nearly 3,000 extra troops to Poland and Romania to shield Eastern Europe from a potential spillover from the Ukraine crisis.
Published: FEBRUARY 5, 2022 13:23
The first US troops reinforcing NATO allies in Eastern Europe amid a Russian military build-up on Ukraine's border arrived on Saturday at Rzeszow military base in southeastern Poland.
A small plane carrying what a Polish military source said were US chain of command personnel landed in the morning at Rzeszow-Jasionka airport as preparations continued at the base, which is near Poland's border with Ukraine.
TV footage showed temporary accommodation being prepared at the G2A Arena in the nearby town of Jasionka, while workers could be seen building a fence around the venue.
"As announced, the first elements of the brigade battle group from the 82nd Airborne Division of the United States Army have arrived in Poland," a Polish military spokesman said.
On Wednesday, US President Joe Biden ordered nearly 3,000 extra troops to Poland and Romania to shield Eastern Europe from a potential spillover from the Ukraine crisis.
About 1,700 service members, mainly paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division, will deploy from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to Poland "over the next days," US Army sources have said.
According to the Pentagon, a Stryker squadron of around 1,000 US service members based in the German town of Vilseck will be sent to Romania.
The first additional US troops arrived in Germany on Friday.
Russia has denied plans to invade Ukraine but has deployed more than 100,000 troops near Ukraine's borders and says it could take unspecified military measures if its demands are not met, including a promise by NATO never to admit Kyiv.
The new plan goes above and beyond the 8,500 troops the Pentagon put on alert last month to deploy to Europe if needed. NATO defense ministers are expected to discuss further reinforcements at their next meeting on Feb. 16-17.
The Central News Agency 中央通訊社
2022年2月5日 週六 上午7:26
發佈時間： 2022 年 2 月 5 日 10:21
更新時間： 2022 年 2 月 5 日 10:22
北京奧林匹克塔在北京 2022 年北京冬季奧運會前拍攝
自 2019 年底 COVID-19 疫情爆發以來，此次宴會將是中國國家主席首次參加國家領導人聚會。
新華社報導，週六上午，習近平與哈薩克斯坦總統卡西姆-若馬爾特·託卡耶夫、塞爾維亞總統亞歷山大·武契奇和埃及總統阿卜杜勒·法塔·西西舉行了單獨會晤，討論了與“一帶一路”相關的基礎設施投資和合作抗擊 COVID-19 .
俄羅斯在其與烏克蘭接壤的邊境附近集結了 100,000 名士兵，試圖向該國施壓，使其排除未來加入北約的可能性。
China's Xi meets four more world leaders in Olympics diplomacy push
President Xi Jinping used the Beijing Olympics to seize the diplomatic initiative amid simmering tensions with the United States.
Published: FEBRUARY 5, 2022 10:21
Updated: FEBRUARY 5, 2022 10:22
Chinese President Xi Jinping met with the leaders of Serbia, Egypt, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan on Saturday as Beijing used the opening of the Winter Olympics to seize the diplomatic initiative amid simmering tensions with the United States.
Following a groundbreaking agreement with Russia on Friday, Xi held the meetings ahead of a Lunar New Year-themed banquet at Beijing's Great Hall of the People on Saturday.
The banquet was set to be the first time the Chinese president has joined a gathering of state leaders since before the outbreak of COVID-19 in late 2019.
Over 30 international leaders have arrived in Beijing to attend the opening ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics, though the United States and other Western countries have subjected the event to a diplomatic boycott amid rising geopolitical tensions and claims of human rights abuses in the northwestern region of Xinjiang.
The Global Times, run by the ruling Communist Party's People's Daily, hit back at foreign media reports that the event had attracted only "authoritarian" leaders, accusing them in an editorial of using "outdated anti-China cliches."
Xi held individual meetings with Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Serbia's Aleksandar Vucic and President Abdel Fatta Al-Sisi of Egypt on Saturday morning, Xinhua news agency reported, discussing Belt and Road-related infrastructure investments and cooperation in the fight against COVID-19.
He also told Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov that the two sides should deepen cooperation on supplying natural gas to China.
According to a joint statement issued after the Friday meeting between Xi and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Moscow expressed opposition to any form of independence for Taiwan, while China said it supported Russian opposition to the further expansion of NATO.
Russia has amassed 100,000 troops near its border with Ukraine as it tries to pressure the country into ruling out future NATO membership.
Kevin Rudd, former prime minister of Australia and president of the Asia Society, described the joint statement as "highly significant."
It was "the first time since the Sino-Soviet split that China's taken a definitive position on European security to support Russia on something as fundamental as NATO," Rudd wrote on Saturday.
However, Taiwan's said the timing of the agreement was "contemptible," and added that the Chinese government was bringing shame to the spirit of the Games.
敘利亞 - 土耳其邊境是伊斯蘭國領導人的避風港嗎？- 分析
ISIS 領導人與其家人居住的兩個安全屋靠近土耳其邊境和 Bab al-Hawa 過境點，這表明邊境附近存在 ISIS 避難所。
發佈時間： 2022 年 2 月 5 日 01:18
更新時間： 2022 年 2 月 5 日 05:16
2019 年 10 月 15 日，土耳其士兵站在土耳其桑尼烏法省土耳其-敘利亞邊境附近的坦克頂上
美國現在在三年內殺死了兩名伊斯蘭國領導人。兩人都在土耳其邊境的幾公里範圍內被發現。2019 年 10 月，伊斯蘭國首位領導人阿布·巴克爾·巴格達迪 (Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi) 在巴里沙 (Barisha) 的一所房屋遭到襲擊，該房屋距離重要的戰略土耳其邊境城鎮雷漢利 (Reyhanli) 約 4 公里。他的繼任者Hashimi al- Qurayshi 本週在距離 Reyhanli 4 公里的 Atmeh 的一次突襲中喪生。
ISIS 領導人與其家人居住的兩個安全屋靠近土耳其邊境和 Bab al-Hawa 過境點，這表明在土耳其邊境附近建造了一個 ISIS 避風港。多年來，土耳其一直支持敘利亞的極端分子，並在 2014 年讓成千上萬的親伊斯蘭國成員通過土耳其進入敘利亞，這似乎不太可能讓兩名 ISIS 領導人在不知情的情況下住在如此靠近其過境點的地方。ISIS 感覺受到土耳其的威脅似乎也不太合理，但它已經為其與土耳其如此接近的領導層紮下了根。
報導稱，美國總統喬·拜登週三實時觀看了“美國突擊隊登陸敘利亞，突襲一棟被橄欖樹環繞的三層住宅，伊斯蘭國的最高領導人與他的妻子和家人住在那裡， ”美國有線電視新聞網報導。“在戰情室的桌子上，拜登焦急地看著一架美國直升機在地面上出現機械故障。當孩子們從大樓的一樓出來，跑到安全的地方時，房間里松了一口氣。片刻之後，一場爆炸震撼了現場：一場自殺式爆炸導致 Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi、他的妻子和他的孩子們喪生，他們的屍體被吹到了大樓外面，並吹到了周圍的土地上。”
本週的突襲很複雜。Hayat Tahrir al-Sham 是一個極端組織，控制著靠近土耳其邊境的敘利亞伊德利卜省，該組織在房子附近保持著存在。報導稱，HTS 設置了障礙，甚至可能與美國發生衝突。然而，HTS 也一直在努力從美國的恐怖組織名單中刪除。HTS 是敘利亞版的基地組織，但在特朗普時代末期，它試圖將自己出售給美國官員，作為對抗敘利亞政權和伊朗的可能資產。美國媒體上出現了幾張該極端組織的光輝肖像，試圖將他們的罪行人性化和粉飾，類似於塔利班一直在西方推動他們的公關團隊。
與此同時，美國的突襲不得不面對這樣一個事實，即這所房子應該有三層樓，一層是由很少外出的 ISIS 領導人佔據的，而二樓是由一名高級別的 ISIS 指揮官佔據的。但報導稱，一樓的家人並不知道他們的高層恐怖分子鄰居。伊斯蘭國領導人像他的前任一樣死去，他顯然引爆了自己。
2022 年 2 月 3 日，在敘利亞阿特梅，可以看到在美國特種作戰部隊執行反恐任務後被毀的建築物內部。（圖片來源：MOHAMED AL-DAHER/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS）
亞歷山大·麥基弗 (Alexander McKeever) 的一份重要報告詳細介紹了有關 Atmeh 和襲擊發生後第二天的大部分情況。他在 Substack 網站上的一張地圖指出，該鎮附近有一個大型 IDP 營地，據說伊德利卜有一個土耳其軍事前哨，該鎮還有一個 HTS 檢查站。近年來，土耳其在伊德利卜設立了許多前哨，據報導，土耳其軍隊控制了該地區的部分地區，有時甚至由 HTS 成員護送。2018 年，土耳其媒體出現了一篇暗示土耳其軍隊已被 HTS 護送的文章。
Hurriyet 的 2018 年報告指出，“報告稱，國家水利工程總局 (DSI) 的一名僱員 Yasin Tanboğa 在土耳其車隊前往敘利亞小鎮艾斯時遭到襲擊而喪生。在降級區設立觀察點。報告中引起我注意的是，“出於安全原因，沙姆解放組織的部隊正在陪同[土耳其車隊]”前往艾斯。後來在社交媒體上披露的這段視頻還顯示了一些元素，暗示土耳其車隊的車輛屬於沙姆解放軍……當一個土耳其軍事車隊由軍用車輛組成時，包括屬於土耳其武裝部隊 (TSK) 的坦克，這意味著什麼與 Tahrir al-Sham 部隊一起向伊德利卜移動？”
麥基弗指出，“以一種讓人想起奧薩馬·本·拉登的阿伯塔巴德時代的方式，古萊希通過信使和住在二樓的‘中尉’與外界交流。根據政府的說法，一個與伊斯蘭國無關的無辜家庭住在一樓/地下室。” 本拉登被發現離巴基斯坦軍事學院不遠。巴基斯坦長期以來一直支持塔利班，一直是極端分子進出巴基斯坦的一條高速公路。在 9/11 和美國支持的入侵之後，他於 2002 年逃離阿富汗後，巴基斯坦或巴基斯坦政權內部的一些官員似乎接待了本拉登，或者故意忽略了他的存在。
關於靠近土耳其的位置的問題是美國官員和北約不想回答的問題，因為它提出了一個問題，即為什麼土耳其允許如此多的極端分子生活在其在敘利亞控制的地區。“世界上最受通緝的兩個人是如何被發現住在土耳其境外的？與選擇住在小鎮郊區一個僻靜的大院的巴格達迪不同，古萊希在敘利亞西北部人口最稠密的地區選擇了一棟建築。此外，他的三樓公寓距離 HTS 檢查站 500 米，距離土耳其邊境的 Jandarma 哨所 2.15 公里，距離敘利亞境內最近的土耳其軍事基地約 5 公里，”McKeever 指出。
突襲的時機也引發了質疑。美國突襲巴格達迪是在美國似乎為土耳其入侵敘利亞部分地區開綠燈之後，土耳其及其支持的極端分子襲擊了美國支持的敘利亞民主力量。這是在特朗普政府時期，與安卡拉關係密切。政府同意土耳其入侵和對敘利亞部分地區的庫爾德人進行種族清洗。它是在 2018 年再次入侵阿夫林之後發生的。阿夫林位於伊德利卜附近，阿夫林的邊界曾經是庫爾德人的和平地區，靠近 Atmeh。這意味著 ISIS 可能不僅受益於土耳其在伊德利卜的角色和 HTS 的存在，後者正在爭取美國前政府的合作夥伴，而且還受益於 2018 年對阿夫林的種族清洗。土耳其入侵，
然後是 2019 年 10 月，當時美國讓土耳其入侵敘利亞東部，那裡的美軍一直在與自衛隊合作打擊 ISIS。入侵導致俄羅斯進入美軍曾經存在的地區。2021 年，土耳其再次威脅要入侵敘利亞部分地區以攻擊自衛隊。土耳其傾向於轟炸像自衛隊這樣一直在與伊斯蘭國作戰的團體。這使得 ISIS 能夠繼續在敘利亞部分地區蓬勃發展。
ISIS 不僅在伊德利卜（伊德利卜）（發現其兩名領導人）而且在土耳其都有存在。此外，伊斯蘭國最近對敘利亞一所自衛隊管理的監獄發動了大規模襲擊。戰鬥造成了無數傷亡，可能有數百人。在那場戰鬥之後，土耳其在敘利亞和伊拉克發動了廣泛的空襲，目標是辛賈爾等伊斯蘭國的雅茲迪受害者居住的地區。土耳其支持的極端分子還襲擊了位於敘利亞東部自衛隊控制區的基督教少數群體居住的 Tel Tamir。奇怪的是，對 ISIS 領導人的突襲發生在 ISIS 越獄發生幾天后。ISIS 戰士於 1 月 26 日在哈薩卡向美國支持的自衛隊投降。2 月 2 日星期三，突襲發生，以殺死 ISIS 領導人。
時機很奇怪。越獄，土耳其對反伊斯蘭國部隊的空襲，然後是突襲。我們可能永遠不知道所有這些相互作用是如何運作的。美國不想暗示土耳其在支持敘利亞極端分子和為伊德利卜極端分子提供避風港方面的問題。這個避風港使 ISIS 領導人能夠搬到土耳其的隔壁。這些 ISIS 領導人來自伊拉克，但他們害怕生活在伊拉克和敘利亞部分地區，那裡有自衛隊和敘利亞政權。他們似乎唯一感到安全的地方是土耳其邊境附近——但美國的兩次突襲表明他們並不完全安全。土耳其情報部門沒有註意到他們的存在要么意味著土耳其沒有註意，要么它正在發生的事情中發揮作用。
巴格達迪居住的房子距離他的繼任者被發現的房子只有 20 公里。這是一個四十分鐘的車程，但如果一個人像烏鴉一樣飛的話會快得多，因為土耳其的邊界伸入巴里沙和阿特梅之間的地區。簡而言之，這兩位 ISIS 領導人住在盡可能靠近土耳其與敘利亞的關鍵過境點的地方，而實際上並未搬到土耳其。如果他們住得很近，他們將不得不越過邊界。這是一個活躍的過境點，極端組織過去曾在此獲得援助。
很明顯，ISIS 領導人選擇這個是有原因的。官員們不想說出他們懷疑可能發生的事情。甚至像 CNN 這樣的報導也不想提及邊境或 HTS 的複雜性或該地區正在發生的其他事情，例如附近 Afrin 的種族清洗。然而，除非在這一現實的背景下，否則無法看到伊斯蘭國領導人在這裡的存在。ISIS 對少數民族，如雅茲迪人、什葉派和基督徒實施種族滅絕。2021 年 7 月，當像 Ahrar al-Sharqiya 這樣在土耳其支持下的團體在阿夫林肆虐、綁架婦女、迫害少數族裔和從事令人髮指的罪行時，美國於 2021 年 7 月對該團體進行了製裁，這絕非巧合。
這構成了 ISIS 為何在該地區感到舒適的部分背景——阿夫林清除了反對派和少數族裔以及附近的土耳其基地，這是 ISIS 建立營地的理想場所。在巴格達迪死後來到現場的伊斯蘭國新領導人選擇住在美國發現巴格達迪的地方附近，這表明他並不擔心。現在他已經死了，尚不清楚是否會在該地區找到更多 ISIS 領導人，或者他們是否會過境或通過阿夫林和伊德利卜到達其他地區。
Is Syria-Turkey border a safe haven for ISIS leaders? - analysis
The proximity of the two safehouses where the ISIS leaders lived with their families to the Turkish border and the Bab al-Hawa crossing suggests the presence of an ISIS haven near the border.
Published: FEBRUARY 5, 2022 01:18
Updated: FEBRUARY 5, 2022 05:16
Turkish soldiers stand on top of tanks near the Turkish-Syrian border in Sanliurfa province, Turkey, October 15, 2019
(photo credit: REUTERS/MURAD SEZER)
The US has now killed two leaders of ISIS in three years. Both were found within several kilometers of the border with Turkey. The first ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in an October 2019 raid on a house in Barisha, around four kilometers from the important and strategic Turkish border town of Reyhanli. His successor, Hashimi al-Qurayshi, was killed in a raid this week in Atmeh, which is also four kilometers from Reyhanli.
The proximity of the two safehouses where the ISIS leaders lived with their families to the Turkish border and the border crossing of Bab al-Hawa points to an ISIS safe haven that has been constructed near the Turkish border. It doesn’t seem plausible that Turkey, which has backed extremists in Syria for years and enabled many thousands of pro-ISIS members to cross via Turkey into Syria in 2014, would have two ISIS leaders living so close to its border crossing without knowing. It also doesn’t seem plausible ISIS feels threatened by Turkey but has put down roots for its leadership so close to Turkey.
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Reports say that US President Joe Biden watched in real-time Wednesday as ”US commandos landed in Syria to raid a three-story home, surrounded by olive trees, where the top leader of ISIS was living with his wife and members of his family,” CNN reports. “From the head of the Situation Room table, Biden watched anxiously as an American helicopter suffered mechanical problems on the ground. There was relief in the room when children emerged from the first floor of the building, running to safety. Moments later, an explosion rocked the site: a suicide detonation that killed Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, his wife and his children, blowing their bodies outside the building and onto the surrounding land.”
The raid this week was complex. Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, an extremist group that controls Idlib province in Syria near the Turkish border, maintains a presence near the house. Reports indicated that HTS set up roadblocks and may have even clashed with the US. However, HTS has also been angling to be removed from a US list of terrorist groups. HTS is the Syrian version of Al-Qaeda, but during the end of the Trump era, it tried to sell itself to US officials as a possible asset against the Syrian regime and Iran. Several glowing portraits of the extremist group appeared in US media, trying to humanize and whitewash their crimes, similar to how the Taliban have been pushing their public relations teams in the West.
Meanwhile, the US raid had to contend with the fact that the house supposedly had three floors, one occupied by the ISIS leader who rarely ventured outside, and a second floor occupied by a high-level ISIS commander. But reports said the family on the first floor were not aware of their high-level terrorist neighbors. The ISIS leader died like his predecessor, he apparently blew himself up.
Interior of a building destroyed in the aftermath of a counter-terrorism mission conducted by the US Special Operations Forces is seen in Atmeh, Syria, February 3, 2022. (credit: MOHAMED AL-DAHER/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)
An important report by Alexander McKeever has detailed much of what is known about Atmeh and the raid the day after it took place. A map on his website at Substack notes that near the town is a large IDP camp and there is a Turkish military outpost in Idlib on one said and also an HTS checkpoint in the town. Turkey has put up numerous outposts in Idlib in recent years and reports have revealed that Turkish forces control part of the area and have been even been escorted by HTS members at times. A 2018 article suggesting Turkish forces had been escorted by HTS appeared in Turkish media.
The 2018 report at Hurriyet notes “the report said Yasin Tanboğa, an employee at the General Directorate of State Hydraulic Works (DSI), was killed in an attack carried out against a Turkish convoy as they were moving toward the Syrian town of al-Ais to establish an observation point in the de-escalation zone. What caught my attention in the report was that ‘Tahrir al-Sham forces were accompanying [the Turkish convoy] for security reasons’ en route to al-Ais. The footage later revealed on social media also showed elements hinting that the vehicles accompanying the Turkish convoy belonged to Tahrir al-Sham forces … What does it mean when a Turkish military convoy consisting of military vehicles including tanks belonging to the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) moves toward Idlib alongside Tahrir al-Sham forces?”
McKeever notes that “in a manner reminiscent of Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad era, al-Qurayshi communicated with the outside world through couriers and a ‘lieutenant’ who lived on the second floor. According to the administration, an innocent family unrelated to the Islamic State resided on the first floor/basement.” Bin Laden was found not far from a Pakistan military academy. Pakistan had long supported the Taliban and had been a kind of highway for extremists going in and out of Pakistan. It appears Pakistan or some officials within the Pakistani regime hosted Bin Laden or purposely ignored his presence after he fled Afghanistan in 2002 following 9/11 and the US-backed invasion.
The question about the close location to Turkey is one that US officials and NATO don't want to answer because it raises the question of why Turkey has enabled so many extremists to live in areas it controls in Syria. “How were two of the most wanted men in the world found living just outside Turkey? Unlike al-Baghdadi, who chose to live in a secluded compound on the outskirts of a small town, al-Qurayshi picked a building in perhaps the most densely populated district of northwestern Syria. Additionally, his third-floor apartment was located 500 meters from an HTS checkpoint, 2.15 kilometers from a Turkish Jandarma post across the border, and approximately 5 kilometers from the closest Turkish military base inside Syria,” McKeever notes.
The timing of the raid also leads to questions. The US raid to kill Baghdadi came after the US appeared to greenlight a Turkish invasion of part of Syria in which Turkey and extremists it backs attacked the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces. This was during the Trump administration, which was very close with Ankara. The administration agreed to the Turkish invasion and ethnic cleansing of Kurds from parts of Syria. It followed another invasion in Afrin in 2018. Afrin is near Idlib and the border to Afrin, which was once a Kurdish peaceful area, is near Atmeh. This means that ISIS likely benefited not only from Turkey’s role in Idlib and the presence of HTS, which was angling for partners in the former US administration but also from the ethnic cleansing of Afrin in 2018. The Turkish invasion, backing Syrian rebels and extremist groups such as Ahrar al-Sharquiya, forced 160,000 Kurds to flee Afrin.
Then came October 2019 when the US let Turkey invade eastern Syria, where US forces had been working with the SDF to fight ISIS. The invasion led to Russia moving into areas where US forces had once been present. In 2021 Turkey again threatened to invade parts of Syria to attack the SDF. Turkey tends to bomb groups like the SDF which have been fighting ISIS. This has enabled ISIS to continue to thrive in parts of Syria.
ISIS maintains a presence not only in Idlib, where its two leaders were found but also in Turkey. In addition, ISIS recently staged a large attack on an SDF-run prison in Syria. The battles left numerous casualties, probably in the hundreds. That battle was followed by Turkey launching widespread airstrikes in Syria and Iraq, targeting areas like Sinjar where Yazidi victims of ISIS live. Turkish-backed extremists also attacked Tel Tamir, an area where Christian minorities live in an SDF-controlled area of eastern Syria. Bizarrely, the raid on the ISIS leader came just days after the ISIS prison break took place. ISIS fighters had surrendered in Hasaka to US-backed SDF forces on January 26. On Wednesday, February 2, the raid took place to kill the ISIS leader.
The timing is strange. The prison break, the Turkish airstrikes against anti-ISIS forces and then the raid. We may never know how all this interplay works. The US does not want to hint at Turkey’s problematic role in backing extremists in Syria and giving a safe haven to extremists in Idlib. This safe haven has enabled ISIS leaders to move in next door to Turkey. These ISIS leaders are from Iraq and yet they fear living in Iraq and parts of Syria where the SDF and Syrian regime are present. The only place they seem to feel safe is near Turkey’s border - yet the two US raids show they are not completely safe. How Turkish intelligence hasn’t noted their presence either means Turkey is not paying attention, or it is playing a role in what is happening.
The house Baghdadi lived in is barely 20km from the house where his successor was found. It’s a forty-minute drive, but would be much faster if one went as the crow flies because Turkey’s border juts into the area between Barisha and Atmeh. In short, these two ISIS leaders lived as close as possible to Turkey’s key border crossing with Syria, without actually moving to Turkey. If they had lived any close they would have had to cross the border. And this is an active border crossing where extremist groups have received assistance in the past.
It’s clear the ISIS leaders chose this for a reason. Officials don’t want to say what they suspect may be happening. Even reports like the one at CNN didn’t want to mention the complexities of the border or HTS or what else is going on in this area, such as the ethnic cleansing of nearby Afrin. However, the presence of the ISIS leaders here cannot be seen except in the context of this reality. ISIS committed genocide against minorities, such as Yazidis, Shi’ites and Christians. It is no coincidence that when groups like Ahrar al-Sharqiya, backed by Turkey, rampaged through Afrin, kidnapping women, persecuting minorities and engaging in crimes that were so heinous the US sanctioned the group in July 2021.
This forms part of the context as to why ISIS felt comfortable in this area - with Afrin cleansed of opposition and minorities and Turkey’s bases nearby, it was a perfect setting for ISIS to set up camp. That the new leader of ISIS who came on the scene after Baghdadi’s demise choose to live close to where the US found Baghdadi, showed he was not concerned. Now he is dead and it is unclear if more ISIS leaders will be found in this area, or if they will transit the border or through Afrin and Idlib to some other area.
發佈時間： 2022 年 2 月 4 日 00:44
2021 年 10 月 7 日，太陽在阿富汗喀布爾上空落下。
（圖片來源：REUTERS/Jorge SILVA/FILE PHOTO）
聯合國一名高級官員周四表示，聯合國在阿富汗的銀行中約有 1.35 億美元，但無法使用，因為塔利班管理的中央銀行無法將其轉換為阿富汗貨幣。
聯合國開發計劃署駐阿富汗負責人阿卜杜拉·達爾達里（Abdallah al Dardari）表示，聯合國已將美元帶入該國，並將其存放在阿富汗國際銀行“中央銀行明確承諾新現金將自動轉換為阿富汗人。”
“這沒有發生，”他在 ACAMS 全球製裁空間峰會上說，並補充說，開發計劃署本身“有 3000 萬美元滯留在 AIB，我無法轉換為阿富汗人，沒有阿富汗人，正如你想像的那樣，我們無法實施所有計劃。”
這個伊斯蘭組織長期以來一直受到國際制裁，聯合國和援助組織表示，這正在阻礙阿富汗的人道主義行動，該國 3900 萬人口中有一半以上遭受極度飢餓，經濟、教育和社會服務面臨崩潰。
陽光照耀在聯合國總部的聯合國秘書處大樓後面。紐約市，美國紐約，2021 年 6 月 18 日。（來源：REUTERS/ANDREW KELLY/FILE PHOTO）
流動性也是一個問題。Al Dardari 在 11 月告訴路透社，雖然阿富汗經濟中價值約 40 億美元，但流通中的價值只有約 5 億美元。
UN has millions in Afghanistan bank, but cannot use it
The Taliban, who seized power in August, banned the use of foreign currency in a country where US dollars were common.
Published: FEBRUARY 4, 2022 00:44
The United Nations has about $135 million in the bank in Afghanistan but is unable to use it because the Taliban-run central bank cannot convert it to the afghani currency, a senior UN official said on Thursday.
Abdallah al Dardari, head of the UN Development Programme in Afghanistan, said the United Nations had taken the US dollars into the country and deposited it with the Afghanistan International Bank "with a clear promise from the central bank that fresh cash will be automatically converted to afghanis."
"This did not happen," he told the ACAMS Global Sanctions Space Summit, adding that UNDP itself has "$30 million stuck at AIB that I cannot convert to afghanis and without afghanis as you can imagine, we cannot implement all our programs."
The Taliban, who seized power in August, banned the use of foreign currency in a country where US dollars were common.
The Islamist group has long been under international sanctions, which the United Nations and aid groups say are now hindering humanitarian operations in Afghanistan, where more than half the country's 39 million people suffer extreme hunger and the economy, education and social services face collapse.
Billions of dollars in Afghan central bank reserves and foreign development aid have been frozen to prevent it from falling into Taliban hands. International banks are wary of breaching sanctions, leaving the United Nations and aid groups struggling to get enough money into the country.
Liquidity is also a problem. Al Dardari told Reuters in November that while there was about $4 billion worth of afghanis in the economy, only about $500 million worth was in circulation.
The United Nations and the World Bank are discussing a possible swap facility, aid groups and UN officials have said.
Al Dardari said on Thursday that this would allow cash for humanitarian operations to be paid into a mechanism abroad and then afghanis could be collected "from major traders and mobile companies from inside Afghanistan."
He also said lessons could be learned from a program in Myanmar, where electronic payment systems bypassed the central bank. Myanmar's military have been hit with a raft of sanctions by the United States and others since a coup a year ago.
發佈時間： 2022 年 2 月 3 日 22:13
“我們知道，在俄羅斯……和伊朗的技術援助下，FANB 的人員和單位已被調動到邊境，”莫拉諾在哥倫比亞加勒比城市卡塔赫納舉行的禁毒會議上說。FANB 是委內瑞拉國家玻利瓦爾武裝部隊的西班牙語首字母縮寫。
哥倫比亞人權監察員報告稱，僅在 1 月份，阿勞卡非法武裝團體之間的衝突就造成 66 人死亡和 1200 人流離失所。
從哥倫比亞 Arauquita 看到的哥倫比亞士兵在 Arauca 河上乘船巡邏，位於哥倫比亞和委內瑞拉的邊界（圖片來源：REUTERS/LUISA GONZALEZ/FILE PHOTO）
他補充說，ELN 與拒絕與政府達成 2016 年和平協議的哥倫比亞革命武裝力量 (FARC) 的一個派別 Segunda Marquetalia 合作，與另一個 FARC 持不同政見者團體作戰。
儘管哥倫比亞總統伊万·杜克在 1 月初下令部署更多軍隊以控制該地區並結束流血，但阿勞卡是石油生產和養牛的關鍵地區，暴力仍在繼續。
哥倫比亞政府指責委內瑞拉總統尼古拉斯·馬杜羅庇護 FARC 持不同政見者和民族解放軍，他一再否認。
去年，馬杜羅表示，他的政府將在 2022 年期間打擊來自委內瑞拉境內的各種來自哥倫比亞的非法武裝團體。
Iran, Russia aid Venezuela in moving troops to Colombian border
Colombia's defense minister Diego Molano claimed foreign interference by Iran and Russia is at play in South America.
Published: FEBRUARY 3, 2022 22:13
Colombia's Defense Minister Diego Molano speaks with the Commander of the Colombian Military Forces, General Luis Fernando Navarro
(photo credit: LUISA GONZALEZ/REUTERS)
Venezuela is moving troops to the border with Colombia with technical assistance from Russia and Iran, Colombia's defense minister Diego Molano said on Thursday, calling the possible deployment "foreign interference."
Molano, citing intelligence sources, said troop movements were registered in Venezuela opposite Colombia's Arauca province, the scene of fierce fighting between guerrillas of the National Liberation Army (ELN) and FARC dissidents for control of the drugs trade.
Venezuela's government did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
"We know that men and units of the FANB have been mobilized towards the border with technical assistance from Russia … and Iran," Molano said at an anti-drugs conference in Colombia's Caribbean city of Cartagena. FANB is the Spanish acronym of Venezuela's National Bolivarian Armed Forces.
Colombia's human rights ombudsman has reported that clashes between the illegal armed groups in Arauca left 66 dead and 1,200 displaced people in January alone.
Fighting between the groups over control of drug trafficking and other illicit economies began in Venezuela's Apure state, and spread to Colombia, Molano said.
Colombian soldiers patrol by boat on the Arauca River, at the border between Colombia and Venezuela, as seen from Arauquita, Colombia (credit: REUTERS/LUISA GONZALEZ/FILE PHOTO)
The ELN has teamed up with the Segunda Marquetalia, a faction of the demobilized Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) who reject a 2016 peace deal with the government, to fight another FARC dissident group, he added.
The violence in Arauca, a key area for oil production and cattle rearing, continues despite orders from Colombia's President Ivan Duque in early January for more troops to be deployed there to take control of the territory and end the bloodshed.
The Colombian government accuses Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro of sheltering both FARC dissidents and the ELN, something he has repeatedly denied.
Last year Maduro said his government would combat all manner of illegal armed groups originating from Colombia in Venezuelan territory during 2022.
發佈時間： 2022 年 2 月 2 日 08:31
“國務卿還告知王儲他決定部署第 5 代戰鬥機以協助阿聯酋應對當前的威脅，這是美國與阿聯酋作為長期戰略夥伴站在一起的明確信號，”美國國防部部門在一份新聞稿中說。
一周前，美國軍方表示已向兩枚入境導彈發射了多個愛國者導彈攔截器，胡塞武裝稱它們向阿聯酋的 al-Dhafra 空軍基地發射了這些導彈。
阿布扎比王儲謝赫穆罕默德本扎耶德於 2019 年 5 月 30 日在麥加舉行的海灣合作委員會峰會上（圖片來源：BANDAR ALGALOUD / SAUDI ROYAL COURT / REUTERS）
在胡塞武裝將政府趕出首都薩那後，該聯盟於 2015 年 3 月對也門進行了乾預。
US to send fighter jets to assist UAE after Houthi attacks
The UAE on Monday intercepted a missile during a visit by Israel's president, the third such attack in two weeks claimed by the Iran-aligned Houthi movement.
Published: FEBRUARY 2, 2022 08:31
The United States said it is sending fighter jets to assist the United Arab Emirates following missile attacks on the Gulf state launched by Yemen's Houthi movement, including a foiled attack aimed at a base hosting US forces.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin also told Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in a telephone call on Tuesday that Washington would send the guided missile destroyer the USS Cole to partner with the UAE navy ahead of a port call in Abu Dhabi.
"The Secretary also informed the Crown Prince of his decision to deploy 5th Generation Fighter aircraft to assist the UAE against the current threat and as a clear signal that the United States stands with the UAE as a long-standing strategic partner," the US Defense Department said in a release.
The UAE on Monday intercepted a missile during a visit by Israel's president, the third such attack in two weeks claimed by the Iran-aligned group that is battling a Saudi-led coalition that includes the UAE.
A week earlier, the US military said it had fired multiple Patriot missile interceptors at two inbound missiles which the Houthis said they fired at the UAE's al-Dhafra airbase.
The Emirati envoy to the United Nations last week said the UAE may upgrade its defensive capabilities and was in discussions with the United States.
The United States would continue providing early warning intelligence and collaborate on air defense, Austin told Sheikh Mohammed, the UAE's de facto ruler.
The attacks on the UAE, the region's commercial and tourism hub, are an escalation in the Yemen war, in which the Houthis have repeatedly launched missiles and drones at Saudi Arabia.
The coalition intervened in Yemen in March 2015 after the Houthis ousted the government from the capital, Sanaa.
發佈時間： 2022-02-03 17:55
更新時間： 2022 年 2 月 3 日 20:49
巴林麥納麥——以色列國防部長本尼甘茨在距伊朗僅 200 公里的地方發表了明確聲明：我們正在與您的鄰國建立橋樑，我們將留在這裡。
甘茨在巴林進行了為期 24 小時的波斯灣王國旋風之旅，以簽署歷史性的軍事協議，並會見了哈馬德·本·伊薩·阿勒哈利法國王以及美國海軍第五艦隊司令。
“我們願意提供幫助，參與聯合作戰活動，以確保穩定，讓我們的朋友能夠繼續存在並安全繁榮，我們也將得到更好的保護，免受我們面臨的各種威脅，”他說。說，站在船的前面，這艘船是 2000 年基地組織致命襲擊的目標。
美國駐巴林臨時代辦瑪吉·納爾迪 (Maggie Nardi) 也提到了造成 17 名水手喪生、數十人受傷的襲擊事件。
就在幾個小時前，美國中央司令部 (CENTCOM) 的部隊在靠近土耳其邊境的叛軍控制的伊德利卜省的敘利亞西北部村莊 Atmeh 發動襲擊，目標是 ISIS 的領導人 Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi，據報導，在美軍殺死他之前，他與家人以及可能的其他人一起引爆了自己。
2019 年 10 月，阿布·巴克爾·巴格達迪在敘利亞西北部的一次類似襲擊中喪生後，庫拉希成為恐怖組織的領導人。
雖然伊斯蘭國在 2018 年失去了其領土哈里發，但一夜之間對敘利亞的襲擊表明激進聖戰組織構成的威脅並未消失。隨著對阿聯酋的火箭彈襲擊以及伊朗及其代理人的其他海上襲擊事件的增加，以色列已開始與海灣國家建立戰略安全關係，並繼續努力使與其他國家的關係正常化。
A few hundred kms from Iran, Israel sends message with Gantz's visit to Bahrain
The defense minister is visiting Bahrain where the two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding.
Published: FEBRUARY 3, 2022 17:55
Updated: FEBRUARY 3, 2022 20:49
Defense Minister Benny Gantz visits the Kingdom of Bahrain.
(photo credit: ARIEL HERMONI/DEFENSE MINISTRY)
MANAMA, Bahrain – A mere 200 kilometers away from Iran, Israel’s defense minister Benny Gantz made a clear statement: We are building bridges with your neighbors and we are here to stay.
Gantz was in Bahrain for a whirlwind 24-hour trip to the Persian Gulf kingdom to sign historic military agreements, and to meet with King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa as well as the commander of the US Navy’s 5th Fleet.
Though he went from meeting to meeting with barely a moment to himself, Gantz was very pleased with the visit and the results it brought.
The public meetings, a year after the Abraham Accords were signed, come as tensions with the Islamic Republic of Iran are at an all-time high, and missile attacks by their proxies in Yemen and Iraq against the United Arab Emirates have increased.
Bahrain has been of strategic interest to Iran for years. The kingdom has previously seen several large attacks by the terror cells organized by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Hezbollah, and continues to face threats posed by Sunni terror groups.
During his visit to the 5th Fleet’s USS Cole that has been deployed to Bahrain, Gantz said that Israel is willing to help defend against such attacks.
“We are willing to help, to take part in joint operational activities, in order to ensure stability and so that our friends can continue to exist and to prosper securely, and we will also be better protected from the different threats facing us,” he said, standing in front of the ship that was the target of a deadly al-Qaeda attack in 2000.
The US chargé d’affaires in Bahrain, Maggie Nardi, also mentioned the attack that killed 17 sailors and injured dozens more.
“I think it is symbolic of the importance that standing together we are much stronger than when we stand alone,” she said. “The fact that we are doing this in front of the USS Cole demonstrates that you might be able to knock us down, but you will not keep us down – and when we are together, we will be a force to be reckoned with.”
Though The Jerusalem Post was told that the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer was not specifically chosen because of its past history, the symbolism is there.
JUST HOURS earlier, troops from US Central Command (CENTCOM) launched a raid in the northwest Syrian village of Atmeh in the rebel-held Idlib province near the border with Turkey, targeting the leader of ISIS, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi, who reportedly blew himself up along with family members and possibly others before the American forces could kill him.
Qurashi became the leader of the terror group after Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a similar raid in northwestern Syria in October 2019.
The raid is a clear message that despite the American pivot to Asia and its concerned eyes focused on Russia’s plans for Ukraine, the US is still active in the Middle East. While the Great Power Competition may currently be more concerning to Washington than Iran, Israel knows that the United States will remain its top ally.
But with Washington’s unease surrounding what is currently happening in Moscow and Beijing, Israel has understood that it needs to ramp up ties with other Middle Eastern countries that share common threats like Iran, missile or drone attacks and violent extremism.
The recent attacks against the UAE and ships passing through the Persian Gulf show Israel is not the only one facing the threat of long-range missiles and drone attacks. Interceptor systems, like Israel’s Iron Dome or David’s Sling, might interest Gulf countries that have normalized ties with the Jewish state.
While Islamic State lost its territorial caliphate in 2018, the raid in Syria overnight shows that the threat posed by radical jihadist groups has not disappeared. And with rocket attacks against the UAE and other maritime attacks by Iran and it’s proxies only increasing, Israel has begun to build strategic security ties with the Gulf States and continues to work to normalize ties with others as well.
Those security ties, which will only deepen over the years, will be a strategic necessity should Israel decide to invoke the Begin Doctrine and carry out a preemptive strike against Iran’s nuclear program. Israeli jets will need to use the airspace of not only Saudi Arabia, but also the Gulf countries should it want to strike.
While attacks by terror groups tend to come in waves, the threats posed by Iran and its nuclear program do not. Those threats are only continuing to grow, and as such, so will Israel’s diplomatic and military race to win the hearts and minds of the Gulf.
政治事務：在 2011 年 7 月的社會經濟抗議活動 11 年後，心懷不滿的消費者重新走上街頭。
發佈時間： 2022 年 2 月 3 日 20:11
一家雜貨店在特拉維夫市場打開一袋袋 Osem 麵條。
（圖片來源：MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/耶路撒冷郵報）
這一切都始於 2011 年 7 月在特拉維夫的羅斯柴爾德大道搭起的幾頂帳篷，並迅速導致全國各地的帳篷、特拉維夫的大規模示威活動以及對時任總理本傑明·內塔尼亞胡政府的真正威脅。
Alrov 和 Leef 與 Shaffir 和 Shmuli 不同，是新的抗議領導人的榜樣，因為他們從未競選公職。Yoni Yahav 是黃背心抗議組織的負責人，該組織於週三封鎖了議會入口，他說他將政客視為敵人。
“我們不涉及政治，我們也不會涉及政治，”Yahav 說。“Shmuli 本人最終以部長的身份提高了價格並簽署了我們現在正在抗議的法令。我們反對政客和政治。我們不追求政治席位。我們的目標是大幅降低價格。”
Yahav 運動所穿的背心旨在給人留下普通公民不透明的印象。沙斯在最近的一次選舉中使用了類似的口號。Shas 領導人 Arye Deri 一周前發布了一段關於飢餓兒童的視頻，該視頻襲擊了財政部長 Avigdor Liberman，從而引發了當前的強烈抗議。然而，Yahav 不想與週二被判犯有稅務罪行的男子有聯繫。
“飢餓的孩子不僅僅是沙斯的口號，”他說。“這是以色列生活的痛苦現實。Liberman、Bennett 和 Lapid，看看你給我們帶來了什麼。價格上漲的原因是利伯曼，他正在提高稅收以報復極端正統派。”
拉齊米說，政府不應該將20年來政府忽視的問題歸咎於現任政府，其中大部分是由內塔尼亞胡領導的。但她警告說，利伯曼打算在 5 月前通過內閣的下一個州預算必須包括降低生活成本的重大步驟。
拉齊米發起了一項法案，將最低工資從 29 新謝克爾提高到 40 新謝克爾，稱“獲得最低工資的人低於貧困線是錯誤的。”
當被問及她是否受到黨內 MK 的 Shmuli 和 Shaffir 的啟發時，Lazimi 說是工黨目前的 MK 啟發了她。
“我們帶來了在許多方面都感到受傷的新一代的聲音，”36 歲的拉齊米說，他是以色列議會最年輕的 MK 之一。
Likud MK Gila Gamliel 表示，她相信政府可以在社會經濟問題上被打倒，她說這是 Bennett 的弱點。
但另一位不願透露姓名的利庫德集團 MK 表示，他不太樂觀，因為示威者抗議的不是內塔尼亞胡掌權。
事實上，據透露，左翼團體會見了美國高級戰略家斯坦格林伯格，後者建議發起抗議活動，他們遵循了他的劇本。相比之下，黃色背心可能會犯錯誤，他們期望抗議者在 2 月冒雨出來，而不是在 7 月搭帳篷。
左派沒有興趣推翻現任政府和利庫德集團重新掌權。內塔尼亞胡在 2011 年抗議活動後繼續執政 10 年，他們最不想做的就是幫助將他的帳篷帶回耶路撒冷貝爾福街的總理官邸。
利庫德集團 MK 說：“我希望不是這樣，但我很難相信抗議活動會導致這個政府垮台。” •
Could price hikes and cost of living turn Israel against Bennett?
POLITICAL AFFAIRS: Eleven years after the July 2011 socioeconomic protests, disgruntled consumers are headed back to the streets.
By GIL HOFFMAN
Published: FEBRUARY 3, 2022 20:11
A GROCER unpacks bags of Osem noodles in a Tel Aviv market.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
It all started with a few tents pitched on Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard in July 2011 and quickly led to tents all over the country, mass demonstrations in Tel Aviv and a genuine threat to the government of then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Those demonstrations gained momentum and focused the country on the high costs of living and housing, as the public demanded social justice. The charismatic leaders of the protests, Itzik Shmuli, Stav Shaffir, Daphne Leef and Itzik Alrov became instant celebrities, and Shmuli and Shaffir ended up in the Knesset.
Now similar protests are being planned, as the prices of electricity, gas and household goods are rising and people are getting angrier.
Could the price hikes and disgruntlement be the issue that turns the country against Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s coalition?
Alrov, who led the successful “cottage cheese rebellion” that helped ignite the protests, is now a strategic and media adviser. He warned ministers months ago that the main challenges that they need to prepare for were not the coronavirus and its variants but a security deterioration and a rise in the cost of living. He said back then that those were the two issues that could lead to a political upheaval.
Illustrative photo of Israeli money (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
“The wave of rises in prices looks to the public like a situation that has gotten out of control, and it could make the government pay a heavy price,” he said Thursday. “The government ministers are acting like ostriches, burying their heads down in the sand and hoping the public discourse will change. But the problem of the cost of living in Israel, unlike the coronavirus, is not a wave that ebbs and flows, but a problem that has to be dealt with to prevent it from continuing to escalate.”
Alrov said ministers who were in the opposition before need to learn to set goals and targets so the public can measure if they succeeded or failed at keeping the goals of lowering the cost of living. But he said the ministers prefer politics and slogans, not setting goals and getting their hands dirty.
“This problem is a ticking time bomb, and the public will demand they take the issue seriously and deliver results,” he said.
Alrov and Leef, unlike Shaffir and Shmuli, are models for the new protest leaders, because they never ran for office. Yoni Yahav, who heads the Yellow Vests protest group which blocked the entrance to the Knesset on Wednesday, says he sees politicians as the enemy.
“We aren’t political, and we won’t be political,” Yahav said. “Shmuli himself ended up raising prices and signing edicts as a minister that we’re protesting now. We are against politicians and politics. We aren’t after political seats. Our goal is significantly lowering prices.”
To that end, the Yellow Vests are planning a large protest at Charles Clore Park on the Tel Aviv-Jaffa beach on Saturday night as an opening shot in what he believes will be an intense battle that will rage nationwide. Yahav promised to close major junctions across the country and drafted the disabled groups, who are experts in shutting down streets.
“We will shut down the country for a few days,” he vowed. “The public will have to have patience. We will paralyze the country like never before.”
Asked what his message is to the world, Yahav said: “It cannot be that in Israel they are robbing us from when we brush our teeth in the morning with toothpaste that costs four times as much as the rest of the world, and we continue to be robbed throughout the day. They are putting the onus on the citizens and not the tycoons, and we won’t stand for it.”
The vests worn by Yahav’s movement are intended to impress that ordinary citizens are not transparent. A similar slogan was used by Shas in a recent election. Shas leader Arye Deri helped spark the current outcry with a video about hungry children he published a week ago with attacks on Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman. Yahav, however, does not want to be associated with the man who was convicted of tax offenses on Tuesday.
“I don’t care about Arye Deri,” he said. “I care about the food on the plate of my children. We know Liberman is in charge, and we are telling him we are really in charge, not you.”
There was a backlash against Deri because he released the video from Switzerland, where he enjoyed a weekend at a posh resort in St. Moritz, which Liberman called the most expensive town in Europe. Deri said at a Knesset press conference on Wednesday that the trip was a gift from his children to celebrate the end of his legal travails and had nothing to do with the fight he intends to lead against the rising cost of living.
“Hungry kids are not just a slogan of Shas,” he said. “It’s the painful reality of life in Israel. Liberman, Bennett and Lapid, look at what you brought upon us. The reason for the prices rising is Liberman, who is raising taxes out of revenge against the ultra-Orthodox.”
Even Deri admitted that the conviction forcing him to quit the Knesset will handicap his fight. It will be hard for him to lead the opposition without being an MK.
THERE WILL be plenty of MKs from inside the coalition who will try to solve the problems internally without letting the government be harmed. Knesset Economics Committee head Michael Biton (Blue and White), who is a former mayor of Yeroham, and Knesset Finance Committee member Naama Lazimi (Labor), a former Haifa city councilwoman, have been spearheading those efforts.
“The government must use all its power against companies and corporations,” Lazimi said. “It could take steps to stop prices rising and wages remaining low, using the Competition Authority. The electricity hike could have been prevented. After a crisis like the coronavirus, giving money helps the economy recovery. This is the time to invest, even at the expense of raising the national debt.”
Lazimi said the current government should not be blamed for problems that are the result of 20 years of neglect by governments, most of which were led by Netanyahu. But she warned that the next state budget, which Liberman intends to pass in the cabinet by May, must include significant steps to lower the cost of living.
“This isn’t like the last budget, where we made sacrifices because a budget had not been passed in three years,” she said. “Labor will not allow a budget that harms people. We have redlines, and Labor will be dominant. A Band-Aid is not enough.”
Lazimi initiated a bill that would raise the minimum wage from NIS 29 to NIS 40, saying “it is wrong that people who earn minimum wage are below the poverty line.”
Asked whether she was inspired by Shmuli and Shaffir, who were MKs in her party, Lazimi said it is Labor’s current MKs who inspire her.
“We have brought the voice of a new generation who feel hurt on so many fronts,” said Lazimi, who at 36 is one of the Knesset’s youngest MKs.
Biton called upon Bennett to solve the problems himself by forming a new cabinet on the cost of living. The prime minister had not responded to the call by Thursday afternoon.
Bennett was burned by campaigning for a “Singapore economic plan” that he promised would “dramatically cut taxes by 15%,” which he has not made an effort to implement.
Likud MK Gila Gamliel said she believes the government can be brought down on the socioeconomic issue, which she said is a weak point for Bennett.
“There has been no management,” she said. “People were hurt as a result of the corona crisis, and the government not only doesn’t help; they are making it harder by raising taxes and prices. It’s gotten crazy.”
But another Likud MK, who asked not to be named, said he is less optimistic, because it’s not Netanyahu in power that the demonstrators are protesting.
“The previous waves of demonstrations were advanced by the Left and the media,” the MK said.
Indeed, it has been revealed that left-wing groups met with senior American strategist Stan Greenberg, who recommended initiating the protests, and they followed his playbook. The Yellow Vests, by contrast, may be making mistakes by expecting protesters to come out in the rain in February instead of pitching tents in July.
The Left has no interest in bringing the current government down and the Likud back to power. Netanyahu remained in office for 10 years after the 2011 protests, and the last thing they want is to help bring his tent back to the Prime Minister’s Residence on Jerusalem’s Balfour Street.
“I wish it were otherwise, but it’s hard for me to believe that protests are what will bring this government down,” the Likud MK said. •
TOI 調查“您可以購買 250 平方米。63,000 美元的住宅（2,690 平方英尺）
由塔爾施耐德今天上午 9 點 40 分
在這一周裡，哈立德住在烏姆法赫姆，一個繁華的阿拉伯以色列小鎮，在那裡他擔任挖掘承包商的工作。很快，他、他的妻子和他們的六個 3 至 13 歲的孩子將開始在周末前往約旦河西岸城市納布盧斯，在那裡他們加入了以色列人穿過綠線購買第二套住房的浪潮。
“我有一套朝北的公寓，位於一棟 11 層建築的七樓。風景很美，社區和街道都很棒，”化名哈立德談到他在巴勒斯坦城市西部正在建設的新挖掘場時說。
在與以色列的大量阿拉伯公民交談時，出現了一種強烈的軼事趨勢，即在大多數巴勒斯坦人居住的約旦河西岸 40% 的土地上購買房屋或公寓，巴勒斯坦權力機構對大多數平民事務行使控制權。（另外 60% 由以色列完全或部分控制的地區組成，包括猶太人定居點和它們之間的走廊。以色列猶太人在約旦河西岸這些地區購買房屋的趨勢——儘管原因截然不同——一直很好記錄自 1967 年以來。）
Khaled 為這座 200 平方米（2,150 平方英尺）的房屋支付了 300,000 新謝克爾（95,000 美元），然後又投入了 245,000 新謝克爾（77,000 美元）用於升級定制櫥櫃、地板、木製品等，並聘請了當地的室內設計師，最終價格為 545,000 新謝克爾（171,000 美元）。
2018 年 6 月 14 日，在納布盧斯中央市場打扮成角色的巴勒斯坦人。（Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90）
哈立德還在納布盧斯以西的一個村莊 al Funduq 附近購買了三德南（0.75 英畝）的農田。
在這張 2016 年 6 月 4 日的照片中，一個家庭離開了他們在拉馬拉以北的約旦河西岸城市拉瓦比新交付的公寓。（美聯社/納賽爾·納賽爾）
七年前，聯合名單 MK Osama Saadi 為他在那裡就讀醫學院的女兒在納布盧斯買了一套公寓，“而不是把我們的積蓄花在租金上。” 這是他之前在耶利哥購買的第三個家。此後，他的女兒搬去耶路撒冷接受醫療住院，但他保留了兩處房產，設備齊全。
“計劃是定期去傑里科或納布盧斯度假，但自從我在 2019 年當選議會議員以來，連續四次競選，我一直沒有時間去，”他說。
議會成員奧薩馬·薩阿迪（右）和艾哈邁德·蒂比（左）於 2019 年 9 月 9 日出席議會委員會會議。（Yonatan Sindel/Flash90）
亞伯拉罕倡議共享社會組織的聯合首席執行官兼政治地理學家 Thabet Abu Rass 告訴《以色列時報》，他已將部分積蓄用於在納布盧斯地區購買公寓。
一個吸引阿拉伯以色列人關注的項目是 Jericho Gate，這是一個規劃中的社區，擁有漂亮的單戶住宅和復式住宅，位於傑里科東南邊緣蜿蜒的景觀街道上，可以看到死海。
海法房地產經紀人哈利勒·哈朱（Khalil Haju）表示，他還注意到阿拉伯以色列人在傑里科項目和拉瓦比投入資金，但他估計只有約 5% 的以色列買家將這些房屋作為度假單位購買。
2017 年 4 月 4 日，巴勒斯坦學生在納布盧斯的 A-Najah 大學舉行畢業典禮。（Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90）
“近年來，巴勒斯坦權力機構收緊了以色列人購買房產的條件，”聯合名單 MK 的薩阿迪說。但他指出，在拉瓦比，有例外。“他們允許以色列人購買公寓，因為它沒有授予土地所有權，”他說。
三間臥室和景觀 525,000 新謝克爾
在過去的 15 年裡，以色列的住房成本飆升，特拉維夫的三居室公寓至少要花費 400 萬新謝克爾（125 萬美元），是世界上最昂貴的城市。
2016 年 10 月 13 日拍攝的 Bat Yam。（Yossi Zamir/FLASH90）
在工人階級郊區 Bat Yam，一套類似大小的公寓，即使是二手的，也需要大約 180 萬新謝克爾（557,000 美元），而在遙遠的黎巴嫩邊境的 Kiryat Shmona，新的三居室公寓的價格通常接近 900,000 新謝克爾。 （283,000 美元）。增加到 200 平方米，價格將達到 200 萬新謝克爾（63 萬美元）左右。
追踪阿拉伯人佔多數的城鎮的房價更加困難，因為所有權經常在家庭內部轉移。然而，在拿撒勒，三居室公寓的平均價格約為 110 萬新謝克爾（合 346,000 美元）——按特拉維夫的標準來說很便宜，但與納布盧斯或傑寧相比卻是高得離譜。
2017 年 12 月 9 日，在北部城市拿撒勒附近看到的阿拉伯以色列婦女 (Nati Shohat/Flash90)
但在西岸，“你可以花 200,000 新謝克爾（63,000 美元）購買一套 250 平方米（2,690 平方英尺）的公寓，”薩阿迪說。“這不是一筆巨大的金融投資。”
據阿里稱，拉馬拉和伯利恆的價格可能會相對較高。在拉馬拉，一套 120 平方米（1,260 平方英尺）的公寓可以運行 400,000 新謝克爾（126,000 美元）。
“但在約旦河西岸中心、傑寧、圖勒凱勒姆和該地區的村莊，你可以花 50,000 新謝克爾（16,000 美元）購買一個德南（四分之一英畝）的農業用地，”他說。
在距離拉馬拉僅幾分鐘路程的拉瓦比，一套 120 平方米的公寓的價格僅為 300,000 新謝克爾（94,000 美元）左右。
那裡的一個項目的廣告宣傳了一個新的 171 平方米（1,840 平方英尺）的住宅，其中三間臥室可以俯瞰群山和山谷的景觀，售價 165,000 美元（525,000 新謝克爾）。
Jericho Gate 和其他豪華項目的價格可能會更高；海法房地產經紀人 Haju 估計，傑里科門的單戶住宅平均售價約為 250 萬新謝克爾（786,000 美元），但為此你會得到一個院子、一個游泳池和 300 平方米（3,200 平方英尺）的居住空間。
2020 年 7 月 1 日，傑里科在建的房屋。（Yonatan Sindel/Flash90）
“與至少要花費 600 萬新謝克爾的豪華凱撒利亞相比，它相對便宜，”他指出。即使在遙遠的埃拉特，帶游泳池的單戶住宅也能以 500 萬至 700 萬新謝克爾（160 萬至 220 萬美元）的價格運行。
“大多數以色列阿拉伯人很難從以色列的銀行獲得融資，”他說。“我認為大多數買家都是簡單的人，他們一生都在工作，存錢，他們不想把錢存入銀行。在 COVID 大流行期間投資企業並不是一個有吸引力的選擇，因此他們將資金投資於賓夕法尼亞州的房地產，並認為這會帶來不錯的回報。”
一名以色列國防軍士兵在 2002 年防禦盾牌行動期間在納布盧斯站崗。（以色列國防軍發言人單位/Flickr）
Lured by cheap prices and luxury digs, Arab Israelis are snapping up West Bank homes
From Nablus to Jericho to Rawabi, where units cost a fraction of what they would in Israel, Arabs are leaping at the chance for investment properties, or a dream vacation home
By TAL SCHNEIDERToday, 9:40 am
Animation: Aerial view of Jericho
During the week, Khaled lives in Umm al-Fahm, a bustling Arab Israeli town, where he works as an excavation contractor. Soon, he, his wife and their six kids ages 3-13 will begin decamping on weekends to the West Bank city of Nablus, where they are joining a tide of Israelis buying second homes across the Green Line.
“I have an apartment, with a north-facing view, on the seventh floor of an 11-story building. The view is gorgeous, the neighborhood and the streets are great,” says Khaled, a pseudonym, of his under-construction new digs in the western part of the Palestinian city.
While purchasing property in areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority is not illegal, having his name published in connection with the trend could cause him problems in both Israel and the PA.
But in private, Khaled, who is an acquaintance, makes no bones about discussing his property purchase. And he is not alone.
In conversation with a large number of Arab citizens of Israel, a strong anecdotal trend emerges of purchases of houses or apartments in the 40% of the West Bank where most Palestinians live and where the PA exercises control over most civilian matters. (The other 60% is made up of areas under full or partial Israeli control, comprising the Jewish settlements and corridors between them. The trend of Jewish Israelis buying homes in those parts of the West Bank — albeit for wildly different reasons — has been well documented since 1967.)
Among the most popular areas are Jericho Gate, a new planned neighborhood on the outskirts of the Jordan Valley city; Rawabi, the first planned Palestinian city in the West Bank, just north of Ramallah; Tulkarm and Jenin, home to campuses of the American University, where almost half of the student body is Israeli; and Rafidia in Nablus, where Khaled bought his home from a Palestinian contractor when it was just a concrete shell.
The view is gorgeous, the neighborhood is great… There are restaurants, playgrounds
“There are restaurants, playgrounds. The building is high on the city’s western hills, giving it the most beautiful view in Nablus,” Khaled says.
“It’s walking distance to hookah cafes, coffee shops and restaurants. For us, it’s a vacation place. I plan to take the kids to the Nablus market, to the candy stores.”
A rendering of the Jericho Gate neighborhood in Jericho, West Bank. (Courtesy: SP Architects)
Khaled paid NIS 300,000 ($95,000) for the 200 square-meter home (2,150 square feet), and then put another NIS 245,000 ($77,000) into upgrading it with custom cabinets, flooring, woodwork and more, as well as hiring a local interior designer, for a final price of NIS 545,000 ($171,000).
The price is a fraction of what most Israelis pay for a new apartment, even in the country’s peripheral hinterlands.
A Palestinian dressed as a character in the central market in Nablus on June 14, 2018. (Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90)
Khaled also bought three dunams (0.75 acres) of agricultural land near al Funduq, a village west of Nablus.
“I bought it for the olives,” he says. “I just enjoy going there, working on the olive harvest, eating olives.”
Everybody is doing it
By Khaled’s estimation, around one in five Israeli Arabs has land or a home in the West Bank.
“Everyone is buying,” he says. His daughter’s teacher and a pharmacist friend of his bought vacation homes in Rawabi. “They go there on weekends and holidays. Everyone around me is buying real estate.”
In this June 4, 2016 photo, a family leaves their newly delivered apartment in the West Bank city of Rawabi, north of Ramallah. (AP/Nasser Nasser)
Seven years ago, Joint List MK Osama Saadi bought an apartment in Nablus for his daughter, who was in medical school there, “instead of spending our savings on rentals.” This was his third home, after he had previously purchased one in Jericho. His daughter has since moved away for a medical residency in Jerusalem, but he keeps both properties, fully furnished.
“The plan was to go regularly for vacations in Jericho or Nablus, but since I was elected to the Knesset in 2019, with four consecutive election campaigns, I haven’t had time to go,” he says.
Knesset Members Osama Saadi (R) and Ahmad Tibi (L) attend a Knesset committee meeting on September 9, 2019. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Thabet Abu Rass, a co-CEO of the Abraham Initiatives shared society organization and a political geographer, told The Times of Israel that he had invested some of his savings in buying an apartment in the Nablus area.
“There are hundreds of Arabs investing there, due to a housing crisis in Israel,” he says. “I know less about the extent of the phenomenon in Jericho or Rawabi, but I am aware that there are a lot of transactions there as well.”
A rendering of the Jericho Gate neighborhood in Jericho, West Bank. (Courtesy: SP Architects)
One project attracting much attention from Arab Israelis is Jericho Gate, a planned neighborhood of smart-looking single-family homes and duplexes set along winding, landscaped streets on the southeastern edge of Jericho, with a view toward the Dead Sea.
The project is replete with park space and plans call for cultural centers, commercial space and mixed-use developments.
“Some Israelis buy homes there to rent out, as investments. And there are those who buy it for a vacation home,” says Sami Ali, a former political consultant for the Joint List who currently advises Palestinian companies that market houses and apartments to buyers within Israel.
“I personally know two people who bought houses for themselves there.”
In the past, Arab Israelis invested in properties in Turkey, but the return on investment was not worth it anymore. We have Ramallah and the West Bank an hour away. You can go on vacation every week
“In the past, Arab Israelis invested in properties in Turkey, but the return on investment was not worth it anymore,” Ali says. “We have Ramallah and the West Bank an hour away. You can go on vacation every week; it’s the Palestinian people, so there is mutual trust, solidarity. Why go to Turkey and worry about crooks out there?”
The Rafidia neighborhood in Nablus. (Courtesy)
Khalil Haju, a Haifa real estate agent, says he has also noticed Arab Israelis putting money in the Jericho project, as well as in Rawabi, though he estimates that only about 5 percent of Israeli buyers purchase the homes as vacation units.
“It’s mainly for families, but Arab Israelis buy them as rentals or an investment, and they don’t intend to actually go there to live,” he says.
Saadi notes that Jenin, another university town, is also a popular place to invest, though he prefers Nablus’s charms.
Palestinian students celebrate during their graduation ceremony at A-Najah University in Nablus on April 4, 2017. (Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90)
“There are a lot of students in Jenin and Nablus, and there’s a custom of buying and renting out apartments there,” he says.
Akram Ragov, the governor of Jenin, confirmed that Israelis were snapping up property in the city, but noted that he did not have any concrete information on the extent of the phenomenon.
Buying under the radar
As it turns out, nobody has concrete data on Arab Israelis buying homes in PA-controlled areas of the West Bank. While the tax authority has general data on Israeli investment income generated abroad, it does not specify which of these are real estate investments, said Tax Authority spokesman Avital Lahav.
On the Palestinian side, laws are in place to keep Israelis of any stripe from buying Palestinian land. To get around the rules, Arab Israelis only buy part of a property — up to 49% — or buy an apartment or condo in a development, which Palestinian authorities are sometimes willing to overlook
Moreover, the purchase can be made through a foreign corporation that acts as a middleman, further obfuscating the true extent of the phenomenon, and not all Israelis report their foreign investments to the Tax Authority.
The Bank of Israel keeps overall statistics on Israeli investments abroad, but does not have granular enough information to allow for any meaningful analysis of the trend.
A large road sign advertises homes in Rawabi. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
On the Palestinian side, laws are in place to keep Israelis of any stripe from buying Palestinian land. To get around the rules, Arab Israelis only buy part of a property — up to 49% — or buy an apartment or condo in a development, which Palestinian authorities are sometimes willing to overlook as it is not considered the same as direct ownership of a single-family home on a plot of land.
“In recent years, the Palestinian Authority has tightened the conditions for Israelis to purchase property,” says Saadi, the Joint List MK. But he notes that in Rawabi, exceptions were made. “They allowed Israelis to buy apartments, since it does not grant a title to the land,” he says.
Sami Ali. (Courtesy)
Ali, the real estate marketer, notes that purchases are also made through shell entities registered to Palestinians, to blur the Israeli ownership.
“In principle, it is more difficult to acquire full ownership of land, as opposed to an apartment,” he says.
Those who buy apartments, he says, “do so via a long-term leasehold with the contract registered on the property.”
Both he and Thabet, the Abraham Initiatives co-CEO, say that the trend has mostly flown under the radar, with little about it in the Israeli or Palestinian press, though many talk about it and Facebook is replete with ads for Palestinian homes targeting Israeli buyers.
“Both in the Hebrew media and in the Arabic media, there are no mentions of these trends,” Ali says.
Three bedrooms and a view for NIS 525,000
While those buying apartments speak about the family-friendly neighborhoods and shiny new apartments on tree-lined streets, an even bigger draw for most buyers is the attractive price, people say.
Housing costs in Israel have soared over the last 15 years, earning Tel Aviv, where a three-bedroom apartment costs NIS 4 million ($1.25 million) at a minimum, the title of world’s most expensive city.
View of Bat Yam on October 13, 2016. (Yossi Zamir/FLASH90)
In working-class suburb Bat Yam, a similar-sized apartment, even secondhand, goes for around NIS 1.8 million ($557,000) and in far-flung Kiryat Shmona, on the Lebanese border, new three-bedroom apartments generally go for nearly NIS 900,000 ($283,000). Going up to 200 square meters there would bring the price to around NIS 2 million ($630,000).
Tracking housing prices in Arab-majority towns is more difficult, because ownership often transfers within families. In Nazareth, however, three-bedroom units average around NIS 1.1 million ($346,000) — cheap by Tel Aviv standards, but downright exorbitant compared to Nablus or Jenin.
Arab Israeli women seen near the northern city of Nazareth on December 9, 2017 (Nati Shohat/Flash90)
But in the West Bank, “you can buy a 250 square-meter apartment (2,690 square feet) for NIS 200,000 ($63,000),” Saadi says. “This is not a huge financial investment.”
According to Ali, prices in Ramallah and Bethlehem can get relatively high. A 120-square-meter apartment (1,260 square feet) in Ramallah can run NIS 400,000 ($126,000).
“But in the center of the West Bank, Jenin, Tulkarem and villages in this area, you can buy a dunam (quarter-acre) of agricultural land for NIS 50,000 ($16,000),” he says.
In Rawabi, just a few minutes from Ramallah, a 120-square-meter apartment costs only around NIS 300,000 ($94,000).
An ad for a project there advertises a new 171-square-meter (1,840 square-foot) home with three bedrooms overlooking a landscape of hills and valleys for $165,000 (NIS 525,000).
“Even compared to homes in the Buyer’s Price program [Israel’s first-time homeowner subsidized housing lottery], prices are still three to four times what they are in Palestinian cities,” Ali says.
Prices in Jericho Gate and other luxury projects can run much higher; Haju, the Haifa real estate agent, estimates that a single-family home in Jericho Gate averages around NIS 2.5 million ($786,000), but for that you get a yard, a pool and 300 square meters (3,200 square feet) of living space.
Homes under construction in Jericho, on July 1, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
“Compared to ritzy Caesarea, where it would cost at least NIS 6 million, it’s relatively cheap,” he points out. Even in faraway Eilat, a single-family home with a pool can run for NIS 5 million to NIS 7 million ($1.6 million to $2.2 million).
Ali, who says the trend has picked up in recent years, notes that one factor driving the phenomenon is the lack of bank mortgages available in Arab communities, where mafia-controlled loan sharks have taken over the lending business.
“Most Israeli Arabs have a very hard time getting financing from banks in Israel,” he says. “I think most buyers are simple people who have worked all their lives, saved, and they do not want to throw the money in savings in the bank. Investing in businesses during the COVID pandemic has not been an attractive option, so they invest their money in real estate in the PA and assume that it will bring a nice return.”
These deals might not last
Purchasing homes in the PA rests on the assumption that the security situation will remain calm enough to make a vacation home in Jericho tenable or keep a real estate investment from crashing.
People are still afraid of a deterioration in the security situation and of the reality under occupation and may even be afraid of losing their investment
Despite the money pouring in, jitters are still high that the situation could change at any moment.
“I think people are still afraid of a deterioration in the security situation and of the reality under occupation and may even be afraid of losing their investment. But still, there is a certain percentage that continues to invest,” Ali says. “They feel that the economic relations between Israel and the West Bank are good, that there is good production in the West Bank, and that there is mutual trade and economic cooperation. And so there is also prosperity and an increase in real estate purchases there.”
An IDF soldier stands guard in Nablus during Operation Defensive Shield in 2002. (IDF Spokesperson’s Unit/Flickr)
For Saadi, 2002’s Operation Defensive Shield, in which Israeli soldiers invaded several Palestinian cities in response to a suicide bombing, turning some neighborhoods into war zones and causing “vast destruction,” is a reminder of how bad things can get in the West Bank.
“I don’t think the investments are being driven by an expectation for calm,” he says. “It’s simply that the prices are so low.”