US/World News

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Lebanon linked to attack in Bulgaria
(JNS.org) The amount of telephone calls between Lebanon and Burgas saw an uptick during the two months before the July 18 suicide bombing of a tour bus carrying Israelis in the Bulgarian city, the New York Times reported. Israel — which from the outset accused the Lebanon-based and Iran-funded Hezbollah terrorist group of orchestrating the bombing — has learned of an even greater spike in those calls for the three days prior to an attack that killed five Israelis and their Bulgarian bus driver, according to the newspaper.

Hamas leader sends brother-in-law to Israeli hospital
(JNS.org) Just days after Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh reiterated the Muslim Brotherhood’s accusations that the attack on the Egyptian-Israeli border in Sinai “confirms some sort of Israeli involvement,” a fact which Israeli officials have called “nonsense,” it has emerged that Haniyeh recently allowed his sister to enter Israel to take her husband for an urgent treatment at the Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva. Suhila Abd el-Salam Ahmed Haniyeh suffered a serious cardiac episode a few months ago. The couple requested an emergency-entry permission to a hospital in Israel that could treat the condition, and a Palestinian ambulance transported the husband to the Erez Crossing. From there he was taken by a Magen David Adom vehicle to the Petah Tikva hospital, where he remained hospitalized for a week. Hamas still refuses to recognize Israel’s right to exist.

Foundations give $6 million to Moishe House
(JNS.org) Several foundations have announced an investment of $6 million in Moishe House in order to help the international organization increase its impact on Jewish young adults in their 20s. Moishe House currently runs 46 residences in 14 countries, with more than 50,000 people annually attending its programs. The grants from five foundations — the Jim Joseph Foundation, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, Leichtag Foundation, Genesis Philanthropy Group and Maimonides Fund — “will help Moishe House engage and educate more young Jewish adults through both expanding our existing model as well as new and creative channels,” said David Cygielman, Moishe House CEO. The funds will also help expand Moishe House to new locations, offer enhanced Jewish educational training for residents and their peers, and invest in Moishe House’s organizational infrastructure and fundraising. The Jim Joseph Foundation is also offering up to a $3 million, dollar-for-dollar match to Moishe House for all funds raised from federations and individuals over the next four and half years.

U.S.-Israel rift over Iran nuclear red line deepens
(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) The differences between Israel and the U.S. on whether to take action against Iran over its nuclear weapons program have deepened. The U.S. still believes that Iran is not on the verge of producing a nuclear weapon and that Tehran has not made a decision to pursue one, U.S. officials said on Thursday. Their comments came after Israeli media reports claimed President Obama had received a new National Intelligence Estimate saying Iran had made significant and surprising progress toward military nuclear capability. The new report is very similar to Israeli assessments on the matter, and the
perturbing nature of the report highlights the disparity between Prime Minister Netanyahu’s position and that of President Obama.
Later, Defense Minister Ehud Barak suggested that the new U.S. report, which he acknowledged might be something other than a National Intelligence Estimate, “transforms the Iranian situation into an even more urgent one.”
But U.S. National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor disputed the Israeli reports, saying the U.S. intelligence assessment of Iran’s nuclear activities had not changed since intelligence officials delivered testimony to Congress on the issue earlier this year.
“We believe that there is time and space to continue to pursue a diplomatic path, backed by growing international pressure on the Iranian government,” Vietor said.

Israeli intelligence cracks Hezbollah plot
(JNS.org) Israel has foiled a massive plot to carry out a “mega-attack” or wave of several deadly terrorist attacks against Israeli targets, it was announced on Wednesday, August 5, according to Israel Hayom. The Israel Police’s Northern District’s Border Unit and the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) scored a significant intelligence success by uncovering an Israeli-Arab cell smuggling weapons and explosives from Lebanon into Israel. The cell, made up of three distinct groups and comprising 14 individuals, smuggled in 24 ready-to-use C4 high-quality bombs with attached timers into the northern border town of Ghajar, which straddles the Israel-Lebanon border. In addition to the explosive devices, the suspected cell members were caught, following an extensive intelligence gathering operation, with an FN MAG general-purpose machine gun and an M16 rifle stolen from the Israel Defense Forces.

British bank accused of working with Iran to launder $250 billion
(JNS.org) The UK-based Standard Chartered Bank has been accused of hiding more than 60,000 Iranian government transactions over a 10-year period, amounting to $250 billion in alleged money laundering, the New York Times reported. The British bank’s New York branch served “as a front for prohibited dealings with Iran — dealings that indisputably helped sustain a global threat to peace and stability,” a regulatory order sent to the bank stated. The New York State Department of Financial Services, which brought the charges against Standard Chartered, called the bank a “rogue institution.” Reuters reported that Standard Chartered’s top business official in the Americas notified the bank’s employees that dealing with Iranian transactions could lead to “serious criminal liability.” Management reportedly responded by asking, “Who are you to tell us, the rest of the world, that we’re not going to deal with Iranians.”

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