Israel, Trump and Middle East News!

8/5//23 By Tim Buck

“Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing? He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision.”
Psalms 2:1, 4

Terror Strikes the  Innocent

In Israel, people were enjoying their burgers outside a shopping mall in Maale Adumim in the West Bank. Suddenly, a Palestinian gunman opened fire on them before running into the street and shooting more people.

Six Israelis were wounded, one critically, before an off-duty police officer shot and killed the 20-year-old assailant.

US Hobbles Saudi/Israel Normalization Talks

By all appearances, the Biden administration is forcing the Palestinian issue into Saudi and Israeli normalization talks. Back during the Trump administration, the Saudis never cared about land concessions for the Palestinians. They saw the bigger picture of the great benefits that would come with a friendship between Riyadh and Jerusalem. But now that the anti-Israel Biden administration is in office, suddenly the Saudis are demanding Palestinian policies that parallels the Biden administrations favor of the Palestinians.

US and Israel Hold Joint Naval Exercise

A Sunday ceremony in Haifa signaled the commencement of Intrinsic Defender, a two-week joint drill between the Israeli Navy and the US 5th Fleet. Focused on operation readiness and cooperation, this exercise will take place on both land and sea.

“Israel is one of our most capable maritime partners and these exercises further underscore historic military cooperation achieved in recent years,” stated V.-Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of US Naval Forces Central Command, US 5th Fleet, and Combined Maritime Forces.

Gazans Protest Against Hamas

Thousands of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip took to the streets on Sunday to protest the incompetent leadership of Hamas. Under the terror group, which rules the area, the cost of living has skyrocketed while supplies of electricity and gas have plummeted.

Many of the Hamas leaders don’t experience these deprivations because they are living in luxurious exile in Qatar, Turkey, and Lebanon. Unfortunately, Hamas is so strongly entrenched that these protests will likely have little effect.

Damascus Terror Attack Pits Sunnis Against Shiites

A motorcycle bomb exploded near a Shiite shrine in the Damascus suburb of Sayyida Zaynab last Thursday killing seven and wounding numerous others.

Soon after, ISIS claimed responsibility, prompting Hezbollah to send soldiers to secure the area. Thus, we now see a Shiite terror group offering protection from the attacks of a Sunni terror group.

The Russia-Friendly Military Coup in Niger has Succeeded

Russia loyalist General Abdourahmane Tchiani has declared himself to be the new leader of Niger after ousting President Mohamed Bazum in a coup. The country’s new leadership has shut down numerous institutions, suspended the constitution, and closed its borders, causing Europeans still in the country to scramble looking for ways to flee.

The change of rule in Niger fits directly into Russia’s growing influence in Africa. Just last week, 43 African nations participated in the second Africa-Russia Summit in St. Petersburg. Currently, the deputy leader of Niger’s junta is visiting Mali, Niger’s neighbor to the west, in order to ask for a “rapid deployment of Wagner forces in the country” to reinforce the coup.

Energy Consequences of Niger Coup

The ramifications of the coup in Niger extend beyond the Sahel region of Africa to Europe and beyond. Many different sectors of government and economy will likely be affected, including energy. Niger exports approximately 25% of the uranium that the EU uses for its nuclear power plants.

Already, the junta in Niamey is indicating that it will suspend its uranium exports to France. This is despite government-connected French companies owning 63% of uranium mines in Niger. As indicated in the previous story, many see Russia’s hand in Niger’s move and in that of Burkina Faso which has halted uranium exports to both France and the US.

Also of grave concern is the future of the Trans-Saharan gas pipeline project (TGSP; also known as NIGAL). This planned pipeline will bring natural gas from Nigeria through Niger and into Algeria. From there it will be transported to Europe. If Niger pulls out of the project, it is dead in the water.

Saudis to Host Russia/Ukraine Peace Talks as War Rages

This week, Saudi Arabia will host peace discussions for the Russia/Ukraine conflict. Representatives from 30 countries will fly to Jeddah to discuss what can be done to reach a peace settlement. One country that will not be there, however, is Russia.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has promised to “keep an eye on this meeting” which raises the possibility of success at this summit from “not a chance” to “just fractionally more than not a chance”. Meanwhile, the war still rages with Ukrainian suicide drones reaching Moscow, and Russian missiles hitting Ukraine’s civilian targets.

Belarusian Helicopters Violate Polish Airspace

Two Belarusian helicopters crossed into Poland’s airspace on Tuesday sparking alarm and a Polish military buildup. Tensions were already high between Poland, an ardent supporter of Ukraine, and Belarus, a client nation of Russia.

I suspect that if you were to look around Belarus, you would find many Wagner Group soldiers stationed there ready to invade Poland.

In other Belarus news, Iran is about to sign a production agreement which will provide for the building of an assembly plant for their Shahed-136 suicide drones in the country. This will be in addition to the factory Iran now has in Russia.

Deadly Clash in Egyptian Military Headquarters in Sinai

At least four police were shot to death on Sunday and more than 21 more were wounded at a heavily fortified Egyptian security facility in the Sinai Peninsula. It is unclear what exactly happened or who was responsible for it, but the speculation is that it is another in a string of ISIS attacks.

Pakistan Terror Blast Kills More Than 40

A Sunday political rally in Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province was devastated when a suicide bomber set off explosives. At least 42 were killed and more than 130 more were injured, some very seriously. It is suspected that those responsible were part of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) or one of its affiliates.

Former President Trump Indicted on Four Counts

Former US President Donald Trump was indicted by the Justice Department Tuesday on four felony counts. The accusations include conspiracy to commit fraud, tampering with witness statements, conspiracy to prevent an official state procedure, and conspiracy against civil rights. It is nearly impossible to not see this for what it really is.

Last year in Israel, the radical left pulled similar shenanigans to keep Benjamin Netanyahu out of the Prime Minister’s position using bogus charges. The liberals failed in Israel and I pray they will fail in the US, also.

Meanwhile, the rating agency Fitch downgraded the US government’s credit rating from AAA to AA+. Way to go, Joe! Good to see your administration is focusing on what is really important.