Why Britain’s Deradicalization Programs Are Failing

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The vast majority of deradicalization programs in the UK are at best ineffective and at worst counter-productive, according to a recent study by the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT, also known as the “nudge unit”), a social purpose company partially owned by the UK government, but that works in partnership with the Cabinet Office.

As the Times reported recently, BIT examined 33 deradicalization programs across Britain, in schools, youth centers, sports clubs and English-language classes. Most of these are part of Prevent — a strategy presented in 2011 to the UK Parliament by the Secretary of State for the Home Department — designed to keep vulnerable citizens from becoming terrorists or supporting any form of violent extremism inspired by radical Islamist or right-wing ideologies. BIT found that only two of the programs have been successful.

The main reason for the failure of the other 31 programs, according to the Times’ report on the study, is:

“…that facilitators were uncomfortable dealing with sensitive topics and would often refuse to engage if they were brought up. BIT found that teachers in particular were afraid to bring up matters of race and religion with their students without appearing discriminatory, often causing them to refuse to talk about these topics entirely.”

via Why Britain’s Deradicalization Programs Are Failing

“Palestinians” fire 200 rockets and missiles into Israel, Israel hits Hamas cell launching arson kites

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The IDF on Sunday said it fired at a group of Palestinians flying incendiary balloons into southern Israel from the northern Gaza Strip.

Reports in Palestinian media said one person was injured by the Israeli drone strike in the Beit Hanoun area.

In a statement, the army said the Palestinians were members of the Hamas terrorist organization that rules the Strip.

The strike came hours after a fragile ceasefire between Israel and Hamas went into effect, following the most severe exchange of fire between Israel and Hamas since the 2014 war.

Over the weekend, Palestinian terrorists fired some 200 rockets and missiles at Israeli communities near the Gaza border. In response, the IDF struck dozens of Hamas targets in the Strip.

via “Palestinians” fire 200 rockets and missiles into Israel, Israel hits Hamas cell launching arson kites

The Kim-Trump and Kim-Moon Summits

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s summits with US President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in were important milestones in solving the Korean Peninsula crisis, but they are only the first step in a long negotiation process that will take at least two years and might face several obstacles.

Analyses of the Donald Trump-Kim Jong-un summit in Singapore on June 12 tend to reflect the political slant of the analyst. To Trump supporters, the summit was very successful. To Trump detractors, it was a huge failure. Had President Obama or President Hillary Clinton signed the same agreement, the Republican party – and certainly John Bolton – would have criticized them for committing to a deal that offers Kim more than he is willing to reciprocate.

The historic summit should be viewed not as a one-time event but as the beginning of a long-term negotiation process between North Korea and the US. South Korea, China, and Japan will each have a constructive role to play. Despite the “mission accomplished” euphoria broadcast by the White House after the summit, we should expect not a quick and smooth denuclearization in North Korea but a long and bumpy road, as was apparent after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s subsequent visit to Pyongyang.

The Trump-Kim summit should be analyzed in context, together with the Kim-Moon summit that took place on April 27. Both summits had pros and cons.

via The Kim-Trump and Kim-Moon Summits

Israel is creating a humanitarian crisis in Gaza

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When Israel evacuated all Jewish citizens and removed all of its troops from the Gaza Strip in 2005, it was with the expectation that the Palestinian Authority (PA) would provide effective governance in the territory and that progress toward peace would follow. Moreover, Israel has always understood that Palestinian prosperity was important for creating incentives for ending the conflict. This is why, for example, Israel left behind greenhouses in Gaza that would have provided the Palestinians with a ready-made multi-million dollar export industry had they chosen not to destroy most of them and convert others to terrorist training bases.

Much of the suffering in Gaza today is caused by sanctions imposed by the PA. These include cutting the salaries and benefits of Gaza-based PA employees, resuming the collection of taxes, suspending social welfare assistance to thousands of families and forcing thousands of civil servants to retire. The PA also stopped paying Israel for electricity and fuel supplies resulting in rolling blackouts (Khaled Abu Toameh, “Hamas calls on PA government to lift sanctions or disband,” Times of Israel, February 13, 2018). Deputy Hamas leader in Gaza Khalil Al-Hayya said that sanctions imposed by the PA “represent a humanitarian and national crime” (“Hamas: Reconciliation starts with lifting PA sanctions on Gaza,” Middle East Monitor, July 3, 2018).

Abbas hopes the conditions will deteriorate to the point where the people will blame Hamas for their plight and revolt, allowing the PA to retake control of Gaza.

Despite continuing Qassam rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza following the disengagement, Israel has provided food, fuel, electricity, furniture, medical equipment and medicines, electronic appliances, building materials and other supplies to Gaza. Israel has also assisted the local economy by allowing goods produced inside Gaza, such as agricultural produce, textiles, and iron to be exported. Due to the ongoing protests that began with the “Great March of Return” and have escalated to rocket attacks and setting fires, Israel has temporarily closed the crossing to all goods but necessities.

via Myths & Facts: Online Exclusives

IAF Official After Gaza Escalation: We Will Act Again, if Hamas Commits Further Violence

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The Israeli Air Force is satisfied with the results of the dozens of strikes it carried out against Hamas infrastructure targets in the Gaza Strip on Saturday, the Hebrew news site Mako reported, citing an senior IAF official.

After a ceasefire went into effect following this weekend’s round of escalation that was set off by a Friday grenade attack that wounded an IDF officer on the Israel-Gaza border, the official said on Sunday the IAF was prepared to act again if Hamas committed further violence.

“If they decide there won’t be quiet, then we’ll do what is necessary to bring quiet,” the official said. “What we saw this weekend was not [our] full force.”

The official noted that the IAF was instructed to hit Hamas infrastructure sites, and not terror operatives.

Saturday saw the most extensive set of strikes conducted in Gaza by the IAF since the summer of 2014, in response to Hamas rocket and mortar fire.

via IAF Official After Gaza Escalation: We Will Act Again, if Hamas Commits Further Violence