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Donald Trump Is Afraid of Steve Bannon, and That’s Why He Won’t Fire Him: Report (LOL….)

Steve Bannon has built a lucrative career as an outspoken advocate and defender of white male privilege, but his strategy of pandering to the nation’s inner nationalist-racist demon that helped Donald Trump win the presidency is increasingly becoming a problem for the administration.

So will the president finally boot Bannon from the White House?

According to some insiders, Trump is hesitant to kick out a man who is held in such high esteem among the president’s key constituency of alt-right supporters. Bannon headed the popular right-wing news site Breitbart before joining Trump’s presidential election campaign.

“The president obviously is very nervous and afraid of firing him,” a White House insider told Reuters. As Trump’s popularity tanks, he could be hesitant to alienate his hard-right base by firing one of their own.

On Tuesday, during a heated press conference where Trump offered unequivocal support to the swastika-waving nationalists that descended on Charlottesville last weekend, the president hinted at yet another White House shakeup.

“We’ll see what happens with Mr. Bannon,” Trump said during the event at Trump Tower in New York when asked about Bannon’s fate in the wake of widespread condemnation of the president’s response to the clashed in Charlottesville.

For months Bannon has jockeyed for influence against Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, the president’s national security advisor and is said to have an acrimonious relationship with Jared Kushner, the president’s closest advisor and son-in-law.

The latest Gallup tracking poll shows Trump’s approval rating has dropped to 34 percent, down from 37 percent last week.

 

Angelo Young is a freelance writer and editor whose work has appeared in the International Business Times, Salon, and the Arab News, among many other publications. 

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Longtime Trump business partner ‘told family he knows he and POTUS are going to prison’: report

Felix Sater, one of Donald Trump’s shadiest former business partners, is reportedly preparing for prison time — and he says the president will be joining him behind bars.

Sources told The Spectator‘s Paul Wood that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s deep dive into Trump’s business practices may be yielding results.

Trump recently made remarks that could point to a money laundering scheme, Wood reported.

“I mean, it’s possible there’s a condo or something, so, you know, I sell a lot of condo units, and somebody from Russia buys a condo, who knows?” the president said.

Sater, who has a long history of legal troubles and is cooperating with law enforcement, was one of the major players responsible for selling Trump’s condos to the Russians.
And according to Wood’s sources, Sater may have already flipped and given prosecutors the evidence they need to make a case against Trump.

For several weeks there have been rumours that Sater is ready to rat again, agreeing to help Mueller. ‘He has told family and friends he knows he and POTUS are going to prison,’ someone talking to Mueller’s investigators informed me.
Sater hinted in an interview earlier this month that he may be cooperating with both Mueller’s investigation and congressional probes of Trump.

“In about the next 30 to 35 days, I will be the most colourful character you have ever talked about,” Sater told New York Magazine. “Unfortunately, I can’t talk about it now, before it happens. And believe me, it ain’t anything as small as whether or not they’re gonna call me to the Senate committee.”
Sater is not the only one rumored confidante to have turned against Trump. An attack on former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort by the National Enquirer — a friendly outlet for the president — suggests that he may have already turned over damaging evidence to authorities.

REPORT: IRAN AND RUSSIA VIOLATED UN WEAPONS SANCTIONS

 

The Islamic Republic of Iran and Russia used a smuggling route to transport offensive weapons, allegedly in violation of UN Resolution 2231, German’s Welt am Sonntag newspaper reported on Sunday.

The broadsheet paper cited “Western intelligence services” saying Iran delivered “offensive weapons systems” to Russia via a military air base in Syria.

“In June, two airplanes from Iran flew directly to the Khmeimim Air Base [southeast of Latakia] – the most important Russian military base in Syria – in order to bring the military equipment for transport to Russia,” the paper said.

According to Welt am Sonntag, the heavy military goods were loaded onto trucks and taken to the Syrian port of Tartus. The Russian ship Sparta III then delivered the weapons a few days later to Russia’s main Black Sea port of Novorossiysk.

The paper said the weapons were sent to Russia for “service maintenance.”

It is unclear what types of weapons the Iranian regime sent to Russia. The Iran-Russia transport route was termed “a new smuggling route.”

The exclusive report showed satellite images of an Iranian Boeing airplane at Khmeimim. The US airplane giant Boeing seeks to sell $3 billion in airplanes to an Iranian airline. The revelations of Iran’s allegedly illicit use of a Boeing airplane could jeopardize the deal that faces fierce opposition in the US Congress. Last year, Reps.

Jeb Hensarling of Texas and Peter Roskam of Illinois wrote in a letter to Boeing: “American companies should not be complicit in weaponizing the Iranian regime.” The European airplane company Airbus is holding negotiations to sell 48 helicopters to Tehran.

Russia was part of the P5+1 group of world powers that signed the nuclear deal with Iran in July 2015.

The accord imposed restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for significant sanctions relief.

United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231 was passed that month as part of the nuclear deal’s architecture to restrict Iran’s missile and arms-related activities.

The Jerusalem Post reported last month on Iran’s illicit nuclear and missile weapons procurement activities in Germany during 2016.

According to the state of Hamburg’s intelligence agency: “there is no evidence of a complete aboutface in Iran’s atomic polices in 2016” [after it signed the nuclear deal]. Iran sought missile carrier technology necessary for its rocket program.”

An intelligence report from the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg stated, “Regardless of the number of national and international sanctions and embargoes, countries like Iran, Pakistan and North Korea are making efforts to optimize corresponding technology.”

According to the Baden-Württemberg report, Iran sought “products and scientific knowhow for the field of developing weapons of mass destruction as well as missile technology.” The 181-page document cites Iran’s illicit cyberware, espionage, terrorism and weapons of mass destruction procurement activities 49 times.

A telling example of Iran’s sanctions evasion strategy involved the assistance of a front company. The intelligence agency wrote that a Chinese import-export company contacted a firm in the southwestern German state that sells “complex metal producing machines.”

The Baden-Württemberg report said the technology would aid Iran’s development of ballistic missiles.

Germany’s Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control issued an end-use receipt for the Chinese purchase. Intelligence officials notified the manufacturer that the merchandise was slated to be illegally diverted to Iran. “This case shows that so-called indirect- deliveries across third countries is still Iran’s procurement strategy,” wrote the intelligence officials. Sophisticated engineering and technological companies are situated in Baden-Württemberg and it has long been a target for illicit Iranian procurement efforts.

A third state intelligence report from June said that in the 2016, “German companies located in Rhineland-Palatinate were contacted for illegal procurement attempts by [Pakistan, North Korea and Iran]. The procurement attempts involved goods that were subject to authorization and approval on account of legal export restrictions and UN embargoes. These goods, for example, could be used for a state’s nuclear and missile programs.”

The Trump administration will decide in October whether the Iran nuclear deal should again be certified for continuation. US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley is slated to travel to Vienna this month to meet with officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency – the UN nuclear watchdog organization – to discuss Iran’s compliance with the 2015 nuclear pact.

REPORT: UAE MADE PAYMENTS TO FORMER UK PM TONY BLAIR AS QUARTET ENVOY

 

The United Arab Emirates paid former British prime minister Tony Blair millions of pounds when he served as envoy for the Quartet mediating between Israel and the Palestinians, according to a report in The Sunday Telegraph.

Neither the Foreign Ministry nor the Prime Minister’s Office responded on Monday to the report.

The British broadsheet newspaper said Blair received millions of pounds in consultancy fees from the UAE as he was trying to mediate Israeli-Palestinian peace. The report said he also received fees from the sovereign wealth fund of the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi.

In addition, according to a report on Monday in the Daily Mail, the UAE helped fund Blair’s office in London while he was the Quartet envoy.

The Quartet – made up of the US, EU, Russia and the UN – was established in 2002 to facilitate the Israeli-Palestinian diplomatic process. Blair served as the group’s envoy from 2007 until 2015.

The report about the UAE funds raises potentially troubling questions about the objectivity of Blair during the time he served as the Quartet envoy. Nevertheless, the former British prime minister is held in high esteem in Jerusalem as a close friend and staunch supporter.

Allegations of a conflict of interest between Blair’s role as Quartet envoy and the business interests of his private consultancy firm have dogged him intermittently over the last number of years.

That Daily Mail report quoted a spokeswoman for Blair as saying that money he received from the UAE paid for the travel expenses for him and his staff. During his time as envoy, Blair made dozens of trips to and from the Mideast.

“As has already been publicly acknowledged, the UAE have supported the work of Mr. Blair over the years including his work on governance – now done solely on a not-for-profit basis – in countries like Colombia and Serbia,” the spokeswoman was quoted as saying. “In addition, they contributed to the costs of Mr. Blair and his London-based staff for the work he and they did for the Quartet role, particularly travel. None of this money went to Mr. Blair personally. It was quite separate from the funding of the Office of the Quartet Representative in Jerusalem, which Mr. Blair also raised from a range of different governments.”

Trump ‘personally dictated’ misleading statement about Don Jr’s meeting with a Russian lawyer: report

Donald Trump “personally dictated” Donald Trump Jr.’s misleading statement about a meeting between members of the Trump campaign and a Russian lawyer, the Washington Post reports.

The New York Times reported on July 11 that the statement—wherein Trump Jr. claimed the meeting was primarily about Russian adoption, and conveniently left out at least four other participants—was crafted on Air Force One and “signed off on” by the president.

Now, the Post reports the statement was issued “at the president’s direction.”

“This was . . . unnecessary,” a anonymous Trump adviser told the Post. “Now someone can claim he’s the one who attempted to mislead. Somebody can argue the president is saying he doesn’t want you to say the whole truth.”

“[Trump] refuses to sit still,” the adviser added. “He doesn’t think he’s in any legal jeopardy, so he really views this as a political problem he is going to solve by himself.”

Lawyers for Trump Jr.—who was forced to modify his statement several times after reports indicated his retelling was less-than-truthful—have previously insisted the president’s son’s legal team was “fully prepared and absolutely prepared to publish or make a statement that was a fulsome statement about the nature of the meeting, what led to the meeting, what the conversation was in the meeting.”

Alan Futerfas, one of Trump Jr.’s lawyers, repeated that statement to the Post Monday.

US and China report progress on new North Korea sanctions

UNITED NATIONS — The United States and China said Tuesday they are making progress on a new U.N. resolution that would impose additional sanctions against North Korea following its test of an intercontinental ballistic missile.

The U.S. gave China a proposed resolution several weeks ago, and U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley told reporters that China has been negotiating with its close ally Russia on possible new sanctions.

“The true test will be what they’ve worked out with Russia,” she said.

China’s U.N. Ambassador Liu Jieyi told two journalists that “we are making progress” and “we are working as hard as we can.”

But neither Haley nor Liu would estimate how long it will take before they agree on a draft that can be circulated to the rest of the 15-member Security Council and then put to a vote.

“There is certainly light at the end of the tunnel and we are working towards that light, and I can’t really tell how much time we would need,” Liu said.

He wouldn’t confirm that China is working with Russia on the text, saying “there is always a process of working out the resolution, and in due course I think the resolution will be discussed at a wider circle.”

Haley said “I think we are moving. It’s not as fast as I would like but these are pretty serious sanctions and so I think that there is a lot of thought going into this.”

The Security Council has already imposed six rounds of progressively tougher sanctions against North Korea, but so far that has failed to halt the country’s rapidly advancing nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

The most recent sanctions resolution to be adopted, on June 2, added to the U.N. blacklist 15 individuals and four entities linked to the North’s nuclear and missile programs.

At the time, China was blocking tougher measures pushed by the United States.

But North Korea raised the stakes with its launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile as Americans celebrated Independence Day on July 4.

The test marked a significant step toward young North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s goal of developing a missile with a nuclear warhead capable of reaching the United States — and it changed the reality for the Trump administration, which moved quickly to give China a new draft resolution with tougher sanctions.

Haley stressed that the United States wants to ensure that a new resolution is “a strong resolution, because that’s what we think we need to have.”

“I think we are making progress, so we are actually talking about different sanctions,” she said.

Haley refused to say what measures were being discussed. But earlier this month she told the Security Council that if it is united, the international community can cut off major sources of hard currency to North Korea, restrict oil to its military and weapons programs, increase air and maritime restrictions and hold senior officials accountable.

Liu said “there is going to be more than the last resolution.”

But he stressed that for China, a resolution must serve to promote denuclearization and peace and security on the Korean Peninsula, and a negotiated solution to North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.

Therefore, Liu said, the specific measures in a new resolution need to be measured against achieving those three objectives.

Haley said she was pleased with China’s response to the initial draft the U.S. proposed.

“We were waiting to see if it was going to be weak or strong, and I think they’re showing some seriousness with it,” Haley said. “We are constantly in touch with China and I can say that things are moving, but it is still too early to tell how far they’ll move.”

Liu said “the most important thing is to have … a draft resolution that everybody can support.”

One possible stumbling block is whether the new resolution will refer to North Korea’s test of an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Russia has questioned whether the missile actually was an ICBM, though China did not.

“I think that everyone that we have dealt with acknowledges it’s an ICBM,” Haley said. “Whether they’re willing to put it in writing or not is going to be the real question.”

Liu noted that previous resolutions referred to ballistic missiles “without going into further categorization of the missiles.”

“And I do not think that for the purpose of working out a resolution you need really to go to the technical nitty gritties of things,” he said.

Liu said China is still working to convince other governments to support its suspension-for-suspension proposal in which North Korea would suspend nuclear and missile tests in exchange for the U.S. and South Korea suspending their joint military exercises.

The package proposed by China and supported by Russia also includes denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and “a peace and security mechanism” in place for both North Korea and South Korea, Liu said.

“We just hope that the other relevant parties will be forthcoming because we don’t see any alternative,” he said.

One-third of dementia cases could be prevented, report says

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/one-third-of-dementia-cases-could-be-prevented-alzheimers-report/

 

One-third of cases of dementia worldwide could potentially be prevented through better management of lifestyle factors such as smoking, hypertension, depression, and hearing loss over the course of a lifetime, according to a new report.

Across the globe, about 47 million people were living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia in 2015. That number is projected to triple by the year 2050 as the population ages. Health care costs associated with dementia are enormous, with an estimated $818 billion price tag in 2015.

The new study, published in The Lancet and conducted by the first Lancet Commission on Dementia Prevention and Care, brought together 24 international experts to review existing dementia research and provide recommendations for treating and preventing the devastating condition.

“Dementia is the greatest global challenge for health and social care in the 21st century,” lead study author Professor Gill Livingston, of University College London, told CBS News. “The purpose of the commission was therefore to address it by consolidating the huge strides and emerging knowledge as to what we should do to prevent dementia and intervene and care for people with dementia.”

There is currently no drug treatment to prevent or cure dementia. But the report highlights the impact of non-drug interventions and identifies nine modifiable risk factors through various stages of life — beginning in childhood — that affect the likelihood of developing dementia.

To reduce the risk, factors that make a difference include getting an education (staying in school until over the age of 15); reducing high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes; avoiding or treating hearing loss in mid-life; not smoking; getting physical exercise; and reducing depressionand social isolation later in life. About 35 percent of dementia cases are attributable to these factors, the analysis found. Removing them could then theoretically prevent 1 in 3 cases.

In contrast, finding a way to target the major genetic risk factor, a gene called the apolipoprotein E (ApoE) ε4 allele, would prevent less than 1 in 10 cases – or about 7 percent.

“There’s been a great deal of focus on developing medicines to prevent dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease,” commission member Lon Schneider, M.D., a professor of psychiatry and the behavioral sciences at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, said in a statement. “But we can’t lose sight of the real major advances we’ve already made in treating dementia, including preventive approaches.” Schneider presented the findings at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) 2017.

Of the nine risk factors, the researchers identified the three most common ones that could be targeted for dementia prevention.

The first is increasing education in early life, which the report estimated could reduce the total number of dementia cases by 8 percent if all people worldwide continued their education until over the age of 15.

The researchers note that not completing secondary education could raise dementia risk by reducing what’s referred to as “cognitive reserve.” It’s believed that education and other mentally stimulating tasks help the brain strengthen its networks so it can continue to function at a higher level even if it starts to decline later in life.

For the first time, the researchers also identified hearing loss as a major modifiable risk factor for dementia. They estimated that reducing hearing loss in mid-life could also reduce the number of dementia cases by 9 percent if all people were treated.

Livingston notes that research surrounding hearing loss and dementia is still in early stages and the link likely has something to do with the social isolation that can come with losing the ability to hear.

“They may work in similar ways as they reduce the chance of interactions and conversations, which are like exercise for the brain and enrich it and predispose to depression,” she said.

It’s not clear from medical research yet whether using hearing aids can counteract this risk.

Additionally, the researchers found the number of dementia cases worldwide could be reduced by 5 percent if all people stopped smoking. It’s particularly important to stop smoking later in life, they say, to reduce neurotoxins and improve heart health, which in turn improves brain health.

Other interventions likely to reduce dementia rates include increased physical activity and treating high blood pressure and diabetes.

The study authors say the report can offer guidance on ways to reduce the risk of dementia throughout life and improve the care for those living with the disease.

“This includes providing safe and effective social and health care interventions in order to integrate people with dementia within their communities,” Schneider said. “Hopefully this will also ensure that people with dementia, their families and caregivers, encounter a society that accepts and supports them.”

It’s important to note that lifestyle interventions will not delay or prevent all dementia cases. But the researchers say they are hopeful that the report will help shift more focus to concrete steps that can be taken to help avoid the disease.

“We hope that this report will feed into individual nations’ dementia policies and public health strategies, be used by individual clinicians to inform and improve their practice, and through media publicity inform the general public of what they can do to help avoid dementia, which is the most feared illness in old age.”

Kushner excluded Israel bonds in first financial disclosure — report

US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner is reportedly disclosing up to $250,000 in Israel bonds that he previously owned but did not include on his initial financial disclosure in March.

Kushner, who is married to Trump’s daughter Ivanka, has reported the Israel bond holdings in an amended financial disclosure form that is expected to be publicly available soon, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday, citing “people close to” Kushner. The president’s Jewish son-in-law sold the holdings earlier this year, according to The Journal.

Other additions to the disclosure include an art collection that he and Ivanka Trump own and his ties to the real-estate startup Cadre.

The Journal article also reported on a meeting last month between Trump and technology business leaders organized by Kushner. Among those on hand was the CEO of a small startup, OpenGov, of which Kushner’s brother, Joshua, is a part owner by way of the venture capital firm Thrive. Kushner held a stake in Thrive, but sold it earlier this year to his brother, The Journal reported.

Kathleen Clark, a law professor at Washington University in St. Louis, told The Journal that OpenGov’s presence at the meeting “seems like a textbook example of cronyism in action.”

However, Matt Lira, Trump’s special assistant for innovation policy and initiatives, told The Journal that it was his idea, not Kushner’s, to invite OpenGov to the event.

Report sheds light on Iranian missile factories being built in Lebanon

The Iran-backed Hezbollah terrorist group is constructing at least two underground facilities in Lebanon for manufacturing missiles and other weaponry, according to a report by the French Intelligence Online magazine.

While reports of these subterranean weapons facilities have been published in Arab media outlets before, the Intelligence Online article included two previously unknown pieces of information: the type of weaponry being produced and the approximate locations of two factories.

Sources told the French industry magazine that one of the factories is being built in northern Lebanon, near the town of Hermel in the eastern Bekaa Valley. The second facility is reportedly being constructed along the southern coast, between the towns of Sidon and Tyre.

According to Intelligence Online, the Hermel facility is being used to produce the Fateh 110, a medium-range missile. The southern facility, meanwhile, will be used to make smaller munitions.

The Fateh 110 has a range of approximately 190 miles (300 kilometers) — enough to cover most of the State of Israel — and can carry a half-ton warhead. It is considered fairly accurate, though to what extent is a matter of debate, according to a US Congressional Research Service report.

The David's Sling missile defense battery, which represents the middle tier of Israel's multi-layered anti-missile capabilities. (IDF Spokesperson's Unit)

Israel’s David’s Sling missile defense battery, which went operational in April, is meant to protect the Jewish state against medium-range rockets like the Fateh 110.

In March, the Kuwaiti al-Jarida newspaper reported that Iran had established multiple facilities some 50 meters belowground and protected them with multiple layers of defenses from potential Israeli aerial bombardment, citing an unnamed deputy head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The Iranian general was quoted by al-Jarida as saying that the decision to produce rockets indigenously in Lebanon came after Israel bombed weapons factories in Sudan and supply routes for Iranian rockets via Syria.

The new factories would mark a dramatic upgrade in Hezbollah’s ability to acquire additional, and more precise rockets than ever before.

Rockets produced by some of the new facilities have already been used by Hezbollah in battles in Syria, the Kuwaiti report said.

The latest developments highlight the depth of Iran’s involvement in Syria and Lebanon, something that both Israel and some Arab states have warned against in recent months.

IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot said last week that Israel is in the midst of a major campaign to thwart attempts by Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah to arm themselves with increasingly accurate missiles.

Addressing the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense committee, Eisenkot said that the primary concern for Israel was what he called the “accuracy project” — efforts by Iran, Syria and Hezbollah to equip themselves with accurate missiles.

“We are engaged in a whole campaign against the accuracy project and it is our top priority,” he noted.

Regarding the efforts by Hezbollah to obtain advanced rockets through Syria, Eisenkot said, “We are working all the time against the project with a wide variety of tools that it is best to keep quiet about, and with the aim of not causing a deterioration [in the situation].”

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot speaks at the Herzliya Conference in the Israeli coastal city on June 20, 2017. (Hagai Fried/Herzliya Conference)

Eisenkot said “decreasing Iranian influence in the areas near Israel’s borders is no less important than defeating Islamic State, and for Israel perhaps even more.”

Earlier in the week, Defense Minister Avidgor Liberman issued a public warning to Hezbollah and its Iranian patrons over the development of rocket manufacturing installations inside Lebanon.

“We are fully aware” of the rocket factories, Liberman told military correspondents in a briefing in Tel Aviv. “We know what needs to be done… We won’t ignore the establishment of Iranian weapons factories in Lebanon.”

Last month, at the Herzliya Conference, IDF intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Herzl Halevi said that “Iran has been working for the past year to set up indigenous infrastructures for producing precise munitions both in Lebanon and Yemen. We can’t ignore that, and we won’t.”

Israel, Hamas in advanced talks over prisoner swap — report

Israel and Hamas have reportedly been engaged in intensive indirect talks recently over the release of a number of Israeli nationals held captive by the terror group in Gaza.

The talks, which are being mediated by an unnamed third party, have gathered momentum over the past two weeks, following the return of Hamas’s leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, from a visit to Egypt earlier this month, Channel 1 reported Monday.

While in Egypt, Sinwar met with a number of officials, as well as former senior Fatah official Mohammad Dahlan, who was involved in the 2011 deal that led to the release of captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for some 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.

Egypt has previously been named in reports as the country mediating between the two sides.

Yahya Sinwar, the new leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, attends the opening of a new mosque in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on February 24, 2017. (AFP Photo/Said Khatib)

In April, then Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal hinted that a prisoner exchange was in the works between the two sides, while in FebruaryHamas confirmed that it was engaged in talks through third-party mediators over a possible agreement, but said a deal had been rejected for not meeting its minimum demands.

Hamas’s confirmation of the talks followed Israeli media reports that Israel was seeking to reach a deal with the rulers of the Gaza Strip to secure the release of three Israeli men who crossed into the coastal territory of their own accord: Avraham Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, as well as Juma Ibrahim Abu Ghanima, whose presence in Gaza is unconfirmed.

Hamas, an Islamist terror group, also holds the bodies of IDF soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, who the army determined were killed in action in the 2014 Gaza war.

Hamas demands that Israel release all prisoners from the 2011 exchange for Gilad Shalit who were rearrested in 2014 when three Israeli teens were abducted in the West Bank (it later emerged that they had been killed almost immediately) before any advancement in negotiations between the parties can take place.

Oron Shaul, Hadar Goldin and Avraham Mengistu. (Flash90/The Times of Israel)

The report came against a backdrop of fears of escalation in the Gaza Strip.

On Monday, a rocket fired from Gaza landed in an open area in southern Israel. No injuries or damage were reported.

In response to the launch, which was claimed by a Salafist group linked to the Islamic State, the Israeli Air Force carried out a number of strikes that the army said targeted Hamas infrastructure targets.

On Tuesday, Hamas condemned the Israeli airstrikes, saying that they were part of a “dangerous Israeli game.”

“The Israeli claim of rocket fire from the Gaza Strip and the publication of a bulletin in the name of the Islamic State in order to create a pretext for the attack is a transparent and dangerous Israeli game,” the group said.

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