Israel Strikes Weapons Storage Day after US Espouses Support of anti-Iran Action in Syria

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday last week provided American backing for Israel’s efforts to prevent Iran from setting up a new base of operations in Syria. One day later, Israeli warplanes struck weapons storage facilities belonging to Iran, including a target at an international airport in …

Israel—An Ancient King of Making Glass

Centuries before the Land of Israel was a hub for the high-tech industry, the region was among the world leaders in another profession involving science, skill, and specialized knowledge: glass making. The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced in a press release on Monday that they have discovered 1,600-year-old kilns used …

Netanyahu Tells Arabs that Iran Is Main Threat, To Talk with Putin to ‘Ensure Freedom of Action’ against Iran

It’s a busy season of diplomacy for Israel against Iran, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in Poland last week for a conference with Arab and Western nations discussing the threat from Tehran, and this week he will be in Poland’s neighbor Russia to discuss how to keep combatting that …

Israeli Spacecraft Launching for the Moon This Week

Israel is set to become just the fourth country to land a spacecraft on the moon, as the satellite “Beresheet”—Hebrew for “Beginning”—is scheduled to launch atop a SpaceX rocket around the end of this week with its destination being the lunar surface. The spacecraft will carry a time capsule to …

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Israeli Spacecraft Launching for the Moon This Week

February 18, 2019 News

President Rivlin at SpaceIL event with a model of the “Beresheet” spacecraft. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Amos Ben-Gershom (Israeli GPO)

Israel is set to become just the fourth country to land a spacecraft on the moon, as the satellite “Beresheet”—Hebrew for “Beginning”—is scheduled to launch atop a SpaceX rocket around the end of this week with its destination being the lunar surface. The spacecraft will carry a time capsule to be left on the moon—which includes a digital Bible, Israeli national symbols and Israeli songs—as well as conduct an experiment to measure and map the moon’s magnetic field, per Israeli press releases. The lander is scheduled to touch down on the moon in April.

“The spacecraft project will enable every Israeli, but especially future generations, to understand that even the citizens of a small country may and should dream big,” Israeli Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis was quoted by one of the press releases as saying. “The fact that Israel will be the fourth country in the world, alongside the US, Russia and China, to land a spacecraft on the moon is cogent proof that we are an international science and technology power.” … Continue Reading

Israel Freezes $139 Million for Palestinians over Terror Payments

February 17, 2019 News

Attacking Israelis won’t pay as easily now. Illegal gun seized by Israel. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of ISA.

Financially supporting terrorists is going to cost double for the Palestinians, as Israel on Sunday froze over 500 million shekels (roughly $139 million) in tax monies owed to the Palestinian Authority (PA)—which mirrored the exact amount the PA paid to terrorists and their families in 2018. The move follows passage of a law by Israel’s government in July 2018 authorizing the financial seizure, according to a press release from the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office.

“Security officials presented data to the effect that in 2018, the Palestinian Authority transferred the aforesaid amount to terrorists imprisoned in Israel and their families and to released prisoners,” said the press release. “Therefore, it was decided to freeze the same amount of funds from the tax revenues that Israel collects for the Palestinian Authority.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered increased checks on Palestinian Authority payments “linked to terrorism”—which includes the so-called “pay-for-slay” program of paying money to terrorists and their families. The press release noted that total amount of funding due the PA that will be frozen could be updated as more information on the terror payments is uncovered. … Continue Reading

Netanyahu Tells Arabs that Iran Is Main Threat, To Talk with Putin to ‘Ensure Freedom of Action’ against Iran

February 17, 2019 Peace and Conflict

PM Netanyahu meets with VPOTUS Pence. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Amos Ben-Gershom (Israeli GPO)

It’s a busy season of diplomacy for Israel against Iran, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in Poland last week for a conference with Arab and Western nations discussing the threat from Tehran, and this week he will be in Poland’s neighbor Russia to discuss how to keep combatting that threat. Netanyahu, in comments on Sunday released by his office, said he would be in Moscow on Thursday to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin and converse on “the continued strengthening of the coordination mechanism in order to prevent friction between the IDF and the Russian military” in Syria.

Israel has repeatedly bombed targets in Syria in an effort to keep Iran and it’s terror ally Hezbollah from expanding their threat against Israel in the north. Russia is also militarily involved in Russia acting on behalf of the Syrian regime in the civil war there, making coordination key to avoid direct conflict between Israeli and Russian forces.

Said Netanyahu, “These talks are very important and are part of our continuing effort to ensure freedom of action for the State of Israel against Iran and its proxies, which declare their intention of using Syria as a front in their war to destroy Israel.” … Continue Reading

Netanyahu Looks Forward to Trump Peace Plan while US Sec-State Says ‘Can’t Get Peace Without Confronting Iran’

February 14, 2019 Peace and Conflict

PM Netanyahu at Warsaw conference. From left to right: Prime Minister Netanyahu, Yemen FM Khaled al-Yamani, US Sec-State Mike Pompeo, Polish FM Jacek Czaputowicz, WEF President Borge Brende and US senior adviser Jared Kushner. Photo courtesy of Amos Ben-Gershom (Israeli GPO)

The United States and Israel seem to be speaking each other’s language in a lot of ways when it comes to peace in the Middle East. On Thursday, while at the US sponsored Warsaw Conference on Peace and Security in the Middle East, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed enthusiasm for the anticipated “Deal of the Century” peace plan by the Trump Administration during a meeting with US Vice President Mike Pence.

Just hours earlier, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took a line from Netanyahu’s talking points when he said during a meeting with Netanyahu that “you can’t achieve peace and stability in the Middle East without confronting Iran.

“It’s just not possible,” continued Pompeo in comments released by the State Department. “They’re a malign influence in Lebanon, in Yemen, in Syria, in Iraq, the three H’s: the Houthis, Hamas, and Hezbollah. These are real threats; there are others as well. But you can’t get peace in the Middle East without pushing back against Iran.”

During the conversation between Netanyahu and Pence, the Israeli leader fielded a question from reporters asking if he supported Trump’s peace plan for the Israelis and the Palestinians. Responded Netanyahu, “I look forward to receiving the plan, and we’ll look at it once it’s presented.” … Continue Reading

Palestinians Reject US Middle East Conference as Israel Prepares

February 10, 2019 News

PM Netanyahu with US President Trump. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Israeli GPO

The Palestinians are boycotting a conference on peace and security in the Middle East set to be co-hosted by United States and Poland this week, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu already has plans for his focus at the event. But the key official’s agenda for the conference is White House advisor Jared Kushner, who reportedly plans to talk about US President Donald Trump’s too-be-announced Middle East peace plan.

According to a report form The Jerusalem Post, a senior official at the White House confirmed that Kushner, a key figure in the peace plan efforts and also Trump’s son-in-law, would participate in a discussion on the Israel-Palestinian peace process with leaders from other nations. The Palestinians, who have repeatedly rejected Trump’s anticipated peace proposal despite not having seen the final version, called the Warsaw conference an “American conspiracy” intended to pressure others on the Palestinian situation. The comments released by the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, and included in a report by the Ma’an News Agency, claimed the Trump government had “declared war” on the Palestinian front and they would ignore any results from the Warsaw conference. … Continue Reading

Terrorist Behind ‘Shocking’ Brutal Murder of Israeli Teen Arrested

February 10, 2019 Peace and Conflict

Terror knife attacks are a threat too. Illustrative photo of commando knives apprehended amid shipment of plumbing materials destined for Gaza. Photo courtesy of Israel Ministry of Defense Crossing Authority

A murder of an Israeli teenage woman, described by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as being done with “shocking brutality”, was solved within hours as the Palestinian behind the attack was arrested by Israeli security forces last week. Netanyahu confirmed on Sunday that the investigation determined the incident was an act of terrorism, according to spokesperson Ofir Gendelman’s Twitter feed. That tweet said Netanyahu personally relayed the conclusions on the murder’s motive to the family of Ori Ansbacher, the 19-year-old who was killed last Thursday in a forest in Jerusalem.

Netanyahu, in separate comments released by his office on Saturday, applauded the quick action of the security forces. “I commend the [Israeli Security Agency] and Israel Police special anti-terror unit for apprehending—within a few hours—the abhorrent murderer of the late Ori Ansbacher. The long arm of Israel will reach whoever hurts us and we will settle accounts with them,” he said, while also expressing condolences and support to Ori’s family “during their terrible grief.”

The Times of Israel reported the Palestinian suspect, Arafat Irfayia of Hebron, was captured on Friday and has previously been imprisoned for security reasons. He had carried a knife with him before launching the attack and was able to reenact the murder, which took place in the Ein Yael forest on the edge of Jerusalem. … Continue Reading

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