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Israel Honors Security Agency that Helped Nab Teen Killers, Stop Hundreds of Attacks

August 12, 2019 News

President Rivlin and Prime Minister Netanyahu at ceremony for ISA outstanding employees, Photo courtesy of Amos Ben-Gershom (Israeli GPO)

The Israel Security Agency (ISA) recently made the news for their role in apprehending two suspects believed to have murdered 18-year-old Dvir Sorek in a stabbing terror attack. But behind the scenes, they’ve been responsible for preventing hundreds of other terror attacks from even taking place. “You caught Dvir’s murderer within 48 hours,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday at an award ceremony for ISA employees. “…You work night and day for the well-being of our citizens. In the past year, you thwarted over 600 terrorist attacks. This was a counter-terrorist action of immense scope. We are doing everything to cut off terrorism at its outset.”

Netanyahu, whose comments were published by his office, thanked the ISA for their role in catching Sorek and noted he had “great confidence” Israel was going to catch the teen killers. “This is what you have done in recent years; all murderers, without exception, have been apprehended,” said Netanyahu to the ISA award winners. “In every case in which vicious murderers have cut down innocent Israeli lives, it has not taken much time for us to find them.” … Continue Reading

Pompeo Slams Iranian Leader as ‘Sick’ for ‘Call for Violence’ against Israel

August 11, 2019 News

PM Netanyahu & US Secy. of State Pompeo. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of: Haim Zach / Israeli GPO

Iranian threats against Israel are a disturbing trend, but the timing of the latest rant from Iran’s leader drew stern condemnation from United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. In a message delivered by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and posted to his website on August 10, the Iranian dictator called Israel’s government “child killers” and praised Palestinians for being “on the battlefields more enthusiastic, and braver than yesterday. But the ultimate outcome requires assistance from all Muslims.”

While Khemenei’s words were in honor of the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, it’s timing also aligned with the saddest day of the Jewish calendar marking the destruction of both temples and other tragedies. That caught Pompeo’s attention.

As part of a series of Twitter posts, Pompeo said, “It’s sick that on the eve of #TishaBAv—a solemn day for the Jewish people—@khamenei_ir calls for violence against the Jewish state.”

Pompeo followed up in another Tweet to say, “@khamenei_ir doesn’t see ‘progress’ as prosperity for the Palestinian people, but Palestinian terrorists switching from rocks to rockets to kill more Jews. The Iranian people don’t want this; they deserve leadership behaviors that reflect their greatness.” … Continue Reading

Iran Threatens to Further Escalate Nuclear Program Conflict with Third Step

August 4, 2019 Iran Nuclear Program, News

Iran is planning new antagonistic nuclear steps.
Illustrative official meeting. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Having already increased their nuclear fuel stockpile and the quality of their nuclear fuel enrichment beyond the limits imposed under the nuclear deal, Iran is now warning that their third step in withdrawing from commitments in the deal is coming up. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif was quoted by the Fars News Agency as telling the Iranian Parliament on Saturday they would “assuredly” take that next step if the world powers fail to boost economic benefits to Iran. What that third move would be was not made clear.

The Iranians in recent months began reneging on their commitments under the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), warning that they would continue to expand their nuclear program if the Europeans didn’t effectively mitigate United States’ sanctions on Iran. While the nuclear program remains solidly in the civilian range—Iran has announced 4.5% uranium enrichment quality has been achieved, whereas 90% is needed for nuclear weapons—there are threats of advancing that element further to medical research levels and even beyond.

The Fars News report noted that recently Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said there wouldn’t be “any problem” for Iran to advance to 20% enrichment quality—the level needed for medical research—and that there are “options even higher than that.” He did claim that they would act based on Iran’s needs and not just go for higher levels as a scare tactic. … Continue Reading

Netanyahu Warns EU about Iran, Says ‘We Defend Europe’

July 29, 2019 News

PM Netanyahu and Croatian Pres. Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic. Photo courtesy of Haim Zach (Israeli GPO)

The threat of Iran’s missile program extends past the Middle East and into Europe, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was clear about the range of Iran’s malevolence in comments with the visiting leader of next European Union Presidency on Monday. “Israel is in the forefront of the battle against radical Islam. If Israel wasn’t here in the Middle East, then I think the Middle East would fall to radical Islam,” said Netanyahu to Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović in comments published by Israel.

“The fact that we are here, the fact that we protect ourselves, is obviously very important for us, but in defending ourselves, we’re defending the entire Middle East. And by defending the Middle East, we defend Europe.”

Netanyahu expressed his condolences about a recent attack in Afghanistan in which a Croatian soldier was killed, but also noted that exemplified the “dark” forces of radical Islam, including Iran. The Israeli leader highlighted Croatia’s next role heading the EU as “an opportunity to send this message to all the nations of Europe,” namely that “the twin challenges that I think makes Israel particularly significant for Europe is one, to seize a bright future, to fashion a bright future; and second, to resist a dark past.”

Continued the Israeli leader, “What happened in Kabul and what we’re all facing, and you’re facing too, is the attempt by radical Islam to bring back humanity to a very dark period. Some of them would like to take us to the beginning of the Middle Ages, and this is exemplified obviously by Daesh [ISIS], but in my opinion also by, first and foremost by Iran. That is a much more powerful and malevolent force.” … Continue Reading

Netanyahu Tells Top US Energy Official Response to Iran Should Be ‘Pressure, Pressure and More Pressure’

July 23, 2019 News

PM Netanyahu & US Energy Secy. Perry. Photo courtesy of Haim Zach / Israeli GPO

The United States is leading a “maximum pressure” campaign against the Iranians in an effort to curb their malignant behavior, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu couldn’t agree more. In fact, he told visiting US Energy Secretary Rick Perry on Tuesday that pressure is the first, second and third best option for responding to Iran. “If I had to say what are the three things that we have to do in the face of Iranian aggression, it is pressure, pressure and more pressure to force Iran to abandon its nuclear and regional ambitions,” said Netanyahu in comments released by his office. “I believe this is entirely within our realm. I think within not only the realm of possibility, but I think it’s happened.

“It’s very important that the nations of the world who profess their desire to stop Iranian aggression, stand with the United States and show common resolve.”

Netanyahu noted that the US sanctions on Iran “are working,” with Iranian funds for “aggression” throughout the region “drying up.” Said the Israeli leader, “Sanctions have begun to work, and it’s important that they continue to work. It’s important to keep up the pressure.”

Perry, in the region to enhance cooperation with Israel in energy, during his press conference with Netanyahu—which was published in a video to the Department of Energy’s Twitter feed—he highlighted the Jewish State’s discovery of natural gas and the potential for exporting it. However, even in that realm, Iran looms as a threat. … Continue Reading

Israeli Official Tells Top Legislator EU Parliament ‘Must Never Be Platform for Terrorists’

July 22, 2019 News

Barakat and wife Charlotte Kates at an event in Denmark with the PFLP’s flag in October 2018. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs

After hearing that two known members of a Palestinian terrorist organization and supporters of the boycott and sanctions movement against Israel spoke at the European Parliament, Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan wrote to the Parliament’s president to urge him to condemn the terrorists’ invite and ensure it never happens again. “Such unfortunate occurrences must not be allowed to repeat themselves,” wrote Erdan in his letter, which was published on Monday by Israel. “The European Parliament must never be a platform for terrorists.”

In a letter dated July 18, Erdan informed Parliament President David Sassoli that Khaled Barakat and Mohammed Khatib—who had recently spoken in a public event at the European Parliament at the invitation of Spanish Member of European Parliament Manu Pineda—were in fact known members of the “Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine” (PFLP), an EU-designated terror group.

Erdan said indications are that Pineda not only knew of the two speakers’ ties to terrorism, but also “in the past has expressed his support for EU-designated terrorist organizations such as the PFLP.” The Israeli official said, “This must raise questions about the appropriateness” of Pineda’s roles in certain European committees, including the Committee on Foreign Affairs. … Continue Reading

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