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Latest Israeli Missile Defense System—David’s Sling—Launches in 2 Weeks

March 20, 2017 Peace and Conflict

Israeli missile defense is key to fighting terror rockets from many enemies. Illustrative photo of spent Rockets fired from Gaza. By Joshua Spurlock.

In just a matter of days last week, Israel experienced missile attacks from both the north and south, a disturbing reoccurrence in a region rife with conflict. To better defend against such attacks, Israel will rely on not one, but four different missile defense systems—the final one of which will at last be operational in less than two weeks according to the schedule reported by the IDF Blog. Along those lines, the Israel Air Force Twitter page reported on Monday that the David’s Sling system “successfully completed an operational preparedness inspection and will be declared #operational in April.”

David’s Sling, which the IDF Blog said is designed to intercept “large-caliber rockets, short-range ballistic missiles, and other developing threats”—will be a key defense with enemies such as Hezbollah, Syria and Iran. … Continue Reading

Trump Call with Palestinian President Kicks Off Revived Peace Efforts?

March 12, 2017 Peace and Conflict

Will Trump get a peace deal done in the Middle East? U.S. Presidential Candidate Donald Trump (left) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right). Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon (GPO)

It may have taken new United States President Donald Trump almost two months to call Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, but since Friday’s call Trump’s administration hasn’t wasted any time on moving towards a new Israel-Palestinian peace process. And based on the phone calls, Abbas seems to think this is moving forward as well. In the three days since Trump and Abbas spoke, the Palestinian Authority (PA) President to take time to speak again with Jordan King Abdullah to recap the Trump call and discuss the upcoming Arab summit—his second call in 24 hours with the Jordanian monarch according to the WAFA news agency—and also spoke with U.S. Consul General Donald Blome about “preparations for future contacts between PA and Trump administration,” according to a Tweet from journalist Khaled Abu Toameh.

Furthermore, a Palestinian spokesperson cited in a Ma’an News Agency report said Trump mentioned “re-launching the peace process” with Abbas. Maybe the activity is nothing more than busyness, but Trump sounded earnest according to a statement from the White House posted to the Consul General’s website recapping the call with Abbas. The statement said Trump “emphasized his personal belief that peace is possible and that the time has come to make a deal.” The call comes after Trump’s in-person meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last month, during which the peace process was also discussed.

… Continue Reading

Tehran in Focus? Trump Calls Netanyahu and Talks Iran ahead of Putin Meet

March 6, 2017 Peace and Conflict

Pres. Rivlin, IDF Chief-of-Staff Eisenkot & US Gen. Scaparrotti. Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon (GPO)

Just days after Iran threatened to destroy Israel with missiles yet again, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is discussing the Islamic Republic with two of the most powerful leaders in the world—in the same week. With a trip to Moscow for Netanyahu to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin planned for Thursday, United States President Donald Trump called Netanyahu on Monday.

A readout of the call from Netanyahu’s office said that the he and Trump “spoke at length about the dangers posed by the nuclear deal with Iran and by Iran’s malevolent behavior in the region and about the need to work together to counter those dangers.” That follows threats against Israel of further dangers from Tehran just last week, in which an Iranian general warned his nation could launch thousands of missiles at the Jewish State. … Continue Reading

Netanyahu Warns of Iranian Base in Syria; Tehran Threatens to ‘Raze’ Israeli Government

March 5, 2017 Peace and Conflict

Israel wants Russia to help prevent Iranian base in Syria. Russian President Vladimir Putin. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of the office of the President of Russia.

Iran’s military is getting physically closer to Israel, warned the Israeli Prime Minister on Sunday, just two days after Iran threatened that not just some of their missiles are able to hit Israel—but thousands of them. Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency quoted senior Iranian army commander Brigadier General Fereidoun Nouri as saying late last week that all the Israeli government facilities are within their range. He also threatened that if Israel does a “thing” of aggression against them, Iran could fire “several thousands missiles” at Israel and “raze down” the Israeli government “forever.”

The latest existential threat from Iran comes as Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu plans to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow this week to talk about not only Iran’s current aggression in neighboring Syria, but Iran’s future plans to threaten Israel permanently from next door. … Continue Reading

Netanyahu Talks Iran, Peace Process During ‘Very Successful’ Australia Visit

February 26, 2017 Peace and Conflict

Israeli PM Netanyahu and Australian FM Julie Bishop. Photo Courtesy of Haim Zach (GPO)

With a joint declaration of cooperation, visits with government officials on both political sides, and even a Sabbath meal with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, it looks like Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s first visit to Australia was a good one. He certainly believes it was.

Netanyahu called the visit “wonderful” in comments with Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop in a video posted to Twitter by Israeli spokesman Ofir Gendelman. In another tweet on Gendelman’s feed, the spokesman called the visit “very successful.” Israel and Australia issued a joint declaration that promised cooperation in fields ranging from energy to defense, and Netanyahu had a chance to make his point on two topics vital to Israel: Iran and the Middle East peace process.

… Continue Reading

Palestinian Teens Arrested for Shooting at Vehicles

February 19, 2017 Peace and Conflict

Israeli security forces prevent terrorism, arrest Palestinian terrorists. Israeli police car. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

A pair of 17-year-old Palestinians were arrested just hours after a terror shooting attack last month. The two minors had fired at vehicles on two occasions over a period of several months, as well as other attacks, according to an Israeli Security Agency (ISA) press release. No injuries resulted from any of the acts of terror.

Along with the two teens, a pair of improvised “Carlo” submachine guns were seized. The foregoing again shows the involvement of minors in severe terrorist actions as well as the tangible security danger posed by the accessibility of improvised weapons,” the ISA press statement noted. “The ISA, along with the IDF and Israel Police, views these acts of terrorism with utmost gravity and will act to prevent and thwart terrorist activity and attacks.” … Continue Reading

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