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Israel Strikes Syrian Military in Response to ‘Spillover’ Fire, Twice

June 25, 2017 Peace and Conflict

Syria’s civil war is straying into Israel, again. Educational sign post showing distance between major locations in the Middle East. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Multiple Syrian projectiles hit Israeli territory on Saturday and the Israelis were very clear that such “spillover” from the Syrian civil war is unacceptable, as the Israeli military took the strong response of publicly targeting the Syrian military directly. Then it happened again the next day.

The IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter feed said that on Saturday “more than 10 projectiles” hit an open area in Israel, and in response the Israeli strikes on Saturday took out a Syrian heavy machine gun position and two tanks, according to a video posted to the Twitter account.

On Sunday, the IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter feed said that following “several Syrian projectiles” hitting an open area in the northern Golan Heights region of Israel, the IDF struck two Syrian military artillery positions and an ammunitions truck. While no Israeli injuries occurred in the Syrian attacks, more than a dozen projectiles have struck Israel in two days. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in comments on Sunday published by his office, warned against future Syrian attacks—intentional or not. … Continue Reading

Israeli Air Force—Four Times Better than Last Time—Confident about Preparing for Next War with Hezbollah

June 21, 2017 Peace and Conflict

Israel’s Air Force has added new planes, such as the American F-35. Illustrative image of F-35. Image courtesy of the Department of Defense website. The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

The military challenges facing Israel from the north have grown, but so have Israel’s capabilities in the air—four times as much according to the Air Force, able to overwhelm their northern foe Hezbollah in a fraction of the time. That’s the assessment from Israel Air Force Commander Major General Amir Eshel, who told a conference on Wednesday that “over the last four or five years we have multiplied our capabilities by a factor of 4. What we could do in 34 days during the second Lebanon War, we can now do in 48 hours.”

Good thing, because the growing strength of Hezbollah—which is believed to have stockpiled tens of thousands of missiles—will put more of Israel at risk than before. But Israel hasn’t been just letting Hezbollah grow. Media reports have indicated multiple attacks on weapons in Syria that had been bound for Hezbollah.

Eshel alluded to that in his comments, “Our activities in this period in between wars, beyond removing the threats over us, have an effect that will be measured only with hindsight,” said Eshel, whose comments at the IDC Herziliya Conference 2017 were published by the Israeli Government Press Office. “What we are currently doing, and the results which are very well known to our enemies, to my mind are postponing a war. Does this mean there won’t be a war? One cannot promise that.” … Continue Reading

Palestinian Political Faction Glorifies Terrorists, Condemns Israeli Police

June 18, 2017 Peace and Conflict

The Palestinians promotion of terror continues. Illustrative banner of terrorists and Dome of the Rock. By Joshua Spurlock

Following the two-pronged Palestinian shooting and stabbing terror attack on Friday that murdered Israeli border policewoman Hadas Malka, the Fatah political faction headed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas did worse than just fail to condemn the terrorism. “Instead of condemning the attack, Fatah… issued a statement in which it condemned the Border Police fighters who killed the terrorists, and praised the murderers as heroes,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday. “It seems that mendacity and brazen gall know no bounds.”

Netanyahu, in comments released by his office, noted that Fatah wasn’t the only so-called moderate Palestinian group that did not respond appropriately. Noted the Israeli premier, “Of course, the Palestinian Authority [P.A.] is refusing to condemn the murder and the same Authority will now pay financial compensation to the murderers’ families.” That issue of the P.A. payments has created international concern, with the United States being troubled by it. Meanwhile, two different Palestinian terror groups claimed credit for last week’s murder. … Continue Reading

Netanyahu: Disband UN Refugee Agency that ‘Perpetuates’ Palestinian Problem

June 12, 2017 Peace and Conflict

United Nations vehicle. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) was founded almost 70 years ago to specifically support Palestinian refugees, while millions of other refugees of the world are supported by the U.N. High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). This despite the reality that so-called Palestinian refugees have spent decades away from the land inside Israel that they claim and have effectively settled in numerous locations and countries. That disparity in U.N. treatment was cited by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a reason to incorporate Palestinian refugees into the UNHCR and get rid of UNWRA altogether.

“I regret that UNRWA, to a large degree, by its very existence, perpetuates—and does not solve—the Palestinian refugee problem. Therefore, the time has come to disband UNRWA and integrate it into the UNHCR,” said Netanyahu on Sunday in comments released by his office. And perpetuating a refugee crisis for decades isn’t the only thing going wrong with UNRWA. … Continue Reading

US Envoy to UN Says Jerusalem Embassy Move Could Be ‘Part of Peace Process’

June 4, 2017 Peace and Conflict

U.S. Ambassador the U.N. Nikki Haley. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Mission to the UN

United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, a strong supporter of Israel at the international body, implied that the plans to move the U.S. embassy to Israel to Jerusalem could be some type of negotiating point or inducement in a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians. Asked by CNN’s Jack Tapper if the embassy move—delayed by Trump last week—could be “leverage” for a peace deal, Haley did not directly confirm or deny that it could be. Instead, she acknowledged it could play a role.

Haley, according to a transcript of her interview with CNN’s State of the Union posted to the CNN website, said that President Donald Trump “knows that it could be very much a part of the peace process… He hasn’t changed his position on moving the embassy. It’s all about time. So I think that he wants to see how the peace process plays out and then handle it accordingly.” Israel has expressed their disappointment at the delay, following promises by Trump to move the embassy to Israel’s capital, a common practice with embassies in other nations. The peace process, a priority for Trump, was named in a White House statement as a reason for not moving the embassy now. … Continue Reading

Israel Supports London: ‘Terrorists Worship Death’ But ‘We Will Defeat Them’

June 4, 2017 Peace and Conflict

Israel stands with the British in the face of terror. UK, Israeli flags. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

For the second time in three months, terrorists drove a vehicle into a group of civilians in London and launched a stabbing spree—two types of attacks that are all too familiar to Israel. But despite the common grief they share with the British, the Israeli condolence message was not just one of sympathy. It was one of resolute and united defiance in the face of terror.

“These terrorists worship death. They murder indiscriminately, but they will not frighten us,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday in comments released by his office during a visit to Africa.

“They will not terrorize us. They will only harden our resolve to defeat them. And together, together here in Africa, in the Middle East, in Europe, everywhere—together, we will defeat them faster.” The Israeli message in response to terrorism has long been to take a hard line against extremism, a sentiment that was also coming from British Prime Minister Theresa May after the last attack. … Continue Reading

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