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Russia Threatens Israel over Missile Defense System in Syria

April 23, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Israeli jets reportedly flew have bombed Syria. 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 Russians are seriously considering putting an advanced missile defense system in Syria—which has the Israelis concerned—and Moscow has warned the Jewish State against attacking that system should it be deployed to Israel’s northern neighbor. The Independent, republishing comments from the Russian Kommersant newspaper, cited Russian military sources threatening that Israel and “all sides” would “suffer catastrophic consequences” if they struck at the S-300 system.

Israel has reportedly bombed multiple targets in Syria over the years, including recent reports of a strike that killed Iranians at a Syrian airbase. The Americans, British, and French also recently attacked Syria in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack by the Syrian regime against its own people.

In light of that multinational attack, Russia is now nearing a decision to provide the S-300 advanced defense system to Syria, Kommersant reported in a separate article, and that’s disconcerting to Israel. The Russian newspaper quoted Israeli diplomat Alex Ben-Zvi as saying that any weapons that can “threaten Israel’s security” generically “bothers” Israel. Ben-Zvi, Israel’s Director of the Department of Eurasia of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, did not specifically say if Israel would discuss the Syrians’ obtaining the S-300 in Israeli discussions with Russia. … Continue Reading

Hamas Engineer Assassinated in Malaysia; Hamas Operatives Arrested Near Ramallah

April 22, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Killed engineer helped Hamas develop rockets. Spent Palestinian rocket. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

It was a bad weekend for the Hamas terrorist organization. On Saturday morning, an engineer involved in improving the Hamas rocket program was killed by gunmen on a motorcycle in the southeast Asian country of Malaysia, and roughly 24 hours later more than a dozen Hamas operatives were arrested near the pseudo-Palestinian capital of Ramallah. The New Straits Times, a Malaysian newspaper, reported that the gunmen waited for their target for 20 minutes before shooting him at point-blank range. Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman denied accusations that Israel was behind the assassination in comments to Israel Radio that were republished by The Times of Israel.

Lieberman was quoted as saying the killed Hamas man, Dr. Fadi Mohammad al-Batsh, was “no saint and he didn’t deal with improving infrastructure in Gaza. He was involved in improving rocket precision.” Posts on the Hamas website mourning his death claimed the slain al-Batsh was an electrical inventor.

Furthermore, the New Straits Times reported that al-Batsh was planning to travel to Turkey later on Saturday. Turkey has not only been a second home to Hamas members, but Hamas military activity in that country has occurred “unhindered as Turkish officials turn a blind eye and—on occasion—encourage it,” said an Israel Security Agency (ISA) press release in February. … Continue Reading

Hamas Protests Targets Security Fence Again; Israel Takes Down Another Hamas Terror Tunnel

April 15, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Gaza protests a cover for terrorism. Illustrative photo of Palestinian event. By Joshua Spurlock

Over the weekend, Israel thwarted another Hamas terror tunnel stretching from Gaza to Israel that could have been used for attacks on Israeli civilians, while Gaza has continued the violence above ground in the now regular border rioting inspired by Hamas. The IDF Blog reported that the targeted terror tunnel had “put the lives of hundreds of Israeli families at risk.” And the protests at the border are making the dangerous situation worse.

On Friday, the IDF Spokesperson posted to Twitter that multiple attempts were made to attack the security fence separating Israel from Gaza and posted a photo of a terrorist holding what appears to be an explosive device while near journalists and a handicapped person. Tweeted the IDF Spokesperson on Friday, “An explosive device was placed & detonated near the Karni Crossing in northern Gaza & a firebomb attached to a kite was dispatched. Meanwhile, explosive devices, rocks & firebombs have continued to be hurled.” Despite the chaos, the IDF isn’t allowing it to distract from the need to protect the border—including underground. … Continue Reading

Israel: Gaza ‘Photojournalist’ Slain in Riot Was Hamas Terrorist

April 11, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Gaza protests a cover for terrorism. Illustrative photo of Palestinian event. By Joshua Spurlock

The alleged photojournalist who was killed in the Gaza border protests last week was in fact a Hamas terrorist, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Tuesday, the same day an explosive device went off near the Israel-Gaza security fence highlighted the threat posed by the Hamas-led Gaza riots. Prime Minister’s Office spokesman Ofir Gendelman cited Lieberman in a Twitter post saying that the photojournalist, Yasser Murjata, was “a terrorist with a prior association” with the Hamas military wing.

Tweeted Gendelman, “He held the rank of captain & was paid regularly by Hamas since 2011. He used to fly drones to collect intel on IDF forces at the front.” Murjata was killed last Friday, and The Jerusalem Post—citing Israeli defense officials comments in a report from the Israeli Walla! news group—said a number of senior Hamas officials attended his funeral. The unnamed Israeli officials said he was still active in Hamas and beneficial to them.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, an explosive devise planted near the security fence “under the guise of the riots” was set off against an IDF engineering vehicle, tweeted the IDF Spokesperson. The tweet added that there were no reported injuries in the blast. … Continue Reading

UN Security Council to Talk Syrian Chemical Weapons Attack; Chief Israeli Rabbi Accuses Regime of ‘Genocide’

April 8, 2018 Peace and Conflict

More chemical weapons attacks in Syria? Illustrative photo of soldier training. Photo courtesy of Mr James Brabenec (IMCOM)

Reports of the latest chemical weapons attack on a Syrian hospital—suspected to have been carried out by the Assad regime against their own people—has led the United Nations most powerful council to schedule an emergency session, while one of the top leaders of Judaism in Israel on Sunday termed the conflict in Syria a “genocide.” As the UN Security Council prepares to discuss the latest Syrian chemical attack, United States Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has called for a new investigation.

“The Security Council has to come together and demand immediate access for first responders, support an independent investigation into what happened, and hold accountable those responsible for this atrocious act,” said Haley in a press release from her office. She wasn’t the only one to call for action.

Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef said in a press release, “I have said in the past and I will say it again: What is happening in Syria is genocide of women and children in its cruelest form, using weapons of mass destruction. We have a moral obligation not to keep quiet and to try and stop this massacre.” … Continue Reading

Israel Nabs Palestinian Terrorist Fisherman Plotting to Attack Navy

April 4, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Illustrative naval ship off the coast of Israel. By Joshua Spurlock

Palestinian terrorists once again were seeking to exploit their own civilians to attack Israel, which arrested ten of them who were part of a plot to launch a rocket attack and kidnapping against the Israeli Navy. The plan, according to an Israeli press release on the arrests, was to lure a Navy vessel with one Palestinian boat and then have a second boat fire a Cornet ship-to-ship rocket at the Israeli vessel, intending to kill and wound crew members. A third boat would then swoop in and kidnap Israeli sailors to use in prisoner exchanges.

The plotters were caught last month aboard a fishing boat that had gone outside the fishing zone and was suspected of gathering intelligence on the Navy, notes the press release, which was jointly published on Wednesday by the IDF and Israel Security Agency (ISA). One of the Palestinians is a fisherman and a member of the Islamic Jihad terrorist faction. He had been directed to plan an attack from superiors, turning his otherwise innocent-looking fishing expedition into information-gathering for terrorism and it wasn’t the first time he’d scoped out naval vessels.

The press release said the incident “once again proves that the terrorist organizations are trying to exploit the civilian easements that Israel has repeatedly tried to enact vis-à-vis fishing in order to advance terrorist attacks that also harm the civilian population in the Gaza Strip.” … Continue Reading

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