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Netanyahu: ‘Virtually All’ Arab States See Israel as ‘Vital Ally’

March 7, 2018 Peace and Conflict

PM Netanyahu and The Economic Club of Washington Pres. David M. Rubenstein. Photo courtesy of Haim Zach / GPO

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday said he is witnessing something he’s never seen in his entire life. It’s something that he sees as “a new hope on the horizon,” something offering the potential for real Middle East peace, and as he said, “it’s not related to the Palestinians.”

“Because of the growing danger of Iran, more and more, I would say virtually all the Arab countries, no longer see Israel as their enemy, but as their vital ally in countering the threat of militant Islam,” said Netanyahu in a visit to the Economic Club of Washington according to comments published by his office.

Netanyahu noted they have stopped ISIS terror attacks, including those targeting “big airlines” and that counterterrorism includes sharing intelligence with Arabs. And then there’s the threat of Iran, and the uniting of the Israeli and Arab efforts against them. “Out of this curse comes a blessing. The blessing is this extraordinary relationship between us, and I think that ultimately we might be able to shift the ground,” said Netanyahu. “I don’t think it’s really available right now but I don’t discount that it could happen.” … Continue Reading

Bahrain Arrests Dozens of Iranian-Trained Terrorists Plotting Attacks

March 4, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Iran provides weapons to terrorists and insurgents. US Amb. to UN Nikki Haley showing Iranian-made weapons used in Middle East conflict. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of UNITED STATES MISSION TO THE UNITED NATIONS.

The Iranian terrorism octopus extended its reach into the neighboring country of Bahrain recently, home to a major United States Navy base. However, their plots were apparently foiled as the Bahrainis on Saturday announced they arrested more than 100 suspected terrorists part of a group created and backed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC), as well as confiscated a variety of weapons and explosives. A report from the government-affiliated Bahrain News Agency said that four dozen of the terrorists were trained at facilities belonging to the IRGC—Iran’s most powerful paramilitary group that includes forces used to conduct international attacks.

The Bahrainis believe that the terror network intended to target government officials and oil infrastructure “with the objective of disturbing public security and harming the national economy,” the Bahrain News Agency said. The plot in Bahrain comes as Iran has been actively involved in Syria and Yemen’s civil wars, sponsors Lebanon’s Hezbollah group, has allies in Iraq and recently infiltrated Israeli airspace with a drone in an unusual escalation.

Dr. Jonathan Spyer, Director of the Rubin Center for Research in International Affairs at the IDC Herzliya in Israel and a Middle East expert, told The Mideast Update in an email that Iranian actions in Bahrain are “not new,” but that the Iranian ambitions are growing. “This is the latest evidence of IRGC subversive efforts,” said Dr. Spyer on Sunday. “Iran currently feels emboldened due to its successes in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq.” … Continue Reading

Israel Arrests ISIS Cell Plotting Another Temple Mount Shooting

February 26, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Member of terror cell plotting Temple Mount attack arrested by Israel. Photo courtesy of ISA

Israel has prevented an ISIS terrorist cell from launching another shooting attack on the Temple Mount patterned after the deadly assault last July, which killed two Israeli Police officers and set off a wave tensions and conflict over the holy site. And that’s not the only religious violence prevented: Members of the ISIS cell had also thought about attacking churches and synagogues as well, according to the investigation by the Israeli Security Agency (ISA).

The three terrorists who were plotting the attacks were apprehended in January and February, according to an ISA press release that announced the arrests on Monday. The ISA said the Temple Mount shooting attack was prevented “thanks to precise intelligence information that led to the timely arrest of the cell members even before they managed to procure weapons.” … Continue Reading

Israel Says Hamas Confiscates Fuel for Terror Profit, Made Gaza A ‘Powder-Keg’

February 25, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Hamas has fired thousands of rockets at Israel over the years, among other acts of terror. Illustrative photo of spent Rockets fired from Gaza. By Joshua Spurlock.

It’s not just Israelis who are being harmed by the actions of Hamas, which rules Gaza—the terror group has confiscated millions of liters of fuel not to power the civilians in Gaza but to make money to fuel their “terror machine”, the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office spokesman tweeted on Sunday.

Dozens of trucks carrying 2 million liters of fuel intended for Gaza’s power station went into Gaza the day before, but Ofir Gendelman tweeted that Hamas “did not use them to generate power.” That would have given Gazans more hours of electricity each day, but Gendelman’s post to Twitter noted that “Hamas doesn’t care. Its leaders have 24/7 power anyway.”

Instead of Hamas acting to benefit their people in Gaza, the spokesman followed up to tweet that “Hamas took this vast quantity of fuel that could provide electricity for the people of Gaza, and it will sell it, taking all profit to fund its terror machine. This is Hamas’ priority and only interest.” … Continue Reading

Palestinian Terrorists Wound Israeli Soldiers as Gaza Heats Up; Plot to Kill Defense Minister Thwarted

February 18, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Explosives can kill. Spent Palestinian rocket. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

An explosive device planted near the Gaza border by Palestinian terrorists wounded four Israeli soldiers on Saturday in one of the most serious escalations in that conflict since the last war in 2014, and one day later it was published that a separate Palestinian terror cell was plotting to use explosives to assassinate Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman. The scheming terror cell was arrested—foiling thosee plans.

Meanwhile, in addition to the Gaza bombing attack on IDF soldiers, Harretz reported that a Gaza rocket hit the roof of an Israeli home on Saturday. The IDF Spokesperson Twitter page reported that Israel responded to Saturday’s Gaza attacks with a barrage of strikes on 18 Hamas targets. The conflict wasn’t over Saturday night—the IDF Spokesperson tweeted that sirens sounded in response to another Gaza rocket launched at Israel on Sunday.

IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said on Twitter that two of the four Israeli soldiers hurt in the Gaza attack were wounded severely. Separately, he tweeted that Hamas “regularly organizes riots and ‘demonstrations’ in Gaza and that the explosives were covertly placed near the Gaza security fence during a riot in Gaza. While Hamas hasn’t claimed direct credit, the Israelis repeatedly have said the ruling power in the Gaza Strip is ultimately responsible and the terror group certainly has set a vicious example in the past. “We hold #Hamas responsible for all aggression from Gaza,” he tweeted. … Continue Reading

US to UN: Drone Incursion to Israel ‘Wake-up Call’ that Iran Plans to Stay in Syria

February 14, 2018 Peace and Conflict

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

The Iranian drone that violated Israeli airspace last week was more than just an escalation—it’s a sign that peace in Syria is a ways away according to the United States and regional conflict may be here to stay. Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the United Nations, warned the powerful UN Security Council on Wednesday that escalations such as this not only push back on peace but they herald a future in which Iran builds a permanent base in Syria.

“The drone flight is a wake-up call for all of us. Iran and Hezbollah are making plans to stay in Syria,” said Haley in comments posted to the US Mission to the UN website.

“When we look out across the Middle East, we know one thing for certain. When Iran and Hezbollah move in, instability always follows… We can’t offer support for peace on the one hand, and ignore the fact that the chief sponsor of terrorism in the Middle East and its terrorist militia are digging in.” … Continue Reading

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