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Israel Threatens War with Iran if Critical Naval Waterway Blocked

Could Israel fight Iran at sea? Naval ship off the coast of Israel. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

With rhetoric between the United States and Iran soaring, the Iranians are making threatening to blocking key shipping lines—and Israel is now on record as threatening to militarily fight back if Iran carries through. “If Iran tries to block the Bab-el-Mandeb, I am convinced that it will find itself facing a determined international coalition to prevent this. This coalition would also include the State of Israel and all its arms,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday in comments released by his office, referring to the waterway known as the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, a key artery for international oil shipping.

The Iranians have focused their threats on the closer and more significant Strait of Hormuz that links the Persian Gulf with the rest of the world. However, CNBC reported that Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen have already attacked Saudi oil tankers in the Bab-el-Mandeb, through which 5 million barrels of oil are shipped per day. While that’s less than a third of what goes through Hormuz, the Bab-el-Mandeb strait is also more critical for Israel, as it links the Red Sea coast in Israel’s south to the Indian Ocean and is therefore the naval gateway for Asian trade with the Jewish State. Netanyahu specifically mentioned that Houthi attack in his comments, which were delivered to an Israeli naval officers’ graduation ceremony.

Meanwhile, the US believes that Iran is about to launch significant naval wargames in the Strait of Hormuz. According to a report from Fox News, the US expects the drill to involve 100 gun boats and get underway this week. … Continue Reading

Iranian Parliament Advisor: ‘Liberation’ of Israeli-Controlled Golan ‘Can Be Achieved’

July 29, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Iranian intentions revealed? Iran already invaded Israel from Syria with a UAV. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds up piece of Iranian UAV in February. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Amos Ben Gershom GPO

An Iranian official on Sunday declared on Twitter that the Golan Heights controlled by Israel at their northern border could now be conquered by Syria, giving voice to some of Israel’s greatest concerns about Iranian and Syrian intentions in the strategic area. The tweet, originally posted in Arabic and translated by the Microsoft software on Twitter, included a map that specifically highlighted the Israeli-controlled Golan region and follows the Syrian regime’s recent victory over rebels on the Syrian side of the border.

“We congratulate the Syrian people and the Syrian armed Forces and the President of Syria on the occasion of the liberation of Quneitra from the terrorists of Nusra Front and Zionists,” tweeted Special Aide on International Affairs of the Islamic Parliament Hossein Amir Abdollahian, referring to the libel that Israel is actively assisting terrorist forces in Syria.

“This victory means that the liberation of the occupied Golan Heights can be achieved with the determination and will of the Syrians.”

Israel has repeatedly raised concerns about Iranian forces in Syria and lately emphasized the need to maintain the status quo in the north determined by the ceasefire that ended the last war between the Jewish state and Syria more than forty years ago. … Continue Reading

Gaza Sniper Kills Israel Soldier, IDF Strikes 60 Hamas Targets in Response

July 22, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Israeli tanks and aircraft were called into the fight against Gaza terrorists. Israeli tank. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

One week after the last escalation saw hundreds of Hamas rockets fired at Israel and the IDF strike dozens of Hamas targets in Gaza, a sniper under cover of Friday’s riot at the Israel-Gaza border unleashed another round of intense fighting by mortally wounding an Israeli soldier. The IDF website reported that the Israelis hit 60 Hamas sites in response to the fatal shooting, while Gaza terrorists fired three rockets at Israel.

By Saturday morning a ceasefire was in place, but by noon the same day Hamas had already violated the terms by infiltrating Israeli territory. The IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter page posted that the terrorists returned to the Gaza Strip and Israeli tanks attacked a Hamas military post in response, which followed waves of military targets that were hit earlier on the weekend. Per another IDF Tweet, the Hamas targets struck in response to the sniper attack included weapon-manufacturing sites, a factory used for underground infrastructure manufacturing, and a warehouse for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).

Tweeted the IDF Spokesperson, “The IDF views today’s attack and the hostile activity orchestrated by Hamas throughout the last months with great severity. Hamas chose to escalate the security situation and will bear the consequences for its actions.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday made it clear that Israel would strike even harder if Hamas continues their acts of terror. … Continue Reading

Netanyahu Directed IDF to ‘Defeat and Stop’ Gaza Fire Kites

July 16, 2018 Peace and Conflict

PM Netanyahu at kindergarten in the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip.
Photo By: Haim Zach / GPO

In the midst of a tenuous ceasefire in which a Gaza projectile proved it’s not over, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said “for the seventh time” that his country would not accept a ceasefire in which terrorists continue to launch incendiary kites and balloons in arson attacks on Israel. “It is worth their while to listen to me, especially on the other side, there is no such thing from our perspective of a ceasefire that makes an exception for incendiary kites and balloons,” said Netanyahu on Monday in comments released by his office. “…[This message] will, I hope, get through. But if it will not be understood from my words, it will be understood through the actions of the IDF.”

Those actions were on display on Monday, as Israeli aircraft struck a pair of Hamas posts in Gaza located near where flaming balloons had been launched, according to a series of Tweets from the IDF Spokesperson. Those last strikes were “in response to Hamas’ arson attacks against Israeli civilians and Israeli sovereignty,” said the Twitter posts. Based on Netanyahu’s words on Monday, don’t expect Israel to stop there if the terrorists keep launching the fire kites and balloons.

“Just as we are now completing the blocking of the tunnels and as we took action and succeeded in stopping the mass storming of the fences, I have directed the IDF to defeat and stop the terror of incendiary kites and balloons, and we are in the midst of the process,” said Netanyahu. … Continue Reading

Gaza Terrorists Fire More than 200 Rockets at Israel over Weekend; ‘IDF Dealt Hamas the Harshest Blow since’ 2014 War

July 15, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Hamas fired 200 rockets at Israel in one weekend. Illustrative results of Gaza attack. Photo Courtesy of IDF Spokesperson.

On Friday, during the weekly violent border riots, Gaza terrorists threw a grenade at an Israeli soldier, wounding him moderately, the IDF website reported. That would be a prelude to a sharp escalation in violence—including more than 200 rockets fired at Israel by Hamas per to the IDF Spokesperson Twitter page—that left Israel and Gaza on the brink of another war. The last conflict was clearly in mind, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that “the IDF dealt Hamas the harshest blow since Operation Protective Edge,” referring to the 2014 escalation.

Updating his cabinet on the weekend’s conflict, Netanyahu said in comments released by his office on Sunday, “We hit Hamas in a significant way and hard. Our policy is clear: Whoever hurts us, we will hit them with great strength. This is what we did yesterday… I hope that they got the message; if not, they will get it later.”

Prior to Netanyahu’s comments, a mediated ceasefire had already been reported, according to The Times of Israel. That seemed to pull the sides back from the brink of what could have been an all-out war. A Tweet from the IDF Spokesperson on Saturday had said that IDF commanders “assessed the readiness of IDF troops to undertake and enhance operational activity if deemed necessary.” … Continue Reading

Israel Responds to Months of Hamas Terror with Economic Sanctions

July 9, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Illustrative example of goods shipped to Gaza. Photo courtesy of the Israel Tax Authority.

When the United States, Europe, or the United Nations are troubled by a malicious nation’s actions, they often resort to economic sanctions. After months of Gaza fire kites, balloon bombs, infiltration attempts, border riots and attacks on the border crossing, Israel responded with sanctions of their own. On Monday, the IDF announced on their website that the Kerem Shalom border crossing—itself a target of Gaza attacks—would only allow humanitarian aid to enter the Gaza Strip.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made it clear the border restriction was a response to Hamas’ nefarious ways. “We will be heavy-handed with the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip—immediately. In a significant step, today we are closing the Kerem Shalom crossing,” said Netanyahu to the Israeli parliament (Knesset) in comments released by his office. He further noted that “there will be additional steps” in response to Hamas, but did not provide details. … Continue Reading

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