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Trump on Peace Plan, End of Iran Deal: ‘A Lot of Progress Made in Middle East’

June 25, 2018 Peace and Conflict

U.S. President Donald Trump (left) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right). Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon (GPO)

It’s been years since the Israelis and the Palestinians engaged in direct peace talks and Iran is outraged after the United States exited the nuclear deal, but US President Donald Trump believes things aren’t just doing ok in the Middle East. “We’re doing very well in the Middle East. We’re doing very well in the Middle East, yes,” said Trump on Monday in response to questions asking about chances of peace in the region.

A follow-up question asked President Trump when he wants to publish his much-anticipated Middle East peace plan, and the American leader said that “a lot of progress has been made in the Middle East. A lot. And it really started with the end of the horrible Iran deal. That deal was a disaster, and things are a lot different since we ended that. A lot different.”

The comments, published to the White House website, were made prior to meetings with Jordanian King Abdullah II. The regional leadership has been important to the peace plans being made by the Trump Administration, including a recent tour by American envoys of countries in the Middle East including Israel, Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. … Continue Reading

Another Drone Approaches Israel from Syria, Retreats after Israeli Missile Launch

June 24, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds up piece of Iranian UAV in February. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Amos Ben Gershom GPO

For the second time in a matter of months, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was spotted heading towards the Israeli border from inside Syria on Sunday, but this time the drone was targeted by Israeli defenses before it could enter Israeli airspace. A Patriot air defense missile was fired at the UAV and “as a result, the vehicle retreated from the border,” the IDF Spokesperson said on Twitter in a series of posts.

The IDF Spokesperson tweeted that “a hit was not identified,” but highlighted that the Israeli defenses recognized the drone “threat” prior to it reaching Israel. The IDF Spokesperson also emphasized that aerial invasions are unacceptable.

Said the Twitter post, “The IDF will not allow the State of Israel’s aerial sovereignty to be violated and will operate to prevent any attempts to harm its civilians.” … Continue Reading

Israel Targets Terror Kite Leader’s Vehicle in Response to Arson Attacks

June 17, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Israeli aircraft fight back against terror from above. 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 IDF is taking the fight to the terrorists who are aiming to unleash wildfires and explosives on Israeli territory using balloons and kites. Over the weekend, Israeli aircraft “targeted the vehicle of one of the leaders of the squads that launched arson and explosive balloons and kites from the northern Gaza Strip,” according to a Twitter post on Sunday morning from the IDF Spokesperson, representing an escalation in Israel’s response to the threat to their civilians.

“Recently, the IDF has warned numerous times against these launches. These are acts of terror that endanger Israeli residents living in southern Israel,” the IDF Spokesperson said as part of a series of Twitter posts. “The IDF is determined to continue to act with increasing intensity against these acts of terror. The Hamas terror organization is responsible for everything happening in and from the Gaza Strip, and it will bear the consequences.”

The kite and balloon-driven terrorism had continued over weekend, with Israeli Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld tweeting, “Policeman & firefighters responded to fires around Gaza Strip area after balloons & kites sent by terrorists landed in Israel’s open areas.” This followed a Rosenfeld post on Friday of a video showing Israeli bomb disposal units safely detonating an explosive device carried by balloon from Gaza on an Israeli highway. … Continue Reading

Israel Makes ‘Unprecedented Offer’ to Iranians, Agrees with Europe ‘Iran Needs to Leave Syria’

June 10, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Prime Minister Netanyahu makes “unprecedented offer” to Iran. Illustrative image of Netanyahu. Photo courtesy of Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won part of the crucial fight with Iran in Syria last week by securing European support for an international agreement that, as he put it, “Iran needs to leave Syria, from all of Syria.” Meanwhile, the same day Netanyahu told his cabinet of the agreement on Iran in Syria, the Israeli leader also made an “unprecedented offer to Iran” by announcing a Farsi website that will literally give away plans to help Iranians solve their water crisis.

“The Iranian people are victims of a cruel and tyrannical regime that denies them vital water. Israel stands with the people of Iran. And that is why I want to help save countless Iranian lives,” said Netanyahu in a video published to Youtube. “…Israel has the knowhow to prevent environmental catastrophe in Iran.”

Just because Israel wants to help the Iranian people doesn’t mean they want to ignore malice from the Iranian regime. To that end, Netanyahu met last week with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May, focusing “first and foremost on Iran’s efforts to establish a military presence in Syria,” Netanyahu told his cabinet according to comments released by his office. Netanyahu said that the “goal of the trip” was “to a large extent, achieved.” … Continue Reading

Gaza Rocket Attacks Resume after UN Fails to Condemn Hamas

June 3, 2018 Peace and Conflict

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

Gaza terrorists again launched rockets at Israel this weekend—shaking a fragile ceasefire that had been established between the sides—just one day after the United Nations Security Council failed twice on Friday to condemn Hamas actions in Gaza. An initial resolution on the recent Gaza border riots vetoed by the United States made “no mention of Hamas. None at all,” noted US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley in comments released by her office. Said Haley, “Instead, the resolution places all the blame on Israel… It is resolutions like this one that undermine the UN’s credibility in dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

The resolution, according to the UN News website, was brought by Kuwait and called for the powerful Security Council to contemplate steps to “guarantee the safety and protection” of Palestinians, including a report on a potential “international protection mechanism” from the UN Secretary-General. The US, meanwhile, brought their own resolution calling upon Hamas and Islamic Jihad to “cease all violent activity and provocative actions, including along the boundary fence.”

Ahead of the votes, Haley told the Council “you either support Hamas or not. This vote will tell the story.” In the end, 10 of the 15 nations on the Council voted for the anti-Israel Kuwaiti resolution, while 11 abstained on the US measure. The next day after the UN votes effectively ignored Hamas terrorism, Gaza rocket fire against Israel resumed. Over the weekend, the Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted multiple Gaza rockets while the Israeli Air Force hit over a dozen Hamas terror targets according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter feed. … Continue Reading

Israel Hits Dozens of Terror Targets after Soldiers Injured as Over 70 Mortars, Rockets Fired from Gaza; World Powers Condemn Palestinian Violence

May 29, 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.

Terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip unleashed a massive rocket and mortar assault on Israel on Tuesday—the IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter feed had counted more than 70 projectiles by late that evening with sirens indicating additional ones coming—and Israel responded by striking dozens of Hamas targets. Three Israeli soldiers were wounded in the fierce fighting, which called into question the possibility of a new Gaza war.

Meanwhile, multiple world powers expressed their dismay at the Hamas assault and the United States called for the attacks to be discussed by the powerful United Nations Security Council. The stunning escalation follows weeks of Hamas-led riots near the Gaza border and efforts to breach the Israeli security fence there.

Tweeted the IDF Spokesperson, “The Hamas terror organization again chooses to act against the interest of the residents of the Gaza Strip. After it failed during the violent riots along the security fence, it now chooses to conduct and allow a wide-scale attack against Israeli civilians.” … Continue Reading

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