Israel Still Aiding Wounded Syrians, Turning Them from ‘Enemies to Friends’

Israel and Syria have been mortal enemies since Syria attacked the newly reborn State of Israel almost 70 years ago. But that hasn’t impacted Israel’s ongoing work to help Syrians wounded in that nation’s civil war—and it may even offer hope for peace. It certainly isn’t stopping, even as violence …

Israel—An Ancient King of Making Glass

Centuries before the Land of Israel was a hub for the high-tech industry, the region was among the world leaders in another profession involving science, skill, and specialized knowledge: glass making. The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced in a press release on Monday that they have discovered 1,600-year-old kilns used …

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

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 …

Israeli Security Forces Arrest Citizen Muhammad Azzam for Planning to Join ISIS

The resident of an Israeli Arab town was arrested earlier this month for contact with ISIS, also known as the Islamic State (IS), and for making plans to join the brutal terrorist organization. Muhammad Azzam, an Israeli citizen from Kfar Manda, was arrested on June 6 in a joint operation …

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Israel, US to Coordinate with New ‘Settlement Team’ after Trump Meet

February 19, 2017 News

Will Trump be Israel’s best friend? U.S. Presidential Candidate Donald Trump (left) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right). Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon (GPO)

Israeli home construction in the Biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria is often openly opposed by the United States, despite Israel’s proven past willingness to dismantle such communities—sometimes referred to as settlements—as part of peace measures that haven’t even always been reciprocated with peace from enemies. To better prevent friction between the two allies over Israeli home building, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday following his trip to visit the U.S. that the two nations will set up teams to address settlements, as well as “upgrade relations” in security, technology and more.

Netanyahu said in comments released by his office that he and U.S. President Donald Trump have “agreed to create a team in an area that we have not previously agreed on: I mean, of course, on settlement in Judea and Samaria.” The Israeli leader sounded hopeful of not only an improved relationship with America, but he implied there was opportunity even with Middle Eastern nations that currently have no official diplomatic relations with Israel. … Continue Reading

Palestinian Teens Arrested for Shooting at Vehicles

February 19, 2017 Peace and Conflict

Israeli security forces prevent terrorism, arrest Palestinian terrorists. Israeli police car. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

A pair of 17-year-old Palestinians were arrested just hours after a terror shooting attack last month. The two minors had fired at vehicles on two occasions over a period of several months, as well as other attacks, according to an Israeli Security Agency (ISA) press release. No injuries resulted from any of the acts of terror.

Along with the two teens, a pair of improvised “Carlo” submachine guns were seized. The foregoing again shows the involvement of minors in severe terrorist actions as well as the tangible security danger posed by the accessibility of improvised weapons,” the ISA press statement noted. “The ISA, along with the IDF and Israel Police, views these acts of terrorism with utmost gravity and will act to prevent and thwart terrorist activity and attacks.” … Continue Reading

On One-State Peace Solution, Trump Happy with Whatever ‘Both Parties Like’

February 15, 2017 Peace and Conflict

President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu address the press together. Photo Courtesy of Avi Ohayon (GPO).

The self-proclaimed great negotiator President of the United States made it clear he will support whatever peace deal the Israelis and the Palestinians reach in comments on Wednesday—even if that means dropping the long-promoted two-state solution. “I’m looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like,” remarked Donald Trump in an apparently playful mood. “…I thought for a while the two-state looked like it may be the easier of the two… If Israel and the Palestinians are happy, I’m happy with the one they like the best.”

Trump, in comments with visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that were posted to the White House website, also came out and gave his suggested compromise for Israel to achieve a deal with the Palestinians. “As far as settlements, I’d like to see you hold back on settlements for a little bit. We’ll work something out,” Trump told Netanyahu. Later, the Israeli leader noted that he planned to discuss the issue of Israeli construction in the Biblical heartland with Trump “so we can arrive at an understanding so we don’t keep on bumping into each other all the time on this issue.” Netanyahu also argued against the importance of settlements in the overall scheme of things. … Continue Reading

‘Jewish Peace Corp’ Expands Service in Africa

February 13, 2017 News

Israeli youth are volunteering in Africa. Israeli flags. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Even more African children will get better opportunities in life, as the Jewish Agency’s Project TEN group—nicknamed the “Jewish Peace Corp”—is adding two new volunteer centers in the continent. Similar to the global Peace Corps, Project TEN harnesses the energy of young Jews from Israel and around the world to serve needy persons around the world.

A press release from The Jewish Agency said the new locations in Namulanda, Uganda and Durban, South Africa join the three existing centers—one each in Ghana, Mexico, and Israel. Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency for Israel Natan Sharansky is dedicating the new centers this week. But already volunteers are active in Namulanda and Durban in areas such as education, public health, and sustainable agriculture. The press release noted that most of those activities focus on local children as the Jewish volunteers assist Africa’s next generation. … Continue Reading

Netanyahu Focused on Israeli Security ahead of Trump Meeting

February 12, 2017 News

Illustrative image of Netanyahu. Photo Courtesy of UN-Photo/Marco Castro

Just days after rocket attacks from the south and a tank shell hitting Israel from Syria, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said national security would be a primary focus for his meeting with United States President Donald Trump this week. “I have only one motivation,” the Israeli leader said in comments on Sunday released by his office. “My supreme consideration is to be concerned, first of all, for the security of the State of Israel, to strengthen the steadfast alliance with the U.S., and to strengthen our other national interests which are fundamentally connected to the strength of ties with the U.S.”

Later in those same comments at the Israeli government’s cabinet meeting, Netanyahu came back to the security issue by warning terrorists such as those who attacked the south of Israel. Noting Israel has a “very clear policy,” Netanyahu said, “We are not set on escalation, but we do not fear at all to respond strongly to whoever would attack us.” … Continue Reading

Israel Attacked from the North, South on Same Day

February 8, 2017 Peace and Conflict

Israel is threatened from every direction. The warzones in Syria and Egypt are not that far away from Israel. Educational sign post showing distance between major locations in the Middle East. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

In the span of one evening, a tank shell fired from Syria hit Israeli territory in the north and four rockets were launched by terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula at Israel’s south. It was an unusually tumultuous day that thankfully had no Israeli injuries reported, according to IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Peter Lerner’s Twitter feed. Three of the rockets were intercepted by the Israeli Iron Dome missile defense system, while a fourth landed in an open area, Lerner tweeted. Still, the rockets were close enough to trigger the missile warning sirens in the area of Israel’s southern coastal city of Eilat, the main metropolis at the very south of Israel.

Earlier that evening, to the north, Israel responded to the tank shot by targeting “a post belonging to the Syrian regime in the northern Syrian Golan Heights,” reported the IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter Feed. Israel is surrounded by conflicts, with a major civil war taking place in Syria that has resulted in a number of incidents of cross-border fire. And in the Sinai, various terrorists groups—with some of the extremists attacking Israel—have been battling Egyptian security forces for years. … Continue Reading

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