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 …

Recent Articles:

Top Hamas Explosives Commander Killed by Accidental Blast while Prepping for Attack

February 5, 2017 Peace and Conflict

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

The number one explosives leader in the Hamas terrorist organization was himself killed by an accidental explosion while reportedly preparing a new attack against Israel, according to reports in Israeli media. The Times of Israel, citing a Channel 2 report, said Muhammad Hemada Walid al-Quqa headed up the Hamas explosives team. The report cited Palestinian claims that Quqa was killed while “preparing something for the enemy.”

The Palestinian Ma’an News Agency cited a Hamas military wing statement that Quqa was killed during unspecified “preparations,” while noting that his violent resume included “jihadist activities, including manufacturing and assembling explosives.” Ma’an reported that the accidental blast occurred on Saturday evening, with Quqa dying from wounds suffered in the explosion on Sunday. … Continue Reading

US Adds New Sanctions on Iran; Tehran to Respond ‘Reciprocally’

February 5, 2017 News

The Americans are stepping up pressure on Iran. American flag. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Following the recent missile test by Iran, the Americans added new Iranian persons and entities to the sanctions list, targeting those involved with the Iranian missile program or the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force, a paramilitary group that works outside Iran’s borders. “Iran’s continued support for terrorism and development of its ballistic missile program poses a threat to the region, to our partners worldwide, and to the United States,” said U.S. Treasury official John E. Smith in a press release posted to the Treasury website. “…We will continue to actively apply all available tools, including financial sanctions, to address this behavior.” And another U.S. official hinted more could be on the way.

Iran, meanwhile, responded defiantly and warned they would take measures of their own against the U.S. The Fars News Agency reported that the Iranian Foreign Ministry said they would “respond proportionately and reciprocally to any move that targets the interests of the Iranian people” by imposing restrictions on American persons and entities. The Iranians called their missile program an “undeniable and inalienable right,” although the Americans specifically argued the Iranian missile test violated United Nations resolution 2231. … Continue Reading

Europeans Concerned about Missile Test as US Puts Iran ‘On Notice’

February 1, 2017 News

How will the U.S. respond to Iran’s missile test? Military option unlikely, but not off the table. US F-22 jet. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Michael Holzworth.

The global community reacted to Iran’s recent missile test with concern this week, while the Trump Administration took it a step further and declared that “as of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice.” That veiled threat was given by U.S. national security adviser, retired Gen. Michael Flynn, according to a report from Al-Monitor, which further noted that an anonymous senior administration official told a press briefing the Americans would be “less shy” about speaking out against Iranian misdeeds.

The Americans, via a second unnamed official speaking to the media, said they had a “large range of options” in responding to Iran, including economic steps and support for “hose challenging Iran’s malign activity.” The U.S. officials chose not to explicitly take the military option off the table, but just noted that they were deliberating their response. One official said they were considering their options, and “how we want to communicate and enforce our concerns.” That word—“concern”—was a popular expression in responding to Sunday’s Iranian missile test, considered by multiple nations to violate United Nations Resolution 2231. … Continue Reading

Israelis Apprehend Terror Shooter, More Weapons to Keep Civilians Safe

January 29, 2017 Peace and Conflict

Amid the current terrorism wave, illegal weapons like this one have been seized by Israel this year instead of reaching terrorists. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of ISA.

Last week was another busy one for Israeli security forces, including the weekend, since terrorists don’t take Friday night off. Roughly twenty-four hours after a random shooting of an Israeli vehicle on Friday night, Israeli forces caught two terrorists suspected of the attack. The IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter feed posted the image of a gun captured in the arrest, while IDF Lt. Col. Peter Lerner tweeted that the suspected Palestinian terrorists were captured in a Special Forces operation overnight. He had earlier reported that while there were no injuries in the shooting, the Israeli vehicle had “multiple bullet holes identified” on it.

The successful arrest comes just days after IDF Spokesman Lerner posted to Twitter that the Israelis “uncovered and seized 8 weapons manufacturing machines at a warehouse in Hebron.” … Continue Reading

Netanyahu Says All Embassies Should Move to Jerusalem, Believes Most Will

January 29, 2017 News, Uncategorized

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)

Plans to move the United States embassy in Israel to Jerusalem look to be on hold for now, but that doesn’t change Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s conviction that it should still happen. In fact, the Israeli leader said Sunday he not only thinks the U.S. embassy should move, but all embassies should come to the Jewish capital—and that someday most will.

“I would like to take this opportunity to make it unequivocally clear that our position has always been, and will always be, that the US embassy needs to be here, in Jerusalem,” said Netanyahu in comments released by his office. “Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and it is proper that not only should the American embassy be here, but all embassies should come here, and I believe that over time most of them will indeed come here, to Jerusalem.” The Prime Minister’s words come just days after U.S. President Donald Trump said, “it’s too early” to talk about the embassy move. … Continue Reading

Netanyahu Talks Iran Nuke Deal with Trump; Seeks ‘No Daylight’ between US, Israel

January 22, 2017 News

Will the US and Israel be on the same page again? Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Donald Trump held his first call as the President of the United States with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, with Iran being an unusually highlighted element of the conversation that could indicate plans for the future. Describing the conversation as “very warm,” Netanyahu’s office said the Israeli Prime Minister “expressed his desire to work closely with President Trump to forge a common vision to advance peace and security in the region, with no daylight between the United States and Israel.”

On the topic list for the call was the Iranian nuclear deal—an interesting topic given that the deal was completed many months ago and has been implemented for over a year. Trump has promised to revisit the deal, and Sunday’s conversation may be the first indication of that. … Continue Reading

Stay informed! Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.

Follow The Mideast Update on Twitter

Like The Mideast Update on Facebook