‘Moderate’ Palestinian Leaders Oppose UN Resolution Condemning Hamas Terror

The world is generally united against terrorism, but for some reason the supposedly moderate Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership is opposed to the United Nations condemning Hamas terrorism against Israel. The WAFA Palestinian news agency quoted a spokesman of the Fatah political faction that heads the PA as saying they “totally …

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 Warns Hezbollah, ‘Sees Lebanese Government as Responsible for Everything’

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin had a stern warning to not just the Hezbollah terrorist group, but to the Lebanese government that tolerates them, against the backdrop of Hezbollah’s terror tunnels into Israel. “Hezbollah’s offensive tunnels into Israeli territory are a clear violation of Israeli sovereignty. Hezbollah, which pretends to be …

Netanyahu Thanks Austrian Leader for Pushing to Define Anti-Zionism as Anti-Semitism

Two key leadership councils of the European Union have endorsed the call for member nations to adopt a definition of anti-Semitism that includes denying the right of Jews to have their own nation, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday thanked Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz for leading this effort. …

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US Goal: Get Countries Buying Iranian Oil ‘Down to Zero as Soon as Possible’

July 2, 2018 News

Iranian oil is about to be sanctioned by the US again. Oil Tanker. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of U.S. Navy. Photo by Mass Communication 2nd Class Nathan Schaeffer

The United States withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal earlier this year means the re-imposition of American sanctions on the Islamic Republic, which will resume in part on August 6. In November, the most critical sanctions—on Iran’s energy and oil industry and banking—will re-launch. While the US is the only one of the world powers to step out of the Iran nuclear deal, so far they aren’t the only ones backing away from the Iranian economy.

50 international firms, including those in the energy and financial industries, have announced plans to exit the Iranian market, a US State Department official told reporters on Monday. And the Americans want everyone to join them. “With respect to the energy sanctions, our goal is to increase pressure on the Iranian regime by reducing to zero its revenue from crude oil sales,” Brian Hook, US State Department director of policy planning, said in comments published by the Department.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week was already praising the impact of the US decision to leave the Iran nuclear deal and restart sanctions. … Continue Reading

Despite High Tensions with Syria, Israel Providing Tons of Aid to Syrian Civilians

July 1, 2018 News

Israel is being a “good neighbor” to Syria, despite the conflict. Israeli signpost showing distance between Israel, Syria in Golan Heights. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Last week, Israel’s military provided hundreds of tents and tons of food and clothing to displaced Syrian refugees living in camps inside Syrian territory. Just days later, Israel’s military increased their number of troops along the Syrian border, as tensions between Israel, the Syrian regime and its ally Iran stay high. That’s not a contradiction, but a reality for Israel: They are staring down at war with the Syrian regime, but not the Syrian people.

“The IDF has provided life-saving humanitarian aid to Syrian civilians through Operation ‘Good Neighbor’ for several years, as a good-will gesture, while maintaining a policy of non-intervention in the Syrian conflict,” said the IDF Spokesperson on Friday in a series of Twitter posts about the latest aid provided.

The Twitter posts continued by stating, “The IDF is closely monitoring the events transpiring in southern Syrian and is prepared for a wide variety of scenarios, including additional humanitarian aid distribution to Syrians fleeing hostilities.” … Continue Reading

IDF Bolsters Border with Syria after Netanyahu Says Israel Will Strike Enemies ‘at Close and Longer Ranges’

July 1, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Is war brewing with Iran in Syria? Israeli tank. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The Israelis are fully committed to striking at Iranian targets in Syria to prevent an Iranian military stronghold in their northern neighbor as well as to defend the country from threats both near and far, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared repeatedly in the last week. Meanwhile, he is also highlighting the economic trouble hitting Iran as the US reinstates sanctions on the country and what that could mean for a possible public uprising against the leadership in Iran.

“At a time when the US is economically striking at the Iranian regime, we are working to prevent Iranian forces and those of its proxies from establishing a military presence anywhere in Syria, and we will continue to do so,” said Netanyahu in comments released by his office on Sunday. That’s a similar message to what he said last Thursday at an IDF pilot graduation in other comments released by his office, stating that Israel “will continue to take strong action against Iranian targets in the area. We will defend our borders… We will continue to operate at close and longer ranges, both openly and in secret, against those who seek our lives.”

It’s more than just words and it’s more than just air power that is part of defending the border with Syria. On Sunday, the IDF Spokesperson posted to Twitter that “following a situation assessment in the Northern Command, it was decided to reinforce the 210th Division in the Golan Heights with additional armor and artillery troops.” … Continue Reading

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

Netanyahu, US Envoys Discuss Aid for Gaza ‘without Strengthening Hamas’

June 24, 2018 News

PM Netanyahu & Amb. Dermer meet with senior American officials. Photo courtesy of Haim Zach (GPO)

The world has repeatedly expressed concern about the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, but Israel has repeatedly pointed out the real problem: the Hamas terrorist group, which uses aid and resources entering Gaza for building up military facilities and weapons to attack Israel. So in talks between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and United States envoys last Friday, solving the conundrum of helping Gazans and not Hamas was part of a discussion on the overall situation in Gaza, which lately has teetered towards war with Israel. Netanyahu left the talks feeling supported by their ally the United States.

“I must say that there was absolute support for our positions and our actions to ensure the security of the State of Israel and its citizens in the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip, which was expressed publicly by the American administration’s envoys,” Netanyahu relayed on Sunday to his cabinet in comments published by his office. “The issue also came up of how it might be possible to resolve the humanitarian problem in Gaza without strengthening Hamas. These matters are clear–first of all how to ensure security and how to prevent a broader flare-up, if it is at all possible.” … 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

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