Israel Strikes Weapons Storage Day after US Espouses Support of anti-Iran Action in Syria

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday last week provided American backing for Israel’s efforts to prevent Iran from setting up a new base of operations in Syria. One day later, Israeli warplanes struck weapons storage facilities belonging to Iran, including a target at an international airport in …

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 …

Netanyahu Tells Arabs that Iran Is Main Threat, To Talk with Putin to ‘Ensure Freedom of Action’ against Iran

It’s a busy season of diplomacy for Israel against Iran, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in Poland last week for a conference with Arab and Western nations discussing the threat from Tehran, and this week he will be in Poland’s neighbor Russia to discuss how to keep combatting that …

Israeli Spacecraft Launching for the Moon This Week

Israel is set to become just the fourth country to land a spacecraft on the moon, as the satellite “Beresheet”—Hebrew for “Beginning”—is scheduled to launch atop a SpaceX rocket around the end of this week with its destination being the lunar surface. The spacecraft will carry a time capsule to …

Recent Articles:

Gaza Unleashes Rockets at Israeli Civilians, IDF Responds

August 8, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Hamas firing rockets at Israel again. Illustrative results of Gaza attack. Photo Courtesy of IDF Spokesperson.

The day started ominously, with Hamas terrorists abandoning outposts to apparently escape potential IDF fire, and like the calm before the storm, the rain of rockets followed. More than 70 rockets were fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip in a six-hour stretch starting on Wednesday, according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter feed, with rocket sirens warning of potentially more attacks. The tweet featured a graphic showing 19 different Israeli towns in which rocket sirens had sounded in the onslaught—and the rockets were hitting civilian targets.

Magen David Adom paramedics tweeted about multiple injuries occurring in the town of Sderot at multiple sites, while the IDF Spokesperson posted a video showing a playground damaged by rocket fire as one example of the day’s hits.

“Tonight, Hamas fired rockets at this playground in Sderot, Israel, which is home to 25,000 people. They’re innocent mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters. The Hamas terrorist organization looks at Sderot from the Gaza Strip and sees 25,000 targets,” tweeted the video caption. The IDF did not take the barrage lightly, responding in force against Hamas.

… Continue Reading

US Reimposes Sanctions on Iran; Israel Tells Europe ‘Time Has Come to Stop Talking’

US President Donald Trump signs an Executive Order on Iran Sanctions. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

United States President Donald Trump announced the first stage of renewed American sanctions on Iran on Monday, ahead of the official reimposition of sanctions at midnight on Tuesday. The anticipated move follows Trump’s decision in May to pull the US out of the Iran nuclear deal—also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“Since the deal was reached, Iran’s aggression has only increased. The regime has used the windfall of newly accessible funds it received under the JCPOA to build nuclear-capable missiles, fund terrorism, and fuel conflict across the Middle East and beyond,” said Trump in a statement posted to the White House website. “…By exiting the JCPOA, the United States is able to protect its national security by applying maximum economic pressure on the Iranian regime.”

The initial round of reset sanctions focuses on cars, precious metals and Iranian currency, according to Trump’s comments. In November, banking and Iran’s energy industry—including oil—will be targeted. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated Trump for making the move on Monday, calling it an “important decision.” … Continue Reading

Rating Agency Upgrades Puts Israel ‘Among Strongest Economies in the World’

August 5, 2018 News

Israeli flags. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The latest credit rating from Standard & Poor’s for the State of Israel saw the country upgraded from “strong” to “very strong” according to the S&P website, and that something for which Israel’s leadership sees as vindication for their economic approach. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that the rating upgrade from A+ to AA- “positions Israel among the strongest economies in the world.”

Said Netanyahu in comments released by his office, “This attests to the responsible economic policy that we in the government have been conducting—the Finance Minister and fellow ministers. This policy has led to continuous growth in the Israeli economy.”

The Times of Israel reported that the improved credit rating is the highest Israel has ever received from the prestigious rating organization. In general, the S&P ratings go up to AAA, but Israel’s lower mark still represents a “stable” outlook according to a press release on the S&P website. The explanation on the website describing what the ratings mean terms anything in the “A” range to be “investment grade” and AA to indicate a “very strong capacity to meet financial commitments.” Netanyahu believes that it’s not just the wealthy who are benefitting from the growth. … Continue Reading

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

No US Plans to Strike Iran, But Trump Open to Meeting Them ‘Anytime They Want’

July 30, 2018 News

US President Donald Trump open to meeting with Iran. Illustrative photo, edited for size. Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead. CC 3.0  LICENSE.

United States President Donald Trump on Monday offered to meet with the Iranians with no preconditions, less than a week after he issued an all-caps Twitter warning to the Islamic Republic not to threaten the US and just days after CNN reported the US is discussing military options to defend oil shipping from a potential Iranian attack. “I believe in meeting,” Trump told reporters on Monday in comments published on the White House website. “I would certainly meet with Iran if they wanted to meet. I don’t know that they’re ready yet… No preconditions. If they want to meet, I’ll meet.”

Trump wasn’t the only one sounding a slightly softer tone towards Iran. Last Friday, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis made it clear the Americans are not preparing for a military strike against Iran. “I’m confident it is not something that’s being considered right now,” Mattis told the media in comments posted to the Defense Department website. Those comments contrasted with a news report from CNN saying that the US was considering military options to defend vital oil shipping waterways from Iranian attack, an approach that Mattis himself seemed to support.

Following threats from Iran to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz—a narrow water passage that links Middle East oil producers with Europe and the West—Mattis told reporters last Friday in separate comments that such a blockade would need to be countered with “whatever that took.” … 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

Know the News and how it impacts You

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

Categories