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 …

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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

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

100,000 Iranians Join Israel Telegram Group; Netanyahu Hopes to Visit Tehran

June 19, 2018 News

PM Netanyahu. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)

That didn’t take long: 100,000 Iranians have already joined the Telegram messenger group linked to the Israeli water website, which aims to save lives in Iran by giving away information on water conservation. Furthermore, the website was only announced nine days ago by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu—and that’s not the only response Israel has been receiving from Iranians.

“I salute all of the brave Iranians who wrote to publicly thank Israel in recent days,” Netanyahu was quoted by spokesman Ofir Gendelman’s Twitter feed in a series of posts on Tuesday. “The reason we opened a Farsi website and Telegram group to teach water conservation is simple: it can help save countless Iranian lives.”

The Israeli leader, in a series of Twitter posts by Gendelman, cited the large number of Telegram followers and noted that “millions of people” have seen the video he made promoting the water offer to Iran. He even hopes that someday he can talk to the Iranian people in person—in the Iranian capital. … 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, Putin Agree to ‘Counter Terrorism’ after Hezbollah Refuses Russian Call to Exit Syria

June 17, 2018 Special Feature, Syria, Terrorism

Will PM Netanyahu & Russian Pres. Putin work together to fight Hezbollah? Illustrative. Photo courtesy of the office of the President of Russia.

Russia vaguely but ominously stated their willingness to join Israel in opposing “international terrorism” last week, one day after news broke that Hezbollah had rebuffed a Russian call for the terrorist group to leave Syria. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “expressed readiness to boost the coordination of their actions with regard to Syria, including in countering international terrorism” during a call together on Friday, according to a statement posted to the Russian Presidency’s website.

While Hezbollah was not mentioned by name, the “terrorism” reference was an unusual inclusion in the brief press release, as it did not appear in numerous Russian press summaries of Putin-Netanyahu calls throughout 2018. It also comes as the Hezbollah and Russia relationship is getting rocky, despite both being allies of the Syrian regime in that nation’s civil war.

Israel Hayom reported that Hezbollah was still in Syria as of last Thursday—according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights group—despite a Russian request for the Lebanese terrorists to leave Syria per a Russia-Israel agreement. The report specifically noted the Russians and Hezbollah had not battled each other yet—which would be a dramatic development—and raises questions about how far Russia is willing to go to keep it’s Syrian plan. Israel has already made it clear how far they will go. … Continue Reading

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