Israel, Putin Agree to ‘Counter Terrorism’ after Hezbollah Refuses Russian Call to Exit Syria

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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 Targets Terror Kite Leader’s Vehicle in Response to Arson Attacks

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 …

Austria Will Keep Reminding Middle East and Europe ‘Israel Is Here to Stay’

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Hamas Refuses to Give Up Weapons; Gaza Rocket Fired at Israel

October 8, 2017 Peace and Conflict

Hamas has fired thousands of rockets at Israel over the years, among other acts of terror. Illustrative photo of spent Rockets fired from Gaza. By Joshua Spurlock.

The reconciliation efforts between the Hamas terror group and the Palestinian Authority (PA) may be moving along, but Hamas has made it clear what’s not changing: their weapons. Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem was quoted by the Ma’an News Agency as arguing on Saturday that their weapons “are legal” and are intended to defend Palestinians and take land they claim from Israel—“therefore, this should not be an issue to discuss.”

One day later, a rocket was fired from the Hamas-dominated Gaza Strip at Israel. According to the IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter feed, no injuries were reported and the rocket ultimately landed inside of Gaza. Nonetheless, the Tweet noted that “this rocket fire endangered Israelis & violated Israeli sovereignty.” The IDF Spokesperson said that they responded with tank fire that destroyed a Hamas outpost.

“The IDF holds Hamas responsible for any terror activity perpetrated against Israel from the Gaza Strip,” tweeted the IDF Spokesperson. … Continue Reading

Iran Threatens to Missile Strike US Bases, Treat American Troops like ISIS

October 8, 2017 News

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

The leader of the Iranian Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) on Sunday effectively threatened to launch missiles at American military bases in the Middle East and treat United States troops like ISIS if the US escalates sanctions on Iran and labels the IRGC a terrorist group. Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari said that new US sanctions on Iran would be viewed as an American withdrawal from the nuclear deal, according to a report by the Fars News Agency.

As a result, “If the US new sanctions act comes into action, the country (the US) should transfer its regional bases to 2,000km away, that is as far as the range of Iranian missiles,” Fars quoted the IRGC commander as saying.

He wasn’t done there. Following a report from Politico that the Trump Administration plans to label the IRGC a terrorist organization, Jafari unleashed. “If reports prove to be true that the stupid US administration intends to designate the IRGC as a terrorist organization, then the IRGC will also specify the US army as a group (and target) like ISIL [a.k.a. ISIS] in all parts of the world, specially the Middle-East,” Fars quoted him as saying. … Continue Reading

Trump Envoy Says Palestinian Unity Government ‘Must Commit to Nonviolence’, Recognize Israel

October 2, 2017 Peace and Conflict

Will Trump achieve Middle East peacel? U.S. President Donald Trump (left) meets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right). Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon (GPO)

While the United States is welcoming the efforts of the Palestinian factions to re-unite under the leadership of the supposedly moderate Palestinian Authority, they still have expectations as to what that new Palestinian government should do. In a statement published on Monday by the American Envoy on the Middle East peace process Jason Greenblatt to Twitter, the representative wrote that the U.S. “stresses that any Palestinian government must unambiguously and explicitly commit to nonviolence.”

Greenblatt, the White House Special Representative for International Negotiations, said the Palestinians also must commit to “recognition of the State of Israel, acceptance of previous agreements and obligations between the parties, and peaceful negotiations.”

Given that the Hamas terrorist group is the counterparty to the latest reconciliation process with the Fatah party that leads the P.A., those American expectations seem likely to be disappointed. Hamas has repeatedly refused to halt its violent attacks on Israel or to recognize the State of Israel. … Continue Reading

Israel Stands ‘Shoulder to Shoulder’ with Americans after Vegas Attack

October 2, 2017 News

Israel stands with the US after shooting in Vegas. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The Israeli government offered their formal condolences to the American people following Sunday’s brutal shooting spree in Las Vegas. The motive for the attack, which Foxnews reported was the worst in American history with 59 dead and over 500 wounded, is still unknown. While ISIS claimed credit, Foxnews said the FBI concluded at this time that the shooter was not affiliated with international terrorists.

That may mean that he was another “lone wolf” shooter—a solitary attacker who plots and carries out their murderous plans without operational guidance from a terror group. Israel is all too familiar with such lone wolf attackers, although their anti-Israel motivation is generally obvious.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a statement published by his office, said, “On this terrible day, the people of Israel stand shoulder to shoulder with the American people in mourning and sorrow. Our hearts go out to the victims’ families and we wish a speedy recovery to the wounded. We grieve with you.” … Continue Reading

Palestinian Reconciliation Moves Forward as Hamas Leader Warns Process ‘Could Be Long’

October 1, 2017 Peace and Conflict

Could Abbas also shake hands with Hamas? U.S. Secretary of State Tillerson with Palestinian President Abbas. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of U.S. State Department

The latest Palestinian governmental reconciliation process is underway, with officials from the Palestinian Authority (PA) led by the Fatah faction starting to enter Hamas-controlled Gaza on Sunday, according to report by the Ma’an News Agency. An Egyptian security delegation also arrived in Gaza, per the report. Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum welcomed the Egyptians in a statement published to the Hamas website. “The visit is a result of the Cairo understandings between Egypt and Hamas and a continuation of the Egyptian efforts to support the Palestinian reconciliation and to end division. We, in Hamas, are working to lead the highly appreciated Egyptian efforts to success.”

Meanwhile, a news report on the Hamas website reported that the group’s political head, Ismail Haniyeh spoke by phone with PA and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas on the topic of receiving that PA official delegation. Despite the signs of progress, Haniyeh warned in a statement one day earlier that the overall process may take a while. … Continue Reading

Report: Iranian Missile Test Video Was Faked

September 28, 2017 Uncategorized

The Iranian missile test last week apparently never happened and the video footage of said launch was actually from more than seven months ago, according to a report from Fox News. The Iranians claimed to have tested a missile capable of reaching Israel and carrying multiple warheads according to the Fars News Agency as reported earlier by The Mideast Update. But Fox News cited two American officials who said the footage of the supposed test was actually of another failed test earlier this year.

The Jerusalem Post later reported that Israel also said that their intelligence did not pick up any indication of a missile test launch. However, had the test been legitimate, as Iran claimed, Israel noted that it actually would have violated a United Nations resolution.

In a Twitter post after the alleged test but before the reports indicating it was faked, the Director General of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Yuval Rotem, tweeted, “#Iran missile test violates UNSCR 2231. Iran is directly challenging intl community. Robust response is imperative.”

(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, September 28, 2017)

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