Israeli President, IDF Chief Hold Passover Meal with 400 Lone Soldiers

It’s always challenging to celebrate holidays without any family, and when one is serving in the military as well, that can make it even more so. In response to that, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and leader of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi on Friday celebrated the …

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 …

Syria Claims Israel Struck ‘Military Position’; Israel Vows to ‘Continue to Act’

The official Syrian news agency on Saturday reported that Israeli forces attacked a “military position” in the western area of the country, leading to the destruction of buildings and wounding multiple “fighters”. One day later, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not officially claim credit for the attack, but he …

New Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Leader Said Wiping Israel Off the Political Map Is Their Strategy

Wiping Israel off the map, forcing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to flee via the sea, threatening Europe with missile capabilities if efforts are made to disarm the Iranian missile program—these are just some of the sentiments expressed in the last year by the new leader of the Iranian Revolutionary …

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Trump Congratulates Netanyahu on Re-election as Prime Minister

April 10, 2019 News

PM Netanyahu and President Trump. Photo courtesy of Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)

While Benjamin Netanyahu has not been officially named prime minister of Israel for the fifth time yet, United States President Donald Trump and his Vice President, Mike Pence both personally called Netanyahu on Wednesday to congratulate him on his victory. Top rival Benny Gantz, of the Blue and White party, conceded to Netanyahu on Wednesday, according to Ha’aretz. With final votes still being tallied, Netanyahu’s Likud party was set to receive 35 seats in the 120-member Israeli parliament, also known as the Knesset. While Blue and White were set to receive the same, Ha’aretz reported that right-leaning political parties had pledged support for Netanyahu, with his bloc expected to reach a 65-55 seat majority.

Trump took to Twitter to highlight his support for Israel and his congrats to Netanyahu: “Spoke to Bibi @ Netanyahu to congratulate him on a great and hard-fought win. The United States is with him and the People of Israel all the way!”

Over the phone, Trump “warmly congratulated” Netanyahu and Israel, according to a press release from Netanyahu’s office. The statement said Netanyahu in turn “thanked US President Trump for his great support of Israel,” listing out the recognition of Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, as well as Trump’s “strong stand against the Iranian regime.” In particular, Netanyahu noted Trump recently designated he Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran a foreign terrorist designation. … Continue Reading

US, in ‘Historic Step’, Designates Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Terrorists

April 9, 2019 News

PM Netanyahu and US Secy. of State Mike Pompeo. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Avi Ohayon (Israeli GPO)

For the first time in American history, the United States is designating part of a foreign government a foreign terrorist organization, as the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran will carry that label effective April 15. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo noted that the unique move to so classify the IRGC—which is part of the Iranian military and has deep ties inside the Iranian economy—is well deserved given the unique range of aggression carried out by the group.

“We’re doing [this] because the Iranian regime’s use of terrorism as a tool of statecraft makes it fundamentally different from any other government,” said Pompeo on Monday in comments released by the State Department. “This historic step will deprive the world’s leading state sponsor of terror the financial means to spread misery and death around the world.”

Pompeo listed out a litany of crimes done by the IRGC: from responsibility for the Khobar Towers bombing that killed 19 American service members in Saudi Arabia to attempted terror attacks in the US, Turkey and Kenya. A separate press release from the State Department noted the IRGC has supported Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and terror groups in Iraq, Bahrain and Syria. … Continue Reading

Putin Said He’d ‘Act Personally’ to Recover Missing Israeli Soldier Remains

April 4, 2019 News

PM Netanyahu and Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin.
Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon / Israeli GPO

The involvement of the Russians in assisting Israel in recovering the remains of a soldier lost in action for 37 years was unveiled on Thursday, including help from President Vladimir Putin himself. “Two years ago I turned to you with a personal request—that you help us in finding the remains of the soldiers, including Zachary Baumel, out of the great shared values of comrades-in-arms and fellowship of soldiers,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Putin during a visit to Moscow.

“You responded immediately. You said that you would act personally. You called on your people who did exceptional work and several days ago, you brought us the late Zachary Baumel, to Israel.”

Baumel was lost during the First Lebanon War in 1982. Baumel went missing in a battle with the Syrians in Lebanon, two of Israel’s most hardened enemies. However, in recent years the Syrian civil war has opened that country to a wide range of other nations battling terrorism or taking sides in the Syrian conflict, including the Russians.

Netanyahu, in the comments released by his office, was effusive in his gratefulness to Moscow for their assistance. “You have just now expressed the supreme value that you and the Russian people ascribe to finding the missing and bringing soldiers to burial. This is our common value,” the Israeli leader told Putin. … Continue Reading

Netanyahu Hopes New Brazilian Trade Office in Jerusalem ‘First Step’ towards Embassy

March 31, 2019 News

PM Netanyahu & Brazilian Pres. Bolsonaro. Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon / Israeli GPO

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came away from a visit to Brazil a few months ago with promises from Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to open an embassy to Israel in Jerusalem. On Sunday, that promise was not fulfilled by Bolsonaro during a visit to Israel, but other actions left Netanyahu hopeful. “I welcome your decision to open a trade, technology and innovation office, an official office of the Government of Brazil, in Jerusalem. I hope that this is a first step toward the opening in time of the Brazilian Embassy in Jerusalem,” said Netanyahu to the Brazilian leader, according to an Israeli press release.

In prior comments, Netanyahu noted that Bolsonaro is making his first visit out of South America by coming to Israel, bringing with him the “largest Brazilian delegation” to ever visit the Jewish State. “You have come to Israel in order to bring relations between us to a new height,” said Netanyahu.

As part of the visit, the two leaders on Sunday signed agreements in security, public security, aviation, and science and technology, as well as memorandums of understanding in health and cyber. During the time with the leader of Brazil, Netanyahu noted that Israeli delegations in a variety of fields have visited Brazil since Netanyahu’s trip to the South American country. He said that the agreements with Brazil were “in wake of these contacts, and this is only the beginning.” … Continue Reading

Israel Prepared for ‘Extensive Campaign’ in Gaza If Needed as Tensions Remain

March 31, 2019 Peace and Conflict

PM Netanyahu in area adjacent to the Gaza Strip. Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon (GPO)

More riots and more rockets from Gaza over the weekend left Israel in a “tense time” according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and he is keeping his options open in response—including the prospect of a new war with Gaza terrorists. “I have ordered that IDF forces remain fully deployed around the Gaza Strip. This includes tanks, artillery, ground forces and air forces. We are prepared for any scenario and—if need be—an extensive campaign,” said Netanyahu on Sunday in comments released by his office. “We will do what needs to be done for the security of Israel.”

The Israeli leader’s comments follow a confrontational last couple days. On Saturday, five rockets were fired from Gaza at Israel, with the IDF responding by hitting Hamas military posts in Gaza with tank fire, according to the IDF Twitter feed. One day prior, the IDF posted to Twitter that tens of thousands of “violent rioters” had come to the Gaza border with Israel.

“40,000 violent rioters in Gaza, some armed with knives, explosives, and grenades, are attempting to breach Israel’s border and reach Israeli families on the other side of the fence. If our soldiers weren’t there, they could,” tweeted the IDF account. … Continue Reading

US Formally Recognizes Israeli Control over Golan, Citing Security Concerns

March 25, 2019 Peace and Conflict

PM Netanyahu and President Trump. Photo courtesy of Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)

United States President Donald Trump made history in favor of Israel again on Monday, becoming the first American president to officially recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights region that border Syria. The territory, captured by Israel in 1967 while battling Syrian aggression, is a critical high ground for defense, and this was a key reason for the Trump’s decision.

Against the backdrop of Iranian buildup in Syria, ongoing threats from the terror group Hezbollah in Lebanon and simmering Syrian antagonism against Israel, Trump signed a presidential declaration on Monday proclaiming that “the United States recognizes that the Golan Heights are part of the State of Israel.”

The declaration, posted to the White House website, noted that Israel “took control of the Golan Heights in 1967 to safeguard its security from external threats” and listed security concerns facing Israel today posed by Iran and terror groups such as Hezbollah. Those concerns were shared by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was in the US for the Trump signing. “Your recognition is a two-fold act of historic justice,” Netanyahu told Trump in comments released by his office. “Israel won the Golan Heights in a just war of self-defense, and the Jewish people’s roots in the Golan go back thousands of years.” … Continue Reading

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