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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Hamas Claims 50 Slain in Riots Were Own Members, Shoots at Israeli Home

May 16, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Peaceful Palestinians? Illustrative Palestinian banner of gunmen and Dome of the Rock. By Joshua Spurlock

50 of the 62 persons killed in Monday’s violent riots against Israel were members of the Hamas terrorist organization, and the person making that claim is a spokesman for… Hamas. In a televised interview, a senior official with the group that rules the Gaza Strip said that over 80 percent of those slain in the protest were its members. IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus posted a video clip of the claim to Twitter, noting, “Take his word for it. This was no peaceful protest.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu echoed that sentiment on Wednesday, reiterating that the rioters were not “some civilian demonstrations.” He said Israel had similar numbers to those put forth by Hamas on who was involved in the protest, while Prime Minister’s Office spokesman Ofir Gendelman tweeted that at least four others of the dead were members of other terror groups.

Said Netanyahu in comments released by his office, “This is a warlike move by the Hamas… That is why Israel will continue to defend itself for as long as necessary and will not allow those who call for its destruction to storm its borders and threaten our communities.” And the violence from Gaza returned on Wednesday, this time in the form of machine gun fire. … Continue Reading

US Officially Opens Israeli Embassy in Jerusalem on ‘Glorious’ Day

May 14, 2018 News

PM Netanyahu addresses ceremony marking opening of US Embassy in Jerusalem.
Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon / GPO

History and promises kept were the themes of the day as the United States officially opened their embassy to Israel in Jerusalem. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was one of many who praised US President Donald Trump for keeping his promise to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel’s capital city and recognize Jerusalem’s true place in Israel’s history and present.

“What a glorious day,” said Netanyahu in comments marking the embassy opening published by his office. “Remember this moment. This is history. President Trump, by recognizing history, you have made history.”

And Jerusalem has a lengthy history. Netanyahu highlighted just some of the moments in the city’s past, including Abraham’s personal sacrifice, King David establishing it as Israel’s capital, and the two Temples. And Israel’s historic claim to the capital city leads to the present and future as well. Said Netanyahu, “We are in Jerusalem and we are here to stay.”

Jason Greenblatt, an assistant to President Trump and Special Representative for International Negotiations, was part of the US delegation for the opening festivities and highlighted that the decision by Trump was morally right. Tweeted Greenblatt, “Promise made. Promise kept. @POTUS had the moral clarity and strength to do what was right. From this day forward, the U.S. Embassy to the State of Israel is located in its capital, Jerusalem, Israel.” … Continue Reading

Jerusalem Prepares for ‘Historic’ Embassy Openings, Hosting 2019 Eurovision Song Contest

May 13, 2018 News

Embassies are moving to Jerusalem – and so is the Eurovision contest. Israeli flags. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

It’s a cascade of international honors on Israel’s capital city lately—just days before the United States, Guatemlala, and Paraguay start opening their embassies in Jerusalem, the Israelis learned that they will also host the prestigious 2019 Eurovision international song contest in Jerusalem. Israeli singer Netta Barzilai won the 2018 Eurovision on Saturday with her song “TOY”, and as Eurovision’s website notes, it is custom for the winning country to host the event the following year.

“These days Jerusalem is being blessed with many gifts. We received another one last night with Netta’s thrilling and suspenseful victory. The gift is that Eurovision will come to Jerusalem next year; we will be very proud to host it,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in comments released by his office on Sunday, which also happened to be the annual Jerusalem Day in Israel.

Of course, as Netanyahu later noted in separate comments to the American delegation present to open the US embassy, the Eurovision is next year. This year, Jerusalem is opening embassies—and more may be on the way. … Continue Reading

Beginning of Open War? Iran Launches 20 Rockets at Israel

Iran fired missiles at Israel directly instead of enabling terror partners instead. Illustrative image of rocket. By Joshua Spurlock

Iranian forces in Syria launched 20 rockets at Israel around midnight on Thursday in a dramatic escalation, less than 30 hours after the United States announced they were pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal. In the attack—reported by the IDF Spokesperson in a series of posts on Twitter—a number of rockets were intercepted by the Israeli Iron Dome missile defense system. No injuries were reported by the attack, which targeted IDF posts on the Golan Heights in Israel’s north. The IDF Spokesperson later confirmed via Twitter that none of the rockets hit targets in Israel.

Israel’s response was the largest official series of strikes in Syria in decades. IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus tweeted that “dozens of Iranian military targets in Syria” were targeted and posted a map showing hits in more than 30 different locations across Syria. A sizable grouping of those targets were around the capital of Damascus.

“This Iranian aggression is another proof of the intentions behind the establishment of the Iranian regime in Syria and the threat it poses to Israel and regional stability,” said the IDF Spokesperson in a separate series of tweets, following up by stating that “the IDF will not allow the Iranian threat to establish itself in Syria. The Syrian regime will be held accountable for everything happening in its territory.”

The Times of Israel reported that the Iranian attack came from the south of Syria. The government-controlled Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) said that Israel struck back by firing missiles at Syria, triggering Syrian air defenses. The SANA report claimed that Israel had also been behind a missile attack 24 hours earlier. … Continue Reading

Israelis Prevent Gazans from Breaching Border, Launching Terror Attack

May 7, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Israeli soldiers prevent another terror attack. Israeli Soldiers. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Four terrorists carrying an axe, petrol and other means of destruction were neutralized as they aimed to break through the Israel-Gaza border on Sunday. The IDF Spokesperson posted a series of tweets stating that the aggressors reached the area of the security fence that separates Israel from the Gaza Strip “with the intention of infiltrating Israel & carrying out a terror attack.” However, the IDF kept an eye on them and after the terrorists sought to damage the security fence, the Israeli military fired at the would-be infiltrators, killing three of them.

“An attempt to damage security infrastructure, breach Israel’s sovereignty, & carry out an attack was thwarted,” continued the IDF Spokesperson in a series of tweets. “The IDF will continue to operate against those who attempt to harm Israel, its civilians, or security infrastructure.”

The Twitter feed included a photo showing the tools of the malicious trade that the terrorists had brought with them, including gloves, a metal cutter and an oxygen mask. In recent weeks, the Israelis have faced regular riots at the Gaza border that have included attempts to breach or damage the security fence infrastructure, as well as other acts of violence. In these efforts, the Hamas terror group has put their own Gazan civilians in harm’s way by encouraging the border violence and sending some of their own footsoldiers to carry out mayhem under cover of the protests. … Continue Reading

Netanyahu: Iran Transferred ‘Advanced Weaponry’ to Syria

May 6, 2018 News

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds up piece of Iranian UAV. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Amos Ben Gershom GPO

The Iranians have sent “advanced weaponry” to Syria “in order to attack [Israel] both on the battlefield and on the home front,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared on Sunday, stating Israel wouldn’t back down against the threat.

“We are determined to block Iran’s aggression against us even if this means a struggle. Better now than later,” said Netanyahu in comments released by his office. “Nations that were unprepared to take timely action to counter murderous aggression against them paid much heavier prices afterwards. We do not want escalation, but we are prepared for any scenario.”

The Iranian arms transferred to Syria listed by Netanyahu were “weaponized” unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)—like the one that invaded Israeli airspace earlier this year—as well as ground-to-ground missiles and anti-aircraft batteries that can target Israeli jets. … Continue Reading

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