‘Moderate’ Palestinian Leaders Oppose UN Resolution Condemning Hamas Terror

The world is generally united against terrorism, but for some reason the supposedly moderate Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership is opposed to the United Nations condemning Hamas terrorism against Israel. The WAFA Palestinian news agency quoted a spokesman of the Fatah political faction that heads the PA as saying they “totally …

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 Warns Hezbollah, ‘Sees Lebanese Government as Responsible for Everything’

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin had a stern warning to not just the Hezbollah terrorist group, but to the Lebanese government that tolerates them, against the backdrop of Hezbollah’s terror tunnels into Israel. “Hezbollah’s offensive tunnels into Israeli territory are a clear violation of Israeli sovereignty. Hezbollah, which pretends to be …

Netanyahu Thanks Austrian Leader for Pushing to Define Anti-Zionism as Anti-Semitism

Two key leadership councils of the European Union have endorsed the call for member nations to adopt a definition of anti-Semitism that includes denying the right of Jews to have their own nation, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday thanked Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz for leading this effort. …

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Terrorism Thwarted? Israel Intercepts IDF Uniforms Headed to Hamas

March 14, 2018 News

Hamas tried to disguise themselves as IDF troops, but Israel foiled their plans. Israeli Soldiers. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Israel set back plans for a likely Hamas terror attack this week when they intercepted Israeli military uniforms at a crossing into Gaza that were ultimately destined for Hamas. The intent was to smuggle the IDF clothing into Gaza so Hamas terrorists could “disguise themselves as Israeli soldiers when perpetrating cross border attacks,” Israeli Prime Minister’s Office Spokesman Ofir Gendelman said via Twitter.

“Innocent lives were saved,” tweeted Gendelman on Tuesday, who reported the incident and called the intercept “a new blow to Hamas’ efforts to attack Israel.” Terrorists have used disguises in the past to gain access for acts of terror. While Gendelman didn’t specify what attack was likely planned, Hamas has sought to engage in kidnappings in the past in an effort to trade Israelis for captured terrorists, such as was done with Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. … Continue Reading

US NATO Head Visits Israel: Working with Jewish State to ‘Promote Stability’ in Middle East

March 11, 2018 News

The Americans are are working with Israel to keep the Middle East stable. American flag. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The United States and Israel hold the Juniper Cobra joint military exercise regularly, but don’t think that cooperation has become stale. Over the weekend, the top military commander of NATO and the head of the US European Command (USEUCOM) decided to visit Israel during the exercise to emphasize the importance of the US-Israel partnership to American troops, and in so doing sent a message in a day when Israel is threatened by a variety of enemies across the Middle East.

“The US is deeply committed to the defense of Israel,” US Army General Curtis Scaparrotti said in a USEUCOM press release on the visit. “We will continue to work alongside them to promote stability throughout the region, not only for the purposes of this exercise, but in the event of any real-world contingency.”

A US Army private quoted in the press release certainly caught the message behind the NATO commander’s visit. “To have General Scaparrotti make time to speak with us, shows us how important this exercise truly is,” said US Army PV2 Jacob Sharp. “It really reinforces the importance of us being here, and our relationship with Israel.”

The Israelis appreciated the meaning of the visit as well. “This visit is part of the close relationship between the US and Israel and its armies, based on shared values ​​and interests,” tweeted the IDF Spokesperson on Friday. … Continue Reading

Netanyahu: Iran Nuke Deal Risks ‘Nuclearization’ of the Middle East

March 11, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Could Trump fix the Iran nuclear deal? Radiation Warning Symbol. Public Domain.

For all the concerns about a nuclear weapons-armed Iran and the faulty Iran nuclear deal, there just might be an even greater concern for the world over the consequences of Iran’s nuclear program: a Middle East filled with nuclear weapons-armed countries. “Many countries in the Middle East are saying that they are also allowed to enrich uranium if Iran is allowed to do so,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday. “Therefore, the way to prevent this danger, the nuclearization of the Middle East, is to either thoroughly correct the [Iran nuclear] agreement or abrogate it.”

Netanyahu, in comments to the Israeli cabinet published by his office, said that the diplomatic talks with a variety of United States officials last week during a visit to America “focused mainly on Iran.” Said the Israeli leader, “I said that the nuclear agreement with Iran contains within it many dangers for the world, including the special danger of the nuclearization of the Middle East.”

A February report from the Institute for Policy and Strategy at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya in Israel noted that multiple nations—including Egypt and Saudi Arabia—are working towards building nuclear power programs. Citing a variety of news articles on the nuclear plans, Shaul Shay wrote in the report that the United Arab Emirates is planning to officially open the first Arab nuclear power plant this year. … Continue Reading

Netanyahu: ‘Virtually All’ Arab States See Israel as ‘Vital Ally’

March 7, 2018 Peace and Conflict

PM Netanyahu and The Economic Club of Washington Pres. David M. Rubenstein. Photo courtesy of Haim Zach / GPO

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday said he is witnessing something he’s never seen in his entire life. It’s something that he sees as “a new hope on the horizon,” something offering the potential for real Middle East peace, and as he said, “it’s not related to the Palestinians.”

“Because of the growing danger of Iran, more and more, I would say virtually all the Arab countries, no longer see Israel as their enemy, but as their vital ally in countering the threat of militant Islam,” said Netanyahu in a visit to the Economic Club of Washington according to comments published by his office.

Netanyahu noted they have stopped ISIS terror attacks, including those targeting “big airlines” and that counterterrorism includes sharing intelligence with Arabs. And then there’s the threat of Iran, and the uniting of the Israeli and Arab efforts against them. “Out of this curse comes a blessing. The blessing is this extraordinary relationship between us, and I think that ultimately we might be able to shift the ground,” said Netanyahu. “I don’t think it’s really available right now but I don’t discount that it could happen.” … Continue Reading

Bahrain Arrests Dozens of Iranian-Trained Terrorists Plotting Attacks

March 4, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Iran provides weapons to terrorists and insurgents. US Amb. to UN Nikki Haley showing Iranian-made weapons used in Middle East conflict. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of UNITED STATES MISSION TO THE UNITED NATIONS.

The Iranian terrorism octopus extended its reach into the neighboring country of Bahrain recently, home to a major United States Navy base. However, their plots were apparently foiled as the Bahrainis on Saturday announced they arrested more than 100 suspected terrorists part of a group created and backed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC), as well as confiscated a variety of weapons and explosives. A report from the government-affiliated Bahrain News Agency said that four dozen of the terrorists were trained at facilities belonging to the IRGC—Iran’s most powerful paramilitary group that includes forces used to conduct international attacks.

The Bahrainis believe that the terror network intended to target government officials and oil infrastructure “with the objective of disturbing public security and harming the national economy,” the Bahrain News Agency said. The plot in Bahrain comes as Iran has been actively involved in Syria and Yemen’s civil wars, sponsors Lebanon’s Hezbollah group, has allies in Iraq and recently infiltrated Israeli airspace with a drone in an unusual escalation.

Dr. Jonathan Spyer, Director of the Rubin Center for Research in International Affairs at the IDC Herzliya in Israel and a Middle East expert, told The Mideast Update in an email that Iranian actions in Bahrain are “not new,” but that the Iranian ambitions are growing. “This is the latest evidence of IRGC subversive efforts,” said Dr. Spyer on Sunday. “Iran currently feels emboldened due to its successes in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq.” … Continue Reading

Netanyahu and Trump to Discuss Peace, Iran; Tehran Wants Syria to ‘Drive Out’ US

March 4, 2018 News

U.S. President Donald Trump (left) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right). Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon (GPO)

When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and United States President Donald Trump meet on Monday, the security of the entire world will be the topic—or at least, two key factors in that security. Netanyahu—in comments released by his office before leaving for the US on Saturday evening—said that some of the issues the leaders would discuss would be Iran’s nuclear program and regional aggressions and “advancing the peace process” with the Palestinians.

“Advancing these issues is important for Israel and for the security of the entire world,” said the Israeli leader, who noted the conversation would come ahead of Trump’s imposed deadline for fixing the Iranian nuclear deal later this spring.

While Iranian aggressions have been a growing concern for the Middle East—including a recent drone incursion by Iranian forces from Syria into Israel—the US isn’t too far away to be threatened by the Iranians as well. On Sunday, a military official in the circle of Iran’s Supreme Leader called for Syria to push out US troops from the Middle Eastern country. … Continue Reading

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