US Closes Palestinian Office in Washington for Rejecting Peace Plan ‘They Haven’t Yet Seen’

The Americans increased the pressure on the Palestinians for obstructing peace again on Monday, as the United States government closed the office of the General Delegation of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in Washington, D.C. The PLO is the official representative of the Palestinian government to the world and 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 …

US Says Hamas Must Change, While Israel Notes 1000s of Animals Killed by Gaza Arson

The main United States negotiator for Middle East peace called for Hamas to change it’s ways and recognize Israel in an Op-Ed on Friday, and one day later, another attack by Gaza terrorists had Israel noting that arson and explosive attacks had killed thousands of animals in addition to property …

US, Israel Working Together to Pressure Iran; American Sanctions Target Iranian Use of Child Soldiers

The top United States financial official visited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, and in a sign of the times, their first topic named by Netanyahu to the press was not economics; it was Iran. “This is what is going to occupy a great deal of our discussions today—how …

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No US Plans to Strike Iran, But Trump Open to Meeting Them ‘Anytime They Want’

July 30, 2018 News

US President Donald Trump open to meeting with Iran. Illustrative photo, edited for size. Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead. CC 3.0  LICENSE.

United States President Donald Trump on Monday offered to meet with the Iranians with no preconditions, less than a week after he issued an all-caps Twitter warning to the Islamic Republic not to threaten the US and just days after CNN reported the US is discussing military options to defend oil shipping from a potential Iranian attack. “I believe in meeting,” Trump told reporters on Monday in comments published on the White House website. “I would certainly meet with Iran if they wanted to meet. I don’t know that they’re ready yet… No preconditions. If they want to meet, I’ll meet.”

Trump wasn’t the only one sounding a slightly softer tone towards Iran. Last Friday, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis made it clear the Americans are not preparing for a military strike against Iran. “I’m confident it is not something that’s being considered right now,” Mattis told the media in comments posted to the Defense Department website. Those comments contrasted with a news report from CNN saying that the US was considering military options to defend vital oil shipping waterways from Iranian attack, an approach that Mattis himself seemed to support.

Following threats from Iran to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz—a narrow water passage that links Middle East oil producers with Europe and the West—Mattis told reporters last Friday in separate comments that such a blockade would need to be countered with “whatever that took.” … Continue Reading

Iranian Parliament Advisor: ‘Liberation’ of Israeli-Controlled Golan ‘Can Be Achieved’

July 29, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Iranian intentions revealed? Iran already invaded Israel from Syria with a UAV. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds up piece of Iranian UAV in February. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Amos Ben Gershom GPO

An Iranian official on Sunday declared on Twitter that the Golan Heights controlled by Israel at their northern border could now be conquered by Syria, giving voice to some of Israel’s greatest concerns about Iranian and Syrian intentions in the strategic area. The tweet, originally posted in Arabic and translated by the Microsoft software on Twitter, included a map that specifically highlighted the Israeli-controlled Golan region and follows the Syrian regime’s recent victory over rebels on the Syrian side of the border.

“We congratulate the Syrian people and the Syrian armed Forces and the President of Syria on the occasion of the liberation of Quneitra from the terrorists of Nusra Front and Zionists,” tweeted Special Aide on International Affairs of the Islamic Parliament Hossein Amir Abdollahian, referring to the libel that Israel is actively assisting terrorist forces in Syria.

“This victory means that the liberation of the occupied Golan Heights can be achieved with the determination and will of the Syrians.”

Israel has repeatedly raised concerns about Iranian forces in Syria and lately emphasized the need to maintain the status quo in the north determined by the ceasefire that ended the last war between the Jewish state and Syria more than forty years ago. … Continue Reading

Trump to Iran: ‘NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN’

July 23, 2018 News

 

US President Donald Trump has strong words for Iran. Illustrative photo, edited for size. Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead. CC 3.0  license.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday warned the United States they would “regret” fighting with the Islamic Republic and implying that Iran could shut down a critical oil gateway from the Middle East to the world. In response, US president Donald Trump literally responded with all-caps warning of his own on Twitter.

“To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!” tweeted Trump late Sunday evening.

The American retaliatory warning followed comments from Rouhani to the heads of Iranian diplomatic missions abroad in which the Iranian President referenced the Strait of Hormuz—a critical waterway that is used by Middle Eastern oil tankers to reach Europe and the US—before stating that his country is “guarantor of security of the waterway of the region.” In the talk, which was published to the Iranian President’s website, Rouhani then hinted at taking action to shut down the Strait of Hormuz when he warned the US, “Don’t play with the lion’s tail; you will regret it.” Trump’s fiery tweet came hours later.

That same day, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blasted the Iranian regime for abuses against their own people and sponsoring terrorism around the world. Following the rhetoric exchange, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his appreciation for “strong position” by the US leaders vis-à-vis Iran. … Continue Reading

Israel Evacuates Hundreds of Syrian Search and Rescue Volunteers and Families from Syria

July 22, 2018 News

Israeli flags. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The Israelis have provided tons of humanitarian aid to Syrians civilian refugees near their border and transferred wounded Syrians to receive medical attention in Israel. On Sunday, the Israelis announced they had also helped rescue and evacuate hundreds of Syrians—volunteers with the Syria Civil Defense search and rescue group known as The White Helmets and their families. The IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter feed noted that the civilian group “faced an immediate threat to their lives in Syria,” and had “passed through Israel and are now out of harm’s way.”

The White Helmets, according to their website, are a civilian volunteer organization that specifically declares their impartiality in that country’s civil war. According to their Twitter feed, they have saved over 100,000 lives. Despite their neutrality and their positive work, a number of their members were at risk and they needed to escape the country.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that United States President Donald Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and others asked Israel to get involved. “These are people who have saved lives and whose lives were in danger. Therefore, I approved their passage through Israel to additional countries, as an important humanitarian gesture,” said Netanyahu in comments released by his office, who noted that Israel has military as well as humanitarian concerns in Syria. … Continue Reading

Gaza Sniper Kills Israel Soldier, IDF Strikes 60 Hamas Targets in Response

July 22, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Israeli tanks and aircraft were called into the fight against Gaza terrorists. Israeli tank. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

One week after the last escalation saw hundreds of Hamas rockets fired at Israel and the IDF strike dozens of Hamas targets in Gaza, a sniper under cover of Friday’s riot at the Israel-Gaza border unleashed another round of intense fighting by mortally wounding an Israeli soldier. The IDF website reported that the Israelis hit 60 Hamas sites in response to the fatal shooting, while Gaza terrorists fired three rockets at Israel.

By Saturday morning a ceasefire was in place, but by noon the same day Hamas had already violated the terms by infiltrating Israeli territory. The IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter page posted that the terrorists returned to the Gaza Strip and Israeli tanks attacked a Hamas military post in response, which followed waves of military targets that were hit earlier on the weekend. Per another IDF Tweet, the Hamas targets struck in response to the sniper attack included weapon-manufacturing sites, a factory used for underground infrastructure manufacturing, and a warehouse for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).

Tweeted the IDF Spokesperson, “The IDF views today’s attack and the hostile activity orchestrated by Hamas throughout the last months with great severity. Hamas chose to escalate the security situation and will bear the consequences for its actions.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday made it clear that Israel would strike even harder if Hamas continues their acts of terror. … Continue Reading

Israel Applauds after Putin Endorses Renewed Syria-Israel Ceasefire

July 16, 2018 News

PM Netanyahu & Russian Pres. Putin working together on Syria. Illustrative photo, courtesy of Amos Ben-Gershom (Israel GPO)

The superpower with the most influence in Syria right now is Russia, a key ally to the Syrian Bashar al-Assad regime, so the Israelis were heartened when Moscow stated publicly on Monday that they want a return to the ceasefire terms between Israel and Syria that ended their last full-scale war in 1974. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said that “after the terrorists are routed in southwest Syria” the situation in the Israel-Syria border region known as the Golan Heights region “should be brought into full conformity with the 1974 agreement on the disengagement of Israeli and Syrian forces.”

Putin, speaking during a press conference with US President Donald Trump published to the Kremlin website, said that situation “will make it possible to bring tranquility to the Golan Heights and restore the ceasefire between the Syrian Arab Republic and the State of Israel… I would like to emphasize that Russia has a stake in this course of events and will adhere to exactly this position.”

That was good news for Israel, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office released a statement saying he “very much appreciates the security coordination between Israel and Russia and the clear position expressed by President Putin regarding the need to uphold the 1974 Separation of Forces Agreement between Israel and Syria.” … Continue Reading

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