Israel Still Aiding Wounded Syrians, Turning Them from ‘Enemies to Friends’

Israel and Syria have been mortal enemies since Syria attacked the newly reborn State of Israel almost 70 years ago. But that hasn’t impacted Israel’s ongoing work to help Syrians wounded in that nation’s civil war—and it may even offer hope for peace. It certainly isn’t stopping, even as violence …

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 Strikes Syrian Military in Response to ‘Spillover’ Fire, Twice

Multiple Syrian projectiles hit Israeli territory on Saturday and the Israelis were very clear that such “spillover” from the Syrian civil war is unacceptable, as the Israeli military took the strong response of publicly targeting the Syrian military directly. Then it happened again the next day. The IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter …

Israeli Security Forces Arrest Citizen Muhammad Azzam for Planning to Join ISIS

The resident of an Israeli Arab town was arrested earlier this month for contact with ISIS, also known as the Islamic State (IS), and for making plans to join the brutal terrorist organization. Muhammad Azzam, an Israeli citizen from Kfar Manda, was arrested on June 6 in a joint operation …

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US Slams ‘Outrageous’ UN Human Rights Council Anti-Israel Agenda Item

March 20, 2017 News

U.S. Ambassador the U.N. Nikki Haley. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Mission to the UN

It’s time once again for the United Nations Human Rights Council to hold their scheduled discussion of Israel’s imagined abuses, to which the United States has one response. “The United States will not participate… other than to vote against the outrageous, one-sided, anti-Israel resolutions that so diminish what the Human Rights Council should be,” said U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley in a statement. “And we encourage other Council members who purport to be defenders of human rights to do the same.”

Haley, who has already spoken out against the anti-Israel bias at the U.N., noted in the statement from her office that “some progress” is being made on reversing that bias. And yet, she said that “regrettably” the U.N. Human Rights Council has resumed debate regarding the only nation that sits permanently on the discussion calendar. She pointed out that it’s not one of many human rights abusers, but Israel, “the only democracy in the Middle East.” … Continue Reading

Latest Israeli Missile Defense System—David’s Sling—Launches in 2 Weeks

March 20, 2017 Peace and Conflict

Israeli missile defense is key to fighting terror rockets from many enemies. Illustrative photo of spent Rockets fired from Gaza. By Joshua Spurlock.

In just a matter of days last week, Israel experienced missile attacks from both the north and south, a disturbing reoccurrence in a region rife with conflict. To better defend against such attacks, Israel will rely on not one, but four different missile defense systems—the final one of which will at last be operational in less than two weeks according to the schedule reported by the IDF Blog. Along those lines, the Israel Air Force Twitter page reported on Monday that the David’s Sling system “successfully completed an operational preparedness inspection and will be declared #operational in April.”

David’s Sling, which the IDF Blog said is designed to intercept “large-caliber rockets, short-range ballistic missiles, and other developing threats”—will be a key defense with enemies such as Hezbollah, Syria and Iran. … Continue Reading

Israel Busts Multiple Hamas Terror Cells in Judea and Samaria

March 12, 2017 News

Israeli security forces working hard to keep Israel safe. Illustrative security vehicle. By Joshua Spurlock

Hamas has long sought to move out of Gaza and establish a footing in the Biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria, also known as the West Bank, where they could both increase their attacks on Israel and move towards re-establishing their power in the region controlled by their Palestinian political rivals, the Fatah group. That effort has taken several blows lately, however, as Israel has arrested multiple Hamas terror cells in Judea and Samaria—including one group that already launched attacks.

A press release from the Israel Security Agency (ISA) said the most active cell had been involved in a terror shooting in 2015, planted explosives and had thrown firebombs at IDF units. Members in the cell had planned additional shooting attacks, according to the ISA. And that wasn’t the only shooting plot foiled by the arrests. Another terror cell had set up an elaborate plan to attack civilian and IDF vehicles by using balls on the roads to make the vehicles slow down and “become more vulnerable to attack.” A weapon was also seized in the investigation. … Continue Reading

Trump Call with Palestinian President Kicks Off Revived Peace Efforts?

March 12, 2017 Peace and Conflict

Will Trump get a peace deal done in the Middle East? U.S. Presidential Candidate Donald Trump (left) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right). Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon (GPO)

It may have taken new United States President Donald Trump almost two months to call Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, but since Friday’s call Trump’s administration hasn’t wasted any time on moving towards a new Israel-Palestinian peace process. And based on the phone calls, Abbas seems to think this is moving forward as well. In the three days since Trump and Abbas spoke, the Palestinian Authority (PA) President to take time to speak again with Jordan King Abdullah to recap the Trump call and discuss the upcoming Arab summit—his second call in 24 hours with the Jordanian monarch according to the WAFA news agency—and also spoke with U.S. Consul General Donald Blome about “preparations for future contacts between PA and Trump administration,” according to a Tweet from journalist Khaled Abu Toameh.

Furthermore, a Palestinian spokesperson cited in a Ma’an News Agency report said Trump mentioned “re-launching the peace process” with Abbas. Maybe the activity is nothing more than busyness, but Trump sounded earnest according to a statement from the White House posted to the Consul General’s website recapping the call with Abbas. The statement said Trump “emphasized his personal belief that peace is possible and that the time has come to make a deal.” The call comes after Trump’s in-person meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last month, during which the peace process was also discussed.

… Continue Reading

Israel Stops Terror Plot by Palestinian Recruited by Hezbollah via Facebook

March 12, 2017 News

Israeli security forces working hard to keep Israel safe. Illustrative security vehicle. By Joshua Spurlock

Social media has long been about more than connecting with old friends or making new ones—terror groups have been using it for recruiting as well, with Hezbollah reaching multiple Palestinians via Facebook. The latest to join the Lebanese terrorist organization, however, was arrested by Israeli security forces before he could carry out any of his planned terror attacks, which reportedly included orders for another terror kidnapping.

Jerusalem was on the list of sites for terror reconnaissance for terrorist Yusef Yasser Sweilam, according to a press release by the Israel Security Agency (ISA). “His handlers directed Sweilam to carry out various tasks, including photographing—and gathering information on—IDF bases and checkpoints as well as sites in the Old City of Jerusalem,” said the ISA press statement. “He was also directed to set up a terrorist cell in order to carry out an abduction and pass the abductee into Lebanon.” The IDF Spokesman’s Twitter feed noted that “this isn’t the first time Hezbollah has recruited Palestinians over Facebook.” … Continue Reading

Tehran in Focus? Trump Calls Netanyahu and Talks Iran ahead of Putin Meet

March 6, 2017 Peace and Conflict

Pres. Rivlin, IDF Chief-of-Staff Eisenkot & US Gen. Scaparrotti. Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon (GPO)

Just days after Iran threatened to destroy Israel with missiles yet again, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is discussing the Islamic Republic with two of the most powerful leaders in the world—in the same week. With a trip to Moscow for Netanyahu to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin planned for Thursday, United States President Donald Trump called Netanyahu on Monday.

A readout of the call from Netanyahu’s office said that the he and Trump “spoke at length about the dangers posed by the nuclear deal with Iran and by Iran’s malevolent behavior in the region and about the need to work together to counter those dangers.” That follows threats against Israel of further dangers from Tehran just last week, in which an Iranian general warned his nation could launch thousands of missiles at the Jewish State. … Continue Reading

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