Israel, Putin Agree to ‘Counter Terrorism’ after Hezbollah Refuses Russian Call to Exit Syria

Russia vaguely but ominously stated their willingness to join Israel in opposing “international terrorism” last week, one day after news broke that Hezbollah had rebuffed a Russian call for the terrorist group to leave Syria. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “expressed readiness to boost 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 …

Israel Targets Terror Kite Leader’s Vehicle in Response to Arson Attacks

The IDF is taking the fight to the terrorists who are aiming to unleash wildfires and explosives on Israeli territory using balloons and kites. Over the weekend, Israeli aircraft “targeted the vehicle of one of the leaders of the squads that launched arson and explosive balloons and kites from the …

Austria Will Keep Reminding Middle East and Europe ‘Israel Is Here to Stay’

According to this world leader, Israel’s security is a moral obligation and has promised to keep telling the Middle East and Europe that “Israel is here to stay.” Those words weren’t posted to Twitter by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but on the account of Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. “It …

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Israel Says Hamas Confiscates Fuel for Terror Profit, Made Gaza A ‘Powder-Keg’

February 25, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Hamas has fired thousands of rockets at Israel over the years, among other acts of terror. Illustrative photo of spent Rockets fired from Gaza. By Joshua Spurlock.

It’s not just Israelis who are being harmed by the actions of Hamas, which rules Gaza—the terror group has confiscated millions of liters of fuel not to power the civilians in Gaza but to make money to fuel their “terror machine”, the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office spokesman tweeted on Sunday.

Dozens of trucks carrying 2 million liters of fuel intended for Gaza’s power station went into Gaza the day before, but Ofir Gendelman tweeted that Hamas “did not use them to generate power.” That would have given Gazans more hours of electricity each day, but Gendelman’s post to Twitter noted that “Hamas doesn’t care. Its leaders have 24/7 power anyway.”

Instead of Hamas acting to benefit their people in Gaza, the spokesman followed up to tweet that “Hamas took this vast quantity of fuel that could provide electricity for the people of Gaza, and it will sell it, taking all profit to fund its terror machine. This is Hamas’ priority and only interest.” … Continue Reading

‘Historic’ US Jerusalem Embassy Move to Align with Israel’s 70th Birthday in May

February 25, 2018 News

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

The United States will make history official this May when they formally move their embassy to Israel to Jerusalem, which will be done to line up with the 70th anniversary of the modern State of Israel on May 14. Just over two months after US President Donald Trump announced the plan to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel’s true capital, the US State Department announced last Friday that the US would use an interim facility for their embassy and move the Ambassador and “a small staff” this year rather than wait until a new embassy is built.

The same day as the State Department press release, President Trump said he faced pressure not to make the embassy decision he announced last December, but he believed he should. “I was hit by more countries and more pressure and more people calling, begging me, ‘Don’t do it. Don’t do it. Don’t do it,’” said Trump in a speech published to the White House website. “I said, ‘We have to do it. It’s the right thing to do. It’s the right thing to do. We have to do it.’ And I did it.”

In response, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu applauded the escalated timetable for the move. “This is a great moment for the State of Israel,” said Netanyahu on Saturday in comments released by his office. “President Trump’s decision to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem will make our Independence Day celebration even happier. Thank you, President Trump, for your leadership, and for your friendship.” … Continue Reading

Israel, US Achieve ‘Major Milestone’ in Long-Range Missile Defense System Test

February 19, 2018 News

Israel and the US working together on missile defense. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Israel’s longest-range missile defense system underwent a successful interceptor test flight by Israel and the United States on Monday, and the sides were clearly excited over the results. “The success of this test is a major milestone in the operational capabilities of the State of Israel and its ability to defense itself against current and future threats in the region,” Israel’s Ministry of Defense said in a press release.

The test was carried out in the middle of the night in central Israel and involved launching a missile interceptor from the system, known as the Arrow-3. That system, the longest-range version of the Arrow—or Hetz in Hebrew—is part of a multilayered missile defense system in Israel that includes the Iron Dome, the David’s Sling and the Arrow-2 systems. The Arrow-3 interceptors were delivered for operational use to Israel last year.

The test of the Arrow-3—which the press release said is “designed to defend against ballistic missile threats outside the atmosphere”—was jointly carried out by the Israel Missile Defense Organization and the US Missile Defense Agency. … Continue Reading

Netanyahu Shows Drone Piece, Asks Iran: ‘Recognize This?’ and Warns Will Act ‘Against Iran Itself’ If Needed

February 18, 2018 Iran Nuclear Program, News

“Recognize this?” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds drone piece at the Munich Security Conference. Photo courtesy of Amos Ben Gershom GPO

One week after the Iranians dramatically escalated their conflict with Israel by flying a drone from Syria into Israeli airspace, Netanyahu escalated his own warnings to Iran in dramatic fashion on Sunday. “We will act, if necessary, not just against Iran’s proxies that are attacking us, but against Iran itself,” said the Israeli leader. In comments released by his office, Netanyahu noted that “Israel will not allow Iran’s regime to put a noose of terror around our neck. We will act without hesitation to defend ourselves.”

During his speech to the Munich Security Conference, at which Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif was present, Netanyahu noted that the Iranian diplomat “lies with eloquence” and his country denies its involvement in the drone incident. So to prove his point, Netanyahu brought an actual piece of the drone shot down by Israel with him and held it up to the conference. Said Netanyahu while displaying the drone wreckage, “Mr. Zarif, do you recognize this? You should. It’s yours. You can take back with you a message to the tyrants of Tehran: Do not test Israel’s resolve.” … Continue Reading

Palestinian Terrorists Wound Israeli Soldiers as Gaza Heats Up; Plot to Kill Defense Minister Thwarted

February 18, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Explosives can kill. Spent Palestinian rocket. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

An explosive device planted near the Gaza border by Palestinian terrorists wounded four Israeli soldiers on Saturday in one of the most serious escalations in that conflict since the last war in 2014, and one day later it was published that a separate Palestinian terror cell was plotting to use explosives to assassinate Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman. The scheming terror cell was arrested—foiling thosee plans.

Meanwhile, in addition to the Gaza bombing attack on IDF soldiers, Harretz reported that a Gaza rocket hit the roof of an Israeli home on Saturday. The IDF Spokesperson Twitter page reported that Israel responded to Saturday’s Gaza attacks with a barrage of strikes on 18 Hamas targets. The conflict wasn’t over Saturday night—the IDF Spokesperson tweeted that sirens sounded in response to another Gaza rocket launched at Israel on Sunday.

IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said on Twitter that two of the four Israeli soldiers hurt in the Gaza attack were wounded severely. Separately, he tweeted that Hamas “regularly organizes riots and ‘demonstrations’ in Gaza and that the explosives were covertly placed near the Gaza security fence during a riot in Gaza. While Hamas hasn’t claimed direct credit, the Israelis repeatedly have said the ruling power in the Gaza Strip is ultimately responsible and the terror group certainly has set a vicious example in the past. “We hold #Hamas responsible for all aggression from Gaza,” he tweeted. … Continue Reading

US to UN: Drone Incursion to Israel ‘Wake-up Call’ that Iran Plans to Stay in Syria

February 14, 2018 Peace and Conflict

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

The Iranian drone that violated Israeli airspace last week was more than just an escalation—it’s a sign that peace in Syria is a ways away according to the United States and regional conflict may be here to stay. Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the United Nations, warned the powerful UN Security Council on Wednesday that escalations such as this not only push back on peace but they herald a future in which Iran builds a permanent base in Syria.

“The drone flight is a wake-up call for all of us. Iran and Hezbollah are making plans to stay in Syria,” said Haley in comments posted to the US Mission to the UN website.

“When we look out across the Middle East, we know one thing for certain. When Iran and Hezbollah move in, instability always follows… We can’t offer support for peace on the one hand, and ignore the fact that the chief sponsor of terrorism in the Middle East and its terrorist militia are digging in.” … Continue Reading

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