US Reimposes Sanctions on Iran; Israel Tells Europe ‘Time Has Come to Stop Talking’

United States President Donald Trump announced the first stage of renewed American sanctions on Iran on Monday, ahead of the official reimposition of sanctions at midnight on Tuesday. The anticipated move follows Trump’s decision in May to pull the US out of the Iran nuclear deal—also known as the Joint …

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 Lightens Restrictions on Gaza to Emphasize ‘Calm Is Better than Violence’

With multiple days of general quiet on the Gaza border, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman announced on Facebook on Wednesday the re-opening of the Israel-Gaza border crossing back to its normal function “as a clear message for Gaza population: calm is better than violence.” Lieberman’s statement, posted in Arabic and …

Netanyahu Calls for More Funds for Israel’s Defense Per ‘2030’ Security Review

Israel’s defense budget will need to grow over the next decade to address the wide range of threats facing the nation—including funding missile defense—as part of their “2030 security concept” announced by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday. The security review considers the upcoming expected threats and as a …

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Russia Threatens Israel over Missile Defense System in Syria

April 23, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Israeli jets reportedly flew have bombed Syria. Illustrative image of F-35. Image courtesy of the Department of Defense website. The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

The Russians are seriously considering putting an advanced missile defense system in Syria—which has the Israelis concerned—and Moscow has warned the Jewish State against attacking that system should it be deployed to Israel’s northern neighbor. The Independent, republishing comments from the Russian Kommersant newspaper, cited Russian military sources threatening that Israel and “all sides” would “suffer catastrophic consequences” if they struck at the S-300 system.

Israel has reportedly bombed multiple targets in Syria over the years, including recent reports of a strike that killed Iranians at a Syrian airbase. The Americans, British, and French also recently attacked Syria in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack by the Syrian regime against its own people.

In light of that multinational attack, Russia is now nearing a decision to provide the S-300 advanced defense system to Syria, Kommersant reported in a separate article, and that’s disconcerting to Israel. The Russian newspaper quoted Israeli diplomat Alex Ben-Zvi as saying that any weapons that can “threaten Israel’s security” generically “bothers” Israel. Ben-Zvi, Israel’s Director of the Department of Eurasia of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, did not specifically say if Israel would discuss the Syrians’ obtaining the S-300 in Israeli discussions with Russia. … Continue Reading

Iran Warns of Rapid Nuclear Enrichment, ‘Trouble’ If US Nixes Nuclear Deal

April 22, 2018 Iran Nuclear Program, News

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

The nuclear deal between Iran and the world powers intended to increase the time it would take Iran to develop nuclear weapons if they ever chose to “break out” and move full speed towards nukes. There are many steps in that process, but a key step is developing the nuclear fuel for the bomb. And getting their nuclear fuel creation back to where they were before the nuclear deal would only take Iran four days.

That’s the threat from the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, who warned on Saturday they could rapidly restore their nuclear fuel enrichment back to their previously known top level of research-grade at 20 percent—weapons-grade is 90 percent—if the global powers dropped the nuclear deal. And that’s not all Iran could do.

Salehi, whose comments were published by the Fars News Agency, further said without providing details that Iran has other means to respond to the United States if they were to back out of the deal as President Donald Trump has threatened. Salehi said Iran is “prepared to move like an army” and hinted that American allies—perhaps including Israel—could also be targeted by Iran. “We hope that the other side makes a wise decision and avoids moves that would trouble them and others as well,” Salehi said. … Continue Reading

Hamas Engineer Assassinated in Malaysia; Hamas Operatives Arrested Near Ramallah

April 22, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Killed engineer helped Hamas develop rockets. Spent Palestinian rocket. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

It was a bad weekend for the Hamas terrorist organization. On Saturday morning, an engineer involved in improving the Hamas rocket program was killed by gunmen on a motorcycle in the southeast Asian country of Malaysia, and roughly 24 hours later more than a dozen Hamas operatives were arrested near the pseudo-Palestinian capital of Ramallah. The New Straits Times, a Malaysian newspaper, reported that the gunmen waited for their target for 20 minutes before shooting him at point-blank range. Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman denied accusations that Israel was behind the assassination in comments to Israel Radio that were republished by The Times of Israel.

Lieberman was quoted as saying the killed Hamas man, Dr. Fadi Mohammad al-Batsh, was “no saint and he didn’t deal with improving infrastructure in Gaza. He was involved in improving rocket precision.” Posts on the Hamas website mourning his death claimed the slain al-Batsh was an electrical inventor.

Furthermore, the New Straits Times reported that al-Batsh was planning to travel to Turkey later on Saturday. Turkey has not only been a second home to Hamas members, but Hamas military activity in that country has occurred “unhindered as Turkish officials turn a blind eye and—on occasion—encourage it,” said an Israel Security Agency (ISA) press release in February. … Continue Reading

Israel Celebrating 70th Birthday, Admired Around the World

April 18, 2018 News

PM Netanyahu has much to celebrate as Israel turns 70. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)

The State of Israel kicked off their Independence Day marking 70 years as a modern nation on Wednesday night, and the country’s place in the world is only getting better according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “As I travel around the world meeting other leaders, I am struck by their appreciation and admiration for Israel. They seek Israel’s technology. They seek Israel’s ingenuity. They seek Israel’s genius,” said Netanyahu on Wednesday in comments released by his office marking the anniversary. “…Here’s the best part. We’re just getting started.”

Netanyahu later expressed his thanks to Israel’s “many friends around the world,” and one of the nation’s closest friends was quick to celebrate the Jewish state for turning 70-years-old.

United States President Donald Trump, tweeting Netanyahu around the start of the birthday in Israel, said, “Best wishes to Prime Minister @Netanyahu and all of the people of Israel on the 70th Anniversary of your Great Independence. We have no better friends anywhere. Looking forward to moving our Embassy to Jerusalem next month!” … Continue Reading

Hamas Protests Targets Security Fence Again; Israel Takes Down Another Hamas Terror Tunnel

April 15, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Gaza protests a cover for terrorism. Illustrative photo of Palestinian event. By Joshua Spurlock

Over the weekend, Israel thwarted another Hamas terror tunnel stretching from Gaza to Israel that could have been used for attacks on Israeli civilians, while Gaza has continued the violence above ground in the now regular border rioting inspired by Hamas. The IDF Blog reported that the targeted terror tunnel had “put the lives of hundreds of Israeli families at risk.” And the protests at the border are making the dangerous situation worse.

On Friday, the IDF Spokesperson posted to Twitter that multiple attempts were made to attack the security fence separating Israel from Gaza and posted a photo of a terrorist holding what appears to be an explosive device while near journalists and a handicapped person. Tweeted the IDF Spokesperson on Friday, “An explosive device was placed & detonated near the Karni Crossing in northern Gaza & a firebomb attached to a kite was dispatched. Meanwhile, explosive devices, rocks & firebombs have continued to be hurled.” Despite the chaos, the IDF isn’t allowing it to distract from the need to protect the border—including underground. … Continue Reading

Israel ‘Fully Supports’ US-led Strike on Syrian Chemical Weapons Facilities; Iranian UAV Was ‘Tasked to Attack Israel’

April 15, 2018 News

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

The United States, France and the United Kingdom launched a joint strike on what the US defense establishment described as the “heart of the Syrian chemical weapons program” Saturday morning local time, and on Sunday Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated that his nation “fully supports” the decision to respond to chemical weapons use by the Syrian regime. Netanyahu, in comments released by his office, said he spoke with British Prime Minister Theresa May on Saturday night and “told her that the important international message of the attack is zero tolerance for the use of non-conventional weapons.”

As Syria’s neighboring country to the south, Israel has a significant stake in what happens in Syria. This is especially true given that the Assad regime and its allies Iran and Hezbollah are archenemies of Israel and the military threat was on full display when an Iranian drone invaded Israel with malicious intent in February. To that end, Netanyahu’s focus in discussing with the UK leader the response to Syrian chemical weapons attacks wasn’t limited just to the Syrian regime—or just to this one type of weapon of mass destruction. … Continue Reading

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