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Israel Update 18.4.24

Chag Pesach Sameach to all celebrating Passover this coming week.

 

IRANIAN ATTACK ON ISRAEL 

On Saturday evening, Iran initiated an unprecedented attack against Israel, launching over 300 aerial threats of various types. Including approximately 170 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), more than 30 cruise missiles, and 120 ballistic missiles. Israel reported a 99% success rate in the interception of threats by IAF fighter jets with support from the US, UK, France & Jordan.

Only a few threats crossed into Israeli territory, the rest being intercepted. These few fell at the Nevatim Air Force Base, causing only minor damage to infrastructure and the base remained operational.

One injury was reported. Amina al-Hassouni a 7-year-old Israeli girl from a Bedouin village was seriously injured by shrapnel and is in life-threatening condition in paediatric intensive care. Report hereand here

 

Iran’s drones had a flight time of several hours to reach Israel, and the cruise missiles would have taken more than an hour to reach their target.
The ballistic missiles have a much shorter flight time, around 10 minutes, and are more challenging to intercept.
The long-range Arrow 3 air defence system, designed to take out ballistic missiles while they are still outside the atmosphere, knocked down the “vast majority” of the ballistic missiles headed towards Israel.
Unlike the drones and cruise missiles, the ballistic missiles were shot down over Israel, leading the IDF to activate warning sirens over fears of falling shrapnel Report here

 

 

Iran fired 110 ballistic missiles with a 500-kg. warhead which can cause enormous damage.

The Iranian drones carrying warheads ranging from 40 to 100 kg. can also cause serious damage.

Israeli and its allies were able to intercept most of the Iranian drones and missiles in part because Sunni Arab countries quietly passed along intelligence about Tehran’s attack plans, opened their airspace to warplanes, shared radar tracking information or, in some cases, supplied their own forces to help.

The U.S. and its allies intercepted around 70 missiles, with the rest downed by Israeli Air Force fighter jets.

U.S. forces successfully engaged and destroyed more than 80 attack drones and at least 6 ballistic missiles intended to strike Israel from Iran and Yemen.

4 RAF Typhoon fighter jets based in Cyprus shot down between 10 and 20 Shaheed “suicide” drones over Iraq and Syria.

Iran’s attack exposed close co-operation between Israel and Jordan.

Jordan’s air force shot down dozens of Iranian drones that violated its airspace and were heading to Israel, two regional security sources said. Several downed drones were seen in neighbourhoods south of the capital Amman.

The Iranian attack on Israel via Jordan’s airspace was perceived not only as an infringement of Jordan’s sovereignty but also as an attempt by Iran to expand its regional influence into the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia acknowledged that it had helped the newly forged regional military coalition — Israel, the United States, Jordan, the United Kingdom, and France — repel the Iranian attack.

If the more than 300 drones and ballistic and cruise missiles had reached their targets, the mass casualties would have all but guaranteed a large-scale military escalation.
The success of air defences is a tribute to Israeli strategy and decades of investment in defence technology.

(paywall) Report hereand here(paywall)herehereherehereherehere(paywall) here

 

 

Roughly 50% of the ballistic missiles fired by Iran failed to launch or crashed before reaching their target, according to  U.S. officials.(paywall)Report here

 

 

The successful interception of swarms of missiles and drones fired from Iran toward Israel by the Israel Aerospace Industries produced Arrow system, among others, has sparked significant global interest.Report here

 

 

VIDEO

 

29 second video of huge piece of an  Iranian Kheibar missile shot down at the Dead Sea. View here

 

 

THE UNITED NATIONS

 

 

The UN Security Council did not condemn, Iran’s missile and drone attack against Israel. Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan held up a video of the Iranian missiles above the al-Aqsa Mosque compound saying “To Iran, Israel’s annihilation and igniting the region is more important than Islamic holy sites.” Report here

 

 

The representatives of 48 countries issued a joint statement on Wednesday condemning Iran’s attack on Israel. They were: the U.S., Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Portugal, the Republic of Korea, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine, and the UK. Statement here

 

 

FAKE NEWS

 

 

A video clip aired by Iran’s state TV claiming to show fiery destruction in Israel due to a massive Iranian missile and drone attack is months-old footage of a fire in Chile, a BBC reporter clarified  on Sunday. He also clarified that a video claiming to show jubilant Palestinians at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem celebrating the Iranian attack was in fact taken Friday as worshippers marked the end of Ramadan.Report here

 

 

 

CONTEXT

 

 

(Iran claimed their attack was revenge for an Israeli airstrike on April 1)

 

The Iranian General killed in that Israeli airstrike was acknowledged as the architect of the Hamas October 7 massacre by Iran’s Coalition Council of Islamic Revolution Forces .Report here

and see Comment & Opinion below regarding the status of the building.

 

 

TERROR ATTACK

 

 

Jerusalem resident Benjamin Achimeir, 14, was murdered in a terror attack. He had  set out early Friday shepherding a flock near the outpost of Malachei Shalom in Samaria. Hours later, the sheep returned without him. His body was found by an IDF drone unit on Saturday.Report here

 

 

 

HOSTAGES

 

 

Hamas rejected a hostage release deal proposed by the U.S., Qatar and Egypt. Reportedly, Hamas presented mediators on Sunday with a proposal for a permanent ceasefire and total withdrawal of the Israeli army from Gaza. No hostages would be returned during the first six weeks, though hostilities would need to be halted from day one. The U.S. on Monday accused Hamas of being the barrier to a temporary ceasefire in Gaza, adding that Israel had moved in a “significant way” to submit a reasonable proposal in the ongoing hostage talks. (paywall) Report hereReport hereReport here

 

 

 

HEZBOLLAH CONTINUES TO ATTACK NORTHERN  ISRAEL

 

 

 

14 IDF reserve soldiers were wounded on Wednesday, six seriously, by two Hizbullah drones and two anti-tank missiles at and near a community centre in Arab al-Aramshe, a Bedouin village in northern Galilee, less than 3 km. from the Lebanese border. Four civilians were also wounded in the attack. Report here

 

 

Today Thursday, Hezbollah attacked several Israeli communities, including Kfar Giladi, Metulla & Hanita  with rockets & drones (source Israel Realtime)

 

 

GAZA

 

 

As the U.S. and other countries pressure Israel to increase food aid to Gaza, Israeli officials say Gaza has been overwhelmed by food aid. “There is no food shortage in Gaza, and there never was,”
“The stores are full, the markets are bursting with goods, fruits, vegetables, shawarma, pitas – there is everything. Do you know why they no longer loot convoys? Because there is no shortage…”
In Israel, they believe that the way senior U.S. administration officials express themselves echoes the false claims of Hamas supporters as if genocide is taking place in Gaza.Report & pictures here

 

 

 

Footage has emerged of thousands of Gazans enjoying a day on the beach, sparking criticism in Israel that the government was not maintaining enough pressure on the enclave while 133 hostages languish in Hamas captivity.Report & photo here

 

 

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

 

 

The European Parliament has adopted a resolution condemning educational material produced by the Palestinian Authority and by the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees UNWRA)  for its role in inciting hatred against Israelis.Report here

 

 

 

ISRAEL’S  FIRST FEMALE ARAB AIRBORNE MECHANIC

 

 

 

Three weeks ago, IAF Captain B., a Christian Arab, became the first Arab female airborne mechanic in the IDF after she completed the training course with distinction.Report here

 

 

COMMENT & OPINION

 

 

 

Criticism of the West’s appeasement of the Islamic regime is widespread among Iranians on social media in English too.

Elica Le Bon “Daughter of Iran”  Powerful 4 min videoView here

 

 

 

Iran Attack

 

 

Stephen Daisley: Biden told Netanyahu to be satisfied with the Iranian attack being fended off and count it as a victory.
Dodging a bullet is a highly desirable outcome when being shot at but it is not a victory, not if you aren’t allowed to disarm the gunman.
The Americans and the British want to avert an Israeli retaliation because they fear it could destabilize the region. Yet much of the instability in the region can be traced back to Iran.
For Israel, as for any country threatened on multiple fronts, the only way to win is to win.
Yet its allies don’t want it to hit Iran and they object to how it goes about hitting Hamas. (paywall) Article here

 

 

Noah Rothman: Iran’s direct attack on Israel over the weekend was not “designed to fail” or an elaborately telegraphed de-escalatory overture. It was a radical and audacious assault on Israel, and its aim was to kill as many Israelis as possible… It was an unprecedented event. It was intended to overwhelm Israeli air defences and culminate in mass casualties…The notion that Israel can simply absorb this attack so we can de-escalate and be done is fanciful to the point of delusion.
While the vast majority of the ordnance Iran launched at Israel didn’t make it into Israeli airspace, ballistic missiles most certainly did. If any of those missiles were armed with nuclear warheads, Israel would face a genuinely existential disaster. Article here

 

 

 

Wall St Journal Editorial:Iran’s weekend attack should be clarifying to Western leaders about Iran’s malevolent intentions. Iran’s bombardment wasn’t discriminate or limited to military targets, unlike Israel’s precision strike that killed the IRGC generals…
White House theories of escalation management don’t work against a regime that thinks a U.S. president fears escalation more than Iran does. U.S. restraint since the Oct. 7 massacre has encouraged Tehran to see how much more it can get away with…
Imagine how Iran would behave if it acquires nuclear weapons…
“Take the win,” Mr. Biden reportedly told Mr. Netanyahu. But is it a win if Iran can directly attack Israel without consequences? Israel shouldn’t have to wait in a defensive crouch until Iran decides to attack again. Israel is justified in attacking Iran’s assets, including military targets in Iran. (paywall) Article here

 

 

 

Thomas L. Friedman: When Tehran fired all those drones and missiles, it could not know that virtually all of them would be intercepted. Some were shot down over Jerusalem. A missile could have hit al-Aqsa Mosque… We are talking about an escalation without precedent. Without a U.S.-led global initiative to impose sanctions on Iran and further isolate it on the world stage, Iran’s behaviour would be tacitly normalized.(paywall)Article here

 

 

 

Col. Richard Kemp: It is important to recognize this was not a symbolic attack designed to fail. That would have been done with far fewer missiles and drones. Iran’s clear intent was to hit hundreds of targets and kill hundreds of people.
President Biden has told Prime Minister Netanyahu that he should consider this “a win.” Such a call to Israel now is preposterous. It is exactly this approach that has led us to where we are today – consistently appeasing Iran and responding with abject feebleness to repeated attacks against U.S. forces.
Iran’s military mission to the UN has said that, with its strike on Israel, “the matter can be deemed concluded.” But it is far from concluded. Iran has repeatedly confirmed its intent to annihilate the Jewish state and has constructed a “ring of fire” of proxies surrounding Israel to achieve that. Hamas’ massacre of Israelis on Oct. 7 was part of this monstrous design, as are the daily rocket attacks against Israel since then by its proxy Lebanese Hizbullah. Article here

 

 

 

D.Tel. Editorial: It is the ayatollahs in Tehran who bankrolled Hamas and encouraged its murderous pogrom last autumn. It is Iran who arms and funds Hizbullah in Lebanon, where thousands of missiles – provided by the Iranians – are targeted at Israel. It is Iran who supports the Houthis in Yemen currently subjecting the world’s shipping to the threat of drone and missile attacks, forcing vessels away from the Suez Canal.
Where are the protest marches against Iran, against its treatment of women and minorities, its efforts to arm itself with nuclear weapons, its extra-judicial killings? Why is a brutal, theocratic autocracy considered somehow deserving of greater latitude than a democracy responding to attacks on its territory? No one should any longer harbour illusions about Iran’s malign role in the Middle East. Its hand can be detected in all of the region’s most dangerous crises. Allowing the ayatollahs to continue with their campaign of mayhem is no longer an option.(paywall)Article here

 

 

 

Andrew Neil: Within hours of Iran’s mass missile and drone attack on Israel on Saturday night, the consensus of the global commentariat was that Israel should refrain from retaliation. It is quite remarkable advice for a country which has just been the target of more than 150 Iranian drones armed with explosives, 30 cruise missiles and 120 ballistic missiles. If so many weapons of destruction had rained down on Britain, would we be agreeing that it would probably be best for all concerned if we just sat on our hands?
…You do not launch 300 missiles and drones on another country unless you’re aiming to cause a lot of death and destruction. Iran has attacked Israel directly from its own territory. That is reason enough why Israel can hardly look the other way.
The command centre that Israel hit in Damascus was a major base for the IRGC’s Quds Force, which arms, trains and finances Iran’s proxy militias across the region, including Hamas and Hizbullah, which have brought so much misery to Israel. The general killed was a pivotal link with the proxies. So it was a legitimate target.
Israel has every right to respond to the mass attack. There is too much loose talk about it leading to World War III if it does. This is designed to intimidate Israel into doing nothing. (paywall) Article here

 

 

Israeli airstrike on April 1

 

 

Con Coughlin: The bombing of the Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria was not, as the Iranians claim, simply an attack on a blameless diplomatic mission…The fact that two senior Quds Force commanders were killed in the April 1 strike on the building provides conclusive proof that, far from undertaking basic consulate duties such as issuing visas, the facility was being used as a command and control centre for Iran’s terrorist activities throughout the region.Article here

 

 

 

David Harsanyi: Just because you shoot at someone and miss doesn’t mean you’re not trying to kill them. Yes, the Iranians were embarrassed. But they almost surely view this as a win. And they also crossed a red line by firing on Israel from their own territory. Yet Israel is apparently the only nation on Earth that is permitted to fully defend itself only if its enemies succeed.

Then again, virtually every conflict against Israel unfurls the same way: Its enemies threaten or attack the country. Israel responds and heads for a victory. Only then does the world demand “restraint.”

Those, for instance, who contend that Israel started the conflict when it hit a “diplomatic mission” in Syria last week are engaged in restarting the historical clock when it suits them. There are no Iranian diplomatic missions in Syria. There are buildings where IRGC terror leaders coordinate attacks on civilians — against Arabs as well as Jews. Mohammad Reza Zahedi, the “general” Israel killed last week, helped plan the barbarism of Oct 7. Article here

 

 

The War against Hamas

 

 

WSJ Editorial: After months of negotiations over the release of 40 hostages among the women, older men and the sick, Hamas now says it can produce only 20, and it wants far more Palestinian terrorists in return. It demands 30 for each civilian hostage and 50 for each captive female Israeli soldier, including 30 terrorists who are serving life sentences.

…Mr. Biden staked his Gaza strategy on coercing Israel to make the concessions to get a deal and cease-fire. But the holdup wasn’t on the Israeli side.

The more desperate the President appeared for a cease-fire, the more distant it became. When he blamed Israel for all civilian suffering and demanded new Israeli concessions, Hamas raised its demands.

Hamas scorns a deal because the President has given it reason to expect to get the cease-fire it wants without releasing any hostages.

Hamas is unlikely to cut a deal until it feels the knife on its neck, as it did when Israel stormed Gaza City. That yielded the release of 105 hostages. But since Mr. Biden declared himself Protector of Rafah, Hamas’s final stronghold, and Israel withdrew most of its troops, the odds of a deal have declined.

The best hope on the horizon is from Iran’s miscalculation in striking Israel directly. This gives Mr. Biden an opportunity to reset his policy and exert real pressure. When Rafah is on the table, and the terrorists in fancy suits are threatened with expulsion from Qatar, there will again be a reason to talk. (paywall) article here

 

 

 

A MOSSAD AGENT: For years, we ignored the weakness of the government in Egypt, the corruption of the country’s military elite, and the refusal to see how that enabled the arming of Hamas.. We warned (Egyptian Intelligence) dozens of times about arms being brought into Gaza and that it will eventually lead to a war that will harm Israel and also endanger Egypt.
Since the beginning of the current war, countless antitank missiles have been fired at our forces, causing considerable casualties. These missiles came from Egypt. The government in Cairo is chiefly responsible for building up Hamas’ military power. Egypt is not in control of Sinai. There are Egyptian policemen but their wages are low and they are bought with bribes. For $100, or less, they’ll turn a blind eye to anything. The heads of the Egyptian military also benefit personally from the bribery.
Sinai is ruled by Bedouin gangs that transport weapons to Gaza by land and from the sea, at El-Arish. Egyptian intelligence officials knew about the arms smuggling and about the Hamas members who left Gaza to train abroad, but they thought that if they did not confront Hamas, they would buy peace cheaply. Big mistake.
If we want to solve the problem of Gaza, we must demand that the Egyptian government seal the tunnels under the border at Rafah and deal with the smuggling routes. Israel withdrew from Sinai on condition that it not become a territory that would threaten the existence of the state. That is the basis of the peace treaty. Egypt is not meeting this condition. Its inaction allowed Hamas to ready its attack against Israel. (paywall) article here

 

 

 

Elliott Abrams: UN Security Council Resolution 1701 of August 2006 included an end to arms transfers by any state to Hizbullah and total Lebanese army control of Lebanon’s south. Neither stipulation has ever been enforced – a testament to the dangers of relying on a paper peace rather than conditions on the ground. That is why Israel is resisting international pressure, especially from Washington, for a ceasefire that would leave Hamas in control. Article here

 

 

 

 

Palestinian reaction to Iran Attack

 

 

Maurice Hirsch: There was no Palestinian condemnation of the Iranian missile attack on Israel that could have just as easily killed Palestinians as it could Jews. There was even no condemnation of the missiles fired toward Jerusalem. Article here

 

 

Nadav Shragai:The sight of thousands of Palestinians dancing on the rooftops, drunk with hatred, as missiles and UAVs whizzed over their heads towards Israel, is a reflection of Palestinian society. Contrary to the impression the Americans are trying to make, at their core and essence, the Palestinians in the West Bank – like those in Gaza – are not truly part of the moderate axis opposing the Iranian offensive. The Iranians know this too, and they are counting on them, just as they are counting on the Palestinian majority in Jordan, which they are now trying to destabilize from within…The current administration in Washington continues to be under the illusion of a renewed Palestinian Authority, while the residents of that very authority cheered the missile attacks on Israel Article here