Israel Update: 25.10.2018
IRANIAN/HEZBOLLAH THREAT TO ISRAEL
According to American and Western intelligence sources Iran has been increasing its shipments of advanced weaponry to Hizbullah, including GPS components to make previously unguided rockets into precision guided-missiles at Iranian factories inside Lebanon. Iran has operated similar weapons factories in Syria and Yemen
“Russia’s delivery of advanced air defence systems to Syria has emboldened Iran to ramp up its shipments of weaponry to Hizbullah,” said Meir Litvak, Director of the Iranian Studies at Tel Aviv University. “Most [of Hizbullah’s rockets] are not precise enough, making their potential threat tolerable to Israel. If Hizbullah succeeds in converting these missiles [to become more accurate], the new situation would represent a significant risk to Israeli airports, power stations… and more.”
The IDF recently uncovered another Hizbullah observation post along the Israel-Lebanon border, the sixth revealed in recent years. Hizbullah operates along the fence under the guise of a fictitious environmental organization called Green Without Borders. “This is a blatant, daily violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which prohibits any armed military presence south of the Litani River except for the Lebanese army and UNIFIL an IDF spokesman said.
After a rocket was fired from Gaza at Israel on Wednesday, the IDF struck eight Hamas targets including a military compound, a training base, and a weapons production and storage site in Gaza.
Fires caused by incendiary balloons sent into Israel from Gaza occur daily – a couple of examples:
Israeli firefighting forces battled eight fires on Wednesday which had broken out near the Gaza border as a result of incendiary balloons. https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5378775,00.html
A fire broke out Thursday in Kibbutz Or Haner Gaza, the fourth fire today.
Jordan’s King Abdullah II announced Sunday that he does not plan to renew parts of the 1994 Jordan-Israel peace agreement with Israel. Jordan wants to revoke the leasing of two parcels of land farmed by Israel along the Israel-Jordan border. The lease on Naharayim and Zofar, was for 25 years and ends in one year.
Although the land near Naharayim had belonged to Israel for decades, under the 1994 peace treaty it was transferred to Jordan and then, in a spirit of cooperation, leased back to Israel so that the farmers could continue cultivating their fields. Israelis visited the enclave inside the Kingdom of Jordan (which hold the remains of a hydroelectric power station build by Jews in 1921). In 1997, a Jordanian soldier massacred seven Israeli schoolgirls on an outing at Naharayim. Following that event, the late King Hussein made an unprecedented trip to each of the victims’ homes to express his personal sorrow and the grief of his nation. The area became known as the Isle of Peace. On Sunday, Jordan’s King Abdullah II announced he would not be renewing the leasing agreement – dismantling the Isle of Peace.
THE P.A. & HAMAS – SUPPRESSION OF DISSENT ETC
In the 25 years since Palestinians gained a degree of self-rule over the West Bank and Gaza, their authorities have established machineries of repression to crush dissent, including through the use of torture. Both the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza have in recent years carried out scores of arbitrary arrests for peaceful criticism of the authorities. This Human Rights Watch report draws on 86 cases which show that Palestinian authorities routinely arrest people whose peaceful speech displeases them and torture those in their custody.
Addressing the UN Security Council meeting on the Middle East on Thursday, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon presented an official Palestinian Authority textbook that PA President Abbas had authorized for the current school year. “This textbook lists a number of so-called heroes – like Dalal Mughrabi – the terrorist responsible for a massacre that killed 38 people. This is Abbas’ culture of hate – right in front of you….”
Abbas “preaches tolerance in English and terror in Arabic….He has led his people down a path of self-destruction and misery… He is the obstacle to peace…” “In this year’s budget, Abbas has allocated $355 million toward the pay-to-slay policy [paying salaries to terrorists and their families]. That’s 7% of the total PA budget. Nearly half of every dollar [the international community] gives to the Palestinian people to build roads and schools is put in the pocket of those who murder Jews.” https://www.algemeiner.com/2018/10/18/israeli-un-ambassador-palestinian-authority-leader-abbas-has-done-nothing-but-inspire-rampant-culture-of-hate/
A Palestinian man stabbed an IDF soldier near the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron on Monday before being shot dead
A Palestinian man armed with a knife, intending to carry out a terror attack ,was arrested on Saturday in the Israeli community of Har Adar near Jerusalem after being spotted by a security guard.
THAI CAVE RESCUE
Thailand’s Ambassador to Israel has, thanked Uzi Hanuni, Founder and CEO of Maxtech Networks Ltd., for valuable communication technology which played a significant role in the rescue of the Thai boys trapped in a cave in Thailand earlier this year. Maxtech’s communication technology, that does not require infrastructure, has been used by the IDF and other rescue crews around the world. She also thanked Israel for “its special navy team and specialized diving helmets to assist the operation.”
Israeli P.M. Netanyahu and China’s Vice President Wang Qishan co-hosted a trade and innovation conference in Jerusalem on Wednesday. “Israel leads the world in electronics, information technology, modern medicine, and agriculture, ” Wang said. China has become Israel’s second largest trading partner, after the U.S
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday sought Israel’s cooperation in enabling recycling of sewage water in five major cities during talks in Jerusalem with Israel’s Minister of Energy and Water Resources. In Israel, 95% of sewage water is recycled for agriculture. Singh also said Israel’s drip irrigation technology was a laudable initiative that Punjab could adopt to its advantage.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has won an additional $777 million contract to supply Barak 8 air and missile defence systems to seven ships in the Indian navy, the company said on Wednesday.
The Finnish navy recently awarded contracts worth $185.76 million in July to Israel Aerospace Industries to equip its missile boats with the Israeli Gabriel missile system between 2019 and 2025.
Siemens Healthineers has teamed up with Israeli start-up Healthy.io to allow patients to test their urine at home by using a smartphone camera that scans a dipstick and sends the results to their doctor.Healthy.io CEO Yonatan Adiri describes the technology as a “medical selfie.”
COMMENT & OPINION
Dennis Ross: I was present at the meeting between Yasser Arafat and President Bill Clinton in December 2000 when Arafat said no to Clinton’s parameters, which went well beyond what then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak proposed at the summit in July. The Clinton parameters offered the Palestinians a viable state with 97% of the West Bank, 100% of Gaza, and a guaranteed corridor connecting the two; this would have been an independent state. Arafat’s rejection and the resort to violence in the Second Intifada, in which 1,100 Israelis were killed, left the Israeli public believing that there was no Palestinian partner for peace.
Petra Marquardt-Bigman: It doesn’t really matter what views Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi held. Opinions quite simply never justify murder. Yet there is a widespread misperception that Khashoggi was some kind of liberal dissident. As the New York Times noted, Khashoggi joined the Muslim Brotherhood as a young man, and he “remained conversant in its conservative, Islamist and often anti-Western rhetoric.”…For Khashoggi, the “struggle against Israel” was a critical part of the Islamist agenda he embraced. Khashoggi’s intense hatred for Israel is clearly reflected in his Al Hayat columns. Israel’s “existence is outside the context of history and logic…it came into being by force, it will live by force and it will die by force,” he wrote. He praised Hamas for accomplishing the “miracle” of procuring rockets and explosives, and was full of admiration that “the huge network of tunnels that extends for miles under Gaza and the borders with Israel and Egypt were used brilliantly to inflict unprecedented losses on the enemy.”