Israel Update: 25.7.2018
DRAMATIC IDF RESCUE MISSION IN SYRIA
Israel on Saturday night evacuated 442 White Helmets volunteer rescuers and their family members – threatened by advancing Syrian regime forces – to Jordan for resettlement in Britain, Canada and Germany.
More details of the daring rescue operation: A total of 421 people massed at two collection points where they were to make their crossing to safety. By the time they crossed, they were 422. One woman went into labour, requiring an emergency C-section…It was a nail-biting trip to a crossing over one of the most tightly sealed frontiers in the world. Up until the last minute, those on the ground were uncertain the operation would go through.
“Once they reached the border, their eyes twinkled from happiness with the knowledge that they’d gotten their lives back,” said Lt. Col. “A,” head of the IDF project to assist southern Syria. (49 second video)
Israel’s role was “indispensable” in saving the lives of the White Helmet rescue workers and their families, Canada’s Deputy Head of Mission stated.
Comment J Post Editorial: The Syrian government, however, considers them (“The White Helmets”) Western puppets, and it was no surprise when it issued a statement calling the rescue “a criminal operation” carried out by “Israel and its tools.” What was surprising was that official statements issued after the operation by the White Helmets themselves and other countries, such as France, the UK*and Germany, conspicuously omitted any Israeli role.
(* UK’s Foreign Secretary thanked Israel & Jordan in a tweet)
Staff Sgt. Aviv Levi, 20, was killed by a sniper on the Gaza border on Friday, the first active duty soldier to be killed on the Gaza front since the 2014 war. The IDF carried out extensive attacks on Hamas targets in Gaza in response, killing four Palestinians including three members of Hamas. Three rockets were fired at Israel during the escalation, two of which were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome anti-rocket defence system.
The IDF has concluded that Staff Sgt. Aviv Levi was killed by an armour-piercing bullet fired from an Iranian-manufactured rifle, which penetrated his ceramic vest.
At the time of writing, (Wednesday evening) Hamas snipers have again opened fire on IDF soldiers, wounding one, and in response the IDF is targeting Hamas bases.
CONTINUING ARSON ATTACKS FROM GAZA
Dani Rahamim, 64, has lived half a mile from Gaza for more than 40 years. This summer he lost 320 acres of wheat to fires sparked by flaming kites and balloons launched into Israel from Gaza, and he worries his sunflower fields will be next. The fires have burned nearly 8,000 acres of agricultural fields and nature reserves, killing thousands of animals as well. Almost half of Israel’s land along the Gaza border has been affected by the fires. Ecologists predict a full recovery could take years. The wheat from Rahamim’s fields could have fed people in Gaza. Indeed, much of the flour Israel delivers to Gaza in the form of daily humanitarian aid comes from the wheat fields in these border communities
U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley told the UN Security Council on Tuesday: “In the last three months, the terrorist flaming swastika kites that have crossed over from Gaza into Israel have damaged or destroyed 7,500 acres of land. Now Israel is a small country. The equivalent proportion of land in the United States would be the size of the entire state of Connecticut. In France, the equivalent would be 10 times the entire land area of the city of Paris….While the international media pays very careful attention to every step Israel takes in self-defense, we must not lose sight of the very real damage that is being done to Israel from terrorist attacks coming from Gaza.” https://usun.state.gov/remarks/8529
OTHER NEWS FROM SYRIA
Israel shot down a Russian-made Syrian Sukhoi fighter jet that penetrated Israeli airspace on Tuesday.
An unspecified number of Syrian rockets were found in the Sea of Galilee on Wednesday following explosions heard in the area. https://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Syrian-rockets-found-in-the-Sea-of-Galilee-563429
More than 350 Palestinian farmers (60% of the delegates) joined together with Israeli farmers at a recent agriculture technology event in Tel Aviv. https://unitycoalitionforisrael.org/?project=apartheid-in-israel-palestinian-farmers-say-no
An earthquake prediction system invented by Israeli start-up SeismicAI will be put into use in several Asian and European countries.
20 Rwandan children suffering from severe heart disease are going to Israel to undergo heart surgery, in partnership with the Save a Child’s Heart Foundation, with all costs covered… Future plans seek to help Rwanda set up a pediatric cardiology centre.
The Mossad, Israel’s Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations, helped thwart a major Iranian terrorist attack in France last month.
Indian farmers in West Bengal have adopted Israeli greenhouse technology to grow tomatoes during the rainy season.
Israeli humanitarian aid organization IsraAID set up a mobile dental clinic for a week in a refugee camp in Kenya. The four-person dental team treated many of the 190,000 refugees in the camp, many of whom had never received dental care.
Earlier this month, Japan IsraAID Support Program (JISP), sent an emergency response team to the area in western Japan where the heaviest rainfall in decades has caused flooding, landslides and loss of life. The JISP team are Japanese professionals who have received training in Israel. https://www.israel21c.org/israaid-trained-emergency-team-sent-to-flooded-japan-area/
The cloud-based technology of Israel’s TaKaDu ,which detects water leaks, is now operational in 13 countries. Jyväskylä Energy Group, the water utility of central Finland’s largest city, will deploy TaKaDu’s central event management solution to improve network efficiency and customer service. https://www.israel21c.org/finnish-utility-partners-with-takadu-to-detect-water-leaks/
In addition to the radios from Israel’s Maxtech, the comms systems from Israel’s Radwin were used to coordinate rescue operations by the various forces in the area. A team from Radwin’s office in Bangkok established a wireless network in an area with little to no connectivity. http://nocamels.com/2018/07/2nd-israeli-tech-rescue-thailand/
The International Judo Federation on Friday said the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam and the Tunis Grand Prix would be suspended until the UAE and Tunisia guarantee “free and equal participation” for all countries at the tournaments. In the past, Israelis were not allowed to participate with their national insignia and anthem at these events.
Liel Levitan, 7, from Haifa, is unable to accept an invitation to play in the World Chess Championship because host nation Tunisia will not allow Israelis to compete.
Liel, who just turned 7, won the Girls U7 category at the 2018 European Schools Chess Championships.
Members of the U.S. Congress are demanding the State Department make public a key report that includes precise figures on the number of people who became refugees in the 1948 War of Independence. The existence of the report, compiled and classified under the Obama administration, was first disclosed six months ago. Sources who have seen the report say that the State Department’s assessment was that only 20,000 of the 700,000 Arab refugees who fled Palestine in 1948 are still alive and displaced. Unlike all other refugees, Palestinians refugees pass their status on to their descendants. As a result, Palestinian refugees are said to number in the millions.
COMMENT & OPINION
Vladimir Sloutsker: In the space of 24 hours, Friday 13 July evening, Hamas terrorists in Gaza rained down over 200 rockets and mortars on communities in southern Israel, causing thousands of families to spend their day running in and out of bomb shelters. It was the heaviest day of rocket fire since the end of the 2014 Gaza war.
Imagine if even one rocket was fired on London, Paris, Brussels or Berlin? There would be universal outrage, condemnation, and an immediate, forceful response. Yet when hundreds of rockets and mortars were fired on Israel, the response from the international community was silence. By refusing to hold Hamas to account, the international community is only emboldening, empowering and encouraging the terror group to commit further attacks.
Where is the outage that Iran, which continues to call for the destruction of the State of Israel, is the primary funder and supplier of weapons to Hamas? And is it “peaceful protestors” in Gaza who fire rockets and mortars at Israel’s civilian population? https://www.newsweek.com/200-rockets-and-mortars-fired-israel-one-day-where-outrage-1027416
Khaled Abu Toameh: While the UN, Israel and the U.S. are proposing plans to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinians in Hamas-ruled Gaza, Iran is pledging to continue its financial and military aid to Palestinian terror groups. The Iranians have long been providing Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad with money and weapons. Were it not for Iran’s support, the two groups, which do not recognize Israel’s right to exist, would not have been able to remain in power. Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards General Gholamhossein Gheybparvar this week addressed terror groups in Gaza via video conference, pledging to support them in their fight against Israel and the U.S. The Iranian general did not offer to build the Palestinians a hospital or a school. Nor did he offer to provide financial aid to create projects that would give jobs to unemployed Palestinians. His message was: Iran will give you as much money and weapons as you need, as long as you are committed to the jihad against Israel and the U.S.
Iran wants to retain control over its Palestinian proxies to prevent any peace and stability between Arabs and Israel. Iran is not helping the terror groups out of love for the Palestinians, but in order to advance its goal of eliminating the “Zionist regime.” https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/12729/iran-palestinian-terrorism