August 15, 2018

Israel Thwarts Attempt To Smuggle Tens Of Thousands Of Balloons Into Gaza

Israel in recent weeks seized at the Ashdod port three containers holding tens of thousands of balloons which were en route to the Gaza Strip, Israel’s Channel 10 News reported.

The balloons were confiscated to prevent Hamas from using them for their incendiary arson terrorism against Israel.

Over the course of the past four months, Hamas terrorists have launched thousands of incendiary devices into Israeli territory, which have resulted in the destruction of more than 7,500 acres of land, hundreds of acres of wheat fields, and 2,700 acres of protected nature reserves.

To date, Gazans have launched over 1,000 incendiary devices across the border, leading to more than 750 fires – an average of 11 per day.  Not only has the damage exceeded $3 million, but it will take years to reverse the ecological damage caused by Hamas.

Despite a ceasefire announced by Hamas on Thursday (9th), Gazans continued to send incendiary terror-balloons into Israel.

On Monday (13th) a large fire broke out in the Re’im area of the Eshkol region in southern Israel, caused by a fire-balloon.

On Sunday (12th), Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel is in the midst of a campaign against terror in Gaza.

“Our demand is  – a complete ceasefire – no less than this,” he said.  



Weekly Commentary: Eliminating Major Gaza Targets: We Don’t Need Dead Israelis To Justify Defending Ourselves

Dr. Aaron Lerner – August 12, 2018

We don’t need dead Israelis to justify defending ourselves.

Human shields protect many of the most important offensive capabilities of the enemy in the Gaza Strip.

These are targets that must be eliminated for a truly effective operation.

Israeli civilians don’t have to pay with their lives to “earn” us the right to eliminate these targets.

In fact, it is the obligation of the sovereign State of Israel to eliminate these vital elements of the terrorist’s war machine before they are used in an operation against the Jewish State that would cost countless Israeli civilian lives.

In December 2016 Israel released a detailed map of over 10,000 targets in south Lebanon that provide infrastructure, assistance, cover, protection and other resources for Hizbullah terrorists.

Today we should put the world on notice with an equally detailed map of targets in the Gaza Strip that are ostensibly protected by human shields.

We should publically advise all the relevant international forums as well as countries, that the terrorists have a prescribed time to clear out from those locations.

And at the end of the prescribed time the world is on notice that we intend to defend ourselves in operations against terrorist targets in accordance with their importance regardless of the presence of human shields.



Argentina Blames Gaza Violence On Palestinians

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – In a sign of Buenos Aires’ changing attitude toward Israel, the Argentine Foreign Ministry has issued a statement that seems to put the blame for recent clashes between the Israeli military and Hamas squarely on the Palestinians.

Referring to the recent escalation in tensions that has seen Hamas fire hundreds of rockets into Israel’s territory, and the Israelis carry out numerous retaliatory strikes against Hamas outposts and fighters, Friday’s statement (10th) expressed its “deep concern” over the violence, which it said was “caused by the launch of rockets at Israel.”

In a tweet on its official account the same day, the ministry reiterated its position in identical language.

Relations between Argentina and Israel have warmed significantly since the 2015 election of President Mauricio Macri.  His predecessor Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, in 2010, recognized Palestine as a “free and independent state.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Buenos Aires late last year and met with Macri, calling him “a true friend of Israel.”



Iran Unveils New Short-range Fateh Ballistic Missile

Iran has unveiled a new generation of short-range Fateh missiles just days after the Islamic Republic fired a Fateh-110 ballistic missile, the first ballistic missile launch in more than a year.

The new missile generation was unveiled by Iranian Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Amir Hatami, who said the new agile and precise tactile stealth missile was able to evade enemy radar, Iran’s semi-official Tasnim News Agency reported.

According to Tasnim, Hatami said the latest Fateh missile – which has already been tested – will boost Iran’s defensive capabilities.  He stressed Iran would not stop enhancing their missile build-up.

“As I have promised the Iranian nation, I will spare no effort to boost the country’s missile capabilities and we will certainly increase our missile power everyday,” Hatami said.  “With a powerful, smart and up-to-date defense industry, we will be able to preserve peace and stability, and today, our enemies are fully aware of the Islamic Republic’s defense power.

Fox News reported on Sunday (13th) that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps fired last week a third generation Fateh-110 in an anti-ship configuration from Iranian soil, impacting a desert test range 100 miles away.

Iran is said to have conducted more than 20 missile tests since 2015, claiming they are legitimate and defensive in nature.

Despite US sanctions place on Iran last week, Tehran continues to improve its missile arsenal.

The Islamic Republic possesses more than 1,000 short-and medium-range ballistic missiles and has the ability to proliferate weapons to countries and non-state actors, such as Hizbullah on Israel’s northern border, and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

On Monday (13th), the Commander of the Iranian Army Ground Force Brig.-Gen. Kiomars Heidari said Tehran was ready and willing to provide weapons and other military equipment made in Iran to “friendly and brotherly countries.”



Poll: Israeli-Palestinian Support For 2-States At 20 Year Low

Support for a two-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is at the lowest point in two decades, according to new data released by a private survey on Monday (13th).

Only 49% of Israelis and 43% of Palestinians support the idea, according to a poll conducted recently.  In 2010, 71% of Israelis believed in a two-state resolution and 57% of Palestinians. A look at the June 2018 data for Israeli Jews shows that their support drops to 43%.

The poll published on Monday (13th), which surveyed 2,150 Palestinians from the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and eastern Jerusalem, and 1,400 Israeli Jews was carried out in late June and early July.

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has said he supports a two-state solution, while the rival Hamas in Gaza calls for Israel’s destruction.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on a couple of occasions that he supports two states, but also has stated that no Palestinian state will be created while he is in office.  In addition, many ministers in Netanyahu’s cabinet have strongly expressed their opposition to the idea.

Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians have not taken place since US-sponsored talks collapsed in mid-2014.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has said it would like to achieve a peace accord between Israel and the Palestinians.  But following the American president’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the relocation of the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the city, Abbas has said he will not cooperate with any White House peace effort.