August 6, 2018

IAF Strikes 7 ISIS Militants Feet From Golan Heights Border – UN Peacekeepers Are Back

Israel struck seven ISIS militants, just feet from the Israeli border in an airstrike on the Syrian-held Golan Heights Wednesday evening (1st), the Israeli army confirmed.

At 10:30 p.m. IAF jets hit seven armed terrorists, who were tracked by Israel for several kilometers.  The terrorists were situated between the Alpha line and the border. No terrorists infiltrated Israeli territory, the army said, and elite IDF troops found seven bodies with grenades, 5 Kalashnikov rifles and suicide vests, among other items.

The terrorists had crossed the Alpha line in the Syria-Jordan-Israel border triangle area.

It is believed that these militants belonged to ISIS and that they fled the areas recaptured by Assad and were going to carry out a terror attack.

The IDF said it had been on alert for a while and the incident was no surprise.

“The Assad regime is responsible for everything that occurs in Syrian territory, and anything that is carried out against Israel,” the army said.

Meanwhile, UN peacekeepers returned on Thursday (2nd) to patrol the frontier between Syria and Israel for the first time in years, Russia’s Defense Ministry announced –  Moscow’s latest achievement in efforts to negotiate a solution to the crisis along the volatile border.

The peacekeeping mission was halted back in 2014 amid the violence in Syria’s civil war over security concerns.

The UN peacekeeping forces first deployed along the frontier in 1974 to separate Syrian and Israeli forces after the 1967 Six Day War.



Hamas Terrorist Responsible For Kidnap And Murder Of Three Teenagers Arrives In Gaza

Three senior Hamas leaders, including Salah al-Arouri, arrived in Gaza from Egypt Thursday (2nd) for what has been termed “a major decision-making meeting.”

Al-Arouri is considered the mastermind of Hamas’ terrorist activities in Judea and Samaria and an important point-man with Iran.  The other two Hamas terrorists are Mousa Abu Marzouk, a senior member of Hamas’ politburo, and Hassan Badran, a Hamas spokesman.

The three men are part of a larger contingent already in Gaza that is expected to discuss a potential ceasefire with Israel and a reconciliation agreement with Fatah.  They have already held discussions with Egyptian intelligence officers and representatives of Fatah in Cairo.

The arrival of Al-Arouri, deputy to Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, is considered rare.  Al-Arouri is said to be the mastermind of a number of Hamas-planned terror attacks in Judea and Samaria, including the abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers – Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Fraenkel – in June 2014.

Al-Arouri plays a central role in relations between Hamas, Hizbullah, and Iran, and has spent the past few months in Beirut.

Palestinian sources said Wednesday (1st) that they are not optimistic about chances of reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah.

“If what is needed is handing over the head of Gaza to Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah and abandoning the resistance, then Hamas will find this an unacceptable matter on a national level.” one Hamas leader said in an interview with Jordan news site, Al-Ghad.



Defense Minister Orders Stop To Gaza Fuel Shipments Over Fire Balloons

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Wednesday (1st) ordered a freeze on all fuel and gas shipments into Gaza through the main goods crossing into the enclave, in response to continued incendiary balloon attacks and ongoing violence along the Israel-Gaza border.

The closure will continue until further notice, Israeli officials said on a day when firefighters battled seven separate brush fires near the Gaza border caused by incendiary balloons, according to fire and rescue officials.

In recent days, Hamas has been using children to launch the balloons – some landing as far away as Beersheba.

The crossing has been closed to all but humanitarian aid deliveries in recent weeks, and was most recently opened last week after officials noted a marked decline in arson attacks from Gaza.

This week arson attacks again have picked up causing Lieberman to say “Anything that happens going forward in the Gaza Strip is the sole responsibility of the Hamas leadership.”  

He said that Israel has done everything in order to prevent a war in the Gaza Strip.



Senate Approves $500 Million  For U.S.-Israel Missile Defense Cooperation

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday (1st) approved the Defense Authorization Act for FY 2019 that includes $500 million for U.S.-Israel missile defense cooperation and $50 million for counter-tunnel cooperation.  The bill extends authorization for the U.S. War Reserve Stockpile in Israel by five years and allocates an additional $1 billion for U.S. weapons stockpiles in Israel.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) noted that the bill calls for a “joint assessment of the quantity and type of precision-guided munitions necessary for Israel to defend itself against Hizbullah, Hamas and other terrorist groups.”

Additionally, the measure authorizes the establishment of a cooperative R&D program with Israel to develop capabilities for countering unmanned aerial systems.



Maori Group Apologizes To Israel Over New Zealand’s Opposition At UN – Sheree Trotter

On July 29, the indigenous Maori people of New Zealand organized a special ceremony to welcome the Israeli ambassador, Dr. Itzhak Gerberg.  Led by elder Pat Ruka, and joined by many Maori from around the nation, a welcome ceremony was held at the meeting house in West Auckland. The ceremony of apology was held to express regret for New Zealand’s actions in standing against Israel at the UN and to seek forgiveness.

Ruka mentioned the stories of his ancestors who, because of their Christian beliefs, maintained a deep respect for the people of Israel.  He remembered that his forebears travelled to the capital city, Wellington, to offer the government tribal land for Jewish refugees following World War II.

National MP Alfred Ngaro spoke on the orators’ bench, recalling his family connection to the Jewish people through his grandmother.  Many similarities between Maori and Jewish cultures were noted, such as the emphasis on genealogy, language and land.

The event marked a significant milestone in the relationship between the Maori people and the Jewish community, and the connection of Maori to Israel.