December 10, 2018

Netanyahu: ‘Whoever Attacks Us – His Blood Is On His Head’

On Thursday morning (6th), Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu briefed ambassadors in the north near where the Israel Defense Forces are operating to expose and destroy Hizbullah tunnels.  He provided the ambassadors with details on Operation Northern Shield and Hizbullah’s plans to use the tunnels to mount a terrorist invasion into Israel.

“We’re stripping from our enemies their tunnel weapon in a determined and systematic way.  We’re doing this to Hamas and Hizbullah, and we will operate as necessary. Whoever attacks us – his blood is on his head.  Exactly that,” he told the press during the ambassadors’ briefing.

The prime minister stressed to the ambassadors the Iranian connection to Hizbullah, which provided the terror group with the funds necessary to build the sophisticated tunnels, and requested that their countries join in condemning Hizbullah, Hamas and Iran.

The ambassadors were also briefed by head of Northern Command, Maj. Gen. Yoel Strick, and the Head of the Planning Directorate, Maj. Gen. Amit Abulafia.

Ambassadors attending the briefing included those from Britain, France, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Italy, Poland, Russia, Ethiopia, Brazil, the Ivory Coast, Mexico, Australia and Canada.

A government source said that the purpose of the ambassador briefing was “to receive support and legitimacy for further activities if they become necessary.”

Meanwhile, another terrorist tunnel was found leading into Israel from Lebanon on Thursday (6th) according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.



Exposure of Israel’s Intelligence Collection In Gaza Undermines Hamas – Yoni Ben Menachem

The exposure of special operations by IDF forces near Khan Yunis on Nov. 11 is creating a feeling among Gaza residents that Israeli intelligence has been working inside Gaza right under Hamas’ nose for a long time.  Hamas on Dec. 3 announced the sentencing of 14 alleged collaborators with Israel who were apprehended by the Hamas intelligence service, including 6 sentenced to death.

The Hamas Interior Ministry learned from the collaborators that Israeli intelligence is interested in learning about these things in Gaza: terror tunnels, storage areas and launch sites of rockets, Hamas military operatives and their commanders, their places of residence, the vehicles they drive, their cell phone numbers, and their regular activities, including operations and bases of Hamas naval commandos.

The release of detailed information by Hamas was meant to show Gaza residents that it has full control over the security situation.  However, the specific information attests to the efficiency of Israeli intelligence in Gaza and that it has managed to recruit collaborators who provide it with important information.

The Israeli force exposed on Nov. 11 had resided in Gaza for weeks, had worked for the Al-Basma Club for the disabled, and had rented an apartment in Khan Yunis.  

We should remember that the IDF force was exposed by chance and not through the counterintelligence activities of Hamas.



50 Preschoolers Rescued By Boat In Flooded Rehovot As Rains Lash Central Israel

A winter storm that hit Israel on Thursday (6th) caused flooding in different areas of the country.  Fifty children and their teachers were safely rescued from three kindergartens in Rehovot.

Despite the dramatic scenes of rescuers shuttling in and out of the area in rubber boats, no one was hurt in the evacuation in the central Israeli city.

Meanwhile, one of Tel Aviv’s key intersections, Azrieli Junction, was brought to a standstill when water damage cause the traffic light system in the area to fail.

The central city of Hadera saw 1.85 inches of rainfall, followed by 1.38 inches in Haifa.

Meteorologists said Thursday (6th) that the worst of the storm would hit the coastal areas with the north expected to get the brunt of the rainfall.

“This was the most serious storm since the beginning of the season, which officially marks the beginning of winter,” said meteorologist Tzachi Waxman.  He said that snow began falling at the top of Mount Hermon and estimated that by Friday morning (7th), it would cover the top part of the ski site.



ADL Protests Inclusion Of Viciously Anti-Semitic Titles At Official Qatar Book Fair

Six-months after its much-heralded outreach to U.S Jewish leaders petered out, the Gulf emirate of Qatar opened its official book fair this week, displaying books that carry blatantly anti-Semitic titles.

A report on Tuesday (4th) from the Anti-Defamation League noted that books titled Lies Spread by the Jews and The Myth of the Nazi Gas Chambers were available on the book fair’s website.  In addition the ADL reported on the inclusion of an Arabic version of former Ku Klux Klansman David Duke’s anti-Semitic tract, Awakening to Jewish Influence in the United State of America, as well as Henry Ford’s The International Jew, a discredited work of anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that was based in turn on The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a work fabricated by the Tsarist secret police in Russia more than a century ago.

Other books available at the Doha fair include Talmud of Secrets: Facts Exposing the Jewish Schemes to Control the World,  The History of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and History of the Corruption of the Jews and the Demise of Their Entity.

“Once again, this high-profile, government-sponsored book fair is being used to promote blatantly anti-Semitic books that deny the Holocaust and accuse Jews of controlling the world and trying to undermine Islam,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO and national director.  

“We call on the U.S. embassy to make clear to Qatar’s government that this hate is unacceptable.”

The 2018 book fair in the Qatari capital opened on December 1.



Can The United States Prevent Saudi Arabia From Getting Nuclear Weapons? – Emily B. Landau and Shimon Stein

Saudi Arabia has recently renewed efforts with the U.S. for the development of nuclear energy and negotiations on a possible deal are ongoing.  Saudi Arabia has insisted on retaining its “right” to enrich uranium, which can lay the groundwork for a military nuclear capability in the years ahead.  It is also clear that the Saudis’ nuclear plans are intimately tied to Iran’s, and since 2010 Saudi leaders have become more and more open about the fact that if Iran attains nuclear weapons, they will quickly follow suit.

The current challenge for the U.S. is how to insist on an agreement that explicitly denies Saudi Arabia the right to work on sensitive nuclear technologies (enrichment capabilities and plutonium reprocessing), without driving it into the hands of other nuclear suppliers, such as Russia, China and South Korea.  Yet the administration is keenly aware that the Iran nuclear deal set a very negative precedent when it legitimized Iran’s enrichment capabilities.

A decision by the U.S. to allow Saudi Arabia to have enrichment capabilities will confront Israel with a dilemma.  It has been Israeli policy to do its utmost to deny any neighboring country with whom it does not have a peace treaty the means to acquire and develop a nuclear program.  Israel should support the traditional U.S. nonproliferation policies which allow states to have access to nuclear fuel for civilian purposes, while denying them the option of self-production.

Emily Landau is a senior research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) and head of its Arms Control and Regional Security Program.  Shimon Stein, a former Israeli ambassador to Germany, is a senior research fellow in INSS.