February 1, 2018

Defense Minister warns Hizbullah at conference

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman warned the Iranian-backed Hizbullah militia that it can expect a punishing Israeli response in the next war with Israel.

“No one is looking for adventure, but if we are already destined to do so, the goal is to end this as quickly and unequivocally as possible, with what we have seen in all the conflicts in the Middle East,” Lieberman said at the National Institute for Strategic Studies (INSS) conference on Tuesday (1/30) .  “Unfortunately this is impossible without boots on the ground,” he added.

Lieberman said that “if Tel Aviv residents end up in bomb shelters, then so will the people of Beirut.”



In Israel’s north, Russia is the ‘primary address’

The frequency of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s meetings with Russian President Putin is a testament to Israel’s ongoing disquiet over developments on its northern front.  While the Russians have thus far turned a blind eye to Israel’s alleged air strikes in Syria, they are well aware that if Israel were also forced to attack targets in Lebanon – to curb Hizbullah’s missile capabilities – it would spark a conflagration that jeopardizes Russian achievements in Syria.

Israel cannot accept along its northern border the formation of a menacing “Shiite crescent” comprising Hizbullah units and pro-Iranian militias armed with Iranian weapons and an arsenal of precision missiles.  To block the Iranians, Russian is currently the most important and almost sole address.



IDF foils stabbing attack in settlement, arrests Palestinian with knife

An army coat clad Palestinian man planning a terror attack was arrested Wednesday (1/31) near the West Bank settlement of Negohot holding a knife and a map of the Israeli community, security forces said.

The IDF later said in a statement, “A short while ago, IDF troops thwarted an attempted terror attack to the community of Negohot, southwest of Hebron.


Palestinian who tried to run-over soldiers in Jordan valley charged

Jihad Jabari, a Palestinian who tried to run down two soldiers in the Jordan Valley two weeks ago, was charged with two counts of attempted murder Wednesday (31st).

The military prosecution asked to extend his remand until the end of legal proceedings against him.



Iran hackers reportedly tried to phish Israeli nuclear scientists

Iranian hackers reportedly targeted Israeli nuclear scientists with a phishing scam in an effort to gain access to sensitive material.

According to a Hadashot TV news report on Tuesday (1/30), Israeli scientists received emails containing dubious links to news stories from a ‘fake news outlet’ called the British News Agency.

The TV report did not indicate whether any of the phishing attempts were successful or where they took place.



Hamas militant killed digging terror tunnel

A member of Hamas’ military wing, Mahmoud Al-Saidi, was killed Wednesday (1/31) inside one of the tunnels in the Gaza Strip.

The Hamas terror organization announced that Al-Saida was killed while digging a tunnel into Israel.

(ynetnews.com; israelnn.com)


After Netanyahu summons Ambassador, Irish Senate postpones debate on bill blocking Israeli settlement goods – Noa Landau

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned Tuesday (1/30) new legislation in Ireland that could forbid the import and sale of products from Israeli settlements.  He instructed the Foreign Ministry to summon the Irish ambassador in Israel to express Israel’s dissatisfaction.

After debating the bill on Tuesday, the Irish Senate decided to postpone further debate until July.  This will allow the Irish government five months to make progress on a diplomatic approach and action at the EU level.  It also gives more time for changes to the bill, those involved in the matter said.

The idea of boycotting goods from the settlements is not the only goal of the supporters of the BDS movement, said Dan Diker, director of the Political Warfare Project at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.  The BDS movement’s goal, as expressed by its founder Omar Barghouti, is to “reject the idea of a Jewish state in any part of Palestine.”  BDS wants to replace the Jewish state, Diker added.



Ruling: Kansas law targeting Israeli boycotts temporarily blocked

WICHITA – A federal judge has temporarily blocked a Kansas law barring state contractors from participating in boycotts against Israel, saying the state law violates their free speech rights.

US District Judge Daniel Crabtree ruled Tuesday (1/30) that the US Supreme Court has held that the
“First Amendment protects the right to participate in a boycott like the one punished by the Kansa law.”    

The law that took effect in July prohibits the state from entering into contracts with individuals or companies participating in a boycott of Israel.

Twenty-four states have such policies.



Jewish boy, 8, beaten in Paris suburb in anti-Semitic attack

A Jewish boy was beaten by teenage assailants in a suburb of Paris in what French prosecutors are calling an anti-Semitic attack.

The boy, 8, was wearing a kippa while walking to a tutor on Tuesday (1/30) in a suburb of Paris when two assailants, both teenagers, knocked him to the ground and beat him, according to AFP.

It is the second attack on a Jewish child in the same area in January.  A 15-year-old Jewish girl was slashed in the face on January 10th, while walking home from school wearing the uniform of her Jewish private school.

French President Emmanuel Macron condemned the incident saying, “An 8-year-old boy was attacked today in Sarcelles because he wore a kippa.  Everytime  a citizen is attacked because of his age, appearance or religion, the whole country is attacked,” Macron tweeted.

(afp.com; jta.org)


First Temple-era relics of possible royal estate found in Jerusalem Hills

Israeli authorities inaugurated a nature park on Wednesday (1/31) near Jerusalem after five years of archaeological excavations near Ein Hanya, the second-largest spring in the Judean Hills and a key site in the history of Christianity.  Along with an announcement that the park will be opened to the public free of charge within months, the Israel Antiquities Authority revealed some major findings at the site, including a column capital typical of royal structure from the First Temple era and one of the oldest coins ever discovered in the Jerusalem area.