February 13, 2018

Next clash with Iran is just around the corner, experts say

Security officials believe the downing of an Israeli Air Force jet over the weekend will make Iran more determined to bolster its military presence in Syria, surmising that additional clashes are just around the corner.

The F-16 fighter jet that was shot down by an anti-aircraft missile on Saturday (10th) was one of at least eight Israeli jets dispatched to the border region in response to an Iranian drone incursion into Israeli airspace earlier in the day.  Both the pilot and the navigator manning the jet ejected, but were injured.

Israel Defense Forces officials said on Sunday (11th) that Syria and Iran were dealt a heavy blow, warning that the next time the situation escalates, Israel will strike more forcefully and will hit a greater number of Syrian targets, including surface to air missile batteries.



Hizbullah threatens Israel

Al-Haj Hassan Khawab Allah, a Hizbullah official in charge of the “Palestine issue,” on Sunday (11th) issued a threat to Israel following the military escalation in which the Israel Air Force downed an Iranian drone that infiltrated Israeli territory and an Israeli F-16 that was shot down by Syrian anti-aircraft fire.

In an interview with the Hamas daily Al-Risala, Khawab Allah said that Israel would carry out an “act of stupidity” if it initiated “aggression against Syria, Lebanon or Gaza.

He added that the events of the past several days would cause Israel to carefully consider its steps before making such a “stupid move.”

He said that Israel will not be able to ‘warm up’ in the skies over Syria without confrontation.



Iran warns of ‘hell for Zionists’

On Monday (12th) the lieutenant commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) warned of “a hell that Iran could create for Zionists.”  IRGC Brigadier General Hossein Salami recommended that Israel “abandon the dream of conquering lands from “the river to the sea.”

The IRGC, which is entrusted with Iran’s foreign espionage and sabotage activities, has forces in Syria, which commands a total of 82,000 troops.



UK Foreign Secretary: ‘We support Israel’s right to defend itself’

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on Monday (12th) released a statement following Saturday’s (10th) escalation between Israel, Iran and Syria, in which an Iranian drone was shot down over Israeli airspace, and the IAF responded by bombing a dozen targets in Syria.

“The United Kingdom is concerned over the developments on Israel’s border with Syria this weekend.  We support Israel’s right to defend itself against any incursions into its territory,” the statement read.  Johnson also expressed the country’s concern over Iranian actions, which, he said, “detract from efforts to get a genuine peace process underway.”

Johnson also called on Russia to put pressure on the Iranian regime to curb further escalations.

(jpost.com; reuters.com)


With Russia’s help, Arab states speeding up nuclear arms race

Using Russian knowledge and technology, more and more countries in the Middle East and North Africa are building nuclear power plants, and not just for civilian purposes.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will be the first state to operate a nuclear reactor.  Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and Algeria are expected to follow in its footsteps.  Each of these countries have declared their intention to build nuclear reactors and are in the process of implementing the plan, saying the nuclear plants will help them meet the growing demand for energy for economic purposes.

However, according to Dr. Shaul Shay of IDC Herzliya, “This is the Sunni Arab world’s way of dealing with the Iranian nuclear program.”



Arab-Israeli, Turkish citizen arrested for aiding Hamas

Two Hamas operatives, one from Turkey and the other an Arab-Israeli were arrested last month in Israel on suspicion of laundering funds and aiding the Hamas terror group, the Shin Bet said on Monday (12th).

According to Shin Bet, the two men were recruited in Turkey by senior Hamas figure Zaher Jabarin.

The Turkish suspect, Kamil Taki was deported back to Turkey, and the Arab-Israeli, Dirham Jabarin  is expected to go on trial within days.



Government approves immigration of 1,000 Ethiopian Jews for 2018

At least 1,000 Ethiopian Jews still living in Ethiopia will be able to immigrate to Israel in the coming year, after the Prime Minister’s Office and the Interior Ministry said on Monday (12th) they had worked out an initial list of potential immigrants and expected to approve them within four weeks.

There are approximately 8,000 Jews in Ethiopia with close relatives in Israel who are waiting to emigrate.

(pmo.gov.il; timesofisrael.com)


Report: 4 anti-Semitic crimes a day in Germany in 2017

BERLIN – German authorities say the number of anti-Semitic crimes in the country remains high, with the equivalent of nearly 4 incidents per day in 2017.

The Berlin Tagesspiegel newspaper cited a report on Monday (12th) by the German parliament showing that, based on preliminary figures, 1,453 anti-Semitic incidents were reported in 2017.  Of those, 32 were acts of violence and 160 involved property damage, with 898 classified as “incitement,” like hate speech.

Jewish groups have expressed concern that the influx of over 1 million migrants since 2015 from primarily Muslim nations could make anti-Semitism a greater problem.



Security cameras capture anti-Semitic attack in Antwerp

Security cameras in Antwerp captured a man following an ultra-Orthodox man and violently knocking his hat off his head.  The incident was reported by evening news programs in Belgium, and police are investigating the incident.

The man, believed to be a Muslim, had been previously recorded destroying at least 20 mezuzahs and vandalizing the entrances to Jewish institutions in the city.  He also placed a Koran outside a synagogue and yelled at passersby that “This is our land, Palestine.”

A poll last month revealed that half of Europe’s Jews hide their religion while in public.

(jta.org; israelhayom.com)


Anti-Semitic graffiti painted on Barcelona synagogue

Anti-Semitic graffiti was spray painted on the walls of a synagogue in Barcelona, last week.

The word “pigs” was written in English followed by a sentence in the Spanish-Latin hybrid language Catalan reading “Get out of our country,” according to local reports.

The graffiti was ordered erased by Barcelona’s Deputy Mayor Gerardo Pisarello, who called for an investigation into the incident.

“Barcelona is a city proud of its differences,” Pisarello said in a statement.  “We will not allow actions of intolerance.”