February 5, 2018

Netanyahu: Israel will do what it takes to defend itself

Israel does not seek war with its neighbors but it will spare no effort to defend itself and its citizens if attacked, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday (4th).

Speaking ahead of the weekly cabinet meeting, which included a scheduled briefing by IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, Netanyahu said he had “every faith in the IDF and the chief of staff.”

“The IDF is the strongest military in the Middle East and that’s a good thing because we face many challenges.”

“As I said to President Vladimir Putin and President Donald Trump, we are the main element that is preventing radical Islam from overrunning the Middle East and threatening the entire world,” Netanyahu added.



IDF Chief of Staff: War with Gaza likely in 2018

In what has been the direct and pointed warning to date, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot predicted at Sunday’s (4th) cabinet meeting that a new conflict between Israel and the Hamas terror organization in Gaza was likely in 2018 resulting from Hamas’ mismanagement of the Gaza Strip and the correspondingly difficult humanitarian conditions.

According to Eizenkot, a severe shortage of electricity and food during the cold winter makes it increasingly likely that Hamas will seek an escalation with Israel as a way of distracting the populace from its lack of basic services.



Amid rising tensions, US troops in Israel for missile defense drill

With tensions high on both the northern and southern fronts, US troops are in Israel and have deployed anti-missile defense systems across the country ahead of the biennial Cobra military exercise.

The large-scale five day drill will simulate a massive missile attack on Israel from both fronts and will be led by the Israel Air Force, the IDF confirmed to the media on Sunday (4th).

“Such exercises are part of a long-term strategy and part of the ongoing cooperation between the IDF and the US military,” read the statement by the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.



Bennett’s message to Nasrallah: ‘You will be Lebanon’s ruin if war breaks out’

Education Minister Naftali Bennett sent a message to Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah on Sunday (4th), saying “If war breaks out and we come under missile fire, you will become the destroyer of Lebanon, and the country’s south will suffer a severe blow.”

Speaking to the media, Bennett asserted that war “is not necessary and not inevitable.  If we are clear in our words and actions making it clear we won’t allow threats to be established on our borders, we could prevent a third Lebanon war.”



PA seeks more active Russian role in training Palestinian security forces – Jack Khoury

Since President Trump’s declaration in December recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Palestinian Authority officials have approached Russia to take a more active role in training Palestinian security forces, a subject that had been primarily dealt with by the U.S.  Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian intelligence chief Majid Faraj met with two members of a Russian delegation in Ramallah last week and discussed cooperation on security matters, including training and training exercises, Faraj’s office said.



Hamas missile tests spur Israeli concerns

The Hamas organization’s test-firing of five missiles near the Gaza coastline on Saturday (2rd) caused major concerns across Israel.

According to Israeli military sources, Hamas’ military wing, the Ezzeddine al-Qassam Brigades, are conducting almost daily missile tests developed by its manufacturing unit.

Most of the drills are believed to be carried out in anticipation of any new military confrontation with the Israeli forces.



Report: IAF attacked ISIS in Sinai over 100 times in two years

Over the past two years, Israeli Air Force planes ventured across the Israel-Egypt border and attacked targets in the Sinai Peninsula more than 100 times to assist Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in his struggle against the Islamic state, the New York Times reported Saturday (3rd).

The report is based on seven American and British officials who were involved in the region and remained anonymous.

Israel and the Egyptian army have refused to comment on the report.



Israel foils attempt to smuggle bomb-making materials into Gaza

Israel security forces recently caught a massive shipment of explosive-producing materials en route to terror groups in Gaza, the Ministry of Defense announced Sunday (4th).

Defense Crossing Authority officials at the Kerem Shalom crossing thwarted an attempt to smuggle crates containing substances used in the creation of explosives and explosive devices.

The materials were packed in a shipment of medical equipment.

(worldisraelnews.com; jta.org)


Lost Israeli narrowly avoids lynch by 200-strong Arab mob

Palestinian police rescued an Israeli man on Friday (2nd) who was almost lynched by a mob of some 200 Palestinians upon accidentally entering Abu Dis, a Palestinian village several miles east of Jerusalem.

The mob attacked the Israeli man’s vehicle at the entrance to the village and threw rocks at him.  Palestinian police extricated the driver from his vehicle and barricaded themselves with the victim inside a nearby building.  Meanwhile the mob gathered around the building and torched the Israeli man’s car.

Palestinian authorities notified the IDF who entered Abu Dis with Border Police and evacuated the Israeli.



Erdogan heads to Vatican to discuss Jerusalem recognition with pope

ISTANBUL – Turkey’s president is on his way to Italy to meet Pope Francis at the Vatican, where the status of Jerusalem is expected to top  their agenda Monday (5th).

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said before leaving Turkey on Sunday (4th) that the United States is “alone” in the Trump administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Erdogan says Turkey leads 1.7 billion Muslims worldwide since the country currently holds the term-presidency of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the pope is “number-one” among Catholics.

(timesofisrael.com; afp.com)