January 15, 2019
Netanyahu Confirms Airstrike On Iranian Weapons Storehouses In Syria
At the start of Sunday’s (13th) cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed Syrian media reports over the weekend accusing Israel of bombing Damascus airport.
“Just in the last 36 hours, the air force attacked Iranian warehouses containing Iranian weapons at the international airport in Damascus,” the prime minister stated. “The accumulation of recent attacks proves that we are determined more than ever to take action against Iran in Syria, just as we promised.”
The Syrians filed a formal complaint Saturday (12th) with the United Nations Security Council over the attack on a “Ministry of Transport warehouse” at the airport late Friday night (11th). Netanyahu clarified that the airstrike was part and parcel of the Jewish state’s ongoing efforts to stop Iran’s military from setting up a permanent presence in close proximity to Israel.
The prime minister was speaking in the context of thanking retiring Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot for all his success in leading the IDF action against the Iranian threat.
“The IDF – under your command – worked with exceptional cooperation with all of the security arms – the ISA, Mossad, Israel Police and other bodies,” Netanyahu said. “We worked with impressive success to block Iran’s military entrenchment in Syria. In this framework, the IDF attacked Iranian and Hizbullah targets hundreds of times.”
With Discovery Of Sixth Terror Tunnel, Israel Declares Operation Northern Shield Complete
With the sixth Hizbullah terror tunnel discovered Saturday afternoon (12th), Israel declared victory and announced the completion of Operation Northern Shield on Sunday (13th).
The tunnel, the second discovered coming from the Lebanese town of Ramieh went 180 feet deep and crossed 2,624 feet of Lebanese territory and dozens of yards into Israel. Israel reported the tunnel’s discovery to UNIFIL, the UN observer force responsible for ensuring that southern Lebanon remains free of hostile forces. The tunnel was not yet operational.
“We have now exposed all attack tunnels dug by Hizbullah from Lebanon into Israel,” the Israel Defense Forces tweeted on Sunday (13th).
The Army said, “In the coming days we’ll investigate the new tunnel and carry out actions to neutralize it. In tandem we’ll seize a number of locations in Lebanese territory from which Hizbullah digs tunnels that have not yet crossed into Israel.”
“We’ll continue our engineering actions along the border and will track Hizbullah’s underground activities. There is no underground infrastructure now that allows crossing from Lebanon into Israel. We’ll remain fully in the north despite the operation’s completion in order to work in the region,” they added.
Israel Attacks Gaza In Response To Rocket Fire
Israeli aircraft struck two underground structures in the Gaza Strip belonging to Hamas late Saturday night (12th) after a rocket fired from the coastal enclave fell in an open area in southern Israel. No Palestinian group claimed responsibility for the attack.
“Hamas is responsible for all events that transpire in the Gaza Strip and emanate from it,” the IDF said in a statement, adding that troops also opened fire in response to grenade and rock attacks and breaches of the border fence, on Friday (11th).
The IDF said some 13,000 Palestinians took part in Friday’s demonstration with a few protesters briefly crossing into Israel through breaches in the fence, then returning to Gaza.
Israel accuses Hamas of using the protests, which have been weekly events since March 2018, as cover for attacks against Israeli forces and communities and says it only uses force to defend its border.
Palestinians To Take Over Largest UN Bloc Tuesday
The Palestinian Authority is set to formally take the helm of the largest bloc of United Nation member states on Tuesday (15th), known as the Group of 77 (G77).
PA Leader Mahmoud Abbas will be in New York for Tuesday’s ceremony and is scheduled to meet with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the UN Security Council president and other world leaders.
In October, the General Assembly held a special vote to temporarily elevate the Palestinians’ status at the UN, so that it could take over the rotating chairmanship of the G77 for 2019.
The move provides the Palestinians with an emotional boost, as their efforts to attain UN membership remains stymied.
The Palestinians have the status of a non-member state at the UN, and would have been disqualified from the chairmanship without such a vote.
On Monday (14th), the G77 is set to hold closed door meetings, prior to Egypt’s relinquishing of its chairmanship of the group.
The US former ambassador to the UN in New York, Nikki Haley attacked the Palestinian chairmanship of the G77 stating that “the Palestinians are not a UN Member State or any state at all.
She added that the move encouraged “the illusion held by some Palestinian leaders that they can advance their goals without direct peace negotiations. In fact, the vote does nothing to help the Palestinian people.”
While at the UN, it is expected that Abbas will continue to advance the Palestinian agenda, including its push for membership-state status, a move that would need UN Security Council approval.
Accuracy Through Algorithms: IDF Launches ‘Smart’ Gun Sight
Israel Defense Forces Infantry troops are to get a revolutionary “smart” gun sight that will help sharpshooters find their target with greater accuracy, Ynet reported,
The new device, named Dagger, was developed to help IDF troops hit moving targets precisely. It allows soldiers to hit a target on the first shot, regardless of their shooting skills, and reduces the chances of shooting innocent civilians.
Considered one of the most advanced gun sights in the world, the Dagger has an electro-optic system and a processor that calculates the distance of a target and its movement, the movement of the shooter, and the ballistics of the ammunition as well as the rifle used. It them processes all the information in order to select the optimum moment to shoot.
The sights, which cost tens of millions of shekels, follow the target and, with the aid of an algorithm and advanced image processing system, can determine just the right moment to pull the trigger, according to Ynet. They were produced by the IDF’s Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure and the Smart Shooter company of Kibbutz Yagur, located near Haifa.
Smart Shooter says the company “was established to develop innovative technologies that help military and law enforcement professionals swiftly and accurately neutralize their targets. The engineers are committed to that mission, designing, testing, and manufacturing our combat-proven SMASH family of fire control systems to beat your opponents and keep your friendly forces safe.”
The Defense Ministry has ordered its first batch of 2,000 gun sights.
The Dagger was developed as part of an extensive test program with the IDF’s Golani, Givati and Paratrooper combat brigades.
One Israeli army leader said, “This is the first time that a fighter will be outfitted with a computer that works for him without him having to do much to operate it.”