January 24, 2019

Netanyahu: Israel’s Crushing Fist Will Reach Any Place

Israel’s “crushing fist” will strike all who seek Israel’s destruction, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday (22nd), during a visit to the Israel Aerospace Industries division that manufactures and develops the Arrow missile.

“Let our enemies who seek to destroy us know that Israel’s crushing fist will reach all those who seek our harm, and we will hold them accountable,” Netanyahu said.

The prime minister visited the site following the successful test of the Arrow 3 missile on Tuesday (22nd).  Netanyahu said that Israel has among the strongest and most-advanced defense and attack capabilities in the world.

His comments came a day after the head of Iran’s air force, Brig.-Gen. Aziz Nasirzadeh, said that Iran’s armed forces “are prepared for a war that will bring the crushing destruction of Israel.  We are ready for that day when we will see the end of Israel.”

During his visit to IAI, Netanyahu expressed appreciation to the US for its cooperation and assistance in the development of the Arrow missile.

“We will continue to successfully develop the most advanced weapon systems in the world to ensure the security of Israeli citizens and the security of the State of Israel,” he said.

(jpost.com; israelhayom.com)


Israeli Strategy In Response To Changes In The Syrian Arena – Lt.-Col. Ron Tira

Foiling the deployment of precision weapons by Iran and Hizbullah in Syria and Lebanon is a vital Israeli national interest that must be secured, even at the cost of assuming a higher level of risk than in previous years.  Israel’s critical infrastructures are vulnerable to precision weapons. 28% of the country’s electricity is produced at only two sites, while its six largest electricity production sites account for 51% of national capacity.

The picture is similar or even more severe for other critical systems, such as water desalination, gas infrastructure, and civil aviation.  Even if only a small number of precision missiles manage to penetrate Israeli defenses, the impact could cause enormous damage and change the strategic equation.

Each Israeli attack against Iran and Hizbullah in Syria must demonstrate Israel’s operational superiority.  Israeli strategy must seek to demonstrate to the relevant actors the potential for escalation and regional instability caused by the positioning of high quality Iranian weapons in Syria.  Direct military hostilities with Iran (such as the events of Feb.10 and May 10, 2018 and Jan. 21, 2019) in Israel’s backyard and 932 miles from Tehran are occurring in an area where Israel has a clear advantage.

Refraining from action is tantamount to consent to the buildup of a precision weapons capability by Iran and Hizbullah adjacent to Israel.

The writer, a former fighter pilot, is a reservist in the Israel Air Force’s Campaign Planning Department.



IDF Officer Hurt By Gaza Gunfire, Saved By His Helmet

An Israeli officer was lightly wounded on Tuesday (22nd) by sniper gunfire from the Gaza Strip.  In response an IDF tank shelled a Hamas military position near the security fence along the Gaza frontier, killing at least one and wounding two others, all Hamas members,  according to Palestinian medical sources.

The officer, a brigade commander for the Paratroopers, apparently had his life saved when his helmet stopped a bullet fired during the violent riots that erupted along the security fence on Tuesday afternoon (22nd).

According to the IDF, hundreds of Palestinians were hurling stones at Israeli troops and trying to breach the security fence.

Earlier, Gaza militants fired at an IDF patrol near the security fence, prompting the military to strike a Hamas observation post.

The escalation comes on the southern border after a period of relative quiet on the frontier.  Last Friday’s (18th) March of Return demonstrations were unusually quiet, without casualties on the Palestinian side.



Israel Blocks Palestinian Bid To Get Observer Status At UN Disarmament Panel

Israel on Monday (21st) thwarted the Palestinians’ attempt to obtain observer-state status at the United Nations Conference on Disarmament (CD).

At the first public plenary of the CD’s 2019 session, 33 states were granted observer status, “while the Palestinian bid was the only one rejected, denying yet another Palestinian attempt to politicize the work of professional international organizations,” the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem said in a statement Tuesday (22nd).

Israel is one of the Geneva-based organization’s 65 member states.

The Palestinian bid was supported by Iran, Turkey, North Korea and Venezuela, but Israeli diplomats in Jerusalem and missions across the world, “in close coordination with the US,” managed to block the move, according to the ministry.

“This is another Palestinian attempt to politicize professional UN bodies and international agencies,” the statement read.

Ramallah had also tried to attain observer-state status for CD’s 2019 session, but Israel and the US thwarted that effort as well.

Also on Monday (21st), an Israeli diplomat was elected vice-chair of the UN Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations, a standing committee of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

Nadav Yesod was elected by acclamation, without a vote, because it was Israel’s turn to represent the Western European and Others Group at the committee.

“It was a big defeat for Iran which tried but failed to get elected to this committee, and  rare to elect an Israeli to a senior position within the UN,” Geneva-based nonprofit UN Watch commented.  



Israeli Doctors Head To Tanzania To Treat Children With Cardiac Problems

Israeli-based international nonprofit organization ‘Save a Child’s Heart’ (SACH) is sending a delegation of Doctors to the Tanzanian port city of Dar es Salaam this week to perform life-saving medical procedures on local children.

Founded in 1995, doctors from the organization have performed surgery on almost 5,000 children with heart problems from more than 50 countries around the globe, primarily in developing countries.  The slogan on the organization’s website reads: “We mend hearts, regardless of religion, gender or nationality.”

SACH has brought children from places such as Syria, the Palestinian territories, Iraq, and Rwanda to Israel to be treated at their headquarters at the Edith Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, just south of Tel Aviv.  They have also trained doctors and nurses from many of these countries in pediatric cardiology.

This week, Israeli pediatric cardiologist Dr. Sagi Assa will perform cardiac catheterization procedures on 25 Tanzanian children born with heart defects.

In some cases, these defects may put the young patients in immediate danger, while in other cases, if not treated properly, they could end the young patients’ lives well before they reach their twenties.

All catheterizations are performed alongside a local team of doctors, who then have the opportunity to learn and experience advanced catheterization techniques.

“Our mission is not to do the work and leave, but to train local doctors to successfully perform these procedures so they could operate on thousands of children in need of treatment,” says Dr. Assa.

Joining Dr. Assa are a team of nurses and anesthesiologists from Wolfson Medical Center, two foreign senior cardiologists, and two German nurses who Dr. Assa met during his studies in Berlin.