March 22, 2018

IDF Intel Chief warns enemies not to test Israel during Passover

The outgoing head of Military Intelligence issued a stern warning to Israel’s enemies against launching attacks on Israel during the upcoming holiday season, amid increasing tension on the country’s northern and southern borders.

“We are now in a tense period,” said Maj. Gen. Herzl Halevi, “We recommend that anyone who’s thinking of challenging us specifically during this holiday season should seriously consider their actions and the capabilities at our disposal.”

The week-long Passover holiday, due to begin on March 30, followed by the back-to-back Memorial Day and Independence Day in mid-April, is a period that regularly sees increases in violence in the West Bank.



Israel confirms it destroyed Syrian nuclear reactor, warns its enemies

Israel on Wednesday (21st) formally acknowledged what everyone already knew – that its air force destroyed Syria’s nuclear reactor on September 6, 2007.

For over 10 years, Israeli officials have merely “winked” when asked about the operation.  Now that it’s official, the IDF is calling the covert bombing operation deep inside Syrian territory a warning shot for other enemies.

“The message of the attack on the reactor in 2007 is that Israel will not accept the construction of a capability that threatens the existence of the State of Israel.  That was the message in 81’, when Israel destroyed Iraq’s nuclear reactor. That was the message in 2007. And that is the message to our enemies for the future,” said IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot.



Netanyahu: Israel has a consistent policy – prevent enemies from obtaining nuclear weapons

Israel has a consistent policy of preventing its enemies from acquiring nuclear weapons, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday (21st), 12 hours after the military censor allowed the publication of details of Israel’s 2007 attack on a nuclear reactor in northeastern Syria.

“The Israeli government, IDF and Mossad prevented Syria from developing nuclear capabilities,” Netanyahu said in a statement.  “For this they are deserving of all praise.”



Danny Danon: ‘Syria nuclear reactor attack shows Israel will always defend itself

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said that Israel’s attack on the Syrian reactor in 2007 showed that it was determined to act against its enemies.  

“The international community should know that today, as then, Israel will do everything necessary to maintain its security and not stand idly by in the face of threats that endanger its citizens,” said Danon.



Former IDF Chief Gabi Ashkenazi on Syrian nuclear reactor: ‘I made it a top priority’

Former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, who headed the military during Israel’s destruction of Syria’s nuclear reactor in 2007, told the Israeli media on Wednesday (21st) that he viewed the operation as a top priority.

“I placed this as a first and top priority for the IDF.  It was obvious that we needed to kill this reactor without an escalation to war, but if there was a war, we had to be able to win it,” he said.  “I hoped that the citizens of Israel wouldn’t wake up at 3 a.m. to sirens.”



Arab leaders mum after Israel claims Syrian reactor strike

Hours after Israel admitted it had destroyed the Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007, officials in Syria and other Arab countries were staying mum Wednesday afternoon (21st).

Arab news outlets sufficed with laconic reports and quoted the statement issued by the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.

However, Israel’s decision to reveal its responsibility for the strike took many senior political pundits in the Arab world by complete surprise, particularly in light of Israel’s years-long policy of ambiguity on matters of intelligence and military operations.

“The Arab silence is understandable, because any statement on the matter will harm the interests of the Arab leaders,” a senior Egyptian official said.



U.S. Diplomat: Bombing of Syria’s reactor was “a blessing for humanity” – Tamar Ben Ozer

James Jeffrey, a former senior American diplomat, told Israel’s Army Radio on Wednesday (21st): “The Israeli authorities had been working with the U.S. government for months before the site was struck….Very early it was clear to us that this was a North Korean-enabled plutonium enrichment reactor that was clearly designed to advance a nuclear weapons program.”

Jeffrey believes the strike had a deterring effect on other countries’ nuclear plans: “Everybody in the region saw that if you are trying to get an illicit nuclear weapons program and you come very close – we’re talking about weeks, if not sooner, in the Syrian case – it is quite possible that you will be facing military actions.  I think this had a significant effect on Iran’s calculations….it was a blessing for the Middle East and for humanity that the reactor was destroyed.”



PA may consider declaring Gaza ‘rebel district,’ cutting enclave off

The Palestinian Authority may study the possibility of declaring the Gaza Strip a rogue area, solidifying the split between the West Bank and Gaza Strip.


A senior Fatah official told Israeli media on Tuesday (20th) that he could not rule out the possibility of declaring the Gaza Strip as a “rebel district” if the crisis between Hamas and Fatah is not resolved in the near future..



Scottish Muslim group withdraws from Anti Racism March because of Pro-Israel Group’s inclusion – Daniel Sugarman

The Muslim Council of Scotland withdrew from the Stand Up to Racism March in Glasgow on Monday (19th) because the Confederation of Friends of Israel, Scotland would be taking part.  

Sammy Stein, chairman of Glasgow Friends of Israel, wrote in the Sunday Times, “To those who seek to ban peaceful participants in peaceful demonstrations, I’d urge that for once you put your hatred aside and try to be tolerant of others you do not agree with.  Why don’t we join together and march in unison, standing up to racism together? Put your hatred to one side, let’s walk together in peace.”



Israel company discovers there’s no longevity gene

MyHeritage, an Israeli-owned company that deals in the construction of family trees and DNA testing, has discovered there is no such thing as a “longevity gene.”  The company has composed the world’s largest family tree with around 13 million members.

Prof. Yaniv Ehrlich explained: “We can learn a lot of things from data from the past….We discovered that genes have less of an influence on longevity than we thought.  It’s not a hereditary trait, as previously believed.” Genetics may determine on average about five years of our lives, but smoking, for example, takes off on average ten years…We can’t rely on our parents life expectancy.”

(Mako-hebrew – 3/7/18)