March 9, 2018

Netanyahu:Palestinians want their state to replace Israel – Herb Keinon

In an interview in Washington on Wednesday (7th), Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed the Palestinian issue.  “I want a solution when they have all the powers they need to govern themselves, but none of the powers that would threaten us,” and that the overriding security responsibility west of the Jordan River must remain in Israel’s hands.

He said that most Israelis would agree to two states “if they thought that the Palestinians wanted a state next to Israel.  But they’re convinced more and more that they want a state instead of Israel. And that’s not a real peace. People would go for a real peace, not a fake one.”



Israel notes advances in anti-tunnel technology – Missy Ryan

Advances in anti-tunnel technology have provided the Israeli military with new means of heading off attacks from Palestinian militants based in Gaza, an Israeli military official who heads the underground-warfare section of the IDF’s technological unit said Tuesday (6th).  He noted that the new technology had resulted in the elimination of at least three tunnels since October. “We know what we’re doing now….We have a good plan,” he said.

The official suggested that the technology was based on techniques used by the oil and gas industries, which sometimes employ seismic or sound waves to prospect for minerals or fossil fuels.  Detection technology is needed to distinguish between concrete or open space associated with tunnels, and naturally occurring clay or sand. Looking for tunnels is basically a task of finding “the right anomaly,” he said.

He also described advances in technologies used to destroy tunnels once they have been detected.  The IDF is now able to detonate tunnels in certain instances with minimal damage to surface structures.



Netanyahu calls Nikki Haley a “tsunami of fresh air’ at UN

WASHINGTON – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the U.S Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, that she was like a “tsunami of fresh air” at the UN.

“I wanted to tell you how much we appreciate the defense of Israel and the truth that the president and you bring into these cloistered halls that are so damp, you know, with anti-Israel venom,” Netanyahu said Thursday (8th) in his meeting with Haley at the United Nations in New York.  “It’s not a breath of fresh air, it’s like a tsunami of fresh air.”



Czech President wants country’s embassy move to Jerusalem expedited

Milos Zeman, recently elected to his second five-year term as president of the Czech republic, would like to speed up the process of moving his country’s embassy to Jerusalem, the Lidove Noviny newspaper reported on Thursday (8th).

Daniel Meron, Israel’s ambassador to Prague, said that according to the Czech newspaper, Zeman would like his country to join U.S. President Donald Trump’s initiative in that regard.



Report: Hizbullah has chemical weapons – Gideon Kouts

Iran is building short-to medium-range missiles in Syria with chemical warheads, and chemical weapons are already in Hizbullah’s possession, former Syrian General Zuhair al-Saqit, who heads the center for the Detection and Monitoring of the Use of Chemical Weapons in Belgium, told Maariv.  He said Iran continues to be a major supplier of chemical weapons to the Assad regime and continues to develop chemical weapons in Syrian territory.  A large part of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles hidden from international inspection bodies were transferred to Hizbullah, he added.



Khamenei to Europe: This is our region.  Why are you here?

LONDON – Iran will not negotiate with the West over its presence in the Middle East, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said, days after the visiting French foreign minister sought to discuss Tehran’s role in regional conflicts.

Jean-Yves Le Drian traveled to Tehran on Monday (5th) with a brief to reaffirm Europe’s support for a nuclear deal that opened Iran’s economy while echoing US concern about the Tehran missile program and its influence in the region.

“European countries come to Tehran and say we want to negotiate with Iran over its presence in the region.  It’s none of your business. It is our region. Why are you here?” Khamenei was quoted as saying by his official website.

Khamenei said he would only negotiate on that issue with other states in the region.



Palestinian minister slams Arab League for failure to confront US

Following a meeting of foreign ministers of the Arab League in Cairo, Palestinian Authority (PA) Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki blamed the intergovernmental organization on Thursday (8th) for encouraging the United States “to continue with its unfortunate approach” regarding Jerusalem, reported Wafa, the official PA news site.

While the stated purpose of the Arab League is to strengthen ties among member states, coordinate their policies, and promote their common interests, Maliki claimed that the organization failed to live up to these goals.

“Our failures as Arab states is what led to America’s baseless decision regarding the declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and starting the process of moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem,” said Maliki.



Report: Saudi Crown Prince meets senior Israeli officials in Egypt

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with senior Israeli officials during his visit to Egypt this week to discuss the normalization of ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported on Wednesday (7th).  Included in the discussions was Israel’s participation in a new mega-city and economic zone to be built in Saudi territory on the eastern shore of the Red Sea near the border with Jordan.



PA succession battle heats up – Pinhas Inbari

The leaders of the Fatah military wing, the Tanzim, are arming themselves and mustering their forces within their individual areas in the battle to succeed Mahmoud Abbas.  Jibril Rajoub is mobilizing the Hebron region, Mahmoud al-Aloul, Abbas’ official deputy, is organizing the Nablus region, and the Tanzim in Jenin have lost interest in the leadership in Ramallah and are effectively creating their own autonomy.  The candidacy of senior security official Majid Faraj, who is responsible for security cooperation with Israel has aroused international support, but internally he is seen as a collaborator with the Jewish state.



Israel called strategic partner of Azerbaijan

Israel is a strategic partner of Azerbaijan and both cooperate in military-technical matters, in the latest technologies, and in healthcare, Ali Hasanov, the Azerbaijani President’s Assistant for Public and Political Affairs, told the Israel-Azerbaijan International Association.

“Israeli specialists have been working in Azerbaijan for several years in various fields of our economy, and in particular, in agriculture…where they introduced the latest technologies and equipment.  Our countries are also united by our people. There is a big community of Azerbaijanis in Israel, who have already integrated into Israeli society and represent our republic with dignity,” Hasanov said. He also noted that in recent years, Azerbaijan has been engaged in building a “bridge” between Israel and the Muslim world.