May 14, 2018

IDF Braces For Violence In Gaza, West Bank And Embassy Move

After a week of tension in Israel’s Golan Heights, Israel’s defense establishment is bracing for a week of violent confrontations along the border fence with the Gaza Strip and in the West Bank.

With the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem on Monday (14th) followed by Nakba Day – the day the Palestinians mourn the “catastrophe” of the creation of the Jewish state. – and the beginning of Ramadan on Tuesday (15th), the IDF is gearing up for several days of violence in its most explosive arenas.  The IDF is also expecting tens of thousands of protesters at some 20 sites along the border fence with Gaza on Friday (18th), including armed activists and children, to attempt to breach the border fence with Israel.

Thousands of soldiers from 11 battalions, including the Nahal and Givati brigades as well as from special forces and intelligence gathering units, the Armored Corps, snipers and drones, will reinforce the troops already deployed.  



Tens Of Thousands Paraded Through Old City Of Jerusalem During Annual Flag March

Some 45,000 people paraded through the Old City of Jerusalem under heavy police security on Sunday (13th) in an annual Flag March, this year marking the 51st anniversary of the reunification of the city during the 1967 Six Day War.

The march is also known as the Flag Dance, in which primarily religious teenagers march through the Old City  toward the Western Wall, decked in blue and white, the colors of the Israeli flag. 1,750 police force members were deployed to secure the special event.

There were no immediate reports of violence on Sunday (13th).



Netanyahu To Ambassadors: ‘Move Your Embassies To Jerusalem’

Speaking at a celebratory gala ahead of the US’ embassy move to Jerusalem on Sunday evening (13th), Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged the 32 foreign ambassadors in attendance to move their embassies to Jerusalem.

“It is the right thing to do,” said Netanyahu, “It advances peace.”

A total of 32 out of 86 foreign ambassadors in Israel attended the Gala.



Marines Said Sent To US Legations In Mideast Ahead Of Jerusalem Embassy Opening

The US has dispatched Marines to bolster security at US diplomatic facilities around the Middle East, Hadashot TV news reported Saturday (12th) citing a CNN report, two days ahead of the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem.

Demonstrations against the US move have been held in recent days in Tunisia, Jordan, and Indonesia.



PA Condemns Hungary, Romania And Czech Republic For Blocking EU statement On Jerusalem

JERUSALEM – The Palestinian Authority condemned Hungary, Romania and Czech Republic for blocking a statement by the European Union that condemns the move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem.

The PA’s Foreign Ministry said that the move goes against EU policy and International Law, the official WAFA news agency reported.

The ministry said that the PA holds the three countries responsible for blocking the resolution which will bring consequences to them from the Arab and Islamic world.



IDF Destroyed Hamas Tunnel In Northern Gaza – The 9th In A Year

The Israeli military said Saturday night (12th) that it destroyed a Hamas tunnel mere meters away from Israeli territory, hitting the underground structure with a number of air strikes.

This was the ninth Gaza tunnel destroyed by Israel since October.



Hamas: Our Goal Is To Destroy Israel

Senior Hamas officials explained Sunday (13th) that the purpose of the violent riots they call the “March of Return” is to “eliminate Israel and free all of Palestine.”



IDF Drone Knocks Out 40 Palestinian Terror Kites

The IDF has recently begun deploying small drones to combat Hamas’ use of fire kites, which carry fiery objects to commit arson terror attacks in Israel’s south.

Israel’s Walla news reported Saturday (12th) that the IDF deployed a small UAV during Friday’s (11th) riots which cut down some 40 kites which the Palestinian deployed.



Israel Closing Gaza Cargo Crossing After Weekly Protests

JERUSALEM – The Israeli military says it is shutting down its main cargo crossing into Gaza because of the damage caused to it by Palestinian protesters.

The military said Saturday (12th) that the Kerem Shalom crossing will be closed until “extensive damage” is repaired.  They said on Friday (11th) that a group of Palestinians, as part of their weekly protests, burned a fuel complex and conveyer belt on their side of the crossing, causing more than $9 million in damages and disrupting the import of diesel fuel and building materials. The attack rendered the main fuel and gas lines unusable.



Russia Will Not Send S-300 Anti-Aircraft System To Syria

Russian officials on Friday (11th) indicated that they have changed their minds and will not supply the Syrian government with the advanced S-300 surface-to-air missile system.

Vladimir Kozhin, an aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin who oversees military assistance to other countries, told the Russian Izvestia daily that the systems are currently not needed in Syria.

Kozhin’s comments immediately followed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Russia on Wednesday (9th).