News Digest—1/10/24

‘Iran Is Trying To Distract The World From Its Nuclear Program’ – Evangelical Leader

Speaking at The Jerusalem Post’s Israel Summit in Jerusalem, on Tuesday (9th), leading US Evangelical leader, Dr. Mike Evans said that the Hamas massacre on October 7 was a preemptive attack on the State of Israel by Iran, via Hamas, its proxy.  Evans stated that Iran authorized the attack to divert attention from its dream of developing nuclear weapons.

“Iran is trying to exhaust Israel and distract Israel.  They’re trying to exhaust the world and distract the world to keep their eyes off of Iran going atomic.  Iran will be an atomic nuclear state by November of this year, when the US presidential election takes place, and it wants a nuclear umbrella of Russian planes flying over Iranian airspace similar to what they do in Syria as a quid pro quo for its drones and missiles helping Russia’s war against Ukraine,” he said.

“If this happens, the Gulf states will begin a nuclear arms race and will be paving the way for Armageddon.  Nineteen terrorists attacked America on September 11, 2001,” said Evans.  “You can be certain that Iran has more than 190 Hezbollah sleeper cells waiting for the green light to come through the Mexican border to America.”

Evans said that two years before the Abraham Accords, at the 2018 Jerusalem Post Summit, he had said that he thought five or six Arab countries would be signing peace agreements with Israel.  “Prime Minister Netanyahu has built a bridge among these Muslim countries,” he stated, “and that alliance is not going to end because of the Gaza crisis you are in now.  But the Gaza war is only the welcome mat to a Persian Pandora’s box.”

Evans provided a comprehensive list of the numerous ways in which the Friends of Zion Heritage Center in Jerusalem is helping the State of Israel during the war.  The organization has hosted evacuated families from the south in its apartment complex, organized free events for evacuees and their families, provided vouchers valued at thousands of shekels to evacuated families, and held special events for them twice a week at the Friends of Zion Heritage Center.

Friends of Zion is also helping wounded soldiers with their needs, providing food and entertainment to Holocaust survivors, including renovating and repurposing a bomb shelter for them.

“And we are fighting a media war,” said Evans, “it’s a real war that we’ve got to win together.”

In that spirit, Evans and Friends of Zion reported the events of October 7 from the field and hosted journalists and influencers who expressed their support for Israel.  Friends of Zion is fighting a social network war with over 700 posts, many with over 4 million viewers, to win the hearts and minds of 40% of the globe that gets its misinformation on social networks.



IDF Gets New US-Made Tactical Vehicles, Names Them Be’eri

Some three months after dozens of IDF armored vehicles were hit in a Hamas attack on October 7, the Ministry of Defense is poised to get 60 new tactical utility vehicles from Flyer Defense to replace them.  The advanced mobility Flyer-72s will be symbolically named Be’eri, in memory of the kibbutz where dozens were brutally murdered and kidnapped in the horrors of that day.

The Flyer-72 wide version was defined as a replacement for the Humvee vehicles for US Special Forces as well as in other Western countries’ elite units, including in Singapore, the UAE and Italy.  These vehicles have already been phased into service there.  The new vehicles were purchased with increased American aid funds, which grew significantly after the attack on the Gaza communities.  Sources familiar with the details explained to Israel Hayom that the new vehicle that was developed has many tactical advantages in carrying out operational missions.  For example, it comes in several versions on the same chassis and mechanical and automatic systems that allow armies simplicity, functional and maintenance continuity, and also the ability to make modifications tailored to their operational needs using custom configurations.  According to the Flyer Defense website, the model integrates “a range of advanced systems to enhance Counter-unmanned Aerial Systems (CUAS), radar detection, fire support, and firepower capabilities.”

The new vehicle can come in an armored version for the transport of six fighters and a weapon system.  A lightweight version can transport up to 12 fighters, as well as in a variant for transporting casualties with nine fighters and three stretchers, and even in a pickup truck version for the purpose of bringing operational and logistical equipment.  The vehicle comes with a two-liter diesel engine and can be fueled using all diesel fuel tanks and even jet fuel.

In addition, it is a very comfortable vehicle to drive in an operational environment with advanced suspension.  Unlike all other vehicles, the driver in the Flyer-72 sits in the middle of the front section, which allows the placement of two gunners on each side to improve the lethality of the vehicle on the battlefield.

Meeting the requirements of the operational user comes, among other things, through a unique feature that allows the seats of the fighters to be adapted to travel with an armored vest by quickly pulling out part of the back cushion that allows sitting comfortably without neck and back pain for a long time.

The tactical vehicle has very high all-terrain capabilities, and unlike other military vehicles, it can easily and quickly enter IAF aircraft so they can easily land it anywhere they want.  It is also a very reliable and economical vehicle in terms of fuel consumption and spare parts wear and tear.  Looking at the modern battlefield and the development of the electric car market in the civilian automotive world, the Flyer-72 also has a fully electronic version.



October 7th Hamas Mastermind Is Using Hostages As Human Shields

The IDF knows the location of Yahya Sinwar, Hamas chief and mastermind of the October 7th massacre but is unable to strike because he is using some of the remaining hostages as human shields, according to several military sources.

Former IDF general and head of IDF Military Intelligence Directorate Amos Yadlin told Kan radio that the “butcher of Khan Yunis” is “surrounded by hostages in the tunnel network in Gaza.”

Although Yadlin didn’t provide details, the statement has been supported by multiple Israeli military sources.

Jonathan Schanzer, vice president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington, DC posted on X that he had been hearing similar reports “from informed people for weeks.”

Schanzer told The Times of Israel, “The reports coming out of Israel over the last two days echo what I have heard for a few weeks, namely, the Israelis have a good idea  where Yahya Sinwar  is hiding.”

He added, “My assumption, although not confirmed, is that he is in the tunnels under Khan Yunis.”

Schanzer continued, “What I heard specifically is that he had surrounded himself with Israeli hostages.  He is using them as human shields.”

Yahya Sinwar, along with his brother Mohammed Sinwar and Mohammed Deif planned the October 7th massacre that led to a campaign of rape, mutilation, torture, murder, and kidnapping in Israel’s southern communities that left 1,200 dead and 240 taken hostage.

Sinwar is 61 years old and has led Hamas since 2017 after he was released from prison as part of a prisoner exchange to free Israeli captive soldier Gilad Shalit.

Sinwar learned fluent Hebrew and spoke to Israeli hostages in the initial days after October 7th.

Sinwar reportedly said, “Hello, I am Yahya Sinwar.  You are the most protected here.  Nothing will happen to you.”

Released hostage Yocheved Lifshitz told Davar newspaper, “Sinwar was with us three to four days after we arrived.  I asked him how he is not ashamed to do such a thing to people who have supported peace all these years,”

“He didn’t answer,” she added.  “He was silent.”



Israeli Ambassador Erdan Marks Kfir Bibas’ Birthday At UN

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan marked the first birthday of Kfir Bibas, the youngest hostage kidnapped by Hamas terrorists during the October 7 massacre, during a UN General Assembly discussion on the Israeli-Hamas war on Tuesday (9th).

Kfir was just nine months old when he was kidnapped, together with his  parents Shiri and Yarden, and his four year old brother Ariel.  The entire Bibas family has been held hostage for over three months.

Ambassador Erdan told the General Assembly delegates: “Many of you here are parents, or grandparents.  Every milestone in your children’s lives is a celebration.  Their first step, their first word, their first smile and laugh.  Babies are a source of light and hope – a symbol of life.”

He added that Kfir “has become a symbol of the most despicable cruelty that humanity has known, the cruelty of Hamas.”

“A quarter of Kfir’s life has been spent in captivity.  He was kidnapped before he even learned to say the word ‘mother.’  Does he get the food and vitamins he needs to grow and develop?  Does he crawl?  How can a baby be a target for fighting?  What kind of monsters are able to deliberately take a baby captive and treat him as an enemy?  Instead of receiving love and warmth, Kfir is surrounded by pure evil.”

“If you ignore the suffering of our children, the suffering of little baby Kfir, I will stand here today and mark Kfir’s first birthday,” Erdan told the General Assembly.  “I will remind you of your moral obligation to fight for Kfir and his rights to celebrate his birthday.”

He held up a birthday cake with a picture of little Kfir and said, “Kfir, this birthday cake is for you.  You are the reason Israel is fighting day and night.  My only wish for you, for your first birthday, is that next year, God willing, you will celebrate your birthday surrounded by the love of your family, and that we will live in a world where the suffering of Israeli babies is important to the UN.”

Erdan asked that Kfir’s cake “remain here as a painful reminder so that every speaker today remembers Kfir and our duty to bring him home.”  



Former Israeli Defense Official: Israel Must Decrease Reliance On China – Yaakov Lappin

Dr. Harel Manshari, one of the co-founders of the Israel Security Agency’s cyber array, said recent steps by China signal that its interests lie in maintaining its strategic partnership with Iran – a major oil supplier to Beijing – at the expense of Israeli interests.  Last week, Manshari wrote to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, warning that Israel must ensure that China is not in a position to paralyze its infrastructure.

He said, “China is a strategic partner of Iran…. Israel must continue to trade with China and maintain the best possible ties with it, but must understand that they have their own interests.  As a sovereign state, we can’t accept the risk” of doing otherwise.  “While China has never been a friend of Israel, it does have an interest in trade with the Jewish state,” he said.

“Everytime there is an international incident, China has voted against Israel in every United Nations and Security Council forum.  Even during the peak of the Abraham Accords, China inserted anti-Israel decisions into the United Nations.”  Since the outbreak of the current war, “We see, clearly, more extreme conduct against Israel by China,” including extreme anti-Israel rhetoric appearing on Chinese social media.



Restoring The Zionist Wall – Maj.Gen. (res,) Gershon Hacohen

• A hundred years ago, in the article “The Iron Wall.” Ze’ev Jabotinsky laid the cornerstone for the foundations of Israel’s security perception.  In 1923 he identified the motivations behind Arab resistance to the Zionist enterprise in the Land of Israel and proposed a strategic approach to achieving Zionist goals.

• First: Arab resistance and struggle against Zionism express a religious-nationalist struggle with enduring motivational roots.  The idea that a positive, lasting solution to the conflict can be arrived at through suitable compensation and willing compromise has been repeatedly revealed  as overly optimistic.

• Second: The Arab struggle and adoption of terrorist methods and violence do not stem from economic hardship, poverty, and despair.  Instead, it arises from the Arab hope that Zionist dominance can be consistently challenged and weakened until its ultimate demise.  It is not despair that generates Arab terrorism but hope.

• Third: In recognizing these two statements as true, the concept of the “Iron Wall” negates the Arab hope of achieving gains through incessant resistance to the Zionist Israeli presence.  Jabotinsky wrote: “As long as the Arabs have even a glimmer of hope of getting rid of us, they will not give up on this hope.”

• The goal of the current war should be to restore the Zionist Iron Wall and establish it with renewed strength for the next hundred years.

The writer, a senior research fellow at the BESA Center, served in the IDF for 42 years commanding troops in battles with Egypt and Syria.