News Digest — 10/21/22

Lapid Honors Guards Who Shot And Killed Terrorist In Maale Adumim

Prime Minister Yair Lapid on Thursday (20th) met with Nadav and  Sergei, the two security guards who neutralized the terrorist from Wednesday’s (19th) attack in Maale Adumim.

During the meeting the two guards recounted the Wednesday night (19th) attack, and elimination of the terrorist, Udai Tamimi.

“You neutralized someone who had already committed murder,” Lapid said during the meeting.

“People who murder continue to do so until somebody stops them.  You saved lives.  That is the definition of courage, doing something that saves lives.  You have the gratitude of the whole country.” 

“I spoke with our security personnel and they were all impressed by your conduct.  Those who were in Shuafat and saw their friends fall are also full of appreciation and gratitude for you two.”

Prime Minister Lapid awarded Nadav and Sergei with certificates of appreciation on behalf of the State of Israel for their determined action.



No Mention Of Hamas: Israel Slams ‘Biased’ UN Report On May 2021 Fighting

Thursday (20th), Israel blasted a report by the United Nations’ ongoing Commission of Inquiry into last year’s 11-day fighting with Hamas that alleged IDF rights abuses.

The 28-page document, which is the second one published by the probe, mentions Israel 277 times but fails to mention Hamas.  Israel slammed it as biased and dismissive of the terror group’s wrongdoings, as during the conflict, Hamas launched over 4,000 rockets into Israel, sending tens of thousands of Israelis to shelters. 

The report also calls on the Security Council to end Israel’s supposed occupation of the West Bank and on UN member states to prosecute Israeli officials.

Arsen Ostrovsky, CEO of International Legal Forum, harshly criticized the report, which will be presented to the General Assembly next week, saying it constitutes “an unprecedented attack in the United Nations against the Jewish state.  Never in the history of the incessant attacks against Israel in the UN has there been a report so biased, completely one-sided, and without any factual or legal basis.”

He added, “the fact that Hamas is not mentioned even once in the 28 pages of the report, compared to the 277 mentions of Israel, is actually a green light for terrorism.”

Officials also pointed out that the commission of inquiry is headed by Navi Pillay, who has a history of anti-Israel rhetoric, and that another member, Miloon Kothari, had to apologize for anti-Semitic remarks a few months ago after using the term “Jewish lobby” in an interview and questioning whether Israel should be a member of the UN.

The office of Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan assured he would respond sharply to the biased report when it is presented at the General Assembly.

Calling the report “hypocritical,” Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar said it would not undermine Israel’s right to defend itself.



Iran Blasts Warming Saudi Relations With Israel

A top Iranian general warned Saudi Arabia Thursday (20th) against ‘relying’ on Israel, claiming that the Jewish state “is collapsing” and will lead to disaster for the Saudi royal family.

Major General Hossein Salami, Commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, was quoted by the country’s semi-official Tasnim outlet as warning the Al-Saud dynasty of Saudi Arabia against developing Riyadh’s relationship with Jerusalem.

“This is our warning.  Your house is that of a spider.  You are relying on an Israel which is collapsing, and this will be the end of your era,” Salami said during an address at the Qom Islamic Seminary Thursday (20th).

Salami also demanded that the US and UK end their sanctions against Tehran, and threatened reprisals for any possible attack.

“Whatever move you make against the Iranian nation, you will receive blows several times harder.”

The general condemned the ongoing protests, launched in the wake of the death of a woman, Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by modesty police last month, blaming the demonstrations on Iran’s foes overseas.

His comments echoed claims by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, earlier this month that the on-going demonstrations are part of an “enemy plot.”



Israel Unveils New S-80 Corvette Missile Ship To Withstand Future Threats

Israel Shipyards unveiled its new generation SAAR S-80 Corvette, classed with increased weapon suite capacity and a longer range, designed to withstand future threats.

Based on the S-72 platform, the S-80 Corvette features greater versatility and a higher payload capacity with increased weapon suite capacity and a wider spread of Electronic Warfare (EW) systems as part of the platform’s offensive advantages.

The vessel is 262.4 feet in length and is powered by four diesel engines for a top speed of more than 28 knots.  The S-80 will be equipped with a state-of-the-art control system, a health management system and advanced surface-to-air capabilities, as well as various combat systems according to the requirements of the customer.

By minimizing radar cross section (RCS), the S-80 allocates larger deck space for additional weapons systems.

According to the company, the vessel “can be adjusted to accommodate Corvette or as an OPV [offshore patrol vessel] version, depending on the operational requirements.

The S-80 allows for a longer range of 3,500 nautical miles and endurance for extended periods with reduced detection risks, making it ideal for diverse applications and missions.  The vessel can also support the possibility of deploying Special Forces units.

Israel Shipyards intends to make the new S-80 its flagship vessel for the next decade serving the needs of the Israeli and foreign navies.

“The ship is designed for stealth, agility and ruling the seas with cutting-edge capabilities required in future combat scenarios,” according to CEO Eitan Zucker.  “The S-80 ship will enable navies to effectively protect their country’s sovereignty, maintain their economic waters, and win naval battles in times of war.  It has the endurance to operate in the open sea and also to control the littoral (near shore zone) – all this with an optimal cost-benefit ratio.”

Israel’s Navy  is made up of routine patrol units, submarines (Shayetet 13) and missile boats (Shayetet 3).  It recently received four new Sa’ar 6 missile ships, giving it a total of 15.  

Though the navy is relatively small compared to other IDF corps, it has to protect Israel’s strategic depth under or over the surface of some 44,000 sq. km. of sea, almost double the size of the country.

It also has to guard strategic infrastructure such as the natural gas rigs, protect the commercial shipping lanes which bring in 98% of Israel’s imports; and take part in missions far from the country’s borders.

Due to the country’s high dependency on the sea, the navy has begun to upgrade its entire combat fleet with the Sa’ar 6 Corvettes and new Dolphin-class submarines.  The existing Sa’ar 5 and Sa’ar 4.5 ships have also been upgraded with the integration of new radars and electronic warfare systems.



Former Prime Minister Netanyahu: “Iran Cheats, You Can Sign 100 Agreements With Them, It Doesn’t Mean Anything” – Judy Woodruff

Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an interview on Wednesday (19th): “Do you want Iran to have nuclear weapons and threaten the entire world, chanting ‘death to America’ and ‘America the great Satan?’  Not a good idea.  The [proposed Iran] deal doesn’t stop it.”  

“I sent the Mossad to the heart of Tehran to pilfer the secret atomic archives of Iran….And when we looked at them, we could see that they were cheating.  They had, as early as 2003, a secret plan to build…five atomic bombs, Hiroshima style bombs….Iran cheats.  And, look, there is no way to stop them.  You can sign 100 agreements with them….it doesn’t mean anything.”

“Iran is…a radical Islamic regime that is fundamentally opposed to our free way of life, our free societies….that’s only going to be stopped not by any agreement.  It’s going to be stopped by the combination of crippling economic sanctions and a credible military option.”

The agreements…merely pave Iran’s path to the bomb with gold, with hundreds of billions of dollars that they use both to accelerate their nuclear program and also to foment terrorism and aggression throughout the Middle East and the world.  You want to stop Iran?  Stop it now.  Stop it before they have nuclear weapons, because once they do, you’re not going to be able to.”



Israel, The Nation That Made The Desert Bloom, Now Aims To Grow Plants On The Moon

Israeli scientists are planning to try growing a range of seeds into plants on the moon, in the most ambitious attempt yet at extraplanetary agriculture.

The project is the next frontier for a research institute located in the Negev Desert in Israel’s south, a region famously inhospitable to agriculture but which has nevertheless been made to bloom in populated areas.

The Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert Research at Beersheba’s Ben Gurion University investigates how to grow food in such arid regions on earth – and is now making its first foray into space.

Astronauts on the International Space Station grow plants, but agriculture elsewhere in space has so far been limited to a Chinese cotton seed that sprouted on the moon in 2019.

Ben Gurion researchers are working with universities in Australia and South Africa to prepare a tiny 2-kilogram greenhouse with a range of seeds and plants that will head to the moon in 2025.  It will travel aboard Beresheet 2, the second attempt at an unmanned moon landing by the Israeli SpacelL nonprofit.

The first Beresheet spacecraft crashed into the moon’s surface in April 2019 during its attempt to land on Earth’s satellite, dashing the hopes of hundreds of engineers who had worked on the project for years.

The mini-greenhouse that is being prepared for Beresheet 2 will be sealed, retaining the Earth’s atmosphere, but will be subject to the moon’s  microgravity, which does not exist on the International Space Station.

Professor Simon Barak of the Blaustein Institute is preparing a chamber, along with colleagues Prof. Aaron Fait and Dr. Tarin Paz-Kagan and international collaborators, that will automatically water, heat and photograph the seeds and plants, and contain enough atmospheric gas for the duration of the experiment.

Barak said that the project will have a strong citizen science component, with people across Israel and outside it, including high school students, urged to grow the same seeds and plants as those dispatched to the moon. These will constitute control experiments, for comparison with those on the moon.

Barak thinks the experiment could potentially be important in the discussion about humanity expanding beyond Earth.