News Digest — 12/1/22

Islamic Jihad Commander Killed In Firefight With IDF Near Jenin

A Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander and his assistant were killed in armed clashes between the IDF and Palestinians in Burqin, near Jenin, early Thursday morning (1st).

Armed clashes broke out when Israeli forces entered the city overnight to conduct arrests.  Three Palestinians suspected of involvement in terrorist activities were arrested during the raid and three M-16 firearms were confiscated according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) movement confirmed that the commander of their Jenin Brigade, Muhammad Ayman al Saadi, as well as Naeem Jamal Zubaidi, were killed in the clashes.

The IDF noted that Saadi was responsible for a series of shooting attacks against Israeli forces as well as arming terrorists, at the direction of the Islamic Jihad.  Zubaidi was also involved in shooting attacks against Israelis.

Palestinian factions in the city declared a strike and a “general mobilization’ after the clashes.  PIJ spokesman Tariq Ezz El Din warned that “…..this criminal occupier will pay the price for this heinous crime.”

Prime Minister Yair Lapid welcomed the operation by the IDF, calling it a “direct continuation of our uncompromising policy in the fight against terrorism.”

“The men that were killed, a field commander and a member of the Islamic Jihad, planned and carried out attacks on Israeli territory,” added Lapid.

“Precisely in these stormy days, when irresponsible parties are trying to drag the IDF into an extremist debate and incite soldiers against their commanders, I want to express my appreciation to the security forces.  This is the way to fight terrorism – this is the way to protect the citizens of Israel.”

The clashes come amid heightened tensions in the West Bank amid a series of terrorist attacks and deadly clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian terrorists.



UN Adopts Resolution Calling Israel’s Founding A ‘Catastrophe’

The United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday (11/30) passed a resolution to mark  the founding of the modern state of Israel in 1948 as a “catastrophe.”

Palestinians consider the establishment of Israel and its existence to this day as the “Nakba” (catastrophe in Arabic) and the world body decided to acknowledge the Palestinian version of events with the resolution, which was adopted by a vote of 90-30 with 47 abstentions.  The United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and most European Union countries, including Germany voted against the anti-Israel resolution.

Israel’s Abraham Accords ally, the United Arab Emirates was one of the co-sponsors of the resolution.

The resolution calls for a commemoration of the “Nakba” at the General Assembly Hall at UN headquarters in New York City next year – Palestinians and their supporters mark the event every year on May 15 which is the day after Israel’s Independence  was declared in 1948.  Israel in 2023 celebrates 75 years since the establishment of the state.

“What would you say if the international community celebrated the establishment of your country as a disaster? What a disgrace,” Israel’s UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan said after the vote.

The day before Wednesday’s (11/30) anti-Israel vote, Israel’s UN Mission launched its first-ever exhibition documenting Jewish expulsion from Arab countries and Iran.  Erdan said that the exhibition, which will be on display at UN headquarters in New York City for a week, “tells the story of the real Nakba – the catastrophe of the Jews who were expelled from Arab countries and Iran.” 



Israeli Security Forces Nab Suspects In Deadly Jerusalem Bombings

Israeli security forces said Wednesday (11/30) they apprehended a number of individuals, suspected of involvement in the deadly bombing attacks in Jerusalem last week.

Two Israelis, Aryeh Shchupak, 16, and Tadesa Tashuma, 50,  were killed when two explosive devices placed at bus stops in the capital were detonated from afar.  At least 25 others were wounded in the blasts.

The suspects, residents of east Jerusalem, were the first to be detained since the bombings shook the capital last Wednesday (11/23), while security forces conducted a manhunt after the perpetrators.

Searches relied on intelligence-gathering and were mired by concern that more attacks were imminent as the terrorists attempted to flee.

Surveillance camera footage was collected from dozens of areas in Jerusalem in an effort to detect the escape route of the bombers.

A war room was established by the Shin Bet, dedicated specifically to the manhunt, with an expectation that as intelligence was being gathered, the terrorists might make a mistake which would facilitate their capture.

Israel’s security forces believe the terrorists were not directly affiliated with any known organization, but were well familiar with the chosen locations.  They awaited large crowds to gather at the bus stops before detonating their bombs.

The devices were small in size and most injuries were caused by shrapnel, which included nails.



IDF And Navy Disclose New Long-Range Missile Test Launch

The IDF on Wednesday (11/30) released footage of a successful experimental test launch of an LRAD long-range interceptor missile from a Nazy missile cutter.

The new missile, fired from a Sa’ar 6-class corvette, can intercept aircraft, cruise missiles, and more, and is part of the Sa’ar 6 air defense system.  The experimental launch was carried out by the IDF Navy, the Israeli Aerospace Industries, and the Defense Ministry’s Research and Development Division (MAFAT).

According to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, the experiment is a “major milestone” in developing a long-ranged interception missile for the Sa’ar 6 air defense system, dubbed Barak MX.  The Sa’ar 6 is slated to become a “central pillar” in defending Israeli assets inside its territorial waters.

In the experiment, the missile system completed a simulation in which it locked and destroyed targets imitating advanced cruise missiles.  The system’s defensive array includes radar, weapon systems, and long-range missiles.

The LRAD is capable of handling several types of aerial threats, including aircraft, drones, cruise missiles, anti-ship missiles, and more.  “The system provides another layer of defense in the multilayered defense system which will bolster the offensive and defensive capabilities of the Sa’ar 6,” The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said.

“The system is an important part of the Navy’s capabilities in air defense, naval superiority, and approach against threats and incidents at sea and on land.  The new system is also expected to strengthen cooperation between the Navy and Air Force, adding new capabilities for both.

Brigadier General Ariel Shir, head of the navy’s Logistics Division, said that the “capabilities of the new system are an important step forward, and provide a considerable addition to the Navy’s capabilities in defending Israel’s waters against aerial threats.  These systems allow the watercraft to identify and intercept threats better and at longer distances.”

Israeli Aerospace Industries CEO Boaz Levi said that “The Barak MX air defense system, which proved its efficacy against several levels of threats once again, provides a solution for challenges on the battlefield present today, and in the future.”

He added: “The series of successful launches mark the final process of developing and calibrating the new system.  The advanced capabilities presented by these tests were developed by Israeli Aerospace Industries engineers, and prove the groundbreaking engineering achievements managed by the company and its employees.”



Iran Sentences Four Alleged Spies To Death For Cooperating With The ‘Zionist Regime’

Four people were sentenced to death on Wednesday (11/30) in Iran after being accused of cooperating with Israel’s Mossad spy agency, Iranian media reported.

According to the state-affiliated Mehr News Agency, the four even conducted kidnappings on behalf of the Mossad.

Iran periodically arrests Iranian nationals with charges of spying for Israel.

According to Mehr, the four were arrested by Revolutionary Guards as well as by the Ministry of Intelligence and “sentenced to death for the crime of cooperating with the intelligence services of the Zionist regime and for kidnapping.”

“With guidance from the Zionist intelligence service, this network of thugs was stealing and destroying private and public property, kidnapping people, and obtaining fake confessions,” the news agency added.

Three other alleged collaborators were handed down 5-10 year prison sentences for a range of crimes including acting against national security, cooperation in kidnapping, and possessing illegal weapons, the report said.

Iranian authorities have blamed the Mossad, together with the CIA and Saudi intelligence agencies, for orchestrating the nationwide protests now sweeping the country.

The spy agencies “planned extensively to launch a nationwide riot in Iran with the aim of commiting crimes against the great nation of Iran and its territorial integrity, as well as laying the groundwork for the intensification of external pressures,” a regime statement read last month.

“This sinister plan is a plan hatched… in the White House and the Zionist regime,”IRGC commander Hossein Salami said at the time.

Former Mossad chief Yossi Cohen in August acknowledged that under his tenure, Israel had carried out “countless operations” in the heart of Iran against its nuclear program.  

“Without going into too many details, I can tell you the Mossad had many successes in the fight against Iran’s nuclear program,” Cohen said.  “We operated around the world and on Iranian soil itself, in the very heartland of the ayatollahs.”

A month earlier, Iranian media claimed that it had thwarted an Israeli spy network that was in advanced stages of a plan to blow up a nuclear facility in the country.



Gaza Boy Becomes 3,000th To Get Life-Saving Heart Surgery In Israel

Five-year-old Amir Yichya Mabchuch recently became the 3,000th youngster from Gaza and the Palestinian Authority territories to get free lifesaving surgery through Save a Child’s Heart at Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, Israel.

Amir lives in Jabalia, north of Gaza City, with his parents and younger sister.  Their family doctor identified a heart defect resulting from a blockage in one of his coronary arteries when Amir was just two months old.

“Already at that age we understood that Amir would require an operation to fix the defect,” said his mother Maha.

The condition left Amir unable to perform simple actions.  Even taking a walk placed a life-threatening strain on his heart.

During one of Amir’s frequent checkups, his family was told about the Israeli NGO Save a Child’s Heart, which has provided free lifesaving heart operations to more than 6,000 children from 65 countries, including countries without diplomatic relations with Israel, since 1995.

“When the doctor told us there was a possibility for Israeli doctors to carry out the complicated operation Amir needed, we were so happy,” said his mother.

“Everyone here in Gaza talks about Israeli doctors, because they are the most professional in the world and can be trusted completely.  The doctor put us in contact with the organization, and that is how we started the process toward open-heart-surgery.”

Amir was accompanied to Israel by his father and grandmother.  His open-heart-surgery took place on November 20 by a team led by Dr. Hagi Dekel.

The treatment was a success, and the little boy is now recuperating at the New Save a Child’s Heart Children’s Hospital on the Wolfson campus.

“I know there is always tension between Gaza and Israel, but that doesn’t change my child’s story.  I trust the Israeli doctors and I know they saved my boy’s life,” said Maha Mabchuch.