News Digest — 2/14/19
Netanyahu Warns Iran: Our Missiles Can Travel Very Far
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Iran Tuesday (12th) that Israeli missiles can travel “very far,” on the eve of a conference in Poland about peace and security in the Middle East.
Speaking during a visit to a naval base in the northern port of Haifa, Netanyahu said: “The missiles you see behind me can go very far, against any enemy, including Iran’s proxies in our region”– an apparent reference to Lebanon’s powerful Hizbullah movement.
“We are constantly working according to our understanding and the need to prevent Iran and its proxies from entrenching on our northern border and in our region in general,” Netanyahu added.
“We are doing everything necessary,” said Netanyahu, as he inspected Israel’s Iron Dome aerial defense system.
The prime minister has repeatedly said Israel would not allow Iran and its ally Hizbullah to entrench themselves in neighboring Syria where they are backing the Damascus regime against rebels and jihadists.
Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes in Syria in the past few years against both Iranian and Hizbullah targets.
On Wednesday (13th). Netanyahu will take part in an international conference in Warsaw co-organized by the United States and Poland.
Syria Reports: 2 Iranian Officers Killed in Quneitra Strike
Two officers from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards were killed by tank fire attributed to Israel near the city of Quneitra in southern Syria Monday evening (11th), news outlets identified with Syrian rebel groups reported Tuesday (12th).
The reports claimed that two Iranian military personnel had been killed and another six wounded. The report said that the Revolutionary Guards had been preparing to fire at the Israeli Golan Heights.
On Monday night (11th), the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency reported that an Israeli drone had fired four missiles near a demolished hospital and an army observation post in Syria’s southern Quneitra province near the Israeli border.
An army source was quoted by SANA as saying that the “Israeli enemy” also hit several sites along border villages close to a 1974 demilitarized zone on the Golan Heights frontier, which with Russian support, the Syrian army regained control from rebels last year.
Asked about the Quneitra strikes, an IDF spokeswoman declined to comment.
Residents familiar with the area said that the sites targeted fall within the strategic area known as the “Triangle of death” connecting the southern Damascus countryside with Deraa and Quneitra provinces.
Israel has mounted attacks in Syria as part of its efforts to counter the influence carved out by Iran, which has supported Assad in the war that erupted in 2011.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said Israel would ramp up its fight against Iranian-aligned forces in Syria following the withdrawal of US troops from Syria.
Palestinian Rape, Murder Of Israeli Teen Condemned By UN, EU
The recent killing of Israeli teenager Ori Ansbacher in what officials have described as a Palestinian terrorist attack, drew increased international condemnation on Monday (11th).
Israeli security officials said 29-year-old Hebron resident Arafat Irfayia had confessed to the murder, which took place in a forest southwest of Jerusalem on Thursday (7th).
Ansbacher, a national service volunteer and daughter of a rabbi from the community of Tekoa in Judea, was found with multiple stab wounds to her chest.
Nickolay Mladenov – the United Nations special coordinator for the Middle East peace process – said in a tweet Monday (11th) that he was “appalled by the horrific murder of 19-year-old Ori Ansbacher, by a Palestinian perpetrator in Jerusalem.”
“My deepest condolences to Ori’s family,” he continued. “There is no justification for violence and terror. Such brutal acts must be condemned by all. #UN.”
Emanuele Giaufret, the European Union’s ambassador to Israel also tweeted his condolences to Ansbacher’s family on Monday (11th).
German Ambassador to Israel Susanne Wasum-Rainer likewise took to the social media network to say that she was “shocked and appalled” by the killing, while a fellow German official called for an end to Palestinian stipends to convicted terrorists and their families.
“A young Israeli woman was murdered in a brutal terror attack,” wrote Uwe Becker, mayor of the central Germany city of Frankfurt, on Facebook on Monday (11th). “Now imagine, that European tax money will indirectly go to the terrorist and his family, not to the family of the victim. This must end.”
Liberman: Want Jewish Children And Grandchildren? Move To Israel
Avigdor Liberman, chairman of the Yisrael Beytenu Party, said on Tuesday (12th) that Jews who “want their children and grandchildren to remain Jewish have only one choice – move to Israel as soon as possible.”
Liberman’s comments came Tuesday (12th), almost 48 hours after Jewish and non -Jewish leaders across Israel and the U.S. hastily responded to anti-Semitic comments by Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, who tweeted that she believes AIPAC is paying politicians to be pro-Israel.
“A wave of anti-Semitism is sweeping the world and gaining momentum,” Liberman said in a statement. “Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar in the US Congress expresses support for the BDS movement and writes anti-Semitic tweets.”
Liberman noted that Omar’s tweets are not isolated but are part of a rising wave of anti-Semitic incidents around the world, as well as an increasing rate of assimilation.
“Neo-Nazi demonstrations with hundreds of participants take place in Budapest, Hungary, and the police don’t lift a finger,” he said. “Anti-Semitic slurs are hurled at Jews on the London Underground and on the Frankfurt express train in Germany. In the heart of Paris, yellow paint was sprayed on a Jewish-owned restaurant and the word ‘Jude’ was written all over it.”
Specifically, he cited a 16% increase in anti-Semitic incidents in Britain and a 74% increase in France.
“Jews around the world, and in Europe in particular, must draw conclusions from these anti-Semitic incidents,” Liberman said.