News Digest — 3/15/19

IDF Exposes Secret Hezbollah Terror Cell On Israel Syria Border

According to IDF intelligence, Hezbollah is marshaling a terror cell just across the Israeli border in a Druze village in Syria called Khader.  Statements issued by the IDF maintain that the Hezbollah operatives set up the cell and its infrastructure behind the back of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

In a video posted to Twitter, Israeli officer Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said that the cell is “masterminded by Hizbullah” but staffed by Syrians, using “local civilian infrastructure as observation points, collecting intelligence against Israeli targets.”

“The main guy behind [the terror cell] is a known terrorist named Ali Musa Daqduq,” he said.

The officer explained that Daqduq was “responsible for the abduction and execution of five American servicemen” in 2007 in Iraq, where he was imprisoned but was later released in a prisoner swap and returned to Lebanon and Syria.

Daqduq is a wanted man in the United States for these attacks and was described by the U.S. Treasury Department as “commander of a Hezbollah special forces unit and chief of a protective detail for Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah.

Lt. Col. Conricus also addressed the terror group and its leaders directly, warning, “We’re not going to allow Hezbollah to establish a terror infrastructure in the Golan capable of striking Israeli civilians.”

He also declared that Israel holds the Syrian regime responsible for any hostilities emanating from its territory, demanding that the Assad regime adhere to the 1974 agreement that officially ended the Yom Kippur War and was supposed to shut down the Syrian front.



IDF Arrests 29 Terror Suspects In Massive Security Sweep

The IDF, Israel’s Border Police and the nation’s intelligence agency, the Shin Bet, mounted a successful security sweep on Tuesday night (12th), capturing 29 wanted terrorists in various locations in Judea and Samaria.

The sweep was launched in response to a number of security offenses, including violent rioting, terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians, and other incidents involving security personnel.

After apprehension, the individuals were detained for interrogation related to suspected offenses.

The Israeli security forces also discovered a stash of illegal weapons in Hebron, which included firearms and ammunition.

During the past year, Palestinian terrorists, including Hamas operatives, have carried out deadly drive-by shootings using illegal weapons.

These attacks include a shooting in December in which Palestinian terrorists fired on four Israelis at a bus stop near Givat Assaf, north of Jerusalem.  Two Israelis died from that attack and a pregnant mother underwent an emergency c-section to save her unborn child’s life. The baby survived but died three days later.

In addition to taking suspects into custody and confiscating weapons, tens of thousands of Israeli shekels were also seized in a village called Surif during the terrorism sweep.



Al-Qaida Commander Warns Arab States Over Ties With Israel,West

Al-Qaida, in the Arabian Peninsula’s senior commander Khaled Batarfi has accused Arab states of rushing to normalize relations with Israel, according to a report by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

In a video published on the Telegram channel of the terrorist group’s media arm Monday (11th), Batarfi called on Muslims to confront their governments militarily and intellectually.

Batarfi accused the governments of Arab and Persian Gulf States of acting to please Jews and Christians, saying they have “diligently tried to promote so-called ‘deals of the century.’

He said Egypt’s transfer of Tiran and Sanafir Islands to Saudi Arabia and the kingdom’s multibillion-dollar Neom City project had been planned “to boost the deal and finalize the sale of Palestine to the Jews and the displacement of the Muslims to the Sinai Peninsula.”

Batarfi condemned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Oman and U.S. President Donald Trump’s praise of Saudi Arabia and his acknowledgement of its importance in the region.

Addressing Muslims, Batarfi accused the Saudi crown prince and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed of secularizing their societies in order “to facilitate normalization and promote coexistence with the West and Israel…and to please their Crusader master Trump to keep them on their thrones.

Batarfi urged Muslims not to remain silent on these major crimes by their government heads and prepare to act to remove these governments from power.

“Remember,” said Batarfi, “We have men and women languishing in prisons, whose crimes were refusing to remain silent against their governments’ promotion of coexistence with the West and Israel.”

“And, in the future, we will be asked if we have left them down,” Bartarfi added.



Record $158.3 Billion In Worldwide Debts Owed To Israel

Israel is owed a record $158.3 billion in debts from countries around the world, according to figures published by the Bank of Israel and Central Bureau of Statistics on Monday (11h).

The amount will be added to the BOI’s foreign currency reserves, which as of early 2019 stood at $115 billion, such that the bank’s “financial depth” will now stand at over $273 billion.

The sum provides a security blanket of sorts to help the country contend with potential local and global financial scenarios

Foreign investment in Israel was also on the rise, the report said.  In 2018, according to the figures published by the BOI and CBS, foreign investment in Israel was $20.5 billion.  In 2017 the figure stood at $17.1 billion, while in 2016 foreign investments stood at $17.8 billion.

Between 2016 and 2018, the Israeli economy was injected with no less than $55.4 billion in foreign investments.

Israelis, for their part, also enjoy investing their money abroad, investing a total of $19.5 billion in other countries in 2018.

That figure, however, was far lower than previous years.  Israelis invested $26.9 billion abroad in 2017 and $27.4 billion in 2016.



Anti-Israel Graffiti Spray Painted On Buenos Aires Subway Station Dedicated To Jewish Center Bombing

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Anti-Israeli graffiti was spray painted on a Buenos Aires subway station located in a heavily Jewish neighborhood.

The subway station that was vandalized on Monday (11th) is located about 200 yards from the AMIA Jewish Community Center, where terrorists in 1994 set off explosives that killed 85 people and injured hundreds.  The station “Pasteur” was renamed four years ago to “Pasteur-AMIA” and features a tribute to the AMIA bombing victims.

The phrase “Israel genocide” was spray painted in two places in the station, including on one of the walls commemorating the attack which showcases a remembrance mural.  The station’s display included drawings, paintings and photos by 25 artists and a clock that is set permanently to the exact moment of the explosion: 9:53 a.m. on July 18, 1994.

The Argentinean Zionist organization in a statement called on the Buenos Aires city government to clean and restore the display and to “apply the law on those responsible once identified.”

Argentina has had an anti-discrimination law on the books since 1988.

The graffiti appeared two weeks after 9 gravestones were vandalized at a Jewish cemetery in the northwest of the country.