News Digest — 6/13/22

IDF Holding Ground Maneuvers Near Gaza Border

The Israeli military announced ground maneuvers near the Israel-Gaza border, saying the drill would take place on Monday (13th) and Tuesday (14th).

The IDF said that explosions would be heard in communities in the area, stressing however that the movement of civilians should not be affected by the drill.

In recent weeks, the military has conducted a series of military exercises involving combat planes over the Mediterranean and warships in the Red Sea, in order to prepare for different “scenarios” facing Iran.

The exercise, part of a wider readiness effort simulating scenarios in which a conflict with the Palestinians evolves to include hostilities on the northern border with Lebanon and Syria and even beyond, was scheduled to take place in May 2021 but was postponed due to Operation Guardian of the Walls.

A military official told Israeli media on Sunday (12th) the drill seeks to prepare for combat “near and far.”

Part of the month-long wargames held by the IDF in May saw dozens of warplanes stage maneuvers over the Mediterranean Sea to simulate long-distance, refueling, and resupply flights, as well as strikes against what the military called “remote target.”

According to the Israeli press, the exercise simulated a large-scale attack against Iran, in particular against nuclear sites.

The military confirmed that it is “continuously preparing and training for multiple scenarios including threats from Iran.”

Part of the exercise took place off Cyprus, as well as in residential areas on the eastern Mediterranean island.

Also within the framework of these maneuvers, the Israeli army conducted an exercise with two warships and a submarine in the Red Sea to “achieve maritime superiority” and “maintain freedom of action in the region.”

The Israeli military’s strategic plan for 2022 identifies Iran as the top threat, not only because of its nuclear program but also its developing armed drone and missile capabilities.



Arabs Break Into Home In Lod, Vandalize It With Swastikas And PLO Flag

Arabs broke into an apartment in the Ramat Eshkol neighborhood of Lod, blocked the corridors in the apartment using a refrigerator. And engraved swastikas, a PLO flag and “Lod is Arab” on the wall.

The apartment in question was inhabited by Jews, and was torched by Arabs last year during the riots in the mixed city.  The apartment has not been restored since Operation Guardian of the Walls, and it has become a kind of museum that tells the story of the Jews in Lod during the riots.

In recent days, the Arabs entered the ruined apartment, broke the few objects that were left inside, and as noted, engraved swastikas and derogatory inscriptions in both Arabic and Hebrew.

Last week, eleventh-grade students from a yeshiva high school in Mitzpe Ramon, who were visiting the city of Lod, came under attack by local Arabs there.

The students defended themselves as best they could and then fled into a nearby synagogue after one was attacked with pepper spray.  Police were summoned and helped the group leave the city, but failed to arrest any of the attackers.

Attorney Adi Keidar of the Honenu legal aid organization lambasted the police, saying, “It seems the police have elected to continue their defense of violent minorities and persecution of victims.  They are actively harming public safety and security.”



Israel Police Volunteer Killed In Ramming Attack, Laid To Rest

Volunteer police officer Amichai Carmely, 46, was killed early Saturday morning (11th) when a resident of the southern Arab city of Rahat rammed into him at Rishon Lezion checkpoint.

Carmely was a veteran volunteer in Israel’s Police Traffic department, and had been serving there for 15 years.  He was killed when a vehicle escaping the police broke through the checkpoint near the Beit Dagan Junction, ramming forcefully into him.

Carmely’s funeral took place at the Rishon Lezion military cemetery on Sunday afternoon (12th).  He is survived by his widow, Keren, his father Yitzhak, and his two children, daughter Yuval, 19 and Son Sagi, 16.

Three others, including two other volunteer police officers, suffered injuries in the ramming.

Israel Police Commissioner Yaakov Shabtai said, “Israel’s Police extension network of volunteers is active on the front lines of the battle against crime and traffic accidents, ensuring law and order.  Today we have lost one of our best volunteers.

Shabtai added that Carmely’s grandfather, Superintendent Moshe Carmely, fell in 1973 just before the Yom Kippur War, when a grenade was hurled at him on a main street in Gaza.

“Amichai and his grandfather Moshe are heroes who fell while protecting their land and the citizens of the State of Israel during operational activities – one as a police chief, and the other as a police volunteer,” Shabtai said.  

“At this difficult hour, we are with the Carmely family, supporting, helping, and accompanying them both now and forever,” he added. 



East Jerusalem Will Forever Be The Capital Of Palestine Abbas Tells U.S. Envoy

Palestinian Authority Leader Mahmoud Abbas told a visiting U.S. diplomat that eastern Jerusalem will “forever” remain the capital of the ‘State of Palestine’ on Sunday afternoon (12th).

Abbas, who battled rumors last week that he had passed away, hosted a U.S. delegation led by Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs Barbara Leaf at his Ramallah office.

“Our goal is to get rid of the occupation on the basis of the resolutions of international legitimacy,” Abbas told Leaf, according to a summary of the meeting posted by Palestinian media outlet Wafa.

“East Jerusalem is, and will remain forever, the capital of Palestine,” he declared.

He said that the PA is taking steps in the international arena to force Israel into stopping its criminal and occupying practices.

“The current situation is unsustainable and cannot be tolerated in the absence of a political horizon,” the PA leader said.

Referring to Israel, Abbas said that it is “time for the occupation to leave,” Wafa reported.

Abbas then repeated his demands that the U.S. remove the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) from its list of international terror groups and that the U.S. Consulate to the Palestinians in eastern Jerusalem should be reopened.

Notably, Abbas’ meeting with Leaf comes just weeks before a potential visit from the U. S. President, Joe Biden, which has already been delayed once.

The U.S. State Department said in a statement that Leaf had met with Abbas “to discuss the U.S.-Palestinian relationship, U.S. assistance to the Palestinians, deepening ties with the PA” and that “Palestinians and Israelis alike deserve equal measures of freedom, security and prosperity.”



Two More Iranian Aerospace Scientists Die Under Mysterious Circumstances

Two more Iranian aerospace scientists died under mysterious circumstances just hours apart, according to reports by the state-controlled Fars outlet Monday (13th).

On Sunday (12th), Ali Kamani, a scientist who worked for the Iranian Air Force aerospace unit, was reportedly killed in a car crash in  Khomein.

Iran’s Tasnim outlet hinted that the crash may not have been an accident, calling Kamani a “martyr” who died during a “mission to protect Iran.”

A day later, Monday (13th), Fars reported that a second aerospace engineer working for the Iranian Air Force was killed while on a mission at an air base in Semnan in northern Iran.

The second engineer was identified as Mohammad Abdous who was reportedly working on the Iranian Air Force satellite program, including drone aircraft, and ballistic missiles. 

The Fars report did not elaborate on the circumstances of Abdous’ demise.

The two deaths follow a string of high-profile deaths of both Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps officers and Iranian scientists linked to the military’s aerospace unit.

Last month, Colonel Hassan Sayyad Khodaeri, a member of the IRGC’s Quds Force in Syria, was shot dead outside his Tehran home.

A second officer, Colonel Ali Esmailzadeh was found dead days later at his home.

In early June, Iranian missile engineer Ayoob Entezari was found dead in Yazd.  According to reports, Enterzari died after attending a dinner party.  The host of the party allegedly fled the country shortly thereafter.



Gamechanger: New Israeli Radar System Can Track Thousands Of Targets Simultaneously

Elbit Systems has unveiled an innovative tactical radar, named “Raketa” (rocket) at the Eurosatory Exhibition in Paris, which is able to simultaneously detect and track thousands of objects of different types moving at different speeds, without having to prioritize targets.

This is a technological breakthrough that constitutes a lead forward in terms of operational capability.  The new radar system is capable of detecting a small drone from a distance of seven and a half miles, and a person from a distance of over nine miles.

The battle of the future will be characterized by the dominance of multidimensional warfare that incorporates simultaneous use of aerial craft, motorized forces, infantry, and more.  As such, conventional radar, only capable of focusing on a single target, is virtually obsolete.

All existing radar systems operate on the principle of prioritizing targets.  They isolate one object that they identify as a target and track it while neglecting everything else; in fact, they deliberately create “dead zones” in order to be able to focus on the target.

Elbit’s new radar system eliminates the need to prioritize targets as it is able to track multiple objects in space regardless of their size and the speed at which they are traveling.  The system is capable of dealing with swarms of drones and UAVs while simultaneously identifying and tracking helicopters, vehicles, ships, infantry – and even individuals.