News Digest — 6/17/22

3 Palestinians Who Targeted IDF Troops Shot In Jenin

Three armed Palestinian terror suspects who opened fire at Israeli troops were shot and killed by soldiers from a Golan reconnaissance battalion during clashes in the Jenin area overnight between Thursday (16th) and Friday (17th).

IDF forces were on operations to find and confiscate illegal weapons and arrest terror suspects.  Most of the arrest raids were in Jenin, the hometown of several Palestinian assailants who took part in a recent string of attacks that killed at least 19 Israelis.

As the soldiers approached their first target destination, Palestinians released a heavy volley of gunfire as well as throwing explosives at them.  The troops shot back.

On route to the second destination, Golani soldiers spotted a suspicious vehicle at the side of the road, from which shots were fired at the troops.  The IDF soldiers returned fire, fatally shooting the occupants of the car.  When the vehicle was searched, soldiers found M-16 rifles, a Carlo machinegun, bullets and a bulletproof vest.

The Palestinian Health Department reported that three Palestinians had been inside the vehicle, and that all three men were transported to the hospital where medical staff declared them dead.

The terrorists bodies were taken from the hospital and paraded through the streets, forming a demonstration, after mosques began calling on local residents to take to the streets “because of the shahids’ [martyrs’] deaths.”



Israeli Embassy In Argentina Warns Of Iranian Terror Activity In Region

The Israeli Embassy in Argentina on Thursday (16th) praised the “fast action” by the country’s law enforcement after grounding a Venezuelan flight over links with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards last week.

Fourteen Venezuelans and five Iranian crew members of a Boeing 747 cargo jet are currently unable to leave the country, after the plane was held at the Buenos Aires Airport last Wednesday (8th).

A statement by the embassy said Argentinian authorities “Identified the potential threat in real time.”

Israel “is particularly worried” about the threat of Iran using airlines “dedicated to arms trafficking and the transfer of people and equipment for the Quds force, which are under sanctions by the U.S. for being involved in terrorist activities.”

Argentina raided the hotel where the Iranian crew members are staying, on Wednesday (15th).

The plane is owned by Embrasure, a Venezuelan state-owned subsidiary of Conviasa that is sanctioned by the U.S.  It was previously owned by Iran’s Mahar Air, which is also under US sanctions for aiding the Quds Force. 

Earlier in June, reports said that Argentinian authorities impounded another former Mahar Air Boeing with suspected ties to the IRGC.

Iran and Venezuela, which are both under U.S. sanctions, have close ties.  The two countries have recently signed a 20-year cooperation plan.



Report: Israel Coordinates Syria Airstrikes With The U.S.

Israel secretly coordinates with the U.S. on many of the airstrikes it carries out in Syria, current and former U.S. officials told The Wall Street Journal in a report published on Thursday (16th).

While American officials have said little about the bombing missions, which have been aimed at interrupting Tehran’s flow of advanced weapons to Lebanese Hezbollah and diminishing Iran’s military forces and proxies in Syria, behind the scenes, many of Israel’s missions for several years have been reviewed in advance by senior officials at U.S. Central Command and at the Pentagon, current and former officials said.

The U.S. aim is to ensure that Israel’s bombing raids don’t interfere with the U.S.-led military campaign against Islamic State terrorists whose self-declared caliphate has been destroyed but who have been attempting to mount a come back.

The vast majority of the Israeli airstrikes have been approved by the U.S., the report said.  The U.S. military doesn’t help the Israelis pick their targets, nor do they review all Israeli operations carried out in Syria, the officials said.

A representative of the Israel Defense Forces declined to comment, and the Pentagon declined to discuss the procedure.

The most recent airstrike in Syria attributed to Israel took place last week when Syria claimed Israel had targeted Damascus International Airport with missiles.

Satellite images published by Israeli company ImageSat International (ISI) showed significant damage to the runways at the airport.  ISI said the strikes “completely disabled” operations at both the airport’s runways, with each runway appearing to have been struck a number of times.

Following the air strike, Syria’s Transportation Ministry announced it had suspended incoming and outgoing flights at the airport for 48 hours, citing technical disruptions.

On Wednesday (15th), Israel’s Ambassador to Russia, Alex Ben-Zvi was summoned for a reprimand by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov following the air strike.

Up to this point, Russia, who operates in Syria, and Israel had an understanding concerning Israeli airstrikes on Iranian targets there.  As long as Israel didn’t interfere with, or target its forces, Russia would look the other way when Israel carried out its airstrikes.



Israel Grants Another 2,000 Work Permits To Gazan Arabs

Israel has decided to expand the quota of workers coming from the Gaza Strip by an additional 2,000, the IDF’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) announced Thursday (16th).

The quota of Arabs from the Gaza Strip allowed entry into Israel for work and business will be expanded by an additional 2,000 employment licenses, to a total of 14,000 permits.

COGAT stated that the permits will be issued “in accordance and compliance with the criteria, and subject to a security assessment.”

All Israeli civilian relief measures in the Gaza Strip are conditional on the continued maintenance of security stability over time, and their expansion will be examined in accordance with the assessment of the situation,” COGAT Commander Major General Rassan Aliyan stated.

This addition of economic-related work permits is being made in parallel with the work being done to implement the Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s decision to raise the quota of Gazans working in Israel to 20,000.  These numbers do not include the Arabs coming from Judea and Samaria areas.



Israel Charges Two Palestinians Over Deadly April Terror Attack In Ariel

Military prosecutors filed indictments on Wednesday (15th) against two Palestinians accused of carrying out a deadly shooting attack in the West Bank settlement of Ariel in April.

The two assailants, Youssef Sameeh Assi and Yahya Marei, were charged with intentionally causing the death of Vyacheslav Golev, a 23-year-old security guard, and the attempted murder of Golev’s fiancee who was with him at the time.

A brother of the gunmen was also indicted for not preventing the attack and providing the killers shelter after the shooting.

Assi and Marei, both from the PA town of Qarawat Bani Hassan, Shot Golev dead inside a guard booth at the gate to the settlement and then fled the scene.

Golev shielded his fiancee, Victoria Fligelman, from the terrorist gunfire by putting his body in front of her, saving her life.  The couple worked as security guards and regularly took shifts together.

According to the indictment, the two Palestinians decided to carry out an attack after hearing about clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces.  The couple purchased Carl Gustaf submachine guns and a vehicle to that end.

According to the indictment, they chose to carry out their attack at the entrance to Ariel on a weekend night because “they thought it would be the best place to carry out their plan and then escape from the area.”

The two were arrested in their hometown of Qarawat Bani Hassan the next day.

All three defendants will remain in custody until the end of the proceedings.



House Demolitions By Hamas In Gaza – Khaled Abu Toameh

No one seems to be interested in the ongoing human rights violations against Palestinians by Hamas.  At least 25 villagers were injured during clashes in the Bedouin village of Umm al-Nasr, eight of them from gunfire.  Hamas security forces arrested 85 villagers.  Sources in Gaza said there are 28 more villages slated for demolition by Hamas on the pretext that they were illegally built on public lands.

Egyptian writer Ali Rajab said that while Hamas has been trying to present itself as the defender of the Bedouin citizens of Israel, it is targeting the Bedouin living under its control in Gaza by demolishing their homes and confiscating their lands.  Had the raid on the Bedouin village in Gaza been carried out by Israel, we would have seen scores of foreign journalists and the UN rushing to report about Israeli “crimes” and “ethnic cleansing.”  Since no Jew was involved, the international media are unlikely to report the story.