News Digest — 8/26/22
Massive Fire Outside Jerusalem Prompts Evacuation Of Residents
A fire broke out on Thursday (25th) near the city of Beit Shemesh, west of Jerusalem, prompting authorities to evacuate residents for fear the flames could engulf their homes.
Another massive fire was reported in an open field near Kfar Menahem, in southern Israel.
Emergency services said the first reports of the flames near Beit Shemesh came in the early afternoon, and that weather conditions were making it difficult to get the fire under control.
At least 20 firefighting teams were on the scene, including some from Jerusalem, with six planes deployed to assist the efforts, and a special command center set up in the area.
A local resident and her 17-year-old son said they had sprayed their home with water to prevent the flames from igniting it.
“If we had at our disposal proper fire hoses, we would be better able to prevent damage,” the woman said. “My husband has been cleaning the brush near our home but we were lucky that the wind turned,” she added.
Hikers and cyclists were told to avoid the area and its popular trails.
The local Ikea branch was also evacuated and shoppers sent home after the ‘out of control fire’ continued to spread.
Last month, more than 2,500 acres of open fields went up in flames in two fires on the Golan Heights, which authorities suspected were the result of arson.
There too the flames began in two different locations.
Report: Israel Allegedly Targets Hezbollah Weapons Cache In Syria
Air defense sirens were activated above Masyaf, in northwestern Syria, amid an alleged attack by Israeli forces, state-owned news agency SANA reported on Thursday (25th).
The agency stated that Syrian forces were “confronting hostile targets” above the skies of Masyaf. Two injuries were reported in the strikes, which targeted a weapons research center in the Syrian city, according to Syrian reports.
In addition, Dubai-based Al-Arabiya reported that airstrikes targeted a Hezbollah weapons cache located near the city of Tartus.
Reports of the strike in the Syrian countryside come amid a flurry of strikes by US forces on sites associated with pro-Iranian militias in Syria and Iraq.
The Syrian-based militias on Wednesday (24th) and Thursday (25th), targeted US bases across Syria. One American soldier was slightly injured in the violent exchange, the US Central Command said.
In response American forces killed four militia fighters and seven rocket launchers in strikes in Syria’s Deir al-Zor region.
Israel had reportedly continued to allegedly strike targets in Syria throughout Operation Breaking Dawn and afterward. Three Syrian soldiers were killed and three others injured after alleged Israeli airstrikes targeted sites near Tartus, on the coast of Syria, earlier in August.
IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi revealed last week that the Israeli military had attacked a third country during the Gaza operation.
Meanwhile, earlier on Thursday (25th), Mossad Director David Barnea said a new nuclear pact with Iran would not block his agency from acting against the Islamic Republic, or its proxies across the Middle East, in the future.
Gantz Discusses US-Israel Cooperation Against Iran With CENTCOM Commander
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz discussed cooperation between Israel and the United States with US Central Command (CENTCOM) Commander General Michael Kurilla during a meeting at CENTCOM headquarters in Florida on Thursday (25th).
“I am completing a successful visit to CENTCOM headquarters in Tampa,” tweeted Gantz. “During the visit we held significant discussions on strengthening the security cooperation between Israel, the US and the countries of the region in the face of Iranian aggression. From here I am flying to Washington where I will meet with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan. I will discuss with him ways to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.”
The meeting comes as part of a planned visit by Gantz to the US and Japan. The Israeli Defense Minister will meet with Sullivan on Friday (26th) and will depart from the US to Japan for an official visit on Saturday night (27th). Sullivan met with Israeli National Security Advisor Eyal Hulata at the White House on Tuesday (23rd).
The visit comes as the US, Iran and European Union continued efforts to return to the JCPOA nuclear deal, with the US presenting its response to Iran’s latest demands on Wednesday (24th). Iran’s Foreign Ministry confirmed that it had received the response and was reviewing it.
On Wednesday (24th), Gantz stated he was carrying a “clear message” during his visit to the US that “an agreement that will not set Iran’s capabilities back years, and will not keep it restricted for many years to come – is an agreement that will harm global and regional security.”
“Iran’s nuclear rush must be significantly scaled back,” said Gantz. “We will discuss the issue with the Americans, and at the same time, Israel will continue to build its strength and capabilities – so that in any situation, it will know how to defend itself.”
Iran Prepares To Take Out Israel – Right After Iran Deal Is Signed – Khaled Abu Toameh
The mullahs in Tehran appear convinced that once the Biden administration capitulates to their demands for reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, they will be able to step up their efforts to eliminate Israel and are encouraging their Lebanese and Palestinian terrorist proxies to prepare for waging war on Israel.
Moreover, they are issuing direct threats not only against Israel, but also against any Arab country that dares to cooperate with the Israelis. The mullahs are sending a message to America’s allies in the Arab world that if they believe they can trust the Biden administration to protect them against Iran’s expansionist plans, they are sorely mistaken.
Meanwhile, the mullahs are busy trying to open a new battlefront against Israel in the West Bank. The commander of the IRGC, Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami, revealed that Iran was working with Hamas and Islamic Jihad to extend their terrorist attacks from Gaza to the West Bank in order to wage a war of attrition against Israel.
Salami said, “Just as Gaza was armed by Iran, the West Bank can be armed in the same way… There is no safe place at any time for Israel and its citizens.” He said he recently met in Tehran with Islamic Jihad Secretary-General Ziyad al-Nakhalah and discussed with him “the disintegration and erosion of the capabilities of the Zionists.”
Anyone who thinks that the mullahs will abandon their bloody schemes against Israel and Arab countries after the signing of a new nuclear deal is deceiving themselves. Appeasement will only further fortify the mullahs and their proxies, and place in further peril the lives of both Arabs and Jews.
Terrorists In Gaza Hold Parade After Latest Flare-Up With Israel
Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists held a parade in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday (24th), displaying life-sized replicas of their rockets, following three days of fighting with Israel earlier this month.
The cause for the celebration is unclear as the PIJ lost two commanders and a dozen fighters as part of Operation Breaking Dawn, an extensive Israeli counterterrorism campaign against the terror group in Gaza. During the escalation, over 1,100 rockets were fired into Israel, forcing a million Israelis to rush to shelters.
The terrorists drove pickup trucks with different sized rockets, and displayed posters of their slain commanders. People lined both sides of the streets, throwing flowers as the parade passed.
Operation Breaking Dawn was the biggest flare-up since last year’s 11-day conflict with Hamas, which has ruled Gaza for the past 15 years. However, Hamas actually stayed on the sidelines in this recent round of fighting between Israel and the PIJ.
Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) are considered terror groups by Israel and Western countries. Both have carried out scores of deadly attacks over the years targeting Israeli civilians.
Las Vegas Man Arrested For Violent Terrorist Threats
Las Vegas Police arrested local man, Andrew Gorrelick, 48, last week after police discovered his Twitter account – and the over 40 tweets that significantly mentioned killing Jews, local media reports.
Police said that the suspect tweeted threats that he was going to kill Jewish people 44 times and also threatened the assassination of government officials.
“Rounding them up and killing them all now, I will never rest until they are all dead” and “Kill all Jews now” were among Gorrelick’s threats according to the report.
8NewsNow, Las Vegas also reported that Las Vegas police informed Twitter about the violent antisemitic threats immediately upon his arrest, adding that Twitter had not immediately suspended the account.
8NewsNow added that Twitter eventually suspended the account after police reached out to company representatives regarding Gorrelick’s antisemitic rants on their server.
“The account referenced was permanently suspended for multiple violations of our ‘hateful conduct policy,’” a spokesperson for Twitter responded.
Popular social media platforms such as Twitter have become hubs for antisemitic conduct, as individuals can communicate freely and anonymously across the Internet.
In July, Anne Frank trended on Twitter as users on the social media platform debated whether the Holocaust victim was a beneficiary of ‘white privilege’ (advantages that society supposedly bestows on those who are racially white). “Anne Frank had white privilege,” said one Twitter user, adding “Bad things happen to people with white privilege.”