October 3, 2018

Explosives Hurled At Israeli Soldiers In Late-night Gaza Clashes

Sunday night (9/30), hundreds of Palestinians took part in clashes along the Gaza border, hurling explosive devices at Israeli soldiers and attempting to breach the security fence.  

No Israeli Defense Forces troops were reported injured in the violent protests, while at least 10 Palestinians were injured according to Israel Radio.

An army spokesman said soldiers were using riot disposal methods and live fire in accordance with IDF regulations.

Palestinians taking part burned tires and threw grenades, improvised explosive devices, firecrackers and rocks at security forces, Channel 10 news reported, with dozens of explosives estimated to have been thrown toward Israeli troops.

The network said the rioters attempted to target Israeli troops working to prevent breaches of the border and that loud explosions were heard in southern Israel due to the hurled explosive devices.

Hamas regularly encourages violent protests on Fridays, with thousands of Palestinians showing up at the security fence to confront IDF soldiers with bombs, grenades and rocks.  Now Hamas is trying to “break down the stamina” of IDF forces with “a new tactic,” night-time clashes, such those on Sunday evening (9/30).

Earlier Sunday, firefighters worked to extinguish two blazes near Gaza sparked by airborne incendiary devices launched from the Palestinian enclave, a spokesman for the Fire and Rescue Services said.

(israel-radio.com; timesofisrael.com)


‘Death To Israel, US,’ Plastered On Iranian Missiles Fired Into Syria

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard launched six ballistic missiles as well as drone bombers early Monday (1st) toward eastern Syria, targeting militants it blamed for an attack on a military parade last month, while also threatening regional adversaries as Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers unravels.

The missiles had enough range to strike regional US military bases and targets inside both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates

Iran’s Supreme Leader called out the two Arab nations by name, accusing them of being behind the September 22 attack on the parade in the Iranian city of Ahvaz something denied by both Riyadh and Abu Dhabi.

Monday’s (1st) strike was the second missile attack by Iran in a month’s time, and came as tensions rise ahead of renewed US sanctions targeting Tehran’s oil industry that will take effect in early November.

“This is the roaring of missiles belonging to the Revolutionary Guard of the Islamic Revolution,” a state TV reporter said as the missiles launched behind him.

“In a few minutes, the world of arrogance – especially America, the Zionist regime, and the Al-Saud – will hear the sound of Iran’s repeated blows.”  Al Saud is a reference to Saudi Arabia’s royal family.

One missile shown on Iranian state television bore the slogans “Death to America, Death to Israel, Death to Al Saud.”

Following the Ahvaz massacre, Iranian military officials also pointed fingers at Israel, without any proof of the Jewish state’s involvement in the attack.

(worldisraelnews; ap.com)


Netanyahu Slams ‘Ridiculous’ Iran Effort To Tie Israel To Attack At Parade

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday night (1st) castigated Iran for falsely seeking to tie Israel to an attack at a military parade in southern Iran last month in which at least 24 people were killed and many wounded.

Netanyahu spoke after Iran fired missiles featuring slogans urging “Death to Israel” and “Death to America” at Islamic State targets in Syria earlier Monday (1st) that it said were connected to the attack.  Tehran has blamed a range of adversaries, including Israel, the US, the Islamic State, and Saudi Arabia, and others, for the attack.

“Iran’s attempt to tie Israel to the terrorist attack in southern Iran is ridiculous,” Netanyahu said in a statement.  “The fact that ‘Death to Israel’ was written on the missiles launched at Syria proves everything,” he added.

Israel’s Hadashot TV News reported that of the six missiles launched by the Revolutionary Guard in Syria, one crashed soon after launch.

The missile launch further adds confusion over who carried out the assault on the military parade which killed dozens of Iranians and wounded over 60.

(jpost.com; reuters.com)


Palestinians Threaten To Kill Top UNRWA Officials In Gaza

The Palestinians’ dedicated agency UNRWA assisted 10 international senior officials with their escape from the Gaza Strip on Monday (1st) based on credible threats to their safety.

Israeli media outlet Ynet reported that UNRWA took these steps after officials received death threats following announcements related to major layoffs necessitated by the US massive aid cuts, which slashed millions of dollars from the agency’s coffers and officially ended American support for the UN body.

The harassment reportedly was perpetrated by the agency’s own disgruntled employees, with the officials spirited out of Gaza and into Israel via the Erez Crossing, despite the fact that it was officially closed due to the Sukkot holiday.

While UNRWA’s deputy head is still in Gaza, reports are that further evacuations may be required.

Later on Monday (1st), UNRWA confirmed it had temporarily withdrawn members of its international staff from Gaza “following a series of worrying security incidents affecting its personnel in the Strip.”

While other countries are scrambling to make up UNRWA’s budget deficit, the lack of funds forced the agency to cut 113 jobs and convert 584 staff positions.  UNRWA’s Gaza employees responded to these moves with a strike on Monday (1st) in protest.

UNRWA has faced pervasive criticism for permitting a curriculum that promotes anti-Semitism and hatred of Israel in its classrooms and for assisting the Hamas terror group, which rules the Gaza Strip.

(ynetnews.com; timesofisrael.com)


Israeli Drone Company Opens North American Headquarters In Scottsdale, Will Bring 80 Jobs

Airobotics, an Israeli automated drone company, said last week it will open its North American headquarters at 8340 E. Raintree Drive in Scottsdale, AZ.

The company, which also has offices in Australia, Chile and New Caledonia, plans to create 80 jobs in Scottsdale by the end of 2019.  Airobotics’ first U.S. customer will be BHP, the world’s largest mining company.

“When deciding where to launch our first US office, Arizona was the top choice for us as it has a strong mining industry, great weather conditions for drone testing, and potential partners we’re excited to work with,” Airobotics CEO Ran Krauss said.

The company held an opening ceremony Tuesday (9/25) at its Scottsdale offices, where attendees could tour the facility and see drone demos.

Airobotics uses its drones to collect aerial data and hopes to replace standard piloted services by providing cheaper drone alternatives that are more accurate and readily available.

Airobotics drones serve primarily the mining, seaport and oil and gas industries.  Krauss said the company is considering expanding to other industries, including construction and homeland security.

The startup has raised $71 million in funding since it was founded in 2014 and grew from 80 to 200 employees in the first year.  The company now employs 240 people.

“We appreciate their choice of Scottsdale,” Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane said.  “They could not have picked a better base of operations.”

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey said, “We look forward to the company’s growth and welcome its contributions as we continue to develop Unmanned Aerial Systems technology in our state.”