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JERUSALEM – After being briefed by Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and several high-ranking Israeli intelligence and military officials on the internal Syrian chaos, White House officials have reportedly advised President Obama to set aside a substantial amount of time to discuss various military and security issues with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the president’s upcoming visit to Israel.
Many of those issues concern Syria, Iran and Hizbullah. Citing sources inside the rebel Free Syrian Army, which is battling to overthrow the Assad regime, Gulf Arab newspapers have reported that Iranian generals have ordered Lebanese Hizbullah units to link up with a force of as many as 50,000 Iranian Quds shock troops in order to preserve what’s left of the Assad regime and take over large portions of Syrian territory. It’s also being reported that the goal of the shock troops is to wipe out the Free Syrian Army and engage the al Qaeda-affiliated Sunni jihadists, who are also seeking Assad’s ouster. Last week’s assassination of a high-ranking Iranian general by unknown anti-Assad assailants near the Syrian-Lebanese border underscored Iran’s growing influence inside Lebanon and Syria.
Earlier this week, violent battles between the rebels and the remains of the Syrian army in towns along the Golan Heights border with Israel sparked a potentially dangerous scene when seven alleged rebel fighters made their way to the Syrian-Israeli frontier in pursuit of medical assistance.After IDF forces allowed the wounded combatants safe passage for treatment at Ziv Hospital in Safed, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz met with government officials to find ways to deter both Syrian combatants and refugees from approaching the Israeli border fence on the Golan Heights. IDF officials have told the Israeli media that both Hizbullah and al Qaeda fighters are probing Israel’s border defenses ahead of a possible terror attack.
Meanwhile, Netanyahu and Gantz have discussed the possibility of setting up a field hospital along the Syrian-Israeli frontier for the purpose of thwarting a potentially massive rush of refugees, some of whom could be disguised as terrorists.
Just days ago Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah appeared on the Lebanese satellite TV station, Al-Manar, which is affiliated with Hizbullah, and made an ominous threat to “plunge Israel into darkness for weeks.”
Nasrallah also taunted, “How many rockets would it take to knock out Israel’s power stations? Just a few.”
One of Israel’s largest power stations, located along the coastline near Hadera, is considered to be a strategic asset, supplying nearly half the country with electricity. Hizbullah has targeted the facility with its medium- and long-range missiles.
Recognizing the growing threat to the home front, the IDF has positioned several Iron Dome missile batteries in Northern Israel. But IDF commanders have cautioned the government that Iron Dome is incapable of dealing with a massive volley of rockets fired at Israeli targets.
Hizbullah has come under increasing pressure in recent weeks from Iran to try drawing the Jewish state into the Syrian conflict so as to detract Israel and the West from the volatile Iranian nuclear issue.
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Update: Calls for Renewed Ground Offensive as Rain of Rockets on Israel Continues
7:47pm Eshkol 7:44pm A Hamas spokesperson has warned airlines to not fly into Ben-Gurion starting 6am tomorrow (Wednesday), according to a YNet report. It’s actually things like that that makes Israel hit Hamas even harder. 7:35pm Kerem Shalom 7:32pm Ashkelon targeted a few times. We’re going to guess that Deif my have been eliminated today, and that’s […]
Following Rockets, Israel Renewing Safety Precautions for Civilians
More than 1,550 individuals have immigrated to Israel from Ukraine in the first five months of 2014 alone, more than double the 693 who arrived in the corresponding period last year.
Signs that Islamic State (ISIS – Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) terrorists have arrived in Egypt have appeared in the Sinai Peninsula.
TEL AVIV – The United Nations probe into the Gaza conflict hasn’t even begun, but Israel already is convinced it won’t end well. In a resolution adopted by a vote of 29-1 with 17 abstentions, the UN Human Rights Council moved last month to establish a commission of inquiry “to investigate all violations of international […]
Israelis may have to blame Qatar for the current round of lethal rocket fire, if a report published in Arab media is true.
So imagine, you’re working in the field harvesting cucumbers (or whatever is in season right now) and suddenly the siren goes off – Hamas is shooting rockets at you.
Another miracle for the Jews in Israel — this time in Ashkelon, where a missile exploded directly on a house but hurt no one.
An international media outlet has caught Britain’s Consul-General to Jerusalem, Alastair McPhail in a photo wearing the PA logo scarf.
Sapir College in southern Israel has canceled classes and exams for the day due to resumption of rocket fire from Gaza.
Israeli pilots attacked a terror cell in Zeitoun, Gaza on Wednesday morning. One terrorist was killed and five were injured.
Longshoremen pulled a fast on anti-Israel picketers and are unloading the Zim ship that was blocked from unloading last week.
Deif may, or may not, have escaped the bombing raid. His wife, at least one of them, was killed. Is Haniyeh next?
As of Tuesday, all IDF forces operating in Gaza withdrew and redeployed to holding positions around Gaza.
The sophisticated cement tunnels, which cost hundreds of millions of dollars, were reportedly built with Qatari government funds.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the nation on Tuesday afternoon that if the rocket fire did not stop by Tuesday evening, he would order “an even harsher” military response.
“They were abducted and murdered in cold blood by human animals,” Netanyahu said shortly after the bodies were found.
Awad had been released as part of the Gilad Shalit kidnapping deal. Mizrachi’s widow, Hadas, told Israeli reporters that she had opposed the release of murderers as part of any kidnapping deal, and that Awad “deserved the death penalty so he wouldn’t kill again.”
If the abductors’ goal was to force Israeli authorities to release long-serving Palestinian prisoners, the effort backfired as Israeli forces are quickly rolling up what was left of Hamas in the West Bank and are reportedly contemplating the overthrow of the Hamas leadership in Gaza should harm come to the three teenagers.
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