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JERUSALEM – Amid a series of growing threats from al Qaeda-affiliated terror organizations in the region and freelance Palestinian and Islamic cyber militias trying to steal top-secret information from Israeli government websites, Israel’s military has beefed up its physical presence along the nation’s borders and increased cyber counter-intelligence operations.
The redeployment of forces follows a failed al Qaeda plan to simultaneously blow up the Jerusalem Convention Center and the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv. Israeli security forces thwarted the would-be attacks several weeks ago. Several of the alleged al Qaeda operatives were said to have come from East Jerusalem, whose Arab residents possess blue Israeli identity cards and are thus able to move around the country freely.
Though the U.S. State Department has tried to downplay the threat to the embassy, the Times of Israel and Israel’s Channel 10 News reported that Israeli security forces broke up the operation after the terrorists gathered explosive materials and began to accelerate their plans to launch attacks. Other targets included a bus bombing in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv.
Last week, meanwhile, al Qaeda-affiliated terrorists fired several missiles at Eilat from the northern Sinai. According to the Egyptian military, which is waging an ongoing battle against various jihadist terror groups – including al Qaeda in Sinai and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt – Hamas is operating underground tunnels between Gaza and Sinai for the purpose of smuggling various terror groups to and from the area.
The Egyptian strongman, Field Marshal Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, has openly threatened Hamas’s leadership in Gaza with a military invasion if Hamas continues its smuggling operations and its open support for the Muslim Brotherhood. At least three IDF Iron Dome anti-missile batteries have been deployed in three southern Israeli cities, including Eilat.
Due to the number of al Qaeda and Sunni jihadist fighters who have crossed the border from Iraq into Syria to battle President Bashar al-Assad’s Alawite and Hizbullah’s Shiite forces, IDF commanders have had to reassess their military and political strategies in the north.
Over the past year, Israeli intelligence operatives working unofficially with the anti-Assad Free Syrian Army discovered that Assad’s opponents were being overrun and supplanted by a number of radical Islamist and al Qaeda groups.
A senior IDF official told the Associated Press earlier this week that the number of al Qaeda terrorists operating in Syria had grown from 2,000 to 30,000 during the past year. This is raising concerns that the jihadists are preparing the groundwork to attack northern Israel after they defeat pro-Assad and Hizbullah forces. Some al Qaeda groups have already positioned terrorists along the Golan Heights.
Al Qaeda units have also crossed into Lebanon, attacking Hizbullah forces in Tripoli and Beirut. Israeli, European and American intelligence agencies have acknowledged that al Qaeda has been able to successfully recruit jihadist fighters and suicide bombers from European and American cities.
Sources report that some of these battle-hardened terrorists, who hold European or American citizenship, have been sent back to the U.S. and Europe to prepare for future attacks. This may account for the increased security preparations in the New York area ahead of this Sunday’s Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.
On the cyber front, Yediot Aharonot reported on Tuesday that a Gaza-based Palestinian cyber militia successfully hacked into a Ministry of Defense computer, which allegedly contained sensitive information about “issuing entry permits to Palestinians in the territories.”
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12:20pm Yad Mordechai, Netiv Ha’Asara 12:12pm Multiples: Ashdod and surrounds 12:10pm Multiples: Gaza Belt communities 11:55am Multiples: Sderot (we haven’t forgotten you), Ashkelon Coast, Shaar Negev 11:53am Ashkelon 11:31am Eshkol – Multiple 11:26am Two rockets in Eshkol attack land inside town, as Hamas targets civilians. There is damage, but no injuries, besides shock. Three rockets […]
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PRESS [F5] to refresh this page: 1:38am IDF Homefront Command directs Haifa and Carmel regions to also open public bomb shelters. Nahariya (Northern Israel) opened their public shelters as well, as per their mayor’s request, not the IDF.. 1:29am Ashkelon, Ashkelon Coast, Yad Mordechai, Zikim… (multiples all) 12:47am Reports that IDF has been targeting over […]
“Seeing the Bible come to life is quite remarkable” – Rick Santorum
The United States holds Hamas accountable for all rocket attacks on Israel, U.S. State Dept. spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters at the daily oppress briefing Tuesday. Asked if the rockets that broke the cease-fire were launched from Gaza, she said, “It came from Gaza, and Hamas has responsibility for Gaza.” Harf also that there has […]
The body of a 21-year-old Ohio native serving as a lone soldier in the IDF was found on Tuesday, two days after he was reported missing, military spokesmen announced. Corporal David Menachem Gordon of the Givati Brigade was found with his personal Tabor rifle beside him. He had last been at the Tzrifin army base […]
The U.S. State Department has declared the Mujahedeen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem (MSC) a foreign terror group.
Fatah launched a diplomatic assault as Hamas terrorists renewed a military assault against the Jewish State late Tuesday.
Hezbollah has lowered the minimum age to join the terrorist organization from 18 to 16.
Gaza terrorists returned to ‘business as usual’ launching rocket and missile barrages against Israel late Tuesday afternoon.
Israel officials say a report that Gaza terrorists fired a Grad missile at the Eshkol Regional Council district was a ‘false alarm.’
Israelis are outraged as Hamas again violates an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire extended to reach an agreement intended to end bloodshed.
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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