Across Israel, Meir Panim responds to the growing needs of the country’s 1.75 million impoverished residents through various food and social service programs.
JERUSALEM – Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak has ordered IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz to draw up plans for a possible series of preemptive strikes against various Scud missile installations and suspected WMD (weapons of mass destruction) sites across Syria, as the rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad’s dictatorship appears to be entering a dangerous phase.
According to Israel’s Channel 10 senior defense correspondent Alon Ben-David, the IDF has stepped up its aerial surveillance of key military bases across Syria, as various anti-government rebel militias have begun to overrun government facilities, including a major air force and missile base.
Both Israeli and American intelligence sources said that some of the rebel groups, associated with the al Qaeda terrorist network, entered Syria from neighboring Iraq. In a Channel 10 interview earlier this week, Barak confirmed that Israel is closely monitoring events on the ground in Syria and could be forced to take action if a variety of advanced conventional and unconventional weapons fall into the wrong hands.
Ben-David said that the IDF is preparing to deal with two possible scenarios: Should defecting or retreating Syrian government forces be detected transferring either advanced Scud missiles or chemical weapons to Hizbullah, which has been working alongside Assad’s forces, the IDF would attack specific targets to prevent the transfers. The IDF would also act against al Qaeda terror cells if they closed in on either a chemical weapons facility or missile base that could contain Scuds capable of reaching Israeli territory.
According to Yediot Aharonot, the UN and American intelligence communities have expressed concerns to the recognized leaders of the anti-Assad rebel coalition about the presence of al Qaeda in Syria. The White House and CIA have allegedly told Barak that it would be almost impossible for elite ground and air forces to find and destroy all of Assad’s WMD facilities, as they are spread out across dozens of locations throughout Syria.
Israeli media also reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Barak and Gantz, the IDF chief of staff, are trying to figure out ways to attack the aforementioned potential military and WMD targets without triggering a war with Syria and Hizbullah. The Israeli government and IDF have openly speculated that a cornered Assad and a desperate Iranian government (currently under severe economic sanctions) might be inclined to spark a war with Israel in order to temporarily prop up Assad or prevent a domino effect. Under the latter scenario the Sunni anti-Assad rebels would attack Iran’s Hizbullah-allied Shiite forces in retaliation for their direct involvement in the massacre of innocent Syrian civilians.
While Israeli and American intelligence officials are unable to predict how long Assad’s forces will be able to hold out against the widening rebellion, the better-trained Syrian army and Hizbullah militia are likely capable of fomenting a protracted civil war against the country’s Sunni majority – with or without Assad.
The deteriorating situation prompted Israel’s Homefront Command earlier this week to begin preparing for the mass evacuation of Israeli citizens from major population centers in Northern and Central Israel. In the event of a massive missile attack against cities like Haifa, Netanya and Tel Aviv, the Homefront Command would be expected to evacuate citizens to hotels, public buildings and tent cities in Eilat and the Jordan Valley for at least a week.
The Homefront Command, in order to prevent an immense disruption of vital services, is also working with the commercial sector on ways to properly protect key facilities such as electric power stations, oil and gas refineries, water companies and major food manufacturers.
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Iran accused Israel of faking a raid on a ship laden with arms bound for the Gaza Strip. “An Iranian ship carrying arms for Gaza. Captured just in time for annual [American Israel Public Affairs Committee] anti-Iran campaign,” Javad Zarif, the Iranian foreign minister, said Thursday on his official Twitter account. “Amazing Coincidence! Or same […]
The Rabbinical Council of America denied a prominent rabbi’s accusation that it is actively negating past conversions. The Orthodox rabbinic organization issued a statement Friday responding to a JTA opinion article criticizing the group written by Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld. His article, published Thursday, accused the RCA and its Beth Din of America of “retroactively negating […]
A Canadian judge has ordered child protection officials to use law enforcement agencies to apprehend 14 children in the haredi Orthodox sect Lev Tahor after most of them fled the country. On Wednesday, the judge was supposed to hear an appeal of an earlier ruling to seize the children and return them to Quebec to […]
Jewish groups across the religious spectrum praised Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidelines on accommodating religious attire in the workplace. The guidelines published Thursday are for “employers with at least 15 employees (including private sector, state, and local government employers), as well as employment agencies, unions, and federal government agencies.” These employers “must make exceptions to […]
Blackwell, who has been accused of “inflaming prejudice,” says animals must be stunned before the cut.
Pope Francis has been forced to cancel his planned trip to Israel in May due to a labor dispute within the Israeli Foreign Ministry. The Pope, who has garnered considerable acclaim from Jewish leaders for his push for stronger Jewish-Christian relations, announced the trip to Israel and Jordan in January. The visit was scheduled to […]
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The House of Representatives almost unanimously approved a bill that would enhance U.S. security cooperation with Israel. The U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act, introduced last year by Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), enhances cooperation in the energy and cybersecurity areas, among others; transfers excess U.S. armaments to Israel for stockpiling and possible use; […]
These are people who always spoke about Aliyah, but now the situation in Kiev is giving them that extra push.
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IDF Intelligence Chief: Iran’s Weapons Smuggling Violates International Law
Arabs threw a bomb into the area of Rachel’s Tomb on Thursday night.
Egyptians who are members of the Hamas terrorist organization may soon have their citizenships revoked.
The families involved in the court appeal have been under strict restrictions not to leave Ontario.
The school removed evolution related questions from 52 standardized tests.
Despite Iran’s terror sponsorship, “it’s entirely appropriate” to continue the talks.
Despite Obama’s threat of military force against Assad unless he relinquishes his chemical weapons cache, Assad has repeatedly failed to meet UN deadlines to deliver his deadly arsenal to a special arms disposal unit.
IAF jets and advanced drones have been aggressively monitoring the transfer of advanced Russian and Iranian made weaponry from Syria to Hizbullah bases in Lebanon.
“What ought to be the goal of these negotiations [with Iran]? It’s not merely to prevent Iran from having nuclear weapons…. It’s to prevent Iran from having the capability of manufacturing nuclear weapons. That is different,” Netanyahu said.
The privately owned Hadassah Medical Center reported that it currently has a deficit of $367 million, with annual budgetary expenses exceeding income by about $80 million.
JERUSALEM – Actress Scarlett Johansson announced last week that she was ending her relationship with Oxfam following criticism from the humanitarian group over her work as a spokeswoman for SodaStream, a producer of home soda-making machines, which operates a factory in the West Bank.
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.
JERUSALEM – Despite Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s refusal to accept Israel as a Jewish state and no apparent movement on key issues such as settlement construction, Secretary of State Kerry seems determined to issue a memorandum of understanding at a summit meeting scheduled for next week with Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian leaders in Aqaba.
As befitting a legendary warrior, Sharon’s funeral procession on Monday stopped at Yad Lashiryon, The Armored Corps Memorial Site and Museum at Latrun (near Modiin). The site overlooks the same pastoral green valley where 65 years earlier Sharon, a 20-year-old IDF battalion commander, endured near fatal wounds during a hopeless War of Independence battle against superior Jordanian forces and armed Palestinian villagers. Nearly all of the soldiers in Sharon’s unit were wiped out.
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