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 – According to Maj.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi, Israel’s Military Intelligence head, the Jewish state will face a more unstable and Islamist environment than in previous times. This is being fueled by the unchecked rise of radical Islam, and could force Israel into unwanted conflicts.
Kochavi outlined his ominous assessment of Israel’s tactical position in the Middle East during his presentation of Military Intelligence’s annual evaluation. His briefing was offered to IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and top army, air force and naval commanders. “It will be an environment that deals with a series of crises, regional and internal, which raises the level of sensitivity of all the players, and which could lead, without prior warning, to an eruption,” said Kochavi.
The general said that Iran is deliberately using its position as host of the Nonaligned Movement gathering in Tehran to justify its nuclear program and stall any diplomatic attempt by the UN to stop them from producing an atomic bomb, which would almost certainly destabilize the entire Middle East and an action that could provoke a military strike by Israel or the United States.
Against the backdrop of Kochavi’s report, Israel and the U.S. are conducting a series of behind-the-scenes diplomatic efforts to forge new alliances in the region, with the goal of staving off an attack on Israeli and American interests in the Middle East.
Sources report that the semi-autonomous Kurdish government in northern Iraq is working with high-ranking Israeli government officials to help create an internationally recognized Kurdish national entity, one that would also encompass swaths of Turkey and Syria.
Turkey’s government currently treats the Kurds as enemy aliens within their midst. The Syrian Kurds have officially broken ties with teetering Syrian President Bashar Assad. And a British newspaper reported that the northern Iraqi Kurds have allowed Israeli commandoes to use their territory to train for a possible attack on Iran, which is located opposite the Iraqi border.
There have also been reports that French, German, American and Israeli intelligence officials have been using European towns for secret meetings between pro-Western Lebanese Druze, Sunni and Christian politicians in order to put pressure on the pro-Assad Shiite Hizbullah militia.
Fierce gun battles between pro- and anti-Assad militias have broken out in Tripoli and Beirut over the past few weeks. Military and political officials in the U.S., Israel and France fear that if Assad falls, Iran will instruct Hizbullah to reignite a sectarian civil war in Lebanon that could spill over the border into Israel.
The region’s instability and the potential for either a Hizbullah or Iranian Revolutionary Guard terror attack on Israel and its interests have also had a deleterious effect on Israeli participation in UN-sponsored events taking place in Persian Gulf nations.
According to several Israeli media reports the Shin Bet has, for the moment, scrapped Minister of Environment Protection Gilad Erdan’s participation in the UN’s annual climatology conference in Qatar, scheduled for November.
This follows Qatar’s rejection of allowing Israeli security personnel to enter the Persian Gulf oil sheikhdom. In the past, Qatar, which has informal relations with Israel, has allowed Israeli politicians and athletes to partake in various events in their country.
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IDF Intelligence Chief: Iran’s Weapons Smuggling Violates International Law
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It was a surprise to hear government spokespeople claim the U.S.was deeply involved in the operation to thwart Iran’s weapons smuggling.
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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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