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JERUSALEM – Only hours after Israel’s Ministry of Defense announced the successful testing of an Arrow-3 missile, the world’s most advanced interceptor system designed to destroy a potential Iranian nuclear-tipped ballistic warhead in space, Israel’s Channel 10 News reported that during President Obama’s trip to Israel later this month, the president will brief Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a possible U.S. surgical strike against Iranian nuclear installations.
Channel 10 also said that Obama will tell Netanyahu that American forces in the Middle East will be in position to launch an attack as early as June. In the event of a military strike, according to the station, the White House has advised Ministry of Defense and IDF officials to “remain on the sidelines” and avoid any offensive actions against Iran.
According to Israeli news reports, outgoing Defense Minister Ehud Barak has informed the White House and Pentagon that Iranian Revolutionary Guard commanders have ordered Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah to order his terrorist legion to launch massive missile attacks against Israel’s power stations, air force bases and civilian population centers in the event of an American or Israeli assault against Iran. The IDF has already notified Israeli military correspondents that if Hizbullah attacks Israel, the Israeli Air Force and elite IDF ground and paratroop units would blitz Hizbullah targets from the air and simultaneously invade large swaths of Lebanese territory.
According to Yediot Aharonot, the Western alliance that began a new round of negotiations with Iranian officials in Kazakhstan this week intends to demand that Iran immediately shut its secret Fordo nuclear installation. Should the current round of talks fail to yield positive results, UN and EU officials will warn the Iranians that the West will impose even more crippling economic sanctions against Tehran. They could include a total ban on import/export trade, the severing of international credit lines and an embargo, enforced by the military, of all incoming and outgoing Iranian products.
On another front, Israel Hayom reported that Netanyahu has also been engaged in behind-the-scenes efforts to persuade new U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to pressure Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to stop the growing violence across the West Bank. Some Israeli government officials have claimed that Abbas wants to “ignite the territories” ahead of Obama’s visit to Israel in order to provoke a violent Israeli reprisal.
On Tuesday, a group claiming to be members of Fatah’s al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, which is aligned with the Palestinian Authority, claimed responsibility for breaking the cease-fire in the south by firing a Grad rocket at Ashkelon’s industrial zone. While there were no reported injuries, IDF commanders met to discuss if an Iron Dome anti-missile system would once again have to be deployed in the area.
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A tombstone engraver made Ed Koch nearly two decades younger after carving the wrong birth year into the New York City mayor’s granite slab. Tommy Flynn of Flynn Funeral & Cremation Memorial Centers Inc. transposed two numbers in Koch’s birth year, making him born in 1942 rather than 1924, The New York Times reported Tuesday. [...]
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JERUSALEM – Secretary of State John Kerry has, for now, postponed a scheduled trip to Israel and the Palestinian Authority as prospects for reviving the peace process between high-ranking Israeli and Palestinian officials appear to be fading due to new demands by PA President Mahmoud Abbas that the Israeli government opposes.
HAIFA – A rare kidney transplantation between Jewish and Arab family members was successfully performed last week by Dr. Rawi Ramadan, director of Rambam Hospital’s Medical Transplantation Unit in the Department of Nephrology. According to a hospital spokesperson, both patients have returned home to their respective families in the metropolitan Haifa region.
JERUSALEM – Sirens wailed across Israel on Monday, as the country’s Home Front Command began testing a new nationwide alert system as a measure to warn the citizenry of what to do in the event of an impending missile attack. Conventional methods, as well as smartphone and social media applications, were used in the test.
JERUSALEM – As Shiite Hizbullah and Sunni anti-Syrian government rebels battle across Syria and Lebanon, and Egyptian and Jordanian forces confront al Qaeda terrorists in the Sinai and southern Jordan, the emir of Qatar blamed Israel for the chaos that threatens to plunge the entire region into war.
JERUSALEM – Rabbi Shlomo Amar, Israel’s current Sephardi chief rabbi whose 10-year term is set to expire in the coming months, and Ramat Gan Chief Rabbi Yaakov Ariel, a leading Ashkenazi rabbi, announced their intention to force a legal change in the chief rabbinate selection process.
JERUSALEM – Despite heightened tensions with Lebanon and Syria, including Israel Air Force sorties over Damascus, a group of stars from two ABC-TV hit shows, “Scandal” and “Once Upon A Time,” participated last week in numerous indoor and outdoor activities in northern Israel, including the Golan Heights. The stars said that the American public is served a steady diet of warped images of Israel.
JERUSALEM – With strong evidence that Syrian forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have used chemical weapons against civilians, Israeli and Western military commanders are contemplating a series of air strikes and commando operations against a select group of targets inside Syria.
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