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April 28, 2015 / 9 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘beirut’

Israeli Night Strike on Damascus is ‘Warning to Beirut’

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Three Israeli air strikes late Tuesday night on Syrian army bases in Quneitra, Damascus and surrounds were a warning to Beirut, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said early Wednesday.

The attacks came in response to a double rocket attack on the Israeli Golan Heights fired by Lebanese Hezbollah terrorists from Syrian territory on Tuesday afternoon. One of the rockets, which were later identified as M307s, landed in the Herman region. The other exploded in El Ram.

The IDF responded immediately with artillery fire directed at the source of the rocket launches and reported that it had destroyed both. IDF Spokesperson Peter Lerner informed media in a text message that the Syrian missile fire had indeed been “intentional” and “not spillover from the Syrian civil war” as has been claimed in past incidents.

“The air force strike tonight on territory controlled by [President Bashar] al-Assad in Syria against targets of his regime is a clear message that we will not allow any fire on the territory of Israel and breach of its sovereignty, and that we will respond with force and firmness,” Ya’alon said.

“As the Assad regime is responsible for the fire from its territory on Israel, we will know how to collect a heavy price from any regime or organization from whose territory our sovereignty is breached and fire of this or another type is conducted on Israel.

“We don’t intend to just move on and be tolerant towards terrorist activities and attempts to harm our citizens and soldiers,” Ya’alon continued. “We act with restraint and firmness, with responsibility and consideration to preserve the security of citizens of Israel against countries and terrorist sources whose goal is to disrupt our lives.”

Shortly after midnight, Israeli residents of the Golan Heights awakened to the sound of the Code Red incoming rocket alert siren again, just 12 hours after the first attack earlier in the day. No rocket landings were identified, however, and officials later concluded that perhaps the siren had activated in response to the nearby IAF air strikes instead.

US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters at a briefing that Washington had seen the news of Tuesday’s attack on Israel and did not want “an escalation of the situation.” “We support Israel’s legitimate right to self-defense and have been clear about our concerns over the regional instability caused by the crisis in Syria,” she told reporters.

“We call upon all parties to avoid any action that would jeopardize the long-held ceasefire between Israel and Syria and abide by the 1974 disengagement of forces agreement,” she added.

The escalation in the region follows the death of six Hezbollah terrorists – including three top commanders – and six Iranian Revolutionary Guards – including Brigadier General Mohammad Ali Allahdadi – in an air strike on a convoy traveling through Quneitra province in Syria a week ago Sunday. The attack has been attributed to Israel although there has been no confirmation by the IDF.

Following the attack, the Islamic Republic of Iran sent a message to the United States “through diplomatic channels,” warning that Israel should suffer the consequences of its “wrongful act of aggression.”

But despite avowals of taking revenge against the Jewish State, Iran’s proxy in the region, Hezbollah, has made it clear through various means that the terror group does not seek another full-scale war.

Since the 2006 Second Lebanon War, Hezbollah secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah has lived underground in permanent hiding, speaking to his followers solely through video hookups, out of fear he will be assassinated by Israel.

Suspected Ebola Patient Quarantined in Lebanon

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

A man suspected of being ill with the deadly Ebola virus has been placed in quarantine at Beirut’s Rafik Hariri University Hospital in Lebanon.

The patient’s test results will not be released until the weekend, according to Health Minister Wael Abu Faour, who told reporters the results would be announced “as soon as they are issued.”

In Israel, drills to prepare staff on ways to deal with potential carriers or patients with Ebola have been carried out at clinics, hospitals and at Ben Gurion International Airport.

The virus currently has 70 percent fatality rate, and has claimed the lives of more than 4,500 victims globally, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The three hardest-hit nations are all in West Africa: Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Because there is a large number of expats living in West Africa, Lebanon is especially at risk for contracting the disease.

The Lebanon Daily Star newspaper quoted a report by radio station Voice of Lebanon that said the quarantined patient is a man in his 20s who had recently arrived from a West African country after a layover in France.

A health ministry source told the newspaper, however, that in the past several months 12 other patients had all tested negative for Ebola, which causes symptoms that are similar to those of malaria and other viruses.

Regardless, Lebanon is taking no chances: Rafik Hariri International Airport in Beirut has been equipped with new screening equipment to meet the challenge of fighting Ebola.

Upon arrival at the airport, all passengers have already been walking past infrared cameras that allow medical staff to remotely check their temperature and highlight irregularities in their conditions. Similar technology was used during the past SARS outbreak, the newspaper noted.

Passengers arriving from Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo are to be required to complete a form that will determine whether they are carrying symptoms of Ebola. Anyone who appears to be positive for the illness will be immediately transported by ambulance to the hospital from the airport.

Quarantine rooms on the airfield are also being planned.

Iran, US Equip & Finance Lebanese Army to Fight ISIS

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Wartime makes the strangest bedfellows. Iran and the United States are both equipping the Lebanese army so its soldiers can protect the nation from encroaching cross-border attacks by terrorists from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Iran announced Tuesday that it has decided to boost Beirut’s coffers with an extra gift of cash for the Lebanese Army, which will also strengthen Tehran’s ties with the country as well.

Ali Shamkhani, director of the Iranian Supreme National Security Council, made the announcement during a visit to meet with Lebanese officials in Beirut.

“The Islamic Republic has decided to give a military grant to the Lebanese Army,” Shamkhani told reporters at a news conference, Associated Press reported. This is the first time Iran has announced an offer of military assistance to Lebanon, although it has generously supported the country’s Hezbollah terrorist organization for many years.

Tehran will supply the country with military equipment to be used in fighting radical Islamist factions, according to Shamkhani. “The state of Lebanon welcomed this grant,” he told reporters, but did not reveal which equipment Iran was planning to supply.

At least 20 Lebanese soldiers and a police officer were kidnapped by members of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist organization in a cross-border raid from Syria in early August. ISIS has since beheaded two of the soldiers, and another was murdered separately, also while in captivity. Of the group, eighteen are still being held hostage in Syria.

Lebanon’s military and other security forces are also supported by funding from the United States and Saudi Arabia, and have been for some time.

Recently the United States also sent several shipments of arms to the country’s army in order to help Israel’s northern neighbor protect itself from ISIS, which has just formed a new alliance with the Al Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra (Al Nusra Front) terrorist organization.

Jabhat al-Nusra currently controls the Syrian side of the Quneitra crossing — the sole border crossing between Israel and Syria. ISIS controls the Iraqi side of two border crossings between Iraq and Syria, and that belonging to the sole crossing between Iraq and Jordan.

Burn Your ISIS Flag Today [video] #BurnISISFlagChallenge

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

Citizens of Lebanon have begun burning ISIS flags since Saturday, to protest against the Islamic State, and in particular the alleged beheading of a Lebanese soldier by ISIS.

The protest began yesterday when 3 youths posted pictures of themselves burning the ISIS flag in Sassine Square in Ashrafieh.

Burning ISIS Flag 2

The concept is starting to go viral in Lebanon, and it has some Islamists worried.

The website Al-Akhbar reports that Lebanon’s Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi is now demanding the arrest of anyone who burns the ISIS flag.

Rifi reportedly backs the Islamists, and claims the flags are religious symbols, which one may not desecrate according to Lebanese law.

The flags say on them, “There is no god but Allah, and Mohammad is the messenger of Allah.”

You can see the flags in the background of the videos when then ISIS beheads its victims in the name of Allah, which clearly makes it a religious symbol to them.

Other Lebanese parliament members have had varying responses, according to Lebanon’s Daily Star.

MP Nabil Nicolas said that the youths are burning the flag of ISIS, but they don’t mean to insult Islam.

Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil has asked Christian Arabs to stop equating ISIS with Islam, though clearly Rifi would disagree with that statement.

MP Ibrahim Kanaan said he would represent the group of three boys in court, who were the first to burn the ISIS flag yesterday, if the prosecutor charges them.

They burn the Israeli flag in Lebanon all the time. So what’s the big deal if they switch up for a change?

Feel free to post your photos below of burning ISIS flags.

Lebanon Jews Denounce Israel as Beirut Synagogue Reopens

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

The Jewish community in Lebanon has officially denounced the State of Israel as the country’s sole synagogue prepares to reopen in Beirut.

“We have no connection to those who wanted to live in Palestine and kill innocent people,” Isaac Arazi, head of Lebanon’s dwindling Jewish community, announced to a reporter.

He spoke with the London-based A-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper in an interview this week ahead of the impending reopening of Magen Avraham, the only remaining synagogue in Lebanon.

Founded in 1925, Magen Avraham was one of 16 synagogues in Beirut, named for the son of Abraham Sassoon, Moise Abraham Sassoon of Calcutta, and built on land donated by Isaac Mann. The synagogue is located in the former Jewish district of Wadi Abu Jamil in Beirut and was allegedly abandoned after shelling destroyed the building during the Lebanese Civil War in the 1970s.

During the 1982 Lebanon War with Israel, the Palestine Liberation Organization forces headed by terrorist Yasser Arafat holed up in the Jewish neighborhood. They used the synagogue as a shield, forcing Israeli pilots to attempt a surgical air strike that failed, further damaging the building.

Renovations in process since May 2009 were estimated at approximately $1 million. “We even raised money from Lebanese Jews outside the country – but Christians and Muslims have also helped us renovate,” Arazi noted. “Even the company that is responsible for development and rehabilitation of Beirut helped us in accordance with the law that the state should help to renovate houses of worship.”

Arazi said as head of the community, he spoke for all of the remaining few dozen Jews who are left in the country north of Israel, home also to the Iran-backed Hezbollah terrorist organization.

Although the Lebanon-based Hezbollah terrorist organization, an Iranian proxy, is committed to Israel’s destruction, the group claimed it has no problem with the Jews in its midst. “We respect the Jewish religion just like we do Christianity,” a spokesman for the terrorist organization told the newspaper. “The Jews have always lived among us. We have an issue with Israel’s occupation of land.”

The sectarian fighting that takes place between Hezbollah and other groups within Lebanon and in Syria seems to belie the statement, however. Likewise, the massive flight of Jews from Lebanon that left the community almost entirely bare leaves one to wonder why, if conditions among the Lebanese are so convivial, so many other Jews found it necessary to flee.

“Not all Jews are Zionists. We identify as Lebanese and we belong in Lebanon 100 percent,” Arazi told the Arabic newspaper. “Our condition is just like that of the rest of Lebanon. We suffer just as they do from politicians and officials whose only worry is how to put our money in their pockets.”

The majority of Lebanon’s population is Muslim, although there is a significant Christian minority. The newspaper did indeed also report that Gentile in-laws of intermarried Jews are not as likely to ignore the differences between them as the Lebanese Jews are.

One woman who was interviewed, “Sonia,” age 60, said that although she stayed with her Gentile husband and children when the rest of her family made aliyah, her in-laws nevertheless were opposed to her because of her faith.

Still, she told the newspaper, “There’s no such thing as Zionist or Jewish. The Jews are all one, and there’s no way to run from their identity.”

Civil War Spreads along Israel’s Northern Borders as Bombs Kill 12

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

A suicide bomb attack on a Hezbollah neighborhood in Beirut and more clashes between anti and pro-Assad forces in Tripoli have left 12 dead and scores wounded as Lebanon continues on the path to the resumption of the 15-year old civil war that ended in 1990 with Syrian domination.

The bomb blast in the Hezbollah neighborhood of Haret Herek killed at least five people and wounded more than 45 others. It was the second attack in almost the same spot in the past week, and one retired Lebanese general told Al Jazeera, “We have to expect more and more operations against the public. Why are the public a target? Because they want to put direct pressure on Hezbollah to withdraw from Lebanon.”

An Al Qaeda linked terrorist group took responsibility for the suicide car bomb blast shortly before noon Tuesday. Witnesses said they saw a man deriving his KIA vehicle, with a stolen license plate, at high speed and “honking his horn like a mad man” seconds before it blew up.

Hezbollah is getting a taste of its own poison, facing suicide attacks that have been one of its favorite methods of terrorizing Lebanon, such as the savage attack that killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Harari and 21 others. Syria has been blamed for involvement in the car bomb explosion

In Tripoli, one person died and several others were wounded in gunfire on Tuesday, bring to seven the death since the most recent eruption of violence on Friday. Alawites, who back Syrian President Bassar al-Assad, and anti-Assad Sunni Muslim gangs fired mortar shells, rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns in fighting that raged through the early morning hours. At least six have been killed and more than 55 others wounded since Friday.

The United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon Derek Plumbly, commenting on the suicide bombing in Beirut, said  the explosion presents “a further deeply disturbing act of indiscriminate terror” and that “such acts cannot be justified and are contrary to the interests of all the Lebanese.”

The U.S. Embassy in Beirut, for what it’s worth, denounced the attack and offered its condolences to the victims and their families via Twitter.

It is nice that officials in the Obama administration know how to use social media, but they have been unaware of their failure to understand that the axis of evil has to be fought and not “engaged.”

The result now is the spread of civil war across Israel’s northern border, from the Golan Heights to the east and westward to the Mediterranean Sea.

The instability keeps the locals busy killing each other, which is fine as long as they don’t realize they could simply join forces and take out their anger on Israel.

Update: Car Bomb Kills Seven in Hezbollah District in Beirut

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

A car bomb killed at least seven people and wounded 20 others in a Hezbollah stronghold in Beirut Thursday afternoon, the Beirut Daily Star reported.

The site of the blast was only 150 feet from the offices where Hezbollah officials hold regular meetings

Hezbollah is continuing to get a taste of its medicine as Lebanese nationalist escalate their opposition to the terrorist organization that threatens to engulf the country in the Syrian civil war.

The car bomb explosion was the second blast in less than a week.

Last Friday, former Lebanese official Mohammed Shatah and seven others were killed in a car bomb explosion in downtown Beirut, and dozens of nearby parked vehicles sustained damage.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/car-bomb-kills-four-in-hezbollah-district-in-beirut/2014/01/02/

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