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April 21, 2014 / 21 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘border’

IDF Chief: Israel-Egypt Border Will Continue to be Security Problem

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Following the death of Cpl. Netanel Yahalomi in a gunbattle on the Israel-Egypt border on Friday, Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Benny Gantz warned that the perimeter would continue to be a security problem for Israel.

Speaking at the site of Yahalomi’s death on Sunday, Gantz said that while “we are fighters who are protecting our borders,” the border with Sinai “will continue to challenge us.”

“An enormous effort has been made over the past two years to close off the border, and it will be closed off, but even once it’s closed, the threat will not stop,” Gantz said.

Yahalomi was killed at the Mount Harif border region in a firefight with a jihadist group calling itself Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis.  The group claimed to have killed the Israeli soldier in response to the video “The Innocence of Muslims” made in the US by a private movie maker, mocking founder of Islam, Mohammed.

The group also claimed responsibility for an attack at Ein Netafim on the border, which killed eight Israelis in August 2011.

Initial reports indicate that the terrorists who fired on Yahalomi hid in an area near a group of African infiltrators attempting to breach the border to Israel.   IDF investigators say Yahalomi’s force may have been attacked while a larger part of the unit went to get water for the illegal immigrants.

The RCP Lauds Romney for his Common Sense Remarks

Monday, September 24th, 2012

The Rabbinical Congress for Peace which comprises over 350 of the most prominent rabbis in Israel have sent a message to Governor Mitt Romney lauding him for his common sense remarks made in a released video last week. The rabbis wrote to Mr. Romney that his remarks reflect the Torah view as delineated in the Jewish Code of Law Chap. 329. In the video, Governor Romney is heard saying:

“… the Palestinians have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace, and that the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish….I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes. Some might say, well, just let the Palestinians have the West Bank and have security, and set up a separate nation for the Palestinians. And then come a couple of thorny questions, the border between Israel and the West Bank is obviously right there, right next to Tel Aviv, which is the financial capital, the industrial capital of Israel, the center of Israel. It’s, what, the border would be seven miles from Tel Aviv to what would be the West Bank. Nine miles. The challenge is, the other side of the West Bank, the other side of what would be this new Palestinian state would either be Syria at one point or Jordan. And of course, the Iranians would want to do through the West Bank exactly what they did through Lebanon, and what they did into Gaza. Which is the Iranians would want to bring missiles, that armament, into the West Bank and potentially threaten Israel… the Palestinians are committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel.”

“Your words,” write the Rabbis to Romney, “represent a realistic approach that a Palestinian state would harm Israel and American interests as well. Your remarks demonstrate a true sober perception which finally removes the smokescreen over the illusionary land for peace formula that has proven to be an exercise in futility.”

Despite Border Tensions, Israel Hospitals Treating Gaza Children

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Despite continued tension on the southwestern border, four Gaza children are receiving medical treatment in northern Israel.  The children are all nephrology patients suffering from kidney insufficiency, and have been hospitalized for the last several months at the Children’s Hospital at Rambam Health Care Campus awaiting transplants.

Mohammed and Hadeel, both 12, have been in Israel for several months, with Hadeel’s brother Ahmad, 15, arriving recently in serious condition.  The three have received hemodialysis treatments and peritoneal dialysis.  The treatments have enabled the children to return to school for the first time in 3 years.  Their parents have been taught by Rambam’s Pediatric Nephrology department to perform peritoneal dialysis at home, something which Arab hospitals in Gaza and Judea and Samaria do not assist in.

The fourth child, six-month-old Lian, is still being treated with hemodialysis.

Over the past year, the Pediatric Nephrology Unit has treated tens of Palestinian children from Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, who have arrived at Rambam Medical Center with various kidney diseases.

Romney Doubts the Wisdom of Establishing a Palestinian State

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

A candid video of Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney doubting the logic of establishing a Palestinian state was released by the Leftist website, Mother Jones, earlier today.

The video was taken at a fundraiser for the Romney campaign on May 17th of this year.

In the video Romney says that he is “torn by two perspectives” with regard to Israeli-Palestinian peace. According to the first, which is the one he “has long held”, “the Palestinians have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace, and that the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish.”

Romney elaborated, outlining the problems Israel would have ensuring that the Palestinian state does not become militarized or used by Iran as a base to attack Israel.

The Israelis are going to patrol the border between Jordan, Syria, and this new Palestinian nation? Well, the Palestinians would say, “Uh, no way! We’re an independent country. You can’t guard our border with other Arab nations.”

And now how about the airport? How about flying into this Palestinian nation? Are we going to allow military aircraft to come in and weaponry to come in? And if not, who’s going to keep it from coming in? Well, the Israelis. Well, the Palestinians are going to say, “We’re not an independent nation if Israel is able to come in and tell us what can land in our airport.”

The other perspective Romney mentioned is that of an unnamed former secretary of state who Romney said called him and told him that after the next Palestinian Authority elections there will be prospects for peace. However, Romney said he “did not delve into” that view.

Romney – according to the first perspective at least – appears more opposed to Palestinian statehood than Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who said Israel should accept a “demilitarized” Palestinian state, as Romney argues that it would be impossible to ensure that the state remained demiliterized.

Here’s the text of the portion of Romney’s speech released by Mother Jones (the video is below):

I’m torn by two perspectives in this regard. One is the one which I’ve had for some time, which is that the Palestinians have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace, and that the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish.

Now why do I say that? Some might say, well let’s let the Palestinians have the West Bank, and have security, and set up a separate nation for the Palestinians. And then comes a couple of thorny questions.

And I don’t have a map right here to look at the geography, but the border between Israel and the West Bank is obviously right there, right next to Tel Aviv, which is the financial capital, the industrial capital of Israel, the center of Israel. It’s—what the border be? Maybe seven miles from Tel Aviv to what would be the West Bank…

The other side of the West Bank, the other side of what would be this new Palestinian state would either be Syria at one point, or Jordan. And of course, the Iranians would want to do through the West Bank exactly what they did through Lebanon, what they did near Gaza.

Which is that the Iranians would want to bring missiles and armament into the West Bank and potentially threaten Israel. So Israel of course would have to say, “That can’t happen. We’ve got to keep the Iranians from bringing weaponry into the West Bank.” Well, that means that—who? The Israelis are going to patrol the border between Jordan, Syria, and this new Palestinian nation? Well, the Palestinians would say, “Uh, no way! We’re an independent country. You can’t guard our border with other Arab nations.”

And now how about the airport? How about flying into this Palestinian nation? Are we going to allow military aircraft to come in and weaponry to come in? And if not, who’s going to keep it from coming in? Well, the Israelis. Well, the Palestinians are going to say, “We’re not an independent nation if Israel is able to come in and tell us what can land in our airport.”

These are problems—these are very hard to solve, all right? And I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes, committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel, and these thorny issues, and I say, “There’s just no way.”

And so what you do is you say, “You move things along the best way you can.” You hope for some degree of stability, but you recognize that this is going to remain an unsolved problem. We live with that in China and Taiwan. All right, we have a potentially volatile situation but we sort of live with it, and we kick the ball down the field and hope that ultimately, somehow, something will happen and resolve it. We don’t go to war to try and resolve it imminently.

On the other hand, I got a call from a former secretary of state. I won’t mention which one it was, but this individual said to me, you know, I think there’s a prospect for a settlement between the Palestinians and the Israelis after the Palestinian elections. I said, “Really?” And, you know, his answer was, “Yes, I think there’s some prospect.” And I didn’t delve into it.

African Migrants Stuck at Egypt-Israel Border

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

A group of some 20 African migrants is trapped between Israel’s border fence with Egypt and Israeli soldiers who have been ordered not to let them in.

The soldiers reportedly are providing water to the migrants, who as of Tuesday had been there for five days. The migrants, who include a pregnant woman, have refused to be sent back to Egypt.

Last month, a group of migrants stuck along the border was allowed to enter Israel after four days. They were sent to a holding facility for illegal migrants.

Humanitarian organizations have called on Israel to allow the migrants to enter and apply for asylum.

About that major Egyptian armed offensive against Sinai terrorists: it’s been called off

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

As Egyptian weapons including tanks and helicopters take up position in the formerly demilitarized Sinai over angry Israeli objections [see "Israel voices worry over Egyptian tanks, troops in Sinai"], it appears (based on the report below from Egypt) that Egypt’s new Moslem Brotherhood leadership has called off the anti-terrorism sweep, preferring instead to talk with the terrorists. Meanwhile its forces remain there.

Al-Masry Al-Youm (Egypt) carried this Arabic-language report in its Monday, Aug 27, 2012 edition (translated to English here):

–Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi sent a secret delegation on Sunday to meet with Salafist jihadists in the Sinai, scene of the August 5 border attacks. Security sources said the militants agreed to halt terrorism operations for one week, in exchange for the release of prisoners and a halt to the army’s “Operation Eagle” counterinsurgency…

–”The delegation met with a number of Salafist figures in two mosques in Sheikh Zuwaid, and they reached an agreement to stop terrorist operations for a week, in return for the release of prisoners and the halt of Operation Eagle that is being implemented by the armed forces with the aim of cleansing the Sinai of terrorists,” the sources said.

–”The chief of presidential staff… will hold meetings with the jihadist Salafist leaders in order to develop a program for dialogue and stability in the region,” the sources added.

–Three presidential cars arrived and entered the cities of Rafah and Sheikh Zuwaid at 7 p.m. and then were later seen on the highway outside the city at 11 p.m. en route to Cairo…

–The presidency has concluded a deal with jihadist groups in the Sinai following threats by these groups to expand their terrorist operations to a number of Egyptian governorates should the Egyptian army continue with Operation Eagle, aimed at cleansing the Sinai of Jihadists.

–The source said that it is due to these negotiations that Operation Eagle was stopped 48 hours ago. The nostalgic and optimistic among our readers might enjoy ‘Egypt’s tanks are in Sinai for fighting terrorism’. The rest of us might want to note that Egypt’s deployment on Israel’s southern border in the wake of “the battle to defeat the Sinai jihadists” now suddenly includes main battle tanks (MBTs) and surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), particularly in the northeastern Sinai area, between the coastal city of El Arish and the border with Israel and Gaza [source].

The U.S.-made MBTs are M-60A3, exported to Egypt in the 1980s. Between 20 and 30 have been deployed in eastern Sinai.

The Boeing-produced Avenger air defense system, also deployed near the Israeli border, contains the Stinger surface-to-air missile. These were supplied to Egypt over the last five years.

Egypt has deployed Dutch-produced YPR-765 armored personnel carriers with their 30 mm automatic gun turrets. The Egyptian Army is believed to have about 430 such APCs. [source]

An AP syndicated story from August 15 ["Sinai terror group warns Egyptian army to cease crackdown: Statement on Jihadist website says Israel, not soldiers is groups main focus"] now also provides some interesting after-the-fact reading.

We wrote some weeks ago about the worrying signs emanating from Sinai and the Egyptian moves. See “10-Aug-12: Egypt is pouring forces into Sinai but does anyone know for sure what they are actually doing there?” We very much hope the concerns we expressed prove to be misplaced.

Critical Days with Egypt – On Eroding Force Limits

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

When you interact with a chess player you had better not think like a tic tac toe player.

And Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy is most definitely a chess player.

The decision to temporarily allow Egypt to deploy attack helicopters in Sinai very close to Israel’s border may very well be justified. But with emphasis on “temporary” and with a sincere hope that we were smart enough to formally establish just how unique the circumstances were.

Let’s be clear about the problem:

For years the Egyptians have been trying to erode the Sinai force restrictions set in the peace treaty they signed with Israel. Force restrictions that were a necessary condition for Israel agreeing to restore the Sinai to Egyptian control.

The Egyptians see the force restrictions as impinging on their sovereignty.

We always considered the force restrictions as critical for the Jewish State’s national security and, frankly speaking, with the Moslem Brotherhood leading Egypt, we need the force restrictions more than ever.

When the Egyptians argue for dropping the force restrictions they exploit Israel’s Achilles’ heel: an ongoing Israeli tendency not to chapter-and-verse our agreements and treaties in policy discussions. It’s a tendency to relate to the “spirit” of agreements rather than the actual texts.

In this case, we have the Egyptian narrative that the force limits – in particular in the zone closest to the border with Israel – make it impossible for them to maintain order.

The truth is that, as Mohamed Bassiouny, Egypt’s former ambassador to Israel from 1986 to 2000 told Al-Masry Al-Youm almost a year ago (25/08/2011) “the treaty allows Egypt to put any number of police personnel in this section.”

And the quality and training of those cops is at the discretion of Egypt.

Taken to an extreme: if Egypt wanted to, it could take its most elite commando units and do the paperwork to make them police and deploy them in the border area. A force with both the skill and discipline to be able to do the job without requiring equipment restricted by the treaty. And it could do this without even consulting with Israel.

Again: the treaty, as it stands, provides Egypt the tools to enforce order while still honoring the force restrictions.

And it would be best that Israel makes this point clear both to Egypt and to the relevant elements of the international community.

We simply cannot afford to allow ourselves to be sucked into a situation that these vital force restrictions are eroded.

Originally published at http://www.imra.org.il/story.php3?id=57812

Beit Shean On Alert

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

On Wednesday evening, there were reports of an attempted cross-border infiltration into Israel from Jordan. The attempt happened near Beit Shean.

Some security forces in the area are remaining on high alert. Police are saying everything is normal.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/beit-shean-on-alert/2012/08/09/

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