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August 27, 2016 / 23 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Defense Ministry’

Liberman Plans to Bypass Chairman Abbas, Forge Direct Relationships with PA Arabs

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman told military correspondents in his Kirya office in Tel Aviv on Wednesday that he intends to seek out Arab leaders living in the Palestinian Authority and bypass the PLO-run authority government. He wants a personal dialogue with academics, business people and intellectuals. In fact, according to Liberman, his staff has already put together a list of these people whom he now intends to pursue.

There’s also going to be a new website in Arabic, reporting the news of the day from the Defense Ministry’s perspective. It will cost about $2.5 million.

“I want to connect with them directly, not through the [PA headquarters in Ramallah] Muqata,” Liberman reiterated, saying he expects the new website to hit the Internet by the end of January. He admits it’s an ambitious and challenging project, but he’s going for it nonetheless, budgets, regulatory standards and all.

According to Liberman, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has been an obstacle to a working solution for the area. Indeed, he asked, “if there are intellectuals, academics, those who stand out on the municipal level — why should they talk to us through Abbas?” Also, if “[Abbas] is talking directly to the Israeli society, why can’t we speak directly to the Palestinian society?”

When asked why, then, if he is seeking out PA Arabs for a dialogue, did he bar the entry into Israel of Muhammad al-Madani, chairman of the Committee for Interaction with Israeli Society, Liberman said al-Madani, a senior PLO official, was not coming to have a dialogue and seek co-existence, but the opposite.

Liberman also told the military correspondents about a rift between himself and the Attorney General Avihay Mandelblitt, who objects to the Defense Minister’s policy of holding on to the bodies of terrorists killed while carrying out attacks against Israelis and has gone so far as to state that he would refuse to defend the new policy before the Supreme Court. Liberman said that’s fine, if need be he would defend the policy before the court. Liberman said he asked Prime Minister Netanyahu to discuss the issue in the cabinet, because “it looks a little grotesque that the two ministries (Internal Security and Defense) maintain contradictory policies on this matter.”

The Justice Ministry also objects to Liberman’s new policy on terrorist bodies, because it contradicts fundamental Supreme Court rulings. They do support conditioning the release on the families’ committing to small funerals that won’t erupt into riots.

JNi.Media

Israeli Local Reciprocal Procurement for F-35 Newcomer Close to $1 Billion

Monday, August 15th, 2016

In preparation for the December 2016 arrival of Israel’s first F-35, the Ministry of Defense last week completed its semi-annual data summary to reveal that since first signing with the plane’s manufacturers led by Lockheed Martin in 2010, the Defense Ministry’s Procurement Department has purchased locally $993 million in reciprocal procurement transactions so far. Since December 2015, new deals amounting to $220 million have been signed, marking a 28% jump in reciprocal procurement.

Since the start of 2016, the following Israeli defense industries have increased their contracts with Lockheed Martin on the project:

Israel’s Elbit Systems and the American Rockwell Collins increased contracts for the manufacturing of the Generation III helmet-mounted display system by approximately $190 million.

Israel Aerospace Initiatives (IAI) expanded its production of the wings by roughly $26 million.

Other Israeli industries involved in the manufacturing of the aircraft subsystems and operating software and training include: SimiGon, the developer of the aircraft simulation program; Tadiran (Elbit Systems), the supplier of radio amplifiers; Cyclone, producing parts of the body of the plane; Cabiran will produce boxes for the aircraft’s systems; and Gilboa, specializing in precise machinery.

Deputy Defense Ministry Director General and Head of Procurement, Brig. Gen. (res) Shmuel Tzuckersaid in a statement: “We are proud of the achievements of the defense industry from the first half of 2016, which has injected hundreds of millions of shekels into the Israeli defense industries and, in particular, to enterprises in Carmiel, in Kibbutz Cabri and other towns along the ‘confrontation line’ in the north. We turned to the following reciprocal transactions and will work to cross the billion dollar threshold in the near future.”

The F-35 fighter aircraft, also known as the JSF (Joint Strike Fighter), or in Israel as the Adir, is a fifth generation stealth fighter. The F-35A Adir will be a significant addition to maintaining Israel’s qualitative military edge in the Middle East, with the advanced capability to defeat emerging threats, such as advanced missiles. The F-35 combines advanced low observable stealth technology with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment.

JNi.Media

Revealed: IDF Operating World’s Most Advanced and Protected Wheeled Combat Vehicle

Monday, August 1st, 2016

The Merkava Tank Administration at Israel’s Ministry of Defense has completed the development of its first wheeled armored personnel carrier (APC), the Eitan, which it says is the world’s most advanced and protected wheeled combat vehicle.

Over the past few days, the Defense Ministry, in collaboration with the IDF Ground Forces, have begun conducting initial trials of the Eitan. It is an advanced, multi-purpose APC equipped with a plethora of capabilities and prepared for combat mobility in varied and difficult terrain.

The Eitan / Courtesy

The Eitan / Courtesy

Brig. Gen. Baruch Matzliah, Head of the Merkava Tank Administration said in a statement, “The decision to develop the Eitan was made in light of lessons learned during [the 2014 Gaza] Operation Protective Edge, and the increased need to replace thousands of the IDF’s veteran M113 APCs with modern tools with maximum protection, tailored to the existing threats in the arena.”

Matzliah said that “alongside the decision to accelerate the production of the Namer (Heb: tiger, pronounced Nah-mehr) APC, it was decided to develop an additional tool, to compliment it, enabling fast, strategic mobility and maximum protection for ground forces. The series of exercises we have recently begun is allowing the IDF to test the tool in a variety of sites, ahead of decisions regarding the volume of the purchase.”

The Eitan / Courtesy

The Eitan / Courtesy

According to Matzliah, the Eitan was designed as a multi-purpose tool with varied abilities, whose low development and production costs would be roughly half that of the Namer APC, and/or any other wheeled APC in the world. This low-cost allows for the Eitan to be equipped with more tools, at a higher rate, like the Namer.

The Eitan will be the world’s most advanced and protected wheeled combat vehicle. It will be equipped with an active defense system, similar to the Namer APC and Merkava Mark 4 tank, and with additional protection systems. The most significant advantage of the Eitan is its excellent mobility capabilities across varied terrains and at speeds of 55 mph. The Eitan was designed for a multitude of tasks, from mobility for twelve soldiers (like the Namer) to advanced firepower.

The Eitan / Courtesy

The Eitan / Courtesy

The Eitan’s Technical Statistics:

Weight: 30-35 Tons

Engine Power: 750 Horsepower

Propulsion: 8 Wheels, 8X8 Drive

Maximum Road Speed: over 90 Kilometers per Hour

Capacity: 12 Soldiers: driver, commander, gunner and an additional nine soldiers

Combat Systems: from small arms positions to medium range with 30-40 mm cannons, and an active defense system

JNi.Media

Plan In The Works to Transfer Residents of Amona To Alternative Location

Sunday, July 31st, 2016

By Jonathan Benedek/TPS

The Israeli government has approved a plan by the Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria to transfer the residents of Amona to another residential location of approximately 1600 dunams (395 acres) in the Binyamin region, east of Shilo.

Approximately 40 families currently live in Amona, which is located north of Jerusalem and next to the Jewish community of Ofra. The High Court of Justice found in December, 2014 that the community was built on private Palestinian land and that the residents of Amona must therefore be evacuated by the end of 2016.

The Defense Ministry has mapped out a plan to construct 140 housing units at the new site, at least 40 of which will be occupied by evacuees from Amona. However, Amona residents appear to be opposed to any compromise even at the expense of being evacuated by force.

“We strongly oppose the preparation of a neighborhood that’ll promote a population transfer of the residents of Amona,” a statement read on behalf of the community. “Any eventuality other than a resolution keeping us here may lead to a repeat of the painful images from the demolition of houses in the town ten years ago.”

on February 1, 2006, violent encounters ensued between Amona residents and their supporters, with Israeli police and security forces who arrived to follow through with an order from then Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to demolish nine permanent structures.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Liberman to Arab MK: Conditions at Checkpoints Are Unreasonable, Harmful

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

In a question-and-answer session in the Knesset this week, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman Addressed a question by MK Abd Al Hakeem Haj Yahya (Joint Arab List) about the conditions at checkpoints in Judea and Samaria, Liberman said “What’s happening at checkpoints is unreasonable, and there is no doubt it harms our security.”

“There are three authorities that deal with this issue — the Airports Authority, Defense Ministry and Public Security Ministry, and this creates a complicated chaos,” Liberman explained.

Liberman expressed his hope that the matter will be taken care of in next year’s budget, “to improve things from every perspective – security and humanitarian.”

Liberman was asked by MK Yoel Hasson (Zionist Camp) about the reconciliation agreement with Turkey and whether it constitutes recognition of the Hamas’ regime in Gaza. “Our starting point must be Egypt,” the defense minister said. “It is our most important, serious ally in the Middle East. How will it affect our relations with Egypt? Personally, I’ve invested a lot of effort in building relations of trust and cooperation [with Egypt]. There are many other considerations here which we must take into account.”

MK Orly Levi-Abekasis asked Liberman why IDF soldiers who became disabled during the 2014 Operation Protective Edge have yet to receive the benefits they deserve. “There is an absolute commitment to this issue, and those who are dealing with it are doing so with dedication. It has been examined in the various committees, and as a minister I have to trust those professional echelons. The disabled themselves are part of the formulation of those benefits. Intense debates are being held in order to improve their situation,” Liberman answered.

MK Masud Ganaim (Joint Arab List) asked the defense minister about his summoning of Army Radio commander Yaron Dekel regarding a program on Arab poet Mahmoud Darwish which was aired by the station. “It is okay to air an episode on Darwish, but in the framework of ‘know your enemy,’ together with the mufti and Goebbels,” Liberman retorted.

Asked by MK Michal Rozin (Meretz) about his decision to revoke the entry permit to Israel of senior Palestinian Authority official Mohammed al-Madani, Liberman said, “Part of the tradition in the Palestinian Authority is that the same people who at nighttime deal with harming Israel and worked hard to annihilate the State of Israel, during the daytime speak a lot about brotherhood among the nations, peace, and so forth.”

The minister noted that he cannot make such a decision alone. “There is the opinion of the Shin Bet (General Security Service) and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories. They are certainly not political people. Only after they tell me in writing that they strongly suggest [a permit be revoked] do I perform the formal act.”

Al-Madani, the minister said, “is not an innocent person who thinks about brotherhood and peace between Jews and Arabs.”

“Questions Hour” is a new parliamentary feature in the Knesset’s plenary sessions. Each year, the opposition has the right to invite 10 ministers to answer questions they did not see in advance. One of those times, it can be the prime minister. At least three-quarters of the questioners must come from the ranks of the opposition.

JNi.Media

UPDATE: Four Dead, 4 in Critical Condition from Tel Aviv Sarona Market Terror Attack [video]

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016

Four people are dead and 4 more are in critical condition and are being treated at Ichilov Hospital on Wednesday night, in a “Ramadan” terror attack in the Sarona Food MArket, on Kaplan Street in the heart of Tel Aviv. There are additional wounded. The attack happened just before 9:30 PM

According to eyewitnesses, the two Arab terrorists were sitting inside a restaurant dressed in their Ramadan finest clothing. They ordered food and then they stood up. They began shooting their Carl Gustav submachine guns at the other restaurant guests. One of them, after he emptied his gun, threw it down and the two started running.

Both terrorists have been neutralized. One was captured alive but seriously wounded and is undergoing surgery at Ichilov Hospital. The second one is now undergoing interrogation.

Police sappers are dealing with suspected bombs in the area.

Police issued a statement that the situation is under control, as both terrorists have been neutralized.

Arab sources initially claimed the terrorists are from the village of Dura in the Har Hebron region.

The two terrorists are cousins and are from the village of Yatta in the Hebron area, which is near Dura.

Hamas terror chief Ismail Haniyeh praised the attack on his Twitter feed.

 


 

 


 

 

David Israel

Bennett: ‘You Can’t Be in Favor of Eretz Israel in Hebrew while Establishing the State of Palestine in English.’

Monday, June 6th, 2016

On Sunday night, during the celebrations of Jerusalem Liberation Day at the Merkaz Harav yeshiva in Jerusalem, the academic crown jewel of the rightwing Greater Israel movement, Habayit Hayehudi leader Naftali Bennett flatly accused Prime Minister Netanyahu of lying about his true intentions regarding a Palestinian State. “You can’t be in favor of Eretz Israel in Hebrew while establishing the State of Palestine in English,” he said, obviously pointing to the PM, who was present at the same ceremony, and accusing him of telling his voters (in Hebrew) during the last campaign that he was opposed to dividing the land, while scheming with foreign dignitaries and a number of Israeli politicians to bring on some form of the two-state solution.

The relationship between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud) and Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Habayit Hayehudi) is about as bad as can be, feeding on 20 years of bad blood, resentments, betrayals and condescension. Ten years ago, after fighting in the 2006 Lebanon War, Bennett served as chief of staff for Netanyahu, who was then the opposition leader. He helped Netanyahu dig his way up from a deep electoral hole, but couldn’t get along with Mrs. Netanyahu (few could). Eventually, in 2008, Bennett and his political partner, Ayelet Shaked, set out to carve their own path among Israel’s rightwing voters.

When they returned victorious in 2013, with 12 seats, as leaders of a National Religious Party that everyone had been certain was going to leave the political stage — they were considered Netanyahu’s natural coalition partners — but Sara Netanyahu put down her foot. Instead of a negotiation between friends, Bennett et al were put through the wringer. It took the intervention of a third party leader, MK Yair Lapid, who forged an ad hoc, mutual-benefit alliance with Bennett, to finally open the door. Then, after the 2015 elections, when Bennett generously endorsed Netanyahu’s message that it made no difference if the settler community voted for Likud or for his own party, because he had been promised they’d all be part of the same winning coalition in the end — Bennett ended up as the last man the PM had turned to for a government post. Promises of the Defense Ministry were reneged on, and Bennett, a party chairman, ended up with a second-tier portfolio. Mind you, Bennett believes a full five of Likud’s 30 Knesset seats should have gone to him. That’s ten years’ worth of resentment.

And now, as Netanyahu continues his pursuit of a broader coalition with MK Isaac Herzog’s Zionist Camp (Labor), voices in Labor are starting to say that they’d consider the offer only if the PM is sincere in his desire for a two-state solution, and the profound way in which he could signal that commitment would be by sacrificing the only dedicated enemy of the very idea of a Palestinian State, Naftali Bennett’s Habayit Hayehudi. If Netanyahu were to go ahead and fire, or demote Bennett and the other two Habayit Hayehudi ministers, Ayelet Shaked and Uri Ariel, it would mean that five seats worth of voters who believed Netanyahu was just as anti-two-state as Bennett, actually cast their vote to get themselves and their families evicted from their homes and lands. There’s plenty to resent there.

“There are some, in Israel and the world, who join various Arab initiatives according to which we would divide the land, divide–God forbid–Jerusalem, and return to the 1967 lines,” Bennett said, “because the world is pressuring, and we must appease them. I tell these individuals tonight: never.”

As to the dual-language policy, Bennett told Netanyahu: “It’s time to say in a clear voice: the Land of Israel belongs to the nation of Israel. In Hebrew, English, Russian and French, in summer, in winter, during elections and when there are no elections. Why? Because the world is listening to us. To every word we say. The world recognizes weakness, just as it recognizes strength. The world sniffs whenever we are not certain of our right to the land, and attacks us with the fury of boycotts.”

It was a painful, raging attack, that marked the worst day in the complex relationship of these two politicians. But it would be a mistake to suggest that Bennett was acting emotionally. In fact, this had to be a well planned assault, ahead of a foreseeable dismissal of Habayit Hayehudi from the coalition. Even before Sunday’s de facto declaration of war, Bennett’s party was up at least three seats in the polls, while Likud was down by those same three seats — that was the Judea and Samaria vote. And should Netanyahu actually pursue peace negotiations at this juncture, those three seats could grow to become five, putting in risk Likud’s numeric supremacy in the next Knesset.

It was such an aggressive attack on Bennett’s part, that the pushback had to come from Likud’s own rightwing, pro-settlements wing: an anonymous Likud senior official was cited by the press, but everyone knew it was Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Ze’ev Elkin, who accused Bennett of hypocrisy—since he had lived comfortably in the previous coalition government with Minister Tzipi LIvni, while the latter was in charge of the two-state negotiations. Elkin, speaking as senior anonymous Likud man, also said it was Bennett who was threatening the stability of the most rightwing government in Israel’s history.

In the end, the cooling down of the internal fighting came from the new defense minister, Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu), also a former Netanyahu lieutenant in Likud who broke up with the boss and has maintained a terrible personal relationship with him, complete with bad blood and burgeoning resentments. Liberman said Monday morning: “I call on Naftali Bennett to calm down. Right now we need fewer declarations and more coordinated, quiet work.”

“If he can’t hold back, I suggest he undergo surgery to remove his short fuse,” Liberman said about Bennett, in a bearish kind of humor.

Incidentally, you may recall that Liberman has endured his share of ridicule upon taking on his important new position, because in an interview Liberman had given only last April, he promised that should he become defense minister, he would demand that Deputy Chairman of the Hamas Political Bureau Ismail Haniya return the bodies of Israeli soldiers in his possessions or face death. There’s even a website counting the days since Liberman’s appointment and noting that the Hamas leader is still alive.

“I suggest to anyone who is asking me regarding taking care of Haniya to wait until the end of my term, and not [harass me] in my first week in office,” the new defense minsiter said.

Except that in that interview Liberman actually said Haniya should be counting his days on this earth from Liberman’s first day in office. So the inquiries are certainly legitimate.

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/ahead-of-coalition-reshuffle-bennett-revving-up-attacks-on-netanyahu-liberman-urging-calm/2016/06/06/

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