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May 6, 2016 / 28 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Hezbollah’

Netanyahu Meets With Putin in Moscow 1 Day Before Passover

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew to Moscow Thursday morning for a quick pre-Passover meeting with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.

According to the prime minister’s office, on the agenda were advanced weapons sales to Iran, and the situation in Syria, continued coordination between the military forces of the two nations in Syria, a discussion about the peace efforts in the country, and prevention of advanced weapons access for the Lebanon-based Hezbollah terror group.

During his visit to Moscow last month, President Reuven Rivlin asked Putin to help re-establish the presence in the Golan Heights, between Israel and Syria, of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force. The reason: a developing vacuum is making it easier for Hezbollah and other Iranian proxies to infiltrate the former no-man’s-land and set up a base for attacks against the Jewish State.

Rivlin told Putin that such activity was a red line for Israel, according to Channel 2 news. Putin extended an invitation to Netanyahu to visit Moscow during that visit with Rivlin.

Absorption Minister Ze’ev Elkin, born in Ukraine, accompanied the prime minister. Other members of the delegation included Israel Air Force Maj.-Gen. Amir Eshel, National Security Council Director Avriel Bar Yosef, Military Secretary to the Prime Minister Col. Eliezer Toledano and the head of the Prime Minister’s Office.

Hana Levi Julian

Smugglers’ Cross-Border Tunnel Discovered in San Diego

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

It’s not only Israel contending with tunnels, although for Israel tunnels pose an existential threat.

For the third time this month, a cross-border tunnel was discovered Wednesday (April 20) leading from Mexico to California. Authorities seized seven tons of marijuana and more than a ton of cocaine.

The tunnel, measuring nearly half a mile, is believed to be the longest ever found in California. It was equipped with a rail system, ventilation, lights and a large elevator, making delivery of the smuggled goods much easier and more efficient. Some tunnels along the U.S.-Mexico border have been discovered with hydraulic lifts and electric rail cards, according to Fox News.

The exit on the U.S. side was about three feet wide. Six people were arrested last Friday in San Diego and charged with constructing tunnels and other drug-related crimes. They were not identified and their affiliation is not known.

There are numerous drug cartels doing “business” throughout Latin America, including a number who carry out transactions with Lebanon’s Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist organization.

Agents found 1,600 pounds of marijuana inside the tunnel. Another 11,000 pounds of cannabis and 2,242 pounds of cocaine were found in the truck that had been collected from the handy trash bin strategically placed to hide the mouth of the tunnel, as a pickup site for smugglers. In addition, another 1,430 pounds of marijuana were found in the bin.

Hana Levi Julian

US Supreme Court Upholds $1.75 b Claim Against Iranian Terror Attacks

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a $1.75 billion dollar claim Wednesday against Iran by more than 1,300 relatives of U.S. military personnel who died in the 1983 bombing attack on their barracks in Beirut, and victims of other terror attacks linked to Iran by the courts.

The case, Bank Markazi v. Peterson, 14-770, involved relatives of victims of the Marine barracks bombing in Beirut, the 19 victims of the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia and victims of other Iranian state-sponsored terror attacks. The lead plaintiff is Deborah Peterson, whose brother U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. James C. Knipple was killed in Beirut.

Iran’s Bank Markazi had appealed against the prior ruling, arguing the Congress, as the legislative branch could not intervene in the judicial branch when it passed a 2012 law ordering the banks’ assets in the U.S. be turned over to the families.

President Barack Obama had signed an executive order earlier in that year freezing the assets of the Iranian central bank in the United States, held by Citibank in New York.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the majority opinion for the Court, rejecting the appeal by the Iranian central bank.

Ginsburg wrote that the law “does not transgress restraints placed on Congress and the president by the Constitution.”

Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissented, with Roberts writing the dissenting opinion. “The authority of the political branches is sufficient; they have no need to seize ours,” he wrote.

Although American law allows victims of state-sponsored terror to seek redress in U.S. courts for having been attacked, Iran does not comply with judgments. As a result, attorneys hunt for Iranian assets within the United States.

Hana Levi Julian

Human Error Kills Dozens of Hezbollah Fighters in Syrian Chemical Attack

Sunday, April 17th, 2016

Dozens of Hezbollah fighters were killed last week in a chemical attack perpetrated against them in error by their allies in the Syrian air force, diplomatic sources in Beirut told Kuwaiti newspaper Al Jarida reported on Sunday. The report said that Syrian aircraft attacked by mistake the town of al-Ais south of Aleppo. The attack came as part of the Syrian regime’s effort to retake the Aleppo area, and the Hezbollah men simply got in the way.

The report said there were chemical burn marks on the bodies. “This is not the first incident to take place due to the coordination problems between the regime and the Russian army, Hezbollah and Iran,” the diplomatic source told Al Jarida, noting that “such incidents have been repeated since the Russians’ entry into the conflict.”

The same source raised concerns regarding the Syrian regime’s return to everyday use of unconventional weapons, well after it was established that the President Assad army no longer possesses such weapons and had committed to never using such weapons again. The source even suggested that part of President Putin’s decision to take his army out of Syria had to do with concerns regarding Syrian chemical weapons.

The source suggested the incident may also cause Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah to pull his forces out of Syria. Hezbollah casualties in the Syrian civil war are believed to have surpassed 1,000.

In early April, ISIS attacked the Assad forces with chemical weapons at an airbase in eastern Syria, according to state news agency SANA. The report said “ISIS terrorists attacked Deir Ezzor military airport with rockets carrying mustard gas, causing some people to suffocate.”

JNi.Media

Hezbollah Sabotages French Effort to Advance Lebanese Presidential Elections, Unrest to Continue

Sunday, April 17th, 2016

French President Francois Hollande is wrapping up a two-day visit to Lebanon where he did his best to convince leaderless lawmakers to move ahead towards presidential elections, with little visible success. Hollande’s next stop on his Middle East tour is Egypt and Jordan.

The Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist group cancelled a meeting between Shi’ite representatives and visiting French President Francois Hollande in Beirut on Sunday. Kuwaiti newspaper Al Seyassah quoted Lebanese ministerial sources as saying a minister from the terror group’s political wing, Lebanese MP Mohammed Ra’ad, was slated to meet Sunday with Hollande.

The French president was in Beirut Saturday and Sunday. Lebanon has been without a president since 2014. Internecine conflicts are rising in the country due to the raging civil war in Syria and the expanding threat of the Da’esh (ISIS) terror group flowing over their common border.

The unrest in both Syria and Lebanon has prompted Israeli defense officials to beef up its military troops along the border with both countries.

“I want to visit Beirut again when there is a president in Lebanon but the issue lies in the hand of Lebanese lawmakers … who should resolve the deadlock and elect a head of state,” Hollande said Saturday following talks with Lebanese parliament speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Tammam Salam.

The country has been without a leader nearly two years, in part because Hezbollah keeps boycotting the parliamentary process that leads to the presidential elections.

Hollande is expected to reiterate France’s support for the Lebanese army, according to Yalibnan. Saudi Arabia suspended a $3 billion military grant to Lebanon earlier this year. Lebanon is home to more than a million Syrian refugees, the equivalent of a quarter the country’s population of 4.5 million. There are also nearly 400,000 Arabs who migrated to the country when they fled their homes during wars with Israel. They are still held at arms’ length as refugees in 12 camps after moving to the country after more than half a century.

The French leader was also scheduled to travel Sunday to an informal Syrian refugee camp in Lebanon’s eastern Beka’a Valley to speak to families who will be resettled in France.

Hana Levi Julian

Hezbollah More Isolated Among Arab Nations With Closer Ties to Iran

Friday, April 8th, 2016

While the Lebanon-based Iranian proxy Hezbollah terror organization is growing in its worldwide influence, it is slowly being squeezed into isolation in the Arab world.

Both the Beirut Arab satellite operator “Nilesat” and “Arabsat” have cut their transmissions of the Al-Manar television channel.

Al Manar is the official media outlet of Hezbollah.

For the time being, Hezbollah is carrying on its media activities via the Russian satellite, broadcasting on RT Arabic (Russia Today), according to telecommuncations expert Tony Hayek, who was quoted by A-Sharq Al-Awsat, owned by Saudi Arabia.

The group itself has also been squeezed out of Arab brotherhood organizations, largely through the efforts of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, which withdrew a significant sum for military aid from Lebanon this year.

The Gulf Cooperation Council and then the Arab League as well both officially declared Hezbollah to be a terrorist entity. The declaration carries severe implications financially as well as socially for members of the group when they travel abroad and in terms of their banking affairs.

Hezbollah is listed as a terrorist organization in the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada and Israel. However, the EU and UK make a distinction between the group’s military and “political” wings.

The terror group’s Lebanese parliamentarian, Nawwaf Moussawi accused Lebanese authorities of not taking effective measures against the A-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

The Saudi-owned newspaper, which is based in London, carried a satiric cartoon about the Iranian proxy group earlier in the month. According to a report by the newspaper its Beirut offices were targeted by a gang of unnamed attackers.

The vandals broke into the offices of the newspaper in Lebanon, and wrecked the premises. Seven of the attackers are currently being held by authorities; an eighth is still at large. Trial of the detainees set to begin Monday, A-Sharq Al-Awsat reported.

Even as its star may be fading in the Middle East, however, Hezbollah is growing new tentacles elsewhere in the world.

A Hezbollah terrorist cell in Europe was recently arrested by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency for drug trafficking and money laundering.

The terrorist organization has established business relationships with a number of drug cartels in South America, according to DEA acting deputy administrator Jack Riley.

Hezbollah has been known for years to be running operations through Mexico as well.

Hana Levi Julian

Russia Offers to Help Israel Develop Natural Gas Fields

Thursday, April 7th, 2016

Consider it a form of ‘protection.’ Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has offered to invest in Israel’s natural gas development.

Diplomatic sources told the Middle East Newsline (MENL) on Wednesday, “Putin very much wants to make Russia into the major developer of energy fields in the Mediterranean, and the first target has been Israel.”

A decision last month by Israel’s High Court of Justice nullified a “stability clause” that would have blocked regulatory changes to an offshore gas outline for the next 10 years.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had included the clause at the request of the consortium that developed the reserves, Texas-based Noble Energy and Israel’s Delek Group, in return for their massive investments.

The decision, however, may have killed the deal signed with the consortium and potential customers as a result. Although the court gave the government a year to fix the clause, it did little to soothe the fears of bureaucracy-exhausted investors, nor to prevent new customers from bolting.

Moreover, there have been attempts by Lebanon to claim Israel’s northernmost natural gas fields. One of the reserves is located off the coast of Nahariya, south of Lebanon’s territorial waters, and is a field Lebanon had never laid claim to until Israel discovered the gas and oil therein.

Hezbollah representatives spent months referring in various speeches to the reserve. Lebanon even attempted to recruit help from the United States in 2014 in seizing the reserve from Israel.

Putin, however, has pledged Russian influence to block attacks by Iranian proxies against any Russian-operated field. Efforts by Hezbollah to stop Israel from developing its natural resources beneath the Mediterranean would likely be among the targets of Russian ire.

More than one of Israel’s natural gas fields are located near Lebanese maritime borders.

According to the diplomatic source, Putin envisions an investment between $7 billion to $10 billion to develop Israeli offshore gas fields.

Several weeks ago, Putin said he plans to meet with Netanyahu in the nearest future, noting that Russia and Israel have “many issues” to discuss.

Israeli media reported this week that Netanyahu plans to travel to Moscow later in the month, allegedly on April 21, to meet with Putin.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told media on Wednesday that such a visit is indeed under consideration. “We will make a relevant statement in a timely manner” Peskov said, according to TASS.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/russia-offers-to-help-israel-develop-natural-gas-fields/2016/04/07/

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