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August 27, 2016 / 23 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘hizb’allah’

Argentine Judge Wants to Probe Former President on 1994 Jewish Center Bombing

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

Judge Claudio Bonadio wants to restart the investigation of former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner over a cover-up that followed the 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association, media outlets reported Tuesday. In January 2015, special prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who was Jewish, was found dead with a bullet in his head in his apartment on the day he was scheduled to present his charges against Fernandez to a Congressional committee.

Magistrate Daniel Rafecas, who a few days earlier had refused to reopen the case against Fernandez, which he closed in 2015, on Tuesday accepted a request for the investigation’s files from Judge Bonadio, but told Spanish news agency EFE that “the case has been closed for the lack of a crime, so that technically there is no case. What Dr. Bonadio could do is open a new investigation — but exclusively based on new evidence.”

Rafecas added that he is “obligated to send [the files] to him so that he has it on hand to evaluate or study all the findings of my inquiry.”

Nisman was appointed Special Prosecutor in charge of the AMIA bombing investigation on September 13, 2004. The probe into the 1994 terrorist attack against the AMIA had been marked by judicial misconduct, and was at an impasse. On October 25, 2006, Nisman formally accused the government of Iran of directing the AMIA bombing, and the Hezbollah militia of carrying it out. The theory was that Argentina had been targeted by Iran as punishment for its decision to suspend a nuclear technology sale to Tehran. In November 2007, Interpol published the names of six individuals officially accused for their role in the terrorist attack: Imad Fayez Moughnieh, Ali Fallahijan, Mohsen Rabbani, Ahmad Reza Asghari, Ahmad Vahidi and Mohsen Rezaee.

In 2008 Nisman asked to arrest former president Carlos Menem, along with Judge Juan José Galeano, who first presided over the AMIA case until his removal in 2004. WikiLeaks revealed that US diplomats considered that Nisman may have done it as a gesture to new President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, since he was seeking the post of Argentina’s General Prosecutor.

In January 2015, Nisman accused President Kirchner, Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman and other politicians of covering up the roles of Iranian suspects in the case, in exchange for Iranian business. The charge was based on wire tap reports of meetings of Kirchner’s people with Mohsen Rabbani, a former cultural attaché at Iran’s embassy in Buenos Aires.

Nisman’s body was discovered on the day he was supposed to appear before a parliamentary committee to present his case against the president (who has since lost her post).

JNi.Media

IDF Preparing for War with ISIS, Rebels, Following Truce in Syria

Sunday, July 31st, 2016

Russian efforts to reach a truce between the President Bashar al-Assad regime and the various rebel groups in Syria appear to be close to a successful resolution, and so Israel is already preparing for the day after the final truce, when it is safe to expect that Jihadist fire would be turned south, at the “Zionist enemy.” According to Israeli media reports, the northern Golani Brigade ran a series of exercises last week in the Golan Heights and near the Lebanese border, in preparation for war with ISIS and Hezbollah — two sworn enemies in the civil war.

Despite a string of minor breaches, the IDF has traditionally viewed the Syrian border as stable, although it makes certain to retaliate for every violation of Israeli sovereignty, no matter how minor. Over the past two years, each time an errant shell landed in an open field on Israel’s side of the border, it was followed by a barrage of Israeli artillery at the source — which is why those slights have been kept down. So far, neither the Islamist militias nor certainly the Syrian army have been interested in provoking the IDF.

But Northern Command Chief Gen. Aviv Kochavi is directing his troops’ training programs to prepare for Jihadist attacks using machine guns, anti-tank rockets, and mortars, as well as attempts to penetrate the border. Last week’s training exercise in Golani dealt with just such scenarios, involving coordinated invasion attempts by the Jihadist groups in Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon. One entire battalion, according to reports, took on the role of the local civilian Arab population, in an attempt to isolate them from the fighting.

Gen. Aviv Kochavi (who was still Brig. Gen. And a paratrooper when the picture was taken). / IDF

Gen. Aviv Kochavi (who was still Brig. Gen. And a paratrooper when the picture was taken). / IDF

The maneuver emphasized profuse use of megaphones by IDF commanders who speak Arabic, to warn Arab civilians about IDF activity against the rebel groups, encouraging them to keep away from those groups. In most cases, the IDF does not regard local Arab villagers in south Syria and Lebanon as necessarily hostile. Many local civilians who had been injured during the fighting were evacuated to Israeli hospitals to receive treatment, which, hopefully, established a positive rapport between the villagers and Israel.

Still, the IDF has no illusions about the Hezbollah being able to divert its forces from the Syrian campaign to the Israeli border following a truce, which is why last week’s training maneuvers also included a refresher course on fighting in dense, urban populations, including vertical fighting inside high rise buildings, resembling the conditions in the Hezbollah dominated coastal Lebanese cities..

Part of the IDF new thinking about the post-Syrian truce reality focuses on logistics, with the assumption the should a war break out with Lebanon and possibly with Syria, the IDF is likely to penetrate much deeper into enemy territory than it did in the second Lebanon war. Effective distribution of food, ammunition, equipment and fuel, as well as rescue operations, will necessarily have to reach as far into the same territory as the fighting forces, which will require a high level of cooperation among land and air troops.

JNi.Media

IDF Chief Cancels Hannibal Directive to Prevent Capture at All Cost

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot has recently ordered the cancellation of the Hannibal Directive, to be replaced by a new directive which is being worked out, Ha’aretz reported on Tuesday, citing a senior IDF source who claims the chief’s decision had been reached independent of a leaked draft of the State Comptroller which recommends taking out the Hannibal option.

According to Israeli media, the Hannibal Directive was conceived in 1986 by a group of top Israeli officers following the capture of two Israeli soldiers during a Hezbollah ambush in South Lebanon in June 1986. Both soldiers presumably died during the attack, and their bodies were returned to Israel in an exchange with Hezbollah in 1996. The directive authorizes stopping abductors by shooting at them, even if it puts captured Israeli soldiers at risk. There is a dispute as to whether the directive includes authorization to kill captured IDF soldiers when it becomes clear that they cannot be rescued. Some reports have claimed that the policy actually promotes the killing of captured soldiers to prevent the need for prisoner exchanges.

On Tuesday Israeli media reported a leak from a draft recommendation by State Comptroller Retired Judge Joseph Shapiro, which had been handed to seniors in the political, military and judiciary echelons as part of the comptroller’s report on the 2014 Gaza War.

The Hannibal Directive was last executed in connection with the kidnapping of Lt. Hadar Goldin of the Givati special force, during the Rafah battle in August 2014, remembered as Black Friday. Once it was known that Goldin had been kidnapped, a widespread chase ensued, which included infantry units as well as a mass shelling of the area, which resulted in the deaths of many civilians.

Eventually it turned out that Goldin had been killed during the kidnapping attempt, and his body is being kept as a bargaining chip by the Hamas. The Military Attorney General at the time, Gen. Danny Efroni, and the new MAG Gen. Sharon Afek have both considered and decided to forego a criminal investigation of the event, because of international criticism over the large number of collateral civilian casualties.

JNi.Media

4 Suicide Bombers in Lebanon Kill 8, a Dozen Wounded [video]

Monday, June 27th, 2016

Four suicide bombers blew themselves up in the eastern Lebanon Beqaa Valley town of Qaa on Monday morning, according to Arab news sources. The Lebanese village is alongside the Syrian border.

At least 5 people have been killed according to Aljazeera. Al Arabiya reports the number of dead has gone up to 8.

The dead are Lebanese soldiers, apparently intelligence officers, and more than a dozen people have been wounded.

Hezbollah TV claims 6 people were killed and 13 were wounded.

One suicide bomber blew himself next to the soldiers, and then the other 3 bomber followed suit.

It is unclear who was behind the attack.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Nasrallah: Everything Hezbollah Eats and Drinks, Its Weapons and Rockets, Come from Iran

Sunday, June 26th, 2016

In a Friday speech marking 40 days after the death of senior Hezbollah commander Mustafah Bedreddine in Damascus, the leader of Hezbollah Hassan Nasrallah announced that his group is “open about the fact that Hezbollah’s budget, its income, its expenses, everything it eats and drinks, its weapons and rockets, come from the Islamic Republic of Iran.” Which is why no matter how many new sanctions the US and the West would place on it, Nasrallah said, Hezbollah “will not be affected.”

Nasrallah said: “As long as Iran has money, we have money… Just as we receive the rockets that we use to threaten Israel, we are receiving our money. No law will prevent us from receiving it…”

As Al Arabia pointed out, the Nasrallah speech is a major embarrassment to the Obama Administration, since it appears that by approving the thawing of Iranian funds in return for a dubious nuclear agreement the US is now “playing a critical role in assisting and facilitating the ways through which Hezbollah receives this significant aid from the Iranian government.”

Two of the major beneficiaries of the sanctions relief have been Hezbollah and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Iran has also been able to increase its military budget by $1.5 billion from $15.6 billion to $17.1 billion.

Nasrallah’s speech now indicates that US money transfer to Iran’s bank and the sanctions relief have empowered both the Iranian government and Hezbollah, this after a few years in which the Lebanese terror organizations has suffered the worst string of casualties in its proxy war in Syria alongside the IRGC.

With that in mind, Nasrallah said on Friday that since thousands of Hezbollah’s Sunni enemies have recently entered Syria through Turkey to take over the northern city of Aleppo, he will send more fighters to the Aleppo area, where Hezbollah has suffered heavy losses in the past. “We are facing a new wave […] of projects of war against Syria which are being waged in northern Syria, particularly in the Aleppo region,” Nasrallah said, declaring, “The defence of Aleppo is the defense of the rest of Syria, it is the defense of Damascus, it is also the defense of Lebanon, and of Iraq.”

Nasrallah also admitted that 26 Hezbollah fighters had been killed so far in June, adding to the estimates of more than a thousand Hezbollah dead, including several senior leaders, in the Syrian civil war.

JNi.Media

In Netanyahu Meeting with Putin Tuesday Syria on the Table, But Not Iran

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to hold talks on Tuesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin, on a state visit to Moscow marking the 25th anniversary of the restoration of diplomatic relations between the two countries. This is the second meeting between the two leaders in Moscow in the past month and a half, and the fourth over the past year. Netanyahu only met once with President Obama over the same period of time.

Speaking on Monday at a ceremony commemorating the Six-Day War, Netanyahu noted that the hostile Arab armies that circled Israel back in 1967 were “armed, trained, supplied and supported by the Soviet Union.” He added quickly: “Look what a tremendous difference there is nowadays. Russia is a world superpower and the relations between us are getting ever tighter. I’m laboring over tightening this connection and it serves our national security these days, and it has prevented needless, dangerous confrontations on our northern border.”

It could be said that Israel is experiencing its best relationship with Russia on record, with the volume of trade, tourism, security and political coordination at a peak—much of it credited to Avigdor Liberman’s stint as foreign minister. But there are obvious areas where Russia is not coming across as a friend of the Jewish State, if anything, it appears to be leading and supporting Israel’s most vehement enemies — Iran with its proxies, and the Palestinians.

The Russians are supplying Iran with advanced S-300 long-range surface-to-air missile systems, and are in the process of selling the Iranians many more weapons, because the Iranians can now afford it, their multi-billion dollar accounts having been restored by the Obama-Kerry team.

The Russians are fighting in Syria alongside Hezbollah, and are facilitating—actively or tacitly—the leakage of weapons, advanced and otherwise, from Syria into south Lebanon, where they will some day be used against Israel.

In 2015-16 the Russians have spearheaded several critical anti-Israel UN votes: they supported the Egyptian proposal to impose UN supervision on Israel’s nuclear facilities; they’ve been voting regularly with the anti-Israel majority at the UN Human Rights Council; they supported the Palestinian proposal to create a blacklist of companies that trade with the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria; and they’ve supported the shameful UNESCO resolution that removed all trace of recognizing a Jewish presence in Jerusalem.

So perhaps the friendship between the two countries could get a little friendlier.

According to the Kremlin press service, Putin and Netanyahu are going to have a detailed exchange of opinion on the Middle East regional issues, with special emphasis on the struggle with international terrorism. The agenda will be expansive, says the Kremlin, “since relations between Russia and Israel are at an advanced stage and have the character of partnership.”

Russian Ambassador to Israel Alexander Shein told TASS that the two sides plan to sign an agreement on pensions to Russian-born Israelis who did not keep their Russian citizenship after emigrating from the former USSR. A Russian good will gesture in this case would go a long way to boost Netanyahu’s promise to his new coalition partner Liberman, who conditioned the move into government on an increase in those pensions.

There is certainly a renaissance in Russian-Israeli ties: since the year 2000 Israeli Prime Ministers have made thirteen visits to Russia, Netanyahu accounting for seven of those visits. Putin visited Israel once during the same period.

JNi.Media

MK Glick’s First Act Is Complaint About… You Guessed It

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

MK Yehuda Glick (Likud) on Thursday told his Facebook followers that his first act in the Knesset had been to complain to the Ethics Committee against MK Masud Ganaim (Joint Arab List) for announcing his intent to ascend to the Temple Mount despite the prime minister’s ban on politicians going up to the holy site.

“The ethics committee must deal with this case harshly, because it isn’t a complaint about a violation that has already taken place, but one in which an MK announces in advance his intent to step on the rules by which he must abide as legislator. It is inconceivable that a person would be getting a salary from the state as legislator and at the same time see himself as unbound by its rules?” MK Glick asked the committee.

Back in 2010, Masud Ganaim called for the replacement of Israel with a caliphate and stated, “I support the righteous party. The Iran-Hezbollah-Syria axis represents the line of resistance and intractability, and naturally, I support this axis.”

Speaking to Ynet, Ganaim said, “I believe there is an urgent need to return to the Islamic caliphate. I believe this is the most fitting solution to the state of weakness, deterioration and erosion the Arabs and Muslims are suffering from.” He added that he believes that an Islamic regime should be established in “Palestine or the Arab and Islamic homeland.”

As to the Jewish State, Ganaim said it would be included in the greater Islamic state. “We are not against the Jews, but against the Zionist movement and its racist ideology. We have no objection to the Jews managing their own matters themselves.”

Just not on the Temple Mount.

David Israel

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