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October 1, 2016 / 28 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Israel Defense Forces’

Palestinian Authority, Israeli Security Forces Quietly Working Together

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

The special operations Palestinian Authority intelligence service arrested a number of fugitives late Monday night in Kfar al-Yamoun, west of Jenin. The raid was carried out after a tip on a large cache of weapons and ammunition.

Large cache of weapons and ammunition confiscated by Palestinian Authority special security forces after raiding a house in a village near Jenin.

Also on Monday night, IDF forces raided the homes of operatives who carried out the stabbing attack against Israeli soldiers in a Hebron neighborhood earlier in the day, Arab sources reported.

Hana Levi Julian

Netanyahu Representative in DC to Negotiate $38 Billion Aid Deal

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

Brigadier General Yaakov Nagel, Israel’s acting National Security Council, arrived in Washington DC on Tuesday to meet with President Obama’s National Security Advisor Susan Rice, in preparations for signing a new US military aid package. The new US aid deal, which the two governments have been negotiating since November 2015, awards Israel $38 billion over 10 years.

Nagel met with US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro to work out the final details before leaving for Washington — including the text of the official announcements. The new aid package is expected to average $3.8 billion a year, a considerable cut from Netanyahu’s initial request for $4.5 billion. The deal is also contingent on Israel agreeing not to approach Congress for additional funds, as in the case of the Iron Dome missile defense system, which Congress has been paying for outside the annual aid package. Now an estimated $5 billion out of the package will be spent over 10 years on missile defense development.

In other words, the new aid package is only adding $300 million to the previous amount. To remind you, the sum of $3 billion annually was set during the Camp David peace negotiations with Egypt, as compensation to Israel for giving up the Sinai peninsula as a military asset. That amount has never been raised in close to 40 years, even though the current value of that annual package would have been $10.48 billion.

The critical disagreement between the two sides over the current deal has been whether or not Israel could continue to invest a percentage of the aid package in Israeli made military products. The Obama Administration wanted the entire amount to stay in US corporations, which would have been devastating to Israeli manufacturers and to the IDF. A short episode during the 2014 Gaza War, in which the Obama Administration stopped shipping to Israel all defense items, including Hellfire missiles, served as a memorable lesson to the Israeli security apparatus about the need to increase its self-reliance.

The new deal ended up adding six years in which Israel can continue to spend as much as 26% of the US aid money on Israeli made products, as well as another 13% for fuel purchases. By the seventh year, or halfway into Clinton’s or Trump’s second term, the Israeli military industrial complex would have to quit US aid cold turkey — Unless Netanyahu or his successor is able to renegotiate that part — depending on who is in the White House and who controls Congress at the time.

David Israel

Israel Tuning Up Forces With Weekend Counter-Terrorism Drills

Sunday, September 11th, 2016

A simulated terrorist shooting on one of Israel’s main roads was one of the scenarios played out this weekend during a counter-terrorism drill carried out by several IDF combat units.

Among those participating were the Nahal Brigade 50th battalion and the 401 Brigade 46th battalion. Both were directed to run a quick sweep of the main road, neutralizing the simulated threat, tracking down and capturing terrorists while tending to the wounded.

The exercise was later deemed a success, with forces correctly locating the “terrorists” and arresting them.

Drivers in northern Israel may find some of their travels a bit more exciting by Sunday morning, according to the IDF, with a military exercise designed to continue until Wednesday.

The new drill began late Saturday night in the Galilee, according to the IDF Spokesperson. “During the exercise drivers may become aware of additional traffic from security forces and other additional vehicles,” the IDF Spokesperson said.

However, none of this has anything to do with what’s going on north of the border, he emphasized. There was no comment on a claim by the Lebanese army on Saturday that Israel quietly removed a spying device it placed near Har Dov on the northern side of Mount Hermon. Lebanon had told international media in a statement the reconnaissance device was spotted by a patrol on Thursday – but when a second force went back to take the device it had already been removed by the IDF.

“The exercise was planned in advance as part of the 2016 Training Calendar, designed to maintain competency and readiness among the military forces,” the IDF Spokesperson explained.

Hana Levi Julian

President Rivlin Tours Gaza Border Communities, Praises IDF Operational Power

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

Marking two years since Operation Protective Edge, President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday toured the region bordering the Gaza Strip, accompanied by IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, GOC Southern Command Maj. Gen. Eyal Zamir, and Gaza Division Commander Brig. Gen. Yehuda Fox.

The President received a situation update and heard about the IDF daily operations in the area, in particular following the recent terrorist rocket attack on Sderot. During his visit, President Rivlin was shown a terror tunnel discovered by the IDF, and discussed the initiatives the IDF was taking to tackle the tunnels problem.

The President later met with dozens of soldiers from the Bedouin Tracker Unit, combat engineers, and members of the Givati Brigade who are serving in the region. He told them, “Two years after Operation Protective Edge, the south has returned to its daily routine. The IDF guards the front in the very best way, and the front in return shows its appreciation. Just as we saw yesterday, we will not tolerate any disturbance of the quiet, and in the face of any such disturbance we will respond swiftly and firmly. On both sides of the border there are civilians who want to live in quiet and we will be sure that the citizens of Israel will continue to live in harmony. We do not seek war, yet, after having sat with our wonderful commanders I know that if war is forced upon us, we have an army as ready and professional as could be asked. The plan that was presented to me reflects operational strength.”

President Rivlin pointed that “two of our sons remained behind after the war which took place two years ago. The State of Israel has a moral responsibility to bring back Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul.”

The President added, “On my own behalf, and on behalf of all the Israeli people, I want to say thank you to the commanders, and to the service men and women. The calm here is not taken for granted, the children and the families who are now enjoying the summer holiday do so thanks to you.”

The President told reporters who accompanied his visit, “We are not interested in an escalation. Just as the other side wants to live in peace and live comfortable lives, so do we. At the same time, we are ready to face any hostility toward us. I am impressed by the readiness of the IDF to face any challenge in order to safeguard Israel’s security. I can say to the citizens of Israel, the IDF is prepared and ready to face any threat above or below ground in order to prevent any trouble not just around Gaza, but across the country.”

The President later met with council heads from the Negev and the southern region.

David Israel

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

Russia Admits the Drone was Theirs

Sunday, August 7th, 2016

On July 17, a drone entered Israeli airspace from Syria and flew over the Golan. As reported in JewishPress.com, Israel launched 2 Patriot missiles at the drone, as well as a missile launched from an aircraft.

All three missile missed, and the drone flew back into Syria.

Fragment from the missiles landed near Kibbutz Ayelet Hashachar, and a 14-year-old girl was injured when one of the missile fragments hit her in the leg.

At the time there was speculation that the drone was Russian.

A report released today in Haaretz says that according to the Israeli Defense Ministry, Russia admitted the drone was theirs and it entered Israeli air space due to human error.

Russia’s admission may explain how, despite three attempts, Israel “missed” knocking down the drone, as Israel wanted to send a message to Russia to stop the overflight, but not cause an international incident by actually knocking the drone down.

The infiltration happened soon after Turkey shot down a Russian plane near the Syrian Turkey, raising tension even higher between those two countries.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Survey Finds Israelis Have Few Delusions about Peace, IDF Brass

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

Against a background of recent disputes between the IDF senior command and right-leaning groups in the Israeli Jewish public, as well as with senior political leaders on the right, the July Peace Index focused on aspects of the IDF’s relationships with the public and with the political leadership. Or, rather, its Tuesday’s press release said so. As in all things factual, God is in the details; and when it comes to public opinion surveys, the details emanate from the questions.

To illuminate things, the Peace Index is a project of the Evens Program for Mediation and Conflict Resolution at Tel Aviv University and the Guttman Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research of the Israel Democracy Institute. The IDI is mostly made up of hard-left academics, with a smattering of token right-leaning individuals.

Now, rather than copy and paste the executive summary which was emailed to news organizations in a press release, JNI.media examined the actual data, which the Peace Index website also offers.

For whatever reason, it turns out the PI press release completely ignored the second question posed to its July group of 500 Jews and 100 Arabs: “Do you believe or not believe that negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority will lead in the coming years to peace between Israel and the Palestinians?”

Among the Jewish respondents, only 4% strongly believe in such a possibility. 16.1% believe it moderately. 35.4% moderately do not believe it. 41.1% do not believe it at all. We feel this should have been the focus of the survey: some 77% of Israeli Jews do not believe peace is a possibility. Incidentally, the Arab group is more optimistic, with 27% strongly believing in a coming peace, 19% moderately.

But maybe the PI has grown tired of getting this same answer to the peace question from Israeli Jews, who have grown thoroughly disillusioned and simply no longer expect their Arab neighbors to accept them as a legitimate political entity.

So, turning to the subject on which the PI press release opted to focus: how close is the apparent value system of the IDF senior command and that of the general public and of the political leadership? The question posed was: “At present, is the framework of values of the IDF’s senior command level close to or distant from the framework of values of the general Israeli public?”

Very few Jews, 7.2%, actually believe the two are very close. The middle was taken up by 41.7% who see them as moderately close and 28.7% as moderately distant. 8% believe they’re very distant. In other words, about 78% of Israeli Jews perceive a gap between the ideology of the IDF leadership and the rest of the nation. That is some gap.

A very similar outcome emerges in response to a comparison between the IDF leadership and the political leadership. A whopping 69% perceive a distance between the two. In a democratic country, such a perception of the military skewing to the left of where the elected officials and the political majority stand is reason for anxiety.

More Israelis disagree than agree with the assertion by Rabbi Yigal Levenstein, head of the Bnei David pre-military academy in Eli, that the IDF has adopted a pluralist worldview, expressed through HR allocations, appointments and budgets, that opposes halakha and pushes out religious-Zionist and ultra-Orthodox soldiers and officers. 33% of the Jews agree with Rabbi Levenstein, 52.3% disagree.

But one must ask how much of the Levenstein lecture that caused the public brouhaha did those 52.3% actually get to hear?

Are they aware of the recent Liba organization report that points out blatantly anti-religious IDF orders, like the prohibition on growing beards. Or do they know that the age limit for career officers enrolling in the IDF battalion commander course was cut down to 32, deliberately in order to disqualify religious officers whose career track, mixing yeshiva study and military service, is longer? Do they know that the Education Corps promotes soldiers’ interaction with Muslim, Christian and Reform and Conservative practices, at the expense of the more established faith, Orthodox Judaism? Is it possible that those responses would have been different had the respondents been aware of the realities Levenstein’s talk represented?

Finally, here’s a stacked question where the phrasing presages the answer. The PI question was: “In your opinion, is it good or not good for the IDF to adopt a pluralist and open framework of values—for example, regarding acceptance of the other when it comes to the LGBT community?”

What the question does, slyly, is introduce a claim that the values of openness and pluralism are mainly expressed by embracing homosexuals. It doesn’t offer any other choices for pluralism, such as permitting religious soldiers to abstain from concerts with female singers (they must stay and listen); or accepting a call from a brigade commander to go to battle that includes the Shema Israel; or accepting the fact that the vast majority of religious Jews view homosexuality as a repugnant phenomenon, which some are prepared to tolerate, but nothing more.

To produce a reliable response, the question should have been either, “Is it good or not good for the IDF to adopt a pluralist and open framework of values,” with which the vast majority would have agreed (who doesn’t want to be open and pluralistic?) or “Do you support homosexuals serving in the IDF?” — without endowing the LGBT with the mitigating term of “the other,” which would have produced a truer reflection of the Israeli public’s views on the matter.

This month’s survey was conducted by telephone on July 25-27, 2016, by the Midgam Research Institute. The survey included 600 respondents (500 Jews and 100 Arabs), who constitute a representative national sample of the entire adult population of Israel aged 18 and over. The maximum measurement error for the entire sample is ±4.1% at a confidence level of 95%.

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/survey-finds-israelis-have-few-delusions-about-peace-idf-brass/2016/08/03/

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