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March 30, 2015 / 10 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Israel’

Netanyahu Not Replacing Dermer

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

A source in the Prime Minister’s office said that PM Netanyahu is not planning to replace Israel’s Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer, according to Galey Tzahal.

The Obama administration, besides their open dislike for Netanyahu, apparently aren’t enamored by Ambassador Ron Dermer either, and the administration has purportedly demanded that Netanyahu replace him.

The source was responding to the rumors that Dermer would instead be made Ambassador to the UN, and either Yuval Steinitz or Ron Prosor would replace him.

With Minimal US Involvement, Arab Coalition Launches Operation ‘Firmness Storm’ Fighting Iranian Expansionism

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Published on Jewish Business News

by Ilan Shavit

Yemeni president Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi fled his palace in the capital city of Aden shortly after the Shi’ite Houthi rebels television station claimed they had taken control of an air base that served U.S. and European troops, Al Jazeera reported. Witnesses described a convoy of presidential vehicles leaving Hadi’s palace. As he was fleeing, Hadi asked the UN to authorize a foreign military intervention in the country.

Sunni countries in the Gulf have been accusing Iran of interference through several Shi’ite proxies in the region—including Israel’s neighbor Hezbollah. Iran has supplied weapons, money and training to the Shi’ite Houthi militia, as Tehran steps up its regional power struggle with Saudi Arabia, Reuters reported, citing Yemeni and Iranian officials say.

And then something new happened last night. Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab countries from the region launched operation “Firmness Storm” in Yemen against the Houthi.

Saudi ambassador to the U.S. Adel al-Jubair said on Wednesday that a coalition of 10 regional states, including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, had begun airstrikes against the rebels at 7 PM Eastern time.

“The operation is to defend and support the legitimate government of Yemen and prevent the radical Houthi movement from taking over the country,” al-Jubair told reporters.

Al-Jubeir said the U.S. is not involved in the airstrikes. But CNN military analyst Lt. Col. Rick Francona, a retired U.S. Air Force intelligence officer, said the U.S. probably provides the intelligence.

“The Saudis don’t have the intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance capability,” he said. “They needed help and it probably come from us.”

An Egyptian official told AFP that Egypt also plans to participate in the Yemen offensive.

The Saudis have announced that Pakistan, Jordan, Morocco and Sudan have “expressed desire to participate in the operation,” Saudi SPA state news agency said.

According to SPA, last week, commenting on the nuclear talks with Iran, Saudi foreign minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal told reporters “the United States will adhere to the negotiations with Iran and will prevent an Iranian development of atomic bomb, but this will not mean we will take our eyes off” the “tendencies of Iran in the region, which is one of the most leading elements of implanting instability in the region.”

Al-Faisal pointed out Iranian intervention in “Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, and Iraq,” and possibly in other regions. He stressed that these practices must be halted should Iran wanted to be part of the solution in the region, not part of the problem.

This might be a good time to mention Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s much maligned, March 3 speech before Congress, when he warned, among other things:

“Iran’s goons in Gaza, its lackeys in Lebanon, its revolutionary guards on the Golan Heights are clutching Israel with three tentacles of terror. Backed by Iran, Assad is slaughtering Syrians. Back by Iran, Shiite militias are rampaging through Iraq. Back by Iran, Houthis are seizing control of Yemen, threatening the strategic straits at the mouth of the Red Sea. Along with the Straits of Hormuz, that would give Iran a second choke-point on the world’s oil supply.”

US Declassifies Report, Exposes Details on Israel’s Nuclear Program

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

The United States has just revealed a stunning amount of information on some of Israel’s the most closely guarded secrets: information about its military cooperation with America and 20 years’ worth of details on Israel’s nuclear technology development, up to the 1980s.

The 386-page report, composed in 1987 by the federally funded Institute for Defense Analysis, (an NGO that operates under the Pentagon), is titled “Critical Technological Assessment in Israel and NATO Nations.”

It was declassified by the Pentagon in early February – but oddly, the report has been redacted so as to black out or withhold everything the Institute wrote on America’s NATO allies – but to reveal all that American experts assembled in Israel.

The news of the betrayal is only just now beginning to filter in to Israeli media and in fact has made no headlines at all in the U.S. news markets, where networks seem largely unaware of the tsunami that may follow when the news sinks in at home.

Given the timing of the declassification and the selective redaction of the report, one has to wonder about the choices that were made from the top. But a request to publish the report was filed under the Freedom of Information Act three years ago by American journalist Grant Smith.

One of the most revealing parts of the report states the Israelis are “developing the kind of codes which will enable them to make hydrogen bombs.* That is, codes which detail fission and fusion processes on a microscopic and macroscopic level.”

The report also compared Israel’s laboratories to those at Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore and Oak Ridge National Laboratories. Israeli facilities, the report stated, are “an almost exact parallel of the capability currently existing at our National Laboratories.”

Finally, in some areas, Israeli scientists were apparently ahead of the Americans; the report noted with admiration that Israeli physicists at Rafael (research and development laboratory in Israel) had found “ingeniously clever” solutions to difficult issues. Nevertheless, the report maintained that Israeli scientists had not yet reached the level of “partners”, inasmuch as they had obtained nuclear technologies “based on extrapolations of US equipment and ideas” and that were being produced in the United States.

However, it was found upon further investigation on site that the Jewish State had created “a totally integrated effort in systems development throughout the nation.” All forms of electronic combat operated within an “integrated system, not separated systems for the Army, Navy and Air Force.” The technology in some instances “is more advanced than in the U.S.,” the expert reported.

*A hydrogen bomb is much more powerful than the atomic bomb that wiped out Hiroshima in the 1940s.

Daylight: The Story of Obama and Israel

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

President Rivlin Tasks Netanyahu with Forming the Government

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

On Wednesday evening, President Ruby Rivlin, after consultation with the heads of all the political parties, tasked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with the job of forming the next coalition government in Israel. This will be Netanyahu’s fourth time as Prime Minister.

In the Israeli political system, once elections are over, the parties must combine to form a coalition government with at least 61 out of the 120 seats as members.

After consulting with the parties, the Israeli President selects the party head most likely to be able to form the coalition and then that party head has 28 days to put a coalition together, or in this case, April 22 at night, which is when Israel’s end its Memorial Day and start its Independence Day celebrations. If needed, he can receive a 14 day extension, which this year ends on May 6 – the eve of Lag Ba’omer.

If there are no surprises, Netanyahu is expected to form a coalition, after some tough negotiations, with the Likud, Bayit Yehudi, Kulanu, Yisrael Beytenu, UTJ and Shas.

4 IDF Soldiers Hurt in Hummer Accident Near Gaza

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

Four IDF soldiers were hurt Wednesday when the army Hummer in which they were riding flipped over during a patrol around Kissufim near the Gaza border, according to the Hebrew-language 0404 news site.

Such accidents are not as uncommon as one might think, due to the speed with which the vehicles must travel in order to avoid being targets for enemy snipers firing anti-tank missiles and small arms weaponry.

The vehicles are, of necessity, traveling over various types of terrain – including that which is rocky and extremely uneven.

All four soldiers were airlifted to Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva and are currently listed in fair to good condition.

Holdup for Har Homa Housing Again Looms

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

It looks like Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has already begun the delicate two-step into the wacky world of covert construction freezes.

Hebrew-language Israeli media reported Wednesday that a massive building project in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Homa was suddenly suspended — barely two days after Netanyahu got the nod to form the next government.

The City of Jerusalem and Israel Ministry of Housing and Construction both confirmed that two key planning sessions that were set for next week to discuss the next phase in the project have been canceled “for neither planning nor professional reasons,” Ynet reported.

Sources close to the project told the news outlet the plan was not being advanced due to political issues. They said the Prime Minister’s Office had not given a green light to go ahead with the meetings.

The city received approval in August 2011 to build more that 1,000 apartments in Har Homa. But that was only the very first step in what became an incredibly long process which saw endless delays. By June 2013, the city managed to squeeze out permission from the state to build 69 new homes in the neighborhood for which tenders were issued in April 2012.

Despite intense pressure on Israel by the United States to freeze all Jewish construction of any type in any area won in the 1967 Six Day War, the city of Jerusalem has not changed its construction policy in 40 years.

“We continue to build in all city neighborhoods according to zoning plans for Jews and Arabs,” a city official told The Jerusalem Post in 2013. “In the coming years, we intend to build tens of thousands of homes throughout the city for the different population sectors.” New construction is essential for the city’s development, the official pointed out, noting that students and young adults also need to be able to purchase apartments and rent homes.

Housing Minister Uri Ariel has noted in the past that the process of publishing tenders for housing construction in Israel – throughout the country – is one that affects plans for some 600,000 residential units every year, and takes seven years. Even if the tenders are issued, however, not all the tenders are used.

The Arab neighborhood of Sur Baher faces the Har Homa neighborhood, which was built in the late 1990s despite intense international and local Arab criticism. The neighborhood itself stands on 32 acres of land (130 dunam) that was purchased by a Jewish group in the 1940s, located on the outskirts of southeastern Jerusalem, facing Bethlehem. The area was known as Jabal Abu Ghneim.

During the 1948 War of Independence, the hill was conquered by the elite troops of the Jordanian Arab Legion. Its Hebrew name, Har Homa, refers to a wall built on the remains of a Byzantine church that sat on the mountain, which was visible to the Palmach forces who were stationed at Kibbutz Ramat Rachel.

In 1991, expropriation of the land from various Jewish and Arab private owners was approved by Israeli cabinet minister Yitzchak Moda’i, for the purpose of completing a master plan for the capital under eminent domain.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/holdup-for-har-homa-housing-again-looms/2015/03/25/

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