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October 20, 2016 / 18 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Israel’

Primitive ‘Kite’ Drone Infiltrates Israel From Gaza

Saturday, October 8th, 2016

A kite fitted with a camera was spotted flying into Israel from northern Gaza on Sabbath morning, according to Israel’s Channel 2 television news.

IDF soldiers who spotted the primitive homemade unmanned aerial vehicle opened fire, prompting its unidentified operators to pull it back over the border and back into Gaza.

“During the morning hours, a kite with a camera was spotted as it crossed the border from Gaza into Israel,” said an IDF spokesperson. “IDF forces fired into the air, and the kite and its owners left the area.”

It is not yet known who was operating the primitive spy device, but the kite was pulled back into a vehicle just inside the border in Gaza, which then traveled in the direction of Beit Hanoun, military sources said.

Last week Gaza terrorists fired two rocket attacks at southern Israel, one exploding on a road in a residential area in the town of Sderot, and the second in an open area in the Eshkol Regional Council district.

Israeli Defense Forces retaliated in response to both attacks with air strikes and artillery fire aimed at terrorist targets in Gaza.

Hana Levi Julian

Anat Berko: Brilliant Fighter For Israel

Friday, October 7th, 2016

One way to oppose the establishment of a Palestinian State is to prove that there is not and never has been a Palestinian people. In order to vividly demonstrate that idea, Knesset Member Anat Berko explained that the letter “P” does not exist in the Arabic language. “How can they be Palestinians if they cannot pronounce the word?” she asked.

And, indeed, the Arabs knew nothing of “Palestine.” It was an invention of Yasser Arafat. When in 1964 he came up with idea of calling half of the Hashemite Arab tribe that lived on Israeli soil (the other half lives in Jordan) “Palestinians,” I expected the Israeli government to reject it outright for what it was: a clever lie, an insolent absurdity. Instead, the Israeli leadership and media went along with Arafat’s invention. “Palestinians” became part of the Israeli narrative, with Israeli leaders apparently not realizing that by calling the Arabs “Palestinians” you implied that the Land of Palestine was their land.

From where does the name “Palestinian” originate? The ancient Romans, after destroying the Second Temple and Jerusalem, occupied the Land of Israel known as “Judea.” To render a final destructive blow to the Jews, they renamed the land “Palestina,” the Latin version of Philistia! Fully aware that the Philistines were Israel’s ancient enemy, it was a perfect way to humiliate the Children of Israel and deprive them of an association with their homeland.

K.M. Anat Berko is the first high-ranking Israeli to focus on the very essence of this issue. “The Arabs cannot even pronounce ‘Palestine,’” she argued in the parliamentary plenum. “There’s no ‘P’ in Arabic. If they would be Palestinian, wouldn’t they be able to pronounce their own ethnic origins. The issue is worth looking into,” Dr. Berko advised from the podium.

Listening to her presentation on the TV Knesset Channel, I was amazed at her approach. Where did she come from? What part of Israel produced this extraordinary woman?

Anat Berko was born in Jerusalem, the second of six children, born to parents who had fled Iraq.  Already in her early youth she was out of the ordinary. After completing her obligatory national service, she served in the IDF for 25 years

Lt. Colonel Berko returned to civilian life with a need to extend her field of activities. She enrolled at Bar-Ilan University as a student of psychology, sociology and criminology. Earning a B.A., then an M.A., degree in all three subjects, she continued studying until she achieved a PhD degree in criminology, also at Bar-Ilan University.

Once a fully-qualified criminologist, Dr. Berko embarked on a new career in the service of her country – she became a specialist in the field of counter-terrorism.

Information on counter-terrorism is a subject in great demand internationally. It made Dr. Berko a popular lecturer in various institutions in Israel and abroad. She received an invitation to teach at the Lauder School of Government of the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya. A number of years later she became a visiting professor at George Washington University in the United States.

She is also a research fellow at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) in Herzliah, Israel. ICT is an independent think tank providing expertise in terrorism, counter-terrorism, homeland security and risk assessment of terrorism globally – that is, as a strategic problem that faces not only Israel but other countries as well.

Dr. Berko’s research area includes investigating suicide bombings, and the failed suicide bombers who are incarcerated in high security prisons in Israel.

Prof. Livia Bitton-Jackson

Islamists’ Ultimatum to Hamas: Release our Members or We’ll Shoot at Israel

Friday, October 7th, 2016

After the Israeli town of Sderot was hit last Wednesday with a rocket shot from the Gaza Strip, the responsible Salafi terror group Aknaf Bait al-Maqdis delivered an ultimatum to the Hamas government: release our activists from your jail within 48 hours, or we’ll target Sderot again, Ma’ariv reported Friday.

The ultimatum was issued by a senior in the Salafi terror group, Abu Bakr al-Maqdisi, who declared on his Facebook page: “We presented to Hamas a 48 hour ultimatum which they did not obey so we hit Sderot. Now we give them another 48 hours to release our activists from Hamas jail.”

Aknaf Bait al-Maqdis, an ISIS affiliate, was one of two groups who claimed responsibility for the Sderot rocket, with the declaration: “The shooting was part of our ongoing efforts against the Jewish enemies of Allah, as well as revenge for the arrest of our people by Hamas.”

Another, less well know group, Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, also claimed responsibility for the same rocket. There are several warring Islamist group in the Gaza Strip, which are in constant conflict with the Hamas government. Last week, five Salafi terrorists were arrested by police in Rafah and in Gaza City.

Sderot Mayor Alon Davidi told Ma’ariv it would be “unacceptable” for his town to become the battleground for various Gazan factions to fight each other. “Sderot is not Gaza’s gun fodder,” he said. “If there’s no quiet in Sderot, there must be no quiet in Gaza either. I count on the prime minister, the defense minister and the IDF to shortcut this pattern.”

The terms “Salafist jihadist” and “Jihadist-Salafism” were coined by scholar Gilles Kepel in 2002, to describe “a hybrid Islamist ideology” developed by international Islamist volunteers in the 1980s’ Afghan anti-Soviet jihad, organized largely by the CIA. Since then these hybrid Islamists have spread across the Middle East and North Africa, beheading and exploding their path to divine redemption. Three or four such groups planted themselves in the Gaza Strip and northern Sinai.

On August 14, 2009, Sheikh Abdel Latif Moussa, spiritual leader of Jund Ansar Allah, an armed Salafist jihadist group in the Gaza Strip, announced during his Friday sermon the establishment of an Islamic emirate in the Palestinian territories, and vowed an attack on the ruling Islamist group Hamas, for failing to enforce Sharia law. Hamas forces circled his mosque complex and in the fighting that ensued Sheikh Abdel Latif Moussa and 23 others were killed, and more than 130 were wounded.

Salafist jihadists have also been involved in protests against King Abdullah II of Jordan, and the kidnapping and killing of Italian peace activist Vittorio Arrigoni in Gaza.

Israel, which under its new defense minister, Avigdor Liberman, has been retaliating swiftly for every single violation of the 2014 ceasefire, refuses to distinguish between the different rockets shot across the Gaza border. It holds Hamas accountable for all of them, and, in fact, has taken advantage of the recent few rockets and mortar shells to hit Hamas training facilities in the northern Gaza Strip.

David Israel

Israel Expands Crackdown on Islamic Movement

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

By Michael Bachner/TPS

Israeli security forces on Thursday raided and shut down several institutions in Nazareth and Umm al-Fahm affiliated with the Islamic Movement in Israel. An administrative order was issued by the Defense Ministry at the recommendation of the Shin Bet.

Israel outlawed the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in November 2015, and recently expanded the closure order to include institutions affiliated with, but not necessarily owned by, the movement. The group calls for replacing Israel with an Islamic caliphate and does not recognize the legitimacy of government institutions.

Targeted institutions include news website Qpress and the ‘Supreme Council in Support of Jerusalem and al-Aqsa.’ Israel has restricted the activities of activists associated with those initiatives, and has frozen bank accounts valued at hundreds of thousands of shekels (at least tens of thousands of US dollars) connected to the institutions.

“These institutions are the ideological successors of the Islamic Movement’s northern branch,” read a statement by the Shin Bet. “Their activities escalate tensions around the Temple Mount and contribute to the frequent riots at the site. This compromises the safety of visitors and harms Israeli sovereignty over the compound.”

The Temple Mount in Jerusalem is Judaism’s holiest site, though Jewish access to the site is severely restricted. Muslims, who refer to it as Haram al-Sharif or as the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, consider the site the third-holiest.

The Shin Bet said that Qpress recently called on Muslims to ramp up their presence on the Mount in order to clash with security forces and “disrupt order at the site.”

The organization has led a campaign for the last 20 years claiming that ‘al-Aqsa is in danger’, a century old charge that Israel is intending to demolish the 8th Century mosque located on the Mount, as well as the golden Dome of the Rock, the 7th Century shrine at the center of the complex. The Northern Movement sponsored an annual convocation on the issue from 1996-2015, but the 2016 convention was canceled because the movement had been outlawed.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Update: Flotilla Vessel Arrives in Ashdod Port, Accompanied by Israeli Naval Forces

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

The Zaytoun-Oliva Women’s Flotilla Boat to Gaza arrived after midnight Wednesday night in Ashdod Port, accompanied by Israeli Naval forces, the IDF told JewishPress.com.

“The members on board were transferred to the appropriate authorities for further processing,” an IDF spokesperson said in a statement.

The Israeli Navy seized control over the Women’s Flotilla to Gaza late Wednesday afternoon and began redirecting the Zaytouna-Oliva ship to Ashdod Port.

An all-female IDF Naval unit was used for the first time to seize control of the vessel.

“In accordance with government directives and after exhausting all diplomatic channels, the Israeli Navy redirected the vessel in order to prevent breach of the lawful maritime blockade,” said the IDF.

“The visit and search of the vessel was uneventful. In accordance with international law, the Israeli Navy advised the vessel numerous times to change course prior to the action. Following their refusal the Navy visited and searched the vessel in international waters in order to prevent their intended breach of the lawful maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip.”

No injuries were reported in the operation, which involved a unit of female Israeli Naval commandos who seized the vessel when it was just a few dozen kilometers from a beach in southern Israel.

By afternoon ranting had already begun on the Twitter social networking site, starting with a litany of red “SOS” signs sent by one user who signed off in Greek letters. A second wrote in despair, “this is sickeningly sad” … A third was so graphic that even the Twitter management was finally pushed to delete it — “This Tweet is unavailable” showed in blank grey space.

The ‘Women’s Boat to Gaza’ group pleaded, meanwhile, “Pls contact your Govt to demand their release and an end to the illegal blockade!”

Equally vocal were supporters of Israel.

Sussex Friends of Israel noted in a tweet, “According to @GazaFFlotilla they’ve been ‘captured!’ What-like if you sailed a boat into UK waters without authorization? (#expletive)

“@GazaFFlotilla complete waste of time and energy,” wrote another. “Want to help #Gaza? teach them #hate is not the answer.”

A third wrote, “you came to our home. You came to aid terrorists. Now you must be treated the same. Don’t mess with #Israel”

And another: “I’ll contact my government to make sure that people like you @GazaFFlotilla get #arrested and put on #trial for #terrorism #support.

Hana Levi Julian

Israel’s Iron Dome Sale to Azerbaijan May Balance Russian Ballistic Missile Sale to Armenia

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

An Armenian political analyst is questioning reports that Azerbaijan, an ally of Israel, is about to receive a delivery of Iron Dome batteries, having already negotiated a deal with the Jewish State for purchase of the anti-missile defense system.

Armenian political scientist and deputy director of the ‘Caucasus’ Institute, Sergey Minasyan, told the Armenian News Agency (Armenpress) on Tuesday (Oct. 4) that he held political and military doubts about the likelihood such a contract has been, or will be signed.

The comment came after an Azeri lawmaker announced in local media earlier in the day that Iron Dome batteries in Israel are ready for delivery to that Azerbaijan. The announcement came after the Russian-made Iskander short-range ballistic missiles made their debut in the Armenian Independence Day parade on September 21. The two populations have been warring for years over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The system has not yet been purchased, he maintained. Minasyan claimed that Azerbaijani media reports about the negotiations were exaggerated, due to a “psychological shock” resulting from the exhibition by Armenia of Iskander” mobile short-range ballistic missile system it recently purchased from Russia.

“It’s hard to imagine that Israel, possessing one of the world’s leading systems of that type, will provide it to a country that has started to strengthen its relations with Russia and Iran,” Minasyan told Armenpress.

Moreover, he said, “Azerbaijan will have to empty its pockets if it really wants to purchase it.” Minasyan went on to claim that Armenia’s recent purchase of the Iskander equals Azerbaijan’s acquisition of the Iron Dome in its cost-effectiveness ration.

However, “the costs Azerbaijan will have to invest in counter-balancing ‘Iskander’ will far exceed the costs of Armenia’s acquisition of ‘Iskander’ (from Russia),” he explained.

Minasyan claimed there is “no evidence” that the Iron Dome system is effective against the ‘Iskander’ missile ballistic missile, or against others, such as the ‘Tochka’ or against Scuds. “Iskander missiles have quasi-ballistic trajectory and other features against which, as American and Israeli experts note, there are no effective counter-measures,” he said. However, he was not specific about which “experts” made the statements.

Azerbaijan is the biggest supplier of oil to Israel, and one of its strongest allies in the region.

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli Navy Prepared to Escort Women’ Gaza Boats to Ashdod

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

As Zaytouna and Amal, two boats with about 30 Gaza-bound passengers, mostly women, are getting closer to Israel’s shores, the IDF navy has been preparing to exercise the routine protocol in such cases, namely to board the boats and escort the passengers, politely but firmly, to the harbor city of Ashdod.

The website Women Boat to Gaza has been billing the endeavor as a “flotilla,” but the term commonly describes a fleet of ships or boats, so, in this case, the term “boats” is probably more accurate.

Ashdod has been serving as a destination for aid supplies for Gaza, for most of the decade since Hamas has taken over control of the Strip. Israeli officials go through the cargo, remove the contraband weapons and explosives that routinely arrive in those shipments, and clear the goods for trucking to Gaza, a few miles southward. Presumably, whatever goods the one or two boats manage to bring in will end up in Ashdod for inspection, followed by shipping to Gaza.

Israel’s Channel 2 News has reported that naval gunships have been waiting in Ashdod harbor for the signal to intercept the two boats. The same report suggested that the women onboard the boats are planning to exercise civil disobedience, which could get splashy.

The Zaytouna Captain is US Army retired Colonel Ann Wright, who served in the State Dept. diplomatic corps. She resigned from the US government in 2003, over her objection to the Bush Administration’s foreign policy. Since then she has been active in every single attempt to break through the blockade on Gaza.

It should be noted that the Turkish government, which ended up in a six-year tiff with Israel over the tragic end of the largest and most memorable 2010 Gaza flotilla, has expressed its anger at the mostly Turkish activists in that endeavor, for forcing it into this quagmire. Since Turkey has settled its dispute with Israel, Turkish goods destined for Gaza have been arriving in Ashdod regularly and then shipped to their intended recipients.

It should also be noted that the reason Israel has imposed a naval blockade on the Gaza Strip is because the Hamas government has been declaring practically every day its intent to destroy Israel, and has been devoting most of its international aid money to military preparations to carry out this threat.


Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-navy-prepared-to-escort-women-gaza-boats-to-ashdod/2016/10/04/

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