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December 21, 2014 / 29 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Jordan Valley’

Pentagon Defends Jordan Valley Pullout: No Worries When ISIS Invades Jordan

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Israel maintains that American military training did not help Iraqi forces fend off the Al Qaeda-linked ISIL takeover in the northern and central part of the country.

The take-away lesson: Israel cannot and will not hand over the defense of its nation to a third party in the Jordan Valley – not now, not ever.

The Pentagon is upset by that, because the United States wants to advance a plan formulated by U.S. General John Allen to replace the Israel Defense Forces in the Jordan Valley with an international force.

Allen, an expert on counter-terrorism with experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, contends that Israel faces completely different threats than those in Iraq.

The Pentagon and State Department both insist that Israel should trust American military officials to know what they are doing.

But Israeli officials said bluntly in a report published Monday night – speaking on condition of anonymity – that the Americans are misreading the signals and possibly the map, much as they did in Iraq.

And they don’t want to see a repetition of that disaster here on home ground.

More than 1,000 Iraqis, mostly civilians, have died in mass murders by radical Islamists in the last three weeks, the United Nations reports, calling the figure “very much a minimum.”

Terrorists from the Islamic State of Iraq in the Levant (ISIL) – or as it is called in Syria, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams or Syria (ISIS), seized nearly the entire northern section of Iraq. The group captured the largest city in the north – Mosul – and the hometown of former dictator Sadaam Hussein, Tikrit, among others.

ISIL is now threatening Iraq’s border with Turkey, and earlier this month kidnapped a Turkish Consul and 80 Turkish contractors and workers from an eastern city. Turkey immediately evacuated its staff from the Turkish Consulate in Basra, located in southern Iraq.

The group’s forces are also threatening Iraq’s eastern border with Iran.

In addition, ISIL has captured a wide area in Iraq’s central region and is rapidly advancing to the west, having already captured one border crossing into Jordan, in addition to two border crossings with Syria. The group’s forces are beginning to move south towards Baghdad.

The group’s goal is to create an Islamic state, a Caliphate, run entirely by Shari’a (Islamic) law.

At present, ISIL has managed to blur the border between Iraq and Syria – with members of the group on both sides of the boundary – and is presenting a real and present danger to Jordan.

It is this threat to another American ally that Israel is pointedly referring to in its discussions with the United States, which blithely assured the Iraqi government it would “help push back this aggression” even as it pulled its forces out of Iraq two and a half years ago. Despite the infusion of billions of U.S. dollars, Iraqi security forces were inadequately trained and completely unable to meet the challenge of fending off the ISIL guerrilla fighters.

MKs to Submit Bills to Annex Jewish Blocs in Judea, Samaria

Monday, May 26th, 2014

Two Knesset members are set to formally propose the annexation of Jewish blocs in Judea and Samaria today (Monday) in the Israeli parliament.

The bills will reportedly be submitted Monday by Likud MK Yariv Levin and Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) MK Orit Strook.

Bayit Yehudi party chairman Naftali Bennett has already gone on record saying he supports annexation of Jewish blocs in Judea and Samaria. He said in a statement last Friday, “We are pushing to apply Israeli law unilaterally over Gush Etzion, Ariel, the Jordan Valley, Ma’aleh Adumim, Ofra, Alfei Menashe, the Ben Gurion envelope, Samaria, Judea and the rest of the Jewish settlement enterprise. It is time to do what is best for Israel.”

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz meanwhile said that he plans to present a bill to expand the Jerusalem municipal boundaries to include surrounding Jewish suburbs in “Area C” under the Oslo Accords.

Specifically, Katz wants to absorb the communities into a “greater metro Jerusalem” region similar to the Los Angeles or New York city models. Under the Katz bill, the city of Jerusalem would grow to include the Gush Etzion bloc and Beitar Illit to the south, and Givat Ze’ev and Ma’aleh Adumim to the northeast. The move would add more than 150,000 residents to the capital’s growing population.

Last Thursday, Justice Minister and former Israeli chief negotiator Tzipi Livni, head of the Hatnua party, slammed Bennett’s unilateral annexation plan. She threatened to leave the coalition over it, claiming it would lead to “the end of Zionism.”

But there is a growing movement to support the idea and it may finally outshout her.

The united capital itself has never been recognized by international leaders — though the millions of tourists who come to Israel each year to visit the holy city don’t seem to be bothered much by that. More than 60 percent of those who visit the country, in fact, are Christians, according to the latest statistics, underlining the freedom of worship guaranteed to all faiths since Israel reunited the city after the 1967 Six Day War.

But since the Jewish State is anyway roundly condemned for what it does — despite the defense of its citizens or benefit to visitors — it appears Israeli lawmakers have realized annexation is not optional and the sooner to get it over with, the better.

In fact, the idea gained a great deal of traction after the collapse of talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority last month – and the PA’s instant embrace of the Hamas terror organization. Although Hamas has ruled Gaza with an iron grip since 2007, the Iranian-backed group has also long since slowly infiltrated the PA-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria. Hamas is now set to present a strong challenge to Ramallah-based PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in his Samaria capital come the next election — and PA Arabs may soon find themselves ruled by Hamas regardless of where they live, with a side order of the Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad terrorists helping out for good measure.

The current situation presents a deep and pervasive security threat to Israeli citizens throughout Judea and Samaria in their current situation, without the protection of a national status. It also presents a dangerous threat to Israeli citizens living within the 1949 Armistice Line, the area of Israel that existed prior to the 1967 Six Day War, many of whom travel daily on roads in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria to reach work places.

The Arab population in Area C — which probably has also been infiltrated — totals approximately 300,000 residents, including 74,000 in Jerusalem – some of whom also carry blue Israeli identity cards. That population has the right to vote in two elections; those of Israel and the Palestinian Authority. United Nations officials estimate that some 67,000 Arabs also live in the Area C section of the Hevron area as well.

Jordan Valley Cloned Bananas and BDS

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

The Ginosar Agro team says they come from a deep understanding of the challenges banana growers are facing worldwide. You may not know this, but the Cavendish, that lovely, big, yellow banana you so love, is in grave danger. Tropical Race 4, a fungus which has already destroyed acres of crops across Taiwan, Indonesia and Malaysia, is threatening the plantations of Australia and South and Central America. In those areas, banana plantations are guarded by barbed wire fences and patrols.

The Ginosar elite-cultivars of disease-free banana plants are the result of decades of stringent professional selection from our mother plantations, located in northern Israel. The clones are globally recognized as a premium brand, due to the high quality of the plants and their superior performance in the field.

So, before you know it, those BDS folks are also going to have to go with just berries in their morning cereal…

And now a bonus image: a vendor at the Mahane Yehuda Market in Jerusalem who discovered a brand new use for his bananas.

Photo credit: Kobi Gideon / FLASH90

Photo credit: Kobi Gideon / FLASH90

Abbas to NYT: NATO Force Can Patrol Palestinian State

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas told The New York Times he would be willing to allow a U.S.-led NATO force to patrol a Palestinian state for an indefinite amount of time.

Israeli soldiers and Israeli settlements could remain for five years from the state’s establishment, Abbas said in an interview with The New York Times published on Monday. The offer of five years is up from the three that he has previously offered.

Abbas also said that the Palestinian state would be demilitarized; that it would not have its own army, only a peace force.

The third party force will remain “to reassure the Israelis, and to protect us,” Abbas told New York Times reporter Jodi Rudoren and columnist Tom Friedman at his Ramallah headquarters.

“We will be demilitarized,” Abbas told the newspaper. “Do you think we have any illusion that we can have any security if the Israelis do not feel they have security?”

He called recognizing Israel as a Jewish state “out of the question,” and pointed out that Jordan and Egypt did not sign anything to that effect when they signed peace treaties with Israel.

Abbas said that at the end of the nine months set aside for the peace talks, which will come in April, he would be willing to extend the negotiations, if progress is being made.

IDF Forces Discover Firearm Hidden inside of Child’s Backpack

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

Alert combat soldiers found a  an improvised rifle loaded with a cartridge inside a child’s book bag when they inspected a Palestinian Authority Arab’s vehicle in the Jordan Valley Tuesday night.

“The driver aroused suspicion after a preliminary search,” said Captain Sefi Mor, an IDF company commander with the Kfir Brigade. “He seemed anxious, so we decided to perform a comprehensive search of the vehicle” at a checkpoint not far from the driver’s home.

No children were in the car at the time, military spokesmen told The Jewish Press, and the driver was arrested.

The weapon used the same caliber bullets as the Uzi sub-machine gun, and it is not known if the suspect was planning to use if for a terrorist attack.

The Palestinian Authority has insisted that it will take care of security and protect Israel from attacks if it gains sovereignty over the Jordan Valley, which runs from the Dead Sea to several miles south of Beit She’an, south of Tiberias.

Perhaps the child simply forgot the book bag and was intending to take the weapon for a show-and-tell session in school, or for a physically fitness class.

Lapid Says He Doesn’t Trust the Palestinian Authority

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Yesh Atid party chairman Yair Lapid, Israel’s favorite chameleon, declared on Wednesday that he does not trust the Palestinian Authority and would not depend on it to keep Israel safe while having full control of the Jordan Valley.

He took what he said is a centrist view – against annexing Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and against giving away the Jordan Valley to the Palestinian Authority.

He wrote on his Facebook page, “The time has come to separate from the Palestinians. We are not dealing with ‘peace’ but rather with the need to separate in peace….

“We can only depend on ourselves…. The Palestinians have proven time after time they do not deserve to be trusted.”

Status of Jerusalem Sticking Point in Talks, Says PA Source

Monday, January 6th, 2014

The status of Jerusalem is one of the biggest points of dissension in  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s “framework” that he failed to publicize before returning to Washington on Monday, according to an official in the Palestinian Authority.

“Negotiators for the PA disagreed with several of Kerry’s suggestions in the negotiations with Israel, especially concerning the future of Jerusalem, the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told the Associated Press.

He explained that Kerry’s proposal to note that there is a “Palestinian aim” at making Jerusalem the capital of a new PA state does not meet Mahmoud Abbas’ demand that it be explicitly stated that eastern Jerusalem would be the capital.

A Kuwaiti newspaper reported that the Palestinian Authority is considering allowing  an Israeli military presence in the  Jordan Valley  but that the PA also would deploy forces there.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/status-of-jerusalem-sticking-point-in-talks-says-pa-source/2014/01/06/

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