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December 6, 2016 / 6 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee’

Netanyahu: I’m Motivated Only By Security Concerns

Sunday, November 20th, 2016

By Andrew Friedman/TPS

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu rejected calls by Opposition Leaders Sunday to investigate Israel’s purchase of three combat submarines from Germany, following a report by Hebrew-language Channel 10 last week that the purchase was made over the objections of then-Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon. Channel 10 noted that Netanyahu’s confident and personal attorney, David Shimron, had financial interests vested in the company that sold the submarines, insinuating that Netanyahu’s push for the deal was motivated by a desire to help Shimron, rather than by Israel’s legitimate defense needs.

The issue has created a political storm in Israel over the past week.

Speaking at the weekly cabinet meeting Sunday, Netanyahu denied the charges outright, and rejected calls by opposition members for a State Commission Of Inquiry over the matter.

“I am guided by only one principle: Israel’s legitimate defense needs. That Israel will be able to defend itself by itself against any enemy in any realm,” Netanyahu told cabinet ministers. “These are strategic weapons that ensure the future of Israel…Strengthening of Israel’s [military] strength is the only thing I considered when purchasing the submarines.

Yesh Atid Head Yair Lapid and Labor Party MK Erel Margalit called for a formal Commission of Inquiry over the issue, but former defense establishment officials now involved in politics suggested that reportage of the incident was likely flawed.

“I’ve got to say, from all the information that’s running around the media, I’m sorry to say there is a severe lack of actual information,” said MK Avi Dichter (Likud) a former head of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) and current Chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. He told Israel Radio it was “inconceivable” that a multi-billion dollar deal could be accomplished without the full agreement of the military, the National Security Council and the Defense Ministry.

He added that his recollection of the deliberations was that the arguments for and against the sale were presented professionally and transparently.

Former IDF Director of Military Intelligence Amos Yadlin added that the purchase of new military hardware is an issue that requires years of forethought.

“You have to think about how many submarines we need, how many we have, when we’ll need to upgrade them,” Yadlin told Army Radio. “[You consider the issue in] light of the defense budget. ‘Do we invest in submarines (which typically have a useful life of approximately 30 years) at the expense of other branches of the armed forces? It’s a question of how you build your strength.

Yadlin stopped short of calling for a commission of inquiry, but he added that it is important that the public view the administration of the defense establishment as clean, and not tainted by even the appearance of corruption.

“There are many questions, and [the issue has ]been in the public eye, so it would be correct to investigate. That way, if there is no truth to the rumors, it would dispel the public’s suspicion that something is afoul. And if mistakes were made, they should be investigated and fixed,” Yadlin said.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Knesset Committee Praises Israel’s Cyber Protection, But Raises Concerns

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

By Michael Bachner/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee (FADC) published a report on Monday praising measures put forth by the government in the field of cyber-security, a field in which Israel is considered to be a global leader. The committee suggested guidelines for the administration of the new authority responsible for Israel’s cyber-attack preparedness, but also expressed concerns that the new body, the National Cyber Authority, would not fit in well with the existing security agencies.

The committee’s concern was echoed by politicians. “The National Cyber Aythority and the security agencies are bodies with different interests and methods,” said MK Anat Berko of the Likud party. “This is why I am concerned about the need to divide responsibilities between them.”

“Since the National Cyber Authority is not a security agency, and includes civilian bodies as well, I am afaraid of the possibility of sensitive information leaking outside,” added Berko.

A subcommittee of the FADC focusing on cyber security has held a series of discussions over the past year with the goal of studying and overseeing improvement of defenses against cyber attacks and of examining the implications of the government’s decision to establish the National Cyber Authority as well as its implementation.

The new report summarizes the research conducted by the subcommittee and presents its conclusions on the optimal way to divide responsibility between the different bodies involved in cyber protection and on necessary further measures.

The report states that the cyber threat is a growing challenge to the State of Israel, but says that the government has recognized the threat in time and has started taking steps to prepare an adequate response.

The new authority will consider both security and political-diplomatic implications and will properly organize the gathering of information on cyber attacks against Israeli targets.

The authority will not gather intelligence independently, but will rely on the work of existing intelligence agencies. The Israeli security agencies will continue to be responsible for their own cyber protection and they will be the ones to actually collectthe information.

Finally, the subcommittee addressed the new cyber law being formulated and recommended that the law be written in cooperation with all relevant security and civilian bodies to ensure that it does not cause security risks and that it fits well into the Israeli cyber-security system.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Shabak Chief: Most Female Terrorists Faced Honor Murder by Families

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016

The new General Security Services (Shabak) chief Nadav Argaman told a Knesset committee on Tuesday that more than 40 women were involved in the current wave of terror, and that in almost every case the background to the individual woman taking up arms in a suicidal attack was internal family conflict over disapproval of the woman’s sexual conduct. In some cases, he said, it was even known that family members delivered the women to the scene of the attack.

Argaman argued that the women were sent to their certain death as an act of redemption for their misconduct, and also as a means for their families to earn a monthly stipend from the Palestinian Authority.

Argaman appeared before the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in his first presentation. He showed the committee charts proving that the peaks in the wave of terror have been related to tension surrounding the Temple Mount compound. He warned that a heated situation on the Temple Mount could bring about a new explosion of terror.

The new chief of clandestine operations also remarked that Hamas, which is in the midst of a strategic duress, is not interested in going to war at the moment. He noted that there is a tight cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in intensively perusing Hamas in Judea and Samaria.

Like many other in the security apparatus leadership, Argaman stressed the value of issuing work permits in Israel to Judea and Samaria Arabs, suggesting that these working people are a source of calm in the Arab society there, who also prevent terror attacks. Today there are about 120 thousand Judea and Samaria Arab residents who work in Israel, legally and otherwise, supporting about one third of the population at home.

Argaman said that since the start of the new wave, security forces and Shabak have foiled about 240 significant attacks, and in the first five months of 2016 alone 11 suicide bombing attacks were thwarted, as well as 10 kidnapping attempts, and more than 60 shooting attempts, most of them by Hamas members.

According to Argaman, since the official date of the current escalation, October 1, 2015, there have been more than 300 significant attacks and attempted attacks (not including the countless daily incidents of stone and Molotov cocktail throwing). Out of those there were some 180 stabbing attacks, more than 90 shootings, and some 30 ramming attacks using a car. He noted that most of these attacks were carried out by lone individuals, while the number of attacks carried out by terror organizations has been relatively low.

Argaman told the committee that the decline in the number of attacks in recent months, compared with October 2015, can be explained by the high number of prevented attacks, improvements in the Israeli alert capacity regarding lone attackers, and the focusing of deterrence on the attackers and their close environment.

David Israel

Shin Bet Foils Nascent Hamas Coup in Palestinian Authority Territories

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

Cleared for publication: The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) has foiled a new attempt by Hamas to rebuild its terror network — and the start of a shadow government — in Judea and Samaria.

In a joint sting operation with the IDF and Israel Police, the Shin Bet uncovered a mammoth Hamas terror cell operating in the Samaria city of Shechem and surroundings. The cell was involved in laying the groundwork for the launch of a parallel shadow government poised to eventually supplant that of the Palestinian Authority in the capital, Ramallah, as well as ignite a spate of new terror attacks, according to security sources.

Approximately 40 operatives were arrested in the sting, including senior Hamas members who have been previously incarcerated. Interrogations of those who were detailed revealed that Hamas was well on the way to renewing its presence in Judea and Samaria.

The terror organization had already begun creating a central headquarters in Shechem (Nablus). The group has expanded its infrastructure and appointed regional chief, delegating responsibilities in the following areas:

  • education
  • finance
  • communications
  • intelligence
  • recruitment for political and financial support
  • charity
  • transfer of financial assistance to Hamas prisoners and their families, and
  • laying the groundwork for military action.

Shechem native Husam Badran, 49, is the mastermind behind the administrative infrastructure, according to security sources. Badran, who currently resides in Qatar, is directly responsible for organizing and maintaining contact with the command membership. He was also apparently involved in delegating various roles, and for the successful transfer of hundreds of thousands of dollars to the command center as well.

These activities were concealed by the use of couriers and post office boxes. Funds were transferred in part by the purchase of 22-24 karat gold jewelry from Jordan, which was then smuggled into Judea and Samaria.

Meanwhile, Shin Bet Director Yoram Cohen warned the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee yesterday (Tuesday) that Hamas is also preparing to launch another war against Israel.

Since 2012, there has been a 50 percent increase annually in the number of terror attacks perpetrated against Israel each year by the group, going from 683 in 2012 to 1,834 last year.

Perhaps Hamas is planning to move all of its people out of Gaza and into Judea and Samaria; there has been little or no effort into reconstructing homes and infrastructure for its people there.

Instead, Hamas has been intent upon rebuilding its terror infrastructure with whatever building materials it receives. The organization has rebuilt its terror attack tunnels leading into Israel and continues to develop its domestically produced missiles. It has increased its drills on land, sea and air and periodically test launches new rockets to check the trajectories and ranges they produce.

Nevertheless, according to the Shin Bet chief, Hamas is not quite yet ready for a new war with the Jewish State, although it can carry on a serious conflict if one is ignited. The terror group is fully equipped, funded and trained by its Iranian sponsors.

Cohen told lawmakers that Palestinian Authority Arabs in Judea and Samaria, however, are more focused on their financial survival this year and thus far less likely to support a war with Israel.

Ironically, Cohen noted that although Israel this year allowed the PA to conduct the Ramadan security checks to the Temple Mount for Arabs from Gaza, Judea and Samaria, the PA government chose not to implement the concessions.

Hana Levi Julian

Yaalon Rejects Iran Nuclear Program ‘Charm Offensive’

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, in a briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Wednesday, warned against falling for the recent Iranian “charm offensive” in which the country has expressed an increased willingness to negotiate over concessions on its nuclear program.

“This is a regime that for the last 20 years we have witnessed how well it knows how to lie, cheat and mislead the West,” Ya’alon said.

“Our position is very clear,” he said. “What we see now in Iran, both the political change and the change in its willingness to conduct negotiations with the United States stem from the effective economic pressure brought to bear on the regime. This led Iran’s supreme leader to the conclusion that in order to survive he must speak with the Americans. He has been forced to make several concessions on Iran’s nuclear program, but Iran’s intention is not to give up its nuclear option. They are working toward retaining an independent enrichment capability. This is not acceptable to us, because this is a way to mislead and cheat as they have done in the past.”

JNS News Service

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/yaalon-rejects-iran-nuclear-program-charm-offensive/2013/10/24/

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