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October 9, 2015 / 26 Tishri, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Lebanon’

Swedish National Caught at Ben Gurion Airport, Charged as Hezbollah Spy

Sunday, August 9th, 2015

Cleared for publication: Hassan Khalil Khizran was arrested late last month as he entered Ben Gurion International Airport in connection with passing information to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Khizran, 55, a Swedish national of Lebanese-Palestinian Authority descent, was indicted Sunday (August 9) on three counts of passing intelligence information to the terrorist organization, and contacting a foreign agent.

He was taken into custody as he disembarked from an aircraft and attempted to enter Israel. Swedish authorities were updated about the arrest.

Court papers indicate that Khizran joined Hezbollah as an intelligence source in 2009.

According to a statement filed by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), the tasks assigned to Khizran prove the Hezbollah is “preparing for the next war with Israel and is marking out a ‘target bank.’ “

Defending attorney Leah Tsemel denied the charges and told the Reuters news service her client “refused any request to harm Israel’s security.”

According to the indictment, Khizran was assigned to recruited Israeli Arabs with social connections to Jewish Israelis, military officials and government officials.

However, he refrained from carrying out this task despite pressure from his handlers, according to the brief.

Khizran was also asked to collect other useful and relevant information about Israel such as locations in which there are military bases, large concentrations of IDF troops, tanks, and arms.

He traveled to Israel several times for this purpose and then met in Beirut with his handlers to provide them with information, according to the indictment.

His handlers demanded he provide visual documentation to broaden the information he gave them — but he said he did not do so.

He also told the Shin Bet that during a family trip to Lebanon in 2009 with his wife and children he was offered to meet with Hezbollah agents. To this, he agreed.

In secret meetings with these agents he was told Hezbollah was interested in recruiting Palestinians who held European passports so they would be able to enter and move more freely through Israel, and thus gather intelligence for Hezbollah. It is not clear whether or not he recruited others for this task.

In addition, the terrorist organization asked for information about the entry process, security checks, and other operations at Ben Gurion International Airport. There is no information available about which information he gave Hezbollah about the airport and its operations.

Khizran met again with Hezbollah again in visits to Lebanon in 2011 and 2013.

In return for his cooperation with Hezbollah, Khizran received $2,300 in 2009 and $800 in 2011.

Khizran told the Shin Bet about a group called The Lebanese House” that operates in Malmö, Sweden. The members of the group are Shi’ite Muslims who are involved in social and cultural Shi’ite activity. They allegedly mark Hezbollah anniversaries, watch the speeches delivered by Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, and more.

IDF Flies Reconnaissance Mission in Southern Lebanon

Monday, July 20th, 2015

The Israel Air Force flew reconnaissance aircraft over southern Lebanon while soldiers patrolled along the border, the Lebanese Naharnet website reported Monday.

Four armored vehicles reported with approximately 15 soldiers were deployed near the village of al-Ghajar, which straddles the border and is claimed by both Lebanon and Syria.

Missile-Alert Sirens in Northern Israel an Apparent ‘False Alarm’

Sunday, July 12th, 2015

False alarm early warning rocket sirens sounded shortly after 4:30 p.m. from the northern border with Lebanon to the Lower Galilee.

Multiple rocket sirens went off throughout northern Israel shortly after 4:30 p.m. (9:30 a.m. EDT) Sunday.

The warning sirens sounded near the northern border with Lebanon and as far south as the Lower Galilee, including Mount Tabor and Emek Jezreel, several miles west of Beit Shean.

There were no explosions, and the IDF said the sirens went off due to a technical failure.

Or, the sirens were a very early warning for what might happen next year.


Analysis: ISIS Will Go Down to Defeat in Egypt

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015


The Islamic State (ISIS) finally is going to be brought its knees in its attempt to take use the Sinai as a step to expand its terrorist empire to include Gaza, Egypt and even Israel.

The war in the Sinai is not over, but the ISIS attacks on Egyptian army checkpoints and police stations Wednesday were met with a fierce response that eventually will show the world that the Islamic State cannot succeed where a country is unified. ISIS, like Hezbollah, Hamas, Al Qaeda and other terrorist networks, survive on anarchy.

Wherever there is a power vacuum, the terrorists can step in, bankroll schools and welfare program, and take over the area business infrastructure to control the economy and government.

That is what Hezbollah did in southern Lebanon and Hamas did in Gaza.

ISIS also is succeeding in Libya, a semi-anarchic state since the fall of Muammar Qaddafi.

It has frightened the world by beheading men, women and children, and it has recruited butcher knife-wielding agents in Western countries

But beheading victim does not mean it can take over a country unless it totally demoralizes its citizens into surrender.

The ISIS is not invincible, and its incursion into Egypt will prove it.

Egypt, unlike Iraq and Syria, is bordered by open waters on two sides, the Mediterranean Sea to the north and the Red Sea to the east. The Sinai Peninsula’s tiny land border to the northeast is with Israel, where Cairo has no fear of ISIS terrorists infiltrating the country

That leaves only Libya to the east and Sudan to the south, and both of them indeed are dangerous sources of jihadists and weapons.

But Egypt has one other factor running in its favor, and that is a fierce nationalism that worship and despite its dictators but always survives them by finding another.

ISIS was able to exploit a civil war in Syria and a total breakdown of sanity in Iraq to gain power.

Egypt is a different story. The country was divided between secularist and Islamists after the fall of Mubarak, but with only two sides fighting each other, the victor took the spoils. The Muslim Brotherhood swept into power, and then fell a year later, succeeded by a military regime until an election placed General Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in power last year.

The Sinai Peninsula is prime territory for ISIS. It is steeped in anarchy, neglected by Cairo for years, and its Bedouin tribes have carved out their own little fiefdoms.

Hamas and other terrorist organizations have exploited the vacuum of power over the past several years to carry out attacks in the Red Sea resort area and more recently on the army, but they always have been hit-and-run operations.

Geography and demography in the Sinai make it a wrong choice for ISIS. The Sinai is a desert. There are no major cities except for the Red Sea resort of El-Arish. The Egyptian air force Wednesday had no trouble in carrying out massive bombing raids on jihadist positions.

There was no worry of killing hundreds or even dozens of civilians, if there is such a creation in the criminal and terror-infested Sinai.

ISIS organized in the Sinai with the help of foreign intelligence, according to Egyptian military officials. It had no trouble smuggling weapons by sea from Sudan or from Gaza, but it would take a massive undercover infiltration outside of the Sinai and closer to Cairo for ISIS to be able to undermine the Egyptian regime.

Al-Sisi Wednesday night pre-empted a subversive Muslim Brotherhood-ISIS underground by approving drastic measures to expedite judicial proceedings against jihadists and their fund-raisers, with the death penalty hanging over their heads.

Lebanon Claims IAF Bombed Fallen Israeli Drone in Beka’a

Sunday, June 21st, 2015

Lebanon is blaming Israel for what it claimed was an air strike early Sunday on a crashed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV, or drone) in the western Beka’a Valley.

According to a report broadcast on the Hezbollah-linked Al-Manar TV channel, an Israeli reconnaissance drone allegedly crashed overnight in a remote area of the valley.  Lebanese security source told Al-Manar the IAF targeted in the drone in an air strike early Sunday in order to ensure it would be destroyed, but gave no further details.

The official Lebanese news agency reported that an explosion was heard in the area and that witnesses reported air strikes as well. Lebanese military personnel traveled to the site of the crash to inspect the remains, according to the report, but no further details were provided. A “proper investigation” is yet to be carried out, the sources said. No information was provided on whether or not there were any casualties.

Lebanese security sources told the Reuters news agency that a blast near the town of Saghbein “is still not 100 percent clear” but added that “most probably it was an Israeli strike to destroy their drone.”

Earlier in the day, Aljazeera had also reported the IAF had attacked the area but like others added few details.

Despite all of the above, however, a report published Sunday in the Lebanese Daily Star indicates the truth may be different. Photos of the reported drone published on media websites “show Cyrillic script on a piece of the wreckage, indicating that the drone may have been manufactured either in Russia or elsewhere in Eastern Europe,” the website reported.

Local sources claimed Israel was flying drones over southern Lebanon and Mount Hermon throughout the day on Sunday, but the reports were unconfirmed.

Residents of the area said they spotted an Israeli plane hovering over the southern region near Adloun just moments before the explosion, and eyewitnesses in the area told the Daily Star they saw planes coming from the direction of Mount Hermon. No casualties were reported.

Israeli military sources have declined to comment.

Lebanese-Druze Ready to Raise 200,000 Man Defensive Army

Friday, June 12th, 2015

The international Druze community is understandably worried. As a small, quiet minority in Syria, the Syrian-Druze community relied on Bashar Assad for protection.

But with the advances of the Syrian rebels and ISIS, the Syrian-Druze community finds itself in existential danger.

This week, fighters associated with Jabhat Al-Nusra massacred 20 Druze civilians in Qalb al-Loza, in the Idlib region.

Over the past year, Druze villagers have faced some battles with al-Nusra fighters who tried to attack their villages.

Israeli-Druze have been repeatedly and strongly warning of imminent massacres of their brother just across the border.

Prominent Druze leaders in Lebanon are calling for assistance for the Syrian-Druze community.

According to the Lebanon Daily Star, former Lebanese-Druze Minister Wi’am Wahhab, who supports Assad, asked for weapons from Assad so the Druze could defend themselves from al-Nusra:

“[The Druze in Syria] are ready to defeat the terrorists, but what they lack is arms. Lebanon’s Druze are ready to help, we are ready to form an army of 200,000 fighters to defend the Druze,” Wahhab said in a televised speech, urging Assad to provide arms to the community.

While Lebanese-Druze MP Walid Jumblatt, who on the other hand supports the Syrian Rebels, said they have spoken this week with the rebel groups and other regional powers to create a joint effort to protect residents in the Druze villages of Idlib.

All around, most of the various groups and divisions within Lebanon have been condemning the massacre of the Syrian Druze.

Saudi Poll: Iran and ISIS are Far Greater Enemies than Israel

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

Iran and the Islamic State (ISIS) are Saudi Arabia’s biggest enemies, according to a poll by Israel’s Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya.

The poll was conducted over the phone with Saudi natives, 85 per cent of whom said that Iran is their worst enemy. The Islamic State (ISIS) state was rated by 53 percent as enemy, but only 18 percent thought Israel is in the same category.

Significantly, 25 percent of the respondents would like to see Israel and Saudi Arabia stage a joint strike on Iran. Although a minority, the percentage is far higher than could have been imagined in recent years.

Saudi Arabia is one of the quietist of Muslim countries when it comes to anti-Zionist venom, unlike Turkey, the Palestinian Authority, Iran, Lebanon and Syria.

The kingdom often reiterates its wish for the Temple Mount to be Muslim-only. It occasionally utters the politically correct chant against the “Zionist entity” and favors kicking Israel out of most of Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria.

However, their officials almost never indulge in Israel-bashing for the sake of it.

The new poll reflects a tacit peace with Israel, something on the order of “good fences make good neighbors,” while the Iran nuclear threat and the frightening ISIS monster have become common enemies for Saudi Arabia and Israel.

The problem will be if the Obama administration tried to use the tacit peace as a stepping stone for an unwanted official peace pact. That would mean Israel’s agreeing to the Saudi 2002 initiative that has been adopted by the Palestinian Authority in its entirety, and it would mean Saudi Arabia’s having to deal with a new, inept, corrupt, confused, mismanaged and  unmanageable Arab country.

The United States has bought almost all of the Saudi-Palestinian Authority demands, except for the transfer of several million foreign Arabs into Israel, and who knows if President Barack Obama won’t cave in on that issue as well?

Things are pretty quiet between Jerusalem, and Riyadh, and they might stay that way if Washington does not try to fix what isn’t broken.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/saudi-poll-iran-and-isis-are-far-greater-enemies-than-israel/2015/06/09/

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