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December 8, 2016 / 8 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Lebanon’

Lebanon’s Christian President-elect Vows to ‘Free Our Lands From Israeli Occupation’

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Lebanon’s parliament elected Maronite Christian Michel Aoun to the presidency on Monday, ending a 29-month vacuum and sealing control of the country for the Hezbollah terrorist group.

Aoun, a former military commander who is now age 81, had made a formal alliance on behalf of his Free Patriotic Movement with the Iranian-backed terror organization back in 2006.

His election also secures a win for Sunni Muslim leader and former prime minister Sa’ad Hariri, leader of the “March 14 Coalition,” now positioned to renew his role as the country’s prime minister.

Hariri was quoted as saying his endorsement of Aoun was necessary “to protect Lebanon, protect the [political] system, protect the state and protect the Lebanese people.”

In his victory speech, Aoun vowed to “free what remains of our lands from the Israeli occupiers.” The reference is a claim to the disputed territories along Israeli’s northern border and the international “blue line” set by the United Nations.

He also pledged to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in that nation’s ongoing five-year-long civil war, which Hezbollah has also fought to supplement the regime forces, along with Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard Corps forces, and Russian armed forces.

Nearly half a million people have died in Syria since the start of hostilities there in March 2011.

Hana Levi Julian

IDF Soldier Wounded in Gunfire From Lebanon

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

The IDF Spokesperson says there’s been no new gunfire from Lebanon, in response to news reports of a second round of shooting from across the northern border.

Earlier in the day, Lebanese terrorists opened fire at IDF soldiers engaged in routine maintenance on the security fence.

“Shots were fired from a passing vehicle in Lebanon at IDF forces during routine activity adjacent to the border in the area of Ramin Ridge,” according to an IDF spokesperson.

IDF soldiers “identified the vehicle that conducted the shooting,” the spokesperson said, and “fire was exchanged between the vehicle and IDF forces. Hits were confirmed.”

“The injured soldier, a member of the Golani Brigade, was working on the security fence when he sustained a shrapnel wound in the arm. He was evacuated to Ziv Medical Center in Tzefat for medical treatment, and is listed in good condition,” the IDF spokesperson added.

IDF troops have been placed on high alert, and a message has gone out to Israeli residents in the area that they are not allowed to enter the area near the border fence.

Hana Levi Julian

New Report Claims Missing IDF Officer Ron Arad Died Shortly After Being Captured

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

IDF Intelligence and the Mossad have submitted to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu two separate reports regarding the fate of the missing Air Force navigator Ron Arad, Channel 2 News reported Monday night. According to the reports, based on an extensive examination of the entire body of information regarding the missing airman, including new information that appeared over the past two years, Arad died after his first few years in captivity.

Lieutenant Colonel Ron Arad, born in 1958, has been officially classified as missing in action since October 16, 1986, when he and pilot Yishai Aviram were on a mission to attack PLO targets near Sidon, Lebanon. A bomb dropped by their F-4 plane exploded prematurely, causing damage to the aircraft and forcing both crewmen to eject. Aviram was located by an Israeli Cobra and escaped by clinging to one of its landing skids as it flew away under heavy enemy fire. Arad was captured by the Lebanese movement Amal.

Arad was brought to Beirut where he was held by then-head of security of Amal, Mustafa Dirani. Amal chief Nabih Berri announced that he was holding Arad, and proposed an exchange for Shiite and Lebanese prisoners held in Israel.

In 1987, three letters in Arad’s handwriting and two photos of a bearded Arad were received, proving he was still alive. The Israeli government negotiated for his release, but talks failed in 1988. From that point on no credible information about Arad has been received, while many unsubstantiated claims of his whereabouts are still being made.

Israeli commandos captured Hezbollah member Abdel Karim Obeid in 1989, and Mustafa Dirani in 1994,  and interrogated both of them about Arad’s fate. Dirani reportedly disclosed that in May 1988 Arad was turned over first to a Hezbollah unit and then to Iranian Revolutionary Guards, who may have taken him to Iran. Obeid and Dirani were released in 2004 as part of a prisoner exchange.

The IDF wanted to declare Arad as a fallen soldier whose burial-place is unknown, based on information funneled from Iran through a German source. But the navigator’s family rejected the idea, refusing to accept anything other than hard evidence. Several committees that examined the information regarding Arad have concluded the chances that he is alive are miniscule, but were not able to offer a conclusive statement.

The Israeli government has spent millions on the search for Arad, and offered a $10 million reward to anyone who could provide reliable new information. The family is no longer pressuring the military to keep up the search for their loved one, and the Born Free association that had been set up to look for Arad was dissolved back in 2012.

JNi.Media

Trump in 2nd Debate: Aleppo Has Already Fallen

Monday, October 10th, 2016

Focusing, as we always do, on the Jewish-Israeli niche of presidential politics, we paid great attention Sunday night to the exchange between candidates Trump and Clinton on the situation in Syria. In general, both debaters agreed the situation was tough, and neither was eager to get into specific solutions. What stood out for us was the statement by Donald Trump that the battle of Aleppo between the US-backed rebels and the coalition of Assad, the Russians, Iran and Hezbollah will go to the pro-Assad forces.

Martha Raddatz (ABC News) asked Trump: “What do you think will happen if [Aleppo] falls?” Which Trump answered, “I think that it basically has fallen. OK? It basically has fallen.”

It should be noted that on Saturday in the UN Security Council Russia vetoed a French resolution calling for an immediate halt to its air strikes on east Aleppo, where reportedly hundreds of civilians are being killed, including many children. The Russian delegation, accusing the rest of the council of “Russophobia,” watched many council members walk off as the Russians were giving the floor to an envoy of the Assad regime. The Russians are fast running out of friends over this campaign — except, apparently, for Trump, who described Allepo as collateral damage of the effort to destroy the real enemy of the US in the Middle East — ISIS.

“I don’t like Assad at all, but Assad is killing ISIS,” Trump said during Sunday night’s debate. “Russia is killing ISIS. And Iran is killing ISIS. And those three have now lined up because of our weak foreign policy.”

Raddatz pointed Trump’s attention to the fact that not only the entire Western world objects to what the Russians have been doing in Syria, but his own running mate, Mike Pence, had said a week ago, that the “provocations by Russia need to be met with American strength and that if Russia continues to be involved in air strikes along with the Syrian government forces of Assad, the United States of America should be prepared to use military force to strike the military targets of the Assad regime.”

Trump, who had praised Pence’s debate performance, came right out and said, “OK, he and I haven’t spoken, and I disagree. I disagree.”

Raddatz: “You disagree with your running mate?”

Trump: “I think you have to knock out ISIS. Right now, Syria is fighting ISIS. We have people that want to fight both at the same time. But Syria is no longer Syria. Syria is Russia and it’s Iran, who [Clinton] made strong and Kerry and Obama made into a very powerful nation and a very rich nation, very, very quickly, very, very quickly.

“I believe we have to get ISIS. We have to worry about ISIS before we can get too much more involved. She had a chance to do something with Syria. They had a chance. And that was the line. And she didn’t.”

To delineate Trump’s foreign policy point on Aleppo from all of the above, the defeat of ISIS justifies permitting Russia, Iran, the Assad regime and its Hezbollah satellite to recapture all of Syria and turn it into their permanent base, with all the ramifications for Lebanon, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, and, of course, Israel.

A debate then ensued between Raddatz, who as her network’s Chief Global Affairs Correspondent is probably familiar with the issue, and Trump, over the need for secrecy before attacking a target like the oil rich city of Mosul in Iraq. “The biggest problem I have with the stupidity of our foreign policy, we have Mosul,” Trump argued. “They think a lot of the ISIS leaders are in Mosul. So we have announcements coming out of Washington and coming out of Iraq, we will be attacking Mosul in three weeks or four weeks.”

“Well, all of these bad leaders from ISIS are leaving Mosul,” he continued. “Why can’t they do it quietly? Why can’t they do the attack, make it a sneak attack, and after the attack is made, inform the American public that we’ve knocked out the leaders, we’ve had a tremendous success? People leave. Why do they have to say we’re going to be attacking Mosul within the next four to six weeks, which is what they’re saying? How stupid is our country?”

Raddatz suggested, “There are sometimes reasons the military does that. Psychological warfare.”

Trump retorted, “I can’t think of any. I can’t think of any. And I’m pretty good at it.”

Raddatz: “It might be to help get civilians out.”

Perhaps. Trump could also be correct in pointing out that the US campaign in Iraq has remained as undisciplined and as badly coordinated as it has been since the 2003 invasion, under two different administrations.

Hillary Clinton sounded as hapless as the Obama Administration when she said the Russians don’t care about ISIS, and are instead “interested in keeping Assad in power.” As remedy, she proposed: “…when I was secretary of state, I advocated and I advocate today a no-fly zone and safe zones. We need some leverage with the Russians, because they are not going to come to the negotiating table for a diplomatic resolution, unless there is some leverage over them. And we have to work more closely with our partners and allies on the ground.”

Of course, there’s no way the US and its allies would be able to enforce a no-fly zone on the Russian air force, short of starting WW3, which is why Clinton sounded hollow when she declared, “I’ve stood up to Russia. I’ve taken on Putin and others, and I would do that as president.” And she sounded even less realistic when she warned, “…I do support the effort to investigate for crimes, war crimes committed by the Syrians and the Russians and try to hold them accountable.”

Hillary Clinton then committed a blunder that could haunt her in the future should she be elected president, when she suggested, “There are a lot of very important planning going on, and some of it is to signal to the Sunnis in the area, as well as Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, that we all need to be in this. And that takes a lot of planning and preparation. … I would also consider arming the Kurds. The Kurds have been our best partners in Syria, as well as Iraq. And I know there’s a lot of concern about that in some circles, but I think they should have the equipment they need so that Kurdish and Arab fighters on the ground are the principal way that we take Raqqa after pushing ISIS out of Iraq.”

That’s not something an American president should say if he or she wish to elicit Turkey’s support in the Syrian campaign. Proposing to arm the Kurds sounds about as bad to Ankara as the idea of the US arming Hamas would be received in Jerusalem. That would be one of those cases where Clinton would be well advised to have one policy for public consumption and another for insiders.

You probably noticed we did not deal at all with the Trump tapes or the Clinton emails, because everyone else in the media are offering a wealth of information on those. We only tried to point out that when it comes to one of Israel’s most burning issues, the escalation of the war north of its border, neither candidate has offered a particularly convincing formula, and Clinton actually declared she would definitely keep US ground troops out of the Syrian civil war.

We should note with satisfaction that Israel was not mentioned even once in the debate and neither was the two-state solution or Jewish settlements. Thankfully, both candidates are too clever to step on that landmine.

JNi.Media

Report from Syria: Rebel Syrian Forces Claim They Will Return Eli Cohen’s Body to Israel

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

In a shocking report this evening, Channel 2 TV news and Walla are quoting serious Arab news sources in Lebanon, that Syrian Rebel forces announced they would be returning the body of Eli Cohen to Israel.

Eli Cohen, known as “Our Man in Damascus”, is one of the most well known Israeli spies. He was captured and killed in 1965.

After successfully infiltrating Syria’s Defense Ministry (1961-1965) he was discovered by Syria and publicly executed by hanging in Damascus in 1965 where he was buried.

Days ago, never before seen video footage of his execution was distributed on social media and the news that Syrian rebels are now offering to give his remains to Israel is extraordinary.

Let’s hope it’s true.

Jameel@Muqata

I Demand Lebanon be BANNED from the Olympics

Sunday, August 21st, 2016

The Lebanese delegation at the Olympics exposed its country’s bigotry when it refused to be on the same bus as Israelis and blocked them entry into the bus. The athletes may or may not be bigoted themselves, but they knew how their country reacts to any sign of “normalization” with Israelis.

The Lebanese Olympians knew that Miss Lebanon Saly Greige was demonized in January 2015 for taking a picture with an Israeli contestant, and they knew that they would be hailed as heroes in Lebanon for their act of cowardice.

The Olympic Charter pledges, “To fight against all other forms of discrimination,” but the International Olympic Committee’s response to this blatant incident of discrimination against Israelis was a slap on the wrist of the Lebanese delegation. On the same weekend, Saudi judo athlete Joud Fahmy forfeited a match to avoid facing Israeli Gili Cohen, and the IOC took no action against Saudi Arabia.

The IOC is the organization that refused in 2012 to commemorate the eleven Israeli Olympic athletes who were killed by Palestinian terrorists during the Munich Games of 1972, so its credibility in defending Israelis against discrimination is tainted. As a person of Lebanese origin, I want the IOC to know when it fails to uphold the Olympic spirit with regard to Israel, it is failing everyone, including Arabs who oppose terrorism and hatred.

If countries like Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and others cannot put aside their hatred of Israel, or any other country, at least for the duration of the Olympics, they should not be allowed to compete.

The IOC should ban any country that does not allow its athletes to mingle with all other athletes at the Olympics, and there should be no special arrangements to prevent some countries’ athletes from being transported or lodged together with athletes of some other countries.

Although Lebanon has not won a medal at the Olympics since 1980, being part of the Olympics is still a source of national pride. There is however no pride in being a bigot. A ban from the Olympics would force Lebanon and other nations that hold similar bigoted views to rethink what they really stand for. Do they really want to be known as bigots to the world? Do they value more their bigotry or their athletes?

According to the Olympic Charter, “The Olympic symbol expresses the activity of the Olympic Movement and represents the union of the five continents and the meeting of athletes from throughout the world at the Olympic Games”. It is about time the IOC started taking its own charter seriously.

Fred Maroun

Shabak Foils Hezbollah Operation that Used Facebook to Recruit, Plan Terror Attacks

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

Israeli security forces revealed on Tuesday that a joint operation of the Shabak, IDF and Police has foiled a number of terrorist organizing efforts whose members, residents of Judea and Samaria, had been recruited via Facebook by Hezbollah agents living in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. The arrest of these members has prevented the execution of several planned attacks inside Israel.

Shabak noted that Hezbollah has been very active in recent years with recruitment efforts of activists in greenline Israel, Judea and Samaria and Gaza, to carry out terror attacks against Israeli targets. Besides instructions for shooting and suicide attacks against these targets, the same activists also received training in luring and conscripting new members.

A terror cell from the Kalkilia area in Samaria was ordered to attack an IDF patrol. The head of the cell, Mustafa Kemal Hindi, 18, a resident of Kalkilia, had been recruited by Hezbollah in December 2015, through the Facebook page of Falastin al-Hurra, which delivers anti-Israel content.

Hindi told his interrogators that he kept in contact with his Hezbollah operator “Bilal” using Facebook and later through an email address he started on his operator’s instructions. He later received encryption software for his emails.

Hindi was instructed to recruit a cell and to carry out attacks against Israeli targets, including the shooting at an IDF patrol outside Kalkilia. He recruited four of his neighbors, in their early 20s, and the cell started collecting data on the IDF patrols in the area, and was trained in using a hunting gun and in improvising explosives. They were arrested in early June 2016 before they were able to carry out their intended mission and were indicted in military court in Judea.

Tuesday’s report lists several, very similar operations, conducted by Hezbollah via remote control using the fast and reliable services of Facebook. Some of these operations involved Israeli Arabs, who were approached by the Shabak and were made aware that communicating with Hezbollah over Facebook is a violation of security laws.

The financial part of the Hezbollah operations in Israel and the PA are being handled by members living in the Gaza Strip who lend logistical support to both recruitment and operational efforts.

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/shabak-foils-hezbollah-operation-that-used-facebook-to-recruit-plan-terror-attacks/2016/08/16/

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