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May 30, 2016 / 22 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘military’

Report: US Using Foreign Aid to Damage Israel’s Military Industry

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

The security agreement between the US and Israel is yet to be signed, and as time goes by it appears that the Americans are in no hurry to complete the deal, Walla reported on Tuesday. Sources at the defense ministry who expected the US aid package to be agreed on by the Passover holiday are seeing the weeks since that target date passing by with little movement from Washington. So far, the Obama Administration has decided to increase the security aid budget to Israel above the current annual $3.2 billion, but in addition they would like to reduce the portion of the budget which may be converted from USD to shekels for IDF purchases from Israeli security manufacturers. That last part would be the most painful, with long-term consequences for Israel’s security.

As part of the US aid package in the past, Israel was allowed to convert a quarter of the money into 3 billion shekel ($786 million) for purchases from Israeli companies. The Israelis object to the American decision to bite into that part of the package, because it would result in a long-term effect on Israel’s defense budget and its military industrial complex.

A former senior defense apparatus official told Walla that “the US plan to cancel the conversion to shekels, even if it’s only a reduction, would have a significant effect on the attractiveness of the entire US security aid package.”

The aid budget offer as it stands today is far lower than Israel’s stated ambition at the start of negotiations with the US. Congressional sources have said that Israel was asking for $4 to $5 billion a year, which over the span of the deal, from 2019 to 2028, could total $50 billion — compared with $30 billion for the 2009 to 2018 package signed with President George W. Bush. The final deal will likely fall between $37.5 billion—the US position, and $40 billion—the amount Israel has come down to. Even at the minimalist, US version, Israel still receives a bump of $750 million over 10 years.

Today the US pays for $3 billion out of Israel’s $15.6 billion defense budget.

The defense source speaking to Walla said an American decision to keep the entire aid package in dollars, to be spent only with US manufacturers, could mean serious out-of-pocket costs for Israel. “For instance,” he explained, “when we purchase the F-35 from the US, it comes with additional derivatives paid for in shekels: we are expected to build an advanced infrastructure for the new squadron, as well as specialized maintenance and special takeoff lanes—for which the US budget converted part would have paid. Cutting it would directly harm the defense budget as well as the military industries.”

Incidentally, as Defense News reported in April, Israel is demanding of Lockheed Martin and the F-35 Joint Program Office to maximize its autonomy over its new stealth fighter force, including its own command, control, communications and computing (C4) system, indigenous weaponry and the ability to perform heavy maintenance in-country rather than at predetermined regional overhaul facilities. No other buyer has asked or received these exceptions for a system that’s considered the most advanced and secret in the US’ possession.

Brig. Gen. Tal Kalman, IAF chief of staff, told an audience in Tel Aviv this year that Israel’s “unique requirements” demand independence in maintaining the stealth fighters. Speaking on Sunday at a conference of Israel Defense and the Fisher Institute for Strategic Air and Space Studies, Kalman said the IAF is going for a “phased and coordinated process” to establish an F-35 logistics center at squadron headquarters at Nevatim Air Base in southern Israel.

JNi.Media

58 Dead, 110 Wounded in 3 Terror Attacks on Baghdad

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

At least 58 people died and 110 were wounded Tuesday in three separate terrorist attacks in Baghdad, all carried out by Da’esh (ISIS).

Two car bombings and a third bombing on an outdoor market took place in the Iraqi capital, all in Shi’ite neighborhoods, according to ABC News.

The worst attack was one that took place in the northeastern Sha’ab neighborhood where 38 were killed; more than 70 were wounded.

That was preceded by a car bombing at a produce market in the Dora section in southern Baghdad, where eight died and 22 others were wounded.

The day began with a roadside car bombing outside an open air market in Sadr City, immediately followed by a suicide bomber who detonated his explosives as rescue workers and others came running to help victims of the first attack. A total of 14 people died in that attack; more than 20 others were wounded, according to Iraqi security officials.

On Sunday, a Da’esh suicide bomber in the town of Taji, 12 miles (20 kilometers) north of Baghdad attacked a natural gas plant, killing 14 people and wounding at least 27 others. The flames consumed the facility and destroyed at least one of the gas-processing units.

Hana Levi Julian

Arab Terrorists Open Fire at Qalandiya Checkpoint

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

Arab terrorists opened fire Tuesday morning at IDF personnel at the Qalandiya checkpoint north of Jerusalem.

The attack took place during a visit to the outpost by a security team from Cyprus.

No injuries were reported. However, a bullet hit one of the military vehicles, according to the Hebrew-language 0404 website.

Israeli forces searched the area and raised the alert level. It appears the attack came from within Qalandiya.

Hana Levi Julian

Military Official Says Iran Tested Precision-Guided Ballistic Missile

Monday, May 9th, 2016

Iran test-fired a precision-guided ballistic missile two weeks ago, the armed forces deputy chief of staff announced on Monday, according to the Fars news agency.

“Two weeks ago, we tested a missile with a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,243 miles) and an error margin of eight meters (24 ft),” Brigadier General Ali Abdollahi said, according to Fars.

Now, that’s accurate!

In case you wanted to know at this point, the distance from Tehran to Tel Aviv as the ballistic craw flies is 993 miles.

The military official chose to make the statement at Baghiatollah Hospital, which is run by the Islamic Revolution Guards.

Mixed messages? Anticipation of consequences? Time will tell.

Iran test-fires missiles of different ranges and capabilities all the time, as part of its regular military drills. And although Tehran insists the precision ballistic capability to take out a section of Tel Aviv is merely defensive, the US has stated that it constitutes in breach of the UN 2231 resolution that prohibits Iran from firing any missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

US Secretary of State John Kerry did say in the past that the US and its allies were “prepared to work on a new arrangement to find a peaceful solution to these issues.”

That must have stung the Iranians bad.

Iranian officials also insist the missiles that are being test-fired are not designed to carry nuclear warheads.

Feeling safe yet?

In the end it doesn’t really matter whether the new missiles are defensive or offensive and what part of what city they can destroy, because Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has already said for the record that Iran’s missile program is not part of the negotiation with the US.

David Israel

Military Court on Medic Who Shot Neutralized Terrorist Recommends Parties Hold Mediation

Monday, May 9th, 2016

The Jaffa Military Court heard on Monday the indictment against Sergeant Elor Azarya who is charged with manslaughter and inappropriate behavior, and the court President, Colonel Maya Heller, suggested the prosecution and the defense seek mediation. The prosecution objected. Still, the court gave the two sides until the end of the week to consider this option.

Common sense suggests that if the court gives the two sides this opening to bargain the case down from manslaughter—a felony, to misdemeanor, it is because the court does not believe the prosecution is able to prove a felony and would like to spare them the embarrassment. But the prosecution is going for broke, and has even conscripted a top attorney, Nadav Weissman, “one of the most talented litigators involved today in many of the highest profile litigation cases in Israel,” to take down the young medic.

Azarya’s attorneys are also reluctant to cop a plea, because they believe the prosecution’s own files contain all the evidence they need to acquit their client.

Incidentally, the conscripted attorney has complained through his attorneys about the prosecution’s shoddy job of preparing the evidence in the case, and they also noted for the record that they can point to precedence where the most the accused soldier received was disciplinary action.

Indeed, disciplinary action was all the medic Azarya’s commanding officers were going to do, if that, until they got the call from the defense ministry about the B’Tselem video which supposedly proves hands down that the killing of the terrorist was an act of murder.

The defendant’s attorneys are accusing the army of running a show trial for the benefit of the political echelon, namely Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, not the most popular man in most Israeli households these days, most notably in his own Likud party. The majority of Israelis in several recent polls believe there should have been no prosecution at all in the case.

Much of the prosecution’s case hinges on the state of mind of the accused during the shooting, namely how much he knew about the neutralizing of the terrorist and the verification that followed his neutralizing. Since he arrived some ten minutes after the incident, the fact that the verification process had been proper may not matter if the defense can establish that the accused was not aware of it, and estimated the terrorist to still be dangerous.

The case will also revolve around the application of the rules of engagement in cases where a suicide bomb is suspected. The prosecution will bring witnesses who will tell the court there hadn’t been any suicide bombers in the entire six months of a terror wave leading up to the shooting. But that may not matter in establishing the state of mind of the accused or the validity of the rules of engagement that include an expectation of a suicide bomb.

JNi.Media

IDF Declares Closed Military Zone Along Gaza Border

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

The IDF officially declared the area around Kibbutz Nahal Oz in the Gaza Belt region to be a closed military zone on Wednesday evening.

Farmers were ordered to suspend all agricultural activities in the fields along the security fence in all areas along the length of the Gaza border, until further notice.

Military sources said IDF soldiers are searching for terror tunnels in the area around the Gaza Belt region and along the security fence, according to Israel’s Channel 10 news.

“Several Israeli military bulldozers and diggers penetrated in the early hours this morning east of Rafah and started digging operations in an attempt to search for tunnels,” the Hamas military ‘Al Qassam’ website reported.

Another mortar shell was fired at IDF soldiers operating near the border fence along southern Gaza just after 7 pm Wednesday, the fifth attack of the day and the sixth in 24 hours.

No injuries were reported.

Earlier in the day, the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror groups released a joint statement claiming responsibility for all of the attacks. Hamas spokesman Mushir al-Masri warned Israel not to “test the patience of the Palestinian resistance.”

Hana Levi Julian

IDF Military Forces Drilling on Northern, Eastern Israeli Borders

Monday, April 18th, 2016

IDF soldiers in northern and eastern Israel didn’t rest much last week, and aren’t likely to this week either.

“Good morning,” tweeted IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Peter Lerner early Monday morning. “Surprise #IDF exercise this morning in the Golan Heights because #HopeIsNotAMethod.”

Despite the tweet, Lerner revealed little else. The drill is relevant primarily for general staff in the IDF Northern Command and is expected to last the entire week.

“Citizens can expect to see movement of security forces, military vehicles and aircraft in the ares of Golan Regional Council and the Jordan Valley Regional Council,” the IDF said in its announcement about the exercise.

Internecine conflicts are growing in Lebanon and Jordan along with the raging five-year long civil war in Syria and the spreading influence of the Da’esh (ISIS) terror organization — all of which is contributing to the rising risk of a conflict along one of Israel’s borders.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/idf-military-forces-drilling-on-northern-eastern-israeli-borders/2016/04/18/

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