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July 5, 2015 / 18 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Moshe Yaalon’

Ya’alon Scraps Purchase of US Aircraft

Friday, October 31st, 2014

In the wake of the many-months long rising tide of hostility between U.S. and Israeli senior leadership reaching those at the highest levels, a decision which at other times might be understood as a simple budgetary decision is likely now to be seen as anything but.

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has reportedly canceled an agreement for Israel to purchase from the United States six advanced V-22 aircraft, which is made by Bell Boeing.

In January it was announced by the U.S. that the Israel Defense Force wanted to buy six Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft for special operations and search-and-rescue missions, in addition to various other, smaller items. The V-22 flies like an airplane but tilts its rotors to take off and land like a helicopter.

The deal in which the six V-22 aircraft was a part was anticipated to be a roughly $1.13 billion Foreign Military Sale to Israel.

But Israel Hayom reported that the Ministry of Finance wants the deal to be suspended until there is a full review of Israel’s security needs post-Operation Protective Edge.

For his part, Ya’alon decided that instead of purchasing the six aircraft, Israel should increase the procurement of heavy Armored Personnel Carriers and precision munitions.

The poor condition of Israel’s APCs was a serious danger to its troops during this summer’s conflict. That fact was made clear by the highly publicized and tragic loss of life on July 20, when an APC carrying Golani brigade fighters in Gaza stalled and was then pierced on July 20 by Hamas terrorists. That attack led to the loss of seven soldiers. St.-Sgt. Oron Shaul, amongst others, died in that tragedy; Shaul’s body has still not been recovered.

Last week when Ya’alon was in Washington, D.C. he and one of the few administration officials who did meet with him, the American Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, agreed that Israel would buy a second squadron of advanced F-35 fighter jets.

Canada and the United Arab Emirates were the other two potential purchasers of the V-22s, when Israel was considering the purchase.

Despite Israel’s severe budgetary constraints and the serious deficit of adequate APCs which was made only too clear during the summer conflict, Israel HaYom suggested that there are those within the IDF who fear the announced withdrawal of Israel’s intent to purchase the six Ospreys from the U.S. at this very delicate moment in U.S.-Israel relations will not be well received.

Updated: PA Arab Workers NOT Banned on Israeli Buses

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

Contrary to earlier media reports, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon did NOT ban Palestinian Authority Arab workers from using Israeli public buses, on either side of the 1949 Armistice Line, also called the “Green Line.”

What Ya’alon did do, as reported today (Sunday, Oct. 26) by The Jerusalem Post and The Knesset Channel, was create a plan that will soon require PA Arab workers to return to their homes each night in the PA via the same checkpoint through which they earlier entered Israel.

There is no start date yet for the program, which will begin with one major checkpoint, reportedly the Eyal checkpoint near the PA Arab city of Qalqilya.

The plan will enable security personnel to more efficiently track PA Arab workers as they travel to and from their day jobs on the Israel side of the pre-1967 line.

Until now, Palestinian Authority Arab workers in Samaria (Shomron) with authorized work permits have been able to cross the 1949 Armistice Lines and enter pre-1967 Israel via one checkpoint, and return via any other.

At the end of each day, they could, and did, return via any other checkpoint they wished — or not. And the “or not” is the problem.

It was extremely difficult to properly track those who illegally stayed over in Tel Aviv and those who returned home as they were supposed to each night, the defense minister noted. And that created serious security issues.

Leftwingers are screaming “Apartheid” and segregation, claiming PA residents who use the Eyal checkpoint won’t be allowed to ride Israeli buses anymore.

But it won’t be because of any ban. The only Jewish community that shares the use of the Eyal checkpoint is Tzofim, and Tzofim is on the Western side of the security fence.

Otherwise, the only reason one goes through the Eyal checkpoint is to enter or exit the PA controlled city of Qalqilya, and Israelis generally aren’t allowed into Qalqilya.

The bottom line is that if PA Arabs cross the Green Line at the Eyal checkpoint, it is unlikely they will be sharing buses with Israelis, but only because there are no Israeli passengers there to pick up, and not because of some fictional ban.

Whether in Tel Aviv or in Samaria (Shomron), PA Arabs can use any bus they choose.

State Department Continues Grudge Match Against Ya’alon

Saturday, October 25th, 2014

The U.S. State Department spokesperson tried her darnedest to downplay U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s refusal to meet with Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon when the latter was in Washington, D.C. last week.

On Tuesday, Oct. 21, Ya’alon arrived in Washington where he met with his American counterpart, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and American intelligence officials.

However, according to YNet, the Obama administration refused Ya’alon’s request to meet with other top U.S. officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry, Vice President Joe Biden, and National Security Advisor Susan Rice.

The snub was chalked up to lingering enmity resulting from private remarks made by Ya’alon – but which were publicly reported – in which Ya’alon allegedly spoke derisively about Kerry’s efforts to broker a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs.

Ya’alon allegedly said Kerry came to Israel “determined and acting out of misplaced obsession and messianic fervor,” and described the American security plan for Israel as “not worth the paper it is written on. It contains no peace and no security.”

The Americans went ballistic, saying that if the comments attributed to Ya’alon are accurate, they are “offensive and inappropriate” and described them as “shocking.”

Ya’alon later issued an apology in a written statement: “The defense minister had no intention to cause any offense to the secretary, and he apologizes if the secretary was offended by words attributed to the minister.”

American officials apparently are not used to being insulted publicly, and when it happens, not having a groveling response. And so, apparently, the fallout continues.

In the State Department’s Daily Press Briefing on Friday, Oct. 24, the spokesperson was asked about reports that Ya’alon’s request to meet with Kerry had been denied.

The senior reporter in the briefing, Matt Lee, of the Associated Press, asked the spokesperson about the alleged rebuff. Lee asked whether the denial of Ya’alon’s request was due to Kerry still being “peeved” by Ya’alon’s alleged remarks. Psaki sure seemed to be.

QUESTION: Okay. And then there are reports in Israel and elsewhere that Israeli Defense Minister Ya’alon was denied meetings or the Administration rejected requests from the Israelis for him to meet with, among other people, Secretary Kerry but also Susan Rice at the White House and Vice President Biden. And I’m just wondering, realizing you don’t speak for the White House, can you say if a meeting was sought with Secretary Kerry, who I believe was out of the country until – I know was out of the country until Wednesday night. Was there a meeting sought and denied?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t have anything in terms of internal discussions about meetings to parlay to you, but he did meet with Defense Secretary Hagel, which – who is his counterpart, which is a natural standard procedure.

QUESTION: Is it fair to say that the Administration and particularly this building and then particularly Secretary Kerry are still a bit peeved with Defense Minister Ya’alon’s criticisms?

MS. PSAKI: Well, I think, Matt, as you know, Secretary Kerry has spoken to this himself shortly after the comments made by Defense Minister Ya’alon and made clear that he’d been the target of much worse than words. And I think obviously, he works closely with a range of Israeli officials and he didn’t meet with him this time. He’s met with him in the past and he met with Secretary Hagel, who is his counterpart.

However, Israel’s defense minister did meet with the influential Washington Post journalist Lally Weymouth, who began the wide-ranging interview asking about Ya’alon’s comments about Kerry, to which the minister of defense responded laconically, “We overcame that.”

Weymouth then asked about Kerry’s recent statement that the failure to resolve the “Israeli-Palestinian issue” is leading to street anger and recruitment for ISIS. Ya’alon did not mention Kerry by name, but said that the conflict “is dominated by too many misconceptions.” He pointed instead to the Sunni-Shia conflict as being the far more accurate linkage. In discussing the Palestinian Arab-Israeli conflict, Ya’alon made clear that territorial concessions are exactly the wrong tack for Israel to take, suggesting that another Hamastan would rise in Judea and Samaria.

Israel Gets ‘Tough’ with ISIS and Declares it ‘Unauthorized’

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

The beheaders in Syria must be dropping their butcher knives in fear knowing they are unwanted in Israel.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon officially has outlawed the Islamic State ISIS terrorist organization with a signed statement that it is now “unauthorized.”

Ya’alon signed a statement Wednesday designating IS as an “unauthorized organization.” The official declaration means that Israel now can legally seize its assets, just in case the butchers have parked their assets from drug smuggling in an Israeli bank. That would be something like Obama investing his money with Donald Trump.

Ya’alon’s daring counter-terrorist action follows by one day the posting of a video showing the beheading of Jewish journalist Steven Sotloff.

The DEBKA File website that Ya’alon also acted after Al Qaeda flags were spotted in several parts of Israel.

Oh, yes, Hamas and Al Qaeda flags also have been outlawed, by Palestinian Authority flags are just fine, as reported earlier here.

Former NSA Blasts Netanyahu

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Former National Security Advisor Uzi Arad slammed Prime Minister Netanyahu Wednesday, saying the prime minister’s post-war press conference last night was a study in “marketing”, rather than providing answers to the Israeli public about the war.

Speaking to Army Radio, Arad said Netanyahu’s remarks last night at a joint press conference with Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon were “marketing statements, not real answers for the Israeli public.”

Arad also criticized cabinet ministers who leaked criticism of the prime minister and of Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon during Operation Protective Edge. He said the media leaks harmed Israel’s security and had deterrence.

If there was one positive thing to take away from Operation Protective Edge, Arad said, it was the unity and strength of Israel’s civilian home front.

“The Israeli public should be commended,” Arad said. “They are the ones who provided soldiers and (buried their sons). They are the ones who shouldered the economic cost, who lived with the rockets… and who are incredibly unified.

“The nation is very unified. But there is no unity on the results of the operation,” Arad said.

Ya’alon Seeks Peaceful Means to Evacuate New Outposts

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

In Gush Etzion, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has suggested a swap in order to convince residents of a newly-established outpost to leave their homes in communities with fresh wounds attached to the sites.

Move out, Ya’alon told the Gush Etzion Regional Council, and he would approve legal status for 24 new homes and a new farm instead.

Three outposts were started in July in the memory of the three teens who were kidnapped and murdered by Hamas terrorists in Gush Etzion as they were hitchhiking home for the Sabbath on June 12.

One was located near Bat Ayin and close to where the boys were kidnapped. Another was set up in Tekoa Hey, a hill near the town of Tekoa in eastern Gush Etzion. The new outposts, named Ramat HaShlosha (Heights of The Three) were expected to grow into a Jewish community established in their names in July as a response to the terror attack.

The third was Talmei Chaim, established on Hill 22 just north of Kiryat Aba but within the city limits, and intended to reach towards the area where they boys’ bodies were found.

Two more sites were also established on the night the boys’ bodies were found: one near the northeastern Jerusalem suburb of Ma’ale Adumim and the other near the community of Karmei Tzur, very close to the burial site.

Their bodies were discovered in a field belonging to the Qawasme clan near the Palestinian Arab town of Halhul, north of Hevron and south of Gush Etzion, on June 30.

Ya’alon Promises to Bring Soldier’s Body Home from Hamas

Monday, August 11th, 2014

Defense Minister Moshe ‘Boogie’ Ya’alon put an end to conflicting media reports and confirmed Sunday night that Hamas is holding the body – or parts of the body – of IDF soldier Oron Shaul.

A tweet from a Ha’aretz journalist quoted Ya’alon as saying that Shaul’s body was being held by Hamas in Gaza. A similar report in Egyptian media claimed Israel had negotiated with Hamas for the return of body parts belonging to Shaul, and for fallen IDF soldier Hadar Goldin, in exchange for releasing Hamas terrorists captured by the IDF during Operation Protective Edge. Likewise, Israel’s Channel 2 television reported similar negotiations, saying that Israel offered to trade eight bodies and 15 Hamas captives in exchange for the IDF body parts.

By then, Israeli officials were trying to douse the fire, and subsequently were quoted as denying the reports. Instead, they warned they were being used as psychological warfare to manipulate the grief of the Israeli public over the soldiers’ deaths.

But Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon put an end to the media speculation and delivered the sad news in his typical forthright style.

Ya’alon told journalists late Sunday evening that Israel is attempting to work through diplomatic channels to retrieve Shaul’s body, which he had already verified was being held by Hamas. He had shared that painful news in a visit with the soldier’s family, and promised them that Israel will bring him back.

“We are committed to bringing Oron home to be laid to rest here in Israel,” Ya’alon reportedly told the family. “We will not rest until this is done, and we are dealing with the issue. We will keep you posted on every development and my door will always be open to you for any question you might have.”

Shaul was killed together with six other soldiers when his armored personnel carrier was blown up by an anti-tank missile in a heavy firefight in the Shejaiyya section of Gaza City. During that battle, other IDF soldiers were able to recover the bodies of his six comrades but were unable to find the body of Oron Shaul. Initially it was believed that Shaul was kidnapped alive, but closer investigation of the site revealed enough evidence for the IDF Chief Military Rabbi to conclude the soldier had fallen in combat.

Goldin, a Givati officer, was killed when a suicide bomber emerged from a tunnel nearby and detonated his explosives belt right next to his unit, killing him and two other soldiers. Other terrorists then dragged parts of Goldin’s body into a tunnel, according to an exclusive report posted on Breitbart News. Goldin’s men chased the terrorists but didn’t catch them. They did, however find some of Goldin’s personal items – enough to bring back for a determination of his death as well.

May God and the IDF avenge their blood.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/yaalon-promises-to-bring-soldiers-body-home-from-hamas/2014/08/11/

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