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December 10, 2016 / 10 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘National Security Council’

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

Israel Clarifies Objection to French Peace Initiative: We Won’t Participate

Monday, November 7th, 2016

Israel on Monday clarified to the French that it continues to object to the proposed peace conference in Paris and would not take art in such an event should it be held anyway. Acting National Security Advisor and Head of the National Security Council Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Jacob Nagel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s diplomatic envoy, attorney Yitzhak Molcho, delivered this unequivocal message to French Special Envoy Pierre Vimont in Jerusalem.

Vimont presented France’s position on advancing the French initiative, including the convening of an international conference at the end of the year. Nagel and Molcho clarified the State of Israel’s unambiguous position – that true progress in the peace process and achieving an agreement can come only through direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and that any other initiative only pushes the region further away from this process.

It was made clear to the French envoy that Israel will not participate in any international conference convened contrary to its position. Promoting such a conference will make the possibility of advancing the peace process much less likely since it will allow Abu Mazen and the Palestinian Authority to continue avoiding the decision to enter into direct negotiations without preconditions.

Israel is certain and expects that France will not advance a conference or process that contradicts the official position of the State of Israel, an official Israel announcement said on Monday.

David Israel

Netanyahu Holds Security Meeting Ahead of High Holidays

Monday, September 19th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday held a meeting to assess the security situation ahead of the Tishrei holidays—Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot. Netanyahu called for in creased police presence, especially in the Old City and around the Temple Mount, directing “determined action” against any attempt to violate the public order there. In the case of Jews on the Temple Mount, these actions are normally determined by the Waqf agents, who are empowered to assess the level of spiritual engagement exerted by any Jew on the Temple Mount, and to decide whether said Jews have crossed the line and got dangerously close to their Father in Heaven.

Prime Minister Netanyahu ordered Knesset Speaker MK Yuli Edelstein to continue to prevent MKs and cabinet ministers from going up to the Temple Mount during this sensitive period, such sensitive period being defined as “always.”

The Prime Minister also directed that activity be increased against PA Arab incitement on social networks, including Facebook, with the goal of removing inflammatory content. He also instructed that a response team be established to refute disinformation about Israeli policy on the Temple Mount, such as the Jews are plotting to destroy the Al Aqsa mosque.

Netanyahu received an update on IDF operations and the reinforcement of units along the roads and inside Judea and Samaria communities.

Also participating in the meeting were Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Israel Policy Deputy Inspector General Zohar Dvir, Jerusalem District Police Commander Yoram Halevy, the deputy Director of the ISA, an IDF representative and personnel from the National Security Council.

David Israel

Netanyahu Representative in DC to Negotiate $38 Billion Aid Deal

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

Brigadier General Yaakov Nagel, Israel’s acting National Security Council, arrived in Washington DC on Tuesday to meet with President Obama’s National Security Advisor Susan Rice, in preparations for signing a new US military aid package. The new US aid deal, which the two governments have been negotiating since November 2015, awards Israel $38 billion over 10 years.

Nagel met with US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro to work out the final details before leaving for Washington — including the text of the official announcements. The new aid package is expected to average $3.8 billion a year, a considerable cut from Netanyahu’s initial request for $4.5 billion. The deal is also contingent on Israel agreeing not to approach Congress for additional funds, as in the case of the Iron Dome missile defense system, which Congress has been paying for outside the annual aid package. Now an estimated $5 billion out of the package will be spent over 10 years on missile defense development.

In other words, the new aid package is only adding $300 million to the previous amount. To remind you, the sum of $3 billion annually was set during the Camp David peace negotiations with Egypt, as compensation to Israel for giving up the Sinai peninsula as a military asset. That amount has never been raised in close to 40 years, even though the current value of that annual package would have been $10.48 billion.

The critical disagreement between the two sides over the current deal has been whether or not Israel could continue to invest a percentage of the aid package in Israeli made military products. The Obama Administration wanted the entire amount to stay in US corporations, which would have been devastating to Israeli manufacturers and to the IDF. A short episode during the 2014 Gaza War, in which the Obama Administration stopped shipping to Israel all defense items, including Hellfire missiles, served as a memorable lesson to the Israeli security apparatus about the need to increase its self-reliance.

The new deal ended up adding six years in which Israel can continue to spend as much as 26% of the US aid money on Israeli made products, as well as another 13% for fuel purchases. By the seventh year, or halfway into Clinton’s or Trump’s second term, the Israeli military industrial complex would have to quit US aid cold turkey — Unless Netanyahu or his successor is able to renegotiate that part — depending on who is in the White House and who controls Congress at the time.

David Israel

Iran lets Russian Bombers Use Its Air Base for Strikes Against ISIS

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, announced Tuesday that Iran is letting Russia use its infrastructure to fight against terrorism in Syria, IRNA reported.

According to TASS, citing a Russian Defense Ministry report, “Long-range bombers Tupolev-22M3 and frontline bombers Sukhoi-34 took off from the Hamadan air base in Iran carrying the full bomb load to deal a massive air strike against facilities of the terrorist groups Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra in Aleppo, Deir ez-Zor and Idlib provinces.”

The bombers destroyed five large armament depots, three command posts and militants’ training camps used by terrorists for operations in Aleppo, the report said.

The report added that Russia’s Sukhoi-30SM and Sukhoi-35 from the Hmeymim base in Syria provided protection, and “all planes coped with their tasks and returned to base.”

This is the first time Russian planes have used an Iranian airfield for the operation in Syria. On all previous occasions Russia’s long-range bombers operated from airfields in Russia, and front-line bombers flew out of Hmeymim in Syria.

JNi.Media

Nat’l Security Chief Heads to Washington Defense Memorandum of Understanding

Monday, July 25th, 2016

The Acting Head of the National Security Council, Brig. Gen. (Res.) Jacob Nagel, will travel to Washington on July 31, 2016, for meetings with his White House counterparts.

Nagel is being sent to ensure a new memorandum of understanding is signed between the two countries as soon as possible.

“Israel places great value on the predictability and certainty of the military assistance it receives from the United States and on honoring bilateral agreements,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement.

“Therefore, it is not in Israel’s interest for there to be any changes to the fixed annual MOU levels without the agreement of both the U.S. Administration and the Israeli government.”

For FY2017, Israel said it remains committed to the FMF level specified in the current MOU, which is $3.1 billion, and is not seeking additional funding.

Israel is concerned by White House demands that none of the FMF money will be allowed to be spent in Israel, unlike previous agreements which allowed a certain percentage of the funds to be used in Israel, and not just in the US.

Hana Levi Julian

Erdogan Declares Three-Month State of Emergency Across Turkey

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday announced a nationwide three-month state of emergency after Friday’s failed coup. Speaking at the presidential complex in Ankara after back-to-back National Security Council and Cabinet meetings, Erdogan said the three-month state of emergency was being declared under Article 120 of the Turkish Constitution, which states that in the event of serious, widespread acts of violence aimed at the destruction of the free democratic order, a state of emergency may be declared in one or more regions or throughout the country for a period not exceeding six months, the Anadolu state news agency reported.

“The purpose of the state of emergency is to most effectively and swiftly take steps necessary to eliminate the threat to democracy in our country, the rule of law, and the rights and freedom of our citizens,” Erdogan said.

The president said the move was aimed at “eliminating coup-plotter terrorist group,” which he insists is led by followers of US-based Muslim cleric Fetullah Gulen. Gulen has denounced the coup, saying he believed only in change through democratic means, but Turkey has demanded his extradition from the US nonetheless, citing incriminating documents associating him with the plot to unseat Erdogan.

At least 246 people, including members of the security forces and civilians, were killed during the failed coup, and more than 1,500 were wounded.

“Never be worried,” Erdogan told Turks Wednesday night. “There is nothing to worry about.” He said that “it is out of the question” for the armed forces to seize power. “Quite the reverse, the authority and will of the [civilian] leaders will grow more in this process,” he said, adding, “We never compromise on democracy, and we will not compromise.”

Erdogan blasted Standard & Poor’s downgrading of Turkey’s rating in the wake of the failed coup. “Why are you even interested in Turkey? We’re not part of you… Don’t ever try to mess with us,” he said.

Turkey’s lira fell to an all-time low after the S&P downgraded its debt, slumping to 3.0973 against the dollar, then falling another 1.5 percent to 3.0898 on Wednesday.

International rating agencies Fitch and Moody’s have so far kept Turkey’s investment-grade rating where it had been before the coup attempt, but both agencies are also considering a downgrade. Turkey’s current rating with Fitch is already a troubling BBB.

But Erdogan insisted that S&P’s assessment does not adequately reflect the Turkish economy, which grew 4.8 percent in the first quarter of 2016 compared with the same period last year. He vowed that Turkey will maintain fiscal discipline. “Turkey will continue its economic reforms without any interruption… There is no liquidity problem,” he said.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim tweeted: “This [state of emergency] decision is not for the daily life of our people, but rather is for the proper and swift functioning of state mechanisms.”

What those state mechanisms may be was left up to the Twitter followers’ imagination.

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus told reporters in Ankara: “The conditions of the state of emergency will only be used for fighting the parallel structure.” The term is part of Erdogan’s accusations of his arch-rival Gulen, whom he says is running a “parallel state” inside Turkey’s state institutions and media that poses a threat to his rule.

A National Security Council and Cabinet statement said, “Our body has once again confirmed its commitment to democracy, fundamental rights and freedoms, and the rule of law. The steps to be taken afterward were also discussed.” The statement added that the state of emergency was declared in order to implement measures to protect “citizens’ rights and freedoms, our democracy, and the rule of law.”

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/erdogan-declares-three-month-state-of-emergency-across-turkey/2016/07/21/

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