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January 21, 2017 / 23 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘National Security Council’

Cabinet Holds Special Meeting in Fire Plagued Haifa

Sunday, November 27th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu assembled his cabinet on Sunday morning in Haifa, the Israeli city that has suffered more than any other large urban center in the week of blazes, both the natural and the man made kind. The prime minister said: “First, I would like to commend the IDF soldiers who, this morning, successfully repelled an attack against in the border triangle area (where Israel, Lebanon and Syria meet). We are well prepared on our northern border and we will not allow any ISIS or other hostile elements, under cover of the war in Syria, to establish themselves adjacent to our borders.

“En route here this morning I spoke with Rama Ben-Tzvi; her and her husband’s restaurant in the Jerusalem hills was completely burnt. I think that we all know how much love they have invested in this, their life’s work, for 20 years, and in an instant, it went up in flames. The fire there and in other places burned property, it burned objects replete with memories, it even burned animals in some places, but to our joy, this time we were well-prepared and it did not burn lives; we saved lives. I told Rama that we would help her rebuild her restaurant forthwith. The Director General of the Prime Minister’s Office has already spoken to her. This, in effect, is our message to all Israeli citizens whose homes and property were hit by the fires: We will help you rebuild your homes and your lives forthwith and this is the main goal of this special Cabinet meeting this morning in Haifa.

“We have come to Haifa and we have invited council heads from across the north whose communities were affected by the fires in order to give them clear message: All government ministries are committed to extending a hand to you quickly, to shorten the bureaucracy, and I say to brutally shorten the bureaucracy, to bring you assistance, relief and rebuilding as soon as possible. In the meantime, we will do everything necessary to maintain your remaining property.

“Immediately upon concluding my remarks, I will ask my fellow ministers – the ministers of Public Security, Finance and Interior – who, I must say, from the outset, have worked tirelessly in the field, to report on their ministries’ activities.

“Later, I will ask the other ministers to do so. Of course, we will be measured by results and not by processes, by deeds and not words. We will be measured by results. The event is still not over. There are reports now of a fire in the Zichron area and several other locales, that seem as if they are rekindling. We are working on all fronts, including law enforcement. Whoever starts a fire, either by malice or negligence, whoever incites to arson – we will act against them with full force.

“There is no doubt that thanks to the courage of the firefighters, the pilots from Israel and abroad, and to the determined response of the Israel Police, MDA, IDF, Home front Command and the other rescue forces, the local councils represented here and the extraordinary spirit shown by Israeli citizens – thanks to all these, we achieved impressive control of the fires which, to a certain extent, were much more complicated and much more difficult than the Carmel fire.

“On Friday, I received a meteorological report, which indicated difficult conditions vis-à-vis dryness and the weather, the combination of temperatures and the wind and continued dryness, it was 30% more difficult than the conditions that prevailed during the Carmel fire. Along with all the government ministers here, I salute all those who took part in dealing with this crisis, in extinguishing the fires, and in guarding life and property. We have built an impressive ability to fight fires on the ground and from the air and it proved itself. I do not want to imagine what might have happened if we hadn’t built this ability.

“I would like to thank the many governments who sent assistance in the form of firefighting aircraft, pilots and firefighters and I would like to thank the personnel at the Foreign Ministry and the National Security Council and especially you, Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Zeev Tzuk-Tam who supervised very impressive international coordination. It is not simple to bring here so many elements, pilots, planes and materials from so many countries.

“Against the mighty forces of nature, countries worked together and the principle that has guided me and the government was – better over-ability than the risk of under-ability.

“During the events, I personally visited several centers of the fires and I already instructed that a team be established to learn lessons so that we will be even better prepared in the future. I am initiating the establishment of a multi-national force that will be coordinated not just for action in time of disaster, but also to acquire planes and allocate the acquisition of various types of planes so that we might thereby achieve multi-national effectiveness, and not just national effectiveness, in dealing with gigantic fires. I have spoken about this with several leaders from the region. I must say that they have shown great interest in the idea and we will advance it.”

Jewish Press Staff

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

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/natl-security-chief-heads-to-washington-defense-memorandum-of-understanding/2016/07/25/

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