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January 18, 2017 / 20 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Negev Desert’

‘Winter Wonderland’ Whitens Northern Israel, Brings Rain Elsewhere

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

A winter storm on Tuesday brought snow to to the Golan Heights and Mount Hermon, a veritable boon for the skiers and eventually, a rush of water into Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) when the white stuff eventually melts.

The storm also brought rain to Jerusalem and to the rest of the northern and central regions, and where the coastal highway was closed for hours due to flooding.

Walking in the rain in downtown Jerusalem.

Walking in the rain in downtown Jerusalem.

Sadly, part of a 3,000-year-old wall at the Tel Dan archaeological site in the north, which has survived since the time of the First Holy Temple, collapsed on Tuesday due to the downpour.

Throughout the day it was unseasonably cold, and temperatures continued to drop even into the southern region, towards the northern Negev desert. Scattered showers and thunderstorms were in the forecast in the Negev as well, but expected to fade out in the evening.

Flash flood warnings were in effect along the coast and in the Judean desert, where tourists and hikers are often caught unawares. The warnings are also in effect for the northern Negev desert and along the Dead Sea area, where hikers and unwary drivers may suddenly encounter flooding on the road along the Dead Sea coast.

Hana Levi Julian

Boys and Their Toys

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

PM Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and the IDF at the new F-35 Adir stealth fighter jet’s arrival ceremony at the Nevatim Air Force Base in the Negev Desert.

Netanyahu F-35

DM Liberman Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter F-35

Photo of the Day

Update: 2 F-35 Adir Stealth Fighter Jets to Arrive Monday in Israel [video]

Thursday, December 8th, 2016

The first two F-35 Adir stealth fighter jets are soon to arrive in Israel — this coming Monday — at Tel Nof in southern Israel, bringing with them a new era for the Israel Defense Forces.

The first two planes are on their way from Texas, with a major welcoming ceremony in the works for their arrival Monday, bigger than any seen in the past 40 years, according to military sources. The fanfare is to include a flyover by the two F-35s before they land on the runway.

Upon landing, senior IDF officers will plant the IAF insignia upon each of the $85 million aircraft, thereby officially enlisting that fighter jet to the Israel Air Force.

They’re flying towards the Jewish State even as this article is being read.

A stopover in Portugal’s Azores Islands on Tuesday was followed by an in-flight refueling that was filmed by a photography crew on Thursday. (see the video below) But the two American pilots who are flying the jets to Israel and their refueling tanker have one more stop to make this weekend — they’ll be in Italy — before their arrival in Israel.

Nineteen more Adir fighter jets are expected to arrive in the near future.

In addition, the Israeli cabinet last month unanimously approved the purchase of 17 more of the stealth fighter jets, bringing the total number of Adir aircraft in the IAF fleet to 50 by the end of the next decade. Each of the jets costs approximately $85 million.

Lockheed Martin produced the stealth fighter jet together with Israeli defense firm Elbit Systems Ltd., the latter to be operating the new F-35 training center at Nevatim. Construction for the center is to be completed by the end of 2017.

In a recent statement, Lockheed Martin said that over the past three decades, Elbit “has acquired a great deal of experience in trainers and simulators, and is a world leader in high-tech display. Its advanced systems are in operational use by leading armies around the world.”

Watch the video as the Adir (Hebrew for “mighty”) Israeli aircraft carries out aerial refueling operations. The aircraft’s refueling capabilities allow for flexibility in missions and the ability to operate in any military theater.

The Adir is the most advanced stealth fighter jet in the world, allowing the Israel Air Force to protect the nation of Israel and carry out operations wherever they are required.

Hana Levi Julian

On 69th Anniversary of UN ‘Partition Plan for Palestine’ Arabs Still Hopelessly Stuck

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

On November 29, 1947, by a vote of 33 for, 13 against, and 10 abstained, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 181(II) to partition Mandatory Palestine at the end of the British Mandate in 1948. The Plan was accepted by the Jewish Agency for Palestine, despite the fact that it turned Jerusalem into an international city, outside Jewish control, and carved out an enormous section in the center of the country for the future Arab state.

Arab leaders and governments, on the other hand, rejected the partition plan and declared their unwillingness to accept any form of territorial division.

A civil war, known to Jews as The War of Independence and to Arabs as The Catastrophe, broke out in Mandatory Palestine immediately following the adoption of the Resolution by the General Assembly. Then, at midnight on 14 May 1948, the British Mandate expired, and, a few hours earlier, the Jewish People’s Council approved a proclamation, declaring “the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz Israel, to be known as the State of Israel.” The 1948 Arab–Israeli War began with an invasion of the fledgling country by the Arab States on May 15 1948. Hundreds of thousands of Arabs fled the country, never to return, eventually losing the entire area they could once declare their own.

Moshe Ma’oz, professor emeritus of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, explains why the Arabs reject the 1947 partition plan. Noting that some moderate or pragmatic Arabs were prepared to accept a small Jewish state in part of Palestine.

“But the [Husseini family] – not democratically elected but backed by the Arab League – continued to intimidate its moderate brethren and to maintain its uncompromising position against the Jews. Even according to moderate Palestinian intellectuals, this leadership adopted an extreme policy vis-à-vis the idea of two states, thus grossly ignoring the will of the UN and the Great Powers, and leading the Palestinians into war and tragedy.”

“Indeed, this militant syndrome of the Palestinian leadership significantly contributed to preventing a political solution to the Arab-Jewish dispute over Palestine in 1947, as in 1937,” Ma’oz argues. “This syndrome was inspired by an intense Islamic and nationalist ideology, dominated by the Husseini family and in particular, Hajj Amin al Husseini, the charismatic Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Head of the Supreme Muslim Council.”

“Denying the right of the Jewish-Zionist community to national self-determination even in part of Palestine, the Husseinis periodically used violence and terror against Jews, as well as against the moderate Palestinian Nashashibi faction that for many years cooperated with the Jewish community and acknowledged its national aspirations,” he reiterates, explaining that “this moderate faction, although supported by many families and notables throughout the country, was not as organized, armed, motivated or influential among the younger generation as the Husseinis. Consequently, the moderate/pragmatic Palestinians were unable to neutralize the powerful militant Palestinian nationalist leadership or induce it to accept a political settlement.”

Fifty years after that catastrophic Arab failure, in 1977, the UN declared an International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, to be celebrated each year on November 29. Special commemorative activities are organized by the Division for Palestinian Rights of the United Nations Secretariat, in consultation with the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

One would think that on these commemorative events Arab participants would meditate on and recognize their mistakes of the past, and finally adopt a pragmatic, if not friendly approach to their dominant neighbor, the State of Israel.

Not really, to judge by the tone of Arab media’s observance of the November 29 anniversary. One example is an essay by Dr. Ramzy Baroud, “Symbolic ‘solidarity’ is moral defeat: A Palestinian view,” published on the occasion of November 29, 2016, in The New Arab.

“There was no moral or legal basis for that partition, as communicated in UN resolution 181 (II) into a ‘Jewish State’ and an ‘Arab State,'” Baroud writes, pointing out that “Jewish immigrants were granted over 55 percent of the total size of historic Palestine and the ‘Arab State,’ which never materialized, was accorded the rest.”

A quick glance at the map shows that more than half the Jewish portion was awarded in the arid Negev and Arava deserts down south, while the Arab portion was mostly contiguous and captured the bulk of central Mandatory Palestine.

Baroud’s recollection of history is understandably different from the Israeli view: “A few months after that unwarranted partition, well-trained Zionist militias moved from several fronts to ‘secure’ the borders of their promised state, only to take over half of what was designated for the future of the Palestinian state, leaving the indigenous Palestinian Arab population of that land with 22 percent of historic Palestine.”

There were no Arab gangs shooting at Jewish civilians in Baroudi’s narrative, nor is there the invasion by well armed Arab forces from three directions. In the same account, the Jews are “immigrants,” the Arabs “indigenous,” despite the fact that the vast majority of Arabs arrived from all across the Middle East in response to the economic renewal brought by European Jews.

Baroud spells it out: “By adopting a popular Palestinian narrative (not an official one), in which all Palestinians – Muslim or Christians, in Occupied Palestine or in “shattat” (diaspora) – are the center of the story, a better understanding of Palestine and its people can be established, and true solidarity can be offered.”

How should they unite around their national narrative? Simple, Baroud explains, “One major platform for their resistance, which strongly bonds Palestinians at home with those in shattat, is the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which pushes for accountability from those who make the Israeli domination over Palestine possible. It advocates for the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees, the end of occupation and equal rights for Palestinians who live in Israel.”

And so, according to him, “any solidarity that deviates from the current aspirations of Palestinians – as articulated by their fighting women and men, by their prisoners on hunger strikes, by their students fighting for the right to education, by these resilient, but often neglected voices – is not true solidarity.”

And so, in the best tradition of the French Royal House of Bourbon, the Arabs of the Land of Israel have forgotten nothing and learned nothing.

JNi.Media

Israel to Buy 17 More F-35 ‘Adir’ Stealth Fighter Jets

Monday, November 28th, 2016

Israel will purchase 17 more F-35 “Adir” Stealth fighter jets from the United States, at a cost of approximately $85 million apiece, after a unanimous vote of approval Sunday by the Security Cabinet.

The purchase will bring up Israel’s force to a total of 50 new F-35 fighter jets by the end of the next decade. The force is to be purchased with the military foreign aid received from the U.S. via the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed this past September.

A group of Israeli pilots has already been undergoing special training for the F-35 at a U.S. Air Force base in Arizona, with the first two F-35s set to arrive at Israel’s Nevatim Air Force base in the Negev desert by December 12.

Starting next year Israel is expected to receive six or seven of the new fighter jets each year until all 50 have arrived.

The entire force — two squadrons of 25 fighter jets each — are to be in place in the Jewish State by the early 2020s. Israel is expected to be the first nation in the world outside of the United States to receive the F-35 stealth fighter jet.

The high cost of flying the F-35, produced by Lockheed Martin, means that at least 50 percent of the training on the stealth fighter must be done in simulators.

Israeli defense firm Elbit Systems Ltd. recently won the tender to operate the F-35 new training center, which will be built at the Nevatim air base, Globes reported earlier this month. Construction of the new center will be completed in the coming year.

Lockheed Martin said in a statement that over the past three decades, Elbit “has acquired a great deal of experience in trainers and simulators, and is a world leader in high-tech display. Its advanced systems are in operational use by leading armies around the world.”

Israel’s Defense Ministry said in a statement that F-35-related cooperation between Lockheed Martin and Israeli defense companies has reached $993 million. Elbit produces advanced pilot helmets for F-35 pilots, and Israel Aerospace Industries produces the aircraft’s wings.

Hana Levi Julian

Winter Rains Arrive in Israel, Flash Flood Warnings Issued

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

“…. I will give rain for your land at the proper time, the early rain and the late rain, and you will gather in your grain, your wine and your oil.” (Deuteronomy 11:13-21)

The winter rains arrived right on schedule this Thursday, sweeping through northern Israel and then spreading to the central region before reaching the Negev.

In the south and eastern parts of the country, forecasters warned residents to beware of flash floods, in particular in the dry desert areas around the Dead Sea, where low-lying roads are easily flooded.

Foreign hikers and tourists driving through the area are often suddenly caught unawares during such rainstorms.

The rain was expected to be accompanied by a rise in the temperatures, and high winds, but forecasters said the mercury would drop to seasonal levels by Friday with the rain tapering off.

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli Arab Teen, 15, Shot and Killed at Israeli-Egyptian Border [Updated]

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

An Israeli teen was shot and killed Tuesday afternoon near Mount Harif in the Negev Desert, along the border between Egypt and Israel, according to Israel’s Defense Ministry.

The victim, 15-year-old Namer Bassem Abu Amar, was a resident of the southern Israeli Bedouin town of Lakiya. The teenager was the son of a man working for a company that had won a Defense Ministry contracting bid to carry out civilian maintenance work on the security fence along Israel’s border with Egypt.

The fathehr was working on the security fence when the son was hit by gunfire from the Egyptian side of the border.

He was airlifted from the scene in an IDF helicopter and rushed to Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva, but he died of his wounds within minutes.

The source of the gunfire is not yet clear.

“The Defense Ministry shares the grief of the family,” said a ministry spokesperson. “The ministry has asked the company for more information about this employee, including details about how he was hired, given his age, and we will continue to review this incident.”

Egyptian military personnel have been battling terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula for years.

According to the A-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper, there are eight to 14 different terrorist groups with a “marked presence in Sinai,” including the Sinai Province branch of Da’esh, or ISIS, also known as Ansar Beyt al-Maqdis.

There are also a number of Al Qaeda-linked extremist groups such as Tawhid Wal Jihad, Ansar al-Jihad and Ajnaf Bait al-Maqdis — all of which are also “linked to Palestinian extremist groups that fight Israel and consider the Egyptian army an enemy.”

The Muhammad Jamal Network, linked to Al Qaeda and also based in the Sinai Peninsula, was listed by the United States as a terrorist organization in October 2013. Jamal was arrested in 2012 but his followers carried on; the group is also known as the “Al-Jihad al-Islami” group.

Numerous other terrorist groups are also operating in the area, including the Iranian-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), Hamas, the Fatah-linked Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, Iranian proxy Hezbollah, and a number of Salafi Islamist groups such as the Army of Islam.

Update: The teenager was not a worker as originally thought, but the son of one of the workers. His father brought him to work that day.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/shots-heard-adjacent-to-israeli-egyptian-border/2016/10/25/

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