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May 30, 2016 / 22 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Northern Israel’

New Military Watchtowers Dot Lebanese Side of Israel’s Northern Border

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

Northern Israeli residents are worried about new observation posts built by the Lebanese Army which have sprung up along the border. In Lebanon, to speak of the Lebanese Army in many ways is also to speak of Iran’s proxy group, Hezbollah.

The group has grown from a terrorist organization into a powerful guerrilla military force trained, equipped and funded by Iran. It fields cabinet ministers and parliamentarians from a mammoth political machine that has prevented the country from electing a new president for more than a year.

Although built by the Lebanese Army it is clear the new watchtowers, situated on the Lebanese side of the border, can see into Israeli towns and kibbutzim as well as Israeli military bases on behalf of Hezbollah — if not with its own personnel.

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 – the cease-fire agreement that ended the 2006 Second Lebanon War – prohibits weaponry in this area, which is supposed to be a demilitarized zone.

The watchtowers provide a bird’s eye view of what is happening in Israel’s military and civilian fields and roads as well. But the Israeli army is monitoring the situation, according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit. “There is no change in the security situation,” said a military spokesperson on Monday (May 23).

It took barely a month to build the towers, according to a resident of Moshav Zar’it who spoke with Ynet and who said three such watchtowers are within sight of nearby Kibbutz Admit.

Another overlooks Kibbutz Hanita, according to security coordinator Erez Adar, who told Ynet the structure is less than a third of a mile away. “We are worried about getting shot at from the tower as it’s so close.

“While the Lebanese Army may be the ones in the tower for now, it’s clear that during the next war, these positions will be manned by Hezbollah.”

Hana Levi Julian

Pharoah Sends Passover Greetings; Rare Scarab Seal Found at Tel Dor

Sunday, April 24th, 2016

A rare scarab seal belonging to a senior Egyptian official of the Thirteenth Pharaonic Dynasty (the 18th-17th centuries BCE) has been found at Tel Dor on Israel’s Carmel Coast. The seal was discovered by Alexander Ternopolsky, a birdwatcher, who handed it over to the archeological team working at the site.

“The scarab must have belonged to a very senior figure in the kingdom, probably the viceroy responsible for the royal treasury,” explains Prof. Ayelet Gilboa from the Department of Archeology at the University of Haifa, who is heading the excavations at Tel Dor together with Prof. Ilan Sharon from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

“The owner of this scarab filled a similar position to that held by Joseph in Egypt after he interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams.”

Rare scarab seal

Rare scarab seal

The coastal city of Dor, at the foot of Mt. Carmel, was a key port city for thousands of years. Until the Romans built Caesarea, Dor was the most important commercial center in the area and served as a hub for commercial and passenger traffic throughout extensive periods in human history. The city is mentioned in Egyptian inscriptions dating back 3500 years, and even in the Books of Joshua, Judges, and I Kings in the Bible.

Excavations began at Tel Dor in the mid-twentieth century and have been directed since 2002 by Prof. Gilboa and Prof. Sharon. Findings include settlements from the Late Bronze Age (the Canaanite period in the second millennium BCE), as well as a Phoenician settlement and Israelite and Assyrian administrative centers (Iron Age); a city and palace from the Hellenistic period, including a splendid mosaic; and monumental remains from the Roman period, including a pair of temples that may have been dedicated to Poseidon, the Roman god of the sea.

“We have not yet reached the settlement of the 17th century BCE,” Prof. Gilboa explains, “and this is why this finding is particularly important. The rains this past winter must have eroded the soil on the southern slope of the site, and thanks to Mr. Ternopolsky’s keen eyesight, the scarab was discovered and handed over to us.”

The writing on the scarab seal provides important information about its owner.

The writing on the scarab seal provides important information about its owner.

A preliminary study showed that the stone scarab is engraved with the name of its owner, as well as his position and ankh symbols (crosses with a looped head), which symbolized eternal life, and pillar-like djed symbols that emblemized resurrection and stability. The description of the scarab owner’s position includes such phrases as “overseer the treasury,” “bearer of the seal,” and more, but the owner’s name has not yet been deciphered.

“Scarabs were very common objects in ancient Egypt, but the size and quality of this one, its owner’s high-ranking position, and the gold ring in which it is set all make this particular scarab a rare finding in our region,” Prof. Gilboa explains.

The excavators suggest two possible scenarios for the manner the scarab might have reached Dor. The first is that a representative of the viceroy may have come to this important trading city, which was a supply base for spices, resin, and other commodities that were highly valued by the Egyptians, in order to seal a deal for his superior. Accordingly, he would have brought the viceroy’s seal with him (or perhaps even the viceroy himself made the visit).

Side view of scarab seal found on Carmel Coast in northern Israel near Tel Dor.

Side view of scarab seal found on Carmel Coast in northern Israel near Tel Dor.

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

IDF Preparing for Conflicts Along Southern, Northern Borders

Saturday, April 16th, 2016

Israel’s defense establishment appears to be preparing military forces and civilians for a possible outbreak of hostilities either in the north or the south sometime soon.

A major civil defense drill – the largest since the 2014 war with Hamas – was held this past Thursday in southern Israel at Kibbutz Erez, barely a mile from Gaza.

Civilian response teams, IDF soldiers, Magen David Adom emergency medical teams, police officers, firefighters and others participated in the drill, Channel 2 reported Friday.

The exercise simulated an attack by Hamas terrorists on an Israeli kibbutz which included abduction of Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers overpowering the terrorists in the kibbutz dining hall.

According to the report, recent IDF preparations to meet a possible conflict have included the infusion of additional forces along the Gaza border. In addition, the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency reported Thursday that four IDF bulldozers leveled ground along the security fence a few meters inside Gaza, east of the city of Rafah, which straddles the enclave’s border with Egypt.

Nevertheless, defense officials continue to say that although Hamas is gathering its forces within Gaza, the terrorist group does not appear to be preparing for a direct war with Israel in the near future.

While the IDF is preparing to meet whatever threat may present itself in the south, forces are also making preparations in the north for much the same reason.

The IDF has beefed up its forces in northern Israel along the border with Lebanon and in the Golan Heights, near Syria. A major military drill began in the north on Wednesday and continued through the end of the week.

IDF Northern Command alerted civilians from the western Galilee all the way east to the Golan Heights not to be alarmed at the sounds of artillery and other ordnance.

The latest round of peace talks between opposition forces and the Syrian government started Wednesday (April 13) in Geneva but by the weekend had achieved nothing.

The Syrian regime has escalated the fighting near Aleppo, and local residents who had not yet fled are now making an effort to flee while they can. Opposition forces are accusing Syrian government chief mediator Bashar Ja’afari of not being serious about seeking a solution to the five-year civil war.

United Nations mediator Staffan de Mistura is trying to keep the talks focused on political transition but with intensified battles continuing, the opposition is losing its resolve.

In addition, Da’esh (ISIS), Al Qaeda, Army of Islam and Jabhat Al Nusra (Al Nusra Front) radical Islamist terror organizations are not at the table. Since they control at least half of the territory in Syria, even if negotiations succeed in resolving the issue of who governs Syria, the question still remains whether there is anything geographically, territorially left to govern.

Al Nusra controls the territory closest to the sole border crossing between Israel and Syria, at Quneitra. Last Tuesday (April 12) Syrian sources told international media that Da’esh (ISIS) now controls 90 percent of the Yarmouk refugee camp on the outskirts of Damascus. The community is home to Arabs from the Palestinian Authority and is also a stronghold for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization.

So far, the capital, Damascus is still in the hands of President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

Hana Levi Julian

IDF Begins Military Drills in Northern Israel

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

Residents in northern Israel may hear explosions or see military vehicles passing by in the next few days.

The IDF Northern Command is conducting military drills in the Galilee and Golan Heights, beginning Wednesday and continuing through the rest of this week.

The sound of artillery and other ordnance is to be expected.

Last week the Da’esh (ISIS) terrorist organization abducted 300 cement workers and contractors from the Al-Badia company in Dumeir, about 28 miles from Damascus, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

A new round of peace talks between opposition forces and the Syrian government were scheduled to start Wednesday (April 13), but were not to include Da’esh (ISIS), Al Qaeda, Army of Islam or any other radical Islamist group such as the Al Qaeda-linked Jabhat Al Nusra (Al Nusra Front) group.

Da’esh and related terror groups are largely in control of Syrian territory close to the border with Israel.

Syrian sources said Tuesday that Da’esh now controls 90 percent of the Yarmouk refugee camp on the outskirts of Damascus, home to Arabs from the Palestinian Authority.

The camp is also a major base for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization, which has ties to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Hana Levi Julian

18 Dead in Quneitra Bombing Near Syrian-Israeli Border

Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

At least 18 people were killed Wednesday in a powerful car bombing that local sources said was carried out by two suicide bombers in Quneitra province in southern Syria near Israel’s northern border.

According to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, among the dead was the commander of the moderate Syrian Revolutionaries Front, Abu Hamza al-Naimi.

The bomb exploded while a group of the commanders were meeting in the village of Asheh, not far from the sole Syrian crossing with Israel.

The targeted group was meeting at a base belonging to Jabhat Thuwar Souria, a faction in the U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA).

According to Suhaib al-Ruhail, a spokesperson for Al-Wiyat al-Furqan, the attack was “most likely” carried out by “Da’esh sleeper cells” (ISIS). The Al-Wiyat al-Furgan Islamist group operates in the Quneitra province, close to the Syrian-Israeli border.

Issam al-Rayyes, spokesperson for FSA’s Southern Front, said it was not clear who was behind the attack.

Hana Levi Julian

Shi’ite Lebanese MP: Israeli Forces Stole Our Goats!

Sunday, February 14th, 2016

The latest accusation against Israel from Lebanon is a charge that the IDF has begun to indulge in cross-border livestock rustling.

Lebanon and its Big Brother Iran spent each day last week building up the accusation and whipping up local angst and rage against the Terrible Israelis.

The espionage eagle wasn’t creative enough, it seems. Nor was the griffon vulture. There is no end to the amazing myths about the superpower of Israel’s intelligence apparatus, it seems: the Zionist Entity can turn any living creature into a spy. Even one’s poor kidnapped goats and sheep. So watch out!

Our story begins with a herd of goats that apparently went missing in the southeast Lebanese village of Halta.

So who’re ya gonna call?

A small group of farmers and shepherds gathered to hold a protest last Wednesday in the village, claiming the goats were “confiscated by Israeli forces,” the state-run National News Agency reported. It is not really clear who the farmers blamed, but state-run media made certain to guide the way.

That same day, Lebanese MP Qassem Hashem added more fuel to the fire. Hashem, a member of Amal in the parliament’s Development and Liberation bloc, issued a statement condemning Israel’s “brief seizure of Lebanese cattle.”

The Amal MP is a firm supporter of Iran and Hezbollah. He was quoted by Alahednews six years ago as saying it had become a norm that the international community and the United Nations were “not to be depended on… namely because their role has been reduced to counting violations.”

(It was the Shi’ite Amal group that seized Israel Air Force navigator Ron Arad when he was lost in October 1986 in a mission over Lebanon and later handed him over to Hezbollah. Hezbollah told a mediator the airman was killed during an escape attempt, but provided no proof. His status and whereabouts remain unknown to this day.)

By Thursday (Feb. 11) South Lebanese residents were demonstrating in front of the United Nations Internation Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) office in the village of Kfar Shuba over “Israeli abduction of cattle,” NNA reported via The Daily Star.

“Israeli forces Thursday returned 134 goats to south Lebanon in ‘bad condition,’ but are still holding another 91,” Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency (NNA) reported Friday.

Apparently everyone took a break on Friday so they could go to the mosque and hear a few more invectives against Israel and so forth.

By Sunday (Feb. 14) the story had been embroidered enough to make Iran’s Press TV news.

“Israeli troops have crossed into Lebanon and made off with cattle in the southeastern village of Halta in the latest violation of the Arab country’s territories,” proclaimed the Iranian news outlet in bold letters on its news site.

“The Israeli patrol crossed the “Blue Line” and encroached 100 meters inside the Lebanese territories and drove 100 heads of cattle belonging to a Lebanese national towards the occupied territories on Wednesday,” Press TV claimed. The outlet accused the IDF of more livestock rustling in September 2015.

Lebanon has had no president since May 25, 2014, when former president Michel Sleiman completed his term in his office.

The reason, according to Yalibnan News, is because, “the parliament was unable to reach a quorum… the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militant group and its ally MP Michel Aoun’s Change and Reform block Mps boycotted the [27] sessions” dedicated to the effort.

Iranian involvement in Lebanon has been so helpful for the country that once was considered the Riviera of the Middle East…

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/shiite-lebanese-mp-israeli-forces-stole-our-goats/2016/02/14/

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