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January 17, 2017 / 19 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘US.’

80 Syrian Soldiers Killed as Russian-US Ceasefire Wobbles, And Israel Deploys Iron Dome

Sunday, September 18th, 2016

It looks like the ceasefire between Russian and American forces is very shaky, if not ceasing, as Da’esh (ISIS) forces appear to threaten the city of Deir el-Zour.

At least 80 Syrian government forces were killed Saturday in an air strike on a base near the Deir al-Zour airport, but it’s not clear which bomb was responsible.

The Syrian government military loyal to President Bashar al-Assad said it was the U.S.-led coalition that bombed its army base in Deir el-Zour. The force contends that the attack caused casualties and damage to equipment, and allowed Da’sh (ISIS) terrorists to advance on the area.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed that 80 Syrian soldiers were killed in the strike, citing a source at the airport. But the monitoring group told Reuters that Russian jets — who back the Assad regime — had also been bombing in the same area, at the same time.

The source at the airport confirmed the air strike had the effect of paving the way for Da’esh fighters to overrun Jebel Tharda, according to the UK-based monitoring group.

Russia meanwhile has claimed Syrian opposition forces violated last week’s ceasefire at least 55 times over the weekend, with various clashes, including strikes on military and civilian targets in Aleppo. Russia’s official Interfax news agency quoted Colonel Sergei Kopytsin on Saturday as saying mortar fire and improvised rockets launched by rebels hit Aleppo 26 times.

Syrian state news agency SANA claimed that opposition forces, “insurgents,” violated the ceasefire 12 times in the past 12 hours.

Syrian opposition activists, meanwhile, say that forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have killed at least five civilians from the opposition contingent. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said a woman and child were killed in the central Homs province, in the town of Talbiseh. Two men were also killed outside Damascus and a child was killed in Aleppo.

Israeli military officials decided at the weekend to deploy the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system in the Israeli Golan Heights due to the near-daily “spillover” mortar fire that has been reaching over the Syrian-Israeli border. On Saturday alone, the Iron Dome system intercepted two such attacks, neutralizing both shells before they could land and explode on Israeli territory.

Hana Levi Julian

Israel: Okay to Demolish 30 Illegal Structures in “Arab” Susiya

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

The State of Israel has the right to demolish 30 illegal structures built in the new and illegal Arab “village” of Susiya, according to a draft document to be submitted Wednesday to the High Court of Justice.

Although usually the Defense Ministry Civil Administration decides these issues, this time Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would make the call on whether or not to demolish the structures, rather than Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, the document stated.

The prime minister’s review would take until the end of October, after the completion of the Jewish high holy days, after which time the state would inform the Court whether the shacks would be legalized, or demolished.

The state warned the Court, however, that legal remedies would remain in place against any new construction that appears in the area after 2014, and that laws against illegal construction would be enforced.

The Regavim nongovernmental organization (NGO) has consistently researched and litigated the case against any new building by Arabs from the Palestinian Authority in the area, which is completely under the control of Israel.

Regavim is calling on Israel to demolish all illegal structures post-2014, regardless of international pressure.

The United States and the European Union have for months been pressuring Israel to legalize the village. The European Union has in addition been encouraging the Palestinian Authority to continue illegal construction in Area C. In some cases, this activity has actually forced Israel to demolish structures built with funding, or directly, illegally built by the European Union itself.

Due to the sensitive diplomatic nature of the issue, the matter was sent directly to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) for attention.

The modern Jewish community, established in 1983 under the Mount Hebron Regional Council, is located next to the ancient city of Susiya, now an archaeological site featuring a 5th-8th CE synagogue with a magnificent mosaic floor, and the mosque that replaced it.

The site was formally declared an archaeological site in 1986 by the Israel Defense Ministry’s Civil Administration; the Arab population chose to locate its “village” precisely on the same spot.

The IDF expelled the squatters, who began with 25 families in 1986, despite opposition from the United Nations which claimed they were living in “houses” at the time. The Arab villagers were moved instead to a site few hundred meters southeast of the original ancient city.

Just 13 families comprised Arab Susiya in 2008. But as it became more fashionable in the international community to target Israel’s right to govern Area C of the Oslo Accords, Mount Hebron and the area around it rose to prominence as a key battleground. Arab Susiya did too, and by 2015 the “village” rose to its current population of 50 families, comprising several hundred people.

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli, US Leaders Celebrate New ‘Adir’ F-35 Stealth Fighter Jet

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and IAF Chief of Staff Brig.-Gen. Tal Kelman joined top U.S. government and Lockheed Martin officials on Wednesday in celebrating the rollout of the “Adir” — Israel’s first F-35A Lightning II Stealth fighter jet.

U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro and Israeli Minister without portfolio Tzachi Hanegbi also joined the celebration, as did 400 other guests from government, military and the industrial sectors. Texas Governor Greg Abbott and U.S. Congressman Craig Goldman were present as well.

“Israel is proud to be the first country in the area to receive and operate [the Stealth fighter],” Liberman said. “The F-35 is the best aircraft in the world and the choice of all our military leadership at its highest level. It is clear and obvious to us and to the entire region that the new F-35, the Adir, will create real deterrence and enhance our capabilities for a long time.”

The aircraft has an advanced capability to defeat emerging threats, including advanced missiles and heavily-defended air space, combining advanced low observable stealth technology with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment support.

“The F-35 technology represents the crown jewel of air-power superiority and will therefore be a great contribution to the IDF’s air force,” Liberman said, stressing that diplomatic tensions between Israel and the U.S. have not affected security cooperation between the two nations.

“It’s not a secret that we have from time to time some disagreements, some disputes, with the U.S. on the political level regarding some solutions with our neighbors,” he noted. “But when it comes to Israel’s security, we really enjoy full understanding, fruitful cooperation and strong commitment to our security concerns and needs.”

Lockheed Martin chair, president and CEO Marillyn Hewson agreed. “We’re honored to partner with Israel and help strengthen the deep and lasting partnership between our two nations,” she said. “The F-35 will help Israel remain a beacon of strength and stability in the region and support a safe and secure homeland for generations to come.”

Israel’s first delegation of pilots will arrive next month in the United States to begin simulator and ground-based training on the new stealth fighter. A total of 12 pilots are set for training at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona and by the middle of next year will have completed a 100-day U.S. Air Force training program that prepares them for actual flight training on the aircraft in Israel.

By 2018, another 10 to 15 pilots are to be selected for another round of training, according to a report last week by Defense News. Meanwhile, Israel has sent dozens of people to Eglin Air Force Base to attend maintenance training courses that can last between two to four months.

The IAF is working with Lockheed Martin and F-35 program officials to complete the construction of the Israeli logistics center at Nevatim Air Base in in the Negev. The center will use Lockheed Martin’s Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS), a worldwide sustainment network that provides maintenance support for the aircraft for the duration of its projected 55-year lifespan.

The point of the independent logistics center in southern Israel has to do with the unique conditions under which Israelis are forced to live: The constant threat of rocket fire and other terror attacks makes it necessary for Israel to be able to maintain and repair its F-35 fleet immediately, on site, if and when the aircraft is being used during a conflict.

Hana Levi Julian

Gunman Randomly Shoots at Philadelphia Block Party; 2 Children Wounded

Sunday, June 21st, 2015

The United States continues to turn into a coast-to-coast shooting range.

At least seven people were wounded lat Saturday night in a random shooting of people at a block party in Philadelphia. Two of the victims were children, ages 2 and 10, and others included teenagers. The gunman appeared to fire randomly down the street, said Philadelphia police officer John Walker.

In another block party shooting in Detroit, one person was killed and nine were wounded, one of them in critical condition. Small children were at the party but were not hit, prompting Detroit’s assistant police chief to see the bright side and say, “Through the grace of God, no children were shot.”

Jewish Press News Briefs

North Korea Will Nuke US If It ‘Forces Our Hand’

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

A senior North Korean official told CNN Thursday that the country will use a nuclear weapon to strike the American mainland if the United States “forced their hand.”

The rare interview was conducted with Park Yong Chol, deputy director of the regime-linked DPRK think thank called the Institute for Research into National Reunification.

Park said North Korea needs to continue developing its nuclear arsenal, which he said can hit American soil, to “counter the U.S. threat.”

When questioned about” human rights abuses in North Korea, Park fired back, “The U.S. President and other high-ranking administration officials have acknowledged really severe forms of punishment on inmates in detention. If you talk about human rights in the DPRK, we will talk about human rights in the U.S.”

Park’s threat to use nuclear weapons if the United States “forced its hands” is particularly worrisome because of the country’s close links with Iran and Tehran’s development of a nuclear warhead. North Korea has provided technologies to Iran, and an alleged Israeli strike on a nuclear facility under construction in northern Syria four years ago killed several North Korean scientists.

Park’s claim that North Korea can nuke the United States is not accepted by many American officials, but there is no questioning the threat to U.S. bases in South Korea.

The Breaking Defense website reported that former Pentagon strategist Van Jackson said that American missile defenses in the Pacific are “woefully outgunned” and that Patriot launchers and Navy ships could not defend American bases.

Diplomacy with North Korea not only has failed but also has allowed it to become a nuclear power.

Given North Korea’s close ties with Iran, it is far from certain that the Obama administration is not repeating the same scenario with its negotiations with the Islamic Republic over the future of its nuclear program.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Israel Caves in to US and Frees Tax Money for PA without Erasing Debt

Saturday, April 18th, 2015

Israel has agreed to fork over to the Palestinian Authority $450 million in frozen funds it collects for the Abbas regime in a compromise that only reduces without erasing Ramallah’s $500 million debt for electricity and other services.

The monthly transfer amounts to approximately 70 percent of Palestinian Authority revenues.

The agreement was reached Friday, the same day Al Quds’ journalist Said Arikat said at the daily US State Dept. briefing:

There was a meeting today between the European and American consul-generals with the Palestinian prime minister to discuss the financial situation. The Israelis are holding 1.7 billion shekels, or $500 million. But they’re saying that the American consul general suggested that there may be a resolution in the next 24 hours.

Spokeswoman Marie Harf did not comment except to say, “We think this just needs to be resolved.”

The United States has been pressuring Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to change his position that the funds would be released after Israel deducts the huge amount of money the Palestinian Authority owes the country. Israel reportedly agreed to the compromise for “humanitarian” reasons.

PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas rejected the chance to erase the debt, which would have been meant waiting for approximately four months before receiving more tax money. He also would have been able to have a clean slate, although it is difficult to assume he would not have instantly begun to rack up a new debt.

The compromise agreement only partially reduces the debt. Moreover, previous transfers of tax money with debt reductions have been followed by a larger debt, just like any other deadbeat who ostensibly stays solvent by borrowing money to cover a debt.

This game has been going on for years, and the United States wants Israel to keep playing along. It might be to Israel’s advantage because it only is a matter of time before the Palestinian Authority goes belly-up, possible in sync with the European Union.

Israel has frozen the transfers for tax revenues several times and for different reasons, such as terror and Abbas’ failure to honor commitments during the illusion “peace process. The latest reason, in January, was Abbas’ declaration that the Palestinian Authority was applying for membership in the International Criminal Court (ICC)

Nickolay Mladenov, the United Nations special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, blamed Israel’s four-month freeze on tax revenue transfers for having “undermined the stability of the Palestinian institutions.”

The other side of the coin, the one that Israel has given Abbas, is that his own corrupt and inept regime has undermined stability.

 

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Obama Spins Tale that Netanyahu Offered no Alternative to Iran Deal

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu traded shots on the proposed deal with Iran through separate statements that continue what has become a conversation of the deaf.

The Prime Minister two weeks ago stated that a better deal would be one that “would significantly roll back Iran’s nuclear infrastructure [and] link the eventual lifting of the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program to a change in Iran’s behavior.”

He added:

Iran must stop its aggression in the region, stop its terrorism throughout the world and stop its threats to annihilate Israel. That should be non-negotiable and that’s the deal that the world powers must insist upon.

President Obama said on Saturday:

The Prime Minister of Israel is deeply opposed to it [the deal]. I think he’s made that very clear. I have repeatedly asked –w hat is the alternative that you present that you think makes it less likely for Iran to get a nuclear weapon? And I have yet to obtain a good answer on that.

The key word is “good” because Obama insists he has come up with a “good deal” that Netanyahu asserts is a “bad deal.”

Obama’s reasoning is that Iran will reject a “better deal,” which would mean “no deal,” exactly what Israel, Republicans, and some Democrats have said is better than a “bad deal.” For Obama, “no deal” is worse than a “bad deal” that he insists is a “good deal.”

It’s enough to drive a card player nuts, and since Iran is dealing most of the cards, it is the only one who knows what joker it has up its sleeve.

An outstanding example of President Obama’s frame of mind  that a deal is an end and not a means is Prime Minister Netanyahu’s statement after Iran’s Revolutionary Guards commander said that eliminating Israel is “non-negotiable.” The Prime Minister responded that Iran’s recognizing Israel should be “non-negotiable.”

Obama replied that the idea simply is not practical. So forget it.

It also is not practical to make sure that Iran does not have the infrastructure to obtain a nuclear bomb in the future. So forget it.

Netanyahu said Saturday at a tradtional post-Passover Mimouna celebration, “To my regret, all of the things I warned about vis-à-vis the framework agreement that was put together in Lausanne are coming true before our eyes.

“This framework gives the leading terrorist state in the world a certain path to nuclear bombs, which would threaten Israel, the Middle East and the entire world. We see that Iran is being left with significant nuclear capabilities; it is not dismantling them, it is preserving them. We also see that the inspection is not serious. How can such a country be trusted? …

“We see that the sanctions are being lifted, immediately, according to Iran’s demand, and this is without Iran having changed its policy of aggression everywhere, not just against Israel, but in Yemen, the Bab el-Mandeb, the Middle East and through global terrorist networks. The most dangerous terrorist state in the world must not be allowed to have the most dangerous weapons in the world.

President Obama’s turning a deal with Iran into an end and not a means is illustrated in an article on The Hill website Saturday, in which it outlined five keys areas where the United States made concessions to Iran in order to reach a temporary framework agreement:

Banning uranium enrichment: Before talks began, the Obama administration and the United Nations Security Council called for Iran to stop all uranium enrichment. The framework agreement, though, allows Iran to continue enriching uranium and producing plutonium for domestic civilian use…The deal’s critics worry any enrichment could quickly be diverted to military use.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/obama-spins-tale-that-netanyahu-offered-no-alternative-to-iran-deal/2015/04/12/

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