US condemns Hamas rocket attacks, supports Israel’s right to defend itself

Eric Cortellessa – August 10, 2018

WASHINGTON — The United States condemned the Hamas terror group on Thursday for launching some 180 rockets and mortar shells at Israeli population centers and defended Israel’s military response in the worst exchange of fire since the 2014 war.

The State Department’s undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs Heather Nauert told reporters that Israel was justified in responding with force to Hamas projectiles targeting Israeli towns and cities.

“It’s a very concerning situation,” she said. “We condemn the launching of missile attacks into Israel and call for an end to the destructive violence,” she said. “We fully support Israel’s right to defend itself and to take actions to prevent provocations of that nature.”

Hamas fired dozens of rockets and mortar shells into southern Israeli communities from the Gaza Strip on Wednesday night and into Thursday, including one barrage that slammed into the town of Sderot, and another at Beersheba, marking the first time the city had been targeted since 2014’s 51-day war.

https://www.timesofisrael.com

Iranian Guards naval buildup at Hormuz: US monitors, Israel warns

Debkafiles – August 2, 2018

Shortly before a new round of US sanctions, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) navy is building up maritime forces at the Strait of Hormuz, ready to launch an “exercise” at 48 hours’ notice. The warships, poised outside the northern opening of the waterway, demonstrate that Iran can, if it so decides, block the vital waterway for Gulf oil exports. Thursday morning, Aug. 2, the US Central Command issued the following statement: “We are aware of the increase in Iran naval operations within the Arabian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz and ‘Gulf of Oman. We are monitoring it closely, and will continue to work with our partners to ensure freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce in international waterways… We also continue to advocate for all maritime forces to conform to international maritime customs, standards and laws.” DEBKAfile notes that CENTCOM chose to refer to the Persian Gulf as the “Arabian Gulf” which Tehran sees as a national affront.

Wednesday night, Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned that any Iranian attempt to interfere with shipping sailing through another vital regional waterway, the Bab al Mandeb Straits, would encounter an international coalition, including Israel with a full array of its military capabilities. Our sources liken the current climate surrounding a possible US-Iranian summit to that which led up to President Donald Trump’s Singapore meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un. That too was preceded closely by a dramatic rise in war tensions, while quiet preparations for the big event continued without interruption.

https://www.debka.com

Messiah-mania hits fever pitch in Israel

WND – July 30, 2018

Messiah-mania has reached a fever pitch in Israel, as one prominent rabbi says the prophesied redeemer was born a week ago, while a group promoting the rebuilding of the Temple released a new TV spot saying, “The time has arrived.”

Meanwhile, a group of Muslims clashed Friday with Israeli police on the Temple Mount.

Maybe it’s the blood moons. Maybe it’s the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. Or, maybe, suggest other rabbis, now that the majority of Jews in the world now live in Israel, prophecy is read to be fulfilled.

Perhaps the most surprising development is a statement by a well-respected Israeli rabbi, Chaim Kanievsky, a leading authority in Haredi Jewish society, stating unequivocally that the messiah was born July 21.

Kanievsky, hailed as one of the leading rabbis of his generation, wrote a book, “Siach Nechama,” or “A Comforting Discourse,” that claims the messiah is alive today and when Israel merits it, he will immediately reveal himself.”

https://www.wnd.com

ANALYSIS: As tensions grow, Palestinians ‘waiting for order to attack’

YASSER OKBI/MAARIV – July 26, 2018

As residents of Gaza border communities were subjected to nine air sirens and the Israeli Air Force carried out strikes against the Gaza Strip on Wednesday night, both Israel and Hamas are eager to learn what the future holds.

Past agreements fell apart time after time, yet various international bodies are attempting to deescalate the situation.

Kite and balloon terror activities continue as Gaza attempts to continue their strategy that each action by the IDF will be met with a Hamas-led counter-action.

Twenty fires broke out in southern Israel on Wednesday and one fire erupted in Nir Am on Thursday morning. It was quickly extinguished by fire fighters.

Hamas political official Fathi Hamad stated that “the military wing members [of Hamas] are waiting for an order to attack the enemy.” UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov held a meeting with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh on Thursday to discuss options to deescalate the situation.

https://www.jpost.com

IDF strikes deep in Gaza after troops come under fire, amid talk of 4th Gaza war

TOI staff  – July 20, 2018

The Israel Air Force launched a major wave of strikes at Hamas targets across the Gaza Strip on Friday evening as a cabinet minister said Israel was preparing a massive response to Hamas’s failure to heed repeated Israeli warnings to end the violence along the Gaza border.

“At this time our aircraft are carrying out widespread attacks against terror targets belonging to Hamas in the Gaza Strip,” the IDF said, adding that this came after the “serious shooting incident against our forces,” referring to sniper fire at IDF troops during a riot on the border earlier in the day. The IDF later revealed that a soldier had been killed in the incident.

The army said 15 targets were hit, including the “Hamas brigade headquarters in Zeitoun.” The army said the headquarters were completely destroyed along with “weapons and ammunition stores, training grounds, observation posts, control centers and the offices of the brigade commander.”

“The strikes are continuing,” the IDF said.

Following the strikes, rocket warning sirens wailed in communities around Gaza. At least two projectiles were intercepted by the Iron Dome system and another fell in an open field, the army said. There were no reports of projectiles falling in Israeli communities or injuries.

The large-scale evening wave of air raids was the second round of Israeli strikes on Friday. In the first, Israel hit eight sites, killing four Hamas military wing members. The evening raid targeted Hamas positions in the north, south and center of the Gaza Strip.

https://www.timesofisrael.com

Israel Declares Itself ‘Jewish State,’ Jerusalem as Eternal Capital

Newsmax Wires –  July 19, 2018

JERUSALEM — Israel’s parliament approved a controversial piece of legislation on Thursday that defines the country as the nation-state of the Jewish people but which critics warn sidelines minorities.

The government says the bill, passed in the early morning hours, will merely enshrine into law Israel’s existing character. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called its passage a “historic moment in the history of Zionism and the history of the state of Israel.”

“Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people, which honors the individual rights of all its citizens,” he said. “I repeat this is our state. The Jewish state.”

“Lately, there are people who are trying to destabilize this and therefore destabilize the foundations of our existence and our rights,” he added. “So today we have made a law in stone. This is our country. This is our language. This is our anthem and this is our flag. Long live the state of Israel.”

The legislation also addresses Jerusalem’s status, declaring that ” Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel.”

https://www.newsmax.com

Iranian general: Forces ‘awaiting orders’ to destroy Israel

Art Moore – July 9, 2018

As Iran faces ongoing protests from a growing movement aiming to bring down the mullah-led regime, its top general is threatening to send an “Islamic army” across the border into Israel from Syria to wipe out the “evil Zionist regime.”

Hossein Salami, the deputy commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, said there are forces in Lebanon as well as Syria awaiting orders while the Tehran-backed Hezbollah terror group aims 100,000 missiles at Israel, the Times of Israel reported.

“We are creating might in Lebanon because we want to fight our enemy from there with all our strength,” he stated. “Hezbollah today has tremendous might on the ground that can on its own break the Zionist regime. The Zionist regime has no strategic-defensive depth.”

Salami said Israel faces dangers greater than at any time in its history, according to a translation of his speech by the Middle East Media Research Institute, MEMRI.

“Today an international Islamic army has been formed in Syria, and the voices of the Muslims are heard near the Golan,” he said. “Orders are awaited, so that … the eradication of the evil regime [Israel] will land and the life of this regime will be ended for good. The life of the Zionist regime was never in danger as it is now.”

http://www.wnd.com

U.S., Israel on Hair Trigger Over Syria

TruNews – July 6, 2018

According to a new report, U.S. and Israeli warplanes are flying “overlapping” 24/7 patrols over southwestern Syria, “ready to go into action if shared red lines are crossed.”

The independent security and intelligence journalists at DEBKA, citing its extensive sources within the Israel Defense Forces, reports that F-18 fighters are monitoring the fighting around the Syrian city of Daraa and the Israeli and Jordanian border regions. The report also notes the IDF has “prepared for three scenarios” in response to Russian-backed Syrian and Hezbollah activity in the area:

• A possible deal with the Daraa rebels being replicated for Quneitra on the Israeli border.

• Daraa’s possible conquest by Syrian-Hezballah forces, with the help of massive Russian air strikes—which increased on Thursday to 100 sorties—being repeated as the tactic for seizing Quneitra.

• A possible assault on Quneitra coming from the southeast of the Golan and starting in the town of Nawa.

The report notes the third scenario is the most likely, citing “U.S. CENTCOM and IDF strategists,” stating that after Daraa is taken, the Syrian-Hezbollah force would turn west toward Quneitra. The offensive to take the city on the Israeli border would eventually put the force directly on the Israeli border in the Golan

https://www.trunews.com

Failed Israeli-Russian deal opens SW Syria to Syrian bombardment, Iranian/Hizballah presence

Debkafiles – June 22, 2018

Syria’s moves in the southwest this week followed Russia’s failure to persuade Israel to stand aside and allow Assad’s army to take charge of the Quneitra and Daraa regions on the Israeli and Jordanian borders. Moscow hoped that the Syrian rebel forces defending the two areas would lay down their arms and go over to Bashar Assad’s army. DEBKAfile’s military sources report that the Netanyahu government spurned Russia’s plan – not least for lack of trust, suspecting that the Syrians would cheat and let Hizballah reach its border. Last month, an attempt was made to trick Israel, after its consent to a previous Russian plan to hand the Beit Jinn enclave on Mt Hermon to Syria, by providing Hizballah troops with Syrian Army 4th Division uniforms.

The same deception is being practiced at present in the southwest regions of Daraa and Quneitra. Russian and Syrian propaganda machines claim that Hizballah and pro-Iranian Shiite militiamen are being withdrawn from the Israeli and Jordanian borderlands,  when in fact they are not moving after being disguised in Syrian army uniforms. The Russians don’t mention an Iranian withdrawal because Moscow pretends they don’t exist, when in fact an Iranian command center is fully operational in that part of Syria.

https://www.debka.com

U.S.-Israeli ‘Intervention’ in Syria More Likely

TruNews – June 21, 2018

With Syrian government officials reportedly ignoring U.S. and Israeli calls to exclude Iranian proxies, like Hezbollah, from the battle for Daraa in the southwest of the country, the likelihood both countries could launch a “military intervention” is growing.

That battle is now under way after Syria’s elite “Tiger” forces launched an assault Tuesday night (local time) on an air base under the control of the U.S.-backed jihadist Southern Front and the allied Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, formerly known as the al-Nusra Front, an arm of al-Qaeda. This particular area has been a hotbed for al-Qaeda and ISIS terrorist “insurgency” since the beginning of the seven-year civil war.

Israel has also been well aware of the presence of al-Qaeda and ISIS in the region that borders the Golan Heights and has even provided direct aid to members of both groups when they have come under Syrian government fire.

https://www.trunews.com