U.S. says will ‘take firm measures’ against Syria violations near Israel border

REUTERS – June 15, 2018

The US will “take firm and appropriate measures” in response to Syrian government violations in a so-called de-escalation zone in the southwest of the country, the State Department said in a statement on Thursday.

The southwest of Syria, bordering Jordan and the Israeli Golan Heights, is one of the remaining parts of the country still outside the control of the state after seven years of conflict.

President Bashar al-Assad’s forces have recovered swathes of territory from rebels with the help of Russian air power and Iran-backed militias, and he has repeatedly pledged to take back “every inch” of the country.

Experts have investigated reported use of chemical weapons by Assad’s government. More than 500,000 people have been killed in the fighting, which has drawn in global powers and neighboring states.

https://www.jpost.com

U.S. departure from UN Human Rights Council is reportedly ‘imminent’

Jordan Schachtel – June 15, 2018

The Trump administration may decide to depart from the highly corrupt United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), U.S. sources told Reuters.

“Diplomatic sources said it was not a question of if but of when the United States retreats from the Human Rights Council,” the Reuters report said, adding that a U.S. official said that withdrawal appeared to be “imminent.”

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to observers of the activities at the United Nations. U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley has threatened to leave the UNHRC on numerous occasions, often citing its “obsession” with the State of Israel, along with its institutional coziness with dictatorial regimes.

What is supposed to be a body that calls attention to human rights has instead been warped into a U.N. agency that provides cover for the atrocities committed by corrupt member states. Look no further than the UNHRC’s membership roster to understand why this body could never take a legitimate interest in defending human rights. Its current membership roster includes authoritarian states and Islamic supremacist regimes such as China, Cuba, Pakistan, Qatar, and Venezuela, among many others.

And it seems the only thing that these totalitarian UNHRC members can agree on is how much they hate Israel.

https://www.conservativereview.com

Leaked Video: IDF General Warns Iran Is Preparing to Attack Israel from Syria

Sputnik News – June 15, 2018

Leaked video from a meeting between Israel’s head of Military Intelligence, Maj. Gen. Tamir Hyman, and a number of foreign security ministers shows him warning them that Iran’s presence in Syria isn’t meant to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s battle against terrorists, but instead to threaten Israel.

Hyman showed the crowd of foreign security officials a map of suspected Iranian bases in Syria. The leaked video wasn’t of a high-enough quality to pick it up, but it “showed them spread throughout the country,” according to the Times of Israel. The video was shot apparently in secret at a homeland security conference held in Jerusalem by Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan during the week of June 11.

“You probably think it’s because they are trying to help the Assad regime fight extremists, fight terror. Well, get ready for a surprise: In all these places on the map there has been no fighting going on for half a month,” Hyman said while showcasing the map.

He said Iran is “trying to increase that effort… of ability and capability to launch rockets from there and to establish cells of their own that can penetrate Israel and harm the villages in the Golan Heights.”

https://sputniknews.com

Hezbollah to be outlawed in Britain

Benjamin Weinthal – June 12, 2018

UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid plans later this year to outlaw Hezbollah in Britain, according to a report in the London-based Jewish Chronicle.

Javid pledged to take “decisive action” against the terrorist organization, according to the Tuesday report, which cited a senior Conservative Party source for the full-blown proscription.The Jewish Chronicle said Javid made his decision to crack down on Hezbollah “ahead of last weekend’s Quds Day march in London, where Hezbollah flags were once again flown.”

“Sajid is a very different beast to the home secretary he has just replaced,” said a Tory source to the Chronicle. The source added: “Amber Rudd spoke repeatedly about taking action over Hezbollah – but for whatever reason was not able to get around to doing anything.

Sajid has vowed to take decisive action on the matter. He will make this very clear over the forthcoming weeks.”

https://www.jpost.com

U.N. votes down U.S. bid to condemn Hamas violence against Israel

Tovah Lazaroff – June 14, 2018

In a blow to Israel’s right to self-defense the United Nations General Assembly voted not to condemn Hamas violence and in favor of international protection for the Palestinian people along the Gaza border, in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

In a blow to Israel’s right to self-defense the United Nations General Assembly voted not to condemn Hamas violence and in favor of international protection for the Palestinian people along the Gaza border, in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

The dramatic three hour debate ended on Wednesday evening with resounding applause for the Palestinians as a resolution that censured Israeli actions in Gaza passed by 120-8, with 45 abstentions. The text made no mention of Hamas.

The six nations who joined Israel and the US in opposing the measure were; Australia, Micronesia, Nauru, Togo, Solomon Islands and the Marshal Islands.

https://www.jpost.com

Iran poised to resume enrichment at deep Fordow facility

Debkafiles – June 13, 2018

After Iran warned it will leave the nuclear accord unless benefits are forthcoming, an atomic energy official in Tehran said that uranium enrichment would resume at Fordow – if that happens.

Iranian President Rouhani issued that warning to his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday. On Wednesday, June 13, Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI) spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi stated in Tehran that new work would begin on the nuclear program on the orders of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. “Currently the Supreme Leader has ordered that the programs be carried out within the parameters of the nuclear deal,” Kamalvandi said. “And when he gives the order we will announce the programs for operating outside of the nuclear deal for reviving Fordow.”

Fordow, one of Iran’s two big enrichment sites, is equipped with 8,000 advanced centrifuges capable of turning out in a short time uranium enriched to the 20pc grade, required for making a nuclear weapon. At Natanz, Iran’s second large enrichment site, the advanced equipment just installed is believed to include high-speed IR6 centrifuges. Much of Natanz is deep underground and Fordow is buried inside a mountain to keep them safe from aerial bombardment.

https://www.debka.com

Germany elected to UN Security Council

DW – June 8, 2018

Germany was voted onto the United Nations Security Council for the sixth time on Friday, after it secured a two-thirds majority in the General Assembly.

The place was effectively guaranteed going into the vote: Germany and Belgium ran unopposed for the two spots in the Western European and Others category. Israel was initially also in the running, but withdrew its bid last month.

Germany received 184 votes from the 190 cast ballots.

Germany’s diplomatic mission to the UN posted a video of its representative celebrating its election to the Security Council.

In a tweet, the German Foreign Office in Berlin said: “We are looking forward to this huge task and responsibility. Many thanks to all those who placed their trust in us. Now let’s get to work!”

http://www.dw.com

Sudden IDF call-up of reserves after Syria announces Quneitra offensive this week

Debkafiles – June 10, 2018

Israel launched an unscheduled military exercise on the Golan Sunday, June 10. Thousands of army reservists were ordered to report for immediate duty with full gear and come directly from their homes and work places. That the sudden IDF announcement did not set a timeline for the exercise’s ending indicated that it was prompted by the Syrian military announcement on the same morning of a major army offensive impending this week in the Quneitra region opposite Israel’s Golan border. The announcement also referred to a twin offensive against the Daraa province on the Jordanian border. The units taking part were named as the Syrian army’s 4th armored division for Quneitra and the “Tiger Force,” backed by 4th division elements, for the Daraa operation.

Israel’s Golan exercise was announced in order to deter the Syrian offensive.

DEBKAfile reported earlier that Bashar Assad ordered his army to go forward this week in the light of the failure of the talks in Helsinki on Friday between the Gen. Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint US Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. Valery Gerasimov, chief of Russia’s General Staff, to reach agreement on the Syrian question.

https://www.debka.com

10,000 protestors at Gaza fence: fire, aerial explosives and violence

Anna Ahronheim, Tovah Lazaroff – June 8, 2018

Four Palestinians were killed and hundreds injured Friday afternoon as 10,000 rioters gathered in five locations along Gaza’s border with Israel, burning tires, throwing stones and launching incendiary kites as well as for the first time launched kites and balloons with explosive devices attached to them.

The fatalities were identified by Palestinian news agency Wafa as 29 year-old Yousef al-Fasih who was shot by live fire east of Gaza City, 15-year-old Haitham al-Jamal and Ziad Jadallah Bureim who were both shot east of Khan Younes in the southern Gaza Strip, and 26 year old Imad Nabil Abu Darabi, east of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip.

According to Wafa another 600 Palestinians were wounded in the demonstrations, 92 of them from live fire injuries, including seven critically, as well as 26 children and 14 women. Among those wounded was a Agence France Press photographer Mohammed Abed al-Baba who was shot in the leg by Israeli fire in northern Gaza. According to AFP al-Baba, who has been working for the news agency for 18 years was some 200 meters from the fence east of Jabalia in the northern Strip and wearing a press vest and helmet when he was shot.

https://www.jpost.com

NATO chief: Alliance won’t defend Israel in war with Iran

Benjamin Weinthal, Anna Ahronheim – June 2, 2018

NATO will not side with Israel if the Islamic Republic of Iran attacks the Jewish state, the head of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization told a German magazine on Saturday NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told Der Spiegel, “The security guarantee [of NATO] does not apply to Israel” because the Jewish state is not a member of the 29 country alliance.

In response to Stoltenberg’s announcement, Volker Beck – the German Green Party politician and former head of the German-Israel parliamentary group in the Bundestag – asked on Twitter: “That raises the question: What does this clarification mean for the security dialogue between NATO, EU, Germany and Israel? It points to at least very different starting points and positions of interest.”

Tensions between Israel and Iran have escalated in recent months, with Israel striking Iranian military bases in Syria, including an attack on May 8 that reportedly left nine Iranian military personnel dead.

Stoltenberg’s statement came despite growing cooperation between Israel and the NATO alliance, including Israel’s participation in joint naval and air force exercises in December and a joint naval exercise in late May.

Israel’s relationship with NATO is defined as a “partnership.”

https://www.jpost.com