Israel’s Top Military Strategist Talks War and Peace
In all likelihood the next Israeli-Iranian confrontation will be a clash with Amidror’s half-threat: the Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah, Iran’s most effective proxy in the Middle East and perhaps the best armed nonstate military force on earth. Amidror says another round of Israel-Hezbollah fighting is a “very-high-probability” event even if he doesn’t believe it’s inevitable. Israel’s war aims will be narrow. “We should neutralize the military capability of Hezbollah,” he said. “We should not destroy the organization as a political tool. If the Shiites want these people to represent them, it’s their problem.” He anticipates that because of Arab and Western antipathy toward Iran, Israel will have a relatively free hand to prosecute such a war and won’t become an international pariah as a result of the conflict. That’s pretty much where the good news ends.
“It will be a very nasty war,” Amidror said. “A very, very nasty war.” Hezbollah will fire “thousands and thousands” of long-range missiles of improved precision, speed, and range at Israeli population centers, a bombardment larger than Israel’s various layers of missile defense will be able to neutralize in full. “It will be very problematic for us. We don’t have tomorrow morning enough interceptors and they are enhancing their capabilities.”
This will be a blow Israel can withstand. “Israelis will be killed, no question,” Amidror said. “But it’s not going to be catastrophic.” He recalled that during the 2014 war in Gaza, the families of wounded soldiers called on the prime minister to continue the operation from beside their relatives’ hospital beds. “The cabinet didn’t know how to stop the IDF and tell them to retreat back after they destroyed the [Hamas] tunnels because the atmosphere was: Don’t stop, continue.” Amidror’s point was that the Israeli public is willing to withstand even heavy casualties during war if it’s clear the country’s battlefield aims are being achieved.
In Lebanon, the war will inflict unspeakable suffering. Because the interceptors won’t be able to stop the entirety of Hezbollah’s missile barrages, Israel will have to target rockets on the ground before they can be launched—Amidror pointed out that Israel destroyed many of Hezbollah’s Zelzal missiles during the 2006 conflict with the militant group; as a result, none of the rockets was fired at Israel during the war. “Think of about 120,000 rockets and missiles, 50 percent or 80 percent of them stored by the Iranians within populated areas in private houses. Areas will be evaporated. Think about a missile of half a ton, with all the fuel in it, and Israel hits it with only 100 grams of TNT. … Think about what will be damaged just by the stored missiles. Thousands and thousands of Lebanese will be killed and part of Lebanon will be destroyed.” That’s on top of whatever destruction Israel causes when targeting other Hezbollah bases and infrastructure.
Amidror recalled a meeting with Ban Ki-moon during one of the former U.N. secretary-general’s visits to Israel. He showed Ban photos of Hezbollah rockets stored in civilian areas. “Secretary, what should Israel do?” Amidror remembered asking. “These missiles will be launched into Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, Afula, everywhere. What is your advice to Israel? And I’m telling you if we will hit these missiles, many Lebanese will be killed. Many of them even don’t know that they are neighboring a missile and are totally innocent. You are the secretary-general of the United Nations. What is your advice? He didn’t know what to say, and he said nothing.”
Israel’s adversaries are doubling down on their success, as I saw recently when I visited the Gaza-Israel border as part of a delegation with the Jewish Institute for National Security of America. The night before, Hamas fired dozens of rockets into Israeli communities, including one that landed in front of a kindergarten. I also saw the widespread devastation to Israel in the form of mile after mile of cropland scorched by incendiaries launch from Gaza.
Yet, as with reporting of clashes since March, most headlines downplayed the indiscriminate use of incendiaries and rockets against Israel, in favor of portraying Israel’s retaliation against Hamas military targets as the largest “pummeling” of Gaza since 2014. As in weeks prior, no mention was made of Israel’s graduated responses to these provocations, including its prioritization of non-lethal force whenever possible.
Unsurprisingly, an end to this conflict does not appear close at hand. Indeed, such irresponsible coverage of Israel influences the strategy of terrorist groups, who increasingly buttress their illegal tactics with sophisticated information operations to hypocritically delegitimize Israeli actions.
Israel will survive misperceptions and ill-informed reporting, though at the cost of increased and unnecessary pressure from the outside world to terminate lawful operations in self-defense. But sadly the same prospects for survival will not apply for Arab civilians unless perspectives on the radical differences in how Israel and its adversaries operate become dramatically more objective.
Palestinian 17-year-old Ahed Tamimi, who served eight months in Israeli prison for inciting suicide bombings and for striking Israeli soldiers, was asked by Russian RT TV how she passed the time.
Her descriptions of her daily routine for herself and the entire wing include singing, dancing, reading books, watching TV, even legal studies and matriculation exams, and refute the PA’s ongoing lies about the conditions in Israeli prisons.
The following is part of a longer interview on RT TV:
RT TV reporter: “Tell us in detail how you passed the time; what did you do inside the prisons?”
Ahed Tamimi: “As I told you, I did a lot of things: a legal course, we spent a lot of time on that, and matriculation exam studies; I read books; we would sing; we even had joint breakfasts of the entire wing – we would go outside, every room would bring its things, and we would eat together. We also ate lunch together most of the time. We also had parties; we would sit and sing, and dance. There were a lot of things that we did to pass the time: We watched TV, for example we jumped around in the rooms and did silly things; we did a lot of things.”
[Russian channel RT TV Arabic, Aug. 1, 2018]
Already a few years ago a released terrorist prisoner described the good life in the male side of prison:
A source made it clear after a cabinet meeting on Wednesday that any future arrangement with Hamas would include the return of the fallen and civilians held in the Gaza Strip.
“There will be no real arrangement with Hamas without the return of our boys and citizens to the home and the promise of quiet for a long time. The current calm is the result of aggressive IDF activity that will continue as necessary. In light of this, the Kerem Shalom operation was renewed and the fishing area was opened,” the source said.
The Ministry of Defense announced that according to the decision of Minister Avigdor Liberman, 700 trucks entered the Kerem Shalom crossing today and transferred merchandise to the Gaza Strip.
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Wednesday called on residents of the Gaza Strip to maintain the relative quiet along the border that has been in place this week, saying doing so was in their best interest as evident by Israel’s decision to reopen the main cargo crossing into the coastal enclave.
“Calm pays, violence doesn’t,” Liberman wrote in an Arabic-language Facebook post, published on the page of Israel’s military liaison to the Palestinians, known as the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories.
The defense minister made his comment as the Kerem Shalom Crossing into Gaza reopened, after being closed for over a month as punishment for the regular violence along the border, bouts of rocket fire and daily incendiary kite and balloon attacks since March 30, the start of the “March of Return” protests, a series of demonstrations — often violent — along the Gaza security fence.
Liberman also addressed the reports of negotiations for a long-term truce or hudna between Israel and Hamas. He said this would only be possible if the two Israeli civilians and two fallen IDF soldiers were returned.
“As for various proposals regarding a long-term settlement, they must first include an arrangement on prisoners of wars and Israeli soldiers missing in action. But what will ultimately be the deciding factor is not the proposals, but the reality on the ground, and lest anyone have any doubts: We will do everything to ensure the security of the citizens of Israel, and if Hamas turns to violence again, we will respond immediately and in a much more severe manner than before,” he said.
Representatives of various Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip headed to Cairo on Tuesday for talks with Egyptian intelligence officials on the possibility of reaching a truce agreement with Israel, and ending the Hamas-Fatah power struggle.
The visit coincides with unconfirmed reports in the Arab media that the Palestinian factions and Israel are close to reaching a long-term cease-fire agreement under the auspices of Egypt and the United Nations.
The faction representatives were invited by the Egyptian authorities in the context of Cairo’s continued effort to avoid a military confrontation between Hamas and Israel, and persuade Hamas and Fatah to agree to the formation of a unity government.
Sources in the Gaza Strip said the representatives who headed to Cairo through the Rafah border crossing belong to Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Popular Resistance Committees of Palestine, al-Ahrar, al-Mujahideen, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Last week, a Fatah delegation headed by Azzam al-Ahmad held talks in Cairo with Egyptian mediators about the proposed truce with Israel, as well as the ongoing dispute with Hamas. It was not clear whether the Fatah officials would participate in the new discussions.
According to the sources, the faction representatives will join a senior Hamas delegation that is already in Cairo.
As of this week
Hamas arson attacks in numbers:
7413 acres of land burned
1,364 fires caused by incendiary devices
10-12 million NIS worth of damage by arson attacks
1,832 people have been treated for trauma.
These numbers increase each day.
Do you want to help? The Jewish National Fund is leading a series of nationwide town hall events to learn more about the crisis, and about how the diaspora community can help.
As of now, there is nothing scheduled locally- we will let you know if that changes.
Fromm August 19 through August 30, the Jewish National Fund invites you to learn the truth about the Gaza Border Crisis. In a series of town hall meetings across the country, you can hear first-hand from a mother, a young pioneer, and a farmer – residents of the Gaza border communities – who will share their personal stories of living under attack.
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) August 14, 2018
According to an Aug. 8 Jerusalem Post article, four rockets fell in Sderot, causing multiple injuries.
In response to communication from CAMERA staff, NPR commendably amended the wording to accurately state:
The Israeli attacks came in apparent retaliation for the launching of about 150 rockets from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel, wounding 11 Israelis, according to Haaretz. Some of the rockets landed in the city of Sderot, where nine residents were taken to the hospital, including a woman in serious condition, the newspaper reports.
In addition, editors appended the following correction to the bottom of the article:
A previous version of this story implied that all rockets launched from the Gaza Strip fell in the Israeli city of Sderot. In fact, several locations in southern Israel were hit, according to Israeli media.
CAMERA today prompted correction of a Los Angeles Times article which erroneously claimed that Gazans launched “dozens” of incendiary kites and balloons into Israel since March 30, when the actual figure is dozens of launches daily. Noga Tarnopolsky and Hana Salah wrote in today’s print edition (and online here) that “Gazans launched dozens of flaming kites and balloons into Israel, incinerating acres of agricultural fields” (“Israel said to be on the verge of launching sanctions against Gaza”).
According to Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (“Arson terror from Gaza continues to devastate southern Israel,” Aug. 8):
From 30 March to 12 August this year, there have been 1,364 fires – an average of more than 10 fires every day. Over 7,400 acres have been damaged or destroyed, about 23% of the land in the region. Much of the summer wheat crop was lost, either to the fires or due to too-early harvesting. Hundreds of chickens and turkeys suffocated to death from smoke inhalation. People with asthma and other lung diseases are also suffering from the polluted air. In Nahal Grar, dozens of beehives, each with about 70,000 bees and 30-50 kilos of honey, were destroyed by fire.
CAMERA contacted The Times pointing out that given that the airborne arson attacks have sparked over 1,300 blazes since March 30, and many of the kites and balloons failed to start a fire, there have been well over 1,300 launches. In response to CAMERA’s communication, editors commendably posted a correction to the top of the article, stating:
An earlier version of this report inadvertently dropped the word “daily” in reference to the dozens of kites and balloons launched into Israel.
JPost Editorial: Recognizing ‘Palestine’
The Israeli embassy in Bogota was furious, issuing an angry statement in Spanish saying it was “very surprised and deeply disappointed” that Colombia recognized Palestine, and also “by the way the decision was taken, without giving prior notice to a close ally like Israel.”
By making a declarative sentence that proclaims an imaginary space in the ether a state – no facts on the ground, nothing based on reality – all 137 countries are in fact directly hurting the chances for any meaningful dialogue between Israel and the Palestinians.
This has been going on now for 30 years. On November 15, 1988, the Palestinian National Council – sitting not in “Palestine” but in Algiers, Algeria – proclaimed the establishment of the State of Palestine, with Jerusalem as its capital. Those 137 United Nations countries recognizing “Palestine” are the perfect representatives of that body: a place that has failed in its mission, a self-serving, hypocritical and corrupt organization that accomplishes nothing more than to promote an ongoing Israel-bashing jubilee. Instead of encouraging peace and stability, it advances false dreams and illusions that do nothing to advance security or build a normal life for the two peoples living here.
No, peace won’t be made by unilaterally recognizing “Palestine” as a state.
We are encouraged by the new president who took office last Tuesday. After he won the election, Duque spoke of the possibility of moving the country’s embassy to Jerusalem. We welcome such a move; it recognizes reality. Duque’s foreign minister, Carlos Holmes, said he would review the declaration by Santos, and we hope that he is able to rescind that cynical political maneuver.
As for the UN itself, we believe what MK Michael Oren tweeted on Sunday: “137 countries recognized “Palestine” and now Palestine’s delegation is demanding Israel’s eviction from the UN. The remaining 56 nations must not fall into the same trap. The others should be ashamed.”
Jordan’s pivotal role in bringing Trump’s peace proposals to a successful conclusion are grounded in the following salient facts:
- West Bank and East Jerusalem Arabs voted to unify these areas with Transjordan in 1950 and rename the unified entity – “Jordan”
- West Bank Arabs were citizens of Jordan possessing Jordanian passports between 1950 and 1988.
- Half the members of the Jordanian Parliament were elected from the West Bank Arab population between 1950 and 1967.
- Jordan’s population is overwhelmingly comprised of Arabs born east or west of the Jordan River.
- Jordan itself comprises 78% of the territory of former Palestine
- Jordan and Israel are the two successor states to the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine already exercising between them mutually-agreed sovereignty in 95% of former Palestine
- Jordanian custodianship of Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem is guaranteed under the 1994 Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty.
Reunifying into one territorial unit the East Bank with areas of the West Bank allocated to Jordan only requires Israel and Jordan to redraw their already existing internationally-recognised border.
Israeli and Jordanian negotiators – armed only with pencils, sharpeners and erasers – can achieve this new dividing line between their respective states within a relatively short time.
The PLO has made it clear that it wants no part in negotiating Trump’s proposals. It – and Hamas – will be left to cool their heels and contemplate the many squandered opportunities to create an additional state between Israel and Jordan since the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993.
Jordan’s decision to resurrect its long-dormant claims after 30 years of studied silence and subservience to PLO posturing should be welcomed by all who want to see the Jewish-Arab conflict ended.
Ahlam Tamimi, who planned the attack and brought the bomber to the pizzeria, is now living freely in Jordan. She has been paid at least $52,681 by the PA. (Her relative and admirer, Ahed Tamimi, recently served prison time for assaulting an Israeli soldier.)
The terrorist who built the suicide bomb, Abdallah Barghouti, is in an Israeli prison. He has received at least $191,526 from the PA.
So the ongoing payments for the Sbarro massacre have now exceeded $294,332. And that number grows every single day.
In response to this atrocious policy, Congress recently passed the Taylor Force Act, which was supposed to end US aid to the PA if it continued to pay terrorists. Well, the PA is still paying terrorists, so how is it that the Trump administration was able to send $61 million to the terror organization earlier this month?
The answer is that while Jewish organizations were crowing about the great victory they supposedly achieved in the passage of the Taylor Force Act, the bill itself was being loaded up with loopholes and exceptions that would enable some US aid to continue to flow to the PA. In other words, despite all the tough rhetoric from the Trump administration and some Jewish leaders, America is still providing funds to the regime that is paying murderers of Americans.
To make matters worse, the administration is making no serious effort to bring any Palestinian killers of Americans to justice. Last year, the Justice Department unsealed an indictment against Ahlam Tamimi, yet it has still not demanded that Jordan hand her over.
The United Nations agency dealing with Palestinian refugees may not be able to open schools for half a million children because it has run out of money since the United States cut its funding, UN officials say.
UNRWA already faces what it described as a “very tense” situation in Gaza after job cuts drew protests by its own employees, leaving some senior staff unable to work in their offices.
Some fear for the survival of the agency, which this month must decide whether it can open its network of schools across Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon for the coming academic year.
“We are running on empty. We simply don’t have enough money to pay 22,000 teachers who in 711 schools provide a daily education for over half a million children,” said UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness, who described the situation as “catastrophic” and unprecedented.
UN officials say that aid cuts by the United States, the single largest donor to UNRWA, were a major cause of the crisis.
In January, US President Donald Trump said he would scale back aid to the Palestinians unless they cooperate with his plans to revive peacemaking with Israel. Those peace efforts stalled in 2014.
“The actions that we are now seeing are consequences of the decision by the Trump administration to withhold $305 million for UNRWA this year, so whether it is political or not it has catastrophic implications and consequences for us on the ground,” said Gunness.
The Middle East Forum (MEF) congratulates President Donald Trump on signing the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This legislation includes language supported by MEF compelling greater transparency by foreign-owned media outlets operating in the United States. The law addresses all foreign owned media, but its passage results primarily from abuses by Al Jazeera, the Qatari government’s network.
The relevant section of the NDAA is H.R. 5515, Section 1085, “Disclosure Requirements for United States-Based Foreign Media Outlets.” It requires foreign media outlets to file a report every six months with data about their structure and finances, then makes this report public 30 days later.
Al Jazeera has surpassed 1 billon views on YouTube and has over 10 million followers on Facebook. Al Jazeera English operates bureaus in Washington, New York, Chicago, Miami, and Los Angeles. According to the Congressional Directory, there were 175 Al Jazeera staffers credentialed by the House and Senate in 2016. That year, the New York Times had 43 and the Washington Post 111.
The Justice Department recently required the Russian based TV station RT to register as a foreign agent due to Russian interference in American elections. YouTube now requires the disclaimer that “Al Jazeera is funded in whole or in part by the Qatari government” on each of its videos.
MEF has longstanding concerns about the Qatari government’s support for Islamism. Its research showed the Qatar Foundation spending more than $30 million to gain influence within U.S. public schools. MEF has been critical of Al Jazeera, calling it “a political project masquerading in the guise of journalism.” Following up on this critique, MEF representatives visited dozens of Congressional offices to explain the need for the NDAA to address this problem.
MEF President Daniel Pipes notes that, “As Qatar is locked in a bitter dispute with several of America’s regional allies, the American people need to know in detail about the activities of its media arm.”
Belgian-Palestinian Mustafa Khaled Awad was arrested last month on suspicion of terrorist activity as a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Israel Police and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) said in a joint statement Wednesday.
Security authorities arrested Awad on July 19 at the Allenby crossing as he tried to enter Israel. A gag order on his arrest was lifted on Wednesday.
Awad, 36, is originally from a Palestinian refugee camp in southern Lebanon, and immigrated to Belgium where he received citizenship.
A joint investigation of the Shin Bet and the Lahav 433 National Crime Unit revealed that Mustafa joined the PFLP and has been active in it since 2010. It was also revealed that Mustafa was a member of a cell of PFLP terrorist operatives living and working in Europe, and was in contact with terrorists from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and the West Bank.
As part of these activities, Awad underwent military training in Lebanon in 2015, which was led by Hezbollah operatives, according to findings of the investigation.
The investigation also revealed that Awad helped transfer funds from the PFLP terrorist organization in Syria and Lebanon to European activists.
Jerusalem District Police foiled a would-be attacker’s plans to stab citizens and security officials last week, security authorities said on Wednesday.
During routine operational activity in the Old City on August 8, police officers noticed a suspicious man and detained him, a police spokesman said.
n a preliminary interrogation, the suspect, a 26-year-old Hebron resident, claimed he had entered Israel in order to pray.
Police investigators suspected the man was hiding something, and after questioning his intentions, decided to transfer the investigation to the central unit.
As the investigation progressed under a gag order during the last few days, police said they used a number of interrogation methods that exposed the suspect’s true intentions. He allegedly entered Israel illegally armed with a knife and a tear gas canister in the hope of stabbing civilians and security forces in Jerusalem.
Israeli security forces arrested a Palestinian man early Wednesday morning in a West Bank village north of Ramallah for inciting violence against Israeli soldiers “in videos he published of them while they were operating,” an IDF spokesperson said without naming the man.
The official PA news site Wafa reported that the man was a journalist, identifying him as Ali Dar Ali, a reporter for the Palestinian Authority-run Palestine TV. The IDF spokesperson did not mention that the detained individual was a journalist.
Dar Ali livestreamed two videos on Facebook early Tuesday morning of Israeli security forces operating in the Al-Amari refugee camp near Ramallah.
According to the IDF, the home of Yousef Abu Hamid, a Palestinian who was arrested on suspicion of killing IDF soldier Ronen Lubarsky earlier this year by dropping a stone slab on his head, was mapped in al-Amari on Tuesday morning. The army typically maps homes in advance of demolishing them.
In the two videos Dar Ali published, he does not explicitly make calls for violence against the IDF.
The IDF spokesperson declined to identify the person who was detained, saying only that he had “systematically” posted videos of troops during operations.
The Israeli military uncovered a new effort by the Hamas terror group to trick soldiers into downloading spyware applications onto their phones by befriending them on Instagram with accounts purporting to belong to attractive women, the army said Wednesday.
The Israel Defense Forces’ information security branch revealed a similar attempt last month by the Gaza-based Hamas that used the Facebook social media site to lure soldiers into installing software onto their phones that would allow the terror group to remotely control it, turning on the device’s cameras and audio recorders.
“We can say definitively that Hamas failed in its mission and did not succeed in getting classified information leaked,” said the officer in charge of policy for Military Intelligence’s information security branch, in an interview with the IDF’s website.
Last week, a civilian cybersecurity firm also found an attempt by Hamas to hack Israeli civilians’ phones using an app called IsraelAlert, a fake version of the “Code Red” app, which is used to warn people of impending rocket attacks.
According to ClearSky Cyber Security, IsraelAlert would have also given Hamas control over the user’s phone, allowing the terror group to take pictures, make calls or transmit location data.
The Palestinian Authority will send memos to international institutions in response to the announcement by the Israeli Ministry of Communications of its intention to invest 40 million shekels in expanding the cellular coverage of the Israeli communications companies in Judea and Samaria.
Alam Moussa, the PA official in charge of communications, told the PA Wafa news agency on Monday that the Israeli move violates Palestinian sovereignty and harms the Palestinian companies operating in “Palestine”.
“The action of the occupying state contradicts all international laws, because entering our land, building towers for the occupation army and allowing Israeli settlers and cellular companies to use them to strengthen reception in the West Bank is unacceptable and poses a threat to Palestinian cellular companies,” he said.
Moussa, who referred to the “settlements” as “cancer,” added that the Palestinian Arabs intended to contact the international media union in order to stop the Israeli moves.
MK Motti Yogev (Jewish Home), who is promoting the expansion of cellular reception in Judea and Samaria, responded by saying, “The Palestinian economy has no right to stand by itself, just as there has never been a Palestinian state nor will there ever be one.”
The Toronto-based newspaper Akhbar al-Arab (ArabNews24.ca) published an article on August 8, 2018, by Muhammad Sayf al-Dawla titled “The Mother from the City of Nablus Who Sacrificed Her Children for the Jihad and Hollywood Movies.”
The article was accompanied by a cartoon that shows a mother caressing her dead son whose body lies across a map of Palestine. From his back extends a weapon: an Israeli flag and flagpole. In Akhbar al-Arab most of the Star of David was covered with black.
Cartoon that shows a mother caressing her dead son whose body lies across a map of Palestine
Muhammad Sayf al-Dawla, the author, is the founder of the Movement of Egyptian Citizens against Zionism and served as an adviser on Arab affairs to President Mohamed Morsi, who headed the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt.1 The original article was published on al-Dawla’s blog on July 31, 2018,2 and reprinted in the Canadian newspaper Akhbar al-Arab.
Al-Dawla’s article exalts the Palestinian mothers who have sent their sons to die in the jihad campaign against Israel and calls to make these women “sacred symbols” for their sacrifice.
An Interpol member state arrested a male fugitive convicted of rape at the behest of the Palestinian Authority, Ramallah said on Tuesday.
Despite Israel’s opposition, the PA was admitted to Interpol, an international policing group, in September 2017.
Interpol had alerted its member states of a Palestinian arrest warrant for the convict, after the PA Attorney General’s Office had requested it do so, a statement from that office said.
The statement did not identify the name of the man or the interpol member state that arrested him. However, it mentioned that he was detained at an international airport.
Until Tuesday, the PA had not publicly reported any arrests carried out by Interpol member states at its behest.
The leader of Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, said in a speech on Tuesday that his “resistance group is stronger than ever, even stronger than the Israeli army,” The Jerusalem Post’s sister publication Maariv reported Tuesday night.
“The resistance in Lebanon today, in its possession of weapons and equipment and capabilities and members and cadres and ability and expertise and experience, and also of faith and determination and courage and will, is stronger than at any time since its launch in the region,” Nasrallah elaborated.
In his speech in southern Lebanon in honor of the 12th anniversary of the Second Lebanon War, he also argued that the 2006 armed conflict’s goal was “implement the United State’s plan to take control of the region, and, when the war failed, the US plan also failed.”
He added that “Israel is rebuilding itself today, in view of the defeat in 2006, including reexamining its doctrine of war, on the basis that its enemy is serious and capable.”
“Since 2007 the Israelis have threatened to go to war, but at the same time Hezbollah is strengthening immensely.”
Between 20,000 and 30,000 members of the Islamic State remain scattered across Iraq and Syria despite near total territorial losses, giving the terror group a pool of militants who can carry out attacks in the region and beyond, a United Nations report says.
The report released Monday by UN sanctions observers concluded that a diminished “covert version” of ISIS will persist in both countries for the foreseeable future, The Associated Press reported.
While ISIS no longer holds large swaths of territory, many of its fighters escaped detection by retreating to remote areas outside the control of security forces or “hiding out in sympathetic communities and urban areas,” the report stated.
“Among these is still a significant component of the many thousands of active foreign terrorist fighters,” the report added.
The UN’s sanctions monitoring team provides independent reports on ISIS and al-Qaeda to the Security Council every six months. The team’s estimate of ISIS ranks in Iraq and Syria came from regional governments that were not identified.
The United States is trying to make Iran surrender through the imposition of sanctions, Iranian vice president Eshaq Jahangiri said on Wednesday.
New US sanctions against Iran took effect last week, and President Donald Trump said companies doing business with the country will be barred from the United States.
“The first priority for all of us under a sanctions situation is to work toward managing the country in a way that brings the least amount of damage to people’s lives,” Fars News quoted Jahangiri as saying. “America is trying by applying various pressures on our society to force us to retreat and surrender.”
The new sanctions targeted Iranian purchases of US dollars, metals trading, coal, industrial software and its auto sector, though the toughest measures targeting oil exports do not take effect for four more months.
Few US companies do much business in Iran so the impact of sanctions mainly stems from Washington’s ability to block European and Asian firms from trading there.
President Hassan Rouhani made similar comments to Jahangiri, although he did not specifically refer to the United States.
The Trump administration will take action against an Iranian ship that has been stationed at a key choke point in the Red Sea for months and is believed to be providing significant military aid to terrorist forces in Yemen, according to U.S. officials and military experts familiar with the situation.
An Iranian ship believed to be masked as a cargo vessel has been identified as the “mother ship” stationed in the Red Sea providing targeting information for Houthi anti-ship attacks, which have increased in recent months, including a late July attack by Iranian-backed rebels on a Saudi oil tanker.
The ship, identified as the Saviz, was delisted from U.S. sanctions by the Obama administration as part of its efforts to uphold the landmark nuclear deal with Iran, U.S. officials confirmed to the Washington Free Beacon.
Upcoming Trump administration action against the Saviz and other Iranian vessels is part of a broader package of sanctions expected to kick back in on Nov. 5, officials confirmed. Sanctions will target Iran’s port operations, shipping and shipbuilding sectors, and other affiliates.
U.S. officials familiar with the Saviz’s actions in the Red Sea told the Free Beacon the Iranian vessel is barely attempting to obfuscate its military role in aiding Houthi rebels in Yemen.
Loving one’s native culture and feeling comfortable in it is normal. Western leaders have respected the rights of new immigrants to love the cultures from which they have come. But unfortunately, those same leaders are tearing apart their own cultures by turning love of one’s own country into an unforgivable sin, when it is expressed by native citizens of Western countries. This trend needs to end.
Unless the leadership of Europe decides to stop the transformation of the continent with the same determination expressed by some extremist leaders that appear to want to transform it, its future is all too clear.
Turkey’s President Erdogan has been steadily abrogating NATO commitments, such as, “uphold[ing] democracy, including tolerating diversity,” and that members “must be good neighbors and respect sovereignty outside their borders.”
We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.