A series of offensive and defensive Israeli actions are keeping Hamas off balance.
When it comes to military firsts, Israel can probably take credit for the lion’s share. Israel was the first nation to capture an intact Soviet MiG-21, the first to capture a complete intact Soviet P-12 radar station, the first to employ militarized drones in the context of a large-scale, Wild Weasel, anti-SAM operation, and the first to destroy not one but two atom bomb facilities.
On June 2, 2018 the Israel Defense Forces executed another operational first. The Israeli Air Force bombed and destroyed a Hamas underwater terror tunnel. The tunnel, which was located approximately three kilometers from the Israeli border, was constructed for the purpose of concealing Hamas movements and allowing Hamas frogmen to enter the sea from an adjacent Hamas naval base undetected.
Hamas has been trying to improve its militarized maritime program and has invested substantial resources into improving and expanding its sea assault capabilities. On July 8, 2014 a cell of five heavily armed Hamas frogmen infiltrated Israel from the sea at Zikim Beach, which is located just north of the Gaza Strip. They were quickly detected and Israeli ground and naval units were dispatched to confront them. After a running battle, all five were liquidated. An IDF soldier was lightly wounded in the exchange.
While the attack was thwarted, it highlighted another danger and underscored the need to address the growing Hamas maritime threat. The frogmen were well trained and demonstrated considerable bravery. Though the cell was wiped out, the confrontation could have just as easily ended in disaster.
In 1978, 11 PLO terrorists (the initial force consisted of 13 members but two drowned in route) landed on the Israeli coast at a beach site just north of Tel Aviv. In the ensuing hours they killed 38 Israeli civilians and wounded 71. It was the worst terrorist attack in Israeli history, surpassing the Park Hotel suicide bombing, which killed 30.
Recognizing the threat emanating from Gaza, Israel has imposed limitations on Gaza sailing zones. Currently, Gazans are not permitted to sale passed six nautical miles from shore. To ease economic burdens, Israel permitssome Gaza fishermen to travel up to 10.4 nautical miles from shore. When imposing such restrictions, Israeli authorities are required to conduct a delicate balancing act, taking into account security needs and economic burdens to the local fishing industry.
Israel has also begun constructing an under-and above-water wall to thwart sea borne infiltration. The barrier, which defense ministry officials characterized as an “impregnable breakwater,” will be constructed in the vicinity of Zikim beach, the same beach that witnessed the 2014 infiltration. The barrier, believed to be the only one of its kind in the world will consist of three levels. It will have an underground component, topped by a level of armored stone and a third level of razor wire at the upper tier. Israel’s defense ministry believes that this undertaking will further undermine Hamas attempts to exploit vulnerabilities in Israel’s well-guarded but exposed coastline.
But the IDF is not merely thinking in terms of defense. As highlighted by the June 2, strike, the IDF has demonstrated that it will act preemptively and preventatively to eliminate threats to Israel’s security. On May 29, the Israeli Air Force struck a Hamas naval base destroying a quantity of what the IDF characterized as “advanced maritime weaponry.” These were underwater sea drones created for the sole purpose of carrying out terrorist attacks. They were the brainchild of Hamas engineer, Mohammed Zawahri. Zawahri was assassinated in Tunisia by unknown assailants in December 2017. In April 2018, Fadi al-Batsh, another Hamas engineer believed to be heavily involved in Hamas’s militarized drone program was killed in Malaysia under similar circumstances. Israel reserved comment on both attacks but both are widely believed to have been executed by operatives of Israel’s vaunted intelligence service, Mossad.
Hamas has demonstrated that there is no level of depravity to which it will not sink. The Islamist group has employed mortars, rockets, terror tunnels, IEDs, drones and even kite terror. The maritime threat is just another component of Hamas’s multi-tiered strategy of aggression and terrorism.
Throughout its history, Israel has had to confront a plethora of threats faced by no other nation in the world. It faces genocidal Islamist enemies, Sunni and Shia, on all fronts. As a consequence, Israel has had to excel in technological innovation to deal with the challenges. It has also had to be at the top of its game and maintain a constant state of vigilance 24/7. Finally, Israel has had to adopt unique tactics to counter threats posed by malevolent adversaries. Defensive and offensive measures undertaken by Israel’s security forces – water barriers, covert operations, preemptive strikes – serve to keep the enemy off balance, thereby securing the safety of Israel’s citizens.
We all know that the midterm elections are different this time around. They are usually like “all politics,” namely local. But this time around they’re different. They are all presidential, all about Trump, as most everything is. And for the anti-Trump crowd — I’m talking about the political commentators and “analysts” — any and all things bad are held to be Trump’s fault. This is presumably because they believe that their condemnations of Trump will result in a Democrat takeover of the House of Representatives.
A new book explores how graffiti artists in Beirut skirt limitations on expression to share political criticism in the streets.
A photograph of the book “Drawing Lines” by Tamara Zantout, taken at the launch of the book at Beit Beirut cultural center, Beirut, Lebanon, Oct. 25, 2018.
BEIRUT — Beirut’s alleyways and streets are peppered in bright, detailed and provocative graffiti. Street artists use the medium, which exists in a legal grey area, to express their identity and give voice to political frustrations.
On Tuesday, San Francisco will become the largest city in the nation to allow noncitizens to vote, and the city has spent $310,000 on a “new registration system” specifically aimed at illegals. As the San Francisco Chronicle reports, the plan is the first in the state and follows Proposition N, a 2016 ballot measure allowing votes by noncitizens over the age of 18, reside in the city, and have children under age 19.
By the count of the Chronicle, only 49 noncitizens have signed up to vote on Tuesday, which works out to $6,326 for every illegal voter, but there’s more to the story. City officials are worried that voting could expose illegals to ICE, who might come looking and possibly deport somebody. So supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer, a backer of Proposition N, urged the city to spend $500,000 to warn the illegals.
At first Sabbath service after massacre, shooting survivors are blessed; rabbi says to those who condemned Trump’s visit: ‘No one tells me how to welcome a guest in my own home’
On November 3, 2018, a joint communal Shabbat prayer service at Pittsburgh’s Beth Shalom Conservative synagogue following the massacre a week prior which saw 11 Jewish community members killed. (Amanda Borschel-Dan/Times of Israel)
PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania — A week after an anti-Semitic shooter massacred 11 worshipers at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue, the community embraced each other in prayer on Saturday.
IS EUROPE RETURNING to the horrors of the 1930s? In an assessment typical of the moment, Max Holleran writes in the New Republic that “in the past ten years, new right-wing political movements have brought together coalitions of Neo-Nazis with mainstream free-market conservatives, normalizing political ideologies that in the past rightly caused alarm.” He sees this trend creating a surge in “xenophobic populism.” Writing in Politico, Katy O’Donnell agrees: “Nationalist parties now have a toehold everywhere from Italy to Finland, raising fears the continent is backpedaling toward the kinds of policies that led to catastrophe in the first half of the 20th century.” Jewish leaders like Menachem Margolin, head of the European Jewish Association, sense “a very real threat from populist movements across Europe.”
IS EUROPE RETURNING to the horrors of the 1930s? In an assessment typical of the moment, Max Holleran writes in the New Republic that “in the past ten years, new right-wing political movements have brought together coalitions of Neo-Nazis with mainstream free-market conservatives, normalizing political ideologies that in the past rightly caused alarm.”
We’ve been told for a long time that the ceasefire is on the way. It had many names in the past, such as tahdiah, hudna, and most recently—”an arrangement.” On Friday, once again, reports started emerging that an agreement has been reached. Several hours later, southern Israel was hit with a barrage of rockets. What happened?
And He said, “You will not be able to see My face, for No Human Being shall see Me and live.” — Shemot 33:20
Faith is deeper than knowledge. While scientific data is absorbed only in the brain, faith permeates all parts of the human personality. Nothing is untouched, all spiritual limbs quiver, and everything is transformed. It is thus more difficult to acquire faith than knowledge, and faith has a more radical effect on the human being.
A Catholic archbishop recently touched on an unspoken but highly subversive phenomenon: How anti-Christian forces exploit Christian teachings to empower those who seek to dismantle Christian civilization, Muslims being chief among them.
In an interview published last summer by the Italian outlet IlGionarle.it, Catholic Archbishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan said:
The King of Jordan, not some lowly clerk, announced that Jordan will not extend the currently existing leases renting two parcels of land to Israel. One is the so-called Island of Peace in the northern Naharayim area and the other located in the southern Arava, near Tzofar, an agricultural cooperative village (moshav). Jordan was entirely within its rights to decide not to renew the leases