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.
At the same time, the Trump administration is readying further possible sanctions on Venezuela, the official said.
Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro attends a military exercise in Maracaibo. (photo credit: MIRAFLORES PALACE/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)
WASHINGTON, Feb 8 – The United States is holding direct communications with members of Venezuela’s military urging them to abandon leader Nicolas Maduro and is also preparing new sanctions aimed at increasing pressure on him, a senior White House official said.
The Shalva Band following their final performance on “Rising Star.” Photo: Screenshot.
The Shalva Band has removed itself from the race to represent Israel in this year’s Eurovision competition because some of its members observed Shabbat and would not be able to partake in mandatory rehearsals, The Jerusalem Post reported on Tuesday.
The group, made up of eight musicians who have special needs, was one of four finalists in the “Rising Star” singing contest — the winner of which will represent Israel in Eurovision, set to be held in Tel Aviv in May.
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As Birthright Israel reaches its 700,000th participant, certain voices in America have done their best to slander the organization and force it to make drastic changes. Having staffed multiple Birthright trips as a madrich (youth leader), I have had the amazing opportunity to pass on some of the love for Israel that helped change my life.
Local police in Manchester’s Whitefield neighborhood declared the vandalism a criminal act rather than antisemitic.
Protesters hold placards and flags during a demonstration, organised by the British Board of Jewish Deputies for those who oppose anti-Semitism, in Parliament Square in London, Britain, March 26, 2018.. (photo credit: HENRY NICHOLLS/REUTERS)
The Philips Park Jewish cemetery in Manchester, England, was vandalized on Saturday, during which the tomb of Rabbi Yehuda Zev Segal, who died last year, was desecrated.
Protestors call for the severing of diplomatic ties with Israel during a march in Cape Town. (photo credit: MIKE HUTCHINGS / REUTERS)
A proposed multi-million dollar deal between Israel’s Central Bottling Company (CBC) and South Africa’s biggest dairy producer Clover could be in serious trouble due to heavy pressure from the anti-Israel lobby.
Newly-formed consortium Milco, in which Israel’s Central Bottling Company (CBC) holds a majority, is offering to buy 59.5% of the South African dairy producer.
We need to give the Likud Party some credit for not destroying itself in Tuesday’s internal elections. Given that primaries are the very embodiment of deal-making, political machines and big worker unions voting in lockstep, the results could have been far worse.
When it came to casting a secret ballot, the Likud Party’s registered voters did display some maturity. They weren’t the obedient foot soldiers of Benjamin Netanyahu, who has failed again and again in his machinations.
With elections barely two months away, the greatest challenge facing Israel’s Right emanates neither from the Center nor the Left, but, rather, from within.
Indeed, if recent polls are accurate, several small parties on the Right, most of which may not individually pass the minimum threshold to make it into the next Knesset, could nonetheless win a combined total of 10 to 12 seats, all of which would end up in the dustbin if they fail to run together.
August 2017, white supremacists marched in Charlottesville shouting, “Jews will not replace us”. October 2018, one white supremacist posted on social media that “Jews are taking over the white house”, and that Trump is a puppet of the Jews. Shabbat, the same month, a man enters a synagogue during a Bris celebration and butchers Jewish people who are praying. December 2018, Women’s March leader and Louis Farrakhan (“I’m not an antisemite, I’m an anti-termite”) fan, Tamika Mallory says: “White Jews, as white people, uphold white supremacy…”
Henry Ford devoted his life to two passions: making cars and demonizing Jews. When Hitler said, “I regard Henry Ford as my inspiration,” he wasn’t referring to his car manufacturing. He was referring to Ford’s anti-Semitic ideology that eventuated in the genocide of six million Jews.
Henry Ford does not deserve to be honored. The question the good people of Dearborn should ask themselves is: What would you do if the performing arts center were named after Jefferson Davis? If the answer is that you would remove Davis’s name, then you should remove Ford’s.
It was reported recently that the USA and the Taliban have reached a peace agreement on Afghanistan that will allow US forces to leave that country 17 years after they invaded it on October, 2001, less than a month after 9/11.
Al Qaeda had used that dysfunctional state as a safe haven and, while there, was able to plan and execute the attacks that took the lives of over 3000 people in. After the West invaded, the Taliban