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.
Jeremy Corbyn leads a pro-Palestinian demonstration in London in 2014, one year before becoming Labour Party leader. Photo: File.
This marked a massive rise from the previous such survey, in which only 39% of Jews believed Corbyn was antisemitic.
British Jews also expressed an extremely low opinion of the Labour Party in general. The poll showed that 85.6% believed Labour suffered from “very high” levels of antisemitism.
Corbyn and his party have been beset with a series of high-profile antisemitism scandals for several years, which has resulted in the resignation and suspension of several prominent officials. Corbyn himself was recently caught on video saying that “Zionists” did not understand “English irony” despite “having lived in this country for a very long time.”
Makuya in Jerusalem 201 (YouTube)
Like an apple tree among trees of the forest, So is my beloved among the youths. I delight to sit in his shade, And his fruit is sweet to my mouth. (Song of Songs 2:3)
For ten days in late August, Israeli Rabbi Benny Lau and his wife, Rabbanit Noah Lau, traveled from Jerusalem to Japan to lead Bible study for groups of Makuya Japanese Christians. The Laus traveled to five Japanese towns and spent three days together at a weekend conference with 3,400 members of the Makuya group.
Makuya is Japanese for the Hebrew word Mishkan, the tent of meeting, where human beings come into contact with God. The Mishkan was the portable sanctuary that the Israelites used in the desert, before entering Israel and building the First Holy Temple.
The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence. (Psalm 11:5)
Brazilian presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro. (Credit: Agencia O Globo)
Jair Bolsonaro, the front-runner in the upcoming presidential election in Brazil, was stabbed during a campaign rally Thursday and was undergoing surgery.
The far-right politician, whose heated rhetoric has electrified some voters and angered others – -who accuse him of racism and homophobia – in a deeply polarized electorate, was attacked amid a crowd in the south-east state of Minas Gerais. Bolsonaro has performed strongly in recent opinion polls.
Those same polls suggested that he will likely receive the most votes in next month’s presidential elections, especially if the country’s former president Luis Inacio Lula da Silva (‘Lula’) remains blocked from standing. He is currently in prison, but is appealing against his candidacy ban – imposed after his conviction for corruption.
Republican lawmakers have made it clear they have no intention of repealing Obamacare in the current Congress.
Republicans in the nation’s top lawmaking body have never really wanted to get rid of Obamacare. They would prefer to present the program, which David Horowitz correctly describes as “the greatest assault on individual freedom and individual choice in our lifetimes,” as a villain and whip up sentiment against it and run against it every election. They view Obamacare as good for the business of politics. They may chip away at it from time to time or tinker with it at the margins, but make no mistake: these creatures of Washington want to keep it in place. This is the Republicans’ dirty secret.
The Trump administration has decided to reopen a case brought by a Zionist group against Rutgers University, previously closed by the Obama administration in 2014, alleging that the university had allowed Jewish students to be subjected to a hostile environment in violation of Title VI of the U.S. Civil Rights Act. The issue, ignored by the Obama administration, was whether the students were discriminated against based on their actual or perceived Jewish ancestry or ethnicity. Kenneth L. Marcus, the new assistant secretary of education for civil rights, decided that the case deserved another look.
Nestled in the Han River in the middle of South Korea’s bustling capital of Seoul, Yeoui Island is hardly where one would expect to find the largest mega-church in the world. Home to the city’s business and financial district, its skyline dotted with skyscrapers, the island boasts some of the country’s most powerful institutions, such as the Korean stock exchange and the headquarters of LG, the international conglomerate.
The AfD’s opponents, who often brand the party as “far right” or “extremist,” claim that the party’s alleged ties to neo-Nazi groups pose an existential threat to Germany’s constitutional order. The AfD’s supporters counter that Germany’s politically correct establishment, afraid of losing its power and influence, is attempting to outlaw a legitimate party that has pledged to put the interests of German citizens first.
Israel’s Palestinian foes regard “martyrdom” as the supremely highest expression of Islamic sacredness. Nonetheless, there are certain conspicuously prominent disjunctions between the relevant obligations of faith and expectations of international law. Unambiguously, only the latter set of obligations can offer a suitably authoritative source for assessing Palestinian resorts to armed force.
This is the case even when the stated objective of such resorts would be “self-determination” and/or “national liberation.”
“Setting fire to the ground,” a “major catastrophe,” bringing “new instability” are the headlines that have greeted Donald Trump’s unorthodox decisions over the past year. Withdrawing from UNESCO, moving the US Embassy, leaving the Iran deal and cutting funding to UNRWA and funding for Pakistan were seen as extreme decisions in the Middle East and around the world. Insofar as there is a “Trump Doctrine,” it has been to call this bluff.
In the mind-set of Trump and his team, the time has come for the United States to move quickly to reverse decades of foreign policy norms, ending the status quo, and ripping up what the previous administrations did.
The jihadi assault on and massacre of Christians continued unabated throughout the Muslim word. According to one report titled, “Armed gangs WIPE OUT 15 villages in mass Christian slaughter in Nigeria,” several Islamic terrorists “stormed through 15 villages to massacre Christians and destroy their churches in a violent crackdown against the religion…. Dozens of people have been killed after the gangs ransacked towns and villages to clear them of all aspects of the Christian faith.
Wars are raging in various parts of the Middle East, although there is a tendency not to call the conflicts by that name because of the fear conjured up by the word.
One conflagration is the war Iran is waging against those – headed by Israel – who stand in the way of its plans to take over the entire Middle East.
Another is the Assad regime’s war to take back control of the entire country, and a third is the PLO’s battle for survival.
Much has been written about the first of these wars, and reports have claimed that from early 2017 on, Israel has launched over 200 attacks in Syria, mainly at targets connected to Iran.