FBI Worked with Israeli Company to Crack iPhone - Yaacov Benmeleh (Bloomberg)
The FBI worked with Israel's Cellebrite Mobile Synchronization Ltd. to crack the iPhone used in the shooting last year in San Bernardino.
The FBI had been locked in a standoff with Apple Inc. for a month over accessing data on the phone used by Syed Rizwan Farook in the attack. Apple refused to comply with a court order to unlock the phone.
Cellebrite is a unit of Japan's Sun Corp., whose shares are up almost 40% since March 21 when U.S. authorities said a third party had demonstrated a way to get into the iPhone.
Russia, Despite Draw Down, Shipping More to Syria than Removing - Maria Tsvetkova (Reuters)
In the two weeks since Putin's announcement of a partial withdrawal from Syria, Russia has in fact shipped more equipment and supplies to Syria than it has brought back in the same period, a Reuters analysis shows.
The shipments suggest Russia is working intensively to maintain its military infrastructure in Syria and to supply the Syrian army so that it can scale up again swiftly if need be.
Moreover, Russia appears to have more than a dozen military vessels in the Mediterranean, including the Zeleniy Dol warship equipped with Kalibr cruise missiles.
Senior Israeli, Palestinian Security Officials Meet in Jerusalem (Xinhua-China)
Senior Israeli and Palestinian security officials met in Jerusalem on Wednesday to discuss the situation in the Palestinian territories, a Palestinian official said.
The Palestinian delegation included Gen. Majid Farraj, chief of Palestinian security intelligence, Hussein al-Sheikh, head of the Palestinian liaison and civil affairs department, and a third senior security chief.
Israeli-Druze Businesswoman Conquers Spanish Hearts - Itamar Eichner (Ynet News)
Jamila Hir, 76, the owner of a cosmetics company from the Druze village of Peki'in, represented Israel at the Festival of Women in Segovia, Spain.
The festival hosted six women from around the world who successfully affected change in their societies.
Hir creates natural soaps from olive oil and medicinal herbs, built a factory with her own hands, and today employs hundreds of Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and Druze workers. Her business brings in $50 million in profits and exports to 40 countries.
At the festival, Hir spoke proudly about the peace that exists at the factory between Jewish, Druze, Muslim, and Christian women. "They all work together under the same slogan - only women can give birth to peace."
She also spoke about how the Druze community lives in peace with Jews.
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- Trove of Islamic State Explosives, Guns Found in Paris - Aurelien Breeden and Lilia Blaisemarch
Reda Kriket, 34, an Islamic State operative who was arrested last week in a Paris suburb, had amassed "an arsenal of weapons and explosives of an unprecedented size," French authorities announced on Wednesday, reinforcing fears that militants are planning additional assaults on Europe.
The arsenal included TATP explosive, which was used in suicide bombs in Paris and Brussels, along with Kalashnikov assault rifles, a submachine gun, pistols, ammunition, four boxes containing thousands of small steel balls, stolen French passports, cellphones, and two computers with instructions to make explosives.
Also on Wednesday, a government official said that a file with the floor plan and photographs of the office of the Belgian prime minister had been found on a laptop computer discarded by one of the terrorists linked to the Brussels attacks. The discarded computer also contained precise information about the prime minister's residence.
Meanwhile, Ard van der Steur, the Dutch minister for security and justice, said the intelligence division of the New York Police Department had warned the Netherlands on March 16 about links to terrorism of Ibrahim el-Bakraoui and his brother Khalid, two of the suicide bombers in the Brussels attacks on March 22. (New York Times)
- Khamenei Says Missiles Key to Iran's Future - Bozorgmehr Sharafedin
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday said missiles were key to the Islamic Republic's future, offering support to the Revolutionary Guards for testing ballistic missiles.
"Those who say the future is in negotiations, not in missiles, are either ignorant or traitors," Khamenei
- U.S. Condemns UN Rights Council's Call to "Blacklist" Firms Operating in West Bank - Arshad Mohammed
U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby on Wednesday condemned a UN Human Rights Council resolution that calls for setting up a database of businesses operating in the West Bank, a move that Israel has called a "blacklist." Kirby accused the Council of "bias against Israel" and said its creation of such a database exceeded its authority.
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
- Netanyahu Responds to U.S. Lawmakers' Call to Probe "Extrajudicial Killings"
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hit back Wednesday at a demand from Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy and 10 House members that the Obama administration investigate alleged Israeli human rights abuses. "Israel's soldiers and police officers defend themselves and innocent civilians with the highest moral standards against bloodthirsty terrorists who come to murder them," Netanyahu said.
"Where is the concern for the human rights of the many Israelis who've been murdered and maimed by these savage terrorists? This letter [by U.S. lawmakers] should have been addressed instead to those who incite youngsters to commit cruel acts of terrorism." (Times of Israel-Prime Minister's Office)
- Police Tactics, Intelligence-Sharing Tip Scales in Jerusalem's War on Terror - Daniel K. Eisenbud
More than 3,500 police officers working around the clock have helped turn the tide in the wave of Palestinian terror attacks in Jerusalem, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said Tuesday.
With the last major attack in Jerusalem having taken place on March 9, he said the relative lull in violence is attributable to hyper-vigilance, preemptive tactics and extensive intelligence coordination.
"Over the last couple of months, there's been a change in tracking and finding potential terrorists, and police units are deeply involved in tracking social media sites where potential terrorists are making contact with one another and transferring information," he said. "Based on this information, police have been able to reach potential terrorists and have them arrested before they can carry out attacks." (Jerusalem Post)
- Israel and Europe after Brussels - Col. (res.) Dr. Eran Lerman
If Europe is to win the war on terror, it will have no alternative but to abandon its persistent post-Cold-War mindset and recognize that there is, in fact, a war to fight. The terror campaign it faces is the work not of criminals but of an enemy. This enemy is not Islam or the Arabs per se. It is a modern revolutionary version (or perversion) of the religion of Islam.
Israel, which unfortunately has had a great deal of experience with terrorist violence, has much to offer Europe in its own confrontation with Islamist terror. Once Europe has internalized the reality that it is fighting a war, Israel can advise it regarding strategies like effective intelligence collection, disruption of enemy money supply, and interference with enemy access to the Internet.
It is true that to a certain degree, some of this involves the carefully monitored and legally sanctioned infringement of individual rights. But we should recognize that all basic human rights - including the right to come home in one piece; to walk unafraid in your own town; and to fly safely to your destinations - need to be respected.
Israel contains a significantly larger proportion of Muslims than does Belgium or France, but Israel's security measures have kept the incidence of terror attacks by Israeli Muslims rather low.
On another front of the battle, like-minded nations should work together to curb the ability of the terror organizations to utilize the Internet. It is patently absurd for IS and al-Qaeda to be able to publish "webzines" (Dabbiq and Inspire), and the efforts that have been made to eradicate online child pornography can surely be applied here as well.
Col. (res.) Dr. Eran Lerman, a former deputy for foreign policy and international affairs at Israel's National Security Council, served for two decades in Israeli military intelligence.
(Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies-Bar-Ilan University)
- UN Names Democratic Israel as World's Top Human Rights Violator - Anne Bayefsky
On March 24, 2016, the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) wrapped up its annual meeting in New York by condemning only one country for violating women's rights anywhere on the planet - Israel, for violating the rights of Palestinian women. At the same time, Palestinian women are murdered and subjugated for the sake of male honor, Saudi women can't drive, and Iranian women are stoned to death for so-called "adultery."
On the same day, the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva condemned Israel five times. No European state voted against this onslaught of UN resolutions against Israel. Germany and the UK occasionally abstained, while France voted with Arab and Islamic states on all but one Council resolution.
The writer is director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust.
Do Israel and the Palestinians Share a Political Horizon? - Shmuel Even (Strategic Assessment-Institute for National Security Studies)
- During negotiations with the Barak and Olmert governments (1999-2001 and 2006-2009, respectively), it became clear that the Palestinians do not recognize Israel as a Jewish state in principle. Moreover, Mahmoud Abbas' negotiators insist on the return of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to Israel,
first and foremost those in Lebanon. These positions reinforce the impression that Palestinians view
negotiations as a strategy to wrest concessions from Israel without making
any of their own.
- Experience has shown
that Israeli initiatives did not advance the negotiations, and therefore
there is little purpose in new Israeli initiatives that will not satisfy
Palestinian demands and instead are apt to weaken Israel's position in
- The Palestinian claim that Egypt and Jordan were not required to
recognize Israel as a Jewish state in their peace agreements is beside the
point, because between these states and Israel there was no dispute over
the territory comprising the Land of Israel, whereas
with the Palestinians there must be an agreement
not only between two states but also between two
- There is at present no common political horizon for
a permanent agreement. A permanent agreement is contingent on waiting for the rise
of a new local Palestinian leadership that will see the establishment of
a Palestinian state in the territories as a priority that serves the welfare
of its population, over the unrealistic demands that seek to undermine
the Jewish identity of the State of Israel.
The writer, a senior research fellow at INSS, retired from the IDF with the rank of colonel, following a long career in the IDF's Intelligence Branch.
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