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  DAILY ALERT Tuesday,
May 10, 2016

In-Depth Issues:

Man Shouts "Allahu Akbar," Knifes Munich Rail Passengers (Reuters)
    A man attacked passengers with a knife at a train station in the Munich area on Tuesday, leaving one dead and three injured, Bavarian radio reported.
    The man, who was arrested, shouted "Allahu Akbar" (God is Great) during the attack.

Report: ISIS Planning to Attack Israel from Sinai - Erez Linn (Israel Hayom)
    The Israeli military is concerned that the Islamic State is planning a large-scale attack against Israel from Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, Germany's Bild newspaper reported on Sunday.

Video: Israel Develops Armed Combat Robot - Barbara Opall-Rome (Defense News)
    General Robotics Ltd. of Israel has developed the Dogo armed tactical combat robot.
    The 12-kg. robot has 360-degree vision and works alone or in packs to breach high-risk safe houses and bunkers, ready to shoot to kill within a second of an officer's command.

Women Warriors: Female Fighters in the IDF - Yoav Zitun (Ynet News)
    Five female combat soldiers discussed the complex realities they face in Gaza and the West Bank.
    Lt. Paz Rokach, 24, is a medical officer in the Binyamin Division, which operates in and around Ramallah. Lt. Shahaf Shwartz, 23, served as an operations officer for the Golani Brigade during the 2014 Gaza war.
    Sgt. Yael Sandler, 21, is a lone soldier from California who assisted in rescuing two IDF soldiers who accidentally entered the Qalandia refugee camp two months ago.
    Lt. Ofir Asulin, is a field intelligence officer who was injured in a stabbing at a gas station on Route 443. Cpl. Linoy Ben Yitzhak identified three terrorists planting IEDs on the northern border of Gaza.
    Sgt. Sandler said, "I do everything that the men do. It's all in the mind. As female combat soldiers, we march for miles when going on arrest raids....Sometimes the women are stronger than the men."
    Lt. Schwartz, who serves as a sniper instructor, was recognized for exemplary service as a Golani Operations Officer during the Gaza war. During one of her division's first and toughest battles, the unit's top brass was hit, and for a few long minutes (and after functioning for several days without sleeping), she found herself commanding the complex event from headquarters.
    Lt. Rokach found herself commanding the treatment and evacuation of close to 200 injured people in 2015 alone, including soldiers, civilians and terrorists who had been neutralized.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Iran Foreign Policy Led "Directly" by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei
    Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told newly-elected Iranian parliamentarians on Saturday that "the Leader himself [Khamenei] remains at the helm of outlining foreign policy as his prominent role is quite evident, as we are committed to his commands and comments."
        Zarif added, "Our enemies, especially the Zionists, are desperately seeking to induce unsafe conditions in Iran and to deter foreign investors from participating in Iran; consequently, we must promote the fact that Iran is the safest and most profitable country for investment."
        Zarif also said, "The fact is that the sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran have been lifted, paving the path for more active participation in the region."  (Mehr News-Iran)
  • Turkey Stages Raid Against Islamic State Fighters in Syria - Dion Nissenbaum
    Turkish special forces entered Syria on Saturday to target Islamic State fighters that have been launching rocket attacks into Turkey for weeks, American officials said Tuesday. At least 20 people have been killed this year in the Turkish border town of Kilis by rocket strikes from Syria. The operation is part of an evolving effort by the Turkish military to push Islamic State away from a 60-mile stretch of the Turkey-Syria border that serves as the group's main lifeline. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Israel's Memorial Day Remembers Hundreds of Americans Who Served - Michele Chabin
    Julie Landau and his family will gather on Wednesday, Israel's Memorial Day, at the grave of his son, Yair, an Israeli soldier killed in action in 1982 at age 23. Those being remembered this year include 350 North Americans or their children and spouses, seven more than last year, according to the Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel. Restaurants and places of entertainment will close, hundreds of thousands will flock to military cemeteries and people all over the country will stand for a moment of silence as two air-raid sirens wail. (USA Today)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Two Elderly Women Stabbed in Jerusalem Terror Attack - Roi Yanovsky
    Two women in their 80s were stabbed in the back by two Palestinians in a terror attack in Jerusalem's Armon Hanatziv neighborhood on Tuesday. The attackers fled to the Arab village of Jabal Mukaber. (Ynet News)
  • Israel to Honor Fallen Soldiers on Memorial Day
    IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot on Sunday saluted the 23,447 fallen soldiers who were killed throughout Israel's history. Israel's Memorial Day begins Tuesday evening. The IDF is now placing flags on every fallen soldier's grave in all cemeteries in Israel. (Ynet News)
        See also Israel to Remember Fallen Soldiers and Terror Victims
    In total, 2,576 Israeli civilians and pre-state Zionists have died in terror attacks since 1880. (Times of Israel)
  • Poll: 78 Percent of Israeli Jews Do Not See Peace in the Coming Years
    Only 21% of Israeli Jews believe that negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority will lead to peace in the coming years, while 78% do not believe this, according to the Peace Index survey conducted on May 2-3 and released on Monday. 64% of Israeli Jews and 73% of Israeli Arabs fear that they or someone important to them will be harmed in the current wave of terror attacks. 72% of Israeli Jews would not define Israel's control of the territories as an "occupation," while 72% of Israeli Arabs would define it this way. (Israel Democracy Institute-Tel Aviv University)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Iran's "Moderates" and the Holocaust - Editorial
    At the heart of the Obama administration's diplomatic engagement with Iran is the notion that the regime is divided among hard-liners who foment its terrorism and regional aggression and more moderate forces who are open to cooperation with the West, embodied by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Zarif told Robin Wright of the New Yorker that the Rouhani administration had nothing to do with the Holocaust cartoon festival beginning this Saturday. Yet a spokesman for the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance confirmed that the ministry supports the exhibition, along with other programs that "enlighten people about the Holocaust."  (Washington Post)
  • Why Middle Eastern Leaders Are Talking to Putin - Dennis Ross
    America has 35,000 troops and hundreds of aircraft in the Middle East today, the Russians roughly 2,000 troops and perhaps 50 aircraft, yet Middle Eastern leaders are making pilgrimages to Moscow these days, not rushing to Washington. Why? Because perceptions matter more than mere power. Objectively, Russia is declining economically and low oil prices spell increasing financial troubles. But the Russians are seen as willing to use power to affect the balance of power in the region, and the U.S. is not.
        In the aftermath of the nuclear deal, Iran's behavior in the region has been more aggressive, not less so, with regular Iranian forces joining the Revolutionary Guard now deployed to Syria, wider use of Shiite militias, arms smuggling into Bahrain and the eastern province of Saudi Arabia, and ballistic missile tests. The Arab Gulf states fear growing Iranian strength and are convinced that the administration is ready to acquiesce in Iran's pursuit of regional hegemony. The writer is a long-time U.S. Mideast negotiator. (Politico)
  • Peace with Israel in Egyptian Textbooks: What Changed between the Mubarak and el-Sisi Eras? - Ofir Winter
    One chapter of a new textbook published by the Egyptian Education Ministry for the 2015-2016 school year is devoted to the peace treaty with Israel. A comparison of the new book with previous textbooks reveals that the book is more firmly supportive of peace with Israel, particularly based on the approach that it is a necessary condition for improving Egypt's economic situation.
        The book mentions Israel as a partner in "friendly" peace relations, and a picture of Prime Minister Menahem Begin appears alongside that of President Anwar Sadat. The book makes less mention of the wars with Israel and the Palestinian problem than in the past. These are significant changes that can have a positive effect on the idea of peace with Israel among Egypt's young generation. (Strategic Assessment-Institute for National Security Studies)

An Open Letter to Israel's Widows and Orphans on Memorial Day - Nava Shoham-Solan (Jerusalem Post)

  • This year, as every year, many Israeli citizens will attend heart-rending ceremonies at the country's cemeteries to honor their loved ones who departed too soon while defending the Zionist dream, the Jewish state.
  • The citizens of Israel unite on this day behind the screen of sadness, while in the background are the many stories, perhaps too many, of the fallen heroes who gave their lives for their homeland and endangered themselves for all our sakes.
  • We don't have a real need for such a day because we live the loss every day, every hour, at every important crossroads in our lives. Yet Memorial Day is important. We receive a warm hug from all the other citizens and from the state. We feel that we are not alone in our pain.
  • We know that thanks to our loved ones this country exists, and thanks to them most of us can sleep well and without fear. We know that they sacrificed themselves exactly for these goals, in order to ensure our future in our small land.
  • We want to live quietly, to allow our children to live in the Promised Land and raise new generations who will continue in our path. We ask to live in peace with our neighbors. This is our country. We don't have another one.
  • May we never know bloody wars anymore, may we live peaceful lives, and may the family of bereavement no longer continue to grow.

    The author is chairwoman of the IDF Widows and Orphans Organization.

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