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by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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  DAILY ALERT Wednesday,
June 8, 2016

In-Depth Issues:

Video: Watch Israel's "Drone Guard" in Action (Jerusalem Post)
    Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) released a video of its "Drone Guard" detection and disruption counter-UAV system.
    The Drone Guard employs 3D radars to "detect low-signature, low-level and low-speed airborne targets."
    In addition, the new drone disruption system is fitted with advanced technology capable of jamming enemy aircraft or UAV units.

Syria Reports Israeli Airstrike - Roi Kais and Liad Osmo (Ynet News)
    The Syrian website Zaman Al Wasl quoted a military official from the Syrian regime who claimed that the Israel Air Force had carried out an airstrike against Hizbullah weapons caches 13 km. north of Homs three days ago.

American Hizb Ut-Tahrir Leader Exhorts Muslims Not to Vote, Says Islam Is Here to Dominate (MEMRI-TV)
    Speaking at a conference in Chicago on May 15, 2016, Haitham Ibn Thbait, of the American chapter of Hizb Ut-Tahrir, called Obama a "terrorist," said that "Islam is here to dominate," and exhorted Muslims: "Don't fall into the electoral trap."
    "We have seen Obama in Cairo, and later in Baltimore, reinforcing what type of Islam is acceptable. Brothers and sisters, Obama is not an Islamic reference. He is a terrorist. He represents a system of terrorism. How dare we allow him to teach us what Islam is?"

Israel Names Street after Japanese Diplomat Who Saved Jews in WWII (Japan Times)
    A ceremony was held in Netanya, Israel, on Tuesday to name a street after the late Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara, who as vice consul at the Japanese Consulate in Lithuania issued transit visas to thousands of Jewish people during World War II, saving them from Nazi persecution.
    "It's such an honor. I wish my father was here," said Sugihara's fourth son, Nobuki, 67, who met with 50 local residents who survived thanks to his father.

Pro-Palestinian Activists Disrupt IDF Officer's Speech at D.C. Newseum - Noa Amouyal (Jerusalem Post)
    IDF Lt.-Col. (res.) Avital Leibovich, former head of the Interactive Media Branch of the IDF Spokesperson's Unit and current director of the American Jewish Committee Jerusalem office, was speaking at the Newseum in Washington on Tuesday when pro-Palestinian activists stormed the stage.
    Leibovich calmly responded by saying anyone who wanted to hear what she had to say was welcome to stay, and welcomed those who didn't to use the "big red exit sign."

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Putin Hails Talks with Israeli PM, Wants to Strengthen Ties
    Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday in Moscow, saying, "We spoke about the necessity to pool efforts to counter international terrorism. Israel knows only too well what it means and it is fighting against terrorism. In this sense, we are unconditional allies."
        Putin also said Russia and Israel will pool efforts to counter attempts to revise the history of World War II. "Our peoples fought together against Nazism and paid a huge price for the victory. That is why we must and will keep the memory of the heroes and victims of that war, we will counter attempts to revise its results, to forget the tragedy of Holocaust."  (Tass-Russia)
        See also Prime Minister Netanyahu Meets with Russian President Putin in Moscow
    Prime Minister Netanyahu and Russian President Putin discussed a large number of issues including Syria and other regional issues pertaining to the national security of both countries. They also discussed agricultural issues (milk production with the assistance of Israeli technologies), the pensions agreement that was signed between the two countries, tourism, health, and the manufacture of medicines. (Prime Minister's Office)
  • Netanyahu Thanks Cuomo for Fighting Anti-Israel Boycotts - Carl Campanile
    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has sent a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo to express "my deep personal appreciation" for his executive order barring state agencies from doing business with companies that support a boycott of Israel. "An executive order by the governor of one of America's most important and influential states demonstrates to the world and to Israel that we do not stand alone and that our American friends are behind us." He praised Cuomo and New York for showing "exceptional moral leadership" against BDS and bolstering the "strong American front against this hateful campaign."  (New York Post)
  • Iranian Qods Force Commander an Official Advisor to Iraqi Government - Bill Roggio and Amir Toumaj
    Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran's Qods Force, serves as an official advisor to the Iraqi government, Foreign Minister Ibrahim Jafari confirmed Tuesday. "Qassem Soleimani provides military advice on Iraqi soil, and this is with the complete awareness of our government," Jafari said. "There are advisors from Europe, America and other countries as well."
        But Soleimani and the Qods Force have done more than just advise Iraqi ground forces. They have helped create, organize, fund, arm, and deploy the Shia militias that dominate the Popular Mobilization Forces which are led by several agents of Iran. (Long War Journal)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israel to Supply Electricity to New Gaza Sewage Treatment Plant - Amir Ben-David
    Israel will increase its supply of electricity to Gaza to enable the Palestinians to operate a new sewage treatment facility. Its operations are expected to lower the level of sea water pollution. Operations at Israel's nearby Ashkelon desalination plant have been disrupted several times in the past few months due to heavy water pollution, the result of massive sewage dumps from Gaza. (Ynet News)
  • Rare Cache of Silver Coins from Hasmonean Period Found in Central Israel
    A hoard of 16 silver coins dating to the Hasmonean period (126 BCE) was exposed in April in an archaeological excavation currently being conducted near Modi'in. The treasure was hidden in a rock crevice, up against a wall of an impressive agricultural estate that was discovered during the excavation. Avraham Tendler, director of the excavation, said, "Numerous bronze coins minted by the Hasmonean kings were also discovered in the excavation. They bear the names of the kings such as Yehohanan, Judah, Jonathan or Mattathias and his title: High Priest and Head of the Council of the Jews."
        Residents of the estate appear to have participated in the first revolt against the Romans that broke out in 66 CE: coins that were exposed from this period are stamped with the date "Year Two" of the revolt and the slogan "Freedom of Zion."  (Israel Antiquities Authority)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Chemical Weapons Could Change the Game in Syria - Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Dany Shoham
    On or about April 23, 2016, the Syrian regime launched a serious chemical attack against IS, probably including sarin nerve agent in aerial bombs. This attack marked the renewed use by the Syrian regime of chemical weapons that are far superior to the chlorine gas it usually employs, and Assad's decision to do so was tolerated by the international community.
        The attack proves that Assad still possesses chemical weapons of full military grade and his regime has dodged its commitment to dispose of them. The attack also highlights the weakened position of the U.S. in the Middle East. Red lines firmly posed by President Obama regarding the use of chemical weapons in Syria have been proven hollow.
        The full extent of the Syrian regime's residual chemical weapons arsenal is unknown, but the precise details do not really matter. Iran - which is heavily invested in the Syrian civil war on behalf of Assad - possesses a vast inventory of potent chemical weapons, including nerve agents. It may well prefer to supply some of that inventory to Assad rather than lose - together with Hizbullah - more and more military manpower on the Syrian front. The writer, a microbiologist and top expert on chemical and biological warfare in the Middle East, is a former senior IDF intelligence analyst. (BESA Center for Strategic Studies-Bar-Ilan University)
  • Netanyahu, Putin Discuss Security Issues Related to Syria - Damien Sharkov
    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in Moscow for the third time since fall 2015 to mark the 25th anniversary of Russia and Israel's diplomatic relationship. The Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz declared on the eve of his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin that "ties between Israel and Russia have never been better." Putin and Netanyahu want to avoid clashes in Syria, where both countries operate air forces.
        Stephen Sestanovich from the Council on Foreign Relations says: "This relationship between the two countries is nothing mysterious. Russia elbowed itself into the region last year. The Israelis are interested in minimizing the risk of clashes with their military operations in the region. Look at what happened with Turkey shooting down the Russian jet. The Israelis don't want that to happen to their jets."  (Newsweek-Europe)
  • Netanyahu Visits Russia as U.S. Influence in Mideast Recedes - Dan Williams and Denis Dyomkin
    No one expects Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to break up Israel's bedrock alliance with the U.S. But he is mindful of Putin's sway in the Syrian civil war and other Middle East crises as the U.S. footprint in the region wanes.
        "Netanyahu's not defecting, but what we see here is a bid to maneuver independently to promote Israel's interests," said Zvi Magen, a former Israeli ambassador to Russia now with Tel Aviv University's Institute for National Security Studies. With Russian forces fighting alongside Iran and Hizbullah to keep Syrian President Assad in power, Putin is the closest thing to a guarantor that Israel's three most potent enemies will not attack it from the north. (Reuters)

Israel Air Force Pilots Recall Bombing Saddam's Nuclear Reactor (Times of Israel)

  • 35 years after the Israeli air attack that destroyed Saddam Hussein's nuclear reactor at Osirak, retired IAF officers and Mossad agents revealed hitherto unknown details of the operation on Israel Channel 10 TV on Friday.
  • Col. (ret.) Ze'ev Raz, who led the June 7, 1981, raid, said they "recognized that flying to Iraq and back was slightly beyond the range of our jets, so we used all sorts of tricks to extend it."
  • The Israeli Air Force could not rely on U.S. tanker planes for mid-flight refueling, and Israeli refueling capabilities would not be operational until 1982, by which point intelligence assessments were that the nuclear reactor would go online. So innovative methods for making the fuel last were introduced, the specifics of which are still secret.
  • Gad Shimron, a former Mossad agent, said Israel during those years had inside intelligence on the Iraqis' efforts to buy equipment abroad and their plans to build a reactor. "There was someone on the inside providing information."
  • Shimron recalled that the reactor's first core, ready for shipping at a small port in southeastern France, exploded in "mysterious" circumstances and was damaged beyond repair.
  • Maj.-Gen. David Ivry, the IAF commander at the time, said the Mossad was able to delay completion of the Iraqi reactor by up to two and a half years.

        See also Video: Pilot Speaks of the Israeli Raid on Iraq's Nuclear Reactor
    Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Amos Yadlin, one of the Israeli air force pilots who conducted the 1981 raid on Saddam Hussein's nuclear reactor, spoke last week at UN Watch in Geneva.
        At a briefing prior to the mission, one pilot asked if the mission was worthwhile, considering that the Iraqis would just rebuild the reactor within two years. The IDF chief of staff, Lt.-Gen. Rafael Eitan, answered: "It will not be two years, because...Saddam Hussein will understand what happened, and he will have to think whether the Israelis will come again." It has now been 35 years. (Times of Israel)

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