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  DAILY ALERT Tuesday,
July 19, 2016

In-Depth Issues:

Thousands Attend Funeral in Israel for Lone Soldier from New Jersey (JTA)
    Thousands of mourners attended the funeral on Monday for a lone soldier from New Jersey who was killed when a grenade exploded next to his jeep in the Golan Heights. Sgt. Shlomo Rindenow, 20, was one of two soldiers who died in the incident Sunday. Rindenow’s parents, Mordechai and Mindy, arrived in Israel from Passaic for the funeral.

Two Israeli Soldiers Hurt in West Bank Stabbing, Assailant Shot - Gili Cohen (Haaretz)
    A Palestinian assailant stabbed two soldiers with a screwdriver, lightly wounding them. A soldier responded by shooting at the Palestinian and seriously wounding him, in the incident in al Arroub refugee camp, on the outskirts of Hebron.

France Struck Islamic State Bases Overnight (Reuters)
    France's defense minister said on Monday that French air forces conducted further strikes overnight on Islamic State targets.
  Speaking after a national defense council meeting in the wake of last week's truck attack on the city of Nice, Jean-Yves Le Drian told reporters the fight against Islamist militants' bases was continuing.

Deputy Mayor of Istanbul District Shot Dead in Office (AP/Times of Israel)
    A senior official working for Istanbul’s Sisli district city hall, Deputy Mayor in charge of development, Cemil Candas, died Monday after two gunmen walked into his office and shot him in the head.
  Various reports inaccurately stated that Candas was Jewish. Sisli is home to some of Istanbul’s remaining Jews, as well as the Jewish newspaper and the Ottoman-Turkish Sephardic Culture Research Center.

Germany Ax Attack by Afghan Injures Several on Train, Police Kill Suspect (CNN)
    An ax-wielding man who attacked several people on a train in southern Germany late Monday evening has been shot dead by police. The assailant, armed with a knife and an ax, was identified as a 17-year-old Afghan man living in Ochsenfurt, Bavaria. Four passengers who were attacked are in serious condition.
  Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said a hand-drawn flag resembling the one used by ISIS was found in the attacker's room, and that the attaker shouted "Allahu Akbar" during the attack, according to initial distress calls.

Mexico, Israel to Triple Annual Trade to $ 2.1 billion (JTA)
    The commercial ties between Mexico and Israel will be expanded, aiming at tripling current trade figures, according to Israel’s ambassador in Mexico, Jonathan Peled. In 2015, two-way trade between both nations amounted to $700 million, a 300 percent increase since a trade agreement was signed in 2000.
  Mexico’s exports to Israel include cement, agriculture and mining products. Israel invests in the Latin American nation in the fields of pharmaceuticals, agriculture, water technology, renewable energy, public security and technology.

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News Resources - North America and Europe:
  • Secret Agreement between Iran and P5+1 Eases Iran Nuclear Constraints - George Jahn
    Key restrictions on Iran's nuclear program imposed under an internationally negotiated deal will ease in slightly more than a decade, cutting the time Tehran would need to build a bomb to six months from present estimates of a year, according to a document obtained Monday by The Associated Press.
      The document is the only part linked to last year's deal between Iran and six foreign powers that hasn't been made public. It was given to the AP by a diplomat whose work has focused on Iran's nuclear program for more than a decade.
      The document says that as of January 2027 — 11 years after the deal was implemented — Iran can start replacing its mainstay centrifuges with thousands of advanced machines. Centrifuges churn out uranium to levels that can range from use as reactor fuel and for medical and research purposes to much higher levels for the core of a nuclear warhead. From year 11 to 13, says the document, Iran can install centrifuges up to five times as efficient as the 5,060 machines it is now restricted to using. If the enrichment rate doubles, that breakout time would be reduced to six months, and not 12. (Associated Press)
  • U.S., Russia Criticize UN Chief over Nuclear Report Critical of Iran - Michelle Nichols
    The United States and Russia both criticized United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday for overstepping his mandate in a report on the implementation of a Security Council resolution backing a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.
      U.N. political affairs chief Jeffrey Feltman briefed the 15-member Security Council on Monday on Ban's first bi-annual report on the implementation of the remaining sanctions and restrictions on Iran. Ban's report said ballistic missile launches by Iran in March were "not consistent with the constructive spirit" of the nuclear deal, but it is up to the United Nations Security Council to decide if they violated a resolution.
      Russian U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said the report contained factual errors, and headings in the report referring to "restrictions" on Iranian ballistic missile activities "simply don't coincide with the subject of the report." U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power stated, "The United States disagrees strongly with elements of this report, including that its content goes beyond the appropriate scope." (Reuters)
  • Iran Makes Fourth Attempt to Launch New Ballistic Missile since Signing Historic Nuclear Accord Last Year - Charlie Moore
    Iran has attempted to launch a new type of ballistic missile based on North Korean technology, say American intelligence officials. The missile is said to have been launched on July 11.
      The test reportedly ended in failure when the North Korean BM-25 Musudan ballistic missile exploded shortly after lift off. The maximum range of the missile is nearly 2,500 miles, meaning it could reach U.S. forces in the Middle East and Israel. (Daily Mail - UK)
  • British Navy Officer who Joined ISIS Turns Informer and Spills Secrets on Oil Deals with Assad - Josie Ensor
    A British-trained navy officer who joined ISIL has turned into an informant after being arrested by Kuwaiti authorities, becoming one of the most senior figures to hand over intelligence on the terrorist group.
      Ali Omar Mohammad Alosaimi, 27, of Kuwaiti descent, was picked up on the Iraq-Syria border. He said he was put in charge of oil fields in ISIL-held territory around Raqqa, the group’s de facto capital in north-east Syria, where he managed exports including to the Assad regime. Alosaimi, who used the nom de guerre Abu Turab al-Kuwaiti, revealed to interrogators how ISIL smuggles oil and sells it in the black market to regional buyers as well as international traders. (Telegraph - UK)
News Resources - Israel, the Mideast, and Asia:
  • Netanyahu: I Hope Israel, U.S. Will Conclude Military Aid Deal in Coming Weeks - Barak Ravid
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Knesset on Monday that he hopes to close ongoing talks and reach a deal with the United States concerning long-term military aid to Israel in the coming weeks.
      During an appearance before the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman reportedly said he believes that Israel and the United States will wrap up negotiations on long-term future American military aid by Rosh Hashanah, which this year begins on October 2. (Haaretz)
  • Syria Must Explain Chemical Warfare Agents: Watchdog
    The world's chemical weapons watchdog is pressing Syria to explain why it has four undeclared warfare agents, its head said July 13, after a U.S. official accused Damascus of continuing to hoard a toxic stockpile. Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons chief Ahmet Uzumcu said despite previous declarations by Syria, OPCW teams have found indications of five additional chemical agents.
      The U.S. permanent representative to the OPCW voiced frustration with Syria's perceived lack of cooperation in the process to verify its chemical arsenal. Kenneth Ward said the OPCW's latest findings were "indicative of (the) production, weaponization and storage of chemical warfare agent by the Syrian military." (AFP/Daily Star - Lebanon)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • U.S. Can't Let Iran Get Away With Murder - Toby Dershowitz
    Interpol red notices for five former Iranian officials found culpable in Argentina’s deadliest terrorist attack are about to come up for renewal. Today marks 22 years since the bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires. Eighty-five people were killed, and the attack injured hundreds more -- innocent men, women and children.
      In advance of the upcoming Interpol General Assembly this November, Iran has been engaging in a full court press, including a legal challenge, to have the red notices lifted. Since cutting a nuclear deal with Iran a year ago, the administration has often failed to hold Tehran accountable for its actions in meaningful ways. Iran continues to engage in nefarious activities in our hemisphere, and we ignore this at our peril. Not renewing the red notices would mean that justice will be denied to the victims of the AMIA bombings and to their families. (Real Clear World)
  • In Coup's Aftermath, New Rifts between U.S. and Turkey - Yochi Dreazen
    The United States has long wanted Erdogan to do more to fight the Islamic State and moderate his increasingly authoritarian tendencies, but the coup attempt seems likely to push Erdogan in the opposite direction. Turkish officials, for their part, have blamed the coup on Fethullah Gulen, a 75-year-old cleric living in exile in Pennsylvania, and hinted that Washington was somehow complicit in the attempted putsch, charges the White House has angrily denied.
      The sharp exchanges in the aftermath of the coup come on top of the long-standing U.S. criticism of Erdogan’s increasingly authoritarian tendencies, which include opening roughly 2,000 legal cases against political opponents, journalists, comedians, and ordinary Turks accused of insulting the president.
      Ankara, for its part, has bristled at American support for the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG, which has emerged as one of Washington’s most effective battlefield allies in the ground fight against the Islamic State. Ankara sees the YPG as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, a militant group that has killed hundreds of Turkish civilians and security personnel as it battles to create a Kurdish state in southeastern Turkey. (Foreign Policy)
  • Five Lessons On Cybersecurity From The General Who Built Israel's Defenses - Elizabeth MacBride
    When it comes to cybersecurity, Israel sits at the center of the world. Israeli companies exported $6.5 billion a year worth of cyberproducts, about 10% of the world market, based on data from Israel’s National Cyber Bureau. That’s up from only a 1-2% share of the much smaller market five years ago.
      In short, the Startup Nation has a sub-specialty. How did it get one? It turns out to be a top-down initiative, straight from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Last week, I interviewed Isaac ben Israel, who’s called the father of Israel’s cybersecurity business.
      Here are five lessons I learned from him:
      - If you’re a startup, cybersecurity is one of the biggest growth opportunities in decades.
      - Perhaps the most important element of a cybersecurity strategy is that it be adaptable.
      - Pay attention to privacy.
      - Whether or not you’re on the opportunity side of cybersecurity, you are at risk, and probably to a larger extent than you’ve realized.
      - The opportunity and the risks are particularly large in the Middle East. (Forbes)

Israel’s Counterterrorism Lessons for Europe - Ron Prosor (Wall Street Journal)

  • As the terrorist threat evolves, so, too, must our response. In Nice, the use of a truck as the murder weapon shows how terrorism is constantly developing new ways to inflict mass casualties.
  • Israel has bitter experience of this. The method of attack is painfully familiar. Since October, 44 terrorist attacks have used motor vehicles as a weapon against Israelis.
  • In recent months, a new generation of terrorists radicalized on social media has launched more than 300 attacks in Israel using knives, guns and vehicles. Palestinian social media, and sometimes even official media, have published a flood of material glorifying the knife and the car as a weapon. The same is true of the jihadist groups murdering civilians in France and elsewhere around the world.
  • In this digital age, terror cannot be met with an analog response. We need to keep up, and Israel has experience and expertise to share.
  • Critics complain that such defensive actions compromise civil liberties and feed an atmosphere of fear. Yet the threat cannot be wished away, not when the ultimate civil liberty—the right to life without fear of death—is under attack. Preserving these freedoms and civil liberties while responding to terror is a challenge for any country, especially a democracy.
  • In an age when the internet has turned yesterday’s disturbed loner into today’s radicalized sleeper cell, social-media companies must also take responsibility and play a role.
  • Muslim, Christian and Jew must be engaged in the defeat of terrorism. Cooperation already takes place under the radar between Israel, Western countries and Arab states. In a fight that is as much a war of propaganda as it is of weapons, the open involvement of Arab and Muslim countries would send a powerful and timely message.

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