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  DAILY ALERT Tuesday,
February 7, 2017

In-Depth Issues:

Iranian Missile Can Hit Tel Aviv in 7 Minutes, Iran Official Threatens - Eli Leon and Yoni Hersch (Israel Hayom)
    "If the enemy chooses to shoot a missile in Iran's direction, Tel Aviv will go up in flames from an Iranian only seven minutes are needed for an Iranian missile to hit Tel Aviv," Mojtaba Zonour, a member of Iran's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, boasted Saturday.
    Zonour said 36 American bases in the Middle East are in range of Iranian missiles, Iran's Fars news agency reported.
    "If the U.S. does something stupid, we will wipe out the American 5th Fleet in Bahrain," he added.

Hizbullah Targeted Israeli Diplomats in Brazil in 1989 (JTA)
    Hizbullah sent operatives to Brazil to attack Israeli diplomats in Brasilia and Sao Paulo in 1989, Correio Braziliense reported Saturday.
    A comprehensive, previously classified report, including names and photographs of suspects and original telegrams exchanged between Israel and Brazil, has now been made public.

Israel Seizes Funds Transferred to Terrorists' Families by Hamas - Daniel K. Eisenbud (Jerusalem Post)
    Israeli police on Monday raided homes in east Jerusalem and confiscated more than NIS 200,000 provided by Hamas to the families of terrorists.
    They included the families of Gasan Abu Jamil, who carried out the 2014 Har Nof synagogue attack, killing five; Ramdan and Fami Mashahra, who helped plan the murder of 19 Israelis in Gilo in 2002; and Hassan Nabi, who murdered IDF soldier Nachshon Wachsman in 1994.

India Deploys Israeli-Designed Harbor Defense System (IANS-Mumbai Mirror-India)
    An Israeli-designed Integrated Underwater Harbor Defense and Surveillance System (IUHDSS) for the Indian Navy was inaugurated by Western Naval Command chief Vice Admiral Girish Luthra on Friday.
    Sensors have been installed around the Mumbai Naval Harbor to provide comprehensive real-time monitoring, including detection of small targets like boats, divers and swimmers.
    On Nov. 26, 2008, ten Pakistani terrorists sneaked into Mumbai and wreaked havoc during terror strikes.

Palestinian Police Disperse Islamist Rally over Russian Church Land in West Bank (Ma'an News-PA-AP-ABC News)
    Palestinian security forces on Saturday used tear gas to disperse a rally in Hebron in the West Bank protesting a decision by the Palestinian Authority to officially cede ownership of the Russian Compound church, also known as Abraham's Oak Holy Trinity Monastery, and its surrounding lands to the Russian Patriarchate.
    Bahir Saleh, the spokesman of the Islamic Liberation Party, said, "This is Islamic land and shouldn't be given to anyone, particularly Russia who is killing Muslims everywhere."
    Saleh said a Russian church was built on land rented for a century from a local Arab tribe 150 years ago and that the land should be returned.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Report: Assad Hanged 13,000 Political Opponents
    At Saydnaya Prison near Damascus, between 2011 and 2015, as many as 13,000 people, most of them civilians opposed to the government, were hanged in secret in groups of up to 50 people. Detainees also suffered from repeated torture and the systematic deprivation of food, water, medicine and medical care. These practices, which amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, are authorized at the highest levels of the Syrian government. (Amnesty International)
  • Not "Lone Wolves" After All: How ISIS Guides World's Terror Plots from Afar - Rukmini Callimachi
    For 17 months, Islamic State terrorist operatives guided Mohammed Ibrahim Yazdani in planning an attack in one of India's major tech hubs. From Syria, they organized the delivery of weapons as well as the precursor chemicals used to make explosives. Until just moments before the arrest of the Indian cell last June, ISIS cyberplanners kept in near-constant touch with the operatives. It was an example of what counterterrorism experts are calling enabled or remote-controlled attacks by the Islamic State whose only connection is via the Internet.
        Remotely-guided plots in Europe, Asia and the U.S. in recent years, including the attack on a community center in Garland, Tex., were initially labeled the work of "lone wolves," while only later was direct communication with the Islamic State discovered. Islamic State plots have been discovered in multiple locations in the U.S., including Columbus, Ohio, the suburbs of Washington and upstate New York. Since by late 2015, travel to Syria had become treacherous, the Islamic State announced last year that those who could not reach the caliphate should attack at home. (New York Times)
  • U.S. Uses Guerrilla Marketing to Peel Off Potential ISIS Recruits - Joby Warrick
    Ads are turning up on cellphones and computer screens in countries known to be top recruiting grounds for the Islamic State, offering a harrowing view of life inside the self-proclaimed caliphate, often in the words of refugees and defectors who warn others to stay away. The ads come from the U.S. State Department's new Global Engagement Center that is using guerrilla marketing tactics to wage ideological warfare against the Islamic State. U.S. officials are using Facebook profile data to find young Muslims who show an interest in jihadist causes. Then they bombard them with anti-terrorism messages that show up whenever the youths go online. (Washington Post)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israeli and British Prime Ministers Discuss Iran and Mideast Peace in London - Herb Keinon
    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his British counterpart, Theresa May, discussed Iran, the Palestinians and closer bilateral cooperation during their first meeting in London on Monday. "We will never give up on our quest for peace with all of our neighbors," Netanyahu said. Following their meeting, Netanyahu said a two-state solution will necessitate Palestinian recognition of Israel as the state of the Jewish people. "Even with that recognition, there is no way in the foreseeable future that Israel will not be the only force with security control west of the Jordan River," he said.
        Netanyahu said he told May that Israeli "settlements were not an obstacle to peace," and that any areas Israel would leave now would turn either into an Iranian outpost or an Islamic state. He also said that he and May see "eye-to-eye" on the dangers posed by Iran arming itself and its aggressive behavior in the region. "An answer needs to be found to Iran's aggression. Even without breaching the [nuclear] agreement on their side, they are marching toward a bomb, toward industrial enrichment of uranium that will enable them to break out in a short period to a nuclear bomb."  (Jerusalem Post)
  • IDF Responds to Rocket and Gunfire from Gaza - Matan Tzuri
    IDF tanks and aircraft destroyed six Hamas positions on Monday, after a rocket was fired toward Israel and Hamas forces opened fire on an IDF force working near the Gaza border fence. Prime Minister Netanyahu said: "We will respond to all shooting with heavy fire....There is no way that someone can shoot at us and we don't respond."  (Ynet News)
  • Hamas Cell Planned Terror Attacks at Synagogue, Train Station in Israel - Yonah Jeremy Bob and Anna Ahronheim
    Three members of a Hamas cell were indicted in Haifa District Court on Monday for planning terrorist attacks within Israel and in the West Bank, the Israel Security Agency announced Monday. The cell members, including an Arab Israeli and two Palestinians, planned shooting attacks, bombings and kidnappings in the Hebron area. They also gathered intelligence for attacks within Israel at the Afula bus station, a military base, the Binyamina train station, and a synagogue in Zichron Ya'akov. The cell members were familiar with the locations from working in Israeli illegally. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Hamas Prepares for the Next Round of War - Yoni Ben Menachem
    Abu Ubaida, spokesman of Hamas' military wing, said at a ceremony in Gaza on Feb. 2 that Hamas views the Palestinian problem as "a problem of the Islamic world and an existential, historical, and cultural struggle."
        Hamas has never for a moment given up its strategy of destroying Israel. Although the military balance of power is in Israel's favor, Hamas is constantly improving its capabilities and building its military preparedness for the next round. It aims to inflict painful strategic blows on Israel through short- and long-range rocket fire, attack tunnels, booby-trapped drones, naval commando forces infiltrated into Israeli territory, and even cyber warfare and hacking into IDF soldiers' computers and telephones.
        Hamas has fully rehabilitated its military capabilities that were damaged in the 2014 Gaza war. Currently, Hamas has several thousand rockets aimed at Israel and dozens of attack tunnels, intended to infiltrate gunmen under the Gaza border into Israel for murder and kidnapping attacks against civilians and soldiers. Hamas works round the clock on manufacturing rockets and digging tunnels. The writer, a veteran Arab affairs and diplomatic commentator for Israel Radio and Television, is a senior Middle East analyst for the Jerusalem Center. (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • How to Handle Hizbullah in Latin America - Emanuele Ottolenghi
    For nearly four decades, Hizbullah has relied on local Lebanese expatriate communities to establish networks across Latin America. These networks have bought political influence among local elites, built alliances with organized crime, and offered financial services to both. As a result, today Latin America is a key center for Hizbullah's sophisticated global financial network.
        The U.S. should disrupt Hizbullah's Latin American sources of revenue by targeting its operatives and their businesses with a sustained sanctions campaign. It should strengthen the Drug Enforcement Administration's efforts to try Hizbullah operatives involved in drug trafficking, and it should punish local elites who facilitate Hizbullah's continuing presence in the region. The writer is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. (Christian Science Monitor)
  • UNRWA Teachers Incite Terrorism and Anti-Semitism - Hillel Neuer
    On Feb. 2, UN Watch presented a new report to the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee showing 40 new cases of UNRWA schoolteachers in Gaza, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria whose Facebook pages incite to jihadist terrorism and anti-Semitism, including by posting Holocaust-denying videos and pictures celebrating Hitler. The UNRWA teachers and staffers celebrated the terrorist kidnapping of Israeli teenagers, cheered rockets being fired at Israeli civilian centers, endorsed various forms of violence, and praised erasing Israel from the map. (UN Watch)
        See also Report: Poisoning Palestinian Children (UN Watch)

The Choices Palestinians Make - Dexter Van Zile (Gatestone Institute)

  • Perhaps it is time to confront Palestinians with the choice they face: They can keep trying to deny the Jewish people their right to a sovereign state, or they can make peace and get a state of their own; they cannot do both.
  • If Palestinians are interested in making peace, perhaps they need to start earning the trust of the Israelis, bring an end to incitement, educate their children for peace instead of murder, and begin building a future for themselves and their children without blaming Israel for every setback they endure.
  • In The Drone Eats With Me: A Gaza Diary (2016), Palestinian writer Atef Abu Saif provides a powerful first-person narrative of the suffering endured by the Palestinians living in Gaza during the 2014 war. But his statement that the Israelis were the only ones responsible is simply false. A lot of bad choices were made - by Palestinians - and Saif knows it.
  • The reality is that Hamas bears a huge measure of responsibility for the suffering he documents. Hamas has repeatedly started wars that it cannot win against a country that cannot afford to lose.
  • All too often, Palestinian deaths are used to shut down the conversation about what Palestinian leaders have done wrong and about the underlying causes of the conflict.

    The writer is a media analyst for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA).

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