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  DAILY ALERT Thursday,
June 29, 2017

In-Depth Issues:

ISIS Counterattacks Stall Iraq Push in Mosul - Susannah George (AP-ABC News)
    Counterattacks by Islamic State militants in Mosul neighborhoods previously cleared by Iraqi forces have stalled the U.S.-led coalition in its push against the last ISIS stronghold in the Old City, an Iraqi officer said Tuesday. The attacks underscore ISIS' resilience in the city.
    The counter-attacks began on Sunday by scores of ISIS fighters dressed as Iraqi Shiite paramilitaries.

An Iranian Base on the Mediterranean? - Judith Miller (Tablet)
    According to Chagai Tzuriel, director general of Israel's Intelligence Ministry, Iran is now negotiating with Damascus to build a base on the Mediterranean.
    However, Russia is said to oppose Iran's quest for a military base on the sea near its own facilities at Tartus and Latakia.

Israel Donates Wheelchairs to Disabled Vietnamese Children (Viet Nam News)
    The Embassy of Israel in Viet Nam on Wednesday handed out 15 wheelchairs to children with disabilities in Ho Chi Minh City.
    Wheelchairs of Hope, together with Israel's Alyn Pediatric and Adolescence Rehabilitation Hospital, are providing good-quality, lightweight wheelchairs with an attractive design.
    Israeli embassy deputy chief of mission Doron Lebovich said 100 wheelchairs would be given out to children.

Video: Working on a Breakthrough Technology? Think Israel's Mossad Will Be Interested? (Mossad Technological Innovation Fund)

Israeli Hi-Tech Suitcase Aims to Solve Lost Luggage Problems - Jack Moore (Newsweek)
    The Samsara suitcase, made of an aluminum alloy similar to materials used to make airplanes, is fireproof and comes with LED lights to see in the dark.
    It will notify the owner via an app if someone else opens the case, or if the luggage is moved away from the owner, within a certain preset distance.

GE Orders 12 CT Systems from Israeli Firm Arineta - Gali Weinreb (Globes)
    Arineta has announced the first order for its special CE cardiac scanner from GE Healthcare, its exclusive distributor.
    The order is for 12 systems, each of which will be sold to a customer for $1 million.
    Arineta CEO Dr. Ehud Dafni said his scanner scans all of the heart at once more successfully than other systems, and is also cheaper.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • U.S. Says Its Warning Averted Syrian Chemical Attack - Phil Stewart and David Dolan
    U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Wednesday that the Syrian government appeared to have heeded a warning from Washington on Monday not to carry out a chemical weapons attack. "It appears that they took the warning seriously," Mattis said. "They didn't do it."  (Reuters)
  • UNIFIL Presence in Lebanon Becoming a Burden for Israel - Ben Caspit
    Some in Israel are saying that the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has become a burden and its mission is no longer needed. "UNIFIL was supposed to be the enforcement apparatus for Security Council Resolution 1701," a high-placed Israeli military source said. "But in actual fact, it has become only a fig leaf for that resolution. UNIFIL whitewashes Hizbullah activity on the 'Blue Line' [border], and serves as an excuse for Hizbullah and the Lebanese government to violate the UN resolution and ratchet up tensions along the border. We no longer need this force here any longer. Better to remain with only the coordination and liaison units, and that's all."
        Resolution 1701 states that Hizbullah militants are not to be south of the Litani River. Yet when U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley visited Israel in June, she was shown observation points erected by Hizbullah along the length of the Lebanese border. (Al-Monitor)
  • Six Held in Spain, UK and Germany in Anti-Jihadist Raids
    Four men have been arrested on Majorca and two more in the UK and Germany as part of a Spanish investigation into support for Islamic State. The suspects produced and spread violent videos to recruit would-be jihadist fighters online. All six had Moroccan or dual Moroccan nationality. (BBC News)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Lapid Urges Spain to Stop Funds for BDS NGOs
    Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid asked the Spanish Congress of Deputies in Madrid on Wednesday to stop funding anti-Israel NGOs. Lapid presented a report prepared by NGO Monitor showing how millions of euros have been used to finance boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) groups that have aligned themselves with terror organizations responsible for murdering Israeli civilians. "In 2015, nearly 5.1 million euros were transferred to sub-organizations affiliated with terrorist organizations...and you have the ability to stop it. It is up to you. It is your country, and it is your money."  (Ynet News)
  • Iran Used Star of David to Mark Target in Missile Test - Eytan Halon
    Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon showed a satellite image to the UN Security Council on Wednesday revealing how Iran used a Star of David as a target for a ballistic missile test last December. "This missile test not only violates Security Council resolutions, but also proves beyond doubt, once again, the true intentions of Iran to target Israel," Danon said. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Israel: PA Never Asked Us to Treat Sick Gaza Newborns - Adam Rasgon
    Israel denied a PA Health Ministry claim that Israel barred two babies born in Gaza with heart defects from receiving urgent medical care. The IDF Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories said, "No request was received from the Palestinian Authority to coordinate medical treatment in Israel for the infants." Urgent referral requests are sometimes approved within hours. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Where to Draw the Line Against Iran's Mideast Takeover - Michael Horowitz
    Recent weeks have witnessed a growing competition in eastern Syria between U.S.-backed forces and Iranian-led militias seeking to secure a land corridor to the Mediterranean. The ayatollahs are seeking to control the border between Iraq and Syria to complete a land route that will greatly consolidate their influence over the Middle East. The consequences would go well beyond the smuggling of weapons to Iran's proxies in Syria and Lebanon. Tehran's forces will be able to move from one country to another in ways that multiply their ability to shape the future of Iraq, Syria, and the region.
        The Iranian regime has laid the groundwork for such a strategy by taking control over a significant portion of the forces fighting ISIS in Syria and in Iraq. Indeed, a significant portion of these irregulars are already more loyal to Tehran than to Damascus or Baghdad.
        Regardless of what happens in Syria, Tehran will not allow U.S. forces to remain in Iraq and, once ISIS is defeated, Iran will go back to its previous strategy of harassing U.S. soldiers. The writer is director of intelligence for Prime Source, an Israel-based geopolitical consultancy on security threats. (Daily Beast)
  • Iran Won in Lebanon - Danielle Pletka
    The U.S. has given more than $1 billion over the last decade to strengthen the Lebanese Armed Forces, but despite America's help, Iran has won. On a recent visit, I found a palpable change in tone: Lebanese officials once privately noted their hostility to Hizbullah and Iranian interference. No longer. Now Hizbullah is part of the "fabric of Lebanese life," as one senior military official put it. Thousands of Lebanese have either volunteered or been forced to fight in Syria for Bashar al Assad.
        Even the Lebanese Armed Forces is now cozy with Hizbullah. Not only has the army failed to limit Hizbullah's reach within Lebanon, but reports suggest it may also have shared weaponry. A recent Hizbullah military parade in Syria showed U.S.-sourced M113 armored personnel carriers of the kind supplied by Washington to Beirut. The writer is a senior vice president at the American Enterprise Institute. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Is the Tunisian "Arab Spring" about to Repeat in Morocco? - Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah
    Domestic unrest is brewing in Morocco and the regime is unable to control the situation and calm down the passions. On October 28, 2016, in the coastal town of Al-Hoceima, police threw Mouhcine Fikri's whole fish catch into a waste truck. The fishmonger tried to save his catch and jumped into the truck where he was crushed to death. The gruesome event ignited a series of protests which have been ongoing since then, spreading even to Morocco's main cities - Rabat, Casablanca, and Tangier. Since the beginning of the millennium, Morocco has been facing steady attacks by jihadists, ISIS, and al-Qaeda, organizations whose ultimate goal is to destabilize the kingdom.
        Facing the growing danger of extreme Islam, King Mohammad VI has embarked on a special religious education program aimed at neutralizing all extremist interpretations of the Koran. He instructed the Ministry of Education to remove from schoolbooks all references to jihad and killing, while initiating an innovative program for the training of religious clerks, preachers, imams, and kadis. The writer, a special analyst for the Jerusalem Center, was former Deputy Head for Assessment of Israeli Military Intelligence. (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

Palestinian Rejectionism Means No Deal - Richard Baehr (Israel Hayom)

  • The Palestinians, much like Iran, do not accept the permanence of Israel. The creation of Israel has always been considered a disaster.
  • The Palestinians seemed to rely on demographic shifts and terrorism to eventually break down Israel's will to resist.
  • Yet the now much higher Israeli Jewish fertility rate (more than three children per woman of child-bearing age, about the same as for Israeli Arabs and West Bank Arabs), along with the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, have significantly extended the horizons for when this supposed demographic advantage for the Palestinians would be realized.
  • The Trump administration, in its meetings with Palestinian officials, have demanded an end to incitement against Israel and a cutoff of Palestinian Authority payments to families of terrorists, many of whom had American blood on their hands.
  • These payments are a significant dollar amount when compared to total American aid to the PA, but are very popular among Palestinians.
  • Already there are hints about the PA continuing the payments in a different form that would provide an appearance that the program has ended.

    The writer is a fellow at the Jewish Policy Center.

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