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  DAILY ALERT Thursday,
July 6, 2017

In-Depth Issues:

IDF Working Quietly Against Iranian Weapons Factory in Lebanon - Yoav Zitun (Ynet News)
    IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot said Wednesday the military was working quietly against a factory for precision-guided missiles Iran is building for Hizbullah in Lebanon.
    "It's at the top of our list of priorities, but at the moment we're talking about a very limited capability," Eisenkot told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
    "We're working against it using quiet measures to avoid a deterioration of the situation."

Poll: Palestinians Oppose Suspension of Payments to Security Prisoners - Dr. Khalil Shikaki (Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research)
    A Palestinian poll conducted on June 29-July 1, 2017, in the West Bank and Gaza found that 91% oppose the suspension of PA payments to Palestinian security prisoners in Israeli jails.
    55% in the West Bank and 75% in Gaza want President Abbas to resign.
    47% of Gazans say they seek to immigrate to other countries.
    Perception of corruption in PA institutions stands at 79%, while 58% say that people cannot criticize the PA without fear.
    39% support a return to an armed intifada, while three months ago, support for an armed intifada stood at 51%.
    80% say the Arab world is too preoccupied with its own conflicts, and that Palestine is no longer the Arabs' primary issue.
    68% (compared to 59% three months ago) believe there is an Arab Sunni alliance with Israel against Iran.

20th Maccabiah Games - the Jewish Olympics - Open with Record 10,000 Athletes (JTA)
    The 20th Maccabiah Games will start on Thursday with the opening ceremony at Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem.
    Athletes competing in 43 sports come from 80 countries. Over 1,000 athletes will represent the U.S. in the competitions.
    The Maccabiah Games were the launching pad for many international Jewish sports stars.
    See also Maccabiah Is about Inspiring Stories and Magical Memories as Much as Sport - Allon Sinai (Jerusalem Post)

Israeli, Palestinian Rescue Teams Hold Joint Exercise - Elior Levy (Ynet News)
    A joint exercise between Israeli and Palestinian rescue and security forces responding to a car crash took place on Wednesday at a crossing near the West Bank city of Jenin.

Gaza Sewage Forces Closure of Israeli Beach - Sharon Udasin (Jerusalem Post)
    Israel's Health Ministry shut down Zikim Beach in Ashkelon on Wednesday due to contamination from sewage from Gaza, where wastewater treatment has stopped due to a shortage of electricity.
    The Gaza wastewater flow pollutes Israel's groundwater, harms the function of the Ashkelon desalination plant, and endangers the health of Israeli residents.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • U.S. Focused on Neutralizing the Iranian Threat - Adam Kredo
    Iran is deliberately probing American reactions on the Syrian battlefield to test U.S. resolve, according to senior U.S. officials. Iran-backed forces, including Hizbullah, have already initiated multiple encounters with the U.S. by violating "de-confliction" agreements between Washington and Moscow to prevent the various factions targeting ISIS inside Syria from coming into conflict.
        "American forces have been authorized to take all measures to defend U.S. interests against Iranian provocations and aggression," said a veteran Iran policy analyst who has been briefed by the White House. "This is part of a concrete strategy that has already been implemented in part, and is being bolstered every day....No more of thanking Iran after they seize our sailors in the Gulf."
        "The tack we've taken is not to put the [Iran deal] at the center of the policy," one senior administration official said. "The goals we set out focus on how to neutralize the threat the Iranian regime poses to the U.S. and its allies in the region."  (Washington Free Beacon)
        See also below Observations: Roll Back Iranian Expansionism - Mark Dubowitz (Wall Street Journal)
  • Improving Ties between Egypt and Hamas Unsettle Palestinian Politics - Nidal al-Mughrabi
    Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said Wednesday that relations between Gaza and Egypt were warming. Egyptian "authorities have issued orders to implement a package of measures that has began with allowing fuel into Gaza," he said.
        Meetings in Cairo between Hamas and Egyptian officials were believed to have been facilitated by Mohammad Dahlan, 55, a former senior Fatah official who is originally from Gaza and is now a staunch opponent of PA President Mahmoud Abbas. Closer ties between Hamas and Cairo are a serious threat to Abbas, regional analysts said, because they empower Dahlan and undermine the ability of the PA to cast itself as the dominant political body for Palestinians. Abbas expelled Dahlan from Fatah in 2012 and the last thing Abbas wants is for him to return to Gaza, with Egypt's approval, as a hero. (Reuters)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israel, India Sign Sweeping Trade and Research Agreements - Ilan Gattegno
    Israel and India signed a series of sweeping trade, commerce, and research and development treaties during Indian Prime Minister Modi's visit to Israel. Representatives from large Indian corporations signed trade agreements in the fields of industry, security, energy and medicine. The two countries will collaborate on adapting Israeli technologies to the extreme conditions of outer space. Another treaty will see Israel and India establish an international network aimed at cultivating young leaders worldwide. (Israel Hayom)
  • Modi Meets Israeli Boy Who Survived Terror Attack on Mumbai Jewish Center - Itamar Eichner
    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Wednesday with Moshe Holtzberg, now ten years old, whose parents, Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivka, were murdered in the 2008 terror attack on the Chabad House in Mumbai. Moshe, who was 2 years old at the time, survived the attack thanks to his Indian nanny, Sandra Samuel, who came with him to Israel and was granted Israeli citizenship. (Ynet News)
  • Modi Honored by Indian Community in Israel - Itay Blumenthal
    10,000 members of the Indian community in Israel welcomed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at an event in honor of his visit on Wednesday in Tel Aviv. (Ynet News)
        See also Netanyahu and Modi Meet with the Indian Community in Israel (Prime Minister's Office)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Modi and Netanyahu Begin a Beautiful Friendship - Tunku Varadarajan
    No Indian premier considered visiting Israel for fear of upsetting India's Arab allies - and, thereby, its supply of oil - as well as its sizable Muslim population. In truth, India and Israel have long done clandestine business. Israel helped India with weapons in its war with Pakistan in 1965. India returned the favor in 1967 when it gave Israel spare parts for its Ouragan and Mystere fighter planes. Israel played a key role in helping India win its war with Pakistan in 1999, with its supply of Searcher-1 drones.
        With the global surplus in oil and gas, India no longer fears an Arab backlash to its embrace of Israel. After the Yom Kippur War of 1973, the Saudis ordered India to shut down Israel's Consulate in Bombay or face a cutoff of oil. Indira Gandhi refused, and the country had to resort to a deal with the shah's Iran that involved paying huge sums into a slush fund for a senior member of the shah's household.
        The world's biggest democracy is now unabashedly in Israel's corner. Modi and Netanyahu have formally acknowledged a civilizational bond between two peoples that share many of the same values and all of the same fears. India and Israel are allies for the long haul. The writer is a fellow in journalism at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. (Wall Street Journal )
  • India's Pro-Arab Stance Was Never Rewarded by the Arab World - Harsh V. Pant
    India is no longer initiating anti-Israel resolutions at the UN and has made serious attempts to moderate the Non-Aligned Movement's anti-Israel resolutions. This re-evaluation has been based on a realization that India's largely pro-Arab stance in West Asia has not been adequately rewarded by the Arab world.
        India has received no worthwhile backing from the Arab countries in the resolution of problems it faces in Kashmir. There have been no serious attempts by the Arab world to put pressure on Pakistan to reign in cross-border insurgency in Kashmir. On the contrary, the Arab nations have firmly stood by Pakistan, using the Organization of Islamic Conference to build support for Islamabad and the jihadi groups in Kashmir. (Daily Mail-India)
  • Remembering the Indian Soldiers Who Helped Liberate Jerusalem 100 Years Ago - Lenny Ben-David
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi, thank you for the sacrifices made by your country's soldiers who saved the Jews of the Land of Israel 100 years ago. A cemetery in the Talpiot neighborhood in Jerusalem is the burial site for 79 Indian soldiers who died fighting for the liberation of Jerusalem in 1917.
        Some 95,000 Indian combatants served with the British Army in WWI on the Sinai-Palestine front, and 10% were killed. They fought in crucial battles in Gaza, Jerusalem, Jaffa, Haifa, Nablus and Megiddo. After the war, British and Indian troops remained to police the British Mandate and put down Arab disturbances.
        The author is director of publications at the Jerusalem Center. A former Israeli diplomat, he is author of American Interests in the Holy Land Viewed in Early Photographs and the forthcoming World War I in the Holy Land Viewed in Early Photographs. (Jerusalem Post-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
        See also The Indian Contribution to the Liberation of Haifa during the First World War - Rohini Chatterji
    In 1918, Indian soldiers, fighting alongside British Empire troops as part of the 15th (Imperial Service) Cavalry Brigade, liberated the city of Haifa from the Ottoman Empire in World War I. The Jodhpur Imperial Service Lancers captured the city with the help of the Mysore and Hyderabad Lancers. The Indian Army celebrates Haifa Day every September 23 to remember the 900 soldiers who died in the war. (Huffington Post-India)

Roll Back Iranian Expansionism - Mark Dubowitz (Wall Street Journal)

  • The Islamic Republic of Iran is imperialist, repressive, and - unless we adopt a new strategy - on its way toward possessing nuclear weapons. The U.S. should go on the offensive against the Iranian regime to block the Islamic Republic's pathways to gaining nuclear-tipped missiles.
  • Under the deeply flawed nuclear accord, Tehran does not need to cheat to reach threshold nuclear-weapons capabilities. Merely by waiting for key constraints to sunset, the regime can emerge over the next decade with an industrial-size enrichment program, near-zero breakout time, long-range ballistic missiles, and greater regional dominance.
  • A new U.S. national security directive must systemically dismantle Iranian power country by country in the Middle East. Washington should demolish the Iranian regime's terrorist networks and influence operations, including their presence in Europe and the U.S., and work closely with allied Sunni governments against Iranian subversion of their societies.
  • CIA Director Mike Pompeo is already putting the agency on an aggressive footing against these global networks with the development of a more muscular covert action program.
  • Last but not least, the American pressure campaign should seek to undermine Iran's rulers by strengthening the pro-democracy forces that erupted in Iran in 2009, nearly toppling the regime. Target the regime's soft underbelly: its massive corruption and human-rights abuses.

    The writer is chief executive of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

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