Hizbullah and Iran behind Yemeni Missiles Targeting Saudi Arabia - Uzi Rubin (Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies-Bar-Ilan University)
In a CNN interview on Nov. 6, Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel Jubair asserted that a ballistic missile launched from Yemen towards Riyadh International Airport "was an Iranian missile...launched by Hizbullah."
He said the missile was manufactured in Iran, disassembled for smuggling into Yemen, and reassembled by Iranian Revolutionary Guards and Hizbullah.
For the past two years, Hizbullah has been supporting the Houthi insurgents in Yemen, from where ballistic missiles have been regularly launched against Saudi Arabia's major cities.
The November missile attack on Riyadh was the fourth such attack this year.
Saudi Arabia has acquired a substantial number of Patriot missile batteries and is using them extensively to defend its cities.
The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington reports numerous successful interceptions of missiles in Saudi Arabia.
The writer, founding director of the Israel Missile Defense Organization which managed the Arrow program, is a senior research associate at the BESA Center.
Russian Military Working on Deal to Use Egyptian Air Bases (Reuters)
Russia's government published a draft agreement between Russia and Egypt on Thursday allowing both countries to use each other's air space and air bases for their military planes.
Palestinian Terrorist Leila Khaled Turned Back at Rome Airport (Elder of Ziyon)
Palestinian airplane hijacker Leila Khaled, a member of the PFLP terror group, was not allowed to leave Leonardo da Vinci International Airport and was forced to return to Amman, Jordan, on Tuesday.
After she spoke at the European Parliament in September, the backlash was fierce and the Parliament passed a motion not to allow members of known terror organizations to speak there again.
In an era of Islamist bombers in European cities, it was realized that treating one of the earliest modern terrorists as a hero was not a good message to send.
U.S. Medical Diagnostic
Firm to Use Israeli Tech to Help Doctors Assess Stroke - Shoshanna Solomon (Times of Israel)
MedyMatch Technology of Israel, which has developed an artificial intelligence-based software to help clinicians assess head trauma or stroke where intracranial hemorrhage is suspected, has entered a partnership with GE Healthcare, a subsidiary of General Electric that manufactures CT image machines.
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- Egypt President Gives Forces 3 Months to Calm Restive Sinai
After the worst terrorist attack in Egypt's modern history at a Sufi mosque in northern Sinai, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi gave his security forces a three-month deadline to crush the insurgency in Sinai. In a televised ceremony marking Muhammad's birthday on Wednesday, Sissi said,
"I am mandating [Chief of Staff] Maj.-Gen. Mohammed Farid Hegazy before you and the entire people of Egypt to restore security and stability in Sinai. With God's benevolence and your efforts and sacrifices, you and the police will restore security and use all brute force, all brute force." (AP-New York Times)
See also The War on Terrorism in Sinai: A Watershed? - Yoram Schweitzer and Ofir Winter
Egypt is capable of meeting the current challenge from Islamic State from the moment it decides the task is one of national urgency. It can mobilize the necessary resources, undertake the required organizational moves, allocate the requisite manpower, take the vital socioeconomic steps, and open itself to essential international aid. Yoram Schweitzer heads the Program on Terrorism and Low Intensity Conflict at INSS, where Dr. Ofir Winter is a research fellow.
(Institute for National Security Studies-Tel Aviv University)
- Palestinians Delay Gaza Handover as Unity Deal Founders - Adel Zaanoun
Rival Palestinian factions agreed Wednesday to postpone the handover of control over Gaza from Hamas to Fatah as they accused each other of not respecting an Egyptian-brokered reconciliation deal.
Sharp disagreements remained over the fate of public employees in Gaza and security control of the enclave. On Wednesday, PA employees were prevented by Hamas from returning to work at a number of ministries in Gaza. (AFP)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
- Netanyahu Invited to Address EU Foreign Ministers - Herb Keinon
EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini announced Tuesday that she has invited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address EU foreign ministers in Brussels on Dec. 11.
A senior diplomatic official said Netanyahu will tell European leaders that their obsessive focus on the settlements is "ridiculous," remind them that the Arab-Israeli conflict predated the settlements by 50 years, and say that 85% of the settlements are in settlement blocs that "everyone knows will be part of Israel."
In addition, Netanyahu will point out that "we in Israel are the future, we will bring you water, technology and security against terrorists - we have blocked 30 to 40 major attacks in Europe. You ask your people whether they would rather have that, or Ramallah." (Jerusalem Post)
- Israel Eases Restrictions on U.S.-Bound Gazan Travelers, and Two Disappear
Israel on Wednesday launched a program to provide shuttle service for Gazans who need to travel to the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem. Israel had barred Gazans from entering Israel for visa interviews at the U.S. Consulate after some applicants fled into hiding in Israel or the West Bank. During Wednesday's pilot program involving 100 Palestinians on two buses, two Palestinians disappeared.
(Times of Israel)
- Saudi TV Host Calls to Allow Israeli Teams to Compete in World Tournaments - Anthony Harwood
Saudi Arabian TV host Waleed Al-Faraj, speaking on MBC, the Arab world's most popular channel, called for Israeli teams to be allowed to compete in sports tournaments after seven Israeli chess players submitted visa requests to play in a tournament in Riyadh next month.
Al-Faraj said it was time for Saudi Arabia to throw open its sports competitions to everyone, whatever their country of origin. The writer is a former foreign editor of the Daily Mail (UK).
- Iran Is Applying the Hizbullah Model to the Middle East - Laila Bassam and Tom Perry
Hizbullah has fought in Syria and Iraq, trained other groups in those countries, and inspired other forces such as Iran-allied Houthis waging a war in Yemen.
The U.S. says Iran is "applying what you might call a Hizbullah model to the Middle East - in which they want governments to be weak, they want governments to be dependent on Iran for support," White House National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said in October.
"So, what is most important, not just for the United States but for all nations, is to confront the scourge of Hizbullah and to confront the scourge of the Iranians and the IRGC who sustain Hizbullah's operations," he told Alhurra, a U.S.-funded Arabic-language news network.
"Hizbullah has gained from the experience of working with armies and managing numerous weapons systems simultaneously" including "armored vehicles, intelligence, and drones: all specialties of conventional armies," said a commander in a regional alliance fighting in Syria.
With Iranian support, Hizbullah has raised and trained new Syrian militias including the National Defense Forces, which number in the tens of thousands, and a Shi'ite militia known as the Rida force, recruited from Shi'ite villages.
- Remembering the Ethnic Cleansing of the Middle East's Jews - Tzahi Gavrieli
My family was expelled from Iraq in 1951, like hundreds of thousands of Jews expelled from other Arab countries. In 1948, the year Israel was declared a state, 265,000 Jews lived in Morocco, 150,000 in Iraq, 140,000 in Algeria, 100,000 in Egypt, 100,000 in Tunisia, 55,000 in Lebanon, 40,000 in Libya, 30,000 in Syria and thousands more throughout the Middle East and North Africa, for a total of 880,000. Shortly thereafter, over 850,000 Jews were expelled from the countries they called home.
My family's expulsion was preceded by years of persecution.
My grandmother would tell me about the Farhud in June 1941, a two-day pogrom against Iraq's Jews. 179 were killed, 2,100 were wounded, 242 children were orphaned, and more than 50,000 households and businesses were ransacked. In Aleppo, Syria, in 1947, 75 Jews were murdered, a fifth-century synagogue was destroyed, and hundreds of homes were devastated.
The government of Israel has dedicated November 30 as a day marking "Jews who were forced to flee Arab countries."
The writer is Director of the National Campaign for Countering Delegitimization and Deputy Director-General at the Israel Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy.
See also Jewish Refugees Expelled from Arab Lands and from Iran (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
An Open Letter to Mandla Mandela - Dr. Avraham Neguise (Times of Israel)
- Dear Mandla Mandela, your grandfather Nelson Mandela was a man who always listened, even to his opponents, and fought hard for dialogue and understanding. It appears that you have not inherited these vital qualities. In recent comments during your visit to the Palestinian Authority, you claimed that Israel is the "worst version of Apartheid."
- You made no attempt on this visit to meet with any Israeli official, organization or individual. If you had, you would have found that Israel is actually the opposite of Apartheid, it is a story of liberation, emancipation and anti-colonization.
- Unfortunately, even while continually extending our hand in peace and friendship to those whose ancestors came to our region as an occupying and colonizing force, our opponents and enemies continue to seek our destruction.
- The Jewish people were the colonized, not the colonizers; the indigenous, not the occupiers; and the liberators and not the conquerors of this land.
- Comparing Israel - a nation that took in more refugees per capita than any nation in history, and where people of any religion, ethnicity and background can reach every level of office - to Apartheid dishonors your grandfather's legacy.
- I invite you personally to visit Israel, to see for yourself how hopelessly far from reality is the image you are perpetrating, and hear, perhaps for the first time, the story of a people, who, like yours, successfully threw off oppressive foreign colonialism and strove towards national liberation in their historic, ancestral and indigenous homeland.
The writer is an Ethiopian-born Member of Knesset, Chairman of the Knesset Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs, and Chairman of the Knesset Caucus for Relations between Israel and African Countries.
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