October 9, 2018

In-Depth Issues:

Russian Expert: Israel Will Continue Air Operations Against Iranian Forces in Syria Despite S-300 Deployment (TASS-Russia)
    Israel will continue air operations against Iranian forces and Hizbullah despite Russia's delivery of S-300 missile systems to Syria, former Russian Ambassador to Damascus and political analyst Alexander Zotov said in Moscow on Monday.
    Zotov reminded that the process of handing over S-300 missile systems to the Syrian army will take some time, and that the situation in Syria's airspace will not change quickly.

17 Striking Iranian Truck Drivers Face Death Sentences - Adena Nima (Iran News Wire)
    A court in Qazvin Province in northwest Iran has requested death sentences for 17 striking truckers, the state-run IRNA news agency reported.
    Human rights sources say that more than 300 truckers have been detained during the strike, which has spread to more than 300 cities.
    Iranian truckers see the strike as the only way to protest low and unpaid wages and the high cost of parts and tires.

Incendiary Balloon Found in Jewish Community near Jerusalem (Times of Israel)
    Israel Police neutralized an incendiary device attached to a balloon on Monday in the courtyard of a home in the community of Givat Ze'ev, 5 km. north of Jerusalem.

World Jewish Congress Urges UN to Condemn Hamas for Environmental Crimes - Cassandra Gomes-Hochberg (Jerusalem Post)
    The World Jewish Congress (WJC) submitted a petition with more than 22,000 signatures to the UN condemning Hamas' environmental crimes in southern Israel.
    Hamas has launched kites and incendiary balloons that have "killed thousands of animals, destroyed more than 33,000 hectares of farmland and forests, and released toxic substances into the fragile ecosystem," WJC Executive Director Robert Singer stated.
    "We hope that the UN Environment Program (UNEP) will join us in condemning this environmental warfare and will take all necessary measures to ensure that these illegal activities will be stopped immediately."
    Singer stressed that international humanitarian law explicitly prohibited the destruction of the natural environment in a war conflict.

Israel Develops Bomb-Detecting Robot - Anna Ahronheim (Jerusalem Post)
    Israel Aerospace Industries has developed a robotic scout that can locate and destroy improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and mines before troops reach them, IAI announced on Sunday.
    The system combines a number of different detection devices capable of finding explosives on and under surfaces, and the capability to neutralize them.

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • U.S. Says Iran Has "Unclean Hands" in World Court Battle - Sara Magniette
    The U.S. accused Tehran Monday of having "unclean hands" as it fought an Iranian court bid to unfreeze $2 billion earmarked by Washington for terror victims. The U.S. said Iran's "support for international terrorism," including bombings and airline hijackings, should disqualify it from being heard at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague.
        Iran took Washington to the ICJ in 2016 over a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the $2 billion should go to victims of attacks blamed on the Islamic Republic. The terror attacks whose American victims were to be compensated included the 1983 bombing of a U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, in which 241 soldiers were killed, and the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia.
        Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said: "We owe it to our fallen heroes, their families, and the victims of Iran's terrorist activities to vigorously defend against the Iranian regime's meritless claims this week in The Hague....We will continue to fight against the scourge of Iran's terrorist activities in all venues and will continue to increase the pressure on this outlaw state."  (AFP)
  • Newly Declassified Documents Show Why the U.S. and the Soviets Came Close to War in 1973 - Sergey Radchenko
    New documents collected and translated by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars show how the U.S. and the Soviet Union found themselves on a collision course in the Middle East during the Yom Kippur War in October 1973. On Oct. 24, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger received an alarming letter from the Soviet general secretary, Leonid Brezhnev, demanding that the Israelis, who had reclaimed the initiative on the battlefield after early Egyptian and Syrian gains, be reined in.
        Declassified documents reveal that America increased its security alert level in reaction to intelligence reports of a Soviet ship with nuclear cargo heading for the Egyptian port of Alexandria. We know today that Brezhnev asked the Politburo to consider additional measures, like parking a Soviet naval force off Tel Aviv, or allowing Egypt to strike deep inside Israel with Soviet-supplied rockets. The writer is a professor of international relations at Cardiff University. (New York Times)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Palestinians Riot at Gaza Border as Navy Confronts Palestinian Boats Monday - Judah Ari Gross
    Thousands of Palestinians threw grenades, bombs and rocks and rolled burning tires toward Israeli troops along Gaza's border with Israel on Monday. Meanwhile, dozens of Palestinian boats were intercepted by Israeli Navy boats. (Times of Israel)
        During the riots, a grenade blew up in the hand of the Palestinian trying to throw it at IDF soldiers. Both the Palestinian holding the grenade and others in his vicinity were injured. (Ynet News)
  • Barkan Terrorist Forced Arab Worker to Handcuff Victim
    Ashraf Walid Suleiman Na'alwa, the Palestinian terrorist who murdered two Israelis at the Barkan industrial zone on Sunday, forced an Arab worker at gunpoint to handcuff one of the victims, Kim Levengrond Yehezkel, before shooting her. Yehezkel's body was found with her hands bound by a cable tie. (Ynet News)
  • Israel Calls on UN to Condemn Barkan Terror Attack
    Israel's UN ambassador Danny Danon called on the Security Council on Monday to condemn the Palestinian terror attack at Barkan in the West Bank. He also called on PA President Mahmoud Abbas to condemn the attack. "Instead of preaching to Israel and blocking suggestions to calm the region, [Abbas] should come out clearly and forcefully against the inciters and the terrorists who come from the Palestinian Authority."  (Times of Israel)
  • Israeli Public Broadcaster to European Soccer Association: We Won't Broadcast Games If We Cannot Broadcast to Israeli Communities in West Bank - Amy Spiro
    Israeli public broadcaster Kan said on Monday that it has told the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) that if it cannot broadcast the Israeli team's games in West Bank Israeli communities, it won't air them at all. On Sunday, Yediot Aharonot reported that UEFA told Kan it could not air its games to Israelis living in the West Bank. UEFA said it sold the rights to broadcast to the West Bank to a Qatari company.
        In response, Israeli Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev said Sunday, "Sports organizations do not decide the borders of the State of Israel."  (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
  • U.S. Envoy: Peace Plan Will Focus on Israeli Security But Be Fair to Palestinians - Raphael Ahren
    The forthcoming U.S. peace proposal does not call for a confederation with Jordan, special envoy for international negotiations Jason Greenblatt told the Times of Israel in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly last month. "It will include a resolution to all of the core issues, including the refugee issue, and will...be heavily focused on Israeli security needs. But we also want to be fair to the Palestinians. We have tried hard to find a good balance. Each side will find things in this plan that they don't like. There are no perfect solutions."
        Greenblatt said, "Not every country agrees with everything we do on the Israeli and Palestinian front, but...everybody has a strong desire to work with us, despite the policy differences we may have."
        A senior U.S. official said, "No progress will be made if we don't talk to each other. But we will release the peace plan even if the Palestinian leadership does not talk to us. We think the Palestinian people deserve to see it and decide if it is the right path forward. They certainly should not be prevented from seeing it and considering it. The reality is that we are trying to help them achieve a free society. A leadership that blocks this effort is the opposite of what it means to have a free society."  (Times of Israel)
  • End Funding of Palestinian Terror - Thomas Trask and Sander Gerber
    The Taylor Force Act became law six months ago, and by now the State Department should have sent several unclassified reports to Congress detailing the pay-for-slay program, PA laws supporting it, and U.S. and UN efforts to inform allies how the PA uses foreign aid money.
        In cutting aid to the Palestinian Authority, the administration is showing the Palestinian leadership that actions have consequences. What's missing now is enforcement of the Taylor Force Act and a strong public case by the administration explaining that the U.S. must get out of the business of inadvertently funding Palestinian terror, hate and corruption in the West Bank and Gaza.
        Lt. Gen. Thomas Trask, USAF (ret.), is former Vice Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command and a member of the Jewish Institute for National Security of America's (JINSA) Board of Advisors. Mr. Gerber is a Distinguished Fellow with JINSA's Gemunder Center for Defense and Strategy. (RealClearWorld)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke Monday at the dedication of a restored 1,500-year-old synagogue at the Ein Keshatot archaeological site in the Golan Heights.
  • "Today we see what is happening over the border [in Syria] - Iran's attempts to establish a military presence and the aggression of terrorist fanatics."
  • "Israel on the Golan Heights is a guarantee for stability in the surrounding area. Israel on the Golan Heights is a solid reality based on ancient rights."
  • "Israel on the Golan Heights is a fact that the international community must recognize, and as long as it depends on me, the Golan Heights will always remain under Israeli sovereignty because otherwise we would have Iran and Hizbullah on the shores of the Kinneret."
  • "We will continue to act with determination against Iran's attempts to open an additional front against us on the Golan Heights, and in Syria we will act against all attempts to transfer lethal weapons to Hizbullah in Lebanon. I will discuss these matters with President Putin when I meet with him soon."
  • "I know that President Putin understands my commitment to the security of Israel and I know that he also understands the importance...that we all ascribe to the Golan Heights and to the heritage of Israel."