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Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
December 17, 2020
Iran Threatens Oil Shipping in the Red Sea - Lenny Ben David (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
On Dec. 14, 2020, the BW Rhine fuel tanker was hit with an explosion while unloading at Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.
It is believed that the Rhine was hit by a robot boat, probably steered by Iran's proxy, the Houthis in Yemen. Several such "suicide boats" have been intercepted in recent months in the Red Sea.
Instructions and intelligence are believed to be transmitted from a "mother ship," the Iranian cargo ship Savitz, anchored in the Red Sea.
Officials from Large Muslim-Majority Country Secretly Visit Israel - Ariel Kahana (Israel Hayom)
A senior adviser to the leader of a large Muslim-majority Asian country that has no diplomatic relations with Israel headed a delegation of senior officials for meetings in Tel Aviv two weeks ago, Israel Hayom has learned.
Saudi Officials: Position on Normalization with Israel Has Changed in Recent Weeks - Daniel Siryoti (Israel Hayom)
According to officials in Riyadh, the Saudi position on the prospect of normalization with Israel has changed in recent weeks.
Diplomats confirmed that officials in Riyadh were instrumental in advancing the peace deal between Israel and Morocco.
IDF Provides Hope for Villagers in Hurricane-Ravaged Honduras - Yaakov Lappin (JNS)
The Israel Defense Forces' National Rescue Unit sent an aid delegation to Honduras in the wake of two Category 4 hurricanes that struck the country in November.
The Israeli delegation helped rebuild the severely damaged village of Cruz de Valencia, refurbishing houses, installing solar lighting, and repairing the water system, enabling hundreds of residents to return to their homes.
Israel Tests Defenses Against Cruise and Ballistic Missiles - Udi Shaham (Jerusalem Post)
The Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) said Tuesday it successfully completed a series of live-fire intercept tests of an advanced version of the David's Sling weapon system against cruise and ballistic missiles.
The tests also demonstrated the capabilities of the Iron Dome system in intercepting UAVs and cruise missiles.
They further demonstrated the interoperability of Israel's multilayered air defenses (Arrow, David's Sling, and Iron Dome) to intercept different threats simultaneously.
The tests were conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA).
Drones Decided the Outcome of the Armenia-Azerbaijan War - Dr. Uzi Rubin (Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies-Bar-Ilan University)
The six-week 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War fought by Armenia and Azerbaijan was the first conflict in which unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) won a war from the air.
Azerbaijan's UAVs obliterated Armenia's ground-based air defenses, after which they systematically decimated Armenia's ground forces, including tanks, artillery pieces, and supply trucks, forcing Armenia to accept a humiliating ceasefire.
Azerbaijan's UAV fleet included Turkish missile-firing aircraft and Israeli suicide drones. Videos showed the destruction of at least two S-300 air defense batteries inside Armenia by Israeli HAROP drones.
The key to Azerbaijan's spectacular victory may have been electronic warfare that blinded Armenian radar.
The war offered a glimpse of future battlefields on which unmanned weapons and electronic warfare might predominate.
The writer was founding director of the Israel Missile Defense Organization, which managed the Arrow program.
Israel's National Cyber Directorate - Joshua Shuman (Media Line-Jerusalem Post)
The Israel National Cyber Directorate (INCD) was created to become involved in the aftermath of cyberattacks.
Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Prof. Isaac Ben-Israel, chairman of Israel's National Council for Research and Development, said, "Israel was the first country to understand and come to the conclusion that cyber...required a national program."
"Israel has many more advanced systems that can be impaired than our neighbors. We created a national program for critical infrastructure like electricity and water, as well as for safeguarding hospitals and transportation."
Inside the directorate in Beersheba, which employs 350 people, the Cyber Emergency Response Team (CERT) handles hundreds of reports about cyberattack attempts daily.
From September 2019 through September 2020, CERT dealt with 10,200 incidents.
A New Challenge to Jordan's Status on the Temple Mount - Nadav Shragai (Israel Hayom)
Morocco's kings, the "defenders of Islam's holy sites in Jerusalem," have led the Jerusalem Committee of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (formerly the Organization of the Islamic Conference) for decades.
Normalization of ties with Israel may enable Morocco to improve its standing at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount. Morocco has donated dozens of prayer rugs to mosques at the site, and has transferred funds, through the Jerusalem Committee, to renovate homes in the area surrounding the Western Wall.
Jordan, the current "guardian" of the Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, is more concerned than ever. Jordan's status on the Temple Mount is anchored in the peace deal it signed with Israel in 1994.
The Temple Mount in Jerusalem: From Religious Conflict to Religious Normalization - Nadav Shragai (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
Jerusalem is enshrined in the Muslim tradition, alongside Mecca and Medina, as one of the three destinations that every Muslim is tasked with visiting.
The possibility that we will soon witness crowds of Muslims visiting Jerusalem and the Temple Mount requires the State of Israel to prepare itself.
Guardian Report Ignores Israel's Need to Prevent Terror Attacks - Galia Palmer (HonestReporting)
An article by Peter Beaumont in the Guardian on Nov. 29 on "Military Invasions of Palestinian Homes" is based on a report by "Breaking the Silence," an NGO with a history of spreading anti-Israel smears.
A more accurate description of the activity described would be "arrests." Units in the West Bank are sent to enter homes in order to arrest known or suspected perpetrators of terror and violence.
As a combat soldier currently serving in the Israeli military explained: "We have to go in and do our job, and it's going to cause some discomfort for whoever is in the house, whoever isn't the suspect." The IDF is fulfilling its obligation to keep Israeli citizens safe.
The Guardian cites a local imam who claims that the IDF's arrest raids are really "to scare everyone. To show who is in charge." But this does not align with reality.
As soldiers who have served in the IDF can testify, troops are always given a specific name and pictures before entering any home. Soldiers never get orders just to go in and look for trouble.
Soldiers are regularly instructed not to take anything unnecessary from homes, and those who break these rules are typically sentenced to time in military jail.
Non-Citizens Now Able to Do Israeli National Service - Sarah Ben-Nun (Jerusalem Post)
Jews without Israeli citizenship will be able to do National Service (sherut leumi) thanks to new regulations passed on Monday in the Knesset that will go into effect on Sep. 1.
Any Jew who is eligible for Aliyah based on the Law of Return, or is participating in a program like Masa or Taglit-Birthright Israel, has the option to fill any National Service position within Israel for 12 months.
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