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Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
February 11, 2021
IDF: Iran Could Develop a Nuclear Bomb within Two Years - Lilach Shoval (Israel Hayom)
Iran could develop a nuclear bomb within two years, IDF Military Intelligence said Tuesday.
It is estimated that Iran can enrich enough uranium required to make one bomb within four months.
It also said the Iranians have not pressed on with the nuclear project since the death of key nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who has not been replaced.
See also IDF: Hizbullah Looking to Spark Escalation - Yoav Zitun (Ynet News)
Hizbullah is looking to initiate a "limited offensive" against Israel for the first time since the Second Lebanon War in 2006, said an IDF intelligence report published Tuesday.
The group has a trained "shock" unit for a limited offensive lasting two to three days, without being dragged into an all-out war.
Damascus Raid Yields Info on Iranian Operations in Syria Against Israel - Hanan Greenwood (Israel Hayom)
Four months ago, a Western intelligence organization conducted a clandestine operation in the heart of Damascus against Unit 840 of Iran's Quds Force, Israeli intelligence website Intelli Times reported several days ago.
During the nighttime operation, operatives raided an apartment in the Sousa neighborhood in northern Damascus, just 500 yards from the Iranian embassy and 3 km. from Syrian President Bashar Assad's palace, and seized information and documents about the activities of the Quds Force in Syria and plans against Israeli targets.
UAE Halts Funding to UN Palestinian Refugee Agency (Reuters)
The United Arab Emirates does not plan to resume funding to UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, which was halted last year, until steps are taken to manage funds more efficiently, a UAE government official said this week.
The UAE, current chair of the UNRWA advisory committee, provided the agency with $50 million in 2019 and $20 million in 2018, but made no contributions in 2020.
Hamas Envoy to Libya Attempted to Smuggle Missiles into Gaza - Samer al-Atrush (The Times-UK)
Hamas used the chaos of Libya's civil war to set up an arms-smuggling group that tried to funnel anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles to Gaza, documents shown to The Times reveal.
The group, set up by Marwan al-Ashqar, the Hamas envoy to Libya, was to divert Libyan arms through Egypt and used middlemen and Hamas militants in Turkey and Qatar.
Ashqar was arrested along with three other Palestinians in 2017 in Tripoli and sentenced to ten years in prison.
Biden Hasn't Called Netanyahu Due to Upcoming Israeli Elections - Herb Keinon (Jerusalem Post)
Why hasn't President Biden called Prime Minister Netanyahu since being sworn into office?
Because the new president does not wish to do anything that could be interpreted as interfering in the current Israeli election campaign. Elections will be held on March 23.
At the same time, Secretary of State Antony Blinken has spoken with Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi twice, U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan's third call in office was to his Israeli counterpart Meir Ben-Shabbat, and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has spoken with Defense Minister Benny Gantz.
Moreover, Biden spoke with Netanyahu on Nov. 20, after the U.S. elections but before the Israeli elections were announced.
Strategic Construction Plans in Jerusalem: Will the Biden Administration Weigh In? - Nadav Shragai (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
The question of the construction of two new neighborhoods in Jerusalem - Givat Hamatos, in the south of the city, and Atarot, in the north - is now on the table as part of contacts with the new U.S. administration.
The Israel Land Authority recently awarded tenders to contractors to build the first 1,200 housing units in Givat Hamatos. Officials in Jerusalem stated that "there is no going back" on the decision, which was delayed for seven years due to political pressure.
Plans call for 2,610 housing units for the Jewish population and more than 700 housing units for Arab residents.
In Atarot, the Ministry of Housing plans for 8,000 housing units for Jews and 1,000 for Arabs on Jewish-owned land at the site of the British-built Jerusalem airport, which was shuttered during the Second Intifada as a result of Palestinian gunfire.
The construction plan there was prepared over 20 years ago and was also delayed due to U.S. and EU political pressure.
Israeli Researchers Develop Revolutionary Diagnostic Blood Test (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
A new and extremely accurate blood test developed by researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has the potential to diagnose a wide array of diseases including cancers, liver diseases, immune disorders and more.
The new approach advanced by Prof. Nir Friedman and Dr. Ronen Sadeh of the Life Sciences Institute and School of Computer Engineering is able to precisely read information from DNA in the blood and use it to determine the nature of the disease or tumor, exactly where in the body it's found, and even how far developed it is.
University of Toronto Grad Student Wins Fight Against Anti-Israel Committee - Sue-Ann Levy (Toronto Sun-Canada)
After fighting for five years against the University of Toronto Graduate Students Union (UTGSU) for endorsing the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, graduate student Chaim Katz was informed that the university's Complaint and Resolution Council for Student Societies had decided that the union's support of a dedicated BDS committee violated its own anti-discrimination policy by encouraging boycotts of just one nation, Israel.
In what B'nai Brith characterized as a "landmark" ruling, the union was ordered to quit using student fees to promote the anti-Israel BDS movement.
Michael Mostyn, CEO of B'nai Brith Canada, noted that the UTGSU is the only student union in Canada that forces all members - even Jewish students - to fund a BDS committee through their student fees.
Pre-Communist Chinese Leader Supported Zionism - Jessica Steinberg (Times of Israel)
A century-old letter from pre-communist Chinese leader Dr. Sun Yat-sen recently surfaced at the National Library of Israel.
Known as the father of the Chinese nation, Sun called Zionism "one of the greatest movements of the present time" in a 1920 letter to N.E.B. Ezra, a prominent Shanghai Zionist publisher and author.
Sun was the first provisional president of the Republic of China, established in 1912 following the fall of the last imperial dynasty.
Sun wrote: "All lovers of Democracy cannot help but support whole-heartedly and welcome with enthusiasm the movement to restore your wonderful and historic nation."
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