September 12, 2022

In-Depth Issues:

Mossad Head: Israel Has Thwarted Dozens of Terror Attacks Against Israelis Worldwide - Yonah Jeremy Bob (Jerusalem Post)
    The Mossad thwarted dozens of terror attacks against Israelis and Jews worldwide, Mossad chief David Barnea revealed on Monday.
    "We thwarted dozens of Iranian terror attacks. We stopped attacks in Cyprus against a businessman; in Turkey, we stopped attacks against businessmen and diplomats" and ordinary visitors, and "in Colombia we saved a businessman," as well as in many other places.
    "This is state terror ordered by leader [Ayatollah Khamenei], perpetrated by the IRGC" and other Iranian security organizations.
    Over the past few months, Israeli intelligence thwarted a number of attempted terror attacks on Israelis and Jews in Turkey and Greece that were operated by Iranian terror cells.

Iran Says It Has Developed Drone "Designed to Hit Tel Aviv, Haifa" (Reuters)
    Iran has developed an advanced long-range suicide drone "designed to hit Israel's Tel Aviv, Haifa," Iran's ground forces chief Brig-Gen. Kiomars Heidari said Monday.

Video: Rare Document from First Temple Period Returned to Israel (Israel Antiquities Authority)
    The Israel Antiquities Authority has succeeded in repatriating a First Temple-period document, dated to the late seventh or early sixth century BCE, written in ancient Hebrew script.
    In 2018, Professor Shmuel Ahituv encountered a photograph of the document and the person who owned it was located in Montana, USA.
    The owner explained that the papyrus was given to his mother when she visited Jerusalem in 1965 by Joseph Sa'ad, Curator of the Rockefeller Museum, and Halil Iskander Kandu, a well-known antiquities dealer from Bethlehem, who many years ago sold thousands of Dead Sea scroll fragments.
    Back home, his mother hung the framed scroll fragment on the wall.
    The Antiquities Authority persuaded the owner to transfer the fragile document to Israel, where it would be conserved in climate-controlled conditions.
    Dr. Joe Uziel, Head of the Dead Sea Scrolls Unit of the Israel Antiquities Authority, said, "Our collection is made up of 25,000 fragments which compose 1,000 manuscripts. Most of these manuscripts date to the Second Temple period 2,000 years ago and afterward."
    "But what we are looking at here are three documents, written on papyrus, which date back to the First Temple period - 2,700 years ago."

Israeli Upgrade Will Give U.S. Navy's Super Hornets Pinpoint Accuracy - Caleb Larson (National Interest)
    The U.S. Navy's F/A-18 Super Hornets just completed initial flight testing with the LITENING advanced targeting pod.
    Israel's Rafael defense corporation developed the original LITENING I pod for the Israeli Air Force.
    In the mid-1990s, Northrop Grumman further refined the targeting pod for use on American planes.
    Rafael says it has sold over 900 targeting pods to customers worldwide.

Flaws in Conventional Thinking about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict - Maj.-Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen (Israel Hayom)
    As the Palestinian Authority loses control over its cities, the terrorist organizations in Judea and Samaria are getting stronger.
    The new terrorist threat should have Israel rethink its policies since the Oslo Accords that came into effect in the 1990s and were supposed to usher in a new era of peace.
    One rationale was that separation from the Palestinians was a prerequisite for any resolution of the conflict. In northern Samaria, the IDF pulled back from Jenin in 1996 and uprooted several Jewish communities in northern Samaria in 2005.
    In both cases, this turned the area into terrorist hotbeds that threatened Israelis on the coastal plain, much like the Gaza disengagement that turned that enclave into an even greater threat to Israel.
    Thus, terrorist hotbeds are the direct results of the void created by the lack of Israeli troops and civilians in the area.
    The writer, a senior research fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, served in the IDF for 42 years, commanding troops in battle on the Egyptian and Syrian fronts.

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Israel Watches Closely as West Bank Seethes - Ahmad Melhem
    Violence and armed clashes across the West Bank, which for months had been limited to the Jenin refugee camp and the old city of Nablus, have now expanded to other areas including the Balata refugee camp in Nablus, al-Faraa camp near Tubas, Rujib near Nablus, Silwad near Ramallah, and Burqin and Qabatiya near Jenin. On Sept. 4, a group of Palestinians opened fire at a bus carrying Israeli soldiers near Hamra in the Jordan Valley, wounding seven. (Al-Monitor)
        See also Is Another Intifada Just around the Corner? - Prof. Eyal Zisser
    Not a day goes by without violent incidents between the IDF and Palestinian mobs or without some raid in a Palestinian village turning into a battlefield with hundreds of residents clashing with troops, who respond with fire. Not a day goes by without some stabbing attack or ramming incident. Jenin, the Jordan Valley, the Binyamin region, Nablus, Hebron, and the Jerusalem area (including its Arab neighborhoods) have all seen daily occurrences of violence.
        Total calm is something our generation is unlikely to see. Israel has recently marked 55 years of holding Judea and Samaria, a period that is much greater than that of the British Mandate and the Jordanian occupation combined.
        The writer is a lecturer in the Middle East History Department at Tel Aviv University. (Israel Hayom)
  • New U.S. Military Testing Facility Coming to Saudi Arabia - Courtney Kube
    U.S. Central Command is developing plans to open a new military testing facility in Saudi Arabia. The facility will test new technologies to combat the growing threat from unmanned drones, and it will develop and test integrated air and missile defense capabilities. Saudi Arabia has large open spaces owned by the government and the ability to test methods of electronic warfare, like signal-jamming and directed energy, without interfering with nearby population centers, U.S. defense officials said. (NBC News)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israel Security Agency: Over 300 "Significant" Terror Attacks Foiled This Year - Emanuel Fabian
    Israel Security Agency chief Ronen Bar said on Sunday, "We foiled 312 significant terrorist attacks, stabbings, shootings, suicide attacks, and have made 2,110 arrests" since the beginning of the year. Bar cited an increase in shooting attacks against troops and civilians in the West Bank - 130 this year so far, compared to 98 in 2021 and 19 in 2020.
        Bar added, "Iran's influence is evident in the terror arena wherever it is, in the countries [surrounding Israel], in the Palestinian arena, in Israel, and in cyberspace....Iran is the origin of most of the [terror] phenomena in the region and it also has a significant part in the instability we are experiencing in the Palestinian arena. Iran...is the underlying problem of the Middle East."  (Times of Israel)
  • Israeli Soldier Wounded in Palestinian Stabbing Attack on Friday
    An Israeli soldier was wounded on Friday in a stabbing attack near Kiryat Arba on the outskirts of the West Bank city of Hebron. The Palestinian assailant was shot dead by another soldier. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israeli Security Forces Thwart "Significant" Terror Attack in Tel Aviv - Yaron Doron
    A Palestinian man from Nablus in the West Bank was arrested on Thursday in Jaffa after he was found to be in possession of an AK-47 automatic rifle and two explosive devices. He later admitted that he was planning to carry out a major attack. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israeli Driver Injured after Shots Fired at Vehicle near Palestinian Town
    An Israeli man was injured by window glass after shots were fired at his vehicle near the West Bank Palestinian town of Hawara early Friday. (Times of Israel)
  • U.S. Warns Palestinian Authority Is Failing Fiscal Transparency Requirements - Ben Samuels
    According to the State Department's annual fiscal transparency report, the Palestinian Authority has failed to provide complete data on its budget within a reasonable period. Further, the PA's supreme audit institution lacked independence and its audit reports were not publicly available within a reasonable period and failed to cover the entire annual executed budget. (Ha'aretz)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
  • A New Iran Deal Won't Prevent an Iranian Bomb - Dennis Ross
    Iran now has two bombs worth of uranium enriched to 60% - close to weapons grade - and continues to install and operate advanced centrifuges that can enrich it far more quickly. Rafael Grossi, director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), says this enriched uranium and Iran's production of uranium metal have "no justifiable civilian purpose."
        Iran has now developed nuclear know-how, so it is already a threshold nuclear weapons state. And Iran will have zero breakout time when the JCPOA's limits on its nuclear program lapse at the end of 2030. A resurrected JCPOA essentially buys time until then. It would defer the Iranian nuclear threat, not end it.
        Israel - which believes a nuclear-armed Iran is an existential threat to the Jewish state - will become far more likely to launch major military strikes against the Iranian nuclear infrastructure if it sees the U.S. and others are ready to live with an Iran with nukes.
        Similarly, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia has declared that if Iran has a nuclear weapons capability, the kingdom will get one as well. Will Egypt and Turkey be far behind? If Iran develops a nuclear weapon, the odds are high it will produce a nuclear-armed Middle East - and the risk of a nuclear war in a conflict-ridden region will grow.
        It is still not too late to prevent Iran from translating its threshold capability into a weapon. But it requires that Iranian leaders believe they really are risking their entire nuclear infrastructure if they keep moving toward a bomb. Today, they do not believe Washington will ever use force against them.
        The writer is a distinguished fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. (Foreign Policy)
  • Palestinian Anger at Mahmoud Abbas Hits Israel's Security - Danny Zaken
    Since the beginning of the year, Israeli security forces have seen a sharp increase in terrorist incidents - including stone throwing on main highways, as well as more serious incidents like shooting, stabbing and car ramming attacks. One leading researcher relates the uptick in terror to the deterioration of the Palestinian economy, which has yet to recover from the Covid pandemic. The Palestinians are completely dependent on foreign aid, which has decreased by 65%, from NIS 2.9 billion in 2016 to NIS 1 billion in 2021.
        I asked Amjad, a Palestinian laborer from Hebron who has been working in Israel for years, about his opposition to the announced plan to transfer his salary through Palestinian banks instead of continuing to receive it in cash. "You are cooperating with the corruption of the Palestinian Authority, and so are the Americans. Every dime that enters the Palestinian Authority goes to the corrupt. What do they do for us? Roads? Schools? Nothing. It's all from foreign money or from Israel, and what comes to them goes into their pockets." These harsh sentiments are echoed in countless conversations, and investigations by international media substantiate the complaints.
        PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas' sons, Yasser and Tarek, are wealthy businessmen. Yasser founded companies in the fields of computers and communications. Reuters found that USAID tenders worth millions of dollars in a wide variety of fields somehow fell "accidentally" into Yasser's hands. Foreign Policy magazine noted Yasser Abbas' monopoly on the sale of American cigarettes.
        Tarek is the owner of the advertising and public relations company Sky, the largest in the PA. Almost every product marketed by international companies in the Palestinian Authority passes through it. Sky also holds the exclusive franchise for advertisements on Palestinian state television. (Globes)

  • The IDF Rules of Engagement

  • Israel Rejects U.S. Call for Review of IDF Rules of Engagement in West Bank - Barak Ravid
    Israel on Wednesday rejected the U.S. call for it to review the Israel Defense Forces' rules of engagement in the West Bank in the wake of the killing of Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh on May 11, 2022, during a heated exchange of fire with Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists in Jenin. On Sep. 5, a senior IDF officer said that the final investigation concluded that Abu Akleh was most likely killed in "unintentional fire" from an Israeli soldier who did not realize she was a journalist. The officer said the investigation found no violation of the rules of engagement.
        Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid expressed "sorrow" over Abu Akleh's death on Wednesday, but said "no one will dictate our rules of engagement to us, when we are the ones fighting for our lives." Another senior Israeli official said, "Nobody is going to change the rules of engagement because of U.S. political pressure....The Biden administration is not really pressing us because they understand we are not going to change the rules of engagement."  (Axios)
  • Maybe Israel Should Review Its Rules of Engagement with U.S. - Melanie Phillips
    In the wake of the death of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, the Biden administration publicly demanded that Israel change its rules of engagement. What extraordinary arrogance. It's for a sovereign nation alone to decide on its own rules of engagement. Israel, whose record in minimizing civilian casualties in military operations is far better than that of the U.S. or any other country, needs no lessons in avoiding such tragedies.
        The writer is a columnist for The Times-UK. (Israel Hayom)
  • A Reality Check on Civilian Casualties - Ben-Dror Yemini
    A few years ago, former Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey said that when he wants to learn how to protect innocent lives, he learns from Israel, who does it best. Dempsey's statement is backed by every respectable research that has examined the data on uninvolved civilians who were wounded or killed during armed conflicts.
        According to research data from the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University, 71% of casualties in counterterrorism operations conducted by the U.S. during the "war on terror" era were uninvolved civilians. Fewer innocent lives are lost during operations conducted by the IDF, compared to those carried out by the U.S. military. (Ynet News)

The U.S. Administration Isn't Listening to Israel on Iran - Amb. Ron Dermer interviewed by Dr. Michael Makovsky (JINSA)
  • For the past year and a half, the U.S. has committed to a policy of appeasement versus Iran. The Iranians are not facing much pressure. The Chinese are buying all their oil, America is not enforcing a lot of the secondary sanctions, and there is clearly no credible military threat.
  • Iran has been in the driver's seat in this whole process. I don't believe the Americans are prepared to walk away. It doesn't matter how many people Iran tries to kill on American soil. It doesn't matter that they are launching cyberattacks on America's European allies.
  • The U.S. argument is that Iran is a terrible actor. We know this deal doesn't cover a lot of the malign activities of Iran, but if Iran had nuclear weapons it would be even worse. There is only one problem with this argument. Their deal does not block Iran from developing nuclear weapons. It paves the path. That's the great lie that the deal is based on, in addition to the lie that Iran does not have or want to have a nuclear weapons program.
  • This deal is a disaster. Israelis are against it. Arabs who live in the region are against it. We're the guinea pigs in what was a failed experiment and would be a failed experiment again. It would unleash Iran on the whole region and not actually solve the nuclear problem.
  • President Biden is a friend of Israel, he has supported Israel in so many ways. But the American people should understand why we in Israel, why our Arab neighbors who we've made peace with, oppose the deal. The administration isn't listening. They're pretending to listen, but I have not seen any evidence that they're listening to what Israel is saying because they remain on this course despite it all.
  • The core issue is that in their minds they do not want a military confrontation. And instead of realizing that a military confrontation is prevented by the Americans putting a credible military threat on Iran, they think a military confrontation is prevented by rushing into a diplomatic agreement.

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