May 8, 2023
A project of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Israel's Global Embassy for National Security and Applied Diplomacy
Dan Diker, President - Yechiel Leiter, Director General

In-Depth Issues:

Israeli Defense Minister: Iran Has Amassed Enough Uranium for 5 Nuclear Weapons (Times of Israel)
    Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Thursday said Iran has amassed enough fissile material for five nuclear bombs.
    "Make no mistake - Iran will not be satisfied by a single nuclear bomb. So far, Iran has gained material enriched to 20% and 60% for five nuclear bombs," Gallant told his Greek counterpart Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos during a visit to Athens.
    Western powers warn there can be no civilian use for uranium enriched to such levels.
    Gallant added: "Over the past six months, Iran has sent aircraft to Syria on a weekly basis, delivering weapons to be used for terrorism."
    "We will not allow Iran to establish military power in Syria, or to build a 'highway' for the delivery of advanced weapons to Lebanon."

Ukraine Hopes to Protect Kyiv with Israeli Alert System by Summer - Dan Williams (Reuters)
    An Israeli-designed missile detection system that would give Ukrainians more time to take shelter from Russian missile attacks is being tested in Kyiv and may be activated within two months, Ukraine's ambassador to Israel Yevgen Korniychuk said on Thursday. Five other cities would follow.
    The system, fed with data from Ukrainian radars, is now being tested.
    See also Ukraine Receives Three Israeli Radars to Detect Russian Missiles (Euromaiden Press-Ukraine)
    On May 4, Ukraine received the first three of 16 Israeli RADA ieMHR radars, crowdfunded by Lithuanians.

French Parliament Rejects Resolution Calling Israel "Apartheid" (European Jewish Congress-Belgium)
    The French National Assembly on Thursday rejected a resolution condemning "Israel's institutionalization of an apartheid regime" by a 199-71 vote.

Israel Hands over Jordanian MP Who Smuggled 200 Guns into West Bank - Emanuel Fabian (Times of Israel)
    Jordanian parliamentarian Imad al-Adwan, detained at the Allenby Bridge border crossing on April 22 for attempting to smuggle over 200 firearms into the West Bank, was handed over to Jordanian authorities on Sunday to face trial back home.
    The Israel Security Agency said al-Adwan had smuggled various types of contraband including firearms into the West Bank 12 times starting in February 2022, using his diplomatic passport, and received "large sums of money."
    Jordanian authorities detained a number of suspects who were involved in the smuggling.
    See also Jordan Lifts Immunity of Lawmaker Repatriated from Israel (Al-Araby Al-Jadeed-UK)
    The Jordanian speaker of parliament, Ahmad al-Safadi, said Jordanian parliamentarian Imad al-Adwan's parliamentary immunity has been revoked as the State Security Court prosecutor requested, meaning he could face prosecution. A Jordanian security source said the case will be brought to trial.

Israel Discussing Possible Direct Haj Flights to Saudi Arabia - Dan Williams (Reuters)
    Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen voiced hope on Wednesday that Saudi authorities would admit direct flights for Israeli Muslim citizens who want to make the Haj pilgrimage to Mecca, which takes place next month.
    Cohen told Israel's Army Radio, "This issue is under discussion. I cannot tell you if there is any progress. But with that, I am optimistic that we can advance peace with Saudi Arabia."

Border Police Pay Tribute after Army Dog Killed in Nablus Operation (Jerusalem Post)
    Israel's armed forces paid tribute to "Django," a Border Police dog killed during an exchange of heavy fire Thursday in a special operation in Nablus against the terrorists who murdered Lucy, Maya, and Rina Dee.
    Django prevented the fighters from being harmed by throwing himself "into the line of fire as a shield to selflessly save his partners," a Border Police statement said.
    Seven-year-old Django was an active team member in hundreds of counter-terrorism operations.

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • U.S. National Security Advisor: President Biden Will Recognize Israel's "Freedom of Action" Against Iran Nuclear Threat
    On May 4, U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told the Washington Institute: "We have made clear to Iran that it can never be permitted to obtain a nuclear weapon. As President Biden has repeatedly reaffirmed, he will take the actions that are necessary to stand by this statement, including by recognizing Israel's freedom of action."  (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
  • Iran Hid Weapons among Earthquake Aid to Target U.S. Troops, Leak Says - Alex Horton
    Iran and its proxies are enabling attacks on U.S. troops in Syria through clandestine weapons shipments hidden within post-earthquake humanitarian aid, according to classified U.S. intelligence and an Israeli military official. A top-secret document circulated on the Discord messaging platform, which has not been previously disclosed, was obtained by the Washington Post. It amplifies earlier reports of Iran's efforts to conceal military equipment within aid deliveries to Syria after the February disaster.
        In the earthquake's immediate aftermath, Iran and its affiliates moved quickly. A militia group in Iraq "orchestrated the transfer of rifles, ammunition and 30 UAVs hidden in aid convoys to support future attacks on U.S. forces in Syria," the leaked document contends. It notes that an Iranian Quds Force officer maintained a list of "hundreds" of vehicles and goods that entered Syria from Iraq after the earthquake. (Washington Post)
  • Iranian President Affirms Coordination with Palestinian Terrorist Groups
    Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi met with leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad on May 4 during his trip to Syria. "The Palestinian leaders thanked Iran for its support to the resistance and the Palestinian cause," said Palestinian official Khaled Abdul-Majid. "Today more than ever, the unity and cohesion of the resistance forces, the region and the Islamic world is necessary to accelerate the defeat of the Zionist regime and the liberation of the holy Quds [Jerusalem]," Raisi said.
        FDD Senior Advisor Richard Goldberg said, "In case there was any doubt who's calling the shots in this multi-front campaign against Israel, Raisi is pulling back the curtain on Iran's orchestrating role. Simply describing Hamas or Islamic Jihad as 'Palestinian' organizations without prefacing that with 'Iran-sponsored' or 'Iran-directed' is outdated and misleading." Enia Krivine, Senior Director of FDD's Israel Program and National Security Network, said, "It is clear that the mullahs of Iran are willing to fight this war to the last Palestinian."  (Foundation for Defense of Democracies)
  • Israel and Palestinian Authority in Secret Talks to Extract Gas off Gaza Coast - Mohammed Najib
    The Israeli government is conducting secret talks with the Palestinian Authority to extract gas from a field off the coast of Gaza known as Gaza Marine. Israel believes the step will benefit the Palestinians economically, which may contribute to reducing security tension.
        Sources said that while only states have the right to manage gas fields legally, the solution is for Egypt to sponsor the gas extraction project. Israeli-Egyptian talks on the matter were held recently with the participation of senior officials. (Arab News-Saudi Arabia)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • "Iran Is 50 North Koreas," Netanyahu Tells Congressional Delegation
    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a visiting U.S. Congressional delegation on Thursday in response to a question about Iran: "Iran is 50 North Koreas. It is not merely a neighborhood bully like the dynasty that rules North Korea. This is an ideological force that views us, Israel, as the small Satan, and views you as the Great Satan. To have Iran being able to threaten every city in the United States with nuclear blackmail is a changing of history."  (Prime Minister's Office)
  • Two Palestinian Gunmen Killed near Tulkarm - Emanuel Fabian
    Two Palestinian gunmen behind a shooting attack on Tuesday near Avnei Hefetz in Samaria were killed by Israeli troops on Saturday in the Nur Shams refugee camp near Tulkarm. They were identified as Hamza Jamil Kharyoush and Samer Salah al-Shafei, both 22, members of the newly organized Tulkarm Battalion of Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Police published images of two assault rifles, magazines, and a military vest seized from the men. (Times of Israel)
  • Israeli Soldier Hurt in Stabbing Attack at Huwara Checkpoint - Elisha Ben Kimon
    A Palestinian woman, Eman Ziyad Ahmed Odeh, 26, stabbed an Israeli soldier at a military checkpoint outside Huwara on Thursday before being shot dead by the victim and another soldier. (Ynet News)
  • Israel Arrests Six PFLP Members for Attempted Bus Bombing - Yonah Jeremly Bob
    Six members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) have been arrested for an attempted bus bombing in Beitar Illit on March 9, and for planning a series of future explosive attacks, the Israel Security Agency announced Monday. Many other shooting attacks and ongoing attempts to purchase weapons were also thwarted by the arrests. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Israel Transfers More Palestinian Authority Funds to Terror Victims' Families
    Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich on Wednesday ordered the transfer of $1 million to families of terror victims, from funds originally earmarked for the Palestinian Authority. Some $38 million was given to victims of terror in January, from what Israel collects in taxes on behalf of the PA. According to a court ruling, the PA can be held liable for terrorist acts due to its "pay-to-slay" stipends. (i24News)
  • Funding Approved to Restore Israel's Ancient Capital in Samaria
    Israel's government on Sunday approved $8.8 million for the restoration and development of the Sebastia archaeological site in Samaria, the capital of the Kingdom of Israel in the 9th and 8th centuries BCE, where the Palestinian Authority is illegally trying to take control. The PA recently declared Sebastia a Palestinian heritage site and has severely damaged antiquities there. The site is in Area C, under full Israeli control. The new funding will be used to establish a tourism center, build new access roads, and increase law enforcement to prevent illegal activity. (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
  • Rabbi Leo Dee Responds after Murderers of His Wife and Daughters Were Eliminated - Calev Ben-David
    A month after three members of the Dee family were murdered in a terrorist attack, the bereaved father and husband, Rabbi Leo Dee, spoke with i24News after hearing that Israeli forces killed those responsible. "There's a great level of comfort knowing that these men have been eliminated and that the world can sleep a little easier tonight," Dee said. "Be it in New York, London, Tel Aviv, or Jerusalem, there are three fewer murderers funded by Iran out on the streets, and that's a joyous comfort to know."
        Rabbi Dee said he wishes to speak to the families of the terrorists. "All my kids have agreed, the four of us would like to sit in front of the parents of these terrorists, the brothers, sisters, uncles, or aunts, and ask them...what did they expect to achieve with this attack?"  (i24News)
  • Leah Goldin Demands Son's Remains before Israel Returns Body of Islamic Jihad Terrorist
    The mother of an Israeli soldier whose body is being held by Hamas in Gaza is demanding that the government not return the corpse of Islamic Jihad terrorist Khader Adnan until her son and other captives are returned. Leah Goldin, the mother of Lt. Hadar Goldin, who was killed in action in Gaza in 2014, told Israel's Channel 12 that the bodies of her son and Staff Sgt. Oron Shaul are being held to this day by Hamas. (JNS)
        See also Palestinians Demand Israel Hand Over Body of Prominent Prisoner - Raja Abdulrahim (New York Times)
  • After Six-Year Legal Battle, Israel Removes PA School Built Illegally in Herodion National Park - David Isaac
    After a six-year legal battle, Israel's Civil Administration demolished a Palestinian Authority school on Sunday that had been built illegally in Herodion National Park, an ancient Jewish fortress south of Jerusalem. The Civil Administration had issued a stop work order on the structure in 2017. Chairman of the Gush Etzion Regional Council Shlomo Ne'eman said, "Establishing dilapidated schools are in reality PA land-grab tactics of state land."
        The building was put up in Area C, a zone that falls under full Israeli jurisdiction, in a national park of historic and archaeological significance to Jews. It was located at the foot of the artificial hill on which sit the ruins of a palace of Herod the Great, built between 23 BCE and 15 BCE in the Judean desert.
        Two months ago, the Jerusalem District Court ruled that the building was too dangerous for use, and needed to be sealed immediately and demolished within 60 days. (JNS)
  • Report: Iranians Sell Organs Abroad Due to Regime "Corruption" - Benjamin Weinthal
    Iran International reported Thursday, "With the deepening economic crisis and skyrocketing inflation, the sale of body organs abroad is reaching alarming levels in Iran, local media warns. Organ trafficking has become a major problem with people selling kidneys, liver, cornea, bone marrow, sperm, and ovum out of poverty." The Iranian daily Jahan-e-Sanat said Thursday that middlemen send prospective donors to the UAE, Turkey, and Iraq to sell their body parts for $7,000 to $15,000.
        Beni Sabti, an expert on Iran at the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security, said Sunday, "This is something that has been happening for many years. But in recent years it is growing." Sabti said under the theocratic state, "They don't respect lives....People sometimes sell their children to other countries." The Islamic Republic of Iran is the only country that permits the selling of human organs. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Dissecting the "Medical Apartheid" Myth - Akiva Van Koningsveld
    An article published in Global Public Health, a peer-reviewed medical journal, falsely claims Israel upholds a "system of medical apartheid" in the West Bank and Gaza. The charge is easy to disprove with hard facts.
        In the five decades following the 1967 Six-Day War, Palestinians have become healthier than ever, with life expectancy having jumped from 48 to 73.8 years. During that same period, the estimated infant mortality rate dropped from 150 to 17 per 1,000 live births. Palestinian cancer incidence and mortality rates are comparable or even lower than in some Western nations, including Israel.
        Dr. David Stone, emeritus professor of pediatric epidemiology at the University of Glasgow, confirmed in a 2014 paper: "Israel has not damaged Palestinian health. In fact, the opposite is the case. Israeli policies were carefully formulated to improve health conditions in WB/G [West Bank and Gaza] as rapidly as possible. These policies...brought about measurable improvements in Palestinian health and welfare."
        The Palestinian Authority has been responsible for the health sphere in the West Bank and Gaza for the past 29 years (since 1994). Israel is under no obligation to treat PA residents. Nevertheless, 100,000 Palestinians enter Israel for treatment every year. (HonestReporting)

The PA Allows Terrorist Havens to Operate Freely - Stephen M. Flatow (Jerusalem Post)
  • In Jamma'in, near Nablus, Israeli security forces arrested a fugitive Palestinian Arab terrorist last week. In Jelazoun and El-Bireh, they captured four more. Four terrorists were apprehended in Dura, Khursa and Fawwar, and another in Ein as-Sultan. Many weapons were also seized, the Israeli Army spokesman said.
  • These towns are all ruled by the Palestinian Authority and they are teeming with terrorists and weapons.
  • The Oslo Accords gave the Palestinian Authority control over the areas where 98% of the Palestinian Arabs live and turned over the fight against terrorism to the PA.
  • The Accords required the PA to ensure an end to terrorism against Israel - to "apprehend, investigate and prosecute perpetrators and all other persons directly or indirectly involved in acts of terrorism, violence and incitement."
  • To carry out these actions, Israel authorized the PA to create a 12,000-man security force, trained and armed by the U.S., which has since grown into a de-facto army numbering 30,000 men.
  • The PA has governed the towns mentioned above for 28 years, yet they are still filled with terrorists, forcing Israel to send its soldiers in to capture them. The PA ignores its Oslo obligations to arrest them and the international community chooses to look away.

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