June 22, 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:

Top Palestinian Militants Hold Talks in Iran (AFP-VOA News)
    Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi held talks with Islamic Jihad chief Ziad al-Nakhalah in Tehran on Monday, while Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh met with Ali Akbar Ahmadian, secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council.
    See also Khamenei Pushes for Arming Palestinians in the West Bank - Lt.-Col. (ret.) Michael Segall (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

Israel's Natural Gas Saved Its Economy $87 Billion over Decade - Zachy Hennessey (Jerusalem Post)
    The BDO economic consulting firm in Israel reported that the country has saved over $87 billion over the past decade thanks to natural gas production.
    This includes savings of $35 billion in energy costs and $52 billion in pollution-related costs due to the use of gas instead of coal.
    At the same time, Israel's total natural gas reserves have grown from 780 billion cubic meters (BCM) in 2012 to 1,087 BCM today, due to additional discoveries and updated estimates of reservoir size.
    Amir Foster, CEO of the Israel Natural Gas Association, emphasized that Israel's natural gas industry "has made it immune to the energy crisis that is shaking the world."

Palestinian Student Leader Detained by PA after Election - Fayha Shalash (Middle East Eye-UK)
    Abdul Majeed Hassan, 23, who recently was elected head of the Birzeit University student council representing the Islamic bloc, was violently arrested by the Palestinian Authority security services at his home in Ramallah on Sunday.
    A video on Twitter showed several people in civilian clothing apprehending, dragging, and beating Hassan before forcing him into their vehicle.
    His sister, Shatha, said a released detainee said Hassan had arrived at the detention center with wounds across his body.

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Israel Mourns 28 Lives Cut Short by Palestinian Terrorism So Far This Year - Nina Fox (Ynet News)
    Since the beginning of 2023, the Palestinian terror wave has claimed the lives of 28 victims so far. Here are their stories.

Russia's UAV Onslaught Ups Interest in Israel's Drone Dome - Yaakov Lappin (JNS)
    Israel's Rafael Advanced Defense Systems' Drone Dome has been deployed in Dubai, and is also protecting airports, military targets, and borders in a number of NATO states, as well as in Asian countries.
    The system is also being tested by the U.S. FAA at Atlantic City International Airport.
    The U.S. military reportedly recommended it for its global combatant commands. The British military has purchased several systems.
    Drone Dome deals with both swarm attacks and single threats, and has recently been upgraded to deal with heavier military drones.
    To neutralize a target, the system employs electronic warfare to block the drone's ability to communicate and use GPS navigation.
    It can also use a laser for a "hard kill" at a range of up to 2 miles.

Norway's Leopard Tanks Protected by Israel's Trophy System (Bulgarian Military)
    The Norwegian army's 54 state-of-the-art Leopard 2 Main Battle Tanks come fully equipped with the Israeli cutting-edge Trophy active defense system.
    Norway purchased the EuroTrophy system from Germany's Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW), in collaboration with General Dynamics European Land Systems and Israeli defense company Rafael.
    The Israeli Trophy Active Protection System (APS) is designed to protect tanks and other armored vehicles from anti-tank missiles, RPGs, rockets, and other projectiles.
    The system uses radar, electro-optics, and a hard-kill interceptor to detect, track, and neutralize incoming threats.
    The Israeli Trophy APS has been successfully deployed in combat situations, including the 2014 conflict in Gaza.
    The U.S. has integrated the Trophy APS into its M1 Abrams tanks.
    See also Video: The Trophy Active Protection System for Armored Vehicles (RAFAEL)

Israel's Elbit to Provide Romanian Army with Surveillance Drones (Xinhua-China)
    Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems will supply tactical unmanned aerial systems to the Romanian Armed Forces, the company said Wednesday.
    The $180 million deal includes three Watchkeeper X drone systems, designed and equipped for intelligence, surveillance, and target acquisition missions using artificial intelligence technology.

Israel Teaches Students to Make World Bloom (ANI-India)
    The Arava International Center for Agricultural Training (AICAT) brings students from developing countries to learn practical agriculture with Israeli farmers living in the Arava, an area known for its hot weather and sparse rainfall.
    Since 1994, the program has graduated 20,000 students, mostly from Africa and Asia.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • U.S. Leads 27 Nations in Castigating Anti-Israel UN Commission - Mike Wagenheim
    The U.S. issued a joint statement Tuesday on behalf of 27 countries, saying they are "deeply concerned" about a UN Commission of Inquiry (COI) investigating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that has been accused of bias against Israel and populated with members with histories of antisemitism.
        Michele Taylor, U.S. Ambassador to the UN in Geneva, said, "We believe the nature of this COI is further demonstration of long-standing, disproportionate attention given to Israel in the [Human Rights] Council, and must stop. We continue to believe that this long-standing disproportionate scrutiny should end, and that the council should address all human rights concerns, regardless of country, in an even-handed manner."
        Signatories to the joint statement included the UK, Canada, Italy, Poland, Austria, Hungary, Czechia, Romania, and Bulgaria. (JNS)
  • Iran Facing Severe Water Shortage - Vivian Yee
    In Sistan and Baluchistan province in Iran's southeast corner, all people talk about is how to get water. For weeks now, taps in cities like Zahedan, the provincial capital, have yielded a salty, weakening trickle. In villages that water pipes have never reached, the few residents who remain say people can barely find enough water to do the laundry or bathe, let alone farm or sustain livestock.
        The water crisis has intensified in recent years as political priorities trumped sound water management. Iranian lawmakers warn that water will run out altogether in the province within three months, and other regions are not far behind. Drought is forcing water cuts in Tehran. (New York Times)
  • Poll: Majority of Arab Youth in UAE, Egypt and Morocco Support Normalization with Israel - Tori Bergel
    According to the 2023 Arab Youth Survey conducted during March 27-April 12, 75% of young Arabs in the UAE, 73% in Egypt, and 50% in Morocco "strongly support" or "somewhat support" ties with Israel. In Bahrain, 30% support and 53% oppose normalization. In 14 other Arab countries, opposition was 80-90%, while in Iraq and the Palestinian territories, 100% oppose warmer ties. (Jewish Insider)
        See also 2023 Arab Youth Survey (ASDA'A BCW-Dubai)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Palestinian Gunmen Kill 4 Israelis in West Bank Shooting Attack - Hagar Shezaf
    Two Palestinian gunmen entered a restaurant at a gas station in Eli on Tuesday, killed three Israelis and wounded four. As they left, they killed another person. The Israelis killed were Elisha Antman, 17, a 12th-grade student who worked as a waiter at the restaurant; Harel Masoud, 21, who recently completed combat service in the IDF; Nachman Mordof, 17; and Ofer Fayerman, 63, who was shot while filling his car with gas.
        An Israeli civilian at the gas station shot and kill Mohand Shahada, 26, a student activist in a pro-Hamas group who was released from prison 2 1/2 years ago. Khaled Sabah, 24, escaped but was located after two hours and killed by Israeli forces. (Ha'aretz-Times of Israel)
  • Israel Eliminates Palestinian Terror Cell in Drone Strike - Yonah Jeremy Bob
    The IDF on Wednesday used an armed drone to kill three members of a Palestinian terror squad who had just opened fire at the Jalameh checkpoint, north of Jenin, and were responsible for numerous shooting attacks on Israeli communities in Samaria and in northern Israel. "IDF soldiers identified a terrorist cell inside a suspicious vehicle, after the cell carried out a shooting adjacent to the town of Jalamah," the Israeli military said. "Following the identification of the terrorist cell, an IDF UAV fired toward the cell and thwarted them." The terrorists were from Islamic Jihad and Fatah's Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades. It was the first time that drones had been used in the West Bank since 2006.
        The Israel Security Agency has recorded 147 "significant" terror attacks in Israel and the West Bank this year, including 120 shootings. (Jerusalem Post-Times of Israel)
  • Netanyahu Visits Wounded Soldiers from Jenin Raid - Emanuel Fabian
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited soldiers wounded during the IDF raid in Jenin on Monday. Eight soldiers were wounded after an armored vehicle was hit by an explosive device. Netanyahu said Israel has in recent months "eliminated and arrested a record number of terrorists, and this was the case in the Jenin operation as well."
        One of the wounded soldiers, a combat medic, said, "We came under heavy fire as explosives were hurled at us from multiple directions. Together with all of the forces on the ground, we managed to arrest several wanted suspects and strike a large number of terrorists."  (Times of Israel)
  • Palestinians Wound 2 IDF Soldiers in Car-Ramming Attack - Emanuel Fabian
    Two Israeli soldiers were wounded in car-ramming attack near the Palestinian village of Nazlet Zeid in the northern West Bank on Monday. The soldiers responded by shooting at the car, injuring two Palestinians. (Times of Israel)
  • Palestinians Killed in Blast while Handling Explosives
    Mohammed Hashah, 17, and Alaa Hafnawi, 18, were killed Tuesday when explosives they were handling accidentally blew up in Balata, near Nablus, in the West Bank, Islamic Jihad announced. (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:


  • U.S. Working to Constrain Israel before Announcing New Iran Deal - Michael Doran
    In recent weeks, President Biden has revived discussions with Tehran. While Biden and his team claim to be working to halt the advance of the Iranian nuclear weapons program, their unstated goal is to constrain Israel, permanently.
        Two years ago, Biden officials suggested that their policy toward Iran was a temporary posture, that their patience with Tehran was running thin, and that, if results weren't forthcoming, a tougher policy would result. Since then, Iran has brutally suppressed the worst protests in its history, advanced its nuclear weapons program considerably, pursued plots to murder former American officials on American soil, and developed a defense industrial cooperation with the Russian military.
        Biden officials favor a strategy based on the assumptions that accommodation with Iran is both possible and in the American interest. At the same time, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu rests his case for military action on the time-tested logic of deterrence. If the U.S. and Israel truly seek to stop Iran from acquiring a bomb, then they must persuade Tehran that they will exact a price that is too painful for it to bear.
        The writer is Director of the Center for Peace and Security in the Middle East and a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute. (Tablet)

  • Palestinian Arabs

  • Behind the Escalating Palestinian Terror Offensive - Caroline Glick
    The factors pushing the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria to escalate their terrorist assaults on Israel include the succession battle in anticipation of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' death. Abbas, 88 and ailing, was reportedly hospitalized last week during an official visit to China. Palestinian terror groups are the only viable quasi-political forces in Palestinian society. Their means for achieving both public support and military power is by killing Israeli Jews. The more Jews they murder, the greater their perceived power and public support.
        The second factor is the availability of weapons that enter from Jordan. The third factor feeding the violence is the erosion of Israel's deterrent power over young Palestinian terrorists. Operation Defensive Shield, when IDF forces restored Israel's security control over Judea and Samaria after eight years of PA rule, was 21 years ago. Most of the terrorists attacking Israel today weren't even born then.
        The fourth factor emboldening the Palestinians is the U.S. administration's desire to blame Palestinian terrorism on Israel, along with its massive financial and military assistance to the PA despite the PA's underwriting and sponsorship of terrorism and rejection of Israel's right to exist. In blaming Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria and IDF counterterror operations for Palestinian massacres of Israelis, the administration is effectively embracing the Palestinian narrative.
        The writer is senior fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs at the Center for Security Policy. (JNS)
  • PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' Disappointing Visit to China - Yoni Ben Menachem
    Despite significant media attention, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas concluded his recent visit to China without any notable political achievements, even though he publicly supported China's repressive policy toward the minority Uyghur Muslims.
        Abbas signed an agreement with the Chinese to improve road infrastructure in Ramallah and discussed implementing Chinese language programs in Palestinian schools. However, there are no indications that China intends to mediate between Israel and the Palestinians. China maintains good relations with Israel and will not jeopardize them to please the PA. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

  • Other Issues

  • U.S. Ambassador Slammed for "Misguided" Equivalence between Terrorists and Victims - Lahav Harkov
    A tweet from U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides drawing an equivalence between terrorists and victims of the terrorist attack near Eli on Tuesday drew criticism from Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Mike Herzog. "Deeply concerned about the civilian deaths and injuries that have occurred in the West Bank these past 48 hours," Nides tweeted several hours after two Palestinian terrorists murdered four Israelis.
        Herzog responded, "Any attempt of a so-called 'balanced' condemnation is misguided and disrespectful to the memory of the victims. In recent months, terror activities in the northern part of the West Bank have escalated as the Palestinian Authority has lost effective security control."
        "Jenin, where the IDF recently operated, has become an Iranian terror stronghold, located just minutes away from Israeli population centers. Replete with hundreds of armed terrorists and laboratories working to produce lethal explosive devices and rockets, this 'capital' of terror has become the main springboard of terror attacks against Israelis."  (Jerusalem Post)
        See also There Is No Equivalence between Terrorists and Their Victims - Editorial
    UN Middle East envoy Tor Wennesland says we are seeing a "continuing cycle of violence." In this worldview, both sides are committing acts of violence, both sides are suffering casualties, and both sides are equally responsible, disregarding what came before.
        The IDF entered Jenin on Monday to arrest terrorists. If the Palestinian Authority was doing its job, the IDF would not have to do so. If terrorism was not a real peril, the IDF would not have to do so. This is not a "both sides are to blame" situation. Without terror, there would be no reason for IDF operations inside Palestinian areas. Because there is terror, those actions are essential to safeguard Israeli lives.
        Some will try to link Tuesday's murders of four innocent Israelis with this or that Israeli policy. That is false. Ideological hatred of Jews and Israel fueled the terrorists who needed no excuse to seek out victims to murder. There can be no equivalence between terrorists and their victims. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem Recommends Quiet Normalization with Arab Countries
    Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum told Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs President Dan Diker on June 13: "I honestly think that our government officials and representatives are talking too much about [normalization with Israel]. In the Arab world, it's all about image, it's about how to do it respectfully. And I think we need to do it at their pace - it is happening very slowly. We're seeing a lot of under-the-radar normalization, and we have to facilitate it and get out of the way."  (JNS TV)
        See also The Pace of Israel-Saudi Peace - Prof. Eyal Zisser (Israel Hayom)
  • Israel Needs to Reach a Warmer Peace with Egypt - Haisam Hassanein
    Last week, both Cairo's elite and its Muslim Brotherhood critics cheered for Egyptian border guard Mohamed Salah who murdered three Israeli soldiers and wounded another two. They hailed him as a martyr and defender of Palestine, even though Egypt has been at peace with the Jewish state since 1979.
        The Egyptian government prohibited a public funeral for Salah. Nevertheless, Alaa Mubarak, the son of former President Hosni Mubarak, saluted Salah on Twitter, while former Maj.-Gen. Samir Farag repeatedly called Salah a hero. There has been no sustained investment in making the Egyptian public understand that Israel and the Jews are no longer enemies. Egypt's Embassy in Tel Aviv does little to promote a warmer peace.
        To encourage a change, American and Israeli officials must communicate to their Egyptian counterparts that keeping their relationship with Israel secret is the wrong approach.
        The writer is an adjunct fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. (1945)
  • Challenging the BBC on Israel - Melanie Phillips
    For decades, the Western media has acted as a malevolent echo chamber for the demonization of Israel. Channeling Palestinian Arab propaganda as if it were fact, the media has twisted the Western mind, inciting it to hate Israel and give Israel's Palestinian Arab persecutors a free pass.
        Arguably, the BBC's coverage of Israel has caused the most lethal harm. Over the years, the BBC has broadcast incendiary and emotive footage that is sometimes no more than "Pallywood" fiction. It fails to report most attacks on Israelis while, at the same time, unforgivably presenting Israeli military actions to stop these attacks as if Israel were the aggressor and the Palestinians its hapless victims. There is no other country, cause or people that the BBC misrepresents so obsessively.
        The writer is a columnist for The Times-UK. (JNS)

  • Antisemitism

  • New Report Details Decades of Antisemitism at the Council on American-Islamic Relations - Steven Emerson
    The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) was created as a front group for Hamas in 1993. Since then, CAIR has been the number one promoter of incendiary, vile antisemitic tropes and conspiracies in the U.S. While CAIR is soaked with antisemitism, it has successfully duped virtually the entire media establishment into portraying this Hamas front group as a "Muslim civil rights organization." Some 150 members of Congress have appeared at CAIR events or have sent them congratulatory missives.
        CAIR routinely calls for the destruction of the State of Israel and has allied itself with Holocaust deniers, convicted Hamas terrorists, and jihadists. (Investigative Project on Terrorism)
        See also CAIR's Antisemitism Unmasked - Steven Emerson (Investigative Project on Terrorism)

  • Dalia Ziada, an Egyptian writer who is executive director of the MEEM Center for Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean Studies in Cairo, has condemned those who celebrated the killing of three Israeli soldiers on June 3 by an Egyptian policeman. Ziada wrote on her Facebook page, which has 30,000 followers, that Israel should not be viewed as an enemy of Egypt, as it has supported Egypt on multiple occasions.
  • "Anyone who truly loves Egypt cannot possibly be joyful or celebrate such an event, nor consider it a heroic act in any way....What heroic act is there in trespassing the borders of a neighboring country with which we have a peace treaty and years of security cooperation, as well as countless economic interests?"
  • "The unprecedented cooperation between Egypt and Israel in recent years has been one of the most important factors in Egypt's success in overcoming a very critical phase in its history, amidst combating terrorism and facing immense economic challenges."
  • "During the period between 2013 and 2015, when Hamas elements infiltrated Sinai and later pledged allegiance to ISIS, Israeli forces were fighting alongside Egyptian forces against terrorism in Sinai."
  • "Israel is not an enemy of Egypt. Israel is Egypt's direct neighbor and one of the countries that stood by Egypt in its most critical times. There is absolutely no reason to ignite conflict with it."
  • "Anyone who does so or encourages it harms Egypt's interests greatly...especially considering all the positive and loving attitudes of Israel towards Egypt that I have witnessed firsthand."

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