June 26, 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:

UN Confirms Hizbullah Has Set Up Outpost in Israeli Territory (Times of Israel)
    UNIFIL, the UN peacekeeping mission on the Israeli-Lebanese border, has confirmed that Hizbullah has established an outpost within Israeli territory.
    UNIFIL confirmed that tents set up and manned by Hizbullah have been established on the Israeli side of the internationally-recognized Blue Line in the Mount Dov region.
    Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan wrote to the UN Security Council that Hizbullah's actions constitute a violation of UN Resolution 1701, enacted following the Second Lebanon War in 2006.
    The resolution calls for armed groups besides the Lebanese army and UNIFIL to remain north of the Litani River.
    The IDF believes the tents do not pose a threat to Israel's security and aims initially to deal with the tents through diplomatic means.

Iran Sought Nuclear Weapons Technology from Netherlands, Sweden, and Germany (MEMRI)
    European intelligence services are tracking attempts by Iran to illicitly acquire components for weapons of mass destruction in the Netherlands, Sweden, and Germany, according to agency reports covering 2022 published during the first six months of 2023.
    The Swedish Security Service reported in February 2023 that "Iran engages in industrial espionage, which is mainly aimed at the Swedish high-tech industry and Swedish products that can be used in a nuclear weapons program."

EU's Investment Bank Allocates 900 Million Euros for Israel - Sharon Wrobel (Times of Israel)
    The European Investment Bank (EIB), the financial arm of the EU, announced Sunday that it will invest 150 million euros in Israel's seventh desalination facility, planned for the Western Galilee.
    EIB will also provide a 500 million euro credit line to small and medium-sized companies across Israel to encourage new investment in green and environmental projects.
    In addition, EIB is looking to invest 250 million euros in the Tel Aviv light rail project.
    EIB has co-financed 28 projects in Israel since 1981, investing 2.3 billion euros.

Israel Arrests Three UN Soldiers for Smuggling Liquid Cocaine (Jerusalem Post)
    Three UN soldiers serving on the Syrian border were apprehended by Israel Police and Tax Authority inspectors at the Jordan River Border Crossing on Sunday for attempting to smuggle liquid cocaine disguised as perfume.
    The bottles were subjected to thorough examination, including the use of a sniffer dog.
    See also Fiji Soldiers Detained for Drug Smuggling - Timoci Vula (Fiji Times)

Photos: Gaza Summer Camp Teaches Youth to Fight, Hate Israel (Times of Israel)
    As they do every year, terror groups in Gaza are operating summer camps for Palestinian youth that include military training in preparation to fight against Israel.
    At Palestinian Islamic Jihad camps, young Palestinians parade and train with fake rifles and are instructed in jihad against the "Zionist enemy."

Georgia Police Delegation Returns from Training in Israel - Bob Pepalis (RoughDraft-Atlanta)
    12 Georgia police chiefs and command staff, 3 Georgia sheriffs, and 5 other law enforcement officials completed a two-week public safety leadership training program in Israel as part of the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange's (GILEE) 30th annual peer-to-peer executive training program.
    They were shown best practices and the latest technologies in policing and public safety, learned more about strategies to successfully lead law enforcement programs and to use community policing to build safer neighborhoods for minority communities in partnership with all community stakeholders.

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • How Iran's Quds Force Operates in Syria - Pierre Boussel
    The key mission of the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) is to defend the Iranian Islamic Revolution and create armed militias in the countries of its "Axis of Resistance." Although the Quds Force apparatus in Syria has been under pressure from Israeli airstrikes, Tehran is infiltrating Syrian civil society and sending fighters to the north, where the civil war will one day end, and to the south, on the edge of the Golan Heights, to establish a base against Israel.
        Iranian forces in Syria have many enemies, especially among Sunnis. The actions of their militias are spied on and reported. The average person with a smartphone and an internet connection are all it takes to spread information that makes Iranian movements in Syria visible. By dint of proselytizing, Iranian intelligence forgets to be discreet.
        Apart from Israel, the favorite target of pro-Iranian militias is the American contingent stationed in Syria, comprised of 900 personnel. U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin revealed on March 29, 2023, that 83 attacks had been carried out against their positions since the beginning of President Biden's term of office. (Combating Terrorism Center at West Point)
  • There Is No Value in Agreements with Iran - Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen interviewed by Amichai Stein
    Cohen: "The whole world is exposed to the fact that Iranian weapons are killing Ukrainian citizens, and this increases the world's desire to take measures against Iran. We explain the danger posed by the Iranians to every country that is in contact with Iran....They are the number one financiers of terrorism. A nuclear Iran is not only a danger to Israel but also to the world."
        "We think that there is no value in agreements with Iran. Its desire to obtain nuclear weapons is intended to continue regional instability, to continue to violate human rights. We made it clear....We will not accept any agreement."
    Q: How much does the relationship between Iran and the Gulf bother you?
    Cohen: "It's all a show. Any exchange of ambassadors between these countries and Iran is only for outside observers. Inside there is tension, the hatred and fear are very great."  (JNS)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Cyprus Foils Iran-Backed Terror Attacks Against Israelis
    Cyprus security services on Sunday foiled attempted terror attacks against Israelis and Jews by Iran's Revolutionary Guard, local media reported. The attacks were thwarted by "coordination between Cypriot intelligence services and U.S. and Israeli intelligence services." While they were unable to arrest the main suspect, they located the equipment that was meant to be used in the attacks. The assailants belonged to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard's branch in northern Cyprus, which is under Turkish control. (Ha'aretz)
        See also Iran Targeted Israeli Businessman, Chabad House, Hotels in Cyprus Terror Plot
    The targets in Iranian-planned attacks in Cyprus included an Israeli real estate businessman and a Chabad House, as well as hotels and entertainment venues frequented by Israeli tourists, Israel's Channel 12 reported Monday.
        In addition, in recent days, Greek intelligence services arrested seven Pakistan nationals who were recruited by Iran to carry out attacks in Greece. (Times of Israel)
  • Palestinian Gunman Opens Fire at Israeli Checkpoint - Emanuel Fabian
    A civilian security guard was injured early Saturday after a Palestinian gunman opened fire with an M-16 rifle at Israeli security forces at the Qalandiya checkpoint north of Jerusalem. The attacker was killed by security forces. (Times of Israel)
  • Biden Reinstates Ban on American Scientific, Technology Cooperation with Israelis in Judea and Samaria - Lahav Harkov
    The Biden administration has reversed the policy of its predecessor and has banned U.S.-Israel cooperation on science and technology in eastern Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, and the West Bank. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had declared that Washington does not view Israeli settlements as illegal.
        Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said U.S. policy had been changed in 2020 "after a thorough review at the highest levels of both governments in order to permit both nations to more freely engage in scientific research and development. Refusing to honor those agreements is wrong, both from a matter of policy and as a matter of contract....In unilaterally returning to the flawed language of the old agreements, the United States is itself engaging in BDS - it is boycotting Israeli academic institutions based solely upon their postal code."  (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
  • The Danger of Violent Escalation in the West Bank - Ehud Yaari
    There has been a sharp and troubling increase in Palestinian terrorist attacks in recent months. Since January, 28 Israelis have lost their lives. Authorities have recorded 148 "critical" terrorist attacks - 120 using firearms, and the rest involving explosives, stabbings, or car ramming. In addition, Israeli security services have foiled another 375 planned attacks during this period (300 involving firearms) and arrested more than 1,400 Palestinians.
        Much of this escalation has been concentrated in the northern West Bank, mainly Jenin, gradually spilling over to Nablus. Palestinian terrorist elements have improved the explosive charges they use against the Israeli military, and in many cases have mobilized dozens or even hundreds of gunmen to engage in battle.
        Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad - with generous funding and advice from Iran's Revolutionary Guards Quds Force and close cooperation with Hizbullah - are investing heavily in efforts to establish West Bank workshops for assembling rockets of the types manufactured in Gaza. Even short-range rockets would constitute a direct threat to Israel's densely populated central region.
        Hamas and other groups seek to flood the West Bank with weapons and funds, enabling local groups to arm themselves and select targets. Weapons are reaching the West Bank via Jordan from Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Libya.
        The Israel Security Agency apparently leans toward a restricted operation to disarm Jenin. Local groups in Jenin are already preparing for a potential Israeli incursion by setting up ambushes, dispersing explosive charges, and establishing sniper positions.
        The writer, a fellow with the Washington Institute, is a veteran commentator for Israeli television. (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
  • A New Iran Nuclear Deal Might Be on the Horizon - Dennis Ross
    Is the Biden administration's strategy on Iran's nuclear ambitions drifting dangerously from prevention to containment? Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, former head of the Foreign Policy and National Security Committee in the Iranian parliament, claims that unwritten understandings have already been reached. The Biden administration will allow "the release of some of Iran's frozen funds in return for Iran refraining from expanding its nuclear program more than the current level," he said.
        Iran has already accumulated five bombs' worth of uranium enriched to 60% - a level that Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, says has "no justifiable civilian purpose." If the Iranians continue at their current pace, they will have 10 bombs' worth of near-weapons-grade fissile material by the end of 2023.
        Allowing the Iranians to enrich to 60% while allowing them to make their nuclear facilities invulnerable to attack amounts to the U.S. shifting from a policy of prevention to a policy of containment. Given Jewish history, no Israeli government is going to wait and accept the possibility of losing the military means to prevent a perceived existential threat.
        The Biden administration must structure any forthcoming deal with prevention - not containment - as its goal. President Biden should make it clear that if the U.S. sees Iran moving toward a weapon, he is prepared to destroy the 40-year investment Iran has made in building its nuclear infrastructure. The U.S. should conduct exercises in the region rehearsing attacks against hardened targets to underline its seriousness.
        And if the U.S. is to reduce the Israeli impulse to preempt, the Biden administration should provide the Israelis with more powerful bunker busters and aerial refuelers to reduce Israel's need to act sooner rather than later. This would also send a message to Iran that if it violates the understanding or if it presses ahead with hardening, we will not hold the Israelis back.
        The writer, a former special assistant to President Barack Obama, is the counselor at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. (Washington Post)
  • UN Inquiry Greenlights Palestinian Terror - Anne Bayefsky
    Miloon Kothari, a member of the UN Commission of Inquiry, announced on Tuesday that Palestinians can "resist" Israelis just as Ukrainians are resisting Russia. Greenlighting Palestinian violence and analogizing Israeli self-defense to Russian aggression was a new low.
        Tuesday's meeting with Inquiry members at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva was a raging hatefest. There was no terrorism - only false "terrorism charges" and terrorist "labeling." There was no Palestinian Hamas genocidal charter; no Palestinian Authority policy to pay Palestinians to kill Jews; no Palestinian antisemitism or incitement at all. The real problem was Israel and "pro-Israel groups."
        The writer is director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, and president of Human Rights Voices. (Times of Israel)
        See also Pillay's Latest Propaganda Crusade against Israel: The June 2023 UN Human Rights Council's Commission of Inquiry Report - Anne Bayefsky (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

Breaking the Terror Wave - Brig.-Gen. Yossi Kuperwasser interviewed by Amanda Borschel-Dan (Times of Israel)
  • Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, a former head of the research division of IDF Military Intelligence who specializes in the security dimensions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, says, "I'm totally against this idea of lone wolves," to describe the current flare-up of Palestinian armed violence. "These are not lone wolves. These are wolves that were bred by the incitement....Once you prepare them mentally to be a wolf, eventually they are going to carry out a terror attack."
  • "What brought the Second Intifada to an end was the understanding of the Palestinian leadership that they have to do something about it, because they are paying a heavy price. Not only the terrorists among them, but the entire society also was paying a price. Palestinian interests were paying a price. And that's not the case today."
  • "The Palestinian Authority is either totally uninvolved in what's happening and just watching from afar, or encouraging the terror attacks by paying salaries to the terrorists and joining in with their incitement....One of the reasons why they don't do anything to stop it is that the vast majority of the Palestinian population doesn't feel that they pay any price for what's going on."
  • "Much of the economic flourishing of the Palestinian economy is based on the presence of Israeli Arabs that come to have commercial activity in [Palestinian] cities....We should suspend it for a while. And this by itself is also going to send a message to the Palestinians that there is a price for this terror wave."
  • "The Americans...are very proud that they give more and more money to the Palestinian Authority, even though they cannot give it directly. So they give it indirectly. They found all kinds of ways to bypass the Taylor Force Act that prevents them from giving money to the Palestinian Authority. So they give it to all kinds of organizations that the Palestinian Authority is supposed to support. And by that, they ease the economic pressure on the Palestinian Authority and allow it to keep paying salaries to terrorists. This is totally ridiculous."
  • "Iran is motivated by a missionary ideology. They want to turn everybody into a Shiite Muslim....If we allow a group of messianic people like that to have nuclear weapons, this is going to be extremely dangerous, and everybody should be aware of that and should take the necessary steps in order to prevent that from happening. I'm happy that the Americans are saying that we should not allow Iran to have nuclear weapons. But I look at what they're doing and I say to myself that there's some sort of contradiction here between what they're saying and what they're doing, and this keeps me awake at night."

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