Iran recently shipped advanced missiles and precision technology to Hezbollah

Western intelligence reports of recent shipment from Tehran to Beirut of advanced weapons and GPS systems for weapons to be used against Israel; Reports of increased IDF tank deployment on Syrian border.

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Iran recently shipped advanced missiles and GPS systems to Hezbollah to be used against Israel.

Reports from Western intelligence officials were released over the weekend of the recent shipment to Hezbollah. A cargo plane from Tehran containing advanced missiles and GPS systems for advanced missile accuracy arrived last Tuesday in Beirut.

Reports were first released by Fox News and later by Western and Israeli news sources.

There have been reports from Israel’s northern residents of increased IDF tanks on the border with Lebanon over the past weeks. Hezbollah has also built new watchtowers on Israel’s border over the past months.

Last month during his UN General Assembly speech in New York, Prime Minister Netanyahu revealed an additional secret Iranian nuclear facility as well as Iranian weapon production sites in Beirut. He stated at the time “I have a message for Hezbollah… Israel also knows what you’re doing. Israel knows where you are doing it and Israel will not let you get away with it… in Lebanon Iran is directing Hezbollah to build secret sites to convert inaccurate projectiles into precision guided missiles, missiles that can target deep inside Israel within an accuracy of ten meters.”

He added “Hezbollah is deliberately using the innocent people of Beirut as human shields. They have placed three of these missile conversion sites alongside Beirut’s international airport,” showing pictures of the sites in Beirut.

Moments after his speech, the IDF released satellite footage of 3 sites in Beirut being used by Iran for accurate, long-range missile production. The sites are located near an international airport and several civilian areas, including schools and a sports stadium. The IDF reported Iran’s “Missile Accuracy Project” was intentionally transferred to the “heart of the city of Beirut… jeopardizing the Lebanese civilian population”.

 

 

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Netanyahu meeting with US Treasury Security centered on Iran

PM meets with Mnuchin in Jerusalem, meeting centered on US-Israeli alliance and combatting Iran, its nuclear program and efforts in Syria; Mnuchin and delegation met with Israel’s Finance Minister, talks centered on future infrastructure and bilateral economic cooperation.

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Prime Minister Netanyahu met with United States Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in Jerusalem on Sunday, their meeting centered on Iran, its nuclear program and the JCPOA.

Netanyahu addressed the press, starting by reaffirming the strong bond between the State of Israel and the United States, highlighting the even stronger alliance under the Trump Administration “in intelligence, in security cooperation, in trade, in economic cooperation and of course, in our common approach to preventing aggression in this region”

On their meeting, he announced the center of discussion would be “how to stop Iran’s dual aggression: Its quest for a nuclear arsenal and its quest for a conventional arsenal and its plans of conquest in the Middle East,” and joint efforts to “roll back Iran’s aggression in the region”.

On the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (nuclear deal) he stated “The JCPOA affectively enabled Iran to pursue both paths of aggression: rather than blocking their path to atomic bomb, it actually paved their way to an entire nuclear arsenal. And it gave them… billions, hundreds of billions of dollars in cash, in credits, in investments, which enabled them to fund their growing aggression in the region.”

On Iran’s attempts to entrench itself in Syria, Netanyahu stated “We see that aggression in every part in the Middle East. We see it of course in our northern border in their attempts to entrench militarily in Syria, their attempts to bring deadliest weapons to Lebanon, to launch aggression through their proxies in Gaza and elsewhere.”

He praised the Trump Administration’s efforts in combatting Iran’s economic gain and support through stringent sanctions that are actively “ramping up the pressure, ramping up the pressure against the world’s foremost terrorist regime – the aggressive regime in Tehran.”

The Unites States on Tuesday passed additional sanctions on two Iranian banks as well some companies, including a tractor and a steel company supporting the Basij, a subordinate of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. Mnuchin confirmed the sanctions were placed on networks providing “financial infrastructure to the Basij’s efforts to recruit, train, and indoctrinate child soldiers who are coerced into combat under the IRGC’s direction.”

Mnuchin highlighted and praised US investment in Israel, stating “We have a very important relationship with Israel. This is really a great place for investments, particularly technology investments.”

Mnuchin and his delegation also met with Israel’s Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon and his team, their meeting centered on future infrastructure and economic ties with the Jewish state.

 

 

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Jordan to revoke part of peace plan with Israel

King announces cancelation of land leases for Naharayim and Tzofar after nearly 25 years; Netanyahu: We will go into negotiations with them [Jordan] on the option of extending the existing agreement.

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King Abdullah announced on Sunday that Jordan will not renew part of its peace deal with Israel concerning two areas of land leased to Israel for nearly 25 years.

The two areas of land, Baqoura and Ghumar, or Naharayim and Zofar in Hebrew, are annexes that were to be renewed this coming Thursday. King Abdullah II took to Twitter to confirm the Hashemite Kingdom’s move, stating “Baqoura and Ghumar were at the top of our priorities. Our decision is to terminate the Baquoura and Ghamar annexes from the peace treaty out of our keenness to take all decisions that would serve Jordan and Jordanians.” He confirmed that Israel was officially notified.

The decision to cancel the leases comes from both pressure from the Jordanian government and popular disapproval of the Israeli-Jordanian peace agreement by the Jordanian population. Reports claim recent strains in bilateral relations, as well as the peace process may have contributed to the decision.

Under a peace agreement signed in November of 1994 by King Hussein, Abdullah’s father, Israel leased Naharayim and Zofar on the borders with Jordan. Zofar is over 100 kilometers north of Eilat in the Arava Desert and is a significant agricultural area of land for Israel. Naharayim is a also includes Israeli farms near both the Jordan and Yarmouk Rivers. It includes the Isle of Peace and a hydroelectric power plant.

Prime Minister Netanyahu responded to Jordan, clarifying that Israel will renegotiate with the Kingdom. He stated Sunday, “Jordan has reserved the option to reclaim the area in Naharayim near the Jordan River and the Tzofar enclave in the Arava. We were told today that it seeks to exercise this option in the 25th year. We will go into negotiations with them [Jordan] on the option of extending the existing agreement.”

 

 

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Putin: Not Russia’s responsibility to persuade Iran to leave Syria

Russian president claims both Syria and Iran independent states and Russia not responsible for Iran’s withdrawal from Syria; Trump Administration may place sanctions on Russia and Iranian companies involved in post-war reconstruction in Syria.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed Iran’s withdrawal from Syria is not Russia’s responsibility while announcing Russia will soon deploy hypersonic weapons.

Speaking at a foreign policy forum in Sochi Thursday, Putin claimed that it is up to Syria and Iran, both “independent countries”, to decide whether Iran withdraws from Syria. He claimed while Russia helped negotiate Iran’s withdrawal from southern Syria, that “Syria and Iran are both independent countries. They need to build their relationship on their own.”

Putin also announced that Russia would deploy its latest hypersonic weapon, the “Avangard”, in the coming months, claiming, however, that Russia would not initiate any strikes and would only retaliate if attacked. He stated “The aggressor should know that retaliation is inevitable, and he will be destroyed… We [Russia] would be victims of an aggression and would get to heaven as martyrs…”

On Russia’s advanced capabilities with its hypersonic weapons, he stated “We have run ahead of the competition. No one has precision hypersonic weapons and others are planning to start testing them within the one-and-a-half to two years. We already have them on duty.”

Reports surfaced that the Trump Administration may place sanctions on both Russian and Iranian companies involved in reconstruction in Syria following its civil war in efforts to curb Iran’s influence and efforts in Syria.

The Unites States on Tuesday passed additional sanctions on two Iranian banks as well some companies, including a tractor and a steel company supporting the Basij, a subordinate of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin confirmed the sanctions were placed on networks providing “financial infrastructure to the Basij’s efforts to recruit, train, and indoctrinate child soldiers who are coerced into combat under the IRGC’s direction.”

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zari denounced the most recent wave of sanctions and claimed the United States has an “addiction to sanctions” and that sanctions passed are a violation of international law and an “utter disregard for rule of law and human rights of an entire people.”

A spokesman for Putin claimed on Thursday that US-Russian relations would suffer a “deterrent” during the upcoming US midterm elections. He claimed “To sacrifice Russia and Russian-US relations on an altar of the internal politics is a US national entertainment. It is likely to happen now… There is no doubt about this.”

Amir will give a Middle East Current Events Update on Friday. Tune in at 22:00 (Israel time).

 

 

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IDF strikes over 20 Hamas targets in Gaza Strip

Be’er Sheva home hit by scud rocket; IDF retaliates with extensive strikes in the Gaza Strip; Netanyahu: if these attacks do not stop – we will stop them.

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The IDF carried out airstrikes in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday after a rocket hit a civilian home in Be’er Sheva Tuesday.

The home was damaged extensively and slight injuries were reported from the family of 6 who were able to escape to shelter in time. The scud rocket that hit the home was filled with over 44 kilograms of explosives.

Schools in Be’er Sheva were closed on Wednesday following the rocket attacks, the IDF placing southern communities on high alert.

The IDF confirmed it hit over 20 Hamas targets in the Strip in response to rocket fire on Israel. It also confirmed it destroyed an additional cross-border tunnel. It released the statement “We destroyed another Hamas cross-border tunnel from Gaza- the 2nd one in 2 weeks. Hamas fires rockets above ground, digs tunnels underground, & carries out violent riots on ground targeting civilians. We struck 20+ Hamas targets in Gaza targeting terror.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu held a security assessment with the IDF Gaza Division alongside Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Deputy IDF Chief-of-Staff Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi. Following the meeting, Netanyahu addressed the public, stating “Israel views with utmost gravity the attacks against it on the fence, on the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip, on Be’er Sheva – everywhere… if these attacks do not stop – we will stop them… Israel will take very strong action.”

Reports surfaced Wednesday of an additional Egyptian-brokered ceasefire with Hamas. Egyptian and UN officials reportedly held meetings with Hamas and Islamic Jihad factions in the Strip on Wednesday morning.

 

Tune in on Friday for Amir’s Middle East Current Events Update from Israel. He will speak about developments in Israel and the Middle East. (22:00 ISRAEL TIME)

 

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“Christ at Checkpoint” event to host anti-Semite Stephen Sizer

Sizer to speak in Oklahoma City this weekend as part of the “Christ at Checkpoint” conference; Movement supported by BDS movement.

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The anti-Israel organization “Christ at the Checkpoint” will be hosting a popular anti-Semite and anti-Israel activist, Dr. Stephen Sizer, in Oklahoma City this week.

The conference, which has been held since 2010, is organized by Bethlehem Bible College, an Evangelical, non-denominational Christian college located in the West Bank that is funded by varied organizations in the United States. The conference has been largely funded by the United Methodist Church Foundation in Oklahoma.

The church claims its mission is to “Train people to serve Christ in the world, advocate a Palestinian evangelical perspective and model Christ through community development.” The church, however, is known for its anti-Israel agenda and members of the church frequently call for Christians in the United States to not fund or support Israel. It has used rhetoric of hate and anti-Semitism to spread its message while hiding behind its efforts in the West Bank with Palestinian Christians. It has also been a strong voice for the BDS- Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement.

Dr. Stephen Sizer, a former priest of the Church of England, is a known anti-Semite who has based his philosophy and advocacy in opposition to Christian Zionism. He has used his role in academia to spout hate and anti-Israel rhetoric, targeting Christian communities and using anti-Semitism to monetize his theories. Sizer is most infamous for conspiracies claiming Jews and the State of Israel were behind the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Sizer has participated in anti-Zionism and anti-Israel conferences and events in Iran and frequently speaks at events and churches defaming Israel and the Jewish people.

The BDS movement started in 2001 during the “Durban strategy” which was adopted following the UN Conference Against Racism held in Durban, South Africa. The movement advocates for a Palestinian “Law of Return”, calling for Palestinian refugees the same right as Jews to immigrate to Israel. The movement also sees the State of Israel as an apartheid state and any and all Israelis living in the West Bank as settlers and occupiers.

The movement’s main economic strategies have been to gradually advocate and pass boycotts or labeling of Israeli products from the West Bank, several cases of goods in Europe labeled or boycotted as “from occupied territories of Palestine”. The movement is focused on the boycott of Israeli goods, academia, sport and culture.

The BDS movement refers to Israel’s creation and presence in Palestinian territories as “colonization, apartheid and occupation” constantly referring and comparing Jewish immigration and the creation of the State of Israel as to that of European colonization.

The movement has become most popular amongst celebrities and academics, who have called for an all-out boycott of anything Israeli- from performing in Israel, to using or purchasing Israeli goods, to even removing Israelis and Jews from classrooms.

The United States recently passed legislation creating measures to punish companies or individuals affiliated with the BDS movement. The Foreign Affairs Committee legislature “prohibits U.S. companies from participating in boycotts promoted by international organizations, like the U.N., that target U.S. partners, like Israel.”

 

 

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Australia may recognize Jerusalem and move its embassy

PM Morrison voices support for embassy move to Jerusalem in line with support of two-state solution; Arab and Palestinian denounce remarks; Netanyahu confirms call with Morrison, talks centered on “strengthening bilateral relations”.

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Australia is prepared to relocate its embassy in Israel as well as recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city.

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison made the announcement on Tuesday, stating on recognizing Jerusalem, “When sensible suggestions are put forward that are consistent with your policy positioning and in this case pursuing a two-state solution, Australia should be open-minded to this and I am open-minded to this and our government is open-minded to this.”

Israel’s Ambassador to Australia thanked the prime minister for his remarks, stating “Jerusalem is, always has been and always will be the capital of Israel, and recognition of this is recognition of an indisputable fact…”

His announcement was met with backlash from international leaders, mainly Arab leaders. Australia is in talks for trade agreements with Indonesia, a strong supporter of the Palestinians. During a meeting in Canberra, 13 Arab state ambassadors announced they would send a letter to Morrison to “express their concern”.

In a press conference with Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki, Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi stated on Tuesday “Indonesia asks Australia and other countries to support peace talks… and not take steps that would threaten that peace process and stability of world security.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu also confirmed he spoke with Prime Minister Morrison, his office releasing the statement “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke today by telephone with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison who said that he is considering officially recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moving the Australian Embassy to Jerusalem. Prime Minister Netanyahu thanked him for his remarks. The two also discussed steps to continue strengthening bilateral relations.”

 

 

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