PA rejects terrorism funding offer from Iran

Iran offers to provide families of Palestinian terrorists with funds; PA rejects offer; Netanyahu states that Palestinian terror is “of their despair and the frustration over inability to destroy.”

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The Palestinian Authority rejected Iran’s offer to provide financial assistance to families of Palestinian terrorists. On Monday, Palestinian spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina responded to Iran’s offer directing Iran to “send this money through official channels to the [Palestinian Authority] Martyrs and Prisoners Foundation rather than relying on informal and circuitous routes.”

 

Last week, Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon, Mohammad Fathali, offered to provide families of terrorists up to $7,000 “to every family of a martyr of the intifada in Jerusalem” and $30,000 to families of terrorists whose homes were demolished by Israel. He stated in Beirut last week “Iran will not abandon the Palestinian people, who are faced with killing, theft, and expulsion,” said the ambassador. “The blood of the martyrs will bring the liberation of all Palestine from the sea to the river.”

 

Spokesman for Israel’s’ Foreign Ministry Emmanuel Nahshon responded to Iran’s public declaration of sponsoring and funding terror that “This demonstrates again Iran’s role in encouraging terror. This is further proof of Iran’s deep involvement in promoting terror against Israel. After the agreement with the powers, Iran is permitting itself to continue being a central player in international terror.”

 

Addressing his cabinet Sunday morning, Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed Palestinian terror stating that Palestinian terror “does not come because of their despair and the frustration over the inability to build. They come because of their despair and the frustration over inability to destroy.”

US EUCOM-IDF military exercise “Juniper Cobra 16” to hold wide-scale missile training

In its 8th success, military exercise between IDF and US EUCOM to focus on missile training

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Juniper Cobra 16 will continue its military exercises into next week with a reported simulation of a wide-scale missile attack on Israel.

Juniper Cobra is a collaborative military exercise held annually between the IDF and United States European Command. The exercises focus on improving coordination and cooperation between US EUCOM and the IDF.

According to U.S. 3rd Air Force Commander Lt. Gen. Timothy Ray, “The purpose of this exercise is to improve interoperability of our air defense forces and our combined ability to defend against air and missile attacks. Our presence and participation here increases military readiness … and just as importantly, it signals our resolve to support Israel and strive for peace in the Middle East. As we look at what we’ve done in the past, there has been a marked improvement in our technology, tactics and procedures as we work together. We’ve improved our organizational structure in the US so we can transition from joint defense of Israel to a Joint Task Force. … This allows us to do a better job.”

Juniper Cobra 16 started last week, with over 1,700 US service members (Army, Navy and Air Force), contractors and employees. It is the 8th drill held since 2001.

Israel’s Air Defense Forces Brig. Gen. Tzvika Haimovich gave an update of the military exercises on Thursday, where he addressed Israel in light of ongoing threats from Hezbollah in Lebanon, as well as the Jewish State’s advanced defense weaponry. He stated that Israel’s “current defense capabilities are much better than they were a year ago, five years ago and 10 years ago. However, we know future scenarios will be more complex than what we saw in the Second Lebanon War or in Operation Protective Edge. Even if we double the number of interceptors and [defense] systems, there’s no such thing as a hermetic seal. Some rockers and missiles are bound to hit Israel. Our job is to minimize the damage, intercept the larger projectiles and defend strategic assets. You can’t intercept everything.”

Israeli archeologists discover textiles from period of King David

Excavation in Arava Valley in southern Israel yield textiles dating back to period of King David and Solomon

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Archeologists in Israel discovered a fabric collection dating back to the era of King David and King Solomon.

The discovery was made in the Arava Valley in southern Israel during an excavation by Tel Aviv University in the ancient copper mines of Timna. According to the head of the excavation, Dr. Erez Ben-Yosef, the discovery is the first time textiles were discovered from this period, Ben-Yosef stating “The arid condition of the mines has seen the remarkable preservation of 3,000-year-old organic materials, including seeds, leather and fabric, and other extremely rare artifacts that provide a unique window into the culture and practices of this period.”

He stated that the discovery of “the textiles also offer insight into the complex society of the early Edomites, the semi-nomadic people believed to have operated the mines at Timna,” adding that “No textiles have ever been found at excavation sites like Jerusalem, Megiddo and Hazor, so this provides a unique window into an entire aspect of life from which we’ve never had physical evidence before. We found fragments of textiles that originated from bags, clothing, tents, ropes and cords…. The wide variety of fabrics also provides new and important information about the Edomites, who, according to the Bible, warred with the Kingdom of Israel. We found simply woven, elaborately decorated fabrics worn by the upper echelon of their stratified society. Luxury grade fabric adorned the highly skilled, highly respected craftsmen managing the copper furnaces. They were responsible for smelting the copper, which was a very complicated process.”

Just last week, Israel’s Antiquity Authority found remains of ancient settlement in Jerusalem from the Chalcolithic period. The discovery was made during an excavation ahead of construction of a road to the neighborhood of Shuafat in northern Jerusalem. According to the Authority, the settlement is from the Chalcolithic period, approximately 7,000 years old.

Both discoveries are significant in providing a deeper understanding the economy of both periods and communities.

 

 

 

 

 

Kenyan President: We in Kenya hold Israel as a dear and very special friend

First visit by Kenyan official in over ten years; Agreement on irrigation and agriculture cooperation signed; Meeting with Netanyahu focused on combatting Islamic terror

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Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta arrived in Israel for a three-day visit Tuesday, meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Rivlin in Jerusalem. Kenyatta not only toured Jerusalem, but also planted a tree in the nations’ capital in The Grove of Nations.

President Kenyatta stated that Israel is a “friend of Kenya”, Kenyatta’s visit the first by a Kenyan official since 1994. Netanyahu stated on the diplomatic visit “Israel is coming back to Africa, and Africa is returning to Israel” referencing the friendship between the two nations, specifically Kenya’s aid during the Entebbe raids. Netanyahu stated that both Israel and Kenya are united in “our common battle against militant Islamic terrorists,” adding that “Israel is willing and prepared to work with Africa in our common battle against militant Islamic terrorism.”

Kenyatta stated during a press conference following their meeting that “Both our peoples have suffered casualties at the hands of these brutal terrorists… We in Kenya hold Israel as a dear and very special friend. The war on terrorism is international and we must all join hands together to defeat it… We have no illusions about them. They want to murder our people, and we know that this is a common battle that we share with you.”

President Rivlin addressed Kenya’s struggle with radical Islam stating that Israel “feel the pain together with you. Israel stands together with you against those who pretend to speak in the name of Islam as they murder men, women and children.”

The meeting between the officials focused on economic, trade and security cooperation, with an agreement signed in Jerusalem on future cooperation in irrigation and agriculture. Kenyatta stated “There are unlimited opportunities for local and foreign investors and we invited Israeli investors to invest more in Kenya.”

IDF and US EUCOM begin “Juniper Cobra 16” military drill in Israel

Drill is 8th in cooperative exercises between EUCOM and IDF and is “major milestone an unparalleled security alliance in the strategic relationship between the two countries”

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The IDF and United States European Command began their 8th joint missile defense drills and exercises to continue through out the week.

 

The “Juniper Cobra 16” focuses on improving coordination and cooperation between US EUCOM and the IDF. According to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, the drills are to “improve cooperation and coordination between the two militaries and bolster ballistic missile defense capabilities… This exercise provides an opportunity for both militaries for joint learning and training” and is an additional step “in strategic relations between Israel and the U.S., and it will greatly contribute to regional stability.”

 

Brigadier General Tzvika Haimovich of the Israeli Air Force Aerial Defense Division stated that “The exercise is a major milestone an unparalleled security alliance in the strategic relationship between the two countries. This cooperation reflects a commitment to protect the lives of civilians and deep appreciation to the IDF, the air force and air defense system,” with Director of Exercises and Assessments at Headquarters of EUCOM Major General Mark Loeben stating “Supporting Israel’s right to defend itself constituted an integral part of US policy in the region for decades. The exercise was and will continue to be supported in this policy. This is our nation’s premier exercise in the region, and EUCOM’s highest priority exercise for 2016.”

 

Israel is hosting over 1,700 US service members, contractors and employees for the week of drills and events.

Syrian refugee website thanks Nation of Israel for humanitarian assistance

Website created in Dec. 2015 thanks Nation of Israel for ongoing assistance to refugees from SyriaThank-you-banner-final.jpg

 

A Syrian refugee created a website thanking the Nation of Israel for their ongoing support and humanitarian efforts in assisting refugees from Syrian as well as victims of Syria’s 5 year, ongoing civil war.

The website, “Thank you Am Israel” was created in December of 2015 “is dedicated to acknowledging the numerous Jewish and Israeli individuals and organizations who have gone out of their way to provide aid, assistance and medical care to Syrian refugees since 2011… with the purpose of recognizing and thanking all the Jewish and Israeli individuals and groups who have done so much for Syrians in need over the past few years.”

The website was created by a Syrian refugee Abud Dandachi, high-tech professional living in Istanbul. It is updated with news and photos of communities assisting from Europe, Canada, Israel and the United States.

The website reads: “At a time when numerous countries in the Arab world and Europe have turned away those fleeing the conflict in Syria, Israeli and Jewish organizations and NGOs have, often at great risk to themselves, been at the forefront of efforts to provide assistance to Syrians. In a world where the refugee issue has been exploited by opportunistic political parties in Europe and the United States, Jewish groups have offered assistance to Syrians in need unreservedly and with no expectations of any manner of reciprocation.

It is said that one of the truest moral tests of a society is in how it treats those in need, and who have nothing to offer in return save for gratitude. It is a challenge that this generation of Israelis and Jews have met with exemplary generosity and charity, and it is that generosity that Thank You Am Israel was set up in acknowledgment and appreciation of.

Thank you to the people of Israel and the Jewish people the world over, for showing kindness and charity to Syrians, whether it is through your IDF medical teams, your aid workers in Greece and the Balkans, or your congregations in North America raising money to aid and sponsor Syrian refugees. God bless you and protect you.”

Israel’s Magen David Adom, IsrAID, numerous humanitarian organizations and the IDF have been actively providing humanitarian assistance to refugees and victims of the Syrian war. The IDF constructed a military-field hospital close to the border with Syria where hundreds have been treated, many in Israel hospitals, their identities hidden, as they would be killed for entering Israel.

Israel has sent delegates to Turkey and Greece, as well as doctors to assist refugees escaping Syria.