Israel intercepts drone and military equipment en route to Gaza Strip

Reports of packages released to public on Tuesday after 10 packages with drone engines intercepted on Monday at Erez border crossing into Gaza Strip

Hamas militant with photographed with Israeli drone, Skylark

The IDF, Shin Bet and Ministry of Defense intercepted shipments of drones and military equipment to the Gaza Strip, Israel’s Defense Ministry reporting the smuggling attempts and releasing information of an ongoing investigation on Tuesday.

According to the Ministry of Defense, packages containing ten drone engines were found at the Erez border crossing on the Gaza-Israel border on Monday, as well as several dozen packages containing military and drone equipment intercepted over the past weeks. Rifle scopes, radio receivers, video transmitters, expansion devices for cellular phone signal as well as dissembled drone parts were found in packages to the Gaza Strip.

The Ministry stated on the interceptions “The equipment that was stopped was confiscated and an investigation has been launched into the people behind the smuggling attempts.”

An ongoing investigation in underway with limited details released to the public.

Netanyahu “willing to negotiate with Arab states revisions” to Arab Peace Initiative

PM makes announcement following appointment of Lieberman as Defense Minister; Netanyahu: We are willing to negotiate with the Arab states revisions to that initiative so that it reflects the dramatic changes in the region…

Prime Minister Netanyahu

Prime Minister Netanyahu announced support for reviving aspects of the Arab Peace Initiative as a means for negotiations for a two-state solution on Monday evening during a press conference following the appointment of MK Avigdor Lieberman as Defense Minister.

The Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 offers Israel with diplomatic recognition from 57 Arab states in return for a statehood deal with the Palestinians. The Saudi proposed Initiative was supported by the Arab League at the Beirut Summit 2002 and endorsed again in 2007 by the Arab League Summit.

Netanyahu stated on Monday evening, “I remain committed to making peace with the Palestinians and with all our neighbors. The Arab peace initiative includes positive elements that can help revive constructive negotiations with the Palestinians. We are willing to negotiate with the Arab states revisions to that initiative so that it reflects the dramatic changes in the region since 2002 but maintains the agreed goal of two states for two peoples.”

Netanyahu’s announcement Monday evening comes following Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s recent speech, in which Sisi offered support from Egypt for resuming negotiations with the Palestinians. The developments also fall just days ahead of the French peace initiative, in which international foreign ministers will gather in Paris for a conference centered on developing a solution for resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman also announced his support for Sisi’s speech and the Arab Peace Initiative, stating following Netanyahu “President Sissi’s speech was very important; it creates a genuine opportunity that obligates us to pick up the gauntlet. I certainly agree that in the Arab Peace Initiative there are some very positive elements that will enable us to conduct serious dialogue with our neighbors in the region.”

 

 

 

Russia to return Israeli tank captured in First Lebanon War

Putin accepts Netanyahu’s request for tank ahead of his visit with Putin in two weeks time; Tank from last known location of three Israeli soldiers MIA for over 34 years

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has agreed to Prime Minister Netanyahu and IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot’s request to return an IDF tank captured in during the Battle of Sultan Yacoub during the First Lebanon War in 1982.

The tank was one of two IDF tanks that were captured by the Syrian Army during a battle between the IDF and Syrian Army in the Bekaa Valley on June 11th. Both the tanks were transferred to Damascus, one of the tanks sent to Russia where it was placed in a Russian museum until now.

During the battle, three Israeli soldiers, Zechariah Baumel, Tzvi Feldman and Yehuda Katz went missing, their families unable to provide a proper burial for over 34 years.

According to media reports, Prime Minister Netanyahu requested the tank be returned to Israel during his visit with Putin in April. Just two weeks ahead of his next visit with Putin, Netanyahu thanked Putin, stating on Saturday “I wish to thank the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, for responding to a request made by me and the IDF Chief of Staff to return the tank from the Battle of Sultan Yacoub to Israel… To the families of MIA’s Zechariah Baumel, Tzvi Feldman and Yehuda Katz, there has been nothing to remember the boys by and no grave to visit for 34 years now. The tank, which is the only evidence from that battle, will now be returned to Israel.”

A delegation from the IDF Ammunition Corps is currently in Moscow where they will meet with Russian officials to arrange the return. The families of the missing IDF soldiers, Zechariah Baumel, Tzvi Feldman and Yehuda Katz, were informed of the tanks return to Israel over the weekend.

Netanyahu and Putin’s meeting in two weeks time will center on Russian military coordination with Israel in Syria. Israel and Russia reached an agreement earlier this year on military coordination on Russian military actions in Syria.

 

Behold Israel’s September Bible Prophecy Tour with Amir

September 2-10, 2016 Behold Israel Bible Prophecy Tour

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There is still space on Behold Israel’s September Bible Prophecy Tour! Amir will lead the tour from September 2-10, 2016. Come to Israel and join us for a life-changing experience!

On Behold Israel Bible Prophecy Tour, you will experience the past, present and future of the Word of God, His chosen people and their land. Behold Israel’s Study Experience is designed to let God speak to adults, young and old, by literally walking through the Bible.

Visit rich ‘dead’ stones of ancient Biblical sites like Caesarea by the Sea, Capernaum and Jerusalem’s City of David. Celebrate ‘living’ stones of modern Israel, as we attend a local Messianic congregation’s service, listening to music and testimony of local believers.

Come study Bible Prophecy. Learn about coming events in the places where the future will happen- places like Armageddon and the very top of the Mt. of Olives.

If you cannot make it in September, check out our additional tours scheduled in February 2017, September 2017 and December 2017.

Prayerfully considering joining us.

For more information or to register, contact us at info@beholdisrael.org

Israel provides over $20,000 in disaster relief supplies to Sri Lanka following floods

Israel one of first-responders to aid Sri Lanka following floods which killed over 100; Over $20,000 in supplies provided; Israel to provide assistance with water experts

Ambassador Carmon presenting the shipment to the Sri Lankan authorities

Israel’s Ambassador providing disaster relief to the Sri Lankan authorities (MFA)

Israel has provided $20,000 in disaster relief to Sri Lanka’s Disaster Relief Fund on Thursday and Friday following floods that hit the country last week which resulted in over 101 deaths and a reported 100 missing, the floods destroying 530 houses and damaging over 4,000. The floods resulted in over one-third of Colombo resident’s evacuation.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry confirmed the immediate disaster relief supplies, which include much needed water filters, water pumps, solar lighting kits and over 50,000 water purification tablets. The Ministry stated “Following the recent floods that have caused loss of lives and severe damages, Israel has been in touch with the Sri Lankan authorities and provided $20,000 of immediate disaster relief supplies to people and areas that were significantly affected by the disaster. At this difficult times, the people of Israel and its government stand by the people of Sri Lanka.”

Israel will continue to provide Sri Lanka with needed supplies as well as “long and medium term cooperation that will include Israeli experts in the field of water,” Israel’s Foreign Ministry confirmed Saturday

Israel’s Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Daniel Carmon, stated on Israel’s disaster relief provision and cooperation and close relations to Sri Lanka, “Friendship between people – but more so between nations – is tested in times of need. As a friend and partner of Sri Lanka, Israel was honored to provide emergency assistance following the recent floods. We have every intention that this emergency aid would ease the recovery of the areas affected by the floods and that it will transform into a strong and meaningful cooperation in the field of water. This year our National Day reception that will take place tonight in Colombo, will be dedicated in honor of victims of the flood and to cementing our strong friendship. Our hearts and minds are with the People of Sri Lanka and especially the families of the victims and all of those who were affected by the floods, as the loss of lives and the damages are truly heart breaking.”

The floods in Sri Lanka have been deemed the nation’s worst natural disaster since the 2004 tsunami, international disaster relief agencies calling for international support to aid Sri Lanka during this disastrous period.

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Hamas to execute 13 convicted murderers in the Gaza Strip

UNHCR condemns planned executions; Hamas claims capital punishment to be “implemented in Gaza soon”

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Hamas announced it intends to execute 13 Gazan residents without approval from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Hamas announced on Wednesday that it intends to carry out the executions in public, Hamas Attorney General Ismail Jaber stating “Capital punishments will be implemented soon in Gaza. I ask that they take place before a large crowd.” Those sentenced are all male and all accused of murder. Hamas official Khalil al-Haya state on “The victims’ families have the right to demand that the punishments be implemented.”

Under Palestinian law, the death penalty can be given for the crimes of murder and drug trafficking. Hamas, however, has also executed collaborators with Israel in the past, the last executions reported in the Gaza Strip carried out following Operation Protective Edge in 2014. A reported 6 were killed by firing squad following the Operation, with a total of 23 extrajudicial killings carried out. They were all accused of collaboration with Israel under crimes of espionage and murder.

According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, 9 death sentences were carried out in the Gaza Strip in 2015 and a reported 10 this year with a total of 170 Palestinians sentenced to death, 30 of them executed, since the creation of the Palestinian Authority in 1994.

The United Nations’ High Commissioner for Human Rights condemned the announcement, spokesman for the UNHCR Rupert Colville stating “The Gaza authorities’ statements follow the demands of several families for the death penalty to be carried out against individuals accused of killing their relatives. Death sentences may only be carried out in extremely limited circumstances, and pursuant to a trial and appeals that scrupulously follow fair trial standards. We have serious doubts as to whether capital trials in Gaza meet these standards.”

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Netanyahu signs government coalition agreement with Lieberman’s Yisrael Beytenu

Netanyahu and Lieberman sign coalition agreement, Lieberman to serve as Defense Minister, replacement for Ya’alon; Pension benefits reform negotiations still ongoing

Prime Minister Netanyahu Monday at the Likud party meeting alongside Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman

 

Negotiations between Prime Minister Netanyahu’s “Likud” party and Avigdor Lieberman’s “Yisrael Beytenu” (Israel, Our Home) finalized negotiations on a coalition agreement Wednesday morning, both parties signing an agreement on a new government coalition to now include Yisrael Beytenu and appointing Lieberman as Israel’s Defense Minister.

Lieberman will replace former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon who resigned from his position last week. His appointment will be brought before Israel’s Parliament (the Knesset) next Tuesday.

Negotiations have been ongoing for the past week, Likud and Israeli Beytenu’s negotiation teams closing a deal Wednesday morning. Negotiations for a coalition were finalized overnight Tuesday into Wednesday, a meeting held Tuesday night between Netanyahu, Lieberman and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu party). Their meeting was focused on resolving disputes for a finalized coalition, issues including a proposed death penalty law for convicted terrorists, a proposal made by Lieberman and rejected by Kahlon’s party. Additionally issues surrounding pension reform were part of the negotiations, Kahlon pressing for increased pension benefits for all Israel’s elderly and immigrant population, contrary to Lieberman’s agenda for pension benefit reform for immigrants from the former Soviet Union on criteria such as years lived in Israel, retirement age etc.

Lieberman stated Wednesday morning that “We compromised on issues of religion and state and on death sentence to terrorists, but we will not compromise on two basic issues: the defense portfolio, and the pension reform,” Kahlon stating “Kulanu will not allow unruly behavior in any area, not economic, not political, not security. Kulanu will not allow the violation of the principle of equality. Everyone will receive this money – Arabs, Jews, immigrants and veterans. That is our agenda,” both clarifying their party’s agenda and ongoing negotiations in the future.

As part of the coalition agreement, Israel Beytenu will receive 1.4 billion NIS for its pension reform, as well as 150 million NIS for public housing allocation.

Prime Minister Netanyahu welcome MK Avigdor Liberman as Israel’s Defense Minister, stating on Wednesday morning “I welcome Avigdor Lieberman and his faction members as important partners to the coalition. I value his experiences; we’ve worked together before for the security and welfare of the people of Israel… Israel needs political stability to handle the challenges we face and to take advantage of the opportunities before us. I’m committed to advancing a peace process, I’m committed to making every effort to reach an accord.”

Netanyahu described the negotiations process and goals for the new coalition on Tuesday evening stating “We are working to expand the government, and we are doing so for the sake of our security and our economy. Thank God, we now have the revised natural gas framework, and we will produce gas for the good of the State of Israel and the welfare of Israeli citizens in all realms-security, economy, social welfare, energy and peace. We want and are working to promote a process of peace with security. These are not mere words; this is my policy, and I intend to advance it. To achieve all these aims, we must have as broad a coalition as possible. This is my goal, and it has always been my goal, and I hope that with your help and the help of God we will achieve it in the coming days.”