IAF retaliates to missile fired at Israeli jets from Syrian Army

The IDF responded to missile fired at Israeli jets Monday morning; IDF: We see the Syrian regime as responsible and see these missiles as a clear Syrian provocation, and it will not be accepted, Oct. 16, 2017.

An Israeli F-16 fighter jet (Reuters)

Israel’s Air Force responded to a surface-to-air missile fired from a Syrian anti-aircraft battery on Israeli jets east of Damascus Monday.

The event took place during a reconnaissance mission over Lebanon. The IDF responded, striking and destroying the Syrian SA-5 anti-aircraft battery.

The IDF confirmed the events, releasing the statement “Earlier today, an anti-aircraft missile was launched from Syria toward IAF aircraft during a routine flight over Lebanon. No hits confirmed.”

IDF Spokesman Ronen Manelis responded to the event, warning Syria against provocation or attacking the IDF. He stated that the IDF are “prepared for any possibility… We see the Syrian regime as responsible and see these missiles as a clear Syrian provocation, and it will not be accepted.”

The IDF confirmed it had updated Russia on the incident, Russia’s Defense Minister, Sergey Shoygu currently in Israel for meetings centered on Iran, Syria and Hezbollah.

Russian Defense Minister to arrive in Israel Monday

Shoygu to arrive for meetings with Liberman and Netanyahu Monday; Meetings to center on Iran, nuclear deal, Syria and Hezbollah, Oct. 16, 2017.

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Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu will arrive in Israel Monday to hold meetings with Israeli officials on Iran, Hezbollah Syria.

Shoygu is scheduled to meet with Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman as well as Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Shoygu will arrive in Israel following meetings in Washington with US Defense Secretary James Mattis, their meeting centered on Iran’s missile program and the nuclear deal.

Liberman previously met with Shoygu in Russia in April, their meeting centered on Syria, Hezbollah and Iran.

The meeting comes following numerous diplomatic steps by the United States and Israel regarding Iran in the past few weeks. Last week President Trump officially decertified the nuclear deal and announced sanctions on Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.

 

 

 

Photo: Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu, CC, 2017

Two rockets fired from Sinai into Israeli territory Sunday night

No damages or injuries reported; ISIS claims responsibility for the attacks

A smoke trail is seen as a rocket is launched from the northern Gaza Strip towards Israel

Two rockets were fired from the Sinai Peninsula into Israel Sunday night, the IDF confirming the attacks amidst varied media reports.

Rockets were fired at the Eshkol region, media reports initially reporting rocket fire from the Gaza Strip. Reports were corrected and the Egyptian military currently investigating the attack.

Both rockets landed in open areas in southern Israel with no damages or injuries reported.

Initial reports pointed responsibility to Islamic Jihad. The group last fired rockets into Israel on May 23 during President Trump’s visit in Israel. Rocket attacks from Egypt are usually carried out by Islamic Jihad, ISIS or Hamas.

On Monday afternoon, ISIS took responsibility for the attack.

Sunday’s rocket attack comes amidst heavy fighting between Egyptian soldiers with Islamic extremist groups, mainly in the Sinai region. A reported 24 militants and 6 Egyptian soldiers were killed in clashes Sunday. According to reports from Egypt, the Islamic State carried out an attack on a security outpost using a bombs and grenades.

Egypt has closed the border crossing into Israel amidst high security following Sunday’s attack.

Netanyahu commends Trump’s decisions on Iran, confirms Israel’s withdrawal from UNESCO

PM addresses Trump’s decertification of nuclear deal, commends USA on Iran and UNESCO withdrawal; Rouhani: Iran will continue to respect [the nuclear deal] as long as it serves our interests., Oct. 15, 2017. 

Prime Minister Netanyahu (AP)

 

Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed President Trump’s “important decision” on Iran Sunday, also confirming Israel’s withdrawal from UNESCO.

Speaking during his weekly cabinet meeting Sunday, Netanyahu commended President Trump and the United States for standing up for Israel in the United Nations after it officially announced its withdrawal from UNESCO last week, as well as President Trump’s decision to not recertify the Iran nuclear deal.

President Trump on Friday reiterated his Administration’s stance on the nuclear deal as “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into,” stating on Iran’s ongoing violation of the nuclear deal and advances in its missile program “We cannot and will not make this certification. We will not continue down a path whose predictable conclusion is more violence, more terror and the very real threat of Iran’s nuclear breakout. I am directing my administration to work closely with Congress and our allies to address the deal’s many serious flaws so that the Iranian regime can never threaten the world with nuclear weapons.”

Addressing Trump’s announcement, Netanyahu stated Sunday morning “It is completely clear, if one examines this agreement, if nothing changes, that Iran will have an arsenal of nuclear weapons within a few years. This agreement does not block this. It creates a sure path to the production of an enrichment system that could quickly bring Iran to dozens of atomic bombs and even more; therefore, the decision is very important.”

On Trump’s decision to not recertify the nuclear deal, as well as his decision to place sanctions on Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, he stated, “President Trump’s decision creates an opportunity to fix the nuclear agreement and stop Iran’s increasing aggression in our region. I believe that any responsible government, and whoever seeks to promote peace and security in the world, needs to take advantage of the opportunity that President Trump’s decision has created in order to improve the agreement or abrogate it and, of course, stop Iran’s aggression. It is self-evident that the President’s decision to impose sanctions on the Revolutionary Guards needs to be supported. The Revolutionary Guards are Iran’s main arm in spreading terror around the world and, of course, in spreading its aggression throughout the Middle East.”

On UNESCO, the prime minister confirmed that Israel is withdrawing from UNESCO following the United States. He reported “I instructed the Foreign Ministry to prepare for Israel’s withdrawal from UNESCO, which has become a platform for delusional, anti-Israeli and – in effect – anti-Semitic decisions. We hope that the organization will change its ways but we are not pinning hopes on this; therefore, my directive to leave the organization stands and we will move forward to carry it out.”

Also reacting to Trump’s announcement Friday, Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Zarif, accused the president of violating the three articles of the nuclear deal. Zarif announced Saturday that he had already “written nine letters to EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini listing the cases where the United States has failed to act on or delayed its commitments under the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action].”

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani accused President Trump of “insults and fake accusations”, stating that “The government of the United States is against the people of the region, against the people of Iran, and the oppressed nations.” Rouhani stated that President Trump, or any president, cannot revoke and international deal, stating “Iran will continue to respect [the nuclear deal] as long as it serves our interests.”

 

 

 

Photo: Netanyahu, CC, AP, 2016.

Fatah and Hamas sign reconciliation agreement in Cairo

PA to take control of Gaza Strip on Dec. 1; Unity government expected to form in January 2018; Netanyahu: Any reconciliation between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas must include honoring international agreements and the Quartet conditions, first and foremost among them recognizing Israel and disarming Hamas, Oct. 13, 2017.

 

390247Fatah and Hamas signed a reconciliation agreement Thursday, the Palestinian Authority to retake control of the Gaza Strip in December.

The agreement was signed in Cairo by representatives of both factions, the Palestinian Authority to resume its control of the Gaza Strip after a decade of conflict. Hamas leader Salah al-Aruri and Fatah representative Azzam al-Ahmad signed the agreement, with negotiations to form a unity government underway.

Negotiations for the final agreement took two days, negotiations monitored by Egypt.

The deal will go into effect December 1, 2017 and a reported 3,000 Palestinian Authority police will be deployed to the Gaza Strip. A joint police force it to be created as the Palestinians begin to merge and integrate government bodies.

The unity government is reportedly to be formed by January of 2018.

While specifics of the deal were not yet given to the press, the deal was brokered by Egypt and has been under negotiation for several weeks. Egypt’s State Information Service confirmed the PA’s control of the Gaza Strip with a meeting scheduled for all relevant Palestinian leadership in Cairo towards the end of November.

Fatah representative al-Ahmad stated on the agreement “We promise to implement the reconciliation agreement, and we’ll do everything to continue the reconciliation… We will act in stages, and the discussions that we’ve held over the past two days focused on returning the Palestinian government to operate and govern fully in the Gaza Strip.”

Hamas’ Al-Arouri “promised” the terror organization’s implementation of the agreement, claiming that the deal closely resembles the attempted deal from Cairo 2011, stating “The Egyptian attempt this time was different from all the preceding ones, and it’s clear to everyone that Egypt is the national guarantor of security for the Arab world.”

President Abbas congratulated the agreement, stating following “What was agreed upon strengthens and accelerates the steps to end the division and restore the unity of the Palestinian people, land and institutions.”

Israel condemned the agreement, as it does not require Hamas first disarm. Israel has been clear that it would not enter negotiations for a peace agreement with Hamas, a terror organization that calls for Israel’s destruction.

A statement from Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Office was released Friday morning, stating “Any reconciliation between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas must include honoring international agreements and the Quartet conditions, first and foremost among them recognizing Israel and disarming Hamas.”

United States to withdraw from UNESCO over “continued anti-Israel bias”

US confirms its withdraw at end of 2017 from UNESCO; Requests to remain observer state; US State Department: This decision was not taken lightly, and reflects US concerns with mounting arrears at UNESCO, the need for fundamental reform in the organization, and continuing anti-Israel bias at UNESCO, Oct. 12, 2017.

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The United States announced its withdraw from UNESCO on Thursday given the organization’s anti-Israel bias and efforts.

The U.S. State Department confirmed the United States’ withdrawal to the press after it officially notified the United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organization of its departure Thursday.

It stated “This decision was not taken lightly, and reflects US concerns with mounting arrears at UNESCO, the need for fundamental reform in the organization, and continuing anti-Israel bias at UNESCO.”

The withdraw will take effect at the end of 2017.

The United States announced that it would like to remain a “non-member state” as to in “contribute U.S. views, perspectives and expertise on some of the important issues undertaken by the organization, including the protection of world heritage, advocating for press freedoms, and promoting scientific collaboration and education.”

UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova responded to the United States withdrawal, stating “I wish to express profound regret at the decision of the United States of America to withdraw from UNESCO. Universality is critical to UNESCO’s mission to strengthen international peace and security in the face of hatred and violence, to defend human rights and dignity.”

UNESCO has passed numerous anti-Israel resolutions, majority denying Jewish heritage to religious sites and Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem. During his address to the United Nations General Assembly in September, Prime Minister Netanyahu called out the anti-Semitism and ongoing anti-Israel efforts in the UN.

He stated “Unfortunately, when it comes to UN decisions about Israel, that simple recognition is too often absent. It was absent last December when the Security Council passed an anti-Israel resolution that set back the cause of peace. It was absent last May, when the World Health Organization adopted – you have to listen to this: the World Health Organization adopted a Syrian-sponsored resolution that criticized Israel for health conditions on the Golan Heights.”

On the absurdity of UNESCO’s resolutions targeting Israel and Jewish history, he stated “So is there no limit to the UN’s absurdities when it comes to Israel? Well, apparently not, because in July, UNESCO declared the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron a Palestinian World Heritage site. That’s worse than fake news. That’s fake history. Mind you, it’s true that Abraham, the father of both Ishmael and Isaac, is buried there, but so too are Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca – Sarah is a Jewish name, by the way – and Leah, who just happen to be patriarchs and matriarchs of the Jewish people. You won’t read about that in the latest UNESCO report.”

Specifically on anti-Semitism at the United Nations, he stated “for too long the epicenter of global anti-Semitism has been right here at the UN. And while it may take many years, I am absolutely confident that the revolution in Israel’s ties with individual nations will ultimately be reflected in this hall of nations. I say that because there is also a marked change in the position of some of our key friends.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu directly thanked the United States for defending Israel, thanking President Trump and United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley’s during his speech.