Hezbollah: We have precision and non-precision rockets

Nasrallah gives speech threatening Israel and boasting of advanced missiles; Iran calls on UN to take action on Israel’s nuclear program; Netanyahu reiterates Israel’s preemptive strikes will continue, warns enemies from threatening Israel’s security.

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Hezbollah boasted of its precision rockets and weapon capabilities following IDF strikes on an attempted weapons shipment from Syria earlier this week.

Head of the terror organization, Hassan Nazrallah, gave a televised speech on Thursday, reacting to the IDF’s confirmation it carried out strikes in Syria preventing a missile shipment from Iran to Hezbollah.

The IDF confirmed strikes in Syria Monday that “targeted a facility of the Syrian Armed Forces from which systems to manufacture accurate and lethal weapons were about to be transferred on behalf of Iran to Hezbollah in Lebanon. These weapons were meant to attack Israel, and posed an intolerable threat against it.”

In Nasrallah’s speech Thursday, he stated that Hezbollah’s already has advanced missiles, as well as “other means”, stating “The Israelis are angry and worried their plot has failed; they’ve pinned hopes on what happened in Syria and Iraq, but all these illusions have been shattered.” He added “No matter what you do to cut the route, the matter is over and the resistance possesses precision and non-precision rockets and weapons capabilities.”

He also announced, “Israel is afraid of any war, they understand that the war against us will have many ramifications in the region,” warning “Israel- watch out, everything you’ve done so far is over… If Israel forces a war on Lebanon, Israel will face a fate and a reality it has never expected on any day.”

Following the IDF strikes and its confirmation of events, Iran took to diplomatic and lobbying efforts against Israel’s nuclear program. Iran’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Gholamali Khoshrou, sent a formal request to the United Nations Security Council to investigate Israel’s nuclear program. He called for the UN to not only force Israel to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and also for inspections from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). He claimed “The United Nations’ members should not turn a blind eye to these threats and must take firms actions to eliminate all Israeli nuclear weapons.”

Meanwhile, Israel reinforced its security around its nuclear site following threats from Iran. The Director General of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission, Zeez Snir, confirmed on Tuesday during a speech at a International Atomic Energy Agency conference in Vienna that Israel’s facility is constantly “upgraded and reinforced, in line with IAEA safety guidelines.” Snir addressed Iran’s threats, stating “We cannot ignore the repeated and explicit threats, made by Iran and its proxies, to attack Israel’s nuclear sites. These outrageous threats require Israel to take immediate action and continue to protect and defend its nuclear facilities.”

Speaking at a ceremony commemorating the Yom Kippur War, Prime Minster Netanyahu warned Israel’s enemies against threatening Israel. He reiterated again this week, “In the Middle East, those who are trying to kill us are being led by Iran, which openly and aggressively calls for the destruction of Israel. It is our duty to protect ourselves from this danger, and we will continue to do so.”

The prime minister spoke of Israel’s growing relations with Arab states given common regional enemies and conflict. He stated “Within the Middle East in our days, saturated with dangers, there are rays of light- our relations with the moderate Arab world. So many countries understand the great value in strengthening relations with Israel and the gradual rapprochement with yield fruit of normalization and peace. This goal guides me and we will continue to guarantee that the quality of our lives will never be broken.”

Be sure to watch Amir’s update on the details of these events and much more!

 

 

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Report: Syrian army downed Russian aircraft following Israeli strikes on Latakia

IDF strikes reported on Latakia Monday targeting Iranian arms depot and technical industries park used for chemical weapons research and production; Syrian army reported to have accidentally downed Russian aircraft with 15 servicemen.

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Syrian army defense systems reportedly downed a Russian aircraft following Israeli strikes on Latakia Monday night.

Strikes were reported on multiple locations in Latakia late Monday, one of the targets the Organization for Technological Industries used by Assad’s regime and Iranian forces. The site has been known for chemical weapons research and production. The strikes reportedly thwarted a missile shipment and hit an additional Iranian arms depot.

Mixed reports in Arab media claimed drones and Israeli jets carried out the airstrikes. Initially, Lebanese forces reported that the French frigate Auvergne also carried out strikes from the Mediterranean Sea. The reports were later refuted.

Lebanese media claimed Israeli jets attacked from their airspace, with Russian media reporting four Israeli F-16’s carrying out the attacks.

The strikes, which reportedly lasted for over a half hour, triggered Syrian army missile defense systems which downed several of the incoming missiles.

Following the strikes, Russia announced that its Il-20 reconnaissance aircraft with 15 personnel had disappeared over the Mediterranean Sea. Shortly after, a US military official reported to CNN that the Syrian army missile defense systems had accidentally downed the aircraft. On Tuesday morning, Russia’s Defense Ministry confirmed the events, releasing the statement “a Russian Il-20 aircraft was lost when it was over the Mediterranean Sea, some 35 kilometers from the Syrian coast, on its way back to Hmeymim airbase.”

Russia’s TASS agency reported following, “The trace of the Il-20 on flight control radars disappeared during an attack by four Israeli F-16 jets on Syrian facilities in Latakia province. At the same time Russian air control radar systems detected rocket launches from the French frigate Auvergne which was located in that region.”

NATO continues to build up its forces in the Mediterranean, deploying its 2nd Standing Maritime Group to the Sea. The NATO ships are moving closer to Syria, as confirmed recently by a captain of one of the Dutch frigates.

Israel’s last strikes in Syria were on Saturday. The IDF carried out strikes in Syria targeting an Iranian arms depot as well as a recent Iranian weapons shipment to Syria. Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed Israel’s red lines and preemptive strikes in Syria and with Iran on Sunday, stating “Israel is constantly working to prevent our enemies from arming themselves with advanced weaponry. Our red lines are as sharp as ever and our determination to enforce them is stronger than ever.”

The IDF recently confirmed it has carried out over 200 strikes on Iranian and terror targets in Syria in the past 18 months. A report released on Monday by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed that 114 Iranians in Syria have been killed in the past five months, 113 of which were soldiers and officers killed in the past month.

Be sure to watch Amir’s update on these developments.

 

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Netanyahu: Israel preventing enemies from acquiring advanced weaponry

PM speaks of Yom Kippur War and Israel’s preemptive strikes in order to prevent enemies from attacking Israel; Netanyahu: Israel is constantly working to prevent our enemies from arming themselves with advanced weaponry.

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Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed Israel’s preemptive strikes in the region during his weekly cabinet meeting.

Speaking ahead of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, which takes place Tuesday evening into Wednesday, Netanyahu spoke of the history of the Yom Kippur War 45 years ago. He stated on Sunday, “This week we will mark, in synagogues and cemeteries, Yom Kippur, the holiest day of our people, and the day on which, 45 years ago, we absorbed a bloody attack that cost us thousands of victims. We must do everything to prevent war. Its victims destroy the lives of families and they are a gaping wound in the heart of the nation.”

He added, “However, if war is forced upon us, we must do everything to win with minimal losses.” The prime minister stated that during the Yom Kippur War, Israel’s political leadership made a “grievous mistake” by not allowing a preemptive strike, stating “We will never repeat this mistake.”

Netanyahu reiterated Israel’s continued defense against its enemies, stating “Israel is constantly working to prevent our enemies from arming themselves with advanced weaponry. Our red lines are as sharp as ever and our determination to enforce them is stronger than ever.”

On Saturday, the IDF carried out strikes in Syria targeting an Iranian arms depot as well as a recent Iranian weapons shipment to Syria. While the IDF and Ministry of Defense refused to comment on reports, both have been clear that Israel will not allow transfer of weapons to Hezbollah or Iran to entrench itself in Syria.

Be sure to watch Amir’s most recent update on regional developments in Syria, the outcome of the Turkish-Iranian-Russian summit in Tehran, the historic steps the US administration is taking regarding the Palestinian “refugees” deception and much more!

 

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Israel, Greece and Cyprus move forward with gas pipeline

PM met with foreign ministers from Cyprus and Greece in fifth trilateral meeting; Talks center on pipeline and new firefighting force; Ministers meet with Egyptian counterparts on EuroAfrica interconnecter project.

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Prime Minister Netanyahu held a trilateral meeting with the foreign ministers of Greece and Cyprus, their meeting centered on the Mediterranean gas pipeline, the environment, energy, security, emergency services and tourism.

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias and Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides both held meeting with Netanyahu in Jerusalem, talks centered on the on the East-Med gas pipeline construction and gas imports to Europe. The leaders also held talks on creating a new multinational firefighting force, as well a further cooperation in energy and tourism.

Addressing the press, the prime minister stated on the trilateral meeting “Our prime focus right now is on energy, on developing the eastern Mediterranean pipeline. It’s a great project, could be one of the great underwater projects in the world. And obviously it’s something that we think is important.” He added “Equally, we think it’s important that all countries respect the territorial waters, internationally-recognized territorial waters, and this is something that is important for all of us.”

The last trilateral meeting was held in March of this year. Netanyahu, President Nicos Anastasiades and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras met in Nicosia, their fourth trilateral meeting in less than three years. Their meeting centered on moving forward with the East-Med pipeline and EuroAsia Interconnector project, a 1,520 km undersea electric cable.

In April of 2017, Israel signed a joint declaration with Cyprus, Greece and Italy to move forward with construction of the undersea gas pipeline, known as “East-Med”. The pipeline is proposed to be over 2,200 kilometers long and bring gas from Israel’s gas fields to Cyprus, Greece and Italy. The pipeline is expected to be completed by 2025 and is estimated to cost $6-7 billion. The creation of the gas pipeline will not only benefit Israel’s economy and diplomatic and trade relations with European states, but has also placed Israel as a a significant player as the world’s largest natural gas exporter.

Following their meeting, Kotzias and Christodoulides then traveled to Egypt for a tripartite meeting centered increasing cooperation, as well as the EuroAfrica interconnecter project.

 

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Report: IDF strikes near Damascus airport

Israeli strikes reported on Saturday night targeting recent Iranian shipment and arms depot; Syrian army missile defense activated; IDF refuses to comment on reports.

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Syrian media reported Israeli strikes close to the Damascus international airport on Saturday night.

Syrian army missile defense systems responded to the attacks, reportedly downing Israeli missiles. According to Syrian state media, SANA, Syrian air defenses “responded to an Israeli missile attack on Damascus international airport and shot down a number of hostile missiles.” Reports from Lebanon of Israeli drones in its airspace surfaced shortly after.

The strikes targeted an Iranian arms depot as well as a recent Iranian weapons shipment to Syria.

As with most covert operations in Syria, the IDF refused to comment on the reports. The last reported IDF strikes in Syria were two weekends ago. Several blasts were reported at an ammunition storage facility at the Mazzeh military airbase. The location was previously hit in IDF strikes in 2017 and 2016.

Last week, new information surfaced that Iran has been smuggling arms and missile components to Hezbollah in Lebanon using a civilian airline. Two recent Iranian arms shipments to Hezbollah on Fars Air Qeshm flights on a Boeing 747, one in July and one on August 2, were confirmed. The flights, from Tehran to Beirut, had unusual routes that were reported by a “regional source”. The shipments reportedly included missile components and arms.

Prior, Iran attempted to deploy missiles to Syria, but were detected and moved the missiles to Iraq.

Israel has been clear that it will defend itself from Iran’s efforts in Syria, and that weapons and arms transfer are a red line for the IDF.

Be sure to watch Amir’s most recent Middle East Current Events Update on developments in Syria and the region.

You can find this update in Chinese and Japanese.

 

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Report: Saudi Arabia purchases Iron Dome from Israel

Saudi media reports recent purchase of Iron Dome system for defense from Iranian-backed Houthi rebels; System to be delivered in coming months.

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Reports surfaced that Israel recently sold Saudi Arabia an Iron Dome missile defense system.

Saudi media on Thursday claimed the Kingdom purchased the system from Israel in an arms deal mediated through the United States. The Iron Dome will reportedly arrive to Saudi Arabia in the coming months and could even be operational by December 2018.

The missile defense system will be used in defense from rocket attacks from Iran’s proxies, the Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Reports first surfaced of negotiations and future arms deal earlier this year. The Swiss newspaper Basler Zeitung, released a detailed report on Israeli-Saudi military coordination and developing diplomatic relations. The report referred to Israel and Saudi Arabia’s relations as “very advanced” and centered mainly on Saudi cooperation with Israel on regional developments, mainly involving Iran, but also on reports it intends to purchase defense systems, the Iron Dome and tanks from Israel.

At least three meetings have been reported between Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with Israeli officials since 2017. The last was reported in June of this year, a secret meeting between Netanyahu, the Crown Prince and an UAE diplomat in Amman were reported. Following, meetings were held with White House special adviser Jared Kushner and US Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt in Jordan, Egypt, Qatar and Israel, talks centered on the US peace plan.

In April of this year, the Crown Prince made history and officially recognized Israel’s right to exist. He also publicly recognized Israel’s growing stance in the region and possible future relations between Gulf states and Israel, stating at the time “There are a lot of interests we share with Israel and if there is peace, there would be a lot of interest between Israel and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries.”

Speaking last month during Iran’s military drill in the Gulf Sea and threats on Bab-el-Mandeb, Prime Minister Netanyahu warned the Islamic Republic of an international coalition if the Red Sea were blocked, stating “If Iran tries to block the Bab-el-Mandeb, I am convinced that it will find itself facing a determined international coalition to prevent this. This coalition would also include the State of Israel and all its arms.”

Be sure to tune in for Amir’s Middle East Current Events Update this evening from Tel Aviv. He will address regional developments including the military operation in Idlib, Syria, the outcome of the Turkish-Iranian-Russian summit in Tehran, the historic steps the US administration is taking regarding the Palestinian “refugees” deception and update on upcoming ministry events. Tune in at 8:00 pm (ISRAEL TIME).

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United States to close PLO office in Washington

State Department to close PLO office; Cites refusal to negotiate with Israel, rejection of US peace efforts; PLO: This is yet another affirmation of the Trump administration’s policy to collectively punish the Palestinian people…

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The Trump Administration announced on Monday that it would close the PL0 (Palestine Liberation Organization) office in Washington, citing the Palestinians refusal to negotiate with Israel and rejection of the United States’ peace plan efforts.

The announcement follows a series of measures by the Congress and the State Department to combat the Palestinian’s manipulation and tactics in delegitimizing Israel and advancing its efforts in global organizations.

Spokeswoman for the State Department, Heather Nauert, gave a statement on Monday announcing the closure of the office in Washington. She announced “The Administration has determined after careful review that the office of the General Delegation of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in Washington should close. We have permitted the PLO office to conduct operations that support the objective of achieving a lasting, comprehensive peace between Israelis and the Palestinians since the expiration of a previous waiver in November 2017.”

She cited the reasons for the closure, mainly the Palestinian’s refusal to negotiate with Israel, stating “the PLO has not taken steps to advance the start of direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel. To the contrary, PLO leadership has condemned a U.S. peace plan they have not yet seen and refused to engage with the U.S. government with respect to peace efforts and otherwise.” She also cited “Congressional concerns with Palestinian attempts to prompt an investigation of Israel by the International Criminal Court.”

She added “The United States continues to believe that direct negotiations between the two parties are the only way forward. This action should not be exploited by those who seek to act as spoilers to distract from the imperative of reaching a peace agreement. We are not retreating from our efforts to achieve a lasting and comprehensive peace.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu praised the Trump Administration’s decision, releasing the statement “The US made the correct decision regarding the PLO mission in Washington. Israel supports American actions that are designed to make it clear to the Palestinians that refusing to negotiate and attempts to attack Israel in international forums will not advance peace.”

The Palestinians referred to the closure of the PLO office as efforts to “collectively punish” the Palestinians by the Trump Administration. Secretary-General of the PLO, Saeb Erekat, stated “This is yet another affirmation of the Trump administration’s policy to collectively punish the Palestinian people, including by cutting financial support for humanitarian services including health and education.”

Amir will address these developments, as well as military operation in Idlib, Syria, the outcome of the Turkish-Iranian-Russian summit in Tehran last week, an update on upcoming ministry events and much more! Tune in for this week’s Middle East Current Events Update on Thursday, Sept 13, 2018 at 8:00 pm (Tel Aviv).

 

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