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Category: Israel (page 49 of 50)

Hamas warns Obama: Don’t visit Temple Mount

Designated terrorist group Hamas has warned President Obama against visiting the holy Temple Mount site in Jerusalem when he visits Israel next month, saying the action would be “a diplomatic catastrophe.”

Mr. Obama hasn’t confirmed a visit to the Temple Mount. But Muslim leaders have heard rumors and have issued a blunt statement nonetheless, The Times of Israel reports.
Hamas said a visit by Mr. Obama to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is located just on the southern side of the Mount, would be “an imminent danger which the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem have never faced,” according to The Times of Israel. Hamas — which has been designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the U.S. State Department since 1997 — also called any visit by Mr. Obama to the site of “the Zionist occupation” an act of danger.
Ekrima Sabri, who heads the High Islamic Council in Jerusalem, said his group “insist[s] on Muslim sovereignty over the Temple Mount,” according to The Times of Israel report.- The Washington Times

Related:

‘Obama to tell Netanyahu US gearing up for Iran strike’

When he visits Israel next month, US President Barack Obama will tell Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that a “window of opportunity” for a military strike on Iran will open in June, according to an Israeli TV report Monday evening.

Obama will come bearing the message that if diplomatic efforts and sanctions don’t bear fruit, Israel should “sit tight” and let Washington take the stage, even if that means remaining on the sidelines during a US military operation, Channel 10 reported. Netanyahu will be asked to refrain from any military action and keep a low profile, avoiding even the mention of a strike, the report said, citing unnamed officials.

In London Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry said an Iran with nuclear weapons was “simply unacceptable” and warned the time limit for a diplomatic solution was running out.

“As we have repeatedly made clear, the window for a diplomatic solution simply cannot remain open forever,” said Kerry, on his first international tour as America’s top diplomat. “But it is open today. It is open now and there is still time, but there is only time if Iran makes the decision to come to the table and to negotiate in good faith.

“We are prepared to negotiate in good faith, in mutual respect, in an effort to avoid whatever terrible consequences could follow failure, and so the choice really is in the hands of the Iranians. And we hope they will make the right choice,” Kerry added.

A fresh round of high-level diplomatic talks were set to begin Tuesday in Kazakhstan — the first since last June’s meeting in Moscow failed to convince Iran to stop enriching uranium to a level close to that used for nuclear warheads. – Full Read: Times Of Israel

Netanyahu: Arrow will help us on peace, or defense
The Defense Ministry successfully carried out its first test of the Arrow 3 missile defense interceptor on Monday, firing it into space from a coastal military launch pad in central Israel.

Set to become operational around 2016, the Arrow 3 operates in outer space, traveling at twice the speed of a tank shell to leave the atmosphere.

It is designed to seek out and destroy Iranian Shahab 3 missiles – including any carrying nuclear warheads, as well as other longrange projectiles. Full Read: JPost

‘Israel’s strike on Syria last month killed top Iranian general’

Hassan Shateri, the Iranian general whose killing was reported last week, was actually slain last month in an alleged IAF airstrike that was said to have targeted a weapons convoy heading from Syria to the Lebanese group Hezbollah, Britain’s Sunday Times reported.

Iran was quick last week to blame “mercenaries and supporters” of Israel for Shateri’s death, although it made no indication that he had been killed in the January airstrike. Tehran “will take revenge on Israel for the killing of a Quds Force general in Syria,” said Ali Shirazi, liaison for Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to the Revolutionary Guards’ elite Quds Force.

Shateri was a high-ranking member of the Quds Force, which is tasked with international operations, and was instrumental in Iran-Hezbollah relations, overseeing the reconstruction of Hezbollah’s armaments in the wake of the 2006 Second Lebanon War, Sunday’s report said.

For Israel, he was long a “prime target,” according to an Israeli security figure quoted by The Times.

The report described how, despite the tight security surrounding Shateri, Israeli agents spotted him in Damascus and trailed him as he boarded the convoy headed for Lebanon, after which the airstrike option was utilized.

According to Israeli and Western defense officials quoted by the foreign press at the time, the convoy was delivering Russian-made SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles that, in Hezbollah’s hands, would be considered game-changing in that they would disrupt Israel’s ability to carry out reconnaissance flights over Lebanon.

But according to Sunday’s report, even the specter of advanced surface-to-air weaponry in the hands of Israel’s sworn enemy would not be sufficient, without further cause, to merit a risky strike deep in Syrian territory.

A senior Israeli source was quoted as saying that Shateri was the real target of the strike and that “a weapons convoy to Lebanon is not on its own a good enough reason for Israel to risk its pilots in an attack through a heavily protected air defense zone.” – Times of Israel

Israel: Iran closer than ever to nuclear bomb

Iran is “closer than ever” to the ability to build a nuclear bomb, Israel said on Thursday, as a new UN report said Tehran has begun installing next-generation equipment at one of its main nuclear plants.

The International Atomic Energy Agency’s report said Iran started installing new and advanced centrifuges at Natanz, which would enable it to speed up the enrichment of uranium.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said the report was “severe,” and “proves Iran is continuing to rapidly advance to the red line that the prime minister drew at his speech in the United Nations.”
“Iran is closer than ever today to obtaining enriched material for a nuclear bomb,” the statement read.
In a September address to the UN General Assembly, Netanyahu called for a “clear red line” to stop Iran getting a nuclear bomb.

He used a red marker pen to draw a line through a cartoon diagram of a bomb to illustrate what the international community’s limit for Iran’s uranium enrichment program should be.

He said Iran had 70 percent of the necessary level of uranium enrichment for a bomb and warned that at the current pace, the Islamic republic could have nearly all the material needed to create a first bomb by summer.
Thursday’s statement noted that “preventing nuclear arms from Iran will be the first topic Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will discuss with US President Barack Obama,” expected in Israel in March.
Israel, along with the United States and much of the West, believes Iran is seeking a nuclear weapon, something Tehran strongly denies.

Israel, the Middle East’s sole, albeit undeclared, nuclear power, believes Iran must be prevented from reaching military nuclear capabilities at any cost and refuses to rule out military intervention to that end. – France 24

Iran move to speed up nuclear program troubles West
Iran has begun installing advanced centrifuges at its main uranium enrichment plant, the U.N. nuclear watchdog said on Thursday, a defiant step that will worry Western powers ahead of a resumption of talks with Tehran next week. – Full Read: Reuters

WEB Notes: It’s looking more than likely we will have war sometime later this year. Right or wrong it’s on our doorstep… This will fulfill the prophecy in the book of Daniel concerning Persia, then lookout because here he comes

Op-Ed: Exclusive: A Seat for the Pope at King David’s Tomb

An historic agreement has been drafted between Israel and the Vatican. The Israeli authorities have granted the Pope an official seat in the room where the Last Supper is believed to have taken place, on Mount Zion in Jerusalem, and where David and Solomon, Jewish kings of Judea, are considered by some researchers, to also be buried.

It is the culmination of a long campaign by the Catholic Church to regain religious stewardship over the place where Jesus is supposed to have broken bread and drunk wine with his disciples on the eve of his crucifixion.

This is an enormous issue pushed through without any public debate.

According to our sources, the agreement, which is expected to be ratified next June, gives the Pope a “special authority” over the second floor of the building, so that Christian pilgrims will be able to celebrate religious functions like Pope John Paul did in 2000.

The agreement constitutes Israel’s capitulation to the Vatican’s efforts to “Christianize” the holy site, like when a Catholic convent was built in Auschwitz.

The Catholic Church has long wanted control over part of the area on Mt. Zion so as to turn it into an international religious center for Catholics. The blueprint of the agreement reads as follows: “The Vatican hands over this use of the Cenacle to the Custody of the Holy Land which will keep the Cenacle open from 6 AM to 8 AM for the celebration of the Holy Mass”.

In the long term, the gesture will increase tensions between Jews and the large assets of the Vatican. The Church has long been working to reduce Jewish rights in Jerusalem and in the Old City. Now, after the Muslim Waqf authority expelled the Christians from the Temple Mount and turned it into a mosque, it’s the turn of the Vatican to lay its hands on the Jewish Jerusalem. – Full Read: Israel National News

WEB Notes: What many fail to recognize is the “Jews” are just one of 12 tribes. The other 11 were  scattered and E. Raymond Capt documents exactly where they are today in this booklet titled: “Abrahamic Covenant: A study outline of the Identity of God’s People. I believe this is an important issue, not just the migration of the tribes but the temple mount. We are going to see a lot more news about this very important spot on the earth in the near future...

Syrian Islamists meet Hizballah head-on – take in arms from Bosnia, Kosovo

Reports Monday, Feb. 18, that Hizballah has transferred 1,000 fighters to the Syrian district of Homs are a red herring to distract attention from six new major developments in the Syrian civil conflict – revealed here by debkafile’s military and intelligence sources:

1. Contrary to reports of Hizballah attacks on villages in the Homs region, the thousand Hizballah militiamen have moved in to defend the predominantly Shiite villages of the area whose population is loyal to Bashar Assad. They are there to relieve the Syrian army of the burden of defending these Shiites against rebel attack.

Hizballah has also undertaken to guard Shiite holy shrines in Syria.
2.  The Muslim factions of the Syrian revolt have received their first heavy weapons consignments, mostly Kornet and Fagot anti-tank missiles. Their improved armaments account for the new edge they display in battles with Bashar Assad’s army, although reports of their conquests are much exaggerated.

3.  These arms are coming from two sources: radical Islamist organizations in Bosnia and Kosovo, some of them associated with al Qaeda – at least ideologically. It is hard to say who is organizing and bankrolling the new weapons sea route to Syria. According to one theory, it is the Albanian mafia.

4. For the first time, Syrian rebels are taking in arms unsupervised by any of the Western or Arab agencies involved in the Syrian revolt.

5. Most of the incoming weapons are destined for the Islamist Jabhat al-Nusra, the rebel faction identified with al Qaeda.

6. The Jabhat al-Nusra, newly armed with hardware from Bosnia and Kosovo, have pushed across the border into Lebanon, our sources reveal, and are harassing Hizballah in its home bases in the Beqaa Valley. Night after night in the last ten days, small bands of Islamist fighters, weighed down by heavy loads of rockets, are attacking Hizballah strongholds and isolated guard and watch posts and ambushing military vehicles.

Both are designated terrorist groups by the United States government.

The Syrian conflict has indeed spilled over the border into Lebanon. It is also turning more and more into a sectarian confrontation between extremist Sunnis and radical Shiites. – Debka

Netanyahu Tells America It’s Now Or Never

Netanyahu has drawn a line in the sand, only this time, it’s for the U.S.

According to a Maariv report, when speaking to a visiting delegation from the American Jewish Committee, Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel was simply not strong enough to force a halt to Iran’s nuclear enrichment program. In order to halt the program, Bibi said, the U.S. would have to strike, and they must do so this year.  – BusinessInsider

Netanyahu:

“The sanctions are only likely to stop Iran if there is a credible (military) threat over their head … and in order for it to be a credible threat, you need to mean it, meaning that if the sanctions don’t work – and they haven’t until now – you will use it,” he said.

Syria: Israeli planes attacked military research center

Israeli warplanes attacked a military research center in Damascus province at dawn on Wednesday, Syria’s military command said, denying reports that the planes had struck a convoy carrying weapons from Syria to Lebanon.

Two people were killed and five wounded in the attack on the site in Jamraya, which it described as one of a number of “scientific research centers aimed at raising the level of resistance and self-defense.”

The building was destroyed, the military command said in a statement carried by state media.
It said the planes crossed into Syria below the radar level, just north of Mount Hermon, and returned the same way.

Sources told Reuters earlier that Israeli jets had bombed a convoy on Syria’s border with Lebanon on Wednesday, apparently targeting weapons destined for Hezbollah. JPost

Voters Across Israel Cast Their Ballots

More than 2 million Israelis have exercised their right to vote as of 2 pm as polling stations struggle to keep up with the flow of voters. This indicates a particularly high voter turnout compared with the previous four campaigns. Polls will close at 10 pm. Polls at small communities will close at 8 pm.

A total of 5,656,705 eligible voters will be able to cast their ballots in 10,132 ballot boxes across Israel.- YNetNews

More Fuel Poured on Mid-East Fire

Palestinians now firing Katyushas rockets: The Palestinian Gaza terrorist grades are now firing Multiple-Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) “Katyshas” supplied by the Lebanese Hizballah and 120-mm bunker-busting mortars  in their current offensive against Israeli towns, villages and troops, Israeli lawmaker Shay Hermesh revealed Sunday, Nov. 11 after 6 civilians sere hospitalized.

The Knesset member who lives in Kfar Azza spoke after more than 60 assorted rockets hit southern Israel from Saturday. The public radio Kol Israel interrupted the interview with Hermesh at that point to prevent any more discolosures.


debkafile: The civilians injured Sunday in intense rocket fire aimed at Sderot, Shear Hanegev and the Eshkol district were apparently caught by concentrated Katyusha fire rather than the hit-or-miss Qassams or Grads.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu opened the weekly cabinet session by saying: We are set to escalate our response.” Debka



Israel Fires at Syria in response: The IDF fired a warning shot at the Syrian military on Sunday, after a Syrian shell landed in the Golan Heights for the second time in recent days.

Israel has not fired at Syria since the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

“In the midst of Syrian infighting, a mortar shell fired by the Syrian army struck near an outpost at Tel Hazeka,” IDF spokesman Brig.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai said. The shell failed to cause injuries or damages, but was one of a series of shells that landed in Israeli territory in recent days.

“In light of the policy instituted by IDF Chief of Staff, Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz, a warning round was fired back into Syria. We don’t believe it caused injuries or damages,” Mordechai added.

At the same time, Israel sent a warning message to the UN, saying that any further firing into Israel will result “in a real response,” sources added.

Israel limited its return fire, since its policy is to only fire intensively in response to coming under major Syrian fire. “We didn’t continue firing because this was one mortar we were responding to,” the source said.

“We will not accept any firing into our territory,” he added. “This was a signal to the Syrians, that we will not be so forgiving of everything that lands in a territory.” The source stressed that as of now, Israel and Syria were not a in a conflict situation. – JPost

Syria’s Assad warns of apocalyptic war: In a rare interview with Russia Today TV, President Bashar al-Assad vigorously clarified his stance on the current Syrian crisis created by the West and some regional states including Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar and warned them of the apocalyptic consequences of any foreign intervention in Syria.

“I do not think the West is going [to intervene], but if they do so, nobody can tell what is next. I think the price of this [foreign] invasion if it happened is going to be more than the whole world can afford,” Assad said in a Thursday interview with the Russia Today TV network.

Assad warned that the domino effect of any military attack on the country “will affect the world from the Atlantic to the Pacific and you know the implication on the rest of the world.”- PressTV

Netanyahu vows to stop Iran, even in defiance of the United States

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed on Monday night to put a stop to Iran’s nuclear program by whatever means necessary — even in outright defiance of American objections — if neither sanctions, nor other international action, achieves that goal.

“There is no doubt about Iran’s intention — to destroy us,” Netanyahu said. “I won’t be reconciled to that.”
Asked in an interview whether, if reelected in January, he would “pledge that Iran won’t have a nuclear program by the end of your next term,” Netanyahu said simply, “Yes.”
When it was put to him that the US has opposed a unilateral Israeli resort to force, Netanyahu said President Barack Obama had stated that Israel has the right to defend itself as it sees fit, and that Israel dare not entrust its future to others, even to the United States. Israel’s prime ministers had ignored US disapproval in establishing the country in 1948 and preempting the Arab attack in the 1967 war, he noted.
Netanyahu was interviewed as part of an investigative TV report that traced Israel’s efforts over the past decade to thwart Iran’s march toward the bomb. The documentary, which included interviews with several serving and former top politicians and security chiefs, detailed sabotage, assassinations of scientists and other measures used by Israel — as reported in foreign publications — to slow the Iranian program. It described the 2007 air strike that destroyed Syria’s nuclear reactor as “a general rehearsal for an attack” on Iran. – Times of Israel

London, Paris, Jerusalem line up for post-US vote action on Syria, Iran

The UK , France and Israel showed signs this week of lining up for military action with regard to Syria and Iran as soon as America’s presidential election was out of the way Tuesday, Nov. 6, debkafile’s military sources report. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spent two days (Oct. 31-Nov. 1) talking to President Francois Holland. As the Defense Minister Ehud Barak landed in London the next day, Prime Minister David Cameron was reported on standby for the dispatch of RAF fighter-bombers to the Persian Gulf.

Barak flew to London after US Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had spent several days in Israel, no doubt tying up the last ends of US-Israeli cooperation for potential action.

Although America’s top military chief can’t tell who will be his next commander-in-chief – Barack Obama for another four years or the Republican Mitt Romney – he is duty-bound to have US forces in the Middle East ready for any contingency.

Although none has admitted as much, all the parties to these consultations did their best this week to chart alternative scenarios applicable to either winner. The consensus was that whether it is Obama or Romney, the two flaming Middle East crises can no longer remain subject to the policy immobility dictated by the presidential campaign – certainly not the Syrian bloodbath. – Debka

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