July 12, 2006, 9 A.M. Another beautiful, clear morning in Israel’s coastal resort city Nahariya. As an IDF liaison officer, I sat with my UNFIL counterpart over coffee to discuss heightened tensions on the Lebanese border. The situation was already tense in the wake of the Gilad Shalit kidnapping two weeks earlier by Hamas, the ideological comrades-in-arms of Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
The coffee wasn’t yet finished when I received an urgent call ordering me back to base immediately. Two IDF soldiers had been kidnapped, several others killed and wounded in an unprovoked Hezbollah attack 20 km from where we sat that violated Israeli sovereignty and sparked the Second Lebanon War.
Ten years later the Middle East continues to be rocked by violence and instability, and Hezbollah is still here and more powerful. Continue reading
The Bethlehem-based news agency Ma’an has cited a Kuwaiti newspaper report Saturday, that US President Barack Obama thwarted an Israeli military attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities in 2014 by threatening to shoot down Israeli jets before they could reach their targets in Iran.
Following Obama’s threat, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was reportedly forced to abort the planned Iran attack.
According to Al-Jarida, the Netanyahu government took the decision to strike Iran some time in 2014 soon after Israel had discovered the United States and Iran had been involved in secret talks over Iran’s nuclear program and were about to sign an agreement in that regard behind Israel’s back. Continue reading
Speaking at a memorial service for former IDF Chief of Staff Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, who passed away four years ago, Gantz said “we are currently at what could be called a historical junction. There is a wide chasm between the way the Western countries split up this region 100 years ago through various agreements – mostly for their own convenience – and the reality of today,” with the arrangements for the nation-states decided upon in previous agreements between France, Britain, and other countries falling victim to revolution in places like Syria and Libya. Continue reading
In an interview with SPIEGEL, Yuval Diskin, former director of Israel’s internal security service Shin Bet, speaks of the current clash between Israel and the Palestinians, what must be done to achieve peace and the lack of leadership in the Middle East.
SPIEGEL: Mr. Diskin, following 10 days of airstrikes, the Israeli army launched a ground invasion in the Gaza Strip last week. Why now? And what is the goal of the operation?
Diskin: Israel didn’t have any other choice than to increase the pressure, which explains the deployment of ground troops. All attempts at negotiation have failed thus far. The army is now trying to destroy the tunnels between Israel and the Gaza Strip with a kind of mini-invasion, also so that the government can show that it is doing something. Its voters have been increasingly vehement in demanding an invasion. The army hopes the invasion will finally force Hamas into a cease-fire. It is in equal parts action for the sake of action and aggressive posturing. They are saying: We aren’t operating in residential areas; we are just destroying the tunnel entrances. But that won’t, of course, change much in the disastrous situation. Rockets are stored in residential areas and shot from there as well. Continue reading
Tehran has ballistic missiles able to pound targets over twice as distant as previously thought, and can reach the American mid-ocean strategic base at Diego Garcia, a senior Iranian official has explicitly warned.
“In the event of a mistake on the part of the United States, their bases in Bahrain and (Diego) Garcia will not be safe from Iranian missiles,” said an Iranian Revolutionary Guard adviser to Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Majatba Dhualnuri. Continue reading
Terror group is capable of hitting any house in Israel, according to home front defense minister
“According to an IDF worst-case scenario, Israel could find itself under attack from thousands of rockets that could last three weeks,” he said at a conference at Bar-Ilan University, according to Israel Radio. “The Hezbollah organization has over 200,000 missiles capable of hitting any house in Israel.” Continue reading
Damascus warns ‘mass of flames will ignite Middle East’ if regime attacked; Assad’s chemical weapons use reportedly discussed in call between US and Israeli army chiefs
Israel believes that the United States will respond militarily to Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons, according to unnamed military sources quoted by the Hebrew website Ynet on Saturday night.
When proof surfaces that the Assad regime used chemical weapons last Wednesday, “the US will act even in the event that the UN Security Council does not take a decision to that effect,” the report claimed, citing estimations by Israeli officials. Continue reading