Tuesday, November 13, 2018

IAF Strikes Multi-story Buildings in Response to Gaza Rockets

Yoav Zitun, Elior Levy:  11.13.18 ,

At least 11 Palestinians were reported killed in a series of wide-scale airstrikes carried out by Israel Air Force (IAF) in response to some 400 rockets fired from Gaza at southern Israel since Monday afternoon, claiming the life of a 40-year-old Palestinian man who was in Ashkelon illegally.

 IDF Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Ronen Manlis said "We are in the midst of a wide-scale process of accumulating more infantry, armored and other forces to the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip, and we are mobilizing reserves for Iron Dome operations and the Home Front Command," he said. 

 “We struck four multi-story buildings that Hamas uses for terror activity. We attacked the buildings in an orderly manner after the inhabitants have been evacuated," he explained."Hamas is behaving as if we have moved on to targeted assassinations, as their men have been in hiding since Monday afternoon," Manelis added.

"Hamas knows very well what we are attacking and what the cost of the confrontation with the IDF is. We will continue to act with full force,” Manelis wrote on Twitter.

IAF strikes in Gaza (Photo: AFP) 

The IDF spokesman added that in light of the escalation of hostilities, the evacuation of the Gaza border communities’ residents is something the military is considering, although it is not yet necessary.

In response, the armed wing of Hamas threatened to step up attacks and fire rockets at the southern cities of Ashdod and Be'er Sheva if Israel continues to carry out airstrikes in Gaza.

 The spokesperson for Islamic Jihad went as far as to imply the faction will strike the center of the country next.

The IDF said some 150 targets were attacked in the Gaza Strip on Monday evening and overnight Tuesday, including the Gaza City headquarters of Hamas' Al Aqsa TV station. Israel had fired warning shots ahead of the airstrike, prompting the station to halt programming and replace it with a logo. Minutes later, the airstrike flattened the three-story building and the station went black. 
IAF destroys building in Gaza (Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)

 "The station broadcasts violent propaganda against the State of Israel and its citizens, as well as operational messaging to militants, which include methods for carrying out attacks against civilians and soldiers and way to obtain weapons," the IDF said.

 Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum condemned the bombing as "a barbaric, brazen aggression." Ten minutes later, the station resumed broadcasts, airing pre-recorded national songs.

 Senior Hamas official abroad Izzat al-Rishq said, "We are holding talks with a large number of Islamic Arab countries, as well as with western countries and international organizations to condemn the escalation caused by the Zionists, and to end the ongoing aggression against our people, during which innocent civilians are hurt.

 The IAF also hit Hamas's interior security headquarters, which were disguised as the Al-Amal Hotel. The activity conducted in the structure apparently included the planning of terror attacks against Israeli targets. The hotel is located in the heavily populated a-Rimal neighborhood in the northern Gaza Strip. Gaza’s health ministry is located nearby.

Another high-quality target attacked was Hamas' military intelligence force for research and development—a high-rise structure located near a school.

In addition, the IAF hit a weapons storage facility in Khan Yunis, a military complex in Zeitoun, and a weapons manufacturing site in Sheik Omdan.
House bombed in Khan Yunis (Photo: AFP)

The Israeli Navy attacked a vessel belonging to the Hamas naval force at the Nuseirat port in the southern Gaza Strip.

These strikes represent an escalation in the IDF's response, as it has resorted to softer targets over the past few months.

The Security Cabinet convened Tuesday to decide on the next steps of fighting against Hamas.

Meanwhile, an IAF aircraft struck a terror cell launching rockets in northern Gaza, during which one Palestinian was killed and another was wounded, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

In addition, two Palestinians breached the security fence at the Karni crossing in northern Gaza. They sabotaged the fence and shortly thereafter returned to the strip.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Thousands To Attend Flagship Israeli Homeland Security, Cyber Conference

Eytan Halon  Nov 11, 2018

Five thousand people, 175 companies and representatives from more than 80 countries are set to attend a flagship homeland security and cyber defense conference starting Monday in Tel Aviv.

The fifth biennial International Homeland Security & Cyber Conference will present Israeli know-how and technology that has propelled the country to the forefront of the world’s security industry, both on the ground and online.

Among those due to address thousands of conference-goers at Expo Tel Aviv are the head of the  Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and Director-General of the Israel National Cyber Directorate , as well as executives and government officials from countries, including the United States, Cyprus, Germany, India, Italy, Singapore, South Korea and Spain.

US Transportation Security Administration Chief Information Officer Russell Roberts and New York Police Department Commissioner James P. O’Neill are set to provide attendees with an American perspective at the conference, which is backed by a range of government bodies, including the Israel Export Institute, the Economy Ministry and the Innovation Authority.

Alongside the keynote addresses and panels will be a large exhibition showcasing an extensive array of innovative technologies designed by 170 Israeli companies in the fields of national security, intelligence, crowd protection, mass transit security, cybersecurity and financial tech.

Adiv Baruch, chairman of the Israel Export Institute and the conference, told The Jerusalem Post that the conference represents one of the “main pillars” positioning Israel as a leader in the homeland and cybersecurity innovation fields.

“Israel has become one of the leading hubs in homeland security and cybersecurity in the last few years,” Baruch said. “They are two different markets and solutions, but are all connected as they are supposed to provide a better, safer life for civilians in each country.”

In addition to the exhibition space featuring Israeli innovation, the conference supports companies by arranging business-to-business meetings with visiting officials, including chief security officers and procurement managers. Some 2,500 meetings have already been arranged prior to the conference.

“The conference brings the decision-makers to Israel rather than Israeli companies chasing the market and committing to additional expenditure. In a very condensed period of time, we are exposed to a large sum of decision-makers in that space,” Baruch added.

Israeli companies operating in the fields of homeland and cybersecurity, he said, are expected to exceed $10 billion in exports this year for the first time.

“The conference materializes into contracts and revenue in large numbers for Israeli companies,” Baruch said. “We don’t have the means to follow each company, but feedback based on the will to participate every year and be part of it is only based on the positive productiveness of previous conferences.”

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

4,000 Students from 60 Nations Sing in Tel Aviv

Four thousand college students from 60 countries gathered in Tel Aviv in October for the latest mass singalong sponsored by the social music project, Koolulam. 

The event, at Ganei Yehoshua, was attended by GA 2018 participants, graduates of MASA programs, MASA CEO Liran Avisar Ben Horin, Jewish Agency Chairman Yitzchak Herzog, Government Secretary Tzahi Braverman, and Masa Chairman Ilan Cohen.

Koolulam was founded with the goal of strengthening society through mass singing events in which large groups of non-professionals come together to create a collaborative happening.

The organization gathers as many as 12,000 people at a time from a broad spectrum of Israeli life, and then films the joint singing productions to share on social media.

In June this year, Jews, Muslims and Christians joined together at the Jerusalem Tower of David Museum to sing Bob Marley’s “One Love” in three languages as a show of unity from Israel. The video of the event went viral. 

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Israel silent as Iran hit by computer virus more violent than Stuxnet

Iranian infrastructure and strategic networks have come under attack in the last few days by a computer virus similar to Stuxnet but “more violent, more advanced and more sophisticated,” and Israeli officials are refusing to discuss what role, if any, they may have had in the operation, an Israeli TV report said Wednesday.
The report came hours after Israel said its Mossad intelligence agency had thwarted an Iranian murder plot in Denmark, and two days after Iran acknowledged that President Hassan Rouhani’s mobile phone had been bugged. It also follows a string of Israeli intelligence coups against Iran, including the extraction from Tehran in January by the Mossad of the contents of a vast archive documenting Iran’s nuclear weapons program, and the detailing by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the UN in September of other alleged Iranian nuclear and missile assets inside Iran, in Syria and in Lebanon.
“Remember Stuxnet, the virus that penetrated the computers of the Iranian nuclear industry?” the report on Israel’s Hadashot news asked. Iran “has admitted in the past few days that it is again facing a similar attack, from a more violent, more advanced and more sophisticated virus than before, that has hit infrastructure and strategic networks.”

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

New Palestinian "Concern" for International Conventions

Bassam Tawil  October 30, 2018 

While Hamas has been violating international laws by denying visits or any communication with the Israelis it holds captive, Palestinian terrorists in Israeli prisons continue to enjoy basic rights, including meeting with an attorney, receiving medical treatment, religious rights, basic living conditions (such as hot water, showers and sanitation), proper ventilation and electric infrastructure.

The families of the Palestinian terrorists held in Israeli prisons know where their sons are. They also know that their sons receive proper medical treatment and while away their days reading, exercising and watching TV. But the Israelis held by Hamas can only dream of seeing daylight as they languish in captivity.

Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist group that rules the Gaza Strip, does not like a bill making its way  through Israel's Knesset that would prevent visits by family members of terrorists in Israeli prisons. The bill, sponsored by MK Oren Hazan (Likud), would prevent such visits to terrorists who are members of groups that hold Israeli prisoners and deny them visits.     

The proposed Israeli law is a temporary measure, aimed at forcing Hamas to release information about the Israelis held in the Gaza Strip. There would be no need for the law were Hamas prepared to honor international and humanitarian conventions and allow visits by the Red Cross and other international agencies to the Israelis it is holding.

In response, Hamas denounced Israel's proposed law as "racist," and said in a statement that it was a "flagrant violation of all laws and humanitarian conventions." Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem claimed that the bill was "part of Israel's policy to impose restrictions on the prisoners."

Suddenly, Hamas is concerned about "international law and humanitarian conventions"? Not quite. There is a catch. Hamas is only concerned about them when Palestinian terrorists are involved. As for the rights of Israelis held by Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist group apparently still believes they are not entitled to any rights.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

"All Jews must die"

Such was the claim of the deranged shooter who massacred 11 Jews praying in their Synagogue in Pittsburgh this weekend. The following was written by Daniel Seaman formerly of the government Press Office

All Jews - not Orthodox or Reform, Conservative or Reconstructionist; ALL Jews. Not right wing or left wing; not liberal or conservative; not Democrat or Republican, Likud or Meretz. ALL Jews

Not Baby Boomers or Millennials, old or young; not Ashkenazi or Sephardic, European or African Jews; not white or black Jews; not American or Israeli. ALL Jews. Just like every single persecutor throughout our history. 

They never, ever, cared about the differences we attach to each other. Never saw any of us as better than the other. It never matters to them. They always saw us as Jews. JUST JEWS. All of us - Jews. That which unites us. Makes us who we are, makes us stronger. We are one people. We are ALL Jews. And tonight we mourn with the Jews of Pittsburgh and the Jewish families and the families of the police officers who came to their defense. 

We are ALL Jews. It could have been any one of us.

IDF strikes over 80 targets in Gaza amid flare-up

Israeli Air Force aircraft struck dozens of terror sites across the Gaza Strip early Saturday in response to some 39 rockets launched into Israel from Gaza, in the heaviest exchange of fire since August.

Despie recent reports that Egypt has forged understandings between Israel and Hamas, 18 Code Red rocket alert sirens sounded on Friday night and Saturday morning in Gaza border communities. 

Out of the 39 rockets launched into Israel, the Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted 17. Two rockets landed inside the Gaza Strip and the rest landed in open areas in Israel. This was the heaviest barrage of rockets since early August, when 150 rockets were fired in two days.

 Iron Dome intercepts rockets

On Saturday morning, the Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the rocket fire.

"The enemy must understand that the resistance will not accept the equations it imposes, based on killing from their side and silence on our side.
The IAF struck dozens of terror sites across the Gaza Strip in response to nearly 40 rockets launched into Israel from Gaza. One of the targets destroyed was a building that served as Hamas' general security headquarters in Gaza's al-Daraj neighborhood.

Among the targets attacked were two main arms manufacturing sites in Al Atatra and the Netzarim area; a tunnel shaft in Khan Yunis; five military complexes in Khan Yunis, Deir al-Balah, Tel al-Zaatar and Jabaliya; an integrated training complex in Rafah; and an observation post in Beit Lahia.

The IDF Spokesperson's Office said in a statement that it “gravely views the rocket attack tonight (Friday) against Israeli communities. The attacks are carried out in a terror-enabling atmosphere led by Hamas near the border fence, which led terror groups in the strip to carry out tonight’s attack.”

The Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Maj. Gen. Kamil Abu Rokon, said in Arabic "Tonight the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip fired mortar shells towards the Erez Crossing and hit the ambulances' entrance."  

"How low could the terror organizations in Gaza go when striking the passage of the ambulances at the Erez Crossing, a crossing through which children in need of medical care enter Israel every day?" he continued.

"The terror organizations do not feel sorry for you, residents of the Gaza Strip. They have not even a drop of compassion for babies, the elderly, and the poor patients among you. These terror organizations harm you first and foremost," Rokon added.

On Friday, at least 16,000 Palestinians gathered at five locations along Gaza border fence, burning tires and throwing rocks, grenades and firebombs at Israeli troops who responded with tear gas and occasional live fire.

Five Palestinians were killed Friday in the border riots.