Daily News Alert from Israel

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Prepared for the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Updated: 27 min 45 sec ago

Israel Ranks 1st in Digital Quality of Life with World's Most Affordable Internet

Sun, 09/18/2022 - 17:00
(Jerusalem Post) Zachy Hennessey - According to SurfShark's annual Digital Quality of Life Index (DQL), Israel ranks first in 2022 among 117 countries. Digital quality of life is defined by: internet quality, e-government, e-infrastructure, internet affordability, and e-security. Israel boasts the most affordable internet in the world, primarily due to its remarkably cheap mobile internet.

Increased Israeli Air Activity over Syria: Why Now?

Sun, 09/18/2022 - 17:00
(Jerusalem Post) Jonathan Spyer - A notable uptick in Israeli air operations against Iran-linked targets in Syria has taken place over the last month, according to regional media. The specific targeting of Aleppo Airport is almost certainly related to recent indications that Iran is relying increasingly on its "air bridge" to Syria and Lebanon, because of Israel's successful and systematic targeting of efforts to move weaponry and equipment by land. Moreover, the increased tempo of activity is part of a broader picture of increasing regional tension. Russia's pulling back in Syria to support its faltering military campaign in Ukraine means greater freedom for the Iranian role in Syria. But it also enables Israeli freedom of action to increase. In addition, the uptick in Israeli activity is part of a more general broadening and deepening by Israel in recent months of its assertive posture regarding the full gamut of Iranian activity in the region.

Fearing Attacks by Coalition and Israel, Military Movements by Iranian-Backed Militias Noticeably Decline throughout Syria

Sun, 09/18/2022 - 17:00
(Syrian Observatory for Human Rights-UK) Areas dominated by Iranian-backed militias across Syria have witnessed a noticeable decline in military activity in recent days. Militiamen left their headquarters and bases only when necessary, and are taking precautions for fear of assassination.

Iranian Regime Threatens to Destroy Israel in a Multi-Arena Struggle

Sun, 09/18/2022 - 17:00
(MEMRI) A. Savyon and M. Manzour - On April 28, 2022, the Iranian regime mouthpiece Kayhan daily highlighted a video by the Iraqi pro-Iran Shi'ite militia Al-Nujaba depicting a missile attack on Israel launched simultaneously from Yemen, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, and Gaza. Kayhan stated, this video "sent a warning to Tel Aviv that in the event of military conflict, it would be facing not just one country, but a large regional coalition called the 'resistance movement.'" A. Savyon is Director of the MEMRI Iran Media Project. M. Manzour is a Research Fellow at MEMRI.

A Simplistic Attitude to the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

Sun, 09/18/2022 - 17:00
(Irish Times) Adi Ophir Moaz - For some Irish activists and commentators, Palestine and Israel are a veritable obsession. All too often, the perspective is extremely biased against Israel and ignores the complexity and roots of the conflict. In a Sep. 14 article, Kathy Sheridan says that Palestinians are "the largest and longest case of displaced persons in the world today." But why is it still the case? After the Second World War, 40 million to 60 million displaced people found new homes and became part of society. Many Arab countries could have absorbed the Palestinians a long time ago, but the funding that the countries receive through the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) incentivizes them to keep the status quo and "hold the torch" of opposing the existence of the State of Israel. According to figures compiled by the OECD, aid to the Palestinians amounted to more than $40 billion between 1994 and 2020. Of this, non-Arab donors provided close to 77%. The writer is Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Israel in Dublin.

AFP Overlooks Palestinian Prisoner's Seven Murder Convictions

Sun, 09/18/2022 - 17:00
(CAMERA) Tamar Sternthal - Agence France Presse reported in September on demands for "the release of Nasser Abu Hamid, a Palestinian prisoner held by Israel who suffers from cancer," while failing to mention why he is sitting in jail. In December 2002, Hamid confessed in Jerusalem District Court to killing seven Israelis and was sentenced to three life sentences and fifty additional years' imprisonment. He also was convicted of 12 counts of attempted murder and other charges.

A Newly Established Militant Organization in the West Bank Claims Several Attacks

Sun, 09/18/2022 - 17:00
(Long War Journal) Joe Truzman - A new Palestinian militant organization called The Lion's Den (TLD) appeared in the West Bank in August and has published statements claiming shooting attacks against IDF troops. Some clues suggest its affiliation to Fatah's al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.

The Arab World Is in a Different Place on Peace with Israel

Sun, 09/18/2022 - 17:00
(YouTube) Amb. Ron Dermer interviewed by Jordan B. Peterson - The Abraham Accords were formally signed on Sep. 15, 2020. They represent the surfacing of Israel's relations with our Arab partners, particularly in the Gulf. By around 2012, the Saudi leaders had changed and wanted to end the Arab-Israeli conflict. What changed was a fundamental shift in their understanding and throughout the Gulf as the result of several factors that came together to give Arab leaders a different understanding of their most vital security interests and this changed their approach to Israel. One was the Arab Spring. All across the region things were starting to get unstable. Regimes that were certain of their hold on power for decades to come were less certain. Second was the rise of Iran as a very dangerous power in the region. Iran is a Shiite radical power. They not only threaten Israel with destruction but they also threaten their Sunni Arab neighbors. Third was the rise of Sunni radicalism in the form of ISIS and al-Qaeda. Fourth was the reduction of the U.S. military footprint in the Middle East. At the same time we have seen the rise of Israel as a global technological power. Israel is the second great source of innovation outside of Silicon Valley. The Arab leaders see that their security interests and their economic interests are tied to a partnership with Israel. They want to move into an alliance with Israel, but these regimes have been poisoning their populations against Israel for seven decades. The Saudis are the invisible hand behind the whole Abraham Accords. It wouldn't have gotten off the ground without at least their tacit support. But this was something that was possible to do years before. In 2012-13, they were ready for peace. Netanyahu spoke about it at the UN before the Trump years and said, "Never in my lifetime have I seen the possibilities that I see today. The Arab world is in a different place." A peace between Israel and Saudi Arabia is effectively the end of the century-old Arab-Israeli conflict. The reason why we have the Israeli-Palestinian conflict today is the same reason we've had a conflict for the last century, which is the refusal of the Palestinians to recognize the legitimacy of a nation-state of the Jewish people in any boundary in our ancestral homeland. In their minds, we stole their house. They don't understand that this is the territory where the patriarchs of the Jewish people prayed or where our prophets preached and our kings ruled. It's a complete denial of any historical connection between the Jews and the Land of Israel. They refuse to accept some sort of compromise. The Abraham Accords is a beginning of a shift - the removal of the Palestinians' veto over Israel-Arab peace. Ron Dermer served as the Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. from 2013 to 2021.

Blinken: Iran Deal Unlikely in Near Term

Wed, 09/14/2022 - 17:00
(U.S. State Department) U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Monday: "What we've seen over the last week or so in Iran's response to the proposal put forward by the European Union [on restoring the nuclear deal] is clearly a step backward and makes prospects for an agreement in the near term, I would say, unlikely....Iran seems either unwilling or unable to do what is necessary to reach an agreement and they continue to try to introduce extraneous issues to the negotiation that make an agreement less likely. But certainly what we've seen in the last week is a step backward away from the likelihood of any kind of near-term agreement."

U.S., European Officials See Fading Prospects of Iran Nuclear-Deal Revival

Wed, 09/14/2022 - 17:00
(Wall Street Journal) Laurence Norman - A hardening of demands from Tehran raises doubts about its willingness to revive the 2015 nuclear deal soon. In a weekend statement, France, Germany and Britain said they weren't open to further compromise and warned that Tehran's revamped demands raised "serious doubts as to Iran's intentions and commitment to a successful outcome." There are two major issues at the heart of the remaining differences. One is Iranian demands for stronger guarantees that they will reap the full economic benefits of restoring the 2015 deal, including under a new U.S. president. Tehran also reupped a demand to close a UN atomic agency probe into undeclared nuclear material found over the last three years in Iran.

Germany in Talks to Buy Arrow 3 Missile Defense System from Israel

Wed, 09/14/2022 - 17:00
(Bloomberg) Michael Nienaber - Germany has made a preliminary decision to buy Israel's Arrow 3 air-defense system instead of Lockheed's THAAD system. Chancellor Olaf Scholz discussed the issue on Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid in Berlin. "We are very keen to work with Israel...in the area of air defense where Israel has a very effective product with the Arrow 3 system," Scholz said. Lapid said Israel "will play a role in building Germany's new defense force, mainly in the field of air defense."

Arrow 3 Sale to Germany Is Only the Beginning

Wed, 09/14/2022 - 17:00
(Globes) Danny Zaken - The emerging decision of the German government to buy Arrow 3 systems for defense against ballistic missiles can be expected to lead to additional deals in Europe, in view of the war in Ukraine and Europe's stance against Russia, a senior source involved in Israeli defense exports told Globes. The Arrow 3 system is considered to be one of the most advanced systems in the world for intercepting ballistic missiles outside the earth's atmosphere. In addition, the German army currently leases seven Heron TP drones from Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) in a deal worth about 1 billion euros. The leasing deal is expected to turn into an outright purchase, and to be expanded to various types of armed drones.

Three Iranian Nationals Charged with Ransomware Extortion Against U.S. Critical Infrastructure

Wed, 09/14/2022 - 17:00
(U.S. Department of Justice) Three Iranian nationals were indicted for orchestrating a scheme to hack into the computer networks of multiple U.S. victims, the U.S. Attorney's Office in New Jersey announced Wednesday. Since October 2020, Mansour Ahmadi, Ahmad Khatibi Aghda, and Amir Hossein Nickaein Ravari, all residents of Iran, engaged in a scheme to access computer systems in the U.S., UK, Israel, and elsewhere, causing damage and losses to the victims. They also conducted encryption attacks, denying victims access to their systems and data unless a ransom payment was made.

IDF Officer Killed in West Bank Firefight

Wed, 09/14/2022 - 17:00
(Times of Israel) Emanuel Fabian - Maj. Bar Falah, 30, deputy commander of the Nahal reconnaissance unit, was killed in a firefight with two terrorists near the West Bank security fence on Wednesday. Two Palestinian gunmen, one of whom was an officer in the PA security services, were also killed. Soldiers operating surveillance cameras spotted the two gunmen in the seam zone between the West Bank and Israel near the Palestinian village of Jalamah before dawn and troops were dispatched to investigate.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad Offer Cash for Shooting Attacks on Israelis

Wed, 09/14/2022 - 17:00
(Times of Israel) Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad are offering about $200 for a shooting attack on Israelis, on condition that a video of the assault is published on TikTok social media, Israel's Channel 12 reported Tuesday. Security officials are concerned that videos of shooting attacks will encourage others to follow their example.

Hamas Releases Video of Its Fighters Training in West Bank

Wed, 09/14/2022 - 17:00
(Al-Monitor) Ahmad Melhem - Hamas' Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades released a video Sep. 3 showing its fighters carrying out military exercises in Jenin in the West Bank, not far from the Israeli city of Afula. The sight of the al-Qassam Brigades in the West Bank put the Palestinian Authority and its security services on high alert and led to a campaign of arrests in Jenin. "The PA is embarrassed by this video," Israeli journalist Ehud Hamo told Israel's Channel 12 on Sep. 5.

Fatah Announces Return to Terror

Wed, 09/14/2022 - 17:00
(Palestinian Media Watch) Itamar Marcus - Following the attack Wednesday that killed IDF Maj. Bar Falah, the Palestinian Fatah movement, headed by Mahmoud Abbas, released a video on Facebook celebrating the attack. The video proclaimed: "The Fatah leadership announces that it has returned to the phase of the armed struggle."

Israel Passes New Information to CIA about Blacklisted Palestinian NGOs

Wed, 09/14/2022 - 17:00
(Walla-Jerusalem Post) Barak David - An Israeli security delegation visited Washington last week in another attempt to convince the U.S. to back Israel's designation of six Palestinian NGOs as terrorist organizations. The delegation presented up-to-date intelligence regarding their involvement in the terrorist activities of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Israeli officials said. A senior Israeli official said, "We told the Americans that we acted against six organizations out of 250 similar organizations that operate in the West Bank because of their involvement in terrorism, and not because of their political positions or because they say things we don't like." A spokesman for the U.S. State Department said, "The U.S. government is currently examining additional information that Israel has provided on the matter."

Israel, EU Sign Intelligence Sharing Agreement

Wed, 09/14/2022 - 17:00
(Jerusalem Post) Under a new agreement with the EU, Israeli law enforcement will be able to share and receive intelligence in real-time about serious crime and terrorism with the EU's Europol.

Assad Manufactures Advanced Weapons for Iran in Ten Syrian Facilities

Wed, 09/14/2022 - 17:00
(Ha'aretz) Yaniv Kubovich - Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz presented on Monday a map with ten facilities in Syria that manufacture advanced weapons for Iran and Iranian proxies. "Iran is building terror industries in Syria for their own needs, and recently they have begun to build similar industries in Yemen and Lebanon. The world must stop this Iranian aggression and create a reliable and concrete military option," he said. Gantz said the Iranians are spending more than a billion dollars a year on this project. He said these facilities are a "potentially substantial threat to Israel and the region, especially the underground factory in Masyaf where precision missiles are being built."

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