“Operation Fernando” will aim to test the defense establishment’s readiness for the worst case scenario – a missile strike on the facility itself or its immediate surroundings, Yedioth Ahronoth reported. The drill, whose details have been classified as top secret, is scheduled for Tuesday. Given its classification, only a handful of senior defense establishment officials are privy to its outline.
Israeli forces are seeking to prevent bloodshed when Palestinians march in support of a statehood drive this month, but they are preparing for worst-case scenarios, even authorizing West Bank settlers to shoot at Palestinians who approach their communities.
In a dramatic turn of events, Turkey announced that it was expelling Israeli Ambassador Gabby Levy from Ankara. Davutoglu said Turkey’s diplomatic representation in Israel would be further reduced to second-secretary level. In accordance, all lower Israeli diplomatic personnel above the second-secretary level have also been expelled. The announcement followed a press conference, in which Davutoglu said that some of the UN’s Palmer Report findings on the raid were “unacceptable,” adding that it was “time for Israel to pay the price… The highest price it can pay is losing our friendship.”
The Israeli military is to train Jewish settlers in the West Bank and plans to equip them with tear gas and stun grenades to confront Palestinian demonstrators when their leaders press for UN recognition next month.
The Israeli Navy (INF) has decided to boost its presence and patrols near Israel’s maritime border with Egypt due to a viable terror threat in the area. Israeli security sources told the Associated Press on Tuesday that two additional warships have been dispatched to Israel’s Red Sea border with Egypt. Another source stressed that the […]
Iran is planning to send its 15th fleet, comprised of a submarine and a warship, to the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea, semi-official news agency Press TV quoted Iranian naval commander Admiral Habibollah Sayyari as saying on Tuesday.
The Israeli military said Monday that it has sent two additional warships to the Red Sea border with Egypt following warnings that militants are planning another attack on southern Israel from Egyptian soil. Monday saw IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen Benny Gantz order the deployment across the entire southern sector, and especially in the area near the Israel-Egypt border, increased, following intelligence indicating a viable terror threat in the area.
In the 10 days after Palestinian raiders killed eight Israelis on the Eilat highway on Aug. 18, Israel has suffered five terrorist attacks, the latest in Tel Aviv Sunday night which targeted a big teenagers’ back-to- school party. Five of the eight people injured were police officers and the club’s security guard. Israeli failure to respond commensurately to the Eilat Highway attack, the first in the series, blew another big hole in Israel’s military deterrence.
A Palestinian from the occupied West Bank commandeered a taxi in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv before dawn on Monday, stabbing the driver and then injuring seven others, including police officers, after crashing into a roadblock, a police spokeswoman said.
The remarks by Ahmadinejad came one day before the annual anti-Israeli rallies named Qods (Jerusalem) Day, which are held nationwide in Iran on the last Friday of the fasting month of Ramadan. “Iran believes that whoever is for humanity should also be for eradicating the Zionist regime (Israel) as symbol of suppression and discrimination,” Ahmadinejad said in an interview with a Lebanese television network, carried by ISNA.
“It is time, Brothers and Sisters, for Al Quds to be liberated. For Islam and people of the world who wish to pray there to the one God. And we say here today to you Israel, we see your crimes and we loathe your crimes. And to us your nation does not exist, because it is a criminal injustice against humanity. We want to see Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt go to the borders and stop this now. Liberate Al Quds! March to Al Quds!”
Four Kassam rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip at the Eshkol Regional Council on Wednesday evening in two separate incidents, less than an hour apart. Earlier in the evening, two rockets landed in open land near Ofakim shortly after a Kassam rocket fell in an open field north of the Gaza strip near Ashkelon. No injuries were or damage were reported. At the same time, air raid sirens were also heard in the Beersheba region. A Beersheba city spokesman said that the source of the sirens was from one of the nearby towns and not the city itself.
One Kassam rocket exploded on Monday night in an open area in the Ashkelon Coast Regional Council after two further rockets exploded earlier in the evening. One of the rockets that fell south of Ashkelon earlier sparked a fire near a kibbutz, and was later doused police said. The attacks once again placed reports of an unofficial ceasefire in question and have shattered a period of around 8 hours when no projectiles were fired at southern Israel. Earlier on Monday, Taher a-Nunu, spokesman for the Hamas government, said that the factions in the Gaza Strip and Hamas announced that they are willing to comply to truce, if Israel agrees not to carry out more strikes.
Israeli security officials said seven other people were wounded, including two children, by more than 50 rockets fired from the Hamas-ruled territory Saturday. In Gaza, an Israeli air strike wounded a Palestinian man seriously, medics said.
Diplomats scrambled to avert a crisis in relations between Egypt and Israel on Saturday, and the Israeli government issued a rare statement of regret for the killing of three Egyptian security officers by an Israeli warplane. Tensions between the two countries, which on Saturday led Egypt to announce that it would recall its ambassador from Tel Aviv, reached the worst point since the Camp David peace accords three decades ago, spurred by a burst of violence along their shared border in the Sinai Peninsula. A series of attacks there killed eight Israelis on Thursday; the Israeli government then retaliated against Gaza-based militants, and the three Egyptians died in the crossfire.
After the Israeli Air Force struck 12 Hamas and other terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip overnight Thursday, Aug. 18, a hail of missiles hit the towns of Ashdod, Beersheba, Ashkelon and the smaller Sdot Negev, Shar Hanegev and Eshkol villages in a continuous blitz Friday, Aug. 19. Ten worshippers were injured – two seriously – when one of the six Grads aimed at Ashdod hit a synagogue. Police detonated a second in a controlled explosion. The town’s population is advised to stay in sheltered spaces.
Magen David Adom (MDA) has declared a mass casualty event and the State of Israel has moved to its highest security alert nationwide as hospitals report that five are dead following terror attacks that struck the country’s southern region midday Thursday. Authorities are calling for Israeli to donate blood at local MDA stations across the country. The area has been declared a closed military area and the IDF spokesman has asked people to keep away.
Israel’s military, police and Shin Bet security service have been drilling extreme scenarios of possible Palestinian disturbances, mass rallies or even terrorist attacks in September – even through there is no specific intelligence of a security threat in the offing. The authorities are taking care not to be caught off guard again as they were on May 15, when a Palestinian mob suddenly surged across the Syrian border.
The Obama administration says it is “deeply concerned” by Israeli approval of new housing construction in disputed east Jerusalem. The State Department says such “unilateral actions work against efforts to resume direct negotiations” and the spirit of the peace process. In a statement, the department says it has raised its objections with the Israeli government.
Gunmen blew up a terminal along Egypt’s natural gas pipeline to Israel in the northern Sinai Peninsula Saturday, security officials said. It is the third attack on the pipeline this month and the fifth since the 18-day uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak in February. No gas has been flowing through the pipeline since the last attack on the pipeline on July 12.
With a September deadline looming, Israel’s prime minister turned to the Arabic media Thursday for the first time since taking office two years ago in an attempt to lure the Palestinians back to peace talks, saying “everything is on the table.” Benjamin Netanyahu’s interview with the Al-Arabiya satellite channel reflects Israeli concerns over Palestinian plans to seek U.N. recognition of their independence this fall. But it also highlights Netanyahu’s new strategy of engaging directly with the Arab public.
The Israel Navy commandeered and intercepted the Gaza-bound French ship Dignity – Al-Karama after negotiations to persuade 15 pro-Palestinian activists aboard to divert their course away from the Strip’s closed naval blockade failed. Navy soldiers did not encounter any resistance during the interception which resulted after the ship’s captain refused to cooperate with the IDF’s demand to divert its course to the Ashdod Port, the IDF Spokesperson said in a statement.
Thousands of left-wing activists marched in Jerusalem on Friday afternoon in the largest demonstration of support for an independent Palestinian state in the nation’s capital in over a year. Under the banner of “Independence for Palestine,” the march, which was organized by the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement, drew 4,500 participants from across the country. The march started from Jaffa Gate and ended in the weekly protest in Sheikh Jarrah, a direct inversion of the right-wing Flag March on Jerusalem Day, when tensions rose in east Jerusalem between right-wing marchers and Arab residents. March organizers said the route was also chosen because it was the border of east and west Jerusalem.
Iran said on Saturday it test-fired two long-range missiles into the Indian Ocean earlier this year, the first time it has fired missiles into that sea, according to state television. “In the month of Bahman (Jan 21-Feb 19) two missiles with a range of 1,900 km (1,180 miles) were fired from Semnan province(in northern Iran) into the mouth of the Indian Ocean,” Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of the Revolutionary Guards’ aerospace division, told a news conference some of which was shown on television.