Posts tagged Israel
Jerusalem, Israel: A new Israeli spy satellite entered orbit early Thursday, the Defense Ministry said, boosting the Jewish state’s ability to monitor arch-foe Iran. The observation remote-sensing Ofek 10 satellite, launched into space on a Shavit rocket late Wednesday in cooperation with state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries, outdoes earlier models with its ability to “skip” from one target to another rather than simply “sweep” areas, ministry officials told reporters.
The satellite has already begun transmitting data and visual material. It is expected to be operational within months. It is a lightweight satellite that is expected to improve Israel’s reconnaissance abilities by providing sharp images at any time of day, and in any weather condition, said Ofer Doron of Israel Aerospace Industries.
“It has an incredible imaging capability…to give very precise photos,” said Doron.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon noted Ofek 10 would “enable the security establishment to better deal with threats near and far, at all hours of the day and in any weather.”
“We are continuing to strengthen our tremendous qualitative and technological advantage over our neighbors,” Yaalon added.
Unlike other countries that launch satellites eastward in the direction of the earth’s orbit, Israel launched the satellite westward, opposite the direction of the earth’s orbit, to prevent debris following the launch to land in enemy countries east of Israel, said Doron. The satellite completes a full orbit around the earth every 90 minutes, said Doron.
Israel, the region’s sole if undeclared nuclear power, suspects Iran is covertly pursuing a nuclear weapons capability alongside its civilian program, charges adamantly denied by Tehran.
Ofek 10 joins a number of spy satellites Israel has been deploying since 1988, with the most recent — Ofek 9 — launched into space in 2010. source – Times of Israel
Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday Washington was evaluating whether to continue its role in Middle East peace talks, signaling his patience with the Israelis and Palestinians was running out.
Speaking during a visit to Morocco after a week of setbacks, Kerry said there was a limit to U.S. efforts if the parties themselves were unwilling to move forward.
“This is not an open-ended effort, it never has been. It is reality check time, and we intend to evaluate precisely what the next steps will be,” Kerry said, adding he would return to Washington on Friday to consult with the Obama administration.
U.S. officials say Kerry had been blindsided by recent Israeli and Palestinian moves that had compromised undertakings made when they launched the latest round of talks aimed at ending their enduring conflict last July.
“They say they want to continue, neither party has said they have called it off, but we are not going to sit there indefinitely,” Kerry said, making his bleakest assessment yet of talks that he has dedicated a huge amount of energy to. source – NewsMax
Israel has two options. They can either a). conduct a preemptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities and at the very least set the timeline back a few years. Or b). they can prepare to be attacked by the nuclear bomb that Obama’s stalling has allowed Iran time and space to build.
Jerusalem, Israel – A rising chorus of Israeli voices is again raising the possibility of carrying out a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities in what appears to be an attempt to draw renewed attention to Tehran’s atomic program — and Israel’s unhappiness with international negotiations with the Iranians
A front-page headline in the daily Haaretz on Thursday proclaimed that Netanyahu has ordered “to prep for strike on Iran in 2014″ and has allocated 10 billion shekels (2.87 billion dollars) for the groundwork. Earlier this week, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon hinted that Israel would have to pursue a military strike on its own, with the US having chosen the path of negotiations. And the military chief, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, said this week that Iran “is not in an area that is out of the military’s range.”
Yoel Gozansky, an Iran expert at the Institute of National Security Studies, a Tel Aviv think tank, said the comments were meant as a wake-up call to the world.
“The world was in a coma. It has awoken suddenly,” he said of the military-option talk. “Someone has an agenda to bring up this subject again, which has dropped off the agenda in recent months, especially after the deal with Iran.”
Israel believes that Iran is trying to build a nuclear weapon, a charge Iran denies. Israel says a nuclear-armed Iran would pose an existential threat to the Jewish state, citing Iranian calls for Israel’s destruction, its development of long-range missiles and its support for hostile militant groups. source – Times Of Israel
As the possibility–however remote–grows that Malaysia Airlines flight 370 may have been hijacked and taken to a hidden location, Israeli authorities are preparing for the possibility that the hijackers might attempt to use the Boeing 777 to mount an attack.
According to the Times of Israel, Israel’s Channel 2 has revealed that Israeli air defenses have been boosted, and approaching civilian aircraft will be asked to identify themselves far earlier.
Though the flight was presumed at first to have crashed, whole or in pieces, into the ocean, passive satellite transmissions from the aircraft suggest that it made a deliberate course change and may have headed north into central Asia.
Pakistan has already said that the flight never registered on its radar, but at least one expert has suggested the flight could have landed in Bangladesh, whose air defenses presumably would be weaker.
Though the possibility that the Boeing 777 could be used in a terror attack is mere speculation, it is evidently being taken seriously by Israel. A plane filled with nuclear material would not need to be in Israeli airspace long to do catastrophic damage, even if shot down. source – Breitbart
Jerusalem, Israel: Israeli planes struck 29 targets in the Strip, the army said in a statement. Palestinians said at least five strategic points were hit in the coastal enclave, primarily in areas around the cities of Khan Younis and Rafah.
Israel had warned that it would hit back hard at Gaza terror groups, after more than 50 rockets were fired at southern Israel. Among the IAF targets were bases of the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, which had claimed the rocket attacks, throughout the Gaza Strip, Palestinian witnesses said. No Palestinian casualties were initially reported. Earlier, IDF tanks fired shells at targets in the Strip.
“All of our planes safely returned to their bases,” the IDF said in a statement. “The attack was carried out in retaliation for the massive ballistic bombardment of Israeli territory this evening. The IDF will not abide any attempt to harm Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers, and will continue to act decisively against anyone who employs terrorism against the State of Israel.”
Israeli military sources said after the late-night retaliatory strikes that Israel would now wait to see how Hamas and Islamic Jihad responded. If there were no further rocket attacks on Israel, the current flare-up would be over. But if there was more rocket fire, Israel would again respond.
As of late Wednesday night, the Israeli authorities had not canceled school for children in the south Thursday.
Although the rocket fire from Gaza subsided late in the evening, Israel raised its security alert in the south, and residents were told to stay within 15 seconds of rooms reinforced against rockets, amid indications that the dramatically escalated new round of confrontation was not over.
At least two rockets from Gaza fell in residential areas, one of them causing light damage in Sderot. There were no direct injuries, but a Sderot woman, aged 57, was lightly hurt as she ran for cover.
“If there is no quiet in our south, no quiet for the residents of Israel, there will be noise, lots of noise in Gaza,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at a joint press conference with his British counterpart, David Cameron. “And that’s an understatement.” source – Times of Israel
Israel – Israeli communities near southern and northern Gaza have come under heavy rocket attack on Wednesday evening. The IDF said at least 30 rockets had been fired in the largest attack since 2012′s Operation Pillar of Defense.
The IDF said eight rockets hit urban, civilian areas. One rocket landed in Sderot, according to police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld, although there were no immediate reports of casualties.
Israeli media reported that up to 55 rockets had been fired into Israel in the deluge of projectiles. The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s attack, saying that over 90 rockets had been fired toward Israel, a spokesman for Al-Quds told Palestinian news agency Ma’an.
“You haven’t yet seen the extent of our capabilities,” added the spokesman, who further threatened to fire extended range missiles.
Southern residents have reported several rocket alerts going off consecutively
The Iron Dome rocket defense system shot down three of the rockets, according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Office. The IDF fired artillery rounds at two terror infrastructure targets in response.
On Tuesday, the Israel Air Force struck an Islamic Jihad cellin southern Gaza, minutes after identifying it as being behind a mortar attack on an IDF unit on the Gaza-Israel border.
According to military sources, the terrorists fired a mortar shell at soldiers who were conducting routine security measures near the frontier. The IDF released a video on Wednesday of the Islamic Jihad members firing toward army forces the day before. source – JPost
Iran: The air force commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps was quoted by Iran’s Fars news agency as saying Tuesday that Iran’s military has its finger on the trigger to destroy Israel as soon as it receives the order to do so.
In an article headlined “IRGC Commander: Iran’s Finger on Trigger to Destroy Zionist Regime,” Fars wrote that Brigadier General Hossein Salami had declared that Iranian military commanders are prepared to attack and destroy the Zionist regime of Israel as soon as they receive such an order. “Today, we can destroy every spot which is under the Zionist regime’s control with any volume of fire power (that we want) right from here,” Fars quoted Salami as telling a conference in Tehran Tuesday on “The Islamic World’s Role in the Geometry of the World Power.”
Iranian leaders regularly issue threats against Israel and the United States, but the wording ascribed to Salami on Tuesday was particularly aggressive.
“Islam has given us this wish, capacity and power to destroy the Zionist regime so that our hands will remain on the trigger from 1,400 kilometers away for the day when such an incident (confrontation with Israel) takes place,” he was also quoted saying in the speech.
The comments came a day after Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented a shipment of what he said were Iranian arms intercepted at sea last week, which he charged were intended for terror groups in Gaza. Netanyahu castigated the West for clinging to the illusion that Iran had changed, and said it remained relentlessly committed to fostering terrorism and advancing a nuclear weapons program.
Last month, Iranian state TV ran a documentary featuring a computerized video of Iran’s drones and missiles bombing Tel Aviv, Haifa, Ben Gurion Airport and the Dimona nuclear reactor in a hypothetical retaliation for an Israeli or American strike on the Islamic Republic.
Iranian drones and missiles were also shown in the film carrying out simulated strikes on the American aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, downing American aircraft and striking American military targets in the Persian Gulf.
Set to dramatic music, the video showed Iranian drones and missiles carrying out strikes against Tel Aviv’s Kikar Hamedina square, the Azrieli Towers skyscrapers, and the IDF’s Kirya central command complex, as well as Ben Gurion International Airport, Haifa’s Technion, several army and air force bases, and the nuclear reactor in Dimona.