Posts tagged Israel
A ruinous heap
“The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.” Isaiah 17:1
Israel has warned Damascus that if President Assad chooses to hit back at Israel for any further Israeli military strikes, Israel will bring down his regime.
An Israeli official confirmed Wednesday night that a dramatic and unprecedented message to this effect had been conveyed to Damascus, Channel 2 news reported.
The report said that Israel’s position to this effect also came up during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s emergency meeting in Russia on Tuesday with President Vladimir Putin, during which Netanyahu also told Putin of Israel’s profound opposition to Russia’s sale of sophisticated S-300 missile defense batteries to Assad.
The warning came hours after mortar shells hit the Mount Hermon areafor the first time in the two-year Syrian civil war, and as Arabic newspapers reported talk of Hezbollah opening “a new front” against Israel on the Golan Heights.
Syria vowed last week to respond “immediately and harshly” to any further Israeli airstrikes, after Israel carried out two early morning attacks earlier this month on weapons consignments being stored in and around Damascus en route from Iran to Hezbollah in Lebanon. The shipments contained highly sophisticated Fateh-110 missiles.
Confirmation of Israel’s warning to Assad came soon after the New York Times quoted an Israeli official issuing the same threat. The New York Times said Israel was “considering further military strikes on Syria to stop the transfer of advanced weapons to Islamic militants,” and that an unnamed Israeli official had contacted the paper to warn: “Israel is determined to continue to prevent the transfer of advanced weapons to Hezbollah. The transfer of such weapons to Hezbollah will destabilize and endanger the entire region. If Syrian President Assad reacts by attacking Israel, or tries to strike Israel through his terrorist proxies, he will risk forfeiting his regime, for Israel will retaliate.”
“Israel will continue its policy of interdicting attempts to strengthen Hezbollah, but will not intercede in the Syrian civil war as long as Assad desists from direct or indirect attacks against Israel.”
The New York Times report speculated that Israel “could be trying to restrain Syria’s behavior without undertaking further military action, or alerting the international community to another strike. That would ratchet up the tension in an already fraught situation in Syria, where a civil war has been raging for more than two years.”
Channel 2 on Wednesday night showed satellite images of what it said was a surgical strike, reportedly carried out by Israel at Damascus airport to target the Iranian missile consignments. It showed before and after pictures of specific buildings that had been blown up, while neighboring buildings remained intact. Israel has not formally confirmed either of this month’s attacks.
Channel 2 said Netanyahu had made clear to Putin — as he also had in recent conversations with US President Barack Obama and the Chinese leadership — that Israel would hold to its “red lines” as related to Syria, which included preventing the transfer of sophisticated weaponry to Hezbollah and other rogue organizations. source – Times Of Israel
Israel used depleted uranium shells in the alleged strike in Syria on Sunday, a senior Syrian military source told Russia Today on Monday.
“When the explosion happened it felt like an earthquake, then a giant golden mushroom of fire appeared. This tells us that Israel used depleted uranium shells,” the source said.
Depleted uranium is a byproduct of the production of enriched uranium for use in nuclear reactors. It is 2.5 times as dense as steel, which allows it to penetrate heavy protection. The material is known to be toxic, but not dangerously radioactive.
Syrian state television claimed the bombing occurred around a military research facility at Jamraya. The New York Times reported that the strike also targeted the bases of the elite Republican Guard and storehouses of long-range missiles.
VIDEO: Click Here to see the video of this enormous explosion
The senior official speaking to RT downplayed the strategic importance of the weapons targeted in the attack, saying the military losses were “negligible” and that valuable equipment was removed from the site of attack after a previous strike.
“The target was just an ordinary weapons warehouse. The bombing is an ultimatum to us – it had no strategic motivation,” he was quoted by RT as saying.
A Western intelligence source told Reuters the attack targeted “stores of Fateh-110 missiles that were in transit from Iran to Hezbollah,” while a senior Hezbollah source denied to Kuwaiti daily Alrai on Monday that the weapons targeted belonged to his organization.
Another high-ranking Syrian military source told the Times that dozens of elite troops stationed near the presidential palace in Damascus were killed in the Israel strike.
A doctor at the Syrian military’s Tishreen Hospital said there were at least 100 dead soldiers and many dozens more wounded, the Times reported.
The Syrian military official accused Israel of working with opposition forces trying to topple the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, saying the strike had targeted members of the Republican Guard in an area of Damascus where rebels have made few inroads.
Reuters contributed to this report. source – JPost
“The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.” Isaiah 17:1
From JPost: Blasts shock Damascus, Israel blamed by Syrian television for the strikes. IDF spokesman says, ‘we don’t respond to this kind of report.’ One site targeted is the Jamraya military research center; a previous Israeli target.
BEIRUT – Powerful explosions struck the outskirts of Damascus early on Sunday, sending columns of fire into the night sky, and Syrian state television said Israeli rockets had struck a military facility just north of the capital.
Israel declined to comment on the attack, but the blasts occurred a day after an Israeli official said his country had carried out an air strike targeting a consignment of missiles in Syria intended for the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.
“The new Israeli attack is an attempt to raise the morale of the terrorist groups which have been reeling from strikes by our noble army,” Syrian television said, referring to recent offensives by President Bashar Assad’s forces against rebels.
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights quoted eyewitnesses in the area as saying they saw jets in the sky at the time of the explosions.
It said the blasts hit Jamraya as well as a nearby ammunition depot. Other activists said a missile brigade and two Republican Guard battalions may also have been targeted in the heavily militarised area just north of Damascus.
Video footage uploaded onto the Internet by activists showed a series of explosions. One lit up the skyline over the city, while another sent up a tower of flames and secondary blasts.
There was no immediate comment from Israeli officials on Sunday’s explosions. “We don’t respond to this kind of report,” an Israeli military spokeswoman told Reuters.
The Jewish state has repeatedly made clear it is prepared to use force to prevent advanced weapons from Syria reaching Lebanon’s Shi’ite Muslim Hezbollah guerrillas, who fought a 34-day war with Israel in 2006. Assad and Hezbollah are allied to Iran, Israel’s arch-enemy. source – JPost
American sources reported Israeli air strikes Saturday, May 4, against a number of targets in Syria including a chemical weapons depot outside Damascus. They were carried out remotely from Lebanese air space and the Golan starting Friday and continuing up until early Saturday, May 3. Neither Damascus nor Jerusalem has yet confirmed the attack. According to one report, Israeli jets were seen early Saturday circling over Assad’s presidential compound in Damascus before moving on to target a weapons site. The Israeli jets reportedly received fire but returned to base unscathed.
Some sources say the target attacked was a convoy transporting chemical arms to the Lebanese Hizballah, which Israeli leaders have vowed to prevent.
DEBKAfile’s military sources say the start of the Israeli air force operation can be fixed by the sirens set off over the Golan Friday afternoon and again before dawn Saturday. The IDF spokesman said they were set off by a “technical glitch.” They now prove to have been triggered automatically by the Israeli aerial movements.
Friday, Lebanon reported a number of Israeli warplane intrusions of its air space.
DEBKAfile reported earlier that this week, thousands of Basij militiamen landed in Syria, establishing an Iranian military presence opposite Israel from Syria as well as Lebanon. They joined a comparable number of Hizballah militiamen fighting for the Bashar regime.
See this earlier DEBKAfile report:
US officials recently gave Israel a video demonstration of the new features which enable its biggest bunker buster bomb (Massive Ordnance Penetrator) to destroy Iran’s underground uranium enrichment plant at Fordo near Qom, in a bid to dissuade Israel from a unilateral attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. This is reported by the Wall Street Journal.
The video displayed the improved bomb, which Israel does not have, as hitting the ground near its target and setting off a massive underground explosion.
DEBKAfile’s military sources report that this videotaped demonstration was in line with the Obama administration’s latest campaign to convince Israel that the US is getting ready to strike Iran itself.
In actual fact, the improved American MOP is not news – any more than the Israeli Air Force’s possession of bombs capable of penetrating the Fordo underground plant. This capability has given Israeli officials the confidence to assert that Israel can destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities on its own.
What Washington has in common with Jerusalem is that while both make no secret of their capabilities – and Israeli leaders are also free with threatening rhetoric – neither is actually exercising them.
The only parties on the move are Iran and Hizballah.
At the end of the week, DEBKAfile’s military sources report that both established a military presence in Syria and Lebanon, just across Israel’s two northern borders. An Iranian airlift placed Iranian boots on the ground in Syria for the first time in more than two years of its civil war. It was also the first time Israel had ever seen uniformed Iranian soldiers present at close quarters on the soil of a close neighbor.
The arrivals are members of the violent Basij volunteer militia which is trained in urban combat tactics for suppressing anti-regime unrest in Iranian cities. They are the first Iranian troops to confront Syrian rebels in combat. Roughly 6,000-8,000 militiamen have arrived so far – a figure comparable to the size of the Hizhballah elite units fighting for Bashar Assad in Syria.
The Basij militiamen were stationed in Damascus and sent to guard Syrian Shiite border villages situated opposite Hizballah-controlled South Lebanon. This deployment has placed Iranian troops opposite the intersection of the Israeli, Syrian and Lebanese borders.
Iran’s expanding military intervention in Syria accounts partly for this week’s surprise call-up of thousands of Israeli reservists for duty on the country’s northern borders. Although they were sent home after 24 hours to disguise their mission and calm rising tensions, they were in fact ordered to report back Sunday, May 5. These reservists will then pick up the gear and weapons needed for real combat, and take up positions along Israel’s borders with Syria and Lebanon.
Sirens blared over parts of the Golan Friday, May 3, their sensors touched off by the preparations for these military movements. The official pretext offered of a “technical glitch” was about as convincing as the Israeli military spokesman’s attempt to deny knowing who sent a drone from Beirut towards Israel on April 25.
The sirens on the Golan were apparently not loud enough to be heard in Washington and Jerusalem. source – DEBKA
The Ezekiel 38 Hook Finally Shows Up
“And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaw…Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought: And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.” Ezekiel 38
From Times Of Israel: Natural gas from the offshore Tamar field was pumped to Israeli shores for the first time Saturday, four years after its discovery, in preparation for its first use in the Israeli energy market — a move that could transform the Israeli economy.
On Saturday, hailed an “important day for the Israeli economy” by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, natural gas from the field was being pumped to a newly erected facility on the coast of Ashdod, connected to the gas field via pipelines laid out on the ocean floor, 150 kilometers long and 16 inches wide.
Commenting on the historic development, Netanyahu drew a link between the event and the holiday of Passover.
“On the festival of freedom, we are taking an important step toward energy independence. We have advanced the natural gas sector in Israel over the last decade, which will be good for the Israeli economy and for all Israelis,” Netanyahu said.
The gas is to be transferred Sunday from the facility to a processing plant in Ashdod. From there, it will flow into the Israeli market. These newly harnessed resources promise to be a major boon to both the country’s public and private energy needs.
The controlling Tamar shareholder, Yitzhak Tshuva, said Saturday’s start of pumping came “months ahead of schedule.” He said the gas flow “will make Israel energy independent.”
The gas from Tamar is expected to help meet Israel’s energy needs for the next 20 years, Channel 2 said, and will save the economy some NIS 13 billion (some $35 billion) per year. Its ahead-of-schedule use will also save Israeli citizens some cash — lowering a planned rise in electricity costs to 6 percent, less than originally planned.
“This is an ‘energy independence day’ for Israel,” said Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom. “This breakthrough is the harbinger of the foray of additional private companies” into the Israeli energy market, he added.
The Tamar deposit, and especially the heftier Leviathan, which was discovered in 2010, are expected to provide Israel with enough natural gas for decades and transform the country, famously empty of natural resources, into an energy exporter.
Leviathan, which boasts an estimated 16 to 18 trillion cubic feet of gas, is expected to go online in 2016, the approximate time when exports are expected to begin. source – Times Of Israel
Jerusalem is the capital city of Israel
“The LORD doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel. Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem; praise thy God, O Zion.” Psalms 147:2,12
Trying to say that the Jews have no connection to Jerusalem would be as absurd as saying the Yankees have no connection to the Bronx, that France has no connection to the Eiffel Tower, or that peanut butter has nothing to do with jelly. It is insanity. Yet, that is exactly the theme of the latest Muslim jihad against Israel and the Jews. They are attempting to ethnically cleanse Jerusalem, the place that the Old Testament calls the “city of David”, of all connection to the Jewish people.
Thousands of years before the birth of Muhammad or the start of Islam as a religion, King Solomon built God a Temple in Jerusalem. Jews worshipped at that Temple for nearly 2,000 years before being driven out of it by the Roman army. The Muslim Dome of the Rock would not be built for nearly another 700 years after that. So I ask you, on what basis do you try and make the claim that Jerusalem belongs to the Muslims?
From Yahoo News: DOHA (Reuters) – The Arab League on Tuesday approved a Qatari proposal to set up a $1 billion fund for Arab East Jerusalem, which Palestinians want as the capital of an independent state under any peace deal with Israel.
Arabs say that Israeli settlement-building on land captured in the 1967 Middle East war, including Arab East Jerusalem, has made a two-state solution backed by the United States unfeasible.
Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, said his country will contribute $250 million to the fund, which he called for in an opening speech to an Arab summit in Doha that focused on the crisis in Syria and stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts.
“The summit… calls for setting up a fund to support Jerusalem to the value of $1 billion to finance projects and programs that would maintain the Arab and Islamic character of the city and reinforce the steadfastness of its people,” the draft resolution said.
The Islamic Development Bank, based in Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea city of Jeddah, will manage the fund, it said. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed the fund to help protect the Arab character of the city and urged Arab states to contribute to it.
“The Israeli occupation is working in a systematic and hurried way to Judaise East Jerusalem, change its features and uproot its Palestinian inhabitants, attacking the al-Aqsa Mosque and its Muslim and Christian holy sites,” Abbas said in a speech at the summit.
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said the initiative was “a badge of shame” for Qatar.
“Objecting to ‘Judaisation of Jerusalem’, so to speak, is absurd and is equatable to an objection to the Catholic nature of the Vatican or the Islamisation of Mecca, it is naturally unthinkable,” Palmor said.
The fate of Jerusalem has proved one of the thorniest sticking points in past Middle East peace negotiations. Citing Jewish biblical ties to the holy city, Israel annexed the Arab eastern half and its surroundings in 1980 in a move rejected by the United Nations Security Council. source – Yahoo News
God will decide the ‘fate of Jerusalem’…
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel said it fired into Syria on Sunday and destroyed a machinegun position in the Golan Heights from where shots had been fired at Israeli soldiers in a further spillover of the Syrian civil war along a tense front.
It was not immediately clear whether Israel held Syrian troops or rebels responsible for what a spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said had been a deliberate attack on Israeli patrols in the occupied territory.
Israeli forces “destroyed a Syrian machine gun nest that fired twice in the last 24 hours on Israeli patrols operating to safeguard the border,” the spokesman, Ofir Gendelman, said on his Twitter page.
Shells have fallen several times inside Israeli-controlled territory during Syria’s civil war. Some of the incidents have drawn Israeli return fire.
Syria’s southern provinces bordering Jordan and Israel have become an increasingly significant battleground as the capital Damascus – in Syria’s south – comes into play and President Bashar al-Assad’s forces fight hard to prevent rebel advances.
The Israeli military said one of its vehicles was hit late on Saturday by shooting from across the Israeli-Syrian ceasefire line on the Golan Heights, but no one was hurt.
Israeli military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Lerner, said, “Our understanding is that it wasn’t stray fire.”
After a second incident on Sunday, Israeli soldiers “responded with accurate fire toward the Syrian post from which they were fired on”, the military said.
Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon said in a statement that Israel viewed shooting from Syria “with severity” and would not allow “the Syrian army or any other element to violate Israeli sovereignty by firing at our territory”.
Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed the strategic plateau in 1981 in a move that has not won international recognition.
“Any … fire from the Syrian side will be answered immediately by silencing the sources of fire when we identify them,” Yaalon said.
Amos Gilad, a senior Israeli Defence Ministry official, said battles between Syrian government forces and Syrian rebels sometimes take place just a short distance from Israeli lines.
“At times, shells or bullets are fired at Israel. Usually the shooting (from Syria) is not deliberate, but it doesn’t matter,” he told Army Radio.
“Israel should not be the target of any attack, whether intentional or unintentional – because after all, if you accept something that was unintentional, that could lead to something intentional in the end,” Gilad said.
Israel has said for months that it expects Assad’s government to fall and has voiced concern that its chemical weapons could fall into the hands of Lebanon’s Hezbollah guerrillas and al Qaeda. source – Reuters