Israeli Navy on Alert for Hamas Naval Commandos - Yoav Zitun (Ynet News)
In recent months, Israeli naval forces have recorded several
incidents in which sailors deployed underwater hand grenades after they
suspected that Hamas divers were approaching their ships.
The IDF has also begun to upgrade the defensive systems of surface
vessels in light of the new threats, deploying defensive systems that
function in the same manner as the "Trophy" active protection system.
The IDF has also deployed several specialized underwater detection systems along the coast.
Islamic State Terrorists Likely to Target Israelis in Sinai - Shlomo Cesana (Israel Hayom)
The Counterterrorism Bureau in the Prime Minister's Office issued a
severe travel advisory on Monday, saying Islamic State may try to
target Israelis vacationing in Sinai during the Passover holiday.
Bureau Director Eitan Ben-David showed reporters videos published by
Sinai Province, showing operatives practicing shooting attacks against
Israelis on beaches or taking taxis to tourist destinations.
The bureau also urged Israelis to avoid visiting Turkey entirely,
except for passengers boarding connecting flights in Istanbul, and for
those already there to leave.
Travel warnings were also reiterated for Jordan, Thailand, India, Greece and Cyprus.
Foreign Investors Flock to Iran - Asa Fitch and Benoit Faucon (Wall Street Journal)
Dozens of development projects and deals with European and Asian
companies have been hammered out since Iran's nuclear accord with world
powers in 2015 lifted a range of sanctions.
Government-approved foreign direct investment in Iran shot up to more
than $11 billion last year, official figures show, from $1.26 billion in
Yet foreign companies still face daunting obstacles to doing
business in Iran, which placed 131st out of 176 countries for corruption
in a ranking by Transparency International last year.
Moreover, large international banks remain reluctant to
re-establish links with Iran, making money transfers into and out of
Iran a challenge.
Sick Kids Cross Israel's Border - Gareth Andrews (Sydney Morning Herald-Australia)
At many hospitals in Israel, children from both the West Bank and Gaza are treated with the best care available.
At the Erez checkpoint between Gaza and Israel, Palestinian
kids and their caretakers - mothers, grandmothers and occasionally
fathers - meet volunteers from the Road To Recovery.
a group of Israeli volunteers who come to one of three checkpoints to the West Bank and Gaza.
These remarkable people, 1,000 strong, use their own cars to make
about 100 trips daily to the key hospitals able to provide pediatric
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
- UN Envoy Nikki Haley: No More UN Resolutions Against Israel - Ron Kampeas
The Trump administration will not allow a repeat of last year's UN
Security Council Resolution condemning Israel for its settlements, U.S.
Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley told AIPAC on Monday. The U.S. will
"never again do what we saw with Resolution 2334 and make anyone
question our support" for Israel, Haley said, as she received an
extended standing ovation. (JTA)
See also Video: Ambassador Nikki Haley Speaks at AIPAC (YouTube)
See also Netanyahu to AIPAC: Israel and America Confront the Same Enemies and Defend the Same Values
Israel has no greater friend than America and America has no greater
friend than Israel.
For the security of both Israel and the United States, we must ensure
that the forces of militant Islam are defeated. That means preventing
Iran from ever developing nuclear weapons.
Israel's hand is extended to all of our neighbors in peace. We teach
peace to our children. And it's time the Palestinian Authority does the
same. (Prime Minister's Office)
See also Video: Prime Minister Netanyahu Addresses AIPAC (AIPAC)
- U.S. Boosts Military Backing for Saudi-Led Coalition in Yemen - Gordon Lubold and Jay Solomon
The Trump administration has significantly increased military support
for Sunni Arab states fighting al-Qaeda and Iranian-backed militias in
Yemen, including greater intelligence and logistical support, said U.S.
and Arab officials. The U.S. also is moving to resume the sale of
precision-guided weapons to Saudi Arabia, which were frozen during the
final months of the Obama administration. Arab military officials have
lauded the increased U.S. cooperation as pivotal to their own effort to
push back against Iranian expansionism in the Persian Gulf region.
(Wall Street Journal)
- Islamic State Releases Video Threatening Iran
The Islamic State threatened Iran in a rare Farsi-language propaganda
video released on Monday.
A masked man says, "O, Khamenei, you cursed person who controls the
so-called Islamic Iranian regime, rest assured that soon we will destroy
your house." Several captured soldiers are decapitated in the video,
one of whom is wearing a badge indicating that he is a Shiite fighter.
"We will conquer Iran and restore it to the Sunni Muslim nation as it
was before," says another man.
"Iran raised its slogans against the U.S. and Israel to deceive the
Sunnis while Iranian Jews live safely in Iran under its protection, and
it has provided them with temples and churches as seen in Tehran and
Isfahan," the narrator says.
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
- Targeted Killings as Calculated Risks - Col. (res.) Dr. Shaul Shay
While Israel has not responded to Hamas' accusations that it was behind
the death of Hamas senior commander Mazen Fuqha, targeted killings have
been used over the years to ravage terrorist organizations at all
levels. By eliminating single terrorists, future attacks can be
prevented; terrorists are forced to focus on personal survival,
stunting their ability to attack Israel; and the method helps minimize
unwanted collateral damage.
Opponents argue that every killed terrorist has a replacement, and
that killing a terrorist will lead to an escalation in hostilities and
revenge attacks. The answer is that terrorist groups, by their very
nature, try attacking regardless of any desire to avenge the death of
one operative or another; and generally, a terrorist attack dedicated to
avenging a comrade would have been carried out anyway.
It is correct to say that every terrorist has a replacement, but
often the death of a senior terrorist disrupts the preparations for an
attack, while all his valuable operational knowledge and experience are
lost to the organization. The writer, former deputy head of the
Israel National Security Council and former head of the IDF military
history department, is a lecturer at the Interdisciplinary Center
- No One Protests Civilian Casualties in Mosul - Ben-Dror Yemini
Hundreds of women and children were killed in west Mosul last week when
the Americans bombed the area as part of their operations against the
Islamic State. There were no claims of "war crimes" or of a
"disproportional response." Such hostile sentiments are reserved only
From a comparative perspective, the number of civilian deaths caused
by Israel in the 2014 Gaza war was much lower, even though Hamas
spokespeople repeatedly boasted that they use civilians as a human
Israel is not treated like the rest of the Western states. As soon
as the first reports about civilian casualties emerge, international
pressure begins, including demonstrations, protests and condemnation
articles. Forgiveness in such situations are reserved for every other
army, but not for Israel. (Ynet News)
See also The Cost of the U.S.-ISIS Battle - Tim Arango
Dozens of Iraqi civilians were buried under the rubble of their homes
in western Mosul after American-led airstrikes flattened almost an
entire city block last week. Iraqi officials said the final death toll
could reach 200 or more, making it one of the worst civilian tolls ever
in an American military strike in Iraq. (New York Times)
- Pay for Slay in Palestine: U.S. Aid Becomes a Transfer Payment for Terrorists - Editorial
PA officials tell foreign audiences that they oppose terrorism, yet they
pay generous rewards to Palestinians who carry out bombings, stabbings
and other attacks against innocents in Israel. These payments are
codified in Palestinian law, which dictates that the deadlier an attack,
the richer the reward. Payments equaled $315 million last year, or 8%
of the PA budget. The family of Bashar Masalha, who last year stabbed
11 people near Tel Aviv and killed Taylor Force, a U.S. Army veteran
visiting Israel, now receives monthly payments equal to several times
the average Palestinian wage.
The White House has invited PA President Mahmoud Abbas to
Washington "in the near future." Whenever that meeting happens, ending
the PA's bureaucracy of terror should be atop the agenda.
(Wall Street Journal)
- Iran Nuclear Deal May Ignite Arab Arms Race - Yoel Guzansky
UAE ambassador to Washington Yousef al-Otaiba told a Carnegie
conference last week that the UAE is not pleased with its nuclear
compact. Iran got a better nuclear deal than us, he said, and "it
continues to keep its uranium enrichment program, while we made a
commitment to forgo uranium enrichment."
The first of four UAE civilian nuclear reactors is scheduled to be
operational in a few months.
Four other Middle Eastern countries are in different stages of their
own independent nuclear program - Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and
Egypt. Since the nuclear deal permits Iran to pursue unrestricted
uranium enrichment in the future, other countries in the region have
justification for their own enrichment programs. The Saudis have
embarked on an ambitious nuclear plan involving no fewer than 16 nuclear
reactors. The kingdom has also signed nuclear cooperation agreements
with South Korea, Russia and China.
Iran's Arab neighbors, who are demanding to match Iran's nuclear
capability, will likely continue to develop their nuclear programs in
what seems like a regional, below-the-radar, slow-motion, nuclear arms
race. The writer, a visiting fellow at Stanford University's Hoover
Institution, is a fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies
in Tel Aviv. (The Hill)
New Poll: Decrease in Support among Israeli Jews for Withdrawal from the West Bank and the Establishment of a Palestinian State (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
A poll conducted on March 20-21, 2017, by leading Israeli
pollster Mina Tzemach for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs found a
decrease in support among Israeli Jews for withdrawal from the West
Bank and the establishment of a Palestinian state.
Willingness to agree to a withdrawal from the West Bank as
part of a peace agreement declined from 60% in 2005 to 36% in 2017.
Support for the Clinton Parameters proposed by President Bill Clinton in
December 2000 declined from 59% in 2005 to 29% in 2017.
79% say it is important to retain a unified Jerusalem under
Israeli sovereignty. 83% oppose transferring the Temple Mount to the
88% say that Israel cannot withdraw from territories that
border on Ben-Gurion Airport. 81% say that Israel cannot withdraw from
territories bordering the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem Highway (Route 443).
76% want Israel to have full security control of the West Bank.
81% say it is important that Israel retain sovereignty over the Jordan
71% say an agreement should be conditioned on Palestinian recognition of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.
See also Poll: Only 12% of Israelis Believe Full West Bank Withdrawal Would End Conflict - Herb Keinon