Netanyahu: Israel to Increase Surveillance Cameras on West Bank Roads - Herb Keinon and Tovah Lazaroff (Jerusalem Post)
Israel will place cameras both on the ground and in the air over
West Bank roads that will be linked to IDF command centers to provide
immediate response to violence on the roads, Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu said Tuesday at the site where terrorists murdered Eitam and
Naama Henkin last week.
He said that the enhanced surveillance, along with the ability for
quick response, can "significantly" improve Israel's ability to both
thwart attacks and apprehend the perpetrators.
Israel Police: This Is Not an Intifada - Daniel K. Eisenbud (Jerusalem Post)
Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said Tuesday, "This is not
an intifada. On the scale of an intifada, we've dealt with much worse."
"Let's put this into perspective: During the last intifada there
were thousands of Palestinians on the streets carrying out attacks."
IDF Increasing Security for Israeli Communities near Gaza - Yaakov Lappin (Jerusalem Post)
The Israel Defense Ministry announced on Tuesday the completion of
sensor-based electronic security fences surrounding 12 Israeli
communities near the border with Gaza.
"The smart fence will form a physical obstacle if there is an
attempted infiltration into a community. It will send a warning to a
regional council control room and to the IDF every time the fence
detects contact," the ministry said.
Yitzhak Levi at the Defense Ministry said the fences form "one
component in a basket of solutions that the defense establishment has
formulated to strengthen the communities."
The IDF has deployed a new hi-tech underground tunnel detection
system in the south, while the army's Combat Intelligence Collection
units look not only at enemy activities in Gaza, but also back into
Israel, to ensure that they can detect and respond to cross-border
infiltrations quickly. They rely on high-rise radar masts and
Mobile field intelligence units also quietly move around the region, scanning for infiltrators.
Report: Major Oil Reserve Found on Golan Heights (Times of Israel)
"Significant amounts" of oil have been found by a company drilling
on the Golan Heights, Yuval Bartov, chief geologist of Afek Oil and Gas,
a subsidiary of the American company Genie Energy, told Channel 2. "We're talking about a layer 350 meters thick."
BBC Hints Palestinian Murderer Was Victim - Eli Leon and Shlomo Cesana (Israel Hayom)
After a Palestinian terrorist murdered two Jewish Israelis and opened
fire at security forces before he was shot dead by police on Saturday,
BBC News reported the incident with the headline: "Palestinian Shot Dead after Jerusalem Attack Kills Two."
The headline sidelined the deadly attack, and ignored the fact that the Palestinian who was killed was its perpetrator.
American journalist Jeffrey Goldberg tweeted, "To be fair, it takes a
great deal of creativity to come up with headlines like this one."
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
- Iranian General Plotted Out Syrian Assault in Moscow - Laila Bassam and Tom Perry
At a meeting in Moscow in July, Iranian Maj.-Gen. Qassem Soleimani,
commander of the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guards, unfurled a map
of Syria to explain to his hosts how Russian military intervention
could reshape the Syrian war and forge a new Iranian-Russian alliance
in support of Assad.
As Russian warplanes bomb rebels from above, the arrival of Iranian
special forces for ground operations underscores several months of
Three senior officials in the region say Soleimani's July trip was
preceded by high-level Russian-Iranian contacts that produced political
agreement on the need to pump in new support for Assad as his losses
- Nuclear Smugglers Sought Middle East Terrorist Buyers - Desmond Butler and Vadim Ghirda
In Eastern Europe, authorities working with the FBI have interrupted
four attempts in the past five years by gangs with suspected Russian
connections that sought to sell radioactive material to Middle Eastern
extremists. In February this year, a smuggler offered a huge cache of
deadly cesium - enough to contaminate several city blocks - and sought a
buyer from the Islamic State. (AP-Washington Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
- Signs in the West Bank Point to Cooling Off - Amos Harel
Israel is following the policy that served it well since the Second
Intifada ebbed a decade ago. A temporary increase of forces, expanded
arrest sweeps and efforts to restore close coordination with the
Palestinian security forces should achieve the goal, according to
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon. There is no talk of intifada because
the army believes the term does not describe events in Jerusalem and
the West Bank right now. On Tuesday the IDF identified a clear directive
by the Palestinian Authority leadership to its security forces to rein
in the violence.
See also The Spirit of the Intifada, with Restraint on Both Sides - Seth J. Frantzman
Young Palestinians arrived at the Kalandiya checkpoint between
Jerusalem and Ramallah on Tuesday to throw stones at Israeli soldiers
and then go home. One unit of Israeli Border Police had as many troops
holding cameras to photograph the perpetrators as forces wielding tear
gas launchers. They seemed more interested in detaining the
Palestinians later on rather than take the risk of chasing them through
the alleyways of the neighboring refugee camp. (Jerusalem Post)
PA Instability Adding to Unrest - Yaakov Lappin
The Palestinian Authority's instability is one of the main factors
contributing to the current wave of unrest, a senior Israeli security
source said Tuesday. "When there is a lack of sovereign stability, this
ultimately radiates to other places. It finds expression in the [PA]
security forces, and how much they can control armed Tanzim operatives,
how much they can control the Fatah organization." PA security forces
are reluctant to enter some neighborhoods that are controlled by Tanzim
operatives, the source said.
- Palestinian Authority Paying Convicted Hamas Terrorists - Herb Keinon
While the international community often hears complaints from the PA
that it is running out of funds, newly revealed documents show that
the PA pays tens of millions of shekels every month to terrorists in
Israeli jails, Israel Radio reported Tuesday. Most of those receiving
PA "salaries" are Hamas members who were behind some of the bloodiest
terrorist attacks of the Second Intifada.
An Israeli government source said these payments clearly show
that the PA provides economic incentives for carrying out terrorist
acts. Moreover, the PA payments help bolster the image of the terrorists
as heroes. Those who sit in jail for longer periods get more money,
meaning that "the more gruesome the terrorism, the more money will be
paid," the source said. (Jerusalem Post)
- What If Israel Had Given Up the Golan Heights? A Lesson for Syria's Crisis - Aaron David Miller
As Syria continues to be ravaged, I wonder what would have happened had
U.S. efforts succeeded in negotiating an Israeli-Syrian peace agreement
in the 1990s. I was part of a U.S. negotiating team that tried to reach
such a deal.
But had we succeeded, the results might have been catastrophic for
Israel and for the U.S. Rarely did we focus on the prospect that an
Israeli-Syrian accord might be at risk if instability in Syria led to a
change in regime.
With Hafez Assad there was an assumption that his brutality in
suppressing dissent would guarantee stability. Rarely has a political
judgment been more wrongheaded. What we failed to realize was that any
deal to return the Golan Heights occupied by the Israelis in 1967 was
likely to be the most fraught precisely because Assad was so cruel in
his policies and that his regime consisted of an Alawite minority
governing a Sunni majority. It was only a matter of time before Syria
experienced real instability.
Had Israel given up the Golan, today it would face a hot front confronting Hizbullah, Iran, and a range of Islamist jihadis.
Given the Golan's strategic importance, Israel would have had to
reoccupy it and would have found itself in the middle of Syria's civil
war. It's a cautionary tale for well-intentioned U.S. and Israeli
peacemakers alike. The writer is a vice president at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars. (Wall Street Journal)
- Civilian Casualties: Does U.S. Hold Itself to Same High Standards It Holds Israel? - Editorial
In August 2014, the State Department called Israel's shelling of a UN
school in Gaza "disgraceful," adding: "The suspicion that militants are
operating nearby does not justify strikes that put at risk the lives of
so many innocent civilians." This week AP reporter Matt Lee
asked Deputy State Department spokesman Mark Toner about U.S. policy in
light of Saturday's U.S. bombing of a hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan,
that left 22 patients and staff dead.
While Toner apologized for the loss of life and stressed that the
U.S. avoids civilian casualties, he told Lee to "give me a pass [while]
we wait for the investigation to run its course." His response flies
in the face of last year's instantaneous criticism of Israel - made long
before any investigation had even begun.
Enemies like the Taliban, Hamas and Hizbullah quite intentionally
hide among civilians, using them as human shields. Israel has known that
for a long time - and now the Obama administration is painfully coming
to learn it, too. (New York Post)
- The Russian-Iranian Gambit in Syria - Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror
Russia and Iran are taking advantage of the weakness displayed by world
leaders and are trying to expand their global influence and dominance
across as much as they can of the Fertile Crescent, which spans Iraq,
Kuwait, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Cyprus, and Egypt. Russia brings its
considerable international political clout and advanced military
capabilities into this equation, while Iran brings funds, knowledge
about the lay of the land, and Hizbullah - a large, trained, and
well-armed fighting force, dedicated to doing its patron's bidding.
The war in Syria will escalate to a fight to the death because,
contrary to the hope expressed by external elements, no compromise can
be brokered between the rebel Sunni forces and Assad's Alawite regime.
The hatred between the Sunnis and Alawites is so intense that the chance
of launching a true negotiation that could breed an actual agreement
is nonexistent. The writer is a former national security advisor to the Prime Minister of Israel.
(Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies-Bar-Ilan University)
The Nuclear Agreement Boosts Iran's Missile Threat - Uzi Rubin (Defense News)
- One of the most significant criticisms of the Iran nuclear accord
(JCPOA) is the apparent absence of any limitation on Iran's potential
nuclear delivery systems, most notably its ballistic missiles. The
deal's supporters say its provisions continue to restrict Iran from
building "missiles designed to be capable of carrying nuclear warheads"
for the next eight years.
- This is contested by Iran's foreign minister, who maintains
that the JCPOA has nothing to do with Iran's missiles because they are
not designed to carry nuclear weapons. So will the nuclear deal with
Iran reduce its missile threat, or will it leave Iran free to build
nuclear-capable missiles to its heart's content?
- Some ballistic missiles were designed to carry nuclear weapons
but, if needed, are capable of carrying conventional warheads.
Similarly, many ballistic missiles built for conventional missions,
such as the ex-Soviet Scud, are capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.
Thus, for Iran, the JCPOA limitation on "missiles designed to be capable
of carrying nuclear warheads" is irrelevant because all of Iran's
medium-range missiles are dual-purpose.
- So it stands to reason that the nuclear deal is not going to
block or even slow down any of Iran's missile programs. If anything, the
money released by the JCPOA is bound to accelerate them.
- Not to worry, claim the nuclear deal advocates: Iran's
conventional missiles are inaccurate. The truth is that Iran is
introducing high-precision capabilities to its entire gamut of ballistic
Anthony Cordesman predicted that by 2016 Iran will deploy a
1,700-km.-range, precise, terminally guided variant of the Shahab 3.
Right on cue, a flight test of a terminally guided version of the Shahab
3 appeared in a recent Iranian video clip from Sept. 27, 2015.
- In the Gulf region, shorter-range precision missiles that can
hit individual aircraft shelters in air force bases are already deployed
Such precision missiles are significant game changers: The same missiles
can also hit and destroy critical national infrastructure such as power
stations, desalination plants, and nuclear power stations - causing
Chernobyl-scale disaster. This is an existential threat by any other
missile threat is fast growing in quantity and quality. With the end
of the sanctions regime, Iran is bound to accelerate its ability to draw
on the latest Western technology, facilitated by over-the-counter sales
to the now-rehabilitated Islamic Republic of Iran.
The writer is founder of Israel's Missile Defense Organization.