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Israel

IAF strikes Gaza following rocket attack

The Israeli Air Force attacked two Hamas targets early Tuesday in northern and southern Gaza in response to rocket fire at Israel from the strip the previous day.

According to Arab reports, the strike targets were two positions of Hamas’s military wing, one in Gaza City and the other in Rafah. No one was reported hurt in the strikes.

A rocket fell in an open area at the Shaar HaNegev Regional Council on Monday night, causing no injuries or damages. It was not preceded by a Code Red rocket-alert siren as the system identified the rocket would fall in an open area.

“Since the terror organization Hamas is the ruler of the Gaza Strip, it is responsible for any attempt to harm the State of Israel,” the IDF said in a statement following the retaliatory attack.

Later, a Salafist terrorist group that is affiliated with ISIS, Aknaf Bait al-Maqdis, claimed the rocket attack.

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This is the fire rocket launch from Gaza to Israel since mid-March. The IDF estimated Islamic Jihad was behind the rocket launch, while Hamas has been working to prevent rocket fire at Israel.

Hamas on its part, accused Israel of making false claims of rocket fire to justify attacking in Gaza. “The Israeli claim of a rocket being fired from Gaza and the ‘release’ of a claim on behalf of ISIS to excuse what happened afterwards—escalation and an attack of resistance positions—are part of a dangerous and transparent Israeli game.”

In its statement, the terror group further warned Israel would bear the consequences of its actions and policy.

Errant Syrian crossfire into Israeli Golan for second time in two days

Fire exchanges between the Syrian army and opposition forces spilled over into the Israeli Golan Heights again on Sunday, even after the IDF’s aggressive retaliation the previous day to 10 errant projectiles that fell inside Israel.

No one was hurt in Sunday’s incident and no damage has been reported.

Sunday’s projectiles fell near Quneitra, in the same area as the projectiles on Saturday. According to initial estimates, there were only a handful of projectiles that fell inside Israeli territory.

In a similar instruction to Saturday, the IDF has asked farmers not work at plantations near the border in the Quneitra area. Despite that, all roads remain open and there have been no other special instruction for the civilian population in the area.

The Israel Defense Forces said, Sunday evening, that they attacked two cannons and an ammunition truck belonging to the Syrian regime in the northern Golan Heights, in response to the earlier leaks of mortar fire into Israeli territory.

The IDF said it is not a party and is not involved in the internal Syrian fighting, but nevertheless takes seriously any attempt to undermine the sovereignty of the state of Israel and the security of its residents, and views the Syrian regime responsible for what is happening in its territory.

Israel targets Assad positions in response to Golan crossfire

The IDF reportedly launched an attack against several Syrian regime targets near the Golan Heights on Saturday in retaliation for fighting that spilled over into Israeli territory earlier in the day.

The mortar shells landed in open areas causing no damage or casualties and were believed to be stray fire from fighting between the Syrian government forces and rebels.

Two hours after the projectiles landed, the IDF announced that “IAF aircraft targeted the position from which the launches originated.”

“Furthermore, the IAF targeted two tanks belonging to the Syrian regime in the Northern Syrian Golan Heights.”

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An official protest has been filed with the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force that monitors the border, the statement added.

An hour after notifying of the errant fire, the IDF released a further statement saying it had instructed civilians to refrain from moving and gathering in open areas adjacent to the border area.

The IDF Spokesperson’s office released footage on Saturday evening of the Israeli Air Force’s retaliatory strike on Syrian targets about an hour previously.

The footage, shown here, shows the IAF firing on a heavy machine gun and two tanks. The strike came a few hours after ten projectiles, ostensibly from the raging Syrian civil war, spilled over and landed in Israeli territory in the northern Golan Heights. The missiles caused no damages or injuries.

Syrian state media said a number of people were killed in the IAF strike.

PM Netanyahu spoke about the IDF’s attack on Syrian targets:  “With the IDF’s actions today, we emphasize our policy once more: We will not tolerate sporadic missiles or any kind of spillover. We will respond with force to any missiles which land in our territory.”

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said, “We do not intend to allow our sovereignty or security to be compromised, even by a war between the Syrian government and rebel forces.”

“We will respond with determination and force as we see fit, every time such an incident occurs. We hold the Assad regime responsible for what happens in Syria. If such incidents continue, Assad’s regime will bear the consequences.”

 

Report: Israel gives secret aid to Syrian rebels

Israel has been regularly supplying Syrian rebels near its border with cash and humanitarian help, The Wall Street Journal reported.

According to the report Israel has been regularly supplying Syrian rebels near its border with cash as well as food, fuel and medical supplies for years, a secret engagement in the enemy country’s civil war aimed at carving out a buffer zone populated by friendly forces.

The Israeli army is in regular communication with rebel groups and its assistance includes undisclosed payments to commanders that help pay salaries of fighters and buy ammunition and weapons, according to interviews with about half a dozen Syrian fighters. Israel has established a military unit that oversees the support in Syria—a country that it has been in a state of war with for decades—and set aside a specific budget for the aid, said one person familiar with the Israeli operation.

Israel has in the past acknowledged treating some 3,000 wounded Syrians, many of them fighters, in its hospitals since 2013 as well as providing humanitarian aid such as food and clothing to civilians near the border during winter. But interviews with half a dozen rebels and three people familiar with Israel’s thinking reveal that the country’s involvement is much deeper and more coordinated than previously known and entails direct funding of opposition fighters near its border for years.

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“Israel stood by our side in a heroic way,” said Moatasem al-Golani, spokesman for the rebel group Fursan al-Joulan, or Knights of the Golan. “We wouldn’t have survived without Israel’s assistance.”

Israel’s aim is to keep Iran-backed fighters allied to the Syrian regime, such as the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah, away from the 45-mile stretch of border on the divided Golan Heights, the three people said.

But its support for rebels risks heightening tension with President Bashar al-Assad’s government, which has long accused Israel of helping rebel groups.  Assad has said Israel supports rebel groups and launches airstrikes in Syrian territory to undermine his hold on power. Israel has said it doesn’t favor any one outcome in the civil war.

The threat of a permanent presence of Iranian and Hezbollah terrorists on the Syrian side of the strategic plateau could drag Israel’s military further into a conflict that it has watched warily but mostly stayed out of since it began in 2011. Israeli officials haven’t ruled out such an escalation at a time when they are cultivating other alliances with Arab states against the common enemy—Iran.

ISIS claims Jerusalem attack -Policewoman murdered; 3 Muslim terrorists eliminated

Hadas Malka, a 23-year-old Border Police officer, was murdered in a combined shooting and stabbing attack in Jerusalem’s Old City on Friday evening.

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Three Muslim terrorists armed with knives and semi-automatic weapons attacked two different sites the capital, critically wounding a 23-year-old border policewoman. Four other bystanders were wounded, two moderately and two lightly.

All three terrorists were shot and eliminated by security forces at the scene.

According to preliminary reports from the scene, two Muslim terrorists opened fire at a border police force on Sultan Suleiman St.

A third Muslim terrorist stabbed Malka, who was stationed at the Damascus Gate. He, too, was neutralized by security forces.

Malka, who suffered critical injuries, was evacuated to the Hadassah Mount Scopus Hospital, where she later succumbed to her wounds.

ISIS claimed responsibility for terror attack in a message posted by Amaq, the the group’s news agency.

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According to sources, this is the first time that ISIS have claimed responsibility for carrying out an attack in Israel.

A message posted by the terror group stated that “the attack was carried out by three lions,” and said that the attack “will not be the last.”

Jerusalem district police commander Yoram Halevy described the attack, saying, “At one scene, near Sultan Suleiman St., two terrorists—one armed with a semi-automatic weapon and the other a knife—attacked police. Police responded and killed both attackers at the scene. Several meters away, at the Damascus Gate, an additional terrorist stabbed a border policewoman, critically wounding her. The terrorist was shot by other officers in the area.”

According to MDA, two members of security forces were wounded, with another border policeman sustaining light injuries to his eye. Additionally, a 22-year-old man and a 40-year-old man were evacuated to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in moderate condition after sustaining gunshot wounds to the torso and limbs, respectively.

According to Halevy, “We are in the third part of Ramadan and as we near the end of the holiday, the more sensitive the situation becomes. We will have to make difficult decisions such as whether or not to allow people to come to Jerusalem, if we should allow them to pray in such large numbers, which can lead to terror attacks.

“We will conduct a situational assessment tonight with security forces and it is possible that there may be serious consequences in regards to the issue of Ramadan, which only ends in ten days.”

According to sources in the security establishment, the style of attack conducted Friday evening is reminiscent of the combined attack which killed border policewoman Hadar Cohen last February.

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Muslim terrorists arrested for plotting to assassinate IDF officer

7 Muslim Arab terrorists from the Arab village of Jaljulia were arrested for illegal weapons dealing, leading to the discovery of a plot to assassinate an Israeli officer as revenge for the killing of senior Hamas convicted terrorist Mazen Faqha.

Security forces had originally detained Mahmoud Muhammad Abd al-Karim Daoud for weapons trafficking, but during questioning, investigators learned Daoud had knowledge of a terror attack being planned by two brothers.

Adam Ismail Muhammad Faqi and Fares Ismail Muhammad Faqi were both detained shortly thereafter. Adam had a police record for criminal activity, while Fares had been on the radar of security forces for nonmaterial support for ISIS.

During the ensuing investigation, security forces pieced together a timeline in which Adam Faqi had been recruited by another brother, Muhammad, into Hamas terror group in 2014 while attending a family wedding in the Gaza Strip.

Adam underwent small arms training with a Hamas terrorist named Hassan Jabari, who is the brother of terrorist Ahmad Jabari, the former head of Hamas’ armed wing who has assassinated in 2012 during Operation Pillar of Defense.

In April 2017, Adam was requested to carry out an assassination of an IDF officer in retaliation for the killing of  convicted Hamas terrorist Mazan Fukha in March. In preparation for the attack, Adam was requested to acquire weapons and recruit another member for the attack.

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As such, both Adam and Fares Faqi approached another Jaljulia resident and attempted to acquire two pistols—complete with silencers—with which to carry out the assassination, before they were both detained.

In a statement, the Shin Bet emphasized the link and danger posed by weapons floating from criminal elements to terrorist elements. Additionally, the nature of the planning demonstrates how Israeli humanitarian policy vis-à-vis the Gaza Strip—allowing Palestinians to transition between the two territories for medical care or family visits—is used by Hamas for acts of terror.

Stabbing attack in Samaria – soldier wounded, female Arab terrorist shot

A female Muslim Arab terrorist stabbed and lightly wounded a soldier at the entrance to the Jewish community of Mevo Dotan in Samaria Thursday morning.

The terrorist was neutralized at the scene by security forces and was treated after being described as being in critical condition. She was subsequently rushed to the hospital.

The soldier, who sustained light injuries to the stomach, was treated at the scene.

Head of the Samaria Council, Yossi Dagan, said, “The attempts to break the residents of Samaria will not succeed. This time, as well, soldiers showed exceptional resourcefulness at the scene. We thank the soldiers and commanders for their resourcefulness and expect a forceful response to attackers and those who send them.”

The last stabbing attack to have taken place in Israel was on May 23, during which a Border Police officer was stabbed in Netanya by a 45-year-old Muslim Arab terrorist who was shot and neutralized by his victim.

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Terrorists hunger strike ends after 40 days without meeting Barghouti’s demands

New details concerning the conclusion of the convicted terrorists’ hunger strike and its causes are coming to light in the hours since the terrorists and the Israel Prison Service (IPS) made their announcements.

As the strike reached its peak, with dozens of terrorists requiring medical attention, Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas intervened directly in order to bring the matter to a close out of fear of significant provocations, violent riots and terror attacks.

The beginning of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan was a significant motivator, given that terrorists would no longer be able to drink, which they had been doing prior to the holiday.

Since the beginning of the strike, Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan decided that dialogue with the terrorists would only be conducted through the IPS, which is subordinate to his ministry. This policy differs from previous incidents when terrorists also negotiated with the Shin Bet and Egyptian intelligence services.

Ynet has learned that Abbas was pressured by various Arab officials to bring about a change in the situation, finally agreeing for the PA to finance the cost of one of the two visits per month terrorists are entitled to with their families.

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The cost is estimated to be between $6-7 million per year and was previously financed by the Red Cross, which cut the program following budgetary constraints.

Israel, it should be noted, had no objection to this move because international law requires it to allow two visits per month to prisoners.

However, Israel objected to the notion of financing travel costs for family visits from Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip due to security reasons.

The news of the PA agreeing to finance the second visit was passed to Israeli security officials by Palestinian Authority Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh. In turn, IPS officials sat with leaders of the strike, including terrorists Nassir Abu Hamid and Ahmad Barghouti, to inform them of the PA’s gesture.

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Following the revelation, terrorists requested a meeting to be held at Shikma Prison in Ashkelon, which IPS officials agreed to. The meeting lasted from Friday afternoon to early Saturday morning, with terrorists requesting to speak directly with PA officials including al-Sheikh.

Several senior officials involved in the strike told Ynet that the IPS also promised striking terrorists that additional sentences imposed upon them as a result of their strike would be cancelled.

IPS officials were pleased the strike was halted and the promise of no additional punishment as a result of the strike, as well as guaranteed two visits per month to families, gives Muslim Arab terrorists in prison something to show for the effort.

However, it should be noted that none of the demands put forth by arch-terrorist Marwan Barghouti—including access to phones—were met.

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In total, some 6,200 convicted Muslim Arab terrorists are currently incarcerated in Israel. According to the IPS, some 1,200 terrorists joined the strike at its peak, with only roughly 830 remaining by Friday evening.

Netanyahu vows: Temple Mount, Western Wall will forever remain part of Israel

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed on Wednesday that the Temple Mount and the Western Wall “will forever remain under Israeli sovereignty” during a special Knesset session celebrating Jerusalem Day and marking 50 years to the capital’s unification.

Describing Jerusalem before the 1967 Six-Day War, Netanyahu spoke of “a winding border line opening a deep chasm in Jerusalem and at its heart were barricades against snipers, barbed-wire fences and minefields. We stood on the other side, trying to look to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall, and we could not access them.”

“We will never return to that situation,” he declared.

“Some see the Six-Day War as a disaster for Israel,” Netanyahu went on to say. “I see it as Israel’s salvation. How could we keep existing with a narrow waist (of the country) and daily danger to our citizens?”

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The prime minister spoke of US President Donald Trump’s visit to Israel this week, saying “I’m sure you were all as moved as I was to see President Trump and his family standing by the Western Wall and touching its stones. The IDF soldiers who liberated Jerusalem during the Six-Day War did the same, with a burst of emotions that came from the depths of their souls.”

Netanyahu, who was 17 years old when the Israeli paratroopers reached the Western Wall during the Six-Day War, reminisced about that day. “There was an avalanche of people who broke through the hole in the wall near city hall. We flocked to the alleys and reached the Western Wall, and we too touched its stones,” he remembered.

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“That historic moment when our soldiers stood at the Western Wall brought triple joy: For our success in turning the existential threat we were facing into a great miracle of salvation, for our return to our ancestors’ land, where the identity of our people was shaped, and for the wonderful unity that brought us together and proved that when we stand as one, we can face any challenge,” Netanyahu said.

“We liberated Jerusalem, turned it into one city. Not perfect, but whole,” he added.

“We’re the ones who freed Jerusalem from the neglect and continuous distress it was in. We’re the ones who brought it to a high point in its development.”

 

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