Behind The News

Sharing the news the mainstream media won't.



ISIS terrorist caught plotting Tel Aviv bus attack

The Shin Bet along with the police announced on Monday the recent arrest of an Israeli-Arab citizen planning a terror attack in Israel as well as contacting the ISIS terror group in Syria.

According to the Shin Bet, 35-year-old Enes Haj Yahia, a resident of Taybeh was arrested following intelligence that he was promoting terror activities inside Israel. The Muslim terrorist was also accused of being in contact with ISIS terrorists and distributing material and military knowledge about the preparation of explosives.

Yahia is reported to have sworn allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed “Caliph” or leader of the jihadist group, and is said to have considered joining the group in Syria.

A statement released by the security agency stated that Yahia planned instead to set up a terror cell to carry out attacks in Israel, and even tried to recruit others. The terrorist was asked by the group to carry out a terror attack on a bus in Tel Aviv and harm IDF soldiers, but the plan was never carried out.

Investigators discovered that Yahiya was an active member of ISIS Facebook groups, and “shared” information on how to create suicide belts, bombs, and integrating poisonous materials into the explosives. He also disseminated materials on how to produce chemicals such as sarin gas.

Found in Yahiya’s possession were pictures of military materials, bombs, and the ISIS’ “The Jihadist Militant’s Complete Guide.”

An indictment against Yahiya has been filed with the Central District Court.

The Shin Bet sees support for ISIS as a “serious security threat to Israel and therefore uses every means at its disposal to prevent threats and bring those involved in this activity to justice,” the agency’s statement read.

Israel has so far largely avoided an attack by ISIS, although several Israelis-Arabs have been arrested on suspicion of links with ISIS and plans to carry out attacks inspired by the Sunni terror group.

Two Arabs who shot dead four Israelis at Tel Aviv’s Sarona Market last June and the Israeli-Arab who killed three people in a  2016 New Year’s Day shooting spree in Tel Aviv, had all been inspired by ISIS.

Two rockets fired from ISIS in Sinai hit southern Israel

Two rockets launched from Sinai Peninsula exploded in southern Israel’s Eshkol Regional Council on Monday morning, the IDF reported.

No air raid sirens were activated in the area as the projectiles were headed toward open territory, a military source added. There were no reports of injury or damage in the rockets attack.

On Sunday, the ISIS terror group claimed that five terrorists of its Sinai Peninsula branch were killed in an Israeli drone attack Saturday night.

The attack took place near the Sinai border with the Gaza Strip, outside of the city of Rafah.

According to the Amaq news agency, the five terrorists eliminated in Saturday’s strike had been preparing to fire a rocket at Israel.

About two weeks ago ISIS shot four missiles from the Sinai Desert into the southern city of Eilat.

The IDF Southern Command said that of the four projectiles fired from Egypt, three were intercepted by the Iron Dome. The rocket that was not intercepted struck in open territory near the city.

No injuries or damage were reported in that attack. At least four people were treated for shock in Eilat’s Yoseftal hospital.

Netanyahu says he initiated secret 2016 summit with Arab leaders

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu initiated a meeting which led to a secret regional summit with Arab rulers last year, the Prime Minister told members of his Likud party on Sunday.

Netanyahu confirmed during the meeting that he did not accept a plan for a regional peace initiative presented by then-US secretary of state John Kerry that had been reported by Haaretz.

According to the report, a summit was held on February 21, 2016 in the Jordanian resort town of Aqaba and included Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

The newspaper said Kerry outlined a proposal that included recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and the resumption of negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, backed by Arab nations, along with a call for Israel to vacate territory it captured during the 1967 Six-Day War, subject to land swaps agreed between the two sides.

Both sides, under the proposal, would share Jerusalem as the “internationally recognized capital of the two states”.

King Abdullah and President Sisi tried to convince Netanyahu to accept the proposal, said the report, with Netanyahu reportedly presenting his own plan and asking that a regional summit be arranged that would include senior figures from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and other Sunni nations.

In presenting his plan, Netanyahu reportedly signaled willingness to agree to gestures that he had initially floated in November 2015 before taking them off the table, including permits for Arab construction in Area C of Judea and Samaria, which is under Israeli military and civilian control in exchange for US recognition of Israel’s right to build in major Jewish communities blocs.

Meeting on Wednesday at the White House, Netanyahu and President Donald Trump each spoke of prospects of a regional Middle East understanding to end the stalemated Israeli-Palestinian Authority conflict.


“For the first time in the life of my country, Arab countries in the region do not see Israel as an enemy, but increasingly as an ally,” Netanyahu told Trump.

“We think the larger issue today is how do we create the broader conditions for broad peace in the Middle East between Israel and the Arab countries,” Netanyahu said the following day on MSNBC.

Trump said Netanyahu’s proposal for a regional alliance was something that “hasn’t been discussed before”, adding that it would take in “many, many countries and it would cover a very large territory”.

Egypt and Jordan are the only Arab states to have formal peace treaties with Israel.

Gulf states like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar do not have diplomatic relations with the Jewish State, but they share informal links.

Pence: US will never allow Iran to threaten Israel with nuclear weapons

US Vice President Mike Pence vowed Saturday that Washington would ensure Iran could never threaten Israel with nuclear weapons.

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, Pence singled out Tehran as “the leading state sponsor of terrorism” and slammed it for continuously destabilizing the Middle East.

“Thanks to the end of nuclear-related sanctions under the [nuclear deal] Iran now has additional resources to devote to these efforts,” he said.

“Let me be clear again: Under President Trump the United States will remain fully committed to ensuring that Iran never obtains a nuclear weapon capable of threatening our countries, our allies in the region, especially Israel.”

Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard meanwhile announced it will conduct military drills next week, despite repeated warnings from the United States and fresh sanctions over a ballistic missile test.


“The maneuvers called ‘Grand Prophet 11’ will start Monday and last three days,” General Mohammad Pakpour, commander of the force’s ground units, said in a news conference.

He said rockets would be used without specifying which kind.

In early February, Iran conducted drills involving short-range missiles at a time of heightened tensions with the United States.

The Islamic republic said the exercises were aimed at demonstrating Iran’s “complete preparedness to deal with the threats” and “humiliating sanctions” from Washington.

US President Donald Trump slapped fresh sanctions against Tehran’s weapons procurement network following a ballistic missile test on January 29.

“Iran would do well to look at the calendar and realize there’s a new president in the Oval Office. And Iran would do well not to test the resolve of this new president,” Vice President Mike Pence said earlier this month.

New Pentagon chief James Mattis, for his part, has branded Iran “the single biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world”.

Iranian officials have rejected the threats emphasizing that the missile program is purely defensive and would not be used to attack other countries or carry nuclear warheads.

On Thursday, an Iranian official claimed Israel’s nuclear arsenal was the biggest danger to world peace.

Israel is believed to be the Middle East’s sole nuclear power but it has long refused to confirm or deny that it has such weapons.

A war of words has been escalating between Tehran and Washington since even before Trump took office in January.

Under Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama, the US and five other world powers reached a 2015 deal with Iran to lift sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear program.

Trump himself has repeatedly denounced the historic accord as “one of the worst deals I’ve ever seen.”

Minister of Health threatens to stop admitting Syrian refugees

Minister of Health, Rabbi Yaakov Litzman, has threatened to stop admitting and treating Syrian refugees over the rising costs associated with such a policy.

This comes less than two months after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated how proud he was of the dedicated care hospitals in Israel give to Syrian refugees.

The government has barely paid the hospitals for the refugees’ admission. Every day of treatment is estimated to cost about NIS 10,000, yet the state refunds the hospital only NIS 1,300 per Syrian patient.

“The government has decided to admit the wounded of the Syrian conflict, and I think it’s the right thing to do and I do not object to it at all,” said Litzman, adding “but it can’t be that this puts the hospitals into huge debts. There are medical centers that got into enormous deficits just because of this. If it continues—I will issue an unequivocal order to cease treating the Syrian refugees, effective immediately.”


A meeting is expected to take place on Thursday between Director-General of the Prime Minister’s Office, Eli Groner, and officials from the ministry of health to resolve the debt.

So far, hospitals in Israel have treated 2,278 people who were wounded in the Syrian civil war.

“We’ve been treating Syrian patients for 4 years now. The wounds themselves tend to be very complicated and require complex surgeries with many teams,” explains Director of the Galilee Medical Center Dr. Masad Barhoum. “We suffer the costs of their treatment which means that we can’t afford better technology, renovations or optimal treatment for the residents of the north.”

Nasrallah threatens: Hezbollah’s missiles can hit Israel’s nuclear reactor

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah called on Israel to dismantle its nuclear reactor in Dimona, warning that it poses a threat to Israel’s existence should it be hit by one of Hezbollah’s missiles.

Nasrallah made a similar threat against Haifa’s ammonia tank last year, saying that a missile hitting the facility could have the effect of a nuclear bomb. Last week, a Haifa court ordered the tank closed, citing the security threat.

Nasrallah, speaking in a televised speech commemorating Hezbollah’s slain leaders, suggested that Israel has been emboldened by the election of Donald Trump as US president.

“Trump’s election does not scare us, even if claims that he will give [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu the green light to wage a war on Lebanon turn out to be true,” Lebanese news website Naharnet quoted Nasrallah as saying.

“Israel is continuing to launch threats against Lebanon and speak of the third Lebanon war and of what it will do during this third war,” Nasrallah stated. ” We’ve been hearing these threats since the end of the July 2006 war. Every other day we hear statements about the third Lebanon war and about the coming vengeance. The new threats are based on the election of Trump, but the policy of the new American administration in the region is not clear,” he added.

The leader of the Lebanese Shi’ite group downplayed the importance of Israel’s superior air force in a potential conflict.

“Aerial war alone cannot decide the fate of the battle and cannot achieve victory,” Nasrallah said. “Had it not been for the Syrian army’s fighting on the ground in Syria, it would not have been able to achieve decisive victory,” he added.

Discussing Wednesday’s meeting between Netanyahu and Trump, Nasrallah said that the prospect of peaceful negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians was now over.

“After what came out after the meeting between Netanyahu and Trump, I am not exaggerating if I say that yesterday there was a semi-official announcement of the death of the path of negotiations,” he said.

Netanyahu to Trump: Recognize Golan Heights as part of Israel

The United States  should recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told US President Donald Trump when the two men met in Washington on Wednesday.

“His reaction was not earth shattering,” Netanyahu told reporters during a briefing at Blair House after the meeting. He did not elaborate any further about the mountainous area that Israel captured from Syria in the Six-Day war and then annexed in 1981.

The United States and the international community have never recognized Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights.

Israel has long argued that it must maintain that territory for security reasons.

The two men also talked about the civil war in Syria in general, with Netanyahu explaining that Israel had no interest in getting involved in the conflict.

“We want to avoid involvement as much as possible,” Netanyahu said.

Still, he said, Israel would obviously act, as it has done in the past, to halt threats to its security particularly from Iran which is smuggling weapons through Syria to Hizbollah in Lebanon. Iran also seeks  to establish a base in Syria.

Israel has in the past carried out limited airstrikes in Syria. Netanyahu told the reporters that Israel coordinates any activity it takes in Syria with Russia. The prime minister said that he speaks with Russian President Vladimir Putin about every two to three weeks.


Trump says can ‘live with’ one-state solution, encourages sides to seek peace

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday said that he could “live with” either a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Authority conflict or a one-state solution as he held a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of the leaders’ first private post-election meeting.

Trump opened his joint news conference with a vow to encourage a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority . But the president said the two parties themselves “must directly negotiate such an agreement.”

Netanyahu added, “both sides.”

Netanyahu said there is “no greater supporter of the Jewish people and the Jewish state than President Donald Trump.” The prime minister was addressing a question from Israeli media about fears the administration “is playing with xenophobia and maybe racist tones.”


Netanyahu said that he’s known Trump, members of Trump’s team and his family for many years. That includes Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, whom Netanyahu has known since Kushner was young. Netanyahu said he thinks any insinuation otherwise should be put “to rest.”

Trump greeted Netanyahu on a red carpet rolled out to the White House driveway. The two leaders smiled, shook hands and chatted amiably before heading inside the executive mansion, accompanied by first lady Melania Trump and Netanyahu’s wife Sara.

Trump reaffirmed the United States’ “unbreakable bond” between the two countries. He called Israel a symbol of resilience. He said Israel faces enormous security challenges and is calling the Iran nuclear deal negotiated under former President Barack Obama “one of the worst deals I’ve ever seen.”


“I’d like to see you pull back on settlements for a little bit,” Trump told Netanyahu. Netanyahu said later that Jewish communities were “not the core of the conflict” and made no commitment to reduce building of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

The American leader broke with his predecessors on the idea of a two-state agreement. While such an accord may have once appeared to be the “easier of the two” options, Trump said he’d be open to alternatives if the two sides propose something better.

Trump echoed Netanyahu’s calls for the Palestinian Authority to recognize Israel as a Jewish state – something they have refused to do – and to halt incitement against Israelis.

But even as Trump promised to pursue peace between the two sides – who have had no substantive peace talks since 2014 – he offered no new prescriptions for unblocking the peace process or achieving a deal that has eluded so many of his predecessors.


“I’m looking at two-state and one-state and I like the one that both parties like. I’m very happy with the one that both parties like,” he said.

“I can live with either one. I thought for a while it looked like the two-state, looked like it may be the easier of the two, but honestly if Bibi and if the Palestinians if Israel and the Palestinians are happy, I’m happy with the one they like the best,” Trump said, referring to Netanyahu by his nickname.

Netanyahu said that he wanted to focus on “substance” and not “labels,” when asked about support for a two-state solution for peace between Israelis and the PA.

“Rather than deal with labels, I want to deal with substance,” Netanyahu said.


“There are two prerequisites for peace. First the Palestinians must recognize the Jewish state … Second, in any peace agreement, Israel must retain the overriding security control over the entire area west of the Jordan River,” he said.

Trump also said that he’d like to see the US Embassy in Israel moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but noted that “we’re looking at it with great care.”

A retreat from U.S. backing for a two-state solution would upend decades of U.S. policy embraced by Republican and Democratic administrations and a principle considered the core of international peace efforts.


Trump also took a moment to call out and praise Sara Netanyahu, asking her to stand to be recognized. He also referenced his daughter, Ivanka, who was in attendance, when addressing a question on rising anti-Semitism in the United States. He said that he was going to do everything in his power to stop long-simmering racism

For Netanyahu, the talks with Trump are an opportunity to reset ties after a frequently combative relationship with Democrat Barack Obama, Trump’s predecessor. After speaking to reporters, the two leaders were due to hold talks in the Oval Office followed by a working lunch.

The two leaders, who seemed to strike up an emerging “bromance” in social media exchanges since the election, sought to demonstrate good personal chemistry face-to-face as well, both sporting smiles and exchanging asides.

Meetings with Obama were at best cordial and businesslike, at worst tense and awkward. In one Oval Office encounter in 2011, Obama grimaced as Netanyahu lectured him in front of the cameras on the suffering of the Jewish people through the ages.

US will not insist on two-state solution: White House

The White House signaled a sharp break with decades of support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Authority conflict, on the eve of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to the White House.

A senior White House official said the United States would no longer seek to dictate the terms of any eventual peace settlement, but would support what the two sides agree to together.

“A two-state solution that doesn’t bring peace is not a goal that anybody wants to achieve,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

“Peace is the goal, whether that comes in the form of a two-state solution if that’s what the parties want, or something else if that’s what the parties want.”


President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will greet Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, at the White House in the morning, and the two leaders will hold a brief press conference before holding two hours of meetings.

In recent decades, subsequent administrations have explicitly outlined their hopes for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, resulting in two states for two peoples living side by side in peace and security. Past negotiations have operated on the assumption that such an outcome would roughly fall along the lines that resulted from the Six Day War in 1967, with mutually agreed land swaps reflecting a change in demographics.

But Trump administration officials suggested that peace between the parties might be possible in another framework.

“If I ask five people what a two-state solution is, I get eight different answers,” one said.

The administration seeks a seamless public viewing tomorrow that suggests “no daylight” between the two governments, after eight years of tension between Netanyahu and former US President Barack Obama.

Trump officials expect Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria will be a topic of conversation during the meeting. Iran’s regional activities and its nuclear program will also top the agenda.

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