Wednesday, March 22, 2017
SURPRISE DRILL BY ISRAEL FOR WAR AGAINST GAZA ARAB MURDERERS.
28 And when these things begin to come to pass,(ALL THE PROPHECY SIGNS FROM THE BIBLE) then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption (RAPTURE) draweth nigh.
29 And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree,(ISRAEL) and all the trees;(ALL INDEPENDENT COUNTRIES)
30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.(ISRAEL LITERALLY BECAME AND INDEPENDENT COUNTRY JUST BEFORE SUMMER IN MAY 14,1948.)
3 A fire devoureth (ATOMIC BOMB) before them;(RUSSIAN-ARAB-MUSLIM ARMIES AGAINST ISRAEL) and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.
30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.(ATOMIC BOMB AFFECT)
12 And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet,(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB) and their eyes shall consume away in their holes,(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB) and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB)(BECAUSE NUKES HAVE BEEN USED ON ISRAELS ENEMIES)(GOD PROTECTS ISRAEL AND ALWAYS WILL)
13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.(1/2-3 BILLION DIE IN WW3)(THIS IS AN ATOMIC BOMB EFFECT)
47 And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein.
18 Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD'S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.
1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven;(FROM ATOMIC BOMBS) and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
And here are the bounderies of the land that Israel will inherit either through war or peace or God in the future. God says its Israels land and only Israels land. They will have every inch God promised them of this land in the future.
Egypt east of the Nile River, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, The southern part of Turkey and the Western Half of Iraq west of the Euphrates. Gen 13:14-15, Psm 105:9,11, Gen 15:18, Exe 23:31, Num 34:1-12, Josh 1:4.ALL THIS LAND ISRAEL WILL DEFINATELY OWN IN THE FUTURE, ITS ISRAELS NOT ISHMAELS LAND.12 TRIBES INHERIT LAND IN THE FUTURE
OTHER ISRAELI NEWS TODAY
EU ROME TREATY TODAY - EU CELEBRATES 60 YRS AS WORLD TRADE BLOC
The clock is ticking... Israel must act to separate itself' from the Palestinians-Lack of 2 state solution is existential threat to Israel — ex-Mossad chief-Tamir Pardo says government is burying its head in the sand and acting as if Arabs will someday disappear in some kind of ‘miracle’-By Tamar Pileggi March 21, 2017, 6:39 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
The only existential threat facing Israel is its defiant refusal to pursue a two-state solution to the conflict with Palestinians, ex-Mossad director Tamir Pardo warned on Tuesday.“Israel has decided not to choose, and is hoping the conflict will one day resolve itself, or that the Arabs will disappear in some kind of cosmic miracle,” he said at a Netanya conference in memory of his late predecessor, Meir Dagan.Pardo said that unless Israel acts to separate itself from Palestinians, Arabs from the West Bank and Gaza Strip would eventually outnumber Jews, who could one day find themselves a dwindling minority in a Jewish state.“Eventually, we will become a bi-national state because it will be impossible to untie the knot between the two peoples,” he said. “The Jewish and Palestinian populations in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip are nearly equal, and Israel must act to separate itself.”“Israel faces one existential threat, and its a ticking time bomb,” Pardo said. “Is this our desire and is this the Zionist vision? This is what we will want to leave our children?”His comments can be seen as a criticism of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has backed away from the two state solution in recent weeks and who routinely warns about the existential threat posed to Israel by Iran.“In an extraordinary way, we’ve decided to bury our heads deep in the sand, to preoccupy ourselves with alternative facts and flee from reality while creating other various external threats,” he said. “The clock is ticking, we must weigh the facts and not the alternative facts and reach a decision. The time has come to choose a direction.”Supporters of a two-state solution often warn of the “demographic threat” posed by Israel’s continued hold on the West Bank, with the possibility of Israel having to choose between being democratic or Jewish if it remains entangled amidst millions of Palestinians.Last year, Pardo similarly warned that the greatest danger facing Israel was internal, and could lead to a civil war.“If a divided society goes beyond a certain point, you can end up, in extreme circumstances, with phenomena like civil war. To my regret, the distance [until we reach that point] is shrinking. I fear that we are going in that direction,” he said at a press conference last August. “The internal threat must worry us more than the external threat.”Since stepping down as the as the spy agency director last year, Pardo has joined the growing ranks of retired security men to urge the government to seek a two-state solution.Following the election of US President Donald Trump, many on Israel’s right publicly urged Netanyahu to renounce the two-state solution and annex large parts of the West Bank.Trump himself also said he had no firm commitment to a two state solution, although in recent days it appears that he has not moved as far from the positions of the Obama administration as many on Israel’s right would have wanted.
North Korea a larger global threat than Iran, Liberman says-Defense minister calls increasing use of advanced weapons by irrational leaders the dawn of a ‘new era’-By Judah Ari Gross March 21, 2017, 8:01 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
North Korea’s burgeoning nuclear weapons program poses more of a threat to world order than Iran, or any other terrorist group, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said on Tuesday.“North Korea stands at the top of the priority list,” the defense minister said at a conference in Netanya held in memory of former Mossad chief Meir Dagan.Liberman said Pyongyang “seems to have crossed the red line with its recent nuclear tests.”Liberman’s speech at the Netanya Academic College took a more global approach to terror threats, saying it wasn’t just the Middle East that is facing upheaval.“The entire world is in the midst of a squall,” he said.The defense minister went on to say that Iran, with its widespread support for terrorist organizations, was the second biggest threat to global security.The third threat facing the world, according to Liberman, are terrorist organizations armed with advanced missiles and unconventional weapons.“We’re just ahead of a new era of accurate missile and unconventional weapons in the hands irrational people,” Liberman said.In apparent reference to recent reported Israeli strikes on Hezbollah targets in Syria, Liberman said Israel did not want to get involved in the country’s years-long civil war, but it would “not tolerate” the threat of advanced missiles in the hands of terrorists.“We’re not looking for adventures, but we will work against it at any opportunity,” he said.Looking locally, Liberman encouraged his fellow lawmakers to keep their expectations about Donald Trump’s administration in line with reality.“We don’t have the option to fight with Donald Trump,” he said.“If someone thinks that we are going to work unilaterally, they have not seen the situational assessment,” Liberman said, referring to calls by some right-wing lawmakers to annex portions of the West Bank.He said annexing the territory would cost Israel some NIS 20 billion.While telling Israeli politicians to keep their “slogans” in check, he noted that there was opportunity for better US-Israel relations under the current administration.“It’s a Republican government, not a Donald Trump government,” Liberman said.The right-wing now dominates the US Congress, the Supreme Court, and there is a “very friendly” president in the White House, he added.
You’re acting like you’re filling up a truck with potatoes, not with people who are dying because of lack of medical care'-Let our people come, Ethiopian Jews plead as immigration stalls-MKs accuse Interior Ministry of sabotaging Ethiopian aliyah; ministry claims it’s trying to overcome logistical challenges-By Melanie Lidman March 21, 2017, 10:31 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
Ethiopian Jews languishing in Ethiopia and their families in Israel demanded answers on Tuesday as to why a government decision approving 1,300 people for immigration to Israel has yet to be implemented.Knesset members Eli Alaluf (Kulanu), David Amsalem (Likud), and Avraham Neguise (Likud) excoriated representatives of the Interior Ministry, accusing them of setting deliberate obstacles to scuttle Ethiopian aliyah.In August 2016, after almost a year of negotiations, the Finance Ministry agreed to allocate money to allow 1,300 Ethiopians to move to Israel. This is the first step of a government-approved plan to bring approximately 6,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel over a five-year period at the rate of about 100 per month. After the five-year period there will need to be an additional plan for the remaining Jewish community of about 3,000.Although a celebratory flight landed at Ben-Gurion International Airport in October with 63 Ethiopians who had already received their approval to immigrate, no planes have arrived since then and not a single person has even been approved by Israeli authorities to immigrate.The Interior Ministry claimed it was having logistical problems finding offices for representatives in Gondar, where some 9,000 Falashmura Jews are waiting and hoping to emigrate, and only sent three workers on February 26, days before a mission of MKs left for Ethiopia for a fact-finding mission.“You’re acting like you’re filling up a truck with potatoes, not with people who are dying because of lack of medical care,” Amsalem told Amos Arbel, the director of the Interior Ministry’s Population, Immigration and Border Authority branch for determining which people are approved to immigrate to Israel.Gashaw Abinet, one of the cantors at the synagogue in Gondar, said the Jews of his city and in Addis Ababa live in poverty, after they left their villages 15 to 20 years ago in order to register with Israeli officials and wait their turn to move to Israel. Because they have been in limbo for years, always assuming they would be leaving for Israel shortly, they often did not invest in businesses or real estate, plunging them further into poverty as the years passed. In Gondar, 6,000 Jews live in rented mud shacks, most without electricity or running water. An additional 3,000 Jews live in Addis Ababa, spread out among the poorer suburbs because they can no longer afford to live near the synagogue in the center of the city.Members of the Jewish community are also poorer than the average Ethiopian. In 2011, researchers found that 41% of the Jewish children in Gondar were malnourished, and in the 12- to 23-month age range, 67% were malnourished. The average urban malnutrition rate in Ethiopia is 30%.“We are going through nightmares in Gondar,” said Abinet by phone last week. “We want the Israeli government to help us. Why are you doing this? There’s already been a government decision to bring 9,000 Jews.”The Jews left behind in Ethiopia are classified as Falashmura, a term for Ethiopian Jews whose ancestors converted to Christianity, often under duress, generations ago.Because the Interior Ministry does not consider the Falashmura to be Jewish, they cannot immigrate under the Law of Return and therefore must get special permission from the government to move to Israel.The community counters that the process to determine their Jewishness was poorly executed and inaccurate, dividing families.At least 80 percent of the Jews in Ethiopia have close relatives living in Israel.In August 2013, the government announced the “end” of Ethiopian aliyah, claiming that all Ethiopian Jews were now in Israel. Since that time, the Jewish Agency withdrew its funding from the community synagogue, canceling a nutrition program for children and at one point even removing the community’s Torah scroll.Although the government unanimously approved the immigration of all the remaining Jews from Ethiopia in November 2015, the decision faltered three months later when the Prime Minister’s Office refused to implement the program because the $1 billion it said was needed to fund the absorption process was not in the state budget.But even with the money now in place, the immigration process has stalled, with community members accusing the state of bogging down their efforts with red tape.Abinet said the Interior Ministry is requiring more documents than in previous years, including a residency card for Gondar. However, as most of the community is made up of refugees who fled discrimination in rural villages in 1990s in the hopes of moving to Israel, they do not have official documentation from Ethiopian authorities.Sabine Hadad, a spokeswoman for the Interior Ministry’s Population, Immigration, and Border Authority, the branch that approves applications for immigration, said the ministry has always required these documents.Abinet also said the Interior Ministry’s actions will separate families, a mistake he was hoping the Israeli government had learned not to repeat.For example, Abinet’s mother was approved for immigration years ago, but in the intervening years, his older brother died and Abinet’s mother became the primary caretaker for her grandchildren.However, because the grandchildren were not registered along with their grandmother, Abinet’s mother could be forced to leave her grandchildren behind if she wants to move to Israel, where she has other relatives.“We made such a big struggle to keep families together,” said Abinet, speaking in Hebrew. “If the Interior Ministry will separate parents from their kids again, then I will have no hope. I am trying to keep my hope and continue fighting.”The Interior Ministry claimed it has interviewed 120 heads of family, representing about 500 people, in the past three weeks, though no one has received approval for immigration due to “problems with internet and communication.” Arbel said the ministry hopes to start giving approvals starting next week, though arranging flights will take additional time.A major issue, according to the Interior Ministry, is that it does not have adequate office space in Gondar to carry out the interviews and medical examinations.A representative from the Foreign Ministry said the Israeli Embassy is building office space for this process but the buildings are still under construction, and it offered a private apartment as a temporary solution until the buildings are completed, but the Interior Ministry has not used the apartment.“There are so many excuses that it is so hard to believe how people are coming up with these excuses,” said Alaluf, who was on the fact-finding mission to Ethiopia two weeks ago. “I was disgusted by the behavior of the Interior Ministry.”Alaluf said he was shocked by the living conditions for Jews in Ethiopia, where many are forced to share rented mud buildings with entire families crammed into a single room.“I cannot stand by while Jews are in this situation anywhere in the world,” he said.Abinet said the Interior Ministry is now calling people to come for immigration interviews, despite the fact that many people cannot afford phones. Until 2013, the ministry had announced interviews in the synagogue, but Neguise said the ministry had stopped that practice for ideological religious reasons.“You aren’t using the synagogue because you don’t want to recognize that they have a synagogue,” said Neguise, who was born in Ethiopia and chairs the Knesset Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs committee.Arbel defended the three Interior Ministry workers currently in Gondar and said they would continue “doing professional work to implement the government decision.”He added that the ministry would continue the practice of phoning people to inform them of interview times, regardless of the obstacles.Amsalem and Neguise said they are planning an additional session on the issue immediately after Passover, even though the Knesset will be on recess.Ethiopian-Israeli activists and family members who attended the Knesset session condemned the government’s inaction and its refusal to provide information.“I don’t know what to do, my sister is sick, and you don’t give us any answer about when I can bring her,” said Dinkitu Tarkgen. “You tell me to call a number [at the Interior Ministry] and there’s no answer. I just want to know when I can see her.”Yahallem Tadesa has been waiting for 16 years to bring his two oldest children, who were separated from the family in the refugee camp. He said he was forced to do a blood test to prove they are his children, which he completed two years ago. “I think of them every day,” said Tadesa. “I think of them and I cry every day.”
MIGRATING BIRDS IN ISRAEL EATS HUMANS FLESH FOR COMING AGAINST ISRAEL-JERUSALEM
11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog (RUSSIA/ARAB/MUSLIMS) a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers (EAST OF THE DEAD SEA IN JORDAN VALLEY) on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog (RUSSIAN) and all his multitude:(ARAB/MUSLIM HORDE) and they shall call it The valley of Hamongog.(BURIEL SITE OF THE 300 MILLION,RUSSIAN/ARAB/MUSLIMS)
12 And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land.(OF ISRAEL)
16 And also the name of the city shall be Hamonah. Thus shall they cleanse the land.(OF THE ISRAEL-GOD HATERS)
17 And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood.(OF RUSSIAN/ISLAMIC HORDES AGAINST ISRAEL)
18 Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan.
19 And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you.
20 Thus ye shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of war, saith the Lord GOD.
21 And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them.
22 So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day and forward.
17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;(AGAINST ALL NATIONS ARMIES THAT COME AGAINST JERUSALEM AND ISRAEL)
18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.
1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
2 Son of man, set thy face against Gog,(RULER) the land of Magog,(RUSSIA) the chief prince of Meshech (MOSCOW) and Tubal,(TOBOLSK) and prophesy against him,
3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog,(LEADER OF RUSSIA) the chief prince of Meshech(MOSCOW) and Tubal:TOBOLSK)
4 And I (GOD) will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws,(GOD FORCES THE RUSSIA-MUSLIMS TO MARCH) and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:
5 Persia,(IRAN,IRAQ) Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:
6 Gomer,(GERMANY) and all his bands; the house of Togarmah (TURKEY) of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.(AFRICAN MUSLIMS,SUDAN,TUNESIA ETC)
7 Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.
1 Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog,(LEADER OF RUSSIA) and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech (MOSCOW) and Tubal: (TUBOLSK)
2 And I will turn thee back,(RUSSIA-ARAB MUSLIM ISRAEL HATERS) and leave but the sixth part of thee,(5/6TH OR 300 MILLION DEAD RUSSIAN/ARAB/MUSLIMS I BELIEVE) and will cause thee to come up from the north parts,(RUSSIA) and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel:
3 And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand.
4 Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands,( ARABS) and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured.
5 Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD.
6 And I will send a fire on Magog,(NUCLEAR ATOMIC BOMB) and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD.
7 So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.
8 Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this is the day whereof I have spoken.
Soldiers simulate ground invasion-2,000 reservists train for war in Gaza with surprise drill-Four reserve brigades given 24 hours notice for largest exercise of its kind this year; army says it’s unrelated to tensions on the border-By Judah Ari Gross March 21, 2017, 9:04 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
Some 2,000 reserve soldiers were called up this week to simulate war in the Gaza Strip, as part of the military’s largest planned exercise of 2017, the army said.The surprise drill began on Sunday. It was conducted by the Sinai Division, the Southern Command’s reserve division. The exercise included four reserve brigades — two infantry and two armored brigades.The soldiers simulated war in Gaza, including a ground invasion into the Hamas-run coastal enclave.IDF Chief Gadi Eisenkot visited the exercise in order to “assess the preparedness of the division for emergency,” the army said.“We have put preparedness at the top of the IDF’s list of priorities. This is evident from the increased training program,” Eisenkot told the reservists.In war, the army chief said, “cunning is what makes the difference — and that’s what we need to get, with the understanding that if there is a need for another [military] campaign, we will know how to surprise in every way, to prevent enemy achievements.”In that way, Eiesnkot said, the army will be able to make the next operation “as short as possible.”Israel has fought three major rounds of conflict with Hamas since the Islamist terror group seized control of Gaza from Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah in 2007. The most recent such conflict, Operation Protective Edge, saw 50 days of fighting, including a ground offensive. In all, 73 Israelis were killed, 66 of them soldiers. Thousands of rockets and mortar shells were fired by Hamas and other Islamic terror groups at Israeli towns and cities, where damage was limited by Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system. Hamas also utilized tunnels dug under the border to carry out attacks. The UN and Palestinians said 2,251 Palestinians, including 551 children, died in Gaza, where Israel’s counterstrikes caused widespread devastation. Israel said that up to half of those killed on the Palestinian side were combatants, and blamed the civilian death toll on Hamas for deliberating placing rocket launchers, tunnels and other military installations among civilians.Israel says Hamas, which avowedly seeks Israel’s destruction, has since rebuilt larger rocket arsenals capable of hitting the entire country, and is again digging attack tunnels.Israel is now drawing up contingency plans to evacuate up to a quarter-million civilians from border communities to protect them from attacks from Hamas, Hezbollah or other terror groups, it was reported Tuesday.The reservists were given 24 hours notice ahead of this week’s exercise. Eight percent of those called up did not attend, the army said.Brig. Gen. Sa’ar Tzur, the head of the Sinai Division, oversaw the exercise, which also included artillery, combat intelligence and combat engineering elements.The surprise drill was in addition to a smaller exercise conducted by the IDF’s Home Front Command in southern Israel this week.As part of the the Home Front Command exercise, the incoming missile alert system in southern Israel was tested on Tuesday morning.The IDF spokesperson said the exercises were planned in advance and not tied to recent tensions with Gaza and jihadists in Sinai.On Saturday, two rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip toward Israel. One exploded near the city of Ashkelon, north of Gaza, causing no casualties or damage. The second apparently fell inside Palestinian territory.The Israel Defense Forces responded with tank fire and air strikes at several Hamas targets in the Strip. There were no reports of casualties.Two days before, a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip struck in an empty field in the Sdot Negev Regional Council near Netivot.In response, Israeli jets struck two Hamas installations in the north of the Gaza Strip.
The idea is to 'remove the threat by not having civilians there,' officer says-Israel plans mass evacuations if war erupts again-Codenamed ‘Safe Distance,’ contingency plans would see up to 250,000 civilians cleared out of border communities if they come under major attack by Hamas or Hezbollah-By Ian Deitch March 21, 2017, 7:18 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
AP — Israel is drawing up contingency plans to evacuate up to a quarter-million civilians from border communities to protect them from attacks from Hamas, Hezbollah or other terror groups.The mass evacuations would be unprecedented in Israel’s history, part of a bigger plan where the army works with municipalities to keep civilians safe.Elements of the evacuation plan, codenamed “Safe Distance,” were disclosed by a senior Israeli officer in an interview to The Associated Press.All sides have been preparing in case a new round of warfare breaks out, although Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed terrorist group sworn to Israel’s destruction, currently is tied down in Syria’s civil war fighting in support of President Bashar Assad. There is currently an uptick in tensions between Israel, Syria and Hezbollah.Each side has warned that a new conflict would be worse than previous ones. Hezbollah fired more than 4,000 rockets on Israeli communities in the 2006 war, while Israel bombarded militant targets in southern Lebanon.The month of fighting killed an estimated 1,200 Lebanese, 44 Israeli civilians and 121 Israeli soldiers.In 2014, 50 days of fighting between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers saw 73 Israelis killed, 66 of them soldiers. Thousands of rockets and mortar shells were fired by Hamas and other Islamic terror groups at Israeli towns and cities, where damage was limited by Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system. Hamas also utilized tunnels dug under the border to carry out attacks. The UN and Palestinians said 2,251 Palestinians, including 551 children, died in Gaza, where Israel’s counterstrikes caused widespread devastation. Israel said that up to half of those killed on the Palestinian side were combatants, and blamed the civilian death toll on Hamas for deliberating placing rocket launchers, tunnels and other military installations among civilians.Israel says Hezbollah and Hamas have rebuilt larger arsenals capable of hitting the entire country.“In 2017, all of Israel is under threat,” said Col. Itzik Bar of the military’s Homefront Command. Preparations are underway for Israel to deal with “very high amounts” of incoming fire, he said.Bar pointed out that Hezbollah has gained battle experience from fighting alongside Assad’s forces and that Hassan Nasrallah, the Shiite group’s chief, has recently increased his rhetoric about attacking Israel.The idea is to “remove the threat by not having civilians there,” Bar said. “We want a meeting of army and Hezbollah forces, and not civilians with Hezbollah forces.”The evacuation plan would apply mainly to communities adjacent to the borders, he said.“In places where we understand there is a great danger to civilians, for example, where we won’t be able to supply defenses or supply deterrence … we will evacuate,” Bar said.Evacuees would be housed in existing infrastructure, including hotels, schools and kibbutz guest houses, he said.The scope of evacuations would depend on the situation, but all told, the plans cover up to 250,000 people who would be moved to safety if there is a conflict on multiple fronts, he said. Israel has a population of about 8.5 million.Masked Palestinian gunmen from the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, a military wing of Hamas, commemorate the 29th anniversary of their group, in Gaza City, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016. Small core groups would stay behind in evacuated areas to maintain vital infrastructure and ensure that communities “function the day after the fighting,” he said.Another senior security official, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with protocol, said the idea resulted from lessons learned in the 2014 Gaza war, in which communities were not evacuated but residents eventually left on their own.Tens of thousands of Israelis left their homes near the Gaza border as the fighting dragged on, turning some areas into ghost towns. The exodus was sparked by Palestinian shelling along with the fear of heavily armed Gaza terrorists infiltrating Israel through tunnels.Border communities vulnerable to mortar shells are the most in danger, he said.Israel’s Iron Dome defense system was seen as a game-changer in the 2014 war, ensuring a decisive protective edge from short-range rockets fired from Gaza. But the security official said there were not enough of the defensive systems to cover attacks on multiple fronts.He said Hezbollah has significantly built up its weapons stockpile since the 2006 war and has upgraded its arsenal to about 150,000 missiles.Israel has made it clear it will act to prevent Hezbollah getting advanced munitions and is widely believed to have carried out several airstrikes in recent years on weapons convoys destined for the militant group. On Friday, it made a rare admission of such a strike after Syria fired missiles at its jets.However, the official said Israel fears that some advanced weapons like surface-to-sea weapons or anti-aircraft missiles might already have reached Hezbollah.Israel’s military chief, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, told an academic conference Tuesday that Hezbollah’s top military commander was killed in Syria in May 2016 by rivals within the group. The announcement was the latest sign of an escalating feud between Israel and Hezbollah.He said the death of Mustafa Badreddine illustrated “the depth of the internal crisis within Hezbollah.” He also said it reflected “the extent of the cruelty, complexity and tension between Hezbollah and its patron Iran.”An Israeli military official said Israel believes the order to kill Badreddine was given by Hezbollah’s leader Nasrallah.Israeli intelligence believes Badreddine had been feuding with Iranian military commanders in Syria over the heavy losses his group had suffered on the battlefield.Israel, meanwhile, has been building up its missile defenses. A system called “David’s Sling” to intercept medium-range missiles from Hezbollah is due to become operational in early April. That would mark the completion of a multilayer missile defense system that includes Iron Dome and Arrow, designed to intercept long-range ballistic missiles — of the type possessed by Iran — high in the stratosphere.The military also has vastly improved its early warning systems, according to Bar, the Israeli colonel.Technology has come a long way since 1991 when air raid sirens sent Israelis nationwide scurrying to bomb shelters when Iraq fired Scud missiles at Tel Aviv. In the 2014 Gaza war, sirens warned of incoming rocket attacks on wide areas.Bar said the system has been narrowed down and improved “dramatically” with more than 3,000 different warning zones. Now only civilians in the line of fire will need to take shelter, while others in the same city won’t, he said.An annual intelligence assessment found Hezbollah or Hamas probably are not interested in sparking a war in 2017, but it warned of the danger of a dynamic of escalation leading to conflict. In February, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said Hezbollah was not seeking a resumption of hostilities. But he vowed that if war did begin, his forces would strike Israel’s Dimona nuclear facilities.Several Hamas officials say the group does not seek a confrontation with Israel now, but that it has developed its arsenal and restored its capabilities to even greater amount than before the 2014 war. They did not specify numbers.Reports in Gaza suggest Hamas completed repairs to dozens of attack tunnels used to infiltrate Israel that were damaged in 2014.Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.
Arrest of Gaza manager exposes Hamas’s Turkish connection-Even though Jerusalem and Ankara restored ties, organizations in Turkey continue to assist the Islamist terror group’s efforts to attack Israel-By Avi Issacharoff March 21, 2017, 11:49 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
The arrest and interrogation of Muhammad Murtaja, the manager of the Gaza branch of the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA), should set off alarm bells in Israel.Murtaja was arrested last month on suspicion that he was working on behalf of Hamas, the Shin Bet announced on Tuesday. The 40-year-old Murtaja was arrested as he attempted to travel from Gaza to Turkey.The arrest exposes deep ties between Hamas and organizations in Turkey, which is of particular concern as Jerusalem and Ankara have just restored relations after years of acrimony.According to the indictment, there is a deep suspicion that someone residing in Turkey not only sought to use Murtaja to transfer money to the Hamas terror group, but also to give the organization’s military wing sensitive military intelligence concerning Israel.Most of the indictment focuses on the blatant way in which Murtaja and his associates from Hamas’ military wing, the Izz Ad-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, shamelessly sought to profit from aid that was meant to go to impoverished residents of the Gaza Strip.Murtaja’s first scheme involved food packages bought with money given to him by TIKA which were supposed to be distributed to needy families in Gaza. He instead handed over some 7,000 of these 14,000 packages to Hamas operatives.In another instance he gave the Turkish organization the names of 8,000 fictional families. The money meant to feed them instead went to purchase food for Hamas.On the boxes of the food packages was a sticker on which it was written in English “a gift from the Turkish people to the Palestinians.” In some cases, members of Hamas’s military wing removed the stickers and then sold the food at inflated prices back to Gaza residents.This is definitely not the first case of its kind.After Qatar financed the construction of thousands of new housing units in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis for families who lost their homes in the 2014 Gaza war, the apartments were ostensibly given to the families for free, although Hamas demanded a “connection fee” to the electricity and water lines amounting to thousands of shekels from each family.However, the bigger problem from Israel’s perspective is buried in the smaller print of the indictment — Murtaja’s mission to obtain satellite pictures in Turkey of sensitive military sites in Israel. These were intended to be used by Hamas to improve the targeting accuracy of its rocket arsenal in its next war with Israel.Murtaja, who has been a member of Hamas’ military wing since 2008, studied structural engineering in Turkey. He speaks Turkish fluently and lives in the middle of Gaza City, and for years was a member of the “Shati Brigade” in Hamas’s military wing.Most likely due to his Turkish language skills, Murtaja was selected to work at TIKA on behalf of the Izz Ad-Din Al-Qassam Brigades. Before that he worked with the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation, known by its Turkish acronym IHH.IHH, which Israel officially considers to be a terrorist organization, was behind the 2010 Mavi Marmara flotilla, in which nine activists were killed after attacking Israeli commandos who boarded their ship as they tried to breach Israel’s blockade of Gaza.Among his different roles with the groups, Murtaja served as a translator for Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyeh and Ismail Radwan during their meetings with officials from the Turkish organizations.Murtaja himself, according to his testimony, was present at a number of meetings in which suitcases stuffed with cashed were handed over to senior Hamas officials by employees from TIKA and IHH.According to Murtaja, he was eventually approached by members of the Hamas branch for research and development, who explained to him that the terror group was seeking to improve the accuracy of its rockets and wanted to acquire more accurate satellite imagery rather than rely on Google Maps. Murtaja was told that the source for such advanced maps was Turkey and he promised to use his contacts there in order to try to obtain them.Murtaja first turned to an associate of his at IHH, Yatim Yamaz, who promised Murtaja he would do everything possible to get the maps.Despite the dangers he knew were involved in leaving Gaza for Israel on his way to Turkey, Murtaja decided to go ahead with the trip anyway.This was most likely on the assumption that his Turkish partner would be able make good on his word that he had connections to Turkish intelligence. Otherwise he would not have implored Murtaja to make the journey to Turkey, expecting him to return to Gaza with information that would have endangered the lives of many Israelis.
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