Israel news summary

Israel News for 8-26-2019

Rockets Fired
Three rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel last night. IDF jets responded by striking several targets, including the office of a Hamas battalion commander, in a Hamas military compound in northern Gaza.

PM Netanyahu ordered to cut by half the amount of fuel being transferred to Gaza via the Kerem Shalom border crossing, starting Monday and until further notice.

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Drone Attack
The IDF announced yesterday that it thwarted an attempted drone terror attack planned by Iranian officials based in a luxury villa in Damascus. IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said the Al Quds force, working with allied Shiite militias, had been planning to send a number of explosives-laden attack drones into Israel. He said Israel had monitored the plot for several months and on Thursday prevented Iran from making an “advanced attempt” to execute the same plan. Then, Iran tried again late Saturday to carry out the same attack. IDF fighter jets destroyed the drones.

US Secretary of State Pompeo tweeted, “Spoke with Israeli PM Netanyahu today regarding recent Israeli airstrikes in Syria. I expressed my support for Israel’s right to defend itself from threats posed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps & to take action to prevent imminent attacks against Israeli assets. We discussed how Iran is leveraging its foothold in Syria to threaten Israel and its neighbors. The Prime Minister Netanyahu noted that Israel would strike IRGC targets threatening Israel, wherever they are located.”

Meanwhile, an official from a military position belonging to a Palestinian group in the Lebanese town of Qusaya, near the Syrian border, said three Israeli air strikes targeted it, causing damage, but no casualties.

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Drones in Beirut
Hezbollah claimed yesterday that two Israeli drones came down over Beirut, with one of the pair being rigged with explosives and causing serious damage to a building housing Hezbollah’s media office. But images of the crash site reveal the drones were manufactured in Iran and not in Israel. [Of course, that didn’t stop the Lebanese Prime Minister from condemning the Israeli aggression.]

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Peace Plan
Speaking at the G-7 conference in Biarritz, France, President Trump said he may release his Middle East peace plan prior to the Israeli election. He said, “I think you may see what the deal is before the election.”

Trump said that the PA would ultimately join US-brokered talks in order to receive funding from the US — “I think the Palestinians would like to make a deal. As you know, I cut off most funding to the Palestinians — a lot of funding. And I think they’d like to get it back. I think they’d like to make a deal. We’ll see what happens. Nobody has ever done that before. They used to negotiate paying a fortune of money — $750 million. They’d pay, pay, pay. And they’d be treated with disrespect, but they’d keep paying. This went on for years. So I don’t believe in that.”

He added, “We cut off their funding — a lot of it. And we’ll see what happens. But I think they want to make a deal, the Palestinians. And I think Israel would like to make a deal too.”

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Economic Boom
Apparently, the Palestinian economy is doing pretty well. Hundreds of millions of dollars in financing for infrastructure projects as well as for Palestinian Authority bonuses, grants and loans are pouring in from abroad. Exports to Israel are growing and tens of thousands of Israeli Arabs are shopping in the Palestinian areas. And continued construction in Judea and Samaria and in Israel proper has been a boon for the 130,000 Palestinian workers. Tourism and local industries are flourishing.

What all that means is that the Palestinians, on the whole, have no motivation to make trouble. The’ve got too much to lose.

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