israel air force

Israel News for March 20, 2017

Israel Attacks
According to Syrian sources, Israeli drone attacked a vehicle on the road to Damascus, killing a member of a pro government militia. The IDF refused to confirm or deny the reports.

The reported strike came hours after Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman threatened to destroy Syrian air defense systems, after Israeli aircraft were targeted during a bombing run early Friday morning.

“The next time the Syrians use their air defense systems against our planes we will destroy them without the slightest hesitation,” Lieberman said on Israel Radio.

Yesterday, Syrian media reported that Israel attacked military positions and Hezbollah targets.

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Israeli Delegation in DC
Following Trump envoy Jason Greenblatt’s meeting with Israeli and Palestinian leaders in Israel last week, an Israeli delegation has arrived in Washington to continue talks to try and reach an understanding regarding settlement construction and ways of restarting the peace process.

The Israeli delegation is headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s chief of staff Yoav Horowitz and foreign policy adviser Jonathan Schachter, and includes Israel’s US Ambassador Ron Dermer.

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Shin Bet Warning
Shin Bet Director Nadav Argaman told the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee yesterday that the current calm in violence is “deceiving,” warning “there is non doubt” that Hamas and other organized terror cells will try to carry out attacks over the Passover holiday. He said that the Shin Bet (Israel’s version of the FBI) is working hard to thwart all attacks.

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Terrorist Convicted
The Palestinian terrorist who killed American yeshiva student Ezra Schwartz and three others was sentenced to four life sentences for the November 2015 attack. Mohammed Abed Odeh Harub was sentenced Sunday in an Israeli military court. He also was ordered to pay about $200,000 to the families of the victims.

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IDF Shortage
The IDF is preparing to deal with a significant shortage of thousands of soldiers due to a decrease in compulsory military service for men from three years (36 months) to 32 months, and soon to 30 months.

Among solutions being examined is a more focused and intense training period to prepare soldiers sooner for operational duty. Training segments expected to be cut from basic training and advanced training include weeks of guard duty and various rotation-based assignments. Also, soldiers serving in Special Forces will be expected to sign on for additional service periods.

Two options that were discussed were extending the length of service of women—from 24 months to 28 months—and of yeshiva students. Both options were blocked by Ayelet Shaked and religious officials, respectfully.

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Shabbat Rebuke
Haredi lawmakers slammed PM Netanyahu for conducting a government meeting on Shabbat. Netanyahu met informally on Saturday at his official residence in Jerusalem with Likud ministers regarding the establishment of the Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation.

Minister of Health Rabbi Yaakov Litzman of the United Torah Judaism Party (UTJ), said, “I was shocked to hear about Prime Minister Netanyahu’s meeting with a few government ministers that was held in desecration of Shabbat. This does serious damage to the sanctity of Shabbat and a change for the worse from the status quo prevailing throughout the years not to hold official government activities on Shabbat and holidays. Shabbat is a national day of rest, and throughout generations, the people of Israel know to keep the holiness of Shabbat and prevent desecrating it.”

MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni (UTJ) called the meeting “very serious and unprecedented and unacceptable, even if it was an unofficial consultation.” Gafni said that the Prime Minister’s Office told him that the ministers came over in an unofficial capacity and that Netanyahu did not and does not violate Shabbat. The Prime Minister’s Office also reportedly promised that it would not happen again.

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