Category: Israel

Feb 15

Iran Unveils Series Of Nuclear-Capable Ballistic Missiles And Threatens To Strike Israel Over Syria Attack

Iranian military leaders bragged the ballistic missile “can be launched from mobile platforms or silos in different positions and can escape missile defense shields due to their radar-evading capability,” according to reports in Iran’s state-controlled media.


by Geoffrey Grider February 13, 2018

Iran unveiled a series of new homemade nuclear-capable ballistic missiles during military parades held over the weekend, a move that experts view as a bid to bolster the hardline ruling regime as dissidents continue efforts to stir protest.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Iran, armed with an ever-increasing battery of missiles and a firm alliance with Russia, is doggedly pursuing a confrontation with Israel. The Iranian drone incursion that triggered a series of Syrian airstrikes over the weekend that resulted in the loss of an Israel f-16 is proof of that. The policies of the Obama administration allowed Iranian technology to advance to the point now where Israel has no choice but to prepare to attack. 

On the heels of an encounter between an Iranian drone and Israeli forces, Iranian leaders showcased their ballistic missile capabilities, which includes a nuclear-capable medium-range missile that appears to share similarities with North Korean technology, according to experts.

The nuclear-capable missile can strike Israel even when fired from Iranian territory, raising concerns about an impending conflict between Tehran and the Jewish state that could further inflame the region.

Iranian military leaders bragged the ballistic missile “can be launched from mobile platforms or silos in different positions and can escape missile defense shields due to their radar-evading capability,” according to reports in Iran’s state-controlled media.

The latest technology could further inflame tensions between Israel and Iran, which funds and controls terror organizations operating along Israel’s border. Concerns that this nuclear-capable technology could be shared by Iran with its terrorist proxies are fueling longstanding concerns among the Israelis that an attack is imminent.

As Iranian dissidents continue to protest over the country’s ailing economy, the ruling regime continues to invest millions of dollars it received as part of the landmark nuclear deal with the United States on its military technology, specifically ballistic missiles, which are subject to a ban under international statutes.

However, Iran has not only continued this work but also invested heavily in it since receiving the cash windfalls from the nuclear deal. Conservative estimates from open sources indicate the Iranian regime has spent at least $16 billion in recent years on its military buildup and rogue operations in Syria, as well as other countries.

“Thirty-nine years in, the Islamic Revolution has little to show for its decades in power other than growing the country’s asymmetric military capabilities in order to continue their export of the revolution,” Behnam Ben Taleblu, an Iran expert with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told the Washington Free Beacon. “The Islamic Republic has considerably grown the country’s missile and rocket arsenal, both through production and procurement.”

The two missiles featured over the weekend by Iran include the Ghadr, a medium-range ballistic missile that was modified and upgraded by the Islamic Republic

“The Ghadr can strike Israel when fired from Iranian territory, and in March 2016, was flight-tested while bearing genocidal slogans against the state of Israel,” according to Ben Taleblu, who has researched Iranian missile procurement.

Iranian military leaders also rolled out a rocket called the Fajr-5, which is becoming a new favorite of Iranian-backed terror proxy groups operating against Israel.

“The Fajr-5 is an Iranian rocket that has been proliferated to anti-Israel groups like Hamas and Hezbollah. It can travel up to 75 km, and is therefore a long-range artillery rocket. It uses solid fuel for propulsion,” Ben Taleblu explained. “Both the Qadr missile and Fajr rocket represents Iran’s commitment to developing stand-off weaponry that it uses for purposes of deterrence and coercion.”

The new weaponry could fuel ongoing efforts by Congress to crackdown on Iran’s continued proliferation of ballistic missile technology, a large part of which has been incubated by the North Korean regime, which continues to have a technology-sharing agreement with Tehran.

Iran already has the region’s largest arsenal of ballistic missiles and is seeking to continue building this technology.

The Trump administration has said that any effort to fix the nuclear deal with Iran must focus on constricting the regime’s access to ballistic missile technology.

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Feb 13

The next Iranian-Israeli engagement in Syria is due in late April, early May

Feb 12, 2018 @ 15:09 Iran, Iraqi Shiite militia, Iraqi-Syrian border, Israeli Air Force, Lebanon, Russia, US special forces

It is then that Tehran will try to move a special Russian-backed Iraqi Shiite force from southern Iraq into Syria and so expand its anti-Israel war front.
Since the Israeli Air Force hit a dozen Syrian and Iranian military targets on Saturday, Feb. 10, certain Israeli leaders have been vying for the most belligerent anti-Iran speeches (“They will never forget their next lesson” – Transport Minister Yisrael Katz; “We won’t let Iran set up a forward command” OC IDF’s Northern Command, Maj. Gen. Yoel Strick”). However, the plans Iran has in store  for the next round may tax them with making good on their warnings, although one at least comes after the fact. Iran is already running three forward commands in Syria – one in Damascus, one at Abu Kamal in the east and a third outside Aleppo.
Iran’s next challenge to Israel is likely to be more extensive than a lone Iranian drone intrusion and may start far from Israel’s northern border. Russia and Iran are trying to run a two-way, cross-border military movement between Iraq and Syria, which US forces in Syria have so far frustrated.

DEBKAfile’s military sources report that the United States is in the process of establishing a new “Border Security Force” in Syria, which is composed mainly of Kurdish fighters.
Iran and Russia are meanwhile building and training an elite “rapid deployment force” based on Iraqi Shiites. One of its functions will be to expand the front against Israel in both Syria and Lebanon. It is expected that the coming crossing into Syria of the Iraqi Shiite force may be used to detach a section for service on the Lebanese-Israeli border. Last month, an Iraqi Shiite militia chief traveled to Lebanon to inspect Israeli positions on that border. .
The Iraqi group is composed of 5,000 Shiite fighters, who are undergoing special training course for combat in Syria. They were handpicked from two high-performance Iraqi Shiite militias: One is the Nujaba of Kaabil (Movement of the Part of God), which is the Iraqi version of the Lebanese Hizballah and is headed by Sheikh Akram al-Kaabi. It has four sub-units, the Ammar Ibn Yasir Brigade, the Liwa al-Hamad – Praise Brigade, the Liwa al-Imam al Hassan al-Mujtaba – Imam Hssan the Chosen, and the Golan Liberation Brigade. The other militia is the Abud al-Fadl al-Abbas Forces.

This big difference between this elite Iraqi force and the other Shiite militias Tehran deploys in Syria is that it will be equipped with an air force, according to DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources. Russian and Iranian air force officers are setting up an aviation unit called the Combat Helicopters Directorates, to consist of dozens of Russian Mil Mi-17 assault and freight choppers as well as Iranian Shaed 285 attack choppers.

The bulk of the new force is expected to be ready to start moving west in the course of April and cross over into southeast Syria in the regions of Abu Kamal and Deir ez-Zour by early May at the latest. So far, the American forces deployed in western Iraq and southeastern Syria, centering in Al Tanf, have used live air force and artillery fire to push the vanguard back from the Syrian border.

A US special operations contingent also frustrated a move in the opposite direction by Syrian and Hizballah forces trying to cross the Euphrates to the eastern bank across a floating bridge laid by the Russians. They were heading to link up with the incoming Iraqi militias.  (Read DEBKAfile’s exclusive report on Feb. 8). This major US operation that involved air force, artillery and commandos was somehow missed by the Israeli politicians and analysts who commented on how the US had abandoned the Syrian arena when they discussed the Israeli air offensive of last Saturday.

Despite every effort to block the Iraqi force from reaching Syria, it may find a small gap in the 1,000km long Iraqi-Syrian border and manage to slip through. Israel’s government and military leaders will then face a decision that is much harder than whether to destroy the command vehicle controlling an Iranian drone. Part of the difficulty will be that before actin, Israel will have to keep an eye on the state of relations between the US and Russia which are at a low ebb at this time and how this plays out on the ground.

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Feb 09

Turkey’s Erdogan: Jerusalem Is ‘My Top Priority’ in Meeting With Pope Francis

‘The Pope and myself are at one on Jerusalem,’ the Turkish president states as he calls for the whole world to ‘recognize the State of Palestine’


Feb 04, 2018 7:54 PM

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his party members in Ankara.Yasin Bulbul/AP

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has publicly expressed on numerous occasions his outrage over U.S. President Donald Trump’s momentous December 6 declaration acknowledging Jerusalem to be Israel’s capital, amped up his rhetoric against Washington’s recent move in an interview released Sunday by Italian daily La Stampa.

Speaking about his upcoming visit to Italy and the Vatican, where he is slated to meet Pope Francis, the Turkish president stressed that first and foremost on his agenda was the issue of the contested city. “My top priority is Jerusalem,” he said.

“The pope and myself are at one on Jerusalem, no one can take unilateral steps on a city which is dear to billions of people,” Erdogan further stated. “We need to take joint actions to preserve the status quo,” he continued.

When asked why he deemed it so pressing to discuss the status of Jerusalem with the pope, Erdogan reiterated his message: “No nation in the world has the right to take unilateral steps on a city which is dear to billions of people, ignoring international laws.”

“That’s why the UN General Assembly voted to condemn the Trump declaration on Jerusalem last December,” he added. “Only a few countries supported the U.S. and Israel, and I was glad to see Italy voted against the U.S. decision, too,” he shared.

Erdogan extolled Pope Francis for taking immediate action following the U.S. president’s statement in December. “Following Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, which violated international law, he immediately spoke to the Pope. After [the] phone call Pope Francis swiftly conveyed the right message on Jerusalem to all of his Christian followers around the world, and I want to thank him for that.”

“The status of Jerusalem is a central issue for both Muslims and Christians, both the Pope and myself are committed to protecting the status quo,” Erdogan emphasized.

When asked what kind of steps he saw himself taking together with the pope to preserve the status quo in the city, Erdogan shared his long-term vision for Jerusalem “We should take measures to preserve the status quo, ensure holy places in Jerusalem remain open to the three religions, and protect the rights of the Palestinians. It is important that the Pope keeps advocating for this,” he continued.

The Turkish president highlighted his support for the Palestinian people, saying in his interview that he fully supported the Palestinian quest for statehood. “All countries around the world should recognize the State of Palestine,” he said. “I call on Italy to do it too,” he urged.

Asked what solution he envisions for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Erdogan flatly stated: “The only solution is the two-state solution.”

The Turkish president spoke harshly before of Trump’s move on Jerusalem as well as on Israel’s conduct in the city and in the region at large. Shortly after Trump made his announcement in December, Erdogan bashed him as a “partner in bloodshed” and promised to continue his diplomatic efforts to reverse the American president’s “null” declaration.

Israeli forces are “terrorists,” he said at the time. “We won’t leave Jerusalem to the mercy of a child-murdering country,” Erdogan blasted. Israel, he accused, has no values other than “occupation and plunder.”

Erdogan was among the first of world leaders to decry Trump’s declaration, but while he pledges to lead action against Israel and in favor of the Palestinians, Israel has retorted that his accusations are insignificant and inciteful, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu charging that the Erdogan “has attacked Israel.”

Netanyahu slammed Erdogan for double standards, saying in response to his allegations: “I’m not used to receiving lectures about morality from a leader who bombs Kurdish villages in his native Turkey.”

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Feb 09

With high-tech warships, Navy readies to guard gas fields from Hezbollah, Hamas

Four new German-built Sa’ar 6 corvettes due to arrive starting late 2019. Until then, IDF planning to protect strategic maritime assets with existing ships, specialized Iron Dome

By Judah Ari Gross 5 February 2018, 6:44 pm

An Israeli Navy Sa’ar 5 corvette defends a natural gas extraction platform off Israel’s coast, in an undated photograph. (Israel Defense Forces)

An Israeli Navy Sa’ar 5 corvette defends two natural gas extraction platforms off Israel’s coast, in an undated photograph. (Israel Defense Forces)

An Israeli Navy officer and German engineer look over plans for a Sa’ar 6 corvette that is under construction for the Israeli Navy in Kiel, Germany, in an undated photograph. (Israel Defense Forces)

German workers look over plans for a Sa’ar 6 corvette that is being constructed for the Israeli Navy in Kiel, Germany, in an undated photograph. (Israel Defense Forces)

The Israeli Navy is charged with defending the country’s territorial waters, an area that is twice as large as the state itself and is becoming increasingly crowded with highly lucrative natural gas fields and shipping lanes, and it needs help.

For Israel’s enemies these naval sites are “preferred targets,” and both the Iran-backed Hezbollah terror group in Lebanon and — to a lesser extent — Hamas in Gaza have the capabilities to threaten them, a senior Israeli Navy official said Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The senior officer said the navy operates under the assumption that Hezbollah has access to the Russian-made Yakhont shore-to-sea guided missiles, though he would not say explicitly if Israeli intelligence indicates that that is indeed the case.

According to the official, Hamas is less able to acquire advanced weapons due to the Israeli and Egyptian blockades on the Gaza Strip, but is nevertheless believed to have access to two varieties of shore-to-sea missiles: the Chinese C-802 and C-704.

Both terror groups are also believed to be developing naval capabilities, including autonomous submersibles, suicide drones and scuba-diving commando units, Israeli naval officials have said.

Some of those weapons have already been deployed against Israel in combat, by Hezbollah in the 2006 Second Lebanon War and by Hamas in the 2014 Gaza war. Hezbollah succeeded in severely damaging the navy’s INS Hanit with a shore-to-sea missile in the 2006 conflict, and Hamas made use of a naval commando unit in a daring — though ultimately ineffectual — coastal attack at Zikim Beach in 2014.

To counter those threats, as the country’s gas fields and shipping lanes grow more and more important, the military has been investing heavily in the navy, upgrading systems and better integrating it into the rest of the Israel Defense Forces.

In the coming years, additional assistance will come in the form of four state-of-the-art Sa’ar 6 corvettes currently being built by a firm in Kiel, Germany.

The 300-feet-long (90-meter) warships will be packed to the gills with highly sensitive detection equipment, offensive weapons and defensive missile interceptors.

“We’re making use of them down to the last centimeter,” the senior officer told reporters.

Their primary mission will be to guard the natural gas extraction platforms located off the country’s coast.

Since a significant field — Noa North — was first found off the coast of Ashkelon in 2000, Israel has been moving more toward natural gas, with the hope of not only achieving energy independence, but of becoming an energy exporter. That desire kicked into overdrive with the discovery of the Tamar gas field in 2009 and the Leviathan deposit in 2010, which are 200 and 400 times larger than Noa North, respectively.

The process has not been without its controversies both at home and abroad. Domestically, Israelis staged large-scale protests against the deal between the government and energy companies for rights to the sites, with activists and economists claiming that average citizens would not see the benefits from the natural resource.

Internationally, Israel has been at loggerheads with its northern neighbor Lebanon over an area off the coasts of both countries, known as Block 9, where gas is believed to be located and which each claims as its own.

Last Wednesday, Lebanon issued an offshore oil and gas exploration tender for the area, prompting a war of words with Israel, with Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman calling the move “very provocative.”

Israel currently gets 60 percent of its electricity from natural gas, and that figure is expected to increase to 75% by the end of the decade.

Tamar, located 130 kilometers (80 miles) off the coast of Haifa, has been active since 2013, while extraction from the nearby Leviathan has yet to begin.

In 2012, the Bloomberg BusinessWeek financial publication estimated that Israel’s natural gas reserves were worth approximately $240 billion.

That valuation, along with the country’s increasing dependence on the gas fields for electrical power, led the government to officially recognize the sites as strategic national assets in 2013.

That year, the government formally gave the navy the responsibility for defending the gas fields, prompting large amounts of funding to be diverted toward the project.

The Sa’ar 6 corvettes will be outfitted with both a modified version of the Iron Dome system, known as the Naval Iron Dome, as well as the Barak 8 missile interceptor.

The senior officer explained that the Naval Dome system will provide a response primarily to simpler ballistic attacks, while the Barak 8 system is meant to counter more advanced guided missiles.

“But the Sa’ar 6 isn’t just defensive; it is also able to attack from long-range. It is deadly and can stand up to the threats,” the officer said. “If I had to pick a side, I’d pick ours.”

However, it’s going to take a little while before they get to the port of Haifa, where they will be based. The first of the ships will be delivered in November 2019, followed by a second in June 2020, a third in September 2020 and the final one in February 2021.

The Sa’ar 6 isn’t just defensive, it is also able to attack from long-range. It is deadly and can stand up to the threats

Only once they arrive can the navy and local defense contractors get to work outfitting the ships with the latest and greatest in Israeli technology, the officer said. The process of bringing the Sa’ar 6 corvettes to operational status is expected to take several months.

Last November, the Israeli Navy outfitted an existing Sa’ar 5, which is older and smaller than the Sa’ar 6, with a Naval Dome battery that is meant to act as an interim security measure.

In addition to purchasing the four cutting-edge Sa’ar 6 corvettes, the Defense Ministry announced a NIS 1.5 billion ($420 million) deal last July to outfit the Israeli Navy with maritime systems to protect the country’s gas fields and shipping lanes, including missile defense batteries, electronic warfare, navigation systems, command and control centers and communication gear.

The senior officer said the navy was also improving its Haifa base in order to better accommodate the Sa’ar 6 corvettes, including the construction of a new floating dry dock.

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Feb 05

2,800 Year Old Prophecy Fulfilled As Bible Comes to Life in The City of David

By Dr. Rivkah Lambert Adler February 1, 2018 , 2:30 pm

“[The Lord] says: Build up, build up a highway! Clear a road! Remove all obstacles From the road of My people!” Isaiah 57:14 (The Israel Bible™)

Excavations at the City of David in Jerusalem. (Shutterstock)

What is so compelling about a video, originally produced this past summer by Christian Broadcast Network (CBN) and shared by the Israel Video Network earlier this month, that has been watched well over 800,000 times?

The 5-minute video is an interview conducted by Chris Mitchell, Middle East Bureau Chief for CBN, with AnaRina Heymann, Outreach Coordinator at the City of David in Jerusalem. Heymann explains that most of the Old City of Jerusalem is not in fact part of ancient Biblical Jerusalem.

“The only part of ancient Jerusalem that lies in the Old City is the Temple Mount. The walls of the Old City were built 450 years ago by Suleiman the Great. The walls of the City of David are more than 3,000 years old,” Heymann told Breaking Israel News.

The honor of being identified as ancient Biblical Jerusalem is given to the City of David, whose excavations are proving the Bible and fulfilling Biblical prophecy everyday.

“As we uncover the city, the archaeological finds provide unequivocal proof not only of the Jewish presence of more than 3,000 years in the land, but also the Biblical connection to Jerusalem, which UNESCO and the UN vehemently deny,” Heymann said.

Why is the exact location of ancient Biblical Jerusalem so important? Heymann asserts, “I believe that anyone passionate about Jerusalem and serious about the Bible needs to know about the true location of the ancient Biblical Jerusalem. There is a massive realignment, cognitively and spiritually, happening as people are becoming more aware of this.”

In the video, Heymann shows Mitchell two especially powerful Bible-based sites.

First, at 1:47, Heymann says, “Most of the kings of Israel were anointed where we’re standing right now.” Elaborating for Breaking Israel News, she noted that “the anointing of the King of Israel had to take place at a live water source.”

“We know that this is the place where Solomon was anointed,” she continued. “In 1 Kings 1:33, David urged Bathsheba and Nathan to take Solomon to the Gihon Spring and anoint him there.”

The king said to them, “Take my loyal soldiers, and have my son Shlomo ride on my mule and bring him down to Gichon. 1 Kings 1:33

“Tradition also identifies this as the place where most of the kings from the line of Judah were anointed,” Heymann explained.

The second site has prophetic implications. At 2:40, Heymann introduces the excavations at the tunnel that lead from the Pool of Siloam to the Temple Mount and connects them to a prophecy in the book of Isaiah.

This, according to Heymann, is the walk that pilgrims made when they visited the Temple Mount during the Biblical festivals. First, they immersed in the Pool of Siloam and then walked to the Temple Mount. All of this has been hidden for 2,000 years.

“After 2,000 years, the ancient city was rediscovered by Charles Warren in the year 1867. We are now opening up the ancient road between the Pool of Siloam and Temple Mount,” said Heymann. This excavation is fulfilling the exact words of Isaiah.

[The Lord] says: Build up, build up a highway! Clear a road! Remove all obstacles From the road of My people! Isaiah 57:14

Furthermore, Heymann sees an echo of this prophecy in today’s Jerusalem. “I also believe that, as we are opening up the ancient road between the Pool of Siloam and Temple Mount (the final ascent that every pilgrim had to walk), there is a strong parallel to how the modern highways to Jerusalem are opening up too.”

In fact, earlier this month, JNS reported that Yisrael Katz, Israel’s Transportation Minister, had announced that the new high speed train to Jerusalem will launch in time for Passover. “I made a promise, and I will fulfill it. This coming Pesach (Passover), we will allow all of Israel to come en masse to Jerusalem, via the express train from Tel Aviv,” he said. “We are connecting and strengthening our capital city of Jerusalem, and we are connecting to Jerusalem’s history.”

In addition, Heymann said that “the cable car line that will bring masses of people to the Kotel from different points in the city is now being developed.”

Heyman calls the site, “the spiritual nucleus; the touchdown of the End of Days prophecies” adding that “the Bible comes alive 360 degrees in the City of David.”

“Everyone passionate about Jerusalem and serious about the Bible has to reconnect with the true location of ancient Biblical Jerusalem,” she continued. “For all Bible believers, we are talking about the place where kings reigned, prophets walked and epic battles ensued.”

“People can now become a tangible part of prophecy by joining our efforts through the Jerusalem Watch project. Millions of people around the world feel a deep personal and spiritual connection to Jerusalem and are seeking a meaningful way to express their devotion and commitment,” Heymann added.

“In response to this, the Jerusalem Watch initiative offers those passionate about Jerusalem a tangible opportunity to connect by taking an active role in uncovering the glory and history of Biblical Jerusalem, literally becoming part of the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy.”

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Feb 05

The Underground Battle For Mount Zion

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz February 1, 2018 , 3:02 pm

“But David captured the stronghold of Tzion; it is now the City of David.” II Samuel 5:7 (The Israel Bible™)

Mount Zion (Photo Israeli Police Facebook)

Mount Zion, a site of great importance to the Jewish people, is almost entirely owned by the Vatican. It happens to also be a focal point of a political battle being fought, oddly enough, underground.

Harry Moskoff is an executive producer and writer of The A.R.K. Report, an account of his research into the location of the lost Ark of the Covenant. Moskoff is a devout Jew who uses archaeology to investigate his Biblical theories.  He is preparing to film a documentary that will investigate what lies below some of Jerusalem’s holiest sites.

One segment of his documentary will focus on Mount Zion specifically, located directly west of the Old City outside of the ancient walls. Moskoff notes that when the Bible refers to Mount Zion, it is actually using one of the names for the Temple Mount, which is also known as Mount Moriah. In that regard, he will investigate a theory of his that King David moved from his palace in the city of David, located on the southern slopes of the Temple Mount, to Mount Zion in the latter parts of his life. While some archaeologists believe that King David is buried near the City of David, Moskoff contends that his tomb is in fact located on Mount Zion.

When he launched his investigation, Moskoff was shocked to find resistance from nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that tried to prevent him from accessing the site.

“I was naive but I was immediately made aware of a political battle being fought in the guise of archaeology,” Moskoff told Breaking Israel News. “These groups wield a lot of power. They are working to prevent me from going into the tunnels under Mount Zion.

“Their method is very simple: they take us to court and claim we are harming the Palestinian rights,” he continued.

One such NGO is Emek Shaveh, an Israeli organization describing itself as one comprising archaeologists and community activists who are focused on the role that archaeology plays in Israeli society and in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The NGO claims that the Israeli government’s archaeological activity on the Temple Mount and Mount Zion are unscientific and only intended to undermine Palestinian rights in those area.

Emek Shaveh’s description itself give off an appearance of being an organization that acts primarily out of humanitarian concerns. However, according to NGO Monitor, a watchdog organization that investigates the activities of anti-Israel NGOs,  Emek Shaveh receives its funding from the European Union, as well as from individual European governments and anti-Israel organizations like the New Israel Fund.

“These NGO’s are trying to discredit the Biblical basis of the archaeology in Israel,” Moskoff said. “This is a political battle being fought on the battlefield of archaeology, but the archaeological sites are also the Biblical sites. They are hijacking the science of archaeology for what is really a religious battle.”

Eli Dan, who served as assistant director of the Diaspora Yeshiva, a Torah institution on Mount Zion, which was charged with running the compound of King David’s Tomb after the 1967 war, has witnessed what he describes as a “long and complicated war” with the Vatican.

“The Vatican fought for years to gain control of Mount Zion,” Dan told Breaking Israel News. “Their main interest lies in the room where the Christians believe the Last Supper was held.”

“The previous Pope promoted a political agenda that advanced the Palestinian cause because he wanted to gain control of the site,” he elaborated. “But that room is in a building adjacent to the Tomb of King David.”

Dan explained that King Solomon, King Hezekiah, and several high priests are also believed to be buried at the site.

“The battle going on now for Mount Zion goes much deeper,” Dan added. “The battle is for the identity of the site: whether it is a Jewish religious site, a Catholic site,  or whether it is simply a tourist attraction with no religious significance.”

“The Palestinians have no say here and don’t have any cultural or religious connection to the site,” he continued. “Their influence has all but disappeared, but the NGO’s still cause trouble, speaking very loudly in their name.”

Moskoff does not believe the battle has been won yet for Israel and the Jewish people.

“People have to know about this, that these groups will do whatever it takes to keep us out of there,” Moskoff said. “If we don’t act, they will take away our rights to every one of our holy sites.”

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Feb 01

IDF Spokesman warns Lebanon of war with Israel if Iranian presence grows

By Anna Ahronheim

January 28, 2018 11:40

“The future of Lebanese citizens is in the hands of a dictator who sits in Tehran,” said Manelis.

IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Ronen Manelis warned in a rare op-ed on a Lebanese opposition website that a war with Israel could break out if Iran develops precision missiles in the country.

“Lebanon has become – both by its own actions and omissions and by a blind eye from many members of the international community – one large missile factory,”  Manelis wrote on the Ahewar website.

“It’s no longer a transfer of arms, funds or consultation. Iran has de-facto opened a new branch, the ‘Lebanon branch.’ Iran is here,” he said.

“In Lebanon, Hezbollah does not conceal its attempt to take control of the state,” he continued, adding that “in the shadow of Nasrallah’s bullying behavior” the terror group has built “terror infrastructure and factories to manufacture weapons under the nose of the Lebanese government.”

Israel and Hezbollah fought a deadly 33-day war in 2006, which came to an end under UN Security Council Resolution 1701 which called for disarmament of Hezbollah, for withdrawal of the Israeli army from Lebanon, for the deployment of the Lebanese army and an enlarged UN force in the south.

“This past year (2017), like the 11 years that preceded it since the end of the Second Lebanon War, was characterized by relative stability on the Lebanese front. This quiet is for the benefit of residents on both sides,” Manelis wrote. “The fact that northern Israel and southern Lebanon have children who have not heard an alarm in their lives is a significant achievement of the Second Lebanon War, and the best proof of the stability of Israeli deterrence and the burning memory among the Lebanese about the magnitude of Nasrallah’s previous mistake.”

Nevertheless according to IDF assessments, Hezbollah has since rebuilt its arsenal with at least 100,000 short-range rockets and several thousand more missiles that can reach central Israel. In addition to a massive arsenal of rockets and missiles, Hezbollah is able to mobilize close to 30,000 fighters and has flouted its tunnel system, complete with ventilation, electricity, and rocket launchers.

Hezbollah has also increased its military capabilities due to its fighting in Syria on the side of President Bashar Assad, and has spread its troops across the entire Middle East.

“The past year has been further proof that Hezbollah serves as an operational arm of Iran. In every place where there was instability, we discovered the fingerprint of Iran and everywhere we discovered Hezbollah’s involvement,” Manelis wrote.

Some 200 villages in south Lebanon have also been turned into “military strongholds” from which Hezbollah militants are able to watch Israeli soldiers at any moment.

“The ordinary citizen will be mistaken to think that this process turns Lebanon into a fortress, it is nothing more than a barrel of gunpowder on which he, his family and his property are sitting,” Manelis said in his op-ed on Sunday.

“One in every three or four houses in southern Lebanon is a headquarters, a post, a weapons depot or a Hezbollah hideout. We know these assets and know how to attack them accurately if required.”

Israeli officials have repeatedly voiced concerns over the smuggling of sophisticated weaponry to Hezbollah and the growing Iranian presence on its borders, stressing that both are red-lines for the Jewish State.

Senior officials from Israel’s defense establishment have repeatedly stated that while the chance of escalation on the border is low, the smallest incident or a miscalculation by either side has the possibility to lead to conflict.

“The future of Lebanese citizens is in the hands of a dictator who sits in Tehran,” Manelis wrote, adding that “I think it is right to warn the residents of Lebanon of the Iranian game in their security and in their future.”

In September, Israel carried out its largest military exercise on the northern border in 20 years with tens of thousands of soldiers from all branches of the army simulating a war with Hezbollah.

“The past year has been used by the IDF to significantly improve preparations for war on the northern front,” Manelis wrote. “If our enemies understood how much we knew about them, they would be deterred from entering into another conflict for many more years to come.”

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Jan 24

Pence Says US Embassy Will Open In Jerusalem Next Year As Jordan Demands East Jerusalem For Palestinians

The United States will open its embassy in Jerusalem next year, Vice President Pence said Monday, accelerating plans to move the mission in line with the Trump administration’s controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.  Pence made the announcement to Israel’s parliament on Monday where he announced wholehearted support for Israel.

by Geoffrey Grider January 22, 2018

Jordan’s King Abdullah told U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday he looked to Washington to rebuild “trust and confidence” in moving toward a two-state solution in Israel after President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the country’s capital.

“And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.” Zechariah 12:3 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: When President Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, he gave a fuzzy, multi-year timetable for completion of the move of the US Embassy. This weekend in Israel, VP Mike Pence ‘unfuzzed’ that picture and promised it would be done next year. Jerusalem is the powder keg that will set off events of biblical proportion, the only question is when. But at this rate, it certainly won’t be long. 

With Pence sitting across from him in the royal palace, King Abdullah said Jordan viewed the Israel-Palestinian conflict as a “potential major source of instability”.

He said he had raised his concerns for some time that such a decision on Jerusalem “does not come as a result of a comprehensive settlement to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict”. He also reiterated that East Jerusalem should be the capital of a future Palestinian state.

“We hope that the U.S. will reach out and find the right way to move forward in these challenging circumstances,” the king said.

At the end of the visit, Pence in remarks to the press said he “agreed to disagree” with King Abdullah on the impact of Trump’s move.

The United States will open its embassy in Jerusalem next year, Vice President Pence said Monday, accelerating plans to move the mission in line with the Trump administration’s controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Pence made the announcement to Israel’s parliament on Monday where he announced wholehearted support for Israel. The vice president looked notably at ease after more awkward meetings in Egypt and Jordan, where he has been defending the U.S. decision.

“In the weeks ahead, our administration will advance its plan to open the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem — and the embassy will open next year,” he said. “Our president made his decision in the best interests of the United States — but he also made it clear that we believe this decision is in the best interests of peace.”

“By finally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the United States has chosen fact over fiction — and fact is the only true foundation for a just and lasting peace,” he added.  The Israeli government said it gave Pence a full head-of-state welcome ceremony — complete with military band — at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office in Jerusalem.

“Mr. Vice President, I’ve had the privilege over the years of standing here with hundreds of world leaders and welcome them, all of them to Israel’s capital, Jerusalem,” Netanyahu said. “This is the first time that I stand here where both leaders can say those three words.”

He described the U.S.-Israel relationship as a “remarkable alliance” which has “never been stronger.”

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Jan 12

Report: Saudi Arabia working with Israel against Iran

Swiss newspaper reports Israel, Saudi Arabia, working together to prevent Iran’s expansion in the Middle East.

Nitzan Keidar, 08/01/18 11:38


The Swiss newspaper Basler Zeitung on Monday morning reported that Israel and Saudi Arabia are working together to fight Iran’s expanding presence in the Middle East.

According to the report, the two countries are cooperating significantly in the areas of military issues and security on strategic issues, despite the fact that they have no open diplomatic ties.

Another report said that the shared interest in preventing Iran from establishing itself throughout the Middle East with a land corridor to the Mediterranean Sea has caused the Saudis to debate purchasing Israeli-made military equipment and defense systems.

Basler Zeitung also claimed that Riyadh requested Israel examine the possibility of acquiring, including through a third party, anti-tank defense systems and the Iron Dome anti-missile system.

Recently, there were several reports of Israeli and Saudi officials meeting, though neither side disclosed the topics discusses. The Swiss report claims that in October, intelligence officials from both countries met in order to tighten cooperation, and discussed holding an additional meeting with intelligence leaders of both countries.

In November, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot gave an interview to the Saudi Arabian news site Elaph, stating that “the real and greatest threat in the region is Iran, which has three important issues that need to be acted upon. The first is its nuclear program, which has been temporarily frozen, but there is no doubt about Iran’s intentions to achieve nuclear capabilities. Second, Iran’s imposing its influence on various regions and third, its supplying arms [to proxies] to carry out missions, such as to Hezbollah, the Houthis, and Islamic Jihad.

“At the same time, there is an American policy to establish alliances to fight Daesh (ISIS), and they succeeded in doing so. The US is also trying to strengthen and support the moderate Sunni axis in the region without putting its soldiers on the ground to fight. On the other hand, there is a Russian policy that looks only at the Russian interests in Syria. They have made a pact with Assad, Iran and Hezbollah on the one hand, and with the Americans to fight against Daesh, and with Turkey and ourselves (Israel) as part of a mechanism to prevent friction, which has been working very well.”

He also said Israel “is ready to share information if necessary, and there are many common interests we have in common with them.

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Jan 12

What Bible says about Arabian desert

Could Sahara have been a forest just 700 years before Jesus’ time?

Published: 15 hours ago

WASHINGTON – Science has lots of ideas about the ancient catastrophic climate change that almost all agree occurred to create the world’s biggest desert in Arabia.

There are as many theories about what happened as when it happened.

What’s not very well-known even by Bible scholars is what the Bible says – or at least suggests.

The Book of Isaiah chapter 21:13 references “the forest of Arabia shall ye tarry all night, even in the ways of Dedanites.” The Hebrew word behind the English “forest” is ya’ar, which generally means forest. Most every older Bible translation renders it “forest,” while some modern ones translate it to “desert” or “thicket” – probably because they can’t imagine there was once a forest in Arabia.

Yet, many scientists, including secular ones, are not only acknowledging that as a fact, some are suggesting it could have been so only a few thousand years ago.

That raises the question as to whether it was indeed a forest in the renowned Isaiah’s time. Even more interesting is the fact that another biblical prophet, Jeremiah, who lived about 100 years after Isaiah, has this to say in Jeremiah 3:2-3: “Lift up thine eyes unto the high places, and see where thou hast not been lien with. In the ways hast thou sat for them, as the Arabian in the wilderness; and thou hast polluted the land with thy whoredoms and with thy wickedness. Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore’s forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed.”

In other words, Jeremiah, quoting what God spoke to him, wrote that the Arabian forest of Isaiah’s time became a desert because of a Divine judgment. And it’s not the only well-known, sprawling desert in the world that was previously forested.

Jeremiah suggests rainfall in Arabia stopped in his time or before. Could the destruction of an Arabian forest have occurred only 2,700 years ago? Is this biblical evidence of just such a possibility?

One recent scientific paper suggests there could have been an Arabian forest instead of desert between 10,000 and 12,000 years ago.

It sparked popular news stories with 2015 headlines like this by the BBC: “Arabia was once a lush paradise of grass and woodlands.”

Other scientists are jumping in to support this conclusion, including the idea that there were lakes and rivers in Arabia thousands of years ago.

And others still say the climate change that brought about the Arabian desert occurred over millions and millions of years – not thousands.

Some Christian scientists and theologians, however, have long believed what the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah said about the Arabian desert in their times was true. Bodie Hodge, a speaker, writer and researcher for Answers in Genesis, explains why.

“After the Flood, the Earth was obviously well watered,” he told WND.” Regrowth should have been abundant over most of the globe. Furthermore, the heat from which the Lord used to burst the springs/fountains of the great deep (Genesis 7:11), had to be a tremendous heat source. Couple this with continental scale movements, this generates immense heat, warming the oceans. Warm oceans produced more precipitation in the early years after the Flood to continue vegetation growth in places we normally wouldn’t see.”

Hodge continues: “This warming would have been the trend until the ice peaked in the Ice Age, with exceptions of course. Calculations by weather experts like meteorologists Mike Oard and Dr. Larry Vardiman put the peak of the Ice Age at about 500 years after Noah’s Flood. This would have been about 400 years after Babel. At this time, Arabia, the Sahara, Negev, and many other places were likely still highly vegetated. Many science articles have reported on the previously lush regions of Arabia, the Sahara, Negev and even Antarctica.”

Speaking of the Negev, today a vast desert, is also referred to as a forest in the underlying Hebrew in Ezekiel 20:46-48. The prophet ministered in the early 600s B.C., around the same time as Jeremiah and about a century after Isaiah.

While the King James Version of the Bible doesn’t specifically refer to the Negev by name, southern Israel is almost entirely desert today, completely occupied by what we call the Negev or Judean Desert. Here’s what Ezekiel wrote in his time about this vast desert: “Son of man, set thy face toward the south, and drop thy word toward the south, and prophesy against the forest of the south field; 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. And all flesh shall see that I the Lord have kindled it: it shall not be quenched.”

According to this account, the Negev went from being a vast forest to becoming a desert because God burned it in judgment.

“At the time of Abraham and Lot, the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea region, where Sodom and Gomorrah were located, were well-watered and lush with vegetation,” said Hodge. “I would suggest some deserts were already forming in Abraham’s day around 2,000 BC, and others much later, including into Isaiah and Jeremiah’s day. Today, the Dead Sea region is very desert-like. Sometimes deserts form relatively quickly. But that takes a significant catastrophe and long-term changes of climate. It makes more sense that deserts form in waves as different areas within the larger forest diminish and as other parts still have sufficient ground water (i.e., the oasis affect) and enough rain to sustain, until further weather changes occur. But the final desertification may take a little time. The Yatir desert in Israel is at the edge of the Negev desert. This shows how one area can be devastated into a desert while an area right next to it can remain lush.”

The specific area mentioned in Jeremiah and Isaiah may pinpoint the precise time for the formation of the desert of Arabia Petraea. Dr. John Gill, commentator and Hebraist in the 1700s, published notes on Isaiah 21:13 along these lines as have other well-known commentators. They all insisted the Arabian forest was no mere grove of trees, or a “thicket,” as some modern translations put it, but a thick wooded forest. Some modern translations have even “corrected” Isaiah by changing the word “forest” to “desert.”

“As Arabia no longer has such a place (a forest), this change had to occur since Isaiah’s day,” says Hodge. “It is reasonable and even scriptural to suggest that it happened within the 100 years to Jeremiah’s day.”

By the way, both Saudi Arabia and Israel are actively reforesting their respective deserts.

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