Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Moscow expects to sign new co-operation pact with Iran in 'very near future', RIA reports

Moscow expects to sign a new agreement on comprehensive cooperation with Iran "in the very near future," Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko told Russia's RIA state news agency in an interview published on Tuesday.

"We expect that this agreement will be signed in the very near future, since work on the text is already close to completion. All the necessary wording has been found," RIA cited Rudenko as saying.

Earlier in June, Russia's foreign ministry said that work on the agreement was temporarily suspended, while Iran said there was no break in preparing the new pact.

Replacing the old pact

Russia and Iran signed a 20-year strategic agreement in 2001 that was automatically extended in 2020 for five years, according to Russia's TASS state news agency reports. Both sides also agreed in 2020 to work on a new pact that would replace the old document.

The 2001 pact called, among others, for cooperation in security, energy projects, including the peaceful use of nuclear energy and the construction of nuclear power plants, industry and technology, according to its text published on the Kremlin's website. READ MORE

Growing international alarm over potential third Lebanon war involving Iran

International alarm grew Monday over the prospects of a third Lebanon war that could spill over to include Iran, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that the Islamic Republic was the force behind the country’s multi-front existential wars.

“We are in a fight for our existence, a fight being conducted on seven fronts. The attack against us is being led by Iran, which openly seeks to destroy us,” Netanyahu told the Knesset plenum on Monday.

“Iran and its proxies have been scheming to do this through missile attacks against Israel and by invading our territory. The more we deepen the war in the Gaza Strip, the more we discover additional evidence of the scope of the multi-front campaign against us,” Netanyahu said.

“We will thwart this campaign,” he stressed.

National Unity Party head MK Benny Gantz, who is a former defense minister and IDF chief of staff, told French President Emmanuel Macron in a phone conversation that the possibility of a diplomatic solution to the cross-border violence seemed more remote, and war more likely. READ MORE

TV polls: Potential new right-wing alliance would win big in new election

A new television poll broadcast Monday said a right-wing alliance of Yisrael Beytenu party leader Avigdor Liberman, former prime minister Naftali Bennett, New Hope head Gideon Sa’ar and former Mossad director Yossi Cohen would be the largest faction in the Knesset if elections were held today, winning 25 seats.

The Channel 12 news survey came a day after a Channel 13 news poll asking the same question found the prospective party would win 34 seats, and as Bennett again eclipsed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in head-to-head matchups on who is better suited to be premier.

In the Channel 12 poll, Netanyahu’s Likud would be the second biggest with 18 seats, followed by Benny Gantz’s National Unity, which recently exited the coalition, at 17, Opposition Leader Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid at 13, a left-wing union of the Labor and Meretz parties at 11, Shas at 10, United Torah Judaism at 8, Otzma Yehudit at 8, Hadash-Ta’al at 5 and Ra’am at 5.

Including the right-wing alliance, the opposition would in such an eventuality win 71 seats in the 120-seat legislature, not including Hadash-Ta’al, which isn’t aligned with either bloc.

If parties remain as they are today, aside from the joint Labor-Meretz ticket, the poll said National Unity would be the largest party with 23, while Likud had 20, Yesh Atid 15, Yisrael Beytenu 14, Labor-Meretz 11, Shas 10, Otzma Yehudit 9, UTJ 8, Hadash-Ta’al 5 and Ra’am 5.

The current opposition would in such an eventuality win 68 seats, again not including Hadash-Ta’al.

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich’s far-right Religious Zionist party — part of Netanyahu’s ruling coalition along with Shas, Otzma Yehudit and UTJ — did not clear the minimum vote threshold in either scenario. READ MORE

Meeting Gallant, Blinken calls for ‘avoiding further escalation’ on Lebanon border

WASHINGTON — US Secretary of State Antony Blinken appeared to caution Israel against launching a major offensive against Hezbollah during his meeting on Tuesday with visiting Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

Blinken “underscored the importance of avoiding further escalation of the conflict and reaching a diplomatic resolution that allows both Israeli and Lebanese families to return to their homes,” the State Department said in its readout on the secretary’s meeting with Gallant.

For his part, Gallant “raised the possible ways to change the security situation in the northern arena,” according to a readout from his office.

“Gallant emphasized the importance of the US standing with Israel in this mission and its impact on the actions taken by Hezbollah and Iran,” the Israeli readout added.

Blinken’s warning was the latest from a top Biden official, as the administration seeks to prevent a full-fledged war between Israel and Hezbollah, which began launching near-daily attacks on the north following Hamas’s October 7 onslaught.

Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. warned Sunday that any Israeli military offensive into Lebanon would risk an Iranian response in defense of Hezbollah and that US forces would be challenged to bolster Israel’s air defense umbrella. READ MORE

What I saw at a terrorist rally outside a synagogue

Thirty minutes after Hamas supporters first set up their operation outside a Los Angeles synagogue, they maced their first Jew.

And the Los Angeles police did nothing.

Not until an hour into the terrorist rally outside a synagogue, did the LAPD finally step in, pushing back masked Jihad supporters in keffiyeh terror scarves from the entrance of Congregation Adas Torah (Congregation of the Bible) which they had occupied.

And then the mob, chanting calls for “intifada” and the destruction of Israel, moved outward to target two smaller synagogues attended by Persian Jewish refugees from Islamic terror in Iran.

“Billions of us will come and kill you,” a heavily accented Middle Eastern man in a keffiyeh unprompted rasped at me as I walked up. Only dozens had actually shown up, but they made up for it with bullhorns, robotic chants, and assaults in the middle of a Jewish neighborhood.

The Jewish counterprotesters had come waving American and Israeli flags while the other side was a sea of terrorist flags. A man wore an Antifa cap, another had come in ski goggles during 90-degree heat, while others toted bear spray, metal bottles, and other implements of violence. READ MORE

Chief of Staff: 'We are approaching the defeat of the Hamas Rafah Brigade'

Last night (Sunday), the Chief of the General Staff, LTG Herzi Halevi, conducted a situational assessment in the Rafah area of the Gaza Strip with the Commanding Officer of the Southern Command, MG Yaron Finkelman, the Commanding Officer of the 162nd Division, BG Itzik Cohen, battalion commanders, and additional commanders.

Chief of Staff Halevi said,"We have very high levels of achievements from the combat in Rafah, and I express great appreciation for that. This is reflected in the number of terrorists that have been eliminated, as well as the infrastructure destroyed, the underground tunnel routes, their mapping, destruction, and the progress in the complex underground combat."

"The fact that the 162nd Division now controls the Philadelphi Corridor from the sea to the border between Israel, Gaza, and Egypt, is very significant in cutting off Hamas' supply for future smuggling. We are now dealing with the underground assets," he said.

According to Halevi, "We are clearly approaching the point where we can say we have dismantled the Rafah Brigade, that it is defeated not in the sense that there are no more terrorists, but in the sense that it can no longer function as a fighting unit. It has suffered many casualties, and you will ensure until the completion of the mission here, to eliminate as many terrorists and destroy as much terrorist infrastructure as possible going forward. With great appreciation, what is happening here is very impressive professionally, keep it up." Israel National News - Arutz Sheva

Shocking footage: Video of kidnapping of hostages from 'Death Shelter' released

The Hostage Families Forum Headquarters this evening (Monday) released footage from the kidnapping of Eliya Cohen, Hersh Goldberg-Polin, and Or Levy on October 7.

The footage was released at the request of the Cohen, Goldberg-Polin, and Levy families.

The first two parts of the video were previously published, while the third part was recently cleared for publication by the IDF.

In the first part, Hamas terrorists can be seen attacking the site where the hostages were sheltering after the attack on the Nova music festival. The site has been dubbed the 'Death Shelter' for the people who were killed there.

A terrorist can be seen in the footage repeatedly firing into the shelter with a rifle.

In the second part of the footage, the three hostages can be seen, wounded and covered in blood, being forced into the back of a pickup truck.

The third part of the video, which is the new footage, shows the drive back into Gaza with the hostages in tow. The terrorists celebrated the carnage they had created, with one chanting 'Alahu Akhbar.' One of the terrorists grabs Hersh Goldberg-Polin by the hair. WATCH

Monday, June 24, 2024

Christian converts sentenced to total of 25 years in jail by Iranian judiciary - report

Five Christian converts have been sentenced to a total of over 25 years in prison by the Iranian judiciary, according to a Friday Iran International report.

According to the human rights group Hengraw, which was created in 2016 to report on the human rights violations against Kurds in Iran, there has been no available information about the specific reason for the charge against the five Christian converts or the details of their accusations.

Those sentenced to jail

The sentences handed down include a 10-year jail term for Christian convert Hamid Afzali, along with five-year jail terms for Nasrollah Mousavi, Bijan Gholizadeh, and Iman Salehi. Zohrab Shahbazi received nine months of jail time.

The report explained that while Christians are "acknowledged as a religious minority in Iran, authorities impose severe penalties, especially on those who convert from Islam to Christianity."

Hengraw noted that Yasin Mousavi was another Christian convert who was arrested. He was "sentenced to 15 years in prison by the judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Iran." READ MORE

Violent clashes erupt between pro- and anti-Israel protesters outside LA synagogue


Violent clashes broke out Sunday between pro- and anti-Israel demonstrators in Los Angeles after the latter held a protest outside the Adas Torah synagogue, where an Israeli real estate fair was being held.

According to the LA Times, one person was arrested for allegedly carrying a “spiked flag.”

CBS News reported that police officers with weapons drawn detained two people who were shouting at protesters from a car. Officers were seen taking a toddler from the vehicle.

According to reports, pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel protesters attempted to block the entrance to the synagogue on Pico Boulevard, where an event on real estate investment in Israel was being held.

In video on social media, at least one of the anti-Israel protesters can be heard chanting “There is only one solution, intifada revolution.”

Images on social media appeared to show an individual with their face covered with a keffiyeh, using what was said to be bear spray on the pro-Israel supporters. READ MORE

After ‘unacceptable’ Hezbollah threats, European ministers fear Middle East escalation

European foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said Monday that the Middle East was close to seeing the conflict between Israel and Hamas expanding into Lebanon, days after the Iran-backed Hezbollah terror group threatened EU member Cyprus.

“The risk of this war affecting the south of Lebanon and spilling over is every day bigger,” Borrell told reporters ahead of a foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg. It was unclear if he mentioned the potential impact on Israel.

“We are on the eve of the war expanding,” he said.

Iran-backed Hezbollah began attacking Israel the day after Hamas’s October 7 assault sparked the war in Gaza. Hezbollah has said it would not stop until there is a ceasefire in Gaza.

Hezbollah terror chief Hassan Nasrallah last week said that nowhere in Israel would be safe if a full-fledged war broke out. He also threatened EU member Cyprus for the first time, and other parts of the Mediterranean.

“It is absolutely unacceptable to make threats against a sovereign state of the European Union,” Greek Foreign Minister George Gerapetritis said. “We stand by Cyprus and we will all be together in all kinds of global threats coming from terrorist organizations.” READ MORE

Iraqi terror group: 'We will join the war between Israel and Hezbollah'

The Iraqi terror organization Kata'ib Sayyid al-Shuhada' (Master of Martyrs Battalions, KSS) announced on Sunday that the Iraqi "resistance" groups would join the militant force if a war broke out between Hezbollah and Israel.

Sheikh Kazim al-Fartousi, a spokesman for the organization, stated that the current war against Israel in Gaza and Lebanon is that of one axis, and Iraq is part of that axis.

"The Iraqi organizations are taking part in this war, we are actively in the fighting, and we don't need to enter the war, since we are part of it," he stated.

al-Fartousi added: "The Iraqi organizations attack the Zionist entity almost daily, in various ways, since we support Palestine in its war and Hezbollah in its war.

"If the government of the usurping Zionist entity does something crazy with Hezbollah in Lebanon, there will be a big cemetery for this entity, and everyone will partake in burying it."

The Kata'ib Sayyid al-Shuhada', which works directly with the IRGC, has thousands of fighters. Israel National News - Arutz Sheva

US officials confirm: Arms shipments from the US decreased by 50%

US officials confirm that there has been a decline in the number of arms shipments from the US to Israel in recent months, Channel 12 News reported.

This includes one shipment of precision bombs that was delayed.

In the first part of the war, about 240 shipments of weapons were delivered to Israel. In recent months, only 120 shipments have been delivered; which is a decrease of about 50%.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu again claimed at the cabinet meeting today (Sunday) that "there has been a dramatic decrease in the supply of munitions from the US."

"I greatly appreciate the support of President Biden and the US administration for Israel. Since the beginning of the war, the US has supported us both in spirit and in material means, with supplies for defense and attack," he added.

According to Netanyahu, Israel has been appealing to the US government for many weeks to "speed up the shipments." "We did it again and again. We did it at the highest levels, at all levels, we did it in closed rooms. They gave us all sorts of explanations, but we didn't get one thing – the basic situation hasn’t changed. Certain items trickled in, but the great mass of weapons remained behind." Israel National News - Arutz Sheva

Top US general: US won't be able to help Israel in case of war with Hezbollah

US Air Force General Charles Brown, who serves as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has warned that the US will have a hard time aiding Israel in the event of a war against Hezbollah.

According to Brown, Iran will provide significantly more support to Hezbollah than it provided to Hamas, "particularly if they felt that Hezbollah was being significantly threatened."

He also warned that due to the type of weapons Hezbollah uses, the US will not be able to provide the same level of assistance to Israel during the war.

According to the Associated Press, Brown said that the US has warned Israeli officials "to think about the second order of effect of any type of operation into Lebanon."

He also urged them to consider how such a war "might play out and how it impacts not just the region, but how it impacts our forces in regions as well."

On Sunday, Brown acknowledged Israel's right to defend itself, but told Reuters that, "Hezbollah is more capable than Hamas as far as overall capability, number rockets and the like." Israel National News - Arutz Sheva

Counter-terror expert: How 'cornered rat' Yahya Sinwar survived 8 months of war

Yahya Sinwar, the leader of the Hamas terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip and mastermind of the October 7 massacre, has survived more than eight months of war by hiding like a "cornered rat" in tunnels underneath Gaza, according to a counter-terror expert.

The New York Post quoted Colin Clarke, a member of the New York-based Soufan Group and the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism, as saying that Sinwar is "likely still in Gaza, deep within the tunnel network and surrounded by hostages to secure his safety."

“Sinwar is someone who is out for his own survival," Clarke added. “It’s his ultimate goal, like a cornered rat.”

According to Clarke, Sinwar is most likely using the “primitive method" of having couriers deliver his orders by hand to avoid using any electronics that can be traced to his location.

Institute for the Study of War chairman Jack Keane, a retired US general, stated that Sinwar has likely relocated from Rafah to Khan Younis ahead of Israel's military operation in the southern Gaza city.

Sinwar is unlikely to be commanding Hamas's forces in the field given the secrecy surrounding his location, but he has been able to consistently kill international ceasefire proposals by continuously turning them down or making new demands. READ MORE

Sunday, June 23, 2024

HUGE! Kash Patel Drops a Bomb — British Court Reveals Paul Ryan Was the First One to Receive a Copy of Steele Dossier Back in 2016 and He Hid This For Years! (VIDEO)

On Saturday, former Trump official Kash Patel joined Steve Bannon on The War Room to discuss his latest blockbuster report on Paul Ryan.

According to Kash Patel, Paul Ryan was the first to receive a copy of the bogus Steele Dossier back in 2016. And Paul Ryan hid this from investigators, his Republican colleagues, and Trump officials.

Kash Patel posted this on Truth Social on Thursday. WATCH

Houthis claim attack on US carrier in Red Sea, another vessel in Arabian Sea, US denies

A claim by Yemen's Houthi group on Saturday that its forces had attacked the US aircraft carrier Eisenhower in the Red Sea is false, two US officials told Reuters.

"That is incorrect," one of the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The Iran-aligned Houthis first launched drone and missile strikes in the key waterway in November in what they say is solidarity with Palestinian militants in Gaza, where Israel has waged a more than eight-month-old war.

In more than 70 attacks, the Houthis have sunk two vessels, seized another and killed at least three seafarers.

Earlier the Houthi group said its forces had attacked the Eisenhower in the Red Sea and the operation had achieved its objectives successfully without elaborating. The group also said it attacked a commercial ship, Transworld Navigator, in the Arabian Sea. It did not say when the attacks took place. READ MORE

US hosts PM’s aides amid concern full-on war with Hezbollah would overwhelm Iron Dome

Top US officials hosted their Israeli counterparts for meetings in Washington on Thursday, as concern in Joe Biden’s administration reportedly mounted over the potential opening of a full-blown northern front to the Gaza war that would see Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system overwhelmed by Hezbollah’s rocket arsenal.

National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi and Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer’s meetings with US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Secretary of State Antony Blinken were largely overshadowed by the ongoing public spat between their two governments that was sparked by a Tuesday video statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in which the premier blasted what he said were “inconceivable bottlenecks” that the Biden administration had placed in the transfer of weapons and munitions to Israel.

The White House fiercely denied the charge on Tuesday, saying it has only withheld one shipment, while all others were continuing. Shortly before Hanegbi and Dermer arrived at the White House on Thursday, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby doubled down on the administration’s frustration, calling it “vexing and disappointing to us as much as it was incorrect.”

The White House did not issue a readout of the meeting Netanyahu’s top aides held with Sullivan and one issued by the State Department after their sit-down with Blinken was a regurgitation of long-held US talking points regarding the Israel-Hamas war.

Blinken “reiterated the United States’ ironclad commitment to Israel’s security,” the State Department readout said, adding that the trio discussed the ongoing talks to secure a hostage deal and ceasefire agreement. Those negotiations have been stuck since Hamas responded to Israel’s latest proposal last week with a long list of amendments. The US has said some of the changes are workable, while others are not. Qatari and Egyptian mediators have since been in talks with Hamas aimed at convincing the terror group to come down from its demands.

The top US diplomat “emphasized the need to take additional steps to surge humanitarian aid into Gaza and plan for post-conflict governance, security, and reconstruction,” the US readout said. READ MORE

Heading to US, Gallant says meetings ‘critical for the future of the war’

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant headed to Washington, DC, on Sunday for a whirlwind visit whose main aim was to get the United States to unfreeze a shipment of heavy-duty bombs it has been withholding from Israel.

In remarks made before departing, Gallant touted the importance of Israel’s relationship with the United States and underscored the significance of his visit.

“The meetings with the senior government officials are critical for the future of the war,” he said. “During these meetings, I plan to discuss developments [on the southern and northern fronts], in Gaza and Lebanon.”

Gallant continued, “We are prepared for any action that may be required in Gaza, Lebanon, and in additional areas.”

And he noted, “The transition to ‘Phase 3’ in Gaza is of great importance. I will discuss this transition with US officials, touching on how it may enable additional things [to take place], and I know that we will achieve close cooperation with the US on this issue as well.”

The trip came amid a public spat between US President Joe Biden’s administration and the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who on Tuesday issued a video statement attacking the US for its “inconceivable” weapons holdup, claiming that more arms shipments have also been held back. READ MORE

Victory against Hamas in Sight

Vince Lombardi said it best, “Winning isn’t everything, it is the only thing.” He also said as an addendum but equally important, “Winning is not a sometime thing, it’s an all the time thing.” Israel cannot ever afford to lose. It must win to survive. Defeating Hamas is not only possible but in Israel’s grasp. Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari who has acted as the Israeli Armed Forces chief spokesman since October 7th said, “The idea that it is possible to destroy Hamas, to make Hamas vanish - that is throwing sand in the eyes of the public.”

He is plain out wrong. Evil can be defeated. Nazi Germany was defeated. The Japanese were defeated in World War 2. The list of defeated is long. Israel can and must bring Hamas to their knees. It is closer than one thinks. It is in sight. Hagari gave a boost to the enemy by giving a misleading and inappropriate assessment. He also brought down the morale of the IDF with his pronouncement.

His motives were not clear. He should have refrained from saying what he did. If it was to hurt Prime Minister Netanyahu and give a shout out to Benny Gantz who recently resigned from Netanyahu’s War Cabinet then he is playing politics while his own soldiers are getting killed. This is a serious and unforgettable misstep. It cannot and should not be tolerated. Gantz should never have left the War Cabinet in the middle of an existential war. This was totally irresponsible of him. This is not a time to go into election mode. This is even more so since Hezbollah has been ratcheting up its missile bombardment in Israel.

The fact that Gantz was called for private talks with the Biden administration several months ago set the stage for his leaving the War Cabinet. The Biden Administration did not hide its desire to have Benny Gantz as Prime Minister over Prime Minister Netanyahu, Meddling in the political process in Israel by the Biden Administration is unacceptable and inappropriate.

Israel has to keep its morale high and continue doing what it has done so well to this point. The “Day After” will indeed happen and Israel is fully prepared. October 7th will never be allowed to happen again. Assuring that goal is the priority. America must allow Israel to win. Both Israel and America will benefit. Winning isn’t everything , it is the only thing. The hostages will be freed when that day comes. Israel National News - Arutz Sheva

New York Times: 'Smotrich is changing the DNA of Judea and Samaria'

The New York Times published today (Sunday) an article in which it reports that the Finance Minister and Minister in the Ministry of Defense, Bezalel Smotrich, is working to change the DNA of Judea and Samaria, and since he entered the government, significant steps have been taken in the field.

The newspaper claims that "the Israeli government’s official position is that the West Bank’s status remains open to negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian leaders. Israel’s Supreme Court has ruled that Israel’s rule over the territory amounts to a temporary military occupation overseen by army generals, not a permanent civilian annexation administered by Israeli civil servants."

It was also noted that Minister Smotrich, in a supposedly 'secret' speech he gave at the beginning of the month, explained that his actions in Judea and Samaria are meant to increase Israeli presence and equalize the conditions of those living in this area to those living within the Green Line.

"We created a separate civil system, but the army continues to operate and set the tone throughout the region so that it will be easier for the world to swallow the matter in the legal context and understand that no practical sovereignty has been applied here," he added.

He also noted that Prime Minister Netanyahu knows the details of the plan and approved it as an integral part of the coalition agreement.

The office of Minister Smotrich responded: "The Finance Minister and the Minister in the Ministry of Defense, Bezalel Smotrich, is working to prevent any possibility of establishing a Palestinian terrorist state that will pose an existential threat to the State of Israel. As the whole world saw in the massacre of October 7 that came out of Gaza, as soon as Israel leaves the area, radical Islamic terror enters and tries to achieve its goal of murdering, raping, and kidnapping Jews and destroying the State of Israel. Therefore, the minister is acting within his powers and according to the position of the overwhelming majority of Israeli citizens to strengthen the Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria, which is the barrier preventing Arab takeover of the area and thus constitutes the security shield and protector of the entire state." Israel National News - Arutz Sheva

Hezbollah publishes threatening video with Hebrew, English subtitles

The Hezbollah terrorist organization released a psychological warfare video overnight in which terrorist leader Hassan Nasrallah threatened to bring destruction upon the State of Israel in the event of a war in Lebanon.

The video included Hebrew and English subtitles for Nasrallah, who spoke in Arabic, as well as images of Israeli landmarks.

"In case an inclusive war is imposed on Lebanon, the resistance will fight without restraints, without rules, without limits," Nasrallah declared. WATCH

Netanyahu: 'Dramatic decrease in US munitions shipments in last 4 months'

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded today (Sunday) to the criticism he has received for the video he published last week accusing the US of holding up munitions shipments to Israel.

"I greatly appreciate the support of President Biden and the American administration for Israel. Since the start of the war, the US has given us support in spirit and in materiel – defensive and offensive means," Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting.

"But four months ago, there was a dramatic decrease in the munitions coming to Israel from the US. For long weeks, we turned to our American friends and requested that the shipments be expedited. We did this time and again. We did so at the highest levels, and at all levels, and I want to emphasize – we did so behind closed doors. We received all sorts of explanations, but one thing we did not receive; the basic situation did not change. Certain items arrived sporadically but the munitions at large remained behind," he said.

Netanyahu elaborated on the reason for the video he published last Tuesday. "After months in which there was no change in this situation, I decided to give this public expression. We did so out of years of experience and the knowledge that this step was vital to opening the bottleneck. I expected that this would entail personal attacks against me at home and abroad, as happened when I came out against the nuclear agreement with Iran, as happened – and as is happening – when I repeatedly opposed the establishment of a Palestinian terrorist state, and as is now happening when I oppose ending the war while Hamas remains in place. But I am willing to absorb personal attacks on behalf of the State of Israel."

"As the Prime Minister of Israel, my job is to do everything to ensure that our heroic fighters receive the arms they need.

"In light of what I have heard over the past 24 hours, I hope and believe that this issue will be resolved in the near future. But I would like to emphasize, and I have said this to our American friends, there is one item we have and it will always be decisive: The heroism and determination of our fighters – and with this weapon we will win," Netanyahu said. Israel National News - Arutz Sheva

Saturday, June 22, 2024

Houthis unveil new deadly drone boat to help keep pressure on the Red Sea

The Houthis unveiled the apparent design of their “Toufan-1” unmanned vessel for the first time on Saturday.

According to the Iranian state news website IRNA, the Houthis have produced a mock-up image of this drone boat.

“According to the Yemeni army [Houthis], Toufan-1 carries a 150 kg warhead and has a speed of 35 nautical miles per hour,” the report says.

The IRNA report said the vessel was an unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV), but other reports suggested it was an unmanned surface vessel (USV).

Submersible drone?

It is unclear from the image if the craft actually goes “underwater,” as it appears to be designed more from the shape of a small, fast boat rather than a submersible.

If it goes underwater, it must go only slightly below the surface, which appears unlikely.

“High speed and ability in maneuvering and stealth are among the characteristics of the UUV. It has been designed for fixed and mobile near-sea targets inside Yemen,” the report said.

The Houthis have been using similar types of craft, that drive on the surface of the water, to attack ships in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

They recently sank a ship called the Tutor using a similar vessel. The drone boat challenge is growing and the Houthis are becoming experts at manifesting this threat. 

UN chief warns of catastrophe ‘beyond imagination’ if Lebanon becomes another Gaza

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says he is profoundly concerned by escalating tensions between Israel and Lebanon’s Hezbollah and that UN peacekeepers are working to calm the situation and prevent miscalculation.

“One rash move — one miscalculation — could trigger a catastrophe that goes far beyond the border, and frankly, beyond imagination,” he tells reporters.

“Let’s be clear: The people of the region and the people of the world cannot afford Lebanon to become another Gaza,” he says.

Guterres cites increased “bellicose rhetoric” from both sides as they engage in nearly daily exchanges of fire in parallel with the war in Gaza.

Report: IDF amping up operations in Rafah

Residents of Rafah have told Reuters that in the past few days, the IDF has accelerated the rate of its operations, and tanks have advanced into the northern and western parts of the city ahead of the completion of the operation there.

"The entire city of Rafah is an area of Israeli military operations," Ahmed Al-Sofi, the Mayor of Rafah, said in a statement published by Hamas media on Friday, adding that the situation in the city is "a humanitarian catastrophe."

The residents report that tanks and infantry have already taken control of the eastern, southern, and central parts of the city, and are now working to take control of the north and west.

The IDF has yet to confirm the report but updated on Friday that IDF troops are continuing precise, intelligence-based, operational activity in the Rafah area. The troops are continuing to eliminate terrorists in close-quarters combat.

In addition, while conducting targeted raids, the troops located several tunnel shafts in the area. Moreover, IDF troops located a structure from which anti-tank missile fire was identified and directed an aircraft to strike and destroy the compound.

During IDF operational activity in the central Gaza Strip, a number of terrorists that were identified near the troops were eliminated in a drone strike. WATCH

Smotrich outlines plan for control of Judea & Samaria: 'Netanyahu is with us full on'

The New York Times on Friday published a transcript of a recording of Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, in which he is heard telling residents of Judea and Samaria that the Israeli government is engaged in a stealthy effort to irreversibly change the way the territory is governed without being accused of formally annexing it.

The comments were made by Smotrich during a gathering in Judea and Samaria on June 9. He can be heard saying that the goal of the plan was to prevent Judea and Samaria from becoming part of a Palestinian state.

“I’m telling you, it’s mega-dramatic,” Smotrich told those present, according to The New York Times. “Such changes change a system’s DNA.”

In the comments, Smotrich outlined a carefully orchestrated program to take authority over Judea and Samaria out of the hands of the IDF and turn it over to civilians working in the Defense Ministry.

“We created a separate civilian system,” Smotrich said, according to The New York Times, adding that, to deflect international scrutiny, the government has allowed the Defense Ministry to remain involved in the process so that it seems that the military is still at the heart of Judea and Samaria governance.

“It will be easier to swallow in the international and legal context,” Smotrich was quoted as having said. “So that they won’t say that we are doing annexation here.” Israel National News - Arutz Sheva

Smotrich also told those present that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was aware of the details of the plan and that he is “with us full on,” according to the report.

The New York Times said that the recording of the speech was provided by one of the attendees, a researcher from the Peace Now organization. A spokesman for Smotrich confirmed to The New York Times that the minister gave the speech and said the event was not a secret.