Moses said to the people in his final charge "I put before you life and death, blessing and curse. Choose life...Be strong and resolute..for the Lord will not forsake you" Deut. 30 and 31. Former US National Debate Champion and Ordained Rabbi tackles issues of Public Policy, Israel, Islamic Terrorism, Antisemitism, Jewish Wisdom and the Chicago Bears
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
We "negotiate" with Iran, while they re-arm their terrorist proxies Hamas and Hezbollah at furious pace, to attack Israel
The Hamas leadership in Gaza has been unable to rebuild any of the homes destroyed in last summer's war with Israel, but the terrorist group has had little trouble using heavy machinery to restore its vast tunnel networks that can be used in future attacks.
Reconstruction of Gaza has "barely begun," the Associated Press reports. At least the above-ground kind.
Underground, small bulldozers are busy restoring damaged tunnels, using "whatever cement [Hamas] can get its hands on," the Times of Israelreports.
Israeli security officials confirmed that the terrorist group was digging tunnels at a rapid pace and trying to produce many short-range rockets in an effort to minimize interception by the Iron Dome defense system and cause maximum destruction against Israeli communities.
Iran sent Hamas tens of millions of dollars to help reconstitute the group's terrorist infrastructure, the Telegraphreported earlier this month. As news of a framework deal concerning Iran's nuclear program emerged, the Islamic Republic reportedly increased arms shipments to its terrorist proxies Hamas and Hizballah.
A political fight with the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority has hindered Gaza's civilian reconstruction projects, the Times of Israel report said. Tens of thousands of Palestinians reportedly still live in tents, schools and other forms of temporary housing.
Their welfare appears to be a secondary concern, however, as available cash and supplies are steered into the Hamas terror infrastructure.
These actions are consistent with other Hamas actions and statements, all of which point more toward a build-up for another confrontation with Israel rather than any concern for improving the lives of Palestinians in Gaza. The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) issued a report this week summarizing the multi-faceted, yet singularly focused effort to gear up for the next war.
Hezbollah Upgrades Missile Threat to Israel
Components Said to Have Already Been Moved to Lebanon from Syria
CHARLES LEVINSON and
JULIAN E. BARNES
U.S. officials believe members of Hezbollah, the militant group backed by Iran, are smuggling advanced guided-missile systems into Lebanon from Syria piece by piece to evade a secretive Israeli air campaign designed to stop them.
The moves illustrate how both Hezbollah and Israel are using Syria's civil war as cover for what increasingly is seen as a complex and high-stakes race to prepare for another potential conflict—their own—in ways that could alter the region's military balance.
A shell fired by Israel into Lebanon last week. Israel said it was responding to rocket fire from Lebanon.AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE / GETTY IMAGES
Some components of a powerful antiship missile system have already been moved to Lebanon, according to previously undisclosed intelligence, while other systems that could target Israeli aircraft, ships and bases are being stored in expanded weapons depots under Hezbollah control in Syria, say current and former U.S. officials.
Such guided weapons would be a major step up from the "dumb" rockets and missiles Hezbollah now has stockpiled, and could sharply increase the group's ability to deter Israel in any potential new battle, officials say.
The movements appear to serve two purposes.
WSJ exclusive: Some components of a powerful antiship missile system have already been moved to Lebanon, according to previously undisclosed intelligence, say current and former U.S. officials. Julian Barnes reports. Photo: AP.
Iran wants to upgrade Hezbollah's arsenal to deter future Israeli strikes—either on Lebanon or on Iran's nuclear program, U.S. and Israeli officials say. In addition, these officials said they believe the transfers were meant to induce Hezbollah to commit to protect Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as well as supply lines used by both his regime and Hezbollah.
Israel struck inside Syria at least five times in 2013, seeking to take out systems bound for Hezbollah without provoking a direct confrontation.
U.S. and Israeli officials say the airstrikes have stopped shipments of ground-to-air SA-17 antiaircraft weapons and ground-to-ground Fateh-110 rockets to Hezbollah locations in Lebanon. Some originated from Iran, others from Syria itself.
Nonetheless, as many as 12 antiship guided-missile systems may now be in Hezbollah's possession inside Syria, according to U.S. officials briefed on the intelligence. Israel targeted those Russian-made systems in July and again in October with mixed results, according to U.S. damage assessments.
The U.S. believes Hezbollah has smuggled at least some components from those systems into Lebanon within the past year, including supersonic Yakhont rockets, but that it doesn't yet have all the parts needed there. "To make it lethal, a system needs to be complete," said a senior defense official.
Hezbollah already has around 100,000 rockets, according to Israeli intelligence estimates, but those are primarily unguided weapons that are less accurate. Its longer-range rockets are spread across Lebanon, meaning Israel's next air campaign—should one come—would have to be broad, Israeli officials have told their U.S. counterparts, according to American officials in the meetings.
Hezbollah's possession of guided-missile systems would make such an air campaign far riskier