Archive for June 6, 2019

German parliament rejects ban of Hezbollah, snubbing U.S. and German Jews

June 6, 2019

Source: German parliament rejects ban of Hezbollah, snubbing U.S. and German Jews – Breaking News – Jerusalem Post

The parties Christian Democratic Union, Christian Social Union, The Left, The Greens and Free Democrats opposed an anti-Hezbollah bill authored by the far-right party Alternative for Germany party.

BY BENJAMIN WEINTHAL
 JUNE 6, 2019 19:30
Supporters of Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah carry pictures of Hezbollah's late

Germany’s Bundestag rejected on Thursday a proposed bill to outlaw the Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah
in the federal republic.

The parties Christian Democratic Union, Christian Social Union, The Left, The Greens and Free Democrats opposed an anti-Hezbollah bill authored by the far-right party Alternative for Germany party. The mainstream German parties’ rejection of the motion to ban Hezbollah comes a week after an urgent appeal from the Central Council of Jews in Germany last week to outlaw Hezbollah amid rising Jew-hatred in the federal republic. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo requested last Friday that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration proscribe Hezbollah as a terrorist entity.

The Jerusalem Post reported exclusively on Wednesday that a May German intelligence report from the state of Lower Saxony asserts the number of Hezbollah members and supporters has climbed from 950 in 2017 to 1,050 in 2018 in Germany.

The American Jewish Community’s Berlin office tweeted on Thursday: “For a long time we have been calling for a ban on the antisemitic terrorist organization #Hisbollah. It is regrettable that this topic is now being taken up by the right-wing populists. We hope that all democratic parties will finally seek this prohibition. #Bundestag.”

The Left Party’s Kathrin Vogler spoke against the anti-Hezbollah bill during the debate. The Left Party is widely considered an anti-Israel party. The Left party’s MP  Christine Buchholz has defended the ‘legitimate resistance” of Hezbollah against the Jewish state. Buchholz has also showed support the EU and US designated terrorist entity Hamas.

The Green Party’s Omid Nouripour voiced his opposition to the anti-Hezbollah resolution. Nouripour played a role  in a Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions initiative  against Israel in 2013. The Green Party initiative  called for certain Israeli products to be labelled as part of a punishment because they originate from the disputed territority in the West Bank. A leading Green Party MP Jürgen Trittin has showed sympathy for Hezbollah, declaring that “We must speak with Hezbollah.” Trittin praised the late Antisemite Dieter Kunzelmann who was believed to be behind a planned bombing of the Berlin Jewish community center in 1969. Trittin also opposed the anti-BDS resolution in May.

The Christian Democratic Union’s Christian de Vries voiced his opposition to the anti-Hezbollah bill.  De Vries said there should be an “EU solution” for a ban of Hezbollah. The German government, however, can unilateral designate Hezbollah a terrorist organization. Merkel has vehemently a full ban of Hezbollah. The German government and the EU have merely outlawed Hezbollah’s so-called military wing. Hezbollah’s political wing operates in Germany by raising funds, recruiting new members and spreading antisemitic and jihadi ideologies.

Benjamin Strasser rejected the anti-Hezbollah bill on behalf of the Free Democrats. His Free Democratic colleague  Frank Müller-Rosentritt tweeted on Saturday in response to the pro-Iranian regime, pro-Hezbollah al-Quds Day march: “Thousands demonstrate for the expulsion of the Jews from Jerusalem and the destruction of Israel. Hezbollah and Nasrallah are celebrated. Because Germany does not classify Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, it may continue to collect donations and propaganda. That must have an end.”

The United Kingdom outlawed all of Hezbollah in February. The US, Canada, the Arab League, Israel and the Netherlands have classified all of Hezbollah a terrorist organization. The US congress has called on Europe over the years to designate all of Hezbollah a terrorist entity.

The 192-page intelligence Lower Saxony report authored by the intelligence agents from the state’s security service noted 150 Hezbollah operatives are situated in Lower Saxony. The report covers 2018 and was released on May 22, 2019.

“Hezbollah denies the right of existence of the State of Israel and fights it with terrorist means,” the intelligence report wrote. “In Germany, the followers of Hezbollah maintain organizational and ideological and cohesion in local mosques associations that are financed primarily by donations.”

“Hezbollah is against the idea of ​​international understanding and the peaceful coexistence of peoples,” the report noted. “The ‘party’ of Hezbollah was founded under the authority of the Islamic Republic of Iran, representing the most radical party of the Lebanese Shi’ite community.”

 

Anti-aircraft missiles fired at Israel’s Hermon, falls inside Syria 

June 6, 2019

Source: Anti-aircraft missiles fired at Israel’s Hermon, falls inside Syria – Arab-Israeli Conflict – Jerusalem Post

This is the second such incident in less than a week.

BY ANNA AHRONHEIM
 JUNE 6, 2019 19:21
An old military vehicle on the Israeli side of the border with Syria, near Magdal Shams

Several anti-aircraft missiles were fired towards Mount Hermon from Syria on Thursday, the second such incident in under a week.

“IDF radars identified a number of anti-aircraft missiles fired from Syria,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit told The Jerusalem Post, adding that none fell in Israeli territory or posed a threat.

The incident came just days after five Syrian soldiers were killed in an alleged Israeli attack on the T4 airbase in the eastern Homs province on Sunday night, a day after a limited clash between Israel and Syria.

According to an assessment by ImageSat International (ISI), the strike on T4 likely took out an advanced weapons system which had been delivered from Iran a day earlier “probably related to UAVs and possibly including a transportable ground control structure.”

On Saturday, two rockets were launched from Syria to Mount Hermon, one of which landed  inside Israeli territory. In response, the IAF struck several Syrian military positions in southwestern Damascus and Quneitra, killing three soldiers and injuring seven others.

The retaliatory strikes targeted two artillery batteries, a number of observation posts near the border, and an SA-2 air defense battery.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that he had “instructed the IDF to take strong action” in response to the rocket fire on Saturday which targeted the Mount Hermon ski resort.

“We are not prepared to tolerate rocket fire at our territory and will respond with great force to any aggression against us,” he said adding “This has consistently been my policy and this is what we will continue to do for Israel’s security.”

The rockets fired this past week are not believed to be spillover from internal fighting in Syria, as was the case in past rocket fire on Israel’s north, as there are not any Syrian operations in the area close to the border with Israel’s Golan Heights.

According to some reports, the rockets fired Saturday night appeared to have been fired from the area of Damascus, 40 km. away, similar to a January attack against Mount Hermon which the IDF said at the time was a “premeditated” attack which Iran had hoped would deter Israel from carrying out airstrikes against their assets.

During that attack, Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted the Iranian-made surface-to-surface model with a range of some 200 km. and a payload of hundreds of kilograms of explosives that was fired from the outskirts of Damascus.

Israeli officials have repeatedly voiced concerns over Iran’s presence in Syria and the smuggling of sophisticated weaponry to Hezbollah from Tehran to Lebanon via Syria, stressing that both are redlines for the Jewish State.

In April, the IDF announced that Hezbollah has been building a terrorist network in Syria’s Golan Heights.

 

Report: Syrian general with ties to Hezbollah, Iran, assassinated 

June 6, 2019

Source: Report: Syrian general with ties to Hezbollah, Iran, assassinated – www.israelhayom.com

Brig. Gen. Jamal al-Ahmad was gunned down by unknown assailants in the Sweida area in southwest Syria. Al-Ahmad was among a group of Syrian officers tasked with maintaining ties with Hezbollah and its Golan Heights commander.

A high-ranking Syrian army commander was mysteriously assassinated on Tuesday near the city of Sweida in the war-torn country’s southwest, dozens of miles from the border with Israel.

Brig. Gen. Jamal al-Ahmad was gunned down by unknown assailants while touring the sector, the intelligence blog Intelli Times and London-based pan-Arabic daily Asharq Al-Awsat both reported on Wednesday.

According to the Intelli Times, al-Ahmad was among a group of Syrian officers tasked with maintaining ties with Hezbollah in the Sweida area, and particularly with Hezbollah’s commander in southern Syria, Munir Ali Naim Shaiti – also known as Hajj Hashem – who is responsible for building the Lebanese terrorist organization’s military infrastructure in the Syrian Golan Heights.

Although the identity of al-Ahmad’s assassins is still unknown, the enemies of the Syrian regime and its Iranian and Hezbollah allies are Israel and rebel groups still active in the country. The ability of these insurgent groups to carry out an assassination of this type has drastically decreased over the past year and their presence in southern Syria has been virtually eradicated. Another possible suspect is armed Druze groups who have quarreled in the past with the regime but have since made amends with it following the expulsion of the rebels from the area.

A day before the assassination, a Syrian opposition website exposed several Syrian army brigades and divisions that are hosting Hezbollah and Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps fighters in the country’s south, and in Sweida in particular.

The reports expose the deep entrenchment of the IRGC and Shiite militias within the Syrian army’s combat units on the Golan border with Israel.

 

Report: Iran planning to arm Palestinians in Judea and Samaria

June 6, 2019

Source: Report: Iran planning to arm Palestinians in Judea and Samaria – www.israelhayom.com

Former Revolutionary Guards commander Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi “blesses” process of supplying the Palestinians with upgraded weapons, says Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei predicts “Zionist regime will disappear.”

Iran is working to arm the various terrorist organizations active in Judea and Samaria with the aim of sparking fresh hostilities against Israel, recent remarks by senior officials in Tehran reveal.

A report published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs on Wednesday exposed a series of comments from officials showing that the Iranian regime has not abandoned its hopes of instigating a bloody uprising in Judea and Samaria.

Former commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi, who now serves as security adviser to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, spoke on Quds Day – marked last Friday – and said that support for the Palestinians was a fundamental principle of the Islamic Revolution, and would continue until the “Zionist regime” was eliminated.

Safavi praised the upgraded weapons the Palestinians have been using and stressed that the “blessed” process of procuring advanced weaponry was still underway. Safavi said that in contrast to the past, when Palestinians had waged war against Israel using rocks and sticks; they were now supplied with an arsenal of rockets that would allow them to respond to “any Israeli attack.”

Safavi also referred to recent statements by Khamenei, who has explicitly called to arm the West Bank in the same manner as the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are armed, and said that the strategy of supplying weapons to the West Bank was currently being implemented.

“Armed holy jihad is more popular now, both in Gaza and in the West Bank,” Khamenei has noted.

“There are growing signs that the Zionist regime will disappear from the region,” Safavi said, adding that Khamenei had declared that Israel “would not see the next 25 years.”

As early as 2014, Khamenei said that “the West Bank will be armed with rockets, like Gaza, and the security of the Zionist regime will decline from day to day.”

 

FULL: Trump’s D-Day 75th Anniversary Speech

June 6, 2019

Iran could make nuclear weapon in 6-8 months, says former IAEA deputy 

June 6, 2019

Source: Iran could make nuclear weapon in 6-8 months, says former IAEA deputy | The Times of Israel

Olli Heinonen accuses UN atomic agency of allowing Tehran to weaponize uranium, while also criticizing Trump decision to bolt deal

Iran's uranium conversion facility near Isfahan, which reprocesses uranium ore concentrate into uranium hexafluoride gas, which is then taken to Natanz and fed into the centrifuges for enrichment, March 30, 2005.  (AP/Vahid Salemi)

Iran’s uranium conversion facility near Isfahan, which reprocesses uranium ore concentrate into uranium hexafluoride gas, which is then taken to Natanz and fed into the centrifuges for enrichment, March 30, 2005. (AP/Vahid Salemi)

A former deputy head of the UN’s atomic watchdog said Wednesday that Iran is capable of producing a nuclear bomb in six to eight months.

In an interview with Israel’s Army Radio, Olli Heinonen said that Israel and the Gulf states “have a reason to worry.”

Heinonen said that despite assertions to the contrary by the current leadership of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency, which he left in 2010, Tehran has not been adhering to the 2015 nuclear deal.

“Iran is actually weaponizing uranium enrichment without making a weapon,” he claimed.

Heinonen currently serves as a fellow for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a right-wing Washington think tank that has been highly critical of the Iran deal, which was initiated by former US president Barack Obama.

He said that according to his personal, “perhaps back-of-the-envelope” calculation, Iran could produce a nuclear weapons in six to eight months, “if they put in their maximum effort.”

Iranian nuclear negotiator Javad Vaeedi and then-deputy Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency Olli Heinonen, after talks in Tehran, July 12, 2007. (photo credit: AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

Heinonen conversation with Army Radio was a rare interview to Israeli press while he was in the country for a conference hosted by the ISDEF Defense & HLS Expo.

The former UN official also criticized the Trump administration for its decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal in May 2018, suggesting Washington’s aggressive stance toward Tehran could prove counterproductive.

“I think they felt comfortable [with the Trump decision]. They have the enrichment technology and they can create more centrifuges. Probably they [will be] able to withstand a lot of sanctions,” he said.

Earlier Wednesday, the head of Military Intelligence claimed that the heavy economic sanctions on Iran and their devastating financial ramifications were the driving forces behind attacks linked to the Islamic Republic on petroleum facilities last month and Tehran’s recent decision to step up uranium enrichment.

“Iran is under growing pressure that is forcing it to take actions connected to oil and to its nuclear project — though for now there are no changes to its policies,” Maj Gen. Tamir Hayman said, speaking at the Intelligence Legacy Center conference in Tel Aviv as part of the Israel Defense Expo.

On May 15, Iran announced it was stepping up its uranium enrichment program in response to the United States’ decision the year before to drop out of the 2015 nuclear deal and impose heavy economic sanctions on Iran and the countries and groups that do business with it. Last week, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran was staying within the limitations set by the 2015 nuclear accord, though its stockpiles of low-enriched uranium and heavy water were growing.

Last month, four United Arab Emirate oil tankers were damaged in the Gulf of Oman. The United States and Israel said Iran was behind the sabotage, which Tehran denied. Days later, Houthis in Yemen — a militia that receives significant funding and assistance from Iran — carried out a number of drone strikes on Saudi Arabian oil facilities.