Archive for November 21, 2019

An impassioned Netanyahu rails at ‘attempted coup’ by police, prosecutors 

November 21, 2019

Source: An impassioned Netanyahu rails at ‘attempted coup’ by police, prosecutors | The Times of Israel.

After AG says PM to stand trial for bribery, fraud and breach of trust, premier rules out quitting: ‘I won’t let the lie win. I will continue to lead this country with devotion’

 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a Likud faction meeting at the Kneeset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem on November 20, 2019. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a Likud faction meeting at the Kneeset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem on November 20, 2019. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday accused police and state prosecutors of an “attempted coup” against him, shortly after Israel’s attorney general announced he would be charged with criminal wrongdoing in three separate cases against him, including bribery in the far-reaching Bezeq corruption probe.

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit’s decision, announced earlier Thursday, marked the first time in Israel’s history that a serving prime minister faces criminal charges, casting a heavy shadow over Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, and his ongoing attempts to remain in power.

“I’ve given my life for this country, I fought for this country, was wounded for this country,” an emotional Netanyahu said in televised remarks Thursday night.

“I deeply respect the justice system in Israel. But you have to be blind not to see that something bad is happening to police investigators and the prosecution. We’re seeing an attempted coup by the police with false accusations” against him, he accused.

Responding to the prime minister’s speech, Blue and White chief Benny Gantz said Netanyahu “proved he must leave his position and focus on his legal affairs.” He expressed full support for the justice system and said the evening’s main takeaway was “no coup,” but rather a case of Netanyahu “entrenching” himself in power.

Blue and White leader Benny Gantz speaks to the press in Tel Aviv on November 20, 2019. (Jack Guez/AFP)

Netanyahu listed a litany of complaints about the conduct of the investigation, charging: “These facts emphasize how much this process is tainted. It’s meant to topple a right-wing prime minister, me. I, who unlike the left and the slanted media, want to institute a free market, not only in the economy but also a free market of ideas, who wants to see a strong country, not a weak, shrunken, bowed country.”

The “tainted investigation process, including inventing new crimes, has reached its apex today. It horrifies not only me, but masses of citizens in Israel, and not only on the right… This tainted process raises questions among the public about the police’s investigations and the prosecution. The public has lost trust in these institutions. It’s a process that’s taken place over many years. This is selective enforcement on steroids. It’s enforcement just for me.”

He called to establish an independent commission to investigate the conduct of investigators in his cases.

“It’s time to investigate the investigators, to investigate the prosecution that approves these tainted investigations. I respect the police, I respect the prosecutors. There are hundreds of them. But we have to understand that they’re not above criticism. This isn’t just about transparency, it’s about accountability.”

He urged Israelis “to demand: investigate the investigators.”

He brushed off calls for him to resign so he can deal with his legal troubles privately.

“My sense of justice burns within me. I cannot believe that the country I fought for and was wounded for, that I’ve brought to such achievements, that in this country, in its democracy, there will be this kind of tainted justice, of selective enforcement. I won’t let the lie win. I will continue to lead this country with devotion. For this country, for the rule of law, for justice, we have to do one thing: to finally investigate the investigators.”

According to the full indictment released by the Justice Ministry Thursday, Netanyahu will be charged with fraud and breach of trust in Cases 1000 and 2000, and bribery, fraud and breach of trust in Case 4000.

Mandelblit addressed the press in his office in the Justice Ministry in Jerusalem at 7:30 p.m. to formally announce the charges.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs a cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on November 13, 2019. (Ronen Zvulun/Pool/AFP)

He called the decision “a difficult and sad day” and said his ruling was made “with a heavy heart but also without hesitation.

“Law enforcement isn’t optional. It’s not a question of politics. It’s a duty incumbent upon us…. We were not swayed by slander from all sides, and acted only to enforce the law,” he said, referring to criticism from Netanyahu supporters who have accused prosecutors of conducting a witch hunt to unseat the prime minister.

He called the accusations “dangerous” and said they were “playing with fire. It must stop. I call on everyone, and first and foremost the leaders of the state, you must distance yourself from discourse that threatens law enforcement officials. We’re not infallible or above criticism. But we acted without fear or prejudice, for the rule of law.”

In October, prosecutors and the prime minister’s legal team held several days of hearings in which Netanyahu’s attorneys sought to refute the allegations against him. The state prosecution said the premier’s defense had not managed to refute the charges.

“The attorney general’s decision on the prime minister was made after a thorough and deep examination of the numerous claims raised by the prime minister’s lawyers during the four days of the hearing in early October 2019,” the state prosecution statement said. “All claims were examined in depth as part of a regular work process deployed over many hours in which the State Attorney’s Office submitted in-depth reviews of hundreds of pages, relating to the claims raised at the hearing,” the state prosecution statement said.

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit addresses the press after announcing his decision to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with bribery, fraud and breach of trust, at the justice ministry in Jerusalem on November 21, 2019 (TV screenshot)

“After all claims were reviewed, it was found that there were no claims that arose at the hearing to change the offenses attributed to the prime minister… However, some of the claims have led to changes in the indictment, even if not a change in the offense clauses themselves,” the statement added.

In Case 1000, involving accusations that Netanyahu received gifts and benefits from billionaire benefactors including Israeli-born Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan in exchange for favors, Mandelblit said he intended to charge Netanyahu with fraud and breach of trust — the latter being a somewhat murkily defined offense relating to an official violating the trust the public has placed in him. Milchan is not to be charged.

In Case 2000, involving accusations Netanyahu agreed with Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper publisher Arnon Mozes to weaken the circulation of a rival daily in return for more favorable coverage from Yedioth, Mandelblit said he would seek to charge the premier with fraud and breach of trust, while Mozes will be charged with bribery. The case is said to have been a contentious one in Mandelblit’s office, with many prosecution officials reportedly arguing that Netanyahu should be charged with bribery, while Mandelblit considered not charging the prime minister at all.

In Case 4000, widely seen as the most serious against the premier, Netanyahu is accused of having advanced regulatory decisions that benefited Shaul Elovitch, the controlling shareholder in the Bezeq telecom giant, in exchange for positive coverage from the Elovitch-owned Walla news site. In that case Mandelblit announced he intends to charge Netanyahu and Elovitch with bribery.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a meeting of the right-wing bloc at the Knesset in Jerusalem on November 20, 2019. (GALI TIBBON / AFP)

Israeli law only requires that a prime minister step down if convicted, but experts have suggested that Netanyahu could have a “problem” if he seeks to stay in office after the formal indictment is filed. Under law and High Court of Justice precedent, ministers other than the prime minister are required to step down in such a situation. There is no clear legal rule regarding the prime minister.

It could, however, take months before formal charges are filed, as Netanyahu is expected to ask the Knesset for parliamentary immunity. The Knesset House Committee and plenum would have to rule on Netanyahu’s immunity, but the committee does not currently have any members, as no coalition agreement has yet been signed in the 22nd Knesset dividing up committee seats between the parliament’s factions.

Only once a new coalition is formed — either over the next several weeks or, failing that, after the next round of elections slated for March — can a Knesset House Committee take up the question.

Even if Netanyahu’s immunity request is rejected, it could take until May or June for the formal decision to be made. A formal indictment could still be more than seven months away.

Ehud Olmert, the country’s first former premier to serve prison time, stepped down from office in 2008 during the investigation into him, but before the intention to file charges was announced. He served 16 months in prison on corruption offenses and was released in July 2017

AG announces Netanyahu to stand trial for bribery, fraud and breach of trust

November 21, 2019

Source: AG announces Netanyahu to stand trial for bribery, fraud and breach of trust | The Times of Israel

Mandelblit’s decision is legal bombshell, marks first time in Israel’s history that serving PM faces criminal charges; premier to speak at 8:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs a cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on November 13, 2019. (Ronen Zvulun/Pool/AFP)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs a cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on November 13, 2019. (Ronen Zvulun/Pool/AFP)

In a decision that drastically shakes up Israeli politics amid already ongoing chaos, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit announced Thursday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be charged with criminal wrongdoing in three separate cases against him, including bribery in the far-reaching Bezeq corruption probe.

The decision marks the first time in Israel’s history that a serving prime minister faces criminal charges, casting a heavy shadow over Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, and his ongoing attempts to remain in power.

Netanyahu will be charged with fraud and breach of trust in Cases 1000 and 2000, and bribery, fraud and breach of trust in Case 4000, the state prosecution said in a statement. Mandelblit was set to address the press in his office in the Justice Ministry in Jerusalem at 7:30 p.m. to formally announce the charges. The Justice Ministry also released the full indictment, which is to be filed with the Jerusalem District Court.

“The attorney general’s decision on the prime minister was made after a thorough and deep examination of the numerous allegations raised by the prime minister’s lawyers during the four days of the hearing in early October 2019. All allegations were examined in depth as part of a regular work process deployed over many hours in which the State Attorney’s Office submitted in-depth reviews of hundreds of pages, relating to the allegations raised at the hearing,” the state prosecution statement said.

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit attends a farewell ceremony for former justice minister Ayelet Shaked, at the Justice Ministry offices in Jerusalem on June 4, 2019. (Hadas Parush/ Flash90)

In October, prosecutors and the prime minister’s legal team held several days of hearings in which Netanyahu’s attorneys sought to refute the allegations against him.

“After all claims were reviewed, it was found that there were no claims that arose at the hearing to change the offenses attributed to the prime minister… However, some of the claims have led to changes in the indictment, even if not a change in the offense clauses themselves,” the statement added.

Netanyahu’s Likud party called on party activists to rally outside the prime minister’s Jerusalem residence to express their support for him Thursday night.

Netanyahu was set to give a statement to the media on the decision at 8:30 p.m.

The charges

According to the indictment, the prime minister “damaged the image of the public service and public trust in it,” and is suspected of abusing his position and status, and of knowingly “taking a bribe as a public servant in exchange for actions related to your position.”

The prime minister has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in all three cases, and has alleged that the investigations against him are a “witch hunt” involving the left, the media and the police relentlessly pressuring a “weak” attorney general.

In Case 1000, involving accusations that Netanyahu received gifts and benefits from billionaire benefactors including Israeli-born Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan in exchange for favors, Mandelblit said he intended to charge Netanyahu with fraud and breach of trust — the latter being a somewhat murkily defined offense relating to an official violating the trust the public has placed in him. Milchan is not to be charged.

According to the indictment in this case, Netanyahu “damaged the image of public service and the public’s trust in it, in that while serving in public positions, and foremost as prime minister, you maintained for years an inappropriate relationship with Milchan and Packer.

“This included receiving benefits connected to your public positions totaling over NIS 700,000 (some $200,000) and acting in favor of businessman Milchan while in a severe conflict of interest.

“In your actions you allegedly abused your position and status and significantly and seriously harmed the propriety of the public administration, the integrity of public servants and public trust in public servants,” the charge sheet read.

In Case 2000, involving accusations Netanyahu agreed with Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper publisher Arnon Mozes to weaken the circulation of a rival daily in return for more favorable coverage from Yedioth, Mandelblit said he would seek to charge the premier with fraud and breach of trust, while Mozes will be charged with bribery. The case is said to have been a contentious one in Mandelblit’s office, with many prosecution officials reportedly arguing that Netanyahu should be charged with bribery, while Mandelblit considered not charging the prime minister at all.

The indictment said that Netanyahu and Mozes “recognized that the one had the ability to promote the other’s interest” in the run-up to the 2015 elections and discussed such possibilities.

“According to suspicions, in your actions while performing your duties you have committed acts that amount to breach of trust, and have caused substantial harm to the integrity [of the position] and the public’s trust.”

In Case 4000, widely seen as the most serious against the premier, Netanyahu is accused of having advanced regulatory decisions that benefited Shaul Elovitch, the controlling shareholder in the Bezeq telecom giant, in exchange for positive coverage from the Elovitch-owned Walla news site. In that case Mandelblit announced he intends to charge Netanyahu and Elovitch with bribery.

The indictment says the relationship between Netanyahu and Elovitch was “based on give and take,” and the prime minister’s actions benefiting Elovitch netted the businessman benefits to the tune of some NIS 1.8 billion ($500 million) in the period 2012-2017. In exchange, Elovitch’s Walla news site “published your political messages that you wished to convey to the public.

“You took benefits… while knowing you were taking a bribe as a public servant in exchange for actions related to your position.”

The prime minister’s actions, write state prosecutors, “were carried out amid a conflict of interests, the weighing of outside considerations relating to his own and his family’s interests, and involved the corrupting of the public servants reporting to him.”

Legal ramifications

Israeli law only requires that a prime minister step down if convicted, but experts have suggested that Netanyahu could have a “problem” if he seeks to stay in office after the formal indictment is filed. Under law and High Court of Justice precedent, ministers other than the prime minister are required to step down in such a situation. There is no clear legal rule regarding the prime minister.

It could, however, take months before formal charges are filed, as Netanyahu is expected to ask the Knesset for parliamentary immunity. The Knesset House Committee and plenum would have to rule on Netanyahu’s immunity, but the committee does not currently have any members, as no coalition agreement has yet been signed in the 22nd Knesset dividing up committee seats between the parliament’s factions.

Only once a new coalition is formed — either over the next several weeks or, failing that, after the next round of elections slated for March — can a Knesset House Committee take up the question.

Even if Netanyahu’s immunity request is rejected, it could take until May or June for the formal decision to be made. A formal indictment could still be more than seven months away.

Ehud Olmert, the country’s first former premier to serve prison time, stepped down from office in 2008 during the investigation into him, but before the intention to file charges was announced. He served 16 months in prison on corruption offenses and was released in July 2017.

 

Israeli President Tasks Parliament with Forming Government 

November 21, 2019

 

 

Rocket attack on Golan was response to IDF strike on Syria-Iraq border – report 

November 21, 2019

Source: Rocket attack on Golan was response to IDF strike on Syria-Iraq border – report | The Times of Israel

Russia claims Israel violated Jordanian and Iraqi airspace in recent Syria attacks, expresses ‘concern and resentment’

An Israeli soldier stands on a Merkava tank deployed on the Golan Heights on November 20, 2019. (JALAA MAREY / AFP)

An Israeli soldier stands on a Merkava tank deployed on the Golan Heights on November 20, 2019. (JALAA MAREY / AFP)

A Lebanese newspaper on Thursday reported that Tuesday’s rocket attack on the Golan Heights from Syria was retaliation for recent Israeli strikes near a soon-to-be-opened border crossing along the Syria-Iraq frontier.

In recent months, construction has picked up around the Albukamal crossing, which Israel fears will be used by Iran to transport weapons, equipment and fighters through Iraq, into Syria and onward to Lebanon and other countries in the region.

A number of Israeli airstrikes have been reported in the Albukamal region in recent months, but the facility nevertheless appears poised to open.

According to the Lebanese newspaper al-Akhbar, citing Syrian military sources, Israel conducted such a strike eight days ago, bombing a truck that was passing through the area and killing the driver.

ImageSat Intl.@ImageSatIntl

4/6 – Intense construction activity is observed in spite of (9 September 2019) targeted to “” base storehouses, , .

View image on Twitter

ImageSat Intl.@ImageSatIntl

5/6 – The Iran-controlled in crossing in , near the official border crossing between and , is not yet operational, and its construction still ongoing.

View image on Twitter

The Russian Foreign Ministry late Wednesday night also said Israel conducted an attack on Monday, “with the Israeli aircraft reportedly violating the airspace of Iraq and Jordan.”

It was not immediately clear if these were two separate strikes or a discrepancy in the reported date of the same incident. The Israeli military refuses to comment on its airstrikes in Syria, save for those that are in response to attacks.

The Syrian military sources told al-Akhbar that “the enemy is seeking to destroy movement back and forth between Iraq and Syria in order to prevent the resistance axis from benefiting from that.

“The response of firing four rockets is tantamount to a message to the enemy that security in the Albukamal crossing is directly connected to the security of the state,” the Syrian sources said.

They added that the deadly strike on the truck also “demands a response in accordance with the established rules of engagement.”

The four rockets were fired toward northern Israel from Syria early on Tuesday morning; all were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system. In response, the IDF launched a series of airstrikes on dozens of Iranian and Syrian military targets in Syria in the predawn hours of Wednesday morning, killing between 10 and 20 fighters, according to a senior Israeli defense official who spoke on condition of anonymity. The death toll reported by a Syrian civil war monitor was somewhat higher.

In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, a damaged building targeted by Israeli missile strikes is seen in the Qudsaya suburb, west of the capital Damascus, Syria, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. (SANA via AP)

On Wednesday night, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Israel’s airstrikes in Syria were “causing serious concern and resentment in Moscow.”

It said Israel fired 40 cruise missiles during its strikes, which were primarily focused on the Syrian capital of Damascus and the surrounding area.

Satellite images released Wednesday night showed the destruction caused by the strikes on two suspected Iranian headquarters around Damascus.

The photographs, distributed by the private Israeli intelligence firm ImageSat International, show two buildings that are believed to have been home to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force. One was located in Damascus’s international airport. The other was nearby at the al-Mazzeh airport just outside the capital.

Satellite image showing the destruction caused by Israeli airstrikes to an alleged Iranian-controlled facility at the Damascus International Airport on November 20, 2019. (ImageSat International)

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human rights war monitor, at least 23 combatants were killed in Israel’s predawn airstrikes in Syria Wednesday, 16 of them likely Iranians.

The official Syrian news outlet SANA said two civilians were killed by shrapnel when an Israeli missile hit a house in the town of Saasaa, southwest of Damascus. It said several others were wounded, including a girl in a residential building in Qudsaya, also west of the Syrian capital.

However, video footage from Syria appeared to show a Syrian air defense missile failing to launch and crashing to the ground in a heavily populated area shortly after launching, which may account for some of the civilian casualties.

The Israeli defense official disputed the Syrian figures, saying the military believes the death toll in its strikes was between 10 and 20, all of them fighters.

In Israel’s reprisal raids, the top two floors of the building at the Damascus airport — referred to by ImageSat as the Glasshouse — were destroyed.

According to the satellite imagery analysis company, the building was believed to have been used as a headquarters by the Quds Force’s intelligence unit.

“Currently the site looks abandoned, without any sign of activity,” the company said.

Satellite image showing the destruction caused by Israeli airstrikes to an alleged Iranian-controlled facility at the Damascus International Airport on November 20, 2019. (ImageSat International)

The senior defense official said the military believed that there were Iranians inside the building at the time of the strike.

“We struck a building staffed by Iranians at the Damascus airport. We assess that there are Iranians killed and injured,” the official said Wednesday.

The second Quds Force headquarters at the al-Mazzeh airport was almost completely demolished in the strike.

A photograph of the site taken Tuesday showed two large rectangular buildings across from the one another. The image captured Wednesday after the strike showed one building completely leveled and the other mostly knocked down.

Satellite image showing the destruction caused by Israeli airstrikes to an alleged Iranian-controlled facility at the al-Mazzeh airport on November 20, 2019. (ImageSat International)

A long line of vehicles could also be seen around the site, apparently being used by search and rescue workers.

In addition to those two buildings, the IDF said it targeted dozens of other sites connected to the Quds Force on Syrian military bases. When Syrian air defenses fired on Israeli jets, the IDF also targeted those batteries, the military said.

The Britain-based monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the airstrikes also targeted Quds Force arms depots in the Damascus suburbs of Kisweh and Qudsaya.

In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, a damaged building targeted by Israeli missile strikes is seen in Qudsaya suburb, western the capital Damascus, Syria, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. (SANA via AP)

Pictures published by Syrian state news agency SANA showed heavy damage to buildings in Qudsaya, west of the capital.

Israel has repeatedly warned Syrian dictator Bashar Assad to not intervene during IDF strikes on Iranian targets in his country or else his military will also be targeted, as was the case Wednesday.

Following its reprisal raids, the Israeli military said it was readying for a potential Iranian retaliation.

An Israeli M109 self-propelled howitzer is stationed near the border with Syria in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights on November 19, 2019, after Israeli air defenses intercepted four rockets fired from neighboring Syria. (JALAA MAREY / AFP)

“We are preparing for defense and attack, and we will respond to any attempt to retaliate,” IDF Spokesperson Hidai Zilberman told reporters first thing Wednesday morning.

Israel has repeatedly said that it will not accept Iranian military entrenchment in Syria and that it will retaliate for any attack on the Jewish state from Syria.

Israel has carried out hundreds of airstrikes in Syria against Iranian targets over the last several years, but does not generally comment on specific attacks. Iran has forces based in Syria, Israel’s northern neighbor, and supports Hezbollah and Gaza terrorists.

“Our message to the leaders of Iranian is simple: You are not immune anymore. Wherever you send your octopus tentacles — we will hack them off,” said newly installed Defense Minister Naftali Bennett on Wednesday.

Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani. (YouTube screenshot)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said of the strike: “I have made clear that any who attack us, we will attack them. That is what we did tonight toward military targets of the Iranian Quds Force and Syrian military targets.”

The Quds Force, led by Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, is a part of the Islamic Republic Revolutionary Guards Corps responsible for extraterritorial operations, and is a key actor in Syria — both against rebels and in Tehran’s efforts to entrench itself along Israel’s border and threaten the Jewish state from there.

Times of Israel staff and AFP contributed to this report.

 

Israel on war alert for Iranian reprisal after IDF assaults on Al Qods’ Syrian bases – DEBKAfile

November 21, 2019

Source: Israel on war alert for Iranian reprisal after IDF assaults on Al Qods’ Syrian bases – DEBKAfile

Iran’s military array in and around Damascus was not eradicated as reported but severely damaged by Israel’s extensive air strikes early Wednesday, Nov. 20, DEBKAfile reports.

Only the Syrian air defense batteries which aimed at Israeli warplanes around Damascus and the Syrian Golan, were disabled – not its entire network. This point is important. Since the Israeli jets did not enter Syrian air space but struck from the skies of northern Israel and southern Lebanon, Syrian batteries were directed for the first time to try and down them while over Israel territory.

It is also important to note that the IDF account of the Iranian rocket attack on northern Israel of Tuesday, spoke of “heavy missiles,” a phrase that usually implies medium-range ground-to-ground ballistic missiles. This may be interpreted as a reference to Fatteh-110 missiles. They have a range of 500km and had they not been intercepted by Iron Dome defense batteries, they were therefore capable of reaching into central Israel, and not just the north.
This Iranian attack did not come out of the blue. It followed an earlier Israel strike that morning on one of its facilities near Abu Kamal close to the Syrian border with Iraq. By directing missiles at central Israel, Iran demonstrated two changes of tactics:

  1. Not only is Tehran determined to hit back for every Israeli attack, as it has threatened, but will do so in kind: For every IDF raid on its military assets deep inside Syrian or Iraqi terrain, Iran is poised to strike back similarly deep inside Israel.
  2. An attack on Israel’s central, most densely populated region, would inflict multiple civilian casualties. For that reason alone, the Iranian missile attack on Tuesday should be seen as the direct continuation of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s rocket fire from Gaza on the Israeli city of Beersheba on Nov. 16, i.e. three days earlier. Iron Dome batteries averted major tragedies in both cases, but while highly effective, they are not infallible.

Israeli forces are on high war alert at this moment due to the assessment that this is just the start of a major clash between the IDF and Iran’s elite Al Qods Brigades. Tehran is unlikely to let Wednesday’s massive Israeli air assault in Syria go unanswered and may well strike back within days or even hours.

 

Children Deserve Better 

November 21, 2019

 

 

IAF does the tetris challenge

November 21, 2019

The Israeli Air Force Takes Part In Tetris Challenge With Fighter Jets, Helicopter And Training Aircraft

Since September 1, 2019, when Zurich police published a photo on social media of two officers lying on the ground, surrounded by the contents of their car, laid out in a geometric pattern and pictured from above, police departments, firefighters, first responders as well as air force squadrons and other military units from all around the world have joined in, photographing their work equipment (and even service members) in this peculiar way.

The Tetris Challenge has since then conquered the Internet making the rounds across all the social networks. The challenge is inspired to the “knolling” a term that dates back to 1987, and it involves organizing objects and tools on the floor at right angles, allowing you to see every item clearly in a photograph. This has often been done ahead of travels, by photographers and journalists, collecting all their stuff in the same place to organize the trip. In the last few weeks, Tetris Challenge has become a way to showcase all the pieces of hardware (and personnel) that make up a service or system.

If you google “Tetris Challenge”, you will find many examples of interesting shots taken from the above. Here you can find an interesting post by our friend Tyler Rogoway at The War Zone.

But, the Challenge, when it deals with military aviation stuff, has probably a brand new winner: the Israeli Air Force.

The IAF has published on Twitter a shot taken by Rotem Rogovsky and Daniel Levatovsky from SKYPRO at Hatzerim Air Base with a Tetris Challenge image that gathers the F-15I Ra’am of the 69 Sq; the F-16I Sufa of the 107 Sq, the M-346 Lavi of the 102 Sq, as well as the G-120A Snunit, the OH-58B Saifan and the T-6A Efroni of the Flight Training Shool. Not only are the aircraft worth a look, but also their accompanying weapons, including the Israeli-developed, SPICE 2000 EO/GPS-guided bombs. Interestingly, even the only airworthy PT-17 (Stearman Model 75) of the Israeli Air Force maintained at the museum in Hatzerim can be seen in the photo.