Archive for January 16, 2020

Israel strikes Islamist targets in Gaza in response to rocket fire – TV7 Israel News 16.01.20

January 16, 2020

 

 

Israel’s National War of Independence 

January 16, 2020

Israel’s National War of Independence

Credit: Kings and generals

Using animated 3d icons representing opposing forces, this documentary does a superb job of tracking the prioress of this long and complicated war.Using animated 3d icons representing opposing forces, this documentary does a superb job of tracking the prioress of this long and complicated war.

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The Arab-Israeli War of 1948 broke out when five Arab nations invaded territory in the former Palestinian mandate immediately following the announcement of the independence of the state of Israel on May 14, 1948. In 1947, and again on May 14, 1948, the United States had offered de facto recognition of the Israeli Provisional Government, but during the war, the United States maintained an arms embargo against all belligerents.

On November 29, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 181 (also known as the Partition Resolution) that would divide Great Britain’s former Palestinian mandate into Jewish and Arab states in May 1948. Under the resolution, the area of religious significance surrounding Jerusalem would remain under international control administered by the United Nations. The Palestinian Arabs refused to recognize this arrangement, which they regarded as favorable to the Jews and unfair to the Arab population that would remain in Jewish territory under the partition. The United States sought a middle way by supporting the United Nations resolution, but also encouraging negotiations between Arabs and Jews in the Middle East.

The United Nations resolution sparked conflict between Jewish and Arab groups within Palestine. Fighting began with attacks by irregular bands of Palestinian Arabs attached to local units of the Arab Liberation Army composed of volunteers from Palestine and neighboring Arab countries. These groups launched their attacks against Jewish cities, settlements, and armed forces. The Jewish forces were composed of the Haganah, the underground militia of the Jewish community in Palestine, and two small irregular groups, the Irgun, and LEHI. The goal of the Arabs was initially to block the Partition Resolution and to prevent the establishment of the Jewish state. The Jews, on the other hand, hoped to gain control over the territory allotted to them under the Partition Plan.

After Israel declared its independence on May 14, 1948, the fighting intensified with other Arab forces joining the Palestinian Arabs in attacking territory in the former Palestinian mandate. On the eve of May 14, the Arabs launched an air attack on Tel Aviv, which the Israelis resisted. This action was followed by the invasion of the former Palestinian mandate by Arab armies from Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt. Saudi Arabia sent a formation that fought under the Egyptian command. British trained forces from Transjordan eventually intervened in the conflict, but only in areas that had been designated as part of the Arab state under the United Nations Partition Plan and the corpus separatum of Jerusalem. After tense early fighting, Israeli forces, now under joint command, were able to gain the offensive.

Though the United Nations brokered two cease-fires during the conflict, fighting continued into 1949. Israel and the Arab states did not reach any formal armistice agreements until February. Under separate agreements between Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt, Lebanon, Transjordan, and Syria, these bordering nations agreed to formal armistice lines. Israel gained some territory formerly granted to Palestinian Arabs under the United Nations resolution in 1947. Egypt and Jordan retained control over the Gaza Strip and the West Bank respectively. These armistice lines held until 1967. The United States did not become directly involved with the armistice negotiations, but hoped that instability in the Middle East would not interfere with the international balance of power between the Soviet Union and the United States. The Arab-Israeli War of 1948 ultimately led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian A

Iran crown prince predicts regime collapse as protesters ‘smell opportunity’ 

January 16, 2020

Source: Iran crown prince predicts regime collapse as protesters ‘smell opportunity’ | The Times of Israel

Exiled Reza Pahlavi, son of deposed Shah, says Iranians becoming more fearless in demonstrating against government, expect the world to show more than ‘just moral support’

Reza Pahlavi, former Crown Prince of Iran, speaks about current events in Iran at the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC on January 15, 2020. (EVA HAMBACH/AFP)

Reza Pahlavi, former Crown Prince of Iran, speaks about current events in Iran at the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC on January 15, 2020. (EVA HAMBACH/AFP)

WASHINGTON, United States — The heir of Iran’s deposed monarchy predicted Wednesday that the clerical regime will collapse within months and urged Western powers not to negotiate with it.

Reza Pahlavi said that major protests which erupted in November and again this month, after the accidental downing of a Ukrainian passenger jet, reminded him of the uprising that ousted his father in early 1979.

“It’s just a matter of time for it to reach its final climax. I think we’re in that mode,” the former crown prince told a news conference in Washington, which he lives near in exile.

“This is weeks or months preceding the ultimate collapse, not dissimilar to the last three months in 1978 before the revolution,” he said.

While exiled activists have routinely predicted the fall of the regime, Pahlavi said that Iranians could “smell the opportunity for the first time in 40 years this time.”

The 59-year-old heir to the Peacock Throne, who has not been to Iran since he was a teenager, cited as evidence what he called an easing of fear among protesters and the growing distancing of self-described reformists from the Islamic regime.

In an address to the Hudson Institute, Pahlavi largely supported US President Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign that has sought to isolate the Iranian regime through severe sanctions, saying that past negotiations have failed.

“It has long been time to recognize that this is not a normal regime and that it will not change its behavior,” Pahlavi said.

“My compatriots understand that this regime cannot be reformed and must be removed.”

Iranian police officers take position while protesters gather in front of Amir Kabir University in Tehran, Iran, January 11, 2020.(AP Photo)

Iranians “expect the world to show more than just moral support. They expect not to be thrown under the bus in the name of diplomacy and negotiation.”

Trump previously held out hope of negotiations but has recently said he was unconcerned with talks and ordered the killing of a top Iranian general, Qassem Soleimani.

Pahlavi, whose Western-oriented father was closely allied with the United States, has played down prospects for restoration of the monarchy.

He says instead that he wants to support a broad coalition of Iranians who will replace the regime with a secular democracy.

Asked whether he can represent all Iranians, Pahlavi said: “It’s not about me, it’s about the people of Iran.”

“You may not like the messenger, but is there something wrong with the message?”

 

IDF strikes Hamas in Gaza in response to rocket fire, as sustained calm tested

January 16, 2020

Source: IDF strikes Hamas in Gaza in response to rocket fire, as sustained calm tested | The Times of Israel

Two incoming projectiles shot down by Iron Dome, others apparently strike open fields; attack sends hundreds of Israelis rushing to bomb shelters

The Israeli Air Force launched a series of strikes on Hamas sites in the Gaza Strip Wednesday evening in response to rocket fire on Israeli communities hours earlier, the military said.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, fighter jets attacked several Hamas facilities, including a weapons production site and a military base.

“The attack was carried out in response to the rocket launches from the Gaza Strip at Israeli territory,” the military said in a statement.

Palestinian media reported that one of the strikes targeted a Hamas naval commando facility in central Gaza. Footage of the attack (above) was widely shared on social media.

The military said it held Hamas, the de facto rulers of Gaza, responsible for all violence emanating from the Strip.

A Channel 13 reporter standing in a community near the Gaza border told the television network that he heard at least three explosions from the Gaza side of the border.

Also on Wednesday evening, police sappers were dispatched to the border town of Sderot where a suspicious object attached to a cluster of balloons landed in a residential neighborhood. It appeared to mark the renewal of the arson balloons attacks that torched thousands of acres of Israeli fields along the Gaza border in recent years.

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Two of the incoming projectiles were intercepted by the military’s Iron Dome air defense system. The other two appeared to strike open fields in Israel’s Sha’ar Hanegev region, east of northern Gaza.

The mortar attack shattered a period of relative calm along the border.

The attack triggered sirens in the Israeli communities of Sa’ad, Kfar Aza and Nahal Oz, sending hundreds of residents rushing to bomb shelters.

The round of mortar fire came three days since alarms last sounded in Nahal Oz, apparently due to heavy machine gun fire from the coastal enclave.

Israel has reportedly warned the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror groups against any attempted response to the US targeted killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani earlier this month.

Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, expressed its “sincere condolences” to Iran’s leadership after Soleimani was killed in Baghdad on January 3 and hailed his support for the “Palestinian resistance,” but did not issue any overt threat.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh speaks at the funeral of Qassem Soleimani, in Tehran, Iran, January 6, 2020. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader)

The Islamist group’s leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, in the past lauded the “strong, powerful and warm” ties Hamas enjoyed with Soleimani, and spoke at the Iranian general’s funeral in Tehran.

The Iran-backed Islamic Jihad, which in November fought a two-day battle with Israel after one its military commanders was killed in an Israeli strike, has yet to respond.

Iran has for years sought to arm the Palestinian terror groups with rockets, mortars and missiles.

The US strike on Soleimani came amid efforts to broker a long-term ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, which have fought three wars since the terror group took control of Gaza in 2007.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.