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US May Launch Preemptive Strike On North Korea Ahead Of Nuclear Test

April 14, 2017

The U.S. is prepared to launch a preemptive strike with conventional weapons against North Korea should officials become convinced that Kim Jong Un is about to follow through with a nuclear weapons test, NBC reports.

Source: US May Launch Preemptive Strike On North Korea Ahead Of Nuclear Test | Zero Hedge

With just two days to go until North Korea’s “Day of the Sun” celebrations, when as reported yesterday it may conduct its 6th nuclear test at the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site, NBC reports citing multiple senior U.S. intelligence officials that in the latest stepwise escalation, the U.S. is prepared to launch a preemptive strike with conventional weapons against North Korea should officials become convinced that Kim Jong-Un’s nation North Korea is about to follow through with a nuclear weapons test. Note: North Korea does not even have to carry out the text: mere conviction on the side of the US that it would, is sufficient.

As first reported yesterday, North Korea warned that a “big event” is near, and U.S. officials say signs point to a nuclear test that could come as early as this weekend. According to multiple sources, the U.S. intelligence community has reported with “moderate confidence” that North Korea is preparing for its sixth underground nuclear test, though the U.S. is also in the dark regarding the specific timing.

The launch of a preemptive attack would naturally threatens a counterattack by Kim: the U.S. is thus “worried” that its strikes could provoke the volatile and unpredictable North Korean regime to launch its own blistering attack on its southern neighbor. “The leadership in North Korea has shown absolutely no sign or interest in diplomacy or dialogue with any of the countries involved in this issue,” said Victor Cha, the Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Meanwhile, intelligence officials have told NBC News that the U.S. Navy has positioned two destroyers capable of shooting Tomahawk cruise missiles in the region, one just 300 miles from the North Korean nuclear test site. Additionally, American heavy bombers are also positioned in Guam to attack North Korea should it be necessary, and earlier this week, the Pentagon announced that the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier strike group was being diverted to the area.

Earlier in the week, North Korea said it would “hit the U.S. first” with a nuclear weapon should there be any signs of U.S. strikes. On Thursday, North Korea warned of a “merciless retaliatory strike” should the U.S. take any action. It is almost as if the U.S. is eager to provoke the “irrational” North Korean dictator.

“By relentlessly bringing in a number of strategic nuclear assets to the Korean peninsula, the US is gravely threatening the peace and safety and driving the situation to the brink of a nuclear war,” said North Korea’s statement, which actually sounded quite rational and measured.

Futhermore, virtually everyone knows that Kim’s threats are those of a paper tiger: North Korea is not believed to have a deliverable long-range nuclear weapon, according to U.S. experts, nor does it yet possess an intercontinental missile. Which begs the question: why is the US getting involved in yet another regime change operation half way around the world?

South Korea’s top diplomat said today that the U.S. would consult with Seoul before taking any serious measures, or at least he hoped: “U.S. officials, mindful of such concerns here, repeatedly reaffirmed that (the U.S.) will closely discuss with South Korea its North Korea-related measures,” foreign minister Yun Byung told a special parliamentary meeting. “In fact, the U.S. is working to reassure us that it will not, just in case that we might hold such concerns.”

Of course, if the U.S. does not “closely discuss” any pre-strike plans, then… oops.

In any case, a new war may break out as soon as this weekend: “Two things are coming together this weekend,” said retired Adm. James Stavridis, former commander of NATO and an NBC analyst. “One is the distinct possibility of a sixth North Korean nuclear weapons detonation and the other is an American carrier strike group, a great deal of firepower headed right at the Korean Peninsula.”

The U.S. is aware that simply preparing an attack, even if it will only be launched if there is an “imminent” North Korean action, increases the danger of provoking a large conflict, multiple sources told NBC News.

 

“It’s high stakes,” a senior intelligence official directly involved in the planning told NBC News. “We are trying to communicate our level of concern and the existence of many military options to dissuade the North first.”

 

It’s a feat that we’ve never achieved before but there is a new sense of resolve here,” the official said, referring to the White House.

The unofficial admission that a preemptive strike is imminent comes on the same day the U.S. announced the use of its MOAB in Afghanistan, attacking underground facilities, and on the heels of U.S. missile strikes on a Syrian airbase last week, a strike that took place while President Trump was meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago.

Earlier today, Trump gave China what amounted to a tacit ultimatum: deal with North Korea, or Trump will.

And as the clock is ticking, officials have told NBC that Trump has talked to Chinese president Xi twice about North Korea since their Florida summit.

China has since sent its top nuclear negotiators to Pyongyang to communicate the gravity of the situation to the North, officials say. On Wednesday, President Xi called for a peaceful resolution to the escalating tensions.

It’s not just China: “Moscow has weighed in as well: “We are gravely concerned about Washington’s plans regarding North Korea, considering hints about the unilateral use of a military scenario” the Putin government said in a press release issued on Tuesday.”

Ultimately, the only thing standing between Kim and a Tomahawk is a decision by South Korea, where as a reminder, the political regime has been in chaos since the impeachment of former president Park.

Implementation of the preemptive U.S. plans, according to multiple U.S. officials, depends centrally on consent of the South Korean government. The sources stress that Seoul has got to be persuaded that action is worth the risk, as there is universal concern that any military move might provoke a North Korean attack, even a conventional attack across the DMZ.

Tensions have escalated on the Korean Peninsula, as this Saturday marks the anniversary of the birth of the nation’s founder — Kim il-Sung, grandfather of the current leader, Kim Jong-un. At the highest levels in South Korea and the U.S., sources told NBC News, there are fears North Korea could mark the “Day of the Sun” by testing a nuclear device. As discussed yesterday, North Korea in the past has used these national holidays to celebrate the strengths of the regime and to reinforce the national narrative of their independence, as confirmed by Cha.

“I think that is what President Trump is getting trying to get the Chinese to do,” said Cha. “[It] would impose real pain and force real choices on North Korea — whether the costs are worth it for them to continue to pursue this program if they no longer have any sustenance.”

In addition to the coal ships, the Chinese made an important gesture at the UN Thursday: A surprising abstention on a Security Council resolution condemning a Syrian chemical weapons attack. China didn’t stand with the Russians on Syria, as it has in the past.

But the biggest indicator may have been the market: for the first time in month, the S&P closed on the lowest tick of the day ahead of a long weekend, almost as if traders had no desire to go long into a the 72 hours in which there is a non-trivial chance that, in some form or another, a nuclear device may go off, coupled with the launch of an unknown number of US Tomahawk missiles.

New Front in White House Civil War as Kushner Asserts Authority at NSC

April 12, 2017

Officials say Kushner taking unprecedented role to interfere in foreign policy matters

BY:
April 12, 2017 1:58 pm

Source: New Front in White House Civil War as Kushner Asserts Authority at NSC

White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner is leading an unprecedented effort to meddle in the White House’s National Security Council, causing mayhem for senior staff who say the president’s son-in-law is interfering in key foreign policy debates, according to Trump administration officials who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon.

Kushner has taken aggressive action to micro-manage the NSC, overshadowing even recently installed National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, according to sources both inside and outside the White House who described Kushner’s behavior as highly unusual and damaging to the country’s national security infrastructure.

Never before has a White House permitted such a figure to intervene in the NSC, which is traditionally given leeway to investigate foreign policy matters and bring advice to the president.

Sources who spoke to the Free Beacon described wide-ranging frustration at the NSC over Kushner’s influence over some of the most important foreign policy portfolios, such as Iraq, Israel, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and China, among others.

Senior NSC staff are finding their hands tied when it comes to performing even perfunctory duties, such as talking points and statements on high profile issues that must go through Kushner for approval. Sources who spoke to the Free Beacon described this level of involvement as kneecapping the NSC and contributing to its difficulties formulating policy.

“Kushner is meddling in a lot of things,” according to one NSC official who spoke to the Free Beacon only on background. “Such direct control of foreign policy from the West Wing has never happened before. It just creates a lot of drama. People just don’t know how to deal with it. We’re respectful of his position, but it’s confusing the policymaking process.”

Officials working at the NSC, State Department, and Department of Defense “are not happy that Jared is so powerful in foreign policy,” said one White House official. “They are expected to implement the president’s agenda, but have no input or ability to get ideas in front of Jared. It’s a one-man show and that’s creating a lot of frustration.”

The installation of Dina Powell, a confidant of Kushner’s wife Ivanka, to the NSC is said to have been orchestrated by Kushner in order to solidify his power over the foreign policy organization, sources said.

This helps Kushner keep tabs on the NSC’s day-to-day operations, another move that is said to be causing conflict between the NSC and the West Wing.

Kushner, in many ways, has even overshadowed McMaster, who sources described as seeking to avoid infighting in the White House. This has only minimized his power on the NSC, officials said.

On the other hand, Bannon’s team is said to be more respectful and willing to defer to the organization as West Wing staffers have traditionally done under past administrations.

“Jared has been pegged as the ‘shadow secretary of state,'” said the White House official. “But in a way he’s kind of also the shadow national security adviser and secretary of defense.”

The situation has weakened the NSC and caused internal confusion as to what exactly the administration’s policy is when it comes to a range of key issues.

The Free Beacon highlighted this issue in a report earlier this year about the Trump administration’s inability to provide direction over key aspects of the Iran nuclear deal, specifically the U.S. sale of airplanes to Tehran.

“On routine issues, we still don’t know what our policy is,” said the NSC official. “So when we get basic requests from foreign counterparts, we can’t weigh in authoritatively.”

Eric Trump: Ivanka Influenced President on Syria

April 12, 2017

Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump and President Trump (Jan 2017)

Source: Eric Trump: Ivanka Influenced President on SyriaThe Jewish Press | Jewish Press News Briefs | 16 Nisan 5777 – April 12, 2017 | JewishPress.com

Eric Trump, son of President Trump said that his sister Ivanka probably had influence on their father’s decision to launch the strike Syria following Assad’s gas attack, in an interview in the Telegraph.

“Ivanka is a mother of three kids and she has influence. I’m sure she said: ‘Listen, this is horrible stuff,’” Eric Trump told the Telegraph.

“My father will act in times like that. And by the way, he was anti doing anything with Syria two years ago. Then a leader gasses their own people, women and children. At some point America is the global leader and the world’s superpower has to come forward and act and they did with a lot of support of our allies and I think that’s a great thing.”

Ivanka had tweeted how disturbed she was by the images coming out of Syria.

Following the attack, Ivanka tweeted that she was proud of her father’s decision.

Mac Slavo Warns Prepare For War: “It’s Going To Obliterate The Global Financial System…”

April 11, 2017

Source: Mac Slavo Warns Prepare For War: “It’s Going To Obliterate The Global Financial System…” | Zero Hedge

Authored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,

You know what’s so tragic about America? Despite all of the wars our nation gets involved in, we’re secretly one of the most peaceful cultures on the planet. We voted for George Bush, because he promised us a non-interventionist foreign policy. We voted for Obama, because he promised to bring the troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan. We voted for Trump, because he promised to end the nation building policies of his predecessor.

And that’s the real tragedy. We’ve been voting for peace for nearly 20 years now, and all we get is war.

That should really tell you something. It should tell you that our system doesn’t care about what the president stands for, or what the voters want. The system is never held accountable for anything, so there is nothing stopping it. One way or another, the deep state always gets its way. So if our government wants a war, then you can bet that we’re going to war.

That was made abundantly clear last week when President Trump ordered the bombing of an air base in Syria. The attack was so provocative, that the Kremlin went so far as to say that the US is now “only one step from war” with Russia. The man who was supposed to buck the system and drain the swamp; the man who promised to restore our relationship with Russia and pull back from brinkmanship, seems to have finally submitted to the warmongers in our government. The deep state’s plan to drag us into a horrible conflagration was only temporarily derailed by Trump, and now it appears that their plans are back on track.

But there’s a silver lining in all of this. Once you know that war is inevitable, and you accept that fact, you can have a pretty good idea of what’s going to happen next. You can finally take steps to prepare for it.

As for what to expect next, you can bet the farm that our economy is not going to survive the next major war, especially if it involves a conflict with Russia or China. Even if this war doesn’t turn into a nuclear slugfest, it’s going to obliterate the global economy and financial system.

For years Russia and China have been building an alternative to the dollar dominated financial system. They’ve built the BRICS financial bloc, they’ve been stocking up on gold, and they’ve been establishing trade agreements that don’t involve the dollar. When war breaks out, there’s going to be another system waiting in the wings to replace the dollar, which has been the world’s reserve currency for decades. The war will motivate China, Russia, and their allies, to pull the rug out from under the current economic paradigm.

Obviously that’s going to significantly weaken the value of the dollar, but it will be just the beginning. The cost of fighting this war will be astronomical. To give you an idea of how costly it will be, World War Two pushed our nation into the highest debt to GDP ratio that we’ve ever been in; a level we haven’t come close to again until very recently. Think about that. We have almost the same debt to GDP ratio as we had when we fought the most expensive and destructive war in our history. As the Wealth Research Group has already pointed out, the dollar is practically on life support. Our government is buried in debt and practically broke as it is, and the cost of fighting another world war would put us over the edge. We’d be bankrupt in no time at all.

When you consider all of this, one thing is absolutely clear. If Trump drags us into another major war, regardless of whether or not it is global in scope, the dollar is going to crash. It may not even survive in its current form. And when that happens, people are going to flee toward safe haven assets. You can rest assured that gold is going to make a comeback, the likes of which none of us have seen in our lifetimes.

The heavy hitters in the investment community have been predicting a dramatic change in the gold market for some time now. And unlike the general public, they weren’t persuaded into thinking that someone like Trump was going to save our country from collapse. For instance, Doug Casey of Casey Research; perhaps one of the most well-respected economic prognosticators, told Future Money Trends the following:

 The one thing I feel very confident of is we’re going to have financial chaos in years to come and that’s going to drive people into gold and to a lesser degree into silver.

There’s absolutely  no reason from  fundamental point of view for bonds and stocks to be as high as they are right now… We’re in for a huge political, financial, demographic and military upset… these people might start World War III or seem like they’re trying to with the Russians… It’s a very dangerous situation.

He said that back in December, after Trump was elected but before he took office. Though he was optimistic about Trump, he clearly wasn’t convinced that he’d be able to prevent an economic collapse. Neither was Amir Adnani, the CEO of GoldMining Inc. Without even considering the possibility of war, he predicted that Trump’s policies would lead to a gold market rally.

 So this is really an exceptional window and opportunity for us. We built a war chest with over $21 million of cash on hand, the very large resource base that we have, and that serves as a key point of drawing more companies to us who want to be part of the platform that we’re building. So this is a very interesting window for us; I believe this is a temporary window as well, because there’s no doubt in my mind that the policies of President Trump will prove to be very inflationary. And these very inflationary policies will drive real interest rates into the negative territory, and I really do believe that the stage is set for higher gold prices, but of course, these things take time to develop and manifest themselves.

But when you add war to the mix, it’s obvious that the dollar isn’t going to be able to maintain its current value. Our financial system is both fragile and under enormous pressure. It was already headed toward collapse, and the costs associated with another major war are going to expedite that process. When it happens, only the folks with real assets will be above water. Assets like land, weapons, food, and of course gold, will be the only things separating the haves from the have nots.

 

Islamic State Eyes North Africa: Hot Issue on Global Agenda

April 11, 2017

 

Peter KORZUN | 10.04.2017

Source: Islamic State Eyes North Africa: Hot Issue on Global Agenda

Islamic State Eyes North Africa: Hot Issue on Global Agenda

The Islamic State (IS) fighters are trying to flee Mosul. No doubt, the US-supported Iraqi forces will establish control over the city pretty soon. At first, IS militants will leave Iraq for the province of Deir-ez-Zor, Syria, to intensify fighting there. But with Syria no longer a safe haven, they’ll have to move elsewhere looking for weak points, like the countries of Maghreb.

Roughly, 8-11 thousand jihadi fighters come from Maghreb countries. The numbers vary according to different estimates. Some of the militants will lose lives on the battlefield, some will lay down their arms, but a large part will continue the efforts to reach the coveted goal of establishing a caliphate. With the battle experience received in Syria and Iraq, these seasoned fighters will pose a great threat to the stability of their respective homelands.

It has already started. Algeria faces a security challenge. The war against jihadism has turned Algeria into one of Africa’s top military powerhouses. In the past 20 years, Algeria has spent more on its military than all three of its immediate neighbors — Mo­rocco, Libya and Tunisia — com­bined.

Algeria is a country with a 1,200 km coastline. If waves of asylum seekers hit Europe from there, the Old Continent will be in real trouble. Besides, the country is a key supplier of oil and gas to the West. The implications of internal conflict in Algeria could be a real nightmare. Russia helps to prevent it and, thus, save Western Europe.

At least 6 thousand of IS fighters are Tunisians. Some of them hold prominent positions in the IS and the Nusra Front (Jabhat Fatah al-Sham) in Syria. Many Tunisian extremists are affiliated with Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, which is active in a half-dozen countries across North Africa. Tunisia is at odds over what to do if and when they come home. These fighters would have the capabilities and cultural familiarity to potentially create a formidable and sustained destabilizing force in Tunisia. Meanwhile, Tunisian security forces break up one IS recruiting cell after another.

Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco face threats from the East as well as from the South, where they have to counter the emerging «Sahara-Sahel Front». Islamists from Mali, Niger and Mauritania are regrouping to expand the zone of influence. For instance, Al-Qaeda militants have recently attacked a Malian army post near the border of Burkina Faso.

In North and West Africa, Al Qaeda is on the rise again. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has withstood the chokehold of the Algerian security services, US drones, and the French-led intervention in Mali, to launch a range of attacks in recent years, whether storming a beach resort in Ivory Coast or conducting a low-level insurgency in northern Mali.

A number of terrorist groups operating in Mali and neighboring areas – Ansar Dine, al-Mourabitoun, the Massina Brigades, the Sahara Emirate – united this February into one organization called Nusrat-ul-Islam. The newly formed group pledged allegiance to Taliban leader Mullah Haibatullah, al-Qaida leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri and the leader of al-Qaida’s North African franchise Abu Musab Abdul Wadud.

Al-Qaeda and its affiliates are challenged by the IS. In November 2016, the Islamic State in Greater Sahara was formed, led by Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi.

The IS militants may regroup in the war-torn Libya. This country is probably the weakest link among Maghreb states. Defense officials have said the hardline Sunni Muslim militants are considering moving their headquarters to that country. A US military intervention is an option. According to Gen. Thomas D. Waldhauser, head of the Pentagon’s Africa Command, «The instability in Libya and North Africa may be the most significant near-term threat to U.S. and allies’ interests on the continent». Russia has been asked to intervene by Libyan political and military leaders.

The armed forces of Maghreb countries are getting prepared. The Moroccan military has just held exercises Flintlock-2017 with the US. Weapons systems, like, for instance, Russian Mi-28N Night Hunter attack helicopters, are procured to make the counterterrorist operations more effective. On March 15th, 2016, King Mohamed VI visited Moscow to sign several important agreements, including the agreement on mutual protection of classified information on military and military-technical matters and the declaration on the fight against international terrorism. Morocco is interested in strengthening its military capabilities with Russian weapons.

Last year, Russia provided Algerian and Tunisian authorities with intelligence and military aid to strengthen counterterrorism efforts. The package included Russian high-resolution satellite imagery of key Algerian border crossings with Tunisia, Libya, Chad and Mali. The imagery has enabled Algerian authorities to thwart several attempts by terrorists and insurgents to infiltrate Algerian borders. Algeria has shared this data with Tunisia.

Russia has close military cooperation with the states of the region. A country with a significant Muslim minority, about 10% of its popula­tion, it has been battling jihadists in the Caucasus for a number of years. It understands the problem and has vast experience to share. Unlike the US and other Western powers, Russia does not accompany its aid with lectures about human rights or political demands pushing for «democra­tic reforms». As Rus­sian armaments have proven themselves on the battlefield, it seems likely that Maghreb governments under terrorist threat will increasingly turn towards Moscow.

Today, Islamists of all kinds, especially the IS, are emerging as a very serious threat for the United States, its NATO allies and Russia. Despite the existing differences on Ukraine and a host of other issues where Russia and the West are on opposite side of the barricades, cooperation on fighting the threat is possible and necessary. After all, the enemy is common and its deadly activities go far beyond the scope of a regional threat.

Russia and the West could coordinate activities in Libya. Sharing intelligence and cooperating in joint special operations against key targets could be a start of a broader process. Russia and the US-led West could launch preliminary talks on the wording of a hypothetical UN Security Council resolution to make it approved if an international effort will be required to keep the region from abyss.

North Africa should not become a divisive issue to complicate the relations between Russia and the West. The situation calls for cooperation and dialogue. The IS will soon become a thing of the past if Russia and the West set aside what divides them and concentrate on what brings them together. This approach will benefit all.

Russia and Iran say U.S. ‘crossed red lines’ with strike on Syrian air base

April 11, 2017

 Russia and Iran say U.S. ‘crossed red lines’ with strike on Syrian air base

Source: Russia and Iran say U.S. ‘crossed red lines’ with strike on Syrian air base – ABC News

A statement released by “the joint command operation center of Syrian allies,” a group that includes Russia and Iran, warned the U.S. against further military actions in the war-torn country, following a missile strike on a Syrian air base last week.

Referring to its defense of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad‘s regime, the group warned that they would support Syria and its people “with all means that we have.”

“The United States crossed red lines by attacking Syria, from now on we will respond to anyone, including America if it attacks Syria and crosses the red lines,” the statement read. “America knows very well our ability and capabilities to respond well to them, [and] we will respond without taking into consideration any reaction and consequences.”

The statement did not include critical details like what kind of military operation would cross such a red line, or what kind of response would be made on the part of Syria and its allies, but noted that they would work to “liberate” Syria from occupation.

“Rest assured that we will liberate Syria from all kinds of occupying forces, it does not matter from where they came to the occupied part of Syria,” the statement warned. “Russia and Iran will not allow the United States to be the only superpower in world.”

The statement warned the U.S. that allies of Syria were “closely and deeply following American forces’ moves and presence” in the areas of northern Syria and northwestern Iraq, and that they will “consider them [to be] an occupying force.”

Russia and Iran have backed Assad in Syria’s six-year-long conflict, as has the Shia militia Hezbollah. The United States and other Western countries have thrown their support behind rebels fighting the Syrian regime.

The statement follows heated rhetoric from American lawmakers suggesting that Syrian allies like Russia may have had prior knowledge of the chemical attack that took place in Syria last week, killing scores of civilians, including many children.

Earlier on Sunday, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said on ABC News’ “This Week” that Russia is “complicit” in the chemical attack in Syria.

“Absolutely they’re complicit,” Schiff told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos. “Russian intelligence may not be as good as ours, but it’s good enough to know the Syrians had chemical weapons, were using chemical weapons.”

The question of Russian complicity in the attack also came up in an earlier interview on “This Week” Sunday with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Tillerson said he has “not seen any hard evidence” that Russians were involved in planning or carrying out the attack.

But the secretary of state said when he meets with the Russian foreign minister this week, he will bring up Russia’s obligation under a 2013 agreement to ensure the Syrian government got rid of its chemical weapons.

“It agreed to be the guarantor of the elimination of the chemical weapons, and why Russia has not been able to achieve that is unclear to me,” Tillerson said. “Clearly they’ve been incompetent and perhaps they’ve just simply been out-maneuvered by the Syrians.”

 

Islamic State (ISIS) Rockets from Sinai hit southern Israel on Eve of Passover

April 10, 2017

Islamic terrorists launched rockets from Sinai, on the eve of Passover, two of which landed in southern Israel. ISIS has claimed responsibility.

By – on April 10, 2017

Source: Islamic State (ISIS) Rockets from Sinai hit southern Israel on Eve of Passover – Geller Report

 

Anyone that tells you that is is not a religious war will also sell you the Brooklyn Bridge. And if you do not believe this is a religious war, you’ll probably buy the bridge, too.

Churches attacked on Palm Sunday, Israel on Pesach eve.

ISIS Rockets from Sinai hit southern Israel on Eve of Passover

By World Israel News, April 10, 2017:

Islamic terrorists launched rockets from Sinai, on the eve of Passover, two of which landed in southern Israel. ISIS has claimed responsibility.

A greenhouse was damaged but there were no injuries when ISIS rockets slammed into southern Israel on Passover eve.

Authorities are prohibiting citizens from entering the Sinai Peninsula.

In wake of Monday’s rocket-launching, Israeli authorities closed the Taba Crossing into Sinai, urging all citizens to return home.

“Given the validity of the National Security Council Counter-Terrorism Bureau (NSCCTB), in light of the increased severity and immediacy of the threat, and in accordance with the approval of the political leadership, Transportation and Road Safety, and Intelligence, Minister Yisrael Katz – pursuant to his legal authority and in consultation with Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and the relevant agencies — has decided not to allow the passage of Israeli nationals through the Menachem Begin Border Terminal (aka Taba Crossing) in the direction of Sinai, effective immediately until after Passover (18 April), and subject to assessments of the situation. It should be noted that the entry of Israeli citizens from Sinai back to Israel will be permitted,” the Prime Minister’s Office stated.

“Increased activity by the [Islamic State-affiliated] ‘Sinai Province’ in recent months has also found expression against Israel in its desire to commit terrorist attacks against tourists in Sinai, including Israelis, in the immediate term.

“The National Security Council Counter-Terrorism Bureau (NSCCTB) recommends that Israelis in Sinai leave the area forthwith and return to Israel. The families of Israelis in Sinai are requested to contact their loved ones and update them regarding the acute threat. It must be emphasized that, for their own protection, Israelis planning to go to the area will not be allowed to cross into Sinai; therefore, they are requested not to go to the crossing and to listen to instructions.”

The NSCCTB recently released an urgent warning to Israeli citizens vacationing in the Sinai Peninsula, urging them to leave the region “immediately,” due to the threat from ISIS.