Posted tagged ‘In Your Face’

Israel will join coalition against Iran if it blocks Red Sea, PM warns

August 2, 2018


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the naval officers’ graduation in Haifa, Wednesday

If Iran blocks Bab el-Mandeb Strait, which leads into Red Sea, it will face international coalition that includes “all of Israel’s military branches,” PM Netanyahu says • Defense Minister Lieberman: Israel has “heard of threats to harm Israeli ships.”

Lilach Shoval, Eli Leon, News Agencies and Israel Hayom Staff

Source Link: Israel will join coalition against Iran if it blocks Red Sea, PM warns

{Wow! It appears the days when Israel was asked to step aside are finally over. – LS}

Israel would deploy its military as part of an international coalition to stop an attempt by Iran to block the Bab el-Mandeb Strait that leads into the Red Sea from the Gulf of Aden, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Wednesday.

“If Iran tries to block the strait of Bab el-Mandeb, I am certain that it will find itself confronting an international coalition that will be determined to prevent this, and this coalition will also include all of Israel’s military branches,” Netanyahu said. He was speaking at a graduation parade for new Israeli Navy officers in Haifa.

Last week, Saudi Arabia said it was suspending oil shipments through the strategic strait after Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthis attacked two ships in the waterway.

Saudi Arabia and Iran are engaged in a three-year-old proxy war in Yemen, which lies on one side of Bab el-Mandeb.

Yemen’s Houthis, who have previously threatened to block the strait, said last week they had the naval capability to hit Saudi ports and other Red Sea targets.

Iran has not threatened to block Bab el-Mandeb but has said it will block the Strait of Hormuz, at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, if it is prevented from exporting oil.

Speaking at a separate event, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Israel had “recently heard of threats to harm Israeli ships in the Red Sea.” He gave no additional details.

Ships mainly from Asia pass through Bab el-Mandeb heading for Eilat in Israel. Ships also pass through the strait heading for Aqaba in Jordan and some Saudi destinations, as well as to continue on through the Suez Canal to the Mediterranean Sea.

The strait is just 29 kilometers (18 miles) wide, making hundreds of ships potentially an easy target. The U.S. Energy Information Administration said an estimated 4.8 million barrels per day of crude oil and products flowed through it in 2016.

Israel has previously attacked Iranian forces in Syria and has insisted that they leave Syria completely. They have withdrawn to a distance of 85 kilometers (53 miles) from the Israeli Golan Heights, Russia’s special envoy to Syria said on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, senior Iranian officials and military commanders on Tuesday rejected U.S. President Donald Trump’s offer of talks without preconditions as worthless and “a dream,” saying his words contradict his actions in reimposing sanctions on Iran.

Israeli officials dismissed allegations that the declaration caught Israel by surprise.

Iran’s currency plummeted to new depths on Monday, dropping below 120,000 rials to the dollar, but Trump’s expressed willingness to negotiate with Iran sparked a minor recovery on Tuesday to 110,000 rials on the unofficial market.

Videos on social media showed hundreds of people rallying in Isfahan in central Iran, and Karaj near Tehran, in protest against high prices caused in part by the rial’s devaluation under heightened U.S. pressure.

Nikki Haley responds to Palestinian officials: ‘I will not shut up’

February 21, 2018

Nikki Haley addressed the U.N. Security Council during a speech Tuesday, during which she responded to an earlier speech from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, as well as comments made last month by Saeb Erekat, a Palestinian negotiator. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

by Melissa Quinn | Feb 20, 2018, 2:31 PM Washington Examiner

Source Link: Nikki Haley responds to Palestinian officials: ‘I will not shut up’

{A tough response from a strong woman, especially if you consider a woman’s position in a Muslim society. – LS}

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley issued a sharp response to Palestinians leaders and its top negotiator Tuesday, saying she “will not shut up” after the official made derogatory comments about Haley last month.

Haley addressed the U.N. Security Council during a speech Tuesday, during which she responded to an earlier speech from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, as well as comments made last month by Saeb Erekat, a Palestinian negotiator.

Erekat said Haley “needs to shut up and realize the Palestinian leadership is not the problem.”

“We welcome you as the leader of the Palestinian people here today,” Haley said of Abbas. “But I will decline the advice I was recently given by your top negotiator, Saeb Erekat. I will not shut up. Rather, I will respectfully speak some hard truths.

“The Palestinian leadership has a choice to make between two different paths. There is the path of absolutist demands, hateful rhetoric, and incitement to violence. That path has led, and will continue to lead, to nothing but hardship for the Palestinian people.”

Haley then reminded the Palestinians of the “path of negotiation and compromise,” which she said has proved to be successful for Egypt and Jordan.

“That path remains open to the Palestinian leadership, if only it is courageous enough to take it,” she said.

The U.S. ambassador to the U.N. went on to criticize the body for “elevating the tensions and grievances” between the Israelis and Palestinians, and said the U.N. should focus on other issues facing the Middle East, such as the threat of the Islamic State and Hezbollah.

“These immense security and humanitarian challenges throughout the region should occupy more of our attention, rather than having us sit here, month after month, and use the most democratic country in the Middle East as a scapegoat for the region’s problems. But here we go again,” Haley said.

Haley also reiterated the Trump administration will move forward with its decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, despite opposition from the Palestinians.

“You don’t have to like that decision. You don’t have to praise it. You don’t even have to accept this,” she said. “But know this: That decision will not change.”

Abbas addressed the U.N. Security Council earlier Tuesday and called for an international Middle East peace conference to be held later this year. He did not remain in the chamber to listen to Haley’s speech.