January 4, 2018

In News Surrounding Israel by The Friends of Israel

Iranians express gratitude for Netanyahu’s support of protests

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Facebook video wishing luck to the Iranian people in their struggle for liberty reverberated positively on social media sites Tuesday (2nd).

A large number of comments were from Iranians.

One commenter wrote: “Thank you for your support.  It’s a shame so many others are staying silent.”

Another commenter wrote: “Long live Israel.” Still another wrote in Farsi: “I pray for a day there will be direct flights between Jerusalem and Tehran.”

“The wonderful people living in Iran and in Israel have been close friends since the dawn of history, but recently Islamist extremists overran our beautiful country,” another commenter wrote.

Another wrote: “The nations of Iran and Israel are brothers, and after the victory we must open an Iranian embassy there.”



Iranian Israelis stage solidarity protest in Jerusalem

Iranian flags were waved alongside Israeli flags near the Western Wall Tuesday (2nd) as citizens who had immigrated from Iran staged a solidarity protest with the protesters of Iran.

Protesters were undeterred by the rain drizzling on the Old City as they held signs saying “Help Iran” and “Free Iran” while waving both countries flags.

(ynetnews.com; afp.com)


Netanyahu: Iran is actively involved in terror against Israel

Iran is actively involved in terrorism against Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday (3rd), in response to revelations that the Israeli Security Agency (Shin Bet) uncovered an Iranian backed terror network that originated in South Africa.

“The General Security Service with the assistance of the IDF, exposed and foiled a terrorist network in Judea and Samaria that operated under the auspices and on behalf of Iranian intelligence,” Netanyahu said.

This is not the first time this has happened, he added, saying that the Iranians are trying in different ways to harm Israel.  “I am happy that the Shin Bet and our security forces are succeeding in thwarting them,” he said.



Why does Iran spend billions on overseas wars? – Raphael Ahren and Avi Davidi

Israel’s Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, a member of the security cabinet, told The Times of Israel Persian that Iran’s insistence on spending a fortune on wars outside its borders was puzzling and defied logic.  “I don’t understand why Iranian taxpayers have to spend approximately one billion dollars every year on a Lebanese militia,” he said.  “They’re investing billions of dollars in Syria, in Lebanon, in Iraq and other places.  This is very odd behavior.”

“I think that most Iranians have nothing against Israel or the Jewish people.  I think that most Iranians would like to reestablish the good relations between Israelis and Iranians.”  In biblical times, the Persian Empire was the “most friendly superpower” toward the Jewish people, he said.  “There is no real conflict between the Iranian people and the Israeli people.”



The Iranian regime will do everything to stay in power – Menashe Amir interviewed by Jeremy Sharon

Menashe Amir, former head of the Israeli Broadcasting Authority Persian language division, said that for the Iranian protests to turn into a revolution, there would need to be desertions from the security services – including the Revolutionary Guards and the Basij militia – to the side of the protesters.  He noted, “They are trying not to kill the protesters, but if there is no choice then they will not refrain from killing.  Those sitting in power know that if they fall, everyone will be killed, their lives will be in danger, and therefore they will stand to the last moment and do everything to stay in power.”

(jpost.com; reuters.com)


Trump suggests cutting U.S. aid to Palestinians

President Trump tweeted on Tuesday (2nd) “It’s not only Pakistan that we pay billions of dollars to for nothing, but also many other countries, and others.  As an example, we pay the Palestinians HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect.”

“They don’t even want to negotiate a long overdue peace treaty with Israel.  We have taken Jerusalem, the toughest part of the negotiation, off the table.  But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?”

(ap.com; cbsnews.com)


PA to resume paying for Gaza electricity

The Palestinian Authority will be resuming payments for the electricity transferred to Gaza from Israel. The decision was made by Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.  The PA has duly requested of Israel to resume transferring 50 watts of power to the Gaza Strip, in addition to the current amount that was decreased following a half a year of sanctions.



Three rocket attacks within hours, raise risk of Gaza flare up

Rocket alert sirens sounded in southern Israel Wednesday evening (3rd) after a rocket was launched into Israel from the Gaza Strip, according to the IDF spokesperson’s office

Two others struck earlier in the day landing in open areas of the Eshkol Regional Council.

There were no casualties or damage reported.

Over 20 rockets have been fired at Israel from Gaza in the past month.

(worldisraelnews.com; jpost.com)


Bill approving death penalty for terrorists passess preliminary Knesset vote

A bill approving the use of the death penalty for terrorists passed in a preliminary vote in the Knesset on Wednesday (3rd).

Israeli law currently allows military courts to use the death penalty if there is a consensus of all the judges presiding over the trial.  This bill would allow a majority of judges to sentence a terrorist to death.



Israeli exports for 2017 expected to pass $100 billion for first time

Israel’s annual exports of goods and services are expected to exceed $100 billion for the first time when the final figures for 2017 come in, according to a preliminary report by the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute and the Economy and Industry Ministry.

The export total for 2017 is expected to be 5% higher than in 2016.

“Israeli exports have great importance to the economy.  They are the engine that drives economic growth and the main source of steady employment,” Economy and Industry Minister Eli Cohen said on Tuesday (2nd).