June 21, 2018

In News Surrounding Israel by The Friends of Israel

Nearly 50 Rockets Shot From Gaza, One Lands Near Kindergarten

Terrorists in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip launched at least 45 rockets and mortar shells at communities in southern Israel early Wednesday morning (20th), seven of which were shot down by the Iron Dome air defense system.

There were no immediate reports of injuries on the Israeli side of the border, but the Eshkol Council reported damage to a number of buildings and cars.  One also landed near a kindergarten.



IAF Pounds Gaza After Rocket/Mortar Salvo Hits Border Communities

Israeli fighter jets struck 25 Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday morning (20th) in response to the heavy barrage of Rockets and mortar shells fired from the coastal enclave at border-adjacent communities.

Three Hamas operatives were wounded in one airstrike in southern Gaza, the Palestinians said.



Hamas, Islamic Jihad Take Credit For Rocket Onslaught, Issue New Threats

Terrorist factions in the Gaza Strip, including Hamas and the Islamic Jihad warned on Wednesday (20th) that all Israeli airstrikes on the Strip will be met with rocket fire from Gaza.

In a statement released to the media, the factions took responsibility for the barrage of rockets fired at Israel early Wednesday (20th), which they said was a response to Israel’s continued aggression.



Incendiary Kites From Gaza Caused 16 Fires In Israel Tuesday

16 fires caused by incendiary kites sent from Gaza broke out in Israel on Tuesday (19th).

According to a Palestinian report, an Israeli drone fired at incendiary balloon flyers for a second time on Wednesday (20th).  Earlier in the day, the IDF confirmed attacking a group launching incendiary balloons at Israel, with no casualties reported.



Hamas Did Not Invent Incendiary Balloons

During World War II, the Japanese launched 9,000 incendiary balloons from their territory in the hope that they would be carried to the U.S. by the jet stream air current.  At least 342 balloons reached American territory. In May 1945, a balloon bomb killed a teacher, Elsie Mitchell and five Sunday School students out for a fishing trip near Klamath Falls, Oregon.



‘Kite Terrorists Aren’t Little Children’

Construction Minister Yoav Galant slammed Education Minister Naftali Bennett for insisting that Israel fire at those sending incendiary kites and balloons into Israeli territory.

“The kites and balloons, in addition to burning Israeli fields and causing damage, are armed with explosives.  The terrorists aiming at us are not eight year old kids That’s propaganda spread by our enemies, and it’s not true.  If someone fires at your family, you fire back at him. If someone fires at your nation, you fire at him. If someone sends balloons armed with explosives towards those living near Gaza, you fire at him,” said Bennett.

“It’s so clear that I have a hard time believing that I need to explain myself – restraints lead to escalation,” he added.



IDF Chief Vows To Return Security To Residents Of The South

IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot vowed on Wednesday afternoon (20th) to return security to the residents of the south after the night before saw 45 rockets and mortar shells launched at Israel by terror organizations in the Gaza Strip.

“Our enemies know the IDF is working around the clock with initiative and strength.  We will continue targeting those who seek to harm us, and return the security to the residents of the south,” Eisenkot said at an officers’ course graduation ceremony.  

“I’m determined we will achieve this soon with wisdom and  determination,” he added.



Frankfurt Mayor Defends Israeli Response To Gaza Rocket Fire

Mayor of Frankfurt and long-standing Israel advocate Uwe Becker defended Israel’s air strikes in response to rockets fired from Gaza on Wednesday (20th), praising it for its “pinpoint accurate reactions” and its restraint despite frequent attacks emanating from the coastal enclave and a lack of international support.

“Imagine for a short moment that your country would be attacked by rockets day by day.  Imagine that terrorists would send self-made firebombs attached to kites and gas-balloons towards your home, your garden or your kid’s kindergarten.  Imagine terrorists would dig tunnels to infiltrate your country or break the borders to your country in violent riots with the aim to attack and kidnap you and your family,” Becker pointed out on his Facebook account.  He went on to explain that this is exactly the reality for many Israeli families every day.

“How many years, months or weeks would you give your government while sleeping in a shelter?  Not years, not months not weeks but minutes or hours, right?”

Becker added, “Israel is not the aggressor – Israel is defending its people.”

(jpost.com; reuters.com)


Netanyahu Warns Of Cyber Risks That Can Down Fighter Jets

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on governments worldwide on Wednesday (20th) to join forces to defend against cyber threats that he said can even bring down military and civilian aircraft.

At a cyber conference at Tel Aviv University Netanyahu said, “We cannot go back to the world of levers and pulleys and couriers.  Since we are going forward, we are absolutely vulnerable. Our airlines can be brought down, our fighter planes can be brought down.”

“While Israel monitors attacks all the time, there is ‘no silver bullet,’” he said.

“This is a supreme test for our civilization, We have to combine forces,” said Netanyahu.



Why We’re Leaving the So-Called Human Rights Council – Amb. Nikki Haley

The misnamed UN Human Rights Council refuses to eliminate its Agenda 7, which targets Israel unfairly by mandating that each session include a discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In the end, our allies’ case for the U.S. to stay on the council was actually the most compelling argument to leave.  They said American participation was the last shred of credibility left in the organization. But a stamp of legitimacy on the current Human Rights Council is precisely what the U.S. should not provide.