October 17, 2017

In News Surrounding Israel by The Friends of Israel

Israeli jets hit Syrian anti-aircraft battery in response to attack

The Israel Air Force on Monday (16th) struck a Syrian missile battery that fired on its warplanes as they were on a reconnaissance mission over neighboring Lebanon earlier in the day, the Israeli military said.

IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis said Monday’s (16th) strike targeted a Syrian SA-5 anti-aircraft battery deployed 30 miles east of Damascus.

IAF jets dropped four bombs on the battery, destroying it.  No Israeli forces were harmed.



Netanyahu on Syria: ‘Anyone who tries to harm us will be hit’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commented on the attack in Syria on Monday afternoon (16th), hours after it was announced by the IDF.

“Our policy is clear,” he said in a statement.  “Anyone who tries to harm us will be hit.  Today they tried to hit our planes, which is unacceptable to us.”

Netanyahu said the IAF acted with “precision and speed” and “destroyed what needed to be destroyed.  We will continue to act as is needed to protect Israel’s security.”



Syria threatens Israel after planes take out air defense battery

The Syrian military is threatening Israel with “dangerous consequences” after Israeli Air Force jets bombed an anti-aircraft battery near Damascus earlier on Monday (16th).

In a statement, the Syrian military claimed the IAF aircraft entered its airspace.  The IDF maintains their planes stayed over Lebanon.



Islamic State claims responsibility for rocket attack from Sinai on southern Israel

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for two rockets fired from the Sinai Peninsula at southern Israeli communities.

ISIS made the claim on Monday (16th), hours after the Sunday night (15th) attack which triggered a Code Red alarm for Israeli communities near the border with Gaza.

The Islamic State’s official news agency Amaq said ISIS was responsible for the long-range Grad rockets, and said they were targeting Israeli jets in the area.

There were no injuries or damages in the attack.



Israel okays 31 settlement homes in Hebron – first since 2002

Authorities have approved permits for 31 settler homes in Hebron, the first such approvals for the city since 2002, the Peace Now NGO says.

An Israeli committee approved construction permits for 31 units, Anat Ben Nun of Peace Now told AFP.  Several hundred Israelis already live in the heart of Hebron under heavy military guard among some 200,000 Palestinians.



Lebanon president calls for return of Syrian refugees from Lebanon

BEIRUT – The international community needs to help Syrian refugees in Lebanon return to “calm” parts of Syria, Lebanese President MIchel Aoun said on Monday (16th), saying Lebanon can no longer cope.

Aoun said he wanted the safe return of refugees and was not asking those who have political problems with the Syrian government to go back, the presidential media office said.

Aoun also asked international aid agencies not to “scare” refugees who want to return home from doing so.



Netanyahu: ‘Most world leaders ignore plight of Christians.  I’m not one of them’

Further dispelling the myth that Israel is hostile toward its Christian population, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday (15th) welcomed Christian media representatives to Jerusalem.

Netanyahu openly decried the mistreatment of Christians in nearly every other part of the Middle East, and the world’s indifference to their suffering.

Said the prime minister:

“Christians have been lashed during their prayer services and brutally tortured for doing nothing more than practicing their faith.  Some world leaders are willing to ignore this oppression and seek to appease Iran, but I am not one of them.”

He took particular issue of Iran’s treatment of Christians, referencing the imprisonment of pastors and those who dare to convert from Islam to Christianity.

“I think that how a country treats religious minorities is a very good indicator of how it will treat its other citizens and its neighbors,” Netanyahu said.



Iran blamed for cyberattack on British Parliament

Iran was responsible for a cyberattack on the British Parliament that hit dozens of MPs, including Prime Minister Theresa May, Whitehall sources said.

The unprecedented cyberattack in June lasted more than 12 hours and compromised 90 email accounts.

Intelligence officials  have now concluded that Iran was responsible.  In total 9,000 email accounts were affected.



Austrian students reject “anti-Semitic” boycott of Israel – Benjamin Weinthal

The Austrian National Union of Students on Friday (13th) passed a motion against BDS saying that the boycott movement targeting Israel is anti-Semitic, and that its demands recall the Nazis’ economic war against Jewish businesses.

The resolution calls for not giving BDS any space or supporting funds.  The resolution passed with no opposing votes and only one abstention.



1.5 million people visited Western Wall over High Holidays

Around 1.5 million people visited the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem over the High Holidays, in what the Western Wall Heritage Foundation called a “testimony to the deep connection” of the entire spectrum of Israeli society to the Western Wall and Jewish tradition.

The Western Wall is sacred to Jews as the site of the destroyed First and Second Temples.