Israel Brief April 17, 2013: Long-range rockets strike Eilat

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Long-range rockets strike Eilat

Source: JTA, 4-17-13

Two long-range rockets fired from the Sinai Desert struck the Israeli resort city of Eilat….READ MORE

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Full Text Israel Political Brief January 6, 2013: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet Meeting on the Sourthern Border’s Security Fence Building

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PM Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet Meeting

Source: PMO, 1-6-13

יום ראשון כ”ד טבת תשע”ג

Photo by GPO

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this morning made the following remarks at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting:

Last week, I visited the security fence that we are building on the southern border. This visit took place on the day we completed the long section, hundreds of kilometers, between Kerem Shalom and the area around Eilat. The result of building the fence is that we have completely stopped the entry of infiltrators into Israel. In the past seven months, no infiltrators entered Israel’s cities. Several dozen reached the fence each month and were taken to holding facilities. Not one infiltrator reached any community or city inside Israel.

This was one of the largest engineering enterprises in the history of the State of Israel and I have directed that this team not be disbanded, but that it continue until the section in the area around Eilat is finished, which will occur in another few weeks, and even continue work along other borders, especially our border with Syria. We intend to erect an identical fence, with a few changes based on the actual territory, along the Golan Heights. We know that on other side of our border with Syria today, the Syrian army has moved away, and in its place, Global Jihad forces have moved in.

Therefore, we will defend this border against both infiltration and terrorism, just as we are successfully doing on the Sinai border. I also submit to the Cabinet the fact that the Syrian regime is very unstable, that the question of chemical weapons here worries us and that we are coordinating our intelligence and readiness with the US and others so that we might be prepared for any scenario and possibility that could arise.”

Israel Brief October 10, 2012: Eilat shooting raises questions about recruitment for Israel programs

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Eilat shooting raises questions about recruitment for Israel programs

Source: JTA, 10-10-12

The recent shooting of an Israeli hotel employee by an American Jewish intern is raising questions about how Israel internship programs for Diaspora Jews recruit and screen applicants….READ MORE

Israel Brief October 5, 2012: Jewish Agency launches inquiry into program following fatal hotel shooting

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Jewish Agency launches inquiry into program following fatal hotel shooting

Source: JTA, 10-5-12

The Jewish Agency opened an inquiry into its Oranim program after an American participant gunned down a hotel employee in Eilat….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief August 20, 2012: Iron Dome battery positioned near Eilat

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Iron Dome battery positioned near Eilat

Source: JTA, 8-20-12

Israel installed an Iron Dome anti-missile system battery outside of Eilat days after a long-range rocket attack on the city….READ MORE

Israel Brief August 19, 2012: Parts of Grad missile found north of Eilat

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Parts of Grad missile found north of Eilat

Source: JTA, 8-19-12

Parts of a long-range Grad rocket were found north of Eilat….READ MORE

Israel Brief August 16, 2012: Sinai-area terror group claims responsibility for Eilat explosions

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Sinai-area terror group claims responsibility for Eilat explosions

Source: JTA, 8-16-12

An Islamist terror group operating in the Sinai claimed responsibility for firing rockets into southern Israel….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief March 21, 2012: Hamas member charged in thwarted terror attack near Eilat

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Hamas member charged in thwarted terror attack

Source: JTA, 3-21-12

A member of Hamas was charged in a thwarted terrorist attack and kidnapping of an Israeli soldier near Eilat.

The Shin Bet security agency arrested Muhammad abu-Adarah, 20, last month, it was learned Wednesday after a gag order was lifted on the case, when he tried to infiltrate Israel from Gaza.

Abu-Adarah was indicted Monday in Beersheba District Court on charges stemming from plans to initiate an attack on Israel through Sinai. He reportedly was to fire rockets on the Eilat area while other operatives were to kidnap an Israeli soldier and sneak a terrorist cell into the area.

Isral Brief August 24, 2011: Three Eilat terrorists were Egyptian, newspaper claims

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Three Eilat terrorists were Egyptian, newspaper claims

Source: JTA, 8-24-11

Three of the terrorists in last week’s coordinated attacks near Eilat were Egyptian members of an extremist Islamic group, an Egyptian newspaper reported.

The Egyptian daily newspaper Al-Masry Al Yaoum reported that one of the terrorists had escaped from an Egyptian prison during the recent spring revolution that overthrew President Hosni Mubarak. The identities of the terrorists were discovered during an investigation into the incident by the Egyptian security forces, according to the newspaper. The three terrorists were killed in firefights with Israeli troops.

The Egyptian investigation also reportedly found that Israeli troops entered the Sinai Peninsula in pursuit of the terrorists, and that the troops exchanged fire with Egyptian forces. Five Egyptian policemen and soldiers were killed in the fighting.

Meanwhile, protesters demonstrating in front of the Israeli Embassy in Cairo are calling for a million-man protest demanding the expulsion of Israel’s ambassador to Israel, Al Masry Al Yaoum reported. Protesters also marched in front of the home of the Israeli ambassador.

The newspaper also reported that Egyptian Ambassador to Israel Yasser Reda declined an iftar dinner invitation by Israeli President Shimon Peres and sent his deputy instead, a move perceived as a sign of disapproval.

Israel Political Brief August 22, 2011: Palestinian Rockets Fall in Israel After “Ceasefire”

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Rockets Fall in Israel After “Ceasefire”

Source: Virtual Jerusalem, 8-22-11
Southern Israeli cities came under rocket fire again for a fifth night despite claims by Gaza terrorists they were committed to a “ceasefire.” rockets ashkelon

Residents in the coastal city of Ashkelon raced for cover as the Color Red air raid siren blared its warning at about 7:40 p.m. local time.

Two medium-range Grad Katyusha missiles, fired by terrorists in northern Gaza, exploded in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council district. Both landed in open areas, although one set off a brush fire in a field that quickly ignited, dry from the summer heat.

Earlier in the day, a rocket struck an empty building in the Eshkol Regional Council district as well. No physical injuries were reported in any of the attacks.

The Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) terrorist group had announced earlier Monday in a statement on its website that it would adhere to a Hamas-led ceasefire.

However, more than a dozen rockets were fired Sunday night after the so-called truce was imposed.

No Gaza-based group took responsibility for the attacks.

A deadly Grad Katyusha missile barrage on Be’er Sheva Saturday evening left a 38-year-old man dead and eight others seriously wounded. Ofakim was also targeted, as were numerous other southern Israeli cities and communities. Nearly 40 people were hospitalized due to severe anxiety.

Via israelnn.com

Israel Political Brief August 22, 2011: Palestinians announce ceasefire after five-day rocket attacks on Israel

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Palestinians announce ceasefire after five-day rocket barrage

Source: JTA, 8-22-11

Palestinian factions in Gaza appeared to be observing a ceasefire with Israel reportedly brokered by Egypt.

The Popular Resistance Committee, blamed for last week’s coordinated attacks near Eilat that left eight Israelis dead, on Monday announced a “temporary halt of rocket fire,” according to reports.

Hamas reportedly agreed to enforce the ceasefire on smaller Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza.

Israeli officials told reporters that the ceasefire was unilaterally declared by the Palestinians. Still, Israel has not launched any retaliatory strikes on Gaza since midnight on Sunday.

At least four rockets from Gaza were fired at Israel early Monday morning. One was intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system and one landed near a public building in Israel’s south, damaging the building.

The ceasefire comes after a five-day barrage of rockets fired from Gaza on southern Israel, to which Israel responded to with retaliatory strikes on sites in Gaza. Twelve rockets were fired at Israel after the original ceasefire was to go into effect on Sunday afternoon.

Israel Political Brief August 19, 2011: Rockets pound Israel as air force strikes back in Gaza

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Source: JTA, 8-19-11

A day after terrorist attacks killed 8 Israelis and wounded more than 20, Israeli airstrikes continued to pound targets in Gaza as rockets fell on Israel.

Sixteen rockets were reported fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip on Friday. One person was seriously injured after a Grad rocket landed in a yeshiva courtyard in the Israeli city of Ashdod, and five others were treated for moderate injuries or shock.

In northern Lachish an empty building sustained light damage after being struck by two rockets, and the Eshkol Regional Council was also struck, with no damage or injuries reported.

A volley of 10 rockets early Friday morning all landed harmlessly in unpopulated areas.

Meanwhile, the Israeli Air Force continued to retaliate for the previous days attacks. On Friday Israeli planes carried out airstrikes throughout Gaza.

The Jerusalem Post reported that seven Hamas security installations were attacked in Friday morning. At least two Palestinians were killed Friday, including a 13-year-old boy in a nearby buildling, and 17 were wounded.

Also Friday, Haaretz reported that a man believed to have been a member of the group that carried out the Thursday attacks killed himself and wounded several Egyptian soldiers in a suicide bombing on the Israeli-Egypt border.

Israel Political Brief August 19, 2011: Israel Air Force Strikes Additional Gaza Terror Targets in Retaliation for Attacks in Eilat & Ashdod

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IAF Strikes Additional Gaza Terror Targets

Source: Virtual Jerusalem, 8-19-11

IAF warplanes targeted two weapons manufacturing sites in central Gaza,gaza strike retaliation for attacks and a ‘terror activity’ sites in both northern and southern Gaza. Hits were confirmed.

This attacks were launched in response to the terror attacks executed against Israel in the last 24 hours, which have claimed 9 lives — 8 in Thursday’s successive attacks and 1 in Friday’s Ashdod rocket attacks.

The IDF reiterated it will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli civilians and soldiers, and will respond with determination to any attempt to use terror against the State of Israel.

The IDF says it holds the Hamas terrorist organization solely responsible for any terrorist activity emanating from the Gaza.

It is unclear how IDF retaliatory strikes since Thursday’s horrific attack mark a change in doctrine from the ‘airstrikes for attacks’ paradigm that has allowed terror groups to maintain – and improve – their infrastructure in recent years.

Temporary upticks in Israeli airstrikes following major attacks without substantive operations to alter the strategic situation on the ground has been a hallmark of the Oslo-era.

Without an order for a major operation in Gaza from Israel’s political leadership, however, the IDFs is locked into a reactive rather than proactive posture.

It is up to the Netanyahu government to prove it possesses sufficient political will to order the dramatic steps necessary to alter Israel’s strategic outlook and secure its citizenry.

via israelnn.com

Israel Political Brief August 18, 2011: Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu’s Statement in Response to the Terror Attacks in Eilat that Killed 7, and Injured 33

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made an official statement on the tragic events that took place on Thursday when terrorists attacked a bus and two cars in Eilat, killing 7 and wounding 33.

The attack was followed by another shooting incident in which fire came from the Egyptian border, attacking IDF troops, leaving one soldier wounded critically, and a number of others injured.

The Prime Minister’s statement:

First I want to send my condolences to the families of the victims of the terror attacks, and the soldiers that fell in the shooting incident in the South. I hurt their hurt. I know that the lives of these families will never return to their prior route.

I also want to send wishes for a quick recovery to the wounded that are in the Israeli hospitals tonight.

We were all witnesses today to [terrorist] forces’ attempt to escalate the level of their attacks when they attacked from the Sinai. If someone thinks Israel will go along with that, they are wrong.

When you attack Israeli citizens we will react immediately and with strength.

This principle was implemented today.The people that hid in Gaza as they gave the order to murder our people are no longer alive. I would like to praise the Shabak (Israel Security Agency) who are responsible for targeting those in Gaza who killed our people in the south.

We must praise the IDF forces, Shabak and the police, the ones who acted quickly in the Sinai and immediately faced and fought the terrorists, preventing further disaster.

If these people think they can hurt our people with no response they will find that they will have to pay a price, a very heavy price.

As the Prime Minister made these statements, more rockets fell near Ashkelon.

In Gaza, Abu Awad Kamel a-Neirab, commander of the Salah a-Din Brigades was killed in an Israeli airstrike around 5:00 PM on Thursday.

Israel Brief August 18, 2011: 7 Dead, 33 Injured in Eilat, Israel Palestinian Terror Attacks

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7 Dead, 33 Injured in Eilat Terror Attacks

Source: Virtual Jerusalem, 8-18-11

Israeli goes on highest terror alert after a string of terrorist attacks still ongoing near the Israeli-Egyptian border north of Eilat bus attack eilatThursday, Aug. 18 left seven Israeli soldiers and civilians dead and 33 injured. Five servicemen are in critical condition. The assailants who may have crossed in from Sinai used automatic, anti-tank weapons, mortars and roadside bombs for separate attacks on two buses and civilian and military vehicles on Highway 12 near the Israeli-Egyptian Sinai border.

All three gunmen who attacked the bus were killed in a firefight with the Israeli police force. Some 20 terrorists are estimated to have taken part in the attacks. Israeli military sources estimated that 20 terrorists took part in the attacks – some reaching their targets through Israel, others providing them with mortar cover from Sinai. Four were killed. Some of their bodies were rigged with explosives.

All the highways to Eilat are closed to traffic as the entire southern region is scoured for more terrorists and bombs.

debkafile reported earlier: A special police force located the gunmen who shot up two Israeli buses north of Eilat, Israel’s southern most town and port, and engaged them in a firefight. Casualties are reported.

The gunmen first attacked an Israeli Egged bus north of Eilat, injuring at least six passengers Thursday morning. The 392 bus carrying mostly soldiers on leave from Beersheba to Eilat came under automatic fire on Highway 12 as it passed the Netafim checkpoint on the Israeli-Egyptian border of Sinai from attackers who jumped out of a private vehicle which had been trailing the bus. The second bus and other passing vehicles were attacked with an anti-tank weapon. An army vehicle was then blown up by a roadside bomb and another came under fire.

debkafile’s military sources: This week the Egyptian army launched a major counter-terror operation against Islamists terrorizing the peninsula and its borderlands.

Whether he attackers came from Sinai or the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip has not been finally determined.

7 Israelis reported dead in Palestinian terror attacks

Source: JTA, 8-18-11

Israeli paramedics wheel an injured man on a stretcher at the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba following a terrorist attack in southern Israel, near the Egyptian frontier, Aug. 18, 2011.  (Dudu Greenspan/Flash 90)
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Israeli paramedics wheel an injured man on a stretcher at the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba following a terrorist attack in southern Israel, near the Egyptian frontier, Aug. 18, 2011. (Dudu Greenspan/Flash 90)

Palestinian gunmen attacked an Israeli bus traveling near Eilat — the first in a series of attacks that reportedly have left seven Israelis dead.

Palestinian infiltrators from Gaza struck the Egged bus just after noon Thursday, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

Two other attacks — roadside bombs detonated as a vehicle drove past and another on Israeli troops — occurred in the same area shortly after, according to Lt.-Col Avital Leibovitch, the IDF’s chief spokesman for the foreign press.

Israeli media are reporting that there are at least seven Israeli fatalities in the attacks, and that Israeli soldiers have killed three of the terrorists. The IDF has not confirmed the fatalities.

Crossfire between IDF forces and a cell of seven terrorists continued three hours after the initial attack, and some injuries have been reported, according to the IDF.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the attacks “demonstrate the weakening of Egypt’s control over the Sinai Peninsula and the expansion of terrorist activity there.” He added that Israel’s military will retaliate against the attacks, which he said “originate in Gaza.”

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz arrived at the scene to conduct an assessment, according to the IDF.

Egyptian officials have denied that Egypt was involved in the attacks, according to reports.

Israel Political Brief August 14, 2011: Tens of thousands protest in Israeli cities

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Source: JTA, 8-14-11

Tens of thousands of Israelis marched in social justice protests in Israeli cities such as Haifa and Beersheba, but not Tel Aviv.

Saturday night’s protests were the first time in the last month that major demonstrations were not held in Tel Aviv.

Major demonstrations took place in Haifa with about 30,000 protesters, Beersheba with about 20,000 protesters and Afula with 15,000 protesters. Smaller demonstrations took place in 18 other cities including Eilat, Rosh Pina, Nahariya, Dimona, Modi’in, Petach Tikvah, Ramat Hasharon, Hod Hasharon, Netanya and Beit She’an, according to reports.  About 70,000 demonstrators rallied in the protests.

Last week, some 300,000 protesters took to the streets in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem to call for affordable housing and other demands for social justice.