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Latest News in Israel – 20th April

Bus bomb survivor: I looked for my daughter, found her ‘all burned’

A survivor of the Jerusalem bus bombing on Monday night recalled from her hospital bed how she searched for her teenage daughter in the immediate aftermath of the terror attack and found her “all burned.”

Racheli Dadon, a resident of Jerusalem, was on the No. 12 bus with her 15-year-old daughter Eden on Monday afternoon when it exploded, injuring 21 people.

Two people were seriously hurt, including one in critical condition, and six were moderately injured, police and paramedics said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast by any terrorist groups or individuals.

“Everything was dark and smoky, I looked for my daughter and she was all burned,” Dadon told the Ynet news website. “After the explosion I collapsed. Her face was all black, you couldn’t see her.”

Dadon said she was told to lie down and subsequently heard a second blast. “My daughter couldn’t get out [herself], so they took her out,” she said.

Eden Dadon was in moderate-to-serious condition after the attack, according to the Ynet report. “In a month, she’ll be 16, and now she’s sedated and on a respirator. I pray she gets out of this,” Dadon said.

Or Bondy was aboard the No. 12 bus on Moshe Baram Road near Hebron Road when it blew up. He had just sent his father, Tzadok, a text saying “What’s up, dad?”

The newly married 25-year-old, who was on his way home after a day at work, received burns on his face, arms and legs. Two hours later, Or Bondy was entering a CT machine barely able to talk.

The bombing was a stark reminder of an attack method commonly used during last decade’s Second Intifada, but which has since become rare as so-called lone-wolf attackers have assaulted Israelis with knives, guns and cars.

“I always pushed it aside,” Tzadok Bondy told reporters regarding Jerusalem’s terror attacks. “Now it’s infiltrated my family.”

The bus exploded as it was passing near the Talpiot neighborhood in the southern end of the capital carrying a number of passengers at around 5:45 p.m., police said. The blast set a car and a second empty bus on fire, injuring several more people.

Moshe Levi, the bus driver, told Hebrew media Monday night that he did not notice anyone suspicious on his bus, and had carried out two security checks shortly before the blast. When the bus exploded, he opened the doors and ran outside, calling out to the drivers in the area to alert the police, Levi said.

The terror attack broke weeks of relative calm in the city after a six-month wave of Palestinian terror and violence seemed to be subsiding, and marked a return to a type of violence not seen in Jerusalem for years.

Jerusalem police chief Yoram Halevy told media the blast was caused by an explosive device placed on the bus, but police did not know if the bomber was on the bus at the time of the blast.

“When a bomb explodes on a bus, it is a terror attack,” Halevy said, confirming that the bombing had been a terrorist action.

Police were investigating whether one of the people seriously injured in the explosion was in fact the terrorist responsible. However, the identity of the burned victim had not yet been confirmed, a spokesperson said.

Terror groups Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad “welcomed” the bombing as did the Popular Resistance Committees, but did not claim responsibility.  (The Times of Israel)

Bus driver: ‘I saw the terrorist in the hospital’

Some 21 people were wounded in Monday’s bus bombing in Jerusalem. The identity of the most severely injured person remains unknown, as police try to ascertain whether he was the bomber, or just an innocent bystander.

The driver of the bus, however, has stated that the man was indeed the terrorist, and that security officials at the hospital confirmed as much.

The driver, Moshe Levy, spoke with BeHadrei Haredim on Tuesday, and recalled the incident and his encounter with the alleged terrorist.

“The [bus] ride was normal; I saw the terrorist get on the bus at one of the stations. The terrorist boarded and paid just like everyone else. He didn’t look suspicious to me, and he wasn’t carrying a strange bag or something. No, I didn’t suspect him.”

“Then all of the sudden, on Baram Street there was a lot of traffic and then we heard a big explosion. Then another huge explosion.”

The bomb, which had been placed at the back of the bus, wounded passengers in the aft section, but left those in the front of the bus, including Levy, relatively unscathed.

“I saw lots of people bleeding and screaming. I ran out of the bus and opened the [emergency] doors. Outside there were people who had been thrown out of the bus [by the blast]. I saw the terrorist lying on the ground, with severed hands and feet. I told the MDA people to treat him.”

When I got to the hospital I saw this man lying on the ground in the emergency treatment ward, I understood from the security people there that this was the terrorist. And I had asked them [the MDA medics] to help him.”

Police officials have yet to say if the severely injured man in question was indeed the terrorist.

The initial investigation suggests that the bomb was placed beneath the man’s legs, and likely detonated prematurely – indicating that he did not intend to be a suicide bomber. The wounded man was carrying no form of identification, and police are attempting to identify him with a DNA test.            (Arutz Sheva)

‘There was an explosion and I couldn’t see anything’

Michael Chasin was returning from a krav maga session Monday when a bomb exploded aboard the #12 bus in Jerusalem.

Chasin suffered injuries to his hand, leg, and ear, and is currently listed in light to moderate condition at the capital’s Sha’arei Tzedek Medical Center.

“I sat in the back row,” he recounted to Arutz Sheva. “After two stops, there was an explosion and I couldn’t see anything. I ran out of the bus and sat down on the sidewalk.”

“I had a phone in my hand and the battery exploded,” he added, noting that this is how his hand was injured. “I also have shrapnel in my foot and holes in my ears.”

Chasin was one of 21 people injured in the attack, which police confirmed was a terror attack late Monday night.          (Arutz Sheva)

Netanyahu: Gaza tunnels show why Israel needs freedom of action in West Bank

The types of terrorist tunnels the IDF uncovered and destroyed leading from Gaza into Israel do not exist in the West Bank because Israel is present there and can thwart their construction in real time, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday.

Netanyahu, in a briefing to Israeli diplomatic reporters, said that when Israel receives any intelligence information about the possibility of burrowing tunnels from the West Bank, it can act at once. This is one of Israel’s considerations regarding any future agreement with the Palestinians, he said.

The West Bank border is hundreds of kilometers, he noted, adding that there is a real possibility of thousands of tunnels burrowing into Israel. “For that reason, I demand freedom of action,” he said.

The uncovering and neutralization of the terrorist-attack tunnel from Gaza into Israel is a “pioneering achievement” and “global breakthrough,” the prime minister said, adding that the government has invested a “fortune” in the technology enabling the discovery and then destruction of the tunnels.

“This is a continuous effort that demands great determination, and to which we are committed,” he said.

Netanyahu said Israel will respond forcefully to every effort to attack its citizens, whether by sea, air, land or underground. “I am certain Hamas understands this,” he said.

To the residents of the communities around Gaza, Netanyahu said the IDF was working “around the clock to ensure [their] security and daily routine.”

“A combination of the physical destruction of the tunnels, defensive elements that have been set up, deterrence and offensive capabilities – along with the strength of the public – enable us to defend our citizens and ensure the continual flowering of the Negev communities,” he said.

He added that the residents of these communities can be calm, and that Israel has created defense that does not exist anywhere else in the world.

Regarding the Palestinian track, Netanyahu – when asked why he doesn’t initiate something with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas – said: “How many times do I have to invite him for talks? There is a certain conception toward Israel that blames it for everything no matter what,” he said. “In the Arab world they understand this is not right, and that Israel is part of the solution, not the problem.”

Netanyahu said “everyone understands” that any agreement will necessitate the Palestinian Authority recognizing Israel’s right to exist, abandoning the “right of return” and educating their children toward peace, and not a return to Jaffa and Acre.

“It is possible to open the negotiations, but impossible to start them because Abu Mazen talks about a willingness [to negotiate], but then runs away from them. Therefore, talk now of an initiative sounds rather hollow.”

Netanyahu said the real breakthrough right now is in the relations that are developing between Israel and its neighbors.

“We are not doing this with pomp and circumstance, but I believe that through this type of regional connection it will also be possible to achieve progress on the Palestinian track. For more than 20 years, we have tried to do the opposite without any success.”

Netanyahu also came out strongly against a Gaza seaport, saying the port in Ashdod is capable of dealing with goods entering Gaza.

At the Ashdod port, it is possible to prevent the smuggling of weapons into Gaza, something that would be much more difficult to supervise if a port were opened in Gaza or an artificial island was created that would serve as a port.

“I will not enable the opening of a maritime artery to Gaza that will enable the smuggling of weapons for terrorism,” he said.

Netanyahu also related to the new 10-year Memorandum of Understanding being negotiated with the US about the level of military assistance to Israel, saying the process was continuing and that he hoped it would conclude during the presidency of Barack Obama.

Asked about whether he expected the US to veto efforts to pass a UN Security Council resolution on the Middle East, Netanyahu said that, in the past, Washington has not tried to impose a solution form outside, and that Obama himself has spoken out against that.

“I hope this will also be the approach in the years and months to come,” he said.

Netanyahu, who was asked about a wide variety of issues, was questioned about the recent visit by Heinz-Christian Strache, from Austria’s far-right Freedom Party. Netanyahu said he did not know about the visit beforehand, and is “looking into the issue.”       (Jerusalem Post)

Hamas builds stronger, more durable tunnels

When comparing the tunnels discovered and destroyed during Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014 with the tunnel discovered two weeks ago, it is clear that Hamas has greatly improved the structural engineering of its tunnel and its construction methods.

The wall of the tunnels discovered during Operation Protective Edge consisted of pre-cast concrete slabs placed vertically, with reinforced concrete arches above them to prevent the tunnel from collapsing due to the weight of the soil above it.

In this type of construction, the wide vertical slabs are the weak point, and that is why Hamas is now building its tunnels using long, narrow concrete slabs laid horizontally, one on top of the other, within a metal frame.

This structure is much stronger and more durable. I can withstand not only the pressure from the soil overhead, but also explosions and fighting inside the tunnel. It also allows for safer working conditions on rainy days when water seeps into the work area.

The recently discovered tunnel was dug at a depth of 20 to 30 meters. Too much rainfall could cause the soil above a tunnel built using the pre-Protective Edge method to collapse, as seen several times in recent months. The new structure makes it far less likely that the tunnel would collapse.

Meir Rofe, the technical director of Shaffir Engineering, explained just how much progress the tunnel diggers have shown since Operation Protective Edge. “You can’t see clearly if the new segments are wood, iron, or concrete. But in the old method, they didn’t connect the concrete slabs together, only placed them close together. Perhaps that’s also the reason they experienced collapses, and why they decided to build it lengthwise and (make) the tunnel sturdier.”

Rofe explained that now, “The columns that are holding the segments can withstand great pressure, but it’s impossible to know how stable they are inside a tunnel, and how long they’ll be able to handle all of that weight. You can tell that the Palestinians are using tracks to move materials. Their logistical work has improved. They usually dig by hand, since it’s Kurkar (sandstone), not solid rock.”

“As primitive as the means are, they do the job for them, but these are not tunnels you’d want to pass through, they’re problematic and unstable and may collapse,” he added.

Recent months have seen a significant increase in the number of collapses of tunnels dug by Hamas’s military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, in the Gaza Strip. At least nine tunnels collapsed so far, costing at least 15 people their lives – which raised awareness of the topic in the Palestinian media as well.

The Hamas regime in Gaza attempted to cover up the matter at first, but news of the collapses leaked onto social media. Hamas leaders quickly realized they couldn’t stop the flow of this information, especially with casualties involved. It is not out of the question, however, that the terrorist organization has been able to hide the fact that other tunnels have also collapsed.  (Ynet News)

Israeli, Palestinian UN ambassadors exchange barbs on terrorism

“Shame on you for glorying terrorism,” Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon shouted at his Palestinian counterpart, Riyad Mansour, as sparks flew between them during a debate at the Security Council in New York.

They sparred orally just as a terrorist attack blew up a bus in Jerusalem wounding 21 passengers.

“We condemn the killing of innocent civilians, including Palestinian civilians. Do you do the same?” Danon asked Mansour.

“Shame on you for killing Palestinian children,” Mansour shot back. Danon responded, “You are naming streets after terrorists.”

The Israeli ambassador had brought with him to the UN Dafna Meir’s husband, Natan, and daughter Renana. Dafna, 38, was stabbed to death in January by a Palestinian teenager who had forced his way into their home. Renana and Natan sat behind Danon as he spoke.

In response to Danon, Mansour spoke against terrorism in general but did not specifically condemn acts of terrorism against Israelis. “We condemn the killing of all innocent civilians including Palestinian civilians. Do you do the same?” Mansour asked Danon.

“You are paying the families of the terrorists. Shame on you,” Danon retorted. Mansour shouted back at Danon, “Shame on you. You are an occupier. You are a colonizer.”

Alluding to Passover, Mansour demanded of Danon: “Let my people be free. Leave us alone.”

The Israeli envoy shot back: “Condemn all acts of terrorism. You are being translated into five languages. You can say it right now. It’s one sentence [but] you cannot say it,” said Danon. “Silence can be deafening, but in our region silence kills. It is time for the Palestinian leadership to end their silence, and to start acting as leaders.”

He blamed the Palestinian culture of “hate and constant brainwashing” for the loss of Israeli lives including that of Dafna Meir.

He spoke against the wave of stabbings and violence in the last seven months in which Palestinian terrorists killed 34 people and wounded hundreds of others.

When Mansour addressed the council he spoke against Israeli brutality toward his people, and called for international protection. Palestinian casualties are mounting as a result of attacks by “extremist terrorist settlers” and “daily military raids,” Mansour told the Security Council.

He spoke of the 200 Palestinians killed by Israel in the last seven months, but did mention that most were shot while attacking Israelis or in clashes with the IDF. He added that thousands of Palestinians, many of them women and children, had been injured.

He charged that Israel had a shoot to kill policy and had refused to return the dead bodies of Palestinians to their families, thereby “denying them dignity in death.”

Mansour added that our “children and youth” are being traumatized and targeted.

After the meeting Danon, said he hopes he “touched a nerve” at the Security Council.

“Today Mr. Mansour had a chance to condemn the violence,” he said. “At the end of the day, we want to show that incitement kills and we will continue to demand condemnations from the Palestinians.”  (Jerusalem Post)

PA may stop using the shekel, official says

The Palestinian Authority may end its currency union with Israel, Nabil Sha’ath, a senior Fatah official, announced on Monday.

Sha’ath, a member of the Fatah Central Committee and a former PA foreign minister, said that the boycott of the shekel was one of a number of “daring and decisive” decisions that the PA leadership would take if Israel continued to violate agreements signed with the Palestinians.

In an interview with the Al Watan Voice online newspaper, Sha’ath said that the currency decision was part of the PA’s “unusual” planned decisions in response to the Israeli “violations,” which he said also included IDF military operations inside Area A of the West Bank, which under the Oslo Accords is supposed to be under exclusive Palestinian control.

He said that the PA’s planned decisions were divided into political, economic and security aspects.

On the political front, relations between the PA and Israel are suspended, Sha’ath noted.

“With regards to the economic aspect, we will work toward imposing a full boycott against the occupation and its products, specifically the Israeli shekel, which will be replaced with other available currencies,” he explained.

Sha’ath repeated PA threats to halt security coordination with Israel.

The top Fatah official said that the preoccupation of the Arab countries with their internal problems and the “recession” of Arab and international support for the Palestinian issue were forcing the PA to delay its planned decisions.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to convene a meeting of PLO and Fatah leaders in Ramallah in the coming days to discuss the “unusual” decisions, he added.  (Jerusalem Post)

Celebrating Terrorism, Palestinian Style

by Khaled Abu Toameh                  The Gatestone Institute


The Palestinian jubilation over yesterday’s terror bombing in Jerusalem, the first of its kind since the suicide bombings during the Second Intifada more than a decade ago, is yet another reminder of the growing radicalization among Palestinians.

The major obstacle to peace with Israel remains the absence of education for peace with Israel. In fact, it is safe to say that there never was a real attempt on the part of Palestinian leaders and factions to prepare their people for peace with Israel. On the contrary, the message they send to their people remains extremely anti-Israel.

This casts doubt on the Palestinian leadership’s and people’s willingness to move toward peace and coexistence with Israel.

Shortly after the Jerusalem bus terror explosion attack on April 18, a number of Palestinian factions rushed to issue statements applauding the “heroic operation” and urging Palestinians to pursue the path of armed struggle against Israel.

The Palestinian jubilation over the terror attack, the first of its kind since the suicide bombings during the Second Intifada more than a decade ago, is yet another reminder of the growing radicalization among Palestinians. This radicalization is mostly attributed to the ongoing anti-Israel incitement and indoctrination by various Palestinian factions and leaders.

Not surprisingly, the first Palestinian group to applaud the Jerusalem bus attack was Hamas.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that his movement “welcomes the Jerusalem operation and considers it a natural response to Israeli crimes, especially extra-judicial executions and the desecration of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

The Hamas spokesman was in fact echoing similar charges made by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who declared that Palestinians will not allow Jews to be “defiling the Aqsa Mosque with their filthy feet.”

How can anyone blame Hamas for making such accusations against Jews when Abbas, Israel’s peace partner, was the first to come out against tours by Jews to the Temple Mount? It is worth mentioning that Abbas’s allegations came only a few weeks before the eruption of the “Knife Intifada” in early October.

Another Hamas leader, Hussar Badran, also praised the terror attack. He said his movement was determined to pursue the resistance to “expel the occupation from our Palestinian lands.”

When Hamas leaders talk about “expelling the occupation from the Palestinian lands,” they mean that Israel should be eliminated and replaced with an Islamist empire.

On Hamas’s Al-Aqsa TV, broadcaster Mohamed Hamed was so happy and excited to hear about the Jerusalem terror attack that he decided to salute the perpetrators.

Other Palestinians who are not necessarily Hamas supporters took to social media to praise the terror attack and call for more. On Twitter, many Palestinian activists created hashtags called #Bus12 and #TheRoofoftheBusGoesFlying to celebrate the terror attack.

Reflecting the state of jubilation over the Jerusalem terror attack, Palestinian cartoonists quickly joined the chorus of those celebrating the “heroic operation” against Israeli civilians. One of them, Omayya Juha, responded quickly by drawing a cartoon featuring a Palestinian woman celebrating the terror attack by ululating and handing out candies.

Within hours of the attack, Palestinian factions seemed to be competing with each other over who would issue the most supportive statement of the terror explosion. Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) reacted by issuing separate statements applauding the Jerusalem bus blast. They said it marked a “qualitative development” in the intifada. The two groups vowed to continue killing Israelis as part of an effort to “escalate” the intifada. Later, another group called the Popular Resistance Committees issued its own statement in which it threatened “more painful strikes against the Zionist enemy.”

Even Abbas’s Fatah faction went to great pains to justify the terror attack. In an initial response to the attack, Fatah spokesman Ra’fat Elayan used Hamas’s words to comment on the bus blast: “This is a natural response to Israeli practices against our people, including arrests, killings and recurring incursions into the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

Later in the evening, there were reports that some Palestinians, particularly in the Gaza Strip, took to the streets to express their joy over the terror attack.

The public statements of the Palestinian leaders and groups after the Jerusalem terror attack are yet another sign of how they continue to incite their people against Israel. These are the type of statements that prompt Palestinian men and women to grab a knife (or in this case an explosive device) and set out to kill the first Jew they run into.

The major obstacle to peace with Israel remains the absence of education for peace with Israel. In fact, it is safe to say that there never was a real attempt on the part of Palestinian leaders and factions to prepare their people for peace with Israel. On the contrary, the message they send to their people remains extremely anti-Israel.

The incitement, threats and fiery rhetoric will only lead to more violence. For now, all indications are that the Palestinians are headed towards upgrading the “Knife Intifada” to a wave of bombings against civilian targets inside Israel. Judging from the reactions of the various Palestinian factions and activists, support for terror attacks against Israel is so widespread among Palestinians that they are prepared to celebrate the bombing of a bus carrying civilians. This casts doubt on the Palestinian leadership’s and people’s willingness to move toward peace and coexistence with Israel.

The Story behind the Tunnel: The IDF and Hamas are Trying to Prevent a War

by Amir Rapaport         Israel Defense


The untold story behind the recently uncovered Hamas tunnel near the Israeli community of Kerem Shalom is no less interesting than the minute details on the tunnel itself, which by now are known to all. During the past few weeks, a great effort was made in order to prevent an all-out war with Hamas.

Let us begin with what is known: The tunnel found near Kerem Shalom was restored last year, and is probably part of the network of tunnels that was dug prior to Operation Protective Edge. The construction method of the tunnel has improved, and now includes thicker concrete revetments that will prevent a collapse from explosions or infiltration of rainwater. The very fact that Hamas has invested considerable effort in building tunnels is well known and understandable – tunnels are a strategic achievement in the conflict with Israel, and Hamas is preparing for the next round of fighting since the last round ended.

Since Operation Protective Edge, Hamas lost the logistical infrastructure it had during the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Most of the tunnels used by Hamas during Operation Protective Edge were dug in this period. Despite the difficulty, the digging rate remains very high. Thousands of Gaza residents are engaged in the digging work. No less than 15 of them were killed in recent months as a result of collapsed tunnels while working (primarily due to the heavy rains this year in the South of Israel).

For its part, Israel views the challenge posed by tunnels as the highest priority since the conclusion of Operation Protective Edge. Every single idea is considered by the defense establishment. Hundreds of millions have been invested in various technology projects to locate and “handle” tunnels. Billions more will be spent. The engineers who deal with the various developments deserve the highest of compliments, and yet it seems that intelligence still has an important role to play. Also, a little luck always helps.

And now to what is less known: In recent weeks, tremendous tension prevailed in Southern Israel. There is a great fear that a war will outbreak due to a “misunderstanding”. As we recall, Operation Protective Edge also stemmed from a chain of misunderstandings between Israel and Hamas, which began when Israel bombed a tunnel opening it discovered not far from Kerem Shalom.

The assumption is that Hamas is preparing continuously for the next round of fighting, but it has no interest in initiating hostilities now. The same is true for the IDF. We can assume that the IDF has been operating recently on both sides of the border with the Gaza Strip and not only on the Israeli side. According to various reports, a senior commander of the Gaza tunnel division has defected to Israel. If this publication is accurate, he may be able to provide new details which were unknown to the IDF and ISA about what is happening under the Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, the aim of the briefings given to the media in recent days, including the one given by GOC Southern Command, is to send a message that the IDF is “in control” and is not interested in a new round of fighting. Similar messages were also conveyed through many other channels, which cannot be specified. Even Hamas has signalled that it is not interested in a confrontation for the time being.

After the publication yesterday about the tunnel discovery, we can expect that the coming weeks will bring some quiet to the region, until the time when new tensions might lead to war. But in the same breath we must remember that each discovered tunnel proves that despite the huge financial investment, IDF and ISA are not yet familiar with all the underground tunnels beneath the surface in the Gaza Strip or the ones leading into Israeli territory. The effort of both parties will continue. This is a non-stop effort, which the events of the last days gave only a fleeting glimpse at.

Tunnel-detection techniques limiting Hamas’s attack options

by Yaacov Lappin                 The Jerusalem Post


The discovery of an attack tunnel using new Israeli technological and intelligence means is a historic development, and one that could mark the beginning of the end of Hamas’s weapon of choice.

Hamas’s military wing invests millions of shekels in the construction of each cross-border tunnel, and employs hundreds of diggers to create each one.

They work in shifts, around the clock, for months and years, to create attack options viewed by Hamas leadership as its main strategic gambit against Israel.

But Israel has proven that something dramatic has changed in its ability to see the underground threat branching out from Gaza.

Now, Hamas will have to reluctantly go back to the drawing board and consider whether it is worth investing all those resources into a project that soon could become very visible to the Israeli defense establishment.

The tunnels are supposed to enable Hamas to inject its highly trained and heavily armed Nuhba Force members into Israel in a future war.

These terrorist units would then act as death squads, murdering and maiming Israeli civilians, and seeking to capture or kill any IDF soldiers they come across by surprising them from within the Israeli home front.

The Nuhba Force, comprising a quarter of Hamas’s 20,000-strong military wing, needs the tunnels to get into Israel since its over ground movements would swiftly be detected by the IDF’s array of sensors, patrols and platforms (some of which are unmanned) that secure the Gaza border.

Now, Israel has thrown the ball into Hamas’s court and placed it in a dilemma.

That development also has allowed the government and military decision-makers to back away from an earlier pledge of firm retaliation against every instance of Hamas violating Israeli sovereignty.

If the tunnels can now be detected and destroyed without a major conflict that disrupts the lives of millions of Israelis, decision-makers will find the idea of launching an operation in response to every Hamas dig to be far less attractive.

Either way, a new reality is developing along the Gaza border, which has already earned itself a new term within the IDF: “Continuous underground security missions.”

Israeli defense industries and IDF Engineering Corps units are spearheading the effort, and they have been joined by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency). Together, they have developed a two pronged approach to tunnel detection.

If Israel replicates its success in finding the attack tunnel, Hamas could end up losing its most precious offensive capability.

Israel Acts as a Strategic Partner to America – Yoram Ettinger (inFocus Quarterly-Jewish Policy Center)

The annual U.S. investment in Israel – erroneously defined as “foreign aid” – has yielded one of the highest rates of return on U.S. investments overseas. At a time when the Pentagon is experiencing draconian cuts in its defense budget, Israel has been the most cost-effective laboratory for U.S. defense industries, sharing with the U.S. unique intelligence, battle experience, and battle tactics.

Israel’s Air Force, which flies American-made aircraft, shares with the U.S. Air Force and U.S. manufacturers real-time, daily operational maintenance and repair lessons derived from Israel’s daily battle experience. For example, the plant manager of General Dynamics/Lockheed Martin, which manufactures the F-16, asserted that Israeli lessons have spared the manufacturer 10-20 years of R&D, leading to over 700 modifications in the current generation of the F-16, “valued at a mega-billion dollar bonanza to the manufacturer.”

Similar lessons have been shared with the U.S. Army, Navy, and Marine Corps and the U.S. manufacturers of tanks, armored personnel carriers, missile launchers, missiles, night navigation systems, and hundreds of additional military and homeland security systems manufactured by the U.S. and utilized by Israel.

According to Gen. George Keegan, a former U.S. Air Force intelligence chief, the value of intelligence shared by Israel with the U.S. – exposing the air capabilities of adversaries, their new military systems, electronics, and jamming devices – “could not be procured with five CIAs….The ability of the U.S. Air Force in particular, and the Army in general, to defend whatever position it has in NATO owes more to Israeli intelligence input than it does to any other single source of intelligence.”

In 2014, Gen. (ret.) Chuck Krulak, former Commandant, USMC, stated: “The U.S. battle tactics formulation at Fort Leavenworth, KS – the intellectual Mecca of the U.S. Army – is based on the Israeli book.”

Recently, Israel’s Air Force developed a groundbreaking method of identifying, repairing, and preempting cracks in old combat planes, such as the F-16, using ultrasound machines, and promptly shared that information with the U.S. Air Force and the manufacturer. Instead of grounding planes for six months and preoccupying hundreds of mechanics, the Israeli-developed system requires two weeks and only a few mechanics, yielding significant economic and national security benefits.

Israel is the only stable, reliable, predictable, capable, democratic, and unconditional ally of the U.S.  Israel constitutes a critical obstacle to Islamic imperialism, enhancing the security of the U.S. and its Arab allies. Unlike Europe, Israel is able and willing to flex its muscles. Thus, Israel acts as a special strategic partner to America.

Thanks to Israel, Africa Will Never be the Same