+61 3 9272 5644

Latest News in Israel – 19th October

Israeli food technologies

With worldwide water and food shortages looming on the horizon, Israeli companies are striving to find solutions to feed a hungry world.

What if you could get water out of thin air? What if you could grow food in the middle of the desert? What if you could have a star-trek style capsule that makes you hot and healthy dinner in 2 minutes?

These 3 Israeli companies are doing just that, as they find solutions to fight food and water scarcity around the world.  (MFA)

Israel says it will not negotiate with a Hamas-based Palestinian government

Israel will not conduct diplomatic negotiations with a Palestinian government that relies on Hamas unless the terrorist organization changes fundamentally, the security cabinet decided on Tuesday, in the wake of the recent Fatah-Hamas reconciliation agreement.

According to a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office after the security cabinet meeting, Israel will not hold talks with a Palestinian government backed by Hamas unless it recognizes Israel and stops terrorist activities, in accordance with Quartet principles set over a decade ago.

In addition, the statement said that Hamas must be disarmed, the bodies of Israeli soldiers and the Israeli citizens held by Hamas must be returned and the Palestinian Authority must assume full security control over the Gaza Strip — including at the border crossings and in the prevention of smuggling arms into the coastal strip.

The other conditions set by the security cabinet for continued negotiations with the PA are that it must continue to thwart Hamas terrorist activity and the building of terrorist infrastructure in Judea and Samaria, that Hamas be cut off from Iran and that funds and humanitarian supplies will flow into Gaza only through the PA and other internationally recognized mechanisms set up for this purpose.

The statement issued after the meeting – the second meeting by the security cabinet on this matter in consecutive days – was the first operative decision made by the government toward the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation agreement reached earlier this month in Cairo. Egypt was heavily involved in brokering the deal, and the US said it hoped this would allow the PA to regain full control over Gaza. This decision is in accordance with a security cabinet decision made in April 2014, the last time there were serious attempts at a Fatah-Hamas reconciliation pact.

At that time the cabinet “unanimously decided that Israel will not negotiate with a Palestinian government backed by Hamas, a terrorist organization that calls for Israel’s destruction. In addition, Israel will respond to unilateral Palestinian action with a series of measures.”

Tuesday’s statement, by contrast, did not mention any retaliatory measures that would be taken against the PA for the recent pact.

The security cabinet decision stopped short of what one of its members – Education Minister Naftali Bennett –had publicly demanded in recent days: severing connection with the PA as a result of the pact that he said turned the PA into a “terrorist authority.”   (Jerusalem Post)

Russia agrees to keep Iran, Hezbollah forces away from Israeli border

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told Israel that Moscow has agreed to expand a buffer zone along the Israeli-Syrian border, where Iranian and Hezbollah forces will not be allowed to enter, Arab media reported Wednesday.

The statement attributed to an Israeli diplomatic official by London-based Asharq Al-Awsat said that Russia had refused the Israeli request for a 40 kilometers (25 miles) buffer zone, but expressed willingness to extend a 10-15 kilometer off-limits zone. Russia, which views Iran as a key player in resolving the crisis in Syria, has repeatedly emphasized the importance of the role that the Islamic Republic plays in the war-torn country.

As the war in Syria seems to be winding down in Assad’s favor due to Moscow’s intervention, Israel fears that Iran will help Hezbollah produce accurate precision-guided missiles and aid Hezbollah and other Shi’ite militias to strengthen their foothold in the Golan Heights.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has publicly criticized a US-Russian cease-fire deal in Syria, saying that it does not include any provisions to stop Iranian expansion in the area. Russia is reported to have rejected a request from Jerusalem for a 40-kilometer buffer zone between the Golan Heights and any Iranian-backed militias in Syria, only agreeing to make sure that no Shi’ite fighter would come closer than 5 kilometers from Israel.

According to the report in Asharq al-Awsat, Shoigu told Israeli officials that the 5 km demand was unrealistic and that Iranian and Hezbollah troops have not approached the border since Russian troops entered Syria, saying that therefore the request was “exaggerated” and “superfluous.”

Israeli officials have repeatedly voiced concerns over the growing Iranian presence on its borders and the smuggling of sophisticated weaponry to Hezbollah from Tehran to Lebanon via Syria, stressing that both are red-lines for the Jewish State.

Hours before Shoigu landed in Israel, Israeli fighter jets destroyed a Syrian anti-aircraft missile battery stationed some 50 kilometers east of Damascus which had fired on Israeli planes in Lebanese airspace earlier that morning.

While Russia was updated about the incident in real time, according to the Israeli sources quoted by Asharq al-Awsat, the incident overshadowed the meeting and caused some tension between the officials. The report alleged that Shoigu considered it a “dangerous hostile operation that almost caused a severe crisis.”

Israel and Russia implemented a de-confliction mechanism system over Syria to prevent accidental clashes between the two militaries.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman who met privately with Shoigu at the IDF’s Kirya Military Headquarters in Tel Aviv Monday evening stated that “we will not interfere in Syria’s internal affairs but on the other hand we will not allow Iran and Hezbollah to turn Syria into a forward outpost against Israel and we will not allow the transfer of sophisticated weapons from Iran through Syria to Lebanon.”

Liberman will leave Wednesday night for a four-day visit to the United States to meet with his US counterpart James Mattis. During their previous meeting the two defense chiefs discussed issues such as the ongoing civil war in Syria and the threats posed by Iran and it is believed that Liberman will ask Mattis for the US to act against Iran’s growing entrenchment in Syria. (Jerusalem Post)

The Aussies are coming

Excitement is mounting over the number of Australians who will be in Israel in the last week of October through to the first week of November. Most are coming to join in the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Beersheba, and some will attend events related to the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.

Heading all the Australian delegations is Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who will be accompanied by several high-ranking members of Federal Parliament, and who is only the third sitting prime minister of Australia to visit Israel, and the first after John Howard, who came in 2000. Howard was preceded in 1987 by Bob Hawke. Robert Menzies, who visited in 1941, before Israel attained statehood, had intended to come as prime minister in June 1964, but developed a serious stomach complaint just a few days before his scheduled departure from Australia and cancelled the visit.

Australian MP Stuart Robert, who was in Israel earlier this month for the meeting of the Israel Allies Foundation, declared Australia’s ongoing support for Israel.

Australian cycling legend Cadel Evans, a World Cup and Tour de France winner, is coming on his first visit to Israel toward the end of the month to participate in a charity ride on behalf of Kids Kicking Cancer and Budo for Peace, both of which are headed by Australian expat and martial arts champion Danny Hakim. Another beneficiary of the ride will be Shekel, which provides community services for people with special needs. Evans will lead mountain bikers in the bike ride along the Anzac Trail in Beersheba. He is one of 120 Australians participating in the ride along with other riders from New Zealand, Canada, France, South Africa, USA and Israel. Also accompanying Evans on the ride will be will be his seven-year-old adopted Ethiopian son. Former Australian ambassador to Israel James Larsen, who was later ambassador to Turkey, has endorsed the bike ride, and Dave Sharma, who was ambassador to Israel until June this year, will be joining the ride for the first day of the two-day journey.

MK Sharren Haskel, who spent six years in Australia and co-chairs the Israel-Australia Parliamentary Friendship Group, will also participate in what Hakim calls “a community ride,” which will include Beduin, Ethiopians and representatives of all the Australian and New Zealand Zionist youth groups who are spending all or part of a gap year in Israel.

Meanwhile, Shlomi Werdiger, a prominent Melbourne businessman and cycling enthusiast, will be riding in another charity event – Wheels of Love – on behalf of Alyn Orthopedic Hospital and Rehabilitation Center, a pediatric hospital in Jerusalem that treats children with congenital and acquired conditions. Werdiger will break away from the five-day event to attend the main ceremonies in Beersheba, after which he will return to Wheels of Love, now in its 18th year. Celebrated Australian actor Bryan Brown is scheduled to give a reading at one of the ceremonies.

Paul Israel, executive director of the Israel-Australia Chamber of Commerce and an Australian expat who would ordinarily be in the front lines of such an event, won’t even be in the back row, because this month, including on the day of the 100th anniversary, he has to deal with an abundance of trade and other missions from Australia. These include: a close to 50-member trade mission co-led by the chairman of ANZ Bank, David Gonski, and Commonwealth Bank CEO Ian Narev ; an OurCrowd delegation of Australian investors; John Eren, Victorian minister for veteran affairs, minister for tourism and major events and minister for sport; an Erdi Group delegation; and an innovation tour for 11th grade students of Moriah College. It should be remembered that travel from Australia to Israel, depending on the route, is roughly 26 hours.

The ceremonies in which the Australian prime minister will be participating will be covered by four Australian television teams and relayed live to Australia. This will be a small measure of comfort to the many Australians on the long waiting list who had been hoping that some people who had already registered to come to Israel for the centenary celebrations might cancel. The number of invitations issued was based on the number of people that specific sites could hold.

According to Yair Nagid, who holds the cultural portfolio in the Beersheba Municipality, four television crews are coming from Australia, plus print media representatives. The total number of Australian media personnel will be in the range of 200. [  by Greer Fay Cashman (a former Aussie)   the Jerusalem Post]

Italian Journalist Giulio Meotti – Why Israel is the World’s Best Nation

Israel Seen

Italian Journalist Giulio Meotti – Why Israel is the World’s Best Nation

I don’t know another nation on earth which since its founding, less than seventy years ago, had to sacrifice 23,000 soldiers.

I don’t know another nation on earth without recognized borders.

I don’t know another nation on earth whose population lives under a perpetual emotional strain.

I don’t know another nation on earth threatened to be wiped off the map.

I don’t know another nation on earth so threatened by boycotts all over the world.

I don’t know another nation on earth where winners tend to lose wars.

I don’t know another nation on earth which provides its own enemy with water, electricity, food, weapons, and medical treatment.

I don’t know another nation on earth where guests on official visits utter disrespectful and offensive words

But I also don’t know another nation on earth which has recorded so many miracles.

Imagine a helpless, naked Jew at the gas ovens facing a Nazi official, who  thinks he will get rid of the “Jewish cancer”, get rid of this unique phenomenon of 2,000 years.

Could that helpless, naked Jew imagine that in 50 years other Jews will be flying F-16’s in the skies over Israel?

Could that helpless Jew imagine that Israel’s population today would be nine times that of 1948, the year of the state’s creation?

Could that helpless Jew imagine that Israel is much happier than all the European countries?

Could that helpless Jew imagine that Israel has the highest production of scientific publications per capita in the world?

Could that helpless Jew imagine that Israel has the highest worldwide publication of new books?

Could that helpless Jew imagine that Israel is the only nation which began the XXI century with a net gain in the number of trees?

Could that helpless Jew imagine that Israel has with largest number of chess grandmasters per capita of any city in the world?

Could that helpless Jew imagine that Israel is the nation whose academics  produce more scientific papers per capita than anywhere else in the world?

Could that helpless Jew imagine that Israel is the nation with the highest ratio of university degrees to the population in the world?

Could that helpless Jew imagine that Israel is the country which, in proportion to its population, with the largest number of startup companies in the world?

Could that helpless Jew imagine that Israel is the country with the highest  percentage in the world of home computers per capita?

Could that helpless Jew imagine that Israel is the nation with the largest immigrant-absorbing model on earth?

Unfortunately, you will not find Israel ’s goodness and superiority in the media (also Israeli), because it doesn’t fit in with the stereotype of the colonialist Zionist occupier.

In the world’s consciousness, the word “ Israel ” must be equated with fear.

Israel just came out of another war against terrorists whose value is less than that of animals. Do you know of any animal species sheltering behind its own children?

But the Jewish State, despite its media, its cynical politicians, establishment, once again showed the world it is the best humanity has to offer.

This hope is impressed in the faces of Israel ’s fallen soldiers, its wounded an injured soldiers. In those faces there is joy de vivre, not sadness or hatred.

Terrorists and their Western appeasers want to destroy Israel because it is a light unto the nations.

Will Israel hold Abbas responsible for Hamas attacks?

by Charles Bybelezer        The Jerusalem Post/The Media Line

http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Analysis-Will-Israel-hold-Abbas-responsible-for-Hamas-attacks-507636

The unity deal signed between Fatah and Hamas last week in Cairo ended a decade of bitter animosity between the rival Palestinian factions. According to reports this includes “an implicit understanding” that neither body will make unilateral decisions on war and peace with Israel without the backing of the other. To this end, Hamas leader Ismael Haniyeh told Egyptian television earlier this month that there will need to be a consensus about “when and how to resist [Israel].”

The agreement, which restored the administrative rule of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Gaza, has been supported by much of the international community but slammed by Israel—which insists that Hamas disarm and recognize the Jewish state before Jerusalem engages with any Palestinian political entity that incorporates the terrorist group.

The accord thus raised questions about how the Israeli government will respond to any Hamas provocations. Previously, Jerusalem held Hamas responsible for all rocket fire emanating from Gaza Strip, even if perpetrated by another organization, and has maintained a firm policy of targeting its assets following such aggressions.

It is unclear, however, whether Israel will now hold Abbas and the PA accountable for similar attacks against Israelis, as it does the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad for the events of spillover from the fighting in and around the Golan Heights. Recently, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman similarly declared that in a future conflagration with Hezbollah, the Israeli army would respond against Lebanese government targets.

According to Brig. Gen. (Res.) Nitzan Nuriel, a former member of Israel’s National Security Council and previously the director of the Counter-Terrorism Bureau at the Prime Minister’s Office, it is unlikely that Jerusalem will in the short-term amend its existing policy. “Israel needs to see how the [unity] agreement develops and before December 1 [when the PA officially takes control of the enclave] there will be no change in approach,” he contended to The Media Line.

“Thereafter, the government will have to see what kind of activity is happening on the ground and will try to ensure that Abbas takes full control from a military as well as civilian perspective, but this is unlikely to occur. Hamas will find a way to conduct terror events through other proxies.”

Nuriel thus argues that at some point in the future “Israel will probably hold both the PA and Hamas responsible for what happens in the Strip, but is likely to continue taking military action against Hamas only, while doing everything at the political level to show the international community that Abbas is a bad guy as well.”

As regards to the West Bank, the situation is likewise complex as Hamas has long been active there. To date, PA security forces have worked in tandem with their Israeli counterparts to suppress the terror group’s military operations in the area, as they posed a significant threat to the PA regime in addition to the obvious dangers to Israel.

Maj. Gen. (Res.) Gabi Ophir, the former Director-General of the Israeli Ministry of Homeland Defense, believes that this security coordination will not only continue but may even be strengthened, with the aim of ensuring that Hamas does not gain too great a foothold in the West Bank; this, despite vocal opposition by elements of the Israeli government to cut all ties with Abbas in the wake of the unity accord.

“Neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians can afford to allow a vacuum to be created in the area,” he stressed to The Media Line. Moreover, Ophir suggested that enhanced security cooperation between Israel and the PA “could further neutralize Hamas and potentially force it to moderate its positions moving forward.”

Finally, he explained that even if Hamas were to orchestrate an attack from the West Bank this would not change the strategic reality, “because as far as Israel is concerned there has always been one address to go to in these situations—Abbas.”

Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Efraim Sneh, an Israeli politician and former head of the Israel Defense Forces’ Civilian Administration (COGAT) in the West Bank agrees in principle, describing security cooperation as a “joint Israeli-Palestinian interest.” He also expressed to The Media Line that “so long as Abbas’ PA is not the dominant military force in Gaza, then Israel cannot hold him responsible for attacks originating from the enclave.”

“Should the PA at some point become empowered in the Strip, then this scenario could change,” Sneh explained. However, in his estimation, Hamas will not disarm and therefore the Palestinian reconciliation deal is more smoke and mirrors than a practical pact.

Overall, Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2009, culminating in the seven-week conflict in 2014 which killed some 2,000 Palestinians, along with more than 70 Israelis, and left the Strip in shambles.

Since then, Hamas has restored its arsenal to pre-2014 levels, when the group had approximately 12,000 missiles in addition to some 25,000 combatants. The movement has also been actively reconstructing its network of subterranean attack tunnels, which have been used to infiltrate Israel. Despite having made various modifications to its Charter this year, the terror group remains firmly committed to the destruction of the Jewish state.

Most analysts thus contend that Hamas will not lay down its arms, as called for by Abbas as a precondition for assuming control over the enclave. This, coupled with the fact that Hamas can now focus exclusively on its military activities raises the specter of yet another conflict with Israel.

The prevailing question, then, is how Jerusalem will respond when Abbas finds himself in the crosshairs of—or perhaps even an active decision-maker in—a future war.

Fatah-Hamas reconciliation: A fusion of evils

By Isi Leibler                       The Jerusalem Post

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Candidly-Speaking-Fatah-Hamas-reconciliation-A-fusion-of-evils-507685

World leaders – including some of our American friends – are apparently still unwilling to face reality and continue to delude themselves that Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority can be induced to make a peace settlement if Israel continues to appease them and excuse their crimes.

Even more delusional is the almost universal consensus that a merger between Fatah and the more radical, genocidal Hamas is a positive step toward achieving an accommodation. It is contrary to all evidence to believe that such a fusion of two evil entities can have positive consequences.

This potential merger is a result of Hamas’s concern, in the face of economic meltdown, that unless it stems the ongoing collapse, especially the dramatic reduction in electrical services inflicted by the PA, it could suffer a domestic insurrection.

Hamas agreed that the municipal administration of Gaza would be under the political umbrella of the PA – whatever that means. However, although border crossings will be under the supervision of the PA, Hamas leaders are adamant that security will remain entirely under their control and they will not lay down their weapons, dismantle their military structure or merge it with the PA. Nor would they agree to cease building tunnels with the intent of carrying out terrorist attacks within Israel.

In fact, on the eve of the reconciliation, Hamas promoted some of the most hardened and fanatical terrorists in its ranks to key military positions. It also reiterated that it would not contemplate any accommodation with Israel.

The fusion of these two terrorist entities is likely to enable Hamas to ultimately assume control of the PA or displace it entirely. The objective is to apply similar tactics to those Hezbollah employed in Lebanon and, while initially allowing Abbas to posture as the national leader, Hamas would take effective control of the West Bank.

The duplicitous, unpopular and aging Abbas is willing to move in this direction with his archenemies to lay claim to representing all Palestinians.

He also faces threats within his own ranks, especially from his archrival Muhammad Dahlan.

Abbas also continues to adamantly insist that the right of return for the descendants of the Palestinian refugees (which would entail the end of the Jewish state) is non-negotiable. Both he and his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, refused Israeli offers to hand over more than 95% of the territory occupied until 1967 by the Jordanians and Egyptians.

Abbas needs no encouragement from Hamas when it comes to spewing hatred and violence against Israel. Indeed, over the past few years, he and his administration have dramatically and brazenly intensified their incitement.

The current PA propaganda promoted in schools, mosques and the government-controlled media clearly proclaims that the ultimate objective is nothing less than Arab hegemony from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. The PA persistently promotes hatred of Jews, describing them as the descendants of apes and pigs, and publishes some of the vilest Nazi-style antisemitic caricatures.

Only recently, under pressure, Abbas condemned a terrorist attack – but then proceeded to reward the relatives of the killers for their “martyrdom” with generous state pensions.

Lest there be any misunderstanding, in defiance of personal calls by US President Donald Trump to cease this barbaric practice of financially rewarding killers, Abbas assured the Fatah Revolutionary Council that his administration would continue the policy of allocating salaries to the families of the Palestinian terrorists in jail as well as those killed by Israeli forces and that he considered this a “moral, national, political and humanitarian obligation.” This year, over $345 million was distributed as rewards to terrorists, comprising half of the $693m the PA receives in foreign aid.

The Americans apparently grit their teeth at this outrageous response and delude themselves that this issue will be solved during peace negotiations.

One can only imagine how utterly inconceivable it would be for the US to appease a country that continued to provide massive annual financial rewards to those who had engineered the 9/11 attack.

Yet this barbaric policy has been applied for decades and is ignored by the rest of the world, with the Europeans continuing to provide funds, a substantial proportion of which are used to sanctify the memory of mass murderers. It is only since Trump’s call on Abbas to desist from these payments that, for the first time, several European countries canceled their grants. The US Congress is also likely to pass legislation to curtail grants to the PA unless it ceases to incentivize murder and mayhem.

In this environment, the EU continues its blatant double standards and acts as if the conflict is over real estate, calling for boycotts of produce from Israeli settlements, yet hardly murmuring about the ongoing weekly massacre of hundreds of innocent Syrian civilians and Syrian President Bashar Assad’s continued use of forbidden chemical weapons.

It is to this evil society, based on a culture of death and hatred, that world leaders expect Israel to continue making unilateral concessions. Those pressuring Israel merely encourage the Palestinians to become more intransigent. It is especially frustrating to hear Trump still expressing his belief that peace with these barbarians can be achieved by appeasement. While continuing to express his love and support for the Jewish state, he implied that Israel could do more to achieve peace.

One can only hope that he will soon reach a more realistic conclusion and be willing to bite the bullet.

Even though almost the entire international community is applauding the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation, the truth is that both parties are birds of a feather. The reason for the brutal internecine conflict between them over the past decade is not ideological but based on competing personalities and feuding Palestinian clans. The Fatah-dominated PA speaks in softer tones to the outside world to exploit diplomatic options to achieve concessions without reciprocity – a policy of seeking to unravel Israel by stages. But the reality is that both terrorist groups share the same ultimate objective – the elimination of Jewish sovereignty in the region.

If the reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas survives, Abbas will face problems. Until now, he was absolved from responsibility for outrages committed by Hamas terrorists. Now, as head of the merged entity, he will be responsible for Hamas terrorism and it is questionable whether his security forces will curb Hamas attacks in the areas of their jurisdiction. Indeed, he now seems to have undertaken to resume providing rewards and pensions to Hamas terrorists.

To date, the US State Department has failed to utter a word of condemnation for this outrageous initiative. It should appreciate that Israel will be obliged to act pre-emptively if Hamas takes control of the PA and the Iranians and Hezbollah locate on our southern borders.

Surely it is now time for the US to warn the Palestinians that they will face major punitive reprisals unless they end their ongoing aggression against Israel. Trump should proclaim that unless our adversaries are ready to cease their incitement and condemn terrorism, the US will no longer tolerate those who pay lip service to peace while encouraging and financing mass murder. He should call for the freezing of all foreign aid to the Palestinians until their leaders desist from their terrorist activity.

Israel should support the many Palestinians who do not back terrorism and seek to improve their livelihoods and standard of living. If the democratic world acted in unity in this direction, a new leadership would soon emerge that would genuinely seek a peace settlement.

In the meanwhile, we must remain strong and independent. While it is in the interests of Israel to reach an accommodation, that is only possible when a bona fide partner representative of the Palestinians is willing to engage with us.

The IDF’s “War between Wars” Prevents the Next War – Brig.-Gen. Yitzhak Turgeman interviewed by Yossi Yehoshua (Ynet News)

Brig.-Gen. Yitzhak Turgeman, head of the IDF Operations Division, was a division commander in the 2014 Gaza war. He says that in Gaza “today we are dealing with a very complex constructed area, with a population that cannot be evacuated anywhere, and with a huge underground space.” He is certain Hamas has been deterred since then. “Salafists…fire [rockets and mortars] to make us target Hamas….Following every local incident Hamas goes out and acts against the rebels. Hamas understands that Israel will act aggressively.”

Turgeman’s great concern is the moment Hamas internalizes the meaning of the new underground obstacle being built on the Gaza border. “They’re surprised by the scope. At first, we built opposite the communities. We wanted to [first] close the areas opposite the communities. Now…they’re beginning to realize that this is going to shut off the entire strip.”

“Hamas has realized that we have the Iron Dome [anti-missile] system, and I think that as soon as we harm its tunneling project, it will be much more deterred….The political echelon’s instruction was: ‘We want the obstacle to be completed by 2019.'”

On the northern front opposite Hizbullah, “Israel has unique intelligence capabilities, which give us a major advantage….We want to attack infrastructures like launching pads and warehouses, which will prevent Hizbullah from hitting our home front….Today we’re talking about thousands of targets compared to 277 in the Second Lebanon War in 2006.”

“The complexity in the Second Lebanon War was to act against an independent, decentralized terror organization.” Today, Hizbullah “is starting to resemble an army, and that’s where its weakness lies….When you’re dealing with a [larger formation], the ability to hit is much more effective.”

Turgeman is the manager of “the war between wars” – the operations aimed at preventing Hamas and Hizbullah from arming themselves. “At the end of the day, the ‘war between wars’ prevents the next battle. We work to prevent abilities that we don’t want our enemies to have.”

“Iran is investing hundreds of millions in funds and in war materials in Syria and in Lebanon….It supports our entire first circle of enemies – Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, Hizbullah and Syria. Iran is doing everything in its power to strengthen its presence in Syria…[including a] base, with planes that are deployed there. We’ll do everything to prevent this from happening.”

“We do everything in our power to clarify things and to avoid creating friction with the Russians in the ‘war between wars.’…Moreover, we have an intelligence advantage, and when we detected a concrete warning of an attack against Russian forces, we informed them about it and prevented the attack. They were very grateful.”