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28 Feb: Israel- The Knesset will delay the Heredi draft exemption legislation to allow the Knesset to recess early for the Rabbinic Calendar Purim holidays. The Orthodox bill may not be addressed until after the Netanyahu five day trip to the US.
The coalition crisis will come to a head in mid March when the 2019 budget is up for second reading in the Knesset because the Heredi parties have declared that they will not support the budget until their draft exemption bill is approved first. All parties are now gearing up for an election call. In preparation for the election the Meretz party to hold leadership primary on March 22.
Mideast Peace- The Palestinian Authority’s Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki tells Voice of Palestine radio that European Union countries have agreed to push for changes prior to the unveiling of the US peace plan, according to the Palestinian Wafa news agency. This is propaganda for the Palestinian street since for some time the EU has already been deeply involved in the Trump efforts to formulate a plan.
The London-based Saudi newspaper Asharq al-Awsat reported on Wednesday that Arab diplomats are quoted as saying the yet-to-be revealed Trump peace plan will nix refugees’ right of return [but give compensation for loses], raze far-flung settlements, include US and international recognition of a Palestinian state and acceptance of East Jerusalem as its capital. The plan also calls for placing the Old City of Jerusalem under “international protection.” If an Israeli election were called publication of the plan might be delayed.
27 Feb: Israel- The cabinet crisis deepens threatening to bring down he government as religious parties prepare to leave if they do not get their way in tomorrow’s showdown.
Netanyahu to be questioned under caution on Friday over suspicions of providing Bezeq with $290 million worth of government aid in exchange for favorable press coverage.
Demonstrations expected to begin tomorrow at the US Consulate in South Jerusalem which is slated to be upgraded to Embassy status in May.
US Senator Graham warns that Israel is about to go to war against Hezbollah.
Mideast Peace- The European Union and Arab League Monday declared that Jerusalem must be the joint capital of Israel and a future Palestinian state. Trump got in his Jerusalem declaration first to prepare Israel for further moves regarding Jerusalem at the coming post war International Peace Conference. See the 25 Feb news below.
Arabia- Saudi King Salman sacked the military chief of staff and replaced the heads of the ground forces and air defenses, as well as senior officials at the interior ministry, late Monday. Gen. Abdul Rahman bin Saleh al-Bunyan was replaced as chief of staff by Fayyad al-Ruwaili. A Saudi woman, Tamadar Bint Yousef al-Ramah, was appointed the deputy minister of labor and social development and Prince Turki bin Talal, the brother of billionaire Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, was appointed deputy governor of the southern Assir Province. US Energy Secretary Rick Perry begins talks on building nuclear plants in Saudi Arabia in London this Friday. With vast sums to be made Russia and others are also lining up to talk.
26 Feb: Breaking- Yisrael Beytenu threatened Monday to break up the coalition if United Torah Judaism and Shas attempts to bring their ultra-Orthodox exemption from military service bill to a vote on Wednesday.
Israel- Police will be questioning Netanyahu under warning about Case 4000 on Friday and taking testimony from him about Case 3000, the submarine affair, as well. Meanwhile, Netanyahu’s former bureau chief, Ari Harow, will testify against him in Case 4000 – which is in addition to Cases 1000 and 2000. And, Elovitch and his relatives working in Bezeq have stepped down from the Bezeq board. Former Shin Bet chief, Carmi Gilon, said “Netanyahu is not fit to send soldiers into battle.” (Maariv).
Israeli political system entering a state of chaos (Moran Azulay, Yedioth/Ynet) The state’s witness agreement signed with Communication Ministry Director-General Shlomo Filber has led to a consensus among politicians that the Netanyahu era is coming to its end.
Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home), who sees himself as the next prime minister, will likely push for elections rather than take part in the formation of an alternative government. The Yisrael Beytenu coalition party announces it will vote against a proposed bill on ultra-Orthodox draft exemptions. The Orthodox parties said om 23 Feb that they will not approve the budget unless their demands are met.
Israel to Close Down West Bank, Gaza Crossing Points for Purim – The army will be imposing a general closure from Tuesday night to Saturday night following assessments of the security situation. (Haaretz+). According to the Biblical Calendar which God gave to Moses, Purim begins on Sabbath March 3 this year. We will be featuring a special study through the book of Esther this coming Sabbath.
Gaza- Gazans hold surprise drill in preparation for war with Israel. The Gaza Interior Ministry conducts drill, teaching schoolchildren how to seek shelter in case of Israeli attack; Hamas forces drill war scenarios on borders with Israel, Egypt. (Ynet)
25 Feb: Israel- Israel Independence Day by Rabbinic Calendar is April 19-20, by the Papal Calendar is 14 May. On May 14 the US plans to announce that its Consulate in Arnona South Jerusalem will now be considered its embassy, the real move will be incremental over several years.
The move which should really have come at the conclusion of peace talks and even the announcement of a move, seems deliberately intended to provoke conflict. This move could also be an attempt to maneuver Israel into accepting a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem.
USA- Donald Trump plans a massive military parade from the White House to the Capitol on November 11. November 11 is the American Veteran’s Day and the International Armistice day for WW 1. I have little doubt that this date was chosen to celebrate victory in the looming Middle East war and a Mideast peace deal. The hype of victory and the achievement of peace seems to be intended to influence the US midterm elections of Nov 6.
Italy- Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia (Go Italy) party leads the polls in the approach to the March 4 Italian elections.
24 Feb: A Blessed Sabbath for All God’s Faithful!
23 Feb: USA- The United States will open an embryonic embassy in Jerusalem to mark Israeli Independence Day on May 14th. The US Ambassador is already working out of the Consulate in South Jerusalem. Israel is hailing this development but Trump is using the announcement to sugar coat his proposed peace plan to be presented to Netanyahu soon.
Russia/Syria- Russia is not withdrawing from Syria after all but is preparing to defend its bases inside Syria from any spillover of violence during the coming regional war.
In preparation for protecting Russian bases in Syria from the rapidly approaching regional war; two fifth-generation Sukhoi-57 stealth fighters, along with 4 Su-35 fighters, 4 Su-25 strike aircraft and an A-50U radar command-and-control platform arrived at Russia’s Syrian air base on Monday. This raises Russia’s air strike and defense capabilities in Syria to the highest standards of any air force in the world, enabling Russia to defend its bases against US and Israeli air might in the Syrian arena.
Israel- The IDF has eased its rules of engagement and gone to high alert on the Gaza perimeter in preparation for weekend demonstrations.
The UTJ coalition faction throws the government into turmoil and may bring down the government bringing an election call before the late March Passover recess.
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley announced Thursday that the Trump administration’s first draft of a Middle East peace plan, that “won’t be loved” by either side, is approaching its completion and will be presented in the near future. The news came a day after President Donald Trump’s two top envoys on the Middle East, son-in-law Jared Kushner and adviser Jason Greenblatt, met with UN Security Council ambassadors and asked for UNSC support of the upcoming peace plan. Of course in asking for support the UNSC was given details of the plan.
22 Feb: Israel- Taking advantage of Netanyahu’s vulnerability the United Torah Judaism faction gives the coalition an ultimatum: We will hold off from voting on the 2019 budget until the Draft Law is passed, expanding draft deferments given to full-time yeshiva students.
The IDF carried out brigade level [the 188th Brigade] mobilization drills this week. Regular and reserve soldiers practiced the swift mobilization of reserves and simulated military operations in Lebanon/Syria. The war game was attended by Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gady Eisenkot and OC Northern Command Maj. Gen. Yoel Strick.
The ninth biannual Juniper Cobra air defense drill is now scheduled to take place from March 4-15. The twelve-day drill will simulate a massive missile attack on Israel from all directions. The drill will include over 4,500 US troops and Israeli troops besides troops in other related drills. The US troops will then remain in Israel at the ready for war, for “further joint training”.
Palestine- Mahmoud Abbas, 83, is undergoing a checkup at John Hopkins hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.
Korea- Key Senator says Trump will launch devastating attack on North Korea. Pompeo and others suggest that the DPRK will be able to strike the US by the end of March and that Trump will attack by then. The United States is planning to announce major joint exercises in Korea as soon as the Paralympics concludes in late March, which exercises would probably begin very quickly. North Korea could wait until the looming Middle East war breaks out and then make a new nuclear test which Trump could claim as sufficient provocation.
21 Feb: US evangelical preacher 33rd degree Mason [Masonry declares itself to be the ancient Egyptian Mysteries as adopted by Solomon, which has its roots in the Babylonian Mysteries] Billy Graham died today at 99.
Israel- Israel media are calling these “The Last Days of Netanyahu” as the beleaguered prime minister threatens to call snap elections. Channel 10 reports that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hoping that the other coalition parties are not ready for elections, has conveyed to the heads of the other parties in his ruling coalition that if they try to force him to resign or suspend himself ahead of a possible indictment, he will call early elections.
The number of Netanyahu corruption investigations reaches critical mass as former Communications Ministry director-general Shlomo Filber signs state’s evidence plea bargain and begins testimony expected to incriminate the PM. See more in yesterday’s news. Political parties begin gearing up for elections. “His days are over,” “He can start packing,” “The fall of the wall of denial”: These were some of the headlines in today’s Hebrew newspapers following the “earthquake” and “bombshell” in which Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s confidant and “operations man,” Shlomo Filber, turned against him – and is already testifying against him.
Knesset Member Stav Shafir (Zionist Camp) wrote on her Facebook account that “Netanyahu’s mafiosi offered the judge a bribe in order to close a file on his wife, and all their gloves were removed long ago. Everything that concerns law and order has become, in the eyes of the Netanyahu mafia, an obstacle that must be dismantled in order to keep it in power. Members of the coalition who continue to remain silent as part of this mafia. It’s neither cigars nor champagne. This is a bribe to a judge in Israel. Like the worst crime films. Netanyahu and his people cannot stay for another minute in power. This madness must stop.” (Maariv) Labor party chief, Avi Gabbay, told his party the Netanyahu era has ended, prepare for elections. Former chairman of Bezeq board, Attorney Dov Weisglass, said Netanyahu should suspend himself. “Every substantive decision that the prime minister is making today, especially on security issues, is immediately tainted by suspicion.” (Maariv)
This Is the Man Who Will Lead Us to War? (Zvi Bar’el, Haaretz) At this point, the Israeli public wouldn’t trust Netanyahu to sell them a new piece of furniture.
Israeli forces ready for war. Israeli military preparations for the coming war have been ongoing for at least two years, some details here. Minister Bennett: “If war breaks out, the home front will be hit on a scale we did not know before” – The Minister of Education observed an alert exercise by the Home Front Command at the Ehud Manor School in Or Yehuda and warned: “The level of risk to Israeli citizens has increased, many homes will be damaged in the next confrontation.” (Maariv)
20 Feb: Mideast Peace- Speaking at the United Nations Security Council, the 82-year-old PA leader president Abbas said that a “multilateral international” approach was necessary for peace talks.
“To solve the Palestine question, it is essential to establish a multilateral international mechanism emanating from an international conference,” Abbas called on the UN Security Council for an international Middle East peace conference to be convened by the middle of 2018.
“We call for an international peace conference by the middle of 2018 that will accept the State of Palestine as a full UN member,” Abbas said. “We call on the Security Council to do this.
President Trump will now push the issue when he meets with Netanyahu on March 5. He can now claim that the Palestinian Authority is on board and it is necessary that Israel also agree, for the planned International Peace conference to convene.
The Peace Summit would include Israel, the Palestinians, Egypt and Arab leaders, as well as the US and others yet to be decided. The summit would be intended to finalize the Trump peace plan which is almost completed.
If the Israeli cabinet is deadlocked Netanyahu may have to call elections over the issue and a regional war is looming before such a Peace Summit can take place.
Syria- Syria begins final push to liberate Damascus suburbs.
Syrian Shia militias move into Kurdish Afrin under the guise of defending Syria from the Turkish invasion. The goal of these militias is really to reclaim the Kurdish enclave [which had considered itself independent] back into Syria.
Israel- Yet another bribery scandal breaks for Netanyahu, this time involving selling a cabinet position. The former Communications Ministry director-general Shlomo Filber—is expected to sign a state’s witness deal before incriminating Netanyahu in yet another scandal.
Netanyahu cronies named in “Bezeq Case”.
After Bibi’s Munich threat, Iran responds vowing to level Tel Aviv with massive missile retaliation if Israel ever attacks them.
19 Feb: In an address to the UNSC tomorrow, PA President Abbas is expected to call for a new peace process.
Senior Palestinian official Nasser al-Qudwa said on Monday that Abbas would be looking to gain support for a multilateral initiative. The 2015 Iranian nuclear agreement negotiated by the so-called P5+1 — the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany — is seen by many Palestinians as a good example. “We can live with different formats, the P5, P5+1, expanded Quartet, we can live with an international peace conference,” Qudwa told a news conference in Ramallah. Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, is expected to respond to Abbas’s comments.
Israel- From 10:05 am to noon on Tuesday, all educational institutions in Israel will practice for a large scale missile attack against the country. The drill was set up by the education ministry, the home command and local authorities to prepare Israel’s education system for the approaching war. Some schools will also practice rescue and evacuation operations in the event of a direct missile attack on their institution. Israel plans to evacuate Galilee during the approaching war which has been planned and prepared for years. See our 2012 article linked to above.
Israel pounded an underground Hamas facility near the old Gaza airport in response to Sunday night’s lone mortar shell hitting Shear Hanegev. Head of Israeli military operations says gearing up for war this year.
18 Feb: Israel- Netanyahu arrives in Tel Aviv from Munich after mortar shell from Gaza hits Israel Sunday night.
Israel bombed a total of 18 sites in Gaza over night Saturday. Netanyahu tells Europeans that he will attack Iran itself. Netanyahu may even attack before calling elections in an effort to distract from the Trump peace initiative and his legal troubles.
National phone company officials and Netanyahu associates arrested after big breakthrough in another Netanyahu corruption probe. In addition the transfer of Case 3000 from the Israel Securities Authority to the Police to bring criminal charges against associates of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for receiving benefits in return for favorable media coverage of him on the Walla news website made top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers. Just last week, a former editor of the Walla news outlet admitted he was pressured to give Netanyahu favorable coverage.
17 Feb: A Blessed Sabbath for All God’s Faithful
Israel attacks multiple sites in Gaza after bomb on border fence wounds four Israeli soldiers. After Israel bombed six sites in Gaza one rocket damaged a building in Shear Hanegev, no one was hurt. Israel wounds two men kills two as they attempt to enter Israel from Gaza.
Violence continues on the West Bank and in Gaza as Hamas warns Israel they are losing patience. 40 wounded by Israeli fire on Friday alone.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Donald Trump are to discuss Iran, Syria and negotiations with the Palestinians when they meet at the White House on March 5.
Iran is building and arming an increasingly powerful network of proxies in countries like Syria, Yemen and Iraq that can turn against the governments of those states, US. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said on Saturday. Speaking at the annual Munich Security Conference, Trump’s security adviser said: “What’s particularly concerning is that this network of proxies is becoming more and more capable, as Iran seeds more and more …destructive weapons into these networks,” “So the time is now, we think, to act against Iran,” he said.
Hezbollah threatens Israeli offshore drilling which is taking place in Area 9, an area in Lebanese waters being claimed by Israel.
16 Feb: Israel- Trump to spell it out for Netanyahu at Summit during AIPAC Conference March 4-6. For US backing on Iran Netanyahu must agree to Trump peace plan. The as yet unpublished plan requires concessions from Israel which may be impossible to push through the coalition cabinet.
Syria- Syrian forces build up for operation to liberate Deraa province near Jordan from foreign backed rebels.
15 Feb: Israel- Extending Israeli sovereignty [annexation] over areas of the West Bank to be discussed in key committee on 25 Feb.
Netanyahu to summit with Trump during the March 4-6 AIPAC Conference. Netanyahu will be briefed on the US plans for Middle East peace, which according to Reuters are now far advanced. Trump is likely to stop the moves towards a creeping annexation of the West Bank before peace talks and Israel will be required to take some other steps which will be impossible to push through the coalition.
Netanyahu in 2008: “A prime minister who is immersed in interrogations – has no moral mandate.”
14 Feb: Israel- The coalition members are still paying lip service to Netanyahu as they wait for the decision of the Attorney General to indict or not. This decision may still take some time and if he does indict the various coalition parties will then caucus to decide what to do.
13 Feb: Israel-
Breaking 12:05 PST:
A police statement was published this evening announcing that there is enough evidence to indict Mr Netanyahu for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in two separate cases. Netanyahu took over $100,000 worth of gifts and performed services and favors in return. This is now in the Attorney General’s hands and he may take a short time to come to a decision to indict.
Speaking on Israeli television, PM Netanyahu said the allegations were baseless and that he would continue as prime minister. If indicted the High Court may bar him from further serving, the president may call elections, or some members of his coalition may demand elections.
Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid who heads a key coalition party was a central witness against Netanyahu, providing evidence that the prime minister pushed for a law that gave his benefactors millions of dollars in tax breaks.
There is close cooperation between the police commissioner, the head of the investigations unit, the State Prosecution and the attorney general. The statement from the police is expected to be followed in the next few days by a more detailed explanation from the State Prosecution, which will lay out each proposed charge against the prime minister. Once that happens it will be impossible to avoid official charges against Netanyahu by the Attorney General.
Events are now moving at breakneck speed and it appears that an election call is coming quickly.
With the High Court ruling that the police can proceed with their presentation to the AG, their case and summation is scheduled to be presented on Thursday.
Netanyahu is desperately fighting for his political life. Now Yoav Kisch (Likud), has called a Knesset meeting on Wednesday: “will examine the way the police are conducting the prime minister’s investigations.” According to the statement, police chief Alsheich will attend the discussion. The move ratchets up the anti police campaign another notch, Knesset State Control Committee chairwoman Shelly Yacimovich (Zionist Union) accused Kisch of “abusing the Knesset’s power.”
President Reuven Rivlin became the highest-ranking figure in Israel to suggest that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should resign if he is indicted by Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit. Legally, Netanyahu can remain in office if indicted and has stated that he will not resign, but his coalition partners can leave the coalition initiating early elections.
Egypt- Egyptians will head to the polls on March 26-28 in the first round of the presidential election, and a second round will be held on April 24-26 if necessary. Egypt has launched a pre-election offensive against extremist elements who are calling for election disruptions.
12 Feb: Middle East- Trump speaks by phone with Putin as Netanyahu prepares to visit Moscow followed by Abbas at the end of this month.
Israel- The police report had been delayed for one week to give the court time to rule, but in less than four hours today the High Court ruled in favor of the police opening the door for completing their corruption case against Netanyahu and possible indictments. It was Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit’s brief which was approved by the court.
Israel prepares for war claims to have destroyed half of Syria’s air defenses on the Sabbath. Israeli plane shot down due to an apparent failure of the pilots to take proper evasive action.
Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit is checking with judges for input on how to handle the Netanyahu corruption case before receiving the police recommendations.
Iran- Iran is training a force of 5,000 Iraqi Shia in logistics to supply Hezbollah and other Shia militias from Iran through Syria during the next war. The force is expected to be in place by early May at the latest.
Israel is preparing for war and could easily move sooner, acting preemptively before additional help arrives for Hezbollah and the Shia militias. This fits nicely into my warnings of a possible spring/summer multi-front regional war.
The recent attacks on Syria by Israel were about far more than a single drone, they were about destroying Syrian air defenses ahead of the coming war.
11 Feb: Israel- Israeli police leaders under intense attacks on their credibility by Netanyahu and associates. See the 12 Feb updates on the unfolding police recommendations story.
In spite of Saturday’s events quieting, Israel deploys extensive air defenses to the north leaving the south with few air defenses. Hamas warns that war is 95% likely to break out in Gaza within days and has gone to its highest alert.
2,000 Jews demonstrate against the Sabbath in Ashdod.
Gaza- 57 wounded in clashes throughout Gaza, West Bank; one in life-threatening condition. One critically wounded by live fire shot by security forces in Gaza. Israeli army claims only 850 protesting throughout West Bank. (Haaretz)
German Politics in Chaos- Reports of an unprecedented mutiny against chancellor Angela Merkel were eclipsed on Friday afternoon by the resignation of Social Democrat (SPD) leader Martin Schulz.
Martin Shulz has resigned as SPD leader and proposed Andrea Nahles (47) as his successor and first woman leader of the party.
The SPD membership will begin voting on entering a coalition government with Merkel on Feb 20 and the final results are scheduled to be announced on March 4. Support for the coalition in the SDP is rapidly evaporating due to the efforts of a young firebrand Kevin Kühnert, 28 who heads the party Youth Wing. The young man could upset coalition plans and possibly even take over the SDP to fight any resulting election.
Meanwhile in the CDU Angela Merkel stands accused of giving away key cabinet portfolios in order to remain Chancellor and is under intense pressure to resign as party leader. Even if the coalition is approved by the SPD she may be out within months, giving a new Chancellor to Germany.
It seems that the best situation for Germany is if the SPD rank and file fails to approve the coalition. Then a new election could take place featuring the two new party leaders. It is beginning to look like both the SPD and the CDU will both have new leaders soon and will be contesting another election.
10 Feb: A Blessed Sabbath for All God’s Faithful!
Update 06:45 PST- Syria “today’s events will not escalate into a regional war.” However the joint Syrian-Iranian command in Damascus including Hezbollah announced that “Israel will henceforth meet a strong response to every operation it conducts against Syria,” Sooner or later [probably this year] Israel will face a full scale multi-front conflict.
05:20 PST- The drone incident and the loss of an F-16 were used by Israel as an excuse to conduct extensive air attacks in defense of Israeli backed militias, by striking Syria/Hezbollah and Iranian backed militia troops in the Golan area and in Deraa.
03:30 PST- Israel declares that Syria / Iran are playing with fire and is making it clear that Israel is prepared to launch a major war over the flimsy pretext of a single drone encroaching the Golan Heights [note that Israel has already repeatedly bombed Syria for many months and they have not launched a war in retaliation].
Israel uses Iranian made drone over Golan as excuse for attacking Iranian assets across Syria.
An Israeli Apache helicopter downed an Iranian drone over the Golan and it was captured intact overnight. Israel then launched air strikes on the Russian base at Palmyra used to launch the drone. Syrian air defenses shot down an Israeli IAF F-16 over Palmyra, which came down over northern Israel, the two pilots ejected safely. The F-16 was hit during an IAF air strike against an Iranian facility in Palmyra, both pilots are in hospital one in serious condition.
The Syrian anti-air missiles which hit an Israeli F-16 early Saturday, Feb. 10, are part of a system operated with and commanded by the Russians from their Kheimim air base acting in defense of the Russian base at Palmyra [also used by Iran[ which Israel had bombed.
Another wave of Israeli air strikes was then launched against a broad range of Iranian and Syrian targets. IAF aircraft, targeted the Syrian Aerial Defense System & Iranian targets in Syria. 12 targets, including 3 aerial defense batteries and 4 Iranian military targets, were attacked. Anti-aircraft missiles were fired towards Israel, triggering alarms in northern Israel
Prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu called an urgent conference Saturday of defense and military chiefs, including Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gady Eisenkot. They are discussing the situation as the Israeli air force conducts a wide-ranging air offensive against Syrian and Iranian military targets in Syria, especially in the Damascus region. Private and commercial flights over northern Israel have been halted until further notice.
9 Feb: American reports of a militia attacking an SDF headquarters was fake News. They spun a crossing of the Euphrates as an “attack” on an SDF headquarters.
In fact US F-15 fighters, Apache helicopters, heavy artillery and special ops forces attacked Hezbollah and Shiite forces in the process of crossing the Euphrates to eastern Syria for a rescue operation. Some Russian engineers building the pontoon bridge were also killed.
In reality the militia were attacking ISIS more than half a mile away from the SDF base, which explains why there were no casualties on the SDF base. The US, on the other hand, attacked the Syrian patrol and killed in excess of 100 fighters in the attack.
Syria, meanwhile, has gone to the UN Security Council to complain over the US massacre of members of a pro-government militia that had been fighting Islamic State remnants, and was at the time of the attack engaged in a search-and-rescue operation. Of course the real truth is lost in all of this banter, but tempers still rise.
This is the first incident where the US has killed Russians in Syria. Tillerson rushes into Middle East tour beginning Feb 11.
Israel- Netanyahu cronies allegedly survailing police officials who were investigating Netanyahu. Attorney General refuses to allow investigation of the matter.
8 Feb: Syria- An estimated 100 men from a rival militia were killed by US air strikes and artillery when they attacked a US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Headquarters 5 Mi east of the Euphrates River. The fight appears to have been over control of a local oil field.
Israel- Police unanimously agree to recommend indictment of Netanyahu. The recommendation along with the case files will be passed to the Attorney General early next week and he will take the final decision on charges once he has reviewed the case files.
7 Feb: Israel uses murders of two rabbis – Raziel Shevach in December and Rabbi Itamar Ben Gal on Monday to begin massive force deployments and crackdown on the West Bank. See this article on plans for a multi front war.
Korea- After the Olympics the US will announce extremely harsh sanctions on the DPRK. The US will soon begin a large rush deployment of combat forces to Korea? Mobilization Centers for a rapid deployment of combat forces are being completed this month [Feb 2018]. Of course the media could be wrong and these same forces could head to the Middle East.
Germany- The CDP/CDU and SPD have reached a preliminary agreement on a new government. The deal will now by voted on by SPD members in a March postal vote. The SPD rank and file are very anti Merkel and passage is uncertain. If the deal fails another election would be held in late summer
Israel- Israel bombs the Jamraya Research and Information Center near Damascus.
The team investigating PM Netanyahu, led by the head of the Lahav 433 anti-corruption unit Dep.-Ch. Koresh Bar-Nur, plans to meet with Police Commissioner Insp.-Gen. Roni Alsheich today. The conference will continue until a unanimous decision is made on whether to recommend an indictment of the prime minister on corruption charges. The police will then close the case and report to the attorney general early next week.
Heavy clashes overnight in Nablus as Israel seeks man who attacked Israeli on Monday.
6 Feb: On Monday, Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaite told reporters that Russia is deploying more nuclear-capable Iskander missiles to the exclave of Kaliningrad.
NATO Deputy Secretary Rose Gottemoeller told reporters that this was “a very serious matter.” Russian officials confirmed the deployment, saying it was a response to the US deployment of weapons into the same region.
The 9K720 Iskander is a short-range ballistic missile, which means that in practice the Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad can hit the Baltic states, and Poland.
Russia is making moves in Europe to asymmetrically counter US moves in Syria.
Ahmad Nasser Jarar, who headed the cell that murdered Rabbi Shevach in December, was killed early Tuesday morning in a joint operation of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), the IDF and the Israel Police. Others have been arrested. Israeli officials claim that in 1998, Jarrar became a senior commander of Hamas’s forces during the Second Intifada of the early 2000’s and are expected to blame Hamas for the killing of a Rabbi last month.
Events appear to be lining up for Abbas to call for an international peace summit, followed by intense pressure on Israel creating division in the cabinet and bringing an Israeli election call, followed by war with Hamas leading to war with Hezbollah/Syria/Iran.
President Abbas Crumbles- says he will negotiate peace with Israel only under a multilateral effort along the lines of the Arab Peace Initiative. He is expected to call for an international peace summit during UN speech. He wants to give the impression that he has won his point and that the US role is diminished, however it was always the Trump plan to call an international peace summit. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will address the United Nations Security Council on Feb. 20 during the body’s monthly meeting on the Middle East.
Next Israel must respond to the Trump peace summit plan, it is unlikely that the fractious coalition can agree and an election may be called in the hopes of achieving a broader mandate. However the high cost in blood and treasure of the coming multi-front war may bring a different result.
5 Feb: US Market plunges 1175 points while US President Donald Trump displays open megalomania accusing Democrats on Monday of being “un-American” and perhaps even “treasonous” for refusing to cheer during his State of the Union address.
France to begin financing exports to Iran in Euro’s to sidestep the US dollar and US sanctions – Plan is to offer dedicated, euro-denominated export credits to Iranian buyers of French goods and services and so avoid the economic reach of the US; about 1.5 billion-euros worth of exports waiting, says head of state-owned investment bank Bpifrance. (Agencies, Ynet). If this works it could be the beginning of a process of sidelining the US dollar by financing exports from Europe in Euro’s instead of dollars to other countries.
Paratroopers prepare for full self-reliance in Lebanon war scenario
Amid the rugged Mt. Carmel forests, troops learn to make use of food, fuel, medical supplies from Lebanese population, fix weapons mid-battle; Fact that Hezbollah is now a more professional, conventional, highly trained army, not militia, seen as advantage for IDF. (Yoav Zitun, Ynet)
Al Hayat newspaper reported Sunday that Hamas sees a ’95 percent’ chance of confrontation with Israel, believing that Israel will use a training exercise planned on the southern front to open a military operation against Hamas. The report further said Hamas’ military wing has begun evacuating sites and preparing for an Israeli operation. This may be just prudent precaution at this point?
A personal note from Syrian president Bashar Assad has been handed to pm Netanyahu by a European intermediary. “War is not what I am after. All I want now is to focus on reunifying Syria and rebuilding the ruins of war. We are a sovereign nation. We shall not hand our borders over to the control of any forces other than Syrian.” Another message this time from Lebanese President Michel Aoun also tried to calm the Israeli’s.
As Syria and Russia try to dampen the war fever, Israel is planning to attack Gaza and Hezbollah – Iranian assets inside Syria/Lebanon.
“Hezbollah has purchased Druze land in Lebanon in order to transfer the missile factories there” – Arab sources said that the Shiite organization was working to remove the weapons factories from areas under its control, (which Israel has threatened to attack Lebanon over – OH), according to a report in the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida. (Maariv and Israel Hayom)
A Palestinian stabbed a 40-year old Israeli man to death at a hitch-hiking post outside the town of Ariel in Samaria Monday.
Israel prepares public for possible Attorney General rejection of police recommendations for charges against Bibi. Police recommended charging Israel’s Labor Minister Haim Katz (Likud) with breach of trust and fraud,
4 Feb: Netanyahu informs Israeli cabinet that war is near by saying in his opening statement to the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday in Jerusalem: “We are not looking for war, but will do everything we have to, to defend ourselves.” He stressed that the IDF is ”the strongest army in the Middle East – and that is just as well, because there are many challenges ahead”.
Israel warns Iran and Hezbollah they face massive destruction.
IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot predicted at Sunday’s cabinet meeting a new conflict between Israel and the Hamas in Gaza was likely in 2018
A secret US base in Israel has now been linked up to EUCON and thousands of US troops are in Israel for a missile defense exercise and shield. Israel is to hold a massive paratroop drill in the Gaza area in spring around the timing that war is expected to break out. I have been warning for a very long time that a multi-front was could easily break out in sporing summer 2018 and now Netanyahu is preparing the government for war.
Netanyahu has informed the US, Europe and Russia that Israel intends to attack Iranian assets in Syria, and a team of Russian officials is in Israel trying to prevent the war. The famed Givati Brigade has just completed intensive training for the long planned war.
Israeli police are preparing to close their corruption investigation of Netanyahu in the coming weeks.
Israel bombs two Hamas sites on Sabbath after one rocket strike. Israeli forces spend the Sabbath raiding Jenin for killer of Rabbi.
3 Feb: A Blessed Sabbath for All God’s Faithful!
2 Feb: United States- Trying to make possible Russian influence in US politics a big issue, the world’s number one leader in interference in other nations politics – the United States – is at it again.
Rex Tillerson has urged President Maduro of Venezuela to resign, saying that would be the “easiest” form of regime change. Tillerson also suggested that the Venezuelan military launch a coup while saying that the US does not advocate regime change. He managed to say this with a straight face after Trump threatened to take out the regime with a military attack recently. Venezuela is suffering from an extreme economic situation due to the impact of American sanctions, and rumors of a US sponsored coup are rife in the country.
Cuba- Fidel Castro’s son from pre-revolutionary days has killed himself; details.
Syria- An estimated five advanced missiles dropped from the air Thursday night wrecked a heavily fortified rebel hospital in the Hama province. Note: the rebels routinely call command centers and places to store weapons “hospitals”, and often use legitimate hospitals for the same purposes.
Turkish forces and allies have resumed heavy fighting against the Kurd’s trying to carve out a buffer zone along the border with Syria.
Gaza- Israel bombs Hamas after one mortar shell was fired on Israel by independent group.
Israel- Polls give the Netanyahu coalition a boost, possibly opening the way for a future election call.
1 Feb: The US is completing a massive deployment of anti-missile defense systems across all parts of Israel to prepare for the joint Juniper Cobra air defense exercise beginning next month. The five-day US-Israel drill is to practice defending against a simulated simultaneous rocket and missile attack across the entire nation of Israel. The equipment will then be left in place and at the ready for use. The last such exercise was Juniper Cobra 2016.
Trump has hardened on Russia and announced that sanctions are coming on a list of more than 200 Russian leaders.
Israeli AG says two Netanyahu corruption investigations to be completed this month.