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15 Nov: Israel- President Rivlin met the Roman Pontiff at the Vatican today. On Friday, the president will meet with the Italian Prime Minister and President. The three leaders will discuss recent political changes in the Middle East and the strengthening of relations between Israel and Italy
Both Kahlon’s Kulanu and Deri’s Shas have advised Bibi to call elections, Netanyahu is to meet with Jewish Home Party Chairman Naftali Bennett Friday morning. Meeretz is preparing legislation to be tabled next week dissolving the Knesset and calling elections.
Update 03:30 PST- Coalition parties recommend elections.
Today Netanyahu will meet with heads of the coalition factions in order to decide whether to continue the coalition or call elections.
Israeli forces remain massed in place on the Gaza border awaiting an invasion go ahead. Bibi wants to fight the election as Mr. Security and has little choice except to go to war.
14 Nov: Israel- Update 10:00 PST- Jewish Home party MKs vote unanimously o demand the defense portfolio and insist on invading Gaza.
Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot on Wednesday held a situational assessment in the Gaza Division with the Commander of the Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Herzi Halevi, the Commander of the Gaza Division, Brig. Gen. Eliezer Toledano, the Commander of the 162nd Division, Brig. Gen. Oded Basyuk and other commanders.
Update 08:20- PM Netanyahu begins talks with coalition partners.
Update 06:30 PST- The Jewish Home will convene at 6:30 PM [08:30 PST] for a closed meeting to discuss leaving the coalition and forcing elections. “Now is the time to place the defense portfolio in the hands of Naftali Bennett and the Jewish Home,” said MK Shuli Mualem Refaeli, chairman of the Jewish Home Party faction.
Update 04:20 PST- The Jewish Home party has presented an ultimatum to Netanyahu demanding the defense ministry or they will bring elections. Netanyahu’s Likud dismisses the demand, says ‘no reason’ for Netanyahu to give up the position after Avigdor Liberman’s resignation.
Update 03:15 PST- In a stunning development Lieberman resigns as defense minister.PM Netanyahu will take over the defense portfolio as other parties call for elections.
Speculation abounds that Avigdor Lieberman was about to resign as defense minister after Bibi forced a Gaza ceasefire through the Security Cabinet. Lieberman has called a special Yisrael Beytenu faction meeting on Wednesday at noon, to be followed by a major public announcement. scheduled a news conference for 1 pm Wednesday, Nov. 14, the day after he and three other ministers objected to the security cabinet’s decision to accept a ceasefire with Hamas, Netanyahu will call snap elections if Lieberman resigns.
Officials close to Liberman confirmed that he is planning to quit the Defense Ministry as a result of his ongoing frustration with the government’s handling of the crisis with Hamas. The minister’s office neither confirmed nor denied the claims.
Shortly thereafter, a senior coalition official close to Prime Minister Netanyahu said that if Liberman does in fact resign, it would spell the end of the government and force early elections.
“A decision to dissolve the Knesset would be made very soon,” after Liberman’s resignation, the source said, “and new elections held within the next couple of months.”
13 Nov: Breaking Israel agrees to calm for calm and an unofficial ceasefire. This calm may break at any time or it could last until next spring as long term truce talks are scheduled to be completed by the end of May.
USA- US news outlets report that President Donald Trump will remove Department of Homeland Security chief Kirstjen Nielsen and replace chief of staff John Kelly in another shake-up of his administration.
Update 08:30 PST- Security Cabinet orders military to carry on. An Egyptian delegation is to visit Israel on Wednesday.
Israel has begun mobilizing reserves after bombing 150 sites in Gaza overnight. Israel rejects ceasefire contacts as Security Cabinet meets sooner than planned after 70 more rockets were launched overnight. There are several infiltration alerts on the Gaza border today with the IDF attacking infiltrators apparently emerging from attack tunnels.
Remember that it was Israel which provoked this situation by breaking the ceasefire, but it is Hamas who is overreacting on a large scale. It would appear that Hamas is acting on instructions from Iran to counter the Israeli threats against Hezbollah and give Iran more time to arm that militia. Listen to our news heavy Peace and Safety talk here.
Update 15:20 PST- 400 projectiles were launched from the Gaza Strip since 4 pm Monday local time [it is now 1 a.m. local time]. A third building in Ashkelon was hit Monday night.
Update 13:50 PST: Monday evening, large numbers of tanks and other military vehicles began moving to the Gaza border on large trucks. Earlier in the day, before the barrages began, the army ordered extra infantry battalions to the region.
Update 12:30 PST- A major Israeli Gaza operation, perhaps the operation to destroy the Gaza militias to enable a peace deal which I have been warning about for the past 12 years, appears to be beginning. The Israeli Security Cabinet will meet tomorrow evening to discuss calling up reserves, as troops already in location prepare for battle. The reserve call up is being delayed until the Israeli civil elections run off is completed tomorrow. Rockets from the Gaza Strip in the past five and a half hours climbed past 300 by 10 p.m. local time [noon PST].
Damage to a four-story residential building in Ashkelon was heavy, but all residents made it to shelters in time to escape harm. The second direct hit in Ashkelon caused extensive damage in a residential district. One person was injured.
Update 11:30 PST- Israel destroys Gaza TV indicating that a major operation is coming, Hamas launches another massive barrage about three minutes ago.
Prime Minister and Defense Minister authorize major IDF Gaza Operation. Rocket launching and Israeli bombing continuing.
Update 11:00 PST- Israel bombs 70 sites in Gaza as rockets continue to fly and Israel takes operational decisions.
Update 10:00 PST- Two hundred rockets have now been launched at Israel and Israel has pledged to respond in full intensity. Israel is conducting air strikes across the strip and preparing for major operations. The IDF has announced that Gaza will feel the full power of Israel in the coming hours as Israel begins massing troops and armour for what could be the long planned operation to destroy the Hamas Military Wing and Gaza militias so that a long term armistice can be achieved.
It is now likely that Israel has decided to deal with Gaza first before attacking Hezbollah.
07:45 PST- Hamas announces start of hostilities with Israel
Requests by the Hamas Political Wing for a continuation of the ceasefire fell on deaf ears as Israel deploys Iron Dome defense systems before conducting heavy bombing in Gaza. Hamas fires 90 rockets on Israel. After the first 90 rockets were fired from Gaza Monday afternoon, alerts multiplied towards evening in Beersheba, Lakiya, Arad, Dead Sea, Ashkelon industrial zone. Hamas: If Israel expands its air strikes over Gaza, we shall expand our rocket targets.
Hamas Qassam Brigades claimed victory Monday morning, saying they “taught the enemy a hard lesson.” The Israeli’s had entered Gaza breaking the ceasefire and killed seven Hamas men. Hamas managed to kill the Israeli Lt. Col commanding the mission and launched 17 rockets Israeli border communities, with Iron Dome system intercepting 3 of them.
Update 17:00 PST- One Israeli officer was killed. Rockets continue to enter Israel from Gaza.
Update 14:45 PST- Netanyahu rushes home after Israeli assassination of Hamas commanders deliberately breaking the ceasefire understanding. Hamas’s military wing said in an official a statement, “a special IDF force penetrated into Gaza at three kilometers depth in a civilian vehicle near the Isma’il Abu Shanab mosque, east of Khan Yunis. “The force killed Nur Barakeh, Hamas’s military wing brigade commander. After the IDF force was revealed, the IAF aircraft began firing to allow to cover the soldiers withdrawal, which led to fatalities on the our side,” Hamas’s statement read. “The incident is ongoing, and our forces are operating against the Zionist dangerous aggression, the statement concluded.
13:00 Breaking PST- Top Hamas military wing commanders Sheikh Nur Barakeh, and Muhammad al-Qara and four companions were killed in an IDF special forces attack Sunday night near Khan Younes in the southern Gaza Strip. One source identified the target as a battalion commander of the Hamas Ezz-edin al-Qassam armed wing. The reports described Israel air and drone strikes in the area. According to some sources, the Israeli force was caught up in a fierce firefight after the assassination strikes.
At 10:20 p.m, rocket alert sirens began sounding through southern Israel
Russia/USA- The anticipated summit between Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin was called off at the WWI centenary events they both attended in Paris on Sunday, they will meet on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Argentina on Nov. 26-30 instead.
Peace- The Paris International Forum on World Peace begins today. The first edition of the Paris Peace Forum, created by French President Emmanuel Macron, will bring together world leaders, international organizations, think tanks and nonprofits to discuss on Sunday security, terrorism, climate, green energy, global governance, cyberthreats and other pressing issues of the 21st century.
USA- The crowd marching to the US border is leaving Mexico City after dwindling to about 4,000.
Mideast War- Syrian units, backed by Russian special forces, have launched an offensive against the ISIS fighters who have taken up position in the Al-Safa region of southern Syria. The 32nd Brigade of the Syria army’s 4th Armored Division was withdrawn from the Quneitra region opposite Israel for the anti-ISIS operation.
Once this operation is concluded it will be the turn of the international terrorists not in the agreement with Turkey on Idlib: Which operation could bring the long expected phony chemical attack to justify an American take out of Syria’s air defenses ahead of an Israeli operation against Hezbollah.
Israel gives Hezbollah ultimatum: Stop upgrading rockets or we will attack. It seems that the US is backing the Israeli play; are the rumors about Mattis war opposition a military ruse?
On Nov. 10, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah responded in a televised speech: Hezbollah will unquestionably retaliate against any Israeli aggression against Lebanon. We are not afraid of any sanctions and we will continue to hold on to our weapons and missiles.” He added: ”We condemn any form of normalization with the Zionist entity. The path of the Resistance is decisive, strong and triumphant, achieving historic victories [referring to the Islamic State in Syria] . We are not afraid of any sanctions and we will continue to hold on to our weapons and missiles.” This game of threat counter-threat could continue for some time yet.
9 Nov: New Moon- Sunset tonight begins the ninth biblical month. A Blessed Sabbath and New Moon for All God’s Faithful! The New Moon is to be observed wit congregational bible studies, or personal bible studies if it is not possible to meet with a like minded congregation. I recommend that visitors go to the “Sabbath and Calendar” category and review these things this New Moon Sabbath Day.
Europe- Macron pushes a European army able to defend Europe as an island between Russia and the US.
USA- Florida passed an amendment that will restore the voting rights of some 1.4 million people with past felony convictions. This will change the political landscape. Most of the felons are people of color, often convicted for very minor crimes. In 2016 Trump carried the state by only 100,000 votes.
The U.S. Army’s top official said Thursday that he wants to see sergeants making regular visits to the barracks on weekends to help reduce the number of soldiers who die by suicide. In calendar year 2017, 509 U.S. military personnel died by suicide, according to Defense Department numbers. Of that number, the Army suffered 298 deaths by suicide
Asia- Pakistan and the US will meet with the Taliban at the Moscow, Afghanistan peace conference which begins today. In addition the U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, will visit Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar from Nov. 8 to 20 to push for peace negotiations with the Afghan Taliban.
This spring the Taliban guaranteed the security of the multinational oil companies pipeline through the country enabling Trump to seek an exit from the war which was launched when the Taliban failed to sign on to the pipeline project despite the wooing of US officials and oil companies.
The Taliban appeared to agree to a $2 billion pipeline deal, but would do the deal only if the US officially recognizes the Taliban regime and all the ducks were lined up for US oil companies. In 1998 President Clinton refused to extend diplomatic recognition to the Taliban, making business there legally problematic. A concern that Clinton will lose support among women voters for upholding the Taliban plays a role in the cancellation. Timeline history of US and oil company relations with the Taliban.
Israel- Israeli Settler Movement continues to fan Palestinian extremism. These same extremists will trigger the tribulation by sabotaging the coming peace deal.
8 Nov: Israel- Police recommend indictments against six in massive government corruption case.
Europe- Manfred Weber, a reserved Bavarian has won the backing of Europe’s centre-right parties in the race to become European Commission president. Weber, who is little known outside of Germany and the EU capital Brussels and has never held a ministerial position, won 79 percent of the support of delegates from Europe’s largest political grouping and is now front runner to become the successor to outgoing EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, also of the EPP.
Whichever group comes first in the European assembly’s election will have first chance to try to obtain the backing of the European Parliament to be chosen as European Commission president. The decision of who gets the Commission job also depends on the EU’s national leaders.
In his formal speech to the party plenary, Weber extolled European values: “I stand here not only to ask for your support as a candidate, but I stand here to ask you for a mandate, a mandate to change Europe!” He also stressed Europe’s Christian [Catholic] traditions, winning applause from the audience.
Weber will likely compete against Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans, the former Dutch foreign minister who is currently unchallenged for the nomination of the Party of European Socialists — Europe’s second-biggest political family.
After the May European parliament elections the heads of member states are expected to nominate the lead candidate of the party winning the most seats in parliament, or at least the lead candidate most likely to be able to form a majority coalition. The Council’s nominee must then win the support of a majority of the EU Parliament.
Once this is achieved the new EU leadership is prepared to push through a package of reforms to create a strong Federal Europe. It is these reforms which must be agreed by the member states which an influential Roman Pontiff will exhort the member states to approve, thus creating the last revival of the Holy Roman Empire regardless of the name by which it is called. It is conceivable that these reforms could be approved by ten nations late in 2019 but the process could take until late 2020.
USA- The first act of new AG Matt Whitaker was to immediately take over oversight of Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, from Sessions’ deputy Rod Rosenstein. For all practical purposes the investigation in to Trump is now controlled by Trump. In fact Trump was supported by Russian billionaires and Jewish billionaires not directly by the Russian state, and Donald wants to conceal that fact from the general public.
Trump claims to be an establishment outsider when he is completely owned by the establishment and is pushing through the establishment agenda, even his phony attacks on the press are designed to give an impression that he is anti establishment when nothing is further from the truth.
Viet Nam- The US finally cleans up Da Nang airport decades after its massive chemical warfare program in Viet Nam.
7 Nov: Mideast War- Special US envoy for Syria, James Jeffrey, today asked Russia to permit Israeli attacks inside Syria. President Donald Trump sits down with President Vladimir Putin in Paris next Sunday, Nov.11 to try and avert a crisis.
Jefferies spoke after meeting with Netanyahu and Israeli military leaders in Jerusalem last Monday. Moscow had indicated that should Israeli jets enter Syrian airspace to attack Iranian backed militias, the S-300 would shoot them down.
Israel has indicted that they will soon resume attacks on Syria and warned that if its aircraft were intercepted by air defenses, Israel would take action against the S-300 batteries, even if they were manned by Russian personnel.
Two days later, the Kremlin announced that President Putin had no intention of granting a meeting to Prime Minister Netanyahu in Paris next Sunday.
Update 13:00 PST- Trump is wasting no time in derailing the Russia investigation. Matt Whittaker was sworn in as US Acting Attorney General hours after the resignation was announced of Jeff Session as Attorney general. Whitaker now oversees all the work at the DOJ including the Russian investigation headed by Bob Mueller,
Update 12:00 PST- Trump is working fast: Only hours after my first report, Attorney General Jeff Session was asked by President Donald Trump to resign and Sessions responded immediately. Additional White House and cabinet changes are expected. President Trump has appointed Matt Whittaker, chief of staff at the Justice Department, as Acting Attorney General.
After a minor gain in the Senate and a big loss in the House, Trump is now set on major cabinet changes. Such changes may take place early in the new year when the new senate takes office with stronger Republican representation needed to get his picks through the consent process. Now Trump can get the people he really wants for his war plans; several are said to be on the block including Sessions and Mattis while numerous aides and staffers could head for the door in the new year.
Trump can now get the war cabinet he wants from the Senate while House Democrats are in a strong position to block any Trump legislation. After making the needed changes in his cabinet Trump will be ready for his war and peace initiative, the success of which could bring a big victory in 2020.
6 Mideast War: Today, Israeli security cabinet minister Ze’ev Elkin informed Russian media that Israel will attack Syria’s new Russian S-300 air defense systems if they are used. At this point the systems are manned by Iranians.
5 Nov: Mideast War- The Mideast war is on hold as the US and Israel assess the situation in Saudi Arabia. Another issue is US Sec Defense Mattis intense opposition to the war. Mattis is rumored to be on the way out after the midterms. These are two of the reasons for Netanyahu’s acceptance of a temporary calm in Gaza.
Trump grants eight waivers to nations importing oil from Iran.
Today Iranian armed forces launched a two day air defense exercise dubbed “The Defenders of Velayat Skies 97.”
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will embark on a week-long domestic tour on Tuesday to try and calm the political crisis.
4 Nov: Syria- Repeated attacks by terrorists who reject the Idlib ceasefire are provoking an operation against them.
Gaza- In this story please note that none of the discussion points include disarming militias or limiting their weaponry; therefore this is not a serious negotiation from the Israeli perspective but only a maneuver to delay hostilities until the overall political and military situation is ready for conflict. These talks are also setting up the primary agreement which will actually be implemented by the Hamas Political Wing after the Military Wing is disarmed in future. It is when a peace deal in the region has been reached behind the scenes that military action will be taken to remove the objecting parties and enable implementation of the peace deal at a peace conference.
The various parties involved in Gaza talks have agreed to a December 31 deadline to negotiate a long term Gaza truce; they have also agreed to a calm until Dec 31 as per the first steps of the talks agenda. Friday Hamas and Islamic Jihad delivered on promises to keep the weekly Friday protests in the Gaza Strip peaceful. Reports on the ground are that the protests were the quietest in several months, and that protesters stayed far away from the Israeli border.
Iran- The end of business on Friday marked the end of the six month period between the US withdrawing from the P5+1 nuclear deal and the withdrawal being finalized. As of Monday, the US will be reimposing all sanctions against Iran that they had previously been required by treaty to ease.
3 Nov: A Blessed Sabbath for All God’s Faithful!
2 Nov: USA- Investigative Documentary Film- Israeli involvement in American policy.
Europe- After the CDU chooses a new leader to replace Merkel in December, Germany will probably hold early elections for a new Chancellor. After Brexit a new German government may be able to support French President Emmanuel Macron ambitious reforms to further economically and politically integrate the EU, which Merkel has been unable to advance due to her political situation.
With a general Middle East war coming in the next year and very likely new German, Israeli and Palestinian governments, along with European parliamentary elections next spring and a new European Commission; 2019 promises to be a most interesting year for Europe and the Middle East.
Russia- Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has frozen the assets of 322 Ukrainian politicians and officials and 68 businesses, in response to similar Ukrainian measures against Russia. They targeted President Petro Poroshenko’s son Olexiy, who manages the family billions in assets, presidential contender Yulia Tymoshenko,, the head of Ukraine’s SBU security service Vasil Hrytsak, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, and billionaire tycoon Victor Pinchuk.
Ukraine is arguably the most corrupt nation on earth today. With the Ukrainian people disgusted by their western imposed and backed government, Ukraine goes to elections on March 31, 2019. Will Russia react to the Mideast war by moves in Ukraine, or will the people throw these folks out [perhaps with a little help from their friends in Moscow] and turn back towards Russia, or will the present instability persist in Ukraine?
This week the Israeli air force is taking part in the US-led Clear Sky exercise in Ukraine, practicing attacks against Russian S-300 and S-400 air defense missile systems.
Ukraine is armed with six types of Russian air defense systems – three short-range self-propelled Koob 2K12, Tor 9K330 and C-125; two medium-range S-300PT systems, which are closely related to the mobile, all-purpose, anti-missile and anti-air S-300V1 S-12 Gladiators: and, finally, a long-range S-200V.
Ukraine’s possession of the same types of air defense systems which Russia has deployed in Syria makes Ukraine an ideal place for the US and Israel to practice attacking those systems. Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko will soon come for a visit so that Bibi can thank him for allowing the Israeli’s to practice in Ukraine.
1 Nov: Arabia- In what appears to be the start of a challenge to the rule of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, his exiled uncle Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz has reportedly returned to Saudi Arabia from the United Kingdom this week. Prince Ahmed, the younger brother of King Salman, called his nephew “toxic” in the wake of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and Saudi sources say he intends to return to challenge the crown prince on that basis.
Europe- Europe chafes under Trump economic bullying.
Middle East War- Update- Gaza militias agree to scale back protest demonstrations and incendiary balloons to give talks more time.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders will meet in Gaza ahead of the arrival of a Egyptian intelligence delegation this afternoon. They are preparing for a meeting between the Egyptian delegation and representatives of the factions.
Air, ground, naval and special forces from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Jordan have begun arriving in Egypt for the exercises called “The Shield of the Arabs 1”, due to be held from Nov. 3-16. Observers from Lebanon and Morocco will also attend the maneuvers, which are intended to push forward the Trump vision of an Arab NATO like alliance.
US Politics- In a political maneuver designed to increase support for the Republican party in his base before next week’s midterm elections president Trump has surged 5600 troops to the border with Mexico. The official reason is the need to “defend” against a migrant march to the US border from Latin America which has already been defused when Mexico granted work permits for those people who remained in south Mexico.
Besides political grandstanding there is another motive behind the move: The military will be engaged in constructing border barriers in an attempt to undercut congressional rejection of his Mexico border wall boondoggle.