July 17, 2024

Wednesday, July 17, 2024
July 17, 2024

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LIVE DEVELOPMENTS — updated Wednesday, July 17th, 2024

‘Campaign For Our Very Existence’: PM Says Israel Must Adopt New ‘Operative Concept’ To Confront Iran



Israelis Killed
Israelis Killed


LIVE DEVELOPMENTS — updated Wednesday, July 17th, 2024

‘Campaign For Our Very Existence’: PM Says Israel Must Adopt New ‘Operative Concept’ To Confront Iran


Israelis Killed
Israelis Killed


Quick Facts

  • Since Oct. 7, Over 1,400 Israelis (682 soldiers) have been killed, and over 13,000 have been injured.
  • 4,152 IDF soldiers wounded since the start of the war.
  • On April 13, Iran launched 200+ missiles and drones toward Israel from Iranian soil.
  • On April 8, the IDF withdrew ground troops from southern Gaza, maintaining that a operation in Rafah, the last Hamas stronghold, remains imminent.
  • On April 1, Israel allegedly carried out an airstrike in Damascus, killing 7 IRGC members, including the top Iranian commander in Syria.
  • On Dec. 3, the IDF’s ground operation moved into southern Gaza after Israel dropped leaflets to inform civilians to evacuate key areas. 
  • On Dec. 1, after Hamas violated the terms of the ceasefire agreement, the pause in fighting ended. Israel resumed their operations in the north of Gaza.
  • On Nov. 24, in accordance with a ceasefire agreement for the release of hostages by Hamas, the IDF paused their operations.
  • On Oct. 27, the IDF began its Ground Operation in Northern Gaza
  • On Oct. 8, the Israel Security Cabinet voted to officially declare war for the first time since the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
  • On Oct. 7, one day after the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, thousands of Hamas gunmen invaded southern Israel, kidnapping, raping, torturing, and killing hundreds of Israelis.
  • For Video Updates — Click Here

happening now

  • ‘An Attack On All The Democracies’: Israel Responds to the Assassination Attempt Of Fmr. President Trump
  • COGAT: UNRWA Is Simply Trying To Evade Responsibility For Actively Participating In Hamas Terrorist Activity
  • US-Sanctioned Syrian Businessman Dies In Alleged Israeli Strike
  • Ramming Attack In Central Israel Injures 4 IDF Soldiers After Hamas Calls Palestinians To ‘Escalate Clashes’

Day 285 — Wednesday, July 17

'An Enormous Campaign For Our Very Existence': Netanyahu Says Israel Must Adopt New ‘Operative Concept’ To Confront Iran

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed on Tuesday the need to adopt a new approach to the threat posed by the mullahs in Tehran.

“The monstrous massacre on Oct. 7 reshuffled the deck. It requires a very different operative concept that takes into account Iran’s efforts to strangle us in a chokehold on seven fronts,said Netanyahu.

“Today more than ever, we are in the midst of an enormous campaign for our very existence. On one side is the fanatic Iranian regime which threatens to destroy us, as a step toward taking over the Middle East, from where it will be able to threaten the entire world. On the other side is the democratic and free Israel that is determined to defend its home,he said.

“We have no intention of losing this confrontation. We will continue to rebuff the efforts to harm us by Iran and its proxies. We will continue to strike—with uncompromising force—those who rise up to destroy us. We will settle accounts with all those who are carrying out this terrorist assault, down to the last of them. We will bring down Hamas’s regime of evil. We will thwart every future threat to the State of Israel from Gaza. We will return home all of our hostages,added the premier.

Netanyahu was speaking at a state ceremony on Mt. Herzl in Jerusalem to commemorate the IDF soldiers who fell in battle duringOperation Protective Edge,the 50-day war against Hamas in 2014.

Earlier on Tuesday, interim Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani said that Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre of 1,200 Israelis had shifted the balance of power in the Middle Eastin favor of the resistance.”

Theaxis of resistanceincludes Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen and other Iranian-backed terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria.

Bagheri Kani told Newsweek that the Jewish stateshould face serious resistance in the region by these resistance groups and also by the nations and peoples in the region.”

On Monday, Iran was front and center when U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Secretary of State Antony Blinken hosted Israeli National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi and Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer at the White House for a U.S.-Israel Strategic Consultative Group meeting.

The American and Israeli leaderswere joined by senior representatives from their respective foreign policy, defense and intelligence agenciesfor a discussion about countering the Iranian threat, the White House said.

The group also addresseddevelopments with respect to Iran’s nuclear program and discussed mutual coordination on a series of measures to ensure that Iran can never acquire a nuclear weapon,according to the U.S. readout of the meeting.

Last week, Foreign Minister Israel Katz called for action against the Islamic Republic in meetings with international leaders at the opening of the NATO summit in Washington.

“Our enemy is also your enemy. The Iranian missiles and UAVs that threaten us are being sent to Russia and threaten you too. Crippling sanctions must be imposed on Iran, and the [Islamic] Revolutionary Guards must be declared a terrorist organization,said Katz.

Day 284 — Tuesday, July 16

'An Attack On All The Democracies': Israel Responds to the Assassination Attempt Of Fmr. President Trump

Moments after the failed assassination attempt on former President Donald Trump on Saturday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went to social media posting that he and his wife Sarah “were shocked by the apparent attack on President Trump. We pray for his safety and speedy recovery.”

Former Israeli Prime Minister and opposition leader Yair Lapid also wrote, “Political violence is an existential threat to democratic systems. I extend my wishes for a speedy recovery to the former president.”

Israeli president Isaac Herzog also commented on social media, saying, “On behalf of all the Israeli people, I wish former President Donald Trump a speedy recovery, and condemn utterly and unequivocally the attempt on his life. From Jerusalem we wish him well. Our thoughts are with all those injured, and the family of the spectator killed.”

Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich shared, “praying from the holy land for President Trump.”

In a video post, Netanyahu shared even more; he said, “Like all Israelis, my wife Sara and I were shocked by the horrific assassination attempt on the life of President Donald Trump. This wasn’t just an attack on Donald Trump. This was an attack on a candidate for the presidency of the United States. This was an attack on America. It was an attack on democracy, it was an attack on all the democracies.”

I’d like you to please pray. I want to encourage you to pray for the soul of our country, that we would turn as a nation to our Heavenly Father for His guidance, and His wisdom in these very difficult and trying times.

Day 284 — Tuesday, July 16

COGAT: UNRWA Is Simply Trying To Evade Responsibility For Actively Participating In Hamas Terrorist Activity

Major General Ghassan Alian, head of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) tweeted on Monday to express harsh criticism of the head of UNRWA, Philippe Lazzarini, who professed himself shocked by the IDF attacks on the agency’s compounds in the Gaza Strip.

“These are the things that should shock you,” Alian began. “You allowed Hamas to develop a terrorist infrastructure almost in all the agency’s facilities, and paid for years to Hamas terrorists who are employed in the UNRWA agency.”

“Hamas stole your fuel and equipment over the years, and worst of all, even after we informed you of Hamas’s deep involvement in UNRWA prior to October 7th, you did nothing with all that information,” he accused.

“That is what is shocking. All your other statements are just an attempt to evade your own and the organization’s responsibility,” Alian concluded.

Earlier on Monday, IDF forces completed another raid in Gaza City, focusing on a humanitarian complex run by UNRWA.

The activity took place between the Al-Sabra neighborhood and Tel Al-Hawa. The commando brigade that raided the complex found renewed workshops for the production of UAVs and many weapons.

They also found a recruitment office for terror operatives and rockets and explosive devices hidden in food warehouses.

The humanitarian complex was taken by Hamas and turned into food warehouses. Hamas used the warehosues to distribute food to the displaced and thus gained control over the area.

Day 284 — Tuesday, July 16

US-Sanctioned Syrian Businessman Dies In Alleged Israeli Strike

A businessman with close ties to the Syrian regime was killed in an alleged Israeli airstrike targeting a vehicle on the Damascus-Beirut Highway on Monday afternoon, according to Syrian opposition sources.

“Two people were killed in an Israeli drone attack that targeted a car with Lebanese license plates near the Al-Masnaa’ Crossing on the Lebanese-Syrian border,” said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a U.K.-based war monitor aligned with the country’s opposition.

The group identified one of the men killed in the targeted attack as Muhammad al-Qatirji, a close associate of Syrian President Bashar Assad, whose trucking company plays a central role in the regime’s business dealings with the Islamic State terrorist group. The Syrian had been sanctioned by the United States and Britain, the report said.

The Qatirji Company has also shipped weapons from Iraq to Syria, according to the U.S. State Department. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said al-Qatirji “finances a local militia numbering in the thousands to protect his interests and serve the regime” and financed Syrian attempts to “liberate” the Golan Heights from Israeli control.

The second casualty in the attack was not immediately identified, though the U.K. war monitor initially reported that one of the two men was a member of Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah terrorist group.

Arabic-language news reports claimed al-Qatirji had been “in contact with pro-Iranian militias and Hezbollah.”

On July 9, Yasser Nimr Qarnabsh, a former aide to Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, was killed when the Israel Defense Forces targeted his car near a checkpoint on the Damascus-Beirut Highway.

Qarnabsh was part of an elite Hezbollah unit responsible for transferring terrorists and weaponry from Syria to Lebanon and previously served as Nasrallah’s personal bodyguard, according to local media reports.

Overnight Saturday, the IDF struck a command center, air defense system and other military infrastructure belonging to the Syrian Armed Forces. The attack came in response to the launch of two suicide drones from Syria towards Eilat earlier in the day, according to Israel.

Israel has attacked hundreds of terrorist targets in Syria in recent years, as part of an effort to prevent Iranian military entrenchment in the country. However, Jerusalem rarely acknowledges these incidents.

Day 283 — Monday, July 15

Ramming Attack In Central Israel Injures 4 IDF Soldiers After Hamas Calls Palestinians To ‘Escalate Clashes’

Four IDF soldiers were injured on Sunday afternoon in a combined vehicular and shooting attack at the Nir Tzvi junction near Tzrifin in central Israel.

According to reports from Magen David Adom emergency services, two of the injured are in critical condition, while the other two sustained moderate and minor injuries. The wounded were taken to Shamir Medical Center (Assaf Harofeh Hospital) in Be’er Ya’akov.

The IDF later confirmed that the wounded were an IDF officer and three soldiers.

Preliminary reports indicate that a white Toyota vehicle, driven by the terrorist, hit two of the wounded who were waiting at a bus stop. The attacker then continued driving to a second bus stop along the same road, where he struck another two Israelis waiting for a bus.

At least one of the injured was reported to have a weapon and engaged the assailant. Police who arrived on the scene seconds after the ramming attack shot and killed the attacker, who is described as a resident of East Jerusalem.

Central District Police Commander Avi Bitton spoke to Ynet News from the scene.

“The attacker ran over a number of Israelis at the bus station, continued for several hundred meters and carried out another vehicular attack,” he said. “A Border Police force engaged in routine security here identified the terrorist, strove for contact, and neutralized him while he was still sitting in the car.”

Bitton added: “It is our mission to check whether he is a lone terrorist.”

Shortly after the attack, the terrorist was identified by his Israeli identity card as Muhammad Shihab (27) from Kfar ‘Aqab in East Jerusalem.

Three reserve Border Police soldiers, on regular duty in the area, were driving by the scene of the attack while it took place.

One of the soldiers told Ynet: “We heard a loud noise and the crew driver shouted, ‘Wow.’ The crew commander noticed the vehicle running over [people] at the bus stop, and the reserve force took command of the scene because more forces were arriving. The team responded by shooting at the terrorist and neutralizing him. [The commander] then went to the window of the terrorist’s car, recognized that he was neutralized, secured the scene, and treated the wounded with MDA forces.”

The incident took place against the backdrop of yesterday’s attempted assassination of the head of Hamas’ military-terrorist wing, Mohammed Deif, and the terrorist organization’s calls on Palestinians to “escalate the resistance.”

On Saturday, Hamas released a statement calling on “the masses of our Palestinian people in the West Bank and Jerusalem to go out in mass demonstrations… and to escalate clashes with them in defense of our land, our holy sites and our right to freedom and independence.”

Day 282 — Sunday, July 14

‘Reckless, Irresponsible’ Biden Remarks On Israel To Press, Critics Say

U.S. President Joe Biden drew rebukes for comments about the Jewish state during a nationally televised press conference on Thursday night, in which he assured the American public that he intends to remain in the presidential race.

While fielding questions from reporters for nearly an hour, Biden referred to the Israeli war cabinet as “one of the most conservative” in the Jewish state’s history. Contrary to polling, he also claimed that Hamas is increasingly unpopular in Judea and Samaria and that “my numbers are better in Israel than they are here. But, then again, they’re better than a lot of other people here, too.”

“His tone toward Israel seems to reflect his view that Israel and Hamas equally share blame for the situation,” Alan Dershowitz, professor emeritus at Harvard Law School, told JNS.

Morton Klein, national president of the Zionist Organization of America, told JNS that “it is reckless and irresponsible for Biden to undermine the security of Israel and America by protecting the Iran-backed, Islamist, Hamas Arabs from being destroyed by Israel.”

“Biden also recklessly promotes a Palestinian state, which 85% of the Israelis oppose, knowing it will become a larger Hamas-Iran terrorist regime,” Klein added.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) wrote that “Biden’s criticism of Israel—without even mentioning the hostages—was disgraceful.”

“Biden bragged about not providing Israel with weapons to destroy Hamas, who is holding American citizens captive,” wrote Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa). “Meanwhile, he failed to even mention those hostages.”

Abraham Foxman, the former national director of the Anti-Defamation League, wrote that he admires and appreciates the president’s accomplishments. “But to put the blame on Israel for lack of progress in bringing peace to Gaza on ‘a conservative war cabinet’ and not Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran, is outrageous,” he wrote.

Day 281 — Saturday, July 13

In Support Of Israel, Argentina Officially Designates Hamas As An International Terrorist Organization

Argentina has officially designated Hamas as a terrorist organization on Friday, the Office of President Javier Milei announced.

“The Hamas group has been declared by the Argentinian state as a international terrorist organization,” the statement reads. “Furthermore, in recent years, its link with the Islamic Republic of Iran has been revealed – whose leadership was found responsible for the attacks against the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires and against the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association by the Federal Chamber of Criminal Cassation on April 11. These attacks cost the lives of more than 100 Argentinian civilians.

“President Javier Milei has an unwavering commitment to recognizing terrorist for what they are.

“This government has reiterated on multiple occasions its convictions that Argentina once against align itself with Western civilization, respectful of individual rights and its institutions. For this reason, it must be acknowledged that those who attack such values are declared for what they are: terrorists.”

The Associated Press reported that the official designation was made as a show of support for Israel, while also stating that Argentina, which also holds the largest Jewish diaspora in Latin America, has “ordered a freeze on the financial assets of the Palestinian group.”

Milei arrived to Israel earlier this year to show support for its war against Hamas, and stated that he would move the Argentinian embassy to Jerusalem. 

Day 280 — Friday, July 12

EU Survey: 96% Of European Jews Experience Antisemitism Daily, More Than 50% Fear For Their Safety And Security

A whopping 96% of Jews across Europe say they have faced antisemitism in their daily lives, according to a survey conducted by the European Union’s Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) prior to Oct. 7, 2023.

The results of the poll were newly released on Thursday.

FRA questioned 8,000 Jews over the age of 16 in 13 European countries, including Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain and Sweden. According to FRA, around 96% of Europe’s Jewish population resides in those countries.

According to the EU agency, the report “does not give a full picture of the pain and suffering of all those affected since. But it does show just how difficult the situation was in Europe for Jewish communities, even before the conflict escalated.”

In 2024, the FRA gathered information from 12 Jewish organizations to evaluate the full impact of the October 7 Hamas attacks and their aftermath on antisemitism in Europe.

The poll revealed that 80% of the Jews surveyed believe antisemitism had increased in recent years. A smaller majority said they worry for their own safety (53%) and their family’s safety (60%). The most common negative stereotypes that Jews encountered were those accusing Jews of “holding power and control over finance, media, politics or economy.” In addition, many said that they had encountered denial of Israel’s right to exist as a state.

Around 37% of those surveyed said that they had been harassed over the past year, with 4% reporting they had experienced physical attacks specifically for being Jewish. This is double the number recorded in 2018, which was the last time FRA surveyed antisemitism.

The steep increase in antisemitism has led to Jews hiding their identity in public, the poll revealed. Some 76% of respondents reported hiding their Jewish identity “at least occasionally,” and 34% said they avoid Jewish events or sites “because they do not feel safe.”

About 75% said they feel non-Jews hold them responsible for whatever actions the Israeli government takes.

Notably, 60% said that governmental efforts to combat antisemitism were not enough.

“The spillover effect of the conflict in the Middle East is eroding hard-fought-for progress” in tackling anti-Jewish hate, Fundamental Right Agency director Sirpa Rautio said, warning that “Jews are more frightened than ever before.”

“FRA’s consultation with national and European Jewish umbrella organizations in early 2024 shows a dramatic surge” in antisemitic attacks, Rautio added.

France was the most affected country, with 74% of Jews expressing concerns about their safety.

Leading community figures in France are reportedly urging young French Jews to leave the country. Earlier this month, Chief Rabbi Moshe Sebbag of the Grand Synagogue of Paris advised Jewish youth to move to Israel or “a more secure country.”

“It is clear today that there is no future for Jews in France,” Sebbag said. “I tell everyone who is young to go to Israel or a more secure country.”

Day 280 — Friday, July 12

Northern Israel Ravaged By Hezbollah Rocket Fire: 'Biggest Natural Disaster Since The Establishment Of Israel'

More than 30,000 acres of land have been burned in northern Israel as a direct result of Hezbollah missile attacks since the war against Hamas began following the terrorist attacks on Oct. 7, including some 6,000 acres of forest area, in the largest such natural disaster since the creation of the modern-day state in 1948, Israeli forestry officials said on Wednesday.

The landscape damage has been caused by thousands of missiles fired by the Iranian-backed Lebanese terror organization at Israel since Oct. 8, one day after the massacre in southern Israel. The vast majority of projectiles have been intercepted by Israeli missile-defense systems, though falling debris from the explosives has triggered wildfires in the dry summer months when the earth is parched.

“This is the biggest natural disaster since the establishment of the State of Israel and something which will take years to repair,Shali Ben Yishai, director of the Northern Region of Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF) told JNS during a media tour of this forest just abutting the northern Israeli city of Safed, known for its mysticism.

In the first six months of the attacks, the earth—still wet from the winter rains—was able to absorb the damage. But once the dry season began in the spring, every projectile or intercept caused a conflagration, the forestry officials said.

“From May, every missile attack is 100% a mine of fire,said Eli Hafuta, KKL-JNF Upper Galilee and Golan regional director.

He noted that on one day, dozens of epicenters of fires could break out, while even the smallest blaze can take three days to extinguish during the hot weather.

“The result is that we are constantly on standby,he said.

Their firefighting team, which works in unison with the National Fire and Rescue Authority that comes to extinguish the flames, has stopped all routine work since the war began and is using state-of-the-art thermal cameras and drones to assist them in combating the blazes.

As the war against Hamas enters its 10th month, tens of thousands of Israelis from northern Israel remain evacuated from their homes with daily Hezbollah attacks still unabated.

A lethal missile attack on Tuesday killed an Israeli couple on the Golan Heights, leaving their three children orphans.

The largest planted forest in the Galilee—on the slopes descending east from Tzfat to Rosh Pina and Hatzor—Biriya is replete with groves, springs, an ancient synagogue, a lime pit, revered tombs, diverse flora, hiking trails and scenic lookouts.

In addition to the damage to the lush flora, which has been the site of a recent major blaze, the war has caused significant harm to wildlife, including bird populations, where chicks that cannot yet fly are burned in their nests.

Although previous bursts of violence with Hezbollah, including the month-long Second Lebanon War in 2006, had seen damage to the landscape in northern Israel, the extent of the current war triggered by the Hamas massacre is unprecedented in the 123-year-old history of KKL-JNF, according to the agency. Some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, were murdered on Oct. 7, with thousands more wounded and as many as 250 others taken captive into the Gaza Strip. To date, an estimated 120 are still being held by Hamas, some living and some confirmed dead.

KKL-JNF was established by the Zionist visionary Theodor Herzl in 1901 to buy and develop land for Jewish settlement. It serves as the Jewish people’s custodian for about 15% of land in the nation but is best known for the hundreds of millions of trees it has planted throughout Israel.

Day 280 — Friday, July 12

Analysis — If The Lord Is A Zionist, Believers In God’s Word Ought To Be Also

God is a Zionist, and He’s also jealous for Zion with a great jealousy—simply read Zachariah chapter one. He’s jealous for His people and He’s regathering them back to the land He has given them right before our very eyes.

As Douglas Murray pointed out, anti-zionism is antisemitism. You cannot separate the two. Therefore, the question is, friends, what side of history do you want to be on? Even Douglas Murray, who didn’t point to the Bible, can clearly see that the Jewish people have a right to return to their ancestral Homeland.

He also stated that it is only the Jewish people who will protect the Jews. I’ll go one step further. It’s not the Jewish people that are going to protect themselves, but it’s the God of this universe that is ultimately going to protect the Jewish people. Jeremiah 31: 35-36 reads, “Thus says the Lord, Who gives the sun for a light by day, The ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night, Who disturbs the sea, And its waves roar (The Lord of hosts is His name): ‘If those ordinances depart From before Me, says the Lord, Then the seed of Israel shall also cease From being a nation before Me forever.’”

As long as the sun, moon, and stars are shining in the sky, Israel will not cease from being a nation before Him forever. Again, I ask, what side of history do you want to be on? I trust you want to be on the side of history that lines up with God’s passions and God’s love. He has an everlasting love for Israel and the Jewish people.

Continue to pray for the Peace of Jerusalem. The Jewish people need our prayers more than ever. If they ever needed a friend, now is the time. As believers in God’s Word, we ought to stand, support, and love Israel and the Jewish people. We need to be pro-Zionists. We need to be Christian zionists who come alongside them every chance we get against those who hate them. Psalm 129:5 says, “Let all those who hate Zion be put to shame and turned back.”

Day 280 — Friday, July 12

Analysis — Amir Tsarfati: Hold Your Ground — Standing With Israel’s Right To Exist And Defend Itself Is Biblical