Syria Still Has Many Chemical Weapons, According to Israeli Official

Photo: yalibnan.com

Photo: yalibnan.com

Israel security officials maintain that the Syrian army still possesses “significant” stockpiles of ready-for-use arms primed with chemical toxins, in contravention of the regime’s commitment to dismantle or give up its entire chemical weapons arsenal, according to information released Thursday:

“There is, to my mind, still in the hands of Syria a significant residual capability… that could be used in certain circumstances and could be potentially very serious,” the official was quoted as saying.

According to the official, who was speaking on condition of anonymity, the stockpiles, which were hidden by the Syrian army in secret locations across the war-torn country, included missile warheads, bombs, and rocket propelled grenades. The official added, however, that Israeli intelligence had been able to discover the whereabouts of the hidden arms.

The official told Reuters that Israel had a “high degree of confidence” that its information regarding the weapons was accurate, adding that the IDF had decided not to disclose its estimates until now in order not to harm international efforts to rid Syria of unconventional arms.

The official added that Israel was not particularly concerned that it would be attacked by Syria, since the regime knew that if it were to target the Jewish State with chemical weapons, it “wouldn’t be a game-changer, it would be a game-ender,” for Syria.

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Thursday, September 18th, 2014 at 2:30 PM  | Stand for Israel

What Does Hamas Really Want?

(Photo: flickr/  l_suddenly)

(Photo: flickr/ l_suddenly)

As the dust settles in Gaza and Israel after a relatively long war, Yaakov Lappin, a journalist at the Jerusalem Post, writes that the current truce forms a good opportunity to examine the reason Hamas began their conflict this summer in the first place:

Hamas’s bloody clashes have a dual purpose: First, they act as a fuel that Hamas pours on the national consciousness of Palestinians, to keep hatred burning, and ensure that Palestinians continue to see themselves as being at war with Israel, while viewing Hamas as the soldiers of that war, and thus their saviors.Second, such wars marginalize Hamas’s rivals in Ramallah, the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority [PA], which Hamas often attempts to depict as an Israeli “collaborator.”

Keeping the armed conflict alive — whatever the cost to Gazans — is the central tenet of Hamas’s survival strategy.

Above all else, Hamas wishes to ensure that the torch of jihad keeps burning, to pass it on to the next Palestinian generation. Nothing keeps the flames of jihad alight, and Hamas’s popularity secure, like frequent wars.

Long, open-ended truces, Hamas may fear, could lead to a hibernation of the conflict, which in turn could lead to a long-term political settlement with Israel.

In Hamas’s lexicon, truces and ceasefires are synonymous with rearming and regrouping, and preparing the next attack on Israel.

 

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Thursday, September 18th, 2014 at 9:17 AM  | Stand for Israel

Face the Brutal Truth About ISIS

(Photo: flickr/ News Feed)

(Photo: flickr/ News Feed)

After initially saying ISIS is a problem that needs to be “managed,” President Obama has now promised to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the terrorist organization. Michael Totten, writing for the New York Daily News, says this shows that the emergence of ISIS seems to be ending the U.S.’s post-Iraq isolationism:

The President is the most reluctant of warriors. He campaigned on ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and even the most casual observer could see that he was spectacularly uninterested in doing the first thing about Syria’s civil war.

What forced his hand is the fact that the Syrian civil war is no longer the Syrian civil war. It’s a regional war that is exploding into Iraq and to a lesser extent into Lebanon. It long ago sucked in Iran and Hezbollah and is now dragging in Washington, kicking and screaming. …

Life is filled with things we don’t want to do but have to do anyway. No one wants radiation or chemotherapy, but if you get cancer, you’re going to have to take it despite the fact that it might not work and that it will certainly feel like it’s killing you.

Let’s not kid ourselves. ISIS — or ISIL as the President calls it — is cancerous. And it is not a benign tumor. It is metastasizing and will not stop growing stronger and deadlier until it is dealt with aggressively and, at the absolute minimum, contained.

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Thursday, September 18th, 2014 at 9:16 AM  | Stand for Israel

Christian Woman Who Faced Death Sentence in Sudan Speaks Out

(Photo: freedomdeclared.org)

(Photo: freedomdeclared.org)

Earlier this summer, Stand for Israel told you about Meriam Ibrahim, a Christian woman sentenced to death in Sudan for the “crime” of refusing to convert to Islam. We then told you that by God’s grace, Meriam had been freed. Speaking to The Telegraph, this woman of incredible faith now tells the story of her ordeal:

The Sudanese mother who was sentenced to hang for refusing to reject Christianity has spoken for the first time about her ordeal, saying she was resolved to keep her faith even if it meant death …

“While I was in prison, some people came to visit me from the Muslim Scholars Association,” she said. “These were imams that created an intervention by reciting parts of the Koran for me. I faced a tremendous amount of pressure.

“I had my trust in God,” she said. “My faith was the only weapon that I had in these confrontations with imams and Muslim scholars, because that’s what I believe.”

Ms. Ibrahim, who insisted she had been a Christian all her life, was forced birth in prison to daughter Maya.

“I was supposed to give birth at a hospital outside of prison but they denied that request as well,” she said. “When it was time to give birth, they refused to remove the chains from my ankles. So I had to give birth with chains on my ankles.”

Sudan initially blocked Ibrahim from leaving the country even after its highest court overturned her death sentence in June. The family took refuge at the US embassy in Khartoum. The family returned to Manchester on Aug. 1.

Ms. Ibrahim, who now lives in New Hampshire with her husband Daniel and two children, said other Christian prisoners were told any debts they has would be written off if they converted to Islam.

“I would never leave my faith”, she said, “if you don’t have faith you are not alive.

“I put my life at risk for the women of Sudan and for Christians live under difficult circumstances, persecuted…

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Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 3:47 PM  | Stand for Israel

Fatah Accuses Hamas of Stealing Millions in Gaza Aid

(Photo: flickr/News Agency)

(Photo: flickr/News Agency)

During Operation Protective Edge, Hamas stole the lives of Israelis, as well as the Gazan people it forced into acting as human shields. Now Algemeiner’s Dave Bender reports that Fatah, the terrorist organization’s erstwhile partner in the Palestinian unity government, is accusing Hamas of also stealing hundreds of millions in aid money during the war:

A Palestinian Authority (PA) official claimed Tuesday that $700 million in international aid designated for reconstruction and humanitarian use in Gaza was taken by Hamas, “over the blood of the children of Palestine,” Israel’s NRG News reported.

Fatah spokesman, Ahmad Assaf, claimed that, during Operation Protective Edge, Hamas’ leadership in Gaza absconded with the money before it reached its destination.

“They raised funds from the Arab world in the name of the martyrs in Gaza, and on behalf of women, children and elders, and they talked about rebuilding the Gaza Strip and Israel destroyed mosques,” Assaf said in an interview with Arab media.

The Fatah spokesman insisted that Hamas’ leadership must “return the money they stole from the families of the dead and wounded refugee families whose homes were destroyed by the war,” and warned against the Islamist group “taking advantage of the circumstances of the war of destruction…”

This is not the first time that Fatah has accused Hamas of exploiting the situation in Gaza, in their favor.

During the 50-days of the operation to quell rocket fire and terror attack tunnels, official Palestinian sources said Gazans and Hamas took control of aid transferred from Israel through the Kerem Shalom crossing facility and used it for personal needs.

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Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 1:26 PM  | Stand for Israel

True Allies

(Photo: flickr/ hoyasmeg)

(Photo: flickr/ hoyasmeg)

As the United States furthers its attacks on the Islamic State (IS or ISIS), many nations seem to be allied in the fight – nations not usually thought of as American partners. Writing at The Times of Israel’s blog, Ari Ingel warns that these “allies” are only using the U.S. for their own interests, and that Israel is America’s only true ally:

For all the hoopla that America has a coalition ready to do battle, privately, all of these countries are acting more in their own self-interest than supporting America in this fight.

While Saudi Arabia may help train and funnel some weapons to the Free Syrian Army, numerous wealthy Saudi families provide funding to ISIS and other Islamic Fundamentalist groups in Syria and Iraq. Many young Saudi men are also flooding to Syria and Iraq to fight on behalf of ISIS.  These are the same sort of men that took down the World Trade Center on 9/11 and who will be fighting against America in the Levant.

Qatar is currently engulfed in a political war with Saudi Arabia and Egypt for influence in the region and view everything they do through this lens. They have also been one of the biggest sponsors of Islamic Fundamentalism in the region, funneling money and support to various groups. Remember, they are the only country in the region where the Taliban are welcome and essentially have an embassy.

In Iraq, the Shiite rulers are using America’s muscle to once again help defeat their former Sunni rulers and are much more closely aligned with Iran, Assad’s regime in Syria and Hezbollah, than America.  Meanwhile, Hezbollah, who essentially controls Lebanon, will turn their guns on America like they did in the Marine barracks bombing in 1983, as soon as they have a chance.

Turkey on the other hand has openly rebuffed America’s invitation to join their coalition. The Islamification and dictatorial rule of Turkey continues to grow under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Turkey’s borders remain…

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Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 8:48 AM  | Stand for Israel

Hezbollah Planning War with Israel

(Photo: flickr/ julien_harneis)

(Photo: flickr/ julien_harneis)

While much of the world’s attention is on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, war will certainly come again to Israel. Ironically, one of Israel’s enemies is currently involved in the fight in Syria. Writing at The Jerusalem Post, Yaakov Lappin warns that Hezbollah is learning from its experiences in Syria – lessons that will be used in an upcoming war with Israel:

Although a war is unlikely at this time, the IDF is preparing to fight Hezbollah, which has developed new offensive cross-border capabilities alongside its massive arsenal of rockets and missiles, a senior military source said on Sunday.

Hezbollah plans to send dozens and perhaps hundreds of terrorists into Israel in any war, while targeting the home front with many projectiles, in a conflict that could last as long as four months, according to the officer.

The Shi’ite group’s focus will be to rain rockets and missiles down on Israel, but it also plans raids based on lessons it has learned from its intervention in the Syrian civil war. A preemptive Israeli ground offensive could prevent such raids, he said.

“Hezbollah’s confidence is growing, along with its combat experience in Syria,” the officer said. “The battlegrounds of Syria have enabled Hezbollah to upgrade its capabilities. Hezbollah plans to send many combatants into Israeli territory near the border and seize it.” This has prompted Israel to make “dramatic changes” to its border-defense plans, he added.

“We understood that Hezbollah is thinking offensively. It is gaining experience in Syria where it is initiating assaults in built-up areas, and attacking cities. It is learning about subterranean warfare from the perspective of the attacker … and [its officers are] learning more about themselves as the defenders in Lebanon… They are learning about controlling hundreds of fighters, coordinating intelligence, firepower, and command and control. This is a serious development that requires us to prepare accordingly,” the officer said.

In the event that Hezbollah tries to surprise the IDF by occupying part of Israel near the border, the…

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Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 8:38 AM  | Stand for Israel

Fellowship-Funded Home for Autistic Youth Opens in Tel Aviv

(Photo: alutfriends.org)

(Photo: alutfriends.org)

The Fellowship and its generous friends seek to help every needy part of the Holy Land’s population. Today The Jerusalem Post tells about the Fellowship-funded Friendship House, a residence that provides youth with autism a home life that also meets their individual needs:

The opening of the Friendship House – the first home-for-life for autistic youth in Tel Aviv – is an important milestone, demonstrating that the state grants rights to people with autism and to their families, said Welfare and Social Services Minister Meir Cohen on Tuesday …

The planning for the home was conducted according to the accumulated experience and belief of ALUT that a home-for-life is essentially a familial framework in a residential neighborhood, which allows the autistic residents to experience as close to a family lifestyle as possible while taking into account the personal needs of each resident.

The house is divided into three living sections, with eight residents residing in each section acting as a family unit, eating together, engaging in joint activities, and sharing a common area to watch television.

“The biggest fear of parents of autistic children is a concern for the future, thinking about the day when they can no longer care for their children in need of treatment and close supervision,” said Einat Cassuto-Shefi, director-general of ALUT.

“The construction of permanent homes for them is a huge relief for the parents, who know that they now have a little piece of paradise where there is someone looking out for their children from here on out,” she said …

The funding for the home came in part from the National Insurance Institute Disabled Services Development Fund and from generous donations of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews …

“This house is the result of the continuous efforts of the parents,” said Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, president and founder of the IFCJ at the opening of the house.

“We have a lot of problems and challenges in Israel, especially when it comes to welfare.

“There is no government or fund that can address all…

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Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 8:23 AM  | Stand for Israel

Breaking News: Rocket or Mortar Fired from Gaza at Israel

(Photo: REUTERS/Baz Ratner)

(Photo: REUTERS/Baz Ratner)

The Times of Israel is reporting that for the first time since the truce began three weeks ago, a rocket or mortar has been fired at Israel from Gaza:

A projectile was fired from the Gaza Strip towards Israel on Tuesday evening, the IDF confirmed, the first since a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas on August 26.

The Red Alert rocket warning system did not sound and the IDF said it was searching for the impact point that was believed to be somewhere near the border fence in the Eshkol Regional Council.

Army Radio reported that Eshkol residents heard an explosion nearby.

No injuries or damage were reported.

However, Ynet reported that the rocket may have landed near the fence inside the Gaza Strip.

The fire came hours after Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said he did not think Hamas would resume rocket fire on Israel.

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Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 at 12:49 PM  | Stand for Israel

Belgian Synagogue Hit in Arson Attack

(Photo: youtube/ Tele Bruxelles)

(Photo: youtube/ Tele Bruxelles)

Anti-Semitism is on the rise around the world, but has been especially rampant of late in Europe, as seen in an anti-Semitic attack today in Belgium. The Times of Israel reports that a Belgian synagogue was the target of arson, only days since the Brussels Jewish museum’s reopening after it was the target of a terrorist shooting:

Three people, the wife and two children of the synagogue’s caretaker, had to be treated for inhaling smoke on Tuesday at the synagogue on de la Clinique Street in Anderlecht, one of the municipalities that make up the Brussels region, the Belgian League Against Anti-Semitism, or LBCA, wrote in a statement. Unknown individuals deliberately set fire to four places so it would catch, according to the report …

The building had been the target of petrol bombers in 2010 …

A fire department spokesman quoted in La Derniere Heure newspaper said arsonists started the fire in the fourth floor of the synagogue in the early hours of Tuesday.

The fire came just two days after the reopening on Sunday of the Jewish Museum in Brussels, where four people were shot and killed on May 24.

Mehdi Nemmouche, a Frenchman of Algerian descent allegedly aligned to the radical Islamic State, is being held in Belgium suspected of carrying out the murders.

We thank God that no one was seriously injured, and pray for the caretaker’s wife and children’s swift recovery. We also pray that He protect His children, not only in Europe, but across the globe.

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Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 at 11:53 AM  | Stand for Israel

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State of Israel"

Rabbi's Commentary
Remembering the Terror of 9/11, Confronting the Terror of Today

The attacks on 9/11 were a wake-up call to the dangers of Islamist terrorism, and the swift growth of terrorist groups such as the Islamic State should wake us up to a current threat that demands not just our vigilance, but also our unity.


Read Rabbi Eckstein's message »

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