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Tensions High in Northern Israel After Syrian Rockets Strike Galilee

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

As we reported yesterday, rockets fired from Syria into northern Israel resulted in a response by the IDF. Israel Hayom reports that the rockets were fired by Islamic Jihad, with the backing of Iran, and were the first time in over 40 years that rockets have been fired from Syria into Galilee:

For the first time since the Yom Kippur War in 1973, rockets fired from Syria on Thursday struck the Galilee region in northern Israel. In response, the Israeli military targeted more than a dozen Syrian military posts in the border area with airstrikes and artillery fire.

Around 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, a barrage of four rockets was fired at Israel from Syria. Local residents scrambled for cover as warning sirens sounded in the northern Israeli communities of Gonen, Kfar Blum, Kfar Szold, Neot Mordechai, Amir, Shamir, Lehavot Habashan and Sde Nehemia. All of the rockets exploded in open areas — two in the Galilee and two in the Golan Heights. No injuries or damage were reported. Firefighters quickly put out several small blazes that were sparked by the explosions.

Israel blamed the Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad terrorist group for the rocket fire. Islamic Jihad denied the allegation…

An IDF official said Thursday that commanders from Iran’s Quds Force had orchestrated the rocket fire.

“The attack was a clearly intentional one,” the official said. “For us this is a clear act of aggression meant by the Iranians to use the chaos in Syria to escalate tensions in the region.”

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Friday, August 21st, 2015 at 8:21 AM  | Stand for Israel

IDF Responds to Syrian Missiles with Artillery Fire

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

We just reported on the missiles fired into northern Israel from Syria. Now, Arutz Sheva is reporting that the IDF has responded to the rockets – shot by the terrorist group, Islamic Jihad – with artillery fire:

After four rockets were fired at northern Israel from the Syrian Golan Heights on Thursday, the IDF responded with artillery fire just hours later.

Sources in Syria report that the 90th Brigade of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime army is coming under fire, reports Channel 2.

Israeli security sources said that the rockets were fired by the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization, funded and directed by Iran.

The attack comes even as an Islamic Jihad terrorist jailed in Israel ended his hunger strike on Thursday – a strike that led the group to threaten attacks if he were to die.

The IDF notes that the Syrian regime is responsible for the rocket attacks emanating from its sovereign territory, “and it will bear responsibility for the results.”

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Thursday, August 20th, 2015 at 1:07 PM  | Stand for Israel

IDF Prepares as Jihadist, Hezbollah Threats Mount

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

As Stand for Israel has mentioned before, Iran’s nuclear aspirations are not its only threat against Israel. Its sponsorship of terror across the Middle East and around the world is also of great concern. The Times of Israel reports that the IDF is preparing to defend the Jewish state against threats from Iran-backed Hezbollah and other jihadist groups along Israel’s northern border:

The Israeli military is preparing for a possible ground operation on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights in the event of sustained rocket strikes or coordinated terror attacks against Israel either by Sunni jihadists or Hezbollah operatives.

The number of Islamists flooding into the area close to the border with Israel has the IDF on high alert, Channel 2 reported Sunday, adding that the military held a large-scale drill last week simulating a possible advance into Syria and the evacuation of Israeli civilians from border communities…

The IDF is also planning for a possible Hezbollah offensive directed by Iran, with an IDF source saying that hundreds of Hezbollah members are present in the Golan, and that Tehran has been behind several recent attacks against Israel. Israeli officials have routinely raised concerns over the presence of Iranian and Hezbollah fighters using positions in the Syrian Golan, partially held by rebel forces, to attack Israel.

“It’s clear that Iran is behind all of the terror attacks here [in the Golan] in the past two years,” the IDF officer said Sunday during a briefing with reporters. “The Iranians are using the border – they establish units – whether it’s [Jihad] Mughniyeh, [Samir] Kuntar, and more – to carry out [the attacks].”

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Monday, August 17th, 2015 at 7:23 AM  | Stand for Israel

Inside the Hospital Where Israeli Doctors Treat Syrian Patients

(Photo: ziv.org.il)

(Photo: ziv.org.il)

While Israel must always be prepared for the threats that await her from every direction, Israelis are also prepared to show kindness and care for those who cross the borders needing medical treatment. Vice News’ Sara Elizabeth Williams takes us inside Ziv Medical Center in Safed, Israel, where Israeli doctors provide lifesaving care for many Syrians:

In nearly two and a half years, around 2,000 Syrians have been admitted to Israeli hospitals. While the vast majority are male — up to 90 percent at Ziv, the hospital closest to the border — there are women, too, and 17 percent of all patients are children.

There are the very old, and the very new: At least 10 Syrian babies have been born at Ziv alone since Syrians began arriving in February 2013.

Word has spread that Syrians can access medical help over the border from people they’ve long believed are the enemy. Medics say more patients, and less urgent cases, are filling the beds of publicly-funded Israeli hospitals…

Ziv Medical Center in the mountain city of Safed, just west of the Golan Heights, is the first port of call for most patients who come through the border fence near the devastated Syrian city of Quneitra. With 331 beds and seven operating theatres, Ziv is modern, well-equipped, and only 40 minutes from the border in a fast-moving IDF ambulance…

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Monday, July 27th, 2015 at 3:01 PM  | Stand For Israel

Iran’s War in Syria

(Photo: flickr/jan Sefti)

(Photo: flickr/jan Sefti)

While the possible nuclear agreement with Iran is indeed unsettling, the Islamic Republic’s reach across the Middle East threatens the region in other ways, too. Former national security adviser Elliott Abrams writes that “[t]he war in Syria is becoming increasingly an Iranian war rather than a civil war”:

Consider this new report by Now Lebanon, entitled “Syria Alawites reportedly clash with regime, Iran troops.” Two facts are striking. First, the Alawite regime of Bashar al-Assad is having enormous trouble recruiting Alawite youths to join the military. It has long been said that the Alawite community is his base and will fight for him, if only out of fear that if the regime falls they will pay the price when Sunnis attack Alawites. But more and more Alawites, it seems, do not wish to risk their lives for Assad. This should not be quite so surprising, because only the Alawite upper classes benefitted financially from the regime (and some became millionaires and even billionaires), while many Alawites remained in poverty…

While we debate the possible nuclear deal with Iran, let’s not lose sight of Iran’s aggressive conduct throughout the region. If the nuclear deal does get signed and as planned gives Iran access to $150 billion, we can expect even more of an Iranian (and Hezbollah) role in Syria. Not only is there Sunni and Kurdish resistance but now some Alawite resistance. The usual way Assad and Iran deal with such resistance is murder. If the Iran deal comes to pass, let us hope that far stronger American action is planned to prevent even more killings in Syria and to see if the Alawite population can be turned against the regime.

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Monday, July 13th, 2015 at 8:26 AM  | Stand For Israel

The Fellowship’s New Initiative Will Provide Aid to Druze Refugees from Syria

Rabbi Eckstein with Druze spiritual leader Sheikh Muwaffak Tarif (photo credit: IFCJ)

Rabbi Eckstein with Druze spiritual leader Sheikh Muwaffak Tarif (photo credit: IFCJ)

The Fellowship has launched a new initiative to provide humanitarian assistance to members of the Druze community hurt by the ongoing conflict in southern Syria, according to an announcement made by Rabbi Eckstein on Sunday:

IFCJ announced it will provide monthly assistance to roughly 50 families who recently fled from Syria to Jordan to escape the ongoing violence.

The six months of assistance will cover food and medical care costs and amounts to 500,000 shekels [about $132,000]. During the meeting, Rabbi Eckstein promised to provide additional support to the Druze refugees, as needed, and to remain in close contact with Druze leaders in Israel who can keep him updated on the volatile state of the Druze community in Syria.

“From the very beginning, the IFCJ has worked to safeguard the Druze community and to advance their integration into Israel’s society and economy,” said Rabbi Eckstein, who added, “We believe the Druze to be true partners to Israel’s security and wellbeing.”

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Monday, June 29th, 2015 at 8:34 AM  | Stand for Israel

Syrian, Hezbollah Troops Advancing Toward Israeli Golan

(Photo: wikipedia/Johnny Zoo)

(Photo: wikipedia/Johnny Zoo)

The recent Hezbollah attack in the Golan Heights that killed two IDF soldiers and wounded seven showed once again that Israel is threatened from all sides. Yediot Achronot hammers this point home today as it reports that Syrian and Hezbollah forces are advancing toward the Israeli Golan Heights:

Syrian troops and fighters from Lebanese terror group Hezbollah seized several towns and villages south of Damascus on Wednesday, state media and activists said, advancing in a region bordering the Israeli Golan Heights.

“The operations are being led by Hezbollah’s special forces,” said Rami Abdurrahman, who heads the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. “Their aim appears to be to eventually reach areas bordering the occupied Golan and set up a border zone under Hezbollah’s control.”

The Observatory, which relies on a network of activists around the country, said Iranian volunteers are also taking part in the fighting. It said 20 opposition fighters were killed there on Tuesday alone.

Hezbollah has been fighting alongside forces loyal to Assad, saying it is battling Sunni Islamic extremists who pose a threat to the whole region. Israeli officials accuse Iran, through Hezbollah, of working to establish a base in southern Syria to launch attacks against the Jewish State.

 

 

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Thursday, February 12th, 2015 at 8:36 AM  | Stand For Israel

Axis of Evil Still Targeting Israel

(Photo: wikicommons/upyernoz)

(Photo: wikicommons/upyernoz)

Yesterday Stand for Israel discussed the reported Israeli airstrikes in Syria – strikes that took out weapons bound for the terrorist group Hezbollah. Writing at Israel Hayom, Professor Eyal Zisser explains that Hezbollah, Iran, and what is left of Syria make up an axis of evil whose priority is the destruction of Israel:

There is little left of Syria as we knew it, with the exception of one thing — the strategic alliance between Damascus, Tehran and Hezbollah, which has only grown stronger over the past few years. The deeper Assad has become embroiled in the quagmire of civil war, the more dependent he has become on his Iranian ally and its proxy, Hezbollah.

It is doubtful that Assad could have survived this long without the financial aid Iran has afforded Syria, but the assistance lent to him by Hezbollah has also been crucial to his ability to maintain his grip on the regime. The thousands of Hezbollah fighters sent to battle the rebels may not have been able to defeat them, but it is Hezbollah’s hundreds of wounded and dead that have been keeping Assad in power.

Iran and Hezbollah have made it their mission to save Assad, because Syria is pivotal to the Shiite axis they seek to install between Tehran, Baghdad, Damascus and Beirut. Syria is Iran’s gateway to the Mediterranean, as well as a crucial supply route through which Iran continues to arm Hezbollah with tens of thousands of missiles.

Assad, for his part, feels obligated to do his Shiite allies’ bidding. After all, for years emissaries from Washington and Jerusalem whispered in his ear that he should sever his ties with the axis of evil, strike a peace deal with Israel and restore diplomatic relations with the U.S., but at the moment of truth, the U.S. became his adversary while Iran rallied to his side.

Syria’s alliance with Iran and Hezbollah is so strong that Assad has not thought twice…

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Tuesday, December 9th, 2014 at 8:37 AM  | Stand For Israel

Israel Bombs Syria – Again

(Photo: USAF)

(Photo: USAF)

Yesterday we reported on Israel’s alleged airstrikes on Syria – strikes against Hezbollah weapons caches. Today at World Affairs Journal, Michael J. Totten looks at the international responses to Israel’s actions – ridiculous responses by Syria, Iran, and Russia that are none too surprising:

Israel is not bombing Syria randomly. It’s targeting weapons shipments bound for Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The rest of us are focused on ISIS and ignoring what the Assad regime and Hezbollah are up to, but the Israelis have to live in that neighborhood. The main reason Hezbollah is fighting Sunni jihadists in Syria is because it desperately needs the Assad regime as backup in its relentless war against Israel. If ISIS defeats Assad, Hezbollah loses.

The Syrian and Iranian foreign ministers are claiming Israel is “in the same trench” as ISIS since it’s attacking those who are fighting against ISIS. There’s a certain logic there, but it’s circular. The United States is “in the same trench” as Israel, which according to these characters puts us “in the same trench” as ISIS. Yet the United States is also “in the same trench” as Assad and Hezbollah since we’re bombing ISIS. That’s a heck of a trench! It’s a circular trench, or perhaps even a three dimensional möbius trench. But that’s the Middle East for you.

Russia is furious about all this, of course, but that’s no surprise. There’s nothing complicated about which trench Vladimir Putin is in.

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Tuesday, December 9th, 2014 at 8:23 AM  | Stand For Israel

Hezbollah Drones, Missiles Destroyed in Alleged IAF Attack

(Photo: social media)

(Photo: social media)

Yesterday, reports came in of airstrikes within Syria. The Jerusalem Post reports that the strikes were allegedly carried out by the Israeli Air Force (IAF) and targeted weapons caches of the terror group, Hezbollah:

Syrian opposition sources told Arab media on Monday that the airstrikes near Damascus that were alleged to have been carried out by Israeli warplanes destroyed a storage facility housing anti-aircraft missiles as well as drones belonging to Hezbollah.

While the Lebanese Shi’ite group has yet to officially comment on the attack, Channel 2 is citing a report in the Hezbollah-affiliated newspaper Al-Akhbar which said that “the Israeli action was intended to preserve the rules of the game.”

The newspaper claimed that the IAF struck weapons caches “that belonged to Hezbollah.” These arms are considered to be “capable of tilting the strategic balance,” namely threaten Israel’s ability to act freely in the skies above Lebanon.

The IAF has struck Syria several times since the start of the three-year conflict, mostly destroying weaponry such as missiles that Israeli officials said were destined for their longtime foe Hezbollah in neighboring Lebanon …

An IDF spokesman said he would not comment on “foreign reports.”

At Sunday’s cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel was following developments in the Middle East with great interest, because “a great deal is happening.”

“We will remain constantly with our hand on the pulse, and we will deal with these threats and challenges because they do not take a time-out,” Netanyahu said.

“We will deal with them with the same degree of responsibility that we have done up until now.”

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Monday, December 8th, 2014 at 8:46 AM  | Stand For Israel