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IDF Retaliates for Gaza Rocket Fire

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Posted on: 
24 Feb 2020
IDF Retaliates for Gaza Rocket Fire
Tensions remained high in southern Israel Monday afternoon following rocket barrages from the Iranian-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terror militia based in the Strip and retaliatory strikes by IDF aircraft on Sunday, which continued into Monday morning. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the Hamas terror militia which rules the Strip to put a stop to the PIJ attacks or he would have no choice but to order a wide-scale offensive into the Strip which would likely result in Hamas’ destruction.

Roads near the border with the Strip were subject to closure by the IDF and most schools and businesses in southern Israel were closed. The PIJ said the rocket barrage which began the flare up was in revenge for the IDF killing one of their operatives as he attempted to plant an explosive charge near the border fence. IDF aircraft also carried out strikes on a PIJ camp in Syria, killing several terrorists according to reports in the Arab media.

Historically Low Voter Turnout in Iranian Elections
Iran’s Interior Ministry admitted on  a record low of 42.57 percent of registered voters took part in Iran's February 21 parliamentary elections, the lowest voter turnout in Iran since the violent takeover of the country by the clerical regime in 1979. In the capital of Teheran, the turnout might have been as low as 20%, according to unofficial estimates. "The low turnout is a reflection of a general public mood toward a ruling system largely seen as increasingly illegitimate, incompetent, and corrupt -- and anathema to people's interests," Ali Fathollah-Nejad, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Doha Center think tank, told RFE/RL.

Here is a video about the elections in Iran



Additionally, the rapid spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Iran caused many to stay home rather than go out to vote on Friday. At press time, there were nearly 1,000 cases reported in several cities across Iran, with 8 deaths. It is the worst outbreak of the disease outside of the epicentre in Wuhan China. Cases of COVID-19 have been reported among people who recently visited Iran in Lebanon and Canada.

BDS Movement Suffers Another Defeat
In yet another sign of Israel’s warming relations with its Arab neighbours, the 2020 UAE Tour bicycle race has included the Israeli Start-Up Nation team, with rider Rudy Barbier taking third place in Sunday’s opening leg. The race is the only segment of the cycling World Tour which takes place in the Middle East and team owner Sylvan Adams told the Jerusalem Post that “For us being in an Arab country, competing as an Israeli team with our Israel Start-Up Nation and with the word ‘Israel’ emblazoned on the front and back of the jersey in big letters, with Israel as our identity – for us this is a really important race on the calendar...we are creating normalization of Israel and there is a diplomatic element to our participation. We are building these bridges on a people-to-people basis, from the ground up.”

Israel’s Political Polls Show a Familiar Picture
Going into the final stretch of the election campaign for Israel’s 23rd Knesset, polls released on Sunday indicate that the Likud Party led by incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Blue and White party led by former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz are garnering roughly similar levels of support, with neither large party receiving enough support from satellite factions to have an easy path to forming a governing coalition. The situation, analysts grimly noted, is almost identical to what it was following both previous elections last year.

Here is a video giving some analysis of Israel's upcoming election



Israel’s Neighbours Suffering from Severe Natural Disasters
Two large earthquakes measuring 5.7 and 6.0 on the Richter scale struck northern Iran and eastern Turkey over the weekend, killing at least nine people and injuring dozens more in both countries. The tremors were the latest to hit the region, which has already seen several deaths and a large amount of damage this winter from previous earthquakes and accompanying avalanches. Meanwhile, the massive clouds of locusts which have already devastated agricultural lands in eastern Africa over recent months arrived in Saudi Arabia over the weekend after smaller swarms were successfully repelled earlier in the year.

Here is a video about how Israel respomnds to natural disasters when other countries ask them to