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Southern Israel Bracing for More Rocket Attacks

Strenuous Objections Come from Saudi Arabia and Iran

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26 Mar 2019 (All day)
Southern Israel Bracing for More Rocket Attacks
A Hamas official was claiming on Tuesday that Iran ordered Palestinian Islamic Jihad operatives to fire a rocket into central Israel on Monday, setting off a confrontation which saw Israeli aircraft launching over 100 strikes on terror infrastructure inside the Strip and dozens of rockets fired into southern Israeli communities. Reports of a cease-fire were being denied by Israeli officials Tuesday afternoon and residents of southern Israel were being told to remain close to bomb shelters as schools and many businesses, were closed. "The Hamas terrorist organization is responsible for all the goings on in and out of the Gaza Strip. The IDF is determined to carry out the task of protecting the citizens of Israel, and is prepared for various scenarios and intensifying its operations as necessary," the IDF said in a statement Tuesday morning.

Here is a video posted by the IDF about recent events

 

Meanwhile, the Jerusalem Post reported interviewing several Palestinian residents of the Strip by telephone on Monday who blamed Hamas for the situation.

“A war with Israel will help Hamas divert attention from the growing anger towards its repressive measures,” said Ibrahim Abu al-Naja, a social worker from Gaza City. “The Hamas leaders are holding our people hostage. Most people here don’t want another war.”

Other people interviewed said Hamas was attempting to use hostilities with Israel to garner support against its rivals in the Palestinian Authority.

US Imposes Fresh Sanctions on Iranian Entities
The US slapped new sanctions on 31 Iranian scientists, technicians, and companies this week to punish them for participating in the Islamic Republics renegade nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that "Anyone considering dealing with the Iranian defense industry in general, and SPND in particular, risks professional, personal, and financial isolation." Meanwhile, the US signed an agreement this week with Oman to secure access to Duqm, a deep-water port near the mouth of the Persian Gulf, which will allow the US Navy greater freedom of movement in the region.

Meanwhile, heavy floods in both the northern and southern provinces of Iran were being blamed for at least 23 fatalities and dozens of injuries this week along with hundreds of millions of dollars in property losses and other damages. Civilian relief agencies have reportedly been overwhelmed, leading the military and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) to move in and take direct control of some areas.

BDS Movement Suffers More Defeats
Alibaba Group, the e-commerce mega site, announced this week that it has purchased Ramat Gan-based start-up Infinity Augmented Reality in the latest defeat for efforts to Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) Israel. “Alibaba’s expertise in turning technologies into next generation products will be a great platform for the future technologies of computer vision, AR and AI,” said Motti Kushnir, CEO and cofounder of InfinityAR. In a similar development, US-based fast food giant McDonalds announced on Tuesday it is in the process of buying Israeli start-up Dynamic Yield in order to enhance it’s market-based research infrastructure.

Amnesty International Condemns Hamas Crackdown on Protests
Self-described “human rights” organization Amnesty International issued a report this week saying, among other things, that the Islamist terror militia Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, has been violently suppressing protests there and called upon the internationally recognized terrorist group to stop doing so. “The crackdown on freedom of expression and the use of torture in Gaza has reached alarming new levels. Over the past few days, we have seen shocking human rights violations carried out by Hamas security forces against peaceful protesters, journalists and rights workers,” said Saleh Higazi, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Amnesty International.

“The Hamas de facto administration must immediately launch an independent, thorough and transparent investigation into the unnecessary and excessive use of force, arbitrary arrest and detention, and torture and other ill-treatment by security forces. Where there is sufficient admissible evidence, suspected perpetrators should be prosecuted in fair trials,” Higazi said.

Today's media is a podcast giving some analysis of US-Israel relations