April 16, 2024
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April 16, 2024
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Trump Calls Israel ‘Great Bastion of Hope:’ Will Visit Jewish State ‘Soon’

(JNS.org) Asked for his message to Israelis on Yom Hazikaron, the Jewish state’s Memorial Day for fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said in an interview published Wednesday by the Israel Hayom newspaper that he hopes to ensure that Israel will be “in very good shape forever.”

“I think that the threat to Israel right now is greater than it has ever been because of what happened with Iran and the Iran deal made by President [Barack] Obama,” Trump said. “I think it is a horrible, horrible situation that our president has placed Israel in and I think that Obama has been very, very bad for the people of Israel. I just want to tell them that I am extremely strongly in favor of Israel, I respect it and have loved the people of Israel for a long time. I have many friends who are from Israel and we’re going to make sure that Israel is going to be in very good shape forever.”

“We are going to protect Israel,” he added. “Don’t forget, Israel is our great bastion of hope in that region so Israel is very important.”

In response to a comment by Israel Hayom correspondent Boaz Bismuth that he has heard Trump will “be visiting us here in Israel soon, before the election,” Trump responded, “I’ll be there soon.”

Teen Hamas Member Reveals Trove of Information on Terror Tunnels

(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) An teenage Hamas operative arrested by Israeli security forces in April has provided the Shin Bet security agency with extensive information about the Palestinian terror group’s tunnel-digging operations, the Shin Bet revealed Tuesday.

Israel’s Southern District Attorney’s Office filed its indictment against the minor, a teenage boy whose identity has been placed under a gag order, with the Beersheba District Court on Tuesday. He faces various charges, including affiliation with an illegal organization, conspiracy to commit a violent crime, arms offenses, and security offenses.

According to the Shin Bet, the boy was arrested April 6 after crossing the Israel-Gaza border fence. His interrogation revealed that he was a member of a Hamas battalion based in northern Gaza, to which he was recruited in 2014, shortly before Operation Protective Edge. He told the Shin Bet that Hamas’s “military wing,” the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, put him through training in which he participated in surveillance and ambushes against Israeli military troops. He further revealed that his training involved infiltrations, offensive missions, and detonating explosives. Hamas, according to the teenager, believes its next conflict with Israel will take place on Israeli soil rather than in Gaza.

The Shin Bet said the interrogation also provided intelligence about the Hamas’s tunnel-digging methods and operating procedures. The boy confessed to taking part in planting explosives in and around tunnels in case Israeli troops locate and enter the tunnels.

Hamas is forging ahead with its cross-border attack tunnel enterprise while the terror group is fully aware of the IDF’s efforts to uncover and destroy the underground passageways, the boy reportedly told interrogators.

“The boy is just one of many Hamas operatives who are currently being interrogated by the Shin Bet and providing it with inside information about Hamas’s comprehensive tunnel operations,” the Shin Bet said in a statement.

Israelis Commemorate 23,477 Fallen Soldiers, Terror Victims for Yom Hazikaron

(JNS.org) As part of this year’s Yom Hazikaron (Memorial Day) services, Israelis are commemorating the deaths of 23,477 soldiers and victims of terrorist attacks over the course of their country’s history. Since its last Memorial Day, Israel has added 68 people to its list of fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism, with an additional 59 wounded veterans who died during the past year also being recognized as fallen IDF soldiers.

“For over 68 years we have been fighting the same war, the war for our independence,” Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said during memorial services at Jerusalem’s Western Wall on Tuesday evening. “It is a painful battle that all the time adds fresh scars to the body and spirit of this ancient and robust people.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel will continue to try to achieve peace with the country’s enemies.

“We will not give up on the hopes of reconciliation with our enemies, but first we will reconcile among ourselves, and there is no deeper expression of our shared fate than when we remember, with love, and salute our heroic sons and daughters who fell so that we could live in our country,” Netanyahu said.

A two-minute siren wailed across Israel at 11 a.m. Wednesday to mark the start of memorial ceremonies at military cemeteries. The day’s events also include a candle-lighting ceremony at Mount Herzl, after which point Israelis kick off their Independence Day celebrations.

IDF Uncovers Terror Tunnel Along Gaza Border

(JNS.org) The Israel Defense Forces uncovered a cross-border Hamas attack tunnel last Thursday amid a flurry of attacks along the Gaza border.

“IDF units are securing southern Gaza border communities,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said. “This tunnel was dug by the Hamas terror organization to carry out attacks in Israeli territory against Israeli civilians and security forces, and to harm Israeli sovereignty.”

According to an IDF security source, it is unclear if the tunnel was dug before or after 2014’s Operation Protective Edge. The tunnel is in “reasonable condition” and Israel “will investigate it and then destroy it,” the source said, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Before the tunnel was discovered, Hamas had launched a series of rocket and mortar attacks on IDF units along the border of Gaza, which prompted the Israeli Air Force to launch two waves of airstrikes against nine Hamas terror targets inside of Gaza.

The attacks from Gaza came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had visited the Gaza border earlier in the week. While there, Netanyahu had noted the relative calm along the border since the end of Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014.

Israel’s Population Tops 8.5 Million at 68th Anniversary

(JNS.org) Israel’s population has reached 8,522,000 people on the eve of the country’s 68th anniversary, the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) reported on Monday.

According to the CBS, there are 6,377,000 Jews living in Israel (74.8 percent of the population), 1,771,000 Arabs (20.8 percent) and 374,000 people describing themselves as “other”—including non-Arab Christians and members of other religions—who comprise 4.4 percent of the population.

During the past year, 195,000 people were born in Israel and 47,000 died, while 36,000 immigrated to the Jewish state. Today there are 13 cities in Israel with more than 100,000 people, with eight of them having more than 200,000 residents, including Jerusalem, Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Haifa, Rishon Lezion, Petah Tikva, Ashdod, Netanya and Be’er Sheva.

When Israel was founded in 1948, the country only had 806,000 residents, and the CBS estimates that by 2035 there will be 11.3 million people living in Israel.

Additionally, the CBS said that among the roughly 14.3 million Jews worldwide, about 43 percent now reside in Israel. When Israel was founded in 1948, there were 11.5 million Jews in the world and only 6 percent lived in Israel.

Israel Reportedly Targets Hezbollah Weapons Convoy Along Lebanon-Syria Border

(JNS.org) Unconfirmed reports indicate that Israel has targeted Hezbollah terrorists and a weapons convoy along the Lebanese-Syrian border.

Israel’s Channel 2, citing Arab media reports and Syrian opposition websites, said that “the Israeli air force carried out a number of strikes against Hezbollah positions close to the Syria-Lebanon border.” According to the reports, Israel’s airstrike was carried out as a Hezbollah convoy departed from the border area, apparently into Lebanon.

During the course of the Syrian civil war, Israel has occasionally targeted weapons transfers between the Syrian government and Hezbollah, which has been involved in fighting in Syria on the Bashar al-Assad regime’s behalf.

While Israel has largely avoided acknowledging its involvement in Syria, last month Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed that Israel has taken action in Syria to prevent Hezbollah from attaining “game-changing” weaponry.

Iran Says It Test-Fired Missile That Can Reach Israel

(JNS.org) Iran said that it has test-fired a missile capable of reaching Israel.

“We tested a missile with a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles) and 8 meters’ error margin two weeks ago. An 8-meter error margin means…full accuracy,” Brig. Gen. Ali Abdollahi said, the Iranian news agency Tasnim reported. This distance would be sufficient if Iran wants to attack Israel.

“The reason we designed our missiles with a range of 2,000 kilometers is to be able to hit our enemy, the Zionist regime, from a safe distance,” said Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s aerospace division.

Just two months ago, Iran also test-fired two ballistic missiles at a target about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) away. Those missiles were marked with the phrase “Israel must be wiped out.”

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