Tuesday, February 02, 2016

From Ian:

The emotional post that conquered Israelis' hearts overnight
Dafna Meir's young daughters win second, third place in gymnastics competition - then break down in tears after returning home.
Natan Meir, the husband of terror victim Dafna, published an emotional Facebook post last night, which has already received numerous shares and reached Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Dafna Meir was recently murdered in her Otniel home.
"My sweet daughters, Noa (11.5) and Ahava (10.5) competed in an internal gymnastics competition in Otniel today. They both won medals for second and third place. Two mothers, loving neighbors, escorted them and greatly cheered them up," he wrote.
"When evening came, so did the tears - their mother wasn't able to see this achievement. Where is her hug? Why isn't she here to see? I suggested that I would post a picture of them with their medals so they could receive a warm embrace and love from the entire Jewish People."
Caroline Glick: The IDF's misplaced trust in the PA
In the past, both Abbas and his predecessor Yassir Arafat assessed at various points that they were better off cooperating with Hamas against Israel than with Israel against Hamas. Their decisions in 1996, from 2000 to 2007, and intermittently ever since, have had little to do with Israel's positions. Indeed, their shifts from Israel to Hamas have often occurred at times when Israel did the most to support them.
As for Abbas's control over his forces, this too can change on a dime. For years, Palestinian sources have insisted that these forces feel no intrinsic loyalty to Abbas. They stay with Abbas because he pays them.
Ideologically, these men under arms are free floaters. Nothing they believe is a bar for shifting their loyalties to Hamas. More to the point, all the US financial transfers to the PA security forces won't stop any of the US-trained Palestinian forces from moonlighting as Hamas, Fatah or Hezbollah terrorists. They've done it in the past and they will do it again.
The instrumental, and necessarily temporary nature of Palestinian security cooperation with the IDF tells us three things.
First, the IDF needs to ditch its current counterterror strategy which is based on the wrongheaded assumption that we can rely on the PA security forces. Central Command needs to develop contingency plans for neutralizing these forces. These contingency plans don’t need to be made public. But to the extent that aspects of the plans can be quietly implemented, they should be implemented as quickly as possible.
Second, IDF commanders need to stop praising these hostile forces. At some point in the not so distant future the IDF will be required to fight these forces. When that day comes, the IDF's enthusiastic tributes to their great cooperation with these terror-supporting forces will come back to haunt us. How will we be able to explain why our actions are necessary to allies to whom we have praised these hostile forces? This brings us to the final thing we need to recognize about these Palestinian forces. It was a major strategic blinder for Israel to support the US's decision to train them. By supporting the US training program, Israel has given the US an incentive to deny the hostile nature of these forces.
Even worse than guaranteeing that the US will be unwilling to accept that in training these forces its military built a terror army, is that threat these forces pose. Today seven US-trained Palestinian combat battalions are deployed close to Israel's major urban centers. Their fighting skills far surpass anything Israel has had to deal with in campaigns to date against Palestinian terror onslaughts.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Hamas: The "Merchants of War" Who Seek to Destroy Israel
The myth that Hamas uses tunnels to smuggle food and other necessities to the "besieged" Gaza Strip has been buried under the rubble of the tunnel that collapsed last week east of Gaza City.
The incident, in which seven members of Hamas's armed wing, Ezaddin Al-Qassam, were killed when the tunnel they were working in collapsed, provides further proof that the Islamist movement has stayed true to its charter, which calls for the total destruction of Israel.
The Hamas men who were killed in the tunnel collapse belonged to the movement's elite "Tunnel Unit." According to Ezaddin Al-Qassam, the men were busy repairing one of the tunnels (damaged during the 2014 war with Israel) when it collapsed due to severe weather conditions.
Contrary to popular belief, the tunnel was not being renovated to allow Palestinians to smuggle basic goods from Egypt to the Gaza Strip. This was one of many tunnels that Hamas has dug over the past few years to infiltrate Israel and carry out terror attacks.
Hamas makes no secret of the goal of its renovations. Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar readily admits that the tunnels are being rebuilt to target Israel.

PMW: Fatah anniversary video shows Abbas glorifying murderers, in speech from 2013
Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement emphasizes repeatedly its support for violence and terror attacks against Israel. During the current terror wave alone, Palestinian Media Watch has documented numerous times that Fatah encourages attacks against Israelis and supports and glorifies the attackers.
One example is a new video made by Fatah's Mobilization and Organization Commission and posted on Fatah's official Facebook page. To celebrate its 51st anniversary this year, Fatah chose to use footage of Abbas glorifying several terrorists in a speech in 2013, among them 2 arch-terrorists, Abu Jihad and Abu Iyad. Added to the old footage were pictures of the terrorists with the logo "51" for Fatah's current anniversary:
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: "Today, we remember our Martyrs. We remember the Sheikh of our Martyrs, Yasser Arafat. We remember Abu Jihad, Abu Iyad, Abu Said, Abu Ali Iyad, Abu Sabri. We recall all these Martyrs."
[Official Facebook page of the Fatah Movement, Dec. 30, 2015]
Palestinian Arabs are willing executioners
Nor has much been mentioned about Abu Mazen, the unelected President of the Palestinian Arab Authority; In 1972, Abu Mazen was responsible for raising the funds required for the Munich Massacre of 11 Israeli athletes. He acquired much of his subversive skills at the KGB headquarters in Moscow, where he received (at Moscow University) his Ph.D. on Holocaust Denial. No Western society would tolerate a holocaust denier holding a prominent position, but Abu Mazen has been accorded respect and is welcomed in all major capitals of the world. Abu Mazen represents the indisputable connection between spirit of Nazism and its central role in Palestinian Arab consciousness.
Palestinian Arab Anti-Semitism has long been recognized as the Arab world’s prominent vehicle for the hatred of the Jews. From academics teaching that Judaism permits murder and rape of non-Jews, to religious leaders teaching that Islam demands the extermination of Jews, Palestinian redemptive anti-Semitism is a compelling force driving hatred and terror. The Palestinian Authority depicts Jews as the archetypal force of evil throughout history. Jews are said to be responsible for all the world’s problems: wars, financial crises, even the spreading of AIDS. Jews are a danger to humanity. Whereas this paradigm has been used before by Nazis, the Palestinians take it a step further, turning demonization of Jews into the basis for Palestinian denial of Israel’s right to exist and a central component of Palestinian national identity. The Anti-Semitic oppression, persecution and expulsions suffered by Jews throughout history are presented as the legitimate self-defense responses of the nations of the world.
Palestinian Arabs, in ways similar to the Nazis in the past, have created a false and deceptive reality that will sooner than later crumble and implode. Over the past five years we have all witnessed how quickly Arab leaders throughout the Middle East have to flee from their own people due to the eruption of rage and hatred by the Arab mobs.
The true narrative of the Middle East is that no Arab state genuinely respects human rights. No Arab state hosts a responsible media. No Arab society fully respects the rights of women or minorities, and no Arab government has ever accepted public responsibility for its own shortcomings. Blame has become the opium of the Arabs, and the greatest blame for their failures is that directed at Israel. So is born the obsessive campaign to demonize and de-legitimize Israel, the home of the Jewish nation. Only by spreading the word and exposing the historically lethal link between Palestinian Arab terror and Nazism, the modern torchbearers of “redemptive anti-Semitism,” can we regain the moral high ground in defending Israel against the global tsunami of ever growing anti-Semitism and hatred of Israel
More than 4 months of terror, by the numbers
Four and-a-half months into the terror wave, Israel's Magen David Adom ambulance service has summarized some of the period's key statistics.
MDA chose the September 13, Rosh Hashana attack, in which the 64-year-old grandfather Alexander Levlovitz was killed, as the starting date of the current round of violence.
Terrorists caused Levlovitz's death in Jerusalem after he lost control of his vehicle on the night of September 13 when its windshield was shattered by a rock thrown from an overpass in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood while he was driving home with his two daughters.
Since the Levlovitz attacks and until February 1, 30 Israelis have been killed and 301 have been wounded, MDA reported. Twenty seven of the wounded were wounded seriously, eight moderately to seriously, 46 moderately, 11 moderately to lightly, and 209 were lightly wounded.
MDA emergency teams treated victims in 91 rock throwing incidents, 83 stabbing incidents, 22 vehicle ramming attacks, and 15 shootings.
Palestinian media has reported that 167 Palestinians have been killed in the current round of violence, including 34 minors. Israeli security forces have arrested 3,500 Palestinians and 1,420 Palestinians have been injured, according to the Palestinian sources.
Analysis: The West Bank tipping point
Recent security developments in the West Bank have been unusual in their scope and severity, and could lead to the conclusion that the area is on a clear path to another escalation. But such conclusions are premature.
Israel and the Palestinians appear to be at a tipping point in the West Bank, and the coming weeks will be the true indicator of whether the area is headed for a deescalation, or for a deterioration in the security situation.
The fact that a Palestinian Authority police officer used his firearm to go on a shooting spree, targeting IDF soldiers, represents just the type of attack that could end up being an “inspiration” to other armed members of the Palestinian security forces. They, in turn, could launch copycat shootings.
Such a dangerous turn of events could spell the end of security coordination between Israel and the PA, and signify a major new escalation. However, this has not happened, and it is very much in the interest of both sides that it does not come to pass.
The PA is still guided by self-interest, meaning it continues security coordination with Israel and represses Hamas terrorist cells that are keen on toppling and replacing the PA, and terrorizing Israelis with atrocities.
The Palestinian war on women
In the space of barely a week, Palestinian Arab terrorists have singled out and stabbed Israeli women in three different cities, murdering two and wounding two others. There's no point in mincing words: this is a Palestinian "War on Women."
In the heat of American political campaigns, members of one party sometimes use language that sounds as if they are accusing their rivals of engaging in violence. One side will accuse the other of "assaulting" or "bashing" or "waging war" against somebody. But these are rhetorical flourishes. When candidate claim someone is waging a "war on women," they don't literally mean that their rival is killing women. It's a complaint about the other person's policy positions or opinions.
That, however, is true only in a civilized society. When it comes to the less-civilized--for example, Palestinian mass-murderers--a "war" is a war. And when the attackers specifically target women, as they are now doing, then--yes, it's an actual War on Women.
On January 17, a knife-wielding Palestinian terrorist entered the home of Mrs. Dafna Meir, in the town of Otniel, and stabbed her to death in front of her children. The next day, a Palestinian stabber attacked and wounded a pregnant woman, Mrs. Michal Froman, in a clothing depot in Tekoah. Seven days later, two terrorists stabbed 24 year-old Shlomit Krigman to death in front of a minimarket in Beit Horon. Then they chased and stabbed another woman, age 58.
14-year-old attempted terrorist caught in Jerusalem
An Arab minor was caught with a hidden knife on Wadi Road in Jerusalem's Old City yesterday (Monday). During police questioning, he admitted that he intended to carry out a terror attack.
The youth, a 14-year-old from the Shuafat refugee camp in northern Jerusalem, said that he heard about the attack perpetrated by his friends at the Damascus Gate on Saturday, and decided to do the same himself.
He arrived at the Old City and began searching for Jewish targets.
Before he was able to harm anyone, though, police noticed his suspicious actions and stopped him. During a body search they found a knife ready for stabbing innocent civilians.
Ten terrorists arrested in extensive operation
Ten terrorists were arrested early this morning (Tuesday), as part of an extensive operation involving both the IDF and Border Police. The operation focused on the eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods of Abu Dis and Azaria.
Due to increased incidents of Arabs throwing rocks, placing explosives, and shooting fireworks as weapons, authorities decided to take the offensive.
During the arrests, bystanders began rioting and were handled with crowd dispersal methods. In addition to the suspects detained, forces seized large amounts of drugs and military equipment.
The commander of the Border Police in Judea-Samaria, who oversaw the mission, said that "over the last few months we have led a number of similar operations in which we arrested criminals and brought them to justice. We will continue acting with determination against any who disturbs the public peace and tries to harm the State of Israel's security forces and civilians."
Israel Busts Arab Arms & Drug Dealer in Jelazoun
Based on an intelligence tip, Israel Police joined IDF soldiers in an operation overnight to seize a major drug and arms cache of military materials being held by Palestinian Authority Arab suspects.
The troops enter the Samaria village of Jelazoun together with the IDF Binyamin Regional Brigade and seized the following:
1 M-16 assault rifle, with magazine 2 loaded Carl Gustav assault rifles 1 vest complete with M-16 cartridges M-16 weapons parts 1 gas pistol Hundreds of 9mm bullets Stolen vehicles 6 pallets of hashish 2 bags of Nice Guy synthetic marijuana, plus bags for dividing it into portions 1 bag of hundreds of 10-shekel coins 2 security safes with thousands of shekels
An Arab suspect from Jelazoun was arrested and transferred to security personnel for questioning at the Binyamin District Police station.
Kerry stresses ending incitement in call with Abbas
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in a call with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas stressed the need to end incitement.
“They discussed concerns about the ‎situation on the ground, including the ongoing violence,” a State Department spokeswoman told JTA, describing the conversation this weekend. “The secretary stressed the importance of stopping incitement and inflammatory rhetoric.”
Israeli leaders have faulted what they say are inflammatory statements by Palestinian leaders and in Palestinian media for a four-month spate of stabbings, vehicle attacks and shootings.
Abbas and other Palestinian officials say they are urging restraint and have accused Israel of overreacting.
Kerry praised Abbas for a Jan. 19 speech marking the Armenian Orthodox Christmas, in which the Palestinian leader condemned “spilling the blood of any human being, regardless of the gender, race or religion.”
PreOccupiedTerritory: Teach The Kids Jews Are Pigs? But This Is A Math Class (satire)
By Al Jebra, arithmetic teacher, Yasser Arafat Elementary School, Hebron
I’ve been an arithmetic teacher here in Hebron for seven years. I’ve eminently qualified to stand before my students in that classroom down the hall and impart to them the basics of the operations, symbols, and principles of the field. So I’m having trouble trying to wrap my head around this directive of yours, Mr. Principal, that calls for me to devote a certain portion of every lesson discussing the various ways in which Jews are known to be swine and not human.
Think not for a moment that I disagree – we all know this to be the case in our bones! – but I’m unclear on the methodology for including this important piece of the children’s elementary school education and still having time to cover long division, decimals, exponents, and the things that are more complicated than simple word problems that ask the students to subtract the number of family members who have not yet been arrested for trying to injure or kill Jews. There are only so many minutes in an academic hour.
Of course I want to help raise the next generation of fierce, devoted Resistance fighters! What living, breathing Palestinian educator could desire anything else? It’s just that I need guidance as to how to square the requirements of ascertaining that my charges have mastered the intricacies of multiplying and dividing fractions with this additional directive that calls for fifteen minutes of Jews-are-the-spawn-of-filthy-pigs in each session, including a video component. Allah knows it is difficult enough to retain the little ones’ attention for a full class period – now I have to squeeze in this additional material – do you realize what kind of havoc this wreaks with my lesson plan? I don’t know what to do, and I could really use your help here, Mr. Principal.

Khaled Abu Toameh: PA buries policeman-turned-terrorist with official honors
The Palestinian Authority on Monday held a military funeral for Amjad Sukkari, the Palestinian policeman who carried out the shooting attack near Bet El a day earlier. Three IDF soldiers were wounded in the attack.
PA security officers carried Sukkari’s body, which was draped in a Palestinian flag, from the Rafidiyeh Hospital in Nablus toward the city center, where hundreds of mourners were gathered.
The funeral procession then set out to Sukkari’s village of Jamain, south of Nablus, where he was buried.
Senior PA officials, including the governor of Nablus, Akram Rajoub and Fatah Central Committee member Mahmoud Al-Aloul attended the policeman’s funeral.
‘Kill 500 Israelis,’ mourners demand at funeral of PA gunman
Throngs of marching Palestinians called out “Death to Israel” and demanded that hundreds of Israelis be gunned down, at the funeral Monday of a Palestinian Authority security officer who died carrying out a shooting attack on Israeli troops. Amjad Sakari was shot dead as he fired on Israeli soldiers at a West Bank checkpoint, injuring two of them seriously, on Sunday.
“It is time for the machine gun, to shoot 500 people,” the man leading Sakari’s funeral procession shouted over a megaphone, his words raucously repeated by the mourners, in footage screened by Israel’s Channel 2. “Muhammad’s army will return,” he vowed.
The mourners gathered in the northern West Bank city of Nablus and celebrated Sakari as a “martyr,” with many chanting slogans calling for intensified terror attacks against
Hamas urges PA police to conduct more attacks
Senior Hamas official Khalil al-Hayya called on more Palestinian Authority (PA) Security Force members to follow the example of Amjad Abu-Omar, the terrorist who conducted a shooting attack adjacent to Bet El in Samaria on Sunday.
Abu-Omar, a member of the PA Security Forces and formerly the personal bodyguard to the PA's Attorney General, shot three IDF soldiers wounding two of them seriously and one lightly before being shot dead by other soldiers.
"Today Amjad Abu-Omar went out (to conduct an attack) without taking into account his connection to the Palestinian Authority which was granted funds in order to brainwash those who love Palestine, and here today Amjad comes and says (to them) you failed," said al-Hayya.
The Hamas leader said the PA policeman's actions were "a message to all those in the Security Forces, this is your role model and you - all those who are free and zealous - need to act in this manner."
Israel prepares to demolish home of Palestinian police officer who shot soldiers
The IDF and Civil Administration, secured by Border Police forces, mapped out the home of Amjad Sukkari in the West Bank village of Jami'n, southeast of Kalkilya on Tuesday.
Sukkari carried out the the shooting attack on Sunday in which three IDF soldiers were wounded at the Focus checkpoint, near the Beit El settlement.
His home is scheduled to be demolished, in line with instructions from the government, the IDF said.
Two of the soldiers were moderately-to-seriously wounded in the attack Sunday and one was lightly wounded. Soldiers responding at the scene shot and killed Sukkari.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held the Palestinian Authority accountable for the attack since he said the terrorist was a member of the PA’s security apparatus and received a salary from the PA.
Analysis: Ban Ki-moon to Israel: Don’t Shoot the Messenger, Shoot Yourselves in the Foot Instead
“Don’t Shoot the Messenger, Israel,” UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon wrote in the NY Times Sunday, turning very personal his ongoing trash talk with the Jewish State, especially with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Ban was deeply hurt when his original comment, “a simple truth,” as he put it, that “history proves that people will always resist occupation,” was received by “twisting my words into a misguided justification for violence.” After all, hadn’t he already agreed that “the stabbings, vehicle ramming and other attacks by Palestinians targeting Israeli civilians are reprehensible?”
But how is any of those terrifying acts of blood lust come even close to anyone’s idea of “resisting occupation?” The civilized world, including South Korea, expects “resisting occupation” to feature ambushing enemy soldiers, brazen attacks on police stations, the stuff old WW2 movies are made of. Does anyone recall a resistance flick where the hero knifes pregnant ladies? Slash mothers while their children watch? Drive into 11 civilians waiting for the bus?
“Nothing excuses terrorism. I condemn it categorically,” insists the secretary-general, in which case, how does he distinguish between it and freedom-fighting occupied people? Simple: he makes up a third category, for frustrated occupied people who get the urge to stab mothers.
Times of London Palestinian terrorism related headline fail
On Sunday, three Israeli soldiers were wounded when a Palestinian man opened fire at an IDF checkpoint near the West Bank settlement of Beit El. The Palestinian terrorist (a member of the PA’s security forces) was killed by Israeli security forces at the scene.
Here’s the headline accompanying a Times of London print edition story on the incident.
This perverse editorial decision represents one example within a larger pattern – at both British and American media outlets – of prioritizing the fate of the perpetrators over that of their victims when reporting terror attack in Israel. (h/t Yenta Press)
Hamas operatives pose as medical patients to infiltrate Israel
Israel Police and Shin Bet [Israel Security Agency] arrested two Hamas operatives who had entered Israel from Gaza on forged medical documents. The pair were arrested on January 7, however, the information was only cleared for release on Monday.
After entering Israel, Mahmoud Matok, 31, along with his father, 51, escaped from hospital and traveled to Umm al-Fahm in northern Israel, where they were arrested.
Both men hailed from the Jabalya refugee camp located in the northern Gaza Strip.
A source in the Shin Bet said, "This is a serious incident that illustrates the cynical exploitation of Israel's willingness to meet the humanitarian needs of Gaza's residents, which could lead to a tightening of entry regulations, and ultimately harm the residents of the Gaza Strip."
The two confessed under interrogation to forging the medical records by using a relative's medical condition as a pretext for their entry, with the younger Matok assuming the relative's identity. (h/t Yenta Press)
Hamas PM Haniya in Friday Sermon: We Are Digging Tunnels East of Gaza

Saudi Arabia Counter-Terror Raids Snatch Up Nine Americans
Saudi authorities have arrested nine Americans on suspicion of terrorism as part of a four-day operation last week that saw 33 total suspects arrested.
All the arrests were a result of what the Saudi Gazette has described as “pre-emptive raids” on six different terrorist cells operating in Saudi Arabia. Riyadh’s interior ministry claimed that 15 of those arrested created a cell called Jund Al-Haramain Al-Sharifain, Arabic for ‘soldiers of the land of the Two Holy Mosques.’ It is unclear as to whether or not the American detainees are connected with the cell or with ISIS.
“We are looking into reports alleging that several U.S. citizens were detained in Saudi Arabia. The Department of State takes its obligation to assist U.S. citizens abroad seriously,” said a U.S. State Department spokesperson in a Monday email to The Daily Caller News Foundation.
ISIS has taken responsibility for a string of bombings in Saudi Arabia, however, the group has not taken credit for Friday’s bombing of a Shia mosque in Saudi Arabia’s predominantly Shia Eastern province. Saudi Arabia is a majority Sunni Muslim country, though a large Shia population resides in the eastern portions of the country. ISIS, a Sunni organization, has targeted Saudi Shias who they consider heretics.
Putin's revenge: Turkish tourist industry collapsing
A total of 1,318 Turkish hotels along the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts have been put up for sale, due to Russian sanctions on Turkey and security concerns, reported Turkish and Russian media Tuesday.
Today's Zaman said that 410 hotels are listed for sale at the Mediterranean resort area of Anatalya, at a total sale price of TL 30 billion (about $10 billion). The remaining 908 hotels are on sale at the provinces of Muğla, İzmir, Aydın, Balıkesir, Çanakkale and Denizli, at a total of TL 8.8 billion (about $3 billion).
According to Denizli Colossae Thermal Chairman, Abdurrahman Karamanlıoğlu, some resort town hotels were brought near bankruptcy after Russia imposed sanctions against Turkey, following the downing of a Russian warplane near Turkey's border last November.
Russia advised its citizens to cancel their visits to Turkey and reintroduced a visa regime for tourism between the two countries. Travel agencies in Russia also stopped selling tour packages to Turkey, following the Kremlin's request.
Syria condemns Turkey 'cross-border shelling'
Syria's government has condemned alleged cross-border shelling by Turkish forces on Monday as a "blatant breach of international law", state media reported.
Late Monday, state news agency SANA quoted a source in the Syrian Foreign Ministry as condemning the reported artillery fire into northern Latakia province.
The source said Damascus considered the shelling "a blatant breach of international law and a crime against Syrian civilians."
The report added that the government "reserves the right to respond to this heinous crime with all available means."
Jordan king: We're at 'boiling point' on Syrian refugees
Jordan's King Abdullah says that his country is at its "boiling point" over the hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees who have been arriving on the borders.
In a BBC interview, the monarch explained that Jordan's social services, infrastructure and economy are under a tremendous amount of pressure. "Sooner or later, I think, the dam is going to burst."
He then claimed that, if the international community wants Jordan to continue accepting refugees, it must provide more money.
The United Nations has asked for $7.7 billion in order to help Syrians over the coming year, though the body was only able to raise $1.2 billion for the project in 2015, less than half of its intended goal.
Russia assures Israel: We're not passing weapons to Hezbollah
An internal Russian probe has determined that Israeli fears of Russia passing arms to the Lebanese terror organization Hezbollah are baseless. The Israeli ambassador to Moscow, Zvi Heifetz, relayed the findings to a Knesset committee and added that the relations between the two countries "are flourishing in an unprecedented manner."
The assurance came following a few weeks of concern by Israel that Russia had been supplying Hezbollah with weapons, as the two are working together to help bolster Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the ongoing Syrian civil war. Russia made assurances to Israel that it did not and will not transfer any weapons to the terrorist organization that is in de facto control of a large area of Lebanon. Israel’s ambassador to Moscow made the report to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday.
Heifetz's briefing is the first time in years that an ambassador personally briefed the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee regarding the state of the relationship between Israel and the country in which he serves.
While the committee meeting was classified, Haaretz reports that Heifetz told the panel how Moscow’s promise was sparked by an international media report a few weeks ago. The report asserted that Russia was supplying arms to Hezbollah as part of its ongoing operations in Syria, where it is working in conjunction with Iran and the Assad regime.
U.S. Spots Russian Commandos in Syria
Russian special operations troops are working covertly in Syria to support an array of Iranian-backed fighters, including members of the international terrorist group Hezbollah, U.S. defense officials and counterterror experts say.
The Spetsnaz commandos were detected working closely with military forces of the regime of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, as well as several Iranian-backed groups, which even include armed Iraqis and Afghans.
Officials did not disclose the specific numbers of Spetsnaz troops in Syria but said the numbers were in the dozens.
Recent operations involving Spetsnaz forces have been focused on attacking anti-regime rebels near the northern city of Aleppo. The city has also been a target of Russian airstrikes.
However, officials said reports from Syria that Spetsnaz troops are working with pro-Iranian Hezbollah forces are a growing concern. Officials are worried the terrorist group, which is known for attacking Americans, will gain valuable military know-how from the Russian commandos.

Report: Hezbollah ‘Moving Freely’ in U.S. with Cuban-Made Venezuelan Passports
Members of Iran’s terror proxy Hezbollah “are moving freely” within the United States and Latin America, courtesy of Venezuelan passports issued by a Cuban company hired by Caracas, reports the UK-based Asharq Al-Awsat.
The report echoes various articles by Breitbart News, which, among other things, have highlighted that Hezbollah operatives, including the right-hand man of the head of Hezbollah in Lebanon, are using passports obtained from countries in the Americas, primarily Venezuela and Cuba, to enter the United States.
In February 2015, experts at a National Defense University (NDU) conference warned that the narcoterrorist group Hezbollah, based in Lebanon, has expanded across Latin American and into the United States.
DEA uncovers major drug trafficking by Hezbollah to fund global terrorism
The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced on Tuesday that it uncovered major international criminal activity by Shi'ite Islamist group Hezbollah, in which it used funds from drug trafficking operations to purchase weapons and fund its other activities.
Several arrests, targeting what the DEA referred to as the Lebanese Hezbollah’s External Security Organization Business Affairs Component (BAC), were conducted by the DEA and international law enforcement from seven other countries. The arrests indicate the dangerous global connection between drug trafficking and terrorism.
The arrests were part of the DEA'S "Project Cassandra" which targets and monitors the global network of Hezbollah activities responsible for moving large quantities of cocaine in the US and Europe. The lead came from an initial investigation that had been conducted into the Lebanese-Canadian Bank.
“DEA and our international partners are relentless in our commitment to disrupt any attempt by terrorists and terrorist organizations to leverage the drug trade against our nations. DEA and our partners will continue to dismantle networks who exploit the nexus between drugs and terror using all available law enforcement mechanisms,” said DEA Acting Deputy Administrator Jack Riley.
The Lebanese Hezbollah External Security Organization Business Affairs Component (BAC), was founded by deceased former Hezbollah Senior Leader Imad Mughniyah. It currently operates under the control of Abdallah Safieddine, and Adham Tabaja who recently became a US Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT).
Over the years, Hezbollah had set up business relationships with drug cartels in South America, such as La Oficina de Envigado, who are the major suppliers of cocaine to the US and Europe. The Hezbollah BAC continues to launder significant profits from this drug exchange in a trade-based scheme known as the Black Market Peso Exchange. (h/t Alexi)

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