Showing posts with label Israel and Gaza. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Israel and Gaza. Show all posts

18 October 2018

What Is a Rogue State?

by Paul R. Pillar

The concept of a rogue state (or outlaw state, or any equivalent term) cannot just refer to a state pursuing interests that we do not happen to like or do not identify with. States must be expected to pursue their interests, and every state on the globe has at least some interests that differ from those of the United States. Rather, rogue or outlaw behavior has to do with how a state pursues its interests. To be a “rogue” means pursuit through methods contrary to accepted standards of international behavior and contrary to international law. It means cheating or reneging. It often means the use of violent methods when peaceful ones are available.

17 October 2018

US-Israel Relations: A Return of Agency

U.S. and Israeli interests have diverged since the Cold War ended, but they are now bending back toward a similar path. 

From March to November 2017, Gallup conducted an annual worldwide opinion poll on the leadership of the United States. Some like the direction the U.S. is heading, some don’t, but in four of the 134 countries surveyed the U.S. approval rating rose by a whopping 10 percent compared to the previous year – Liberia, Macedonia, Belarus and Israel. That Israel was included attests to how starkly U.S.-Israel relations have changed under the administration of Donald Trump. Before he became president, bilateral ties seemed on the verge of collapse. In 2015, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traveled to Washington to lambast President Barack Obama in front of the U.S. Congress, practically begging the government not to move forward with the Iran nuclear deal – a plea that ultimately fell on deaf ears.

12 October 2018

Will Israel and Iran Go To War in Syria?

By Daniel Byman

Israel was dealt a bad hand when it comes to regional security, and Syria is the latest—and trickiest—card in the deck. On the one hand, the weakness of the Bashar al-Assad regime diminishes a leader whose country has never reconciled its past conflicts and territorial disputes with Israel and often proved a remorseless foe. On the other hand, Iran and Hezbollah are exploiting Syria’s instability, and Israelis fear the country will become a new launching pad for Iranian influence and attacks—essentially, another Lebanon. Ehud Yaari, a respected Israeli analyst, describes the risk of war between Iran and Israel in Syria as “almost inevitable.”

Geopolitics Keeps Pushing Turkey and Israel Back Together



Turkey and Israel's strategic alliance in the Middle East, fostered by their shared aim to limit Iran and prevent Arab states from aligning against them, will preserve their relationship through most external shocks. Intensifying U.S. efforts to find regional allies it can rely on to contain Iran helps keep the two countries together. Turkey's defense of Palestinian statehood will always be a caustic wedge between the two: While it provides Turkey with important credibility in the Muslim world, it conflicts with Israel’s defense strategy. 

11 October 2018

Israel’s War with Iran Is Inevitable

by Efraim Inbar

Iran is a formidable enemy. A large country of more than 80 million people, endowed with energy riches, it has always been a regional power. Having an imperial past and revolutionary zeal (since the 1979 Iranian Revolution), Iran nourishes ambitions to rule over the Middle East and beyond. Furthermore, theologically there is no place in Iranian thinking for a Jewish state. Iran believes that Israel will either wither away following military pressure on its population or be annihilated when it is militarily weak and vulnerable.

6 October 2018

Israel Plans Anti-Missile Nano Satellite Constellation

By ARIE EGOZI

TEL AVIV: Israel is planning constellations of nano satellites, built by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), that will allow almost continuous coverage of “areas of interest,” which are likely to include Iran, Syria, Lebanon and other countries, according to experts that are not connected in any way to the program. IAI refused to comment.

The first nano satellite was developed by IAI and was launched into space in 2017 as part of a scientific experiment. The 5-kilogram satellite — approximately the size of a milk carton — is equipped with special cameras able to identify various climatic phenomena, and a monitoring system that allows the choice of areas to be imaged and researched.

30 September 2018

Israel’s Approach to Counterterrorism

By Isaac Kfir

The Israeli approach to counterterrorism (CT) is unique because terrorism there is ever-present and takes many forms; it may occur from within Israel, it may take place from Palestinian territories, it may come from across the border or from further afield. The attack may be a one-off suicide bombing or a knife or car rampage or the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier. The terrorists themselves are different too in that they may be Arab, Palestinian, Arab-Israeli or even Japanese.

The evolving nature of the threat led Israeli policymakers to eschew the idea of having an official counterterrorism doctrine. Instead Israel has taken a more organic, holistic approach to CT that relies on innovation and creativity and is aimed at deterring and creating divisions within terror groups, and between the groups and their constituencies through coercion and/or persuasion.

Israel Avoids Trade Wars, but Keeps Chinese and Russia Tech Companies at Arm’s Length

Source Link 
Amitai Ziv

Israel has sought to stay neutral in the trade war U.S. President Donald Trump is waging against China, in particular its technology ambitions, and hasn’t formally joined in Western boycotts against Russian companies.

But behind the scenes, conversations with industry figures make clear that Israel has an undeclared policy not to use equipment made by Huawei and ZTE, two major Chinese companies, in telecoms networks – although they can and do sell end-user equipment like smartphones. Likewise, the Russian cybersecurity and anti-virus provider Kaspersky Lab has been kept at arm’s length.

“It’s well known, something very basic, that even though you will never see it written in any document, critical equipment used in operating telecoms networks and no key supplier will ever get approval to buy from a Chinese company,” said the CEO of an Israeli cellular company, who asked not to be identified.

29 September 2018

Gaza Is Bringing Egypt and Qatar Closer, but It Can't Keep Them Together


A comprehensive solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict remains extremely far off.

Concerned powers such as Israel, the United States, Egypt and the Gulf states are all carrying out policies intended to prevent a major war in Gaza.

Qatar and Egypt, two ideological foes, are seeking the same objective of a stable Gaza, but neither of them controls enough of the situation to prevent a full-on return to war.

The two states will only tolerate one another so long as an Israeli-Palestinian truce holds — and if it falls apart, each will try to pin blame on the other.

16 September 2018

Do Palestinians Still Support the Two-State Solution?

By Khalil Shikaki

It has been 25 years since the Oslo Accords envisioned a two-state solution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine, but the fundamental challenges for Palestinians remain the same. Oslo required not only that Palestinians reconcile themselves to enormous sacrifice but that they trust Israelis to do the same. Moreover, the demands for sacrifice were far from equal. Palestinians were to permanently abandon claims to 78 percent of their homeland, while much less was asked of Israeli Jews, who would need to abandon the demand for just 22 percent of theirs.

Where the Oslo Accords were successful, it was mostly due to the bold leadership of Yasir Arafat, chair of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), and Yitzhak Rabin, the prime minister of Israel. These leaders were willing to sign letters of mutual recognition in the final moments before signing the accords, which opened a large majority of Palestinians to the idea of relinquishing land claims in pursuit of peace.

15 September 2018

Israel allocates 2.7 mln USD to protect essential factories from cyber attacks


JERUSALEM, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) --The Israeli government on Tuesday announced to allocate 10 million new shekels (about 2.7 million U.S. dollars) to support essential industrial factories to improve defense against cyber attacks. The announcement was made by the Israel National Cyber Directorate of the Prime Minister's Office. One of the dangers facing sensitive industrial plants is cyber attack that could disrupt their operations. In the case of factories dealing with hazardous materials, such attack could have dangerous environmental and security consequences. Israel has not yet reported a successful attack directed at its industrial infrastructures, but there are fears of such attacks, mainly by hostile elements, including enemy states. The focus of the program is to ensure the continuity of economic functioning in times of emergency, as it emphasizes the role of cyber defense as a central element in dealing with emergency scenarios.

30 August 2018

Israel Buys Rockets 'That Can Reach Anywhere in the Middle East'

Yaniv Kubovich 

The Defense Ministry signed a deal with Israel Military Industries for the purchase of the rockets, estimated to cost hundreds of millions of shekels. The new rockets have innovative technology that allow them high accuracy, the defense ministry said.  This purchase is the first since Lieberman instructed the Israel Defense Forces in February to establish a new force of ground-to-ground missiles with a range of up to 300 kilometers.

18 August 2018

Laws of Armed Conflict in Gaza

By John Toolan

For months now, recurring clashes between Israel and Hamas in Gaza have featured a mix of old and new. Always seeking innovative ways to target Israel, Hamas has debuted new tactics like indiscriminate airborne incendiaries and interspersing terror cells in crowds of civilians attempting to infiltrate Israel. But the purpose of such tactics follows a dangerous, underappreciated pattern of terrorist groups intentionally trying to delegitimize Israel’s lawful self-defense. In the case of Gaza, Hamas attacks Israel and violates the laws of armed conflict by forcing the deaths of civilians to trigger heated condemnations of Israel. From the outset of ongoing fighting in March, Hamas’s attacks on Israel’s border were ostensibly peaceful protests declared to be the “Great March of Return.” These demonstrations, organized under the pretext of Palestinians exercising their “right” to return to ancestral homes in Israel, in reality involved Hamas encouraging thousands of Gazans to storm and potentially break through Israel’s border fence en masse. Hamas implanted its military operatives within the onrushing crowds, effectively using civilians as human shields.

17 August 2018

The Missile Arsenal at the Heart of the Israeli-Iranian Rivalry


Iran and Hezbollah will continue efforts to enhance their missile and artillery capabilities by threatening Israel where it is most vulnerable; in the economic realm. In response, Israel will seek to lobby Washington and Moscow to restrict Tehran's activities in Syria. In the event of a war, Israel will seek to take a load off of its missile defense system by launching a ground incursion into Syria or Lebanon to destroy possible launch pads for Iranian or Hezbollah missiles as well as the projectiles themselves. Following a string of recent successes, Syria's government is in a dominant position as the Syrian civil war transitions to a new phase. Meanwhile, the two largest outside powers involved in the conflict — the United States and Russia — are looking to make an exit as their primary foes lose ground. But even as the war appears to be winding down for some, it's beginning to ramp up for one key player: Israel.

13 August 2018

The Missile Arsenal at the Heart of the Israeli-Iranian Rivalry


Iran and Hezbollah will continue efforts to enhance their missile and artillery capabilities by threatening Israel where it is most vulnerable; in the economic realm. In response, Israel will seek to lobby Washington and Moscow to restrict Tehran's activities in Syria. In the event of a war, Israel will seek to take a load off of its missile defense system by launching a ground incursion into Syria or Lebanon to destroy possible launch pads for Iranian or Hezbollah missiles as well as the projectiles themselves. Following a string of recent successes, Syria's government is in a dominant position as the Syrian civil war transitions to a new phase. Meanwhile, the two largest outside powers involved in the conflict — the United States and Russia — are looking to make an exit as their primary foes lose ground. But even as the war appears to be winding down for some, it's beginning to ramp up for one key player: Israel.

12 August 2018

Vivian Bercovici: Israel's mighty army is no match for Hamas's flaming condom bombs


Late afternoon last Wednesday, I climbed a sandy knoll at the edge of Sderot, a town of 25,000 in southern Israel, four kilometres from the border with the Gaza Strip. Accompanying me was Eddy, a local community worker, Sderot-born and bred. Ten years ago, Eddy moved with his wife and four young children away from Sderot to a kibbutz 3.5 kilometres further inland to escape the near constant barrage of rockets coming from the Gaza Strip. In Sderot, once the rocket alarms sound, people have 15 seconds, at most, to dash to the nearest shelter for safety. But the elderly, sick and very young are housebound — and terrorized. Every single public bus shelter in Sderot doubles as a fortified bunker, as do the 35 or so windowless kindergartens.

7 August 2018

Israeli-Made Spyware Being Used Increasingly Around the World

Amnesty: We Were Targeted With Israeli NSO Cyberweapons 

An Amnesty International employee has been targeted with Israeli-made surveillance software, the human rights group said Wednesday, adding to a growing number of examples of Israeli technology being used to spy on human rights workers and opposition figures in the Middle East and beyond. In a 20-page report, Amnesty outlined how it thinks a hacker tried to break into an unidentified staff member’s smartphone in early June by baiting the employee with a WhatsApp message about a protest in front of the Saudi Embassy in Washington. Like many other Israeli startups in the security field, NSO was founded in 2010 by three veterans of the army’s premier signals intelligence unit, 8200: Niv Carmi, Omri Lavie and Shalev Hulio. They started work on Pegasus, which remains NSO’s only product, immediately after founding the company.

4 August 2018

Israel is under massive Chinese, Russian cyber espionage attack

Ronen Bergman

A look at one of the most secretive units of the Israeli intelligence community— the Shin Bet’s counter-espionage division, which was responsible for the arrest of former minister Gonen Segev—one of many cases of Tehran's infiltration attempts. However, it turns out that the Iranians are actually the least of Israel's problems. A few months ago, "Ophir," a senior official with a rich intelligence background turned private cyber security expert, was called back to duty. The mission: Ophir and a team of experts were asked to examine the security of some of Israel's main computer systems. A few systems were defined as "strategic," others of lesser importance. But since less time and energy is spent on protecting these secondary systems, it can make them even more vulnerable to infiltration. The investigation team was put together by one of Israel's governmental intelligence and information protection agencies. 

22 July 2018

Israel’s Active Defense Campaign in Syria: The Next Phase

By Yaakov Lappin

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Tehran’s recent decision to attempt direct clashes with Israel resulted in a resounding defeat on May 10, when the IDF destroyed 50 Iranian military targets in Syrian territory. Iran is now shifting gears back to its traditional proxy approach. While it appears reluctant to mobilize Hezbollah against Israel right now and risk a full-scale regional war, it is continuing to work on securing a military position in Syria to use for future aggression. Israel must maintain its flexibility and responsiveness in order to prevent the creation of a second Iranian mass missile front on the border. Judging from international media reports, Israel’s campaign to keep Iran out of Syria has entered a new phase.

20 July 2018

How Israel, in Dark of Night, Torched Its Way to Iran’s Nuclear Secrets

By David E. Sanger and Ronen Bergman

TEL AVIV — The Mossad agents moving in on a warehouse in a drab commercial district of Tehran knew exactly how much time they had to disable the alarms, break through two doors, cut through dozens of giant safes and get out of the city with a half-ton of secret materials: six hours and 29 minutes. The morning shift of Iranian guards would arrive around 7 a.m., a year of surveillance of the warehouse by the Israeli spy agency had revealed, and the agents were under orders to leave before 5 a.m. to have enough time to escape. Once the Iranian custodians arrived, it would be instantly clear that someone had stolen much of the country’s clandestine nuclear archive, documenting years of work on atomic weapons, warhead designs and production plans.