Iran Attempts Assassination to Make a Point
GEORGIA STOPS IRANIAN ATTEMPT TO ASSASSINATE ISRAELI: Georgia foiled an Iranian plot to assassinate an Israeli residing in the country, its State Security Service said Tuesday, November 15.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force orchestrated the plan to kill Itzik Moshe, a businessman who also worked to advance Israel-Georgia relations, with a number of teams from different countries, it said. One team of assassins from Pakistan with ties to al-Qaeda had come to Tbilisi to gather intelligence on the target. Another was arrested two weeks ago and found with weapons and ammunition, as well as other incriminating evidence. In addition, Georgian authorities arrested two dual Georgian-Iranian citizens on charges of smuggling weapons from Turkey to the assassins. The teams received instructions from an Iranian citizen named Mohammad Reza Ebadi Arablu, who worked in the past for the Quds Force in Georgia. His boss is Ali Feyzipour, of the Quds Force, who works on terrorist attacks around the world, the State Security Service said. The hiring of Pakistani and Georgian citizens for the
NETANYAHU, ERDOGAN DECLARE ‘NEW ERA’ IN ISRAEL-TURKEY RELATIONS: Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed to advance ties between their countries in a phone call on Thursday, November 17. “The two leaders agreed to act in cooperation to establish a new era in relations between Turkey and Israel,” Netanyahu’s spokesman said, adding that “President Erdogan and the prime minister-designate discussed ways to significantly strengthen economic and diplomatic ties between the countries.”
Netanyahu sent condolences to the citizens of Turkey for the victims of the terrorist attack in Istanbul on Sunday, November 13, and offered Israel’s help in fighting terrorism. Erdogan similarly expressed his condolences for the victims of the terrorist attack in Ariel on Tuesday, November 15. The Netanyahu-Erdogan call follows efforts by the outgoing government to improve relations between Jerusalem and Ankara, which were initiated by Turkish overtures. Some of the greatest tensions between the countries came following events during Netanyahu’s previous tenure in office. (JPost / VFI News)
ISRAEL AND JORDAN PEN AGREEMENT TO CLEAN UP JORDAN RIVER: The Israeli and Jordanian governments signed a declaration of intent on Thursday, November 17, to partner in the ecological restoration and sustainable development of the Jordan River.
The document was signed at the UN COP27 climate conference in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh by Environmental Protection Minister Tamar Zandberg and the Jordanian minister of water and irrigation, Mohammed Al Najer. According to the Environmental Protection Ministry, restoration of the Jordan River is a major goal for both countries due to its great ecological value, its rich historical and religious heritage, and its importance as a major tourist site. The agreement gives practical expression to Annex 4 of the 1994 Israel-Jordanian Peace Treaty, which contains clauses regarding environmental cooperation in the Jordan River. These include the ecological restoration of the waterway, protection of water resources from pollution, control of agricultural pollution and waste, pest control, the creation of nature reserves and protected areas, and tourism and historical heritage. Gideon Bromberg, the Israel director of EcoPeace, a Middle East environmental peace organization, welcomed the agreement, saying, “The agreement signed today between Jordan and Israel should build on Peace Treaty commitments and the 2014 decision of the two governments that created a sub-committee on their Joint Water Committee, focused on rehabilitating the Jordan River.” (TOI / VFI News)
assassination attempt is a part of an Iranian pattern of using foreign terrorist fighters to try to cover its tracks. “Thanks to the actions of Georgian security forces, the plan was revealed and the threat was removed,” an Israeli security source said. “After the plot was uncovered in Georgia, their security forces worked with the Israeli intelligence community.” (JPost / VFI News)
IRAN HIT TANKER TO DISTRACT FROM GEORGIA ASSASSINATION PLOT – ISRAELI OFFICIALS: Iran attacked an oil tanker connected to an Israeli businessman in an attempt to distract from a failed assassination plot against an Israeli businessman in Georgia, Israeli officials said on Wednesday, November 16.
The oil tanker, the Pacific Zircon, is a Liberian-flagged ship operated by Singapore-based Eastern Pacific Shipping, which is owned by Israeli billionaire Idan Ofer. The tanker itself is owned by Japanese firm Taihei Kaiun Company, according to Lloyd’s List Intelligence. A statement by Eastern Pacific confirmed that the vessel, sailing in the Gulf of Oman, had been hit by a “projectile,” lightly damaging the hull. No injuries were reported in the attack. Israeli officials said the Israeli connection to the tanker was very limited. They added that the same type of Iranian drone being used by Russia in Ukraine, the Shahed 136, executed the attack. “This is another event that proves that Iran acts as a global exporter of terrorism. This is another time that Iran is harming global freedom of navigation,” said the officials. “Iran undermines security in the Gulf and, along the way, undermines stability during the World Cup,” which started on Sunday, November 20 in Qatar. The US Navy’s Fifth Fleet was aware of the incident, Commander Timothy Hawkins said, and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan condemned the attack, saying Iran likely conducted the attack using a UAV. “There is no justification for this attack, which is the latest in a pattern of such actions and broader destabilizing activities. This action further threatens freedom of navigation through this crucial waterway, international shipping and commerce, and the lives of those on the vessels involved,” said Sullivan. (JPost / VFI News)
ISRAEL SUCCESSFULLY TESTS NAVAL IRON DOME AIR MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEM: The Israeli Navy carried out a successful C-Dome interception test from the Sa’ar 6 INS Oz, marking a “significant” milestone in enhancing the capabilities of the new Magen-class corvettes.
The interception test was carried out by the Israeli Navy, the Defense Ministry’s Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO), and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems as the primary contractor and developer, by the Israel Aerospace Industries’ Elta as the radar manufacturer, and by mPrest as the c2 manufacturer. The test simulated real threats and included the system’s successful detection and interception of targets in challenging scenarios. “The C-Dome system expertly identified threats and successfully intercepted them by launching Iron Dome interceptors toward them from the sea,” said IMDO head Moshe Patel. The C-Dome is an advanced configuration of the Iron Dome aerial defense system and is operated from the four Sa’ar 6 Magen-class corvettes that have been received by the Navy in the last two years. The Sa’ar 6 missile ships will guard strategic infrastructure such as the natural gas rigs, and protect the commercial shipping lanes which bring in 98% of Israel’s imports. The IDF has decided not to place Iron Dome batteries on oil rigs themselves for safety reasons – instead, the C-Dome has been placed on the Sa’ar 6. According to the Defense Ministry, the operational system was created through the integration of multiple different systems, utilizing full operational capabilities that will be used by sailors. (JPost / VFI News)
AMBITIOUS PLAN SEES ISRAEL AS HEART OF MIDDLE EAST MEDICAL SUPPLY CHAIN FOR US: A concerted effort is underway to turn Israel into the hub of a potential regional US medical supply chain that reduces American dependence on China.
The heart of the campaign is a bipartisan push on Capitol Hill to mandate and fund the opening of a US Food and Drug Administration office in Israel, which would assist companies within Israel and Arab countries that recognize it to produce medicines and medical supplies for the lucrative US market. The drive is spearheaded by the United States-Israel Education Association, a small faith-based nonprofit organization headquartered in Alabama. Over the past decade, the USIEA has brought senior congressional leaders to Israeli settlements in the West Bank, has worked with the same lawmakers to secure hundreds of millions of dollars in US funding for the Iron Dome anti-missile system, and has developed ties between Israeli and Palestinian business communities. The COVID-19 pandemic and disruption to global supply chains underscored how dependent the US is on China for everything from surgical masks to semiconductors. “Those are very precarious and tenuous supply lines,” Peter Pitts, former associate commissioner of the FDA, told Israeli media by phone. “We have to be able to protect our supply of necessary medical products to the United States. And theoretically, by working with Israel, for example, or the United Arab Emirates or Morocco or Bahrain, we can move some of the manufacturing for these essential medical products out of China; for example, have them manufactured in countries more friendly to the United States.”(TOI / VFI News)
PRESIDENT HERZOG TO MAKE FIRST-EVER STATE VISIT TO BAHRAIN NEXT MONTH: President Isaac Herzog will head to the Gulf next month to meet with the leaders of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, his office announced on Wednesday, November 16.
The president is slated to take off for a state visit to Bahrain on December 4, at the invitation of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. He will be the first Israeli head of state to visit Bahrain. In January, Herzog visited the UAE’s Abu Dhabi and Dubai in a two-day trip. While in Bahrain he will meet with members of the local Jewish community and senior government officials, and will lead a group of Israeli businesspeople to meet with the Bahrain Economic Development Board. The next day, Herzog heads to the UAE to meet with his Emirati counterpart Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Abu Dhabi ruler known colloquially as MBZ. This will be the fourth meeting between the two leaders. According to Herzog’s office, the leaders will discuss “strengthening Israel-UAE relations, the importance of peace, and the expansion of bilateral cooperation.” Earlier the previous week, presumptive incoming prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a phone call with Bahrain’s Crown Prince and Prime Minister Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa. (TOI / VFI News)
RARE SHAKESPEARE MANUSCRIPTS AMONG DOCUMENTS DONATED TO NATIONAL LIBRARY OF ISRAEL: Rare copies of works attributed to William Shakespeare have been donated to the National Library of Israel, the library said Wednesday, November 17. The donated works include a first-edition copy of “The First Folio,” a collection of Shakespeare’s plays first published in 1623. The donation also includes a copy of the second edition of Shakespeare’s work, titled “The Second Folio,” published in 1632.
A first-edition small booklet including poems by the 16th-century wordsmith was also included in the lavish donation. The oldest piece of work given to the museum was an incunable — a text printed in the earliest stages of printing in Europe, meaning between 1440, when the printing press was invented, and 1500. Other donated works include two volumes of Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary of the English Language from 1755, considered one of the most important dictionaries of its time. All seven texts, spanning over 400 years of human literature and history, were donated anonymously, the National Library said. “We welcomed the valuable donation, which significantly enriched the library’s collections,” the National Library said in a statement. Established in 1925, the National Library is home to world-class collections of over four million books and 2.5 million photographs, as well as manuscripts, artifacts and maps. (TOI / VFI News)
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Blessings from Jerusalem,
Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff