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Senior Israeli Official: 'Obama is Determined to Sign a Bad Deal with Iran'

By Israel Hayom

"U.S. President Barack Obama is determined to sign a bad deal with Iran," a senior diplomatic official in Jerusalem said. "It appears that there will be a [nuclear] agreement with Iran, because the American president wants there to be one."

While Israeli officials warn of the perils of the emerging deal between Western powers and Iran, which many Israeli officials feel fails to fulfill its objective of blocking Iran's path toward nuclear weapons, Obama tried to assuage the fears of the Israeli public, telling Israeli television that a diplomatic agreement, and not military action, was the only way to go.

In an interview with Channel 2's investigative program "Uvda" ("Fact"), excerpts of which aired Monday, Obama said: "I can, I think, demonstrate, not based on any hope but on facts and evidence and analysis, that the best way to prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapon is a verifiable, tough agreement. A military solution will not fix it. Even if the United States participates, it would temporarily slow down an Iranian nuclear program, but it will not eliminate it."

Obama's interview, which was broadcast in full on Tuesday night, comes less than a month ahead of the end-of-June deadline for a deal with Tehran. Relations between Obama and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu have been tense at times, and the Iran issue has been a source of contention between the traditionally close allies.

The proposed deal would freeze Iran's nuclear program for a decade, in return for sanctions relief. Iran insists that its nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes, while the West fears Iran is seeking to build nuclear weapons.

Israel has long claimed that a nuclear-armed Iran would pose a grave threat to world peace and security, as well as a direct threat to Israel's existence, citing Iran's repeated calls for Israel's destruction, its long-range missile program, and its support for violent anti-Israel groups such as Hizbullah in Lebanon.

Asked how he would respond if Israel was to act militarily without notifying him, Obama said he "won't speculate on that." He tried to pacify an Israeli public widely skeptical of the deal by saying, "I understand your concerns, and I understand your fears."

Hamas Claims Mossad Using Female Agent 'Honeytrap'


Hamas claims to have caught on to a new tactic by Israel's Mossad intelligence service using female agents to entrap young Arab men in Gaza to spy on Gazan terrorists on Israel's behalf.

The Al-Majd website, which is associated with the Hamas terrorist organization's security system, warned the public in Gaza against the alleged tactic. According to the Hamas site, Mossad is deploying young women pretending to be citizens of Arab states so as to get in contact with residents of Gaza.

In one case, Hamas claimed that a young woman who presented herself as a Moroccan on Facebook contacted a young man in Gaza and ask for his help in dealing with her personal problems. She allegedly shared a sensitive problem that was troubling her and sent him a link so that he could talk with her via the internet.

The young man clicked on the link, at which point the woman supposedly revealed herself to be an Israeli and offered him to work for Israel's intelligence agency. After he refused, she said that by clicking on the link she had sent he had allowed her to download personal files from his cell phone, and when that didn't convince him to change his position, his Facebook page was erased.

Hamas's security system warned the public in Gaza not to form contact with unknown people online, and to be alert in opening links sent through Facebook. Israel's intelligence gathering has in the past provided life-saving information, guiding the IDF to know where to strike terrorist infrastructures and where to avoid lethal booby-traps in the terror stronghold of Gaza.

Sirens Sound for Nationwide Defense Drill


Sirens sounded nationwide in Israel at 11:05 a.m. and again at 7:05 p.m., Tuesday, as part of an emergency preparedness drill. All Israelis in siren areas were instructed to run to their local shelters for both practice drills; the exercise also tests the quality and conditions of every siren in the country.

If a real event had occurred, an alarm would have sounded again and a formal announcement would have been distributed to various media outlets. The IDF Spokesperson emphasized that the exercise, which is being held for the eighth year, was planned in advance.

"The exercise is an opportunity to prepare the public for emergencies, examining the various systems and inter-organizational coordination and improve preparedness and emergency response to defend the home front," said army spokesman.

Parallel exercises will be held in the Israeli Air Force and Israeli Naval Force; military traffic will increase throughout the country until Thursday and there will be a high proportion of military vehicles on the roads, naval traffic by sea, and air traffic overhead.

Special emphasis will be given on an exercise for preparedness assessments for the National Infrastructure (electricity, water, gas, etc.) for emergencies, as well as the enhancement of coordination and cooperation between all government ministries led by NEA.

Punishment Withdrawn for Israeli-American Soldier Who Ate Pork


The IDF backtracked Tuesday on a punishment imposed on a US-born Israeli soldier who violated the Israeli military's kosher rules by eating a pork sandwich while in uniform. The soldier was initially given an 11-day prison sentence. The punishment was later converted to being confined to base for the same duration - after relatives talked to the media and a lawmaker wrote to the defense minister about the case.

The military said early Tuesday that the soldier, whose name has not been released, "violated rules and regulations," which required him to be disciplined.

In a Facebook post later in the day however, Spokesperson Brigadier-General Moti Almoz withdrew the punishment and acknowledged the army's "mistake" in handling the situation. "The bottom line is that we made a mistake," wrote Almoz. "The IDF will continue to keep kosher, but won't probe another soldier's sandwich. "There is tension in Israeli society and different stances and opinions exist," he continued. "In the IDF, there is room for everyone." Israel's army maintains kosher kitchens on its bases.

Israel Radio says the soldier, who moved to Israel from Boston recently, was unaware of the army's strict dietary restrictions and was merely snacking on a lunch his secular grandmother had made him.

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