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>JN Aug. 21, 2015, Vol. 23, No. 164

IDF Hits 14 Targets in Syria Following Rocket Fire

By IsraelNationalNews.com & DEBKAfile

The IDF announced on Thursday night that it had attacked 14 targets belonging to the Syrian regime in the Golan Heights. According to the statement, the attacks were a joint operation of the Israel Air Force, the artillery corps and the armored corps. The attacks were retaliation for the firing of five rockets towards Israeli territory from Syria on Thursday afternoon.

"This shooting was carried out by the Islamic Jihad, with Iranian funding, and is a flagrant violation of the sovereignty of the State of Israel. The IDF holds the Syrian regime responsible for what is happening in its territory and will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israel's sovereignty and the security of its citizens," said the IDF Spokesperson's Unit.

A senior IDF officer said on Thursday evening that Iran was behind the rocket attack, noting that the directive to fire the rockets was personally given out by the head of the Palestinian department in Iran's Al-Quds force. The senior officer's comments regarding Iran's involvement in the attack are in line with a report from April, when Iranian officials reportedly told the Syrian regime to strike Israel and open a war front on the Golan.

Israeli security sources said the rockets were fired by the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization, which is funded and directed by Iran, but the group denied the accusations.

The officer said that the directive to fire the rockets was personally given out by the head of the Palestinian department in Iran's Al-Quds force. The IDF responded to the incident with artillery fire, noting that the Syrian regime is responsible for the rocket attacks emanating from its sovereign territory, "and it will bear responsibility for the results."

"So far, the attack is a very broad attack," the senior officer said Thursday evening. "5-6 artillery targets were struck, including targets at a depth of several kilometers. The goal was to respond to the incident and simultaneously convey a clear message to the other side. We were not surprised by the shooting," he said.

The rockets exploded in the Galilee "Panhandle," the Huleh Valley and one on the Golan. They started fires in kibbutz fields and orchards. The rockets were mistakenly reported earlier as coming from Lebanon. A red alert sent people living in the area into shelters.

DEBKAfile's military sources report that these events were sparked by the knowledge reaching Israeli intelligence that Iranian Al Qods and Hizbullah officers were building a new terrorist network for mounting large-scale terrorist attacks on Israel from the Syrian border opposite the Golan. The officers had handed out anti-tank and anti-air rockets to the terrorists, raising Israeli suspicions that one of their plans was to seize an Israeli location or part of one and try and hold out against an Israeli counter-offensive of tanks and assault helicopters.

Our counter-terrorism sources disclose that three radical terrorist movements staff the new network: One is the hard-line rejectionist Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine – General Command (PFLP-GC). Another is the Golan-based Syrian Druze group known as Liberators of the Golan. It is headed by the notorious Samir Kuntar, a Lebanese Druze who has set up a Golan terror ring based in the Druze village of Al-Khadar opposite the Israeli border fence.

Also harnessed to Iran's new Golan terror organization is the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) which is made up of radical Christian terrorists. This old timer violent group, which is run by Syrian intelligence, took part in the 1982-3 Hizbullah bombing massacres at the US Embassy and Marine headquarters in Beirut.


First Haredi Woman Accepted into El Al Pilot Course

By IsraelNationalNews.com

A haredi woman has for the first time been accepted into El Al's elite pilot training course, which will begin in three months, Yedioth Ahronoth reported. Nehama (full name withheld), in her 30s, lives in a haredi community in Jerusalem and is married with three children. She is a graduate of a Beit Yaakov school and at age 20, she began learning to fly in the United States.

With her American pilot license, Nehama tried, unsuccessfully, for several years to be accepted into El Al's program. She had accomplished all the minimum requirements of the course, except for the required number of flying hours, which is very difficult for a civilian pilot - who has not served in the Israeli Air Force - to accumulate. Nehama did not give up and continued to travel every year to the United States to meet the required number of flying hours.

She recently met her goal, and after passing El Al's rigorous testing, was finally accepted into its pilot course starting in November. "My dream has always been to be an active pilot," Nehama told her friends, "and my husband is very supportive and has helped me fulfill this dream."


Rouhani Hits Israel With 1969 Al-Aqsa Arson Libel

By Reuters

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Thursday gave credence to an old libel to attack Israel, falsely accusing it of a 1969 arson attack against the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Jerusalem's Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism. Rouhani referenced the libel at a meeting for International Mosques Day on Thursday, reports the semi-official Fars News Agency.

Speaking about the arson, he said, "that event meant that the aggressor and occupier Zionist regime does not respect any social and human principle, doesn't show mercy to the people, children and women, continues massacre and aggression and even desecrates the Muslim world's first Qibla and a place which is also respected by other divine religions."

His talk of the "first Qibla" refers to a Muslim tradition not found in the Koran, which claims Mohammed originally prayed towards the Temple Mount copying Jewish prayers. After a few years he allegedly changed the practice and faced towards the Kaaba in Mecca, which Muslims tradition says houses the stone on which Abraham sacrificed Ishmael, in a distortion of the original Torah story.

Rouhani went on to say the 1969 arson is a "warning to Muslims to be vigilant against the Israeli plots," as paraphrased by Fars. He also called for Muslim unity against Israel. There's just one problem with Rouhani's Al-Aqsa arson libel - an insane Australian Christian did it, not Israel. Denis Michael Rohan of Australia lit a fire in the mosque on August 21, 1969, before Israeli firefighters quickly put out the flames, and the damage was then repaired.

Rohan soon confessed to the arson, and after being arrested by Israel he was found to be mentally insane and hospitalized in a mental institution before being deported back to Australia in 1974 for continued mental treatment. He had set the fire to try and clear the Mount of the mosque so that the Third Temple could be built, given his evangelical Protestant Christian beliefs that Jesus would return after it was built.

And yet the Palestinian Authority and the Arab world at large quickly invented the lie that Israel was responsible for the arson, alternately claiming that a Jew set the fire, or else that Israel paid Rohan to launch the arson.


Feature-Length Film, Hamas Depicts its 'Victory' Over Israel

By IsraelNationalNews.com

Hamas's media arm, "Al Aqsa," has released a feature-length drama to mark one years since last summer's war. See https://youtu.be/VzBPKP0I2gI; the 55-minute, slickly-produced film is entitled "Ambushes of Death," and intersperses testimonies from terrorists who took part in fighting against the IDF with dramatizations of their battles during Operation Protective Edge.

The film portrays the war as a "victory" for Hamas, despite it not having achieved its stated goals of ending Israel's blockade of Gaza, and despite the massive damage wrought to its military infrastructure and loses inflicted to its fighting force. The 50-day war ended with a ceasefire on August 26, which has largely held despite intermittent rocket fire from Gazan terrorist factions.

In the movie, actors playing Hamas terrorists can be seen reenacting various missions, including fighting at close quarters, burrowing through tunnels into Israel and laying ambushes for Israeli soldiers. At one point, the film depicts a terrorist crawling undetected to an Israel tank to lay an explosive charge.

The terrorists are portrayed as heroes, committed to their cause and willing to die. In illustrating their members' thirst for "martyrdom," the Hamas propaganda film also dramatized the death in combat of several terrorists, and the entire production is interspersed with recitals from the Quran.

In contrast, Israeli soldiers - played by Hebrew-speaking Arab actors - are portrayed as cowardly, incompetent and lazy, hiding behind a tank and at points randomly firing at civilian areas in Islamist-controlled Gaza. The film also shows edited footage from Israeli TV of IDF soldiers giving real-life testimonies about the tough conditions they faced against an enemy heavily embedded into the civilian infrastructure of Gaza.

That portrayal is far from the reality of last summer's conflict, which in fact saw IDF soldiers fighting house-to-house against Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists who regularly hid behind the civilian population of Gaza - often openly boasting of their effective use of human shields. Documents seized by the Israeli army during the fighting revealed how the use of human shields was an essential part of Hamas's strategic doctrine, both to hamper Israeli military operations and use subsequent civilian deaths to gain sympathy through the international media.

The movie ends with a familiar message often featured in other Hamas propaganda, calling on Jewish Israelis to leave the country voluntarily or be violently ethnically-cleansed, and promising to conquer Jerusalem. The film's release comes amid ongoing, unconfirmed reports that Hamas and Israel are close to reaching a long-term ceasefire, one which could potentially stretch for as long as 5 or even 10 years.


Bin Laden's Favorite Singer is Jewish

By YnetNews.com

Famous Jewish-Algerian singer Enrico Macias was shocked to discover his recordings were found in al-Qaeda leader Bin Laden's collection. "When I (first) heard it I thought it was a mistake, I thought it was a joke. I'm still shocked, it's very surprising," said Macias on Tuesday in an interview with Ynet upon learning that he was one of Osama Bin Laden's favorite singers. See https://youtu.be/BTLNhv6uCzg

The Jewish-Algerian singer, known for his French chansons, is a long-time supporter of Israel and has performed in the country many times, and so he was left speechless when the BBC reported that examinations of Osama Bin Laden's music collection indicate that he was a fan of Macias. "When I heard it I thought it was a mistake, I thought it was a joke. Afterwards many people contacted me about it and I understood that it was true."

The collection, which included 1,500 recordings from the 1960's to 2001, was found at the chief terrorist's houses in Kandahar, Afghanistan. More than 200 speakers and singers were recorded on tapes, some were diplomats and politicians. Among these was the voice of Mahatma Gandhi, the Indian leader known for his call for non-violent struggle.

One of the recorded speeches, dealing with the Palestinian struggle, was interrupted by a recording of an Enrico Macias song. "It's very strange for me," Macias added. "First of all because I do not know the identity of those who buy and love my music. I can not control who listens to me. It is surprising to see who likes your songs."

Do you think he knew of your Jewish origins? "I'm sure he knew I was a Jew since my songs were banned in many Arab countries, but I know that certain Arab countries love my music, because my style is very oriental, so he surely knew. I do not understand why my songs fascinated this man. My songs are a message of peace and against violence, and he was one of the most violent people this world has known. So believe me, I'm surprised."

Perhaps bin Laden was not listening to the words? "Oh, no. I'm sure he listened to and understood. But maybe he interpreted what I sang differently."

Macias was born in Algeria to a Sephardic-Jewish family, and was named "Enrico" by his Gypsy friends who taught him to play guitar. In 1961 he emigrated to France with his wife, along with thousands of French and Jews who left Algeria during the years of the bloody civil war there.

Macias was a great success in France by combining with the music of his homeland with traditional French chansons, and he became popular among large audiences around the world. Macias frequently visits and performs in Israel. Macias' songs bear a universal message of peace and brotherhood among nations, and he even received recognition for this from the United Nations. He performed his peace-loving songs at a famous concert in 1979 at the foot of the pyramids in Egypt, before the peace agreement was signed between Israel and Egypt.


Landmark Tel Aviv Maariv Bridge to be Destroyed Friday

By Israel Faxx News Services

The building of Tel Aviv's new rail system has necessitated the destruction of the historic central Maariv overpass on Friday morning . The 39-year-old bridge is located at a major junction in central Tel Aviv, and its destruction is expected to snarl automobile traffic in an already congested city.

Construction of the subway system, building stations and digging of tunnels, began earlier this month, and has caused large traffic complications in major areas of the city as the streets are torn up. The project is projected to be completed in 2021.


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