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Newsletter : 18fx0416.txt

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IDF Destroys Gaza Cross-Border Terror-Tunnel

By World Israel News
IDF forces on Saturday exposed and destroyed a terror tunnel running from Jabalia, in northern Gaza, into southern Israel near the community of Nahal Oz. The tunnel was exposed in what the IDF described as an "engineering operation" inside Israeli territory, conducted by combined Israel forces. In all likelihood, this means that the tunnel was exposed while digging the underground obstacle being built around the Gaza Strip to thwart underground infiltration into Israel. An IDF spokesman said the tunnel was dug by the Hamas terror group and was connected to an intricate network of other tunnels running through Gaza. This is the fifth tunnel exposed and demolished by Israel on the border with Gaza in recent months. In this case, the IDF sealed, rather than bombed, the underground structure. The tunnel ran under the border in an area where Palestinian protesters have been clashing with Israeli forces, the IDF said, adding that the tunnel, which ran into Israeli territory, was exposed at its early stages and was under constant monitoring. The IDF placed responsibility on the Hamas terror organization, which rules Gaza. "In recent months and especially over the last two weeks, Hamas has turned the area near the security fence into an area of terror and fighting. The violent riots that have been taking place in the area of the security fence are an attempt to mask the terror attacks intended to take place above and below ground," the IDF charged Sunday. The IDF said it "will not allow Israeli civilians to be harmed or Israeli sovereignty to be breached and will continue operating with determination in the face of all forms of terrorism." Hamas has built a sophisticated network of terror tunnels in the Gaza Strip, some of which have run into Israel, used for storing weapons, smuggling and terrorist infiltration into Israel. During the 2014 summer war with Israel, Hamas terrorists on several occasions made their way into Israel through terror tunnels, although they did not manage to reach civilian areas. Israel destroyed 32 tunnels during that conflict, but Hamas has since been working vigorously to rebuild the network, and the IDF has since made neutralizing the tunnel threat a top priority. The IDF has exposed several more tunnels since the 2014 conflict.

IDF: Downed Iranian Drone was Armed to Attack Israel

By World Israel News & Israel Hayom
An Iranian drone that penetrated Israeli airspace on February 10 was armed with an explosive device and its operators had planned to carry out an attack inside Israel, the IDF said. "After flight path analysis and an operational and intelligence-based investigation of the Iranian UAV that infiltrated Israeli airspace on February 10, 2018, the IDF concluded that the Iranian UAV was armed with explosives and was tasked to attack Israel," an IDF spokesman said. "By intercepting the Iranian UAV, IAF combat helicopters prevented the attack Iran had hoped to carry out in Israel. The UAV was identified and tracked by Israeli defense systems until its destruction, effectively eliminating any threat the Iranian UAV posed," the spokesman added. In response to the penetration of the drone, Israeli fighter planes conducted the largest strike on Syria since the first Lebanon War, hitting a mobile Iranian control center that sent the drone into Israeli airspace and then striking 12 targets in the country after Syrian Army air-defenses shot down an Israeli F-16I jet as it returned to Israel following the initial strike. At the time, Iran rejected the report that one of its drones had been intercepted as "ridiculous." Tensions had heightened between Israel and Iran following last week's airstrike on the T4 air base in Homs, Syria, which is believed to be used by Iran. Damascus and its allies. Tehran and Moscow, have blamed Israel for the attack. Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah on Friday called the airstrike that killed seven Iranians a "historic mistake" and "a new phase that puts Israel in a state of direct confrontation" with Iran. Israel has neither confirmed nor denied carrying out the strike on Syria's T4 air base. Israel considers Iran an existential threat because of its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, its support of terrorist groups in the region and frequent calls for the destruction of the Jewish state. Israel has issued several stern warnings of late about the increased Iranian involvement along its border in Syria and Lebanon. It fears Iran could use Syrian territory to stage attacks or form a land corridor from Iran to Lebanon that could allow it to transfer weapons more easily to Hizbullah.

Jewish Communities Worldwide to Mark Israel's 70th Independence Day

By Israel Hayom

Some 72,000 Jews from around the world will join leading figures in Israeli society to mark Israel's 70th Independence Day this Thursday. During the overseas Independence Day celebrations, the participating Israeli leaders will call for Jews to immigrate to Israel and strengthen their ties to their local Jewish communities and the Jewish state. In honor of Israel's 70th Independence Day celebrations, President Reuven Rivlin joined forces with Israeli navigation application Waze to help guide Israelis around the country. Beginning April 19, for one week, drivers who use the popular navigation app will hear directions in the president's unique voice and style. Rivlin thanked Waze employees for the special opportunity and said: "Any technological solution that helps Israelis take to our country's beautiful roads and discover wonderful new places, makes me happy. The most thrilling enterprises, in my view, are those in which trailblazing Israeli innovation intersects with our tiny little land, where every path tells a story," he continued. "I hope that together we will help every citizen reach his or her Independence Day celebration happily and, most importantly, safely." The president audio recorded his collection of directions during a visit to the company's Israeli headquarters in Tel Aviv, where he met with employees and CEO Noam Bardin. During his recording session, Rivlin confessed that "since becoming president, I don't drive."

Ethiopian Jewish Bible Quiz Contestant Won't be Forced to Leave Israel

By IsraelNationalNews.com

An Ethiopian Jewish teenager who travelled to Israel to take part in the annual Independence Day Bible quiz will be permitted to remain in the country even after the event is completed, despite having been initially required to put up a deposit to ensure he leaves the country. Eighteen-year-old Sintayehu Shaparou, the sole representative of the Jewish community in Ethiopia to participate in this year's Bible quiz, had been required to give immigration and border control officials thousands of shekels as a deposit to ensure that he would leave the country as required following this week's quiz. A member of the Falashmura community or "Beta Israel." Shaparou and roughly 8,000 other members of the community in Ethiopia are descended from Jews who had converted to Christianity, often under duress. While his father and brother immigrated to Israel 17 years ago, Shaparou remained in Ethiopia, waiting for approval from Israel's Interior Ministry to immigrate. As a non-citizen, Shaparou was required to leave the country after his entry visa for the Bible quiz expired. On Sunday, however, Hadashot reported that Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas) had offered Shaparou residency status, permitting him to remain in the country even after the Bible quiz.

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