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IDF Patriot Missiles Down Syrian Fighter Jet Penetrating into Israeli Airspace

By World Israel News

Two Patriot missiles were launched at a Syrian Sukhoi fighter jet that infiltrated about one mile into Israeli airspace, an IDF spokesman said. The IDF monitored the fighter jet, which was then intercepted by the Patriot missiles. According to Sky News Arabia, the plane crashed inside Syria, in the Yarmouk Basin. It was not immediately clear if the pilot ejected before the fighter jet was shot down.The military said it had noticed increased Syrian air force activity in the area since the morning. It was the first time that Israel shot down a Syrian fighter jet since 2014, when another Russian-made Sukhoi fighter jet entered Israeli airspace and was targeted with a Patriot missile. Israel activated its anti-missile system as sirens sounded in the Golan and Emek HaYarden regional councils and the city of Katzrin. Residents in the north have received the OK to leave bomb shelters.

An Israeli David's Sling Missile Falls into Russian and Syrian Hands

By DEBKAfile

Two missiles of the David's Sling cutting-edge air defense system were launched against Syrian SS-21 missiles on Monday, July 23. One landed in Syria; the other one self-destructed. Both missed their targets. The IDF spokesman eventually came clean about what happened to the David Sling on its maiden combat mission – but only in dribs and drabs. The Syrian missiles targeted by the Israel interceptors did not actually cross into Israel. The built-in mechanisms of the two interceptors already in flight were ordered to self-destruct. Only one did. DEBKAfile's military sources note that it is normal practice for an army, after a top-line weapon on its first operational mission falls on enemy soil intact – or even in pieces – to act fast for sterilizing the drop-site with heavy aerial or artillery bombardment. This enables a salvage team to move in and retrieve the weapon and is what an American or Russian army would have done.

IDF behaved differently for four reasons; The David Sling's launch team may not have discovered the location of the drop site. The Air Force only slowly grasped what had happened. By the time the second missile was known not to have self-destructed, it was too late to recover. It had almost certainly been carried off by Russian or Syrian helicopter. Israel decided that its recovery was not worth the risk of a major clash with Russia and Syria.

By now, the first David's Sling missile to go into action is almost certainly being studied avidly by Russian and Syrian intelligence engineers. It is only a matter of time before its secrets reach the hands of Iran and Hizbullah. This loss is therefore a grave setback for Israel's air defense system and intelligence which is also shared by the US. This two-stage missile, developed jointly by the Israeli defense contractor Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and the American Raytheon, is brand new, having entered service only two years ago to fill the gap in Israel's multi-tiered missile defense arsenal between the Iron Dome for short-range operations and the Arrows which are designed to stop long-range ballistic missiles. David's Sling is built to intercept a variety of missiles ranging between 40 and 400km, including cruise missiles at low speed. Consisting of a solid-fuel rocket motor booster, it has speeds of up to mach 7.5. or 5,754 mph, and is armed with topline radar and electro-optical systems. David's Sling missiles are worth $1m apiece. This anti-missile missile was assigned by US and Israeli planners to replace the Patriot PAC-2 in the Israeli arsenal. The most urgent task now is to ascertain what know-how the Russians and Syrians have been able to extract from the missile in their hands, before determining how David's Sling should redesigned and any glitches revealed in its first performance corrected before it is restored to service.

Syrian Terrorist Attacks Abroad Likely in Lieu of Direct Clash with ?Israel

By Israel Hayom

If you believe Syrian media reports, earlier this week Israel struck a ?military compound where chemical weapons were being developed. ?The strike, in which Syrian scientists, Iranian troops and Hizbullah ?operatives were killed is, in and of itself, nothing new, as over the ?past few years the foreign media has often attributed similar strikes ?to the Israeli Air Force.? Now that President Bashar Assad, backed by Russia, Iran and ?Hizbullah, is reclaiming control of the Syrian Golan Heights, the ?threat he poses Israel has resurfaced to the point of potentially ?jeopardizing the 1974 cease-fire agreement between Israel and ?Syria.? The Israeli Air Force has enjoyed considerable operational leeway in ?the northern sector during the seven-year civil war in Syria but now ?that it is waning, this latitude may be curbed. If that is the case, ?what are the chances that the next time Israel eliminates a threat ?on Syrian soil, Assad would retaliate? ? According to Dr. Yehuda Blanga, an expert on Middle East politics ?from Bar-Ilan University, Assad, like his father before him, is likely ?to opt for indirect retaliation, targeting Israeli assets overseas or ?tasking Hizbullah with doing his bidding.? ?"This has been Syria's way of retaliating without risking a direct ?military conflict with Israel," he explained.? Blanga said that right now, Assad and his allies are "up to their ?necks" in efforts to re-establish the regime's grip on the war-torn ?country, meaning that retaliating against Israel is not a priority for them. ? The Syrian president is likely to reassess the situation once he feels ?his rules is stable but even then, he may choose not to risk a ?conflict with Israel or use Hizbullah against it. Instead, Assad will ?probably call on Iranian terrorist cell abroad to carry out attacks ?against Israel.? "This way, Assad will be able to bolster his image as Syria's ?defender and while we will know who was behind the attack, we ?won't be able to target them directly," he said. ? Middle East expert Dr. Mordechai Kedar said that one of the main ?unknowns in this equation is how fast, and to what extent, ?the Syrian army would be rehabilitated. ??"If Assad's army has anti-aircraft missiles that can hit our jets Israel ?wouldn't rush to strike [Syrian soil] because no one sends their ?fighter jets on a one-way mission," he said.? According to Kedar, another issue is the question of Assad's ?confidence and the extent of the influence Russia wields over ?his regime. ??"Unfortunately for Assad, Israel is backed by the U.S. – the Trump ?administration backs [Israeli] strikes in Syria – and Prime Minister ?Binyamin Netanyahu is well-coordinated with [Russian President ?Vladimir] Putin. Right now, the Kremlin doesn't seem to care about ?these strikes and it's unlikely that Assad would risk defying it."? Prof. Efraim Inbar, who heads the Jerusalem Institute for ?Strategic Studies, believes Russia will be able to stabilize the Syrian ?sector, including setting red lines for Assad. ?Israel and Russia are maintaining close coordination with regards to ?IAF strikes on threats in Syria and the issue will not become a ?problem unless Moscow decides Jerusalem's actions are ?jeopardizing its regional interests, he explained. ? According to Inbar, even if Assad is able to reinforce his army, he ?will never be in a position to dictate terms to Russia, for the mere ?reason it would leave him completely vulnerable to Iran.? ?"Assad doesn't want to be an Iranian puppet and he needs Russia ?to prevent that from happening. Israel need not worry."? Dr. Daniel Schueftan, chairman of the National Security Studies ?Center at the University of Haifa, also believes that until such time ?as Assad feels he has completely re-established his regime, he is ?unlikely to retaliate against Israel.? According to Schueftan, regardless of his hold on power, the Syrian ?president would be wary of crossing Israel's red lines. ? "Even if Assad will be motivated to strike back – he will think twice. ?He knows Israel would be willing to risk Hizbullah missile salvos on ?its citizens to protect its interests and if need be, it will go to war in ?the northern sector," he said.?

Poll: Israel Not an Important Partner for US Democrats

By Reuters

A recent Pew Research poll indicates an overwhelming divide between American Republicans and Democrats over perceptions of the importance of the US-Israel relationship. The poll primarily dealt with comparing American and German perceptions of one another, but also touched tangentially on American perceptions of other countries. According to the poll, 12% of Americans said that Israel was the "first or second most important partner for American foreign policy." Israel tied in third place with Germany, also at 12%, coming behind China at 24% and chart topper Great Britain at 33%. Dividing responses to the same question along party lines, the poll found that 24% of Republicans found Israel to be a top foreign policy partner out of eight countries listed, in second place behind Great Britain at 42% and ahead of China at 18%. Russia closed the list for Republicans, at 5%. On the other hand, Israel did not make the eight-country list for Democrats, for whom Great Britain topped the list at 32%, China came in second at 26%, and Canada closed the list at 6%.

A Pew poll published at the beginning of the year indicated that 79% of Republicans defined themselves as pro-Israel while 6% said they were pro-Palestinian. In contrast, 27% of Democrats said they were pro-Israel and 25% pro-Palestinian.

Israel's NIS 30 Billion Plan to Thwart Missile Strikes


Israel's Security Cabinet is set to approve on Sunday a new NIS 30 billion ($8.225 billion) plan to arm the IDF with defense weapons to thwart missile strikes amid the rising tensions on both the northern and southern fronts. The multi-annual plan, which is expected to start in 2019 and end in late 2028, is the most expensive plan in IDF and Israeli security history. The plan will allocate massive resources to the IDF for the protection of the entire Israeli home front from the north to the south, increasing the IDF's missile arsenal and developing and purchasing advanced defensive measures. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, the heads of the National Security Council and other senior defense establishment officials have been holding secret discussions about the details of the plan in recent months. A senior government official described the plan as unprecedented in scope. "There hasn't been such a plan, certainly not at such a massive cost and scope. This is a wide scale defensive and offensive plan," he said. According to assessments in the defense establishment, the next war will include massive fire of advanced missiles at the Israeli home front. In order to prevent mass casualties and significant damages to the home front, Israel will have to neutralize these missiles immediately upon their launching. To that end, the defense establishment will increase Israel's missile defense apparatus by hundreds of percent under the new plan. In addition to bolstering the Israeli home front in time of war, the new plan will add work to Israel's defense industries factories, requiring the recruitment of additional employees and the allocation of resources to increase the production in these factories. "The plan will particularly increase the country's emergency resilience, even in the case of multiple fronts," the senior government official said. "The plan will increase and expand defensive measures for Israeli citizens and allow the IDF to have the strategic depth it needs to bring to a clear military victory quickly." The allocation of NIS 30 billion for the plan reflects "the long-term governmental thinking, while setting long-term national goals, which are budgeted as part of the national expense based on the gross national product (GNP)," according to the plan's explanatory note.

The plan will be implemented over the next decade at the cost of some NIS 3 billion a year on average. It will be funded with money saved in significant streamlining processes inside the army as well as with additional funding from the state budget. The intention is to use tax surplus money and make cuts in places that won't harm citizens—meaning, not from the education, health or welfare budgets.

Karlie Kloss Converts to Judaism, Gets Engaged to Joshua Kushner


After six years of dating, Joshua Kushner has sealed the deal with supermodel Karlie Kloss. Kushner, 33, the brother of President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, proposed to Kloss a few weeks ago, People reported on Tuesday. A Jewish wedding seems to be in store for the couple, since Kloss, 25, converted to Judaism last month, according to People. Kloss isn't the first to embrace Judaism in order to marry a Kushner. Jared Kushner's wife and the president's daughter, Ivanka Trump, converted before the couple tied the knot in 2009. She studied with New York-based Orthodox rabbi Haskel Lookstein. Kloss raved about her husband-to-be on Instagram, writing "Josh, you're my best friend and my soulmate." Kloss openly supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, and also attended the Women's March after Trump's inauguration — with her fiancé. So hopefully the Kushner family has a no-politics rule at the Shabbat table.

Amazon Resumes Free Shipping for Israeli Buyers

Online retailing giant Amazon has reintroduced its free delivery service for Israeli buyers. Amazon first began its free delivery last month although it was halted by the time Prime Day rolled around last week and the shopping frenzy associated with it. Now free shipping has been resumed although with certain caveats - only for purchases above $75 - precisely the sum above which Israeli buyers must pay 17% VAT for their purchases (and excise for purchases above $500). Tax payments are calculated according to the gross price including shipping (which is now free). The free shipping offer also does not apply to items deemed large and heavy. As with the previous free shipping offer, it only applies to products bought directly from Amazon and not through third parties. When ordering items from Amazon, on the "I need it" Facebook page, it is important to choose the "Free Shipping" option, which is not the default option.

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