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Massive Russian Military Maneuvers Near Syria are Delaying Israeli Flights, IDF Launches Exercise in the North

By World Israel News & DEBKAfile

Incoming and outgoing flights in Israel will be affected by the massive Russian military maneuvers off the Syrian coast, Israel's Airports Authority has cautioned. The Airports Authority informed airlines that due to a Russian military exercise carried out in the eastern part of the Mediterranean basin, there might be changes in the flight routes in the Cyprus area that could affect international flight routes to and from Ben-Gurion International Airport, causing delays in landings and takeoffs, Ynet reported. Syrian forces have been preparing for an onslaught on the Idlib province in the country, the last rebel stronghold, while the Russian military has been amassing unprecedented forces off the Syrian coast that would lend support to Assad. The Russian Defense Ministry announced last week that it deployed 25 ships, including a missile cruiser, and 30 jets for the maneuvers. Israeli jets flying high over Lebanon struck at targets inside Syria on Tuesday, Syrian state media reported, in a rare daytime raid that killed at least one person. Syria's SANA state news agency said the country's air defenses shot down five missiles, adding that one person was killed and 12 others were wounded. It reported strikes on the Wadi Ayoun area in the western Hama province and on the town of Baniyas in the coastal Tartous province. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the jets targeted military installations belonging to Iran, a key ally of the Syrian government. Lebanese residents in areas north of the capital, Beirut, reported hearing jets overhead before sunset. Israel is believed to be behind a string of strikes targeting government and allied military installations in Syria, to disrupt weapons transfers between its archenemies Iran and the Lebanese terrorist group Hizbullah. The Israeli government rarely acknowledges the attacks, and such strikes usually take place late at night. An Israeli military official said Tuesday that Israel has struck over 200 Iranian targets in Syria over the past 18 months. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity under military guidelines, said the targets were connected to Iran's elite Al-Quds force and include air force components, support infrastructure, and weapons storage and manufacturing facilities. The official said Tuesday's alleged airstrikes were not included in the tally. He would not confirm Israel was behind those strikes and did not comment on them.

Report: Iran Smuggled Weapons to Lebanon on Civilian ?Flights ?

By Israel Hayom

Iran has been using at least one of its civilian air ?carriers to smuggle weapons to Lebanon, where they ?have been delivered to Hizbullah, its proxy in the ?Middle East, Fox News reported Tuesday.? Quoting an unidentified Western intelligence source, the report suggested that Iran has been using Qeshm ?Fars Air flights from Tehran to Beirut to ?smuggle weapons to the Shiite terrorist group over ?the past two months. ?

According to the report, "The first flight, on July ??9, involved a Boeing 747 that departed from an air ?force base in Tehran, stopped for a short layover at ?the international airport in Damascus, Syria, and ?then continued with a rather 'uncharacteristic ?flight path' to Beirut."? The Iranian flights followed highly irregular routes to avoid detection. Flight data showed that the route passed over ?northern Lebanon, straying from any commonly used ?commercial flight path. The second flight took place on August 2, and while it ?did not ?stop in Damascus, it followed an ?irregular ?route north of Syria rarely used by commercial ?airliners.? "The Iranians are trying to come up with new ways ?and routes to smuggle weapons from Iran to their ?allies in the Middle East, testing and defying the ?West's abilities to track them down," one ?intelligence official told the news network. ? Western intelligence officials believe Qeshm ?Fars ?flights carried materials necessary to produce ?precision weapons in Iranian factories inside ?Lebanon. Fox noted that Qeshm Fars Air is believed to be one ?of the "various pseudo-civilian airlines used for ?arms-smuggling" by the Revolutionary Guards and its ?elite black-ops arm, the Quds Force.?

Terrorists Ordered to Compensate Their Victims

The military court in Judea sentenced three terrorists who attacked with an explosive charge to pay the two women who were injured in the attack a cumulative compensation of more than NIS 30,000 ($8,000), as well as prison terms. The attack took place in 2016 when two women from Otniel were driving on Route 60 in the southern Judean Mountains, south of Hebron. The three terrorists detonated an explosive charge as the vehicle passed by. The victims were shocked by the sound of the explosion and shrapnel struck their vehicle. They fled the scene and called the security forces. All three terrorists were charged with attempting to murder the women in the indictment. One was also charged with complicity in the manufacture of a bomb, and another was accused of complicity in carrying, possessing, and manufacturing weapons. The sentence was reached in a plea bargain between both sides three months ago, and was reported Tuesday by the Honenu legal organization, which represented the victims. The terrorists received various prison terms and fines totaling NIS 30,000, which have been transferred to the victims. Honenu attorney Haim Bleicher said that the case represented the growing participation of victims of terrorism in legal cases against their attackers and praised the high compensation imposed on the attackers in addition to the prison terms. "We see value in the fact that terrorists are forced actually to pay money to those they injured," Bleicher said. "In addition to being imprisoned for their actions, their money will be used for the welfare of the victims they wished to slaughter only because they were Jews. We are working to ensure that in the course of the legal process, the victims of the offense will be the concern of the legal system, and not, heaven forbid, pity for the murderers."

89% of Israelis Satisfied with Their Lives

Some 8,907,000 residents live in Israel, of which 74.4% are Jews, 20.9% are Arab, and 4.9% are other minorities, according to data from the Central Bureau of Statistics published today, Tuesday, ahead of Rosh Hashanah 5769. The average life expectancy in Israel continues to rise: the average for men is 80.7 years and remains the same as last year, but the average age of women has risen to 84.6 compared with 84.2 last year. 89% are satisfied or very satisfied with their lives in Israel, while 6% - about 340,000 people - often feel lonely. 37% of Israelis, who constitute 2 million people, are not satisfied with their financial situation and 31% have difficulty covering their monthly expenses. In the past year, 52,809 couples married and established a home in Israel, while 14,819 came to the rabbinate to divorce. The average number of persons in the Israeli household as of the past year is 3.32, while Israel has about 2,057,000 nuclear families. Regarding the level of religiosity, 44.3% define themselves as not religious or secular, 21.4% define themselves as traditional, not so religious, 12.3% define themselves as traditional-religious, 11.5% define themselves as religious, and 10.2% haredim. As of 2017, 175,000 teaching staff members are employed in the education system, compared with 170,000 in 2016. The rate of recruitment of new teaching staff is on the rise: from an average of 7,500 between 2008-2010 to 11,700 on average in 2017-2018. In 2015, 6,471 teaching staff members left the education system, compared to 5,059 in 2008. The average gross monthly wage is NIS 10,109 for Israeli workers and 5,928 for foreign workers, and the average weekly hours are 36.2 hours. The largest sector for employed persons is the education system, with 471,000 workers, followed by 431,000 workers in wholesale and retail fields and vehicle repairs and 690,000 sales and service workers.

Labour Party Adopts Anti-Semitism Definition, Caveat on Criticizing Israel

By the Jerusalem Post

The governing body of the UK Labour Party voted on Tuesday to adopt the full version of an internationally recognized definition of anti-Semitism to end a long-running controversy over its refusal to do so earlier this summer. Labour's National Executive Committee said however that as well as adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's definition in full, including all its examples, it would be issuing a statement to guarantee "freedom of expression" regarding the Israel-Palestinian conflict. The Board of Deputies of British Jews, a leading communal organization, welcomed the NEC's decision but said that it had been too long in coming. "It is very long overdue and regrettable that Labour has wasted a whole summer trying to dictate to Jews what constitutes an offence against us," said Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl. She added that it was now "action" that matters and insisted that the Labour Party begin seriously tackling the anti-Semitism problem in its midst. "We need to see firm action taken against anti-Semites and those who bring the party in to disrepute by denying the problem of anti-Semitism. Labour must resolve the outstanding cases; introduce greater transparency to the disciplinary process; tackle the culture of the problem of anti-Semitism and introduce education and training. In addition, Jeremy Corbyn needs to apologize for past anti-Semitic comments and affiliations." The Jewish Leadership Council made similar comments, saying that "if Jeremy Corbyn were a competent leader, the Labour Party would have adopted this definition months ago." Chief Executive of the JLC Simon Johnson said that the organization "now look[s] forward to Labour dealing seriously, urgently, and transparently dealing with all of the outstanding disciplinary cases." He also argued that Labour's "freedom of expression" statement regarding the Israel-Palestinian conflict was unnecessary since the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism does not preclude full criticism of Israel. "The IHRA definition does allow for vociferous criticism of Israel and Israeli policies and does nothing to interfere with freedom of speech." The Campaign Against Anti-Semitism said that Labour's statement on freedom of expression would constitute "an attempt to undermine the definition's validity, despite its adoption around the world and the fact that the definition is already heavily caveated," and that its introduction was likely due to Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn's "fears [of] the undiluted definition because of his past actions." Labour has been beset by allegations of anti-Semitism amongst many of its members for several years, not least of whom is Corbyn. In just the last few weeks, video footage has emerged of Corbyn saying that "Zionists" do not understand English irony, appearing in television interviews and panel debates alongside terrorists, and ostensibly participating in a commemoration service for terrorists behind the Munich Massacre. Numerous other members of the Labour Party, including the former mayor of London Ken Livingstone as well as numerous Labour local council members and local council candidates, have also made offensive and anti-Semitic comments and actions in recent years. The UK Jewish community has vehemently protested Labour's foot-dragging and failure to discipline and expel many of these members. In July, the NEC controversially adopted an amended version of the IHRA definition, but omitted four critical examples from it, including accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel than their home country; Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g. by claiming that the State of Israel is a racist endeavor; and "drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis," and applying double standards to Israel.

Popular Arab Singer Becomes Jewish

On her 32nd birthday, popular singer Nasreen Qadri completed a conversion process, the Yediot Aharonot daily reported Monday. The process ended with a dip in the mikvah and a festive meal under the direction of Rabbi Dudu Dery, who accompanied and led the conversion process of the singer. The singer, who was born to a Muslim family and lives in Haifa, won first place in the program "Eyal Golan is Calling You." She has been involved in many musical projects and has been very successful on stage in Israel and abroad. Two years ago, she became engaged to a Jewish man and at the same time began a conversion process, but the relationship between the two often ran aground in light of the reception of the two families and the public to their relationship. The two separated and, as stated, Nasreen has completed her conversion process. She has changed her name from Nasreen to "Bracha" ("Blessing" in Hebrew).

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