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Israelis React to Baghdadi Operation

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28 Oct 2019
Israelis React to Baghdadi Operation
Israel’s strategic analysis community reacted to the news on Sunday that a US Special Forces team had killed Islamic State (IS) terror militia leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi with statements that expressed admiration for the US move and hope that it would help turn the tide against jihadi terrorism and the general trend of regional tumult throughout the Middle East. “For us Israelis, the threat from ISIS is secondary,” said Amos Yadlin, chief of the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) think tank at Tel Aviv University. “We would like to see the US act in a similar way against [Iranian Quds force commander Qassem] Soleimani, and [Hezbollah head Hassan] Nasrallah.”

US President Donald Trump announced on Sunday that al-Baghdadi was killed in a raid on his camp in Idlib Province, Syria, by US Special Operations teams. Various sources have confirmed that a raid took place which killed several senior IS operatives, although the death of al-Bagdadi was being questioned by the Kremlin and others.

Here is the video posted by Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu

Analysts See Some Progress in Coalition Talks
Incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his cabinet meeting Sunday morning that the country needs a government with “wide shoulders” able to make “hard decisions” amidst an escalating security crisis which IDF Chief of Staff Lt. General Aviv Kochavi said last week is menacing the Jewish State on all its borders. Just hours ahead of his meeting with Blue and White leader Benny Gantz, which ended with no apparent progress towards a unity government, Netanyahu said that such a unity government “is what the State of Israel needs at the current time.”

Despite the meeting between Gantz and Netanyahu, which took place at the same time as meetings between representatives of Blue and White and other parties, ending without a dramatic announcement, analysts pointed t the lack of rancorous statements by either side as a sign of progress. Several Blue and White MKs also said during press interviews recently that they would not agree to proposals for forming a unity government with the anti-Zionist parties of the Joint (Arab) List.

Lebanon and Iraq Rocked by Massive Street Protests
Massive street demonstrations continued over the weekend in Lebanon and Iraq, with many protesters holding signs and chanting slogans against the influence of Iran in their countries. The protests in Lebanon showed no signs of dissipating despite pleas and even veiled threats of violence from the Iranian-backed Lebanese Shit’ite terror militia Hezbollah, while the Iraqi protests only seem to have intensified following a harsh crackdown by the Baghdad regime which has left over 100 protesters dead and many more wounded.

Israeli Women Shine in Defeat for BDS
The campaign to Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) Israel suffered some more defeats over the weekend as two Israeli women made international headlines. The first was kickboxer Yulia Sachkov, who won the gold medal at the Kickboxing World Championship in Sarajevo, Bosnia on Saturday. The second was Dr. Deganit Paikowsky, who was appointed as a vice president of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), a space advocacy organization based in Paris.

“Your selection is a spectacular personal achievement,” said Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis, “but also a huge accomplishment and a tremendous expression of the international community’s confidence in the State of Israel, its impact on the space industry, and the State of Israel’s achievements in state-of-the-art technology and research.”

Mnuchin Visit Focuses on Threats from Iran
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was in Jerusalem on Monday as part of a regional tour to visit with heads of state of US allies. Standing alongside Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, he told reporters that sanctions on Iran are having the desired effect of weakening Teheran’s leverage over its neighbors. "We have executed on a maximum pressure campaign for sanctions,” he said. “They have worked, they are working, they are cutting off the money."

"We will continue to ramp up, more, more, more ... I just came from a very productive working lunch with your team. They gave us a bunch of very specific ideas that we will be following up."

Today’s video shows some recent work done by the Israel Antiquities Authority


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