Now that israel’s ISIS terrorists have more or less been defeated, attention turns to israel’s repeated violations of Lebanese territory

For the First Time Since the War Began, Syria Attempts to Confront Israel in Lebanon

How a “routine” flight has turned into a fight between Lebanon, Syria and Israel.

Lebanon Israel Syria da76a

Lebanon is a country that has come so far since the troubled times of its recent past. A lengthy civil war which wasted just as much in human blood as it did in years of time. Much of what was damaged during the Lebanese civil war, which including the years of Israeli occupation of Lebanon, has been replaced or rebuilt, yet, the country is still plagued to this day by troubles along its southern border which it shares with Israel and Syria.

Lebanon’s southern border is a largely disputed stretch of land which in part connects Lebanon, Syria and Israel altogether. The Shebaa Farms are a well-known disputed area which is considered an Israeli occupied territory by Lebanese and Syrian’s. The Golan Heights is another example, a rocky plateau in south-western Syria which Israel occupied following the Arab – Israel ‘6 Day-War’ in 1967. Israel later unilaterally annexed the Golan Heights in 1981 and the move was never recognised internationally – and so the dispute continues to this day.

“Routine” border violations

The political disputes of this region are merely the context for a much more disconcerting situation along the border. The almost daily illegal breaches of Lebanese sovereignty by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) which has, at times, risked pushing the region into a new bloody confrontation. The numerous breaches come in many forms; the sight of Israeli military aircraft looming above towns and villages of South Lebanon has become a well-known phenomenon among the local inhabitants but the IDF also conducts regular ground and naval intrusions into Lebanese territory in clear defiance of two United Nations Security Council Resolutions, 425 and 1701.

To bring you an even greater idea for the sheer scale of the number of regular illegal intrusions committed by the IDF we should take a look at this months reported infringements as an example: so far this month the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) have registered at least seven severe incidents of Israeli military movements which have defied Lebanese territorial integrity between 4th – 16th October. These incidents include an IDF tractor vandalizing vegetation on the Lebanese side of the border, an IDF naval vessel entering Lebanese waters for a period of 25mins before departing back and an armed five-man IDF patrol which walked at least 50 meters into Lebanese territory and attempted to “kidnap” an unarmed Lebanese shepherd before exiting back across the border. These examples may appear inconsequential but on such a volatile border these small incidents can bubble up fast and erupt into something much more disastrous – a scenario the IDF is very much aware of.

On Monday the Israel air force breached Lebanese airspace a total of three times throughout the day, one of the morning breaches was a “routine” IDF reconnaissance flight over Lebanon that quickly escalated into a mini clash as a Syrian anti-aircraft missile launcher fired at the Israeli spy plane. The missile – an SA5 surface-to-air rocket – failed to hit its target, and, according to an Israeli military spokesperson, the anti-aircraft battery located 30 miles from Damascus was then hit by separate Israeli jets, “incapacitating” the launcher with four strikes.

This is the first time Israel has been challenged by Syria while spying on Lebanon since the Syrian war began. A clear sign from Syria that a day is coming when Israel won’t be free to violate Syrian & Lebanese sovereignty without retaliation. A freedom which Israel took full advantage of during the Syrian war, striking targets with complete insusceptibility, including senior Hezbollah figures and arms shipments, Iranian IRGC members and the Syrian Arab Army.

These types of highly combustible incidents have been allowed to escalate, becoming commonplace in the Levant, as the international community does little to rein in Israel’s intrusive behaviour while simultaneously adding fuel to the fire in conflict zones such as Syria & Iraq. The Lebanese, Syrian & Israeli border dispute has become a much greater cause for concern in recent years as the list of despicable offences continues to grow in number and rigorousness. In all honesty, many of the clashes could be avoided if the IDF choose to de-escalate its activity along the border region but has instead chosen to involve itself in Syrian & Lebanese affairs. The IDF have even been so bold as to criticise the UN peacekeeping force (UNIFIL) for not confronting Hezbollah in Lebanon. The IDF’s aggressive policy of intimidating local Lebanese civilians and antagonising the LAF, UN peacekeeping force (UNIFIL) and (most notably) the Hezbollah could lead to a new, much more gruesome, confrontation causing me to wonder if Israel really does want a new war.

The last war fought between Hezbollah and Israel was in July 2006 which began as a result of long escalating IDF vs Hezbollah border skirmishes, eventually, leading to a full-blown war between the IDF & Hezbollah. The IDF attempted to defeat Hezbollah militarily as it had done to the Palestinian PLO in Lebanon back in 1982 which evolved from the initial Israeli invasion to become an occupation of Southern Lebanon which went on to inspire the local Shia resistance – and so, Hezbollah was then born. The IDF’s anti-PLO objectives in the 82 war succeeded, Arafat lost his power in Lebanon and the PLO never returned to the South, but their similar plans in the July 2006 war against the Lebanese Shia Hezbollah failed miserably, only leading to death and destruction for both sides and a revitalized reputation for the Hezbollah.

Following that dreadful war, Lebanon’s people have now to live with the constant fear of low flying Israeli military aircraft posturing in a provocative fashion; emitting sonic booms that frighten and confuse local civilians who all live in fear that a new deadly war may once again commence. A war which several senior Israeli figures (including IDF Military chiefs and the Israeli Minister of Defence) claim will target civilian areas and vital Lebanese infrastructure across the country – which was also the case in the 2006 war.

The Lebanese government continues to respond to the endless list of border violations with an equally endless list of formal complaints to the UN about the IDF’s behaviour. The UN can do little except officially record the grievances and “investigate” the claims but no real action is ever taken to hold the IDF to account, and so, the violations continue.

Despite the UN’s best efforts the problem continues and with the promise to worsen as the war in Syria calms down leading to Israeli fears that Iran will expand its presence in Syria and look to challenge Israel for its dominance on the Golan & the Shebaa farms, however, the border dispute problem doesn’t only apply to the land but also to the sea as Lebanon and Israel now both look to the riches promised by the Mediterranean for the future prosperity of their nations – leading to yet more escalations coinciding with provocative political posturing between the Lebanese & Israeli’s.

The Mediterranean dispute

Lebanon and Israel are currently locked in a dispute over maritime boundaries. The 1949 Israel-Lebanon armistice line serves as the de facto land border between the two countries, and Lebanon claims roughly 330 square miles of waters that overlap with areas claimed by Israel based in part on differences in interpretation of relative points on the armistice line. The disputed stretch of water fanning out from the Lebanese coast towards Cypriot seas has been discovered to have huge reserves of natural gas and potential oil reserves below the seabed. Just another area of fierce contention between Lebanon and Israel which, following the estimates of the potential value, could lead to a new war according to some. Nabih Berri, the speaker of the Lebanese parliament, has described the maritime territory as “the Shebaa Farms of the sea”.

“If (Israel) continues with its expansionist plot through the government and the Knesset, that means that the spark of war is looming on the horizon,” Nabih Berri gave these comments to Lebanese journalists following news that Israel planned a complete annexation of the disputed sea area if the Knesset passed a new bill which lay official Israeli claim to the area – the bill would be recognised by Israel only, no one else.

Nabih Berri continued to say, ”We, on our side in Lebanon, we will not be quiet and we will not accept any compromise on our people’s rights to these resources, which have a degree of holiness to us.”

Lebanon is in desperate need for energy, a new industry to create jobs and a source of consistent revenue – all these things could be solved by the promise of lucrative natural gas fields off Lebanon’s coast but should Hezbollah begin to receive a profit from any future gas industry then Israel could find that intolerable. Similarly, if Israel does follow through with an annexation of disputed areas then the Lebanese may see it as a duty to respond with force to protect what Lebanon’s government considers its people’s birthright.

Israel has already begun to drill for gas and in 2010 entered into an agreement with Cyprus that draws a specific maritime border delineation point relative to the 1949 armistice line leading to major protests by the Lebanese. It has been estimated that the gas reserves in that area could be so lucrative that Israel, which has a naturally small demand for energy, could become an exporter of gas in the future creating huge new revenue and boosting the country’s independence. Lebanon has been left behind in this respect due, in part, to a long-lasting political deadlock and alleged government mismanagement of the affair. Now that Lebanon has a new President the country is looking towards the future and sees the Mediterranean’s gas and oil as a ticket to success. This would explain one reason why President Aoun has been so eager to move the Syrian refugees out of Lebanon, by any and all means, in order to free up Lebanese resources so they can pursue their gas drilling ambitions.

Lebanon currently consumes mostly oil and has no gas consumption whatsoever. If Lebanon did one day begin to produce its own gas it could replace the oil consumptions monopoly as oil makes up 93% of all the Lebanese energy consumption material with only coal and renewerble energy making up the remaining 7% – gas is cleaner to produce than oil and could help Lebanon to hit environmental targets while a revival in Lebanon’s domestic energy industry would simultaneously provide a solution to Lebanon’s crippling energy cut-outs that plague Lebanese daily life.

The future

President Aoun has wasted no time in kickstarting the process. This month the Petroleum Administration in the Lebanese Ministry of Energy and Water has already announced that an international consortium has won two licenses for exploration in two of Lebanon’s maritime blocks, zones 4 and 9 (Zone 9, located off the coast of Southern Lebanon, is one of the blocks which borders the disputed triangle zone which Israel lays claim too).

Israel has yet to decide on its reaction to the latest news and as Lebanon races to catch up with its regional gas rivals, the possibility of a new dimension to the heated disputes between Lebanon and Israel. Judging by the IDF’s behaviour on land and in the air, we will likely see Israel continue to push boundaries in the sea. The key difference between the dispute on land compared to the dispute in the Mediterranean is money – an element which history proves can easily drive countries to war.

Syria has sent a significant signal to the IDF by targeting an Israeli spy plane in Lebanon that a day is coming that Lebanon & Syria will, once again, not tolerate large-scale Israeli encroachment on their assets and will be willing to retaliate to any violations of new red lines – not just Syrian territory but Lebanese territory too. If the IDF wants to continue pushing boundaries – including in the Mediterranean – they will risk an escalation which will include Damascus and by default Tehran too. The IDF’s “routine” in Lebanon is no more. Russia shares good relations with Damascus and Tel Aviv so won’t enter into any future clash between the two, especially if it is just a Hezbollah – IDF skirmish but the possibility of further gas field discoveries could lead to more boundaries being tested risking further complications on the land, the sea and in the air.

References

[1] http://www.lpa.gov.lb/

[2] http://services.globes.co.il/en/article-lebanon-awards-exploration-license-bordering-israeli-waters-1001208038

[3] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/16/israeli-jets-attack-anti-aircraft-battery-in-syria-in-retaliatory-strike

[4] https://fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/R44591.pdf

[5] https://www.ft.com/content/0250eed4-1082-11e7-b030-768954394623?mhq5j=e6

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israel Supplies Weapons to ISIS-Daesh

Israel Supplies Weapons to ISIS-Daesh: Report

By SANA,

According to Syria’s official news agency, Syrian Forces Discover Dozens of Israeli-made Weapons and Equipment in ISIS Dens

Syrian Forces have discovered dozens of Israeli-made arms, ammunition and telecommunication devices, while searching through ISIS dens in the countrysides of Homs and Hama provinces.

Among discovered arms and equipment, there were some artillery pieces, around 800 mortar shells, a machine gun equipped with 10 thousand bullets, in addition to several rounds of bullets made for 17 mm, 14,5 mm and 30 mm machine guns, as well as an RPG, 3 RPG launchers and a whole bunch of telecommunication devices.

A great number of items discovered turned out to be of Israeli origin.

The discoveries were made while the Syrian Army was searching through and combing the areas that were recently liberated from ISIS terrorists, in particularly Jeb Al Jarrah, a village located north of Qaryatayn, and in the southern countryside of the town of Salamiyeh in Hama province.

Meanwhile, Syrian Army assumed control over strategic village of Al Husseiniyeh, located north of of Deir Ez Zour city.

This comes right after the Syrian Army liberated strategic villages of Buqrous Foukani, Buqrous Tahtani and Al Dhiyban earlier in the day.

Featured image is from Fort Russ News.

That Figures: Austria’s neo-Nazis find friends in israel

Austria’s neo-Nazis find friends in Israel

Ali Abunimah

Austria’s ambassador in Tel Aviv sees nothing wrong with Arab parties being excluded from Israel’s government.

As his own country looks set to put neo-Nazis in power in Vienna, this is yet another remarkable demonstration of the racist values shared by European and Israeli elites.

Just as in Germany, there are clear indications of ties between Austria’s neo-Nazi far right and Israel’s right wing.

Ambassador backs exclusion

Last week Avi Gabbay, the leader of Israel’s ostensibly dovish Labor Party, declared that he would not join a coalition along with members of the Joint List, a grouping of parties made up predominantly of Palestinian citizens of Israel.

“We will not share a government with the Joint List, period,” Gabbay said. “Let that be clear.”

Ayman Odeh, the leader of the Joint List, condemned Gabbay’s racism. “Someone who doesn’t view Arab citizens and their elected representatives as a legitimate group, doesn’t present a real alternative to the right,” Odeh said.

At the same time, Gabbay indicated he could team up with Yisrael Beiteinu, the far-right party led by Israel’s notoriously anti-Arab defense minister Avigdor Lieberman.

Lieberman believes Palestinians like Odeh should eventually be stripped of their Israeli citizenship altogether.

Gabbay’s racism is unremarkable in the Israeli context. It has long been a consensus among Zionist parties that the fifth of the country’s citizens who are Palestinians should have no real role in decision-making.

Gabbay followed up with more belligerent comments on Sunday, declaring that “the Arabs have to be afraid of us” and that Israel need never evacuate any of its settlements built on occupied Palestinian land in violation of international law.

But what has also sadly become unsurprising is to see European diplomats, who frequently pretend to represent an enlightened “human rights” perspective, rationalizing this racism.

On Friday, Martin Weiss, the Austrian ambassador in Tel Aviv had lunch with Gabbay, and appeared to offer a warm endorsement of the Israeli Labor leader on Twitter:

Weiss and Gabbay were joined for lunch by several other European diplomats.

I asked on Twitter if the Europeans had raised the issue of Gabbay’s open anti-Arab racism during the lunch.

Weiss responded, pointing out fairly enough that the lunch had taken place the day before Gabbay’s remarks refusing to let Arab parties join a coalition were reported.

Weiss added, “But do you think members of the Joint List would really want to join a Labor government?”

The Austrian ambassador appeared to be deflecting attention from Gabbay’s racism by pointing out that citizens who are discriminated against might not want inclusion in the first place.

I wanted to give Weiss an opportunity to back away from this, so I challenged him to publicly condemn Gabbay’s racism.

“Thanks but no thanks,” the ambassador replied. “Seems to me that every political party has the right to declare with which other party they would cooperate – or not.”

This could not be a clearer endorsement of the longstanding racist exclusion of Palestinian citizens of Israel on the grounds of their ethnicity.

Apartheid politics

It’s worth recalling that the landmark UN report on Israeli apartheid, suppressed last March by the UN secretary-general on American orders, found that while Israel’s political system gives nominal rights to the roughly 1.5 million Palestinian citizens of Israel, these add up to little in practice.

“Voting rights lose their significance in terms of equal rights when a racial group is legally banned from challenging laws that perpetuate inequality,” the report states. “Israeli law bans organized Palestinian opposition to Jewish domination, rendering it illegal and even seditious.”

These formal restrictions on advocating for an end to state-sponsored racism are supplemented by the informal consensus among party leaders – from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warning that Arabs were voting “in droves” to Gabbay vowing not to include the Joint List in a coalition – that government is an exclusively Jewish matter.

Neo-Nazis embrace Israeli right

Ambassador Weiss’ defense of Israeli racism was perhaps a warm-up for the work he’ll have to do defending his own country’s government in coming months.

Following Sunday’s Austrian general election, a new right-wing government led by the youthful foreign minister Sebastian Kurz is set to take power.

It’s widely expected that Kurz’s conservative People’s Party will form a coalition with the far-right, anti-Muslim Freedom Party, headed by neo-Nazi Heinz-Christian Strache.

The Freedom Party’s success comes just weeks after the neo-Nazi Alternative for Germany – known by its initials AfD – took about 100 seats in the Bundestag.

And just like AfD, Austria’s Freedom Party has discovered a recent affinity for Israel.

Last year, Strache, who used to march with a group imitating the Hitler Youth, visited Israel at the invitation of lawmakers from Netanyahu’s ruling Likud Party.

Just like other assorted anti-Semites and far-right extremists, Strache apparently saw Israel providing a laundering service. As media reports in Austria put it, the intention of Strache’s visit – complete with a pilgrimage to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial – was “to make himself kosher in Israel” in the hope that this would give him respectability elsewhere.

Europe’s new fascists and Israel’s right have also found an alliance in their common hatred of Muslims.

In June, Strache welcomed to Vienna Likud lawmaker Yehuda Glick, a leader in the so-called Temple Movement, which aims to destroy Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque and replace it with a Jewish temple.

A photo posted on Strache’s Facebook page shows the pair in a friendly meeting.

European Jewish organizations have condemned Israeli outreach to Europe’s far right, including the Freedom Party. Last November, the leader of the Vienna Jewish community published a letter calling on Israeli politicians to shun such meetings and “to draw a very clear red line between us and those who represent hate, neo-Nazism and anti-Semitism.”

Recall that while Germany’s Jewish community expressed horror at AfD’s recent electoral success, Yehuda Glick defended the party.

There’s no mystery why: AfD leaders have given strong backing to Israel’s settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Austria’s Strache is following a similar line, supporting the settlements and becoming a champion of Israel’s claims to Jerusalem that are rejected by the rest of the world.

Strache handed Glick a letter to be delivered to Netanyahu vowing to do all he could to push for Austria’s embassy in Tel Aviv to be moved to Jerusalem.

With his party set to join the government, Strache will have his chance.

Once again, Israel is showing that its closest allies in Europe are the worst enemies of Jewish people.

 

Netanyahu unhappy that Syria defends itself against illegal israeli air attacks

Israel Attacks Syrian Air Defenses

Netanyahu: Attacking Our Warplanes ‘Not Acceptable’

It’s pretty common for Israeli warplanes to attack targets inside Syria, and it’s very rare for Syria to do anything about it. This appears to be giving Israeli officials a sense that they’re entitled to attack Syria whenever the mood strikes, and led to a furious reaction overnight when Israeli warplanes were raiding Syria, and came under fire from Syrian air defenses.

Israel responded with a new round of attacks against Syrian air defense batteries east of the capital city of Damascus, presenting it as “retaliation” for Syria daring to fire on the warplanes. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted such attacks are “not acceptable,” and that Israel will continue to strike Syria whenever it sees fit.

Throughout Syria’s war, Israel has regularly attacked Syrian military targets, particularly in the country’s south. Though Israel says they are “neutral” on the Syrian war, top officials have regularly said they would prefer ISIS winning in Syria instead of the Assad government.

Israeli officials say they believe that they can continue to strike Syria with impunity, or at least without the Russian military being too angry, so long as the attacks don’t directly threaten the Assad government’s survival. Russia has, however, warned Israel at times, particularly regarding operations around Russian bases on the Syrian coast.

There has been no word of casualties from the attacks so far. Israeli forces say their plane was not hit, and the destroyed anti-aircraft battery has been identified as an S-200, an obsolete Soviet-era design.

Hundreds of Jewish Settlers (terrorists) Riot In Old City Jerusalem

Hundreds of Settlers Riot In Old City Jerusalem

IMEMC News & Agencies | October 16, 2017

 

 

16 Oct
7:25 AM

A Palestinian shop owner was hospitalized after hundreds of extremist Israeli settlers rioted in the Jerusalem’s Old City, an eyewitness told mass media.

Approximately 400 extremist Jewish-Israeli settlers marched through the Old City from Al-Buraq Wall of Al-Aqsa Mosque towards the Damascus Gate, an eyewitness said, according to Days of Palestine.

While they were walking, the extremists were shouting, beating the doors of houses and shops, throwing rocks and smashing car windows.

As they approached Damascus Gate, they stormed an open shop and attacked the shop’s Palestinian owner, who was taken to Hadassah University Hospital to be treated for his wounds.

Later on, about 20 Israeli police officers arrived at the scene and escorted the rioters out of the Old City.

However, no arrests were made. Police issued a statement, on Thursday morning, saying that there had been a fight between two groups of youth.

Police confirmed that an investigation had been opened into the incident, and that damage had been caused to a shop and a number of motor vehicles.

Louis Zorba, a resident in the area, spoke to Haaretz saying: “I heard shouts and banging on the houses, but we are used to it because it happens every time there is a Jewish holiday.”

“I told the officers that if it were Palestinians who were rioting, they would have sent for reinforcements, and probably shot tear gas and stun grenades.”

NGO Ir Amim said: “This is not the first time that the police have not done their job to protect the Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem.”

The NGO accused the police of attempting to hide the nature of the attack when it described it in as a fight between groups of youths, and not as an attack on Palestinians and their property.

8 violations of Lebanon’s sovereignty by air and sea within 24 hours by israel

8 violations of Lebanon’s sovereignty by air and sea within 24 hours

Lebanese Army spokesman issued a statement on the frequent violations of air and sea committed by the Zionist regime on Friday.

According to the al-Manar news agency, the Zionist regime has violated eight times the Lebanese airspace and sea sovereignty in only 24 hours:

1. The Israeli UAV arrived at Lebanon at 9 o’clock (local time) over the town of Quraqula, and after flying in circles over the towns of Al-Baidar and Beka, left the country at 11:30.

2- At 9:05, another Israeli drone hit the Lebanese border over the city of Ulama al-Shaab, flying over the southern regions, and left Lebanon at 10:15.

3- At 10:30, two Israeli fighters from the city of Ramesh violated Lebanese airspace and left at  11:10.

4. At 19:55, an Israeli UAV entered Lebanese airspace from above the city of Remiz and returned at 4:00.

5. At 2:10 AM, an Israeli drone arrived at the city of Ulama al-Shaab and circled over the southern regions and left at the 7:00.

6. At 8:50, an Israeli drone entered the Lebanese airspace from the city of Remiz, circled around the areas of Baalbek, Al-Harmel, etc., and left at 21:00.

7. At 14.30, Israeli UAV entered Lebanese airspace from the city of Al-Nahoreh and left at 20.30.

8. In the hours between 5:49 and 6:53, an Israeli warship violated Lebanon’s sea sovereignty in 3 steps.

Lebanon has repeatedly objected to Israel violations of Lebanon’s sovereignty and has informed the Security Council of the United Nations.

israel’s war on Palestine’s food supplies: israeli Navy Abducts Four Fishermen In Gaza

Israeli Navy Abducts Four Fishermen In Gaza

15 Oct  8:55 AM

Israeli navy ships attacked, on Sunday morning, several Palestinian fishing boats, in the Sudaniyya Sea area, northwest of Gaza City, fired many live rounds at them, and abducted four fishermen.

The WAFA Palestinian News Agency has reported that the navy fired dozens of live rounds at the boats, while were fishing less than four nautical miles from the shore, and boarded two.

It added that the navy abducted four fishermen, who were on the boarded boats, and took them to Ashdod port.

The attack is part of frequent Israeli violations against the Palestinians in the impoverished and besieged Gaza Strip.

Such attacks have led to dozens of casualties, including many fatalities, in addition to resulting in scores of injuries, the destruction of boats and property, and the illegal confiscation on fishing boats.

In May of this year, a fisherman, identified as Mohammad Majed Bakr, 25, was killed by live Israeli navy fire, after  the navy ships fired dozens of rounds at fishing boats less than four nautical miles from the Gaza shore.

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