Tag Archives: Israel

Israel’s Leviathan field to start supplying gas this month

Leviathan, Israel’s largest offshore natural gas field, will start supplying the local market by the end of December, followed by exports to Egypt and Jordan soon after, Reuters reported on Monday.

“Within 2-3 weeks we will open the wells and start to supply the gas,” said Binyamin Zomer, vice president for regional affairs at Texas-based Noble Energy.

“Before the end of the year we will start supplying the domestic market, and in the weeks right after that we will export to Egypt and Jordan,” Zomer told the annual Israel Energy and Business Convention, according to the report.

Noble Energy discovered the Leviathan field, located in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Haifa, in 2010.


Trump speaks with Israel's Netanyahu about Iran, other issues

U.S. President Donald Trump spoke on Sunday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about Iran and other issues, the White House said in a brief statement.

“The leaders discussed the threat from Iran, as well as other critical bilateral and regional issues,” the White House said in an email statement.

Relations between Iran and the United States have worsened since last year when Trump pulled out of Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers and reimposed sanctions on the country.


Israel seizes contraband online deliveries en route to Gaza, fearing terror use

Israel on Wednesday confiscated hundreds of packages en route to the Gaza Strip that it said contained contraband material, like knives, drones and diving equipment, which had been ordered from Amazon and other online stores.

According to the Defense Ministry, these products were “likely to serve terror purposes.”

These items fall under Israel’s “dual-use” category — so-named as they can be used for both military and civilian purposes.

They were found during a search of mail that was being transported to the Gaza Strip from Israel through the Erez Crossing, according to the ministry’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT).

The head of the Coordination and Liaison Administration for Gaza accused terror groups in the Palestinian enclave of trying to take advantage of the mail system to arm themselves.

“Once again Gaza Strip terror organizations are trying to exploit the civilian policy spearheaded by the State of Israel and use mail transfer for terror purposes. These attempts, which we review with the utmost severity, are thwarted time and again by the Gaza CLA officers and soldiers,” Col. Iyad Sarhan said in a statement.

The ministry said the packages contained weapons accessories, knives, cameras, drones, spare parts, air bag systems, communications equipment, electronic components, satellite communications equipment, binoculars, diving equipment and other contraband.

According to COGAT, the products were ordered from the Amazon and AliExpress online retail giants.

Israel has maintained a blockade of the Gaza Strip since the Hamas terror group took over the territory in 2007, and says it is necessary to prevent arms from entering Gaza that could be used in attacks against it. Egypt has kept its border with the Strip shut as well. Israel regularly allows screened goods to enter Gaza through its border crossings.

Hamas, which seized control of Gaza in 2007 from the Fatah faction of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, openly seeks to destroy Israel.

Terror groups in the Strip routinely try to import dual-use products through the postal service.

In July, the Defense Ministry said it had seized 1,600 such items in the previous 12 months.


Israel Endorses Hamas’ Statement That ‘Rebellious Organizations’ Fired Rockets From Gaza

Senior Israeli security officials on Wednesday endorsed Hamas’ message that rocket attacks on Israel were not initiated by the movement, not even by the Islamic Jihad, but by “rebellious organizations that do not comply with Hamas’ strict orders to refrain from violating the truce.”

Sources said that the Israeli security services do not yet know the identity of those who fired rockets from Gaza towards the southern Israeli towns, but they believed Hamas and Jihad messages that they have not changed their policies and that they were strictly committed to calm the situation.

The sources said those who fired the rockets were “chaotic and rebel organizations,” adding: “There are many such organizations in the Gaza Strip that have a lot of weapons.”

These explanations came after the Israeli army had responded to the shelling from the Gaza Strip, with heavy raids on Hamas positions. According to a statement by the military spokesman in Tel Aviv, “Hamas is responsible for firing the shells.”

Gunmen from Gaza fired two rockets. One was intercepted the Iron Dome system, while the second landed in an open area. It is believed that the gunmen are opposed to Hamas or dissatisfied with the recent truce and aim to embarrass the movement, which did not participate in the latest round of fighting between Israel and Islamic Jihad.

Since then, in a rare shift, Friday’s demonstrations on the Gaza border have been canceled for two weeks in a row.

Israel and Hamas are not seeking a new confrontation, as evidenced by Israel’s deliberate attack on open positions and Hamas’ failure to respond.

Palestinian rockets or Israeli shelling caused no casualties. Observers noted that Israel sometimes allowed sporadic fire without response in order to avoid escalating tensions.


Israel deliberately targets Palestinian journalists to cover up its crimes: Hamas

Israel deliberately targets Palestinian journalists to cover up its crimes: Hamas

The Islamic resistance movement, Hamas, has strongly denounced the Tel Aviv regime’s deliberate targeting of Palestinian journalists in the occupied territories, describing the policy as a new attempt by Israeli authorities to conceal their crimes.

Hamas spokesman Hazem Qasem said in a statement on Monday that “Israel’s crime of deliberately targeting photojournalist Moaz Amarneh is fairly heinous, and confirms the intransigence and defiance of the Israeli army as regards all norms and international law.”

Qasem stressed that Palestinian journalists will remain present in conflict zones, and will continue to exercise their right to publish fair accounts irrespective of the Israeli regime’s crimes against them.
PM covers left eye in solidarity with injured photojournalist

Meanwhile, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh showed solidarity with Amarneh during a cabinet meeting in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah on Monday, and covered his left eye.

“If Israel wants to shut down Moaz’s eyes, all of our eyes are his,” Shtayyeh said.

He added that Israel targets Palestinian journalists “to silence the voice of truth,” noting that Israeli forces did not only attack Amarneh’s eyes, but also quelled a sit-in staged by journalists in support of the injured photojournalist and viciously attacked them.

Shtayyeh praised the widespread popular solidarity movement with Amarneh, emphasizing that his deliberate targeting sheds light on the situation of other Palestinians who have fallen prey to Israel, most notably the Abu Malhous Sawarkeh family, which lost eight of its members in an airstrike carried out by Israeli warplanes in the Gaza Strip last week.

Amarneh lost one of his eyes after an Israeli soldier opened fire at him as he was covering clashes between local youths and Israeli forces in the city of Surif, located 25 kilometers northwest of al-Khalil last Friday.

According to a report released by the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate (PJS), Israeli forces committed 600 rights violations against Palestinian journalists between October 2018 and October 2019 in the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem al-Quds and the Gaza Strip.

The report added that Israeli forces shot 60 journalists, who suffered serious wounds. Some 43 journalists were also hit by sound grenades directly thrown at them by Israeli forces.

“More than 170 journalists were beaten, detained or banned from coverage,” the report also revealed.

The report further noted that 10 journalists were detained during this period, raising the number of journalists inside Israeli jails to 18.


Hamas and PIJ agree to defuse tensions, strengthen cooperation

Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) officials said over the weekend that relations between the two groups will remain strong despite differences over last week’s round of fighting with Israel.

The officials explained that while the two groups may disagree on secondary issues, they share the same goals and strategy, particularly with regard to those related to the conflict with Israel.

The officials said that the two groups have agreed to draw conclusions from last week’s round of violence and boost cooperation and coordination between their military wings.

PIJ and other Palestinians have strongly criticized Hamas for its failure to join the fighting against Israel, which erupted after the assassination of senior PIJ military commander Bahaa Abu al-Atta.

Tensions between the two terror groups reached their peak last Friday, when PIJ members attacked senior Hamas official Mahmoud Zahar as he arrived at a mourning tent in the Shajaiyeh neighborhood of Gaza City to offer condolences over the death of al-Ata.

Chanting “Death to Hamas” and “Hamas go away,” the PIJ members threw stones at Zahar and his bodyguards, forcing them to flee the area. Unconfirmed reports said that the Hamas bodyguards fired warning shots into the air as they whisked away Zahar and another senior Hamas official accompanying him. No one was hurt in the incident.

Later, a senior PIJ delegation headed by Khaled al-Batsh and the father of the slain Hamas commander visited Zahar at his home and apologized for the incident.

“We apologize to our brother, Mahmoud Zahar, for the unfortunate incident that took place today,” al-Batsh said. “We wish to affirm our strong relation with Hamas. We share the same destiny and enemy.

”Al-Ata’s family issued a public apology to Zahar for the “bad reception” during the condolence visit.

In the context of efforts to defuse tensions between the two groups, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh on Friday phoned PIJ Secretary-General Ziyad al-Nakhalah. The two agreed to “strengthen cooperation, coordination and consultations” between Hamas and PIJ, said a statement released by Haniyeh’s office. “The two also praised the performance of the Palestinian resistance groups during the last confrontation [with Israel].”

Haniyeh, the statement said, offered his condolences to al-Nakhalah over the death of PIJ members, including al-Ata, adding that the “blood of the martyrs will continue to serve as fuel for the steadfastness of the Palestinians and their resistance groups.

”Former Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal on Friday phoned the father of al-Ata and PIJ official al-Batsh to offer his condolences. Mashaal was quoted as telling the father and PIJ official that Hamas supports the family and PIJ and emphasizes the strong relation between the two sides.

Ahmed al-Mudalal, a senior PIJ official in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, played down the tensions between his group and Hamas. “This is a temporary crisis,” he said. “Our relations will turn to normal through ongoing meetings and dialogue. No one can harm the relation between the brothers in blood and weapons. We share the same goal.”

The PIJ official said it was “natural” for brothers to have an argument, “but this does not mean that the relationship between them would be affected or weakened.”

Another PIJ official, Yusef al-Hasaineh, said that his group maintains “strong and cohesive” ties with Hamas. Israel, he added, won’t succeed in its “malicious attempt to drive a wedge” between Hamas and PIJ.


IDF Says Intercepted Two Rockets Fired From Gaza Strip

Both missiles have been intercepted by the Israeli military, Israeli Dafence Forces reported on its Twitter page.

Israeli Defence Forces have reported two missiles fired from Gaza Strip toward the Israeli city of Beersheba. The report comes after IDF said on Twitter that the sirens sounded across southern Israel.

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) and Palestinian militants clashed earlier in the week, with tensions escalating after the army eliminated commander of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Baha Abu al-Ata.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and the IDF reached a fragile truce, however, IDF reported rocket fire from Gaza hours after that.


BREAKING: Israel, Palestine factions agree to ceasefire proposal

After two days of air strikes on the Gaza Strip which have killing 34 Palestinians and wounding 111 others, Israel and the Palestinian resistance this morning agreed to an Egyptian brokered ceasefire proposal.

Spokesman of the Islamic Jihad Mus’ab Al-Breem said that his movement set conditions to accept the ceasefire, which was mediated by Egypt and the UN, and Israel agreed to them.

Al-Breem said: “The occupation surrendered to the conditions of the resistance.”

The Israeli Hebrew newspaper Maariv reported a senior diplomatic source saying: “Israel achieved the goals of the operation. The Islamic Jihad suffered severe damage and we destroyed its infrastructure and killed more than 20 operatives.”

“Israel did not offer anything. The actions on the ground would decide. We will harm anyone who harms us.”

Haaretz reported sources saying that the ceasefire proposed by Egypt would see the Palestinian groups immediately stop firing rockets.

The sources also said, according to Haaretz, that Israel immediately stopped its attacks and assassinations in Gaza and would cease to use live ammunitions against the weekly Great Return March and Breaking the Siege protests.

On the ground, the sounds of Israeli military drones can still be heard buzzing overhead.

The ceasefire was announced after Israel killed 34 Palestinians, including eight from the same families, and wounded 111 others.

Nickolay Mladenov, the UN envoy to the Middle East peace process, said that the ceasefire was a fruit of joint Egyptian and UN efforts.

“Egypt and the UN worked hard to prevent the most dangerous escalation in and around Gaza from leading to war,” he wrote on Twitter.

He added: “The coming hours and days will be critical. ALL must show maximum restraint and do their part to prevent bloodshed. The Middle East does not need more wars.”


Israeli raids kill 32 in Gaza since Tuesday

At least 32 Palestinians have been martyred by the Israeli army in two days of raids on the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Health Ministry said late Wednesday in a statement.

The ministry said that 100 others, including 30 children and 13 women, were injured in the raids.

On Wednesday morning, the Al-Quds Brigade, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad group, said one of its field commanders had been killed in an Israeli raid.

Earlier, the Israeli army said its air force attacked an Islamic Jihad squad trying to fire rockets at Israel from the northern Gaza Strip.

In a statement, the Israeli army said over 250 rockets had been fired from Gaza towards Israel since Tuesday morning.

The Israeli official ambulance service, known as the Red Star of David, said 44 Israelis were slightly injured due to the rockets launched from Gaza towards Israel’s southern areas since Tuesday.

Sirens were heard in the southern Israeli cities of Ashkelon and Sderot.

The situation escalated in Gaza early Tuesday after an Israeli airstrike killed Bahaa Abu al-Atta, a senior military commander of the Palestinian group Islamic Jihad, as well as his wife Asmaa.

Israeli warplanes also launched an airstrike targeting Islamic Jihad member Akram al-Ajouri in Syria’s capital Damascus.

Two people, including al-Ajouri’s son, were killed and 10 injured, but the Islamic Jihad leader emerged unhurt.


2 Palestinians martyred in Israeli airstrike in Gaza

Two Palestinians were martyred in a fresh Israeli airstrike in the northern Gaza Strip on Tuesday, shortly after the killing of a resistance commander in the territory.

The army said a warplane targeted two Islamic Jihad operatives preparing to fire rockets into Israel.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said Zaki Mohammed Adnan Ghanama, 25, was killed in the attack.

The ministry said a 20-year-old youth, who was identified as Mohammed Atiyyah Hammouda, was also killed, but without giving any details about the circumstances of his death.

According to the ministry, 18 Palestinians have been injured in Israeli attacks across the Gaza Strip.

The situation escalated in Gaza early Tuesday after Israeli forces killed Bahaa Abu al-Atta, the commander of resistance group Islamic Jihad, in an airstrike.

Israeli warplanes also launched an airstrike targeting Islamic Jihad member Akram al-Ajouri in the Syrian capital Damascus.

Two people, including al-Ajouri’s son, were killed and ten others injured, but the Islamic Jihad leader emerged unhurt.