Today in Israel . . .
Terror attack foiled in Gush Etzion
An Arab terrorist was arrested Monday evening in the Migdal Oz settlement in Gush Etzion after he planned to carry out an attack against IDF forces. He threw a Molotov Cocktail near the settlement, set a fire, and hid in the bushes with a gun and an improvised explosive device in order to carry out an attack against the forces that were called to extinguish the fire. Channel 12 News reported that when the forces arrived at the scene of the fire, they identified a suspicious person hiding in the bushes. They then arrested him and seized his gun and explosive device.
Mahmoud Abbas is not happy with Biden’s visit
A Lebanese newspaper quoted PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas as saying that he was surprised that he was unable to obtain from Joe Biden a single sentence that could be presented as progress in the political process with Israel. Although when Abbas and Biden met in Bethlehem on July 15, Biden assured the PA president that his commitment to the two-state solution had not changed. He said:
“Two states along the 1967 lines, with mutually agreed-to swaps, remain the best way to achieve equal measures of security, prosperity, freedom, and democracy for the Palestinians as well as Israelis.”
But this statement wasn’t good enough for Mahmoud Abbas.
According to media sources, Abbas told Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Jordan’s King Abdullah that he was unhappy with the results of his meeting with Biden. Sisi and Abdullah tried to calm him down by noting that major regional issues imposed themselves on the US president’s agenda after the start of the Russia-Ukraine war.
Abbas’ reported dissatisfaction with the Biden administration’s policy came as senior Palestinian officials stepped up their attacks on Israel. Mahmoud al-Aloul, deputy chairman of the ruling Fatah faction, said, “It has become clear that the other side [Israel] understands only the language of resistance.” He and other officials had also expressed disappointment over the Abbas-Biden talks, arguing that the US president did not address “core and sensitive issues.”
On Monday, PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh called on the international community to put pressure on Israel to stop its “military incursions into Palestinian cities, towns and refugee camps in the West Bank.”
Do you know what those military incursions are that he is talking about? The IDF has conducted several counterterrorism activities recently, but the one that the PA prime minister was most likely talking about is when the IDF went into Nablus to arrest some terrorists last week. The terrorists barricaded themselves inside of a house and opened fire on the IDF. During the gunfight, two armed Palestinians were killed. After the fight was over, the IDF found tons of weapons, firearms and explosive devices.
Also on Monday, the PA Foreign Affairs Ministry accused Israel of “deliberately sabotaging” the two-state solution. They also accused Israel of waging war on the Palestinians through its “violations and crimes,” as well as continued construction in the West Bank settlements.
MKs Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir might run together in the next election
The Otzma Yehudit Party submitted an outline for the top ten of a united list. As part of the outline, four places will be allocated to Itamar Ben-Gvir’s people, four places to Smotrich’s people who will be elected in his party’s primaries, and two places will be allocated to Avi Maoz, chairman of the Noam party, and Yosef Brodny, chairman of the Jewish Home party.Netanyahu has been pressuring them all the while to run together because if they split, one or both may not pass the electoral threshold, costing the right-wing bloc a significant number of seats.
Last Tuesday, Bezalel Smotrich said,
"We are, with God's help, running together. This partnership has proven itself. We will manage it in a closed room, responsibly. There is one thing that interests us - the responsibility to the State of Israel and to the Right. Woe unto us if we wake up to a government of Prime Minister Yair Lapid and the Joint Arab List."
Another Iranian missile engineer goes strangely missing
There have been social media posts going around for the last few days that Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps engineer Said Thamardar Mutlak was killed. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani said,
“Cowardly assassination of heroes of our scientific prowess didn’t help behind-the-curtain terrorists to achieve their goals. Peaceful nuclear industry of Iran owes its flourishing to [Dariush] Rezaeinejad & his fellows. Their blood & scientific accomplishments will be safeguarded.”
According to Israeli media, posters in memory of Said Thamardar Mutlak were published primarily in pages affiliated with Iran’s opposition. Some reports called him a “martyr,” and some said he had been assassinated, likely by “external elements.” Some reports even claimed Iranian authorities had warned the scientist’s parents not to publicize his death.
The interesting thing about this is that at the same time as the engineer disappeared, Iran claimed to have caught an Israeli spy network while laying explosives at a “very sensitive” site in the Isfahan Province. Media sources have stated that, “They were all arrested while in the process of concealing explosives at their target location.”
On Saturday, Iranian state media first announced the arrests, saying:
"Members of a network who were in contact with the Mossad succeeded in entering the country via Kurdistan, using operational tools and advanced communications equipment, and armed with powerful explosives. They intended to carry out destructive activities and commit unprecedented acts of terrorism at various critical sites, in operations that were planned in advance."
The official Iranian public relations department added:
"Investigations are ongoing and our intelligence organizations are continuing to monitor any links they had with internal and external elements guiding them in their terrorist operations."
The men apparently entered Iran via the Kurdistan region of Iraq, after undergoing months-long training in preparation for conducting attacks against sensitive targets in the Iranian region of Isfahan in central Iran. Iran occasionally announces the detention of people it says are spying for foreign countries, including the United States and Israel, though it does not provide evidence to back up such claims, so it’s really hard to tell what’s true and what’s not.
Iran removes 27 cameras on a nuclear site
According to Reuters, Iran announced on Monday that it will refuse to turn back on 27 International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) cameras until the 2015 nuclear deal with the US is restored. According to Iran’s Tasnim news agency, the chief of the country’s Atomic Energy Organization made the pronouncement, with Tehran informing the IAEA that it had taken down 27 cameras put up under the 2015 nuclear deal with the West. The Iranian nuclear agency’s head Mohammad Eslami said, “We will not turn on the IAEA cameras until the other side returns to the nuclear deal.”
Nasser Kanaani accused IAEA Chief Rafael Grossi of “unprofessional, unfair and unconstructive views” on Iran’s nuclear program during his weekly press conference, but said Iran would return to the nuclear deal if the US showed goodwill and if a “good and sustainable deal is reached.”
They’re really trying hard here to get the US to return to the deal. Although I’m very doubtful, we need to continue to hope and pray that the US will show a strong face to Iran and not return to this disastrous deal.
The home of the terrorist that killed the security guard in Ariel is destroyed by the IDF
Back in April, two terrorists snuck up to the guard post at the entrance to Ariel and opened fire on the security guard posted there with his fiancee. Vyacheslav Golev was killed while standing in front of his girlfriend trying to save her life. The terrorists were later caught and an indictment was brought against them by the military court.
The demolition of the home was repeatedly postponed due to the visit of US President Joe Biden in Israel, due to fears that the demolition of homes in a sensitive political period would lead to increased tensions between Jerusalem and Washington. But finally the IDF destroyed the home Monday night.