Posts Tagged ‘Israel’

If you can’t bomb them from above, bomb them from within… their computer control systems, that is.

Deadly new Stuxnet, soldier in cyber war against Iranian nuclear facilities
DEBKAfile 23 Sept 2010

Debkafile’s military and intelligence sources note US press leaks appearing since Monday, Sept. 20, which maintain that the United States has embarked on a clandestine cyber war against Iran, and that Israel has established elite cyber war units for this purpose.

According to Washington sources, Obama has resolved to deal with the nuclear impasse with Iran by going after the Islamic republic on two tracks: UN and unilateral sanctions for biting deep into the financial resources Iran has earmarked for its nuclear program, and a secret cyber war which the US is conducting jointly with Israel for crippling its nuclear facilities.

Debkafile’s sources disclose that Israel has had special elite units carrying out such assignments for some time. Three years ago, for instance, cyber raiders played a role in the destruction of the plutonium reactor North Korea was building at A-Zur in northern Syria.

On Monday the Christian Science Monitor and several American technical journals carried revelations about a new virus called Stuxnet capable of attacking and severely damaging the servers of large projects, such as power stations and nuclear reactors. All the leaked reports agreed on three points:

1. Stuxnet is the most advanced and dangerous piece of Malware every devised.
2. The experts don’t believe any private or individual hackers are capable of producing this virus, only a high-tech state such as America or Israel.
3. Although Stuxnet was identified four months ago, the only servers known to have been affected and seriously damaged are located in Iran.

Some computer security specialists report lively speculation that the virus was invented specifically to target part of the Iranian nuclear infrastructure, either the Bushehr nuclear plant activated last month or the centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Debkafile’s sources add: Since August, American and UN nuclear watchdog sources have been reporting a slowdown in Iran’s enrichment processing due to technical problems which have knocked out a large number of centrifuges and which its nuclear technicians have been unable to repair. It is estimated that at Natanz alone, 3,000 centrifuges have been idled.

None of the reports indicate whether other parts of Iran’s nuclear program have been affected by Stuxnet or the scale of the damage it may have caused.

DEBKAfile Exclusive Report
September 3, 2010, 8:40 AM (GMT+02:00)

Tehran and its extremist and terrorist allies, having failed to abort Barack Obama’s initiative for direct Israel-Palestinian diplomacy, have hit back with two belligerent steps. Debkafile’s military sources disclose that Syria and the Lebanese Hizballah have set up a joint military command for sinking Israeli warships, and Hamas has brought all 13 Palestinian rejectionist organizations under one roof for a sustained bid to intensify terror operations against Israel.

At a news conference in Gaza early Friday, Sept. 3 – shortly after the Washington talks were rated positive – a Hamas military arm spokesman announced the creation of a single command encompassing all 13 Palestinian rejectionist groups operating out of the Gaza Strip and Damascus for a concerted campaign of terror against Israel.

In answer to a question, Abu Obeida said the new policy of expanded attacks may well rain missiles on Tel Aviv. “From now on, everything is open,” the Hamas spokesman said.

At that moment, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was on a flight home from Washington, surrounded by an intense PR effort to present him as emerging from his first conversation with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas as a super-peacemaker.

The Americans, the Palestinians and his own aides were well aware that the ceremonial

inauguration of the talks had yielded very little after their goals were sharply pared down. No accord but only a document of general principles is now expected to come out of the continuation of the dialogue – once every two weeks in the coming year. This, too, would oblige Israel to withdraw from large sections of the West Bank. Further steps were relegated to the distant future.

In the meantime, Syria, Hizballah and the Palestinian terrorist community are using the very act of diplomacy as the impetus for a violent response.

Whereas the prime minister’s rhetoric in Washington laid heavy emphasis on the negotiations measuring up to Israel’s security needs, in practice, he refrained from ordering an Israeli reprisal against the Hamas command centers which ordered two attacks on West Bank roads, although four Israeli civilians paid with their lives and two more were injured.

Syria, Hizballah and the Palestinian terrorist commands operating out of Damascus, Gaza, Beirut and Sidon to took this restraint as a starting signal for reviving concerted attacks on Israel. Syrian President Bashar Assad and Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah decided to expand the secret military cooperation pact they recently concluded – to which no Israeli political or military leader has so far responded – to the Mediterranean Sea, where their operational and intelligence assets will together seek out and try and sink Israeli missile ships and submarines.

To this end, they have earmarked marine units and their Iranian- and Russian-made shore-to-ship missile force – the largest of its kind in the world – as well as Syrian assault helicopters flown by crews trained to strike seaborne targets. The Hizballah marine unit was trained and equipped by Iranian Revolutionary Guards marine instructors.

The Mediterranean coastal strip from Syrian Latakia in the north, running through the Lebanese ports of Tripoli, Sidon and Tyre and down south to the Gaza Strip, have been declared a joint sea front dedicated to attacking Israeli targets.

High-ranking Israeli military sources told DEBKA file Thursday night that while it was hard to imagine Syrian or Hizballah managing to hit Israeli submarines, they are quite capable of fomenting violence on the sea and attacking Israeli naval craft and bases. Their joint command means they are sharing intelligence on Israeli naval activity and monitoring the movements of vessels while still in Israeli territorial waters and before they take up stations opposite the Lebanese or Syrian coasts.

Our military sources add that, from the strategic viewpoint, the Washington dialogue and the disproportionate hype surrounding it were counter-productive in that it led to the resumption of Hamas terrorist activities on the West Bank and strengthened the military partnership between Syria and Hizballah for aggression against Israel. Netanyahu’s single-minded focus on diplomacy at the expense of neglecting rising threats and blocking military activity allowed these perils to develop and abound.

His restraint did not help Mahmoud Abbas’ failing fortunes at home. His standing took a bad knock from the way Hamas managed to pull off two terrorist operations on the West Bank. In a desperate bid to show they were in control, Palestinian security sources reported Thursday night that two suspects were in custody for Monday’s drive-by shooting near Hebron and they had leads to the perpetrators.

Debkafile’s counter-terror sources disclose that the two “suspects” are the used car salesmen who sold the vehicle the Hamas gunmen used in their attack. They had no clues to offer about the identities or whereabouts of the purchasers who have disappeared without a trace.

Netanyahu is scheduled to continue his talks with Abbas in Sharm el-Sheikh on Sept. 14-15 – and again at fortnightly intervals during the coming year under Washington’s watchful eye. It is hard to see how they can keep going in a climate of rising military tensions and expanding terrorist outbreaks.

http://www.debka.com/article/9011/

Israel National News Online 3 June 2010
by Gil Ronen

The Rabbinical Council of Judea and Samaria issued a statement Thursday in which it said that the results of the incident in which Israel intercepted a flotilla trying to break the naval blockade of Gaza seem like the Biblical description of “the beginning of the Gog and Magog process where the world is against us, but which ends with the third and final redemption.”

The statement explained that while secular Zionism always wants Israel to be beloved by other nations, “the legitimacy of our people is not derived from the nations of the world and their poisonous traditions, rather from the Torah of Israel which teaches us that [Israel] ‘is a people that shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations'” (Numbers 23:9). They emphasized that there is no reason to be alarmed by the world’s condemnation as it is a predicted result of fear of Israel’s success.

The Council blessed the soldiers of the IDF and called for the formation of an emergency unity government that will lead the nation from a position of strength.

The Council was formed by Rabbi Zalman Melamed of Beit El and includes leading religious Zionist rabbis who are the spiritual leaders of communities in Judea and Samaria.

‘Gog and Magog’ is a reference is to chapters 38 and 39 in the book of Ezekiel, a part of which is read on the intermediate Sabbath of Sukkot (Tabernacles). These chapters describe a vision of a war where the world is united against Israel that will precede the final redemption of Israel and the world. The prophecy’s symbolism involves a prince called Gog of Magog, leader of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal, who leads a coalition that includes Persia (Iran), Cush, Phut, Gomer, and Beit Togarmah against Israel. There are various opinions regarding the modern identity of these nations.

As a sampling of passages from Ezekiel 39 shows, the prophesy predicts that the coalition will be defeated by Israel, at a time following Israel’s gathering from its exile:

And thou, son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say: Thus saith the Lord G-d: Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal; and I will turn thee about and lead thee on, and will cause thee to come up from the uttermost parts of the north; and I will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel; and I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand. Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the peoples that are with thee; I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort and to the beasts of the field, to be devoured.

(…)

Therefore thus saith the Lord G-d: Now will I bring back the captivity of Jacob, and have compassion upon the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for My holy name. And they shall bear their shame, and all their breach of faith which they have committed against Me, when they shall dwell safely in their land, and none shall make them afraid; when I have brought them back from the peoples, and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations.

And they shall know that I am the Lord their G-d, in that I caused them to go into captivity among the nations, and have gathered them unto their own land; and I will leave none of them any more there; neither will I hide My face any more from them; for I have poured out My spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord G-d.’

The dramatic flotilla incident and the international reactions to it have sparked intense emotion, and unusual unity, among the Jewish public in Israel.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/137869

This morning I did a search for “Turkey” from within Fars News online (Iranian news site). The results beg the question, Who is doing what with the Gaza Flotilla? Notice the date on the following article. FYI, Turkey is working closely with Iran to further Iran’s nuclear ambitions. There are quite a lot of Fars News articles on that.
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Iran Seeking to Maximize Cooperation with Turkey
Farsnews online 25 May 2010

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian First Vice-President Mohammad Reza Rahimi hailed the brotherly ties between Tehran and Ankara, stressing that the ground is ready for a stride in the expansion of the two countries’ joint cooperation.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran pursues expansion of ties and joint cooperation with Turkey in a brotherly and full-scale manner,” Rahimi said on Monday in a meeting with Turkish Ambassador to Tehran Umit Yardim.

He … reiterated that Iran and Turkey should strive to promote their cooperation as fast as possible, cautioning that paused movement on this course would lead to the delayed attainment of the desired results(emphasis added).

Rahimi also pointed to the Tehran-Ankara agreement on increasing the volume of trade exchanges to $30bln….

In March, Iranian and Turkish officials signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to expand mutual cooperation in different industrial fields, specially in textile, auto-manufacturing and power industries.

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=8903040861

Israel attacks Gaza aid fleet
Excerpts from Aljazeera online news article 31 May 2010

Photo: Israel commandos board boat in pro-Palestinian flotilla.

Israeli forces have attacked a flotilla of aid-carrying ships aiming to break the country’s siege on Gaza. At least 19 people were killed and dozens injured when troops intercepted the convoy of ships dubbed the Freedom Flotilla early on Monday, Israeli radio reported.

The Israeli military said four soldiers had been wounded and claimed troops opened fire after “demonstrators onboard attacked the IDF Naval personnel with live fire and light weaponry including knives and clubs”.

Condemnation has been quick to pour in after the Israeli action. Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, officially declared a three-day state of mourning over Monday’s deaths.

Turkey, Spain, Greece, Denmark and Sweden have all summoned the Israeli ambassador’s in their respective countries to protest against the deadly assault.

Thousands of Turkish protesters tried to storm the Israeli consulate in Istanbul soon after the news of the operation broke. The protesters shouted “Damn Israel” as police blocked them.

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2010/05/201053133047995359.html
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Israel braces for Turkish, Hizballah, Hamas reprisals. Greece halts joint drill.
DEBKAfile Special Report May 31, 2010, 1:45 PM (GMT+02:00)

“Far from being a humanitarian mission, the flotilla was sponsored personally by Turkish prime minister Recep Erdogan to break the Israeli blockade on Gaza and permit arms supplies and terrorist to reach the Strip unrestricted.”

Debkafile’s military sources report Israeli concerns that Turkey may not confine itself to strong diplomatic retaliation for the Israel Navy’s seizure Monday, May 31, of the Marmora, the Turkish vessel leading the flotilla for breaking the Gaza blockade and resort to military action along with the Iranian-backed Hizballah and Hamas.

A statement from Ankara threatened “unprecedented and incalculable” reprisals, following which the Turkish chief of staff Gen. Ilker Basbug was recalled urgently to Ankara from a visit to Egypt. Greece has since halted its joint exercise with Israel in protest against the naval action.

Debkafile reports from Ankara that the Turkish government is planning to continue pounding the Israeli blockade with more flotillas and have them escorted by Turkish warships and fighter jets. Israel merchant vessels moored outside Ashdod port have been instructed to sail into port and take shelter in case of missile attacks from the Gaza Strip against Ashdod and Ashkelon.

Monday morning, Israeli warplanes headed west over the Mediterranean in support of the still ongoing Israeli commando operation aboard the Turkish Marmora, the scene of violent clashes between Israeli troops and the 600 “peace activists,” some of them armed. Ankara later reported 15 dead aboard the vessel.

Israeli army spokesman, Col. Avi Beneyahu, called the incident “an act of terror on the high seas.” Far from being a humanitarian mission, the flotilla was sponsored personally by Turkish prime minister Recep Erdogan to break the Israeli blockade on Gaza and permit arms supplies and terrorist to reach the Strip unrestricted.

It aimed at provoking a widely publicized international incident with fatalities and showing Israel using strong-arm tactics against unarmed peace-lovers.

Its leaders and the nations involved therefore refused to heed warnings that the vessels would be prevented from entering Gaza Port and rejected Israeli offers to ferry their aid cargo overland to the Gaza Strip. Population within missile range of Gaza advised to take shelter in secured areas.

The pro-Hamas passengers were described as mobbing the Israeli commandos as they were dropped onto the Marmara’s deck, using knives and iron bars to beat them and shooting with a sidearm snatched from a soldier and at least two other pistols recovered empty from two of the bodies.

Israeli security forces are preparing for the Lebanese Hizballah and Palestinian Hamas to go back to shooting missiles and rockets against Israeli towns, in support of the seaborne attack on Israeli commandos.

The police are also on special alert in and around Israeli Arab communities, after Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyah called them out on a general strike, and the Holy Places, especially in Jerusalem.

Egypt will face pressure to end its joint embargo on Gaza with Israel at the Arab League Council meeting urgently Tuesday, June 1. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas demanded the session.

Demonstrations against Israel were staged in Syrian and Lebanese towns. Jordan hands stiff complaint to head of Israeli diplomatic mission in Amman.

http://www.debka.com/article/8823/

Reuters 11 May 2010

Photo: Israeli soldiers carry their comrade on a stretcher as they run during a training session at their base near the southern city of Ashdod, October 29, 2009. Credit: Reuters/Amir Cohen.

Israel is primed for a war on Iran, a deputy to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday, in a rare break with his government’s reticence as world powers try to talk Tehran into curbing its nuclear plans.

By spearheading assaults on guerrillas in neighboring Lebanon and Palestinian territories, the Israeli air force had gained the techniques necessary for any future strikes on Iranian sites, Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon said.

“There is no doubt that the technological capabilities, which improved in recent years, have improved range and aerial refueling capabilities, and have brought about a massive improvement in the accuracy of ordnance and intelligence,” he told a conference of military officers and experts.

“This capability can be used for a war on terror in Gaza, for a war in the face of rockets from Lebanon, for war on the conventional Syrian army, and also for war on a peripheral state like Iran,” said Yaalon, a former armed forces chief.

Israel, which is assumed to have the Middle East’s only atomic arsenal, bombed Iraq’s nuclear reactor in 1981 and launched a similar sortie in Syria in 2007.

But its veiled threats against foe Iran have been questioned by some independent analysts who see the potential targets as too distant, dispersed, numerous and well-defended for Israeli warplanes to take on alone.

Israel’s leaders rarely use the term “war” while publicly discussing how to deal with Iran, in whose often secretive uranium enrichment, long-range missile projects and hostile rhetoric the Jewish state sees a mortal threat.

Read the entire article: http://bit.ly/9EIRaq

Al Jazeera online 15 March 2010

Historic Synagogue reopens in Old Jerusalem

The Hurva synagogue was reopened officially on Monday after five years of reconstruction. Israel stepped up security in occupied Jerusalem as Jews gathered for the reopening of what they consider as one of the most important Jewish places of worship.

The synagogue, first built in 1694, was first destroyed in 1721 and then blown to pieces in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. The walled Old City is at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which makes the reopening of the synagogue controversial.

“This is no mere synagogue,” Hatem Abdel Qader, the official in charge of Jerusalem affairs for Fatah, the party led by Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, said.”This synagogue will be a prelude to violence and religious fanaticism and extremism, and this is not limited to Jewish extremists but includes members of the Israeli government.”

Qader and another senior Fatah member had called upon Israeli Arabs to go to al-Aqsa site and protect it from Israel… thousands of police and border guards were deployed across the Old City.

“We are about 350 metres (less than 1/4 mile) from al-Haram al-Sharif (Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa), one of Islam’s holiest sites, and the towering presence of the Hurva synagogue has been called a provocation by Palestinian leaders and religious figures.”

“Considering the risk of trouble, we maintain the state of alert and restrictions on access to the Temple Mount,” Micky Rosenfeld, the Israeli police spokesman, said on Monday.

http://bit.ly/adWwXC

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Israel seals off West Bank
CNN Online March 12, 2010

Jerusalem (CNN) — Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has ordered the army to seal off the West Bank for 48 hours and tightened security around the old city of Jerusalem, Israeli officials said Friday.

The closing of the West Bank follows Israel’s controversial announcement this week that it plans to build 1,600 new apartments on land in Jerusalem claimed by both Israel and the Palestinians.

Medical workers and patients, religious workers, teachers, humanitarian workers, and journalists will still be permitted to enter and leave the West Bank, the IDF said.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said there was extensive deployment of police in largely Arab East Jerusalem in order to prevent the development of riots.

Worshipers younger than 50 and women of any age were not being allowed to attend Friday prayers at the Al Aqsa mosque, one of the city’s holiest sites, Rosenfeld said. Police were stationed at a number of points around the compound known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as Haram-al-Sharif, police said.

http://bit.ly/abncFK

Why would Russia care about itty-bitty Israel, I’ve sometimes wondered, thinking in practical, political terms about end-times theology, Gog and Magog, all that. What would be the set up for such a move? A paragraph in an Investors.com article offers one clue, to me at least.

The Biggest Abdication By The West Since The 1930s
By MARK STEYN
Investors.com online 02/19/2010

… In Eastern Europe, a nuclear Iran will vastly advance Russia’s plans for a de facto reconstitution of its old empire: In an unstable world, Putin will offer himself as the protection racket you can rely on. And you’d be surprised how far west “Eastern” Europe extends:

Moscow’s strategic view is of a continent not only energy-dependent on Russia but also security-dependent. And, when every European city is within range of Teheran and other psycho states, there’ll be plenty of takers for that when the alternative is an effete and feckless Washington.

To read the entire article: http://bit.ly/bbgHp7

Here are two articles about Iran’s nuclear activities that I came across today.

Nuclear detector set up on Iran border
Jerusalem Post 4 Dec 2009

… UN agency completing a nuclear test detection station in Turkmenistan, just a few kilometers from the Iranian border.

The PS44 installation is the 337th facility of the International Monitoring System. It was set up by the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), a network of stations across the globe that monitors the atmosphere to detect nuclear blasts by countries secretly testing nuclear weapons. PS44 is expected to be operational by 2010, once it has been tested.

http://bit.ly/7GD5wb

Iran successfully simulates nuclear warhead detonation

DEBKAfile Special Report 4 December 2009

German intelligence reports that Iranian scientists have successfully simulated the detonation of a nuclear warhead in laboratory conditions, in an effort to sidestep an underground nuclear test like the one that brought the world down on North Korea’s head earlier this year.

DEBKAfile’s Iranian and intelligence sources report that this development is alarming because detonation is one of the most difficult technological challenges in the development of a nuclear weapon. Mastering it carries Iran past one of the last major obstacles confronting its program for the manufacture of a nuclear warhead.

http://bit.ly/7GlNAi

Jerusalem Post 19 Nov 09

Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, is deploying more peacekeepers to Lebanon to join a UN mission monitoring a cease-fire between Israel and Hizbullah terrorists.

http://bit.ly/1u6Avw