It has now been 16 days since Eyal Yifrah, 19, Gilad Shaar, 16, and Naftali Fraenkel, 16 were kidnapped and last seen alive. Wherever you are, support the campaign to “Bring Back Our Boys”.
UPDATES 7 pm Israel time, Sunday, June 29 2014:
**The temperature in Eilat yesterday, 47.7 degrees Centigrade, was the highest temperature ever recorded anywhere in Israel in the month of June.
**Again, there is no news concerning the three kidnapped Israeli teenagers. The IDF has pledged to continue the search, but as was reported on israelstreet yesterday, the Palestinian life around Hebron has basically returned to normal. Yesterday, the IDF was reduced to handing out sweets to Palestinian children to help them celebrate the start of Ramadan–though the sweets did carry a pointed message:
**The missile fire emanating from PLO-Hamas terrorists in Gaza continues unabated with at least six more exploding in southern Israel in the last 24 hours. One missile scored a direct hit on a factory in Sderot which was completely engulfed in flames and destroyed. Three workers inside made it out alive but were “moderately burned”.
In its usual response, the IAF spent the night striking 12 targets in Gaza including “weapons warehouses” and “buried launching sites.” These phrases are IDF code for “empty buildings” and “empty land”.
**An interesting news item out of Beirut yesterday was that Hezbollah had canceled its long-standing annual breakfast before Ramadan. According to Hezbollah officials, it is simply too dangerous for so many Hezbollah officials and followers to be gathered in one place for fear of a Sunni (read ISIS*) suicide bomber.
Meanwhile, more Hezbollah bodies were brought back from Syria to Lebanon yesterday, and the leading Iranian commander in Damascus, Dadallah Shibani, was assassinated.
The situation in Iraq, which threatens to entangle Israel, continues to unravel.
Yesterday, we had the fully impotent foreign policy of the United States on stark display with John Kerry indicating that the U.S. is now ready to “reluctantly” arm and train “moderate Syrian rebels”–who are currently fighting against Assad and his Iranian and Hezbollah allies–to come across the border and fight against ISIS in Iraq.
Are you following this?
Militants who have been fighting in Syria against the Syrian regime with little to no support from Washington are now supposed to pull out of that fight, get trained by the U.S. (where?), and then move into Iraq to stop the ongoing takeover of the country by ISIS. Suddenly they are supposed to become allies of Iran and Hezbollah in a pincer movement to stop ISIS.
Whoever concocted this bizarre plan in the White House deserves a medal for idiocy.
Meanwhile, Iranian foreign policy is clear with reports this morning of numerous Iranian cargo planes landing in Baghdad loaded with 70 tons of weapons for the Maliki government. This supply comes on the heels of Iranian Revolutionary Guards being deployed to Baghdad and ISIS claims that it is within one hour of the Iraqi capital.
How does this all affect Israel?
First, ISIS is already in Judea and Samaria (and possibly in Israeli-Arab communities in Israel). As has been noted here, it was an ISIS group in Hebron that originally claimed responsibility for kidnapping the three Israeli teenagers.
Second, ISIS is already in Gaza. Yesterday, the Egyptian military arrested 15 ISIS members as they attempted to infiltrate from Gaza into the Sinai via PLO-Hamas smuggling tunnels. The Egyptians identified the ISIS militants as Iraqis, Syrians, and Palestinians and said that interrogations revealed they were going to attempt to set up a branch of ISIS in Egypt to overthrow the Egyptian government.
Third, ISIS elements are already in Jordan–and there were even unconfirmed reports yesterday that local ISIS followers had taken over a Jordanian town near the Iraqi border. Of course, ISIS has already taken control the border checkpoints on the Iraqi side. According to a report in the Washington Post newspaper, “dozens of young people held demonstrations this week against King Abdullah Ma’an in southern Jordan covering their faces with black masks and carrying signs painted with the ISIS/DAAS icon.” One of the protestors proclaimed: “We do not trust the government or respect it, and looked for an alternative that will ensure our basic rights. In ISIS/DAAS we found our alternative.”
PM Netanyahu has already stated that Israel, if asked by the Jordanian government, would intervene militarily to stop the advance of ISIS forces from Iraq into Jordan–but what would Israel do in the face of an internal uprising against the Jordanian government?
*ISIS (English) and DAAS (Arabic) are one and the same.
ISIS: The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria
DAAS: al-Dawlah al-Islamiyah fi al-Iraq wa-al Sham