IDF prevents terrorist bombing

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21 Feb 2012
IDF prevents terrorist bombing

Units of the IDF and Israel Police conducting routine anti-smuggling operations near the Egyptian-Israeli border overnight Monday discovered a large improvised explosive device which they believe could have been intended for a terrorist attack. The incident occurred against the backdrop of a threat issued by Mohammad Hejazi, deputy head of Iran’s armed forces, who told the semi-official Fars news agency Tuesday that "our strategy now is that if we feel our enemies want to endanger Iran's national interests, and want to decide to do that, we will act without waiting for their actions." Iran has long sponsored terrorist proxy militias in the Gaza Strip and south Lebanon and occasionally used them to strike Israel. Hajazi’s threat was widely interpreted as meant to deter an Israeli military strike on the Islamic Republic.

Controversy raging over award for Palestinian pastor
Christian and Jewish organizations in Germany have called on officials of the Media Control organization to rescind a humanitarian award it plans to give to Bethlehem-based Lutheran pastor Mitri Raheb, who told a conference in 2010 that “Israel represents Rome of the Bible, not the people of the land.” Karlheinz Kögel, the founder of the prize, wrote in an email to The Jerusalem Post on Friday that a “deep conflict has unfolded and we do not want to boost it,” while admitting that he had “received hundreds of protest emails.” Raheb responded in an interview with the daily Frankfurter Rundschau last week, complaining that “most of the accusations are not coming from Jews, but rather from Christian Zionists. They do not want a Palestinian to receive a prize in Germany.”

Peres receives mixed response in Nazareth
Israeli President Shimon Peres was in Nazareth on Monday in an effort to build bridges with the Biblical city’s 80,000 Arab residents, drawing a mixed response. While Peres was welcomed by an official delegation from the municipality, a crowd representing the Balad Party and the Islamic Movement (the Moslem Brotherhood branch among Israeli Arabs) staged a protest outside the municipal cultural center where Peres spoke. Two protesters were arrested for disturbing the peace and attacking police. “I say he should come, though he is not loved here,” Riad Sahdal, a local resident, told The Jerusalem Post.

Iran accused of meddling in Saudi Arabia
The Interior Ministry in Saudi Arabia issued a statement on Monday that violence in its eastern provinces, largely populated by Shi’ites, will be crushed. The statement also blamed the problems on “foreign-backed troublemakers” which is a widely recognized reference to Iran. "It is the state's right to confront those that confront it first... and the Saudi Arabian security forces will confront such situations... with determination and force and with an iron first," the ministry said. "Some of those few [who attacked security forces] are manipulated by foreign hands.” In related news, an Iranian man sought by police in Thailand on suspicion of involvement in a recent terrorist plot to attack Israeli diplomats is believed to have fled to Iran. Thai police declared that they “will seek him through diplomatic channels.”

Air Force looking to improve amid tight budgets
Despite tight budgets and ongoing problems with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, the Israel Air Force is proceeding with plans to secure a second squadron of the aircraft to be delivered starting in 2020. Israel finalized the order for its first squadron of 20 F-35s in a $2.75 billion deal with the Pentagon and American defense giant Lockheed Martin in October, 2010.

French Agricultural experts tour Israel
A group of top agricultural experts from France toured the Beit Dagan facility as guests of Israel’s Agriculture Ministry on Monday, part of efforts by the Jewish State to share knowledge and technology to improve the quality of life for citizens of friendly countries. The tour was organized by the France-Israel Foundation, a French organization working to effect reconciliation in the sometimes rocky relationship between Israel and France. The tour will also include visits to Jerusalem and several kibbutzim, as well as Israeli NGO’s and educational centers dedicated to agricultural research. “French agriculturalists are interested to know how this country that is in drought was able to become an agricultural producer,” Nicole Guedj, president of the France-Israel Foundation, told The Jerusalem Post. “Israel gets a lot of interest in this world precisely because Israel has done the proof that it is capable of introducing solutions and anticipating problems that the French agricultural world knows today.”


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