“The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear?” Ps. 27:1
AUSTRALIA SET TO RECOGNIZE JERUSALEM AS ISRAEL’S CAPITAL: Australia is reportedly set to formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Australian public television station SBS reported on Tues. 11 Dec. 2018. The move is to be officially announced on Wed. 12 Nov.2018. “However, the embassy won’t be moved from Tel Aviv just yet,” the report said. “Instead a consular office will be opened, the sources said, due to the cost of the move, pegged at $200 million.” (J. Post)
SECOND AND THIRD HEZBOLLAH ATTACK TUNNELS DISCOVERED AT LEBANON BORDER: UN peacekeepers in Lebanon last week confirmed the existence of a tunnel discovered by the Israeli military close to the blue line separating the two countries. UNIFIL said on Thurs. 6 Dec. 2018 that it was “pursuing urgent follow-up action.” The IDF asked UNIFIL to “neutralize” Hezbollah attack tunnels after it announced that it had uncovered a second underground passageway, which originated from the southern Lebanese village of Ramya and extended into Israeli territory. The IDF at the same time presented the UN Interim Force in Lebanon with its first concrete evidence of the tunnels, while the head of UNIFIL’s mission Major-General Stefano Del Col visited northern Israel with a technical team. The army said the rocky terrain near the Lebanese border actually made seismic locating technologies more effective than they were in the sandy terrain near Gaza. (Reuters/J.Post)
BENNETT SAYS ISRAEL WILL DESTROY LEBANON IF WAR BREAKS OUT: Education Minister Naftali Bennett, a member of the political-security cabinet, said on Fri. 7 Dec. 2018 that Lebanon would pay a heavy price if war broke out between Israel and the Hezbollah terrorist group. Bennett’s remarks came as the IDF started an operation last week to destroy Hezbollah’s terror tunnels on the northern border. Bennett warned that Israel would destroy Lebanon should war break out between Hezbollah and the Jewish State. “Hezbollah equals Lebanon. We will no longer agree to see Hezbollah as an independent and separate organization from the state of Lebanon, as we did in the Second Lebanon War,” Bennett tweeted. “If heaven forbid, rockets are fired from Lebanon at Israel, it would be seen as an act of war by the sovereign state of Lebanon on the State of Israel, with all that this implies.” During the Second Lebanon War in 2006, Israel did not target Lebanon directly, reserving the brunt of its military force on Hezbollah. (Arutz-7)
BAHRAIN CRITICIZES HEZBOLLAH OVER TUNNELS: Bahrain’s Foreign Minister, Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, on Friday, 7 Dec. 2018 blasted Hezbollah for digging terrorist tunnels from Lebanon into Israeli territory. “Is the digging of tunnels by the organization not an open threat to the stability of Lebanon? Who bears responsibility when the neighboring countries take upon themselves the task of getting rid of the danger that threatens them?” he wrote in Arabic on Twitter. The IDF launched Operation Northern Shield last week in order to dismantle terrorist tunnels dug by Hezbollah from Lebanon into Israeli territory. The operation has been backed by the US, Germany, Britain, Russia and the European Union. Bahrain has in the past been critical of Hezbollah and of Iran, which supports the terrorist group. In 2013 Bahrain became the first Arab country to blacklist Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. (Arutz-7)
MISSILE ONSLAUGHT IN NEXT WAR WILL NOT ALLOW TEL AVIV CAFES TO STAY OPEN, IDF GENERAL WARNS: “In the next war in Gaza or on the northern front, Tel Aviv residents won’t be able to drink their coffee in cafes,” Maj.-Gen. Tamir Yadai said this month at a conference for the heads of local authorities. “In 2019 there will be a more complex threat to Israel, along with the capabilities which we are familiar with. The threat to the Israeli home front will be very challenging, especially around the ability to ensure essential services for the civilian population and the resilience of Israeli society,” Yadai said. Hezbollah is known to have rebuilt their arsenal since the last war fought between the two in 2006, with at least 100,000 short-range rockets and several thousand more missiles that can reach central Israel, including Tel Aviv. Meanwhile on Israel’s southern front, Hamas is believed to have at least 10,000 rockets and mortar shells and Palestinian Islamic Jihad is said to have around 8,000 rockets and mortars shells. While Hezbollah has never fired on Tel Aviv, rockets launched by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad have reached Tel Aviv, Israel’s commercial capital.
According to Yadai, Israel will also have to cope with the evacuation of thousands of residents away from the frontlines. “The Middle East is organized differently. There is a possibility of launching military campaigns on both the northern and the southern fronts, since we are aware of coordination attempts,” he said, adding that efforts to infiltrate into Israel as well as new cyber capabilities by Israel’s enemies are expected in any future conflict. Israel has never carried out a mandatory evacuation of any community since the founding of the state but in addition to the threat posed by Hezbollah rocket barrage, the IDF is now concerned about the very real possibility of ground attacks by the terror group’s Radwan unit against Israeli civilian communities in border communities. As such, with close to 1 million Israelis living in Israel’s north, an estimated quarter million would be evacuated from 22 communities along the border in case a war breaks out with Hezbollah. Several thousands of residents living in communities bordering the Gaza Strip are also expected to be evacuated in the next war with Hamas and other terror groups in the coastal enclave. (J.Post)
UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY VOTES 87-57 TO CONDEMN HAMAS: A majority of UN member states voted in favor of a General Assembly resolution put forward by the US on Thur. 6 Dec. 2018 condemning the activities of Hamas and other terror groups in Gaza. While 87 voted in favor, 57 voted against, and 33 abstained, the measure was not adopted because, in a procedural vote held before the main vote on the resolution, it was decided to require a two-thirds majority for passage. US Representative to the UN, Nikki Haley, said that despite more than 500 General Assembly resolutions condemning Israel, not one condemning Hamas has ever been adopted. She described the two-thirds decision, which passed by just a handful of votes, as “unfair.” Israeli PM Netanyahu, however, on Fri. 7 Dec. 2018 hailed majority backing in the UN General Assembly for the US draft resolution condemning Hamas. “This is the first time that a majority of countries have voted against Hamas and I commend each of the 87 countries that took a principled stand. I thank the American administration and USA ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley for the initiative.” (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
‘CIVILIZATION IS INDEBTED TO THE JEWISH PEOPLE:’ US President Donald Trump spoke on Thur. 6 Dec. 2018 at the White House Hanukkah reception. The reception was attended by hundreds of American Jewish leaders. In addition to Trump and his wife Melania, the event was also attended by Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen, members of the Trump family and his close advisers. “More than 2,000 years ago, a band of Jewish patriots led by Judah Maccabee reclaimed their freedom from an oppressive dictator who persecuted the Jewish people and ransacked the Holy Temple,” he said. The President noted that the Jewish people throughout history have suffered repression and violence, “yet in the face of this hardship the Jewish people have endured, overcome and thrived. My administration will always stand with our cherished friend and partner, the State of Israel,” he declared. “Civilization is indebted to the Jewish people for their incredible contributions to art and science, history, culture and society. Since the founding of America, Jewish communities have uplifted every aspect of our national life. Today we renew our gratitude for those amazing blessings, and we reaffirm our unbreakable solidarity with the Jewish people,” said Trump. “Happy Hanukkah!” (INN)
GREENBLATT BLASTS COUNTRIES THAT WORKED TO DEFEAT UN VOTE: Jason Greenblatt, the US Special Representative for International Negotiations, on Fri. 7 Dec. 2018 blasted the countries which acted to thwart the previous day’s UN vote at the UN General Assembly on a US-backed resolution condemning the Hamas terrorist organization. Greenblatt was responding on Twitter to Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) who had written, “It’s a disgrace and an embarrassment that the UN failed to pass a simple measure condemning Hamas’ violent attacks on innocent civilians.” In response, Greenblatt wrote, “Thank you Rep. Steve Scalise for raising awareness of this SHAMEFUL vote by the UN yesterday. This result and the games played by certain countries to defeat the vote by raising the required threshold for success to 2/3 just for this vote is very important to think and talk about.” Greenblatt had taken to Twitter hours after the vote, and written, “Absolutely shameful!! UN failed to condemn Hamas even after years of attacks via suicide bombings, kidnappings, missiles, and more against Israelis. The applause after the vote says it all. Hamas hurts Israelis, Palestinians and peace. When will the UN speak the truth???” (INN)
ISRAEL CONGRATULATES NAUERT ON UN APPOINTMENT: The Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, congratulated Heather Nauert on her appointment as UN Ambassador instead of Nikki Haley. “Mrs. Nauert stood beside Israel in her previous roles and I have no doubt that the cooperation between the two countries will continue to strengthen during her term as well. In the course of the past two years, we succeeded – with the close cooperation of Ambassador Nikki Haley – to transform the hostile atmosphere in the UN and achieve unprecedented accomplishments,” said Danon. “Ambassador Haley will always remain a true friend of the State of Israel,” he added. Nauert, a former Fox News anchor, was spokeswoman for the US State Department in the last nineteen months. (Arutz-7)
The suggestions, opinions and scripture references made by JNN writers and editors are based on the best information received.
Blessings from Jerusalem,
Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff