IDF Eyes Action on Iran
AFTER SURVIVING DRONE ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT, IRAQ PM URGES ‘CALM AND RESTRAINT’: Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi said he was unhurt and appealed for “calm and restraint” after a drone attack on his residence in Baghdad’s Green Zone early Sunday, November 7, as political tensions mount in the country.
The attack was a major escalation amid tensions sparked by the refusal of Iran-backed militias to accept last month’s parliamentary election results. Two Iraqi officials told The Associated Press that seven of al-Kadhimi’s security guards were injured in the attack with two armed drones which occurred in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone area. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to give official statements. “I’m doing fine, praise be to God, and I call for calm and restraint on the part of everyone for the good of Iraq,” al-Kadhimi wrote on Twitter, after what his office called a “failed assassination attempt.” He later appeared on Iraqi television, seated behind a desk in a white shirt, looking calm and composed. “Cowardly rocket and drone attacks don’t build homelands and don’t build a future,” he said. Two security sources earlier confirmed the attack in the heavily-guarded Green Zone, which also hosts the US embassy and is frequently targeted by rocket attacks. The United States condemned the attack as “an apparent act of terrorism.” “We are relieved to learn the prime minister was unharmed. This apparent act of terrorism, which we strongly condemn, was directed at the heart of the Iraqi state,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said. (TOI / VFI News)
IDF CHIEF OF STAFF: ‘ACCELERATING MILITARY PLANS TO TAKE CARE OF IRAN’: MK Ram Ben Barak (Yesh Atid) on Tuesday, November 9, held a meeting of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, which he chairs.
Before the start of the meeting, IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi said, “The IDF is accelerating its military plans to handle Iran.” “The budget which was approved allows us to deal with a variety of challenges,” he added. “We have many challenges, and we will continue to act to remove the threats and respond to every hit to our sovereignty.” Later, Kochavi thanked Ben Barak and the Committee’s members, saying, “We feel that we have here a deep understanding of the challenges of the hour, and the work is no less praiseworthy, thanks to your insistence on keeping the IDF national, and above all political disagreements.” (INN / VFI News)
ISRAEL TO EVACUATE FAMILIES OF DIPLOMATS FROM ETHIOPIA, STEPS UP TRAVEL WARNING: Amid an escalating civil war in Ethiopia, Israel’s Foreign Ministry on Saturday, November 6, announced it would begin evacuating the families of its diplomats stationed in the African country.
The Israeli diplomats themselves will continue to work at the Addis Ababa Embassy, ministry spokesman Lior Haiat said. The ministry on Saturday also announced an updated travel warning for Ethiopia, after an advisory to avoid non-essential trips was issued on Wednesday, which followed a state of emergency announcement from the African country. Ethiopia declared a nationwide state of emergency on Tuesday, a year into the civil war, and ordered residents of Addis Ababa to prepare to defend their neighborhoods amid fears that Tigrayan rebels were heading for the capital. Israel’s Saturday advisory recommended citizens planning to visit Ethiopia cancel their trip, and for those already there to leave immediately. On Wednesday, the advisory had only urged Israelis to refrain from going to conflict zones and to remain vigilant around the capital. The advisories came as the fighting between the Ethiopian government and rebels intensified following a year of war that has killed thousands and displaced millions. (TOI / VFI News)
MOSSAD THWARTS IRANIAN ATTACKS ON ISRAELIS IN AFRICA: The Mossad has thwarted multiple attacks by Iran against Israeli tourists and businessmen in at least three African countries, Channel 12 reported on Sunday night, November 7. According to the report, the targets were Israelis visiting Tanzania, Senegal and Ghana.
Five suspects, all with African passports, have reportedly been arrested. Iran has been seeking to harm Israel or Israelis – at sea, using cyberattacks and by attacking Israelis overseas. There is an ongoing shadow war between the countries going back decades, but Iranian efforts spiked since November 2020, after the Islamic Republic’s top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, was assassinated, allegedly by the Mossad. In addition, Iran has accused the Mossad of sabotaging its nuclear facilities in July 2020 as well as in April and June of this year. The Jerusalem Post and foreign outlets have also reported on Israeli intelligence assistance in the US’s assassination of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force Chief Qasem Soleimani in January 2020. In early October, some Israeli officials accused Tehran of trying to assassinate Israelis in Cyprus, something Tehran also attempted in 2012. Around the same 2012 period, there were Iranian plots to target Israelis in Thailand, India, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Kenya. In January, Iranian proxies attempted an attack against Israeli diplomats in India. Israeli intelligence officials have estimated that the Islamic Republic will continue to target Israelis and Jews in spots where they believe security is weaker, at least until they feel like they have achieved some amount of revenge and deterrence against Israeli attacks on Iran. (JPost / VFI News)
IRAN BOASTS OF BOOSTING ITS STOCKPILE OF 60% ENRICHED URANIUM TO 25 KG: Iran said it has almost doubled its stock of enriched uranium in less than a month, as it prepares to resume talks with world powers on curbing its nuclear program. Meanwhile, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency warned on Thursday, November 4, that its oversight capabilities in Iran are being weakened.
“We have more than 210 kilograms of uranium enriched to 20 percent, and we’ve produced 25 kilos at 60%, a level that no country apart from those with nuclear arms are able to produce,” said the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi, in a report carried by the semi-official Tasnim and Fars news agencies. Sixty percent enrichment is the highest level to which Iran has enriched uranium and is a short technical step to weapons-grade 90%. Under the nuclear agreement, Iran was barred from enriching uranium above 3.67%. Tehran has progressively abandoned its commitments to a 2015 nuclear deal since former US President Donald Trump pulled Washington out in 2018, prompting Washington to impose fresh sanctions in response. In September, the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed that Iran had boosted its stocks of uranium enriched above the percentage allowed in the deal. (TOI / VFI News)
IRON DOME SHOOTS DOWN HAMAS DRONE FLOWN OUT TO SEA: The Iron Dome missile defense system shot down a Hamas drone that was flown out to sea from the Gaza Strip on Monday, November 8, the Israel Defense Forces said.
The interception appeared to be the second time that the Iron Dome has shot down an enemy unmanned aerial vehicle following upgrades to the air defense system, which was initially designed only to counter short-range rockets. According to the IDF, the device “was monitored throughout the entire incident” by the air force’s ground control. The Iron Dome was first used operationally to intercept a Hamas drone in May, during an 11-day conflict with Palestinian terror groups in the Strip, known in Israel as Operation Guardian of the Walls. During the conflict, the system also mistakenly shot down an Israeli drone. The launching of the drone from Gaza came as Hamas fired a number of rockets out to sea, apparently as part of efforts to test its capabilities. Israel typically does not interfere when Hamas conducts test launches; however, it does generally shoot down any drones that are flown out of the Strip. Operation Guardian of the Walls left over a dozen people killed in Israel and some 250 killed in Gaza, roughly half of them terrorist operatives, and caused vast damage on both sides as terror groups fired thousands of rockets, mortar shells and missiles at Israel and the IDF retaliated with hundreds of airstrikes on targets throughout the Strip. Since the fighting ended, the two sides have been involved in ongoing ceasefire talks to negotiate a long-term truce. (TOI / VFI News)
SHEKEL HITS YET ANOTHER 25-YEAR HIGH AGAINST THE DOLLAR: The shekel-to-dollar exchange rate hit a new 25-year-high on Monday, November 8, with $1 briefly fetching just NIS 3.08 before closing for the day around NIS 3.11.
The shekel has been gaining in strength against major currencies like the dollar and euro, thanks in large part to high levels of foreign direct investment and the strength of the tech sector. While a stronger currency allows for cheaper imports, it can also hurt exporters by making their goods more expensive for foreign customers. The new record high came just days after the previous record high was briefly reached, before receding. The Globes business daily reported that the Bank of Israel intervened on Tuesday with a purchase of foreign currency to slow the shekel’s rise. The bank declined to comment. The currency’s strength is due to factors including Israel’s strong economy, foreign investments in Israeli companies moving capital into the country, Bank of Israel monetary policies, and strong global equities markets, which can cause Israeli financial institutions to sell foreign currency as their exposure rises. The shekel traded at around 3.6 to the dollar for several years, but more recently was in the 3.2 – 3.3 range. (TOI / VFI News)
FORD TO INSTALL ISRAELI WATER-FROM-AIR SYSTEM ON ITS VEHICLES: Ford has approached Israel-based Watergen, one of the world leaders in atmospheric water generation, to collaborate as facilitators for Ford off-grid adventure recreational vehicles.
The project will result in Watergen’s Mobile Box, the world’s first vehicle on-board water generating system, to be pre-installed on Ford vehicles. Watergen’s innovative Mobile Box device is the world’s first vehicle on-board drinking system capable of effortlessly extracting clean water from ambient air and made its world debut on the Ford Ranger pickup at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas last weekend. SEMA attracts more than 70,000 OEM and Tier One suppliers from around the globe, and the collaboration with Ford underlines Watergen’s ambition to become a global automotive supplier. The Mobile Box can generate up to 25 liters per day of fresh drinking water removing the need to carry bottled water and reducing plastic waste. The unit simply needs a 12V power supply and access to fresh air to produce the highest quality drinking water. Ford will mount the Mobile Box unit, which is fitted with sturdy wheels for ease of transport, on the flatbed of the Ranger where it will occupy minimal space due to its compact dimensions (630 x 530 x 460 mm). Its portability means that fresh water is always available – whether on a road trip, camping or working outdoors. The Mobile Box device is equipped with replaceable filters and a mineralization system to ensure a constant and reliable supply of the highest quality drinking water. The ability to produce clean drinking water without relying on an external water source is a gamechanger for those who seek off-grid adventure. (INN / VFI News)
The suggestions, opinions and scripture references made by VFI writers and editors are based on the best information received.
Blessings from Jerusalem,
Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff