Israel Upgrades Ability to Attack Iran
ISRAEL UPGRADES MILITARY PLANS TO ATTACK IRAN: In face of Iran’s continued development of a nuclear capability, the Israeli Air Force has developed a new capability to be able to fly its F-35 stealth fighter jets from Israel to the Islamic Republic without requiring mid-air refueling.
The development is a boost to IAF capabilities and comes as the Israeli military has upped its preparations for a future strike against Iran’s nuclear capabilities. In addition, the IAF recently integrated a new one-ton bomb into the arsenal of weapons used by the F-35s (known in the IAF as the “Adir”) that can be carried inside the plane’s internal weapons compartment without jeopardizing its stealth radar signature. The bomb – made by Rafael Advanced Weapons Systems – is said to be autonomous and protected against jamming and electronic warfare systems. The bomb was recently used in a series of IAF tests, the results of which were presented to Defense Minister Benny Gantz. The IAF has held four large-scale drills simulating attacks against Iran over the last month. The first drill included confronting Iranian radar and detection systems, like those which protect its nuclear installations. The second included simulating long-range combat flights – in this case to destinations in Europe. The other drills included defensive measures against cyber weapons and electronic warfare systems, means that could be used by Iran to undermine an Israeli military operation. News of the progress in military preparedness came just a day after Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that Israel’s Iran strategy has changed in the last year, and it is “acting against the head… and not just its arms, as we had in recent years.” During the recent military maneuvers, the IAF also drilled cooperation between fifth-generation fighter jets like the F-35 and fourth-generation jets like Israel’s older model F15s and F-16s. The planes practiced sharing intelligence, missions and more. “Iran’s surface-to-air missile systems and radars are crowded and they are not the only challenge,” a defense official said. “We need to be able to attack targets that are significant and the attack needs to be able to cause extensive damage. There are multiple targets in Iran at different ranges.” (INN / VFI News)
IRANIAN GENERAL THREATENS TO ‘RAZE TEL AVIV AND HAIFA TO THE GROUND’: On Tuesday, June 7, Iran threatened to “raze” the cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa.
“For any mistake made by the enemy, we will raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground by the order of the Supreme Leader,” the Islamic Republic’s ground forces commander, Kiumars Heydari, said. The threat came less than a day after a report said that Thai security forces had thwarted several recent Iranian attempts to harm Western and Israeli targets in the Southeast Asian country — a popular tourist destination for Israelis. Iran has reportedly been trying to retaliate for several high-profile assassinations and mysterious deaths in the Islamic Republic in recent months, including of an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps colonel and a top scientist. While the attempts in Thailand seem to have failed, Tehran is still believed to be planning attacks against Israelis there and elsewhere. Most notably, Israel has issued a rare direct warning to Israelis traveling or planning to travel to Turkey. (TOI / VFI News)
IRAN REMOVES TWO IAEA SURVEILLANCE CAMERAS FROM NUCLEAR FACILITY: Iran removed two surveillance cameras of the International Atomic Energy Agency from one of its nuclear facilities on Wednesday, June 8, in response to an expected censure from the nuclear watchdog’s Board of Governors.
The move marked a mild escalation, but still fell short of potential Iranian threats to completely kick out the IAEA, withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, or enrich its uranium stock up to the 90% weaponized level. “So far, the IAEA has not only been ungrateful for Iran’s extensive cooperation but has also considered it as a duty. From today, relevant authorities have ordered that surveillance cameras of the Online Enrichment Monitor (OLEM) be shut down,” reports said.The United States, Britain, Germany and France angered Iran by submitting to the IAEA’s governing board a draft resolution criticizing Iran for not fully answering the watchdog’s questions on uranium traces at undeclared sites. The resolution text, seen by Reuters and little changed from a draft circulated last week, will be debated and voted on at this week’s quarterly meeting of the IAEA’s 35-nation Board of Governors, possibly as soon as Wednesday night.Several diplomats said the resolution was likely to pass easily despite Iranian warnings of retaliation and consequences that could further undermine already stalled talks on rescuing Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. Iran’s ally Russia, one of the powers, opposes such a resolution. (JPost / VFI News)
UKRAINE WANTS IRON DOME SALE FROM ISRAEL, BLASTS ANTI-TANK MISSILE REFUSAL: Kyiv wants to purchase Israel’s Iron Dome air defenses system and for Jerusalem to sign off on the transfer of its Spike SR anti-tank guided missile system from Germany to Ukraine, the country’s ambassador, Yevgen Korniychuk, told reporters on Tuesday, June 7.
“Last week, from what I know for sure, Americans gave permission for the anti-spike missiles to be transferred from Germany to Ukraine, and Israel said no,” said Korniychuk, adding that Berlin wanted to make the transfer. In so doing, he confirmed a report that Israel had refused to sign off on the transfer of its anti-tank defense system, produced by the Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. Rafael has already sold the SPIKE 5th-generation ATGM (anti-tank guided missile) to 18 European Union and NATO members.The Israeli missile, which is capable of penetrating 99.06 cm (39 inches) of armor, can be operated in either a direct attack or mid-course navigation based on target coordinates only. These modes enable the destruction of long-range hidden targets with pinpoint precision, damage assessment and obtaining real-time intelligence. With non-line-of-sight capabilities, SPIKE has a range of up to 32 km., and can be fired from vehicles, helicopters, ships and ground launchers. The ATGM has advanced electro-optic seekers that include the capabilities of a smart target tracker with artificial intelligence features, increasing its lethality. Designed to be used against new modern targets with a low signature and time-sensitive characteristics, the SPIKE ATGM can be fired at grid target coordinates, including advanced armor and protection systems, making it one of the only missiles in the world with this capability. The ambassador had just returned from Ukraine, where he witnessed firsthand the war Russia has been waging on his country since February 24. Israel is no longer focused on the war, Korniychuk charged. “Ukraine has been removed from the Israeli press almost completely,” he said. “So there is no war anymore.” The absence of war news is reflective of the government’s unease with the war, he said, such that it is more comfortable placing the war on the back burner. Israel has hesitated to provide Ukraine with any military assistance, even that of a defensive nature, given that it has attempted to maintain ties with both Moscow and Kyiv, serving both sides as a go-between negotiator. Korniychuk said that the Iron Dome system is not a weapon, but a tool that will save civilian lives. (JPost / VFI News)
UN BLAMES ISRAEL FOR CONFLICT WITH PALESTINIANS: Israel is largely to blame for its conflict with the Palestinians, the United Nations charged in the initial report by its highly contentious Commission of Inquiry, which plans to focus in part on issues of discrimination by the Jewish state both within and without the country’s sovereign borders.
“The findings and recommendations relevant to the underlying root causes were overwhelmingly directed towards Israel, which we have taken as an indicator of the asymmetrical nature of the conflict and the reality of one state occupying the other,” Navanethem Pillay, who heads the three-member panel that conducted the probe, said. Pillay is the former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Unlike past UN probs, this one focuses not just on Israeli actions in the territory which the UN holds will eventually be part of the final borders of a Palestinian state, but it also plans to look at Israeli actions within its sovereign borders including with respect to issues of discrimination. Israel has feared that the three-member Commission of Inquiry (COI) would charge Israel with crimes of apartheid, similar to reports that have already been issued by a number of non-governmental human rights groups. It has rejected the apartheid argument which would place issues of race at the core of the conflict with the Palestinians, Israel has argued that its conflict with the Palestinians is territorial, temporary in nature and has no bearing on issues of race. The report makes no mention of the word apartheid. It did speak of Israeli discriminatory practices and what it perceived to be its failure to comply with the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. It spoke in particular of its concern regarding the 2018 Nation-State Law. It explained that this law could “exacerbate pre-existing and systematic structural discrimination against non-Jews in Israel,” it said. The commission noted that “ending the occupation alone will not be sufficient, however. Other steps must be taken to ensure that all people in Palestine and in Israel are able to enjoy all of their human rights, equality and in full, without any discrimination.” (JPost / VFI News)
ISRAEL’S AMBASSADOR TO UN ELECTED VICE PRESIDENT OF UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY: Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, was elected as a vice president of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, June 7. Erdan will assume the position for a year beginning with the convening of the GA in September. He will chair General Assembly meetings, and take part in setting the agenda for GA deliberations.
“I am proud of the right to represent Israel in a position that is at the heart of what is happening at the UN, and I will also act through it to combat the existing discrimination in the UN against Israel,” said Erdan. “This is an important victory, which will give us another platform to present the truth about Israel and its contribution to the world.” “This achievement joins a series of important achievements that Israel has made at the UN in recent years, along with a clear message to our enemies that they will not prevent us from integrating into key positions at the UN and in the international arena and increasing our influence.” The appointment of Erdan comes after Israel was elected for the first time to serve as a member of the UN Economic and Social Council, and Israeli Odelia Fitoussi was elected to serve in the UN Committee of Experts on Disability. (JPost/ VFI News)
CLINICAL TRIAL SEES RECTAL CANCER REMISSION FOR ALL PARTICIPANTS: A small clinical trial in New York City sent rectal cancer into remission for every patient that was involved by using a unique immunotherapeutic treatment.
The trial gave all the patients involved the immunotherapy treatment “Dostarlimab,” which then stunned doctors as it returned a 100% success rate for all patients in clinical trials. The immunotherapy had shrunk the tumors the patients had much quicker than the medical professionals were expecting. The treatment was being tested for colorectal cancer. The trial was backed by drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline and was led by doctors at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. One of the paper’s authors, Dr. Luis A. Diaz, told The New York Times that he “believes this is the first time this has happened in the history of cancer.” Other experts said that the trial needs to be replicated. (JPost / VFI News)
ISRAEL FACES SEVERE SHORTAGE OF RADIOLOGISTS: Israel is currently facing a shortage of about 250 radiologists required for carrying out essential medical services such as X-rays, CT scans and MRIs, Radiology Association chairman Prof. Ilan Shelef told the Knesset Health Committee Monday evening.
The shortages were partially due to certified radiologists in Israel choosing to do remote work for medical companies abroad rather than inside the Israeli medical system, Shelef told the committee. As a result of these shortages, a person who is referred for a CT scan might need to wait for up to two months for an appointment, and the situation is even worse for those in need of an MRI, with a wait of around eight months, he said. The wait does not end once the appointment comes, Shelef said. Due to a severe shortage of people in Israel who can decipher the results, receiving the results can take between one and two months, meaning that for some people, the entire process of receiving an MRI examination can take close to a year, he said. “And therefore, even after the promise of additional machines, waiting times will not be shortened because there will be nobody who can decipher the tests,” Shelef said. “This delay fatally harms the health of civilians and even endangers their lives.” The situation is even worse in the North and South, Katz said, adding that the imaging devices the country does have are distributed unevenly, with less attention being paid to the periphery. “There was a time when there were no doctors working in the field of premature infants, and it became almost an extinct profession until the Health Ministry found a solution,” Margi said, adding that it was important to find a similar solution to the shortage of radiologists. Not only is the situation bad now, it is expected to worsen in the coming years. Many doctors currently working in the field are nearing the age of retirement, and there are fewer and fewer people choosing to specialize in the field of radiology, meaning they do not have the required numbers to replace them. (JPost / VFI News)
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Blessings from Jerusalem,
Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff