Syrian patients in Israel call on Netanyahu to strike Assad

Syrian patients in Israel call on Netanyahu to strike Assad

By HASSAN SHAALAN, YNET— “I’ve always thought of Israel as an enemy state that is not willing to help us. My case changed my thinking entirely. Israel is a good country that saves our lives, while the Syrian regime murders its citizens,” said one of the Syrian patients currently treated at the Ziv Medical Center in Safed. Of the 16 Syrian patients in the Israeli hospital, three are in serious condition. Among them are children and rebels who fought against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s army. Those who can speak have one message for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “Keep attacking in Syria in order to save the Syrian people from the Assad regime.” A 25-year-old rebel from Homs, who is being treated at the hospital’s surgery ward, told how he was brought from the battles to Safed: “I was wounded in the leg by a shell when I was by my home, and Israeli forces evacuated me from the border to the hospital. Syrian army soldiers are the ones who hit me.” The young, wounded Syrian expressed support for Israeli strikes against his country. “I heard several days ago that Israel struck a military base in Syria. This move should have been executed a long time ago to help us bring down the terrorist regime in Syria. I wasn’t sad because of the strike, but rather quite happy.” The 25-year-old rebel chose to denounce the actions of Hezbollah and its backers in Iran: “I also heard of Israeli soldiers who were injured in the Golan Heights, apparently by Hezbollah militants. I oppose the organization, Iran and Russia. Most of the...
Northern Command Warns: Situation with Hezbollah ‘Explosive’

Northern Command Warns: Situation with Hezbollah ‘Explosive’

By TOVA DVORIN, ARUTZ 7— Yair Golan, the Major General of the Northern Command, has warned the world at large that Israel’s situation with Lebanon is extremely volatile. “The situation on the border [with Lebanon] is explosive and the smallest spark can cause a border clash – even if neither side is looking to engage in fighting,” Golan told French newspaper Le Figaro on Tuesday. Golan, who provided the interview before three IDF soldiers were injured in a bomb attack in the Golan Heights – which appears to have been an attempted kidnapping – also noted that Sunni jihadis in Syria had turned their eyes against Israel. “After Assad, Israel will be their next target,” the general stated. He elaborated that in light of recent escalations – including the infiltration of the border with Lebanon by terrorists – the IDF is in the midst of taking several drastic measures to ramp up security. Among them, the general claimed, are the building of a “smart” fence to help detection and a greater focus on gathering intelligence. “There are only about 300 fighters” building on the border so far, according to Golan, “and they haven’t attacked yet.” But he stressed that the IDF is making preparations, nonetheless, ahead of a possible border clash. Hezbollah Building an Arsenal Maj. Gen. Golan noted that since the Second Lebanon War concluded in 2006, Hezbollah has maintained a “status quo” along the border with Israel – but added that the Shi’ite organization has been making a “supreme” effort to obtain weapons made in Iran or Russia, transported via Syria. “Hezbollah seeks to bridge the gap...
European Union Adds Military Wing of Hezbollah to List of Terrorist Organizations

European Union Adds Military Wing of Hezbollah to List of Terrorist Organizations

By JAMES KANTER and JODI RUDOREN, NY TIMES— The military wing of Hezbollah, the powerful Lebanese Shiite group, was blacklisted by European Union ministers as a terrorist organization on Monday in a policy shift that reflected their concern about Hezbollah’s suspected involvement in Europe-based bombings and its growing role in the Syria war. The blacklisting designation was welcomed by the United States and Israel, which have long regarded Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. Hezbollah and Iran, the group’s biggest ally, denounced the designation as a capitulation to United States and Israeli pressure. “It appears that the decision was written with an American hand in Zionist ink,” Hezbollah said in a statement from Beirut. The immediate practical effects of the new designation were not clear, but symbolically at least they were an embarrassment to Hezbollah, the most important political organization in Lebanon. Many Lebanese expressed concern the designation would damage Lebanon’s international relations and worsen internal tensions, and Lebanon’s president, Michel Suleiman, asked the European Union to “re-examine its decision,” Lebanese media reported. The sanctions that result from the European Union designation are expected to include asset freezes and possible travel bans on some individuals. But some sanctions experts said the policy shift set a precedent that over time could compromise Hezbollah’s fund-raising operations. Europe has been an important financial conduit for Hezbollah, which has been implicated in attacks on Israelis abroad, maintains an arsenal of rockets trained at Israel and has come to the aid of Syria’s government in its effort to crush an uprising now in its third year. The shift in policy toward Hezbollah, announced by European...
Israel Hints at New Strikes, Warning Syria Not to Hit Back

Israel Hints at New Strikes, Warning Syria Not to Hit Back

By MARK LANDLER, NY TIMES— In a clear warning to Syria to stop the transfer of advanced weapons to Islamic militants in the region, a senior Israeli official signaled on Wednesday that Israel was considering additional military strikes to prevent that from happening and that the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, would face crippling consequences if he retaliated. “Israel is determined to continue to prevent the transfer of advanced weapons to Hezbollah,” the Israeli official said. “The transfer of such weapons to Hezbollah will destabilize and endanger the entire region.” “If Syrian President Assad reacts by attacking Israel, or tries to strike Israel through his terrorist proxies,” the official said, “he will risk forfeiting his regime, for Israel will retaliate.” The Israeli official, who had been briefed by high-level officials on Israel’s assessment of the situation in Syria, declined to be identified, citing the need to protect internal Israeli government deliberations. He contacted The New York Times on Wednesday. The precise motives for Israel’s warning were uncertain: Israel could be seeking to restrain Syria’s behavior to avoid taking further military action, or alerting other countries to another military strike. That would increase the tension in an already fraught situation in Syria, where a civil war has been raging for more than two years. There could be a secondary audience for the warning, analysts said, in Hezbollah and its primary supporter, Iran. Hezbollah, which is based in Lebanon, has said in recent days it could use weapons supplied by Iran to retaliate for recent Israeli strikes on Syria. Nearly two weeks ago, Israeli warplanes carried out two strikes in Syria, the...
Europe's Hezbollah cowardice

Europe's Hezbollah cowardice

By JEFF JACOBY— What so often motivated Europe’s appeasers, Winston Churchill understood, was cowardice and dishonor. “Each one hopes that if he feeds the crocodile enough, the crocodile will eat him last,” he said of the political elites who thought the best way to confront the threat posed by Nazi Germany was to avoid confronting it. ” All of them hope that the storm will pass before their turn comes to be devoured.” What would Churchill say of the European elites today who imagine that the best way to confront the threat posed by Hezbollah, one of the world’s deadliest and most fanatic terror networks, is likewise to avoid any confrontation? For years the United States has urged Europe to designate Hezbollah a terrorist entity. Doing so would not just acknowledge an obvious truth and call evil by its name — though that should be reason enough to act. It would also strip away the fig leaf that Hezbollah’s “military wing” is separate from its political and social activities, an ignoble pretext that has enabled an international killing organization to freely raise funds on European soil, recruiting supporters, rallying followers, and generally being indulged as if it were a legitimate actor in Middle East politics. “In Germany alone, some 950 people have been identified as being associated with [Hezbollah] as of 2011,” reported The New York Times. “The group has always been treated as a benign force.” It is astonishing that anyone could regard Hezbollah as “benign,” given its long history of murder, mayhem, and incitement to genocide. This year will mark the 30th anniversary of Hezbollah’s 1983 bombings...