Palestinian Authority terrorists launched a failed rocket attack on southern Israel Wednesday morning following a retaliatory IAF air strike on the region.
Although the short-range Qassam rocket was aimed at Israel's Sha'ar HaNegev Regional Council district -- a fact made clear by the activation of the Color Red air raid siren -- the missile landed in an open area and did not explode. No one was physically injured and no damage was caused.
The Israeli Air Force meanwhile struck two terrorist targets in Gaza late Tuesday night in an operation carried out in cooperation with the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet).
The strikes came in retaliation for the daily rocket and mortar attacks emanating from the region, aimed at southern Israeli civilian communities, the latest of which were fired Sunday and Monday, as well as several days last week, including over the Sabbath.
IAF Hits Islamic Jihad In Gaza
A pinpoint IAF airstrike in Gaza on Tuesday evening killed one Islamic Jihad terrorist and injured three others.
Islamic Jihad told CNN the strike hit a small vehicle in northern Gaza.
The operation targeted "a squad affiliated with recent terror activity," the IDF released in a statement. The IDF made no reference to deaths or injuries.
Second IAF Strike In Gaza Targets Terror Cell
For the second time in several hours, the IAF struck late Tuesday evening a Global Jihad terrorist cell that was preparing to carry out a terror attack against Israelis.
The IDF Spokesperson said in a statement that the terrorists were struck down in a joint IDF-Israel Security Agency (ISA) operation. The statement added the terrorists were planning an attack along Israel’s border with Egypt.
One of the terrorists in the group was identified as Rami Daoud Jaber Kafarneh from Jabalia. Kafarneh, a former member of Hamas’ military
"Arab World Must Stop Israel's Judaization of Jerusalem"
Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh made an urgent call Tuesday on the international Arab and Muslim community to stop what he called Israel's "Judaization" of Jerusalem and attacks on the Jewish state's Muslim minority.
Speaking to journalists in Cairo after two days of meetings with Egyptian officials on the first leg of his tour of the Middle East, Haniyeh slammed Israel for the "demolition of houses, villages and ethnic cleansing" in Jerusalem, pan-Arab news outlet Elaph reported.
Iran: We'll Stop The Flow Of Gulf Oil If Sanctions Are Imposed
Iran today threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz if the United Nations imposes sanctions on Iranian oil as a response to Iran’s sketchy uranium enrichment program, according to a report from Reuters.
Iran’s warning on Tuesday came three weeks after EU foreign ministers decided to tighten sanctions over the U.N. watchdog report and laid out plans for a possible embargo of oil from the world’s No. 5 crude exporter.
“If they (the West) impose sanctions on Iran’s oil exports, then even one drop of oil cannot flow from the Strait of Hormuz,” the official Iranian news agency IRNA quoted Iran’s First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi as saying.
Abbas Primes West Bank For "Palestinian Resistance" (Third Intifada)
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas kicked off preparations for a fresh outbreak of anti-Israel "resistance" – which concerned US and Israeli security circles believe will develop into "Intifada No. 3" – Tuesday, Dec. 27, by suddenly firing, the West Bank's top security officer Maj. Gen. Diab el-Ali.
DEBKAfile's military sources in Washington and Jerusalem report that in both capitals, the Palestinian leader's action is seen as paving the way for radical changes in West Bank security. This fragile edifice was kept stable for some years thanks to joint US-Israeli-Palestinian efforts to back up peaceful relations between the Palestinians and Israel after the bloody years of the "Al Aqsa Intifada" terror.
Abbas (Abu Mazen) has now decided to upset this equilibrium by orchestrating an Arab Spring-style uprising on the West Bank, the differences being that the Palestinians will not rise up against their own leaders, i.e., himself, but against Israel, and that in no time this event is liable to revert to the "intifada"-style Palestinian terrorist violence of the early 2000s.
Israel Says It Will Have To Invade Gaza Again
Israeli army chief Gen. Benny Gantz on Tuesday said there is no alternative to another major military ground operation in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.
"I believe that the state of Israel cannot continue to live under the active threat of Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Sooner or later, there will be no escape from conducting a significant operation."
Gantz's remarks came just hours after Israeli aircraft struck two Palestinian terror cells en route to carry out attacks along Gaza's border fence. Gaza-based terror groups responded by firing rockets at communities in southern Israel early Wednesday morning.
Under Obama, An Emerging Global Apparatus For Drone Killing
The Obama administration’s counterterrorism accomplishments are most apparent in what it has been able to dismantle, including CIA prisons and entire tiers of al-Qaeda’s leadership. But what the administration has assembled, hidden from public view, may be equally consequential.
In the space of three years, the administration has built an extensive apparatus for using drones to carry out targeted killings of suspected terrorists and stealth surveillance of other adversaries. The apparatus involves dozens of secret facilities, including two operational hubs on the East Coast, virtual Air Force cockpits in the Southwest and clandestine bases in at least six countries on two continents.
...no president has ever relied so extensively on the secret killing of individuals to advance the nation’s security goals.
The rapid expansion of the drone program has blurred long-standing boundaries between the CIA and the military. Lethal operations are increasingly assembled a la carte, piecing together personnel and equipment in ways that allow the White House to toggle between separate legal authorities that govern the use of lethal force.
Scientists Test Sick Alaska Seals For Radiation
Scientists in Alaska are investigating whether local seals are being sickened by radiation from Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.
Scores of ring seals have washed up on Alaska's Arctic coastline since July, suffering or killed by a mysterious disease marked by bleeding lesions on the hind flippers, irritated skin around the nose and eyes and patchy hair loss on the animals' fur coats.
Biologists at first thought the seals were suffering from a virus, but they have so far been unable to identify one, and tests are now underway to find out if radiation is a factor.
China Launches Rival To GPS Satellite System
China started a drive to end its reliance on the U.S. global positioning system in 2000, when it sent an experimental pair of positioning satellites into orbit.
Ran Chengqi, spokesman for the new system, told reporters that Beidou, or "Big Dipper", would cover most parts of the Asia Pacific by next year and then the world by 2020.
China has already launched 10 satellites to support Beidou and would launch another six next year, he said.
State media have said the system will eventually comprise 35 satellites, which will be used for a variety of sectors including fisheries, meteorology and telecommunications.