Monday, December 30, 2013

In The News:

Wary Of Rockets, IDF Beefs Up Security On Golan Heights

The IDF, bracing for an increased threat of rocket attacks along the border with Syria, has begun installing air raid sirens and fortified safe zones in all its bases on the Golan Heights.

“The goal we set for ourselves is to provide warning and physical protection to every soldier,” Maj. David Ben-Gigi, the deputy engineering officer for the Golan Heights division, told the IDF’s website.

Ben-Gigi said that the project stems from the military’s understanding that “in the future the enemy in the area will adopt the curved trajectory fire as part of his offensive tactics.”
He estimated that each base will be equipped with its own warning system, operated by the air force, within three months.

The Golan has come under fire on multiple occasions since the beginning of the civil war in Syria. Syrian tank shells, artillery rounds and bullets have crossed into Israel. Often the fire has been deemed accidental and Israel has not responded. But on at least five occasions, soldiers in the field felt the fire was directed at them and responded with direct fire.

On December 6, an explosive device was detonated alongside an IDF vehicle in the northern Golan Heights. An IDF investigation concluded that the blast was the first ambush laid for IDF soldiers on the Israeli side of the border since the beginning of the war. No organization took credit for the attack.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, touring the area in early December after a Syrian soldier opened fire on Israeli paratroopers, said, “Our sovereignty will not be violated. Whoever tries to violate our sovereignty will be harmed, whether it’s a soldier, a cannon position, a mortar or a machine gun. We’ll keep up with what we’ve been doing so far.”

The IDF is close to completing a deeply entrenched 15-foot-high border fence in the area equipped with a “multiple-sensor system” – a newly operational mechanism that synchronizes an array of radar and optical findings into one concrete warning. That, along with a sharp upgrade in the caliber of the troops posted to the region and the increased safety against rocket attack, is part of the IDF’s realignment in light of the war in Syria and the instability it has brought to the region.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon on Monday said that if compromises in peace negotiations would lead to "rockets from Nablus, Ramallah and Jenin on to Ben-Gurion Airport, then I would rather have a European boycott" on Israel.

Ya'alon also addressed Sunday's rocket attack from Lebanon. Despite Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's assigning responsibility to Lebanon and Hezbollah, the defense minister implied that preliminary information indicated that the attack was perpetrated by Sunnis fighting Hezbollah in Syria who hoped to fool Israel into retaliating against Hezbollah.

Elaborating on his comments about rockets and boycotts, he said that wide-eyed and naïve people in the West and even some Israelis constantly press the state that "peace must happen immediately" though he listed many life problems which take time to resolve and must be managed patiently.

Assailing the West as "paternalistic," Ya'alon said that instead of them explaining to him, with all of his experience on the ground, how he misunderstands the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we need "to explain to Europe why they're wrong."

He also complained that some in the West were what he considered obsessed with solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the solution to all problems in the Middle East when really he said that it is currently clear that "problems in Tunisia and Egypt have nothing to do with us." 

Just as you were wrapping your mind around the idea that under Obamacare and the accompanying changes in the health-care system, your medical records will be floating around in some online repository, available to far too many people, you’re being told you’ll soon have a National Identity Card and a Western Hemisphere-compliant travel document whether you want it or not, if you plan to drive in the United States.
The federal government says it soon will be enforcing its demands that state-issued driver’s licenses and ID cards comply with Department of Homeland Security standards.
DHS announced just before Christmas a final schedule for the full enforcement of the REAL ID Act of 2005.

For many Americans, the full implementation of the REAL ID act is certain to trigger unfortunate memories of World War II and the modus operandi of fascist, totalitarian states, where travelers and ordinary citizens on the street are stopped by authorities and demanded, “Your papers, please!”
In the U.S., the justification for the REAL ID Act of 2005 was the concern for enhanced travel security after the 9/11 Commission documented several of the 9/11 terrorists had valid state-issued driver’s licenses and were able to freely board airplanes even though they were terrorists who had entered the U.S. illegally.

Among the DHS requirements for a state-issued driver’s license to be DHS-compliant will be the presentation by the applicant of a valid birth certificate, verification of the applicant’s Social Security Number or documentation the person is not eligible for Social Security, and proof the applicant is either a U.S. citizen or lawfully admitted to the U.S. as a permanent or temporary resident.
Further, driver’s license and IDs issued by the states will have to meet stringent requirements as set by the federal government.

They also must have features that establish the individual’s identity, including but not limited to full facial digital photographs, plus machine readable coded information in the form of a bar code that captures the key printed information on the card, such as name of the applicant, address, gender, unique driver’s license or card-identification number, state of issuance, date of application, and date of expiration.

Also see:

No comments: