This development is worth watching closely:
The Syrian civil war was felt in Israel on Monday as, in two separate incidents, a mortar shell hit the town of Majdal Shams and an IDF unit came under fire in the southern Golan Heights, according to the army.
The unit that came under fire incurred no casualties and returned fire toward the source of the attack.
The Israeli soldiers returned fire and reported that they hit at least one Syrian soldier, Israel Radio reported.
Syrian gunmen directed small arms fire across the Israeli - Syrian border, at the Quneitra Border Crossing on Sunday morning.
An IDF unit which was present on the border returned fire, using small arms fire, accurately striking the target, an army spokeswoman said.
Heavy battles between forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad and Syrian rebels have been underway in the Quneitra area.
Ever since the internal Syrian fighting spread right up to Israel’s border, the IDF has been busy implementing a code of conduct in the area, according to which those who fire on Israel – intentionally or accidentally – can expect a response in the form of return fire.
Earlier on Sunday, a Syrian mortar shell crossed into Israel and exploded near the Druse village of Majdal Shams. There were no injuries in the incident.
The Obama administration can’t take the heat. Stung by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s reaction to the so-called “deal” made with Iran, President Obama has asked the Israeli leader to “take a breather from his clamorous criticism,”according to the Washington Post’s David Ignatius.
Netanyahu’s anger is justified. Despite the ostensible reality that Israel is America’s staunchest Middle East ally, the Obama administration was engaged in six months of secret, high-level talks with Israel’s foremost enemy. Obama informed Netanyahu of this reality on September 30. And while he seemingly took Obama’s announcement in stride, a day later the Israeli Prime Minister delivered a blistering speech to the UN General Assembly, calling Iranian President Hasan Rouhani a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” looking to exploit this latest diplomatic effort to advance his nation’s nuclear weapons agenda. He also made it clear where his nation stood on the issue. “I want there to be no confusion on this point. Israel will not allow Iran to get nuclear weapons,” he insisted. “If Israel is forced to stand alone, Israel will stand alone.”
In the following weeks, there was no let up by Netanyahu and other Israeli officials, and on November 24 Obama phoned the Prime Minister in an effort assuage his concerns. The two leaders agreed to have an Israeli delegation, headed by Adviser Yossi Cohen, ensconced in Washington, D.C. to iron out a deal that keeps Israel in the loop going forward. Obama also assured Netanyahu the both nations were on the same page with regard Iranian policy goals. It was during that phone call that Obama reportedly asked Netanyahu to tone down his rhetoric.
Yesterday, in a response to former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s ridiculous criticism of his approach to the issue, Netanyahu reiterated his intention to keep talking. “In contrast to others, when I see that the vital security interests of Israeli citizens are at stake, I will not shut up,” he declared. “It is very easy to keep quiet. It is easy to receive pats on the shoulder from the international, to bow one’s head, but I am committed to the security of my people. I am committed to of my country, and in contrast to periods in the past, we have a loud and clear voice among the nations and we will make it heard in order to warn—in time—against dangers,” he added.
Israeli Defense Forces told British newspaperThe Sunday Times that the Israeli leader has ordered Mossad, its international espionage agency, and Aman, its primary military intelligence organization, to any evidence that violates the deal signed in Geneva eight days ago. “Everyone has his own view regarding the Geneva agreement,” an Israeli intelligence source was quoted as saying. “But it is clear that if a smoking gun is produced, it will tumble like a house of cards.”
Undaunted, the Iranians announced that his nation will begin construction on a second nuclear power plant in the Bushehr province in southwest Iran. “The first nuclear power plant is in operation in Bushehr province, and the construction of the second one will soon kick off; development of new atomic power plants in the country will start in earnest and there will be nuclear reactors in most parts of Bushehr province,” the Iranian Tasnim news agency reported Rouhani as saying. Tehran pushed the envelope even further, identifying an additional 16 sites they consider suitable for nuclear power plants. to push the envelope. On Saturday, Rouhani
In the meantime, while the American left is celebrating this “historic” achievement, it is worth remembering two sobering realities. First and foremost, there is no deal. As noted last week, the Iranians contend the White House put out an inaccurate fact sheet regarding what was agreed to, and Department was forced to admit that the much-ballyhooed six-month interim agreement has not begun, nor is there any mechanism in place to prevent Iran from continuing to pursue its nuclear ambitions.
Second, Americans either forget or are unaware of the reality that Rouhani is a front man for the real power in Iran, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. That would be the same Ali Khamenei who continues to refer to the United States as the “Great Satan,” and who told thousands of Iran’s Basij militiamen late in November that Israel is the “sinister, unclean, rabid dog of the region.” “The real threats to the world are evil powers including the Zionist regime and its supporters,” Khamenei said. “The Zionist regime is doomed to destruction, because this despicable regime was formed by power and imposed on the world, and nothing which is imposed will last,” he added.
The Obama administration’s reaction to Khamenei’s rhetoric? According to theWashington Post, it was “brushed off” by officials shortly before the talks in Geneva began. Peace at any price requires nothing less.
Israel will not stand silent as its security is compromised and will take action to dispel any threat leveled against the state, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday.
Speaking at the Great Synagogue in Rome, Netanyahu shot back atcritics of his policies, and said that he was concerned more with Israel’s safety than with his public image.
“In contrast to others, when I see that interests vital to the security of Israel’s citizens are in danger, I will not be silent,” the prime minister said.