Every calendar quarter the United Nations Security Council holds an extensive debate on the Israeli-Palestinian “situation.” The Israeli and Palestinian UN representatives make speeches following the Secretary General’s report on the current status, which are normally predictable restatements of their respective positions.
This time, however, Israel’s ambassador Danny Danon, addressing the Security Council at its July 12th meeting, presented new graphic evidence of Hezbollah’s alarming arsenal of rockets and missiles located in civilian areas of southern Lebanon.
Ten years ago, when Security Council Resolution 1701 was adopted, ending the war that had broken out between Israel and Hezbollah, the terrorist group was estimated to have had about 7000 rockets. The resolution called for Hezbollah and other armed groups not officially a part of the Lebanese government’s armed forces to relinquish their weapons. Instead, precisely the opposite has happened. Hezbollah never stopped its arms build-up, which has been funded and supplied principally from the world’s leading state sponsor of terror, Iran.
Hezbollah now has approximately 120,000 rockets and missiles aimed at Israeli civilian population centers. By way of comparison, Ambassador Danon said that “more missiles are hidden underground in 10,000 square kilometers [of Lebanon] than the above-ground 4 million square kilometers” of the European North Atlantic Treaty Organization countries.
Referring to aerial satellite imagery, based on the latest Israeli intelligence, Ambassador Danon demonstrated to the members of the Security Council the location of rocket launchers and arms depots that Hezbollah had placed in civilian areas. “The village of Shaqra has been turned into a Hezbollah stronghold with one out of three buildings used for terror activities, including rocket launchers and arms depots,” Ambassador Danon said. “Hezbollah has placed these positions next to schools and other public institutions putting innocent civilians in great danger.”
Hezbollah, aided and abetted by Iran, was “committing double war crimes,” the Israeli ambassador charged. “They are attacking civilians, and using Lebanese civilians as human shields,” he said. “We demand the removal of Hezbollah terrorists from southern Lebanon.”
Iran continues to fund global terrorism, with its treasury being replenished thanks to the Obama administration’s largesse.
Israeli military bulldozers backed by tanks have crossed into the demilitarized zone dividing the Israeli and Syrian Golan borders. They are building a line of fortifications and anti-tank trenches 300-500 meters inside the DMZ.
This is the first time in the six-year Syrian war that the IDF has openly operated on the Syrian side of the border. The force has not so far run into opposition- or indeed any word of protest - or even mention - by Assad regime officials in Damascus.
DEBKAfile’s military sources report that the IDF operation was still going forward Wednesday, July 12, on a patch of terrain facing the Israeli Golan village of Ein Zivan, on the one hand, and the Syrian town of Quneitra, on the other.
The enclave splitting the Golan between Syria and Israel is defined in the 1974 armistice agreements as a demilitarized zone under the military control of the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) and Syrian civilian administration. It is bounded by two strips of land around 10km deep where each side is permitted to maintain diluted military strength. No ground-to-air missiles may be deployed inside a 25km radius from the DMZ.
However, the Syrian war as it unfolded in the last two years turned the deal on its head. The UN observers abandoned their posts, leaving behind a void that was partly filled by Syrian troops and a motley assortment of rebel groups.
But the DMZ was left mostly unoccupied as both Israel and Syria tried to preserve at least the semblance of the deal intact. However, Assad’s allies Iran and Hizballah have repeatedly attempted to plant a forward military and terrorist presence opposite Israel’s Golan defense lines - with avowed hostile intent.
The silence from Damascus on Israel’s military steps on the Golan may be no more than a respite as the Syrian ruler waits for Tehran’s endorsement of joint Syrian-Iranian-Hizballah counteraction.
Our sources add that IDF military steps on the ground were accompanied by unusual Israeli Air Force movements over Syria and Lebanon, and elevated preparedness on the 10th anniversary this week of the Lebanon war fought between Hizballah and Israel.
It was noted that Hizballah refrained from celebrating the occasion and omitted its customary boasts of a “great victory” – thereby intensifying the sense in Israeli military circles that Iran’s Lebanese proxy may be cooking up a surprise operation.
After a full year of deliberation, the Nascent Sanhedrin has announced that this year is the first year in the counting of the 50-year Jubilee cycle. This not only reinstates a Biblical commandment, but it has implications for Israel’s status as a Biblically mandated nation, returning the land to the Jews and ensuring each Jew an inheritance in the land.
The Jubilee (Hayovel in Hebrew) is a Biblical commandment that is observed exclusively in the land of Israel. It is the fiftieth year that comes after a period seven sabbaticals. The year triggers a number of Biblical commandments concerning property rights and returning the land to its original inheritors, the Jews who were allocated the land by lottery. Debts were forgiven and slaves who sold themselves due to debt were set free.
The Jubilee is dependant upon certain conditions pertaining to Jews being in the land, though there are many differing opinions about the specific requirements. As a result, the Jubilee has not been observed since the Second Temple when the Jews returned from the Babylonian Exile.
For the time being, there is no practical implication and in truth, very few Jews have acknowledged the Sanhedrin’s Jubilee decision. Nonetheless, this was a groundbreaking decision that will have tremendous consequences in the future.
Rabbi Hillel Weiss, secretary of the Nascent Sanhedrin, explained their controversial decision to reinstate the Jubilee to Breaking Israel News.
“First we had to decide if the conditions exist to do so. This is done by a bet din (Jewish court) when it has been established that Jews have returned to inherit the land as a nation, and not just as individuals,” the rabbi explained. Rabbi Weiss explained that unlike most Torah commandments which are based on the personal observance of each Jew, the Jubilee has to do with Israel’s national identity.
“The Jubilee is a national mitzvah (commandment) that requires an independent Jewish nation to be in the Land of Israel. The Sanhedrin has ruled that we are now clearly in the prophesied third inheritance of the land, the first being by Joshua, the second after the Babylonian exile.”
Rabbi Weiss stated, “It is time to begin observing the positive commandment of counting the Jubilee.”
“Most of the Jews who do not deny their Jewish identity are living in Israel today. There is no Jewish nation outside of the Land of Israel,” he said. “There must be at least 600,000 Jews, like the number that returned to Israel from Egypt under Joshua.”
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