30 August 2013

EVP Eitan
EVP News Letter - 30 August 2013
Friday afternoon and across Israel people are preparing to welcome the Shabbat, but at the back of everybody's mind is the "what if..." question.
  • What if...Syria attacks?"
  • What if...they use chemical weapons?"
  • What if...the Iranians decide to join in?"
  • What if...?
The news of an impending confrontation between the United States and its allies with the Syrian Assad regime is worrying.  No one can predict how the regime will react if attacked and if Israel will be its target as the Syrian Foreign Minister said yesterday.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has urged  Israelis to carry on with their daily routines.  However  the security cabinet approved a limited call-up of some 1000 reservists in vital military capacities and especially intelligence services and Home Front Command units.


The IDF deployed air defenses around the country on Wednesday as a precautionary measure in case of a Syrian attack on Israel but according to a senior military source, the chances of this remain low.

Patriot anti-missile battery
Iron Dome unit in the North

IDF Chief of Staff, Benny Gantz said:  "We are not a party to this dispute, and don't want to be...   But, if the Syrian government decides to attack Israel, then they must know that we will respond in full force to protect our country and our people". 

IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz (Center)
The atmosphere across the country is calm and most people agree that the chances of anything "happening" between Syria and Israel are slim.  However, gas mask distribution centers are working full blast to supply the demands of thousands of people with the greatest demand being for gas masks for children and special units for babies.
Getting her first gas mask
Baby's gas mask 0 - 2 years 

After consultation with various agencies and a comprehensive assessment of the situation, the EVP is not, at this time, placing deployment teams on alert.


We are monitoring the situation and are in daily contact with our partners and, should there be a request to go to standby, we will inform you.


Israel is strong, our government and people will not be frightened or demoralized by the threats coming from Damascus. We are 100% behind the United States in its determination to punish a mass murderer who uses chemical weapons against defenseless men women and children.


In the meantime, we ask that you pray with us that these troubling times will soon pass and that some semblance of peace be restored to the Middle East.


Shabbat Shalom
Philip Barnea EVP Communications
The United States & Syria - with Israel in between.

The situation in Syria seems to go from bad to worse.  Of course, Israel keeps a close eye on what's gong on to be sure that nothing really threatens us.  We only respond when attacked.

For us, the "red line" is the use of WMD's - chemical and biological weapons like the sarin gas that killed over a 1000 people a week or so ago.

Israel has been telling the world for a long time that Assad's regime has chemical weapons and that they aren't afraid to use them.  Just as with Iran, the world decided to turn the other way and ignore the facts.

Just as with Iran, Israel has repeatedly said that, if there is a real threat of the use of chemical weapons against her, she will take whatever action necessary to protect the country and its people.

Now, with the US and other NATO countries considering some form of military intervention in Syria, the Syrian propagandist machine has began telling anyone willing to listen that if Syria is attacked by the US or any other country - Israel will bear the brunt of its retaliation.

Well it's not the first time we have been threatened, they just haven't learned that we don't respond well to threats and that we are ready, willing and able to do what it takes to keep Israel safe.

Report: Assad moving inmates to military targets


Buses filled with prisoners moved to military targets to be used as human shields against Western airstrikes, British paper reports

Thousands of Syrian prisoners have been moved to military targets to be used as human shields against Western air strikes, Britain's Daily Mirror reported Friday.

According to the report, Damascus residents said they saw buses filled with inmates being taken from their cells to sites the regime believes could be targets.


Click here for the full story 


Al-Qaida-linked terror group ready to wage holy war against Jews  


Declaration comes from group which claimed responsibility for last week's rocket attacks on the north that originated in Lebanon.  




The Abdullah Azzam Brigades, which is linked to al-Qaida and claimed responsibility for the rocket fire at Israel last Thursday, has released a statement saying that the attacks were part of the jihad against the Jews.


Sheikh Sirajuddin Zureiqat, a member of the group, tweeted a link to the statement on Tuesday. The statement was dated from the day the rockets were fired.


Zureiqat also tweeted two pictures of what the group said were some of the rockets it had fired at Nahariya and Acre.


The Abdullah Azzam Brigades and the Ziad al-Jarah Brigades wrote the statement, which again claimed credit for the rocket fire and said the attacks had been aimed against the Jews, who it said were benefiting from the Syrian revolution.


The statement added that recent developments had led to a change and that the group would suspend its activities because of the blatant interference of the Iranianbacked Hezbollah in Syria.


It claimed that Hezbollah, Iran and Israel had a "strategic alliance in the region and common interests" and were striving to thwart the Syrian revolution. The Jews, it said, were fully complicit with Western countries in trying to give Syrian president Bashar Assad cover to fight the rebels.


According to the statement, Israel and the West were giving Hezbollah a green light to fight in Syria so as to protect Israel's security by keeping the border quiet. But this will not bring security, the statement declared, saying it would instead bring them closer to the fire of the mujahideen.


The US government considers the Abdullah Azzam Brigades a terrorist organization.


According to the US State Department website, the organization was created in 2009 and is based both in Lebanon and in the Arabian Peninsula.


The group, led by Saleh al-Qarawi, is responsible for numerous rocket attacks against Israel.

Front Defense Minister Gilad Erdan to domestic agencies: Be ready for all scenarios


Home Front Command extends opening hours of gas mask distribution centers as Home Front tells citizens to be prepared.


At a meeting with representatives from government ministries and emergency services, Home Front Defense Minister Gilad Erdan instructed attendees to increase their readiness and widen communications with local authorities.  He also asked local government representatives to examine the readiness of public bomb shelters.


Turning to delegates from the Environmental Protection Ministry, Erdan urged them to exercise their authority and decrease the quantity of hazardous substances near population centers.


"Although the security evaluation is that the chances of Israel being attacked are low, the security forces and home front protection organizations are prepared for all scenarios," he said at the end of the meeting, which concluded on Wednesday evening.


On Thursday, the Home Front Command extended the opening hours for gas mask distribution centers, to cope with the massive demand of recent days.

Anxious Israelis have flooded the centers, anticipating an attack on Israel in response to any strike by the US and its allies on Syria over the regime's probable use of chemical weapons.


The centers, based in Israel Postal Service offices, will now be open each day from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m., but the number of centers will not increase.


Gaby Ofir, the former director-general of the Homeland Security Ministry, said that "the number of gas masks in Israel today is not sufficient."  Nonetheless, he added, "the kits are just a small link in the chain of preparedness of the State of Israel."  Currently, there are enough masks for just 60 percent of the population.


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