Resources updated between Monday, November 28, 2016 and Sunday, December 04, 2016
December 2, 2016
November 30, 2016
November 29, 2016
UN General Assembly Resolution "Jerusalem" Development
November 28, 2016
The Israeli Air Force struck a military target belonging to the Islamic State terror group on the Syrian side of the southern Golan Heights overnight Sunday-Monday, the military said in a statement Monday morning.
The raid came after an Israeli airstrike killed four members of an Islamic State-affiliated terrorist group in southern Syria on Sunday morning, following a clash near the border. No Israeli soldiers were injured in the exchange, the army said.
The military said that the additional airstrike Monday was also in response to the attack on Israeli forces on Sunday when, while conducting an "ambush operation," according an Israel Defense Forces spokesperson, soldiers from the Golani Brigade's reconnaissance unit had come under attack from small arms fire after crossing the security fence with Syria while remaining inside Israeli territory. They returned fire, but soon came under attack from mortar shells.
The IDF said Monday that the target in the overnight airstrike was an "abandoned UN building that has been used by the Islamic State as an operations center along the border in the southern Syrian Golan Heights," adding that "the compound was the base for yesterday's attack against IDF forces."
"This is an additional response to yesterday's attack, and it is aimed at preventing the terrorists from returning to the installation which poses a significant threat," the IDF said.
The IDF "will not hesitate to act against terror groups that operate against the State of Israel," the statement added.
In its immediate response to the attack on Sunday, the Israel Air Force targeted a truck "that had some sort of machine gun on top of it" and killed the four terrorists who were riding in it.
"It was a short exchange, but it was productive," IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said.
The incident Sunday occurred at approximately 8:30 a.m., east of the Avnei Eitan community in the southern Golan Heights, the army said.
According to the IDF, the four men were members of the Khalid ibn al-Walid Army, formerly known as the Yarmouk Martyrs' Brigade, a terrorist group in Syria that is connected with the Islamic State.
"The army will not tolerate any impairment to its sovereignty and will respond severely to any attempt to damage it," the army said in a statement.
The army would not go into details about the Golani reconnaissance unit's ambush, saying only that it was "planned by operational intelligence."
The incident was the first major confrontation between Israeli forces and Islamic State affiliated terrorists in the Golan, though Israel has clashed with other fighters on the Syrian side of the border several times.
Speaking at a weekly government meeting shortly after the incident, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised that Israel "won't allow Islamic State figures or other enemy actors, under the cover of the war in Syria, to set up next to our borders."
Both the IS-affiliated Khalid ibn al-Walid Army and the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly the al-Nusra Front, which is linked to al-Qaeda, have actually been present on Israel's borders for years, though they and the IDF had maintained a "live and let live" relationship until Sunday.
The Syrian Golan has been the site of intense fighting in recent years between Assad regime forces and the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, though the front on the border with Israel has been relatively quiet in recent months after seeing intense bouts of violence.
Israeli officials fear Hezbollah and Iran's al-Quds Force, which are allied with Syrian leader Bashar Assad, are aiming at using the area to open a new front against Israel in any future conflict.
Since March 2011, when the war broke out, dozens of mortars have landed in Israeli territory as a result of spillover fighting. The IDF often responds to fire that crosses into Israel by striking Syrian army posts.
Israel maintains a policy of holding Damascus responsible for all fire from Syria into Israel regardless of the source.
An attempted terror attack was reported Monday evening. A vehicle passed an IDF base near Ofra and shot at the back gate of the base.
No injuries or damage were reported, the terrorists fled the scene. Security forces are currently searching for the gunmen near Silwad.
"Just hours after the Palestinian leadership said it plans to move forward a UN Security Council resolution condemning settlements, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he expected US President Barack Obama not to support action against Israel at the world body.
'[We will] begin to submit a resolution condemning settlements to the UN Security Council in the coming days,' Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki told the Voice of Palestine, the official PA radio station. Palestinian leaders including PA President Mahmoud Abbas have said on numerous occasions over the past few months that the Palestinian leadership intends to submit a UNSC resolution.
If such a resolution is brought before the Security Council, all eyes will be on Obama to see whether he will direct the US to vote for it, abstain, or cast a veto. In 2011 Obama vetoed a UNSC resolution condemning the settlements. By contrast, in 1979, the US – under then president Jimmy Carter – abstained on an anti-settlement vote, allowing it to pass.
PLO Executive Committee Member Ahmad Majdalani told The Jerusalem Post on Monday that he believes the US will abstain...
'I expect that in the twilight of President Obama's tenure he will stand by what he said in 2011, that the way to achieve peace does not run through Security Council resolutions, but rather direct negotiations with the Palestinians, which has been the US position for years,' Netanyahu said.
At the UN General Assembly in 2011, Obama said of the Mideast conflict: 'Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the United Nations – if it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now.'..."
An Indonesian woman screamed in agony Monday as she was caned in Aceh, the latest in a growing number of women to be publicly flogged for breaking the province's strict Islamic laws.
Aceh is the only province in the world's most populous Muslim-majority country that imposes sharia law. People can face floggings for a range of offences -- from gambling, to drinking alcohol, to gay sex.
In the latest caning, five people -- two women and three men -- were flogged in front of a cheering crowd at a mosque in the provincial capital Banda Aceh.
The 34-year-old woman who yelled in pain had been found guilty of spending time in close proximity with a man who was not her husband in contravention of Aceh's Islamic regulations.
She was lashed seven times with a rattan cane by a man wearing long robes and a hood, with just slits for the eyes.
"It hurts so bad," the woman said, raising her arms into the air, as she was beaten.
The 32-year-old man with whom she was caught was also flogged seven times.
Two university students, both 19, received 100 lashes of the cane after they confessed to sex outside marriage. They stared at the ground as they were flogged, showing little emotion.
A man found guilty of sex outside marriage was flogged 22 times although his partner, who is two-months pregnant, is still waiting to learn her fate after facing trial at an Islamic court.
However Aceh authorities typically spare pregnant women from canings.
Aceh, on Sumatra island, began implementing sharia law after being granted special autonomy in 2001, an attempt by the central government in Jakarta to quell a long-running separatist insurgency.
Islamic laws have been strengthened since the province struck a peace deal with Jakarta in 2005, and there has been a particular increase in the number of women being caned in recent times.