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Iran-backed militia announces “Golan Liberation Brigade”

Posted by Tip Staff - March 13, 2017
 
 
Iran eyes the Golan. An Iranian-backed Iraqi Shiite militia announced the creation of a “Golan Liberation Brigade” this week. The militia, called Harakat al-Nujaba (Movement of the Noble), is an offshoot of Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq and Kata’ib Hezbollah, which have received financing, weapons, and training from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the force that is tasked with preserving the Iranian revolution at home and exporting it abroad. Harakat al-Nujaba fought alongside Hezbollah and the Bashar al-Assad regime to defeat the Syrian opposition in Aleppo.

The group’s spokesman announced, “Should the Syrian government make the request, we are ready to participate in the liberation of occupied Golan with our allies. We will not permit the soil of Arab countries to remain in the grasps of occupiers.” A video released by the group showed fighters carrying a banner that read “Israel will be destroyed.”

Iran analyst Amir Toumaj explained that the militia has sworn allegiance to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and takes direct orders from General Qassem Suleimani, the head of the IRGC’s Quds Force, its external arm. The militia’s commander, Akram al-Kabi, is close to Iran’s top leaders and was designated a terrorist by the United States in 2008. Ronen Solomon, an intelligence analyst, told Ynet that al-Kabi “holds meetings with security officials working from the Iranian government, and even visits in Lebanon with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah." Solomon also said that Harakat al-Nujaba has an elite unit training in Iran and that “the fighting in Iraq and Syria has made them proficient in guerrilla warfare and urban warfare.”

Toumaj wrote, “While the Islamic Republic is incapable of credibly challenging the Jewish state’s fortress in the Golan, reaffirming ideological commitment to fighting Israel signals defiance to a global audience amid a reportedly converging American-Arab-Israeli military alliance against Tehran.”

Chagai Tzuriel, the director-general of Israel’s Intelligence Ministry, said earlier this month, “The most important strategic issue we’re currently facing is the strengthening of the Shiite axis led by Iran in Syria, especially after the fall of Aleppo.”

 
 
The future is near. American tech giant Intel confirmed its intent on Monday to acquire the Jerusalem-based autonomous driving company Mobileye for a record $15 billion, the biggest ever exit in Israeli history. According to the agreement, Intel will launch a tender offer to acquire all of Mobileye’s issued and outstanding ordinary shares for $63.54 per share in cash, Globes reported. The deal has an equity value of about $15.3 billion and an enterprise value of $14.7 billion. Intel will also move its entire automotive unit to Israel, where it will be headed by Prof. Amnon Shashua, Mobileye’s co-founder, chairman, and CTO.

The California-based chipmaker said in a statement that its acquisition of Mobileye, which develops sensors and cameras for driverless cars, will help “accelerate innovation for the automotive industry and position Intel as a leading technology provider in the fast-growing market for highly and fully autonomous vehicles.” Intel estimates that the market for autonomous vehicles will be worth $70 billion by 2030.

“This acquisition is a great step forward for our shareholders, the automotive industry and consumers,” said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich. “Intel provides critical foundational technologies for autonomous driving including plotting the car’s path and making real-time driving decisions. Mobileye brings the industry’s best automotive-grade computer vision and strong momentum with automakers and suppliers. Together, we can accelerate the future of autonomous driving with improved performance in a cloud-to-car solution at a lower cost for automakers.”

The deal was praised by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who tweeted, “Congratulations to Mobileye! Israeli genius, Israeli pride.”

“Israel is a superpower in knowledge, technology and innovation,” said MK Ofir Akunis, Israel’s minister of science, technology, and space.

“The fact that large international companies see potential in Israel and are seeking to acquire Israeli companies that lead their prospective fields is a source of national pride for our technological strength,” he added.

Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google’s parent company Alphabet, praised Mobileye’s cutting-edge technology last year, even though the Israeli firm is competing with Google to produce the world’s first driverless car.

 
 
The youngest, but not the brightest. University students have been running several Hamas networks in the West Bank, the Shin Bet announced Sunday. Two young Hamas operatives (ages 20 and 22) were arrested.

The arrested individuals’ plans for attack included shooting at cars traveling down the main roads—while civilians were inside of them. They also had reconnoitered a roadway where they prepared to scatter nails so vehicles would stop and be rendered more vulnerable.

Weapons were seized during the investigation, and it was discovered that the two men had built bombs to throw at Israeli citizens. They also intended to plant an explosive canister at the entrance to a village and unleash the device against a military vehicle.

A number of students from Bir Zeit University, north of Ramallah, were detained last month for their role in recruiting and financing the Hamas-affiliated Kutla Islamiyah student union. The university is known as a Hamas stronghold, and the organization won its student elections two years in a row.

 
 
Jailed for doing what’s right. After releasing an open letter from his father, an Iranian opposition leader and former speaker of parliament, Mohammed Hossein Karroubi was sentenced to six months in jail. The letter from his father asked for a public trial following years of house arrest.

"[Iranian President Hassan] Rouhani and his administration have not taken any step to end the house arrest, defend the civil rights, or improve the situation of political prisoners," said Mohammad Taghi Karroubi, another son of the former speaker. His father’s release was a campaign promise of Rouhani’s.

“Previous Iranian leaders placed under house arrest never reemerged — including Mohammad Mossadegh, ousted as prime minister in a CIA-backed coup in 1953, and Hussein-Ali Montazeri, a leader of the Islamic Revolution who was marginalized after a falling out with Khamenei,” The Los Angeles Times noted in an article published last month. Both died while under house arrest.

 
 

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