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The Daily TIP: Iran-Backed Syrian Troops Reported Just 7 Miles from Israel’s Border

Posted by Tip Staff - December 27, 2017

Iran-Backed Syrian Troops Reported Just 7 Miles from Israel’s Border
U.S. Cuts Contribution to UN in Effort to Make World Body "More Efficient and Accountable"
For the First Time, an Argentinian Judge Rules Nisman was Murdered
Israeli-Developed Steel Substitute Made for Space Travel, Now Used for Hip Replacements


Iran-Backed Syrian Troops Reported Just 7 Miles from Israel’s Border

Syrian troops supported by Iranian-backed militias and Hezbollah are on the verge of capturing a rebel-held village at the foot of Mt. Hermon, just seven miles from the border with Israel, The Times of Israel reported Wednesday.

Rebels in the village of Mugr al Meer report that they are being attacked by "heavy bombardments and artillery fire" from Syrian troops and their Iran-backed allies. The Syrian army reports that it has surrounded the village at the foot of Mt. Hermon, which "commands the Golan Heights."

The rebels in the village have reportedly been given 72 hours to surrender or face defeat.

Ibrahim al-Jebawi, a Free Syrian Army (FSA) official who is familiar with the situation told Reuters, “They were given 72 hours to surrender with fighters to go to Idlib or those who want to stay have to reach a settlement."

According to Hadashot news, Assad's forces and Hezbollah are considering an assault on the last significant rebel-held area in the region, Beit Jinn.

Rebel forces - including both members of the FSA and al Qaeda-affiliated fighters - are vastly outnumbered by the Syrian army and Shiite militias.

The rebels still hold some parts of Quneitra on the Golan Heights.

Addressing the threat to Israel's north, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated that Israel would not allow Iran to establish a presence in Syria, telling graduates of the IDF's pilot training, "We will not allow Iranian military forces to establish bases in Syria in order to attack us and we will act to prevent the manufacture of precise and deadly weapons aimed at us."



U.S. Cuts Contribution to UN in Effort to Make World Body "More Efficient and Accountable"

The United States government announced on Sunday significant cuts in its United Nations obligations for 2018-19 with next year’s budget slashed by over $285m.

“We will no longer let the generosity of the American people be taken advantage of or remain unchecked,” the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, said in a statement, The Jerusalem Post reported.

"This historic reduction in spending – in addition to many other moves toward a more efficient and accountable UN – is a big step in the right direction. While we are pleased with the results of this year’s budget negotiations, you can be sure we’ll continue to look at ways to increase the UN’s efficiency‎ while protecting our interests," Haley observed.

Under the UN charter, the U.S. is responsible for 22% of the body’s annual operating budget, or around $1.2bn in 2017-18.

The budget announcement comes days after President Donald Trump threatened to cut aid to the international body ahead of a vote on a resolution condemning the U.S. for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

After the vote, Haley reminded the assembly that the U.S. was “by far the single largest contributor to the U.N.” and would remember the vote “when we are called upon to once again make the world’s largest contribution to the United Nations, and we will remember it when so many countries come calling on us, as they so often do, to pay even more and to use our influence for their benefit.”



For the First Time, an Argentinian Judge Rules Nisman was Murdered

For the first time, an Argentinian judge ruled that Alberto Nisman, the prosecutor investigating Iran's involvement in the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires and the agreement made by former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner with Iran, was murdered.

In a 656-page indictment, Reuters reported, Judge Julián Ercolini indicated on Tuesday that there was enough evidence to conclude that the gunshot that killed Nisman was not self-inflicted, “Nisman’s death could not have been a suicide,” the judge asserted.

Earlier this year, a toxicology report found evidence of ketamine and clonazepam in Nisman's blood at the time his death. Clonazepam is a tranquilizer and ketamine is an anesthetic that is often used by veterinarians on animals. The following month, a team of forensic analysts concluded that it would have been physically impossible for Nisman to have committed suicide.

The New York Times reported, that, in his ruling, Ercolini also highlighted that Kirchner along with several of her colleagues, not even 24 hours after Nisman's death, “publicly push[ed] the idea of suicide.” Media outlets friendly to Kirchner's government helped push that theory, the judge wrote.

Ercolini's ruling comes in the same month that Kirchner, former foreign minister Hector Timerman, and several of Kirchner's colleagues were indicted for treason over Nisman's allegations that her and her team covered up Iran’s involvement in the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center. An appeals court has subsequently ruled that though the treason charge was not warranted, criminal proceedings could continue against Kirchner and her co-defendants.



Israeli-Developed Steel Substitute Made for Space Travel, Now Used for Hip Replacements

A super-strong steel substitute invented in Israel that was sent into space by NASA has now returned to the Middle East to be used in hip replacements.

The material, which goes by the scientific name MP-1, was developed by Aliza Buchman, development manager of Nahariya-based startup MMA Tech in collaboration with Prof. Robert Bryant of the University of Virginia.

The advanced polymeric material is self-shielding, has high resistance to heat, is lightweight but very strong, and shows little wear and tear – all of which are important qualities for deployment in space.

But MP-1 works equally well in joint surgery. The first human operation using MP1 was performed 12 years ago in New Zealand. Since then, 74 surgeries have been done in that country.

Now the material has come back to Israel, where it was used three months ago for a woman in her 60s who needed a hip implant. A second surgery was performed last week on Roxana Smarsky, 48, of Yokne’am Illit.

Both surgeries were conducted at Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa, the first by Dr. Daniel Levin and the second under the direction of Dr. Doron Norman.

There’s more in store for MP-1: knee replacements and even dental implants are now being planned.

“Our first recipient has been with the joint for 12 years without pain, and we are certainly encouraged by the results of the additional surgeries,” Buchman said. Her company has received a research grant of €1.5 million ($1.78 million).

(via Israel21c)


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