Daily TIP

Iran gives Hezbollah domestic rocket production capability

Posted by Tip Staff - March 14, 2017
Trouble in Lebanon. Iran has built a complex of underground rocket factories in Lebanon that are now under the complete control of Hezbollah, an officer of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) told a Kuwaiti newspaper on Monday. The IRGC official explained to al-Jarida that Iran decided to give Hezbollah the indigenous capability to produce rockets after Israel bombed distribution channels ranging from Sudanese weapons factories to convoys in Syria. The factories all produce different components of the rockets and only afterwards are they assembled to complete the process. They lie about 50 meters underground and are protected by defense systems to ward off any potential Israeli attack. IRGC advisors are on site.

The domestic production of rockets by Hezbollah would, wrote Avi Issacharoff of The Times of Israel, “mark a dramatic upgrade in Hezbollah’s ability to acquire more, and more precise, rockets than ever before.” According to the IRGC official, the weapons include rockets with ranges of more than 500 kilometers, surface-to-surface missiles, and drones equipped with anti-tank missiles; they have been used by Hezbollah in Syria, where the terrorist group alongside its patron Iran are fighting to prop up Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.

Heinous. A new United Nations report reveals that the Syrian regime deliberately bombed a spring outside Damascus in December—cutting off the water supply for 5.5 million people. The damage was caused by at least two air strikes and is being labeled a war crime.

The attack was one of several war crimes committed by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, according to the report. Another incident listed was the intentional bombing of a school complex in October—a double tap attack, meaning that aid workers who came to rescue civilians from the site were bombed as well. Twenty-one children died, as well as 15 adults. More than 100 people were left wounded.

"Today in a sense the entire country has become a torture-chamber; a place of savage horror and absolute injustice," U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein also said on Tuesday. He called for the release of tens of thousands of detainees from Syria’s prisons, and for torturers and executioners to be brought to justice.

Paulo Pinheiro, chairman of the U.N. Commission of Inquiry, noted that its 2016 report found the Assad government culpable for "extermination as a crime against humanity.”

"We are speaking of a daily massacre going on for six years," Mazen Darwish, a lawyer freed in 2015 after three years in jail, told the 47-member forum.

Assad’s forces are backed by Iran, Hezbollah, and Russia.

Not fooling anyone. The Islamist terrorist group Hamas is drafting a new platform that will endorse a Palestinian state based on the 1949 armistice lines in an effort “to present a more pragmatic and cooperative face to the world,” The New York Times reported Thursday.

The group will also re-frame its enemies — defined in its 1988 charter as “Israel, Judaism and Jews” — as “occupiers.”

Though the new language appears to be more moderate, the Times noted, the terrorist group “would not recognize Israel, however, nor would it give up future claims to all of what Hamas considers Palestinian lands.”

The new charter will also omit any references to Hamas’ ties to its parent organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, which is under increasing pressure by the government of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

The changes being considered are “not yet final and has not yet been approved by Hamas’s governing bodies,” the Times added.

“Hamas officials and other analysts said the document seemed intended to alleviate the group’s international isolation,” the Times reported, but gave no indication that Hamas would operate any differently than it does now.

Kobi Michael, the former head of the Palestinian desk at Israel’s Ministry for Strategic Affairs, cautioned that Hamas is “trying to use the sort of language that will be more accepted by the international community.” However, he noted that the group “will not change their methods — the use of terror and the use of violence against Israeli citizens.”

Hamas confirmed early last month that it had rejected an Israel’s offer to grant significant economic aid to the Gaza Strip, which was contingent on the terrorist group releasing three Israeli hostages and the bodies of two soldiers. Less than two weeks later, Hamas rejected an offer by Israel’s defense minister to create jobs and build infrastructure in Gaza in exchange for demilitarization.

Hamas’ foreign minister told NPR in May 2011 that the terror group accepted “the state and ’67 borders. This was mentioned many times and we repeated many times.” In December 2012, Meshaal vowed to never recognize Israel. “Palestine is ours from the river to the sea and from the south to the north. There will be no concession on an inch of the land,” he told thousands of supporters at a Gaza rally.

Meshaal’s comments came weeks after Hamas fired hundreds of rockets against Israeli towns, prompting Israel to launch Operation Pillar of Defense to root out terrorist infrastructure in Gaza.

Young families in South Korea and China will now be able to access HIPPY (Home Instruction for Parents and Preschool Youngsters), an Israeli-developed early learning program already reaching 20,000 families at 440 program sites in countries including Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, Israel, Liberia, New Zealand, and the United States. HIPPY-inspired programs also operate in Denmark, Finland, Holland, Sweden and Turkey. HIPPY partners with parents to prepare kids for success in school, particularly targeting children disadvantaged by poverty, limited education and language deficits. HIPPY peer parent educators from the community make home visits to provide 30 weeks per year of culturally and linguistically relevant curriculum activities and books directly to parents. (via Israel21c)

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