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The Daily TIP: Amb Ross: Israel’s “Freedom of Action” Could Be Restricted as Russia Sends S-300 Missile System to Syria

Posted by Tip Staff - September 24, 2018

Amb Ross: Israel’s “Freedom of Action” Could Be Restricted as Russia Sends S-300 Missile System to Syria
UC Irvine Preparing to Refer Anti-Israel Disrupters to Prosecution
Iran Accuses U.S., Israel of Parade Attack Claimed by Islamic Terror Group, Vows ‘Devastating’ Revenge
Medical Equipment Giant to Acquire Israeli Spinal Surgery Company

Amb Ross: Israel’s “Freedom of Action” Could Be Restricted as Russia Sends S-300 Missile System to Syria

Israeli experts fear that Russian President Vladimir Putin is exploiting the downing of a Russian aircraft in Syria last week to change the rules of the game in the war-torn country.

In an exclusive conference call with The Israel Project on Monday, Ambassador Dennis Ross expressed his concern about the consequences of the incident, specifically Israel’s “freedom of action” in Syria and the transfer of the sophisticated S-300 air defense technology. Ross also said he doesn’t believe that Russia is serious about curtailing Iran’s influence in Syria.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced earlier on Monday that Moscow will soon upgrade Syria's air defense following the downing of a Russian aircraft on September 15, 2018, with 15 Russian personnel on board.

The minister said the decision to "transfer the modern S-300 air defense system to the Syrian armed forces within two weeks" was taken by President Putin, The Times of Israel reported. Shoigi described the transfer as "response measures.”

The Kremlin accused Israeli pilots of "premeditated actions,” warning it will harm relations between the two countries. The Israeli military, however, said that Syria's indiscriminate air defense fire was the cause of the accident. 

"According to information of our military experts, the reason (behind the downing) were premeditated actions by Israeli pilots which certainly cannot but harm our relations," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.

The United States confirmed Israel’s narrative of events, saying Israeli missile strikes struck “a facility that Iran was using to house sensitive military equipment.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had earlier said that Israel’s fighter jets “targeted a facility from which systems to manufacture accurate and lethal weapons were about to be transferred on behalf of Iran to Hezbollah in Lebanon.”

Russia first agreed to sell the S-300 system to Syria in 2010 but scrapped the plan at Israel’s behest. “We are certain that the realization of these measures will cool the ‘hot heads’ and will keep them from poorly thought-out actions which threaten our servicemen,” Shoigu observed.

Israel repeatedly warned that it will enforce its “red lines” and will not allow Iran and Hezbollah to develop a permanent military presence in Syria.

UC Irvine Preparing to Refer Anti-Israel Disrupters to Prosecution

Campus police at University of California, Irvine will in the near future refer anti-Israeli event disruptors of a May 3, 2018 pro-Israel event to Orange County prosecutors, according to a UCI spokesperson. Referral will occur, says the spokesperson, as soon as the campus police investigation concludes.

If so, UCI will be the second UC campus, after UCLA, to refer loud and raucous anti-Israel disruptors to prosecutors for violation of California’s statutes prohibiting disruption of public meetings, disturbing the peace, and conspiracy to do either.

After the police referral, it will be up to District Attorney Tony Rackauckas to decide whether actual prosecution should ensue. Rackauckas previously made history with the 2011 prosecution and conviction of the famous “Irvine 11,” who disrupted Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren in 2010, when he spoke at UCI. Rackauckas is considered one the state’s most seasoned, no-nonsense DAs.

The new UCI case arises from a May 3, 2018 effort by UCI’s College Republicans to host a panel with Israeli Reservists on Duty. After about 40 minutes, a parade of anti-Israel agitators filed in to stage a well-orchestrated and unruly disruption, using a bullhorn and shouting derogatory chants. The disruption was documented by at least two dozen videos, reviewed by this writer, including this long video at minute 42:00. After the disruptors were ushered out, the boisterous disorder continued to disrupt from the corridor under police protection, according to the videos.

To read the complete essay, please click here.

Iran Accuses U.S., Israel of Parade Attack Claimed by Islamic Terror Group, Vows ‘Devastating’ Revenge

A senior figure in Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) warned U.S. and Israeli leaders to expect a "devastating" response from Tehran, accusing them of involvement in Saturday’s attack on a military parade in the city of Ahvaz, The Times of Israel reported.

Four gunmen disguised as soldiers attacked an annual Iranian military parade marking the start of the Islamic Republic's 1980-88 war with Iraq in the country's oil-rich southwest, killing at least 25 people and wounding 60 in the bloodiest assault to strike the country in recent years.

The dead and injured were a mix of members of the powerful IRGC as well as civilian onlookers, semi-official news agencies reported. During the parade, the crowd chanted, "Death to Israel and America.”

"You have seen our revenge before ... You will see that our response will be crushing and devastating, and you will regret what you have done," the IRGC’s deputy head Hossein Salami said in a speech before the funerals on state television Sunday.

Threatening what Salami called the “triangle” of Saudi Arabia, Israel and the United States, the IRGC leader said: “You are responsible for these actions; you will face the repercussions… We warn all of those behind the story, we will take revenge.”

Amaq agency, the official news outlet of the terrorist group Islamic State, claimed the attack and posted a video of three men in a vehicle who it said were on their way to carry out the assault. “We are Muslims, they are heretics,” one of the men can be heard saying in the video. “We will kill them with a guerilla attack, inshallah.”

However, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused U.S.-backed Gulf states of being behind the attack, saying in a statement that “this crime is a continuation of the plots of the regional states that are puppets of the United States.”

The attack, one of the worst ever against the IRGC, struck a blow at Iran’s security establishment at a time when the U.S., Israel and Gulf allies are working to isolate Tehran on the international stage.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley dismissed Salami’s comments. "He's got the Iranian people are protesting, every ounce of money that goes into Iran goes into his military, he has oppressed his people for a long time and he needs to look at his own base to figure out where that's coming from," she told CNN's 'State of the Union.' 

Medical Equipment Giant to Acquire Israeli Spinal Surgery Company

Medical equipment giant Medtronic is to acquire Israeli spinal surgery company Mazor Robotics for some $1.64 billion in an all-cash deal, or $1.34 billion net of Medtronic’s existing stake in Mazor, it was announced last Thursday.

Medtronic, which held a stake of about 11 percent in Mazor before the deal was unanimously approved by the boards of both companies, agreed to pay $58.50 per American Depository Share or $29.25 per ordinary share in cash, the companies said in a statement. The deal is expected to close in Medtronic’s third fiscal quarter ending January 25, 2019.

Mazor, a maker of robotic guidance systems for spine and brain surgeries, made headlines last year when Israeli surgeons performed the world’s first dual robotic surgery using Mazor’s Renaissance Guidance System and Siemens’ Artis Zeego.

The three-hour surgery at Hadassah Medical Center at Ein Kerem in Jerusalem was performed on a factory worker who broke his leg in two places and broke six spinal vertebrae in an accident.

The company was founded by Moshe Shoham and Eli Zehavi in 2001 and is based in Caesarea. Medtronic is a multinational company headquartered in Ireland and Minnesota.

Medtronic said it expects the acquisition of Mazor “to generate a double-digit return on invested capital by year four, with an increasing contribution thereafter.”

“We believe robotic-assisted procedures are the future of spine surgery, and provide surgeons a more precise, repeatable, and controlled ability to perform complex procedures,” said Geoff Martha, executive vice president and president of the Restorative Therapies Group at Medtronic.

“The acquisition of Mazor adds robotic-assisted guidance systems to our expanding portfolio of enabling technologies, and we intend to further cultivate Mazor’s legacy of innovation in surgical robotics with the site and team in Israel as a base for future growth.”

“The Mazor team and product portfolio’s full integration into Medtronic will maximize our impact globally through Medtronic’s channels, advance our system’s leadership position in the marketplace, and drive the realization of our vision to heal through innovation,” said Ori Hadomi, CEO of Mazor Robotics.

More than 200 Mazor systems are in clinical use on four continents and have guided the placement of more than 250,000 implants during some 40,000 procedures, enabling minimally invasive spine surgery to become standard procedure in many hospitals.

(via Israel21c)

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