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The Daily TIP: Bolton Assures Netanyahu that Syria Withdrawal Will Not Put Israel, Allies in “Jeopardy”

Posted by Tip Staff - January 07, 2019

Bolton Assures Netanyahu that Syria Withdrawal Will Not Put Israel, Allies in “Jeopardy”
Report: Three Iraqi Delegations Visited Israel, Met with Government Officials
IAF Strikes Hamas Targets after Iron Dome Intercepts Gaza Rocket over Ashkelon
Israeli Water Tech Meets Challenge of Reduced Rainfall

Bolton Assures Netanyahu that Syria Withdrawal Will Not Put Israel, Allies in “Jeopardy”

On a state visit to Israel, John Bolton, the National Security Adviser of the United States, assured Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the proposed withdrawal of American troops from Syria will be gradual and will not put Israel or other U.S. allies in "jeopardy," The Washington Post reported Sunday.

Bolton said that the U.S. had certain "objectives" that must be met before withdrawing its forces from Syria.

When he spoke at a press conference with Netanyahu, Bolton elaborated on what those objectives were. He said that “the defense of Israel and other friends in the region is absolutely assured,” that the Kurds and other allies would be protected, and that the U.S. would “make sure ISIS is defeated and is not able to revive itself and become a threat again.”

While in Israel, Bolton visited the Western Wall accompanied by Israel's National Security Adviser Meir Ben Shabbat and Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer. In addition to visiting the Jewish holy site, Bolton took a tour of the nearby tunnels.

Palestinian Authority official Saeb Erekat blasted the visit, saying that Bolton's presence at the Wall "will only lead to lawlessness."

Bolton wrote of his visit to the holy site, "A great accomplishment to uncover all of this history, from the very start of our common civilization."

“We now have the best U.S.-Israel relationship in our history, and on our side we’re certainly determined to continue that,” Bolton said at a joint appearance with Netanyahu. Bolton added that if "any nation," whether it was located in the Middle East or not, has "any doubt about America's support for Israel's self-defense," that nation "had better think about it again.”

Report: Three Iraqi Delegations Visited Israel, Met with Government Officials

In a sign of the warming ties between Israel and Arab countries, three Iraqi delegations visited the Jewish State in recent months, while the leader of Iraq’s Ummah Party Mithal al-Alusi recently said that establishing ties with Israel was in his country’s “interest.”

The Times of Israel reported on Sunday that the Jewish State recently hosted three delegations of senior Iraqis and that the delegates, who were not officially identified for security purposes, met with Israeli governments officials.

The delegations comprised of 15 political and religious figures from both the Sunni and Shiite communities also held meetings with Israeli academics and visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial.

Reports suggest that the men were not from Iraqi Kurdistan but rather from “Iraq proper — that is, Baghdad,” indicating the groundwork is being laid for normalized relations between Israel and Iraq.

In related news, the leader of Iraq’s Ummah Party Mithal al-Alusi earlier this month, in an interview with a Kuwaiti newspaper, called on Iraq to establish ties with the Jewish State and expressed hope to see an Iraqi embassy in Israel at some point in the future.

Al-Alusi, who visited Israel on numerous occasions, referred to diplomatic relations with Israel as "our [Iraqi] interest.” The lawmaker noted that he does not want Baghdad's interests to be solely tied to "Abu Mazen," the name by which Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is commonly referred to in the Arab World.

The Jerusalem Post reported that al-Alusi also blasted Iraq’s intimate ties to Iran and described Tehran’s expansionist agenda as a threat to Iraq’s national interest and regional stability. The Iraqi official warned that Iran has been amassing power because "it is the most insane actor, which gambles with the lives of its sons, its people and its history in order to [realize] the Iranian leaders' false vision."

IAF Strikes Hamas Targets after Iron Dome Intercepts Gaza Rocket over Ashkelon

The Israeli Air Force conducted raids against Hamas targets in Gaza following the interception of a rocket over the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, The Jerusalem Post reported Monday.

Several planes and helicopter gunships hit terrorist positions in a Hamas camp following the shootdown of the rocket early Monday morning.

The IDF released a statement saying, "We hold the Hamas terror organization accountable for all acts of terror emanating from the Gaza Strip."

On Sunday, an explosive device was flown from Gaza into southern Israel carried by a bunch of balloons. The balloons and drone-like object landed in a carrot field in the Sdot Negev region.

The device exploded, as bomb disposal robot carried it away. No injuries were reported.

The drone-like object had the name of a Gaza engineering school on it but did not appear to be capable of flight.

Following the attempted balloon attack, IDF forces struck two observation posts controlled by Hamas.

"In response to the attempted attack, IDF helicopters targeted two Hamas military posts in Gaza. Hamas will bear the consequences of its actions," the IDF said in a statement.

The balloon attack, though unsuccessful, was a repeat of a tactic used by Gaza-based terrorists, coinciding with the violent Hamas-led riots called the Great March of Return. Over the past nine months, terrorists from Gaza have been sending incendiary and explosive devices into Israel by means of balloons, kites, and even condoms. According to an October 2018 study, this tactic had burned half of the forests near Gaza.

"Thousands of acres of land have been burned, causing millions of shekels in damages, according to Israeli officials. Some balloons have also carried improvised explosive devices," The Times of Israel reported.

Israeli Water Tech Meets Challenge of Reduced Rainfall

Israel has solved its water crisis! That’s a typical headline about Israel’s world-leading smart water management and advanced water technology.

As I sipped freshly desalinated Mediterranean water at the world’s largest seawater desalination plant, the brilliance of Israel’s many-pronged approach was as clear as the H2O in my paper cup.

But if residents, farmers and tourists in the Holy Land never worry about the tap running dry, that’s only because Israel invests huge amounts of money and brainpower to stay one step ahead of a worsening worldwide water crisis.

Five years into a severe drought, it’s more accurate to say that Israel is constantly inventing and implementing practical solutions to a problem that is not entirely solvable.

“It is a never-ending story,” says Yossi Yaacoby, chief of staff to the CEO of Mekorot, Israel’s national water carrier. Yaacoby formerly headed WaTech, Mekorot’s innovation arm.

Due to climate change, he explains, Israel’s October-to-March rainy season has been reduced to a handful of torrentially rainy days, causing most of the precious liquid to be lost to runoff. The North’s waterways are no longer an abundant trickle-down source for much of the country; the Sea of Galilee is approaching its lowest-ever level.

“This is why we can’t depend on rain. Even in winter we need to irrigate. And it’s not only in Israel; it is happening everywhere,” says Yaacoby.

Since 2005, wastewater reclamation and seawater desalination have become key in assuring an adequate supply — 2.1 billion cubic meters annually — to Israeli households, industry and agriculture.

Some 31 percent of irrigation water originates from wastewater treated at more than 150 plants. Treated brackish water (not as salty as seawater) is supplied from 45 plants for both agricultural and non-agricultural needs.

Sixty to 80% of Israel’s municipal water, adjusted according to season and real-time demand, flows from large coastal desal plants in Sorek, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Palmachim and Hadera.

“In 2014, we thought we had enough [desalinated water] capacity, 600 million cubic meters, that it didn’t matter how much [rain] God will supply in the winter,” says Yaacoby. “That was a mistake. We are lacking 100 million to 200 million cubic meters of water per year in Israel these days.”

Two more desalination plants are to be completed in the next few years. “Altogether, in 2025 we will be getting 1.1 billion cubic meters of desalinated water,” Yaacoby says.

(via Israel21c)

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