Daily TIP

The Hezbollah attack bigger than an atomic bomb

Posted by Tip Staff - January 31, 2017
The next Nagasaki. Prof. Ehud Keinan, a chemistry expert at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, submitted a report to Israel’s Supreme Court a couple of months ago explaining that an attack on a ship which brings ammonia to Haifa’s port would be catastrophic. The ship comes to Haifa’s port about once a month and carries 16,700 tons of liquid ammonia in five tanks. Keinan concluded, Haaretz reported Monday, “damage to a single tank could cause a disaster whose effects could exceed that of the atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II. If all five storage tanks were to be compromised, the resultant deadly cloud of ammonia could cover the Haifa area for at least eight hours: Every person in the danger zone would choke to death within one hour."

Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, threatened last February to launch strikes at an ammonia plant north of Haifa. “This would be exactly as a nuclear bomb, and we can say that Lebanon today has a nuclear bomb, seeing as any rocket that might hit these tanks is capable of creating a nuclear bomb effect,” Nasrallah said.

Israel is making preparations to evacuate civilians and has spent millions of shekels on new and improved bomb shelters in the case of an attack from Hezbollah, The Jerusalem Post reported Tuesday. The Israeli military estimates that 150,000 Israeli civilians would have to leave their homes in northern Israel in the event of a war with Hezbollah. Home Front Command has developed “apps to alert a user to an incoming rocket or missile as well as automated warnings delivered to all cell phone users.”

Hezbollah reportedly has an arsenal of 130,000 rockets, more than the combined total of all 27 non-U.S. NATO member states. Israeli officials believe that any future war with Hezbollah has the potential to cause “thousands of civilian deaths” in Israel. The IDF expects that over 1,000 rockets would be fired at Israel per day in any such conflict.

Bibi goes to Washington. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with President Donald Trump on February 15, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer announced Monday.

In announcing the prime minister’s upcoming visit, Spicer said, “our relationship to the only democracy in the Middle East is crucial to the security of both our nations and the president looks forward to discussing continued strategic, technological, military and intelligence cooperation with the prime minister.”

Referring to the recently announced ballistic missile test by Iran as a “flagrant breach” of United Nations Security Council resolutions, Netanyahu said Monday that he would discuss the “entire failed nuclear accord” with the American president.

Deepening ties. World superpowers India and China are both seeking to strengthen their relationship with the Jewish state, Ynet reported Tuesday. Israel and China are completing a free-trade agreement, while Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is planning a trip to Israel in 2017—the first ever of its kind. Prime Minister Modi's visit will mark the first time in history an Indian prime minister will visit Israel. India's Ambassador to Israel made the announcement Monday night in an interview marking the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Israel and India.

Trade between Israel and China currently stands at $11 billion and is expected to grow significantly. Last year it was announced that Jerusalem and Beijing were negotiating a free trade zone, a move pushed by growing interest in Israeli tech startups by Chinese investors.

“As the world’s second-largest economy shifts its identity from a manufacturing and labor-intensive economy to a high-end innovative force, Asian giants including Alibaba Group, Hutchison Water Ltd., and Huawei have set up R&D centers, invested in funds and snapped up Israeli startups and companies,” The Times of Israel explained in October.

The world’s yellow-tailed woolly monkey population is critically endangered and repeatedly features on a list of the world’s top 25 most endangered primates. Now a new Israeli-led conservationist project will ensure this rare primate species will have a protected land area in the Peruvian Andes, safe from deforestation and poaching. This Is My Earth (TiME) – an Israeli-founded non-profit organization based in New York– recently crowdfunded $30,000 to purchase privately-owned land in the Peruvian Andes to create a nature reserve for over 300 species. “Within less than a year, we’ve managed to show that it’s possible to save species and protect the earth through crowdsourcing, thanks to lots of caring people,” said TiME co-founder Prof. Uri Shanas of the Biology and Environment Department at the University of Haifa’s Oranim Campus. TiME’s members include environmental leaders and renowned scientists from around the world. The crowdsourced project will see TiME purchase the nature reserve habitat in the Peruvian Andes, currently privately-owned land. This habitat is home to over 300 species of birds, lizards, and mammals, among them many of which appear on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Among the vulnerable species found at the site include the Peruvian night monkey, the spectacled bear, the long-whiskered owlet, the white-bellied spider monkey, the Royal sunangel and jaguars. (via Israel21c)

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