Iran violates nuclear deal, exceeding enriched uranium stockpile

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Israel Strikes Iranian Targets in Syria, Report Says; 16 Killed, 21 Wounded

Syrian air defenses responded to attacks on Homs and Damascus outskirts launched from Lebanese air space, Syrian state media says

Sixteen people including a baby were killed and 21 were wounded by an Israeli attack on multiple Syrian and Iranian targets on the outskirts of Damascus and Homs, Syrian state-run al-Ikhbariya broadcaster reported, citing its correspondent.

Israeli warplanes fired missiles at Syria that targeted Syrian military positions in Homs and Sahnaya, south of Damascus, the Syrian military said on Monday.

“The first assessment is that a Russian-made missile, part of the air defense system, which was part of the air defense system that took place last night in the face of an air strike against Syria, completed its range and fell into our country after it missed,” Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Kudret Ozersay said in a social media post.

The object hit a mountainside north of the capital Nicosia.

Syrian air defenses confronted the attack, which was launched from Lebanese airspace, the Syrian defense ministry said in a brief report on its Telegram feed. 

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 16 people were killed, among them three children and ten Iranian militias and Hezbollah members. The observatory added that the Israeli Navy also took part in the strike, targeting ten Hezbollah bases, including compounds that were used by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

SANA said the dead included a baby and that other children were among the wounded in Sahnaya. It was unclear whether the civilians were killed in the strike or in the resulting blasts.

Social media pages affiliated with the Assad regime have been sharing posts saying a man named Anas Albiat and his wife Rama Arnaout. along with their infant son, were killed in the strike.

According to the observatory, among the sites hit were Revolutionary Guards’ compounds south of Damascus, a strategic research center northwest of Damascus, Hezbollah facilities near the Syrian-Lebanese border, where large fires were reported after several arms depots were hit.

In addition, a research center in Homs was reportedly struck, in addition to an airbase south of Homs that serves Iranian and Hezbollah forces.

The Israeli army has yet to comment on the incident.

Syrian state TV station al-Ikhbariya, citing its correspondent, said the pressure of explosions over Damascus had caused damage to some homes in Sahnaya, south of the capital, breaking glass and slightly injuring a number of people.

State news agency SANA cited its correspondent as saying Syrian air defenses had brought down a number of the missiles.

In recent years, Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes in Syria that it says have targeted its regional arch foe, Iran, and the Lebanese Hezbollah group, which it calls the biggest threat to its borders.

Iran and Hezbollah are fighting on the side of President Bashar Assad in the Syrian war, and Israel says they are trying to turn Syria into a new front against Israelis.

On June 12, SANA reported that Syrian Air Defenses thwarted an Israeli attack on Tal al-Hara in southern Syria and shot down a number of missiles.

Located in Daraa Governorate, Tal al-Hara is considered as a strategic hill overlooking the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights.

The missile attack resulted only in damage and Israel then conducted an “electronic war” in which radars were subjected to interference, SANA added.

Hours after the incident, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a message saying that Israel responds “decisively and forcibly to any attack against us,” yet did not claim responsibility for the alleged attack.

Earlier in June, Syrian state media said Israeli missiles were fired toward a Syrian military base in Homs, a day after Israel confirmed it had struck Syrian targets on Saturday in retaliation for rocket fire toward the Golan Heights.

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U.S. Senate Condemns Deepening Israel-China Ties, Cites ‘Serious Security Concerns’

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A Senate committee promotes legislation expressing concern about Israel allowing a Chinese company to operate the port of Haifa, long a port of call for the Sixth Fleet//Crimson Tazvinzwa

Two years ago, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced during a visit to Singapore a “pivot to Asia,” an amusing echo of the Obama-era pivot that was much maligned and misunderstood. (It was criticized as proof that the Middle East would be abandoned, and for the appearance that it focused more on military cooperation with Asian countries wary of China, rather than a more three-dimensional engagement with the rising powers of the East.) For Israel, the announcement was a rhetorical flourish for a reality that had been evolving over many years.

From its early days as an independent state, Israel courted those members of the United Nations that might be willing to provide political recognition. The Philippines and Burma (today’s Myanmar) were the only Asian nations to provide support in 1947 and 1948, voting for the partition resolution and the admittance of Israel as a UN member, respectively. Burma’s leader, U Nu, was the first foreign leader to visit the state. In the 1950s, Israel helped Singapore develop its security sector, and relations have remained strong over the years, often out of the limelight, because of sensitivities about offending Singapore’s large Muslim-majority neighbor, Malaysia.

India and China, the two Asian powerhouses of today, established discreet relations with Israel in 1950, but it took 40 years to establish full diplomatic relations. Trade was modest in the early years, in the tens of millions of dollars, but today, China is Israel’s second-most-important trading partner, with more than US$17 billion in two-way trade in 2017, and with India around $5 billion. (The US-Israel trade volume, by comparison, was about $35 billion in 2017 and 2018.)

Israel is now a member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and China has begun to think of its strategic location as part of the massive Belt and Road Initiative.

In other measures of soft power, Israeli-China and Israeli-India relations are developing depth. There are two Confucius Institutes in Israel, based in the two major universities in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. An Israeli non-governmental organization, the Israel Asia Center, is committed to building ties among emerging leaders from China, Taiwan, South Korea and India. Tourist travel from Asia is growing annually by double digits, and the Israeli tourism industry plans expanded hotel capacity to accommodate an anticipated growth in travel from newly mobile Chinese citizens.

Economic relations in a global marketplace may not be the most important metric of power and influence. One could argue that all these examples simply show the power of mutual economic benefit. Israelis are pragmatic, and their location between Europe and Asia provides a distinct opportunity to sustain their economic success by expanding to new markets.

But with the rising Asian powers, it’s worth keeping in mind that the scale of economic interaction can lead to interdependence in some sectors, and that takes on larger political and security dimensions. For now, nearly all analysts would insist that there is no substitute for the security partnership with the US; Israel has been able to develop its high-tech defense sector and its civilian economy, and avoid painful compromises with the Palestinians, thanks to American political protection and support.

And in the past, when forced to choose between meeting US expectations or working with new Asian business partners, Israel has accepted the primacy of its ties to Washington. In the late 1990s and again in 2005, Israel had to publicly rescind lucrative transactions with China when the US objected to the technology transfer of airborne radar systems and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, or drones).

Even now, as trade in defense goods forms a significant part of Israeli exports to India and to China, those transactions are still fraught with political considerations. Israel is wary of China’s arms trade with Iran, and China is unhappy with Israel’s important investments in India’s defense sector, estimated at about $600 million in one recent annual count. So one cannot make the case that Israel has deep relationships of trust with the Asian powers, comparable to its decades of strategic cooperation with Washington.

However, it’s still worth opening our minds to the potential shift. Trade in the billions of dollars takes on political value for politicians and industry leaders. They begin to have a vested interest in keeping those relationships steady. Should US-China relations move in a more adversarial direction, Israel may be faced with some difficult tradeoffs. The dilemmas will sharpen if a post-Trump administration walks back the over-the-top embrace of hardline Israeli positions, creating friction in that key relationship. And rising anti-Semitism in many Western countries will erode Israelis’ trust in the West.

It’s not self-evident that Israel’s pivot to Asia will harm its traditional foreign policy, but it might.

 

 

With Its National Security at Stake, Israel Takes Sides in U.S.-China Trade War

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Israel’s Netanyahu Knows It’s Over?

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Because of Netanyahu, the New Election Could Result in the Same Nightmare

Avigdor Lieberman,Yisrael Beiteinu party, brought down Netanyahu, pretends he’s a champion of religious freedom and a fighter against Jewish fundamentalism//CRIMSON TAZVINZWA//

Netanyahu may win the new election but it will be too late to push through the High Court override and the immunity from prosecution: Who will sign a coalition agreement with someone on his political deathbed.

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ISRAELI Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Suffers One of the Biggest Losses of His Political Career

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After Prime Minister Netanyahu failed to form a governing coalition by the deadline, the Knesset voted Wednesday night to dissolve itself and hold an election once again, just seven weeks after the previous one.

Los Angeles Times Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu criticized for response to Charlottesville, Va., violence

Prime minister failed to mediate between Lieberman and ultra-Orthodox parties, sending Israel to its second election in six months

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Australian government claims ‘miracle’ election win

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PM heads to church, football after ‘miracle’ election//Lidia Kelly, Barrett/REUTERS

MELBOURNE/SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison thanked his fellow Pentecostal churchgoers on Sunday after a miraculous election victory that defied years of unfavourable opinion polls and bruised a Labor opposition that had been widely expected to win.

Australian PM heads to church, football after ‘miracle’ election win – Reuters

Morrison’s Liberal-led conservative coalition has won or is leading in 76 seats, the number needed to form a majority government, according to the Australian Electoral Commission. A little more than three-quarters of the roughly 17 million votes cast in the Saturday polls have been counted.

Morrison told raucous supporters late on Saturday, who had earlier seemed resigned to defeat, that he had always believed in miracles.

The result drew comparisons with Republican Donald Trump’s victory over Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were among the first world leaders to congratulate Morrison.

“Congratulations to Scott on a GREAT WIN,” Trump said on Twitter before calling the Australian leader..

Jacinda Ardern, the progressive prime minister of neighbouring New Zealand, also called to congratulate him, saying that Morrison “understands us”.

Opinion polls in Australia had all pointed to a Labor victory. So strong was the expectation the government would fall that one betting agency even paid out bets on a Labor win days before the election.

Morrison, who emerged as an unlikely leader after Liberal party infighting last year, cast himself as the candidate who would work for aspirational voters and the tactic seemed to strike a chord.

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