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IDF Holds War Games Amidst Regional Tensions

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1 Feb 2019 (All day)
IDF Holds War Games Amidst Regional Tensions
The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) held a large-scale training exercise this week to simulate a war with the Iranian-backed Lebanese Shi’ite terror militia Hezbollah. “The next war will be different than it was in the past,” one officer who participated in the exercise told the Jerusalem Post. “The enemy has gotten better, and has more advanced weapons and more experience. Both sides have advanced, and we know our enemy. But, at the same time I am sure they know us, too.”

“I have high confidence in my men,” he added. “I have fought in many wars with the IDF and I have a lot of trust in them and their professionalism. In terms of reservists, there’s a strong connection between them and conscripts. They fight shoulder-to-shoulder, we train together a lot and they have a lot of advanced equipment... They will tell you that they are ready for war…at the end of the day, every month that passes, we get better and better. We understand our enemy more and more.”

Meanwhile, the IDF Navy also held drills this week to simulate defending against missile attacks on offshore natural gas extraction platforms.

“Many fleets are deployed in the Mediterranean, and in the northern front there are superpowers like the Russians. In the end of the day, this requires a larger and wider naval presence in Israel’s economic waters,” said a senior officer on Thursday. “The navy’s purpose is to protect the country’s EEZ. Any enemy ship that tries to attack our strategic facilities will be destroyed.”

Here is a video giving some analysis of Israel's strategic situation at the beginning of 2019

BDS Movement Suffers Devastating Setbacks
The movement to Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) Israel suffered another defeat this week when details emerged of the mega-deal agreed to between the US-based tech giant Intel Corp. and Israel, including a clause which will see Intel purchase $4 billion worth of Israeli goods and services over the next six years in exchange for an Israeli government grant and other assistance in the construction of a massive new chip production facility in Kiryat Gat. The plant is expected to directly create over 1,000 high-paying jobs and indirectly support many more.

In another sign of Israel’s increasing importance to large players on the international stage, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) announced this week that it has signed contracts to provide $93 million worth of defensive equipment to the Indian Navy.

IDF Rescue Teams Heading Home from Brazil
The IDF Spokesperson’s office Tweeted late Thursday evening that its mission to assist the search and rescue teams in Brazil had come a close and the Israeli delegation to the disaster zone surrounding the Bumandinho dam which collapsed last Sunday, sending a wave of water and debris into nearby villages which is believed to have killed as over 100 people. "Our aid mission to Brazil has come to an end, and our soldiers will soon be heading home to Israel. Brazil, we are proud to have been by your side," the IDF Twitter account said.

Here is a video about the rescue mission posted by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Space Week Launches in Israel
Israel’s Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis took part in ceremonies this week to launch the 16th annual “Space Week” which included a variety of activities to educate and inspire the public. “I foresee a great future for the State of Israel in general and in the high-tech industry and the space industry for the next decade,” he said.  “I think that we are a powerhouse of innovation...I have no doubt that the strong desire to cooperate in the research and technology of Israel in particular improves our relations in science. I call it ‘science diplomacy.’” 


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