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Hamas, Hezbollah, Houthis: Multi-Front Terror Assault Impacting Israeli Food Security, Expert Warns

Smoke rises as seen from the Israel-Lebanon border in northern Israel, Nov. 12, 2023. Photo: REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza to the south, together with the ongoing clashes with Hezbollah to the north and Houthi rebels attacking Red Sea shipping from Yemen, has created an impending food security crisis for the Jewish state, according to an expert who spoke to The Algemeiner.

“Israel is heavily reliant on imports for highly consumed food such as beef and fish … More than 70 percent of our food is imported by sea, as well as 85 percent of beef,” said Alla Voldman-Rantzer, vice president of strategy at the Good Food Institute (GFI) in Israel, which is part of an international nonprofit aimed towards building a sustainable, healthy, and just food system.

The institute, explained Voldman-Rantzer, works to “bring forward technology that assists with alternative forms of beef, chicken, fish, and eggs.” Its work has played a role in the growing alternative meat sector, of which Israel is a major global player, birthing companies such as Aleph Farms and Redefine Meat. GFI provides scientific resources for researchers, investors, and startups, all with the common goal of “making Israel a leader” in the food production space and improving the country’s overall food security — defined as a country’s ability to provide adequate access of nutritious and sufficient food to its population.

However, the war in Gaza sparked by the Hamas terror group’s Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel has presented a direct threat to that vision.

“The ongoing war has created a serious crisis,” she said, noting that Iran-backed Houthi rebels, who control much of Yemen including the capital, have since October attacked several ships in the Red Sea they say have Israeli links or are sailing to Israel, in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.

The rebel movement — whose slogan is “death to America, death to Israel, curse the Jews, and victory to Islam” — has also claimed responsibility for attempted drone and missile strikes targeting Israel itself.

As a result of the Red Sea attacks, a number of major shipping lines have announced they would forgo the vital trade route and instead opt for a longer, pricier journey around Africa.

The result, said Voldman-Rantzer, is “higher prices and lower supply” for the Israeli consumer.

Her organization has also been urging the Israeli government to make sure plans are made before a potential full-scale war opens up in the north with Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed terror group based in Lebanon. The Israel-Lebanon border has seen intense fighting between Israeli and Hezbollah forces since Oct. 7.

Such instability at Israel’s borders poses a threat to food that’s not only imported but also grown domestically.

“Most of Israel’s farms are located in the periphery areas, outside of the center of the country … [and] the periphery is very unstable,” she explained.

According to government statistics, roughly 75 percent of all of the country’s crops are grown in the areas around the Gaza border. In the north, meanwhile, it is estimated by the Agricultural Ministry that 70 percent of the eggs originate from areas under risk or evacuated due to Hezbollah rocket fire.

Israel generally has a strong agricultural sector, with a majority of the country’s fruits and vegetables grown domestically — although with out-of-season products imported.

Due to the war, however, many of these farms have been left desolate with crops completely abandoned. Those that are possible to be harvested have been heavily burdened by the fact that Palestinian and foreign laborers are not working.

Palestinian workers have not been allowed in Israel since Palestinian terrorists led by Hamas invaded the Jewish state on Oct. 7 and massacred 1,200 people, mostly civilians. The terrorists also abducted 240 people as hostages back to Hamas-ruled Gaza. Meanwhile, many foreign workers have returned to their countries of origin since the outbreak of the war — for example, the more than 25,000 Thai workers in Israel before Oct. 7 has dwindled significantly.

Many Israelis have tried to fill the gap, but it may not be enough to ensure the security of the country’s food supply, which according to Voldman-Rantzer must “be addressed urgently.”

“The Agriculture Ministry, the Finance Ministry, the government … everyone is saying a lot but no one party has stepped to the plate to make a difference,” she said.

The GFI is hoping the government creates an emergency plan to address food security — a step that critics say is long overdue, noting Israel is the only member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) without one.

According to Voldman-Rantzer, it is essential for Israel to “strengthen the resilience of the food industry.”

The post Hamas, Hezbollah, Houthis: Multi-Front Terror Assault Impacting Israeli Food Security, Expert Warns first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Israeli Official: ‘Important Operation’ in Yemen Sends Strong Message to Shiite Axis

Drones are seen at a site at an undisclosed location in Iran, in this handout image obtained on April 20, 2023. Photo: Iranian Army/WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Handout via REUTERS

i24 NewsA senior Israeli security official spoke to i24NEWS on Saturday on condition of the retaliatory strike carried out by the Israel Air Force against the Houthi jihadists in Yemen.

“This is an important operation which signals that there’s room for further escalation, and sends a very strong message to the entire Shiite axis.”

“We understood there is a high probability of counter attacks, but if we do not respond, the meaning is even worse. Israel has updated the US prior to the operation.”

The strike on Hodeida came after long-range Iranian-made drone hit a building in central Tel Aviv, killing one man and wounded several others.

The post Israeli Official: ‘Important Operation’ in Yemen Sends Strong Message to Shiite Axis first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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IDF Confirms Striking ‘Terrorist Houthi Regime’ in Yemen’s Hodeida

Houthi leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi addresses followers via a video link at the al-Shaab Mosque, formerly al-Saleh Mosque, in Sanaa, Yemen, Feb. 6, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

i24 NewsThe Israeli military on Saturday confirmed striking a port in Yemen controlled by the Houthi jihadists, a day after the Iranian proxy group perpetrated a deadly drone attack on Tel Aviv.

“A short while ago, IDF fighter jets struck military targets of the Houthi terrorist regime in the area of the Al Hudaydah Port in Yemen in response to the hundreds of attacks carried out against the State of Israel in recent months.”

After Houthi drone attack on Tel Aviv, reports and footage out of Yemen of air strikes hitting Hodeida

— Video used in accordance with clause 27A of Israeli copyright law pic.twitter.com/d2uE16ZzQ1

— i24NEWS English (@i24NEWS_EN) July 20, 2024

Yoav Gallant, the defense minister, issued a statement saying “The fire that is currently burning in Hodeidah, is seen across the Middle East and the significance is clear. The Houthis attacked us over 200 times. The first time that they harmed an Israeli citizen, we struck them. And we will do this in any place where it may be required.”

“The blood of Israeli citizens has a price,” Gallant added. “This has been made clear in Lebanon, in Gaza, in Yemen, and in other places – if they will dare to attack us, the result will be identical.”

Gallant: ‘The fire currently burning in Hodeida is seen across the region and the significance is clear… The blood of Israeli citizens has a price, as has been made clear in Lebanon, in Gaza, in Yemen and in other places – if they dare attack us, the result will be identical.’ pic.twitter.com/DmHjwfHtPV

— i24NEWS English (@i24NEWS_EN) July 20, 2024

The post IDF Confirms Striking ‘Terrorist Houthi Regime’ in Yemen’s Hodeida first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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One Part of Cyprus Mourns, the Other Rejoices 50 Years After Split

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan leaves after attending a military parade to mark the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus in response to a short-lived Greek-inspired coup, in the Turkish-controlled northern Cyprus, in the divided city of Nicosia, Cyprus July 20, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou

Greek Cypriots mourned and Turkish Cypriots rejoiced on Saturday, the 50th anniversary of Turkey’s invasion of part of the island after a brief Greek inspired coup, with the chances of reconciliation as elusive as ever.

The ethnically split island is a persistent source of tension between Greece and Turkey, which are both partners in NATO but are at odds over numerous issues.

Their differences were laid bare on Saturday, with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attending a celebratory military parade in north Nicosia to mark the day in 1974 when Turkish forces launched an offensive that they call a “peace operation.”

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was due later on Saturday to attend an event in the south of the Nicosia to commemorate what Greeks commonly refer to as the “barbaric Turkish invasion.” Air raid sirens sounded across the area at dawn.

Mitsotakis posted an image of a blood-stained map of Cyprus on his LinkedIn page with the words “Half a century since the national tragedy of Cyprus.”

There was jubilation in the north.

“The Cyprus Peace Operation saved Turkish Cypriots from cruelty and brought them to freedom,” Erdogan told crowds who gathered to watch the parade despite stifling midday heat, criticizing the south for having a “spoiled mentality” and seeing itself as the sole ruler of Cyprus.

Peace talks are stalled at two seemingly irreconcilable concepts – Greek Cypriots want reunification as a federation. Turkish Cypriots want a two-state settlement.

Erdogan left open a window to dialogue although he said a federal solution, advocated by Greek Cypriots and backed by most in the international community, was “not possible.”

“We are ready for negotiations, to meet, and to establish long-term peace and resolution in Cyprus,” he said.

Cyprus gained independence from Britain in 1960, but a shared administration between Greek and Turkish Cypriots quickly fell apart in violence that saw Turkish Cypriots withdraw into enclaves and led to the dispatch of a U.N. peacekeeping force.

The crisis left Greek Cypriots running the internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus, a member of the European Union since 2004 with the potential to derail Turkey’s own decades-long aspirations of joining the bloc.

It also complicates any attempts to unlock energy potential in the eastern Mediterranean because of overlapping claims. The region has seen major discoveries of hydrocarbons in recent years.

REMEMBERING THE DEAD

Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides, whose office represents the Greek Cypriot community in the reunification dialogue, said the anniversary was a somber occasion for reflection and for remembering the dead.

“Our mission is liberation, reunification and solving the Cyprus problem,” he said. “If we really want to send a message on this tragic anniversary … it is to do anything possible to reunite Cyprus.”

Turkey, he said, continued to be responsible for violating human rights and international law over Cyprus.

Across the south, church services were held to remember the more than 3,000 people who died in the Turkish invasion.

“It was a betrayal of Cyprus and so many kids were lost. It wasn’t just my son, it was many,” said Loukas Alexandrou, 90, as he tended the grave of his son at a military cemetery.

In Turkey, state television focused on violence against Turkish Cypriots prior to the invasion, particularly on bloodshed in 1963-64 and in 1967.

Turkey’s invasion took more than a third of the island and expelled more than 160,000 Greek Cypriots to the south.

Reunification talks collapsed in 2017 and have been at a stalemate since. Northern Cyprus is a breakaway state recognized only by Turkey, and its Turkish Cypriot leadership wants international recognition.

The post One Part of Cyprus Mourns, the Other Rejoices 50 Years After Split first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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