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Is It Time for an IDF Missile Corps?

Hezbollah members parade during a rally marking al-Quds Day, (Jerusalem Day) in Beirut’s southern suburbs, Lebanon, April 5, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

JNS.orgIran’s April 14 attack on strategic Israeli sites including the Nevatim F-35 air base was successfully stopped by an extraordinarily capable multi-layered air-defense system and assistance from allied militaries, but still serves as a reminder that Israeli air bases are a prime target for both Iran and its Lebanese Shi’ite proxy, Hezbollah.

Hezbollah, which has more firepower than most NATO militaries, will certainly attempt to saturate Israeli air defenses and target airbases in any future full-scale conflict with Israel.

On Tuesday, Hezbollah claimed it had targeted an Iron Dome air defense battery in northern Israel with suicide drones.

The potential establishment of an “Israel Defense Forces Missile Corps,” perhaps under the Israeli Air Force or the IDF Artillery Corps, would represent a significant shift toward enhancing Israeli attack capabilities through advanced, land-based missile systems. These would both partially ease the very intensive workload of the IAF, and create redundancy options for Israeli firepower capabilities.

According to an April 10 report in Aviation Week, citing an American defense official, the IAF’s 39-jet fleet of F-35Is “have surged to more than five times normal operations since the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas and have sustained that level with the help of international support.” The report added that the Israel fleet of stealth fighters saw a “565% jump in monthly average flight hours over a six-month period.”

“By moving to three shifts for nonstop operations, Israeli maintainers and contractor field service representatives have allowed the Israeli Air Force to continue flying F-35Is at a rate of 35-39 jets a day,” the report said, giving an indication of the IAF’s workload even prior to the April 14 attack.

The first advantage of a ground-based Israeli missile corps would be reducing at least some of the workload currently facing the IAF.

In addition, ground-based missile units offer rapid response—operational within minutes—alongside minimal crew requirements for operation and maintenance.

Vitally, creating more such missile bases would also give Israel alternative strike options in the event that an enemy manages to impair the country’s air bases (despite the fact that the IAF is confident in its ability to rapidly repair runways and other air base infrastructure).

The introduction of a dedicated missile corps would complement the manned and unmanned array of fighter jets, combat helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles, with UAVs able to help direct the fire of the missiles.

Diversifying Israel’s strike mechanisms and dispersing strategic risks would be the main benefits of such a move.

The IDF is already equipped with a range of surface-to-surface guided rocket and missile systems. Israel’s adversaries have claimed, without corroboration, that such missiles have already been used. For example, in May 2022, Syrian state media claimed that Israeli surface-to-surface missiles were used in a strike on a target near Damascus, and that the missiles were fired from the Golan Heights.

It seems safe to assume that many of the systems offered by Israeli defense company Elbit Systems are already integrated into the IDF. The government-owned Tomer defense company stands as the backbone of these developments, acting as the country’s rocket propulsion knowledge center and having a hand in developing these sophisticated systems.

Elbit’s products include the autonomous artillery rocket system called Precise and Universal Launching System (PULS), with which, according to Elbit, “there is no need to move artillery units based on the required firing range; the versatile solution can fire a variety of ammunition types to various ranges from the same position, to ranges of up to 300 kilometers [186 miles].”

In addition, the Accular is described as a “highly accurate, combat-proven guided rocket designed to support ground forces. The artillery rocket addresses urban warfare requirements and the need for near-real-time responsiveness. Accular can neutralize targets to a range of up to 40 kilometers [25 miles] and is especially required in areas where the use of traditional artillery is limited by terrain, distance and accuracy.”

Other products include the Extra artillery rocket, which has a range of 150 kilometers [93 miles] and which travels at supersonic speeds, and the Predator Hawk long-range strike rocket, which has a 300 kilometer [186 mile] range.

Israel’s long-range ballistic missile capabilities remain classified.

According to international media reports, they include variants of the Jericho ballistic missile (types 1 through 3) and submarine-launched Popeye cruise missiles.

An independent IDF missile corps is both timely and necessary. Recent events suggest that while air defenses have never been more important for guarding Israel’s attack capabilities, relying primarily on aircraft for strikes may be placing too many eggs in too few baskets.

The post Is It Time for an IDF Missile Corps? first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Assault charge laid, arrest made related to incident near the University of Toronto encampment—while its president speaks in Ottawa on antisemitism, and the school seeks a removal injunction

Toronto Police have arrested and charged a man for assault over an incident May 9 near the protest encampment at the University of Toronto’s King’s College Circle on its downtown campus.  Toronto Police Services (TPS) say they responded at 3:45 p.m. that day to a call for assault in the area of the road around […]

The post Assault charge laid, arrest made related to incident near the University of Toronto encampment—while its president speaks in Ottawa on antisemitism, and the school seeks a removal injunction appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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‘Any Chance the Media Would Cover This?’ New Video Shows Terrorists in Gaza Using Humanitarian Aid to Help Prepare Rockets

Terrorists in Gaza using humanitarian aid bags to prop up rockets. Photo: Screenshot

Terrorists in Gaza have been using humanitarian aid bags to prop up rockets they were preparing to shoot at Israelis, new video circulating on social media reveals, underscoring the challenges of delivering aid to Palestinian civilians in the Hamas-ruled enclave without it being stolen.

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade — which is the armed wing of Fatah, the political party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbasused bags from Turkey and UNRWA — the UN agency responsible for the Palestinians — to prop up the rockets, according to the video.

At least three of the bags say they contain “wheat flour,” and the bag from Turkey specifically says it is supposed to go “to the Palestinian people.” It is unclear whether the bags had previously been opened to extract the food and then refilled with sand, for example, or if it still contained the food that was intended to feed Palestinian civilians.

“Any chance the media would cover this, yet another violation of international humanitarian law?” pro-Israel commentator Hen Mazzig wrote on X/Twitter while sharing the video.

Rafah, Gaza: Hamas is using UN humanitarian aid bags as rocket launchers today.

Any chance the media would cover this, yet another, violation of International Humanitarian Law? pic.twitter.com/eNIy2SU0Ep

— Hen Mazzig (@HenMazzig) May 29, 2024

Almost every day for the past seven months, Hamas and other Gaza-based terrorist organizations have been shooting rockets into Israel from civilian areas, which is a war crime. Tens of thousands of Israelis are internally displaced and unable to return to their homes as a result.

There is mounting evidence that Hamas has also operated in civilian clothing and in civilian infrastructure such as hospitals. However, these violations of international law are rarely noted by much of the media.

The latest video of terrorists using humanitarian aid for military purposes underscores the issue of making sure such aid gets to Palestinian civilians. 

The US built a pier to deliver 2,000,000 meals daily to Palestinian civilians, but after a few weeks of operation, the Pentagon said none of the aid unloaded from the pier had made it to those who needed it. On one occasion, about 70 percent of the aid has been stolen while en route to a UN warehouse. In other cases, it just never showed up.

Israeli estimates suggest approximately 60 percent of the aid that has gone into Gaza has been stolen — either by Hamas or other groups and individuals. Oftentimes, that aid is then sold to the population at high prices, making it difficult to impossible for most Gazans to gain access to it. 

According to Ehud Yaari, an expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Hamas has made more than $500 million in profit from selling humanitarian aid since Oct. 7.

The terror group began the war last October by massacring 1,200 people in Israel and taking more than 250 people hostage, about half of whom have still not been released.

The post ‘Any Chance the Media Would Cover This?’ New Video Shows Terrorists in Gaza Using Humanitarian Aid to Help Prepare Rockets first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Columbia University Anti-Zionist Group Endorses Hamas

Demonstrators take part in an anti-Israel demonstration at the Columbia University campus, in New York City, US, Feb. 2, 2024. REUTERS/David Dee Delgado

Columbia University’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) has endorsed Hamas, a US-designated terrorist organization, the latest sign of its growing extremism and willingness to embrace antisemitic violence.

“The Palestinian resistance is the only force materially fighting back against isr*el [sic],” the group said in a series of posts shared by Documenting Jew Hatred on Campus, a social media account which exposes antisemitism on college campuses. “There is no way to eliminate the resistance without ending the occupation. When you see a video of a young palestinian [sic] boy traumatized in a hospital talking about how iof [the Israel Defense Forces, or IDF] shot his pregnant mother in cold blood in front of his own eyes, do not question how he chooses to resist years later.”

.@Columbia and @BarnardCollege, @ColumbiaSJP is actively promoting terrorism and anti-Israel rhetoric on their social media channels. They are sounding more and more like Hamas spokespeople every day. When is the university going to permanently ban this “student group”? pic.twitter.com/FE0VbgmFLA

— Documenting Jew Hatred on Campus (@CampusJewHate) May 26, 2024

Campus Reform, a higher education watchdog which first reported Documenting Jew Hatred on Campus’ posts, noted that Columbia SJP has added an “inverted red triangle” to its social media biography, further indicating its support for Hamas. The Palestinian terrorist group has used an inverted red triangle in its propaganda videos to indicate an Israeli target about to be attacked, and anti-Israel protesters on university campuses have been using the symbol in their demonstrations.

Columbia SJP, a group that has reformed under multiple organizations since being suspended by school administrators during the fall semester, has been central in staging a slew of riotous demonstrations in which anti-Zionist activists verbally assaulted Jewish students with antisemitic epithets, clamorously expressed support for terrorism and Hamas, and caused thousands of dollars in damages to school property.

The group’s behavior after Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel is the subject of a lawsuit filed by the StandWithUs Center for League Justice (SCLJ).

The complaint alleges that after bullying Jewish students and rubbing their noses in the carnage Hamas wrought on their people, the pro-Hamas students were still unsatisfied and resulted to violence. They beat up five Jewish students in Columbia’s Butler Library, according to the lawsuit. Another attacked a Jewish students with a stick, lacerating his head and breaking his finger, after being asked to return missing persons posters she had stolen.

Following the incidents, pleas for help allegedly went unanswered and administrators told Jewish students they could not guarantee their safety while SJP held its demonstrations. The school’s apparent powerlessness to prevent anti-Jewish violence was cited as the reason why Students Supporting Israel (SSI), a recognized school club, was denied permission to hold an event on self-defense. Events with “buzzwords” such as “Israel” and “Palestine” were forbidden, administrators allegedly said, but SJP continued to host events while no one explained the inconsistency.

The explosion of end-of-year protests held by the group forced Columbia officials to shutter the campus in April and institute virtual learning. Later, the group occupied Hamilton Hall, forcing President Minouche Shafik to call on the New York City Police Department (NYPD) for help, a decision she hesitated to make. According to The Columbia Spectator, over 108 arrests were made.

“Yes, we’re all Hamas, pig!” one protester was filmed screaming during the fracas, which saw some verbal skirmishes between pro-Zionist and anti-Zionist partisans. “Long live Hamas!” said others who filmed themselves dancing and praising the al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Hamas terrorist organization. “Kill another solider!”

Amid the chaos, a prominent rabbi at the school urged Jewish students to leave the campus for the sake of their safety. Ultimately, the university cancelled its main commencement ceremony.

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

The post Columbia University Anti-Zionist Group Endorses Hamas first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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