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Israel’s Costly Defense Against Iran Onslaught Leads to Calls to Increase Budget

An anti-missile system operates after Iran launched drones and missiles towards Israel, as seen from Ashkelon, Israel, April 14, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Israel must increase its defense budget significantly after seeing the high cost of defending the Jewish state against Iran’s massive drone and missile salvo on Saturday night, according to a former adviser to Israel’s top military official.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has “no chance of reaching a situation where you are able to maintain the required defense” unless the country’s current military budget is “doubled,” Brig. Gen. (Res.) Ram Aminach, the former economic adviser to the military’s chief of staff, told Israeli television on Sunday.

Israel, with the help of allies including the US, repelled the Iranian attack with striking success. According to IDF Chief Spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, “99 percent of the threats launched towards Israeli territory were intercepted — a very significant strategic achievement. Of approximately 170 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that Iran launched, zero crossed into Israeli territory. From the more than 30 cruise missiles Iran launched, none crossed into Israeli territory.”

Additionally, “out of over 120 ballistic missiles, only a few crossed into Israeli territory, with the rest being intercepted.”

However, defending against Iran’s more than 300 drones and missiles cost Israel between 4 and 5 billion NIS ($1-$1.3 billion), according to the IDF. These figures included the high cost of operating the army’s coveted air defense systems such as the Arrow and David’s Sling, both of which were used on Saturday and can cost more than a few million dollars per firing.

Aminach argued that it’s much cheaper for Iran to continue launching such attacks than it is for Israel to defend them, presenting a potential problem of attrition for the Jewish state unless Jerusalem increases its defense budget.

“For the Iranians, it costs less than 10 percent of what it costs us to stop it,” he explained. “If we look into the future, in a year, two years, or five years, they can also conduct 50 such attacks, and you want to be ready for the number of attacks. So, we need to try to understand how much defense we need. Let’s say if the IDF’s net budget in 2023 was 60 billion shekels, with less than double that you have no chance of reaching the required quantities.”

When asked where the additional money would come from, Aminach claimed that bringing Israel’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish population more into the workforce would “contribute to the GDP approximately 150 billion.”

Aminach’s comments came as Iran threatened to up the scale of its attack if Israel chose to retaliate. “If the Zionist regime or its supporters demonstrate reckless behavior, they will receive a decisive and much stronger response,” Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said of a potential Israeli response.

World leaders, especially in the US and Europe, have been urging Israel to show restraint in its response and to de-escalate tensions.

Saturday’s unprecedented attack was the first time that Iran targeted Israel directly from Iranian soil rather than through its proxies, a move that drew global condemnation. A coalition of the US, Britain, France, Jordan, and even Saudi Arabia reportedly helped with either Israel’s defense or providing intelligence about Iran’s attack. The onslaught sounded sirens throughout Israel, with loud booms being felt far from their impact.

Leading up to the attack, Iranian officials had promised revenge for an airstrike on Iran’s consulate in Damascus, Syria last week that Iranian officials have attributed to Israel. The strike killed seven members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), a US-designated terrorist organization, including two senior commanders. One of the commanders allegedly helped plan the Hamas terrorist group’s Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel.

Israel has neither confirmed nor denied involvement in the incident.

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OCAD University student is seeking $1M in damages—alleging a lack of protection from threats and abuse

Samantha Kline, 22, presented photos of antisemitic graffiti she says targeted her.

The post OCAD University student is seeking $1M in damages—alleging a lack of protection from threats and abuse appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases New Propaganda Video of Israeli Hostage

Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov as seen in a propaganda video released by Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Photo: Screenshot

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group on Tuesday released a short propaganda video featuring Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov, 28, who was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists during Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel.

The 30-second undated video shows Trufanov, an Amazon employee, identifying himself and saying that he will soon discuss what has happened to him and other hostages in Gaza.

Similar videos have been released by terrorists groups in Gaza. Israel has lambasted them as psychological warfare.

Trufanov’s mother said in a video released by the family that she was happy to see her son after all this time, but “it was heartbreaking” that he had been a hostage for so long.

Trufanov was an engineer at the Israeli microelectronics company Annapurna Labs, which Amazon owns.

Hamas-led Palestinian terrorists abducted over 250 people during their Oct. 7 onslaught. Trufanov was kidnapped alongside his mother, grandmother, and girlfriend.

All three were released as part of a temporary ceasefire agreement negotiated in November. His father, Vitaly Trufanov, was one of the 1,200 people killed during the Hamas massacre.

“The proof of life from Alexsander (Sasha) Trufanov is additional evidence that the Israeli government must give a significant mandate to the negotiating team,” the Hostages Families Forum, which represents the families of the hostages, said in a statement.

More than 120 hostages remain in Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas. Islamic Jihad is a separate but allied terrorist organization in the Palestinian enclave. Both are backed by Iran, which provides them with money, weapons, and training.

Negotiations brokered by Qatar, Egypt, and the US to reach a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas in Gaza have been stalled for weeks.

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Gal Gadot’s Action Movie Nabs Second Place on Netflix List of Most Watched Films in Second Half of 2023

Gal Gadot as Rachel Stone in a scene from the trailer for “Heart of Stone.” Photo: YouTube screenshot

Netflix released its engagement report that details the films with the most views from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2023, and Israeli actress Gal Gadot’s action thriller Heart of Stone secured the number two spot with 109.6 million views.

The film — starring Gadot alongside Jamie Dornan and Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt in leading roles — was the runner-up to Leave the World Behind, the drama starring Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, and Ethan Hawke that garnered 121 million views on Netflix.

Heart of Stone, directed by Tom Harper, was released on the streaming giant on Aug. 11 of last year. The action film is about international intelligence operative Rachel Stone, played by Gadot, who goes on a mission to protect an artificial intelligence system, known as The Heart, from falling in the wrong hands. The film was produced by Pilot Wave, a company founded by Gadot and her husband Jaron Varsano.

Gadot also stars in Netflix’s most popular film of all time, Red Notice, alongside Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds.

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