Iran Cuts Off Hamas Funding

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Arab Spring Winter

Syrian rebels took their conflict to Lebanese soil. According to Reuters, early casualty reports say around 15 rebels and one Hezbollahnik were killed near Baalbek.

Hezbollah’s moving advanced weapons into Southern Lebanese homes and villages. The Tower nicely lays out Hezbollah’s human shields doctrine with plenty of documenting links.

Russian media reports say Moscow may not deliver advanced S-300 missiles to Syria this year. As AFP points out, the reports contradict Bashar Assad’s claims that the first shipment of missiles already arrived:

Friday’s Vedomosti daily cited a Russian defence industry source as saying it was unclear if the weapons would be delivered to Syria this year while the Kommersant daily quoted its source as saying that delivery was only planned in the second quarter of 2014 . . .

But both sources quoted by Kommersant and Vedomosti said that no delivery of the missiles had taken place yet.

S-300s are bad enough. Russia also intends to sell MiG fighter jets to Assad.

Syrian rebels fired more than a dozen rockets into Lebanon, hitting Baalbek, a Hezbollah stronghold. AP coverage.

Nigeria busted a Hezbollah plot to attack Israelis. Three Lebanese nationals caught with an arms cache of heavy weapons. The Jerusalem Post writes:

A raid on the residence of one of the Lebanese had uncovered 11 60 mm anti-tank weapons, four anti-tank landmines, two rounds of ammunition for a 122 mm artillery gun, 21 rocket-propelled grenades, seventeen AK-47s with more than 11,000 bullets and some dynamite, he said.

The arms and ammunition were targeted at facilities of Israel and Western interest in Nigeria,” Iweha said, but did not elaborate.

Correspondents from The Guardian and Times of London visited the Majdal Shams to get the pulse of the Israeli Druze community nervously watching the uprising next door.

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Food for thought: A Turkish wonk argues in the Sunday Zaman (via Israel Matzav) that Bashar Assad’s unpredictable and rash handling of the civil war no longer makes him “the devil you know.”

For commentary/analysis, see Reuters, an LA Times staff-ed, Israel HaYom, Time, the Globe & Mail, and The Scotsman.

AP: Egypt’s national legislature, as well as a panel tasked with drafting a constitution, were illegally elected. It’s the latest example of Calvinball in Cairo.

Rest O’ the Roundup

Tensions between striking Minister of Foreign Affairs workers and the Prime Minister’s office continue. According to Haaretz, the Prime Minister’s office asked a military attache to arrange an upcoming Israeli-Polish summit in Warsaw. Sheesh.

A few days ago, the Foreign Ministry’s workers committee issued a directive not to cooperate in any way with Netanyahu and the cabinet ministers’ visit to Poland. The Israeli Embassy in Warsaw has been instructed not to help reserve hotel rooms for the ministers and their entourages, hold preparatory talks, coordinate with the Polish government or accommodate officials from the Prime Minister’s Bureau who arrive to make preparations for the visit.

The Prime Minister’s Bureau is trying to break the strike by organizing the summit in Poland without the assistance of the Israeli Embassy or the Foreign Ministry.

Reuters: Iran’s Arak reactor is due to become operational next year. Once the facility goes live, attacking it becomes much more problematic:

The Islamic Republic says it will make isotopes for medical and agricultural use. But analysts say this type of facility can also produce plutonium for weapons if the spent fuel is reprocessed – something Iran says it has no intention of doing.

Time may be pressing for adversaries who want to act.

“Whoever considers attacking an active reactor is willing to invite another Chernobyl,” former Israeli military intelligence chief Amos Yadlin said . . .

The JTA visited Israel’s Sorek desalinisation plant due to go into operation next month. The plant “will provide up to 26,000 cubic meters – or nearly 7 million gallons – of potable water to Israelis every hour. When it’s at full capacity, it will be the largest desalination plant of its kind in the world.”

(Image of MiG 29 via Wikimedia Commons/Kirill Naumenko)

For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.

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