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  • The entrance to the Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C., May 4, 2019. Credit: Shutterstock/DCStockPhotography.

    The Islamic Republic of Iran is behind a series of terrorist attacks carried out by criminal gangs targeting Israeli embassies throughout Europe since Oct. 7, the Mossad intelligence agency said on Thursday.

    The Israeli intelligence agency opened up a probe alongside European counterparts after an object believed to be a hand grenade was thrown towards the Israeli embassy in Stockholm on Jan. 31.

    Following an investigation, detectives concluded that Sweden’s Foxtrot organized crime network carried out the attack on the compound at Tehran’s behest, the Mossad said on Thursday.

  • Israeli National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi attends the Herzliya Conference, May 23, 2023. (photo: Avshalom Sassoni, Flash90)

    The war against Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip will last at least until the end of the year, Israeli National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi declared on Wednesday.

    “We expect another seven months of fighting in order to deepen the accomplishments and achieve what we have defined as ‘the destruction of the governmental and military capabilities of Hamas,'” said Hanegbi.

    The former Cabinet minster stressed that Jerusalem has no choice but to act in Gaza’s southernmost city of Rafah and stop Hamas from smuggling weapons, funds and terrorists into the Strip from Egypt’s Sinai.

  • The GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

    The precision weapon Israel used in Sunday night’s Rafah strike was designed and manufactured in the United States, according to investigations by CNN and The New York Times, the results of which were published on Wednesday.

    Two senior Hamas terrorists responsible for Judea and Samaria terror operations were killed in the precision strike on a compound in Tal as-Sultan in northwest Rafah. According to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry, dozens of noncombatants were killed and wounded.

    Both news outlets analyzed video footage of munition debris from the scene of the attack, determining that the fragments belonged to a GBU-39 bomb, a 250-pound precision-guided glide bomb made by Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, which carries around 37 pounds of AFX-757 high explosive.

  • Israeli soldiers operate in the Gaza Strip, in a handout image cleared for publication on May 29, 2024. (Israel Defense Forces)

    A senior Israeli official predicted on Wednesday that the war in Gaza would continue at least through the rest of the year, as international pressure on Israel to end fighting only grows.

    National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi said in an interview with Kan public radio that “this year, we expect another seven months of combat, in order to deepen our achievement and achieve what we define as the destruction of the military and governing capabilities of both Hamas and the Islamic Jihad.”

    Hanegbi noted that the Israel Defense Forces have previously stated that it expects the entirety of 2024 to be a period of war, and five months into the year, the assessment remains unchanged.

  • The image provided by US Central Command shows US Army soldiers, US Navy sailors and IDF troops placing the Trident Pier on the coast of Gaza Strip, May 16, 2024. (US Central Command via AP)

    The US says it will need well over a week to resume the operation of the temporary pier it built off the Gaza coast for delivering humanitarian aid after it was damaged due to severe weather conditions over the weekend.

    US forces will first need to recover a portion of the pier and four accompanying army vessels that have broken off from the rest of the pier and beached on the shores of Gaza and Israel over the past several days, says Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh, adding that this process will take roughly 48 hours.

  • Troops of the Nahal Brigade operate in southern Gaza's Rafah, in a handout image published May 28, 2024. (Israel Defense Forces)

    Israeli tanks reached the center of Rafah for the first time on Tuesday, witnesses said, as the military pressed its incursion into Gaza’s southernmost city despite mounting international opposition to the operation.

    The tanks were spotted near Al-Awda mosque, a central Rafah landmark, the witnesses told Reuters. The Israeli military said its forces continued to operate in the Rafah area without commenting on reported advances into the city center.

    Footage from Al Jazeera posted to social media purported to show the tanks advancing into Rafah.

  • U.S. Opposes European Plan to Censure Iran Over Nuclear Work © Provided by The Wall Street Journal

    The Biden administration is pressing European allies to back off plans to rebuke Iran for advances in its nuclear program, even as it expands its stockpile of near-weapons-grade fissile material to a record level, according to diplomats involved in discussions.

    The U.S. is arguing against an effort by Britain and France to censure Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s member state board in early June, the diplomats said. The U.S. has pressed a number of other countries to abstain in a censure vote, saying that is what Washington will do, they said. 

    U.S. officials deny lobbying against a resolution.

  • Houthi military helicopter flies over the Galaxy Leader cargo ship in the Red Sea in this photo released November 20, 2023. (photo credit: Houthi Military Media/Handout via REUTERS)

    Yemen's Iran-backed Houthis said on Monday they launched attacks on three ships in the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea, and two US destroyers in the Red Sea.

    The group, which describes its attacks as acts of solidarity with Palestinians in Israel's war in Gaza, said the ships were the Larego Desert and the MSC Mechela in the Indian Ocean, and the Minerva Lisa in the Red Sea. It did not name the destroyers.

    There was no immediate confirmation from shipping companies or the US military of any attacks in those areas.

  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, March 21, 2017. (photo: Haim Zach, Israel GPO)

    China will host several Arab leaders in Beijing this week with the Palestinian issue on the agenda, the foreign ministry said on Monday.

    The visitors are to include Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, whose government has played a key role in the indirect truce talks between Israel and the Hamas terrorist group in Gaza.

    Israel’s Abraham Accords allies the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain will also be in China, the former represented by UAE President and ruler of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the latter by King Hamad.

    Tunisian President Kais Saied will be present.

  • Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah addresses the joint press conference in Brussels on Sunday. (photo: SPA)

    Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah stressed on Sunday that the two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict would form the foundation for permanent peace and security in the region.

    The FM, along with foreign ministers and representatives from European countries, was in Brussels to attend a meeting of the Ministerial Committee assigned by the Joint Arab-Islamic Extraordinary Summit on Developments in the Gaza Strip.

    The meeting stressed the urgent need to end the Gaza conflict and take necessary steps toward implementing a two-state solution.

    Prince Faisal co-chaired the meeting with his Norwegian counterpart, Espen Barth Eide, in cooperation with the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell. The meeting was a follow up to a previous one for the committee held in Riyadh on April 29.

  • Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah, stressed that “it is absolutely necessary that Israel accepts that it cannot exist without the existence of a Palestinian State.”

  • Fire rages following an Israeli strike on an area designated for displaced Palestinians, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, in this still picture taken from a video, May 26, 2024. REUTERS/Reuters TV Credit: Reuters/ REUTERS

    The IDF said late on Sunday it had carried out a precise strike on a Hamas compound in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, but that it was reviewing the incident following reports that the strike caused a fire and civilians were harmed. 

    "An IDF aircraft struck a Hamas compound in Rafah in which significant Hamas terrorists were operating. The strike was carried out against legitimate targets under international law, using precise munitions and on the basis of precise intelligence that indicated Hamas' use of the area," the military said.

  • An Israeli man inspects the damage in a house hit during a rocket attack from the Gaza Strip in the city of Herzliya on May 26, 2024. (JACK GUEZ / AFP)

    The Hamas terror group fired eight rockets at central Israel on Sunday afternoon, marking the most significant attack out of the Gaza Strip in some four months and underscoring some of the challenges remaining for the Israeli military as it seeks to oust the Palestinian group from its last major stronghold.

    Three of the projectiles were downed by the Iron Dome anti-missile system, according to an Israel Defense Forces spokesperson, and five landed in open areas.

    A home in the Tel Aviv suburb of Herzliya suffered minor damage from falling shrapnel, police said, and two people suffered light injuries, but no serious losses were reported.

  • Tzav 9 protesters outside of UNRWA Jerusalem offices, March 20, 2024. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

    The Knesset is set to hold a preliminary vote designating the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) as a terrorist organization, by which it will then sever all ties with the body that is the main relief service provider for 5.9 Palestinian refugees in the Middle East.

    “The purpose of this bill is to declare UNRWA as a terrorist organization for all intents and purposes as well as order the termination of the relations [and the cooperation] of the State of Israel with the agency, either directly or indirectly,” Israel Beytenu MK Yulia Malinovksy wrote in the introduction to the bill, which she authored.

    The legislative push comes as the International Court of Justice and the international community at large have taken Israel to task for not sufficiently ensuring the entry and distribution of humanitarian aid in Gaza.

  • Mossad chief David Barnea at a Memorial Day ceremony at the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City, May 12, 2024. (photo: Chaim Goldberg, Flash90)

    Negotiations for a truce in Gaza and the release of hostages held there by Hamas will resume next week, a senior Israeli official told The Times of Israel after Mossad chief David Barnea returned to Israel on Saturday following a meeting in Paris with top US and Qatari mediators.

    According to the official, Barnea discussed “building a foundation” for the resumption of talks with CIA Director William Burns and Qatar’s Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani.

    At the end of the meeting, the official said the three agreed to restart talks next week on “new proposals led by the mediators Egypt and Qatar, with active involvement of the US.”

  • U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the phone with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in the Treaty Room of the White House, on Feb. 29, 2024. (photo: Cameron Smith, White House)

    Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi agreed to restore the flow of aid to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip during a telephone call with U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday.

    Egypt halted U.N. aid deliveries into the southern city of Rafah after the Israeli military took control of the Gazan side of the Egypt-Gaza border. In Friday’s call, el-Sisi agreed to let the aid flow through Israel’s Kerem Shalom crossing near the Egyptian border.

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu receives a briefing at IDF Northern Command Headquarters, May 23, 2024. (photo: Ma'ayan Toaf, Israel GPO)

    The Israeli government is determined to restore security on the border with Lebanon and create the conditions that will allow displaced citizens to return to the north, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday.

    “We have detailed, important and even surprising plans,” the premier told Israel Defense Forces troops during a visit to the army’s Northern Command headquarters in the Upper Galilee city of Safed. “But I will not share these plans … with the enemy,” said Netanyahu, adding the military is “constantly in action on the northern front.”

  • View of the International Court of Justice courtroom during the court's ruling on May 24, 2024 that Israel must cease military operations in Rafah. (photo: Bastiaan Musscher, U.N. Photo / ICJ-CIJ)

    The International Court of Justice, the principal United Nations judicial arm located in the Hague, voted 13 to two on Friday to insist that the Jewish state “immediately halt its military offensive and any other action in the Rafah governorate.”

    The U.N. high court, which was ruling on a case that South Africa brought against Israel, stated that the Jewish state must cease such operations in Rafah “which may inflict on the Palestinian group in Gaza conditions of life that could bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.”

    The court also ruled that Israel must keep the Rafah crossing open “for unhindered provision at scale of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance,” and it must take “effective” measures to allow “unimpeded access to the Gaza Strip” to “any commission of inquiry, fact-finding mission or other investigative body mandated by competent organs of the United Nations to investigate allegations of genocide.”

  • Jim Jordan, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Mike Johnson in 2020. (photo: Mike Johnson House website)

    Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Mike Johnson announced Thursday that he will extend an invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress. 

    "This will be a timely and a very strong show of support to the Israeli government in their time of greatest need," Johnson said in a speech at the annual Independence Day event at the Israeli Embassy in Washington. 

    Johnson told reporters on Wednesday that he would invite Netanyahu in the coming week, though a date for the address has not yet been set. The move would make Netanyahu the first foreign leader in history to address Congress four times, breaking his own record of three addresses shared with Winston Churchill. 

  • Israelis call for the release of hostages held by terrorists in Gaza since Hamas's October 7 massacre, outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office in Jerusalem on May 22, 2024. (photo: Ahmad Gharabli, AFP)

    CIA director William Burns is traveling to Europe to meet with Mossad chief David Barnea in an effort to revive talks for the release of hostages held by Hamas, an Israeli official tells The Times of Israel.

    While it is unclear whether Qatari or Egyptian officials will also be present for the meeting both mediating countries continue to be involved in the efforts to secure a hostage deal between Israel and Hamas, the Israeli official says.

    Israel’s war cabinet approved the resumption of indirect talks with Hamas for the release of hostages early this morning, with a source telling Hebrew media that the negotiating team was handed new guidelines to try and make an elusive breakthrough.

  • Smoke trails left after the Iron Dome air defense system intercepted rockets fired at Israel from Lebanon, as seen from the northern city of Safed, May 23, 2024. (photo: David Cohen, Flash90)

    The Israel Defense Forces said Thursday some 30 projectiles were fired from Lebanon at northern towns in a barrage that came hours after a senior Hezbollah member, who was said to have procured “strategic and unique weapons” for the terror group, was killed in an Israeli strike.

    It was the latest round in a simmering border conflict that threatens to boil over into a full-scale war.

    According to the IDF, some of the projectiles were intercepted and others landed in open areas, and there were no injuries. The rockets sparked a bushfire in the Hula Valley region. Six firefighting crews were dispatched to try the blazes.

  • How bad could the upcoming hurricane season be? Maybe one of the busiest ever, at least judging by a new key preseason forecast.

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Thursday released its forecast for the 2024 season, which starts June 1, calling for a more active than normal season — thanks in large part to the off-the-charts high temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean.

    NOAA is predicting that 17 to 25 named storms could form this year, with eight to 13 powering up into hurricanes and four to seven of those reaching major hurricane status, Category 3 or higher. That’s above the average: 14 named storms, 7 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes. In fact, they’re the highest ever forecast by the federal agency. In 2020, NOAA had predicted the highest number of storms of all time. That season wound up with 30 named storms, 14 of them growing into hurricanes.

    This season — at least potentially — sets up to top that.

    “That’s the highest forecast that we’ve had,” said Ken Graham, director of the National Weather Service. “It’s reason to be concerned, of course, but not alarmed.”

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Provocative Commentary

“The men who have done the most for God in this world have been early on their knees. He who fritters away the early morning, its opportunity and freshness, in other pursuits than seeking God will make poor headway seeking Him the rest of the day. If God is not first in our thoughts and efforts in the morning, He will be in the last place the remainder of the day.” 
― E.M. Bounds

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