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Search Tags: Israel
Defense Secretary Hagel called his Israeli counterpart this week to express his condolences to both the families of the Israeli teenagers who were found dead in the West Bank and to the people of Israel. The Pentagon says Hagel pledged his continued support for finding the perpetrators and urged all parties to refrain from steps that could be further destabilizing. Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon thanked Secretary Hagel for his call and updated him on events unfolding in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.
Israel's intelligence services, military spokesman and Interior Ministry are among the websites that are offline due to a broad technical malfunction.
Hezbollah has sent a stark warning to Israel. Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah says they will attack Israel's Ben Gurion airport if Israel attacks Beirut's international airport in any future war. Nasrallah said, "If you hit our ports, we will bomb your ports, and if you hit our oil refineries, we will bomb your oil refineries." The warning comes as the two sides have cranked up the rhetoric. This is all taking place again the backdrop of Israel's warning to Iran over it's nuclear weapons. Iran is Hezbollah's principle supporter.
The concern about the Iranian nuclear program in Israel is growing. Israeli sources say there's a possibility of some type of conflict in the near term. Most observers have been talking about an Israeli strike against Iran, but a source in Israel says the likelihood is greater that Iran will launch a pre-emptive strike in Israel using Hezbollah and Hamas. Hamas now has rockets that can reach Tel Aviv, so does Hezbollah. The thinking among some top Israelis strategists appears to be, Iran will launch this war via remote control as a distraction.
The Pentagon says Israel is going to test an interceptor missile on a U.S. missile range in the Pacific Ocean in the near term. It's an exercise that's going to involve three U.S. missile defense systems. The Missile Defense agency says it will provide Israel the opportunity to test its advanced Arrow system against a target with a range of more than 620 miles. It's being conducted there, because there isn't enough space to conduct that kind of test in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.
The commander of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps General Mohammad Ali Ja'fari said at a news conference that Iran is prepared to protect it self against Israeli attacks. Ja'fari said, "the entire territory of Israel will be within the range of our missiles and the IRGC has no restriction for producing ground-to-ground rockets with an appropriate range to target Israel." The IRGC commander added that "Israel might be able to hit a number of our missiles but it can do nothing about a massive missile attack."
Josh Gerstein, reporter for Politico. Story: Benjamin Netanyahu wows Congress
Mark Plotkin, WTOP political analyst
A spokesman for Benjamin Netanyahu tells WTOP Radio that the Israeli prime minister talked with President Obama about imprisoned Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard during their meeting in Washington.
Jim Barnes, political correspondent for National Journal