May, 2016 Israel

 Erdogan and Netanyahu

Turkish and Israeli officials plan to hold more meeting toward the restoration of high level diplomatic ties, he told reporters after a cabinet meeting. Two out of Ankara’s three conditions for restoring fully normalized ties with Israel have been met, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said on Monday.

Author Uri Savir
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s surprising turn in appointing Avigdor Liberman, head of the right-wing Yisrael Beitenu party, as defense minister May 25 caught the international community off-guard. In the days before the appointment, intense deliberations took place about the upcoming Quartet report on obstacles in the way of a two-state solution and the Paris conference to relaunch a two-state process.


Author Ben Caspit
Five years passed between Channel 10's “Bibi Tours” investigative report and the publication of the scathing state comptroller report on May 24. The report details a scandal surrounding Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara.

Israel, Politics

by Gregg Roman, The Forward
Avigdor Lieberman believes Israel must end the cycle of Palestinian incitement and violence, not manage it.
Peaceniks may be up in arms about the appointment of Avigdor Lieberman as Israel's next minister of defense, but the country's enemies are worried — and rightly so.


TEL AVIV — IN most countries, the political class supervises the defense establishment and restrains its leaders from violating human rights or pursuing dangerous, aggressive policies. In Israel, the opposite is happening. Here, politicians blatantly trample the state’s values and laws and seek belligerent solutions, while the chiefs of the Israel Defense Forces and the heads of the intelligence agencies try to calm and restrain them.

By Bradley Martin
There is no reason to believe that Turkey’s facilitation of ISIS operations in the region, and its link to ISIS both economically and politically, will cease.With Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announcing that he would step down at the end of the month due to a falling-out with the Turkish president, it is very unlikely that a major shift in Turkish foreign policy will take place anytime soon.


It has been six years since the Israeli raid on the Mavi Marmara ship that was aiming to reach the Gaza coast in May 2010.In the wake of the Mavi Marmara crisis, Turkey and Israel relations rapidly worsened; both countries withdrew their ambassadors and cut diplomatic ties. Turkey's downing of a Russian jet along the Syrian border on November 24, 2015 has forced Ankara to adjust its foreign policy and address its energy security issues. The crisis between Turkey and Russia firmly highlighted the dependence of Turkey on Russian energy resources.

 Illustrative: Palestinian stone-thrower


At least four ministers support the establishment of a well-inspected port for Gaza, but the prime minister and defense minister are ignoring their opinion.

A tense quiet fell on the Israel-Gaza border on Saturday. The Palestinians did not fire any mortar shells and the IDF did not respond with tank fire, canons or air strikes, as had happened over the last week.

DEBKAfile Exclusive Report 

The last 48 hours (May 7-8) have seen a major escalation of the ISIS threats against Israel, DEBKAfile's intelligence and counterterrorism sources report. In a coordinated maneuver by all of the ISIS commands in the Middle East, the terrorist organization simultaneously released at least 10 videos that it said showed ISIS forces on their way to attack targets in Israel.

IDF exposes Hamas tunnel. (Photo: IDF Spokesperson)

 Ron Ben-Yishai
Analysis: Hamas's political and military wings are finally appreciating Israel's prowess at tunnel-detection; 
Something's clicked apparently with Hamas's military wing. Its members and leader, Mohammed Deif—the father of the tunnels project—have begun to understand that the IDF has finally developed a way to locate the attack tunnels that they dug underneath the border from Gaza into Israel. Thanks to this method, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades' leaders have understood, the IDF is undertaking intensive and accelerated operations and has already discovered at least two tunnels.

by Efraim Inbar, BESA Center Perspectives
Israelis have gradually come to accept that the Palestinians are neither interested in real peace nor capable of establishing a viable state.
Ever since the Palestinian terrorist wave began in September 2000, the Israeli body politic increasingly has resigned itself to the probability that there is no partner on the Palestinian side with which to reach a historic compromise with the Jewish national (Zionist) movement. The hopes for peace that were generated by the Oslo process in 1993 have been replaced by the stark realization that violent conflict will not end soon.

Netanyahu and Obama (Photo: Amit Shabi, MCT)
Amos Yadlin
A recent letter signed by 83 US senators willing to support a long-term agreement that would greatly increase the military aid Israel receives is an important development, as it is a bipartisan initiative that reflects the Senate’s broad support of Israel. And yet, the letter also brought to the fore the disparities between the two nations. To understand this issue, it is important to note that these differences aren’t focused on numbers and accounting, but rather on strategic opinions regarding threats from the Middle East, on worldviews and on the appraisals and stances of both countries. The eight main differences between them are listed below.


Sinai border

Last week, Hamas deployed several hundred fighters along the Gaza-Sinai border together with Egypt to prevent ISIS fighters in the region from breaching the coastal enclave.
Israel, Hamas, and Egypt have aligned their strategies and formed an unlikely alliance against the Islamic State in Sinai, who are planning increasingly sophisticated and daring attacks in the region, The Washington Post reported on Sunday.

Omar Ashour

"[Multinational Force and Observers soldiers] are outgunned by the terrorists [Sinai Province or SP] right now, and it's a dangerous mission," said retired Lieutenant General Mark Hertling. "They [SP insurgents] have mortars and artillery that they have been firing on the base camps."