Inside Israel and the Palestinian Territories
Yesterday Reuters reported US President Barack Obama emphatically stating that Joe Biden’s comments this week on ABC were not a “green light” to Israel to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities. Yet he did reiterrate Biden’s argument that Washington cannot “dictate to other countries what their security interests are.”
If Israel were to decide to try to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities, how might it do that? It sounds almost like something from a spy novel, but Reuters’ Dan Williams reports that Israel may use “cyber warfare” to accomplish that goal.
“… malware — a commonly used abbreviation for “malicious software” — could be inserted to corrupt, commandeer or crash the controls of sensitive sites like uranium enrichment plants.
Such attacks could be immediate, [Scott Borg, director of the U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit] said. Or they might be latent, with the malware loitering unseen and awaiting an external trigger, or pre-set to strike automatically when the infected facility reaches a more critical level of activity.
Israel’s economy is, in large part, mirroring what is happening elsewhere in the world – with job losses, factory closures and all the other symptoms of the global financial meltdown.
One sector though is defying all the odds.
Elbit Systems – an Israeli company that makes electro-optics, airborne systems, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and command and control systems – announced this week a record 4th quarter with profits rising 32.6 percent and strong forecasts for continued growth in the year ahead.
A stated desire to open the way for the creation of a Palestinian unity government wasn’t the only reason why Prime Minister Salam Fayyad tendered his resignation to President Mahmoud Abbas on March 7.
While the move could help Abbas’s Fatah faction and Hamas Islamists bury the hatchet in a reconciliation dialogue in Cairo, it also stemmed from Fayyad’s growing sense of frustration over his acrimonious relations with Fatah stalwarts, confidants said.
Israeli newspapers are abuzz this morning as they mull over the possibility that ultranationalist Avigdor Lieberman could be appointed foreign minister in the government that Benjamin Netanyahu is working to stitch together.
The strong showing by Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel our Home) party in last month’s election – where it won the third most Knesset seats ahead of the Labour Party - has put the Moldovan-born former nightclub bouncer turned bureaucrat in a strong position in the lobbying for top ministerial posts in the new government.
A predawn victory party for Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni had all the trappings of a fairytale, including a ballroom setting in a Tel Aviv hotel.
The woman who had edged ahead of rival Benjamin Netanyahu in a national election stood to become Israel’s first woman prime minister in 30 years, and she had surely beaten the odds to get there, just weeks after polls predicted a resounding defeat for her centrist Kadima party.
from Global News Journal:
The slow pace of talks between Hamas and Egyptian mediators on Cairo's proposal for a Gaza ceasefire is raising speculation in Israel over whether the Islamist group is playing for time, hoping to get a better deal once Barack Obama is sworn in as U.S. president on Tuesday.
Israel also has been in no rush to call off the offensive it began on Dec. 27 with the declared aim of ending Hamas rocket attacks on its southern towns.