Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Building Security through Cooperation

By Eliyahu Sigel - IDF Spokesperson

Every day, hundreds of ships cruise the Mediterranean with seemingly no concern for the potential dangers below. The captains of these ships owe their thanks to a group of NATO ships which patrol the seas, ensuring that no naval mines lurk in the depths. This week the force reached the port of Eilat in order to take part in a joint operation with the Israeli Navy.

"We are here to improve the friendship and relations between NATO and the other countries [which we visit]," said the commander of the force, Captain Ertugrul Goktonali in the press conference which took place on Sunday.

The force known today as Standing NRF Mine Countermeasures Group 2 (SNMCG2 ), was founded in 1992, however, its current name and area of operations is the result of many changes since then. The flagship, from Turkey, and its sister vessels from Germany, Spain, Italy, and Greece join it at the Southernmost port of the country. They all have naval mine detecting capabilities, with the most technologically advanced equipment at their disposal.

The naval mine is one of the earliest development of modern naval warfare. It has been a threat to seagoing vessels for hundreds of years.

The Japanese realized the potential of the floating explosives in the 16th century. They made mines by putting a time bomb in a water-sealed wooden crate; these were then floated to sea to damage pirate ships. The basic design concept behind any naval mine is an independent explosive device whose sole purpose is to harm ships or submarines.

Throughout history, many different variations of naval mines have been developed: mines which explode on direct contact with ships, a magnetic mine made to go off as a result of the magnetic effect an approaching ship has in the water, a mine which is sensitive to sound waves made by their approach, and a pressure mine designs to go off when a change in water pressure results from a ship passing above.

In order to keep the seaways safe from these potential threats, SNMCMG2 makes routine scans of the seabed and ocean region in areas where boats frequently travel, such as the straits of Gibraltar and Malta. The scans include thorough mapping of the seabed and region, so that the region will be assessed in advance for a time of need.

"Two years ago we hosted a large group of NATO soldiers and it was a great experience," said the Mayor of Eilat, Meir Yizchak Halevi. He continued by citing the communal activities planned for the hundreds of visiting soldiers, such as sightseeing tours of the city, and a visit to a local high school. "We will do everything in our capacity to make their stay as pleasant as possible. We hope to see them return."


Security Forces Kill Islamic Jihad Operative Near Jenin
Tuesday 17/04/2007 18:38

During a joint operation by the Israel Defense Forces, the General Security Service, and the Border Police near Jenin, an Islamic Jihad operative was killed today (Tuesday). Ashraf Shahada A'aref Hanaisha, a wanted terrorist and resident of Kabatiya, served as an agent for the Islamic Jihad organization in northern Samaria.

A special Border Police force killed Hanaisha in the town of Mutlat Shahida, south of Jenin. During the attempted arrest, Hanaisha aimed a handgun toward the officers who then opened fire and killed him.

The northern Samaria cell in which Hanaisha was active had been involved in feverishly planning suicide attacks against the State of Israel, operating in full concert with the group's headquarters in Syria. Hanaisha's task was to act as a middleman, transferring money from his superiors in Syria to Islamic Jihad agents in the field.


During a joint ISA, IDF and Border Police operation today south of Jenin, forces shot and killed Islamic Jihad terror operative Ashraf Hanaisheh after he drew out his handgun when they attempted to arrest him.

Ashraf Sh'hadeh A'aref Hanaisheh, a 25 year-old resident of Qabatiya, was an assistant to the organization's infrastructure in northern Samaria. This infrastructure has recently attempted to dispatch suicide bombers into Israel and continues in its concentrated efforts to do so.

Islamic Jihad's terror infrastructure in northern Samaria is operating in full and daily cooperation with the organization's headquarters in Syria. These headquarters are involved in organizing and managing the infrastructure and fund its activity via a number of channels.

Hanaisheh was actively involved in transferring such funds.

Only recently, Israel confiscated tens of thousands of New Israeli Shekels on their way to Hanaisheh, who would then have transferred them to the infrastructure and its field operatives in order to fund further attacks.

TGI NOTE: Further background reveals that much of the money being transferred by this infrastructure is part of the counterfeiting operation launched under Yasser Arafat. In the image at your right (taken five years ago this week in the former chairman's office), you can see a sampling of the many boxes with hundreds of thousands of uncut NIS freshly minted by the PA.

Drive-By Terror Attack in Benjamin Region Raises Security Concerns
(13:52 17/04/2007)

Terrorists carried out a drive-by shooting attack Tuesday morning, between the communities of Na'ale and Nili some 18 miles east of Tel Aviv. Witnesses report that the driver was hit in the hand but continued to control the vehicle and drove for some five minutes before reaching the gate of Na'ale.

Israel's Red Magen David Adom was rushed to the scene where they treated the driver's moderate shoulder and hand wounds. Three female passengers were also treated for light shrapnel wounds before being transported to Tel HaShomer's Shiba Medical Center.

The Al Aqsa Brigades, the military wing of PA President Abu Mazen's Fatah movement, telephoned the Ma'an News Agency and declared responsibility for the shooting. IDF and ISA are currently searching for the shooters and their sponsors.

Another Stab Terrorist Nabbed
(08:41 17/04/2007)

An Arab intent on stabbing soldiers was stopped at the Beit Iba checkpoint west of Shechem and was found to be carrying a six-inch knife. The knife was confiscated and its carrier was brought in for interrogation.

TGI NOTE: Security sources close to TGI are concerned at the sharp rise in shooting and stabbing incidents and attempts in recent weeks throughout Judea & Samaria. One theory being raised is that with the attempts to attack major Israeli cities such as Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, Natanya, etc. failing because of the tight closures during this extended holiday season, the terrorists are operating closer to home within running distance of PA controlled territory.

All this amidst rumors of more distribution of guns to Abu Mazen's forces - see: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3388835,00.html

More Kassam's on Sderot
(08:32 17/04/2007)

Another Kassam rocket was fired overnight from the Northern Gaza Strip toward the Israeli city of Sderot. The rocket landed in an open area near the city. No damage or injuries were reported. This is the seventh rocket to be launched at Israel this week and the 213th since the "cease fire" went into effect.

Overnight Arrests
(05:43 17/04/2007)

The IDF arrested 25 wanted Arab terrorists in Judea and Samaria overnight. 6 suspects were arrested in Shchem (3 Fatah, 3 Hamas), 9 in Kalkiliya (all Hamas), 4 in Hizmeh and 1 in Anata (both just outside Jerusalem), 1 in Bethlehem and 4 in El Arub, just South of Bethlehem.

IDF Training Exercises
(05:47 17/04/2007)

The IDF has announced that noise from training exercises may be heard in the south from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM Tuesday. Echoes from the large, controlled aerial explosions may be heard for several miles in the Be’er Sheva region.