By Douglas Holtz-Eakin
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Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Israeli military and political heads are holding intense discussions on how best to launch an independent attack on Iran, should the need arise, the nation's defense force chief said Tuesday.
Israel's army said it fired a guided missile into Syria on Sunday, destroying a military post after gunfire flew across the border and struck an Israeli vehicle.
An Israeli rocket launched Sunday killed a senior Hamas leader in charge of the terrorist movement's missile operations, as fighting between the Jewish state and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip entered its fifth day and foreign leaders scrambled to prevent the conflict from escalating.
The Israeli military on Wednesday conducted its largest snap drill in years as tensions with Iran over its nuclear program rise and civil war in neighboring Syria rages.
After a prolonged chill, security relations between Israel and China are warming up.
With Israel offering much-needed technical expertise and China representing a huge new market and influential voice in the international debate over Iran's nuclear program, the two nations have stepped up military cooperation as they patch up a rift caused by a pair of failed arms deals scuttled by the U.S.
Two omissions mar the timely commentary "Slender geopolitical threads on Israel, Iran" (On Geopolitics, Thursday) by Arnaud de Borchgrave.
A sense of inevitable war with Iran has seized Israel as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have concluded 1) Iran is about to produce a nuclear bomb; 2) Iran plans to use it to wipe out Israel; and 3) the time for Israel to bomb Iran's nuclear production sites is now (i.e., at the height of the U.S. presidential campaign, when neither candidate would risk losing by criticizing Israel).
Israel's military chief said in an interview published Wednesday that Iran will ultimately decide against building a nuclear weapon - putting him at odds with Israel's more pessimistic prime minister.
Cross-border fighting between Gaza and Israel, touched off by Israel's killing of a top militant leader, showed no signs of letting up on its third day Sunday. Gaza militants fired dozens of rockets at Israeli towns, hitting an empty school, and Israeli airstrikes killed three Gazans, including a boy and a farm guard.
Two assailants on a motorcycle attached a magnetic bomb to the car of an Iranian university professor working at a key nuclear facility, killing him and another person Wednesday, state TV reported. The slayings suggest a widening covert effort to set back Iran's atomic program.
Israel is preparing to absorb Syrian refugees when President Bashar Assad is ousted, the Israeli armed forces chief of staff said Tuesday, adding that he expects the Assad regime to fall in coming weeks.
Turkey no longer has confidence in the Syrian regime, its prime minister said Tuesday, warning Syrian President Bashar Assad that his brutal crackdown on opponents threatens to place him on a list of leaders who "feed on blood."
Israeli media report the nation's top military commander as saying he favors a major offensive in Gaza because of rocket attacks.
An Israeli soldier captured by Gaza militants will likely return home Tuesday, said a spokeswoman for his family on Friday, ending a five-year ordeal for his family and the country.
Israeli Chief of Staff Gen. Benny Gantz said in a speech last month that Hezbollah has a significant number of unmanned drones "which we may encounter in the future."
And ongoing military-political talks were focusing on that scenario, he said, in The Times of Israel.