We open with this extraordinary report carried by Israel’s news agency, Ynet: A unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard called al Quds Force has been nabbed by the Mossad inside Iran while being on a mission to assassinate three targets:
- An Israeli diplomat in Istanbul, Turkey
- An American general in Germany
- A Jewish journalist in France
The assassin was identified as Mansour Rasouli. He was dispatched by the Al Quds force to set up an operations branch abroad to recruit local residents. Moreover, according to the Iranian opposition website called “Iran International,” the agent was a member of the 840 unit that tracks the regime’s opponents and other figures outside of Iran.
The would-be assassin received a down payment of $150,000 for carrying out his mission. Upon completion, the Iranians would give him an additional $1 million. Then, there is this unusual conclusion by Ynet that the Iranian hitman was later released and is now residing in a European state. And this footnote – IsraCast agrees this is a story that seems to have more questions than answers.
Israeli civilian security guard shot dead at West Bank city of Ariel
Vyacheslav Golev, a 23-year-old civilian guard, was shot dead by Palestinian terrorists at the entrance to the West Bank city of Ariel. His fiance, who was standing guard with him, was not injured when two armed terrorists opened machine gunfire from their passing vehicle. This was because Golev threw his body as a shield over the young woman to protect her from the spray of bullets. Israeli security forces have arrested two Palestinian suspects who were photographed in the drive-by shooting.
Question: How come the guard post was not bulletproof? Although it was not an IDF position but was set up by the municipality of Ariel. This allowed the terrorists to simply drive by and spray it with machine gunfire. Why was the IDF not in charge of what proved to be an egregious security lapse? Unfortunately, the terrorists exploited this loophole to carry out this murderous attack.
Jerusalem’s Temple Mount continues to simmer …
The most dangerous flashpoint is the now the Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem, where there have been violent clashes between Jewish and Muslim worshippers, with Israeli police standing in the breach.
For the historical record: in the 8th Century BC, King Solomon ordered the ancient Israelis to build a Jewish temple on Mount Moriah. It was completed somewhere around 957 BC. That’s right, long before the birth of Christ and some 14 centuries before the Islamic prophet Mohammed made his magical trip to Jerusalem astride his flying horse Barak. Not only did one Jewish temple precede the Muslim mosque of al Aksa on the temple mount, but two! After the first Jewish temple was demolished by the Babylonians, the ancient Israelis rebuilt the temple centuries later. And this time, the Roman legions again destroyed it in their campaign, in which they eventually expelled the ancient Israelis from their homeland altogether because of their continued defiance of the Roman conquerors.
So, how come the Muslims, whose major religious city is Mecca (followed by Medina in Saudi Arabia), also traveled abroad to Jerusalem to claim it as their third religious sight? Let me refer to this once off-the-record comment I heard by Bernard Lewis, a most distinguished expert on the Middle East (since Prof. Lewis is now deceased, I feel justified in revealing his comment). When asked a question about how and why the Muslims also selected Jerusalem, with the legend of Mohammed’s nighttime ride on his magical horse Barak, Lewis replied:
“Apparently, the Muslims were aware that miraculous things happened on theTemple Mount that indicated its special link to Allah, the Almighty. Therefore, the Muslims decided this would be a most suitable site to build a huge mosque over the ruins of the temples of the Jews.”
So now, the huge and impressive al-Aksa mosque stands on the ruins of the temple of the Jews, with only its western wall still remaining, which has rightly become the most sacred site in Judaism. However, among the Jews, while there is no doubt about the authenticity of the location, there are religious differences over whether Jews should actually pray on the Temple Mount due to its sanctity. On the other hand, The Muslims are adamant that all of the Temple Mount is their exclusive religious domain. The fact that they seized the site of the historic Jewish temples makes no difference to them.
Meanwhile, the Israeli police are tasked with maintaining law and order and preventing Muslims from hurling rocks from time to time at Jewish worshippers down below praying at the Western Wall. Meanwhile, the far-Right Knesset member Itamar Ben Gvir has been leading other far-Right religious Israelis to start praying on the Temple Mount. This is a clash fraught with danger that can also ignite anti-Israeli sentiment throughout the Arab and Muslim world. To his credit, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, a skullcap-wearing religious Jew, has been trying hard to preserve law and order whil
e Israel’s right-wing is, in fact, exploiting the situation for political purposes.
Stay tuned for further developments. This is a long way from being over.