May 01/15

Bible Quotation For Today/Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life
John 06/22-27: "The next day the crowd that had stayed on the other side of the lake saw that there had been only one boat there. They also saw that Jesus had not got into the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. Then some boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum looking for Jesus. When they found him on the other side of the lake, they said to him, ‘Rabbi, when did you come here?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.’

Bible Quotation For Today/Bible Quotation For Today/the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from fornication; that each one of you knows how to control your own body in holiness and honour, not with lustful passion
First Letter to the Thessalonians 04/01-12: "Finally, brothers and sisters, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus that, as you learned from us how you ought to live and to please God (as, in fact, you are doing), you should do so more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from fornication; that each one of you knows how to control your own body in holiness and honour, not with lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one wrongs or exploits a brother or sister in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, just as we have already told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God did not call us to impurity but in holiness. Therefore whoever rejects this rejects not human authority but God, who also gives his Holy Spirit to you. Now concerning love of the brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anyone write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another; and indeed you do love all the brothers and sisters throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, beloved, to do so more and more, to aspire to live quietly, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we directed you, so that you may behave properly towards outsiders and be dependent on no one.

Latest analysis, editorials from miscellaneous sources published on April 30-May 01/15
IDF’s cyber defenders preparing for attacks by ‘Lebanese opponent/J.Post/May 01/15
Board Chairman Of Pro-Hizbullah Lebanese Daily, Ibrahim Al Amin: Hizbullah Has Established Resistance Infrastructure In Syrian Golan In Cooperation With Locals/April 30/15

Lebanese Related News published on April 30-May 01/15
Families of Hostages Taken by ISIL Slam State Procrastination, Warn of Escalation
Machnouk releases Roumieh riot footage, takes on critics
Kahwagi visits commando unit in Roumieh prison
Palestinians demand end to job restrictions 
Future to blame for presidential void: Hezbollah 
Girl critically wounded in Baalbek shootout 
Security plan will not touch Hezbollah's arms: minister
Lebanon arrests suspected Assir follower 
Lebanon vows clean water at schools 
France confirms sale of fighter jets to Qatar
Lebanon sees rare productive Cabinet session 
Bassil Says State Prioritizes Interests of Lebanese Abroad
Second Phase of Implementation of New Traffic Law Begins Friday
More Suspects Arrested in Third Day of Dahiyeh Security Plan
Salam not Likely to Visit Riyadh Soon
Army Detains 10 Syrians in Majdal Anjar
Aoun to Deliver Speech on Friday, Tackle Recent Developments
Bomb Defused Near House of Resistance Brigades Member

Miscellaneous Reports And News published on April 30-May 01/15
Iran's Zarif and Republican Senator Cotton face off in Twitter battle
Biden pushes back on Khamenei's terms for Iran nuclear deal
U.S. coalition target Islamic State with 21 air strikes: statement
IS jihadists claim killing of 15 Yemen soldiers: SITE
9th Saudi soldier killed on Yemen border: ministry
ISIS film shows Yemen killings
Syria rebels urge US to help create safe havens
Syrian rebels battle ISIS allies near Golan 
Syria Opposition Chief Urges U.S. to Help Create Safe Havens
Obama taps Gayle Smith to lead US Agency for International Development
Islamist fighters seize southern Syria crossing: activists
150 Syrian troops besieged in Jisr al-Shughur: activists
King Salman resets succession for turbulent time
Former Crown Prince Muqrin pledges allegiance to successor
Saudi succession plan sees West’s ‘elephant in room’ vanish
Crown Prince Mohammad bin Nayef: The right man to make a change
Brotherhood gears up for a birthday
UN envoy urges end to Israel's Gaza blockade  
Saudi Arabia’s new foreign minister: The king’s confidante
The crown is slipping 
Iran protests Saudi interception of Yemen-bound plane
Germany foils suspected Boston-style attack, officials say
Blast at explosives factory in Syria kills 25 Islamic State fighters
U.S. Navy Ships to Accompany U.S.-flagged Ships in Strait of Hormuz
Gulf States Insist on Saudi Venue for Yemen Talks
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders Launches Presidential Run

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Kahwagi visits commando unit in Roumieh prison
The Daily Star/Apr. 30, 2015/BEIRUT: Army chief Gen. Jean Kahwagi visited the Army commando regiment in Roumieh Prison Thursday, two weeks after riots by Islamists upset security in Lebanon’s largest jail. “The military has no choice but to be victorious over the enemies of the nation,” Kahwagi said in a statement. He also noted the importance of "specific" combat training and "intensified" readiness to face a myriad of threats facing the country. The commando regiment has a center inside the prison, but its operations are usually confined to missions outside the facility. The commando regiment only intervenes in the prison in cases of emergencies and when a request is issued by the head of the detention center, the head of the ISF or the interior minister. In such emergencies, the regiment would serve as reinforcement for police in clamping down on any security violations that the ISF cannot manage on its own. Kahwagi Thursday lauded the performance of the commando unit, the sacrifices of its officers and their efforts to develop their military capabilities. He pointed out that the Army has been able to weather the challenges of a turbulent phase in the country due to what he said was the military’s national commitment and soldiers' dedication to the state. The military today is stronger and more able to pursue national tasks in the face of the Israeli enemy and terrorism, he said, especially in light of overwhelming popular support, he added.

Future to blame for presidential void, corruption: Hezbollah
The Daily Star/Apr. 30, 2015/BEIRUT: Hezbollah’s Loyalty to the Resistance bloc lashed out aginst the Future Movement Thursday, blaming the party for disrupting presidential elections and spreading corruption. “The Future Movement, which has violated the Taif Accord and turned against its principles, on the political reforms that it states and the relations it established, is the one responsible for hijacking the presidential race and disrupting it,” the bloc said in a statement after its weekly meeting, read on TV by MP Hasan Fadlallah. The statement accused Future of being behind the “paralysis of the political institutions and the corruption that has spread in the various sectors of the country.” The attack came in response to a Future bloc statement, in which the group accused Hezbollah of “reckless and irresponsible” behavior over the party’s verbal attacks against Saudi Arabia. Hezbollah’s lawmakers also tackled the wage hike issue, calling for its approval as soon as possible to “guarantee social stability.”The statement described the wage hike bill as “one of the most important pillars of the Lebanese economy,” calling on parliamentary blocs to “stop hiding behind excuses” and approve “this righteous demand.”The bloc also endorsed the recent security plan in the southern suburbs of Beirut. Enhancing security and stability in all Lebanese areas is part of the Lebanese state’s duties toward its citizens, the statement said, adding that both Hezbollah and the Amal Movement embrace the move. “The citizens’ awareness and their commitment to laws undoubtedly contribute to the success of the plan and allow it to achieve its goals,” it added. The group also reiterated its position against Saudi Arabia, which it accused of “silencing” dissent and “banning criticism.” The bloc said Saudi Arabia had disappointed the Arab and Islamic nation over the years, especially on the issue of Palestine.

Families of Hostages Taken by ISIL Slam State Procrastination, Warn of Escalation
Naharnet/Nizam Mogheit, the brother of soldier Ibrahim who was taken hostage by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, lashed out on Thursday at the state's procrastination in the case of the captives held by the group, warning that they will escalate their moves. “The families of hostages taken by ISIL will escalate their moves as there is no seriousness in finding a solution to the case,” Mogheit said in a statement. He wondered if politicians adopted a policy of “calming the families via media leaks.” Mogheit said that ISIL abducted the men 10 months ago, stressing that the government “did nothing” in this regard. “How can we believe that negotiations are serious if they are incapable of bringing a video recording of the captives?” Media reports had said that negotiations with the ISIL reached a dead end after the group placed tough conditions to release the servicemen in its captivity. A number of soldiers and policemen were abducted by al-Nusra Front and IS group gunmen in the wake of clashes in Arsal in August. A few of them have since been released, four were executed, and the rest remain held. The captors have been demanding the release of Islamist prisoners held in Lebanon as a condition to set them free. Media reports said recently that al-Nusra Front handed over to the Qatari appointed mediator a list of its demands in return for the release of the Lebanese soldiers and policemen in its captivity.

Machnouk releases Roumieh riot footage, takes on critics
Nizar Hassan/The Daily Star/Apr. 30, 2015
BEIRUT: Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk took aim at critics Thursday who accused security forces of employing heavy-handed tactics in response to the recent riot at Roumieh Prison. In a news conference held at the Interior Ministry, Machnouk showed footage from the prison’s surveillance cameras, revealing the coordinated actions undertaken by prisoners during the riot. The minister announced that 19 security officers and 21 prisoners were seriously wounded during the riot and subsequent security response. The facility also sustained major damages.In the negotiations following the riot, during which a dozen prison guards were taken hostage, inmates initially refused to relinquish control of Block D, insisting they be granted the autonomy they previously enjoyed in the notorious Block B.
High-ranking politicians and religious figures intervened, attempting to negotiate between prisoners and the state but failed to reach a solution. Riot police then entered the building Monday after three days and quashed any dissent among the prisoners.
Admitting that Block D is severely overcrowded with 1,147 inmates, Machnouk emphasized that the Cabinet’s decision Wednesday to build a new prison was a “historical achievement,” and the “first in decades.”
“We have made the first decision in the last 53 years, since 1962, to build a major prison that could normally contain 700-800 inmates,” Machnouk announced. “But clearly, due to our financial issues, we might put more prisoners in it.” “You all know what happened last week in Roumieh Prison, but what you will see now in pictures will be much more than what you know,” he said moments before revealing the footage, which was at times shocking. The footage indicated that the prisoners instigated the riots by assaulting guards as they brought new inmates into the building. They stole keys, opened cells, and then used tools to break the joints of all cell doors. They then attacked the other security officers in the building, stomping on them and beating them with sticks as they fell to the ground, according to the footage. After doors were broken, cameras were destroyed with wooden and metal sticks that the prisoners most likely took from their beds.
Prisoners were then seen entering a room with food, which they confiscated in their “logistical preparations to expand the riot and take over the prison’s management,” Machnouk said. Two prisoners were seen moving into the prison’s main hall, attacking and bringing in an unarmed guard, the minister explained. The footage also showed the badly damaged infrastructure which Machnouk said the ministry had "begged" for money to renovate. "It’s all destroyed,” he lamented. In addition to destroying doors, cells and gates, prisoners also dismantled walls to use stones to attack guards, Machnouk said. Pictures taken after the incident showed the destroyed walls. The medical facility inside the prison was also badly damaged, for unknown purposes, even though they were “outside the riot’s main range,” the minister noted. Nineteen policemen were wounded. There was one case of suffocation, two guards suffered second-degree burns, and 11 others were subject to severe beatings, he said.
After the Friday riots, negotiations were launched at night between the state and prisoners, with the intervention of politicians and religious figures, he added.
He said the Muslim Scholars Committee chief Salem Rifai took part, as well as Brig. Gen. Mounir Shaaban who represented Machnouk in the talks. “We continued negotiating till Saturday noon, when we succeeded to free 12 policemen and two doctors who were taken hostage,” he said. After that, negotiators failed to reach any solution until Sunday night, because the inmates insisted on returning to managing the prisons by themselves. “They wanted to remain in control, without any cell doors or restrictions, like they used to be in block B,” Machnouk said. “They want to go back to whipping and torturing people, to ruling the way they did back in there.”
Block B was emptied after a large-scale police operation in January. TV footage showed that prisoners had no cell doors and operated a barber shop and a coffee shop in the building, and that they possessed a large amount of electronic equipment, including TV sets and mobile phones. Some of the prisoners are members of Islamist groups and had been imposing Shariah inside Block B, which is what Machnouk was referring to when he described incidents of whippings and torture.
On Sunday, after two days of talks, an inmate known as Abu Walid, who was regarded as the leader of the Islamist prisoners in Block B, told the state that the situation went out of hand.
“We continued the calls until 10:30 p.m. Sunday, but they totally refused that police handle the prison again, fix it and bring back safety and order,” Machnouk said.
“Our only choice was to do our security raid on Monday, to prevent Block D to become a terrorist operation room like Block B,” he said, adding that Block B’s terror operations room planned attacks in Tripoli, Arsal and as far as the ISIS-held Syrian city of Raqqa, and even Iraq.
“I will not allow the Block B experience to be repeated, or that the prisoners manage the prisons, regardless of the costs. Even if it takes more than one operation,” the minister announced. The raid was implemented at dawn Monday, and order was brought back to prison, the minister explained. Block B’s rehabilitation will be done in four to five days, and prisoners will be moved in one week to 10 days maximum. He said he waited two weeks before holding the news conference because of the need to prepare the documented footage and information, as well as for the media buzz to end. “We waited until the passing of the dust storm, in which everyone told his own story about the Roumieh operation, in a way that resembles them,” Machnouk said, in an implied reference to north Lebanon’s hardline MP Mohammad Kabbara, who criticized Machnouk for using excessive force “against his own people.” By "his own people," he meant Sunnis.
Kabbara’s scathing criticism came after he met with the families of the Islamist detainees and heard their version of the story.
“Nobody saw the operation, and everyone started talking. So all the talks you heard about this were to say the least inaccurate, and reflected ignorance of the situation of the prisoners,” Machnouk said. “Or maybe they served to appease some people who could be beneficial in politics or elections.”He said the International Committee of the Red Cross investigated the operations by interviewing 100 prisoners.ICRC’s report will be out late next week, he added. One hundred and eleven prisoners say they were beaten, and medical reports confirmed it. But their wounds are light and do not need treatment, Machnouk said. He also responded to critics who claimed the state should rather hold trials for all detainees instead of using force against them. “Sixty percent of the prisoners are yet to attend trials,” he said. “But if there is a judicial problem, it is the responsibility of the Cabinet, and not my ministry.” Machnouk said the problem would not be resolved with the construction of a new prison and holding trials because of the shortage of police officers.
“We need to increase the numbers from 27,000 to 35,000,” he said, giving the example of Jordan, whose population is 10 percent more than that of Lebanon, but with 90,000 policemen. Machnouk answered reporters’ questions, many of which were centered on the prisoners’ demands for more communication with the outside, more family visits and allowing relatives to bring in food. He said families were banned from bringing in food to prisoners after the Block B operation, when it was revealed that drugs smuggled into prisons are hidden inside food. “It is impossible with 3,000 prisoners in Roumieh to allow them to bring in food like before and search for Captagon pills and other [drugs] inside zucchinis,” he said. As for other demands, Machnouk said most of them were very costly, and that the state has no financial capacity to respond. However, he added that his ministry’s first priority was to provide protection for security officers and to make sure no riots take place in the future. “Our responsibilities are to protect security officers, bring back order and discipline, and then we can try to answer the prisoners’ demands,” he said. “After what I’ve shown you, I can say that the prisoners’ demands are currently not our first priority.”

Security plan will not touch Hezbollah's arms: minister
The Daily Star/Apr. 30, 2015/BEIRUT: As Lebanese security forces pushed ahead Thursday with the third day of a crackdown on suspected criminals in Beirut’s southern suburbs, Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk clarified that Hezbollah's arsenal would remain off-limits. “There was an agreement between all political leaders at the dialogue sessions headed by former President Michel Sleiman in 2012,” Machnouk said. “The decision to consider Hezbollah’s arms a part of Lebanon’s defense strategy.” His comments came during a news conference that focused on the recent riots at Roumieh Prison after a reporter asked him how the security plan would deal with Hezbollah's weapons. Security forces carried out a fresh set of raids and measures targeting fugitives in the southern suburbs Thursday targeting five neighborhoods. A joint security force, comprised of the Army, police and General Security, raided the houses of fugitives in the suburbs of Mreijeh, Ain al-Seke, Raml al-Ali, Kokodi and Sabra, the military announced in a statement.
The raids led to the arrests of an unidentified number of wanted suspects, including one Palestinian national. The statement did not disclose the charges levied against the suspects.
The security agencies seized light weapons, ammunition and hand grenades during the raids, the Army said.
New checkpoints to search vehicles and examine identity cards were erected, and car and foot patrols were enhanced. The operation has received mostly positive support from residents, and strong backing from Hezbollah and the Amal Movement, who enjoy wide support in the area. Machnouk said the crackdown in the southern suburbs was “serious,” but difficult to carry out. “We say that this could be handled with the state’s capacities and is part of the state’s duties,” he said. The minister also addressed concerns that security forces are not as successful in nabbing fugitives in areas where Hezbollah has a military presence. Hezbollah's critics accuse the party of providing cover gangs in the southern suburbs and Bekaa Valley.
“It’s true that there are gaps in the plan of the Bekaa Valley, but we are still following up on them. We will arrest all these lords who think they are above the law.”Machnouk directly oversaw a similar security plan in northeast Lebanon in February, in which hundreds were arrested over relatively minor offenses, including drugs charges and car theft. However, the crackdown was criticized over the failure to catch “the big fish” in the area since it was announced a week in advance. The crackdowns are part of a larger security plan launched by Machnouk targeting troubled parts of the country last year. The first large-scale operations were implemented in the northern city of Tripoli. Security forces first deployed to the southern suburbs in September 2013 as part of a plan to replace Hezbollah checkpoints after a series of deadly bombings targeted the mostly Shiite area. Prior to the 2013 deployment, Hezbollah had maintained security in the area, home to many of the party’s leaders. Separately, the Army raided the houses of wanted Syrian nationals in the Zahle town of Majdal Anjar at dawn Thursday. Soldiers arrested nine Syrian nationals and seized two rifles, two hand grenades, ammunition, binoculars, a compass and military gear. The statement did not disclose the charges levied against them.

The crown is slipping
The Daily Star/Apr. 30, 2015
The regime of President Bashar Assad, for many people living in government-controlled areas, appears to be entering its final phases – and even some staunch allies of the embattled Syrian leader are beginning to draw this conclusion. Analysts have been busy counting up the many indications. They range from battlefield losses in the north and south to a manpower crisis for the government’s forces, which have been obliged to rely heavily on paramilitary groups and thousands of non-Syrian fighters. The rebels have been gaining ground and are beginning to threaten places such as Latakia and Hama province, with a noticeable drop in morale for regime supporters. The country’s defense minister, Fahd Freij, is currently visiting Tehran, in the most high-profile such visit to Syria’s ally since the crisis began. The developments have seen a prominent Damascus-based dissident, Louay Hussein, flee the country because of the regime’s alarming all-or-nothing stance. Some observers caution, however, that an imminent collapse of the regime isn’t in the cards. And Assad is trying to bolster this view, by acting as if the situation is under control and ignoring what the war is actually doing to his country, and those who remain there. But the impatience of Syria’s neighbors is impossible to ignore, and there is increasing talk of a deal being worked out, with no role for Assad. Whatever the type of arrangements to come, the developments should send a message to Assad, to cut his losses and pursue negotiations that will allow him to save face, and his country to survive. Pursuing the current military strategy won’t produce any miracles, but it will certainly produce greater calamities down the road.

Iran's Zarif and Republican Senator Cotton face off in Twitter battle
By JPOST.COM STAFF/04/30/2015/Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded to a series of tweets by Republican Senator Tom Cotton on Thursday, accusing the Arkansas lawmaker of employing "macho personal smear," rather than serious diplomacy. Cotton has been one of the loudest voices against the emerging nuclear deal with Iran and gained notoriety when he spearheaded a letter signed by 47 senators to Iran's leaders last month, warning that an agreement reached with US President Barack Obama would not necessarily be honored by future American leaders. Zarif commented at the time that the Republican senator's contention that Iran's leaders did not understand the US Constitution was condescending.
Zarif called Cotton out during remarks he made at NYU University in New York on Wednesday, in which he said that the UN sanctions against Iran would be lifted with the reaching of a comprehensive nuclear deal "whether Senator Tom Cotton likes it or not."

Biden pushes back on Khamenei's terms for Iran nuclear deal
WASHINGTON -- US Vice President Joe Biden pushed back against Iran's demands for a final deal over its nuclear program on Thursday, demanding access to its military sites, sanctions relief phased over time and a "clear" snapback mechanism at the United Nations should Tehran violate the deal. Only two weeks ago, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei rejected those terms as red lines for Iran, in talks over its nuclear work.  Speaking at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Biden expressed support for an emerging final Iranian nuclear deal, saying the initiative in the works would provided "a historic opportunity to forge an enduring peaceful solution." Under a nuclear deal Iran's path to plutonium enrichment would be closed "forever," Biden claimed, adding that Iran is capable at the moment of constructing eight nuclear weapons. "We put together not only the toughest sanctions regime in history, but one of the most broad-based," Biden said. The US vice president added that a comprehensive deal currently being negotiated "radically" alters the timeline on Iran's ability to achieve nuclear weapons capabilities. However, Biden also noted that the possibility of military action against Iran remained an option and that US President Barack Obama was willing to walk away from the process.
Biden also stressed that Washington was increasing cooperation with Israel amid efforts between six world powers and Iran to forge a comprehensive deal on Tehran's disputed nuclear program. "As we pursue this deal, we’re also deepening our cooperation with Israel and our other regional partners," he asserted.  Attempting to downplay criticism of Obama over his concern for Israel's security in light of the nuclear process, Biden said Obama had a "spine of steel," adding that he has done more for Israel's security than any other US president.
"Let’s get something straight: No president has done more for the security of Israel than Barack Obama. That’s not going to change," he underlined.

IDF’s cyber defenders preparing for attacks by ‘Lebanese opponent
By YAAKOV LAPPIN /05/01/2015/J.Post
Hezbollah’s notoriety comes from its enormous rocket arsenal and well-trained forces, but the Iranian-sponsored terrorist group also poses an increasingly significant cyber threat to the IDF, senior officers of the Cyber Defense Unit told The Jerusalem Post this week.
Maj. G., commander of the Ramat Gan-based unit that is part of the C4i Corps, is responsible for all of the IDF’s cyber defenses. His unit defends the operational networks and IT systems that keep air force jets flying, navy ships sailing, and missiles hitting their targets.
Asked to describe some of his principal foes, Maj. G. said, “There is an opponent here who is Lebanese. It knows how to acquire technology and adapt it. It knows who it is up against. It is changing all the time; it is changing its devices and personnel, and it has targets.”
He added, “Our assumption is not to believe what we see, but to look for the enemy, everywhere.”Cyber defenders need to be able to monitor the IDF’s networks and detect an illegitimate infiltration quickly, he said. “They need to manage investigation crews that can track down a hostile presence lurking in the IDF’s networks. They need to carry out cyber attack forensics, be aware of standard network threats like viruses that are generally out there, as well as attempts to uniquely target the IDF.”
Lt. S. heads the unit’s academy for computer and cyber defense training, which instructs operators from across the IDF. They receive four months of intensive training, and then begin a lengthy period of operational experience in their units, he said.
“There is no such thing as a fully closed network,” Maj. G. warned. “Think of your home computer. Someone can insert a USB flash drive into it, or tell it to download updates. Someone can accidentally connect it to something. There is no hermetic closure.”
Nevertheless, the Cyber Defense Unit develops secure programs and IT networks. It teaches engineers, programmers, and cyber defense personnel how to keep enemies out, and cooperates closely with Israeli defense industries.
“We are building an operational military ‘Internet.’ We have to install alert systems in it, to allow cyber defenders to know what is going on,” Maj. G. stated.
A model city sprawls across a room at the unit’s headquarters.
“We call this Sim City,” said a Cyber Defense Unit member.
Sim City where IDF cyber defenders hold their war games. (Photo credit: Yaakov Lappin)
The city has a train that circles around a track, an airport with a revolving radar, a missile defense battery, a nuclear power plant, an electric grid, and other infrastructure representing modern components of cities.
Each of these potential targets has its own miniature supervisory control and data acquisition system that can be hijacked and manipulated.
Should such cyber attacks succeed in real life, they could have catastrophic consequences.
Here, the unit holds some of its war games. One crew attacks the city, and can make the train speed up to the point that it derails. Attackers can cause the nuclear power plant to shut down. Missile defenses can be hijacked and used to fire on the very city they were built to protect. Near the model city are two computers – one used to create viruses that can take over other computers, and eavesdrop on all of the information that passes through the target, and another that is the ‘victim’ of the attack.
Nearby, training center contains rows of computer screens on desks. “This is a frontal environment, where pupils learn the material,” said a unit member.
“What is cyber defense? Is it lot of IT? No, it is a combat position,” said Maj. G. “Ordinary defenses will not do.
Our enemies are updating their capabilities. Anti-virus systems have not proven themselves against unique threats.
“Our goal is to train the operators so that they do the right analysis in their head.
There are no automatic systems that can do the job for them. They rely on sensors, but they have to be familiar with the network, to recognize what is right, and what is not. This is a job carried out by humans.”
Lt. S. noted that “advanced systems have no value if human operators don’t know how to use them correctly.
Our course is designed for male and female cadets, who are carefully selected. Out of thousands of candidates, only a few dozen make the cut.”
The unit looks for the following qualities in the candidates: creative thinking, being able to work in a team, and fast learning. No prior knowledge of computers is needed.
“They begin learning Microsoft Windows, Office, hardware systems, infrastructure, networks, and communications. They then move on to Linux and web development,” said Lt. S.
Later, more advanced content is introduced. Cadets learn to scan websites and systems, looking for vulnerabilities.
“They must all know how to stand up to attacks,” said Maj. G. “Not a day goes by that we don’t update something.
We are constantly updating our knowledge and learning about what is happening in the world. There is always something new happening,” he added.
The Cyber Defense Unit shares its ever-growing knowledge with other security and intelligence agencies outside of the IDF, as well as the National Cyber Bureau [a part of the Prime Minister’s Office].
Any large-scale significant cyber attack on Israel requires inter-organizational cooperation for a successful defense, underscoring the need for continuation, Maj. G. added.

Board Chairman Of Pro-Hizbullah Lebanese Daily, Ibrahim Al Amin: Hizbullah Has Established Resistance Infrastructure In Syrian Golan In Cooperation With Locals
On April 26, 2015, the Israeli Air Force took out a group of four terrorists who were laying an explosive charge on the Israel-Syria border in the Golan. Two of the terrorists were former residents of the Druze village Majdal Shams in the Israeli Golan who had moved to Syria.
Two days after the incident, the board chairman of the pro-Hizbullah Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar, Ibrahim Al-Amin, wrote an article on the opening of a front against Israel in the Golan, and on the involvement of Hizbullah and of local Golan residents in this activity.
The following are excerpts from his article.[1]
Al-Amin: The Laying Of The Explosive Device Was An Expression Of A Decision To Open A Resistance Front In The Golan
Al-Amin implies that the April 26 operation was an expression of a decision by the resistance axis to open a front against Israel in the Golan,[2] and was part of ongoing activity by the resistance in that region. This activity came to light following the January 18, 2015 Israeli airstrike on two vehicles in the Quneitra region, which resulted in the death of several Hizbullah operatives and of an Iranian official, and following Hizbullah's retaliatory attack, on January 29, 2015, on an IDF convoy in the Sheba'a Farms area, in which two Israeli soldiers were killed.
Al-Amin writes: "...Now it is Syria's turn [to join the resistance]... What has happened and is still happening is part of a long chain [of events]. One of the links [in this chain] was the day when the enemy assassinated the martyrs of Quneitra [January 18, 2015], and the resistance's subsequent response on the ground in the occupied Sheba'a Farms [area], as well as the political response of Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, who spoke of opening a new front not just against Israel, but also for the resistance, which is now committed to more comprehensive action aimed at defending itself, enhancing its abilities, expanding the scope of its action, and carrying out operations that will be more painful for the enemy."[3]
Hizbullah Is Present In The Golan Mainly To Act Against Israel
Al-Amin says that, in contrast to Hizbullah's presence in other parts of Syria, which is intended mainly to defend Bashar Al-Assad's regime, its presence in southern Syria is part of a plan to expand the resistance against Israel to this region: "The main reason for Hizbullah's interest in the regions of southern Syria has to do with the front against the [Israeli] enemy, though Hizbullah is [also] actively and seriously involved in the struggle to defend Syria and its regime."
The Unit That Laid The Explosive Charge Was Affiliated With Hizbullah, Which Has Established An Infrastructure In The Golan Involving Locals
Al-Amin adds that the unit eliminated on April 26 was affiliated with Hizbullah, which has established a broad and solid resistance infrastructure in the Golan based on locals living on both the Syrian and Israeli side of the border who have enlisted to carry out operations against Israel. He writes: "What poses a real problem for Israel, and for the Syrian armed [fighters] who support it, is that Hizbullah knows how to get the best results. Regardless of Hizbullah's connection to the heroes who were martyred the day before yesterday [April 26], what worries the enemy and helps the resistance is [the fact that] those carrying out the direct military action [against Israel] are local Syrians [from the Golan], whether they live in the part occupied by Israel or in the part [Israel] is occupying by means of the armed [rebels] who collaborate with it.
"Tomorrow, the definite findings of the investigation will reveal the flaw that had led to the discovery of the unit [that planted the explosive charge on the border], and reveal whether it was the result of a leak, some mishap on the ground, some special Israeli surveillance apparatus, or [the work of] collaborators with the enemy. The findings [of the investigation] will serve as a lesson for the people directing these operations, helping them to meet the next challenges, and will also compel the martyrs' comrades to [achieve] higher levels of skill and accuracy [in the future]."
"Moreover, if anyone says that this operation was a one-time [burst] of enthusiasm, or something of the sort, [there is no doubt that] what happened was the most powerful demonstration of... what frightens the enemy, namely that the young in these region are showing readiness to carry out the most dangerous missions against the occupation forces. They not only defy the apathy that has prevailed on this front for the past decades, but prove that all the forms of normalization and oppression that prevailed in the Golan and its surroundings have not extinguished the fire of resistance in people's [hearts]. They also prove that the existence of Syrian collaborators sponsored by the [Israeli] occupation forces will not help [Israel] prevent the resistance fighters from arriving where they are needed. They prove that all the modern military and security means employed by the enemy in this region will not help [the enemy] to prevent the resistance fighters from reaching the areas closest to where the occupation forces are moving. This in itself explains the enemy's concern and its statements that the next operation [against it] is only a matter of time...[4]
The Other Tasks Of The Resistance Do Not Keep It From Its Mission Of Hurting Israel
According to Al-Amin, the April 26 operation, and other operations by Hizbullah, prove that despite this organization's involvement in fighting the rebels in Syria and in other Arab countries, it has not lost its way, as some of its opponents claim, and has not abandoned its ideology and the reason for its existence, namely the struggle against Israel: "...The enemy knows better than anyone else that, though the resistance is occupied with battles inside Syria, and though these battles require much [manpower] and gear, this does not distract [the resistance] from the mission of hurting [Israel]. This task will always find people to perform it, regardless of [what is happening] on other fronts. These people have enough time to reconnoiter, prepare units, train, choose targets and carry out operations. This in itself is the best and most powerful answer to those who delude themselves that the resistance has lost its way."
Hizbullah Holds The Initiative In The Golan
Al-Amin admits that opening the Golan to resistance activity constitutes a change in the status quo, and states that this move enables Hizbullah to surprise Israel, trap it and keep the initiative exclusively in its own hands: "The day the enemy attacked the vehicles of the Hizbullah resistance fighters near the occupied areas in Syria [i.e., the January 18, 2015 airstrike in Quneitra], [Israel's defense] minister Moshe Ya'alon said that this operation had thwarted Hizbullah's plan in the area. He knows, of course, that the martyrs were not on their way to carry out a military or security operation [on that day]. But what he and other interested parties realize is that the mere proximity of Hizbullah resistance fighters to the occupied Golan [is a fact that] has many implications..."
Al-Amin added: "Even if [Israel] wants to accept this reality [of a resistance front in the Golan], it is more interested in trying to lay down the rules of the game in this region. But the new [development] is that it no longer knows what the response of the resistance will be. This failure to formulate a full [intelligence] assessment may lead [Israel] to make foolish mistakes, which will enable the resistance not only to trap and ambush it here and there, but to deprive it of the exclusive initiative on this front – and that is the most important thing."

[1] Al-Akhbar (Lebanon), April 27, 2015.
[2] This decision was taken by Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah already in March 2013. On the activity by Hizbullah and by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in the Golan, see Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1138, "Following Killing Of Hizbullah Operative Jihad Mughniyah, New Information Comes To Light Regarding Hizbullah, Iranian Activity In Syrian Golan On Israeli Border," January 28, 2015.
[3] On Nasrallah's declaration about the unifying of the Lebanon and Syria fronts, and on the criticism it evoked in Lebanon, see MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis No. 1147, "Lebanese Elements Furious Over Hizbullah's Activity In Golan, Shebaa Farms, Critical Of Nasrallah's Statements About Uniting Lebanese, Syrian Resistance Fronts," March 11, 2015.
[4] Probably a reference to statements made in January 2015 by Gen. Itay Baron, former head of the IDF Military Intelligence research section, that terrorist operations in the Golan are only a matter of time., January 16, 2015.
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