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Israel Has New Tech to Discover Tunnels
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday December 13, 2017

I've Been Thinking:

Ever wonder how Israel discovered not one but two terror tunnels crossing from Gaza into their sovereign land? The tunnels opened up well within Israel and were designed to enable Hamas and Islamic Jihad access in attacking Israelis and kidnapping Israeli soldiers.

Israel discovered the tunnels by using their new very unique technology. The system is called "the lab."

The lab harnesses human intelligence, scientific brain power, computers and other machinery and guides users to uncover tunnels. The lab uses an algorithm that literally takes all the guess work out of finding tunnels.

This is the first time In history that a mechanism has been developed to discover tunnels. It is pure math and science. In other words, the lab actually has done the impossible - it finds something that until now was undetectable.

Hamas is dumbfounded. . The lab is top secret. But it is certainly working. This new defense, when applied in full operation, will effectively protect Israel and destroy one of Hamas' most effective and aggressive weapons. There is no reason it cannot be used to discover Hezbollah's tunnels, too.

Hamas may be forced to prematurely use their incomplete tunnels to attack Israel before the tunnels are discovered. It is a risk Israel faces, but an unlikely one. Hamas does not want to escalate tensions with Israel at this time. But neither can they afford to just loose their investment in their tunnels. It is an issue of pride as well as money.

Given the effectiveness of the lab, Hamas will have to either ratchet up their tunnel use or throw in the towel and abandon it totally.

I predict Hamas will try one more time with their tunnels and then scrap tunnel warfare completely.

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Putin Spent the Day in the Mideast
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday December 12, 2017

I've Been Thinking:

Russian President Putin spent yesterday in the Middle East. His first stop was Syria where he met with Assad and proclaimed victory over ISIS.

Then he flew to Cairo for important meetings with al Sisi. Along with their discussions, they signed an agreement to resume commercial flights between Russia and Egypt. Russia had cancelled all flights to Egypt after ISIS blew up a Russian charter plane as it reached altitude after taking off from a Sinai airport.

Putin ended the day in Turkey. There, he lashed out at Trump and the United States for the decision to recognize Jerusalem the capital of Israel. Putin said that this decision will derail any chance of a mutual Israel Palestinian agreement.

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Israel Destroys Another Terror Tunnel
By Micah Halpern

Monday December 11, 2017

I've Been Thinking:

Israel destroyed a terror tunnel this weekend. The tunnel started in Gaza, crossed under the Israeli border and ended up several hundred yards into an Israeli agricultural area.

The tunnel was discovered almost two weeks ago and Israel has been monitoring all activities until they destroyed it. There was no one inside.

This tunnel is the second tunnel in a month that was destroyed. The previous tunnel was built by Islamic Jihad.

There were no weapons in the tunnel and it was destroyed very differently than others. It was not hit by missiles from the air but collapsed by ground equipment.

It appears that Hamas was aware that the tunnel was discovered because there was no real usage of the tunnel during the time that it was being monitored.

Only minutes before Israel destroyed the tunnel, Hamas made an announcement that Israel would pay a heavy price for their actions. The Hamas message said that Israel will soon be taught a lesson.

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Putin To Visit Egypt Ahead of Pence
By Micah Halpern

Friday December 8, 2017

I've Been Thinking:

Much has been said about US Vice President Mike Pence's upcoming trip to the Middle East. President Trump mentioned it in his speech about
Jerusalem. Some Palestinians have proclaimed that the US VP is not welcome. Some have said that his meetings with Palestinian have been cancelled.

But here is a big surprise --- on Monday Vladimir Putin will visit Egypt for the day. He will meet with Egyptian President al Sisi. This is happening just days before US VP Pence will in Cairo.

Russia and Egypt just signed an agreement. The deal says that Russia will provide new fighter jets to outfit the Egyptian air force.

This agreement is significant in so many ways. Upgrading the Egyptian air force with Russian planes is a watershed. It brings Russia back in to the game. The original Egyptian air force is MiG based. So these new planes will augment the already Russia planes Egypt uses.

Putin and Sisi will discuss all the issues plaguing the Middle East especially ISIS and Syria.

This Putin visit will steal the thunder from Pence's visit.

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Trump on Jerusalem -- Some Agreed
By Micah Halpern

Thursday December 7, 2017

I've Been Thinking:

He did it. Yesterday US President Trump announced that the United States recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Much of media focus immediately following the announcement centered on the negative including the potential negative reaction to the announcement.

They covered the threat of violence, days of rage, an act of war, unilateral steps by the United States that might damage the status of Jerusalem.

But there were also some very positive reactions to the announcement - and not just from Israel and lovers of Israel.

Kudos to the Philippines and the Czech Republic who decided to join the United States in recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital city.

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Trump Announces Jerusalem is the Capital
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday December 6, 2017

I've Been Thinking:

President Trump is threading the needle by announcing that the United States sees Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

It is actually not a real change at all. A US law, stating that the United States recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, has been around since 1995. It is called the Jerusalem Embassy Act of October 1995 and it passed by a vote of 93-5 in the Senate and 374 - 37 in Congress.

Fear of insulting the Arab and Muslim world has motivated US policy on Jerusalem for decades. It appears that President Trump is the first president in decades not to be afraid of ruffling these feathers.

President Trump is taking a calculated risk. There will be some flairs of displeasure but they will only be blips on the radar.

Trump is merely testing the waters by making the announcement. He is not moving the embassy. He is actually signing the waiver that has been signed every six months by every president before him since Bill Clinton.

If things go well, however, the embassy may indeed be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

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Egypt Hitting Back at ISIS
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday December 5, 2017

I've Been Thinking:

Egypt killed 5 ISIS terrorists in a shootout yesterday. In follow-up raids the Egyptians arrested 6 other terrorists. They also confiscated bomb materials and weapons.

Egypt has increased the pressure on ISIS. The Egyptians are dedicating significant resources, in multiple fronts, to find, capture, try and at times even kill ISIS terrorists. They need the momentum to change in their favor - despite all their efforts, ISIS is winning.

Thus far in Egypt ISIS has had the upper hand. They have successfully been striking, at will, across the country. Egypt recognizes the importance of confronting ISIS. They are one of the few countries taking the threat to their very existence seriously. They are also front and center as targets of ISIS.

Few countries have suffered as much as Egypt.

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PA Editor Says No Difference Btw Israel and DC
By Micah Halpern

Monday December 4, 2017

I've Been Thinking:

Nasser Laham, the editor-in-chief of Ma'an, one of the most important Palestinian media outlets, said that the Jews control Washington and that there is no difference between Washington and Tel Aviv.

"The Jews rule in Washington and the Jews rule in Tel Aviv. What's the difference?" said Ma'an News Agency editor-in-chief Nasser Laham on Saturday in a television interview on his agency's own channel,

"It's the same if we negotiate with them (i.e. Jews) in Washington or in Tel Aviv. It's the same framework."

In his diatribe Laham actually mentioned Martin Indyk, the former US ambassador to Tel Aviv, saying that Indyk has more control over Washington now that he is a private citizen than he did when he was ambassador.

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Saudis Attack Hezbollah
By Micah Halpern

Sunday December 3, 2017

I've Been Thinking:

Saudi anti-Iranian rhetoric is on the upswing. This time, Saudi Arabia has taken aim at Hezbollah, the Iranian backed Shiite militia in Lebanon.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al Jubeir said that Hezbollah has hijacked Lebanon and Hezbollah must be disarmed. He said that as long as Hezbollah controls a huge militia Lebanon will be unable to be productive and creative.

"Lebanon will only survive or prosper if you disarm Hezbollah." Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told a conference in Italy. "As long as you have an armed militia, you will not have peace in Lebanon."

"Since 1979, the Iranians have literally got away with murder in our region, and this has to stop."

Iran has used its minions to wreak havoc on the region - and one of their very loyal proxies is Hezbollah. Part of the Iranian agenda is to destabilize Sunni areas and then move in and stabilize them and institute Shiite control.

Obviously, Iran's objectives are in direct conflict with the vital interests of Saudi Arabia.

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Iran Sending Ships to Gulf of Mexico
By Micah Halpern

Friday December 1, 2017

I've Been Thinking:

Iran is sending warships to the Gulf of Mexico. They Iranians have issued this threat before and are bent on being at the doorstep of the US.

Over the past few years Iran has sent 47 flotillas in to international waters. One expedition took place last year when the Iranians successfully launched a fleet of naval ships into the Atlantic by sailing around the Horn of Africa. Now they are trying again.

"Our fleet of warships will be sent to the Atlantic Ocean in the near future and will visit one of the friendly states in South America and the Gulf of Mexico," Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi was recently quoted by Iran's semi-official Tasnim News Agency.

The Iranians want to expand their influence across the world and that includes taking a much larger role in sea power.

Naval commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said that "sailing in open waters between Europe and the Americas should be the navy's goal, which will be realized in the near future."

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