Israel begins its war on cash

Starting August 1, Israelis will not be able to make cash and bank check payments above 6,000 Shekels. According to the country’s Tax Authority, the law is meant to combat tax non-compliance, organized crime, and money laundering.

“We want the public to reduce the use of cash money,” said Tamar Bracha of Israel’s Tax Authority, speaking to The Media Line. “The goal is to reduce cash fluidity in the market, mainly because crime organizations tend to rely on cash. By limiting the use of it, criminal activity is much harder to carry out.”

But some critics have rejected the argument that the law reduces cash in the market.

“We were in the discussions about the bill. The data we brought showed that since the first phase of the law was in effect, the amount of cash on the market only increased. So clearly, something’s not working,” said Uri Goldman, a lawyer who represented plaintiffs who opposed the law in 2018.

Goldman further noted that over one million people in Israel do not have bank accounts. As such the law “would prevent them from conducting any business and would, practically, turn 10% of the population to criminals.”

The new law prevents cash and bank check payments over 6,000 Shekel to a business. Transactions between citizens (not business) are limited to 15,000 Shekel.

There are two exceptions to the law; transactions with Palestinians in the West Bank and charitable institutions.

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The untouchable ally: US government lets Israel off the hook in the case of Palestinian-American journalist’s death

The US State Department’s press release on Washington’s investigation into the killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh has sparked outrage and triggered accusations of a whitewash.

Almost two months after the murder of the veteran Al-Jazeera reporter, Washington announced that an investigation by the US Security Coordinator (USSC) had concluded that Israeli gunfire was “likely responsible.” However, the statement asserted that the evidence was inconclusive and it could not say that Israeli forces were to blame, contradicting various other reports which had concluded the opposite. The US government also claimed that there is “no reason to believe” that the killing was intentional and instead was likely “the result of tragic circumstances,” to which Israel’s top human rights group B’Tselem responded by calling the investigation a “whitewash.”

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New Israeli military technology allows operators to ‘see through walls’

New Israeli military technology allows users to detect objects and people behind walls by using an AI-based tracking algorithm, according to a report.

The Xaver 1000, produced by the Israeli imaging solutions company Camero-Tech, was unveiled for the first time at the Eurosatury 2022 exhibition in Paris, France. 

It’s part of the “See Through Walls” family of products which, according to the company, provide real-time information on objects and people concealed behind walls.

Camero-Tech claims the new XAVER-1000 is an “essential system” for militaries, law enforcement, intelligence units, and search and rescue teams.

The company said it is a new tool for tactical operations, as it can detect the presence of life in rooms, the number of people and their distance from the system, target height and orientation, and the general layout of a space.

The technology can display live objects, behind walls, in such high resolution that it can detect whether a person is sitting, standing, or lying down, even if they have been motionless for a significant period. Specific body parts are also detectable, the company said.

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US Secretly Reviews & Approves Many Israeli Airstrikes In Syria

According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Israel has been secretly coordinating with the US on many of its airstrikes in Syria, and senior officials at US Central Command have reviewed and approved many plans in recent years.

Israel frequently bombs Syria and frames the operations as strikes against Iran or Hezbollah, although the air raids often kill Syrian government troops and members of Iraq’s Shia militias. The latest Israeli airstrikes on Syria disabled the Damascus International Airport, marking a significant escalation in the air campaign.

Current and former officials told the Journal that the main focus of the coordination is on airstrikes that pass near al-Tanf garrison, a US military base in southern Syria near the border with Jordan. The officials said that the “vast majority” of the strikes passing through that area had been approved by the US.

The Israelis started flying airstrikes near al-Tanf in 2017 to avoid Syrian air defenses. The officials said that Israel notifies CENTCOM of its plans ahead of time. The command conducts a review of the operation and also notifies the secretary of defense and joint chiefs chairman. Israel has also notified Russian forces at the Khmeimim Air Base in western Syria of planned strikes.

The report said that the US doesn’t review all Israeli operations inside Syria, and doesn’t help Israel pick its targets. A significant number of Israeli airstrikes in the country don’t pass al-Tanf, including the strike on Damascus Airport.

The US has about 1,000 troops stationed in eastern Syria. On paper, the presence is about supporting the Kurdish-led SDF against ISIS, but the occupation is also about putting pressure on Damascus. The US maintains crippling economic sanctions on Syria, preventing the country from rebuilding after over 10 years of war.

The Journal report is the first time that the close US-Israeli coordination on airstrikes in Syria has been reported. But the US has always tacitly endorsed the operations as it never condemns them.

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New revelations in attack on American spy ship

Bryce Lockwood, Marine staff sergeant, Russian-language expert, recipient of the Silver Star for heroism, ordained Baptist minister, is shouting into the phone.

“I’m angry! I’m seething with anger! Forty years, and I’m seething with anger!”

Lockwood was aboard the USS Liberty, a super-secret spy ship on station in the eastern Mediterranean, when four Israeli fighter jets flew out of the afternoon sun to strafe and bomb the virtually defenseless vessel on June 8, 1967, the fourth day of what would become known as the Six-Day War.

For Lockwood and many other survivors, the anger is mixed with incredulity: that Israel would attack an important ally, then attribute the attack to a case of mistaken identity by Israeli pilots who had confused the U.S. Navy’s most distinctive ship with an Egyptian horse-cavalry transport that was half its size and had a dissimilar profile. And they’re also incredulous that, for years, their own government would reject their calls for a thorough investigation.

“They tried to lie their way out of it!” Lockwood shouts. “I don’t believe that for a minute! You just don’t shoot at a ship at sea without identifying it, making sure of your target!”

Four decades later, many of the more than two dozen Liberty survivors located and interviewed by the Tribune cannot talk about the attack without shouting or weeping.

Their anger has been stoked by the declassification of government documents and the recollections of former military personnel, including some quoted in this article for the first time, which strengthen doubts about the U.S. National Security Agency’s position that it never intercepted the communications of the attacking Israeli pilots — communications, according to those who remember seeing them, that showed the Israelis knew they were attacking an American naval vessel.

The documents also suggest that the U.S. government, anxious to spare Israel’s reputation and preserve its alliance with the U.S., closed the case with what even some of its participants now say was a hasty and seriously flawed investigation.

In declassifying the most recent and largest batch of materials last June 8, the 40th anniversary of the attack, the NSA, this country’s chief U.S. electronic-intelligence-gatherer and code-breaker, acknowledged that the attack had “become the center of considerable controversy and debate.” It was not the agency’s intention, it said, “to prove or disprove any one set of conclusions, many of which can be drawn from a thorough review of this material,” available at http://www.nsa.gov/liberty .

An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman, Mark Regev, called the attack on the Liberty “a tragic and terrible accident, a case of mistaken identity, for which Israel has officially apologized.” Israel also paid reparations of $6.7 million to the injured survivors and the families of those killed in the attack, and another $6 million for the loss of the Liberty itself.

But for those who lost their sons and husbands, neither the Israelis’ apology nor the passing of time has lessened their grief.

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Israel Killed Reporter Abu Akleh—but US Media Disguised the Facts

Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, a well-known and much-loved Al Jazeera reporter who covered Palestine for two decades, was shot and killed by an Israeli sniper May 11 while documenting an Israeli raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the Occupied West Bank.

Footage of the moments after her death show Abu Akleh, still wearing her press vest and helmet, lying face down on the ground below a tree, as Shatha Hanaysha, another Palestinian journalist and writer for Mondoweiss, sits by her side and attempts to reach out to her. Writing for Mondoweiss (5/11/22), Yumna Patel described the video:

A young Palestinian man is then seen jumping over a wall behind Abu Akleh and Hanaysha. When he attempts to retrieve Abu Akleh’s body, another round of sniper fire can be heard, and he quickly takes cover behind the tree.

No armed combatants are there. Journalists are shouting for an ambulance. The young man tries a second time to remove Abu Akleh, but fails. He manages to help a shaken Hanaysha hide behind the tree. The footage is harrowing.

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AL JAZEERA ACCUSES ISRAEL OF “BLATANT MURDER” AFTER ITS STAR REPORTER SHOT DEAD IN WEST BANK RAID

The media outlet Al Jazeera accused Israeli forces of “deliberately targeting and killing our colleague” on Wednesday after Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was shot in the face while covering a raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.

In a statement, the Al Jazeera Media Network said that Abu Akleh—who worked as the publication’s Palestine correspondent—was wearing a press jacket that clearly identified her as a journalist when Israeli forces shot her “with live fire.”

Al Jazeera, which is based in Qatar, called the attack “a blatant murder,” saying Abu Akleh, 51, was “assassinated in cold blood.”

The statement continued:

Al Jazeera Media Network condemns this heinous crime, which intends to only prevent the media from conducting their duty. Al Jazeera holds the Israeli government and the occupation forces responsible for the killing of Shireen. It also calls on the international community to condemn and hold the Israeli occupation forces accountable for their intentional targeting and killing of Shireen.

The Israeli authorities are also responsible for the targeting of Al Jazeera producer Ali al-Samudi, who was also shot in the back while covering the same event, and he is currently undergoing treatment.

Al Jazeera extends its sincere condolences to the family of Shireen in Palestine, and to her extended family around the world, and we pledge to prosecute the perpetrators legally, no matter how hard they try to cover up their crime, and bring them to justice.

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Israel Successfully Tests New Laser Missile Defense System

Israel’s new laser missile defense system has successfully intercepted mortars, rockets and anti-tank missiles in recent tests, Israeli leaders said Thursday.

The Israeli-made laser system, known as the “Iron Beam,” is designed to complement a series of aerial defense systems, including the more costly rocket-intercepting Iron Dome.

“This may sound like science-fiction, but it’s real,” said Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. ”The Iron Beam’s interceptions are silent, they’re invisible and they only cost around $3.50” apiece, he added.

Little is known about the laser system’s effectiveness, but it is expected to be deployed on land, in the air and at sea. The goal is to deploy the laser systems around Israel’s borders over the next decade to protect the country against attacks.

Thursday’s announcement also sent a message to Israel’s foes, including archenemy Iran. The tests took place last month in the Negev Desert.

The announcement came near the anniversary of the 11-day Israel-Gaza war, in which Gaza’s ruling Hamas militant group fired more than 4,000 rockets toward Israel.

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Hacker group releases info on Mossad’s alleged involvement in Kazakhstan

The hacker group known as ‘Open Hands’ has once again released sensitive information about the Israeli Mossad and its activities.

Their recent data leak from 7 April was a mini-documentary film showing alleged Mossad activity in Kazakhstan. The film featured anonymous members of the hacker group whose faces were blacked out by shadows. They spoke English, Russian, and Arabic.

The film showcased how the Mossad secretly engages in business activity related to the mining of lithium and other rare earth ores through various front companies.

The film can be found on their Telegram channel.

While it is also found on YouTube, it is unclear for how long it will last until it is subject to YouTube’s censorship policies. Various Silicon Valley social media giants have been accused of bias towards the US, Israel, and their allies.

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Is that Darth Invader? Israeli TV channel unwittingly runs ‘live footage’ from Ukraine… showing a crash-landed TIE fighter from Star Wars

An Israeli TV news channel has run ‘live footage’ of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine featuring a crash-landed TIE fighter from Star Wars.

The clip even shows stormtroopers standing beside the Imperial aircraft on a snowy road. 

An investigation at Channel 13 has been launched and the editor has been suspended after the video was aired during a montage of destruction in Ukraine.

The clip was originally an advert produced by Disney and Lucasfilm in 2014 to promote a new Star Wars channel on Sky Deutschland.

It shows the stormtroopers surveying the crashed starfighter on a German autobahn while cars zoom past.

The original caption said: ‘Warning: Unsecured crash on the A3. Please turn right and not overtake!’

It is believed the video started circulating on the messaging app Telegram after the Russian invasion, duping people into believing it showed footage from the war. 

Ukraine has warned about disinformation being shared online, saying Russia is preparing an online campaign to suggest senior military and political figures have surrendered.

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