Israeli eagles dangerously endangered by pesticides, electrical wires and poachers now apparently face a new threat: Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas.
Hezbollah’s Al-Manar website recently boasted of capturing an eagle that carried an Israel-labeled transmission device on its back and claimed the bird was an Israeli spy. It said hunters in central Lebanon shot down the bird and found devices on it as well as a copper ring on its leg that reads “Israel” in English followed by letters that refer to Tel Aviv University. The fate of the eagle remains unclear.
Israeli ornithologist Yossi Leshem said Thursday he was tracking the bird for research and was “incredibly frustrated” it was harmed. Leshem, a Tel Aviv university professor, has specialized in the Bonelli’s Eagle for decades and said they are in great peril with just nine pairs of mating age remaining in Israel. (Photo: AP Photo / Tsafrir Abayov)
David vs. Goliath, Palestinian style — A Palestinian protester throws a stone towards an Israeli military bulldozer during clashes following a demonstration against the expropriation of Palestinian land by Israel on August 30, 2013, in the village of Kfar Qaddum, near the occupied West Bank city of Nablus.(JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP/Getty Images)
Resisting the water-cannon — An Ultra-Orthodox Jewish man holds his hat out as he stands against a water cannon being fired by Israeli police in Ramat Beit Shemesh, west of Jerusalem, on August 14 2013, after dozens of Ultra-Orthodox Jews, known as Haredim, protest for a third day against the desecration of ancient graves which were discovered at a new housing construction site. (MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
The indictment charged 49-year-old Glendon Scott Crawford and 54-year-old Eric J. Feight with conspiracy to provide support to terrorists with the weapon.
Investigators said Crawford approached Jewish organizations last year looking for funding and people to help him with technology that could be used to surreptitiously deliver damaging and even lethal doses of radiation against those he considered enemies of Israel. He and Feight assembled the mobile device, which was to be controlled remotely, but it was inoperable and nobody was hurt, authorities said.
“Crawford has specifically identified Muslims and several other individuals/groups as targets,” investigator Geoffrey Kent said in a court affidavit. According to the indictment, Crawford also travelled to North Carolina in October to solicit money for the weapon from a ranking member of the Ku Klux Klan, who informed the FBI. Crawford claimed to be a member. (Photo: AP Photo/The Albany Times Union, Skip Dickstein)
After a visit to Israel’s national museum – where he inspected the Dead Sea Scrolls, which highlight the Jewish people’s ancient connection to the land that is now Israel – Obama headed to the West Bank to tell the Palestinians that the creation of a Palestinian state remains a priority for his administration.
He is not bringing a new plan to relaunch peace talks, but in meetings with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and a speech to Israeli students later in the day, he will appeal to both sides to halt unilateral actions that make negotiations more difficult. (AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEBSAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
So far the best photo from Obama’s visit to Israel: US President Barack Obama, second left, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, second right, and Israel’ President Shimon Peres, left, walk during a welcoming ceremony upon Obama’s arrival at Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, March 20, 2013. President Barack Obama is declaring common cause with Israel, highlighting the bonds between the United States and its Mideast ally. He says he has made Israel the first stop of the first trip of his second term to restate his commitment to Israel’s security. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Barack Obama arrives in Israel for first trip as president President Barack Obama is declaring common cause with Israel, highlighting the bonds between the United States and its Mideast ally. He says he has made Israel the first stop of the first trip of his second term to restate his commitment to Israel’s security.
Obama arrived Wednesday in Tel Aviv, joking to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he was “getting away from Congress.”
Israeli President Shimon Peres welcomed Obama, declaring that “A world without America’s leadership, without her moral voice, would be a darker world. A world without your friendship, would invite aggression against Israel.”
Obama called the U.S. Israel’s “strongest ally and your greatest friend.” (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
“I would anticipate that this isn’t going to be the first Israeli air strike designed to degrade Hezbollah’s military capabilities over the next year,” said Gary Gambill, associate fellow at the Middle East Forum.
“If Israel is considering a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, then Hezbollah’s capacity to retaliate is going to be an important factor.”
Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdul-Karim Ali says Damascus has “the option and the surprise to retaliate.” He said he cannot predict when the retaliation will be, saying it is up to relevant authorities to prepare for it.
In Iran, the semi-official Fars news agency quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian on Thursday as saying the raid on Syria will have significant implications for the Israeli city of Tel Aviv.
The regional officials said Israel had been planning in the days leading up to the airstrike to hit a shipment of weapons bound for the Islamist militant group Hezbollah in Lebanon. They said the shipment included sophisticated, Russian-made SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles, which would be strategically “game-changing” in the hands of Hezbollah.
Officials in the North African nation have concluded that Israel fitted a vulture with a GPS chip and solar-powered equipment that can take reconnaissance pictures from a bird’s eye view, according to Israel’s Haaretz newspaper, which cited Egypt’s El Balad website.
“[The Egyptian site reported that] the vulture was captured in the town of Kereinek in the Darfur region in Sudan’s west and that the finding prompted Sudanese authorities to announce Israel was using vultures to spy on their country,” Haaretz said. “The report in El Balad does not say who made these claims.” (MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)