Iran-linked rockets slam into Israel amid worries of nuclear deal heightening risk of war


Four rockets that slammed into Israel on Thursday have been linked to Iranian commanders working to establish direct and proxy infrastructure in the Golan Heights, according to Israeli officials including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who blamed the attack on an "Iranian commander [who] directed and supported the cell that fired" the projectiles. The rockets were reportedly fired by Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists from territory on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.  An IDF officer stated that Iranian Quds Force operative Saeed Izadi as having directed the attack. Izadi is the head of the Palestinian Department in the Quds Force, the branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps responsible for extraterritorial terrorism. The incident came amid analysis from Israeli military officials and journalists who concluded that the Iranians have established a sort of "forward command" presence on the Syrian side of the Israeli-Syrian border, and are using it to direct a mix of terror and Iranian military assets in the area. It will reinforce already-widespread concerns that the Iranians intend to use the period following the implementation of the recently-announced Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a nuclear deal that will see Iran receive hundreds of millions of dollars in exchange for temporary restrictions on its nuclear program, to expand its conventional expansionist efforts. Matthew Levitt, a terror finance expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, had specifically warned that financial resources set to flow into Iran - $150 billion almost immediately, and then followed by hundreds of billions more as a result of sanctions relief - would be turned toward funding groups operating along Israel's north, including most prominently Hezbollah. The analysis is in line with explicit boasts from Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah about the nuclear deal empowering Israel's adversaries. Israeli military experts fear that the new funding for Hezbollah will come just as the Iranians are allowing the terror group to be more aggressive in pursuing campaigns against Israeli civilian and military targets. Colonel (res.) Ronen Cohen, the former director of the Terrorism Desk at the IDF Military Intelligence (MI) Directorate and deputy head of MI's Research Division, recently explained that after the JCPOA's implementation "it will be clear to the Iranians that Israel is not about to attack them, and they will therefore let go a bit and allow Nasrallah to respond as he pleases."


Rep. Ed Royce (R – Calif.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, criticized the side deal between the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Iran in a statement released yesterday. The deal authorizes Iran, rather than the IAEA, to collect evidence from its suspected nuclear research site at the Parchin military base.

It is too bad we have to rely on news services instead of the Administration to provide Congress with key text agreed to between Iran and the IAEA. Congress has been asking for this secret deal for weeks. The agreement looks like Iran calls the shots, vetoing technical inspections when they want, where they want at the Parchin military site. The Obama Administration has confidence in this? This side deal today will help define and undermine the overall agreement’s verification provisions tomorrow. Everyone who signed this deal has worked to hide the side agreement. We are starting to see why.

Key provisions of the side deal, formally known as Special Arrangement II, allow Iran to collect the environmental samples, photographs, and videos that the IAEA will inspect. Notably, the evidence will only be taken from locations that Iran agrees may be inspected.

Royce discussed the implications of the side deal with Fox News yesterday. Click here to watch the video.

Five Democrats who serve on the House Foreign Affairs Committee – Representatives Grace Meng (D – N.Y.), Albio Sires (D – N.J.), Ted Deutch (D – Fla.),Brad Sherman (D – Calif.) and Eliot Engel (D – N.Y.) – have announced their intention to vote against the deal. Engel is the ranking member of the committee. (via


At the age of six, while her first-grade friends were playing off-key notes on their recorders in music class, Hadar Noiberg’s parents were informed that their daughter had absolute pitch, a rare auditory trait that enables a person to identify a pitch of a musical tone without a reference pitch. She got her first flute at age 10, hoping to emulate her older sister’s playing skills. Fast forward to today and the 32-year-old Noiberg is a notable jazz flutist who wows audiences worldwide. This summer she’ll be zigzagging across Germany, Canada, Israel, the US and Japan in support of her newest album, From The Ground Up. Her solo work and the Hadar Noiberg Trio are her main calling cards, but this sought after musician – who has headlined at Blue Note, WOMEX, Roskilde Festival and Central Park SummerStage – has had her original compositions performed in ensembles including The Jammin’ Divas, Hadar Noiberg Quartet, Regional de New York and Yemen Blues band, among many others. “Noiberg is an extremely gifted flutist who manages to bring out the deep colors and soul of her flute. With it she presents music that is nevertheless jazzy, and yet still reminiscing of Israeli music, of home,” wrote a reviewer in the Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot. Listen closely to her music and you’ll hear her Israeli-American life story. Her pieces mesh and fuse jazz improvisation and Western harmonies with Middle Eastern tempos. (via Israel21c)

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