Israel deploys tanks, artillery forces at Syria border

srael’s military said it deployed additional tank and artillery forces on the Syrian front on Sunday as a precaution given intensified fighting over the border between the Syrian army and rebels.

“The forces deployed this morning as part of preparations and readiness, in light of developments on the Syrian Golan Heights,” the military said in a tweet Sunday, adding that Israel was sticking to its longtime policy of nonintervention in Syria’s civil war.

“The IDF will continue to maintain its noninvolvement in Syria while at the same time responding forcefully to any violation of Israel’s sovereignty or endangerment of Israel’s citizens,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said in a statement.

In Syria, meanwhile, a string of rebel-held towns and villages accepted government rule on Saturday as insurgent lines collapsed in parts of southwest Syria under an intense bombardment that the United Nations says has forced 160,000 people to flee.

The southwest was an early hotbed of the uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad and defeat there stands to leave rebels with just one remaining stronghold – the area around Idlib province bordering Turkey in the northwest.

Rebels met Russian negotiators on Saturday to seek peace terms for Daraa province, where most of their southwest territory is located but said these failed.

Moscow is Assad’s strongest ally and its air power since 2015 has been crucial to his recapture of vast swathes of Syria.

Local groups in many towns seized by the army in recent days negotiated their own surrender deals independently of the main rebel operations, after heavy air raids.

Rebels said they had taken back several towns and villages lost to the army earlier in the day, but their overall loss of ground was still significant.

State television broadcast footage from inside the towns of Dael and al-Ghariya al-Gharbiya, where people were shown chanting pro-Assad slogans. A war monitor and a military media unit run by the government’s ally Hezbollah said numerous other towns and villages had agreed to come back under Assad’s rule.

Fierce battles were still ongoing around Daraa city, near the Jordanian border, where the army had repeatedly failed to capture a disused air base, rebels said. The northwestern chunk of Daraa province remains in opposition hands.

Air raids meanwhile intensified, said the monitor, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, as displaced people flocked to the border areas least likely to be hit.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein warned, meanwhile, that many civilians in Syria were at risk of being trapped between government forces, rebels, and Islamic State which has a small foothold there – an outcome he said would be a “catastrophe.”

“The real concern is that we are going to see a repetition of what we saw in eastern Ghouta – the bloodshed, the suffering, the civilians being held, being under a siege,” U.N. human rights spokeswoman Liz Throssell said.

After the peace talks failed on Saturday, warplanes launched a new wave of strikes on the rebel-held towns of Bosra al-Sham, al-Nuaima and other areas, the Observatory reported, causing deaths, injuries and damage.

One strike killed at least 10 people including five children in the town of al-Sahwa, east of Daraa, it said, raising to 126 the number of civilians killed in the offensive since fighting escalated on June 19.

The army’s offensive follows the capitulation of rebel enclaves near Homs and Damascus, including eastern Ghouta, which was recaptured after a scorched-earth assault that killed over a thousand civilians and laid waste to several towns.

Warfare in the southwest could risk a further escalation because of its proximity to Israel. The Israelis have already targeted Iran-backed militias fighting in support of Assad’s army, which Israel has vowed to keep far from its borders.

The government’s offensive so far has focused on Daraa province, which borders Jordan, but not Quneitra province abutting the Israeli Golan Heights.

The entire southwest is part of a “de-escalation zone” agreed upon last year by Russia, the United States and Jordan. Despite Washington’s threats that it would respond to breaches of that arrangement, it has so far shown no sign of doing so.

Jordan, which has already taken in more than half a million displaced Syrians since the war began, and Israel have both declared that at this time they will not open their borders to refugees.

In an interview with Israeli radio station 102 FM, Israel’s Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said: “I think we must prevent the entry of refugees from Syria to Israel, in the past we have prevented such cases.”

The Israel Defense Forces said an increased number of civilians had been spotted in refugee camps on the Syrian side of the Golan over the past few days, and that it had sent aid supplies at four locations to people fleeing hostilities.

Late on Saturday, the Jordanian government said its army had also started delivering humanitarian aid to thousands who had taken shelter across the frontier.

At the meetings with Russia, rebel negotiators sought a deal for all of Daraa province to come back under government sovereignty, but without the army or police entering the area, an insurgent spokesman said.

But the talks, in the town of Bosra al-Sham, whose Roman citadel is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, collapsed as the insurgents rejected proposed terms for their surrender, a rebel spokesman said.

The Kremlin said Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump will have a detailed discussion about Syria when they meet in July.

Palestinian terrorists spark dozens of fires in Israeli border towns

Thousands of Palestinians rioted near the Israel-Gaza Strip border ‎on Friday, in what the military described as an “extremely violent” ‎demonstration. ‎

Rioters hurled rocks and firebombs at the troops, and in one ‎incident – a grenade, which caused no harm. The IDF said troops ‎thwarted numerous Palestinian attempts to breach the security ‎fence. ‎ ‎ Gaza health officials said two Palestinians, including a 13-year-old ‎boy, were killed and 450 were wounded, mostly from tear gas inhalation. ‎The teenager was shot in the head and a second Palestinian man, ‎‎24, died of gunshot wounds to his leg and abdomen, the Gaza ‎Health Ministry said.‎

The IDF said it was investigating the report of the teen’s death.‎

Palestinian paramedic Mutasem Khatib said the teenager was ‎throwing stones “very close to the fence” before he was shot.‎

‎”It was a critical injury from the beginning, which damaged a ‎significant portion of his head. He died as soon as we arrived at the ‎hospital,” he said.‎

Israel Police
A balloon carrying a sticker reading, “If we have to suffer, we will not suffer alone”

Other rioters send dozens of incendiary kites and balloons flying ‎over the border, sparking 24 fires in nearby Israeli communities.‎

The Palestinians’ kite terrorism campaign, launched in late April, ‎has so far reduced over 8,000 acres of forest and ‎‎‎agricultural ‎land ‎on the Israeli side of the border into ash, causing millions of dollars ‎in damage. ‎

Many balloons sent over the border this weekend had notes stuck ‎to them, reading, “If we have to suffer, we will not suffer alone,” as ‎well as photos of Palestinians who have been killed in the three-‎month border riot campaign orchestrated by Hamas.‎

Also on Saturday, The Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza said two ‎Palestinians were killed and eight were injured, three seriously, in a ‎mysterious explosion in the city’s eastern neighborhood of ‎Shujaiyya. ‎Some Palestinian media reports said it was a fireworks workshop, ‎but they all ruled out Israeli involvement in the incident. ‎

There was no immediate comment from Hamas. ‎

Fatal work accidents, mostly in weapons manufacturing or storage ‎facilities, are common in the territory.‎

Russia Will Move Embassy to Jerusalem–But Only After City Is Split

Russia’s embassy in Israel might be moved from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem, but only after Israel and an independent Palestinian State have settled all their issues, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said in an interview with Kan, Israel’s Public Broadcasting Corporation.

After claiming that “There are no Iranian forces in Syria,” Mikhail Bogdanov, who insisted the images of civilians killed in Syria are staged propaganda, and hailing Iran’s contributions to the solution of unrest in Syria, the Deputy Russian Foreign Minister told his Israeli interviewer:

“You know our official stance which was reaffirmed again in April 2017. We recognize West Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel and East Jerusalem as the capital city of the would-be Palestinian state, taking into consideration that in the future both sides should be guided by the principle that they have to agree on all the issues, including the final status.”

Hamas Says No Deal On Missing Soldiers, Unless Israel Releases Hundreds of Terrorists

Hamas will refuse any deal to return two Israeli civilians in its custody, as well as the remains of IDF soldiers Sgt. Oron Shaul and Lt. Hadar Goldin, unless it is part of a wide-scale prisoner exchange, the London-based Al-Shark Al-Awsat reported on Saturday.

The Arabic language newspaper quoted sources within Hamas as saying that the humanitarian and political issues in Gaza must be separated, and that the organization refuses to combine solutions to the humanitarian crisis with what it calls ‘political solutions’, adding that the release of Israeli civilians and soldiers is conditioned on Israel releasing hundreds of security prisoners.

According to the report, Hamas has been presented with three deals that address the situation in Gaza, with two of them including the release of the Israelis in its custody in return for the humanitarian rehabilitation of Gaza alongside opening the Gaza border crossings and allowing for the import of all goods into the strip.

Hamas has rejected the two first deals on the grounds that it is only willing to discuss the release of prisoners as part of a prisoner swap deal with Israel. The terrorist organization also rejected a third proposal put forth by United Nations Special Envoy Nikolay Mladenov, by which Hamas will end its hostilities against Israel, in return for fuel shipments to Gaza alongside the opening of the border crossings. According to the report, Hamas called all three proposals ‘incomplete’, adding that it is unwilling to discuss its weaponry unless Israel lifts the security blockade on Gaza.

Iranian Protesters Chanting ‘Death to Palestine!’ as Economy Collapsing

Iranian Protesters Chanting ‘Death to Palestine!’

Crowds of protesters in Iran, which used to chant “Death to Khamenei” and “Down with the dictator,” have moved up earlier this month, to chanting “Death to Palestine!”

As Sohrab Ahmari tweeted: “”Death to Palestine!” Not to Israel. Not to America. But to Palestine,” to which he added, “Hamas and Hezbollah and Palestinian Jihad can kiss their Iranian funding goodbye if the regime falls.”

Former GW Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer tweeted: “To reporters everywhere: Please pay attention to what is happening in Iran now. I know foreign bureaus are almost non-existent these days, but keep a close eye on this story – and report it.”

With that kind of pressure, how could we not.

Opposition website Iran Wire reported Monday that protests have broken out across Tehran in response to rising prices and the sharp fall in the value of Iranian currency.

“The unrest started on Monday morning in Tehran’s Grand Bazaar and soon spread to southern and central parts of Tehran. And there were reports that bazaar traders in the cities of Shahriar in Tehran province, Ahvaz in Khuzestan and Qeshm Island in the Strait of Hormuz have also gone on strike and staged protests.”

“In Tehran, riot police fired tear gas to disperse the crowds as people headed toward the Iranian parliament. Witnesses posted videos on social media showing the harsh police action against the demonstrators, as well as protesters setting police motorcycles on fire,” Iran Wire reported, noting that “traditional Tehran bazaars have always been considered a bastion of support for the Islamic Republic and its authorities.”

Not any more, apparently.

The Rial exchange rate for Tuesday morning dropped to 86,000 IRR per one US dollar, down from 60,000 in the spring.

The government is blaming consumers’ increasing demand for hard currency for this collapse of the national coin, suggesting enemies of the state of smuggling goods in order to distress the economy. Back in May, Tehran implemented harsh economic policies, banning all currency trade outside the banking system, promising to punish any Iranian caught with more than 10,000 euros, and shutting down currency exchange outlets.

This means Iranian exporters and importers can only conduct transactions through the Central Bank of Iran, using official exchange rates, which, of course, is a recipe for spectacular failure.

Jews Harassed Worldwide Despite their Minuscule Percentage of Planet’s Population

Jews continued to be harassed in the third-largest number of countries around the world, according to a Pew Research Center June 21 report titled “Harassment of religious groups hits highest point since 2007.”

The Pew analysis of 2016 sources cites reports of religiously motivated harassment “in the vast majority of the world’s countries (187, up from 169 in 2015).”

Source: Pew Research Center

In case you were wondering, there are 195 countries in the world today, including 193 countries that are member states of the United Nations, and two imaginary countries: the Vatican and the “State of Palestine.”

“In 2016, the number of countries where Jews were harassed increased to 87, reversing the decline that occurred in 2015. In Uruguay, for example, a Jewish man was stabbed to death by an assailant claiming to follow Allah’s orders, and Jewish organizations said anti-Semitic attitudes were still present in parts of Uruguayan society.”

The Pew report stresses that this fact that Jews are harassed in so many countries is “particularly notable due to their small population size (Jewish people make up just 0.2% of the world’s population).”

At the same time, according to Pew, in Russia, an atheist blogger was charged under that country’s blasphemy law for denying the existence of God and for describing the Bible as “a collection of Jewish fairy tales.”

Pew reports that since 2007, “Jews have consistently been harassed by social groups or individuals in more countries than they have been harassed by governments (66 compared to 56 in 2016).”

Christian groups are harassed by governments (114 countries) more than by social groups (107 countries).

In Singapore, the government has maintained a ban on J. Witnesses since 1972, because they refuse to enlist in the country’s national service, won’t reciting the national pledge of allegiance, and won’t sing the national anthem, which goes: “Come, we (fellow) Singaporeans / (Let us progress) towards happiness together / (May) our noble aspiration (bring) / A successful Singapore.”

Harassment of members of religious groups takes many forms, according to Pew, including “physical assaults, arrests and detentions, desecration of holy sites, and discrimination against religious groups in employment, education and housing.”

Harassment and intimidation also include verbal assaults.

Altogether, Christians, with an estimated 2.2 billion adherents suffered harassment in 144 countries in 2016. Muslims, with some 1.6 billion, were harassed in 142 countries. Jews, with an estimated 15 million (the most optimistic figure) were harassed in 87 countries.

Surveys Show ‘Sharp Differences’ between Jews in US and Israel

In January 2016, Mollie Shichman, a liberal Jew from Fairfax, Va., celebrated the Israeli government’s decision to create the first-ever government-funded pluralistic prayer space at the southern end of the Western Wall.

“To me, being egalitarian is extremely important,” Shichman, a college student, said of the proposed mixed-gender prayer space.

But excitement turned to disappointment when, in June 2017, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu backtracked on the plan due to pressure from ultra-Orthodox lawmakers.

In Israel this week (June 10-13) to attend the American Jewish Committee’s Global Forum, Shichman, who wears a kippah (yarmulke), a head covering traditionally worn by Jewish men, recalled being “accosted” by an Orthodox woman at the Western Wall for what the woman considered Shichman’s “immodest” clothing at the Western Wall plaza, a plaza behind the men’s and women’s prayer sections that isn’t used for prayer.

“I was at the far end of the plaza and took off my skirt” after visiting the Western Wall. “I had my shorts on underneath, but she called me a ‘goy,’” Shichman said of the Hebrew word for non-Jew, which the woman hurled as an insult.

“It was very hurtful to me. I’m just as much of a Jew as she is,” Shichman said.

While most Israeli Jews recognize the Jewishness of their American counterparts, the majority do not share the Americans’ dreams to make Israel a more religiously pluralistic country.

Lack of full equality for non-Orthodox Jews in Israel “over time may weaken American Jewish support for Israel,” said Harriet Schleifer, chair of AJC’s Board of Governors.

Two parallel AJC surveys released Sunday revealed “sharp differences of opinion” between Jews in Israel and the U.S., and between religious and liberal Jews in both countries.

“Significantly, for both communities, the main factor predicting how people will respond is how they identify religiously,” said AJC CEO David Harris in a statement.

“The more religiously observant they are on the denominational spectrum, their Jewish identity and attachment to Israel is stronger; skepticism about prospects for peace with the Palestinians higher; and support for religious pluralism in Israel weaker.”

Religious pluralism is a cornerstone for Jews in the U.S., where some 85 percent of the Jewish population defines itself as non-Orthodox or religiously unaffiliated, according to a 2016 survey by the Pew Research Center.

In Israel, where there is no separation between religion and state and where Orthodox Judaism is the only official, government-funded religious authority, 30 percent of Israeli Jews said that non-Orthodox Judaism “strengthens Jewish life in the diaspora but is irrelevant in Israel,” according to the AJC surveys.

A mere 26 percent of Israeli Jews thought the growth of the non-Orthodox streams in Israel can improve the country’s quality of life, compared with 43 percent of American Jews.

In another noteworthy gap, a strong majority of American Jews (73 percent) favored providing a space near the Western Wall for mixed-gender prayer, while 42 percent of Israeli Jews favored it and 48 percent opposed it.

A whopping 80 percent of American Jews vs. 49 percent of Israeli Jews want to end the ultra-Orthodox chief rabbinate’s monopoly on weddings, divorces and conversions.

Steven M. Cohen, a sociologist whose work focuses on the American Jewish community,  attributes the “widening gaps” between the world’s two largest Jewish communities to both ethnic and cultural differences.

“They come from very different cultures,” Cohen said. Whereas most American Jews are descended from Jews from Eastern Europe, at least half of Israeli Jews trace their roots directly to the Middle East and North Africa, among other places. They tend to be more religiously conservative.

Cohen said Israelis are highly innovative and pluralistic when it comes to politics, but not religion.

Israeli society has more than a dozen political parties that compete for parliamentary seats, but it continues to allow only the Orthodox establishment to decide on religious matters.

In the U.S., where religion and state are separate, the Reform, Conservative and Orthodox streams are on equal footing.

American Jews “place a much greater premium on universalism and softening group boundaries,” Cohen said. That’s one of the reasons many Jews feel comfortable marrying someone of a different faith.

The high rate of American Jewish intermarriage is a concern to many Orthodox Jews both in the U.S. and Israel.

In his speech before the AJC this week, Naftali Bennett, Israel’s minister of diaspora affairs, said the assimilation and potential “loss of millions” of American Jews into mainstream American society fill him with fear because eventually they might not consider themselves part of the Jewish people.

“If there’s one thing that keeps me up at night, it’s not Iran but the future of the Jews in America, and we have to fix this together,” said Bennett, the Orthodox son of American immigrants to Israel.

Jewish continuity and unity were central themes of the AJC’s closing ceremony, which took place in an archaeological park at the southern end of the Western Wall.

Standing next to an Israeli flag and an American flag, Dan Shapiro, an Orthodox Jew and former U.S. ambassador to Israel, cited Korach, the Torah portion Jews will read this Sabbath morning.

Recalling how Korach tried to wrest control of the Israelites from Moses as they made their way from Sinai to Canaan, Shapiro said the biblical villain tried to divide the people.

“Disunity can lead to tragedy,” Shapiro said, referring to the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 C.E., an event the Jewish sages attributed to hatred within the Jewish community.

“Let us reinvigorate our relationship,” he said. “Let us embrace our diversity. Let us express our unconditional love for all our people.”

So Many Catastrophes, So Little Time: Nakba Day Is Over, Here Comes the Naksa

Tomorrow, Tuesday, June 5, 2018, will mark the 51st anniversary of the second most devastating catastrophic even in “Palestinian” Arab history, a date Jews and gentiles the world over mark as the beginning of the miraculous 1967 Six Day War. Naksa Day – in Arabic Yawm an-Naksa, meaning “day of the setback,” mourns Israel’s victory which, 19 years after the initial shock of seeing Jews defeating the local and the invading Arab armies, has destroyed the armies of Egypt, Jordan and Syria, killing hundreds of thousands and tripling Israel’s size in less than a week.

The Naksa riots tradition began in 2011, with border demonstrations started on May 15 to commemorate Nakba Day—the catastrophe of 1948-49 that resulted from the Arabs’ 1947 refusal to divide the land and share it with a Jewish state. Instead, they vowed to throw the Jews to the sea and ended up losing a great deal more land than they would have had they agreed to the 1947 deal.

Several groups of Arab rioters attempted to breach Israel’s borders from the Palestinian Authority, Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, and Jordan. At least a dozen people were killed when they tried to breach Israel’s border from Syria.

Filled with patriotic fervor, on June 5, 2011, more protesters gathered on Israel’s border with Syria and, according to the Syrians, 23 of them were killed and 350 wounded by live fire from Israeli forces. Israel suggested these figures were exaggerated, citing 12 known injuries. IDF spokesman Gen. Yoav Mordechai accused Syria of creating a provocation at the border to distract from its violent crackdown on the Syrian uprising which had just begun. Of course, 600,000 dead later, 23 victims are often just another day at the Syrian civil war.

Israeli tanks speeding through the Sinai desert, June 1967

Al Jazeera maintains that “the fifth day of June 1967 is a day the Arabs are still viewing as a remarkable day in their modern history, a day where the armies of three Arab countries could not stand up to the Zionist occupation army, met a terrible defeat, and let Israel occupy the Gaza Strip and the West Bank and the rest of the Jerusalem, as well as the Syrian Golan Heights and Sinai, to become the dominant force in the region, deepening the notion of their having an invincible army.”

“The defeat of the Arabs in the June 1967 war, which was followed by the death of Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1970, constituted the decisive blow that ended nationalism,” said Fawaz Gerges, a professor of international relations. “The Arabs have lived for years under the dreams of cultural glory and strength, but their defeat them within a few hours at the hands of the emerging Jewish state led to the collapse of the foundation myth of Arab nationalism, embarrassing their guardian – Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser, which led to dispelling the promise of a bright future.”

“Today, fifty-one years after the setback, the Arabs are still unable to recover all that they lost in the 1967 war or to make radical changes in the political and military situation imposed by this war on the region,” Al Jazeera argues, adding, “But it is also clear that Israel was forced to leave the Gaza Strip in 2005, And is still suffering from the headache of the accumulation of the strength of the Palestinian resistance, which, although exhausted by the repeated Israeli attacks, Israel could not eliminate. Instead, the Palestinian resistance exhausted the occupation in various forms, so that we can say that Israel is no longer able to write the last chapter of the conflict on this earth.”

That is the Arab mindset then, 51 years after the Six Day War and 70 years after Israel’s independence. On Tuesday, when they no doubt will rush the Gaza fence again, in their minds they will be chipping away at the Jewish State’s ability to remain the decisive force in this arena.

We pray for the certainty and bravery of our soldiers and bless them that they will fire at the terrorists and take them down in what, in the end, will be yet another round on our way to prove to our Arab neighbors that they simply don’t stand a chance to defeat us.

God bless our soldiers.

Univ. of Oregon to sever ties with Israel?

anti-Israel flag BDS anti-Semitic

To the disappointment of Jewish students and Israel supporters, the student government at a northwest university last week passed a BDS proposal requesting the school divest itself of organizations with ties to Israel.

The University of Oregon joins Barnard College and George Washington University in passing its own boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) resolution. (See a related story.)

“In the last meeting of the school year, the resolution was introduced. And this is the one last thing the … student president wanted to pass before they left office,” Noa Raman of the Israel education group StandWithUs tells OneNewsNow.

Raman says more than 900 students signed petitions against Student Government President Amy Shenk’s proposal. Nonetheless, it passed by a vote of 12-6, with one abstention. But the school has already indicated that it will not act on the resolution.

“The Oregon Hillel executive director [Andy Gitelson] has been in communication with the administration, and they already stated that it’s looking like they won’t put it into action,” Raman reports.

She strongly believes a proposal will be introduced next fall to try and reverse this decision.

MIDDLE EAST 2 hours ago Gaza preschoolers seen performing mock execution of Israeli soldier

A shocking video recently surfaced that allegedly shows a play at a preschool in the Gaza Strip where children dressed up as commandos and performed a mock hostage-taking situation and execution of an Israeli soldier.

First reported by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), the video purportedly was recorded during a ceremony in May at the Al-Hoda preschool in the self-governing Palestinian territory.

In the play, a group of commandos – including a camouflaged sniper and soldiers in body armor – busted into an Israeli building on “Al-Quds Street.” They pulled out two “hostages” – one dressed in traditional ultra-Orthodox Jewish attire and the other as an Israeli Defense Force soldier – before mock-killing the IDF soldier.

The entire five-minute performance featured loud explosions and sound effects of gunfire. As a finale, the hostage was whisked off stage, while one of the commandos displayed a sign in Arabic and Hebrew that read, “Israel has fallen.”

The play was followed by a demonstration of military formations by the children, while a speech by the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat played in the background.

Fox News was unable to confirm the veracity of the content, but a spokesperson for MEMRI said they found the footage while monitoring the Internet for Palestinian videos.

“Unfortunately we have seen many videos like this from the region over the years,” Steven Stalinsky, MEMRI’s executive director, told Fox News in an email.

MEMRI asserts that the Al-Hoda school is affiliated with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group and has held similar performances in the past.

According to the Council on Foreign Relations, “The Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) is an Islamic, Palestinian nationalist organization that violently opposes the existence of Israel.” The group was designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department in 1997 and is believed to almost entirely funded Iran.

Attempts to contact Al-Hoda by Fox News were unsuccessful.

The video comes at a time of heightened tension between Israelis and Palestinians.

Clashes at the Israel-Gaza border left dozens of Palestinians dead and hundreds wounded on the same day that the Trump administration officially opened the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem last month.

Earlier on Sunday, the Israeli military struck Hamas militant sites in Gaza early Sunday in response to the resumption of rocket fire toward Israel, which threatened to unravel an informal cease-fire that had held since a flare-up of violence last week.

Israel has also been battling fires triggered by kites rigged with incendiary devices, or attached to burning rags, launched by Palestinians in Gaza that have damaged forests and burned southern agricultural fields.

Palestinian protesters run for cover from teargas fired by Israeli troops during a protest at the Gaza Strip's border with Israel, Friday, April 6, 2018. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

 (Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

The military said it hit 15 Hamas targets, including military compounds, munition factories and naval forces. The strikes came after militants broke days of calm along the volatile frontier by firing projectiles toward Israeli communities.

Last week, Gaza militants fired dozens of mortar shells and Israel struck back, in the most violent exchange between the two sides since the 2014 war.

Despite the flare-up in violence, neither Israel nor Hamas appear interested in a full-blown conflict, and both exercised restraint. Militants in Gaza did not fire long-range rockets at Israel’s major cities, as they did in 2014, and Israeli airstrikes were focused on unmanned military targets.

Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since the Islamic militant group seized control of Gaza in 2007.