UN: Iran Building New Nuclear Facility; US: More Arab Countries to Normalize Ties With Israel After Election
Inspectors from the United Nations’ atomic watchdog have confirmed that Iran has started building a new underground nuclear facility after a mysterious explosion this summer at its Natanz uranium enrichment installation. The Islamic Republic is also continuing to stockpile low-enriched uranium, Rafael Grossi, Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said.
Following the incident at Natanz, which many attributed to the United States and Israel, Tehran vowed to construct a more secure nuclear site in a nearby mountainous area.
The discovery comes as two US lawmakers are reportedly preparing a bipartisan bill that would green light Washington’s transfer of bunker-buster munitions to Israel.
The Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) weighs some 14,000 kilograms (30,000 pounds) and is specifically designed to destroy subterranean targets.
The munitions would be given to the Jewish state if the Islamic Republic reaches nuclear breakout capability.
Several more Arab and Muslim countries are set to normalize ties with Israel following the US election next week, President Donald Trump said.
The announcement comes on the heels of reports earlier this week that cited Mossad Director Yossi Cohen as saying that a normalization agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia was imminent.
Meanwhile, Jerusalem said that Washington was lifting a ban on US funding for Israeli scientific research projects conducted in the West Bank and Golan Heights.
In the past, such agreements between the two countries stipulated that US government grants could not be used for initiatives in areas that were captured by Israel during the 1967 war.
The Trump Administration last year abandoned a long-held American position that viewed Israel’s civilian presence beyond the Green Line as inconsistent with international law.
Israel’s Health Ministry has named Prof. Nachman Ash as the country’s replacement for current coronavirus czar Ronni Gamzu. Ash, 56, served in the IDF for 25 years, including in the capacity of surgeon general.
Gamzu will make his long-planned move back to his job at Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital in November.
The changing of the guard comes as Israel’s rate of positive coronavirus tests has fallen to its lowest level in more than four months, according to data released on Wednesday. Nevertheless, the COVID-19 daily death toll remains relatively high.
As of Wednesday morning, the Jewish state had registered 844 new infections — out of some 40,000 tests administered — in the previous 24-hour period.
Israel has reached out to Twitter with a request to shut down dozens of fake profiles that are stirring up anti-Israeli sentiments, the Strategic Affairs Ministry said on Tuesday. In a sample of 250 user profiles suspected of inauthentic activity, 170 had been found to be breaching Twitter’s rules.
The ministry’s report provided an overview of Twitter activity, and shed some light on how Twitterbots are being deployed in an effort to delegitimize the Jewish state.
The report also identified two major networks of more than 30 interlinked accounts each working to amplify anti-Israeli messaging. The Strategic Affairs Ministry has reached out to the social media giant with a request to take the bogus accounts down.
Cellist Yo-Yo Ma performed in a commemoration ceremony held in honor of the 11 people whose lives were lost on October 27, 2018 during an attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue that housed three congregations.
Ma spoke about what one should say during times of crisis, citing his friend Mister Rogers, who said: “When there’s a crisis, you can always look to the helpers,” before playing a song dedicated to those who have been helping others since the day of the shooting.