The deputy head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Lt. Gen. Hossein Salami, threatened a new West Bank front against Israel, stating that “this is part of a new reality that will gradually emerge.” The threat is the latest in a series of statements by senior Iranian officers in the aftermath of a reported Israeli strike on members of Hezbollah and the IRGC along the Israel-Syria border, including senior personnel. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, the head of the IRGC, stated last Tuesday that “the Zionists should prepare themselves for our shattering thunderbolt. They have experienced our rage in the past.” Maj. Gen. Mostafa Izadi, the Iranian Armed Forces’ deputy chief of staff for logistics, declared last Wednesday that “they [Israel] will receive a crushing response” and that “Muslim fighters will take a firm and powerful revenge for the blood of these martyrs.” The strike occurred on January 18 and killed six Hezbollah members and several Iranians, including Mohammad Ali Allahdadi, an IRGC commander who was reportedly a close confidant of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and an expert in ballistic missiles. This is not the first time Iran has threatened Israel via the West Bank. Supreme Leader Khamenei tweeted last November: “#WestBank should be armed just like #Gaza. Friends of Palestine should do their best to arm People in West Bank. #HandsOffAlAqsa.” The chief of the paramilitary Basij, Mohammad Reza Naqdi, said last August, “Arming the West Bank has started and weapons will be supplied to the people of this region.” Another senior official, Gen. Amir-Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the IRGC’s air force, was quoted as saying, also last August, that Iran “will accelerate the arming of the West Bank and we reserve the right to give any response.” In a speech to university students last July, Khamenei said, “[O]ur belief is that the West Bank should be armed like Gaza.”
Israeli Ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, delivered a speech on Sunday calling Prime Minister Netanyahu’s upcoming address to Congress a “moral obligation” to speak out against the existential threat that Iran poses to Israel. “It is his most sacred duty — to do whatever he can to prevent Iran from ever developing nuclear weapons that can be aimed at Israel.” The Ambassador also asserted that, “The Prime Minister’s visit here is not intended to show any disrespect for President Obama. Israel deeply appreciates the strong support we have received from President Obama in many areas – the enhanced security cooperation, heightened intelligence sharing, generous military assistance and iron dome funding, and opposition to anti-Israel initiatives at the United Nations.” White House officials have echoed similar sentiments. Over the weekend, White House Chief of Staff Dennis McDonough reiterated the strong U.S.-Israel relationship, which is “based on our shared values, the shared threats we confront and the shared opportunities we created.” He dismissed the notion that the Administration was angered at House Speaker John Boehner’s invitation to Netanyahu to address Congress in March. On Friday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest stressed that “the United States and this President recognizes that we have a clear national security interest within our alliance with Israel. And that kind of commitment that we have to their national security is unshakeable. It certainly transcends partisan politics.”
Everybody agrees that producing energy from wind, sun and other renewable resources makes good sense, but it won’t be widely adopted unless it makes good “cents,” too. One of the cost hurdles to be overcome is storing the energy in a way that maintains the balance between the peaks and lows of electricity demand and generation. That’s where Israeli startup EnStorage is making news. Its uniquely low-cost flow battery system is now being deployed at sites in France and the United States. Because the storage systems available today are too expensive for large-scale alternative-energy producers, the company expects that these two installations will spur interest from many additional parts of the world. EnStorage CEO Arnon Blum, who was one of the Tel Aviv University team of scientists to invent the first prototype, explains that the concept of a flow battery – which separates the power and energy components – is hardly new. Neither is the idea of using the common chemical hydrogen bromide for energy storage. EnStorage’s innovation is putting the two concepts together in a low-cost, commercial-sized unit that can store from 150 kilowatts up to many megawatts for six hours or more. “We had to develop a lot of knowhow and IP [intellectual property] to mature our prototype into a system,” Blum tells ISRAEL21c. “Our core IP is based on the work our team accomplished on a cell level. Once we got licensing through Ramot [the university’s technology transfer company], we started working on larger-scale systems and generated more IP ranging from the core chemistry all the way to system level.” (via Israel21c)
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