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Geopolitics

Did Israel Just Launch Another Attack On Sudan?

The Sudanese press insists that between Dec. 15 and 20, Israel carried out air raids that destroyed at least two convoys headed across Sudan toward Egypt. This is not the first time in recent years Israel is accused of launching attacks in the African cou

Israeli air power on display [nivs]
Israeli air power on display [nivs]
Serge Dumont

GENEVA -- Officials in Israel are refusing to confirm claims by the Sudanese press that Israeli planes recently attacked weapons convoys crossing the desert in Sudan. The attacks reportedly took place between Dec. 15 and 20. Media in Sudan say Israeli jets pulverized at least two convoys headed toward Egypt. The convoys were reportedly transporting arms destined for the Gaza strip.

Not everyone in Israel is so tight-lipped. A former Israeli Air Force head told the army radio station Galeï Tsahal on Monday that "whoever carried out the attack should be congratulated." He added: "Our information was accurate as were our strikes."

Sudanese press claims the attacks killed at least five contraband traffickers. The first convoy involved six trucks packed with weapons. The second attack, which occurred Dec. 18 and involved just a single vehicle, may have been a mistake. The first raid took place while Salva Kiir, the president of the newly created Southern Sudan, was on an "historic" 24-hour visit to Jerusalem.

Not an isolated case

Israel has carried out periodic attacks on arms convoys crossing Sudan since 2009, shortly after the end of Operation Cast Lead, an Israeli military invasion of Gaza. The first such attack took place in January of that year, when Israeli jets blew up several all-terrain vehicles packed with explosives, reportedly killing 119 people.

Subsequent air raids were much more focused. An attack carried out in mid-2010 in Port Sudan took out a senior Hamas official in charge of supplying the armed wing of his faction. The official, whose bodyguard was also killed in the attack, was targeted just as he prepared to receive cargo. The man, whose identity was never revealed, is thought to have been the successor of Mahmoud Al Mabrouh, the high level Hamas leader assassinated in January 2010 in a Dubai hotel. Al Mabrouh was wanted by Israeli authorities for his alleged involvement in the kidnapping and murder of two Israeli soldiers in 1999.

In addition to bombers, the Israeli military has also used drones and helicopters to operate in Sudan. Following an attack last April, remains of an AGM-114S Hellfire missile, a favorite weapon of the Israeli army, were found along with various pieces of debris marked with Hebrew lettering.

According to Israeli military chroniclers, the navy also plays a central role in trying to cut of Hamas' supply chains. Since 2010, the Israeli fleet may have participated in as many as 80 clandestine operations related in some way to Sudan. The Sudanese government insists also that in 2009, commandos from Israel's elite Shayetet 13 naval unit sabotaged an Iranian ship transporting material for Hamas that docked in Port Sudan. Israeli authorities refuse to answer the claims.

Sudan, Kenya and several other African Union nations launched a campaign last April to bring the repeated attacks to the world's attention. So far the efforts have mostly gone unheard.

Read the original article in French

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Ukraine Is Turning Into A "New Israel" — Where Everyone Is A Soldier

From businessmen to farmers, Ukrainian society has been militarizing for the past six months to defend its sovereignty. In the future it may find itself like Israel, permanently armed to protect its sovereignty.

Ukrainian civilians learn how to shoot and other military skills at a shooting range in Lviv on July 30, 2022.

Guillaume Ptak

KYIV — The war in Ukraine has reached a turning point. Vladimir Putin's army has suffered its worst setback since the beginning of the invasion. The Russian army has experienced a counter-offensive that many experts consider masterful, so it must retreat and cede vast territories to its opponent.

The lightning victory that the head of the Kremlin had dreamed of never took place. The losses are considerable — Ukrainian troops on the battlefield now outnumber the Russians.

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On April 5, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky predicted that at the end of the conflict, Ukraine would become a "big Israel". In an interview with Ukrainian media, he said then, "In all the institutions, supermarkets, cinemas, there will be people with weapons."

The problem of national security will be the country's most important one in the next decade. An "absolutely liberal, and European" society would therefore no longer be on the agenda, according to the Ukrainian president.

Having long since swapped his suit and tie for a jacket or a khaki T-shirt during his public appearances, Zelensky has undeniably become one of the symbols of this growing militarization of Ukrainian society. However, the president claimed that Ukraine would not become an "authoritarian" regime: "An authoritarian state would lose to Russia. Ukrainians know what they are fighting for."

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