بسم الله الر حمن الر حيم
Israel's prime minister has addressed the pro-Israeli Christians' annual gathering in Washington, calling the United States and Israel one and the same.
Benjamin Netanyahu spoke via video link to Christians United For Israel (CUFI), which gathered in their thousands to reassert allegiance to Tel Aviv.
"When you support Israel, you don't have to choose between your interests and your values; you get both," he told the mostly-evangelical Christians in the gathering.
"Our enemies think that we are you, and that you are us. And you know something? They are absolutely right,"
The US and Israel have each considered the other as its most strategic ally.
Washington has invariably stonewalled the United Nations' actions against Tel Aviv. It also provides Tel Aviv with USD 3 billion in military aid each year.
Israel's Ambassador to the US Michael Oren also addressed the attendees and admired the CUFI's backing of Israel.
He compared the US support of Israel with British military officer Orde Wingate's training of Jewish paramilitary units before Israel's 1948 occupation of the Palestinian land.
The military action, after which Israel proclaimed existence, forced 711,000 Palestinians to leave their homeland. The number of Palestinian refugees is put at over 4.6 million, according to 2008 estimates.
In 1967 and during what became to be known as the Six-Day War, Tel Aviv went on to occupy and later annex the Palestinian territories of the West Bank, East al-Quds and Gaza Strip in a move not recognized by international laws.
Israel carried out a so-called withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, but has been keeping the coastal sliver under recurrent attacks. An all-scale Israeli offensive on Gaza at the turn of 2009 killed more than 1,400 Palestinians.
An internal Israeli military report has revealed that the military is taking steps to increase Israel's land grabs in the West Bank.
The policy, as detailed in the report, would enable increased constructions around settlement blocks as well as strategic areas such as the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea.
If the plan is launched, it would prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state with territorial contiguity.
The US-sponsored talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have frequently been stalled over Tel Aviv's settlement activities that are considered illegal by the international community.
The Israeli interior ministry also recently authorized “the enlargement of 2,000 illegal homes in the neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo” in the occupied East al-Quds (Jerusalem).
Israel occupied the Palestinian territories of East al-Quds and the West Bank in 1967 and later annexed the territories in a move not recognized by the international community.
The United Nations and the European Union consider the settlements built on either region illegal under the international law due to their construction on the occupied territory.
Israel, however, has claimed all of al-Quds as its "eternal and indivisible" capital.
The PA is to ask UN member states to vote for the recognition of an independent Palestinian state in September.
A majority of member states are expected to back the bid as over 100 countries have so far recognized Palestine based on the 1967 borders.
Israeli commandos have reportedly advanced into Tel Aviv-occupied territory in southern Lebanon, conducting sweeping operations there.
On Thursday, 20 of the crack forces changed positions from the Ruweisat Alam village to the Shebaa Farms.
Tel Aviv retains a state of hostility with Beirut by refusing to return farms, which it occupied alongside vast expanses of other Arab territories in 1967.
The forces carried out military operations over great swathes of land for an hour.
The military did not cross the United Nations-drawn Blue Line.
However, Israel's unmanned reconnaissance aircraft flew for more than two hours over the occupied area and the Lebanese territory.
The spy planes frequently violate Lebanon's airspace.
Tel Aviv has launched several wars on Lebanon, killing around 1,200 Lebanese -- mostly civilians -- in the most recent round of offensives in 2006.
In the deadliest of Israeli violations to follow the 2006 war, an Israeli patrol unit breached a border fence in August 2010. The move prompted an exchange of fire with the Lebanese military, in which three Lebanese soldiers, a Lebanese journalist and a senior Israeli officer were killed.
The Lebanese resistance movement of Hezbollah, which defended the country during Israeli wars, has vowed to respond to any new Israeli incursions.
Source press tv//