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Israel claims Dimona missile errant Syrian Air Defence S-200

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This picture taken on April 22, 2021 shows a view of a road sign directing towards the Dimona nuclear power plant in the southern Israeli Negev desert. / AFP / Ahmad GHARABLI

Early Thursday morning last week, a Syrian missile landed in close proximity to Israel's top secret nuclear facility at Dimona in the Negev desert. This comes in the wake of Israel attacking Iran's nuclear enrichment facility at Natanz.

Was the timing just a coincidence, an errant missile as Israel claims, or rather an indication of something much deeper?

On Thursday morning, April 22, reports began coming in through Israeli media of alarms and sirens going off near the Israeli nuclear reactor at Dimona in occupied Palestine.

Within the hour there were unconfirmed videos, allegedly showing an explosion in the vicinity of Dimona from multiple angles, although it wasn't clear exactly what this was, whether it was a target being struck, or a missile being intercepted or simply blowing up in mid air.

At the same time, there were also reports on social media, from residents in Jerusalem and all over occupied Palestine, of a large explosion being heard. Israeli media believe this to have been the sound of Israel's Patriot missile system being activated in response to a threat.

We shall examine the sequence of events, a lot of which was quite ambiguous and unclear at the time, and try to bring some clarity to the matter.

Israel set things in motion when it attacked Syria and proceeded to bomb targets in Dumeir in the Damascus countryside, as well as targets in the occupied Golan Heights.

A Syrian military source told the Syrian Arab News Agency, SANA,, that Israeli warplanes struck at 1:38am on Thursday April 22.

In response to the aerial assault, Syria activated its anti aircraft defense missile systems to counter the Israeli threat.

As it did so, one of the S-200 Surface to Air Missiles (SAM) that Syria launched apparently veered off target went all the way into occupied Palestine, travelling some 200 kilometers and landing in close proximity to the nuclear reactor at Dimona, just 30 kilometers away, completely unimpeded.

The Dimona facility is officially known as the Shimon Peres Negev Nuclear Research Centre, located in the Negev desert, some 13 kilometers southeast of the city of Dimona.

Shortly afterwards, Israel launched a second round of airstrikes on Syria, returning to bomb some of Syria's anti aircraft batteries.

The Syrian military source told SANA that in total four soldiers were wounded, and there was some damage to equipment as well.

Now this incident comes at a particularly sensitive time, less than two weeks, not even 11 days, after Israel secretly sabotaged Iran's own nuclear enrichment facility at Natanz.

A spokesperson for the Israeli military insisted, however, that the Dimona nuclear facility was not the intended target of this Syrian missile and that it landed there by accident. The Dimona facility is not home to just a nuclear reactor. It also houses something else.

The Israelis say that the facility at Dimona just houses a nuclear reactor. How true is that?

Basically I think the Dimona facility… I'm going to start by saying that it always has been a pressure card in the hand of the Axis of Resistance, especially when it comes to the resistance in Lebanon, Hezbollah.  Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah in one of his speeches he said that Lebanon holds a nuclear bomb. And then he later explained that statement, which was shocking for all of us at first, and then he said that our nuclear bomb in Lebanon is in Dimona, and he said that Israel has a nuclear facility there and if Israel continues its threat to Lebanon, the resistance is able to hit that facility, which can cause a lot of damage to Israel or the occupation entity.

Later on Israel moved some of the substances and some of its reactors and nuclear chemicals, they moved into another area, another region and they moved them underground, it was all documented.

Israel claimed that it was only, it's not actually a nuclear reactor facility, it's not actually for nuclear bombs.

If it wasn't that then why would they feel threatened by the words of Mr Nassrallah, at first?  And, of course, Israel didn't sign any deal internationally when it comes to nuclear weapons so there's no way to finding [find] out if Israel is actually saying [telling] the truth about not having nuclear bombs.

Hadi Nasrolah independent commentator and researcher

Everyone is, you know, fear mongering about Iran having nuclear weapons, but we know for a fact that Israel has them and as a matter of fact, it, some at this very facility in Dimona.  What do you think of these double standards?

Basically, there were leaked emails before that Israel had 200 Nuclear warheads. Basically pointed towards Iran.

And this didn't even shock anyone and no one actually questioned that or talked about it and then one false flag in Syria, you see all these international organisations all these countries, condemning and they want to get on the ground to investigate what few [a very small number] claim.

But something as serious as that, when it comes to Dimona, you have a rogue state, a rogue entity, that literally caused a lot of chaos and devastation in the region. There is a chance that such [a] state can hold this amount of nuclear warheads and yet this amount of silence and no one's talking about it, no one's even investigating.

So, yeah, I personally believe that Israel, of course they have nuclear weapons, I mean even Netanyahu when he was once asked live on TV and he didn't even deny it, instead he said," I'm not gonna say yes, and, I'm not gonna say no". Right. He didn't even say no.

Hadi Nasrolah independent commentator and researcher

There was an explosion, actually, a few days ago at an Israeli rocket factory, and, as you know, an Iranian newspaper recently published an article about hitting the Dimona nuclear facility in response to the Natanz incident.

Is there any correlation between these incidents do you think that it is keeping the Israelis on their toes?

Well, basically, of course it's keeping Israelis on their toes but there's nothing confirmed yet to fix it on Iran. Iran is always going to use anything to push their, basically, responses to Israel or a media response towards Israel.

But even if Iran was responsible for this attack, if it's going to happen from the Syrian territories, it's going to come with authorization of the Syrian government.

So for me this act is both Syrian and Iranian, if it was actually an Iranian attack, because, in international law, Syria has every right to self-defense, to defend itself against continuous Israeli aggressions.

In the past three years alone, Israel bombed Damascus more than 500 times while it continues to support Al Qaeda on the borders of the occupied Golan (Heights).

In 2017, they helped Al Qaeda enter the Golan, Israeli occupied Golan, to attack a Syrian village on the other side where the Syrian army was trying to control that region. And, of course, Israel is also responsible for looting a lot of Jewish artefacts from the Jobar synagogue, and a lot of investigation showed that those took those artefacts and they send them to New York City, via Qatar, and Israel had them all right now until Aviv. So, all that is happening, and Syria, whatever Syria does, they have the right to self defence just like they did in 2018 when they shot down an Israel F 16 fighter jet.

Hadi Nasrolah independent commentator and researcher

None of the mainstream media outlets even questioned what Israel was doing in Syria in the first place. Why do you think that is so?

Basically, the media is trying to shy away from any mention of the Washington camp, whoever is on Washington's camp In Syria, they're trying just to hide whatever they're doing because they don't want to embarrass their foreign policy or to embarrass the regime change agenda in Syria.

So you're talking about the same media that called the bombing of 200 children in Aleppo in 2017, they called it a hiccup, just because those children come from loyalist villages.

They're not going to show the truth of what's happening. And definitely even though Israel is not hiding the fact they're supporting Al Qaeda.

The former head of Mossad told Al Jazeera, that, yes, we're helping Al Qaeda but we're not, we're not actually going to help Hezbollah, if the same scenario happened.

He didn't lie, he just said what's happening and yet the media's choosing to cover for them and choosing to hide the fact that Israel is not defending itself in Syria, they're helping a global terrorist organization in Syria against the Syrian people, against this legitimate Syrian government.

So once Syria retaliates, then, because the media keep hiding Israeli actions in Syria, the people won't know that Syria has every right to actually defend itself against Israel.

So I think that's what they're doing because they know one day, Syria was going to retaliate, and then they don't want people to have enough content to actually justify for Syria.

Hadi Nasrolah independent commentator and researcher

Is this going to change their behavior when they attack Syria because you know, as you just mentioned, as we know, they do this almost every week? Do you think that this was a wakeup call?

I was asked that question when Syria downed an F 16, an Israeli F 16 and I said, I'm going to say the same thing right now No, it's not going to affect it, because Israel is never going to stop aggressing Syria, as long as it sees Syria winning, let's put it that way, as long as Syria is winning, Israel is going to keep getting involved, giving logistic support for any terrorist organization that's happening.

And I think, I believe, okay, the attacks, might just slow down those few days but they're not going to stop they're going to come back and they're going to keep attacking until there is enough retaliation against the state and, for me, things will escalate more. Israel is trying to drag the region into war.

They're trying to drag the US administration into war; they are trying to provoke any side they can. They actually stated more than one time that there won't be dragged into an Israeli confrontation.

Hadi Nasrolah independent commentator and researcher

What do you think it would take for Israel to stop attacking Syria?

A full on Syrian victory against the global terrorist organizations, that's as long as there are terrorists controlling Syria, Israel won't stop helping the last one, against what Israel believes (to be) a threat to its existence.

Hadi Nasrolah independent commentator and researcher

Now the S-200 surface to air missile, also known as the SA-5, is an anti aircraft missile developed by Russia in the 1960s.

It has a maximum range of up to 300 kilometers and carries with it a 200 kilogram warhead. Indeed, what has everyone quite perplexed is how this S-200 exactly made the entire journey from Syria to Dimona, seemingly, without being shut down by Israel, which again boasts one of the most capable air and missile defense systems, which is subsidized by the United States.

We are now joined by Veteran War Correspondent and Journalist Elijah Magnier.

This incident, which we just saw unfold at Dimona, comes less than two weeks after Israel sabotaged the Natanz nuclear enrichment facility in Iran.

The question that is burning on everyone's minds at the moment is whether these two incidents are related in any way or is this perhaps retaliation? What are your thoughts on that?

There are two points here to mention.

The first one is the most important one, is that the Israeli interception system has failed. And it has dramatically failed, and that is the most important point. If a missile can cross the whole territory and reach Dimona, which is 200 kilometers away, 170 kilometers in depth, which is a real scandal and a revelation of how unprepared the Israeli interception missiles are.

Notwithstanding the whole noise that the Israelis are making about the effectiveness of the interception missiles, where they have dramatically failed.

The second point, which is something that is good for the audience to know, (is) that we have seen this happening before.

In Yemen, the Houthis have used this kind of missiles and have removed a small piece in the missile and that is called the self destruction.

So the surface to air missiles are made in a way that they explode in the air if they do not reach a target so that they fall in pieces and do not hurt civilians when they fall.

The Houthis have used this kind of missile by removing this self destruction, and allowing the missile to take the maximum range and then fall like any other rocket.

However, we have seen in the photos shown by the Israelis that this missile that fell close to Dimona has a brain, and when I say it has a brain that means it has an electronic circuit. And by having this kind of brain, it means it can intercept a jet, it can intercept a target, it can be directed towards a specific target.

Now there is another point and that's my last point, as an answer to your question is, it is very convenient for President Bashar Al Assad to say nothing about it.

So it is an errant missile, if the Israelis want to think like that, it can be some technical failure, and it went on its normal course, but accidentally, it has reached close to Dimona the nuclear facility that is clandestine to the world, where inspectors cannot go there and tell us what the Israelis are doing.

Elijah Magnier, Veteran War Correspondent and Journalist

The Yemeni example that you just mentioned immediately made me think of the V-1 doodlebug that the Germans developed during World War Two, which would explode on impact.

We saw pictures of the Israelis picking up pieces of this S-200, Israel boasts that it has this very comprehensive air defense system; they have the Iron Dome, David's Sling not to mention the Arrow 123.

So how did this supposedly antiquated S-200 from the Cold War get so deep inside enemy territory?

Is it that the Israelis are trying to downplay the incident and know more than they're letting on?

That is a very good question. The Israeli media is not very easy on Netanyahu and on the Israeli defense systems; they say that Netanyahu was sleeping during his shift. He did not wake up to protect the country, that all the interceptions system we have is a failure, and in a month's time, Israelis have a maneuver on how to confront several fronts in different countries, and all firing missiles at the same time.

I think there is an over estimation of the Israeli defensive system because it is very normal for the axis of the resistance to flood, whatever [however] capable the Israeli interception system is, including the US interception system, which both showed a clear failure intercepting the Houthi Yemeni missiles launched against Saudi Arabia. Because in Saudi Arabia there are not only the US and the Israeli systems but also the British interception system, and all three systems failed to intercept the Houthi missiles fired from Yemen, and the Houthi drones.

So, the Israelis when they want to overestimate their capability, they go to 90% which is extremely highly estimated, and is not even close to the reality. And if we say 50/50 It means that Israel is in deep trouble, in case of war.

This is why Israel is not going to war, not against Syria, not against Lebanon, not against Iran, and is extremely afraid that today, the other side, on the other side of the border is much better equipped than it used to be in 2006, and today Israel cannot just think of doing a promenade over the Lebanese airspace, or the Syrian airspace and get away with it.

Elijah Magnier, Veteran War Correspondent and Journalist

As we are well aware, the Israelis have carried out thousands of airstrikes in the last decade alone on Syria.

Two weeks ago we saw that Syria responded to an act of Israeli aggression over Lebanese airspace.

Now we see this over Palestinian airspace. Do you think this is going to make future raids by the Israelis more difficult and that it has sent a clear message to Israel?

I think the last night is a message from both governments; it is from the government in Damascus and the government in Tehran. And I think the government of Damascus is not willing to go to war with Israel.

The Russians want to avoid this escalation because still the war in Syria is not over, we still have Idlib, and we still have the Pro US forces in North East Syria, and we still have the borders between Iraq and Syria occupied by the US occupation forces.

This is why the Russians are saying to the Syrian government we can give you all the interception missiles that you want, we try to put pressure on the Israelis, we are informed, and the Russian are informing the Syrians and Iranians before any attack takes place.

However this is not sufficient. Syria, because of the economic sanction on the country, EU, US, because of the Caesar act, that Iran is violating quite often, by sending so far only last month, they've sent 3 million barrels of oil, but because of all that, I don't think President and Assad is willing to go to war with Israel, right at the moment.

However this message from Iran is very helpful to put back Netanyahu in his place, and tell him that if we want to retaliate, when we want to retaliate, we are going to use (all) our means, including our allies, and our  precision weapons because Iran has delivered to Syria hundreds of precision weapons that they can make Israel tremble.

The decision lies in the hands of President Assad, and it's up to him to decide when to impose the terrorists on the Israelis but the Israelis are waiting for that day, and they know it is going to come.

Elijah Magnier, Veteran War Correspondent and Journalist

Following the incident, Syria decried the Israeli attack and called on the United Nations Security Council to condemn Israel for violating the agreement on disengagement of 1974 and to uphold the mandates of UN Security Council resolutions, 242338, 350 and 497, which call on Israel to withdraw from the Syrian Golan Heights, which it invaded in 1967.

Israel has been illegally occupying the Golan Heights since 1967 and even proceeded to annex them.

Israel uses the Syrian Golan Heights which are not only rich in oil and water and other resources but is also an important strategic and military point. Tel Aviv uses the area to stage air raids and attacks, on a regular basis, in and around the Golan Heights in Syria.

Israel bombs Syria on a regular basis, and this is not an exaggeration, this is actually happening almost every single week. Israel doesn't typically comment on these raids, but it's previously admitted to them, and admitted to bombing Syria hundreds of times, and that was back in 2018. Now, in 2021, the figure is in the thousands.

Israel knows that Syria is going through a war with over a dozen countries and many more factions ripping the country apart, so Israel takes advantage of that to apply pressure from the south.

Israel's former Chief of Mossad has even admitted in an interview aired on Al Jazeera that Israel gave aid and assistance to al Qaeda fighters, just for the sake of seeing the Syrian Government fall, so this should give you some indication, some idea, as to how determined the Israelis are to attack Syria.

Israel bombed Syria under the pretext of targeting, so called Iranian militias or Hezbollah, but first of all, this is unverified. Israel says this, but no one corroborates it, there's no evidence to support such allegations.

Secondly, and more importantly, it is still a violation of international law and the United Nations Charter to attack a sovereign country.

Just because Israel says it is doing XYZ doesn't make it legal, this is neither self defense nor is it permitted or mandated by the United Nations Security Council.

Even if it were true that there are Iranian or other troops inside of Syria that's not Israel's business, that's Syria's business.

Syria is a sovereign, independent country. It has the right to have alliances with whomsoever it wishes. The United States has over 800 bases in other countries.

Has the mainstream media ever checked to see if these claims by Israel are true?

Has it ever verified them, has the media ever even said that this is a violation of international law and criticized Israel for it?

The media only seems to repeat claims by Israel, which appear to be propaganda, which they report as fact with no scrutiny whatsoever.

Again, that's not reporting, that's propaganda.

In addition to these bombings by Israel, which happen almost every week, it continues to occupy the Syrian Golan Heights, illegally, and has outright said it will never relinquish them.

Benny Gantz said Israel will never withdraw from the territory, even though this is a violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions which were unanimously passed by everyone at the time, including the United States.

It seems that Israel, unfortunately, has no respect for Iran's sovereignty, for Syria's sovereignty and definitely not for Palestinian sovereignty.

Israel does not respect the nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty, which it has not signed, or the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Israel violates the United Nations Charter practically every single week, if not every day, you know perhaps if the international community will not put its foot down and restrain Israel from conducting illegal strikes and raids and committing acts of war, almost every other day against Syria, then hopefully what just took place will deter the Israelis and make them think twice before they launch unprovoked attacks on Syria and violate its independence and sovereignty.


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